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I followed Patrick and Agent Lisbon up to the big red brick house, immediately noticing its size and the many people surrounding it. There was a sign on a nearby tree that was ripped down, showing a picture of Mercy Tolliver with MISSING written above it and contact info for the Police Department for anyone who knew any useful information to use. Lisbon walked up to one of the people there.
"Captain" She greeted him. The man looked narrow-minded and like he wouldn't appreciate any views that conflicted with his own with his confident features and classic alpha male body language. I didn't like him.
"Agent Lisbon," He responded, "Don't think we'll be needing you guys, we like the neighbour kid who found the body"
I turned to see a long haired boy being lead to a police car, surrounded by reporters. He looked genuinely scared and upset. Not in a 'I am a killer and didn't mean to do it' kind of way but in a 'Do these people really think I could hurt her, I can't believe someone did this' way. I looked over to Patrick who was looking at him too.
"Did he confess" Lisbon asked. I didn't hear the answer but I knew it was a no because he obviously didn't do it. Many people were now shouting at the boy 'did you kill her', he was distressed and I felt sympathy for one so young to have their life hugely impacted by being falsely accused of killing their neighbour. The parents of Mercy Tolliver were out on the other side giving a statement to the reporters. The father was thanking everyone that helped out to look for his daughter, I tuned him out. Patrick and I turned to see better and saw that the mother of the victim was uncomfortable with her husband touching her, looking downward, and not meeting anyone's eyes. Mr. Tolliver stopped trying to hold her hand and placed his arm around her shoulders, squeezing them in an effort to comfort her. Too bad it only seemed to distress her more. I glanced at Patrick who was gazing intently at them, most likely drawing the same conclusion. I touched his hand to get his attention and gestured to the house, he only nodded in reply and followed me in.
We walked down the hallway to the kitchen were Patrick started to make tea for both of us and a sandwich for him. He looked at the picture covered fridge while I looked through the some of the cabinets. I noticed, in the pantry, that there were two sides, the left had its contents spread out on all three of the shelves and was full of junk food and sweets and the right had everything on the bottom two shelves, filled with healthy granola bars and other things like that. The right half was obviously Mrs. Tolliver's because her short stature would probably not be able to reach the high shelf in the cabinet. I looked to the left half, which was definitely Mr. Tolliver's. All the sweets pointed to an indulgent man who was used to getting what he wanted. The kettle made a noise to signify it was ready to be poured and Patrick poured out three cups. I was confused until Mrs. Tolliver walked into the room.
"Hello, Mrs. Tolliver" He greeted the petite blonde.
"Who are you?" She demanded quietly.
"My name is Patrick Jane and this is my sister, Sarah" He stated calmly.
"We're here to help you" I said comfortingly, giving a small smile, and picking up my tea.
"Would you like a cup of tea?" Patrick asked her, not breaking eye contact. Good, he remembered what I said about it being a way to discern innocence or guilt. I can remember when I was taught that at the BAU by the Agent Jason Gideon. God, I miss the team.
"Yes, I would, thank you." She said.
"You must be tired," My brother states as he picked up the two teacups and starts walking toward the kitchen table, "Why don't you sit down? It's nice and quiet in here isn't it?" he asks as he pulled out the chair at the head of the table.
"Soothing and calm, right Mrs. Tolliver" I asked, trying to give her some stability in this situation. Patrick sat on her left while I sat on her right.
He touched her hand, "Calm" he agreed with me. She took a couple of shaky breaths.
"I have been watching you and your husband and I want you to know that I understand what you are feeling right now." I stayed silent watching both of them, in case I was needed to step in.
"You have no idea, believe me." She stated. I closed my eyes briefly, she feels alone and I knew what it's like to feel that way and it sucks.
"I do." We both assured her at the same time. We glanced at each other sadly.
"We know and we want to help you." I looked into her eyes with sincerity.
"You can't help me. What do you know?" She said, more defeated than challenging.
"All sorts of things," Patrick smiled childishly. "You really only pretend to like skiing, right?"
"Pleased that your best friend recently gained some weight. 'Bout ten pounds. You wish you had been more adventurous when you were younger. You love India but you have never been there. You have trouble sleeping. Your favourite colour is blue." He stated. That's Patrick, always showing off.
"I don't understand. You're psychic!" She guessed.
"No," Patrick chuckled softly. "Just paying attention. I used to make a good living pretending to be a psychic. I tell you this because I want you to understand there is no point hiding things from me."
"Hiding what?" She asked not meeting his eyes.
"You know what I see when I look at your husband, I see a warm, loving, generous man. A little vain maybe, selfish, controlling, a decent man." Patrick assessed.
"Yes." She said it as if it were reassuring.
"So why do you think he murdered your daughter?" I asked quietly. She looked at me, surprised I had spoken, "I don't," She said unconvincingly, fiddling with her napkin, "The McLefski boy did it."
"That's what the police say." I say.
"But you think they're wrong. Why?" Patrick chimed in.
"I don't know. I-I-I don't know." She tripped over her own words to deny her instinct.
"It's okay, you can tell us." I assured her.
"Last year, they- they've been so strange with each other and neither one would admit anything was wrong and-and I think that she tried to tell me once but I didn't- I...God, oh God," Mrs. Tolliver felt so helpless, it was easy to read in her eyes.
"Did you ask him if he killed her?" Patrick asked curiously.
"What would he say?"
"Many wives have the ability to tell when their husbands are lying." I explained to her, reaching across the table and putting my hand on hers for comfort.
"Yes," She agreed with my statement. "I-I don't want tea, the McLefski boy did it I-" She repeated her earlier statement to testify against her instincts.
"Perhaps, but I have learned not everything is as it seems." I said cautiously.
"You think he did it too." She said in realization.
"We trust a mothers' instinct." Patrick butted in, again. He never did like the spotlight on me.
The door opened, "June?" Mr. Tolliver called out, "There you are. Hi, who are you?" he asked us.
"We're the police." I stated monotonously. Patrick got up to shake his hand, "Did you kill your daughter?" he got straight to the point.
Mr. Tolliver let go of his hand, "How dare you!" he said as if reading a script.
"He asked you a question." I said from my seat.
"Did you kill your daughter?" He repeated.
"No." Mrs. Tolliver let out a loud shaky gasp. I squeezed her hand, silently telling her I would be there for her.
"I didn't kill my daughter," He was failing at his persuasion act, "Get the hell out of my house."
Mrs. Tolliver started to get up.
"June?" her husband asked, "June, what's the matter with you?" She just looked at him before walking off, leaving me sitting alone.
"I'm going to have your badge!" He tried to threaten us.
"An innocent man would have punched me by now." Patrick said.
"I am going to make life miserable for you."
"That's my job." I said getting up and smirking arrogantly at him. I heard the loading of a gun and turned to see Mrs. Tolliver aiming it at her husband.
"June, June, honey, please." He tried to talk her down. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! She shot him in the center of his chest four times. Lisbon and some other people burst into the room with their guns ready to shoot. Patrick and I raised our hands in the universal 'I surrender sign' while Mrs. Tolliver just looked at her husbands' body with contempt.
"Honestly, it's not as bad as it looks." Patrick said to her as she lowered her gun and gave us a look. She turned away from us going to talk with Mrs. Tolliver instead of dealing with us. My brother and I just looked at each other and shrugged. She is going to murder us later.
I promise there will be more Criminal Minds later on in the story, mostly phone calls and emails since they are on different sides of the country. Please review and no flames please.