1: Whoa, Horse
“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
Neil Gaiman, The Sandman
what time is r appt w/ sweets?
damn. had to skip bfast now im gonna miss lunch
Why did you skip breakfast?
running late for Parker teacher conf this am. no time
You know, your cell phone can be used as a calendar management tool and an alarm clock.
yea i think u mentioned that a few times. want me 2 pick u up?
Yes, thank you. I have some energy bars at my desk. Would you like me to bring one for you?
no thanks. dont think the last one digested yet
They’re very nutritious.
for sandpaper. lunch at sids after mtg w/ sweets?
Yes, thank you.
see you 12ish
I’ll be waiting out front.
. . . . . .
After one preemptive rap, and without waiting for a response from inside, Booth pushed open the door to Sweets’ office. “Let’s get this over with,” he ordered the young psychologist, with a glance at his watch to further make his point. “You’ve got 30 minutes.”
Sweets was already rounding his desk. “Our sessions are typically one hour -”
“Well, today ya got thirty minutes.”
Brennan smoothed her skirt over her knees as she sat down on the small settee. “I’m sure you can cover whatever useless topics you had planned for us in thirty minutes, if you use your time efficiently.”
“My sessions don’t include useless -” Sweets looked to Booth for support; when the agent gave him a cheeky grin and settled casually on the arm of the sofa next to Brennan, he gave up. “What I have in mind for today,” he said instead, “is a simple word association exercise.”
Brennan raised her voice to be heard over Booth’s loud, ill-tempered groan. “Word association exercise?”
Sweets crossed to the window and opened the blinds leading into the outer room of his office suite, then took a seat facing the couple. “It’s quite simple. Agent Booth will go first, then you respond with whatever word or phrase pops into your head, and vice versa.”
As was her habit, Brennan instantly took exception to his idea. “Well, that’s ridiculous. I can’t properly respond without careful thought.”
Booth simply wanted to leave. “Can’t we just make it a drinking game?”
Sweets frowned as they exchanged a smile that was clearly at his expense.
“No,” he insisted. “This is a valuable, psychological tool, Agent Booth. When you respond viscerally, we can get to the root of your emotional issues and figure out what binds you two together as partners.”
Booth rolled his eyes and threw out the first word that came to mind. “Donuts.”
Confused, Sweets stared at him. “I beg your pardon?”
“Donuts,” he said again. “Glazed donuts. I see them right there.”
“Because you had no breakfast!” Brennan interpreted triumphantly. “You’re hungry.”
“I’m starving!” He slipped down from his perch on the arm of the sofa to the cushion beside her.
“Yes!” Brennan tapped his arm smartly.
Sweets picked up his notepad. “No,” he said as he scribbled. “That’s not the proper response.”
One did not simply tell Temperance Brennan she was wrong. “Of course it is,” she countered immediately. “I’m explaining why he said donuts.”
“The point of the exercise is not to explain, but to respond, okay?” Sweets shook his head. “Children can do this.”
“Because it’s childish,” she shot back.
As always happened, he fell back into pleading with the recalcitrant pair. “Can we just try it? Please?”
The growling in his stomach reminded Booth that he wanted to get out of there quickly. He slumped back against the sofa, resigned to playing the kid’s game. “Okay, fine,” he muttered. “Here we go. Are you ready?” He considered a moment. “Hunger.”
The deep timbre of his voice drew a surprising response from Brennan. “Sex.”
His eyes widened. “Whoa.”
Okay. That word made sense. “Cowboy.”
He tried to keep up. “Baby.”
He was confused again. “What, you think I’m a baby?”
“You’re a father,” she pointed out.
In a million years he would never understand how her mind worked. “Oh. Mother.”
He grinned, sure now that he was following along. “Happy.”
“Sperm.” Her reply was instant.
Or maybe not. Booth looked at Sweets. “Sperm? Isn’t this getting a little weird?”
The young man was watching closely as the words tumbled out between them. “No. Keep going.”
“Okay.” Booth cast an uncertain glance at Brennan from the corner of his eye. “Egg.”
“I want a baby.”