A big thank you goes out to everyone who took the time to read and review my last fic, 'Candy Hearts.' I'm not really a fan of Valentine's Day, but I thought someone deserved some love. The following takes place after, 'The Princess and the Pear," which, in my opinion, was one of the better episodes of the season. I love that Fisher gave a shout-out to Fringe. Enjoy!
Booth jolted awake and reached for his ringing phone. He looked at the display, a slight smile gracing his lips.
"Hey, Bones. What's up?"
"Hey, Booth. Just calling to see how you're feeling."
"Oh, you know…"
"No, I don't. That's why I'm calling."
His breathing hitched as he tried to move into a more comfortable position. He really needed to stop sleeping on the couch. "It's not a big deal. I'll be fine."
"It's obvious from the way you're breathing that you're not okay. Did I hurt your back again yesterday?"
"No, I went to sleep on the couch again."
Brennan sighed. "Booth, you've got to stop doing that! Do you want me to come over and adjust your back again?"
"No, that's okay. But you could give me that massage I mentioned earlier in the week." That had to be the pain killers talking.
"I thought Agent Perotta would take care of that." Bitter. Territorial.
"Bones…" Booth groaned.
"You're obviously attracted to each other." Those words left an awful taste in her mouth.
"We are not having this conversation."
"Uh, there is one thing you can do," Booth said, anxious to change the subject
"The doctor said I might need a new mattress. Wanna help me find the perfect one?"
Brennan nearly dropped the phone. "I don't know if that's appropriate, Booth."
It was Booth's turn to sigh. "I'm not trying to get you into bed, Bones. I'm just asking you to help me find one. Besides, as long as I'm on these pain killers, I'm not allowed to operate heavy machinery. That means I can't drive."
"I thought you said your back was feeling better. Why are you still taking the Vicodin?"
"There's just a little residual pain. So, yes or no?"
"Fine. I'll pick you up in an hour."
"Thanks, Bones. I owe you."
"I'll make sure you pay up. Bye, Booth."
Exactly an hour later, Brennan knocked on Booth's door.
"It's open!" Booth yelled from inside.
Brennan found him in the living room. "Do you always leave your door open, Booth? That's not safe."
"It's only open when I'm expecting someone."
"It was open yesterday when Agent Perotta came by. Were you expecting her?"
"She called to see how I was and mentioned she might stop by with some food."
"Homemade. She likes you."
"What's your sudden obsession with her?" Booth asked sharply as he bent to pick up the television remote from the coffee table. The sharp, agitated movement was too much, and Booth winced in pain.
"I'm not obsessed with Agent Perotta. I just think she's going out of her way to impress you."
"Didn't you request her assistance with this case?"
"Yes, but only because I'd worked with her before, and I didn't want to break in a new agent."
"Nothing, Bones. It's just funny to hear you talking about breaking in agents." He grimaced as he turned off the television.
"Are you sure you're up to this?"
"I don't have a choice. Gotta get that mattress soon."
"Apparently," Brennan agreed. "Do you need some Vicodin before we leave?"
"No, it makes me fuzzy."
"Fuzzy?" Brennan tried to hide her grin.
"Yeah, you know, groggy, tired. I don't want to fall asleep while I'm trying out mattresses."
"Yeah, you might drool on the display," Brennan laughed.
"That was not funny, Bones."
"You're right. That's disgusting."
"All the things you've seen and you think a little drool is gross?"
Brennan shrugged. "You better grab your coat. It's chilly."
"Thanks, Mother," Booth replied with an exaggerated eye roll.
The first two mattress stores were busts, one store lacking quantity, the other lacking quality. They walked in the entrance of the third mattress store and stopped, taking in the grandeur of the building itself and the plethora of mattresses housed within.
"Welcome to Mattress, Mattress, Mattress!" a saleswoman said as she approached them. "My name is Laura. How can I help you?"
"We're looking for a mattress," Booth replied.
"She probably knows that, Booth. We're in a mattress store." She turned her attention to Laura. "He's had some back problems lately."
"I know the perfect thing for you." She smiled and clasped her hands together. "Follow me."
Booth and Brennan glanced at each other then followed the saleswoman to the far corner of the store.
"This is the Sleep Number bed. It's one of our top sellers for couples. What's so great about this one is that each side of the bed can be adjusted to fit you. You'll sleep soundly, even if your required firmness isn't the same!"
"We're not together," Booth and Brennan said in unison.
"Oh, I'm incredibly sorry. I just assumed…"
"We get that a lot," Booth told her. "Let's try something else."
"Certainly. We've got numerous brands, most of which have various features. I'm sure we can find something you like. Now, you said you've had some back problems…"
"Thank you for your help, but we'll just look around," Brennan interrupted.
Stunned by Brennan's abruptness, Laura cleared her throat and forced a smile. "Okay, then. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance." Then she was gone.
"That was a little harsh, don't you think?" Booth quietly asked Brennan.
"She was wasting a lot of time. I was merely trying to speed up the process so you can get back home. Being on your feet for long periods of time isn't good for your back."
"So you were trying to help me."
For the next hour, they looked at multiple mattresses.
Booth couldn't find a single one he liked. His back was beginning to throb, and he was on the verge of giving up in the search for the perfect mattress. He sighed heavily and sat down on the edge of another mattress. Immediately and infinitely more comfortable than all the previous ones, Booth bounced on the mattress, then flopped back on it and closed his eyes.
"This is it, Bones. You've gotta try it."
"Why? I'm not going to be using it."
"Hey, you never know."
Booth sat up and peered at Brennan. "No, what I meant was that you might need a new mattress sometime. And you're already here. You might as well test one, right?"
"You do have a point."
Booth grinned, and before Brennan knew it, he grabbed her hand and pulled her down on the bed beside him.
"Booth!" Brennan exclaimed again. "I thought you said you weren't trying to get me into bed!"
"I can change my mind!"
Another customer tested out a nearby mattress and loudly cleared her throat, obviously disgusted by their antics.
Embarrassed, Booth got up.
Brennan looked up at him, then something caught her eye. She picked up the plastic covered display sheet with the statistics for the mattress. She grinned as she read the name brand.
Brennan turned the sheet so he could see.
"Seeley sleeping on a Sealy. Fitting." He returned her smile. "So, which one do you like better?"
"What?" she asked confused.
"The Sealy," he indicated the mattress, "or the Seeley?" he finished with a wide grin and an eyebrow wiggle.
Brennan rolled her eyes and stood as the disgusted customer huffed and moved to a different part of the store.
Another saleswoman, Brenda, approached. "Are you finding everything you need?" she asked politely.
Booth quickly glanced at Brennan. "I think so."
"Great! We can take your payment right over here. Will you be taking this with you today, or would you like us to deliver?"
"Deliver it," Brennan answered.
"Certainly," Brenda said.
They moved to the sales counter and finished making the purchase.
Outside, they made their way to Brennan's car. Even though she was driving, Booth insisted on opening her door.
"I can open my own door."
"Hey, remember chivalry isn't dead," he called as he walked around to his side.
"It should be." The rest of her reply died on her lips as she saw Booth's grimace. "What is it, Booth? Your back?"
"I'm fine," he grunted.
"No you're not. You're in pain. I knew this was too much for you."
"I'm fine," he repeated.
"You probably reaggravated it when you pulled me down on the bed. That kind of unexpected movement can impede your progress."
"Do you have your medicine?"
Booth shook his head. "I left it at home."
Brennan sighed. "Good thing we're going straight there."
"Could we make one quick stop first?"
"I don't think you're in any shape to go anywhere."
"I need food. Takeout?"
Brennan sighed. "Fine, but I'm going in to get it. You stay in the car."
They made their final stop and headed to Booth's place.
They were getting out of Brennan's car when they spotted Agent Perotta descending the steps in front of Booth's door.
"Booth!" Agent Perotta called when she saw them. "Dr. Brennan."
"Is there something we can help you with, Agent Perotta?" Booth asked.
"Please, call me Payton. I was just stopping in to check on you."
"That was very thoughtful. You could have called, though."
"I could have," she replied awkwardly. "I brought you some more food. It's by the door."
"Thank you…Payton," Booth said, not quite comfortable with using her first name.
"Um, so you must be feeling better. You're up and moving around."
"Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better."
"He hurt his back again when he pulled me down on the bed," Brennan supplied.
"Uh, okay," Perotta replied, not quite knowing how to respond to Brennan's comment. She looked at her watch. "Well, I better get going. I hope you enjoy the chicken casserole, even though I can see that you've already planned for tonight's meal." She backpedaled toward her car. "See you later!"
"Bye," Booth called.
Booth and Brennan walked up the steps to his front door. Booth started to bend down to pick up the bag Perotta left, but Brennan stopped him.
"I'll come back and get that," Brennan said sharply.
"You're jealous," Booth said with a wide grin.
"No. No, I'm not," Brennan called over her shoulder as she hurried inside before Booth.
"Yes, you are."
"It's not jealousy. I just don't like her." She quickly put their takeout bag on the table and went back to retrieve Perotta's casserole.
She returned to the kitchen where Booth was pulling containers from the takeout bag. Brennan removed the casserole from its bag and moved to put it in the refrigerator. She closed the door and turned around, nearly running into Booth. She tried to sidestep him, but he blocked her.
He stepped closer and placed his hand flat against the fridge, effectively blocking Brennan's escape. "You have nothing to be jealous about. She's not my type."
"I'm not jealous." Was it her or did her voice sound strange?
Booth grinned as he pushed away from the fridge. "Tell you what. I won't share my Sealy with anyone."
"That's just the Vicodin talking."
Booth shook his head. "I didn't take it yet."
"Oh, good. Because I won't share my Seeley with anyone either."
Thanks for reading! Too cheesy? I have no idea where that came from…perhaps I was dipping into Booth's pain killers and was "incapacipatated."