A.N:First off, I want to thank everyone who either reviewed 'Forgive Me Love' or added the story/me to their alerts...I really was flattered!
My stories start off from a quote. A song-line, a quote from an episode...this one started off with 'And sometimes, I think you're really quite nice.' I intended to write about the moment B&B shared in her apartment when Zach was searching for a murder weapon...unfortunately it didn't quite go that way, and I changed the quote. I'm not totally happy about the finished product (don't even get me started on the length!), if anyone can give CONSTRUCTIVE ideas/criticism, it would be greatly appreciated!! Also, still having formatting issues...apologies.
"That's a lot of heart, Bones."
It felt like hours before he reached his decision. It was only after the judge insisted he answer the question that something changed, his posture straightened slightly. Brennan was shaken to see that his eyes were red, but the deer in the headlights expression had gone from his face, replaced instead with a terrible sadness, as though it were costing him everything to say this. Maybe it was. After everything that Gordon Gordon and then Sweets had said about their relationship, Brennan would have had to have been a fool not to have considered what he meant to her, and her to him. Considering this had left her confused, and drained. She genuinely had no idea on either front. But now, now that she met his eyes, she suspected that she had known for a long time. And when he answered, when he agreed to let her do this, to risk everything, she felt something shift between them.
After the trial, as she sat outside the courthouse waiting for the verdict, she pondered several of the millions of thoughts racing through her head. She barely had time to spare a thought for Booth, and what he had done, but when she heard his footsteps approaching, and she turned to face him, she realised how much he had wanted to be the one to risk everything. To protect her from herself. And so when she let him hug her, and hold her for a minute, a thought raced through her head. It was gone in a second, but it had appeared. And later, as she celebrated with her father and brother; her family; she couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing.
Several hours into the celebrating, after Clark Edison had politely excused himself still insisting on professional barriers even after their extraordinary day, Brennan found herself and her father sitting quietly, observing Russ with Amy and the girls. They were horsing around, the girls picking up on the good vibes coming from the adults and becoming a little bit over-energetic.
'Another twenty minutes and they'll both be asleep on the carpet.' Max chuckled. Brennan smiled, at the same time, remembering the last time her family had been together. Booth had brought them a Christmas tree.
As though sensing the change in her thought train, Max nudged his daughter with an elbow.
'Go see your Special Agent, honey. I think he's earned himself a hug.'
Brennan turned a questioning gaze upon her father and opened her mouth to protest, when Max cut her off with a hand raised in a 'stop' motion.
'That man has never been just your partner. If you can't see it in his face every time he looks at you, then see it in what he's done for you. How many times has he risked his career for you? Risked his life for you? He protects you, yes, that much is his job…but partners don't protect each other with their lives. How many times have you been willing to risk your life for his? Or his son's? Think about it Tempe. Really think about it. Don't just analyse it with that brilliant brain of yours. Recognise what it is that you feel for him, and you'll know what he feels for you.'
Brennan sat shocked for a moment after this little outburst from her father, then something Booth had said to her not twenty four hours ago echoed through her head.
'Brain and heart, Bones. Brain and heart.' At this, she nearly laughed out loud. Booth had been right all along.
'You're right. Thankyou.' With that, she stood up decisively, grabbed her bag and left the room without a backward glance. Max chuckled again. Poor Booth wouldn't know what had hit him.
As Brennan was on her way to his apartment, Booth himself was blissfully unaware of the tight coil of emotions about to appear at his front door. Even when he opened the door, and saw his partner there, looking indecisive and confused, concern was the only thing on his mind. He stepped aside to let her in without a word, and she took three steps inside before turning to face him, her face now decisive, but still confused and…a little bit angry?
'You wanted to risk everything. You were prepared to risk your career, your freedom, everything. Why would anyone want to do that? You could have lost everything! Perjuring yourself…just to prove my innocence?! Why, Booth, why the hell did you even consider it?'
This, Booth thought, was the moment. That indefinable, untouchable moment in every relationship, when everything changes, for better or worse. He hoped to God it was for the better. He met her eyes.
'You know why, Bones. You just weren't ready to see it before now.'
Whatever Brennan had expected, that wasn't the answer. However as she digested this statement, she realised it was exactly the right answer. She took a hesitant step towards him. Then another. And another. Never breaking eye contact. And before she knew it, they were breathing the same air, he was leaning down to her and she felt a thrill of anticipation run through her before her mind went blank and all she could do was feel.
She marveled at how gentle he was, how controlled, even while removing her clothes, right there in his living room.
The thought that she had briefly encountered outside the courthouse returned, and this time, before she realised it, her mind had analysed it and recognised it for what it was.
'He would do anything for me. He loves me.'
And finally, she did see. She was finally ready to understand it, and embrace it.