Disclaimer: I do not own the Bones characters portrayed in this story. If I did, Zack would still be on.
A/N: I never thought I'd be writing Bones. Seriously. But this is what happens when you're desperate to escape homework.
What must he be thinking?
Can we even guess?
He's not really linking
Himself with the rest
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest
Doctor Zack Addy was frustrated. After the disappointment of Naomi in Paleontology last year, he'd refrained from initiating pursuance of a woman. He'd endured the friendly teasing from Hodgins about his lack of prowess with determined good cheer.
But even he had his limit.
After one too many comments from Hodgins about his failures dating, he went to the person he considered to be an expert.
Besides being the most social of the people he counted as friends, she was also the most understanding.
After listening carefully to his request for her advice, she sat beside him on the couch in the lounge and patted his leg.
"Sweetie, you have to just put yourself out there."
He gave her a blank look. "Out there?"
She nodded. "Yeah, you know... make yourself available."
He still didn't understand. Sometime he felt like he spoke a different language than everyone else. "I am available."
"No, Zack. You have to go out. Go places other people go to meet people. Outside of the lab and the Jeffersonian."
"I don't know where that is." He told her.
"You know. Bars, clubs, that kind of thing." She replied.
He just looked at her, eyebrows lifted.
Angela laughed. "Okay, maybe not for you."
He shook his head. Definitely not.
"Well, then bookstores, the park, a lecture, a coffee shop. The kind of places smart people go."
"I purchase my books on the internet." He said. "And I don't think a lecture would interest me."
"Are you trying to be difficult?" She asked.
That was a question Zack was used to hearing. His whole childhood, his mother and siblings would often ask him that. He wasn't trying to be difficult by asking question, he was just trying to find answers. He liked knowing things, he couldn't help that he needed clarification.
"The point isn't to buy books, Zack." She told him gently.
Oh. "I understand," he replied. "Then what?"
Angela stood and smiled down at him. "Just go. See what happens. I promise you, Zack. Sooner or later someone will see your worth."
After she walked away, Zack contemplated her words.
He often thought his intellect was a handicap, and according to Hodgins, he did not know how to please a woman. That made him wonder what Angela meant.
Regardless, he took her advice to heart and at lunchtime, instead of eating his customary macaroni and cheese in the lab, he ventured out to a local coffee shop.
Ruby wasn't the kind of girl that was afraid of living in a big city and walking around in it by herself. Her friends back home had always called her the fearless one.
But she was frightened now.
Eric had been following her for the past hour. A friend of a friend, Ruby had gone on a couple dates with him, and then after an awkward and strange second date, she'd broken off contact with him.
Only he wasn't taking no for an answer. He kept calling her at all hours of the day and night, sending her emails and text messages. If anyone was to listen to the messages he left, or read the emails and texts, they'd think that she was in a serious relationship with him.
And now he was following her. She'd left her apartment in the late morning to run errands before her hectic day, and noticed him after she came out of the bank. And when he'd remained behind her for stops at the pet store, the yoga studio, and the art store; she got worried.
Ruby darted across the road, horns blaring as she nearly got herself killed. On the opposite side of the road from Eric, she ducked into a coffee shop. If he was going to confront her, at least she could have witnesses.
Going up to the counter, she ordered a small chai. As she paid for her drink, it suddenly occurred to her that maybe she could avoid confrontation altogether. If Eric thought she was with someone, he might leave her alone.
She scanned the coffee shop for a potential rescuer. It was the wrong time for her, she realized. Most of the people in the shop were in groups or pairs, and she didn't have many options. While she waited for her coffee, she saw Eric approaching the shop from the other side of the street.
And that's when she saw him. A young man sitting alone in front of the window, a mug and half eaten muffin in front of him. He had floppy brown hair and wide eyes. He looked slightly lost and uncomfortable. He wouldn't have been her first choice, but it looked like he was her only choice.
Picking up her tea, Ruby took her mug and crossed the room and sat across from Mr. Floppy hair.
She spoke quickly when his surprised eyes met hers. "Hey, I'm sorry to bother you, but there's this guy walking in right now who's been following me. Can I just sit here with you for a little while?"
She held her breath waiting for an answer, and watching out of the corner of her eye as Eric entered and went to the counter.
"Okay." Floppy hair answered, his tone questioning.
Ruby gave him a breathless grin. "Thanks. Really."
"You're welcome." He said, looking past her briefly. He frowned.
"Is he coming over here?" She asked him.
"Yes." He nodded.
Ruby cursed her luck. Why, in a town full of normal single men, did she have to end up going out with a psycho? "Um. Just play along, okay?"
"Ruby?" Eric's voice was hard.
She turned as he approached the table, standing very close to her.
"What are you doing?" He demanded, glaring at the man across from her.
"Meeting a friend for coffee." Ruby said carefully.
"A friend." Eric's tone was accusatory. He continued glaring at the other man. "Who are you?"
Floppy hair stood up and held out a hand. "Doctor Zach Addy."
Eric ignored his offered hand. After a moment, Floppy hair- Doctor Addy, sat down again.
"I don't like my girlfriend going out with other men." Eric said to Ruby.
Ruby sighed. "I'm not your girlfriend, Eric. We just went out a couple of times."
Eric looked at Doctor Addy. "We're just having problems. Ruby's afraid of commitment."
Furious, Ruby prepared to unleash a tirade of words on Eric. But Doctor Addy stepped in. "It would appear that she is only afraid of commitment to you."
She gaped at him for a moment, while Eric fumed. She recovered quickly though. "Zack's right about that, Eric." She improvised. "He and I have been dating for over a month now."
She turned her head and beamed at her rescuer, hoping he wouldn't contradict her. He remained silent, but returned her smile with a slight one of his own.
Eric's faced twisted into a mask of fury. "You bitch." Her turned and stormed out of the shop.
Ruby let out a sigh and let her head drop to the table. "Only me." She muttered.
Her companion spoke quietly. "He should not have called you that."
She lifted her head. "I'm sorry I got you involved. I was kind of freaked out."
"I can see why. He should not have called you that." He repeated earnestly.
She gave him a faint smile. "That's sweet. But for all you know, I deserved it." She started to get up. "I should leave you alone. Thank you for your help."
"No," he said. "You can stay. It's all right."
She settled into the chair again. "Thank you."
Holding out her hand, she introduced herself. "I'm Ruby May."
He shook her hand, his grip warm and firm. "Zack Addy."
"Didn't you say Doctor Addy?"
Ruby leaned her elbow on the table and propped her chin on her hand. "Doctor of what?"
"Forensic Anthropology." He answered. "And almost Structural Engineering. I haven't quite finished that yet."
"Really? Wow. You must be pretty smart, huh?"
"Yes." He said simply.
His simple answer amused her. Most people would at least make an attempt at being modest. He didn't even try, but it didn't come across as boastful.
"So. Doctor Addy. What were you doing when I so rudely interrupted you? Because I have to tell you, you looked a little lost."
His eyes flicked to the clock on the wall and back to her. "I'm on lunch break. I don't normally leave the lab at lunchtime."
Ruby slapped her hand over her mouth and moaned. "Ohh no. You finally venture out of your lab and I ambush you with my drama. I am so sorry." She felt like an idiot.
"It's all right." He said mildly. "This is the most interesting lunch I've had."
Interesting. A better word would have been fascinating. He hadn't had much faith in Angela's suggestion. But he followed through, venturing out and entering the first coffee shop he saw. Upon entering, he'd immediately felt out of place. Everyone was with someone else.
He'd gotten his order, sat down and wondered how long he should stay.
See what happens, Angela had said.
And then she walked in. He'd noticed her right away of course. She'd brought to mind those girls in high school, the ones that were popular and beautiful and completely unattainable.
It was her confidence, the way she stood. Her deep red hair hung down her back in a smooth tail. She was very pale, and wore a plain black shirt with jeans.
And when she turned and approached him he was shocked. And confused. Was this a normal occurrence?
Not normal, it turned out.
But the incident was pushed to the back of his mind when she remained and talked to him. Asking questions as if she was truly interested.
And he found she wasn't like those girls in high school had been at all. She was more like Angela. Beautiful, lively and kind. And still unattainable.
She asked about his work. And her eyes didn't glaze over in confusion like most people. She pressed for details. What, exactly, did he do?
When he mentioned the flesh eating beetles, she was unfazed. "Sounds like one of my exes." She joked.
He found out that she was an artist, but since that did not pay well, she did all sorts of other things as well. Walked dogs, tended bar, taught yoga.
He was thoroughly disappointed when after glancing at the clock, she gasped and scrambled out of her seat.
"Is that the time? I have to go, I'm so late. I've got about fifteen dogs waiting for me."
She slung her purse over her shoulder. "I'm sorry, I have to run."
Just like that it was over.
She smiled at him, bright and sincere. "Thank you for your rescue, Doctor Addy. I hope I see you around."
And she left with a jaunty wave.
Zack left shortly after. When he got back to the lab, Angela was waiting.
"So? How'd it go?" She asked enthusiastically.
"I met a girl." He replied.
So there you are. I'll be updating once a week, to give myself time to catch up with myself.
Lyrics are from Waiting To Talk by Andrew Bird
Reviews are perfectly lovely and always appreciated. Who am I kidding? I'm needy and need approval!