Sweets began rifling through the folder for his notes while simultaneously trying to buckle in his seat belt. Booth in the state he was now in made him nervous. He should have never blurted the news out that way.
"Forget the notes Sweets. Just tell me." Booth glanced at him as he drove at a mad pace to the Jeffersonian.
Sweets sighed. "Fine but first I want to ask you a question."
"Are you going to get all shrinky on me? Cause I have to tell you, after what you just hit me with now is not the time." Booth clenched his hands on the steering wheel, bracing himself for the proverbial bomb to drop.
"No. I'm not going to get all "shrinky" Booth. I just wanted to know how many people are aware of Dr. Brennan's knowledge of martial arts."
"Seriously? You tell me that my girlfriend is in danger and you're asking about that?" Booth spotted the silly grin that Sweets couldn't hide. "What? What's so funny?"
Sweets shook his head trying for a more somber expression. "I'm sorry. It's just hearing you refer to Dr. Brennan as you're girlfriend, it's a real head trip. And ...well it's...I don't know...just so high school."
"You would know." Booth responded caustically under his breath, losing all patience. Bones could be in danger and Sweets was taking pot shots at him over calling Bones his girlfriend? "Okay fine." He decided to respond to the original question, wanted to get the conversation back on track. "Bones's publisher decided to add that she was accomplished in martial arts to her biographical blurb. She thought it would be a "fun fact" for readers to know, not that Bones found it fun at all...so yeah...I guess you could say it's pretty much public knowledge...Is this really relevant?"
Sweets gulped. "It's actually really relevant. The murderer used a paralyzing drug on the victim, correct?"
"So. He meant to incapacitate her so she couldn't fight back. He may have known of Dr. Brennan's knowledge of self defense and thinking the victim was in fact Dr. Brennan, used the drug to ensure he could overtake her easily."
"Okay but that still does not prove your theory that it was Bones, he was after. It's also possible he could have intended that with any victim." Booth was reaching and he knew it. Not wanting Sweets to be right but he knew the psychologist was not finished.
"No, it doesn't but it just cinches what I already know. I also did some research on the torture device used."
"Yeah the fruit of angst or whatever." If possible, Booth tightened his grip on the steering wheel, his mind's eye bringing forth the gruesome image of Deborah Wallace's mangled body.
"Pear of Anguish" Sweets corrected. He searched his mind for a way to describe his findings in a way that Booth would ultimately understand. He couldn't throw out the psychological terms that he was most comfortable with using...it would just escalate Booth's tension, which had seemed to already hit the critical point. "In medieval times that particular torture was reserved for witches, liars and blasphemers. I believe that when Deborah Wallace was originally taken, he thought he had Dr. Brennan but upon closer inspection, he realized his mistake and used on her the punishment that fit her "crime" so to speak...that crime being to alter her image to appear as someone she was not..a liar or blasphemer...depending on how he views Dr. Brennan. The postmortem stabbings to her face indicate the killers intense anger towards Miss Wallace...anger that the face wasn't real."
Booth blew out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. "So you think that based upon this...Bones was the intended target."
Sweets didn't hesitate. "I do."
"Do you think he intended to kill her?"
"That I can't tell you...I don't know...maybe...or maybe he had some other purpose in mind. I can tell you this person is a very sick individual. Not many people happen to have medieval torture devices laying around and with the intent to use them."
"How sure are you about all of this?"
"Am I sure by Dr. Brennan's standards?...No. Psychological analysis is not an exact science, Booth. But I am confident enough in my interpretation of the facts to worry for Dr. Brennan's safety. I would rather say something and be wrong than not say something and be right."
She was so heartbreakingly beautiful, Booth thought as he watched Brennan carefully examine the bones on the table. Not for the first time, he was bewitched by how her mind worked...analyzing, processing and putting the pieces together to discover an exact truth. It is what made what he had to tell her...what he had to do...all the more difficult. But never the less, it had to be done. There was no way he could take a chance, no matter how small, with her life.
Brennan wasn't aware Booth was there until she heard him clear his throat. She looked up with a smile that quickly faded when she saw the expression on his face. He was clenching his jaw so tightly, she could almost hear his teeth grating together. His hands were jammed in his pockets but she almost had a sense that instead of the relaxed stance he was trying for, his fists were clenched underneath the fabric of his clothes.
"What is it Booth?" She asked.
"We need to talk." He looked glanced around him noticing the amount of Jeffersonian employees in the vicinity. "Somewhere private." he added quietly.
"Of course. Let's go to my office." Brennan slipped off her laytex gloves and followed Booth to her office. Something was definitely wrong. Booth moved with a restlessness in him she hadn't seen in a long time. Normally she wasn't one to make assumptions or come to conclusions without having factual evidence as proof but couldn't help but leap to the supposition that somehow Booth found out she told Angela the truth about their relationship.
When they got to her office, he turned to her not knowing how to broach the subject.
"Booth if this is about me telling Angela about us...I'm sorry. She was just so sad...it just popped out of my mouth. I only wanted to make her happy." Brennan said in a rush hoping to diffuse the situation.
Booth shook his head confused. "What are you talking about?"
"Isn't that why you're angry...why you wanted to talk?" Now she wasn't so sure she came to the right conclusion.
"No, but if it's any consolation, Sweets and Hodgins know as well. Purely by accident..I have to add." He allowed only the barest hint of a sad smile.
"Oh...then it must be about the case." She brightened a little now that she knew he wasn't angry at her. It barely even registered that he told her that Hodgins and Sweets also knew about them.
"In a manner of speaking. It concerns the Deborah Wallace case."
"But I thought we weren't working on that right now."
"We're not...we weren't...but now..."
"What about Cullen?He told us not to work that case."
"Screw Cullen!" Booth said raking his hand through his hair before settling it back down on his hip.
Brennan was shocked. "Booth!"
"Aw hell Bones. You're in danger" He said frustrated that he didn't know how to phrase it properly...that he was near impotent with fear for her safety. Sure, Sweets only had a theory but it was logical enough for it to be believable.
Booth went on to explain what Sweets had told him. Brennan didn't interrupt him for once as she listened.
"So in light of all of that." Booth went on. "I want to assign you protective detail when I'm not with you."
"Now don't argue with me Bones. I know you're going to say it's a waste of government resources and dismiss what Sweets says as a lot of psychological mumbo jumbo... "
Brennan placed a hand on his sleeve. "Booth...I said I think you're right."
"But I am not playing games with your life...wait. Did you just agree?" Booth finally heard what she had been trying to say. To say he was shocked was an understatement. He searched her face for any sign that her expression didn't match her words but found none.
"Yes. Although I am hesitant to use the term "gut feeling", I must admit that I have been having an unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach about the whole thing and that maybe some extra protection may be warranted although I am confident that should the need arise, I am more than capable of defending myself."
A genuine smile spread over Booth's features. "Bones, do you realize you just described what a gut feeling feels like?"
Before she could answer him, there was an impatient knock on the door. Before waiting for anyone to answer Angela walked in holding a paper in one hand and covering her eyes with the other.
"Okay I don't want to interrupt any hanky panky but I have some information that you may want to see."
"Angela. You're not interrupting anything." Brennan said wryly.
Angela uncovered her eyes and smiled. "And why not?" She shook her head. "Never mind." She handed the paper to Booth. "I thought you should see this."
Booth eyed the paper with speculation. "Just what am I looking at here?"
"This is what was used on one of the murder victims. I input the information on the wounds to find out what could have caused the injuries to his body and this came up as a 100% match. It was the only one." Angela went on to explain.
"Okay. Now what exactly is it?"
Brennan had paled considerably as she realized just what exactly it was and suddenly she was very afraid. "Booth, that's a Judas Chair or more commonly known as The Chair of Torture." To further clarify so there was no mistaking her meaning behind her growing dread, she added quietly - "a medival torture device."
The pair looked at eachother utterly horrified. Not one for beleiving in coincidences, Booth found it hard to swallow past the growing lump in his throat as his mind worked furiously putting the pieces together and he didn't like the way they added up. Everything just became a whole lot more complicated.
"I have to go find Sweets. We need to talk to Cullen. Stay here. Do not move" Booth said in a rush, the words tumbling from his mouth as fast as he thought them leaving both Angela and Brennan momentarily stunned. He was halfway out the door when he turned around and stalked back in the office, grabbing Brennan by the wrist.
"On second thought, you're coming with me. I don't want you out of my sight." he said pulling her with him. He knew he was being irrational and not more than a little paranoid, after all, the lab was secure but he wasn't taking any chances.
"Will one of you please tell me what's going on?" Angela shouted after them.
"Later Angela." Brennan called back to her friend as she kept up with Booth's pace.
They didn't have to do far to find Sweets who had in fact was coming to find them.
"I just spoke to Dr. Saroyan about this new case..." He started after nearly bumping into them in the hallway. "I fear that given the methods..."
Booth cut him off knowing exactly what the psychologist was getting at. "Already made the connection Sweets. Come with us. We're going to talk to Cullen."
Cullen dropped the case file on hs desk and looked at the three people in front of him shaking his head in sympathy.
"I'm sorry. I highy respect the opinions of all three of you but without concrete evidence of a threat against Dr. Brennan, a letter...something, I cannot authorize the manpower needed for protective detail. We are just, simply put, shorthanded at the moment and do not have the resources."
Booth was aghast. He thought for sure Cullen would make the connection as easily as they all had. "Not even with a dead body that looks exactly like Dr. Brennan?" he seethed.
Cullen sighed heavily, his shoulders slumping with the weight of his responsibilities."Look, I agree with your conclusion that these two cases may be related and give you permission to work both of them simultaneously in the light of your recent findings but my decision remains the same. Now, if Dr. Brennan would like to arrange for private protection using her own resources, that is her perogative and it is what I would suggest."
Brennan had no issue with Cullen's decison. She received no direct and all they had to state to the contrary was a psychological analysis and a "gut feeling", neither of which were in anyway conclusive. Booth, however, took great exception to the Director's decision.
"Fine. But if any thing happens to her...anything at all...I'll..."
Brennan placed a restraining hand on Booth's arm, trying desperately to stop him from saying something he would regret and could very well cost him his job.
"You'll what, Agent Booth?" Cullen's voice was a warning.
"Never mind." Booth conceded, backing down and walking out of Cullen's office trying to reel in his desire to kick a trash can or punch a hole in the wall.
"This is just bullshit." He exclaimed when they were far enough from Cullen's office.
"Booth it's okay." Brennan tried to soothe him by rubbing her hadn up and down his back. "I'll call my publisher. There's an agency they use when the authors have public appearances. I can arrange something with them."
"That's an excellent solution, Dr. Brennan." Sweets said looking at Booth hoping he would agree.
"No it's not...I don't trust those types of guys. I've seen them fail too many times. You'll just have to be with me at all times Bones."
"Booth...you know that's impractical. While we do work together, there are aspects of our jobs that we need to do seperately."
Booth saw the logic in her argument but didn't like it. He sighed. "Fine but if we're going to go this route, I don't want them to assign just any schmuck to you. I want to interview them first to make sure they suit my standards."
A ghost of a smile played over Brennan's lips. "Deal." She said feeling immediately sorry for the guards that would be sent her way to pass under Booth's scrutiny.