A/N 1: Sorry it's taken such a ridiculously long time to post an update on this story … RL sent my muse on the run! I hesitated to pick it up again, but there are so many alerts on it, and – you guys take my breath away – they keep coming in! Thank you. Hope there's still some interest out there and that it lives up to expectations.
A/N 2: Canon has overtaken me. Firstly … oops! Secondly … squee!
A/N 3: (Is this woman ever going to get to the story, I hear you ask?) Readers are respectfully referred to Chapter 2: "The Obligatory Shower Scene" for an explanation of the term 'tooheddabeenus'. ;P
Disclaimer: The only thing I own is my soul, and I even lend that out on occasion, but only if you ask nice. Anything that even looks familiar in this story probably belongs to someone else (except the actual story - that's all mine, Mine, MINE [*maniacal laughter*]!)
Short recap (it's been a while, after all):
Chapter 1: Booth gets a key to the pool in Brennan's building. He gets wet. A lot.
Chapter 2: Booth gets an itch. Brennan offers to scratch it.
Chapter 3: Booth has a dream. Sort of. They both get wet.
Chapter 4: Booth gets a new suit. He also gets a brilliant idea.
Chapter 5: Booth gets what he deserves. Brennan finally gets it.
Chapter 6: Brennan and Booth get sprung. Parker gets to go on a treasure hunt.
Caught up? Now you get to hear the rest of it …
Chapter Seven: Truth or Consequences.
"Bones, where are you going?" Booth kept his voice low, trying not to wake his sleeping son, but he couldn't disguise the surprise in his voice. They were in the Jeffersonian parking garage and Brennan was in the process of veering off to her car, keys already in her hand.
She looked a little nonplussed at his question. "Home." She drew the word out while she searched her brain for some possible hidden meaning in his question.
Booth shifted Parker's weight in his arms. The little boy's legs dangled against his dad's, his arms looped loosely around Booth's neck; he appeared to be sound asleep. Booth's smile faltered and he began to feel a little apprehensive; he'd just assumed that she was coming with them. "Ah - we can all go home in the SUV. It won't matter if your car's here another night."
A little frown shot across her eyes. "Not your home, Booth. Mine." She smiled vaguely at him and turned resolutely away towards her car.
Booth's mind worked furiously as he settled Parker into the back of the SUV. He had a feeling whatever happened in the next few minutes might seal the seal on the nature of their relationship in some way. He trotted over to intercept her.
"Hey Bones, wait up." The light touch of his hand on her arm stalled her progress and she looked up at him. "Are you coming over later?" He spoke quietly, his hand sliding along her arm and she couldn't disguise the shiver of awareness that shot through her at his touch.
Despite that, the frown returned and took up residence as a sharp little crease between her brows. "Why?"
He was taken aback by her answer, but managed to summon his most persuasive grin. "Ah, we sort of have some, um, unfinished business?"
The gravelly texture of his voice sent another shiver through her and her face cleared as his meaning struck home.
"Oh, you mean you would like to have sexual intercourse again?" Her eyes brightened, and she turned around to face him fully, a smile curving her lips. "Yes, well … that would be very nice." She pulled out her phone, ready to make a diary entry. "What time would you like me to come?" The look on his face, both at her bald statement and the unintentional pun, was priceless but she missed it; her attention on the screen, her finger poised. When he didn't speak she flicked a glance at him. "Assuming you're suggesting we engage in intercourse at your apartment, as Parker is still under your care?" With this, she nodded towards the SUV, where Parker now sat with his nose pressed against the window. Her mouth widened into an indulgent grin when she spotted him and she gave him a little wave. She looked back at Booth, genuine concern paramount on her beautiful face, and she tapped his arm with her forefinger as a thought occurred to her. "Wait, would that be contra-indicated by one of your moral codes, for us to have sex while your son is in the apartment?"
Booth felt his blood pressure go up several points. He wiped his hand across his jaw wearily. Jeez, one step forward, two steps back. The thought didn't get past his lips because she was still looking up at him in earnest and that look in her eyes was his downfall. She really didn't have a clue.
"I thought we were starting something here." A tiny pleading note had crept into his voice without him realizing it and he cleared his throat, trying to shift the balance of the conversation. "We're good together; you and me. We can only get better."
Her eyes shot up to meet his, a little startled. "Sex, Booth. We had sex." She didn't even convince herself with that line, but he let it slip by, ignoring the sting. Too much hinged on getting her past this point. She, of course, didn't realize there was even a point to get past. She sidled up to him and placed her hand on his cheek, an unconsciously sultry smile curving her lips. "It was very good." She followed the smile with caress to his hip which would have gone further if he hadn't suddenly remembered the eight year old audience and backed off, out of range.
"I want you to come home with me, with us. How about I cook us some dinner? Ah, you could spend the night, maybe." Too wishy washy. Brennan needed clear cut signals. "I want you to spend the night." I want you to move in. I want you to – He pulled himself up mentally, letting the whirlwind of his thoughts subside, waiting while the dust settled. As much as it felt like it, he knew Brennan wasn't playing games here. He'd give anything to know what was going on in that genius brain right now. A little of the fight went out of him; he didn't know what to say to her to convince her everything would be okay.
Without warning she leaned in and kissed him, her lips parting his easily, her tongue teasing his. "All right." She turned on her heel and headed towards the SUV. Parker let out a whoop of joy at her approach, the sound muffled behind the toughened glass of the vehicle windows. "But I'm cooking dinner." She hauled herself up into the SUV and waited calmly for Booth to catch up.
Booth stared after her narrowly for a long moment before getting in. Something was off. She'd said what he'd wanted to hear, and done what he wanted her to do, but … something was off. He brushed aside the feeling and decided to take her actions at face value. Parker leaned forward between the seats and grinned at each of them in turn, unaware of the subtle undercurrents pulsing between the adults.
"Sit back, buddy, and put your seat belt on please." Booth spoke automatically.
Parker did what his dad asked reluctantly, grumbling his protests through a yawn. "Why? You don't wear one." He caught the look his father shot him in the rearview mirror and bit the side of his lip uncertainly.
"That's different." Subject closed.
"How?" Apparently not.
Booth could feel Brennan's gaze slide over his face, waiting for his answer. It was a question she'd asked him herself a number of times. His lips thinned a little in pique, and then he made himself relax; it wasn't Parker's fault Booth's mood was degenerating rapidly.
"Just is, little man, just is." Booth keyed the ignition and the engine roared to life. He pulled out of the parking garage and into the rush hour traffic, the battle with the belligerent flow of vehicles stoking his mood.
Brennan glanced over her shoulder and exchanged a smile with the little boy. "Parker, your dad wants to keep you safe. He places your safety above his own. Sometimes he ignores the facts and acts on his emotions." She turned to look at Booth. "I do not believe that acting on your emotions is a rational thing to do."
"Okay … then why are you here? In my car. Coming home with me?" His smile had an edge to it that she didn't notice. His gut was knotted with anxiety, waiting for her answer.
"I weighed the pros and cons of the alternatives available to me and decided that going home with you was the best option." Her voice had taken on that prim, squinty quality that was guaranteed to make him smile. Or drive him nuts.
"No emotions involved in your decision." Paradoxically Booth now found he was enjoying this exchange more than he really should.
"Booth, I didn't say I don't have emotions, just that I don't make decisions based on them."
"Oh really? Okay. So, what makes this the 'best option'?" he challenged, chin jutting.
Brennan looked a little uncomfortable and found herself unable to formulate an answer that satisfied her, finally giving a one-shouldered shrug and saying in a small voice, "Just is."
"Ha!" Booth couldn't stop the grin spreading across his face. Oh, she was motivated by emotion all right; getting her to admit that just might take a little while. Ideas on how to set about doing that made him smile even wider. "Ha!" He knew he was on a roll here and the thought buoyed him up. She was adorable when he was right.
Unreasonably elated, he reached out his hand and tried to give her cheek a playful squeeze, but she ducked out of the way and pulled a face at him. "What's so funny?"
Brennan looked at him suspiciously for a second or two before giving in to the seduction of his smile. Parker picked up on their mood and all three were laughing together within moments.
They were pulled up at the traffic light a block or two from home when Parker's giggling resurfaced.
"Now what's so funny?" Brennan half turned towards Parker, one eyebrow raised in mock interrogation.
"Dad's got a hickey." Parker's face creased at the hilarity of that fact and laughed even harder when Booth clapped a hand over his neck automatically. Brennan reached over and pushed his hand away, "Did I do that?" She smiled, pleased with herself, but Booth ignored her and pulled the collar of his dress shirt up a little higher, turning his attention to his son.
"Hey!" Booth's eyes searched his son's face in the rear view mirror. "How do you even know what a hickey is?"
Parker just shrugged and went back to playing with the Nintendo that he'd taken out of his backpack, blissfully unaware of the panic attack he'd just caused. Booth let the subject drop, relieved. He still wasn't ready for a sex talk with his eight year old son. Parker settled in for some heavy duty Super Mario while the grownups bickered about what to have for dinner.
Booth had pulled up outside his local market at Brennan's request. He watched now as she came out of the store, her arms around a paper sack crammed with vegetables and other mysterious foodstuffs. He couldn't resist wallowing in the warm feeling that the sheer domesticity of her actions aroused in him before he hopped out and took the groceries from her. He stowed the sack in the back and grinned as he helped Brennan into the cab; well, tried to help her as she slapped his hand away with a grunt something like exasperation, and he chuckled to himself. And realised he was happy.
"Hey Bones, are you and dad going to have a baby?" That bombshell was dropped with the same guileless innocence as the hickey comment. Booth froze in the action of grinding black pepper onto his meal and shot his son a look of horror.
Brennan, on the other hand, considered the question carefully before responding, "Actually Parker, although pregnancy most commonly results from coitus, modern methods of -"
"Bones!" Booth was horrified; visions of the close call he'd had with the tooheddabeenus shook him, but he barely had time to recover before the tooheddabeenus stood on its tiny hind legs and roared when Parker piped up again.
"What's a coidus?"
Booth was virtually apoplectic. Oh god, trust Parker to pick up on that word. An uncomfortable feeling was building in the pit of his stomach. He'd known all day that there'd be a reckoning for the scenario Parker had stumbled across this morning; he just hadn't figured the kid would be able to connect the dots so well. Who taught him this stuff? He looked over at his partner suspiciously; Brennan had had Parker for the whole day – who knew what they had talked about. Although, she had promised to steer clear of any discussions about – er – mating habits. Still, she had an absurd obsession with the facts and … who knew what they had talked about.
And she seemed determined to round out his kid's education because then she took a deep breath and started in. "Well, Parker, the male inserts -"
"Wait, Bones!" Booth's voice sliced shrilly over hers, cutting off her full scale (explicit, scientifically correct) explanation of how babies are made. "No, Parker. You see -" Abruptly the memory of the conversation he still hadn't gotten around to having with his partner regarding contraceptives – or lack thereof - slammed into his consciousness and he remembered there was a whole other reason not to get into this particular subject. "Ah, geez, ixnay on that subject, Bones."
"Ixnay?" Brennan screwed her mind around the unfamiliar term.
"Later, okay?" Booth flicked his eyes meaningfully at his son several times.
Brennan was adamant, "Parker asked a perfectly logical question." Parker's eyes shot up to hers admiringly and ping-ponged between the two of them.
"Not now, okay?" Booth was almost pleading, his fixed smile and widened eyes giving Brennan only a small amount of pause.
"Why did you cut me off?"
"Ah, I've been meaning to talk to you about something."
"You're always doing that."
"Cutting me off. You never let me -"
"I'm not!" Booth had the grace to look uncomfortable and went on more reasonably, "Well, maybe occasionally. It's just that sometimes you open your mouth without thinking-"
"I never say anything without thinking, Booth." Brennan interjected, getting a little annoyed.
"-thinking through the implications to other people of what you're saying."
"You mean 'inferences'. I never hint or suggest something without stating it directly. I prefer to reach an opinion from facts or reasoning."
"Say what?" He frowned fiercely at her. "You know what I mean! Besides, why do you always have to correct me?"
Brennan calmly inspected a cube of golden tempeh before popping it in her mouth. "It helps you evolve."
"I need to evolve? You make me sound prehistoric. That really hurts."
Brennan frowned at him, twisting her mouth to one side, "That wasn't my intention."
"See? Consequences." Booth glanced over at his son, suddenly remembering he was there. Parker was pushing the food on his plate around with his fork, a frown on his face.
"What's up, buddy? Not hungry?" Booth looked abashed at his son, his brows drawing together with concern. "Do you still feel sick?"
Parker shook his head, looking at each of them in turn. "I'm okay." He went back to pushing the food around again.
Brennan looked at Booth with uncertainty. "Does Parker not like what I cooked? Perhaps he'd prefer something different to eat?" Parker meanwhile, although not sure at first whether he'd like the Indonesian tempeh stir fry that Brennan had painstakingly prepared, was actually enjoying the crunchy greenness and spicy chewy cubes that dominated the dish. That wasn't what was bothering him. (Booth on the other hand was having a bit of difficulty with it. A bit of chicken or some pork cubed into it would have been good.)
Booth considered his son for a moment or two; something was up. He reached over and chucked the boy under the chin, "Spill, Parks."
With obvious reluctance, the child raised his head and regarded both adults solemnly. "I don't like it when you guys fight."
"No, no – we're not fighting Parker." Brennan was quick to reassure him, a little perturbed that he was upset by their squabbling.
"Sure sounded like it." said the little boy, petulance bubbling through the words.
Booth scowled at the tone but let it slide. "No buddy, we were just -" He looked at Brennan for help but she stared back at him, her expression thoughtful. He finished the sentence without her help. "We were just talking."
Brennan nodded in agreement, even though there was still a little rancour left directed at him. "It's okay to hold different views on things, Parker. The extrapolation of human diversity in time and space is the basis of anthropology."
"Huh?" Father and son chorused together.
"Anthropology attempts to compare human groups to understand the range of normal variation in human behavior and biology, and therefore considers what it is to be human." Without preamble, she licked her thumb and wiped a drop of sauce from the corner of Booth's mouth, letting the sensitive pad trail across his lips for the briefest of moments. The gesture was artless and sincere and Booth was blown away by the simple affection in her touch.
Parker looked at his father, "Do you know what Bones just said, Dad?"
Booth grinned and leaned over towards his son, keeping his eyes on Brennan the whole time. "Yeah, I kinda do." He wasn't referring to her words.
Parker watched the grownups closely, absorbing the smile Brennan and Booth exchanged. Contentment settled on his face. He might not understand everything – anything – they mostly said to each other, but he knew when his dad was happy 'cos his eyes got all crinkly when he smiled and Bones had the same look on her face, so it must all be good. He attacked his dinner with renewed enthusiasm, even the broccoli.
"If I'm going to have meals at your home on a regular basis, I'm going to need to restock your pantry." Brennan resealed a packet of deep fried noodles and placed it back on the shelf.
Booth threw the dish cloth onto the counter and wrapped his arms around her from behind. He took hope from the message she had unwittingly given him in her offhand comment. He nuzzled her cheek with a smile, rewarded for his efforts when her ass pressed against him. He'd been waiting all night to touch her properly, not just a fleeting brush of their hands as she passed the plates around, or when she'd tapped his wrist to underline a point. His senses tingled at the feel of her, and when she trembled in response he was almost undone. In the background the sound of the TV was a gentle reminder that Parker was still up. Booth pulled away reluctantly and stacked the last of the dinner plates in the cupboard, turning to look at her with a hint of regret.
"Maybe I should send Parker to bed now. Then you and I could sit on the sofa and neck." He placed his arm carelessly over her shoulders, not able to break contact completely, but wanting to keep things light.
Brennan chuckled and used the dish cloth to give the counter top one last wipe before she tossed it into the sink. She turned into his embrace, running her hands down his sides until they came to rest on his hips. "Thank you for asking me here tonight, Booth." She looked up at him, her gaze so direct, and his resolve melted.
Booth pulled her close. "You're welcome. Thank you for cooking dinner for us." He gently brushed her bangs away with his fingers. "I'm glad you're here."
He leaned into her and took possession of her mouth, his tongue teasing her lips apart. At the touch of his tongue she responded immediately, using her hands against the arch of his back to pull him impossibly closer. They shared a long satisfying kiss, heat shooting between them and sending electricity in tangents along his skin. Brennan pulled away first, her eyes a little glazed. "You're welcome." She replied, leaving Booth to wonder whether she meant the meal or the kiss, and not really caring which. He ran the tip of one finger along her grave little mouth and watched with fascination as her eyes darkened with desire. For him.
His voice, when he found it, was low and urgent. "Seriously, let me get Parker settled and then we can continue where we left off, okay?"
Brennan smiled, "What, and make out on the sofa?"
"Um, I was thinking of something a little more … horizontal."
"That would be acceptable." When Brennan followed her prim words with slow kneading of the deep flesh of his ass, Booth felt his knees go weak.
He sought her mouth again, eager for the taste, the smell of her. Her fingers continued their hypnotic movement, her body shifting lower against his, her arms reaching further around him until they completely circled his hips and her fingers stroked his inner thighs. He flexed his knees to give her better access and she insinuated herself between his legs, and when her fingertips glanced against his balls through the light fabric of his trousers, he groaned softly. His hands shook and his breathing was shallow and urgent. God, he wanted to be consumed by her, surrounded by her. If he didn't stop now he didn't think he ever would. He saw his thoughts mirrored on his partner's beautiful face. Definitely time that child of his was in bed.
"Gimme a few minutes. Parker …" He let his voice trail away and shrugged smilingly through to the end of the sentence, backing off with a rueful smile.
"Wait, Booth. What was it that you were trying to tell me at dinner?"
Booth ran a hand across the back of his neck, embarrassed now at having that subject back on the agenda. He shifted back towards her and took one of her hands, feeling a little foolish. "Ah, it was just that, last night -"
"Yes?" She turned the word into a little growl and used her free hand to tug his belt buckle – and him – a little closer.
"Well, you know how we kinda got carried away?"
"Mm-nm." Her smile widened into something more than merely suggestive and his core temp nudged up a degree or two.
"I- We-" He sighed lustily, his lips pursing with regret. "We didn't actually get round to using any of those condoms." The words tumbled out awkwardly.
Brennan's expression froze as she contemplated the significance of what he'd just said. "I don't understand."
"Ah, Bones, what's to understand? I guess we both got a little ah, sidetracked by what we were doing."
"No, Booth." She frowned, waving a hand dismissively. "The fact that I overlooked such a basic tenet of contraceptive and antimicrobial prophylaxis is what I'm having difficulty with."
"I didn't get half of what you just said, and I'm pretty sure you didn't mean the microbe thing to be insulting, but are you telling that you've never been so overcome by the heat of the moment before that you've never, you know, just gone for it?" Despite himself, Booth couldn't contain the smug grin that spread across his face. She scowled at him, but didn't pull away when he drew her close. "I'm going to take that as a compliment."
"I fail to see -" Suddenly it dawned on Brennan that he was pleased at the situation. "Oh, you're interpreting my apparent dereliction of accountability as evidence of your masculine prowess and potency." Brennan's smile was distracted, but there nonetheless.
"Potency? Well, hey, you know how good I tested … motile sperm count: 28.8 million, remember?" Booth's grin slipped a little when he asked, "You do have some other, er, protection, don't you? I know there were two of us doing that particular tango, but …"
"Actually, no." Her teeth worried the inside of her lip. "There was no imperative … until now."
Silence stretched between them for a moment before Booth managed to croak, "Jeez, Bones, you don't think you could be - ?"
They both froze and looked anywhere but at each other, and when their eyes accidentally met, neither could bear to acknowledge the expression they saw on the other's face.
Brennan broke the moment with a tense little laugh. "Booth, you're being ridiculous. The probability of me being pregnant from a single sexual encounter with you is miniscule."
"Yeah, you're right." He rolled his eyes, his expression wry. "Miniscule. Phht! I am being ridiculous." Booth sought her eyes, "Right?"
Sooo … is she or isn't she? Haven't made up my mind yet how that's going to pan out in this story - what do you think?