(A/N): I was rereading my leaver's book today, and I flicked to a page and all I saw were the words 'Look at my little assassin, all grown up'. I swear, I need more sane friends. Oh well, I wouldn't change them for the world! This just came to me in a moment of Biology induced psychosis, so if its not good, then I apologise now. Same warnings as always, do I need to go on? Oh, and at the end, Jane isn't being deliberately mean, he's just a bit shocked.
I do not own the mentalist, or What Happens In Vegas.
Jane and Annie returned, smiling with arms laden with bags. They had shopped in all the shops Annie would willingly go in and spend money. It had left a large dent in Jane's bank account, but he didn't mind as half the things they bought were actually for Lisbon, not just Annie.
Annie opened the front door and they made their way in only to stop short at the sound of humming coming from the kitchen, along with the smell of about five different types of food. Jane and Annie exchanged worried glances as they set the bags down in a corner and made their way through to the kitchen. They saw Lisbon flitting about the kitchen like she belonged there, humming as she stirred something on the hob. She turned slightly and saw them both, smiling brightly, even though it was fake. Jane and Annie exchanged another worried glance that Lisbon saw. Her face tightened almost imperceptibly. She had to up her game and make them believe that she was okay. They couldn't find out about her past, and they couldn't find out about her dad's visit earlier. She smiled brightly again, though it still didn't quite reach her eyes.
"Hey guys, I figured you might be hungry, so I cooked for you." Her tone was light, almost fluffy as she presented plates of food for them, only just remembering to turn the hob off first. Jane glanced at her, still worried and she lightly swatted him in the arm. "I'm fine, Patrick, so stop worrying." She turned to Annie. "And I'm sorry you got caught up in it all Annie, so we'll hit the gym tomorrow, with maybe a detour to the firing range afterwards, okay?"
Annie nodded hesitantly, looking confused. "Okay, sure Aunt Reese. We can do that." Lisbon practically beamed.
"Great, well get tucked in, there's more where that came from, and I made Death By Chocolate Cake for desert!"
Jane and Annie looked at each other, their eyes widening in worry and fear. They didn't know this person Lisbon was being, and quite frankly, it scared them more than they would ever let on. Jane nodded slightly to Annie, who relaxed in the knowledge that Jane would try to find answers. She knew her aunt would be even more attentive over her for the entire week, just to try and drive the point home that she was fine, even if she clearly wasn't. Jane cleared his throat and Lisbon looked at him questioningly.
"Toilet," He told her quietly. She nodded and went back to icing little buns she had made as well in the time the other two had been gone. She knew she was acting like some deranged Barbie doll, but she couldn't seem to switch it off without breaking down completely, and neither Annie nor Jane deserved to see that happen. She'd have to wait until she was alone for that.
Jane slipped up the stairs silently and walked into Lisbon's bedroom. The covers were a mess, which was to be expected, but other than that the room looked the same as when he and Annie had left. Frowning slightly, he opened up the closet, looking for any slight sign something had been moved, to no avail. The next place he looked was under the bed. His eyes took in the slightest of details about everything she had stored under there. The yoga mat, the old exercise equipment, the unpacked cardboard boxes, and a battered blue box he'd never seen her open. Nothing appeared to have been moved, other than the blue box. He took a cautionary glance towards the open bedroom door before yanking the box from its resting place and setting it on the bed. He opened it up to find a folded piece of white paper on the top. He opened it curiously only to grin slightly at the words written there.
Nice try Patrick Jane, but you won't find out that easily. I don't want you to find out at all. Please Jane, just stop digging. Didn't you tell me some things just can't be fixed? Well, I'm one of them. Just leave it Patrick, for me.
Jane frowned in confusion at the small note before him but he shoved the note back inside the box and put the box back exactly where he'd found it. Thinking to himself, he looked around the room, but couldn't see where she'd hide anything given the chance. It was decided then, he thought as he headed back down the stairs, he'd have to ask Annie the whereabouts of hidden items.
Lisbon smirked to herself as Jane walked back down the stairs looking a little put out. She knew she was right in removing those pictures. He'd never find where she had put them either, she hoped. The apartment had a fireplace, and set in the wall of the chimney was a fireproof box. Lisbon had found it in the second week she'd moved in and placed all the things she didn't want anybody to find in it. Seriously, who looked up a working fireplace to check if something able to be set alight was hidden up there? She set the buns out onto a plate, not noticing Jane pulling Annie out of the kitchen and into the living room, Annie taking her plate with her.
"Annie, where does your aunt Reese keep things hidden round here?" He asked in a frenzied whisper. Annie frowned in confusion but pointed to the fireplace, her mouth stuffed full with chocolate cake. Even if her aunt might not be herself, Annie had to admit she made some kick-ass chocolate cake. Jane walked over to the fireplace, looking confused. Annie just rolled her eyes at his apparent dumbness and set her almost empty plate down, walking slowly over to stand beside him before the fireplace. She reached up and felt around until her fingers made contact with a small metal box. Grinning briefly, she pulled the box down and handed it to Jane. He nodded his thanks and opened the box. Spotting two pictures without seeing what was on them; he pulled them from the box and stuffed them straight into his vest pocket, handing the box back to Annie, who placed it back into the hiding place. Then they both dived clear across the living room floor, landing heavily beside the TV just as Lisbon walked though the door, the plate of buns in one hand, a bowl of popcorn in the other.
"Hey, what film are we watching?" She asked lightly as she set down the bowl and plate onto the coffee table and sat on the sofa. Jane glanced at Annie, who grinned and held up a DVD.
"We're watching What Happens In Vegas!" Annie said brightly with a forced fake smile as she sat on one side of her aunt, whilst Jane sat on the other. They got through half of the movie before Jane excused himself to go make a fresh cup of tea. Walking into the kitchen, he set the kettle onto the hob and pulled the pictures from his pocket. His face dropped and tears built in his eyes as he saw the contents of the two pictures. No wonder Teresa hated her dad so much. If this picture was right, and he was certain it was, then her dad had almost killed her and her brother around a month before he faked his own death. Jane swallowed heavily. It wasn't a surprise Lisbon didn't want him to see this. It was most likely the thing she hated most about her childhood. How her father could turn into such a monster that he would harm his children to such an extent they were put in ICU. He clenched the fist that wasn't holding the photos angrily. Oh, her dad would pay for hurting her like this. He would pay for turning into the monster that would hurt his own little girl so much. He frowned as a though occurred to him. Would he- would he have been like that if Charlotte had survived but not Angela? Tears came to his eyes at the thought. No, he thought, no he wouldn't have been like that. He loved his little girl more than anything, and it would always stay that way. In his mind, his child had always come first. If someone had asked him who he'd pick, Angela or Charlotte, the answer would be a no-brainer. Charlotte. Bitterly, he wondered who Mark would pick if he had ever had the choice. Teresa or Talia. Somehow, he thought the other man would have picked his wife over his daughter. Still musing, he missed the moment when Lisbon walked into the room.
"Patrick, what're you-" She saw the pictures in his hands and all the blood rushed away from her face, causing her to uncannily resemble a ghost. Jane held them up so she couldn't have any doubt about what they showed to him, and the world.
"When were you going to tell me, Teresa?" He asked, his voice low and emotionless.
"No, Teresa. When?"
Lisbon swallowed and looked at the ground, fighting to keep upright on shaky legs. "I wasn't," She whispered.
"You should have." Jane told her, putting the pictures on the counter and filling his teacup with the steaming water. Lisbon's legs shook a little more as she fought the fuzziness from her vision.
"Why not Teresa?"
There was no answer and as Patrick turned around, all he saw was a pale and fragile Teresa drop to the cold ground like a dead weight. He leapt forward in a second, but wasn't fast enough to catch her before she hit the ground, her fragile body bouncing slightly before becoming completely still. A single tear fell slightly down his face as he pulled her pale face into his lap and brushed her dark hair away from her face and her neck. Frowning slightly, he noticed that her golden cross didn't hang in the usual place around her collarbone.
Annie rushed in, having heard the thud of her aunt falling to the ground, and her face contorted in shock and concern as she fell to her knees beside the other two.
"Oh my god, what happened?" She asked, hands covering her mouth, eyes wide. Jane forced himself to look up at Annie instead of down at the woman he loved.
"Annie, you need to go and ring for an ambulance, okay? She'll be fine, but you need to ring an ambulance now." Annie nodded but a small, frail voice interrupted them.
"No, you don't need to do that, I'm fine." Teresa attempted to sit up, but Jane pushed her back down by her shoulders. Jane looked into her eyes concernedly, and she blinked rapidly to clear her vision. "Jane, I'm fine." Jane sighed but looked up to Annie and shook his head reluctantly.
"Annie, don't ring them. Instead, help me get your aunt upstairs. You open the doors for me, okay?"
"I'm not an invalid Jane!" Teresa exclaimed, instantly annoyed. Jane ignored her and scooped her up into his arms, only remembering at the last minute to put the pictures into his vest before Annie saw them. Teresa immediately began to protest, but Jane simply didn't listen to any of her threats, pleas, or yells to put her down. Eventually, Jane placed her onto her bed and turned to Annie, who loitered hesitantly in the doorway, torn between worry about her aunt and wanting to give them privacy to sort out whatever had just happened. In the end, worry won out and she stepped into the room.
"Aunt Reese, are you okay?" She asked in a low voice. Teresa looked up, catching Annie's worried gaze. She lost the fake smile instantly, knowing it would only worry Annie more. She knew she looked tired, weary against the world, but she also knew it was honest.
"I'll be fine Annie, I promise. I'm not saying I am fine, but I will be, soon." Annie nodded and fixed Patrick with a hard gaze, telling him all he needed to know silently. Sort it out, make her better, or else. Patrick nodded to her, and she managed a small, tight smile as she headed back out of the door and shut it quietly behind her. Patrick waited a moment before turning back to Teresa. She silently shuffled over, not looking at him. He sat next to her, producing the pictures from his pocket. He left the one of James on the bed and picked up the one of the teenage Teresa. He studied it closely, before lowering it and raising Lisbon's left arm. She stiffened, but didn't pull her arm away as he traced a thin white scar from her wrist to halfway up her upper arm. Jane shuddered, and Lisbon valiantly bit back tears. She knew, she had always known that whenever he found out about it, he'd pity her, sure, but he would leave, just when he found out how broken she actually was. A tear fell down her freckled cheek as he ran a host hand across the round scar at the base of her neck. Jane noticed immediately and turned her face until he could look into her teary emerald ones.
"What's wrong?" He whispered, their mouths only an inch from the other. She shook her head silently, directing her gaze to the duvet they were both sat upon. "Tell me."
Again she shook her head firmly, tears trailing slowly down her face. She pulled her arms around herself, hugging herself, keeping herself together visibly. Patrick frowned, his brow furrowing as he tried to make sense of her reaction. His brow cleared as he pressed a feather light kiss to her lips, causing her to look up curiously, even if she was still scared.
"I won't leave you Teresa," He murmured against her mouth, one hand on her cheek, the other fastened in her hair at the back of where her head and neck met. She shook her head, finally finding her voice.
"Yes, you will, Patrick," He looked like he was going to interrupt, so she quickly continued. "You might not mean to, or realise what you're doing, but one day, you'll leave, and I'll have nothing, Patrick, nothing." More tears fell as her words tumbled out. Patrick leant his forehead against hers, his hands slipping down to hold hers gently, lovingly.
"I will never leave you Teresa. I might not like your father, actually I hate him, but what he did to you will not make me run from you, Reese. I hate him and what he did, but none of it will make me love you less. You're stuck with me, forever."
Tears once again filled her eyes. "You love me?"
He chuckled. "You silly woman, how could I not? You're the world to me, Teresa, and nothing you say or do will make me love you less."
"But… Angela… Charlotte…"
"Are dead," He told her gently. "And at some point, I know I have to move on. And there's no-one else I'd rather do it with than you, my dear."
Teresa nodded, her eyes shining as she brushed her lips with his. Patrick held still, knowing she didn't want deeper contact just yet. Eventually she would, but until then, he would take her, all of her, and that was enough. He finally picked up the photograph again and wrapped his arm around her.
"You can tell me," He told her gently.
She took a deep breath and nodded. "Okay."
TBC…? Still all depends on reviews folks!