So some people wanted to read the part where Angela tries to teach Zack the art of seduction but for some reason I didn't find that bit all that interesting I wanted to get straight to him meeting Alexis, so I rushed on the art of seduction and lingered a little more on the actual first meeting. On to chapter Six then.
The first thing Booth became aware of was a warm body pressed close to his own. He opened his eyes blinking as the harsh afternoon sun streamed through a gap in the curtains and hit him full in the face. Once he could see clearly he looked around with the confusion of somebody who has just woken up in a bed that's not their own. Brennan was lying next to him, her long hair tickling his shoulder, her face was relaxed in sleep to a peaceful contentment never seen when she was awake. He bent his face close to hers not fully understanding why but taking great pleasure in her steady breathing, he backed away quickly as she stirred but didn't wake. Her body was warm against his own and he seemed extremely aware of the places where her bare skin was touching his, it was if those areas were more alive than the rest of him. He was also painfully aware of other parts of his body coming alive, he shifted uncomfortably moving his body away from hers being careful not to wake her.
Booth watched Brennan sleeping, his mind ticking over things he was only just becoming aware of. His occasional dreams of Brennan could be passed of as a normal reaction to spending so much time with her but he was unsure if he could pass his body's reaction off as the same thing. Amongst the increased heartbeat and shortness of breath he also felt guilt. He couldn't believe that he was having these feeling for her now. No time would be a good time but now was definitely worse than most. She couldn't find out, she needed somebody and she'd chosen him if she lost trust in him now she would try to fight this on her own. He needed to distance himself from her, physically at least.
Before Brennan had even opened her eyes she knew where she was and why she was there. Her aching body wouldn't let her forget the previous night even for minute. She shifted uncomfortably.
'Temperance?' A quite voice next to her questioned.
She opened her eyes, Booths hair was messed up and day old stubble decorated his chin. His soulful brown eyes were close to hers. He looked embarrassed and she realised she felt it to, she'd shown her weakness to Booth and allowed him to hols her like a lover. She winced as a sudden thought hit her, she felt sick, her stomach churned and she realised that the feeling physical and not psychological. She bolted out of bed and to the toile getting there just in time; luckily she hadn't eaten since the previous night.
'Tempe?' Booths voice was soft; he stood at the entrance of the small bathroom his face a mixture of concern and disgust.
'I'm okay.' She retched again and turned to the toilet. Booth padded over to her and stroked her hair back from her face. Cold tears ran down her cheeks as a reaction to her sudden retching and burning throat.
'It's okay.' Her stomach gurgled auditable. 'I haven't really eaten anything in a while.'
Booth gave a weak smile, he walked out of the bathroom returning a few minutes later to hand her the toothbrush she'd packed that morning.
'Thanks Booth.' He left.
She brushed her teeth then stripping got into the shower to get rid of the acid smell that clung to her hair and skin. The warm water stung when it first hit her bruises but after a while started to relax some of her tense muscles taking away some of the ache.
The Cantonese restaurant was bathed in a kind of red glow that made it fell warm. Angela herself had only been there a few times before Hodgins usually took her overly pricey overly showy places. This little restaurant was the perfect place to have quite conversations though, and that's why she was her, to have a quite conversation with Zack about the art of seduction. Starting from scratch.
'You can do it Zack you are quite cute. In a creepy stalker kind of way.'
'I'm not sure I want to be cute kittens are cute. I want to be 'Zack searched for the right word 'Manly'.
Angela was polite enough to hide her laugh by taking a sip of wine. She'd decided very early on in their conversation that the more wine she consumed the easier the night was going to be.
'Your meeting her tomorrow. We'll have to use what we've got now and that's cute.'
'How do you know she'll go for cute?'
'I don't, but your also going to be charming and interesting.' She laboured on the last word.
'And how do you know she'll go for charming and interesting?'
'I don't but we can do it in one night, just about, maybe. Look the most important thing is you listen to her, make eye contact that's very important. You've got to make her feel like your interested in what she has to say and make her feel attractive.'
'I don't know what she looks like.'
'It doesn't matter, if worst comes to worst just tell her she's beautiful.'
'But I don't know what she looks like.'
'Lie.' Angela sighed it was going to be a long night; she put her hand up and waved to a waiter.
'More wine please.'
They had finally reached the forest as the sun had set, Booth sighed in relief, only twenty minutes left. He and Brennan had been driving for seven hours. Only stopping twice, once for lunch once for dinner both times were at almost identical roadside diners. Booth had wearily watched Bones as she'd nibbled on toast and tea in silence then rushed to the bathroom. At dinner she had managed to keep down a small salad and some chips but hadn't touched the burger they were meant to accompany. Booth didn't comment.
They'd driven in relative silence commenting on various landmarks and songs that blared over the radio. They'd been on long journeys before but Booth had never found it this uncomfortable. He was worried he might say something that made her cry again. He couldn't stand to see her cry it made his chest feel tight for some reason.
'We're almost there.'
'Coming with me.'
'Well, I could use the holiday you know.'
He looked across at him he swallowed hard knowing he'd said the wrong thing. He placed his hand on her knee in a gesture meant to apologies and comfort.
'You'll feel better in a few day Temperance, I know it doesn't seem like that now.'
'I know what you're going to say.'
She shook her head and he looked away from the uniformly straight road.
'I don't feel myself Booth, I can't bare to think about it yet it seems that every time I try to stop myself I see them.' Her eyes welled up and she looked down at her lap. 'I can remember everything as if it were still happening.'
Booth stopped the car confident that nobody else would be driving down that road till morning. He undid his seatbelt and pulled her towards him as her body started to shake with huge sobs. Distance was not going to be possible.
Sorry, I'm sorry.'
'Shush, it's okay Tempe, you cry.'
'I feel so weak.'
'Your not weak Bones, you're the bravest person I know.'
'I don't think I cab get can get over this Booth.'
'Shush, yes you can. We're going to curl up all cosy and safe in this little cabin until you start to feel better. Once you forget all the little details you'll start to recover.'
'I don't think I can just forget what happened Booth.' Brennan's voice was angry, Booth decided that was a good thing, surly anger, was some kind of step to getting over things, wasn't it?
'No, no I know. You just need to find some way to stop going over it in your head all the time, and I'm going to help you with that.
'It'll be hard but you can do it, it'll get easier every day I promise.'
She looked up at him her eyes red and puffy. Her vulnerability almost scared him. What he'd said was true, Bones was the toughest person he knew and if she couldn't handle this what chance did anyone else have.
The F.B.I lab was in no way as well equipped as his own at the Jeffersonian. Zack took a strange pride in this fact. It also seemed that security was no where near as good, despite all the F.B.I.s security checks and metal detectors Zack had nervously passed through endless corridors undetected. He would have to learn how it was that Hodgins made his fake security card, on the outside it looked right but the cards also had to be scanned it seemed that Hodgins had also managed to get the information strip right as well. Angela's contribution to his disguise was to provide him with a suit apparently it looked 'sharp' and professional. He wasn't sure how this would help him infiltrate the F.B.I as he hadn't exactly planned on wearing Jeans in the first place but he accepted the suit without argument.
On arriving in the lab itself Zack immediately stopped in his tracks, he had been so nervous about actually getting in that he hadn't considered what to do when he'd got there. His excuse to get him through the original security check had been that he was a student sent over from the Jeffersonian to help in the lab. This didn't raise any problems because the Jeffersonian had recently been sending certain promising students over to the F.B.I's Washington lab to further their good relationship. In truth the F.B.I. was hoping that when the time came and either Booth or Brennan resigned from their posts they'd have somebody to act as a replacement. The problem with this was clear to Zack, even if the F.B.I. wanted a Jeffersonian anthropologist they were not going to be able to install one of their choice, the Jeffersonian would only accept the best and these students were in no way up to standard. Not even the F.B.I. could pull strings that big.
Stood in the door trying to get his rather unimaginative brain to come up with some way to find Alexis Howard Zack was attracting rather a lot of attention. He noticed that he was being approached by a rather attractive woman with red hair perhaps a few inches shorter than himself. Knowing he had to do something he started to walk towards her stopping a few feet away where she looked him up and down.
'Are you the student from the Jeffersonian?'
'You knew I was coming?'
'Security called ahead to say you were coming down here, for future reference we do require more notice. Now is not a very appropriate time but luckily for us one of the secretaries upstairs has been off ill for a week.' She spoke with unhidden hostility, her green eyes as hard as agates. 'You'll be filing, welcome to the F.B.I. mister?'
'Zack Addy.' Zack replied kicking himself as he realised the name on his security card said Philip Page.
'Follow me.' The woman stated walking at a quick pace back down the corridor he had just come down. Zack could only think of two options he could do filing until lunchtime then seek out Alexis Howard yet this was risky as with no idea what she looked like he might not find her the second was to refuse to do filing and ask to be taken to Alexis Howard. To avoid humiliation and paper cuts he choose the second.
'Excuse me, I was told that when I arrived here I should ask for Alexis Howard. Perhaps I could have a word with her?"
'I am Alexis Howard, you will be doing Filing.'
Zack decided that his chances of seducing somebody into revealing information had just gone from low to nothing. Alexis Howard seemed to him to be a harsh woman full of self pride, not only that but she scared him. He stopped suddenly as Alexis turned around to face him her features suddenly showing confusion.
Zack gulped he had the bad feeling that he was going to be arrested in the very near future.
'What did you say your name was?'
Her eyebrows rose.
'No, you didn't you said something else.'
'Doctor Zack Addy?'
Both of them stood in the hallway unsure what to do next.
'Doctor Addy, it's a pleasure to meet you.' She held her hand out. Zack didn't take it.
'Um I'm sorry.'
'No, I apologies, I thought you were a student. ' Her demeanour towards him had changed so suddenly that Zack couldn't do anything but stare. Her voice was softer as was her facial expression. She was smiling ever so slightly and amongst his confusing Zack realised that she was very pretty, yet still terrifying.
'No, I already have my doctorate.'
'I know, I've read some of your work, your piece on bone density was very interesting and the way you added the antidote about the astronaught was amazing. Did you really work on that case?' Her voice was light an interested, it was not a tone that a lot of people used when talking to Zack, especially not about work. For the first time since he'd entered the building he smiled.
'Yes, though I found the coral substance that was being used add density to the bones it was my team mate Jack Hodgins who identified it.'
'It's quite fascinating, I'd love to discuss it further with you but I realise that will not be possible.'
'Oh I'm quite willing to discuss it further.'
'Yes, but the thing is Doctor Addy you are in an F.B.I. building under false pretexts and with a fake I.D. card.'
'Oh, yes that.' He looked down wondering if he should try to run.
'You used to be a student of Doctor Temperance Brennan, didn't you.'
'And you now work in the Jeffersonian.'
'Yes, I work on Doctor Brennan's team. If you'll give me a moment to explain, Doctor Brennan is a great boss and when me and the rest of our team found out that she had been attacked we were very concerned. Angela, Angela Montenegro, I don't know if you've heard of her she's the Jeffersonians forensic artist, she was upset that as the case was being covered by the F.B.I. we her team, have no idea what is going on. So they decide to send me here to talk to you and see if I can find anything out. About the case.' He spoke quickly.
'Your team mates sent you here to try and charm me into revealing information on the case.' It was a statement not a question.
'Yes.' Zack admitted, as he doubted he'd be able to convincingly lie his way out of the situation.
'I think they overestimated my social skills, which is strange considering that they often comment on my lack thereof.'
'So how exactly were you meant to charm me?'
'I was meant to lie to you and tell you that your beautiful, but I'm not.' He reassured her.
'Your not going to tell me that I'm beautiful.'
'No, I'm not going to lie to you. You are beautiful, not only in my opinion but also in ways that comprise the current idea of beauty. Therefore telling you that your beautiful is not a lie.' Zack paused for breath his nervousness taking hold of him he knew he should shut up but for some reason couldn't.
'And judging by your position here you also have a high level of intelligence and skills not dissimilar from my own. '
Alexis stared at him, her green eyes fixed on him.
'Are you trying to ask me out?'
'I'm not sure what I'm trying to do.'
But you were sent here to charm me, so maybe your not really as socially inept as you appear and your just acting and this is all a very clever ruse to make me think your cute in a socially inept way'
'Yes that is a possibility.'
'I'm not going to give you any information on the Brennan case.'
'I didn't think that you would. My aim has become to get out of this situation without further embarrassment.'
'Okay, you can go then.' Alexis said after a moments thought.
Zack turned to walk out of the building; he was shocked to find that the relief that he usually felt when he got out of uncomfortable social situations was not there. He was usually unable to identify his own emotions but today they were shouting at him very clearly. He turned back round. Alexis looked up over the rim of her glasses.
'Even though I wish to escape further embarrassment I don't want to leave.'
'I rarely met anybody who could be a possible intellectual match to me.'
'It's lonely being intelligent and socially inept.'
'Yes, yet I have long since accepted that I will never be able to properly communicate with people, I have friends yet I'm fully aware that if I did not work with them then our differences and my lack of social skills would mean that we would never have become friends if circumstances were different.'
'I never had friends in high school.'
'I was ugly, intelligent and read comic books. Once I reached college I grew into my features and became attractive.'
'Being attractive created a hallow effect attracting people towards you and allowing you to practice your social skills.'
'No, I learnt that men were attracted to me and would pretend to be interested in what I h ad to say in hopes that I would sleep with them. You however actually have similar interests to me therefore might actually be interested in what I have to say.'
'I don't know where this conversation is heading anymore.'
'Ask me out.'
Zack stared at the woman in front of him, that was what he wanted wasn't it? She scared him, yet he was still attracted to her. It was quite possible that their comment interests and lack of social skills would lead to a friendship at least. He had already given up the idea of trying to get information out of her, it was a long shot in the first place and he wasn't going to insult her intelligence by trying. Not only that but if it were discovered that members of Brennan's team had tried to interfere with the case it would be used by the defence.
'Would you like to go out to dinner with me? With the understanding that it could lead to future…dinners and possibly movies?'
'Yes.' The smiled stupidly at each other for a minute. ' Now I hope you don't mind Doctor Addy but I'm going to have to call security to accompany you out of the building. No offence meant nut I could lose my job if I don't call them.'
'No offence taken.'
Socially inept meets socially inept. Alexis came of a little strangely their it wasn't really what I was hoping for, in fact that whole conversation was a little off. So recap Alexis Howard, she's short and slight with flame red hair and green eyes and she wears glasses. She works in the F.B.I. lab and is in the middle of a PHD in physics and a doctorate in forensic anthropology. I'm not sure where she comes from yet but I do know she studied under Brennan's old teacher (the one in the girl in the fridge who she was sleeping with, Brennan was sleeping with not Alexis, though that would be interesting.) She's a bit of a ball buster on the outside but that just comes from having to work so hard to get to where she got, she's hard on the out side but soft and chewy on the inside. I see her as the kind of person who has had a lot of disappointments when it comes to men but despite that her and Zack are going to hit it off big time.
Oh please review all comments welcome as they help point me in the right direction.