Disclaimer: for fake-saying it was mine last time, I got poked in the eye. I swear up 'nd down it ain't mine!

A/N: WARNING! Use of the f-word, in case you are offended by that. Also, I left it relatively vague as to who the 'she' is. I think it's Cam, but it's up to you at this point. Also-also, many many thanks to cwgirlup and Undercover Vampire Girl, the two most awesome-est people ever, because they reviewed. This is for them! Because they're awesome! THANK YOU! And thanks to you other people who read, but more to them because they let me know that they read it.

Chapter 4: Rock Bottom

Sweets is worried, Zach can tell. He doesn't like keeping Zach's secrets from the others, particularly Dr. Brennan.

Zach doesn't care.

All he wants is to be left alone. He wants Hodgins to stop visiting, he wants Sweets to go away. He just wants all of it to stop.

If he can't be free of this place, this situation (and he knows that he can't), he just wants people to go away and let him sink into depression without being bothered. He wants to hit rock bottom.

He tells Hodgins to fuck off.

The visits stop.

He stops talking to Sweets, stops looking at him. He sits and stares intently at his scarred, ruined hands.

The counseling sessions end.

For two weeks, two wonderful weeks, he is left alone, in silence, to dwell on his apathy.

Then she visits.

They don't tell him that it's her. He just assumes that Sweets is back for one last-ditch effort to try to talk to Zach again. But Zach won't talk. Not to Sweets, not to Hodgins…. Not to anyone.

He walks into the empty little room, sits on the uncomfortable chair and folds his hands onto the ugly table in front of him. And then he hears the rapid clicketty-clack of her heels on the ground, and his head snaps up and his eyes bug out as she walks in the door.

'That statement is illogical; eyes cannot "bug out". They merely get very wide, a natural response to surprise or stress.'

She rails at him, calling him an idiot and a jackass. She tells him that Hodgins has been even more upset than usual, that he is barely able to focus on anything since he last visited Zach, when Zach told him to fuck off. She says that Sweets is considering putting Zach on suicide-watch. She swears at him, asking him how the hell he thinks he can put them through this, how he can just sit back and give up. How can he do this to them? To her?

He doesn't hear a word she says.

She is here, in this room with him, for the first time. She never visited him here. He saw her last when he helped them solve Jared Addison's murder, and she had seemed so happy to see him, to spend time with him. He had told himself that she was just being polite, but….

Was it possible that she cared? Did she care for him… the way he cared for her?

No. No, she still thought he was a murderer. Beautiful, brilliant, successful, wonderful women like her didn't fall for murderers.

Never has he been more tempted to reveal his innocence. But he can't, because at least here things are… the way they are.

'Do not upset the status quo.'

She snaps at him, asking if he's listening to her. When he shakes his head, still staring at her, wide-eyed, she throws her hands up in the air in disgust and heads for the door.

He asks her why she's here.

She stops, frozen in the act of reaching for the doorknob. She turns to him, and says, not quite meeting his eyes, that she was worried about him.

His heartbeat accelerates, and he asks her why she would worry about him. He's just Zach. He doesn't matter at all.

She marches across the room and slaps him across the face, snarling that if he ever denigrates himself that way again she'll rip his fucking ears off.

They're standing very close together now. She doesn't seem to notice, but he does, and he realizes that he's never noticed before now just how expressive her eyes are.

'That is illogical. Everyone's eyes express… the same….'

His internal monologue shuts off as she seizes his head in her hands and pulls him into a kiss.

His entire brain shuts down.

The only thing he can think is '…oh.'

And, as he kisses her back, the feeling of apathy lifts, and he can hear sounds besides silence, and he doesn't feel so alone.


A/N: SEE? Happy! Or… well, not as sad, because he's still King of the Loony Bin, because I'm not sure how to get him out. BUT! He's not alone anymore! And that's the end!