Okay, this is not an uplifting story (at least not so far). I get a little bitter with Jane sometimes (much as I love him) so this is the result. A take on if the relationship between Jane and Lisbon couldn't work out. Don't get me wrong, I want it to, but here's one take. lol, I actually may do a second chapter with Jane's POV and then, if I feel the need for a happy ending and if it seems plausible after the second chapter, perhaps a third chapter (?)...Not sure if I particularly like the writing, but maybe that's because this kind of storyline is kinda sad and goes against my inherently Jisbon nature...

Sorry for the long AN. Don't own 'em. Established Jane/Lisbon relationship that has been broken off. Fic inspired by a Wicked song. And Divinia... :D

Chapter One: Saving the World

Lisbon stared incredulously at Van Pelt. "What?"

Van Pelt bit her lip, but ignored her discomfort and forged ahead. "I think you should forgive Jane. I mean, we all know how he feels about Red John, but he loves you. He needs you. Why shouldn't you get back together? We know you still love him."

Lisbon clenched her jaw. Really? Did she really need this today, right now? Like Van Pelt, like anyone, could understand it. Jane didn't even understand. Lisbon looked to the ceiling. Normally she would snap at the rookie agent and storm off. But she was tired. Tired of the accusing looks of her agents whenever Jane moped by one of them. Tired of the forlorn gaze of the consultant whenever he thought she wasn't looking (and sometimes even when she was). Tired of feeling like she was doing the wrong thing, even when she knew it was right. Even when she knew she was doing what she had to.

Making a snap decision—and maybe not even the right one—Lisbon leaned back in her chair, fixing her eyes on the woman in front of her. "Yes, I love him. And I don't doubt that he thinks he cares for me."

Van Pelt opened her mouth to debate that point, but Lisbon held up a hand and continued when her agent remained silent.

"But life's not a fairytale. Our fundamental values are far too different. And I'm tired of being the one who has to compromise my values while he doesn't give an inch." Lisbon put her fingers to her brow and rubbed firmly. God, it was like the headache would never disappear. She wondered absently if one could get over something like this...she decided it didn't matter if she did or not. She was moving on regardless.

"But, boss, he's not as wild as before. He listens to you more than he has any other senior agent," Van Pelt defended. Lisbon laughed, but the sound was humorless.

"That's just a little—and trust me, a very little—self-restraint. Not like me. I believe in the rule book and I like it, but for him, since him, I have bent the rules and gone to bat for his shenanigans countless times. I'm not even surprised when he does something stupid and against CBI code. What does that say about me? What happens when he uses me to break the law? When he uses me to find and murder Red John?"

Van Pelt looked a little bewildered. "But Red John killed his family..."

"Van Pelt, if we allowed just anyone to murder, regardless of the motive, then there would be no reason for our existence. Yes, it sucks. And yes, Red John is evil. But our job is to arrest him and provide enough evidence for an absolute conviction." The reprimand was subtle, but pointed. And it was clear that Van Pelt felt it, looking down at her clasped hands with red cheeks. "I was getting too soft with him. Letting him get away with things that should never be condoned."

Van Pelt leaned forward, eager to exonerate her boss. "It was nothing, really. That's just the way love is."

And there lay the crux. Lisbon sighed. That was why she had broken it off with Jane. "If that's love, it comes at much too high a cost."

The very air around them seemed to freeze with the finality of Lisbon's words. And just like that, understanding started trickle through for Van Pelt.

"Never before have I given up my own self-respect. Not for anyone. And I don't intend to start now. I shouldn't have to lose myself to be able to keep that love. That's not the love I want for myself." Lisbon was firm. Even if she lived alone all her life, missing Jane, she would be able to face herself in the mirror. She would do the job the way it should be done. No longer would she let herself be swayed by a boyish grin and golden curls. No more nights curled into his body as she wondered: would it really be so bad to just let him have Red John?

Van Pelt had no answer, no response. Quietly, she stood and headed to the door. Pausing in the threshold, she glanced back. Lisbon had always been someone to look up to, but Van Pelt had just realized how very difficult it was to be that kind of person. The sacrifices that came with it. The pain. The heartache.

The incredible strength.

"Good night, boss."

She left her boss alone in the office, surrounded by silence and slivers of moonlight streaming through the blinds. Cho and Rigsby had sent her in to persuade their boss to do the right thing, but somehow the "right thing" no longer seemed so clear cut. Van Pelt wondered if she would be able to explain it to them.

She wished she didn't have to. That the world was different. That it was more like the fairytales.

Lisbon shuffled her papers into a neater stack on her desk. At times like this, she missed being dragged away by a man with warm hands and intense blue eyes. A man intent on distracting her from her mission to save the world. She sighed. Better to forget.

She was going to save the world. One case at a time. Little by little, it would be saved.

Just not for her.