Rating: T (to be on the safe side)
Characters: Patrick Jane, Teresa Lisbon
Summary: They call it the butterfly effect. Just one small, random adjustment, and all changes. And here there is, another world. A world where his daughter has never been, his late wife is an ex and he is still a psych. And yet, few things just can't change. Some things are written in the stars, just like love at first sight.
Disclaimer: Uhm. well, my father is called Bruno, but since it's Negro and not Heller, I'd say tha t I don't own the rights to the Mentalist.
Notes: Extented version of "In this life", published around mid-September.
Sometimes, calling Grace naive wasn't even enough. Yes, Teresa Lisbon knew that her colleague was quite... innocent, and a firm believer of things she wasn't supposed to believer of things she wasn't supposed to keep believing at her age and in her line of work. Not in the twenty-first century, at least.
Religion, Teresa could handle it. She was a catholic herself, she wore a cross around her neck and kept going to Mass whenever she could.
Grace's believes where, though, a whole other matter. Hell, she could even deal with a "life after death" thing, but what Grace believed in... no, no way in freaking hell. She wasn't going to clap her hands for... for...
Fraud was the only words coming through her mind when she had to think about Patrick Bartholomew Jane, also known as the mighty Jane. A psych for the delusional idiots who believed in that sort of things, a criminal and vulgar fraud for her and the 99% of people working in law enforcement. Grace was probably the only one believing in him among the people Teresa knew and worked with. But then Again, Grace thought that psych powers run in her family...
"Oh my god, he is looking at us, he is looking at us!"
Teresa grunted, her eyes once again on her phone. Yes, Grace could be... stupid, to believe in such a thing, but was she any different? Not because of her religion - there was no way she was going to compare her religion to that act - but because, once again, she had allowed her good heart to do as other pleased. She should have said no when Grace had proposed to spend their Friday evening there, but she had not been able to. First, she was a goner for puppy dog eyes. Second, she still felt bad because, as team leader and senior agent in charge, she had forced Grace to break up with another fellow team member, Rigsby. And they had been quite in love. Maybe it hadn't been the kind of love that moved the mountains, but she still felt bad about it, despite what they kept telling her.
"How can you be so sure? The place is full!" She told the last word with disbelief and even an hint of disgust. She really couldn't believe it. All those people were professionals, educated, and they were supposed to know the world they lived in. They watched TV, right?
Right. Because TV isn't full of people just like this clown. Not that Patrick Jane looked like a clown. Not at all-he was quite handsome, and probably he was even charming, in a contorted kind of way. But she knew better, look wasn't everything and charming men were often manipulative. And besides, she was going to bet a year worth of salary that he was the kind of man who didn't know what being faithful could mean, and who slept around.
She could very well imagine him signing breasts. Actually, she was almost positive that it was the kind of things that The Mighty Jane did on regular basis.
"You know boss, you could at least pretend of having fun." Even if she hadn't known Grace like she did, she would have heard the disappointment from a very, very long distance. Like, the other side of the world.
But... well, in another occasion, she bet she would have had her fun, at least at looking how pathetic those people were, and their inability to understand it wasn't magic, supernatural powers, God but just a con. But she couldn't relax. Last case wasn't going as it was supposed to, and Cho had sworn he would have called her if he had discovered something new. But he hadn't called, and now, that poor woman risked not getting justice. And her family wasn't going to get any closure, and like a survivor herself, like a girl who had never discovered who had killed her own mother, she knew the kind of scars that such a pain left, how it could tear apart a family. She definitely hoped that Brendon Lane wasn't going to turn into her father.
"Boss? I think Mr. Jane is looking at you... oh, you are so lucky! Maybe he'll call you on stage!" Yet again Teresa grunted, laughing hysterically under her teeth, barely resisting mocking Grace.
First, with all the sexy bimbos in the room, why would he look at her, a tomboy with no make-up and still with her work clothes, and second... well, if he would dare to even try to call her on stage, he could bet she would be having the time of her life, showing the world who and what he truly was.
And... well, she realized, blushing, that he was indeed looking in her general direction, grinning like that cat that got the canary. For a short while, when their eyes where meeting, staring at each other like nobody else was there, she felt both dread and anticipation at the idea of being on stage with him. She still didn't believe in him and his powers, but now, she could definitely understand his appeal as a man. He was charming and sexy and he knew it, and he made her stomach... well, jump like it hadn't done in very, very long time. But still, it didn't change anything. He was still a manipulative, elf-centered, egoistical asshole and con-artist. AND she still wasn't his type.
"Listen, show's almost over. Do you mind staying here on your own? I'd like to go in the hall and call Cho. See how the Lane investigation is going..." She whispered, already on her feet.
"But boss, maybe he will call you on stage and..." as on cue, The Mighty Jane called a twenty something girl on stage, and, cheering up inside, without even waiting for Grace to say more, nor replying, she went to the hall.
As soon as the door of the conference room was closed at her back, Teresa took a big, huge breath of relief. Her stomach was still jumping, and her heart hadn't beat that fast in almost ten years. She blushed, shaking her head and lecturing herself (not even internally).
Only naive idiots cold get a crush for Patrick Jane by merely seeing him on stage. And she wasn't part of any of those categories. Definitely not. She was Senior Agent in charge Teresa Lisbon, and she knew better than that.
And yet... she kind of envied the other brunette who had joined him on stage. Not that she really liked him, but she was, kind of curious. He had taken her hand in his owns. And she wondered how they could feel. They seemed big, warm, and yet delicate and expert.
Expert? She wondered where the thought had come from, blushing furthermore. She had just not thought about his hands doing indecent things to her. Definitely not. She wasn't even the kind of girl who liked that things. Well, actually, she didn't mind them, but usually, she was more of...
She shivered, castigating yet again herself. She so wasn't going to go there. Not after having mocked Van Pelt over her crush (or whatever it was) for the guy. Definitely not. Not even in a million of years. Teresa Lisbon wasn't that kind of girl.
She laughed, shaking her head, and dialed Cho's number by memory, relieved when he answered immediately. Sometimes, he and Rigsby... well, her guys did have the tendency of getting into troubles easily, it wasn't a mystery. Like it wasn't a mystery that they tended to leave her out in the dark to avoid troubles and repercussions on her persona. They seemed to know that the new director wasn't exactly thrilled by her, since she wasn't so sweet with him and hadn't fall in bed with him like many others female senior agents had.
"Ehy, any news? What? No, fun is too big of a word. Yeah, well, I know, I know. Well, I'll try to rest her begging eyes next time. No, listen, I was wondering... No, I know you said you would have called me as soon as you heard something, but I thought that you were being... well, polite. What does your CI say? Well, try again. And send Rigsby to talk with Miss Lancaster, our witness, first thing tomorrow morning. She said something about a blue corvette. See if there's any reported stolen after the fact. Ok, I'll see you in the morning."
She finished the call, and she quickly moved to the stools, sitting right before the bartender - her usual type, dark haired, tall, handsome, even if few years younger than her. She smiled, flirting a little, and ordered a beer for herself. She drank it massaging the knots in her neck to try to alleviate the tension, and a look at the clock, indicting the time all over the world, told her that the show should have finished already.
She considered ordering for Grace, then, decided against it. The redhead was a big girl, she could do that on her own. And besides, she was still royally pissed off because she had dragged her along, promising entertainment and offering instead The Mighty Jane (and sleepless nights doomed by stupid, senseless, erotic dreams).
"Boss, You should have stayed! You can't imagine what Mr. Jane did! The girl who went on stage? Her name's Yolanda, he told her that her grandmother, who passed away recently, is glad that she has her pearls, and that she had never considered it a sacrifice, having taken her in when the mother left everyone and escaped with the gardener."
Saying that Lisbon was shocked wasn't enough. Van Pelt was good and talented, had potential and was a promising agent. Seeing her falling for such a thing, for such a low act, it was kind of a turn-off. Because, seriously? Either it was staged, or the guy was what people referred to as a mentalist. Either way: he wasn't a psych.
"Listen Grace, don't you think you should consider the idea that this guy may..."
"Here you are! I've been looking for you what feels an eternity! I thought you were already gone!" She turned, and at her back here he was, in all his Armani clad glory none other than Patrick Jane himself. "Hi, I'm..."
"Patrick Jane, I know who you are. I've been at your show, remember?"
He nodded, grinning, invading her personal space as much as he could, getting between the two women. "And you are?" he asked her, taking her hand in his own and kissing, longer than he was supposed to, her knuckles. She resisted gasping, something that a very thrilled Van Pelt didn't bother doing. She faked being annoyed as she took her hand back, away from his gasp, but, if she was honest, the temptation of keeping indulging in that guilty pleasure was very, very strong. His hands were soft and delicate, yet she could feel their strength, could see that life hadn't always been that way for him. They were the hands of someone who was used to work hard. And his lips... they were too full and soft, no man should possess such lips (she almost envied him) and she didn't feel like talking about his eyes. Big, pale green, happy, amused, intriguing eyes. They were the eyes of someone who was mischievous, smart and clever. And probably very, very, very good in bed.
She could say he was using his killer smile on her, and at the thought her stomach jumped yet again. Even if she knew that it was probably a technique, she couldn't help being flattered. No that she was going to tell him. No way. Hell had to freeze first.
"Aren't you the psych? No ghost from my ancestors telling you the story of life? What a pity..." she pouted, but he could see she was making fun of him, and the thought made him laugh. Not many women had dared to act this way with him, even fewer had resisted his charm. And Patrick Jane couldn't resist a challenge. Especially if it was in a charming , sexy package as this woman.
"Have dinner with me" her asked, getting closer and closer. He was so close, that for an instant she thought he was going to kiss her, and this time, on the lips. She didn't know if she could have resisted a kiss from him, as wrong as it was, also because... because in the blink of an eye, he had changed. He wasn't playful any longer, he was almost... she didn't know how to describe it, but when their eyes had met yet again, they were suddenly... they were serious, longing, like he didn't just want her, but need her.
She resisted saying yes, because, deep down, she knew herself, and knew him. She tended to fall for troubled men, men who would hurt her, unfaithful men... and Patrick Jane fitted the description completely.
"Sorry Mr. Jane, but I'm not interested in fake psychs and con artists." She said with venom in her voice, just before leaving.
As he looked at her back, chuckling, hearing the redhead making excuses for her friend, he wondered what he could do to get to see her once again.
He had never been able to resist a challenge. And a challenge the feisty brunette was. Definitely.