Anthropologically speaking, it's a social release from the monotony of a typical work day, with the added bonus of four dollar well drinks. Noisy and crowded, the pairings here are always random. Some choose to anchor themselves to a spot, others join the constant shuffle to claim an open space during the late afternoon ritual known as Happy Hour.
Booth sat at the bar with a Captain and Coke in hand. He wasn't feeling particularly generous when Hodgins purposely sought out the bar stool next to him.
"Hey man, it's been a less than satisfying week in the world of slime and grime, which tells me your week has been worse than mine." He said amicably.
"Yeah, well, they can't all be winners." Booth's attitude was dour. A week had gone by since they had discovered and subsequently identified the bodies in the warehouse. Victor Ligrano's prints were on the switchblade that killed Tom Hascall and Hascall's prints were on the gun found at the scene. He might have laughed at the deaths of these two idiots, but the loss of two additional lives was not the outcome he wanted to see.
Hodgins rattled his drink. "You can't pin anything on the owner of the building?"
"Nicholas Villareal has an alibi and not enough insurance to cover his destroyed building. Unless you can find some molecule that incriminates him, he's off the hook." Booth took another sip from his drink and eyed the bug doctor cautiously, he read people well enough to know there was more coming.
"So what's going on with you and Dr. B? Angela tells me she won't talk about it, so it must be serious. Like I know it's none of my business, but I might be able to help, after all I have first hand knowledge on professional working relationships."
Booth stiffened and glared at him. He leaned toward the entomologist and looked at him straight in the eye "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you."
The look on Hodgins face made the corny remark worth it.
"This case we've been on, it's going nowhere. What's next?" Angela sipped on her martini.
Brennan looked disheartened "Five people dead for fifty thousand dollars, it's really ridiculous." She sighed. "Booth says Sully had a side to him that none of us saw, a place where he kept his demons. Not that I believe in demons, but I understand the metaphor."
"Honey, he's absolutely right. It's more than unfortunate, but he wasn't asking for help, he just wanted out of this screwed up life he created for himself." She looked at Brennan sympathetically. "And the money?"
Brennan shook her head. "Nothing."
Angela bumped her shoulder against hers. "I know you said you didn't want to talk about your relationship with Booth, just tell me that everything is all right."
Brennan couldn't deny her friend an honest answer. She had always gone to her, sharing stories or asking for advice when it came to men. They never minced words over intent or technique, but she wasn't willing to let her relationship with Booth become an anecdote in her personal life, at least not yet. "It's important we continue an effective and professional work relationship. So the answer to your question is, everything is fine."
"Sweetie, if you weren't my closest non-sexually involved with friend, I might be offended that you won't come clean with me, but I respect you're right to privacy and won't press you for details."
Brennan gave Angela a look that only close girlfriends could decipher. "I promise you'll be the first to know."
"Okay, I'll accept that for now, but when you're ready, I want all the gory details." She ate the olive out of her drink.
"I can assure you, they aren't gory, perhaps messy, but not gory."
Cam sat down on the bar stool that Hodgins had vacated and motioned to the bartender for a drink. "You closing the book on this case?"
Booth got a pained look on his face. "It's ended up being a bunch of clueless amateurs killing each other and I got nothing on the money. No new leads whatsoever."
"What about Villareal's girlfriend, you thought she had an ulterior motive, didn't you?"
"I did, but she's come up clean too. She had a tight alibi, no cell phone records, nothing to trace. She left the women's shelter and told her caseworker that she was going to make a fresh start. There was no reason to detain her."
"Smart girl." Cam threw back her shot glass and chased it with a glass of soda water.
"You and Dr. Brennan have become the number one topic at the rumor mill. What gives?" Cam had gotten in Booth's face more than once and knew what she could get away with.
He looked at her sideways, Cam was a good friend, but she led the Squints and they worked together, in this instance it trumped their friendship. "We got it handled."
She thought better of pressing the issue, and shrugged in response.
Booth couldn't help himself. "So Cam, what happened between you and Bones? She mentioned something weird had come up?"
"Seeley, I did not come on to her! If I was going to pick someone to make a move on, I can guarantee, it wouldn't be her!" She acted and sounded defensive.
Booth laughed out loud. "Look Camille, I told her as much. You know... I pointed out that Angela was more your type."
Cam's outrage turned to amusement when she saw Booth's expression. "Okay, okay, it's time for me to sign up for internet dating. I definitely need to find a bigger pond." She motioned for the bartender for a refill.
"Yes Zach, what is it?" Their roles were firmly entrenched, making his attempt at small talk seem out of place.
"If you and Agent Booth cease to work with each other, what will happen to the rest of us?" He stood in front of her with a concerned look.
She was surprised by his question. "What would make you think that Booth and I will end our working relationship?"
"Remember the book I read about body language and the pat on the back opposed to the bump of a fist? It also talked about the lack of eye contact, purposely keeping distance between each other, crossed arms and tense posture... I have recognized these attributes in you and Agent Booth. It seems problematic, a fissure in your bond as partners."
Brennan had a moment of clarity and patted Zach's hand reassuringly. "Agent Booth and I are committed to working together. You don't have to be concerned. Even if we were to end our partnership, I wouldn't leave the Jeffersonian and you would still be my assistant."
"I am relieved to hear that." He did his best to look relaxed. "It would be a shame to interfere with beautiful music and disrupt the muscle of admiration you share with Agent Booth."
"Zach, have you been talking with Angela and Hodgins again?"
He left the bar and she followed him out a few minutes later. She found him halfway down the block, leaning against his car. With his tie loosened, his collar unbuttoned, he looked incredibly sexy.
"You know what I hope?" He said to her as she approached him.
"That the money we've been chasing for the last two weeks ends up doing someone some good."
Bones found herself leaning against the car next to him. "It is optimistic of you to think that, but I agree, I'd like to believe it is helping someone out."
He took a step and turned to face her. "I'm turning the case over to Charlie, it'll stay an open investigation, but with nothing to drive it, it won't go anyplace unless something new develops."
His close proximity wasn't something she could ignore and although she knew it breached their pact of discretion, she reached out and hooked her fingers in his belt loops and pulled him toward her.
"It is unfortunate." She caught her breath when she felt his leg pressed between hers and his hands on her waist, his body bearing down on her. "But, I know you believe justice exists" she whispered.
"Justice comes in many forms." He murmured the words in her ear as she leaned further back against the car. His lips nipped at her ear lobe and then inched their way down her neck and back towards her mouth.
"We should go." She whispered back to him, between his kisses. She could smell the rum on his breath mixed with the business of his day and thought how delicious these pheromones were. She wrapped her arms around his neck, preventing him from leaving her.
"Yeah, we should" Booth whispered to her before devouring her lips and feeling his body undulate against hers. He couldn't stop, knowing she felt the same sparks of desire that he did, goaded him on.
The street lamp cast a faint spotlight on the cop and scientist. Locked in a passionate embrace, their lips, their legs and their bodies fitting seamlessly together. Her arms encircling his neck, his one arm around her waist, his other hand in her hair, he flattened her against the car, kissing her with a frantic appetite. She strained to return the gesture, both of them oblivious to the world around them.
It was a sight to behold, as was the sight of Cam, Hodgins, Angela and Zach standing huddled together on the sidewalk. Their eyes wide, and not surprisingly, all four totally speechless.
A couple of years after I originally posted this story, there are still a few readers out there. I decided that it was time to do some editing. I hope it reads a tad bit better and the story makes more sense.
I truly appreciate the positive feedback. I'm a fan of Bones mostly of the early seasons and I hope it shows.