Thanks for the reviews : ) Taking on board the suggestions/tips made !
Rationality, Love and Lunate
Booth looked over as Brennan gazed out the window, her mind elsewhere. She'd clearly been disturbed by the bones of the child – he was still amazed that people didn't see how closely she was affected by the cases she worked on: sometimes he thought she didn't even see it. He knew she had one of the biggest hearts. Brennan turned to face him, her brow crinkled.
'Remember when I wanted to have a child? I'm concerned about the ease in which I forgot that desire. It suggests I would make a bad mother – seeing as I've been so fickle about the matter.'
'What's brought this up? Sweets stupid exercise?' Booth asked, turning to look at her momentarily.
'No, actually. It was the little girl, discarded in a box.'
Booth almost felt like stopping the car. Did she think that in not pursuing her desire for a kid she was somehow like the person who left that baby to die?
'Brennan, no matter what you think, I know you'd make a good mother. You'd have amazing children, and you'd be an amazing mother.'
'But what's your proof?'
'Do you remember that baby we looked after for a couple of days a few of years ago? Or how good you are with Parker? Or your little nieces? You know there's proof, Bones. I know you'd make a good Mum.'
She smiled slightly. 'Thanks, Booth.'
He looked at her out of the corner of her eyes.
'You're not thinking about having a kid again, are you?' Booth asked, not being able to keep the anxiety out of his voice.
She smiled fully this time. 'Don't worry, Booth, I have no current plans for a progeny at the moment.'
'Good. I hate the idea of you being inseminated by some random...'
'That uh... didn't come out exactly how it should have,' Booth said, shuffling in his seat slightly.
'When did you decide you wanted to be a father?'
'Well, I never really decided. It just happened. But once Parker was born... it was like there had never been any other choice. You know how you feel completed by love? Llike life makes sense all of a sudden, when you're in love? Once I held Parker in my arms... it felt like I knew my reason. And whenever I feel lost, I can just look at Parker, and it all makes sense again.'
'I've never had that feeling, Booth.' Brennan said quietly, looking out the window again. 'I've never had that sense of completeness. At least, not in the way that you describe. Not by love, or a child. I can only find sense in rationality.'
Booth looked at her, and he wanted to reach out, to help her feel what he did. Show her there was more to life that rationality. He did feel like he'd do anything for her – he wanted her to feel what she longed for, but wouldn't allow herself to risk. He wanted that more than anything.
'Look, Bones... one day you will. And when you do, come see me, so I can say, 'told you so'. You know I'll get a kick out of that. You wouldn't be able to explain those feelings with rationality or science or... anything. You'll know one day, Bones.'
She smiled. 'You do love proving me wrong.'
'It's not every day you can prove a genius wrong.'
'Well, actually, I have been known to prove many a genius wrong...'
Cam stood with her hands on her hips, looking down at the small body.
'Wow,' she said sadly. 'We haven't had a body this small in here in a long time.'
'Do we have a cause of death yet?' Hodgins asked, hands in pockets. Angela stood beside him, biting her lip.
'No, not yet. The fractures to her ribs wouldn't have killed her – at least not immediately. But from my analysis, my approximation would be exposure - if she'd been left in the open without food or water for five to eight hours... she wouldn't have been able to survive that. And I can't find any other injury which might have been fatal.'
'How could someone do that to a little kid? Break her ribs and leave her to die... that's just... monstrous.'
Hodgins leaned down next to the body, looking intently at the knees. 'I might be able to get some particulates off her knees, see where she'd been crawling around before... well. And maybe her shoes. And hands, I suppose...'
'Alright, see what you can find.' Cam said, before turning to Angela. 'Do you think you'll be able to do a facial reconstruction?
'It'll be difficult, Cam... you said she was about 18 months, right? Tissue depth markers are hard to pinpoint... but I'll try.
Cam smiled. 'All we can ask of you, eh?'
'Yeah. When will I be able to take the skull?'
'I assume Brennan will want to look at the remains again, so however long it takes her.'
'Right. Well, I'll start looking for any missing child reports that might match her. Might get lucky.'
'I hope we do.' Cam said, before turning back to the child and continuing her examination.
Brennan leaned over the child's body, examining the freshly cleaned bones for anything that could indicate her identity – or anything about the child. After reading Cam's report, and examining the remains, she did agree that the child had died from the broken rib, along with the exposure to the elements. Brennan estimated that the body had been lying amongst the rubbish behind the child care centre for around 5 days, and the rate of decomposition down to alley cats and rats. The thought of it sickened her: even through her compartmentalising, she was having difficulty shaking the feeling of sickness that this case was bringing her.
'Just look at the bones,' she muttered to herself, picking up the child's ribs and examining them. Considering the context, she would most likely attribute the breakage to abuse: she'd seen similar injuries in children of mass graves in Sudan, who'd shown signs of having been buried alive after being unable to continue working after they'd taken one too many hits.
Considering the extent of the break, she paused for a moment to calculate the force it would take to explain the injuries. That of a punch of a fully grown adult, about sixty five kilos, she roughly estimated. And she knew her rough estimates were usually about ninety nine percent accurate. So, they were looking for someone around 143 pounds. That didn't really narrow it down to any gender... it didn't narrow it down to anything.
'What's on your mind, Bones?' Booth asked, climbing up the stairs.
'Considering my futile deductions.' She pointed to the ribs. 'This injury would most likely have occurred from a punch of someone with a mass of around 65 kilos – 145 pounds,' she corrected, remembering Booth didn't work in the metric system.
'Well that's something, Bones.'
'Not much though. These Bones... they say very little. They don't show signs of long term abuse, or...'
She paused, taking the bones from the child's wrist and placing it under the microscope.
'I can't believe I missed this,' she said, looking up at Booth for a second. 'Her left wrist had been fractured – children's bones are very flexible, a lot softer than adults. They heal fast, and as they're initially mostly cartilage, once they're broken it becomes harder to detect as the bones are covered with harder substances, like calcium. But I should have seen this!'
She looked at the other wrist.
'Both wrists sustained greenstick fractures to the lunate. It would have made it impossible for her to crawl for about 6 weeks, maybe more. It's an old injury – well, old relative to her age. She would have only been about 6 months old when.'
'How would she have broken the bone?'
Brennan considered the little lunate bones for a moment, before turning to look at Booth.
'Someone broke them. Both have identical markers – suggesting that the breaks were done systematically. Also, considering that the lunate bone is incredibly hard to break... someone broke them.'
'Someone didn't want this kid crawling places.' Booth said, looking at the bones in Brennan's hands.
'That is a fair hypothesis. But why? It's an essential part of development – '
'Bones. I don't think the person in charge of this kid was concerned about her development.' He said, crossing his arms.
'No.' Brennan said, placing the lunate bones back on the table. 'They couldn't have been.'
Well that was excellent fun! Please don't look up the science, because I'm half making it up from television shows I've seen and half from incredibly brief research! Obviously this story isn't going to be as scientifically accurate as the show, because that would require way too much effort – hope you can all deal with that! And also, I'm Australian, hence the spelling of 'Mum.' It's against my culture to write 'Mom'. Hope you liked this chapter!