The Nut in the Family Tree-CRIME SCENE 2009

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The Nut in the Family Tree-CRIME SCENE 2009

Post by willgirl on Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:36 pm

The Nut in the Family Tree

"Why not, Booth? Is there some law, or a narrow-minded rule perhaps, that says that..."

Shutting her out for just a second, Booth took a deep breath, releasing his frustration before he tried to explain his point. Again.

"Listen, Bones. You have to understand that with things like this, you can't just..."

He stopped abruptly as his cell phone rang. A reprieve. Keeping a cautious eye on his highly irritated partner, he juggled the steering wheel as he reach for the phone, sneaking a glance at the name shown on its display. Great. Just great. Well at least the odds were fifty-fifty that he might have an ally in the situation. Of course, with his luck this was going to send this friendly little 'debate' on to some other bizarre little tangent.

Pasting a smile on his face and hoping for the best, he answered the call.

"Hey, Sweets. Perfect timing. Think maybe you could explain to Dr. Brennan here that.... what?

Booth straightened, quickly shedding the argument with Brennan as his professional instincts kicked in. He was dimly aware of her shifting in her seat, leaning toward him with concern on her face. But his focus was the voice on the other end of the line.

"Okay, Sweets. Don't say anything else. To anyone. Got me? Do nothing. Say nothing. We're on our way."

He quickly ended the call, dropping the phone on the dash as he released another deep breath. Nothing calming about this one though.

"What is it, Booth? What happened?"

A tangent, he thought grimly as he reached for the siren. Just not one that he'd been expecting.


***

The pair of them climbed the stairs, pausing here or there to allow room for a forensic tech or uniformed cop to pass them. Once they reached the third floor, the crime scene was easy enough to spot--if the bright yellow tape and camera flash weren't enough, the faint odor drifting from the open door was a dead giveaway. So to speak.

As they approached, Booth placed a hand on her arm, slowing her down.

"Listen, Bones, it's probably best that I take the lead here until we figure out..." He stopped short when they reached the open door, his jaw dropping as he surveyed the scene in front of him. "...what the hell?"

No dead body. No cops. Just a tunnel of....paper. Each side of the short foyer was lined with stacks of browning newspapers, each stretching for floor to ceiling. The far end of the entranceway seemed to be sealed off by towers of magazines and books. Booth was still staring when Brennan moved into his line of sight, neck craning upward, head moving from side to side as she examined her surroundings. He opened his mouth to call out to her, then shrugged his shoulders and followed her. Sometimes the old if-you-can't-beat-em-join-em was the best way to go.

He expected a short trip anyway. Nothing but a dead end. Except there was a passageway at the end of the hallway, a space between the angles of the stacks of newsprint. They turned the corner, only to find that the maze continued. The only difference was the material. Shelves jammed with albums, journals, and collectibles. Boxes overflowing with stuffed animals, empty coffee cans, old shoes....there was junk everywhere.

"What was this guy's deal?" He asked, picking up an old plastic firetruck from one of the boxes, idly spinning one of its wheels.

"I have no idea," Brennan said softly, eyes filled with curiosity as she slowly turned. He could almost hear the gears turning in her head as she worked out the bizzare puzzle.

"He was a compulsive hoarder." They both jumped as the answer seemed to float from behind the towers of junk. Then Sweets stepped into the open space, his face grim.

"Fascinating," Brennan said, eyes roaming over the evidence yet again, until Booth nudged her.

"Who, Sweets?" he asked, guiding the situation back to the matter at hand. "Who's place is this?"

"Dr. Jonah Sneed."

"And you know him, how?"

"He was one of my professors. We stayed in touch over the years and.....god, this is all my fault...." Sweets said as leaned back against one of the shelves.

"Care to put that on the record, there Doctor?"

The three of them turned to look at the man that had appeared from around the corner of one of the far shelves. Booth suppressed a groan as a second man joined the first. Donaldson and Yates. Two local cops he'd worked with a few years back, both of them with a mean streak and a habit of taking two and two and coming up with seven.

Before Booth could stop him, Sweets spoke again.

"I only meant that he'd emailed me last week...asking me to meet him and..."

"Yeah, neighbor lady said she heard someone pounding on the door last Wednesday. That you?" Yates asked, eyes narrowing as moved further into the room.

"No. No, I...I never showed up, okay? I had...." Sweets paused, shooting a glance at Booth and Brennan. "...a session scheduled. Maybe if I had--maybe I could have helped him, saved him."

"Okay, Sweets. That's enough for now, let's just..." Booth interjected, trying to bring this to a stop before Sweets managed to string himself up on murder charges. But he only succeeded in drawing the detectives' attention to himself.

"Booth." Yates said through clenched teeth. "What are you doing here?"

"Just helping out a fr--colleague here, okay?" Booth replied, holding up his hands, trying to calm the waters.

"Sure. You Feebies really stick together, huh? Even if it means covering up a murder..."

"Murder? It was an accident..." Sweets said, growing paler as the implications of the detective's words began to sink in.

"Shut up, Sweets!" Booth said, then turned to the dectective. "And you, back off for a minute..."

Ignoring the sputtering detective's lagging comeback, Booth drew Sweets away from the others.

"What the hell is going on here?" He asked in a lowered voice, conscious of the daggers being stared straight into his back by the local cop.

"I came over to follow-up with Jonah. To make up for not meeting him when he'd asked. When I knocked on the door, it was open. I came in and..." Sweets trailed off. "Sorry, it's just that...I knew him, you know?"

"Yeah, Sweets. I know. But I need to know what happened here."

Sweets nodded once and drew back his shoulders. After a deep breath, he continued.

"I came in and found him in the other room. It looked like one of the shelves had fallen over on him. He was lying there, covered by....Who knows how long he was there, Booth, maybe still alive? If I hadn't missed that meeting, maybe I could have...and now the cops think I...." Sweets began to ramble, nervous panic starting to rise.

"Sweets. Calm down. We'll just get Bones here to take a look at....Bones?"

He turned, quickly taking in the small space. She was gone, must have slipped away while his attention was focused on Sweets. Brennan on the loose at a crime scene with hostile locals....nothing good from come of it.

His suspicions were comfirmed by a loud shout from the other end of the apartment. He took off, using the rising voices to navigate his way through the maze. He stopped short when he reached the small knot of people clustered in the far corner. It was a stand-off. Three very pissed off techs one one side and a indignant forensic anthropologist on the other.

Between them, there was a large metal shelf, its contents scattered across the carpeted floor. A pair of legs protruded from beneath one side, the curve of a head, bald spot and all, was barely visible from the other. He quicky scanned the scene, taking in the step stool resting on its side, the lack of evident struggle...yep, everything pointed to an accident.

He looked to Brennan, hoping for confirmation and a quick end to this fiasco, but his heart sank when he saw the expression on her face. It only got worse when she spoke before he could caution her.

"This wasn't an accident, Booth. It was murder."

"Bones!" He quickly crossed the distance and pulled her to the side. "How can you possibly...."

"I palpated the skull, Booth, and there's a depression there, a fracture that doesn't..."

"We're here to help Sweets get out of this mess, Bones, not make it worse."

"I assumed that we would simply find out who is responsible and exonerate Sweets."

He just looked at her, all sorts of thoughts about tangents and being careful what one wished for running through his head as he saw his day getting more and more complicated.

"It's what we do, isn't it Booth?"

He sighed heavily, but knew she was right. It was what they did.
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