This is my first fanfic for Bones, so any feedback about how I did keeping Booth and Brennan in character is appreciated :) At the moment I am listing this as complete, but I do have an idea or two about how to continue it if I get some interest or good feedback on this portion.
Disclaimer: Bones and the characters of the show are the property of Hart Hanson and Fox network. I'm only borrowing them for the fun of it!
Booth opened the door to the diner and followed Brennan to their usual table. She was very animated today as she told him about an article she read in a recent issue of some forensic anthropology journal. Apparently she disagreed with the author on several points and planned to contact him in order to debate the issue. There was a time when all her "squint speak" would have annoyed him, but now he found it sort of cute and endearing. While he didn't understand everything coming out of her mouth, he had to admit that it didn't really matter. Sometimes just hearing her talk was enough to brighten his mood.
The waitress walked over to take their order as Booth was glancing over the menu. "What'll it be, Bones?" Booth smiled at his partner as he waited for her to order first.
"I'd like the garden salad, water and coffee," she replied, closing her menu.
"You should order some fries," Booth said.
"I won't eat a whole plate of fries, so I'll just have a few of yours. You're having fries, right?"
"Be honest – you always eat at least half, not just a few," he teased.
"I'm just helping you save room for your pie," she fired back with a smile as he gave his order and closed the menu.
"No pie today, Bones. I gave it up for Lent."
"But you always have pie. Why would you give that up for Lent?" she asked, her expression confused.
"Lent is about sacrifice. I usually order pie, so now instead of ordering pie I'll reflect on more important things," Booth said.
"What kinds of things?" She looked curious now.
"Well, that's between me and God. "
Brennan continued to look at him in that analytical manner she usually reserved for human remains she was trying to figure out.
Booth sighed. "You know the history of Lent, right?"
"Yes, Booth, I'm aware of the Christian significance. Just because I don't adhere to religious beliefs myself does not mean I'm unaware of what those beliefs are. In the case of Lent the 40 days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness resisting the devil's temptations." She took her coffee from the waitress. "I find it interesting, from an anthropological point of view, that the semi-fast of Lent probably originated for practical reasons. Both the subsistence agriculture practices of the time as well as the timing of the fast make it likely that certain food stores from the previous year's harvest were simply running low. British farmers called the same period the "hungry gap."
"Ok, Bones, I don't need the entire anthropological history of the Bible. The important part is the 40 days Jesus spent resisting temptation. So for the next 40 days I'll resist the temptation of pie. It's something I order nearly every day, I enjoy it, and I'll miss it. When I miss it, I'll think about other temptations and how I can resist those as well."
Booth's phone rang and he answered, taking a few minutes to discuss a current case with another agent. When he finished the call, he found Brennan studying him. "What?"
"So pie is like a metaphor for sin in your case," Brennan said thoughtfully.
"Exactly!" He smiled at the waitress as she approached the table with their food.
"Did you choose pie because of what Sweets said?"
Booth looked over at Brennan as the waitress set his burger and fries in front of him. "What Sweets said about what?" He poured ketchup on his plate as she snagged a fry.
"You remember – he said that your attempts to convince me to eat pie were like a seduction of sorts. Assuming God exists, I don't think He really cares if you do or don't eat pie. But if the pie has a sexual connotation then it makes more sense, given your Catholic upbringing and their views on sex."
"Whoa!" Booth said, glancing up at the waitress who was now trying unsuccessfully to keep a straight face. She had overheard enough of their conversations in the past to be both unsurprised and amused.
"Anything else I can get you guys?" the waitress asked innocently. "Some pie, perhaps?"
Booth glared at her. "No – no pie!" He looked back at Brennan as the waitress walked away. "What's wrong with you, talking about something like that in front of the waitress? And for your information, pie is just pie. It's not a metaphor for sex, or seduction, or anything else. Geez, it's just pie."
Brennan put her hands up. "OK, Booth, no need to be so defensive. I'm sure the waitress has heard the word "sex" before." She continued to watch him as she began eating her salad. "If it's not a metaphor, then I don't understand the significance of giving up pie for Lent. Why pie and not your crazy socks or your Cocky belt buckle?"
Booth continued eating, ignoring her now.
Brennan snagged another fry. "I mean, if the whole point is to reflect on resisting the temptation of sin, then giving up something sinful makes more sense. For example, masturbation is something you probably engage in every day. Why not give that up?"
Booth choked on his burger, eyes watering as he grabbed his soda. He took a long drink as he tried to get himself under control. He looked up to find her watching him with a concerned expression.
"Are you ok? You should eat more slowly, you know, and make sure you fully masticate your food in order to avoid choking."
He wiped a hand down his face. "I'm fine ok? Just stop talking about things like…" he lowered his voice to a hiss, "sex and masturbation! That is not something I'm going to talk to you about, alright? So just eat your salad and we'll talk about something else. And don't use words like masticate either."
Brennan looked amused. "Booth, masticate has no sexual meaning."
"I know that Bones. Just say "chew" like a normal person."
Booth took another bite of his burger, hoping she would drop the subject. He should have known better.
"I'm merely trying to understand your logic regarding Lent, Booth."
"Well, it's not logical, it's spiritual. Not everything is about logic, you know."
"That's true," Brennan nodded. "Logically speaking, you and I should not be friends or even work well together. We're very different in ways that would normally drive a wedge between two people." She smiled at him. "In our case, I'm happy to say that we defy logic. We value each other, despite our differences, and I wouldn't trade that for anything more rational."
Booth felt something warm spread through his chest as he looked at his partner. She was the only person he knew who could get him completely wound up and agitated and then – just like that – turn the tables and say something so….. beautiful. For all her social awkwardness, her tendency to boil things down to "anthropological inevitabilities", and her logic, he knew he wouldn't change one thing about her.
Booth smiled back at her as he pushed his fries toward her. "You're right, Bones. You and I definitely defy logic!"