A/N: Written for the "what if?" comment fic meme on LJ community, bitesize_bones. Prompt courtesy of fouth_rose: Man in the Fallout Shelter - What if Brennan had gotten high on the anti-fungus meds instead of Booth?
Unbeta'd this time, so apologies for any Aussie-isms that crept in there that you don't get!
Disclaimer: The only thing I own is my soul, and I even lend that out on occasion, but only if you ask nice. Anything that even looks familiar in this story probably belongs to someone else (except the actual story - that's all mine, Mine, MINE [*maniacal laughter*]!)
Just Another Day At The Office.
"Booth! Booth! C'mere."
Booth was passing the time, doing chin ups from a conveniently placed beam. At the sound of his partner's voice he eased himself down slowly, a frown creasing his forehead at Brennan's tone. He absently enjoyed the burn in his biceps while he tried to make out which direction her voice had come from. As his feet touched the floor with a soft squeak, she called out again.
"C'mere!" Brennan's voice dragged out at the end of the word, her frustration plain.
A lopsided grin curved his lips; there was something about getting bellowed at by a beautiful woman that was kind of hot. He was even getting to like her high-handed bossiness, not that he'd ever admit it. Even to himself.
He paused and listened, trying to get a fix on her. Way off in the background he could hear the murmur of Hodgins' voice, flirting with Angela. When Angela answered with a giggle Booth couldn't help thinking of Christmas miracles, and smiled again. A scratching noise in the opposite direction caught his attention and he followed the sound at a trot. Rounding a corner Booth found what he was looking for.
"Whoa." He slid to a stop and took in the view for a moment or two, his own little Secret Santa gift to himself.
Brennan was crouched on the floor, ass aimed right at him, but at his soft exclamation she swung her head towards him. Her hair whipped across her face and she brushed the stray tendrils away impatiently.
"Where were you? I need your help."
"Sure thing, Bones." He gathered his wits and bent down towards her. "What do you need?"
"Help me pick these up." Booth watched her nimble fingers scrabble over the shiny surface of the floor. There was nothing there. Well, apart from a rainbow of light; splashes of color refracted from the 'decorations' Angela had strung all over the lab earlier - test tubes and stuff filled with suspiciously toxic looking liquids. The colors sparkled and danced across the space where Brennan was kneeling.
"Bones?" He sat back on his heels, perplexed.
She swung around towards him again, her face alight with glee. "How many chemists does it take to change an LED light bulb?" She didn't wait for his answer (not that he had one) and a huge grin split her face. "Two!", her voice rose with excitement. When he just looked at her blankly she glared at him and went back to her task with renewed energy.
"Ah, Bones, I think you need to calm down a little -" He reached out to grab her hand to stop the frantic movement but she evaded him easily.
"If I can grow some I can give them to Hodgins for his Secret Satan present to add to his bug collection."
"Grow what? Secret Satan?" He bent his head, trying to see her face properly but it was impossible. What the hell is going on with her?
"It's not my field, admittedly, but a recent article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society I flicked through clearly outlined the process." She chuckled, deep in her throat, obviously thrilled at the prospect of whatever it was she was planning. "It's going to be spectacular! All I need is some silver – you can use a solution of silver nitrite with two additives that I can get from the lab to grow silver particles shaped as hexagons, rods, triangles, spheres or dodecahedrons by shining green, red, orange, violet and blue light on the liquid respectively."
Booth had barely opened his mouth to speak before she was off again, all the words running together in her haste to enlighten him.
"Did you know that silver nanoparticles are used to make bacteria-killing clothing – and truncated triangular particles are the deadliest?" As if that explained everything, or even anything.
"Bones, calm down, okay? You're starting to scare me a little." He reached out instinctively to place a hand on her shoulder, but she ducked out of the way, a mischievous grin lighting her face. When her evasive tactics made her overbalance and left her sprawling flat on her back, she only giggled more. Booth was caught between concern for his partner and laughter at the picture she made, her hair splayed around her head, her arms and legs making snow angels, only without the snow.
She was still talking nineteen to the dozen, "The trick works because the colored LED lights induce an electromagnetic field around the silver seeds that makes them stick to their nearest neighbors."
"Bones, Bones, it's not real -"
She wasn't listening. "I could use my earrings; they're silver -" She started to take them out.
Booth shuffled over to her, still on his knees, and finally managed to gather her hands into his. She seemed surprised that he was there. Booth leant in close to her face and spoke slowly and deliberately. "It's just the anti-fungals doing your head in, Bones."
He took advantage of the moment of calm to gently draw her upwards until they were kneeling beside each other, hip to hip. Their eyes locked for a few seconds, and he was fascinated to see that her pupils were dilating and contracting randomly. Then a rainbow of refracted light danced along the flesh of his arm and, distracted, she pulled a hand out of his grasp and followed the path of color with her fingers. He froze at the shock of that feather light touch as it trailed up to his shoulder and across his chest. They were almost nose to nose, and she dropped her voice to a conspiratorial whisper.
"Booth, I need you to get me a flashing LED light and two chemists -"
"Ah, jeez, Bones!" For a second there he'd thought he was getting through to her. He tried another tack, "You know, Bones, you maybe don't realize it but you're not making a lot of sense right now. The drugs that doctor guy gave us so that we didn't get sick have kind of fried your brains." She was looking at him solemnly now, hopefully taking in what he was saying. "It's probably only temporary." He added reassuringly.
She touched a finger to his face, now following the path of orange and green across his cheekbone. "So pretty." The words were said on a sigh and she was studying his face intently. Booth found himself swallowing convulsively, suddenly aware of her other hand still linked to his. When he loosened his grip guiltily, she cupped his face with both hands. "So pretty", she said again, only this time Booth didn't have a clue whether she was talking about colors or, ah, something else. He felt his pulse quicken at the thought.
Brennan gave herself a little shake and let her hands fall away from his face. "Tell me again this isn't real." She drew a shaky breath before continuing, "Neurological studies show that listening to someone you disagree with stimulates the brain."
"Ah Bones, I'm thinking your brain is stimulated enough." She didn't pick up on the hint of regret in his voice. "I think we'd better get you lying down. I'll ask Angela to set something up for you. A nap might be just the thing you need."
Her mouth twisted to one side as she considered his suggestion. "I'm not in the least sleepy but perhaps getting horizontal would be a good idea."
Booth shot her a sideways look at the double meaning he heard in her words, startled, but her face was serenely calm. He wondered if maybe those anti-fungal voodoo drugs were having an effect on him, too?
Yep. Definitely enough stimulation. For both of them.
He put a hand at her back and herded her towards the others, a wry smile on his face. Just another day at the office.