A/N: My muse decided to come to me on this very hot day while watching a Mentalist episode On Demand. Oh, and listening to the song 'Home' by Daughtry. I thought it was very fitting to this situation. So anyway, tell me if it should just be a two or three-shot, or if you think it needs more. The end is kind of like a song-fic, but not really. Yeah, so read on my fellow fanfic-ers! BTW, does anybody even read these Author Note things? I mean, I don't. But I guess if you're reading this you actually do. Well I'm rambling, that was strange, and you are probably bored. So just read on.
She had called. Everyday she would leave him a message, telling him that he should come home. That Wainwright would've given him his job back if he just apologized. And everyday he would listen to Lisbon's messages, each one more urgent. After the second month, Jane couldn't listen to them anymore. They broke his heart when he heard her voice crack when she was on the verge of tears. He couldn't bear the pain in her voice. He shouldn't have left again, he knew that. But when he went to Lisbon's apartment that night, he had said that he should leave and not her.
He had realized that he was getting to close to her. He could feel Red John planning to take her away, to break him again. Jane didn't think that he would be able to go on after that. He knew that's what he meant when he asked him if he was ready to give up. If he hurt Lisbon he would be done for good; without getting revenge for everyone that Red John had killed. He wouldn't let that happen. So he hurt her himself. Not exactly the best rationalization.
He flipped his phone open. He began deleting the voicemails from the bottom of the list. When he came to the last one, the one from today, he paused. Jane's finger slid over the button that would make her voice play. He pressed it, just to hear her voice.
"Jane," came her voice. It sounded hoarse and tired. Exhausted. "Dammit, Jane, pick up your phone! How the hell am I supposed to know that you're not at the bottom of a river somewhere? Or lying in some run-down motel with a smiley face painted above your body? How the hell am I supposed to know?" He paused it.
Jane could tell she was crying now. He knew he couldn't last much longer here. He pictured her face. He was surprised he could see it clearly. It was the time when she had been the suspect in the murder of the pedophile that was out of jail. She was eating her donut happily, putting her office back together. Jane smiled. His ball of fire…
He wondered if she had a boyfriend now. She probably had had a little fling. He could sense the guilt in her voice. But why should she be guilty? They weren't a couple. She didn't owe him anything. Jane didn't know why she thought she did. Yes, yes he did. He knew she felt something for him. She shouldn't, though. He was broken, and a hazard to her. No matter how much he loved her, he wouldn't be able to protect her. He felt dizzy getting hit by a baseball, for goodness' sakes.
He couldn't be there for her, and she deserved better. He listened to the rest of the message.
"Do you want to know why I keep calling you, Jane? When the rest of the team has given up on you? Huh, Jane? If you're listening to these messages but still not calling me back? After I tell you I love you, and you still don't even call to tell me that you would never love me back. Asshole," There was her half-hearted attempt to berate him.
Jane ran his hands trough his hair. Had she really said that she loved him? Damn, he had deleted it. He knew he would have to hear it; at least just hear her voice say she loved him once before he died. The pain in her voice shook him. It would probably hurt her more once he came back, just to leave again. She was strong, she would find someone better. He just needed to hear it.
Jane stared at the sky through the dirty motel room's window. He couldn't see any stars. In Malibu you could see the stars. That's why he and Angela wanted to live there. You could see the shining orbs above the crashing waves while your toes squirmed through the wet, sticky sand. He loved beaches.
Thinking about the beach helped him block the pain. At least for a little while. It kept him from thinking about his families. About Angela and Charlotte, and his family at the CBI. Cho and Rigsby probably hated him for what he was doing to Lisbon, to their sister figure. And Grace looked up to Lisbon. It probably broke her to see Lisbon crushed. He hated himself for that.
He needed to go home. He needed to go home to Lisbon, where he didn't have a care in the world. He could just be around the people he cared about, and life would be good. It wouldn't be costing him anything to smile there.
The pain of losing his family was faded there. It was different pain. It hurt to start letting them go, but it got better. He could be happy and he could let himself go. It was good. But it was different while he was away from her.
Jane grabbed his phone that sat on the bed next to him and his suit jacket. He locked his motel door and gave the keys back to the manager. "Do you have a map, Sir?" He asked the guy at the desk.
"Sure," he pointed towards the wall of pamphlets.
"Ah, thank you. You don't happen to have any tea, do you?"
"Hmm. Well thanks anyway. I can keep this?" The guy nodded. Jane was feeling better already.
He wandered the streets until he came to a taxi. "Where to?" The driver asked him.
"The nearest airport, please," Jane was going home.
He thought of the meaning of the word 'home'. To Jane, it meant the place where love was always enough, where he didn't need anything else. Where was his home? Wherever Teresa was, of course. He knew the whole thing sounded cheesy, but he couldn't help it. He was like that when it came to her.
He watched the planes land and leave for hours in the uncomfortable blue chairs that sat by the terminals lining the windows. Jane sipped on some of the tea he had gotten at the coffee shop in the food court. He didn't have the willpower to tell the young college girl that she had made his tea wrong.
Jane spent the plane ride catching up on his observation skills. All he had done during his five months away from the CBI was wait for Red John to come for him. He hadn't made any move to contact him. He hoped that he had succeeded in making him believe that he had moved on from the life that he had before. But he knew that that probably hadn't happened.
His flight landed around midnight. Jane decided he was going to walk all the way to Lisbon's apartment. When he reached her door, he knocked, which was very uncharacteristic of him. He was about to pick the lock of the door when he heard Lisbon's footsteps. Her head was down when she opened it.
"What is it? Don't you know how to tell time? It's 2 o'clock in the morning,"
"Lisbon," Jane said, "It's me,"