Title: Pieces You Didn't See
Word Count: 1400
Summary: A Christmas you didn't see, and another Christmas you did.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I iz po'.
Author's Note: Written for the lovely obrien_blue, as part of Lucy's Holiday Fic Exchange. You are wonderful, friend, and I hope you enjoy. Special thanks to tempertemper77 for beta-ing this hot mess.
So you want to know where it came from.
You know, his suit.
The three piece suit that makes you weak in the knees and opens your legs quicker than Booth can draw his gun from its holster (yeah, THAT holster).
That was not a metaphor.
(Or was it?)
Anyway, the suit.
He got it at Christmas.
The one that you never saw.
The one after Zack.
The one after Booth "died."
The Christmas that Brennan decided that giving presents wasn't [insert anthropological explanation here.]
This is how it went.
She remembers a box of gifts.
A box of gifts, none of which had been given by her.
She doesn't want that to happen again.
So she buys gifts.
Lots of gifts.
Gifts for everybody.
Truth be told, she goes a little gift-crazy.
Gifts for Angela, Hodgins, Cam, Sweets, all of her interns, her father, her brother, Amy and the girls, even Zack, who sends her a thank you note from the mental institution that makes her tear ducts contract, filling her eyes with unwanted moisture.
And then there's Booth.
Booth who is her partner.
Booth who is her best friend.
Booth who is absolutely impossible to shop for.
What gift best expresses the sentiment of "Although death is a biological inevitability, I would appreciate it if you would try to delay it as long as possible"?
Now, you're probably wondering how the suit fits in to all of this.
It's not exactly Christmas-y, and it's not quite an "I'm glad you're not dead" sort of present, nor is it something that is typical between colleagues (but when was he just a colleague anyway?).
She sees it when she's at the mall (a feeding ground for adolescents, apparently. Could be quite an interesting anthropological study) shopping for Angela's last present (a brightly colored clay bowl that was made in Ethiopia).
It just looks like him.
Standing there, looking at the three piece suit on the mannequin, she remembers a torn black T-shirt, soaked with blood. He bemoaned later that it was his favorite shirt, irreplaceable.
A three piece suit and a ratty black T-shirt don't have much in common, but for some reason it seems appropriate.
It is a beautiful suit. She is sure that the cut of it will highlight his broad shoulders and well defined pectoral muscles.
Not that she looks.
Well, she does look.
It's an anthropological thing, you see.
She's trained to notice these things.
At this point, we interrupt the story of The Suit to tell you that we know you also want to know about the other thing.
The one that happened a year later, on a Christmas you did see.
We're getting to that.
Because, you know, all things happen eventually.
Luckily for you, they know that too.
She gives him the suit on Christmas Eve because he is spending Christmas Day with Parker and she does not want to intrude on his family time.
("But you are family, Bones."
"I am not biologically related to you Booth. You know that."
"That's not what I'm talking about, Bones.")
It is late- they've just finished a case- and they are at her apartment eating Thai food and doing paperwork when she remembers that she has a present for him.
She has been so caught up in mandibles and femurs and charred tibias that the suit hanging in her closet slips her mind until the moment he takes off his jacket and starts to get comfortable on her couch.
When she gives it to him, wrapped up neatly and crisply with green paper around the hanger and she can't find words to accompany her gift.
Because if she is being honest, it is not about anthropology.
It is not a professional gift.
It is something she bought because his clothes got ruined when he took a bullet for her, because he expressed an interest in that particular style one night while they were watching one of the old black and white movies that he likes, and because he really does have a beautifully designed acromion and she enjoys looking at him sometimes, when he is not aware that her focus is on him.
She really does not know what to say, being relatively new at the holiday gift exchange tradition.
So she wishes him Merry Christmas and reminds him that Jesus, if he existed at all (which, she acknowledges, is certainly possible, although she finds the claims of him being the son of God and performing miracles to be slightly ridiculous- "People cannot walk on water, Booth. It is against the laws of physics."), was most likely born in the spring time, not the end of December.
He laughs and says "Thank you."
And that is how Booth got The Suit.
As for that kiss I mentioned earlier…
It is a year later, the year of blown up Santas, Christmas dinners and second cousins, and everyone has left the apartment except for him. He is always the last to leave.
Sometimes she thinks, if she let him, he'd never leave at all.
Sometimes (and increasingly more so lately) she thinks that might be an acceptable arrangement.
But she won't tell him that.
Not yet, anyway.
Not while he's washing the dishes because she's pretty sure the shock would cause him to lose control of his muscular function, and she doesn't want him to drop her good china.
"All done, Bones!"
He wipes the last dish dry (he insisted that he would do the dishes since she did the cooking, so she's been sipping a glass of wine and watching him) and turns to her, all smiles and friends and family and lovers.
She liked his toast.
Even if he did say family twice.
She liked that he looked at her when he said it.
And when he said lovers too.
She knows that the former is true, no matter how illogical it may seem, and she is starting to think that maybe one day, the latter might be as well.
But not yet.
Not while he's putting away the final wine glass.
Unable to think of anything else to say, she tells him "Merry Christmas," and this time does not quantify her statement with facts about Jesus' birthdate or Pagan holidays.
She simply wishes him "Merry Christmas."
And he walks over to her and says the same thing, his smile all warmth and she thinks that maybe, just maybe, this is what Christmas is all about.
They are two people alone on Christmas.
But they are together.
It's not twice as pathetic; her math was wrong.
It's not pathetic at all, because neither of them are alone.
Neither are unloved.
So she kisses him, right there in her kitchen.
Because, really, at this point, they've done everything else and this feels like the right thing to do.
She told Gordon Gordon once that following her gut was unsatisfying.
She feels his lips (Booth's, not Gordon Gordon's) under hers and she thinks that maybe she was wrong because this is proving to be quite satisfying indeed.
He pulls away from her, touching his forehead to hers, and she is breathing in his air and he hers.
"Bones. What was that for?"
He is giving her an out and she knows it.
She could probably tell him that she kissed him because it is Christmas and then everything would go back to normal, like it did the last time they kissed.
She should tell him this.
"I wanted to."
And it is, she thinks, the most honest thing she's ever said, truer than facts and rationality and logic. Truer than "You are made of very, very good stuff," than "I can't think of anything I wouldn't do to help him," than guy hugs that weren't really guy hugs and mistletoe kisses that meant more than mistletoe kisses.
Truer, even, than the time she told him she loved him.
Because what she didn't tell him then was that she is in love with him.
But now she's kissed him, and maybe that means she doesn't have to say it.
Not just yet.
So she kisses him again and hopes he gets the message.