Buried with the Bones
Disclaimer: I own nothing... Obviously. Just playing in someone else's sandbox for a bit.
Summary: Imagine if Booth and Brennan never met. The exhumation of a cold case introduces Booth to Dr. Temperance Brennan, but not quite in the way you think. If you believe in fate, somehow might they get a second chance? Very AU.
Chapter 1 – Exhuming the Bones
"So, the eight ball that I just sunk in that left center pocket says you owe me a hundred bucks," a younger man, with light brown hair, dark brown eyes, and standing at about 6'4'' said to the man leaning against a bar stool in front of him.
Nodding at the cash on the edge of the pool table, Special Agent Seeley Booth nodded and said, "Take it. It's yours."
The younger man nodded in response. He turned back to the pool table and pocketed the cash. Coming up to Booth he extended a hand and said, "You play well."
Taking the hand, Booth gave it a quick shake as he said, "Not well enough tonight, though."
Shrugging, the young man said, "Yeah, well… you know, man. We all have our off days."
Turning to the bar, Booth signaled the bartender for a new draft beer. Sighing Booth said, "Yeah, it seems as if I've had more than my fair share of the off ones lately."
The young man considered him for a minute, glanced at his watch, and said, "Listen, man. I'd offer you double or nothing, but my girlfriend's gonna be pissed if I get home late tonight. Rain check for later in the week?"
Smiling, Booth said, "Definitely."
"Okay," the young man said. "I'll hold you to that." He stopped, looked at the clock and then said, "You know… it's kinda late. And, you were here even before I got here this afternoon. I hope you don't think I'm sticking my nose into other people's business when I say this, but maybe you should head home, too?"
"Why?" Booth asked curiously.
Shrugging, the young man said, "I dunno. Don't you have someone waiting for you? A girl or something?"
Shaking his head, Booth said, "Naaw, man. I mean, I've got my kid. But, I only see him on the weekends."
Frowning, the young man said, "Wow. That's sucks."
"Oh, I don't know," Booth said. "It doesn't seem that bad. Most days anyway."
Nodding, the youth turned to leave. As he walked out of the bar, a familiar face entered at almost the exact same time. He had a serious stare on his face as he walked up to Booth.
"You ready to go home, buttercup?"
"Keep calling me buttercup, and you're gonna find out things about me that you really don't want to, Sully," Booth said with a smirk.
Booth turned around and grabbed the beer that the bartender had deposited. Sully clucked at him in protest.
"Drinking on the clock. How far you've fallen, Booth," Sully chided him,
Arching an eyebrow over the beer mug, Booth said, "Ha ha. Funny joke. But, we both know that I've been off the clock for six hours and plan on keeping it that way for at least another six."
Shaking his head, Sully said, "Then consider yourself a failure as of about ten minutes ago."
Sighing, Booth said, "Please don't tell me that Caroline—"
"Got a third judge to sign the exhumation order?" Sully completed his sentence.
"Oh, in that case, I won't tell you that yes, Caroline got a third judge to sign the exhumation order. I also won't tell you that I was given strict instructions to 'Get Booth's butt to Glenwood Cemetery in thirty minutes or *both* of you are going to have to deal with me, cher.' And, as you know, Booth, I make a it a policy never to have to deal with Caroline… so finish the beer, and let's vamoose. I'll drive," Sully said.
Sighing a heavy sigh, Booth quickly finished the beer. He tossed a few bills on the bar, at which Sully chuckled lightly. "So, you actually managed to have more than a couple nickels to rub together by the time we're leaving tonight?"
"Har har har, Sul, very funny," Booth said. "You know, no one asked you to come down here and babysit me. I'm a big boy. I can look out for myself."
"A.) I know that. I also know that I can't get you to stop if you don't want to… but, I can watch the ball games just as easily here as at home. So, yeah, you didn't ask, but you don't have to ask because I'm your partner, and that's what partners do for each other, Booth. I know you've never really gotten that whole concept before… you know 'partner'… but that's what they do. B.) You're right… mostly. You are a big… baby," Sully taunted.
Moving quickly towards the bar's front exit, lest Booth decide to follow up his scowl with a jab to Sully's shoulder, as he had been known to do, Sully's abrupt exit gave Booth little choice but to follow. With one longing stare at the vacated pool table, Booth reached into his pocket, pulled out his lucky poker chip, tossed it once in the air, and then followed his partner outside.
Despite the fact that it was 10:30pm at night, a figure cloaked in the shadows watched as a hive of activity swarmed around a very, very familiar cemetery plot. Large portable spot lights had been rigged are the grave to illuminate the site in unnatural brightness as a small back hoe began to move dirt.
Glancing at his watch, the man narrowed his eyes as he watched two new figures approach the gravesite and were met by a very belligerent looking female. If there was one thing this man knew, it was the cut of who a person was. He would bet a thousand dollars that the two men were law enforcement, while the women… the woman had to be judicial in some way. She was too old to be a judge's aid or a legal clerk. No, she had to be from the Justice Department office. A federal prosecutor maybe? Yes, that seemed to be right.
As he continued to observe what was going on, hidden safely from view by the dark, he wondered why this was happening now… why now? It was six years too late. She had been dead for six years, and only now they were taking her murder seriously? She deserved better than that, but, then again, she always had. He only hoped they had a serious reason for finally disturbing her sleep... a *real* reason. And, well, if they didn't… well, he would have to *finally* take matters into his own hands… if he could only figure out *how* to go about doing that at long last.
"And, why are we here again digging up a dead body in the middle of the night?" Booth asked.
Caroline Julian looked at him and frowned. "I've had two judges sign my exhumation order for two different reasons only to see some vulture of a pro bono lawyer appeal it on behalf of her Foundation. Twice, the federal judge has upheld the appeal. Judge Walters is the last one I know who will give me one last go at this…. So, we have to get her up and out of there before that slimy scum bag has a chance to appeal the order for a third time. Ergo, since Judge Walters signed the order at 9:58pm, our presence at 10:30pm was required, Booth, so quite complaining."
"I don't even know why I'm here," Booth said. "Dead bodies are Sully's thing, not mine."
"Yeah, well, cher, Sully may be the liaison to the Medico-Legal Lab at the Jeffersonian Institute, but you're Sully's partner. That means where he goes, you go."
"Oh, joy," Booth said in a deadpan tone.
Caroline scowled at him as she pointed her finger at him and said, "Do not try my patience any more, Booth. I have had about all I can take today, so I am giving you fair warning."
Smiling a cheeky grin at her, Booth said, "Oh, come on, Caroline. It can't be all bad. I'm mean… you get to be here… with me, right?"
"Yeah, well, you are cute when you aren't brooding, but even still, cut the lip, cher," Caroline said.
"Hey Caroline!" Sully's voice came from the head of the grave plot. "I think we've found her."
Caroline nodded. "About time." She then nodded at Booth and said, "Come on, Booth. Go help your partner."
"What do you want me to do?" Booth asked, as the pair carefully walked to where Sully was kneeling in front of the grave's headstone. "Like you said, Sully handles this stuff with the Jeffersonian. Not me. Dead bodies aren't my thing. They never have been."
At this, Sully heard Booth's comment and said, "Technically, since she's been dead for over six years, she may not be a dead body anymore. Probably not skeletonized, but there's no way to know what's left—"
"Oh, please don't tell me you're going to open it here," Booth said, grimacing.
Sully chuckled. "Hell, no. Cam and Ian would have my ass in a sling if I 'compromised their remains'. All of it will be going back to the Jeffersonian."
Looking at the tombstone, Booth nodded at Sully. "So, who was she again?"
"Oh, you know… it's kind of a really tragic story," Sully said.
Glancing at the inscription Booth said, "She was really young, wasn't she?"
"Yup," Sully confirmed. "Just twenty-three. Had just gotten her PhD and had only been at the Jeffersonian for about six months when she was shot," Sully said.
"*Allegedly* shot," Caroline chimed in at Sully's comment. "Remember, we need the good Dr. Saroyan to confirm that she actually died like the medical examiner claimed in the autopsy report or not. Otherwise, I'm back at square one with the case."
"And, what case is that?" Booth asked, his curiosity piqued.
Waving her hand dismissively, Caroline said, "Long, long story, cherie. Sully can fill you in if you're interested later."
Shrugging, Booth stood back as Sully conversed with two field techs about lifting the unearthed coffin out of the ground. As his partner continued discussing the plans, Booth glanced at the tombstone's inscription once more, and for some reason, felt a shiver run up his spine as he read the inscription:
In Loving Memory
Dr. Temperance Brennan
Beloved Daughter and Sister