Title: The Education of Temperance Brennan
Summary: Some things you don't learn in a school. Booth teaches Brennan a few things.
Disclaimers: Don't own Bones. For fun only.
A/N: Just wanted something light…and it doesn't get much fluffier than this. Set immediately after The Killer in the Concrete.
The Royal Diner
"It's a good old song, right?" Brennan asked.
After their impromptu duet, Brennan decided the time was right to broach a subject that had been floating on the edges of her periphery since Booth's first mention of Mulder and Scully. Taking another sip of her coffee, she once again evaluated the pros and cons of asking for Booth's help. Sure the man was a walking, talking dictionary of pop culture, but would the inevitable ribbing she would receive outweigh the potential benefits of gaining insights about mainstream culture? Before she could answer her own question, she heard Booth saying, "Earth to Bones…This is mission control." Brennan smiled in response to his teasing. Without even knowing the direction of her thoughts, he proved he was the right man for the job.
"I actually know that one, Booth."
"I would hope so, Bones, otherwise I would wonder about those fancy degrees on your wall." Booth shifted in his seat. His body was still recovering from the beating he had taken.
Brennan noticed his discomfort. "We can go…" She started to stand.
Booth interrupted before she could finish and waved her back to her seat. "Nah, I'm fine. Nothing a good night's sleep won't cure. So, what is going on in that head of yours? You were looking at me like I was one of your bones."
"Well, I was trying to decide if you could help me..." Brennan toyed idly with the glass dolphin on the table.
Again Booth interrupted her. "Just name it, Bones. Of course, if it requires running, I may need a few days."
"I am trying to name it, Booth, but you keep interrupting." He grinned a bit sheepishly at her admonishment. "As I was saying, I would like your help in expanding my knowledge base." Brennan's eyes narrowed, daring him to interrupt again. He wisely chose not to. "Anthropologically speaking, societies are built and maintained through shared cultural experiences. People are able to form connections, which are then perpetuated through the literature and oral tradition of the society. Currently, the media plays a prominent role in…" She trailed off as she noticed Booth smiling at her. "What?"
"That sure is a roundabout way of asking me to help you increase your pop culture IQ." He chuckled at her surprised expression. "Guess I am getting better at deciphering your squint talk. So, why the sudden interest in pop culture?"
"I think it would serve two purposes. First, it would facilitate my ability to be of use during interviews. You use cultural references to put suspects at ease or connect with a witness unwilling to cooperate. Additionally, the genre of thriller writing is highly competitive. In order to ensure continued success, I believe there must be elements within my novels that strike a chord with my readers." He looked at her skeptically. "Actually, my publisher is concerned that my novels are a little too technical, so he has requested that I include a few more such references."
"Have to say I can't quite see Kathy tossing out quips like someone on a Sorkin show, but…"
"I don't know what that means, but this research would be primarily used for Andy's character."
Booth nodded knowingly. "So you came to the source of your inspiration for help?"
"For the last time, all the characters in my novels are purely fictional and…"
This time he did interrupt with a smile. "Whatever helps you sleep at night, Bones." The waitress came over and refilled their coffee cups before Brennan could respond. Both thanked her. Booth regarded his partner across the table. She seemed hesitant to continue. He knew that asking for help was not something she did easily. "All kidding aside, that is kind of a tall order. How do you propose we go about this?"
"Given the sheer scope of possible subject matter, I thought perhaps you could make a Top Ten list of pop cultural references."
"Well, it kind of depends on the person and when they grew up and what their interests are…" Booth didn't want to discourage her, but it wasn't like you could google pop culture references.
"But there are certain things that people know about, right? It has been made abundantly clear that I somehow missed out on the idiomatic expressions and cultural experiences, which have found their way into the vernacular. If the OED accepts their importance then I can make an effort."
"OED?" He asked.
"Oxford English Dictionary. As the name suggests, it is a dictionary. However, the editors have endeavored to include words that have made their way into the vernacular to present a current comprehensive picture of modern language, which in turn reflects societal interests."
Booth smiled at her. "Maybe you should just read it instead." He was teasing her, but sometimes he just couldn't resist.
"Booth, that is a completely unreasonable suggestion. It contains over 300,000 words. In fact the word 'set' has 464 different senses and definitions. Additionally, the average person has a vocabulary consisting of approximately 50,000." As she reeled off these statistics, Booth's smile just seemed to get wider. Finally, realizing he was just giving her a hard time, she returned his smile. "That's why I need your help. Besides you are the one always using them, so while it is true that it is completely subjective, by knowing which you find significant, I will better understand what you are saying." She did not add that she would hopefully better understand what he was not saying. There were depths to Booth, which he guarded as closely as she did.
Shaking his head at her logic, he agreed. "Ok, but I think we need to lay down some ground rules if we are going to do this. First, if you want my Top Ten, then you have to respect it. No mocking it or questioning my choices. Now, if you just want a cultural hit list, then I think we just need to get you another tv and, maybe, a subscription to People. It's up to you."
"I think I would prefer your Top Ten list. You are man of the people, Booth. I am sure whatever you consider relevant would be helpful."
Taking a sip of his coffee, he considered her comment. "A man of the people, huh? I guess that isn't such a bad thing. Although, you're still going to need a tv. If we are going to do this, we are going to do it my way. Agreed?" He stuck his hand across the table.
Smiling, she shook his hand. "Agreed."