By Madi Holmes
Note: I put far more thinking with this plotline in 20 minutes than the writers did for the season finale. My story is a copout, but at least it's one that is only slightly more reasonable than "Zack is now crazy!"
I don't own anything.
The scent of lavender and tea wafted over Zack, awaking him to time Before. Saturdays where summer surrounded Hodgin's garage was in full bloom. The flowerbeds were mostly weedy, violent colors that distracted Zack whenever he viewed them. But the smell of lavender always wafted up to the second floor, embracing the man with the early morning warmth of sun and graceful waking.
Having properly woken properly, the lavender was now a cruel reminder. He opened his eyes, focusing, then unclenched his bandaged hands. Despite the wrapping, he continually found himself clenching the bones during sleep, stressing them further. Weeks had passed and then finally a month. The doctors and nurses were just now realizing that he wasn't as insane as first thought, and was now given small liberties. Thus awaking to Jack Hodgins, smelling of lavender and oolong tea, threw him out of his newly fermented world of white-tiled rules and regulations.
"Dr. Hodgins. This is very unexpected."
"What the hell happened, Zack."
"I have explained all that I know many times over to the police and my doctors."
"You know what I mean. How did you of all people end up here? Why didn't you come to me when you were first taken? All of that time in the lab together and nothing. I'm your best friend. Hell, a week earlier, you were singing in the lab. You had to have known that this guy was off his rocker. It just wasn't worth it, Zack. Still isn't."
"I have been described as possessing a weak personality."
"Which we both know was pop psychology bullshit. There is no such thing as weak personalities or strong personalities. He did something to make you do those things- what was it? Drugs? Stockholm Syndrome? Did he Patty Hearst your ass? You weren't even gone that long. I remember that weekend. You weren't even gone twenty-four hours."
"Things merely got out of my control."
"That's just it. I'm missing something. You don't 'get' out of control."
"If you are attempting to reason with someone who has been recently declared criminally insane, then you will be very disappointed in the results."
"Was that a joke, Zack?" Hodgins replied, laughing. The sound more desperate than anything. "I had to wait until you blew your own fingers off for you to develop a sense of humor.
Zack merely looked back at him with his large eyes and deadened face.
"I'm here, because I tried to protect you. Even after I figured it out, I still thought that I could bring you back. Make you into the old Zack Addy again. Even after I realized that you had boiled a skull in my own house, killed someone with a knife, that you had blown yourself up for the sake of some dead psycho, I still believed in you. I tried."
"You should have stopped me sooner. It is your job to do so."
"No, my job is bugs, molds, and fungi. What happened?"
"I was mistaken."
"Stop stonewalling me, Zack. Sane people don't kill other people because of faulty, Dr. Spock logic, and we both know that you're the sanest guy in this place." Hodgins yelled, praying for any sort of response.
Zack just looked, nestling deep into his bed.
"Fine, if that's your answer, then I won't bother you again. Have fun counting ceiling tile."
"See you at your parole hearing."
Dr. Hodgins stopped and looked down at his best friend. Zack was still implacable, but had the fine air of desparation about him.
"I was already sleep deprived when I first met him. I have always required little sleep, but I had developed incurable insomnia in the past year. Six hours of sleep turned into five and then four. After a month of being up for forty-eight hours at a time, he approached me at the Symposium. He promised to cure the insomnia, and he did. He took me to his house as I had mentioned before, and I slept on his couch for twelve hours. When I awoke, I ate breakfast that consisted of eggs, toast, and tea. I ate all of it, and then slept again. That night, I returned to your home, where you saw me."
"Another week passed, then another. The insomnia came back, and so he fixed it again. This time, he met me at the library in the section on seabirds. It quickly became a pattern. You were mostly with Angela, and thus missed my absenses.
"At that point, he became fully entwined with my life. He never demanded anything, merely asked as a point of therapy. Our sessions were very liberating at first. He had had some psychological training in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, and taught me how to process what happened in Iraq."
"You never did explain what happened." Jack said, not sure if Zack was listening.
"It started slowly. I would run an errand for him. Nothing illegal or deceptive. One time, I made a set of keys for him at a hardware store. Another time, I did some research on some of the secret societies that you had mentioned in the past and then more on humanitarian organizations. That was when I realized that was his job. He coordinated a communications system hub for an international aid NGO, at least, that was what I surmised at the time.
"Then our time together grew more pronounced. He said that he was preparing me for better things, that I would start to feel more and experience more, that I would soon be able to go beyond my protracted comfort zone."
"I was making real progress. I was really starting to feel better about everything. But I was still doing things for him. And then, one day, I was placing bones in our inventory. A mandible in one box, a tibula in another. I had already placed five pieces on different occassions before I became fully cognizant of my actions."
"Why did you never come to me?"
"After the lobbyist, I was no longer myself. The things he promised- the release of Iraq, the power I was feeling. It was not megalomania, nor was it endocrinological. It was the feeling of being in the right. I was making things better, everyone's lives a bit better."
"Of a sort. I knew of the secret societies that he had talked about- what they had accomplished in the past. The lobbyist was in fact a Mason- DeMolay. It was all tied into the Master's plan."
"Don't call him that, Zack. He's nothing but a dead psycho."
"I apologize. That is the only name I know him as."
"You also realize that by joining his cult, you were only furthering the Gormogons' secret society. As the dead psycho told you, secret societies only cause harm to humanity."
"Another flaw in my logic."
Hodgins smiled, for once, making Zack feel odd. "After you were arrested and your rooms searched by the police, I did my own investigation: it's my room after all. It's also good to have friends with a multi-million dollar laboratory. And I tested everything."
"There was one good thing about Iraq."
"There is nothing good."
"I found your hairbrush," Jack replied, ignoring the statement. "You hadn't cleaned it since coming back, and I found a whole lot of tasty information. You shaved your hair, remember, and got drug tested on several occasions for the military. All negative for everything. So I had a perfect set up for for the tests I ran: a definitive starting point for new hair growth with a negative test result. Turns out, when I tested your hair later, I found huge amounts of amphetamines in your hair going back to about three months when all of this first started. And then about the time you met the dead psycho, you started testing positive for barbiturates. I was able to roughly figure out the timeframe for both using your hair strand as a template. There's a definite overlap of the two, but the amphetamines were first and more prevalent while the barbiturates came later and to a lesser degree. Not that my timeframe would be admissible in court, but the presence of both definitely is better than you just being crazy. My guess is that he was drugging you with uppers for at least a month before the symposium, and then 'cured' you with the barbiturates. He got your circadian rhythm so screwed up, it's a wonder that you could barely function. My guess is that you were so good at your job that you simply were running on instinct half of the time. This does explain quite a lot about why you were so irritiable and moody and then very manic. I mean, manic in a way that you would be manic. Strangely enough, you never got randomly drug tested since you got back. I, however, got tested like seven times. Guess that's why they're called random."
"I never realized that I was being drugged. I am relieved to find out that I am not criminally insane."
"You never were. Everyone knew that. This was just a better alternative to prison for you. However, you are a victim of a sort. One of cheap theatrics and bad plotlines. Hopefully, this information can help to rectify some of that."
"I still killed that man."
"Yes, you will have to live with that forever." Hodgins replied, trying to reassure Zack. "My time's about up. How about I come back next week and we talk some more?"
"I would very much appreciate that. Could you still smell of lavender then?"
Hodgins smiled, and grabbed the plastic chair. "See you then." He said, leaving the younger man alone.
He left the room, and dropped the chair onto the ground.
"Well?" Booth asked.
"He didn't know about the drugs. I got the whole conversation taped. It explains a lot, but hopefully they'll let him move to a minimally secure institution after this. I hope. You'll help, right?"
"Yes. It does make a lot more sense though." Booth replied.
"Life doesn't always make sense, though," Brennan stated.
"Yeah, but since when does Zack Addy not make sense? Hodgins smiled, feeling his universe shift just a tad back into reality.