Disclaimer: not mine

Title: The Best Man

Summary: post-Witch in the Wardrobe, Hodgins feels like something isn't exactly right. Hodgins/Angela, Hodgins-Zach-friendship

A/N: And I am DONE with this semester! WOOT! And now, to celebrate my insane happiness, ZANGST!

A/N2: Just a note, I do not warn for character death, since I feel like it gives everything away. This note being here does not necessarily mean that there is character death, although there might be. It's now a standard author's note for all my stories, particularly the ZANGST ones. They're the ones that are most likely to involve character death (I think at least one actually had it, or at least hinted at it).

The first person Hodgins tells about the jail-wedding is Zach.

Of course it's Zach.

'Zach was supposed to be there,' Hodgins thinks to himself as he drives away from the mental hospital. 'Zach should've been my best man.'

Hodgins frowns, drumming his fingers on the wheel.

'This isn't right,' he grumbles internally. 'Nothing is happening the way it should. Yes, I married Angela, finally, but… still, nothing is happening like it should.'

He tries to shrug off the gloomy feeling, but it clings to him with stubborn, clammy fingers, insisting on making itself felt.

Angela notices right away that something isn't right with Hodgins, but she doesn't press. She can tell he doesn't want to talk about it yet.

Hodgins sits at his station, staring absent-mindedly at the computer screen, trying to think of a way to fix what's been irrevocably broken.

He can't think of anything.

'Zach should've been my best man.'

Zach is genuinely happy for Hodgins and Angela. He knew that they were supposed to be together, and that Hodgins had been miserable when Angela left.

But….

But he still feels kind of empty. Like he knows he should be happier than he is, but he just can't bring himself to feel… anything, really.

And as he sits alone, in his tiny little room, he realizes why he feels this way.

The first time Angela and Hodgins tried to get married, Hodgins asked Zach to be the best man.

Not this time.

OK, so feeling this way doesn't really make any sense. At all. It was a spur-of-the-moment wedding! They didn't invite anyone! But he can't stop feeling like this.

Left out. Forgotten. Ignored.

It's stupid, really. He shouldn't want his friends to still miss him. He should want them to move on, to stop missing him, to get over it and have their own lives.

But he wants them to miss him. He wants them to want him to come home.

He wants Hodgins to want him to be the best man at his wedding.

But that will never happen. They've moved on, like they should, and he's stuck in one place, both literally and metaphorically speaking.

But he still wants to be the best man.

Angela knows why Hodgins is upset.

Of course he went to tell Zach. Zach is his best friend, and Hodgins wanted to share the news with him, just like Angela wanted to tell Brennan right away.

And of course, Zach is still in the Loony Bin.

It breaks her heart if she thinks about it, so she tries her best not to. But there are times when she can't just shut it all away. And this is one of those times.

She should be happy. She's married (FINALLY) to the guy she loves more than anything.

But Hodgins is unhappy. And so, Angela is unhappy.

But not for long.

Angela isn't really a… negative type of person. She always tries to be upbeat, and believes that there is a way to solve any problem if you try hard enough.

So, logically, there must be a way to solve this problem.

After all, when they have a ceremony with their friends and family (just to humor them, and because it seems like the right thing to do), Zach has to be there.

He has to be Hodgins' best man.

A/N: It's ZANGST with a hint of future-non-ZANGST! GASP! And YAY OMG HODGELA IS BACK! I'm still dancing around from that episode.