Author's note: I am so sorry because this has been the longest amt of time I have EVER gone without updating ANY of my stories! I am updating this first and next should be my NCIS "Phobia" fic so anyone reading that one watch for update soon. Here is an extra long chappie as a reward for your support and patience!
IMPORTANT NOTE: I want everyone to know that I will NEVER abandon ANY of my stories so don't worry that I will do that. My updates will come faster once I get adapted to my new job which is the cause of my lack of updates.
Re: this chapter – sorry if my rough estimated time line's off a little when Booth mentions what month and year it is to his doctor. I think I at least came close to when the Hero In The Hold and later Gravedigger epi's were televised. Also, I found and corrected some errors in chapter 37 (mainly scene at Hodgin's house) if anyone wants to read corrected version. This story has approx 4-5 more chapters before completed.
Please read and I hope you enjoy enough to review. THANK YOU!
Previously on Mistaken Identity . . .
"Okay so I guess we should get back to work now. Especially since we're shorthanded until Cam and Dr. Hodgins return." Angela was impressed at how well Brennan did at keeping up her facade and not even blinking an eye when she mentioned Hodgins and Cam whom she knew were in the process of trying to find Booth.
As the two women headed back towards the main lab to finish gathering the vast amounts of evidence they had on the Gravedigger, knowing Brennan's time was running short and that the people who had her wired like a Christmas tree would be calling her back soon - one way or another. Angela's mind was preoccupied with trying to figure out how and when she would be able to get Brennan the message from Hodgins without raising any suspicions – and time was definitely not on her side.
Inside The White Van Parked Near The Jeffersonian . . .
"I don't like it! I'm telling you something isn't right!" Lexi was practically shouting at Sam now, frustrated at the lack of attention to detail her partner possessed when it came to monitoring their surveillance of Temperance Brennan's video and audio feeds.
"Where they hell did everyone else disappear to? That woman . . . Cam – she's nowhere to be found. Sames goes for that bearded lab rat Hodgins! Call it women's intuition or whatever the hell you wanna call it but – I just know they're all up to something! I say we don't wait for your big Brother to give us the order – I say we pull her out now!"
Sam rolled his eyes. This had been one of the most boring assignments he had to endure in a long time. Listening to hours of scientific and boring lab conversations for one – and waiting for the right time to wrap this up and get back to the damn warehouse seemed to be endless.
"Well what the hell do you want me to do? Huh? Want me to just waltz in there and kidnap that know-it-all Brennan again in broad daylight? We HAVE to make sure she has everything or Brother Bill will shoot us himself – regardless of me being his sibling!"
"Don't you think I know that Sam? For fuck-sake I get it! But he will do even worse if we end up losing the woman AND the evidence now won't he? I'm just saying I think we need to touch base with Barker somehow and find out if he knows where the others ran off to, and we need to do that sooner rather than later!"
Sam considered her suggestion and quickly caved in, he knew she was right – she usually was – but for some reason he just liked arguing with her, it got his juices flowing, his adrenaline soaring and even turned him on a little. "Okay fine, I'll give him a call and see what he can tell us. But I'll also tell him to get word to Dr. Brennan that her time is up and that if she wants to see her boyfriend alive again she better make sure she moves fast and that she brings us everything!"
He pulled out his cell phone to call their paid internal accomplice Phillip Barker only to have the device start ringing in his hand before he could do so.
"Talk to me." he answered. "What? Okay okay fine - I got it! We'll be back as soon as possible!" Sam slipped his cell phone back into his pocket and turned towards Lexi. "Wonderful. That was Bill speak of the devil. Something's going down over at the warehouse. He wouldn't give me any details but he's in a real pissy mood! We have orders to bring the lab Doc back whether she's ready or not."
"That doesn't mean anything, we already knew we would be bringing her back, what makes your paranoid ass think something's going down? Geez you're more dramatic than a teenage girl!" Lexi rolled her eyes, more easily annoyed at her partner than usual after being stuck in the van together for hours.
"Oh I see how it is! It's okay for you to be suspicious that something's going down inside that Institute – but now that I think something's hinky at the warehouse too – I'm paranoid? Whatever! We don't have time to go back and forth on this! Bill's my brother and I think I know better than anyone when he's seriously pissed about something. I'll make that call to Barker and tell him it's time for phase II. But I'll tell you one thing, Dr. Brennan damn well better have all that evidence, she's had more than enough damn time!"
While Sam placed the call to the security guard whom was no on the Burton payroll, he started pacing what little space they had to walk inside the long van while Lexi remained seated in one of the chairs focusing her attention back on the monitor's to continue watching Brennan's activities.
Meanwhile Inside The Jeffersonian . . .
Setting down some of the files that she had been holding, Angela stole a glance over towards Brennan while she helped her friend slowly compile the rest of the Gravedigger evidence.
She and Brennan both knew they were stalling at this point and that Brennan's captors were being strangely generous with the time they were giving her. They also knew they wouldn't wait much longer before making their move to get her back and if that were allowed to happen, then it would be harder to get her out of this mess alive.
Angela didn't even realize she was still staring at her friend with an expression of obvious concern clouding her exotic features. She had been wracking her brain trying to find a way to get the message to Brennan that Booth was safe - but she was having trouble figuring out how. The last thing she wanted to do was to be the one to blow everything and alert Brennan's voyeuristic kidnappers to such a monstrous fact. Brennan hadn't even noticed Angela watching her, she was too preoccupied herself. Her mind kept going back to the phone call Angela had received only moments earlier, there was something unsettling about it that she couldn't quite put her finger on.
After years of working with Booth and seeing him in action, Brennan didn't even realize just how much she had learned and absorbed simply from seeing him in action every day as he put his natural investigative talents to good use. Before she knew it she was mentally analyzing Angela's call at an even deeper level. It helped that she knew Angela almost as good as she knew Booth and she had easily detected the conflict between what Angela was saying about her phone call – and the conflicting body language she maintained which had spoken volumes.
Even though her words had described a viable reason for the call, the manner in which she was speaking to whomever had called, seemed almost encrypted. Brennan had also noticed the way Angela's eyes lit up initially and her face bore a look of worry mixed with excitement. It was almost as if she knew the person calling her – and was concerned about whatever, or whomever they were calling about - none of which escaped Brennan's attention. Her gut was telling her it had something to do with Booth. Had Cam and Hodgins found him? Her adrenaline and heart both started racing as her hopes soared.
Looking up and over at her friend, Brennan's eyes met Angela's at the exact same moment. The unspoken words that seemed to flow from brown eyes to blue were as powerful as any verbal conversation could have been. Brennan could see that Angela had more to tell but the issue would be how she would be able to do so when Brennan's every move – and word - was being monitored. As their eyes locked onto each other Brennan knew she had to find out if her theory was accurate - and it was now or never.
"So Ang - that call you received a few minutes ago, about the artistry tools? Tell me more, what kind of tools are they are why are they so rare?" She knew Angela was an intelligent woman and hoped she would quickly understand what information Brennan was really searching for. It couldn't wait - she just had to know if Booth was safe.
"Oh . . . yeah - those." Angela stalled for a second wondering why Brennan would even care about some art tools when she had never shown that level of interest in things like that before. It only took her a couple of seconds to read the look in her friend's blue eyes to realize she wasn't really asking about the tools. She had figured out the call was about Booth! Angela's mind was racing as she tried to think of a way to give her friend the information she was really seeking.
"Well it's one tool in particular that I was interested in finding. It's rare because it is so unique and it's also stronger than most tools which is a bonus. I've had a lot of trouble finding this one." she made sure to stare firmly into Brennan's eyes while widening her eyes ever so slightly hoping that only her friend would notice the subtle gesture rather than the people who were watching her. It worked like a charm as Angela noticed the same subtle widening of Brennan's eyes in response, letting her know she understood.
"Yes I can see why you would want a tool like that." Brennan replied, hoping her captors would just think the women were making conversation. "So . . . you were able to find it then?" she asked hopefully while doing her best to maintain normal composure even though secretly she wanted to scream out with excitement and relief.
"Yeah and I am so excited! I mean it's in rough shape because it's been somewhat abused by it's previous owner but I'm sure it will be fine once it's cleaned up a bit. It will need some work before it gets anywhere near it's original condition. I'm sure it will always be a little marred from everything it's been used for. Sounds like the previous holder abused it quite a bit and it makes me angry. One really should take better care of these things since they don't make em like that anymore!" Angela was so proud of her own unique way of letting Brennan know that Booth had been found, that he was definitely injured and in rough shape but that it was nothing that he couldn't recover from.
Brennan on the other hand had to stifle a chuckle at Angela's constant remarks about Booth. Strong, unique, and the best yet was that men like Booth are hard to find in general. Angela had found a way to sneak in subtle descriptions of Booth's character traits to make sure Brennan understood what message she was trying to convey. But it also caused Brennan to start thinking about Booth even more as she zeroed in on what she adored about Booth the most. Not only was he manly – a tried and true Alpha Male – but he was also a gentleman, he was strong and fit, very protective over those he cared about, funny, intuitive and of course . . . handsome.
Suddenly her thoughts were interrupted as she realized Angela was saying something to her. "Sweetie are you alright? You seemed lost in your own thoughts for a minute, I was getting worried." Angela was looking at her friend with concern. She had noticed the way Brennan's face had taken on a completely different expression – she would have looked like she was in serious thought had it not been for the close mouthed smile that had slowly blossomed on her face while she was thinking. A smile that thankfully was out of shot from any of the video feeds that her captors were viewing. Her lapel pin as well as some of the internal Jeffersonian video feeds she was sure they had tapped into.
"Sorry Ang, I was just thinking about the evidence and making sure we didn't forget anything." she lied knowing she had to cover and keep her captors off guard. She actually found it harder to concentrate now that she knew Booth was safe, all she wanted to do was go be with him and right now, that seemed impossible. The smile on her face disappeared quickly as disappointment settled back into her very being, she just couldn't ignore the fact that she herself had yet to be freed from her own bizarre form of imprisonment.
Angela's naturally caught onto the change of expression her friend now sported. She decided then and there that she would do whatever was necessary to help her escape as well. But just how she was going to accomplish that? That she didn't know . . . yet.
Hodgin's House . . .
While the doctor was in with a still dozing Booth once again putting on his air cast and getting the IV's started - Cam, Hodgins and Sweets were sitting in the elaborately decorated library of the house since it was closest to the room Booth was in. They knew they had to come up with a plan for getting Brennan freed from her own unique confinement and they knew that time was not on their side.
"I just finished my call to Ang to let her know we found Booth. I am sure she'll find a clever way to let Brennan know as soon as she has an opportunity . . . now how the hell do we get she and Brennan out of there without endangering everyone else in and around the Jeffersonian? We didn't think this all the way through dammit, we need a plan!" Since calling Angela he was feeling even more worried and angry as it suddenly struck him throw close she was to danger herself right now. He had been too busy and focused on rescuing Booth that he hadn't thought about the fact they had left Angela alone to deal with Dr. Brennan's situation.
"Hodgins uhh . . . you seem pretty agitated - you sure you're okay?"
Sweets had noticed the ever reddened face and the hyperactive manner in which Hodgins was speaking and fidgeting. It was a professional habit for him to secretly monitor everyone's psyche especially during a trying or emotional case and in this situation he found that he himself was struggling with emotions over what the Gravedigger team was putting all of them through again, especially Booth and Brennan. He could only assume the others felt the same way.
"Listen Sweets – don't even try to using your psychological voo doo on me, of course I'm agitated! Not only am I worried about Angela and Dr. Brennan whom are still in danger if you haven't noticed – but have you not seen Booth? Look at what those bastards did to HIM! Have you also forgotten those sons-of-bitches nearly killed me a while back as well? They just keep getting away with it!"
Sweets was smart enough to realize that Hodgins was unstoppable as he continued his long overdue rampage. Not only was it therapeutic for him to finally vent – he deserved it because he was right.
"Well mark my words, they are not getting away with it anymore - not this time, not on my watch!" Hodgins announced as he finished his rant.
Cam entered the room having been visiting one of Hodgins elegant bathrooms. "Wow what did I miss?" she teased trying to lighten the tense atmosphere in the room. "Look Hodgins, I know what you went through and believe me we all understand how you feel. But we're all worried and we're all angry - but right now we need to use that to our advantage and strike while the iron's hot. We need to move fast and get Brennan and Angela t! So how are we going to do that?"
The men calmed down after realizing Cam was right and within minutes they came up with a plan.
Inside The Guest Room . . .
Once Dr. Patterson finished with everything he had to do in order to treat Booth's wounds as best he could, getting him starting on IV fluids, antibiotics, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, he settled into the chair closest to his new patient's bed to wait for Booth to come around again. He hadn't been able to talk to the seriously injured man before he had passed out again from pain, fever and exhaustion and he needed to ask him specific questions to determine not only how his head injury was faring, but to make sure they hadn't missed any of the more internal injuries that can be caused by broken ribs and other injuries caused by blunt trauma.
Behind him he heard the door open and turned to see the young man who was introduced to him as Dr. Lance Sweets entering the room. "Good evening, uh – your name was Dr. Sweets, correct?"
"Yes, yes that's correct and uh, Lance is fine. I uhm . . . just wanted to see how . . . uh . . . is he really going to be okay?" Sweets found himself at a loss for words when he first caught sight of Booth's pale form laying against the just as white sheets, he thought Booth actually looked worse in some ways now that the deep bruising had been drawn closer to the surface of his skin over the past couple of hours making the colors even more spectacular and dark. But then he realized had it not been for the black and purple bruising covering a significant portion of his face, neck and arms, Booth would have all but disappeared into the background of the sheets due to the lack of contrast.
He hadn't been prepared for just how much the sight startled him but then again, he had never seen anyone so badly injured up close like this before – especially someone he looked up to like an older Brother figure though he would never admit that to anyone, not even Daisy.
"Well so far he seems to be holding his own, he's a strong and fit young man so I feel confident he will make a full recovery. Basically it's up to him now, I'm afraid there is nothing more I can do to help him recover any faster and I can't even begin to determine how severe his head injury is until he is able to stay awake a little longer so I can ask him some questions. But don't worry, like I said he's strong and I have seen people recover from far worse injuries than he has sustained."
As Lance let out a breath of complete relief both he and the physician quickly turned their attention towards Booth's bed as they heard him moaning and starting to shift around slightly.
"Booth?" Sweets half whispered, half yelled as excitement took over his body. "Booth it's me Lance, can you hear me?"
He paused as he and the doctor both stared at Booth's eyes silently urging them to open. Their patience was rewarded with the sight of Booth's brown orbs as his eyes finally fluttered open a couple minutes later. Then two men gave Booth time to fully awaken as they continued to stare at him like children eyeing the candy counter at the supermarket.
"Why . . . why are you . . . staring at me . . . like that? Sss'creepy." Booth spoke with a voice that was slightly sluggish sounding and a little raspy from thirst. He felt like he had the worst cotton mouth he had ever felt before in his life. It unnerved him to say the least, waking up to the shocking sight of two full grown men just staring at him like they were.
"Oh – sorry Booth." Lance straightened his body back upright since he had been leaning in pretty close to Booth's face waiting for him to speak. He hadn't even thought about how strange that must have seemed to the man whom had just woken up after having been through a tough ordeal to say the least. He couldn't blame the man for still feeling a little jumpy, not to mention Booth could very well have had nightmares of his ordeal while being unconscious and might even have expected to see his captors again when he finally opened his eyes.
"Agent Booth. My name is Doctor Alan Patterson, but please just call me Alan - I am a friend of Cam's. You weren't exactly coherent when I checked you out earlier so I wanted to officially introduce myself, how is your pain on a scale of 1 to 10?"
"I hate that question." Booth complained, since in his opinion his idea of a level 5 on that scale of pain would probably be a 12 and a half to someone like Sweets. "I dunno . . . " he started to answer, taking a second to focus and try to gauge how he was feeling. "About a seven?"
"Is that a question or a statement." the doctor teased.
"Both." Booth replied with a hint of a smile appearing on his face. "It's mainly my head and leg . . . but, I'd say my chest, ribs and shoulders are closer to a 5." he knew his shoulders were hurting due to how long he had been hooked up and hanging by cuffed hands from the ceiling with his shoulder joints bearing all of his body weight at times, further aggravated when Burton decided to use him for batting practice and as a cutting board.
"Oh, just a seven?" Patterson joked, happy to see his patient was far more alert this time around and had even cracked a smile in spite of his rather severe level of pain. He was pleased to see that the medication and IV he had treated the agent with thus far, combined with a couple of hours of deep sleep he had no choice but to take - had done wonders in starting to revive his new patient rather quickly.
"In all seriousness Agent Booth, I am not surprised to hear your level is hovering around a 7. I was expecting as much and it's perfectly normal given the severity of some of your injuries. I had to wait until you woke up again before I could give you another dose of pain medication because I need to evaluate your head injury first. But then I promise I will bring that level down closer to at least a 2. Now do you feel up to a few questions?"
"Very well then, do you remember your full name?"
"Booth, Seeley Booth." when he answered Sweets could swear he saw a hint of Booth's half grin and he realized Booth was amused with himself due to his not so subtle Bond reference.
"Good, good. Do you know what date today is?"
Booth closed his eyes and he tried hard to find the answer. "Well, no actually. But that has more to do with my having been held hostage for who knows how long rather than from a little head trauma." he paused to rest since even speaking was already taking a toll on his weak state. "I know it wasn't that long so it should still be September . . . 2008. That's as close as I can get with any accuracy."
Patterson glance quickly towards Sweets. He hadn't been given many specifics as to what had happened to put the man in this condition, Cam had only just told him the man was an FBI Agent after Alan had first arrived at the house. Hearing that the man had been kidnapped, he couldn't help but wonder why he wasn't taken straight to a hospital. He deduced by the nervous look on the Psychologist's face that perhaps the agent was still in danger. He decided to just let it drop without calling more attention to what he had just heard. Suddenly he realized Booth had opened his eyes and was staring up at him waiting.
"Oh, sorry yes. .. that is close enough. It is September 12th today just do you know." he then took out his pen light and checked Booth's pupils. "Well your eyes are looking much more clear than before so I think it's safe to assume you over over the worst of your concussion symptoms. We will however still have to do a few more periodic checks since head injuries can be tricky and turn into something far more serious if not monitored. I can safely give you something for the pain now."
Then just as he turned around to go get what he needed from his kit, he heard a sharp gasp and turned to see his patient just as he bolted up to a sitting position far too fast for his injuries and jostled skull to prepare for.
Booth's sluggish mind had started to remember how and why he had arrived at this house, in this bed being treated for his multiple injuries. It took just seconds for him to recollect that Brennan was still in danger and relying on him to save her. Before he realized what he was doing he shot straight up as he yelled out her name hoping to be told that she was already safe and here in the house somewhere. He looked towards Sweets for the answers as he sat up.
Sweets nearly fell over from shocked fright at seeing Booth nearly shoot off the bed after obviously remembering his partner's situation. Before he could even start to answer Booth's unspoken question he noticed Booth starting to tilt to his right side as he quickly lost his equilibrium. Booth's rapid ascension into a seated position had caused of lost of the blood to rush away from Booth's head, directly down to his heart as the body's natural reaction was to protect the heart in order to keep the person alive first and foremost. But it also caused Booth's already pounding headache to start throbbing mercilessly in unison with the fast beating of his heart.
Booth quickly closed his eyes from the sudden pain and dizziness and reached his hands up grasping his head tightly. He felt his body tilting to the right but too many things were happening all at once, causing him to feel a sense of panic coming on. Nausea also crept up as pain flared to new heights in his leg and ribcage and he couldn't remember ever feeling this bad all at once.
Suddenly he felt strong hands grabbing onto his shoulders from both sides of the bed as Dr. Patterson and Sweets, each now standing on opposite sides of the bed – firmly pushed Booth back to a prone position knowing that it would take a few minutes for things to calm down and his heart beat to get back closer to normal.
Booth's hands continued clutching the sides of his head, his eyes still closed and he breathed deeply to combat the nausea. He remembered how much it had hurt his broken ribs when he had tossed his cookies earlier and he was bound and determined not to repeat that experience!
Alan had run back to the left side of the large bed and had to stretch his long body across the width of the bed to help Dr. Sweets get the man in the bed to lay back down. He found himself out of breath from the rush of adrenaline the activity had caused. He immediately pleaded with Booth to calm down and lie still.
"Agent Booth please, just lay back and stay there before you do yourself even more harm."Dr. Patterson urged him. "Passing out completely won't help you get the information you are seeking any faster!"
Sweets watched Booth's eyes hoping they would open so he could reassure him that Brennan was safe at the moment inside the Jeffersonian. When it became apparent Booth wasn't going to look at him he decided to reassure him anyway.
"Booth, Brennan is okay – you have to trust me. You need to build up your strength a little more before you can go be with her." He decided leave out the fact that Brennan wasn't completely free, he would tell him soon enough but he needed to be sure he was a little more stable physically. Sweets knew that the second Booth found out Brennan was still in danger, no one would be able to stop him. Not his wounds, broken leg, splitting headache nor the medicated fog he was in . . . nothing.
Booth listened to Sweets while he waited for his own wild heart beat to slow back down to a semi-normal rate and his head to stop throbbing along with the hyperactive beat. Both head and heart calmed down almost immediately once he heard him say that Bones was okay and safe. He finally looked up and made eye contact with Sweets – one look and Booth knew instantly that his nervous young friend wasn't telling him everything. He could read Sweets like an open book simply by observing his body language. He knew the telltale signs that he was either lying or withholding vital information, signs like his natural ruddish complexion glowing even brighter - his voice going up a few octaves in pitch making him sound not much different than a teenager during puberty – and finally his eye contact wavered as if he was afraid of Booth's almost superhuman ability to read people.
Booth thought about it for a few seconds and decided not to call Sweets out on his suspicions at the moment. He would pretend to fall asleep, wait until he was left alone hopefully soon after they thought him to be out – then he would find a way to get to the Jeffersonian to rescue his partner himself before anyone else got hurt unnecessarily.
To Be Continued . . .
A/N –Please PM me if you spot any huge errors since I wrote this chapter over a span of many weeks and that seems to be when I make the most errors. Hopefully that isn't the case - even if it's not I am more nervous about this chapter than any thus far - I love some parts but there are some parts I am not as sure about. Hope you enjoy and thank you all!