Title: Paradise Skies
Rating: It will be an M, but at the moment, I'm putting it as a T.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. The descriptions of Mauritius, although I shouldn't lay claim to them, are entirely mine. In fact, these descriptions are my memories. So, go easy on the criticism, or my memories will be ruined… (kidding, nothing can ruin my memories, but still be kind…)
A/N: All the places mentioned herein, are real. Mauritius is enormously special to me, and it really is amazing. I would say, if you have a moment, buzz on to Google Images and check it out. I am also putting Impossible Dream on hold for awhile, because it hasn't been quite what I imagined on paper… or screen or whatever… so I'm moving on. Hope this one is better!
She pulled open the louvered balcony doors, fanning her skin. Outside, the humid afternoon air, and the soft sea breeze carried with it the scent of freshly cut mangos, skinned papaya, tropical flowers and foreign cuisine. She tried to identify all the smells that assaulted her senses and made her mouth water. It had been too long since she'd indulged in a vacation that took her away from the Jeffersonian and away from war-torn terror as well.
Beyond the hotel grounds, tourists wind-surfed in water so crystalline, it looked as though it were the purest liquid on the earth. And just beyond the dark blue horizon, the coral reef broke whispery waves, scarring the beautiful azure infinity with foamy brilliance.
The beach stretched forever around the crescent-moon shaped bay. The odd sun worshipper dotted the powdery white sand, the stress from their busy normal lives made perfect by the isolation and privacy offered to them by the prestigious hotel that had become their temporary abode.
Brushing her hair back into a knot away from her sun-kissed cheeks, she rested her weight on balcony rail which had been fashioned out of long columns of dark wood. Glancing down, she saw that giant fuchsia coloured flowers climbed the white walls, and reached over to touch the velvety petals. Yellow pollen clung to her fingertips and she blew it away, watching how the dust flew into the air and spiralled downwards.
Inhaling deeply, she caught the smell of citrus added to the already delicious mix of natural tropical blend.
In the middle of her line of vision, she saw an oddly shaped island that rose into a point at one end and slipped slowly down to land. The guide called it Coin de Mire and she thought it looked enchanting and mysterious in its own right.
In the midst of it all, she could almost have forgotten why she was even there. Despite the pure romance that permeated every inch of the glorious island, she had work to do. Work that did not include the pesky man who lay stretched out on her futon, despite his own deluxe suite just down the hall. She sighed, rolling her shoulders and glancing at her watch.
There was time for a shower before her guide, Vishnu, came to collect her.
"Why did you have to come?" She asked, picking his backpack off her coffee table and tossing it towards the door. He opened one eye, smiling broadly.
"I'm on vacation," he said, shrugging easily. "And where better to vacation, Bones? Literal paradise." He removed a guidebook from the back pocket of his shorts, and flicked to a memorised page. "Listen to this: 'You get the impression that Mauritius was created first and then heaven and that heaven was copied after Mauritius'. Mark Twain had the right idea, Bones." Brennan pressed her palm to her forehead and glanced longingly towards the bathroom, with it's marble bath and so appealing shower.
"But why here?" She asked, turning to her luggage. "Why not Jamaica or Hawaii? Why here?" He watched the rotating ceiling fan for a few moments. It did four slow rounds before he shrugged, and stood.
"Last time you went away, you got yourself involved in some seriously dodgy voodoo shit and I don't relish the thought of getting another call at Ungodly hours of the morning asking me to fly across the world to Mauritius. You might be dead before I reach you." She folded her arms, the little shell bracelet that had been given to her by an old lady in the airport slipped down her arm.
"Do I need to remind you that I am perfectly capable of looking after myself?" She snapped, her voice chillier than the air conditioning. "I've been to countries most people only see in their nightmare, Booth and I do not need you baby-sitting me, okay?" He laughed, pulling a waxy red Anthurium from the vase and offering it to her as a would-be olive branch. She took it, dropping her arms to her side.
"Forget it said anything. I'm here for the piña colada and nothing more!" He cheekily saluted her and sauntered to her door, snagging his backpack between his fingers as he did. "See you by the pool, Bones!" When the door slammed, she smirked. He didn't really need to know that she'd already made plans. He could drink all the exotic cocktails he wanted, but she was definitely not going to be visiting the pool today.
Showered, she declined, for the first time in such a long time, to dry her hair, instead, Brennan combed the damp strands through and decided to let the blazing sun, perched high the gloriously clear sky, dry it naturally.
When dressed, she had ten minutes to spare before her arranged schedule with Vishnu. Gathering a few belongings in her backpack, she slipped her feet into comfortable sandals and stretched her left leg out. It was milky white, the result of a typical DC winter. By the time her work here was gone, she'd have a healthy golden tan and she intended on ensuring baring her skin to the sun as much as she could.
Lathering lotion over her calves, shins and thighs, she wondered at how much she loved the smell of sun-lotion. The creaminess reminded her of summer, sunbathing and no work. But alas, her trip was purely for work purposes.
She replayed the facts over in her mind, slinging her backpack over her shoulders and tucking her key into her short's pocket.
Suspected 16th Century Dutch explorer. Found buried in the marshy forest in the southern most edge of the island in Grand Riviére Noire. Vishnu was a local archaeologist who had been working abroad for the past fifteen years. Finding something so extraordinary so close to home was an exciting time for him and his team. He wanted to verify the authenticity of the remains, and he had called on the best to help him do just that.
Brennan descended the stairs to the hotel foyer, where a delicate water feature caught her attention. She stood at the edge of the granite pool, admiring the Koi fish as they meandered through the rocks within their habitat. A specially designed waterfall cascaded a cool spray continuously over a manmade feature and Brennan reached her hand out to gather the icy water in her palm.
Behind her, someone cleared their throat, and she turned.
A tall dark haired, dark skinned man wearing a linen shirt and khaki pants thrust his hand out. "Dr Brennan?" He asked, his voice carrying a thick Creole accent. "Vishnu Narayan, so pleased to meet you." She grasped his outstretched palm, and smiled.
"Likewise. I appreciate you contacting us about such an extraordinary find," she said, following him across the airy foyer to the entrance. "How did you hear of the Jeffersonian?" Vishnu shrugged.
"I hadn't heard so much about the Jeffersonian as its talented team of anthropologists. I was working in France whenever I read a Canadian newspaper that you'd featured in." Brennan silently mouthed an 'Oh'. It seemed the media could take a persons details far and wide. "We only discovered it last week, and we've moved it to our… lab." Vishnu gestured to the open-topped Jeep that was parked at the edge of the road.
"Where is your lab?" Brennan asked, slipping into the passenger side of the vehicle.
"The University. I'm afraid we haven't got anything… high tech. There has never been much need for a proper institution. Mauritius is a small island, where big finds rarely occur." He started the engine and a local radio station blurted French through the speakers. "We really so appreciate you coming all the way here, Dr Brennan," Vishnu said. "Finding a Dutch man…" he shrugged, as though his half spoken sentence said more than he could have possibly explained.
"Seeking vengeance on the people who ate your birds?" Brennan joked, as the Jeep rounded the bend and officially left the little fishing village of Grand Gaube behind.
"We've been owned by many countries," Vishnu said. "The Dutch, Portuguese, France, Britain and there is much to be learnt. Our independence is a fairly new thing, you understand." Brennan nodded. "Originally we were discovered by the Arabs, but there's nothing to be found from them. The discovery of someone from so far back…" his knuckles tightened around the steering wheel. "It's monumental for me." Brennan turned her head, the humid breeze flowing through her hair and drying the strands into wavy curls about her shoulders.
"And the chances of a hoax?" She asked at last. Vishnu shrugged helplessly.
"It's an eventuality we won't want to imagine." Brennan saw the spectacular glimmer of the ocean again, and a glorious white beach filled with locals and tourists alike. She smelt pineapple now, sold by street-vendors and curved into amazing shapes. When they slowed for a light, the little boy carrying the pineapples offered her one in exchange for fifty rupees. Brennan patted her pockets, helplessly. Vishnu tossed a coin at the kid and rambled something in Creole.
Brennan held the scented fruit in her hand and watched the exchange. When the light turned to green, they sped off and Vishnu chuckled. "The pineapple is worth ten rupees maximum. You're a tourist and tourists will pay anything the locals ask. Haven't you ever heard of haggling?" Brennan broke a piece of the pineapple off, and sucked the juicy morsel into her mouth.
"He looked poor…" she said, shrugging.
"He is." Was all Vishnu said. "So, the receptionist said you checked in with a partner. Is he too jet-lagged for an afternoon of bone examination?" Brennan ate another piece.
"He's FBI," she said. "And he's here on vacation. Booth," she paused, "my partner, has alcohol and sun-lounging in mind. Nothing more." Vishnu chuckled.
"FBI? How did the FBI get involved?" This time, Brennan laughed.
"Since when did they need an excuse?" And then she realised she was quite glad that her irritating partner was there. Maybe he had nothing to do with her work, but wouldn't it be nice to have someone to talk to over dinner? Someone who'd listen objectively and not be in a hurry to prove intelligence in return?
After a long moment, she sucked pineapple juice off her fingers and turned to the beach again. "So where are we now then?" Her guide followed her gaze to the expensive villas and glorious beach, the traditional Thai restaurant and smiled.
"This? This is Pereybére."
Anyone for some hot island loving between Booth and Brennan? I have no idea why Booth would go to Mauritius with Brennan and y'know what? I don't care! The thought of the island and the sex is enough to make my imagination take over.
The North coast of Mauritius is that which I know best. At the end of each chapter, I am going to add a little 'pronunciation' chart, because a lot of you probably can pronounce these words, but some cannot. And that's a little insight to the meaning of my penname. I cannot put the accent in, so you see as it's meant to be.
Grand Gaube – Gran (no dress on the 'd') Gou-be
Pereybére – Per-ray-bear (with emphasis on the first 'e')
I hope you like this story. I also hope I can do the island feeling some justice.
The people really do sell carved pineapples by the roadside and they somehow taste so good. It's probably all in the mind…
This is the longest author's note yet, so I'm going to end it now. But please, please review. I promise sweaty BB sex.