tromana: (mentalist: sympathy for the devil 2)
[personal profile] tromana
Title: Sympathy for the Devil (2/25)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] tromana 
Rating: M
Characters: Jane/Lisbon, Team + others
Summary: "Red John would like a word. He's annoyed at you for blemishing his good name." Jane/Lisbon
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: The Mentalist Big Bang 2010 Fic. For [livejournal.com profile] ch19777 . Thanks to: [livejournal.com profile] ch19777 , anthropologist, [livejournal.com profile] miss_peg , [livejournal.com profile] lilsmiles86 , [livejournal.com profile] boutondor  and [livejournal.com profile] phoenixwytch  for helping me with this fic in various ways. x

Previous parts: One

Warning for darkness/extreme violence in this part

Part Two

Her modest townhouse was cold and empty. Lisbon shivered slightly as she placed her keys down amongst the envelopes and other junk haphazardly placed on the table. She'd somewhat expected to feel like that as she walked through the door though. It had been less than a week since she'd moved in and she hadn't had a chance to put her stamp on it yet. To make sure she could identify it as being her home rather than just the place she stashed her belongings.

That was, if she could find the time to do such a thing.

Her recent promotion to head of a unit had eaten up a lot of her free time. That too was to be expected. It was a lot of responsibility and she knew a lot of her doubters thought it had happened to her far too young. Serious crimes naturally meant serious business and therefore there were people criticizing Minelli's decision left, right and center. Lisbon was merely grateful that he had given her a chance and was determined to prove the skeptics wrong.

Work wasn't the only problem. There was her family, the ongoing feud between herself and her brother, Jane…

Jane.

What was she going to do with him?

She wasn't even sure why she was so furious with him anymore. Even before they had struck up a friendship, she had known what he did for a career. She had been aware that he played on people's belief systems in order to get paid an unholy sum of money. That people respected and revered him simply because he told them what they wanted to believe.

So why did it bother her so much this specific evening?

Normally, she could ignore it. If it wasn't happening right in front of her nose, Lisbon could simply pretend it wasn't happening. Whenever he was consulting on a case for the CBI, he used his skills in a very different way. One which she could appreciate and one which usually led to a positive outcome. While he could claim he was doing good for his clients too, Lisbon still didn't like the fact that he was essentially playing mind games with them purely for personal gain. At least when he helped them to solve a crime, he brought about closure for the relatives of the victim and helped bring another criminal to justice.

Then, there was the Red John thing. The case was at a sensitive point. Then again, as it was a case involving a serial killer, it was always at a sensitive point. Jane knew that but he didn't bother deflecting the question from the chat show host. He had enjoyed the praise he received for helping the cops deal with such a dangerous killer. Though he had helped them considerably with several cases, Jane had been of little use when it came to Red John. The few leads he'd opened quickly dried up. Besides, his response to the question made them, made her, look incompetent. Like the CBI simply couldn't cope without his assistance.

It probably didn't help that it was near the anniversary of her father's death either. Every year the sting was a little less severe, but it didn't mean it didn't hurt. Recently, Lisbon had tried to remember him in a more positive light. She had attempted to forget how he simply gave up, how he killed himself rather than choosing to be the father he should have been to his four children. Left her to bring up her brothers and grow to resent them for holding her back.

Josh had already started pressurizing her to meet up on the day. Lisbon still didn't feel as though she could do it. Regardless of how much she tried to think of the man he was before their mother's untimely death, the bitterness always managed to seep back in. Thinking about the way he died just made it all the worse. That was why, even nearly twenty years after the event, she still couldn't face her siblings on that specific day. It was why their relationship had always been fractious, even after they had all grown up and more or less matured.

She was probably just taking out her frustrations on Jane. There was probably a grain of truth in what he had said; she had been projecting her weaknesses onto his clientele. Especially so because it was the time of year when she always felt a little bit more vulnerable than usual.

Lisbon knew she should apologize. Not for being angry over the Red John debacle - she was still going to have to deal with that - but for being oversensitive. Perhaps she should even build up the courage to explain to him exactly how she was feeling at the moment? While he knew the basics, he didn't know the details of her relationship with her father. The continual beatings, how she had become a replacement mother figure for the boys. Nor did he know what it was like to discover your Dad hanging lifelessly from the staircase, head bulging from a buildup of blood. Of course, he probably had worked some of it out, he was Jane, but there was a difference between that and actually talking.

If she loved him as much as she thought he did love her, regardless of the fact that he already had a wife, she really ought to learn to trust him too. To actually talk about her problems with him rather than bottling it all up.

She grabbed her keys, slipped on her jacket and headed to the door.

xxx

Jane ducked.

The frying pan missed his head by mere millimeters and he didn't even have the chance to catch his breath. The woman had a steely glint in her eye and just kept coming at him, determined to take his head off with the kitchen implement. He swiftly jumped onto and over the king-size bed, narrowly avoiding being hit.

Bounding downstairs, Jane immediately headed towards the kitchen and thus, the back door. If he managed to get outside, then he could hope his wife would actually give up and go home. Then, he'd have to find somewhere to stay. Possibly Lisbon's, if she had calmed down enough after her explosion earlier that evening. After that point?

Well, it seemed that a divorce was certainly on the cards. It was probably for the best; it was better that than being killed, after all. To think he was contemplating ways to try and avoid it earlier as well. The media reaction wouldn't be pretty, but compared to what he was dealing with right at that moment, it would be a piece of cake.

But thinking about the aftermath was for later. Right now, he had to get out of this mess unscathed.

Jane headed straight for the door, curled his fingers around the handle and roughly pulled it down. It wouldn't budge. In frustration, he repeated the action to no avail. Clearly, it was locked. Angela Ruskin-Jane had apparently anticipated his actions in advance, obviously having picked up a thing or two about the workings of the human mind from her husband.

He turned to see she had finally caught up. In her right hand, still, was the frying pan. An unusual choice of weapon, but she couldn't do anything normally. In the other, she rattled the keys triumphantly, proud to have second-guessed the master of manipulation.

Tentatively, he backed away from her, cursing his decision as the granite counter dug into his spine. Somehow, he had rather foolishly managed to get himself cornered. His hand shot back and, flailing slightly, Jane tried to grab hold of something, anything to defend himself. When his fingers came into contact with a carving knife, he breathed a sigh of relief. At least now they were more evenly matched when it came to weaponry and he could try and defend himself from her assault.

Regardless, he didn't want to kill her, just to hurt her and give himself enough time to get him and Charlotte out of this mess.

"Daddy?"

He hadn't expected to hear his little girl's voice and clearly, neither had Angela. Unfortunately, Jane had taken that moment to strike forward and missed his intended target - his wife's hip - and instead struck his daughter directly in the chest with full force. Barely milliseconds later, Angela swung the frying pan backwards and caught her across the head. The little girl stumbled backwards slightly and as if in slow motion, her knees crumpled and she collapsed to the ground in a bloody heap. Almost in time with Charlotte's fall, the knife fell out of Jane's hand and clattered against the tiled floor.

Then, everything fell silent for half a second.

Jane watched, eagle-eyed as his daughter's breathing slowed to a standstill, unable to move from his position by the counter. He didn't even think to call for the emergency services, but then again, neither did Angela. His wife moved suddenly and she fussed around the girl, seemingly fighting in vain against the inevitable, trying desperately to keep her breathing and her heart beating. Eventually, she left their daughter's body alone, giving up.

Slowly, she stood and rounded on Jane.

"You killed her," she whispered, before continuing louder. "You fucking bastard, you killed the only person who mattered to me."

"It wasn't me, it was…"

"You stabbed her."

"And you slammed a fucking frying pan in her face."

Angela's eyes were drawn to the frying pan and she swiftly picked it back up. Her daughter's demise seemed to have given her additional resolve; she wanted to finish off her husband once and for all. In a blind rage, she continued swinging the kitchen implement and Jane, somehow, managed to avoid each and every potential blow.

They'd had arguments before, but this just blew every other one out of the water. It was completely ludicrous, over the top and already had cost the lives of innocents.

If he had time to think about it, Jane would have simply laughed at their stupidity. Instead of agreeing to split up relatively amicably, they were actually trying to kill each other. Over extra-marital affairs. A subject neither of which could be judgmental about without being a hypocrite. Not that Angela seemed to see things that way. The realization that Lisbon was more than just a friend and work colleague to him had her in a blind rage.

Her ridiculous weapon narrowly avoided hitting his head, but collided with his left shoulder.

As his eyes watered in pain, he screwed them tightly shut and lunged forwards once more. Once, twice, three times he slashed with the knife. Each time, he expected her to retaliate and for himself to lose consciousness and yet, the blow never came.

When he opened his eyes again, Angela was laying beside her daughter.

xxx

He watched as the latex gloves melted over the twigs.

The air surrounding him was rancid and unsurprisingly so. Jane had had to destroy the pajamas he'd been wearing, the weapons, anything that was likely to incriminate him for murder. That was why he was at this quiet woodland, destroying objects in a controlled bonfire. It was a little risky, a bit foolhardy, but he knew what he was doing. It was the kind of thing his father had him do time and time again as a kid. Jane shuddered. His old dad may have been a deplorable citizen, but as far as he knew, he had never gone as far as murder. If he had, he didn't want to know either.

But he had. In self-defense, admittedly, though he doubted anyone would believe that. How could someone kill an innocent child and it still be classified as trying to protect oneself? That was why he had decided upon covering his tracks. That was why he was out in the middle of nowhere, watching a few of his belongings become nothing but ash. As soon as he was certain the evidence had been damaged beyond repair, he would douse the fire and head back home.

Considering what had just happened, his mind was surprisingly clear. He'd immediately known what he needed to do to get off the hook. It was blindingly obvious. Red John, being a vain figure, would probably have taken offense to what he'd said on the chat show. It wasn't entirely out of the question that he would seek revenge. What better way to prove a point than to kill the loved ones of a respectable public figure? That would utterly destroy most people.

So, after he'd realized just what he had done, he'd taken out a pair of kitchen gloves and daubed the smiley face on the appropriate wall in the master bedroom. As he'd dipped his fingers into Angela's blood, he'd gagged. He'd cringed as he'd butchered their bodies, making sure that both his deceased wife and Charlotte had the appropriate cuttings decorating their bodies. Theoretically, the cover up was meant to be the easy part and knowing what to do was. Jane had studied the Red John case files with Lisbon time and time again. Had multiple brainstorming sessions with her and the rest of her team. He knew the case back to front, inside out. It was relatively easy for him to stage the crime scene, having even seen a couple; he knew exactly how a Red John murder played out. The problem had been controlling his emotions, controlling his nerves while doing so.

And trying to keep Lisbon at the back of his mind.

How she'd react if she would ever discovered that he was responsible for murder was unthinkable. Lisbon was a cop and proud of it. Nothing made her happier than bringing a murderer to justice. To find out that the man she loved had committed such a serious crime would be devastating to her.

That was another reason why he'd had to make sure he covered it up.

He poured a bucket of water over the dying embers. Jane remained still as the smoke and fire slowly died out. Only when he was certain that it had been completely extinguished, did he leave.

Now he had to go and face the music, as it were.

He never noticed the face in the shadows, who had been watching him the entire time.

TBC…
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November 2011

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