Thanks to the Magic E and Jenn for the read. Many thanks - I think - to my amazing imaginary friends who pushed me to do this, despite my reluctance.
He knows that he's supposed to take the lead here. He's supposed to be the one who knows how to do this.
He's the one who knows all about love and open hearts and breaking the laws of physics and everything happens eventually.
But he is surprised to find that he is just so damn happy that he is finally living the life he always dreamed of with her (and, after all, he did dream it, once), that he is almost…unmoored?
He should be better at this, he thinks (he has the charm smile, and the Cocky belt buckle), but since that night (that night!), he finds that when he looks into those incredible blue eyes and sees nothing but unconditional love and acceptance, when he sees that smile that she seems to save just for him (usually paired with an amused "Booth!" …or a breathless "oh, Booth"), he gets so lost that he can't even think.
Walking around high as a kite ("dopamine, Booth, and serotonin", she would say), so drunk on happiness that on some days, he finds that he no longer seems to have all the answers.
In fact, he's starting to have some questions.
So he takes his cues from her. Who would have thought it, right?
She, who has never done this before ("you're my first, Booth," she says, and he knows what she means).
She shows him every day how to be Booth and Bones, together. Not just partners…or, maybe, finally partners? ("That's just semantics, Booth," she would say. "We're still us.")
And not in the way that he thought she would.
Not by analyzing the changes in their relationship.
Not by insisting on rational conversations in which she persists in relying on facts and logic and evidence that will help her make sense of this new incarnation of them (they're a THEM! It still makes his pulse race, a little).
Instead, she shows him in a dozen small ways, every day. And for a woman so eloquent, so at home with language, it still amazes him that she does it without a single word.
When her hand automatically reaches for his now, as they walk through the streets.
When she sets out his cereal bowl in the morning, and doesn't remark on the fact (well, raised eyebrows aside) that the box has a leprechaun on the front and a secret prize inside.
When he sees his striped socks, washed and neatly folded in his (his!) drawer at her apartment (because he knows that she still doesn't quite 'get' the socks, but she doesn't complain – anymore – when she finds them in her hamper, or under her bed, or tangled in the sheets).
When her head finds his shoulder as they sit on the couch watching tv (and he's aware that she's only pretending to watch because he likes it, and he's okay with that if it means that he can feel the warmth of her body tucked up against him, or he can reach up every so often to touch her silky hair).
When her body turns towards him in the moonlight. Soft and smooth and incredibly sweet-smelling. Asleep or awake, she always ends up in his arms, and she fits so perfectly there that he is able to stop questioning (for a while, at least) if this is real.
A hand held, a bowl, a pair of socks, a pillow shared, a hundred other things that she does without hesitation. With her actions, she shows him that it's easier than either one of them would have imagined to just live, to just love, to just be together.
And each time, he is dazzled by her.
He always knew she was a genius.