This was born out of pure desire for Bones to be back on our screens so we can witness some BB fluff. So that being said, it's BB fluff :) Thank you, as always, to my particularly awesome beta, eitoph, who always knows just the right things to say to help.
This goes out to my imaginary friends on Twitter. You guys make my heart beat faster ;)
Disclaimer: If I owned it there would be constant episodes! But alas, that will never be.
Independence in Pairs
..We create our fate every day we live..
They never said it was going to be easy. But damn, he didn't think it'd be this hard. It has been approximately four hours since his partner has left his apartment...who was he kidding? Approximately? It has been three hours and 47 minutes. If he was in the right frame of mind he'd probably work out the seconds too. He knows why she has gone, he knows why it has to happen, but a whole night of not having her by his side is going to be his undoing. A man who has faced death on multiple counts, a man who has been the steady hand behind the gun on many more was going to be brought to his knees by a woman who wasn't even in the same building as him at the moment.
He'd already done all the dishes, cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the entire apartment. Having Brennan practically live with him for the last four and a half months has ensured that his place is pretty tidy though and after redundantly wiping down every flat surface in the apartment, he finds he has little to do but sit back and find something to watch on television.
"I don't see what the big deal is, Bones!" And he really doesn't, "I was just trying to do something nice for you."
She pulls the plug out of the bath tub, "I know, Booth. But you know that I have a routine when I get home and though it has been a long day, I can't relax until I have finished all the work that needs to be done."
He sighs, watching as the last drops of water disappear down the drain, leaving small mountains of white foamy bubbles in their wake. "So you couldn't even relax first and then go back to the work with a clear head?"
She stalks out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, "I don't function on that level, I can't stop and start like you, I just have to get it done in one sitting." She turns around to face him and he's not sure he can handle the look on her face right now, a kind of mix between guilt and seeking his permission.
He moves to stand in front of her, placing his hands on her arms, "What's the matter?"
She shrugs back and away from him, "I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I think it would be best if I were to stay at my place tonight." She pauses, but doesn't look him in the eye, "I have a lot of work to finish and I'm sure you have things to do as well that don't involve me."
He stutters for a moment, but before he can find the right words, she has blown past him at the speed of Brennan, closing the front door on her way out.
It isn't supposed to be this hard. She has been away from him before, but usually they have work to divide them, now though it was just her own stubbornness separating them and it is harder than she had originally thought it was going to be. She had meant what she'd said though; a night apart would do them good. She'd be able to get her work done before relaxing and he'd be able to relax without worrying about the second person in his apartment.
Her place smells stale and though she has been there at least three times a week to collect clothes and do washing, she has to admit that she has pretty much moved into Booth's apartment. Since she stopped denying her feelings for her partner and allowed herself to look to a future with him she has fantasised about them living together in her apartment. Functionally it is a better space; larger, with better lighting and closer to work. It's funny how things work out in reality though. Booth's apartment is small and located above a liquor store, but she can't help but call it 'home' and she's not sure she was ever prepared for that.
In a way, she's been engaging in a lot of things she's not sure she's been prepared for. She looks down at her only slightly rounded belly and smiles. It's hard to believe it's been four and a half months. They've had their ups and downs in the period of adjustment, but Booth and Bones have always been Booth and Bones and that in itself has allowed them to come out on top each and every time. It's been hard though, giving up her independence so freely and she supposes that's why she just needs a night away.
She sets up her report at her desk and goes to make herself a cup of tea. The cupboard door swings out faster than she remembers it ever having swung and she hits her forehead against the edge. With a hand on her now slightly bruised skin, she reaches in for a tea bag and grumbles when her hand comes into contact with an empty jar. And like that she remembers taking the last of the tea to Booth's place only the weekend before. Sighing, she pulls open the fridge and finds half a lemon in there that has been sitting on the shelf for what must have been a couple of weeks and squeezes what she can into some hot water. Although it's not her ideal drink of choice, she feels proud of herself for still being able to quickly improvise when Booth isn't around to tend to her every wish...even the ones she doesn't voice out loud. Having somebody else in her life in such a constant state isn't something she is used to and it feels good to reaffirm her independence in some small way.
Walking back down the hallway to her study, she stubs her toe on a small ornamental table that she had forgotten about, before lowering herself into her desk chair, which just doesn't feel right. After some adjustments to the height of the seat, she finally opens the first page of the report with a loud sigh.
It is going to be a long night.
It's the time of the night when there is nothing but infomercials on the television, but he can't seem to get out of the comfortable position on the couch and make his way to bed. Though, he really knows it's because he doesn't want to spend a night without Brennan in his arms.
They'd had fights before, but this didn't feel like a fight. He isn't sure if that should scare him more or less. Every noise he can hear above the sound of the droning TV is a potential key in the door, or Bones stepping out of the elevator.
He eventually pulls himself out of the cocoon he has made for himself on the couch and walks towards his front door to lock it before heading to bed. He's halfway across the room when the handle turns and the door swings open revealing a very frustrated looking Brennan.
"Bones! You're back." He smiles despite the fact that she looks positively homicidal.
"It's not like I could stay at my place anyway. It's you and your damn beliefs and your fate and everything." She slams the door behind her and storms the couch, slumping down on it.
"Whoa, Bones, what's wrong?" he takes a seat next to her and reaches out to rub her back.
She shuffles along the couch a little, trying to move out of his reach, her face turned towards his with tears shining in her eyes, "It's the hormones."
He smiles, "You're using that excuse?"
She shrugs, "It works."
"What's really going on here, Bones?"
She sighs, wiping at her tears, "I'm not used to this, you know. I'm not used to having someone else to be dependent on. I'm confident that we will last a lifetime, I really am, but I get scared that in our line of work something could happen and if I was ever left without you, I need to know I can still be independent."
He nods, beginning to understand, "So that's why you left tonight?"
"Yes." She admits quietly, "But I got to my place and it wasn't my place anymore. It was just an apartment. This is my place and I'm not sure I was ready for that when I left this evening."
He moves closer to her again and this time she doesn't pull away, "What about now, Bones? How do you feel now?"
She doesn't answer him immediately and he notices her face has changed from frustration to a kind of confused expression, "Bones?"
She looks up like she's forgotten he was there, "Yeah, give me your hand." Now he's the confused one, but he lifts his hand and she's got hold of it in a millisecond, placing it on her belly, "She's kicking."
A kind of astonished laugh escapes him and he moves his hand around her belly, trying to find the movement again, "She's trying to tell Mom and Dad to stop fighting."
Brennan looks at their joined hands over her swollen tummy, "We're in this together, aren't we?"
He kisses her forehead, "Always have been. But you're a Brennan, so you'll never lose your independence."
And she knows it's true because he's the one who has said it, "Thanks Booth."
He gives her hand a squeeze, "Thank you for coming home tonight. I don't know if I could handle having missed her first kicks."
She watches him carefully and says, "I suppose something out there," She gestures into the air surrounding them, "Was working for us tonight."
He smiles and leans down to kiss her abdomen, right where their daughter would be sleeping now, "That would be called fate, Bones." He whispers.
She scoffs a little, but doesn't comment and Booth thinks that maybe, just maybe, after over seven years of knowing her, she may have softened a little on the whole topic.
For his part at least, he knows that it doesn't matter how hard everything may get, they had fate on their side from the very beginning.
Thank you for taking the time to read :)