The first rule of Fight Club is, you don't talk about Fight Club. At least out loud. We have a password-protected web site and message board, under a ballet organization name, something neither of them would ever think to research. We hope. We're all dead if they ever figure it out.
No one from Fight Club acknowledges any others' membership, except in select gatherings, usually when they're both out of town. And no one, that's no one, challenges the Keeper of the Scores.
That would be me-- I decide what's a Fight, what's a squabble, what's too personal and off limits for public discussion. I try to respect their privacy, and most other Fight Club members do too, but every once in a while, someone will post something too personal or too mushy-gushy celeb-sighting, and I'll have to moderate.
There are categories for posting-- by topic of Fight, by location, by number of dumbfounded bystanders, and my personal favorite, by whether someone asks them how long they've been together. We call that one "Just Partners." The locations are pretty obvious: the lab, the Hoover Building, the parking lots of each, her office or his, the crime scene, the diner. Occasionally, there are surprises; once, someone reported seeing them bickering about Moroccan beer and ear wax at a liquor store. It's the same thing with topics: her wanting a gun, her wanting to drive, him being embarrassed when she talks about sex or religion, her anthropological explanations for everything, his insistence she try some pie, pop culture references, sports.
There's a fair amount of banter on the board (fitting, I suppose) about what qualifies under each category, and whether any given Fight should be filed under multiple categories. I'm a multiple category poster myself-- these are complex people, after all. There's also a question of whether it's a new Fight if it carries from one location to the next. I personally think it's the same Fight, but if I was to get all meta about it, I suppose you could say their relationship is one big Fight, interspersed with crime-fighting, novel writing, the rare quiet weekend, and getting captured by serial killers.
There are also weekly prizes. Best Fight Club report of the week gets a gift certificate to the diner, which is always a chance to see if there will be another Fight. So far, they haven't seemed to notice how many more of their colleagues are eating at the diner these days.
It started as a joke, among those of us who worked most closely with them, but over time, more and more colleagues seemed to find out about it. Not surprising, since they're tops in their fields, and come into contact with a lot of people. But what started as a series of bets about when she would finally kick his ass has become something more . . . a loving tribute to our favorite dynamic duo. Ok, fine, call me sentimental.
There is one Fight Club section that isn't so much about the "Fight." It's called "looks." No, I'm not going to explain it. If you deserve to be in Fight Club, you already understand.
My train of thoughts was interrupted by a knock at the door. Closing my moderator's window, just in case, I looked up.
"You wanted to see us?"
"Yes, Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan, sit down. I have a new case for you." I explained what we knew-- they asked a few concise questions, clearly straining to be out the door and at the scene. I dismissed them, and watched them leave, already arguing.
Smiling, I opened up my moderator's screen, and began my own new posting.
Member Name: D.D.
Fight Location: Hoover Building
Fight Topics: Order of investigation; Thai or Pizza; Who's driving.