Disclaimer: Buffy and friends belong to Joss Whedon, Patrick and friends belong to Bruno Heller and CBS.
A/N: I love the Mentalist. I really do, it's my new favourite show. And it got me thinking: what if Patrick Jane had to deal with the fact that demons and ghosts etc really do exist? The obvious people to pair him with was Buffy Summers and the Scooby Gang, mainly because I thought it would be amusing to see them all together.
This is set early Season 1 for the Mentalist, as Grace is still relatively new to the team. There's no specific episode that this would precede, so no spoilers. It's post Season 7 for Bufy, but AU for after that - I haven't read any of Season 8.
This is my first time writing for the Mentalist and for Buffy, so I'd appreciate any comments on how you think it's going. I think everyone's in character, but would love to hear what others think.
Patrick Jane, reformed fake psychic, knew that the occult was a trap for the vulnerable, the unwary and the just plain stupid. He used it enough times to get what he wanted, money in the old days, confessions now, that he didn’t ever waste a second wondering. He was sure his team, with the possible exception of Van Pelt, felt the same way. Which was why he was a little surprised that their latest case was causing such consternation.
“Did I miss the memo?”
“Just get in the car Jane.” Lisbon hadn’t been in a good mood that morning, and the case they had been ordered to work on certainly hadn’t improved matters.
“What’s the matter? So we’ve got another dead body. So?”
“So this dead body belongs to one Robin Wood and we’ve been asked to investigate.”
“So who’s Robin Wood and why did Rigsby put on a crucifix necklace when he read the file?”
“Because Rigsby has heard of Sunnydale.” Lisbon said that as though it should answer all of his questions, when of course it did nothing but give him others.
“Sunnydale? The town that fell into a crater? What does that have to do with Rigsby deciding he’s suddenly Catholic?”
“It’s not because I’m Catholic Jane, it’s just in case,” Rigsby pointed out.
“Just in case of what? And what does any of that have to do with Robin Wood?”
“He was principal of the High School there.” Lisbon sighed. “Jane, Sunnydale has a weird reputation in law enforcement circles. Odd things happened there all the time and the local cops did nothing about the fact that their murder rate made New York look like a Sunday School. Wood was also on the last bus out of the town before it collapsed. The Governor is treating this as the highest priority, so please try not to antagonise people more than absolutely necessary.”
He settled into his seat feeling oddly put out. Why wouldn’t anyone explain what ‘odd things’ happened in Sunnydale that meant it creeped out seasoned cops like Lisbon and Rigsby? He sulked all the way to the crime scene, a small warehouse facility in the town of Santa Cruz, about forty miles from the Sunnydale crater. Cho and Van Pelt were already there, getting details from the local cops and dealing with forensics. Jane, frankly still annoyed at the way everyone was acting like he should know the answers already, and even more annoyed that he really didn’t know what was going on, decided to wander off and see what he could find out. And irritate Lisbon of course.
He paced around the crime scene tape, studying all those who had shown up to gawp at the police and ambulance. Most were the average spectator and Jane dismissed them as unimportant. One group, however, caught his eye. Four young kids, well young adults, and an older man stood together, watching silently. It was the way they stood that really made him stare. All stood poised to run at any moment, except the short blonde who looked poised to fight. All had an air of awareness that came from years of facing dangerous situations. He knew that look. Lisbon had that look.
The older man noticed his attention and all five turned to stare at him. Jane smiled and waved cheerily. Over the years, he’d found that most people reacted better to friendliness initially, and if nothing else, it always threw those that expected something else. To his surprise, the youngest of them, a tall, pretty brunette, waved back. With a mental shrug, Jane wandered over to them.
“Nice day for it, huh?”
They all studied him with the same blank expression, assessing him as a threat. Then the older man spoke. “A friend of ours has just died. It is not a nice day.” He was British, the accent clipped and sharp.
Jane nodded. “Ah. You know Robin Wood then. Great. Lisbon’s gonna be thrilled with me. I found an actual clue, and I haven’t hypnotised anyone yet!”
“You hypnotise people?” The blonde girl asked him, her voice chirpy and amused.
“When Lisbon isn’t looking,” he replied. “You always try and pull that Valley Girl thing with everyone you meet, or just those you think are cops? I’m not, by the way. Consultant.” They all blinked and he grinned.
“I didn’t catch your name,” the older man said politely. “I’m Rupert Giles.”
“JANE!” Lisbon’s yell cut through the air.
“That’s me,” he acknowledged. “You should speak to her. She’s going to find who did this.”
“Your name is Jane?” The younger man spoke up for the first time. For some reason, he was wearing an eye patch. Jane fervently hoped he wasn’t wearing it for the obvious reason.
“Yep.” He turned and yelled back, “I’ve got something Lisbon!” She came over quickly, looking concerned. “And I haven’t done anything illegal, stupid or just forbidden. You might even call it proper police work.” The kids smothered smiles at that. “They’re friends with Robin Wood. Did I do good or what?”
“You’re fantastic,” she replied dryly. He beamed. “I’m Agent Teresa Lisbon, California Bureau of Investigation. You knew Mr Wood?”
“We did.” The short blonde spoke and Jane looked on in amusement. Despite the disparity in age, and frankly height, it was clear she was the leader of this group. The others all took their lead from her. “I worked at the same High School as the School Counsellor for a while and when Sunnydale went bye-bye, he came to work for our organisation.”
“And you are?”
“Buffy Summers. This is my sister Dawn and my friends Rupert Giles, Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg.”
“And you laughed at my name,” Jane reproved Xander Harris with a smile. “At least Jane is a proper word.”
“Patrick Jane is a consultant,” Lisbon said tightly with a heavy emphasis on his name.
“Mr Jane is a lost soul,” Willow Rosenberg said suddenly. Everyone turned to stare at her, but she only looked at Jane. “Your aura is filled with such grief and guilt and such loss…how do you stand it? You must miss them terribly.”
He paused for a long moment, frozen in position, before he recovered. “Nice. Nice. I’ve done better, but not bad for a spur of the moment cold-read. I mean, you wouldn’t get a slot on network TV, not without a little more work, but still impressive.”
“The Patrick Jane? The psychic?” Rupert Giles stared at him with undisguised amusement. “Fascinating.”
“The fake psychic,” Jane emphasised. “On the basis that there’s no such thing as the real thing and I was making it up as I went along.” The kids all started to grin.
“No change there then,” Lisbon muttered. “I’ll need to speak with you about Mr Wood. When was the last time you saw him?”
“How did he die?” Buffy asked. The two women stared at each other, until Jane tapped Lisbon on the shoulder.
“Tell her. She didn’t do it, but she’s not going to tell you anything unless you give her something first.”
Lisbon rolled her eyes, but she said, “He was shot twice in the head, commonly called a ‘double tap’ and often used in mob executions. As far as we can tell before a full post-mortem, he’s been dead twelve to fourteen hours and he was shot in that warehouse over there. Now, once again, when was the last time you saw him?”
Buffy exchanged considering looks with Rupert Giles before she nodded. At that, Giles said, “I last saw him about three months ago. I spoke with him on the phone two days ago about a property he was looking at buying for our organisation. It’s the old Santa Cruz Hospital, and we thought it might be a useful addition to our portfolio. He said it looked promising, but that others were interested in purchasing the property.”
“So how did you know something had happened to him? He’s been dead twelve hours, and you’re all already here.” Jane frowned. “How does that work?”
“Psychic trace?” Xander Harris offered with no trace of irony. “It’s company policy that all employees sign up to be psychically traced at all times, so we know if something bad happens.”
Jane sighed. “Just because I sold a lot of people a lot of stories about that stuff does not mean I’m likely to fall for all that Ouija Board nonsense. In fact, I’m the last person who would fall for it, because I’m usually the one selling that crap.”
“Jane, this is not a discussion about psychics. You want to talk about that, go annoy Van Pelt.” Lisbon turned back to the others. “I apologise for Jane. He’s a consultant and his actions and opinions are not in any way endorsed by the CBI.”
“She says that a lot,” Jane chipped in with a grin, getting answering ones from Xander Harris and Dawn Summers. The others just ignored him. “Seriously, how did you get here so fast?”
“Coincidence,” Rupert Giles said.
Jane nodded consideringly, before he turned to Lisbon. “It’s interesting, because he’s lying through his teeth, yet I’m pretty sure none of them were actually involved in Wood’s murder. So he’s lying for a different reason. I wonder what that could be?”
“Maybe because you’re really, really irritating?” Buffy offered with a small smile. “I mean, sure, don’t get me wrong, you’re very hello salty goodness as Cordelia would say, but wow, can you annoy!” To Lisbon’s amusement, Jane actually blushed at the salty goodness comment. Dawn went to say something, but Buffy cut her off, “And no, Dawnie, so not my type. I told you, I’m past the haunted, deep dark secrets in the past seriously screwing up the present type.”
“Besides, waaaay too young for the Buffster,” Xander added with a smirk. She whacked his shoulder and he whined, “Easy on the Slay- normal, totally normal Californian strength there Buff. You forget I’m just a puny mortal.”
Lisbon never thought she’d see the day, but she was actually having to rescue Jane from an embarrassing situation that he didn’t seem able to talk his way out of. “Jane’s good points aside,” she nudged him in the stomach and was rewarded with a sheepish, highly embarrassed glare, “we’ll need to speak with you about the nature of Mr Wood’s work for your organisation. I don’t believe you mentioned its name?”
“The International Council of Watchers,” Giles replied. “We specialise in the collection and preservation of ancient artefacts and manuscripts. Here’s my contact number. We’ll be staying at the Hotel Santa Cruz until this matter has been dealt with and we’ll be happy to help in any way Agent Lisbon. Robin Wood was a good friend as well as an employee and we are anxious to make sure his killers, whatever they are, are brought to justice.”
“Thank you, your assistance is much appreciated.” Lisbon grabbed hold of Jane’s arm and dragged him away before he could say something that would only annoy these people into non-cooperation. “Jane, do something useful and go help Cho talk to the owners of the warehouse.”
“Do you think it’s odd that they’re staying in the same hotel as us?”
“It’s the only one in town, Jane. Where else would they stay?”
Jane ignored her response. “Did you notice what was odd about that final speech of Mr Giles’?”
“No, but I’m sure you’ll enlighten me.”
“He said they were anxious to make sure Wood’s killers ‘whatever’ they are were brought to justice. Whatever they are? What’s he expecting, the bogeyman as a suspect?”
“Slip of the tongue?” Lisbon frowned as she spoke. Giles hadn’t seemed like the type to make that sort of error; he was the sort who would be a stickler for proper punctuation and would read a thesaurus for relaxation. She sighed; Jane could always be relied on to make a simple case complicated and it looked like this time would be no different.