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Author's Notes & Thank-Yous

Even if I had finished this story back in 2010 (/early 2011), I would have written about this story's portrayal of Red John. Now that it's years later and I've missed four seasons, including the reveal of Red John's identity... Well, I definitely want to speak up.

I've given you next to nothing in the way of answers for Red John here. He's a man that was easily overlooked in crowds, he could blend in easily and slipped people's notice whenever he wanted. I considered developing a background for Red John, trying to explain how he held so much sway over people, dig into his obsession with Jane. That struggle was a large part when I dithered over the final chapters. Could I develop something satisfactory for the reader? When I ultimately decided to leave Red John a mystery, I wondered if I was short-changing the reader. I suppose part of me worries a bit over that, but I still stand by my decision.

Why leave so much unanswered? Well, first of all, the unknown is often the most disturbing, the most scary. Red John was a sociopath, no rational, compassionate person was going to fully wrap their head around him. Second, this whole fic series has been as much about the progression of Jane and Cho's relationship as it was about my reaction to the S2 finale. Roses are Red was always meant to be about getting Jane and Cho to a place where they both recognized a permanent sort of commitment to each other. In order to give them a clear shot at the future together, the book of Red John had to be closed — Jane had to let go of that obsession, so I pitted that against his relationship with Cho. (Back before this story became part of the Crimson & Gold series, I had planned to have both Lisbon and Cho kidnapped. This was about Jane realizing that he had more in his life than the drive for revenge.)

As for Red John's death here. Whew. That was another huge debate with myself. What I really wanted to do was have his death caused by an air bubble in the IV line; I wanted to leave the implication of the possibility that Lisbon may have futzed with the line, leaving it up to the reader to decide if she had helped along his death or not. Basically, I knew I didn't want this guy to stand trial (he'd get out of it) and I knew I didn't want Jane to kill him. I never figured out a way to write that to my liking, though, and there was a feeling I had about the anti-climatic announcement that seemed to fit.

In short, I can understand if there's reactions of frustration or confusion or disappointment (though I hope that's not the popular reaction). I have my reasons for writing what I did and this story took as long as it did to finish because I wanted to do my OTP justice. And sometimes... many times, we don't get answers to our major questions in life.

(On an additional note, I avoided major spoilers for years voluntarily. Then at the beginning of Jan. '14 I recalled hearing mention that Red John was finally revealed and I decided to read up on that storyline. Cue me reading the Wikipedia page on the Red John storyline. Cue lots of frowning. At least in reading... well, I'm not keen on the whole conspiracy line where things went. I'll reserve firming up my opinion until I finally catch up.)

Thank-yous: I met some of my favorite people ever thanks to my Cho/Jane 'shipping. Every one of them helped stir my passion for the characters and memories of our conversations kept me wanting to return to this no matter how much time passed. Thank you X_art for the amazing stories that originally inspired me to look into this pairing; I also have appreciated our e-mail conversations in the past, sorting out headcanon and such. All my love to the wonderful Cedara and Heffermonkey, who have cheered me on, let me vent about Frye (grr), chat headcanon, and have acted as betas on numerous occasions. The Crimson & Gold series wouldn't exist without you and my desire to finish it probably wouldn't have been nearly as successful had you not been around. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to tfwftw (always encouraging!), the_torrid_pen (enjoyable idea-bouncing), and ruugar (who writes lovely stories and made a great cover/banner for my fic ages ago).

I also want to thank everyone who has left kudos or commented on the series. You're the ones who reminded me that this story needed to get out of my head and be shared. Your interest inspired persistence and I can only hope that I've managed to create something you'll want to read again.