Title: Sweets' Plan for the Truth
Disclaimer: Bones and its affiliated characters do not belong to me. I mean no copyright infringement.
Summary: What's Sweets up to? … Brennan and Sweets form a friendship to fill in the time after work hours that used to be filled with Booth and Daisy. Sweets is still hopeful that Brennan and Booth can develop a long-lasting intimate relationship. His plan is to keep men away from Brennan while Booth gets his life in order and Hannah out of it. However, this unexpected friendship causes a domino effect through the lives of people at the Jeffersonian and the Hoover. Sweets had planned on a happy ending. If he had known the trouble it would cause, he would have made different choices along the way. When everything looks to be hopeless, how will Booth try and fix things?
Spoilers: Season 6
Rating: T for later chapters
Sweets' Plan for the Truth
Chapter 1: The Plan
It was 7:00 PM and Sweets was not surprised to find Brennan still working in her office. He gently knocked on the door, not wanting to frighten her since she probably thought she was alone. She looked up. At first she smiled, but it turned into a skeptical look. Sweets couldn't blame her. With everything that had changed, she probably expected him to quiz her about her reactions to Booth and Hannah. But that's not what he was there for. He grinned at her.
"If I promise not to get all shrinky, may I come in?"
"Would I be able to stop you?"
He raised his eyebrows. It certainly wasn't unusual for Dr. Brennan to unintentionally strike out like that, but he didn't want her to think he would invade her private space without welcome.
"Of course you could, Dr. Brennan. You're more than capable of over-powering me." She grinned back at him. "Besides, I wouldn't enter your office without your consent."
"You may come in," she acknowledged surprisingly. "Most people just walk right in without as much as a knock."
"I know how that feels," he smirked. She had the decency to look guilty and he had to chuckle in a way that only Sweets could do.
"If you promise not to get shrinky, do I have to promise not to get squinty?"
Booth had taught her well in the art of redirecting a conversation. "No. I like your scientific perspective on things even when it gets frustrating. I enjoy the challenge." And he was enjoying her surprised reactions. It wasn't something he was used to seeing. "I came to ask you a favor."
"Yes. I'm not in the mood to eat alone tonight and knowing you the way I do, I figured you'd still be working and forgotten to eat." She looked at him like she was studying one of her bones and it made him momentarily uncomfortable.
"If Booth was the same person he was before leaving for Afghanistan, I'd have to think he'd put you up to this."
"This is all my idea. As far as Booth is concerned, I'd have to agree with you. He's changed. But I promised not to get shrinky. I'm hungry and I'm guessing you have too much alone time these days without him just as I do without Daisy. Do you care to have dinner with a friend?" He expected her to decline, so she completely surprised him.
"Yes. I think I'd like that. I came to a rough spot on my latest chapter and now's the perfect time for a break." Her stomach growled loudly. "And I guess I'm hungry, too," she smiled sheepishly.
"Maybe you can share some of your new plot lines at dinner?" She gave him a friendly glare. "Hey, a fan can be hopeful." She let out a rare little laugh and it further lightened his mood. "Any place in particular you'd like to eat?"
Sweets was glad that she hadn't opted for the diner. It was too ordinary and felt like work. And it also concerned him that he might fall into shrink mode. He just craved friendly companionship. And Dr. Brennan was exactly who he needed to keep his mind off unpleasant things. Of course, he was a guy, so her beauty was a bonus.
When he first started working with Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth, he could see the close connection they had with each other. It was seriously bothering him that they had drifted apart and wondered if he could help the two regain that relationship if it wasn't too late. He really didn't see Hannah staying with Booth for too long. The dynamics of their relationship in D.C. were drastically different from a war zone and their needs have changed even if they haven't recognized it yet. He hoped it wouldn't take much longer.
He already heard talk around the Hoover that Dr. Brennan was available. So far, none of the men had taken the chance to pursue her due to her reputation, but it was only a matter of time.
A plan started to form in his mind. If he could keep her occupied in her free time, that may keep the men away while Booth gets his life in order.
The waiter brought him out of his inner thoughts. After ordering, they shared a heated but friendly debate about the social customs surrounding their current case. It wouldn't be natural to spend time with her if they didn't debate something. Her cheeks were flushed making her flawless skin even more beautiful in the dimly lit restaurant.
"Sweets, it feels wrong for you to be addressing me as Dr. Brennan when we are clearly not working." She looked around the restaurant with the wave of her arm. He had noticed some softening since returning from Indonesia. Albeit forced, she was praising her interns, relating to social customs and norms, and using popular language expressions. But this surprised him. Maybe it was the two glasses of wine she had. "Of course, I would still expect you to address me as such while we are working.
"Of course. What name would you like for me to use? You seem to have many. I've never known anyone with so many names."
"Well, I am unique."
"That you are. Do you have a preference?"
"No, not really."
He believed her. Dr, Brennan was honest to a fault. "It's nice to see you smiling again." He put his palms up. "Honest. I'm not being shrinky." He waited until she looked relaxed. "Hmmm. There's Brennan, Bren, Temperance, Tempe, Joy…" That got her undivided attention. "I like seeing you happy. The name 'Joy' suits you."
She was obviously stunned into silence… a rare phenomena. He truly liked the name, and he believed it would go a long way with his plan… the second half… and that was to wake up Booth to what he too quickly gave up.
The silence didn't last long and as she recovered, she glared at him.
"Brennan. Just Brennan sounds right."
"That sounds suitable. When I said I didn't have a preference..."
She looked so guilty that he started to feel guilty. "It's okay. You weren't expecting me to even remember your first given name much less consider it. Even though I was caught up in being happy that you looked happy, I went too far. But I do want to reiterate how crazy good it is to see you smile. You need a break."
"A break from what? We don't have a particularly difficult case right now, and it's almost complete. Actually, it's been quite…"
He finished for her, "mind-numbing."
"That's an accurate description. So why would I need a break?"
"I'll skip the shrinky stuff about your partner and go with the next obvious reason. You're still working too many hours. Cam told me you haven't even gone home a couple of nights this week.
"She had no right to speak to you about that."
"She cares about you. We all do."
"I hadn't noticed," she admitted.
"You said you wouldn't get shrinky,"
"Wouldn't think of it." Brennan rolled her eyes at him. "Just being a good scientist and making observations."
She lifted a brow, but he said nothing. Oh, he could be frustrating. The silence grew so the waiter bringing their food was a nice interruption.
"Fine. What is it you think you have seen?"
"Hannah this and Hannah that. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. She's been annoyingly the center of attention for the past few weeks."
"Maybe psychologists know a little something about basic science." He beamed. "Don't let it go to your head and think it's okay to apply non-scientific assumptions to your observations." She gave him her best fear provoking glare that she usually reserved for her interns.
"So, back to what I started with, Dr. Brennan, I mean Brennan, you are working too many hours. It was already 7:00 when I arrived at your office."
"I wasn't really working. I could have been at home doing the very same thing."
"Getting writer's block."
"I wouldn't call it writer's block. About my book," she hesitated not sure if this was a good idea, "I was considering… having a profiler as one of the characters in my newest story."
"Really?" He looked a little too pleased.
"Since I'm not into shrinky stuff…"
"Right… stuff… maybe you'd like to help me."
"Well, since you're asking for my help, I guess I can look past certain 'stuff'." He was sure the double meaning had gone unnoticed.
She shrugged trying to communicate indifference. "It's up to you, of course."
"Do you have plans on Saturday?"
He shook his head at her. She used to keep Booth busy. As if thinking about the man could make him appear, he and Hannah chose that moment to enter the restaurant. He was happy they were quickly seated and it didn't appear that they had been noticed.
He sighed as she went into a long explanation of how important her job was outside of forensics. "Forget about Limbo this weekend. I promise it will still be there on Monday."
Author's Notes: Chapter 2 is almost ready to be published. It's titled "We're Just Friends."