Drama, Action, HumorCharacters:
Zach Addy & Andrew Wells, Dr. Daniel Goodman, Giles, Willow, and various other characters from both shows.Rating:
I don't own any of these characters; BtVS Characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and Fox, Bones characters belong to Hart Hanson and Fox; I'm just borrowing them for the purposes of this story. I had been wanting to read Andrew/Zach for ages, because I thought they would just be so cute together. Not a lot of people seemed to be writing it (talk about your rare pairings!) so I thought I would have to write it myself. However, this fic took on a life of it's own, the characters seemed to be more interested in dealing with the Taranis cult and getting to know each other than in actually getting together, so other than some light implied romantic feelings, this doesn't actually contain any specific Zach/Andrew slash. There may have to be a sequel. As usual, many, many thanks to makd, my extraordinary beta. Written for the 10th Buffyversary Cross-Fandom Ficathon.Orion Ale
Cam was feeling pressured, and she disliked that feeling immensely. She took pride in being in control—in being on top of things. That was probably why she and Brennan had clashed in the beginning of Cam's tenure at the Jeffersonian, Cam decided. But eventually she came to appreciate Brennan's meticulous work and believed the feeling was mutual. But now things had begun to spin out of control and she hated that. She wanted to blame someone
, but couldn't decide whom.
Cam's heels clicked across the marble floor as she paced. Angela had filed the proper request for vacation time months ago. Fine. She could deal without Angela. But then Hodgins informed her that he also wanted the same time off. Come to think of it, he hadn't actually requested the time—it was more like he demanded
those two weeks. He'd stared into her eyes with those baby blues of his and stated that he was taking two weeks vacation because he respected her enough not to play games; but he had accrued over forty-five days of sick leave, and if she did not approve his request, she should know that he was feeling a rather violent stomach disorder coming on that would probably last two weeks. And then he'd grinned at her. My, my, Hodge-Podge had certainly grown a pair, and she'd bet Angela had something to do with it.
She was thus down two staff already, when Booth and Brennan were . . . conscripted by the FBI to work a case out of the damn country. And there was no telling when they would return.
So Booth and Brennan, Hodgins and Angela were all MIA, and she had no idea where any of them were. And now this urgent request for her services in New York. She had to go—there may finally be a break in the case of a serial killer she'd worked on for years. But . . . she couldn't go. She couldn't leave Zach here alone to field anything that came into the lab, even if he had finished one of his PhDs. Maybe she could reach Dr. Goodman to temporarily fill in? But that suddenly felt like admitting she couldn't cope—that she couldn't do the job she was hired to do. Maybe she should tell New York she wasn't available? But there really wasn't anything pressing going on here right now . . . except for that visiting dignitary from England about some artifact in the possession of the Jeffersonian. Goodman would be much
better with that than she—it was his field, after all. She was a pathologist; it wouldn't be admitting defeat to bring him in on a consult that clearly
called for the expertise of an archaeologist, would it? Damn! She was going to have to swallow her pride—her sense of control—and call him in, wasn't she? She didn't see any other way around it. But she didn't have to like it.
Dr. Daniel Goodman and his colleague, the newly-minted Dr. Addy, stood at attention at the side entrance reserved for diplomatic functions. Dr. Goodman squared his shoulders and clasped his hands behind his back. He had to admit, he was pleased to be called back from his sabbatical to oversee this project. Dr. Saroyan had not gone into as much detail as he would have liked, but just the idea that he was needed—that his special area of expertise was invaluable to the joint project with the Watcher's Council of Great Britain—gave him a warm glow inside. The forensic unit at the Jeffersonian should not lose sight of the bigger picture in the quest to find answers. He was not always sure Dr. Brennan and Dr. Hodgins understood that, and was pleased to realize that apparently Dr. Saroyan did
Dr. Goodman felt a momentary thrill of covetness as the vintage, baby-blue Bentley passed through the gate and slowly swung into the curved drive.
Zach Addy, on the other hand, knew nothing about cars—except that Hodgins had a lot of them, and Dr. Goodman had a glazed look in his eye upon his first glimpse of this
one—but he found the lines of this car aesthetically pleasing.
The stately car proceeded down the drive with the purr of finely-tuned machinery. The mechanical work-of-art elicited a soft gasp from Dr. Goodman as it smoothly glided into the turn and came to rest perpendicular to the two academicians. The driver slid out of the car, straightened his hat and smoothed down his tunic. His military bearing evident in his walk, he crossed behind the car and approached the rear door.
Dr. Goodman subtly nudged Zach who continued to stare at the arrival, as if he were viewing an episode of Masterpiece Theatre
. Dr. Addy closed his mouth with an audible snap and attempted to mimic the dignified, yet welcoming, look Dr. Goodman's features wore. He couldn't quite pull it off. What am I doing here?
Zach wondered. This is Dr. Goodman's forte and he's good at it. My place is in the lab. The only experience I've had with dignitaries was that reception we all got roped into attending—except for Hodgins, and I still don't know how he managed to get out of that, but I wish I did, because that kind of skill would come in handy right about now
Zach sighed, and again wished that Angela was here, because she'd know exactly what to do. Or Dr. Brennan, because until very recently, she was even more socially inept than he was. Although lately, her social skills had definitely increased, which gave him hope for his own. But he probably wouldn't be able to convince Booth to hang around and mentor him, so that hope may have no empirical basis for its continued existence.
Angela, however, had helped with his make-over, and it had gotten him the permanent job, so maybe she wouldn't mind helping him with his
social skills in addition to his new look? None of which had any relevance to the current situation in which he found himself, but neither Angela nor Booth were here
In Kinship and Behavior in Primates
, Chapais and Berman examined the patrilocal band model of human social organization. In hunting and gathering societies, flexible patterns of group formation formed, contingent upon individual age and circumstance, (Kinship and Behavior in Primates
, by Bernard Chapais and Carol M. Berman, Oxford University Press, 2004). Dr. Goodman was much older than he, thus much further up the social/leadership scale, and due to the circumstance of Dr. Goodman being the only other member of the band currently available, Zach decided he should just mimic whatever Dr. Goodman did in regards to the visiting dignitary. Zach squared his shoulders and clasped his hands behind his back.
The driver opened the rear door of the Bentley and the visiting dignitary stepped out. He wore the bizarre combination of knee-high riding boots, fawn-colored jodphers, a red cut-velvet smoking jacket, with a snowy-white lawn ascot at his throat. And his hair . . .
Zach felt betrayed.
Zach turned to Dr. Goodman and whispered, “Cam made me cut my hair. She said no one would ever take me seriously with floppy hair. And yet, his is much longer and floppier than mine was!”
“Yes. Well . . . different cultures embrace different normative values. Dr. Saroyan was concerned, I believe, about your status as an expert witness if called to testify as a forensics expert in court. In British courts, barristers wear robes and powdered wigs. Different cultural expectations.”
Zach didn't understand what that had to do with his
having to cut his hair. His mind, and the quality of his work was the same whether he had short hair and a suit—which Carolyn in Accounting said made him look like a little kid playing dress-up in his father's clothes, and she refused to hang out with plastic sell-outs, which probably meant she wouldn't see him any more, and Carolyn in Accounting was the first woman who had agreed to go out with him since the disaster with Naomi, from Paleontology—or whether he looked like Dr. Saroyan said, “the weekend fill-in at a college radio station.”
Dr. Brennan was the only person who seemed to like him for himself, no matter what he looked like. Apparently, his appearance was polarizing to everyone except
Dr. Brennan, and his family—who loved him, because that's what families do. But both Dr. Brennan, in her function as his academic and employment mentor, and members of his biological family were inappropriate as candidates in the genetic pool accessible to him—he was never going to have another date, was he?
The man—Zach though
t it was a man; it was probably a bizarrely-dressed young man, but it could
have been a bizarrely-dressed middle-aged woman—smoothed his smoking jacket, tossed his Fourth-Doctor-Who very
floppy hair out of his eyes and walked toward them.
Dr. Goodman extended a hand. “Welcome to the Jeffersonian, Mr—”
“Wells. Andrew Wells, my good man,” the visitor replied in an accent Zach couldn't place. He took the proffered hand, enclosed it in both of his and shook it vigorously. “I've heard good things about your institution and I'm looking forward to our association.”
Goodman,” Zach interjected. “Doctor
Goodman is the Head of the Forensic Anthropology Department at the Jeffersonian.”
“Then it looks like I've come to the right place. Good to know.”
Dr. Goodman's lips twitched. “And this is my colleague, Dr. Zachary Addy.”
Andrew looked him up and down. “Impressive. Pleased to make your acquaintance, old chap. The name's Wells. Andrew Wells. First Assistant to Rupert Giles of the Watcher's Council, version 2.0. I'm Mr. Giles' right hand man.”
“Rupert Giles . . .” Dr. Goodman said ruminatively. “I believe we spoke several years ago. A sarcophagus was discovered in southern California, and Mr. Giles was called in to authenticate it. Apparently, vandals broke into the museum where it was being held and stole the contents, but Mr. Giles sent the empty sarcophagus to us. It's a great loss to the world that we will never know what it contained.”
“So you think
, my good man,” Andrew nodded sagely. “So you think.”
Goodman,” Zach corrected again. “And I don't understand why you continue to use the possessive pronoun. Dr. Goodman works for the Jeffersonian, not the Watcher's Council so I don't see why you refer to him as your
Dr. Goodman sighed. It was going to be a very
long week. But, the first order of business, he decided, was to give Rupert Giles a call, just to make sure
this . . . Andrew Wells was who he claimed to be.
“Dr. Addy,” he said. “I have a few urgent things to take care of in my office. Why don't you show Mr. Wells around the Medical-Legal lab, and I'll join you shortly.”
“Yes, Dr. Goodman.” Zach turned to Andrew. “Don't touch anything
“The sarcophagus wasn't really empty
, you know. Angelus called forth the demon Acathla, but then Buffy sent them both to hell with an enchanted sword and . . .”
Zach pointed out the various substations in the lab. He was not surprised to discover that the strange visitor evidenced no interest in Hodgins' bugs, slime and dirt, but was fascinated with what Hodgins was now calling the “Angelator”.
The tour was complete, but Dr. Goodman hadn't yet returned. Zach and Andrew stood outside Cam's new autopsy room and stared at each other. As a full-time staff member, Zach thought he should at least try
to engage the visitor in conversation, but he had no idea what to talk about. During the majority of the tour, this Andrew Wells had looked at everything, crossed his arms over his chest and said “Hmm” a lot, but at least he didn't touch anything. Zach glanced at Andrew and discovered that Andrew was looking at him. Andrew's eyes cut away immediately.
Zach reached back into his mind to extrapolate the advice his mother gave him. When he had trouble making friends at school, she told him, “You're smarter than most of the other kids, but if you point that out to them, they won't thank you for it. Talk to them on their level. Start a conversation about something that interests them, and don't correct them when they're wrong.” He'd never had much chance to put that advice into practice, because no one seemed to be interested in having a conversation with him on any
level, but this may be a good chance to see if the advice was valid.
All right. Talk to Andrew on his
level about something that interests him. He could do that.
The problem was that Zach had no idea what interested Andrew. Television? Angela said that most people like to talk about television programs. Dr. Brennan didn't have a television, but Zach always had plenty of things he could talk to Dr. Brennan about. Booth liked to talk about sports, but Zach knew very little about sports, except that most sports involved a ball of some kind. Except synchronized swimming. There didn't seem to be any balls involved in synchronized swimming. Back to television. Zach didn't actually watch much television. When he was in school, he enjoyed that quiz show with Ben Stein, but he hadn't noticed it since then. Maybe it wasn't on any more. He frequently watched Dr. Who, because it was on public television on Sunday mornings. Unless they were working on a specific, time-sensitive case, Cam didn't like them to come into the lab on Sundays. She said everyone needed some R&R to recharge the batteries. Zach wasn't sure what R&R was, but it meant he generally wasn't allowed to come into work on Sunday. So he watched Dr. Who on television while he waited for his family to get home from church and call him to see how he was doing. They seemed to be interested in weekly progress reports as to how
he was doing, but had no interest in what
he was doing at work.
“Do you watch television?” Zach asked.
Andrew became animated and started to give Zach much more information than was required about British television, which included an inordinate amount of excitement that he could now keep up with Red Dwarf without having to wait until it came out on Region 1 DVDs. He mentioned Dr. Who, and Zach felt that he could finally contribute to the conversation. Unfortunately, the words that came out of his mouth were decidedly not
the ones he planned to utter.
“You bear a strong resemblance to the Fourth Doctor.”
Fortunately, Andrew was not offended, which led Zach to wonder if his bizarre look was intentional. A spirited discussion debating the merits of the various doctors ensued. Zach was surprised to discover that he was enjoying himself, until—with a fanatical gleam in his eye and no trace of Britain in his accent—the visiting dignitary threw up his hands to clutch the sides of his head and proclaimed: “Dude, you're insane! That is like . . . insane troll logic. The Ninth Doctor was totally
Rose's little bitch!”
Dr. Goodman observed this interchange with a smile. As one of the foremost anthropologists in the world, watching Dr. Addy and Mr. Wells interact was fascinating, although it did make him feel rather like Jane Goodall observing the chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve. Perhaps the plan he and Rupert Giles had discussed would have benefits for both parties. Dr. Goodman stepped forward and raised a hand.
“Dr. Addy? May I speak with you for a moment?”
Zach glared at Andrew. “Yes, Dr. Goodman,” he replied. He turned back to Andrew. “Wait right here. I'll be right back. And don't touch anything!”
Zach took the stairs from the raised lab area two at a time. He moved toward Dr. Goodman but shot several backward glances at Andrew to make sure
he wasn't touching anything. Dr. Goodman took Zach's arm and moved him further away from the lab area.
“You're doing a splendid job, Dr. Addy. Splendid.”
Zach looked at him incredulously.
“I know now, after observing your interactions together, that I can count on you to make this visit a success. I've spoken with Rupert Giles, and he assures me that Mr. Wells is indeed his assistant and a valued member of the Council. Mr. Wells has satisfactorily completed several high-level, sensitive missions for the Council. He's good at his job, if his methods are a bit . . . unorthodox. Which brings me to my request, Dr. Addy. Mr. Wells has never before visited our fair city, and he tends to follow avenues of interest with no thought for his own safety. He's rather like a babe in the woods, you understand.”
“No, no, I simply meant, would you please clarify your original 'No'.”
“No, I don't understand what you're saying. I understand the definitions of all the words you used and their combination into sentences, but your voice implied there is subtext involved beyond the spoken words of your text and I don't understand what that is.”
Dr. Goodman sighed. “I'd like you to take Mr. Wells home with you. You live on Dr. Hodgins' estate. It's very secure and there are things for Mr. Wells to do there. Dr. Hodgins is not currently in residence, so you can provide a safe, comfortable environment for Mr. Wells while he is visiting our city.”
“Take him home with me? You mean . . . like a pet?”
“No, Dr. Addy, like a house guest. Haven't you ever had a friend from out of town stay with you as a house guest?”
“No. I don't have any friends from out of town. My friends are the people I work with, and possibly Booth, because when I received my doctorate he did
pat me on the shoulder like this—” Zach demonstrated the arm movement without actually touching Dr. Goodman, because as his superior and an older male, that would be inappropriate. The shoulder pat had to come from an older man to a younger man—not the other way around. “—and he didn't
tap me on the shoulder like this—” Again Zach demonstrated the arm movement. “A pat is good because it shows confidence and approval, but a tap shows doubt. Booth gave me a pat, which shows confidence, but that may just mean he has confidence in me on a professional level and not as a friend. I don't know. So that's why I classified Booth as a 'possible' friend. But I'm pretty certain Dr. Brennan, Angela and Hodgins are actual friends—”
Dr. Goodman broke in. “Yes, well, consider this an opportunity to make a new
friend, Dr. Addy.”
Zach didn't appear particularly thrilled at the opportunity, but he said, “Yes, Dr. Goodman.”
“You may leave now so that you can get your house guest settled in.” Dr. Goodman withdrew his wallet from the inner breast pocket of his suit and counted out some bills which he handed to Zach. “Take him out to a nice place for dinner, on the Jeffersonian, as a welcoming gesture.”
“I don't know any nice places for dinner. I've only eaten at the diner and Wong Foo's and both places are comfortable, but I don't think they fall into the parameters of your definition of 'nice', as I understand it.”
“Very well, Dr. Addy. I'll make the reservations for you; all you'll have to do is drive him there.”
“Dr. Goodman? I don't drive.”
“Use Mr. Wells' Bentley and driver. Have a nice evening, show Mr. Wells a good time, and I'll see you both tomorrow at nine.”
Zach sighed. “Yes, Dr. Goodman.”
Dr. Goodman patted him on the shoulder and left. Zach was somewhat mollified by that show of confidence from Dr. Goodman.
Now that he was alone with someone closer to his own age, Andrew's natural ebullience began to fracture the façade of 'dignified Watcher' that he thought would be appropriate to present during his first visit to the Jeffersonian in an official capacity. Or in any
capacity, Andrew amended, as he'd never been to Washington, D.C. before.
Andrew twisted and turned in his seat as they passed various familiar landmarks, and his accent lost all carefully acquired traces of Soho and reverted to pure SoCal. It just felt somehow wrong
to pretend to be British in the very heart of Our Nation's Capitol. Andrew was overcome with an excess of patriotism and began singing “The Bill Song” from Schoolhouse Rock
“I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill. Well, it's a long, long journey to the Capitol city. It's a long, long wait while I'm sitting in committee. But I know I'll be a law someday.”
This Zach Addy person seemed to be fascinated by the process in which a bill becomes a law, Andrew decided, as he finished with a flourish.
“At least I hope and pray that I will. But today, I am still just a billllllllllll.”
Zach frowned. “I thought you were from England,” he said, in what Andrew interpreted as an accusing voice.
“No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space
,” Andrew quoted Star Trek. Zach didn't seem to get the reference. “Actually, I'm from Sunnydale. I live
in England now, 'cause that's where my work is and besides, Sunnydale's sort of a gigantic crater now.”
Zach looked interested. “Sunnydale. That was the site of the localized seismic anomaly in which an entire town imploded. I ran some variable simulations to replicate the most likely causative factors, but my research was inconclusive. I was unable to isolate the variable that would cause a town to implode but have no effect on surrounding topography.”
“Well, duh! That's because your 'research'—” Andrew's fingers made 'air quotes'. “—probably didn't factor in, as we say in Mehico, 'El Boca del Infierno' or—” His fingers made air quotes again. “—Hellmouth.” Andrew nodded sagely. “Plus, like about a million Ubervamps, a bunch of Bringers, the Army of Slayers who opposed them, and most important of all—Spike. I think it was actually Spike who did the seismic thing you were trying to measure, and closed the Hellmouth for good.”
“I don't know what that means,” Zach said.
“I guess you kinda had to be there. So . . . where are we going tonight? What's the cool stuff to do in Our Nation's Capitol?”
Zach took a piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it. “Dr. Goodman says we're going to the Iron Gate Inn to eat dinner. He says we have to wear ties. I don't think that white thing counts.”
Andrew nodded. “Dinner's good. And then . . .”
“And then?” Zach repeated. He politely waited for Andrew to finish his sentence, but now it looked like Andrew forgot what he was going to say.
. . .” Andrew said again, with more emphasis on the 'then'.
“And then what?”
“What are we gonna do after dinner?”
“Didn't Dr. Goodman say we were supposed to have a good time?”
“Oh. Right. Well . . . I think there's a Washington By Night
“You mean like clubs and stuff? They take you to all the hot spots of Washington night life?”
“No hot spots. Washington falls within the Temperate Zone and at this time of year, the temperature averages between 8.3-12.2 degrees. Or, between 47-54 degrees Fahrenheit.”
“Dr. Addy!” Andrew snapped his fingers in front of Zach's face. “Pay attention!” Andrew enunciated slowly and clearly, “Where. Does. The. Tour. Go?”
“To the Capitol building, the White House, the Kennedy Center, the Jeffersonian and Arlington. Possibly other places. But it's at night, so you can't go in—you just look at them from the bus. But I believe they let you walk around at Arlington.”
“Oh, yeah. I'm
going to spend my first night in Our Nation's Capitol walking around a frickin' cemetery—Not! Especially without Buffy or Spike. Um . . . I'm pretty tired from the flight and all. Maybe we should just go home after dinner.”
“That was my original suggestion.”
“You can tell me all about the Jeffersonian, I'll tell you about the Council—oh! And I brought some Orion ale I found in one of the sub-basements of the Council Headquarters that got blown up. We could maybe try that.”
The baby-blue Bentley purred up to the gatehouse of Aradidae-Acrasieae-Eorthe
, the Hodgins estate. The gatekeeper approached the car and Zach lowered the window.
“Good evening, Dr. Addy,” the gatekeeper said pleasantly.
Zach nodded. “Hello, Mr. Perkins. This is Andrew Wells. Dr. Goodman said he should stay with me for a few days.”
“Very good, Dr. Addy.” Perkins nodded and waited, but he didn't open the gate.
Andrew poked Zach in the ribs. “What are we waiting for? Why aren't we going in?”
“I don't know,” Zach hissed back. “I've only gone in and out with Hodgins. Maybe he thinks you look strange.”
Andrew leaned over Zach and attempted his quasi-British accent. “Er . . . Perkins, is it? Is there a problem, old chap?”
“No, sir. Security should be here any minute to check your vehicle, Mr. Wells.”
“But this is Dr. Addy. You know him. He lives here, right?”
“Yes, sir. But Dr. Hodgins was very specific about not allowing any unauthorized vehicles on the grounds without a thorough security check.”
Zach frowned. This must be a recent change. Naomi, from Paleontology, had been to visit him once, and she hadn't been subjected to this kind of security, or he was sure she would have let him know—loudly. Hodgins had gone on vacation before Dr. Goodman gave him a house guest, so it couldn't be because of Andrew, either.
Then Zach's face cleared. “Has this order been in effect for longer than sixty-seven days?”
Zach grinned at Andrew. “I figured out the 'why'. I usually only understand the 'how' and Booth and Brennan do the 'why', but this time I know the 'why'!”
Zach turned to the gatekeeper. “Never mind, Mr. Perkins. We're supposed to go out to dinner later, but we can call for a car then.” He turned to Andrew. “You might as well send your car back.”
“Excuse me, sir,” the chauffeur addressed Andrew. “If you'll be needing me later this evening, I observed a coffee shop several miles back.” He gestured down the road they had just traveled. “I could wait there until you have need of me.”
“Okay, that'll work—for tonight, anyway,” Andrew said.
A Range Rover pulled up to the gate, with two men inside that were obviously security. Andrew's luggage was transferred from the Bentley to the Range Rover, and Andrew's driver backed away from the gate, executed a flawless turn, and the Bentley made its stately way down the drive until it was lost to their view. Andrew and Zach climbed into the Range Rover and were driven through the estate.
Andrew's eyes were as big as saucers as he tried to look everywhere at once. He saw a covered outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a lake with a small dock, several greenhouses that held various trees and plants, and one that housed an indoor pool and hot tub. A large, Tudor-style house was visible in the distance, past the lake and the tennis courts.
“Dude, you live
here? At Arsenio Hall or whatever it's called?”
“I live over the garage. I rent the apartment over the garage from Hodgins, although he hasn't let me pay any rent, yet. But now that I've completed one of my doctorates and defended my dissertation and have an actual
job, he'll probably let me pay actual rent. And the estate is called Aradidae-Acrasieae-Eorthe
“So this Hodgins is pretty rich, huh? And I'm guessing he's pretty paranoid, too. This is majorly
heavy security. And what does Aradidae-Acrasieae-Eorthe
“Do you always ask two or more disparate questions at once? It makes conversation difficult because I never know which question to answer first,” Zach complained. “Aradidae-Acrasieae-Eorthe
translates loosely as 'Bugs, Slime and Earth', because Hodgins doesn't like the word 'dirt'. Dirt has no meaning and tells you nothing about a particular substance. And yes, Hodgins is very, very rich. No one knew how
rich he was until he and Dr. Brennan were kidnapped by The Gravedigger sixty-eight days ago—which is why the security was put into effect sixty-seven
days ago. I figured out the 'why'.”
“Okay, Why-man, then maybe you can figure out why
someone would name a place like this 'Bugs, Slime and Earth', which sounds more like the name of a band than a palatial estate.”
“A band of what?”
“A band of music. Mu-u-u-u – sic. You know, like 'Dingoes Ate My Baby' or 'Widespread Panic'?”
The Range Rover stopped, and the non-driver lifted out Andrew's bags from the back.
“We'll be patrolling, Dr. Addy, so if you need us, just holler,” the security man said as he got back in the vehicle and they drove off.
Zach picked up one of Andrew's bags and started up the stairs. He had almost reached the top when he realized Andrew hadn't followed him. Strange sounds issued from Andrew's mouth that sounded like "Oh Em Eff Gee!" to Zach, as Andrew pressed his face up against the tinted glass window and stared into the garage.
“OMFG! Your Hodgins has more frickin' cars than Angel! Can I drive one?”
“No,” Zach said, and unlocked the door to his apartment. He wasn't worried. Hodgins kept the car keys in a locked box at the house.
Andrew picked up the framed photograph of approximately forty people who all resembled each other. “Is that you
?” he asked as he pointed to the figure with the shaggy dark hair on the end.
Zach nodded. “Yes. That is me and my family.”
“This is so weird!” Andrew exclaimed.
Before Zach could express indignation that a person who looked and dressed as Andrew did called his
family 'weird', Andrew clarified his statement. He opened his wallet and extracted a picture of himself with short, sort of spiky hair, that was much more flattering than his current style.
Andrew giggled. “Our 'Before' and 'After' pictures, except that they're like totally opposite.”
Andrew stared at Zach with a gleam in his eye that Zach could only describe as 'uh-oh'. Yes, it was a decidedly 'uh-oh'-type gleam, and it made Zach nervous.
“There might not be anything to do in Washington after
dinner,” Andrew said, “But I have a great idea of stuff we can do before dinner. Come on! It'll be fun!”
Andrew dialed his driver's cell phone and made arrangements for them to be picked up. He then disappeared into the bedroom Zach had assigned to him, to change. He returned in a short time in a dark gray suit, with a pearl-gray shirt and a dark purple tie with silver diagonal stripes. Zach was still dressed in the navy-blue suit, white shirt and burgundy tie he wore to greet the 'visiting dignitary'.
“Let's go. This is gonna be so cool,” Andrew claimed.
It was only five-thirty and their dinner reservations were for eight o'clock, but Andrew was dressed normally, he looked presentable, it was early evening and they were going to a nice area—how much trouble could Andrew get into?
As the Bentley silently glided back toward the city, Andrew suddenly knocked on the partition, and with frantic hand motions, bade the driver stop. The driver pulled into the parking area at the head of a unique suburban shopping center. It was laid out like a small 19th Century street—one much too narrow for automobile traffic. The shops resembled small, Thomas Kincaid-style cottages and lined both sides of the narrow, brick 'street'. At the opposite end from the parking lot, a stately Victorian 'Painted Lady' functioned as an upscale restaurant and B&B. The mix of shops were functional enough to survive by providing on-going services to the local residents, but charming enough to attract the tourists. It was really an excellent marketing device, Andrew decided. Plus, it was way cool.
As they made their way down the 'street', Zach recognized the names of both a florist and bakery that Hodgins frequently used. He wanted to stop in the bakery and pick up some treats for later, but first, he thought he'd better keep an eye on Andrew.
Andrew's destination was the hair stylist half-way down the street. He originally planned to show them the photo he'd shown Zach, and have his hair cut, once again, in the style he'd worn during his later years in Sunnydale. Zach obviously thought that style flattered him much more than his current shaggy mop. He could tell by the look Zach gave him after he viewed the photo and then stared at Andrew's current 'style'.
That was the original plan, but the plan acquired a second phase as Andrew passed an upscale leather goods shop on the way to the hair stylist. The cottage sported a bow window, and beautifully-made gloves in leather and suede were attractively arranged in the window seat. Behind the gloves, to the left, was a butter-soft, tailored blazer that looked so comfortable, Andrew just had to stop to look at it. He debated whether to go into the shop to try it on, when his eyes were drawn to the coat behind the blazer, to the right. It was karma. It was kismet. It was his
Andrew hurried to the door of the shop, and within moments, he was the proud possessor of a black leather duster exactly like Spike's—only, you know, in better shape and not as banged up
. When he returned to the street clad in the duster, Phase Two of the plan became pretty much inevitable. He exited the hair stylist with his hair cut in the Sunnydale style, and dyed platinum blond.