Summary: In a room full of people the only eyes he wants to feel on him are her's. OneShot.
Warning: I watched seasons 1-3 and stopped somewhere in season 4. But I read an amazing story yesterday, so I will go on and post this even though it will probably be the only Mentalist fic on my list.
Set: story-unrelated, future-fic
Disclaimer: Standards apply.
The spotlights are hot and blinding.
It is strange to stand here again, on the high stage, surrounded by bright lights and dark walls and a waiting audience. Patrick can feel the sigh that runs through the people watching, the agitation they feel, the wonder and surprise. And, of course, the certain amount of suspicion a few of his watchers cultivate. It's strongest on the right hand side to the stage but he concentrates on the main audience instead of turning his head to look at the source of disbelief.
Anyway, he knows who is glowering so badly she doesn't even look at him.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, and now I humbly require your cooperation!"
The people love him. Loved him, he corrects himself. He hasn't done this for years, hasn't been the center of attention on a stage for a long, long time. Strange how he never missed it when he stopped working as a medium but now that he is back it feels like it was only yesterday he did this the last time. He smiles and for once there is only one layer to his smile: he enjoys this. He always did. Until the fateful day he angered an evil man and found his wife and daughter murdered, he enjoyed his job. But his ability to look right through people stopped being a convenience and became a necessity then, and he never again pretended he was doing more than translating hundreds of tiny details into bigger pictures. But the con man he once was is engraved into his being and falling back into old habits is as easy as infuriating his partner. As natural, too.
White doves and rabbits, black hats and card tricks require a certain quickness of fingers and he always had that much.
It is pure joy to perform in front of audiences like this. They readily believe in his tricks, laugh at his jokes, freeze in stunned adoration of his abilities. Children are so easy to please and yet such a demanding audience because each amazed look is coupled with a dozen curious questions. There are adults sitting in the rows of the audience, as well, parents and family and friends. He feels their skepticism, their determination to look right through his performance. They doubt everything he shows them, growing angrier with every trick they cannot unhinge. They suspect double floors and smoke and mirrors behind every new movement he shows and it makes him smile even more. Because, at the same time, they follow his hands breathlessly, as eager to see more as their offspring is, and they cheer as loudly as the children do. It is the power of dreams come true that he gives them, and he loves every second of it.
His daughter had the same expression of delight on her pretty face when he did tricks for her.
When his family was murdered, Patrick promised himself it would be the end of his career as medium and magician. And he has lived true to his vow. Eight years he has only used his ability to convict criminals – or to annoy Lisbon. He cannot help it: she brings it out in him. Seeing her, he cannot help but tease her. They have caught many murderers together, have gone through hell and back, have fought and made up and had dinner with the team. They caught Red John. And Patrick sold the house and rented an apartment in Sacramento and started to sleep somewhere else than on the sofa in the Bureau. Van Pelt and Rigsby asked him to perform on their daughter's birthday party, and he agreed. And suddenly he realized how much time had passed. It hurt a damn lot and made him feel so damn guilty, so he smiled even more. But the sun rose every morning and the world was still turning, the cases still kept coming and Lisbon was still easily annoyed, so he guessed it would be fine. He would be fine. Someday, anyway.
When he finished his performance, thundering applause arouse.
Smiling and bowing, he let his gaze wander over the audience. He only saw blurred faces, white and shapeless in the darkness of the audience room, but here and there, features would jump out at him. All eyes were directed towards the stage, glued to him. The feeling of ecstasy he had felt years ago on such stages was gone, replaced by an odd contentment. He didn't need to be here. But he wanted, and he could, and that made the difference. He smiled and bowed again, moving his lips with the silent Thank you that wouldn't reach his audience in words but in their hearts, and finally let his gaze wander to the right side of the room. In the corner, next to the door, stood a dark figure, scowling at the wall right next to him angrily.
Strange that, in a room full of people, the only eyes he really wanted to feel on him were hers.
"That was so cool!" A boy exclaimed, a few minutes later, when children had been allowed to come onto the stage. "It was magic!"
"Of course it was," Patrick replied and picked up a piece of chocolate from behind the boy's ears. "And if your sister makes fun of you tonight, just laugh in her face."
The boy gaped at him and a huge smile spread on his face. "You're so cool!"
From the corner of the room, Patrick saw Teresa snort.
One hour later, when the children and their parents had left, he found himself face to face with her again.
"Did you enjoy the show?" He asked, smirking in her direction. "Or were you too busy staring down the wall which, by the way, seems to be even more stubborn than you?"
She graced him with a look that would have sent her team cowering but didn't have any effect on him whatsoever.
"We're already late."
Turning her back on him, she walked out of the hall and towards her car. Patrick followed on her heels.
"You know, you could show some respect for my charitable work, Teresa."
He knew the tiny pang of hurt he felt was banned from his voice, face and stature entirely and yet she somehow seemed to pick up on it. She sighed.
"You know I respect your work. It's just…" Her voice trailed off, and immediately he perked up.
"What is it?"
"Why do you even ask?" She snapped at him. "You always know what I think before I know it myself, don't you?"
"Of course I know." He caught her hand and tugged at it, turning her around to face him right in front of her car. "But I want to hear you say it."
She blushed at the intensity of his smile.
"Say you don't want to share me with all those people," he teased.
Tearing back her hand, she glared up at him. "Screw you, Jane. You're an ass."
He kissed her then and there, loving the way he had to lean down to reach her lips, the way her body aligned with his perfectly, the way her hair was soft and silky under his touch and the way her skin felt warm and smooth under his hands. When he let her go, her eyes were hazy and she almost stumbled.
"You love me anyway."
Her smile was so beautiful he felt his heart warm. It was something only she was able to do: he wanted her to look at him only, to smile at him the way she did right now, to let anything else disappear. Patrick Jane might have been the one with special abilities, but Teresa Lisbon definitely possessed magic.