A/N: Watching season 2 rerun (The Blond in the Game, with Epps) and this sprang to mind. I miss Zack. Enjoy! :)
Zach was not prone to increased levels of serotonin or endorphins but when Agent Booth came to ask for his help in getting the upper hand over Epps, Zach felt something that could only be described as happiness.
Zach's incredible intelligence had always set him apart from everyone, especially his family who were simple middle class folks with normal everyday jobs. He was unable to relate to the majority of the populations and while he knew that it was irrational to hope as hope was something that was intangible and did not exist, but he hoped to at least form a few social connections in his life. Along with earning his doctorates, it was his goal to bond, to form what he knew through reading to be friendships. Humans were social creatures and need contact, crave contact and for the jokes he heard in his life about him being an alien, he was still human.
He had not been able to fulfill that part of his life until he had been accepted at the Jeffersonian. He idolized Dr. Brennan and did everything he could to be the best assistant for his mentor. He had gotten off to the wrong foot with Dr. Hodgins, as he usually did with people; but they had managed to form a bond of sorts through their working together and their experiments. He knew that their social connection was real when Hodgins offered to let him stay above the garage when he had been evicted. Angela was always nice to him, if only in pity (not that he known that originally, Hodgins had explained it to him) but he thought that they did have social connection. Cam had given him a nickname upon a few days of starting at the Jeffersonian. Zackaroni. He loved it. He had never had a moniker before and he knew through his anthropological studies the importance of monikers.
However while he had managed to form social connections to this people, he had an odd and irrational desire to befriend Agent Booth. Perhaps because Booth was everything that he wasn't; good with people, muscular, good at sports, not social awkward and people seemed to gravitate towards him. Booth also had an air of confidence about him that Zack, despite constantly correcting people and being a genius, did not. But Agent Booth did not make it easy for him. He had constantly rebuffed him and threatened to shoot him. Zack could comprehend that Booth was probably intimidated by his intelligence as so many people are. So when Agent Booth specifically asked for his help he couldn't help but smile and he couldn't help the happy feeling he got when he found out that Booth had actually taken his advice.