He knew what they thought of him. Even Angela, who could be relied on to find the good in almost anyone.
That he was too young. Too fresh-faced. Booth had gone so far as to say he looked about twelve. Maybe he did. And maybe they needed someone with a bit more gravitas, a personality more suited to the role. Only that wouldn't mean they could do the job better, and he knew he was good at what he did. He had the doctorates to prove it, as he had pointed out on more than one occasion.
It didn't stop them, of course. The slightly snide comments, the questions from Hodgins as to whether he was old enough to cross the road, let alone drink. And perhaps asking to touch the brain Cam Saroyan had excised that time hadn't helped. Like a little boy in a toy store, unable to resist playing.
An outsider, that's what he was. Tolerated, but not one of them.
Except, sometimes, on a day like today. A day when his insight and psychological profile had given Booth the clue he needed, and right now the bad guy was sitting in the interrogation room, facing a Federal agent who knew with absolute certainty that he'd committed the crime he was going to admit to … because he, Lance Sweets, had been able to supply the right information.
Then, then he'd look at Temperance Brennan, and she'd look back, and give that little smile of hers, the one that meant, 'Well done'. And he knew he belonged. If only for that moment in time.