Disclaimer: I own neither Angel or anything associated with him, and “Bones” is equally out of my reach control-wise
AN: The first chapter, looking at crucial events in the pilot episode through the eyes of Booth when he was once known as Angel; hope you all like it
AN 2: To clarify in advance, all scenes in the episodes happen the same way they did originally; I’m just focusing on those moments where Angel’s past would have a particular influence on his thoughts about certain issues
AN 3: Just to get this out of the way, when Booth’s talking with someone, he’ll think of himself as Booth, but he’ll be Angel when he’s in private; he might think of himself as more ‘Booth’ than ‘Angel’ now, but that doesn’t mean over two centuries of life are going to be discarded to his subconscious just because he’s alive nowAngel of the Bones
As he stood outside Director Sam Cullen’s office waiting for his superior to finish with his current meeting- he wasn’t sure if he’d ever get entirely used to that; after so long being in charge when he was in a group, working for others might take the pressure of him to always be the one to save the day but it still could get somewhat uncomfortable at times-, Angel couldn’t help but wonder why he was doing this.
Doctor Temperance Brennan- or ‘Bones’ as he liked to call her; ‘Temperance’ was too much of a mouthful to say all the time, calling her ‘Tempe’ would have run the risk of giving the impression that she was only a temp rather than a professional and thus leaving them less inclined to answer her interrogation attempts, and she rubbed her doctorate in his face enough without him deliberately drawing attention to it by calling her ‘Doctor Brennan’, so ‘Bones’ had seemed like a good choice for a nickname- might be brilliant, but at the same time she was primarily a scientist; even when she was off doing field work in foreign countries she wasn’t exactly entering into a position where she’d be going one-on-one with someone capable of cold-bloodedly murdering a human being and leaving them in the state that this latest body had been found in…
No, he had to face facts; in the end, the main reason he’d wanted her to stay out of this investigation was that he found the connotations of the whole situation a bit… uncomfortable.
Quite frankly, she already
reminded him too much of three of the most important women in his old life; her background and skills might be different, but her martial arts abilities automatically reminded him of Buffy, her lack of tact- albeit out of a lack of experience in social situations rather than the result of a thoughtless personality- evoked memories of Cordelia, and he was certain that her intellect would have made Fred look like an idiot if they’d gone into the same fields rather than Fred studying physics while Bones went into anthropology…
Add in helping him track down criminals in a more active role than just studying the bodies, and he wasn’t sure if he could maintain his needed distance…
Angel shook that thought aside; it wasn’t like that
was going to happen anyway. His current relationship with Tessa was pleasant enough (He still sometimes felt strange pursuing an actual relationship after so long as a vampire- even his time with Nina had mainly consisted of a few shared meals and just the occasional night together, and that was the most normal relationship he’d had as a vampire- but she was definitely engaging company), and if he’d learned anything from his attempts at relationships with Buffy and Cordelia, it was that mixing business with pleasure by trying to have a relationship with a colleague was just too… complicated.
He could definitely see Bones being a friend, but he’d made the mistake of getting too close twice before and it had only resulted in both parties getting burned; he wouldn’t do that to someone else he fought alongside again.
Working actively with Bones on cases could definitely work if that was what it took to get her expertise, but anything closer than a professional relationship would be a really
As Cullen’s door finally opened and the previous agent walked out, Angel shook those thoughts aside- worrying about possible attachments he might or might not develop to a woman who could never
be more than a friend to him wasn’t relevant; solving this murder was what mattered now-, assumed what Gunn would probably have referred to as his ‘Booth mode’, and walked into the office, already aware that Cullen wasn’t going to be entirely happy with this latest turn of events.
“You guaranteed a squint a field roll in an active murder investigation?” Cullen said, picking up the conversation that they’d begun on the phone as though it had never been interrupted.
“Yes sir,” Booth replied.
“The one that wrote the book?” Cullen asked; evidently he was trying to process this latest turn of events by asking the same question in different ways.
“I thought you said she wouldn’t work with you anymore?” Cullen asked, his pointed expression clearly seeking clarification for the reasons behind that attitude.
“Well,” Booth replied, shrugging slightly, “the last case we worked she provided a description of the murder weapon and the murderer, but I didn’t give her much credence.”
“Because she did it by looking at the victim’s autopsy x-rays,” Booth replied, hoping that the explanation would suffice; he hadn’t felt that Bones’s explanation had been sufficient at the time, but any explanation involving that kind of advanced technology still made him somewhat uncomfortable, mainly because he’d spent so long operating on relatively low-tech methods of determining cause of death such as claw or teeth marks on the body…
“Well,” Cullen said, his slight sniff of amusement putting Booth’s mind to rest in that regard, “I wouldn’t have given it much credence either.”
“Turns out she was right on both,” Booth added, deciding to get to the central issue as he stood up and handed the latest file over to Cullen. “Plus, the pond victim? Doctor Brennan was able to give me the victims’ age, sex, and favourite sport.”
“Which is?” Cullen asked, unable to stop a brief, amused laugh at the sight of the skeleton before him; clearly, like Booth, he found the idea of someone finding anything from that skeleton surprising.
“Tennis,” Booth said, knowing that the word was all he needed.
“She’s good,” Cullen said with a brief nod.
“No; she’s amazing,” Booth corrected. “If the only way I can get her back on my side is to bring her out in the field, I’m willing.”
“Fine,” Cullen nodded in response after a brief pause. “She’s on you. Take a squint out in the field, she’s your responsibility.”
“Yes sir,” Booth confirmed as he took back the folders, already quietly confident about his chances; if he could keep the majority of a group of barely-trained high school students- as well as a virtually incompetent Watcher- alive in a fight with a mass of vampires during the Ascension, he could definitely keep one squint alive when facing a human
As he walked down the stairs towards the shooting range, Booth wasn’t surprised to see Bones standing at one end of the range firing bullets at the target with a cool ease that matched most of the mental imagery he’d already formed of her personality. As though hearing his presence despite her ear protectors, she removed the protectors and turned to look at him briefly, her expression neutral as she took him in.
“Thought I’d find you here,” Booth said by way of explanation, even as she turned her head back to look at the target.
“Y’know,” he said, as he shrugged and walked towards her, “you being a good shot and doing martial arts; it’s all your way of dealing. I mean, who knows better than you how fragile life can be?”
“Maybe an Army Ranger Sniper who became an FBI homicide investigator?” Bones replied, her tone casual and giving no indication of her feelings on his past.
“Ah,” Booth said, trying not to show his thoughts on the matter; he might not have the same kind of body count as a human that he had accumulated as Angelus, but he still didn’t like it when people learned about the lives he’d taken. “You looked me up, huh?”
Trying to pass that topic off, he walked over to stand beside her, indicating the gun now lying in front of the anthropologist. “Do you mind?”
“Be my guest,” Bones replied, sliding the gun over to him.
“Thanks,” Booth said briefly, picking up the gun and aiming it at the target before firing one shot, only feeling partly disappointed when the shot only just hit the target; he wasn’t used to this style of gun, but he’d thought that his shooting abilities were better than that.
“Were you any good at being a sniper?” Bones asked, amusement clear in her voice.
“A sniper gets to know a little something about killers,” Booth said, deciding to ignore that comment in favour of focusing on the central issue that should be occupying their attention at the moment, while trying not to think about the fact that his time as Angelus meant that he had a better insight into killers than what he was implying he possessed. “Senator Bethlehem? He’s no killer.”
“Oh, and Oliver Lauriea is?” Bones asked, turning around to face him as she leaned against the small wall behind her, prompting Angel to turn and face her himself.
“The way I read Lauriea, he’s unhinged,” he said, lowering his voice as he spoke. “That makes him dangerous.”
“That would be your gut telling you that, correct?” Bones replied.
“You know, homicides?” Angel continued, once again ignoring Bones’s comment, placing a hand on the wall behind her as he continued speaking. “They’re not solved by scientists; they’re solved by guys like me asking a thousand questions a thousand times, catching people telling lies every time. You’re great at what you do Bones but you don’t solve murders; cops do.”
(He freely acknowledged that there were some cases where cops couldn’t
solve murders- particularly when elements from his ‘old’ life came into play- but he wasn’t going to focus on those; the world had Buffy and her Slayer army to tackle the supernatural elements in existence now, and all he had to worry about was more conventional killers.)
“Cleo Eller,” Bones retorted, moving slightly forward to bring their faces even closer together, “was killed on a cement floor sprinkled with diatomaceous earth. Traces of her blood will still be in that cement. One of us is wrong. Maybe both of us. But if Bethlehem wasn’t a Senator you would be right there in his basement looking for that killing floor. You’re afraid of him. Your hypothesis is that squints don’t solver murders and cops do?”
With that statement, she shot a brief, cocky smile in his direction. “Prove it. Be a cop.”
With that, Bones turned around and walked away, leaving him staring silently after her, her words turning around in his head.
He had to admit, the whole thing with the current prime suspect being a senator didn’t exactly make him feel comfortable; unlike those occasions when he’d had to deal with vampires like Russell Winters in the past, he couldn’t just kick this guy out of the window and walk away without even a body to show for it, even if he’d been certain
that the guy was guilty…
Without even being certain why he did it- maybe he just wanted to remind himself that he was
in control of something
at this point- Booth drew his gun from its holster and fired it twice at the target that Bones had been shooting at earlier, pausing just long enough to confirm that his accuracy with this weapon was undiminished- two shots straight to the head, pretty much where the left eye would be; not a bad shot, really- before he turned around and headed back up the stairs.
Right now, he had some things he needed to think about before things went any further…
As he watched Bones walk away from the casket, the rest of the ‘Squint Squad’- not that he’d ever call them all that to their faces- simply standing around him, Booth shrugged off any thoughts about what he should or shouldn’t do at this point and walked off to join Bones, swiftly settling into a brief, companionable silence alongside her before he finally sighed.
“What?” Bones asked, looking briefly back at him.
“Told you it wasn’t the senator,” Booth said, deciding that he might as well start by pointing out where she’d gone wrong.
“And I told you who it was, so we’re even,” Bones finished, her tone only slightly smug.
“‘Cept,” Booth added, “we work on the same cases, and you
end up on the New York Times
“I didn’t know that,” Bones said, looking back at him in evident surprise.
“Mmm-hmm,” Booth nodded- he was briefly reminded of Fred’s surprise when she saw that her speech was one of the main highlights at that Physics thing she’d been invited to, before that whole mess with her discovery about Professor Siedel’s role in her time in Pylea-, smiling slightly at her. “Number three with a bullet.”
“That’s good, right?” Bones asked. “The New York Times with a bullet?”
“It means you’re rich,” Booth replied briefly. “Call your accountant.”
“I don’t have an accountant,” Bones replied with a brief laugh.
“Well, get one,” Booth replied dismissively.
“OK… how does that work?” Bones asked, looking inquiringly at him, prompting a brief sigh from Booth.
to get out of the lab,” he said (He wouldn’t think about the fact that he only picked up anything about having an accountant from his time in charge of Wolfram & Hart). “Y’know, watch TV, turn on the radio, anything. Pick up the phone and…”
His voice trailed off as he realised that she was looking at something behind her, prompting him to glance back and watch as he saw the Ellers walking over to place roses on Cleo’s grave.
Despite the solemn nature of the whole proceeding, Booth couldn’t help but feel a certain satisfaction at the resolution.
“You know,” he said, turning back to look at Bones, “if it weren’t for you those people would never have known what happened to their daughter. That’s gotta be worse then the truth.”
“I know exactly how the Ellers felt about Cleo,” Bones replied, still staring out at the funeral as though she wasn’t even sure she should be saying this. “My parents disappeared when I was fifteen and nobody knows what happened to them.”
For a moment, Booth wasn’t sure what to say- he’d already known what she told him, but the fact that she’d chosen to share it on her own meant a great deal-, but then the right words came to him.
“Me being a sniper,” he said at last, focusing on the more ‘human’ explanation for his motivations- the fact that he was human might have meant he’d achieved redemption for his sins as a vampire, but his human murders and his poor behaviour when he was Liam still needed to be accounted for-, “I… I took a lot of lives. What I’d like to do before I’m done… is try to catch at least that many murderers.”
Despite the solemn nature of the statement, Bones smiled at him.
“Please don’t tell me you think there’s some kind of… cosmic balance sheet?” she said, a faint amusement in the idea in her voice that only an atheist could possess.
Booth didn’t bother answering, but simply stared back at her, until the smile faded in place of a resolute nod.
“I’d like to help you with that,” she said.
It wasn’t much, but Booth couldn’t help but remember an Irish-accented voice asking him a question with a similar meaning to Brennan’s last statement, so many years ago.
“You know there’s a lot of people in this city that need helping
“So I’ve noticed
Bones was so far from being his new Doyle it was almost ridiculously funny to even think
of comparing the two, but the fundamental basics of the situation were the same; he’d been looking for a way to help people, and Doyle and Bones both offered him a way to do that more effectively than what he’d been doing previously (Buffy had primarily inspired him to actually try making a long-term effort; she hadn’t actually given him any ideas on how
to do that beyond the obvious details of staking vampires before they could kill anyone).
As the two of them walked off towards the entrance to the cemetery, Booth couldn’t shake the feeling that he was setting off on a path that would lead to some very
interesting cases in his new life…