Title: And Bleeding Hearts Will Lead You Home
Word Count: 1,493
Disclaimer: I have no money. Sue away.
Spoilers: 5x05~ A Night At The Bones Museum post-ep tag
She can feel his eyes on her the entire night.
Her skin feels heated, flushed from being on the receiving end of that penetrating gaze.
When she ascends to the podium and looks out over the assembly, there is a fleeting moment of panic. Unexpectedly, her mind is consumed with a speech that she didn't get to give, an award that was sent by courier, a rented tuxedo ruined beyond returning. This is ridiculous, she thinks. But she searches him out in the crowd anyway. He nods once, encouraging, and she wonders when she became so reliant on someone other than herself.
It is much easier to be Dr. Brennan. Somewhere along the line, she has come to prefer being Bones.
They both circulate the room leisurely, striking up conversations. Every time she scans the crowd for his familiar shape, their eyes meet across the distance in some unspoken agreement. Her body is practically humming as if from an electric jolt. And for all her ability to compartmentalize, mind and body both are betraying her now. It is all-consuming: what almost happened, what would have happened, if not for the poor timing of their friends.
She looks for him again and spots him by a sarcophagus, handing a drink to an uproariously laughing Angela. He's chuckling, too, but there is a tension behind it. Her mind helpfully supplies the image of his mouth millimeters from her own, and she thinks she understands. It is Angela's attempted interrogation from earlier that provides the insight, actually. She had avoided answering her friend, but not herself.
There is no potential for sex with Booth.
She knows this because, despite her perceived cluelessness, despite everything she doesn't believe in, despite biological imperatives and sexual urges, despite the unreliability of romantic entanglements, he has managed to convince her against all logic and judgment. He has managed to make her subscribe to his brand of this one truth.
There is no potential for sex with Booth.
Because with Booth, it could never be just sex.
The drive home is not uncomfortable, yet it is marked by more silence than conversation. For the first time tonight, Booth's eyes are focused on something other than her. She misses the warmth she feels at that look.
"I had a good time tonight."
He casts his attention towards her and back to the road again.
"Me too, Bones. Those Egyptian eggheads sure know how to throw a party. Thanks for inviting me."
"Thank you for… accepting my invitation. Even though I—"
"Don't worry about it."
She opens her mouth, then closes it again. She does worry about it. But what can be said? There is no way to change the fact that she had invited another man first. She has a right to live her life how she chooses, date who she chooses. But she owes Booth nothing if not her loyalty, and she sees now that this entire situation has been unfair to him.
She wishes she knew how to express that.
When he pulls up in front of her building, she reaches between them for her purse, and her hand accidentally grazes his thigh. Booth inhales sharply, jaw clenching.
She turns to him in the dark confines of the vehicle, observing. The tie she had unnecessarily fixed is a loose ribbon around his neck, the top two buttons of his shirt undone. He looks a little tired, a little preoccupied, and she wonders if he's feeling alright, or if his head is bothering him. She wonders if he'd tell her if it were.
"Would you like to come in?"
It's unclear which of them is more surprised by the question, although neither has any reason to be. He turns to look at her, and there is something in his eyes that Brennan does not recognize.
"Are you sure?"
He has never questioned coming upstairs before. She doesn't understand what that means. For all her ability to pick up on sexual interest, she doesn't know him in this context. It's very strange, to not know some part of Booth.
But sometimes, she has learned, it is better to hide behind ignorance than express her confusion.
"Why wouldn't I be sure?"
He laughs a little, that same shy smile from earlier, and she thinks of his hand brushing against the strands of her hair.
She can't decide if the seemingly innocuous words carry hesitation, or promise.
By the time she unlocks the door to the apartment, she feels a little out of control and a little unlike herself. Under any other circumstances, with any other man, an invitation inside after an evening such as this would yield somewhat predictable results. But this is Booth. This is Booth, who knocks at midnight with Chinese, who comes bearing coffee in the morning, who buys his beer and leaves it in her refrigerator.
This is Booth, who almost kissed her tonight.
And she wanted him to. She still wants him to.
She's not drunk, but she is lightheaded, reckless. He must notice the shift, because he's searching her face.
Shaking her head isn't really conveying the reasoning behind all of this. But the way he looked at her earlier, the way he's looking at her now, seems to have robbed her of her endless capacity for reason.
Her hands curl into the ends of the tie around his neck of their own volition.
Surprise registers briefly on his face, but she is already tugging, pulling, unraveling the frayed edges of his tenuous control.
They're both unraveling.
Her lips press against his softly, the calm before the storm, and he sighs like she's just relieved him of some horrific burden. His hand winds into her hair, less tentative than possessive. He tastes like scotch, and chocolate mousse, and like something cool and refreshing that she can't put her finger on, and her mind is saying pheromones and endorphins but her body is screaming something else entirely. Then he crushes her against him, all rigid muscle and barely leashed strength, and that brilliant mind of hers is incapable of anything except more, pleasepleaseplease more. Her hands clutch at him, at his clothes, dragging the jacket off his broad shoulders. They grab fistfuls of his rich dark hair as she moans shamelessly into his mouth, and he groans, twisting his pelvis into hers.
If she had known that this is all it would take, that he would let himself go so easily, she would have done this long ago.
She breaks their embrace to work on the tiny buttons of his shirt. He brushes the hair away from her face again, as if there's something compelling him, and ghosts tender kisses against her lips.
"Bones," he whispers. "Bones, what are you doing to me?"
And it's startling how amazed, how vulnerable, he sounds.
"I'm finishing what you started."
He pulls back a little, confusion diluting the arousal on his face.
"What do you mean, what I started?"
"At the exhibit. All the indicators were there. You were going to kiss me."
"No I wasn't! You were going to kiss me."
Her hands still against the waistband of his trousers.
"I most certainly was not. I was merely… humoring your invasion of my personal space."
She realizes how absurd this argument is, considering the activities its perpetuation is interrupting.
"Ah. And were you humoring me when we walked in here, too?"
He drags the dorsal aspect of his hand against her chest, knuckles lightly grazing just below the clavicle. Even as her body betrays her with a tremble, she's very glad she wore this dress.
There is no qualifier, no explanation. It's a simple answer, and the only one she can voice at this moment. The ways in which he understands her, Booth has to know that.
He smiles, tender and shell-shocked and teasing. It's different—this new way he smiles at her as if she frightens him a little—and she likes it. There is something deep and abiding in that unguarded quirk of his lips.
"So, we're agreed. You weren't going to kiss me, and I wasn't going to kiss you."
"Good. I'm glad we got that settled."
This time, his smile is a smirk. She reciprocates. The familiar has its appeal too.
Her slender fingers reach for him again, glide over the muscled planes of his torso. No bone she has ever handled feels sturdier than him at this moment. He moves closer to her, a breath away, mirroring how this evening started.
A soft, needy groan that incites pressure, like a loaded spring, deep within her belly.
"Bones… I need to know. Need to hear it from you. What is this?"
She can maintain true to form. State the obvious. This is her, kissing him.
But that isn't an adequate response, she knows. After all, she's learning.
"This is ours, Booth. This is something that's ours."