A/N: A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
My friend Kitty gave me a prompt of Brennan being a tea-snob. It might have been the day (Monday), it might have been the heat (triple digit), it might have just been for no reason at all. But when I ran the idea past another author on the site with no strain at all the ideas poured out and I had brewed up an idea. Oh, stop me before I pun again!
Like my Dead Daisy fic ("Grass Huts") this story might be best enjoyed by those among us who enjoy Feghoots.
Thanks to NatesMama for the read through!
"Cup of tea, Dr. B?" Jack Hodgins cocked his head in question. He turned on the electric kettle as he looked over at his colleague sitting on the couch. He wasn't sure she had heard his question. She seemed to be deeply immersed in the file folder in front of her.
"Oh. Thank you, Dr. Hodgins, but, I don't think so." Dr. Temperance Brennan looked up from the latest case file that she had been reviewing. "Booth says that I'm a bit of a tea snob. I do tend to be quite particular about my tea." She smiled apologetically then moved her eyes back down to the file in her hands as she continued, "I have some real tea down in my office, I'll get it in a ..." hearing her colleague loudly clear his throat she glanced back up with a quizzical look on her face then smiled when she spotted the scoop and tea tin he was holding out towards her.
"Ahh!" she responded with a smile and a nod of her head. "Real tea! Of course. I could cozy up to a nice cup of reali-tea!"
Narrowing his eyes and giving her a sideways glance, a grin lit up his face as he replied, "Water you thinking, Dr. B? Let me give you a tip. I hope you know that there's a tannin one chance that I would ever offer you tea dust." He watched as a look of glee rushed across her face and thought, "Game on!"
Brennan couldn't hold back her smile. "He caught it," she thought happily. She always enjoyed swapping puns with Jack Hodgins. It felt like yoga for her brain. "Dr. Hodgins, I'm sure that yunnan that I wouldn't go oolong if you did." She watched the grin go across his face.
"Chai would have to strain to think that with any certain-tea. Otherwise I would just leaf you to your reading." He replied matching her grin as he poured boiling water over the tea leaves in the pot and set the timer.
She chuckled as her brain quickly catalogued words she could use for her response, "I flush to think how easy it is for you to keemun coming!"
As he moved to get a couple of mugs down from the shelf, he looked over his shoulder at her and responded, "Yes, that could get some trouble brewing and could make me Mad as a Hatta!"
"I'm not looking for gong-fu fighting. I'll just sit here, fanning myself and try to be quiet as a Dormouse while you finish up." She replied, as she sat forward in her chair, intent on the conversation.
Before Jack could respond to Brennan's latest remark, Cam entered the lounge area, a file folder in her hands. "I got the report back on toxicology and stomach contents for our two victims. I sent it over to Booth at the Hoover. He says he has a suspect and may have more information for us in a little while."
"Ah!" Hodgins glanced at Cam, then turned his twinkling eyes back toward Brennan. "This must be about the casual-teas we had in the Lab yesterday."
Brennan grinned back at him, "Maybe the murderer will claim insani-tea! Of course," she continued with a playful grimace on her face, "if it was Christmas, the murderer could claim in-santa-tea!"
Hodgins groaned, but then eagerly responded, "Ceylon as they don't deny responsibilitea! But, at least we know that they weren't shot because there wasn't any gunpowder!"
"But there certainly must have been some hostile-tea since two people died!" Brennan shot back.
Cam stared at the two scientists. "Are you two okay?" She asked, looking back and forth between the two co-workers with a look of bewilderment on her face quickly replaced by a look of defeat. "You two are at it again, aren't you? You're doing that pun thing that you …."
"Noooo," Jack replied, looking sideways at Brennan and struggled to keep a straight face. "We're just pekoeing fun at each other." He guffawed loudly as Brennan bent over in laughter.
Cam shook her head and looked pointedly at the cups in each of their hands. "That is just tea, isn't it?" She asked. The co-workers seemed to just laugh harder in response to her question.
Brennan struggled to keep a straight face, but when she glanced over at Hodgins she lost it and started laughing again. "Dr. Hodgins," she gasped out. "Restrain yourself!"
For his part, Jack had turned back toward the galley, but his shaking shoulders belied any success that he was able to establish any seriousness for the conversation at hand. He cleared his throat and tried to think of something serious. He finally thought that he was okay, and turned back to the two women. He heard Brennan gasp and started laughing again.
Ignoring the two, Cam looked pointedly at the cups in their hands then down at the teapot on the table in front of them and continued on. "As you know, we were only able to obtain the stomach contents from one victim. The results of the mass spec showed that his last meal was apparently tea and biscuits."
Brennan and Hodgins looked down at their respective mugs, then up at each other. Slowly they started to put down the cups when Cam chuckled. "No. The toxicology report showed that it wasn't the tea that was poisoned. The poison was in the biscuits. The biscuits had been poisoned."
"Tea and scones, actually," Booth said as he entered the lounge area accompanied by Gordon-Gordon.
"Booth! 'Sup Brew?" Hodgins laughed at the bewildered look on the face of the Special Agent.
Brennan laughed at the look on Booth's face and before he could answer, she asked, "Did you get a confession, Darjeeling?" Brennan tried to swallow the laughter that was bubbling up as he rolled his eyes.
Booth looked at Cam with raised eyebrows. Cam gave a deep sigh and shook her head at him in response to the unasked question. "Yes. I know. I don't know what started it. They've been doing this ever since I walked in with the tox and stomach results. I don't get it, but they seem to be cracking each other up." She shook her head and rolled her eyes at the two co-workers. "You know how they are once the get started!"
Booth looked back and forth between Hodgins and Brennan attempting and failing to hide the smile that was making itself known at the corners of his mouth. Truth be told, he rather enjoyed it when Bones and Jack got got punny. It allowed others to see a playful side of her that she didn't frequently let others witness. "Bones," he asked, "how can you not know who Led Zeppelin is, but you can talk in puns?"
"Wyui don't know what you mean, Booth. I've always told you that I have a steep learning curve." Her eyes twinkled as he groaned back at her.
"I just am so not going there." Booth responded shaking his head at her but letting the smile show on his face. "I'll leave that to the two of you. Anyway, back to the case," he continued. "Once we got the tox report from Cam, it didn't take long to get the Landlady to confess. But, I'm glad that Gordon-Gordon was able to sit in on this one with me." Booth acknowledged his friend who had just poured himself a mug of the hot beverage from the teapot in the galley.
"It is a pity she had to ruin such a civilized tradition, however." Gordon-Gordon commented as he took a sip of the tea. "Delicious tea, by the way Dr. Hodgins, Dr. Brennan." He nodded at each of the scientists in turn. "This blend is particularly good on such a cloudy, err-all gray day!" He smiled at Hodgins' bark of laughter. "But, I must say, Agent Booth did bag a killer." He smiled as he raised his cup in a silent salute and took a sip.
"You're dragon, Booth! Get on with it!" The comment seemed to go right past Booth, but Drs. Brennan and Hodgins were laughing so hard Jack almost rolled off of the couch.
Booth looked quizzically at Hodgins and then turned to look at his partner, "Bones, what…"
"Darjeeling," she purred. "Pour the story out, it's a bit of a strain waiting for you to let us know what happened."
"Well, Bones," Booth grinned at her. He knew that he couldn't keep up with Bones and Jack, but he was pretty sure he could get in a quip or two. "We got a tip." He grinned at her and watched her eyes respond to him.
"It was the landlady as we suspected." Booth replied, swallowing a grin. He knew he shouldn't really be smiling when he was talking about this, but he thought he had them. "We picked her up this morning for questioning and Gordon-Gordon and I were talking with her when Cam sent over the tox and stomach contents reports."
"She said that she knew there were going to be problems when she rented the apartment to the two men. Apparently when they filled out their application, they both entered 'poet' as their occupations."
"It's an honorable profession, Agent Booth." Gordon-Gordon replied. "It doesn't pay very well in most cases, but it is an honorable profession."
"Yeah. And that might have been the problem." Booth responded. "They got behind in their rent, and she was having trouble trying to get them evicted. But when Cam sent over the test results that showed that the poison in the stomach contents and the toxicology report matched the poison that we had gathered from the shed in the back yard, Caroline said we had her. I'm guessing that's why she confessed."
"So, pour it out, Booth! What happened?"
"She baked scones and put poison in one of them. Then she had the two men over for tea."
"The poets?" Brennan asked.
"Yes." He replied. "She served them tea and scones, and then sent them home with the leftovers. Who doesn't enjoy leftover scones? Apparently they split the poisoned scone between them. It killed them both."
Jack looked between Gordon-Gordon and Booth as he asked, "So what your saying, Booth, is . . . "
"Yup," He couldn't hold back the wide smile as he said it. "She killed two bards with one scone."