Title: The Best
Kind Of Apology
Summary: Booth lies in the hospital and tries not to think about the fact that the woman next to him came so close to dying, all because of him.
Notes: Takes place after the S1 episode Two Bodies In The Lab. This is what I wished had happened after, sorta. It turned out WAY shmoopier than I thought it would. Ah well, fluff makes the world go round ;) Again, BETAED OMG!
Old movies just didn't cut it for Booth. It didn't matter how moving or righteous they were, they just didn't captivate him, and his mind would wander off in boredom after several minutes of action. But unfortunately for Booth, there was nothing good on TV. Since it was either the old movie or infomercials from the early nineties, he was stuck with The Grapes of Wrath. To say that he was bored was an understatement. The fact that the pain meds were dulling his senses and fogging his concentration probably wasn't helping either.
He took solace in the fact that he had all the pudding he'd ever wanted.
"This has got to be the most depressing movie I have ever seen." Booth muttered after gulping down yet another spoonful of delicious vanilla pudding. "You know what this movie could really use? A couple of nicely placed explosions. Maybe a ninja fight through that shanty town." He glanced out of the corner of his eye, watching for a reaction.
He got exactly what he was hoping for.
"You're joking, right?" Brennan replied in her trademark scathing disbelief while continuing to watch the movie. "The Grapes of Wrath is one of the most touching movies of the twentieth century. It's a poignant illustration of the poverty and hardships thousands of people had to face during the Great Depression. Not only is it powerful and tragic, but it's a realistic portrayal of the suffering families experienced during one of the grimmest eras in American history."
"Alright, alright, I get it. Powerful and tragic." Booth replied, suppressing the urge to laugh at her. "But I don't know why they didn't at least add some colour. I thought these hot shot movie studios could do anything."
Brennan let out a long-suffering sigh. "It's part of the symbolism. The monochromatic nature of the movie works to enhance feelings of desperation and emptiness. Removing that part of the movie would change the experience completely." She still hadn't taken her eyes off the television screen.
Booth leaned back in the bed and watched her curiously. "I thought you didn't watch that much TV, Bones."
"Some forms of entertainment can be educational. It's important to be aware of what different classes of people had to go through to survive in the past."
Booth turned his attention back to the TV just in time to see the police chasing down and killing a man right in front of the main character's eyes.
"Turn it off."
This time she did turn to look at him. "We're almost near the end, Tom kills the other officer and when he goes into hiding-"
"I don't want to see any more death today." Why did I just say that? His voice came out more strained than he wanted to show. Damn meds. And he wished he hadn't mentioned anything about what had almost happened to Bones...
She stared at him for a moment with that curious, piercing stare of hers. "Okay." She reached for the remote on his tray and turned off the TV. "We can just sit around and eat pudding instead."
He did his best to look pleased as he grabbed an unopened container of pudding. Looked like butterscotch, his favourite. "Now that sounds like a plan."
She was silent for a moment. "You know what, Booth? I knew you would come."
"... What?" Booth shook his head briefly, spoon hovering midair, trying in vain to clear the chemically induced cobwebs from his mind. He hated it when Bones launched into a new topic without any kind of warning.
"I was scared, but I knew you would come and save me. You've never let me down before and I didn't think you would let me down this time either."
Booth rolled his eyes, hoping it looked adequately flippant. Flippant was easy. Flippant was good. Flippant helped him pretend that today hadn't been such a big deal. Flippant squashed down the image of Bones gagged and tied up with a knife to her throat...
"Thing is, a squint like you wouldn't realize how close I was cutting it. As much as I don't want to admit it, you should thank Hodgins for giving me a lift. I wouldn't have made it otherwise." He concentrated on slurping down the spoonful of pudding.
"Even so, if you hadn't got a ride you would have radioed the local authorities to get you there. You would have made it-"
"No." Booth shifted towards her, ignoring the twinge of pain that ran through his body. "That was a close call and a close call is never good enough." Now Bones was watching him carefully, all attention focused on his words.
"I don't want you to feel like you failed me, Booth. You didn't. I'm right here and I'm fine. Well, a little bruised and I've got a few cuts." She touched the bandage on her head and her expression was surprisingly soft. "What's done is done and you should just let it go. Focus on getting better."
"Bones, I did fail you, by not realizing you were in danger in the first place. And no matter how many times you tell me to relax or concentrate on the fact that you're okay, it will not stop me from thinking that way. Alright?"
She didn't say anything at that, just stared at him for a moment. Then she did the last thing he would have imagined: leaned her head against his shoulder and placed a hand on his chest, just beneath his heart.
"And it doesn't matter what you keep saying to me." Her voice was quiet and composed. "You saved my life and I'll never forget that. Never." She looked up at him from his shoulder and Booth was suddenly transfixed. The gentle curls of her hair were spilling down her shoulders and gracing the top of her black dress. Her lips were glossy and just barely parted as they stared at each other. Her eyes and cheeks were shimmering with some kind of sparkly makeup. Oh, right. The date she cancelled.
He shifted ever so slightly closer to her, until he could feel her breath on his cheek, until the distance was almost unbearable to ignore and he could feel his entire body humming with tension. "Sorry about your date." He said quietly. "It's kind of a waste, you look really... uh..."
"It's not a waste." She interrupted firmly, giving him a mysterious look. He stared, wondering since when it was this hard for them to tear their gaze away from each other, wondering if Bones had ever seen a case of man's heart beating so fast and hard that it beat itself right through the ribcage. "You have to stop telling me that you're sorry."
"Sor-" She looked at him disapprovingly and the word died on his lips. How can I apologize without actually saying the word?
He was slowly leaning forward and kissing her before he even finished the thought.
She didn't freeze like he had expected her too, but returned the kiss instantly. Her lips were soft but insistent against his, like drinking in fire and rain. He could feel himself melting as she touched him, as she made a small gasp of approval and slid up onto his bed to get closer, as she moved her hand from his chest to wrap around his neck and bring him closer to her. Booth moved to do the same, to have her body against his and thread his hands through her hair-
"Ow!" He pulled back and winced, his ribs throbbing angrily. Brennan was looking at him with a combination of concern and amusement. And lust too. The pain from his ribs was rapidly losing importance compared to the sensation of his heart beating in his throat. He had never thought Brennan would ever look at him that way. And yet there she was, staring up at him with hazy eyes.
She gave him a small smile that bordered on smirking. "I guess over-extending yourself is a bad idea right now. Get some rest." Her voice was the barest hint of whisper as she took his hand in hers and lay back down. "I'll be here, just like you're always there for me."
Booth finally allowed himself to give into the meds and closed his eyes, feeling Brennan settle next to him, and knowing in his heart that what she said would always be true.