PATRICK JANE'S DAUGHTER

CHAPTER 14

Lisbon moved in beside Greer, almost pushing Jane out of the way. She moved the girl into the recovery position, as Grace called 911. Lisbon checked Greer's pulse and sighed with relief when she found it strong.

"Lisbon.. what's going on?" Jane made a move to get closer to Greer again, but Lisbon held out a hand.

"Jane, I think it's best if you give her some air. Actually all of you back off a little." Lisbon addressed the small crowd of CBI agents that had gathered.

As the crowd started to thin a little, Jane seemed to be getting more and more frantic.

"Lisbon! What the hell is going on?"

"Jane, just wait for the ambulance to arrive." Lisbon said as she bent over Greer again, trying to wake her up.

"Greer? Greer, wake up." Lisbon patted the girl on the side of her face. She stirred a little but didn't regain consciousness. Whatever was going on inside her body, it didn't want her awake to feel it.

Lisbon sighed in relief as she heard the distant sound of sirens. Within minutes the elevator dinged and two paramedics rushed into the bullpen.

After a quick rundown of what happened, they checked her vitals and loaded her onto a stretcher. Jane got up and followed them out into the ambulance. Lisbon rushed after them. She followed them all the way to the hospital, the ambulance sirens clearing the road for both of them.

Lisbon had to circle the hospital in search of a park. By the time she had reached the front entrance, they had unloaded Greer and taken her to the ER to be checked out. After being pointed in the right direction by a nurse, Lisbon made her way to the right floor. She found Jane standing alone in a waiting room. He wasn't even sitting down. He seemed to be pacing.

"Jane."

Jane looked up to see Lisbon standing in the doorway.

"Lisbon… please…" he said, his voice cracking a little. It broke her heart to see him so stressed. "What's going on?"

"Jane… Patrick… you have no idea how much I want to tell you… but I promised. She wants to be the one to tell you."

Jane only sighed in frustration.

"Lisbon! Look around you! We're in a hospital! Greer's not exactly here to tell me is she? She hasn't even woken up yet." His voice broke on the last word and his face crinkled in pain. "Please."

This was killing her. But she had made a promise. She had kept it this long. He was going to find out soon. Greer would wake up soon and she would tell him… right?

"Patrick…I'm really sorry… I need to go and talk to a doctor…" Lisbon almost stammered. She started backing out of the door slowly, as if any quick movements would set him off.

Because she was walking backwards and couldn't see where she was going, she didn't notice the tall brunette walking into the waiting room, and bumped right into her.

"Oh, pardon me." Lisbon apologized turning around.

"That's quite alright." The lady replied.

Lisbon turned and all but ran away. She needed to alert one of the doctors of Greer's condition.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

As Lisbon left, Jane had sat down in defeat. He knew something horrible was happening to Greer, but no one would tell him what. Lisbon was betraying him. She was keeping something from him about his daughter, his child… and that was the worst type of betrayal. As he sat, all but drowning in his fury, a tall brown haired woman came into the waiting room.

He didn't even look up until the woman began to speak.

"Patrick Jane. You haven't changed a bit."

Jane looked up and instantly recognized the woman.

"Tracy…" he breathed.

"Hello Patrick."

"Why didn't you tell me? That I had a daughter."

Tracy walked over and sat by Jane. She was well groomed, from the last time he had seen her. Her hair was shorter now, and she was wearing a black business suit.

Tracy smirked, as if the answer was obvious.

"Because I didn't want my child getting involved with a fraud."

Jane almost laughed at this.

"And what would you call yourself? You were just as bad as I was."

"No, 'The Boy Wonder' always was the star of the show. Rumour has it you went back to the carnie life after I left. That was where you met Angela? Am I right?"

Jane winced at the sound of his wife's name.

"Yes, but you don't get to use that name." His eyes turned cold. "You betrayed me. You were my best friend. And you left me. With something that half belongs to me."

"I got a phone call from Greer last night" she said, changing the subject. "She begged that I come and get her. What have you done to her?" she asked almost wickedly.

"I haven't done anything to her Tracy." He sneered.

"Oh? Really? So the fact that we're sitting in a hospital waiting room is just my imagination? She was fine Patrick. She was getting everything she needed, and then she ran off one night. To find you… and you never sent her back." Tracy growled. Seemed as if the whole 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' thing doesn't occur here. Neither one of the waiting room inhabitants had noticed Lisbon standing in the doorway. "Now look what's happened. You've got her so worked up she's landed in a hospital. You're so stupid! Her bodies already under enough stress with the cancer spreading! and now, you've probably knocked off half of her life expectancy!"

Lisbon felt her breath intake. She watched the color drain from Jane's face. He looked ill. They still hadn't noticed her standing there.

"Excuse me." Jane stood up, placing one of his hands on his midsection. He turned towards the door and saw Lisbon standing there, looking like a deer in the headlights. He paused, catching her eye for a moment, before side-stepping passed her. He walked around the corner before he couldn't hold it in any longer. He felt as if he had been punched in the chest. He couldn't breathe. He was going to lose everything, all over again.

He slumped against the wall, sliding his back down the wall, before collapsing on the ground. He hugged his knees to his chest, feeling like a scared little boy. He felt his bottom lip tremble before one hot tear slid down his cheek.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

Back in the waiting room, Tracy was looking questioningly at Lisbon. Lisbon seemed to be giving Tracy the death stare.

"What? What did I do?"

"He didn't know about the cancer." Lisbon was seething.

"Oh."

"Yeah. Oh."

Lisbon stood there for a couple of moments before she realised Jane would be in a distraught state right now. She gave Tracy one more dirty look before rushing out of the room in search of her friend.

She found him almost immediately, just around the corner from the waiting room. He was sitting on the floor, his knees drawn up to his chest, his arms hugging his knees and his head buried in his arms. His back was trembling, and she could hear the sobs escaping from his mouth.

Lisbon cautiously made her way over to him and sat down on the floor beside him. She sat there awkwardly for a few moments, she wasn't entirely sure what to do. All she wanted to do was to pull him into her arms and rock him.

Concrete block, concrete block, concrete block…

Instead she settled for placing her hand tentatively on his arm. He shrugged away, out of her grasp.

"Why are you here Lisbon?" he asked, his voice trembling a little. His words were slightly muffled as his face was still buried in his arms. Lisbon wasn't even surprised that he knew it was her straight away.

"Because you're my friend."

He snorted. He raised his face so he could look at her. Lisbon felt her heart drop when she saw the state he was truly in. His eyes were red rimmed, puffy and raw, his cheeks were tear stained. His hair was a complete mess and his nose was running slightly… it wasn't exactly an elegant sight. But Lisbon didn't find disgust in her mind, nor pity, she just wanted him to feel better. She just wanted to take all of the pain away.

"You call us friends… and yet you've kept this from me."

"Patrick… I swear to you… I wanted to tell you. This has been killing me! But I promised Greer. And I keep my promises."

Jane leant his head against the wall. He looked exhausted. He let out a long sigh.

"I understand that you're loyal Lisbon, and that she wanted to tell me herself… but… you should have told me. This has just taken it a little too far. She's dying Lisbon. Would it have really have been so bad to tell me? It would have been better hearing it from you than from Tracy. You say we're friends… friends don't keep things like this from each other."

Lisbon sat there, looking at him in desperation. He was making her out to be the bad guy. But what about the good things she's done? She had been there for Greer when he couldn't be.

"Jane… I wanted to tell you. It was by accident that I found out in the first place. I found her throwing up blood in the middle of the night. She had to give me an explanation, otherwise I was going to call 911. The night I found out was the night I drunk the scotch… I wasn't just bingeing for the sake of it…"

"She's my little girl, Lisbon. I may not have known her for long, but she's still my daughter… I'm losing my family all over again."

His face crumpled into a fresh set of tears. Seeing this Lisbon finally stopped resisting. She reached out, putting an arm around his shoulder and pulling him close. He started to struggle, trying to escape her hold.

"Lisbon, please… let go…"

Lisbon ignored him, and only tightened her hold. Jane struggled a little more until Lisbon brought one of her hands to the side of his head. She started stroking his hair, making shhh-ing sounds. At the touch to the side of his head, he started to calm a little. She really had hit home the other morning, finding his calming factor. She had a feeling she was going to need this a lot in the weeks to come.

He relaxed into her hold, resting his head against her shoulder. The tremors started to rack his body again. His sobs were still relatively silent, but she could hear his breathing hitch every couple of seconds. It was only moments before she realised she was crying too.

"Jane… I want you to know you can trust me." She felt him calm a little when she started to speak… he was recognising her words as his own.. he had told her this before. "No matter what happens I will be there for you… I will." She rubbed the side of his head again. She looked at him. His face was still pressed into her shoulder but from what she could see, he was listening. "I need you to know that."

At the last couple of words he shifted, wrapping his arms around her too. She held one hand to the back of his head, and started rubbing his back with the other. He buried his face into her shoulder again.

"Thank you Teresa." He choked out. "And I'm sorry… I should never have yelled at you."

"It's ok Patrick."

They sat there a little while longer, liking the comfort of the hug. After a moment longer, Lisbon decided that you can never have too much of a good thing, and broke away from his hold. She fished around in her pockets, looking for a tissue. She handed it to him.

"Clean yourself up Jane… we should go and see how Greer's doing."

He nodded, wiping his eyes and blowing his nose with a loud trumpeting affect. He smiled apologetically at her. Lisbon merely grinned.

Lisbon got to her feet, pulling Jane up with her. They turned around, back to the direction of the waiting room. They were still holding hands from Lisbon pulling Jane up… neither one were willing to let go. Jane was holding onto her hand as a life preserver… Lisbon on the other hand, didn't want to let go because she simply liked touching him.

They walked into the waiting room, to find Tracy still sitting there, her posture perfect in her practiced façade. Lisbon and Jane walked over to the opposite side of the waiting room, trying to get as much distance from Tracy as possible. She reminded Lisbon of the Evil Queen in Snow White. Lisbon wanted to spit on her. The thought proved to be rather entertaining because she couldn't help but smirk a little.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

About ten minutes later, a doctor came into the waiting room, carrying a clipboard.

"I take it you are all her for Greer Thomson?"

All three got to their feet simultaneously.

"I'll take that as a yes. Ok, Greer's blood pressure went through the roof. She got far too stressed out and this strained her breathing, causing her to faint― oxygen deprivation."

"Is she awake?" Jane asked before Tracy had even managed to get a word in.

"Yes. She's been fully conscious for about twenty minutes now."

"Can I see her?" Tracy asked, first to get in this time.

"Of course. Only one at a time though."

"I'll go." Tracy said, stepping past Jane and Lisbon.

Jane looked upset whereas Lisbon looked pure evil. After Tracy had left with the doctor, Lisbon lead Jane by the arm, back to the seat.

"Teresa… can I ask? What type of cancer does she have? How advanced is it? Please, tell me everything you know."

Lisbon sighed. She was wondering when the questions would start.

"She found out a few years back that she has lung cancer. She went through many operations, radiation and chemotherapies… everything. She's stopped responding to treatments. And it's starting to spread… they found a mass on her liver at her last check up."

Jane nodded, trying to compose himself more. He leant his head on her shoulder again, inhaling her cinnamon-y scent, this seemed to calm him a little. Lisbon was his savour, he realised. She got him a place at the CBI when she found out he was going after Red John, she was there for him when he got his memories back, when he went blind… and now, in another moment of need, here she was again… as faithful and as willing as ever.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

Twenty minutes later, Tracy returned, telling Jane that Greer was asking for him. Jane patted Lisbon knee and left without a word, leaving Lisbon and Tracy in an awkward silence.

Jane reached Greer's room, and stood outside for a moment, just watching her. She was all hooked up to tubes. Her wig had been removed. Jane felt his heart lurch. He wasn't sure he could do this without Lisbon. It surprised him at how much he needed her. Greer saw him standing outside and grinned nervously.

Well.. no going back now. He thought to himself. He pushed the door open and entered the room.

"Hey." He said quietly, taking a seat on the hard plastic chair beside her bed.

"Patrick. I'm so sorry." A silent tear trailed down her face.

"Hey, it's ok." He reached out and brushed the tear away with his thumb.

"I was going to tell you… I just… I couldn't find the courage. I had imagined meeting you so many times, so I didn't even think when I left. I had told my doctor back in Michigan, that I had found you and he had encouraged me to meet you. He said if I had enough strength in me to travel, then it would be a good idea." She looked down at her fingers. "I knew it would be hard on you, finding out you have a daughter and then moments later find out she's dying…" Jane flinched at the word. "and then I met you… and you were just so wonderful… and then I learnt of your family.. and I just didn't know how to tell you. I couldn't hurt you." She started playing with a frayed part of her blanket. "Teresa found out… I had worked myself up one night.. and she found me in the bathroom, having an episode.. so I had to tell her then. I made her promise not to tell you.. I had needed a few days of happiness with you."

Jane sat there listening intently. He was finally getting answers.. even if he didn't like what he was hearing.

"Anyway… that night, me and Teresa toasted to you… but she didn't stop at one.. I know she has a problem.. but I couldn't will myself to make her stop. She looked like she really needed it that night." Greer looked at Jane. "And then this morning… when I saw you two fighting… it was my fault. I see the way you look at each other. It's no secret that you have feelings for each other…" Jane gave her a funny look at this. "Well maybe it is… but only for the two of you… I had come here and I was messing everything up… I panicked. And had another episode I guess."

Jane took one of her small, fragile hands in his.

"Greer… none of this is your fault. No matter what you think, you can't help what is happening. I'm glad you came. I'm glad I've had the opportunity to know you. Even if it is just for a little while, I wouldn't trade anything for our time together." He squeezed Greer's hand. She looked at him in wonder.

"I will never be able to figure you out." She said with a smile.

"Just look inside yourself." He said pointing to her heart.

Even though he was putting on a slight act for Greer, he felt terrible inside. His head hurt from crying so much and all he wanted to do was sleep. He was exhausted. He wanted to fall asleep in Lisbon's bed. No funny business, of course, but the thought of sleeping next to the only thing that made him feel safe, was rather inviting.

"Loving the new do" he said pointing at Greer's short hair.

"Really?"

"Really. You don't need to hide things from me anymore.. I'm going to be there for you, no matter what."

"Thanks…. dad…" she said trying out the word.

Jane felt a flurry of mixed emotions. He felt pride, and remorse and confusion. But through the haze of uncertainty, he couldn't help but smile.

"Dad… I like that." He said looking her in the eye.

She smiled at him. She felt as if a weight had been lifted off of her chest.

"No more secrets."

"No more secrets." He promised.

They sat there for a while, before the nurse came in and told him he needed to leave so Greer could get her rest. He left the room feeling totally drained. Hearing that Greer was dying has opened up old wounds. He couldn't help but massage his chest a little. It was only a matter of time before he had another funeral to go to. But this time, he had someone by his side.

OOOOOoooooOOOOO

He walked into the waiting room to find Lisbon still sitting there, waiting for him. Tracy had long since disappeared in search of a caffeine fix.

"Lisbon."

She looked up from the book she was reading.

"Jane… are you ok?"

"As ok as I could be." He said quietly. The pain in his chest hadn't lessened like it usually did. He was finding it slightly difficult to breath. Lisbon, sensing his unease, got up and walked over to him, placing a hand on his chest. Immediately, the pain dulled a little. Fascinating. He thought to himself.

"Come on Jane. Let's go home."

Home? He had stayed a few nights and already she was saying it was his home too? Or was that just because he had nowhere else to go? Would she make him sleep on the couch? He hoped to damn the she wouldn't.

He nodded once in response and she took his hand, leading him out of the waiting room. The small gesture took both of them by surprise, it had just come so easily.

They walked hand-in-hand out of the hospital front entrance, they both knew they would be using it a lot over the next few months.


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