Zach caught up to Booth in the hallway on his way out. "Agent Booth, can I have a moment of your time?" he called.
Booth stopped, but didn't turn. Zach caught up to him, slightly out of breath. Booth sighed and half turned toward him. "What is it, Zach?" he asked wearily.
"I was wondering if you could answer a question about—women," Zach began tentatively. He still remembered the last time he'd had the temerity to approach Agent Booth on this subject, but he really didn't want to ask Hodgins.
Another heavier sigh. "I'd rather have a root canal," Booth muttered repressively, to no affect.
"I—want to ask a coworker for date and I'm not sure how to approach her," Zach said quickly, sensing that Booth was low on patience.
Booth put his hand on his hip and dropped his head forward in resignation. Might as well get this over with, he thought. He looked at Zach. "Maybe if you told me her name—"
"No!" Zach said a bit too quickly. "I—I mean, why do you need to know her name? I would think the method would be the same regardless of who she is—"
A smile kicked up one side of Booth's mouth. "You would be wrong then. You can't use the same approach with every woman. It doesn't work that way," he said with admirable patience.
Zach looked puzzled. "What do you mean?"
Booth blew out a breath. "Well, if she's shy, you should ask her quietly, when nobody else is around. If she's more outgoing, then a very direct approach should work—"
"What if she is probably completely unaware that I'm attracted to her? How would I do it then?" Zach asked mysteriously.
"Well, then I think you should begin by telling her how you feel. Her reaction should tell you whether she might be interested in going out with you." Booth studied Zach curiously, wondering who it could be. "It's Sandy Martin, isn't it?" he guessed. Sandy was one of the lab assistants, kinda cute if you liked the mousy type.
Zach's mouth dropped open. "What? No—why? Has she said anything?" he asked, distracted for the moment. Sandy didn't seem to be interested in him, but he didn't trust his own instincts when it came to this.
Booth frowned. "No, but it's not like she's ever said two words to me. Or anyone else, for that matter. I just thought, you know, working with her all the time—"
Zach shook his head. "Agent Booth, I'm not going to tell you who it is. If she—says no, I'd rather nobody else knew." Which was why he was talking to Booth instead of Hodgins, who would have told Angela.
Booth's interest was peaked. He racked his brain for candidates, but came up empty. Whoever she was, Zach had concealed his interest well.
Zach didn't like the way Agent Booth was looking at him. He knew he was nearly as perceptive as Angela. It was time to wrap this up before he figured it out.
"So, I start by telling her how I feel, then ask her out if she seems receptive," he said thoughtfully. He smiled suddenly, relieved to have a plan. "Well, I should get back to work. Thank you," he said, and hurried off, leaving Booth still trying to puzzle it out.