Great seats for the Capitals
Great seats for the Capitals
In the end, it happened easily and naturally. "I've got to go," he said, waving at poor Zack and Sweets as he began to get back into the truck. "I've got great seats for the Capitals."
He drove away from the prison, watching the two of them talk in the rear view mirror. Both were tall and gangly, awkward in their own ways, except one of them, and not the one he'd have picked if he was still a betting man, had made a life-changing mistake. He thought some more as he drove, but his thoughts lightened the further he got from the prison, his mind on what lay ahead. He was sure he'd done the right thing, handing Zack over to Sweets-- it was Sweets' fault after all, and Sweets owed him big time, and would, for a while. He reflected on how that stupid experiment with Bones had been dangerous. He'd made Sweets agree when he'd confronted him in his office a week after everything went to Hell and had finally started to settle down. He hadn't said much, because it wasn't necessary, and if he'd learned nothing else from his partner, it was that efficiency mattered. So he'd just sat down in the therapists' chair and waited, until the kid came back from the john like his secretary had said. When the kid had come back, he'd started to see the Agent sitting in his chair, utterly relaxed, and smiling slightly.
"I'm not going to beat you up," he said with a smile. The therapist startled.
"She told you?"
He snorted. "Sweets, I'm a sniper, for Christ's sake. I'm sitting here because I have good hearing. Anyway... just, watch it, alright? I tolerate you." He stood, unfolding silently and quickly from the chair, and slapped the young man once, hard, on the back. "Okay," the therapist said, right before the door closed behind him.
He smiled at the memory and realized he'd reached his destination. He went in, caught her tossing her book, and she let his "fantasy life" hint pass without a blush or a startle-- then she fixed his back and they got on with their night.
Getting out after parking, he locked up, and headed in to his destination, a smile of anticipation for the game on his face. He started the paperwork as she moved around in the kitchen, blowing through the first batch of papers as a smell began to perfume the air.
"Smells good!" he said as shuffled more papers, signing and stacking them for her to review.
"It smells like Mac and Cheese," she said, smiling. "You've had it before."
"Doesn't mean it doesn't smell good, Bones," he said, stretching his arms and back again as he kicked off his shoes and settled more into the couch. "Bones, whatever you did to my back, it's a miracle."
"Glad it worked," she said, smiling. "Everything work out alright getting Zack back?" A sad shadow passed over her face, but she smiled again at the relief of seeing that Zack's intellectual capacity remained unimpaired. She'd said goodbye to him in the truck before Booth brought him back to Dr. Sweets, promising Zack she'd come to see him this weekend.
He nodded, coming over to the fridge to grab a beer for himself. "Yeah, it was fine. You want beer or some of the red that's already open?"
"Red, please," she said, setting out plates on the counter and dishing up salad onto both. She accepted the glass he handed her with a "thanks" and a smile, then returned to fixing the plates. "The remote's on the coffee table," she said, as she heard the click and hiss of the bottle cap being removed, then the clank as it flipped into the empty trashcan. They had long easiness together in her apartment, many long nights of paperwork and meals eaten together behind them, and he knew where things were for the most part. The TV was new, though, an impulse purchase she made when she got back from England while shopping for a new stereo. It wasn't the hundred-inch-plus plasma screen he'd mentioned once, but it was plasma, and larger than what he owned, and she'd found that he was perfectly capable of doing paperwork while he watched one of his innumerable sports games, while she wrote up her half of things, ignoring the game on her part.
As she pulled the casserole out of the oven and rested it on top of the stove, she heard the click of the power and the sound of him flipping through channels to find the game he was looking for. "Capitals," he muttered with satisfaction, flopping down into the couch and slinging his feet up on the table. She heard the rustle of paper and file documents as the beer bottle clicked down on the table.
"Coaster, Booth!" she called as she spooned a triple serving of the macaroni and cheese onto his plate, then a normal-sized serving onto her own. She heard his answering chuckle and then the click of a coaster as he re-settled his bottle. He did it to annoy her, she knew. She carried her glass over to the table, setting it out on the coaster he slid over to her, then returned with the plates and some forks. His smile cranked up to incandescent as she handed him the plate. "Bones, you're the best!" he said, and her own smile bloomed in response.
They worked on their plates, commenting on parts of the files as each made notes and worked on their drinks, and he occasionally called out "nice shot!" or "come on, ref!" at the game. During commercials, they talked more in-depth about the case, and re-hashed the OCD issues that had eventually led to the full case resolution. They avoided further discussion of Zack.
At halftime, she gathered the plates and his empty bottle, and went off to the kitchen. "Want another?" she called, as he heard the glug of more wine filling her own glass. She came back and set their beverages down again, then turned back to the kitchen.
He heard the fridge and the cutlery drawer open and close as he finished signing off on the reports, setting them to the far edge of the coffee table and calling "thanks!" before taking a pull of the new beer.
She came back around and set down two bowls on the table. "Bones, what is this?" he asked, surprised and delighted.
"Dark chocolate pudding," she said. "I tried a new recipe." She said it shyly, and he smiled in response. He didn't think she cooked for anyone else, at least, they often worked so late most nights that it was an off night when they weren't eating together.
"It's awesome," he mumbled around the spoonful he took. "Now I have two things that you've cooked that I'd like be alone with." Her smile bloomed again, and she ducked her head slightly, avoiding the warmth of his gaze. "Glad you like it," she said, "there's more in the fridge."
They lapsed into silence as the game came back on, and she worked on her laptop as he watched the rest of the game, and got up to help himself to more pudding. "Want more?"
"No," she laughed. "I'm not a bottomless pit like you are," she said, clicking away at her keyboard. When he came back she closed down her computer and set it aside, slinging her feet up on the table, as he flopped down slightly closer next to her. Easily, he put his arm on the back of her couch, and the two of them watched the rest of the game. She kept her questions to a minimum, leaving most of her observations to past injuries her expertise let her see in each players' movements and postures. He snorted, but just said, "yeah, you're right, he was out half last season with a blown ACL."
As the game ended, she pulled up the paperwork and gave it one last review, before settling it in her bag at the side of the table. She finished her wine, and they sat there quietly, watching the tree rustle in the breeze outside her window after he shut off the TV. Settling down her now-emptied glass, she turned toward him, cocking her head to the side as she regarded him.
"Thanks for everything, Booth," she said, softly, her expression tender and serious.
"Hey, Zack's family," he said, misinterpreting what she was saying.
A smile grew at the side of her mouth, as she leaned closer. "That's not what I meant," she said, her smile blooming fully as she stopped, an inch from his mouth. "I meant, thanks for everything, Booth."
Everything. Oh. He leaned in, and their lips met, naturally, easily and fully, much like their partnership at its best. The kiss was slow and unhurried, each taking their time as they shifted to embrace. The kiss deepened, and when they broke off, each gazed at the other, as each had many times before.
"Quid pro quo?" he asked, making light of the moment.
"No, something for everything," she said, smiling widely. "For my partner."
"And more," he smiled back, then reached for her again, their lips meeting again as they stood, embracing again before making their way from the couch to her bedroom. Yes, he reflected, as he turned out the living room light, he'd had great seats for the Capitals.