Just a take on why Rigsby didn't turn out like his father. And a possible reason he went into law enforcement. Again, please let me know if there are any mistakes. Thanks everyone for the encouraging reviews! I know I can't respond individually to all (darn research essays...), but I do appreciate them!

A Handful of Colors

Chapter Four: Blue


Wayne Rigsby did not have the happiest childhood, though many people would be surprised to hear it. To most, he seemed amazingly well-adjusted. One of the good ole boys. But really, he had grown up despising his father, who ran in one of the cycling gangs.

Rigsby had loved his mother whole-heartedly and seeing the degrading way his father treated her had always made his blood boil. Abuse (verbal and/or physical), neglect. It didn't matter. Rigsby knew from a young age that his mother—his wonderful mother who worked so hard to bring him up right—didn't deserve to be treated like that. It was from her that Rigsby learned his rigid sense of right and wrong. He knew that it was sometimes a flaw, that things were sometimes a little too black and white, but he couldn't help it.

He was a firm believer in the fact that people should be responsible for their own actions. He wasn't sure if those actions defined a person, but he was sure that they should be ready to accept the consequences of their actions.

Just as he had accepted any punishment his father doled out for his 'rebellious' nature (normally, a punishment for the simple act of sticking up for his mother). Just as he had expected Lisbon to accept whatever sentencing would come hand in hand with murdering a sick molesting bastard (if she had done it, that is).

Just as he expected Jane to take whatever heat came with murdering Red John.

He didn't always like the results, but it was the way his life worked. As a cop. As a person.

He suspected it was because of that man, the only man from his childhood that he could remember as deserving respect.

When he was five, his mother and he had been shopping in the grocery store. His mother, tired from working a double shift so that she could make the electricity bill, had been juggling fruit and making her way back to him, standing obediently at the shopping cart. An irreverent teen, rebellious and dangerous, had hurried past her, knocking into her almost violently and causing her to fall to the floor. The fruit rolled in all directions as if they had a mind of their own. Rigsby's eyes followed the blueberries as the streaked across the scuffed tile of the grocery store floor.

Belligerently, the young man had cussed at his mother, automatically assigning her the fault. The child that Rigsby was had frozen. He recognized that tone. It was the one that always brought violence and tears—either his or his mother's.

Suddenly, there was a man sternly setting the teen straight and helping his mother up. At first, Rigsby thought he meant her harm and prepared to throw his slight self at the broad-shouldered figure gently grasping his mother's arm. But his feet remained frozen, unsure, when he saw the care that the man displayed. The blue of his shirt stretched across his back and the soothing tones of his voice carried back to the small boy rooted to the floor by the shopping cart.

The man's gentle tones put Rigsby into a sort of trance and the child's eyes turned to the floor, seeing the smashed blue of the berries that had found their way under the feet of the shoppers. He could relate. He sometimes felt as small and helpless in the face of his father.

A second later, there was a hand on his shoulder and he looked up into the kind face of the very man who had helped his mother.

"Keep an eye on her, buddy."

And he did.

Even more, he never forgot the blue of that patrol cop's uniform, badge gleaming under the fluorescent lights. In fact, that blue—that man—had probably influenced him more than anything else. Though he had seen the man for mere minutes, that experience had affected him more than the cop would ever know. That was the start of his seemingly endless supply of respect for those in law enforcement—no matter which branch.

He was glad he had become the right kind of blue. Not helpless or crushed under the circumstances of life, but the strong immovable blue that the man had sported—though it was unseen. Rigsby may not wear the uniform, but, remembering the glitter of the man's badge, Rigsby was proud to wear his own.