|The Same Old Story
Author: Phosphorescent PM
Even after all these years, it's still the same old story. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - T. Brennan & S. Booth - Words: 1,692 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 3 - Published: 02-04-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6716367
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Bones is not, never has been, and never will be mine. Don't rub it in, please. ;-)
A/N: It's my personal opinion that Booth and Brennan are equally at fault for what their relationship has become; both have their reasons for their actions and both have their individual emotional issues. However, since this piece is essentially a series of snapshots from Brennan's point of view, it's going to be biased in her favor. Just a warning.
The time frame of this fic goes from B&B's first meeting to the end of an AU Season 6.
"You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by…" — Herman Hupfeld
I. The Beginning
The first time they kiss, their lips come together in a mix of lust and tequila. Warm and slightly salty. Laughter in the rain.
Then what he said registers in her brain.
He feels like this is going somewhere?
"We are not spending the night together."
She says that it's because of the tequila, but that's a bald-faced lie.
There's something in his kiss, in his eyes that scares her down to her core, and she's running as hard as she can. If she can help it, she'll never see this man again.
The next time they kiss, he tastes of confusion and coffee. She's spearmint gum and determination. She will get this Christmas for her father.
Booth has informed her that Christmas is "about making the impossible happen", and Caroline has informed her that she needs to kiss Booth – "right on the lips, under some mistletoe" – in order to make Christmas for her father.
And, well, if that's what it takes. She'll do what she swore she'd never do again. (What she's secretly wanted to do ever since she first laid eyes on the man; what she's wanted to do ever since their lips last parted.) She'll do the impossible in order to make the impossible happen.
And they're friends. There's no need for this to be awkward. It's just a kiss, after all. A kiss is merely the pressing together of two pairs of lips, the engagement of a combined total of sixty-eight facial and two hundred and twenty-four postural muscles. Anything beyond that is merely what the two people to whom those lips belong choose to make of it.
(She purposefully ignores the fact that lips are commonly considered an erogenous zone in their Western European culture.)
This will just be like... like two French people meeting on the street! Like a brother and a sister, or two colleagues. Completely nonsexual.
(And perhaps it's a bad sign that she's so enthusiastic about justifying this kiss to herself.)
He's hesitant, and she's rather nervous herself, yet she finds herself forgetting that as she pulls him to her. His lips are warm and slightly dry, hers have a fresh coat of lip gloss.
Mmm. It feels nice. Better than nice, actually.
His lips part under hers, and she melts into his broad frame, clinging to his lapels as though they're the only thing keeping her on her feet. She tugs him in closer, devouring him.
Her brain is delightfully fuzzy, and this feels so good.
But it isn't right. There's a line, and if this continues much longer, they'll be past the point of no return.
She tries to sound professional as she inquires, "Was that enough steamboats?"
III. The Gamble
The third time they kiss, he tastes like longing and desperation, as he pleads with her to make him a winner, to give them a shot. She tastes like desire and fear.
And then her hands are on his chest, pushing him away.
The words are torn from her throat. "… you're the one who needs protecting. From me. I don't have your kind of open heart."
"Just give it a chance, that's all I'm asking…" Booth implores urgently.
A chance. She's never been a gambler. She's not willing to risk everything that they have on a mere chance.
"No," she chokes desperately, "you said it yourself; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome."
"Well, then let's go for a different outcome here, alright? Let's just – hear me out, alright? You know when you talk to older couples who, you know, have been in love for 30 or 40 or 50 years, alright, it's always the guy who says 'I knew'. I knew. Right from the beginning."
His eyes – so full of a painfully fragile hope – plead with hers, and part of her wants to do nothing more than to say 'yes' to his proposition. But he has no hard evidence, no facts to support this hypothesis of his. She's not a gambler who leaps headfirst into a decision. And the stakes of this bet are much too high.
"I'm a scientist," she tells him, eyes begging for his understanding, for his forgiveness, "I can't change. I don't know how." And with those two words – I can't – she crushes both of their hearts.
Their kiss is slightly salty, but this time it's not from the tequila or from the rain.
The fourth time they kiss, their lips come together in a heady mix of sleep-deprivation and bitter coffee.
It's under the mistletoe, of course. A pattern's beginning to emerge.
She uses his tie to pull him to her, and he doesn't resist. They're both cold and exhausted and strangely exhilarated.
It must be the caffeine. Or the sleep-deprivation. Or both.
Mmm. This is nice. Better than nice, actually.
Her lips part under his, and she wraps her arms around his neck, melting into him. One of his hands is wound in her hair; the other is snug about her waist. And the two of them are positively devouring one other.
His tongue in her mouth – so good – only serves to increase her vasocongestion. She moans and pulls him in closer yet, the minimal distance between them suddenly too wide to be borne.
Then, without warning, he pulls away.
"Uh, I need to go and… do stuff," he stammers, looking deeply shaken.
"Right," she says quickly, still breathing hard. "I… I have paperwork."
"Hey, y'know what, so do I," he says in a rush, backing out of the room. "I'm just going to go and do that, OK?"
"OK," she says quietly; flustered, confused, and hurt.
Obviously he has gotten over her.
Her actions were inappropriate, she sees that now. It doesn't matter that he and Hannah are done; it doesn't matter that he responded to her kiss. He's just not interested anymore, and she needs to accept that.
She needs to stop fighting for something that no longer exists.
V. Things Fall Apart
The fifth time they kiss, their lips meet in a drizzle outside the Founding Fathers. They both taste slightly sour from the beer that they've been imbibing, and she's just told him about the archeological dig that she's been invited to assist with in Brazil this summer.
"No," he says, shaking his head, "no. Remember what happened the last time you left? You… you're the lynchpin, Bones, OK? You don't get to leave."
"Actually, I believe that I determined that Caroline was the lynchpin," she corrects. "Nonetheless, I understand the point that you are making. This is an entirely different situation, however. I would only be gone for three months, and I would make plans so as to assure that business would continue running smoothly in my absence."
"You like going on digs," Booth says earnestly. "I get that. But why can't you choose a site that's a little bit closer to home?"
She frowns slightly.
"The remains found in western Brazil are unique," she explains.
"Yeah, well, what we have – what our team has – is unique, too," Booth says. "If you leave, it throws off the whole dynamic."
"Booth," she sighs, "The 'whole dynamic' is already off. It's been off for over a year; my leaving can hardly make things worse."
"OK, I admit, things are still a little shaky, but we're making progress," he protests.
She laughs bitterly. "Progress… right."
"We are," he says firmly. "Look… you can't go."
"You have no right to forbid me to accept this position," she tells him derisively.
"Oh yeah?" he asks, stepping closer to her.
"That is correct," she says matter-of-factly, chin going up.
"I'm your partner," he tells her.
"Yes, you are my partner," she emphasizes. "Not my keeper."
"And thank God for that," he mutters. "It'd be a hell of a job."
She glares at him. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means," he hisses, "that it's hard enough being your partner… who, by the way, is concerned for your safety whenever you travel to the far reaches of the world."
"I am entirely capable of taking care of myself," she says, eyes blazing.
"Right," he scoffs.
Shaking her head, she says, "You are acting irrationally."
"Well, maybe I don't like it when the woman I care about is trying to run away again!" Booth says, eyes boring into hers.
He doesn't care about her. He can't. Not after this past year. Not after she's finally, finally, starting to heal.
"You don't get to say that," she tells him quietly, and turns to go.
He grabs her by the arm and pulls her into him, kissing her fiercely.
She yanks back and slaps him. Hard.
"How dare you," she breathes angrily. Then, "I'm leaving."
"No, Bones," he says firmly, "you don't get to run this time."
She does anyway.