So, once again I really hope I did Sweetness some justice. It was never my intention to make this a first-person kinda thing, but I'm just so insecure I have to pick, pick, pick at everything I write until I've re-written it a few times in a completely different fashion. So, hopefully you enjoy this from Sweets' pov. The next chapter should be Booth. I plan on making this a two-shot, but I don't know, depending on the feedback I get it might be extended. Oh, and I tried so hard to think of a clever Bones-y title for this but I'm just not clever enough.
Happy reading! :D
Disclaimer: I own an old dog, and a few cans of soup, but not much else.
I like to think I'm smart. I mean, I'm not even twenty-five yet but I've got two doctorates. I've had these doctorates for years. Some might even consider me a genius. I try to be modest, of course, but I can't say I don't agree with them. I profile for the FBI. I know how to draw conclusions from very limited information. I know how to look at the little insignificant things aside from everything else because I know it's the little things that mean the most. I analyze, deduct, and 98 percent of the time I know exactly what I'm talking about.
So surprisingly enough, this same and highly educated Dr. Lance Sweets - that's me - isn't sure he knows anything anymore. No, it's true. I don't know where I am, how I got here or even why I'm here in the first place. What I do know is that I've become quite acquainted with the cement, some part of my body is broken, and my new shirt is ruined. But I'm trying not to think about that last thing right now. Partly because I know now is not the time, and the other part because I just can't think in general. Pardon my French, but my mind is in a funk and my memory is complete shit.
What the hell happened last night?
"Ow", is pretty much all I can manage to say. You can't really blame me. Yelling for help is probably the best idea but unfortunately my mind is still too fuzzy and everytime I blink my eye-lids get heavier. Not gonna lie, it freaks me out a little. I'm not sure how long I've been out and I really don't look forward to waking up a second time in complete confusion. Besides, my head is killing me and I've probably got a concussion or something. Falling asleep with a head injury? Never a good idea. I'm lucky enough to have woken up once, already.
I want to use my psychological reasoning to determine whether I'm really okay or not, but I know it's useless. What's the point? I've just been mugged - at least, that is my guess - so of course I'm not okay. My wallet is gone, so are my keys, but thankfully I'm not missing any part of my body. Not that I know of, at least. And though I'm not a doctor doctor, I know my ribs aren't supposed to be feeling like this and with a grimace mentally announce that the only major injuries I know of are my head and a few broken ribs. I'm actually thankful, because I know things could be much, much worse.
The only sounds I'm capable of making are groans and moans and sounds of discomfort. I sound pathetic, I know, but I don't really care. I need someone to hear me. I need someone to help.
The sky is dark and grim-looking and I have no idea what time it is. I remember checking my watch - which I just realize is also missing - and seeing it be five past eight. I'd stayed in my office longer than I would have liked to finish up a tricky profile for this big case we've been working on. Normally, it wouldn't have seemed so long. I mean, I've stayed way longer before. But I'd pulled some major strings to get me and Daisy a reservation at this new Italian restaurant she's been wanting to visit, but I was so swamped I just had to cancel. I told her I'd reschedule it, and I know she was disappointed but hey, I work for the FBI. I'm a busy bee. I must have been out a few hours.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anybody around. Not that I'm really expecting people to wander around alleys in the middle of the night or anything. At least nobody except the kind of person who decided to basically whoop my ass and steal everything I had on me.
I force the blurry image of the world to clear and note that I can still hear noises. There aren't many cars driving down this particular street leading from the alley, like none at all, but there are still people around, awake. I can hear them in the distance. Or maybe they're just part of my sick imagination. I really hope not. Maybe they can help me.
When I look around me, I notice that I'm lying right beside piles of trash. It smells kind of horrid but I hardly notice. Using my weak arms, I try to push myself up-right, but the motion sends a stab of pain right into my chest and I want to scream so bad. I stop and just lie there for a moment or two, trying to get myself together. I know the tears forming in my eyes are totally justifiable, but they only make me angry. It's bad enough being mugged! I feel so violated. I don't want that asshole to win. I need to control something.
I raise a quivering hand and violently brush the tears away. I'm not going to stay here and cry - I'm not. I'm going to get home.
I kind of hope whoever did this to me had a legitimate reason. Like, uh, a family to feed or a kid who needs surgery. In that case, I wouldn't feel so bad about someone taking my money and selling my things. Not if it was done for a good enough cause. But by the way I feel like one of those mangled bodies that I sometimes see at the Jeffersonian, I don't believe that to be the case. It was probably just done 'because'. Because it was fun or something. The thought makes me shiver, but I don't let it control me. It's not the time to give up.
I take a deep breath, close my blurred eyes and try again. The pain is just as bad - if not worse, but I somehow manage to sit up and lean against a particulary large trash bag. I sit there for a minute, just focusing on breathing and not passing out. Phone, I suddenly remember. I need to call somebody. But as soon as I search my pockets, I'm left in extreme disappointment. No phone. The crook snagged that too. I guess I expected as much, but I just got that damn phone last week. It's not really fair at all, any of this.
I need to think of a plan because I really need to get up and out of here as quickly as possible. But how? I've really got no idea. With no phone, and no people in sight, I'm on my own.
I groan loudly and use the numerous trash cans/bags to help me up. It takes me longer than I initially thought it would, but by the time I'm standing up and trying to beat vertigo, I could care less. I struggle to reach for the wall to keep myself standing and close my eyes against the sudden wave of nausea. I try my best to overcome it, but it hardly works. Before I know it, I'm tossing up the food I'd had for dinner at the diner sometime before I'd been attacked.
How can I feel so horrible and not be dead? I mean, I know it's a stupid thought. Obviously if I was dead, I wouldn't be able to feel anything. But I'm not in my right mind, so I'm going to excuse it. I'll wonder about things like this later, when my mind is working properly.
I think that in a way, somewhere deep inside my very soul, I wish I was dead. Or unconscious, at least. That way I wouldn't have to suffer like I am right now. But for godsake, I'm only twenty-four! I'm still too young to die. And suddenly, I'm more motivated than ever. I've got find somebody, got to get to a phone.
I move - slowly but surely - towards the end of the alley, using the wall as a guide. One arm is wrapped tightly around my aching chest, willing me to stay alive long enough to get ahold of somebody. I'm shocked to see nobody around. I mean, did I sleep through the Apocaplypse or something? I feel like I'm the last man on Earth. But luckily, I do see a payphone. I stumble towards it, not realizing the significance of a payphone and my wallet being swiped until I'm ready to dial. I slam the phone back on its stand in utter frustration and struggle to control the fresh set of tears leaking out of my tired eyes. I haven't had a professional mindset. I should know never to have blamed myself for something like this, but I can't help but feel I made myself look like an easy target. I want to know what I did to deserve this.
Suddenly, I see something shimmering for attention beneath the lightpost. I widen my eyes to make sure I'm not dreaming and hope to God that it's really real. Yes, I see as I take a painful step closer. Yes, it's a quarter! Oh, I've never been this excited to see a quarter in my entire life! I have to fight the urge to scream when I bend down to get it, and I pick it up with the most care I've ever given a coin - ever.
"Oh, thank you. Thank you."
Despite being broken in more ways than one, I smile. I hope to find another coin lying around somewhere but it seems my luck is limited, so I resort to shoving my hands in my pockets once more and hope to God I'll find another. But no, there's nothing but air and hopelessness in my front pockets. But then I suddenly remember having back pockets and want to jump over the moon when my hand hits something round. Yes! I pull out the dirty old quarter and waste no time depositing it into the old phone machine.
"This better work."
To my extreme delight, I find myself listening to a comforting ring I've heard many times before. I really hope I get an answer, because this is my one and only shot. I bite my lip, glance around nervously and will my heart to stop beating so damn fast. Please answer me. Please.
"Agent Booth," says a familiar -albeit, distracted sounded voice. He's probably still at the FBI.
I've never been more relieved in my life. I've probably never sounded so relieved. Never ever. "Booth!"
Miraculously, Booth seems to recognize my voice. He asks with genuine concern, "Sweets? What's going on, you all right?"
I don't even hesitate beginning, "Booth, I-I..." but then suddenly back-track. How am I supposed to explain something like this? I feel so embarassed. "I need you to come p-pick me up."
"Pick you up?" He repeats in confusion, "Sweets? What's going on? Where are you?"
"Um," Yeah, my location is something I'm still trying to figure out. "I-I don't know. I was...I was at the diner..." I have to pause for a second as a wave of pain rushes through me, and then continue even quicker than before, "I was at the diner, and-and the next thing I know...my-my wallet's gone, and he took everything, Booth. He-he took everything..."
"Whoa, whoa. Slow down." He tells me. I oblige. "Who took everything?"
"I don't know!" God, I must sound ridiculous right now. "Booth, c-can you come get me please?" My voice cracks with such urgency that I imagine Booth is flying out the door of the Hoover already. The image almost makes me want to smile.
"Well, where are you?" He asks.
"I was at the diner," I know I'm repeating myself, but I'm so frantic I can't think straight. "I-I don't really know, now. I'm calling from a payphone."
"Sweets, I need you to listen to me. All right?" By his tone of voice, I can tell he knows this is no joke. "Just look around and tell me what you see."
Right, good idea. Why haven't I thought of this? "Okay."
"All right?" He clarifies.
"Yeah," my voice is at least an octave higher than usual. I take a deep breath and squint my eyes and do my best to point out something of importance. "Um...there-there's a light post..."
"You're gonna have to do better than that, Sweets."
"Yeah, uh." I know this very well. "I'm-I'm by an alley. And-and-and there's a, uh, building? I don't know what it is. And a donut shop! It's uh - it's down the street. I didn't notice that before."
"Okay, good. Keep going."
"And there's a streetsign."
"What does it say?"
Geeze, I wish I could tell him. "I don't know. I-I can't read it. Booth, I don't have any more money." What if I can't finish my distress call in time? The thought makes my stomach churn again and I use the payphone to steady myself. "The donut shop is called Mac's, I think. I think it's a donut shop."
"Mac's?" He muses for a second. "Okay, I think I know where you are. I'm on my way now, alright?"
Oh, thank the lord, yes! My voice is incredibly shaky but I know I sound relieved. "Okay."
"Just, hang in there, alright? I'm coming." He's trying his best to reassure me, and I can't express how much I appreciate it. "Just relax."
I nod, forgetting that he can't even see me. I'm not sure whether I want to hang up to the phone and just hide where I woke up, or keep talking to him while I wait.
"Sweets, are you all right?" I'm sure he knows the answer to this already. "Are you hurt or something?"
Yeah, I haven't exactly been clear on anything, have I? I don't even answer the question. I just tell him to "Please hurry" and suddenly hang up the phone. I'm stupid, I know. I shouldn't have hung up, but I've already lost everything else. The last thing I need is to lose all dignity from Booth. I've worked so hard to earn his respect and get him to like me. I feel so stupid calling him, practically crying, begging him to come save me. I'm tougher than I look, but I really don't have anybody else. He knows that. I know he knows, which makes me feel both good and bad about him being around me. I don't need to be felt sorry for.
Besides, he's coming for me now. He told me so himself, so there's nothing to worry about. He's going to get me home and everything is going to be okay. Everything is gonna be fine very soon. I stumble towards the alley and take a seat on top one of the many over-filled trash bags. Just standing up and talking has drained all the energy out of me. I need to compose myself while I wait for Agent Booth so I don't look overly pathetic. Deep inside I know that I'm going to look and feel pathetic anyway, but just pretending I won't makes me feel better.
With a heavy sigh and a heavy heart, I lean my back against the brick wall and pray to a God I'm not sure I believe in, that Booth really knows where he's going.