The Narrator in the Wreckage
Author's Note: I won't bore you with some tragic story about why I couldn't update. Instead I'll tell you that I just didn't feel like writing, I'll apologize and say I'll try to do better next time.
I watch as the team disperses, without a word of instruction or explanation. It seems odd to me to find a workplace where there seems no established hierarchy, although I'm sure there is one. These people don't see each other as subordinates or superiors, and not even as co-workers. They are equals, and more importantly—friends, a machine so well oiled, it runs without interference or problem. Each of the doctors walks with purpose, away from the room, yet no one touches me. Instead, Angela walks to her office, and begins to start machines and gather paper and pencils, while Cam retreats to her lab and begins extracting various solutions and tools, laying them out before her like her own chorus line. Booth, meanwhile, places his hands on Brennan's shoulders and steers her towards her office and onto her couch, where he tells her in a firm voice to take a nap while she waits for everyone else to have their turn with my remains. She argues half-heartedly about the paperwork she needs to complete, and the other work she has to do, but by the time Booth has finished arranging the pillows on the couch, and covering her with a blanket, she is already fast asleep. He looks down at her for a long time, watching her doze in her light sleep, her face relaxed and peaceful. A small smile creeps to his features, as his eyes sparkle with something I determine to be adoration—and, dare I say it, love. He doesn't look at her with eyes that speak of partnership, or even friendship, but in a way that a man looks at the woman he loves. It is the same look my father gives my mother, and the same look I too received what I'm sure is not too long ago from the man I loved, although it seems to me ages ago now.
Hodgins arrives back at the Jeffersonian, eager to run his samples through the machines to determine if there is any significance to what he discovered. On the way he bumps into Angela and the two stop and stare at the other, breaths catching in their throats, each wanting to say something—everything to the other, but not knowing where to start. The minutes seem to crawl by, until they realize today isn't the day, and they don't have the courage to say what they need to. They each clear their throat, and compose themselves, ready to walk away and back to work when they share the awkward exchange of two people mumbling about where they need to be and what they need to do. Hodgins moves to his left and Angela moves to her right, and the two again meet face to face, hurriedly they each step in the opposite direction they had before and again end up blocking each other in the narrow passage. After one more attempt, Angela reaches out and grabs Hodgins by the arms, and physically shifts him to the left. His blue eyes bulge at the contact as he stares at her hands on his arms, and Angela can all but manage a small smile as she leaves her hands on him, unable to bring herself to break the contact. Finally, after Cam walks up behind Hodgins, asking Angela about her progress on identifying the victim, the moment is broken, and the two separate as if ablaze, Hodgins all but running in the opposite direction. It's obvious to me that these two have a torrid history that isn't nearly as over as they'd like to pretend. I make a mental note to myself to watch those two more carefully in the future, as I leave the Jeffersonian to check on my parents on the last night of their cruise.
My dad and mom are packing their bags in their cabin, each chatting animatedly as they recall some of the more colorful adventures on their vacation. They talk about the people they saw and the food they ate, and the places they visited, and their eyes glow with excitement as they gently pack their souvenirs on the top of their luggage. My father places books in his, and colorful photos of the places they visited, while my mother packs clothing and small mementos in her bag. When her bag looks like it can't possibly hold any more she looks around to check that she hasn't forgotten anything around the room, save the pile of clothes folded neatly on a chair I imagine she intends to wear home tomorrow. Then, she places the last two items in her suitcase. The first is delicately wrapped in tissue paper, and as she opens it up to look at it one last time, her eyes glowing with pride as she gazes upon the most beautiful necklace I've ever seen. My heart aches as I fight back tears—it's obviously a gift for me, probably worth nearly half as much as the cruise itself. The second item she puts in her suitcase is a framed picture of me. She looks at it for a few more seconds, kisses her finger and places it against my cheek through the glass. She whispers that she misses me, and my father comes up behind her, placing his large hands on her shoulders and reminds her that they'll see me in a couple hours. The tears I've held for too long break through and I cry for what seems like hours, wishing I could protect them from the discovery they'll make in 12 hours time.
BNES BNES BNES
By the time I finally calm myself I turn my attention back to the gang at the Jeffersonian. Angela had apparently been working for hours in her lab to program numbers and calculations into her computer. I'm not quite sure what she was trying to achieve, but she surely knows what she is doing as she works with swift efficiency. Eventually, she seems satisfied, as she stands, stretches, and leaves her office. She first walks to Cam's office, raps twice on the door and waits patiently as Cam emerges from behind her table and asks "Ready?" Angela merely nods and keeps walking as Cam puts her equipment away and prepares to head to Angela's lab. Angela's next stop is to see Hodgins, and she clearly hesitates as she stands outside his door, then after taking a deep breath puts a smile on her face and pops her head in to inform him she is finished. Hodgins looks up at her through eyes magnified by his goggles and nods rapidly. "Okay, yeah. Sure." Angela smiles again and walks out of his door headed in the direction of Brennan's office. It becomes pretty clear that Angela feels abundantly more comfortable with Brennan than she does with the others as she strides into the office without so much as a knock to herald her arrival or a moment of hesitation as she enters.
What she sees, however, surprises her, although she knows it shouldn't, and it hardly takes more than a few moments for her to smile as she watches the scene before her. Dr. Brennan is fast asleep on the couch in her office, snuggled between the blanket that was clearly placed over her. Of course, what really makes her day is the presence of Booth, dozing next to her in the chair beside her, his large frame curled into the small chair, his head lolling to the side resting against Brennan's.
The "awwe" escapes Angela's lips before she can stop it, and she regrets it immediately as Booth's eyes shoot open at the noise, first to check on Brennan, then once he's certain she's safe (the small smile on his face as he watches her sleep does not go unnoticed by Angela), to see where the noise is coming from. He sees it's Angela and while his ears redden only slightly, he asks her why she came in whispers so as to not wake the woman sleeping next to him. Angela, almost forgetting why she came in the first place whispers back.
"Did you have a nice nap? You looked pretty cozy," she says with a smirk.
"I wasn't sleeping. I was just resting my eyes as I kept Bones company."
"Booth, Brennan is asleep."
"I didn't say she was keeping me company. Why are you here again?"
"I finished our girl."
"Great, I'll be there in a minute."
"Are you going to wake Brennan?"
"She hasn't gotten a lot of sleep since we took this case. Can't we fill her in later?"
"You know as well as I do she'll want to be there."
"Fine. I'll meet you there."
With that, Angela turns around and walks out of the office, and I get the distinct impression she's fighting the urge to hide behind a potted plant and watch the exchange that follows. If she only knew what I would see, I'm sure she wouldn't hesitate to do so.
Booth stands for a long time, staring down at Brennan, clearly not relishing the idea of waking her up. Even I have to admit it is odd to see so clearly guarded a woman looking so serene and vulnerable. Eventually though, he whispers "Bones" softly. When she doesn't respond he repeats her name louder. When he fails to get a response a second time, Booth reaches out to rock her gently. While the action fails to wake the doctor up, it succeeds in knocking a lock of hair across her face. Sighing, Booth whispers "Temperance" and strokes the hair out of her face, his fingers brushing against her skin. The contact clearly startles Brennan awake as she jolts up with a slight scream, which in turn frightens Booth who screams back, before telling her "It's just me."
Brennan asks him what he's doing, and he instead of telling her how he slept beside her, he decides on a half-truth.
"Angela sent me to wake you up. She's finished the reconstruction, and wants us to meet her in her lab."
"I wasn't asleep. I was just resting my eyes."
"Sure, I know that."
"Okay, let's go."
Running her hands through her messy hair, Brennan struggles to recompose herself, as Booth silently chides himself for startling her, wishing he could have let her continue sleeping.
When the two arrive in the lab together, hair tussled and clothes slightly disheveled, Angela abruptly stops talking, and although Brennan remains oblivious, it's clear to Booth that she was telling the others the position she found the two in. Nevertheless, she announces that now that everyone is present, she can show them the girl.
I watch amazed as before my eyes, a girl appears in 3D. Her face is angular, and nose is small, but her mouth is large and thick. Her cheekbones are high, and her forehead would be large were it not for the long brown hair cascading down around her head and past her long slender neck and wide set shoulders. I realize with a start that I am looking at myself, and that this woman had managed to create my image out of nothing more than some charred flesh and bone. Looking around, I see a few sketches of myself, where my mouth was too large, or my nose too small, and I realize how many hours it must have taken her to construct this.
"She was beautiful." I hear Angela muse to herself, and I can't help but blush with the compliment.
Booth instructs her to check and see if the image correlates to anything in missing persons. I check my watch and realize with a start that it may very well warrant results soon.
BNES BNES BNES
The computer has been running for hours, cross referencing the angles of my face to those of others in the database when suddenly it beeps and stops. I see my name across the screen and with it a picture my father took a month ago of me under a tree in our back yard. My life story is on the screen, and it pains me to see I can be so easily summed up as a person with the mention of my date of birth, some distinguishing features, and a short biography that would help someone identify me. The date gone missing is unknown, but the date reported missing is today. At least they won't have to wait long before they know for sure.
The beeping of the computer catches the attention of Booth, and he strides over to the screen, reads over the information quickly, checking to verify the image matches that of Angela's model, and prints it out. He then hurries to find his partner. He sticks his head in her office and calls out to her.
"Bones, let's go. It's time to go speak to the parents of Daphne Tennyson."
Author's Note: Hey guys, so three chapters later you finally have a name! Later, when it won't give too much away I'll let you all be impressed by how clever I was in my choice of names, but for now, it may give too much away. Intrigued are you not? It won't hurt to tell you that Tennyson means "storyteller" which should make sense, but until I can tell you more without spoiling the mystery, that's all you get! Review please.