A/N: This was something that I first wrote when I wanted to try my hand at Bones FF. Consider it practice, but it was my very first Bones writing experience! I went back and read it and figured it was decent enough to post here. It's mostly just a deconstruction of a variety of episodes from season 5 made into something new, which I suppose is what fanfiction is all about. Anyway, let me know what you think. All reviews are welcome.
"Where did everyone go?" Booth asked as he sat down next to her at the bar.
"The case is finally over. They've been working nonstop. They're exhausted." Brennan said.
"We're exhausted and we're still here."
"That's because the post-case drink is our celebration. It holds no significance for them." Brennan said in her anthropological voice.
"Well, it holds significance for me." He said before taking a sip of his drink.
"That's why we make a good team." Booth said. "I knew we would."
"What are you talking about?" She asked. He thought about how he would proceed.
"You know those couples who have been in love for 30, 40, 50 years? It's always the man in the relationship who says 'I knew. Right from the very beginning.' It was the same thing for me when I walked into that classroom all those years ago. From the very first time I met you, I just knew that we had something special." He said honestly.
"That's not possible." Brennan said matter of factly. "No one could definitively know how something would work out in the end before even starting it, the statistics involved..." He glanced down at his glass, exasperated by his own hope that she would catch on. Five years of experience should teach him to know better. "Why do you look like that? What did I say?" She asked, knowing that she upset him somehow.
"Nothing Bones. It's just…I'm that guy." He said as he looked into her eyes. "I believe in love. I believe in knowing, deep in your gut when something is right. It's not scientific and it's sure as hell not factual. It just… is." He said, for lack of a more eloquent word.
"I'm sorry." She said, acknowledging that she had attacked his beliefs. "But I don't understand how that could be possible." She said with a small shrug.
"No one knows how or why it happens, Bones. They just know that it does." Booth said. They both pondered his statement for a minute before he continued. "You have to admit though, I wasn't wrong." He said. Brennan looked at him. "About us." He explained as a small smile crept onto his features, demanding some credit from her. She chuckled at his ploy for a compliment.
"Are you bragging about your irrationality?" She asked.
"Maybe, but it wasn't irrational. You and I, we're the best. Right?"
"Well, we're a pretty unique team and we have no one else to compare our..." Brennan stopped as Booth just stared at her, wanting her to shut up and agree with him. "Yes." She finally admitted hesitantly, not wanting to give him too much credit. "I suppose we are."
"Yes we are." He smiled victoriously as he picked up his drink. "Ergo," he said, proudly throwing the latin- sounding word out into the air, "I'm not gloating." She saw some flaws in his logic, but she kept them to herself and raised her glass anyway. "To being the best." He said as he clinked glasses with her.
"To being the best." She repeated, wanting to keep him smiling.
"Angela." Brennan said hesitantly. "Can I ask what made you change your mind about Hodgins?" Angela smiled. "Why did you decide to pick him as your mate?"
"I didn't pick him, sweetie. You make him sound like some sort of fruit." She said. Judging by the blank look on Brennan's face, Angela decided to continue. "When I thought that I might be pregnant, he came up to me and said 'I'm your guy.'" Brennan watched as Angela smiled and let herself relive the memory. "He knew that he was the one for me, even if I wasn't sure. He knew." She said simply.
"And this is typical?" She wanted to make sure. "Booth told me that in many older couples, the husband will say that he knew almost immediately that the woman was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with."
"That's so romantic." Angela said with a sigh. "It's a good thing that you're partners with Booth because I would have married him four years ago." Brennan rolled her eyes.
"Anthropology proves that this is not a rational thought. It's biological imperatives that are involved when it comes to choosing mates."
"Brennan." Angela shook her head. "You love having Booth as your partner, right? You wouldn't want to work with anyone else?"
"I would find the change to be very difficult, yes." There was a definite look in Brennan's eye now. "Why?"
"That's what it feels like to be truly in love. You don't want to be with anyone else. There may be other people out there, but when you find that someone who works well with you, you don't care about anyone else." Angela paused. "It doesn't take a scientist to know how rare the odds are of finding someone like that and when you do, you have to make sure that you hold on to them." Brennan considered her statement.
"You're right." She said.
"Wait, what?" Angela said as she watched her friend stand up. "Did you just say that I'm right?" But Brennan didn't answer, she was already out the door.
"Coming!" Booth yelled as he got up to answer the knocking at his door. "Bones, hey!" he said surprised at seeing her. She looked distracted. "Are you okay?"
"Hodgins loves Angela." She told him as she walked past him and into his apartment. He shut the door behind her before turning around to face her.
"Okay. So why do you have that look on your face?" He asked confused.
"Angela wasn't sure that they could make it work but he told her that he was 'her guy'. He said that he knew that there was no one else in the world that he could be with, and while that is in no way statistically accurate, he and Angela both believe it."
"Yeah, and?" Booth shrugged.
"You're always saying that you think with your intestines instead of your brain."
"My guts." He corrected her out of habit before realizing that he should probably shut up and listen to what she had to say. "But yeah, that's the general idea." He said, forcing himself to be nicer as he sat back down on the couch.
"Well I remembered today the first night that we kissed, you know with the tequila?" She reminded him.
"What about it?" He asked.
"You admitted to me that you had a gambling problem and that you thought I should know because you thought that our relationship might be going somewhere." She paused, waiting for him to comprehend her meaning. He just stared at her, confused. "You told me at the Founding Fathers that you knew right away that we had something special and I didn't believe you. I was clearly in the wrong." She explained. Booth exhaled sharply. Suddenly feeling very self-conscious, he noticed that she was analyzing him with that scientific stare of hers. Maybe he shouldn't have done such a good job at teaching her how to read people. "I'm here because I should have acknowledged yesterday that you are extremely talented at reading people and I shouldn't have dismissed your idea so quickly. You clearly did know that we would make a great team right from the beginning and I'm glad that when it comes to being partners, you're my guy." She told him with a smile. "You are my guy, right?" She wanted to know for sure. Booth sighed in relief. This was about being partners.
"Yes Bones," he said gratefully "I'm your guy. I would kill for you. I would die for you. Nothing is ever going to change that." He said as he patted her arm. "In that way, I will always be 'your guy'." He said, liking the way that the words sounded when they came from her.
"And out of the over 6 billion people on the planet, you think that I'm the only one that you would want to work with?"
"Come on, Bones. If I say yes, you're just going to argue statistics with me." He said, refusing to open that can of worms.
"No, I won't." She replied. Booth couldn't hide the shock on his face at her uncharacteristic response.
"What?" He asked.
"Angela asked me if there was anyone else on the planet that I would want to have as a partner, and I told her no." She admitted. Booth felt his heart swell at her words. "She told me that the same theory applied to relationships." Brennan said. "I couldn't formulate an argument."
"Angela beat you at your own game?" Booth asked, shocked that someone could take down Brennan's arguments of steel.
"There wasn't a game." Brennan clarified. Booth fought to keep from rolling his eyes. "You meant, metaphorically." She realized. He nodded slowly. "Then yes, I suppose she did." She paused. "I'm still not entirely convinced that it is possible to know the very minute that you meet someone how it might end, but I understand that with time, it's possible to make attachments that are stronger than the biological imperatives that might cause someone to stray from their mate." She conceded.
"And in this situation, I'm your mate?" He confirmed.
"Yes." She answered calmly.
"Wow, Bones. I'm really impressed." He said, giving her credit. "And very honored that you feel that way." He added. She smiled at him and suddenly, Booth heard Sweets' words echoing around in his head. 'You're the gambler. For once in your life, use that to your advantage.' He gave it a second's thought and then decided to test the waters. "I must confess, I may have known right away that we would be good together, but knowing what I do now," he whistled, "we probably could have been downright phenomenal under the right circumstances." He told her.
"What do you mean? I thought we were the best?" Brennan asked.
"We are, professionally." He said. Brennan frowned at his qualifier. "But I've always wondered…" He stopped, not wanting to push things too far.
"Wondered what?" She asked, her curiosity getting the best of her.
"What would have happened if I hadn't bought that bottle of tequila, or if you hadn't gotten in that cab that night..." He stopped to think about it. "One of my biggest regrets to this day was not stopping you." He admitted, his tone becoming more serious.
"Booth…" Brennan interjected.
"No, I should tell you this." He held out his hand to cut her off. "You deserve to know. I've always felt that we could have been, maybe even should have been, more than just partners. I missed my chance, I know that, but I made a promise that night that if I ever got a second chance with you again, I would take it. And while I got my second chance to work with you, there was already too much damage between the two of us to think about anything else but surviving each other's company." He smiled briefly as he thought back on how much they had grown. "But I still feel the same way I felt when I walked into that lecture hall and saw you for the first time. I still look at you and see the potential of what could be… if you ever decided to give me that chance." He added. Brennan could feel her adrenal gland kick into overdrive at his admission, causing her pulse to race. He reached up and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, letting his hand linger on her cheek. It took everything in his power not to kiss her as he chose his next words carefully. "What are you thinking?"
"A lot of things." She said. "We're partners, Booth. If the FBI found out how you felt, they might not let us work together anymore." Her choice on the word 'you' in that statement did not go unnoticed. Maybe she didn't feel the same way after all.
"I wouldn't worry about that. No one else can do our jobs as well as we can." He said. "Even if they wanted to, they couldn't break us up."
"But what if they did?" She asked. "Or worse, what if they didn't?" She asked him. "What if they kept us together but you changed your mind." There was that damn 'you' word again. "I don't want anything to come between us, Booth." Her big blue eyes pleaded with him to understand.
"I told you that is never going to happen. I'm your partner first. I would never move forward with something that you were uncomfortable with." He promised. He knew that he was going to have to walk her through the next conversation, but it scared him to death. "Before we go on planning our demise, maybe you could let me know how you" he said, gesturing towards her "feel about me?" He asked as he pointed back to himself.
"I have a strong emotional attachment to you Booth, you know that." She started. He heard the word coming a mile away.
"But…" He said for her.
"I don't want to hurt you." She said honestly, tears starting to spring to her eyes. "I don't know if I can love you the way that you need to be truly hap..." Before she could list her reasons, Booth kissed her intensely. He kissed her to persuade her, to shut her up. He kissed her until he couldn't breathe anymore and she kissed him back.
"I love you." He said, looking into her eyes. "Not the idea of you in my head, or my coma version of you, but the real you, with all of your abandonment issues and your need for scientific data, and your hesitancy to trust what you can't understand. I love you, Bones. Alright?" He said. "Someday, I hope that you will be able to trust me enough to let me be 'your guy' in every part of your life." He said, with a small smile as he stole her phrase.
"You're hoping for something that might never happen." She told him.
"It will." He said confidently.
"How can you be so sure?" She asked.
"Because I know you, Bones." He informed her. "I already know that you love me." He said, surprising her. Brennan fought the urge to run out the door and instead closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Sweets asked me a question and I finally know the answer." She said softly.
"And what question was that?" Booth asked, wondering how this could be relevant to their topic of conversation right now.
"He asked me if I was so sure about putting my trust in your ability to take care of me physically, why wouldn't I trust you that much emotionally?" Booth was surprised by this question, but inwardly thanked Sweets for getting her to think about him in a new light.
"What did you say?"
"It was a rhetorical question, but he was right." She said. "Booth, I do trust you with my emotions. I know that you would love me and take good care of me. You're a good man."
"So what's the problem?" He asked.
"I don't think that I am capable of returning the same emotions." She said.
"Oh, Bones." Booth chuckled and shook his head. "You already do." He told her. Brennan stared at him, wanting to know what he was thinking. "Love, real love, is putting someone else's needs before your own." He explained. "You have shown me, time after time, that you are willing to risk everything for me. That alone would show me how you feel. But the fact that you're standing here, willing to put aside your own emotions just to protect me from getting hurt," he smiled "that is the truest definition of love I have ever seen." He told her. "You may not have said the words, but you have told me, every day, and that's enough for me." He said.
"No it's not." She said, shaking her head. Didn't he realize that he deserved so much more than that?
"Yes, it is." He said. "I can read people, remember? I don't need words to tell me what I want to know."
"And you wanted to know if I loved you?" She asked. Booth reached out for her hand and she gave it to him.
"Like I said Bones, I never had to ask. The evidence was pretty clear." She smiled, knowing that he threw that last line in just for her.
"I do, you know." She said, not looking him in the eye. She felt him freeze up at her words and she looked up to make sure that he was okay. "Love you." She added. The look on his face was worth the risk she had taken as he pulled her up into his embrace and kissed her for all he was worth.