Kindred Spirit

Rating: 12
Disclaimer: I do not own The Mentalist.
Season: Set during the current season. No direct spoilers though.
Summary: For ten years he had expected her to just accept that he had to do it…
A/N: Having come across a snippet of dialogue I wrote in May 2012 that lent itself well to the current storyline, Victoria encouraged me to write this. Many thanks to her for also reading it through for me and for the tips!
Date: 30th October 2013

... ... ...

Locking her car as she sprinted away from it, Lisbon took the external steps two at a time only slowing down when she reached Jane's motel room. His car was still in the lot so that provided her an ounce of relief: Not enough to make a dent in the fear she was feeling though.

She pounded on the door, thinking guiltily of the other guests who were most likely trying to sleep, but unwilling to change her strategy.

"Jane! Open the door!"

When he did it was clear that he was intending to leave; a bag was slung over his shoulder. She stood her ground in his path. She could see the determination still swirling in his eyes, in the set of his jaw, in the tension in his body.

"Don't do this!"

"Move out of my way."

"Jane, we need to do this properly."

"I asked for your help. Have you changed your mind?"

"I can't do what you want me to, Jane."

"Then let me pass."

"You need to calm down."

"There's only one thing I need to do and I'm going, with or without you. Which is it going to be?"

"I already told you -"

"Without you it is. Nice to finally know where I stand."

She held fast when he tried to move past her. "Where you stand?" There was anger in her tone now. "I have never made a secret of where I stand on the one thing you need to do."

"Neither have -"

"No. How stupid of me to expect that one day you would come to your senses."

He stopped his attempts to pass her when he fixed his eyes on her, disbelief now mingling with the rage. "To my senses?" he echoed, coldly.

It sent a shiver down her spine but she couldn't yield. "Yes. It's been over ten years, I -"

"I know exactly how long it has been. I know exactly how I have spent each and every day since I left the hospital and realised what I need to do."

"So you know how many days you have spent with me, then?"

He set his face to be impassive but she saw the glint of recognition before he hid it. He knew exactly what she was saying.

"So you know how much of my life I have -"

"It's your job, Lisbon. It's not the -"

"Don't you dare say it's not the same!"

"I need to -"

He tried to sidestep her but she pushed him back. A door opened further along the corridor but a quickly barked, "CBI," chased the curious neighbour back inside.

"No, Jane! No! I'm not going to let you do this!"

"I'm going to have to -"

He froze when she pulled her gun, aiming it at his chest. "And don't even think about knocking it out of my hand."

"You're not going to shoot me."

"I've punched you in the nose before."

"You're not going to shoot me. Look, I have to do this. He killed -"

"I know. I know why. I understand why. So you know why I can't let you go." The tears in her eyes could be heard in the cracking of her voice now.

"Teresa…"

"What if I say it? If I say it out loud, would you ignore it?"

She watched him closely, both for his reaction and for any sign that he intended to make a move for the gun.

"Don't do this, Teresa."

"We can get back up; we can do this properly."

"You need to let me go."

She shook her head. "I can't."

"You have to."

He took two steps to his left.

"Go inside!" she ordered.

He continued to step to the side, gradually manoeuvring out of the doorway.

"I can't do that."

"Jane!"

"Let me go."

When he took his next step, she lowered the gun and shot at the floor beside his foot. His surprise drew his attention to the ground and she took advantage, sweeping forwards and planting her fist on his nose. The force of the impact sent him backwards and she grabbed him and wrangled him into his room, kicking his bag in with him. He tried to fight her, managed to pull her to the ground, but a well-positioned hand to his bloody nose disabled him long enough for her to get the door closed behind them and station herself in front of it.

He lay on the ground in front of her, clutching his face, blood seeping between his fingers. Her chest heaved from the exertion and the emotion. Tears were falling onto her cheeks as she watched him, wary that he might fight through the pain and make another run for it. The window was not guarded, after all. She made sure she had a grip on her gun; had it fixed on him.

They stared at each other for a while until she couldn't take the silence anymore.

"I'm sorry," she told him, tearfully, noting the tears in his eyes. Whether they were from physical or emotional pain she supposed she would never know.

He shuffled backwards, pulling himself to a seated position, leaning against the bed. He, carefully, wiped his arm across his face, blood smearing onto his jacket.

"I love you," she stated by way of justification. And his nod confirmed that he understood. Because for ten years he had expected her to just accept that he had to kill Red John for murdering the people he loved.

"It was your love or my love," he muttered, "We couldn't both win."

"And I'm the one with the gun," she responded, sardonically.

He looked towards his discarded bag and she acknowledged that this could have gone differently.

"I'm surprised you came alone," he said next, his voice altered by his injury, his words laced with pain.

His eyes met hers then as realisation hit him. He cringed when his lips automatically curved into an ironic smile.

"I underestimated you," he murmured.

"You were trying to pretend that I'm not in love with you."

"How did you know where to send them?"

"I'm a detective."

"You played me."

"I protected you."

"Pot-ay-to, pot-ah-to."

"I let you believe that I was following your lead, yes. It was the only way."

He stared at her for a long moment, his eyes hard.

"Do you want me to be grateful?"

Though the ice in his voice was breaking her heart she wouldn't show it. "I want you to be alive and not under arrest."

There was further silence before he quipped, "Mission accomplished."

He closed his eyes and rested his head on the bed, but she was careful not to let her guard down.

And there they sat until Lisbon's phone rang in her pocket. Jane's eyes opened but he didn't move. He was no doubt feeling a similar churn of anxiety to that which was coiled in her stomach.

Keeping her gun on him, she fished out her phone, frowning when she saw who was calling. She answered and confirmed that, yes, she was at that motel, and that it was she who had fired a gun. She put the phone beside her after assuring them she didn't need back up.

Jane closed his eyes again and she suspected he was using self-hypnosis techniques to reduce his pain. She longed to clean him up; to give him pain relief; to take him to a hospital, but she knew it was too risky. He was unpredictable in his current state of mind; he had to stay right where he was.

For a long time the only sounds in the room were their breathing and a steady drip of water in the bathroom. She didn't know what she could say to him that would mean anything significant, and she presumed that he had no desire to speak to her. It hurt like hell, but it was far better than the alternative.

She started when her phone rang the next time and she snatched it from the floor upon seeing Cho's name on the screen.

"Cho?" she answered, then she felt her entire body sag with relief as she listened to him recount the situation.

Jane was looking at her again when the call ended.

"We got him," she whispered, because she couldn't get any more force past her flurry of emotions.

His expression didn't alter at all. She continued.

"He went for Cho, so they had to shoot him… He's dead."

For what seemed like an eternity Jane's hard, cold stare was locked on Lisbon and she had no idea what he was thinking; what he was feeling or what was going to happen next. It filled her with a whole new kind of fear, imagining that she had lost him; knowing she would most likely never see him again if she let him out of her sight. But she couldn't find any part of her that regretted the decisions she had made or the actions she had taken. She held his gaze firmly.

Then suddenly a sob broke free from Jane and she watched him crumble. He drew his knees up to his chest, his head falling to rest on them and he cried. His shoulders shook and he gasped for breath as he completely broke down.

Brought to tears herself, Lisbon secured her gun and swept to Jane's side, kneeling next to him so she could wrap him in her arms.

He leaned into her, his body shaking with the force of his cries. He mumbled an anguished, "It's over," and she held him more tightly.

She cried with him, grieving; processing everything they had been through, everything they had pushed past for the sake of reaching this point; uncertain of the future but relieved to be facing it.

She laid her head on top of his, further relieved when his arms wound round her waist and he pulled her closer.

She closed her eyes and held on for dear life as she echoed, "It's over."

THE END