Both parts of this diptych involve the possibility of B&B actually having sex in the finale – not in a dream AND not in the future, no cheating, but for realz. Part 1 was written a while ago, when spoilers were just beginning to come in, when everybody was kind of freaking out – the anxiety of those days is sort of encapsulated in this ficlet – and we had NO CLUE what was going on. Only that Booth's health problem caused hallucinations and had something to do with B&B having sex and getting in bed together naked, but we didn't know what the health crisis would be yet.
When I was chatting with SSJL back then we speculated – among other things - that a plausible option would be that Brennan had to warm up a hypothermic and hallucinating naked Booth on a remote mountain somewhere cold, like Alaska, and that one thing had led to another…
POST COITUM OMNE ANIMAL TRISTE EST
"Well I'm not seventeen but I've cuts on my knees
Falling down as the winter takes one more cherry tree"
Tori Amos – Girl
When Brennan and Booth returned to the lab in the morning, after traveling all night from Alaska, Booth brought Cam up to speed on the platform while Brennan got them coffee from the lounge upstairs, where Angela intercepted her.
Angela greeted her with a wide, happy smile and in a singsong voice. "Good morning!"
Brennan's reply was a lukewarm, "Hye."
Angela drew up a perfectly shaped eyebrow. "Well, somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning."
You have no idea. The wrong bed altogether. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so bland. I just didn't sleep very well."
"Yeah, the red-eye sucks. Don't worry about it."
Brennan grabbed her coffee, turned and already started to walk away when Angela off-handedly added another comment.
"Anyway, that's what you get for playing in the snow with Agent Hottie, up there in the wilderness."
The beginning of a grin formed around Angela's lips. Her excitement was curbed, however, by the stern look on Brennan's face.
Brennan panicked and stopped in her tracks. Oh God, she could smell it on her like a dog.
Somewhere between curious and suspicious, Angela gently inquired, "Did something happen up there?"
She sucked in a breath. Holy mother of God, yes! A union. Skin. Lips. Hands. Four years' worth of emotions both primitive and ethereal. Explosions. But whatever it was that happened between them – something she didn't fully comprehend yet – they had left it up on that mountain. And now her feelings were all over the place.
Post coitum omne animal triste est. After sexual union all creatures feel a little blue.
Her already tenuous composure had held up admirably throughout two car rides and three different flights, but it had been sliding through her fingers like grains of sand since the airport: the nearer they came to the Jeffersonian the greater felt the contrast between the real world that awaited them here and their mind-bending night of passion, and her composure was crumbling fast.
"I'm…" She swallowed and wished her throat didn't feel so tight.
And she might have been able to hold out until she got home, shut the door, let her clothes fall where they would and then bawl her eyes out in the shower, but now Angela was asking her about what happened with that odd mixture of sympathy, concern and tenderness that nearly made her burst into tears right here.
She was sure that Angela would have many questions most of which she didn't want to – or simply couldn't – answer just yet. And she certainly didn't feel up to any kind of squealing or cheering. But flat-out lying to her best friend was unacceptable.
Angela rushed to her side. "Hey. Are you feeling alright?"
"I'm…not sure yet," she answered honestly.
"But I don't think I'm really ready to talk about it yet," she added unsteadily.
Unconsciously her gaze slid to the platform, to an exuberantly talking Booth, who stood with his back to her; his broad shoulders marred in abandonment by her nails, hidden now under that strait-laced business suit.
Praeter gallum qui cantat. Except for the rooster who crows.
Bravado seemed to be his preferred form of subterfuge, and she could understand that much.
He seemed to sense her eyes on him because he looked over his shoulder and stilled his mouth and his movements for a moment to nod his encouragement, caressing and soothing her with his eyes if such a thing were possible; both unaware of the look of understanding and concern that Angela and Cam exchanged over their heads.
When Brennan turned back to her, the sparkle of unshed tears in her eyes nearly undid Angela. But if Brennan was to open up to her at all, it was imperative she not start weeping herself and make this any bigger and more confusing for Brennan than it already was.
"Okay. Well, I'll be here, sweetie. Know that I'm here to talk when you are ready. Whenever." But her face and tone of voice still betrayed how worried she was, even to Brennan.
She hung her head, giving a barely perceptible nod. "Thank you," she said softly.
Angela pushed out a long breath, slid an arm around her and pulled Brennan to her in a half-hug, letting it linger for a few seconds to infuse her with as much solace and affection as possible.
When she felt her friend hesitate for a few moments before she finally surrendered to the embrace, Angela nearly cried.
All these years of hard work and now – whatever had happened up in those remote mountains – her best friend felt utterly rejected again.
Need therapy? Click the little button and talk about it! (Talking about it helps, dahlingks)
And stay tuned for part 2 because I promise that will cheer you up!