"I don't understand, Booth. Why are we here?" Dr. Temperance Brennan, complained in the car while Booth pulled up to a yellow tape boundary.
"State Officials called it in this morning," Booth stated, nursing a hot cup of coffee as he stepped out of his suburban and into an active excavation site. The early morning call jettisoning them halfway across the country had done little to help him wake up this morning. "They said that two hikers spotted the marker, thought it was suspicious, and called it in. The body that they found was too close to the Illinois/Indiana border. No one wanted to go into a custody war over the body, so they called us to figure out where the body came from so they can determine who's case it is."
"So basically we are their third party investigators?" Bones scowled as she got out of the car. "I am not a third party investigator, Booth. This is a waste of my time."
"You're telling me, I have a pile of paperwork on my desk that is only going to grow while we're here, so lets do this fast and get home," Booth encouraged.
A police officer came up to them at the tape. Booth held up his badge and Brennan showed her ID and the officer lifted the tape to let them through. He pointed towards a clearing in the trees where Brennan and Booth could see the local teams at work.
As they neared the scene, Brennan became agitated
"I want a cleared scene, Booth," Brennan said curtly. "If we are going to be deciding between this stupid turf war, I don't want them over my back."
"Done and done," Booth drawled.
Brennan ignored the forensic teams there and made her way to the grave while Booth cleared the local PD from the site.
"Dr. Brennan," a middle aged man in a forensics' suit nervously called.
"Yes, who are you?"
The middle-aged man smiled and stuck out a latex gloved hand, "Dr. Hampton, head of New Harmony's forensic unit. It's an honor to meet you."
Brennan gave a grimace of a smile to the man and walked past him, ignoring his gesture. She stopped when she saw that the remains had been taken from the grave and laid next to it on a plastic tarp.
"I hope you have taken pictures of how the remains were before you moved it," She spoke quickly and angrily. "You people called us here to investigate this body, and yet you couldn't leave it alone for us to work with? You very well could have contaminated the evidence."
Dr. Hampton stuttered nervously, "Oh, don't worry Dr. Brennan. We followed all procedures to a 'T'"
Dr. Brennan considered the man for a moment before moving deciding that arguing further would be counterproductive and take more time than needed. Settling down next to a grave that couldn't be more than four feet deep, Dr. Temperance Brennan considered the deteriorating remains in front of her.
Turning to Booth, who had gotten the local teams to start leaving the scene, Brennan began detailing what she saw. "This man is approximately 26-30 years of age judging by the musculature and dental wear. Judging by the beginning of dry decay and the shallowness of the grave, I would estimate that he died about four months ago." Lifting up the material of the shirt, Brennan motioned to the obvious wounds on the decomposed tissue and ribs. "There also seem to be multiple lacerations in the tissue, some even appear to have reached the bones some. The pattern of lacerations resembles an animal attack, but I cannot say for certain without bringing the body back to my lab."
"We don't really need to figure out what killed him, just who he is," Booth reminded her, but she was determined to figure out all she could.
"Well, there are no tears in his clothes, but there is serious damage to his body, so someone obviously took care when they buried him. Like I said, Booth. My team and I need to examine the remains more carefully before we can make an accurate statement on who this man was and whether or not this man was murdered," She sighed and looked up at Booth, "But homicide or not, this man died in extreme agony."
Brennan's face crinkled in pity looking at the body of the young man. Her active mind began mapping the exposed wounds and formed an all too graphic picture of the man's death. She shuddered involuntarily. No matter who this man was, no one deserved to die like that.
"Glad to have you back Dr. Brennan, " Clarke, Brennan's current intern, called from the platform as she swiped her card and walked up the stairs. "The remains arrived about an hour ago. Hodgins and Ms. Montenegro are already working on their tasks."
"That's great. Now Clarke please clean the wounds and give any particulates to Hodgins before you strip the tissue."
"Already done Dr. Brennan, Hodgins has the particulates running now. I am going to go to the Bone Room to see if I can match the claw pattern," Clarke replied carrying a folder of X-Rays out off of the platform.
Angela passed him on the stairs and waved at Brennan.
"Hey Ange, how are you coming on the facial reconstruction?" Brennan asked hopeful that they could finally put a face and name to their victim.
"I was just coming up to show you! This is what our victim would probably have looked like." Pressing some buttons on the computer a facial reconstruction appeared on the screen.
The man's jaw was square and strong, high cheekbones that any model would die for, a straight nose, and soft slightly pouted lips made for a very attractive rendering.
"I know it's sad no matter what, but he was really good looking, like REALLY good looking, I don't know if my boy-crazy heart can handle this tragedy."
Brennan rolled her eyes at her friend and looked back to the screen, considering the rendering. Angela was right, and there was no mistake in her work, their victim had been a very attractive man. Brennan could tell from his bone structure alone.
"What are you guys doing?" Booth's voice appeared from behind them. "Is that our victim?" He asked gesturing to the screen.
"Yes, Angela just finished. We were complementing his very symmetrical bone structure."
"So you think he was hot?" Booth asked with a quirk of an eyebrow and a smirk. He took a glance at the rendering again, but his smirk fell as a strange feeling of recognition pulled at his mind.
"Hold on," Booth almost whispered. "I think I recognize him."
Brennan's eyebrows crinkled as she watched her partner stare at the screen. "You know him?"
"I'm not sure," Booth answered in a low voice. He searched his memory, knowing that he had seen this man's face somewhere.
"Where would you have seen him?" Brennan asked. "Did he work at the FBI?"
"Maybe in an ad as a model?" Angela asked with a smirk, but it fell when Booth's face turned stone serious.
"The FBI…" Booth's eyes moved back and forth as if trying to look into the past to find their victim, and then the realization hit him. "Holy shit."
"What?" Brennan exclaimed.
Booth turned to look at the body, disbelief lighting his eyes and anger deepening the creases near his mouth.
"When did you say he died Bones?"
"Approximately four months ago,"
"And he didn't die in an explosion." It wasn't a question.
"No, absolutely not, why would you think that? Booth, who is he?"
"It's impossible," he walked closer to the body on the table and leaned in. "You died seven months ago in an explosion in Colorado, this can't be you. Can it?"
Frustration and impatience getting the better of her, Brennan grabbed Booth's shoulder, "Booth, who is he?"
Wide-eyed, Booth turned from the body. "This is Dean Winchester."
"Who is Dean Winchester?"
"Probably one of the most infamous criminals the bureau has ever had to chase."
Angela's eyes flicked to the facial reconstruction on the computer. "Him?"
Booth gave a wry smile, "Don't let the pretty face fool you Ange. Remember, Bundy was attractive too."
Her eyes grew, making them impossibly large. "He was a serial killer?" She took an instinctive step backwards away from the body, as if even in death he was dangerous. Booth mused that if what he heard about this Winchester was true, then that might be a smart move.
"A very violent and unpredictable serial killer," Booth explained through a strained breath. "He was reported to have died about seven months ago in a gas explosion in a police station in Colorado. Killed everyone in the building, four FBI agents, six cops, one civilian, and supposedly Dean's brother, but now I'm not so sure that Sam died there."
"That's why you asked about an explosion," Brennan supplied, answering her previous question. "But he didn't."
"Huh-?" Booth asked, distracted by his own thoughts on who buried Dean, making an educated guess that it had been Sam. Who else would care for a monster other than another monster?
"An explosion, he didn't die in one. He was mauled to death by an animal."
"Yeah, well he had a habit of faking his own death to avoid capture, guess the third times the charm." Booth laughed to himself while Angela and Brennan shared a confused look.
Hodgins interrupted Booth's thoughts when he ran up on the platform, "So I ran the particulates that Clarke sent me, and this is what I got."
Not even looking at what was on the screen, he hit a few keys on the computer and a graph of elements replaced Dean's facial reconstruction.
"You know how most animals leave hair, bits of their claws, or even some skin in the wounds? The only thing I found in this guy's wounds was sulfur. How weird is that?" He turned around to face the group, his hands on his hips, curiosity and excitement lighting his eyes. "I mean what does that? I have a theory."
Booth rolled his eyes, "Oh here we go."
"No, no listen," Hodgins said quickly. "Legends say that sulfuric residue was evidence of demonic presence."
"So you are saying a demon killed him?" Booth asked with a quirk of an eyebrow.
Brennan shook her head. "There is no such thing as demons, Hodgins. I would prefer if you kept your hypothesis to the realm of reality."
Hodgins looked around at his teammates, all looking at him like he was an escaped mental patient, probably wouldn't know a real demon if it bit them in the persqueeter. A quote from an old friend ran through his mind, and Hodgins gave up on trying to convince them. With a cynical smile, Hodgins asked, "Alright, where do you think the sulfur came from?"
"Maybe the animal walked through sulfur before it attacked him," Brennan supplied. "It would explain how the sulfur ended up on the animals claws and into his wounds."
"Have we found his name, yet?" Hodgins asked rolling his eyes at Brennan's theory.
"We found more than that," Angela said with a grimace.
"Let's just say, this is most definitely our case now," Booth replied vaguely.
Brennan turned around to address Clarke, who had just returned, "Clarke have we figured out what kind of animal killed our victim?'
Clarke gave an exasperated sigh, "That is the thing Dr. Brennan. I couldn't. There is no animal with a documented claw pattern like this one." He walked to the body and motioned towards the large gashes through the deteriorating skin and its damage through to the bone. "There is no animal that I can find whose claws would match the pattern made on our victim's bones. The placements of the lacerations suggest some kind of dog or wolf, but the size is completely wrong. If it was a wolf or some kind of rabid dog, it would have to have been at least the size of a small horse." He lifted his hand to about mid ribcage range. "At least this tall."
"Geez," Hodgins sighed rubbing his hand over his chest, sympathizing with their victim. It must have been a terrible way to die.
"Could it have been a bear?" Booth asked with furrowed brows.
Clarke answered with a shake of the head, "The pattern is all wrong, the size is about right though."
"So we are looking at a bear-sized dog as the killer of one of FBI's most wanted."
"Most wanted?" Hodgins asked in surprise.
"Oh yeah," Angela answered with a grimace. "Our 'victim', aka Dean Winchester, was a serial killer."
Hodgin's mouth dropped and his eyes shot over to the body decomposing on the table. Disbelief and grief painted his face, "Winchester? Oh god, no."