Epilogue: Plausible Deniability
Four days had passed since the FBI raided the vacant animal hospital in Hagerstown. Evidence had been collected, Agents, Consultants and Law Enforcement had been debriefed and informed of the official story. The body brought to the Jeffersonian was the result of illegal experimentation on humans. Through the course of the investigation, the laboratory had been found, but unfortunately, the criminal minds behind them had eluded capture. No mention of David Robert Jones or Thomas Jerome Newton appeared in Broyles report.
The Jeffersonian team were told what they needed to know and with the exception of Hodgins, the explanation was satisfactory.
"Camille, your report was impeccable, and I appreciate your discretion." Broyles stirred his coffee and looked across the table at her. It had been an extraordinary case, with many unanswered questions and surprising outcomes, one of which was the undeniable chemistry between them.
"I am sorry I have to leave this afternoon. It's the job, you understand." He knew she did and that somehow made it harder to leave.
"Phillip, the next time you're in DC, call me and we'll finish what we started." Cam said with a slightly provocative smile.
He looked at her sideways, if this were a poker game, he might have to fold.
"I meant dinner." She laughed seeing through his serious expression.
"I would enjoy that." He chuckled to himself and wondered, how many moments it takes, before it could be called a relationship.
"I don't suppose you'll be in Boston anytime soon?" Astrid looked at Clark wistfully. A bond had formed between them and she wondered if she would ever feel whole without him.
"Is that an invitation? If it is, than the answer is yes, I'll be in Boston anytime and soon." He tucked her arm in his as they walked down the sidewalk together.
"Clark, I'm really conflicted. On one hand I regret everything you've had to go through, but on the other hand, I'm so thankful you did. I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't been there."
He chuckled "I'm not really a knight in shining armor kinda guy, and I don't go around quoting old dead philosophers, but it's true, what doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger. Although, I have to admit that lab was a lot scarier than the 'hood in Lancaster."
He stopped and looked at her with a twinkle in his eye. "You know, you got some weird ass co-workers."
She laughed and tried to look insulted, but lost her chance when he planted a soulful kiss on her lips.
"Walter, Agent Broyles gave Angela and I, one huge sermon this morning." Hodgins couldn't hide the amusement in his voice. "And it wasn't about traveling to an alternate Universe without a passport."
"Oh my, I hope I wasn't the cause." Walter said, eating a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sundae.
"I can neither confirm or deny that." Hodgins answered.
"Let's just say, the term plausible deniability came up several times in the conversation." Angela added. "You really are a trip Walter, and Hodgins and I are both glad you're all right."
"Oh thank you, that is very kind of you and with the exception of the kidnapping, drugs, torture, and death, this has been an interesting experience" He licked his spoon and smacked his lips. "Although, if I had to do it over again, I might not mix lemon meringue pie with liver and onions."
Booth and Brennan sat in their usual places across from Sweets, staring at the psychologist as though they were teenagers being lectured by a parent. "Well, that concludes our session and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised at how open minded you've both been through this case. Especially you Dr. Brennan. I know empirical science is your driving force and I can see this as a moment of growth for you."
"I hate psychology." Brennan said abruptly.
"Me too." Booth chimed in.
"This is just his way of saying we didn't make an issue out of the improbable and impossible scenarios we experienced, so therefore we are accepting of it."
"That thing, the squishy headed guy was trying to put in Clark's mouth, did you ever find out what it was?"
"Squishy head? Is that another new FBI term?"
"Come on Bones, you know as well as I do he looked like Abe Simpson."
"Who? I don't know who that is."
"The ancient Greek poet who wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey?"
"No, Homer Simpson." Booth broke out into a grin and Brennan raised her eyebrows at him.
She stood and helped her partner up, his arm was immobilized and in a sling from his injuries. She straightened the band around his neck and fixed the collar of his jacket. He thanked her with his smile and she said your welcome with hers.
Sweets enjoyed witnessing these moments between Booth and Brennan, it made their dismissive behavior toward him worth while. He felt superior knowing what their hearts knew, even if their brains did not.
"See you next time." Sweets called after them as they left his office.
They stopped for a moment to speak to Olivia and Peter who were waiting for their turn with the psychologist.
"Temperance tells me you'll have a one hundred percent recovery." Peter said, emphasizing each syllable in Brennan's name.
"Yeah, I'm lucky, it shouldn't have happened in the first place, but whacha gonna do?" Booth answered, mimicking his inflection.
Olivia and Brennan looked at each other. The discussion on alpha-males had been eye-opening for one and affirming for the other.
"The next time you're in DC, please stop by the Jeffersonian." Brennan offered. She shook Olivia's hand and then Peter's.
Both Booth and Olivia tried to tell themselves it was about courtesy as they timed how long the handshake lasted.
"Well we shouldn't keep Dr. Sweets waiting, we have a plane to catch in a couple of hours." Olivia said softly.
"Enjoy yourselves." Booth said with a chuckle.
"That would be highly unlikely, these sessions can be quite uncomfortable." Brennan added.
Peter and Olivia looked at them as they walked away and looked at each other before stepping into Sweets office.
"So Dr. Sweets, what is it we can tell you?" Peter asked after they seated themselves on the love seat that was still warm from the bodies before them.
"I'd just like to ask you a few questions about what it's like to work together, what works and what doesn't." Sweets sat back in his chair with a notepad and pen in his hands. "Let's start with you Agent Dunham. What professional attribute or attributes does Peter have that makes your relationship work?"
"Yes, Agent Dunham, do tell." Peter said with a smirk.
Olivia looked a little uncomfortable, more about the intense look Peter gave her than the question Sweets asked.
"Well, Peter is the only one who speaks Walter fluently. He has a vast amount of knowledge and a background to go with it. He has integrity and I feel I can count on him. In fact, I have and he has always come through for me." She directed her words directly to Peter. "He has my back." The look he gave her in return, effectively shut Sweets out.
"And you, Peter, how would you answer that question."
"Agent Dunham is the most courageous woman I have ever met. She is real, what you see is what you get. She is the only person I know who I would trust with my life." He answered the question, oblivious to Sweets presence.
Sweets chuckled to himself, both had answered the question he had asked and one he had not.
"What issues keep your working relationship from not working?" Sweets asked.
Peter answered first. "The world coming to an end seems to be an obstacle."
Olivia smirked at the remark. "There's also a line that you don't want to cross. One that could affect one's effectiveness in performing their duties."
"Is that affect or effect, Agent Dunham?" Peter teased her.
"Dr. Sweets, are we and Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan your only subjects for your research. We may not be the best sampling." Olivia offered, turning her attention back to Sweets.
"No, not at all, well, at the moment you are, however I have a colleague who has put me in touch with another set of partners that I hope to interview. They work out of the west coast she is a CBI Agent and he is a consultant. I'm told they have an interesting dynamic as well. Agent Teresa Lisbon and Patrick Jane, do you know them?"
-Over and out
Author's note: If you've taken the time to read this whole story, I give you my sincerest thanks for sticking with it. For those of you who have left me reviews, it truly means a lot to me that you took the time to be so thoughtful, I value your observations and encouragement immensely!
Keeping characters in character is hard when two worlds collide. The two shows are really different, but the lead characters share such similar dynamics, when you focus on what they have in common it's shippyness (I'm submitting it to Webster's). I've read fan fiction which easily captures the chemistry between characters, and that's something I would like to improve upon. That and writing a good and proper sentence!
I like Astrid and I immediately thought Clark Edison would be a good match for her, if we can get them to exchange phone numbers, I think it could really work! ;o)
Cam and Broyles were a little harder to write for. He's not a very likable or sympathetic character but I find his duplicity and authority kinda intriguing, and like Brennan said, Cam's worthy of having sexual intercourse or at least alluding to it.
Angela and Hodgins helped me support Walter, who I found really hard to write for. I'm not sure what it is, but his voice seems elusive. Maybe because I think he's actually a really dark character but the bumbler seems easier to describe.
The bad guys are a no brainer. David Robert Jones may not have been necessary, but he helped fill in some holes in my story.
Anyway, thanks again for reading.
P.S. When I originally started this story, I had thought it would be fun to have Brennan, Peter Bishop and Patrick Jane at some sort of workshop for FBI Consultants. Maybe someone else will take that on, as I couldn't incorporate The Mentalist into the story and still make it flow. (I haven't watched the show as diligently as is necessary for fan fic, but after May, I hope it's my new obsession.)