A/N: Hey, guys. I am working on the next chapter of Scarlet Dress in my head, but in the meantime, I was browsing around online and found these scenes.

After re-watching them, this idea wouldn't leave me alone.

So, here you are.

Disclaimer: Today's my birthday. I'm hoping to get possession of the Mentalist by the end of the day, but I guess the chances of that aren't very good… Anyway, as of this posting, I don't own the Mentalist.

He wanted to tell her.

He wanted to tell her so badly.

Telling her he loved her was an accident.

A stress-induced slip of the tongue.

Not to say it wasn't true, but he had no intentions of telling her.

But the moment he said it, he felt such a great sense of relief.

It was a feeling he liked.

He wanted to feel it more.

And he had a chance to make it stay.

When she asked what he meant, every instinct in him begged him to tell her.

Enough lies, Patrick. A voice in his head had said. After everything, doesn't she deserve the truth?

Still, he understood that there were some things he had to do.

He couldn't tell her just yet.

It wasn't safe.

She'd a cop, she's never safe. The voice in his head had reasoned.

It didn't matter by then. Images of her cut throat and red smileys over her head were too strong.

So he did what he had done for years.

He played her.

He knew it had taken every ounce of her courage to ask him about it.

She had none left to tell him what he'd said.

No courage left to repeat his words.

So, he asked.

Played on the amount of stress, implying that he didn't remember.

Implying. Not saying.

Because he couldn't take any more lying to her.

He looked at her expectantly. He almost hoped she'd tell him.

Scratch that-He did want her to tell him.

He wanted her to call him on it.

But he knew she wouldn't.

So, he gave her an out.

"I was kind of hyped up…"

"Oh, boy, me too. I thought at any moment we were going to be found out."

Just as he expected.

She took the out.

He made a quiet, understanding noise, before the phone rang.

He didn't think he would ever truly be happy to hear from Lorelei, but that was probably the closest he'd ever come.

Then he had more important things to worry about.

Such as Red John wanting Lisbon's head.

Chaos had been all around him, but by now, most of it had faded.

The chaos on the outside, anyway.

The way he saw it, there was enough in his head to make up for it.

Red John had been two steps away, as always.

He'd known the whole time that Patrick wouldn't-couldn't- kill her.

And so, in his mind, he was responsible for someone else's death.

Not someone he particularly cared for, this time, but a person, none the less.

"You alright?"

Her voice was gentle.



His instinct, deep down, from years of living with his dad, hiding his feelings, kicked in before he could stop it.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Never better."

He truly hadn't wanted to lie to her.

Obviously, she knew he was lying.

He held out his hand, clinging to hers.

It was a message, of sorts.

You know I'm not okay. Help me. Please.

She held on tightly.

Of course, Jane. Whatever you need.

Cars drove by, until there was no one left but them.

Still, they sat.

Just soaking in the peace they only got from being around each other.

Breathing in and out.


Her voice was small, scared.


He stared at her.

She was gathering up every ounce of her courage yet again.

Capturing Lorelei, getting so close to Red John, had apparently given her more.

She closed her eyes for a moment, then locked them onto his. "Earlier, you asked me what you said to me. You know, right before you pretended to shoot me?"

He nodded, and she continued, "I never really answered you, and I thought…I thought maybe I should."

He froze. Then, maybe it was just from his lingering terror of dying, but he allowed himself to hope.

Hope she would tell him. "Yeah?"

She paused for a moment. The adrenaline was starting to wear off, he realized.

She wasn't as scared for his life anymore.

And the courage that had started the conversation was fading quickly.

"You-you said…"

"Yes?" His voice was close to pleading. Pleading with her to say it.

All she had to do was say it.

Admit it.

And despite any amount of regret he might feel later, there would be nothing in the world that could stop him from telling her the truth.

She finished quietly, "You wished me luck"

And his heart sank.

"I was just wondering why…"

He nodded. "Hmm… I guess I was wishing you luck staying alive. Or maybe I knew that after this you'd have to put up with me more. Because I couldn't ever leave again."

A joke and the truth rolled together in one.

She paused. "You couldn't?"

"Nah. No one else does as good a job keeping me out of trouble."

She laughed. "I don't keep you in line!"

"Sure you do. You should see me when you're not around!"

Bantering. It was natural for them. Comforting.

And despite what both of them wanted, neither of them were ready for that conversation just yet.

So they allowed themselves to lapse into pointless bantering.

For now.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this, and don't want to throw things at me for the ending.

I couldn't make her tell him the whole truth.

So, I did that.

I enjoyed writing this, and I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Thank you for reading, and God Bless.