(A/N): I still haven't watched the first episode of season 5 yet! It isn't on TV in the UK yet, and I cant find any good sites where I can watch it! Its so not fair! Can someone try and put it up on YouTube pretty please?
Anyway, this chapter is a long one finally! I was supposed to be doing maths and chemistry homework, but I got back from town and was like 'nah, I don't wanna do homework, I'll type instead' and this is what came of it! Anyway, I now own an Evanescence CD and The Craft DVD, as well as a beautiful pentagram necklace and some tea light candles. I love Afflecks palace!
So yes, I am now very hyper indeed, and can't wait to know what you all think of this chapter!
Disclaimer: I've already said I own an Evanescence CD, The Craft DVD, a pentagram necklace and some candles. Believe me, I'd mention it if I actually owned the mentalist, which I don't.
Lisbon opened the door to her apartment with shaking fingers, Jane following closely behind her. Annie leapt up from the living room couch instantly and threw her arms around her aunt, hugging her fiercely. Lisbon clung back, shaking slightly as the burst of adrenaline she had had around her father vanished suddenly, leaving her back to the strong-looking, yet strangely vulnerable woman she was on every other day. Annie seemed to sense how close her aunt was to breaking down under emotional upheaval and looked concernedly at Jane, who gently manoeuvred the pair to the couch and sat on the chair patiently. Cho nodded to Jane and left Lisbon's apartment silently; his job for today was done, Annie was safe and Lisbon was with her.
Once Cho had left, Jane got up and made tea for the three of them. He knew Lisbon wanted to tell Annie everything, as she didn't like keeping things from her teenage niece. No matter what Lisbon thought personally, she respected Annie and treated her like an adult, telling her everything she needed to know. Jane knew this would be a difficult topic for Lisbon, but he also knew she would get through the story, even if only for Annie's sake. Finishing the tea and perfecting it to his standards, he brought them out to the living room, where Lisbon and Annie had just broken apart. Annie was looking concerned, and Lisbon was looking uncomfortable. Jane handed the drinks to the two Lisbons and sat back down. Annie was the first to speak.
"Dad said I can still stay with you as long as I'm careful."
"Aunt Reese? You okay?"
"I'll be fine. Annie, you know that box in the upstairs closet I never let you look into?"
"How could I not? You even put police tape round it to stop me going in it!" Annie grinned, but Lisbon remained staring ahead. Annie looked at Jane questioningly, but he just shook his head. It was up to Lisbon to tell her, not him, and he would respect Lisbon's wishes this one time.
"Can you go and get it for me please?"
"Sure Aunt Reese." Annie got up, concern seemingly permanently etched on her face as she turned and ran up the stairs. Lisbon looked at Jane then, worry on her face and tears in her eyes.
"I can't do this Patrick," She whispered to him and he rushed to her side immediately, wrapping his arms around her comfortingly.
"You can and you will," He told her gently. "Do you want me to stay whilst you do? I don't mind if you do."
"Please," Lisbon nodded as she buried her face in his neck. He just held her as Annie came rushing back down the stairs with a large white box wrapped round the middle with Police Scene Do Not Cross tape. Lisbon took it with a muttered thanks as Annie resumed her spot on the sofa. Lisbon looked at Jane who nodded his head slightly and tightened his grip on Lisbon's waist. Lisbon took a deep breath and pulled the tape off the box.
Mark Lisbon slipped out of his wife's arms and padded silently into the room Clarissa called his 'man-cave' and 'messy room' all in one. He looked through all the drawers of the desk before finally locating the thing he was looking for.
In the last drawer was a small white box, and he pulled the lid off, revealing its contents. A photograph, four messy children's pictures, a small purple grubby teddy bear, and a small locket.
He brought out the teddy bear first and brought it to his face, cuddling it like he was a child himself. It still smelt like his little girl. His little girl. His eyes filled with tears as he thought of what his little girl had turned into, all because of him. She was an agent with the police, who trusted hardly anyone and was wary of anything unfamiliar or different. He had made her like that, he knew it.
She had had every right to defend that red-headed girl and that teenager, he supposed. He knew he had changed, but his daughter couldn't get the memories of who he used to be out of her head. It broke his heart, and he knew he'd do anything to get his little girl back, no matter how long it took. He also wondered which on of his sons the father of the teenage girl was. She had called Tess, "Aunt Reese", after all, so it had to be one of her brothers' child. She acted a lot like Tess though and Tess was very protective over her.
He then looked at the photograph. It was a picture taken just two weeks before the crash. He had had his arms wrapped around Talia, and the four children were stood in front of them, Teresa holding David, the baby. A tear escaped his eye as he realised Teresa had had to do that for the rest of her childhood. She had been the one who had grown up too fast, who had raised her brothers, found the money to keep them all going, raised a baby from scratch when she was only twelve at the time. He put the photograph back and wiped his eyes. There was no use crying over things that couldn't be changed now.
He then picked up the locket. It had been Tess', but after the accident that had taken his wife, Tess had taken to wearing the cross instead. She was a catholic, or at least she had been, but after the accident, she had become cynical, saying if there was a God, He wouldn't have taken away her mother. So when he had 'died' he had taken the locket with him, knowing she wouldn't miss it. He had never opened it though, too afraid of what it might contain. Now he took a deep breath and popped the tiny catch on the locket, opening it up slowly.
There were two pictures inside, one of Talia laughing at the camera, and the other of her brothers as little boys looking happy-ish at the camera and grouped together as though they'd disappear if they didn't. There wasn't one of him. He understood, though it made him sad that she obviously hated him that much.
Yes, he thought, as he placed the box back into the drawer and leant back in his chair, now was the time to make amends for the past.
"What? Really?" Annie looked incredulous as Lisbon finished her story in a quiet voice. Jane nodded for her, his gaze still fixed worriedly on the brunette in his arms.
"Wow. No wonder you went sick! That was so bad-ass! Can I do that?"
Lisbon grinned at her niece's obvious approval of what she'd done to protect her. "No you can't, Tommy doesn't deserve for you to 'go sick' at him. And now do you see why I wanted you out of there and why I had Cho call your dad?"
"Yeah, I get it, don't worry. It's nice having someone who worries about me so much."
"Your dad worries." Lisbon pointed out and Annie shrugged, grinning.
"Yeah, but there's only so much he can worry about. He's not a girl, so he won't ever really get it."
"What about your mum Annie?" Jane asked curiously and Annie laughed.
"Yeah right. She's somewhere in the world right now. I don't particularly care where. Anyway, I have dad and Aunt Reese here. Who needs a mum if Aunt Reese is here?"
Lisbon smiled up at Annie and gave her a hug. "Thanks Annie. It means a lot. Do you want to go unpack now? Only I bet Cho never let you out of his sight once."
Annie sighed dramatically. "Yeah, that's about right. I couldn't go anywhere and I swear he was like a second away from handcuffing me to his side when you showed up." She bounded up the stairs like an overexcited child seeing chocolate cake for the first time before popping her head back over the banister.
Lisbon looked up. "Yeah, Annie?"
"It'll be okay. You'll see. Everything will work out in the end."
"Thanks Annie. See you in the morning."
Jane looked at Lisbon as soon as Annie had gone. "Do you want me to leave now?"
"Do you want to leave now?"
"I asked first." He said, sticking his tongue out childishly. Lisbon looked down at the ground, clearly embarrassed.
"Um, well, I don't want you to leave me, please." Jane lifted her face up so their eyes met.
"I already told you I'd never leave you Teresa. That isn't going to change now that you've told Annie." He pressed a small kiss to her lips before pulling back gently. "Come on, lets grab some rest or we'll never get the case finished and you'll never get your 'girl time' with Annie."
"You're joking right? Mine and Annie's 'girl time' usually consists of shopping anywhere that doesn't do what Annie considers 'girly' clothes, going to the gym for fighting lessons, and hitting the range for target practise."
"Wow. That's the most girly thing I've heard in years. And you let her shoot?"
Lisbon looked embarrassed as he led her gently up the stairs. "Yeah well, it's not like she didn't know how to in the first place. I just figured if she needed to use one, she might as well be able to handle one properly."
"Ah yes, that's sounds like the Lisbon we all know and love."
"Shut up," She blushed as he led her into her bedroom and they both lay down on the covers, Jane's arms pulling her close. As they both drifted into sleep, she heard him whisper to her.
"I'll never leave you alone again, I promise you Teresa."
The next morning Lisbon awoke to the unfamiliar sensation of having a man curled around her, spooning her in her sleep. She decided to close her eyes and get a few more minutes rest when something bounced onto the bed and an impatient hand shook her shoulder.
"Aunt Reese wake up!"
Lisbon rubbed her eyes tiredly and opened her eyes to be greeted by Annie's face leaning over her, her face grinning.
"What is it Annabeth?"
"It's Annie. No-one calls me Annabeth."
"It's Annabeth when you wake me up for no apparent reason."
"Fine, but I did make breakfast."
"With coffee. Does that earn the right to be called Annie again now?"
"Hmm," Lisbon pretended to be deep in thought about it when Jane's voice made itself known.
"Oh come on Teresa, just call her Annie and let's all get some food!"
"Fine. Yes Annie and we'll be down in a minute, okay?"
"Okay. What you gonna do about your problem?"
"Which one? Jane or my father?"
Jane made a noise of protest as Annie laughed. "Your dad." She clarified for her. "Though the Patrick problem can be cleared up later."
"Hey, what problem am I?" Jane protested as he snuggled back into the mattress, still holding Lisbon to him.
Annie rolled her eyes. "Well, considering my dad isn't here, I have to have the 'what are your intentions towards my aunt' talk with you."
"Annie," Both Jane and Lisbon protested at the same time. Annie grinned and bounced back up off the bed.
"Like I said, it can wait. Now get dressed and lets all eat. I so wanna go round the CBI again Aunt Reese!"
"Fine give us five."
"Okay, I'll get the food warmed up again."
They got to the CBI on time, Annie sat in the back watching everything happening around her intently. She wasn't lying about the talk she intended to have with Patrick, but she could tell he genuinely cared about her aunt, and Reese had told her once that she was actually in love with the carefree blonde consultant. Annie was happy with sitting back and watching unless Patrick broke her aunt's heart, in which case the SCU would be missing a consultant. Annie would make sure he'd never hurt her aunt, intentionally or not.
Lisbon took a deep breath and Jane squeezed her hand to reassure her. Lisbon and Jane both knew that the actions yesterday would have reached the ears of the superiors by now, and they'd be looking for answers. If Lisbon told them who Mark was, she'd be taken off the case, and there was no way in hell she'd do that willingly, and no way her team wouldn't break the rules and let her back on the case unofficially. Lisbon smiled at Jane and Annie before stepping out of the SUV, instinctively making sure her gun was in her holster and her badge still clipped to her belt. Annie nodded to her and touched her arm, urging her to go forward into the building. Lisbon nodded, looking ever so slightly shaky, and walked forwards towards the CBI building, flanked on either side by Jane and Annie.
Madeleine Hightower was waiting for them as they got off the elevator. All three looked at each other worriedly as she motioned for them to follow her to her office. Once inside and sat on the couch, Madeleine looked at them all seriously.
"I heard about yesterday."
Lisbon looked halfway between embarrassed and ashamed, Jane looked uncomfortable, and Annie looked proud.
"Who wants to tell me who the man was that Agent Lisbon tackled in the middle of the bullpen?"
"His name is Mark," Annie offered, hopeful that Hightower would just let them all go.
"Lisbon," Jane told her. Madeleine looked confused.
"What does this Mark person have to do with Agent Lisbon?" She asked confusedly. Lisbon laughed bitterly.
"Quite a bit, actually. His name is Mark Lisbon."
"You mean your-"
"I thought he was dead."
"So did I, ma'am."
"Then how is he alive?"
"I don't know. I was only sixteen when he supposedly died, ma'am. I was free, and didn't look too closely."
Madeleine looked thoughtful. "Officially, I should take you off this case." Three sets of eyes glared at her. "However, I don't see why you should be taken off for something that isn't your fault. Just make sure the case is watertight Teresa, okay?"
"Thank you Hightower."
"No problem Lisbon. You've done things for me in the past, now I'm returning the favour. Write up a visitor's pass for Annabeth and she can stay with you whilst she's here. You don't want her anywhere near your father right?"
"Thanks again ma'am."
"Yeah, thanks Agent Hightower." Annie interjected with a grin, at which Madeleine grinned back.
"Its okay Annie. Now run along and let's close this case. I want to beat Organised Crime in the closure rate for another year."
All four in Hightower's office smiled and three headed for the door, only to be stopped by Hightower's voice once more.
"Don't be afraid to ask for help. We're all here and all on your side. Don't forget that."
TBC…? What did you think?