Title: The Italian Reverie 1/

Spoilers/Timeline: set in early season 3, not long after Mummy in the Maze

Summary: At the end of a case in Italy, Booth and Brennan decide that for one evening, they should make the most of what the country has to offer.

Notes: During the course of season 3 rumors began to surface about a possible episode abroad, with Spain, Monaco and Italy initially mentioned as possibilities.

The last one stuck in my mind, being the land of sun, wine, food and well…romance; the kind that seems very unBrennan&Boothlike. But that's precisely the kind of old-fashioned romancing – not OOC but with just a little bit more sugar than usual – you'll find in this story (so if you're not into that, now is the time to bail). It's also why I called this fluff bunny a reverie. Too bad the show was dumb enough to settle for London ;-) (no offense to my British friends) when they could have had this

Ali (The Artist Formerly Known As ForAReason83 ;-p), I am in awe of you. You picked up a halfway decent story and then blew my mind with how much better it could be. I'm still learning about writing, thanks to your mad beta skillz. Plus: tons of fun discussing RapMasterQueen!Brennan. Thank you!




Chapter 1

Brennan and Booth were in a surprisingly good mood for two partners who had worked almost around the clock for three long days. No mean feat either, considering the jet lag they had under their belts from the transatlantic flight to get there.

But arresting their suspect on Italian soil much faster than anticipated, and even wheedling a confession out of him against all odds, did wonders for their spirits.

Their suspect was taken away to a holding cell, and their case was pretty much closed. All that was left to do now was let the lawyers argue over which country got to try him for multiple counts of murder committed in two different countries.

They were standing, a little forlornly, pondering what to do now. Acting on impulse, Brennan pulled Booth aside from the bustle of the Italian federal police bullpen and said, smiling, "I have a proposition for you."

The opportunity was too good for him to pass up.

"Really? You're propositioning me? Don't you want to do that somewhere more private?"

He grinned impishly, raised his eyebrows, and made a big production of whispering the word 'private' to underline the double entendre, but she was unfazed.

With a pointed look, she crossed her arms in front of her and asked, "Do you want to hear this or not?"

He conceded and cocked his head to indicate that she had his full attention.

She paused a little longer to punish him for his antics.

"I would say we're about done here and our flight doesn't leave until late tomorrow morning, so we basically have the whole night to ourselves. Since this is the first time you're in Italy and we've been so busy that we haven't really had time to enjoy this continental field trip, I have a suggestion to make."

"Fire away."

"Why don't I find us a nice restaurant so you can enjoy the excellent cuisine this country has to offer, because it would be a real shame to leave Italy again without ever having tasted such good food. Dinner is on me. What do you say?"

"Are you serious?"

She tried to play it cool at first, a little unsure of herself after his question. "Yeah, if you're down with that."

But then she couldn't contain her enthusiasm anymore and coaxed, smiling, "Come on, it'll be nice."

It was wildly amusing to hear her use young, urban, African-American argot like that, but he tried not to laugh at her word choice because she might not see the irony. He settled for a grin.

"How can I say no when you use a slang expression correctly for once?"

They shared a warm smile.

He started tugging on his tie. "Just one favor?"

"I've been wearing a tie in this blistering sun for three days now and I'm completely fed up with it, so if you could pick out a restaurant that's not too fancy that I don't have to wear a tie, I would be extremely appreciative."

She had to shake off a few disturbingly lewd and highly distracting images of his demonstrating that appreciation. Damn Italian sun did more than just make Booth hot…

"I don't know how you can wear one of those things all day, anyway." She fingered the colorful silk strip, looking thoughtful.

His hot breath ghosted across her lips and slid over her cheeks. She felt his ribcage rise and fall hard, his chest warm as her knuckles grazed the cotton shirt underneath.

"What? A tie?" A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.

"Yes. It must feel like someone is trying to strangle you all day."

She stood so close to him that she had to roll her eyes down to look at it. When she raised her eyes back up to look at him, she saw his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed and then wet his lips.

"Weeeell, it's like being around you, Bones. It's a pain in the ass, but you get used to it."

She let the tie slip from her fingers, yanking on it once for effect, and punched his arm, feigning indignation.

"Ow!" He cradled the besieged area protectively.

"If I were you I wouldn't hurt my chances with this dinner offer for tonight. That is, if you still want to go?" she said. Trying to pique him.

"Of course I do," he replied incredulously, still rubbing his arm.

She softened a little. "Settled then."

"Satisfied?"

Not yet, but the night is still young…

Disquieted by the second inappropriate train of thought in as many minutes, she exhaled quickly and rushed out her answer.

"Very."

Shifting smoothly into his all-business tone, he said, "Listen. I'm not completely done here, just a few loose ends and paperwork to tie up with the Italian police. The Interpol liaison will help me with that, so you don't have to stick around. We can write the report back in DC. So why don't you go back to the hotel, relax and take your time getting packed, maybe pick up a few really awful souvenirs for your undoubtedly envious squints, and I'll be done in about an hour or so."

The prospect of wandering around a strange city in a foreign country always appealed to her. But so did a little relaxing before they went home. They had been on quite a hectic schedule since they had gotten there, on top of the jetlag. Now that the case was over it would be nice to relax a little, treat themselves to a nice evening. Lord knows they deserved it.

"A bath sounds wonderful, too," she added pensively.

"Walk on the wild side," he said in what was intended as mild teasing. He suppressed thoughts of her in that bathtub covered in nothing but bubbles, because that would definitely not be conducive to business.

When she frowned, he quickly added, "I'm kidding. Whatever you want to do."

He placed a hand on her upper arm in reassurance. "You're right, we should make the most of it now that we have some free time."

She beamed at him in agreement. "See you back at the hotel?"

"Yup."

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Continued in chapter 2

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