Disclaimer: Don't own Bones.
A/n: Le sigh, final chapter of this story. It was tough to come up with a word, so thank you for all the suggestions, this one was particularly popular and I hope it's a good conclusion to this story. This story has been so much fun to write and I hope you all enjoy this last chapter!
Special thanks to Sheytune, who allowed me to go right ahead and smutty BB up with these fights. And to Dispatch, who has so often given the muse a swift kick in the pants when it needed it and is always free to listen to my ramblings! :)
Angela watched Booth and Brennan through the diner window. She saw Brennan look at her watch and say something and Booth nodded, getting up from the table. She saw him take a few steps and then hesitate as if he wanted to turn around and say something else, but instead he just walked out.
With a sigh, Angela crossed the street. She really wished Brennan had canceled their lunch date for sexy time with her partner. Except she had the sinking suspicion that whatever they were doing, hitting the sheets wasn't it. What the hell was holding them back? It's not like Brennan could get pregnant again. Angela had been shocked when her friend told her she was pregnant a few weeks ago and Brennan looked so happy that Angela figured they had worked things out. But, after watching them the past several weeks, she'd come to the conclusion that they were … regressing. That was the only word she could think of. Regressing right back to just partners, except with a baby to make things extra quirky. She was convinced those two would never do anything the easy way.
With focused determination, Angela walked to her friend, kissing her cheek before taking a seat across from her. "Hey, sweetie, was that Booth I just saw leaving?" she asked, knowing perfectly well it was.
"Mm, yes," Brennan replied distractedly, picking up the menu. "We're trying to coordinate our schedules so that we can go to my next obstetrics appointment together."
"Right." Angela narrowed her eyes and took the menu away from Brennan to get her undivided attention. "Bren, do you know what the friend zone is?"
"The friend zone," Angela repeated patiently. "There are different definitions, but basically it's this place where two people become friends and stay just friends. You know, even if they're attracted to each other and they realize there should be more between them, they get to this place, the friend zone, and they're just stuck there."
"Angela, what are you—?"
"You and Booth, you've been stuck in your own little weird version of that. For years, Bren, you were in the partner zone, you know," she sighed, shaking her head. "And now, after I figure you guys are finally out of it, you go from the partner zone to the parent zone without skipping a beat."
Brennan laughed a little, but it was an uncomfortable sound. "The parent zone?"
"Yes," Angela said softly, her gaze direct and unblinking. "Just two people raising a child together, even though they should be a lot more." She allowed Brennan to process her words before asking directly, "Everything you feel for each other, is it going to get swept aside again under this new label?"
The question should have been ridiculous because how can you sweep anything aside when you're going to have a child together. But if there were two people capable of accomplishing the task, it was Booth and Brennan.
"No, of course not," Brennan whispered, her gaze vulnerable as Angela verbalized the fears she hadn't been able to admit even to herself.
"Then why do I see you two acting as if you're just partners who just so happened to be having a baby together?"
Brennan's gaze trailed away, before returning anxiously back to her friend. She swallowed and chewed on her bottom lip, unable to answer Angela's question.
Two days later …
Booth suspected something was wrong from the moment she opened the door. It was soon confirmed when the take-out food he'd brought for them was nothing but an untouched pile on her plate.
Brennan raised her gaze and he almost expected her to prevaricate, so he was fairly surprised when she blurted out, "I don't want us to be in the parent zone."
"The parent zone," she repeated as if expecting him to recognize the words. "We can't …" In agitation, she pushed away from the table. "We can't go from the partner zone to the parent zone, we can't."
He pushed his plate aside and rose from the table as well, circling her carefully. She looked a little bit wild-eyed and he wondered if she was freaking out about the baby. "Bones, I mean, we will be parents," he said softly. "I know it's scary, but—"
"I'm not scared, Booth, we'll be exceptional parents." Brennan paced a little in frustration that he didn't seem to understand what she was saying. "But just because we will be parents doesn't mean that we have to be stuck in this parent zone, right?"
He frowned, realizing that her freak out wasn't baby related, but unable to pinpoint the problem. "I … Bones, what's this parent zone you keep talking about?"
"It's like the friend zone," Brennan explained, briefly wondering why he seemed to be so confused. It all made so much sense when Angela had explained it to her. "Except we're having a baby, so it's really the parent zone and we're just, we're … you know, Angela explained this so much better."
"The friend zone?" he whispered, a glimmer of understanding beginning to filter through.
"Are we … are we going to be partners who just so happen to be having a child together?"
"What?" He was aghast because now he got what she was talking about. Friend zone, parent zone. No brainer. "Why would you even think that?"
"Why?" Brennan gestured to the table. "Because here we are, having late night take out, but I know that you're leaving after. Just like you left after we finished our paperwork last week and after we watched that silly movie last night."
"Hey, that was a classic," he defended automatically, but it was only half-hearted. "And I don't care what Angela says, we're not going to be stuck in any zone, all right."
"I think we could be." Her chin jutted out defiantly. "It's safer, right? And it's human nature after all, to prefer certainty and safety over potentially risky situations."
"Bones, the friend zone only applies when there's no sex involved. I think we can safely say, we've stepped out of that zone already."
"Have we?" she challenged, eyes firing up. "Because last time I checked, we weren't having sex, Booth. In fact, the last time we had sex was—"
"Believe me, Bones, I know how long it's been," Booth interjected, voice going a little husky just thinking about it. Last time he'd touched her had been right before they'd gone undercover at the bowling alley. It'd been two weeks, four days and a few hours. Not that he was counting or anything. "I didn't realize you were … um, concerned about not … that is, I didn't know if you wanted to … I mean, you haven't said anything and I thought that maybe, with the baby, you might want to, you know, slow things down a little."
"Are you under the impression that pregnant women give up sex?" She was genuinely curious.
"What? No." Despite it all, he nearly laughed. "Of course not. I just … I thought, maybe …" Booth huffed out a breath and then admitted, "I wanted to give you space."
"Yeah, I mean, Bones, look, a baby is life-changing and it's wonderful, but it's also scary and stressful and I didn't want you to feel overwhelmed," he confessed softly. "You know, a baby and our brand-new relationship and work, that's a lot of stuff to juggle."
"I haven't been feeling overwhelmed," Brennan said. "I've been feeling worried."
"Worried about what?"
"That we've been acting like we're just partners again," she whispered in a quick rush of words.
"W-we haven't … have we?" Except, he knew they had because that was their safe mode. They had both been processing and adjusting to the fact that they were going to have a baby and while they did so, they'd gone right back to the one thing that always brought them together: their partnership. "Damn it. Unbelievable."
"Angela calls it the partner zone," Brennan offered quietly. "I don't want to be back there again."
His gaze snapped to her and he crossed the small distance between them, hands shooting into her hair, mouth slanting down on hers. She was taken aback, but only for a moment and then she was kissing him back, arms looping around his neck and holding on tightly.
"You couldn't pay me to go back there," Booth murmured huskily against her lips. "I swear, no more zones or lines or anything between us, Bones. Jesus, I can't believe …" His words faded against her lips and he picked her up and sat her on the table next to them. He used a hand to push plates and half empty take-out boxes to one side. Brennan tugged up his shirt and then raised her arms, allowing him to do the same to hers.
Booth swallowed, pausing for a second to admire her pretty, pale yellow bra barely containing her luscious breasts. He traced a fingertip over one strap and the edge of the bra cup before smoothing his hand over her still flat tummy. He could hardly believe there was a baby in there.
"Booth, w-what's wrong?"
His mesmerized gaze flicked up. "Nothing," he smiled, settling between the spread of her thighs. "Nothing's wrong. Hey …" He cupped her chin, thumb rubbing her soft bottom lip. "You know I love you, right?" She nodded gently, turning her head to kiss his palm. Booth circled his arms around her, hugging her close. "So much. I love you so much, there's no way that I can ever go back."
The words were followed by tiny kisses over the side of her neck and Brennan moaned softly, clutching his bare shoulders. "Yes, I don't want to go back."
"We're not," he promised darkly, his kisses turning deeper on the pale length of her throat. "Not ever." His splayed hands smoothed up her back, flicking the bra clasp open and peeling the garment away. When she spilled into his hands, he growled. "So goddamn gorgeous. I want you. I want you so badly."
She pushed into his hands, groaning in pleasure. Her nipples peaked against his palm and he lowered his head, sucking one dusky pink bud. He could tell that her breasts were just the slightest bit bigger since the last time he'd touched her. She was lush and ripe and it made him ache and harden like a rock. He switched his attention to her neglected breast, moaning a little as his mouth closed over the stiff little peak. God, she had perfect breasts, they were round and firm and if her panting breaths was any indication, ultra sensitive.
"Booth …" She writhed against his mouth, scraping her nails down his stomach and snapping open his jeans. "Ohhh, yes …. I want …. oh, more, I want to be closer …"
Gasping, Booth wound an arm around her waist, lifting her a little and using his free hand to drag down her comfy pants and thin panties. She kicked them off and yanked down his own clothes, just far enough to wrap her fingers around him. Her strokes were just this side of rough and it felt so damn good. With a raspy sound, he sealed his mouth to one perked nipple again, sucking hard as his hand cupped her bare sex, middle finger dipping between satiny slick folds.
With a low moan, Brennan arched and released her hold on him, her hands bracing on the table behind her. His mouth felt so hot, tonguing her like crazy and sucking as much of her flesh as he could into his mouth. Her head tipped back in delirious pleasure and her hips bucked up, her clit throbbing with every pass of his finger. He rubbed her slickly, up and down, up and down, and she panted harshly, the delicious sensation twisting inside her without relief.
"So hot," Booth husked against her damp skin. His tongue swiped out, licking a path between her breasts and he scattered gentle, tiny nips over her curves. He couldn't get enough of her, the way her breasts felt soft and silky against his mouth, the way her nipples strained, wet and flushed, seemingly desperate for his lips. "So sweet, so tasty, so damn perfect."
"Oh, oh, touch me, touch me," she whispered frantically, even though he was. The way he was still rubbing silkily between her legs and showering sucking kisses and little bites to her chest had her vibrating right on the edge of an orgasm. "I need you, Booth … I need you."
With the words, Brennan pushed forward, finding his erection and winding her legs around him. She guided him to her core and he groaned from deep within his chest, thrusting into her. He buried himself to the hilt and she shuddered.
"Bones," he breathed, withdrawing on a groan and surging back in with a deep moan. "Baby, oh god …"
"Yes," she gasped, fingernails digging hard between his shoulder blades. "More."
Her teeth sank on the curve of his shoulder, the slight sting joining that of her nails on his back and it sent his body into overdrive. Up until now, it had always been sweet, gentle sex between them. The kind that left you feeling languorous and lazy after. But now his hands braced next to her hips on the table and he pounded into her again and again. It was fast and frantic and when she pulsed around him and he exploded into her, there was nothing languid about it.
For a while, there was nothing but pounding heartbeats and great inhalations of air. "Well …" Booth panted through his still labored breathing. "I think we blew any kind of zone Angela can think of right out of the water."
"Oh my god, Booth," Brennan laughed, feeling ridiculously giddy and breathless. "This was very unsanitary."
It was true that they were sticky and damp and he still had her on the dinner table, but he had to groan at her common sense response. "You're supposed to tell me I rocked your world, not be concerned with hygiene."
"I can do both," she said primly, before smiling wide and dropping a line of kisses over his jaw and to his mouth. "By the way, you rocked my world."
"That's more like it," he murmured against her lips. "And I think mine is still rocking 'cause that was freaking fantastic."
Carefully, he moved away, groaning a little as his body slipped from hers. Booth pulled up his boxers, but kicked off his jeans completely and then spanned her waist, helping her get down from the table. Her legs felt unsteady and she swayed right into his hard, bare chest. Automatically, his hands curled around her waist and he smiled down at her.
She was naked and soft in his arms and absolutely adorable even as she chewed her bottom lip in consideration and a little frown appeared between her brows. "Maybe we should wipe down the table."
Booth only laughed and scooped her up in one quick move. "I think it can wait 'till tomorrow."
She thought about arguing but then settled in his arms. Brennan had to admit that despite her modern, enlightened views, the way he picked her up as if she weighted little more than a feather made her stomach clench a little. Her head rested on his shoulder as he moved to the bedroom and she trailed her fingertips over his clavicle.
"I'm glad you're here," she said softly, turning to face him as he joined her beneath the sheets. "I'm glad you're staying."
His smile bloomed, wide and bright and he snuggled her against him. Two soft, happy sighs escaped at finally finding themselves in the right zone.
p.s. I know the incentive to review the last chapter of any story is relatively low, but this is my first real take at new canon, so I'd love it if you fought the urge to lurk. Love it or hate it, I'd like to know :)