I want to say thanks to those of you who are reading and reviewing this completely random fic, and major props to jerseybones for finding me a tie-in to an episode! In 1x06 A Boy in a Bush, Brennan comments on the pressure needed to crack the boy's ribs in kilos, then Booth asks her for the American translation. So maybe this fic isn't SO far off the beaten path. Haha, well, onto the story!

Chapter 3—Tuesday

Brennan woke early on Tuesday morning, her body still not quite used to the time change. Checking her email, she was happy to see an email from Booth, which she quickly opened.

Hey Bones,

You'll do great today. Don't worry too much today, just be yourself. Your logic is enough to persuade anyone, especially a bunch of scientists. And if that's not enough, your persistence, determination, and stubbornness is enough to make them give in eventually. Good luck, and I'll talk to you soon!


She smiled at his comment on her stubbornness, knowing he was probably the only person in the world as stubborn as she was, and yet they got along so well. Sending him a quick text message, she walked down the hall to the kitchen to find some breakfast.

She was surprised to see Chrissy already up, cooking pancakes and bacon. "Morning," she said, getting a glass of water and dropping into a chair, "sleep well?"

"Yeah, thanks. How about you?" she replied, expertly flipping a pancake.

"Not bad, I'm still adjusting to the time change, though," Brennan said, yawning and running her fingers through her hair.

"Coffee is on the counter," Chrissy replied off-handedly, gesturing of to her right, where Brennan saw a full pot of steaming hot coffee.

"Thanks, water just isn't enough to wake me up anymore," Brennan said, thankful for the caffeine as she poured herself a cup.

"Jacey should be out of the shower soon, then we'll eat," she said as Jacey was coming down the stairs.

"Morning girls," Jacey said, grabbing plates and starting to set the table, "Did you talk to your tall, dark, and handsome last night?" she asked Brennan, teasing her about her partner. Brennan had been on the phone with him on and off all day yesterday, and she expected they had talked after she and Chrissy had gone to sleep.

Blushing a little, Brennan just nodded, pouring Jacey a cup of coffee and taking it to the table with a glass of milk for Chrissy.

"You still don't drink caffeine, huh?" she asked Chrissy, taking a long sip of her coffee.

"Nope. David has a caffeine addiction, as do both of you, and not one of you can function without it. I don't really want that problem, thanks."

They all laughed, knowing it was true. After swapping stories of their inability to cope without coffee, they finished eating and cleaned up quickly.

Less than an hour later they were on their way to the university to get ready for the meeting which would take place the following day. They set up the meeting room with video conferencing capabilities, four monitors in all, for the four members who weren't able to fly down for the meeting.

Sitting around the table, they spent the next few hours finalizing the agenda and their arguments. Since school was out for the holidays, they were startled a few hours later to hear someone arguing with the one security guard down the hall.

Brennan listened for a moment before jumping up and opening the door. It can't be…, she thought. "Booth! What are you doing here?" she asked, stunned to see her partner trying to get by the security guard.

"You know this man, Dr. Brennan?" the guard asked, looking at her while still blocking Booth from walking down the hall.

"Yes, you can let him come in, Daniel. Thank you," she replied, aware Chrissy and Jacey were standing in the doorway behind her watching the scene play out.

"Booth," she repeated, watching her partner walk down the hallway toward her, "what are you doing here? Where's Parker? What happened to DisneyWorld?"

Booth sighed, and she realized how exhausted and disappointed he looked. "I'm here to surprise you. Surprise!" he said, trying to sound happy and throwing his charm smile her way.

She couldn't help but smile when he did that, fighting down her happiness at seeing him, she replied, "Fine, don't tell me yet, but you will tell me later."

Stepping to the side, she gestured at her two friends still standing in the doorway, matching grins on their faces. "Girls, this is Booth, my partner. Booth, this is Dr. Jacey Tennant and Dr. Christiana Black. They were my roommates in college."

"Really?" he asked, suddenly interested to hear stories of Brennan from her college days.

"Yeah, we all lived together for all four years of undergrad," they replied, the grins never wavering on their faces.

"You have to tell me some stories about her, okay?" he asked, knowing full-well that Brennan would smack him and tell them not to. He wasn't disappointed, getting a hard smack on the arm while she told them they were not to tell him any stories.

Laughing at the pair, Jacey and Chrissy watched them interact. "Well, since we were about to go get lunch, would you like to join us?" Jacey asked him, still grinning. She was planning to win the $50 bet she had going with Angela back in DC, and this lunch would help her to do it. A plan began to form in her mind, knowing her job was going to be a lot easier now that he was there.

"Um, sure," he replied, slightly scared of Jacey and Chrissy's Angela-esque smiles. If they were anything like her, he knew he was in for one interesting lunch.

A little while later they were enjoying their lunch, with Brennan sitting awkwardly next to Booth as he got to know Chrissy and Jacey who were sitting across from them.

"So what do you do for a living?" Booth asked, hoping it was something that he at least knew what it was. The pair didn't seem too bad to him, they definitely were more knowledgeable about the real world than Brennan and Zach, and not nearly as crazy as Hodgins.

"I'm an aerospace engineer," Chrissy responded, smiling at him. "I specialize in Areology, which is the study of Mars."

"That's pretty cool. Do you design the shuttles and all that?" Booth asked, actually interested and glad he somewhat understood what she was talking about.

"I helped design the Mars Global Surveyor, which was actually a satellite that we launched in 1996. I'm currently working on another one to send up, since we lost contact with Surveyor last year," she elaborated, knowing Booth would be at least partially interested in her work, since Brennan had told her about their case with the dead astronaut and the weightless experience. "I work down at the NASA station in Florida, so maybe you can get Tempe to finally come down and visit me one day. You can bring your son, too, I'm sure he'd love it."

"Oh he definitely would!" Booth agreed, his excitement coming out in his smile, "Hell, I would love it." Turning to Brennan, he put his arm around her shoulders, "Why didn't you ever mention you knew someone who worked for NASA? We could have done all kinds of cool stuff!"

"I don't know, it just never came up," Brennan said, relaxing as her friends chatted, comfortable with Booth's arm around her. It would be fun to go down and see the NASA station with Booth and Parker, especially getting to experience zero gravity again.

"What about you?" Booth asked Jacey, wondering what other random scientific field Brennan's friends could possibly work in.

"Well, I actually have three doctorates, in Planktology, Phycology, and Nematology," she replied, elaborating when she saw the blank stare on his face, "the studies of plankton, algae, and microscopic roundworm parasites."

He raised an eyebrow in question, amazed anyone would actually want to study any of those things. "What on earth do you do with that?"

"I work at the Waitomo Caves during the holiday, and teach here at the university during the school year," she explained. "Which reminds me, we're going to have to go down to the caves before you leave, Tempe," she told her friend.

"Oh, definitely! I really want to see them!" Brennan said, getting excited by the prospect of maybe seeing them with Booth.

"She'd get along great with Hodgins," he commented to Brennan, pulling her a little closer to his body.

"She'd better get along with him, since she's Jack's cousin," Brennan said, smiling at him.

Booth stopped, turning back to Jacey. "Hodgins is your cousin?" he asked, intrigued.

"By marriage, but we grew up together in DC," she said, shrugging her shoulders. "I wasn't able to make it to the 'wedding,'" she continued, using air quotes.

"Huh, that's interesting," Booth said, still trying to grasp the fact that Jacey, in all her normality (except for her doctorates, of course), was related to conspiracy-theorist Hodgins.

Still thinking about the caves, Brennan looked up at Booth, "When are you heading back to DC?"

Booth grinned back at her, "I actually am on the same flights you are to go back, so we leave Sunday."

Brennan smiled, flying with Booth was much better than flying alone. "Cool. And since you didn't tell me earlier, why ARE you here? What happened to your vacation with Parker?"

Booth's smile disappeared as he remembered why he was in New Zealand rather than at DisneyWorld with his son. Parker came down with chicken pox late Sunday night, and since I haven't had them yet, I can't be around him for another week."

"Oh, Booth," Brennan said, placing her hand on his knee. "I'm so sorry! I know how much you were looking forward to your vacation…" He still hadn't directly answered her question, though. She didn't want to pry anymore, but she figured it had to do with the fact that he didn't want to sit alone in DC, knowing he couldn't see his son who was across town.

"Things happen, I guess," he said, looking down at his food. Even though he was disappointed about his missed vacation with Parker, being in New Zealand with Brennan was the next best thing.

"Where are you staying?" Chrissy asked suddenly, needing to break up the heavy sadness that seemed to be hanging over their table.

Booth looked up, realizing someone was talking to him, "Um, I hadn't really thought that far ahead, I just traded in our plane tickets for a ticket down here."

"You can stay at my house," Jacey offered, "Even with Chrissy and Tempe, there is still plenty of room."

"Thanks," he grinned across the table at the pair, his arm still around Brennan's shoulders.

Glancing at her watch, Chrissy was surprised to see how much time had passed. "We should actually get going, since we need to run by the house before the meeting starts later tonight," she said, standing up and grabbing the check.

Pushing Booth out of the booth, Brennan easily caught up to Chrissy and took the check away. "I got this one," she said, going to the register to pay for their lunch.

After going back to the university to get Booth's rental car, they arrived back at the house, where Jacey quickly set Booth up on the fold-out couch in the den, right next door to Brennan's room.

Leaving Booth at the house to get settled in and adjust to the time change, the three girls headed back to the university for the first meeting of the International Measurement Association in the past 5 years.