Title: Orbital Decay
Author: smitha-r
Rating: PG
Fandom: Bones
Pairing: Brennan/Booth
Summary: Brennan tries to figure something out about Booth, while they are spending some time together out at a club with the rest of the squints.
Notes: Spoilers for 2x09 - Woman In The Sand. Unbetaed.


"I know I've mentioned this before, but I don't understand how women walk in these things." Brennan was perilously marching down the stairs with stuttering, toddler-like steps, holding onto the railing and keeping her eyes fixed on the floor with an almost comical level of attention.

Booth stood at the foot of the steps, wearing a cheeky grin as he glanced at her stiletto heels. "Well, aside from the fact that it takes probably takes years of practice, you have to admit it's pretty hot."

She continued tottering down the long stairway, forehead knotted with concentration as she struggled against the effects of the alcohol. Her mind was still relatively sharp, but coordination was always the first thing to go whenever she drank. "Hotness is a qualitative term and has no empirical value. Regardless of that fact, they still hurt."

"That's because you've been dancing all night, Bones." He couldn't resist pressing further, remembering the image of Brennan jumping around in her apartment to the tune of 'Hot Blooded'. "Have you been taking lessons or something? Because your dancing was... a lot better." More than just better: amazing. A quiet smile crept onto his face at the thought.

She paused her treacherous descent down the steps to look down at Booth, her gaze slightly glassy. "Actually, I have be taking lessons of sorts. Angela has been giving me advice and helping me practice." If I fall over, I'm going to murder Angela for bringing me here. Then I'm going to murder Hodgins for all the alcohol he foisted on me.

Booth's eyes went wide with surprise. "Really? Why the sudden interest in dancing?"

"She tricked me into it." She was trying to look irritated, but she had been enjoying herself too much all night to keep a grin off of her face. "She wanted me to come out to a dance club with her a few months ago. I tried to explain to her that I couldn't dance very well and didn't have the appropriate clothing. But then she offered to help me out and I couldn't say no. Hence the dancing advice and several days of tiring shopping marathons."

"And then when the master finally decided the grasshopper was ready for her debut, she decided it would be fun to invite the rest of the squints to come to the club too?" Booth ventured, eyes full of mirth as the music blared dimly from the dance floor.

Brennan went back to staring at the floor as she walked down another step. "I don't know what that first part means, so I'm going to hypothesize that you're talking about the fact that Angela was insane enough to invite you, Zack, and Hodgins to join us." She was still staring at her feet when she smiled tentatively. "But tonight was rather entertaining, to be truthful. I haven't had fun like this in a long time..."

She was about the take the last step when she misjudged the distance and went toppling towards the floor. Booth rushed forward without thinking, catching her around the waist as she fell against him.

"Whoa, careful there, Bones." He murmured, trying to keep his voice light and joking while instantly distracted by a multitude of things; her soft hair brushing his jaw, his chest pressing against her firm breasts, her shimmery green shirt riding up so that his hands were touching her bare, warm skin...


If there ever was a time to take the Lord's name in vain, this was it. But distraction turned into worry when Brennan didn't pull back from his grasp after several seconds. Booth wondered if she had actually hurt herself while falling.

"You okay?" He tried to look down at her, which was hard with her face so close to him.

She didn't look up at him, but kept her gaze straight forward instead. "Booth, are you wearing cologne?"

He laughed nervously, acutely aware of the lump in his throat. "I always wear cologne. You made fun of me for it when we were working on our third or fourth case, remember?" His body had frozen somehow, unwilling to release Brennan from his hold and equally unwilling to pull her closer towards him.

She shook her head slightly, auburn hair sweeping against his skin. "This one's different. You usually wear that musky scent that Rebecca gave you. This one has more citrus in it, and something else..." She trailed off, genuinely puzzled.

And without warning, she put her hands around him, gliding closer, and pressed her nose against the side of his neck, breathing in deeply.

Oh Jesus... He slipped his hands further around her waist without thinking, his heart pounding like a jackhammer as he resisted the urge to moan. How such a simple action could be so alarmingly seductive was beyond his comprehension, and before his whole mind turned into mush he briefly wondered if this had also been part of Angela's advice to Brennan as well. She exhaled slowly, her breath rushing past his ear, and her lower lip grazed against his skin as she pulled back. He let his eyes close momentarily, sighing at the delicious sensation. When he opened his eyes her face was full of satisfaction.

"Juniper. Most likely Juniperus bermudiana. I should have known; it's a key ingredient in the creation of men's fragrances." She smiled at him, hands still around his neck. "I like juniper. It's very... earthy."

He watched her as she slipped around him and ambled back towards the dance floor, where the rest of their group were no doubt having the time of their lives. He watched as she walked away, heart still hammering and head still spinning, and after a moment he followed her like a moth to a flame. He had been caught in her web for a long time, but now he had a feeling that he was ensnared for good. But that, of course, was by no means a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all, he thought as he caught up with her, smiling widely on the dance floor, and pulled her into his arms.