JulieSBXMomX asked for a story about a New Year's Eve party with a younger Booth and Brennan, trying to celebrate while keeping their relationship a secret. I thought that sounded like a bit of timely fun so here you go! (And thank you very much for the prompt!)
This is set during S6 but admittedly plays a bit loose with the timeline so I could fit the holiday in. Work with me, people. It's fanfic . . . I make shit up. :-)
"Do we have to go?"
Brennan's sideways glance at Booth was more than a little perturbed. "Why do you keep asking that question? My answer has not changed."
His shoulders lifted and fell as he laid one wrist casually over the steering wheel; knowing he was pushing his luck, he looked away from the road long enough to offer her a wide grin. "Because I keep hoping it will."
From the heavy sigh she released, he knew the smile hadn't worked. "Well, it won't." Facing the window, she refused to look at him again. "You don't have to attend the party if you'd rather not go. I, however, have assured Angela that I will be there so I am going."
"Come on, Bones." His tone turned cajoling as he reached for her hand. "It's our first New Year's Eve. I had other plans -"
That got her attention; her chin swiveled in his direction. "We've spent this holiday together several times."
Booth was already shaking his head. "No, that was different. Now we're really together." He lifted her fingers to his lips, his dark eyes sultry on hers as the SUV rolled to a stop at a red light. "I was thinking . . . a bottle of champagne . . . fireplace . . . blankets on the floor . . ." When her pupils widened and her breath caught in an involuntary gasp, he pressed his advantage by suckling at the end of one index finger. "Just you and me . . ."
The moment ended abruptly with the impatient blaring of a car's horn behind them.
Brennan dropped her hand to his leg and kneaded the heavy muscle of his thigh as Booth's attention returned to the road. "That sounds very appealing," she admitted, her voice husky, her gaze fixed on his profile. "Perhaps we can put your plans in place after the party."
"Can we leave early?" The question was out before he could prevent it.
She moued in faint disapproval. "Angela has been looking forward to this party for weeks, Booth. Planning it has given her something else to think about instead of the genetic testing she and Hodgins will undergo in a few weeks. It's my duty as her best friend to be there to support her - and to inform anyone who asks that a half-glass of champagne will do no harm to her unborn child." At Booth's amused and puzzled frown, she shrugged. "She was very clear about my responsibilities."
Booth gave in grudgingly. "Okay, fine. We'll pretend we aren't dating for four hours and then go find that fireplace."
"Not telling anyone that we're seeing each other was your idea," Brennan pointed out. "I'm perfectly happy to have it widely known -"
"I didn't mean . . ." Distracted by the flashing lights that marked their destination, he found a parking spot next to the rest of the law enforcement vehicles at the crime scene, turned off the ignition and put a hand on Brennan's arm before she could open her door. "I just want this to be ours for a little while," he said quietly, his eyes intent on hers. "Before everyone finds out and they start making a big deal out of it and butting in - and you know they will," he grumbled before she could argue. "They all think our business is their business."
"Angela knows and she has been very restrained -"
A hand slapping against the hood was their only warning before Cam pulled Booth's door open. Her sharp glare moved over both of them. "Can you two finish whatever argument you're having after we get this victim back to the lab? It's going to be messy."
After a silent exchange of glances that promised to revisit the topic later, they got to work.
Two days later - and three hours, 45 minutes into it, Booth admitted to himself that as parties went, he'd definitely been to worse. There was plenty of alcohol, and enough heavy hors d'oeuvres being offered by white-coated servers to keep all but the most determined drunkenness to a minimum. People were laughing, a few couples danced on the heated balcony and a festive, merry wave of chatter hung over the entire gathering.
And the scenery . . . an avaricious light gleamed as his searching gaze found Brennan standing with Angela and another woman he only vaguely recognized from the lab. He definitely had no complaints about the scenery.
He sipped from two fingers of scotch as he studied her slim figure from afar, sweeping over the deliberately messy scoop of curls piled high off her neck, down the graceful lines of the scarlet dress that hugged her waist and hips, to the daring height of the glittering silver heels on her feet. He wondered idly how many pins held her hair in place, how many he'd have to remove later before it fell in disarray around her shoulders . . .
As if she felt his scrutiny, her head turned and he was trapped in the quicksilver mercury of her eyes. She walked away without a word to Angela, leaving her friend in mid-sentence as she took a step toward Booth, irresistibly drawn to his side by the magnetic pull of their mutual attraction.
She didn't stop until she stood so close, their toes were bare inches apart.
The scent of her perfume filled every breath he took.
He didn't even look at the table behind him when he set his drink aside.
They might have been the last two people in the world, for all the notice they took of anyone else. Focused on each other, safe within a bubble that blocked out the buzz of conversation and laughter of the party, they were alone in a crowd of dozens.
And those dozens were fascinated witnesses, lulled into a fast-spreading silence by the heat that sparked like fireworks in the air between the partners, an absence of sound that began with those closest to the couple and radiated outward until only the music from the balcony played on to provide a faint soundtrack to the moment.
Brennan brushed a nonexistent speck of dust from the finely knit black wool of his suit coat. Her eyes traveled the span of his wide shoulders, across the pulse beating visibly beneath his golden skin in the open neck of the pale blue shirt he wore beneath it.
Her eyes lifted to his. "Did I tell you that you look very handsome tonight?"
One edge of his mouth curved up. "You might have mentioned it." He studied the glittering silver irises ringed with smudged grey kohl and swallowed as his mouth went dry. "Did I tell you that you . . . are stunning."
His heartbeat stuttered to a stop and then restarted with a thump when she smiled mischievously. "You might have mentioned it."
Around them, raised eyebrows met surprised, open-mouthed expressions.
"How many pins are in your hair?"
She blinked, confused, at the gruffly-voiced question.
A smile that promised the delights of sin worth the punishments of hell crossed his face. "Because I'm trying to figure out how long it's going to take me to mess it up."
There wasn't a woman in the room who didn't want to trade places with her.
Booth's watched beeped twice.
"It's midnight." One arm curved around her waist and pulled her into his heat.
Those watching held their collective breath.
Her hands slid up his chest to link behind his neck. "I believe it's traditional to exchange a kiss at midnight on New Year's Eve."
"Damn right it is." His head lowered as he claimed her lips with his.
A gasp came from someone at the back as passion flared hot. Their kiss sucked the air from the room, scorching the audience and sending up in a brilliant burst of flames every protestation of just partners they'd ever made.
Everyone was silent, struck mute by the shock of bearing witness to a moment few believed would ever happen.
It was that silence that finally penetrated their impenetrable bubble.
Still kissing, Booth's eyes opened at the same time Brennan's lashes began to flutter. Slowly, their lips separated as their faces turned toward the room - and their fascinated friends and coworkers.
Into the hushed air, Caroline Julian raised a noise-maker to her mouth and blew. The colorful paper unwound with a discordant blurp.
Angela was the first to start cheering and clapping; her emotional celebration acted as a release valve and soon they were surrounded by congratulations and pulled apart by hugs and well wishes.
Several minutes passed before they were left in relative privacy again.
"What the hell just happened?"
Brennan had no answer to Booth's helpless question.
With a rueful chuckle, he pulled her into his arms again.
She lifted her face for another kiss. "Happy New Year, Booth."
"It's going to be a great year."
Here's to a wonderful 2014 to all of you! Happy New Year!