Jane stared up at the ceiling in contentment.
Or at least, that's what he tried to convince himself.
The cot in his cramped jail cell was hard and uncomfortable, and he shifted a little to try and find a better spot. It didn't take him long to give up, though, so he just tucked his hands behind his head and stared some more.
Certainly, a great load had been lifted from his chest.
His wife's smile flashed before his eyes, but it seemed…forced. Did she not approve?
She was dead. She was in no position to disapprove of anything.
But would she?
It didn't matter. He had done it for her.
His daughter's laugh rang down the corridors of his memory…and suddenly, Jane felt a twinge of guilt.
Why did his daughter's laugh make him feel guilty for killing the man who had silenced it forever?
He had done what he had to do.
There was no way he should feel guilty for honoring his daughter's memory with blood. Even if she hadn't liked to see people hurt…even if she'd cried for days when she'd seen a dead animal…
He had known going in that it was the only way.
The only way he could prevent Red John from killing anyone else.
The only way his family would be avenged.
The only way he could sleep at night.
He wanted to be able to sleep, to sleep and not see their faces, their horribly mangled bodies, that awful, silently laughing face.
And he had done it.
He had done the one thing he had pinned all his hopes on.
So why was he lying here, staring at the ceiling?
Why wasn't he sleeping like a baby for the first time in years?
There was no reason for the guilt that prickled somewhere in his chest.
Jane rolled over on his side, trying to quiet his thoughts.
He was utterly amoral, did things only because they suited his purposes. He had decided that a long time ago.
He was ruthless. He only acted nice so that people would do what he wanted, only acted oddly so they would underestimate him.
So why wouldn't that damn prickle leave him alone?
He rolled back onto his back and closed his eyes, hands behind his head.
He was a picture of contentment.
He was so busy trying to relax that he didn't hear the soft sound of Lisbon's shoes when she came to see him.
Jane opened his eyes for a moment before returning to his state of relaxation.
"Fancy seeing you here, Lisbon."
The silence stretched out between them like taffy, threatening to break at any moment.
Finally, Lisbon shook her head.
"You really are hopeless."
"Well, of course I am. What else do I have left to hope for?"
Jane's tone was light, betraying nothing.
But then he made the mistake of looking at her.
When he saw the guilt in her eyes, his own guilt tripled.
She was looking straight at him, almost straight through him.
Her meaning was as clear as if she had spoken out loud.
It's my fault. I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to stop you from doing this.
Jane sat up and looked back at her.
"I told you what I was going to do."
Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly.
I didn't believe you.
"It's not like you could have stopped me."
She didn't respond, but she broke his gaze.
Yes, I could have.
"No, you couldn't have!"
She glanced back up, but her expression didn't change.
"Dammit, stop feeling guilty!"
Jane nearly threw himself at the bars, gripping them furiously while Lisbon stood unmoving a few inches away.
A few inches that might as well have been a continent.
They stood like that for a moment, and then Jane pulled the tattered remnants of his composure around himself and turned away.
"I knew what would happen. I don't regret it."
The silence descended over them again.
"I'm going to talk to the district attorney, see what we can come up with."
"You don't have to do that."
"I want to."
Jane turned back, hardening his expression.
"I've done nothing since I've known you but use you to get closer to Red John. I've gotten you into more trouble than you ever would have alone, and I did it on purpose. I've only ever done anything because it suited my goals."
But her sad eyes held a different message.
I don't think I believe you…
But I don't care.
"You really are hopeless," said Jane, returning to his cot and lying down.
"No. I still have something to hope for."
Lisbon turned to go, but paused.
"And I think you do, too."
Jane lay on the cot, arms behind his head, eyes closed, looking for all the world like he was already asleep.
But her words sank slowly into that empty place where he'd once had a heart.
He didn't believe them, of course. He'd accomplished his purpose, so he needed nothing else to hope for.
As her soft footsteps sank into nothingness on the long hallway, Patrick Jane felt himself sliding into the peaceful oblivion of sleep.