Summary: It's New Year's Eve and Booth wants Brennan to think of all the possibilities the New Year could bring.
Disclaimer: I, in no way, shape or form, own BONES or any characters associated with the show. Duh-uh.
Author's Notes: This is just a little something I thought of while I was at work. Since I didn't have an opportunity (or a good story idea) for a Christmas fic, I decided to write one for New Year.
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year, fraught with wondrous, endless possibilities!
Light reflected off the shiny colorful decorations hanging from the ceiling and walls as Booth moved through the crowd to the open bar. Cam followed close behind, gripping the agent's proffered hand so she wouldn't lose him in the sea of Jeffersonian employees, administrators and numerous benefactors.
Loud music with a heavy bass and upbeat tempo pulsated through several speakers set up around the dance floor. Booth grinned and shook his head at the sight of several red-faced, intoxicated, rhythm-challenged squints attempting to keep pace with the music.
"What's your poison tonight?" he shouted as he pulled Cam to his side upon reaching the bar. "Martini? Cosmopolitan? Or some other equally girly drink?"
"An appletini would be great," she shouted in reply. Cam smiled as she watched her date lean across the bar to order their drinks. There was no denying that Seeley Booth was, without question, the most handsome man in the room that evening. Her dark eyes scanned the room, catching several women eyeing Booth's backside. She grinned at the familiar reaction the opposite sex displayed around the agent. The only woman who had ever proven to be the exception was Temperance Brennan.
Cam felt a flicker of jealousy course through her at the thought of the anthropologist. The squints had tried to convince Brennan to join them at the Jeffersonian's New Year's Eve Ball but the good doctor had refused, citing several work obligations that had been put off due to FBI cases. Even Booth had spoken to her in hopes of changing the stubborn anthropologist's mind. If there was one person that Brennan would listen to it was Booth. However, as she glanced around the room once again, Cam noticed that Brennan had still not made an appearance. That fact also had not gone unnoticed by her date who had continued to check the entrance every ten minutes since they had arrived.
As the music switched to a slow song, with lyrics telling the audience about true love, Cam's gaze strayed to the dance floor. The image of Angela and Jack, their bodies melded together, swaying to the music, caused her to smile. She watched as they laughed, talked and shared subtle caresses. Their affection for each other was more than obvious to anyone in the room.
"Here you go," Booth interrupted his date's reverie as he handed her a drink. He cast a glance toward the entrance before bringing his glass of scotch to his lips.
"Dr. Saroyan, Agent Booth." Zach nervously straightened his bowtie and smoothed his tuxedo jacket as he approached them.
"Kid, it's a party. You don't have to be so formal." Booth patted the young doctor's shoulder with an open hand as Brennan had instructed him to a few weeks ago. She never did fully explain why the gesture meant so much to the kid.
Zach looked down at the agent's hand and smiled slightly. "But it's a formal party Agent Booth. As a general rule I don't like to attend such formal functions as they tend to make me nervous and nauseous…"
Booth quickly removed his hand from Zach's shoulder and took a step back.
"Zach, it's okay to be nervous," Cam said as she patted his arm. "Not everyone is equipped to deal with large crowds of people. Now with that being said, has anyone told you how nice you look this evening?"
The young man smiled and nodded. "Angela did. She helped me with my bowtie." He cleared his throat nervously as he eyed his boss. "She also suggested that I work on my social skills by requesting a member of the opposite sex to dance with me…although I can't really dance…"
"Would you like to dance with me Zach?" Cam inquired as she chuckled.
"I think I was supposed to ask you," Zach countered as Booth rolled his eyes.
"Why didn't conduct this little experiment on Angela?" Booth asked as his eyes drifted once again to the entrance.
Zach followed the agent's gaze to the entrance as he answered. "Because Angela is here with Hodgins and Hodgins glares at anyone who even dares to speak to her. He is, as Dr. Brennan would say, exhibiting territorial Alpha Male tendencies—as you do with her."
Booth quickly returned his attention to Zach. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I believe I was rather clear on what I meant," he replied as he looked from Cam to Booth. "By the way, when Dr. Brennan says she not going to do something, the odds tend to be favorable that she won't." Booth cast a questioning glance at Zach as he continued. "That was the second time in the last three minutes that you looked over at the entrance."
"No it wasn't." Even as the words left his mouth, he knew it was a lie. Apparently so did the two people staring at him.
Cam stepped toward him and kissed his cheek. "I'm going to dance with Dr. Addy," she said softly. "You go check on Brennan, see if you can talk her into joining the team before midnight."
"No Booth, go. You're not going to be able to enjoy yourself until you know that your partner is alright—I get it. Just be back here before midnight to ring in the New Year with me, okay?"
He leaned in close to her face and smiled before kissing her. "Don't let the kid break your toes."
Zach's eyes grew wide at Booth's comment as Cam chuckled. "I won't," she promised as she pushed him toward the door. She wasn't as concerned about her toes as she was her heart as she watched him jog out of the ballroom.
Cam pushed down her jealously as she took Zach's arm and walked out to the dance floor.
As he pulled into the Jeffersonian parking structure, Booth immediately noticed that Brennan's car was not in its usual space. He stopped the SUV and searched the parking lot to no avail. His pulse quickened as he quickly slipped his cell phone from his jacket and pressed '1' on his speed dial. Since the incident with the Gravedigger, Booth found that he felt slightly panicked when he didn't know where Brennan was.
The sound of Brennan's cell phone continuously ringing did nothing to help his anxiety. Booth untied his bowtie and undid the top button of his shirt as he left a message on her voice mail.
"Hey Bones, it's me. If you could give me a call when you get this message..." He pushed 'end' and quickly dialed her home phone, sighing heavily when she didn't pick up.
Booth snapped his cell phone closed and sped out of the parking structure to find his Bones.
Brennan sipped her glass of wine as she stood on the small balcony of her apartment looking at the view of the city. Her cheeks were rosy, partly from the effects of the wine and partly from the cold night air. As she took a deep breath, Brennan listened to the sound of the party being thrown by her next door neighbor. Rock music reverberated off the walls and windows as people chattered and laughed.
She rolled her eyes before returning to the warmth of her living room. She had declined her friends' invitations to attend the Jeffersonian ball in favor of working on the remains of a Mayan warrior only to find that she couldn't concentrate on her work. As she rubbed her arms to knock off the remaining chill, Brennan contemplated the events of the past year. It certainly had not been a kind one to her.
From taking the life of another human being to being buried alive, she still found the image of her father and brother driving away, leaving her behind once again, the most haunting. Brennan sat down on her couch and downed the rest of her wine as she leaned back, listening to the sounds of the party next door. As she contemplated returning to the quiet confines of her office, she heard a loud knock at her door.
"The party's next door," she yelled as she placed her wine glass on the coffee table.
She heard the knock again, a little harder and more insistent than last time, accompanied by her partner's voice. "Bones, open the door!"
"Booth?" She glanced at her wristwatch, noting that it was almost midnight, as she moved to open the door.
A frustrated Booth greeted her. "You know Bones, generally people answer their phone when their friends call them," he said as he moved past her into the apartment.
"Do we have a case?" She closed the door and turned to watch her tuxedo clad partner pace around her living room.
"No, we don't have a case."
"Then why were you calling me?"
"To talk you into coming to the party…"
Brennan sighed as she walked into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of water. "I told you that I was not interested in attending…"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he interrupted. "You also said you were going to be working at the lab and you weren't there. Then you didn't answer your cell phone or your home phone. I thought…" He stared at her, taking in her confused look and relief flooded through him.
"You thought what?"
"The Gravedigger?" Her blue eyes bore into his and she knew she had guessed correctly. "Booth I'm fine. I just wanted to spend a quiet night at home."
The sound of loud music and drunken partiers next door flooded through her apartment. Booth grinned as he ran his hand through his hair. "Well this atmosphere certainly promotes the quiet contemplative state you were seeking."
"I didn't say anything about spending my evening contemplating this past year." She crossed her arms and stared at him.
"Bones I know you, remember?" He walked into the kitchen area, stopping in front of her. "Anything you wanna talk about?"
Brennan shrugged and settled her gaze on his chest. "Why dwell on the past? There's nothing I can do about the occurrences of this past year."
"No there's not but discussing how you feel about something Bones doesn't mean you're dwelling on it." He watched as she struggled with the idea of opening up to him and was disappointed to see her walls firmly in place as her eyes once again met his.
"Why didn't you want to go to the party?" he questioned. "Surely you don't have something against celebrating New Year's."
"It's simply a means of marking time," she replied.
"So I'm guessing that you didn't make any resolutions."
"The purpose of making resolutions is for one to show that one has control over one's life and actions," she stated.
"And does one?" he asked as he grinned at her.
"Yes, everyday without drinking to excess or bothering my neighbors. So you see I would not have benefited from attending a party."
"Ah, of course. You missed seeing Zach dance though." The sight of her eyebrows rising in surprise amused him.
"Zach doesn't dance."
"Yeah he mentioned that before he asked Cam to do the 'Electric Boogaloo' with him."
"I don't know what that means."
He smiled and shook his head as he placed his hands on her shoulders. "Some people tend to get a little sad around the New Year, thinking about all of the bad things that have happened to them. Personally I look forward to the New Year. Do you know why?"
As Brennan shook her head her long hair brushed over his hands. "Because it's a clean slate. After midnight, the possibilities are endless for the next year. We don't forget the past Bones but we learn from it and grow."
"So what you're saying is that next year when I don't answer my cell phone, you're not going to panic and run around DC searching for me?" she joked.
"Absolutely not—you get into far too much trouble for me to ever stop doing that."
They stared at each other and smiled as the intoxicated partiers next door began counting down to midnight.
"Ten, nine, eight, seven, six…"
Booth brushed a strand of hair from Brennan's forehead that had fallen over her eye. His hand slowly moved down the side of her face, his fingertips grazing her skin.
"Three, two, one! Happy New Year!!"
He leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek, his lips slightly brushing the side of her mouth in the process. "Happy New Year Temperance," he whispered. "Just think of the possibilities that are out there for you."
Booth leaned back slightly and stared at her as the sound of people singing "Auld Lang Syne" drifted through the quiet space. A twinge of guilt flooded through him as he suddenly remembered Cam's request that he return to the party before midnight, yet he didn't want to leave Brennan.
"What does this song mean anyway?" he joked as he brushed another lock of hair from Brennan's face.
"It's actually a poem written by Robert Burns and literally translates to 'old long since'," Brennan explained. "While many countries use this song to signify the start of a New Year, there are some areas of the world like Taiwan that use it as a song for graduations and funerals."
"Again I ask—why do you know things like this?" He chuckled as he removed his hands from her shoulders and walked toward the door.
"Booth," she called out as he walked into the hallway.
He turned and smiled at her. "Yeah Bones?"
"Happy New Year."
Booth winked at her as his smile widened. "Possibilities Temperance…possibilities."
As he closed the door behind him, Brennan's hand fluttered to her face where Booth had kissed her. The New Year had definitely started out better than she anticipated.
The party was still going strong when Booth entered the ballroom. He had to give the geeks of the Jeffersonian credit—they really knew how to party.
"Booth," Angela called out as she approached him. "No Bren huh?"
"No. Bones wasn't in a party kind of mood."
The artist sighed and shook her head causing dark tendrils of hair to dance around her face. "I hate that she spent the New Year alone."
"She wasn't alone. I went by to check on her."
"Well that explains why Cam was a little, um, tense around midnight."
Booth grimaced slightly. "Crap," he whispered. "Where is she?"
"Icing her feet after cutting a rug with Zach," Angela answered.
"You helped him with his bowtie but you couldn't give him dance lessons?"
"I have very sensitive feet…and the good sense not to let Zach step on them," she replied as she watched the agent walk away.
He found her sitting with a very apologetic Zach, cursing under her breath.
"I told you that I couldn't really dance," he was quick to offer when he spotted Booth.
The agent grinned at his date as she rolled her eyes. "He's right."
"I thought he might have been exaggerating," Cam said.
"I don't really understand why someone would exaggerate about something they perceive as a weakness…."
"Well, just make a resolution to be a better dancer, kid." Booth pulled Zach out of the chair and pushed him away from Cam. "Happy New Year."
Cam glared at him as he occupied the chair where Zach had been sitting. "It was nice of you to come back since you're my ride home."
"Cam, I'm sorry…really. Bones wasn't in her office and she wouldn't pick up her cell phone or her home phone," he explained.
"Did you think that maybe she just wanted to be left alone?"
"Yeah but when Bones wants to be left alone, that's when she really needs someone."
"And of course that someone had to be you," Cam added softly.
"You're the person that encouraged me to talk to her," he reminded her in a firm tone.
Her jaw clenched as she met his gaze. "You're right, I did."
Booth took her hand in his and squeezed it. "I really am sorry that I didn't get back to you before midnight but I had to make sure Bones was okay."
"And was she?"
"She will be," he answered. "I told her to think of all of the possibilities that this year has to offer."
Cam nodded and smiled. "Let's move this celebration back to my place," she suggested, "where you can rub my poor abused feet."
"That's one possibility," he murmured as he leaned forward and kissed her. "I'll get our coats so we can leave."
Cam watched as he left to gather their coats. She pondered the possibilities of her future with him. While she was hopeful that their relationship would work this time, Cam was also aware that if Brennan or Booth ever decided to acknowledge their feelings for each other beyond work, she wouldn't stand a chance.
Booth returned and helped Cam with her coat. "Happy New Year Cam."
She smiled and caressed his cheek, satisfied that at least for now he was with her. "Happy New Year Booth."