AN: I hadn't planned on continuing this, but beaglelvr93 suggested I do another chapter. Many thanks to those who reviewed the first chapter; hope you enjoy this chapter just as much. :)
Booth was so focused on the feel of his partner's lips against his own that it took him several seconds to realize that someone was screaming.
"He's awake!" A young female nurse shouted. "And he's making out with his partner!" The sound of running footsteps immediately followed the shout. When Booth reluctantly pulled himself away from the best kiss of his life, he saw half a dozen people standing in the doorway of his room. Brennan self-consciously withdrew from Booth's embrace and settled into the chair by his bed.
"Hello, Agent Booth," said a bearded man who appeared to be in charge. "May we come in?"
No, go away so I can go back to kissing my partner, Booth thought. But his mouth said "Yes."
The bearded man walked over to Booth and shook his hand as the others entered the room behind him. "I'm Dr. Wallace. This is Dr. Arnold, Dr. Landon, Nurse Sarah, Katherine, and the one who shattered your eardrums is Megan," he said, pointing to each person as he introduced them. "We've been looking after you for the past few weeks. I'm very happy to see that you're back among the living."
Booth looked at Bones as he answered. "I'm very happy to be back."
Dr. Wallace followed Booth's gaze. "I told your partner that you might never recover; I wanted her to prepare herself. She said that you wouldn't give up. She's been visiting you every night."
"Every night?" Booth grinned. "I knew you couldn't live without me."
"I was just being a good partner," she lied.
"Clearly you're more than partners," Megan muttered, a big smile on her face.
"Megan!" Katherine said in the voice of one chastising a small child.
"What? Didn't you see them kissing? It looked like they were giving each other CPR."
Dr. Wallace glared at the young nurse. "I'm sorry, Agent Booth. Megan has many skills, but being tactful isn't one of them."
That sounds a lot like someone I know, Booth thought. "It's okay. You're right, Megan, we are more than partners. Bones...Dr. Brennan...is everything to me."
"That's the endorphins talking," Brennan argued.
Booth opened his mouth to argue back but Dr. Wallace spoke first. "Agent Booth, we're going to check your vitals and run a few tests. If everything comes back normal, you should be able to go home in a couple days."
"So you and your 'partner' will have plenty of time to work out your relationship issues," Megan added.
"Megan!" Katherine said again, her voice carrying a warning. "Why don't you continue on your rounds."
Megan gave a defeated sigh. "Fine." Before she left, she leaned close to Booth and whispered, "Good luck."
"Thanks," Booth said. If Bones continues to insist that my feelings for her are nothing more than a chemical response, I'm definitely going to need it.
"All my tests were fine, so my doctor says I can go home tomorrow," Booth told Angela, Hodgins and Zach when they came to visit the next day.
"That's great," Angela replied. "We've all missed you a lot, haven't we, Bren?"
Booth turned to his partner expectantly, foolishly hoping she was about to declare her love for him. Instead she merely nodded. Sooner or later, I'm going to make you admit your feelings for me. I hope. "So, did Bones tell you guys how she woke me up?"
All eyes turned to Brennan. "She just said that you were better," Hodgins said.
"I am better, thanks to Bones. I heard her talking to me--"
"I knew it!" Angela interrupted proudly. "I told her talking would help."
"It did, Angela, thanks for suggesting it," Booth continued. "As I was saying, I heard her talking to me, and then something interesting happened. Bones, do you want to finish the story?"
All eyes were on her again and she felt her cheeks burning. "Come on, Bren, tell us," Angela urged.
"Yeah, don't keep us in suspense," Hodgins added.
She knew that if she didn't say it, Booth would. "It was Parker's idea," she said after a long pause.
"What was Parker's idea?" Zach asked.
"That I...that I kiss Booth."
"Well, it's about time," Hodgins said with a smile.
"You WHAT?" Angela shouted. "Bren, that is so unfair! I've been telling you to kiss him for years, but you never listened to me!" Hodgins put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"A kiss woke you up?" Zach said. "Medically, that seems highly improbable."
"Improbable or not, it happened," Booth said. "But don't lay it all on Parker, Bones. You wanted to kiss me."
"No, I didn't."
"Admit it, Bones. You wanted to kiss me because...because you love me."
She didn't want to love him, because every man she loved ended up leaving her. Unfortunately, however, she did have feelings for him, but it was better not to verbalize them. Better to stay as 'just partners' than risk losing the most important person in her life. "I don't love you. I kissed you as a favor to Parker."
"And what about the other kisses?" You can't fake that kind of passion, Bones. You can't say that they didn't mean anything.
"Those were just to make you feel better." Honestly, they made me feel a lot better, too.
"Damn it, Bones. I know you love me; just say it!" Please. I don't want to beg, but I'll do it if I have to. I'll do anything for you, you know that.
"I won't." I'm afraid to say it.
She's afraid that I'll leave her, like her other lovers. "You don't have to be afraid."
I hate how he can read my mind. "I'm not afraid. I don't want to say it because it's not true." As soon as the words left her mouth, Brennan had to look away from him. She had seen Booth in pain before--when he was blown up in her kitchen, when he had been tortured by Gallagher--but she had never seen greater suffering in his eyes than at this moment.
In the terrible silence that followed, Angela, Hodgins and Zach looked at each other. "We should go," Angela said awkwardly. "We'll see you tomorrow." As the squinty trio prepared to slip out of the room, the door opened and Parker ran in, his mother walking behind him.
"Daddy!" Parker shouted, running to his father and hugging him.
"I'm so glad you're better, Seeley," Rebecca said.
Booth ran his hand through his son's hair. "Thanks a lot for bringing him by."
"No problem. I'll let you two have some time together. I'll be waiting in the lobby, Parker," she said as she left the room.
"Shouldn't we be going too?" Zach asked softly, turning to Angela and Hodgins.
"No way!" Angela answered. "I want to see this little man work his magic."
Parker was jumping up and down. "You're awake, you're awake!" His eyes wide, he suddenly turned to Brennan. "Did you kiss Daddy?" When she nodded, he ran to her and threw his arms up in the air.
"He wants you to pick him up," Booth explained when he saw his partner's confused expression.
"Oh." As soon as she lifted him up, he put his little arms around her.
"Thank you, Dr. Bones," he whispered into her ear.
"You're welcome, Parker."
When she gently lowered him to the floor, he ran back to his father's side. "Daddy! The kiss worked! Dr. Bones loves you!"
Brennan sighed. How do you explain this to a child? "Parker, I told you before that I care about your dad. That's not the same as love."
Parker frowned. "So...you don't love Daddy?"
Why does he have to look at me like that? "No, Parker. I don't."
"Why not? Is he mean to you?"
She didn't want to have this conversation again; it had been painful enough with his father. "I... have to go to work, Parker. I'll talk to you later."
"Oh no, you don't," Angela said, moving to block her way and dragging Hodgins beside her. "You're not leaving until you answer the kid's question."
"Forget it, Brennan. I'm NOT moving."
Reluctantly she turned back to Parker. "No, your dad's not mean to me. He's very nice. He cares about me and protects me from bad people. He's a good man; actually, he's the best man I know." She snuck a glance at Booth and saw that he was smiling.
"Do you love someone else? Mommy used to love Daddy but now she loves Drew."
I can't believe I'm having this conversation. "No, I don't love anyone else."
"Daddy loves you." He stared at his father. "Don't you, Daddy?"
"Yes I do. I love her very, very much," he said, turning to face Brennan, then turning back to his son. "I think that deep down inside she loves me too, but she's too scared to admit it."
"Why is Dr. Bones scared?"
"Because other people have hurt her. Other people who said they loved her have walked out on her."
"You'd never hurt her, Daddy."
"I know that, Parker," Brennan interjected. "But it's more than that. Your Daddy and I work together, and that makes things complicated."
"Don't use that as an excuse," Angela put in. "Look at me and Hodgins. If we can make it work, you guys can too. Bren, don't you remember what you said to me when Booth went into the coma three weeks ago? You said that you regretted never telling him your true feelings. Well, you can tell him now. We'll give you some privacy. Come with your Aunt Angela, you wonderful boy." With a hopeful smile at Brennan, Angela took Parker's hand and led him, Hodgins and Zach out of the room.
Left alone now, Booth and Brennan spent a few minutes in silence. Finally Booth said, "Look, Bones, as much as I want you to share your feelings with me, you should do it on your own time. You don't have to say anything right now. I've waited two years; what's another couple--"
"I do love you, Booth," Brennan interrupted. "More than any other lover I've had. I've tried to deny it, to hide it, to work around it, but maybe it's time to acknowledge what has always been there."
Booth almost laughed. I tell her she doesn't have to say anything and she says everything. I should have known; she always does the opposite of what I tell her! "Does that mean you're willing to try a relationship with me?"
"Yes." She threw her arms around him and kissed him, a long, lingering kiss that neither wanted to end. When it was over, she laid beside him in the hospital bed, savoring the feel of her body pressed against his.
Booth wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer, smiling all the way down to his soul. So this is what 'happily ever after' feels like.
Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated. :)