This is a short sequel to my story The Return. You may enjoy this more if you read The Return first, but it isn't essential.
By Marcus L. Rowland
Angela Montenegro (who doesn't plan to change her name to Hodgins any time soon) sips her wine, looks out across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, looks back across the quaint pavement café she's trying to sketch, and frowns at the drawing. She's been married to Jack Hodgins for three weeks, and spent most of that time aboard the luxurious houseboat Jack rented, which is furnished with one of the biggest beds Angela's ever seen. Apart from that the main features are some sculptures that she's sure includes a genuine Tessa Noël, and a couple of swords that she can't identify, but look to be at least a couple of hundred years old if they aren't very good modern replicas.
Today Jack's off seeking enlightenment at the feet of some CSI guru from Las Vegas, who's currently lecturing at the Sorbonne and appears to represent the sun source of forensic bug geekery. Angela doesn't mind a little alone time and it's good to get out into the sunlight for a while and see the city again. Or would be, if she could figure out why the sketch isn't working.
When a twenty-something leggy blonde in shorts, trainers and a tank-top takes a seat at one of the tables, and leans back to soak up the rays, something clicks. That's why the picture isn't working; it needs more humanity. She's let herself get too technical working at the Jeffersonian, sacrificing passion for accuracy. She discards the page and its too-careful arrangement of empty tables, swaps her pencil for a stick of charcoal, and starts again, drawing much faster, while the blonde orders coffee and an almond croissant and reads the international edition of the Daily Planet. The front headline is something about Superman, as usual, looks like he's saved the world from killer penguins or something; Angela hasn't watched much TV in the last three weeks, for some odd reason, looks like she'll have to buy a paper to find out what she's missed.
After a while the blonde notices Angela, at about the same time that Angela realises that the blonde will take up most of the page. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, if that's the way the art is taking her, but it's maybe a little rude of Angela to keep sketching without asking permission. So she gets up and goes to the blonde's table.
"I hope you don't mind," she says, proffering the pad. "I started out drawing the whole restaurant, but I think this works better."
The blonde looks at it and smiles. "I don't think I'm that pretty."
Her accent is generic East Coast, with faint nuances that suggest to Angela that English may not be her native language. It's really none of Angela's business, of course. Angela sits and says "Are you kidding? I know people who'd kill for those cheekbones."
"They're cheekbones." The blonde shrugs. "I don't think I did much to earn them, apart from having the right parents."
"Granted," says Angela, wondering what's nagging at the back of her memory, "but they're really good. Indo-European, I'd say, with crap." The penny drops, painfully loudly.
"I'm sorry, is something wrong?"
"I think you may know my boss," Angela says quietly. "Doctor Temperance Brennan."
"I think I've heard of her," says the blonde, suddenly looking wary.
"I'm her girl for facial reconstruction from bone structure. A couple of years ago she had me spend two or three days trying to do it backwards and work out someone's skeletal structure from photos, so that she could work out the ancestry, and when it split from the rest of humanity. I spent quite a lot of time looking at those cheekbones."
"Of course you usually wear your hair a little differently, and the costume is very distracting " No point mentioning that Angela hasn't always been completely straight, and that the distraction has been quite enjoyable.
"I really don't know what you're talking about," says the blonde.
"Sure you don't, honey," says Angela. "It's really none of my business anyway; I'm on my honeymoon and sabbatical, not working."
"Thanks. Anyway, I wouldn't have mentioned it if it hadn't slipped out. Everyone's entitled to a private life, and I guess one of the perks of your um job is killer international vacations, if you can change your image enough that most people don't recognise you."
The blonde scratches an ear, with nails that Angela is reasonably sure can cut through steel, and eventually grins; "You've got that right. Look, I'd be grateful if you wouldn't mention this to anyone. I really do need a little down time to relax and recharge occasionally."
"None of my business, really," says Angela, tearing off the page and handing it to the blonde.
"That's okay, you keep it. But if you don't mind, keep the features a little vague."
They chat for a few minutes, with Angela doing her best to make it clear that she isn't any sort of threat, and if anything would like to be a friend. "If you're in Washington in a year or so drop by to see Temperance," she says eventually, "maybe we can meet properly then."
"I'll try to remember." A phone chirps, and the blonde listens for a moment then says "I'm sorry, I have to go," leaves a few Euros on her plate, and walks off and into an alley. Seconds later Angela's pretty sure she hears a soft sonic boom.
She spends a few more minutes on the drawing, adding more background, and decides that it might eventually make a nice painting. And that the next time Hodgins suggests that it might be fun to try costumes, she totally knows what she's going to wear
Crossovers in this story: This is the DC movieverse of The Return, in which Supergirl originally visits Earth shortly after Superman departed for Krypton, and returns to Earth a year or so after the events of Superman Returns and Batman Begins.
For Bones it's a few weeks after Season 5, which ended with Jack and Angela married and en route to Paris.
The barge is borrowed from the Highlander TV series. Tessa Noël was Duncan MacLeod's girlfriend.
Finally, the CSI guru is, of course, Gil Grissom, who left CSI: Las Vegas to teach at the Sorbonne.
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