"Sweetie, I'm not stupid. I know something happened." Angela said her voice condescending, her dark eyes piercing.
"I don't know what you mean." Temperance Brennan lied. She hated lying, but when it came to protecting her heart, she could lie her ass off and not feel an ounce of remorse. Perhaps she got that from her father; her own morality, her own version of what constituted truth. She pushed that thought to the back of her mind and gingerly picked up a femur and held it up to the light.
"I knew a year apart would change things, but this is different. You and Booth have some bizarre, awkward, hyper courteous relationship thing going on that makes no sense to me."
Angela's phone rang. "It's Booth." Her forehead furrowed in surprise and she flipped open her phone to answer. Temperance felt her heart skip a beat and tried to focus on her work as she listened to Angela's end of the conversation. "Hey Booth….. No…. No… It's garbled but there is one more program I'll run today. Brennan will… oh…okay… sure I can do that. See you in an hour." She stared at the phone as she hung up. "See now this is exactly what I'm talking about. Why do I feel like I'm working this case with Booth and you've been banished to the lab." She flushed at the accuracy of Angela's insights.
"I have not been banished to the lab Angela. I need to examine these remains thoroughly before I can join Booth in the field."
"Fine. If you want to lie to me, that's fine. Just don't lie to yourself Brennan." She sauntered out of the room, her eyebrows raised in that knowing sort of motherly expression that she detested. It was infuriating to have a friend who knew so much more than her on any subject. And Angela knew more about people, the one subject Temperance herself had never been able to master.
Booth picked up Angela an hour later. He had no idea how to navigate the minefield he and Bones had created for themselves three months earlier. So he was taking his lead from her, and she clearly wanted to keep her distance. Unfortunately, that meant he was without a partner for the time being. And after 5 years with a squint by his side, he knew he needed a partner. Two heads were better than one when it came to solving murders.
"Why am I here Booth?" She demanded the second she hopped up into his brand new FBI issue black SUV.
"I need you to do that thing you do where you read people's expressions." He lied. He hated lying.
"Bull. Something happened." It was creepy when Angela read his mind.
"Nothing happened." He lied again.
"I won't be the go between for the two of you." She said firmly. "I'll help you this once but that's it. You two work this out." She ordered.
"There is nothing to work out…. Why? Did Bones say we had something to work out?" He hated how needy that sounded.
"She didn't have to."
"Lay off her Ang, she had a hard year okay." He said it without thinking and immediately regretted it.
"You mean spending all that time with Daisy? Does that really warrant special treatment?" she raised one eyebrow suspiciously. He breathed a sigh of relief as he latched on to the lifeline she'd just thrown him.
"Tell me you wouldn't be exhausted if you had to share a tent with Daisy for a year?"
"How do you know they shared a tent?" Shit.
"Bones told me."
"She said you hadn't spoken."
"She did?" That was an odd lie, even for his emotional cripple of a partner.
"She did." Angela confirmed calmly, as she watched him pull his foot from his mouth.
"Huh." Should he expose Bones' lie or his own? Tough choice.
"Maybe I heard it from Daisy." Atta boy Booth, think outside the box, he congratulated himself.
"Daisy hasn't even been in the lab since she got back."
"Huh." His mouth went dry and his hands gripped the steering wheel tightly.
"Oh the tangled webs we weave." Angela sighed, apparently ready to let him slide for now. He thanked God for small favors. "Don't bother lying to me Booth. If you don't want to talk about it, just say so."
"I don't want to talk about it." He said… and promptly changed the subject.