Devil in the Details

"Ah…" Booth peeled off his wet trenchcoat and sighed as he sank into the barstool. "It is still so nasty out."

"Hmmm…quite" Gordon Gordon nodded, sliding over a small pitcher of milk toward Booth. "Not always good for the restaurant business, I'm afraid."

Booth frowned. "Things are bad? Because listen, you know…Bones…she's pretty important. And she could come here, give a great review, and believe me…people would listen. They'd be standing in line to get in here."

Dr Wyatt smiled and waved a hand. "No need. Although, Dr. Brennan is always welcome here, as you know. Everything is fine. It's more that people who arrive are already slightly annoyed. And do you know what annoyed customers are like?"

"Annoying?" Booth smirked.

"Exactly" Dr. Wyatt opened his hands in Booth's direction. "But come to think of it, I wouldn't mind seeing you here with Dr. Brennan again. It's no secret that you both make an excellent and striking pair."

At this point, Booth knew there was no point in lying. "I almost slipped this week."

"Slipped?" Dr Wyatt's curiosity was piqued. "How so?"

Booth ran a hand down his face. "I came this close to kissing her. In public, too. We were at the diner, like usual, nothing new, and having coffee, and we're just talking about sunrises and faith and numbers and life being good, and she was smiling, and I don't know…it just felt like it was the right moment."

"I see."

Booth looked up with a question in his eyes. "So?"

"Well…so…"Dr Wyatt began to answer. "I don't see how it would be the right moment and a slip up. It has to be either or, correct?"

Booth frowned. "I suppose that's logical." A hint of a smile crossed his lips at his own use of the word logical. "But yeah, I guess that makes sense."

"And how many moments have there been in the past? Moments where you felt it was an opportune time to…how would you put it…lay one on her?"

Booth smiled but looked disgusted at the same time. "What?" He laughed. "I would never put it that way."

"Very well, very well" Dr. Wyatt conceded. "How many times?"

"Honestly" Booth tilted his head to the side. "Impossible to count."

"Ah…interesting. And for each of those times, is it always the same? It always feels as if it would be a slip, but also very, very right?"

"No" Booth answered. "not always."

"Not always which one?" Dr. Wyatt clarified.

"Huh?"

The chef smiled. "I mean…do they most always feel like a slip, and sometimes they feel right? Or they don't always feel like they would be a slip up, but there isn't that feeling of…"

"I get it" Booth interrupted him. "Well, I mean…it would be a slip-up, right? Doesn't matter when or where, right?"

"Ah, let me interrupt you" Dr. Wyatt held up his hand. "Is that really true? If you were in the privacy of your own home, and the moment presented itself to kiss Dr. Brennan, and it was meaningful, would it really be a slip up?"

Booth grew silent in thought.

"Let me ask another question." Dr. Wyatt continued. "Even if it were a slip up, is it so unrecoverable of an act that you could never speak to one another again? What is wrong with a little kiss now and again, between friends or partners or whatever?"

Booth's lips tightened. "It wouldn't be like that."

"Like what?" Dr. Wyatt leaned in for more information.

"Casual, you know…it wouldn't be like that. It can't be like that."

"Ah…can't. Hmmm…" he narrowed his eyes.

Booth's eyes narrowed as well. "Okay, okay. What does 'hmmmmm' mean?"

Dr. Wyatt smiled. "It means that it's interesting that you have some sort of idea in your mind of what it will mean to kiss Dr. Brennan, and while you seem to have been presented with certain situations that would allow for that to happen, you have chosen to not let it, because they aren't the right situations. You say it 'can't' be like that, meaning that there is a right and wrong to it all. A right and wrong that goes way beyond your partnership and 'shouldn't' and into some other territory. Something you want to keep in your control."

Booth exhaled deeply. "So what you're saying is that the reason that I didn't kiss Bones, even though it felt right in the moment, that was because I've never kissed her before?"

"Precisely, Agent Booth. You have some idea in your head of a moment when she will say something, or you will say something and the moment will just be 'right' as you say, and you'll lean in and kiss her. But what are you waiting for? What is the moment you are waiting for?"

Booth blinked several times as he took honest stock of his thoughts. "I don't know. I just feel like I'll really know when it's the right moment. Besides…"

When he frowned and trailed off, Gordon Gordon's eyebrows rose. "Besides what?"

Booth bit his bottom lip before replying. "Besides…if I'm wrong about this, then that means that there have been other moments…years of moments that felt right, and actually would have been right. And if I've missed…if we've missed out on those moments, then I'll feel a lot of regret. And I don't want to feel that way."

Dr Wyatt was quiet for a moment. "And very well you should not. Neither you nor Dr. Brennan should feel regret over this. Come now, why listen to me, hmmm? You know best. You know her best. And you'll know the right moment when it happens. But until that moment, do yourself a favor, yes?"

Booth met his eyes and shrugged. "Sure, what?"

"Only this. Stop referring to these moments as either right or 'slip ups'. They are just moments, and there is no reason to give them more or less significance than they are worth, you see?"

Booth's jaw relaxed and he nodded. "Yeah." He nodded again as his mind began to process feelings and memories. He began to think about how he'd categorized certain things. "That makes sense. Thanks."

"Any time" Dr. Wyatt smiled. "So, what are your plans for the rest of the day?"

Booth grinned and tapped his forehead. "Well, I have an idea. I'm thinking I just might take Bones out for a nice dinner. Somewhere really, really nice. The nicest place in DC. With a chef who knows what he's doing in the kitchen."

"Ah, preposterous." Gordon Gordon shook his head, but smiled, even as Booth put his trenchcoat back on. "I'll have the table reserved for 8."

Booth grinned and saluted on his way out the door. "8 it is."