Hello readers! I hope you all are doing well.
This story is set…I guess in between "Santa in the Slush" and "Man in the Mud." I meant for it to take place around March 2008 or so, so there's spoilers for "Santa in the Slush" but I'm pretty sure all the Bones fans know what happened in that episode, lol. Oh, and this is also a songfic, based on She & Him's "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" Yes…that's right, I managed to get both Deschanel sisters in the same fanfic (the "she" in She & Him being Emily's sister, Zooey, of course!) I'd highly recommend listening to the song at some point. It can be found pretty easily on YouTube.
As always, I don't own Bones, and please leave a review when you're finished!
Temperance Brennan sat by the window at the Royal Diner. She was at the table she normally shared with her partner. Her partner, however, was late for their coffee and dessert plans. Actually, scratch that. Booth was currently standing outside the diner with his earlier dinner date. He had been out there for quite some time now, and the date didn't appear to be ending any time soon. Maybe he lost track of time or maybe he didn't realize how late he was for meeting her. Whatever his excuse, Brennan's patience was diminishing as she watched Booth and his date.
She was tall, blonde, tattooed, tanned, and didn't appear to understand the concept of dressing weather-appropriate. Sure, it was spring, and the snow was officially gone, but Leggy over there looked like she had come straight from a Barbados beach!
Brennan swirled the ice around her glass with her straw as she leaned against the window and tried to slyly watch Booth and his date. The first thing she noticed, after noting the fact that Booth's back was facing the diner, was that Leggy looked angry.
They must be breaking up, Brennan concluded. She also knew that if she was actually witnessing a break up, it would've been initiated by Booth. All the breakups lately were initiated by Booth.
There had been a lot of these occurrences lately. It seemed that Booth had decided 2008 was going to be the year of sexual conquests for Seeley Booth. The serial dating had begun shortly after Christmas, right after their kiss in her office, in fact. She wished she could gather enough evidence to determine whether the two happenings were related or not.
"Why do you let me stay here?
All by myself…"
The girls were all the same: blonde, tan, obviously too poor to afford proper clothing. None of these girls lasted very long, definitely no more than two or three weeks. Not a one had even been introduced to her. She heard about them, pried information from his unbelievably reluctant lips, but none had been deemed important enough to him to actually introduce them to her.
Brennan continued to stare out the window. The conversation still showed no signs of slowing, and she finally pulled up her sleeve to look at her watch. She instantly became irritated as she quickly analyzed the numbers and realized Booth should've joined her at the table twenty minutes ago, and that was giving him a five minute reprieve. A few more minutes of sitting here alone and Brennan was going to consider herself officially stood up.
"Why don't you come and play here?
I'm just sitting on the shelf."
Jealousy built up within her as each minute ticked by without Booth's arrival. This was supposed to be her time with Booth. She continued to watch, hoping Leggy would soon accept that Booth wasn't interested and go away. Brennan finally paused and thought about how irrational her jealousy towards Booth's date was and tried to distract herself by ordering a refill on her Diet Coke. When she finally looked back outside, Leggy was storming off across the street, and Booth was headed for the door.
"Why don't you sit right down and stay awhile?
We like the same things, and I like your style."
Brennan watched as Booth headed to the counter and ordered a cup of coffee, a slice of apple pie, and two bowls of Brennan's favorite ice cream. Her eyes traveled his body as he stood at the counter. She could see some of the material of his green striped socks peeking out from under his dark denim jeans. She looked further and smiled slightly when she noticed he was wearing the black Foreigner shirt that hugged his chest perfectly. There was no denying it. The man looked sexy.
After quickly receiving his order, Booth walked over to the table, placed a bowl of ice cream in front of her, and slid into the chair across from her.
"Hey, Bones," he said.
"Hey," she replied.
"It's not a secret.
Why do you keep it?
I'm just sitting on the shelf."
His eyes had lit up when he saw her sitting at their usual table and waiting for him. His deep brown eyes kept their sparkle as his lips broke into a huge smile. She could tell he was genuinely happy to see her.
Everyone, including Booth, that she was oblivious little Dr. Brennan, but she wasn't an idiot. She was aware of how his behavior changed around her. She noticed his smiles, his sparkling eyes, his gentle touches as he guided her here and there. Objectively, if she were to see a man act the way that he acts around her towards a woman, the scientist in her would conclude that the man was in love. She had tried to tell herself that Booth wasn't in love with her. She wasn't even entirely sure what love is, but her logical mind couldn't quite let that ridiculous, or not-so-ridiculous, depending on how she wanted to look at it, conclusion go.
"How're you this evening?" Booth asked. Brennan picked up her spoon.
"More agitated than I was an hour ago," she replied honestly.
"What?" he asked.
"Look at your watch, Booth. You're late," she said.
He winced. He had been hoping that she wouldn't call him out on that. "I know. I'm sorry."
"So is it over?" she asked.
"Is what over?" he asked.
"It looked to me like I was witnessing a breakup."
"You were," he confirmed. "I know it's a crappy excuse for being late to meet you, but you were."
"She looked angry," Brennan pointed out.
Booth chuckled. "Yeah, you have no idea."
"I'm sorry," Brennan said truthfully.
"Nah, don't be. It was all my fault, anyway," he said, placing another bite of ice cream in his mouth. "Besides, Bones, you know you're always the highlight of my evening."
Their eyes met across the table, and then he did it. He flashed the charm smile of his at her again. She felt her lips involuntarily curve into a grin as some of her anger washed away. Brennan fell for him a little bit harder every time he used that damned smile with her, though she'd never admit it. She wouldn't want to risk inflating his already-large ego.
"I've gotta get your presence.
Let's make it known.
I think you're just so pleasant.
I would like you for my own."
They easily fell into a pleasant conversation. He told her stories about funny things Parker had recently done, and she shared her story about the day she had just spent with Russ and his stepdaughters.
Despite their conversation, she couldn't stop thinking about his recent string of girlfriends. There must have been eight or so since Christmas. She was beginning to think he'd have to date every girl in the DC area before he'd even consider asking her out. She had only recently come to the conclusion that she might like to try dating Booth, but ever since she had admitted that to herself, she couldn't help but feel jealous every time she saw him with a new girl.
She was normally never afraid to take a chance and ask a man out, but he was different. He wasn't just some guy she was attracted to. He was her partner. If she vocalized her feelings and her conclusions about him ended up being wrong, she didn't know how their current relationship would be affected, and that scared her. That scared her more than the thought of actually being in a romantic relationship with Mr. Breaking the Laws of Physics himself.
She had always been curious about the timing of his sexual conquests. The first one appeared about a week after their kiss, almost as if that had been the catalyst somehow. She knew talking about these things always made him uncomfortable, especially when he was talking about them with her, but as always, she didn't really care.
"So how long were you together?" Brennan asked, knowing it had nothing to do with what he had been talking about.
"Excuse me?" he asked, thrown off by her question.
"Your earlier date. How long had you been seeing each other?"
"Not long," he said. She already knew that.
"You've had a lot of girlfriends lately," she said bluntly.
"Not girlfriends, Bones…dates," he corrected.
"So you admit that there have been a lot of them?" she asked.
"Brennan," he said, leaning forward to look into her eyes. "What are you doing?"
"We've been discussing our lives, right? I'm merely trying to ascertain why you've been dating so much recently," she explained.
"Okay…" Booth said, leaning back. "We are not discussing this."
"It's nothing to be ashamed of, Booth. It's quite common for a man of your age, especially one who one day hopes to be married, to be wondering if he'll ever find someone to have a committed relationship with. It's a quest that people from all civilizations have participated in for hundreds of years," she said in her cool, scientific tone.
"Okay, yes, I am dating, but I'm not trying to find a wife," he said.
"Then why are you going out with so many women?"
"Just…because, Bones," he said, the agitation in his voice increasing.
"Oh, I've upset you," she said, scrunching up her face as she spoke.
"I am not upset," he said.
"Irritated, then," she tried again.
"No…I just…it sounds like you want me to stop dating. Maybe I'm trying to find a connection with someone. Do you not want me to be happy, Bones?"
She half-gasped in response to his words. "What? Of course I do, Booth!"
"Then, what, Bones, you want me to date you?" he said in a joking tone.
"Would it really be that horrible?" she replied quietly, not fully realizing what she was saying.
Booth froze, caught completely off-guard by her response. "Wait…what?"
"Why don't you sit right down and make me smile?
You make me feel like I am just a child."
She took a deep breath, knowing that she had dug herself a hole and there was no easy way out. "I said…would it really be that horrible."
"Dating you?" he asked.
"Yes," she confirmed.
The expression on his face and his voice instantly softened. "No, Bones…it wouldn't be horrible. Anything but, in fact. I mean, it'd be…you."
She nodded. "Right, and…you."
He leaned forward across the table and looked directly into her eyes again. "Bones…do you actually want me to date you?" he asked.
She felt butterflies travel across her stomach as he asked his question. Damn him and his charming mannerisms. She was thirty-one years old, she had a doctorate, and she wasn't exactly an inexperienced dater. She had no reason to be feeling like an infatuated teenager around him, but as he stared into her eyes like that, challenging her to admit her feelings, that's exactly what she felt like.
Brennan quickly analyzed her choices in her head. She could say yes and risk everything or she could say no and try to play it off as a joke. She knew she was no good at the latter option, so she decided to suck it up, be a big girl, and make the first move.
"Yes," she said simply.
"What?" he asked in disbelief, using a soft tone of voice.
"I would like to go on a date with you," she said.
"Really?" he asked, his lips twitching into a grin.
"Why do you edit?
Just give me credit.
I'm just sitting on the shelf."
"Yes," she confirmed. "And I'm willing to bet that you don't have a problem with that."
"And why would you assume that?" he asked.
"Give me a little credit, Booth. Your face lights up when you see me. You always put your hand on my back when we're going somewhere. I'm not as oblivious as you think I am," she said.
He chuckled and briefly looked down into his coffee. "I always thought you never noticed."
She laughed. "I know…but I noticed."
"You want to know why my earlier date broke it off?" he asked.
"She broke it off? Why?" Brennan asked.
"I talked about you too much. When I told her she couldn't come over tonight because I had later plans, she figured out it was with you, and she told me to go see the girl I really want to be with," he explained.
"You talk about me on your dates?" she asked.
"Sometimes," he shrugged. "They ask me about my work, and you…are involved in that."
"Yes," she replied.
Booth threw some bills on the table to cover the dessert and drinks and touched Brennan's back as they walked outside to their vehicles.
"Booth?" she asked, stopping in front of her vehicle.
"Yeah?" he asked.
"So are we going to go on a date or not?"
"Oh! I almost forgot," he exclaimed. "Temperance, would you like to go out on a date with me?"
"I'm pretty sure that we've already established that I would," she replied.
"I'm trying to be a gentleman and ask you properly," he said.
She rolled her eyes. "Fine, then. Yes, Booth, I would like to go out with you."
He smiled. "Good. How's tomorrow? I'll pick you up at seven."
"Sounds good," she agreed.
"Goodnight, Bones," he said and turned to walk away.
"Wait!" she called.
"Yes?" he asked, turning back around.
She wrapped her hand around his cheek and pulled his face down to meet hers. Their lips met in a warm kiss. She sucked on his bottom lip, and after taking a moment to respond, he sucked on her top lip, running the tip of his tongue along her smooth skin. She pulled away from the kiss and looked into his eyes.
"I figured if you're such a gentleman, you may not kiss on the first date, and I didn't think I'd be able to wait until the second one," she explained.
He chuckled and curled his hand around her face. "That's very sexy, Bones."
"Yeah?" she asked, smiling.
"Yeah," he laughed, lowering his mouth to hers again.
They shared one more long kiss, each savoring the taste of each other's lips.
"See you tomorrow," Brennan said as they pulled apart. His hand had become intertwined with hers during their second kiss, and he pulled her hand with him before unlacing their fingers as he walked away.
"Yeah," he said, finally letting her go. "It's a date."
Thanks for reading! Please review and tell me what you thought.