A/N: I promise this note won't be as long as the one that accompanied my drabbles collection. ;) I just wanted to remind everyone that I've only seen seasons one through three of Bones, so I'm missing key pieces here. Also, this story picks up at the end of Stargazer in a Puddle. Obviously, it didn't happen, but it would have been fun. I hope you enjoy, and thanks to everyone who read, responded, or did both for Two Hundred Ways…! ~Charlynn~
Defining a One Night Stand
A One Shot
He felt as though he was naked, laid out, on display, and it was cold in the room. Every single pair of prying eyes present were on him, and he didn't like it. Not one bit. While he might have been an athlete in high school, that was a whole different kind of performance, and he was never forced to wear a damn tux while catching the game winning touchdown, or hitting that miraculous three pointer at the buzzer, or giving his team another tally in the win column by slamming into the stands that awe inspiring, walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth. No, this time, he was standing at the front of a church with a congregation full of people anticipating a wedding behind him and his partner beside him.
His very beautiful partner.
His very beautiful partner who looked particularly gorgeous in her maid of honor dress.
His very beautiful partner who looked particularly gorgeous in her maid of honor dress while asking him what they were supposed to do now.
How the hell was he supposed to know?
But he knew that he had to do something and do it fast before he said something he couldn't take back, something that would be a mistake, something that would either get him in trouble or get him beat up. You never could quite tell how a flirtatious comment would go over with Bones.
So, finally, breaking eye contact with her, he lifted his gaze to dart it towards Cam and then stepped back a couple of paces to include Zack in his field of vision as well. He needed them as distraction; he needed them as backup. "Hodgins' rich, right?"
"I'm afraid rich is a relative term. In order to accurately determine another person's economic status, one must take into account several varying factors and weigh them against…"
Interrupting the grad student, Cam decisively stated, "yeah, he's loaded."
"So, one might infer…" With that, he glared at the younger man beside him. "… That this reception is going to have some top-notch hooch. It'd be a shame not to take advantage of it."
"Actually, I would go a step further and say that his tastes verge upon the discerning. I saw the inside of his fridge once, and…"
Zack was interrupted yet again, the second time by Booth himself. "We get it. He's picky. The point is I, for one, do not want all that good liquor to go to waste."
"We are all either off duty or have the day off," Cam pointed out, apparently already agreeing with his plan.
"And Jack and Angela did tell us all to have a good time."
"No, they said great – have a great time," he corrected his partner, grinning impishly.
"So, then we go," Brennan returned his smile with one of her own, "and we get drunk."
"We get plastered." He was already walking down the aisle, desperate to flee the suddenly confining church, knowing that the squints were all falling in line behind him, when he was suddenly struck with a genius bout of inspiration. Spinning around on the heels of his too tight, too shiny, too… pinching pair of dress shoes, he smirked in Zack's direction. "And we get Addy laid."
Without waiting for a response, he turned back around and practically marched out of the church. He could hear Cam laughing, her amusement enough to tell him that she supported the idea. He could hear Bones on one hand defending her grad student while, on the other, scientifically supporting the very premise of a one night stand. And, above them all, he could hear Zack sputtering and stuttering his refusals, his objections, his protests, all of his reasoning perfectly logical and methodically precise, but he didn't listen to any of it, for he was suddenly in desperate need of a physical release he couldn't possibly have, one he shouldn't even want, and, if he wasn't going to get lucky that night, someone sure as hell was going to. And it might as well be Zack… especially since he might never have the chance to do so again.
# ! #
She wasn't drunk – yet, but she was definitely tipsy. Legally speaking, she wouldn't pass a breathalyzer test, but, after years of socially acceptable drinking, her tolerance for alcohol was much greater than it had once been, and a few glasses of wine and a beer or two weren't enough to push her over that limit. Plus, it didn't hurt matters that she was determined to drink Booth under the table. She already carried a bigger gun than he did; surely, this was the next logical step in their… competitive… partnership.
"Alright, so let's summarize our progress thus far."
"Not thus," Booth criticized. "So far. So far. Say it with me, Bones, come on. We're all supposed to be well on our way to being three sheets to the wind here. When you're three sheets, you don't use proper grammar. And, for that matter," her partner continued to whine, scrunching up his face in complaint. "We're not in your precious lab right now either; we're not solving a crime. We're just trying to loosen Zack up a little, make this a night he'll never forget. This is fun; we're supposed to be having fun here, but you have go off and start using your big words again. Obviously, you haven't had enough to drink yet."
Ignoring her, he insolently signaled to one of the wait staff to bring them all another round. Well, except for Zack, because he was their designated driver… which meant Zack was going to call for a driver from the Jeffersonian. Booth had been worried about his performance if he did, in fact, get drunk with them, so he had insisted that the younger man remain dry that evening. As Booth had explained it, there was no sense hooking him with someone if he wasn't going to see the favor through. Oddly enough, she agreed him with on that one, standalone point.
Maybe she was slightly more inebriated than she thought.
Once they all had new drinks in their hand, she proceeded to recapitulate their progress or, to be more precise, their lack thereof so far that evening. "The idea of propositioning one of the guests on Zack's behalf was a dead end, because Jack and Angela didn't seem to invite many singles to their wedding other than us. Socially speaking, that probably means that most of their guests were obligation invites, people they felt they had to invite due to either a responsibility to their families or a sweet if not misguided compulsion to honor their forgotten friendships of the past."
"Thanks for the anthropology lesson there, Bones, but how exactly was that helpful?" Rubbing his skull, her partner complained, "all it did was give me a headache."
"Are you sure it wasn't the booze?" Taunting him, she questioned, "are you ready to concede, to admit that I have a higher tolerance for alcohol than you do?"
"Oh no, I don't think so," Booth countered, shaking his head slightly in mock amusement. "Nice try, but, by the end of the night, that first name of yours is going to make a hell of a lot more sense if I have anything to say about it, and I do."
"Alright, children," Cam intervened, sounding none too pleased that she was being forced into being the voice of reason that night. "While the inner workings of your relationship…"
"Partnership," both she and Booth interrupted the coroner at the same time.
"Fine, partnership," Cam conceded, "might be fascinating, this is getting Zack nowhere and fast. Temper…" Apparently changing her mind and forgetting her momentary lapse into familiarity, the other woman shifted back to the professional. "Doctor Brennan, do you have any former colleagues or friends from college that you could call and… set up with Zack?"
Lifting her shoulders in a dismissive shrug, she denied, "no. I really didn't have any friends in college, besides some of my professors." She heard her partner snort in mirth, but she ignored him. "I didn't have time to socialize, and they were my competition, my opponents, so to speak, for scholarships, scholarly recognition, future employment. You?"
"None that are local, and I'm afraid they'd all be too old for Zackaroni anyway."
"What about you," she asked, emphasizing her question by kicking off her heels and lifting her feet to rest them in Booth's lap. Her legs ached from standing in the unsupportive shoes all day, and he was sitting in the only chair close enough to her for her legs to stretch out and reach. For once, she didn't analyze her actions; she just did something without weighing and contemplating the implications, the significance, and the consequences. Surprisingly, he didn't protest. In fact, he actually started to massage her insoles. Cam noticed, eyed them carefully, and lifted a brow in silent question, but she was too far past sober to care, so she just disregarded the other woman and her curiosity. Returning to her previous inquiry, she expanded, "don't you have one of this little bad books you could use in this situation?"
Booth snickered. "You mean little black book?"
Confused, she wrinkled her brow. "Why would it be black? Black carries little connotation when it comes to sex. Besides making one think of a dominatrix outfit…"
"Wait, Bones, are you into the kinky stuff?"
"… It would not imply a one night stand or delineate a notebook comprised of numbers a man can use whenever he needs to achieve a spur of the moment, uncomplicated sexual release. However, to the contrary, due to the unnecessarily strict social conventions imposed upon us as humans by those morally indignant and superior, most often individuals associated with the church, easy sex, that which is frequently experienced during one night stands, is considered evil, wicked, wrong, hence the term little bad book."
"He's right, Doctor Brennan," Cam interceded helpfully. "It's black."
"And, for your information," Booth retorted, sounding far more defensive than he usually did when she assumed something about his lifestyle. "I don't have one."
Cam inhaled sharply but otherwise remained silent, and Zack simply watched on, his head ricocheting back and forth as though he were scrutinizing an intense match of tennis, his unkempt brow buried deep in concentration and consternation.
"Please," she scoffed, immediately discounting her partner's claim. "You have to have a book, because you and I both know that you're terrible at remembering numbers. You always say that memorizing things is for squints; agents just know things." As if realizing what she herself had just admitted, Brennan sat up a little straighter and reached out towards the man across from her. "Hand me your phone."
"What," Booth questioned. "No."
"Because… because we're at a wedding reception," he scrambled for an answer. "You can't mess with my cell now. It'd be impolite… not that that's ever stopped you in the past."
In response, she simply glared at him. "The bride and groom skipped out on their own ceremony. I highly doubt the rules of proper etiquette still apply at this point."
"You're still not getting my phone."
Making it so that her voice sounded high-pitched and whiny, she pressed, "please?"
"Even if I had some numbers saved on my phone, which," Booth pointed out, "I'm not admitting to, I still wouldn't let you call someone I was once involved with and set them up on a one night stand with Zack."
"Why, because you respect them too much?"
"No." When she brightened and went to confront his slip up, her partner quickly amended what he had just said. "What I meant was that of course I respect them, but I can't let you call them for Zack, because that breaks the rules."
"Guy rules." With that simple, all encompassing evasion of an answer, he shrugged his wide, now jacket-less shoulders.
Rolling her eyes, she dismissed his claim. "Please, men don't have any rules, not when it comes to one night stands."
"We do. I do. And that's the end of this discussion."
"Fine," Brennan allowed, throwing her hands up in concession. "But that still leaves us a one night stand short. Where else are we going to find someone to sleep with Zack?"
"I find the desperation to which you are alluding to on my behalf, Doctor Brennan, to be rather offensive," her grad student objected, but she just simply continued on with her former train of thought.
"I have no friends other than you guys, Angela, and Hodgins, Cam's not from around here, and you," she glared at her partner, "are too stingy when it comes to your women to share."
"What about the wait staff," Cam suggested.
"They're mostly men," she answered.
Appearing thoughtful, Booth turned to Zack and asked, "you don't swing that way, do you, Addy?" The only thing the Special Agent received in response was a menacing glower… well, as menacing as Zack could possibly be. In accordance, he grinned wickedly, "well, there is one more option…"
Suddenly hopeful, Brennan perked up. "What? And why were you keeping this option from us for so long?"
"Let's just say that the Bureau over the years has made some interesting contacts, and, as an employee of the Bureau, I have access to these said contacts."
Narrowing her gaze in thought, she asked, "when you say contacts you mean call girls, don't you?"
Hissing at her, Booth sat up straight, causing her feet to fall off his lap. "Ssh, would you lower your voice?" Recognizing the interested stares they were receiving from others in the room, he whispered, "perhaps we should get out of here and continue this conversation somewhere else?"
"We can't go to my place," Zack informed them. "Hodgins said that I'm not allowed to have guests over who work at The Jeffersonian. While his cover has been destroyed, he still prefers to maintain his anonymity as much as possible."
Her partner complained, "he would say that."
"My place is a mess," Cam offered.
"And I don't want Addy knowing where I live," Booth stated definitively. "What about you, Bones?"
"I'm out of beer." The three drunken revelers slumped visibly, while Zack merely watched on in mild terror. "But we could go to The Jeffersonian. Jack keeps several bottles of vodka there. And olives, too. Plus, it's the weekend, so the beakers should all be washed and clean."
Already standing, her partner questioned, "you guys drink martinis from lab equipment." As she and Cam shook their head definitively, he merely shrugged his shoulders. "Works for me." Tossing his keys towards her grad student, Booth chuckled as he watched Zack struggle to catch and then drop the instruments. Loudly, he called out, "shotgun," before running ahead and disappearing before anyone could argue with him.
When she was sober again, when they were both sober again, for that matter, she would have to remember to ask him why he never handed over his keys to her so easily, but, for the moment, she would simply just drunkenly pout… and wait for Zack's driver from the Jeffersonian to show up.
# ! #
Although he wasn't drinking, Zack knew that he was going to wake up the next morning with a headache to rival any of the ones his inebriated friends would be crippled with due to their inhibitions. What was supposed to have been a quick trip to The Jeffersonian turned into a field trip to some of D.C.'s most notorious bars, so, by the time the four of them entered Doctor Brennan's office, his three companions had long since forgotten the martinis they had been craving hours before. Doctor Saroyan immediately curled up on the rug, bending and twisting herself into the fetal position despite her dress and high heeled shoes, while Agent Booth and Doctor Brennan took the small couch, collapsing together, seemingly as one, upon the comfortable piece of furniture. Almost directly, Doctor Brennan's head fell to her partner's shoulder, and the soft sounds of her rhythmic snores could be heard throughout the small, enclosed space.
While his three coworkers might have failed at 'getting him laid' as they had set out to do that evening, he had waited patiently for that very moment, endured their plans, their intoxicated antics, and their teasing in order to satisfy his own curiosity towards a certain personal matter regarding one seemingly emotionally distant forensic anthropologist and a haunted FBI agent. However, he knew that he only had a small window of opportunity before him. If he wanted answers from Agent Booth, he was going to have to get him to talk before he, too, passed out. Plus, he was going to have to word his inquiries in such a way so that he wouldn't spook or scare off the older man.
Taking a seat behind Doctor Brennan's desk, he looked upon his quarry. "I was wondering, Agent Booth, if you might help me out with a small matter that's been troubling me."
"Sure, Zackaroni," Booth agreed readily, the two words practically sounding like they were being sung. Unfortunately, halfway during their drive between the third and fourth bar, the agent had started to call him by Doctor Saroyan's nickname for him. "What's on that overly large mind of yours?"
"Well, the whole purpose of this evening was to help me achieve a one night stand, correct?"
"Yeah, sorry about that, Addy. Looks like we failed you, huh?"
"Perhaps another night, Agent Booth," he reassured the cop. "However, what I was wondering was how one such as myself determines whether or not a woman is one night stand material." When he received no response, he questioned, "do you understand what I'm asking?"
"Yeah, I think I do, but I'm not sure how I should answer."
"I think I can help with that," Zack offered. "What if I was to present you with a woman we both know, and then you tell me whether or not they fit into the one night stand category? By comparing your responses, I should be able to decipher for myself a set of parameters that will help me in the future where this matter is concerned."
"You lost me a few words back there, Zackaroni," Booth admitted, sliding down on the couch and inadvertently pulling Doctor Brennan with him so that they were both stretched out across the sofa's length, his longer body positioned behind his partner's. "Just give me the first name."
"Oh, yeah, she's definitely one night stand material."
"But Doctor Hodgins…"
"He loves her, and she loves him, but before…"
Arguing on his coworker's behalf, the grad student stated, "even before, he still would have beat you up."
"What," Booth laughed at the very idea. "He might be king of the lab, but I'd sure as hell kick his ass in the ring."
"Alright, fine," he granted, "but he could hire somebody to beat you up."
"Make it three… no, five guys, and I'd agree with you."
Moving on, Zack posed his next option. "What about Doctor Saroyan?"
"Yes… as in she, too, is one night stand material?"
Crinkling his brow in grievance, the agent yawned and then asked, "isn't that what I just said?"
Choosing to ignore the older man's query, the grad student posed one of his own. "But didn't you date Doctor Saroyan?"
"Yeah… I guess… kinda."
"Alright then, moving on," Zack sighed, but the effort was simply for show. "What about Doctor Brennan?"
"Bones," Booth questioned inanely. Before he could affirmatively respond to the redundant question, the cop was already responding. "No, Bones isn't one night stand material. She might say she is, and she might have one night stands, but those men must be idiots. If I ever had the chance to be with her, I wouldn't be that stupid."
"Really," Zack questioned, attempting to hide his smugness but failing to do so. "If you and Doctor Brennan ever dated, what would you do?"
"For how long?"
"For forever." Sighing wistfully, Booth closed his eyes and snuggled deeper into the couch, pulling his partner, once more, with him so that they were spooned together, his body cocooned around her own much smaller one. "And we'd have babies."
Zack almost fell out of his chair… okay, Doctor Brennan's chair. While he had been hoping for such a reaction from the agent, the results of his little experiment far exceeded his hypothesized outcome. And to get said results, he didn't even have to resort to using spam. Who was king of the lab now?
Whispering to himself, he exclaimed, "wow, you really are drunk." Refocusing, he had just one more question to ask. "Do you love her; are you in love with Doctor Brennan?"
When he received no response, he pressed informally, "Booth?"
And the agent snored.
A/N2: Now that you've read the story, I just want to say that I have absolutely nothing against either Angela or Cam. In fact, I enjoy and like both of their characters, so the things that were either said or implied about them in this one shot were not meant to either disrespect them or insult their fans… of which I am a part of myself. Thanks! ~Charlynn~