Angela Montenegro prided herself on being observant. So she knew – knew – that something was going on under the surface at Booth's birthday party.
She watched as Booth and his brother walked outside. As she helped Cam slice and serve Booth's birthday cake, she could tell the conversation wasn't a pleasant one.
Then Jared shook his glass at his brother and sauntered back into the bar. Angela pursed her lips. She watched as Booth's little brother (definitely Booth lite, definitely) returned to the bar, his gait the slightest bit unsteady.
She realized Brennan was also watching Booth. There was an uncharacteristic look of worry on her face. Uh-oh, Angela thought. What's going on?
"Sweetie, is everything all right?"
"No, Ange," Brennan said, her eyes still on the man outside.
Angela watched as Booth slammed his hand into a bus shelter. "What's going on?"
"I'll take care of it," Brennan said as she grabbed a plate of cake and two forks. Juggling the items with her hand in a sling, she headed outside.
Angela glanced over at Cam, and noticed her boss was glaring at Jared. Oho… "Hey Cam, what's going on?"
Cam shook her head. "There's a lot I can't say, Angela. Let's just say Jared has a gift for making Seeley's life difficult."
"Wait a minute, wait a minute…is Jared the reason Booth lost credit for the RICO case?" Angela asked, suddenly putting two and two together.
"You're kidding. Was that why?" Hodgins asked, letting the chair he was leaning back in land on four legs with a thump.
Sweets shook his head, clearly frustrated. "Am I the only one who didn't know about this case?" His glare fell on Clark.
The newest squint held his hands up protectively. "Don't look at me, man. I stick to business."
Cam was staring at Angela with narrowed eyes. Angela rolled her eyes at the unasked question. "Oh, please. I'm not the Gossip Queen of the Lab for nothing. So, did he?"
Cam sighed. Something caught her attention behind Angela and the boss muttered, "I wouldn't be surprised. Jared!" she said, raising her voice. "Having a good time?"
Jared smiled at Cam, ignoring the touch of anger in her voice. "Why shouldn't I be? It's my brother's birthday party! And I happen to be standing in front of two very attractive women…"
Angela started to snap something back at him, but then an evil thought came into her head. "Would you like some cake, Jared?" she asked, her voice oozing sweetness.
"That sounds great, Angela," Jared said, giving her a huge smile.
Still smiling, Angela cut a large piece of cake. She slipped her hand under the plate and stepped around the table. "Here, let me just –"
She pretended to trip, allowing herself to stumble against Jared. With precise aim, she allowed the plate of cake to smash directly into his smirking face.
She heard a couple of gasps behind her (and at least one smothered laugh). "Oh! Jared, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!"
Still leaning on him, she grabbed a fistful of napkins and reached up to scrub his face. Using that as an excuse to bring her lips close to his ear, she lowered her voice so her words were heard only by him.
"If you ever hurt that hunky FBI agent brother of yours again," she hissed, "I will hit you a lot harder. And a lot lower, if you get my meaning."
Jared stared at her, his mouth slightly open in surprise. Angela simply smiled, continuing to daub his face.
Cam was next to her, a plate of cake in one hand, a fistful of napkins in the other. "You okay there, Jarhead?"
"Yeah, fine Cam," Jared stammered. He grabbed the napkins and began to clean his own face off. "Um, why don't you let me clean up and I'll come back for that?" He looked at the plate of cake and gave both women in front of him a nervous glance.
"Yes, that's probably a good idea," Cam agreed.
Angela watched Jared retreat, a feeling of satisfaction lighting up her face. The feeling got jabbed when she heard Cam's voice behind her.
"Angela? No way that was an accident."
The forensic artist sighed and turned around to face the music. Cam's face was stern, two glasses of wine in her hands.
Then Cam smiled. "That," she said, handing one of the glasses to Angela, "was an awesome shot. Just for tonight, you, Angela Montenegro, are Queen of the Lab."
Angela smiled back and clinked glasses with Cam while Hodgins, Sweets, and even Clark applauded.