Disclaimer: I do not own The Mentalist or any of the characters. Title taken from Disturbed's song Indestructible.
Author's note: This episode has always been one of my favorites, especially the scene where Lisbon decides to talk to the reporter and manipulate Bertram. So, I figured, if I was so impressed, what would the team and Jane think about her initiative and bravery? This is definitely more lighthearted than my other one-shots, but I found it was harder to write. Weird. Hope it came out right! Please tell me what you thought, if you have the time!
Sworn To Protect
To all that I've sworn to protect"
"This? This is my speeding ticket that I refuse to pay!"
"Well, I'm not paying it!"
"Well I guess no one's going to pay it." Jane stuffed the paper in his mouth petulantly.
Lisbon quickly stepped towards the door, irritated and amused in equal measures.
"I'll get Bertram to pay it."
"How will you do that?" he asked surprised, while removing the offending object from his mouth.
"I have my ways!"
Wondering what Lisbon could've possibly meant by that, Jane left the crumpled ticket on her desk and followed her out of the office.
The next morning, Lisbon was in early. She wanted to start working on paperwork soon, since this case was promising to be a complete nightmare. Hostage situations were never easily dealt with in the aftermath.
The first thing she noticed wasn't the huge pile of files she would have to take a look at, oh no. It was the ridiculous speeding ticket that her even more ridiculous consultant absolutely refused to pay, like any normal person would have by now. She growled and went to grab the paper, suddenly remembering that Jane had put it in his mouth to taunt her last night. Ew.
Bracing herself, she quickly snatched it from the edge of her desk and stomped towards the bullpen.
While passerby might have been startled and probably scared by her sudden appearance and shouting, the members of the Serious Crimes Unit were very used to it by now. Agents Cho, Van Pelt, and Rigsby barely looked up as their boss entered the room.
The consultant in question was lying down on his couch, of course he was, and did not even flinch. Glaring, Lisbon marched up to him and waved the light yellow paper in front of his face.
Without opening his eyes, Jane hummed.
"Lisbon. Good morning to you, too. I suspect that thing you are emphatically waving in front of my face is the speeding ticket I was wrongfully given?"
She rolled her eyes.
"I guess you are psychic, huh?" Lisbon couldn't help the sarcasm. "Of course it's the ticket! Now the only question is, why was it on my desk?"
He opened his eyes then, stretching and rotating his body so the other members of the bullpen could see his face, which was completely serious.
"I think you are starting to lose your memory, my dear." At her angry expression, he quickly amended: "Don't worry, it happens to older people. I can teach you how to construct a memory palace like my own mighty fortress to help you with that problem, if you wish."
The three other agents did look up then, holding their breaths in anticipation of what their boss would respond to that. To say they were surprised when Lisbon snorted, instead of enthusiastically insulting Jane, was an understatement.
"You think my memory's going, grandpa?" His eyes widened comically. "I'm not the one who forgot a bench warrant had been authorized for my arrest in case I refused to pay for this ticket."
Quickly recovering, while muttering something about grandpabeing an exaggeration – she wasn't that many years younger than him- he retorted: "Ah, no, I suppose not. I wasn't the one who said I could get Director Bertram, of all people, to pay for this, though. So, either you do need to start worrying about your memory or you were lying." She was about to answer when he held up his finger in front of her face, smiling in that annoying way of his. "Since you're not that old, I'm going with the second option. Liar, liar, pants on fire!"
Lisbon glared, incredulous. "That was a joke, Jane. Do you really think I could get Bertram to pay for your ticket? I'm in enough trouble as it is because of yesterday. And besides, I-"
Cho interrupted her tirade, receiving horrified looks from the other two agents. Nobody in their right mind ever dared to interrupt Lisbon when she was in one of her moods.
"Oh yeah, boss. How did you get Bertram to return the authority to you? Did talking to that reporter work?"
Lisbon turned around, about to answer him, but was interrupted once more. Rigsby. "I was wondering about that, too. One moment Bertram was ranting about politics and the next he was telling both the Mayor and the Chief to shut it and listen to you."
Jane was puzzled. What were they talking about? "Oh! This is an interesting development in what I had assumed would be a boring day. Please, do tell."
She looked around the room, trying to find an excuse. She didn't need everyone knowing how she had manipulated the Director of the CBI, for God's sake. What would they think?
"Boring for you, maybe. The rest of us have work to do. A lot of it, in fact. What is everyone waiting for? I want those reports finished and delivered to me before five."
"Oh come on, Boss. Everyone's curious now." Van Pelt instantly looked scared after she said that, causing Lisbon to smile internally. Was she really that intimidating?
"Oh alright, alright. It was no big deal." She started talking in that way of hers, when she didn't want to be lauded in praise because she didn't think it was deserved or necessary. "Brenda asked if I had a minute to explain the situation to the media and I decided to talk to the reporter who had the strongest connection to Bertram, thus ensuring that he would get my message. That's it."
They were all staring at her, even Jane, with something she couldn't really identify in their eyes. Was it admiration? And it looked like they were still waiting for something.
As expected, it was Jane who broke the silence. "Seriously? That's all you're going to say? You do enjoy being mysterious, don't you Lisbon?"
She looked around again, only to notice that they were expecting her to elaborate. Oh great. Lisbon groaned.
"I told the reporter that Bertram had bowed to local pressure, endangering the lives of various civilians and officers alike. Can I go start my paperwork now? I'd like to go home at a normal time today, if possible."
Ignoring her last sentence, Cho succinctly summarized the past day's events. "So, you basically said he was a wimp and called his judgment into question, risking your career to get the situation under control."
Lisbon winced. "I…yeah. I guess so."
No one said a word for a couple of uncomfortable seconds. Then, all at once, they started firing compliments her way, to Lisbon's extreme chagrin.
Van Pelt almost squealed. "Oh my god, Boss! That's incredible! You saved so many lives…"
Rigsby. "Wow. That's….that's brave, Boss….wow." She almost laughed at that. Always so eloquent.
Cho didn't exactly say anything, but his eyes told her he was impressed.
Jane had quite a lot of things to say, as usual. "Am I the only one not surprised? I always knew you had it in you, Lisbon!" He had a bright smile on his face. "Finally learning some of my tricks, aren't you?" Jane said it affectionately, teasingly. There was reverence in his eyes.
Lisbon was blushing. She hated the attention. "It was no big deal. I did what I had to do. Now get these reports done!"
She briskly walked out of the bullpen, leaving her agents and consultant staring after her in fascination.
"She really has no idea how amazing she is, does she?" Van Pelt said it quietly, not wanting to embarrass her boss even more.
Jane just laid back down, a soft smile on his face. "Not at all." He said it so softly, almost to himself.
The others shook their heads slightly, smiles on their faces, and got back to work. They hated disappointing their boss, after all.