Chapter Title: Touch and Go
Chapter: 9/? [WIP]
Word Count: 2077
Summary: Thoughts of Booth are keeping Brennan awake at night. Question is, what is she going to do about it? This story is set in Season 2, after Episode 11.
Spoilers: Through 2x11 (Judas on a Pole)
Disclaimer: Bones and its characters belong to FOX, not me. This story is purely meant to entertain. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Thank you so much to everyone who's commented on this story. I can't fully express how much that means to me. While I write for myself first and foremost, I'm thrilled to know that other people are reading and enjoying this story, too. That helps a lot -- especially on days when the words don't come easily.
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Prologue & Chapter 1
Chapter 9: Touch and Go
Booth lay on his side, watching Brennan. She lay curled next to him, hand tucked under her cheek on the pillow – his pillow – and her other arm stretched out in front of her. Close to him, but not touching. The position made her seem much younger than he knew she was.
Every few seconds she blinked, the blue of her eyes hazy and unfocused. She had the kind of face that looked too serious, bordering on sad, when it wasn’t smiling. That was one of the first things he’d noticed about her, and for reasons he couldn’t explain, he’d wanted to make her smile almost from the very beginning. Hell, he’d even take her glaring at him over the shadows that crept over her face more often than he’d like.
Those lips were made for smiling – preferably at him.
Part of him wondered what thoughts rolled in Brennan’s mind now as she silently looked back at him, her expression calm but her cheeks still pink from his touch.
He almost asked. He almost pulled her into his arms the way he wanted to. Then another part of him, the one that knew his partner and understood how close she’d come to running after they’d had sex, that part decided it was better to keep quiet and just observe for a while. Kind of like a scientist, he thought with an inward smile as Brennan silently looked back at him.
She was rubbing off on him. He didn’t know how he should feel about that.
He didn’t know how he should feel about any of it. All he knew was what he’d known last night when she’d shown up at his apartment: they couldn’t go back. What they’d done couldn’t be undone; it couldn’t be rewound like an old VHS tape. Even if it could, he didn’t want to.
So cool on the surface. That was Temperance Brennan. But he’d known in his gut that beneath that cool surface there existed something more -- if he could just touch it. If he could just dip in a finger, he knew the surface would fold and ripple.
As he watched, her lips curved. For a moment, all he could do was stare and remind himself to breathe in and breathe out. He’d told her once that he had a charm smile; what he hadn’t told her was that she had one, too.
With those eyes that iced over when she was angry and melted like a lake in spring when she smiled, she was already too pretty for her own good and for his blood pressure. Too smart, too. Who knew what fresh kind of trouble she’d manage to get into if she figured out how to work that smile?
No way would he be the one to tell her. So he settled for returning her smile with one of his own. “Come on,” he said, sitting up and letting his hand graze hers. “It’s been way more than five minutes.”
At first she just frowned and narrowed her eyes at him. “Fine,” she finally said, sighing.
As she slid toward the edge of the bed and then stood, Booth’s gaze lingered on her still-naked body. Her eyebrow arched as she caught him looking, and he flashed her a grin and a wink.
With a roll of her eyes and a twitch of her lips, Brennan easily stepped out of his reach. “Don’t even think about it,” she called over her shoulder as she walked to the bathroom.
Booth followed Brennan, his eyes locked on the sweet curves of her hips. It could be his imagination, but he thought they might be swaying just a little more than usual. “Easy for you to say,” he muttered, scratching his stomach. “You had dessert.”
“What did you say?” she asked, as he settled his hand on her warm back.
“Nothing,” he replied, trying to sound innocent. Still grinning, he inched his hand down and gave her a quick pinch on the ass.
“Booth!” she said, the word coming out as a squeak as she smacked his hand away.
Shrugging, he said, “Sorry,” sounding anything but.
Brennan shoved aside the curtain and stepped into the shower. “Oh,” she said, sounding surprised.
“Too hot?” Booth asked, frowning as he stepped into the tub behind her.
She turned away so the spray hit her back. “No,” she said, after a moment, shaking her head. “It will be all right in a minute.”
Without shoes, Brennan stood a few inches shorter than him. Seeing her like this gave him a different perspective. Her eyes fell shut, and Booth looked down at her, admiring the drops of water that hung from her eyelashes like tiny crystals.
His ears filled with the sound of rushing water, and for a second or maybe an eternity, Booth felt like they were the only people left in the world.
When he started to feel cold, he brought his hands up to her shoulders and turned them both so he was under the water, too. Blinking, Brennan glanced up at him. Slick from the shower, her hair gleamed nearly black, and the contrast turned her eyes a shade of blue he couldn’t name if he tried. He wasn’t a writer; he didn’t mold words the way she did. In fact, he was damned sure he didn’t even know all the words she knew – and he was OK with that. Their partnership worked because of the different strengths they each brought to it.
“What?” she said, her lips twisting in a frown.
“Your hair,” he said, brushing his hand over it, “it’s all wet.”
The frown melted into a smile that told him she was laughing at him; he found he didn’t mind. “We are standing in a shower, Booth.”
“Yeah,” he said, his voice just a touch softer. “Yeah, we are.” He dragged his hands through his wet hair before returning them to Brennan’s shoulders and smoothing them down over the warm, wet skin of her arms to her wrists, and then back again. Touching her reminded Booth she was there: she was real. If he pinched himself, she would still be standing in his tub, naked, with him.
Her head tilted to the side. “I think this is one of those times when I’m missing something.”
“Well,” he said, letting his hand follow the heavy, wet fall of her hair. “This is new, that’s all. We’ve never showered together before.”
She nodded, her expression turning thoughtful as she trailed a finger in a zigzag pattern over his chest. “That’s true. I suppose we haven’t done any of this before.” A dozen rivers slipped over her shoulders and breasts while steam rose to fill the air around them.
Wrapping his arms loosely around her, he smiled and swayed her a bit, their feet squeaking against the wet tub. “Nope. I can’t say I’ve eaten Ben and Jerry’s off your breasts before. I mean, I’ve thought about it…”
Her eyebrows shot up. “You have?”
She bit her lip and glanced away, looking almost shy. It was actually kind of cute. Wisely, he kept that thought to himself. “How did the reality… compare to the fantasy?” she asked, a hesitant note entering her voice.
Pulling her closer with one arm, he tipped her chin up with his free hand, forcing her to meet his gaze. “What do you think?”
Shrugging, she remained silent, just breathing. Something warm and heavy filled Booth’s chest, and he pressed a kiss to Brennan’s temple before closing his eyes and bringing his mouth to hers.
Neither spoke when they finally broke apart. Releasing Brennan, Booth reached for the bar of soap sitting on the shelf hanging from the neck of the showerhead. He rubbed the soap between his hands, lathering it until the suds covered his hands in white. “Turn around,” he said.
“So I can do your back.”
After a second, she nodded and turned away from him. Gently, he stroked the soap over her back and then circled his hands against her skin until it was covered in white froth. He felt a shiver move through her as his fingers swept over her shoulders. He stilled immediately. “You OK?”
For a heartbeat, Booth heard nothing but the water.
“Yes, “ Brennan said, her voice sounding husky.
When he tried to dry her off, she simply took the towel from his hands. “I can do that myself,” she said, not meeting his eyes.
“I’m sure you can,” he said, shrugging and letting her comment pass without further comment. “Do you want another shirt?”
He left the bathroom and returned to his room, where he pulled open one of the dresser drawers and rifled through it till he found an old Steelers shirt that had grown soft and faded through many washings.
She was standing behind him, wrapped in his green towel, hair hanging straight and wet around her shoulders, when he shut the drawer and turned around. He hadn’t heard her come out of the bathroom. “Here you go,” he said.
“Thank you,” she said, her eyes serious. Their fingers brushed as she took the shirt from him. Her mouth opened, then closed, and she shifted on her feet, her eyes darting from his face to the floor.
Though he sensed her uneasiness, he decided to wait for her to speak.
“It’s late,” she said, tucking her hair behind her ear, “and I’m tired.”
“So stay over like I told you to.”
She crossed her arms over her chest, looking at him, but not into his eyes. “All right. But Booth, I can’t sleep with you.”
“Hate to break it to you, Bones, but you already did,” he said, keeping his tone light.
“No, that was sex.” As her gaze finally rose to meet his, Booth’s heart sank. “I mean that I can’t sleep with you.”
Booth froze. “Why not? You slept with me last night.”
“I did,” she said, nodding. “But that was a mistake.”
“Why the hell was it a mistake?” he asked, attempting to keep his voice level. “Geez, it’s not like I’m going to harass you in your sleep.”
“That’s not it. It’s too… intimate. This” – she waved a hand between them – “apart from our partnership, is just supposed to be sex. Nothing more.”
Booth’s jaw clenched so tight it hurt. Heat crawled up his face. He wanted to argue with her. He wanted to tell her how stupid he thought this was. But she’d been completely honest with him about what she was looking for when she dropped by the night before. So he rubbed a hand over his face and then nodded. “OK.” His voice came out rough, so he cleared his throat. “You can have my bed.”
She frowned, and he willed his hands to keep from shaking her. “No. I can’t kick you out of your bed,” she said.
Again, he wanted to fight her, to pit his stubbornness against hers, but she was right – it was late, and she was tired. Come to think of it, so was he. They could pick it up again in the morning. “Fine,” he said, even though it was anything but that. “I’ll fix up Parker’s room for you.”
Brennan waited in his room while he stripped the sheets on Parker’s bed and put down a fresh set. After fluffing the pillow a little harder than necessary, Booth crossed the hall to his bedroom. “I left an extra blanket in case you get cold,” he said, standing in the doorway and scrubbing a hand over the back of his neck.
“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” Brennan replied, rising from the edge of his bed and tugging at the bottom of the t-shirt he’d loaned her. Seeing her in it made him ache. She walked toward him, face somber and unsmiling. Stopping a few feet away, she glanced at him, looking as though she wanted to say something. But as he waited, she stayed silent. “Good night,” she finally said, and the woman he’d touched just a few minutes ago brushed right past him, leaving him to sleep alone in a bed that was big enough for both of them.
Booth swallowed, pushing down the disappointment that burned inside him. “Yeah. Good night,” he replied, one hand braced hard against the doorframe. He didn’t bother turning around to watch Brennan go into his son’s room.
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