Disclaimer: I do not own or lay claim to anything even tenuously associated with Bones; it belongs to various individuals and corporations who are considerably more talented and well-off than myself. I am only playing with the aforesaid characters, situations, settings, etc. for my own amusement and am making no profit whatsoever from this (other than the betterment of my writing skills). No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

A/N: As this fic progresses, spelling and grammar deteriorate. This is intentional, and is supposed to illustrate the increasing level of inebriation on the part of both Booth and Brennan.


(Matter-of-factly, trying to conceal vulnerability): "Are you going to betray me?"

(Seriously, unhesitatingly): "No."

And, irrational though it is, she believes him.

Even knowing that of course someone who was going to betray her would deny it. After all, the word betrayal implies duplicity.

Even knowing that there is no way for him to know that he won't unwittingly betray her.

But when she looks him in the eye, she believes him.

"Nonetheless, I shall be vigilant."

"Nonetheless?"

His expression is priceless. Really, it's hardly a vocabulary word.

A laugh bubbles out of her throat? belly? some metaphorical body area, at any rate.

His eyes crinkle, and suddenly he's laughing too.

She's not entirely sure why this is so funny, but it is.

And when her Dixie cup falls off the table, that's hilarious too.

He gives her another cup, pouring more "water of life, Bones" into it.

It's not water, though. And it has nothing to do with life. Which she tries to explain to him.

It burns on the way down, and when she snorts with laughter it burns her nose. Which is amusing.

They keep pouring shots until the bottle is empty; then she fetches another from a hidden compartment in Hodgins' desk.

"Hey, you squints are full of s'prises, huh?" he says, slightly tipsy already. She feels a bit superior, knowing that she can hold her liquor better than him. The liquor is surprisingly potent, however, and she says this as someone who's had bhang in India. "How'd ya know he had this?"

She smirks.

"'sa secret," she informs him haughtily, before leaning in closer. "Want to know the best – hic – part?"

"What?"

"He can't get mad that we took it, because he's not sposed to have alcohol on the premises without permission."

"So he can't report it missing," he finishes, his smile growing.

She nods enthusiastically, and they both start snickering again.

Perhaps… prhaps… hehe…

…prhaps it's the alcohol. or maybe it's just her body's way of releasing tension, but everything is funny right now.

"Y'know," she slurs, "we should do this mroften."

"Wha?" he asks. "Get pissed?"

"Dunno whatha means. 'm not angry or expriencing incon- con-tin-ence."

"Nah, it means gettin drunk," he informs her proudly.

"Ohhh."

He grins at her and they tap their newly filled cups together.

"You're gettin' the hang of this gettin' drunk thing," he tells her.

"'m a fast learner," she informs him. "Buthasna what I was talking about."

"When?"

"B'fore, Booth," she says with exaggerated patience.

"Oh, righ'."

"Yeah, we should get together more to engage n rhythmic, vocalized ex-pir-a-tory an involunt'ry actions. Ony otha person I do this with's Ange, an she's always trying to fasten me up with guys."

"'s hook up, Bones, not fasten up. And whatdyamean, she's tryin' ta hook you up with guys?"

He looks indignant on her behalf.

"She's always telling me I need to 'get it outta my system'. Dunno wha she means. I like ever'thing in my system."

"So'da I, Bones."

His gaze is warm.

"Tell ya what, if Angela tries to hook you up with any more guys, just give me a call," he pronounces. "I'll set her straight."

"Thanks, Booth. You're a good friend."

They grin at one another, content in their complicity.

"Na zdrowie," he pronounces as they bump freshly-filled paper cups together again.

"A la vida," she counters.

He raises an eyebrow.

"Alla vita."

so thasa way he wants it.

"A la vie."

"Za život."

"Ga rai."

"Fine," he grumbles. "You win. S'at last one even a real language?"

of course she won.

"'s Hausa," she sniffs. "Learned it on a dig in Nigeria. Know lossa crude toasts, too."

"So do I," he responds. "Army, remember? Think I'd beatcha there."

"Maybe," she concedes.

The number of paper cups strewn across the office floor has grown since she last looked down.

"Thassa lotta cups," she tells Booth, yanking on his arm and pointing at the ground.

"Yeah. We – we're good 't this," he says, grinning stupidly. "If there wassa contest for the best, we'd win."

of course they are the best.

She nods her head vigorously in agreement, and her whole body follows.

ohhh.

she has a bad feeling about this. she's prbably going to have a killer of a headache come t'mrrow.

killer… killed… betray'l… in her met'phroical house… her house!

She pours herself another Dixie cup of liquor.

When she partially closes her eyes, the trail of cups resembles bones.

"It doesn' make sense," she tells him, blinking back tears stinging at the corners of her eyes. "Log'cally, people shouldn' kill unless it's necess'ry for their survival."

"'sgot nothing ta'do with logic," he says, flinging his arm around her shoulders. "'s just not right."

"s'no such thing as a universal code of right n' wrong. In the –"

"'snot right," he repeats emphatically. "Sometimes it's tha simple, Bones."

he makes a point. maybe this is OK in other cultures, but it isn't here, not at The Jeffersonian. not in her house.

"We're gonna catch him," he says firmly.

and although she has no empirical evidence proving this, no facts and figures to back her up, she believes. no, she knows.

"We're gonna catch him," she agrees.