Lisbon woke up to a shrill ringing by her left ear. She cracked her eyes open slowly, hissing slightly at the bright light streaming through the curtains. She had somehow managed to make it from the bathroom floor to the couch. She had a splitting headache and felt sick to her stomach. The ringing grew louder with each passing moment. She groaned as the noise resounded through her head, seeming to bounce off her skull. Picking up the phone, she sat up slowly, answering with a curt "Lisbon."
"Boss." It was Cho. "We got a full confession from Sophie. Turns out the knife belonged to Joe Harkins, that's why his prints were on the knife, it seems she was bright enough to wear gloves. She wanted the manager job so she had a few extra bucks to buy drugs for her and Joe. Then she overheard Suzie telling someone she was pregnant with Joe's child. So she killed her."
"Ok, thanks Cho." Lisbon put her head in her hands.
"No problem boss. Looks like you don't have to come in today. Have a nice weekend off."
Lisbon hung up her phone and looked up, taking in her surroundings for the first time that morning. Greer was curled up on an armchair, still seemingly asleep. The bottle of scotch was worryingly empty- turns out she had drunk a LOT more than she had initially thought. There was a bucket placed on the floor by the head of the couch.
She groaned, bringing her hand up to her forehead. She had hoped everything had been another terrible nightmare, but the mostly empty bottle of scotch confirmed her fears. Her heart contracted. This was going to destroy Jane. Hadn't this man been through enough? She sighed, her breath catching a little on the silent sob that escaped her throat. This was going to be torture keeping this from him. She now understood why Greer hadn't told her from the start. She had been trying to protect her. Lisbon sniffed, wiping her face from the tears that had fallen without her knowing.
She heard Greer shift and looked up to find too blue eyes staring at her. It was a look Jane had given her many times, the type that made you think they were looking right into your soul.
"I'm ok." Lisbon verified, clearing her throat.
Greer got up and padded over to the couch. She sat down beside Lisbon and put a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry you had to find out like this. And I'm sorry that I've burdened you with my secret. I know he's your friend, but all I'm asking is you leave it for a few more days. I need to be able to tell him in my own time."
Lisbon looked at Greer with concern.
"Greer, you do realise, the longer you wait, the harder it's going to be."
"I know! I know… I'm being selfish… but I just want a couple more days. I'm sorry Teresa… this is exactly why I tried to hide this from you." Greer looked down at her hands. She had made a mess of everything.
"I'm glad you told me in the end. I can help. Patrick Jane is not easily deterred… well once an idea gets in his head, he'll stop at nothing. He can read me like an open book… you have to be careful… we have to be careful."
Lisbon leaned back, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"I'll get you some aspirin." Greer said standing up and making her way to the kitchen.
"Thanks." Lisbon said gratefully, leaning against the back of the couch. "How much did you end up drinking last night?"
"I only had the one." Greer replied.
"So your saying that I managed to drink almost two thirds of a bottle of scotch last night?"
"Yeah… I guess I am…"
Greer returned with the pills and a glass of water. Lisbon nodded her thanks.
"Oh… god. Jane's going to be so annoyed! He's done so much the last week or so, trying to help me.. and in just one night…"
"Teresa. I'll keep your secret from him too… it's the least I can do. You were great last night…" a sly grin showed on her face "up until about two, when you passed out on the couch."
Lisbon groaned. Her stomach was rolling, obviously the water was a bad idea.
"Teresa… are you ok?"
Less than half a second later, Lisbon found herself with her head in the bucket, throwing her guts up. Greer patted her awkwardly on the back. Lisbon retched one more time before leaning against the back of the couch again, eyes closed, with her hands clasped to her abdomen.
"How do you do this all the time? How can you handle the hangover every morning?"
"I don't know." She moaned. "All I know is I swear I'm never going to drink again, then by the evening, I'm at it again."
Greer patted her sympathetically on the arm.
"What about hypnosis? I'm sure Patrick would be happy to help."
"How do you know he hypnotises people?"
"Oh… he showed me once." She smiled sheepishly. "On Rigsby."
"Oh really." Lisbon said in an icy tone. She opened her eyes. "But no. I don't like the idea of someone digging around inside of my mind. Let alone Jane."
Greer smiled to herself. She knew exactly why Teresa didn't want Patrick inside her mind. She was scared he would find out things. Things that would embarrass the crap out of her if someone knew about. But really, if Patrick did know, it wouldn't exactly matter, because Greer was sure he had the same secret.
"What time is Jane due here?" Lisbon asked, standing up to dispose of the bucket.
"In about half an hour." Greer replied and Lisbon walked back into the room, bucket free.
"Half an hour? Shit."
"It's ok Lisbon… we can just pass it off as a tummy bug or something… say the Chinese didn't agree with you or something."
"Yeah… yeah you're right…" Lisbon said, sitting back down beside Greer.
"I think a rest day would be good for all of us. I know both of you have been through a lot the last week."
"And, not to mention how last night turned out for you." Greer nodded. "What brought that on?"
Greer shrugged her shoulders.
"I was upset. I spent the first half of the night crying… I guess I got myself that worked up that I induced an episode."
"Oh, Greer." Lisbon said softly. "Why were you so upset?"
"The guilt. Just everything. Everything started building up. I see how much you and Jane care about each other, and I see how much pain he is in, and now I'm just going to make it worse." She started fidgeting with her nails.
"But Greer, it's not your fault. You didn't know about Red John, about his family. You weren't to know what kind of past he had." Lisbon reached out and patted the girl on the arm. She knew she had meant well. And she knew that this was hurting her almost as much as it was going to hurt Jane.
"I know, but I still can't help but feel like I'm ripping his heart out all over again. This is going to hurt him."
"Yes it will, but he's going to be ok. Eventually."
Greer look at Lisbon, her eyes serious.
"Teresa, you need to be there for him. You're going to have to be his shoulder. You understand? I'm counting on you to look after him… after… when I'm gone."
"I will Greer. I will."
Lisbon felt a soft tear trail down her cheek.
"It will be ok Teresa. It has to be." Greer said, almost as if she was more trying to convince herself than Lisbon.
"I know it will. It will take time, but Greer… don't feel too guilty. You've given Jane something he hasn't been able to find in eight years. You've given him hope. And I don't think he had even realised he was still capable of feeling that way."
They sat there in silence a little longer, both lost in thought. Greer was the first one to break the silence.
"Well, Patrick will be here soon, and if we're going to pass your sickness off as a stomach bug, well we have some work to do."
Greer got up and started clearing the scotch glasses. Lisbon smiled gratefully at the girl and stood up again to help.
Soon the scotch bottle was cleared and the bucket was cleaned and back at the head of the couch. They had chucked a few more blankets on the couch and popped more pillows at either end.
Lisbon sat down on the couch in defeat. She was exhausted.
"Well at least you look sick." Greer smirked at her.
"Yeah… so do you. Which helps my Chinese food excuse."
"Yeah, I guess it does… but Lisbon, you really don't look well. You really need to try to stop."
"I am trying, Greer. Last night I just couldn't though."
"I understand Lisbon. Just look after yourself ae."
"I'll have to." Lisbon lay back on the couch, snuggling under the covers.
Greer nodded, understanding what she was thinking. Soon she would have to look after Jane as well, and her being drunk or hungover all of the time, wasn't going to help Jane very much.
"Patrick will be here soon." Greer said before disappearing into the bathroom, returning with a damp facecloth.
"Final touch." She said placing the cold cloth of Lisbon's forehead. Lisbon sighed when the cloth brought a little relief to her headache. She had vomited the aspirin back up and she wasn't sure she wanted to try to take more.
"Thank you Greer. But really, you should be the one resting… not me."
"Teresa, don't feel guilty. For as long as I am able, I'm going to lead as much of a normal life as possible. And that doesn't include lying down and resting all of the time. It's not going to change anything."
Lisbon sighed. She hated this. She was too young. Aside from a few dark rings under her eyes and a pale complexion, she looked like a normal healthy teenager. It was then a thought came to her.
"Don't take this the wrong way, but are you wearing a wig?" she asked timidly.
Greer smiled nervously.
"I was wondering when that was going to come up." She lifted her hands to her head, pulling of her long golden locks. In place, much shorter, thinner curls covered the top of her head. "I chose the wig that mostly resembled my own hair― before the chemo that is." She pulled the wig back in place.
Lisbon nodded. She was at a slight loss for words. She was saved by a knock at the door.
"That will be Patrick. Pretend to sleep or something." Greer whispered.
Well that's going to be easy enough. Lisbon thought, as she was currently fighting to keep her eyes open. Her stomach still felt uncomfortable, groaning she rolled onto her back, adjusted the cloth and closed her eyes.
Greer greeted Patrick at the door. He smiled a huge smile at her, which she returned whole-heartedly.
Greer stood aside to let him in, signalling at the same time for him to be quiet.
"What's going on? Jane asked in a whisper.
"Lisbon's not well… I think it was the Chinese food from last night. She's was up half the night." Greer replied, quite proud of herself, seeing as this was mostly true.
"Oh.. that's no good at all. Is she ok?" Jane asked, a flicker of worry in his voice. Greer smiled internally, this only proved they cared for each other.
"Yeah she's ok I guess. As ok as anyone would be if they had been throwing up their stomach contents for about five hours." She replied with a hint of sarcasm. "She's carked it on the couch. So I was thinking, maybe we could have a movie day or something?"
"That sounds like a great idea!" Jane said smiling. "It would be great to be able to do nothing for once." He stated.
They made their way into the lounge to which Jane was greeted by a very sickly looking Lisbon.
"Jane…" she cracked. "I'm sorry. I hope you didn't have anything planned for today."
"No, no Lisbon. A movie day sounds great." He moved towards the couch, sitting on the coffee table in front of her.
"You ok?" he asked again.
"Yeah… I'm ok. Sore stomach, sore head." She mumbled. Greer watched amused, Lisbon really was good at making Jane concerned about her. She knew she wasn't feeling well, but she still thought she was doing a fantastic job of making herself seem sicker than she was. Jane reached out unconsciously, placing his hand on her cheek.
"Hmmm… you do feel a little warm. But I see Greer has you covered." He said motioning towards the cloth.
"Greer has taken great care of me." She confirmed, catching Greer's eye.
"That's good. I'm glad you weren't alone last night when it hit." He brushed her cheek once more before returning his gaze to Greer. "Why don't you pick out a movie? They're just in that cupboard." Jane said pointing to the cupboard under the TV.
"How do you know where I keep my movies?" Lisbon asked questioningly.
"The night I stayed here, I confess I may have watch a couple." Jane smiled at her.
They watched Greer pick through the movies before she pulled out a black and orange DVD cover.
"I've never seen this before." Greer said holding up the cover.
"You've never seen Chicago?" Lisbon asked from the couch.
"No… I've only ever heard of it."
Jane motioned for Greer to set it up, before he stood up, moved to the head of the couch, where he lifted Lisbon gently by the shoulders.
"Jane? What are you doing?" she squeaked.
"Just trying to make you a little more comfortable." He replied as he sat down, pulling up so she was cradled against his chest. "Just relax." He ordered and she did.
Greer bent her head and started smiling. She finished setting the movie up and turned to sit on the recliner.
They had only made it through the first number of "All That Jazz" before Jane felt Lisbon relax into him. He looked down and smiled at the sleeping woman.
Throughout the movie. Jane kept looking over at Greer. He could see how much she was loving the singing and dancing. He would have to take her to the theatre one day.
When the movie finished and Greer had turned the TV off, Jane carefully shifted Lisbon so he could look at Greer properly.
"I was looking at houses this morning. I found a great two bedroom place near the CBI. It would be close for me to go to work and when you come and see me you'll have a place to live. I know you will have to go home to see your mother… but I do hope you will come and see me regularly."
"Yeah… of course I will." Greer smiled, her mask firmly in place. She was holding onto it as if it were a life line. He was planning… Oh god!
"Maybe, once you know what you want to do, you could go to a university near here." Jane said excitedly.
"Yeah. Maybe I could!" Greer said, acting excited also.
Lisbon was lying in Jane's lap with her eyes still closed. As far as they knew, she was still asleep. Shit. He was planning. He was planning a future he was never going to get, because his daughter has cancer. Jane was going to be destroyed when he found out… and she was keeping this from him. With each passing second it was only going to get harder… on all three of them. Lisbon fought back the tears that were threatening to spill down her cheeks.
"I can't wait to build a life with you." Jane said.
That did it. She couldn't hold it in any longer. She mock grabbed her stomach and put a hand to her mouth before she bolted for the bathroom. Slamming the door and locking it behind her. She heard Jane say he would go in and check on her. She turned the tap on to drown out the sound of her sobs.
Her best friend was going to breakdown, and she was going to be the one that had to pick up the pieces. A strangled sob escaped her throat. Why couldn't someone just cut the poor guy a break. He had already lost his family once, and now he was going to have to lose it all over again.
She heard a small knock at the door. She stayed silent, knowing full well she couldn't let Jane see her like this. He would ask questions.
"Teresa? Its Greer… can I come in?"
At the sound of Greer's voice, Lisbon got up and let the girl inside, she locked the door behind her.
As soon as the door was shut, Lisbon found herself sitting on the floor, sobbing into Greer's shoulder. She didn't cry out loud often, only when she was in a great deal of pain. After a few minutes, she seemed to compose herself and she pulled away from Greer's embrace.
"I'm sorry." She said dumbly.
"It's ok Teresa. It gave me a chance to get out for a moment too."
Lisbon looked up, noticing Greer's tear stained cheeks and red eyes.
"This is so unfair! You're too young! And this just isn't fair on him! Can't they just cut him a break?"
Greer hung her head.
"Nothing seems to be fair. This all sucks." She said gloomily.
Lisbon took a deep breath, calming herself.
"Greer, I will keep my promise, I won't tell him, but you need to do it soon. You're only going to hurt him more, the longer you wait."
"I know… a few more days. Then I'll tell him. Ok?"
There was a light knock at the door.
"Is everything ok in there?" Jane asked nervously.
"Yeah!" Greer called back over the sound of the taps. "Teresa's pretty sick… just give us a few more moments."
"Ok…" Jane called back. "Let me know if you need me to do anything."
Greer look back at Lisbon's pale face. "Ok, the red eyes could pass from you being sick, but you've got no sweat on your face…" she held out her hand, pulling Lisbon to her feet. "Splash your face with cold water… make sure you dampen your hairline."
Lisbon did as instructed and then took the towel Greer offered to her.
"Pat your face.. don't dry it completely."
Lisbon did as asked.
"There you go. Now you look like you've been throwing up." Greer laughed half-heartedly. Greer looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were a little red, but she could pass that off for being tired.
"You ready?" Greer asked the still silent Lisbon.
Lisbon only nodded in response. She was meant to be the strong one. The leader… but she felt like she was letting everybody down. She felt weak… vulnerable.
They walked out of the bathroom and back into the lounge, where a worried Jane was sitting on the couch.
"Are you ok?" he asked, standing as soon as he saw them.
She nodded in response. He escorted her back to the couch, sitting down beside her and timidly rubbing her back.
"Thanks for taking care of her Greer." Jane said, his eyes not leaving Lisbon's face.
"I think I need to go to bed." Lisbon croaked.
Jane agreed and helped her stand up, leading her towards the staircase. They reached her bedroom and she collapsed into her bed.
"Thanks Patrick." She said once she was safely inside her bed.
"No problem Teresa. Get better." He brushed his hand across her forehead before leaving, closing the door quietly.
Lisbon sighed as soon as he had left. She hated lying to him. But she had promised Greer and she intended to keep her word. She wasn't sure what she was more anxious about, lying to him, or how he would act when he found out. Lisbon was going to have to tread very carefully over the next few days. This was definitely going to be harder than she had thought.