A/N: Okay, so now that I look at this I'm thinking it's a bit OOC but I'll let you guys decide. The story flops all over the place; I know that's one of the things I need to work on in order to improve my writing. So let me know what you think! And prepare yourself for the roller coaster ride that is Bones and Booth!
She sets him up on the couch and he's grateful. As she walks to the kitchen he takes in her apartment. He feels oddly comfortable here, considering the assortment of creepy artifacts. He knows the layout, which means he must've been here before, which means that they must've been closer than just acquaintances.
"Keep on Trying by Poco, nice song!" He yells to her in the kitchen, as she's getting both of them waters. He tries to keep the mood light, after his heavy appearance at her door a few moments ago.
He watches her as she pads back into the living room. He watches the sway of her hips and the way her hair falls over her shoulders and realizes that even in flannel pajama bottoms and a tank top, he was wildly attracted to her.
She sits across from him on a chair, drawing her legs up with her. Only a coffee table separates them but he feels like it's still too much. He studies her again; watching her cradle the mug of water with two hands and slowly take a sip before resting it on her knees. A silence settles over the room, so he decides to simply cut to the chase.
"How do you know me?" He asks again, calmer this time.
"Booth-" Her voice is resigned and she's not making eye contact. He doesn't want her to resist his questions so he cuts her off.
"I feel like I know you!" He protests. She watches him and once he knows that he has her attention, he plows on.
"I've read all your books and I saw this." He pulls out the book, flipping to the marked dedication page. "That's me. That's my name." He looks down and points at the words, as if still shocked to be reading it. "Was I an actual FBI agent!?! What happened? How do you know me?" It's all rushing out now and he can't seem to slow down his heart rate.
"Calm down Booth. I'll tell you, just, it's a long story."
"This book is dedicated to my partner and friend, Special Agent Seeley Booth." He recites it to her, without looking away from her eyes. He's committed the special sentence to memory, cherishing it. After reading it so many times looking for clues, he could rewrite her entire book, not just the dedication.
"You were my partner and my friend." She tells him, verifying the dedication.
"That's all." He states it, even though he meant it as more of a question. Booth turns his head and keeps watching her; unsure of what she could tell him.
"No, not at all." She's quieter now than at lunch, her eyes only meeting his briefly, every now and then.
"You trust me." He tilts his head to the other side. This time, he meant it as a statement rather than a question.
"I work at the Jeffersonian."
"I know, it's in your 'About the Author' page." He smiles gently, urging her to continue.
"Well, you were an FBI agent who needed help from the team on a lot of cases you worked on,"
She's starting out by stating basic facts. He gentle with her because he knows she's a rational person. Even in this situation, where the hardest of people might crumble, she still doesn't want to give away her emotions. She's guarded which means she probably had something traumatic happen in her past, or maybe her past was just traumatic in general.
"You called us the squint squad." He looked confused as she continued. "Because you said, we, science-types squinted at things. We inspected every detail very carefully, and I think it bothered you."
"I noticed, it feels kind of like you're squinting at me, like I'm a little bone on your analyzing table,"
She laughs lightly. "I don't mean to intimidate you. It's just how I see people."
She kept talking for hours and hours until the only light was coming from the weak lamp on the end table. She told him how each of them had been kidnapped, on separate occasions. She talked about the many times they've gone undercover, and all the crazy people they'd met. She even spoke of all the times their lives had been in danger. She explained about her family, how her father had reappeared a few years back, how her mother had died and how her brother Russ had his own family now.
"So you're the daughter of Max and Ruth Keenan. The criminals." He sat dumbfounded, that all this had happened to her, alone.
"I go by Temperance Brennan." Her voice was flat and her jaw pronounced and yet with Booth, she softened. She relaxed her shoulders and back and in a quieter voice said, "But you, only you called me 'Bones."
"You know that fits, because I don't really see you as a 'Temperance." He matches her sad smile with one of his own as a comfortable silence fills the air.
"You know, it's actually not my birth name."
His eyes flicker and for some reason, he thinks he knows what her real name is.
"Joy," he whispers.
Suddenly, Brennan can't breathe. She wants to scream and jump and cry and laugh all at once, but she stays curled up in the chair, watching Booth as he sits on her couch wringing his hands.
"Wait, you blackmailed me? So I would let you come into the field with me? You blackmailed a federal agent!"
She laughs at his astonishment because she knows that without her stubbornness and persistence to work with him, they never would've gotten to know each other.
"Okay, well I have a question for you Bones."
"Ask away," She says with a sweeping gesture with her hand.
"Are you Kathy? And am I Andy?"
"What? No Booth, those are fictional characters from my books."
He smirks at her answer, her obviously practiced excuse. Whether she realizes it or not, he knows that he's Andy and that she's Kathy.
"Alright, alright, but I have another question."
"Okay," she sighs curiously.
"Why do I have the urge to call you 'Roxie?"
And that simple question is the thing that sends her over the edge. She suddenly feels goosebumps spreading up her back and over her arms. She shivers, and the shake causes her to spill the lukewarm coffee that she was clutching on her lap.
"Bones!" He jumps up and follows her as she rushes into the kitchen.
"You shouldn't remember, Booth. It's been a year!" She's hunched over using a sponge to scrub the stain out of her pajama bottoms. He's so silent that is causes her to pause to look up at him.
He's standing leaning against her counter looking confused. She watches him think, studies his contorted face as he obviously is recalling a memory and suddenly he's back, only this time with the knowledge of who Roxie is. He looks ashamed and so she finds a calmer voice and asks, "Hey, do you want to order takeout?"
"Why do I feel like we've done this before?" he asks. They share crooked smiles before he returns to the couch.
As she rummages through the kitchen drawer to find the number for the restaurant, she smiles again to herself. They're back, just like it's always been. They're able to go from 0-60 in seconds, only this time she's reassuring him instead of the other way around.
She dials the number and listens to the phone ring while leaning on the doorframe, absorbing the image of him on her couch. He sits with a stack of her CDs on his lap with one arm rifling through the pile and the other stretched across the back of the sofa. He looks comfortable, and in her mind he looks like he belongs there.
After she places their order she goes back into the living room, only to find Booth turning up the volume on a CD he just put in.
"What album did you-" But she's cut off by the guitar and drums as the music answers for itself.
"Foreigner!" He yells, as he starts bobbing his head and singing the lyrics.
"We should probably lower the music before my neighbors complain!" She yells back. Her words are contradicted by the fact that she's smiling and dancing right along next to Booth.
"Aw c'mon Bones you missed your cue!"
"Right there! You were supposed to kick your leg again, like last time!" He teases.
The fact that he remembered something else sends a jolt of energy through her. She starts jumping to the beat and singing louder. She dances over to Booth as he plays air-guitar and she adjusts herself so they're dancing back to back. Even though the song is on repeat, neither of the two loses their enthusiasm.
After what feels like only a few minutes, the doorbell rings with their food so Booth lowers the music but Brennan keeps on dancing. She sways over and opens the door, taking the food and paying the delivery man without stopping dancing.
She takes the food in one hand and starts swaying back over to Booth. He's sitting on the couch and laughing at her wiggling. The music is off and the quiet air starts to smother the apartment. His loving gaze is matched by her unsure one, but then she breaks the electric trance and starts to serve up their food.
They finished eating their takeout over an hour ago, but there always seemed to be an excuse for him to stay just a little bit longer. He keeps asking her simple questions that she answers with some hesitation. They're sitting side by side on her couch and the closeness is affecting her, so she picks at her food as a distraction.
She had showed Booth the Brainy smurf and Jasper. The little toys he gave her seem familiar to him, but he doesn't mention it.
While they're talking he nudges her playfully and she laughs, a 100-watt smile spreading across her face. The silence that follows is comfortable, but the look he gives her isn't. She always had a feeling that Booth liked her, but the way he stares at her now leaves no doubt in her mind. It's as if the coma erased all the hesitance in his mind, his coma erased his 'line', the one he told her partners can't cross.
She moves so her head is resting on his shoulder, her hair falls in her face but he brushes it away.
"Did we used to do this when we were partners?" He croaks out
"Never," She laughs sadly. "But we were the best partners; we closed a lot of cases together."
But what she says makes him tense up; she can feel it without even looking at him.
"Booth?-" He stands up suddenly and she's confused.
"What did I do you?" He whirls around and asks her. It's not angry, but it's not gentle. He's distraught and he finally needs answers after more than a year of living without any.
"Nothing, Booth!" She recognizes his fear of hurting her.
"Then why did you leave?!"
She opens her mouth but nothing comes out. The reason she left, was selfish, and she can't bring herself to admit this to the most selfless person she knows.
"Why weren't you there when I didn't remember anyone? I mean, from what I can remember about us Bones, I can't think of any fights."
"Remember?! What do you remember?" She's standing now, stepping closer to him in her uncontrollable bewilderment.
"Enough." He stands too, convincingly crossing his arms.
"What do you remember about us Booth?!" She asks again.
"Did you love me?" And now he shocks her again, for the hundredth time today.
"Wha-" She's breathing heavily and can't seem to grasp his sudden change of topic.
"I loved you, Bones. I still do. I'm the same person I've always been."
"I… I uh," She tries to look everywhere in the room but at his face.
Her hands are on her hips but her arms are hanging loosely. He wants to touch her, console her, even though he's the source of her distress. Instead he turns his palms toward her, pleadingly.
"I know you." He starts again. "And I know that you're not selfish, that you care about me! So then why would you leave? And then I realized that if I didn't remember you, it would hurt. Both of us. And instead of spending everyday trying to get me to remember, you removed the cause of pain. Except for this past year I've felt like I was missing something, something more than just my memory."
"And despite everything, you remember." Her voice sounds as watery as her eyes are and her eyebrows are peaked toward each other. Her jaw is clenched shut and her breath is rushing through her nose.
"Bones." He feels guilty and starts toward her. What is she to do when the one who comforts her pain starts causing it?
"No I need to think. It's too much. I- I'm sorry." And she quickly goes to her bedroom and shuts the door without another word.
Booth sways on the living room, stunned at the way the night flipped. After a few seconds he falls onto the couch with his elbows on his knees and his hands on the back of his head.
The gentle click of a door opening surprises him, and his head springs up to see her padding across the floor.
"I'm sorry I was just leaving." He stutters as he gets off the couch.
"No, Booth you should stay. It's late." She sounds tired but as she hands him some blankets and pillow he notices something new. She's looking at him differently, but he can't figure out what.
"Goodnight," She whispers with a smile before turning back to go to bed.
The next morning he wakes up on her couch, his side cold without her. The night before is pushed into the back of his mind and now he's intent on starting over with her. If he can't be with her, he'll settle for staying near her.
He looks over and sees her bending over rummaging through the refrigerator, her flannel clad legs poking out behind the fridge door.
"Hey sorry I didn't mean to wake you up." Her muffled voice floats over to him as he walks across the cold floor.
"What do you want for breakfast?" She asks.
"Well Bones, I know that you don't eat meat so I guess bacon is out of the question."
She stands up with a rigid spine, to find him next to the fridge with a half smile on his face. She stammers, shocked that he actually does remember all these things. It was shocking to her, that after spending a year of trying to convince herself that he would never remember, he surprises her, yet again.
"It comes back, the memories," he explained. "In pieces, mostly in dreams. Or when I'm talking to you I'll get flashes of stuff." He offers another sheepish smile and stuffs his hands in his pockets.
"Oh," Her voice is high pitched, and cracks on that one word. She's got her eyebrows raised again but this time she's smiling. She smiles because now she knows that maybe, it was wrong to leave him, if being with her just makes him remember.
Her hands fall limply at her sides and suddenly he knows what she's about to do. Before he can lift his arms, she's hugging him. She's a lot stronger than she looks, but somehow he already knows that.
Two broken people find each other. They use their pieces to fit together a puzzle that was bigger than either one of them. Maybe things would be okay. Because now they weren't partners and there were no restrictions, no barriers. So maybe this was their second chance. They had fallen for each other a long time ago, but maybe now was their time to be together.
A/N:: Review, review, review s'il vous plaît!! This is the longest work of fanfiction I've done yet, and it's un-beta'd… again, sorry for any errors. Let me know the bits of what you liked and didn't like! Feedback is adored! Love, M