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I had a purpose when I walked through the door. I locked the door behind me and went straight for my kitchen, pulling out the tea kettle and a ceramic mug. Once the kettle was filled and placed on the burner, returned to the living room to place my purse and keys on the coffee table, but they ended up on the floor. I heard the contents of my purse go skittering out across the hard wood floors, but I couldn't move to pick them up.
He was asleep on my couch.
I heard myself yelling "What are you doing here, Booth?" But it was only in my heard. I even opened my mouth, but my voice didn't respond.
He was sprawled out with his gray argyle socked feet hanging awkwardly over the arm of my couch and his torso was curled up towards the back of the couch. Without asking, I knew why he was here. He'd say that he was here in revenge for my earlier invasion of his territory. But really he was here to comfort me.
Moving in closer, I could see that sleep had relaxed his occipitofrontalis muscles, smoothing his brow. I had always assumed that he was a restless sleeper. I knew that many of the things that he had seen and done as a sniper still haunted him, so I assumed that they came to him in dreams. But at least for tonight, his face was soft, pressed down against th upholstery and making his lips spread and pucker as though awaiting a kiss.
Before lying down, pulled off his jacket and dress shirt and laid them across the arm of the couch where his head now rested, leaving him in just a form fitting white t-shirt and his slacks. Leaning in, I paused for a moment to admire the definition in his pectoral and abdominal muscles before reaching out to put a hand on his shoulder.
I had intended on gently shaking him to bring him back to consciousness, but as my hand my contact with the warm skin of his shoulder, the forgotten tea kettle cried out for attention. The sound jerked him from sleep, propelling him to a heavy landing near my feet, and spinning me around to sprint for the kitchen. Grabbing as towel, I quickly turn off the burner and pull the kettle from the stove.
I could hear him struggling to his feet as I lifted the kettle to pour the steaming liquid into my cup. "Bones?" I heard him calling, "Where did you go? Bones?"
"I'm in the kitchen, Booth," I responded calmly, dragging in a deep breath to help calm the adrenaline that had been triggered by the sudden shock of the moment. I felt him come up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder. It sent shivers coursing down my spine, negating any hope I had of slowing my heart rate.
"Aren't you going to yell at me, Bones?"
"But I broke into your place."
"I invaded your personal space. Your territory. Who knows what I've been doing... I've been here for hours."
I dipped my tea bag into the hot water, watching the color seep and swirl through the liquid.I grinned as I replied, "Booth, at worst you sifted through my music collection or thumbed through the journals on the table. Trust me, you're harmless."
"Harmless?" He took a step to try to stand directly in front of me, attempting to force me to meet his eyes. "You think I'm harmless?"
"If you had been anywhere but the living room, it would not have taken me quite so long to realize that you were here. You're a tactile explorer, Booth. And I am a highly organized person." Pausing, I finally turned and met his eyes, noting that his skin still bore the impression of the coarse upholstery of the couch. "Would you like some tea?" I offered, then watched as his mouth fell open, barely more than a centimeter, just staring at me in suprise.
"Aren't you even going to ask my why I'm here, Bones? How I got in?" He took a step closer and I could feel the heat of his body close to mine, so a took a small step back, shifting my weight onto my heels.
I waited, fully expecting another question. When he clamped his lips shut and glanced away, I spoke again. "Last chance on the tea."
He shook his head and blinked slowly before asking, "Uh... No. Don't suppose there's any coffee? I'm not really much of a tea person." Yawning, he stretched his arms up above his head, pausing to rumple his short hair before letting his arms drop again.
"Not unless you're gonna make it yourself," I told him, putting the kettle back on the stove.
"Jeez, Bones! Not a very good hostess, are we?"
I glared at him, which only provoked a grin. "You're the one who broke into my place, Booth. I think that relieves me f any hostess duties."
"Ah-ha! See, you are upset at me, Bones."
I toss him another look before ducking past him to take a seat on the couch. "Booth, I'm not angry. I know why you're here and that Angela probably gave you key. I just had no intention of making coffee. I was going to have some tea, take a quick shower, and get some sleep. You came to make sure I was okay and maybe for a little revenge, therefore putting a hitch in my plans. The least you can do is to make your own coffee so I can sit down and enjoy my tea."
Satisfied that I had made my point, I leaned back and took a careful sip of my tea, keeping an eye on Booth, who was still gawking at me from the kitchen. Those facial muscles that had been so relaxed earlier were now tense, wrinkling his forehead as he considered his options. Resigning himself, he turned away from me to start hunting through my cabinets for coffee supplies.
I was amazed that he hadn't mentioned Zach once. Blowing gently at the steam rising from my mug, I watched the tiny bubbles swirling wildly in the slight breeze. It would happen eventually. I heard the coffee maker gurgle to life and turned to watch him grin in triumph as he strode towards me.
"You know, I would have let you in."
"If you'd waited, I would have let you come in. I know you think you need to protect me, though I'm still not sure why."
Flopping down right next to me, he spread his arms across the back of the couch behind us, making my breath catch as his thigh pressed into mine as he got comfortable. "Ahhh- But Bones, you didn't come straight home. I wasn't going to sit on your doorstep like some lost puppy begging to be let in." He paused, leaning in towards me to make me look him in the eyes. "By the way, where exactly did you go? Because I know that you weren't at the lab. Angela told me you'd left hours ago."
I looked away, setting down my mug and taking a deep breath. "No where, really." In part it was the truth. I'd intended to go home, but for some reason, I kept driving, ending up at my mother's grave site. I wasn't sure what I had hoped to accomplish, but I got out of the car, remembering what Booth had said about speaking to the dead. But standing there, I found I couldn't speak to my mother, I simply felt foolish, even in the dark empty cemetery. Instead, I decided to compose a letter to Zach verbally. I wouldn't ever record it, but I did manage to put together a lot of the pieces that were troubling me.
While logically I understood how Gormogon had managed to deceive Zach, I had been having a great deal of trouble processing my own feelings regarding the betrayal. The most obvious part that was disconcerting was the fact that I had always felt confident that his loyalty was tied to uncovering facts, to the truth. I relied on his intellect and his sense of duty because it had always been steadfast and unwavering. I also knew that I had always had Zach's admiration. I had been his mentor; given him a place to belong in a world that often didn't understand people with his kind of intelligence.
But as I verbally composed my letter to him, I realized that his betrayal wasn't what was causing me the most trepidation. It was my own failure. I recognized that I had unintentionally left a gap in his network of support. I had been, for so long, the one who acted as his guide, offered him praise, and helped him to test himself. But once he became a full member of the team, I stepped out of that role and into the role of colleague. Perhaps the heaviest of the guilt in the end was that I had been too wrapped up in my personal dramas to recognize that Zach was being lured away from us.
"Bones—could you be more specific?" His question yanked me from my thoughts and I turned to find him still grinning broadly at me.
"Where'd you go, Bones?" He prodded again, nudging my booted foot with his socked one. The hand behind my head came down to squeeze my shoulder and his steady gaze was whispering a litany of encouraging words, fairly begging me to open up.
"Why do you always do that?" I asked him frankly.
"Do what? I'm just asking a question." He held up his free hand, waving it about to emphasize his innocence.
"Why do you continue to pursue a matter when it's clear that I don't care to share something with you," I replied. Apparently this amused him, because his head fell back as he chuckled, gripping my shoulder tighter and squeezing me a little closer to him.
"Because I see that as my role in all of this."
"Our partnership. Friendship, Bones. See, your role is to make sure that my hunches and interviews and psychology all have a basis in fact. And my role, as Booth, is to try to poke and nudge you towards leaps of logic that wouldn't normally be within your grasp…" His voice trailed off as he hauled me into his lap and started driving his fingers along the sides of my ribs. When his tickling didn't elicit the appropriate response, he leaned in and whispered in my ear, "And to make you have some fun once in a while," punctuating his statement with a firm pinch to my hip. I squealed in surprise and tried to get to my feet, but he hauled me back down onto his lap, his arms wrapping around me until I was pressed fully against his chest.
Squirming around, I managed to turn to face him with my legs straddling his hips and my knees jammed into the back of my couch. He continued to pinch my sides with quick little bites, just enough to drive me crazy. I was laughing hysterically and struggling to get my hands on him for revenge. When my fingers finally made contact it was at the waistline of his jeans and I drove my fingers along his obliques, tickling him quickly and easily.
He gasped and began trying to swat away my hands, but I kept myself firmly locked in place with my legs, squeezing tighter around his hips. It wasn't until he finally caught both of my wrists in his hands and held them up above my head that I realized just how tightly our hips were pressed together and just how much heat was building there. I let him hold my wrists, gasping and struggling to catch my breath, watching his eyes wandering over my torso, lingering finally at my breasts. Glancing down, I realize that the buttons had popped and only one button, near my navel, was now holding my shirt together. His eyes were taking in the lace bra that I had put on this morning.
Finally he releases my hands, but his arms came back around me, his warm hands both cradling my back. I shivered at his touch and shifted my position slightly at the arousal that was now pounding through me.
"Uhh—Bones. I think—your shirt…" His rough, breathless voice rumbled through my chest and I found I couldn't move. His eyes had finally left my breasts and were looking into my own.
After a long moment of silence, we both smiled at one another. A slight giggle at our current position bubbled up inside me and slipped out. His smile spread wider and soon we were both laughing, with our hips still locked and holding onto one another. As our laughter died down, I managed to slide off his lap and I sprawled out on the couch beside him, my lungs still aching from the laughter.
"Booth. I bet your coffee's ready now," I remind him, watching his flushed face as he tries to shift to hide the tightness of his slacks.