I apologize…profusely for my absence and failure to update. I've been very unfair to all of you. If there's anyone out there still reading this, allow me to beg for my forgiveness.

A lot has happened since last year (I updated in November?). For one, I purchased a new computer and installed Microsoft Office 2007, which I hate with a passion. Can you guys believe that I couldn't even figure out how to print? I must be getting old.

And Bones is back! I can barely believe it. I'm very much enjoying it so far. And for the record, I like Hannah. I really hope that they handle the eventual break-up well…because a break-up IS inevitable. How are you all dealing with the early hiatus? Don't fret, for Bones will be back in a few short weeks!

And to Jepp: I actually did not know the anonymous reviews were disabled! But when realization hit, I enabled them. I appreciate reviews from anyone (and everyone), the account-less included. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Bones. I wish I did, but then again…don't we all?

"You sure you're alright, Bones?"

The woman turned to her partner with a frustrated sigh, "Yes, Booth! I am perfectly fine. I don't understand why you insist on asking me over and over. I believe one answer should suffice."

He looked at her skeptically.

"What?" If looks could kill, Booth would have been finished years ago.

"Nothing, Bones." He held up his arms in defense as they entered the Jeffersonian, her glare still resting on his moving figure.

Hodgins swung his head of curls in Dr. Brennan's direction as she scanned her card, "Dr. B, any news?" His hopeful look turned to despair as she sighed. "I'll take that as a 'no.'"

"Come on, people. My squints never fail," Cam approached her dwindling team in stride.

"My squints never fail," Booth tried to correct his ex. They might prove to be a pain in the ass, but he was proud to call them his. Not that he would outwardly admit this to anyone. Most already could see that he looked upon the team at the Jeffersonian with utmost respect. "Camille," he added on with a smirk, for good measure.

"You forget, Seeley," her mouth turned up, slightly, "I am the boss here."

As she walked away, the forensic anthropologist turned to face her partner. "You two should really be more professional. We have an important case at hand. There's no time for distractions. We need to put work before any personal relationships."

"What? Bones, how can you say that?"

Hodgins broke the eerie silence that followed, as he cleared his throat. "I agree with Dr. Brennan…don't shoot me," he backed away from the FBI agent who's hand was slowly twitching towards his gun, "All I care about right now is finding Angela and Zack. We can't get distracted. I mean, I disagree with Dr. B. in some respect. Our work, right now, is personal."

Brennan's smug, victory grin slowly faded as Booth's grew.

"See?" The agent had always been so good at pushing her buttons.

"I'm choosing to ignore that last comment for the sake of the case. I need to be free of disruption in order to do my job to the best of my ability."

"She's avoided me, this time," Seeley couldn't help but think, "But not for long…"

She tucked into her cocoon. Her pencil bounced against the table, and her eyes focused on the sets of remains. There was a set of phalanges, a mandible, and now a shattered scapula. It was up to her now…to connect the dots, solve the mystery, save her friends.

Time of death for all three victims was inconclusive. The bones were sterilized to perfection, and without a proper skeleton she supposed the mysteries of those deaths would never be revealed.

A business card, stainless steel cleaner, a gold filling…it wasn't much to go upon. But that's what she did; she made do with information to catch the killer. Why should it be any different now?

She knew the answer.

He settled into an uncomfortable, plastic chair outside of his partner's office. That's what he did. He looked out for her…for all of them. Apparently, he wasn't doing such a hot job. Zach grew farther away without his notice. Angela slipped right through his fingers. God forbid anyone else should get dragged further into the current mess that they were all treading in. Drowning was more like it, he acknowledged in resentment. Why did it have to be like this?

None of the witnesses gave him anything to look into. Sandy, Dr. Calder…both dead ends. There was an astonishing lack of leads in this case. He couldn't really call it a case because it was more personal than that.

He didn't have an answer.

"There is much that I should probably be telling you, but I fear it will do nothing more than worsen the dangerous situation that I've placed you in."

"Starting with that dream," the woman pressed.

Zack grimaced slightly. "I'd rather not talk about it."

"You don't have to if you don't want to," the artist sighed, "But Sweetie, I'm just trying to help. You worry me."

"You should really be more worried about yourself, Angela. I'm the one who got us all into this mess. I'm quite surprised that any of you still care for me after…after what I've done."

"We love you, Zack. You're family. Me, you, Bren, Booth, Cam, Sweets, Hodgins," she let out a long breath at the mention of the last, "That's what families do."

"I am aware of the general rules for familialbehavior; those practiced commonly in our society, tribal customs practiced with family members…"

"Yeah, yeah…I've been friends with Brennan long enough to recognize an anthropologically correct answer when I hear one. But I'm talking about the real thing. I mean, you have a huge family, right?"

He nodded, "I do, and I don't doubt that they care for me greatly…in their own way. I've never been the best at expressing my feelings towards them in the same manner. And frankly," he added, "I believe that I fit in more so at the Jeffersonian than I do anywhere else," another paused to look at her compassion filled eyes, "Or…at least I did fit in at the Jeffersonian."

"Oh, Sweetie," her eyes glistened with warmth, "You still fit in with us. I mean, you're not the most normal 26 year old genius I've ever known," she held in a chuckle, "But really, are any of us normal? You fit in just fine."

"I'm not particularly worried about not being normal, right now," Zack frowned, "I'm more concerned about being…unworthy, I suppose."

"We all have our wrongs, Zack. Brennan was nearly arrested by her own partner, and her father committed murder and got away with it. She even testified for him. Booth was a sniper. For me…I don't even know where to begin. I've been terrible to Hodgins."


"I mean, I know he's just trying to get this divorce over and done with, but sometimes I just feel like he doesn't trust me anymore."


"Maybe I shouldn't blame him. But I barely even remember-"

Zach spoke more loudly this time, "I have a plan."

It's short…terribly short. Half of it has been written for almost a year now, which makes me feel incredibly guilty. Are you still there, my dear reviewers/subscribers?

Many apologies and much love to you all,