I got this idea after reading Keep On Trying by vampiratelycan. That's a good story, if you like mine you should read that and if you don't like mine, I still recommend it. So this is set during Aliens in a Spaceship. I don't have a beta at this moment so all mistakes are my own.
Disclaimer: I wish . . .
Zach was standing over the remains of Matthew and Ryan Kent when he heard the news. Cam had just come in from dinner. Angela was standing next to him and they had just been discussing fracture patterns. Cam came up on the platform and looked at them. To Zach, Cam really did not look any different, but he never really was very good at reading people. Angela however noticed something because she immediately asked, "What's wrong?"
Cam took a deep breath before answering, "Brennan and Hodgins have been taken by the Gravedigger."
The folder Angela had in her hands fell to the ground and the color drained from her face, "What?"
Zach was trying to logically work through the events. Dr. Brennan had been taken. Hodgins had been taken. They were buried alive . . . somewhere. Zach then tried to think about what they already knew about the Gravedigger. Not much.
"The Gravedigger called Booth. He gave us twelve hours to raise eight million dollars," said Cam.
Booth came in and the three scientists walked down off the platform to meet him. Zach informed Cam that Hodgins was rich and Booth said something about one less reason to wear a suit when it was said he could possibly get fired.
They walked out to the parking garage where they found Brennan's car. Near it was a small pool of blood. Booth said that it would turn out to be Hodgins' blood.
"Dr. Brennan doesn't like it when we jump to conclusions," said Zach, trying to keep his head. Just because the situation was uncertain and dangerous, did not mean everyone had to forget to think logically. Cam's reply was that they were on a deadline and that Dr. Brennan would understand. Zach wasn't so sure but didn't say anything. Booth began doling out things for each person to do. Zach was asked to 'be Dr. Brennan.' Once he figured out what that meant he went to continue finding how the Gravedigger modified the stun gun.
At first he couldn't help but think that what he was doing to a piece of meat was what was done to Dr. Brennan. That only led him to think about what was done to Hodgins. His train of thought was not taking a very good path. He was happy when Cam came in and asked about his progress. He began telling her what he had discovered since the last time they spoke. Ryan Kent killed himself. As he went on his speech became more hurried. He felt that even talking was wasting time that they desperately needed.
After Cam left he continued experimenting with the stun guns. He managed to stay detached when he was working but when he stopped he couldn't help but think he wasn't helping with the search. He felt he needed to do more but knew logically there was nothing he could do except work the case, which could help find the Gravedigger if not his victims.
Every few minutes Zach would glance up at the clock. He was watching the minutes tick away. It was difficult working. It was even more difficult thinking. Random bits of information and illogical, selfish questions kept moving through his head. Where will I live if Hodgins dies? Will I lose my position at the Jeffersonian if Dr. Brennan doesn't make it Who would compete with me like Hodgins did? Am I king of the lab if Hodgins doesn't make it?
Everyone else seemed to be dealing with the whole ordeal better than he was. Sure, Angela was freaking out but at least she was feeling something. He knew he was socially inept and knew how most people reacted in certain situations. Angela was doing the normal thing. He was not.
Booth and Cam were actually trying to find a way to save Brennan and Hodgins. They were trying to put together a ransom but as recently as he had heard, they were failing. Booth was doing a good job of holding back his anger and fear. Cam, Zach knew, didn't know what to do with herself. She had not been on the team long enough to really know how to feel about this whole thing. He knew she cared for them in a way but not anymore than as colleagues and friends.
Suddenly Booth burst in the door saying something about receiving a text message from Brennan. Zach pulled it up on one of the many flat screens around the lab. Everyone was looking at it trying to figure out what it meant.
Zach was still trying to be logical about the whole thing and explained what hypoxia led to and that that was probably why nobody could make sense of the message. Then he glanced at the clock and realized just how much time was left.
"We are out of time."
He had a horrible sinking feeling in his chest as he said this. None of it seemed real. According to all his calculations Dr. Brennan and Hodgins were dead. Booth however was giving a very convincing argument of why they shouldn't give up and Zach allowed himself to think a little illogically and let the hope that they were still alive survive in him. Probably mostly because he didn't want to believe that Brennan and Hodgins were dead, not because it made sense.
He worked through all the things the message could be. The four of them came to the conclusion that the message was about dirt and to Zach. He concentrated on anything the numbers could mean. He came up with the . . . periodic table of elements!
After only a few minutes of typing he came up with an exact location. Everyone ran to the Booth's car and hopped in. Booth had the car moving almost before Zach and Angela had made it into the backseat. Booth's driving was scary but Zach still felt they weren't going fast enough. Even though he had narrowed the focus down to a single quarry, it seemed huge when they actually got there. Zach was certain they wouldn't find them in time, until Booth started running.
Everyone hesitated a moment before hurrying after him. He already had Brennan mostly out before anyone else got there. Zach and Angela worked to get Hodgins out. Once they were both free Zach allowed himself a sigh of relief. They were okay. He still had a place to live. A job. A group of people who liked him for who he was.
Zach knew that if they hadn't found Brennan and Hodgins, Angela would have quit, moved on to do her art elsewhere. Booth would have stopped consulting with the Jeffersonian. He, himself, would have more than likely had to go back to the university or maybe have gotten reassigned. That would have been the end of his makeshift family.
But they found them and all those worries he had were no longer possibilities, at least not today. Their work was dangerous, he knew, but so far all of them had made it and he hoped that he could continue that boast for a very long time.
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