Disclaimer: if it was mine, Zach would not have left. EVER.
A/N: Slightly AU, I guess. Based off of 'Man in the Fallout Shelter', but assuming that nobody told Booth about why Bones doesn't like Christmas. Drabble-like-thing that I wrote for my English class. Ships B/B, as it should.
Four Words and a Shoulder Bump
Bones never liked Christmas; Booth was all but obsessed with it. She wasn't family-oriented; his family was his life. Christmas made them both think of their childhoods, which made her uncomfortable, and made him stop talking. She was never really in touch with her emotions; he thought with his heart. She was cold logic, methodical and practical; he was emotions and instinct. When they worked together, they were all but unstoppable. But they didn't always work together well.
Although neither would admit it, they were both in love with each other. They were each reeling from failed relationships: her grad professor had used and discarded her; Rebecca still wouldn't let him see Parker whenever he wanted. Their friends could all see it, even Zach, which was saying something, and Angela often mentioned it, but Booth and Brennan were both steeped in denial.
One Christmas, he had asked her why she hated the holiday so much. She had blown him off, focusing instead on the practical applications of her job. Identify the body, find cause of death. He had sulked for hours. Why wouldn't she tell him? Was he untrustworthy or something? Did she not care about him as much as he cared about her? But that particular thought sent his mind careening down paths he didn't want to acknowledge existed. Booth did not love Brennan! She was irritating, and too smart for her own good, and pushy, and…. No matter how hard he tried to think of another negative phrase that fit her, he just couldn't.
Brennan was furious. How dare Booth ask her such a personal question? Their relationship was strictly professional. She didn't share that kind of information with her closest friends… well, friend, really. Just Angela. Brennan was never much for socializing. But, the point was, why should she tell him something like that? It was none of his business.
Sitting in her office, alone, as always, she started thinking about him. She trusted him with her life; why couldn't she trust him with her 'deep, dark secrets'? Because opening up to someone like that always hurt. She had opened up to her one of her boyfriends about why she hated the holidays, and he had thrown that back in her face when they had separated, calling her a 'cold fish', and 'heartless', 'abrasive', 'pugnacious', and all sorts of other unpleasant names. She swore she would never reveal so much of herself to another individual ever again. And then she met him.
He was… different from her ex. From all of her exes. He understood that she wasn't the most emotional person around, and that she hid behind logic and science because they were things that she could understand. She liked that about him, but it also made her wary, because he was so very different from her. He used emotions constantly in his work, and he was terrible with science-related 'squint-speak'. He was so different from her. And yet, maybe that was exactly what attracted her to him.
He was still thinking (not sulking, as Hodgins had called it earlier) when she approached him from her office. She sat quietly on his left, deliberately not meeting his eyes. Which was honestly alright with him at the moment, since he didn't want to meet hers. After a few minutes of fairly tense silence, she broke it with a simple, "I'm sorry."
He glanced briefly to his left, and then sighed. She had on the face. The one that always made him think of a kicked puppy. It made him melt a little on the inside. Every time she got that look, he caved. There was no resisting the puppy-dog face.
He bumped her shoulder with his, and grinned at her. "It's good."
They didn't really need the words. He knew that she would someday tell him why she hated the holidays, and she knew that he wouldn't pressure her to tell him before she was ready. Four words and a shoulder bump, and everything was the way it should be again. At least, it was until the next time he stuck his foot in his mouth, or she made an insensitive remark, probably about religion. But that was the way they worked. She thought, and he felt. And it worked.