Disclaimer: I own neither Angel or anything associated with him, and "Bones" is equally out of my reach control-wise
Angel of the Bones
"I think our victim was killed by Ice Pick," Booth said, holding up a photograph of the victim while leaving the potential killer's picture on the other side of a notepad with the nicknames written down (He wasn't sure if it was him becoming human or what, but he actually rather liked making up names for the suspects like this; he could actually understand how Xander had come to enjoy that kind of thing). "Angela did a facial reconstruction of Cement Head."
"'Concrete Head', you mean," Bones said.
"No, 'Cement Head'; it's got a nicer ring," Booth repeated, passing the relevant folder to his partner. "So I ran it through Interplus and I got a match."
"William Raymond 'Billy Ray' McKenna, West Virginia," Bones read from the criminal's profile. "Assault, manslaughter, kidnapping, torture."
"This here?" Booth said, picking up the other picture. "This here is, uh, Hugh Kennedy. Uh, I think he killed Cement Head."
"Why?" Bones asked.
"Well," Booth explained casually, moving some of the folders aside to find the relevant photograph, "West Virginia, likes to use ice picks on his victims, plus Ice Pick and Cement Head were both employed by a regional crime boss from West Virginia named Gallagher."
"Well, what are we going to call him?" Bones asked.
"Gallagher," Booth said simply; the nickname angle appealed, but there was no point using it when they knew who they were talking about. "What?"
Deciding not to bother explaining the intricacies of nicknames to Bones at this time, he turned his attention back to his explanation. "He runs most of the, uh, prostitutes, strippers, gambling, bootlegging, meth, extortion in West Virginia."
"Five years ago," Bones said as she studied the file, "the West Virginia state police began pressuring Gallagher's criminal operation, making a lot of arrests."
"Including Ice Pick and Cement Head," Booth said, indicating the notepad with a smile. "Cement Head goes to jail. Ice Pick? Out on bail, babe."
"You say that like it means something," Bones said.
"Well," Booth said, "I talked to the officer in charge and he said that Ice Pick wouldn't say anything, so they punished him by letting him out on bail."
"How is bail punishment?" Bones asked, clearly confused at that decision.
"'Cause it makes Gallagher think that Ice Pick cooperated with the cops," Booth clarified; that was one of the rules that was easy enough to understand with his background, whether it was dealing with his memories of his time as an affiliated agent of the Order of Aurelius or his law enforcement training. "Ah, it's criminal psychology, Bones, you know, you wouldn't get it. Just… read. Just continue reading there, will ya?"
"Half a million dollar bond," Bones said as she continued reading. "Kennedy jumped bail. Hmm, killed in a car accident while fleeing a… 'bail fugitive recovery agent'."
"Bounty hunter," Booth clarified, noting his partner's confusion at that statement.
"Car burned the remains to ashes," Bones finished.
"All they got was a severed leg," Booth said. "They didn't actually get Ice Pick's body."
"So we going to talk to the bounty hunter?" Bones asked.
"No, I am," Booth said, moving the files around on his table. "You're gonna make sure that the severed leg actually belongs to Ice Pick."
"Someone kept the leg?" Bones asked.
"The severed leg was frozen as evidence," Booth clarified (Not that he couldn't understand her point; keeping a leg in good enough condition this long after the original crime had been committed was weird under most circumstances, but with limited available evidence the decision had made sense at the time).
"So… you think Ice Pick might still be alive?" Bones asked.
"As a friend of mine likes to say, 'don't jump to conclusions until all the evidence is in'," Booth said, getting up from his desk with the file in his hand.
"But if the facts are in, then it's not jumping to conclusions," Bones pointed out. "So I never said that."
"I never said that the friend is you, OK?" Booth said as he walked out of the office, smiling at the memory of the recent conversion; it was nice that, even after over a year working together, he and Bones could still surprise each other…
Sitting in the Royal Diner as he read the paper, trying to eat the relatively tasteless oatmeal he'd ordered out of a lack of anything else he particularly wanted to chew on right now, Booth was surprised when a young woman walked in and sat down opposite him, with short dark hair, wearing a black leather jacket, and something in her manner that immediately put him in mind of Faith before she'd fought him in Los Angeles.
"I'm the bounty hunter you want to talk to; Veleska Miller," the woman said, throwing her badge on the table and taking Booth's coffee before he'd said anything. "You want to know about Kennedy's leg?"
"Anything you want to tell me outside the official report, that's great," Booth said, keeping his reaction casual.
"Sure," Veleska said, a slight sneer to her voice as she spoke. "How it smelled, his body cooking over the fire. Otherwise, I stand by the record."
"How'd you find him?" Booth said; he'd been around enough burning bodies to know the scents she described, and he didn't need to think of any more.
"Tip from someone I know who provides documents from fugitives," Veleska said. "Tailed him. He made me, took off. Boom. Found his leg about thirty yards from the vehicle."
"And you saw him burn?" Booth asked.
"Yeah; why?" Veleska asked, only for Booth to pick up the paper and start to read it again; he'd seen enough from this kind of woman over the centuries to know that he wasn't going to get any more out of her after that kind of statement. "That's it?"
"That's it," Booth said, turning his attention back to his paper.
"I'm a little disappointed," Veleska said, smiling at him in a manner that again reminded him of an early Faith. "I was hoping you'd keep me here a while, ask me some dumb ass federal questions, check me out."
"How's about I buy you a nice breakfast then?" Booth said, smiling slightly at her in a manner that would leave
"A guy like you must be going crazy in the FBI," Veleska said, smiling at him.
"What kind of guy is that exactly?" Booth asked, briefly wondering if she was talking about his vampire history or something else.
"I'm a bounty hunter, sport," Veleska replied, leaning over the tbale. "I read people fast or I die. You are not standard government issue. Take a walk on the wild side. I have more fun, fewer rules and a lotta money."
Booth had to admit, if he hadn't had experience at covering up his reaction to anything that came close to revealing the truth about his life as Angel, that comment might have unnerved him with how well she'd read him.
As it was, it was just something to note about this woman and move on; he'd spent time working outside the legal system, dealing with the cases they just wouldn't be qualified to handle, and now he was paying his dues within the system and with a broader range of connections and resources.
"You know," he said, deciding to give as vague an answer as possible as he leaned over the table himself, "you make a compelling case."
The sound of his phone ringing gave him a welcome excuse to focus on something else, leaving him to turn his attention off the current conversation and focus on something he probably knew how to handle. "Booth."
"Coroner's report said Kennedy's leg was severed in the car accident," Cam's voice said.
"We don't call him Kennedy; we call him 'Ice Pick'," Bones added.
"Hold on for one second; sorry," Booth said apologetically to Veleska before moving over to the counter to talk slightly away from the woman in question; even without her insight into him, this wasn't something he was comfortable talking about in front of her. "Yeah, ah, listen, I got the, uh, bounty hunter here. She was an eyewitness to the crash, saw him incinerated."
"Tell Booth that Ice Pick's femur is sliced cleanly at ninety degrees," Bones said.
"I can hear you, Bones, OK; it's a speaker phone," Booth said, before continuing the conversation to focus it back on the case. "Look, amputation like that could happen in a bad wreck, right, Cam?"
"Yes," Cam said.
"There are kerf marks," Bones put in.
"She's seeing evidence of a saw, Booth," Cam clarified.
"I know what kerf marks are," Booth said (Particularly on human bodies; Angelus had used the occasional saw on his victims, even if he didn't like to remember it).
"Booth should arrest the bounty hunter," Bones put in.
"I can hear you, Bones," Booth said (How someone that smart could feel the need to repeat herself that often made him wonder at times). "What am I gonna arrest her for, huh?"
"For lying, for perjury, and for aiding in a cover-up," Bones said.
"If she's there with you, just detain her," Bones said, even as Booth turned around to see Veleska having left the diner and a red car driving away, the bounty hunter in question giving him a brief wave from the driver's seat as she passed the window.
"OK," he said, already cursing the additional problem he was now facing in finding his suspect, "I'll let you know how that works out."
"You know," Booth said, as he followed Bones towards her office, the discussion over the amputated leg pushed aside for the moment, "I was going through your father's criminal-"
"Shhh!" Bones hissed, looking urgently at him.
"Criminal record," Booth said, lowering his voice accordingly, "and he was right about one thing, alright; he never ended anyone's life who didn't have it comin' to 'em."
It wasn't a great distinction to make, he knew- he'd tried to act like that when he'd regained his soul and he couldn't even make that work in the end-, but it was a point he felt Bones should keep in mind.
"He's a sociopath," Bones said, shrugging as though the victims' identities didn't matter.
"Well, maybe, but at least he aimed in the right direction," Booth said, wincing as he clutched at his aching jaw; toothache was one thing he definitely hated about being human, considering that his vampire teeth had always pretty much taken care of themselves (Blood wasn't exactly a major cause of tooth decay and his teeth shape-shifting when he went vamp face had cleared up any damage he might sustain anyway).
"Let me just take a look at your tooth," Bones said, putting down the file she'd been carrying to look at him.
"Alright, just… go easy," Booth said, putting down his own file as he stood in front of his partner. "You promise?"
"OK," Bones said, reaching out towards him.
"Alright?" Booth said.
"Open up," Bones said, placing her hands on his face to examine his tooth, Booth trying to continue his earlier talk even as he kept his mouth open.
"What?" Bones said as she released her grip on his face.
"In the Old West, he would have been considered a hero," Booth repeated (He could think of a few places in the present that would be prepared to look the other way if these crimes occurred on a smaller scale, but this wasn't the time or the place to talk about that).
"Yeah, well," Bones said, grabbing his face again and pushing down his jaw, ignoring his yelps of pain, "the Old West was a time of chaos and violence that, anthropologically speaking, our country it still trying to recover from… yeah. I was right. Anterior molar on the left side; it's infected."
"You know," Booth said, wincing in pain as Bones walked away from him to sit behind his desk, trying to take his mind off his discomfort by focusing on what he was saying to his partner, "your father never killed any hard working, tax paying citizens or honest cops."
"You still think that society should forgive him?" Bones asked, looking inquiringly at him.
"Well, I'm saying, if I have the opportunity to arrest him, I will," Booth said; whatever else he liked about his position, there were rules he would have trouble bending. "But you know who maybe should forgive him? His daughter."
The ringing of his cell phone might mean that he wouldn't be able to continue this conversation right now, but he was actually grateful for that; he really needed some time to think about how he could argue in Max's defence without ending up talking about himself and his past as Angel…
"Why didn't you just tell them about Kennedy?" Bones asked, as the two of them sat in the Royal Diner, Booth's injuries from his recent torture experience having been treated in the hospital; he might still be in pain, but it was nothing he couldn't cope with.
"Well, ya know, I needed to give you time to find me," Booth said nonchalantly. "Ah, I've been tortured worse."
Bones would never know just what kind of pain he'd had to endure in the past; his military memories had a few unpleasant experiences, but naturally nothing compared to his time in Hell…
"So," he said, looking thoughtfully at his partner as his mind seized on a topic to distract them from that particular issue, "you hear anything from your old man?"
Without replying, Bones took out a letter and a glass dolphin and placed them on the table, Booth reaching out to pick up the dolphin as he remembered what she'd told him about her mother's interest in the mammals in question.
"He left my car in the garage," Bones said, as he picked up the letter and looked over it. It was a simple few lines- 'Honey, Next time I really want to tell you some things about your mother. Love, Dad'-, but that was still more than he'd ever received from his own father when he was alive.
That was one of the best examples of how weird and completed life could be even without the supernatural; the well-intentioned but frustrated father who'd always wanted the best for his son was the pain in the neck, and the killer who'd abandoned his daughter without any explanation was a better man than the other could have ever been…
"He'll be back," he said, folding the letter back up and putting it down.
"How do you know?" Bones asked.
"Max Keenan does not strike me as the kind of guy who… leaves things undone," Booth replied, out of a lack of a better way to phrase it.
"Next time he shows up, what do I do?" Bones asked. "Do I call you? Do I knock him on the head? What's my obligation?"
"Well," Booth said, studying the glass dolphin, "if I were you, Bones, I'd wanna know what he has to tell you about your mother, but, uh, that's just me."
He could tell Bones what he thought she could do, but ultimately, this was her decision; his relationship with his father in either memory wasn't in the right kind of place for him to feel comfortable clarifying his reasons for that kind of support himself.
"There's, uh, this old song," Bones said, after a moment's awkward silence. "It's called 'Keep on Trying'."
"Yeah," Booth said, smiling at the memory. "Poco."
"You know it?" Bones asked.
As Booth started singing it, he wondered what the relevance of this song had to what they were discussing earlier, but, but that thought was easy enough to push aside; right now, the memories it helped his partner think of were obviously good ones, and that was all that mattered.