Tonight, his demons don't take their faces, instead, he's left with a murky brown; with the occasional swirl of midnight blue mixed on top of the backdrop; and topped off the red hue that originates from the center of that now dried smiley face on his bedroom wall.

However they do take their voices; he can hear is daughters laugh the happy; pure, full of life sound; tamped down and covered with the thin tape of the knowledge that he'll never hear it again, and that he was the one who caused its silence. He hears his wife, hissing in his ears; about how much she hates him, why did he have to do this? That it's his fault that they're dead.

That he failed to get vengeance as well, and bring them to justice when he had the chance.

He had faced Red John and he was the one who nearly died.

That's when he feels it, it catches him like a safety net, stopping his spiral downwards on the spot; the limp weight in his hand, the small puff of air that brushes across his eyes and chases away the murky brown; someone's dumped untainted water, into the tainted murky water of his mind; it spirals, twisting and curling; chasing away the dark colors and refilling their place with a calming sort of light.

And in the light; his mind clears, nightmares chased back, banished to the shadows where they originated from, and the shadows vanish completely as he opens his eyes; his visions blurred at first but then the almost grey lumps before him clear and he spots his own feet underneath the thin hospital blanket.

And then he spots the note; scrawled in Cho's recognizable hand writing, placed gingerly at the end of the bed; and he finds himself smiling at it, noting the use of Dr. Yang and tucking the info away later for possible questioning.

Then he feels the puff of air drift across his face once more and his eyes flick to the side and a moment later he turns his head, finding himself nose to nose with Teresa Lisbon.

She's beautiful, alluring, angelic, exquisite and comely. That's what comes to mind at the sight of her; she's divine; she looks completely at peace.

All those words come to mind as he looks at her in the morning sun; which is casting and dappling across her face; giving her a warm glow, granting her hair a chestnut-lining; highlighting the very few freckles across her face.

He watches her eyes twitch underneath her eyelids; watches her lips part as she inhales, and then he lets his gaze drift; his smile grows as he notices how she's slanted over the wooden chair pulled up to the bed; her body looking as though it had been dragged out of the chair and the person who was doing the dragging just suddenly gave up and left her that way.

He pushes himself to sit, squirming on the bed; leaning away from her and with every intention of moving her, and he goes to lift his hands and that's when it happens; suddenly he's looking at her and then his vision sways; tossing towards the ceiling and he's on his back once more, gasping for breath; trying to breathe around the thing wrapped around his ribs and squeezing; pushing and shoving violently against his ribs and any attempt to get oxygen into his lungs is failing, and everything's blurred; a disgusting yellow color, tainted brown.

Then it's dark.

His eyes flutter open once more and through a wall of glass he watches as Cho races into the room, to his bedside; and presses the button above the bed. His vision has cleared by the time the man's arm pulls back; with the exception of the greenish, yellow halo following Cho's form as he moves about the room. His eyes flutter shut again, his mind is reeling; turning to the side and falling off the edge and with this feeling his head falls back against the pillows; it's too heavy to hold up.


"Jane! Jane, wake up!"

"Damn it, Jane, wake up!"

The voices are muffled; thick and sloppy in his ears and far away.

He inhales sharply a few seconds later, after the sharp constant beating against his ears becomes too much; and Cho's face swims in a about a foot away from is, he's glaring at him; but he can see the raw relief hidden and tucked away in the other mans eyes. He holds onto that, clinging to Cho's gaze as he steps back, moving away and letting the nurse take his position. He swallows and goes to speak; his tongue heavy in his mouth, his throat is swollen.

"She's fine." Is all Cho says, and then; he doesn't have to speak because he's got his answer.

"She never woke up."

That's when the darkness swoops in again; covering him like a blanket without warning, and he doesn't even get to feel the air settle and vanish as the blanket drops down; one second it's there, and then it's gone.

The last thing he hears is the voices of panicked nurses.

He always found it kind of ironic how Doctors and Nurses always portrayed a calm and collected character, but in reality on the inside they're just as scared as everyone else and it's only in the really terrifying moments does that truth come forth.

So he guesses he should be worried; because if they're panicking that mean's only one thing.

He's dying.

And if he survives he isn't getting any better any time soon.


Life's like a car crash.

That's what she's thinking when she turns her head and looks at her mother; and the thought that follows is that the woman behind the wheel is so beautiful, with the smile tugging at the corners of her lips; her hair cradling her face; dark streaks capturing some of the thick locks but still holding a chestnut colored halo around the edges. Her blue-green eyes are sparkling in the morning sun that's streaming in through the half-opened window.

She's so busy focusing on her mother's face; she jumps a little in her seat when her voice suddenly fills the car, after the soft crackle of the radio turning on. The music that follows makes the small vehicle thrive with life and unadulterated joy.

The woman behind the wheel is singing along to the radio within seconds of it being turned on, grasping onto the lyrics with greed and learning the rhythm in a couple of heart beats; and her head swivels as she turns to look at her daughter. "Oh, common Reese!" She smirks, and then chuckles, still smiling. "Sing along, no need to be shy." She grins at her; teeth pristine, a sharp white flash before she turns back to the road; the smile filled to the brim with star dust still on her face; and as she faces the road once more it fades, just a fraction, though.

She continues humming, keeping perfect pitch and tone with the song drifting through the speakers, her hair whipping around her head and neck by the small breeze coming in through the window.

Teresa Lisbon opens her mouth then, joining her mother's hum for a few moments to test the water of the song before singing along; the words are soapy in her mouth for the first few seconds and then the soap nestle in the back of her throat and all that's left to flow out is the words; and they do, like water out of a facet.

Her mother turns to her once more; the smile lighting up her features. "That's my girl." She grins, and looks at the road once more.

This time the star dust smile turns to ash within a moment; the music stops and is replaced by a screeching sound that she can only seem to associate with death now.

The screech of wheels as the car across the lane is unable to stop; its breaks giving out, and smashing into the car that holds her, and becomes her mother's deathbed on the spot.

The screech of wheels to keep from crashing into the car the holds the life of the most important person inher life.

The screech vanishes when she's thrown through the wind shield, and the music returns as she rolls down the hood of the car; her body changing, she's no longer twelve and ignorant of the world's horrors, she is no longer wearing a thin summer cotton dress her mother had insisted that she wear.

Instead, as she falls from the hood of the car she is a woman; Thirty eight with full breasts and curves, and instead of the thin summer cotton dress, she's wearing a pair of dark blue jeans and a white button up with its selves rolled up; on top of that, a bullet proof vest. Her hair is no longer cropped either; it's long and flowing, but at the moment pulled back into a pony tail.

That's when she hits the sand.

She scrambles at first; her shoe-less feet skidding along the grains of sand, which are in possibly hot; and then she spits out the first mouth full of the grain and somehow she finds the strength to stand and she does; she stands and looks around.

And as she stands she feels the wind whipping at her back first; plucking, prodding gently and then it picks up; nicking at her arms and brushing her hair away from her shoulders; in favor of lifting it up and having it flow gently in the air.

That's when she hears the music again, far away and distant; a sharp and almost a metallic sound but not too muffled for her not to be able to make it out and as she turns away from the deep blue, rich ocean; away from the sound, because she knows what it is now; the same one she listened too while dancing with her mother in the kitchen in the glow of the setting sun, and the same song to which she would years later dance to with a man who would come to mean the world to her.

And as she turns her head; she spots him, about thirty feet away.

And then she's running.

Her feet sliding on the sand; arms waving at her sides in desperate attempts to steady herself, which she does, a few seconds later and she's able to run at a steady pase and as she crosses the short distant he turns; his darkened silhouette fading and becoming more clear; color bleeding into it, the black fades to gray; which becomes detailed, she can make out where his jacket ends and the vest underneath, which is unbuttoned, begins.

The sun becomes stronger and she spots the white cotton shirt he's wearing underneath the comfortable recognizable gray vest; it's made from the same material as the dress she'd been wearing moments before.

He smiles at her; not the Christmas tree grin, but rather a gentle smile; somewhere between the small one he gives her every day and the Christmas tree grin; a smile filled with star dust. He turns around completely and the sun gives him a silver lining, casting a new light in those sharp blue-green eyes.

She stops before him; digging her toes into the sand; which is no longer like a flames on the bottoms of her feet.

She blinks away the tears that have suddenly formed at the edges of her eyes as she stares up at him, and ignores she stab in her heart at the peaceful look and posture of the man before her; and he just continues to smile at her, but that star dust look as turned into something different.

"I know." He says suddenly; nodding slightly, his lips bending and moving around the words; the smile drops, but just a fraction, but it remains.

She frowns up at him; swallowing and trying to ignore the way the frown on her forehead hurts. She blinks more fiercely, attempting to dispel the tears. "You know what?" She asks; almost croaking out the question, the words feel like razor blades climbing up her throat; every word painful, and difficult to get out her swollen throat.

She blinks again and a few tears trickle down her cheeks.

Why is she even crying? She can't get past the deep rooted hurt she's feeling.

She pauses for a moment; she knows why, Jane would never become this care-free joyous man before her; and she was grieving over that fact.

And he knows this too.

The stardust smile drops, as if in this moment he has just shared the same revelation; but doesn't turn to ash; instead his lips become a steady thin line on his face. "I just know, Teresa." He tells her, lifting up a hand and whipping away the tears as he steps forward. Only to step back a few seconds later; his right hand drifting down her arm, and stopping at her hand, before he pulls away; turning and walking away.

"Wait." She tells him, her throat's swelling dipping down; fading away. "Wait, Jane." She says louder this time, blinking away the tears and ignoring how they trail sloppily down her face; her hands fluttering up and tucking her wild hair behind her ears.

And he does; he stops, and turns and smiles.

It's not the Christmas tree grin, or the stardust smile, or the one he gives her every day.

It's the one he gave her before he walked out of her life for half a year.

"You're sweet." He tells her.

And she expects him to look away; to drop her gaze and disappear; to be swallowed up into a bottomless pit by the sand or to turn around and walk away once more; but he doesn't, instead he does something she would never expect of Patrick Jane.

He holds out his hand.

She'd stopped a few inches away this time; not knowing when she'd run to catch up to him again and not bothering to try to figure out when she did, instead she looks down at the hand in question and then back up at him; taking in the blank look with underlying consideration.

Then she looks back down at his hand; which is spread open wide, his fingers wiggle and that brings a soft soothing laugh from her lips; which lays down bandages on top of her sliced up throat, due to the razor blades.

She takes his hand; it's warm, and solid and so very large around her own.

He turns; pulling her along, and they begin to walk step by step down the endless beach; the wind whipping at her clothes, snapping the fabric back and forth into unnatural shapes and positions before gently allowing it to flow in the air without the noises. Their hair gnarly masses around their heads.

There's a snap at some point in time which she assumes was the clothes once more, only to be proven wrong a few moments later as Jane's suddenly on the ground; a bullet in his head and bleeding out onto the sand.

She stares at his face; eyes wide, and his face expressionless.

This is the man he is, and would be; not some pathetic joyous copy.

She turns towards the sky; squinting, and then a few moments later there's another snap and she's down beside him, bleeding out onto the sand.

He smiles at her; the pure star dust smile resurfacing once more; his eyes squinting in the sunlight, blood trickling down the bridge of his cheek and pooling in the spot where the center of his nose is; creating a dark contrast between his eyes and the dark crimson on his face.

She says something to him; but her words are muffled to her own ears and her tongue is heavy as she speaks.

She doesn't get a reply.

He doesn't move again; just continues staring at her.

Life's like a car crash because things happen, they happen and sometimes you see them coming; in few precious moments you know they are going to happen; and that there's nothing you can do, the breaks won't work and you are going to be crushed by the drunk driver speeding towards you no matter what you do; you can't stop it. You can't make the breaks work.

Or other times the car sneaks up behind you, and you're blissfully unaware of what's coming up until the moment of impact, and in the aftermath you're super aware of what's going on around you.

Life's like a car crash, but then so is falling love.

You can't stop either.


The very first thing she sees when she opens her eye is the backside of a nurse dressed in light blue scrubs and this prompts her to move; pushing away from the chair as she goes to sit up, ignoring the way her muscles scream and then she sees the mob of them; all swarming around the bed.

Her gaze falls and she sees the dark gray drag marks on the sharp white floor; she lifts her head once more and she spots him; between the incredibly small gaps created by two nurse's sides.

He's laid back; mouth open wide, with a tube shoved down his throat. His skin is the complete opposite of what it had been when she'd fallen asleep; instead of a creamy color with a pink hue; now it matched something closer to white, something closer to the floor beneath her feet.

It's a disgusting shade.

The only color in his face is gauged underneath his eyes; a dark smeared purple, dragging across and down his features before vanishing completely; his eyes are glossed over and pinned on the ceiling, and without knowing it; in moments she's on her feet, stumbling back and at the same time gripping the arm of the chair for support, so she doesn't go too far back, so she can step forward when she needs too.

"What happened?"

She's speaking, but her voice is distant; hollow and weak to her own ears, and very small. She blinks; the sight before her blurring, and she lifts a hand to scrub at her eyes; and when she does, the small, steady beeping in the room turn to an angry blare and promptly cuts out.

By the time her hand drops; her knuckles skimming across her cheek, Cho's at her side, moving slightly to stand in front of her; to protect her from the hideous sight happening before her with his ever impassive expression and because of it she thinks distantly of a adult, lying to their child about a tragic accident.

His strong expression and calm tone don't stop the noises, and as he continues to speak his tone rising with every word, can't cut out the noise of the paddles uncurling, the cords stretching; and the angry ragged noise of the electricity pumping through them as they press against his chest.

He can't block out the thump of Jane's body hitting cold thin bed sheets.

She swallows and her fingers curl around the chair's arm, she can see the wave of nurse's shift; she knows what's coming next, they're going to try a few times and then call it, so it either works now; or it doesn't and he's gone for good.

She pushes away from the chair with that revelation; the legs scrapping against the floor and moves, not stumbling this time, but with a sort of grace that comes with being oblivious to your surroundings, she steps around Cho. Moving to one of the few gaps in the wall of nurses and stops there, keeping her eyes trained on the visible parts of Jane, and she watches as they shift in gentle waves, up until the moment they press the paddles against his chest and call it, yelling out douses for medicine and the electricity that's needed.

She watches as his chest jerks upwards, and he falls back.

"What happened?"

"Cardiac arrest." Cho answers from the left, a few steps behind her; his tone is fresh, new, despite the fact she knows he had tried to explain it to her moment before; she's thankful for it.

The nurses pull away then; stripping back in clumps, to reveal her nightmare in a new twisted for of reality; Jane's lifeless body on the bed; a tube crammed down his throat. She blinks; and suddenly she's watching it all through a slate of glass, and the glass is fogging over, cracking as one of the nurses moves and pulls the tube from his throat. She turns away at that, trying to ignore the damp noise it makes; instead focusing on Cho's shoes. After a few moments her gaze flicks back up and she watches as the same nurse hands the tube away, reattaches the wires to his chest; and places the oxygen mask over his mouth.

She's staring at the fogging-over mask when the nurses leave, and she realizes suddenly that she's shaking, and covered in goose bumps a few moments after that; her gaze flicks to the side and she watches the steady moving line on the heart monitor before looking back at Jane.

She then grinds her jaw and tries not to cry.

Correct, she tries not to cry too much, but she lets a few tears of raw relief slide down her face; she allows herself to suck in a breath and thrive in the cold that follows as she swallows it down. She allows her fear to not plague her relief, for now at least.

She takes a few steps forward, her feet are shaking and the part of her mind that's focused on Cho is slipping and sliding out of reach until she's gone; and she's forgotten that he's in the room by the time she's walked around to Jane's bedside, back to her chair.

By the time she's lowered herself into it; his eyes have begun to twitch.

But by then, Cho is gone from the room and when the door snaps shut, she's taken his hand once more; more for her support, rather than his, because she needs this; she needs proof that he is still alive.

She intertwines their fingers together and lifts her legs; curling them underneath her, ignoring when the pain again and ignoring the sensation of needles dotting along her skin as the limbs go to sleep due to blood loss. She ignores all of it, and the only thing she sees is the skyline and the city, or the sleeping form of Jane. The only thing she hears is the rushing sound of footsteps outside the door, the stream of voices that never once breaks.

But no one comes into the room.

Half an hour ticks by, and that morphs into an hour; and soon enough another one passes, and by then she's started to drift, her hand's slack in Jane's and she's leaning back against the chair. Her head tilted back and mouth parted slightly, just a few centimeters; and she's having difficulty keeping her eyes open and the part of her brain that argues there really is no reason for her to stay awake anymore is winning, Jane's stable after all and has been.

After the third time she jerks awake, and finds nothing in the room that needs her attention; she gives in, settling against the chair and curling in on herself. Folds one arm into her lap, letting it sprawl across her thighs; curls her legs underneath her, and she squeezes Jane's hand once more before giving in completely; letting sleep wrap around her like a blanket, which she happily settles into.


Her head is murky and her eyes a far too heavy, and she's battling against a single thought; what's the point in waking up?

The question keeps turning around in her mind, wrapping around it tight; and she's agreeing with it, up until the moment the sharp beeps begin to cut through her mind, and after a few moments she realizes that it's not her alarm going off, she's not at home, she's not in her bed. Instead, she's sitting in a chair at Jane's bedside.

This revelation snaps her awake and within seconds she's looking around the room, looking until she feels something twitch in her hand, and then her confusion is ripped away; the blanket's torn from her body within seconds and she turns, twisting in the chair to turn and face the man laying in the hospital bed.

The world spins slightly as her gaze blurs; she blinks fiercely, dispelling the tears; but managing not to let them fall. Jane's half-opened eyes blink back, a lazy smile slowly forming on his face; his fingers twitch from where they rest in her hand.

She squeezes them and offers him a smile, and scoots closer, pushing with her good foot against the floor as she moves the chair, both of them ignoring the ugly screech of protest it makes.

And as she settles in the chair once more she grips his hand a bit tighter, wrapping her fingers around his hand and in return he squeezes hers, just barely and only for a few seconds; but he tried, and that's good enough for her.

She swallows and inhales; ignoring the burn at the edges of her eyes, instead she glances over at the heart monitor by his bed; she watches the steady line for a few moments before looking back at him, and she swallows again.

"Hey," She says softly; the word coming out wet, and she blames it on the raw relief she's currently feeling.

She doesn't get a verbal response, instead her response is hidden in the way his eyes narrow slightly, and the little bit of tooth that shows through his lazy smile; and his attempt make her laugh slightly, a pure and light sound; that feels good as it climbs from her throat, she inhales sharply in the aftermath, realizing she probably shouldn't be laughing at him.

He just shakes his head, and attempts to raise an eyebrow.

She shakes her head at him and shrugs and just speaks, "You're gonna be okay, Jane."

His look morphs at the end of her sentence; and she watches with a small amount of amazement, as the fog lifts and his facial expressions become clear, his eyes open further, no longer half-lidded and he moves, just barely, so he's leaning against the pillows, closer to sitting up.

She then watches the light of disappointment form in his eyes, and she frowns at it, but it doesn't take her long to realize what it's for.

"Don't worry about me –"Something stirs with that, rising slightly to the surface before being yanked back under, a different sort of righteous anger – "focus on getting better, alright? Stop pushing it." She pauses, "And I mean it, if you pull one more trick like you did yesterday, your ass is fired." She smirks slightly at the end of the sentence, and he frowns; just barely before smiling back, a wicked sort of look climbing up his face.

She grins at him, turning in her chair; and the clock catches her eye.

It's five thirty.

She'd been asleep for nearly six hours.

The info goes down slowly, churning in her throat; and slowly it begins to dawn on her, the fact that for the next few days this will be her life; sleeping at even odder hours than before, and doing most of them at Jane's bedside, all the while she's striving towards recovery.

And so is he, matching her step for step; or at least, that's what she can hope for.

She draws her eyes slowly away from the clock, glancing down at Jane once more; and for a moment, she's silent, taking in the far more prominent lines of his face; and struggling to ignore the deep-inflicted sadness the image brings up.

She ignores the sadness, and focuses on the brighter side; he's alive, his hand wrapped around hers is proof of that.

Her gaze darts down at the thought, and she looks at the sight of their conjoined hands; and blinks, ignoring the tears that resurface, and choosing to smile at the way new one's don't take their place.

Her smile only grows when Jane squeezes her hand, it's a small movement but it means the world to her.

And that's when the door opens, and promptly the small safe haven the hospital room had created is shattered; the bright orange light that had been splattered across the room cracks and breaks when the door is open, only to be further disoriented as Cho's form enters the room; his shadow adding to the cracks in the light, blocking it from painting the walls.

And as her senior agent steps into the room, squinting at the light for a moment before turning to face her and Jane, she tries to pull her hand away.

Jane won't let her, because within the very lightest twitch, the first hint of her fingers skimming across his index as she goes to pull away, he grabs her hand and holds onto it like he's drowning; and she catches his gaze for a moment, and in that split second everything he's feeling is laid out before her.

And it's enough to make her not pull away, so she remains; leaning back into the chair and forcing herself to relax, even as Rigsby and Van Pelt walk into the room.

She however, can't stay relaxed when the doctor's enter, she moves in her chair and pushes herself upright, ignoring the needles that stab into her heel when her foot hits one of the legs. Dr. Yang, Kepner and Shepherd file in and take their stances on the sides of the bed, and the air in the room shifts; and any sort of comfort, safety; anything close to normality she'd been feeling is long gone.

Now the air is cold and sterile, with death looming over everything like a fog.

She realizes slowly, why Jane doesn't like hospitals, or at least part of his reasons.

She's yanked away rather violently from her thoughts when Dr. Yang clears her throat and speaks; glaring daggers at Jane, a smile pulling at the edges of her lips.

"I meant what I said about skinning you alive, don't try that again."

And the fog of death lifts, just slightly; outside the window the sun drops behind one of the buildings, casting light once more into the room; and for a little while longer, she'll feel safe in this new twisted reality.

The feeling only grows in the noise of soft chuckles that follow.


It's becomes clear in the next few minutes that Dr. Yang is willing to take no bullshit from Jane, and at the same time she cares. It also becomes clear that Jane is going to test how far he can push her, the moment he can actually get up and push.

It also only takes her a few minutes to go over Jane's stats, assessing the health of his heart and balancing out the risk of another attack. She steps back after checking his pulse, and reaches for the chart at the end of his bed; flipping through it and finally speaking again. "So, how are you feeling?"

A snort is her answer, and she glances up over the chart.

"He can't speak." Is Lisbon's answer, and the doctor's eyes flip back and forth between the pair, pausing momentarily at their conjoined hands; nearly long enough for Lisbon to try and withdraw her hand once more, but Jane stops her with gripping it tighter and sending a pleading look in her direction.

She shuts the chart and places it in its cradle before turning to Dr. Shepherd, "Any diagnoses on that?" She asks, and the man in question steps forward slightly, folding his hands before him as he goes to speak.

"Mr. Jane, your MRI scan came back clean, we can't find any evidence of internal bleeding nor any sign of brain damage –"He pauses and swallows; and for a fleeting moment Lisbon wishes she could ignore the hesitant look on the man's face, look away from the edge in his eyes; but she can't, so instead she clings to the next few words that fall from his mouth. "As far as your inability to speak goes, we can't find a logical reason for it."

Another pause.

"It may be a psychological problem, but all I really have to offer is that only time can tell, how quickly you'll recover from this – trauma. I'm sorry, but there's nothing we can do at the moment, we'll continue running as many tests as we can, and we'll set you up with the best psychiatrists this hospital has to offer."

She grips his hand a bit tighter as he goes rigid at the word psychiatrists, but for a moment she can tell it doesn't cut too deep, doesn't reach and break through the walls he's built around his heart, because she watches the wicked look re-appear and knows that if he could speak, he'd be saying something harsh enough to get them to back down from that offer.

But he can't speak, so instead he looks at her with a pleading look; this time in humor, and she shakes her head, before looking back up at the doctors, and all the while ignoring Jane's fidgeting hand in hers.

"I'm not going to say anything." She snips at him, whispering before speaking loud enough for the entire room to hear; "What about an estimate for recovery time?" She asks.

Dr. Yang looks over at her, and before she can speak; Dr. Kepner steps forward, glancing between the pair and then meeting Lisbon's gaze. "For you, I'd say about maybe, three to four weeks, given the severity of your burns and I'd like to make sure the lacerations you obtained don't get infected and the best chance of that not happening is if –" She pauses and clears her throat, "We keep you here a bit longer than we would normally, with a burn patient."

There's a pause after she speaks, a few seconds of raw silence; the noise that's made as everyone takes the information in, unfolding it and seeing what's hidden between the lines, and this time it's not between the lines; it's instead spray painted across the page.

Dr. Kepner's keeping her longer so she can stay with Jane.

Everyone knows that, and has accepted that by the time the woman has stepped back; gesturing to Dr. Yang and Dr. Shepherd to continue.

Dr. Yang beats him to the punch, "Your heart's condition, and is stable at the moment but still very serious." She pauses, "And given the factor you've gone into cardiac arrest twice, the recovery will be much harder and the stress you put on it yesterday is only making it worse. I'd estimate maybe two, to three months until you can leave the hospital, and maybe just a few more days till you leave the ICU. But overall Mr. Jane, you're looking at maybe a year, until you are completely back on your feet."

The same silence follows the members of the CBI taking in the information; except this time there's nothing to unfold, no hidden truths; just the plain and almost-cold ones, laid out in front of them, sharp and pristine.

Jane's the first to move, he nods; his expression grim, but Lisbon can't seem to find any resentment in his eyes, given that he inflicted more damage on himself caused by his recent actions.

He doesn't regret making himself worse, to see her.

Dr. Shepherd takes in the looks on the faces around him before speaking once more, "And we will continue doing scans, looking for any damage that could have caused your inability to speak –" He pauses and shifts; pulling out a yellow slip from his lab coat's pocket. "Until we get any results, I can prescribe a drug without side affects to treat any damage that may have been done to your vocal cords during the trauma." He stands, pushing away from the wall he'd been leaning against; and Cho reaches him first, taking the prescription slip and nodding to the man; who returns to his original spot against the wall. "And as far as your arm goes, we will watch how it's healing progresses, and as Dr. Yang said, I highly suggest not putting any more stress on it." He pauses again, "And if it does not begin to recover soon, I'll suggest the possibility of a nerve graph."

This time its Lisbon who processes it all and she's nodding, gaining the clarification; up to maybe a month for her, maybe two to three for Jane.

They tell them all it varies for every patient, and then they're gone.

She glances at the clock as Cho shuts the door behind them, it's a little after six.

The sun has set and is now painting a deep blue on the edges of the skyline, and she recalls from the back of her mind; visiting hours end at seven.

Or at least, around seven, she's not exactly sure.

She shifts in her chair; lifting her head away from Jane, and looking at the members of her team, who surprisingly, all hold almost-impassive expressions. Her gaze stops on Cho. "You're in charge until I get back. Finish up the Martin's case, and I want updates." Her eyes flick to Rigsby, "Make sure you can gather all the proof from where Jane was taken, nearby security cameras, all of it." She turns to Grace. "I want you to continue the lead with Martin's teacher as the main suspect –" From where he lies, Jane nods, a faint echo of a smile on his face; and a glint of what she could label, if she wanted too, as pride in his eyes.

She resists the urge to scoff at it.

She looks away from Jane once more, at her surrounding team and inhales. "We'll catch him this time."

She doesn't need to explain who he is, they all know.

Nothing else is said in the following minutes, or at least until Grace speaks once more. "We'll be back first thing tomorrow morning," And just like that; it's the curtain call. There's nothing else to be said; nothing else to be done, at least not tonight. So with those words, she and Rigsby head for the door, he holds the door open for her and promptly follows, it's Cho who pauses, with his hand wrapped on the metallic door knob, he turns and looks at the pair in the room.

"Call us, if you need anything." Is all he says, and then he's gone; sliding out the door and walking after the rest of the team members.

The room takes on the silence once more, filling up to the brim with it.

Jane shifts in his bed, and lightly, his fingers dance across the top of her hand; she looks down at him with a light frown on her face and blinks; she doesn't have to speak, and he can't; but he doesn't have to say anything anyway, they both know it.

They both know where to go from here, but at the same time, they don't.

So instead of speaking, she swallows and squeezes his hand one more time; and he just nods, and the blip flickers between them once more – she's turned on the TV and she'll let it play for a few seconds, lets the noise fill the room; let's herself sink into the noise it creates, the dull wave of being almost blissfully unaware settling over her – and then she promptly turns the TV off, and turns away from the screen; not bothering to watch the echo of the images, or the static clear the screen because she's done it enough times and she knows she'll end up with the same blank, pitch black screen.

And he seems alright with that, at staring at the blank screen.

She wonders, in that moment; holding his hand, if he ever thinks about what it might be like if he, if they turned the TV on and left it on, and watch what it could become.

What they could become.

And as she looks at him, focusing on the reflection of his eyes; how his normally bright, blue-green eyes seem almost grey tonight she doesn't bother to plaster a smile on her face, because she's too tired for that; even though she has hardly done anything today, and she finds in the almost grey of his eyes, her answer.

He's always got the TV on; and it's become back ground noise to him, because he knows if he lets himself listen to it, he'll get sucked in, find himself sitting on the sofa and watching it with every speck of attention he has – and he can't do that, he's got work to do; they both do.

So she shifts her grip on her hand, and lets that revelation settle; and she knows; finding it in the lines of his face, he's decided to sit down in front of the TV.

Even if it's only for a few minutes.

Or at least, that's what he's telling himself for the moment.

Now she just needs to find out if she's willing to sit down next to him, for however long that may be.


She stays with him for the next two hours, staying until she's positive he's fallen asleep; and then she stays a bit longer so she can watch the steady rise and fall of his chest, and then she leaves; but only after tucking his arm carefully under the covers of the thin bed sheet, after letting go of his hand.

And then she stays a bit longer after that; making sure he's dreaming, but not trapped in his nightmares.

And then she goes.

She promptly makes it half way down the hallway, and as she rounds the corner the pain starts; a snarling little hole, digging into the backside of her calf; twisting and coiling itself around the muscles in her leg, and the slice across her ankle begins to throb.

So when it starts, she stops; taking a seat and sinking into one of the rich, deep blue cushioned chairs pressed against the wall.

She leans back and then forward again; her hands sliding into her lap, where she then wrings them together; or at least up until the spot on her forearms where the tightly wrapped bandages begin, and then her fingers skim across the first layer of gauze she them draws back into her lap, and then draws into her thoughts.

Only to pull away at the first one that surfaces; all thoughts of Jane, and what she could do next; how she should go about this and in all honesty, that is not the main problem at the moment; the main problem here, and always has been Red John.

She scratches at the gauze.

She then drops her head; looking down at her arms, and shuts out her thoughts; ignoring them completely.

She strokes the medical tape with her thumb, smoothing out the air bubbles that surface as she goes; this is a part of her now, the medical tape and gauze; covering up the injuries until they heal completely and as she thinks the edges of her fingers dig into the corner of the tape, lifting slightly.

Then she realizes what she's doing and works frantically to smooth out the plastic; inwardly flinching at the way the corners peel and curl upwards, and after a few more attempts she gives up with a sigh; sinking into the chair on the exhale.

She stretches out her legs before her; ignoring the looks from passing nurses and interns, ignoring the daggers they send her with their eyes and she rotates her foot, cringing outwardly at the numbness, and pain spreading across it. She draws it back in when a patient waddles past, and after the patient has passed and rounded the corner she pushes herself to stand.

She hesitates, just a few seconds before standing completely, and the fear only grows as her stance wavers. But she manages to not fall, so that's enough to push her forward, to push her to begin walking down the hall once more, even if she doesn't know the destination of where she's going, yet.

She finds it as she continues down the hall; she'd had her eyes set on the elevator but something at the edge of her vision snags her, pulls her in; and she turns around completely, nearly bumping into the intern that rushes past.

She stares at the pristine door that reads, Restroom her gaze waving on the symbol above it, the small blue block that holds the white figures of both genders, and then suddenly she's moving, weaving through the crowd and not stopping till she's behind the door, and has locked it.

And as the lock clicks, she knows why she's here; she turns away from the door; leaning heavily against it, embracing the way the wood feels on the back of her arms and after a few moments she pushes away from it, striding into the opened space of the room, stopping when she reaches the front of the mirror hanging above the sink.

There's faint bruises beginning to form on her face; blocked by her hair, her face is clear with the exception of a few small scrapes; she pauses a moment, looking at her reflection before reaching around and grabbing the ties of the hospital's gown; wrapping them around her fingers and then finally, pulling and she lets the gown drop, crumble at her feet without any attempt to stop it as it slides down her arms.

She steps over the gown afterwards, resisting the urge to kick it to the side; and steps forward until she's in front of the mirror.

Her gaze flips past the fresh, angry bruises covering her body, pausing at the scrapes covering the skin underneath her breasts and spreading out over her ribs. The bruises blossoming out onto her left side, she lifts a hand and gently prods at them; hissing at the dull ache that follows.

She drops her hands halfway; before lifting her arms once more, she takes hold of her hair and pushes it over one of her shoulders, and in lack of a hair tie she uses her left hand to hold her hair in place.

She turns around then, taking in the sight of her bandaged back by glancing over her right shoulder, given that all her hair is tossed over her left.

Her entire upper back is bandaged; gauze underneath surgical tape, covering up anything that would be visible but on the top sections of her shoulders she spots the bumps; skin pushing upwards at awkward angles, being pulled taunt because of the dark blue, almost black, thread that pulls it down.

She lifts her free hand and runs her fingers across the protruding skin; it's numb, she realizes as she watches her fingers pass over the skin, she can feel the texture on her pads, the threads slicing across them, but she's lacking the feeling of her fingers dancing across.

So she drops her hand, and thinks that she should be thankful for it.

She swallows then and turns around, ignoring her reflection; ignoring the bright pink skin peaking out at the edges of the surgical tape. She walks back over to where her gown remains on the floor and picks it back up, sliding it down her arms with ease and then in continued movement re-tying the straps; pulling them tight until she's positive her chest is covered, and she doesn't have to worry about someone getting a glimpse at her underwear.

And then she leaves.


And finds herself in the cafeteria nearly five minutes later, and as she walks, her mind is on auto pilot; although for a moment when she purchases something to drink, she bleeds back in; stopping just in time from buying coffee and instead getting a small cup of hot chocolate.

She takes a seat at the farthest table, walking past the interns and doctors without a word, and ignoring any questionable looks sent her way.

And as she slides into the seat her thoughts begin to poor in; as though the damn that had been keeping them back, making up excuses not to focus on them, had broken. Suddenly Red John is not the main problem but instead the biggest excuse; and as he fades away what Jane had confessed in the back of the ambulance takes center stage, takes up the places in her mind that Red John had held and more.

She knows now, that to Jane; the true possibility of their relationship had been nothing more than background noise to him for a long time, and in rare moments, of emotional and physical stress would come to hold his attention. Like walking through a room, multiple times with music or the TV on, you only stop when you like what's playing, and you want to find out more, or get more of it.

She on the other hand, never really knew that there was more of a possibility for their relationship, and she contemplates this; leaning back into her chair, picking up the hot chocolate and ignoring the burning sensations on her fingers and palms.

She places the cup back on the table after a few moments, leaning forward, and promptly lifts her legs up; curling them underneath her and settles back again and begins flipping through memories of the man in question, he's known this, surely he would have left hints? Less obvious than the first, Love you. But hints, none the less; and she scans her memories, looking for moments of could-have-been's and what-ifs. Moments that captured her, even when they passed; that soaked into her skin and prodded and poked at the edges of her mind late at night.

The sun is warm against her back; pressing tight, bleeding in through the thick material of her jacket. She turns from where she's kneeling, listening to the gravel crunch under her heal before looking up at Jane. "It's Kansas city." She turns back to the body before her; looking back at the music notes, attempting to recall the beat, ignoring the way he repeats her words; she doesn't have to look at him to know he's got that contemplating look on his face.

"How does that go?" He asks and she pushes herself to stand; something in her has clicked, giddiness and a sense of pride bleeding back into her veins as she recalls that tune; her hands begin to move without her permission as she speaks; a old habit from her youth, picking it up from her mother, a tactic she used to keep hold of the beat when singing, so of course she really shouldn't have been so surprised at what happened next.

"You know," Then she's humming, moving softly to her own beat. He's staring at her; impassive as ever, but she can see it; that small look of curiosity on the skin between his eyebrows and the glint of something in his eyes; then she's singing, the strong, soft low tune, and her hands are moving to keep with the beat.

A few moments later a look of revelation and a noise to match the look, he's singing along; and the smile on his face makes it all worth it, and she finds herself for wanting to make that look grow; bloom into something more but then out of the corner of her eye she spots him; the solider standing across from them on the other side of the body and she freezes, her words and needs dying in her throat as she turns to face the truly impassive man, ignoring Jane's chuckles at her side.

She withdraws from the memory and finds herself smiling.

A few weeks after that, after a particularly tough case, she'd broken tradition of a box of donuts, or pizza for the reward of solving the case and instead insisted that they all go down to the local pub down the street; and then a few hours later she had begun to regret that decision, just a bit; but the regret soon faded into something warmer as she watched Cho record a very drunk Rigsby singing karaoke with his phone.

"You know, I think that's gotta be an improvement from what he normally sounds like."

She swivels in her seat, turning and glancing over her shoulder; looking and taking in the sight of her grinning consultant as he shifts in the chair next to hers.

"Hush," She tells him with a smile and his grin only grows.

"You know it's true." He taunts her.

She snorts and doesn't justify that with a direct answer; instead she goes for something else. "Like you could do any better?"

His grin turns into a smirk which looks truly wicked on his face, and the blip of something passes between them – she's turned on a TV, and lord behold, it's a sex scene from a movie – and she promptly turns it off, and he seems just as willing to turn it off, to ignore what just passed between them in favor of stirring is straw in what is so obviously nothing more than water, and all the while humming softly; and after a few moments, she realizes what it is; he's humming Kansas city.

She then promptly feels heat flood her cheeks, climbing up her neck; and she blames the heat prickling on her lower back on the drinks she's had (even if it was only a beer and a half of one, which she hadn't touched in the past hour) "Shut up, Jane." She tells him and he does the exact opposite.

"I still can't believe you sung like that."

"You're surprised I can sing?" She asks, caught in her own disbelief and confusion on how to take that statement.

"No, I knew you could, I'm talking about the fact you did it over a body, or in front of others."

She glares at him, "You asked."

His eyebrows shoot up as he dips his head, taking a sip from his drink and when he pulls away that wicked look has morphed into something else; pride, arrogance; and the TV's been turned on again, and this time it was him who 'accidently' leaned onto the remote.

"Oh, now it's you'll do anything I ask?" His tone is teasing; but something, in the very back of his eyes says otherwise; and it only fuels the fire, he's not making any move to get off the remote, instead, he's now picked it up and is turning the volume up.

"It seemed like a reasonable request at the time." She stutters, and promptly curses herself for it.

That's when he leans in; pulling his bar stool closer to hers, shifting so he's facing her; his back shielding them from anyone behind him, "Oh, so if it's reasonable, you'll do it?"

She stares at him; he'd purred, he just purred out that question, done it with underlying seduction in his tone, and she'd seen that light in his eyes bloom and become a star. She stares until he lifts a hand and prompts the bottom of her chin; and she realizes with another flash of heat that she'd been staring at him with her mouth open; she'd been gaping at him.

She clicks her tongue then, tilting her head slightly, and one hand drifting towards her beer bottle, only to float back and rest in her lap with its twin. "Nothing is ever exactly reasonable with you, Jane. You know that." She's purring right back, and oh god – is he leaning in? The thin band of light across his shoulder shifts; covering the folds of the fabric as he moves, blocking everything out in the bar with the exception of himself; and as he moves closer she can hear the soft thump of feet as he steps down from his bar stool and takes a small half-step, and then he's looming over her.

This time the only light in his eyes is casted by the pathetic and weak ones glowing above the bar, and she watches with a tight throat as his pupils dilate when they flick across her face and then without a doubt, he's leaning in, tilting his head slightly and she can feel the dip in her seat near her thigh as one hand comes to rest on the edge of it.

"Yo, Jane!"

His head snaps up and away so fast she feels the gentle brush of curls across her forehead and a small breeze, she hears the way his fingernails scrape on the bottom of the seat as his knuckles curl around it; feels the small vibration that's caused by the movement.

Then she's left staring at the back of his head; looking at how stiff and rigid his stance is, and she wonders if that's because of the realization about what he'd been about to do, or the fact he'd been caught before he could do it, and if his stance is one of regret.

She finds the owner of the voice first; Rigsby, stepping down from the stage, and making his way over. Then she finds Cho, who's looking almost – surprised, and Grace is nowhere to be seen, but within seconds she wanders into view, standing from her place at Cho's side and crossing the bar; obviously going to incept Rigsby.

That's when her attention is yanked back to the man in front of her; the gentle brush of fingers across the top of her thigh, her head snaps up from its slightly dipped position just in time to catch his gaze; which takes her breath away, large dilated pupils, and not a hint of regret, of that terrified look, instead; disappointment, and maybe a look of promise and then he pulls away; his fingers drifting down her thigh and vanishing at the edge of her knee; gone without a trace.

"What is it Rigsby?" He's asking; but his voice is distant, and filled with an impressive amount of cheer once more, no longer raw and ragged like how it had been when he'd been speaking to her moments before.

She pulls away from her mind, cutting off the memory; not wanting to re-live the confusion and sorrow that had followed later into the night, Jane never made another move; never came close to, and that had been months ago; so long ago that she'd written it off as nothing, or that he was simply teasing her, wanting to see how far it could go.

She realizes now, that it unrealistic to even attempt to label that as a tease; he hadn't been teasing, and neither had she; that was just an excuse for his actions in the long run.

She draws in a breathe and lets it out in a heavy sigh, glancing over at the cup of hot chocolate, she lifts a hand and runs her fingers across the rub; it's gone cold.

She swallows and draws her hand back, letting it drop to her lap; only to rise again a few moments later to scrub at her eyes at the realization that flickers through her mind; she'd had every intention of kissing Jane in that moment.

She drops her hand and sighs again, sinking her teeth into her lip and chewing at it; surprised a few moments later by her suddenly damp eyes.

She blinks, and dispels any tears; knowing that they are not of the raw relief that seems to lurk just underneath the surface now, but instead of something else entirely; something she can't bring herself to name, and out of that, she shuts the previous thoughts out; and brings forth even older ones.

It'd been about two weeks before the incident at the bar and they'd been stuck in the case of the murder at the theater, and LaRoche had just shown up; and she'd turned to Jane, ready and all about to deliver some sort of threat – she'd had it with his bullshit lately, but the second she turned towards him something in her clicked.

Suddenly, instead of demanding answers she's got the sudden urge to grab him by the lapels, shove him up against the nearest wall and kiss him senseless.

Later, she'll just blame that need on the lighting, and incredibly smug, sexy, no not sexy – he's her consultant for god's sake! She'd blame it on the lighting, and the smug, arrogant look on his face and the rush that came with wrapping up a case, knowing that they'd had it caught in the bag.

She'd yanked herself away from the thoughts as soon as she realized the first one had crossed her mind – shoving him up against the elevator wall once they'd made it back to the CBI and – and her throat had been tight when she'd gone to swallow; trying to cover up the look of horror and realization that she knows must be showing on her face. She managed to control it, and then in the aftermath, she recalls glancing towards Jane; who had been completely oblivious to her sudden change in thought.

She yanks herself away from that memory, and realizes in horror that she'd bitten into her lip hard enough to draw blood, so she lifts a hand and scrubs at her lip, trying to get some oxygen into her system.

And as she runs her tongue over her lip; hoping to get rid of the final traces of the metallic taste she realizes something, that pushes away the horror of her thoughts and replaces it with amusement. She's got Jane staring at her ass plenty of times, she's seen the barely hidden lust in the glint of his eyes, or painted on his face with a livid expression from the corner of her eye.

She smirks to herself, if he's allowed to do that; isn't she allowed the same?

And she realizes then; the ball of thought continuing to roll, becoming more steady as it goes, that this, all of the would-have-been's, small sexual and intimate exchanges; where the moments when whatever was playing on the TV was a little bit louder than normal, and they'd both been in the room, and what was playing had captivated their attention, long enough to keep them there only for a few moments to consider sitting down and seeing what could happen.

But it hadn't been enough, to keep them and cause them to sit down and watch what they could become.

But, she also realizes; that it could have been enough to cause them to sit down for a little while, to relax and watch if only for a few minutes.

But she also realizes; a few minutes, wouldn't have been enough in the long run.

She wants something more than that.

She deserves something more than that.

And he does too.

They both deserve something more than a few minutes, if they are going to sit down and find out what they could become.


He's standing in the middle of the road and it's raining.

That's the very first thing he notices; the next thing he see's is the deep, rich dark gray surrounding and blurring out the edges of his visions, making what he can see; the corners of buildings and the tar beneath his feet all the more pristine.

Making the cars speeding by more alive, deeper in color; and making the streaks of light the headlights bring look like falling stars.

He turns in the spot where he's standing, turning to face the wind as it begins to whip almost violently around him. He squints and watches as the fall of rain shifts, and then stops all together; frozen and unmoving, the colors surrounding him become lighter versions of their original selves, and then suddenly the wind stops but the rain remains frozen in place, and for a moment everything is completely silent.

And that's when he hears it.

It's low and graining at first, a drawn out tainted noise; and as he begins to walk, heading down the center of the street the screeching begins to die and instead turn into words.

Without warning the rain begins again; and in seconds he's soaked, completely drenched from head to toe and then he's running, thriving on the sound of his feet hitting the damp tar and clinging to the low screeching swimming in his ears, desperately searching for the words once more.

He shifts from the street to the sidewalk, his hair is plastered against his forehead and in a fit of frustration he lifts his hand and shoves it back, running his fingers through the wet locks to ensure they stay plastered together. He turns another corner and sucks in a breath; his shirt clings to him like a second layer of skin and the cold is beginning to prickle at his skin.

And as the feeling of his fingertips vanish, he considers stopping; and as this thought passes through his increasingly murky mind, he hears the words in his ears once more; and so he continues, and a few steps later he finds himself standing in front of a well lit café.

Lights so warm in fact, they are casting a soft orange halo on the edges of the glass that makes up the window; and painting away the dark and soupy look of the cobble stones beneath his feet, filling in the cracks with the bright and cheery colors.

He scans the window for a few moments, and then he spots the source of the song, a small radio is placed on the counter inside, the antenna stretched upwards; a small white gardenia is wrapped around the antenna, and despite the awkward look the flower is thriving with life; standing strong and tall, extending past it's support beam.

He moves then, keeping his eyes on the flower inside; heading for the door, and as his fingers wrap around the door knob and he pulls the door so it's slightly ajar the music swoops in, grabbing him with a sort of gluttony and pulling at emotions he keeps locked up tight, and in the chaos of it all he feels it; the hand brushing past the edge of his shoulders.

He spins around as soon as the hand vanishes; glancing frantically around, he drops his hand from the door knob, and dashes away from the warm, inviting music of the café in favor of running down the completely empty street once more.

And yet he doesn't question his decision as he runs across the street, retracing his steps.

He makes it about half way when he hears it, rather that feels it.


He turns, and spots her; standing in the same spot he'd been, moments before; hand resting on the door knob and all. She's frowning at him, looking almost confused; and he can see flickers of annoyance in her eyes, along with underlying amusement.

His hands flutter at his sides; palms facing upwards in a gesture, he feels his own frown flutter across his face, and he begins to walk rather than run in her direction. She rolls her eyes and walks into the café, and that's when he runs after her.

He's running, so he never saw it coming; one moment his feet are touching the ground in a steady beat, and in the next he's in the air, only to promptly be slammed onto the ground seconds later, and this time; he's no longer cold, instead he's warm.

He's warm, but still unable to breathe.

Then he feels it, the flutter of hands across his back and the terrified shout. "Jane – Jane!" She's right above him, hovering just out of reach, and he can't even lift a hand. He feels tears trickle from the edges of his eyes as he attempts to open them, she says something; but he can't hear her.

He swallows then, and his mouth gets flooded with something metallic; and surprisingly, he isn't confused, he isn't panicking either, he's just there. He swallows again, and attempts to breath; pushing past the coiling structure around his lungs, and then he attempts to speak.

"Lisbon," His eyes are shut again – he doesn't know when that happened, it just did.

"I'm here."

"Lis –" He pauses, his chest flutters and for a split second he panics, raw and unadulterated fear flooding his system and pounding through him, but then he tries again. "Lisbon." And everything is all right.

He doesn't get an answer, and he doesn't panic; because for some reason, that seems alright.

But he says it again anyway, "Lisbon.." His head rotates, tilting and falling until it's resting in a steady forming puddle on the tar beneath him.

No answer, and that seems alright.

Seems, being the most important thing. This pushes him to swallow, to move his lips despite the unnatural feeling passing through them when he goes to speak, "Teresa?"

He still can't open his eyes.


She doesn't know how long it's been, how long she's been sitting in the chair; but she does know she toned out the world around her hours ago and she thinks distantly, she may have started to drift to sleep despite the fact she's sitting in what could be the most uncomfortable chair ever.

But she knows it's been a while when the person before her takes a seat with a frown on their face.

"Shouldn't you be in your room?" It's a woman; a very pregnant woman.

She blinks, and promptly blinks again; scrambling and grasping for her thoughts, attempting to shake off the fog that had formed across her mind, she swallows and clears her throat; blinking a final time before speaking. "I probably should be, shouldn't I?" She asks, glancing around for a clock.

The woman across from her smiles; her tone is kind, sweat, ironically almost motherly. "I don't know," She answers, "You tell me."

Lisbon shifts in her chair, squirming slightly; she sucks in a breath and lets it out before speaking, "Do you have the time?" She asks.

The woman across from her glances towards her lap; opening her mouth slightly, "Yup, just after midnight." She answers, promptly looking back up, "If you mean time to listen, then I've got that too."

Lisbon shifts in her chair once more, going to stand; she's got – problems, that she needs to sort through, idea's she needs to figure out, but she's not about to do it with a complete stranger; she'll do it by herself. The doctor goes to stand, shaking slightly as she does and Lisbon turns around to face her; helping her from her seat.

"Shouldn't you be at home?" She asks.

The woman smiles at her, rubbing her belly as she talks; clearly an unconscious action, "I should be but my husband's going over some cat scans upstairs and I don't wanna risk driving home, besides I've got some paperwork to do."

She nods and swallows, "Well, thank you for your concern, but I'm fine." And as if to prove a point, she offers up a smile at the end of her sentence; the doctor nods, and acts like she believes her, and doesn't press it. For that she's thankful.

And then she goes, turning and walking from the cafeteria; leaving the stone cold hot chocolate on the table, and she brushes past the other doctors a few tables down without a word, and also without a glance in their direction despite the fact she can feel them watching her as she leaves.

She's almost limping by the time she makes it to the elevator, and she slumps against the wall once she presses the button for the third floor; the elevator hums softly and begins its ascent.

She draws in a breath and wonders if she should tell someone, a friend; maybe Grace, about the thoughts pounding through her head.

But she doesn't get to consider it because as the elevator pulls up to the second floor, the doors thing and open; a intern steps in, the same one who had let her into the ICU the other night. She glances in her direction and with a small smile begins to speak. "You know, I could prescribe you some sleeping pills if you want."

Lisbon cracks a smile at that and shifts against the wall, "I'll have to decline on that offer, but thank you."

The intern nods and smiles, and then turns towards her, extending her hand. "I'm Dr. Grey." She says and Lisbon takes her hand and shakes it.

"And you know me." She offers.

The intern cracks a smile, the elevator's doors slide shut and began their ascent upwards once more; skipping past the third floor all together, much to her alarm.

At her side Dr. Grey makes a face and sighs when the button for the fourth floor lights up, "Sorry about that, this elevator's pretty old." By the time she's done speaking the doors have opened once more; and she steps out, smiling and greeting an older man who's waiting on the other sides of the doors.

Lisbon watches as Dr. Grey embraces the man, and the pair promptly heads down the hall way, arms wrapped around each other; heads bent as they whisper softly.

They don't spare her a second glance, and as their forms begin to vanish from view the doors begin to slide shut, and just before they click shut she moves; stumbling out of the elevator and onto the fifth floor, where she then begins to run; dashing down the halls, right past the love stricken couple, who chuckle in her wake as she clears the hall.

She slows her run to a walk as she rounds the corner, getting her breathing in check rather quickly; and she pushes through the steady pulse wrapped around her ankle, and as she wraps her hand around the door knob of the ICU she realizes what she's doing.

And she's perfectly fine with it, and as she steps silently into the room; taking care as she shuts the door, she realizes that it'll be hours before Jane wakes.

And she's perfectly fine with waiting, she decides this as she slips past his bed, and sinks into the chair at his side, tilting her head towards the window; she settles in, bracing herself for another night alone with her thoughts.

And she's okay with that, because she knows what will come in the morning; she'll have her answers by then.


He's drowning.

That's what this feels like; his lungs are filled to the brim with the dark, churning water that surrounds him; there's a weight pressing against his stomach, and he knows it's his stomach pressing against his skin; unnaturally full with salty water.

He gasps and tosses his head back, hands scrabbling for nothingness; his fingers are numb and tingling softly, with the sharp prick of needles in several places. He squeezes his eyes shut and opens them; staring at the pitch black sky above, with the exception of the inkling of a few white stars.

He's drowning and he can't stop it.

He's going to drown, and die.

His eyes flutter shut; and he accepts it, shutting his mouth once more he lets the current pull him under, suck him deep down and wrap around him like a lover.

He never could stop it.


When he opens his eyes the first thing he see's is her silhouette, sharp and pure against the rising light of the morning, he turns his head; glancing at the clock.

6:07 AM

He turns back to her, and she shuffles in her spot turning around to face him and as she moves the sunlight cuts through the dark curtain of her hair; casting her face in a soft and gentle light, he watches as she swallows; she's got a confidant look on her face, everything about her is radiating in it; but her eyes betray her stance, the bent inwards light; the deer caught in the headlights.

He watches as she inhales; her shoulders lifting gently and she lifts her arms around her; hands curling at the opposing elbow, thumbs rubbing small circles. She sighs, and then inhales again and when she begins to speak her voice cracks; so she clears her throat and tries again, her voice is very, very tiny.

"What did you mean when you said you loved me?" She asks, and she blinks; the light in her eyes curls up right and tucks itself away, and the deer is only fearing death more so, rather than accepting it.

It's his turn to swallow now, to look like the deer trapped in the headlights of the oncoming car, and as his head begins to clear; pushing out the fog that came with sleep, a new reality takes hold; realization of what she's just asked.

He wonders if it's wrong, that he's not panicking, scrambling for excuses or answers.

He decides it isn't.

So, then he moves; lifting his left arm and stretching it across his chest, ignoring the way the heart monitor blares from its position in the corner. Scooping up the notepad from the bedside table, he then pulls his arm back and sinks into the pillows, gripping his price tightly. At once he uncaps the pen by pulling the cap off with his teeth, and balancing the sun splattered notepad against his thigh he begins to write, his words slow and sloppy at first as he attempts to see past the sharp white light radiating off the page, and then as he continues his words become legible, long and pristine; beautiful.

He then writes her an answer.


AN'S: I'm sorry, I'm such a tease .

And I'm also sorry that this update took so long! And that it's not as long as the previous chapter, it's just that I'm still in school at the moment and the past two weeks grades were closing for the third quarter, and I was left scrambling trying to raise them to something decent and then on top of that I've got a lot of crap going at the moment.

I also had to completely re-write this chapter because I was so unhappy with it the first time, and now again I'm still not happy with the ending. I feel like I've lost hold of where this story is going, and Jane and Lisbon's characters.

Anyway, I've got a vacation coming up in the next four days, so I'm hoping to write the fifth chapter then, and also some reviews and if you guys are enjoying this, or what could be improved would be really helpful.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter.

Also, about the slow updates, I've got another idea for a Mentalist fic, that I may or may not post…it involves Jane and a large medical problem (and it's not a bullet wound this time!) would anyone be interested in hearing more about that/reading it? Personally, I'd much rather write that, than this story. And if any of you want to be on the lookout for it, given that I most likely will write it, it'll be called; I'm not okay.