stand in the rain
chapter one - unravel
bones fanfiction. multi-chap, brennan and booth.
“This person could be alive, Booth. And if so, I could be saving their life. Move back.” She orders, all business as she yanks the rest of the charred body out of the wreckage. And as she provides a cursory examination, he notices a strange parallel between his partner, and the body infront of them.
A/N: I have NO CLUE at all where this story is going. I've got a few little ideas in my head, but honestly... I want to make the storyline something different and interesting, so I've got to think where I'm going to go from and that might take a while. Plus, I'm going to the beach in two days and won't be back for a week and a half. Updates might be a little rare for the next month.
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TWO AND A HALF WEEKS EARLIER
“You sure you don’t want some pie, Bones?” He verbally pokes at her, grinning like his son as he tries to shove a fork-full of the stuff in her mouth. She just leans backwards in the red upholstered diner chair, with a disgusted look on her face like she’s just swatted a fly and it’s landed in her food.
She rattles something off about how she doesn’t want some pie and how she is not hungry at all; but if she was, she would not want some pie anyway. She makes that perfectly clear, like she’s reprimanding a small child – let’s forget the fact that this is Temperance Brennan, and she does not know how to act around children.
Let alone discipline them.
“Do you want some chips then?” Booth is insistent – he wants to take care of her in… what seems the only way he knows that isn’t at all sexual or personal, which seems to be food. He flashes the charm smile.
“No, I had a big lunch. And I’m fine! I wish you would stop trying to care for me. I can take care of myself. Just because Zack’s gone…” She trails off, hitting the exact point that was the reason that he was looking after her.
She obviously wasn’t on the debating team in high-school.
“See, Bones? That’s why I’m doing this. Because I… care about Zack, and you. And I don’t want you to be torn up over this. The guy got what he deserved.” His tone wavers on the last sentence, and it annoys Brennan how casually he’s treating this.
Maybe it’s all part of his plan to care for her. She would tell him that he doesn’t need to care for her and then prove it by spending her weekend alone, but Angela is too busy moping and wondering what went wrong with her and Hodgins, and her Dad went down to visit Russ and Amy – Haley had just been let out of the hospital and they were celebrating.
She had claimed she was ‘too busy’ to join the get-together. But truthfully, gathering with her family made her nervous, and it confused her. She hadn’t had a family for so long, and all of them together made her happy, but she also felt a slight awkwardness around them.
And strangely enough, she felt that around Booth too, but she had still stayed in D.C over the weekend. She didn’t want to think on why that was so.
“I’m still not eating pie.” She smirks, noticing that he’s ever so slowly pushing the plate of his favourite food towards her. He grins; yet again, the three-year old idiot coming out for all to see in him.
“What? I just think that it would be benefic-“ He tries to use squint words, make the eating of pie sound logical and rational to her, but he’s cut off by the trill of his cell.
He holds one finger up, as if to motion her to be somewhat silent, but she’s already gone to looking out the window of the diner, so he checks the caller, flips the phone open and answers.
“Booth here.” He doesn’t say anything else, just accompanies the speaker with a few “mms” to show that he’s listening, but his face is stony.
There’s a sound of garbled words that Brennan can’t pick up, and Booth’s face tightens up immediately. She stares at him, wondering what it is. Last time she saw this face, it was when Vince McVicar was killed and he heard about it over the phone…
“Okay, thanks. We’ll be right over.” He sighs, and puts the phone back down on the table. Brennan looks at him, worried as to what the call was about.
“You know the family gathering you never wanted to go to? You might be able to stop by now, because we’re headed that way.” Booth says dismissively, like he’s being ordered to do some massive chore he wishes he didn’t have to do.
“I don’t get it, Booth…”
“Okay, just come with me and I’ll tell you where we’re going later. Maybe you could get some pie?” He grins, letting his partner stand up first as the two of them file out of the diner. Booth puts down a ten-dollar bill on the table just before he leaves.
“Wheeew.” Booth whistles. “That had to have been one big fire.” He taps his fingers on the steering wheel, and takes the keys out of the car; the engine abruptly stops.
“So, where are we?” Brennan curtly asks the driver, so he can give up the other end of the deal.
Booth checks his watch. “We’re just a bit more downtown than downtown DC, it’s more a…”
“Suburbia.” She supplies.
“Yeah, right. There’s been a fire in a house on the next street. Completely decimated it, and they think the family living in the house is decimated too.” He reels off the facts, not being particularly sympathetic to the house, or the owners either. It’s just another case to him; unless foul play comes in.
“So that’s why I’m here? To find bodies you’re not sure even exist?” She questions him, angry.
“Yeah, pretty much. And afterwards, you can go visit your brother and your old man. They live somewhere around here, I think. So come on, let’s go.” He ushers her out of the car, and it irritates her how much he’s looking out for her. She’s managed fine for all the rest of her life, thankyou!
But as she’s caught up in the irritating thoughts of Booth, a dusty, acrid smell wafts up to her nose. She wiggles the aforementioned appendage, trying, childishly, to get the smell out.
“I hate the smell of fires.” Her partner states sullenly, and increases pace as he walks up to the SUV that’s parked out the front of the small block of where stood, a house. Now it’s more like a pile of rubble and ash.
She ‘ups the ante’ in her walking, so she can catch up.
“So you think the fire started around at 13:00, and was reported at 14:30? Why did it take so long?” Booth quizzes the FBI agents on site, though Brennan isn’t sure why they’re there: this isn’t a federal matter.
“Um, are you at all certain that there actually are any remains I need to identify? Or is my reason for being here just speculation?” She snaps at them, grabbing her bag and walking over to what used to be the front door of the house.
“Bones… Ah, ignore my scientist there. She’s a little stroppy because she forgot to have lunch.”
“Booth, look at this.” She beckons to him with the one hand that isn’t busy shifting through rubble, as she squats over the ashes and debris. Very fashionable, Brennan.
“Yeah?” He’s bored as hell; having to sit by and watch her sift through the remainders of a house isn’t all that fun. And it takes a while too.
“This looks like a… marble of sorts. See the spherical shape and the clarity?” She taps on the surface of the small, shiny ball, peering curiously at it.
“A marble, great. Aren’t you supposed to be looking for bodies?” He’s annoyed he had to shift from his resting place to come look at a marble.
“Yes, but I remember a marble distinctly like this one. It was Russ’ lucky marble, I think. You know when we uh… found my mother’s remains and I gave it back to him? She quickly skips over the part about her mother; it’s still a touchy topic for her.
“I do, Bones, but why is it here? Is it the same marble…?” He trails off, realizing a point that he hopes Brennan doesn’t click onto. If it’s the same marble… he had said that Russ lived around here.
“No, it can’t be.” She shakes the thought away. “Give me an evidence bag, Booth. I need to get on with this.” He grabs one of the piles of the plastic bags that resemble lunch wrappings, except slightly larger with the word EVIDENCE BAG written in red and white all around the middle. He under-arm throws it to her, and she scowls as she catches it.
Not that he cares all that much, though. His patience is at breaking point.
“Seriously, hurry up and find something, Bones. I’m sick of sitting here and… twiddling my thumbs!” Booth finally cracks, and almost yells his words out across the lot of charred house.
“Scientific processes should not be rushed, Booth.” She says his name like an expletive, and continues moving the rubble with her gloved hands, what she’s been doing for the past two hours. On the other side of the lot, FBI taskforce teams are doing the same.
“That’s not scientific processes. That’s what happens in the lab, not here!” He’s exasperated, and has a low patience. Brennan knows that, but she doesn’t seem in much of a rush.
To her, doing the job correctly is better than an incentive to do it quickly. She lifts up what looks like could be a door frame, just blackened and the structural integrity absolutely ruined, and she sees something.
It looks a bit like a hand; not badly burnt, the victim must have been at the other end of the house to the blaze. The charcoal of the wood though, had stained the blotchy red, burnt hand a slight tinge of black, and it didn’t look good. The skin looked pale, dead.
She’s sure of one thing though; that the victim, if still attached to the hand, would at the very least, be unconscious. This was one big fire.
“Booth… I found something.”
He jumps up from his seat, eager that they might get out of this place some time soon. He’d never anticipated that it would take this long! The hand disgusts him, and he keeps his distance from it, like it’s a disease that will infect him on a simple touch.
Out of nowhere, she starts pulling the hand, collapsing the rubble on top of it, releasing a poof of acrid smoke. Booth coughs, and waves a hand in front of his mouth distastefully.
“Bones, what the hell are you doing?” He almost yells at her; he likes to be in control, but he sometimes forgets that so does his partner.
“This person could be alive, Booth. And if so, I could be saving their life. Move back.” She orders, all business as she yanks the rest of the charred body out of the wreckage. And yes, there was a full body.
She ends up wresting the body, who appeared to be male, as the burns were not so severe that main features could be identified from visible characteristics, no anthropology needed.
Checking the pulse, Brennan presses her hands to his burnt, yet pale and lifeless wrist and neck. “Nothing. Maybe a faint heart-beat, but I think he’s dead.” She resigns herself, then goes onto trying to identify the man.
“Looks late thirties, early fourties. It’s hard to tell with this much skin, even as intact as it is.” She scans over the body, trying to look for an unnatural cause of death, but avoids the head.
Booth stops mid-way an irritating comment that involved something about how she should check with him before pulling dead, smelly cadavers out of a ruined building. He doesn’t though, and a good thing too.
“Wait… I think I recognize this person.” Brennan’s moved to the head, and brushes the black, slightly charred locks off the burnt forehead.
“I thought squints like you weren’t supposed to jump to conclusions, Bones.” He laughs, not getting the seriousness of the situation, or the doom that will surely fall down as the aftermath.
“No, I really do. They almost… look like Russ.” She gulps, the thoughts she wanted to keep in her head and deny, spurting out. It catches her partner’s attention, and he realizes that she might not be joking. He’s leaning over the body too now, reassuring her.
“It could be anyone, Bones. It might not be Russ; why would it?” Questions aren’t the best way to help. Brennan’s trying to help herself; keep a clinical mind, keeping those thoughts in the back of her head and treat this like any other subject.
Don’t panic just because it might be Russ. It could be anyone…
“You said it yourself, Booth. He lives in the area.” She caves – she can’t do it. Can’t keep this façade that everything will be alright, is alright. Because it might not be… this could be her brother.
She lets a small tear fall on the charred charcoal wood below her feet, and her partner sees it, and kneels down next to her, wiping it away. He hugs her, whispering in her ear that everything will be alright.
But he wouldn’t need to say that if it wasn’t Russ… Would he?