DISCLAIMER: "The Mentalist" is copyrighted to CBS and Bruno Heller. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.

AUTHOR: Katrina

TIMELINE: Set some in the future after series four finale. Minor spoilers for season four finale.


SYNOPSIS: Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon had been missing from the California Bureau of Investigations for exactly fourteen hours and twenty-seven minutes. She'd gone home for a quick change of clothes and had never come back.


Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon had been missing from the California Bureau of Investigations for exactly fourteen hours and twenty-seven minutes.

She'd gone home for a quick change of clothes and had never come back.

It had taken her team a couple of hours before they'd realised something wasn't right but by then it'd been too late. Considering the case they were working on, it was way, way too late.

Red John.

They were so, so close to catching him. The serial killer's girl, Lorelei, had finally broken and given them a name. An address. But then the murderer had taken Lisbon and the long battled for information was no longer relevant. He wouldn't be there.

There had been no contact from him, no evidence to prove they were right in their supposition, but the team just knew.

He knew.

Patrick Jane, CBI consultant and mentalist was more certain of that fact than he had been of anything else in his entire, sorry life. And it was all his fault. He should have known that Red John wouldn't give up without trying to push his poor, battered soul just that shade further into Hell.

He glanced at the clock and tried to keep his turbulent emotions at bay. Fourteen hours and twenty-eight minutes. Each second that passed meant less chance of the safe return of his boss and best friend for whom he cared deeply. In reality, twenty minutes would have probably been too long but he refused to let his mind think like that.

There was still hope.

Lisbon's apartment had been clean when they'd searched it. No sign of anything out of place. No sign of that ghastly smiley face drawn in blood. No sign of her. Not dead.

Not yet.

Needing something to occupy him, Jane got up from his old couch in the bullpen and went to the break room to make some tea.

"You OK?" asked a male voice from behind him.

The blond consultant turned to see Kimball Cho, acting Senior Agent in charge leaning against the doorframe, arms folded, face as impassive as ever.

"Just peachy," Jane replied sardonically. "You?"

Cho shrugged then let his arms drop to his sides and entered the room. He didn't need to express how he felt about the situation. Jane could tell just by the weary set of the other man's shoulders coupled with the fear and apprehension in his eyes that he was expecting the worst. They all were.

Naturally, all avenues had been exhausted in their search but as the hours had slowly ticked by, the consultant had eventually realised that there was nothing they could do. Nothing he could do.

It didn't matter how angry or scared he was; how much he'd lashed out at the rest of the team and other law officers in his frustration, it wouldn't change the fact that she was gone and he had no idea of where the killer had taken her or what he'd done to her. He was helpless until Red John either made contact or they found her body.

His stomach lurched unpleasantly at the latter thought and he brought his blue, bone china cup to his lips in an effort to ward off the sick feeling.

Fourteen hours and thirty minutes.

"We have Sac PD watching his house and Lisbon's apartment just in case, but I think he's long gone," Cho said matter-of-factly as he sat down on one of the chairs by the table.

Jane nodded his agreement and took another sip of his tea before joining him. Placing his cup and saucer on the table, he let out a sigh then rubbed his fingers against his temples in order to try and relieve some of his tension.

"You know the boss, she won't go down without a fight," the stoic agent offered by way of some comfort.

Jane looked at him and half smiled. "That's what bothers me," he admitted as he dropped his hands back down to the table. "He'll thrive on her resistance and then…"

He trailed off unable to complete the sentence and hurriedly took another, more lengthy draught of his warm drink as he tried to keep his unwanted memories locked away. He failed. He knew first hand what the bastard could do. Visions of his wife and daughter's lifeless, butchered bodies invaded his mind. To think that that could be happening to Lisbon, right now…right as he sat there and drank tea, doing nothing…

The cup clattered loudly in the quiet room as he placed it down rather more fiercely than he'd intended, causing the fragile saucer underneath to crack and break apart. Just like his heart, he mused dejectedly, staring at the broken china as though unable to comprehend what he'd done.

Cho watched him for a few moments, easily reading the other man for a change. He knew the situation was affecting him worse than he outwardly showed. Knew there was a deeper connection between the consultant and his boss than perhaps even they realised…or acknowledged. He wasn't blind. He saw the way they interacted together, the bickering, the playfulness; their wordless exchanges…the way they looked at each other when they thought the other wasn't aware. He saw the love.

Standing up, he hesitated a moment then briefly placed his hand on Jane's shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze. The blond didn't seem to notice his touch, his gaze fixed firmly on the pieces of broken saucer.

"Let me know if you have any contact," the agent ordered as he removed his hand. At the consultant's silence, he added in a louder voice, "Jane! Did you hear me?"

The blond started slightly then dragged his eyes from the china to look at the agent and nod.

"Good. No running off on your own. We do this together. Understood?"

Again, Jane nodded and Cho let out a small huff of irritation as he walked away. If there was one thing he could always count on Patrick Jane to do, it was to not follow orders. He'd have to make sure he kept an eye on him at all times. There was no way he'd let Jane face Red John alone.

If Lisbon were in any way injured…or worse, he'd take that son of a bitch out himself.

Alone again, Jane roused himself enough to clear away the mess in front of him then sat back down. He didn't want to go back into the bullpen. Usually the noise was a welcome distraction but at that moment it just served to grate on his already taut nerves. His gaze darted to the clock, ticking relentlessly away.

Fourteen hours and thirty-three minutes.

Letting out a long sigh, he felt the helplessness of the situation start to close in on him. The inevitability of the outcome was suffocating him and he began to take deep breaths in order to try and calm himself down. Panicking at a time like this would get him nowhere. He couldn't let Lisbon down. He needed to think.

Think, think, think!

He desperately tried to concentrate on devising a clever plan to draw Red John out, but his brain was having none of it. It decided it was going to torture him instead by perfectly imagining every slice and cut that the serial killer would undoubtedly make on the beautiful, green-eyed agents body.

Feeling sickened, the atmosphere around him became hot and cloying and he stood up suddenly, the chair screeching loudly across the floor in his haste to get outside for some much-needed fresh air. He had just passed the bullpen when he realised his cellphone was ringing and he hurriedly pulled it out of his jacket pocket, his heart leaping with hope when he saw the name written there.


The low chuckle that responded to his urgent greeting had his stomach drop at an alarming rate as he realised who was on the other end of the line.

"How optimistic, Patrick," the man's voice goaded lightly. "Did you really think that Agent Lisbon would be in any fit state to call you when I've had her all to myself for this long?"

Jane tried to ignore the mental imagery of the killer's suggestion and took in a deep breath to steady himself. "Where is she?" he finally asked, relieved to sound reasonably normal. He couldn't show any weakness.

"She's here with me at her apartment. Would you like to say hello?"

The consultant's clipped reply of, "Yes," died on his lips when the sound of a raspy, gurgling assailed his ears. "Lisbon?" he whispered as the painful tone of someone trying to breathe came again. Fear crawled up his throat, threatening to choke him but he determinedly repeated her name a little louder in the desperate hope that she would at least hear him. "Lisbon, I'm coming to get you. Do you hear me? I'm coming. Hold on. Just…hold on."

"Better be quick, Patrick," came Red John's sing-song voice back down the phone. "Losing another woman you adore would be just plain…careless."

The call clicked off and Jane's vision swam hazily for a second before he blinked rapidly to clear it. Without a thought for back-up, he quickly took off towards the stairs taking them two at a time in his haste to get out of the building.

He'd told her he'd always save her and he meant to keep that promise. He wouldn't fail her now. He couldn't.

In the bullpen Cho and the rest of the team, Grace Van Pelt and Wayne Rigsby, had stopped what they were doing as soon as they'd heard Jane say Lisbon's name. Mutely signalling to the other two to do the same, Cho holstered his gun and grabbed his jacket.

"Let's go," Cho commanded urgently when the consultant suddenly took flight.

The other agents did as they were told and were soon in the teams' SUV tailing the consultants' light blue classic Citroen DS as he speedily weaved his way through the sparse evening traffic.

"Looks like he's going to Lisbon's apartment," Van Pelt observed.

"Yeah," Cho concurred before grimly instructing, "Call for back-up and an ambulance." He briefly glanced over at the man beside him. "Rigsby, see if Sac PD have heard anything from their guys staking her place."

"On it."

Cho concentrated on the road ahead, swerving suddenly and slamming on the brakes when a car cut right across his path at an intersection. Muttering a few choice words, he quickly drove on and realised that he could no longer see Jane's car. A faint grimace crossed his usually expressionless face as he put his foot harder down on the gas pedal. He had a good idea of awaited Jane at Lisbon's apartment and he really didn't want the consultant to have to go through that pain alone twice in one lifetime.

They finally arrived a few minutes later to find the Citroen parked halfway on the sidewalk, keys still in the ignition and door open wide. The consultant had obviously not wasted any time. Cho told Van Pelt to check on the surveillance detail then motioned to Rigsby to follow him.

Stealthily, they trotted up to Lisbon's open door, guns raised. Cho looked at his colleague who gave him a nod back then they quietly went inside.


A/N: This is my first foray into the Mentalist fanfic fandom so please be gentle with me! I love the show but don't have any DVD's so I'm hoping that I don't stray too OOC. That said, this is an AU piece so please allow for some wiggle room