Title: blacking out the friction

Pairing(s): Booth/Brennan

Fandom: Bones

Rating: R

Words: 2499

Spoilers: I'd say up to late season 4. Disregarding the tumor business.

A/N: Oh haiiii. I finally worked up the courage to write some Bones!fic. It's so much more enjoyable, for some reason, than writing JK or BL, though no less angsty. Also, yes, Booth goes to war. Overdone? Probs. Still fun to write? Word.

Disclaimer: Bones is not mine. What a shame. Seriously. Also, Death Cab For Cutie owns this title. Just, fyi.

{ i think there's a moment for two people…it's an anthropological inevitability }

"War is an antiquated practice that only goes to exemplify the actual barbaric nature of the human race."

"What part of, my country needs me, do you not understand?"

"Actually, if you're personifying the United States, it would be more accurate to state that, judging by political standing, a little less than half of the citizens actually would agree with that. Though I don't like to state my own political beliefs, I'll have to tell you that I do not include myself in that portion and – "

"Okay, Bones." Booth holds up his hands. "I get it, all right?"

When he tells her, she laughs. It isn't because she finds it funny (after shifting through remains in Darfur, she will never find war funny), but because she simply doesn't believe him.

"You're laughing."

"You're joking."

"Wish that I was."

He needs to show her the letter before she believes him.

"Sweetie, he wants you to tell him not to go."

"What do you mean?"

"He wants you to tell him that you need him more than the 'country' that he keeps preaching."

"Ange, that's ridiculous. I do not need Booth."

Newton's first law of motion states that objects continue to move in a state of constant velocity unless acted upon by an external net force. She has never been, and will never be, that net force, because, you see, there's this thing called a line.

Every single say it's with us and there's this line and we can't cross it – you know what I'm saying?

(Yes. I understand)

But for the first time in awhile, she doesn't.

You know, fuck the line. Because there is a war going on, and war is so far from normal that sometimes lines need to be crossed. Not just territorial ones, but figurative ones, too.

He drinks nearly every night now and thinks about how hiding in trenches will be so much more difficult this time around because he has someone to come home to.

Well, he doesn't have her, exactly. Not yet. But he will.

Fuck. He groans. That statement is not a given.

"Don't go."

"Bones, what are you doing here?"

He asks, the words dry on his tongue, but he should really be asking, what took you so long? and why are you soaking wet?

She steps into his apartment, frazzled and…flustered. Flustered? Her cheeks are rosy red, her eyes brimming with what couldn't be tears, but which look very much like them in his dazed state.

She thrusts a manila folder into his arms. "I thought I'd bring you over the case notes from last week. They won't be any use to you anymore, but I figured that, per chance you might want them, I'd…" she trails off. "Don't go, Booth."

He looks up. Those words again. Curious. So, un-Boneslike.

"Bones, we talked about this. It's only a year."

A year.

Things that take less than a year:

A pregnancy.

The list ends there, because somehow he can't get past Booth and Brennan and Babies and Bones.

"You know, because while you're away the work we do together will be suspended, we technically are no longer partners. For the time being."

"Bones." Booth sighs, exasperated, and puts down his fork. "Don't talk like that."

He reports for duty in three days.

"Sorry." She falls silent. "Can I ask you something?"

"Would you listen if I said no?"

"Are we moving along the line?"

"Excuse me?"

"There's a line, right? And technically a line continues infinitely in either direction, so if you assume that we are moving along said line in a two-dimensional plane, we will never reach the end. In which case, the line will never be crossed, as we will both be moving along it on opposite sides in a parallel nature."

"…"

"And remember when you said that everything happens eventually? Well, if the line never is crossed, then that creates quite a paradox, don't you agree?"

"…"

"You didn't get any of that, did you?"

"Not really, no."

"Nevermind, then."

The funny thing is, he did understand all of it fairly clearly, but he'll never tell her that, because wouldn't that just be excellent timing, what with him leaving in three days and all. And when he tells Angela the next day exactly what Brennan said, the artist just laughs and tells Booth that that's Brennan's way of informing him that she would like nothing more than to fuck him, just once, before he leaves for Afghanistan and she loses her chance possibly forever.

Sometimes Bones' scientific mumbo jumbo is just her way of producing indecipherable euphemisms.

"Bones, we talked about this. It's only a year."

"Unless you die. Then it's forever."

She's always been blunt, but that one hits him hard, deep down at the base of his chest.

"Bones…"

"You're going to be stationed about twenty miles from the border into Taliban territory, Booth." Border. More lines. "Statistically speaking, your chances of survival are slim enough to –"

"Alright, Bones, just shut up, okay?"

She does. She shuts her mouth, purses it lightly in that way she does when she's leaning over the examination table running her fingers over a patella. A tibia. L1 Vertebrae. L2. L3. And she's soaked through to the skin, and he realizes vaguely that it must be raining and isn't that nice? for it to be raining his last night home before he heads off into the desert.

She fidgets, waiting for him to speak.

She recognizes that things are shifting.

It's funny, because she's normally so perceptive, so acutely aware of everything going on around her, but this, this thing, somehow managed to sneak up on her.

She notices in small moments. Small feelings.

Like the way his hand feels when he rests it on the small of her back. Like how she sometimes wakes up late in the night and can still taste him on her tongue from that one Christmas, was it really nearly two years ago?

"Temp –"

She steps back, hurt.

He tries again. "Brennan…"

She looks away. This is not them. He is trying to be serious, to prove to her that she matter and he matters and they matter, and that this is worth it.

(Good. We agree to understand that this is worth it.)

Her back is brushing against her bookshelf right now, and she focuses on a spot over his shoulder.

"Bones." The words come out as a sigh on his lips and he places one hand on the shelf, close close close to her ear, and touches his forehead to hers.

She stands completely still and he wonders if this is their moment. How do you know when your moment is there? Here. Now. He brushes his lips lightly, barely, against hers.

Then her tiny, delicate, genius, precise, hands are against his chest, and she pushes him back, hard.

He is stunned silent for a minute, and neither of them speak, but she breathes out hard, and he recognizes that they still stand on opposite sides of that invisible line.

Then she slaps him. Hard.

("That's hot."

"What? Oh, Vegas is hot."

Yes, Vegas is hot, and Oklahoma is hot, and L.A. is hot, and even on their last day in London, the temperature spikes at eighty-five. And the Middle East will be hot, he remembers this from years – wow, a decade – ago, but she won't be around to suffer with him. When it's warm, she wears low-cut tank tops, and he trains his eyes on the bones, not the Bones, but the remains, around him. )

"You promised," she hisses, and the words tug at his limbs and dig deep down under his skin. "You promised you wouldn't betray me."

(Will you betray me?

No.)

Everybody has left her. Brother. Father. Mother. Sully, and various other lovers that drift in and out with the tide, some catching longer than others, before she ultimately casts them away, because there is something off with all of them.

The rain attacks the windowsill and the apartment feels heated and silent and cramped. She is waiting for his reply.

( Love is a chemical process, which causes delusion." )

Pheromones.

But pheromones don't explain how sometimes he gives her a look, or sometimes they have a conversation, and this thing happens, and she's not a fan of unspecific nouns, but she isn't quite sure how else to articulate. Like, for example…

(You all want to lose yourself in another person. You believe that love is transcendent and eternal. I want to believe that, too.

Hey, you will. I promise. Someday you will. You will someday, okay? You will.)

Anthropologically speaking, for millennia, males have gone off to fight, to hunt, and females have been left behind. This is natural, correct? A natural reaction to the most dominate man in her life suddenly taking leave. Right?

Right.

He hadn't thought this would be so difficult. No more Thai on Friday nights, and no more bickering over interrogation, and no more cancelling dates because, gosh, sorry, but my partner and I are way behind on paperwork, and no more watching her discretely as she adjusts her clothing or pours over evidence or sips her coffee. No more her.

But right now, she is everywhere.

"I have to do this."

"Bullshit," she snaps, catching him off guard because he can't remember the last time he's heard her curse.

And suddenly he's angry. He's angry that she toys with him, completely unawares. He hates the way she's never emotionally available, how she's rational to a fault. He hates the way she makes him feel, especially now, all mussed hair and soaked skin. He feels her everywhere.

"Don't try and make me feel guilty, Bones. This is my life."

"Don't go."

"Bones."

He can't count the number of times he's said her name in the past few minutes, but each time is more painful than the last. His voice softens.

"Just, stop. You don't get it. I have to do this," he repeats. "And if you tell me one more time not to go, I don't think I'll be able to. So please, please don't."

She doesn't.

( It's nothing to be ashamed of, Booth. Humans act upon a hierarchy of needs, and sex is very highly ranked. It's an anthropological inevitability.

Thank you, Bones. I really appreciate you boiling me down to your anthropological inevitabilities

Sure.

Anytime. )

He reports for duty in twelve hours.

( I think there's a moment for two people where they can either catch fire or... )

Is this their moment?

Sometimes she wonders if she's had too many chances. To catch fire, that is. Figuratively speaking.

"Thank you." It is a whisper and a call and a declaration and the moment it leaves his mouth he is everywhere around her. She is only acutely aware of the shelf digging into her lower back, of her wrist being grabbed and held and pinned against the wall, somewhere above her head.

Oh. So this is what it feels like.

She tastes the way she smells and she's smelled incredible for the four years he's known her. And her tongue is wet and warm and fast, and she catches on quickly, to this thing that their doing, though she might chastise him for calling it that.

His hands are everywhere, and he ruminates, fleetingly, on the fact that this should be different. Under sheets, slowly, gently, after four years of drawn out tension that will somehow break in a single moment. But this isn't slow, nor gentle. It is fast and rough and angry, because he reports for duty at 0900 hours, and the time they used to take for granted is fading fast.

Her arms, her neck, her stomach, her breasts. His tongue flickers across her collarbone and she lets out something between a gasp and a moan and he's fairly sure they've just tripped over the line.

Tripping, falling, kissing.

Oh god, yes.

( Jesus fucking Christ, she looks sexy in red dress, but shit, she isn't Roxy and they are not engaged to be engaged, and he cannot take her right now, up against the hotel room wall, because she is Dr. Temperance Brennan and he is Special Agent Seeley Booth, and partners do not do things like that.

See, there's a line…)

Halfway to her bedroom, pants around his ankles, and he wonders briefly if this isn't the worst idea he's ever had. But then she is falling back onto the bed and pulling him down with her and her hand catches somewhere between his legs and all that rationale goes out the window.

Besides – technically speaking, they are no longer partners.

He is pushing down her jeans and the rainwater on her is falling on to his skin but he cares so little because all that ache is building up inside of him and all he wants to say is…

( You're not a bad anything)

Iloveyou but all of a sudden she is crying, and he also wants to cry but continues because they passed the point of no return awhile ago.

"This is our moment," he whispers into the soft skin of her neck and she just sighs a little, and then ohgod, right when he pushes inside of her, and, okay, this is the moment.

He's afraid that he won't be able to hold out long, because fuck, he's wanted this for too, too long, and it is too fast and rushed and angry for him to hold concentration or coherent thought. Her nails dig welts into his back as he pushes and pulls from inside of her. She is beautiful, and she is beautiful all the time, but even more so like this – uninhibited.

"Bones."

( Don't call me Bones.

Booth? It's Bones. )

She comes, hard, fast, and loud around him and he hadn't been expecting it but he follows soon after, spilling himself inside of her, and that was the moment, and god, it certainly took them long enough.

But, then…

( It is scientifically impossible for two objects to occupy the same space.

But what's important is we try. And when we do it right, we get close. )

Sometimes, she'll call him in the middle of the night, or he'll call her, and they'll just talk for awhile, and why does Sweets think we only talk about work, and then hang up at four in the morning and never mention it again.

His telephone time in Afghanistan will be limited.

She turns away from him, and he watches the way her spine curves underneath the creamy plane of her back. He cannot see her face, but he knows that she's crying again.

He tries to touch her. He tries, that is what is important.

She won't let him.

Did he ruin them? Did he break them? Is it his fault? Is it hers?

He reports for duty in eleven hours.

--

Random, completely unrelated fact about me: I like reviews.