|Shatterglass and Stripped Seams
Author: KTwain PM
Booth and Brennan both hide their suffering from their perspective pasts from each other. However, both can sense something is terribly wrong with their partner. NOW COMPLETE.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Friendship - T. Brennan & S. Booth - Chapters: 29 - Words: 53,694 - Reviews: 284 - Favs: 111 - Follows: 144 - Updated: 09-28-10 - Published: 03-16-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5821523
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I know how sorry I'll be to see this come to a close, but I honestly think that dragging out something messy is almost as cruel as making it bad in the first place. I find a poetic sense of justice, that this ends right at the premiere of season six. C'est la finale, mes amis. Buen provecho. (Yes yes, don't chide me on mixing languages). Oh, and a wonderful round of applause for Emily Deschanel's private marriage to It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia's actor David (another David ow ow) Hornsby on September 25, 2010.
It was a nice feeling, waking up with a woman in his arms. Maybe better that he loved her. Booth buried his half awake face into Brennan's hair.
"Get off," she growled, pushing against him. He chuckled evilly. "Do we have to do this every morning?" she grouched.
"How many days has it been?" he laughed, stretching his legs to the end of his bed. He had been sleeping so well.
"A week." Her voice wasn't as contented as his was; it was scared. She had consented to sleeping in his bed – for protection – she had protested – when she had been released from the hospital, but they hadn't been sleeping together in that sense. Booth could hear the unease blanketing her voice, as surely as the sheets were twisted about her frame, ripped from his hot skin by her groping fingers in the middle of the night.
"He'll turn up." They both knew what they were speaking of; they didn't need to qualify.
"It's been a week," she said in a lower voice. Booth grunted as he flipped his locked arms over his head in a magnificent yawn and a stretch. His shirt had ridden halfway up his chest when he caught Brennan's cool appraising glance roving over his body. He grinned cheekily as he arched toward her.
"Like what you see there Bones?" Her face flushed but she refused to rise to the bait. Instead, she ran her fingers lightly over the ridges of his stomach and Booth's breath went out in a rush as he laughed. He was predictably ticklish. "Not fair!" She rolled out of bed but froze, swaying with her feet softly touching the floor and Booth immediately sat up, placing his large hand over the lower part of her spine. She liquefied against him as Booth scrunched himself to the edge of the bed next to her.
"How you holding up partner?" his voice was cheery, but he knew his countenance was anything but as he gently turned her unresisting face side to side examining her bruises, both inside and out.
Her face was much prettier than it had been for a week. She hadn't been to work, and neither had Booth; they had avoided each other and lived together. He made her sleep in his bed and live in his rooms. She had watched all the blockbuster movies he had brought her without resistance as Booth and she had slept the days away. He had run in and out of the office for old files for the both of them to catch up on. Cam was effective and collected; she had excused Brennan – banished her actually – from the lab for the previous week, ever since poker night and the hospital visit. Booth had seen the guilt ravishing Cam's fine features, but had more pressing issues on his mind. Brennan had been quite (and surprisingly) relenting when he had pressed her to move in with him for the week. She had uncomplainingly packed a bag and let him dote ridiculously on her; she seemed more relieved, and quieter, since the attack, to have someone else in control.
Her ribs were still blackened and Booth knew they gave her pain, but her shoulder had lost its swollen appearance and the bruises had faded to a revolting yellow brown, instead of blue black. Her face, likewise, had a paltry sheen of yellow, but the raised welt and dark bruising was almost gone. On the surface, she was healing well. Booth was relieved to see the heavy scabs where the taser barbs had hit her were no longer weeping.
"I'm okay," she said quietly, under his ministrations. "I'm going to shower."
"Are you sure you can do this?" Booth asked in a murmur. He needn't have asked, nor have seen her resolute nod.
"I can go to work today; I've been going stew crazy."
"That's what I said."
"Get out," he groaned, and her face cracked into a reluctant smile as he fell back on the bed, closing his eyes, waiting for the tub.
"Booth." The two seconds he had lain there weren't nearly long enough. She probably couldn't get the goddamn tap on again.
"Booth you have to wake up." Confusion flooded his brain and he cracked his eyes at her.
"What? You have to shower."
"I'm done." His eyes peeled themselves wider at seeing her wet, softly soaped skin hovering near his own. Her face scowled. "And there isn't a shower." He vaguely ran his fingers over her forearm and grinned as he saw goose bumps rise over her skin.
"Did I fall asleep?" he asked in incredulity. He could have sworn only a blink had passed by, not the 15 minutes the clock claimed.
"It's all you ever do," she smiled back at him. He hauled himself into a sitting position, still dumbfounded at her wet wavy hair, hair that begged for fingers to curl into and pull towards his jaw until he could devour her into that bed, just the towel, that goddamn towel always between them, held in front of her body.
"I sleep better when you're around." It slipped out before he could grab it back. "That and those pills help," he nodded gruffly, shaking the little vial on his nightstand.
"Hmm," was her only comment and she turned away to change.
"Bones," he didn't know what he wanted but she turned back. That was a lie; he knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted to rip off that cotton sheet between them and hold her body close and show her what she had been missing. She wasn't any good at body language, but he figured it didn't have to take a genius to see what was in his eyes and running through his head.
"Booth," she whispered, as if in pain, but he couldn't keep his fingers from grasping her arms.
"What Bones?" He asked his eyes glued to the wet skin between her breasts, right where flesh ended and towel began.
"I can't," she whispered, in the same broken tone she had used in the hospital. Booth swallowed and stood abruptly.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said, with forced cheerfulness, grabbing clothes from the closet as he bounced about the room. "If you don't dry your hair, we'll be late for the office." He closed the door on her cracked façade, as she stood dripping and pitying in the middle of his bedroom.
"Dr. Brennan!" crowed Hodgins, as they both walked into the lab that morning.
"Dr. Hodgins," she smiled back.
"Good news and good news," he beamed cheerfully, falling into line with her and Booth, and Booth noticed his own hand was hovering around the small of her back; he dropped it, embarrassed.
"You're looking good Sweetie," said Angela, slipping up to Brennan's other side, and sliding her arm through the bend of Brennan's.
"Thanks Angela," smiled Brennan; Booth could see how tired she was. Although Angela was correct, that Brennan looked better physically, Booth could also see her stitching herself mentally. Her normal hard boiled façade had been left in an empty hospital room, or perhaps on a cobblestone driveway. She was getting better. But it was slow. He knew from experience.
"What's the good news?"
"We have a body for you to examine," said Cam, who had come up to greet them. Booth felt as if someone had taken a baseball bat to his stomach. Cam looked awful. She was pale and the dark rings underneath his own eyes which had been eased by a week of easy sleeping next to Brennan, seemed to have transplanted themselves into her latté skin. She was haggard, her hair was lank and greasy and her face was surprisingly bare of makeup.
"Cam," Booth started, but she held up a hand to forestall his words. Booth's heart was scored to see the fingers shaking. He could almost see the guilt as a monster eating her heart out.
"Don't start with me Seeley," and her voice wasn't laughing.
"Who is the body?"
"We have a John Doe," said Angela jerking her thumb at the forensic platform. Brennan dropped her bag by a stray table and bounded up the platform, swiping her card and gloving up quickly and efficiently. Booth followed her tireless work ethic with a sigh that became a stiff grunt upon seeing the body.
"Bones get away." He shouldered her roughly from the body, his gun out before he could think, nor anyone else blink.
"Booth!" screeched Angela, somewhere in the back of his mind he registered their shocked faces as he warily circled the table with Devon's body on a slab.
"Where did you get this?" he growled to Cam. She didn't flinch. He realized she had known, even if she hadn't told Hodgins or Angela.
"Rote suicide," she said calmly. "There was a note."
"What?" asked Brennan, clinically backed against a table.
"The reason we were called in is because of the plastics blast. He blew himself up."
"I don't…" Booth holstered his weapon but unleashed his glare to cut off Brennan's aloud musings. Devon's body was decomposing, both legs blown off and half of his thick rib cage.
"Is there any torture?" asked Booth through gritted teeth.
"Dude, didn't you hear Cam? It's just a suicide," said Hodgins, still confused.
"Cause of death?" said Brennan coolly.
"I'd say the explosive that had been strapped between his legs." Cam's sense of justice was as pleased as Booth's own; they shared a look over Angela's head.
"Oh gross," flinched Angela.
"Poetic justice," whispered Brennan.
"A note?" echoed Booth skeptically.
"Police dropped it by, I'm in charge of that," said Angela. "It's a list of names. I can't figure it out."
"A list of regrets?" guessed Hodgins.
"A list of crimes." Cam's mouth was thin.
"All women?" guessed Booth shrewdly.
"How'd you know?" asked Angela. "It's just the words 'I'm Sorry' and a list of names."
"Handwritten?" asked Brennan, her voice sounding surprised to Booth's ears.
"And why do you think it's a suicide?" asked Brennan again.
"Just the fact that the detonator is seared to the flesh of his fingers. He's holding the goddamn trigger," laughed Hodgins, as if it were the most hilarious thing in the world. Brennan gave him an icy look.
"Am I on the list?" she asked quietly to Angela. Angela's huge grin froze and dropped inch by inch off her face.
"What?" She stumbled back a step as Hodgins' eyes went wide. "This is…this…"
"The face is unchanged," grunted Booth. The cadaver's eyes were closed and the flesh seared in places.
"How many hours has the body been here?" asked Brennan, ignoring Angela's swimming tears.
"Just a few hours. The morgue dropped it by last night."
"Do the autopsy," ground out Booth. "Make sure. Confirm without a doubt. I'll inform next of kin."
"Booth…" Brennan's cold voice was gone and she turned away from the others to look at him. "Other people can do that."
"I want to," he forced through his teeth. She took several swift steps and grabbed his elbow, dragging him to the edge of the platform, and put her face next to his, inches too close for societal norms, stealing his breath.
"What are we going to do?"
"About what?" he hissed back.
"I know what happened." His look was level, and blank as he bored his eyes into her blue gaze.
"So do I."
"What are you going to do to him?" He knew she was referencing the Columbus coin.
"Do?" he laughed bitterly. "Shut up and buy the man a drink. He's a hero and as far as we all know, Devon Greerson killed himself and left one hell of a suicide note."
"But that's not the truth," she hissed.
"The truth?" barked Booth, and dragged his voice down to the level between them, as the others, observing them closely, sharpened their gaze as his voice did. "The truth is that he held you down and raped you. He probably did it to a dozen other women. You want to put your old man in jail? You want to clear this bastard's name forever? Jesus Brennan, give it a rest. Let it be. Let his family come under fire. Let his dad lose his job, knowing what he knew. He was just as guilty as his goddamn son. You said it yourself. He could hear and he could see the consequences. Let those women come forward and for the first time, let them be able to speak. They cannot drown out the cry of murder. Let them instead cry for freedom." She was shaking under his arms, which were gripping her shoulders cruelly. Her eyes were flicking over his face in complete wonderment.
"How do you know all of this?" she whispered, and she was so close, he could feel her hot breath not only on his skin, but on his tongue.
"Because I know you. And this is a huge part of you. You don't have to hide anymore." She was shaking harder and her blue eyes were flicking faster.
"You don't need to hide from me." She dredged up a tremulous smile.
"It's all I'm used to. All I know."
"Don't cry," he murmured, and she wasn't. But as soon as he had said it, she was. He caught her into his arms and felt as if that dead caged bird, built into a prison of curving ivory bones, was finally set free. It wasn't perfect, and it was all smashed up, but she was there, and she was crying because for the first time in her life, she was as human as she had ever been.
Booth realized then, that she had brought him more to life than he had ever been before war. Which war…he didn't know.
He didn't realize he was busy kissing her hair and cradling her shaking frame, until he saw Angela and Hodgins linking hands out of the corner of his eye. Similarly, Cam's erect pose had fallen, like a marionette with its strings cut, into an exhausted heap as she gratefully abdicated her leadership role after two agonizing months.
Brennan hadn't been crying very loudly; and Booth knew she was pulling herself together. It was one thing to be naked in front of him, and very different to be so in front of her colleagues and friends. Booth's chest swelled with a pride he couldn't quite put his finger on, and a feeling of privilege. He decided it was time to shelve those difficult memories, the final, lingering but vanquished effects of his time as a soldier, and even those bickering but true invectives that they had lashed each other with. It was time to return to their rightful places; and he realized they were right there, at the center of the room, holding each other tightly.
They were the center, and the center must hold.
He let a cheeky grin slip over his features, and discovered it didn't hurt him so much anymore. He realized he hadn't worked out in a week and found even more than that he didn't care. He had been busy.
"So Bones, are you coming to sleep over tonight?" His tone was disgustingly and outrageously rakish. His tone was joking but his words were serious. "I've noticed I sleep better when you're around even with the pills." Her face tilted towards him and a sly smile slip over her features.
"Oh," she scoffed, "I implemented the placebo effect. You've been taking Advil for the last four nights. The dreams are in your head Booth. So I calculated that if you figured that you were keeping them at bay, then you could."
He couldn't help but laugh at her irritating and adorable meddling.
"That was very clever."
"I'm considered rather ingenious," she fluttered her lashes at him outrageously.
"And rather a beauty," he murmured, causing her to blush.
"Lady Temperance," he bowed before her and held out his hand. She flounced with her usual grace and slipped her fingers into his.
"Sir Seeley. I suppose I could accommodate you for another week or so."
"Or so," hemmed Booth.
"We'll need to pick up more of my clothes."
"Hell, take your closet."
"We'll see," she swallowed a smile. He fed her the shining coin by slipping it between their tightly clasped palms. She dropped it into a trashcan three blocks from their door.
"Welcome home," said the doorman, bowing to them both, and his approving gaze running over their hands.
Booth winked, and Brennan laughed.
Now for all the folks all bitter and angry that I've taken away both their toys - as I've completed all my current stories - never fear since I have a new one percolating on the stove. However, I will have to contrive another plot line as we get into the current season.