Thank for all the feedback for my last fic, 'Because I Wanted To.' I know I haven't replied to all of your reviews, but I will! This is a post-ep for "The Cinderella in the Cardboard," though anything prior could possibly be referenced, too. I'm on vacation, and yesterday, ironically, I spent all day in Disney World with my family, where we took lots of pictures of Cinderella's Castle. Appropriate, yes? Anyway, enjoy!
They sat in companionable silence and continued to drink. Well, Booth, not so much; he'd finished his scotch a long time ago, but didn't ask Brennan for more. One of them needed to be sober enough to keep things from going too far. He knew what alcohol could do to a person's ability to think rationally--when had he started channeling Brennan?--and he wasn't going to jeopardize their partnership, no, friendship, no, relationship because they'd downed too much scotch.
She shifted against him, and he saw her once again raise the bottle to her lips. Too much alcohol in such a short period of time decreased her coordination, and though she got most of the liquid in her mouth, some of it dribbled off her chin and landed on her shirt. She wiped her mouth with the back of her free hand and sighed.
Booth wrapped his hand around the bottle and slowly removed it from her hand. "I think you've had enough for tonight, Bones."
"No, the…bad feeling is still there." Her eyes briefly flashed to his.
"Mentally, you still feel bad, because of Sweets and Daisy, but if you keep drinking, the physical bad is going to catch up quickly."
He placed the bottle on the table and leaned back, gently resting his arm on the back of the couch behind Brennan.
"You're right," she whispered as he settled against her.
"What?" he feigned surprise. "You're telling me I was right two times in the same conversation?"
She smiled and elbowed him playfully.
He laughed as he squeezed her shoulder. "I'm really proud of you, Bones," he said lightly.
"Because I told you that you were right?"
"No, that you admitted to being jealous."
"I might be slightly inebriated, but isn't jealousy supposed to be a bad thing?"
"For most people, yes. But for you, no."
"I don't understand. What makes me special?"
"So many things," he said under his breath.
"What?" she asked as she turned to look at him.
"It's just that you've prided yourself on not needing anyone and denying that you're incapable of loving. It's nice to hear you admit that you're ready for a change."
"We're all constantly evolving, so rationally, change is expected."
"Yeah, we'll go with Evolution on this one," Booth replied sarcastically. "Even though you told me that it takes thousands of years."
She smiled as she remembered that specific conversation in the Royal Diner. "The whole process does take thousands of years, but even the slightest change is measured. Each change or mutation builds upon all the previous ones, so every step, no matter how minute, is vital."
Booth chuckled to himself. Even after downing a large quantity of scotch, she was more scientifically articulate than he'd ever be. He decided he wouldn't have it any other way.
They sat in easy silence as he tried to think of a response. It wasn't too long before he felt Brennan's head fall back against his arm. He smiled and shifted into what he hoped would be a more comfortable position for both of them. His smile widened as she unconsciously inched closer to him.
Brennan awoke with a splitting headache. She struggled to open her eyes, but when she did, she found herself on Booth's couch, a blanket tucked snugly around her. She sat up and spotted the bottle of scotch on the table, and memories of her conversation with Booth came flooding back. Where was he, anyway?
"Booth?" she called.
"Booth?" she said a little louder.
Still no answer.
Then something else on the table caught her eye--a glass of water, two aspirin, and a piece of paper. She picked up the paper and read:
Will be back soon with breakfast.
She mustered up a small smile and took the two pills. She finished the water and flopped back against the couch, covering her eyes with her forearm in a futile attempt to block out bright sunlight seeping in between the blinds.
Booth found her like that fifteen minutes later.
"Mornin', Bones!" Booth greeted her cheerfully.
She groaned in response.
"I got coffee!" he said as he moved the blanket and sat down next to her and handed her a cup. "How are you feeling?"
"I've been better, but I've also been worse."
"Yeah, you hit the bottle pretty hard," Booth joked.
"Yeah," she said with a tiny laugh. "About last night…"
"It's not a problem, Bones. I'm sorry I left you on the couch, but I figured you'd be upset if you woke up in my bed."
"Why would I be upset if I woke up in your bed?" Immediately, she knew she'd made him uncomfortable. "That didn't come out right, did it?"
"Uh, no," Booth replied.
"The couch was fine, but that wasn't what I was going to ask you about."
"Oh, what was it, then?"
"I've done a lot of thinking--recently, not just last night--and I need your help with something."
"Sure, Bones. What is it?"
"I need you to teach me how to lose myself in someone."
"Bones, I don't know if I'm the right person for…"
"Please, Booth?" Brennan interrupted him.
Booth sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Feelings…don't come with an instruction manual. You can't just teach someone to feel a certain way. That's why they're so complicated."
"Then how will I know if it's my someday?"
"You'll just know, Bones. You'll just know."
Thanks for reading!