SPOILER: My take on the much talked about Blizzard Episode. Can't wait to see what really happens!
A/N: Long-ish one shot. I don't own Bones
"Great. This is just great." Booth slammed both hands against elevator doors in a gesture that demonstrated a disproportional amount of rage given the situation.
"I'm sure they will come for us soon Booth. There is no need to panic." Temperance tried to keep herself calm, both dread and excitement warring within her at the prospect of being trapped here with her partner.
"How are we supposed to solve a murder while we're stuck in an elevator Bones huh?" He huffed, leaning back against the wall.
"Angela said she can send us pictures with her cell." She rationalized, "And we can certainly discuss the case. We often stumble upon significant breakthroughs during our discussions."
"Right." This seemed to calm him down. She wondered idly if the prospect of a more personal conversation had prompted his anger in the first place. She could relate. It was a daunting prospect indeed given the nature of their relationship. "Right so… so what do we know?" He asked, sliding down the wall to sit on the floor. His large frame taking up an entire corner of the elevator.
She followed his lead and sat cross legged in the opposite corner, removing her pumps and spreading the fabric of her flowing knee length skirt around her in a half circle. "We know that the victim contracted the disease when she visited her husband's laboratory. We know that the victim was stabbed with a sharp instrument no more than two millimeters in diameter and four inches in length. And we know that the victim died approximately twenty four to forty eight hours ago." She rattled off the facts as she remembered them.
"So why did she visit her husband that day?" He took his dice out of his pocket and rattled them around in his hand. "He said she rarely came to see him at work." They had spoken to the victim's husband a mere five minutes before being trapped in this elevator.
"Perhaps she simply wanted to see him." She suggested. "Because she… loved him." What an odd concept. "However it's more likely that she had to bring something to him, or pick something up from him that could not wait until after the work day."
"But he didn't say that did he? He didn't say that she came to sign something or bring him something. He said his wife came to see him and she waited in the lab for him to get done with a meeting…."
"They proceeded to engage in intercourse in his office after which witnesses report her leaving the building at 1:30 pm." Booth tugged at his tie at the mention of the word intercourse, it was off within seconds and the first button on his shirt undone in the same breath. She liked it when he did that, the instantaneous alteration in his appearance highlighting the contrast between the rigid and relaxed aspects of his personality.
"So she went there for sex." He choked the words out.
"If this topic is uncomfortable for you…"
"It's fine." He held up a hand. "Its fine Bones we talk about sex all the time." She felt herself blush, an anomalous response given her dispassionate views on the subject. Unfortunately, her ever observant partner didn't miss the response. "Are you blushing? Is that a blush Bones?" His serious expression morphed into a playful grin.
"No." She lied, pressing her hands to her cheeks. "It's just…It's warm in here, that's all." She pulled off her long wool coat and folded it into a neat pile in front of her. He watched her carefully, a teasing twinkle in his eyes that made her wish she hadn't dressed in layers.
"Uh huh." He smirked and his phone rang, he checked the screen. "It's Hannah." Her heart sank as he answered. "Hi baby. Yeah me and Bones we're stuck in an elevator at the Jeffersonian." His voice softened when he talked to his girlfriend. "I tried to get up the elevator shaft and let me tell you there's no gettin' out of here. They say we're stuck until the power comes back on." She scrolled mindlessly through her emails trying to distract herself. "I know…" He sighed. "I know… don't…" He nodded, running his fingers through his spiky hair. "Okay….I know Hannah. I gotta go, we're trying to preserve our cell batteries…. I love you too." He hung up and blew out a long slow breath.
"Is… everything okay?" She couldn't help but ask.
"I've noticed that when you say the word 'yeah' in that tone, you typically mean the opposite of what you say." She really shouldn't pry. It could only cause more pain, but she and Booth had to be able to talk about things. Their relationship had to be able to handle difficult conversations. It was what partners did.
"Yeah." His tone changed as he nodded his agreement. "Just… It's just Hannah, she's nervous about you know…you and me being alone together like this."
"She doesn't trust you?" How unlike Hannah to demonstrate jealousy.
"No that's not…" He gnawed at his bottom lip. "She just, she's worried that it might be uncomfortable for us given…"
"Given that I said I was in love with you." She finished for him.
"Uh… yeah." She pulled off her blazer, unable to stand the dampness pooling under her arms and at the back of her neck. "Yeah well, you have to admit this is a little… odd."
"Yes well…" She blushed again. "I said those things months ago Booth. Things change. Your feelings changed, surely my feelings will change as well."
"They will change?" He repeated it as a question, clearly surprised at her use of the word 'will' as in, future tense.
"Yes. I have to believe that my experience will be similar to yours. That my feelings will simply go away once I meet someone new." Her heart was pounding, she hated talking about this. Feeling so vulnerable.
"You still… you love me?" He asked, those sweet brown eyes softening in disbelief.
"I thought I had made that clear Booth." After years of fighting her feelings, she could no longer deny them.
"I just figured…. I mean… I didn't know." Those chocolate brown eyes dropped to the dice in his hands. "I still have a hard time believing that you actually meant what you said. Some days it feels like I imagined it." She couldn't believe they were talking about this.
"I meant it Booth. I don't know if I should have told you, I still don't know." She fiddled with the pendant around her neck. "But that hasn't changed the way I feel. I will always regret that I didn't take a chance with you. And it appears that I will continue to struggle with my feelings for you until I get over it the way you did." He shook his head in disbelief
"It's not that simple Bones. Those feelings don't just… go away." Her treacherous heart skipped a beat.
"I don't know what that means." She searched his face.
"Just because I love Hannah, doesn't mean that I don't have feelings for you. It doesn't mean that my heart doesn't beat faster when you're with me. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt to see you with someone else. It doesn't just… end…like some sort of sickness you can cure." Her gut twisted painfully and she felt a tear escape out of one eye.
"I wish…" She wiped the tear away, "I hope you know how sorry I am… that I didn't realize sooner…"
"I know Bones." He nodded.
Had he really just admitted that he still had feelings for Bones? Had he really said those words out loud? And why was the thought of her getting over him so goddamn painful? She shouldn't still have the power to hurt him so badly. Should she? What did it mean that she did?
He brought the conversation back to the case, he tried to focus their attention on solving a murder, all the while knowing that there was very little they could do from where they were. Unfortunately, Bones had stripped down to this tiny silky scrap of a shirt that left very little to the imagination. He might be in a committed relationship, but he was not dead. Trapped in an elevator with a body like that, it was enough to make any guy crazy.
And yet he wasn't just any guy. He was Seeley Booth. And Seely Booth was in a relationship. A loving, committed relationship with an amazing woman whom he would never cheat on. What the hell was wrong with him? All he could think about now were Bones' words, and her body and the love and hurt in her eyes. The way she looked at him, the way he'd always prayed she would look at him. And here she was, looking so beautiful he actually ached to touch her. Some part of him, some deep seeded corner of his mind actually felt guilty. As though he were being disloyal to Bones rather than Hannah.
Part of him was absolutely terrified that she would stop loving him. That this was his one and only chance at happiness and he was missing it. Even as they bantered back and forth about the case, his mind was racing. Not that he hadn't considered it before, not that he hadn't been thinking about it ever since that night in his car. But she'd been so distant since then. It never seemed real. It seemed like things were just like normal. Like they'd always been. And now… now things seemed somehow more urgent. The longer they spent alone in this box, the more immediate his need became.
"Hey Bones." He said out of the blue. And now what genius? What the hell was he going to say? "How come you didn't write to me while I was in Afghanistan?" That was a relatively neutral, if not completely innocuous question. She seemed startled, not surprising, given they had been in the middle of a conversation about bio-molecular testing.
"I…I left to get some perspective." She said carefully.
"I know, you were sick of murder yadayada…" He said dismissively. "What does that have to do with sending me an email?"
"I didn't leave to get perspective on my career Booth. I left to get perspective on our relationship. I was…overwhelmed by my dependence on you and it scared me. I needed to be objective. To get some distance and learn how to live without you for a while." He'd never heard this explanation before. She'd always gone on and on about what a great opportunity it was, or how she was tired of murder. Never touching on anything remotely resembling this train of thought. It was a startling revelation to say the least.
"So you left to get away from me?" He clarified, not sure if he should be hurt by that.
"In a manner of speaking… yes." She nodded.
"Scared ya pretty bad huh?" He said it laughingly, because he didn't know if it was funny or not.
"Yes." She nodded. "You did." Wow. "I suppose now you can be grateful that I chose to leave. Because if I had not, you never would have met Hannah. And although I wish things had turned out differently, I can't deny that she is a wonderful companion for you Booth. And a good friend to me."
"How do you wish things had turned out?" He asked, trying to sound casual through the rush of emotion that was pounding through his body.
"Well…" She tucked her knees up under her chin and studied him in a way that made him warm all over. He rolled up his sleeves and unbuttoned another button on his shirt. "Setting aside the fact that wishes are a futile and infinitely pointless excersize…" She paused to verify that he understood that this was going to be a qualified statement. When he nodded his acceptance, she continued. "I guess that I wish we could have pursued a romantic relationship."
"But what does that even mean to you Bones? A romantic relationship? If I wasn't with Hannah, you'd still be putting me off like you did Hacker. Avoiding me at work, letting me take you out to coffee a few times a month am I right?" She shook her head.
"I know, that what you want is to find someone to spend the rest of your life with Booth. I would have liked to spend time exploring whether or not you and I are compatible enough to make that type of commitment to one another." He wanted to crawl out of his skin. What was she doing to him? Why now?
"Exploring how?" He couldn't help but ask, still a little afraid that he would scare her and she would close up again.
"I'm afraid that I would have to look to you for guidance in that area Booth. I'm not certain what makes a successful long term relationship. I confess that I am quite curious as to our sexual compatibility." And here he thought she couldn't surprise him anymore. Sexual compatibility? Jesus Bones.
"Sexual compatibility." He repeated stupidly.
"I feel that our partnership has already tested many of the important aspects of compatibility, family, holiday traditions, religious beliefs, humor, careers, friendship, loyalty…" She rattled off a long list of things that served only to remind him how deeply their relationship had actually developed over the years. "Yet we have very limited data on which to rate our sexual compatibility. Only an early flirtation and a few kisses."
"Wow." And holy shit he wanted to kiss her. He wanted to haul her across the elevator and into his lap and kiss her until she couldn't see straight. How could he ache so violently for a woman who was not his girlfriend? "Yeah…you know what Bones? I'm pretty sure sex would not be an issue for us." He tried not to look at her but couldn't help it.
"I'm inclined to agree." She said simply, holding his gaze until electricity crackled between them, the air heavy and warm and…
"Is it hot in here? It is. "It's hot in here." He answered his own question and proceeded to take off his shoes and socks, praying that his feet didn't smell bad.
"I find the temperature quite comfortable." She shrugged, those elegant shoulders lifting the tops of those playmate of the year breasts for the briefest moment. And what did she mean 'quite comfortable'? Was she talking about the temperature or about the heat between the two of them? Because he could have sworn he heard a hint of something suggestive in her tone. Then again, that was likely his overactive, oversexed imagination. Porn music bounced around in his head and he bit back a smile.
"What?" Shit she must be watching him really closely to have picked up on that. His face had barely moved.
"Nothin' Bones, just thinking…" The grin overtook one corner of his mouth and her beautiful face morphed into a suspiciously amused smile.
"What are you thinking about?" God if only she knew. He was thinking about elevator sex, that's what he was thinking about. He was mentally calculating the amount of time it would take to get her out of those clothes given the fact that she had removed most of it already on her own. Of course if he was being completely honest with himself, it wasn't likely he'd take the time to undress her. He'd probably be so overly eager he'd just push up her skirt and bury himself inside her. Like some randy teenager with no clue how to please a woman.
"I was actually thinking this reminds me of a cheap porno flick." He went with honesty. "You know, guy gets trapped in an elevator with a gorgeous woman who takes off her clothes because it's too warm…it's classic. All we're missing in here is the bad lighting."
"I'm unfamiliar with the pornographic film genre, but I understand that it is quite a lucrative industry. In fact…" She was babbling. She was running her mouth because he'd made her nervous. Of all the….
"Jesus Bones I'm not gonna jump you in the elevator. You don't have to freak out on me. I was just messin' around… I mean you're the one who just had to know what I was thinking. So I told you."
"I didn't think that you were going to…jump me." She stopped babbling, those magnetic eyes dropping to her lap, where her fingers twirled the fabric of her skirt.
"What's got you so uptight all the sudden then? Huh Bones?" He prompted, the evil part of him was enjoying making her squirm.
"I was just… " She blushed and then hesitated. "Nevermind, Nothing. It's nothing. I'm not uptight." Did the lady protest too much?
"No no nonono. That's not how this works. You made me tell you about my random porn thought, so now it's your turn. You owe me. And I want to know what's got you all stammering and blushing and what not." He tossed his dice in the air. "Spill it." He demanded.
"Booth." She whined.
"Bones." He mimicked her whine. "C'mon. Out with it."
" Fine. I was momentarily distracted by the thought of us… being intimate in this elevator." Good god in heaven why are you torturing me? What have I done to deserve this? "I'm sorry." She was so cute when she apologized for having a dirty mind. He was such a dickhead to have made her say that outloud. Some part of him had already known what had her wound so tight and yet he still made her say it. Just to stroke his own ego. He shouldn't have pushed the issue. He was not this guy.
"I'm sorry too Bones. We shouldn't be…. You know…talking like this." He scrubbed at his jaw with his hand in frustration. "It's not right."
"I believe that Hannah would agree with that statement." Exactly.
"Exactly. That's right exactly Bones." He agreed vehemently. And his words sounded too enthusiastic, even to him. He caught her gaze again, soft and full of longing this time. And he knew she must be reading the same thing in his own eyes. He sighed in frustration. "What am I doing here Bones?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"I mean how can I still be so… attracted to you? How can I sit here and want you after you've broken my heart so many times." It was insane. He was insane.
"Hearts don't break." She clarified, in true Bones style.
"Mine did." He said, embarrassed at the thickness in his voice. "Mine broke Bones." A tear trickled down her cheek and he wanted to wipe it away. He wanted to kiss it away truth be told.
"If I could take it back I would." She said, almost in a whisper. "I'd do anything to make it up to you Booth. Even if that means dancing at your wedding to Hannah and being godmother to your children." And …that was it. That was exactly what he'd needed to hear. He hadn't known it of course. Hadn't known that he'd been waiting for those precise words to come out of her mouth. But he had been. For a long time. Something in his heart just softened. It stopped pounding, he stopped sweating and aching and a soothing sort of calm washed over him.
"You mean that?" He asked serenely.
"I'd do anything for you Booth. You know that." She replied simply. And he knew what he had to do. Once this case was solved, he was ending things with Hannah. Even if things didn't work out with Bones, he still knew that he had to be honest with Hannah. She wasn't first in his heart. And she deserved better than that.
And so he just smiled at his partner, a knowing, happy, peaceful smile that clearly made her uneasy. But she didn't have to say anything else because at that moment the lights came back on and the elevator jolted back to life. Now if that wasn't a sign from God, then his name wasn't Seely Booth.