Spoilers: Oh my God, the last line is so dorky! *Laughs at self*
Disclaimer: Whatever. Last chapter!
Author's Note: Okay, I know this is odd, but I always find myself inadvertently channeling Mulder and Scully when writing these two, even though I'm of the firm belief that there are very few similarities between their respective relationships – despite what so many people seem to think to the contrary. Oh well, if it works…
Booth and Brennan watched the pair leave the office with silent interest; each lost in their own thoughts. Before Booth could voice his opinion as to their innocence, Brennan turned to him with a frown; a look he knew well. He smiled, knowing what was coming next, and placed his hand on her back, guiding her out of his office, through the desks outside.
"I think they're a couple," Brennan stated unceremoniously. Booth looked at her with bewilderment; there was no way she had picked something up that he hadn't.
"Why?" he asked, more incredulous than curious. This was not a conversation he could see going well.
"Working with you, Booth, I've gotten to be much adept at 'reading people'," she stated, hooking air quotes with her fingers. For a minute, Booth wasn't sure whether she was going to continue. For a minute he wasn't sure whether he wanted her to. But he knew that he had to hear her out. Improbable as it was, it wasn't unheard of; she was a genius after all.
At least, that's what he told himself as she continued speaking.
"Their body language strongly suggested an intimate relationship," she commented, her tone letting him know that she was only just starting. Booth was silent, waiting for her to continue. "Before answering each question, they made eye contact;" she stated, ticking things off on her fingers, "he continuously smiled at her when she got too nervous; he touched her back unnecessarily as they left the room…"
Letting her sentence trail off, she made a harsh gesture with her hands as if for emphasis.
Booth just stared at her as they got into the elevator. On the one hand: how and why had she noticed that and not him? On the other hand: Brennan seemed to be totally oblivious to the now burningly obvious hand pressed against her back. He was afraid, now, that if he moved it, she'd notice.
Or maybe this was her way of hinting.
But no. Brennan, he knew, didn't have the capacity to be that subtle. That, and the fact that she didn't think of him that way. He tried, instead, for denial.
"You know, Bones, those things don't necessarily mean that," he tried. It was Brennan turn to look incredulous.
"Maybe not separately, but if you add them all together -"
"This isn't math, Bones," he said quietly but firmly as they left the elevator and moved through the lobby.
"Actually," she argued, continuing before Booth had time to interrupt again, "there are mathematicians who are working on a theorem to predict the outcome of marriages. Which, I think, is all meaningless nonsense, but -"
"Bones!" he cried as they moved out of the building and into the street. She looked at him like she wanted to argue, but remained – to his great relief – silent. "Relationships are not mathematical. They're not scientific – no, don't argue – and they're not predictable."
She seemed to think for a few seconds before responding.
"Like you and Rebecca?" she asked. "You didn't predict that she would get pregnant; or that she would refuse to marry you -"
She stopped as Booth sucked in a deep breath, jaw clenched.
He never knew whether she was simply trying to clarify, or whether she was actually trying to annoy him; punish him for arguing with her. Both were valid options.
He could almost ignore the voice in the back of his head that chanted failure, failure every time he thought about Rebecca. For some inexplicable reason, the fact that it always seemed to be Brennan who brought it up annoyed him more. Maybe it was because she knew how much it hurt him, yet she did it anyway. He had a feeling, though, that it had more to do with their own relationship, confusing as it was.
To avoid answering the question, he settled for, "All relationships, Bones. All of them."
She was again silent for a few seconds, but apparently not willing to give up quite yet.
"But their body language -"
She stopped dead when she felt Booth's hand on her back, seeming to finally realize that it had been there the whole time.
Oblivious to the fact that they were in the middle of the street, Booth turned to face Brennan. He stood close enough that she could hear his voice easily over the roar of the busy street, despite the fact that he was almost whispering.
"When I do this, Bones," he began, emphasizing it with fleeting pressure on her back, "it's not because we're a couple; it's so that I know you're there, so I know when you move, when you tense."
He leaned a little closer as his words seemed to sink in; he could see Brennan steel her expression and she looked away.
"When I smile at you because you're nervous, it's because I want you to feel comfortable. I want to see you smile."
The truth of his statements surprised even him, and he found himself studying Brennan's face, just to make sure she didn't look like she wanted to run. She didn't look like she wanted to run, but she did look like she would rather have been anywhere else at that moment. But there was a determination in her face that gave him the impression that she would hear him out. Why, though, he didn't know.
"When we look at each other for confirmation, we're looking because we think better together," he told her, his tone leaving no room for argument. Her eyes met his, and he was shocked to see a certain amount of acceptance in them.
He smiled, suddenly, as another thought hit him. "We work better as one, Bones. Brain and heart."
He pointed to Brennan then to himself as he spoke. There were a few seconds of heavy silence before Brennan spoke.
"We become one," she stated simply, a thoughtful smile playing at her lips. Booth fought off a shudder as the implications of what she had said became apparent. He couldn't deny being impressed with what she'd said; even she would have understood that. Without much conscious decision, he leaned down, closing the small space between them and pressing his lips to hers.
He felt her tense just a little before he pulled back. Brennan's expression was undeniably conflicted; he considered for a moment apologizing.
Instead, he grinned at her, placing his hand on her back again and moving them forward. He saw her lips twitch – the ghost of a smile – and every intention to apologize vanished, replaced by a smirk.
"You know, Bones," he said as he led them towards the diner, "that's physically impossible."
He was rewarded with a surprisingly painful jab to his chest and a patented glare.
His smile only widened. They may not have been a couple, but they were quite a pair.
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