For yuletide 2005, I was assigned to lisew, who requested Bones and character interactions.
Title: Want to Screw Up
Characters: Various, gen
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too clever.
Notes: No spoilers
Brennan meets Booth for drinks, afterwards. Rather, she runs into him at Wong Fu's, and he's having a drink, so she sits next to him while she has hers.
They sit in silence for a while, aside from greeting Sid, and Brennan's order of wonton soup.
Finally, Booth lets out a long, burdened sigh.
"I don't even like pomeranians," he tells her.
She pokes her spoon at a wilted shred of bok choy. "They're not known for being an even-tempered breed."
"Yappy, fuzzy, fluffy rats," he replies.
"Angela thinks they're cute."
"She would," he says, but without any vehemence.
Booth orders a side of chow mein, and Sid rolls his eyes.
Booth stands beside the table and eyes the projected image. "Are you sure that's what it looked like?"
"Positive." Angela punches something on her keyboard, and the holographic dog barks. "It might have been a different color, but the skeleton itself was textbook."
He watches the picture for another moment. "It might help with identification. Thanks, Angela."
She smiles, and he's almost out the door before she speaks again.
"You have any pets, Booth?"
He pauses. "A dog, once."
She turns, sets a deliberate hand on her hip. "Do you still have the leash?"
Luckily, his phone rings before he has to answer her.
Angela pauses just inside the door of the room. "You found the definitive cause of death?"
"Yes." Zack steps away from the autopsy table carefully, adjust the fit of his gloves. "The skull fracture was most probably caused upon impact with the ground, and the subsequent fall accelerated the bleed."
She crosses her arms, rubs her left elbow. "How long was he, y'know--"
Zack shakes his head, lifts his goggles. "It's impossible to tell. But it wasn't murder, and it wasn't the dog."
Angela lets out a relieved laugh. "Thank god."
Zack smiles, a little. "You're welcome."
"Was that a joke?" She turns away.
"Hodgins said it was funny!" he calls after her.
She makes an obscene gesture over her shoulder, and knows Zack's going to pout.
Doctor Brennan looks up from her desk when he knocks on the frame of her office door. "Yes, Zack?"
"I've found some anomalies in the skull." He shifts on his feet, and realizes one of his shoes is tied less tightly than the other. "Some sediment in the fracture that isn't specific to the scene."
"Really?" She stands up, shuffles a file off to the side. "Show me."
She sweeps past him, and she smells like aloe and formaldehyde.
He'd take the time to smile, but there's work to be done.
Doctor Goodman crosses his arms as he stares Booth down.
"In the future, Agent Booth," he intones with a raised eyebrow, "I would appreciate it if you asked me before you requested my lab's assistance. Especially in cases such as this, which are rather far out of your jurisdiction, as well as our own."
Booth smiles. "Don't think I'm ungrateful for everything the lab--"
Doctor Goodman raises his hand, cutting off Booth's compliments. "Ask," he repeats.
Booth scratches his eyebrow, and nods.
Hodgins strides to his workstation, Brennan following closely.
"The anomalous sediment Zack found led me to a closer inspection of the insect activity in the area." He nudges the trackball of his mouse, banishing his Tricia Helfer screensaver. "The beetles we found near the dog's body were remarkably similar, but the contents of their stomachs differed from the free range ones we collected from the area."
"Aside from the remains?" Brennan leans closer to the monitor, taps against one of the images. "What's that?"
Hodgins sits on his chair, spins with a grin. "Evidence of plant matter not native to that area."
"Native from where, then?" she asks.
"Ah." Hodgins looks up at the ceiling. "Good question."
Brennan stares at him.
"I'm working on it," he protests.
Brennan gives him a pointed look, and walks off.
Angela tosses her plastic spoon at Hodgins. "I don't believe dogs are capable of that."
"Of course they are," Hodgins argues. "You see it in the news all the time. Pets go nuts and attack."
"When they're mistreated," she insists. "There's nothing on the dog's remains to suggest it was abused."
Hodgins leans on his knees, smirks. "Explain the condition of the body, then."
"Those bites could have been from any--" Angela breaks off, stands and shimmies a little.
Hodgins blinks, stares. Then he realizes she's just straightening her skirt, and there's a guy walking into the lab.
"Cody, hi!" she calls out. "Let me just grab my purse."
"What?" Hodgins says. "What about the--"
"Have fun, Hodgins." She claps him on the shoulder as she walks past. "Some of us have social lives to pursue."
Angela flops gracefully onto the sofa in Brennan's office. "There are days when I hate this job."
Brennan looks up from her files, stares at Angela for a minute. She tries to decide whether Angela's being serious or dramatic, and settles on halfway between the two.
She pushes aside her reports, though, and walks over to sit next to Angela. "What's wrong?"
"I saw Booth talking to the deceased's kid." She leans back, rolls her head against the cushions. "He was crying."
Brennan puts a hand on Angela's knee, smiles. "Kids cry, Angela." She leans back, too, and bumps their shoulders together. "It could be worse. It could have been...not an accident."
"Or the dog." Angela sighs. "His dad's still dead."
And they sit, and listen to the clatter of the lab outside.
Brennan's in the middle of reviewing the third revision of Zack's dissertation introduction when Booth strides into her office.
"Got a case for you, Bones." He grins in a manner she's come to associate with urgency, and tosses a manila folder onto her desk.
She flips it open, scans over the enclosed report and photos. "Body found in a national park. Accompanied by a dog's remains." She frowns and looks up at Booth. "How does this come under your jurisdiction?"
Booth bounces on his toes. "A senator called. He's doing a favor for a friend of a friend, and it ended up on my desk."
"I don't see why I should--"
"--get involved," he finishes, "but I could really use the points upstairs, you know?"
"Not really, no." She closes the folder.
Booth bites his lip, watches her consider him. Finally, he says, "Bones, please."
She sighs. "Don't call me that." But she opens the folder again.
Booth laughs, and flips open his phone.
A/N: Title and summary adapted from Charles Bukowski's The Bluebird.
Originally archived here and linked here.