Author's Note: Next chapter. This is kind of a long snippet and again, this might have worked as a standalone story, but oh well. :D The whole point of these snippets is to come up with things off the top of my head and sometimes, they just seem to grow on their own. Anyway, there will be one or two more parts after this one.
I do not own Bones or any of its characters.
Thank you to everyone who is reading/following/reviewing this. It's always appreciated.
Charlotte Thornton: Thank you. As to your questions...both will be answered in this update, but I can safely say that you will have more questions by the end of it...
Seletua: The idea of Sweets not being in his right mind for reasons unknown just really stuck with me, thus this series of snippets. All will be revealed by the end of all this (even though there will be more puzzles in this chapter)...And yes, there will be consequences and meaning drawn from these illusions too as you will see...
Rex01: I think I covered a lot of your questions in private chats and PMs, but I will add some stuff: 1. I think my scenario will make sense and answer most of your questions...I just hope that it also satisfies you...2. No, I'm not that mean. Well...actually yes I am, but that's still not going to happen in this fic. ;)...3. Vicious neighborhood hooker? :D But hey, you know the old saying about being careful about what you wish for etc...4. I had thought of that actually. Stay tuned...5. Yeah, I can be sneaky, what of it? :P But no, it had been my intent to expose more sides of Sweets in this one in roundabout ways. I will save the kung fu stuff for later though. We will talk. :D
Peanutmeg: Thanks for the review. Yes, there will be fallout from these illusions as you will see...It makes sense to me too that Sweets would be concerned about Booth if he was with them when this started and would be looking for him. As this chapter will show, things will not be resolved so easily...
Lives in the now: Yeah, I do like to go all over the place with my work at times. :) I can promise though that everything (even some important illusions) will be explained by the end of this. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy this chapter.
Chapter Twelve—Illusions—part 2
'The body broken, the mind asleep/ But the shattered heart will make one weep...'
Sweets couldn't remember falling unconscious, but was now faced with the sensation of trying to pry his eyes open. He then struggled to pull himself into a sitting position and blinked several times. He wiped away something wet on his cheek and was startled to see his hand smudged with red.
'What happened? Was I attacked? Wait…I was. That's what happened. Booth…no, those men… no those things jumped me. Where am I? Where is Booth?'
Sweets rubbed his eyes and tried to focus on his surroundings. He could still feel pain from his injuries, but now the pain was strangely dulled. All that was left was a persistent throbbing sensation from every place where he was hurt.
That hurt was not enough, however, to stop him from wanting to get away from where he was now. It took a couple of tries, but eventually he got back up to his feet and resumed a slow, shuffling gait as he tried to find….something.
'Did something happen to Booth? Is that why he's not here? Maybe he was hungry and that is why he was at the hotdog stand….no, wait that wasn't Booth. Just like those other people weren't him…right?'
The psychologist felt something sticky drip down from the side of his forehead, but ignored it. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew that he had been hurt and probably needed medical attention.
'Maybe Booth does too. We…we were looking for someone. Someone dangerous. A man…a man with huge hands and needles for fingertips. No…no that's not possible…is it? It was a case…We were working a case…Someone….someone was going to have something, something….'
Sweets stumbled a couple of times and then stopped to lean against a lamp post. The case he thought he had been working on with Booth had become a distant memory that he couldn't grasp anymore. Still, case or no case, Sweets felt sure that Booth could be hurt for reasons he couldn't quite put his finger on. He needed to press on, to find out the truth of what happened. A stabbing pain came from his side, and Sweets hunched down and moved his hands to hold onto himself.
It was then that he discovered that he still had his gun.
The therapist pulled it out of his belt holster and stared at it. For a moment, he couldn't fathom why he had it, but then he realized that he probably needed it now. He put the gun back in the holster, but made sure to position it so he could draw and fire in an instant if he needed to.
'I need to find help,' he reminded himself. 'There has to be someone around who could help…if only to find Booth and get him the help he might need. I have to find someone.'
Sweets started to walk again. A part of him wanted to weep when he kept seeing normally inanimate objects like post office boxes and street signs shudder and stare at him. He was wondering if he had truly gone insane and he didn't want to imagine a life spent trapped in his own hallucinations.
For now though, the search would have to be his main focus, his motivation to keep his feet moving and to stop his body from giving up.
Sweets wished that he knew how long he had been walking, but time no longer seemed like a linear concept. Seconds sped by but then dripped down to a crawl before repeating themselves. All he could be certain of was that he had wandered into an area devoid of people, and while he felt some relief that he wouldn't be harassed, he also knew that isolation was contrary to his goal right now.
'My brave Lancelot…'
Sweets blinked several times and was startled to see a petite brunette staring at him from behind a window. He walked over and was elated to discover that he recognized her and the sweater she was wearing.
'That sweater…Daisy wore it during that walk we had a couple of weeks ago. We held hands and walked toward the sunset…But why is she here?'
Sweets placed a hand on the glass and pressed it against the smooth surface.
'Maybe she was looking for me. Maybe Booth is too. I was with him and maybe he isn't as lost as me. He could have sent people to find me…Or maybe someone found him and got help.'
"Daisy," he said, his voice cracking. He wanted to get closer to her, to touch her. He curled his hands into fists and pounded them against the glass, but she did not move.
"Daisy, please," he said, his tears coming unbidden. He swiped them away and searched for a way to get to her. He found a door and shoved it open. He then shuffled toward her, his arms outstretched.
His foot slipped, and he fell against another figure, stiff and unmoving. The figure fell onto him and made him fall onto his back onto a tiled floor. It was a woman, her eyes dry and unnaturally blue. Her stare seemed to go right through him.
'What are you?'
'Why are you here?'
'Why won't you let me go?'
Sweets let out a strangled cry and shoved the woman away from him. He then yanked out his gun and started to shoot. The woman fell to pieces, limbs falling into a heap on the floor. The therapist let another couple of bullets fly and was horrified to see one of them hit Daisy, shattering her torso. Sweets watched in open-mouthed shock as she fell into a pile onto the floor.
'No…no…what did I do?'
He carefully crawled over, mindful of the other scattered pieces around him, until he reached what was left of her. Her lifeless brown eyes remained wide open, alien and accusatory. His own chocolate eyes turned red from his tears that streamed down his face.
'Daisy…oh Daisy, I'm sorry…I'm so sorry….I didn't mean…I didn't want to…'
Sweets lowered his head to rest on her shoulder, burying his face in the soft, green sweater which had identified her and cradling her as best he could. Only hours ago, he believed that he had fallen into the worst possible nightmare.
But now he knew that it had only been the beginning and that there was so much further that he could fall…so much further that he could be enveloped by the blackest terror and sorrow.
"You see, Lance, you're just like me."
Sweets looked up to see his birth father grinning at him, his eyes black orbs.
"This is who you are," he continued. "At your core. After you strip away that front you put up for show. You will destroy all those you touch…hurt the ones you think you love the most. And in the end, you will know that you really are your father's son."
Sweets watched as his biological father's grin turned into a grotesque parody of a smile complete with jagged, rotted teeth. A hollow laugh soon echoed from the mouth.
"Join me…don't fight it anymore."
The psychologist screamed and scrambled up to his feet. He started to point the gun at his biological father but ended up shoving the gun into his pocket instead. With a surge of effort, he ran from the building and bounded down the streets away from what he did and from the horrible sound of his birth father's voice. He frequently tripped and nearly fell more than once, but he kept running as best he could, his lungs burning and his heart pounding too fast in his chest.
He didn't know where he was going, and he couldn't care less anymore.
"Booth, hold still and let the EMTs look at you," Brennan scolded.
Booth scowled and lifted his head toward the pen light that one of the EMTs was holding, even though the urge to vomit again was starting to creep up on him. He sat on the edge of the back of the ambulance and all he could think about was where Sweets could be.
The two of them had been investigating a pair of homicides that had led them to a local gang who had graduated from simple vandalism and assault to drug dealing and murder. Many of the underlings had been caught by vice, but the leader and his two closest confederates were still at large. Based off his profiles and interviews of the gang members they had in custody, Sweets had been convinced that it had been the leader who had killed those people. Their investigation had led them to a clump of mostly abandoned warehouses, and they had gone there with the intent of talking to a security guard who worked at one of the few buildings still in use.
From the moment Booth and Sweets arrived, however, things went wrong. The guard had gone home early that day due to a family emergency, and as they were leaving, they found a trail of blood that led to a mutilated corpse that had been stashed in one of the empty buildings. The two of them started to head back to the SUV to report it when they were fired on with Booth taking a bullet to the arm.
They both managed to find cover, but were split up in the process. As Booth snaked his way through the area, he hoped that Sweets would be able to keep his head down and not run into any trouble. Not so much because he worried about the psychologist being unable to defend himself, but because he was certain that Sweets would have to use deadly force in order to stay safe.
Booth knew all too much about the burden of killing another human being and did not want to think about Sweets sharing this burden.
The agent had caught a glimpse of one of the gang members sneaking up on Sweets and was getting a bead on him when he felt a blow to the head from behind. Booth's world went black as he fell to the ground.
He had no idea how much time had passed, but eventually, Booth had been able to regain consciousness and make it back to his SUV to call for backup and an ambulance. He then spent the time waiting for the others vomiting, trying to remain lucid, and scanning the immediate area for Sweets or the gang members. None of them were around.
Booth groaned as the EMT worked to bandage his head. The agent continued to chastise himself for getting so distracted as to let someone sneak up behind him, but those self-recriminations were overshadowed by his worries over what had happened to Sweets in the meantime.
"Well the shot to the arm looks like a flesh wound. Nothing serious. But this head wound looks like a concussion. A pretty bad one too," the EMT said. "He needs to go to the hospital."
"No," Booth protested. "No, those guys are still out there. And Sweets…." Booth was stopped by another wave of nausea and hung his head.
"Booth, you are in no condition to go searching for Sweets," Brennan informed him.
Booth shook his head. The ambulance and a SWAT team arrived at the same time and SWAT secured the area while the EMTs started to treat Booth. The all clear had been given shortly thereafter and forensic teams were called in. Booth ended up calling Brennan to let her know what happened, and the agent mentioned to her that the team would be needed to identify the corpse.
This led to a very concerned Brennan, Cam, Hodgins and Angela showing up at the scene both to check on Booth and find out what happened to Sweets. They all huddled next to the ambulance where Booth was being treated while the agent caught them up on what was happening.
"Easy big man," Cam said. "You're not going anywhere with that blow to the head. And while it may be a flesh wound, you've lost a lot of blood."
"Still, we need to find Sweets, right?" Angela said. "He could be hurt too."
Booth lifted his head to see one of the techs heading toward him with a syringe encased in an evidence bag in his hand.
"We found this near one of the buildings," the tech said. "Looks like it had been used recently."
"Red Moon, it has to be," Booth groaned.
"Red Moon?" Cam replied. "Isn't that one of those new designer drugs?"
"Yeah," Booth said, rubbing his eyes. "We were thinking that these guys were selling it, trying to make inroads in the DC market."
"So, one of the gang members took some of this stuff while they were hiding out here?" Hodgins said.
"No, probably not," Booth replied as the EMT finished applying the bandage. "Red Moon is a combination of LSD and varying barbiturates. If they took that, they'd be too out of it to know what was going on, let alone stalk and ambush us."
"Wait, you don't think that…that maybe Sweets somehow…" Angela gasped.
"Oh my God," Cam said. "If they injected him with that stuff…We've got to find him."
"What is it, Cam?" Booth said, tense at how she reacted.
"I've talked with some of my old colleagues who have encountered and treated people who have taken this drug," the pathologist said. "There are the expected side effects like hallucinations and impaired brain functioning, but if too much is taken at once, it can lead to things like seizures or even respiratory failure. And that can happen hours after the initial injection. We need to find him and get him to a hospital in case he has a severe reaction."
Booth tried to stand up, but ended up crouching down and vomiting again off to the side. Every fiber of his being told him that he needed to be involved with this search, but deep down he knew that Cam and Brennan were right: there was no way he would be able to do much good in his condition.
The agent's train of thought was interrupted by the sight of Agent Payton Perotta running toward them.
"I came as soon as I heard about what happened," Perotta said as she came up to them. "Are you all right? What about Doctor Sweets?"
"I'm fine," Booth moaned as he sat back down at the back of the ambulance.
"Actually Booth is suffering from a severe concussion," Brennan replied. "And Doctor Sweets is missing. We suspect that Doctor Sweets was injected with a hallucinogenic drug known colloquially as Red Moon."
"I've heard about it from vice," Perotta nodded.
"Where's Agent Shaw?" Booth asked.
"Some local cops spotted those gang members you were tracking and she's taken a team to apprehend them," Perotta mentioned. "I decided to head out here to see if I could help."
Booth shook his head. If Sweets was pumped full of this drug, Booth knew that finding and dealing with the psychologist would be problematic.
'If a bunch of strangers go looking for him, Sweets might avoid them…or worse. We need people who he'll trust…people who know him and who might know what he'll do….'
"Perotta, assemble a team….but take Cam, Angela, Hodgins or Bones with you," he said.
"I'm going with you to the hospital, Booth," Brennan insisted.
"Don't worry, Booth," Cam said as the others nodded. "We'll look for Sweets."
"And get a hold of Daisy," Booth continued. "Have her join the search."
"Daisy?" Hodgins replied. "Why her?"
"Because she knows Sweets better than anyone," Angela nodded, catching onto Booth's idea. "She might know where he would go or what he would do if he were confused."
"Right," Booth grimaced as Brennan helped him into the ambulance. "Make sure to let all of the agents know that Sweets won't be himself but be careful…there is a good chance that he's still armed."
"We'll find him, Booth," Perotta assured him. "I promise."
Booth nodded once more before falling back to lie down on a gurney while Brennan settled into to sit beside him. The EMTs then got into the ambulance and took off. All of them watched them leave before Perotta turned to face them, pulling out her cell phone.
"Ok, each of you is going to be teamed with an agent," she told them. "Make sure to let them know anything you can about where you think Doctor Sweets might go or what he might do."
"What are you going to do?" Cam asked.
"I'm going to do what Booth suggested," Perotta answered. "I just hope that we aren't going to be too late."