Title: Second Nature
Author: smitha-r
Rating: R
Fandom: Bones
Pairing: Brennan/Booth
Summary: In the aftermath of an explosion, Brennan comes to a realization that sparks a night neither of them will soon forget.
Notes: Totally unbetaed, because I wanted this off of my hands before NaNo was underway. Also, I had no idea how to end the damn thing, so sorry for the abruptness of it all. I really hope the sections flow, cause it seems to me like they don't. Yeah, I've got issues all around. This is my first attempt at smut (goodness me!) so reviews are greatly appreciated in this instance. I'm no good with teh sexxorz.

---------------------------

"Honestly, Booth. I'm fine. Stop fussing over me." Brennan leaned against the door and attempted to wave away her overly protective partner, but he would have none of it.

"If I'm not going to fuss over you, who will?" Booth shot back casually, tossing his suit jacket onto her couch. "You take a seat right now, I'll warm up some dinner for you."

"But I can do that myself-" She said, caught somewhere between irritation and amusement. Booth was already in her kitchen, rummaging through the fridge. For a moment a wave of deja vu washed over her and she was gripped with a gnawing nervousness. That damn fridge. How she had immediately run to save Booth, and how she had nearly made one of the paramedics cry with her commands when they finally arrived on the scene. The fear had run so deep, chilling her veins and setting her nerves on fire at the same time. She had found herself consumed with trying to find the culprit, who not only had tried to kill her, but who had dared hurt Booth. She had tried to be impartial, to treat the bomber as another criminal she faced in her daily investigations. But she had become so intent on figuring the case out for his sake entirely.

No one messed with Dr. Temperance Brennan's partner and got away with it. But Kenton had come so close...

And here Booth was again, protecting her, watching out for her. It was so alien oftentimes, to have someone hover over her like this. Angela did on occasion, but her best friend took into consideration that she needed her alone time. Booth wasn't like that. He invaded her life, crawled into the nooks and crannies and made himself comfortable, made himself at home with her and around her, until it felt like second nature for them to be with each other all the time. How long had they been partners now?

"Almost four years..." Brennan said quietly, but not so quietly that Booth didn't raise his head from the fridge, holding a plastic container in each hand.

"You say something, Bones?" He placed the containers (coconut Thai curry and seafood skewers from Angela and Jack's party last weekend) on the counter and walked over to her with concern. "Feeling woozy or anything? I know the doctor said-"

"The doctor said I was fine, Booth, and he was right." She crossed her arms and looked up at him as he peered at the scratches on her face. "You were there, you know I wasn't near the focal point of the collapse. Stop being so irrational."

The look in his eyes was grave. "If being irrational means making sure you don't pass out from a concussion or something in the next few hours, then fine, I'm being irrational. Would you just sit down and let me take care of things?"

"No, I will not let you take care of things. I am a grown woman and I can take care of myself." She maneuvered her way around Booth (which was no small feat considering how often and easily he blocked her movements, but she was getting good at it) and made a beeline to the containers on the counter. "You can stay here for dinner if you want, if that will put your paranoia to rest." She opened up the containers and gave them each a sniff. Hmm, still smells edible. Popping the curry into the microwave, she turned and saw that Booth was leaning against the wall, staring at her with one of those mysterious expressions that she couldn't quite decipher yet.

"What?" She asked, feeling somewhat self-conscious and defensive. "I'm sorry if you think I'm being rude but-"

"No, Bones, it's okay." His voice was soft and a half-smile crept across his face. "I should know better than to get in your way by now."

"Yes, you should." She couldn't help but smile. "But I should know better too. I know how fiercely protective you are about your friends and family. You're just doing your best to exert control in the aftermath of an uncontrollable situation."

He laughed, but it sounded forced, and he didn't meet her eyes. "I guess you've got me all figured out, huh?"

If Angela were here, she would say, 'Sweetie, this is one of those moments where a simple touch would mean a lot.' Nothing serious had happened to her tonight, but plenty of chaos had reigned when those balconies had collapsed. It was just random chance that resulted in them being at the opera house at the same time to question a possible suspect. Cuts and scrapes aside, she was fine, even if she had been hit by some debris. And amongst that chaos had been Booth, constantly at her side, barking questions at officers, and generally being... well, Booth.

Brennan remembered that when Booth had been sent to the hospital after the bomb, she had ached to rush back to the lab, to put the pieces together and find the evidence that would bring down the criminal who had planted the bomb. Work was her respite, her way of gaining control of the situation. Booth was simply exercising his own desire for some measure of control. It was just who he was; he was compelled to protect the people he loved.

The people he loved...

"Seeley..." She walked over to him and placed her hands on his arms, looking up at his suddenly puzzled face. "I know you think I'm ungrateful, but I'm not. I truly and deeply appreciate the level of concern you have for me. It's... flattering. There isn't anyone else in the entire world that I'd rather have watching out for me." She lowered her eyes and rested her head against his chest. It felt comforting. Safe. It was strange at how easy it was to be like this with him. Maybe she had made herself at home with him without even noticing it herself.

"Thank you, Temperance." He said after a moment, his head resting against hers with a sigh. "I don't think you're ungrateful. I just want you to understand how worried I was about you today. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who does." She felt his hands wrapping around her waist and he placed a brief kiss at her temple, but she didn't make anything of it. She didn't want to, didn't want to think too much about the heat that was unfurling in the pit of her stomach. She just wanted to stand as they were standing, warm and secure and holding each other like there was nothing else in the world for them to do. And there wasn't.

At least not until the microwave beeped.

---

"I can't believe you still had those skewers." Booth said with a shake of his head, watching as Brennan swallowed the last of her beer. "Wasn't your little squint party over a week ago?"

She narrowed her eyes at him half-heartedly. "Angela puts a great deal of effort into making sure I have enough food to sustain myself during busy cases, like the one we are in the middle of right now, for example. You of all people should know how busy I am, how busy we both are."

Booth raised his beer in toast. "Well, here's to hoping that the collapse at the opera house had nothing to do with our suspect. Otherwise things are going to get a lot more complicated."

"I can't think of any possible motivation he would have had for creating that kind of property damage." She trailed off, pondering on the point. Motivation wasn't her strong suit. Too much psychology involved. It was more Booth's thing.

"Y'know, we've both had a long day. Let's not talk about work for a while, okay?" Booth stood up and began to gather the plates on the table, his face brightening as he thought of something to talk about. "Parker dropped by yesterday. You will not believe what he's obsessed with now."

Brennan smiled and let the man talk to his heart's content. She actually really enjoyed hearing Booth talk about his son, it animated him in a way that nothing else did. He was talking about Parker's newly discovered interest in robots, and Brennan couldn't help but think about how well they knew each other now. She knew she could have interjected anthropological facts about adolescent cognitive development at any moment and Booth wouldn't have batted an eye. But she didn't, because she was enjoying his story. They were relaxing on her couch, and she felt absolutely at ease with him at her side, his leg brushing up against hers comfortingly. The contact felt nice, almost made her reach out and grab his hand with hers. His eyes sparkled and he was smiling so widely, she looked at him and she couldn't help but think... why had it taken so long for her to get to this point?

He paused for a second. "You have the strangest look on your face right now. Care to tell me what you're thinking?"

She smiled at him. "You're cute."

Silence. "What?"

"You're cute." She repeated. Had she spoken too quietly the first time? Booth usually had impeccable hearing.

"Ah. Well, uh... thanks." He tilted his head to the side, and his face started to flush. Brennan found that interesting. She wouldn't have expected someone as experienced with women as Booth to blush at a simple statement commenting on his attractiveness.

Unless, she hypothesized, the statement presented with a unique physiological reaction due to it's source.

Hmm. He had kissed her tonight, but that had been different somehow, protective and caring and not at all inclusive to flushed faces and stammered replies. Perhaps there was a opportunity for her to explore this new avenue of possibility. She found herself wondering what it would be like to brush her thumb across his lips, or to kiss that spot where his jaw met his neck, or a hundred other different actions that were currently swirling around in her mind. I think that it would be very nice. Extremely nice.

"Any particular reason why you're suddenly telling me this, Temperance?" There was a mischievous look on his still flushed face as he leaned towards her, their faces impossibly close to each other.

"Yes." She leaned in herself and put her hands on his shoulders. "You are selfless, caring, and wonderful and I am going to kiss you now."

He didn't even have a chance to respond before she pressed her lips against his. Booth sighed and kissed her back with a touch of restraint, like he was trying to stop himself from combusting. But when his arm snaked around her waist, she moved closer and pressed herself against him, savouring the heat of his body against hers. She felt a low moan come from him and his restraint fell to pieces. Booth was all fire and passion like she never could have envisioned, his tongue hot and sweet against hers. His lips were warm and insistent as he tangled his hands in her hair, pushing her back against the couch. She pushed back against him, running her hand down his chest to his stomach, feeling dizzy when his breath hitched at her touch. He moved his hands from her hair and gently trailed his fingers from her neck to her collarbone, then followed his movements with hungry kisses that sent a jolt through her entire body.

She had been right; it did feel nice. But she had an idea that it would be even nicer if Booth wasn't wearing a shirt. She started undoing the buttons, wondering how many items she could remove before he-

"Wait..." Booth broke away from his kisses and looked at her questioningly. "Are you sure about this?"

"Yes, of course I'm sure." She replied with rushed annoyance, pulling him towards her and tugging at his shirt.

"You really sure?" He mumbled, watching her struggle with the clothing. "Because just a few hours ago you were almost-"

Brennan sat back in exasperation, placed her hands on her hips, and all but growled at him. "Seeley Booth, if you don't let me take your clothes off right now, I swear I will hurt you."

His words were breathless as he pulled her back towards him. "You don't have to tell me twice..."

It was, if possible, even harder to remove Booth's shirt on her second attempt, because as she worked on the buttons he was relentlessly nipping and kissing the side of her neck, causing her hands to falter and stall. But she was slowly making progress, until he cupped her breast and ran his thumb across her already sensitive nipple.

She gasped. "Seeley..." Abandoning his shirt, she pushed him backwards and kissed him ferociously as he continued to caress and stroke her. It felt incredible when he touched her, and Brennan reciprocated by brushing her hand across the hardness between his legs, eliciting a ragged moan from his mouth.

"Do you think it might be a good idea to..." Booth struggled with the words as her tongue darted in his ear, his voice heavy with desire. "... maybe move to the bed?"

Brennan didn't say anything. With one final kiss, she stood up and tugged at Booth's hand, leading him into the bedroom. "Less talk and even less clothing."

"It's not my fault you didn't get anything off of me." He was smirking but pulling his tie and shirt off at the same time.

She gave him a pointed look as she pulled off her blouse. "Actually, I'm pretty sure it is."

---

Brennan had never been one for the ceremony of having sex. She was, after all, a goal oriented person. When she was with a man she found attractive, there was only one thing on her mind: the endpoint. It wasn't that much of an issue for her. She managed to find men who were strictly all about satisfying biological urges (Angela: "Honey, please do us all a favour and refer to it as a booty call from now on.") who wanted to get to the point as quickly as she did.

Booth was not like that.

She had attempted to remove all of her clothing at once, but he had stopped her. This had irked her quite a bit, as she was fixated on the fact that she really, really wanted to have sex with Booth, right now dammit. But he had taken her hands in his and whispered for her to stop rushing.

"Just slow down a bit, Temperance." The sound of him murmuring her name against her neck only served to heighten her desire. "No harm in taking our time and making it special."

"Anthropologically speaking, the majority of events where significance is related to the sexual act usually depends on the amount of partners an individual has had before." Brennan couldn't help letting the statement roll off her tongue. She was becoming steadily more frustrated. "Both of us have had multiple partners over our lifetime, so there's nothing particularly special about this."

Booth backed away, off-put by her remark. "Are you saying that you don't find this special in any way?"

"No, that's not what I mean. It's just... " She sighed and stepped closer to Booth, putting her hands against his bare chest. She never was good with explaining her emotions. "I like getting to the point. And if it was any other man who told me to slow down, I might have agreed..." She started to punctuate her words with kisses. "... but with you, I just want to get to the point."

She didn't know what else to say, so she ended her explanation by pulling him closer and kissing him hard, trying to show Booth why she was in such a hurry because she really, really wanted him and how years of tension she never knew existed were suddenly driving her insane, and how she didn't know how she had existed before this, and she was beginning to forget what the world had been like before they had kissed, before their eyes burning into each other with lust and desire, before their clothes were completely gone and their bodies were tangled together, before the sensation of him inside her, this feeling like an electrical storm, like a meteor shower, and she didn't believe in god but she found herself saying the word over and over again, and after she came with his name on her lips he was holding onto her and looking at her like no one had ever looked at her before and she thought she might cry a little from it all, so she did. But only a little bit. Booth didn't say anything about it, just held her as her mind floated blissfully.

After a long time she felt coherent again, and looked up from Booth's embrace to see that he was staring at her with that mysterious expression again. Mesmerized. That's what it is.

"Wow. That was..." Brennan didn't know how to finish the statement, but she had the impression that it wasn't necessary for her to do so anyway. She contented herself by allowing her hands to rove over his body. She didn't think she'd ever be able to stop touching him from now on.

Booth continued to smile at her with that mesmerized expression, like he couldn't take his eyes off of her even if he tried. "Yeah, I know. But next time let's take a little more time to enjoy ourselves." He mirrored her actions by tracing a path with his hands from the small of her back to her thigh, leaving a trail of heat in its wake.

She couldn't help but laugh. "You're already thinking about the next time?"

His smile turned cheeky as he shrugged. "Yeah, well, I'm thinking ten, fifteen minutes from now. Tops."

Brennan continued to laugh, a part of her astounded at how comfortable they were with their arms around each other in bed, at how easy it was to look into his eyes like this. "You were right, Seeley." She said as she kissed him softly. "This is special." She said it matter-of-factly, like it was an unalienable truth that neither of them could deny. And she knew it was the truth.

-------------end-------------