|Shades of Grey
Author: ShadowDanseur PM
Amazing how life turns out the way that it does- we end up hurting the worst, the only ones we really love. Booth and Brennan discover that moving on doesn't always mean moving away.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Romance - S. Booth & T. Brennan - Chapters: 6 - Words: 21,851 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 38 - Updated: 08-14-10 - Published: 06-27-10 - id: 6089456
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: This chapter is shorter than I would have liked it to be, but it's more of a transition. I know there are a few gaps and questions from the last chapter, and all will be explained! Also, I'm not sure I like the way their reunion played out, but hey. In the interest of the story, I have to move forward. The thing you'll read about the rotators (airplanes) in this chapter are true. And one more thing (I know, I know, shut up already!) I just wanted to say that although I am using a lot of what I know to write this story, these events are NOT taken from my life. Okay, I'm done now. :) Happy reading!
The Styrofoam coffee cup in her hands felt only lukewarm now, most of the heat having dissipated as she sat. Bones watched the people coming and going all around her with only detached interest. Her brilliant mind was racing, hundreds of thoughts vying for her attention simultaneously. She tried to ignore them all, but the erratic thundering of her heart only reminded her of the excitement she felt. Today was the day: she was seated on their bench, next to their coffee cart, in their predetermined meeting place on the Mall. Now all she was waiting for was him.
The last few months in the islands had gone by remarkably fast. Although she had initially been wary of Sweets, afraid that his presence would take away something from their work, he had actually proved to be useful. Daisy's motivation had increased (which she had personally thought was impossible) and Sweets had not insisted on acting like a psychologist around her. Instead, he had leant his expertise to her team as they uncovered several small artifacts around the dig site, and had spent the remainder of his time trying to get to know the few natives around them. In a way it had felt very strange to her, having their psychologist there and yet not having Booth. Where he had been a regular and even comfortable subject for her thoughts before, she found that Sweets' presence made her think of him all the more. A phenomena that had become somewhat tiresome, and she was glad that her sabbatical in the foreign country had come to its conclusion. Now all she had to do was wait.
She checked her watch again. She'd been waiting for fifteen minutes already, but it seemed as though it should have been much longer. She had gotten off the international flight that brought her home and went straight back to her apartment, where she had stopped just long enough to take a shower and make herself look presentable and grab a quick bowl of oatmeal. Her stomach had been too unsettled for anything more substantial, so she had headed to their spot. In the idleness that found her there, she wondered what Booth would say about her new hairstyle. She wasn't sure what had prompted her to change it, she could only admit that she had felt an underlying sense of needing a change. She had prepared herself to hear Sweets theorize on the change, or his thoughts on why she had done it, but he had only smiled and said "It looks nice, Dr. Brennan."
She had stopped drinking her coffee, or even trying to hold up the pretense that she was. A quiet sigh to herself and she stood, taking the offending cup to the trash can across from the bench. She glanced out across the water, the golden sunlight reflecting off its surface and back to her. The day was beautiful, the warmth very pleasant after the humidity and resulting thickness of the islands. She had missed D.C., for many reasons.
"Hey Bones." Her movements stilled only for a second at the sound. The same warm, teasing voice that she had come to know, the same nickname she had once begged him not to use. She spun on her heel and her face split into a wide grin as she locked her partner in a hug.
They stayed that way for several moments, his strong arms wrapped around her as she breathed deeply, relishing the smell of his cologne that she had not known she would miss. When he finally did pull away from her he was smiling, and she had never stopped.
"You look great, Bones," He said sincerely, "I like the hair."
"You look very well yourself, Booth."
He was dressed very casually in a grey t-shirt and jeans, and aside from a little stubble on his chin and a little darkening under the eyes he outwardly appeared no worse for the wear.
"Hungry?" He asked, "I don't know about you, but I'm dying for a burger and a piece of pie."
She laughed easily and they headed toward the parking lot. She felt lighter and more at ease than she had the whole year she'd been gone. Still smiling, she took his arm and said simply, "I missed you." Booth glanced down at her with that lopsided little grin of his and answered, "I missed you too, Bones." For just a moment, it was as if the whole last year had never happened, as if things had never been awkward between them. They were just Booth and Bones, partners and friends.
"So did you make a bunch of big discoveries down there in the Malapoopoo islands?" He asked as they slid into his SUV
"Since I know you're doing that on purpose, I'm not even going to correct you. And yes, we made quite a few significant discoveries. Maybe I'll tell you about them later – it's a lot of what you call squint speak, and we're both tired."
Booth chuckled and pulled into traffic, headed toward their favorite eatery. It felt good to be home, to be here with Bones in the passenger seat as if they had never been apart. He was proud of his service in the sandbox, but he was relieved it was over.
"Have you spoken to Rebecca?" Bones asked as they drove
"Called her as soon as I got off the plane," Booth affirmed
"She didn't bring Parker to see you at the airport?" Bones asked, confused
"I came home on a rotator," He said, as if they that explained everything
"I don't know what that means."
He chuckled again and glanced sidelong at his partner, his heart lifting at her words. Even if they had been apart for a while she was still Bones, his brilliant and yet clueless partner.
"A rotator is a government chartered plane, Bones. They land directly on the base, pick us up, and fly us back to the base of our origin – or the one closest to where we need to go. Rebecca and Parker aren't military, so they couldn't get on base."
"That makes sense," Brennan said when he had explained, "I'm sorry that no one was there waiting for you to get off the plane."
He smiled at the sincerity in her tone and the thoughtfulness behind her words.
"What are you talking about, Bones? I knew you were waiting for me at our spot."
He pulled them into the parking lot across the street, and she took his arm again as they made their way across the street and inside. He didn't remark on the not unwelcome affection she was bestowing on him, instead enjoying the closeness of her. They took seats on opposite sides from each other, but they had barely had a chance to get comfortable when the door to the diner was flung open and they were enthusiastically accosted.
"Sweetie, you're back!" Angela exclaimed, embracing her friend excitedly
"Hi, Ange," Brennan said with a grin
"Looking good, man," Hodgins was saying at the same time, shaking Booth's hand and sitting down next to him
"How was Paris?" Booth asked
"Breathtaking," Angela said quickly, grinning, "You look tan."
"A year in the desert will do that to ya," He retorted, and they laughed
Conversation flowed as they ordered their food and drink, their topics changing without any kind of warning or clear transition. Angela and Hodgins continued to gush over Paris and all its diversions, and Angela had just started talking about all the delicious food and desserts she'd enjoyed when Booth brightened suddenly and grinned across at Bones.
"Hey, Bones, didn't you say that there were a lot of local dishes you wanted to make for me?" He queried
"I mentioned it, yes," She agreed, ignoring the look she got from her best friend
"Well I have Parker tonight, but I have a week off work. You should make me a few of them," He suggested
"Really?" She said, trying to fight a lopsided grin
"Yeah, Bones. Why do you say it like that?"
"Well I didn't really think you'd want to try them," She said easily, "And I have to warn you, they might not turn out very well."
"C'mon, Bones, you're a great cook. I'll even bring the pie."
"No, no pie," She said quickly
"What? What do you mean no pie?"
Angela had started to chuckle beside her, but she was too intent on arguing with Booth over pie to say anything about it.
"No pie," She said decidedly, "If I'm making a local dish then I'll make a dessert too, but no pie."
"They do dessert too?" Booth asked, brightening
"Do they have something like pie?"
"Booth!" Bones exclaimed, and this time they all dissolved into laughter
The four of them remained in the diner for what had to have been well over two hours before any of them made to leave. They had a lot to do, they knew, a lot of things to take care of and get settled at home. Brennan didn't have a lot to unpack, but she had laundry to catch up on and reports to write. She was not expected to return to the Jeffersonian until the end of the week as well, and she planned to use the time to clean away the dust that had undoubtedly gathered in her living space.
"I hate to break up this little pow wow, Bones, but we better head out so I can take you back to your car. I'm picking Parker up in half an hour."
Brennan rose and they all exchanged hugs once again and said their goodbyes, and as Angela hugged her she hissed in her ear, "I want to hear all about your dinner!" Brennan just laughed and turned away; no matter what happened at work, no matter how many horrible people and cases they had to deal with, she was happy to be home.