So, I had started to miss doing shorts (like my first fic for the Mentalist). Due to this, I am starting a series of fics. The series will be called Handfuls. Each one will have five chapters of shorts (Get it? A handful of colors= five colors). I don't know how many there will be, but it will be a good distraction and exploration for me, I think. Hope you all enjoy it.

A Handful of Colors

Chapter One: Black


Patrick Jane was no stranger to darkness. Not anymore. In fact, he almost wallowed in the pitch black of those starless nights—nights that drowned out any vision, covered the rooms of his house in a blanket that removed from his sight the evidence of his loss. Instead of the angry red of his family's blood staring at him from his stark walls, he allowed his eyes to become unfocused as they looked into the black, as they stared into the darkness.

And he welcomed it, embraced it as he embraced that dark side of himself. Held it close, cradling it in an almost tender way—just waiting for that moment when he would need it most. The moment when he would slowly kill that evil man who had ruined, continued to ruin, so many lives. Not just his, but countless others.

Red John.

Black.

It was never a color anyone would ever think to associate with him. His wife would never have thought to tie him to that hue. His agent, his clients, all would have connected him with something softer, more carefree. Even now, he thought that his co-workers at the CBI would choose a color that remained in line with their visual impression of him: blue, a golden yellow, even gray.

But not black.

It was their inherent optimism, which he had begun to realize was almost necessary if you were to be a cop. If there was no hope, no optimism, there was no reason to try to save the world. Without optimism, people like Teresa Lisbon wouldn't exist.

And it was when he lost his vision, when he was truly surrounded by black, that he realized that maybe—just maybe—he wasn't as content in the darkness as he thought.

As he had felt the soft skin of Lisbon's face, he yearned to see her lips tilting up in that smile she gave him. The one that made him believe, even if just for a split second and only a false belief, that it was possible to escape the darkness. That perhaps it wasn't an irreversible part of him. That he could truly feel the warmth of light again. Not just superficially, on his skin. But reaching down inside of him, unfurling tendrils of warmth and comfort. Something he had not felt since his wife and child were murdered. Something that tried to stir him every time he looked at Lisbon.

He fought it. And continued to welcome the black. Because it was safe from those pesky feelings of caring and even worse: love. Things that were more dangerous than any urge to kill, any weapon. Those feelings (love) were simply implements that could lead to a much more complete destruction of a person.

He would know.

So he drew the black around him like a protective shield against the light, the color, that tried to seep in, that streamed off Lisbon towards him.

And when that shield started to crack, he knew he was in trouble. Because he may not be a stranger to black, to darkness, but he had definitely become a stranger to light, to color, to love.