DISCLAIMER: "The Mentalist" is copyrighted to CBS and Bruno Heller. I retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
TIMELINE: Set some in the future after series four finale. Minor spoilers.
SYNOPSIS: "I'm going to kill him. Slowly…with my bare hands. Maybe even throw in a little torture for good measure."
A/N: Happy New Year everyone! As you probably guessed, I've decided to go ahead and write Lisbon's POV for now. It's more to get me back into the swing of writing again after a short break, but also because I had a few requests to do so as well :) Here's hoping that I can get into Lisbon's head good enough for you all to like it :)
Onto the story...
WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL, TOO
January 2nd – 4.54pm
I'm going to kill him.
Slowly…with my bare hands.
Maybe even throw in a little torture for good measure.
There's not a judge in the whole State of California that would convict me for it. In fact, they'd probably give me a slap on the back. Erect a statue in my honour. Let me run for office. Maybe even elect me, Teresa Lisbon, as the first female President…all because I got rid of my pain in everyone's ass consultant, Patrick Jane.
The man's a certified menace.
I'm pretty certain he's got a diploma for it hanging up on the wall in that damn attic he uses.
"…his disgraceful behaviour and I want Jane to apologise to Senator Carlton or you're on two weeks suspension effective immediately, Agent Lisbon, do I make myself clear?"
The sudden threat in my ear brings my office surroundings back into sharp focus as I discard my enjoyable daydream and concentrate on the words being almost shouted at me down the phone.
"Yes, Sir. I understand completely. I'll make sure he does that as soon as possible," I automatically assure my superior with more confidence than I feel.
"See that you do," comes the curt rejoinder before I hear a click followed by a loud hum.
I replace the handset with more force than is necessary and stand up. I walk out of my office in search of my consultant and am not at all surprised to find him lounging on that piece of crap couch of his. They're so inseparable I'm amazed he doesn't take it with him to make his goddamn tea.
I welcome the surge of renewed anger as I watch him laying there without a care in the world and a stupid smile on his face, while I've just been torn off a strip for the past ten minutes about his irresponsible behaviour.
"Jane!" I bark out loudly as I come to a stop by his side. As usual, he doesn't respond which just annoys me more as well he knows.
"Jane! I know you're not sleeping. Get the hell up and into my office! Now!"
I give his couch a kick just to stop myself from hauling him up by his hair more than anything else. I need to vent my frustration somehow.
I get some satisfaction from the involuntary wince he gives when I strike his baby but it's not enough to stem my temper. Especially when he cracks open one of his eyes and then proceeds to make an elaborate show of 'waking up'.
"Oh, were you calling me?" he asks, a picture of innocence, but I know him too well.
It grates that he takes such obvious pleasure from goading me but that's not why I can suddenly feel my fury rising even further. Oh, no. What aggravates me more is my own stupid reaction every time I see those so, so blue eyes of his staring at back me with warmth and amusement. It's just not right that I should feel a tingling sensation right down to the tips of my toes as if I've got some kind of schoolgirl crush on the class bad boy.
Because I haven't. I don't.
We're just friends. Although even that's debateable lately.
"You're an ass," I tell him irately before I turn and walk away.
The thing is I'm not quite sure whether my comment is directed at him…or myself.
I go back to my office and sit down to wait. He'll follow me eventually, even though I know he'll take his own sweet time about it. Annoying the hell out of me is what he does best…second to catching criminals that is, and it's why I'm forced to keep him around.
It's for the good of the Unit and the CBI in general. He closes cases and beyond that I have no interest in him whatsoever. None at all…because I know he's going to leave soon.
That's why I've not bothered to try and repair our friendship. What's the point?
He's got his revenge on the serial killer, Red John, who brutally murdered his wife and child and now he's just sticking around until he sorts his life out. I don't blame him. After obsessively chasing his nemesis for over a decade, there's bound to be a huge void to fill…it's just taken him a bit longer than I'd first thought it would.
But I can see he's getting antsy now. There's been something…off about him these past couple of weeks or so. I know Christmas has always been a hard time for him but it seems to be more than that. Like he's planning something. Something big. Something like walking away for good.
And I'm absolutely fine with that. Really.
OK, so obviously the fact that our closure rate will drop is a concern, but after all the hell he's been through, he deserves some happiness. And if nothing else, I truly do wish him that.
I know what a really good, kind man he is behind that cold mask he likes to wear. There was even a time once when I thought that he and I might…but that was before he left for six months; before Lorelei and all the other things he did to get Red John.
It was during that time after he came back from Vegas that I finally, really understood that he would do absolutely anything to get his family's killer.
It scared me if I'm honest. He scared me. The way he acted, the more and more outrageous and dangerous things he did…the hurt he caused.
I realised I'd gotten too close. Allowed myself to have feelings for him…thought that he might care for me too.
He even told me he loved me at one point.
I'll never forget that moment and not only because he pretended to shoot me afterwards, but because I honestly thought that he felt the same way about me as I did him.
I guess when he conveniently forgot I should have taken the hint.
Well, I did when I finally got to speak to Lorelei. Nothing says, 'You mean squat to me,' more clearly than hearing how the guy you cared about jumped in the sack with another woman. A woman who was sent by the very murderer he was trying to catch no less.
It was painful.
I'm nothing if not resilient though. I soon packed up those unwanted emotions and threw them out with the rest of the weekly trash. It was a momentary lapse of sanity to harbour anything other than a passing tolerance to Jane and I soon had my defences back up in place.
They haven't been down since…no matter how much he's tried to find a weakness. And believe me, he's tried. But I won't give in. I can't. I'm not stupid enough to leave myself open to that kind of hurt over the same man a second time. Not when I know he's going to disappear one day just like one of those stupid magic tricks he's so fond of performing.
Now you see him, now you don't…ever again.
Kind of like now.
Where the hell is he?
I grip the arms of my chair tighter. I absolutely will not go out there and call him again. I catch a glimpse of his blond curls heading my way from the break room and force myself to relax. I can be calm about this. I'm not going to let him see that he's got to me this time. He enjoys it far too much.
"It's about time," I hear myself grumble and really just want to slap myself upside my head. I can't even hold out for a few seconds.
He gives me one of his infuriatingly smug, but strangely endearing smiles and I shake my head in annoyance to cover the fact that butterflies have just taken flight in my stomach. He places a mug of coffee down on my desk then settles himself in the chair opposite me holding his own steaming cup of tea.
At least I know what he's been doing for the last five minutes. He probably thinks the drink will get him back in my good graces.
Like hell it will.
I watch him take a slow sip of his drink and welcome the ire I can feel rising within me that he can be so uncaring of anything…or anyone…but himself and his little games. We're all just amusing playthings to him. I have to remember that, otherwise I'm in real danger of letting myself be pulled back into feeling things for this man that I don't want to. I have to protect myself and there's no better way to do that than using my anger as a shield…or a weapon. Depends what the situation warrants.
"Just what the heck were you thinking this afternoon?" I begin, pleased that the question comes out reasonably calmly.
"What do you mean?" he replies acting innocent.
He takes in another mouthful of tea and I have to quell the urge to snatch the cup from his grasp and fling it across the room. I hate it when he deliberately plays dumb.
"You know exactly what I mean," I tell him, unable to stop the annoyance coming through in my voice now.
He shakes his head and then gets a look on his face that's supposed to make me think that he's suddenly just caught on to what I'm talking about.
"Oh, you're talking about the fact that I helped bring yet another killer to justice," he says, wilfully misunderstanding me.
"No, I'm talking about the fact that you pushed Senator Carlton into the that mud hole!" I exclaim, losing the battle to keep my temper under wraps.
"Meh…collateral damage," he dismisses blithely. Just like my job, apparently. Then he has the gall to add, "And he had it coming. He wouldn't leave you alone."
I resist the urge to roll my eyes at his usual white knight tendencies.
"He was upset and I can handle men like him myself," I remind him heatedly. I've had this conversation with him before. He never seems to listen. I think he forgets just who saves whom in our team. "I don't need or want you to stand up for me, Jane. How many times have I told you that?"
He says nothing but I catch a tightening of his mouth that betrays his displeasure at my words. At least, I think it's displeasure until I see small smile bloom on his face and then I've finally had enough.
I welcome the fury that surges through my body, heating my blood as I stand up and lean across my desk to confront the arrogant ass.
"You think this is funny?" I query without waiting for a reply. "Because I don't! As usual your actions have landed me in trouble. If you don't apologise to the Senator, I'm on suspension for two weeks. Effective immediately."
I draw in deep breaths as I try and get my temper in check again. I swear my blood pressure has gone through the roof and yet from the way he simply looks down and takes another unconcerned drink of his tea, I wonder why I even bother trying to get him to do the decent thing. I know by now that he doesn't care…especially when it comes to people like Carlton.
The worst of it is that part of me can't help but be just a little bit pleased at his actions. I wanted to shove the Senator into that muck myself. He was a pig, not only to me but his deceased wife as well from what I can gather from the witness statements.
It doesn't make it right though.
I watch Jane finish his drink then place his cup and saucer on my desk with a nod of his head, like he's come to a decision. Knowing him it's probably that Carlton can go to hell, along with my job.
"OK, I'll apologise."
You'll what now?
I can feel my body actually go into shock. Patrick Jane agreeing to apologise? I must have misheard.
I sit back down into my chair as I stare at him in complete amazement.
"Excuse me?" I say incredulously.
"I'll apologise," he repeats, talking to me as if I'm a child.
I'm so surprised that he agreed that I can't even find it within me to be annoyed by his tone.
It's almost too good to be true…
Then it hits me. It's just another one of his mind games. Something to get him out of the current situation because he can't be bothered to argue with me anymore.
"Are you playing me? Because I don't like being made a fool of, Jane," I reproach suspiciously.
"How on earth am I playing you if I say I'll apologise?"
He has the audacity to look bewildered but I've seen that fake innocent expression too many times to be taken in now.
"By telling me you'll do it then not following through, leaving me feeling like an even bigger idiot for allowing myself to start to have a little faith in you again," I reply curtly.
Suddenly, I just feel so incredibly tired of it all. Why doesn't he just go so that I can get the hell on with my life? This waiting game just isn't working for me anymore.
I let out a sigh and sit back into my chair with a shake of my head. Perhaps if I just ask him right out, I'll get a straight answer for once. It's worth a try.
"Why are you even here anyway?"
"You asked me in here," he replies wryly.
I mentally count to ten and try again. Clearer this time so that there's no doubt to my meaning. I'm through with dancing around the subject, however much I know it'll hurt to hear his answer.
"Not in my office, but the CBI? Why haven't you left yet? I thought that with Red John gone you'd be off making a new life for yourself. It's been over four months, Jane," I point out gently, although I'm certain he doesn't need reminding.
"I know how long it's been, Lisbon. I can count," he informs me, his curt tone telling me that I've struck a nerve.
It startles me a little to see an expression of hurt fleetingly cross his features. He's usually so guarded and I find it's of no comfort to realise that he seems to feel some pain about his decision too. He's had enough of that to last a lifetime.
I silently watch him stand and pick up his cup and saucer. I still haven't had any verbal confirmation of his intentions but from just that one look I know I'm right in my assumptions.
It hurts more than I thought it would.
"Set up that meeting with Carlton. I'll apologise. I'll even do a dance if that's what he wants," he mutters, not looking at me.
I take his offer for what it is…a goodbye. Before he goes he'll do this one last thing for me. It's a bittersweet gesture, but then everything between us has been that way from the day we met. Why change now?
He looks at me then, pinning me with his amazing blue eyes as he parts those lips that just look too full and too soft to be allowed on a man and I find my breath catches and jaw literally drops at his next words.
"Just don't tell me that you're expecting me to leave you ever again, Teresa. Trust me, I'm not going anywhere…whether you like it or not. I'm hoping you do, but if you don't…I'm a patient man. I can change your mind."
I don't even realise he's gone until the soft click of my door shutting brings me out of my shocked haze. I watch him walk to the break room, my mind whirling at his words as one thing he said keeps pushing its way to the forefront of my thoughts.
He said he's not going to leave me. Leave me. Not the CBI. Not the team. Me.
I'm not one to be all girly but I have to admit that I think my heart just gave a little flutter. But does he really mean what I think…I hope he means? Or is the fact that I'm so relieved he's staying making me read too much into it?
I don't know and at this moment I don't even think I care. I can puzzle it all out later at home. Right now I just have to make him understand that I'm glad he's not leaving.
I can see him staring back at me through the window of the door and before I can talk myself out of it, I get up and grab my mug of now cool coffee. I leave my office and go to the break room but he looks away before I can say anything and now I feel a little awkward.
The kettle whistles as I pour my drink down the sink and I move closer to him on the pretence of wanting a tea as replacement. I study him out of the corner of my eye as I make my drink but it seems he's determined to ignore me and I feel some of my courage melt away. I pick up my mug and turn to leave but only make it as far as the door before I turn around again.
I'm a woman who can take down a guy double my size. I should be able to say a couple of words to my consultant for heaven's sake.
"Jane," I call and he looks up at me immediately. His gaze is warm and, dare I think, tender? I feel my cheeks growing warmer and try to smile but I'm so nervous all of a sudden that my face doesn't seem to be responding properly. "I do like it," I manage to force out softly.
I turn away quickly after my admission and go back to the sanctuary of my office, making sure to close and lock the door behind me. I put my drink down on the desk then sit on my chair and let out a groan as I cover my face with my hands. I just need a few moments to come to terms with what I just did.
After everything I've promised myself over this last year about not letting him get too close, about keeping my guard up, about not allowing myself to feel anything for him, he simply tells me he's staying and I just go and fling the damn door wide open and invite him back in again.
What is wrong with me?
Why did I do it?
One little word worms its way into my brain but I reject it forcibly. It can't be true. I won't let it be.
I am not now, nor will I ever be in love with Patrick Jane…no matter what happens from now on, I'm going to make damn sure of that.
END CHAPTER 1
A/N: Please let me know what you think - always happy to hear and I'll always get back to you if you've signed in :) I'll be posting as and when for this story because, let's face it, if you've read the first one you know how it ends, LOL!
I'm also going to start posting a brand new fic called, "Redwood" soon. It's Jane and Lisbon again, as they're my favourite pairing, so please do keep an eye out for it if you like my work.