Did Something Really Stupid
Disclaimer: stares:: ::blinks:: ::stares again:: Yeah. I still don't own anything…but, you knew that from the stares, right?
Summary: When a person's in lust, it makes them do crazy things. They can't eat, think can't sleep, they can't think straight. In Brennan's case, she acts really, really stupid. This is how she explains herself and tries to make things right for herself by finally snagging Booth. Set during 4x03: "The Man in the Outhouse". AU.
Part I - I Know I Did Something Really Stupid
It doesn't have to be said. I promise you, as much as you think it needs to be said...well, really, it doesn't.
I know it already.
I screwed up. I made a mistake, and I screwed up badly.
I don't suppose it matters at the time I thought it was a perfectly logical and sound choice, right?
I had to do something, after all. I mean, I've been driving myself insane going in proverbial circles with each day that passes. I think, all in all, I've been doing a pretty good job considering the fact that it's been this way for almost two years. It's been that long, you know, since it happened.
Since I realized that I cared about him. Since I realized that I wanted him. Since I offered myself to him. Since he rejected me and chose Cam instead. Since he drew that damn line in the metaphorical space between us to make certain that we stayed separated. Since I realized that I didn't have a choice anymore. Since I realized I had to figure out someway to obliterate that line because I've come to the conclusion that I'll never stop wanting him, even if he doesn't want me right now.
And, I bet you didn't know, but...at it's most basic form, most purely deconstructed and oversimplified sense, that's why all this started.
So, in a way, it's all his fault, really.
But, still―I made a mistake…a really bad mistake, and I know it. I realize, and I'm going to take responsibility for it. I promise.
There is a reason for what I've done, how I've behaved―an explanation of sorts. Does that make any difference? I'm going to fix things, too. I'm working on that―on a plan. Does that make any difference, either?
I'm sure I could pull out some famous historical quote here about how people do really stupid things where they're in lust with someone. After all, human beings have been doing stupid things because of sex since the very first hominids walked up right and grunted at each other, I'm certain.
But, for now, how about we just forget all that, and I'll concede the point that I screwed up, and I plan to fix it as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
You know that, right?
I'd never admit it to anyone else but myself. However, I'm only as hard on people as I am on myself. So, I know how bad this is…and I knew that even before Booth unintentionally volleyed the metaphorical ball that had been bouncing back and forth between us for almost two years over this…thing between us back into my half of the court. He did that, you know, when he showed up this morning, and brought me some coffee.
It's not like I didn't know it was him as soon as the buzzer on my door began to ring.
It wasn't like he'd woken me up. I'd actually been up for quite some time, if I even conceded that I'd ever been to sleep since my evening had been much more…restless than I'd originally anticipated. At about 4:30am, I gave up, slipped out of bed, grabbed my robe, and left my lightly snoring companion to him own devices. I was too tired to really want to get up and work, so I grabbed my latest copy of World Archaeology magazine off my stack of mail that I'd gathered the day before and deposited there as I hurried to ready for my 'date'. Although Angela's been trying for years to get me to read popular culture magazines like People or Cosmopolitan, I find these lighter archaeology magazines to be 'fluffy' enough to satisfy my taste for non-scholarly stories that are about something that interests me without being too pedantic, as some of the stories in my journals like American Antiquity, the Journal of Forensic Sciences, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, or the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology can sometimes can be.
I clutched the magazine to my side as I walked into the living room, plopped down on the couch, turned on the lamp on the end table nearest to me, drew my knees up to my chin, and adjusted the afghan that had been draped on the back of the couch around me.
About an hour later, I felt slightly more awake, but still cranky from a lack of sleep. Yes, it's true that my physical lust had been satiated earlier that night. However, at what price? I had a long day ahead of me, and I knew I wasn't going to get through it without at least two venti non-fat lattes from Starbucks…at least one in the morning and one after lunch. As long as there wasn't a case and I didn't have to go into the field, I knew I'd be fine even as I questioned how wise it had been to trade sleep for sex. I really thought that my night with him would go better than it did, bringing me a new sense of grounded focus and clarity to soften the aggressive feelings I'd been feeling in greater and greater urgency most recently. But, that wasn't how it turned out when I couldn't sleep after achieving a fairly satisfactory orgasm when we copulated. I sighed at the thought, and went back to reading my magazine.
Eventually, more time passed, and the sun's fiery red fingers curled over the D.C. dewy morning landscape. Around 6am, I heard a shuffling coming from my bedroom, and I figured my sleeping companion had awakened because of my alarm going off. This was confirmed a few minutes later when he padded out to the family room, smiled at me as he said good morning, and asked if I wanted to join him for a shower. I refrained from frowning as I shook my head, because I really just wanted him gone. He seemed a bit hurt by my refusal, but eventually took my hint and disappeared back into my bedroom to clean up before his normal departure as was customary at this point in our routine.
By 6:30am, I heard the water turned off in my bathroom, and I got up to wonder if I might be able to get ready for work when I heard that damn buzzer. Glancing at the clock to confirm what I already knew, I grumbled as I realized there would be only one person who'd be knocking on my door at this time of the day without calling first.
Only one person had an ego and a metaphorical set of balls big enough to challenge me like that: Booth.
Walking to the door, I sighed, as I realized that despite the hour, and the fact that I wasn't alone, I was glad to see him. That happiness became even more pronounced as I heard him calling out to me through the front door.
"Bones, wakey-wakey," he called softly. "Bones? Wakey-wakey. Eggs and bakey."
Shaking my head softly at his inane ramblings, I quickly pushed the smile off my face. I needed to at least make a token protest at his arrival, lest he lose all respect for me.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" I asked sternly as I opened the door.
He grinned with a nod. "6:30," he said. He then extended his hand to proffer me the peace offering he carried. "Which is why I brought you this." He gestured with the cup of coffee that he held in his left hand. It wasn't a venti latte―as Booth was a pure Dunkin' Donuts man and detested Starbucks under all but the most dire of circumstances―but, at 6:30am after a night of little sleep, it would have to do.
I took the cup of coffee in between both of my hands, bringing it close so that I could inhale the warm scent as Booth stared at me and nodded, "Nice, uh, bed head there."
His statement was ironic since I'd been to bed, yes, but had slept little in a way that normally would result in my hair getting mussed into the colloquially described 'bed-head' that Booth sported more frequently that I ever did. I was just about to open my mouth and say as much when I heard a movement behind me and didn't need to turn around to see what had caused Booth's surprise when he took a sip of his coffee and had almost spit it out.
"Hmmmmm," Booth said, arching an eyebrow as he took in the sight that had clearly caught him off guard as he look over my shoulder. "Whoa!"
"Ummmm," I struggled to find the appropriate words to put the situation in context. Booth didn't help things as he just distracted me when he let out a low whistle of surprise. Deciding the best way to get this situation back under control was to get either Booth or Mark out of my apartment and as quickly as possible, I fell back on standard social protocol. "So, ahhh, Seeley Booth, Mark Gaffney."
"Hey," Mark called out from behind me.
Booth shot me a look before he nodded back at Mark. "Hey."
Since Booth was at the front door, and not actually inside my apartment, as grateful as I was for him bringing me the coffee, logic dictated he would be the easiest one to get rid of…but, sometimes even I forget that logic can be flawed, and ergo, wrong.
"What do you want, Booth?" I asked as my partner stood in front of me, partially smirking as he sipped his coffee. I tried not to scowl as he maintained a deceptively casual demeanor.
"My partner," Booth eventually grinned. "Got some pre-breakfast remains for you," he said matter-of-factly before he tilted his head and called out, "You, uhhhh, getting a little chilly there, Mark?"
Turning around, I glanced at Mark. He'd come up behind me, and was standing just close enough so that some type of proprietary interest might be discerned by his body language towards me. I shot him a look, and coupled with Booth's words, he apparently wasn't as dumb as I'd originally thought since he apparently got the message.
"I think I'll put some clothes on," he said with a nod before he turned around and headed back towards my bedroom.
Booth's grin widened as he took another step into the apartment and shut the front door behind him.
"Excellent choice," he called out as Mark disappeared into the back hallway.
He then turned on me, arched an eyebrow, and waited expectantly. I handed him the coffee and said, "Hold that. I'll be right back."
"Don't start, Booth," I grumbled. I couldn't quite understand why he was giving me this strange look as I turned sharply on my heels and began walking in the way in which Mark had disappeared. "Ten minutes," I muttered. "I'll be ready in ten minutes."
It actually ended up being closer to fifteen minutes since, as I tried to get dressed, Mark kept getting in my way. When I finally shooed him out of my bedroom with a promise to call him later, I heard a muffled exchange between the pair from the outer room that made me wince. Already, things that had started off badly when I hadn't gotten any real sleep the night before were going from bad to worse. And, of course, Booth was there to witness it.
About a half hour later, we were on our way to the crime scene and hadn't really said a word to each other. The dulcet sounds of a morning news show played on the stereo, and I was content to sip my coffee as I realized how annoyed I was at Booth having found me out, i.e., seen first hand evidence of my weakness that I'd thought I'd be able to take care of without anyone being any wiser. God, even just saying it I can see how stupid it sounds. And, of course, he was there to see my spectacular screw up. Of course, he was.
Feeling the ire continue to bubble, I felt an intense desire to suddenly vent. Turning in my seat to face him, I broke the silence that had fallen between us as I said, "It would be good if you called first."
Booth's eyes darted over from where he was watching the road for just a few seconds as he glanced at me. And, then he said the single statement that would make me go from embarrassed and annoyed to curiously pissed off.
"Well, who knew you were even dating?"
Wait. If his question implies that he was unaware that I was still seeing potential romantic partners in a ritual known as 'dating', then by default, it implies that at some point I stopped seeing members of the opposite sex. Why would I do that? It makes no logical sense―even if that's exactly what had eventually happened. But, he didn't know that. He couldn't know that. Because, that would mean he knows what's been happening to me over the past two years because of him, and he's done nothing about it. Booth is many things, but he's neither that chivalrous (not bringing it up once in all that time to spare my feelings when he'd say it would be something that would be just too good not to joke about) or that self-controlled (at some point, he'd let something slip somewhere). So, he can't know…but, then…more importantly, why should he sound so pleased at the thought?
None of this makes any sense. None at all. And, that's why he does to me. What he's always done to me. God!
"Well, I wouldn't call it dating," I finally managed to cobble together some type of response because I date. Just because I don't know what to do with how Booth makes me feel doesn't mean I'm sitting at home like some type of spaniel waiting for him to get his head on straight―at least, on the occasional night, like last night, when I don't have my metaphorical head screwed on straight I don't. "We occasionally make arrangements to spend time together."
It was Booth's turn to consider my words before he said, "I'm just surprised you're not more picky."
Oh, I'm plenty picky enough. I just can't have the tall dark haired, dark eyed, muscular male I want in my bed. I'm sure it didn't escape you that Mark shares a startling number of physical characteristics with you, did it, Booth? That wasn't coincidence, after all.
"My relationship with Mark is purely physical―" I hesitated about what to say next. After all, this was Booth I was talking to, and it was never a good idea to talk to him about this kind of thing until I'd gone over several possible conversational contingencies in my head in preparation. But, I was tired and annoyed and the caffeine hadn't kicked in yet, and I could tell he was just looking at me with a slightly smug look on his face that I suddenly felt an incredible desire to wipe off someway, somehow, as quickly as possible. And, that's why I didn't stop to think as the next words came bungling out of my mouth. "―and I am very satisfied with him in that area. Did you see his chest and his thighs?"
Commence internal wincing.
I didn't really just say that, did I?
The look on Booth's face told me two things. A.) Yes, I had succeeded in my goal of wiping the smug look off his face, and B.) yes, I had just really said that out loud.
Booth blinked at me for a minute as he finally croaked, "Bones―what?"
Okay, I'd said it. And, more importantly, now I had his attention in a conversation that I was completely unprepared to have with him because I hadn't thought at all about what I was going to say. Improvisation has never been one of my strong suits, but maybe…if I could make him understand?
"Haven't you chosen someone because they were satisfying sexually?" I asked. The question sounded okay in my head, but as soon as I saw the new look he gave me, I knew I'd somehow said the wrong thing.
"There has to be more than sex," Booth intoned.
Oh, right. That's rich. Coming from you, Booth? Please…what was it with Rebecca and then Cam if not just about the hormones? Or, is this your way of trying to tell me you were with them and then not me because you loved them? Still love them? Can't love me?
Wait a minute.
Where did that come from? I don't even believe in love. Lust, yes. But, love? No, I don't. Never.
No, that's ridiculous. I don't believe in love. If I did, why would I have called Mark for sex last night to help scratch an increasingly unscratchable biological itch that I blame you for, Booth.
"Not really," I then heard myself explaining. "Our interests and professions do not intersect."
"Well, what is he?" Booth smirked. "Bricklayer? You know, truck driver? Tango dancer?" he snickered.
Pursing my lips, I swallowed a tart retort as I simply answered, "He is a deep-sea welder."
At this, Booth guffawed, and I curled my toes in my boots to keep from acting on the impulse to slug him in the gut for how much pleasure he was deriving from this conversation at my expense. I mean, okay, I sort of set myself up for this one, but even still―
"Wow," Booth muttered with a shake of his head. "I wouldn't even think to put that on the list."
"Well, they work on oil derricks, repair boats. After being at sea for months at a time, he seems to enjoy having a sexual relationship, so..." I said, trying to make him understand. Again, that didn't go over well as Booth just shot me another look that I didn't understand.
"I'm sure," he said. "I am sure," he repeated before he added with a small shake of his head, "Deep-sea welder."
At that moment, for some reason another errant fact about Mark popped into my head. Why I chose to share it as my retort to Booth's torture of me, I can only partially guess. "He can hold his breath for three minutes down there."
Again, Booth took his eyes off the road. Again, he flashed me a look I didn't understand. Again…always with him, I never seem to understand. It's bewildering and frustrating and so extremely and utterly overwhelmingly attractive.
"Underwater?" he finally asked.
It took me another minute to understand what he was really asked, and for the first time in quite a long time, I realized that Booth had made a sexual insinuation. However, by the time I realized what he was really asking, the logical part of my brain had already spoken.
Again, Booth shot me a look, and again I didn't know what it meant. But, at that moment…something changed between us. It was almost so subtle, I don't think I'd even have noticed it in retrospect if I didn't know what would happen next.
So, there you have it. That's how it all started.
Like I said, I know I did something really stupid. And, as long as Booth was sitting there looking at me like that, there was an ever increasing probability that I was probably going to do something even more stupid all over again.
It's been getting worse, lately―you know? All he has to look at me, blink those soft and warm brown irises at me, and I can't think straight. It's always been like that, but I can usually control it…or at least manage it, someway, somehow. But, in the last few months? It's been worse. Much worse. And, degenerating more each day. And, I don't know why. I've tried and tried and attempted to wrap my metaphorical head around this issue, and the more I try to apply logic and reason to it, the more muddled my brain becomes.
Being incredibly sexually frustrated hasn't helped the situation. Hence my idea of taking care of that solution with Mark so that I could focus with a clear and renewed perspective on Booth.
But, we all know how that ended, so all that I can do is hope I don't do something else that's really stupid. Although, probability dictates, until I figure out how to handle this situation with him, I probably will mess up again.
That is, unless…well, I'm not sure how this is going to sound. I'm not certain, once I verbalize it, if it's going to sound rather ingenuous or just mediocre… or even just as another stupid idea.
But, maybe…well, look.
Like I said, I did share all of this because I expected forgiveness or absolution or to be excused, even. I only wanted comprehension, understanding.
None of this…well, I didn't do anyone of it in my right mind. I know that, okay?
I know that better than any of you, and trust me―in the last few hours I've been metaphorically beating myself up so hard over what I know now was clearly a tremendously immense error in judgment, that several of my muscle groups would be black and blue if they could be seen.
But, I've got to do something about Booth. And, since I can't let him go, I think that means there's only one choice I've really got: I need to get him to realize he was wrong, that he wants me, and ergo should come and get me.
Brilliant plan, right?
Now, I just need to figure out how to do it…
Author's Note: Greetings, intrepid readers. I'm sure many of you are surprised to be seeing something new from me at this point in time. I know…I finally wrap up an epic story like "Eighteen Minutes," and three days later I turn around and start something that didn't even exist as a blink in the muse's mind's eye until yesterday afternoon. Anyway, I've always thought Brennan needed a chance to explain why an incredibly brilliant woman, can…under the right circumstances, make incredibly stupid choices. This originally started as a one-shot, but as some of you may know, I've been a bit experimental in my form lately. So, what I wanted to do with this piece is see if I could write a story based on a single episode. Not all scenes will be covered (just the interesting ones). So, if that sounds good to any of you, let's roll.