These are just some cute little fics that are kind of like a series I guess, since one chap has nothing to do wtih the next. But Booth has such a hero complex, I decided it probably didn't just apply to Brennan, but to all 'his squints'. Lets see if I'm right, shall we?
Booth rolled his neck attempting to ward off the headache he could feel coming on. What had he been thinking taking Zack into the field with him? Brennan was away in Paraguay for two weeks on an urgent dig and, so far, she hadn't been kidnapped or attacked, so he was obliged to stay in DC and work cases with the Boy Genius.
"Yes Zack, I'm sure he's not the killer." Booth sighed heavily as they made their way inside the FBI building to pick up some paperwork in his office.
They'd just finished interviewing a suspect and thankfully, Zack hadn't said anything to hurt the investigation, but he hadn't really helped either. Mostly he sat there with that open-mouthed, intense curiosity he always wore when studying human behavior.
Maybe he really is from Mars.
"But, Agent Booth, how can you be sure? I haven't seen any forensic evidence to support that conclusion. All the tests have been inconclusive." Zack hurried after Booth, who's strides seemed to be getting larger.
They weaved through the bullpen toward Booth's office. He was once again confused by Agent Booth's logic, or lack thereof. Although that wasn't at all unusual.
"Not everything is about forensics Zack, some things you just know." Booth stated as patiently as he could which, granted, wasn't very.
Like, for example, I know I will never allow Bones to leave the country without me again. Not when I have to work with Brainy Boy while she's gone.
Booth liked Zack, he really did. He really wasn't that bad of a guy. But the kid was more annoying than Fran Drescher on Helium.
"But how do you know Agent Booth?" Zack couldn't believe how illogical Booth was being. There was no evidence to support or deny that the man they had just interviewed had not killed their victim, and yet Booth was convinced he hadn't. The young scientist had always found Booth's hypothetical rants annoying and useless, but knew better than to say so. Now that he was being subjected to them full time, he couldn't fathom how Dr. Brennan managed to put up with it.
Agent Booth is a very emotional person. He thought to himself, studying Booth, as he often did, when the agent stopped to talk to Cullen in the hallway. He kept using wide gestures and moving about as he talked.
He doesn't seem capable of speaking without using his hands.
"Yessir, we're heading over there right after I pick up the McNulty file that Gates left in my office." Booth didn't hear Zack approach so when he turned around he almost ran the young man over.
"Holy…Zack!" He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, resisting the urge, for the sixth time that day, to pull out his gun and shoot one of them between the eyes. Maybe both.
"Just…stay here. Okay? I'll be right out." He pointed to the spot on the floor where Zack was standing a few feet away from his office. He needed a moment to himself to bring his short temper back under control before someone ended up hurt.
He waited until Zack met his eyes.
"Don't. Move." He said through clenched teeth.
Zack frowned and nodded. He wasn't a dog. He didn't need one-word directions. In fact, he was capable of following a whole series of directions given at once without much trouble. But the fierce look on Booth's face made him stiffen involuntarily. He wasn't so great with people, but Agent Booth had a way of making his wishes known.
Booth disappeared inside his office and Zack, took a moment to study the activity in the bullpen. It was a flurry of chaos, as far as he could tell, nothing like at the lab.
There were many more people in a much smaller space. They moved sporadically, reacting to shouts from the other end of the room, or ringing phones or any number of different stimuli he saw present. He noticed that many of the agents showed labored movements and signs of fatigue and most carried a Styrofoam cup full of black coffee.
Zack wrinkled his nose, he didn't like coffee. The one time he drank it he hadn't been able to sleep for 24 hours and Hodgins kept delaying in response to his questions because he was 'talking faster than the speed of sound'. Which, of course, is humanly impossible, but Zack understood what he meant anyway.
Noticing Zack's pained expression, one he often wore when concentrating, a passing agent stopped to ask, "What's eatin' you?"
Zack turned to face a short, pink faced agent in a navy blue tie and wrinkled shirt, holding a greasy meatball sub.
He frowned and glanced down at himself. "Nothing's eating me. And since I am not eating anything I would have to assume you don't mean 'what am I eating' so your question doesn't make any sense. The insects that do eat human bodies obviously aren't interested until after the person has been deceased, usually for quite a few hours, and I am very much alive."
The man stared blankly and looked past Zack to a blonde agent who'd stopped nearby and was giving Zack a strange look.
Mistaking his hesitance for bewilderment, Zack continued.
"What I mean is, I don't understand the question." He said carefully, tilting his head as he waited for clarification.
The first agent was joined by the other and they gave Zack a quick once over.
"Man are you for real?" The blonde asked, giving his colleague an amused smile. "That was the geekiest thing I've ever heard."
"Kid, where are you from?" The short agent took a big bite of his sandwich and nodded at him. "And do you need a phone to call the Mothership?"
"ET phone home!" Both Agents found this hysterical and the taller leaned on the meatball faced one, burying his head in his arm as he laughed.
Zack's frown deepened. Hodins had called him an alien enough times to know that what these men were saying was not at all flattering.
"If I were an extraterrestrial, which I'm not, I most likely would have my own communication device since our telephones would not have nearly the power to send a signal out into space." He smoothed his blazer self consciously, wishing for his blue lab coat. People tended to respect him more when he wore his lab coat.
He didn't know why, but whatever he'd said only gave the other men more fuel and they were now red in the face from laughing, begging him to stop.
Their laughter was now catching the attention of a few other agents passing by who came to see the joke.
"What's going on?" "What's so funny?" "C'mon Andrews, tell us."
"Just listen to this guy, it's hilarious. Ask him anything!" The shorter agent gasped, tears now gathering in his eyes.
Zack swallowed, he was uncomfortable in group situations and he found himself glancing over their shoulders, searching for Booth. He jus wanted to get out of there.
"Hey, kid, what's your name?"
Zack turned to the one woman in the group, a heavyset red-head with pencils in her hair bun.
"Dr. Zackery Addy." He stated confidently. Maybe a PhD would scare them off.
"Oh, I know who this is!" A young agent with slicked back hair and a crisp shirt spoke up, "This is one of those scientists. One of Booth's squints."
"That's right Vance." A deep voice cut between them sharply and the agents swallowed their laughter. Parting slowly, they revealed a severe looking Booth, his hand's on his hips, jaw clenched in irritation.
Booth cursed under his breath as he exited his office. He knew he shouldn't have left him alone, but it was only a minute. What had he done to gain so much attention in barely five minutes?"
He approached the group quietly and listened for a moment. Then his blood began to boil. They were laughing at Zack. Laughing at one of his squints.
That is not gonna fly.
Zack sighed and his shoulders hunched slightly in relief. He'd never expected to feel that emotion when Agent Booth entered a room.
Booth slowly walked between the group agents, now totaling six, meeting each one of them in the eye squarely. All except a short, pink faced agent named Higgins, who kept his eyes firmly planted on the ground.
"What's going on Ben?" Booth asked, his voice deceptively calm. No one moved.
"Aww, c'mon guys, what's the joke? I wanna laugh too." He addressed the group but kept his eyes on Higgins, who sheepishly took another bite of his sandwich while staring at the floor.
"N-nothing Agent Booth. Sir. We were uh…just talking to your friend here." The blonde agent said lightly. Booth flicked his eyes toward him.
"Really?" He took a step closer to Higgins so he was looking down on the man's sweaty face. "Is that what was going on Ben? 'Cause from where I stood it looked like you guys were making fun of one of our associates from the Jeffersonian. One of the valuable scientists with an IQ so much higher than yours you wouldn't even know where to look for it on the chart."
He stood back suddenly and addressed the group, again meeting their eyes in turn. "But I'm sure I'm wrong in that. None of my fellow agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be caught dead disrespecting on of our Jeffersonian associates, right?" He paused and was pleased to find all his subordinate agents shifting nervously. He dipped his chin slightly and dropped his voice.
"If I ever hear of any of you treating Dr. Addy, or any of the other Jeffersonian scientists that way again, you'll be dealing with me personally. Am I clear?"
The agents mumbled their affirmative reply and Booth nodded curtly.
"Good. C'mon Zack, lets go." He turned on his heal and walked briskly toward the elevator.
Upon entering Zack chanced a quick look at Booth who stood stiffly beside him, staring straight ahead.
"Thanks." He said quietly, raising his hand and resting it on Booth's shoulder awkwardly. "That meant a lot."
Booth straightened his tie.
"Don't touch me."
Zack immediately withdrew his hand and looked straight ahead, mimicking Booth's straight posture.
Zack turned quickly, but Booth's blank expression held no evidence that he'd just spoken. He tilted his head and turned away again, missing the fleeting upturn of Booth's lips.
Zack found the pudgy agent Higgins staring at the elevator as the doors started to shut and he boldly met the man's eyes.
Who's the tough guy now? Ha!
Yeah! Go Zach! So, what'd you guys think? The next chap is Angela.