Rating: Still T guys, but let's not be hasty about it. A build up makes the sex all the sweeter.
Disclaimer: Still not mine. I am never going to own them and for this reason, I declare, I will never write another disclaimer again. Take note: I get it. They belong to someone else.
Author's Note: Thank you for all the wonderful reviews I have received for this so far! I cannot believe how great the response has been! I hope that the premise keeps your interest and that everyone is enjoying the budding romance of our two favourite characters. Reviews feed my soul, my friends!
Dr Miller's office is surprisingly cozy - for a shrink's place of work. There is none of that minimalist theme, with sharp corners and glass. He welcomes us inside and gestures to a traditional cushioned couch.
Despite my preconception that Dr Miller was around the same age as Sweets, he is actually an older man who dresses in tweed and faintly smells of tobacco. I am comforted by him, put at ease by his friendly conversation and soft tones. Booth is tense, standing next to me with a rigid spine and squared shoulders. He confided earlier that he is worried what the hypnotist will reveal about his past. It occurs to me that there are many aspects of his childhood that Booth never got around to telling me. Dark things.
Dr Miller explains, once we are seated, how the process works. He tells Booth not to be apprehensive.
"Dr Miller," I say when he is finished, "I would ask that you delve only into the recent past. There is no justifiable reason why we should look further back, right?" The doctor agrees at once, reassuring Booth that anything beyond five years ago is a no-go zone. I find myself relieved at this - anything I learn about his past, I want him to be conscious of it. I don't want to discover what things happened in his life before me because a hypnotist drew it out like an illicit secret.
However Dr Miller does it, I am not sure. He talks in low, silky tones and his voice is distinctly soothing. Booth, rigid next to me, gradually and visibly loosens. His shoulders slump and the taut clenching of his jaw fades until he looks as though he has fallen into a slight doze. Even his tight fists ease and I watch this transformation, I admit, with scientific awe. How can, a person, I wonder, talk another person to sleep? I know Booth is not pretending. I can tell that he is barely conscious for even his breathing has slowed.
"That's right," the doctor coaxes, leaning forward in his armchair. He holds a clipboard on his lap and a ballpoint pen in his hand. "Now, let's begin." I angle myself towards Booth, watching him closely for any sign that is he aware of what is going on around him. I just barely stop myself from waving my hand in front of his eyes in fascination. "Seeley, can you hear me?" Dr Miller asks.
"Yes," Booth replied - perfectly lucid for a man in a dream-state.
"Where are you?"
"I'm in your office, Dr Miller." I half expect him to open his eyes and announce that it isn't working - but I know it has.
"Good... Seeley I want you to think back a while... will you do that for me? Think back to when you first met Dr Brennan. Have you done that?" A long silence elapses; my heart begins to beat furiously inside my chest. This is it, I decide. The moment when I will learn whether or not this bizarre form of treatment is going to work. Booth's features knot in confusion, as though he is trying extremely hard to work out a particularly difficult mathematical puzzle.
"Yes..." he murmurs at last. I barely contain the elation I feel, and hardly resist asking him questions myself. "Yes, I'm at the Jeffersonian Institute. I'm with... I'm with Temperance. And Angela..." his brow furrows in a frown. "And another guy... I can't seem to recall his name. I..." he pauses for a long time, his eyes shifting beneath his lids, as though he is dreaming. "Goodman," he announces. "Daniel Goodman." I weave my fingers together, nodding enthusiastically even though he cannot see me.
"Tell me, Seeley, what are you talking about?" Dr Miller is making notes now, scribbling on his clipboard but I can look at nothing but Booth and his lips, pursing as he mentally listens to our conversation, like an outsider.
"Temperance is annoyed with me. She says I'm making irrational leaps. I... I don't know what she's talking about. Goodman is telling her to calm down." I smile a little recalling the earliest days of our partnership. Booth could be referring to any number of such difficult occasions. "She's walking away." Miller scrawls something.
"And what are you thinking?" Booth gives a small smile, the kind I am used to seeing whenever he is suggesting something that he knows he shouldn't.
"That she has a magnificent ass." I hide my smile behind my palm, my eyes conveying seriousness while inside I am as giddy as a schoolgirl. Miller smirks, probably quite used to such lewd revelations under hypnosis. "And that she is way out my league," he adds as an afterthought, his tone far more serious. Almost sad.
"Hmm..." Dr Miller says thoughtfully. "Take us somewhere else now, Seeley. Somewhere with Dr Brennan... where are you?" Booth is silent - as though he has fallen into a sleep. There is no indication that he has even heard Dr Miller speak. I wait with bated breath because I don't want this to end. I like that in his mind, somewhere, however deep it is hidden, he remembers who I am. It gives me hope.
"The Washington Monument," he speaks in a trembling voice. "It's cold." He appears to be shivering, even in this catatonic state. I frown. "I've hurt her... I don't know... I can't remember but her eyes are so..." I lean forward, trying to catch the whispered words he is now speaking. He shakes his head. "There's a dead body up here, Dr Miller. We have to work now." Suddenly I remember... that he refers to a case early in our partnership, when a man was left halfway up the monument on a construction scaffolding.
I reach out and take his hand, squeezing my fingers around his. He squeezes back - tight.
"There's time for work later," Miller says. "For now, Seeley, I want you to come back to us. When you do, you should retain all these memories... will you do that?" Booth nods. "Okay... on the count of three... one... two... three." As if by magic, he opens his eyes and focuses on the room. He looks unsettled, a little confused and very lost. He looks at Dr Miller and then at me, staring blankly until the memories he has revisited fade and he remembers the purpose of his visit to this office. "That was excellent," The doctor sounds genuinely pleased. "A few more sessions as successful as this and you'll be well on your way to recovery!" I am delighted at this outcome, however short the session has been. He has memories of us... of our time together and I know we can build on it. Draw all his past out of his subconscious.
"When should I come back?" Booth asks, clearing his throat.
"A few days. Let's not wait too long between sessions." I nod in agreement, something of a hypnosis convert. "I can pencil you in for Monday." It is Friday now - only the weekend to pass before we can see the doctor again. I am pleased by this.
"That sounds great, doc."
"How do you feel?" Dr Miller asks, tucking his pen into his tweed jacket.
"A little... off balance. Like I don't know what is memories and what is reality. But other than that, I feel great." He looks at me, a touch contrite. "Sorry about the ass comment..." I realise I am still holding his hand tight and I squeeze again, reassuring him that I am neither mad nor disappointed. I feel rejuvenated.
"You responded very well to the treatment today. On Monday we will focus on your recent past with your family, especially your son." I dread this because I know he will have to revisit the trauma of Epps and how he targeted Parker. The young boy, so vulnerable, could easily have been murdered at the hands of Howard Epps. Even I feel nauseated when I think of it. "Go home and get some rest... think about things at your own leisure. Sometimes you will find that if you think about what you learned today, and try to expand on it, the memories will fall into place." Booth shakes the doctor's hand.
We leave the office in downtown DC and slip back into the traffic heading north. Booth is reflective.
"You know Temperance, that Dr Miller is a miracle worker." Although my rational mind wants to rebuke Booth for thinking there is anything such thing as a miracle, the part of me that is too delighted at the progress doesn't allow me to dispute.
"Everyone at work will be pleased at the progress you've made today. Especially Sweets, it was he who recommended Dr Miller, don't forget." Booth nods. "We can tell them tomorrow when we join everyone for dinner." The radio plays some mellow country tune and we listen to it in companionable silence for a few minutes, until the DJ announces heavy traffic on the north bound route. I groan, filled with distain about the prospect of an eternity stuck in heavy gridlock. "I hate traffic."
"Are you impulsive, Temperance?" Booth asks me. It seems his train of thought has no relevance to what I have just said,
"Impulsive? Yes, very much at times." Too much, I used to be told. At the drop of a hat, I would accept assignments in the most dangerous lands in the world. "Maybe not as much now." Booth gives a wicked smile - the kind that gives me tingles of anticipation. The kind that makes me wonder what delightful thing is around the corner.
"Then let's go south." At first I think this is some filthy innuendo - one that I am ready to opt in to, might I add, when I realise he means literally.
"The traffic is heavy going north, so let's go south. Let's just drive." It takes around twenty seconds of deliberation before I perform a fairly illegal U-Turn in the middle of the road and head in the opposite direction. When I look at him, he is grinning. "Road-trip!" he announces, laughing.