AN: Thanks again to everyone who reviewed the first two chapters, and to my wonderfully supportive beta CalleighAryn.
"Lord, what fools these mortals be," Puck says in Mr. Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. If Shakespeare hadn't been dead for almost four hundred years, I'd swear he was talking about Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan.
I've never seen two people gaze at each other the way those two do. When I saw them in the diner in New Orleans, smiling and laughing together, I assumed they were a couple. They often look like they're only seconds away from jumping each other, but Seeley insists that they're just partners. Sure you are, cher. You offered to do anything for me if I would defend your partner on a murder charge. You got my car smashed to bits so you could run off and save your partner. You whined like a baby when your partner wouldn't go out into the field with you. You called in every favor to get special treatment for your partner's criminal relations. Who does he think he's kidding? My God, that boy's got it bad.
Dr. Brennan tries to hide her emotions by using a lot of fancy scientific words, but anyone with eyes and half a brain can see that she loves him just as much. She practically threw herself into his arms in the middle of Dr. Hodgins and Ms. Montenegro's wedding, and Booth was smiling as he hugged her back. Neither of them seemed to remember that they were in front of a church full of people. Of course they wouldn't; they only see each other. They're completely smitten, but don't do a damn thing about it. Fools.
When I look at them, I see myself and Charlie. More than twenty five years ago, we were both assistant district attorneys working in New Orleans. We worked long, long hours, but we always managed to find time to flirt with each other. He was a fine looking man—handsome face, dazzling smile, big muscles, the whole package. He could have been a model; that body would have sold a lot of magazines. But he was more than just a pretty face. He was a good man with a good heart, just like Booth. I know that Charlie liked me almost as much as Booth likes the good doctor, but we were both too busy and too cautious to take the next step. Eventually, Charlie took a job in New York, and I settled for my (ex) husband. I often wonder what would have happened if Charlie and I had been a little bolder. I bet he would have been an amazing lover.
I don't want Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan to have the same regrets, so I've decided to give them a push in the right direction. Puck used magic to bring lovers together; I'm using the promise of a very merry Christmas for Max Keenan. When I told Dr. Brennan she had to kiss Booth under the mistletoe (a real kiss, not just a quick peck on the cheek), I knew she'd agree sooner or later. I'm sure she's thought about kissing him before—that oversized brain of hers can't be thinking about anthropology all the time—and I don't see Booth having any objections to some mistletoe action with his partner. I've given them the perfect opportunity to stop being so damn polite with each other.
As I walk toward Dr. Brennan's office, I see them standing close to each other like always, as if they don't know what "personal space" means. When I enter the office, I make small talk about the case and the arrangements for Dr. Brennan's father, but I don't let myself be distracted from my mission. I nudge Booth under the mistletoe and watch as Dr. Brennan moves towards him. He's about to make some excuse, but she doesn't let him. Good job, cherie.
One steamboat. My, they're off to a good start.
Two steamboats. I notice Dr. Brennan's hands moving up Booth's jacket, pulling him closer.
Three steamboats. Did she just put her tongue in his mouth?
Four steamboats. Oh yes, there was definitely tongue.
Five steamboats. I could tell them that they've reached five, but I don't think they'd care. They don't seem to have any intention of stopping anytime soon.
Six steamboats. Good Lord! They're like teenagers at the prom. I knew they were hot for each other, but I'm a little surprised (and embarrassed) by this display. I feel like a peeping tom.
Seven steamboats! They're both smiling and red faced when they finally give each other some air. Dr. Brennan asks me if that was enough steamboats. Is she serious? Of course she is; I don't think she knows how to make a joke. I tell her that it was plenty, a whole flotilla. It's obvious that they're both uncomfortable; they're barely looking at each other. Booth blushes as he wishes me a Merry Christmas, and Dr. Brennan claims that kissing him was like kissing her brother.
Your brother? Cherie, do I look like I was born yesterday? I don't say this out loud because I know by now that genius girl would take me literally and answer that I'm obviously much older than one day. Instead I play along and say that she must really like her brother. Both of them are quick to agree.
I wish them a Merry Christmas and hurry out of the office so they don't see me smiling. I hope they'll give it another go with me gone, but I doubt it, considering how eager they were to pretend that nothing had happened. How much longer are they going to lie to each other and to themselves? Hopefully not too much longer. Now that they've had a taste of each other—both figuratively and literally—they can't help but want more. They won't make the same mistake Charlie and I did, no way. Things are gonna get hot and heavy for those two, and they'll stop pretending that they're "just partners." They might even have their own wedding someday, thanks to my little push. The image of them at the altar—as bride and groom this time, not scene-stealing maid of honor and best man—makes my smile grow even bigger.
It feels good to be Puckish.
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