Disclaimer: If we owned it and made money from it, we'd be too busy playing to write this. :-D
A/N – This story is a round robin fiction between myself and Goldpiece. It actually started out as something completely AU and just for fun, but after re-hashing the storyline, this is the result. We hope you enjoy it!
"What do you mean my vacation's denied? I haven't taken one in over a year." Brennan looked at Camille indignantly. Cam looked back, her arms crossed. "Is this because of Booth? I'm sorry you two didn't work out, but that's no reason to punish me."
"Dr. Brennan, I'm not trying to punish you. That's a very important week for the Jeffersonian, and I need my entire staff here. I'm sorry."
Brennan snorted and left Camille's office. As she stepped out of the office, she ran square into Booth's chest.Booth stumbled back, but managed to keep his balance while simultaneously catching Brennan's arm, helping her stay upright.
"Hey, what's wrong? You look really mad."
"My vacation was denied. All I wanted to do was go to Bali, and instead, I'm here for the unveiling of some virtual reality exhibit. I'm not needed for that. Ugh, I'm so mad I could hit something."
Holding up his hands, Booth backed up a step. "Well, don't hit me. I'm just the unfortunate bystander. What's wrong with just picking another week to go to Bali?"
"Because, Booth, it was the only time in my upcoming schedule that was free! The weeks following that one are loaded with expected arrivals from four different archeological digs in Asia and South America."
"So, what about after that? I'm sure there has to be a convenient time."
"After that, I'm being loaned out to a University in Europe to assist in a mass grave discovered in the Czech Republic. That was my only free time for months."
"Why don't you let me see what I can do. Maybe I can convince her otherwise."
"That's sweet, Booth, but Dr. Saroyan is not about to change her mind." With a sigh, Brennan walked away, her arms crossed tightly in front of her.
Torn between following his partner and confronting Camille about her denial of Brennan's request, Booth chose to take a shot at changing Cam's mind. So, he proceeded to her office and knocked on the door. She answered his unspoken question without even looking up.
"The answer is still no, Seeley. And, it's going to stay no."
"Why is she needed, Cam? She has nothing to do with that project."
"It doesn't matter. Dr. Goodman sent down a memorandum that stated all staff is to remain available. She's not going, and that's final."
"Oh come on, Cam..."
"You keep pushing, Seeley and she will become unavailable for FBI cases."
"Fine, but just so you know, I don't like blackmail." Booth turned from her office and left. There had to be something he could do. She had been looking forward to that trip for months.
Walking back toward the lab, he tried to think of anyone that could and would override Cam's decision. Unfortunately, the only name coming to mind was Goodman. And, she's only following his directive in the first place. That won't work. So, he needed a plan B. Just as he entered the main Medico-Legal lab, he spotted Angela leaving the examination platform and an idea came to mind. Perfect!
Angela looked up from the skull she was holding, a smile on her face. "Booth! Where've you been the past few days? Bren's missed you." With a wink, she added, "But, don't tell her I told you."
"Actually, she's the reason I need to speak to you. Do you have a minute?"
"Sure Booth." Angela indicated her office and headed there, Booth on her heels. She set the skull on her desk and looked at him. "Now, what's going on with you and Bren that you need to speak to me?"
"You know her vacation got cancelled, right?"
"Yeah, she wasn't too happy about it. Can't blame her though."
"I know. Listen, I tried to speak to Cam, get her to change her mind...I want to do something for her, you know to try to make up for her lack of vacation."
"Booth, are you two dating?"
Shocked by the sudden question, Booth answered before thinking. "Not, yet, exactly."
Angela's expression brightened. "Oh really? Then what, exactly, are you?"
"I plead the 5th." He cut her off as she started to protest. "For now. I promise to tell you all about it later, unless Bones does first. Okay?"
Angela nodded. "That'll do. For now, anyway. So, sweetie, what can I help you with?"
"Well, I hear that you're pretty heavily involved in this new exhibit the museum is hosting, right?"
His expression turned hopeful. "Well, I was wondering...how hard would it be to create Bali?"
Angela looked at Seeley, trying to figure out where he was going with this.
"I'll have to download the footage that's been recorded for the new exhibit, but you know how brilliant I am. I'm sure I can do that. Why?"
"I was thinking of maybe...you know..."
"You want me to create Bali so that Brennan can still go on her vacation? I so knew you were a closet romantic Booth."
"So you'll do it?"
Angela was rewarded with one of Booth's full wattage smiles. That's nice to see. We don't get many reasons to be that happy in this part of the building.
"Thanks, Angela. I really appreciate this. More than you could know. About how long do you think it'll take to set up?"
"Well, the exhibit is set to open in three weeks. It'll be close, but I should be able to have it all ready a day or so before the grand opening." She smirked. "I'll just consider this my test run for the programming. That way it's even official."
"And, that way you aren't conducting any unsanctioned experiments, right?"
"That too." She smiled at him as he headed for the door. He turned around to look at her again.
"This means a lot, Ange. Thank you." He left the room, heading for Bones' office. She was sitting at her desk, an angry mask over her features. When he stepped in the office, she looked up at him, eyes flashing.
"What is it, Booth? Apparently I don't have time to spare on personal things."
"Come on Bones, it's about quitting time. How about we get out of here for the night, go to Sid's...have a drink." He flashed his charm smile. "You know you want to."
Brennan took a deep, calming breath. After all, it's not Booth's fault I don't get my vacation.
Booth could see her toying with the idea. It never ceased to amaze him how this woman's mind was constantly working on something. So, to help her decide, he walked behind her and took her jacket off of the coat rack. Placing both hands on the back of her chair, he moved her away from her desk, smiling at her from over her shoulder.
"Whattaya say, Bones? Come to dinner with me?"
It was the smile that convinced her. It never failed to make her give in. She stood and held out her arms as he pulled off her lab coat and slipped her jacket onto her slender frame.
"All right! Let's go." He placed his hand onto the small of her back and led her from her office.
They arrived at Wong Foo's not too much longer after that and took up a booth instead of their usual spot at the bar. Sid stopped by the table a short moment later with food. It never failed to amaze Brennan how he was able to bring exactly what she wanted. As they began to eat, Brennan looked over at Booth.
"Thank you, Booth. I really needed to get out of there today."
"You're welcome, Bones."
"I'd been on my way to invite you to dinner, anyway." He winked. "I'm just glad that you decided dinner with me was a better option than using me as a punching bag due to frustration."
"Are you sure I can't still use you as a punching bag? You're firm enough for it." She grinned at him. Booth looked at her, curious as to how she meant the phrase.
"I have to admit, Bones, I have an ulterior motive for taking you to dinner tonight."
"Am I going to like where this is going?"
"I hope so. Look, I couldn't get your vacation approved, but I'm hoping I can make up for it. The Sunday before the exhibit opens, I was wondering if you'd like to spend the day with me. We could go hiking, maybe go to the beach...Whaddya say?"
"Booth, are you asking me on a date?"
His heart suddenly beating a little faster than normal, he tried to gauge what she was thinking. "If I say yes, are you gonna say no?"
She gave him a small smile and shrugged. "Not necessarily."
"Not necessarily, huh?" He paused, building up one last boost of courage. God, I've been thinking about it for months. Hell, longer than months. Why not now? Taking a deep breath, he looked her in the eye. "In that case...yes, I'm asking you on a date."
Brennan looked at him for a long moment. Booth held his breath, waiting for her answer. She smiled at him and took a bite of her food.
"I'd love to." Booth's face broke out into a huge grin. He looked at her, their eyes meeting. I can't believe she actually said yes. Sid walked up with a refill of drinks for them and looked between the two of them.
"Always nice to see the beginning of a budding romance. Drink up."
Two sets of eyes snapped to the restaurateur. And, in unison, two voices started to ask, "How did you - "
Sid just shook his head and walked away. Booth looked over at Brennan again, the stupid grin still plastered on his face.
"Meet me at six in the morning then?"
Realizing that they sounded like a couple of teenagers arranging their first ever date, Brennan burst out laughing. At Booth's quizzical look, she only laughed harder.
Booth was pleased to see his Bones looking so happy. But, he couldn't help but feel a bit paranoid as she looked at him and, once again, dissolved into giggles. "What?" He wiped at his mouth. "Do I have something on my face?"
"No. You don't have anything on your face. I just...I feel like a teenager. It's so irrational to believe that arranging a simple date could make an adult feel like they're half their age..."
"It happens, Temperance. If it makes you feel any better, I know what you mean."
She blushed lightly. "Good."
Booth winked and took a sip of his drink. "So, what should we talk about now that we have that settled?"
"I don't know, Booth. How about you tell me where you plan on taking me for our...date?"
"No can do, Bones. It's a surprise. However, I will say that it will be quite...active." He offered her his trademark smile and left her wondering what he meant.