Trust Incorporated

by: Madi Holmes

Disclaimer: Bones is not owned by me.

The coffee was cold.

Fitting, he knew. To find the pot unplugged, the coffee grossly tepid.

It was too much.

All so very much.

He threw the pot, coffee and all, across the room, watching it explode against the wall, a bomb of glass shards and brown liquid. Too familiar of an image, he realized, his stomach bottoming out.

"Dude, not cool."

Startled, Hodgins looked left, then right. Sweets stood five feet away, by the door, a handy escape route if he snapped further. "Don't even start with me."

"Now's the perfect time, I think." Sweets replied, shifting his body position to that of comfort, of empathy. An old psychology trick. "You should have come to me to talk. Long, long ago."

"I have no issues. I am issue-less. Now I have particles to particulate and bugs to dissect. Don't you have a Gameboy to go play with? You obviously don't have a girlfriend." Hodgins replied, trying to escape.

"Nor do you, apparently." Active aggression tactic.

"Don't even start with me. You told Cam to violate Woman Code and blab her big, fat mouth to kingdom come, and look what happened. You might have two doctorates, but zero woman experience. Why she even asked a twenty-two year old virgin about a thirty-five year old woman's sex problem is way beyond me. Rule number one with them: 'Never tell your friend that you slept with her ex.' That's like imprinted from birth."

"I know that you're angry." Sweets replied, closing the door.

"Angry? You don't know how angry I can get. This, to me, is like a 3." Hodgins replied, seeing nameless people in lab coats through the windows stop to stare quickly, at him, then move on. "I get more angry when the paper is fifteen minutes late in the morning."

"The coffee pot says otherwise."

"Coffee pots don't say anything. They're coffee pots."

"Yes, Zach would say something like that."

"DON'T BRING HIM INTO THIS!" Hodgins seethed.

"But that's why you threw it. You're not only angry, you're scared and betrayed and hurt. I saw you when you did it. It totally reminded you of him. That same flash of panic in your eyes when the urn exploded. Let me guess, the coffee splashed red for a second. You saw him there, on the ground, bleeding, his hands and fingers butchered to metacarpal bone and muscle. The exact same scene you see every single day at your job with dozens of other skeletons and bodies, only this was Zach, your adopted little brother, and now you can't get it out of your head." Sweets went on, closing each blind slowly, methodically, shutting the world out. "Over and over it plays. Angela was no help, was she? The first time you really needed her support, she bolts and says that you can't trust her." Zip. "Brennan and Booth had their own issues about death and betrayal and clowns, and Cam is now in No-Man's-Land. So, now, you have no one." Zip. "You are all alone in this big, bad world outside of your bugs and particulates and mold. And this isn't the first time, is it? All of the anger and desperation and problems with Angela all stem from the fact that your trust has, once again, been stomped flat like Doc Marten boots on a cockroach." The last slats shushed closed, leaving the two men alone. The world no longer existed.

Hodgins felt his eyes grow red, his emotions roiling.

"Clarissa did the same thing. She betrayed you. Your trust and your love. And you panicked and thought Angela would do the same thing with Greyson. Zach didn't trust you enough to come to you when he was first abducted. For months on end, he was a zombie. And then he brought in that skull and boiled it. In your own house. And you couldn't even save him, didn't even notice him changing. I heard that you tried to silence him. You figured it out and thought you could protect him. Forever and ever. And then you couldn't. You felt like you betrayed him."

Hodgins slumped into a chair, everything washing out.

"And then there are your parents." Sweets said quietly.

"Don't. Just don't." Colors dissolved into grey. His vision flattening.

"The ultimate act of betrayal. All of that money and power and connections and the big, bad ass Cantilever Group, and they did that. You don't just hide your background, you actively run from it. Because it directly comes from them. You don't trust your intermediate family and you sure as hell don't trust your extended family. It's no wonder Angela says that you don't trust her. You've never once had anyone that you could trust."

"I can't do this anymore."

"What is that?"


"You will. In time. You're a survivor."

"I don't want to be one anymore."

"Doesn't work like that. You and Angela have a lot of issues to work out. She's no saint in this situation. It will take time, but you have to heal first before you can move on with her."

"I'm not going into therapy with a snotnosed twenty-two year old punk."

"You don't understand, Jack." Sweets kneeled down, making Hodgins look him directly in the eyes. "You already are."