A/N – Storyline takes place sometime during season 6. There never was a Hannah.
This is my first foray into "Bones" fanfiction after watching it since it began and being a reader of several "Bone's" fan fiction stories. I do not claim to have any forensic anthropological or medical knowledge and forgive me if my storyline may seem a bit far-fetched and pieces of it have been borrowed from another work of fiction, Karen Rose's "Die For Me".
Disclaimer: "Bones" is the property of Fox and it's writers. I do not own "Bones" or any of it's characters.
Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan pulled on her latex gloves and gingerly kneeled down next to the body using her eyes first as her preliminary tool of examination. She spoke with confidence into the small recorder she always carried with her. As a forensic anthropologist, she was used to seeing death in many forms and not much disturbed her enough to get past the cold mask she slid on over her interior vulnerability that she let very few be privy to. For some reason, she could not name, this time it was different.
"Stage of decomposition suggests the victim has been dead for forty eight to seventy two hours. Female, late twenties, early thirties, hard to distinguish exactly due to… " Her confident voice did a rare stumble. "due to multiple stab wounds to the face, some of them done post-mortem."
Booth shot her a sharp look from he was standing with the other officers as they went over the evidence left behind. It wasn't like her to falter like this. She looked up at him and awarded him a brief albeit tense close-lipped smile of reassurance and got up wiping dirt off her pants. "Have the body and the ground around it packed and brought to the Jeffersonian."
"You heard the lady." Booth told the others in the room. "Wrap it up." He motioned with his hands as he walked over to where Bones stood and gently grasped her elbow. "Hey, are you okay?"
She was taken aback by his question and looked almost offended that he asked. "Yes, of course. I can just get a more conclusive examination done back at the lab."
Booth let it go but no way did he believe she was as unaffected as she tried to lead him to believe. "Okay then. Let's go see what the squint squad can come up with."
Cam frowned at first glance of the woman. "There isn't much left of her face, is there? Angela, can you see of you can do a facial reconstruction. I'd like to get an ID on this woman as soon as possible.
Angela gave a grimace. "I'll see what I can do."
"Well, this is disturbing." Cam noted as she examined the lower portion of the woman's torso removing the tattered skirt the victim wore and placing it carefully into a plastic bag. "It seems that…" her eyes widened and for the first time in years since her career as pathologist began, she gagged and turned away.
"Cam?" both Angela and Brennan asked, their eyes moving to the portion on the victim's body that seemed to disturb their boss.
"Oh, God." Angela cried out covering her mouth and running away with tears brimming in her eyes.
Brennan looked more closely at the damage that had been done. "Something very large appears to have been inserted in her vagina causing the pelvic bones to be stretched and broken. I can only estimate without cutting into the body that severe damage may have been done to her intestines."
Cam regained some of her composure. "Since some of her intestines are leaking out of her…" she cleared her throat. "I would have to say your assessment is correct, Dr. Brennan."
They looked at each other in silence, both disturbed at their findings when Dr. Hodgin's sauntered into the room.
"So, I hear you have a body. Any particulates for me yet?" He stopped in his tracks when he saw the pale faces of the two women. Wondering what would cause them to look so shaken, he looked towards the body. "Wow. I haven't seen anything like this since college."
"You are familiar with this type of injury, Dr. Hodgins?" Cam questioned in disbelief.
He looked sheepishly at her. "Not personally, no. But I took a class in medieval torture once…total fluff class…easy 'A'…you know how it is."
"Dr. Hodgins, you're rambling." Brennan informed him.
He sank back on his heels. "Right. Uh…it's been awhile but I would say our girl here was given what was known as the pear of anguish torture. It's a device that is placed in an..uh…orifice of the accused. It consisted of four leaves that slowly separated from each other as the torturer turned the screw at the top. It was the torturer's decision to simply tear the skin or expand the "pear" to its maximum and mutilate the victim. In this case I would say that mutilation was the decision."
"What a horrible way to die." Brennan uttered.
"It's murder, Bones. It usually is." Booth said as he swiped his security card and stepped onto the platform. "So, do we have a cause of death yet?" he asked almost cheerfully as he rubbed his hands together in anticipation to drive head long into the case.
"It seems so." Brennan looked at him, her blue eyes searing him with their saddened expression. "Our murderer has a liking for medieval torture devices."
Towards the end of the day, Temperance sat in her office typing up her notes so far on the case, which wasn't much. She recovered somewhat from her initial shock and was trying to be as back to business as usual but it was proving difficult.
There was a hesitant knock on the open door of her office. She looked up and saw Angela paused in the doorway.
"Hey, sweetie." Angela said softly, venturing in the room. "I'm feeling a bit peckish." She placed her hand lovingly over her slight baby bump. "And I thought since it has been a while since we had some girl time that we could go out to eat."
Tempe pushed back in her chair and stood up, her expression softening as she looked at her best friend. "You don't need to coddle me, Angela. I'm perfectly fine."
"I know you are, hon. But it has been a long time."
"I know it has and normally I would say yes but it just so happens I have a date tonight." Temperance admitted with a smile.
"A date?" Angela was surprised. She wondered if her friend's partner knew about this. Odds were, if he did, he wouldn't like it one bit. She knew Booth had been secretly in love with Tempe for a long time. She also knew that regardless of her friend's denial to admit it, Temperance felt the same way about her partner. "Does Booth know?"
"Does Booth know what?" The subject of their conversation entered Brennan's office.
"That I have a date." Brennan said looking at him with a smirk.
"A date? Bones, that's great. He's a lucky guy." Booth's eyes twinkled.
"Wait a minute." Angela looked back and forth at the two of them in confusion. "What is going on here? Booth why aren't you being your usual over protective self?"
"Relax Angela. Booth knows him." Temperance tried to settle her friend's agitation.
"And you approve?" she asked Booth, placing her hands on her hips. She didn't like this new development at all. Tempe and Booth were supposed to be together. He wasn't supposed to be happy she was dating someone else.
"Sure I do. I've known him for a long time. You ready to leave Bones? I'll walk you to your car."
"Just let me grab my things" she replied.
Angela rolled her eyes and walked out of Brennan's office in a huff. This would not do at all, she thought. There had to be some way she could make them see how right they were for each other.
She carefully extracted herself from under her lover's possessive arm and slid out from underneath the silken sheets careful not to awaken him from his slumber. Slipping on her red kimono robe that she picked up on one of her many travels, she padded quietly out of the bedroom, silently closing the door behind her.
It was 4am and Dr. Temperance Brennan could not sleep. By all rights, she should have been able to given the enthusiasm of the lovemaking she had been more than a willing participant of not too long ago. It was the case she supposed. Normally she didn't let cases have this much of an impact but the details were so horrific, the death so torturous and the victim, when Angela did her magic, looked so much like herself with just a few minor differences.
Each time Brennan closed her eyes, she saw herself as the body, so devoid of life laid out on the impersonal cold metal slab at the Jeffersonian as her colleagues meticulously picked and prodded her remains looking for clues about her untimely death. She would never tell Booth how much it affected her. He would get even more alpha male protective than he already was. Ever since he saw the picture on the "Angelator" he had been a constant at her side. Tempe smirked, not that she minded.
It was time for a little ice cream therapy, she thought as she reached into the freezer and pulled out her pint of chocolate chip mint that she always kept on hand for just this sort of occasion. Not even bothering with the bowl, Temperance dug into the carton with relish, licking the spoon like a lollipop as she sat at the kitchen table thumbing through the newest anthropology journal she just received.
"Couldn't sleep?" Booth questioned under a yawn, startling her from her reverie. He sat down across from her, wrapped in her blue sheet. Grasping her arm and pulling it towards him, he took a lick of the ice cream on the spoon. "Mmm," He paused for a few beats, appraising her, noting the tense edge to her sleep deprived eyes. "Okay, what's wrong?" He asked.
"Wrong? Why does anything have to be wrong?" she asked innocently.
"Because it's.." he glanced at the clock on the microwave. "4 in the morning and you're' eating ice cream instead of being in bed with me." His expression reminded her so much like Parker when he had time limits placed on how long he was allowed to play his video games, she wanted to smile.
"I needed sustenance. To coin your phrase, you wear me in."
"That's out, Bones. You wear me out." He wore a self satisfied grin. "I did, didn't I?"
"You don't have to look so proud of yourself." She muttered, placing another glob of the cold confection into her mouth.
"If it's about the case…" he started, going back to the previous conversation.
She shook her head. "It's not." She lied.
He knew she was not telling him the truth. The ever unflappable Dr. Temperance Brennan was shaken. Hell, since he saw the image that could have been her in all of it's 3D glory, he was still reeling. He could still recall the moment he first saw it with horrifying clarity.
He was walking towards Angela's office. Cam had called him to meet all the squints in there. They had a face of the victim. The image of the victim's mutilated face was rotating.
"Brace yourselves…" Angela warned with a scowl and pressed a few buttons. "Here is our victim."
Booth entered the office just as the gruesome image morphed into a full face…a very familiar face.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa…what the hell is that?" He asked wide-eyed in near panic as the image halted him in his tracks.
"That is our victim." Cam replied. She seemed to be a little unnerved herself.
"But..but it looks like…" Booth stammered still unable to believe his eyes.
"Me" Temperance supplied bluntly when she saw he was having trouble forming the words.
He had wanted to go over to her and wrap his arms around her so badly at that point…not that she looked like she needed the comfort but he did. Their relationship had yet to be "outed" and had he done that, it would have been a complete give-away.
"It's okay to be freaked out about it, Tempe. I know I was." He tried to soothe.
"I'm not "freaked out"" She said air quoting the words. "I will admit that at first glance of the vic…" She couldn't make herself use the word "victim" not when the woman looked so much like her. "uh woman, she appears to resemble me. However," she emphasized the word. "Upon closer inspection, it was clearly evident that any similarity to me is purely superficial. The spacial elements of her features differ from mine by centimeters, her …"
"Tempe" Booth interrupted but she continued with a near pleading look to her cerulean blue eyes.
"Her orbital bones closer together, her nasal bones a bit wider than what the surrounding cartilage would suggest it should be…"
She squeezed her eyes shut forcing herself to see the exact details of the victims face in her mind. "the inferior labial branch of facial artery considerably thinner , the zygomatic bones are lower than mine…" Her chin started to quiver just the tiniest bit.
"Stop. Please." He implored as he got up and pulled her off her chair, smoothing his hands down her arms. Booth knew she was trying to lose herself in her science. Half of what she said made no sense to him but the tone and cadence of her voice told him all that he needed to know; she was more upset than she would lead him to believe.
"But why, Booth?" She looked up at him, her brows furrowed in confusion. "I am attempting to explain…"
He silenced her with a tender kiss. Booth knew what she was attempting to explain and why. He just didn't know if she was doing it to ease his fears or her own; probably both.
"I know Bones, I know." He whispered to her when his lips left hers, resting his forehead against her own.
"Cam will do the DNA tests and they'll come back as a negative match to me."
He knew that too. It was his gut that told him so, that same gut instinct that Bones had so often mocked but had also come to rely on even if she found other logical more scientific ways to explain it. It didn't change anything though because no matter what the DNA tests proved or disproved, the fact still remained that the dead woman in the lab looked too much like Tempe to be a coincidence and neither he nor the squints believed in coincidences.
"Come back to bed, Tempe. We'll figure this out in the morning."
Grimly she nodded as he took her hand and led her back into bed but she knew as soon as she closed her eyes again, the images she saw wouldn't be of the nameless woman, it would be of herself. She cursed herself inwardly for her own illogical emotions.
Booth's arm wrapped about her shoulders as she curled into him, resting her head on his bare chest. His fingers skated lightly on her arm trying to soothe her but he knew even in her silence, her mind was working overtime.
Tempe's breath hitched suddenly causing Booth to turn to her concerned. He took on her widened eyes and knew that some genius realization hit her.
"I don't know why I didn't see it before." She looked up at him a grin slowly spreading across her face. "Booth, I know why she looks like me."
"That's great Bones." His grin matched hers "…are you going to tell me or do I have to guess?"
She sat up, the sheet falling around her waist. "It had been concerning me that her underlying facial bones did not match completely with the tissue on top of it. It's so simple and yet none of us saw it. The victim had her face physically altered to transform her features into an almost exact imitation of mine."
It was Booth's turn to sit up, only he was not relieved. "Are you saying she had plastic surgery to look like you?"
Brennan looked at her bed partner, confused. "Isn't that what I just said? I thought I was clear."
If that was the case, Booth thought and in most likelihood it was, than there was a good chance, a very good chance that the victim of the horrendous crime may not have been the intended target at all. The target could have very well been the beloved woman sitting beside him. He couldn't help but wrap his arms around her just then to assure himself that she was safe with him, his heart pounding furiously in his chest.
"Booth?" she asked questioningly. "The sudden increase in your heart rate suggests that you are not as relieved as I."
"Because I am not."
She nodded in understanding. "You are worried that perhaps I was the intended victim."
"But until we know exactly who she was, there is no evidence to suggest that. You shouldn't…"
"Jump to conclusions, I know." He said scrubbing a hand over his face. "Just promise me, one thing Bones."
"Promise me that when I am not with you, that you'll be extra careful."
"I always am." She answered confidently.
"Please… just promise me." He replied back knowing full well that wasn't always the case. There were too many times in the past when she had been so close to death because she was too certain of her own abilities to protect herself and it terrified him.
"I promise." She said looking at him directly into his brown eyes before her lips descended on his.