Author: Pereybere PM
There’s a new girl in the midst, and she causes a scene wherever she goes. Romance for all characters – and a case, too.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 6 - Words: 15,930 - Reviews: 102 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 31 - Updated: 09-07-06 - Published: 08-14-06 - id: 3105000
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Still Waters
Disclaimer: No infringement intended.
Rating: T to become M.
A/N: Hi there. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and thanks for bearing with me whilst I bring the characters together in a believable (hopefully) way. I don't think any of our favourite characters are likely to jump into bed without thought. So for the 'M rated lovers' out there, something will happen I promise. And just think – for every one sex scene, you're really going to get three! Anyway, please continue to review and feed my muse.
"You have to take Carissa off the case," Zach said to Booth first thing the next morning. "Have you seen her?" Hodgins turned in his chair, eyebrow raised with the kind of foggy drunkenness that was commonly associated with being hung-over.
"Chill out Z-Man," Angela said, dropping her hand to his shoulder. "She's old enough to know what she's doing – and if she wanted off the case, she'd ask. Also, as a fiercely independent Italian woman, I imagine she'd be mightily pissed if she thought you were trying to fight her battles for her." Zach tugged on the collar of his lab coat, catching Brennan's eye as she climbed the stairs to the quarantined lab. The table containing Brent Williams' personal belongings was covered and Brennan immediately pulled the sheet back.
"He hit her," Zach said, his knuckles white. "Because she didn't let him snort cocaine off her breasts. She is already forced to have sex with him. Surely the cocaine thing goes beyond the call of duty?" Booth pressed his fingers to his temple, pulling a weary sigh into his lungs.
"First of all," he replied a little testily, "Carissa is not forced to do anything. She contacted us about incorporating her services into serious crime investigation. Second of all, I would agree with Angela on this one. You might want to tread carefully because Carissa is not going to appreciate your interference." Brennan pulled her hair into a knot at the nape of her neck, her eyes roaming along the faces of her colleagues.
"Perhaps we could focus on the case?" she suggested. "I noticed this," she said held a weathered black wallet for their attention, as though she were offering them the answers to the universe. Everyone stared. "I don't think the victim was buying drugs when he died." Booth nodded.
"I thought about this too," he said. "If Brent was meeting with someone to complete a sale, he'd have had his wallet with him. Which concerns me, because it would suggest he was, in fact, meeting a friend. Or at least someone he knew." Brennan replaced the wallet on the table, completing the line of neat belongings.
"Why does that concern you?" Hodgins asked, leaning back into his chair, his voice husky and tired.
"Because if he was murdered by someone he knew then he wasn't murdered by Marciano Liberante. Which means I am essentially wasting my time on an unfortunate but nonetheless, unrelated murder." Brennan folded her arms, her eyebrow lifted in cold irritation.
"Murder is murder," she said. "And I find you increasingly hypocritical, Booth," she said. "When my sympathy is wavered one way, you say I should respect the deaths of all humans, and yet you class the death of Brent Williams as a 'waste of your time'?" Angela rested her elbows on the counter, dropping her chin into her hands. Booth opened his mouth to retort then she interjected.
"Why couldn't Liberante be the person he knew? You already know he bought drugs from the guy. Maybe their relationship was deeper than we know. Instead of fighting over the details you should probably check that out. And while you're at it, find an address for Suzie Ashwood." Booth closed his mouth, blinking at her.
"Why are we taking orders from a forensic artist?" he asked, slipping his hands into his pockets.
"Because you are wasting valuable time arguing?" Zach suggested with a shrug. "And each minute you stall is another minute Carissa has to unnecessarily work undercover. So I'm with Angela on this one." Brennan pulled her gloves off, tossing them into the trash can.
"As it happens," Booth said, "I already have an address for Suzie Ashwood. Just in case you think I'm kicking back while you guys are working so hard, squinting into your microscopes. I've been doing some old-fashioned police work," he lifted his eyes to the ceiling, running his gaze along the shiny surfaces of the lab. "And old fashioned is something you techies don't understand." Brennan unbuttoned her lab coat.
"Just because our investigative method is different to yours, doesn't mean you can shun it. In fact, without us, you'd be..." she pulled her lip between her teeth.
"For dramatic effect, Dr Brennan, I believe the correct verb is 'fucked'," Zach offered, and Booth turned, blinking in disbelief.
"This is not real life," he said, swiping his card and descending the stairs. "Who uses 'verb' and 'fucked' in the same sentence? You've got to be kidding me..." his voice faded as he strode away, talking to himself. Zach shrugged his shoulders, and Brennan smirked lopsidedly.
"I doubt he'll ever understand," she soothed. "Booth is..." Angela smiled naughtily.
"Oh honey, we know what Booth is. At least I do and I appreciate that you don't want to piss him off. Or perhaps you do. Can you imagine the make-up sex?" she forced a tremor through her body. "Or should I use the adjective 'fucking'?" Only Hodgins recognised the mockery in her tone, for Zach was oblivious and Brennan was already moving to follow Booth, making her point to ignore all Angela's references to Booth and sex. "Those two," she said to their retreating backs, "it's like I'm waiting with bated breath for them to toss down the truth on the table." Zach folded his arms.
"What truth?" he asked.
"Zach," Hodgins said slowly. "Dude. Sex. Do you know anything about sex?"
"I don't see how sex has anything to do with Dr Brennan and Agent Booth," he said, his eyes shifting between Angela and Hodgins, silently begging them to explain their riddles – for he hated when people didn't speak literally.
"Oh sweetie," Angela said, slipping her arm around his shoulders, "it's all about the sex."
Angela Montenegro had often thought artists were the freest people on earth. During college, it was permissible to be wild, because artists didn't especially need to study and, hung over or not, she didn't have to concentrate much to produce something that was atheistically pleasing. Since joining the Jeffersonian, she'd come to realise that art was a vague word and some artists had to work harder than others. These days, she considered her paint brush to be a foe – not a friend. Each blunt pencil was a reminder of how difficult her job was – and how much she missed drawing simple things.
Brent Williams' body had brought with it a complex myriad of emotions. Especially from Carissa, who had irreversible ties to the man. Despite not knowing who he was, Angela saw the effects the case had on everyone, from Brennan and Booth to Zach and herself.
"Hey," she heard the familiar concern and her tense shoulders eased, her body sinking into her chair. "It's lunch time," Jack said, dropping his hand to her shoulder, his fingertips brushing her neck. She hadn't noticed the time slip by, or her hand moving over the canvas, for that matter. "Where have you been?" Hodgins asked, perching at the edge of her desk, drawing his tongue over his lower lip, his eyes dropping to her drawing. It was the first piece she'd done in what felt like centuries that wasn't work related. She was surprised to see the road her hand had taken, for abstract wasn't usually her forte. Today, she was impressed at her own efforts.
"I've been contemplating murder," she said at last and Jack's blue eyes twinkled mischievously, widening with the childlike delight that made her smile. A little.
"You? Contemplating murder? You're the calmest person here. Cool as a cucumber and all that. Who would you want to murder?" Angela slipped her pencil into her hair, pushing away the drawing which, to a casual observer meant absolutely nothing but to her, was probably a detailed explanation of her emotions.
"I don't want to murder anyone," she said, folding her arms beneath her breasts. "I'm contemplating what it takes to become a murderer. To commit an act so unforgivable as to take someone else's life. None of us should have that right." Hodgins slipped his hands into his jeans and she noticed he wasn't wearing his lab coat.
"No one does," he said. "That's why we have a justice system, Angela." She shrugged. "You're going to drive yourself crazy," Jack continued, "if you don't have some lunch and time away from the lab." She met his eye and found herself easing in response to her friend. Hodgins had the soft concern that reminded her of her college friends. He wasn't as uptight as some of their fellow scientists and she loved that, underneath the rigid entomologist, Jack Hodgins was still humorous and normal.
"You are asking me out on a date?" she asked, her eyebrow raised, a smirk playing on her lips. Jack's spine straightened with renewed confidence.
"Is that such a bad thing?" he replied and she pushed her chair back. "I imagine you've been on dates with worse people than me." Angela shook off her lab coat, draping it across the back of her chair, mentally recalling all the maniacs she'd dated and all the disastrous dinners she'd been forced to endure. With a chuckle, she turned back to her colleague – nice, safe Jack and nodded.
"That would be a fairly accurate assumption," she admitted. "Mostly, people don't understand that not all artists draw pretty pink flowers and kitties." Locking her office door behind her, and slipping the key into her pants pocket, Angela lifted her eyes skyward in remembrance of all the times she'd been forced to diplomatically explain the inner workings of her job. "At least with you, I don't have to soften the blow. Hi, I'm Angela, I draw dead people." Jack smiled, showing teeth.
"Nice to meet you Angela. I'm Jack and I sift through animal shit. How about Italian for lunch?" Angela thought about their wacky job descriptions and she was enormously grateful that this would be one date she didn't need to lie to. In the recent past, she'd struggled to conjure a definable pro about her duty as a forensic artist. Men were turned off by the thought of rotten flesh and skulls. Even her personal achievement in the Angelator didn't strike particularly interesting conversation because most people didn't understand why she needed to run murder scenarios through software.
"Italian seems fitting, doesn't it?" she said as they walked the short distance to his allocated parking space, two slots down from Brennan's. "With everything that's been happening." Hodgins unlocked his Mini.
"Yes it does," he agreed. "I just hope 'everything that's been happening' will be over soon."
"Where were you last night, Bones? I tried to call." Booth felt as though their time together these days consisted of being inside his car, driving through the slums of DC.
"I rescheduled my date. I didn't get home until late." He hated the inexplicable stabbing of irritation inside his chest – as though Temperance had somehow betrayed him with her admission. Had she forgotten about their 'almost' kiss in her office? Was it really so easy for her to pretend emotions were fickle and often meaningless? Booth passed his palm across his cheek, wishing that he had something he could say that would adequately convey his feelings without making him sound petty. "What did you do last night?" Brennan asked, propping her cheek against her hand, the top of her head pressed against the window as she observed the tell-tale movements of his jaw as he chewed the inside of his mouth.
"I worked late," he said. "I had to make some calls in order to find an address for this girl. I have no time for 'dating'." She didn't miss the clipped edge of his tone, or the way his shoulders jerked. Brennan, irritated, dropped her hand to her thigh, exhaling a sigh.
"If you don't think I can adequately do my job in the time allocated you should talk to Dr Goodman because I personally think I'm doing a good job, considering that lousy evidence you've turned up so far. Especially considering how many hours you've apparently put in." A heavy, meaningful silence fell between them, a shrouding blanket of gloom. Booth, with white knuckles, scanned the street signs and door numbers before stopping outside a one storey building. "Where is Carissa?" Brennan asked when he killed the engine and pushed the car door open.
"She'll be spending the night at Liberante's. When he leaves in the morning, we need her to install an audio device in his study. Zach won't be too happy, I'm sure, what with his crush and all." Brennan shot him a glare, slipping her hands into her pockets.
"He cares about her," she said. "I don't see how he deserves to be chastised for that. Besides, he's not the one risking the life of a twenty four year old girl. Since Liberante is apparently so dangerous." Booth locked his SUV, spinning on his heel, taking wide, tense strides along the sidewalk.
"Look, Bones, I am not directly responsible for Carissa being on the team. You already know how much I worry about the girl." Brennan nodded sharply.
"Yes I do," she replied, her tone layered with meaning. "I think perhaps Zach isn't the only one with a crush." She smirked, keeping her tone impassively light. She was good at feigning objectivity – even with her heart was pounding inside with irrational jealousy. Or something that resembled it. Booth released a hissing sigh, sounding like a pressure valve.
"You know that's not true," he snapped. "Besides, for someone who is carrying around a green eyed monster, it didn't stop you going out for a late night date, did it? And you call me a hypocrite?" He dropped his hand to the heavy wood door of a nondescript white washed building. Brennan remained silent, her lips tight as the door swung open and a slender woman appeared, dressed in faded denims that were especially worn at her knees and a red shirt. Her feet were bare and her blonde hair looked as though it hadn't been brushed in days. Brennan saw the darkened rings around her eyes – a sign of weary, sleepless nights. Her skin was sallow and her irises were hauntingly bleak.
"Yes?" she asked testily, watching Brennan with unveiled contempt.
"Suzanne Ashwood?" Booth asked, flashing his badge. "I'm Agent Booth with the FBI and this is Temperance Brennan she's a forensic anthropologist with the Jeffersonian Institute in DC." Suzie tilted her head, blinking slowly.
"Am I supposed to be impressed or something?" she asked. "Big words and blah? What do you want?" Brennan wondered if this woman had any idea what big words and extraordinary things her former lover could have been capable of. Somehow she doubted the Suzie Ashwood had ever contemplated a life of success.
"Do you know this man?" Booth passed a digitally rendered image of Brent that had been drawn and fed into the Angelator, created as a wire-frame image and then texture wrapped. Carissa said the likeness was uncanny.
"Yes," Suzie said, her eyes lingering on the glossy image for a long moment before handing it back to Booth. "It's Brent. Brent Williams." Brennan nodded.
"Yes, we know who he is. We wanted to make sure you do too. Nice tattoo, by the way." Suzie lifted her hand and Booth caught the image of a rosary curled around her wrist and a crucifix drawn into the top of her hand. "You don't strike me as a religious woman," Brennan continued, her tone more contemptuous than she would have liked. Suzie remained impassive, shoving her hand into her jeans' pocket.
"Don't I? Well, there you have it. Why are you showing me a picture of Brent? Finally taking his missing persons' case seriously? Took you long enough." Booth tucked the photograph into his jacket pocket, glancing beyond Suzie's head, into the small house she lived in. "See something that interests you, Agent Booth?" she asked, standing on her toes, impeding his view. "I guess you'll need a warrant to get it then, won't you?" Brennan exhaled.
"You're not very cooperative, are you?" she snapped. "Which is a shame, since you're a suspect in a murder investigation." Her statement did not have the desired effect on Suzie Ashwood.
"Really? Do you practice being insufferably boring or does it come naturally? I have things to be doing. Now unless you say something interesting, I'm going to close the door-"
"Miss Ashwood," Booth said, his own patience slipping, "Brent Williams was found murdered at the bottom of the Potomac. You were one of the last people to see him alive so why don't you tell us what happened, hmm? Save us some time because frankly, I'm getting a little tired of being stone-walled by you people. Did you kill him for his drugs? Did he stop supplying you with cocaine?" Suzie recoiled, her cheeks displaying the first hint of colour since their arrival.
"Brent got himself killed," she said. "Ain't nothing to do with me. He thought he could play with the big boys and he was wrong. Now, unless you've come to arrest me, ciao." The door swung shut, slamming into place. Booth blinked at the barrier, his knuckles white with irritation.
"I don't like that woman," Brennan said, turning on her heel. Booth snorted.
"She didn't seem overly appreciative of you, either. But then you weren't offering many pleasantries." Brennan didn't stop, her stride intensifying as she sought to remove her frustrations from her body.
"Oh, so her attitude is my fault?" she asked, her boots hitting the tarmac with pointed thuds. Booth, taller than she, had to move quick to maintain her angry movements.
"I'm saying you didn't aid the process," he explained, unlocking his car. The sound of the disabling alarm echoed through the buildings and the ominously quiet street. Brennan kicked a pebble with her shoe, the rounded stone pinging off the shiny alloy on his front wheel. "Hey!" Booth snapped. "Watch it, Bones. Don't take your frustrations out on me. Or my Chevrolet." He peered at the metal, tarnished by the stone's impact.
"I don't have time for pleasantries," Brennan said. "And that woman was rude before I even spoke." When Booth inhaled, his chest protruded, his weariness evident.
"You didn't help," he repeated.
"You're just angry, Booth, because of what happened in the car. You're just angry because you can't have me." She spun, yanking the car door open and a gasp caught in her throat when his fingers encircled her wrist. She spun, prepared to land him a kick in the groin, when the door slammed behind her and she found herself pressed against the side of his SUV. His eyes burned with the fiery intensity of a man who was immeasurably pissed off.
"Can't I?" he asked, sandwiching her between himself and his car. She could easily have struggled out of his grip and he saw the inclination there to do just that. But she was frozen – held in place by the piercing darkness of his stare. She hated that her date had been so dull and she had no intention of seeing him again. She hated that hadn't informed Booth of this fact. It pleased her to see the jealousy in his eyes and it pleased her more to have his body against hers, physically perfect and arousing in its masculinity. "Your mouth can lie, Bones, but your body can't."
He released her, tossing his keys into the air and catching them in his big hand. When he turned from her, she missed the smirk pulling at his lips.