A/N: So, that finale. I loved it. Absolutely loved it, and I wasn't expecting to, so it was really the most lovely surprise. I started writing this fic almost immediately, but I've been having issues with it. I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with it, but I couldn't tell you why, so I'm posting it, and hoping for the best. It's all going up at once, because while I've split it, I wrote it as a oneshot, and in my head it's all one thing.
Part 1: Susan Darcy
"Can I have a word?"
"Agent Darcy," Lisbon said, looking up from her desk. "Of course. Come in."
Darcy walked in, shutting the door behind her, smirking slightly. "It was Susan before," she couldn't resist pointing out.
To Darcy's amusement, Lisbon flushed slightly. "Desperate measures."
"You needed to get my attention," Darcy surmised dryly. Actually, it hadn't been the use of her first name, but the desperation in Lisbon's voice that had alerted Darcy that there was more to things than she'd thought. After all, Teresa Lisbon wasn't one to lose her cool over just anything.
"Yeah," Lisbon shrugged. "Look…"
But Darcy held up a hand. "I get it."
"You do?" Lisbon asked in obvious surprise.
Darcy almost chuckled. "Well, really probably not. But I understand it more. Red John is very different in theory than in reality."
Lisbon didn't even blink. "Yes he is."
Darcy resisted the urge to fidget. "Sorry about the whole arrest warrant thing." She'd been well within her rights to issue the warrants, but given the circumstances, well... It was always awkward to find you'd arrested a cop for trying to do their job. Not that Darcy'd ever actually done that before, but...
Now it was Lisbon's turn to smile slightly, "Hey, I did fake my own death, and Rigsby's. I'd have told someone about the plan…"
"But who didn't know who was safe to tell," Darcy surmised, watching the other woman closely. Teresa Lisbon certainly didn't give a lot away, but she gave away enough. Darcy imagined that working the Red John case was more than enough to make anyone paranoid. "Fair point, especially given that there's apparently another leak in my organization, which is why I've reversed all four arrest warrants."
Lisbon looked relieved, "Thank you."
Darcy waved a dismissive hand. "I'm certainly not going to waste time prosecuting you guys, not when the ranks of my own organization apparently need some scrutiny."
Lisbon winced sympathetically. "We've had our fair share of compromised people too. If it makes you feel any better, I think it's safe to say you're off Jane's suspect list."
Darcy shook her head. She appreciated the gesture on the other woman's part, but Darcy knew very well what Jane thought of her. "I'm not sure anyone's off Jane's suspect list."
Lisbon sighed, "Yeah."
"Except you, of course," Darcy added slyly. Amid all the subterfuge and uncertainty, Patrick Jane did seem like he might have one constant...
Darcy was about to continue in that vein (the relationship between the two of them absolutely fascinated her), when Jane himself walked into the office behind Lisbon. "Evening ladies."
"Oh, by all means, come right in," Lisbon said sarcastically. Darcy couldn't help noticing that, despite the obvious irritation in her tone, Lisbon relaxed as she spoke. It seemed that, in spite of his recent absence and questionable decisions, Patrick Jane was still welcome at the CBI, at least as far as Teresa Lisbon was concerned.
"Don't mind if I do," Jane said, brushing two fingers briefly against the back of Lisbon's chair as he walked past her.
Eventually, he stopped, leaning against the wall behind his former (and Darcy guessed soon-to-be-current) boss, dunking a tea bag like some sort of ridiculously formally-dressed watchdog. And Darcy knew exactly who he regarded as a threat. Despite his general proximity to his former boss, Lisbon wasn't the one Jane was examining. Jane should have looked casual, standing there, leaning against the bookshelf drinking tea, but he looked anything but. Darcy suspected his arrival had been deliberately timed. Patrick Jane did almost nothing casually, and he was currently watching her very carefully over his teacup, like a viper ready to strike if Darcy made so much as a single wrong move. Or, more specifically, if she presented even the slightest threat to Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon.
The protectiveness was obvious, but surprising, and not something Darcy would have expected from Jane. The man always acted almost detached from the world or above such worldly concerns. He was the indifferent observer of everything, apart from Red John. Except that there was one other person Patrick Jane wasn't quite indifferent to.
Darcy smiled to herself. It seemed the great Patrick Jane might be human after all. Her eyes shifted to his boss. It was harder to tell where she stood on the relationship.
If Lisbon was uncomfortable with Jane's general proximity, she didn't show it. Darcy couldn't tell if Lisbon just didn't notice what Jane was doing because she was oblivious, or because she'd gotten so used to this sort of thing that it didn't even register. Darcy would have bet money on the second option had it not been for the fact that the pair hadn't been in contact in six months. Still, the woman couldn't really not know what was going on, could she? How was that even possible?
Darcy glanced back up at Jane when he spoke. "So, what were you ladies talking about?"he asked, his tone the only casual thing about the question.
"Discussing suspects," Lisbon told him neutrally without looking at him, opening her drawer to find something. "Unfortunately we don't have any."
"And I wanted to tell Agent Lisbon that all FBI action against her team will be reversed," Darcy added, raising what she hoped was an obvious white flag. "Might be a day or two before we get all the paperwork sorted to make it official, so I figured..."
Darcy watched in some amusement as Jane's posture changed almost immediately, albeit only slightly. Some of the tension left him as he relaxed against the wall behind him, obviously calmer now that Darcy had identified herself as a friend to his former partner. To Darcy's further amusement, Jane gave her the slightest of nods. So slight, that he probably didn't even realize he'd done it. Even more interestingly, although he was no longer on high alert, Jane didn't step away from his protective position behind Lisbon. Darcy was fairly certain that, while she'd obviously been assigned a lower threat level, she also hadn't quite achieved the status of friend. The idea intrigued her, particularly since Jane very obviously wasn't worried about her for his own sake.
Darcy'd thought he was a dangerous serial killer, completely self-aggrandizing and egotistical. And while he obviously had a more than healthy ego, the more Darcy watched him with his partner, the more she suspected that he wasn't quite as cut off from the world as he liked to pretend. Darcy couldn't help wondering how far the friendship went. She wondered exactly what Teresa Lisbon was for Patrick Jane. And what Patrick Jane was to Teresa Lisbon.
Darcy remembered seeing the two of them at the crime scene, Jane holding onto her hand, not letting go.
It had seemed oddly important somehow, for all that Darcy hadn't been expecting it. Like a crucial missing piece to the puzzle that was Patrick Jane. Darcy had thought he was Red John, but after today...
Well, it was a complicated case. But somehow, for a few minutes, things had seemed suddenly less complicated (although not necessarily clear).
"Ah," Jane replied. Yes, the ever-present delays in bureaucracy."
"I appreciate you dropping by to let me know," Lisbon added civilly. Darcy realized that Lisbon genuinely was almost certainly oblivious to Jane's ulterior motive for barging into her office.
The impish side of Darcy's personality found that she wanted to tell the other woman what was going on with her ex-consultant, just see what Lisbon did with that information. It would almost certainly be either mock Jane or yell at him, or possibly a combination of both. Unfortunately (or fortunately for her job), Darcy's professional side almost always won out. "Of course," she agreed. "In future, maybe we can even work together." She found herself examining Lisbon carefully. It was fascinating, the level of loyalty the woman seemed to inspire, particularly from a man who didn't seem to care about much else. Lisbon had never liked her, for reasons Darcy was only now beginning to fully understand. Teresa Lisbon looked after her own. Even though Jane currently looked like he'd strike quickly and viciously against any perceived threat towards his partner, Lisbon was the one who'd repeatedly risked her job for him when he'd asked her to.
If she was honest, Darcy didn't quite understand why. With Jane, it would be impossible not to have doubts about his motivations, his goals, well... everything really. Darcy knew she'd never have been able to work with him long term, but Lisbon almost seemed to thrive on it. Still, why did she work with him? Why had she stuck with him? Looking at past case files, even just the Red John ones, Darcy knew they'd had more than a couple rough patches, and yeah, the man was good at what he did, but he wasn't that good, or even that charming. And yet, Teresa Lisbon was still firmly by his side, no questions asked. Their partnership was... interesting.
Darcy had so many questions, she was afraid to say, almost none of them professionally motivated.
To her surprise, Lisbon chuckled. "Yeah, maybe we should give pooling our resources a try. Sorry the whole mess didn't end up being more productive."
"All I got was a voice, which I'd already heard," Jane shrugged. "So, as usual, not a lot of leads."
"A lot of suspects though," Darcy said, seeing the frustration in both of them, and wondering if this case, which had clearly bonded them together, would end up killing them in the end.
"Yeah, there's always a lot of those," Jane agreed, his eyes suddenly hard.
"I even suspected Jane here, for a while," Darcy said to Lisbon, trying to lighten the mood.
"He told me," she replied dryly.
"Oh, please, don't rush to my defence like that, Lisbon, it's embarrassing." Jane added from behind her.
"Well, it was all your own fault that you were a suspect!" she snapped, turning to glare at him. "I told you that, I told you that if you'd just told the truth from the beginning..."
"What was I supposed to do?" Jane interrupted. "I had it under control, Lisbon. I had a plan."
Darcy was pretty she heard the other woman actual growl. "A stupid plan! All you r plans are terrible."
"Hey! You didn't say that when I was helping you solve your cases," Jane replied, raising his hands in defence, but leaning towards her. "I see the closed case rate's dropped a few percentages in my absence."
"Shut up Jane," Lisbon snapped, standing up in irritation (and to Jane's obvious amusement). "Don't even go there. And anyway, I meant your Red John plans."
"They're not terrible!" Jane muttered, leaning back against the bookshelf.
"Your last "plan" involved faking a breakdown for six months, half-killing yourself, getting beat up on a regular basis and then arrested!" Lisbon reminded her.
"Exactly! And it almost worked!" Jane defended. "Except that someone was just a little bit too clever," he said glancing semi-accusingly at Darcy, and obviously trying to diffuse the situation slightly. Lisbon no longer looked quite so relaxed, although she didn't really look angry, just frustrated. Darcy gathered this was an old argument.
"You shoulda had a better fake dead Rigsby," Darcy told him, trying to help lighten the mood with a little gallows humour. "You'd apparently shot two CBI agents in the CBI, Patrick. You had to know that'd get just a little scrutiny."
"Not a lot of unidentifiable spare corpses lying around, Susan," Jane replied sarcastically. "We had to make do with what was available."
Darcy shrugged, trying not to show her amusement. "I'm not going to apologize for being good at my job."
"I didn't ask you to, you couldn't have known," Jane said, obviously not holding her responsible.
Darcy cleared her throat awkwardly. There were a lot of unknowns. "What do you think about Wainwright?" she all but blurted out.
So did Jane. "Yeah, that was…"
Darcy interrupted, not wanting to hear their awkward attempts to address their former boss's death. She didn't think that had hit any of them yet, including her. "I mean, do you think he was involved?" she clarified. If he had been, she'd certainly sleep better at night.
Lisbon shook her head slowly. "Red John's followers and informants are all unflinchingly loyal. If Wainwright'd been involved, he wouldn't have needed to be duct-taped to the seat."
"Unless that was part of the ruse," Jane murmured. Lisbon turned to roll her eyes at him. He continued in spite of her skepticism. "But I agree, it's unlikely. The real question is, why was he targeted? Why him?"
Lisbon looked at him, considering. "Because he took you off the case? Red John's attacked people who separated the two of you before."
"Maybe," Jane agreed. "But I'm not sure. He seems to want to change our relationship."
"Red John does want to get closer to you," Darcy said tentatively. "Or he did."
"Before I rejected him," Jane agreed.
The three of them lapsed into silence.
"Look, I should go," Darcy told them, after a moment, realising that she had nothing more to say, and that the pair in front of her were probably not really in the mood to talk to her. "I just wanted to let you know that I've rescinded all the arrest warrants for your team, Agent Lisbon. Said you were undercover." Darcy didn't go into details about the looks she'd gotten when she'd suggested that one to her colleagues, but in the end they'd all gone along with it. Better than pursuing cases against cops who'd only lied to try to catch a serial killer and save an ex-colleague. Besides, everyone who went near the case was starting to unofficially agree that Red John required a little out of the box thinking.
"Thank you." Lisbon said with a genuine smile.
"Least I can do," Darcy said with an awkward shrug. All too aware of the reason why their plan ostensibly hadn't worked as they planned. She cleared her throat. "Still can't help you with the Vegas PD," she told Jane. "You're still on the hook for that."
"Meh," he shrugged
"And hey, if you ever need… I mean, you probably won't believe me, I know. But I'm not the enemy," Darcy added, trying one more attempt at extending the olive branch. She wasn't sure why, exactly, but she wanted them to know that she was a friend. They both looked like they could use one.
"Thanks," Lisbon said, sounding sincere.
Jane nodded. "Susan."
Darcy nodded back, still not entirely sure where she stood with him. "Patrick. Agent Lisbon."
"I'm sure we'll talk again," Lisbon said, standing as Darcy got up to leave. She realized suddenly that, although she didn't really understand what was between them, that the only thing to do was leave them to each other. At this point, she figured it was what they both wanted, whether they admitted it or not.
Still, as she exchanged pleasantries with Agent Lisbon, who was politely walking her to the elevator, Darcy had to admit, she wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall in Lisbon's office for the next hour or so.
She bet it would be interesting, and possibly answer a few of her questions.