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Fic: Proximity (1/2)
Like Kissing Your Brother - fan_cifully
only_more_love

Title: Proximity (1/2)
Word Count: 1588
Timeline:
Takes place after The Santa in the Slush
Spoilers: Through The Santa in the Slush.
Summary:  An unexpected sight raises some unsettling issues in Brennan's mind.
Characters:  Booth, Brennan
Rating:  PG-13
Feedback: is always appreciated. If criticizing, please be constructive.
Notes: This grew out of a ficlet of the same name in All That Lies Between Us. I've been debating posting this for a few weeks.

Click here for fic index.
Click here for Ch. 2


When Brennan peered into Angela's office, it took her eyes a moment to adjust to the dim light. A rustle and a soft laugh attracted her gaze. Her friend was seated, and Hodgins stood in front of her, his head bent. They didn't touch, but there was something undeniably intimate about the scene.

Heat flooded Brennan’s cheeks; she had no desire to intrude upon a quiet moment that had nothing to do with her. Her question could wait. As quietly as she could, she backed out of the doorway before they noticed and commented upon her presence.

Unsettled, she rushed down the hall toward her office. A hand on her shoulder startled her, and she whipped around, muscles tensed.

"Whoa, hey, Bones. Relax, it's just me." Booth stood behind her, hands raised in a gesture of surrender. But he was close--close enough that she could smell his aftershave, cologne, or whatever good-smelling concoction he had sprayed on himself. His physical proximity drew her mind back to Angela and Hodgins, and she stepped away. Had Booth always stood this close to her? If so, why hadn't she noticed it before?

His gaze danced over her face, sharpening as it lingered on her cheeks, and she knew he saw the flush. An almost effervescent sensation rose in her stomach, and her brain rushed with questions, with flashes of Angela and Hodgins, and of Booth standing outside with a brightly lit Christmas tree she hadn't asked for, and that kiss that really, truly didn't mean anything. Something was happening to her, and she didn't like it, and Booth was looking at her with a frown of concern, and she really couldn’t deal with this--whatever this was--right now.

So she did the only thing she could: she strode away from Booth, ignoring his surprised exclamation, and headed toward the ladies' bathroom--where he most assuredly wouldn't follow her.


Booth stood frozen as he watched Brennan fly past him like the fate of the Jeffersonian depended on her being elsewhere. "Bones!" he called out.

She didn't give any indication that she'd heard him. Well, except for the rapidly increasing speed of her footsteps. First she jumped when he put his hand on her shoulder, and now she was ignoring him. It had to be something big. Sighing, he took off after her.

Of course. Had to be the bathroom. Just his luck. He put his ear against the door and then knocked. No answer. Not that he really expected one. He knocked again and then pushed the door open just a crack. "Bones?" he said in a semi-whisper. "If you don't come out here and tell me what's going on, I'm coming in after you."

"You wouldn't dare," she replied.

"Watch me." Straightening, he looked down at his watch. "You've got one minute."

With ten seconds left, he smoothed a hand over his tie and took a deep breath. Clearly it was too much to expect that she’d make it easy for him just this one time and come out herself.

Time was up; he was going in.

God, he really hoped no one else was in there. When did following women into the bathroom become part of his job description? Life used to be so much simpler before this crazy (gorgeous, infuriating) woman became his partner. Maybe he was in this situation because he hadn’t made it to church in a couple weeks. “I’m sorry,” he mouthed silently with a quick upward glance.

He poked the door with just the tips of his fingers, like it might bite him. It swung open with a cheerful creak. Great. Now the bathroom door was laughing at him.

Booth stepped inside, angling his head down to check for shoes under the stall doors. Only one pair. Good. His shoulders relaxed a fraction. "Bones, are you ok?"

"Go away, Booth. I'm fine." If he weren’t so worried about her, he would have laughed at the petulance in her voice.

"If you're fine, why are you hiding in the bathroom?"

"I am not hiding."

"No? What exactly would you call this?"

Silence. "I needed room."

"Room to do what, Bones? Can we please cut to the chase here? I can’t spend all day in the women’s bathroom, even if it is way nicer than the men’s." It really was much nicer than the men’s bathroom. The sinks and the mirrors gleamed, and what looked like a little air freshener thingy clung to the wall.

“That’s not my problem. I didn’t ask you to follow me in here.”

“Yeah. Sure. Whatever. Like I was just going to stand there while you ignored me and ran into the bathroom like you’d just discovered a mass grave in here.” A muffled sniff echoed through the bathroom, setting Booth's teeth on edge. "Are you crying?"

"No." Another sniff.

Sighing, he scrubbed both his hands over his face. "This is ridiculous. Will you please come out here so I don't have to talk to the door? Whatever it is, we'll handle it."

The lock clicked and the hinges creaked as the stall door slowly opened. Brennan stepped out, gaze turned downward.

Taking in her puffy, pink nose and red-rimmed eyes, Booth automatically moved in and grasped Brennan's shoulders, feeling the worry tumble over into panic. "Why are you crying? Is something wrong with Russ? Did something happen with your dad?"

"What? No.” She yanked herself free of his grasp, eyes narrowed and mouth pinched. "These are tears of anger, not sadness."

"Ok," he said, scratching his jaw. His other hand drifted to his hip. At least now he knew that she was pissed. They were making progress—kind of. "So who are you mad at?"

"You. And Caroline--"

"Me? What did I do?" He quickly scanned his memory for anything he might recently have done to offend her but came up empty. He hadn’t tried to sneak a peek at her latest manuscript. He hadn’t touched any of her lab equipment. He hadn’t let Zack run off to another war zone. He’d even let her drive recently. Once. Maybe?

"This is your fault,” she said, jabbing her index finger at him and making him very glad it was nowhere near his eye.

"My fault? I just got here. I haven't even had time to get on your nerves yet." This could get out of control pretty fast. What would he do if she started refusing to go out in the field again?

"You're... You're such a man! Why do you always stand so close to me? People need space. I need space." Brennan gestured wildly, and the instinct for self-preservation forced Booth back a couple inches. "Why was Caroline feeling puckish? I was perfectly happy without her puckishness and voyeuristic tendencies and... Can't you smell like decaying flesh? That way I wouldn't notice you and... You push and you push and you make me so angry!"

She was talking way too fast for him to really digest anything she was saying, but she was clearly pissed off, and man was he glad she didn't have a gun right now. "Bones," he said, shifting nervously, "are you... I mean, do you have...PMS?" The last word came out as a squeak. Booth cleared his throat, already regretting asking the question as Brennan’s eyes narrowed and her cheeks flushed a violent shade of red that could only mean he was in deep shit.

"PMS? I'll show you PMS." Before he had time to react, Brennan snatched a roll of toilet paper off the sink and lobbed it at his head. "Pompous"--she threw another roll, but it missed him and landed on the tiled floor, where it started to unwind--"arrogant--"

"Handsome?" he added helpfully, holding his arms up as a shield.

"--man!" She tossed one last roll at him before crossing her arms over her chest.

He was laughing, she was furious, and what did he have to lose anyway? "Bones, I've already had to arrest you once; do you really want me to arrest you now for assaulting a federal officer?"

"You'd like that, wouldn't you--putting me in handcuffs?" A knowing smile kicked up the corners of Brennan's mouth and Booth swallowed; he’d walked right into that one.

Ok, so he'd thought about it. Only once or twice, though. And only after that weird case with the people pretending to be horses. What the hell was that about, anyway? He still didn't get it. But the cuffs, well, maybe... “Whoa. No. Definitely not. ‘Cause that would just be”—the words stilled as Brennan stepped closer—“wrong.”

Brennan’s smile disappeared and her expression turned serious. He braced himself as he sensed the beginning of another mood swing. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong, Booth. What’s wrong is you confusing things. What’s wrong is you bringing me—us—that tree.”

“Is that what this is about? I thought you liked that tree.”

“Whether I liked it or not is beside the point, Booth. What I want to know is why you gave it to me.”

“Bones…”

“Don’t ‘Bones’ me. You followed me in here; you deserve whatever you get.” She arched an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest. “So tell me, Booth, why did you bring me that tree?”

Wonderful; they were going to have this conversation in the ladies’ bathroom. Blinking, Booth made a mental note to go to church next Sunday.

Maybe her having a gun wouldn’t have been so bad after all.

Click here for Ch. 2

The mysteries of why Booth and Brennan can't stand five feet away from each other and are always sitting close or standing close.

We don't get to hear why? Oh noes.

lol they were funny together. Nice job.

lol @ a 'PMS'ing Brennan. And of course Booth would be having naughty thoughts of Brennan in handcuffs ;)

I think you should continue this :)

*is rolling on the floor giggling*
I think it'd be awesome if you did continue it, but you gotta do what works for you. Even if you don't I 'm still going to have the priceless mental image of Brennan hurling toilet paper at Booth, even if I do think she might be PMS-ing a little ;)

It’s funny and really, really awesome, as always.

Maybe he was in this situation because he hadn’t made it to church in a couple weeks. "I’m sorry," he mouthed silently with a quick upward glance.
Bwhahahahahaha Poor Booth, he won’t never understand Brennan’s mysterious mind.

And she is delicious, she feels lost because she is completely in love with Booth *sigh*

"You'd like that, wouldn't you--putting me in handcuffs?"
[…]
Ok, so he'd thought about it. Only once or twice, though. And only after that weird case with the people pretending to be horses.

Yes!!! I could read that. Ok, actually I read that yesterday and… omg!!! I liked it *lol*

Besos

I know I've already reviewed over at ff.net, but just wanted to add how much this stands out on re-reading:

His gaze danced over her face, sharpening as it lingered on her cheeks, and she knew he saw the flush. An almost effervescent sensation rose in her stomach, and her brain rushed with questions, with flashes of Angela and Hodgins, and of Booth standing outside with a brightly lit Christmas tree she hadn't asked for, and that kiss that really, truly didn't mean anything. Something was happening to her, and she didn't like it, and Booth was looking at her with a frown of concern, and she really couldn’t deal with this--whatever this was--right now.

Gorgeous!

Loved the hubby snoring music btw :)


Whatever it is, we'll handle it."

Oh, Booth, you knight in FBI-standard-issue body armor, you. Sigh.

I loved this. I think it captured both of them perfectly. I could just see this with my mind's eye. Good job.

If things fall into place for you to continue this, that would be wonderful; there are questions still to be answered, and this does a great job of leading up to them. But if you don't, it's able to stand on its own. We don't always get all the answers we want, after all, and that doesn't take away the fact that this is a great piece of writing.

Oh, I hope you continue because this is very good and I wanna know what happens next!

I totally love the image of Booth following Bones into the ladies room and I loved the whole handcuffs conversation :)

UM.

I vote you continue.

...!

Please?

(PS, I'm kind of a lurker, but I read all your Bone's fics. :))

Like Brennan, I want an answer, so please continue.

PLEASE CONTINUE!!! This is one of my favorite of your fanfic's! *squeals like a fangirl* Seriously Lerdo, you're always great but sometimes you exceed your greatness and become AMAZING. Which is what you've done with this story and you must continue because it was just that awesome!

Wonderful as always. I can see Brennan starting to put the pieces together and going "Oh, no! This is NOT happening to me! NOT! NOT! NOT! Oh, sh&t, yes it is."

And the whole bathroom, handcuffs, toilet paper thing. ROFLMAO. But it got serious again pretty quick. So...do we get to hear the conversation in the ladies room? Gun probably would be easier...

*pokes head out of lurkerland*
I just wanted to say that... I love nearly all of your work. I have most of your completed stories bookmarked for future pimping. You always managed to write dialog for B/B that seems perfectly in tune with canon, despite how shippy/schmoopy the story may be (not a bad thing!). And when the rest of my fandom interests can do nothing to bring a smile to my face, I know I just have to go look up your fic index. :) Just thought I'd share that.

Also, going to echo other commentors: I'd love to see a continuation, but I also think this is rather cute on its own.

Not sure whether I'll continue this or not.
Uhm... What?? :-O Please please PLEASE continue this one! Pretty please? God, this was another amazing fic! You know, so far yours are the only fics that I could actually see happening on TV. I does already play in my mind and it looks soooo good *sigh* You make me miss BB so much, it's not even funny anymore lol Still, I hope you'll continue this fic :) Please? ;)

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