Disclaimer: The plot/title was inspired by the Supernatural episode 'In My Time of Dying' (s2, ep1). Most of the characters belong to Hart Hanson. Anything you don't recognize is mine.
A/N: There's an itty bitty homage to the TV show M*A*S*H, since it is my sole source of military knowledge (and since it's not really all that military, I should maybe get a new source). Catch it if you can! Also, many buckets of thanks to everybody who reviewed, read, favorite, alerted, or any combination thereof. I love you all! And, once again, if Zach is OOC, it's on purpose. He's first-season!Zach, when he had a personality. Now, without further ado, ON TO THE FINAL INSTALLMENT!
Chapter 7: Pay No Attention To The Beings Behind The Curtain
Room 382, Hospital, Washington D.C., one week later
"…so we've decided that a honeymoon in Paris is just so overdone, really," Angela grins at Zach. "We're gonna stick around here for a while."
"Can I tell him the best part?" Hodgins asks, face practically split in half from his own grin.
"Well, since you pulled it off, I suppose that would be alright," Angela sighs with mock-suffering.
"What? Tell me what?" Zach asks eagerly, voice still a little hoarse from having the tube shoved down his throat for two days.
"I used the until-now useless and irritating powers and contacts that go with being me to pull some strings," Hodgins says smugly. "Long and complicated story put in short and simple speak–"
"You can come home," Angela cuts him off, laughing at Hodgins' mock-irritated face.
Zach's eyes go wide. "Really?"
"Yep. And I just bet Cam will trip over herself to offer you your old job back," Hodgins waggles his eyebrows ridiculously.
"But… how?" Zach asks, lips stretching in an unaccustomed-smile.
"Don't ask. Essentially, we had to promise them our firstborn," Hodgins says, and then, at Zach's worried look, he says, "kidding, man."
"Oh," Zach says, and then laughs a little. "So… I can really go back to living over the garage?"
"No," Hodgins says seriously. Zach's face falls, and then Hodgins continues, "That apartment's too drafty anyway. We've got you your own setup in the main house."
Angela smacks Hodgins on the arm for being 'such a goof', and Zach laughs. A full laugh, for the first time in years.
"Alright, we actually have to go now, though," Hodgins says reluctantly, hauling himself to his feet. "There's a thing, with stuff."
Zach cocks an eyebrow, and says, "You're being excessively vague."
"You bet," Hodgins grins cheerfully, and then he and Angela leave.
Ten minutes later, Dr. Saroyan knocks on the door. "Hey, now a good time?"
"Yes," Zach hauls himself farther up on his pillows.
"So, Hodgins and Angela dropped their bombshell, right?" she asks as she sits down.
"Yes, they did. It was… unexpected," Zach smiles a little bit.
Cam rolls her eyes. "Why? You know we all love you and want you to come back."
There's a moment of silence as they both flush a little bit, and then Cam coughs awkwardly and continues, "So, given any thought to gainful employment?"
"Hodgins suggested that… he said you might…."
Cam laughs, and shakes her head. "Pain in the ass ruined my surprise, huh?"
"Yes, I suppose. But, I could act surprised, if you want," Zach offers.
"Alright," Cam grins. "Zach, would you like to work at the Jeffersonian again?"
"Really?" Zach widens his eyes dramatically. "I would love to!"
Cam laughs again, and says, "You've gotten better at that kind of thing, I see."
"I didn't have much else to do in the Loony Bin," Zach says, looking down at his still-gloved hands. Then he frowns, and holds his hands up. "But, how can I–"
"We need you for your mind, Dr. Addy," Cam says reassuringly. "We'll figure a way around the hands."
Zach grins again, and they fall companionably silent for a few minutes.
"Um, so," Cam says, suddenly awkward again, not meeting his eyes. "Uh, when you're, you know, let out of the hospital, do you… maybe want to… uh…."
Zach looks up, eyes wide in genuine surprise and confusion. "Want to…?"
"Eat some food? Somewhere… maybe with… someone… who would be me?" Cam stumbles ineptly.
He stares at her for a brief moment, and then says, "Yes. I would."
Cam meets his eyes again, clearly surprised. "Really?"
"Yes," Zach says, and moves his hand across the bed until it's right next to hers.
She glances down, smiles a bit, and then slides her hand into his.
Reflecting Pool, Washington D.C., same time
Brennan stares at her phone, and then sighs, rolling her eyes at her own silliness.
'Well, why not?' she asks herself, and proceeds to call the base in Iraq.
An interminable number of transfers and connections later, someone named Corporal O'Reilly answers the phone in Iraq.
"May I please speak to Seeley Booth?" Brennan asks.
"He's not here," the man says, sounding surprised. "He requested a transfer back to the States."
"What? When?" Brennan sits upright, stunned.
"A – About five days ago. He said that… somebody needed him, I'm not sure–"
"Thank you," Brennan says, and hangs up on the surprised Corporal.
She jumps to her feet, and turns around to head back to the Jeffersonian and make some irritated-bordering-on-panicky phonecalls, but stops dead.
Standing a few feet away, grinning cheekily at her, is Seeley Booth.
"Hey, Bones," he says. "You alright?"
For once, words escape the brilliant forensic anthropologist. For once, she lets emotion take precedence over logic and reason.
She crosses the distance between the two of them in a heartbeat, and throws herself into Booth's arms.
And she is kissing him, and he is kissing her back, and nothing has ever felt more right.
Hospital, Washington D.C. (sort of)
Unseen by living eyes, a little girl lingers near Room 382, keeping an eye on one of the few humans to ever turn her down.
"Good for you," she whispers to herself as the young man and the woman who'd been with him all through his coma finally take that all-important step.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not often that the dying fight to live. Usually, they're worn out, beat down, and don't want to continue to fight. They welcome death.
But this unusual young man had run towards the challenge of putting his life back together. That kind of spirit (if you'll pardon the pun) is rare.
So, naturally, the Reaper had dropped a few words in some sympathetic, otherworldly ears (not Reaper-ears, but otherworldly nonetheless), and the combined efforts of Dr. Jack Hodgins and a few unnatural spirit-beings had persuaded various high-placed, powerful members of the local law system to declare Dr. Zachary Addy free, cleared of all charges. The legal mumbo-jumbo was beyond the average Reaper, but the point is, Zach is free.
The Reaper smiles broadly at the young man, and then vanishes.
A/N: Why yes, I did reference magicky/supernatural stuff (and since I got the idea for the spirit-beings from the Dresden Files, I disclaim that too)! It's just more fun that way. And, since Zach doesn't remember it, it's totally canon! Really. I swear. Mostly it was because I have no idea how they would legitimately/legally/non-magically get Zach out of the Loony Bin, and I couldn't just leave him in there! Poor thing doesn't deserve that. So, therefore, MAGIC! FREE ZACH! Anyway, thanks for reading/reviewing/whatever-ing! Love you all bunches!