A/N: It's eitoph's birthday today! *throws confetti and blows horn* For those of you who have been living under a rock and haven't read her epically beautiful writing, you need to get on that. Her birthday request was for a fic set in between "The Hole in the Heart" and "The Change in the Game" that sorted through all the details that the show so nicely skipped over. I hope that this satisfies!
A/N for E: I looked up the day I met you via Skype and only a few minutes into our conversation, I asked Ren if we could keep you. lol. Luckily, you were not swayed by our craziness and you actually joined right in, bringing in your #UtterGenius ideas like moats and structurally sound orca tanks. You are Magic E and we truly do need you! Also, I look forward to the day when you rule all of Australia with an iron fist. ;) Happy birthday!
Booth had no words.
That night, he had spoken enough to reassure her, to try and explain what had happened that day and what Vincent had actually meant. After that, he let his actions do the consoling. Some soothing touches, some shared tears and then… a kiss. He had meant the kiss to be comforting but in the whirlwind of emotion and what ifs, they had taken the plunge. Vincent had died; it could have been either one of them and with Broadsky still on the loose, the chance was still there. They had left so many things unsaid and they both knew that they needed to share them, but how do you voice seven years of feelings, mistakes, and longing? No, Booth knew that it was better to just show them instead.
The next morning, there had been too much focus and anticipation for words. She didn't want to distract him and he didn't want to be distracted. They shared more kisses and meaningful glances but then he was out the door. Off to end this once and for all.
When he had succeeded in his task, a simple arm wrapped around his was her only communication, but it spoke volumes. With that small action, he knew that this would be a permanent change. There was no doubt that they would be going home together, that there was an old but strong love that would finally be able to bloom between them.
So of course Booth was at a loss for words. How do you explain the rush of emotions that hit you when all of your wildest dreams come true?
Brennan was silent.
She had spent the better part of her life in silence. She had perfected the art of blending into the crowd and going unnoticed long before she became an anthropologist. She was a natural observer.
The morning after their first night together, she hadn't spoken for fear of saying goodbye. She refused to believe that he wasn't coming back, but another part of her knew that a bullet to his chest could turn her whole world upside down all over again. It was these memories that haunted her that morning. The blood spreading through her fingertips, the call from the Bureau, the knowledge that it could all end before it ever really began.
Once the terror had ended, and Booth had come home safely, she had kept her silence. After all, she knew that when they spoke, they spoke in different languages. It was something that had nearly destroyed their relationship after their first case. Over time, the knowledge and respect for one other had dulled the reactions to these differences, but they still disagreed on almost everything. Yes, she knew all too well that a single misunderstood sentence could send the whole thing shattering to the ground. And she would be the one doing the shattering.
The only aspect of their relationship that was not silent was in the bedroom. Between the sheets, confessions of desire and love passed easily through wandering lips, their words wrapped tightly in the security of the dark, landing safely among the soft moans that accompanied their love making.
In these unquiet hours, they discovered each other in new and unexpected ways. Small details that had previously escaped their knowledge revealed themselves. She stole the covers; he only used a certain brand of toothpaste. Each new bit of information was greedily catalogued and stored away as they fought to keep what was between them theirs and theirs alone. They knew it was only a matter of time before these precious moments were complicated by the obstacles life had in store. And so, for those first few weeks together, the partners kept their relationship a secret, choosing instead to savor all of the good things that they had before the inevitable complications of the world got in the way.
Brennan glanced at her watch as the elevator took her up to her apartment. It was nearly eleven. Booth had Parker for the weekend and was staying at his own place so she had taken the opportunity to catch up on work. She had spent nearly all of the past two weeks with Booth and she was desperately behind because of it. She had utilized the free evening to try and get caught up and had only given herself permission to leave when she realized that she could finish the rest tomorrow afternoon.
The door to the elevator opened and she stepped out into her hallway. As she unlocked her door, she was surprised to find the lights on in the living room. She hadn't remembered leaving them on. She looked up and found Booth sleeping on her couch. She frowned, unsure of why he was there, but she couldn't help but smile as he stirred. She set her keys down and made her way over to the couch.
"Booth?" She whispered quietly. "Booth, wake up." He must not have been sleeping hard because he shot up, awake and alert. "Hi." She said, surprised by his action.
"Hi." He said, as he took a second to look around.
"What are you doing here?" She asked.
"Waiting for you. What time is it?" He asked.
"Eleven." She told him.
"And you're just getting home now?" He said, obviously not liking that thought at all.
"I had a lot to catch up on." She said as she made her way to the kitchen. "You should be proud. I didn't even stay to finish it all." She defended herself with a grin. "Besides, I didn't expect you to be waiting for me. I thought you were going to spend the night at your place."
"Plans changed." He said. "Parker got invited to a friend's house for the night. I'm going to pick him up tomorrow morning." He said as he wiped the sleep out of his eyes.
"Why didn't you call me?" She asked as she sat down next to him. "I would have come home sooner."
"You obviously had work to do. The last thing you need is me calling you away just to…" He stopped himself from finishing his thought.
"To what?" She asked, wanting to know the reason behind his appearance on her couch. He debated saying something but then changed his mind.
"No, you know what, it was nothing." He said brushing it aside. "I just had a long day. There was a lot on my mind and I probably wouldn't have been very good company anyway." Brennan hesitated, unsure if she should take his word for it but in the end, her desire to trust him won out.
"Then come to bed." She said, holding out her hand. She hoped that whatever had been bothering him could be fixed there. He took it and stood up, following her to her bedroom. She grabbed a nightgown from her dresser and went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. As she brushed her teeth, her thoughts went back to that strange, new expression on Booth's face. She washed her face and gave herself one last look in the mirror before heading back into the bedroom.
Booth was already lying in bed, a pillow shoved tightly between his clenched jaw and his arm. Even from where Brennan stood, she could tell that he was tense. She slipped in silently beside him and waited for his arms to pull her close. He was a very tactile person and he always found his way to her in the middle of the night. She had to admit: she liked the feeling of his strong and comforting arms around her but tonight, that feeling never came. It was a glaring signal that something was definitely wrong. She turned over and stared at him for a moment.
"What?" He waited a beat before opening his eyes.
"Are you sure that you're okay?" She asked quietly. Booth sighed.
"It's late. I'm tired." He offered. "Everything else is fine."
"I've known you a long time. I can tell when something is on your mind and judging by your distance, both physically and mentally, it's safe to assume that you're upset with something that I did." She stated. "But I don't know what it is."
"Bones, can we talk about this tomorrow?"
"How can I talk about it if I don't know why you are upset?" She asked him. He groaned at her logic.
"You're not going to let this go, are you?" He asked.
"Not until you tell me what's bothering you." She said.
"Nothing is bothering me." He repeated, frustrated by her refusal to ignore the problem.
"You're clearly upset and if it's with me, I want to know so that I can either explain myself or correct whatever I did that made you angry."
"I'm not." He promised.
"You won't even look at me." She pointed out.
"Bones! What do you want me to say? I'm not upset!" He cried as he sat up.
"Then why are you yelling?"
"Because you said 'See you on Monday'!" He cried, unable to hold it back any longer. She looked at him with wide eyes as silence fell over the room.
"What?" She asked. He took a deep breath and decided to finally come clean.
"We've been inseparable for two weeks. And they've been the best two weeks of my life." He told her. "But this afternoon when I told you that I had Parker this weekend, you made it very clear that you weren't going to be around. I mean, you nearly jumped out of the car. You couldn't get away from the topic fast enough."
"Booth, I don't..." She said, trying to comprehend his anger.
"We've been quiet about it at work, and I get that. It's the professional thing to do, but this is my kid, Bones. And I just started wondering: 'Is this what it's going to be like every other weekend?' We're together during the week and then, what, you just disappear for a few days whenever Parker comes around?" He asked. She stared at him, dumbstruck by his accusations. "And, I don't know, I thought that we were on the same page but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don't know what your expectations are because we've never talked about it. I've been floating through these past two weeks like I was on a fucking cloud and I have no idea what this even means to you."
"How can you even think that?" She asked, wondering where this newfound insecurity was coming from. Her answer struck her in the form of a name and suddenly Brennan wasn't so surprised. She shook her head in resignation as she stared at the floor. Even after the woman had left, she was still playing her games with him. Brennan cleared her throat to speak. "I'm Bones, Booth. Not Hannah. I'm the one who actually likes spending time with Parker." The venom in her voice only thinly covered the hurt of his accusations and she watched as a look of surprise crossed his features. She watched him for a few moments as the full realization of who he was actually fighting with hit him. She reached for her robe and began fumbling with the sash, her hands refusing to operate with their usual precision.
"Bones…" He murmured, realizing his mistake.
"No." She said, cutting him off. "And for the record, Parker loves me. You might not know how I stand on the issue but you should at least know your own son." She said, as she filled with a self-righteous but quiet anger. "Did you know that I was the reason Parker hated Hannah? He only liked her after I told him it was okay to give her a chance. He was afraid of how your relationship would affect me." She waited for the information to sink in. "I only wish you had been that considerate." She muttered, hurling her own low blow as she left the bedroom. She heard him call after her but didn't stop. She had no idea where she was going. It was her apartment after all, but she couldn't be in the same room with him right now. He may have cut her but she wasn't going to stay and bleed for him. She hastily threw her coat over her robe. Booth caught up with her in the entryway and she felt his strong hand clutch her arm.
"Bones, will you please just stop so I can apologize to you?" He asked. She took a step back and folded her arms over her chest defensively. "Look, I know that you don't believe in psychology, but you have to believe me when I tell you that I had no idea I was fighting an old battle." He said. Brennan didn't budge. "I know that you love Parker and of course, he loves you. You practically helped raise him." He gave her the credit she was due. "You just, you touched a nerve, one that even I didn't know was still raw. I saw history repeating itself and I panicked. It was stupid and hurtful and I'm so sorry. Can you forgive me?" He asked, looking into her eyes. While she knew it was unintentional, she was surprised by how much his misplaced anger stung.
"Yes." She said and the visible signs of relief flooded his body as he relaxed. "But that doesn't change anything." She said and his gaze shot up to meet hers.
"What is that supposed to mean?" He asked, not liking her tone.
"You're not ready." She told him, her heart and voice breaking as the words left her mouth. "I thought that maybe you were, but clearly, you're still angry."
"No!" He said quickly, anxiety lacing his voice. He pulled himself together. "Bones, no." He said definitively, forcing himself to sound convincing. "You can be mad at me, but you are not going to throw this away because of one stupid little fight."
"People leave marks on us. You taught me that. You can't just cover them up. You have to let them heal and obviously you're still…"
"I'm not!" He said as he pulled her close. "I'm in love with you." He said seriously as he looked into her eyes, speaking the words outside the bedroom for the first time since they had gotten together. "I am in love with you now and I was in love with you then. You're the one, Bones and you always will be." He admitted and she felt her steel core melt a little. "People fight, they make mistakes, but I'm not going anywhere because this thing we're doing? It's worth everything." The dark look in his eye told her that she should believe him. "And I'm not going to let you throw it all away just because I was being…"
"Ridiculously irrational?" She offered.
"Yes." He agreed without a second thought. Brennan stared at him, as if considering his offer.
"I don't like fighting with you." She told him.
"I don't either." He said. "But we might as well get used to it now because we can't seem to help ourselves. It's the way that it's always been between you and me. That's not going to change now that we're in a relationship. Hell, it will probably get worse." He told her with a small smile. "But I plan on being with you for a very, very long time and I would rather have us fighting every day than not have you in my life at all." Brennan sighed, knowing he was right. "So what do you say? Why don't you take off that coat, and everything else underneath it," he smirked "and come back to bed. I promise we won't fight again until we have to decide what to make for breakfast." She smiled.
"Fruit is good for your health." She maintained as she hung the coat back on the rack
"Bacon is good for my mental health." He argued as he wrapped his arms around her and pushed her towards the bedroom.
"Now you're trying to pick a fight." She said with a giggle as he spun her around until she was facing him directly.
"I'm about to try a lot more than that." He promised. She raised an eyebrow at his suggestive statement as he tugged on her robe's sash and pulled the material off her shoulders. It fell behind her as he cast it aside and he slid his hands over her body. Brennan sighed as he kissed her neck playfully and she let her hands trail across his shoulders to his hair. She was certain that she would never get used to this feeling that he evoked within her. It was the perfect mix of pleasure, safety, need, and yes, love. She pinpointed the unnamed emotion easily despite never feeling it before him.
"Booth." She murmured, pulling away to get his attention. "About what you said earlier… I do love you." She said, aware that she had never really told him. He smiled and nodded.
"And these past two weeks have been wonderful for me as well." She assured him.
"I just want you to know that we are on the same page." He watched her intently, taking her seriously for the first time. "You're the only one for me as well." She waited for his reaction but he remained silent, staring at her.
"Can you say that again?" He asked. She smiled.
"I said you're the only one for me." She repeated.
"I thought that's what you said. Could you just say it one more time?" A huge grin broke out on his face as she slapped his shoulder.
"I'm trying to be serious!" She cried.
"I know! That's why it's so great." He said. "You of all people…" he laughed just thinking about it.
"Do you want me to take it back?" She asked him.
"Don't you dare!" He grinned as he kissed her whole-heartedly. Brennan lost herself in the kiss, getting swept up in his giddy excitement. She managed to register that his hands were moving up her nightgown and over the skin of her back and she stepped back, letting him undress her in quick fashion. As soon as she was naked, she stepped forward again, wanting to feel him on every side of her body. She rubbed herself against him, teasing his boxer-clad erection as their hips met. The action elicited a delicious groan from Booth and she felt herself grow wet. God, she could come just from listening to that sound. She kissed him ferociously as she shoved his boxers off his body and then sat him down onto the edge of the bed.
"I want you so badly right now." She confessed as her hand came to rest on his shoulder.
"The feeling's mutual." He promised as his arms enveloped her and he pulled her onto his lap. He moaned as her wet core rubbed over the top of his shaft, prepping him for what was in store. He kissed his way up her neck and sucked her earlobe into his mouth, driving her mad with want. Her entire body was vibrating as his hands settled low on her hips and he slid into her. She couldn't stop the gasp that escaped from the back of her throat as she felt the exquisite way he filled her. She took his face in her hands and kissed him intimately.
"I love you." She told him again, the words leaping from her lips. He kissed her his reply as they began to move together, perfectly in sync. She wrapped her arms around his neck, clinging to him as he whispered his own praises in her ear. Before long, they were coming undone, shivering in one other's arms. As they collapsed on the mattress, Booth never took his hands off her waist, pulling her on top of him as they fell. Her head landed on his sternum and she paused to listen to the sound of his racing heart. She smiled contentedly at the sound as she closed her eyes. Booth made an attempt to cover her with a blanket but once tucked in, she snuggled in close to him again.
"Now who likes to cuddle?" He teased, knowing he was usually the one holding her.
"I like the sound of your heart beating." She confessed, her sleepy, sated voice making Booth smile.
"It's been a long day, Bones. You should go to sleep."
"Mm." She muttered, not really listening anymore. "You too."
"I'm right behind you." He assured her as he kissed the top of her head goodnight. She was asleep in a few minutes and Booth took the opportunity to glance down at her sleeping form, at her hand resting on his chest and her hair spread out over his shoulder. It was then that he realized something essential.
Words were overrated.