In a jealous rage, sketchnurse found the inspiration to write the long overdue chapter. One of her friends had met William Shatner AND Leonard Nimoy at the Star Trek convention this weekend. Here is the result of her jealousy.
Please note that sketchnurse is not a medical doctor ( or even a nurse), and any sort of medical things you may read about in the coming chapters do not come from years of training, but from a few human physiology texts and the World Wide Web.
After returning to the hotel from the husband's house, Brennan held her video conference with her team, and learned that her presence was not yet needed back at the lab. Suspecting that she really was needed back in D.C, and her team had just told her that they were fine so she could focus on Gordon Wyatt's illness, she ended the conference in a bit of a snit. However, Booth offered to drive them down to the local diner for another cup of coffee and some donuts, and didn't allow her to protest.
He drove, while Brennan stared out of the window, thinking about things as usual. However, the silence did start to get a little weird, as Booth's partner hadn't even commented on the innocence of the victim, or how ridiculous it was for him to expect to find his dead lover up in a Heaven that wasn't even guaranteed to exist.
"Bones?" he asked, just to make sure that she was all there. You could never quite tell what was on her mind. Over the years he had become much better at reading her than most other people, but she still continued to mystify him. Maybe that was what made being around her so exciting.
He could definitely tell, though, that something was bothering her. He didn't know if it was seeing evidence of a love that did seem to last beyond death, or just the serial killer in the case. The killer did seem to have a destructive effect on society at the present time, and he knew that his partner cared very, very much about the proper functioning of the world that she lived in and the sanctity of life. And of course, Booth didn't like serial killers much, either. It chilled his blood to think of someone who could just kill, without hesitation, remorse, or guilt. And without reason. He wondered if Brennan ever thought about her father, when investigating a murder. Was her mind capable of separating everything in her life that much? Of course it was. Her ability to survive through traumatizing events depended on her skills in compartmentalizing. He wondered if she would ever snap, under all of the pressure.
He realized that Brennan was staring at him, and shook his head slightly, dissipating his thoughts. While had been wondering about his partner, she had been trying to get his attention.
"Booth?" Sometimes, he would try to get her attention, then drift off into space, or disappear into his own head, or whatever term was appropriate. She had to admit, she did that a lot too. Though doubtless he tended to dwell on emotional matters, while she was more likely to think through problems rationally.
He looked over at her briefly. Circling the block the diner was situated on, he was disappointed to see that all of the parking spaces close to it were full. He parked a couple blocks away, hoping that the diner itself wasn't too busy.
"Sorry, Bones, just got a little distracted there." he muttered, opening his door. To his pleasure, she was fiddling with the thousand things in her purse, which gave him opportunity to get over to her side of the SUV and open the door for her. "You coming, or are you going to text with Angela all day?" Surprisingly, she blushed at this, and looked down, hastily putting her phone back into the bag. "Angela didn't send you any weird pictures or anything, did she?" he asked, offering a hand to help her out of the car. Rolling her eyes, she accepted it, and hopped out, smoothing out her skirt as he let go. Brennan muttered something too low to hear, and he turned around, grinning at her. "Sorry, Bones, didn't quite catch that."
"I made the mistake of informing Angela that we were sleeping in the same room, and she has been spamming me with suggestions that we engage in coitus all day." Booth, to his credit, didn't let the silly grin slide off of his face. "Don't worry, that's just Angela being Angela. She's spent every minute of our partnership trying to get us to hook up; did you really think it would stop when we went out of town?"
"It's just getting harder." she said softly, so softly that he wasn't sure he had heard what he thought he had heard. Getting harder? What was getting harder? Probably resisting the urge to slap the artist silly when she made blush-inducing suggestions about what he and his partner should be doing instead of paperwork. Whatever it had been, Booth knew it wasn't something he was meant to respond to.
"Come on," he said, waiting up for Brennan as his strides carried his body ahead of hers. Apparently still communicating with her best friend, the forensic anthropologist was ambling along slowly, furiously pressing keys on her phone.
They walked into the diner, and Brennan couldn't help but compare it to the one back home. Certainly this one was less well-kept. She hoped the coffee would be up to par.
They sat down at a table together for the second time that day, and began to discuss the case, as well as the information her team had been able to gather from the remains. The coffee turned out to be quite good, and the donuts even more so. The arrangement of marigolds on their table was a nice touch too. However, looking at the time, Brennan decided it would probably be best if they made their way back to the hospital to see Gordon Wyatt. Booth agreed, and soon they were on their way back to the hotel. However, they had chosen a bad time to leave the diner. A heavy, cold rain had started to fall from the sky, and seconds after they had exited the warmth of the building, both partners were drenched. Their walk back to the SUV soaked them even more so, and Booth's head was dripping water as he started the car up.
"Okay, so we'll have to change into some drier clothes before heading up to see Gordon Gordon." he muttered. The drive back wasn't too bad, and since they had parked underground, the freezing rain didn't have the opportunity to get to them again.
"Do you think we're visiting him too much?" Brennan asked suddenly, as they travelled up to their floor in the elevator. Booth looked puzzled for a second, before smiling at her again. God, he seemed to be doing that a lot. And the worst part was, every time he did, she got a feeling in her stomach (at least, that's where it felt like it was) that was warm and fluttery and make her feel on edge all at the same time. No other man… this sounded a lot like the romance novels Angela liked to read aloud while they were over at her place, sipping wine, while Brennan reluctantly sat on her friend's bed and leafed through magazines. Not that there was anything wrong with Girl's Night. Actually, she often found herself looking forward to it. Though never to the talk Angela always gave her about how she and Booth were absolutely perfect for each other. There was simply no feasible way that two people could be perfect for each other. Very compatible, perhaps, but perfect?
"Bones, Gordon Gordon is our friend, and it's normal to want to make sure he's okay, right? And you know, anthropologically speaking, we're programmed to—" She cut him off with a light sock on the arm. He made a face and rubbed the spot where she had hit him, but she just laughed lightly. "Don't mock me, Booth. I'm just saying, maybe he doesn't want to see us. He's likely not feeling well, and I know that when I'm—"
"Aww, come on, Gordon Gordon loves us too much to get tired of us." he said, gesturing for her to exit the elevator before him. She acquiesced, replying as they walked to their room.
"I'm sure he finds us quite frustrating at times, as do most people." Brennan said, opening the door with her pass key.
"Us, frustrating?" He winked at her, to show that he was being sarcastic, but she had turned her back to him and didn't see it.
"Well, we do tend to bicker quite a bit, Booth." That was definitely an understatement. He couldn't think of many times when they weren't engaged in some sort of disagreement. And Booth liked it like that.
"I guess you're right." he said playfully, sitting down with a loud thump! on his bed. He shot right back up, remembering that he was soaking wet and probably shouldn't get his bedding all soggy. He began rummaging through his drawers for dry things while Brennan's back was turned. Not that he would mind her seeing him pick out clean boxers and a pair of socks, no. Not like he was a prude or anything. "Hey," he began to ask, after selecting the appropriate items. "You figure we should bring Gordon Gordon some flowers or a box of chocolates or something?" He turned to his wardrobe and got out a fresh shirt, pair of pants, and a suit jacket, which he laid out on the bed. His partner was doing similar things beside him, though she didn't seem to care about him seeing her underthings. Lacy, lacy underthings. Not that he was looking.
"Where would you like to get him this item?" she asked, starting to slip out of her shirt.
"Woah, Bones, what are you doing?" Brennan turned around, arms half tangled in the shirtsleeves.
"Getting changed, obviously." she answered. "Oh—sorry, I forgot that you were..." In the room? A man? "Sorry if that was a problem for you." Booth resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Well, yeah, that was a problem for him. Nothing like the sight of his Bones in panties and a bra to keep his mind on the important things.
"I just—maybe you could use the restroom or something. Or, or I could." She stared at him blankly for a second, before settling back into her wet shirt.
"Booth, if me getting undressed in the same room as you makes you uncomfortable, then that's perfectly fine. We did, after all, change in separate rooms last night. I supposed I was just anxious to get going again. Most men in today's society associate nudity with a level of comfort usually only found in sexual relationships, so I can see where you're coming from. I suppose I'm just used to being able to change with Angela in the same room. She's constantly complementing me on the firmness of my br—"
"Okay, Bones, too much information." Waaaay too much information. The last thing he needed, after seeing her half out of her shirt, were stories about Angela's comments on her anatomy. Doubtless she was a fan of the female body, but thinking about the two of them… there was a reason that he needed a separate room from her. There were… things that needed taking care of sometimes. "Look, I'll just use the restroom, okay?"
She looked at him like she wanted to argue, but he quickly grabbed his things and strode into the other room, locking the door. She went back to changing. Some people were just too uptight for their own good. Like Booth, when it came to sexuality. He had looked like his eyes were going to bug out of his head when she started explaining that Angela thought she had well-formed breasts. It wasn't unusual. Her friend was very appreciative of the human form, and Booth had surely looked at her chest before.
Ten minutes later, they were on their way to the hospital, and engaged in another silence. This time, however, Brennan was stealing glances at her partner, whose eyes were locked on the road. Something was up with him. He had been noticeably tenser since they had come back to the hotel room.
After a drive that had felt short and long all at the same time (Brennan didn't want to spend too much time on the logistics of that), the pair found a space for the SUV and made their way over to the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.
"You're sure we should be visiting him this often?" Brennan asked her partner, as they walked through the sliding doors. He gave her a look, which silenced her for the time being. Before heading up to the psychiatrist's room, they stopped at the gift shop and got him a nice box of good chocolates; knowing Gordon Wyatt, he would definitely be able to tell the difference. They were silent once again on the way up to the room.
"You know," Brennan started, as they stepped off the elevator. "We haven't eaten anything since breakfast, aside from the coffee and donuts."
"Well, I thought seeing our sick friend kind of took priority." he answered. Usually being the one to bring up the subject of food, Booth was surprised that not only had he forgotten about lunch, but that Brennan had thought to bring it up.
"We'll get something in the cafeteria later." he assured her, and seeming satisfied for the moment, she fell silent.
"Hey, Dr. Sweets!" he exclaimed upon entering. The young psychologist was sitting next to Gordon Gordon's bed, and he could also see, on the other side, a man with brown hair that he didn't know. Brennan entered after him, which was, of course, unusual unto itself. Booth was clearly distracted, if he had forgotten all about his male chivalry.
"Hey, Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan." Clearly in a discussion with the other two men, Lance Sweets looked to be in much better shape than the other occupants of the room. For one thing, his hair hadn't dried in a way that made it extremely difficult for Brennan to keep from laughing. The mystery man seemed to be as agitated as her partner, although with her limited people skills, he could have just as likely been in a state of extreme ecstasy.
"When did you get here?" Brennan asked, walking over to Sweets. She wasn't sure if she was supposed to greet him by shaking hands, or patting him on the back, but the young man answered her question for her, pulling her into a light embrace.
"Just a few hours ago." he answered. "Daisy's meeting up with an old friend, she'll be here later." Turning her attention to Gordon Wyatt, Brennan stepped out of Sweets' personal space, allowing the young man to greet her partner in the same manner.
"How are you doing, Dr. Wyatt?" Her voice betrayed only a little of the concern she was feeling for the man, but the psychiatrist noticed it all the same. Wyatt smiled in that reassuringly British way of his, and glanced around the room. Booth had managed to evade Sweets' greeting, and was now standing around rather nervously, feeling quite out of place. The room suddenly seemed too small to hold five people. As if someone somewhere had heard his thoughts, a nurse appeared, pink scrubs clashing horribly with her red hair.
"I'm afraid we can only have three visitors in at a time." she said. Five people looked at each other questioningly.
"I'm afraid I have get going." the man Booth didn't know said, getting off of his chair and heading for the door. "I have an appointment at one thirty to prepare for."
"Well, can we at least have a couple minutes for introductions?" Wyatt asked the nurse, putting on his full charm. She smiled at him blushingly, and nodded. "I'm sure it wouldn't hurt."
"Well, Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan, I'd like you to meet Dr. James Wilson, head of Oncology here at the hospital and Dr. House's best friend." Wilson nodded his head and looked down.
"I really should be—"
"Oh, nonsense. You have a couple seconds to space for proper introductions, yes?" The oncologist sighed ever so slightly, and gave a little smile.
"This is Special Agent Seeley Booth and his lovely partner Dr. Temperance Brennan. They were here, rather coincidentally, to aid with the ongoing investigation of a serial killer. They both had the pleasure of meeting your friend Greg last night, although the night did take a rather nasty turn when I ended up in the hospital."
"Nice to meet both of you." Wilson said, shaking the hands of the two partners. Booth was looking at him as if he couldn't possibly be sane for wanting to be friends with a man like Gregory House. "And now I really have to be going. Hope you feel better soon, Dr. Wyatt."
"Please, call me Gordon. None of that nasty Doctor stuff. I would really, really rather be working in my restaurant. I supposed I'll be seeing you later?" Wilson gave a nod, then departed.
"Well, that was Dr. Wilson. I don't expect we'll be seeing Greg in soon. Most likely he's completely consumed in the mystery of my illness. He always did have a tendency to get lost in whatever puzzle he was working on at the moment."
"So how are you feeling?" Booth asked, taking Wilson's recently vacated seat.
"Well, I'm slightly nauseous, have a headache, my insides feel like they've turned to lead and my hands are tingling something marvelous, but on the whole, rather well." he answered, smiling at him. "I've at least been able to catch up on all of the emails I haven't been able to answer. It's amazing, how much the things can pile up after a week or two. So, how's the investigation going?" Sweets perked up noticeably after the word 'investigation', and gave his full attention to the FBI agent.
"Yes, Agent Booth, how is the investigation going? I don't expect that any new leads have been developed yet, but you've managed to indentify the victims, correct?"
"Yes, two of the bodies found was immediately identifiable through dental work, and we talked to the boyfriend of one of the—"
"Husband." Booth cut in. "He said that they had gotten married."
"Her widow, then. He didn't have much to say about her, besides declarations of their everlasting love and—"
"What do you mean, not much to say? We figured out that she was big on running—"
"Which we already knew." Both Wyatt and Sweets were grinning at the back and forth conversation between the two partners. The young psychologist was even considering making a few notes on their interactions, but thought against it. His book was already full of observations of the two partners. Any more, and it would be too long for anyone to want to read.
"Yeah, well we also figured out that she had a membership to the Princeton Centre for Yoga and Health, right? That's pretty important. And she also volunteered at the SPCA."
"Nothing we couldn't have figured out by looking through records. The trip did seem like a waste of time, Booth."
"Hey, you were the one who told me we were going to interview the guy."
"Only because I had checked your email and found one from the local FBI telling you that he was to be questioned."
"Woah, you checked my email? How the hell did you know my password?"
"I didn't need to know it, Booth; you had left the browser open on my laptop. You should know that simply closing it doesn't close all of the windows open."
"That doesn't matter, Bones. What matters is you invaded my privacy."
"I hardly think your work email contains anything one would deem private."
"Oh? Seriously? You don't think I would be receiving any top secret, sensitive information?"
"I have a very high security clearance, Booth."
"That doesn't mean you get to look through my emails!"
"I don't see what the problem is. Looking through your emails allowed me to plan our day productively. Questioning the witness, while a waste of time to me, apparently gave you some information you feel we wouldn't have been able to find otherwise. Therefore, my actions haven't impacted anyone negatively."
"Bones, I would have checked my email when I got up anyway, so I don't know why…"
"This is rather fun, isn't it, Dr. Sweets?" Wyatt commented softly, eyes twinkling. "I haven't witnessed a genuine Booth and Brennan bickering session in quite a while."
"Very interesting." the younger man agreed.
"Look, let's just agree to… not do that again, okay?" Booth's patience was starting to wear thin, and the last thing he needed was a disagreement with his partner. "You don't look at my private things, and I don't look at yours, alright?"
"Booth, you know all of my passwords, no matter how often I change them, and just a few hours ago, you were insisting that it was necessary for you to clutter around with my sex life."
"Mess around, Bones. Not clutter. And I am NOT messing around with your sex life." He looked at the other two men in the room, as if he wanted to make sure that both of them were sure to know that he didn't have anything to do with his partner's personal life. The attempt, however valiant, was not met with much success. Wyatt and Sweets looked at each other, each thinking the same thing, which did nothing to calm Booth down.
"Then why won't you let me go out with Dr. House?"
"Okay, slow down there. Number one, he hasn't even asked you out, so there might not even be a problem. And number two, he's a jerk." He looked at Wyatt guiltily after that. "Sorry, Gordon Gordon, I know he's your friend and all, but—"
"No, no, I quite understand. You're quite protective of Dr. Brennan, and I'm well aware of Greg's shortcomings."
"Whose shortcomings?" came a voice from the doorway, and Booth almost collapsed in a puddle of annoyance at the sight of the middle-aged doctor. Greg House limped into the room.
"We're not playing 'Let's insult the guy who's trying to save a life', are we?"
"Hello, Greg. We—"
"Were just talking about me, yeah, I heard. But I didn't come back to talk about our feelings again."
"Well, I can't pretend that's a surprise. I must only assume that you're here to discuss my condition. May I ask what it is you think I am afflicted with?"
"The labs have ruled out food poisoning." House said, leaning heavily on his cane. Though he had gotten to the hospital at his usual late time, he had been up most of the night, thinking. "We're still waiting on the other test results."
"Unusual, then, that you're here without a solution. Surely you have at least a few theories."
"Well, let's share, then. I'm a little rusty at the moment, but perhaps you can indulge me. You say food poisoning is out? That would have been a rather boring diagnosis. Did you figure out the cause behind my bloody vomit yet?" Booth started to look a little green around the gills at the mention of his friend's vomit last night, but Brennan, of course, seemed to be quite unaffected.
"All the evidence points to bleeding in your stomach, although it went away on its own."
"So what, then, are you thinking?" Having promptly forgotten his earlier argument with Brennan, Booth was stared determinedly out the window. Even worse than squinty dead body talk was squinty live sick body talk.
"We're—" A loud page interrupted House, and he looked at this pager, swearing under his breath. "I have to go." he said, refusing to meet his friend's eye. "Another patient just had a heart attack."
"Well, good luck, then." Wyatt said, watching his House limp out of the room. "Well, it was nice seeing you all again, Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan, Dr. Sweets, but I'm afraid I'm getting rather drowsy and won't be much fun any longer. Make sure you say hi to Daisy for me, would you Dr. Sweets? I daresay the girl's become quite enamoured with me." he added as an aside to Booth. "We've only met twice, but both times she managed to nearly talk my ear off." Booth smiled weakly. Daisy. He was not looking forward to meeting up with her at all.