Author's Note: Sorry for the long delay, but here is the last chapter. It takes place during The Hero in the Hold.
I do not own Bones or any of its characters. Drat. ;D
Thank you again to everyone who read/followed/reviewed this. I really appreciated it.
AmandaFriend: Thank you for the vote of confidence. :D I hope you will enjoy my future works...And I do plan on exploring Sweets' dynamic with Brennan in an upcoming fic.
Mitchellhp: I consider their meeting to be a fascinating study in contrasts of the people in Booth's life between the brother who related by blood and the brother who is related by choice. ;) Thank you for the review.
Peanutmeg, Cobalt6233: Thank you both for following my work. :D I hope you will enjoy how I decided to conclude this.
Stephaniew: I'm a little sad to see it go myself...but then again there is always the next fic. ;)
Phosphorescent: No problem...as you can see I fell behind in updating it. ;) Hope you enjoy the conclusion.
206: This is one of my favorite episodes of the season as well. That scene between Sweets and Jared revealed a lot about both of them...And I'm always looking for an excuse to add a Sweets/Cam scene. ;)
JustMeElisabeth: Well once you get the chance, I hope you enjoy the finished product. :D
Mendenbar: :D Thank you for the compliment...I never tire of trying to get inside their heads...I hope you enjoy my future fics as well.
Buttercups3: As much as Booth may try to brush it aside, the fact is he went through a traumatic experience that Sweets can relate to all too well...I'm sure when you consider their friendship it makes sense that Sweets would want Booth to get the opportunity to get the kind of help that he probably received at some point...Time to say goodbye to another fic...Thanks for all your reviews. :D
While sifting through a stack of files on the desk in his office, Doctor Lance Sweets wondered if Booth ever had to fend off an attacker with a shoe.
He was thinking back to earlier, in fact by now it was yesterday, when they had gotten the call from the Grave Digger informing them that he had Booth. They were getting ready to meet Booth at a formal function, but instead they rushed over to Booth's apartment. Once they got there, however, they all became concerned that it none of them were prepared for any kind of confrontation if needed.
'You know, if there is anyone in Booth's apartment…the four of us are walking in unarmed,' Cam said.
'I could subdue him,' Brennan suggested. 'I'm quite skilled in self-defense techniques.'
'Yes, but what if he has a gun or knife,' Cam countered. Suddenly Angela reached down and pulled off one of her shoes.
'We could use this,' she said. 'I mean the heel is kind of pointy. I'm sure that it would really hurt if you stabbed someone with it. '
'I don't know,' Cam frowned. Sweets then reached over and grabbed the shoe from her hand.
'I'll go first,' he volunteered. 'If there's someone there, I can hit them with this and then Brennan can help finish them off.' Sweets had recently seen Brennan fend off a man dressed as a medieval knight brandishing a sword while unarmed. He was sure that she could handle someone who would have to deal with two people…even if his help would be minor at best. Cam shook her head, her eyes sad.
'All right…but please be careful, Doctor Sweets,'
Sweets thought back now about how they had all been simultaneously relived that no intruder was there and horrified that Booth wasn't there either. At that time, his brain was working slowly due to still being in shock, but he quickly agreed that there was no other conclusion besides the one that Booth had been knocked out and probably drugged by the Gravedigger after which he was dragged out through a window. But he still had enough of his senses to argue that calling the authorities was not the right suggestion; he believed that they should just pay the ransom and worry about catching the Grave Digger later.
The psychologist frowned when he thought again about what it was that the Grave Digger wanted: evidence from the FBI's case against him.
'He didn't ask for millions of dollars…but he may as well have…'
As Sweets read through another file, he began to consider that thought. Traditionally, the Grave Digger always targeted wealthy families; Booth did not fit the profile at all. Even when the staff at the Jeffersonian was getting close to him, the Grave Digger targeted Brennan and Hodgins, two of the wealthiest people in the group, and demanded a monetary ransom.
'This completely deviates from his normal pathology,' he thought to himself. 'Why did he choose to change his pattern now?'
He slapped down another file in frustration and opened up another one so that he could begin to scan through it. Even though he valued his job at the FBI, at this moment he was cursing the fact that he was employed by the Bureau.
It had really been no great surprise to anyone, including Sweets, that it turned out to be Hodgins that had stolen the evidence that the Grave Digger was looking for.
'Hodgins is a driven personality,' the psychologist thought. 'And he's still doesn't trust the Bureau despite the fact that he has eased off on his belief in conspiracy theories.'
Angela had been able to convince Hodgins to meet them at the Jeffersonian, and Brennan went to confront him on her own. Eventually she had been able to convince him to hand over the evidence that he had stolen. Sweets was relieved that they at least had the ransom that the Grave Digger was demanding.
But when he tried to join them to plan their next move, they instructed him to leave.
'Sweets you shouldn't be here,' Brennan said. 'The Grave Digger said no FBI involvement.'
'I'm a psychologist, not an agent,' he protested.
'A FBI psychologist. Doctor Sweets…get gone now,' Cam said gently.
That had led him to where he was now: in his office desperately searching through his files and notes on the Grave Digger case for anything that could shed some light on his identity.
Sweets had been angry and hurt that they had shut him out of the investigation, but he didn't argue mostly because he did not want to distract them from the task at hand: finding Booth. But he couldn't stop himself from wanting to find some way to help.
'I can't just go home…Booth could die…'
He had already gone through all the profiling work that had been done on the Grave Digger along with the investigative reports. He had even skimmed through Vega's book to gain some additional insight.
It did occur to him occasionally that it would be difficult to get any information he did find to the others at the Jeffersonian since they did not want him involved, but he figured that he would cross that bridge when he came to it.
However, after frantically searching for hours, Sweets could not see where he had found anything that everyone at the Jeffersonian didn't already know either from their own investigation or from the evidence files that Hodgins had stolen. The psychologist became angry and frustrated that he couldn't do more.
'The rest of them…they can analyze forensic evidence…what can I do?' he thought sourly. 'Nothing useful…not for them or for Booth.'
He looked up at the sound of his office door opening and saw Brennan, Hodgins and Angela walk in.
"What's going on?" Sweets said, rising from his chair. "Have you found Booth?" The psychologist noted that Hodgins stood somewhat apart from the rest of them and would not look anyone in the eye.
"No," Brennan answered. "But the situation has changed. Vega is dead."
"What?" Sweets gasped. "Was it…?"
"We were not able to examine the remains, but we are fairly certain that it was the Grave Digger," Brennan nodded. "Apparently the FBI has us under surveillance, and Agent Perotta prevented us from being able to look for any evidence."
"What?...Why?" Sweets was still reeling from the knowledge the Vega was dead.
"It would appear that the FBI still has some suspicions that one of us may have taken evidence that related to the Grave Digger's case," Brennan continued.
"And not unfounded suspicions either," Angela snapped at Hodgins. The entomologist looked away from all of them and kept fidgeting in the back of the room.
"So what are you going to do?" Sweets asked.
"We have decided to pay the ransom," Brennan said. "The odds of other options working are unacceptable."
"Why did you come here?" the psychologist asked, confused.
"We want you to go with us to drop off the ransom," Angela said, stepping toward him. "But…if you don't want to…we'd understand." Sweets stumbled backwards a bit, still unable to completely process what was happening.
"Cam informed us that handing over the evidence amounts to federal conspiracy against the FBI," Brennan answered. "Since you work at the FBI, there is a good chance that you could have your practice terminated."
"For starters," Angela added.
"However…I concur with Doctor Hodgins that part of the reason that Vega was killed was because he was acting alone," Brennan said. "I'll assume that you are still working on the case on your own, therefore creating a situation where you may be targeted as well." Brennan walked closer to Sweets.
"I think that it would be prudent for you come with us," she said. "For your own protection and so that you can offer us your assistance."
"But we also understand if you don't want to go with us to the drop site," Angela interjected. "Cam is holding down the fort at the Jeffersonian. With the security there, she should be safe. We can drop you there so that you can stay out of this, and stay safe too."
"No matter what you decide, we…we want you to come with us," Brennan said.
Sweets could not believe it; not only had they come to him because they were worried about his safety, despite the fact that he was in a FBI building, but they asked for his help. Even though his expertise was only in the so-called 'soft' science of psychology: a field that Sweets was sure that they distrusted.
In that moment, Sweets flashed back to the day that Booth had handed him the Gormogon file.
'We could really use your help on this one, Sweets…I know that Bones and her squints are covering all the forensic stuff, but that's not the only side to a case and you know it…'
Sweets then knew what he needed to do.
"No," he said, straightening his posture. "I'll go with you to drop off the evidence…I want to help."
The psychologist could see a faint gleam in Brennan's eyes and the trace of a smile on her lips at his words. But just as quickly as they came they disappeared.
"We need to leave immediately," she said. "We have less than ten hours to save Booth."
The four of them raced out the door, and Angela began to explain their plan to Sweets as they left.
Later, while standing in a back room at the Jeffersonian, Sweets noticed that the mood in the room was decidedly grim.
They had recently discovered that the Grave Digger was none other than Heather Taffet, the very prosecutor who had taken over the Grave Digger case. At first Sweets found it difficult to believe: serial offenders of this type tended to be overwhelmingly male. But as Taffet sat there, eyeing them like they were insects to be brushed aside, Sweets could feel the evil radiating off her. It erased any doubt in his mind that they could have the wrong person.
However, any attempt to get her to voluntarily tell them Booth's whereabouts had failed miserably. Sweets had had a feeling that it would be this way, even though he wished that it wasn't true. But he had studied the profile; he knew what they were dealing with.
The psychologist watched Taffet closely, making sure to keep his distance from her. Although he was confident in Jared's skill at securing her, Sweets still felt deeply disturbed by her presence. The evil he sensed from her reminded him too much of the evil that filled his biological father's soul. Still, he persisted in his attempt to penetrate her mind, despite his discomfort, to try to find something that they could use to pry information out of her.
But soon he became more concerned with everyone else at the Jeffersonian.
'I hate her…I think I could murder her,'
Hodgins' words had worried the psychologist some, but he knew that the entomologist was prone to saying things in the heat of anger. But Brennan's response made him grow even more concerned.
'If any group of people could murder someone and get away with it…it would be us.'
Sweets could not stop those words from replaying in his mind.
'Brennan has always had a reverence for life…She values it above all things despite the fact that she deals with its inevitable end on a daily basis…She may lose her temper at times…but she usually is not as coldly calculating as this.'
Now as they waited to see if the team that Jared had sent to Taffet's storage locker would yield any results, everyone seemed even more on edge. Hodgins suddenly stomped over to him.
"You've got to get your hands on some truth-telling drugs," he insisted.
"What?" Sweets said, confused. He couldn't understand why Hodgins thought that he could gain access to things like that without the FBI's knowledge.
'Besides, I'm a psychologist not a psychiatrist…I don't have any medical training that would help me know how to use them correctly anyway.'
"Unless you'd rather torture her," Hodgins said.
"I know a little about that," Jared piped in.
Sweets was horrified at the direction this conversation was going, especially when no one raised any objections to the idea.
"No…what? We don't do that," Sweets protested.
"Booth will die," Brennan said her tone dark. Sweets walked over to her. He knew that she believed that she was making a rational decision in choosing this course of action to save Booth's life. He also was aware of the depth of her feelings for Booth, despite the fact she had vehemently denied them many times.
But he also knew that Booth would never want her to turn into the type of person who would resort to such tactics, no matter what the cost…even if he had done similar things in the past.
"Character is who you are under pressure," Sweets said, struggling to keep his voice even and calm. "Not who you are when everything's fine."
He hated saying that to her. Sweets had long admired Brennan's strength of character and her compassion that was just below the surface. But he was sure that if she were to go through with such a thing, it would stay with her for the rest of her life…no matter what the outcome.
"We're the good guys," he continued. "We don't torture people."
Sweets was grateful that Cam chose that moment to try to reason with Taffet again, even though he knew it was pointless.
"See that's not going to work," he said. But even as he explained his reasoning to Cam, he was beginning to loathe his own words.
'All I keep telling them is what can't be done,' he thought. 'Or what shouldn't be done…But none of this is accomplishing anything.'
'None of it will save Booth.'
Suddenly Angela burst into the room to let them know that they had the things from Taffet's locker. This got most of them moving to examine what had been found, leaving Sweets with Taffet and Jared. The psychologist went back to silently trying to read Taffet, still trying to gain some insight. But she had surrounded herself with a wall of indifference. Again, Sweets felt useless.
'Booth needs help…but I haven't been able to do a thing…'
An hour later, Sweets was sitting in Brennan's office on her couch, his head in his hands.
They had just received a phone call from Brennan informing all of them that Booth had been found in time: alive and well. They were flying back to a naval base where the agent would be looked at by the medical staff present.
Sweets leaned back into the couch and sighed. He had almost collapsed with relief at the news, and he ended up moving to sit in Brennan's office to take a breath and relax.
Now that he had time to think about it, he began to mull over the idea that there could be severe consequences for what he did. He had heard that Jared had been arrested for his involvement and everyone else was unsure if charges would be brought up against them as well. In the back of his mind, Sweets wondered if he would have a practice tomorrow…or anytime soon for that matter.
Sweets rubbed his eyes; he was sure that his parents would be sad to see him lose everything that he had worked for. On the other hand, he was also sure that they would be proud of him for standing by the people that he cared about.
The psychologist knew that if he had been given the chance, he would do it all again without hesitation.
Sweets jerked his head toward the voice and saw Cam walking in to sit with him.
"Doctor Saroyan…is there any more news on Booth?"
"Not really," she said, shaking her head. "Brennan called again to let us know that they were at the base and that Booth was being looked at. She seemed to think that he'd be fine."
"That's good," Sweets nodded. Cam sighed and Sweets tilted his head quizzically.
"Look…I don't know what's going to happen to all of us now," she said. "But I want to thank you for helping us…and I know that even if he never says it…Booth thanks you as well."
"But…but I didn't do anything," Sweets said, hanging his head. "It was all of you here …all of you and Jared…who saved Booth." Cam placed her hand on Sweets' forearm.
"Sweets…maybe you didn't examine a body or analyze forensic evidence, but you did help us," she said firmly. "You were calm when all of us were emotional, you were supportive whenever one of us felt it was hopeless, and you stepped in before any of us could do something that we would regret for the rest of our lives." Cam squeezed his forearm gently.
"You helped us keep it together so that we could focus on what we needed to do to get Booth back," she continued. "And that's why I'm thanking you…I'm glad that you're part of our team."
Sweets' eyes widened in disbelief and Cam chuckled as she rose to her feet, smoothing down her dress.
"Come on Doctor Sweets…I think Angela is rounding up some refreshments and I for one could use a drink." The psychologist quickly got up and followed her out of the office.
As he walked with her toward Angela's office, he thought again about what Cam had said and shook his head. He now knew that he was part of something again. Even if he wasn't completely sure of how it happened.
But somewhere along the way, Doctor Lance Sweets had transitioned from being just a FBI shrink to being part of a family.
And right now, he couldn't think of anything more important to him than that.