Author: naelany (page 1 of 31)

This House

Built on foundations – diversity, equality, freedom – once thought solid

Now crumbled beneath

 

Veneer used to hide, to shine where light was scarce or non-existent

Now is scratched, dull, and dented

Showing the ugly scars beneath

 

Additions made to show the wealth and momentum

Now mere skeletons of their intent

With winds of change – for worse, not better – blowing through

 

The flag, brand new and brightly colored

Waves and people cheer

Blinded by the stars displayed

They fail to see

 

Their home is collapsing

Crumbling into history

Disillusioned

 

When I was little, I saw you from afar. You were so great, so full of hope, opportunity, prosperity, forward motion. Truly the land of milk and honey, or so I believed.

Where are you now?

 

When I was little, it seemed like you fought for those who couldn’t. You were willing to rise to the challenge when others wouldn’t.

Where are you now?

 

When I was little, you welcomed those in need. You said, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Where are you now?

 

When I was little, I watched as your women appeared to go where they hadn’t been able to before. Equality was gaining, and not just for them, if only by inches.

Where are you now?

 

When I was little, I trusted all the times you said, “Never again!” or “This can’t happen here,” in the face of atrocities toward others, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or otherwise.

Where are you now?

 

Riptide

First floating, then swimming, moving forward as I go.  

Clearing hurdles as they come. Struggling to stay afloat.

Then a riptide pulls me under;  

Deeper, deeper, down I go.

Stuck in this maelstrom of feeling too much and nothing at all

Not knowing which way to go in order to breathe again.

 

Love

Love.

Love does not  hurt.

Love does not cheat.

Love does not abuse.

Love does not threaten or fear or trick.

 
Love is caring.

Love is faithful.

Love is gentle and kind.

Love is truth. Loyalty. Faith. Hope.

Love is love.  

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Something I wrote after the attacks on Paris. What happened there (and not just there, but it was the catalyst) weighed heavily on me and this is what came out.


Yesterday,

Your worst fear was the boogeyman under your bed.

Your worst enemy was that boy down the street that kept pulling your pigtails.

The only reason you feared going to school was because you didn’t study for that test.

You could play outside unsupervised until curfew, which was when the street lights turned on, or you got called in to dinner.

You got grounded for sneaking out to meet your boyfriend.

Your only gun was the one you shaped with your hand and made ‘pew pew’ noises for.

Mommy or daddy being away for work meant staying up late so you could talk to them on the phone, and never fearing they wouldn’t make it home again.

Mommy and daddy taking you to school for your first day meant never having to worry about more than if you liked your teacher and if you made friends?

Seeing the police meant safety, and maybe a speeding ticket.  

Telling people, “My daddy was a soldier,” was met with “That’s so cool,” and not “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Today.

Today, everything feels wrong.  

Topsy-turvy.  

Inside-out.  

Surreal.  

Today, a child brings guns to class because he can’t handle his life anymore and wants to take others with him. Teachers and children fall.  

Today, mom and dad go out to dinner and never make it home because their restaurant got bombed.  

Today, CPS gets called on a mother who allows her children to be outside on their own and learn independence.  

Today, we’re on the precipice of war, with enemies a dime a dozen, each no less a threat than the other.

Today, police get gunned down for doing their job.  

Today, seeing those flashing lights could mean you lose your life, and not just a few bucks.  

Today. Today. Today.  

Today feels heavy. Sad. Weighed down.  

There is no safety, no innocence left. At least, that’s how it feels today.  

But tomorrow. Tomorrow there is still hope.  

Hope for peace.

For sanity.

For safety.

For innocence.

For love.

 

Mellifluous

Title: Mellifluous

Relationship(s): Penelope Garcia/Derek Morgan

Content Rating: M

Warnings: canon level violence/events

Summary: Garcia’s happy where she’s at, in her little office surrounded by all her tech and her team always available at the touch of a button. It provides her with the barrier she needs for her gifts, as she refuses to search for her Sentinel. Not because she wants to spend all her days alone, but because she is convinced she has already found him. Except… he is not online and the more time goes by, the less likely it is to ever happen. So she takes what she can get and treasures the banter and easy affection of one Derek Morgan – her would be Sentinel.

banner courtesy of Jilly James

“How come I only get to travel with you guys like once every two years?” Penelope asked as she made her way through the BAU plane, her knitting grasped firmly to her chest. It was always a thrill to be out with the team, especially because Derek would always pay special attention to her. She’d never admit it, but she delighted in being doted upon – or rather, in Derek Morgan’s brand of doting. Whenever anyone else tried, it usually made her a little cranky. It also didn’t hurt that when the team went into the field, they would always stay at very nice hotels, something Penelope herself would never do on her own.

Though he was behind her, Penelope could practically hear Derek’s grin as well as sense his amusement. “Trust me, mama, it can get old sometimes.”

She turned to take the bag Derek was carrying for her and rolled her eyes. “Oh right, like the way that spa treatments at five-star hotels can get old,” she quipped as Derek stepped between the seats opposite her. Continue reading

Wise Mind – part 4

“Sweetie, would you mind if we swing by the S&G Center real quick?” Angela asked once they were back in Hodgins’ car. “Scott asked if I could drop some papers off for them.”

Temperance frowned. “Why didn’t they take them with them?”

Angela half-shrugged, smiling. “Scott got a call while you were talking to Kyle. Something came up that required their urgent attention.” After a beat, she added, “I’m sure Booth and Hannah’ll be long gone by now, sweetie, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

She couldn’t deny that she had worried about that. She thought about it for a moment, then nodded. “I suppose since they came here for me, I can’t really complain about returning a favor.”

With a look of pleased satisfaction Angela settled back in her seat, her hand resting on Hodgins’ thigh. “The S&G Center it is. If you like, I can give you the five-cent tour while we’re there, so you know where to go for your sessions with Kyle.”

“That would be prudent, yes.” She had agreed to meet with Kyle at the Center starting tomorrow, after all.

The drive to the Center took only fifteen minutes, and Temperance hadn’t been able to resist calling Zora again. The little Fennec fox was curled up on her lap, nearly purring as she petted her. The animosity Zora had first displayed had lessened significantly for which Temperance was grateful. Zora felt content to her, though there was a slight edginess as well that became worse the closer they got to the Center. “Ang, why would Zora become…” she struggled for a moment to find the correct word, finally settling on, “restless?”

Turning to look over her shoulder, Angela raised an eyebrow in surprise, though Temperance thought there might be something her friend was not telling her. “I’m not sure. There could be several reasons.”

“We’re here,” Hodgins said, sharing a look with his wife. “Do you want me to wait in the car, or-?”

“We won’t be long,” Ang said by way of answer.

Temperance followed her friend inside, unsure what to expect. Zora had remained by her side, seeking contact every couple of steps. Temperance was grateful as it settled her sudden nerves some. If she didn’t know better, she thought there was a sense of anticipation coming from both Angela and Zora, but Temperance could not fathom why.

And then everything seemed to stop. A strangled sort of sound came from her right, at the same time as a thrill of anguish, hope, and longing shot through her. Her instincts told her the sound came from a Sentinel in distress.

“Bones?”

Before she had turned fully to meet a startled Booth, Temperance noticed Zora dart toward him. About two feet away from him, a dingo popped into view and ran right at Zora. Instinctively, Temperance reached out, though she had no hope of stopping the collision. Surprisingly, it never happened, both the dingo and Zora coming to an abrupt halt mere inches apart. They stared at each other, and Temperance watched in puzzlement as the two creatures moved in a slow circle with gazes locked.

Another small sound of distress brought her attention back to Booth, and this time she noticed Hannah beside him, her hand hovering over Booth’s arm.  “You’re a Guide?” His voice was strangled, tight, his body language betraying hyper-alertness.

Temperance had seen him on the cusp of action many times over the years, yet it startled her to find him poised to attack her. Well, not ‘attack’, but she didn’t know what other word to use that would adequately describe his current behavior. To her eyes, Booth looked ready to move, and move fast, while still barely in control of himself. She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

Booth took an involuntary step forward, then seemed to force himself to stop. Temperance thought he looked pained as his eyes drifted to Hannah. Hannah, who was watching Booth with an unreadable expression on her face. When Booth turned and lifted his hand to touch her, both Zora and the dingo emitted a low, warning growl.

Smiling sadly, Hannah shook her head. “Best not, Seely.”

“Right. I-” his voice faltered.

“What does that mean?” Temperance whispered to Angela as she gestured first to the spirit animals, then to Booth and Hannah. She was starting to feel some distress herself, but she couldn’t figure out why. That empty feeling inside her chest was changing, too, though Temperance could not articulate how. She had no frame of reference and she thoroughly disliked not knowing.

“Oh, sweetie, it-” Angela started, but Temperance’s attention was grabbed by Hannah’s voice.

“Go, Seely. It’s okay.”

What was okay, Temperance wondered, feeling more and more frustrated and something else she could not define. Unease, maybe? Yes, that was it, but why she didn’t know. Just that Booth and Hannah being so close, looking still so intimate… it rankled on a level she had never experienced before. Not with any of his other liaisons over the years. Zora’s soft snarls made her want to join in yet she could not understand the sudden urge to claim. She felt trapped, unable to move or speak as she watched them.

Booth struggled. Temperance could sense it. Her Guide sensed it. Wanted to reach out to the Sentinel – her Sentinel – to soothe him. That brought her up short. Her Sentinel? Wide-eyed, she turned on Angela, pointing an accusing finger at her. “You knew! You arranged for this, didn’t you?!”

Angela’s doe-eyed look of innocence would have fooled most people, but for once Temperance was sure she was right. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, sweetie,” Angela said, waving the folder of papers she held in her hand. “I’m just here to deliver these for Scott and to show you where you’ll be meeting with Kyle.”

Narrowing her eyes, Temperance tried to muster up enough indignation at being handled in this manner but found she couldn’t. She was vaguely aware of Hannah saying goodbye to Booth and of her leaving the Center. Her senses were mostly focused on Booth himself, on the whirl of emotions – too many for her to track – that came off of him in waves as he waited. Temperance hugged Angela tight, and murmured, “Thank you.”

She could feel Angela’s smile widen as she whispered in Temperance’s ear, “You’re welcome, sweetie. Now go. Your Sentinel is waiting. Don’t worry about your work, or Booth’s. I’ll make all the necessary arrangements there, and with Kyle.”

“My lessons?”

“Won’t start until after your nesting period. I’ll take care of it, promise.”

“Nesting period?” Temperance’s heart beat faster. She wasn’t quite sure whether it was out of anticipation or fear. Maybe a little of both, since she didn’t have the first clue what that might entail.

“Yes. It’s what you and Booth’ll be doing for the next week or so. The Guide in you will lead you to bond. It’s totally instinctual, so don’t even stress about it. Just listen to your instincts, open your gifts to Booth and let him do his sensory imprint on you. Don’t fight it, sweetie, just go with it. I know that’s difficult for you, just trust me in this, okay?”

Temperance nodded, hoping her friend was right. The wealth of emotions coming at her from Booth was driving her to distraction, the need to go to him almost too much to resist. “Angela,” she started, not sure what she was trying to say.

Angela hugged her again, smiling. Temperance thought that while her friend was very pleased, she also held a note of sadness that Temperance couldn’t understand. Before she could ask, Angela waved her off. “Now shoo. Go, before Zora and Teddy decide to take matters into their own hands, so to speak.”

“Go where?” Temperance asked, confused.

Closing her eyes briefly, Angela seemed to rally herself. “Right. Sorry, forgot for a second you’ve never actually been here before.” Jerking her chin to Booth, she said, “Follow me, you two, and no touching until you’re in the bonding suite.”

“Why?” Temperance asked, thinking that was a rather strange thing for Angela to say.

“Because it’ll start the bonding process and trust me, you will want privacy for that,” Angela said teasingly.

She winked at Booth, who seemed to be beyond words at the moment, as he merely nodded and swallowed back another sound of distress. The dingo padded back to Booth and leaned against him, which visibly calmed him some.  

Once they arrived at their destination, Angela opened the door for them and with a wave and a, “Good luck,” she left them.

They stood a few feet apart, staring at each other. Temperance was uncertain what to do or say, so she waited for Booth. His hand twitched, as if he wanted to reach out for her but stopped himself. “You’re a Guide,” he said again, this time in wonderment.

She nodded. “Yes.” It was a simple enough truth.

“How? When?”

Temperance could feel herself blush faintly, which was odd. She didn’t usually react that way to anything, so why now, she wondered. “Earlier tonight, right after I hung up on you.”

Booth’s eyes widened as they sought out Zora. “That sound in the background? That was her?”

“Yes,” Temperance said simply. Zora stood on her hind legs, giving Temperance the most pleading look she had ever seen on any animal. Reaching down, she placed her hand on Zora’s head and the longing she had felt earlier intensified.

When she looked up, she almost smiled at the sight of Booth’s dingo butting his head against Booth’s backside in an effort to get him to move toward her. Booth swatted at his spirit guide, muttering, “Knock it off already.”

The dingo abated, but not without a plaintive whine. Booth closed his eyes briefly, taking a deep, steadying breath before meeting Temperance’s gaze again. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

The hurt in his voice was a near-physical thing. “Tell you what?” Temperance looked at him, confused. Did he think she would have kept this from him indefinitely?

“That you were a latent Guide,” he said quietly.

“Oh,” she said, startled. “I didn’t know.”

“All this time,” he muttered, shaking his head, his eyes never leaving hers. “You-” He shook his head again, closing his eyes to gather his thoughts. Temperance could see he was struggling to keep it together. When he looked at her again, he sighed. “Temperance… I couldn’t…”

Tilting her head, she frowned. Remembering what Angela had said about opening her gifts to Booth, and her lesson with Kyle earlier, she attempted to do just that. It was both easier and harder than she would have thought. Easier because this was Booth, not only her Sentinel but also her friend of many years now. She trusted him. Always had. And it was harder because the moment she opened herself empathically to him, she could feel the myriad emotions from him. Guilt. Upset. Fear. Relief. Hope. And strangely grief. “I don’t understand,” she whispered, raising her hand as she took a step forward.

She could comprehend his feeling of guilt. After all, Booth was as honorable a man as she had ever known, and he had just parted with Hannah, someone whom he had loved enough to be with. She thought she understood the hope and the relief, because she felt those, too. Even some of the fear. But the rest was beyond her grasp. His obvious hesitation to move toward her, to close the distance between them put her on edge. What if Angela was wrong? What if Booth didn’t want her; what if she turned out to be a horrible Guide and his Sentinel could sense that and that’s why he hadn’t done anything?

Booth’s voice was raw with emotion, with the need to bond. “Temperance, I need…”

“What, Booth?” Anything. She would give him anything if it meant he would be hers. The longing she felt for him seemed to grow with every passing second and it was becoming harder and harder to deal with.

He seemed to grapple with himself for a moment, searching for the words. “Tell me you’re really mine,” he managed finally, closing his eyes as if her denial would be too difficult to face.

With that, the pieces slotted into place for Temperance and relief washed over her. “Booth,” she breathed as she rushed over to him and threw her arms around his neck.

His arms folded around her more slowly, his whole body rigid with self-control. “Bones, please.”

Leaning back, she cupped his face in her hands and waited to speak until he was looking at her again. “Sentinel,” she said reverently. “You’re my Sentinel, Seely Booth.”

Booth’s face lit up with a smile and Temperance could feel the overwhelming happiness and relief coming from him as he lifted her off her feet in a bone crushing hug. Tucking his face into her neck, he breathed deeply, contentment washing over them both. “You’re really my Guide,” he said, sounding awed.

“Yours, Sentinel,” she promised.

Wise Mind – part 3

“You decked the guy?” Angela asked as she walked into Temperance’s office. Booth had dropped her off on his way to incarcerate Mr. Sandstrom an hour earlier, but she had managed to take refuge in her office without encountering anyone. No minor feat, considering.

Glancing up from her computer, she blinked at her friend in surprise. “How-?”

Angela waved her off, rolling her eyes. “Booth just called to ask me to check on you. He was worried because you were… upset.”

Temperance watched in silence as her friend took a seat across from her. “I found the man’s utter lack of concern or remorse reprehensible.”

Angela huffed a laugh. “I wish I could’ve been there.”

Shaking her head, Temperance disagreed. “No, you would have only been hurt by his presence. He was most disagreeable.”

“I don’t doubt that,” Angela agreed. “So, are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Temperance assured with a nod. It wasn’t even a lie. Now that she had had time to calm down, she felt perfectly normal again, though she still didn’t regret hitting the man.

“Listen, sweetie, you know I’m here if you-” Angela started, but Temperance cut her off.

“I should get back to work on my report for the FBI.” Temperance really did not wish to entertain another discussion with her friend. Really, where on Earth had Angela gotten the idea from that Temperance could possibly be a Guide? It was preposterous. It made no sense to her that her friend kept bringing the subject up. She hadn’t thought Angela to be mean spirited, but this was bordering on it.

With a heavy sigh, Angela capitulated and got to her feet. “Alright, sweetie. I’ll leave you to it.”

Temperance nodded, already turning her attention back to her computer. She was having a harder time than normal focusing for once, her mind seemingly unable to stay on task. Her thoughts kept circling back to her confrontation with Mr. Sandstrom, and every now and then she had the distinct impression she was being watched, though she could find no source for it. Once she had finalized her report, she e-mailed it to Cam so she could gather all their evidence and send it to the FBI.

Sitting back in her chair, she gazed absently into her office without really seeing anything. She felt edgy, as if everything was just slightly out of phase and it unsettled her greatly. The more because she was at a loss to the reason. Something seemed to flicker just out of sight so she turned to look, only to find nothing out of the ordinary, though for a moment she could have sworn it had been the little Fennec fox. Impossible, she thought. This case had gotten to her, that was all.

Glancing at the clock, she was pleased to find that it was time to call it a day. Dinner sounded good, and on a whim she picked up her phone and dialed Booth. She needed the calm reassurance of her partner, or so she told herself as she waited for him to pick up.

Hey, Bones. What’s up?”

She could hear the shuffling of paper in the background, which made her smile. In her mind’s eye she could picture Booth standing at his desk, his phone tucked into his neck while putting his desk to rights for the day. “Nothing. I was just… calling to see if you wanted to meet for dinner?” Why was she suddenly feeling so nervous? It was just Booth, yet she felt as awkward as she had when she was younger and not as confident in herself as she was now.

There was a pause in the noise on the other end of the line, and Temperance was certain that Booth had straightened and was actively holding his phone now. “Sorry, Bones. Raincheck? Hannah just called to let me know she’s back in the States. I’m about to pick her up at the S&G center.”

Temperance sat back heavily in her chair, stunned. “Hannah’s a Guide?” she stammered, her heart both racing and feeling like it was ripping in two.

Yeah, didn’t I tell you?”

She frowned. “No. No, you didn’t mention her status.” After a beat, she breathed shakily and added, “So you found your Guide, huh?”

The sudden snarling from the corner of her desk nearly had Temperance dropping her phone as she whipped around to look at the source. A very angry Fennec fox stood facing her, snarling and appearing poised to leap right at her. She was vaguely aware of Booth talking, but couldn’t hear the words, so focused was she on the little creature. “I… I’m sorry, Booth, I gotta go,” she cut in and hung up without waiting for a response.

The fox stared her down, still snarling and Temperance was uncertain what to do. Should she call for help? Try to run for it? Slowly, she got to her feet, needing to feel more in control and less vulnerable than being seated would allow for. It watched her closely, its snarls decreasing somewhat. “This isn’t real,” she muttered to herself, her eyes widening when the little fox stepped closer, its ears twitching and its tail slashing. It reminded her a little of an angry cat, in a way.

Heart racing, Temperance shifted to the side, but before she could even think to do more, the Fennec fox sprang at her. For a moment, her world seemed to flash brightly and suddenly she could feel. Everything! Everyone around her. She stumbled backwards into her chair at the onslaught of anger, awe, elation, worry, alarm, and so much more hit her all at once.

Just as suddenly as it had started, it all stopped and Temperance felt as if a wall had come down around her. A shield, came from the recesses of her mind. Her eyes welled up and she blinked quickly, willing the tears away even as Angela and Hodgins came running into her office.

“Sweetie! Are you okay?” Angela asked, kneeling beside her and taking both of Temperance’s hands in hers.

“You were right,” Temperance whispered hoarsely. “I am a Guide.” It felt so strange, yet so right. She was a Guide. How this was even possible was beyond her at the moment, but there could be no denying it now. Not in the face of the wave of emotions that had hit her just now, nor the fact that her little Fennec fox – her spirit guide, she marveled – had jumped her. She could feel it – her, she corrected herself – feel the comfort she offered her.

Angela beamed at her, touching her face lightly. “You sure are, sweetie. And a high-order one, too, by the feel of you.”

“Congrats, Dr. B.,” Hodgins said, smiling from the doorway.

“Thanks,” Temperance managed, though it was automatic. She was still trying to process everything.

“How are your shields?” Angela asked, then added, “We need to get you to the Center right away.”

Shaking her head, she gazed at her friends with wide eyes. “No! I can’t go there, Angela. Booth’ll be there.” She couldn’t face him yet.

Frowning, Angela squeezed her hand. “Temperance, you need to be evaluated, and you’ll need training or you’ll be a complete mess. All high-order Guides have to go through it.”

“No. Can’t we go to your clinic?” Temperance really did not feel comfortable with the idea of going to the S&G Center and risk running into Booth. Not just yet, at any rate. She knew she couldn’t avoid him forever even if she had wanted to, which she most definitely didn’t. She just needed some time to come to rights with herself first.

Angela and Hodgins shared a glance as he stepped closer to the desk. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, sweetie,” Angela hedged.

“Why not?” That’s why they had started the clinic, hadn’t they? To help Sentinels and Guides in distress? She had heard Angela and Hodgins mention it more than once over the years. Hodgins had decided to set one up when he and Angela had first started dating and had kept it going even during their separation. With the DC Center being always ‘over capacity’, it had been important to both of them to help the local S&G community.

Temperance herself had even donated to the clinics in the area a few times after she had learned of the need. She figured she had the money, and would never want anyone to suffer needlessly. Mostly, she had been thinking that she wanted Angela and Booth to always have help if they needed it, even if Hodgins was more than capable of funding their clinic.

With a small sigh, Angela explained that they didn’t have a high-order Guide available at the moment to be able to help Temperance. “I’m sorry, sweetie.”

Hodgins checked his hip against the desk and folded his arms, looking thoughtful. “We could call Kyle, see if he’d be willing to do us a favor?”

Angela brightened at the idea and immediately stood to use the phone. Temperance only half-listened to the conversation, her mind still too pre-occupied with what had just transpired. She frowned, rubbing at her sternum. It was as if she had a hole inside of her, filled with a yearning for something. The juxtaposition was vexing to her, but the longing even more so. Angela, who was still on the phone, noticed and squeezed Temperance’s shoulder gently, giving her a knowing look. She would have to ask her friend later.

“Alright, thanks, Kyle. We’ll meet you there,” Angela said, nodding to Hodgins.

Hodgins straightened with a grin. “I’ll go get the car.”

“Oh, no, I can drive, you don’t have to-” Temperance started.

Angela shook her head. “No, sweetie. I know you’re feeling alright now and your shields are up, but you’re still a baby-Guide, so to speak, and if something were to happen to cause your shields to fail… You need to at least have been checked over and had your first session before I’d let you think about driving on your own.”

Hodgins nodded. “It’s no problem, Dr. B. Ang and I’ll take care of you,” he said before heading out.

“Now come on. Grab your things. Kyle and Scott will meet us at the clinic in twenty minutes, so we need to go.” Angela herded Temperance out of her office.

Deciding that it wasn’t worth arguing with her friend – for the moment, at least – she allowed herself to be guided. Once she had folded herself into the backseat of Hodgins’ mini Cooper, she commented idly. “You should probably invest in a larger, safer vehicle, Hodgins.”

Angela chuckled, and Temperance could see Jack’s eyes flicker to hers in the mirror. “I know! I’m not giving up my baby, or the car Angie’s dad gave me, but you can be assured we’ll be getting a car fit for a baby.” After a beat, he added with a slight bounce in his seat, “I’m gonna be a dad!”

At this, Angela laughed and patted his arm. “Easy there, big guy. If you get us into a wreck, there likely won’t be a baby at all.”

“Right. Sorry,” Hodgins demured, cheeks flushing slightly.

Temperance tilted her head slightly, observing her friends, noting the excitement, happiness, and anticipation coming from them. At least, she assumed they were emoting such, given their news. She scowled at her hands, which she had clasped tightly in her lap. How was she ever supposed to manage as a Guide? Temperance didn’t do feelings. She barely managed to understand her own on a good day, never mind those of others.

Angela turned in her seat, placing her hand on both Temperance’s. “Sweetie, what’s going on in that head of yours?” she asked quietly.

Glancing up, she smiled timidly, half-shrugging. “I’m going to be a terrible Guide, aren’t I?”

Angela’s lips twitched, though she seemed to stifle the urge to smile. “Temperance, you’ll be the best Guide you were meant to be.”

Frowning, Temperance shook her head. “How can you say that, Angela? You know I’m not the person who’s in touch with their emotions like you are.”

This time, Angela did smile, though rather than feel offended, Temperance felt reassurance. “Because I know you, and because you wouldn’t be the only Guide who is less than inclined to be overtly emotional. The Alpha Guide that runs the S&G Center in Cascade is not unlike you. His name is Morgan Davis, and is probably considered one of the most un-Guide-like Guides out there by most people’s standards. But he is exactly the right kind of Guide for Marcus, his Sentinel, and the right Guide for running the S&G Center.” Angela paused for a moment to allow Temperance to process everything, then added, “Sweetie, there is no right or wrong way to be a Guide. You simply are one.”

“She’s right, you know, Dr. B.,” Hodgins put in. “I know I’m only a mundane, but I’ve been around plenty of Sentinels and Guides in my life and there’s not one who really fits a mold. I think it’s something that mundanes have tried to do, pigeonhole Sentinels and Guides? Suppose it makes them feel more comfortable or something, I don’t know. Point is, you’ll do great once you get a handle on your gifts.”

Temperance’s phone rang. Seeing it was Booth, she frowned and ignored the call. She wasn’t up to talking to him. Angela frowned slightly. “You okay, sweetie?”

Nodding, she sighed. “I’m fine, Angela. I’ll call him back later.”

Angela hummed, eyeing her with worry. They were silent the rest of the drive, allowing Temperance to contemplate what her friends had said. She wanted to believe them, but she wasn’t sure she could in this instance. They were her friends after all. Who was to say whether they were merely attempting to make her feel better about the whole thing, rather than tell her the truth of it. Friends did that sometimes, didn’t they?

Hodgins pulled into his parking spot at the clinic. “Kyle and Scott are already here,” he said, jerking his chin toward the elevator where the couple stood waiting.

Making their way over to them, Temperance was struck by how fierce the Sentinel looked, as if he were expecting a fight any moment. She could tell at a glance that the Sentinel had been in his fair share of fights, judging by the man’s hands. The Guide on the other hand was almost too pretty, she supposed. His facial structure was quite appealing.

The Guide’s lips twitched as if he had read her mind, which she knew to be impossible as no Guide could do any such thing. Though she supposed he could have picked up on her emotional tone, whatever that was at the moment, as she wasn’t even sure herself.

Holding out his hand in greeting, the Guide stepped forward. “Hi, I’m Kyle Monahan, and this is my Sentinel, Scott Thompson. It’s nice to meet you, Dr. Brennan. I’m sure you get this a lot, but I thoroughly enjoy your books.”

Shaking his hand, she gave him a polite smile. “Thank you, I do. And I can’t say the pleasure is mine as I don’t know you yet, but I will say meeting you isn’t completely disagreeable. You have very good facial bone structure.”

Kyle’s eyebrows shot up in apparent amusement. “You don’t say,” he murmured, shooting his Sentinel a look.

Temperance glanced over to Scott and blinked. The stern-faced Sentinel was leaning into Hodgins, whispering something in her friend’s ear. Hodgins for his part seemed to be trying not to laugh. When he caught her eye, Hodgins cleared his throat guiltily. “Scott was just asking if you were always like that, Dr. B. Literal, that is.” Hodgins shrugged a little.

Angela patted Temperance’s shoulder in what she thought was supposed to be a consoling fashion. “You kinda are, sweetie, but that’s not a bad thing.”

“Of course it’s not.” Temperance frowned slightly, wondering why it would be. Though she could concede that there were times when things would go over her head, as unbelievable as that might be, but usually only when people talked about things metaphorically. But she was doing better with that. She was learning. After all, hadn’t she told Angela she loved her like a sister? That counted, right?

“Okay, why don’t we move this party inside, shall we? No sense being uncomfortable when we could be sitting down,” Kyle said amicably as he hit the button to call the elevator.

“I’m quite comfortable,” Temperance stated.

Kyle’s lips pursed slightly, his eyes twinkling. “Right.”

Temperance thought she heard Scott mutter, “Great. Another Morgan.”

Hodgins’ laughter as he smacked the Sentinel’s back in a familiar fashion made her frown. Scott merely appeared amused by it, even shooting a quick grin at the man. Angela hooked her arm through Temperance’s as they stepped inside. “I’ll see if I can’t introduce you to Morgan, sweetie. I think you two would get along fabulously.”

“Somehow, I think you’re right, Ang,” Kyle said, smiling widely.

Almost as soon as they stepped out of the elevator, Angela’s phone began to ring. “It’s Booth.” She made to answer, but Temperance put her hand on Angela’s wrist.

“Please, don’t tell him what happened, or that we’re here, Ang,” she pleaded. She wasn’t even really sure why she didn’t want Booth to know. Merely that he couldn’t right now. At her friend’s quizzical look, she added, “He’s supposed to pick up Hannah from the Center. If he finds out I’ve come online, he’ll be worried and want to come here. He-” her voice hitched and everything in her rebelled at the thought, but she forced the words out anyway, “he should be with his Guide, Angela.”

Angela and Kyle shared a look that Temperance had no hope of interpreting. After a while, Angela nodded. “Okay, sweetie. I won’t tell him, but he will know soon enough. You go with Kyle and he’ll get you sorted. Hodgins and I will wait here for you.”

“Thank you,” she murmured, allowing Kyle to escort her to one of the treatment rooms.

She heard Angela say, “Hey, Booth,” just as Kyle closed the door behind them.

He flipped a couple of switches, which turned on both the lights and a white noise machine. At her questioning glance, Kyle smiled reassuringly. “It’s to give you privacy. Not turning one on when you’re in a place like this is basically inviting a Sentinel to keep tabs on you, to ensure you don’t need help when in distress. Please, sit down.”

They sat on the small couch, half-facing each other. Temperance had no idea what to do or say, so she opted to wait. Kyle simply watched her for a moment, then said, “I need to do a scan to see how your shields are holding up, and to estimate what level Guide you are. It won’t hurt, but you will feel my presence. Try not to fight it, or you risk damaging yourself.” Quirking a grin, he added, “I’ll be gentle, promise.”

She had no idea what to make of the man next to her. He appeared genuinely friendly, easy going, and had what some might call an interesting sense of humor. Yet she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was much more to him. After a moment’s contemplation, she nodded.

“It works better if I’m in contact with you, so I will hold your wrist lightly, is that okay?”

Holding out her hand in answer, she watched intently as his fingers curled around her wrist. Her eyes widened slightly at the sudden sensation of his mental touch. She thought it was rather like being wrapped in a warm blanket in front of a fire.

His scan only lasted minutes and when he was done, he hummed, sounding pleased. “Your shields are holding up remarkably well, though after we’re done here in a bit, I’ll run you through your first lesson before releasing you. You’ll need to have daily lessons for the next few weeks to learn the ins and outs of all your gifts, so you’ll have to arrange for your schedule to accommodate that.”

Temperance nodded. “Very well. I don’t think Cam would object to me coming in a little later, or to leave early. Provided there isn’t a case, of course,” she amended.

“A case?” Kyle asked, surprised, though that quickly turned into comprehension. “Ah, of course. I almost forgot what it is you do for a living.”

Temperance nodded gracefully. “I find the work fulfilling, Mr. Monahan.”

“Kyle, please,” he insisted. “Very well. Scott and I are pretty busy at the Center, since it’s a complete disaster at the moment.That said, the community owes Angela and Jack a lot for everything they’ve done to help out. I’ve already told Ang that I’d be willing to handle your lessons myself, so I’m sure we can figure something out.”

“I would appreciate that a lot, Kyle. You may call me Temperance,” she added with a soft smile. She was rather enjoying being around the man. He had a very soothing way about him.

Kyle’s lips twitched. “Temperance, it is.”

They spent the next hour meditating, doing some basic tests, and Kyle showed her how to adjust her shields. Part of Temperance still thought that it was exceedingly odd that she of all people was a Guide, yet she seemed to be taking to Kyle’s teachings like a duck to water. When he commented on it, she merely said, “I am a very fast learner.” As an afterthought, she added, “And I’m brilliant.”

Kyle laughed. “No argument there. Okay. So, you’ve gotten a pretty good handle on things so far. Would you like to meet your spirit guide?”

Tilting her head, she looked at him in confusion. “You mean the Fennec fox? I’ve already seen her.”

“Yes, I know. We all see our spirit guides prior to coming online, Sentinels and Guides alike. I meant, would you like to learn to call it to you?”

“Oh,” she said, staring at the arctic wolf that suddenly flopped down next to Kyle.

His fingers clenched briefly in the wolf’s fur before petting him. “This is Bryce, and as you can see, he’s an apex predator. All high-order guides have them. You’re a level nine Guide, hence your Fennec fox.” When she nodded, he continued. “I don’t know how aware you are of all things S&G, or how much Angela has told you about spirit guides, but they are as ‘real’ as we want or need them to be. They’re mostly a source of comfort, but they also help you with your gifts. It’s easier to call them, if you will, if you name them.”

Kyle allowed her a few moments to gather her thoughts. Temperance’s brow furrowed as she pondered over what to name her fox, quickly running through a list of potentials before finally settling on one and nodding. “Zora.” At his questioning brow, she added, “After a female anthropologist and author from the early twentieth century.”

Smiling, Kyle nodded, and Temperance thought that even his wolf seemed pleased as it chuffed. “Excellent choice. Now focus on her name, ask her to show herself.” At her hesitation, he added, “You don’t need to verbalize, just think it.”

Taking a steadying breath, Temperance closed her eyes, silently asking Zora to come to her. A soft snarling sound alerted her to Zora’s presence and she turned to look at her, startled. “I don’t think she likes me very much,” she noted, feeling a little disconcerted.

Kyle’s eyes widened at the somewhat hostile spirit guide. “That sometimes happens, unfortunately. Well, not the not liking part, but the spirit guides being annoyed part,” he hastened to add. “Any idea what got her dander up?”

Cheeks flushing slightly, Temperance remembered what had happened earlier that evening. “I… I was talking to Booth on the phone and he had just told me his new girlfriend is a Guide.” Jerking her chin at Zora, she continued. “Then suddenly she stood on my desk, looking rather pissed.”

Kyle’s eyebrows rose a fraction. “Booth? As in, Seely Booth? Sentinel, FBI?”

“Yes, that’s him,” she confirmed, wondering how he knew him.

Kyle hummed, not making any further comment for a full minute. “I think you’ll understand soon enough. Zora’ll settle after a while, I’m sure.”

Zora swung her little head toward Kyle, her ears flicking as she gazed at him. Temperance had the oddest sense that Zora was taking his measure. Suddenly, she sneezed and shook her head, then trotted over to Temperance. They stared at each other for long moments before Zora finally curled up against her thigh, tucking her snout under her tail. The moment they touched, Temperance felt acceptance and mild annoyance, but nothing as what she had thought Zora had displayed earlier.

“See?” Kyle said, nodding at Zora. “Everything’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” Bryce rumbled in apparent agreement.

Gingerly, Temperance rested her hand on the fox’s head, gently stroking her thumb along her ear. She blinked in surprise when Zora emitted something akin to a purr and Temperance looked up at Kyle to find him smiling. “So, about your lessons…”

Wise Mind – part 2

It was the end of their first day back at the Jeffersonian’s old forensics unit. Temperance glanced around her office and sighed as she settled further into her chair. They had successfully solved both the mystery of the dead boy, and that of the missing Logan Bartlett, thereby saving Cam’s job.

Temperance rubbed absently at her chest, remembering the odd sensation earlier that week. Several times since then, Angela had attempted to engage in conversation about her belief that Temperance was a Guide, but each time she had brushed her friend off. She denied having had any reaction, but could – reluctantly – admit to herself that she could still feel an echo of that odd sense of separation and loss. She disliked it immensely as there was no logical reason for her to feel thusly and so she made every effort to ignore it.

Shaking her head at her own foolishness, she got to her feet. Perhaps a walk to her favorite exhibit would be enough to clear her mind before she went home. Putting deed to thought, she made her way through the Jeffersonian until she reached the exhibit she was after. She smiled softly in anticipation of seeing the Fennec foxes, but it turned into a frown when there was a marked difference to it.

“That’s odd,” she muttered to herself, leaning in to peer more closely. The little Fennec fox that had seemed too lifelike to her the other day was gone. Straightening, she looked through the rest of the exhibit, but it was nowhere in sight. “Perhaps the curator removed it?” She couldn’t fathom why, but that seemed to be the only logical conclusion to draw.

There was no one around to ask. She would have to remember to find out who the curator for the exhibit was and contact them about it tomorrow. The peace she had always found here was missing, and though it seemed quite ridiculous to attribute it to the missing Fennec fox, she couldn’t quite discount it either. With a heavy sigh, she went back to her office to gather her things. She absently noted that Angela and Hodgins were still in Angela’s office as she made her way across the lab. Everyone else had already gone for the day. Grabbing her things, she stopped by Angela’s office to tell her friends good night and headed home.

The following morning, Temperance was awakened by Booth knocking insistently on her door. The sun was barely even up yet, which was somewhat vexing. “Booth, it’s only just seven o’clock,” she protested, trying to wake up completely.

Booth grinned. “I know. Sorry, Bones, but a runner found a body in Rock Creek Park. Brought you coffee, though.” He held the cup just out of her reach for a moment before handing it to her.

Holding the proffered cup to her lips, she inhaled, closing her eyes in appreciation of the caramel flavored beverage. She didn’t indulge in such things very often, but as far as treats went – or in Booth’s case, bribes – they were quite adequate. “Thank you,” she murmured, glancing over the rim of her cup after she took a sip.

Booth looked rather pleased with himself. “Now come on, we have a body to recover.”

It took her less than ten minutes to change into some clothes and be ready to go. As usual, Booth drove them to the scene. What was not usual was the way Booth kept shooting glances at her, though he remained silent until she had finished her coffee. Carefully placing the empty cup in the trash receptacle behind their seats, Temperance wondered why Booth was acting so strangely.

Before she could ask what was wrong, he cleared his throat and said, “Everything okay, Bones?”

Surprised, she nodded. “Of course, Booth, why wouldn’t it be?”

Rolling his shoulders a little, he hedged, “It’s just that… well, for the past couple of days you’ve seemed a little… I don’t know, off? Did something happen with the squinterns or something? Do you regret not going back to Maluku?”

“No, I don’t. I’m actually rather glad to be back at the Jeffersonian. And nothing’s happened with my interns that I’m aware of. Mr. Vaziri will be back soon, and Mr. Bray and Miss Wick are both excellent. I’m told Mr. Fisher has expressed a desire to return once he is released from the clinic.”

Booth was silent for a minute, seemingly ruminating on something. Casting another questioning glance her way, he pursed his lips in dismay. “Did you and Ang have a fight?”

“What? No! What would make you say that?”

“Because I’ve noticed Angela’s been watching you rather closely, and I’ve seen you brush her off twice, which is unlike you. Well, sort of. It wasn’t like you sometimes do,” he amended. “She’s your best friend, Bones, and she’s looking at you like you’re… I don’t know…”

“Like what?” she challenged, brow furrowed. She was exceedingly uncomfortable with this conversation.

“Like there’s something wrong. Broken, or lost. I don’t know,” he admitted with a heavy sigh. “I’m just… I’m worried, okay? Because it isn’t just me picking up on Angela’s whatever. I can sense something is off, but I have no idea what and it’s driving me a little crazy.”

Temperance was a little taken aback by Booth’s admission. She couldn’t recall a time when he had expressed himself so emotionally to her. Not like this. Without either of them having been in a life-or-death situation, or when it didn’t involve either Parker or her own family. Shifting slightly in her seat, she glanced down at her hands, which were folded in her lap. “I… apologize if I’ve made you uncomfortable, even if I don’t know what it is I’ve done.” There. That was the right thing to do, when one had upset someone you cared about, wasn’t it?

Booth shook his head, huffing a laugh. “Temperance, there’s no need to apologize, okay. Just… please tell me if there’s anything going on. Maybe I can help?”

The use of her first name startled her a little. Booth almost never addressed her as anything but ‘Bones’ and she had grown accustomed to the nickname coming from him. He was the only person she had allowed the use of it eventually, though admittedly he had ignored her many protests at first. It had been easier to capitulate, especially when it didn’t truly upset her when he said it. She found she liked hearing her name from his lips very much.

A quick glance her way reminded her she had yet to respond. “Of course.” What else could she say to that?

Their arrival at the scene prohibited any further discussion, which was just as well as far as Temperance was concerned. She needed time to process, but for right now she had a body to recover. She was somewhat dismayed to discover that the victim was a small child whose body was found tangled in the root system of a fallen tree. After doing everything she could to ensure the body wasn’t compromised, she called in her team to be ready in the labs before telling Booth she would need everything – the tree stump included, roots and all. She got a perverse pleasure from ordering everything to be taken to the Jeffersonian. She always did, though she would never admit to such to anyone – not even Booth or Angela.

Once back at the labs, Temperance was able to push everything but the victim aside. She always had excelled at compartmentalizing, and she utilized that skill to the fullest now. Bending over the remains, she said, “Mr. Bray, your thoughts?”

Wendell cleared his throat. “The femur and the sacral index suggest the victim is a caucasian female. She has her permanent lateral incisors as well as her canines, so I would estimate her to have been around nine years old at time of death. There appears to be no immediate damage to indicate cause of death…”

She listened as Wendell went through the findings, nodding her head in approval. So far, he hadn’t missed anything she herself had seen. There was evidence of antemortem fractures both in her arms and legs, but they all showed remodeling had happened long before time of death.

“Hey,” Angela said as she ascended to the podium.

Glancing up, Temperance nodded in greeting before resuming her examination of the bones. “Mr. Bray, if you could hand the skull to Angela so she can begin the facial reconstruction.”

Angela’s sharp intake of breath as she accepted the skull made Temperance straighten up. One look at her friend told Temperance all she needed to know. The victim was either a Sentinel or a Guide. Angela only ever reacted this way when either were involved. She wasn’t quite sure how Angela always seemed to know, but she trusted her to be sure. Addressing Wendell, she added, “Mr. Bray, please perform a DNA test to determine the status of the victim.” She didn’t need to explain what ‘status’ she was referring to.

Angela, who had been staring intently at the skull, suddenly blinked and murmured, “I’ll bring this back as soon as I’m finished scanning it into the system.”

Temperance gazed after her friend as she made her way to her office. She knew that Angela would have a difficult time with this case, considering the age and status of the victim. In truth, she felt rather more uneasy than usual herself, though she could not determine why.

A couple of hours later, Temperance was ready for a late lunch, so she decided to ask Angela if she wanted to go to the diner. Not because she was prepared to revisit the discussion of Angela’s belief that Temperance was a Guide, but because she knew that Angela was having a very difficult time and hoped that the reprieve that was lunch might do her some good. “Hey Ang, would you-” She came to a dead stop at the sight of a distraught Angela hugging a polar bear cub. “Ang? What’s wrong? Where did that cub come from? You shouldn’t be so close to it. Polar bears are quite dangerous.”

Angela lifted her face, sniffling. Wiping the tears away, she gave a shaky laugh. “She won’t hurt me, Temperance.”

Sitting down next to her friend on the small sofa in Angela’s office, Temperance placed an awkward arm around her shoulders. “Why are you crying?”

Taking a wavering breath, Angela gazed sadly at the cub on her lap, gently stroking its fur. “She’s that little girl’s spirit guide,” she whispered.

Temperance frowned, tilting her head she watched the cub as it nuzzled against Angela’s hand. It was making a rather odd noise and Temperance thought it almost sounded as if it were crying, too, which seemed quite strange to her. She wasn’t aware that polar bears ever did any such thing, yet this one was. “Okay. But why are you crying? We’ve dealt with murdered Sentinels and Guides before, even young ones. Why is this one different?” She was quite confused, but try as she might she could not adequately put the evidence before her together.

Angela leaned down to rub her cheek against the top of the cub’s head. “Wendell told me that the DNA tests came back as her being a latent Guide.”

Temperance nodded. “Yes, I know.”

“Sweetie, the only time I’ve ever dealt with spirit guides has been when the Sentinel or Guide was online at the time of their death.” Angela waited expectantly.

“I don’t understand,” Temperance admitted with a frown.

Smiling sadly, Angela explained. “I didn’t, either, so I called Blair. Blair Sandburg? The shaman for North America?” she added at the increased confusion on Temperance’s face. “Anyway, I called him to ask why I would see this cub at all, let alone when her Guide had been latent. We talked it over for a while, since I’m one of the few Guides in this line of work, there hasn’t been much to compare to. He said that it was likely that because I’m a Guide, I feel the spirit guides of other Sentinels or Guides if they’ve died of unnatural causes. He speculates that, while spirit guides usually move on upon the death of their Sentinel or Guide, they linger until there has been closure. They mourn them.”

“That still doesn’t explain-” Temperance started.

Angela waved her off. “I’m getting to that. Word’s gotten out in the community that our spirit guides are always with us. That they will be as real as we want or need them to be.” She jerked her chin to indicate a spot by her feet. “See?”

Temperance blinked and shifted away when Angela’s pheasant suddenly appeared. “But I’m not-” she automatically began to protest.

“Oh sweetie, Grace is visible to everyone right now. Even Hodgins would be able to see her because I’ve asked her to show herself.”

Temperance settled back a little, nodding slightly.

“Actually, it’s because of Grace that I can see this little one. I’ve always felt the spirit guides before, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen them. She came when I asked Grace’s help.”

“Okay. So explain why, if the victim was a latent, she had a spirit guide. I thought you said only online Guides have them.”

“True. Except… except when they are a shaman. Blair told me that for that little girl to have had a spirit guide even when latent, she had to have been a shaman. Their spirit guides are with them from the moment they are born, and they grow with them, which is why this little one is still a cub.”

Temperance still felt a little confused, though she also felt the first stirrings of deep sorrow which she couldn’t explain. “I still don’t understand what the significance of that is, Angela.”

Temperance had the distinct feeling she was being humored by her friend as she explained that shamans were very rare in the community. “Up until a couple of weeks ago, America only had Blair. There was a recent emerging, and now we count two among us. There are others the world over, but not very many. This little girl would have been the third if she had lived.”

“And that’s why you’re crying?” Temperance asked to clarify, looking a little doubtful.

“Yes, sweetie. I’m crying because I mourn the loss of someone so precious to us.” Petting the little cub, she added softly, “And because she’s been alone all these years.”

She took a moment to collect her thoughts, gazing at the cub as it snuggled against her friend. “I find that… I am saddened as well. We’ll find out what happened to the victim, Angela.” Temperance was a little startled when the cub lifted her face and made a hopeful, if sorrowful sound in her direction. “I promise,” she said softly to the bear, though she was baffled as to why. Deciding to push that aside for now, she said instead, “I assume you will want to remain here to mourn. I was going to ask if you wanted to have lunch, but I can bring some back with me instead?”

Angela nodded, smiling gratefully. “That’d be great, sweetie. Thanks.”

Getting to her feet, she patted her friend awkwardly on the shoulder. “I am… sorry, for your loss.” For once, she wished she were better at this sort of thing, but she hoped that Angela understood. She usually did.

As she left the room, she thought she heard Angela say softly, “It’s your loss, too,” but Temperance shrugged it off. If she had heard correctly, surely Angela had meant those words for the little polar bear and not for her.

~*~*~*~*~

“The victim’s name is Elizabeth Lynn Sandstrom,” Angela said as she walked into the room waving the piece of paper with all the information she had found. “She was reported missing/possible runaway in nineteen seventy-nine, and she was a nine year old latent shaman.”

“Dr. Brennan?” Wendell said quietly. “I think I figured out cause of death.”

Temperance, Angela, and Cam all turned to focus on Wendell. “Please continue, Mr. Bray,” Temperance encouraged.

Picking up the skull, he turned it so they could see the stain inside it. His eyes on Angela, he cleared his throat. “Well, she was latent. If I remember correctly, back in the seventies there was a Guide suppression drug that was semi-successful, but also quite lethal – GS-155, I think it was called.”

Temperance nodded. “That’s correct. I see what you’re saying,” she said, taking the skull from Wendell and peering inside. “It would explain the evidence of cerebral hemorrhaging, which is quite unusual for a child her age. Mr. Bray, please run the test to confirm the presence of GS-155 in the victim. There should still be trace elements of it.”

Wendell nodded and went to fetch the necessary chemicals to conduct the test. Temperance looked up to find both Angela and Cam looking equally horrified and angry. “Someone dosed a child with GS-155? What kind of person does that?” Cam whispered.

Hodgins, who had overheard Cam’s comment as he walked into the room immediately went to his wife, wrapping his arms around her. Angela turned into him, allowing his soft words of comfort to console her.

Jaw clenching, Temperance was quite dismayed herself. How could anyone put a child at risk like that? Taking a steadying breath, she pushed everything aside. “Does she have any family left alive?” she asked Angela quietly.

Angela nodded, pulling away just enough to speak. “Yes. Her father still lives in the same house, but her mother passed away a little over a decade ago. No siblings.” She held out the sheaf of paper to Temperance.

“Very well. I’ll go tell Booth so we can at least notify the father that we have located his daughter. Have Mr. Bray call me as soon as he has the results. It shouldn’t take too long, but I know Booth will want to know sooner rather than later,” she said as she accepted the paper.

~*~*~*~*~

They were driving to Virginia to deliver the news to Elizabeth’s father. Temperance had relayed all the details she and her team had found, including the likely cause of death. Booth was quiet for a while, his jaw twitching and his brow furrowed, which Temperance took to mean he was angry but trying to rein it in.

After a few minutes, he sighed heavily. “You know if it is GS-155, it was likely one or both of her parents that dosed her.”

She remained silent as she shifted uneasily in her seat. Intellectually, she knew that to be the case in most instances of GS-155 administered to children, but she could not comprehend why anyone would risk a child – their child – like that. The drug worked as promised, but was so lethal, there were harsh prison sentences imposed when the drug saw a surge in use in the late seventies and early eighties.

When they arrived, Booth took a moment to survey the area, noting that there was no outward sign of the house ever having been home to a small child. Tilting his head, he put his hands in his pockets. “If your child were missing, would you be likely to remove their toys?” he asked, pointing to the tree next to the house. When Temperance didn’t immediately respond, he added, “There’s signs of damage to the tree, indicative of a tree house and a swing, yet there is nothing there now.”

“That does seem strange,” she acquiesced.

“Agreed. Most parents will hold on to such things in the hope their child is alive and will be back. Even if it’s years later and the kid couldn’t possibly still be into those toys, they hold onto it like a lifeline. Here, there’s nothing. I can’t even smell anything reminiscent of children coming from that place.”

Temperance scowled at the house as if it had wronged her. Booth gently touched her arm, giving her a hard little smile. “Let’s go. I think Mr. Sandstrom’s getting a little agitated with us just standing here.”

Temperance hadn’t even noticed the man behind the curtain of the front window. She nodded tersely and followed her partner to the door, which opened almost as soon as Booth’s hand connected with the wood.

“Yeah, what do you want?” a man in his mid-sixties said, glowering at them.

Booth showed him his badge. “Mr. Sandstrom? I’m Agent Booth with the FBI, this is my partner, Dr. Brennan. May we come in?”

The man eyed them warily before opening the door enough to let them in. They followed him to the living room. Booth nudged her, jerking his head to the walls and paraphernalia around the room. She nodded slightly to let him know she saw. The same lack of evidence there had ever been a child present in the house. No pictures at all, not even of Mr. and Mrs. Sandstrom themselves. Just a couple of paintings and photographs of sceneries along the coast. Nothing else.

They took a seat on the proffered couch and Booth leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees as he held Mr. Sandstrom’s gaze. “Mr. Sandstrom, I’m sorry to inform you that we have found the remains of your daughter.”

Temperance was watching the objectionable man closely for a reaction, but he showed none. At least, none that she could determine. She wondered what Booth was getting off him, knowing that the Sentinel would be able to pick up on any bodily responses like an elevated heart rate. It was one of the reasons it was generally considered nearly impossible to lie to a Sentinel.

Her phone rang so she excused herself to answer it while Booth continued to converse with Mr. Sandstrom. “Mr. Bray?”

Dr. Brennan, the test confirms the presence of GS-155.”

Temperance closed her eyes, feeling sudden tremendous anger coursing through her. “Thank you, Mr. Bray. Excellent job,” she said with as much calm as she could muster and hung up. Mr. Sandstrom was on his feet in indignation at whatever question Booth had asked him. She didn’t care. She stalked across the room and before she could reconsider her actions, she pulled back her arm and decked the man with all her strength.

Booth grabbed her from behind, pinning her arms to her side. “Bones, what the hell?”

Struggling against her partner’s hold, she was beside herself. “How could you? How could you do that to your own child?! You murdered her!”

“Bones, calm down,” Booth whispered in her ear.

She shook her head. “No, Booth. He killed a shaman! He hated Guides so much, he rather his child die than become one. Except she already was one, latent or not.” Her breathing was heavy and she was just so angry. She couldn’t recall ever having had such strength of emotion.

“I know, Temperance,” Booth murmured. “I know. You calm enough now that I can let you go? I’d like to get that bastard in cuffs before he recovers enough to try to do more than sputter at you.”

That settled her enough so she nodded. Her eyes on Booth as he arrested Mr. Sandstrom, she cradled her hand, rubbing her thumb across her knuckles as she remembered the feeling of impact against the man’s jaw. She couldn’t deny that it had been quite satisfying, though she knew she would likely face some repercussions for her actions. She found she didn’t much care.

Wise Mind – part 1

Title: Wise Mind

Author: naelany

Fandom/Genre: Bones

Relationship(s): Brennan/Booth, Hodgins/Angela

Content Rating: M

Warnings: canon events, minor violence, and you know… murder solving

Summary: Temperance had made the – perfectly logical – decision to rebuff Booth’s advances not once, but twice. After all, she was a mundane and he was an online, high order Sentinel and would one day find his Guide. To her mind, there was no point in starting something with the man, no matter how attracted they were to each other, because in the end he would leave her.

Note: Thank you, Jilly, for beta’ing, and for letting me play in your sandbox.

banner courtesy of Marlislash

banner courtesy of Marlislash

Walking through the Jeffersonian, Temperance could admit to being happy to be back home again. Much as she had enjoyed being out on a dig and trying to find the missing link to humanity, there was just something about this place that made it feel like ‘home’ to her. Maybe it was because she had known true friendship here, something she had never had before.

Sighing softly, her gaze drifted along the displays. The Jeffersonian no longer had the forensics unit on the premises, but that didn’t stop her from walking the halls. She needed the peace she had always found here after talking to Booth earlier. Though it had been only seven months and not the year they had agreed on to meet again, they had nonetheless both gone to the reflecting pool at the Mall. It had been good to see him again, looking healthy and handsome as always. She had been relieved that he had come through his tour unscathed, more than she had thought she could be. Temperance knew Booth was a more than capable Sentinel, whether he was working for the FBI or the Army didn’t matter. Still, she had been worried about him being in Afghanistan. Continue reading

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