"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"
So here I am. Another year, another godawful Bones finale that I have to clean up. Hope you like it. Please let me know what you think.
"So what have you done last week?" Sweets slouched down in his chair, making sure to ask specific questions for his patient."
"I am much better now that I have regained full library privileges, but I am still not allowed to carry my own library card. The other doctors still believe that it poses a security risk."
"Yes, well, that fiasco could have ended much, much worse for you, Zach. You're very lucky."
Zach pursed his lips, shutting down at the sentiment.
"Have you been socializing with the others?"
Zach remained passive.
"You have to keep up your social skills. It's not healthy to just rely on just Hodgins's and my visits."
"I have explained this situation in the past. Many times."
"I know, Zach," Sweets sighed. "but you can't shut out the others. I know that it might be hard to make friends in a place like this. That some of the people here can be dangerous, but it is imperative that you continue interacting with others. Have you made any friends at all?"
"It… is hard for me." Zach idled neutral.
"Is it the people here?"
"They can be a bit hard to talk to."
"It is a mental hospital. I know that you are one of the smarter patients, but you can't just wall yourself off."
"I have talked on occasion with Cathy the Nurse and Dr. Rodrigues, but both have maintained a professional distance from my attempts."
"Okay," Sweets conceded. "Have you worked on any of your projects?"
"Yes, I managed to finish one," Zach brightened up a small amount.
"Really? Which one?"
"I have written a story."
"Did you?" Sweets grinned, showing his teeth. "Can I read it?"
Zach hesitated, thinking over the request before sliding his notebook across the table. "It is a fictional story. I spent two days researching on how to write fiction before writing. I also read all of Dr. Brennan's books. Did you know that she has fans who write stories about her characters? They call it fanfiction, and I am fairly certain that it completely breaks all of the copywrite laws. I spent a further two days-"
Sweets tuned out Zach as he continued mumblings about methods and observations on writing. The pencil written story was crimped with story and scratches. With lined out sentences and phrases, margins filled with notes and prose, the mess written by one unused to writing long hand.
The whole thing ran about ten pages. Sweets immediately started seeing patterns, unsurprised to see the names of Zach's friends popping up immediately.
"Everyone has told me that Dr. Brennan heavily borrows from her friends for her stories. I haven't recognized anyone so far, but there was a character named Kammy in her last book which might be Dr. Saroyen."
Sweets went back to reading. An easy murder mystery. The lab was there. The squints and the entire Jeffersonian group, but with every character half formed- shadows of character archetypes. But Brennan and Booth having sex immediately? That one threw Sweets. "Zach, about Brennan and Booth married-"
Zach switched gears immediately. "Dr. Hodgins told me about Dr. Brennan's desire to procreate. I was shocked about it, so I tried to incorporate that into my story. With Agent Booth being ill, I thought that it might be happier."
Sweets realized that Hodgins was the narrator. It was a generic narration with way too much information and rambling, but things here and there spoke of Hodgins's voice patterns. The others were similar, but bizarrely different. Angela was still actually Angela. He himself was a psychoanalyzing bartender, Dr. Saroyen and Jarod were regular detectives. Even the new graduate students were in the story in some form or another. But they were the most different. Quiet, reserved Wendall was a bad bouncer, Clark was a rap artist(?), Vaziri was a real estate shark that reminded the psychologist of the Lesbos episode of South Park, his dippy Daisy was still his dippy Daisy, but he didn't like her? And Hodgins showed up again only as a more sober Dylan Thomas. He also sported a very bad Irish accent. Zach dutifully wrote out each enunciation, but gave up and dropped the accent halfway through.
"Zach." Sweets looked up from the page.
"You just wrote yourself out of your own story. You made yourself Dr. Brennan's personal assistant, had yourself arrested and then made some weird comment about your current predicament."
"It was supposed to be humorous."
Sweets felt like he was chewing cud.
"Apparently, there's this term called 'Mary Sue' on the internet where a writer writes himself into their own story, and that this is a bad thing. So I wrote myself out," Zach explained.
"But-" Sweets stared at Zack.
Zach stared back. Sort of.
Right. Moving on.
The mystery progressed. People covering up knowledge and evidence of the murder, all designed to protect Booth and Brennan. An incredibly weird scene where he not only sings and fronts a band, but said band's name is Gormogon, and he is adamant that he is not, in fact, Gormogon. What came out of his mouth was: "Pink Floyd reference?"
"Hodgins explained the concept to me. Like how Schroedinger was not the name of the cat. Then I understood it."
Sweets shrugged it off, choosing to pick his battles. "One thing I have noticed."
"There's absolutely no forensic aspect."
"You've completely omitted any reference to it despite having a doctorate in it."
"I didn't think that it was conducive to the story."
Zach stared down. Away. "I made a mistake. I was in error. It just didn't fit the story."
Hodgins was decidedly happy. In a boozy, smiling, laid back, non-paranoid, unburdened, scruffy, Irish sober drunk sort of way. Sweets realized that Zach had wanted to see his friend that way.
With time running out, Sweets sped through the last two pages- the brother did it- to save Brennan and Booth, just like the others. And they all thank Jarod for his actions, his mistaken actions in murdering someone for them where it wasn't even the right thing to do, and finally his final ultimate redemption. He was still loved by the others, despite that great, big mistake.
Then Brennan got her baby and even more happiness ensued.
The story ended and a new one started up on the next line where Booth woke up from his surgery. Brennan was there, waiting for him. More happiness, until Booth had amnesia. It was the start of a new story afterall.
Sweets was blown away. The whole story was imprinted with Zach's non-writing ability. He was a terrible writer- a mishmash of clichés, genres, and barely there characterization.
It was a total breakthrough. Zach, in his own way, was recreating his own personal downfall, emoting his friends to be happy and still liking him, and creating a mostly coherent story line. Sweets needed more time with the story. It was imperative that he could see exactly what Zach was writing in a way where he didn't feel bound up or paranoid about being psychoanalyzed.
"Do you mind if I take this with me? So I can really take it in?"
Zach fidgeted, torn at wanting to give permission or to keep it private. "It still falls under doctor-patient confidentiality," he finally said.
"Of course!" Sweets pseudo-lied. If a copy was somehow accidently Xeroxed and then passed around to other doctors and maybe his friends…
Zach continued to debate. Took the notebook back and tore out the pages. "I hope you... If I write more, would you read them?"
"Of course!" Sweets nodded, smiling again, sweeping the pages into his folder. "We can discuss it next week," wrapping up the session, feeling empowered by Zach's story.
Platitudes followed. Sweets making sure to inventory all of his items in front of his patient. No more incidents like the library card. Then left Zach alone in the interview room.
Logging out at the nurse's desk, he did another inventory, found the story, and smiled. "Are you Nurse Cathy?" Sweets asked the RN filing reports.
"Has Zach Addy ever mentioned his story to you?"
"There's more than one?"
"Reams full, Dr. Sweets. It's all he does anymore."
"Do you know what he writes?"
"It's always the same people in his stories. No matter what. They're all there. Over and over again."
Sweets's happy mood drained out. "How many has he written?"
"I'd say about a dozen so far. Probably more."
"Exactly the same?"
"More or less. All of the same names at least. He's not very good at writing. But it's better than the Satanic guys and the guy who think he's writing War and Peace and it's actually just the number '7' over and over again." Sweets hated cynicism.
He looked around for Zach, not finding him, he leaned in deep, "Can you get me copies?"
Cathy shrugged, slipped another file into the alcove. "Give me a few days."
Sweets nodded, feeling broody and despondent. Zach's breakthrough wasn't a breakthrough of feeling for others and their own points of view. It was him digging himself into a world of fantasy, far away from the reality of the hospital and ossifying friendships.
Sweets sighed, signed out, and made the commute back to his apartment.