AN: This idea popped into my head during a brainstorm with the lovely EmmyMayyy. After my last story, I needed a bit of humor.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served…Piping Hot
"Where the hell are you?" Booth cursed under his breath as he rooted around in the larger-than-it-should-be pile of laundry. He was really going to have to find some time for that this weekend. There were only so many days he could get away with going commando.
"C'mon…c'mon!" Booth turned to rifle through the items on his bedside table, ignoring the digital clock that declared he was ten minutes late and counting.
Maybe it was by the door, on the table with his keys? Nope. If he was a little girl, Booth would have stomped his foot and cried. Instead, mature and dignified man that he was, he merely clenched his fist and shook his head. And immediately regretted it. It was the vodka. He should have stopped before the vodka.
This is what happened when he drank too much. His head ached, his eyes hurt, his only clean suit was wrinkled, and he couldn't find that stupid little piece of plastic anywhere!
On the bright side, Booth knew that he wasn't the only one suffering from a hangover this morning. The entire team from the Jeffersonian, in honor of the newly entitled Dr. Wendell Bray, Ph.D, had celebrated late into the night. But genius-squints that they were, they probably hadn't lost their ID cards. Their magic access-cards. The special passes that declared 'we're important enough to step on to the lab platform without asking mommy or daddy to swipe for me.'
Wendell had been showing off his newly minted ID the whole night. Full-fledged anthropologists were granted special privileges that lowly squinterns had to do without. Apparently, an awesome gold star on his shiny new identification card was one of them. Okay, so the gold star was really an enhanced magnetic strip, but Booth hadn't been able to resist the urge to mock; his hockey buddy had so deserved it.
"God…dang it!" Booth censored himself at the last second. Where the hell was it? He got down on the floor to check under the bed. To his utmost annoyance, it hadn't appeared since he had checked there five minutes ago. Where was St. Anthony when a guy really needed him?
Booth finally gave up the search. He grabbed his badge, keys and firearm and headed for his car. Maybe there wouldn't be a case. Maybe he'd have enough time to go through back channels. Maybe he could avoid the humiliation of asking Bones for a new one.
"Good luck with that," the little devil in his head whispered.
"Booth!" she replied from atop the platform. "Where have you been? The remains were delivered over an hour ago."
"Um, well-" he stammered.
"Dr. Bray and I have already discovered cause of death," Brennan cut off whatever he had been about to say and turned back to face the desiccated body on the examination table. "There are two nicks on his rib here…" she indicated the relevant portion of the victim's anatomy, "…and here." A camera projected the image on to a large screen located within Booth's line of sight.
"So cause of death was a good old-fashioned stab in the back," he called, unconsciously mimicking the thrust of a knife with his hand.
"No," Brennan stated definitively. "All of the evidence shows that the victim was stabbed postmortem."
"Why would somebody stab someone who was already dead?" Booth mused loudly.
Brennan straightened and shook her head before resuming her hunched position over the dead body. "I am rarely able to use science to determine motive. Perhaps you should ask Dr. Sweets."
Booth rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "So what was cause of death then?" The noise from a passing group of students meant he had to increase his voice to just below a yell.
"The hyoid has been fractured. This man was strangled. If you just look here…" Brennan trailed off as she turned and finally noticed that Booth was not standing behind her. She looked around in confusion before spotting him at the bottom of the stairs. "Why are you still down there?"
Booth shifted his weight and hooked a thumb in the direction of Cam's office. "I was looking for Cam, but she wasn't around," he said, ignoring her question.
"She took a day of personal leave," Brennan explained. She paused and then continued, "I do not understand why you require Dr. Saroyan's presence to mount the platform, Booth."
"Um, it's just that… You see, I…" Booth threw his hands into the air. "Oh, screw it!" He hopped up the steps and on to the platform.
The scientist jerked in surprise as an alarm pierced the air. Booth cringed as his still-recovering head resumed its pounding.
"Booth?" Brennan yelled as security guards swarmed the area. She hustled over to the reader and quickly swiped her card. The sirens mercifully ceased their wailing. "It's okay, he's with me," she assured the guards. She looked Booth over from head to toe. "Where's your ID?" she asked.
"I don't know," he muttered under his breath.
"I don't know," he repeated, slightly louder.
"It has never happened before, but perhaps the volume of the alarm has temporarily impeded my ability to discern low levels of sound. Could you repeat that, please?"
"I don't know!" He shouted. The few pairs of eyes in the room that hadn't been watching them before were definitely focused on them now.
Brennan pulled back in surprise. "You lost your ID?" she asked incredulously, her eyes wide.
Booth clenched his jaw and rolled his eyes. He loved her, he really did. But sometimes she was so gosh-darned annoying. "Yes," he admitted. "I know I had it yesterday when I picked you up for the party, but I couldn't find it this morning. I was going to ask Cam for a new one."
Brennan nodded. "I see." She looked past Booth. "Dr. Bray!" she called.
"Yes, Dr. Brennan?" Wendell pushed away from his desk and walked over to where they stood.
"Have you and Dr. Hodgins determined the object used to stab the victim?"
"Not yet," he replied. "We think it's some sort of carving tool. Dr. Hodgins is examining the particulates we collected from the wounds in order to determine the exact type of instrument used."
"Good. Then you have time to escort Agent Booth to the Administration Office," she declared.
The young anthropologist looked at Booth out of the corner of his eye. "Take Booth to Admin? What for?"
"He has misplaced his ID and requires a new one."
Booth glowered as Wendell struggled to smother a laugh. "You lost your ID?" He snorted.
"Shut up, kid," Booth huffed.
"Dr. Bray?" Brennan interjected. "I would prefer that you take Agent Booth immediately. When you get back, I need you to finish cataloging the damage to the victim's bones."
"Of course, Dr. Brennan." Wendell turned to Booth. "Just stay with me. I'll have to swipe you through some of the restricted areas." He couldn't stop a small laugh from escaping.
Booth narrowed his eyes as he trudged behind the young doctor. If looks could kill, the former squintern would be very, very dead.
Booth looked up from his paperwork. "Yeah, that's me," he confirmed.
"I have a package from the Jeffersonian Institute." The young man raised his clipboard. "If you could just sign here?"
Booth signed and accepted the small box. "Thanks." He resumed his seat as the delivery boy exited his office.
His new ID had arrived. Thank God. Booth never wanted to go through the humiliating process of obtaining a replacement again. He would guard this one with his life. He tore open the package and carefully unwrapped the plastic card he found inside.
What the hell? This ID was identical to his last one. Except for one thing. A huge gold star with writing in the middle decorated the card's upper right hand corner. 'You're a star!' it proclaimed in bright bold lettering. Booth frantically scratched at the surface, trying to hook a fingernail under the edge of the sticker. No luck; it was under the lamination.
Booth dropped his head to his desk in defeat.
Rosie Smithfield had worked the night-shift at the Jeffersonian for the past twenty-three years. Being a janitor wasn't the most glamorous job, but the pay was good and the people even better. She navigated her way through the Medico-Legal lab, periodically stopping to transfer the contents of each station's non-bio trash can into her large wheeled bin.
One particular desk boasted several framed photographs, one of which depicted a young man with his arm around a woman. That new doctor sure was handsome. Rosie liked blondes. The red-head with him was pretty cute too. She combed her memory. It was…Amy… the assistant down in administration. The middle-aged janitor mentally patted herself on the back, proud of her ability to match faces with names. She reached for the trash can beneath the desk and emptied it with a shake.
A few minutes later she noticed a piece of laminated plastic glinting up at her from her bin. Oops. Expired ID cards weren't supposed to get thrown in with general waste, but it sometimes happened and Rosie knew what to do. She fished the card out from the rubbish, ignoring the information on it in favor of ogling the photo.
Oh my. Men with brown hair were nice too, especially if the face under the hair looked like that. Rosie shrugged and tucked the ID into her pocket. She'd shred it after she was done with her rounds. With a cheerful whistle, she got back to work.
AN: Liked it? Hated it? Let me know!