TITLE: Flicking the Switch
SPOILERS: Any and all from the series thus-far.
SUMMARY: "It happened with Mulder and Scully." -- "Yeah, I still don't know what that means."
"Ange, I really wish you'd stop pressing this issue."
But she's Angela Montenegro -- of course she won't listen to my plea. Instead, she follows me, right on my heels, into my office and stands near the side of my desk as I toss my files onto the blotter and move to sit in my chair. I boot up my computer and am careful not to look at her. She's busy viewing and cataloguing every move and expression I make, anyway.
"Face it, Sweetie -- there's a reason your arguments are so heated."
"Yes." To this I can whole-heartedly agree. "Because he's a stubborn, pig-headed--"
"No." She rolls her eyes at me and I roll mine at her. "It's because there is heat between you two. There's chemistry there, a spark. You don't feel it?"
"The man is infuriating."
"That may be, but that doesn't answer my question."
I tilt my head as she folds her arms across her chest. She's my best friend in the world and I love her, but when she gets like this, it's just a little irritating. "Angela--"
"Do... you... feel... it?" she intones slowly. Then, she doesn't even give me a chance to answer as she perches on the arm of my couch and adds, "because I'm not either one of you and I feel it. You guys have some major Mulder-and-Scully vibes going on."
I shake my head, those two names sounding only vaguely familiar. "I don't know what that means."
"It means that there is some roaring sexual tension between you and the foxy Agent Booth, and it's about time you face up to it."
"Are you suggesting that I seduce Booth just for the sake of having more civil arguments with the man?"
"No, I'm suggesting that you jump him to ease our pain and misery. Hodgins, Zack, and I have been going insane. It's excruciating watching the way you two dance around each other."
"Booth and I don't dance."
"I was speaking figuratively, Brenn, and in the literal sense? You two have danced. I didn't forget what you told me about Aurora."
I sigh and turn my computer off once more. As long as Angela's hell-bent on this interrogation, I won't be getting any work done. "So you want me to sleep with Booth for the sake of you, Zack, and Hodgins?"
"And for you!" She shakes her head. "Sweetie, this has to be hell for you, too."
"It's not. Booth and I are colleagues -- partners, I guess."
She raises her eyebrows at me. "So you don't think he's hot?"
She gives me her patented 'I'm-not-buying-it' look through her lashes. "Sweetie... come on."
"What?" I shrug again, palms-up. "I will concede that, in a superficial sense, he's an attractive man, but..."
"Come on, you think he's hot. You've seen his body, right? He's got a great body, doesn't he?"
"Ange, I'm growing slightly uncomfortable with this line of questioning."
"Hmm, wonder why. Sweetie, just..." She temples her hands together for a moment in a pleading gesture, then sweeps them out to the side in a dismissive gesture. "Just put aside the fact that you work with him. Put aside the fact that it might not be convenient for you to view him as a man. Put all of that aside, and then describe him to me as you see him."
How I see him? I see him as an unbelievably infuriating man who refuses to listen to my lines of logic when he has a hunch about something. I see him as a man who thinks he can monopolize my time, and who abuses his position at the FBI to do so. Haven't I always been clear on this?
"And put aside the fact that he annoys the hell out of you. Look at Special Agent Seeley Booth objectively, and tell me what you see."
How she can read my mind like that, I have no idea. "Why do I feel like I should be lying on a couch while you make notes on a clipboard?"
"Come on, just go with this for a bit. I won't even charge you if it takes more than an hour."
I try to give her my 'leave me alone' look, but she ignores it, choosing instead to make herself comfortable on my couch. I sigh and shake my head. I won't get any work done until she hears what she needs to hear. "Fine. Objectively."
She nods. "Objectively. What do you see when you look at Booth?"
"I see a six-foot-two man with a muscular build -- he's told me he does sit-ups and push-ups to stay in shape."
"Oooh." Angela grins devilishly at this little piece of information, then gestures for me to continue.
"Brown hair, brown eyes... he's been told by Tutti's trainer that his eyes are too close together, but that's not true. He's got a normal-sized nose for his face type--"
"How about the lips? Great lips, huh?"
"Full lips, I suppose."
Angela nods her approval. "That's what we call 'kissing lips', honey."
"Yeah, I don't know what that means."
I watch her roll her eyes at me as she sighs. "It means that Booth has very kissable lips. Lips that are a joy to kiss."
"Whatever. Did you want me to continue, or did you want to give a verbal dissertation on Booth's lips?"
"Well, the latter option does have its appeal, but... no. Continue."
"He has broad shoulders and well-defined arms. I've touched his biceps before and I will concede that they are very nice, toned pieces of muscle."
Angela laughs. "Now we're talkin', Sweetie! Keep going."
For some reason, admitting to liking Booth's biceps has lifted a little weight off of me. And seeing Angela's reaction made me smile. Maybe this won't be so hard to do, after all. "He's got a muscular back as well as a toned abdomen. He has... what do you call it? Six packs?"
She raises her eyebrows. "He's got a six-pack? That's very, very hot. And you've seen his abs?"
I nod. "I went to his apartment one time and saw him without a shirt."
"And?" She's prompting me, probably inwardly begging for me to make another admission, and I can't help but smile.
"And, it was... impressive."
"Nice!" She settles in more against the couch and tucks her legs beneath her, crossing them in an Indian-style position. "How's his butt?"
"Angela!" Now I'm growing slightly uncomfortable again... and why is my face warm?
"Come on, Sweetie, you cannot tell me you've never checked out his butt before. As much as you pretend not to be, you are still a woman. A woman who hasn't had a date in a very long time."
I send her a glare for that last little jab -- has she completely forgotten about Michael? -- and then sigh. "Fine. I guess his posterior is... well, it's muscular, just like the rest of him."
"Atta girl. Now let's focus on the non-physical aspects of our friendly neighborhood G-man."
"Booth wears expensive suits, so he appreciates aspects of fashion without making it overly obvious -- he's well-dressed."
"This is true. He has some very impressive Armani's in his collection." Before I can say anything, she adds, "Armani's a designer, Sweetie. Very high-end."
"I know." I don't, really, but I move past it before she can dispute me. "He's very committed to his work and holds his position at the FBI in very high regard. He always wants what is just and what is right."
"God, that's such a turn-on."
"Ange." I glare at her, and she raises her hands in supplication.
"Sorry. Go on."
"He seems to be a very good father, who loves and adores his son, though he's not allowed to see him much." I shake my head. "I still find that so... cruel. A mother just depriving her son of his father out of spite."
"Hmm, and you're pretty protective of him already. I knew it." I throw her another look, and she holds her hands up again. "I'm shutting up now."
I sigh. "Booth is smart -- he's more street-smart than book-smart. He was in the army, so he's very disciplined and very devoted to serving his country. To serving a cause."
"Good, good." Angela nods slowly. "And now that we've looked at Booth objectively, now let's objectively look at what you look for in a man."
"What?" I can't help but chuckle.
"What do you look for in a man, Sweetie? And not just a one-night-stand or a tawdry fling like your hunky professor-man... but a real, long-term, committed relationship."
I inwardly note that I have to somehow get her back for her little jab about Michael, before I start glancing around the room, my eyes not really settling on anything as I mull her question over. "I guess I look for someone that I fit with. Someone who will take me as I am and not try to change me to fit his own views of what I should be like. Someone who makes me want to change my own ways of thinking and viewing the world, yet someone who is happy to just let me stay static."
I raise my eyebrows as I stare through my desk blotter. "I need somebody who's smart. I wouldn't do well in a superficial relationship. I need someone I have things in common with, but someone who differs from me in the places where it doesn't really matter -- in places where it's more advantageous than detrimental to the relationship."
I see a slow smile spreading across Angela's lips, and I'm not so sure I want to know what she's thinking about right now. "I need someone who'll look out for me without hovering -- who will be protective and possessive, but to a point. He'll still let me have my independence. I need someone who will make me feel safe and treasured, yet at the same time someone I can have fun with -- who I can go out with and not be bored stiff talking about the same things time and time again. I guess I just want... someone who is opposite of me, yet fits with me perfectly. Like how the Yin and Yang spoon and balance each other out -- that's what I want in a relationship."
I look up when I hear Angela chuckle, and see her shaking her ducked head. "What?" I furrow my eyebrows. "Ange, what?"
"Sweetie..." She looks up at me and tilts her head, pity and sympathy and humor all glittering at once in her eyes. "Do you realize what you just described to me?"
My eyebrows now raise, inching toward my hairline. "Yes. I described what I look for in a long-term relationship, just like you asked me to."
"No." She chuckles and shakes her head again, and I have half my mind to boot her out of my office. "You just described to me... your relationship with Booth."
"No, I didn't!" I adamantly shake my head, feeling my heart rate increase ten-fold. That's not what I described... was it? The balance, the protection, the advantageous differences...
Oh, crap. I raise my eyes to Angela, knowing I must look alarmed. When the hell did this happen? When, in the span of the last ten minutes, did Booth go from being the most infuriating man on the face of the planet to the only man I can see myself with?
Angela, knowingly, smiles and nods slowly. When she speaks, it's as if she's reciting a well thought-out monologue. "Honey... it seems to me that the best relationships -- the ones that last -- are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. Y'know, one day you look at the person and... you see something more than you did the night before." She snaps her fingers. "Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And suddenly the person who was just a friend is... suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with."
I feel myself draw in a shaky breath. Is that really what just happened? A switch just... flicked, and that was it? "But..."
"Booth infuriates you, I know. He annoys the hell out of you and frustrates you and complicates your life ten-fold. But Sweetie, you can admit to yourself that he's perfect for you. That he balances you. There's no harm in that."
"We work together," is my only lame excuse. Is that really the strongest argument I've got for why Booth and I shouldn't be together? Yesterday, I had about fifty reasons, the most prevalent being that he just pissed me off constantly. Angela, however, poked a serious hole in that excuse.
"That may be a little... dicey, but maybe that's part of why you guys fit together so well. Because of the fact that you work together; because of your partnership. Partners at work have been known to extend to partners in life." She shrugs. "It happened with Mulder and Scully."
"I still don't know what that means."
She rises to her feet and makes her way over to me. "It means that you are Dana Scully, and Booth is Fox Mulder... and if you two don't get together soon, my head will explode. The sexual tension is killing us all."
"Ange, I have no idea what you're talking ab--"
She grabs me by the shoulders and hoists me up, then shoves me in the direction of the door. "Go talk to Booth. Go kiss Booth... for the sake of us all, just go do something with Booth. Ask him if he wants you two to end up like Mulder and Scully, and see what he says."
Before I can question her further, she shuts my office door in my face and makes herself comfortable once again on my couch.
Predictably, I find Booth in his usual spot at the bar at Wong Foo's. Sid gives me a nod as I make my way over and I smile back, sliding into the stool next to Booth's. The only indication that he's noticed my presence is the slight smile that tugs at the corners of his lips, and for a moment I just stare at him. Maybe a switch really did get flicked somewhere, because I'm seeing him in a completely different way than I did yesterday -- than I did even a few hours ago.
"You gonna say something, Bones, or just stare at me all night?" He lifts his gaze to mine and gives me a rakish grin. Yesterday, it wouldn't have made my knees weak, but today? Apparently, as my trembling knees are now letting me know... all bets are off.
"Is my looking at you a problem?"
He chuckles and sets down the pair of chopsticks he'd been holding his right hand, and I catch a flash of the tattoo on his wrist as he does so. He reaches for his napkin and wipes his lips -- my eyes then gain a mind of their own and zoom in on those lips. Angela was right; they do appear to be rather 'kissable'.
"Kind of freaks me out," he replies, his eyes dancing with silent laughter.
"Angela sent me here to ask you something..."
He raises his eyebrows and tilts his head sideways at me, angling his body just slightly towards mine to give me his full attention. "I'm listening."
"She wanted me to ask you if you wanted us to end up like Mulder and Scully."
He drops his napkin and I watch its quick descent onto the bar. "What?"
I shrug. "I have no idea what she means. She just told me to ask you."
His eyes search mine and I can't help but shift a little under the scrutiny. Yesterday, his intense gaze wouldn't have bothered me -- wouldn't have even made me bat an eyelash -- I hate that all bets are off today. "Well... Mulder and Scully are a fictional pair from a television show," he explains slowly, calmly, though there's a hint of a quiver in his voice. Is he afraid of something? "They were known for their overt sexual tension, which went on for about seven years, until they finally got together and put us all out of our misery."
My eyebrows twitch upward at this remark. So Angela was right when she accused Booth, however many months ago, of being a closet romantic. "So what did Angela mean by that? She wanted me to ask you if you wanted us to end up like them."
"Well, if she means 'us' as in you and I... I kinda can clue in to what she means."
"And what's that?"
He studies me for a long moment, then, instead of answering, he asks a question of his own. "Bones, why did you really come here to find me? It couldn't have just been to ask me Angela's stupid question."
"Well, if I were to judge by your reaction, I'd have to say that her question isn't all that stupid, and..." I give up. I glance down at my lap as I reply softer, "I don't know what I'm doing here."
He's staring at me again, I can feel it. It's always scared me how Booth and I can sense each other, but it didn't really full-out terrify me until today. I gasp a little when his finger touches my chin and tips it up. Another handsome smile is thrown my way and I try my best not to melt at the sight.
"I think a switch got flicked," I hear myself mumble sadly, and I try to look away from Booth's eyes but I can't.
He chuckles. "What does that mean?" His finger is still on my chin, and I back away from it, pushing my stool back... shame suddenly clouding me. Why the hell did I come here?
"Nothing, nevermind," I mutter, and start to march for the door, trying to focus on the sound of my heels on the tile and not on Booth's voice, calling me back.
I welcome the cool air on my flushed cheeks as soon as I step outside, the bell above the door tinkling before it closes. I close my eyes. That switch flicked and I became an idiot. What the hell is wrong with me? Me and Booth? I think Angela manipulated me, because that is the stupidest idea ever -- me and Booth. Right.
I shake my head at myself and start to march down the street, hearing the faint tinkle of a bell behind me. I stop only when I hear him call my nickname... "Bones!"
I spin on my heel to see him coming toward me, taking long strides. There's a look in his eyes... a frenzy that I can't accurately ascertain -- is he panicked about something? -- and I sigh.
"A switch got flicked -- what did you mean by that?" he asks, cheeks pinking from the chilly D.C. air around us. He's wearing only his white button-down dress shirt tucked into his black slacks; no suit jacket or coat in sight.
"Where's your coat?" I hear myself asking, then damn myself for it immediately. What am I, his wife?
"Inside. I'm fine," he replies immediately, then jumps right back in. "Bones, what did you mean?"
"I mean that for some reason I'm seeing things differently than I--" I can't bring myself to finish. Not after seeing the flash of panic in his eyes. I hang my head again, and start to turn away. "Nevermind. See you tomorrow, Booth."
But he doesn't let me get away. Instead, I feel his hand grab my elbow, gently but firmly... and spin me back around. I'm not in the mood to fight with him, and my defiant stare tells him so. But he doesn't let me say anything more as he leans in and kisses me, startling me out of my skin.
I literally jump at the sensation, and his left hand grips my waist... the other still hanging on to my elbow. When I don't respond, my lower lip held hostage between his, he pulls away and rests his forehead against mine. I look up at him and see that his eyes are closed... brows furrowed as, if I know him like I do, he's probably anticipating a slap.
But I don't slap him. I don't kiss him, either, and at the lack of movement from my end, Booth opens his eyes, our foreheads still connected. Our eyes connect, too, and I feel as if I can stare right through those deep brown eyes of his.
"You kissed me." It comes out a bit more accusatory than I intend it to, but it makes him smile nonetheless.
"Yeah. Yeah, I did."
His breath puffs against my lips and I'm struck with the urge to inhale the warmth of it. "Why?" I ask next.
He chuckles and pulls back. My forehead misses his already. He cups my cheek instead. "Because a switch was flicked. And for me, it was flicked a long time ago."
Booth nods, and his thumb brushes over my cheek. "Yeah. I was just... waiting for you to catch up. I was waiting for yours to flick."
"So you did know what I meant."
He chuckles again and nods, the hand on mywaist tugging me a little closer. "Yeah. I thought I did, at least. I wanted to be sure, though."
"So what now? The switches are flicked... so what do we do now?"
His smile becomes devilish, and I feel a reflection of it spreading across my face, a wonderful fluttering sensation happening in my stomach. I take a step closer as he replies, "I could think of a few ideas."
I can't help the laugh that escapes. "Oh?"
He nods and tilts his head to the side, his hand slipping around to cup the back of my neck as he brings our lips together again. This time, I am not still. I kiss him back and loop my arms around his neck -- he wraps his around my waist and pulls me against him. We don't even notice the chill outside, too wrapped up in our embrace to notice much of anything. 'Kissable' lips... Angela really was right.
I hear my cell phone faintly ringing from inside the pocket of my long coat, and Booth and I smile against each other's lips. I'm still stunned by how good it feels to be kissing him... smiling with him. "It's probably Angela," I mutter, the soundmuffled byhis deep kiss.
"Yeah, probably," he sighs, and leaves small pecks along my lips. He then reaches into my coat with the ease of long familiarity and pulls out my phone, our lips still feather-lightly touching as he pulls it to his ear. "Dr. Brennan's phone... Seeley Booth speaking."
"Booth, it's Angela," I can hear her loud and clear on the other end, and I smile against Booth's mouth again.
He chuckles softly back and our lips tease each other's. "What are you doing answering Brennan's phone?" Angela asks, her tone a mix between curious and self-satisfied. I swear sometimes she's psychic -- always knows what's going on.
Booth drops a small, inaudible kiss to my lips before replying into the phone, "Dr. Brennan's kind of busy right now, but she will call you back when she has a chance."
"I knew it," I can hear her laugh, "I so knew it! So... what are you guys doing?" Her tone is lilting and it's obvious she knows what we're up to.
Before Booth can respond, I kiss him quietly and grab the phone, "Ange, I'll call you later," before I hang it up and shove it back in my pocket.
And for once... as Booth pulls me in for another kiss... I'm glad she didn't stop pressing the issue.
What did you think? This is notthe first 'Bones' fic that I've written, but it is my first completed 'Bones' fic. I don't know why I decided to do Brennan's POV, either -- she's the hardest character to really pin down, psychologically. I just thought I'd give it a try.
Reviews bring more stories :)