A/N: This is one of my entries into the "50 Shades of Booth" challenge for the lovely Rynogeny's 50th birthday! A bunch of us got together and wrote some birthday fics (often smutty) because 50 deserves a big gift. So go here to read: s/8440483/1/50_Shades_of_Booth_and_Brennan_Challenge I will be posting my entries individually under my account (there are 3) but they are all in the collection as well and I highly recommend checking out all the stories there.
The modified prompt for this one boils down to "What if Broadsky hadn't shot Vincent, but shot at Brennan instead?" So this is my answer to that.
Happy Birthday, Friend! I hope you enjoy my gift.
The Same, but Different
The window above them shattered, and before the first pieces of glass had rained upon them, Booth was laying on top of his partner, shielding her from the bullet that had ripped into the lab.
As soon as it was safe he rolled off her, completely frantic. "Bones! Are you hurt? Are you okay?"
She sat up slowly, as if cataloging her body, making sure everything was as it should be. "Yes. I think so."
Booth cupped the back of her head, his fingers burrowing in her hair. Then he moved them down the back of her neck and to her shoulders. His heart was beating wildly as he ran his hands down her back and swept the front of his partner with his eyes. "Are you sure? You weren't hit?"
"I'm sure." Her voice shook and her hands gripped his arms as he lowered his forehead to hers. "Do you think it was Broadsky?" Though squints and squinterns were gathering, they were solely focused on each other.
"I know it was." As much as he wanted to stay with her in that moment, there were things to be done. "I need to call this in."
"Of course." But she didn't let go.
Neither did he. "He was aiming for you." His whisper was raw and horrified.
Her nod was small, imperceptible, really, and he felt it, more than saw it, before Angela came swooping in.
"Oh my god! Are you guys all right?"
Booth pulled away from Brennan, stood, and retrieved his phone from his pocket before stalking off to call in a team to investigate, leaving his partner to answer her friend.
"We're okay, Ange."
"Someone shot at you, Brennan. Nothing about this is okay."
"So he's a bad shot. What if he tries again?"
Brennan looked toward her partner, who was talking to Hodgins. "Booth is going to catch him."
"I'm sure he will. But maybe in the mean time you should stay at our place. It's practically Fort Knox."
"I'll be fine."
"Brennan this is serious. You could have been killed."
"Hey," Hodgins came onto the platform. "Booth wants us all to move into an interior office. No windows."
"That's probably a good idea." Angela nodded.
"If Broadsky were going to shoot again, he'd have done it by now," Brennan protested, but when she saw the fury on Booth's face as he found the bullet lodged in a lab wall, she followed the rest of the team to the conference room.
An hour later Booth joined them in the safe room.
"Broadsky was on a crane, outside. He was long gone before anyone got there." He tossed an evidence bag onto the table. "Here's the shell."
"But why is he shooting at Dr. Brennan?" Cam asked.
"If I had to guess, it's because he blames me for the death of his 'partner' in all of this."
"Paula Ashwaldt," supplied Sweets. "You killed his partner, he aims for yours."
"Right." Booth's response was terse and the muscles in his neck tightened in anger. "But we're all working on this. That shot was meant for Bones, but the rest of you should stay safe, too."
The team was silent as they stood and filed past Booth and out of the room. Brennan was the only one he stopped.
"You're staying with me, tonight."
He watched her, the protest flashing across her eyes before she merely nodded her acceptance and brushed past him like the others.
He was thankful that, for whatever reason, she chose not to fight him this time.
Booth hadn't even let her go home to pack an overnight bag. Instead he handed her some of his clothes, instructed her to stay away from the windows and offered her the bed while he slept on the couch.
"I'll take the couch. I'll fit better. You need your rest so you can catch Broadsky tomorrow."
"That's very logical." Booth said, easing his own guilt for giving her the lumpy, uncomfortable couch. "I'll help you make the bed."
"I can make the bed, Booth."
"Okay." He was hesitant to leave her, and yet he wasn't sure what the alternative was. He went into his room. "Goodnight, Bones."
He snuck one last peek at her before he shut the door between them.
He tried for hours to sleep. He tossed and turned and the two times he dozed he was jerked awake by images of his partner dying as he desperately tried to stop her bleeding.
He couldn't live like this. And going after Broadsky…he couldn't die like this either. He swung his feet to the floor and padded over to his door, pulling it open.
He stopped for a moment. She looked peaceful, her hair fanned out across the pillow, one hand up near her face. He watched her breathe, a chill running through him as he realized how easily Broadsky could make the steady rise and fall of her chest stop forever. He stepped into his living room.
"Bones?" He whispered.
"What's wrong?" She shot bolt upright on the couch. "Did you hear something?"
"Are you alright?"
"What's wrong?" She asked again.
He took two steps and hesitated. "I just..."
She put her feet on the floor and made room for him to sit beside her and he realized this is how they did everything, right beside each other, and he didn't suppose this should be any different.
He could see her better now, her face highlighted by the dim light that filtered in from the street. She looked expectant, scared, and comforting all at once. He accepted her invitation and took his place next to her.
"Broadsky knows something you don't know."
"Yes. And...I'm not sure how he knows it or when he figured it out, but as soon as he did, he had the advantage over me."
"What does he know that I don't?"
"He threatened Parker."
"You told me that, Booth."
"Yeah, but this shot tonight? Guys like Broadsky? Guys like me? We don't miss. Not like that. It was a warning."
"I don't understand."
"He's threatening the people I love."
Realization and uncertainty took hold of her eyes in equal measure, but she masked them quickly. "Atta girl, right?" she smiled, her lips wobbling just a little, betraying her true question.
"No." He took her hand. "No. That's what he knows. He knows the best way to hurt me is to hurt you. I almost lost you today, Bones, you could have died, and as sick as that makes me the worst part is that if he hadn't meant to miss? You'd never have known why his target was you."
Her brain was always fast, but sometimes when it came to the heart she wasn't as quick. He wondered if she knew what he was saying and opened his mouth to explain when she cut him off.
"There is always one person you love the most." The words came out halting and soft, as if she was fearful of releasing them into the universe.
"Yeah." A sad smile crossed his face. "And tomorrow I have to end this thing with Broadsky. I have to stop him and I don't know how that's going to go or what that's going to mean, but I can't go into it without making sure you understand that no matter what else happens, you are that person to me. You are the one I love the most."
"I don't expect you to know what to say right now. I don't want you to say anything right now. If nothing else, I've learned surprising you about these things doesn't work to my advantage. But I needed you to know, just in case I don't get another chance to tell you."
"It's going to be dangerous for you tomorrow," she said.
"You could die, too."
He nodded. "Broadsky is good. One of the best. If that's his goal…it's a definite possibility."
"I…I don't…" her eyes filled with tears and her words were lost in a quiet sob.
"Hey, hey, hey. Don't forget, I'm good too, alright? Not one of the best, the best. If anyone can beat him it's me, okay? But I couldn't focus the way I need to without you knowing how I feel. It's important that no matter what, you know who and what you are to me."
"I know," she whispered.
"Good." He stood, wanting to give her time to process the things he'd told her. Even though he knew she probably wouldn't he said, "Go back to sleep, Bones. Tomorrow is going to be a long day."
He went back to his room, but found himself unable to completely close the door between them. Perhaps it was because there was nothing left to shut out. He'd laid everything on the table.
And now he felt more anxious that he had before. She wouldn't be the only one not sleeping. Had it been too much? Had he been wrong? Should he have kept it to himself? Would it be an unfair burden for her if something happened to him? What if she didn't feel the same, yet? What if she never got there? Was she still impervious? Did she dare shed the last of it?
He tossed and turned, unable to shake the thought that maybe he'd been wrong to tell her, yet equally unable to imagine not telling her. And it was too late to take it back; no way to undo it. It was out there now and he hoped he hadn't ruined everything they'd been building toward by letting Broadsky force his hand.
He'd almost decided he'd made a mistake when he saw a shadow in his doorway. He grabbed his gun and aimed it at the door.
"I'm…I'm sorry." Brennan's hands flew up in surrender.
"No, I'm sorry. Are you alright?"
"Do you want me to put the gun away?"
His heart beat pounded in his ears and he didn't know if it was adrenaline because of what had just happened or fear of what she might say. "What's wrong?" He asked, repeating her question to him from earlier in the night.
She crossed over to the bed, but stayed a step away from him. "I've been thinking and…I know, now, what I want to say to you."
"Bones, I told you, you don't have to say anything, okay?"
"By the same reasoning you gave me, I can't let you chase down Broadsky without knowing some things."
He took her hand and pulled her down beside him. "I'm listening," he said simply.
"I will always be afraid I'm not what you want."
She held up her free hand. "Let me finish."
He nodded and let her continue.
"I also find that I believe you when you say that I am what you want. I'm not impervious anymore and that means that if I agree to change what we are to each other right now, I risk losing everything we have."
He opened his mouth to speak, to tell her she would gain so much more than she would lose, but closed it again when he saw she wasn't finished.
"Conversely, what will happen if I don't take that chance? Will you tire of waiting for me? Will you give up?"
"No. I'm not going anywhere."
"But you can't say that. Not really. Even if it's not Broadsky, it could be someone or something else that prevents us from having a chance to find out what we can be."
He couldn't argue that.
"I cannot allow you to go after Broadsky without understanding that you are the person I love the most, as well."
"Yeah?" He was breathless and awed in the way one should be when handed a dream come true.
"Yes." She smiled the sweetest, most hesitant smile he'd ever seen. "And while I still don't know about 30 or 40 or 50 years, I find that I am ready to discover what comes next between us, now."
He smiled back at her. He felt dizzy, giddy and something else.
He felt whole.
He pulled her to him and fell back onto the bed all at once, cradling her in his arms, her head squarely on his chest.
"I'm having a hard time believing we're finally here."
"In your bed?"
He laughed. "That too, but that's not what I meant."
She turned in his embrace so that she was almost completely on her stomach and propped herself up on her forearms, still leaning into him. "I knew what you meant." Her voice was soft, her words, sweet and her face oh-so close to his.
"Bones, I…I think this is going somewhere."
Her eyes clouded in confusion for a split second before he saw understanding dawn. "Why do you think this is going somewhere?"
"I don't know. I feel like I'm going to kiss—"
Her lips were on his before he could finish. His hand flew to her face, cupping her cheek as they briefly lay frozen in a moment they'd both wanted for so long.
It was a soft kiss, sweet, not reminiscent of the kiss that followed the same words seven years before.
But it meant everything.
She pulled away and seemed to search his eyes. "Do you still think this is going somewhere?" She teased lightly.
"Yes, but Bones, you take the lead, okay? We'll do this at your pace."
"Good. " She grinned wickedly and Booth knew he's underestimated her once again. Once she was in, once she'd made up her mind, she never had any fear. There was no reason for this to be any different.
She found his lips again and when he returned the kiss, her lips parted and suddenly sweet and gentle was gone, and seven years of longing took over. Lips and tongues frantically tasting, fingers tracing, hands roaming, moans mingling. They only broke apart when the need to breathe had to trump everything else.
He rolled her underneath him, his sweatshirt so big on her it gapped at the neck and he took that chance to nip and suck at her pulse point.
"Oh, God," she breathed out, her body responding automatically by arching toward him.
He pulled back and looked at her. Her lips were swollen and a red blush slashed across her fair cheeks.
But in her eyes he saw his own feelings reflected back like he was looking in a mirror.
She really did love him.
She brought her hand to his face, tracing his jaw line with one finger. "Booth," she said, her finger tracing its way to the collar of his shirt. "Take it off," she commanded softly, hooking her finger under the soft fabric at his neck and giving it a tug.
He was happy to oblige. He sat up, his knees on either side of hers, and pulled the offending t-shirt over his head.
She sat up, too, still pinned beneath him, and peppered small kisses on his chest, her fingers splayed upon his ribs and abs.
"Bones." He said his name for her with reverence and when she looked up at him, he lunged forward, kissing her hard, dropping them both back onto the mattress.
He couldn't get enough of her. He tore his lips from hers and moved down, pushing the bottom of the sweatshirt up and laying a trail of soft kisses on her stomach, just above her waistband.
Her hands flew to his head, her fingers weaving into his hair as she trembled beneath his mouth.
He moved up her body, licking and savoring her skin, pushing the shirt up as he went. His thumbs brushed the underside of her breasts, causing her to moan a breathy plea.
"Please." She crossed her arms and grabbed the shirt, yanking it over her head and tossing it to the floor.
Her breasts were full and perfect and as he weighed one, palming it and kneading it and cupping it in his hand, his mouth found the other, laving her taut pink bud with his tongue.
"God, you taste good." He murmured, his hot breath on her wet nipple causing it to tighten further. "I want to lick every inch of you."
She whimpered in reply and he ran his tongue to her other breast and began to suck and nip at it, a low, guttural sound tearing from his throat as her hips began to buck into him.
Her hands were exploring him, mapping the muscles she could reach as he bit down gently on her nipple than eased the sting with his tongue.
"Oh, god, Booth. I need you. Please…I…please…"
He captured her lips and she grabbed his ass, holding him against her as she ground against him.
"Jesus…Bones." The intensity of it all was overwhelming. He'd never, ever wanted anyone more than he wanted her. "I don't think I can wait anymore."
"Then don't. " She hooked her fingers around his waistbands and pushed down the sweatpants and his boxers all at once, freeing his erection. When she couldn't push them down any further, he took over, shedding them quickly. He made quick work of her panties, too, trailing his fingers down her legs as he removed them.
Every skin to skin contact was a spark and there was nothing left between them to keep them from igniting.
He felt a tug on his arm, a silent request and he brought his face up to hers, searching her eyes for what she needed.
"Everything will change," she whispered.
"No." He shook his head. "Just this. I've loved you all this time, Bones. Now I'm just allowed to prove it to you."
"Booth." She kissed him, soft and long and sweet and as he lined himself up with her center, his tip penetrating her slightly, his name became a free falling chant from her lips. "BoothBoothBoothBoothBooth."
He filled her completely, burying himself inside her as she welcomed him by lifting her hips to take him in.
"Oh, god!" She gasped. "Oh, that feels…" words left her, the feelings and emotions overwhelming her.
"Perfect," he said, as he began to move. "You are so perfect."
There wasn't any more talking then, just the sounds of two people coming together so deliciously that words escaped them.
Gasps and moans filled the air. He nipped at her breasts and collarbone then dropped his face into her neck as he pumped into her, just needing every part of him to be close to her. She clamped her thighs tight against him, gripping him with her hands, urging him on, matching him thrust for thrust.
He knew they were both about to fall when a low moan rang out into the air and he couldn't be sure if it was hers or his. Their pace was becoming frantic, desperate, the need for release, urgent.
"Oh! Yes!" She tipped into her spiral of bliss, pulling her with him as her core began to clench and pull around him.
"Bones!" He yelled for her as he came, shooting hot and hard inside of her as she began to quake beneath him.
It took a long time to catch their breath.
It took longer to find their voices.
But it wouldn't take them any more time to find their happiness.
Seven years was long enough.