Hi everyone! First of all, I'm so sorry for neglecting this story! I left it for a little while and I started to feel too disconnected to it to get back into it again. But I'm in need of some B&B fluff, so I thought that I might as well take a whack at it. (: Also, I rewrote a little bit of chapter 17 because it just seemed a little off to me. Hope you enjoy, and as always, I'd love to hear what you thought!
"Why can't I go in first?" Booth whined. He stood a distance away from the Jeffersonian, squinting to see if there were any familiar faces behind the large glass doors of the institute. Angela had entertained herself the entire way home by scheming a way to get the three of them in without a single eyebrow being raised.
"When was the last time you walked into the lab without the purpose of speaking to Bren over here?" She cocked an eyebrow, grinning pointedly. "You most certainly have not stopped by to say hi to me recently, I must say. And besides, what are you going to say when Cam asks you where you've been?"
Booth narrowed his gaze at her teasing. Angela made more sense that he wanted her to. He'd told Mike at the bureau that he needed a few days off to deal with Parker and Rebecca, and after such a tidy end to the last case Booth had worked on, Mike was hardly hesitant to give the guy a break. His brief absence most likely wouldn't even raise concerns, especially one with such innocent intentions. The part Booth worried about had more to do with the people inside the Jeffersonian. Mike was a busy guy who probably didn't possess the forethought to let Cam know that her favorite FBI agent wouldn't be coming around for a few days. And Booth's head had been far too high up in the clouds to cover all his bases. If Hacker was in there with his squints, one question from Cam that he couldn't quite answer, and he might as well jump into Bones' storage tank of formaldehyde.
"So anyways," Angela continued, "Here's the deal. Bren, you and I are going to walk in first. Why did you tell Cam you needed a couple days off, again?"
"I told her that I had a speaking engagement in California," she replied stolidly.
"Damn, girl. Most people would've just called in sick." She shook her head and fumbled with her hands as she continued to explain the plan.
"The story is that I just picked you up from the airport."
"You did just pick me up from the airport."
Bones looked at her with slight confusion.
"Sweetie. I need you to stay with me for this one, kay? You gotta ditch the logic for a second if you want to make sure Hacker doesn't think anything is up. Put away Tom Cruise and bring out Ethan Hunt, alright?"
Bones crinkled her nose, nodding reluctantly. Perhaps it was just her, but Angela sure seemed to be having fun with the thought of sneaking around. And who the hell was this Tom Cruise guy?
"There shouldn't really be a problem with us," Angela said, nodding triumphantly. "Cam was in the loop with you and your...speaking engagement, so even if she has suspicions, she'll have enough sense to wring your neck for it privately. Probably." She pursed her lips for a second, shrugging her shoulders.
"Now Booth. What are we going to do with you?" She squinted to herself, and Booth felt like a Thanksgiving turkey beneath her scrutinizing eyes. Bones had to cover her mouth to prevent herself from laughing. From where she was sitting, Angela looked like an angry hawk about to pounce on a field mouse.
"Timing is everything," Angela whispered to herself, "So why don't you just head home for the night and start back up at he bureau tomorrow? Sounds pretty damn normal to me." She beamed at her seemingly ingenious plan, while Booth glared at her from the backseat.
"I'm not going to go back home, Ange," he muttered. "Why don't you and Bones go in and get Hacker out of the way for me? Maybe once he's gone we can finally clue the squints in."
Booth and Bones watched as Angela's face fell, her teeth poking out of her mouth to bite her lip.
"Fine," she conceded, rolling her eyes playfully, "But my plan totally would have worked, I'm telling you."
Now it was Booth's turn to chuckle.
"Alright Lucy Liu, get in there and work your magic."
She turned to walk away and Bones gave Booth a quick kiss on the cheek.
"We're going to kick Hacker's butt," she whispered childishly, amused at her own joke. Booth shook his head, returning her kiss with one on the lips. He could feel her smile against his mouth, and it took everything he had in him not to pull away and laugh. Bones drew back, grinning. "Her name is Angela, Booth, I almost forgot. Not Lucy Liu. Maybe you're still a little hungover." She shot him a final quizzical look, and met up with Angela, who had already pulled her suitcase out from the trunk.
o o o
"Dr. Brennan! Thank god."
Cam seemed to narrow in on the sight of Bones and Angela the second they'd walked through the doors. Her high heels clacked noisily against the floor as she approached them, her hands swinging haphazardly by her sides.
"I know you just got back, but your expertise right now would be much appreciated. And hopefully it'll get Hacker to stop breathing down our necks." She gestured emptily to the suited man that stood hovering above the victim, his right pointer finger and thumb pressing his nose shut as his eyebrows furrowed in the most disgusted way.
"I'd be happy to," she replied, looking at Angela triumphantly who had already slunk off with a triumphant wink. Placing her suitcase at the perimeter of the platform, she swiped her card, heading over to the table where the victim sat.
"Temperance," Hacker wheezed, his voice weak and nasally, "How have you been?"
"Well," she replied quickly, snapping on a pair of gloves as she dug her hands into the body that lay in front of her. Spotting an indentation on a chest bone, she expertly pushed aside an irritating piece of flesh until it gave away with a wet squelch. Her eyes flicked discreetly up towards Hacker, who now had covered his mouth with a repulsed hand.
"You're more than welcome to stay, Andrew, but the sight of a body at such a stage of decomposition is hardly a lovely sight to someone not as experienced with them as myself. I can assure you that my job will be done just as precisely without your supervision." She tried her best to smile politely, and stuck her hands back inside the victim. Deliberately, she pulled apart another piece of rapidly deteriorating flesh, moving her hands to enlighten him with a whiff of the decomposing victim. She could see his pupils dilate, and tried to stifle a grin.
"Well," he began, clearing his throat, "Perhaps you're right. You are the best, after all," he threw in. She nodded her head in acknowledgement at his compliment.
"I know," she replied. "But thank you."
He swallowed awkwardly, fixing his tie with the hand that he'd removed from his mouth.
"Well," he said again, "I guess I'll just go now."
Bones nodded quickly, pulling out the bone in question that she had been examining for the purpose of exacerbating Hacker's exit. One glimpse at the still bloody and flesh-covered bone that she held nonchalantly in her hand, and he had fled, with nothing but a wave to remember him by. Bones shook her head proudly, sliding the gloves off with ease into the trashcan. After a quick rinse in the sink, she rummaged through the shallow pocket in her suitcase, and pulled out her cellphone. She dialed a number with immense speed, and brought the phone to her ear.
"Booth? All clear."