"What do you mean 'What did I do?'?" moaned Angela as she put her head in her hands. "You're great with people, Booth, I'll give you that, but you can be a real bonehead."
"I resent that," said Booth indignantly, "I am a very caring and sensitive person, ask anyone."
"Well you really blew it this time!" said Angela shaking her head wearily.
Booth groaned, "Since you think it's so obvious just tell me what I did so that I can go fix it!"
Angela regarded Booth for a minute; weighing her options until she appeared to come to some conclusion. "Normally I'd just tell you so that you two could clear this up and go back to what you started a moment ago…."
"I'm sensing a but…"
"Yes Booth, I'm being incredibly magnanimous and granting you an opportunity to redeem yourself in my eyes by proving that you are in fact an intelligent man and figuring this out on your own."
"Angela," cried Booth, "I could be here all day!"
"Which is why I'm going to help you," said Angela.
"But I thought you said….."
"No Booth, I said I wasn't gong to give it to you, I said nothing about helping you figure it out on your own."
"Okay," said Booth slowly, "how are you going to help me?"
"Just answer these questions for me, alright?"
"I guess," he said warily.
"Alright, question one: Why did you suggest this scheme?"
"Easy, to help Bones," said Booth, sighing as he realized that this might not be as grueling an interrogation as he had anticipated.
"That was it," he said confidently, but Angela wasn't buying.
"That's BS and you know it Booth." She waited expectantly, but he just shook his head at her, unwilling to give an inch.
She groaned loudly. "I don't have time for this Booth. You know that Brennan can handle something like this by herself; that a creep like Williams is nothing compared to the psycho fans she's dealt with. You come up with a plan where you get to play her beau and then you take advantage of every opportunity to touch her before finally giving in and practically ravishing her in the middle of the lab. You are head over heals for my best friend and judging by the way that she was giving as good as she was getting I think it's safe to say that your feelings are reciprocated."
Next to Brennan, no woman amazed him as much as Angela Montenegro.
Booth opened his mouth to protest.
"Don't you dare deny it! Now, not only are you blind, but insensitive when you kiss her like that and then laugh it off as part of your plan. You must have seen how affected she was?"
Booth was about to renew his defense when he realized that there really was no point in pissing off the only person who could help him with Bones.
"Well yeah, I did and to tell you truth, I was thrilled. It meant my plan was working."
"You mean the plan to throw off Williams?"
"Well, yeah….," he began, then dropped his shoulders in defeat, "why am I trying to fool you? I'm sure you have it figured out already. I just figured that if Bones could see how great we'd be together, maybe she'd give us a chance. Maybe she'd fall for me….I don't know what I thought. So when she responded the way she did, I guess I just got so excited that I didn't even think that I came across as unaffected and insensitive."
"That's sweet Booth, all that work just to win her? I think taking her and shoving her up against her office wall and pinning one on her would have been just as effective, but hey, props for the time and effort." Angela said flatly.
Booth just stared at her.
"Booth, Booth," Angela shook her head in mock annoyance. "Brennan's been into you since you started working together. Why you two couldn't just get over yourselves and admit it is beyond me, but now you've gotten yourselves into this mess and, I know you might not like it, and it means taking my word for it, but you just have to tell her everything and trust me that things will be alright."
Booth reached up and scratched the top of his head, "Do you really think so?"
"I know it; you guys aren't as dense as you look."
What is it, 'Destroy Booth's self-esteem Day'?"
"Didn't you get the memo?" she asked innocently as she turned and headed toward her office.
Alright, sighed Booth to himself. Here goes nothing.
Booth looked everywhere for his partner, but it wasn't until he was wandering through the gardens beside the Jeffersonian that he finally found her on a bench with her head in her hands.
Brennan heard him approaching and looked up. He saw the agitated look on her face and immediately realized that Angela was right. She looked defeated, but there was something else in her eyes. It looked like resolution. The next words out of Brennan's mouth took him completely by surprise.
"I'm so sorry Booth, I really messed up didn't I?"
Booth had been so focused on what he was going to say to her that her outburst left him speechless. Since when did Bones apologize?
"Bones, what….no….I mean….What are you talking about?" he stuttered.
"Your plan Booth, I'm sure Williams was still watching and I'm sure I must have blown it completely. I knew I couldn't make it work." She shook her head. "Oh well, I can put up with him for another couple weeks and if I have to kick his ass I'm sure it'll be worth losing my job over."
Her mood seemed to lighten after that, as if she'd just completed an arduous task that could now be left behind. She got up to move past him, but he grabbed her arm and held her in place.
"Booth, what are you doing? I have work to get back to, can't we just accept that your plan didn't work and move on?"
She was way ahead of him by now, but her rambling had given Booth time to get his bearings. He realized that she was trying to shrug it all off; pretend it didn't happen. He knew in that moment that he had to take Angela's advice and just go for it and that he couldn't do a half-ass job or the hole he had dug himself into would only get deeper. .
"I don't think my plan could have worked more perfectly." He said with a tone of finality and a grin that put Brennan on edge.
"What do you mean Booth?" Brennan was genuinely confused now. The intervening time between her flight and him discovering her in the garden had allowed her the opportunity to persuade herself that Booth had only kissed her like that for the benefit of their performance and that it was her alone who had to recover and try to move on. She figured that apologizing might just be the opening they'd need to laugh it off and forget what had happened on the platform. Obviously she hadn't been thinking clearly when she had come to that brilliant conclusion.
"Well, everyone thought our performance was just a little too convincing." His look became hopeful. "It sure seemed like you were enjoying that kiss, or was that just part of the show?"
Brennan gaped at him. "Well of course! I mean, it was all part of your plan right? You didn't mean…." She left off and stared at him, searching his eyes, trying to figure out what he was implying.
Booth took a breath and stepped toward her. "Oh I did, Bones. I meant every ounce of passion that I put into that kiss and I'm pretty sure you did too. All those things that Williams pointed out: you blushing whenever you were in my arms, getting all nervous whenever I touched you…I think you want me Bones…..just as badly as I want you." He finished quietly and hesitated only a second before pulling her into his arms. Brennan immediately tensed up, but the look in Booth's eyes put her at ease.
Brennan sighed, resigning herself to whatever the fate of her and Booth's relationship might be after all this came out, before opening up to him.
"That's why I ran Booth. All the acting, the charade, it was becoming too much for me, I…I wanted it to be real; I wanted it so much. I had to keep reminding myself that it was just pretend, but it was so... perfect." He could see unshed tears shining in her eyes and he ran his fingers softly down her cheek.
"Bones…" he whispered before giving into his desires and pressing his lips against hers. A kiss that lacked the passion from earlier, but more than made up for it in sweetness and emotion. He kissed her slowly and deeply, taking the time to enjoy holding her just because he wanted to and not because they had to perform for some would-be suitor. Her arms drifted around his neck as she finally let herself believe that everything that they had acted out over the last week could actually become a reality.
They pulled back slightly, still leaning against each other when Brennan chuckled.
"What's so funny?" asked Booth, puzzled as to how she could be amused at a time like this.
"Well, now I understand why you were so gung-ho about this scheme."
"Yeah, well, I can't lie, there were some ulterior motives. I really was only thinking of you when that scheme popped into my head," he said sincerely.
"In what way though?" Brennan smirked at him.
"Does it matter?" he grinned before leaning in for another kiss.
Brennan eventually pulled back, almost expecting to see Dr. Williams peeking around a bush.
"Do you think we're finally rid of your creepy admirer?" asked Booth as they turned and headed back toward the Jeffersonian
"Well, if not then we can kick his ass together. It can be our first official act as a couple. What a great first date that would be." said Brennan a little too enthusiastically. .
"What about your job?" asked Booth, "isn't that the reason you agreed to my scheme in the first place, because you couldn't use your usual 'touch me and die" method of getting him to back off?"
She smiled shyly at him. "Maybe you weren't the only one with ulterior motives."
Dr. Williams took the obvious hint, because hints didn't come any more obvious than the love of your life making out with another man, and eventually became another unsuspecting girl's unwelcome parasite. If possible Brennan's estimation of the scientist dropped even more in the face of the inconstancy of his affections, another poor trait to add to the already long list of his negative qualities.
She was sitting in her office when Susan from Archaeology burst through her door.
"Dr. Brennan, you have to help me! I can't get Dr. Williams to leave me alone. I need some advice; what did you do to get rid of him?"
Brennan felt pity for the poor woman, but the last thing she was going to do was reveal what she had done to put an end to Dr. Williams' unwanted attentions.
"I'm sorry, I can't really help you. I can only advise self control and patience. It'll be over before you know it," Brennan sad apologetically.
Booth chose that moment to walk through her office door and Brennan stood up and grinned at him before turning back to the distraught archaeologist.
"Yes, that's all I did. I'm sorry I can't be of more help to you." She blushed thinking about what a complete lie that was and Susan forgot her misery for a second to contemplate what Dr. Brennan could find so embarrassing about giving unhelpful advice.
"Thanks anyway," sighed Susan as she headed out the door.
"What was that about?" asked Booth.
"That was Dr. Williams' latest crush," said Brennan, "poor girl."
Booth walked up and put his arms around her waist.
"You jealous? To lose the affections of a man like Terrance Williams…." he began sarcastically.
"Are you kidding?" interrupted Brennan before pulling him into a kiss; effectively shutting him up.
I'm not sure how much I like that ending, but it's all done! Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed, you guys are awesome! Hit that button just one more time and I'll be eternally grateful!