Happy hiatus, Bones-fans! *insert grumbles here* This story picks up after "Doctor in the Photo" this season and to my knowledge, contains no actual spoilers for the rest of the season. It is merely my attempt to tell a story for ardent Booth & Brennan shippers. I know you're out there!
I promise to update regularly (every day or two is my goal). The story is rated M for a reason (language and eventual smut alert!) so please read responsibly. Finally, pretty please review for me: it's my first fanfiction. Enjoy the story!
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones or its characters. If I did, the show would have to be on cable. Also, I'm not affiliated in any way to the Divinyls or their music. The song was inspiration for the story after it was stuck in my head one day…
At the sound of the knock on the door, Brennan's heart sank. No matter who was on the other side of that door, she was quite certain she did not want to talk to them. There was a reason she was ignoring all of the calls coming in: even from Angela.
She was beyond embarrassed. The award winning, genius, top anthropologist in the world was utterly humiliated.
The knock on the door sounded again and for a moment, Brennan contemplated not answering. From this second knock, she knew it was not Booth's large hand upon her door and she experienced a small amount of relief from that fact. She had been avoiding his calls all day. The desire to remain in her seclusion was tempered by the realization that ignoring the person on the other side of the door could potentially be seen as cowardly. With determination she didn't know she possessed, she opened the door.
An upset Hannah stood on the other side, her blond hair hanging and her arms wrapped in a sweater as she was crossing her chest. She looked like she had just come back from working out and it did not appear as if the added endorphins had helped to better her disposition. "Hello, Temperance," she said quietly, not looking her directly in the eye. "Can I come in?"
Not finding her voice right away, Brennan simply nodded and stepped aside, illogically wishing it had been Angela or Cam on the other side of the door. Or her father. Or a suspect on one of their cases. Pretty much anyone besides Hannah.
"I think we need to talk about what happened last night."
Self-consciously, Brennan cleared her throat. "Yes," she managed, as she walked away from Hannah into her kitchen. She poured herself a glass of water to help the dryness she felt in her mouth and to delay the inevitable conversation. "Can I offer you anything?"
"No, thank you." Hannah sat down at her kitchen table. A wary Brennan sat down across from her and for a moment, neither of them said anything. It was as if Hannah didn't know where to begin.
"I apologize for my conduct last night," Brennan said first, self consciously tucking a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear. She might as well get that out of the way – she didn't like apologizing. "It was wrong for me to behave in such a manner publically."
Hannah frowned a bit. "You didn't just misbehave, Temperance. It would have been one thing to simply get tipsy at Dr. Sweets' karaoke party last night. It was a whole other thing to watch you get hammered and increasingly unhappy and then take to the stage and sing a rendition of "I Touch Myself" to Seely. My boyfriend. My lover." She reiterated, as if to drive the point home.
The humiliation rose fresh within Brennan and burned like acid reflux. She wished she didn't remember what happened that night, but she recalled how she had found it more and more difficult to watch Hannah cling to her partner throughout the night, touching and petting him in such a public way: kissing him and belonging with him. She was filling a void in his life where he had once held for her. She had truthfully been hurting since the night she told Booth she'd made a mistake letting him go and he had gently turned her down. Therefore, one drink had followed the other as the songs went on and on. The drinking had helped to make some of the musical renditions more tolerable, too.
Realization had come to Brennan somewhere in these past months that she loved Booth. Not in a way that would probably ever be enough for him (after all, she was still the same Bones she had always been) but in a way she simply couldn't deny to herself anymore. Perhaps she had suppressed these feelings for so long, opting for the rational approach to their partnership, that the metaphorical dam had finally broken when she had become inebriated at Sweets' karaoke night, much like it had when they had attempted to solve the Lauren Eames case. Sweets would probably call it a catalyst of suppressed emotion or some other psychological nonsense.
Nonetheless, she had no intention of vocalizing her feelings for Booth to anyone ever again; especially him. He was in a seemingly happy and committed relationship and Brennan knew she had no right to interfere with that again. She had been the one to reject him all those months ago, thinking she was doing right by him and his needs. It was what she was still trying to do.
"Do you know how hard it was to sit there and see you staring at Booth as you sang about touching yourself?"
Brennan pursed her lips and looked down. "I'm uncertain why I chose such a song. There was no particular motivation behind the choice. I hardly remember it."
It appeared that her statement had the unintended consequence of making Hannah more upset, rather than relieved, which had been her intent. "Let me refresh your memory then, Temperance. You sang about how you loved yourself and you wanted him to love you. When you feel down, you want him above you," Hannah's thin voice broke. "You wanted him to find you. You forget yourself and want him to remind you. Ring any bells now?"
Of course it did: she had a stellar memory and had been lying only moments before in an attempt to spare Hannah's feelings. Brennan knew every line word for word and, as an aside to the present situation, thought she performed the song with excellence despite her inebriation. Booth had dared her to get up on stage and Brennan knew she had a voice far superior to that of the Divinyls and could really "knock it out of the park", as Booth would say. She had not intended to make the song so personal. She only remembered not being able to look away from Booth's intent gaze as he sat in the crowd in the middle of the bar. It had felt like they were the only two in the room.
"I didn't mean it about Booth directly," she mumbled. "It was merely a song."
"You stared at him the whole time. You sang to him. Why else would you apologize?"
Silence permeated the room as Hannah waited for her to respond and she attempted to answer. How could she ever explain to Hannah that the thought of Booth having a different woman as the center of his life ate at her like a bone-eating fungus? How could she ever explain that despite the logic and reason that she used to navigate her life, Booth - and with all of the thoughts and emotions he solicited within her - had become a part of her?
"It was wrong of me," Brennan said, her chin coming up a bit as she met Hannah's frustrated expression. "Perhaps the enormous amounts of alcohol I consumed brought out an unexpected side of my personality. It certainly had unintended consequences: I never meant to cause any discord between you and Booth, or awkwardness between Booth and myself. I apologize. Again."
Hannah leaned forward, her elbows on the table. "Do you remember what Seely said to you when we all left? You know, when Angela and Hodgins were helping you in their car so they could take you home?" She paused for a moment. "I know he came over to you because I saw him in the parking lot. So, what did he say?"