Title: A Subtle Shifting

Author: Gryphin

Spoilers: Could be any and all aired up to each chapter being written.

Disclaimer: Seriously?

A/N: Ok I'm ashamed to admit it. I have been reading stories on this site for YEARS, and this is the very first time I have stepped out with my own story. I get all of these ideas, and I want to flesh them out better before posting them. But I have 2 kids, so let's just say I never get around to it! Lol! Anyway, I'm just going to post this without the "refinement" because I know I'll never start if I don't. Thanks to all of you for inspiring me with your wonderful stories!

B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-----A Subtle Shifting--- -B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B

She sat quietly while he recited some of the grainy details about his father. Today had been a day full of revelation, and the current moment was no exception. He talked of how his father had drank, oftentimes discreetly hiding his addiction in a benign soda can. He did it so much that a young Seeley Booth had thought his dad really liked 7-Up. He spoke of how he felt stupid when he reached the ripe age of fourteen and discovered that the soda can's contents had become vodka and grapefruit juice sometime around noon.

He could still taste the bitter concoction on his tongue.

He told his partner about the afternoon that had changed his life forever. The day that he had walked into the room and found his mom crying over the kitchen sink, hands braced on the countertop at each side. When he asked her if she was ok, she hadn't been able to turn away quick enough to hide the purple welt forming on her cheekbone. It had matched her beautiful purple dress with the little white flowers on it, almost as if it had been placed there on purpose. He had never really known that a man could strike a woman, and to this day he could still picture that dress.

Inevitably though the conversation turned to other parts of his childhood. To the better memories. "Dad wasn't a bad man. He was just a man with an addiction." He told how his father built a tree house in the backyard for him and his brother, and how the two of them would spend all day absorbed in their imaginations. To this day the smell of fresh cut wood brought back the memory of those days. He told her that his dad liked politics and from a very young age, Seeley would sit on the floor by his armchair and they would listen to the news together with the little boy exclaiming his comments with as much wisdom he could gather in an attempt to impress the elder Booth.

He talked softly, at some point moving his right hand across his lap to gently rest just above her knee as they sat together on the bench. It seemed to them that so much was being revealed in such a short time. To Temperance Brennan, the time passed slowly, seeming to have been more than the fifteen minutes it was. Could so much really be said so quickly?

Something was changing. Something was happening right here, right now. She could feel it. She found herself pondering why she wasn't frightened of it all. Why she felt so at ease even though her world was shifting in some unknown way. There was no real time to think about it right now, and her partner was sitting quietly, gazing out into the darkness of the evening.

Brennan laid her left hand on his and gave it a gentle squeeze. A silent thank you for sharing. An unspoken communiqué that was all that was needed. After a few comfortable moments of silence, she spoke suddenly.

"Jared kissed me."

If he was disturbed by her sudden change in subject, he certainly didn't show it. "Bones, do me this one favor on my birthday and please don't tell me anymore."

She actually looked ashamed when she offered up her defense. "I didn't sleep with him Booth, if that's what you're alluding to."

That was all he needed to hear to cause him to pull his hand free and press them against his ears. "I am seriously not listening to this!" He could just imagine his partner giving him all of the seedy details of her date with his younger brother, and after his recent run in with his sibling, he seriously couldn't take it. "Please Bones, spare me the candid description."

"I wasn't going to describe anything because there isn't anything for me to tell you! I just wanted you to know because…" Because why? She wasn't even sure of her own motivations right now, so how was she supposed to explain them? How could she tell him that for some unbelievable reason she felt guilty for letting him do it, and even more so for actually liking it. How could she say that it was like she had betrayed Booth even though that thought was ludicrous. Or better yet, how would she convey that all of these things were just now coming to her out of nowhere, and they made completely no sense to her logical process of thinking.

Honesty was always her best bet.

"I wanted you to know because he said that it was a risk that you would never take."

They sat as her revelation sank in for a full minute. His reply wasn't what she expected.

"There are some things in life that are too important to risk." He looked her right in the eyes before he sighed and ran his hand over his face and jaw. "I'm not overly cautious like he constantly accuses me of. I just know that he doesn't hold much in high regard, so it doesn't really matter to him if he screws it all up." Booth heaved a self deprecating sigh. "After all, his big brother has always been there to come to the rescue."

"Not anymore though."

"Not anymore."

They again lapsed into a comfortable silence. She was contemplating what he had just revealed to her, albeit only briefly. So much was swimming in her head, and she really needed time to process it all. But for some reason, she didn't seem to be able to let Jared's impulsive kiss go. She blurted out her thoughts before considering how they might sound.

"I'm very upset that he kissed me."

"Bones, you're killing me! Why wont you let this go?" He rounded towards her, pleading with his eyes that she would just drop it.

"I'm sorry! But I just need you to understand…" she paused – understand what? She didn't even understand! "…something." She finished pathetically. He was looking at her with a resigned expression, a man that just wanted this part to be over with. "I am upset, even though it sounds crazy, that your brother is the Booth that I have knowledge of in that way, and he isn't worth remembering at the moment."

There. That had sounded about right. She hoped that he could make some sense of it all. After all, he was the people reader, not her. So she just looked hopelessly at him as he tried to process what exactly she was trying to say.

Today had been a day full of surprises, and a good number of them had come from the suddenly shy looking woman sitting next to him. It occurred to him that she was asking him for something, and was afraid that he would turn her down. Insecurity was such a rare emotion to see on her face that he almost didn't even recognize it. For all of her confidence, she was a fish out of water at the moment. Could she actually be asking what he thought she was asking?

"You want me to kiss you instead?" Was that really his voice that sounded so uncertain and shaky? And did he really just lean in and whisper it conspiratorially like it was a secret that no one else should hear?

It must have been the right thing to say though because her faced softened considerably as she looked at him closely, her eyes glancing down at his mouth and then back to his eyes. "If you don't mind."

He almost laughed out loud at the absurdity of her statement. In fact, this whole conversation, hell this whole day, had been absurd. He wanted to laugh, cry, and rage all at the same time. His very reasonable, rational partner was sitting next to him, asking him to kiss her, why? To satisfy her curiosity? To compare him to his brother? To…what?

"I'd rather think of you then him."

And suddenly he realized that he was going to do it. God help him, but he was going to. He felt drugged from all of the thoughts swirling in his mind, but somewhere, deep inside where he never bothered to look, in the recesses of his soul where all of his secrets were kept locked up, he knew that things were going to be different after today. He didn't know exactly how, he just knew that it would be. Still, he thought he should offer up some kind of resistance.

"Some things are too important to risk, Bones."

"Am I one of those things?" she asked.

"You are most definitely one of those things," came his emphatic reply.

Brennan considered this for a moment, before replying genuinely. "We'll be ok. It wouldn't change the status quo."

This was ridiculous. Things were getting out of hand, seemingly fueled by the intense heat surging between them as their bodies had subconsciously moved towards one another. It was like a heavy spell was being woven and neither was capable of dispelling it's intoxicating effects.

Breathlessly, she whispered, "consider it a birthday present."

Booth dropped his eyes to the ground before he lifted them back to her face. His look was now one of purpose and intent. Her chest hitched as she suddenly realized that he was going to do it. That they were going to do it. Her breath started coming in short pants as he moved his hand up to caress her cheek, sliding it softly down her neck until it reached around her nape, brushing her skin with his fingertips.

She felt the air puffing from his lips as he whispered, "I must be losing my mind," just before his mouth touched hers.

Whatever she was expecting was quickly forgotten as the realty of kissing Seeley Booth replaced the mystery. She considered herself an experienced woman, and had kissed a considerable number of men in her lifetime. It was her overwhelming experience that kissing could be very pleasant if the right techniques were applied. However, she had scoffed at the romantic platitudes that many other women professed to, attributing it to pure emotional conjecture. The response of women unenlightened to the chemical mechanisms of their own bodies.

Oh but she was so wrong, because right now his warm breath was caressing her slightly parted mouth and she was alive with the absolute need for more. Her uninjured left arm crept up unknowingly, resting behind his neck and tugging gently to encourage her partner in his endeavors. This was pure intoxication, a drunken stupor that she could happily partake of forever.

Booth increased the pressure, slanting his head to the left to gain better access. The first tentative taste of the very tip of her tongue was enough to render him completely inebriated. He wanted more and dipped his lips to her again and again. After far too short a time, he launched a gargantuan effort to pull back and end the kiss before things got out of hand, and almost failed when her mouth followed his, her neck craning forward until the contact was lost.

They sat with their foreheads pressed together, both taking the moment to catch their breath. This was too much, and each partner could feel the panic building, heading toward them like a giant ball rolling down a hill. The spell was slowly fading and the headiness was more controllable with each second that passed. Reality was quickly taking its place.

Booth opened his mouth, unsure what was going to come out of it. But his partner beat him to it, unknowingly saying the perfect thing and lightening the mood. "That was much better then Jared."

She pulled back to look at him and after ascertaining that all was well, gave him a megawatt smile.

"Happy birthday Booth."

Brennan rose to her feet. "Speaking of your birthday, we should get back to the party."

"You go on, Bones. I'll be there in just a sec."

A last glance was enough for them both to communicate their thoughts.

All is well.

That was amazing.

We're ok.

We each need to sort the last couple days out.

Things are changing.