AN: A retrospective look at Zack Addy's fall from grace, a foreshadowing from season 1, episode 11.

Many times I've been alone, and many times I've cried

Anyway, you'll never know the many ways I've tried.

The one thing that Zack took great pride in was his intelligence. He had a knack for irrefutable statements and solid, sound persuasiveness that one would only have ever seen in his mentor, Dr. Brennan. But in a way, his ability to mentally isolate himself, contain himself merely to an entity of intellect and not that of an actual human being had it's drawbacks. He found it difficult to compare his life to the lives of his coworkers outside of being a team of investigators who solved murders. He knew nothing about women, had no ties outside of the Jeffersonian and his family, hell he couldn't even ride a bike or drive a car.

His ability to connect was little, and subtle nuances of human nature were beyond him. He didn't understand even the most obvious of slang that his coworkers used.

However, the things he could do had a tendency to overshadow the things he could not. He had a wonderful singing voice, he could build model airplanes, he knew, just by looking at someone's remains, how old they were, their gender, height, weight, and how they died. Merely by being intelligent, he was able to change the world. Catch the bad guy, be the hero.

He leaned against the light table, staring intently at the X rays of their most recent victim. A rather harried looking woman came in and stopped at the table, obviously impatient with him. Zack wanted to sigh, but decided it was unprofessional. He spared the woman a fleeting glance before focusing his attention back on his work. For a moment he thought she was going to be offended, and he was right. He could hear the annoyance in her voice as she reprimanded, "Could we start please?"

Feeling a tiny bit roguish, he replied, "Any time. I can do two things at once." It was a very true statement, but not one that Pickering seemed to like very much.

"Mr. Addy, I require your full attention."

"No you don't," he told her, turning his attention away from what he was doing, "but I'll give it to you." He leaned one hand on the edge of the table, watching her intently, waiting for her to finish what she was doing so he can do what he needed to do. Sometimes he wondered if individual people had their own secret agendas when they were talking to him. Though, he admitted, he couldn't see why. He really had nothing to offer people, nothing to give them. He hid a smile when he realized he was practically a paranoid Hodgins in the making. Jack would be proud.

Pickering took a glance at her clipboard, and continued. "What I need to do here is to establish that you are not a threat to the security of this country."

With a sigh, he told her, as if he had recited this exact speech for quite some time, many times, "I'm getting a degree in Forensic Anthropology. I'm half way through another in Engineering. What are you afraid I will do? Build a race of criminal robots that will destroy the earth?" Inwardly, he was laughing at the ludicrously asinine idea, but the woman didn't seem to find it all that amusing.

"Do you have that kind of fantasy often?"

"Very often." Again, inane, but rather funny.

She took him very seriously, noting everything down in her little board as if she was a scientist herself, though Zack knew she was nothing of the sort. "Does it concern you that such adolescent thoughts are a sign of emotional retardation?"

It was not something he even needed to contemplate for one moment, and he replied, "I've been told. I'm working on it."

"Can you understand why that concerns us?"

He shrugged noncommittally. "Not really."

For a moment she struggled to not throw the clipboard on the ground and storm out of there. The sensation only lasted a moment, until she became very intense, saying to him, "Hypothetically, you have a piece of information."

The statement caught his attention, and he focused his attention back on the women from the evidence on his table. "Secret and meaningful information?" he asked, trying to understand what she was asking of him.

Pickering nodded. "Yes and the security of the country's at stake. Can I bribe you to give it to me?"


"Threaten you?"

"No." His voice was firmer than the situation dictated, but Zack didn't seem to realize it.

She took a different approach, "What if I made a reasonable rational argument, very persuasive?"

That struck a chord in his brain, and one could almost see the gears whirring in there. Rational arguments were something that he could not ignore. "Merely persuasive?"

"Irrefutable. I make an irrefutable argument as to why you should give me this piece of information. Would you do so?" Irrefutable arguments were his favorite kind. The kind that really tickled his brain, made him understand. He didn't think he would ever understand the way humans worked and acted, based solely on their emotions and not with their minds, but if someone could postulate something to him, argue it so perfectly, flawlessly, how could he deny it? How could something so rational be wrong?

It couldn't. It wouldn't be wrong. If there was anything in the world that could ameliorate the human experience irrefutably, then he would have to go along with it. Logic dictated that he must, that if reasoning could be so immaculate, he wouldn't be able to resist.

Sweets would perfectly explain it years from that moment: Being hyper-rational means the ability to rationalize murder. It is the danger of the totally rational human being.

Zachery Uriah Addy was a totally rational human being.