Title: Moving On
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Rating: T. Does anyone want to see an M rated Hodgins/Angela fic?
Summary: Angela contemplates a new relationship…
A/N: I don't know why, but I just decided that I wanted to write a wee Hodgela fic. Let me know if you liked my attempt!
The Jeffersonian's garden was in bloom.
The amazing structure of the building stone, blazingly white in the sunshine – the tepid July heat. Above the sky was cloudless, and the air smelt summery and fresh.
Angela lounged lazily in the gazebo, built in memorial to the first director.
With her feet on the bench, she sketched easily, drawing a rough, basic outline of the Jeffersonian, surrounded by vibrant flowers and lush green grass. Coloured pencils at her side, canvas on her lap, Angela Montenegro felt at peace.
It was lunchtime, and the gardens buzzed with scientists who craved fresh air outside of the sky-lit building. As high-tech and fancy as the lab was, Angela loved nothing more than to slip off her shoes for an hour and feel human, again.
The gurneys, filled with skeletons reminded her of death. Death and decay. Outside, the flower beds bloomed and thrived, the birds sang and the sun shone. It was a different world, and she was happy to forego lunch with her friends, just to spend a moment enjoying the feeling of summer. For by the time she finished, the sun would be ebbing away, and rain was predicted for the weekend.
Pencilling the red flower petals, Angela permitted herself the sigh that she'd been suppressing all day. Two bodies lay in the lab, one male, one female. John and Jane Doe. The death, murder, rape, corruption never ended. She missed the bright side of art. The happiness. Like today.
The flowers at the right were violets, so she mixed purples and blues into the drawing and admired her own work. She was a good artist. Her paintings were her pride, however. She wished she had her acrylic paints, now.
"Shouldn't you be working on a reconstruction?" Angela lifted her eyes from the canvas and saw Jack, no longer wearing his ever present lab coat. He looked awkward, perched on the top step of the gazebo, hands thrust into his jeans.
"It's lunch time, Jack," she said testily. "Five minutes more in Grimsville and I was going to go insane." Her voice carried a hint of aggravation that she had tried so hard to restrain. Her colleague rested against the gazebo frame, piercing blue eyes trying to read her.
"You okay, Angela?" He asked. She rolled her eyes.
"Terrific, Jack. I'm super." The people she worked with, Zach, Brennan, Jack, regardless of how much she adored them, were inhuman, sometimes. Their minds were so constantly focused on work that they forgot to live. It irritated her that she was the only person who wanted to have fun. Bones, were not fun! They were her job.
"What are you working on?" Jack asked, straightening, moving towards her. Instinct told her to shade her work, because she doubted Hodgins would understand simple art. But his hand fell over the rim of the canvas and tipped it towards him. She released it, permitting him access into the secret, girlish part of her world that didn't revolve around drawing dead people. He silently observed it, tracing each line – the recognisable shape of the Jeffersonian, the lush gardens, the fountain, all seen from within the little gazebo. "Well," he said slowly. She clicked her tongue. She hardly expected him to understand.
Angela snatched the board away, collecting her pencils. "If it doesn't have a morbid undertone, no one is interested," she mumbled to herself, making a mental note to call one of her college buddies later. Unless they'd went into anthropology too. Then she'd rather have been alone.
"Ange…" Jack took her arm, frowning. "Everyone's noticed it. Your mood, I mean. This has happened once before, and I know it's difficult-"
"It's not difficult, Jack. It's desolate. Bleak. Not that you'd understand. Playing with your dirt." She saw how his face twisted in hurt, and his fingers eased on her arm a little, then tightened almost immediately.
"I'll blame your insensitive comment on the fact that you're pissed," Hodgins said, kindness and patience slipping back into his eyes. "Angela, you're worse than Brennan…" She blinked, tucking her pencils into her pants pocket. "You close yourself off because you think it's somehow wrong to feel like you do towards death. But it's okay." Angela slipped her arm from his hand, her dangly red earrings brushing her neck as she shook her head.
"It's not okay here, Jack," she said. "Emotions are quite forbidden here." Her friend frowned, stepping in front of her as she tried to leave. He didn't dominate her in height, but there was something in his eyes – bright blue and expressive, that made her stay. "Sometimes I need to breathe," she said, closing her eyes for a long moment.
"The breathe, Ange," Jack removed his right hand and stroked her arm. Her eyes fluttered open, and she found herself blushing. Oh for goodness sake! When had Jack become so damn considerate, anyway? Always checking up on her? "We'll manage, until you get your breath back." She nodded as he turned to leave, his shoes thudding like clock beats on the steps as he descended to the flower lined path back to the building.
"Jack," she called, and he hesitated. She wouldn't normally have found a man like Hodgins attractive. But he was intelligent, charming, he had the nicest smile and he genuinely cared about her. When he turned, she managed to smile. "Thank you." He nodded curtly, and strode on, a sense of disappointment woven into his gait. She wished she'd said more.
They'd been moving around in a perfunctory dance for months because Jack was attracted to her but was far too inwardly timid to risk rejection by asking her out. And she had so many reservations about dating someone from work – at least when it came to herself. Brennan and Booth, well, they were a different story altogether. They were sure to work out. They had sexual chemistry.
What did she and Jack have? Was she even attracted to him?
Holding her canvas to her chest, Angela followed him along the path, through the gardens. Her drawing would remain incomplete, probably forever. But it didn't matter, really. She'd spent enough time in the fresh air to be able to breathe again – at least without the painful ache in her chest. Perhaps identifying Jane and John Doe wouldn't be so damn difficult, now.
Inside the building, Booth was pacing, barking into his cell phone. When he saw her, he glared. "Angela! What's going on here? We don't really have time for painting in the park!" He shoved his cell-phone into his pocket, and gestured to the remains on the gurney, sans skulls. She imagined the skulls had been sent to her office.
"I'm on it, Booth. It was lunch time!" Hodgins slipped on his lab coat and buttoned it down, his eyes darkening a little.
"Chill out, Booth. Everyone needs a little down time, right?" Booth conceded reluctantly. "Besides, she drew an excellent sketch of the building." Angela smiled softly. So he did notice her art, then? Who knew? But then, he did live in a mansion with a tennis court. It was probably filled with expensive paintings and glorious works of art.
Donning her own lab coat, Angela shifted through the building to her office, where, sure enough, she found two skulls, waiting on her inspection. She studied them, their death-grimaces, the pearly teeth, soulless empty eye-sockets and she could already imagine their skin.
Finding a sketch book, she sharpened a graphite pencil and began to draw the woman first. She found her mind wander as she drew each line, stroke and curve of her face.
Jack Hodgins had been increasingly present, lately. He'd been making an effort to drink with them after work, and admittedly, he wasn't all that boring. When he stopped talking about politics for a minute, he was actually full of useful and insightful things. And he listened.
She filled in the irises in the woman's eyes, and shaded her cheekbones with an expert stroke.
He'd been kind and patient after Kirk's death, and perhaps it was time to move on. She'd missed the boat, with Kirk. And a simple date was hardly too much to ask, right? Jack would undoubtedly be thrilled because his eyes conveyed more to her than he could ever have imagined. She was an artist, for God's sake! She could draw a person from their skull, and she could damn well read someone when their flesh was still in tact.
Jack Hodgins had a 'thing' for her – and dammit, she was developing something of a thing for him too.
Moving on to John Doe, she started with the outline of his face. He had a severe jaw, wide almond shaped eyes, thin lips. When she'd finished the basic outline, she shaded him, too, her mind continuing to whirl in a maelstrom of possibilities. Would Kirk want her to pine him? She hadn't been on a date or slept with anyone since his death. He'd want her to move on. He'd want her to find someone new.
Hodgins wasn't her type!
But then, what was her type? Arty? There was more to life than just art. She'd always gone for men who had shared her passion. But differences were good too. They'd always have things to talk about. They always did have things to talk about.
Sighing loudly, Angela completed John Doe with a sweeping hairdo, reminiscent of the era in which she believed he'd died.
Jack pinched the bridge of his nose before shucking off his lab coat. It was six pm, and he was starved.
Stepping into his office, he flicked off his computer and rummaged in his desk drawer for his car keys. Behind him, he heard a knock.
"Hodgins, you ready to go?" Zach carried his backpack over one shoulder and his coat over his arm.
"I'll be there in a minute," Jack replied, locking the drawer and turning to ensure everything was switched off; Brennan hated it when they left computers turned on. Glancing down at his desk, he reminded himself that he needed to complete a particulates report and some errant paperwork in the morning. A folded slip of paper caught his eye, wedged between a paper-weight of a scorpion solidified in glass and a desk tidy.
He unfolded it, and recognised the arty, distinctive scrawl.
Fancy dinner sometime? Let me know…
My attempt at Hodgela.
Let me know what you think!