Authors: shipperatheart and SSJL/sweetjamielee

Summary: Good wine and good friends can make a girl a little sentimental...

Notes: Jamie and I seem to have started a new tradition of finishing fics together. This one started out to fill the prompt 'Angela/Brennan, wine-filled and misty-eyed' for the anon kink meme, but remained unfinished until Jamie and I joined forces to finish it, and I'm very glad we did. :)

The glasses of cabernet franc seemed to be pouring themselves, and they stopped feigning interest in the movie they were watching halfway into the second bottle. Alcohol left them less prone to censoring, and more prone to philosophy; yet no matter how long the night wore on, they couldn't seem themselves to attain the mellowness of the wine they drank.

They had been animated, lively, even silly, about most of the topics they'd covered tonight, but as evening curled into night, and tipsy curled into inebriated, Angela seemed ever more morose about the particular subject of her chances of finding love again, after her failed relationships with Hodgins and Roxie.

Finally, feeling an ache of sympathy for Angela's despondency, and longing to say something to make her feel better, Brennan found herself uttering words she never thought she'd hear herself say and mean.

"You know, there is someone for everyone, someone you're meant to spend the rest of your life with." There was an edge to her words, almost as if she was desperate to believe them herself, but her next words echoed quiet confidence again, "and you'll find that person."

She shrugged, a little self-conscious. "Anyway, that's what Booth always says, and I trust him when it comes to stuff like this."

"I know you do." The artist smiled softly, knowingly. "That wait is harder on some of us, though. When you go to bed at night, and you want…sometimes you want that person, that rest-of-your-life person. Sometimes you just want that warmth of someone next to you, someone who will tell you you're gorgeous and just…like spending time with you, I guess. To fill in the empty spots."

Brennan seemed incredulous as her finger swirled around the rim of her glass. "Ange, you're beautiful and wonderful, who wouldn't want to spend time with you?"

Angela's look was rueful and endeared. "You, Temperance Brennan, are much sweeter than people than people give you credit for."

She flushed slightly, from the compliment and the wine.

Her friend was tilting her head, appraising her thoughtfully. "Don't you ever get lonely? I mean, not lonely-lonely, just…lonely."

"I like being alone." She mechanically repeated the same impenetrable denial she'd been spouting for years. And failed to wonder about the underlying reason for Angela's asking that question.

"I don't believe that," Angela retorted, "I think you're trying to accept it, but you don't, not really."

"Don't you want someone to be there when you come home, tell you they love you, hold you, kiss you…?"

Sometimes. Sometimes when Booth looked at her a certain way, she would wish things were different and she would just ache for…no. She needed to just stop this train of thought because it would end where it always ended: The Line.

And why was Angela looking at her strangely all of a sudden? That was the thing with a woman as kaleidoscopic and mercurial as Angela: fail to pay attention for even a moment and something could have changed that you should have noticed, and by then it's too late.

Somewhere along the way while she spoke that sentence, Angela's face had softened, her pupils dilated even more, her eyes got a little more misty and she flicked her eyes down to Brennan's mouth a few times.

Maybe if the wine didn't feel so warm in her veins she would have reacted differently; hadn't she become so skilled at tempering the tension in these moments, turning her face away and changing the subject when the subject had become, so suddenly and so undeniably, the pull of attraction?

But Angela wasn't Booth; she was freer and safer, and she looked lovely and almost needy in the dim light; and she wanted to comfort her. Be warm with her. For a moment…be not so invested in the idea of being alone.

It was because of that, she closed her eyes when Angela leaned forward, parting her lips; her hand, resting on her thigh and holding her glass, dipped a little and threatened to spill its contents at the first soft brush of her mouth, delicate at first, and then increasing the pressure on a shaky exhale.

And then she was being kissed in earnest, and she was responding, meeting the velvet strokes of her friend's tongue and being dizzied by its blackberry flavor. And was that her moaning softly as Angela's hand reached up and under her hair, stroking the sensitive skin of her neck and making her tingle all over?

This. She missed this sometimes when she was single. Being able to have that thrill whenever she wanted. That electrifying slide of tongues together and lips shifting. Feeling wanted and warm. And it would be so easy to go with this; let her fingers roam, learn if the skin under her friend's blouse was a silky as the fabric that covered it, see if her mouth felt just as good against her breasts as it did against her lips…


No amount of wine and wanting could ever quite dull the constant movement of her mind, or the new understanding about people and the reasons they did the things they did. And as deliciously inviting and needy and ohmygodhot as Angela's mouth and body felt against her own, she knew…well. She knew too much.

Brennan eased back first, not missing how her friend clung and followed for just a second, that second making it that much harder to listen to her heart. When she opened her eyes, she found Angela's dark ones on hers; intense, and not just a little bit anxious. She let out an audible breath, knowing that how she handled the next few moments could change their friendship, for better or worse.

She bit her bottom lip. She hesitated for only a moment, wondering how Angela would react, but her commitment to speaking her mind won out quickly. "Ange, I think I know what you're trying to do, and…it's just not a good idea," she said gently.

"And it's not because… never mind." She could have told her friend that it wasn't because she wasn't incredibly attractive or desirable, or because she herself wasn't turned on…but Ange knew her, and knew all of this already. They were here because they had gone deeper than all that.

"I just think that Sweets has a point that it would be good for you to be celibate for a little while, I think that you're at a point in your life where you need to stop and re-examine what it is that you want, and need. And right now, sexual relationships are not helpful to that goal, they're only impeding you because you let it distract you from what you're really feeling."

Angela's eyes hadn't lost any of their curious intensity. And she sighed. "Wow. That hurt a little."

"It's just the truth," she said in classic blunt and unapologetic Brennan-style, adding, "and you can grow from it." Sensing Angela's discomfort at the honesty, she tried to soothe by turning the same honest focus on herself, "Don't forget, it takes one to know one. I spent a large portion of my adult life in meaningless sexual relationships, fleeing from how much the disappearance of my parents affected me." If there was one thing she could be given credit for, it was being as bluntly honest about herself as she was about others.

"But the last few years I've learned so much. I'm learning to listen to myself, really listen. And to use my heart and not my brain when it comes to…life.

"Wow." Angela looked just a little embarrassed. "Where's the awkward scientist I used to know?" she mused, a little perplexed. "The one I had to explain things to about why people do the things they do?" She fought to keep the bitterness out of her voice but she was aware that she felt a trace of it. "Now, here you are, explaining me to myself. And you're right."

It took Brennan a moment to accept this, and understand the reason for it: "I've learned a lot more by not sleeping with Booth than I ever could have if I had."

It wasn't easy to let that truth roll of her tongue, to acknowledge the reality that her sexual attraction to him was inferior to the other and much more fulfilling aspects of their relationship, that she valued so much more that she was willing to sacrifice the one thing that she couldn't have if that's what it took to keep the rest of it safe.

Affection and sympathy filled Angela's eyes, moistening them once again. "Oh, sweetie, that is just so…" she sighed "…so tragic."

She set down her wine glass. Took Brennan's hands, looked into her eyes and willed her friend to see that she wasn't offering her empty reassurance but a true promise.

"Let me tell you something. You and Booth? It's gonna happen. Trust me. It'll happen eventually."

Brennan smiled. "Strangely, that's what he keeps saying."

"He does?"

"Yes. In a hypothetical, abstract, not-about-me-but-it-really-is, contrived sort of way."

This made Angela laugh a little. "Wow, you really have learned a lot."

"You know? I really have." She felt the warmth from the wine now all over her body; the seriousness of the past few moments passing, she felt a new sense of honesty hanging between them. "Hey Ange? I know I don't say it enough, but…I really do love you."

The other woman's eyebrows rose. "You've never said it at all."

"It's okay that I did, right?" She looked concerned.

Angela beamed. "Yeah." Reaching out, she hugged her friend to her tightly. "It really is."

Just another example of how everything happened eventually.

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