Chapter 1 – Cards on the Table
Pointless disclaimer time – I don’t own any of the characters of Bones, they belong to their creator, I only play with them on occasion before returning them deliciously worn out and rumpled.
Temperance “Bones” Brennan kept her face void of expression while the FBI agent read her, her rights while she was pressed up against her car having her hands cuffed behind her back. Like the cuffs would really stop her if she wanted her hands free, as if, but she knew the rules and she knew what was coming next.
She would wait just like her father taught her and she would see how this whole thing played out. Max always said “Never make things worse than they already are by jumping the gun and acting without thinking it through first.” So she would give it time and if things went south then she could always escape later.
Special Agent Seeley Booth reached up to straighten his tie not for the first time since entering the Directors office to wait for his meeting. He didn’t want to bring this to the Directors attention, he thought they were all managing just fine the way they were, but Cam had insisted and just like always he caved. Yet another reason why they no longer dated she knew exactly what buttons to push to get him to do as she asked. Unfortunately, that skill also applied to their working relationship as well.
Hearing voices on the other side of the door he turned just in time to see the Director breeze into the office the look of irritation almost permanently etched on his face these days in full force.
“Booth, what can I do for you today?” His voice matched his expression perfectly, irritation.
“Well, sir, the squints at the Jeffersonian have petitioned for more help to be assigned to them in the near future sir.”
“Why? Things have been working out so far? Why do they suddenly need more hands on deck?” He looked just as confused as he had when Cam had first brought it up making him feel marginally better about having not noticed the problem beforehand.
“Sir, as you know Doctor Goodman has sectioned off the team at the Jeffersonian that works with us so that he can better run the rest of the institute, and in his absence Doctor Saroyan has taken over supervision of the squints there. In an attempt to better understand exactly what is expected of her people from us she has been going over all the old cases her team worked on in conjunction with the FBI for the last five years and according to her the caseload given to them has nearly tripled in the last year with no additional funding or help. So, she says that if we want to keep them going at that pace they either need another squint from us or the funds to hire one themselves.”
“Tripled?” The look of surprise on the Director’s face made him feel more at ease with being just as clueless about how much they’d overworked the Jeffersonian team lately. “Why didn’t Goodman ever ask us for more people if it’s been a year since they needed one?”
“My understanding sir is that Goodman while a scientist is an archeologist so didn’t really help on the cases we sent. If what the squints told Cam is true Goodman would just sign the papers then leave them to their own devices to solve the case in any way they saw fit. This is how we got things like a crash test dummy made of spam in an incinerator, which is something I believe Doctor Saroyan means to put a stop to as well. She used to work with law enforcement and she knows all about court cases and what would get one laughed out of a courtroom.”
“Well, that’s something at least. Fine they’ll get the help if they insist they need it. They’re too valuable an asset to have them working at substandard levels. I’ll bring it up with my superiors and you’ll have my answer by end of day if we’ll be paying out or shipping a squint their way.”
“Thank you, Sir.” He knew a dismissal when he heard it so he silently got up and fled back to his office. Picking up his phone he called Cam to let her know she’d been approved.
Bones sat at the table in the small interrogation room and waited for the suits sitting across from her to actually speak. They had been sitting in silence for forty-five minutes and while she was very patient and their tactics weren’t putting her on edge as they’d hoped she knew they would be talking soon. They were running out of time and they knew it.
“Ms. Keenan…” Of course the condescending name confusion thing. Could they be any more uniform? She could do this in her sleep.
“Excuse me?” One eyebrow raised in censure for interrupting meant to make her feel scolded and then eager to please to make up for the breech in etiquette. Willing to spill all her secrets so she would get a gold star next to her proper name or something equally as idiotic and unlikely to work.
“My name is Doctor Temperance Brennan it was legally changed from Joy Keenan ten years ago which you already know, so could we skip the amateur psychology and get right to why you’re here. Not that you’re not stellar company and all but I think we all have better things to do than to stay in this room playing games that we all know won’t work on me. So next…”
“Very well, Doctor, I see you have a degree in Forensic Anthropology, care to explain why you chose that field of study.” What was this? Trying to find common ground maybe. Or maybe trying to make her see that she was too smart to go to prison.
“Well I really wanted to be an astronaut but when I got to NASA they had a sign that said no girls allowed. Care to explain why you chose to have that stick surgically imbedded in your backside, inquiring minds and all that.”
“We have been authorized to offer you a deal.” A deal? Interesting, if nothing else it was original.
“I’m listening.” She likely wouldn’t take it, they probably wanted her to turn on her people, but she could at least listen and see just how epically they would fail.
“The FBI contracts out most of its more complex scientific inquiries to the Jeffersonian Institute where they have a team of highly respected and capable scientists in varying fields of experience. While we have a forensic anthropologist on staff there Mr. Addey is in fact a grad student.” Oh she saw where this was going now. Not as original as she’d first thought but still interesting all the same.
“So what you meant to say is you have someone who wants to be a forensic anthropologist when he grows up.”
“Indeed. Now the head of the group has requested an additional scientist be placed there to help with the ever growing caseload. After going over what members she already has at her disposal it was decided that the most benefit would be gained from placing a fully vetted forensic anthropologist on her staff. However…”
“The nearest is in Montreal, well other than me of course.”
“Yes, and since you are only being charged with non-violent crimes it has been decided that it would be acceptable to have you serve out your sentence at the Jeffersonian rather than in the maximum security prison you would no doubt be shipped to. So what is your answer Doctor Brennan?”
Doctor Saroyan was beyond angry by the time she reached Booth’s office after reading the memo sent to her about her newest team member. Really they were placing a felon in charge of her people.
In order for this to work she would have to be placed under her but above everyone else and she could already see how well that was going to go over. This was a nightmare in the making. Pushing the door to Booth’s office open with more force than necessary she went in guns blazing so to speak.
“What the hell is wrong with you people?”
Noticing too late that Booth was already in a meeting with someone she thought about backtracking and coming back later before nearly immediately dismissing it. She was already in it, might as well go all the way. Besides the man he was meeting with looked like an overgrown twelve year old playing dress up.
“Doctor Saroyan, meet Doctor Sweets FBI clinical psychiatrist. Doctor Sweets you’ve already read all about Cam here, now you get to meet her in person a little ahead of schedule.” Booth’s eyes said it all. Don’t fuck up any more in front of the shrink.
“Hello, Doctor Sweets, I’m sorry to have interrupted but there is an issue I need to discuss with agent Booth that just couldn’t wait.”
“You came to talk about Doctor Brennan I assume.”
How the hell did this little … shrink know about HER. Yes the HER was in capital letters.
“I am going to be assigned to your team to try and help with the transition that you’re making with the addition of Doctor Brennan to your staff.”
“So the FBI put her with us as what? Some kind of experiment? See how we react?” Hell if they wanted a reaction that badly she’d sure as hell give them one.
“This is less about you and your team and more about her. We want to see how she reacts to not only being put into a place of authority but also being thrown into an already established group dynamic. We know that she’s a bit of a grifter and that she was raised by a con-man so she can adapt at least on the surface to just about any situation. What we want to do is see if getting her out of her comfort zone and placing her in someone elses shoes so to speak will force her to see everything differently.
“The hope is that given enough time with you and your team, also with her close dealings with Agent Booth she may eventually turn on her less law abiding associates and eventually maybe even her family.” The shrink seemed so earnest, like he truly believed this would work.
“How exactly is sticking us with her going to accomplish all of that?” What did they think her team was some sort of criminal rehab program?
“We believe that with enough positive role models and the good feelings that come from doing good followed by the positive reinforcement of seeing the results of her hard work bringing peace and closure to victims of crimes and their families that one day in the future she will begin to see herself as a force for good and her associates and family as those that need to be stopped.”
“Oh really?” How stupid were these people? ” Just how far into the future do you see this going?” How long did they think it would take to get this woman, this highly intelligent if criminal woman, to turn her back on everyone she cares for?
” We estimate it will take at least a year. During this time she will have no contact with her family or associates making your team and Agent Booth and myself as her only source of positive validation and comfort. By cutting her off from everything else it reinforces the belief that our faith in her is all she’ll need when the time comes.”
Glancing at Booth she saw the same thoughts in his eyes that were racing around in her own mind. They were insane! This would never work.
This would never work! Bones looked down at her clothes and could barely hold back a groan of disgust. They had her dress as freaking career girl barbie over here. No color, no give, no personality. This just wasn’t her! Then again as far as she could tell that was the entire point. They didn’t want her to be herself they were trying to change her.
While she didn’t put much stock in psychology that didn’t mean she didn’t understand it, she knew exactly what they were doing. They were trying to break her. Trying to change her little by little like she wouldn’t notice. As if!
She would play along for now, figure out their end game, then she would be gone from here back to her family. She already missed them all. Her parents, her friends, even her brother though they never really saw eye to eye on anything these days, their personalities were just too different.
She would get through this though, she would just think of it as another job. One that would take some time, but it would eventually end and she would go back to being herself. Glancing down at the tracking device on her ankle she closed her eyes taking a deep breath to center herself before pasting on a smile and leaving her run down little apartment to start her first day of her new job with her new partner.