The Light That Shines
Cariad awakened early the next morning, on the couch. A blue and gray striped blanket was covering her lithe form. Her sleepy eyes studied the room. She could hear a commotion coming from the kitchen just down the hall. She sat up and swung her legs off the couch, letting the blanket fall to the floor as she rubbed her eyes and stood.
Her feet padded against the hardwood floor as she walked down the hall and into the kitchen. Music was blaring from the radio on the counter next to the sink--the one she listened to everyday when she washed dishes, cleaned up, made desserts and fixed meals. Her lips curved in amusement at the sight that met her as she stood in the doorway to the kitchen. Daniel was dancing around the kitchen with a giggling Lexi in his arms. He held a wooden spoon up to their mouths as they sung to a song on Radio Disney. Sterling stood by the table, staring at them with wide eyes.
Her son smiled when he saw her and she knelt down with a finger to her lips telling him to be quiet as he ran to her and she scooped him up into her arms. They watched silently as Daniel held up Lexi so she could stir whatever was in the bowl infront of them. Finally, Cariad couldn't contain it anymore and for the first time in a long time, she laughed.
Daniel froze. Cariad could see the tension in his back as he finally moved to set Alexzandria to her feet. The little girl and the teenage boy turned in unison torwards the doorway to see Cariad leaning against it. Daniel's face became flushed with embarrassement as he lowered the spoon and ducked his head. "How long have you been standing there?" He whispered softly. This was pretty embarrassing. It wasn't exactly everyday you were caught singing, "If We Were a Movie" by the girl you were secretly in love with.
She gave him a bashful grin as she walked over and wrapped an arm around his waist. "Don't be embarrassed. I like how sweet you are with my sister. Most guys probably wouldn't let her blast Hannah Montana and sing with her. By the way, what are you making anyway?"
He let go of her and smiled sheepishly. "Chocolate chip pancakes. I figured you could use a special treat after yesterday."
The corners of Cariad's lips turned down as she recalled Temperance Brennan's and Seeley Booth's visit yesterday. It had hurt her to hear the world famous anthropoligist and writer and the handsome FBI agents investigate the death of a monster when the abuse he had forced upon her had went uninvestigated by the police despite her pleas for them to listen to her.
Danny sighed before pulling her close and letting her sob into his shoulder. As he lowered them both to the ground so he could lean against the bottom cabinets with her on his lap, he was grateful that Lexi and Sterling had went into the living room to watch television. He knew that Cariad wouldn't want her sister and her son to see her like this.
Bones was again hanging over the exam table,studying the skull of Foster Malcolm. Cam, Hodgins, and Wendell flanked either side of her. Booth knew that this time, they were reluctant to solve the case. A case that could very well send an innocent teenage girl to jail and her sister and son to foster care. Booth didn't know what foster care was like but he knew that Brennan and Sweets both did and he knew neither one of their experiences had been pleasant. The only reason they hadn't been sent into the system yet was because Booth had yet to tell the Bureau that Cariad, Sterling, and Lexi were underage and that there was no other legal guardian. He'd tried but he couldn't do it. The eyes of Cariad Ryan haunted him just as he was sure they haunted Bones. The partners had seen the love Cariad had for her sister and the love the teen had for Sterling. They had seen the adoration in Alexzandria's eyes as she told her older sister that she loved her before scampering off to her room. Instead of thinking like an agent, he'd thought like the father he was and had done something that could very well cost him his job.
He was so lost in thoughts that he didn't hear Angela come up by him. He did hear the soft cry that emitted from Bones' lips. It sounded like a wounded animal, inhuman and he knew whatever it was that caused it could not be good. He walked over to put a hand on the small of Bones' back.
Brennan turned to him and her blue eyes shone with emotion as she said, "We're going to have to bring in Cariad to interrogate her. There was a strand of hair on the rug that matched Cariad's DNA perfectly."
Booth has to strain to hear her. She was speaking so quietly as if she didn't want to be heard, but he'd heard it and couldn't help but wish he hadn't and as he looked upon the faces of Angela, Wendell, Cam, and Hodgins, he knew they felt the same.
Cariad was dancing in the local gym that day. Ballet. Fifteen little girls and four little boys including Lexi and Sterling watched her and tried to copy her moves. Her eyes were closed as she leaped and twirled. Her hair pulled into an elegant bun with a wisp of it hanging to frame her face. When she danced she felt innocent, untouched, free, although she was none of those things, Foster had made sure of that the first time he touched her. It was a way to escape at least.
The children watched their ballet teacher in awe. She had such grace when she danced, utterly flawless and looked like one of those fairytale princesses in the stories their parents read to them.
None of the people noticed Booth and Brennan walk in. That was until Booth put a light hand on Cariad's arm causing her to turn to face the person who interrupted her. Her eyes widened and she watched as a woman came in and picked up a now screaming Lexi at the gesture Booth gave. A man with a curly mop of light brown hair and piercing blue eyes followed and picked up Sterling. Cariad knew exactly who they were. They'd been in the newspaper plenty of times with stories of the Jeffersonian. They were Angela Montenegro and Jack Hodgins.
Twenty minutes later, Brennan and Booth sat in the interrogation room, staring across the table at Cariad. Angela and Hodgins both sat just outside the room with Sterling and Lexi. Sweets, they knew was watching the interrogation.
Cariad's eyes were settled on the table top, her slender fingers drawing invisible patterns on it.
"We found evidence on the rug that you were around when....Foster died." Booth swallowed hard.
Cariad finally looked up, locking eyes with Booth. "That doesn't mean that I killed him Agent Booth. For all you know, that hair could've been on that rug for ages." Her voice was calm, not really letting any emotion come through---except for the way her eyes widened and her lips parted before she spoke.
"Somehow I doubt that the football rug was yours. You don't seem like the type that would have that sort of rug lying around and it wouldn't exactly match the decor to your living room. Which must mean that there was someone else with you. The rug must've belonged to another person." Booth told her carefully, studying her features.
Her breath caught in her throat and she looked between Brennan and Booth before she opened her mouth to speak. She couldn't let them know that Daniel had helped her get rid of the body. She couldn't let him get in trouble for what she'd done. But she couldn't exactly let them know that she'd committed the murder either. She'd end up in juvie or jail and Alexzandria and Sterling would end up in foster care.
Outside the interrogation room, Alexzandria put down the drawing she'd been working on as well as all the markers on her lap. She jumped from the chair, looking back to see Hodgins and Angela absored in helping Sterling color. Her eyes landed on the tall lanky man who stood at the big window, staring through and she walked over to him. Her tiny hand grasped the edge of the suit jacket he wore and lightly tugged.
Sweets, who had been watching the interrogation closely, felt the tug on his jacket and turned his head and looked down to see the little girl that had been drawing with Angela and Hodgins at his side, staring up at him with grey eyes. He knelt down to his knees when Lexi crooked her finger at him. "Hey." He said, trying to smile through his nervousness. He'd never really talked to children except for that time Booth's son, Parker had found a human finger in a bird's nest at the park.
"Angela says you're a psycho." The little girl said innocently, lightly swaying as she clasped her small hands and looked at Sweets.
He had to laugh at the little girl's words. "You mean psychologist?" He asked of the six year old. "If so she is wickedly correct."
Alexzandria studied him closely. "My sister told me a psycho's job was to help people." She told him, completely disreguarding everything that he'd said.
"Yeah. It is." Sweets told her, exasperated. Knowing there was no way to get her to stop saying psycho a word who's definition was so totally different from the definition of a psychologist.
She leaned in to whisper in his ear. "I know why Foster disappeared."
He looked at her, startled as Lexi began to whisper to him what had happened.
Daniel Andrews burst through the door before anyone could stop him. He charged to the door leading to the interrogation room and could hear the others in the room telling him not to go in and interrupt as they desperately tried to keep the two kids in the room from running to him. He didn't listen as he swung the door open loudly and hurried inside just as Cariad began to speak.
Three pairs of eyes turned torward the interruption.
"Danny!" Cariad said with wide eyes as Daniel raced over to the table to embrace her.
"I did it. I killed Foster." Daniel lied. He supposed it was true what they said about doing anything to protect the person you loved even if it hurt you in the end.
Next Chapter: Sweets thinks of what Lexi told him. Daniel concocts a story about killing Foster. Brennan and Booth interrogate Cariad and Daniel seperately and Brennan tells Cariad a secret that she had kept for years about something that happened in foster care while Booth ask Daniel how long he's been in love with Cariad to be willing to lie for her.