I. The Solution That Wasn't
Sex had never been their problem, it was a solution.
When he saw her face to face for the first time in three months, the answer to all his questions was burying himself deep and even deeper in her body, sinking into sweet oblivion until nothing did hurt anymore. But... the questions remained. And so did the problem.
"I knew you'd come."
Pale blue eyes, eyes he knew so well, looking up at him under blond strands of hair. She smelled different, looked different, seemed different, but his body recognized her sweet curves beneath him, muscles and flesh crying out in pure relief, and the instant his lips melted against hers, her legs parted to accommodate him.
"Because you love me."
He loved her, loved her, loved her, with body and soul, with hope and despair. With every beat of his heart, his big, bruised heart. Loved her.
She tasted like she always had. Another piece of familiarity in the otherwise foreign motel room.
Her hands clutched his biceps – yes, he had been working out, Baby – and he lowered himself to her even further, crushing her without caring, but neither did she. She was strong, had gotten even stronger, but she was softer as well.
And, on the rough carpet in someone else's room, he pushed home.
The problem was something else. Not sex. He could still scoop her up in his arms, reconnect with her body, listen to her moans. His body knew hers, knew it so well. Kiss her, lick her, open that button, undo the clasp of her bra, suck her breasts, open the zipper, stroke her damp heat, push into her, hear her gasp, feel the silken grip of her inner muscles, move and move and shatter. Feel good. Until everything comes back.
"I am so sorry..."
The mattress wasn't hard enough, the bathroom light too bright. Her hair wasn't right and he had never seen the robe she was wearing. She had lost weight, precious baby weight, and her breasts weren't lactating anymore. He had noticed it with a sharp rush of loss. His gaze fell to her bare feet, and they were walking towards him. The mattress shifted under her weight.
"Booth... You must be angry. And... hurt," she whispered, and he squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head.
Darkness behind him, the future yet unwritten, she was the only thing bright, the only thing wonderful, and he did not want to walk into the darkness with her. So he took her in his arms for the second time since he had found her. Kissed her, untied her robe, rolled on top of her.
She kissed him back, her arms cradling him, and, once again, her legs opened for him. And it was warm again.
Sex was reassuring. And simple. He was the man, she was the woman. It was love, of course, between the two of them, it would always be, but it was something else as well.
And when he pinned her to the wall, tied her to their bed with silky scarfs, it was even more. Did she recognize his sudden need to restrain her? If so, she didn't mention it. Never, not once did she say "no" to him, no matter how late it was or how early. No matter what he wanted to do with her. Or where. She was always... open. So open. As if nothing had changed. But... the problem was: Something had changed. She had. He had. Time had.
And the baby had.
In distress, Christine turned to her mother. Shied away from him. In the morning, Brennan made breakfast. At night, she sang songs to their daughter he had never heard before.
The problem was that he had lost three months. Booth had lost his family once, and despite it having been nothing but a dream, adjusting had been hard. Then he had lost his family a second time, and now they were back, but something was still lost. Something he couldn't grasp, so he grasped the one thing he could. Brennan. Not once did she say "no".
Her mouth opened on a gasp, as he sucked the skin above her pulse point. Underneath her, the washing machine had just begun its spin cycle, and, between her legs, he was moving in and out of her.
He was using sex to avoid talking, she had realized that by now, and, as he was pushing into her over and over again, Brennan felt truly helpless for the first time in three months.
Her body reacted to him, like always, and he was hard but gentle, dominating her with soft strength. But he was... dominating her. Opening her eyes, she regarded his beloved face, finding his gaze on her, and something... something was wrong. There was darkness in him that did not belong there, darkness that hadn't existed in their home before.
Lifting her hand, she caressed his stubbly cheek, and he leaned into her touch with an almost wistful smile.
There was a problem that sex could not solve, and, as he buried his face in her shoulder, she held him in a tight embrace, just because she didn't know what else to do. She wanted to fix this, needed to. She couldn't allow him this shallow kind of solace anymore. He needed more. And so did she.
Not once did she say "no". Until she did.
To be continued…