Some of you were interested in a second chapter, others asked me to leave it as a one shot. Tough decision, but since I felt that there were some things left unsaid in the first part, I had to get them out of my system. Because we all know that one night full of love alone doesn't make a relationship, right?
SHE'S GOT A HOLD ON HIM
The air was dark and wistful when Booth and Brennan walked to his car. She had still linked arms with him, and her head rested almost clumsily on his shoulder. In her mind she could hear the melody of "Put the lime in the coconut" fading out, and farewell was weighing heavily on her.
This day... it had simply been too much. She had barely slept, and the night had been full of intense emotions. Grief, longing, love. It was so close together, so close that it was almost scary. All day long her feelings had been on a roller coaster ride. Sharing her secret with Angela had put things into perspective somehow, but then Booth had been after Broadsky, and fear had held her heart in a vice-like grip. After that there had been relief, relief that had been replaced by sadness once more when they had to say goodbye to the plain wooden casket.
Now it was over, officially over, and all that was left was Booth walking right beside her. He hadn't said a thing so far, but just his breaths next to her, his arm under hers provided comfort.
Brennan was tired, so tired, and her eyelids were heavy with exhaustion. All she longed for was the oblivion of sleep... and maybe he would hold her again?
Stopping in front of his car, Booth turned his head to cast a glance at his silent partner. She looked so fragile that his heart spilled over for her, but despite everything, he was still walking on eggshells around her, terrified that she might backpedal again.
"What now," he asked, and she blinked once, twice at his words, as if torn out of a reverie.
"Take me home, please," she said after a while, and he squeezed her hand on his arm before releasing her.
Silence followed them as they drove through the night-covered city, Brennan sitting with eyes closed next to him on the passenger seat. Every other minute his gaze flickered to her, as if he needed reassurance that she was really there. When they had been apart last year, this was what he had dreamed about. Simple, ordinary moments full of everything. Under the burning desert heat he had closed his eyes and he had almost been able to feel her presence, then.
A low sigh escaped his chest, and her blue eyes opened, turning to him.
"Yes. Beyond words."
"You were very brave today, Booth."
"I only did my job."
"No, we both know that it was more than just a job. I might be oblivious at times, but today you confronted and defeated a part of your past that has been haunting you for years."
He flinched as her words hit the mark.
"You are a good man, Booth."
"Yeah... I know. Thanks, Bones," he tried a weak smile.
"Have you been scared?"
He could hear her deep breath.
"Yes," she finally admitted. "Awfully. I mean, rationally speaking, I know that you are very skilled, and his broken hand increased our chances even further, but still... I found out that logic couldn't calm me today. I'd like to hug you very much right now."
At her whispered confession, his hand found hers, clasping it, and a moment later the car came to a halt on the roadside. Within a heartbeat he had their seat-belts unfastened and pulled her into his strong arms. She came more than willingly, and her head found its place in the crook of his neck. Inhaling deeply, she caught a whiff of after-shave, coffee and musky male Booth, and some of the tension left her body.
One of his hands tangled in her hair, running the strands through his fingers, his other arm wrapped around her slender waist, bringing her flush to his chest. His nose buried in her silky hair, he could still smell traces of his own shampoo from earlier this morning, and the discovery was so intimate that he had to take a deep breath.
"I'm fine, Baby," he murmured close to her ear, and she shivered.
"I'm so grateful."
Placing a tender kiss on her temple, he loosened his hold on her.
"Come on, I'll take you home."
"You are staying, aren't you?"
Her apartment smelled like silence. Technically, it was only her home, but tonight the place embraced them both with comfort. He found her presence in the big rooms, in the bookshelves and pillows on her couch, and the feeling of being surrounded by the apartment version of Temperance Brennan was oddly soothing.
"Can I offer you something?" she asked almost shyly, tilting her head.
She smiled her full Brennan smile, and he fell in love with her all over again.
"You'd like to shower first? Or maybe take a bath? I don't have a beer hat, but the warm water might ease your muscles after the exhaustion of the day."
"Yeah, a bath sounds actually nice. Will you... would you join me?"
His request caught her by surprise. Never before had she taken a bath together with someone else, but then again, there were a lot of things she hadn't done, hadn't know before she had met him.
Setting herself in motion, she vanished into the bathroom, and a moment later the sound of running water cut into the silence.
"Is lavender okay?" came her voice out of the other room.
"Uh, nothing too girly, please."
Her husky laughter was his answer, and Booth followed the sound.
"Hey, I'm a man, I don't want to smell like a flower."
"I smelled like you all day long," she said, pointing at her hair.
"You're my girl. It just is."
Mouth agape, she stared at him wordlessly for a while.
"I don't even know where to begin..."
Closing the distance between them, he enveloped her in his arms, and his mouth brushed over hers in a gesture full of tentative tenderness.
"Don't begin, then."
"Booth," she tried, and he gave her a few inches of space.
His hands slumped down, and Brennan almost rolled her eyes as she wrapped her own arms around his waist.
"Would you please stop scrutinizing me? Although I have to confess that you can be quite overwhelming, it is not 'too much'. You are not 'too much', Booth. I... I want it. You, I mean."
"You still mean everything you said last night?"
He just had to ask...
"And everything I did. I might have a problem with possessive pronouns and archaic terms of endearment, but since I doubt I can change this habit of yours, I think I have to adjust to it. Give me some time, Booth. Just time," she added, remembering a conversation that had been witnessed by two forks.
Apparently, he remembered it as well because his arms came back around her body, and his mouth lowered to hers.
Their kiss was soft and gentle, and for the first time since they had left his apartment in the morning, he felt whole again. She tasted like everything he knew, and after they had broken apart, he nuzzled her neck with his face, enjoying her content sigh.
They undressed themselves in silence, never breaking eye-contact. On his skin she could still find her own marks from last nice, and she blushed slightly at the evidence of her passion. He didn't seem to mind, though, and his gaze caressed her nothing but longingly.
"You soothe my eyes, Bones."
'I don't know what that means,' was written all over her face, and he hurried to clarify.
"I mean, there is so much violence and anger in this world, but looking at something as beautiful as you – I can believe again."
"In God?" she asked, tilting her head.
"Well, thanks, I guess."
Taking his hand, she led him to the tub. The water was hot and felt cleansing in more than the obvious way. There was a sweet moment of awkwardness when she tried to find a comfortable position between his spread legs, but then her back rested against his chest, and she was surrounded by warmth and Booth.
His hands came around her midsection, landing on her belly, and Booth curved his lips in contentment, as something inside of himself settled down. She was smooth and slippery under his palms, and he enjoyed the contrast between her fair skin and his darker one. Water pearled down her cleavage, and he reveled in a view he had only been able to fantasize about for so long.
Just because he could, his hand cupped her breast, and he could feel her heartbeat right next to the soft globe.
"This is nice," she finally admitted, her toes playing with the water.
"Yeah," he murmured into her hair, observing how it had begun to curl where it had gotten damp. Lifting his hand to her head, he twisted one of the curls around his forefinger, remembering a time when she had worn her hair just like this.
"Your hair used to be curly," he stated after a while, and, oblivious to him, she arched an eyebrow.
He shrugged behind her.
"Nothing. I liked it."
"You don't like my current style?"
A smug grin found its way onto his face.
"I feel contrite that I think the bangs have been a mistake."
A punch into his ribcage was his answer, and then she tried to turn around in the narrow space, looking into his eyes.
He chuckled and pulled her closer to his chest.
"Only a little. But I like to see your face."
Confusion mingled with an unfamiliar feeling of belonging as she snuggled up to him, only a sheen of water between their bodies.
"Booth, what does this mean for us?"
Gaining a moment to ponder his answer, he reached for her washcloth, lathering her skin. She stayed silent, and inside of him the gambler stirred one more time.
"I want a relationship," he stated calmly. "You, me, a lot of strings."
"The past has shown that I suckle at relationships," she answered, and despite her serious tone, he had to laugh.
"'Suck', Baby, the word is 'suck'. And why do you think so? I mean, the past it the past. Look at my own record. Doesn't mean we cannot make it. I want to make it work, Bones, with you. I love you," her stomach tingled at his words, "and I want to hold you, kiss you and share my life with you. I want to make you happy. Look at us. We've always made one step forward and two backwards. I'm tired of it. If you really love me and want me, then finally take me for real."
Lifting her head, she let her eyes wander over his beloved face, finding nothing but honesty. She did love him, more than everything, and she wanted it. However, the theory of a romantic relationship and her everyday life were two aspects that hadn't mingled so far, and the scientist inside of her was still afraid of an experiment with unknown variables.
"You know that I love you, Booth. But what about work? And should I empty a drawer for you? What are we going to do in the evenings? Do I have to buy meat for you? Will you let me pay for dinner as well?"
He cut her off with a kiss.
"Stop. You're thinking too much. It doesn't always have to be complicated, you know? Let's just enjoy each other, do what we want."
Pressing his cheek against hers, he rocked her gently.
"We will get used to everything, and then we can still talk about food and drawers."
"I don't want to do it wrong," came her small voice, and he kissed her ear.
"Trust me, you won't. Bones, a relationship is basically eye contact and evolution. Something tells me we will rock."
Now it was her turn to chuckle.
"It sounds easy when put like this."
"It is because there is no way in hell I'm ever gonna lose you again…"
"I... I find that reassuring."
Her yawn interrupted the sweet moment, and he reached for the shampoo to wash her hair. It had been a while since he had shared so much intimacy with a woman, and even back then it had been less somehow because, well, the woman hadn't been her.
The fact that she let him do it without protest revealed her level of exhaustion, and fifteen minutes later they were both clean and dry, he clad in nothing more than his boxers, she wearing a simple gray nightgown. Simple except for the fact that it was Temperance Brennan wearing it.
They brushed their teeth side by side, exchanging tired glances in the mirror, and then he watched her applying some lotion on her skin. He opened a few of the expensive looking tubes, sniffing at their contents, and in some of them he found parts of the alluring mixture that he had come to appreciate as her very own scent.
"You satisfied your curiosity?" she finally asked, a playful smile around her lips – a smile that increased as she noticed a white spot on the tip of his nose.
Closing the distance between them, she brushed the trace of lotion away, and he looked like a little boy who had been caught stealing a cookie.
Pecking his lips, she released him again.
"Don't be. I found it oddly amusing."
"It smelled like you," he said in defense, following her into the bedroom.
"No, I smell like it."
"Do you always have to be right?"
Releasing a pathetic sigh, he threw himself onto the bed.
Making a detour to switch off the light, Brennan slid under the covers next to him.
"So, this is my bed," she finally whispered.
"Yes, this is your bed," he repeated, picking up her solemn tone.
"Do you need an extra pillow?"
"No, I'm fine. Just... come to me, please."
He opened his arms in the darkness, and a blink later her soft body huddled against his side, eliciting a sigh from him. It had only been one night, but Brennan was surprised how familiar it already felt to be with him like this, how her body recognized him as her mate. The steady rhythm of his breaths was like a dear melody, the shape of his body just perfect for her to nestle up to.
What a difference a day made, twenty-four little hours... Yesterday the world had been a dark place, and the day had been emotionally and physically exhausting, but such a mundane thing like a shared bath or a hug had already been able to fill her heart with a fragile kind of peace. She wondered if it was the same for Booth. Should she ask him? Or was it a corny girlfriend thing to do? Throwing caution in the wind, she caressed his bare stomach with her fingertips.
"How are you?"
"Hm," came his reply in the darkness. "Relieved. Sad. Happy. Tired. I don't really know." He wrapped his arms tighter around her. "All I know is that you make it better somehow."
She smiled against his shoulder.
"I love you."
"Yeah, definitely better," he murmured, and his voice was husky with sleepiness.
Shifting his head, he found her lips for a sweet kiss that tasted like toothpaste, tasted like her and home.
"Sleep tight, my love."
Maybe it was nothing but sheer exhaustion, maybe it was the comfort of the other's presence, but surprisingly their rest wasn't interrupted by nightmares, and when the early morning sun crept in through the window, it found Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth sound asleep in each other's arms.
Her dark hair which hadn't properly dried last night was the mess of curls he had missed, and she way lying so close to him that a few strands fluttered every time he exhaled. Every once in a while a light snore escaped his lips, and each time some wrinkles on her nose were her unconscious reply.
Cuteness itself could have taken the picture they provided, and eventually she stirred, and her eyelids fluttered just when he released another snore. She giggled even before she was fully awake, and the sweet noise ripped him out of his dreams
"Why are you laughing?"
His voice was raspy with sleep, and without opening his eyes, he pulled her closer to his body.
"You snore," came her amused reply, and he grazed her sides with his fingernails, fueling her laughter.
"Only because you snore."
"I'm happy I could make you laugh, then."
"That's one way to look at it."
Blinking against the daylight, Brennan tried to focus on his face, and when she had finally adjusted, his sleepy brown eyes were shining at her.
"Hey, Baby," he smiled, and she couldn't help but crawl even closer.
Brushing her warm lips over his, she could feel his arms enveloping her completely.
"This isn't awkward at all," she said because it was the truth.
He smoothed her unruly hair with his palm, delighted about the mess on her head.
"Maybe a little. But it's a very pleasant surprise. What time is it?"
"I don't care. Let's sleep in. After all, we've deserved it."
"That is highly unprofessional," she complained, but he stilled her with his thumb over her lips.
"No, it's human. Let's just, I don't know, loll in bed for a while and have a proper breakfast before everything starts again. Please."
Her brow furrowed, but then acceptance washed over her face.
"I suppose Angela would approve of it."
His smile went bigger and blurred as he lowered his head, but then she could feel it against her lips. He sucked her very gently, more teasing than actually kissing, until she couldn't take it anymore. Grabbing his head, she held him in place as she parted her lips, and then his tongue met her own. His palms spanned her waist, his thumbs creating a whirlwind of tingles where they drew circles over her sides, and between their bodies she could feel his very natural reaction to their morning closeness.
Inhaling deeply, she broke the kiss, and without wasting another minute, she pulled her nightgown over her head.
Her name was a loud gasp, but then her lips were back on his, deepening the kiss, rendering him senseless within one crazy heartbeat.
"Bones," he murmured into her hot mouth, and then he didn't say anything for a while as her tongue resumed its exploration, as her hands slipped into his boxers.
A few minutes passed before he remembered anything beside the sensation of her firm grip around his shaft, but then he followed her example, and his hand dove between her legs. She parted them willingly, and he swallowed her moan at the first contact of rough fingers and sensitive flesh.
"Bones," he sighed, as one finger finally slipped into her moist core, as her silky walls surrounded him.
His cock was so hard that he thought he might burst any minute, and he rolled her around in one swift movement, making short process of her superfluous panties and his own boxers. Then he was nestled between her parted thighs, and their eyes locked as his body slid inside of her.
'Yes,' she thought at the perfect sensation of him filling her, and her head fell back to the pillow.
Her arms around his waist, she gripped his muscular buttocks, pressing him even deeper into her welcoming body, and he growled in sweet agony.
"Don't wanna hurt you," he uttered between pressed teeth, but she shook her head wildly, almost laughing because she felt so free.
"You aren't, don't worry."
Finding nothing but desire on her face, he thrust into her, and her moan followed by a soft curse was the most sensual response ever.
Slick heat gripped him like a glove solely made for him, and a fine sheen of sweat appeared on his forehead as he set a fast but steady rhythm. Bracing himself on his elbow, he brought one arm under her neck, lifting her up to him, and their lips crashed, desperate to deepen the connection, desperate to feel and taste even more of each other.
"So perfect," he grunted between kisses, and she tried to nod because she could impossibly speak.
He continued to slid in and out of her, and then her body felt almost weightless as a particularly strong stroke hit her in just the perfect spot, as her breath was taken away, and she cried out, holding onto him as if she was falling and he was her parachute – and maybe he was, but when he tumbled over the edge with her, Booth didn't know anymore who was holding whom, and truth be told, it didn't really matter because the only important thing was that they were holding each other.
He collapsed on top of her like a lifeless doll, feeling spent, almost dead, but so vibrant at the same time. She embraced him with every limb she could move, her fast and unsteady breaths loud in his ear.
"Oh Holy Mother," he finally found the strength to say, and even though she could come up with several objections – beginning with religion, ending with the fact that neither of them was holy or a mother – she didn't find it important enough to mention because deep down in her heart she understood him, and the exclamation felt right somehow.
"I have to say we are quite amazing," she panted, and he found her lips for a languid kiss full of satisfaction.
"I wanna do that again sometime."
"Works for me."
He looked at her with his face full of devotion and love.
"I want that drawer, Baby. But you don't have to buy meat for me."
Her lips curved up into a smile.
He had to kiss her again... and again. They needed one more hour before they finally managed to eat breakfast, and when they left her apartment later that morning, the future didn't seem so scary anymore. After all, it was made of moments, and if moments full of happiness like the ones they had shared this morning could exist, it was enough to survive the darker ones.
Balance, it was all about balance.
She knew, and he knew, and that was enough for now.
The End (this time for real).
Okay, now let's survive the finale.