Author's note: Sorry 'bout the delay. I had hoped to have this up last night, but grrr…computer problems strike at the most inconvenient times. As always, thanks for reading and thank you to everyone who reviewed! You guys are so kind!
Brennan's lids squeezed together tightly as a bright ray of sun fell across her eyes. She rolled to her side, away from the offending light, the action causing her head to throb painfully. Brennan moaned softly, her hand touched her forehead as she opened her eyes carefully. A wave of panic swept over her as she noticed she wasn't in her apartment.
Her eyes roamed the bedroom, searching for a clue to alert her of where she was. She sat up, getting a better view of the unfamiliar room. The walls, she noticed, were painted a dark green that contrasted well with the cherry-wood furniture. It was neat, organized and distinctly male.
Her forehead crinkled as she tried to remember what had happened last night. Had she gotten so drunk to go home with a random stranger? Surely not, she rationalized. Besides, Angela would never let her do that. Angela? Brennan threw back the covers—barely registering the fact she was still wearing her clothes, and stood. She winced at the action, almost losing her balance. Where was Angela?
Suddenly a photograph on the dresser caught her eye. She walked the short distance across the room. A sigh of relief passed through her lips as she stared at the familiar image. Parker. She smiled faintly as her fingers traced the image of Booth's son. Her memory returned in a series of hazy images. Failing to hail a cab with Angela, Booth appearing after a fuzzy phone conversation…and something about a guy named Steve? She frowned unable to remember anything after getting into the SUV.
A loud noise shook her from her thoughts. Brennan turned sharply, cursing herself for forgetting about the headache. She looked around the room one more time, making mental notes to herself. She had been in Booth's apartment before sure…but never in his bedroom. Blushing, she reprimanded herself for that particular train of thought. He's just my partner. She repeated the mantra in her head over and over—although these days it didn't seem to be working very well.
Pushing the door open, Brennan stuck her head out and peaked down the hallway. She could hear Booth moving in the kitchen, most likely making breakfast. Her stomach flip-flopped, she felt queasy just thinking about it.
Swallowing hard, she moved down the hall and toward the kitchen. When she rounded the corner she was met with a pleasant sight. Booth stood in front of the stove, whistling happily as he flipped a pancake. Her eyes roamed his laid back form. He was dressed in one of those tight, white tank tops. She noticed the muscle definition in his arms immediately as his hand gripped the spatula. Brennan's gaze traveled lower, settling on the black sweats that slung low on his hips, barely noting his profile shifted slightly, "Mornin' Bones."
Brennan shifted uncomfortably, "How did you know I was standing here?"
Booth glanced over his shoulder, "I was an Army Ranger."
"Oh," she said making her way to the table.
Booth smirked and turned back toward the pancakes. Satisfied with them, he dumped them onto a plate. He moved through his kitchen, feeling Brennan's eyes on him as he searched through his drawers. He opened one and turned to her smiling. Brennan looked on curiously as Booth clutched something in his right hand. He grabbed a cup and filled it with water, setting it on the table in front of her. He then took the bottle he gripped in his hand and shook out two small white pills, also placing them in front of her.
Brennan smiled at him gratefully and downed the two aspirin, hoping that it would relieve her headache soon. Booth turned his attention back to the food, placing it on the table and sat down across from her. He grabbed the syrup and poured it on the pancakes before taking a large bite.
"Mmmm, I luf pancakes." Booth said, his mouth sticky with syrup and crumbs.
"You didn't make any for me?" Brennan asked, noticing the absence of another plate.
He looked up bewildered, "Did you want some? I thought after all you had to drink last you would be…you know, hung over."
She shook her head, "No! I mean, yes I have a hang over, but I don't want any pancakes."
Booth nodded, "So, how much do you remember anyway?" He was curious to see if she had remembered anything from last night…especially any of the awkward moments between them.
"Not a lot." She admitted, "I remember being at the club and drinking, and I remember you showing up to pick us up, but not much after that."
"Hmm…" Taking another bite of pancakes.
Brennan sat back and crossed her arms, "What's that supposed to mean?"
She mimicked his 'hmm' and looked at him pointedly.
"Nothing, I was just thinking." He said, trying not to stare at the way her breasts looked when she crossed her arms.
"You obviously meant something. Did I do something or say something last night that I should remember?" She hoped her voice did sound as panicky as she felt. Had she said something unabashed to Booth last night?
Booth smiled, "Well, I seem to recall a conversation you wanted to have last night, but…if you don't remember."
"It's not important, Bones. You were drunk, just forget it." He tried to pass it off as nonchalantly as he could. If she didn't remember he certainly didn't want to bring it up now.
"No, Booth. What was it about? Was it important?"
He ignored her and finished the rest of his breakfast, washing it down with a tall glass of orange juice. He looked up and saw her staring at him. "What?"
Brennan searched his eyes, feeling a slight tug of déjà vu. She pushed it aside, "Nothing. I just…thought I remembered something about last night…something about a shot gun."
Whatever it meant, it made him laugh—and for that she smiled. "Thank you, by the way. I'm sure I forgot to say it last night."
She laughed, "For picking us up in the middle of the night, and making sure we got home safely."
Booth rolled his eyes, "That's what friend's are for, Bones." He ruffled her hair as he passed her on his way to the sink. After rinsing his plate he turned back to her, "Do you need a ride to your car? Home?"
Nodding thoughtfully, "Yes, my car should still be at the bar. I need to get home before Angela comes by."
"What's she stopping by for?" He asked.
"She wants to keep her wedding dress at my place until the wedding. Apparently Hodgins being nosey and her superstitions don't mix well."
"Ahh." He nodded his understanding. "Well if you're ready I can take you now. I just need to throw on some jeans, and we can get outta here."
He turned around, "Yeah?"
She opened her mouth, then stopped. She thought a moment then tried again, "Why did you bring me here? Instead of dropping me off at my apartment?"
"I wanted to make sure you were safe, you had a lot to drink last night, and I wasn't sure you'd be okay on your own."
"Oh." She said simply, "Thanks."
He waved her off, "Don't worry 'bout, Bones. You can stay over anytime." He winked at her and disappeared to his room before she could say anything.
Booth kept the chatter to a minimum on the short drive to the bar with respect to his partner's obvious headache. He pulled along side of her car and put the SUV in park.
"You want me to follow you?" he asked.
"I'll be fine. I just need to get a shower and some fresh clothes."
Booth nodded, not really hearing anything she said after the word 'shower'. He tried not to picture that lovely image…really he did.
Her hand lingered on the door handle, "Okay, I guess I'll see you later."
He flashed his 'charm smile' at her, "Definitely." She smiled back before getting out and into her own car. He waited until she was in safely and followed her out of the parking lot, watching her in the mirror until she disappeared from sight.
"It's stunning, Angela."
Angela beamed at her best friend, and maid of honor. "I know, I think it looks even better than it did at the store."
Brennan nodded at her friend as she twirled around in her wedding dress. Angela had shown up only 30 minutes after she arrived home, and not nearly feeling as bad as herself. She did admit the shower and aspirin had helped tremendously, she just wouldn't be eating anything anytime soon.
"You look really beautiful. That dress fits you perfectly." Brennan studied the dress. It was strapless, with sequences sewn into the top portion of the dress along with a lacy design. The bottom portion flared, but not drastically, with many layers underneath giving the dress a small 'puff' or sashay.
"I hope Jack likes it." Angela replied, her fingers running down the dress.
"I'm sure he'll love it."
"I still can't decide how I want my hair." Angela used to her hands to pull it into an impromptu up-do, "What do you think? Up or down?"
"Oh, that reminds me," Brennan moved quickly to her coffee table, "I picked this up at the store a few days ago."
She handed over the magazine to Angela. "Modern Bride?"
Brennan nodded, "They have a special section devoted to wedding day hair styles."
Angela grinned, "Aww, thank you sweetie!' She hugged her friend and looked back down at the magazine.
"I can't believe you of all people actually bought a bridal magazine."
Blushing she shrugged, "Actually I bought a couple of them to look through. They have a lot of attractive things in there."
"Thinking of getting married? Anyone I know, Bren?" Angela teased.
"No, I was looking for things for your wedding."
"Oh." Angela willed herself not to squeal at the fact her friend had not gone into her 'I don't want to get married' speech. Maybe she was having a change of heart? She had already grilled her friend about last night, after Booth had dropped her off at Jack's. Brennan had not remembered much, which left her disappointed—she would just have to talk to Booth on Monday.
Angela turned her attention back to her friend, "Well I better get this off I guess." She started to walk back to Bren's room when she stopped and turned around, "Hey, Bren…you wanna try it on?"
"Try what on?" Brennan asked confused.
"I can't try on your dress, Ange!" Brennan sputtered.
Rolling her eyes, "Yes you can! We're about the same height and weight and besides it's only us—nobody's gonna see. Come on, aren't you curious?"
"Why? What's the point?"
"Come on, Bren. Didn't you ever want to try one on when you were little? You say yourself that you never want to get married, this may be your only chance."
Brennan frowned. A small part of her did want to try the dress on. It was perfectly natural, she told herself, that she would want to feel pretty in the big, white expensive gown. But it was absurd, wasn't it, to try on Angela's wedding dress? Brennan also felt unnerved at Angela's last comment. Would this be her only chance to wear a wedding dress? It seemed so ridiculous that the statement bothered her—but it did.
"Pretty please, Bren?"
Brennan found herself speaking before she comprehended what she was saying, "Fine."
Angela clapped, "Yes!" She immediately calmed her manner, "I mean, cool. I'll change and leave the dress in your room, then you can try it on…and you better come out and show me!"
"Okay," she chuckled. The whole thing felt so childish, and illogical, and…good.
Angela practically skipped her way down Brennan's hallway. Her friend might not know it now, but she would change her mind about the whole marriage idea. She carefully changed out of the dress and laid it across her bed. She donned her jeans and tank top before skipping back out to Bren's living room.
Brennan absently flipped through the bridal magazine Angela had left on the couch. She was unaware of her friend's knowing stare. Had she been able to read minds, she would have known that Angela was already planning her wedding.
"Oh, sorry I didn't know you were finished." She paused before going continuing to her room, "Ange are you sure…"
Angela held up her hand, "Don't you dare change your mind, Bren. Get in there and try on that dress." She smiled, satisfied that her friend went down the hall without further argument.
While she waited Angela thumbed through her magazine, a knock interrupting her study of hairstyles. She looked down the hallway, not sure if Brennan was expecting company. Making a decision she walked to the door and looked through the small peephole. Smiling she opened the door.
Brennan stared in the mirror at her reflection. The dress didn't fit her as well as Angela, but it still had the stunning effect. She allowed herself a small smile as she turned and admired the back of the dress. Maybe weddings weren't so bad after all. She drew in a deep breath, ready to face Angela's 'oohhing and awwing'. She walked back to the living room to show Angela, not knowing she had a guest.
Brennan stopped in her tracks, staring incredulously. "Booth!"