I started reading fanfiction's for the first time after episode 24 of season 4 of The Mentalist. I loved the episode so much that I didn't want to wait until next season to get my fix. I have a friend who has written fanfiction before so it popped into my head and now I'm hooked. As you can probably guess, this is also my very first fanfiction story. I wanted to give my two cents about some things. This wasn't going to be a romance originally, because I don't think that Jane and Lisbon are ready for it in the show, but I want them to end up together, so I'm going against my difficulties with them getting together too soon and writing a love story. (The romances are always the most fun to read anyway.) I hope you like it and I can't wait to read what you think!
Disclaimer - I don't own the Mentalist
Chapter One - Lost Faith
Jane lay on his makeshift bed upstairs in the CBI building. It hadn't been touched since he'd left. The blankets were even still folded back from the last time he'd used them. He grinned, realizing that Lisbon was more than likely the one who'd stopped it from being taken away. He could only imagine the conversation she would have had convincing the janitors to leave it be. How she would have had to tell them that he was coming back, even though she couldn't really have believed it. He had played his part well.
He smile faded a little as he lifted his head and pushed his pillow up under his neck to distract from the uncomfortable feeling that had just tried to take up residence in his stomach.
He had felt some satisfaction in the church admitting to Lisbon that if he could fool her, he could fool Red John too. If she hadn't been so angry with him she would have seen it for the compliment that it was. He hadn't meant it to be. He'd meant to make a point. Still, he obviously saw her as highly formidable or he wouldn't have made the comparison.
The bed was dusty, but he couldn't care less. It felt familiar and that's what he really craved right now. Familiarity. His attic, his couch, his team, Lisbon… A smile fought its way back to his lips as his thoughts shifted back to the loyal brunette, who always gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Then he realized that she would have had to explain it to Wainwright too. His smile faded faster this time then it had the first time as he thought of his former boss—murdered by Red John.
He was supposed to be able to see things that others missed, yet he'd had no idea that it had been Luther in the back of the Limo and not Red John. Another life taken. Wainwright was a more than capable agent and leader, it was why he'd accomplished so much at such a young age, but he was a child and he was dead.
Jane subconsciously added Wainwright to his guilt list—the list of people who had been murdered by Red John after his wife and daughter. He felt guilty for everyone affected by Red John after the death of his family, but he felt a personal responsibility for a few: Bosco and his team, Kristina Fry, the boy from the Morgue who'd been left in Rosalind Harker's house, and now Wainwright.
He followed a crack in the ceiling with his eyes as he told himself that it wasn't his fault. Lisbon had told him it wasn't either, but he knew that wasn't true. These deaths and those of his family were times when Red John had broken pattern to teach Jane a lesson. A part of him wanted to take that lesson, stop playing the game. His more rational side told him he couldn't, that he had to keep going until they caught Red John, or the killings would never stop. And now they had a real possibility of making progress. They had Lorelei.
His stomach flipped. It'd been over an hour since he'd left her with Lisbon in the interrogation room. He was surprised by Lisbon's self-control. Her curiosity had always gotten the best of her when it came to his love life—if you could call it that. Even he had to admit that it was pathetic.
Sophie Millar had been the most normal of them all, but then again whatever it was that they'd had would never have worked, especially considering he'd been locked in a mental institution when he'd met her. He was really fond of Kristina Fry despite the fact that her psychic antics had annoyed him. Not that it had mattered in the end—after Red John had ruined her mind. Then there was Erica Flynn. He'd found her… intriguing, but she was a convicted man-slaughterer and she'd used him to escape from jail. Not his most proud moment to be sure but interesting nonetheless. And now there was his latest disaster—Lorelei.
Lisbon had never been one to shy away from asking Jane about his love life. She teased him about Sophie Miller, had been jealous of Erica Flynn and had been frank about her distaste of the woman. But Lorelei was different. He'd slept with her and he knew that Lisbon would be dying to ask him one question, but she still hadn't come looking for him.
He sat up, swung his feet off the bed and took a couple deep breaths. He decided to go find her. He might as well get it over with.
Lisbon had been shocked when Lorelei had called Jane "lover," and it had been clear on her face. When Jane left it had taken Lisbon just a second too long to pull herself together. Lorelei smiled at her playfully. She felt a shiver threatening to run up her spine, but she'd controlled her body.
The idea of Red John and Lorelei talking about her made her feel sick. The idea of Jane sleeping with Lorelei made her feel… tired. She was definitely not at her peek and decided now wasn't the best time to talk to Lorelei. She stood and headed for the door.
"Wait," Lorelei called after her. She slowed and looked back at her. "You should know that I do care about Jane," she said. Her face was serious. "Just like you do."
"I seriously doubt that you know how to care about anything," Lisbon told her, her eyes glued to the doorknob that her hand held.
"Oh, but you're wrong, I do," Lorelei continued. Lisbon looked back at her. Her face was still serious. "Don't you want to know?"
Lisbon turned at that. "Know what?" she asked in her typical cool manner.
"How he was?" A grin started to cross Lorelei's face, her tongue lightly brushed her upper right canine, and she looked into the distance like she was remembering a pleasant thought before she returned her cocky gaze to Lisbon's face.
Lisbon fought the urge to say "ew" and kept her face composed. The last thing she would ever want to know was what Lorelei thought of Jane's sexual prowess. Still, if Lorelei wanted to play this game she was a smart enough agent to realize it could be the only way to get something, anything from her.
Jane wouldn't like it, she knew. He'd be worried. But now that the thought was there she couldn't just push it away. It was something to be… discussed. Besides, she would never explain to her that she had obviously been misinformed about her relationship with Jane. Her relationship with Jane was none of Lorelei's business anyway.
Sure, Jane and her cared about each other. She was sure that was obvious to just about anyone who knew either of them. She'd gone along with his schemes for years, she'd lost her job at one point and even been shot, but he was still the person she trusted the most, as was obvious by how she had gone along with his "breakdown" plan—even after he had abandoned her for six months. And he had proven long ago that she was important to him when he'd shot and killed their only link to Red John, a dirty cop named Hardy, and also by his absolute refusal to work with anyone but her.
If Red John and Lorelei thought that she was going to be jealous over this, they were both seriously mistaken. Her and Jane were protective, sometimes paternal and maternal, and sometimes they were much like siblings, but it's not like they were in love.
She felt her brow furrow at the thought, recalling what Jane had said to her in her office before he'd pretended to shoot her. He'd hugged her then…
"Good luck Teresa, love you."
Lorelei's haughty smile snapped Lisbon out of the thought.
She stepped back toward the table and said the only thing that she could at that moment in time. "Sure," she smiled brightly, "but first why don't you jot down Red John's real name and address." Lorelei's face dropped. "No?" Lisbon acted shocked. "Well, then I guess we're done here."
Lorelei smiled again, leaned back in her chair and shrugged. "Your loss," she said, "literally." The last word dripped with innuendo.
Lisbon returned the fake smile with one of her own and left.
She stopped at the adjoining room where Van Pelt and Cho were standing, watching the interview from behind the one way mirror. She went in making sure the door shut completely before speaking.
"I want one of you keeping an eye on her at all times. Anyone outside of the team is not allowed in that room or anywhere near her."
"Yes boss," Cho said.
"Where's Rigsby?" Lisbon asked.
"He's with Sarah. She was pretty shaken by…" Van Pelt let the sentence trail off.
"Get him back here. Red John's friends have a nasty habit of ending up dead and I'm gonna make damn sure it doesn't happen to her. Plus there are a lot of angry agents in the building…" She didn't finish the sentence, and didn't need to. After Wainwright, there'd be a lot of cops out for her blood. "We're gonna be stuck here until I can figure out what to do with her."
Van Pelt and Cho nodded. She turned from them and left the room.
The question that had popped into her head during the interview was back. She wanted to seek Jane out. She had a pretty good idea of where he'd be, but how could she ask him. She hated herself for thinking the worst, but he hadn't exactly been honest with her lately. She only hoped that the moral compass he'd found after the death of his wife and daughter hadn't failed him. If only he'd kept her in the loop all this time.
She reached the end of the hall where she could either go upstairs to Jane or into her office. She stopped, decided to leave it be and went into her office. She couldn't ask. It was too weird. Plus she wasn't sure she really wanted the answer anyway. She could just pretend it had never occurred to her and live in blissful ignorance.
She walked slowly around her desk and sat in her chair. She opened a file and began flipping through it, not really paying attention to what she was looking at. Her hands started to tremble. This was the first time in days that she'd had a moment to herself to think about what had happened. It was clearly getting to her.
Before she knew what she was doing she dropped her head to her desk, and let out a frustrated groan. She couldn't live in blissful ignorance. Sooner or later she'd have to ask him. Until she knew for sure, she'd assume the worst, and if she didn't respect him, it'd make it really hard to work with him.
She didn't need to ask him today though. Maybe tomorrow…
Jane made his way down to Lisbon's office. Her blinds were closed and her door was shut. Her office was hardly ever like that. The last time he'd seen the blinds shut was the night he'd pretended to shoot her. She hadn't had time to open them since then. He walked slowly to her door and pushed. He stuck his head in and saw her working attentively on her computer.
She glanced at him quickly then back at her screen. He made his way to the chair across from her desk and sat down as the door swung shut. She quickly finished what she was typing and turned to look at him while shoving a lock of her brown hair behind her ear. She'd told him she hadn't been sleeping well since he'd left, but it wasn't until now that he saw just how exhausted she was.
More guilt washed over him. Before this afternoon he'd convinced himself that it would all be worth it, her suffering for him, but they still didn't have Red John. They had Lorelei though and that would have to be prize enough for now.
He watched as Lisbon regarded him thoughtfully. He knew she wanted to ask him something and he knew exactly what she wanted to ask, but she didn't. Instead she sat quietly, with her hands interlaced in front of her on her desk waiting for him to say something.
When he didn't she broke the silence. "How are you holding up?"
He quickly went from feeling guilty to feeling frustrated. She always thought of him, even when she was miserable. "Don't do that Lisbon."
She tensed a little. "Do what?" Her question hadn't sounded harsh exactly, but it was definitely different than the normally caring tone she used with him when she thought he was fragile.
"I'm a big boy; you don't need to take care of me or mother me."
She nodded once. "This coming from the man who just crawled through a church so he could pretend to be the voice of God and scare me?" her eyebrows raised. She stood up and walked past her desk and him to the filing cabinet on the opposite side of the room with the file she'd been working on. She opened the cabinet and put it back.
"Lisbon," Jane said softly. He hadn't moved in his chair. "Just ask me."
Jane hadn't turned to look at her, but he could almost sense her pause after he spoke. He heard her take a deep breath. Then he heard the filing cabinet close.
"Ask you what?" She walked back to her chair, with a look that said she wanted him to believe she was clueless.
"You know what." His face remained as somber as when he told her not to mother him.
He could see that Lisbon was having an internal struggle. He needed her to be herself, to be strong and free of burdens. He couldn't have some imposter Lisbon always looking over her shoulder, wondering if she could trust him. That's not how their relationship was or how it would ever be if he could help it.
He knew that he'd taken a big risk with her by leaving, but she'd forgiven him—he'd seen it in her eyes at the church. Even though she'd scolded him she'd forgiven him. She needed to know the truth so they could go back to being as normal as ever they were. She needed to ask her question and Jane decided that neither of them was going anywhere until she did. So he held her gaze.
He could see the moment when she decided to go ahead—the visible change in her countenance. He could see how uncomfortable this was making her.
She regarded him thoughtfully before speaking. "Did you know?"
"Know what?" He knew exactly what she meant, but he wanted to hear her say it. He needed to know that he could still read her and that she still cared about his ethics.
She looked exasperated, but restated making sure there was no room for doubt. "Did you know that Lorelei was Red John's girl before you slept with her?"
"Why do you want to know that?" he asked.
She looked dangerously close to telling him to get out of her office. But she controlled herself with some effort and continued. "Because if you knew, then I need to be seriously concerned about whether or not I can trust you." She took a deep breath and plowed on. "If you would sleep with someone just to catch Red John then that tells me that you're slipping."
A small, harsh laugh fell from his lips. "Slipping?"
"Yes," she told him sternly. "You've already lied to me and shut me out of your life for six months. You lied, conned and cheated your way to Red John… If you slept with her knowing who she was, then what wouldn't you do to catch him. What's next, Jane? Murder? Because Red John seems to think that that's the logical next step."
He had known her question and the motivations behind it, but he hadn't expected her to be so blunt. "No. Of course not! How could you even think that?" He took his eyes off her in his frustration. "You know my break down was faked."
She crossed her arms in front of her chest. "You don't fake sleep with someone Jane!" She recoiled at her words the moment they came out and this caught Jane's attention. Jane returned his eyes to her and tried to read her reaction, but it was so un-Lisbon like that he didn't know what to think.
An awkward silence filled the room before she managed to pull herself together. "I wasn't going to ask you this, but you brought it up! So, either answer me or… don't." Jane watched as a sad resolve took over her features. She looked down at her desk then finished her thought. "We both know I'm in this with you for the long haul."
His face dropped and his frustration immediately quelled. "Teresa."
Her face looked uncomfortable when he called her by her first name. He wanted to apologize, but he knew she'd never believe it was sincere and hesitated. The only thing he could give her now was the truth. It would be the only apology she would accept. "I didn't know."
Her head whipped up and he could see the relief in her eyes. It had been a much bigger deal to her than he'd realized. Still, he had to let her know the whole truth. He raised his hand in a gesture showing her he wasn't finished. "It's not like I didn't have my suspicions, though."
Her face dropped just a little. "Suspicions?"
"It's not important," he told her, and her face showed him that she agreed—for now anyway. A moment passed between them before she spoke again.
"Thank you—for telling me," she said in a near whisper. He nodded lightly. "I have Cho and Van Pelt watching her for the time being," Lisbon told him. "Until I figure out what to do with her."
"It's gonna work this time Lisbon. It has to." His voice was firm and intense.
She looked away from him and he couldn't help but notice she was uncomfortable yet again. She wasn't normally an uncomfortable type, and he had to admit that he'd always been amused by the few times she had been uncomfortable, but right now her discomfort was only serving to make him uncomfortable, and that was something he couldn't have.
Her lips parted slightly and then she said, "Yeah, about that."
Jane leaned forward in his chair. "Yes? Don't tell me you've lost faith in me."
She looked back at him, brows furrowed. "Jane," she said slightly irritated, "what were we just talking about?" She didn't give him time to answer. "It's not about that," she told him with a dismissive wave of her hand and he couldn't help but to smile at her. "I have an idea," she made eye contact, "but I don't think you are going to like it."