WARNING: Idea from potential spoilers of things to come in Season 6.
A/N: This one is a gift for my Twitter pal and regular reader Clare-smfc1877 on her birthday. Those of you who know Clare have probably seen how excited she is about recently released spoilers. If you aren't into spoilers and speculation, turn back now...
Happy 25th, Sweetie!
Summary: Booth and Brennan get trapped in an elevator together after Booth and Hannah's break-up. Will they sort things out or is their relationship irreparably harmed?
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.
The Eventually in the Elevator
"It's just coffee, Booth," Brennan complains as they walked towards the elevator that would carry them to his apartment.
"You wouldn't be saying that if you were soaked through, Bones," he growls back at her. He isn't angry with her as much as he's angry with the situation. A bus boy at the diner had tripped over the outstretched foot of another diner patron, spilling the remaining contents of a coffee cup all over Booth's shirt. And his tie. And his lap. At least it wasn't hot.
Brennan scrambles to keep up as the elevator doors slide open. "The difference is that I'm smart enough to keep an extra set of clothes at the Jeffersonian," she replies as she steps in beside him.
The bickering dies out as they glare at each other. The lights in the elevator flicker and the car jerks as it lurches in it's upward path.
"What the - ?" he utters in surprise as he stumbles forward. Protective instincts kicking in, he moves to block his partner in the corner, shielding her, his arms slipping around her as...
Darkness. Complete and total darkness. All movement stops. It stops and they wait.
"Booth?" The sound of his name breaks the silence. Her breath tickles his neck and he steps away as he feels his skin catch fire. He shouldn't be attracted to her like this. Not anymore. It wasn't logical. What was he? A glutton for punishment?
"Are you okay?" he asks her. His tone is brusque and he feels the immediate change in her posture.
She pulls out her phone and uses the screen as a light to get to the control panel. She pushes the alarm button. Nothing. She feels the prick of tears and gulps for air. Being in enclosed spaces isn't the same since she was buried alive. For a moment, controlled and rational Temperance panics. She hopes he doesn't sense it. They had become out of tune while he was with Hannah.
Five Minutes Trapped...
Booth pulls out his phone and calls Cam. "Bones and I aren't going to make it back for that meeting," he tells her. "We're stuck in the elevator on the way to my apartment He chuckles lightly. "Funny, Cam, real funny..." his voice trails off. "What do you mean the power's out all over DC?" he asks, a slight crack in his voice. "Look, I'll call you back." He snaps the clam shell shut and turns to his partner.
She continues to press buttons as her panic rises. He calls her name three times before it sinks in. "What?" she barks at him.
"You can mash buttons all you want, Bones," he tells her. "We aren't going anywhere. The power is out all over DC due to a blown transformer."
An audible rush of air leaves her lungs. "I want to get out of here," she complains. The walls are closing in on them. Suddenly, she can't bear to be in the tiny car with him.
He recognizes the fear in her. He doesn't have to see her face to know the pain in her eyes. He saw it when Heather Taffet was on trial. She was back in the car. Suffocating. He reaches out, desperate to ease her pain. Desperate to soothe her.
She swats his arms away. "Don't touch me," she growls. She doesn't need him. It's not like he's been there for her. She doesn't need his pity. "You've got..."
Frustration fills his voice. "Fine! Don't let me help you, but you need to snap out of it. Calm down. You're better than this, Bones."
"Don't tell me what to do," she warns.
"Panicking isn't going to fix anything!" he yells at her. At her sob, he instantly regrets it. Raking a hand through his hair, he opens his phone. The glow of the screen illuminates her face. "Look," he says softly, "it's bad enough we're stuck. Let's just focus on the case."
She nods, choking back her fear. "Shall we call Cam and the squints back?" she asks.
Thirty-Four Minutes Trapped...
"We need to take inventory of what we have," he says, years of survival training kicking in. He also knows that the best way to keep her calm now is to keep her focused on something else - anything else.
She pulls out her cell phone. "My battery is very low," she tells him. Using the light from the screen, she searches her bag. She hands him a flashlight and the case file.
"You carry a flashlight in your purse?" he teases.
"Of course," she says. "I never know what might be helpful. I also have a tape measurer and duct tape."
"Duct tape?" he laughs. "Why do you carry that? Is it the squint version of handcuffs or something?"
One Hour, Eighteen Minutes Trapped...
Brennan looks at the battery indicator on her phone. The charge is in the red. Usually, she would have placed it on the charger in her office. Oh, what she would give to be in her office right now. Instead of here. Alone. With Booth...and feelings she didn't want to have for him. She worries her lower lip with her teeth.
Booth is frustrated, both with himself and with their situation. He moves to the elevator doors and slips his fingers along the groove between them. He pulls, using the full weight of his body. The door doesn't budge. He grunts in protest.
"You know, you aren't Superman, Booth. The likelihood of you getting the doors open is statistically improbable given the lack of tools and power." Brennan gets to her feet and attempts to assist him.
"You got a better plan there, Wonder Woman?" he asks, his voice dripping with malcontent.
Her foot slips and she crashes into his chest, striking her forehead against his chin. "Ouch!"
"Trust me," he responds, rubbing his chin. "That hurt me worse than it hurt you." Under his breath, he mutters, "You're so damned hard headed."
She scowls as her fingers stroke her forehead. "I heard that!"
Two Hours, Six Minutes Trapped...
"Are you sure this is a wise idea given the condition of your back?" she asks watching as he tucks the flashlight into the handrail that runs around the interior of what feels like a prison cell.
He lets out an exasperated sigh. "My back is fine, Bones," he replies through gritted teeth. Lacing his fingers, he stoops slightly to give her a leg up. "See if you can open the access panel," he instructs.
She kicks out of her heels and steps into his grip. He boosts her upwards. "A little higher," she tells him. "I can't quite reach it."
He groans. Not at her weight, but at their proximity. At being close in spite of the distance between them. Distance he knows that he forced upon her. He's distracted by it, but he doesn't let the distraction cause him to lose his hold on her.
She strikes the door to the elevator shaft and attempts to pry it free as she sways in his support. Her knee comes in contact with his shoulder. She looks down to see him grimace but makes no apology. She shakes her head. "It's no use, Booth," she sighs. "It's stuck."
Two Hours, Forty-Nine Minutes Trapped...
He drops to the floor and leans his head against the wall of the elevator. "This isn't going to get any easier if we don't talk about it," he tells her.
"Are you talking about the rhinoceros in the room?" she says as she takes a seat beside him.
"Elephant, Bones," he says. "Elephant in the room."
Brennan sighs. "We've discussed it already, Booth," she answers. "And it didn't do either of us any good."
He lets her words ruminate. It stings, but part of him knows she's right. At least she was right. She isn't anymore. Things have changed. "Bones, listen I..."
"It's okay, Booth," she said. Her tone is the one she uses with her interns. It's that of the teacher. The carefully guarded instructor. "I'm over it. I've moved on. I'm over you."
"Over me? Over me?" he says seriously before he chuckles. "When were you ever under me?"
"I don't know what that means," she says. "But I surmise..."
"It's from Friends, Bones," he explains. "It's the one where Ross and Rachel have the conversation we're having now."
"We've discussed it, Booth," her voice breaks. "We missed our moment. We agreed..."
Booth shakes his head and reaches for her hand. He strokes circles on her skin with his thumb. "We didn't agree on anything. I said that Hannah wasn't a consolation prize," he takes a deep breath, his grip on her hand firm even as she tries to pull it from his grasp. "You never asked me the real reason Hannah left me, Bones."
Brennan scoffs. "Because it wasn't any of my business, Booth," she snaps at him. "I still can't believe you told her. What ever happened to what was between us being ours? That was your rule, you know."
He exhales. He deserved that shot. "Hannah and I were in a relationship. You don't keep something like that from the person you're seeing, it just isn't right."
"Yet you got upset when I told Hacker your egg story," she says.
"That's different than me telling my girlfriend that my partner has feelings for me," he explains. "She deserved to know."
Brennan attempts to pull her hand away again. She knows she could force him to release her, but she can't bear to hurt him any more than she already has. "She deserved to know the full story, Booth, not just that I have feelings for you but that - "
Her slip is not lost on him. He tries to keep the grin from breaking on his face. "She did hear the whole story," he says. "But it wasn't from me."
Confusion blankets her features. In the silence that travels between them, he can almost hear the wheels in her head turning. "I didn't..."
"I didn't say you did," he answers. "Anyway, she confronted me about it. She asked if she was the rebound girl." He still remembers the shoe Hannah had thrown at him. The glass in the picture frame that had shattered when he ducked. "And I realized that I couldn't lie to her - or to myself - any longer." He waits for her reaction. For words. For movement. For a sign. It doesn't come. She's completely wordless and still. "You..."
She draws a shaky breath. "Booth..."
"Do you believe in fate?" he asks her quietly, his face drifting closer to hers.
Their foreheads touch. She can feel his breath on her face. Smell the coffee on his shirt, the peppermint of his chewing gum. "This is..."
"Insane?" he whispers. Their noses brush. Lips draw closer together. He doesn't wait for her to answer. Doesn't give her time to think. "Or is it a different outcome?" His hand cups her neck and she inhales sharply.
Much the way he guided her for years with a hand on her back, he guides her lips to his. He hesitates when she stays still, but remains willing to take the chance when she doesn't pull away. He changes the angle and feels her soften. Like warm chocolate, she melts beneath his touch. He feels a tug and realizes her fingers fondle the ruined silk of his tie. He smiles against her mouth.
There is a little hum and the lights in the car flicker on. The elevator jerks upward. He helps her to her feet and kisses her against the wall of the elevator. Her mouth opens beneath his and he feels a timid swipe of her tongue along his lower lip. Taking advantage, he kisses her properly. Kisses her the way he has in his dreams. The way he wants to kiss her for the rest of his life.
The doors slide open on a gentle ping. He takes her hand, entwining their fingers. "This is our moment, Bones," he says. His eyes crinkle at the corners as he matches the smile that crosses her delicate features. Leaning in for one last kiss, he adds, "We're moving on. And this time we're doing it together."