|Times Like These
Author: jemb PM
[Written for the September NJC and based on the song Times Like These by the Foo Fighters] Booth knew he would give her anything she wanted, if only to see that smile each and every day.Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship/Family - S. Booth & T. Brennan - Words: 2,476 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-19-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3792944
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This month's NJC challenge was to write a story using the song "Times Like These" by the Foo Fighters (the song can be heard on youtube). Since I don't want to spoil the story for you I'll explain a little about why I wrote what I did at the end. For now, read on and enjoy.
It was 9am on a Saturday morning and Brennan was at home, flicking through a Forensics Journal as she sipped a hot cup of home-made coffee. Dressed in light blue jeans and a short sleeved fitted black shirt, she was doing her best to keep her mind occupied. If she allowed herself time to think, she would only go back to the thoughts that had been plaguing her for the last few days; thoughts she hadn't had in what seemed like the longest time. It had been two weeks since Angela and Hodgins' almost wedding. Two weeks since they had taken off in a shroud of mystery with only a postcard to indicate they had travelled to Fiji. Ten days since Zach had solemnly bid his goodbyes and gone to the airport to be flown to a war torn country to identify victims of suicide bombings and other horrendous acts of violence. A week since Brennan had a case with Booth to keep her mind off her friends. She would never admit it aloud, but Brennan was lonely. It was a loneliness she hadn't felt since before she met Booth and it was hard for her not to slip into her old ways; isolating herself completely and giving in to the loneliness. It would have been too easy for her to drive to the lab and immerse herself in limbo bones for the whole weekend. But over the last few years, Brennan had broken bad habits like that and she didn't want to go back to being that person anymore.
A sharp knock at her door startled her from her thoughts and she quickly set down both her coffee mug and the journal, cursing under her breath when a few drops of coffee spilt onto her coffee table. As she crossed the room to get the door, she straightened her top and ran a hand through her loosely curled hair. When she pulled back the door the person standing on the other side was the last person she expected to see.
"Hey Bones." Booth grinned as he stood before her with his hands stuffed into his jeans pockets, his leather jacket partially hiding the Led Zeplin T-shirt he wore underneath. His hair looked slightly less sculpted than normal, almost what Brennan had heard Angela describe as 'bed hair'.
"Booth. What are you doing here?" she asked, the surprise at finding him at her apartment on a Saturday morning clearly showing on her face.
"Aren't you going to ask me to come in?" he asked in return, deliberately not answering her question. Brennan remained still for a moment then her senses came back and she quickly backed up into her apartment and made room for Booth to step through the door. She watched him carefully while she closed the door, trying to work out what kind of mood he was in and why he could possibly be here. Judging by the sparkle she saw in his eyes and the smile on his lips he seemed to be quite happy. And if there was a case he wouldn't be so cheerful and would have called so she was ready to go to the scene. It was common knowledge that the partners spent time with each other when they weren't working but Saturdays were not usually a day they spent together, partly because Booth frequently had Parker at weekends. Contrary to what Angela thought and frequently mentioned, Booth and Brennan did not spend all their time together, so his visit truly was a surprise.
"Having a productive morning Bones?" Booth asked as he stood in the middle of her living room, glancing around at the eclectic décor. Brennan certainly liked to fill her apartment with sculptures and ornaments from the many countries she had travelled to.
"I was just reading a…Booth what are you doing here?" she shook her head a little, determined not to let him sidetrack her when she wanted an answer.
"Well, I was thinking that we could both do with having a bit of fun. You know, things have been a little…chaotic lately." He shrugged. "With Angela and Hodgins on their non-honeymoon, and Zach…gone."
"And you just assumed I wouldn't have any plans?" she asked teasingly. Despite the surprise of his visit, Brennan was more than willing to give up a day alone in her apartment to do something 'fun' but she wasn't about to let Booth think he could just come along and whisk her away at his whim.
"Well if you have plans I can just go. You know there are plenty of other people I could spend the day with. I met this girl at the coffee shop and…"
"Oh please." Brennan rolled her eyes and wandered a few feet away from him to pick up her coffee mug for a long sip.
"What? Like I'm incapable of meeting someone?" Booth feigned hurt at her comment.
"You mentioned something about fun?" Brennan quickly changed the subject, not particularly wanting to get into a discussion about Booth's dating habits. That usually led them to dangerous territory where too many looks were exchanged and nothing at the same time as everything was said.
"Right. The fun." He clapped his hands together and grinned. "Grab your bag and meet me downstairs." He instructed as he walked back over to the front door.
"Aren't you going to tell me what we're doing?" Brennan asked. "Do I need to bring a jacket?"
"It might get a little windy, so yeah. You probably should bring a jacket." Booth nodded. "Don't take too long." He added as he headed out the door. Brennan was left confused and still surprised at Booth's appearance. She took a moment to collect her thoughts then hurried to her room to grab a light jacket and her bag into which she tossed her purse and cell, before she strode across her apartment to the door where she grabbed her keys off the small table. As she locked up she wondered what Booth had in mind, guessing only that it would be something she wouldn't normally do. He was always trying to get her to experience new things and she figured this would be another of those 'things'.
When Brennan stepped out if her apartment building into the warm sunshine she was greeted by a startling sight. Booth was waiting for her at the kerb, leaning against the hood of a cherry red and freshly waxed mustang convertible. It had new cream leather seats and bright silver accents on the dashboard and wheel that glinted in the sun. His arms were folded across his chest with a satisfied smile covering his face. Brennan stood by the entrance to her building with a smile of her own as she took in the sight. Slowly, Booth pushed himself off the car and took a few steps towards her. Brennan met him halfway and with curiosity in her eyes she looked from the car to Booth and back to the car.
"I just finished her last night." Booth said proudly. "I've been restoring this girl for five months. When I got her she was a rusty frame with almost no hope of being restored to her former glory. But here she is, finally ready for a test drive." He took Brennan's elbow and led her over to the car. "I thought you might like to come with me."
"It's a beautiful car Booth."
"Not 'it's' Bones. She, she is a beautiful car."
"Why are cars considered female? I mean it seems…" Booth cut her off by placing his finger over her lips and leaning close towards her.
"Bones, don't give me some speech about men comparing cars to women and how demeaning it is." He spoke in a low, husky voice before leaning back and lightening his tone. "It's just a turn of phrase and other things besides cars are considered female, like boats." Brennan inhaled, her mind immediately flitting back to the boat Sully named after her. As soon as the thought entered her head she pushed it right back out again. Sully was gone and she was over him. Booth was here, doing his best to cheer her up, even though he was pretending that wasn't the intention. Her eyes lifted until she met his gaze and as his lips curled into a smile she allowed hers to so the same
"She is a beautiful car. And I'd really like to go for a drive." Her acceptance seemed to please Booth and he excitedly opened the passenger door for her, gesturing with is free arm for her to get in. Brennan was about to tell him she was perfectly capable of opening a car door by herself but she sensed this was not the time. Putting aside her usual distain for chivalrous actions she slipped into the seat and fastened her seatbelt as Booth closed the door for her. Once Brennan was settled, Booth jogged around to get into the drivers' seat. After running his hands lovingly over the mixed leather and chrome steering wheel, he slipped the key into the ignition and turned it over. A glorious roar erupted from the engine as it sprung into life.
"Ready?" Booth turned to ask Brennan. She nodded and Booth eased away from the kerb to merge with the traffic and begin their journey.
Twenty minutes later Booth had driven out of the city and was heading down the highway to no place in particular. The sun was shining brightly above their heads and a light wind tussled Brennan's hair. The radio was blasting a rock classic and as Booth glanced over at Brennan he could see was enjoying the ride by the expression on her face. It was one he had only seen on a handful of occasions but one he wanted to keep seeing. With her eyes lit up and a smile on her face she had never looked more beautiful to him. If he could keep doing these things to bring that look back to her face he would be a happy man.
As the car continued to fly down the highway, Brennan surprised Booth by raising both her arms in the air and tilting her head back, relishing the cool breeze and the sense of freedom the open road was bringing her. An uncharacteristic call of "Woooohoooo" passed her lips and Booth laughed, his heart warmed by her ability to freely express herself, something she had only recently been able to do, and seemingly only around him. But the smile on her face faded when Booth slowed the car down and pulled over onto the shoulder before bringing the car to a complete stop.
"Why are we stopping?" Brennan asked. "Is there something wrong with the car?" A sly grin crossed Booth face as he took off his seatbelt.
"No, there's nothing wrong with the car." He told her as he opened the door and got out. Brennan watched him intensely as he closed the door and began walking around the car.
"I just thought maybe you'd like to drive for a while." Booth watched as Brennan processed the words then like an excited child she pulled off her seatbelt and clambered over to the driver's seat. While she settled herself, Booth made his way to the passenger side and took her place in the seat.
"The clutch is sensitive so take it easy okay." Booth gave only one instruction before he let Brennan take over the driving. He stretched out one arm so it rested on the back of her seat, just below her neck. As Brennan carefully pulled back out onto the highway and brought the car up to speed, Booth adjusted his sunglasses and glanced quickly at Brennan. Her expression was hard to verbalise but he guessed it was something that could be described by carefree and happy.
It only took a few minutes before Brennan settled into the experience and trusted herself to drive freely. The wind was picking up and whipping her hair out behind her where it caught the sunlight and glowed auburn. Booth studied his partner and knew that this was the best thing he could have done for her at this difficult time. He had been watching her carefully for the last two weeks as the adopted family she had allowed herself to grow close to had disappeared, if only temporarily. He knew it was hard for her to see Zach go to such a dangerous country, as she herself had been in a similar situation on more than occasion and knew the risks. It had also been hard for her to see Angela and Hodgins take off without saying goodbye. Booth knew they had their reasons and he and Brennan both understood, but it was still difficult for Brennan to go to work each morning when all she had was an empty lab. The life she had grown accustomed to had changed, perhaps permanently, and he knew that at times like these it was important to make the most of the life they had. If that meant taking a drive in a classic car on a Saturday morning, or simply eating at the diner after work or going for a drink in a bar, he would give it to her over and over again. As he watched Brennan's face light up and a wide smile plant itself firmly on her face, Booth knew he would give her anything she wanted, if only to see that smile each and every day.
When I listened to this song and thought about a story, one very clear and very strong image entered my head – Brennan driving a convertible out on the open road with the wind in her hair and the sun shining down. The weird thing is, Niah had exactly the same image as this when she heard the song. When it came to forming a story around that image, I simply thought about the lyrics of the chorus and the events of the season finale. It all fell into place from there. I didn't want it to be too angsty since I am the Fluffmeister, so this is the result. I'd appreciate a review to let me know what you thought.