Actions

Work Header

Walking.

Work Text:

Life is a journey.

We all make the same trip from point a. to point b.

For each and every one of us, it's different.

Oh, the actual premise of life may be the same. Birth, childhood, adulthood, maybe marriage, maybe kids. Work for a living. Retirement and old age. A peaceful death, if you're lucky.

Some fall by the wayside, lose track of the path.

Others deviate, but find it eventually.

Everyone's walk is unique to them. Nobody can experience the same thing.

There's your truth, my truth and the cold, hard truth.

But everyone is always walking onwards. Until the end, that is.

Patrick Jane is no exception.

xxx

It starts with his mother in a rundown hospital. He's a writhing pink ball of flesh, ready to make his journey across the world.

Ready to make his mark.

His mom has big dreams for him, his dad, big plans.

Mom will coddle him; dad wants him to make a man out of himself.

Patrick Jane just doesn't know it yet; he's far too young for that.

But this, this is the first step of many.

And it's undeniably his. Nobody can take that away from him.

xxx

The first couple of years are easy street.

Open fields, bright sunshine. One step after the other. There's nothing except maybe the tangle of weeds to trip over and scrape a knee as a consequence.

But even childhood can have its troubles, so that simply makes sense.

Having the balance of both parents there means Patrick grows to be well-natured and balanced.

Each step along the walk is an adventure.

Just the way it's supposed to be in childhood.

xxx

His mother, so scared of losing him, so scared of his death, illness, unhappiness, she's the one to fall by the wayside first.

Arguably, it's because she was so fixated on young Patrick's future that she lost sight of her own. She strayed too far from the pathway, from the straight and narrow.

She stopped walking when she should have continued.

Patrick has to carry on walking, walking with just his father to hold his hand now.

Devious, cunning, sly Alex Jane is the one who is going to mold Patrick Jane now. His mother's tempering spirit has been lost to the ether, disappeared down a bottomless pit of despair.

He doesn't understand where she's gone, why she won't answer his cries.

How do you explain to a two year old that mommy has died?

You don't. You wait until later.

Because for now, the walk goes on and there's nothing else to do but walk to the slow and steady beat of the world.

xxx

He shows promise at a young age.

Or at least, in his father's eyes, he does.

Alex Jane, during his walk of life, has always played mind games and tricks on those around him. Only a few months after his mother's death, young Patrick is already able to trick him out of things.

Patrick has an eye for detail; he spends time looking at the dragonflies and butterflies on this walk of life. He understands how they fit into the scenery and make ripples along the environment.

This is a natural talent, Alex presumes.

And if not, it's a reaction to the loss of his mom.

Whichever, it's a way of making money.

The steps that Alex has been taking around this town, the one he'd settled in to make a family with Patrick's mother is beginning to bite back.

There's only so much they can blame on grief, after all.

Now, he's becoming a public nuisance. And they're learning the tricks of his trade.

Not much money can be made out of those too canny to be duped.

It's time to keep on walking.

When a carnival rolls into town, Alex knows what the next step is on Patrick's journey.

He'll make one hell of a psychic – fake or otherwise - one day.

xxx

The carnival circuit feels like a dark and dank forest.

He's been ripped out of kindergarten and thrown into a whole different world. It's scarier, too.

No longer can he cling onto his mom's hand as he stumbles forwards. With each step, his dad may be beckoning him towards him, but the trees creep closer and become more oppressive.

This part of the journey just feels… wrong.

However, he knows that he's willingly falling into step behind his father.

Who else can show him where to walk? There's nobody else who has always been there for him, nobody else he can trust to show him the way.

So, they carry on walking together, father and son.

As far as he knows right now, it's just the way of the world.

xxx

Life takes a steep incline when he realizes just how much he hates what he's become.

It's partially, however, because of the light shining through the leaves in the forest.

In Jane's life, that light comes in the form of his future wife, Angela Ruskin.

She breathes a breath of fresh air into him, a cool breeze to settle his itching skin. Angela reminds him of all that's good in the world. More than that; she gives him hope.

Hope that someday soon, he'll be walking right out of this forest of a carnival circuit. Away from the wolves and bears and other demons that, more often than not, come in the form of his father.

Away from the deceit, the lies, the false promises.

The ghostly whispers on the wind.

The supposedly safe steps that lead to beastly traps.

The fruits and berries that turn out to be poisonous.

He knows he's taken a wrong turning now, but soon, she'll lead him back to right path.

Soon, he and Angela will be walking together, hand in hand.

xxx

They make their escape.

Running, running.

Freefalling now.

Sooner or later, they'll hit the ground with a bump.

xxx

Mundanity soon takes over.

Burst pipes, electricity bills, warring landlords.

Each pitfall needs to be avoided by using careful stepping stones from one to the next. If you let your feet get caught in the water, you'll soon be swept away.

However, it's boring. Average. Too normal.

Patrick isn't used to normal, not anymore. His dear old dad had chosen his path for him and as consequence, took normalcy out of the equation.

Still, he keeps plodding along. At least he has Angela by his side. They're married now, but already, he's feeling the urge to find something different to do.

"I'm pregnant," she whispers as they lay down in the same old bed, in the same old apartment, after the same old work day.

Well, that's something new.

xxx

On the day of the birth, there's a mad dash to the hospital.

No time to stop and smell the roses, not now.

Besides, Patrick Jane has never run so fast in his life.

Thankfully, each footstep falls naturally, one after the other.

It doesn't matter that he's left a captive audience in bated breath. There's a far more important priority in his life now.

Angela's screaming blue murder by the time he reaches her side. He shuffles forward, guilty, apologetic. Patrick knows he should never have taken on that gig. But he couldn't help it; the money had been too good to ignore.

It's just what they need to set up home for their precious bundle of joy. Or that's how he justifies the choice to himself, at any rate.

He waits with bated breath until final, with one last scream, Charlotte Anne Jane is born.

Patrick is rapt when his daughter is placed into his arms.

His journey isn't just his own anymore.

He's got Charlotte to worry about too, now.

xxx

Walking, walking.

He has to keep a steady pace now, to let young Charlotte keep up with him. Patrick's guiding the way for her now, showing her where it's safe to take her next step. Letting her fill his footprints with her own.

It's a huge responsibility, something he's intrinsically aware of. Regardless, it's a burden he has no choice but to shoulder now.

They head to the Pacific, watching as the waves crash to shore. Clouds paint pictures in the sky.

Patrick ruffles the hair of his daughter's head.

Still moving onwards, still walking.

They cannot stay in one place for too long.

Who can?

xxx

They're at a crossroads now, he and Angela.

She wants him to quit the psychic business, to really settle down with her and Charlotte.

For him, it's a necessity. It's what keeps him going, keeps him walking.

But she hates it, more than words can say. She's begged him time and time again to quit, but this time she really means it.

As far as she's concerned, he's playing with the devil himself. Sooner or later, somebody's going to hurt. He'll get trapped into a corner or attacked by some other monster. And she, she'll be left to scrape up what's left of him.

She gives him an ultimatum and reluctantly, he agrees.

But only after one last show.

This one, he promises, will pay off the mortgage of their Malibu home.

xxx

Dark shadows cast aspersions over his pathway.

The drive home has that innate sense of wrongness about it; like a scratch he cannot itch.

It gets worse the moment he opens the front door.

At this time of the morning, the kitchen should be a hive of activity. Angela should be busily preparing breakfast, rushing to and fro like time is of the essence. Charlotte should be charging to the front door, eager to greet daddy home.

This is their safe corner for their walk of life. Their brief respite on the top of the hill. The one thing all three of them can guarantee on.

But something is most certainly not right here.

Eventually, he treads on upstairs.

A note is pinned to the door of the master bedroom.

He reads it, intrigued.

Immediately, he discovers that somebody has been running faster than him all this time. Now, they've finally caught up.

People's journeys are not entirely individual, they're interlinked. Everyone has an effect on the next person's travels.

And the serial killer known as Red John has sent him plummeting into a dark pit.

It looks like there's no way out of this one.

xxx

Sometimes, help can come from the place you least expect it.

Jane has never liked shrinks they're one of the very few people who can read a person's body language and it unnerves him. And yet, Sophie Miller, a well and truly qualified psychiatrist, is the one to pull him out of this black hole.

No more walking around in circles for him anymore.

Now, he has a purpose and a reason to continue on his journey once more.

Kill Red John; avenge his wife and daughter's deaths.

That's all that matters to him now.

xxx

Jane's found that old connections haven't forgotten him.

They're still keen to help him over the boulders that block the way ahead.

Still keen to influence which paths he should and should not take.

Soon enough, the right people offer their services. In time, he's installed within the CBI, offering his services to the Serious Crimes Unit.

He's under the tutelage of a Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon now.

Supervisory agent seems like such an ominous phrase.

Then again, he's never had one of those before. Back in the day, it had been his father telling him where he should be walking. After that point, when he had made his great escape with Angela, he had become his own free agent.

Still, sacrifices have to be made if he wants to get out of this alive. Sophie may have helped him out of a hole, but he's still lost in the woods. This time, they're bigger, darker, and more ominous than ever before.

However, he knows he has to take this one step at a time.

And he's one step closer to fulfilling his task.

xxx

It doesn't take him long to work out the walks of life that the other people he's working with have been through.

Kimball Cho has been through the mill. He's a tough nut to crack, probably as a result of the environments he's been exposed to. When it rains on his life, it rains heavily. When the sun shines, it's burning hot. Cho is a man of extremes, but faces it with a singular expression. That's his war against the world. Nothing more, nothing less.

Wayne Rigsby has had a heavy load to carry while he walks onwards. Not the heaviest, not by any stretch of the imagination, but enough to give him a chip on his shoulder. Life could have been kinder to him, but the same applies to any individual. However, it could equally have been a lot worse. He still knows how to smile, how to whistle while he walks. He's still getting more than enough joy out of his journey.

Comparatively speaking, Grace Van Pelt has had the smoothest journey out of the lot of it. However, she's caught up in the finer detail. The way other people see her as she travels onwards, how she can get to the same point as other people further along the road. She's too busy rushing onwards to stop and appreciate what she really has.

And then there's Teresa herself.

She wears too many masks to protect herself.

Like him, and to a lesser extent, Cho, Patrick Jane knows that's evidence of her childhood, her upbringing.

To get to where she is now, she's had to work the hardest out of the lot of them. And she's not giving up on it without a fight.

She's single-minded on her task; focused on one point in the future. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

He understands and respects that feeling all too well. After all, is it not what he is truly in search of?

Immediately, he takes a dislike to the ills she's had to endure. He doesn't know quite what they are yet.

When he finally falls into sync with her, he will though.

For now, he's just going to have fun.

What are feathers for if not for ruffling?

xxx

He remains two steps behind Red John at all times, or so it seems.

Yet, the serial killer is still playing the long game.

Every so often, he fells one of the mighty oaks that have become protective barrier around Patrick.

Sam Bosco.

Kristina Frye.

Luther Wainwright.

It's a reminder of what he once promised to do.

And that all the power remains in the hands of Red John. Patrick, meanwhile, is always the one trying to play catch up.

Priorities shift.

Allegiances are formed and destroyed at the drop of a hat.

Rebecca.

Craig O'Laughlin.

Madeleine Hightower.

Brett Stiles?

There's a small group of people who remain faithfully by his side, though. He doesn't know what he's done to deserve them, but they're there.

Grace Van Pelt.

Kimball Cho.

Wayne Rigsby.

Teresa Lisbon.

Especially Teresa.

She's the only one to remain utterly steadfast since his wife.

It almost feels as though Angela has passed the baton onto her. It's now Teresa's turn to protect him from all the ills the world has decided that he deserves, one way or another.

As long as she's walking beside him, he feels safe.

Secure.

Once more, he has the vain hope that, one day, the journey will get easier.

xxx

He's at another crossroads now.

Can he admit that he's fallen in love with another woman?

Or should he continue living in denial?

Is it safer that way? Are there fewer dangers along the road?

Or is he just too scared of what may lie ahead?

In reality, he knows that whichever path he chooses to take, it has repercussions on somebody else's journey.

Now, he can choose to either walk alone or walk hand in hand with somebody else.

Stop looking at the bigger picture and start appreciating the smaller, finer and infinitely more beautiful detailing.

Or he can just continue on this dangerous quest for revenge.

A journey which will only end in one, inevitable, way.

His priorities have shifted since he joined the CBI.

Patrick hadn't expected that; he'd always believed that he would remain focused on the task in hand.

However, he'd never counted upon meeting somebody like Teresa.

Somehow, he's always needed somebody, anybody, by his side to help guide him along.

Teresa hasn't run anywhere yet. She's more than happy to keep pace with him.

In the end, it seems like there's no decision to be made at all.

end