Prompt chosen: While stuck together the two women explore various relationships they've each had -- with others and each other.
Warnings: Spoilers up to 4x23
Word Count: 1394
Author's Notes/Summary: Confined to Angela’s office during a lockdown in the lab, Angela and Brennan talk about life and love. I kinda feel like I have to apologise for this being so short! It's the first Bones fanfic I've written, and while I found it hard to set the scene and say something that we don't already know about the characters, I think I managed to do it and I did enjoy writing it. I hope you enjoy reading it. Thanks should to idella for being herself and being there to read my emails and offer support.
When the alarm goes off for the fifth time Brennan doesn’t even bother to look up from the computer screen. Hodgins has been working on the body all morning, setting the alarm off at half hourly intervals; Brennan could hear him across the lab, watched Angela’s lips curling into a half smile as Hodgins’ curses floated through the air.
When the alarm goes off for the fifth time she doesn’t bother to look up from the screen, until she realises she can’t hear Hodgins. Can’t hear anything, in fact, but the blare of the siren cutting through the air.
She walks to the glass pane that separates the room from the rest of the lab and leans against the cool surface. The lab is a bustle of activity as doors slide shut and men in bio-hazard suits enter the room. Angela touches Brennan’s shoulder as she joins her at the door.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know. The lab’s gone into lockdown.”
“Hodgins has been working on the body all morning with Mr Nigel-Murray. Maybe they’ve found something.”
“Maybe they’ve been doing another of their experiments.”
“Well, whatever it is it sounds like we’ll be here for a while.”
Brennan nods, noncommittal. The siren blares and the men in yellow suits comb the lab’s white surfaces with radiation detectors. Angela sighs.
“I guess it’s not much use that I’ve discovered who he is then.”
“Who was he?” Brennan turns.
“Fillipo Martinez. High school student. Came top of his class in everything, ran track, dated the head of the cheerleading squad. Who’d want to kill him?”
“Until we can get out of here we won’t know.”
Angela flops into the red chair that sits in the corner of her office, crossing her legs and staring across the hive of activity the lab has become.
“What do you think of Mr Nigel-Murray?”
Brennan leaves her vantage point at the door and settles into the chair opposite Angela, arms folded across her chest.
“I think he’s intimidated by Booth and Hodgins. He’s clearly uncomfortable in an alpha male environment and seeks dominance by displaying his intelligence. He finds comfort in facts that no one else knows, and makes himself look bigger in other people’s eyes. He’s a peacock.”
“A peacock?” Angela raises an eyebrow.
“Yes, a peacock. Showing off his feathers to scare off other male birds. Only Mr Nigel-Murray’s feathers are useless facts.”
“Ok. Sweetie, I meant what do you think of him as a – a mate. A sexual partner of the one-off, maybe two-off, kind. He’s kinda cute behind that British accent.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be celibate?”
“Yeah.” Angela leans back in the chair and exhales, a whoosh of air aimed at the ceiling. “But I didn’t think it would be this hard. I bought a vibrator,” she confides, leaning forward. “Actually, I bought another vibrator, the PowerPleasure 3000,” she pauses at the look on Brennan’s face. “Too much information? Right. It’s not the same as actual sex, anyway.”
“Sex is a natural function. It isn’t linked to love, it’s a biological act. All species engage in it; humans are no different. I don’t see why you should stop yourself from having sexual intercourse if you want to.”
“Because it’s good for me. Supposedly. Sweets says that it will help me relate more to people in my future relationships. Connect more deeply with them on an emotional level.”
“Sweets is a psychologist. You know what I think of psychologists.”
Angela leans back in her chair and steeples her fingers under her chin, a grin quirking at the corners of her mouth.
“Are you sure that’s not just because of what Sweets think of yours and Booth’s relationship.”
“Booth and I have a close working relationship. He relies on me to provide cause of death, I rely on him to bring the suspect to justice. Nothing more.”
“Uh-huh.” Angela stares at Brennan. How long has she known her for? And still she’ll never get a straight answer to questions on her relationship with Booth.
“Anyway, what about you and Hodgins?”
“Subtle way to change the subject sweetie.”
“I’m not changing the subject, I’m showing an interest.”
“Well,” Angela pauses. “Well, it’s complicated.”
“You miss him?”
“Yes and no. I miss the sex. Boy do I miss the sex.” She smiles. “And we had some good times, y’know? But I don’t miss the drama. Or the pressure to create this idyllic future together. A wedding, a nice house, two point four children – it’s all so deliberate. So conscious. What happened to taking life as it comes, living from day to day? There’s nothing wrong with living in the moment.”
Angela sighs, leaning back in her chair, eyes somewhere else. A half smile curves over her face.
“He’s got a tattoo of me on his arm.”
“Yeah. Apparently my dad got him drunk and took him to a tattoo parlour before leaving him unconscious in the desert. Talk about living in the moment!” She pauses. “It’s not a bad tattoo either.”
“Your father wasn’t joking when he said Hodgins would have him to answer to if he ever hurt you.”
“My dad never jokes about things like that. Speaking of dads I haven’t seen yours around for a while.”
Angela watches as Brennan rises and walks to the glass pane separating the office from the rest of the lab. She wraps her arms around herself as she stands watching the men in bio-hazard suits pace the room.
“I haven’t seen him lately.”
“Sweetie,” Angela’s voice is half reproachful, half empathetic as her gaze falls on her friend.
“It’s no big deal,” Brennan mutters, but Angela isn’t sure who she’s trying to convince. “It’s not like I’m used to him being in my life. I thought he was dead for years. I took care of myself.” She turns to Angela, the sorrow clear in her eyes. “I can take care of myself.”
Angela rises and walks to the door, leaning next to Brennan against the cool glass.
“I know you can, sweetie. But it’s nice to be part of a family, to know you belong.”
“Granted, family is an important part of society. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to the nuclear family we have become used to in Western culture. Tribal societies often raise their young communally, sharing child caring duties among several members of the tribe.”
“Your point, sweetie?”
“That I shouldn’t have to feel like this about my father coming in and out of my life so sporadically. It’s illogical. I know from past experience that he’ll keep disappearing yet I keep hoping that he’ll stay.”
Angela watches as Brennan picks at the lining of her sleeve, her face a mask of stoicism. She knows Brennan’s assurances that she’s fine are nothing more than pretence, but years of knowing Brennan doesn’t make it any easier to get behind the guard she puts up.
“It’s perfectly natural to feel that way; he’s your dad. Look at Parker. He knows that he spends some of the time with his mom, some with his dad. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier for him, but he lives in the moment.”
“He’s a child, the moment is all he knows.”
“No offence Bren, but that the biggest pile of crap I’ve heard. He knows that on a Sunday night he’s got to go back home. But he doesn’t let that spoil the time he has with Booth. You could learn something from him.”
“But I shouldn’t be swept away by my emotions, it’s illogical. I should remain rational. Detached.”
“You’re too rational. Have I told you that? There’s nothing wrong with living a little, letting your heart rule your head, living in the moment.”
Angela watches as Brennan scans the lab, her cheek resting against the cool glass. The siren stops, the silence suddenly too loud, too oppressive.
“You’re always looking for him, aren’t you?”
“The siren’s stopped. Looks like we’re out of lockdown.”
“Sweetie, we’re not the same. You and me. I chose who to love with my heart, not my head. Maybe you should start doing the same.”
The door slides open with a soft whoosh and Brennan makes her way across the lab to where Booth stands, hands on hips. His face lights up as Brennan walks towards him. Angela watches her go.