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Happy Hour 101

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Brennan's door was closed, and from the way Booth was pacing, things weren't calming down, but that had never stopped Angela before.

"Sweetie," she said, walking right in. "Did you just tell Zack his analysis was sloppy?"

Brennan stalked past Angela, lab coat fluttering and Booth right on her heels. If Angela wanted to be snarky--which was growing more tempting by the second--she'd have said Brennan was running away. She settled for rolling her eyes and following. Some days, she really hated her job.

"C'mon, Bones. Some cases...it takes us a little longer," Booth yelled to Brennan's back, loudly enough that even the people not actively eavesdropping could follow along just fine.

"Or we don't solve them at all," Brennan snapped, scanning her card and running up the stairs. "That's unacceptable."

"Hey, you think I like this?" Booth fumbled his swipe; even with Angela's card out and ready, they lost precious seconds. By the time they got to the lab, Brennan was wrist-deep in the latest victim, with Zack diligently avoiding eye-contact and Cam working on her "bitch, please" face.

Jack, of course, was feigning fascination with sludge while not missing a second of the drama. Angela considered offering him popcorn, but Cam decided it was time for the Teamwork speech. Given the last two weeks of fraying tempers, Angela didn't begrudge her, but still. That dropped the already-frosty temperature another ten degrees. If Brennan's back got any stiffer, they could use her as a battering ram.

Time for an intervention.

"Okay, people," Angela sighed. "That's it. You have one hour to wrap things up before we move this never-ending party to the terrace at Charlie Palmers."

Booth coughed politely. "And you're going to pull off a reservation to Happy Hour 101, how?"

"I have my sources," Angela said, smiling serenely. Her smile deepened as she caught Jack out of the corner of her eye, his cell phone out. Reason #1000 why gorgeous not-quite-ex-husbands didn't matter.

"I have to work," Brennan said, right on cue. "Even if we don't have the necessary information for this case, I have dozens--"

"Nothing that hasn't already waited 150 years," Cam said, short and crisp.

Brennan sniffed, but if the best she could do were the Civil War identifications, Angela's read on the situation was entirely right. A little validation now and then never hurt.

Angela gave them sixty-one minutes, which put them a couple of hours past any normal quitting time--it was the Jeffersonian, after all--but then she freshened her lipstick and started herding people out of their labs. Zack, she kept with her. Cam was the least of her worries. Booth had Brennan--or Brennan had Booth, Angela wasn't sure which way that worked, just that they were both determined the other not escape.

Traffic was miserable--hello, DC--but everyone managed to drag themselves up to the roof and settle into the corner table with the perfect view of the Capitol, the one everybody on the Hill wanted and that Jack had gotten for them. Well, for her. Reason #1001.

Two rounds later, the major pouting had even started to fade. Angela closed her eyes and counted it as a win.

"You're smiling," Brennan said, quietly.

"No decaying flesh, no bones, no slime. What's not to smile about?" Angela didn't bother opening her eyes. Jack's hand was warm on her arm, nice small strokes as he "discussed" the Grassy Knoll with Booth, conspiracy theories blending into political dish and the clink of ice against glass, all very soothing.

"It's good to see someone happy," Brennan answered. "That's all."

"I'd second the emotion," Cam said. "But we don't want the space-time continuum rupturing just because Dr. Brennan and I agree."

"I don't see how--" Brennan started.

"Joke, Bones," Booth said, never losing the thread of his argument with Jack.

"I knew that," Brennan muttered.

"Time for another round?" Angela opened her eyes.

"As long as it comes with food." Cam tossed back the rest of her martini.

"Gotcha." Angela was definitely asking Jack how much name-dropping he'd done; she barely had to look up and the waitress was there.

"Angela," Zack said, as soon as it was just them again. "If I ask you something, will you promise not to break me into little pieces?"

"This, I gotta hear," Booth said.

"Ditto." Jack leaned in close.

"Something tells me I'm going to regret this..." Angela hesitated, but Zack really had had a pretty shitty day. "I promise."

"On my flight from Wisconsin, I was stuck between two men bragging about their sexual conquests, and I understand that it's possible to have intercourse in an airplane bathroom, but... Is it good?"

Booth erupted in a coughing fit; Jack was a split-second from falling off his chair. Angela contemplated strangling them both.

"And you're asking me this because..."

"You have an open and positive attitude about sex," Zack answered, promptly. "Also because Agent Booth would laugh at me and Dr. Hodgins would make something up, and as they're my supervisor and my mentor, I don't think it's appropriate for me to ask Dr. Saroyan or Dr. Brennan."

Angela opened her mouth, and then closed it helplessly.

"I'm... definitely interested in your answer," Booth said. Angela decided Brennan deserved a medal for never having smacked that smirk off his face.

"Yeah, honey," Jack said. "Me, too." Brennan would share, Angela was sure of it.

Zack just sat with his Coke in front of him, the ice melting in the July heat. Angela sighed and leaned close. "Yes," she said. "It's possible." She picked up her drink and counted to three. "But not so much with guys."

She kept a straight face while Zack thanked her, then smiled at Jack. "Jaw off the table, honey."

"You, too, Booth." Brennan's voice was professional, but her smile was pure evil as she--loudly--began dissecting the male fascination with non-hetero-normative encounters in the female population.

Some days, Angela really loved her job.

 

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