A/N: Thanks for reading everybody!
When Brennan came to Angela's office and demanded to go to lunch with her, Angela already knew the reason. She had been the architect behind the last week's events and she was very, very good at her job. Between the not-so-subtle suggestion to jump Booth when he got off the plane to the carefully chosen outfit for their first real date, Angela knew that things were finally clicking into place for the pair. Not hounding Brennan when she got to work that morning had been the hardest thing she had ever done, but she knew that if something had happened, Bren would need some time to figure things out for herself. So when Brennan sat down at the table and said:
"I slept with Booth this weekend."
Angela was prepared.
She leaned back and smiled, delighted for her friend. Five years was a long time to wait, but it was totally worth it to see Brennan's smiling face.
"You're welcome." Brennan rolled her eyes and Angela leaned forward to get all the dirt. "So, tell me everything."
"Well, the basic timeline of events. You left the lab on Friday night and…."
"Well, we went to the hockey game. It was very enjoyable and Booth seemed to be having a good time and he most definitely seemed to be interested in what I was wearing."
"You're welcome again." She interjected before letting her friend continue.
"And he came up for a beer and we started talking about his brain tumor."
"Romantic." She said, unimpressed.
"Well not about his tumor specifically, but I asked him what his side of the coma dream was like. What he envisioned."
"And what did he say?"
"He said that we were good together, in every sense of the word." Brennan summed up, wanting to remain discreet for Booth's sake. "The next thing I knew, we were kissing and then I asked him if he loved me and he said yes." Angela looked like she was about to explode with joy but she managed to keep it inside. "And I told him that I loved him too and we spent the rest of the weekend proving it to each other. He left this morning." She said as she took a sip of her water. Angela was practically bouncing out of her seat so Brennan smiled and gave her a nod and permission to speak. She just leapt from her seat and gave Brennan the biggest hug she had ever received. After releasing a squeal or two, she sat back down and beamed.
"I don't even know what to say." Angela said honestly, stunned by the news. "What triggered all of this?"
"I don't know. I missed him when he was away but when he came back, things were just…different between us. Booth thinks that it was just our time." Angela nodded.
"Took you two long enough." She teased. "What does this mean for your partnership?"
"Booth talked to Cullen and he gave us his permission. Under normal circumstances, it would be frowned upon, but because we are both exceptional at what we do, they are making…"
"…an exception?" Angela smiled. Brennan nodded. "Now comes the most important question: are you happy?" The grin on Brennan's face refused to be contained.
"Happier than I've ever been." She replied honestly. "It's scary, to feel so safe and loved in his arms. When I think about the possibility of losing that…"
"Hey." Angela said, demanding her attention. "You two have something that cannot be lost. Trust me. When you have someone who is willing to kill for you, die for you? That goes beyond love to something much deeper."
"What would that be?" She asked.
"Loyalty." She said. Brennan furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "I've loved people in my life, but that love was fleeting, momentary. Real love lasts, even when you don't want it to. The love that you have for your mother, despite the fact that she is gone, that's loyalty. Real love ties us to each other forever. You and Booth have had that for a long time. You just didn't realize what it meant." Brennan stared at her, knowing she was right, but unsure of what to do with the new knowledge.
"Loyalty." Brennan repeated the word. Love had always seemed…scary. Loyalty seemed easier to deal with. It was easy to be loyal to Booth because he had always been loyal to her. Angela smiled.
"That's all there is to it." She said. "The rest will come naturally."
"Really?" Angela nodded.
"Don't think too much. Just enjoy it."
"I am." She said, confident that is exactly what she had done all weekend.
When Brennan knocked on the door to Booth's place that evening, she was surprised to find that she was missing him already. After spending 72 consecutive hours with him, going all day and only seeing him for a few minutes seemed almost unbearable. She shook her head at her own needy thoughts. Wasn't it just a few days ago that she had gone 6 months without seeing him? Booth interrupted her thoughts as he opened the door.
"Hey." He said as he let her in. "You didn't have to knock."
"When I tell you it's open, you always scold me for not making you knock." She said, confused by his double standard.
"That's true." He said, willing to make her knock from now on if it set a good example and kept her safe.
"It smells delicious. What are we having?" She asked as followed him back into the kitchen.
"Vegetarian lasagna." He said as he pointed to the oven. "Can I get you some wine?"
"Wine would be wonderful." She said honestly.
"Hard day?" He asked. She ruminated on her thoughts before speaking.
"Not hard, just longer than usual."
"What happened to time being a set social construct?" He teased and she had to smile as she swallowed her sip of wine.
"Hmm, maybe I've been spending too much time with you lately." She teased right back. "I talked to Angela which helped."
"How did Angela take the news?"
"She was…enthusiastic and actually, incredibly helpful."
"How so?" He asked, honestly interested.
"She told me that you and I have had love and loyalty between us for a long time and that this new thing between us isn't actually new. The only difference is that now we get to enjoy every aspect of it fully." She said.
"Angela is a smart woman." He said, liking her advice. It was good to have her best friend in his corner. He knew how much influence Angela had over Brennan and if she could help ease this transition, he was all for it. The timer on the oven began to buzz and Booth reached for a pot holder. As he pulled the food out of the oven, Brennan took the opportunity to blatantly gaze over his expertly crafted body. His sleeves were rolled up to the elbows and she found herself wanting to run her hands over the tanned skin. She took another sip of her wine, attempting to make it through dinner without drooling over him. Now that she knew what she had been missing, she found that she wanted him more than ever.
They ate in peace, chatting about everything and anything that crossed their minds. When she had finished with her dinner, Booth cleared her plate.
"Do you have room for dessert?" He asked.
"That depends." She said, hoping that dessert would involve undressing him. He smiled as he read her dirty thoughts.
"Keep thinking what you're thinking, but right now, I literally meant dessert." He said as he placed two pieces of turtle cheesecake on the table. She knew right away that they were from her favorite place. She looked up at him in surprise. She had told him about the amazing cheesecake she had discovered while he had been in Iraq. She couldn't believe that he remembered.
"You remembered my favorite cheesecake?" She asked.
"You're memorable." He complimented her.
"You are too good to me." She said, grinning from ear to ear.
"Not possible." He said as he handed her a fork. "Consider it payback for the best hockey game of my life." He sat down as she slid the fork into her mouth and moaned. Any man alive, and some women, would have had an immediate reaction to the noise, but Booth felt her moan vibrating through his own body in a way that he would have never anticipated a noise could. He watched as she opened her eyes and looked at him.
"Aren't you going to eat?" She asked, either completely oblivious to the effect she was having on him or completely aware and an utter tease. "It's delicious." She held out her fork for him to try some. "Rich and creamy, smooth and light. It's perfect." Yeah, she was a total tease.
"Like your skin." He said as he let his calloused trigger finger stray to the tender skin on the inside of her wrist. He took the bite of her cheesecake as she pulled her fork away and shook her head.
"We're not leaving this table until this is gone." She informed him, refusing to give in to his oh so tempting charms. He smiled and nodded as he picked up his own fork and stole a giant bite of her cheesecake. She scoffed as she pulled her plate away. "That's not what I meant!" She said, mocking offense at his action.
"Well then, you should be more careful of how you word things." He said with a grin. She rolled her eyes and he fed her a piece of his own cheesecake to make up for the loss. She reveled in the taste once more and Booth didn't mind openly staring. She met his gaze and quickly finished off the last few bites.
"All done." She smiled as she picked up her plate and brought it to the sink for him. When she turned around, Booth was standing right behind her. She wrapped her arms around his waist and he inhaled deeply as he kissed her neck. Brennan smiled at the loving gesture.
"You are going to think I'm crazy for saying this." He warned her. She stared into his eyes and waited for him to explain. "When I was away, I would wake up in the middle of the night after dreaming about home and the thing that I would miss the most would be your smell."
"My smell?" He nodded.
"My car always smelled like your perfume. All of the shoulders of my suit coats always smelled like your shampoo after you would lay your head on my shoulder." She smiled. "You were present in every part of my life. Then, I moved to the desert with men who smelled terrible and all I wanted was to smell something….nice. You smell like home." She looked deep in thought and then she laid her head on his shoulder and took a deep breath.
"You smell…safe." She said, her eyes still closed and Booth smiled. "Big, warm, and comforting and…solid." She decided as she opened her eyes. She could definitely consider him to be her home. "Like home." She agreed. Booth got that now familiar glint in his eye and she knew that he wanted to take her right there in the kitchen.
"Stay tonight?" He asked, praying the answer was yes. She nodded and he picked her up and carried her off to his bedroom, ignoring her protests on behalf of his back. As they fell together onto the bed, a tangle of tongues and limbs, Booth knew without a doubt that there was no one else on this planet who fit him the way that she did. Their taste, their scent, their skin, was all tailor-made for the other. And as he slid into her, he knew that he was finally coming home.