LAST A.N: Thanks from the bottom of my heart to all of you who stuck with me through a week of non stop updating :) You are amazing for giving me such great reviews. I hope you give me some last love after this last and final chapter. I know. I cried too. (and I'm not kidding ahah) ENJOY!!
OUTSIDE THE BOX
Angela watched her friend come back to the table, looking shocked and lost. And hurt. Angela stopped herself from asking too many questions at once and waited for Brennan to cool off.
"I can't believe it," she heard the doctor mutter under her breath.
Angela leaned over the table.
"What was that all about?" she asked, hinting to the window with her head.
Brennan looked at her friend. Maybe it was time to tell her everything.
"I seized the day," she explained.
Angela looked at her, jaw dropped.
"What?! How could I miss a kiss?" she said, pointing to the excellent view she had of them. "I was right here!"
"Not now. Yesterday."
"You kissed him yesterday without telling me? I want my necklace back."
"I didn't kiss him. Well, yes. There was lots of intense kissing. I slept with him," she confessed quickly.
Angela's jaw dropped even more. She was making chocking sounds like she was trying to talk. Then she blinked rapidly. She knew this was gonna happen someday, but she had thought more along the lines of 5 years from now. They were sooooo oblivious usually.
"Boy! When you seize, you seize!" she said, impressed, leaning back on her chair.
Brennan got a very concerned look.
"You think it was a mistake too?"
"What? Absolutely not! Who thinks it was a mistake? Wasn't it great? Mind blowing? It surely was..." She clapped her hands back on her mouth to shut up.
"I'm starting to think it was. A mistake. I mean it really was..."
Angela was nodding and nodding, encouraging her to continue.
She wants details, I know her. So she explained the whole thing, starting from the little fight they had had about kissing until...
"On your desk?!" Angela yelled out. Brennan laughed. "Well, that answers a lot of questions."
"Really?" Brennan said. "Don't you mean it creates a lot of questions?"
"That's why you wouldn't have lunch in your office. Actually, now that I think of it, you haven't been in your office all day. But..." Angela frowned. If they had great, unbelievable sex... "A few minutes ago, you two were..."
"I know. He... Right after the intercourse..."
"Don't say that word, sweetie. Can you find something less... technical?"
"After we both reached orgasm..."
Angela laughed at the detachment in Brennan's voice. "Go on."
"He left," she said.
"What do you mean?"
"That he left. He said I'll see you later, and he almost ran out."
"Well, that's not very Booth-like."
They pondered over it a little.
"Maybe he was ashamed..." Angela suggested.
"No! Ashamed that he took you on your desk. Maybe he had something more romantic in mind, with a bed and candles."
Brennan considered the possibility.
"But he didn't look like he was regretting any of it. He was being..." Brennan shivered at the memory and relived it in flashbacks. "...tender and sweet, calm. He was so in control of everything, like... And then he snapped. Maybe I freaked him out."
"How? What did you do?" Angela asked, wondering what weird scientific comment her friend had made to break the intimacy.
"Nothing!" But Angela gave her an insisting look. "He thought I was crying," she admitted.
"You cried?" She looked in awe. Like this was the most wonderful thing ever.
"Not really. I was... Maybe I was tearing up. Don't ask me why. I have no clue. That never happened to me before."
"You were overwhelmed," she started explaining.
"And you didn't want the moment to end."
Brennan nodded slower.
"And you felt like something was almost breaking, deep in your being."
Brennan opened her mouth and closed it. Twice.
"How did you know?" she whispered.
Angela just smiled. Don't rush her. She'll get it. Just... Let her take this and analyse it a little.
"You think I scared him off? That that's why he's acting like this and saying those things?"
"Just now, outside. He said..." She clenched her fists at the thought. "He said it was just sex."
Booth would never... Unless he thought that's what Brennan wanted to hear. Which, obviously, is not the case.
"And he's right, of course. It was just sex." Why don't you believe yourself this time? "But why..." She took a deep breath. "For Booth, sex is always about... connecting and engaging. It's... Why is it 'just sex' with me?"
Brennan chocked up. That's what was bothering her. And admitting it out loud... She sighed, angry with herself. Angry with her lachrymal gland.
Angela took her hand and squeezed it.
"Ask him," she said.
She took her hand back.
"I can't!" she said. "Then he'll think I... I don't know."
"He'll think you care? Sweetie, that's a good thing. Maybe that's what he needs to hear."
"Gahhh!" Brennan let out. "I hate feeling like this!"
"Like... I'm this weak, pathetic... He's in control and I'm not. I hate it."
"Then take the control back," Angela told her. "You've never waited around for a guy to call. Don't start now."
"So I should drop this? Forget..."
"No. You should call him first."
To say what? This is so freaking complicated!
She waited a whole 24 hours. She thought, maybe, he'd find a reason to call her. Or to just drop by, like he always did. But nothing. She wasn't really helping with the case, her head was in overload and she couldn't concentrate. She needed her focus back.
Making sure no one was around to interrupt her, she went into her office, felt tingly looking at her desk, and dialled his cell phone number. It went straight to voicemail.
"Hi!" she started. You sound too cheery. She cleared her throat."I... I know you say you're not avoiding me. But it's been a while and uhm..." I miss you. She changed her tone. "I met Kate. You were right," she said with a faint laugh, "I don't like her. We're not compatible. But, you know, I'm not compatible with most people, so... Ok. You can call me back. Whenever. Soon. Or not. If you want. Oh, and, in case you weren't lying, I hope Parker's feeling better. Tell him I say hi... ... Booth?... Ok. Bye."
She hung up. She tried to remember what she had just said, but her mind was blank. Great.
When she arrived home, she almost ran to her answering machine. Nothing. Come on, you ass! Then she felt bad for feeling so angry. She took a bath to unwind and wondered what he was doing.
At 10pm, she was sure he was home. So she called his home number. Her heart pounding, she could almost hear it in her ears. She clutched on the handset when his answering machine picked up.
"Booth? You there?" Please pick up. PICK UP!! She waited 4 seconds, then sighed. She hoped her sigh hadn't been recorded. "Too bad therapy's over," she said. "Sweets would love that. We'd actually have something to talk about." She hated her laugh. "Not that we'd talk about it in front of him. Or at all. You want to talk about it? Uhm... I'd really like you to call me back. Please."
She hung up when she heard herself beg. She threw her head back on the couch. Her eyes wandered on the ceiling. Then on the walls. On her many bookshelves... to the metallic mystery box.
Another long day of work. Another long day with any news from Booth. She felt like she hadn't seen him in weeks. Although it had only been three days.
That night, at home, she couldn't believe she was calling him again. And that he still wasn't picking up his cell nor his home phone.
She had to crack sooner or later. He was giving her one more day. If she didn't reach for him in any way, he'd allow himself to start thinking she really thought they only had sex.
Maybe a shower would clear his head. Then he would stop fantasizing about the idea of barging into her apartment, telling her the truth and making love to her like he should. He took his shirt off just as the phone rang. He knew it was her, calling again. He sat on his couch, next to the phone, closed his eyes and held on to his shirt not to give into the urge of picking up. Her voice resonated through the living room and went straight to his heart. She sounded so vulnerable...
"It's me. Again. It's the last time I call, I promise. Then I'll stop harassing you. Uhm..."
He knew she was fighting for her voice to stay steady. He bit his lips.
"I've called... what? Three times? Even though, according to you, I shouldn't be the one calling. Because you're the one who left. Remember you told me that in London? So, you know I listen to you. Sometimes. Uhm..."
He heard her sigh. Aw man.
"Booth... I'm no good at this. You... You're the one who knows about this stuff."
What stuff? Say it, you're so close, dammit!
"I really... Would you just... Just give me a call. Ok? So you can tell me what I'm supposed to do. Because, honestly? I haven't got a clue. Booth? Come on! I know you're there!"
She hung up after leaving him a third message. And threw her wireless phone on the other couch. This was useless. She was about to give up. To really give up. When her eyes stumbled on it again. The box. She knew then. It was all there. All that she didn't quite understand completely. All of it. In the metallic mystery box.
But she was pissed as hell. He couldn't return one phone call and she was supposed to just show it to him? She stuffed the box in her big messenger bag and slammed the door on her way out.
She knocked. She thought about using the key under the fake rock... but it wasn't there anymore. And she knocked again, angrier.
As soon as he pulled it open, she pushed him aside and entered without a word, without looking at him.
Wow. She was pissed! She was more than pissed! And she was... stunningly amazing. He tightened the towel around his waist. He had never been so nervous in his life. That was it. Wasn't it?
She paced around trying to remember where it was. There! She picked up the phone put it on her ear. She heard the tone. A perfectly well functioning tone. She slammed it down.
"Where's your cell phone?" she barked at him.
"Your cell! Where is it?"
He pointed to the kitchen counter. She picked it up and did the same thing. His cell was working too. So how com hadn't he called her back?
"Thanks. Just wanted to check."
As fast as she had came it, she went to go out. But he stopped her, putting his dripping, naked body between her and the door.
"Wait! You're just gonna leave?"
"Oh, because now you wanna talk to me?!"
Their eyes finally met. She suppressed the urge to slap him. He suppressed the urge to kiss her.
"Just so you know," she said, "I'm really upset with you."
He nodded, hiding a smirk.
"I can see that. Why are you upset? And don't tell me you don't know!" he warned her.
"Oh I know exactly why I'm upset!" she said, putting her bag on the couch. "You make me feel like a little girl. I'm not like that! I don't wait for guys to call!" She turned back to him. "Do you have any idea what it's like to... to sleep with someone and then... just watch him leave like you did to me?! I'm sorry if I scared you with the tears..."
"Wait," he said, approaching her. "You said it was sweat."
She rolled her eyes and hit him on the chest.
"You know damn well eyes can't sweat! Come on! And you just leave me there? No explanations, no phone calls? It feels... shitty!"
He smiled. She wanted rip his face off. And his towel.
"So it worked," he said loud enough for her to hear.
He continued smiling.
"You manipulated me?" she understood.
Her tone scared him a little. So he explained.
"You're here talking about it, aren't you? You're not avoiding the subject. If I hadn't left you, pushed you to think it through, you would have turned all clinical on me. You'd have said something about the biological alpha-mammal instinct crap..."
"There's no such thing as 'alpha-mammal instincts..." she needed to comment.
He ignored her and continued.
"... releasing pheromones or some other rubbish. You were about to shut me out, Temperance."
"Bones," she whispered.
She looked him in the eye and shrugged.
"I'm..." I'm your Bones.
"Then you would have pretended it never happened. And I couldn't let you do that."
She sat on the couch and let him sat next to her.
"So..." she started. "You don't think it was just... sex?"
"No..." he whispered. He saw her shoulders drop a little. She was relieved. And she examined his face. "What about you?" he asked, holding his breath.
She took her bag. Booth stiffened. She wasn't going to leave now, was she? She sighed and took something out of her bag.
His eyes went from her to it t her again.
"The metallic mystery box, yeah."
She saw his little boy look and smiled.
"What's in it?" he asked.
She looked at him, taking her time.
"It's... uhm... my secret Sweets wanted me to share with you. It's compiled evidence, I guess."
"Of what?" he questioned. "A case?" Well, that's a bummer.
"It's some stuff I kept over time. I'm not always sure why. And I thought... maybe if you saw them, you'd understand... what I can't really explain."
He wasn't sure he understood. She handed him the box. She was scared shit. Her hands were trembling. She didn't want to look ridiculous. No one had ever seen the content of this box. He opened the lid.
The first thing he saw was a little figurine. He took it and smiled.
"Jasper," he said. He turned to her. She was nibbling on her bottom lip. To make her laugh, he said, "Good thing I didn't buy you a real pig. He wouldn't have fitted in the box."
She chuckled. And relaxed. So far so good.
"When you gave it to me, you had the most adorable face on. I call it the Parker-face. You looked just like him. You told me I was gonna be okay. And I was."
Then he picked up another figurine. Brainy smurf. He chuckled. He had felt like such an idiot giving this to her.
He set the two figurines on the coffee table and went for something else in the box. It was a picture. Of Parker and him. He recognized it. How did she...
"You can have it back," she said. "I'm sorry I stole it from you."
Her eyes were stuck on the picture, in his hands.
"I just... I didn't have any pictures of you and I saw it on your fridge one day and... I just snatched it."
He got up and went to his bedroom.
"I don't know why I did that! I'm sorry!" she yelled after him. She knew showing her this box wasn't a good idea.
He came back with his wallet and sat back down. She watched him, curious. He took out a piece of glassy paper and handed it to her.
It was a picture of her. She was laughing at something. She had never seen it before. She looked at him, wanting to ask where he had found this. But he was staring at her. And she blushed.
"I took it with my phone a year ago. And I printed it out."
She gave it back to him. He put it back in his wallet and handed her the picture of him and Parker.
"You keep it," he said, ready to see the next thing the box had to say.
He took out a flyer. A horse meat flyer. Lost, he frowned, not wanting to laugh.
"It's really stupid!" she said, taking the flyer from his hands and shoving it on the table.
"How's that related to the other me-stuff in the box?"
She closed her eyes. Oh, God.
"I had taken it from the butcher, remember?"
"And I kept it because..."
"Because?" he pressed on, having no clue where she was going with this.
"Because it reminded me of crappy sex."
He laughed out loud.
"What?" he said, through laughter.
"And of... your speech. But really, it shouldn't be in the box. You can't throw it out."
Oh, he knew exactly what speech.
"The one about... breaking the laws of physics and... trying... to become one with the other."
Their eyes locked. They both flashed back to her office. Brennan quickly looked away.
"I thought you had kept this," he said, "because you wanted to remember I had won that argument."
She laughed and watched him dig further into her soul. He took out a green leaf. She winced.
"Mistletoe," she said.
"So... when you kiss your brother... You keep keepsakes?"
She laughed again and stole the leaf from him. She played with it while he looked for something else in the box. He found baby Andy's pacifier. That one was a little harder to explain.
She had loved playing family with Boot. But she couldn't say it out loud. There was such thing as too much information.
He smiled. "You were great with that baby."
She looked to see what was left in the box. She took the next thing out for him.
"Here. That's yours. You left it in my computer..."
What... He unfolded the sheet of paper. And recognized his story.
"Aw man. I thought I had erased that!"
"It was really good. Really. I thought I'd put it in my next book," she smiled. "Except the part with my name, of course."
His head spun up.
"I didn't write your name."
"Oh yes you did." She pointed it to him.
It was his time to blush. She took this opportunity to take the box from his lap. But he stopped her.
"There's still stuff in it."
"Really?" she played dumb. She was well aware of what was left in the box.
He took out what looked like a bookmark. It was his eulogy. The silence was thick around them. Until Booth broke it.
"A little morbid, maybe? You kept this to look at it every time you feel like killing me?"
She stayed quiet. He looked at her. And she spoke up.
"I kept this to remind me... not to let you in any further. Because I wouldn't be able to cope next time you die on me."
She couldn't believe she had just said that. Sweets would be so happy.
"You know?" she said, attempting to brighten up the mood. "It would have been easier to just let you see me naked."
He held a smirk. And he watched her become bright red when it hit her that he had seen her naked. They both laughed.
Booth took the last evidence. A sheet of paper that looked like the page of a book. She stopped him, putting a hand over his.
"This is... uhm... Ok. Just... Please remember as you read it that... I was buried alive when I wrote that."
Booth breath got stuck as he remembered that horrible day.
"I thought I was dying. And we were lacking in oxygen, too. So everything I say really doesn't count."
"If it doesn't count, why did you keep it?"
She stayed silent, took a deep breath and took her hand off of his.
She stared at him as he read. He'd know, after this. He'd know and she'd know.
Booth started reading, slowly, not to miss anything.
Read these words and believe in them: It's not your fault.
Hodgins thought I should write things down, as I will never be able to say this.
It's stupid and it doesn't serve any purpose, but I have nothing else to do.
You are an amazing man, you know that? Strong, funny, intense and complicated, fascinating. I know you'll be fine.
I guess I can admit it since I won't ever see you again... You are Andy in my books. There. I said it.
I'm almost glad I won't see you again. Because another two or three weeks of that charm smile of yours and I would probably fall in love with you. Not that I really believe in love. But I would.
I miss you,
When he looked at her, she was looking straight at him. Calm. Ready.
"So... That was a long time ago," he said, with a low voice. "Since then I gave you a lot of charm smiles," he said, putting one on.
She smiled and looked down at the box. Everything was out.
"Will you... request another partner now that I crossed that line?" she asked.
"It's not lime. It's lemon."
She smiled and chuckled.
"Does that mean we get to snog?" she wanted to know.
Booth raised an eyebrow.
"Oh yeah. Lots and lots of snogging."
He brought his hands to cup her face, brought his nose to hers. Their eyes met.
He stared into her shimmering blue eyes and she let him. She let him in. She let him see.
"I love you too," he whispered against her lips. He tasted her smile.
He had caught her in her fall. And he would never let her go.
Thanks for sticking with me until the end... Please let me know if you liked the ending. Endings are tough!