Me: I miss my Zack so much : (
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Summary: Even though they all were friends with him, no one else understands why Brennan and Hodgins are so reluctant to officially replace Zack.
Chapter #1: Brennan (Set Season 4)
Cam had been on her way to lunch, but paused as she noticed Angela and Hodgins, standing together and watching the platform. She groaned when she realized why. ''Is Eeeyore here on rotation again?''
''In all his depressing glory,'' Hodgins confirmed.
''He's harmless, right?'' Angela questioned. ''He's not actually going to show up to work one day and put himself out of his misery?''
''No, he'll just share his misery with us.''
Cam sighed. ''I can't take this anymore. Dr. Brennan has to pick someone, or I'll pick one for her. I think we're stuck with Daisy again next week.''
''You can't rush the process,'' Angela teased.
''It's coming up to over a year since Dr. Addy left. It's time for rushing.''
Hodgins scoffed before excusing himself and heading back to his work area. Cam realized why; she had mentioned Zack. A year of interviewing grad students, and he still can't wrap his head around the fact that Zack has to be replaced.
Angela watched him go with worry. ''Look,'' she said, turning back to Cam. ''Brennan can't be rushed. She'll pick a grad student.''
''I know she will,'' Cam agreed. ''I'm just not sure what's taking her so long.''
''Cam, there's no one who can replace Zack.''
''I am aware of that. I am the first one to agree that there is no one else to match Dr. Addy's genius. I just don't understand why our logic loving Dr. Brennan hasn't picked someone else by now.''
Angela raised an eyebrow. ''You're kidding, right?''
''No. She always puts practicality first. I'm surprised something as trivial as- as fondness is holding her back. I thought I would have to be telling her to take her time, not make her go faster.''
Angela stared at her. And then she laughed. ''Oh, Cam. Cam, Cam, Cam…''
Angela just shook her head, a small smile on her face. She placed a hand on her shoulder. ''Maybe you should just…talk to Brennan.''
''What is it?''
''Just…go talk to her,'' Angela advised. ''And maybe you're realize that for all their bluster and theorems, scientists are just as human as me and you.''
Angela walked away, leaving Cam very confused.
Over the course of the day, Cam silently mulled over Angela's suggestion. She wasn't quite sure what Angela wanted her to talk to Brennan about, and felt as if there were some secret she was going to be forcing her employee to share with her. This whole situation should not be so complicated.
After tossing the idea back and forth a bit, Cam finally forced herself to knock on Brennan's office door before leaving for the night.
Brennan looked up from her desk. ''Yes?''
''Hi,'' Cam began. She noticed the papers scattered about. ''Sorry. Is this a bad time?''
''No,'' Brennan assured her. ''Can I help you?''
''Yes.'' Cam wasn't sure why she felt nervous. ''Dr. Brennan, I have to ask…why haven't you hired a grad student yet?''
''Oh, I'm going to,'' Brennan answered immediately. She diverted her attention to the papers again, walking around her desk and gathering them up. ''I will. I just need to-''
''You've had plenty of time,'' Cam reminded her. ''There can be no more interviews or charts or pro con lists. You have to pick someone.''
''I know. I will.''
A moment of silence lapsed. Cam gathered her courage. ''Can I ask- not as your boss, but as a friend- why is it taking so long?''
''Picking a grad student is a very important process,'' Brennan explained. ''It is someone's entire future. My future as their mentor. I just wanted to give it the time and thought it deserved.''
''Huh.'' Cam studied the other woman. ''See, I thought maybe it had something to do with being reluctant to give up Zack's spot.''
''Zack wasn't a grad student anymore. He was a doctor. I'm hardly giving up his spot.''
''I meant, someone filling his shoes.''
''No one would be wearing Zack's shoes- oh, you meant metaphorically.''
Brennan shook her head. ''No. I know that as promising as the applicants for the position are, they will unfortunately never meet the standards that Dr. Addy set. They simply will not fit into Dr. Addy's shoes, metaphorical or otherwise. He did have big feet in both respects.''
Cam laughed. ''Indeed he did.''
Brennan nodded her agreement. She went back to shuffling papers, clearly thinking the conversation was over. But Cam added, ''Dr. Brennan, it's okay to be wary of hiring a new student.''
''Wary means feeling cautious about possible dangers or problems,'' Brennan said, ''I doubt hiring a grad student posses a problem or danger to anyone in the Jeffersonian.''
''Well, Zack did blow himself up.''
Cam only meant the statement as fact; Zack did cause an explosion, one that still might cause permanent disability to his hands. Brennan liked when conversations contained facts, no matter how bluntly put. And yet now, she had an expression of one who had just been hit. ''I'm sorry, I only meant-''
''I know,'' Brennan assured her. She sat down in her chair, her eyes downcast. Cam felt embarrassment rush to her face. Damn it, Angela. I knew I was walking into something here.
Brennan took a breath. ''Zack wasn't just a grad student,'' she confessed. ''I hired him. I reached out to him. Out of all the pools of applicants, he was the one I chose. He…he focused on logic and facts and he would say things that seemed random to everyone else in the lab but I always understood what he meant. He didn't get metaphors or sarcasm and he talked in facts and…'' She trailed off. ''He was like me.''
Cam was silent. ''There's nobody else like me,'' Brennan concluded. ''I wasn't alone when he was working here. I miss him.''
Cam felt like an idiot. How many times had she noticed the similarities between Dr. Brennan and Dr. Addy? How many times had there been a joke around the lab that only those two didn't understand? How many times would Zack be explaining something, and she had had to call in Dr. Brennan because no one else understood him?
Cam longed to say something comforting, but wasn't sure what. I'm sorry? You're not like Zack? You aren't alone? She didn't believe those things, mostly because they weren't true.
So she settled for saying something that was true. ''I miss him too.''
Me: Short, and the second chapter will be shorter. I'm just on a Bones writing kick and am riding it out, and trying to deal with the waves of pain that wash over me every time I think of Zack (and Sweets, who KNOWS he didn't kill anyone. Gah….).
I hope you enjoyed! Please leave a review and stay tuned for chapter 2!