Title: Hidden Characters
Author: smitha-r
Rating: PG-13
Fandom(s): Bones
Pairing(s): Brennan/Booth, Booth/Angela, Brennan/Angela, Angela/Hodgins, Hodgins/Brennan. (OHOHOHOHO!)
Summary: Booth needs Brennan to fill him in on a case and Hodgins just wants to pay Angela a surprise visit. But when the guys find Brennan and Angela, they're the ones in for a surprise. And from there, things get a lot more interesting.
Notes: Crack!fic yayness. This fic was a bitch to write but I think I captured my original vision pretty well. I don't own Bones or any of the show's characters, alas.


"Bones, where the heck are you hiding?" Booth bounded through the doors of the Jeffersonian, looking around for the forensic anthropologist. When she wasn't to be found, he made a beeline for her office instead, expecting to see her typing away at her computer. However, her office door was closed, lights off and no activity to be seen. 'Dammit, where is she?' he wondered, stepping inside the darkened room and not finding the file he was looking for on her ordered desk. The district attorney wouldn't prosecute for their latest case unless he had a copy of the report that specifically talked about how the squints had figured out where the victim's body had been buried. And Brennan just happened to have that file, somewhere. 'Not in her office.' he thought, exiting her office with frustration. If only he could find her...

Walking up to the platform, he swiped his access card and was disappointed to see that she was nowhere to be found. A single, browned skeleton was sitting on one of the tables, and Booth recalled that this particular skeleton was a pet project of Zack's, his first solo case since becoming a doctor in his own right. Unfortunately, that meant that there was no reason for Brennan to be here helping the young squint.

"You look lost, man." a voice carried from behind him. Booth turned around and found Hodgins staring up at him from his workstation. "New case for us?"

"No, no new cases. I, uh, just had a question for Bones. Where is she?"

"You're out of luck, Brennan's off today." Hodgins replied, turning back to his microscope. "Whatever you have to ask her will have to wait, amigo."

Booth looked at the man with equal parts disbelief and concern. "Wait, you're telling me that Bones took the day off? She never takes time off of work, unless it involves more poking and prodding of dead people."

"Hey, don't shoot the messenger, I'm just telling it like it is." Hodgins replied, not looking up from the microscope.

Booth got off the platform and rounded on Hodgins. "Well, she isn't answering her cell phone either. Is she sick? Is she doing some extra projects or something? Is she-"

"Relax, G-man." Hodgins said with a little laugh, finally looking up at the FBI agent who was standing next to him. Booth, however, was not in a 'just relax' mood and made it clear to Hodgins by glowering over him. The scientist wiped the amused smile off his face.

"Uh, really, you don't need to worry about Brennan, Booth." he said seriously. "You may not have noticed, but Angela's not here either. Every year during the first week of April, Angela and Brennan take the day off work and hang out. It's more Angela's idea than Brennan's, something to do with pagan vernal equinox traditions, I think. Not particularly scientific, but you know how persuasive Angela can be." Hodgins said with a knowing grin.

Booth processed this new piece of information. "Too much information there, Hodgins, just for future reference. And 'hanging out'? That doesn't seem like Bones' style."

"I'm not saying that they paint each other's nails or have pillow fights or tie pink ribbons in their hair." Hodgins' mind seemed to wander off for a moment. "Although, it is something that I, for one, would love to be a Musca domestica on the wall to see."

Booth repressed the urge to say 'I don't know what that means'. "So, Bones isn't going to be in till tomorrow, huh?"

Hodgins looked apologetic. "Sorry to be the bearer of bad news."

Booth nodded, already walking away. "Thanks anyway, Hodgins." He was nearly out the door when he heard the other man call his name.

Hodgins hesitated, approaching Booth slowly. "This information you need from Dr. Brennan, is it important?"

"Very; I need it so that we can take Roberts to court for the murder of his ex-wife." Booth explained, referring to the case they had all just worked on.

Hodgins appeared to come to a decision. "I was planning on surprising Angela later this evening with dinner. That's where they both are, at her place. If you want to come along with me, we can kill two birds with one stone. I'll be leaving the Jeffersonian around five."

Booth considered the offer. He really did need to get that file from Brennan. He could just get what he needed and leave before getting sucked into any bizarre squint rituals.

"Fine, deal." Booth answered. "But we're taking my car this time."

"Not a problem." Hodgins said, the ghost of a smile passing across his face. "And, hey. Who knows? Maybe we can all hang out for a while, get to know each other and-"

Booth turned and left, shaking his head. Squints...


"For a scientist, you really are an idiot, you know that?" Booth muttered as he and Hodgins climbed the stairs to Angela's apartment, their arms completely overburdened with various packages of food. "Didn't you know this building doesn't have an elevator?"

Hodgins' voice was muffled behind the paper bag in his arms. "I guess I got carried away; I wanted to get a little bit of everything."

Booth grumbled slightly, but he had to admit that whatever Hodgins had picked up smelled mouth-wateringly amazing. One of the perks of being able to buy whatever you wanted, he knew. He hadn't eaten dinner yet, and Hodgins' invitation was starting to look promising. And besides, he rarely ever spent time with Bones outside work. He enjoyed it when they did, and it would probably do them both a world of good to forget about dead bodies and just talk like normal people for a while. Or as close to normal as one could get when hanging around the squints. Even Angela, for all her worldly ways, had her moments of squintiness. But he couldn't ignore the fact that Brennan's brain trust had accepted him into their fold as one of their own (as silly as it made him feel). He owed it to them to at least spend some time with them, to encourage their bonds to grow. He was a people-person, after all. No harm done, really.

Why am I rationalizing this? I'm supposed to get the file from Bones and leave. Things were not looking so cut and dry anymore, he realized with some trepidation.

"Alright, this is her floor." Hodgins said as they made it to the second story landing and turned left. "She's got one of those loft style apartments, in typical artiste fashion. Last door on your right."

As they neared the door, some strange feeling came over Booth that he couldn't explain. Something was off-kilter; he just couldn't pinpoint what it was...

"Dude, do you smell something?" Hodgins sounded just as baffled as he felt. They looked at each other for a moment, the realization dawning to them at the same time with matching expressions of surprise.

"No way." Hodgins whispered fiercely. "You don't think that..." He motioned his head towards the door in front of them, as best he could with the food in his arms, where the sounds of a faint conversation emanated from.

"Only one way to find out." Booth said, reaching out and knocking on the door without dropping any of the packages he carried.

No response.

Hodgins snorted. "Maybe you have to knock louder."

Booth glared at the shorter man but banged his fist against the door anyway. There was the sound of arguing (it was definitely Brennan and Angela, their voices very familiar to him), then footsteps approached. The door swung open and there they stood, leaning against each other bonelessly and staring at their unexpected visitors. Booth was suddenly reminded of that night months ago when he had shown up to the nightclub, Tessa hanging back uncomfortably while Brennan and Angela hovered around him, restless and manic. They didn't seem either restless or manic this time. Judging from the fact that the smell that he and Hodgins had smelled before was blasting him at full force now, he had an idea why Angela and Bones were looking so... mellow. There was silence between the four of them for a long moment, until Angela snorted and began to laugh, attempting to hug Hodgins despite the fact that his arms were loaded with food. Brennan tried to suppress her smile but ended up laughing as well until she noticed the food.

"You guys brought us sustenance! Angela!" She shook Angela's shoulder, detaching the other woman from a rather astounded Hodgins. "They brought us sustenance! Excellent."

"Most excellent." Angela said with a grin, grabbing as many packages as she could from Hodgins' arms and carrying them into the kitchen, swaying slightly as she did. Brennan followed suit, gathering the remaining packages that Booth was carrying and following her friend inside.

Raising an eyebrow at Hodgins, Booth cautiously walked inside, hearing the other man close the door behind them. Angela had a nice place, a loft apartment as Hodgins had mentioned, with large open windows and paintings and sketches on every wall. Angela and Brennan were piling containers onto the kitchen counter, perched precariously on bar stools.

"Ooooh, Indian food. I love Indian food. Spicy..." Brennan said to no one in particular, opening up a few of the packages while Angela stumbled off her chair muttering something about plates.

The truth of the situation was plain to Booth, and his voice finally returned. "Are you two high?"

"This is what you guys do every April? Oh man..." Hodgins added, the incredulous look still on his face as he put the pieces together.

"It's just once a year." Angela said, reaching into a cupboard and carrying out a couple of dishes. "We have this friend from back in college. He's got connections to the good stuff, and he sends me a 'care package' every year." She attempted to use air quotes while holding the dishes, and Booth winced as the plates almost slipped from her hand. "We are forever... in... his debt? Is that how the saying goes?" She giggled. "It sounds funny."

"Yeah, funny." Brennan parroted, spooning some red curry over rice. "Besides, we're careful. While nicotine is known to cause physiological addiction through... chemical reactions within the body, limited and regulated use of cannabis presents no hazards, and reduces the chance of, uh... psychological addiction commonly found with prolonged usage and stuff."

Stuff? "For someone who's high, you're still disturbingly technical." Booth noted, moving along to the point of this bizarre excursion. "Listen, Bones. I wanted to ask you about the report on Annie DeSouza's remains. I need the file on how you figured out where her body had been buried."

Brennan licked the sauce from her fingers, looking at him blankly. "... What?"

A sinking sensation came over Booth. "The file, remember? Where it outlines all the technical mumbo jumbo on how you squints figured out she had been buried in the park next to Roberts' house?"

Brennan's forehead furrowed in concentration until she began to laugh hysterically, free and melodic like he had never heard from her before. "I have no idea what file you're talking about. Are you sure you don't have it already?"

"No, I don't. I..." He sighed, pacing with frustration. Just his luck; his partner was too damn stoned to be of any use to him. Now there was something he never in a million years thought he'd have to deal with.

Angela smiled kindly, perched atop one of her bar stools. "Booth, honey, just calm down. Whatever it is, I'm sure it can wait a while longer." She tapped a random box. "You brought us food, you should eat some too."

Hodgins got off the floor and came to Angela's side. "Only if-" Hodgins started, but Angela cut him off by covering his mouth with her hand.

"I know what you're going to say. And yes, we have some extra."

"Whoa, whoa." Booth exclaimed as he raised his hands in protest, suddenly seeing where things were going and not entirely comfortable with it. Spending time with squints was one thing, smoking up with them was something else entirely. "You can count me out of this, I have to go."

Angela tilted her head at Booth and shrugged slowly. "Whatever."

"No no no no..." Brennan stumbled off her bar stool, tugging Booth back towards the kitchen and the food. "You have to stay. You see? We were just talking about you before you came here. It's a coincidence."

"Really, just talking about me, huh?" Booth didn't quite know how to deal with this version of Bones, but he found that he couldn't resist grinning at her. And he had to admit that his curiosity was getting the best of him. "I still can't believe you're high..."

"The effect is beginning to wear off, actually. I'm so glad you and Hodgins didn't show up a few hours earlier. Now that would have been embarrassing." She said, pushing him down on the stool next to her. Observing him for a second, she set upon her curry with a ravenous expression. "Stay for awhile, okay?"

Booth watched her eat with a bemused smile. I'm going to regret this. "Okay."


The food was set aside, cold and mostly consumed. Booth contemplated, as he repeatedly tossed a figurine he'd swiped from Angela's desk into the air, that it was a good thing after all that Hodgins had decided to buy so much food. He guessed the four of them would be ordering more food later. He looked out Angela's window, watching as the traffic rolled by, hearing Brennan and Hodgins arguing behind him. Hodgins was sprawled on the couch, with Angela draped inelegantly against him, smoking the last joint as she drew imaginary doodles across his free hand. Booth had to admit, those two were kinda cute together. In a squint-like way.

"I'm sorry, but this is way over my head. Even if I wasn't high, it would be way over my head." Angela laughed, watching as Hodgins stubbed out the joint.

Booth turned back to the conversation. "I'm with you there. Only squints would talk about astrophysicwhatever while lit." he quipped, staring restlessly at the multitudes of paintings and sketches that hung from Angela's walls. "This is nothing like the brain-fungus drug thingie. I feel like I need to burn off energy." He had long since discarded his jacket and tie, and he had the uncontrollable urge to throw a few boxing punches in the air. So he did.

Hodgins was laughing. "Dude, what the hell are you doing?"

"Boxing." Booth replied, continuing to spar against his shadow. Which wasn't easy, considering it was his shadow and it (amazingly) copied his every action. When he suddenly thought about what an idiot he must look like, he began to laugh at himself. Jesus, everything is just so damn funny!

Brennan began to chuckle quietly. "Hah... Vegas..."

Booth turned back from his shadow and plopped down on the couch that was next to Brennan, grinning like a fool. "Admit it, Bones; you wanted me in Vegas."

Angela and Hodgins gawked with amazement before bursting into delirious laughter.

Brennan replied with a throaty laugh, tilting her head back in her seat and staring at the ceiling. "Correction: you wanted me."

Angela sat up. "If my memory serves me right-"

"-Which we totally can't count on, considering we are all... incapacitated." Hodgins interjected loudly.

"-I was there with Cam when the phone practically exploded from sexual tension overload." She crossed her arms across her chest sweetly. "You both wanted each other. And I'm pretty sure you still do."

Brennan continued staring at the ceiling, musing half-heartedly. "It would be a bad idea. We've already had this conversation. Right, Booth?"

Booth couldn't reply. All coherent thought had stopped somehow when Brennan had tilted her face towards the ceiling, exposing the long line of her neck, pale and smooth and strangely compelling. Yes. This had been a very bad idea.

Angela followed Booth's gaze and he noticed a furtive expression on her face when she looked at Brennan. Then she simply sighed, a dreamy look on her face. "You guys are great."

"Interesting segue." Hodgins chuckled, trailing his fingers through Angela's hair.

"No, I mean it! You guys are the best friends ever." She said emphatically, looking at Hodgins earnestly. "Life is a fucking adventure with all of you around. The Jeffersonian wouldn't feel like home without you guys. You all mean the world to me. I love you guys!"

"You're so sweet, Ange." Brennan said, smiling widely.

"Very sweet, baby." Hodgins replied, nuzzling at Angela contentedly.

Booth found himself getting flustered, uncomfortable with all the emotions being tossed around. "I feel... out of place."

Angela turned to glance at him. "Aw, is poor Seeley feeling unloved? I think I have a solution for that..."

Before he had a chance to process what was happening, Angela disentangled herself from Hodgins and crept over to where he was sitting, sliding onto his lap and wrapping her arms around his neck. She leaned into him with a satisfied sigh. Booth, of course, was feeling very confused at this sudden turn of events. Angela smelled like flowers and paint, soft and strangely pliant in a way that Bones wasn't (and why was he thinking about Bones, anyway?).

He looked away from Angela, tucked against him, to Hodgins. The man simply shrugged at his speechless question. "I'm not the jealous type, man. She's like the wind."

"Oh, I like that. Very poetic." Angela murmured, the sound of her voice vibrating against Booth. He tried not to think about how nice it felt, but his head was feeling cloudy and it was becoming increasingly difficult to make sensible decisions.

"Is this some kind of ploy, Angela? Do you think that by getting cozy with Booth, I'll get jealous?" Booth was startled to hear Brennan's voice, amused and sparkling with laughter. Didn't she care that her best friend was sitting in his lap? Wait, why would she care? Should she care?

"I can't believe this; they're fighting over you." Hodgins snickered. It was a pretty funny observation and Booth couldn't help but grin helplessly.

There was a strange look in Angela's eye as she trailed her fingers across Booth's jaw, and he couldn't help but lean into her touch. "Bren, you may be intelligent when it comes to dead bodies and bones and whatever, but you're not the best when it comes to human interactions."

"She's right, you know." Booth stuttered, marshaling what felt like every brain cell he had in order to properly string together his words. "Psychology is not your thing."

"Fine, explain it to me." Brennan said, sitting up and staring at Angela like an eager pupil.

"Oh no, I think it'll be much more interesting when you figure it out yourself." Angela shook her head deviously.

"Ange, c'mon tell me!" Brennan was starting to sound insulted.

A slow smile crept over Angela's face. "What if I said that I didn't want to make you jealous of me, but that I wanted to make you jealous of Booth."

Brennan looked at Booth, then back at Angela. "I don't know what that means."

"Oh, for the love of..." Angela leaped out of Booth's lap, nearly sending him to the floor in the process, and rushed over to where Brennan was sitting. Before anyone could say anything, she had leaned over to plant a fierce kiss on Brennan's lips, tumbling against her forcefully. Booth didn't even look to see what Hodgins' reaction was; there was nothing he could do to tear his gaze away from what he was seeing. Swallowing hard, he realized that this was now going at the top of his mental 'Things I Never Thought I'd See' list, replacing the previous number one: Brennan high on marijuana. But when he realized that Brennan was kissing Angela back, all coherent thoughts were obliterated from his mind.

When Angela finally pulled away, there was a profound silence as the tension swirled around the room. Then Hodgins cleared his throat. "Please tell me that this was also part of your April tradition."

To their surprise (or not really, considering their collective state of mind), Brennan started to laugh, eyeing Angela perplexedly. "No, that's never happened before." She gave Angela a measured look. "Like the wind, huh?"

Angela looked a little embarrassed, but she was smiling. "We've been friends for how long? And you never figured it out? Just like you haven't figured it out with Booth?"

"Huh? With me what?" Booth said with a shake of his head, unable to process what had just happened as quickly as everyone else in the room. Things moved way too fast when you were dealing with squints under the influence, it seemed.

"Tonight seems to be running on a common theme of self-discovery." Hodgins commented casually, eyeing the women on the couch. "And it looks like in the case of the lovely Dr. Brennan, the journey is a little longer than for most." He winked at her. "I'm sure I could help you out with that, baby."

"Hodgins!" Brennan sounded scandalized, but ended up laughing at his comment anyway. "And how exactly are you going to help me on a journey of self-discovery?"

The gnawing feeling that had crept over Booth was finally too much to ignore. "Oh no you don't..." Booth growled, reaching over and grabbing Brennan by the hand, tugging her towards him until they were sharing the couch together in what was a decidedly tight fit. "I think you'd better back off-

"-get your own sandwich." Angela blurted out before degenerating into a fit of laughter.

Brennan shifted beside Booth, trying to get comfortable and draping her legs across his in the process. "I know that one! It's that commercial from a while ago!" Booth felt her arms snake around him and wondered if she even knew what she was doing. Then he realized that his fingers were unconsciously trailing through her hair.

Hodgins' brow was furrowed in thought. "Wasn't that a commercial for a submarine place? Or was it for bread? Man, now I'm getting hungry all over again."

Angela didn't reply immediately, but when she did there was a look of genuine pleasure on her face as she examined how Brennan had somehow entwined herself around Booth. "Well, don't you two look cozy together?"

Brennan looked at him strangely and he laughed out loud; she clearly had no idea how they had managed to become tangled together. "I wonder how that happened." Booth remarked quietly.

The confusion on her face slowly melted into a smile that matched his own. "Maybe it was... destiny."

Hodgins laughed as Angela padded back towards him, leaning against his chest once again. "I thought you didn't believe in destiny."

Angela pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Only in April, baby. Only in April."