tromana: (mentalist: jane summer rain)
[personal profile] tromana
Title: War of Words
Author: [livejournal.com profile] tromana 
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Red John, Death, Jane
Summary: Sequel to Nightminds. Death isn’t done meddling with Jane, yet.
Spoilers: 3x24 Strawberries and Cream
Disclaimer: I do not own The Mentalist or Discworld. Alas.
Notes: My mind continues to work in very strange ways. Crossover with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Written for the Paint It Red ficathon and [livejournal.com profile] mentalistprompt .

War of Words

The scythe cut through the air with practiced ease. In reality, his soul should have been severed from his body hours ago, but as would be expected of a serial killer, he clung on. It was only when Death finally arrived from Discworld, that Red John was capable of leaving the land of the living.

Even after the whole scythe routine, he continued to lay stock still, instead of rising up in an ethereal form.

Death kicked him.

THAT’S ENOUGH PRETENDING.

There was no response. Truth be told, he didn’t expect there to be. Characters like Red John were always a little… tricky. For some reason, they could never accept that they were actually dead, that it was the end of everything. They always liked to pretend they were him, the one who made the decision between life and death. Seemed to forget that they, too, were mere mortals. That Death would come for them sooner or later. Usually the former, rather than the latter, for some reason.

Death kicked him again. It didn’t hurt either of them; Death had no feeling in his bones and Red John, was, well, dead.

COME ON, NOW.

Reluctantly, Red John rose to his feet, leaving his physical form behind. He barely seemed to notice that he was surrounded by forensics people and police officers. His eyes were simply focused on the figure in front of him.

“The bastard, he actually shot me,” Red John stammered after he stood. “I didn’t think he’d even be armed.”

KILLED, Death corrected.

“Excuse me?”

HE KILLED YOU, he clarified. I HAD HOPED HE WOULD RESIST THE TEMPTATION IN THE END.

“Who are you, anyway?”

I THOUGHT THE CLOAK AND SCYTHE GAVE IT AWAY.

“And I thought that you were just a figment of people’s imaginations.”

They both fell silent for a moment as Death considered the statement. Red John took the time to truly take in the one enemy he never had a chance to defeat. Then again, who would actually win against Death himself? Even if they did, it was just stalling the inevitable.

THERE MAY BE SOME ELEMENT OF TRUTH IN THAT.

“So, it’s all over now?”

IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE, Death responded, FAREWELL.

As the man faded from view, Death turned on his heels. Theoretically, that was all he was needed for on Roundworld, but he didn’t feel like leaving. Not yet, anyway.

Besides, he knew the Rat had followed him and he wasn’t entirely sure where he had got to.

xxx

It didn’t find him long to find the Death of Rats.

The creature, whom he rather likened as being the part of his soul that he didn’t want to know about, was nibbling at a discarded sandwich. It didn’t seem all that impressed by it either, but that didn’t stop it from persevering. Food was food and it wasn’t about to be picky at any time.

The person who was meant to be eating the sandwich was lying on a makeshift bed. He didn’t seem to care that a skeletal rat was devouring his dinner.

YOU SHOULD STOP EATING THAT, Death stated at the Death of Rats before turning to face Jane. HELLO, MR. JANE.

Jane’s eyes sprang open. He’d heard - or rather - sensed that voice before, but couldn’t seem to place it. Death was somewhat saddened. If Jane had remembered that brief conversation they had shared before, then maybe things would have turned out differently. Then again, maybe not. Grief could have the strangest of effects on people, he’d learned. Or rather, it made them do stupid things.

Patrick Jane was evidence of that.

Death was aware of the network Jane had built up around him, especially the connection he had with Teresa Lisbon. And yet, he had been willing to throw it away for what? Nothing, in the scheme of things. Red John was always going to die, sooner or later; Jane had simply sped up the process by firing that gun.

“I remember you,” Jane eventually said, staring at him.

GOOD. IT IS A SHAME THAT YOU DIDN’T TAKE MY ADVICE.

“What advice?”

IT IS OF NO IMPORT.

“Surely it must be, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.”

I WAS LOOKING FOR HIM.

He vaguely indicated towards the Death of Rats, who was still making light work of the sandwich. Jane’s eyes followed the bony finger and he was almost surprised to see the skeletal rat. Then again, it was almost a surprise to see Death, once more.

SQUEAK, the Death of Rats said indignantly.

NO, I DID NOT IMPLY YOU ARE RELATED TO CATS IN ANY WAY, Death answered sharply, BE QUIET AND EAT YOUR SANDWICH.

SQUEAK!

OF COURSE I CAN CHANGE MY MIND.

“What did he say?” Jane interrupted, thoroughly intrigued by the fact two skeletons were apparently having a conversation in front of him.

THAT I ACCUSED HIM OF BEING THE FATHER OF A CAT.

“And I assume he was also reminding you that you contradicted yourself?”

THAT TOO.

Jane nodded, mulling the situation over. Briefly, he wondered when he would be transferred to jail; he’d already given Cho everything they needed. Of course he was going to admit to Red John’s murder; he’d have been foolish not to. After all, the number of witnesses alone was more than apparent and besides, they had the murder weapon too.

“How did you get in here?”

I CAN WALK THROUGH WALLS.

“Of course. Am I going mad?”

I DON’T KNOW, Death answered. ARE YOU?

He shrugged in response and continued staring at the ceiling. It had been a very strange day and Jane wasn’t really in a fit state to do anymore of that.

YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE KILLED RED JOHN, Death continued.

“Why not?”

HIS TIME WAS RUNNING SHORT ANYWAY.

“What does that mean?” Jane immediately shot back. “Why am I even bothering?”

I CANNOT SAY I KNOW THAT EITHER.

Once more, they fell into silence. Jane was becoming increasingly convinced that he was having another hallucination. That it was a result of finally achieving what he had set out to do all those years ago. It was some kind of automatic reaction. Not guilt because he’d killed a man, but guilt due to the effect it had on those who bothered to care about him. Death, meanwhile, was growing frustrated at Jane’s lack of remorse. On the night his wife had died, he had tried to warn him that this wasn’t the best method. Of course, what he had said had been too subtle for the human mind to understand.

WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW, Death eventually said and the Death of Rats appeared to agree. WE HAVE OUR DUTIES TO ATTEND TO.

“Will I see you again? Because I’d really rather not.”

OH, ONE DAY, MR. JANE, Death answered. EVERYBODY DOES, SOONER OR LATER.

end
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November 2011

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