Disclaimer: No, they don't belong to me.
A/N: This is just a short (shortest I've written) and (hopefully) sweet fic. That scene where Brennan told Angela how she run whenever a relationship got to be more than casual got me thinking. Her relationship with Booth is not casual, so this fic was born. I wrote it last night at about 4am, so I hope it's ok. And at the end it is kind of vague, but that's just how I think a conversation of this sort between them would go.
"Wow, I still can't believe it," Bones said as she saw Angela and Hodgins dance around the dance floor, both wearing huge grins. She and Booth were sitting at a table at the edge of the small dance floor in Hodgins's housegarden where the entenmologist and the artist had thrown a small dinner party to celebrate their anniversary.
"Bones," Booth said. "You keep saying that but it's their first year anniversary, I'd have thought you were used to it by now." He said as he turned from watching the happy couple dance to look at Bones.
"I know," Bones said as she put her elbow on the table and her chin on her fist. "It's just that every now and then it hits me again. Angela is married and she looks happy."
"She is happy," Booth said as he sat back in his chair with his beer and smirked at her. "See, Bones, marriage is not the end of happiness."
"I guess," Bones conceded. "You know, back when Angela was thinking about marrying Jack, she asked me if I regretted letting Sully sail away."
The topic came out of the blue and took Booth aback so that it took him a few seconds before he could answer, "And what did you say?" He finally asked.
"I said that I've made a decision and regrets were useless." She answered.
"Yeah, that sounds just like you," Booth said with a small chuckle.
Bones looked at him with that face that meant she wasn't sure whether he was making fun of her or not and Booth just smiled at her. After a few moments, she decided to ignore him and went on, "Later I told her that whenever a relationship seemed to be more than casual, I got . . ."
"Scared," he finished for her when she trailed off even as he wondered what had prompted this type of discussion. Normally, Bones was not one that liked to talk about emotions.
"Yes," she said as she looked up at him. "And she told me that even though she'd like to say no, I was missing a lot by not letting anyone close."
"She's right," Booth said when she stopped talking and seemed to stare off into space. "There's a lot that you can't experience if you're always running from love."
"Yes," she nodded. "And intellectually I know that, it's just that my flight impulse is deeply ingrained. And yet, seeing Angela so happy after what they've went through," she paused and shook her head. "I don't know, I guess I've just been thinking, or maybe rethinking some things."
Booth wasn't sure he liked the sound of that. "So, you regret letting Sully leave now?" He asked and was surprised at how normal and relax his voice sounded when inside he was anything but.
"What?" Bones asked surprised, as her eyes jerked up to his from where she'd been studying the silverware.
"You said you've been rethinking some things," Booth explained, waving his hand. "I just thought . . ."
"Oh, no. Not that. That was the right decision and I have no regrets about it." She said firmly.
"Good, good," Booth nodded and felt himself relax again. "And you don't think the reason you didn't go with him was because you were afraid of getting in too deep?" He couldn't help but ask.
She took her time answering. Her head tilted as she studied the far off wall and really though about it. "No, well, yes, part of it must have been not wanting to get in too deep but I don't think that was the biggest part. I mean, Dr Wyatt was right, I didn't, or don't for that matter, feel capable of just sailing around without purpose. I like my life here, I enjoy it too much and find it too rewarding to just up and leave it like that. And frankly, someone that really knew should have known that." She paused and because this was Booth she said what she had just realized in the last few months. "Plus, the fact that he could just up and leave like that, just leave a job that he's trained for for years, well, it didn't inspire much confidence in his staying power, you know?" She paused to take a sip of her wine and finished, "I've had too many people leave me to be able to feel comfortable being with someone that finds it so easy to leave everything behind. I just wouldn't have felt safe with him."
She paused again and then opened her mouth to say something but changed her mind at the last minute and with a half a laugh closed it again as she turned her head to look at the dance floor again. But Booth knew her too much and was too inquisitive to leave it at that, "What?"
"What, what?" she asked.
"You were going to say something, what was it?" He asked again.
She hesitated another minute and then with a chuckle gave in because she knew he wouldn't give up. "It just, God, this is going to sound like something you or Angela would say and it's way too romantic but, I guess it just didn't feel right."
Booth stared at her for a minute before he burst out laughing, "You're right, that sounds like something I'd say. Guess, you've been around me too long because I never thought I'd hear you say something like that."
Bones just looked at him while he shook his head and grinning took another sip of beer. A few years back, she'd have been offended if someone had laughed at something she'd said but now, she just enjoyed watching Booth laugh.
After another few minutes of silence, she said what had been on her mind for a while. "You've stayed."
"What?" He asked as he turned back to look at her.
She raised her eyes to his and looking at him answered, "You've stayed." She repeated. "Since practically the moment we met you've been here, for the good times and the bad times and the times in between. You're always here; whether it's just to share dinner or to help me deal with the truth about my parents or to hold me if I'm scared or to laugh with me if I'm happy, you're always here. Even when I pushed you, you were still here."
"There's no place I'd rather be," he answered simply, keeping his eyes on hers. "And I'm not going anywhere, even if you start pushing me away again," though she hadn't really done that since about the time he flew to New Orleans to help her when she'd had amnesia.
"I know," she said in the tone of voice that said she was one hundred percent sure of the fact. "And I find it amazing not only that you stay and that I know it but that I've stayed too. Because it occurred to me, that while I've cut short every other relationship that seemed to be more than casual, our relationship is anything but casual and I haven't tried to end it."
"I know," it was his turn to say it. They then stared into each other's eyes and the room seemed to disappear from their universe and the only thing they saw was each other and everything they've gone through.
"Booth, just when did you and I become us?" She asked after what seemed an eternity of looking into his eyes as she leaned towards him.
"I'm not sure, Bones," he answered as he too leaned forward and closer to her and the look in his eyes told her that he understood her meaning. "But I think it was somewhere between the time I picked you up from the airport when you came back from Guatemala and when we left the cemetery after Cleo's funeral."
"Yeah, that's about what I thought," Bones nodded her agreement without taking her eyes from Booth's. "You know, if you were to take a sabbatical and asked me to go with you, I'd go."
The smile that comment brought was small but it lit up his eyes, "I know. But I'd never ask you - at least not for more than a couple of weeks for a vacation."
"I know," she answered with a radiant smile of her own. "And that's why I'd go."
Just then a waiter came by their table and asked if they wanted anything else.
"No, not yet," Booth answered looking directly into Bones's eyes.
"No, not at the moment," she answered and they both knew that their answers also referred to something more personal.
"You know the thing about moments?" Booth asked as the waiter walked away, no doubt thinking that they were rude as neither had even turned to look at him. "They tend to have a very short lifespan."
"Yes, I know," she answered with a grin. "And I have a feeling that this moment," her emphasis made clear that she was referring not to that particular moment in time but more to the phase of their relationship. "is about to end."
"And a much better one is about to begin," he nodded his agreement with her prediction, letting her know that they were on the same page. Both knew that it was important to verbalize what they've communicated through their eyes. "You're going to let me know when it's over, right?"
She nodded as she brought her wine of glass to her lips for a sip, "Yes, you'll be the first to know. But then, you always are, aren't you?"
"Yes, that I am," he said with a satisfied smirk as he sat back on his chair and with a wink in her direction he finally took his eyes from hers and turned towards the dance floor. He saw that Zack was trying to dance hip hop and was not having much success at it and couldn't help but laugh out loud at a particularly innovative step.
Bones smiled at the sound of his laughter and turned to see what had caused it. At the sight of Zack she chuckled too. And as they lost themselves in their friend's celebration, they both knew that a new chapter in their relationship was about to begin. Surprisingly enough, both were looking forward to the change without the fears they had been sure they would feel if they ever took that step. In their place, they only felt exhilaration, excitement and hope.