Title: Sexual Selection
Words: 3.270 - The longest one shot I've even written.
Disclaimer: To celebrate the 200 anniversary of Charles Darwin (yes, the man was quite inspirational for this story) and to work some issues between the partners. I don't own the characters nor the theory of evolution. I only know that I'm currently on vacations and my imagination is on fire.
She had an idea in her mind and when Temperance Brennan had her brain set in a straight line of reason, nothing could change it; nothing could tear down the rational, solid wall of her thought process.
Then why was she feeling her courage wavering? As she stood facing a dark wood door to the entrance of a house, her muscles seemed to contract with each heartbeat, her peripheral vision seemed shortened and her breathing came out in labored gusts of air.
Her hands, covered in a faint sheet of sweat, grasped the handles of her purse more tightly as if the gesture could bring control over the situation.
With a long intake of breath, she reached one hand for the door and let her knuckles brush over it creating a sound that seemed more desperate for attention that she had previously intended to produce and, retreating with her hand from the wood, she waited impatiently outside.
It didn't take long for the sounds of grunts and curses to be heard from the other side of the door, and when the door opened she was greeted by slumber brown eyes of a man who was still wrapped in a cloud of sleep and didn't seem to recognize her immediately.
When his eyes finally focused on the blue of hers, realization seemed to overtake him in the form of a bright morning smile. A smile that aggravated her nervous condition, under it she sensed her early resolution of reason slip over her fingers like wasted water in a waterfall of emotions.
"I want to ask you something." She calmly said.
"Hi Bones, good morning. How are you? I'm fine, thank you!" His voice was rough, laced with sleep and friendly sarcasm.
"What?" Sarcasm which she didn't recognize right away, for her mind was set into another trail of thoughts that left no sideway track for anything but that.
"Never mind, just get in." He simply smiled, that turn of lips that reached his eyes and made them gleam, which she categorized as a product of the dimly lit room, nevertheless it still proved capable of rooting her to the spot, for as irrational as it seemed, her body experienced an un-obedient act as she tried to move inside.
He waited for her a while longer, holding the door open ajar, until she separated her gaze from his and moved forward into his home. He then closed it, and followed her steps towards his living room.
She sat on the sofa, the same one in which she had been so many times before, only, it didn't seem as comfortable as in previous visits. Shifting her position in it several times she eventually found a nice arrangement to try and relax her body against the cushions, or else he would start picking on her instability and all the reasons behind her visit would be put into risk.
"What's so important that you have to ask me that couldn't wait until the sun rose?" He asked while walking in front of her to take a seat beside her in the sofa.
It was only then, in that particular moment in time, that her eyes decided to take notice of his sleeping attire, or rather half of his. The man beside her was dressed in nothing more than loose flannel pants and even his hair in disarray seemed a good combination. His chest was bare in front of her eyes, and at his every intake of breath she could see his muscles expand below the seemingly soft exposed skin. Even though she had seen her partner in much less that what he wore now, she couldn't fight the blood rush upwards to her cheeks and downwards to more sensitive areas, which would rather left dormant, for now.
"I want you to father my child." Her lips moved at their own kinetics, somewhat free from the tight grasps of her mind, they spoke abruptly.
Yes, she had an idea and she had intended to keep her thoughts coherent and impassive but, once more, she recognized the effect the man, who stood in front of her, held over her mind.
His eyes opened wide a second before he reached with his hands to them and rubbed forcefully. "Come again, Dr. Brennan? I think I'm still sleeping." He dismissed his mishearing, which could only mean that he was still somewhat experiencing an REM status of mind.
"I want you to father my child." She repeated in a slow motion of words, as if explaining her thoughts to a child. Her eyes were open wide and expectant.
He let loose a loud laugh and closed his eyes for a moment. "Are you sick, Bones? Did you hit your head or something?"
"No, of course not," She waved her head negatively as her brow furrowed in confusion. "And even though I appreciate your concern I don't see how it fits in our current conversation."
He sighed deeply and looked her straight in the eyes; there was no hint of humor behind his request. "Care to explain?"
She had seen this situation coming along, even before she came to see him, when she was still musing about the pros and cons of her desires. In her mind, she played different scenarios for this meeting, some of them not plausible and yet the ones she feared the most to happen.
In dreams, more likely nightmares, she saw him, night after night, neglecting her and her request for a family, walking out of whatever place they were and leaving her behind with a crushing feeling of desperation in her chest. Of course, she knew they were a creation of her stress induced mind, and when she couldn't further control them she worked the needed courage and came knocking on his door with a question and an explanation neatly knitted in a net of scientifically logic reasons.
Those were the exact logical facts that she wanted to share with him, because she was just like that, a rational person that didn't do anything without a previous thought behind it, thoughts which, even now a little carefree, were still ruled by the scientist in her. She just hoped that her reasoning would appeal to his own mind.
She sighed; settling her thoughts straight and when she spoke her voice was filled with the calm rationality of Dr. Brennan.
"Females tend to choose the most appealing sexual mates, just like the peahen chooses the peacock with the most beautiful plumage, it's basic sexual selection, Booth."
"Wait, I don't understand-" He started, but her voice interrupted him with yet another beam of her intelligence.
"It's a very dangerous procedure, you know?" She asked towards him and earning a disbelief look. "For peacocks to grow their tails. Only the healthiest males can do it. Parasites, starvation and a lousy care of the feathers are responsible for very poor and not so appealing plumage. A good plumage is an indicator of skills. When females choose the best males, they are transmitting the best genes to their descendents."
One of his hands wiped over his face in a visible sign that his patience was slowly driven away at every passing word that crossed her lips. "That's not it. Why me?"
She was taken by surprise by his question. Haven't she just answered that question? Had he not been listening to her all that time? What she tried to convey was such a simple concept that she found herself thinking how, a man like him, could not understand it.
"Because you're a long tailed peacock." She said as a matter of fact.
He lifted himself from the sofa and walked to the far corner of the room, visibly distressed. All the while, she had a good vision of his back, his muscled back that she wanted desperately to touch and feel its skin beneath her fingertips. Instead, she wrapped her hands in one another, preventing any involuntary movements.
"Now she's calling me a peacock…" He sighed balancing his head disapprovingly. "And that's Darwinism." He pointed a finger towards her as he made a half turn with his torso and observed her face turn into a surprised look.
"How do you know?" She asked suspiciously, settled her body up and walked a few steps in his direction.
"I've been to school once, Bones!" His voice showed the grown irritability. "But why specifically me?"
"Well, you are on the peak of your sexual maturity, thus allowing more viable possibilities for our offspring to proliferate, also your appearance and visual suggest that you have rather good quality genes and in a reproducing point of view, that's one of the more important aspects. Logically speaking, you have been through parenthood once before, that gave you the knowledge and tools required to deal more properly with a new child."
She took another step towards him as he finally turned in her direction. His eyes held a dark shade to them, and she wondered, silently, what she had said to place that somber look in his face.
"Is that all?" He asked, while his body leaned over a shelf and crossed his arms over his chest, expectant.
"Yes." Her voice was cautious and soft. "I think I covered all the necessary topics to explain my rational decision in choosing you as-"
"A sperm donor." He interrupted.
"No!" Her voice was desperate now, and in an unconscious impulse her body moved forward and her hands crashed open against his chest. She felt her cheeks warmer under his surprised gaze and immediately reclaimed her hands from his warm skin. "Like I said previously, as a father to my child."
"It doesn't seem different to me."
He was turning everything into a difficult matter, he was already misinterpreting the fundament of her request and she was finding herself with the inability of expressing the true reasons behind it, an unconscious fear of rejection lurked in her blood stream.
"It is." It appeared a pale excuse of reassurance and she wanted to say more, to open her heart a little further for him but the look in his eyes held her captive in her walls.
"Temperance, do you realize what you are asking of me?" He asked desperately.
"It's very simple, Booth. I've been pondering a lot lately, ever since we've taken care of Andy, and I think I'm ready to take that step." Said the rational self again, in a battle for dominance between heart and brain inside her body.
"But you were against having children." His hands, warm and inviting, wrapped themselves around her shoulders and tried to shake her back into reality.
"I didn't say that." She stated vehemently, eyes wide under his persistent gaze. "I merely stated that it was a selfish act to bring another child into a world where there's so much hatred and violence. I've seen it every day, and it's not a pleasant place to raise a child.
"What changes now?" When one of his hands came to stroke her cheek, she leaned towards his caress and closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling that it carried to her face and traveled down to her chest, bathing it in a warm sense of security. His question was whispered so softly, so appellative to her.
"Some things made me change my vision of the world and parenthood." You, Booth, you made me change. "I'm ready for it, and I don't have much more time, like you said before. I know I'm reaching an age where it becomes statistically probable that my child will be born with chromosomal problems. Plus, it is imperative that I don't do this alone, since I have no experience whatsoever in this matter." Her hand settled above his in her cheek.
"What do you mean?" He asked as he took his hand from her face.
"I want you to be a part of this." She immediately felt the loss of his wrath against her skin and felt her flesh overcome with goose bumps.
He took a step back, then, and turned his back to her once more. She couldn't see his face, but when he spoke again; his voice was filled with a deep sadness and in that moment she realized the immense mistake of her misplaced words.
"Look, Bones, I'm already a father in an uncertain position towards my own son, what makes you think that I would agree to have another one and simply be just a help to the mother, not fully being with her, nor with the baby?"
He feared she wouldn't want him in her life? Oh, she wanted to say the contrary, wanted to reassure him that she would always reserve a special place for him, because in fact, he earned that right in her life. Over the years of their partnership she had seen the interaction between him and his son, and from her standard point of view, a mere outsider to their relationship, she saw their deep connection between the lines of separate parents and unsure roles in the little boy's life. She had grown accustomed with his sad expressions whenever he came back from returning the boy to his mother. That, for sure, was not a sight she wanted to see in his face anymore, it pained her. The ever so stoic Temperance Brennan, felt compassion towards the unappreciated father.
"Booth, I'm not Rebecca. I know that your past has shown you much pain in this particular matter, but I'm not simply going to use you like that, if we are doing this, then I want you to be with me, with us, the whole time.
"Bones, that will mean that I'll be a part of your life forever, after this there's no going back." He exhaled sharply and his shoulders sunk, he was losing his resolve as much as his mind in the presence of this woman, who asked so much of him and yet, offered much more in return.
There were soft noises of high heels on the floor as she approached him. His back was still facing her and she simply laid her cheek against it and let her arms wrap around his waist, embracing him tenderly, not caring what the outcome of that morning would provide, only wanting to keep him close to her and reassure his doubts.
"You mean more to me than just a simple help to conceive and in the aftermath." She whispered tenderly against the skin of his back and felt the short hairs in his neck come to life. "I've come to realize that you're my partner, in more ways than just job related, you're my best friend, you're the one I-"
"Love?" The noise of his large smile could almost be heard. It unfolded a series of reactions in her body that erupted in a smile of her own as his hands came to rest above hers in his stomach.
"No…" And that was purely a lie, but she grinned nonetheless. "Care about." If she insufflated his ego furthermore would she survive the burst? She was positive she wouldn't.
"Can I ask you a question?" His body shifted its position around her arms and they were face to face.
She only nodded, eagerly, but still feared the raw emotions she saw in his eyes. Those still scared her, even though that his arms wrapped around her body securely and brought her flush against him.
"Natural selection aside…" He leaned further into her, their noses barely touching and his breath caressing her face like a feather. "Are you attracted to me, Bones?
"Yes." She answered suddenly without a second thought. "No…" She said after, and it wasn't quite the truth. "I mean… You're definitely good looking, and any woman in their right frame of mind, would not deny you."
She felt her pale cheeks transform into a rosy shade under his smug smile. That man, holding her so affectionately against him, had the most irritating power to make her feel foolish and yank from her reactions that she didn't knew she could possibly produce towards a man. Blushing constantly was one of the few she hated the most.
"So, you're just attracted to me by the way I look. I was hoping more from you, Bones." He said in mocking hurt.
"No of course not, you are much more than what you look on the outside, Booth." She said while absently stroking the skin above his heart and feeling it beat fast, alive. "I didn't want to sound like I was judging you just for your looks."
Azure eyes met smiling brown ones and felt all the previous worries wash away in their close embrace. Under his gaze, she felt warm all over again and something deep and raw inside her shifted and awakened the superficial denial and drove it away leaving a latent familiarity.
Time seemed to pass at its own accord as he watched his face disappear from her peripheral vision and felt him brush his morning stubble against her soft cheek. It made her gasp, the sudden contrast in senses and their intimate proximity.
"Well, will you feel attracted if I do this?" His lips closed themselves, hot and starving for her, around the flesh near her ear.
"Oh Booth, stop it." She trembled in his arms and herd the words leave her mouth, a simple and feeble conscious scream of reason against the craving of her body.
"Or even if I do this?" His lips again, this time against her neck, where her blood pulsated below her skin in a hallucinating force. A warm and wet tongue darted out of his mouth to taste her unique flavor, and immediately she tightened her embrace around him, bracing herself for the near fall she would take if they didn't held together.
"Oh yes, definitely that." Her lips moaned the delight of her body's amusement under his sensual ministrations. His caresses kept going while his embrace became more urgent and demanding, and she couldn't care less, that was one of the times where he asked her to turn her brain into neutral and her heart in overdrive. She let herself go, trusted him fully and threw out of the window all the reasoning that made her knock at his front door in the beginning. She wanted this man, more than a partner, a friend, more than a mean to achieve an objective.
She turned her head towards him and suddenly their lips met, for the first time free from voyeurism and blackmail, only driven by their inner desires. Their lips moved along a silent melody to the accords of their hearts. First tentatively, he devoured her mouth and drank from her free offering, and then it became urgent, more desperate.
"I'll always be here for you." He whispered softly against her rosy lips and she sighed contently, obtaining the answer she so eagerly searched from him.
Her gravity center shifted and she shrieked quickly. He picked her up from the floor and held her securely in his arms as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Ok, Dr. Brennan, I'll show you the real origin of the species."
Her eyes widened at the blasphemy, but her lips searched for his at the same time realizing that she had found more than just a father for her child, but also a partner who would stay with her through all hardships in life. With that thought in mind, she held on tighter to his neck and let herself go in the flurry of emotions that she knew would be felt over and over again.
Thank you so much for reading this piece. I'm really proud of this one shot and I hope to read some good feedback about it.