Author's Note: Final chapter. I would like to thank everyone who had supported me and my work over the past year or so, especially those who have been following this fic from the beginning (or close to it). Writing this has been a lot of fun, and I hope all of my readers have enjoyed the journey.
I do not own Bones or any of its characters.
Again, thank you to everyone who has read/favorited/followed/reviewed this. I can't thank all of you enough for supporting my first fanfic.
Fatewalker: Actually I am with you in thinking that there is little worse than being caught up in a comfortably numb holding pattern for life. But as you will see (and we both already know) that holding pattern will not last forever...And no, I can honestly say that I did not imagine that it would turn out like this. :) I knew going in that it would be long, and I was a little worried at times that I wouldn't be able to finish it...I certainly did not imagine writing 74 chapters and over 250,000 words! Still it was an amazing amount of fun and has given me even more confidence in my other creative/academic writing. Thank you for sticking with this one for so long.
TimeWitch93: To be honest, it is kind of hard for me not to consider this story when I am writing the rest of my fics. I don't know if that's a good thing. ;) As for how to wrap this up...well this chapter will go into that and then the rest, as they say, is history. Thank you for all your support over this past year.
Rankor01: This is something that I am kind of surprised that the writers haven't touched on more on the show: how Sweets was sure to be perceived by his co-workers at the Bureau...especially during his first year or so. I agree that Sweets might try to put a professional foot forward, but that it had to have also been wearying to endure the same types of hesitations, doubts and prejudices over and over again from his co-workers. I do think that Booth coming into his life gave Sweets to have a "mentor" of sorts and that perhaps things are a little easier for him now...But I also think that Sweets has a long way to go...Thank you for continuing to support all of my work.
Lives in the now: Thank you for your review and for all of your support for my work. :D I always enjoying hearing from my readers, especially ones who have been following me for a while now. It thrills me to know that you still find my work entertaining...Also I agree that B&B coming into Sweets' life was just what was needed...
Peanutmeg: Thank you for the review. I completely agree that Sweets is not truly the adventurous sort (despite his claims at the end of Season Five) and is prone into falling into a "safe" routine if left alone and to his own devices. Thankfully, there are those who know just how to shake him out of such routines...
Epilogue: Year One—Introduction
Director Andrew Hacker frowned at the files in front of him for the umpteenth time this evening.
Over the past few months that he was in charge of his section within the DC Bureau, he had been pleased at how Special Agent Seeley Booth had successfully created a working relationship with the Jeffersonian's Medico-Legal lab. There had been many people within the FBI who had misgivings about the partnership, but so far the result had been the formation of a nearly unstoppable team with one of the highest solve rates in the Bureau.
But now it looked like all of this was about the fly to pieces.
A few weeks ago, Booth finally managed to catch up with and arrest Max Keenan for the murder of Director Kirby. The arrest in itself was nothing special beyond the fact that Max had proven to be a wily fugitive and it had taken one of their best agents to catch him.
What made this problematic was the fact that Booth's partner, Doctor Temperance Brennan, was previously known as Joy Keenan and was in fact, Max Keenan's daughter.
'Max Keenan's daughter,' Hacker mused. 'Who would have thought that Temperance Brennan, the world famous forensic anthropologist, had a thief and a murderer for a father?'
Hacker sighed and flipped through the files again. He knew that there would eventually be a trial and that Booth would have to be called in to testify against Max Keenan. Despite the fact that Brennan had been very vocal in her assertion that she did not care about the result of such a trial, Hacker found the idea that her partnership with Booth would not be affected difficult to swallow.
'I don't care how much Booth says she can compartmentalize, arresting her father is going to cause tension one way or another. I don't see how these two can continue to work together in the long run. Now they are stonewalling everyone who is trying to interview them…It's just becoming a huge mess. A mess I do not want to have to clean up. Especially now that we have this new cannibalistic serial killer to worry about. The press is already having a field day with that one….'
Hacker closed the file he had just been scanning through and picked up another one. He thought again about the numerous requests both Booth and Brennan had submitted to be allowed continue working together and once again thought about their amazing solve rate.
Even with all of the headaches this incident was causing, Hacker was aware that it was in this office's best interest to keep this team together not only for their close rate but also because of all the good press that was generated from their work. They were a valuable asset to him…an asset that he was not willing to give up too easily.
Thus, Hacker had weighed his options and decided upon offering them a chance to prove that they could still work together by sending them to a Bureau psychologist for evaluation. Picking the right psychologist, however, was proving to be a formidable task.
He had wanted to send the two of them to see Doctor Gordon Wyatt since Wyatt had treated Booth before and had also shown some success in working with others from the Jeffersonian. But Wyatt had left on an Interpol assignment a couple of weeks ago, leaving Hacker with the unenviable chore of finding another psychologist who could handle them.
'Booth is an excellent field agent, but it's no secret that he can be uncooperative and a real pain in the ass at times,' Hacker thought. 'And Doctor Brennan…a fascinating, complex woman, who is good at her work, but…I'm not sure if she's the "therapy" type. Treating them is going to be a thankless, uphill battle.'
'Who in the world is going to want to take them on as patients?'
As he continued to mull over this question, one of the night janitors, a tall, older-looking man, came into Hacker's office and began emptying the trash can into a larger bin.
'Doctor Dan Wagner is a pretty conservative type, but he's one of the best we've got…and he's had a lot of experience in dealing with difficult agents,' Hacker reasoned as he looked over the psychologist's file. 'He might not like this assignment, but he's going to have to do.'
Suddenly the janitor stumbled and fell against the desk, knocking the files off onto the floor, including the one in Hacker's hand.
"I am terribly sorry, sir," the janitor said, his green eyes contrite.
"It's all right," Hacker responded. "It was an accident. No real harm done."
"Still, let me gather these things up for you," the man said as he stooped down to scoop up the files. The janitor swiftly arranged them into a neat pile and sat them in the center of Hacker's desk.
"Again, so sorry about that," the janitor said once he was done.
"No problem, Mr….?"
"Schuchardt," the janitor said, as he pulled his cap down over his sandy brown hair. "And I appreciate your understanding. First day on the job and all."
"Well hopefully the rest of your shift will be uneventful," Hacker said.
"I hope so," the janitor said. "Good night sir."
"Thank you," Hacker said as he turned his attention back to the files. "You have one as well."
The janitor pushed his things out of the office and into the center of the hallway. Once he had closed the door behind him, a smile appeared on the man's lips.
The janitor left his things and walked down the hallway, disappearing into the shadows. Later the cleaning crew would wonder how their things had ended up where they were now sitting, a mystery that never would be solved.
Inside the office, Hacker frowned yet again at the files in front of him. Wagner's file was no longer on top, and so he reached over to begin sifting through them when his eye happened to catch the name on the file that was now on top.
Hacker picked this file up and began to study it. The file belonged to another psychologist, who the Bureau had hired a few months ago. Considered to be a wunderkind in his field, this psychologist had already made a budding reputation for himself within the Bureau as a gifted profiler, a solicitous therapist, and a hard worker.
Hacker let out a bemused chuckle as he read through the file and once he was done he began to write up a memo for his secretary to send to this new psychologist in regards to his new assignment.
'All right, Doctor Lance Sweets…you're so smart, let's see how you handle these two.'
For a moment, Hacker thought about how Booth and Doctor Brennan were probably going to react when they found out who was going to be evaluating and treating them and was hit with a twinge of guilt. That quickly passed, however, and he continued to write the memo, smugly satisfied that he had found a way to solve the problem that didn't involve him taking a definite stand on the issue.
'If they don't pass the evaluation or fall apart during therapy, then it wasn't meant to be. If they can actually keep it together and get through this, then this office gets to keep one its best crime fighting units.'
'Best of all: it's no longer on my head either way.'
A few days later, Sweets sat in his office going over the files that he had been given about his newest patients. Because of their limited availability, the psychologist had to come in on a Saturday evening for this first session and that meant canceling his dinner with April. After getting a chance to get acquainted with the case, however, Sweets found that that did not bother him as much as he thought it would, and as he continued to learn about his new patients, he became even more eager and intrigued by this latest assignment.
He was so engrossed in his study of the files and in his preparation for the session, that he didn't notice a pair of figures standing just outside his office, watching him.
But to his credit, no one else in the Hoover Building could see them either.
"David, why did you do that?" Carolyn asked as she watched her son. "Why did you arrange it so that Lance would be given this assignment?"
David wrapped his arms around his wife from behind and held her close as he watched Lance take some notes.
"I don't know if I can completely explain it, but…I have a feeling about those two people who our son is about to meet," he said. "There's something about them. Something that tells me that Lance will benefit from knowing them."
"Despite everything he does, he seems so alone at times," Carolyn said. "Do you think he's going to be all right?"
"He'll be fine, Carolyn," David assured her. "Our son has a good heart and a great mind. And something tells me that it's about to get a whole lot better for him here very soon."
The two of them watched as Brennan and Booth made their way to their son's office, knocked and entered before walking away.
David and Carolyn Sweets knew that they would always love their son and would always be watching over him.
But they also knew that their time with him had come to an end and a new chapter in their son's life was about to begin.
"Good evening, Agent Booth, Doctor Brennan. My name is Doctor Lance Sweets, and I am looking forward to working with the both of you."