Episode 5 Season 5, "Red Dawn" Tag

A Mentalist Fanfic.

"You're distracting from the work. No offence, but you have a kind of homeless vibe going on" Agent Lisbon said, casting her eyes once over the man's dishevelled appearance. He looked like he hadn't slept in weeks, or changed his clothes in days, at least. And while he tried at times to project a calm, 'normal' air about him, his nervous, jerky movements at times, and his hesitant, almost submissive way of speaking didn't match with the reports made in the Red John files she'd managed to go over. It certainly didn't match the videos she'd seen of him in them, kept from the routine investigation into friends and family of the victims.

The blue eyes peered out at her, the painfully lost look flickering as the man obviously tried to present himself a little better held together than he was. She felt a little guilty at relegating him to an out-of-the-way pocket of the bullpen, and of ordering him away (even if only temporarily). He brought back the feelings she'd always had regarding her family, and she felt slightly guilty at trying to push away her reluctant desire to look after him. However, she reminded herself, she wasn't a babysitter, and despite the man's tragic connection with a case they'd been handed, it wasn't her responsibility to baby sit him.

How wrong she turned out to be. Damn Manelli. She knew he was sympathetic, even if he tried to make it appear as though he were applying CYA policy- hell, she was sympathetic too, she didn't know anyone who wouldn't understand the need to feel something was being done, but she didn't know what he was thinking letting a clearly traumatised man hang around people who investigated murders and look at case files himself. Not to mention files that contained the disturbing graphic images of his own murdered wife and child.

There was no way it could be good for Mr Jane to do that.

The looks she'd seen, after sequestering him over the office dividers, the looks he cast at her team, and anyone going by- popping up like a meercat from behind the dividers, offering lame excuses about stretching his legs. It was like he was afraid they would disappear, vanish into thin air. But that was preposterous- unless... unless Mr Jane wasn't so much afraid they would disappear as he was to be alone.

God, yes, she thought, that would be it, wouldn't it? She couldn't imagine what he'd been like, then, before he'd come in here- he'd only been here a couple of days and already he was spending as much time, maybe more, than she was in the office, and, now, tagging along with her.

She'd wondered if the incident with Hannigan was a set-up, but at the same time, she'd seen the way he almost stumbled as they walked back to the offices from the elevator, the way he placed his feet so carefully in front of him. She wasn't an investigator for nothing after all.

After the day driving out to Malakoff Diggins, investigating with Jane tagging along on Manelli's suggestion, Lisbon hadn't expected him to stay at the office to get to the files, and come back.

Hannigan's brusque and rather callous depiction of crime scenes and deceased had obviously affected the blonde haired man, who had looked almost grey and quite shaky after the scene. She'd notice the trembling of both his hands and voice, and again felt concerned about his potential involvement in the Red John files. He'd continued to tag along to the judge's home, inadvertently insulting the man. However, she'd noticed his hurt when the man said he couldn't possibly understand about his guilt over his child. Jane had been almost silent for most of the time after that, constantly turning his wedding ring around his finger anxiously, making it obvious the judge's words had had a harsh effect on the blonde's emotions. By the end of the case, he looked even more haggard and unsteady than he had the first time she saw him, arms wrapped around himself in a self-hug, a visual attempt at holding himself together.

When Teresa pulled in early in the morning after the case had been wrapped up, picking up coffee and some files, she'd glimpsed something out of place in the chaotic office area.

The worn brown leather couch she'd noticed had been leant up against the wall in the room she'd had the Red John files placed in, the one she'd left Jane in after all his persistence at seeing the files.

It had been dragged out of the room and placed in front of the window where the previous day an empty desk and old swing back chair had been located. She took note of the blonde laying on the couch, arms in an unconscious self-hug again, Red John files in their boxes littered around. She sighed and quirked a half smile, sad but amused.

It seemed Patrick Jane was going to become a feature in her team.

Good thing she'd approved Hannigan's request then, when he'd stated last night if Jane was going to be assigned to her team, he wouldn't work with them. Manelli had been all too happy when she'd stopped in late last night before heading home to her apartment.

Once Cho came with the case, they collected Rigsby and headed off, stopping in Manelli's office again to let him know Jane was still here, receiving only a brief grin from the older man.


Manelli hadn't enjoyed the call from the FBI woman last night. He'd just sent Lisbon off home and was on his way to check on Mr Jane when the phone rang. So when she'd asked if he knew where Jane had been the six months SAC PD had lost track of him for, he lied.

He didn't regret it.

Jane, when he'd called him in to discuss hiring him as a consultant, had warned him he'd checked himself into a psych facility for a few months, trying to stave off the possibility of becoming an alcoholic, or, he'd stuttered, doing something worse. He'd told Manelli, said he should know, since he obviously cared about Lisbon in an almost paternal sense, that he could be risky for her team. The older man had smiled softly, patted the haggard younger man on the hand, and nodded. "It's ok, Mr Jane. I'm not too worried." He'd then spent half an hour fielding arguments from the man about being a charlatan, a fraud, not worth it. It saddened the long time agent to see someone so unsure of himself, his place. If he could give the man some sense of value by working on cases and going through the Red John files, for which he'd been the premier authority on prior to the murder of his wife and child, then so be it.

It was worth the probable outrage from some AG assistant.

At least it'd be entertaining.


A/N: I don't often watch The Mentalist, but I love the idea of poor Jane, and managed to catch this episode on tv. I apologise if the character's aren't bang-on; as I said, it's not usually a show I watch. However, I loved this episode... and would love to see people write about it (frankly, if anyone has any suggestions of tag fics to this episode, or pre-series 'how Jane comes to the CBI/team' fics, I'd love to hear about them!).

Let me know. I feel I could do this better justice when I have time, but I *had* to write something -now-, so this is it til after exams.

On other note; CYA policy (cover your ...err. armpits ^^;;) I'm sure you get the drift, for those of you not aware of that term.

Hugs n cuddles,