A daft birthday fic for Laffers. The brief was to kill Daisy, so I did.
Best Laid Plans
She stared down at the page in her hands; her eyes darting to the foot of the white upright rectangle. "Daisy Wick". "Daisy". "Wick", she read over and over. It was a good name, she thought. The 'Daisy' part had the potential to become cutesy, but the brusqueness of her surname snapped things back into place. And this was important, especially now. She smoothed the imaginary wrinkles on the cover page of her application, and then she set it aside. She would hand it in first thing in the morning.
Tomorrow, all her dreams were going to come true – all she had worked and hoped for. Okay, so it certainly wasn't how she envisaged getting a promotion, but she never once doubted that she would be great in the role. After all, she had been tutored by the very best. She almost laughed at her good luck, at the obvious irony, but out of deference for her mentor, she managed to temper her happiness into a thin-lipped smile.
Cam Saroyan was four hours into her day, and already she'd marked it out as one of her worst ever. The press kept calling. Angela was beside herself with worry and anger. Hodgins was beside himself over Angela, and Booth was nowhere to be seen. What made it worse still, of course, was that the one constant of the Jeffersonian was herself the catalyst for all this craziness and upset. Dr. Brennan had skipped town, skipped through many towns, no doubt, and despite Cam's best efforts to manage the situation, her team was rudderless. She needed a temporary replacement for Dr. Brennan, and fast. That's why she'd emailed Brennan's interns last week inviting expressions of interest by lunchtime today. She hoped that one of them would step up and prove capable of taking on this much more senior role.
She checked her in-tray and then her email inbox. Nothing. Not one application. Sighing, she rose from her chair and walked out of her office and went in search of her usual mid-morning coffee.
Daisy knocked on the glass door marked "Dr. C. Saroyan", and receiving no answer, she turned the door handle and let herself in. Clutching her application form in her hands, she located the forensic pathologists' in-tray and placed the document on the top of the pile of paper. Just as she was about to turn to leave, she noticed that her boss had neglected to lock down her computer. The minimised email inbox flickered away at the bottom right of the screen, indicating that she had unread mail. Looking up, she quickly cast her eyes over the lab, and content that no one was paying any attention to her, she left-clicked the orange tab and expanded the inbox. And there it was - her competition. Wendell's email application had arrived just two minutes before.
She wasn't in the least concerned that Clark might apply, or that scruffy fool in the baseball cap, or the other man...the depressive one...no, they weren't real competition. Wendell, despite his obvious shortcomings, was. Wendell was popular and easy to be around, she supposed. Also, despite all good sense and propriety, Angela and Dr. Hodgins liked him. Ugh, that whole strange situation with the three of them was plain yucky. His email sat there waiting to be read. Dare she? I mean, it wasn't as if Wendell was really capable of stepping into Dr. B's shoes. He was competent, but plodding. Diligent, but pedestrian. Capable, but limited. Was he really the best the Jeffersonian could offer in that role? No, he wasn't. And the Jeffersonian deserved the best. The Jeffersonian deserved her.
Her finger hovered over the "delete" key for a few seconds more before she made up her mind and pushed it. Then, covering her tracks, she went into the deleted items folder and erased the email for good. She didn't feel great about what she had done, but she wouldn't claim to be remorseful, either. Her actions, although perhaps a little mean-spirited where Wendell was concerned, were necessary for the greater good. She knew this to be true, and that was all that mattered.
"You can't do it, Cam. Uh uh."
"I don't have a choice, Hodgins. At least not in the short term."
"Okay, let's set aside her obvious and plentiful personality defects for a moment and concentrate on what's good for this team. Cam, she ain't it. No one wants to work with her, let alone work for her!"
"She won't be your boss."
"Technically, no, but you know as well as I do that she'll play the senior card every chance she gets."
"Hodgins, I need a lead forensic anthropologist. Sure there are better candidates out there, but it's going to take some time to arrange, and let's not forget that they might not want to leave the field and work here. Daisy is the only choice right now."
"What about Wendell and Clark?"
"They didn't apply."
"What? That doesn't make any sense."
"I don't know what to tell you, Hodgins, they didn't step up."
"Look, let's try to be positive. Daisy is very capable, and she has the ability to detach herself from the ugliness of the some of the work we do here, and she's keen to improve and be the best she can."
"But she's a giant pain in the ass!"
"I can't refute that."
"So we wait. We go after that dude in Egypt that Dr. B was always jabbering on about."
"Sorry, but we need someone now. I'll keep feelers out there, but for now, we need to make do with what we have."
"And what we have is Daisy." Hodgins said with disgust, as he ran his hand through his curly hair and tried to prevent his tone becoming a full-on whine.
"So, Ms. Wick, the position is yours, if you still want it."
"Absolutely I do." She rushed forward and went to embrace the other woman.
"Ms. Wick, I'd rather we didn't hug. This is after all a place of work."
"You're right, of course, Dr. Saroyan. I'm just super excited, is all! I can't wait to get started...you know to get this place ship-shape again."
Cam folded her arms across her chest and tried to mask her reaction to what she took to be a slight on her management abilities, but from the blush that inched its way up from the younger woman's neck and onto her cheeks, she saw hadn't done a very good job. Oh well.
"I hope you don't think that I'm questioning your management of the team...no...no, not at all. It's just that you have so much to do, so much administrative work...that of course you don't have time to attend to the science, to the necessarily academic tasks which are inherent to your role."
Cam took in the sight of the young woman standing in front of her. Daisy was close to bouncing up and down on the spot and her usually pinched expression had taken on a whole other level of haughty disdain. She should've listened to Hodgins, and Angela, and Caroline, and Booth (whom she finally caught up with earlier that day). But it was too late now – Daisy was Brennan's replacement. All she could hope was that Daisy wouldn't be in that role for long, but the way her day was going, her week and her whole frigging year, she wouldn't bank on it.
She arrived at the Jeffersonian parking structure a little before 6am. Her first day. Reversing her Prius into the space previously reserved for her mentor, she parked and shut down the oh-so-quiet engine. Then she simply sat there and basked in just how wonderful this all felt. She was the Jeffersonian's lead forensic anthropologist! She had been given the chance to surpass the many achievements of her idol, Dr. Brennan – and she would. Just wait and see. One day soon, her own interns would seek her counsel, her unrivalled expertise. She would be the one to lecture at universities all over the world. She would be the one the FBI came looking for when they wanted answers. She would be Dr. Brennan, only better.
Climbing out of the car, she reached back across to the passenger seat and grabbed her brand new leather briefcase. Dr. Brennan might favour an old discoloured hemp bag she bought in Maluku, but honestly, the position demanded more. As she backed out of the car's cabin, still hunched over, she felt her left foot slide quickly across the ground. Not able to stay upright, her balanced compromised, she fell hard onto the driver's seat, banging both her knees on the floor as she came down. "Ow! Damn it! Damn it!" She complained as she laid there, her face squashed against the tan briefcase.
Sometime later, having gathered herself together, she closed the car door behind her and stalked off in the direction of the elevators and stairwell. Pressing the green button to call the elevator, Daisy cursed out loud at her misfortune. Not only were her knees sore and her back aching, but the oil she'd slipped in had stained her new shoes. Stupid cleaning crew should have checked the floor for oil. There was a giant puddle of the stuff just waiting for someone or something to slip in it. Someone could have been badly injured. Importantly, she could have been badly injured.
The elevator finally sounded a familiar "ping" and she stepped inside. Why had it taken so long to arrive? The building had to be almost empty apart from maybe some cleaning staff (who'd she be having words with once she caught up with them); certainly, there were only a handful of cars parked in the structure. She pressed the button marked "7 – Forensics Laboratory" with a little more force than was necessary, but she couldn't help it; this day wasn't going according to plan. You see, it had to be perfect. She had lain awake for most of the night imagining walking into the lab, bypassing the office the interns shared with Dr. Hodgins and taking her seat in Dr. Brennan's office...no, her office. Then she would summon her team before her. No doubt she would encounter some surliness, derision perhaps, on the part of the entomologist, but this wasn't anything she couldn't handle. Angela knew her place, though. As for her fellow interns, they would have to toe the line. Clark would have to quit scowling at everything she said, depressive guy would have to liven the hell up (she'd wouldn't abide laziness or time-outs), Aristoo would have to pray on his own time, the hick in the hat would have to smarten up and tone down that overplayed southern drawl (why some women found him charming was beyond her) and Wendell would have to buckle down and realise that the Jeffersonian was a place of work, not an opportunity to socialise.
The elevator whizzed past the sixth floor, but when it reached the seventh floor it didn't sound a "ping", nor did the doors open. Sighing at her ridiculously poor luck, she hit the red button to call for assistance. A muffled male voice came over the speaker built into the button panel and asked her what her emergency was. Just as she was about to tell him, she felt the space around her shudder violently. Dropping her new briefcase, she grabbed onto the handrail which ran round the back and side walls of the elevator and let out a desperate scream as the elevator plummeted back towards the parking structure. "Miss? Are you okay? Miss!"
Crashing to the carpeted floor, she continued to scream as the elevator stopped dead somewhere around the third floor, before falling again, eventually coming to a controlled stop back where she started, in the basement. As soon as the elevator reached the ground, she heard a "ping" and the doors opened as normal. Crawling out on her hands and bruised knees, and shaking uncontrollably, she collapsed onto the polished concrete floor and burst into tears. She had never been so scared. Never. She needed Lance. Her Lancelot...she needed him here, now. But her cell phone was tucked inside the specially made pocket in her briefcase, which was currently propped up against the far wall of the elevator. There was no way she was going to get back in there. No way. Smearing hot tears across her face with the back of her hands, Daisy got to her feet and walked on unsteady legs back towards her car.
Safely inside now, she tried to even out and deepen her rushed, shallow breaths. She was okay. She was okay. She was okay. Closing her eyes, she forced herself to be calm. Hodgins and Angela would be here soon, Cam too. They would be horrified to discover what had happened to her. There would be an immediate investigation. Heads would undoubtedly roll. Her team would soon realise just how close they came to losing someone of her importance and they would not take that news lying down. She'd seen over the years how they rallied behind Dr. Brennan; soon they would rally behind her. This thought perked up her spirits, enough that she felt able to open her eyes again.
And then she heard it - the sound of screeching tyres, of hot rubber trying in vain to find purchase on an oily surface. She spun round in her seat and saw a white truck with red lettering down its side sliding towards her. It was one of those maintenance trucks. They'd been on site for months now while engineers and builders attached an extension onto the east side of the Jeffersonian. But surely the driver had been driving way too fast, because the truck was coming towards her at some speed; she wasn't sure if she'd have time to get out of the car to avoid it. "Brake!" She yelled at the panic-stricken driver whose face she could see more clearly heartbeat by heartbeat. "Brake!" Daisy grasped the door handle and yanked the door of the Prius open. She climbed out and bolted to the right as the truck, driver side first, crunched into the side of her car. "Oh my god!" She screamed over the noise of twisting metal, as she tried to put more distance between herself and the still-moving truck. But she wasn't quick enough. The truck slid round on the oily surface, sending the front of the vehicle, which housed the now unconscious driver, out and away from her car – the rear, however, was hurtling towards her. "No!" She screamed at the top of her lungs. "No!" "NOT ME!"
But it was her.
She was crushed, bent in two, between the side of the truck and her car. Her forehead rested, like a macabre full stop, at the end of the run of red lettering which advertised the truck company's name – "Lafferty Drywall".
Her best laid plans lay in ruins. But none of that mattered now, because Daisy was no more.