TITLE: No Frills
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I honestly don't know where this story idea came from, but it was just begging to be told for some reason. And this is pretty much an AU piece, no spoilers whatsoever. A sort of non-sequitir, 'what if' kind of story. A oneshot. Have fun.
A legal pad flew out of the office of Dr. Temperance Brennan, sliding across the floor and nearly colliding with Angela's shoe. With a raised brow, she side-stepped the runaway notepad and made a beeline for her best friend's office. "Sweetie? What's all the screaming about in here?"
"I quit! I can't do this anymore! It's just too much!"
Angela raised her hands in a calming gesture. "Whoa, whoa. Slow down, Brenn. Breathe."
As if commanded to do so, Tempe took a deep breath and puffed it out through pursed lips, ruffling the errant auburn-chestnut strands that had fallen into her eyes. "Sorry."
"It's alright. The notepad didn't cause any fatalities. Relax. Sit down."
Apparently, the forensic anthropologist adhered to one- or two-word commands, and took a seat at her desk. It was there that she put her head in her hands, shaking it and tousling her hair at nothing, or perhaps everything, in particular. "I can't do this."
"What's the matter? Why is it too much?"
"Because I'm not a girl!"
Angela laughed. "What are you talking about? Of course you're a girl, Sweetie."
Tempe closed her eyes. "I mean, I'm not a girly-girl. I can't handle frills and flowers and sentimental stuff, I just... I can't do it! I don't even want all of that!"
Taking a seat on the arm of her friend's couch, Angela enquired, "Then what do you want?"
"Okay, okay. Let's start with the silence issue--"
"Hey, Bones!" Seeley Booth strutted into the office and slid a legal pad toward her -- the very same one she'd flung out the door only moments earlier. "I think this is yours. I don't know how it ended up in the hallway, but--"
She stood abruptly, pointing her finger accusingly at the handsome fed. "This is ALL your fault!"
His eyes widened slightly. "MY fault? What did I do?" He looked to Angela, shaking his head. "Amazing. I'm not even here and she gets mad at me."
"You gave me THIS." She slapped something into his palm and began stomping toward the door.
Booth uncurled his fist and glanced at what was in his hand, then rushed after her. "Bones, put your ring back on! Come on! Bones..."
"I am NOT marrying you!" she exclaimed, stomping toward the small autopsy bay in the center of the lab.
Booth just laughed. "What? Yes you are! C'mon, Bones, cut it out."
Angela sighed and followed after the bickering pair, ever-so-thankful that nearly everyone else in the lab had gone home for the weekend. She flicked her eyebrows upward in a greeting to Zack and Hodgins, who had just poked their heads around the corner of the evidence room. "Are they calling off the wedding again?" Zack enquired.
"What's the running tally?" Hodgins chimed in, eyes centered on the partners.
Angela threw a glance at them over her shoulder before turning back to her fellow 'squints.' "I think, if I counted correctly, that was the sixth time this week, and the second time she gave him the ring back."
Hodgins shook his head. "They should just split up and be done with it."
Angela shook her head vehemently in response. "No. No way in hell. They're perfect for each other and they both know it. Brenn's just... wigging about the preparations."
"Booth, I just can't do this! I can't! I don't want eighty billion flowers, I don't want an orchestra or frilly tablecloths! I just don't want any of it."
He studied her through his lashes while covertly slipping the ring back on her finger. "What do you want, babe?" he asked gently.
"I told you not to call me that at the office," she sighed, gazing at the sparkle once more emanating from her left hand while Booth led her back to her office.
She'd never guessed diamonds and platinum would have been her taste, but since it was Booth offering it to her, she pretty much would have accepted anything. In the moment he'd proposed to her, she would have accepted a cheap plastic ring from a gumball machine for all she cared. It was Booth, her partner of nearly two years, asking her to marry him.
His grin pulled her from her thoughts, and he closed her office door to afford them some privacy. "Yeah, well babe, all bets are off after-hours." He chuckled and gestured to her. "You of all people should know that! It was that after-hours stuff that started this whole thing in the first place."
She rolled her eyes, but was unable to stop the smile. "Fine. And what I want is something quiet. Something small, but romantic. All these ideas for a big wedding came out and I started feeling suffocated. I can't handle it."
Booth's hands stole around her waist, and he tugged her close. "Then we'll have a small, quiet wedding. Just us, a couple of witnesses, and Parker. That's all we need."
"But you wanted a big wedding."
He shook his head, and pressed a kiss to her lips. "No, I never said that. I said I wanted to give you the kind of wedding, the happy ending, that you deserve after everything you've been through. As long as it's you and me, together forever, I could really care less what kind of wedding we have. We could get married in the Sistine Chapel with thousands of people watching, or we could get married in some dirty back alley. I don't care, Bones," he laughed. "Just marry me!"
Tempe captured his lips in a long, slow kiss, foreheads keeping the connection when they broke apart. "I will marry you." She pulled back to look in his eyes. "And hey, I'm not against having a fun reception afterwards. Maybe at our 'usual place.'"
Booth grinned. "I don't think Sid would mind that."
"Good, so it's settled."
"Yeah." He pulled her close, kissing the hollow of her shoulder through her shirt as he hugged her. When he pulled away, he moved a lock of hair out of her eyes. "Can I ask that you do just one girly-type thing for me?"
She grinned and bit down on her lip softly. "Maybe. Depends what it is."
He took her hands in his and closed his eyes pleadingly. "Will you please... please pick out the naughtiest lingerie you can find for the honeymoon?"
Tempe laughed at this. "Angela already took care of that."
Booth exhaled his smile. "Remind me to buy her a present, then. She likes it when you say 'thank-you' with gifts."
"That she does. And Booth?"
"Yeah?" He looked up to watch her turn in the doorway, her smile growing devilish.
"Just wait until you see what she picked out."
He chuckled and shook his head, "I don't think I can," and followed his fiancee out the door. "Hey, maybe we should get married right now."
"Nice try, Booth."
"Thought it was worth a shot."