Disclaimer: not mine

Title: The Nobody

Summary: A bit of what-if-silliness. Except not. More like… wish-it-had-happened. Ness. Set around Pain in the Heart. B/B, H/A, Z/C

A/N: Product of finally forcing myself to watch 'Pain in the Heart' and bawling my way through the entire episode. WAAAAH! ZACH, SAY IT AIN'T SO!

A/N2: Just a note, I do not warn for character death, since I feel like it gives everything away. This note being here does not necessarily mean that there is character death, although there might be. It's now a standard author's note for all my stories, particularly the ZANGST ones. They're the ones that are most likely to involve character death (I think at least one actually had it, or at least hinted at it).

...

The nobody who would one day be known as the Master, was really just that. A nobody.

He was born in a small mid-western town, with average grades and few friends. He walked slowly through his life, always jealous that nobody ever saw his true greatness.

After high school, he hitchhiked his way to Washington D.C., where he met the most interesting man.

And then his life changed.

At the eventual death of his mentor, the nobody became the Master.

As he reveled in his new-found status, he began to plot his first moves.

The pretty little scientists at the Jeffersonian would be a good place to begin. Surely one of them would make a good Apprentice. One of them must feel… empty, ignored.

He began to walk towards the house he had appropriated, focusing hard on his plans.

He had done his research. Dr. Brennan wouldn't do; logic, but with enough emotional connections to balance her out and keep her steady.

Dr. Hodgins was a conspiracy nut; he would never make a decent Apprentice.

The artist and the FBI agent were out, just on principle. The nobody – the Master, now – didn't like artists, with their snobby ways and their fancy language. And the idea of an FBI agent as an Apprentice was just ridiculous.

Dr. Saroyan, head of the Jeffersonian, was out, too. Ten years as a cop? She'd be too opinionated, too suspicious. There would be no controlling her.

No, what the Master (it was so good to think of himself that way; the power and respect he would command! The fear!) needed was someone who, like the Master himself in the beginning, felt unappreciated, ignored, alone.

The other forensic anthropologist… Dr. Zach Addy. He'd just come back from Iraq, and was clearly not adjusting well. The Master knew people, inside and out. The boy was slipping.

So, Dr. Zach Addy would be his new Apprentice.

The Master grinned, still focusing on his thoughts. He stepped out onto the crosswalk.

And was hit by a bus.

The nobody from nowhere was killed instantly. The Master's horrific line ended in the space of a single heartbeat.

And the next day, the sun rose brighter than ever before. The birds sang, and the air itself seemed to dance.

And Zach Addy was not the Master's Apprentice.

He stayed at the Jeffersonian for another two years, working under Dr. Brennan. At the end of those two years, he was put in charge of another branch of the Jeffersonian. While Dr. Brennan continued to work with Agent Booth on solving crimes, Zach stuck with identifying the bodies stuck in limbo. He helped the others when there was a particularly tricky case, and they helped him when the case-load was light.

However, since he technically didn't work under Dr. Saroyan anymore, the two of them finally were able to try out a relationship. And it worked.

Hodgins and Angela separated briefly over the whole 'other-husband' catastrophe, but they quickly realized that they were truly meant to be together. They got married a year later. For real, this time.

Booth and Brennan continued to dance awkwardly around each other for a few years, but finally gave in after one particular case went wrong, nearly killing them both.

And the person who was driving the bus that mowed down the evil nobody from nowhere was never found. There was no forensic evidence to find on the bus. It was like the driver had never been there. Like a ghost.

And all was right with the world.

...

A/N: WAAAAAH! This is a denial-fic. I DENY Pain in the Heart! It does not exist. And that is all.