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Bones Fic: If My Heart Was A Compass, You'd Be North
B/B Mirror Mirror on the Wall - lerdo
only_more_love

Title: If My Heart Was A Compass, You'd Be North
Characters: Booth, Brennan
Rating:
PG-13
Spoilers:
Through 4x21 (Mayhem On A Cross)
Disclaimer:
Bones and its characters belong to FOX, not me. This story is purely meant to entertain. No copyright infringement is intended.
Story Notes:
This was written in response to the Bones Episode Tag Meme. Prompt: Mayhem on a Cross, Booth/Brennan, what happened after dinner with Gordon and Sweets?
Summary:  He slips too often with her, his control, his intentions, the things he never planned on saying spilling like water over the lip of a too-full cup.
Word Count:  1403
Thanks for reading, and if you leave feedback, thanks for that as well.

Click here for fic index.

***

If My Heart Was A Compass, You'd Be North

Gordon Gordon and Sweets left together half an hour ago, the former singing a medley of Noddy Comet tunes while the latter accompanied him on air guitar, head bobbing and fingers enthusiastically plucking imaginary chords. Sweets had paused at the front door and tried to thank him, but Booth had waved it off, biting back a grin as he took in his flushed cheeks, courtesy of a little too much wine and, surprisingly, even more laughter.

"What are we, the land of misfit toys?"

Grudgingly, Booth admits that maybe that is what they are -- himself included. And if he's honest about it, the kid, duckling, or whatever the hell he is, fits in just fine.

Now, Booth stands next to Brennan in his kitchen. Hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder, they wash dishes against a muted backdrop of running water and tangled thoughts.

Alone again. Just the two of them. Somehow everything seems to end that way lately. Or maybe it's always been that way, and he's just getting around to noticing it.

With the buffer of the two shrinks gone, it's impossible to avoid thinking about the things he's spent the entire night trying not to think about. He sneaks a glance at Brennan. Strange shadows paint her face, and suddenly he wants to pull her closer to the light so he can see her. Really see her.

Stifling the urge the way he stifles so many urges when it comes to the woman standing next to him, Booth continues to stare at her instead. Long strands of hair slide to brush her jaw and lower, as she looks down at the bowl she is drying with a striped dishcloth. She dries dishes the same way she does everything else: with absolute focus and attention to detail. He likes that about his partner, more so than he ever thought he would.

He likes a lot of things about her.

Night sounds filter in through the open windows. The bleat of a car horn; gusts of laughter that fade as a group of guys cruise down his block and turn a corner; a siren on a bus. His stomach clenches at that last sound. It never means anything good.

Glimpsing Brennan's hand, Booth tries not to flinch when their fingers brush as he passes her one last spoon. "You should have told me," he says, the words rushing to fill the heavy space between them. That isn't what he meant to say; his voice comes out rougher than he'd like, the statement bordering on accusation. He slips too often with her, his control, his intentions, the things he never planned on saying spilling like water over the lip of a too-full cup.

"Told you what?" Her forehead creases as she turns to face him.

"About what your foster parents did to you." After switching off the faucet, he shakes his wet hands above the sink, setting off a spray of water droplets. "About how they locked you in the trunk of their car."

The casual shrug of her shoulders makes his hands clench into fists. "It never seemed relevant before."

"It never seemed relevant... What the hell, Bones?" He angles his body toward her, crowding her. "What about when you and Hodgins nearly suffocated to death in a car? You didn't think about mentioning it then?" He runs a hand over his jaw, palm catching on stubble. "Damn it," he says, index finger jabbing the air, "you should have told me."

Chin raised in that way he's always admired, even -- or especially -- when she's pissed him off, she returns his gaze without blinking or retreating. "The way you told me about your father?"

He jerks back. "It's not the same." Swallowing the angry words that spring to his lips, he takes a deep breath. Letting his shoulders slump, he looks away and clears his throat. "I deserve that," he says, voice low. "You're right."

He watches her neatly fold the dishcloth into thirds lengthwise and hang it on the oven door. "I don't want to be right, Booth." When she turns to face him again, her arms are folded over her chest. "But for years you've insisted that partners should share personal details of their lives. You've pushed me over and over again to share those metaphorical scars on my back with you, yet it doesn't seem that you've reciprocated to the same degree."

"You're right," he says, and the last bit of anger leaves him. He gets now that his anger was misdirected to begin with. He wasn't angry at her -- he was angry for her. He has a moment of double vision: the nightmare image of Bones trapped in that car underground melds with a picture of the scared teenager she must have been, locked in the trunk of her foster parents' car. For what? All because she'd broken a dish while trying to help clean up. She wasn't clumsy, just human. Nothing more, nothing less.

"Seeley Booth, get your butt down here right now."

Booth nearly tripped as he made his way down the stairs to the living room, where his father waited.

“Son, did you steal a pack of cigarettes from my desk?”

He cut a glance at the corner sofa, where his brother’s head just peeked out. Their gazes met; Jared looked away first, tucking himself further into the shadows behind the couch.

Swallowing, Booth stared at the brown carpet at his feet. “Yes.” He’d never even smoked a cigarette.

“Speak up, boy, I can’t hear you.”

His father jerked his chin up with one big hand. A sharp pain sliced through Booth’s neck as his head was forced back. Trembling a little, he met his father’s eyes directly. “Yes, sir. I did.”

Trying to ignore the muffled sobs coming from the other side of the room, he looked back at the carpet as he heard the click and slide of his father’s belt being pulled from its loops.

"I'm sorry," he says. "I was being a hypocrite. Some things are hard to talk about, I guess. That’s why what you did today... What you did for Sweets when you told him what happened to you... You did a good thing, Bones. You did something I wasn't willing to do."

"But you told him about your grandfather."

"Yeah, but only because you wanted me to."

"Perhaps the motive isn't important."

"And maybe it is."

A cool breeze rattles the blinds, and for a long, silent moment Booth looks at Brennan -- and really sees her. He swallows, hard, against the sudden fullness in his chest and throat. "I'm sorry, Bones."

"For what?" she asks, eyebrows raised.

"For every time I've told you you're weird or creepy or bad with people." Heat zigzags a path of shame up the back of his neck. "You're not any of those things." Just human.

“There’s no need to apologize,“ she says, shaking her head, letting him off the hook. But he isn’t ready to do that himself. Not yet, anyway. “I know quite well where my strengths lie, and it isn’t in human interaction.”

As gently as he can, Booth cups her shoulders. “That’s not true, Bones. Sure, sometimes you say things I might put in a slightly different way.” His grin softens any sting his words might carry, and it widens as she narrows her eyes at him in mock indignation. “But you’ve got heart, Bones. You care about what happens to people. You proved that tonight, and it wasn‘t the first time.” He lets his hands travel down her arms until his fingers fit easily into the spaces between hers.

Her hands are a lot of things -- elegant, strong, and methodical as they work to return dignity and identity to people who have been robbed of both. But clumsy? Never.

“And screw what your foster parents told you,” he says, raising their joined hands and placing them over her heart, mirroring the way she returned his handkerchief earlier that night. “You’re not clumsy.”

A warm smile lights his partner’s face, and Booth thinks he just caught a glimpse of what a young Temperance Brennan might have looked like. The thought brings an answering smile to his face as he tugs her forward, curving his arms around her until he can feel her breathing against him.



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I'm so glad that you found a prompt to write about! This Fic is excellent, I loved this particular phrase:

"...raising their joined hands and placing them over her heart, mirroring the way she returned his handkerchief earlier that night."

Ah, it kills me. I'm so picturing it in my head!

It broke my heart when she told Booth and Sweets about the dishes incident. Amazing how Emily changes tones and makes you feel the characters pain all in one second.

Thanks a lot, Sofi. *hugs*

Yes, ED is truly a fine actress. ♥


This is sublime. I wish that would happen in the show - the apologies, the realizations, the small intimacies.

So happy you liked this, R. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to let me know that. *hugs*

I wish that would happen in the show

*wishes along with you*

"What about when you and Hodgins nearly suffocated to death in a car? You didn't think about mentioning it then?"

Good point. I like that you helped fill in the continuity gaps with this fic.

Thank you. :) Glad this worked for you as a fill-in-the-gaps story.

Oh...this is so lovely.

I keep wondering if the oft-repeated claim that she was clumsy or awkward and gawky and uncoordinated is based in the reality of someone who grew too fast or if it was all lies that she internalized...or something somewhere in between.

LOVELY memory from Booth, chilling and well-done. Gorgeous descriptions of Brennan and her hands and detail and heart and the lift of her chin. I LOVE the way she confronts him...and her "I don't want to be right."

So gorgeous.

I keep wondering if the oft-repeated claim that she was clumsy or awkward and gawky and uncoordinated is based in the reality of someone who grew too fast or if it was all lies that she internalized...or something somewhere in between.

Oh, ITA - especially as she's tall - nearly 6' in heels.

Yep...and someone can have incredible fine-fine motor acumen without the gross motor acumen...especially during the growth process, and especially if they sprout SO fast--as most very tall girls/women do--and add many inches in a short period of time.

At the same time, I wonder if her sense of herself as "awkward" was, in part, due to (or reinforced by) cruelties from other kids, foster parents, others, when she was so vulnerable as a teen and didn't have folks who cared enough (or knew enough) to point out that this was a NORMAL STAGE.

I suspect that her martial arts training--in addition to being due to her experiences in the system--was her way of losing that awkward gawkiness of being too long, too tall, and growing too fast.

(Spoken as someone who as wearing women's size 7 shoes at age 9 and was 5'6" by age 12.)

the song in bones season 4 mayhem on a cross

(Anonymous)
I know that the song is actually from blue shoes - better but do anyone know which band was used to perform that song in bones coz it sounds a lot different ... it sounds like a guy is singing in the episode end and it sounds really good .... the tempo is more than the original song ... an insight to this matter would be really helpful thank you :D

Re: the song in bones season 4 mayhem on a cross

Uh, sorry, don't have any info for you.

I so desperately needed this today... Thank you.

Beautiful fill-in-the-blank. Oh, HH, why can't you show us these scenes, too?

This: He slips too often with her, his control, his intentions, the things he never planned on saying spilling like water over the lip of a too-full cup. Ah yes: he struggles with it, every. single. day.

I have always loved the way you write these two. This is beautiful and lovely. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

And, again, I don't see no rust. :o)

ETA: And look at you, it's your birthday, but we're the ones who get the present. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Edited at 2009-08-05 01:11 pm (UTC)

Lovely, as always. And very true to the characters and their insecurities.

Thanks and Happy Birthday !

Thats would have been a much better ending to that episode. And it was wonderfully written as always.

Oh and happy birthday. Hope you have a good day.

You're writing!!! Hurray Hurray!!! You may feel rusty, but it certainly doesn't show here. This s beautiful and poignant and perfect. I love that you have Booth realizing that he holds back and even understanding where his anger truly comes from. And when he slips his fingers between hers? Gah - I just about melted. Such a good job!!

This is an absolutely beautiful piece of fiction. You always do such an amazing job capturing Booth and Brennen, and this fic is no exception to that. Good job. :)

Oh, thank you so very much! I'm beyond happy that you thought this captured Booth and Brennan. <3

Thank you very much. I'm happy you thought so. :)

I have evolved from being a lurker to a hunter.
I hunt for fanfics by ... you.
LOVE your deft handling of language, of emotion, of these two characters.
You are soooooooo good.
This was so ... you: touching, true, perfect.
Thank you.

Oh my goodness. I'm overwhelmed by your comments. You are too kind -- and I can't thank you enough for your generosity. ♥ It's the best feeling in the world, knowing that someone enjoyed something that I wrote. Thank you so very much.

P.S.
I'm glad you de-lurked. :) I promise I'm harmless.

Edited at 2009-09-14 11:08 pm (UTC)

This was the perfect nightcap. Thank you very much

Glad you enjoyed it. :) Thanks for letting me know that you did.

THIS! This is why I read your fic because you make connections that the Bones writers either don't have the time to or fail to notice like the similarity between being locked in a car trunk and locked in a car buried underground! YES! YES! YES!!

This: A cool breeze rattles the blinds, and for a long, silent moment Booth looks at Brennan -- and really sees her. He swallows, hard, against the sudden fullness in his chest and throat. "I'm sorry, Bones." is just so poignant and the end with the mirroring of the hand movements, very very very nice!

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