A/N: this is my response to Cullen's Bull-Pen challenge for October. I hope you all enjoy.
"Russ, please take your sister with you. I don't want her just sitting around the house, passing out candy again."
"No buts, Russ. Take her or you're going to stay home."
"But, she's only fifteen, and everyone there is older than her."
"Well I'm sure that you can keep an eye on her. I'm not going to ask you again." Christine looked at her son with a quirk of her eyebrow, daring him to defy her. Russ looked at her for a long time, and sighed in defeat.
"Fine, I'll take her with me."
"Good. She's getting ready right now. You should see her costume, Russ, she looks adorable." Christine patted his arm and walked away, smiling triumphantly. As she left the room, Russ shook his head, amazed at his mother's ability to always turn him into his sister's keeper.
A sound at the stairs alerted his attention, and he looked toward the source of the noise. Temperance stood there, looking for all the world like the innocent girl she was, and yet as Russ glanced at her costume, he couldn't help but think he would have to keep a lot of hands off of her. She had on a thin strapped, low cut bodysuit with a skirt made up of what looked to be leaves. The leaves barely reached the top of her thighs, and the sandals she wore laced up her calves. A pair of wings extended from the back of the costume as well.
"Tempe, you can't possibly wear that tonight!"
"Why not? Mom helped me pick it out. Does it look bad?" She turned to look at herself in the mirror, concerned that she had done something wrong with the outfit.
"No, it's not that."
"Well then what?" The worried expression on her young face made him smile.
"You just look really grown up, that's all."
"Really? I do?"
"Yeah. You ready to go?" He smiled at the enthusiastic nod she gave, and ruffled the curly tendrils falling from her ponytail and framing her face. He pulled his car keys from his jacket pocket and motioned toward the front door with a nod of his head. "So what are you supposed to be, a fairy?
"Yup, a spring fairy. I think that's what the packaging said, anyway. And what about you?"
"What, you can't tell?" Russ smiled, the points on his canines glinting. Tempe laughed, a joyful sound as he made faces at her, showing off the teeth. She looked him over, her eyebrow quirking up just like her mother's.
"So why not the whole cape and tuxedo?"
"I'm not Count Dracula, Tempe. Now come on, we don't want to be late."
Tempe stood in a corner of the party, a can of soda in her hand. She watched as Russ socialized with his friends, but his eyes remained on her, making sure she was okay. A boy, dressed as the Phantom of the Opera sidled up to her as she continued watching the scene before her.
"Hey," he said, as he looked her over. Tempe glanced at him for a moment before dropping her gaze to the floor.
"Hey," she mumbled in response. The teenager looked at her, a smile sliding onto his face as she shuffled nervously in the corner.
"You wanna dance or something?"
"No, that's okay. I really don't know how." She offered him a shy smile and glanced around the room, noting that Russ was still keeping an eye on her.
"Well you can't just stand in the corner all night. There has to be something you'd be interested in doing."
"I don't know. I'm just here with my brother."
"Yeah, my cousin dragged me here. He's the one over there." The boy nodded to a tall young man standing near Russ. Tempe's eyes swept over him and watched as his gaze swept over her. She blushed slightly and looked away. "Hey, you ever been to a cemetery at night?"
"No, I haven't."
"There's one near here that's supposed to be haunted, Bachelor's Grove. It's supposed to be the most haunted graveyard in the area, with like five or six ghosts. I've heard that the body of a bank robber was dumped there in the Twenties, and ever since then, he's been trying to get revenge for his murder. There's also supposed to be a lady in white that appears. A lot of people think she's looking for her baby, and there's even mysterious blue lights that float through the area."
"That's ridiculous. There's no such thing as ghosts."
"You wanna put your money where your mouth is?"
"I don't know what that means." The teenager looked at her, incredulous. When he was sure she was serious, he sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"Do you want to prove that for sure? We could go down there and see if we can find his ghost."
"You're joking, right? You want to go to a cemetery and look for something that doesn't exist? It's not logical."
"What are you, a Vulcan or something?" He looked at her, then waved a hand to silence the confused query she was sure to fire out at him. "Look, do you want to go, or not?" Tempe glanced back over toward her brother, but found him to not be in the room. After a moment's indecision, she looked back at the boy and offered him a shy smile.
Russ got back from the bathroom and swept the room with his gaze, frowning when he couldn't find his sister. He stepped up to his buddy, Jackson and nodded toward the corner she had been occupying.
"Hey, did you see where Tempe went?"
"Nah man, sorry. Maybe she's in the bathroom."
"But that kid she was with is gone too." Jackson looked at Russ and smirked.
"Hate to say it dude, but your sister is kinda hot. Maybe he's trying out some moves on her. Hey, that hurt!" Jackson rubbed the back of his head where Russ had hit him, hard.
"Dude, that's my sister you're talking about. Besides, Tempe wouldn't know if someone was flirting with her or not. Now, are you gonna help me look for her, or not?"
"Yeah, okay. I just hope you know you're seriously treading on my ability to get laid tonight." Jackson ducked as Russ's hand flew toward his head for the second time.
Tempe crept through the cemetery with her companion, The Phantom of the Opera. She shivered in the cold night air and tried to see her surroundings. The long path that led up to the graveyard was overgrown with trees and shrubbery, creating an all-encompassing darkness around them. Up ahead was a chain link fence that swayed ominously on creaking hinges. Tempe's companion reached out for her hand and helped her between the gate doors, which were chained loosely together.
They stopped behind some bushes and crouched down, waiting. The boy was enjoying the view provided by the short leaves of Tempe's skirt as she looked out over the bushes. He afforded himself a quick glance before stepping up next to her and looking out over the shrubbery as well.
"I've heard that the ghost of the bank robber appears over there." He pointed out to a rapidly growing misty patch in the cemetery. Tempe stood up slightly to get a better look, but the phantom's hands were quickly around her waist and pulling her back behind the bushes. He let go once she remained out of view again.
"So what do we do now?" Tempe looked at him with big, innocent eyes. He looked at her, admiring her features as they were bathed in moonlight. She wasn't particularly pretty, he thought, but give her a few years and her face would catch up to her body.
"Wait? For how long?"
"As long as it takes." He turned away from her until he felt a light tap on his shoulder. When he looked back, her face was mere inches from his own.
"What do we do while we wait?" She looked at him, and watched, fascinated as a slow smirk appeared on his face.
Russ scoured the party, but still found no sign of his sister. Oh man, he thought, mom's so gonna kill me if anything happens to her. He was beginning to panic. After two hours of searching, no one there had noticed her leaving. Frustrated, he slumped onto a couch and ran a hand over his face. Next to him, a young man, that was slightly older than Russ was mimicking his behavior.
"Hey, you didn't happen to see where a kid dressed like the Phantom of the Opera went, did you?" The young man asked Russ.
"No, but wherever he is, I think my sister is with him."
"So that's who the fairy was, huh?"
"Yeah, she's the fairy."
"Okay, they obviously aren't anywhere here, but they couldn't have gone too far."
"Well, what's nearby that would interest a couple of kids on Halloween?" Russ and the young man thought for a minute, before reaching the conclusion at the same time.
"So what does your dad do?" The Phantom plunked down his hand of cards before looking over at Temperance.
"He's a science teacher, what about yours?" She laid down her hand and smiled triumphantly as hers beat out his.
"He's a barber in Philadelphia. Where did you learn to play poker so well?"
"My brother, Russ taught me."
"Yeah, mine too."
"So he's older?"
"Yup, and he's over in Iraq. Stupid war." Temperance offered her companion a smile, but froze at the sound of crunching gravel. She and the teenager looked at each other before scrambling to their feet and running away from the sound. Tempe cursed the sandals on her feet, and the wings on her back as she tripped and caught on every low branch the foliage had to offer.
She stopped to untangle her wings from a branch when she saw it. A figure walked towards her through the heavy mist, one hand outstretched. She looked around, and noted through her rapidly panicking brain that her companion was no longer with her. As the misty figure came closer, she screamed. Fairy wings be damned, she wasn't going to let some mobster ghost get her.
"They have to be here. This is my cousin's card deck." The young man looked over at Russ as he picked up the cards from the ground. Russ looked out over the bushes, but couldn't see anything through the mist. Frustrated, he crouched down and noticed two distinct sets of footprints in the ground. One set, the smaller pair ran off in the trees, and the other ran towards the main body of the cemetery.
"Dude, I think your cousin went that way." He indicated the footprints out to the young man. He nodded and took off, the playing cards in hand. Russ followed the footprints in the damp ground, hoping his sister wasn't too far ahead. He began to yell out to her, hoping she was able to respond. He didn't like the idea of her wandering around, alone in a cemetery. "Marco! Marco!" No response. Damn it, Tempe, where are you?
Temperance fell to the ground as her foot caught on an exposed root. She reached out to untangle herself from the tree, but stopped, terrified as the figure came toward her. It seemed indistinct, the form was almost transparent, but that might have just been from the thickening fog. As it came toward her, it reached out. She screamed, and shut her eyes tightly, knowing that this was going to be her end. She was going to be killed by a mobster's ghost because she had been too clumsy to stay on her feet. When the cold, clammy hands closed around her arms, she screamed as loud as she could, and struggled to get away.
"Let go of me! Let go!" The grip around her arms tightened.
"Marco!" Tempe's eyes flew open. Russ had her in his arms, trying to calm her down from her panicked state.
"Polo. Russ, is he gone?"
"Is who gone? That kid you were with? Is that who you were running from? Did he do anything to you?"
"No, it was a ghost. I was being chased by a ghost." She buried her face into Russ' shoulder as he pulled her into an embrace.
"Tempe, ghosts aren't real."
"Well this one was. It came after me, and I fell, and…thank you for finding me."
"Of course, Tempe. Now, why don't we get out of here and head home. I think both of us have had a little too much excitement for one night."
Dr. Temperance Brennan looked over the remains in front of her and let a small smile grace her face. She looked over at Zack as he recited the details of the skeleton.
"Male, late forties, judging by the state of the bones, they had to have been buried for quite some time, maybe up to at least eighty years. The gunshot wound to the back of the skull indicated the manner of death."
"And where did you say the remains were found?"
"In a pond behind Bachelor's Grove Cemetery in Chicago. Two teenagers seemed to have literally stumbled across them in nineteen ninety-one as they were running from the cemetery. One of them said they had been running from a ghost, and tripped over the bones that had been sticking out of the ground."
"Is there any information on the names of these teenagers?" Temperance's curiosity was piqued. Had it been the kid she was with that night? Zack looked over the case file, perusing it for the requested information. Once he found it, he looked up at his mentor.
"No names were given, but the younger of the two seems to have been dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera." Tempe's soft smile spread into a full grin at the information. She shook her head. Her past had an interesting way of coming back to her at the Jeffersonian.
"Thank you Zack."
"You're welcome Dr. Brennan." Zack smiled at her, clearly enjoying the praise. Temperance looked at her watch, and sighed. Six o'clock. For once, she was going to leave at a decent hour. She did, after all, have plans for the evening.
"Bones, I thought you said you'd be ready to leave by now." Speak of the devil. Brennan looked down at her partner, her smile growing wider.
"Give me a minute. I just need to get my coat. Zack, can you put the remains away for me please?" Zack gave a curt nod before setting to his task as Brennan raced to her office to relieve herself of the lab coat and grabbed her jacket.
"So where exactly is it that we're going tonight?" asked Booth as they left the Jeffersonian together. A slow smile spread onto the forensic anthropologist's face.
"Have you ever been to a cemetery at night?"