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White Peace

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Peace. It was peace she saw in his eyes.

Lisbon had needed a few seconds to read Jane’s expression – she had never seen it on him before. Usually he pretended to be cheery, sometimes he was mischievous and on rare occasions did he openly show his pain. But never before had he looked peaceful. When he was awake there was always grief in those sad eyes of his, and when he was asleep, the tension never completely left his features.

She had studied him more than once. She knew she probably shouldn’t, that it was creepy and he wouldn’t want it, but she couldn’t help it. She couldn’t help but wonder how he managed to keep going with all that weight on his shoulders.

The weight that was gone now. For the very first time she saw him calm, almost relaxed. Like the burden that had pressed him down for so long had suddenly vanished.

She had known he was out for revenge, he had never made it a secret, on the contrary even. But she had always believed she could keep him from killing the man who had taken his wife and child from him. Or at least she had told herself that. Herself and her various superiors. Had she really ever believed it?

He hadn’t... He had always told her he would get what he wanted, that Red John was his, was going to die, and that she could do nothing to stop him.

If she was honest with herself she knew she had pushed the thought aside, had dismissed it, shoved it in the back of her mind to be dealt with later. When the time came she couldn’t avoid it anymore. Because she had been a coward. Not brave enough to admit that she wouldn’t be able to stop him. That she maybe didn’t even want to...

Because she could understand him. She could understand why he wanted to end the monster’s life, to slay the dragon himself that had held him hostage for so long. For him, it was the only way to ever get a life again, to ever find peace again. A peace he wouldn’t get when Red John was simply put on trial. Even if the man was sentenced to death it wouldn’t be the same.

But she couldn’t possibly admit to that. She was a state agent, she was law enforcement. She had to go by the rules and believe in the system. Didn’t she? There was no space for personal feelings and certainly not for lynch law.

So she had ignored the small voice telling her that maybe he was right. Had pretended it wasn’t there and had continued to operate by the book. Mostly.

But now she saw the peace in Jane’s eyes. He was sitting in front of her, cuffed to the table in an interrogation room, his fingerprints on the murder weapon and a dozen witnesses who had seen him shoot the man. The case was airtight, there was no getting out for him.

Yet there was just peace. He didn’t care what came next for him, even less so than before. His life’s mission was carried out, completed. What came next didn’t matter anymore. Because he had brought justice to his family and had found peace for himself.

And so she couldn’t help but wonder. Wonder if maybe his actions had been right after all.