“I don’t understand,” Zach looked at the coffee with confusion apparent on his face. “I didn’t ask for coffee. I didn’t even mention coffee.”
Booth shrugged. “I thought you’d like it.”
“I don’t understand.” Zach looked at Booth. “Please explain.”
“Zach…” Booth looked slightly tense. “Just forget it. Enjoy the coffee.” He turned and stalked off, muttering under his breath about idiotic squints.
Zach sighed before looking at the coffee cup with apprehension. He tentatively picked the hot Coffee Bean cup up and took a sip. Mmmm, a Raspberry Mocha. Booth knew exactly what he liked.
“I don’t understand.” Zach looked at the coffee with confusion apparent on his face. “You brought me coffee yesterday, and today.” He looked at Booth suspiciously. “Did you do something? Mess with the equipment and you want me to fix it?”
Booth looked slightly shocked at this accusation. “No.”
“Do you want a favor? Because I’m willing to help you—just confused.” Zach looked at Booth earnestly. “I’m not good at painting, and I don’t think I can help you hide a body—Dr. Brennan knows things just by looking at me. Apparently I can’t lie.”
Booth took a deep breath before letting it out. “I’m not asking you for a favor, I just wanted to bring you coffee.” Booth looked at Zach before asking: “Painting?”
“The last time somebody consistently brought me coffee they asked for my help with their anatomy project. They needed to paint the circulatory system.” Zach looked at Booth. “I’m not good at painting.”
“Zach, I don’t want you to paint something.” Booth sighed and walked away.
“Again?” Zach looked at Booth. “Again? You brought me coffee again?”
“Yes.” Booth looked around the room. Hodgens was in the corner poking at his bugs, but otherwise the room was empty. “I wanted too.”
“But you don’t want a favor.” Zach stated this, although he clearly wanted some explanation.
“No Zach, I don’t want a favor.” Booth turned and walked away, leaving a confused Zach looking at Hodgens for an explanation.
“Hodgens explained it to me.” Zach said the next day as Booth dropped off the cup of coffee. “He said you wanted to sleep with me, and that this is a normal first step.”
Booth didn’t say a word in response, instead turning and walking out of the office. Zach looked slightly miffed, as if he’d had more to say but Booth had cut him off.
“Thank you,” was whispered to the empty room before Zach took a tentative sip. Raspberry Mocha yet again.
“Thank you.” Zach took the cup of coffee from Booth’s hands before setting it on the desk. “I think we need to talk.”
Booth looked at Zach uncomfortably before nodding. “We probably should,” he agreed. “Can I buy you lunch?”
“Does accepting lunch signify a desire to sleep with you?” Zach asked unabashedly. “I haven’t decided whether I would like to yet—you are attractive, but my past experiences lead me to believe that this will end up affecting our working relationship.”
“It’s just lunch, Zach.”
“You don’t have to bring me coffee anymore.” Zach looked at Booth: “We already slept together.”
Booth shrugged then sat the cup of coffee down in front of Zach. “I wanted too.”
“But Hodgens explained it to me. The coffee was the first step. Lunch was the second. Then when we had dinner the third step was complete, followed by us sleeping together. Why are you back at step one?”
Booth sighed then answered: “Because I want to do it again.”
Zach took a minute to process the idea of a continued relationship with Booth. “Do you think it would affect our working relationship?”
“Do we have a working relationship?”
“Yes, you tell me to be quiet and I tend to do what you say. How would this affect that?” Zach looked at Booth inquisitively. “The sex was good, so I wouldn’t mind repeating it. I just want to understand how this would function at work.”
“I won’t tell you to be quiet anymore.”