Okay, if anyone's read my story 'It's A Treat to Beat Your Feet in the Mississippi Mud' you might recognise some of this. This was a bit of wish fulfilment for me – I'd promised myself I'd keep Mississippi Mud in canon, but I really wanted this chapter to go something like this. So, I tagged me!
Thanks to cathmarchr and her fic!dump challenge on Live Journal, I got an excuse to sex it up … hope you enjoy!
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*]!)
West Virginia. Late July.
West Virginia. Late July.
Claustrophobia clawed at his face before Booth could push himself away from the rapidly deflating front airbag. Using his knees to push it away, he fumbled to unhitch his seatbelt so that he could twist around to reach Brennan. She looked bewildered. He ran his hands over her shoulders and arms to make sure she was okay. When she didn't respond to his touch straight away, his hands lifted up to her face, and he gently ran the back of one against her cheek.
"Bones - Temperance, are you okay?" Booth ran his tongue over his lips, his mouth going dry with anxiety.
Her eyes finally focused on his. "Of course I'm okay. I have a very robust constitution." The firmness she tried to project in her voice was contradicted by the tentative way she was massaging her forehead. Booth's concern rose to the top again. The rain was still pelting down on the truck, whipped into weird patterns on the windshield. Every so often clumps of leaves or pieces of broken branch slapped against the roof and sides of the truck, tossed about on the whim of the surging wind. Forked lightning speared through the purple sky as almost simultaneously a deep roll of thunder measured its power.
"Bones, look at me." She turned her face towards him only to find her chin pinioned firmly by his thumb and index finger and a miniature Maglite being shone into her eyes.
"I didn't hit my head, I'm not concussed." She said faintly, trying to pull her chin away so that she could check him over. "What about you, are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Keep still, will you?" Booth continued running his fingers gently through her hair, checking for lumps or bumps. She relaxed at his touch, unconsciously enjoying the feel of his hands on her scalp and neck. He drew his hands away, tapping the tip of her nose with one finger. "You're okay as far as I can tell." He said gruffly, "It doesn't look like you've cracked your skull or anything – no brain oozing out."
"I told you." But she said it in a small voice, in reality grateful for his concern. She stretched her arms and legs experimentally; she felt okay. "What happened, how did we crash?"
"We lost the brakes on the turn. I don't know why, but I have my suspicions." The controlled anger in his voice made her look at him, a question in her eyes. He explained, "I've got a feeling that someone's messed with the brakes; the way they just went like that … someone could have got to the SUV outside of the suspect's house." His hand went to the two-way radio and he cursed under his breath when he saw the cut ends of the wiring swinging slackly. The partners exchanged a worried glance.
Brennan looked away first, distracted by the wind lashing the branches of the trees into fantastic silhouettes. The windscreen wipers were still pounding at full speed despite the crash, adding an eerie beat to the storm sounds. "So, what do we do now?" As she asked the question, Booth was flipping open his phone to check the signal. "Get anything?" she asked hopefully.
"Nope. I guess between the storm and these mountains I didn't really hold out much hope I'd get a signal, but it was worth a try." He tossed the phone back onto the centre console, one side of his mouth curled up wryly.
"Can't you get the SUV going?" Brennan showed her naivety about all things mechanical with that comment. Or maybe she just showed her faith in Booth.
Booth's laugh was humourless as he eyed the steam that was hissing spitefully from under the hood. "As much as I appreciate your confidence in my abilities, I think this'll take a bit more than a pair of your pantyhose and some duct tape." Brennan stared at him, uncomprehending. He sighed, "No, I can't fix it."
His shoulders slumped; it was his fault they were in this mess. "Bones, I'm sorry, I should have looked after you better."
"What are you talking about?" The look she gave him was priceless. "I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself." She opened the door and peered out; the rain had simply stopped as if someone had flicked a switch. Her particular brand of logic kicked in, "There's still plenty of light; we'll just have to walk and get help." She slid out of the passenger seat and just … disappeared.
"Bones?" Booth's voice rose on a yelp; he couldn't quite believe his eyes. He scrabbled over the centre console and knelt on the passenger seat, looking down over the edge. Brennan was flat on her face, spreadeagle in a pool of tepid brown mud. The downpour had turned the track into an instant quagmire. Brennan rolled onto her ass and sat up, the only sound a sickening squelch. "You okay there Bones? Have you hurt yourself?" He knew he should help her but the effort to contain his laughter was taking everything he had at the moment.
Brennan returned his grin with a scowl, those piercing blue gray eyes snapping up at him through the layer of mud on her face. Her clothes were sodden and filthy. She used a finger to swipe the dripping muck away from each cheek, flicking it away disdainfully. "My ass – there's a rock under here somewhere." She levelled a baleful look at him. "Your laughter is not helping, Booth."
"Bones – you said 'ass'. Don't you mean gluteus sparticus or something?" He giggled – giggled - and her temper erupted. She was so wild that the words couldn't push past lips so tightly pressed together that there was a white line around her mouth. Booth knew from the explosive expression on her face that he'd overstepped the mark.
He was immediately contrite, swinging his legs over the running board until his feet touched the ground, shoes disappearing into the slush. "C'mon, Bones, you've got to admit it's funny." He said, trying to placate her. He held out his hands to help her up but she ignored him, half pushing herself up only to slip again, this time falling full length on her back. She was now completely covered in mud and Booth could only stare open mouthed at the sight.
"Booth?" She pleaded, her voice pathetic. She held out her hands to him and the gesture was somehow touching. Guilt washed over him and he hastily leaned over to help her up. What he didn't take account of was just how slippery the deluge had made the ground, and when Brennan tugged at him impatiently, his feet shot out from under him and he landed unceremoniously beside her in the mire. He lay still for a moment; it felt oddly pleasant. The summer storm had appeared after a hot humid day, temperatures in the high eighties and the earth had absorbed the heat.
Brennan burst into helpless laughter, enjoying the absurdity of the situation. "We are so dirty. How on earth are we ever going to get clean and dry?"
The few moments of reprieve the eye of the storm had given them were over. As if on cue the heavens opened again and within seconds they were drenched. Booth glanced up at the sky in disbelief, trying to shield his head with his hands to protect himself from the pelting rain.
Brennan snared his attention. He stared at her sitting cross-legged in the mud, her face tilted up to let the rain rinse the grime from her face. In the last of the weak afternoon light, the sight of the water slicking down her hair and leaving her clothes clinging to her body almost undid him. She never ceased to amaze him.
Another crack of lightning, almost directly overhead, got them hastily to their feet. Booth pulled Brennan to the back of the SUV, opening the rear hatch for shelter while he shoved bags and boxes aside to create some space. Brennan perched on the rear bumper ledge and quickly dragged off her boots and socks. He followed suit, but when she unselfconsciously stripped down to her underwear he was dumbstruck.
"Are you serious?" He had to raise his voice over the roar of the storm.
"I'm soaked, Booth. I'm not going to sit in dripping wet clothes. At least this way we have a chance of getting dry." She drew her legs into the cargo area, levelling a bland look at him. "It's the logical thing to do."
"Logical. Right." His hand hesitated on his belt buckle; he was acutely uncomfortable, seeing the sense in her suggestion but not sure if he was going to survive the experience.
"Hurry up, I'm freezing." She reached out to help but he swatted her hand away. He missed the satisfied smile that crossed her face as he peeled off his shirt and threw it with her wet things. The wind whipped the rain under the hatch, reminding Booth that the full strength of the storm would be on them again any second. He quickly stripped down to his boxers, Brennan taking his wet clothes from him and pushing them all into a plastic evidence bag with hers.
The relative quiet inside the truck when the hatch was closed was unnerving after the tempest outside, but not as unnerving as the inventory Brennan was taking of his body. He abruptly pulled his gym bag between them and unearthed the towel he kept there, passing it to her wordlessly. What on earth was he doing in the back of the SUV, almost naked, watching Brennan, who by the way was also almost naked, dry off with a towel? 'I must be ten kinds of nuts to let her talk me into this.' Her white bra and panties were virtually see-through and he couldn't drag his eyes away from the dark patch of hair at the juncture of her thighs. All her secret places were revealed by the wet fabric in graphic detail. She caught him staring and awareness flared between them for a long moment before Brennan looked away, her expression unreadable.
"Hey, the rain's stopped again." She drew her finger idly through the film of moisture that frosted the inside of the windows. The sun had disappeared without their noticing and night had began to take form. "Look you can just see the stars."
"I guess you can name all the stars, right Bones?" Booth teased, happy to keep the conversation on neutral territory.
She just smiled. "My dad used to take Russ and me out on clear nights and teach us where to find the different constellations at different times of the year. Delphinus is the first one I learned about."
"What's that one?"
"For your mom." It was a statement, not a question.
Brennan continued to stare out the window, leaning her forehead against the glass. Booth followed the line of her spine with his eyes until the flare of her hips and the rounded temptation of her ass filled his view. He tried to concentrate on what she was saying but failed. His hand fell on an old fleece blanket of Parker's that had been floating around in the back of the truck for weeks. It was covered in purple and green dinosaurs and was on the small side, but would be enough to keep her warm and covered. She took it from him with a smile of thanks and draped it over her shoulders.
"Delphinus is associated with two stories from Greek mythology. According to the first one, Poseidon wanted to marry Amphitrite, a nereid, or sea nymph. She fled to the Atlas mountains, wanting to protect her virginity. Delphinus accidentally stumbled upon her and was able to persuade Amphitrite to accept Poseidon's wooing. Out of gratitude the god placed the image of a dolphin among the stars."
"Pretty racy stuff, that Greek mythology." Brennan heard the teasing smile in Booth's voice. She looked over her shoulder at him, the purple fleece slipping down one arm.
"That's pretty tame for the Greeks." She assured him, "But it's the second story that's my favourite. It's about a poet, Arion of Lesbos."
Booth snorted, trying to control his grin.
Brennan shot him a confused glance. "What's so funny?"
"Lesbos – c'mon." He couldn't restrain a juvenile snigger.
"I don't get it."
"Don't worry about it. Go on with the story."
She questioned him with a look, but he just smiled blandly and waited for her to continue. "Arion was a very rich man. On a long voyage the crew of his ship, jealous of his wealth, conspired against him and threatened death unless he gave them his riches. His last wish was to sing a lament. As he sang, he flung himself into the sea. A dolphin, charmed by Arion's song, rescued him and took him to safety, and then disappeared over the horizon."
"That's beautiful, Bones." He gave her a look of admiration, shaking his head at the scope of her knowledge. "How do you keep all this stuff in your head?"
Brennan turned to face him properly, her smile wide. "I've heard you spout sports trivia for an hour straight. How do you keep all that stuff in your head?"
"That's different, it's … facts and figures. It's Sport." Booth said 'sport' like Brennan would say 'anthropology'.
She tipped her head to the side, trying to find a way to explain what she meant. "It doesn't matter what the subject is. The British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, said 'The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.' Passion hones your memory, Booth." Brennan's voice was unconsciously tinged with a hint of arrogance.
Booth's eyes narrowed at the irony of her choice of quotation. "Yeah, but a fellow countryman of his, Mr D H Lawrence also said, 'Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.' "
"Wh-where did you learn that?"Brennan's expression was stunned.
"Not just a pretty face, Bones. Must've read it on a cereal packet once." Trying not to look too smug, Booth leant back, stretching his long legs out as best he could. He patted the space he'd left for her. "It's going to be a long night, Bones; you may as well be comfortable."
She took her place beside him without demur and let her head fall back onto the makeshift pillow of his gym bag. "You are a constant surprise to me, Booth. Just when I think I understand you, you show me another facet and give me something else to think about."
"Watch out, Bones," he smiled that smartass smile, "if you're not careful you might actually say something nice about me."
Brennan sighed. Weak moonlight limned his features and she could just make out that he was smiling. It made her feel … safe. "What a pair we are." she said softly.
"Yeah." They exchanged a smile before Brennan rolled onto her side, away from him. Booth didn't check the impulse to reach an arm over her shoulders. "C'mon, let's get some sleep." He tucked his son's blanket more snugly around her. He felt a shiver run through her; the temperature had dropped sharply in the last half hour or so. "Cold, Bones?" His cheeky smirk glowed in the dark and he dropped his voice in mock suggestiveness. "You know we could always share a bit of body heat to keep -" Brennan scooted close until her head was almost tucked under his chin. "- warm." He finished the sentence on a strangled squeak. Shock at the skin-on-skin contact kept his eyes fixed straight ahead, his body immobile. "Bones?"
"It makes perfect sense, Booth." Her delivery was matter-of-fact, "Homeostasis is preserved more efficiently in mammals if bodily contact is maintained." She unconsciously snuggled a little closer as she spouted this latest snippet of scientific fact and Booth tried to edge away. He felt her relax against him, and some of his tension ebbed away. "Of course the transfer of heat would be much more effective if we were naked." He was instantly tense again. "Our wet underwear is lowering our body temperature and the blood vessels in our skin tissue constrict, or tighten up."
"Tighten up?" He managed to get the words out, but only just.
"Mm-hm. The 'tightening' helps keep blood away from the cold outer layer of the body and helps circulate warmer blood to our core areas. This tightening is also why you may feel stiff after being in the cold for a long time."
"I'm definitely stiffening up." She snuggled again and he swallowed a groan at the pressure of her ass against his groin, becoming hard almost straight away. Irony was truly wasted on her. He tried to edge back a little so that neither of them would be embarrassed by his body's response to her nearness but he was already wedged against the wheel hub.
Brennan wriggled, trying to get more comfortable. "Actually, could you move your hand? It's digging into me."
He swallowed past the lump in his throat. "Uh, Bones?"
"That's not my hand."
The silence stretched between them, punctuated by the sounds of the storm that had surged again.
"Oh." Her tone was noncommittal and Booth gnawed his bottom lip fretfully, apprehension at her reaction keeping him silent. 'Sweet Jesus, she's going to think I'm some kind of a pervert.' was his first panicked thought.
When she spoke again her voice was husky and her words disconcerted him. "Friction is another way to keep warm, Booth."
"What are you saying, Bones?" Could she really mean what he thought she meant or did he just have a one track mind? He frowned, disconcerted. Damn, he wished he could see her face.
"'… when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.'"
"You're quoting me back at me?"
"I'm using DH Lawrence to make my point, as you did."
"So, what's your point?"
She rolled over, impossibly closer, and her breath fanned his face. Her eyes were fixed on his lips, and he involuntarily flicked his tongue over them, bringing a predatory smile to her face.
"I find I am moved by genuine passion." Her hand lightly touched his erection, one finger scraping along his length experimentally through the thin cotton of his boxers. His body reacted on a reflex, sending an unmistakeable message back through her hand. "As, apparently, are you."
"Whoa, there, Bones. Just wait a second -" He held his hands up, whether in protest or surrender she wasn't sure, but she took the moment to slide her arm around his neck. She ran her tongue along the corded muscles of his throat and his soft groan in response was gratifying.
"Don't fight it, Booth." She peppered kisses along his clavicle, one hand splayed against the back of his neck.
"What makes think I want to fight?" He tried to press himself flat against the cool vinyl of the truck's inner wall; fighting wasn't on the agenda, but he wasn't sure going down the path she was suggesting was the right thing to do either. The good part of him battled for restraint.
"Well then?" She pulled back and looked directly into his eyes, her face lit by excitement. "What are you waiting for?" She kept her eyes on his and edged down a little, her lips leaving a trail of kisses across his chest until she reached his nipple. Her tongue flashed out and wetly circled the tender spot. Without warning she nipped him, hard, and that was enough to break his self- control.
With a growl he pushed her shoulders flat to the floor and answered her teasing by plundering her mouth, the fervency of his kiss taking her breath away. He felt her body respond as she pulled him against her, her hips grinding into his. It was if their kiss had no beginning and no end; they both seemed to want to burn the contours of each other's mouths into their memory.
They finally broke apart, panting. Booth slipped the strap of her bra from her shoulder, watching her face intently for any hint of hesitancy, but instead she lifted her shoulders and dragged the sensible garment over her head, not bothering with the clasp. She wound her hands into his hair, tugging his mouth to her breasts, and he sucked and gently nipped until she cried out in pleasure.
He was so hard it hurt. He slipped a hand between her legs, massaging her through the soft cotton that still covered her sex. When he hooked a finger under the waistband of her panties, drawing them down over her hips, she whimpered, adding urgent hands to the task until they were both naked.
He let his eyes drink in the reality of her, before he nudged her legs apart and kissed a damp trail along her inner thigh.
"Is this what you want, Temperance?" he asked, spreading her wider. She stared back at him dumbly, nodding.
Her incoherent moan as his tongue moved to her clit made him harder still, and he pressed his face further into her softness, letting his tongue enter her in a slow rhythm. She writhed with pleasure and for a moment seemed about to speak, before closing her eyes to concentrate on the sensations his mouth was generating, only able to articulate a soft repetitive hum as the tension mounted deep inside her. He lifted his head, intent on sucking a path across her stomach and chest to her mouth. She cried out at the loss and her nails left crescent shaped marks that would be there for days as she clawed at his shoulders in frustration.
She drew in a shuddering breath as his mouth found hers, revelling in her scent on his lips.
"Inside, I want you in me." She ground out, her need for him overwhelming. "I don't want to wait any more."
He didn't hesitate, thrusting deeply into her, watching the intensity of her expression change as he stroked faster and harder. She cried out, locking her legs around his hips, pulling him more tightly against her.
"God, I've wanted you for so long," he groaned, "I can't believe-" he broke off as she rose up to meet his thrusts. "Oh, god..." Their pace quickened; he was close to the edge. Brennan shifted position slightly, lifting her hips higher and squeezing him tightly. She used her lips and teeth to feverishly tease any part of him that she could reach; urging him with her mouth.
Booth started to tremble, lips drawn back from his teeth as his climax began to take hold. Their tempo became frenzied and he forced his eyes open so that he could watch Brennan's face when she came. Brennan came apart then, as his eyes sought hers, losing herself in their brown depths. Finally he gave in, his mouth seeking hers. He felt the thrust of her tongue, stroking his, and as his orgasm rocked through his body he cried out, calling her name as he burst inside her.
They lay there in a tangle of limbs, waiting for their breathing to calm. After a few moments Brennan propped her head on her hand and studied his face, reaching out a finger to trace the familiar features that she'd seen virtually every day for such a very long time. Her finger lingered on his lips and he caught her hand, pressing a kiss into her palm and closing her fingers over it.
She glanced out the window. "Storm's still going strong." Booth followed the direction of her gaze, still too spent to speak. Lightning forked behind the crest of the nearest hill, sending light bouncing wildly through the clouds. The rumble of thunder seemed to go on forever. "I've got a feeling we'll be here for a while." She went on, smiling down at him. "I suggest we spend the time continuing to engage in sex until neither of us can walk unassisted." She trailed a finger down his chest and beyond, her hand coming to rest on the jut of his hipbone.
He let out a laugh at her bluntness, loving her all the more. "Sheesh, Bones, when you say it hot, you really say it hot!" He pulled her across his chest, his mouth eagerly seeking hers.
It was going to be a long night. Thank God.