A/N: I've been thinking for a while about writing a series of fics, ficlets, drabbles, whatever you want to call them, on the topic of intimacy. Not physical intimacy, necessarily (although I won't rule that out completely, it just depends on what gets written, when, and how) but many different ways of being intimate. There are more than a dozen definitions of the word "intimate" in the dictionary, and only one of them refers to sex. The others include anything from, "characterized by or involving warm friendship or a personally close or familiar association or feeling" to "of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the inmost or essential nature; intrinsic." I think a lot of fanfic focuses on the intimate relationship of Booth and Brennan in terms of sexual intimacy, or sexual tension, so my intent is to write some angles that look at them from a less sexual, though equally intimate, point of view. Some will be short, some will be long, some will be from his perspective, some from hers, some from both. There is no cohesive storyline, they are just a series of oneshots. I hope you'll enjoy them. :)
Brennan held the bone in her hand, an innominate, weighing it carefully in her palms. It was not an exact weight, but rather, an estimate made based on years of experience. It was not a "guess" as Booth might call it, because guesswork is not based on heuristics, on experience, on detailed observation. It is a shot in the dark, a throw-away, a lack of consideration. It is a child's game. This was no guess; it was an estimation, an educated guess if you will. If the bone felt appropriate for its size and corresponding gender and age, she often bypassed an exact weight. But if it felt too light, or too dense, or the edges weren't curved properly, et cetera, she would find the scale. This way she could save precious time by skirting around unnecessary procedures and focusing on the important facts.
What he did was not an educated guess, or even a guess-guess. She had no words for what he did. The way he sized up suspects, held them with his eyes and ran his gaze up and down the length of them, it was not unlike the way she held bones lightly in her grasp. He weighed them, so to speak—felt their edges, pushed and prodded, examined them carefully and excised exactly the information he wanted. He might as well have measured them in exact numbers, the way he used the information they provided to further his cause. But they were not facts, not concrete, objective numbers to record. He treated them as if they were, but they were not.
She might never understand the way he did things; the way he perceived, conceptualized, came to conclusions. But in a way, she didn't have to. He functioned in his way and she in hers, and somehow they complemented each other despite the fact that all logic would suggest that they never could. All of her logic suggested to her that they never could exist in the same space, occupy the same circle, and yet they did. In every way but one, it seemed, they were two jagged pieces brought together in a tight, intimate way to make one seamless whole. The more she thought about it, the more circular her thinking became—they worked because they fit, and they fit because they worked. Why they fit, she could not explain, only that they did and because of it, they worked. And they worked because they fit. It was maddening, the inability to fully wrap her mind around a concept. It was almost physically painful.
He stood in the doorway of the Medico-Legal Lab, watching her. Her brows ran together in a tightly scrunched line on her forehead, pale eyes deep with intensity, and she was completely unaware of his presence. She ran the pads of her fingers along the edge of the large dry bone in her hand—from the looks of it, a hip bone. He chuckled inwardly, silently. If she heard him call it that, a 'hip bone', she would undoubtedly correct him. It had a real name, a scientific name, but for his intents and purposes it was a hip bone. It was the bone that was where your hip was, hence 'hip bone.' She sometimes made things so much more difficult than they needed to be, for the sake of being accurate.
And yet some things were so easy, too. Like the way she laughed when he blew childish bubbles in the last of his milkshake, the viscous fluid forming large pockets of air that popped and looked not unlike his mental image of the La Brea tar pits. Or the way she reached for his him in a moment of fear, pressing her face into his shoulder and sinking her fingers into his arm. Simple, unrestrained, without thought. Primal, visceral; knee-jerk, even. It was like an instinct, or even more deeply, a reflex.
She was unaware of herself in these moments; she simply existed. They simply existed. When they turned the music up in the car and threw their heads back and forth, her pitchy voice reverberating throughout the interior, they existed loudly. When they sat across from each other in the diner with the last of their food, just chewing and watching each other's expressions, they existed quietly. But even when they existed quietly, it was loudly. The feeling was loud, it was tremendous. It was loud in a way that did not involve the ears at all, but the heart—it resonated at such a great level that it threatened to burst free from his chest. Their silence was loud, and in their great noisiness, there was still a silence, a stillness, a quiet. Either way, it was a shared existence, a shared being. Togetherness, a togetherness that was intense and reflexive and so simple that it not only needed no explanation, it defied it, the way one cannot define or explain the reason why they breathe. You simply feel it, the need, and without conscious effort you exist.
"Hey," he finally said, approaching the catwalk where she still held the bone, but seemed to be entirely elsewhere. It took her a second to snap out of reverie, and when she did, she looked surprised to find him there. It was as if she had conjured him up by mere thought and then was shocked that it had actually worked.
"Oh," she said, setting down the bone. "Sorry, I didn't realize you were there."
"It's fine," he said with a smile. She quirked a brow and turned her head slightly.
"What?" she asked. He shook his head.
"Nothing," he said. She pursed her lips in an unamused way.
"No, really, what?" she repeated. He grinned despite himself.
"It's just the face you make when you think."
"What about my face?" she asked, expression sinking into further confusion.
"I just like it, is all," he said with a shrug, and she blushed furiously in response. She gave her attention back to the bone, picking it up again and focusing her gaze very pointedly on it.
"Thank you," she murmured awkwardly after a minute of silence between them. "I find your face pleasing, too." He pressed his lips together, trying hard to suppress the laughter welling up in his chest and quickly realizing that it was futile. He burst out laughing, the deep sound ringing throughout the lab, and it only took a second for her to lose full control as well and join him. Their shoulders shook and their eyes grew wet with humored tears, and they stopped thinking, stopped analyzing, and simply existed.
A/N: This oneshot in particular was inspired by my boyfriend. Because it was extremely cold and there was little else to do, we decided to take a walk through the woods. I was taking mental note of everything I needed before I locked my car door - keys, cell phone, mug, etc. - and when I looked up, he was giving me that particular, thoughtful smile that he usually does when he's noticed something I haven't. I asked him what he was smiling for, and he said, "I like the face you make when you think." That ended up birthing this. Review and let me know what you think!