Title: Pulse Point 1/11
Spoilers: Yanks in the U.K. set mid to late season four
Summary: Somehow, someway, it had been one of the single most erotic moments of your life.
A/N: Angst abounds. This is the base for a story I've been knocking around in my head. If this goes well, there will definitely be more. Enjoy.
It's late and you're tired. More tired than you've been in weeks. It's the first case you've actually worked with her since she's returned nearly two weeks ago and it feels… not right somehow. Like you both can't manage to get in sync with one another. Images of you getting your foot stuck in the pedal of your bike as your friends leave you behind flash through your mind.
She's different and you know you should have noticed before now, should have realized that her emotions are cold and flat, that her sporadic smiles never reach her eyes, eyes that you once thought would show you her world. Now they are simply crystal clear, devoid of anything that would betray the inner workings of her mind. You wonder how this happened without your noticing, how she'd managed to pull into herself again, but you already know the answer. You've known it for exactly nine weeks, two days and eight hours.
Her name is Jen and she is the new forensic anthropologist hired by the Jeffersonian during Bones' little excursion of mystery. She's originally from Toronto and has worked on several publications with Bones in the past, and now she's her co-worker and tentative friend. More than that, she's the hand you hold when you walk through the park, the smile that smirks at you when she's scored another basket, the weight next to you as you genuflect at the altar during Saturday mass. She's witty, she talks fast, she's quick to yell and even quicker to forgive.
Rubbing your hands over your face and sighing loudly, you toss your pen aside on the table and watch Bones as she holds the talus of a man, early to mid forties, probable Indian ethnicity, no traces of manual labor on any weight bearing points, most likely mid-to- upper class. Even now, after four years of working with one another, you still find yourself amazed by her.
Your eyes trace her form as you watch her move around the table, mentally cataloging what she sees, storing information in that cavernous brain of hers. Her hair is longer, much longer than you've ever seen it, and you find that your fingers itch to run through the large curls that have developed over the course of the day. Her skin is still tan, tanner than it has ever been, even though it has faded a bit since her return. You always wonder what caused her to get such a tan; she always packs SPF 3000 on most of your field excursions. Her teeth have taken her bottom lip hostage as she tries to tease out a clue from the tibia she has moved onto. A faint smile graces her lips, now red and glistening from the worry of her incisors. You look away, censoring your thoughts before they can even move in that direction.
A loud sigh and a stretch brings your attention back to her and you watch as her features become cat-like as she stretches towards the glass domed ceiling, reaching the endless supply of stars above. You watch as she rolls her neck side to side, causing slight popping sounds to emanate from her C4 and C5 vertebrae. That's right. You evened learned the names of some bones while she was gone. Smiling to yourself at your newfound knowledge, you don't realize she's standing before you, leaning against the opposite exam table.
"It's late," she states, not inquiring about your fading smile.
"I noticed," you say as you cap your pen and start piling on-scene reports with obnoxious federal documents. "You look like you could use some pie. It's pecan tonight, no cooked fruit whatsoever."
"I ate before you came," she replies and you know she is trying to back out of being alone with you.
"And I got here four hours ago. That means it's time for a refill," you reply as you start tugging your sleeves down, which had long ago been rolled up for your ensuing battle with paperwork.
She remains silent and you feel her watching your every move and something about her gaze makes you still your movements and remain seated, your blazer still decorating the back of the stool. You meet her eyes and find that she is studying you, devoting the same care as if it were only your facial bones she were examining.
"I came by last night. This morning actually. It was two a.m." It's not an accusation, merely a statement of facts. You swallow. You were at Jen's, in her bed, curled tightly around her. Bones finally reaches out to you and you aren't there. Great work, idiot.
"What did you come by for?" your voice sounds surprisingly calm, despite your guilt.
She shrugs and you frown. "It's not important now."
"Bones, it had to be something if you drove all the way to my house at two in the morning."
"I knocked. You usually answer when I knock. Then I tried your cell. But it went straight to voicemail. I deduced that you were at Jennifer's and did not want to be disturbed."
You unconsciously wince a little, not wanting her to refer at all to your… nightly activities with Jen. Simply by the faint smile that graces her face you know this is the exact direction she is about to take.
"You appear to be very fulfilled lately, less tense, you smile more. It's good to see you happy, Booth." She says the last part wistfully and you want to read more into it, but deny yourself the opportunity. You don't want to talk about this with her. It doesn't seem right somehow. Stretching your legs in front of you and crossing your arms, you sigh and let your gaze fall to the floor.
"Bones, don't -," you falter, searching for the correct words. "Don't say things like that. We're just dating, that's all."
She nods, but as your eyes find hers, you catch a glimpse into her mind, that she's sad and lost. "Everyone says you're perfect together. I don't quite understand what that means, but from your interactions with each other, it appears that you care very deeply for one another."
You clear your voice; this is starting to get very uncomfortable. There is a question that is waiting to be asked and it hangs in the air like a blanket over you both. You wonder silently, which saint you angered this morning to deserve such a confrontation with your partner. It was never supposed to be this difficult.
You and Jen just sort of… happened. A field trip led to a late night work session that ended in coffee and pie. She ate your pie. You both went again at the end of the week in celebration of successfully ending your second official case together and by the middle of the following week you were going on a date with her. It wasn't hard. There were no insurmountable fears to overcome, ex-cons or dead mothers. She simply made you laugh and feel wanted.
Then you realize your error. What you neglected to think about in all this. You could no longer be that man for Bones - the man who opens his door at 2 a.m. to listen to her nightmares and provide her with quiet confidence. You can't be that man anymore. Not if you are going to be the man you want to be for Jen.
Her head is tipped to the side and she can see your apparent inner-debate. She's learned to read you well and knows that even if she can't understand everyone, she can at least attempt to understand you. And she's right. Most of the time.
"I don't think we should be talking about my relationship with Jen," you manage say.
She takes in your words and her jaw clenches. You know that look. It makes you nervous when she has it fixed on other people, but now, now it's focused on you.
The quiet between you is deafening. When she finally speaks, her voice sounds small and uncertain.
"What about the line?" her head is still tipped to the side, and you wonder if she's gauging your response. You had a list of responses thought up in case this situation ever arose. There was a part of you that never thought it would, but there was a bigger part of you that almost hoped for it.
"Bones," you sound defeated, not strong like you wish. "That's not what this is about," you say quietly, but stop when she pushes off from the opposing table, taking a step closer to you. Somewhere along the way, she's freed her hair and it falls over her shoulders in waves, richly framing her face. Her eyes aren't so clear now, but like the sky they have darkened with the late hour.
Your breath catches in your throat as her long, nimble fingers trace your sternocleidomastoid, and rest on your carotid artery. Your pulse point. Her thumb rubs lightly along the stubble of your jaw as her fingers detect the subtle throb of your blood moving beneath the skin, encircled by miles of vessels. You smell the soft scent of her perfume on her wrist and the latex from her discarded gloves on her hands. Two smells that are distinctly her.
When she speaks, it's barely a whisper, but her voice is husky and you feel the heat crawling up your skin, waging war with the goosebumps her fingers are leaving upon your neck.
"When you try to evade the truth, your heart rate always speeds up and it becomes particularly noticeable right… here," the last word is said as she lightly taps your neck and steps away.
You remember to breathe again and find that when you next open your eyes she is already halfway across the platform, unbuttoning her lab coat.
"You should see if Jennifer wants to meet us at the diner. She has an unnatural appetite for pie," she tosses over her shoulder as she walks towards her office.
Completely dumbfounded, you stare after her with your jaw slightly agape. You know what she is doing. She's moving aside. This is her way of acknowledging your right to be happy. But it's also her way of letting you in – not all the way, not to where you were before, but to the best of her ability.
Shuddering, you pull on your jacket and sigh to yourself, pulling out your cell phone to call Jen. Your fingers follow the same path that your partner left behind, somehow expecting to find a fire trail.
As you hear Jen's voice on the other line, you sigh to yourself and watch as Bones shuts off the lights in her office, waiting as you cross the platform. That moment you both shared is going to follow you for the next few days. Weeks even. You ask Jen to meet you at the Royal Diner in ten and she complies. Thrusting your phone into your pocket, your hand finds itself resting on the small of her back.
She looks at you cryptically with a ghost of a smile on her lips. Smiling back at her, you are both engulfed by the night air. As you walk to your SUV, your mind replays that scene over and over again and you keep feeling that same breathlessness as before.
Somehow, someway, it had been one of the single most erotic moments of your life. It's like you just took a bite of that fated piece of fruit and now, you want to know more. Feel more. Have more.