A/N: I'm not even going to pretend. Yes, I am Queen of the Slackers. I present you with Chapter 6.
"Oh, hey Angela. What're you doing here?" Booth was surprised to see the artist standing in his doorway.
"Um, I came…um, I need to talk to you. To tell you something."
Angela looked worried, her voice tentative, the crease in her forehead telling her thoughts.
"Oh, of course. Um, sit down." He closed the file he was looking through and fixed his gaze on Angela as she took the seat in front of his desk.
"It's not about me, if that's what you're thinking," she said, looking at him. She glanced down at the jacket in her lap and then back up again. "I'm worried about Brennan. Like, really worried."
Booth sighed audibly and leaned back in his seat, straightening his tie.
"She's not acting like Brennan," Angela shuffled forward on her seat and leaned her elbows on the table, clasping her hands together, Booth could see her thinking about the words she was going to say before she said them, treading carefully yet still being tactfully blunt, as only Angela could pull off, "You know as well as I do what this partnership really means to her. And what it means to you, whether you choose to admit it or not."
He raised an eyebrow.
"Don't look at me like that."
"Look, Angela, You know I have no control over what the FBI does with Brennan, they could ship her off to China with Agent Cooper in the next office and I wouldn't have a say in it."
Angela sighed, loudly, irritated that she wasn't getting through. "I think you've been hanging around with her too much, her dense side is rubbing off on you."
He was put out. He wasn't dense.
She shuffled in her seat again, placing her hands on the desk between them. "I know you went out with Drew last night."
"Where did this come from?" he asked indignantly.
"I'm getting to my point. And don't deny it. The girl may be a good agent but she has the mouth of my mother."
Booth guessed what that meant. And he had to admit that Drew hadn't really stopped talking the whole night before, and even though he may not be entirely suave with women, he certainly knew when he was being hit on. He hoped Angela didn't know he'd agreed to go out with her again.
"And I know you're going out with her again."
Damn Angela. And not to mention Drew, who had probably been the one to tell her.
"Brennan is going to be hurt."
"She'd probably just spout something sci-"
"And you should know better than almost anyone what that means." Angela muttered something under her breath and sighed again, turning the ring on her thumb in circles, "Look, I'm going to spell it out for you, since you don't seem to be getting the message. Brennan's fallen for you. Hard. I don't even need to pry it out of her. Every time she looks at you, every time you put your hand on her shoulder, every time you say something to her. Sweetie, even Zack was asking her questions."
Booth looked at his hands, splaying his fingers out. Angela watched him, a tiny smile on her face.
"You don't need to say anything. It's none of my business what you do with your life, I just thought you should know."
She got up, slinging her bag over her shoulder and went out the door, closing it softly behind her. Once outside, she sighed heavily and hoped to whatever God she believed in that Booth wouldn't fuck this up.
Swiping his card, Booth walked up onto the platform with a grim expression.
"We've got another body."
"But how do you know it was the same killer?" Brennan asked; taking the depressingly thin file Booth handed her.
He almost forgot to answer her, thinking about what Angela had said earlier and about how even though he had been announcing a rift in their case, she still had a smile curling at the edge of her lips when he'd addressed her.
"Same cause of death, bound before demise, found in Brightleaf Square, another extremely conspicuous place."
"You think it's a serial killer?" she asked, looking up.
"I think it's a serial killer."
"Could you just answer me with a yes or no instead of repeating everything I say? It gets irksome."
He grinned impishly at her and could see her fighting back a smile. "When am I ever irksome?"
His spirits were slightly uplifted. She still wasn't saying much, but at least she was slightly more talkative than she had been, and she'd got a bit of her old spark back.
"We'll be there for a while."
"Be there?" asked Brennan.
Booth ignored her. "We'll want all the squints. I'll have to organize it with Cullen."
"All the s- everyone?"
Then it dawned on her.
"We're going to North Carolina?"
"We're going to North Carolina."
Booth whistled as he walked towards Brennan's office later that day, but stopped as he heard her voice, sounding strained and slightly ticked off.
"Yes, with Booth."
There was a pause, and Booth realized she was talking on the phone. He stood silently outside her door, not wanting to interrupt.
"I don't know how long for, a week at the minimum."
"No, I'm not going to avoid you, I'm sorry about canceling our last dinners, but my job is important to me."
Booth guessed she was talking to David. Either that or it was some secret boyfriend that both he and David didn't know about. He didn't like either guess.
"No, not more important than you. Look, I have to go, Booth is taking me-"
When he heard the click of the phone being put back on its hook, Booth took it as his cue to interrupt.
"Ready to go, Bones?" he asked, watching her face carefully. She looked slightly confused, he imagined it was because she couldn't understand why her hanging around him annoyed David so much, and why her career should suffer because she was in a relationship. She didn't get that to David, her relationship with her bones was stronger than any other she had.
She grabbed her coat, and shrugging it on she led the way out the door, Booth following behind her, surprised at her pace as they made their way out to his SUV, Brennan completely disregarding the security guard standing at the door as he jumped out of her way.
"Whoa, Bones, what's with the speed?" he asked as he finally caught up to her. She didn't say anything for a second, and the beep of the SUV unlocking was loud in the silent car park. Brennan folded her arms over her chest and looked out over the streets blanketed in snow, the breeze sending flyway hairs over her face, marring her vision.
"Booth?" she turned her head towards him as leaned on the side of the vehicle.
"If I was in a relationship with someone, would I be required to sacrifice major parts of my career, something that's very important to me, so that my partner is my first priority all the time?" her voice was detached, as if this were a hypothetical situation.
It was just one word, with hardly a pause between the last word of her question and it.
It got a smile from her though.
"Any reason why you wanted to know?" he asked, even though he already knew why she'd asked.
"Just for reference."
He grinned at her and she smiled back, before opening the door of the SUV.
"So, travel agency?"
RAHH. I'm done. I don't even know what's going on, but I'm glad the plot is making a little progress, finally.
Also, just so you know, I'm doing NaNoWriMo, so you probably won't see anything from me for about a month, unless I end up posting something because I need a break. Toodles.