Title: "Excuses"
Author: ForensicMama ()
Pairing: Angela, Brennan, Booth, Hodgins
Spoilers: Season 4 FINALE spoilers.
Rating: K+/T
Chapter: 1-Shot

Basically, I was sick of it.

Many a person has pegged me wrong in the past. People who have thought that I was a drama whore were all wrong. Sure, I like minimal doses. A teaspoon here. A teaspoon there. But when push comes to shove, I'd like to just get through the day, go home and take a long hot bubble bath complete with a novel borrowed from Cam.

Most days I keep it all to myself. I suck it up. I shut up. It's been years since I've uttered a word about that damned UST between Bren and Booth. I mean, the answer seems easy. Jump in the sack. Call it good. Booth isn't one of those guys, though. I can see that. He's like Jack. He's the marrying type. And Bren? She'd walk all over his ass. Take him through the ringers. Leave him heart-broken and love-sick.

Brennan--God, I love her, but she's so overly rational that when a man cheats on her or leaves her, she's all good within a few days. Booth? It'd kill him if Bren broke his heart.

So, I've kept my mouth shut for the most part. I've let a few opinions slip through, God help me, but then all hell broke loose. I couldn't shut my yap any more.

And the straw that broke the camel's back?

It was May 15th. Bren was quietly brooding all morning. She didn't bother to crack a single smile. Poor Wendell--the boy is adorable, right?--screwed up on identifying some bone or something and she snapped at him. It wasn't the first time that morning and it wasn't even lunchtime yet.

I snatched her arm and dragged her to the edge of the platform. "What the hell is the matter with you, sweetie?"

She played coy. Coy pisses me off. "I don't know what you're talking about, Angela."

"Bren. It's me. Angela. I know you and I know that Wendell didn't deserve that back there. Now what's wrong?"

Bren looked around, then I took her cue and we walked off a few feet. She crossed her arms and whispered, "Booth and I slept together."

This could be good. "Really? So how does that justify you biting Wendell's head off?"

"I guess I'm a bit on the edge--"

"The edge? Brennan, you jumped off the edge ten minutes ago. Now, what happened with you and Booth?" I knew it couldn't be good. Although it did explain the smile she wore all day yesterday, this certainly wasn't a post-hot-bathroom-sex kind of demeanor.

She was scientific about the subject. As usual. Big surprise. "Booth and I decided that it's better for our partnership that we don't pursue a romantic relationship."

You've gotta be shitting me. My hand had a mind of its own as it whipped out and slapped her coldly across the cheek. Those big blue eyes of hers widened. She gasped. "Angela!"

I tried not to sound as surprised as I actually was by my actions. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but you deserved that."

"How could I have deserved that? What happened between Booth and me is none of your business."

"Sweetie, for four years now, it's been all this 'will-they-won't-they' crap. You finally bump buckles with the big guy and now you're telling me it's a mistake? I'm sorry, sweetie, but I don't think I can put up with four more years of this. Whatever you did, you better undo it. Booth is a good guy and he actually loves you despite your being high maintenance."

"Booth and I decided TOGETHER--"

"Well, then you're both morons, Bren." By then I could feel eyes from all points of the lab staring at us. My voice rose anyway. "I mean, could you two be a little less predictable?"

Brennan was furious by then. "It's none of your business." She turned and began to walk toward her office.

"Actually, sweetie, it is. If you're going to make us all suffer like this longer, then it's definitely my business."

We stopped in her office.

She turned, still angry. "What about office romances not working out, Angela? Look what happened between you and Hodgins."

"Life isn't a fairy tale, Brennan. What matters is that Hodgins and I gave it a try. And we had a damned good time trying. I don't regret it, but I do know that you'll regret this if you and Booth don't actually try it. I mean, it's not like you two aren't together anyway--"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Are you serious?" I crossed my arms. The woman could be so dense.

"Yes, of course."

"You and Booth have dinner more than Hodgins and I ever had. You probably know things that married couples know about one another--"

"Such as?" She was unconvinced.

It didn't take long to generate a nice list. "Fears, the name of his first girlfriend, secrets of his past, the size of his penis." Oh. I had her on that last one. I could tell by the blush creeping up on her cheek that she knew it, too. I could also tell by that blush that the image was still quite fresh in her mind.

We stared at one another. Almost angrily.

The stare was interrupted by a soft knock at the door.

I turned my head just enough to see that it was Booth.

Once again, thick tension between the two as they looked at one another silently. They were never not saying anything to each other. It was more than just uncomfortable. It was annoying.

Finally, he spoke. (Take a bow, Seeley.) "Hey, Bones... I was hoping we could have some lunch?"

Bren looked my way. As if I was a safety net or something. Not today, sister. "Angela and I actually have lunch plans--"

"No we don't," I cut her off.

"Angela," she whispered. Surprised. Shocked. Afraid.

I took two quick strides until only she could hear. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but I'm not your damned life raft. You sort this mess out for yourself." I walked out of there as fast as I could, muttering, "Booth," as I passed the poor guy.

From my office, I watched as the two of them walked out of the lab with at least two feet between them. As if somehow they would start mauling one another if they even brushed a shoulder accidentally. Oh, please.

Hodgins was chuckling at the pair as he walked into my office. We stood in the doorway, just staring at them. It was like some sick-o National Geographic Special.

"Can you believe those two?" Jack stood opposite of me. Was it me, or did he look hotter than usual that day? Damn. Did he do something different with his hair--or--?

"It's sick, isn't it?"

"Yeah... two people like that. Circling each other like--"

"Like a National Geographic Special."

"Exactly," he laughed. "Kinda freaky that two people could do that forever, though, isn't it? You know... soul mates. Two people who love each other, always making excuses not to be together..."

Yeah, it was freaky. Soul mates circling one another for eternity. But if there was one lesson I've learned since Bren got me this job at the lab, it's that there's no such thing as immortality. Still, the whole thought of it scared me shitless. "Look, Jack--"

He pushed off from the door frame and stepped closer to me. He kissed me softly on the cheek. He didn't say anything. I didn't say anything. Words just didn't seem right, you know?

Then he walked out of the office, looking back at me after a few steps.