No need to be anybody but oneself. (only_more_love) wrote,
No need to be anybody but oneself.

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Fic: Unwell (9/9) [Now COMPLETE]

Title: Unwell (9/9)
Chapter: 9
Chapter Title: A thousand rainy days since we first met
Characters: Brennan, Booth
Rating: PG-13
Summary: "Yup, the mighty Temperance Brennan was sick."
Disclaimer: Bones and its characters belong to FOX, not me. This story is purely meant to entertain. No copyright infringement is intended.
Timeline: This takes place after Season 3, Episode 4 (The Secret in the Soil).  Some spoilers for that ep.
Notes:  This story is now complete.  *does the dance of joy*

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Click here for other chapters of Unwell.

Chapter Title: A thousand rainy days since we first met

Early morning light caught somewhere between white and gray seeped in through the half-open blinds, snaring his attention. Sighing, Booth turned to glare at his bedside clock. Usually, he floated to consciousness just before his alarm went off. Today it was 5:30 and he was already awake -- too awake. A heavy feeling settled in his stomach; he swallowed and pillowed both hands beneath his head, staring up at the ceiling until his eyes went dry from not blinking.

Mondays typically weren’t his favorite day of the week, and he had a feeling this one would suck even more than usual. When he’d left work on Friday, he’d had no idea what the weekend would bring. Even if he’d speculated, he couldn’t have predicted that a desire to head to the diner for chocolate chip pancakes with his partner on a sunny Saturday morning would lead to him telling her she was one of the few people he lived for.

It had all happened so fast. Actually, no, it hadn’t happened fast at all. “It” had been happening for a long time, hadn’t it? He just hadn’t admitted his feelings, even to himself, until that weekend.

Remembering Brennan’s small smile as she stepped back inside her apartment, Booth winced. He was supposed to be done gambling, but here he’d gone and made a huge bet on Brennan and her feelings for him. He knew – he just knew – her feelings for him weren’t any more platonic than his were for her. The kiss alone told him that. He also knew he’d never met a more stubborn woman than Temperance Brennan. If she decided she didn’t want to get involved with him, and man, did that thought sting, that would be the end of that. She’d keep dating everyone but him, they’d keep solving crimes, and he’d try to pretend she was just another colleague.

When Seeley Booth crashed and burned, he did it with style.

Better start buying some new socks and ties, Seeley.

Heaving a sigh, Booth gave up on falling back asleep. Throwing back his blanket, he climbed out of bed and prepared to face the day.

Around 3:00 on Tuesday, Booth trudged into the break room for his fifth cup of coffee. He’d had a bad night; thinking about Brennan had kept him up most of the night. Sweet caffeine truly was the only thing keeping him awake at the moment. Yawning, he grabbed the pot and filled his mug. After stirring in some half and half, he reached for two packets of sugar. Thinking better of it, he snagged a third. Sugar and coffee were the next best thing to a caffeine IV drip, he thought with a shrug.

Ripping the sugar packets open one after the other, he dumped them into his mug and gave a brisk stir, watching the steam rise and curl in the air. Taking a deep breath, he inhaled the comforting scent. He raised the mug for his first sip, already feeling a bit more alert.

“Agent Booth,” a voice barked directly behind him.

Startled, Booth dropped the mug. It shattered – spilling hot, sweet, milky coffee all over the floor – and splashing a healthy amount on his pants. “Shit,” he muttered.

“In my office. Now,” Cullen said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. He scowled at Booth, his eyes narrowed. “And clean that up.”

Booth’s shoulders sagged. “Yes, sir.” Stepping over the mess on the floor, he picked up a roll of paper towels and bent to wipe up the spill.

So much for coffee.

Wednesday limped by. Every time Booth’s cell rang he snatched it up to check the caller ID. Every single person he knew seemed to call him that day. Everyone but the person he most wanted to hear from.

When a glance at his watch told him it was 8:00 PM, he set his cell on his desk and stared at it for a good five minutes, willing it to ring. Of course, nothing happened. Tired and hungry, he pushed back his chair and snapped up his suit jacket.

Sitting behind the wheel of his car, he realized he didn’t know where to go. Wednesday nights usually found him having dinner at the diner with Brennan. Since he’d promised to give her plenty of space to make a decision about their future, that was totally out of the question.

At a loss, he drove toward the diner. D.C.’s lights winked as he rolled by. Usually the sight would have made him smile. Tonight it did nothing but remind him that his favorite forensic anthropologist didn’t occupy the passenger seat.

The smell of frying food hit him as soon as he stepped inside the diner. Instead of increasing his hunger, it killed his appetite. He quickly left, the bell over the door tinkling upon his exit. Neither pizza nor Chinese nor Indian sounded appealing. He settled for going home and munching on a soggy bowl of cereal in front of the TV.

When he went to bed, he had no idea what he'd watched. The only thing he saw was Brennan shaking her head and laughing at something he'd said from across a table at the diner, the lab, Wong Foo's, and every other place that felt like theirs now.

Booth spent most of Thursday at the Bureau’s Islamic cultural sensitivity training workshop, wondering why he wasn’t out doing his job instead. Thankfully, the session finally ended around 5:00.

Jacobs stuck his head into Booth’s office later that evening. Hanging off the doorjamb, he said, “We’re heading out to Dooley’s for a drink. You coming?”

“Not tonight, man.” Booth nodded at the papers strewn across his desk. “Too much shit to catch up on. You go. Have one on me,” he said, trying for a smile.

“You work too much,” Jacobs said, shaking his head. Backing out of the doorway, he pointed a finger at Booth. “If you change your mind, I think we’ll be down there for a while. Remember, it’s Thursday – that hot blonde’ll probably be there.” He winked.

Booth shook his head and laughed. He knew exactly which blonde Jacobs was talking about. Legs to infinity and a rack to match; he just couldn’t muster any interest at the moment. “Have fun.”

“Later.” Jacobs walked away, and Booth dropped his head into his hands. Totally whipped. Yup, he was totally, disgustingly whipped.

Booth waited till he saw most of the guys leave. Then he snuck out of the building.

Thursday night, and Brennan still hadn’t called. No case, either, so he didn’t have an excuse to see her. Thinking of her smile and the way she slipped her hair into that no-nonsense ponytail before she got down to work, he drove toward her apartment.

When he got there, he couldn’t make himself go in. Yeah, he might be whipped, but she didn’t need to know that. She didn’t need to know that going four days without seeing her or at least hearing her voice made everything feel just slightly off. Instead, he idled outside for a few minutes. The lights at her place were off. Knowing her, she was still crouched over some bones at the lab.

With the rest of a long night yawning before him, Booth pulled away from the curb and drove to the gym. He hit the weights first – benching, chinning, and dipping until his upper body trembled with muscle fatigue. Then he jumped on a treadmill, upping both the incline and the speed. His feet pounded the machine with each step.

Sucking air into his lungs, he ran till he got a cramp in his calf. The treadmill shuddered to an abrupt halt when he yanked the emergency stop key. Chest heaving and shirt drenched through with sweat, he welcomed the burn in his calf; it meant he could finally focus on something besides the pretty, intelligent, and infuriating woman who’d grown to be more than his partner, more than a professional responsibility.

Maybe a man like him didn't deserve a woman like her: he still wanted her.

Unfortunately, the cramp in his calf faded. After he left the gym, showered and ate, Booth had another sleepless night. First his bed felt too cold, so he pulled out another blanket. Then it felt too hot, so he kicked off both blankets. He spent hours replaying the kiss in his mind. That didn't help.

Around 2:00 in the morning he surrendered to insomnia. Switching on his bedside lamp, he read the paper until he finally fell into a troubled sleep.

Friday passed quietly. Too quietly. Exhausted and irritated, Booth left the Hoover Building around 5:30. After a week that had inched by with excruciating slowness, he needed a beer. Maybe a couple.

When he stepped into the dimly lit interior of Wong Foo’s, the tightness that had settled into his shoulders on Sunday and had yet to leave eased slightly. He slid off his jacket and loosened the knot in his tie. Sighing, he pulled out a stool at the bar. He tossed his jacket on the empty seat to his right before spotting Sid and raising his eyebrows at him in greeting.

Sid placed a beer in front of him. “Lady problems?” he asked, leaning his arms on the bar.

Booth laughed, but it sounded harsh, and not at all amused. He chose not to answer the question immediately. Instead, he raised the bottle to his lips and took a long draw. The cold beer slipped down his throat.

His initial thirst quenched, he put the bottle back down with a satisfied sigh and returned Sid’s look. “That obvious, huh?” he asked, digging into the red bowl of peanuts Sid slid him.

Sid’s gaze cut across Booth’s face. "Only two things make a man look like that--women and sports."

Booth snorted a laugh. “What can I say?” He shrugged. “When you’re right, you’re right.”

“Let me guess: the bone lady.”

“How do you know that?”

“Come on, man.” Sid shook his head and waved dismissively. “Aren’t you in the FBI?” He leveled a serious glance at him. “That’s easy. Dr. Brennan’s the only woman I’ve seen come in here with you in at least a year, maybe more than that.

“We’re partners.”


“But she drives me crazy, you know?”

“That’s what women do, G-man.”

“Never stops talking. Argues with me about everything,” Booth said, continuing as if Sid hadn’t spoken. He took another pull of his beer. “Never lets anyone take care of her,” he said.

“She let you take care of her?”

“Well”—Booth paused and considered Sid’s question—“maybe. I guess as much as she lets anyone.” In spite of himself, his lips quirked in a grin as he recalled making Brennan soup and reading to her from her porn collection.

“You’ve got it bad,” Sid said, shaking his head.

“I know,” he admitted. “And it’s terrible ‘cause she’s not talking to me.”

“What’d you do to set her off?”

“I told her how I felt. Now she’s gotta make a decision,” he said, making air quotes with his fingers. “Only problem is that she’s been deciding for five days now.” Frustrated, Booth rubbed a hand over the back of his neck.

“That’s tough, Booth.”

“You’re telling me.” His cell rang, interrupting their conversation. Without checking the number, Booth pressed the answer button and lifted the phone to his ear. “This is Booth,” he said, making no effort to hide his irritation.

“Where are you?” Brennan asked without any greeting.

“Oh. Hey, Bones.” He automatically straightened on his stool. “I’m at Wong Foo’s,” he said, trying for casual.

“Would you mind coming over?”

"Everything OK?"

"Yes. Everything's fine." Two years of partnership had taught him to read every twitch of her lips and flicker of her eyes. For two years he'd put together an unofficial guide to Temperance Brennan. He'd never put it down on paper, but it existed anyway -- in his heart and his head and his gut. She was Mona Lisa smiles and cool blue eyes that had seemed so opaque the first time she'd looked down her nose at him. With time, those eyes had lightened, gone nearly translucent so that he could see some of the secrets hidden beneath.

Now, though, she sounded calm, and he couldn't pull any other clues from her voice. Uncertainty tightened his chest, and he swallowed in response. The fact that five days had passed couldn’t be a good thing. If he knew her, and he did, five days were more than enough for her to overanalyze everything and leave him the loser.

"Ok. I'll be there soon."

"Goodbye, Booth." She hung up then, leaving Booth staring down at his cell.

“That your bone lady?” Sid asked, polishing a glass with a white cloth.

Frowning, Booth looked up from his phone. “She’s not my anything,” he shot back.

“Whatever you say, G-man.” Sid winked and flashed him a knowing grin.

Booth rolled his eyes and then tugged at his sleeves, folding them up and settling in to finish his beer. Sure, his heart might have backflipped into his throat when he heard her voice. But he'd be damned if he didn't make her sweat a little.

Ten minutes.

That's how long he sat in his car, eyes closed, with his head tipped back against the headrest.

He was acting like a twelve-year-old kid with his first real crush on a girl. Only he wasn't a kid, this wasn't a crush, and Brennan definitely wasn't a girl. No, his partner was all woman.

Pull it together, man. He shook himself and got out of the car.

His knuckles had barely lifted from the door when the locks clicked. Brennan opened the door, greeting him with a smile. "Hi," she said.

"Hey." After five days of not seeing that smile, Booth wasn’t prepared for the feeling that swept over him. It made him catch his breath. So much for not acting like a twelve-year-old.

She stepped back from the door, and he brushed past, stepping inside the apartment. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he waited for her to move ahead of him into the living room. He followed a few steps behind, trying not to notice how good she looked out of that blue labcoat and in jeans and a black sweater.

They sat across from each other -- him on the couch and her on one of the chairs. Disappointment washed over him as he noticed the physical distance she'd put between them. He shoved it aside.

Unable to restrain himself any longer, he gave in and looked at Brennan, letting his gaze drift over her familiar face. The dark shadows under her eyes were gone. She looked healthy, well-rested. Unlike him.

Her nose was no longer pink and peeling. She looked… like his partner. She’d left her hair loose. He preferred it that way, though he’d never mentioned that to her.

She'd switched on a lot of lamps around them, but the light glowed softly. It made her hair gleam darkly against the paleness of her skin. Her hair looked wavy and touchable and if he could have had one wish at that moment, he’d have wished for the chance to slide his fingers over and through it.

Since God wasn’t in the habit of granting his wishes, Booth slowly leaned back and slid his arm up on the backrest. He curled his fingers into the fabric. When he could wait no longer, he said, “You look like you feel better.”

“I can't say the same about you,” she said, her gaze lingering around his eyes. “You look as bad as I probably looked on Saturday.”

“Gee, thanks, Bones.” Booth shrugged and wiped a hand over his jaw. "Just a busy week, that's all," he said, the lie spilling easily from his lips even though Brennan probably saw through him as easily as he'd learned to see through her.

Her gaze sharpened. "You're lying to me, but I understand why."

"Bones," he said, but she cut him off.

"Please, Booth," she said, eyebrows raised. "Let me finish." Rising from her chair, she lifted a small box from the coffee table and came around to sit next to him. Shifting to face him, she handed him the box.

"What is this?" he asked, resting it in his lap.

She laced her fingers together before answering. "A gift." Dipping her head, she gave him a smile that was just a little shy around the edges.

His exhaustion and irritation vanished in the face of that smile. Because it reminded him she was his best friend. No matter what her answer, thinking and talking about feelings couldn't be easy for her. In fact, she pretty much hated it. It made her vulnerable, and if there was one thing she hated, it was being vulnerable. "You didn't have to do this," he said, touching her knee.

Her gaze flicked to his hand and then back to his face. "You gave me Jasper. You investigated my parents' disappearance. You saved my life." She shook her head, looking away. "I've never given you anything."

"That's not true." Moving closer, he lifted his hand from her knee and brushed the backs of his fingers over her cheek.

Brennan didn't pull away, but she did glance down at the box. "Open it."

"Ok," he said, withdrawing his hand. Keeping his hands as steady as he could, he opened the box. The layer of tissue paper rustled as he parted it. A huge smile broke over his face as he pulled out a pair of black socks. One sock was covered in tiny angels, and the other had little red devils with pitchforks stitched all over it. "Bones, these are great. Thanks." He turned his head to look at her.

"You're welcome," she said, eyes dancing as she returned his smile. "They seemed like something you'd enjoy."

He nodded, still grinning. "They are. Definitely." He carefully folded the socks. She’d given him a present. She wouldn’t do that if she were about to reject him, would she? With her, anything was possible.

Just as he moved to put the socks back in the box, Brennan spoke. "There's something else in the box."

"Oh." After setting the socks down next to him, he reached back into the box. Nestled inside the tissue paper was a small piece of paper. He pulled it out, and this time he couldn't keep the tremors from his hands as he recognized what he was holding. Heart thumping a beat too fast, he slowly unfolded it.

His eyes traced the smudged handwriting. Her goodbye note. The one she'd written when she and Hodgins were trapped underground.

He cleared his throat and met her gaze. "Why?" His voice came out scratchy and raw.

No longer smiling, Brennan looked back at him without flinching. "Because it's yours. It was always meant for you," she said, voice calm, and he wondered (hoped?) they were talking about something more than the note. "We're partners. Friends. I want you to know that I thought of you when...," she said, trailing off into silence. Her chest rose as she took a deep breath.

He gave her a moment, looking away to pull his wallet from his pocket. Carefully refolding the note, he tucked it into the plastic insert that held a picture of Parker.

"I'm sorry I made you wait for five days. I appreciate that must have been difficult for you."

"It's OK."

"You were very honest, Booth, despite how hard it must have been for you to risk being so open. These past few days -- I tried to be as honest with myself as you were with me." With a deep sigh, she looked at the floor. "I needed time to think, and you gave me that."

"Like I said -- not a problem. Look, it wasn't easy, but I wanted to give you space to really think about it."

"You give me so many things I don't even know how to ask for." She smiled, eyes soft and sad as she turned and looked at him again. "I'm not very good at this, Booth."

"Good at what?"

She gestured with one hand. "Emotions. And talking about them."

"You're doing fine," he said, and he meant it. The reassurance was meant for himself as much as it was meant for her.

"It's not easy for me, but the reason you gave for telling me about Kosovo, well, it lingered in my mind."

"I remember. I said I talked to you about it because I knew you wouldn't lie to me to make things easier."

"Yes. That... It meant a great deal to me that you see me that way."

“It’s one of my favorite things about you, Bones.”

“You mean there are others?” she said, slanting him a glance and the hint of a smile.

Booth snorted. “Quit fishing for another compliment.” They shared a warm, easy look.

For a few moments, they sat in a comfortable silence. The urge to pull Brennan into his arms was strong, but he fought it, telling himself he had to be patient. He owed her that. Not everything could be forced.

Second by second, Booth let himself relax and simply enjoy being with this woman who meant more to him than he’d ever intended. Letting his gaze wander over the shelves and shelves of books in her living room, he thought about all the times they’d shared takeout and worked late into the night. How many times had he forced himself to leave and drive back to his quiet apartment, only to dream about her?

"After my parents disappeared and Russ took off, I missed knowing that someone cared where I was. Cared what I was doing,” she said, drawing his attention back to her.

"I care," he said.

"I know," she said, nodding. Suddenly she smiled at him, eyes bright. "I did put together a list of pros and cons. However, there were an equal number of each, and I was surprised to find the list didn't particularly help. I also talked to Angela.”

Booth groaned and covered his eyes. “Oh, God.”

Brennan frowned. “She’s my best friend, Booth.”

“I know. I know.” He sighed and waved his hand dismissively. “It’s fine.”

“Anyway, Angela told me to listen to my heart. I think I rolled my eyes when she said that.” Brennan’s lips twisted in a smirk. “But then she said something that actually did help: she told me to examine the evidence."

"And did you?"

"Yes, I did." Curling her legs underneath her, Brennan shifted, resting an elbow on the back of the couch. "You know, I’m a forensic anthropologist because every single one of those bones belongs to someone who mattered to someone else.” She paused, looking directly at him. “For a significant part of my life, I wanted that – to simply matter to someone. Looking at the evidence, I can see I now have that.

“I thought about you sitting outside in your SUV all night. You asked me to let you stay that night. I refused. But you stayed anyway. For me. When I was sick, I begged you to leave. You stayed anyway. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint when it happened, but you’ve become a safe place for me. Like Angela, only different. I… trust you. Every time I needed you, you were there.”

Booth swallowed, unable to meet her eyes. “I wasn’t there when that son of a bitch kidnapped you and Hodgins.”

“No”—she reached out and placed her hand on his arm—“but you came for us all the same.” Her thumb stroked his forearm; he shivered before he could stop himself. “I never hoped or expected that you’d be superhuman, Booth. It’s irrational to expect that of anyone. Please; I need you to stop feeling guilty about that.”

Startled, his gaze flew to her face.

“What? You think I don’t realize how much guilt you carry around about our kidnapping? We don’t discuss it often, but I’m aware of it nonetheless. Consider us even,” she said, “you know all about my unorthodox family and my affinity for daffodils; I know about your guilt, about how hard you push yourself. Now, as your partner, I’m asking you to let it go.”

“I don’t know if I can do that,” he said, giving her as much honesty as he could, “but if that’s what you need, I’ll try.”

She nodded. “I suppose that’s all I can ask,” she said, moving her hand. It had only rested on his arm for a couple seconds, but he missed its presence already.

Sensing she had more to say, Booth stayed quiet. Waiting.

Brennan hugged her arms to her chest, and the protective gesture made his stomach tighten. “There’s a Zen koan that says if you want to find something, you have to stop looking. I think… No, I know, that I wanted to belong somewhere. I wanted to matter to someone.” The words halted as she flattened one hand against her chest. “And now I do. I examined the evidence, Booth; I matter to you. And not just to you. To Angela and Zack and Hodgins. Even to Dr. Saroyan. You – all of you – and the work that I do at the Jeffersonian – that’s why I couldn’t leave with Sully.”

“I thought you couldn’t leave because you weren’t ready to live a purposeless life yet,” he said, nearly shuddering at the memory of Sully and of those brutal sessions with Gordon Gordon.

“That was part of it, I think. It took me a long time to see, but that wasn’t the only reason. But I don’t want to talk about Sully right now.”

“Good. Neither do I.”

“In a rather circuitous fashion, what I’m trying to say is I wanted something, and I think maybe I’ve found it.”

“What about the risks you were worried about?” Part of him screamed for him to just shut up and take whatever she offered. But another part, the same part that had made him tell her to live wide and sail away with Sully even though he would have missed her like hell, that part forced the words out of his mouth. This was too important. Their friendship, their partnership, her happiness – and his – they all mattered too damn much.

“You reminded me of the risks I already take. I’m not fearless; when I was in Tibet, and when I was in Guatemala, I was afraid.” Brennan’s chin lifted, her face shifting into stubborn lines. “But I did what I had to do regardless. Because I’m not a coward. I won’t live my life in fear.”

Strong and stubborn – that was Bones. Pretty as anything, too. Unable to hold back any longer, Booth reached for her, sliding his hands up to cradle her cheeks. “So you’re saying you’ve been looking for me all this time?” He let his lips curve in a cocky grin, knowing it would get her back up immediately.

As expected, she narrowed her eyes before smiling a smile that nearly stopped his heart. “No, what I’m saying is that I wanted something, and you’re part of what I found. Not all of it, but a significant part.” She pushed her hair back from her face, and he thought about how brave she’d been. “I’m not ready to give it a name yet – what we are. And I don't know where this path will lead us. But I’m ready to explore it.”

He glimpsed uncertainty and hope in her eyes, and it made him want her even more. Brushing his thumbs over her soft skin, Booth leaned in and pressed a kiss to Brennan’s cheek. “Thank you, Bones.” He silently vowed to do everything he could to make sure she never regretted her decision. Some things were outside their control, but that was a risk that came with living.

"Are you always going to settle for kissing me on the cheek unless I tell you I need to collect data?" she asked, cutting into his thoughts.

"What?" He froze, his mouth dropping open in realization. "Wait. Are you telling me you were awake when I...?"

One eyebrow rose. "Of course."

“I thought you were asleep.”

“Yes, I realized that,” she said, her lips twitching in amusement.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” He remembered worrying that she'd sit up and punch him for kissing her on the cheek while she slept.

“I wanted to see how far you would go in molesting a sleeping woman.” The smile she gave him took the sting out of her words.

“Molesting?” he shot back in mock outrage. “I’ll show you molesting.”

“Finally,” she said, her breath misting against him as he inched closer. “I was getting tired of talking.”

He laughed. Then his eyes fell shut a split-second before he kissed her, trying to show her without words what she meant to him. Their mouths moved together soft and slow, and Booth wondered how he'd survived so long without this.

When he inhaled, he smelled her. Bones. Spicy, like that damned bodywash he’d found in her bathroom. Maybe a little sweet. Familiar and perfect and almost unbearably hot.

His body tightened at her closeness. Excitement zinged through him as he tasted her again and again. She moaned, her fingers kneading his shoulders. The sound lodged deep inside him. He’d known she’d be like this – greedy and open and as hungry as he was. Everything he hadn’t known he wanted.

Moving his hand from her cheek, he slid his fingers into her hair liked he’d wanted to as she’d watched him from across the space that separated them. Pulling away, he pressed open-mouthed kisses to her throat until she moaned again. He smiled against her skin and then gave a light nip. He felt her hands leave his shoulders and tunnel through his hair. Too soon, she tugged, pulling him up to look at her.

"It won't be easy, you know,” she said, sounding breathless. “I work a lot; my job is very important to me--"

"Like I hadn't noticed that. And just so you know, mine's important to me," he said, unable to resist interrupting even as his hand continued on its merry way, cupping Brennan through her sweater.

“—And we do meaningful work,” she said, arching into his hand and yanking at his shirt. “We’ll have to be careful to… Stop that,” she said as he skimmed his hand over her bare back. “Booth, you’re not listening.”

With great effort, he retreated and sat up. He didn’t move very far, though. Lifting Brennan’s hand, he kissed her palm. “Now I am.”

“As I was saying, we’ll have to conduct ourselves in a manner that won’t compromise our careers or the cases we handle. But we’re professionals. If we need to discuss things with Cullen…” Even though she continued talking, he couldn’t make out what she was saying. As his gaze slipped over her face and further down, his attention wandered, finally focusing on her flushed cheeks, just-kissed lips, and the modest v-neck of her sweater.

God only knew what she wore underneath.

Her words finally penetrated the fog in his brain. “If you don’t stop staring at my breasts right now, I promise I will never let you see them.”

That had him looking up at her pretty quickly. “Aww, Bones, that’s just cruel.” He stuck out his lower lip. “If you only knew what my week’s been like.”

Leaning forward, she stroked a finger over his cheek and then stood up, tugging at the bottom of her sweater. Flashing him a smile that almost made him feel like it was OK how totally whipped he was when it came to her, she said, “You can tell me about it in the kitchen. I’m starving.”

“We could just order in.”

“No,” she said, shaking her head. “I believe I owe you a meal.”

“You do?” he asked.

“Yes. You wanted chocolate chip pancakes last weekend, remember? But you never got them because you stayed and annoyed me instead.”

“Oh yeah. I guess you’re right. Must be my lucky day then.”

“Seems like it,” she said. “But don’t get used to it.”

“Too late, Bones,” he said, standing and pulling her tight against him. “I already am.” Brushing her hair back from her face, he kissed her again, swallowing her quiet laugh.

Looked like it just might be a lucky day for them both.

The End

Author Note:

First of all, thank you very much to everyone who’s commented on or simply lurked and read this story. I hope this last chapter didn’t disappoint. Even if it did, I would still be interested in hearing what you thought. I am perpetually behind on responding to comments, but I try to do my best to reply to them all in time. If you commented or email med and haven’t heard back from me yet, I promise I’m not ignoring you.

Second, I send my apologies to everyone who read #55 in All That Lies Between Us. Hopefully it amused some of you. It was April Fool’s Day, and I felt a bit puckish. ;) That was definitely NOT the story of my heart. If I have one of those, it’s probably Come Undone.

I need to reference two things that are mentioned in this chapter. The Zen koan that Brennan mentions to Booth was pulled from 1x14: The Man on the Fairway. The exact quote is, “There’s a Zen koan: it says that if you want to find something, you have to stop looking.”

Brennan’s line has stuck with me since I first heard it way back in Season 1. I filed it away in a random document, just waiting for the day I could use it.

In 1x22: The Woman in Limbo, Brennan tells Angela that after her parents and Russ left, she missed having someone care where she was. I referred to that in this chapter, too.

Lastly, I want to address the issue of Angela and Brennan’s conversation. In comments on the last chapter, some people mentioned being curious about their talk. But I challenged myself to write this story entirely from Booth’s point of view, so if you’re wondering why a direct, word by word replay of that talk isn’t shown here, that’s why.

Again, I sincerely hope you had fun with this story, and if you have a minute, I would love to get your feedback. If anything seems unclear or you have any questions, just let me know. Thanks for reading.

On to the next story!

Chapter title sources:

Chapter 1: Give me pancakes (My brain)

Chapter 2: Every time she sneezes (Counting Crows - Anna Begins) (To me, Unwell is this song.)

Chapter 3: Leave me paralyzed (The Notwist - Consequence)

Chapter 5: Dare you to move (Switchfoot - Dare You to Move)

Chapter 6: With you, there's no easy answer (Poe - Amazed)

Chapter 7: Hear me out (Frou Frou - Hear Me Out)

Chapter 8: I'm standing here until you make me move (Lifehouse - Hanging By a Moment)

Chapter 9: A thousand rainy days since we first met (The Police - Every Little Thing She Does is Magic)


Tags: bones, bones: fic, fic, unwell

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