Title: Operation Caribbean
Rating: This will be an M rated chapter in… maybe the next one.
Disclaimer: Fox own, I don't… yak, yak.
Author's Note: Well, I got this chapter finished, finally. I'm back to work now and anyone who knows me will know that I am going to be very tired. Of course I will try to input as much as I can into this story, and hopefully, in one or maybe two chapters, this will be wrapped up as a 'short story'. Don't forget to review – and thank you to everyone who has been taking the time to tell me what they think.
Do I want to share a cab home? She played his offhanded comment through in her mind. No I do not! Wasn't he listening to anything she had said? Apparently not.
Brennan pulled a cool breath into her lungs and it did nothing to calm her irritation. "I think," she said patiently, controlled, "I am going to go back to work and finish my reports." She thought of stale Thai food and knew that she desperately wanted to go home. Booth frowned, as though he had no idea what had bothered her so much.
"Oh... kay?" he said, massaging his brow. "Do you want some help?" Overhead, clouds had begun to gather and she hoped it wasn't going to rain while they stood at the kerbside debating what they wanted to do – literally and figuratively. She didn't want to be soaked as well as irritated. "Hey?" Booth bent his head, leaning towards her, a soft, almost tender concern etched into his features and worse, his eyes. "Are you alright? You look pissed." She waved her hand, dismissing him.
"I don't get pissed," she replied and he laughed. Laughed as though he were mocking her. "What?" she asked, indignant. "I don't!"
"Oh Bones," he said, dropping his hand to her shoulder. "Everyone gets pissed sometimes. It's all part of being human." Of course she did. It didn't mean that she liked it, though. The loss of emotional control was one of those elements of humanity that kept her awake at night. Why couldn't she look at things in her life objectively? "Come on," he said, easing his arm around her shoulder now. She struggled not to stiffen. "Forget about work. Let's go home." He said 'home' as though it were something shared and not individual. As though they would somehow be going to the same abode. Brennan had long since given up on setting up a home with any man – not just Booth. Relationships in her life had always been decidedly casual.
"I won't have time tomorrow," she said, arching her spine as if to slide away from him. "We have that meeting with Cullen." She imagined she would need plenty of rest for that. Not only was Cullen extremely and sometimes painfully thorough but each time they were called to attend one of his evaluation meetings, he challenged them to justify their partnership. Despite solving dozens of cases, putting murderers behind bars and settling mysteries that were decades long, Cullen still wanted to ensure the FBI were getting value for their money. Still, she liked him in a dysfunctional sort of way.
Booth thrust his hand out towards a passing cab and it slowed to a halt. "Come on, Bones," he urged, opening the rear door. "Life doesn't have to revolve around work." She glared at him, astounded that he had the audacity to say such things to her! Wasn't it always him that brought their conversation back from life and into work? "Don't you ever dance? Go to the theatre? The movies?" he frowned. "I guess not the movies... but the theatre?" Brennan slid into the cab, folding her legs and crossing her arms. She was affronted that he was suggesting that she was somehow boring!
"If I was interesting," she barked, "I might have went away with Sully." Booth slammed the door and gave the driver Brennan's address and then his own. "Maybe I have no 'sense of adventure'." Booth clicked his tongue, vaguely aware that he might have offended her. "I like to dance, actually. And sometimes, I go to the theatre." She hadn't been in years, but when she had been, twice, she had enjoyed it. "And when do you do anything that isn't related to work?" He reached out and took her hand, smoothing her fingers straight, easing them from a tight fist.
"I play ten-pin bowling," he reminded her. "I restore cars." She scoffed.
"I read and listen to music and... write!"
"You write about anthropology which means, Brennan, that you write about work. Invalid point." She shook her head, waves of russet hair tumbling over her shoulder.
"Not always. I write... personal projects, too." Perhaps it was the wine, she thought. Ordinarily she would never have told Booth about her personal indulgence. It wasn't exactly erotica. There was more to it than sex. In some stories, there was no sex at all – just the implication of it. The implication of desire and fantasy. "There's no anthropology in those stories." Not in the literal sense, anyhow. But then, human nature and desire all boiled down to anthropological needs anyhow. Booth had released her hand and his head was tilted, his eyes roving her features curiously.
He slumped back against the seat, quite unsure of what he should say.
"Can I read them?" he asked eventually and she shook her head.
"Absolutely not." Silence consumed them again. He wasn't exactly hurt that she wouldn't permit him into the world of her stories, only curious that perhaps he somehow existed in that world, too. Everyone suspected it, even Brennan herself. He glanced sideways at her, surprised to find that she was fiddling with the button of her cuff. Fiddling! "I seen Cats once," she said, her head bowed. He frowned.
"In the theatre!" she said impatiently. "I liked their costumes. I went with Angela." Booth smiled. That seemed a very Angela-like choice. Flamboyant and colourful. He had liked the artist from their first flirtatious meeting. Angela represented harmless fun and he hoped that one day Brennan would find that part of her own personality. "Afterwards, we drank margaritas in a Spanish bar in DC. We were so drunk that night." Brennan sounded almost wistful and Booth, gleeful.
"You got drunk? Willingly?" Temperance sneered, her icicle blue eyes narrowed in half-contempt. "Remember when you got high on Crystal Meth? What I wouldn't give to see that again…" She felt her shoulders loosen then stiffen upon remembering the banging headache that was the aftermath of being high. "Although, it was hardly your fault that it was packed into the wall…" He smirked, turning to the passing street lamps with a crease at the corner of his lips were his smile had not faded entirely.
She remembered those days when their partnership was new and full of innuendo and wonderings of 'what if?'. These days, the 'what ifs?' still persisted in their lives, except the probability was much higher. Brennan felt that a shift between them was somehow inevitable, but she was damn tired of waiting on it. The Caribbean, with its liquid diamond waters and warm beaches and the promise of sex, lured her.
"Hey?" she felt him nudge her, drawing her reigning her imagination back. "What would you love to do, most in the world?" She thought the question was too profound for a woman who had drank an entire bottle of red wine, alone. "And I don't mean professionally." She massaged her brow in contemplation.
"Going up in the 'Vomit Comet' was…" Booth shook his head, rolling his dark eyes skyward as if in disappoint or impatience… or both.
"Something you haven't done before," he said and her mind's eye flashed through all of the things she had already done in life and she realised there had been plenty she had done, and so much she still had not. "I'd like to skydive, watch the world spiral around me… feel the cool air whipping against my face. Tandem, attached to someone… feeling as though there were no one else in the entire universe but us." She thought it sounded terribly romantic, but somehow she suspected that Booth wasn't thinking about romance. Just companionship, a sense of belonging and being.
"I'd like to walk the Great Wall of China," she said after a long pause. "Absorb the tranquillity and the culture. I'd like to sit in a Japanese garden, with trickling waterfalls and not think about work." She'd finally admitted that there was a part of her, however repressed, that sometimes wanted to pretend there was no such thing as work, science, anthropology or death.
"That's a nice thought," Booth nodded after a long moment.
Overhead, the rain had begun, slanting noisily against the windshield of the cab, against the windows. Together they lapsed into silence, and when the cab slid to a stop outside Brennan's building, she felt half relieved and half disappointed that there would be no further revelations. Offering him the fare, which he declined with the wave of his hand, she stood in the rain, peering at him.
If she asked him… if she suggested that he come up for coffee, there would be no refusal, and they would easily slide into the role of lovers. He looked at her with quiet expectation and she almost opened her mouth… almost spoke the words. But then, how could she be sure? Booth needed to make the first move, now that she had refused to leave with Sully. He knew her feelings…
His eyebrow rose.
"Goodnight, Booth," she said, pushing the door closed.