Warnings: none

Spoilers: none

Disclaimer: I wish I owned them but I don't

She had long, curly, blonde hair, bleached even lighter by the sun. A round face. Big blue eyes framed by long dark lashes. A splash of summer freckles across her slightly upturned nose. Full, pink lips in a smile just barely held back by a playful pout. She was sitting on a homemade wooden swing that was surrounded by trees in full bloom, dressed in a sleeveless white dress with pink stitching and a wreath of white and pink flowers was perched on her head. Her bare feet just brushed the soft grass below.

Her name was Madelyn Marie Tanner. She was four years old. She was abducted from her grandmother's backyard, roughly two after being the flower girl in her cousin Megan's wedding. She was beaten, stabbed in the chest and stomach, and her face was repeatedly bashed against a cinder block, al before she was shot in the head three times, finally killing her.

She was found six months later, in the basement of Matthew and Lynnette Carter's "dream home". They found her body, which was in a black plastic trash bag within a cardboard box which had been taped shut and left in the in the formerly abandoned house, while cleaning it out because it smelled.

" She reminds me of my niece, Alyssa" Zack said, surprising Brennan, who was about to leave. He looked up from the file from the team's last case and the picture of the victim he'd been looking at, switching his focus to her. Quiet descended on the lab again. Brennan came to stand next to Zack, looking at the picture herself. Finally he spoke again. "How do you deal?" he asked.

Brennan sighed and sat down next to him. " You learn to lock out your emotions, to keep from focusing on certain aspects" she said, glanced at him. He had returned to looking at the photo. "There are some cases though, that will be harder to handle than others". Zack regarded her with damp eyes. " Those are the ones that will always stick out in your memory. She gently touched the picture. You just have to remember that you're giving these people's families answers and helping catch their killer." She picked up one of his hands and squeezed it gently. " It's never easy, but we do it".

a/n: i hope the characters aren't OOC. i' not sure. thanks for reading! nn ( and please review)