Author's Note: I apologize for neglecting this story. You'd be surprised at how many times people asked me if I was ever going to continue. I always said yes because I knew I would eventually, but I'm sorry that it took me this long. Nothing very new here yet, but I've rewritten these first two chapters and changed some things. This story takes place during season seven, and Emily Young is the new intern instead of Mr. Abernathy, because there just aren't enough female interns working there. There's only one, and not many people like her...Thanks to everyone who has favorited and alerted this story! Hopefully this can satisfy you for now.
Disclaimer: Bones isn't mine, but I do own quite a few DVD's.
"Victim is male. Caucasian. Approximately...twenty-four to twenty-five years old. The indentations in these bones, here, are quite common in those struck with-"
"Struck to death? That would be a horrible way to die." When all six eyes were turned to her, the newest intern at the Jeffersonian, Emily Young, offered a quick "Sorry" and shut her mouth. She had been working with the team for a total of four days now and she had been doing her best to stay professional. It was not the first time she had interrupted her superiors to give them her naïve opinion, and the team figured that it probably would not be the last either. She was just very excited to be there - and while the constant interruptions were not something the scientists favored, they could understand her enthusiasm at being at work with some of the greatest scientists in the country.
"Actually," Dr. Brennan countered, "these wounds were inflicted post-mortem."
"So, you're saying that's not the way that he died then?" Emily blinked at the skeleton strewn across the lab table before her and shuddered involuntarily. Why she ever wanted to become a forensic anthropologist was anyone's guess. She did not handle mangled corpses very well. She didn't believe that anyone really could, regardless of how many years they had come in contact with them. Being that she was particularly squeamish at the sight of blood from a mere papercut, one had to wonder what she was doing hovering over a dead body in the first place.
"Okay, that's good. At least the guy got spared some unnecessary pain." The girl of Chinese descent paused to reach a small hand up to adjust her black-rimmed glasses. "But if he was already dead...why whack him with something?"
"Perhaps the murderer just wanted to make sure he was really dead," Cam suggested.
Brennan nodded. "It is quite possible. Oh, Angela," she greeted as the artist approached them with a file in her hands. "Hello."
Angela nodded her greetings to the team and wasted no time explaining her findings. "Hey. So, I identified the victim." She pulled a large printed photo out of the manila folder she carried and held it out for them to see. "Cole Anderson. He's twenty-five years old. Works at a computer repair shop in Cleveland Park."
"RWD?" Emily offered. "Repair Without Despair?"
"Uh, yeah." The artist continued on as if she had never been interrupted. "Apparently, he's been missing a little over two weeks now. No family in the area. His work-buddies started to get a little worried when he stopped showing up for his shifts."
"Very good, Angela." Brennan nodded. "I will let Booth know." She removed her dirty rubber gloves and tossed them into the trash bin below the slab where the body of the now identified man lay. After being pregnant for so long, in fact now just having entered her third trimester, the anthropologist found herself having to use the restroom much more often than she was used to. "I find that I'm having to urinate more often than I would like."
Angela laughed. "That's when you know you're getting ripe."
"I don't know what that means," Brennan replied. "I'm not a piece of fruit. I cannot ripen. However, this is merely a sign that the fetus is growing appropriately and is pressing up against my bladder. If you will excuse me..."
As the anthropologist scurried off to relieve herself, Angela turned her attention to Cole Anderson's remains and sighed. Even after so many years of coming in direct contact with the bodies of (usually) undeserving victims, she found that could never get used to it.
"Poor guy," Emily sympathized after a minute. "It must be terrible being dead."
Hodgins eyed the Asian intern with a mixture of amusement and incredibility. "If you were dead, you probably wouldn't even notice. You do know that, right?"
"That's...very true," she agreed. She mulled over the idea that one minute a person could be living their life to the fullest and the next minute they could be six feet under and pushing up daisies. Life was so fragile and she found that the more bodies she came in contact with, the more the thought occured to her. Suddenly, her lips twitched into a smirk and her voice raised in her excitement. "Hey, you know what would make solving this case so much easier?" When nobody answered, she took it as a hint to continue and did so rather proudly. "If Cole's ghost would appear and just tell us all the answers."
"That's very unlikely," Dr. Brennan responded.
Emily decided to ignore that fact that Dr. Brennan had managed to relieve herself and rejoin their conversation so quickly. After all, there were a lot of things that she did not understand about the anthropologist. She continued," If only every murder victim's ghost could tell the true story behind their death. I mean, that way there would be nothing but justice."
"And we'd also be out of our jobs," Cam reminded pointedly. "And since Mr. Anderson's ghost isn't here, perhaps we should get back to going our work."
"Yes," Brennan agreed. "That would be most benefcial." As Hodgins, Emily, and Angela nodded their agreements, Brennan opened her mouth to speak, reaching for a new pair of rubber gloves. However, before she could even slip them on and get another word out, there was a distinct RING, RING! coming from the pocket of her blue lab coat. Brennan started, then realizing it was her phone causing the commotion, reached into her pocket and put the phone up to her ear, balancing it between her shoulder and her head as she slipped on her gloves. "Hello? Oh, Miss Wick."
Hodgins and Angela raised their eyebrows. The notion did not go unnoticed by Emily, who found herself curious about who else she had yet to meet on the team. Dr. Brennan had expected Daisy to come in instead, but since she had never shown, the anthropologist had made the decision to give the newest intern some more experience in the lab. Before she could even question Daisy about why she was not present, Daisy answered. Her voice was so loud, so frantic, that the rest of the team had no trouble hearing her.
"Dr. Brennan!" There was a pause as she tried to compose herself. There was no point in speaking when her sobs distorted her words and made her difficult to understand. "Um, Dr. Brennan?" There was an unmistakable sniffle coming from her end, and immediately the team's annoyance faltered. "I'm sorry if I'm interrupting something...I should have called you earlier but...Dr. Brennan, I won't be able to come in today...I'm not sure when I will be able to..."
"Miss Wick?" Brennan interrupted. "Is something the matter?"
"Actually...it's Lance, Dr. Brennan. There-there's been an accident..." As Daisy went on to explain, the team watched helplessly as Brennan's expression changed from one of surprise to one of genuine concern. After a moment, she mumbled a quick "Please keep me posted" into the phone and hung up. The rest of the team was quickly on their toes.
"What's wrong?" Angela asked her.
"That was Miss Wick."
"She sounded very upset," Cam noted.
"Yes, she was very upset. She's at the hospital." There was a short chorus of collective gasps from every member of the team, aside from Emily who found herself feeling extremely out-of-the-loop. She had no idea who this Miss Wick was but she couldn't help but sympathize for her. Emily sympathized for everybody.
"Hospital?" Angela repeated, panicked. "What? What's going on? Is she okay?"
"Miss Wick is fine."
"She's fine? Then why-?"
"It's Sweets," Brennan clarified, for some reason finding it difficult to produce words. "He...There's been an accident."
Angela frowned. "Oh my god. What happened?"
"Is he alright?" Cam demanded.
Hodgins and Emily both looked just as worried as the rest of them, although Emily still looked extremely confused. She had absolutely no idea who Sweets was but, judging from everyone's reactions, she deducted he must have meant a great deal to them. She wanted to ask them who he was and why he mattered but she knew better than to intrude on their personal moment. However, seeing the people she looked up to so distant and distracted was dismaying. She didn't like it when people were upset.
"Miss Wick said that he was in a collision this morning on his way to work."
"A collision?" Hodgins repeated, hoping to have heard wrong. "You mean Sweets was in a car accident?"
Brennan nodded. "Yes. Miss Wick was notified as soon as he was brought into the ER. He's at the George Washington University hospital. From what I gather, he's been left in very serious condition."
"Well, he's okay though. Right?" Angela asked. "I mean, he's going to be okay?"
Dr. Brennan was never one to give false hope, not to anyone. She felt that telling the truth in situations like these was important. She took a second to think and to breathe, finding that she was having difficulty staying calm. "Daisy said he...is not doing so well. The doctors told her they are doing their best, but-"
"They don't think he's going to make it?" Angela finished, with dread.
Brennan looked as if she was about to protest. "I don't know very much about the extent of his injuries but I do know he suffered a great deal of trauma."
"Oh my god..."
Hodgins wrapped an arm around his wife and shook his head. Over the past few years of working with and getting to know Sweets, the entomologist had found the kid growing on him. At first, he couldn't have standed the sight of him, thinking that the psychologist was just too annoying and nosy to deal with. He was so thankful that he had given the kid a second chance and that he had been given another chance too - after all, in the beginning he hadn't treated the guy very fairly at all. After realizing that the kid actually knew what he was talking about, Hodgins had often seeked the young man for advice, much like most of them had at some point or another. Now he considered him to be more of a friend than just a mere colleague. Hell, he was part of their family.
Hodgins thought back to the time that Sweets and him had accompanied Fisher to the premiere of the new sci-fi movie, Avatar. The young man had practically died from guilt after kissing another woman while waiting in line. And he had helped him steal back Angela's father's car! Even after leaving him behind, Sweets hadn't been angry with him. He was such a good guy and Hodgins was saddened at the thought that he was lying on a hospital bed on the verge of life and death. He glanced at Cole Anderson's remains and shuddered. He and Sweets were both the same age. A world without the great wunderkind Dr. Sweets, Hodgins could not dare to imagine.
"We have got to get over there,"Angela announced, bring him out of his reverie.
"And I should call Booth," Brennan added. "He'll probably want to come too."
The team practically cringed at the mention of the agent's name. They all knew how fond Agent Booth had been of the young man. They had a strange love/hate brotherly thing going on and had for years. Knowing the way that Booth felt about his people, he would not take the news well. However, there was still one other person who might take everything worse.
"We have to be there for Daisy, you guys," Angela reminded. "I know she can be kind of neurotic sometimes but she's a good person and...they're in love. If he dies, it's going to kill her."
"Yeah, come on. I'll drive," Hodgins offered, not wanting to think about it.
Emily figured now was her only chance. "Uh, guys? I know this is kind of irrelevent now but...I'm still here."
"Right...of course, Miss Young," Cam nodded, sadly. "The case still needs to be solved and we still need to figure out cause of death. And everything." She paused to look over her team and quickly made a decision. "You guys go ahead. I should stay and take care of things here. I'll have to drop in a little bit later. Please give me a call as soon as you get any information." At their agreement, she turned to the body with a sigh. "Alright. Let's get to work, Miss Young. We're going to have a lot more to do with everyone else away."
And so as Dr. Saroyan and Emily resumed their investigation, the rest of the team dispersed. Brennan rushed towards her office as fast as her legs could carry her swelling body and hit her speed dial, wanting to call her partner and tell him about the accident in private. Hodgins and Angela wasted no time heading towards Angela's vehicle. And though everyone was in separate places, they all had one common thing on their minds.
A 25 year old Lance Sweets who was fighting the ultimate battle. The battle of life and death.