Hello everyone! Since I probably won't be posting another story before the holiday, I hope everyone has a fun Halloween!
I'm a little bit nervous about how this story is going to go over, because, as you'll quickly discover, it's not about the couple I usually write about. Yes, that's right; I'm a secret Sully fan. Do I want him and Brennan to be together forever? Absolutely not; she's meant to be with Booth, but I've always been a little irritated by the fact that we never got to see a true goodbye between Brennan and Sully. He was good to her, I think he truly cared about her, she seemed happy with him, and they had a nice relationship, so my wish for a bit of closure, combined with my noticing an awful lot of Sully-bashing stories around here lately, inspired me to write this. So yes, this is a Brennan/Sully story. Don't worry, it has hints of Booth and Brennan at the end, but for the most part, it's about Brennan's relationship with her other FBI colleague.
I hope you all enjoy it, and please leave a review when you're done reading.
As always, Bones isn't mine.
She heard from him every once in a while. Short little e-mails to ask her how she was doing, to tell her how he was doing, to show her pictures of the places he's seen since he sailed off into the sunset without her. He didn't have Internet access available to him all of the time, but whenever he found a place to boot up his laptop, he always wrote to her.
Three months after he left, she walked into her apartment late at night, dressed in a purple maid of honor dress for the wedding that wasn't. Sometimes she hated being alone, and that night was definitely one of those nights. She wanted nothing more than to strip out of her clothes, slide into a comforting bath, and drink the bottle of champagne she had brought home from the reception that should have been. She was about to toss the mail in her hand onto her kitchen counter in favor of her relaxing plan when the international post office sticker caught her eye. She pulled it out of the stack, and threw the rest on the counter.
She knew it was serious the moment her eyes spotted it. He had written to her. Written. By hand. Snail mail, no electronics needed. She pulled herself up to sit on the kitchen counter and slid her finger under the paper to open the envelope. Inside was a postcard-sized index card. On the side that wasn't lined were two little handwritten rows:
I miss you. Please meet me in Barbados.
I'll be arriving on the island on the first of the month.
No signature. Just a heart at the end.
She popped the cork off the top of the champagne bottle and took a drink. As the alcohol ran down her throat, she slid off the counter and grabbed the letter. Then she did the most irrational thing she'd ever done in her life. She walked to her room, turned on her laptop, and booked a flight to Barbados for the day after his scheduled arrival.
Her stomach rapidly turned over on itself again and again as she printed the flight confirmation and e-mailed her response to his letter.
I'd send this by mail, but I don't know where to send it to.
I'll be there on the second of the month.
I miss you too.
No signature. Just a heart at the end and an attachment with her flight plans.
Her partner was surprised when he found out about her trip; her best friend, delighted, with just a tiny hint of jealously. Her friend took her shopping, helped her find clothes appropriate for a week on an island. Her boss granted her vacation request quickly and voiced her approval on her colleague taking some time for herself. Her former grad student didn't understand the purpose of a vacation without an anthropological reason behind it, and the entomologist couldn't come up with a reason to satisfy the young man's confusion but told his colleague not to listen to him and have a great time. She smiled and said she hoped she would.
His response came by e-mail a few days later:
Take a cab to the marina. I've attached directions. Meet me on the boat.
I can't wait to see you.
He signed the note with a virtual heart.
She arrived in Barbados around six on the evening of the second day of the new month. She called for a taxi, told the driver where to go. Before long, she was walking down a boardwalk, looking for a boat that shared her name.
She spotted him before she saw the boat. He sat on the docks, waiting for her to arrive. He stood when he saw her, a huge smile spreading across his face. By the time she reached him, her smile matched his. He slid the straps of her two bags off her shoulders and placed the bags on the dock. He then pulled her into a tight hug, her eyes closing as she squeezed him back.
"I'm glad you're here, Tempe," he breathed into her ear.
"I'm glad I'm here, too," she softly replied.
They pulled apart and took a moment to simply look at the other's face, as if they hadn't seen each other in years. He leaned in slightly for a kiss but hesitated, waiting for her permission to continue. She parted her lips and closed her eyes as soon as she saw him move towards her, readying herself to receive his kiss. His hand closed around her hip as his lips closed around one of hers. After a lengthy but simple kiss, he picked up her bags and led her onto the boat.
He made her dinner that night. Pasta, made as expertly as the little stove on the boat would allow. He set the table on the deck with salad and garlic bread and candles bought just for her. When everything was ready, he walked to the opposite end of the deck, where she was lying on a padded bench, and gently shook her awake.
They ate their meal, for the most part, in a comfortable silence. She wasn't quite sure what to say, and he wasn't quite sure where he stood with her, but both were content with enjoying the other's company. He didn't know how she'd feel about being romantic with him again, so he took it slow, holding her hand for a few moments a few times during dinner. When he felt her bare foot slide up his bare calf during dessert, all doubt flew out the window, and he pulled her to him, crashing their mouths together in a searing kiss.
He told her he loved her after she came in his arms. He smoothed her hair against the pillow and apologized for adding his name to the list of people who have abandoned her. Her chest still rapidly moving up and down as she fought to regain her breath, she pulled him in for a gentle kiss and assured him that he didn't abandon her because she chose to let him go. He didn't know whether to feel relieved or upset as he restarted the rhythm of making love to her.
They awoke the next morning to a gorgeous sunny day. After a quick breakfast, he told her he was going to steer the boat out of the marina, and she could meet him outside whenever she was ready. She climbed the stairs a short time later, appearing before him in a small green bikini, her dark hair cascading around her shoulders. He smiled his approval and helped her apply sunscreen to her delicate skin.
He gave her a quick lesson in sailing before dropping anchor in the middle of the ocean. She stood still for a moment and closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of the sun and the slight breeze on her skin. Her peace was interrupted by a loud splash. Peering over the edge, she saw her companion floating in the water.
"Come on in!" he called. "The water's great!"
"It's not really very safe to just dive into unknown waters, you know?" she called back.
"Come on, Tempe! Live a little!"
She bit her lip as she thought it over for a moment. Deciding he was right, she walked down to the edge of the boat and jumped in, coming up for air next to him. He waited until she caught her breath, then pulled her in for a kiss. His eyes settled on a gray fin in the distance as he pulled away from her mouth. Thinking it was a shark, he told her to be still and wrapped his arm around her.
"No, Sully, it's a dolphin," she said with excitement.
"You like dolphins?" he asked.
"My mother and I loved them."
They spent the afternoon splashing and swimming in the cool, blue ocean. When the sun began to set, he helped her sail the boat back to Barbados, and the pair lay out on the deck, watching the sunset. After a lengthy and steamy shower, he took her to dinner in the diner by the marina. When they arrived back to his home away from home, they fell into bed, too exhausted to do anything but change into pajamas and kiss goodnight.
Her eyes fluttered open the next morning as her ears picked up a gentle pounding on the deck above her. She looked at the man lying next to her and discovered that he was still asleep, seemingly unaware of the weather. Knowing she wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, she scooted up on the mattress and nibbled on his ear until he woke up, too. He gave her a good morning kiss and asked her what was wrong, and she told him it was raining. A quick peek outside led them to conclude that the rain showed no signs of stopping, so they spent the day in bed, catching up on each other's lives and making love in time to the rhythm of the rain.
The storm began to pick up as they settled in to sleep that night. She had gotten chilly, so he gave her one of his long-sleeved button down shirts to wear. Even though she was safely snuggled into the soft shirt and the warm blankets on the bed, the thunderstorm was making her uneasy. She jumped each time the thunder sounded and gasped each time the boat began to shake on the no-longer-calm water beneath it. He chuckled after a few minutes and asked her if she was afraid of the storm. She claimed she wasn't but admitted she needed to stop thinking about it. She got a wicked gleam in her eyes as she hovered over his body and seductively asked if he knew of any distraction techniques.
Happy to provide a distraction, he rolled her onto her back, unbuttoned her shirt and curled the fabric against her sides, whispering to her how sexy she looked in nothing but his clothes. He rolled on top of her and began teasing her breasts with his tongue, eliciting a soft moan from her as she threaded her fingers through his hair. He teased her for a few minutes before moving his lips up to her neck and settling his full weight on top of her, extracting another moan from deep within her throat. He thought his distraction was going to be successful, in more ways than one, until a clap of thunder sounded and she jumped again, tugging on his hair as her body quivered.
"Is this safe?" she asked, beginning to ignore the fact that his lips were caressing her skin.
He assured her that they were fine and the storm would blow over quickly. She continued to vocalize her worries, and he pointed out that cruise ships traveled through storms all the time. She pretended to accept that answer, but after she jumped again, he rolled back to his side of the bed, realizing his distraction wasn't going to work. She apologized, and he shook his head as he buttoned her shirt back up. He pulled the blankets back over them and wrapped his arms around her, pressing her face into his t-shirt covered chest. She asked what he was doing, and he told her that he was going to hold her because she was scared, and he didn't want her to be scared. She relaxed, allowing him to take care of her, and continued to shake in his arms until the storm died down and calmness returned.
She woke up the next morning and began reaching for him in her semi-conscious state, missing the warmth of the arms she fell asleep in. When she couldn't find him in her bed, she opened her eyes and sat up, looking around the cabin for him. Her eyes settled on a note on the nightstand. Her name, Tempe, was scrawled on the outside.
I had to go into town. Business stuff. I didn't want to wake you.
I'll see you around 4 this afternoon. I promise to make this up to you.
As always, he signed it with a heart at the end.
She laid the note on the bed and sighed, wondering what to fill her day with now that he was gone. She hadn't planned on spending any of her vacation time alone, even though she should've realized he had to be doing something for money. She lay in bed for a few moments longer before slipping his shirt off and climbing out of the sheets.
After dressing in a tank top and denim shorts, she rubbed sunscreen onto her exposed skin and climbed to the deck, laptop in tow. It was just after ten, so she decided to work on writing. She had been having trouble writing ever since people decided to use her creations for murder tips, so she thought perhaps a change of scenery would do her good.
She attempted to write for about two hours, not accomplishing too much, before taking a break for lunch at the diner. She ate quickly and returned to the boat, hoping the creative side of her would soon kick in. Her phone rang just as she was beginning to wonder why her vacation companion hadn't even called to check in. When she picked up the ringing device, however, the caller ID showed that it was her partner from her home in DC.
He asked if she was having a good time, and she told him that she was. The slight disappointment that followed in his voice surprised her, so she quickly asked how he was doing. Jealousy immediately surged through her as he described his latest case. It sounded extremely interesting, and she couldn't believe Zack was getting to work on it and not her. She mentally told herself that she would be back at the Jeffersonian in a week, but the feeling that she was missing something didn't seem to want to go away. They comfortably chatted for a few more minutes, about nothing in particular, before saying goodbye and see you soon and disconnecting the call.
The phone call from her partner seemed to inspire her, and her fingers began flying across her keyboard. Before she knew it, she was no longer alone on the boat. Sully sat next to her on the bench seat, apologized again for leaving her alone, and gave her a deep kiss. She pulled out of the kiss and asked exactly how he planned to make it up to her, and he told her she would see as soon as she helped him get the boat out of the marina.
They were heading into the ocean when she came up behind him and asked if she could drive the boat. He handed over control to her willingly, and the fact that she didn't have to fight for the wheel threw her for a moment. He stood close, ready to take back over if she needed help, and she asked him what it is he does now, in terms of business.
"Oh, you know," he replied. "A little bit of everything. I'm not picky."
His cryptic answer annoyed her, but she began to forgive him as the smells of the seafood dinner he was cooking her began to creep up from the cabin below.
He lowered the anchor into the calm water and served their meal, and they dined on the deck, watching the sunset. The brilliant colors took her breath away, and she couldn't help but snuggle into his inviting arms as the colors faded and darkness began to fall down around them. They shared a few romantic kisses as the moonlight began to bounce off the water.
"You up for a midnight swim?" he asked her.
She pointed out that it wasn't even close to midnight. He kissed her nose sweetly and revised his question, simply to humor her. She stood and announced her plan to go change into swimwear. He laughed and told her that was unnecessary because they were the only ones around for miles. Before she could ask what that meant, he had stripped out of his clothes and jumped, once again, into unknown water.
Just as before, it took a little coaxing on his part to get her on board with the plan, but soon she was sliding off her clothes and sliding into the cool water with him. They swam alongside the boat for a while before she stopped to simply stare at her surroundings. The brilliant white moon hung high in a dark sky littered with tiny, sparkling stars. The cool water flowing around her naked body looked dark blue, almost black, in the distance.
He swam up behind her, wrapped one arm around her waist, pulled her wet hair away from her milky white skin, and began peppering her neck with soft, gentle kisses. He whispered "I love you" in her ear as the hand not settled on her waist slowly traveled down her body, teasing her beneath the water.
She sighed at his touch, and, without stopping what he was doing, he swam them over to the boat so his back was pressed against the side, giving them some stability. Wanting to see her face, he spun her around and pulled her arms up to rest on his shoulders. Their lips met in a soft kiss, and he continued to caress his way down her body. The water, cool against her heated skin, heightened her arousal, and it wasn't long before she exploded against him, gasping and quietly laughing at the same time.
She laughed as she came down from her high, and her laugh was infectious, causing him to chuckle along with her and playfully splash some water in her direction. She instantly retaliated, and soon, they were swimming again, having an all-out water fight with the other. Drenched and exhausted, they finally decided to sail back to the island and get some much needed sleep.
He woke up alone in bed the next morning. He started calling her name, thinking she was simply in the bathroom and could easily be persuaded to come back to bed. When he received no response, he found her on the deck of the boat, sitting on the bench, working on her new novel. She was fully dressed in a pair of sandals, a woven white hat on her head, and a white sundress, and she appeared to have been awake for hours. He sat down next to her and planted a lazy kiss on her cheek.
"You look awake," he mumbled, his voice heavy with sleep.
"I am," she told him. "I've already talked to Booth, and written three and a half chapters in my next book."
"Tempe," he whined. "Why are you up and dressed this early?"
"I want to go out," she said firmly. Upon his quizzical expression, she continued. "I've been in Barbados for four days, and all I've seen is the airport and the marina."
"And the ocean," he said, giving her another lazy kiss, this time on her lips.
She pulled away from the kiss quickly and immediately shot him a look that made it perfectly clear that she wasn't kidding. He sighed and hung his head, too tired to deal with anything at the moment. He glanced up at her, knowing he would be fighting a losing battle if he tried to talk her into staying on the boat.
"You wanna go out?" he asked, repeating her request for his own value.
She nodded, refusing to back down. He sighed again and lowly mumbled an agreement before heading back into the cabin to get ready for the day. She smiled in satisfaction as he stumbled down the stairs and continued working on her book.
He quickly discovered that had obviously done a little bit more than simply writing her book that morning. She drug him through two different museums and a plantation house, taking out a to-see list and crossing off items as they went. He wasn't particularly good at hiding his boredom, but she didn't seem to notice, remaining animated throughout the entire day, talking and relating the anthropological significance to everything they saw, historical or otherwise. She finally took him shopping in the late afternoon, buying souvenirs for herself and her friends back in Washington.
They returned to the Temperance to unload her purchases. She went down into the cabin as he stretched out on the deck, soaking up the last few rays of sunshine the day had to offer. He was lying on his back directly on the deck and didn't fight too hard as a light sleep tried to overtake him. Just as he was drifting off, she returned dressed in a sultry red dress and high heeled shoes. He stood when her shadow blocked his sunlight and asked what the occasion was.
"You were so patient with me all day, I thought we could do something you like," she told him. He looked intrigued and asked what she had in mind. "Dinner," she started. His face perked up, but only a little bit. "Dancing," she continued, earning a slightly larger smile. "Sex," she said, finishing her list.
He smiled and kissed her firmly on the lips. "I'll go change. Give me ten minutes."
They shared a candlelit dinner at a restaurant on the beach. He apologized for being so bored earlier when she so clearly had loved what she was seeing. She laughed and simply thanked him for being a good sport.
They left the restaurant for an underground nightclub, where they immediately began swaying to the infectious beat radiating throughout the walls. After a few hours of fast dancing and a pair of fruity, frozen margaritas, they kissed their way back to the boat, stumbling as they struggled to walk without breaking their kiss, and had sex as frenzied as the music they danced to up against the wall of the cabin.
She woke up the next morning shivering and alone. The covers from the bed were strewn across the floor from their late night activities, leaving her naked body exposed to the cool air around her. Another note quickly told her that he was spending another day doing whatever it is that he does for money. She sighed as she realized she'd be spending the majority of her last day in Barbados alone.
She grew tired of writing her novel within two hours. She loved her second career, but she could only do it for so many hours in a week without growing tired of it. The boardwalk by the marina only managed to entertain her for another forty five minutes. She returned to the boat, out of things to do by herself, and it hadn't even reached lunch time yet. As she lay out under the warm sun, she seriously began to wish a dead body would pop up somewhere, anywhere, and give her something to do. She was willing to bet forensic anthropologists were hard to come by on this small island, and she was already beginning to miss case work. She sighed as she realized how ridiculous she was being for wishing for a murder victim and retreated back into the cabin, looking for a book to read.
Angela called her around noon, simply to ask if she had been spending her week sunbathing naked on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She laughed, denied it, and told her best friend that she was bored out of her mind, and Sully wouldn't be returning for another four or five hours. Angela followed that revelation by asking her friend how the sex was, specifically if it was as good as she had remembered. Brennan answered yes, but then told her she was serious about being alone, and the friends ended up chatting for an hour until the phone was passed to her partner.
He was frustrated because Zack was proving to be difficult to work with, telling Booth to stay away from his experiments and forgetting to translate the squint speak into regular English. She laughed and asked if Zack was more difficult to work with than her. He answered with a yes almost instantly and told her he wanted his partner back before he killed her assistant. She told him to just be patient with the young anthropologist. They talked for another ten minutes or so before the phone was snatched by Cam, who needed help with a forensics question.
The loneliness returned as soon as she had hung up with her friends, but as she went back to reading, she couldn't decide whether she was missing them or her lover. He returned three hours later with pizza and obliviousness to just how upset she was about being left alone.
He took her to the beach that evening, and they held hands as their feet sunk into the wet sand as they walked along the water. As the sun set behind them, he stopped and wrapped her in his arms, clearly not wanting to let her go.
"Sully," she whispered after a considerate amount of time had passed.
"I love you, Tempe," he whispered.
"You keep saying that," she said, chuckling slightly.
"Because I do," he said, pulling back to look at her face. She hesitated, and he silenced her by placing a finger on her lips. "You don't need to say it back. You don't have to. The fact that you actually came here says so much."
She remained speechless, comprehending his words, unable to form what she thought would be an appropriate response. He smiled at her mental clumsiness and wrapped her back in his arms, softly kissing her lips.
The lovemaking was different that night, slower and gentler than it had been since she arrived on the island. The newfound tenderness in his touch and his kiss relaxed her, and she began to feel a sort of sadness over the fact that she'd be leaving the next morning. She knew it wasn't a heartbreaking sadness, and it wasn't as painful as it had been when he had actually sailed away from her, but she thought that maybe it was just sad enough to be considered love. They made love for as long as their energy allowed, shared a few sweet kisses goodnight, and fell asleep in each other's arms.
She woke up at nine the next morning in order to prepare for the cab's arrival at eleven. They were both reluctant to get out of bed and prolonged the ignorance of her departure by sharing a shower before facing reality and packing up her things.
Their goodbye was bittersweet. He didn't ask her to stay, she didn't offer, and neither mentioned any possibility of another trip, but they shared a silent acknowledgment that somehow, they would one day meet again. He kissed her, thanked her for coming, and told her he loved her again. She hesitated again before finally pulling him into a hug and whispering a barely audible "You too."
She walked into the Jeffersonian late that evening, exhausted from her flight and surprised to find a light on in her office. She found her partner on the couch, working on paperwork. She smiled, entered her office, and dropped her bags, effectively scaring Booth, causing him to jump at the sound the bags made upon impact.
"You're back!" he exclaimed, smiling as she collapsed in her chair.
"What are you doing here?" she asked him.
"Wanted to see you," he admitted.
"How did you know I'd come here instead of going straight to my apartment?"
"I know you, Bones. You missed your home," he said, shooting her a charm smile. "So how was the trip?"
"It was good," she said. "Interesting…"
"Interesting how?" he asked, genuinely interested.
"It tied up a lot of loose ends. Sully and I never really got a proper goodbye. He left so quickly. Plus, I got to see what my life would've been like had I gone with him. I can stop wondering now," she said.
"You wondered about that?" he asked.
"Of course," she admitted. "How could I not?"
"And what did you determine…after spending a week in what could've been your life with Sully?" Booth asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
She stood from her desk and began to walk towards the door to her office. He got off the couch and followed her. She turned to face him.
"Booth…I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, but for tonight…I came back," she said, delicately kissing his cheek. "This is my home, not a boat. Let's just leave it at that for now."
The kiss left him stunned, but he somehow managed to help her pick up her bags and wrap his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close, so he could softly speak into her ear.
"Gotta follow your heart, Bones," he said, assuring her that she made the right decision. "You gotta follow your heart."
Thanks so much for reading, and don't forget to review!