AN: This is just my Double Troubl in the Panhandle fic... Did anyone see that look that passed between them when they realised that they were leaving the circus? Well this is my take on that... i don't think it was just them wanting to stay and continue being Wanda and Buck because the circus is fun i think it had more to do with something like this.
It Began With A Bed
"Booth, we're both adults" she had argued when he'd told her that he'd be just fine sleeping on the incredibly tiny sofa in their incredibly tiny trailer "Besides, what if someone comes in and sees you on the couch, they'll think we're fighting" Booth had to concede that she had a point, after all their trailer did have a lock, but it was understood that there was no need to lock their trailers at night.
"Okay, we share the bed" Booth agreed, sighing before turning away from his partner and stripping down to his boxers and singlet. He was surprised when he turned back and his partner was sliding out of her dress until she stood before him in nothing more than her underwear while she searched for something to sleep in. Eventually she picked up his street shirt while he tried not to stare at her black lace bra and panties. He continued to watch as she turned around, oblivious to his presence and unhooked her bra throwing it into their tiny closet her bare back still turned to him as she pulled his shirt over her head and let it fall to her thighs. Booth tried not to think about the swell of her breast and the view of her hardened nipple that had been visible for just a second as she leant over to the closet.
She climbed into bed first, with her laptop, going over the case looking for something she'd missed. She'd been looking at the laptop for a few minutes before she realised that Booth was still standing rooted to the spot staring at her.
"Booth, come to bed" Brennan instructed patting the empty spot on the bed next to her.
Booth groaned at his partner's words, how many times had he thought about hearing her say those exact words, but this wasn't exactly what he'd had in mind. Nevertheless he made his way to the bed cautiously and crawled in next to her.
"See not so hard" she teased placing a hand briefly on his tense arm. Booth settled down on his side, head on the pillow facing his partner who had turned back to her laptop.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked a few minutes later, feeling his gaze on her.
"About Jenny and Julie and Doctor Muir" he said grinning causing Brennan to laugh, even her rational mind couldn't explain the relationship between the conjoined twins and their doctor.
"So do you really think one of the circus folk killed them?" Brennan asked.
"I don't know Bones, I don't think it was Doctor Muir, even though that relationship was weird, I don't think he killed them. This is still the only lead we have."
"And it's fun" Brennan added.
"I never picked you as the type who'd want to run off and join the circus"
"Who said I was enjoying this because it's the circus?" Brennan asked confused.
"Oh, then why are you enjoying this? You like living in a tiny little trailer? Wearing funny outfits and having knives thrown at you?"
"Hmm, I'm enjoying this" Brennan said gesturing between herself and Booth.
"Really?" Booth asked smiling, Brennan nodded before flipping her laptop closed and passing it to Booth to put somewhere.
"I'm enjoying this too" Booth admitted turning back to her. She was lying down too, mirroring his position. They were close, too close Booth thought. Too close to each other, too close to the imaginary line and too close to risking and losing it all. He wanted to turn away from her to roll over and pretend they weren't sharing a bed but her eyes held him mesmerised.
"Hey Bones, why didn't you complain about saying that we're married? You know when we were in Vegas you wouldn't even let me say we were engaged and suddenly it doesn't bother you that we're pretending to be married."
"Nope, doesn't bother me anymore. In fact I'm starting to think that if I met the right man I just might get married. I mean sure it's just a piece of paper and I don't need that to prove my feelings but society does and I don't suppose that's going to change and I might not like it much but according to our society it is important for a committed couple to be married." Booth was proud of his partner in that moment, realising that she'd finally learnt that sometimes sacrificing a small part of oneself was necessary for a relationship to succeed. He feared though, that now she was ready for a committed, long-term relationship that it may not be him she chose to explore it with. It wasn't the time to mention that though, they had a murderer to catch.
"That's good Bones" he encouraged despite his fears, and he was genuinely happy for her.
"Thanks Booth, but I really wouldn't be here without you" she admitted.
"Temperance, you can do anything you set your mind to. You don't need me"
"Yes I do" she insisted staring deeply into his eyes without looking away to ensure he believed her.
"Let's get some sleep" Booth deflected smiling before rolling onto his other side so that his back was to his partner. A few moments later he felt her moving behind him presumably rolling onto her back, but Booth didn't turn back to face her, his resolve having crumbled at her words. He knew he couldn't look at her without doing something he was sure he would regret. If he looked at her at that moment he would have kissed her.
Just as Booth was falling into what he guessed would be a restless sleep a finger began tapping on his shoulder. He tried to keep his breathing even, hoping his partner would believe he was asleep, but when Brennan's nail began to drag up and down his shoulder he turned his head to face her. Her finger continued to graze his skin as she spoke, her face only a few inches from his.
"Do you find me attractive?" she asked, her voice quiet and Booth could tell from the moonlight shining on her face that she was serious.
He didn't want to answer her, wasn't sure that he could keep from saying everything he'd always longed to tell her but knew he had to. He'd never thought of Bones as insecure, she'd always indicated that she was perfectly happy with her physical body and placed much more emphasis on her mind. Though Booth knew that she was aware of the importance society placed on looks and that she did adhere to societal norms to some extent with make-up and clothing choices. Booth also knew that sexually Brennan had her choice of partners and that most of those partners also had their pick of women, yet had chosen her. As he finally answered he wondered what had brought on her sudden insecurities.
"Temperance, you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, and yes I do believe you are very attractive" Booth admitted honestly trying to ignore the hand that still rested on his shoulder and her breath dancing across his neck, her body pressed into his back, her breasts covered only by the thin material of his shirt. He could see even in the moonlight that she was blushing from his compliment and suddenly he didn't feel so awkward about having given it.
"Thanks Booth" she told him genuinely before looking away and answering his unspoken question "It's just I've never really thought of myself as attractive or anything, you know I don't place a lot of importance on physical beauty, but you know the assistant in these sorts of acts is supposed to be really attractive and it just got me wondering... whether or not I fit the job" Brennan explained and suddenly the awkwardness was back, for Booth understood that it was not her insecurities but scientific curiosity that had fuelled her question and he'd just made a fool of himself in front of his partner. Not that the blush hadn't made it all worth it of course, but he hadn't planned to reveal so much to her, not when he wasn't sure of her own feelings towards him. But then he was laughing, only Bones, who he had recently found himself comparing all other women to, despite that they'd never had a sexual relationship, the only woman he knew who could ask someone if they were attractive out of scientific curiosity. The only woman he'd met who used words like segue and referred to him as a good breeder and the only woman he could consider spending the rest of his life with and the only woman he knew over thirty who had never really been in a committed relationship aside from a few lengthy flings.
"Go to sleep Bones" he told her again, still laughing a little as he turned back away from her. He thanked silently whichever one of his past decisions or actions and whichever deity had bought him to that moment, to that bed with her, even if they were just partners sleeping next to each other, he thanked God for every day she was a part of his life and for every moment he could make just a little brighter for her.
He was almost asleep again, this time his body relaxed and he knew his sleep would be peaceful, when the finger reappeared on his shoulder, tapping.
"Booth? Are you awake?" she asked leaning over his body slightly to check if his eyes would open at her words, they did.
"Yeah, but I wish right now that I was asleep Bones" he replied a hint of amusement in his voice. She reminded him of his son who also refused to heed bedtime.
"I can't sleep" she admitted, eyes sad and pleading for him to understand, he did. He knew all too well the things that would haunt her in the dark of night when the inky black isolation felt as if it was suffocating you. He reached up a hand to her face, caressing her cheek gently before rolling onto his back holding his arms out to invite her into his embrace. She accepted easily, falling against his body and burying her face in his chest.
"Two years" she mumbled against his chest, and he stiffened, he didn't need to ask what she meant. He already knew, it had been almost two years since the gravedigger had trapped her and Hodgins underground, he remembered, he also remembered that it was almost three years since she'd been kidnapped and him blown up in her kitchen. It wasn't a good time of year for them.
"I know" he confirmed, rubbing his hand in gentle circles on her back. He knew she wasn't the kind who showed weakness or asked for help easily and was surprised she'd even said anything to him at all but was glad he could offer her comfort without her having to ask, asking would have embarrassed her.
Her hand splayed on his chest and rubbed back and forth with the same rhythm as his hand on her back and he tried to ignore the feel of her breasts against his ribs. He should not be thinking about his partner sexually he reminded himself, especially not when she had turned to him for comfort. He tried to push all non-platonic thoughts out of his head but succeeded only when he felt a hot wet tear land on his chest.
"Hey, it's okay I'm here" he soothed pressing his hand onto her back just a little harder and holding her head to his body with his other hand "I'm not going anywhere, I won't leave you" Booth heard himself promising. Sully had said that to her she remembered, a year and a half ago, after she'd had a nightmare, and then he'd left. Not that she'd been surprised, she'd never expected him to stay, no one ever did. Yet, when Booth said he wasn't leaving she believed him, partly because he hadn't left yet and she trusted him not to hurt her but also because she knew their relationship was not based on a physical comfort but on mutual support.
He continued to trace soothing lines over her spine, his other hand tangled in her hair until the sobs stopped wracking her body and she fell asleep, her breathing evening out against his chest. Only then did he let himself fully relax into the embrace and fall asleep himself.
When she awoke the next morning still in Booth's arms she promised herself she wouldn't do it again, yet the next night she curled against his body as soon as they crawled into bed after he'd opened his arms to her. They didn't talk that night, they didn't need to, they were partners after all. They didn't even discuss it when they realised with a pang that the case was over, that they would be going back to DC, but they assumed things would return to normal, though Booth decided to make sure he kept an eye on her and how much sleep she was getting. Booth was therefore beyond surprised when he opened the door at midnight to find Brennan standing on his doorstep wearing only flannelette pyjamas under her jacket.
"I couldn't sleep" she supplied by way of explanation and he pulled her close to him and led her into his own bedroom, wondering what this weird new development meant for them, but not really caring, because she needed him, Temperance Brennan needed him, and he would not let her down.
AN: Reviews would be nice... especially if you enjoyed it.