Booth Express Challenge submission for Jan/Feb – by Riviera41797 – ONESHOT -
I Love A Rainy Night
It was a dark and stormy night, and Temperance Brennan had been driving for nearly 45 minutes, and was quite certain by now that she'd made a wrong turn off of the interstate. I knew I should have turned right, she thought to herself irritably. Unwilling to take her eyes off the road to re-examine the map quest directions or the road map she'd retrieved from the glove box, she bit her lip, and gripped the steering wheel, wary of the road conditions.
Rain sluiced down the windshield of her rental car, making visibility very poor. Leaning forward, she frowned and peered into the darkness, for any sign of the local community college, she frowned, and switched the wipers on to high. The wipers kicked into high gear and banged back and forth clearing the windshield of water, yet she was still struggling to see. Swearing under her breath, she reached for her cell phone that she'd slipped into her pocket after she left the airport. Her fingers closed around the small phone, and brought it up to her eyes, long enough to check the signal. No signal. Great.
She grasped the phone a moment, hesitating as she kept her eyes on the road, then glancing down a moment, she fumbled for her pocket. Her attention diverted, she didn't see the enormous pot-hole in the road. Her rental car literally fell into the hole. Cell phone now forgotten, it slipped from her grasp and disappeared between the bucket seat and the center console, now lost in the abyss beneath her seat.
Swearing again, she held the steering wheel tightly and eased off of the accelerator, as the vehicle swerved and slid. The front end was now lower on the drivers side than the passenger side, which indicated a flat tire…or some other automotive mystery she no doubt would be unable to fix on her own and still make it on time, in a presentable fashion to the community college for the lecture on the techniques used in assisting the FBI in investigations. Making the situation all the more ironic, there was no cellular service, more than likely as a result of the storm.
Slowly guiding the car to the side of the road, she turned on her hazard lights, put the car into park, shut off her headlights and puffed out the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding.
Picking up the directions she printed off of the internet Temperance glanced at the step by step information that was to guide her to the college she'd agreed to speak at. Immediately, she saw her mistake. She WAS supposed to have turned in the other directions back when she went left instead of right.
Well, it would do no good to sit here and look at what she should have done. If she could reassemble a skeleton or a shattered skull, fixing a car couldn't be that much different, and worse case scenario, she'd just have to walk to the nearest service station to arrange for a tow, or to use their landline telephone. No problem.
Gathering her thoughts, Temperance exited the car, and was grateful that the road she had the luck to breakdown on was tree lined. She was parked beneath a very large willow tree, which prevented her from becoming as wet as she would have otherwise been on a road that offered no shade. Crouching down to the front end, she was not surprised to see her tire was totally flat. This wasn't so bad, she told herself. Changing a tire seemed pretty self explanatory. Releasing the trunk latch, she stared into the trunk a moment, before lifting the carpeting, and discovering no spare tire. Okay, so things could be going better, she admitted to herself. Sighing with resignation, she slammed the trunk lid, and retrieved her bag and useless cell phone. Temperance could recall seeing a service station a few miles back in the last town she passed. Rain or no rain, she was going to have to walk, seeing as traffic was evidently non existent at this moment.
After about 20 minutes of walking, Temperance began to wonder if she dreamed that service station. The clap of thunder, with the occasional streak of lighting lit the sky. The rain let up somewhat, but not enough to matter. A long string of noise from the sky rumbled on, when suddenly from behind her, a male voice said: "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Startled, she jumped and turned, to see a man behind her, a beat up pick up truck idling not far off behind him. Irritated, she answered "Practicing my ballroom dancing. What does it look like I am doing?"
Grinning at her now, the man, who appeared to be around her age, perhaps slightly older, answered "Well, given the weather conditions, I assume you're not out for a brisk walk for exercise. Was that your car I saw a ways back?" he asked politely
"Yes. I am on the way to that service station in town to see about a tow" she answered him quickly, as she briefly took in his appearance. Although it was dark, he seemed to have short dark hair; dark eyes, and was roughly 6'1.The mans grin reappeared. His hands slid into his pockets and he glanced down at the pavement, and back up at her. He chuckled
"What? What's funny?" she demanded
"You know you're standing on what's left of a dead animal there?"
Temperance glanced down to confirm what the man said. Unmoving, she met his gaze
"So what? I deal with festering corpses, bones, remains of people dying with no known identity, people murdered as a result of hatred or disease. I think I can handle a dead animal. Now if you're done laughing at me, do you think you could do the right thing and perhaps offer me a ride?" she retorted, her hands on her hips, which were soaked to the skin.
Without missing a beat, he said soberly "My name is Jared. Would you like a ride to the nearest service station to see about repair of your broken down transportation….miss…?" he prompted, raising his eyebrows, his hand outstretched
A small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, and she accepted his handshake. "Brennan, Dr. Temperance Brennan, and thank you, I accept your offer for the ride"
They drove in silence for a while, and although he had the heat cranked all the way up, his old truck didn't blow much heat anymore. He'd been meaning to fix it, but it never seemed too important. Now though, he observed the pretty woman, who called herself Temperance Brennan still was shaking and shivering. Glancing over at her with concern, Jared asked "want my jacket?" He wondered idly if she was single, and if he had a chance at a cup of coffee or something with her.
"No. I don't know that it would do much good. It is quite wet also. How much further?" she asked between her chattering teeth
"A ways. No guarantee they'll be open you know" he reminded her casually. He began to slow as the rain turned to hail. Finally, he was forced to stop, to wait it out. After a moment, he was surprised to see her sliding next to him. His eyes met hers, his eyebrows raised. "Uh…" he began slowly
"Look. I am cold. If I don't do something to warm myself, I could get very sick. I am too busy to be sick. I am a woman, and you're a man. I think you are mature enough to understand the situation" she said briskly, as if she were discussing anthropology and not a potential make out session with a perfect stranger. Booth would be dying of embarrassment now, she thought, briefly wondering how he'd handle the same situation.
His heart beating hard in his chest, and marvling at his good fortune, he slowly began to slide his arm around her shoulders, he gently turned her to face him, and she met him halfway and began kissing him, getting right down to the task at hand.
After an unknown amout of time, the windows had become completely steamed over, and neither had noticed the hail had long since stopped. Jared felt like a randy teenager making out at the drive-in or something.
Suddenly a loud knocking on the window startled them both out of their embrace.
Embarassed at the entire situation, he tried to remain as casual as possible, as he rolled down the drivers side window.
A police officer stood there, flashlight in hand. Recognition dawned on the officer. "Jared? Is that you? Well what the hell are you doing out here?"
"Oh…hey Mike. We stopped for the hail. Just 'bout to get on our way" he advised the officer.
The officer gave him a sly grin, and flicked his gaze to Temperance. "Right. The hail. You sly dog Jared Booth!" he said, shaking his head and walking away.
Her eyes met Jared's. "Is your last name Booth?" she inquired, interested now
A/N: Okay – a little long for a one-shot – but I think it turned out pretty good – thanks for reading! – R -