HUGE Thanks to everyone for reading this, I apologise for the delay, I'm back at work full-time now sadly, so time to get online and post is limited On with the case anyway…
"Thank you for the help." Brennan mimicked as they entered their hotel room, arms laden down with cartons of food, "We'll be back."
"You think I don't know that place was hideous?" Booth muttered, dumping his share of the cartons on the table and pulling out a seat. "When did you turn into such a girl? Do I complain when you expect me to look at dead things?"
"It was wrong!" Brennan spat, "this isn't even about me not believing in marriage or churches, that place was pink and looked nothing like any church I've ever seen!"
"And exactly how many churches have you ever seen?" Booth rose to the bait, temporarily forgetting the food in front of him.
"More than you probably," Brennan shot back, "you know nothing about me Booth, don't fool yourself into thinking you do." She glared at her partner, incensed not just by the topic but the entire situation that she had no control over.
"Fried rice?" Booth offered, refused to partake in the argument any further. He had no doubt that she would be able to carry on an argument all by herself, even with a brick wall had it found some way to annoy her, but he was hoping she would calm down and allow the logic that she usually applied to every aspect of her life to assist in her thought processes this time. He wanted this case wrapped up as soon as possible, the longer they were stuck pretending to be Tony and Roxie the more chance they had of being caught out.
"I need a shower," Brennan told Booth, watching him in barely veiled fury as he shovelled fried rice onto his plate, his dismissal of her and her feelings grating on her very last nerve.
What more could he possibly expect she wondered as she snatched up her toiletry case and closed the bathroom door, turning the lock with a loud click and a small amount of satisfaction. This kind of thing was exactly why she needed Angela in her life so badly. Angela would take one single look at the situation, laugh, and then expertly deal with it all. She would know what to say, how to act, what to do with these irrational feelings that were distracting her from her usual behaviour. She was usually able to compartmentalise her emotions at all times, to acknowledge the feelings stirring inside for her partner, but the ability to put them aside and focus on the case had abandoned her. Maybe it was the loss of anything tangible to focus on. Booth had once told her that they each had their own 'things' in an investigation. Undercover investigations were his thing. Bones were the only thing she could comfortably excel at.
Or maybe, if she was completely honest with herself, she was still wondering why Booth hadn't proposed properly to her. Or why he hadn't questioned why she didn't want much more than what she had now, normally Booth was intrigued when she gave vague answers to his personal questions. Telling herself that she was being ridiculous, she got up from her seat on top of the toilet, glancing into the mirror to check that her face wouldn't betray her loss of control over her emotions. Satisfied, Brennan pulled open the door, taking a seat at the table and helping herself to what Booth had left in the cartons.
Watching Bones take the seat opposite him, Booth bit his tongue once again, not willing to start another argument by asking her why she hadn't taken the shower she said she wanted. He smiled when she looked up at him, thanking him with a small smile of her own for the food he had left, obviously not wanting to risk her wrath if he'd eaten her half of the take-out.
"I should call Ange," Brennan told Booth, handing back the cartons for Booth to finish up, "Let her know that we've confirmed where Victims One and Two were married so Hodgins can work with particulates, see if anything brings up a match to the file of the woman who was rescued." She frowned, "The police in Nevada did take her clothes as evidence didn't they?"
"Bones, they rescued her from a prostitution ring, she wasn't wearing anything." Booth told her uncomfortably, "They probably didn't know to look to particulates but the file can be sent to the Jeffersonian if they need it."
"Okay," Brennan exhaled, blowing the boiling hot air from her mouth in an attempt to cool the mouthful of food that had just burnt her tongue. "Hot," She muttered, smiling when Booth immediately looked up at her, "the rice," she clarified.
"Of course." Booth agreed, leaning backwards on his chair with a small smile, watching as his partner ate properly for the first time that day. A few cups of coffee and half a grapefruit would not have sustained him halfway down the strip, unlike Bones. She had not complained much during the day even though it was all he could do to not complain about his hunger and the case. She had clearly been pissed off with the Sweet Hearts Chapel, even though it had given them their first concrete piece of evidence linking the victims to the prostitution ring the F.B.I. suspected to be responsible.
If Booth was completely honest with himself, he was just as pissed off that the chapel they were investigating was seemingly run by an insanely cheerful woman with a frightening passion for the colour pink. It was unexpected, and that was one thing Booth hated when investigating a murder. He liked things to be straightforward, someone to blame, someone to pay for the crime they had committed and limited paperwork. He wasn't sure he could survive Hurricane Temperance should she choose to let loose on this case, it had been brewing since Christmas, and Booth still wasn't sure which way things were likely to go.
"Now what?" Brennan spoke, jarring Booth from his thoughts once again.
"Now, we call home, make sure everyone's working harder than we are." Booth grinned, sliding his cell phone across the table.
"Booth, it's almost eight back in D.C, you can't honestly expect them to be working this case still?"
"No, I'm gonna ring Parker to say good night while you ring Angela," Booth grinned, pushing his chair away from the table and taking his phone with him as he settled agaisnt the window on the opposite side of the room, watching Bones as she pulled her laptop out of her bag, setting up her satellite link to her best friend.
"Hey Bud," Booth spoke into the phone, a wide smile stealing it's way across his face as his son launched into a detailed recollection of his day at school and Bones greeted Angela with a smile on her face. It was times like this that made their partnership such a success, after a fairly tumultuous day of ups and downs, confusion and bickering, it was nice to know that ultimately, their partnership would survive.
After making sure Booth was occupied with speaking to Parker on his cell, Brennan made herself comfortable in her seat, tuning out what Booth was saying in the background as she swivelled the laptop to face her new seating position, she finally allowed herself to consider just what the hell was going on. Angela was giving her details of the woman whose remains had been identified that morning, but as far as Brennan had been aware, they had been looking for identifications of two male skeletons, not female. Interrupting Angela's speech on the possibilities of visiting chapels in Vegas, Brennan voiced her confusion.
"It's definitely a woman, Roisin O'Driscoll, age 29." Angela read from a file in her hand, looking back up to see her best friend's confused face. "The skull doesn't tell lies Sweetie."
"No, I believe you," Brennan assured Angela, recalling a case not so long ago where Angela's art had 'made science her bitch'. "Is Zach available?"
"I'll go find him." Angela replied, getting up from her chair and disappearing from the screen, leaving Brennan to listen to Booth wishing his son goodnight from both of them, startling her slightly. Why would Parker even care if she had said goodnight, even though she hadn't? Swivelling to see her partner, she smiled slightly as Booth held up his hand to silence her until he said his final goodbye, closing his cell with a smile on his own face.
"Alright?" Booth asked, hoping to distract her from whatever it was she was looking like she wanted to object to.
"Why did you say goodnight to Parker from me?" Brennan questioned, watching Booth as he grinned, sitting down on the edge of the bed, behind her chair.
"Parker asked if you were here with me, I said you were." Booth replied as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"Okay," Brennan answered him, not wanting to dispute a point she didn't fully understand. "That seems…" She was saved from responding further when Zach announced his presence on the computer screen.
"Zach, the skull of Victim seven?" Brennan prompted, turning to face her young colleague.
"The anomaly suggests the victim was moving backwards at a substantial speed, approximately forty-five miles per hour when the bullet entered the skull, thus the loss of speed when the brain provided adequate resistance. We can conclude from the glass particles Hodgins found in the skull that she was in a motor vehicle when the bullet was fired, then she was reversing at high speed and the bullet lost trajectory after piercing the windscreen." Zach reported, looking somewhat uncomfortable under the stares of his former mentor and the FBI Agent that stared down from the large monitor in Angela's office.
"That's good Zach," Brennan praised, "but you clearly said we had four female and four male sets of remains, yet you've identified five females."
"You're right." Zach spoke quietly, waiting for Brennan to continue, looking up at the screen indecisively.
"I'd like you to go back over the rest of the body, determine if we were inaccurate with any measurements, Ange, could you run a background check on the woman the reconstruction identified?"
"Of course Dr Brennan," Zach agreed, moving off screen immediately to do as instructed presumably.
"That's weird," Angela commented, moving back onto the screen that Zach's face had vacated, "He never makes mistakes."
"Everybody makes one eventually," Booth spoke for the first time, drawing Angela's attention away from Brennan.
"Hey Booth," she greeted, a huge smile decorating her face, "How's Vegas?"
"Vegas is hot," Booth replied with a mischevious grin, "How's DC?"
"Boring without you two," Angela grinned, "Was it romantic?"
"It was the most repulsive thing I've ever seen." Brennan told the very confused artist.
"Huh?" Angela looked back at Booth, "You said you were going to propose!?"
"Oh," Brennan and Booth exhaled, smiling sheepishly for very different reasons, "yeah."
"I did, kind of." Booth chuckled, "Bones was talking about the chapel we went to."
"It was pink." Brennan declared as if that said it all. Apparently it did, as Angela pulled a sympathetic face.
"Ring?" Angela demanded, knowing that Brennan was too preoccupied with the apparent mistake they had made with identification of Victim seven to deny any juicy gossip if she asked subtly. She was definitely intrigued about the chapel they had visited, but that was a conversation for a time when Booth wasn't hovering in the background.
Lifting her hand to the camera in front of her face, Brennan allowed her friend to squeal and gush over it while she ran through thinghs once more in her brain. She hadn't actually examined the remains herself, she had allowed Zach to take the lead on this one as she had been busy with the evidence forms for an important court case. Now she was blaming herself for not taking the lead on this investigation from the very start.
"Bren?" Angela was asking when Brennan tuned back in to the conversation, "When you guys eventually tie the knot, I'm the Maid of Honour right?"
"Yes." Booth answered at the same time as Brennan cried out "No!"