Disclaimer - Bones and all of its lovely characters belong to someone else.
This scene popped into my head as I was trudging into work the other day on a cold, dull February morning. Hope you enjoy.
The fair was a blur of noise and excitement. To the left the waltzers spun in frantic circles, lights flashing with a pounding musical accompaniment. To the right the dodgems slammed into one and other and the aerials sparked sporadically. The crowd bunched out alongside the food stalls and the pathway was blocked to a narrow line next to the ghost train where periodic screams signalled the next batch of victims had been swallowed up by the dark.
As the hot summer's day gave way to dusk, more people surged into the fairground enjoying the warm evening. Special Agent Seeley Booth and his partner, Dr Temperance Brennan strolled side-by-side, pulling tufts of candyfloss from the plastic bag Booth carried.
Temperance stared at the pink sugary strands, "What is this stuff?"
Booth shrugged "Spun sugar."
Temperance knitted her brows together and looked at him, "I know what it's made of, but what is it."
Booth looked at her quizzically.
"Come on Booth, you've got to admit its a pretty weird substance. It melts away when you eat it and you could probably squash that bag into a sugar cube sized lump."
Booth shook his head and pulled another tuft out placing it in Temperance's open mouth, "Just eat it Bones. You are not going to get anywhere trying to analyse the meaning of candyfloss."
Temperance swallowed the sugary lump glaring, but her expression slowly dissolved into a smile as Booth grinned at her, "Just enjoy the fair. It's back to DC for us tomorrow, so we may as well enjoy the night off."
Booth and Brennan had been in up state New York for a week on trying to piece together a twenty year old murder, which had been discovered when someone had decided to build a deck area in the garden of their new home and found a skeleton buried close to the surface. Temperance had rapidly identified the body and over the course of the week they had closed in on the killer. The man was now locked up in the local jail. The arrest was the reason that Booth was still wearing his sunglasses even though it was getting dark, a flailing fist from the desperate suspect had caught him square in the face. He was pleased he'd stayed upright as it had been quite a hit, but even after sitting with an ice pack on his face for half an hour his eye had swelled up impressively. He'd certainly have a shiner tomorrow.
It hadn't helped ease the pain that each one of the squints had asked him what he'd done to upset Temperance when they saw his face over the video link. He sighed internally, it was going to be much, much worse back at the FBI tomorrow. He was aware of several betting pools devoted to various scenarios unfolding between him and his Forensic Anthropologist, half at least related to him being punched, shot or otherwise assaulted for one smartass quip too many; and he wasn't even going to think about what the other half were betting on.
He glanced over at Temperance who was pulling strands of candyfloss apart between her fingers peering at it intently. He felt a familiar swoop in his stomach as he looked at her, god she was beautiful. She looked particularly good this evening, with her hair loose around her shoulders and wearing a cute, strappy sundress. Seeming to sense his gaze she looked across at him and smiled, licking the sticky mess from her fingers. Booth felt his body respond and had to turn away wishing that the display had been for his benefit, sadly he doubted Bones would ever try to catch a guy's attention that way and even if she did, he wasn't likely to be anywhere on her list of guys to try it out on.
They stopped by a stall selling freshly squeezed juices and bought two drinks.
"I don't think this is going to offset all the sugar in the healthy eating stakes," Booth commented.
Temperance shrugged, "Neither are doing our teeth any good."
They leant against a chest-high table and watched the crowds. Opposite the juice stall there was a rifle range, but no-one seemed to be having much luck. The back wall was lined with masses of stuffed toys. One girl came away with a small fluffy toy having hit three targets, but most people left empty-handed. Then a couple of young lads sauntered up to the juice stall with their girlfriends, bragging that they'd win one of the large prizes that needed eight out of eight accuracy. They bought a couple of drinks from the stall and then jostled past Temperance, pushing her hard into the table without an apology. Booth felt his jaw tighten, discourtesy really irritated him - and if the discourtesy was aimed at Temperance it really irritated him.
"Excuse me?" He called out; the last one in line turned and gave him the finger laughing.
"Booth!" Temperance exclaimed laying a restraining hand on his arm.
He looked at her, his face set in a thunderous frown. She kept her hold on his arm and tilted her head questioningly. He stared at her for a long moment and then let out a breath, his shoulders relaxing.
Temperance rolled her eyes, "I would have thought one fight would be enough for one day?"
"Funny." He snorted, but was soon smirking when the all four of the teens missed the targets and sloped off in quiet embarrassment. The next punter, an older guy in his 20s, was luckier, managing to hit four targets and win his pretty girlfriend a medium-sized toy. She beamed as he handed it over and slid her arms around his waist.
He realised Temperance was leaning forward, with her chin resting on her hand staring intently at the rifle range, "You want a go?" He asked. To his surprise she looked at him in exasperation, as if he'd totally missed the point. She obviously realised he was taken aback and her expression melted back into neutrality. Then she shrugged.
Booth continued to look at her in confusion, he was definitely missing something here. "Come on lets give it a go." He started to walk off and realised that Bones hadn't moved, he turned around and flashed his cockiest smile, "Hey come on, I'll win you a toy for your office."
She snorted derisively, but moved away from the table to stand next to him, "You know that these games are all fixed, the guns don't shoot straight, right?"
Booth's grin widened, "No problem." He placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her over the to the rifle range. They waited in line for a few moments, then Booth handed over a couple of dollars and picked up the toy rifle. He inspected it for a moment, ignoring the stallholder hovering in front of him. Temperance leant on the rail next to him, watching curiously. He lifted the gun up to eye level with practised ease and proceeded to knock down all eight targets.
The stallholder launched into his congratulatory patter, informing Booth that his 'beautiful companion' could have the choice of all the toys, including the top prize of a massive blue teddy bear, which was almost the same height as Temperance herself.
He put the gun down and turned to his partner, "So what'll it be?"
He watched as her eyes roved across the rows of fluffy toys, then she smiled and pointed, "I'd like the little moose."
"You've got to be kidding! I only needed to hit three targets for that. Think bigger Bones."
"What, you want to carry a six foot teddy bear around the fair for the rest of the evening? I'm sure as hell not carrying it." She replied.
"Fine have it your way." Booth said shaking his head; he turned to the stallholder, "We'll take the moose."
Booth turned to collect the moose only to find that Temperance had moved away slightly.
"Hey, wait up" he called, she stopped looking at him intently as he jogged over to join her. He paused directly in front of her, "For you," he said, trying to ignore the strange sensation in his chest as he handed over the gift.
He watched a series of indecipherable emotions play across her face and then suddenly she smiled and leant forward to kiss him lightly on the lips, "Thanks Seeley." Then she turned on her heel and walked off leaving him stunned in her wake.