Hello everyone! :D First I wanted to thank you for all your kind and warm reviews for "Hot Chocolate", you really made me happy! And now I'm back with another one-shot. The idea for this came up quickly but it drove me crazy as I started writing it and I still wasn't very much convinced about it ;) Now I am a little more but I think I need feedback :D
This is set at the end of 5x04 "Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" with a little timing change, so there are spoilers for that episode and the previous ones.
I don't own Bones or the characters. I really wish I owned my Seeley Booth though. Birthday in six days, anyone? That'd be a pretty present :D
Thank you so much to the lovely Shin/BonesBird for feedback and her great and superfast beta work :D This is for you honey, and for all my other wonderful and very supportive twitter friends :D I less then three you all! :D
Hope you like it, enjoy! :D
"Can't you be his girlfriend?" Parker asked Brennan while they were at the Diner having milkshakes.
"Buddy, you've really got to quit that!" Booth sighed heavily.
His son has been asking every woman he worked with to be his girlfriend. Which was awkward but bareable. But now he was asking Bones? The one woman in the planet he really wanted. This was going to be super-awkward.
"That would be inappropriate." Brennan answered almost immediately.
Good one Bones, Booth thought, but we're not getting away with it. I know my son, he's always asking…
Yeah, exactly. Now what?
"Because…" Brennan hesitated for a while, looking at him, like she couldn't find words which, according to Booth, was really unlike her. Wow. He looked back at her, trying to understand what she was thinking. "…we work together." she concluded her sentence.
Booth relaxed a little. We do, Bones, of course we do.
"That's a stupid reason!" Parker replied.
Booth silently agreed with his son. You're right, Parker. You have no idea how right you are! He has been thinking about Bones being his girlfriend, or wife, for way too long. She would certainly kill him if she knew that he kept dreaming about them being married. No, he wasn't deluded anymore, he just dreamed about it almost every night. They weren't nightclub owners, they weren't Mr. B and Bren. In his dreams they were exactly as they were, they were Booth and Bones, partners for life. In every sense of the word. They were themselves. Or at least what they could become. But every morning he woke up in the reality, a reality he liked but a big part of him always wanted the dreams to be the reality. If only…
What? What did she say?
Brennan just mumbled something behind her glass of fruit juice.
"What?" Parker and Booth asked in unison.
"Er – nothing, it was just a cough, I didn't say anything" she said quickly. Maybe too quickly. And the slight blush on her cheeks gave her away.
She turned her head locked eyes with Booth for just a moment, before looking back down at her glass while he started talking with Parker who was looking oddly at them.
"He just wanted me to have a girlfriend so that he could have a pool! Can you believe it?" Booth asked Brennan while they were going back to his kitchen, still shocked by the conversation they just had with Parker.
"You could have just asked him like I did, you wouldn't have worried so much" she replied quietly, confused as well, but for different reasons.
They sat on his couch and stayed there in a comfortable silence for a few minutes.
"Thanks Bones, really."
"What are you thanking me for, Booth?"
"Thanks for today, for staying here with me" he explained "I mean with us. Thanks for being my village." he corrected nervously.
"Thank you for inviting me, I just hope I didn't bother you. You don't get that much time with your son and I don't want to be in the way."
"Don't say this, Bones, you never bother me! I asked you to come, didn't I? And about Parker, I think you got your answer before." he smiled.
Brennan nodded and sighed, leaning back on the couch, trying to relax and gather her thoughts.
She knew exactly what he meant. The three of them had a great day together, first milkshakes at the Diner, then at the bowling alley and later the Booths invited her to stay for dinner and a movie. They had watched Shrek. Parker wanted to watch the third movie but when he found out that Bones had never seen the other two he insisted in making her watch the first one. Which she actually enjoyed.
But what she enjoyed the most was the very family-like afternoon they had spent together. Everywhere they went she had the feeling that they were a family. Mum, Dad and son. And the fact that when they were walking home they were holding hands with Parker in the middle, well, that didn't help that feeling. But, unlike every other time that she had felt like this, this time she didn't feel the need to run away from it. She felt a comfortable calmness when she thought about it and, even if she was confused, she found herself liking the fact that she may be part of a family. Of that family. She'd never been very good with children, she usually talked to them with too many difficult words and concepts, but with Parker, after the first moments of awkwardness, it felt almost natural for her to be at ease around him. And he really was an adorable and charming little boy. During the movie he nestled between them, his head on her arm and she couldn't help herself stroking his curly blond hair.
After the movie finished both Booth and Brennan went to Parker's room to tuck him to bed. She understood that Parker liked her but she couldn't be more surprised when Booth went back to the kitchen to get him a glass of water and the little boy wrapped his arms tight around her neck.
"I had a great time today. You really are awesome! I love you Bones, good night!" he had said excitedly.
She had frozen, tears threatening to fall from her eyes. When she recovered she hugged him too and said something back to him that she couldn't even remember, she tucked him in and turned to find Booth smiling at them from the doorway. Sensing that she might have been uncomfortable by the situation he got closer, touching slightly her arm while passing by and she gave him a thankful look.
But the rescue was only temporary because apparently Parker still wanted to chat as he asked her again if she could be his dad's girlfriend. Booth tried again to have him change the subject but she tried another strategy asking the boy why Booth should have a girlfriend. That's how they found out about the pool. The only reason Parker wanted his father to get married was that so they could move in a house with a pool like his friend did. Brennan herself solved the problem inviting both Booths to swim in the pool that was in her building. Cheering, smiles and hugs followed that sentence.
It took a while for Parker to finally go to sleep. And now the little boy's sentence was haunting her. The words he said. Parker had said them innocently of course but she kept replaying them in her mind. It's because of the "Bones". He uses his father's nickname for me, that's why.But still, hearing the words "I love you Bones" had a very strong effect on her.
"Bones? You're still here?" Booth asked concerned.
"Yes, of course I'm still here, where would I be? I'm sitting right next to you!" she replied, shaking her head to bring herself out of her thoughts.
"Your body was here but your mind certainly wasn't. I called you three times and you didn't hear me!"
"Booth, the mind cannot leave the… was that a metaphor?"
"Yes Bones, it was a metaphor. But you sure were in thinking mode." he said rolling his eyes.
"Thinking mode?" she repeated confused.
"Yes, thinking mode. You have that look that says you're over thinking! So, what were you over thinking about?" he asked filling their glasses of wine and offering her one.
She took the glass and sipped slowly the white sparkling liquid inside.
"I was just thinking about today." she answered sighing "We had a nice day, right?"
"Bones, we already talked about it, it was a great day and I'm happy that you joined us all the way. And thanks for offering Parker your pool, he was so excited." he smiled.
Every time he smiled at her it melted her heart, she was used to that feeling. And every time he smiled at her she couldn't help smiling back at him.
"You're welcome Booth. But it was nothing huge, I was just solving a problem." she said nervously. Why am I this nervous?
"You can say that as many times as you want, I will still thank you. It's very kind of you letting us use your pool." he smiled his charm smile again.
They locked eyes over the glasses and she felt like she was melting all over again. And she felt butterflies in her stomach. The wine, it's because of the wine.
Booth cleared his throat: "Bones?" he asked "Can I ask you a question?"
"I believe you just did Booth." she answered quietly.
"What?" he said confused "I just did what?"
"Ask a question." she explained "By asking me if you could ask a question you are already asking a question."
"Always literal, huh?" he chuckled "Anyway, that wasn't the question I wanted to ask you!"
"And which was it? Just ask without asking me if you can, you never do that!" she said
"Do you remember this afternoon at the Diner with Parker?"
"Of course I do, that was just a few hours ago. Why you're asking?"
"It's just… you know… when Parker asked you why you… why couldn't we… you…" he stammered nervously. Come on Booth, just say it!
"Why couldn't I be your girlfriend?" Brennan helped him, but she started feeling nervous herself as she guessed where he wanted to go with this.
"Yeah" he sighed "And you said something about…"
"I said that it would be inappropriate because we work together." she interrupted him, saving him another stammering session. "I hope that it was the right thing to say."
Nice try Bones, but you're not getting away with it. "Of course, you said just the right thing!" he smiled "But I'm talking about the other thing you said. The thing you said a few moments later." he challenged.
Oh. "What? I told you I didn't say anything, it was just a cough." she tried to save herself from… from what?
"You remember that cough pretty good, do you?" he mocked her.
"I do. I told you, it was just a few hours ago." she said looking down at her glass of wine.
"Ok." he breathed, leaning closer to her. "You do know that I heard you, right?" he whispered in her ear "You do know, I know that wasn't a cough."
She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice so close to her, his words were very low but to her it seemed like he had shouted it. His warm breath tickled her ear and she had to close her eyes and try to remember how to breathe herself. Damn it. Can't he see the effect he has on me?
He moved back a little and observed her. He couldn't believe he was thinking that she looked… vulnerable, fragile, so very different from the person she was just a few minutes ago. I guess she's not the only one who has a hold on the other.
"Can you tell me?" he asked, his voice unsteady.
"Tell you what?" she said without looking up, in a voice so little that it didn't seem hers at all.
"What you said at the Diner. Can you say it again?"
This time she looked up at him. "Why? You already said you heard it, right? So you know what I said and there is no reason for me to say it again!" she argued, trying to recover from whatever happened before.
"I did hear you. But I still want to hear you say it to me. You weren't saying it to me before." he smiled.
"So you want to hear it again." she stated looking right into his eyes.
"Yes." he answered
"You want to hear it, no matter what happens next." she said again.
"Yes." he repeated whispering.
Brennan looked at him, trying to find out if he really knew or he was faking. She couldn't understand. She put down her glass on the coffee table and stood up from the couch, sighing. Ok. Let's do it. Breathe.
She turned back towards him and took a deep breath to calm herself down. "I agree."
He just sat on the couch, still, watching her. Ok. Don't forget to breathe.
Seeing that he wasn't reacting she went on. "I agree." She repeated. "That's what I said."
He swallowed. "I know." he nodded "I told you I heard you."
"And I think you remember what the context was. Because on their own those words don't have much sense."
"Yes Bones, I remember the context, thanks." he replied almost absently. Did she really say it? Can I dare to believe it now?
She sighed "Booth?"
"Why aren't you saying anything?" she asked "You are the one who insisted for me to say it and now you're not saying anything."
"So you really said it? You really said that you agreed. With Parker. About.."
"YES!! I did say it! You heard me say it three times now! Do you want me to say it again?" she was almost yelling. She stopped to catch her breath and went on talking without waiting for him to answer. " I agree! Parker said that it was a stupid reason and I AGREE! Because it is! This all is getting ridiculous!"
She started pacing around the living room and Booth was looking at her shocked. Whoa, she's losing it! And in a very good way! I just hope I manage to survive it!
"You know I'm not very good at reading people" she continued "But I thought I was getting quite good at reading you. Yes, you. But you drew a line, didn't you? You drew it THREE years ago! And now you keep sending me signals. Body language signals or whatever the hell you call them. I even read books about it to be sure not to read them wrong!"
Booth kept staring at her, at the loss of what to say. She is getting angry about it. Can't believe it. Wait. She read BOOKS about it? He opened his mouth to try to say something but she didn't let him speak.
"Do NOT try to deny it!" she yelled pointing repeatedly an accusing finger at him.
He closed his mouth immediately and quietly watched her outburst.
"You say 'just partners' and 'we work together' and you draw the line so ok, I respect that! But right after you say 'everything happens eventually' and you always hug me and you touch me and you stay with me and… and you look at me like… like THAT!" she ranted pointing her finger at him again. She tried to keep her tone as low as possible, knowing that Parker was asleep in the other room but she felt that she was losing control.
"You confuse me, ok? You say things and then doing the exact opposite every time! I don't know what to do anymore! You said 'I love you' and I finally think that you mean it, but then you add that stupid 'attagirl kind of way'… what the hell does it even mean? Care to explain?"
He opened his mouth again and again she didn't let him talk.
"You know? I don't care! Just tell me what I have to do! Because honestly I have no idea! You are so infuriating and I – "
Her ranting words were cut off as Booth's mouth landed on hers. She hadn't even noticed that he had got up from the couch and had crossed the room to reach her until she felt his lips claiming hers softly but passionately while his hand threaded into her hair. For a moment she stayed still, eyes closed, shocked and surprised, wondering what had just happened.
After a few seconds she recovered and realized what WAS happening. Brennan's mind went blank once again as she started kissing him back. No more words came to her, no more confusion. So far. Just her partner's lips on hers, his tongue slipping gently in her mouth and dancing with hers, his muscular body under her hands. Just she and he. Two hearts pounding together. His and hers. No more boundaries, no more holding back, no more lines. Just them, together.
Neither one of them minded about counting steamboats during that kiss, but some puckish prosecutor would have said that at least a dozen of flotillas have passed in the meantime. When they parted, both out of breath, they were so close that their foreheads and noses were touching. They stayed quiet for a while, just panting and looking into each other's eyes.
"You kissed me." Brennan whispered.
"Excellent observation skills Bones." Booth chuckled softly.
"You kissed me." she repeated.
He slipped his arms from her shoulders to her waist, wrapping them gently around her. "Yes. And you kissed me back."
"Why what?" he asked confused
"Why did you kiss me?"she breathed.
"You know, you wouldn't stop talking and yelling at me. You were going to wake up Parker." he smiled.
"Oh" she said, disappointment spreading from her words and her eyes as she looked down.
"Hey" he whispered caressing her face with his fingers and making her look at him again "hey, I didn't kiss you to shut you up. Well, not just to shut you up. Although I did find out that it's a very good way to make you stop talking." he winked.
"So why did you, Booth?" she asked, doubt written all over her face.
He looked at her stunned. "You really don't know, do you?" he murmured softly, his fingers still stroking lovingly her cheek.
"I was serious before, Booth… I'm confused. I don't know anything anymore. I thought I did, but now…" she said and her vulnerability surprised him once again.
A little lonely tear flowed slowly on her cheek and he gently kissed it away. She smiled as his hair tickled the skin around her eye and clung to him even more. He looked back in her eyes and saw fear, confusion and something else he couldn't identify. Or maybe he could, but he couldn't dare to.
"Why? You're asking me why did I kiss you? Well, Bones, the reason is easy. It's the same reason why I always hug you and stay with you and I look at you like I do. I'm not denying it, I won't even try, because we both know that I would fail miserably" he grinned as she laughed softly. "It's all I think about lately, and I'm sorry if I made you feel confused, because, really, the answer is very simple and I suspect that everyone knows it already but us."
"And what is it?" she asked again, voice broke by the emotion.
"I love you, Bones." Booth smiled, drowning into her wonderful watery blue eyes. "That's the answer to pretty much all the questions about me lately. I love you, so much, and I've been keeping it a secret for far too long, even from myself."
Brennan swallowed and nodded slightly, staying absolutely still. They were still standing, hugging each other, closer than ever and neither of them wanted to let go. He looked at her and waited for her to do or say something, but she didn't. She just stared back at him and he started to worry. Did I misread everything?
"Bones? Why aren't you saying anything?" he asked her quietly.
"I'm waiting." she answered trying to control her voice.
Waiting!? "Waiting? What are you waiting for?"
"I'm waiting for the 'attagirl'."
The what? Attagirl? Oh my! "Bones, there's no 'attagirl', it has never existed! I thought you understood that." he answered quickly, unsure whether he wanted to cry or laugh. He took her face between his hands and got even closer. "I love you Bones" he repeated to her all over again, giving her little light kisses.
"No 'attagirl'?" she asked smiling.
"No, no 'attagirl' at all." he answered between kisses.
She smiled and captured his lips in hers deepening the kiss. When they parted Brennan, exhausted, wrapped her arm around Booth's neck and rested her head on his shoulder.
"What about the line?" she asked.
He sighed. "You said it. It was three years ago, when I still though that I could get over you. But we've both seen that I can't and it was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. And now it's completely gone. Disappeared."
"Can we erase it?"
"It's already erased." he confirmed kissing her hair.
She hugged him tighter and whispered a few words in his ear.
"What did you say?" Booth looked at her "Was that another cough?"
"Maybe" she smiled sweetly "Only if you didn't hear it."
"Lucky me I did hear it!" he grinned claiming her lips once again. "Bones?"
"Hmm?" she moaned releasing his lips.
"No 'attaboy'?" he smiled kissing her nose.
She smiled back at him and kissed his nose as well. "No, no 'attaboy' at all."
Well, what do you think about it? Was it good? Or too horrible to read? I really hope not ;) Review and let me know whether you liked it or not! Constructive criticism is always very much appreciated. Thank you!! : D