Title: You And I Are Waiting
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for 2x09 - Aliens In A Spaceship.
Prompt: watch, ocean, bad habits
Author's Notes: Contains some angst and some sex. Much thanks to morgan90 for the beta.
There's only so long someone can wait. It's come to the point that Booth feels like he's been waiting his entire life: to make a name for himself, to see his target make a fatal error, to find that closure he so sorely needs so that he can sleep at night, to fall off the precipice of we-not-quite-there-yet, to sit on this beach and wonder if the pain is ever going to end. Pain that's constantly eroding his sanity, much like the sand being beaten by the waves at his feet. It's not quite summer yet, so this early in the morning the sand is still wet and cold where he sits. It's a direct opposition to the sun above, climbing towards its noontime zenith and steadily baring through the hazy clouds of the east coast mist that surrounds everything. Booth tries not to think about the last time he saw her, about working harder on that case than any other case in his entire life, about trying to push through the denial that she wasn't coming back.
His honed sense of sight catches movement to the side and he sees Angela walking up the beach towards him, dressed in a gauzy blue skirt dotted with flowers and looking utterly Angela. She doesn't wave or smile or make any sort of overt greeting as she comes near; he turns away from her and continues looking out to the watery horizon until Angela sits down next to him, silent as he is as she smooths down the fabric of her skirt.
"Nice watch." She finally says. "Looks expensive. You might get sand in it."
Booth can't help but laugh ruefully. Of all the things for her to notice... "Bones gave it to me for my last birthday." He pauses. "Well, not my last birthday, I mean the one-"
"I know, Booth. I know what you're saying."
He doesn't reply, but there's nothing uncomfortable about the silence between them. They've done this before, have been doing it for a long time, and it's starting to become a soothing routine. It's only when Booth lets out a tired sigh that she makes a move, turning towards him and putting her arms around his shoulders.
"Hey, today's not a day for moping around. Today is just about us. A celebration." Angela says, looking at him intently, her voice calm and familiar.
Booth looks at her and allows himself to smile crookedly. "I'm not moping."
"Of course you're not." Angela's smile, brighter than the hazy sun, is back in full force as she presses a kiss to his lips and pulls him upwards. "Come on, let's walk."
"Why do we keep doing this, Angela?"
She looks up from her food with a quizzical expression. "Do we even need a reason? And if we do, I have a very good one."
Booth pokes his steak half-heartedly, only a few slivers of meat remaining on his plate. He knows what Angela will say, about coming together to remember and celebrate what they were once part of, the joy of the life they once had. "I know people say you should celebrate a person's life, not grieve over their loss. But I'm a practicing Catholic; we specialize in guilt."
Angela seems startled by his words and puts her cutlery down. "You can't blame yourself for what happened. If you do... then you'd have to blame me too. I was equally as involved as you were."
"I guess I'm just tired of living in the past, of dwelling on it. It's like a bad habit that we need to kick." Booth watches Angela, looks into her eyes and can almost hear the words she will say next, the fact that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Instead, Angela dons a suddenly decisive expression, surprising Booth. It isn't the reaction he's expecting. "You're right. It shouldn't be about the joy we once had. From now on, let's make it about the joy we have today, together, with each other."
She slips her hand over his and all the puzzle pieces come together. Booth smiles like he hasn't smiled in months, at last.
Angela never changes, in all the years Booth has known her. She may seem quirky and free-spirited, but she is consistently quirky and free-spirited. She's unpredictable in a predictable way, like global warming or evolution or a thousand other things Bones would have been able to talk on and on about (and Booth doesn't even try to push the thought of Bones out of his mind any more, it's a pointless task).
She made Hodgins wait and just the same she made Booth wait. For a long time he's wondered if she's done it in their friend's memory. But right now, as he presses himself against her lithe form in their hotel room, like they've done so many times before, he can feel the change in her, in both of them. This isn't just having sex because they're commiserating over a shared loss or sex with a friend whom you happen to find attractive or even sex with someone who brings you a little bit closer to that gaping hole inside. She's finally letting him past her defenses, and he's finally admitting to how much he needs her, and it's like being set free from the shackles that have been holding them tied down all this time. Ever since the Gravedigger had taken himself out with Jack and Temperence in tow, life hadn't been the same. But now, Booth can feel something healing inside. Yes, they can move on. They can remember the past... but they will celebrate the present as well.
Angela wraps an arm around his shoulder and brings him closer, her kisses somehow hard and soft at the same time, sweet like the creme bruleé she'd had for dessert. Booth's hands are sneaking underneath that gauzy blue skirt of hers and she murmurs with approval, urging him towards the bed. They tumble backwards are lost in the sensations of each other, finally finding solace in their touches as clothes are dispersed without a second thought. Angela threads her fingers through his and kisses him tenderly as they melt together; Booth presses his forehead against hers and revels in the way she voices her contentment, the way he looks at her and wishes they could stay like this forever, tucked together in the glow of their lovemaking. But then comes a sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach, as a vital piece of information re-enters his mind. He had completely forgotten in the wake of their time together, that unfortunately for them, he and Angela live on opposite sides of the country. They've been living distant lives ever since the tragedy sent her running for the California hills.
As they lay there, happy and exhausted, Booth tries not to think about their inevitably bittersweet parting. This one, he knows, will be harder than any of the others.
"I'll move back."
Booth doesn't think he's heard her properly. "What?"
"I'll move back to D.C." Angela elaborates, leisurely packing her bags. "With you, if you've got the room at your place." She gives him one of those sideways glances, cautiously gauging his reaction.
Booth grins, moves closer and pulls her into his embrace, realizing it won't be such a hard parting after all. "I'll make room."