(A/N): Hey, this is the slightly happier second part to the first angsty part I made. This one isn't Lisbon centred I'm afraid, but it will be happier, that I can promise. This does have a happy ending, I think. Just so you all know, these ideas usually come from either my imagination or life. I know about anorexia but haven't suffered from it, so if I get things wrong I apologise. Please read and review and I'll love you forever!
I do not own the mentalist.
Cho watched over his extremely skinny boss until she had finally fallen asleep. He had sat and watched as she had gotten thinner and thinner until she weighed less than a child. He knew it was all because she was no longer a whole person. She had told him she was in pain and wouldn't get better. He understood now that she was deadly serious when she had told him that. And Cho knew that he had to make it better. He had to see his boss, and friend, get better.
He walked quickly and silently from the room and out of the side door of the ward into a small garden that was mainly for patient and staff use. However Cho knew he could use his cell phone without interruption here. Flicking through his contact list hurriedly, he pressed the green button, dialling a number he hadn't called in over eight months.
Patrick Jane lay on the large hotel bed, almost completely relaxed. Almost. Somewhere in the back of his mind, something was nagging at him, trying to tell him something was wrong. However, he had a good life now, so he ignored the voice. He watched the news every day and there was no news about his former colleagues, so he simply thought the small worry in the back of his mind was wrong. It had been there ever since he left and he had gotten used to it.
Today the worry was back in full force. He couldn't sit still at all, fidgeting restlessly with everything for the first time since he had left. He was about to go for a walk to calm himself down for a while when his cell phone rang. He checked his new phone quickly, but it was silent. He rummaged round in his bedside drawer until he had found his old cell phone. He looked quickly at the caller ID.
Jane was about to drop it back into the drawer when a thought occurred to him. Cho hadn't called him since he had left, hadn't even attempted to talk to him. So why would he ring him now? Jane flipped open the phone before his brain thought of a counter argument and pressed it to his ear.
"Jane," He said shortly, impatiently.
"Took you long enough." Came the monotone reply.
"Cho, what do you want?" Jane had had enough of trying to be nice, even if he had only just picked up the phone. He had left them all behind because he wanted to forget them all. He didn't want a reminder. Not now, not ever.
"Lisbon's dying." Came the abrupt reply. Jane sank to his knees, pain gripping his heart in an iron fist as his breaths came out in short heavy pants. Fear gripped him as he forced himself to try to stay calm and composed. It didn't work and the fear almost overcame him.
"What? How?" Jane gasped into the phone.
"You need to see for yourself. She'll still be here if or when you get here."
Then the dial tone sounded. Cho had hung up on him. Jane closed the phone and dropped it to the ground without thinking about it. He curled up into a ball and began rocking slightly.
How could this happen? Lisbon couldn't die; Lisbon was supposed to stay alive and well forever. That's when Jane realised that Lisbon meant something to him. So much that he was seriously considering leaving his new shiny life to go back to her. Was it worth it though?
Jane suddenly sprang into action, grabbing his old duffel bag from the bottom of his closet and began throwing clothes into it. He needed to see her. He wasn't sure why but he knew he just had to. He grabbed a coat and his car keys and ran down the stairs, only to be stopped by a sudden thought; What if she didn't want to see him?
Jane didn't allow himself to think of that again as he didn't want to know the answer to it. He threw his bag into the back seat of his Citroën and was about to climb in when his neighbour stopped him.
It was his next door neighbour Boris. He was extremely nosy and loved to know everyone's business. However, it was easier to have Boris on your side rather than against you, so Jane stepped back out of the car reluctantly.
"Boris," He said in a short clipped tone. "I'm in a bit of a hurry so-"
"May I ask where you are going?" Boris asked curiously, stepping up Jane's driveway.
"Sacramento," Jane replied shortly, itching to get back in his car. "I have to go see someone, they are ill."
"Oh," Boris' face took on a look of fake sympathy. "Well, sorry to have kept you. Have a nice journey Mr Jane."
Jane hopped back into the car and drove off quickly, well above the speed limit. He didn't care, all he knew was that he had to get to Sacramento now.
It wasn't until Jane had parked up outside the hospital that he realised he didn't know where she was in the hospital. He could ask to see her, but it might be family only, and he wasn't going to lie his way in this time. Luckily, Cho was waiting outside the automatic doors for him and gave him a sharp nod to indicate his presence. Jane rushed up to him, bag in hand, but before he could say anything, Cho turned around and walked into the hospital, giving Jane no choice but to follow. The nurses let them pass after the saw Cho. He must be here a lot if they know him from a single look Jane thought as they began a long trek down several corridors. Finally they stopped in front of a room and Cho indicated that Jane should look through the window first.
Jane peered in and dropped his bag in shock. Lisbon was lay in the hospital bed in the private room sleeping. There were wires all over her body and she was so small she looked like she could break at a moments notice. Jane turned to Cho, his face for once showing his true emotions. Cho swallowed. Jane wasn't the only one who hated to see Lisbon like this. She was supposed to be the strong one and seeing her in there just brought home how small and vulnerable she really was.
"What's wrong with her?" Jane whispered fearfully.
"Anorexia," Cho replied, never taking his eyes off the woman in the bed. "She started eating less about a month after you left. Then she stopped sleeping at all, and eventually, she would only eat a small amount if I begged her to. Then she stopped altogether. Now she weighs less than an eight year old."
"But, I don't understand…" Jane trailed off as he was met with a hard angry glare from Cho.
"She told me, 'It hurts so much, it hurts all the time. It doesn't get better. Time doesn't make it better. I'll never be better again.' That was when I caught her crying on her couch Jane. It doesn't take a mind reader to know what she meant. I held her for hours while she cried Jane, but I knew she didn't really want me there. You left her behind, all alone, and she couldn't take any more broken promises. Her own heart was killing her, just like she was slowly killing herself."
Jane stared at Cho. It was the most Cho had ever spoken in one time, and the most emotion he had ever shown. Jane knew that Cho had admired his boss, but now he saw that Cho would do anything for her, and it was killing him inside that he couldn't do a thing to help. Cho stared at him again before speaking.
"I'm going inside, to see what she's like. If she is in a good mood, you can go in. If she is depressed again, you can't. You would just make her worse then, and I won't have that."
Cho then walked in, leaving Jane to watch through the window.
"Hey boss," He whispered, leaning over to kiss her bony cheek. She smiled thinly at him and rasped out in a low voice, "Cho, I'm not your boss anymore, so don't call me that." But she was still smiling so he took it as a good sign that she was okay with her emotions today.
"You been weighed again today?" he asked, trying to keep optimistic for her sake. He knew Jane was listening on the other side of the door.
"Yeah," Lisbon smiled again, although this one was slightly sadder than the first one. "I'm now 5st 1lb. The doctors are really happy about it."
"But you're not."
"Not really. I feel like my life has been taken out of my hands Cho. I just want to be happy again, and I can die peacefully, knowing I will always have been alone anyway. But they are all so happy about my 'improvement' that it's hard not to be a little happy myself." That seemed to take most of the oxygen and strength from Lisbon and she started coughing and gasping painfully. Jane had to watch as she almost bent double coughing and gasping for air, without finding any. Cho quickly got the oxygen tank from the corner and handed her the mask. She put it over her face and breathed in gratefully. She nodded to Cho, who took the mask back off her, but left the tank next to her bed just in case.
"What if I could make you happy Lisbon?" He asked suddenly, leaning closer to her. She looked confused but nodded anyway.
"Okay," She whispered.
Cho motioned for Jane to walk in and he did so cautiously, ready to go if she didn't want him there. He saw as her eyes widened in disbelief then fear and she hid her head in Cho's shoulder as she mumbled, "Cho, Cho, save me. I must be dying now. I have to be hallucinating. Please tell me I'm just seeing things that aren't really there."
Jane looked confused but Cho soon explained her behaviour as he patted her hair soothingly. "She had pretty strong day dreams all the time and she became so scared she tried to run out of the hospital. I became the one to reassure her they weren't real." He patted her hair again before saying to her, "I promise this isn't a dream or a nightmare. This is the real thing. I rang him for you when you weren't getting better, when I thought you would die."
Lisbon lifted her head from Cho's shoulder and stared at Jane with large teary eyes that seemed even bigger as her face was so small and bony through lack of food and sleep. "Jane?" She whispered hopefully, knowing she couldn't say it any louder without needing the oxygen again.
Jane nodded as he stepped up to the side of the bed. He held out his hand towards her. "I'm real. Take my hand, you'll see."
Lisbon just stared at his hand as though it was an alien coming to abduct her. She couldn't stand touch at the moment, and Cho was the only one she would allow to comfort her with any form of touch at all. And yet Patrick Jane had his hand held out for her to take.
"I-I can't." She whispered and got up on the opposite side of the bed to him. Cho understood immediately where she was going and grabbed her dressing gown and shoes for her, helping her to put them on. Jane noticed that the label said age 9-10, which proved how small she was now if she had to have children's clothes to wear. She grabbed her IV to pull along with her, and before Jane truly understood what was happening, she was gone from the room.
Cho looked at him with an unreadable expression on his face. "You took her with you." He said simply.
"What? I left you all behind!" Jane said incredulously.
"But you took her with you," Cho repeated, before sighing. "It's hard to explain, but I think when you left, you took her with you. Not physically, but emotionally. I think you had her heart and you didn't realise. She knew she wasn't whole anymore. She tried to explain it to me once. She told me it was like she was a shell of a person now, like she could just drift out of her body and no-one would know or care. She loved you Jane, and you left her. Now you are going to find her before she falls over, and you will talk to her."
"Or?" Jane couldn't help but ask.
"Or no-one will ever find your dead body."
"Got it." Jane answered then left the room in search of Teresa.
He found her sat on a garden bench in a secluded corner of the patient garden. She seemed to be watching the flowers closest to her, but Jane knew it was just a distraction so she wouldn't have to think about anything properly.
"Hey," He said softly, sitting beside her on the bench without touching her at all. He had seen the way she had stared at his hand and knew she probably hated touch at the moment. She was so tiny now, even if she had been small before. He bones seemed so palpable beneath her skin, and she looked as though a gust of wind would shatter her into a million pieces.
"You left," She whispered back, still staring at the white lilies in front of her. They were her favourite flower and she came here often when she wanted to get away from everything and everyone.
Jane felt a pang in his heart when he heard her small frail voice, unable to get above a whisper for long without coughing. Also, she had cut to the matter straight away, unlike her usual subtle way of going about certain things. He knew that he needed to explain himself, or soon she would be gone forever.
"Yes, I left." He said, closing his eyes as he continued. He didn't want to see any look of hatred or disgust in her gaze. "After Red John, I was confused. I knew I was supposed to be getting on with my life, but I didn't want to leave. I had these… urges whenever I was around you, and I got scared. I chose the coward's way out and ran off. I didn't realise I had taken your heart with me, and for that, I am truly sorry."
Tears were threatening to overflow his eyes when he felt a small bony hand slip into his larger calloused one. The tears did overflow then. She was the one who was on the brink of death, and yet she was comforting him. He wiped his eyes and turned to her. Sympathy shone in her large eyes as she watched him.
"Aren't you scared?" He whispered.
"No." She said firmly. "I spent so long thinking about it that I somehow got used to the thought of dying. At one point I was ready for it, wishing for death to claim me."
"And now?" He asked, looking down at their joined hands.
"Now I want to live," She whispered, squeezing his hand. "I was a step away from death Patrick. I could fell it trying to claim me, and I knew then that I wanted to live. Even if it was just to see you one last time."
Jane stared at the small woman sat next to him, still staring at the white lilies in front of her. He hadn't realised how much she had relied on death at one point. He had thought that she had been fighting death the entire time, when in reality she had accepted and even wished for death to take her out of this world. It pained him to know that she had given up fighting, that she didn't want to fight.
"Promise me something," He said, turning her using her hand so she faced him. She turned halfway willingly, and then remembering she still had and IV attached to her other arm, she turned back and pulled the IV round with her.
"Promise me you'll fight for life, for me." He whispered leaning his forehead on hers for a moment, then realizing she still hated touch backed away. However, she pulled her hand from his grasp and pulled his neck forward until their foreheads were touching again. Then her hand slipped back into his.
"For you?" She whispered. He nodded. "The you have to promise me something as well."
"Promise you will never leave me again."
They smiled at each other as they both spoke the word to seal their promises to each other. Jane slipped his arm around Lisbon's shoulder as she snuggled into him.
"You need to eat more. You're tiny."
"I'm getting better." She smiled at him and wasn't just talking about her body. She was getting better mentally as well now that she had the one thing she loved more than anything in the whole world. Patrick Jane, the man she would love until the end of time.
Jane smiled as he hugged Lisbon closer to him. He had almost lost the most precious thing in his world and now he wasn't going to lose her again. He had finished being selfish, and now all he wanted was for the woman he loved to get better.
They stayed in that position for a while, both unwilling to move. They wanted to stay in that moment forever, in a peaceful place where the real world couldn't interfere. Unfortunately, just a few minutes later, Jane sat up properly, grabbing her hand again as he stood them both up.
"Time to go back in, sweetheart."
"Do I have to?"
"Fine. But only if you stay with me."
"Forever and a day, my dear."