Story Rating: R
Word Count: 2,431
Timeline: This story is set in Season 2, after Episode 11 (Judas on a Pole), though I may have changed the exact month.
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.
Acknowledgments: Many hugs and thanks to doc_3 and tempertemper77 for rereading previous chapters and giving me additional comments when I requested them. Both of them are fabulous people -- and writers.
I'm stunned and grateful for the feedback people continue to leave for this story. Thank you a thousand times over. :) Whether you're commenting or not, I hope you're enjoying this story.
Click for Bones fic index.
Booth floated up through the haze of deep sleep, eyes blinking open to the gray light of dawn lurking just beyond the blinds in Parker’s room. Something tickled his nose, and he nearly sneezed. A downward glance revealed Brennan draped over his chest like a human blanket. One of her legs, bare and warm, rested possessively over his thigh.
He’d be lying if he said he didn’t like it. Seeley Booth didn’t make a habit of lying to himself; if his addiction had taught him anything, it was that it was much harder to lie to yourself than to someone else. More dangerous, too.
Moving slowly in order to avoid waking the woman dozing on top of him, Booth brushed at his nose, pushing away the long strands of hair that lay in his face. She snuffled – that really was the right word for the sound she made – then resumed snoring. The snores were softer than the scary noises he’d witnessed from her the morning before, and the memory made Booth smile. If she dreamed, he prayed she saw something light and happy, not the darkness that had made her cry out hours before, drawing him to her room despite his hurt.
After taking one last peek at Brennan, Booth closed his eyes. Can’t sleep with you. Just sex. Fragments of her comments filtered through his head. He frowned in response, thinking of the restless hours he’d spent alone in his bed while she’d laid in here.
He’d seen her tangle with enough suspects to know that if she’d really wanted him out of the bed she wouldn’t have hesitated to make good use of her martial arts training and give him the bruises to prove she meant business, nightmare or no nightmare.
No matter what acid words dripped from her pretty mouth, Brennan had turned to him in her sleep, her body and her subconscious mind trusting him. The thought soothed his battered ego as he felt himself begin to go under again. Now if he could just figure out how to get her to trust him a little more when she was awake.
The next time Booth woke, it was to the whisper of fabric sliding against fabric. Parker’s bed creaked; Booth kept his eyes shut and his face relaxed. The hint of a shadow flickered in front of his closed eyelids as Brennan left the bed.
She was trying to be stealthy: that was fairly obvious. A click behind him signaled that she’d switched off the nightlight he’d turned on for her benefit.
He waited till he was sure her quiet footsteps had lead her out of the room before he opened his eyes. Fabric rustled from across the hall, and he pictured her putting on the jeans she’d taken off for him. A door shut; she was probably in his bathroom.
Booth lay still and quiet until a few minutes later, when he heard the front door close. Rolling onto his back, he scrubbed his hands over his eyes and sighed. The signs were all there; he knew from experience since he’d had some less than honorable mornings in his very distant past. Now his earlier optimism deserted him, and a sour taste filled his mouth as he finally acknowledged what Brennan had done: she’d run instead of facing him.
When a knock sounded at Booth’s door, he initially ignored it, turning his attention back to the TV and slouching deeper into the couch as he continued to channel-surf in an attempt to find something worth watching. Scowling, he silently ordered his unwelcome visitor to go away.
The last time someone had randomly shown up on his doorstep it had to lead to kissing, sex – really, really good sex – dinner, and a dance he didn’t want to remember, but he didn’t think he could forget.
Eventually the knock transformed into the ring of a doorbell, and Booth narrowed his eyes. He dropped his head back against the couch and exhaled slowly through his nose. As much as he wanted to hide in his apartment and avoid whichever door-to-door salesman wanted a few minutes of his precious weekend time, his conscience urged him to get up – just in case someone important was looking for him.
Standing, Booth let his unwilling feet drag him to the door. One glance through the peephole and his shoulders tightened painfully. Forcing the muscles in his body and face to relax and calm even though he didn’t feel that way, he unbolted and unlocked the door before pulling it open. “Oh, hey, Bones,” he said, shooting for casual. “Did you forget something?”
Brennan’s clear gaze swung up from the ground to meet his, and he felt a jolt go through him. Her mouth turned down in a frown. “Oh. No. It’s just that I don’t have a key.” Lifting her hands, she showed him what she carried – a Dunkin’ Donuts bag and a cardboard coffee container holding two cups. “I went and got breakfast. But if you’re busy,” she said, shifting on her feet and looking away, “I’ll just leave it with you and go.”
OK, so he’d misjudged her; she hadn’t snuck off without saying goodbye or good morning. Some of the tension Booth carried drained out of him at this realization. Flashing his partner a genuine Seeley Booth smile, he stepped back from the door and waved Brennan inside. “Don’t be dumb. Come on in. I was just trying to find something on TV that’s not for five-year-olds. That’s tough on Saturday morning.”
Brennan followed him into the living room and stopped next to the couch, looking uncomfortable.
“Sit down,” Booth said, cupping her shoulder briefly before releasing it and turning away. “I’m just going to grab a couple plates from the kitchen,” he called back over his shoulder. When he returned carrying two plates and a couple napkins, he found Brennan seated and fiddling with the plastic tab on the lid of her coffee cup.
After handing her a plate, Booth took a seat a few inches away. Angling his body toward her, he hit the off button on the TV remote, plunging the room into silence. Rather than rushing to fill it, Booth reached for the other cup, carefully removing the lid and inhaling the familiar aroma of coffee. He took a sip and sighed with pleasure as the liquid heaven filled his mouth. Hot, strong, and sweet – not unlike Brennan.
“You thought I left without saying anything, didn’t you?” Her honesty momentarily stunned him, though it shouldn’t have. He didn’t answer immediately, and Brennan continued, saying, “I wouldn’t do that to you, Booth.”
Eyes wide and troubled, Brennan turned her head to glance at him and then quickly looked away, clutching her Styrofoam cup with both hands. He realized then that it bothered her, thinking that he might expect her to sneak off while he was still asleep.
“Hey,” he said, and touched his fingertips to the back of her wrist, “I believe you.”
She nodded, not speaking.
Several thoughts fought for equal billing in his head, but he purposely avoided voicing them. Moving his hand to the paper bag Brennan had placed on his coffee table, he said, “Whatcha got in here?” and gave the bag a twitch.
Brennan shrugged and raised an eyebrow, giving him what appeared to be a small but real smile. It filled his stomach with a warmth that had nothing to do with the coffee he’d just sipped. “Open it and see.”
She didn’t need to tell him twice. As his stomach growled with anticipation, Booth opened the bag and pulled out two items. His eyes zeroed in on the one wrapped in paper dotted with bits of grease, but being a gentleman, he handed Brennan the other packet before doing anything else.
Gentlemanly obligation fulfilled, Booth eagerly peeled back the paper wrapper on his food. “Bacon, egg, and cheese croissant…Aww, Bones, you shouldn’t have. It’s like Christmas.” With a wink and a grin, he bit into his breakfast sandwich. “Mmm,” he murmured around a mouthful of fluffy, buttery croissant. After swallowing his first bite, Booth set the rest of the sandwich down on the plate in his lap and stretched a hand out toward his coffee. “Nothing better than meat in the morning,” he said, with a satisfied nod, patting his stomach.
Wrinkling her nose at him, Brennan continued to spread a disgustingly thin layer of margarine on her bagel. “I don’t know how you can eat that, no matter what time of day it is.”
“And I don’t know you can eat that.” He tilted his chin toward her bagel before taking another sip of his coffee. “Let me guess – cardboard.”
“No,” she replied, before taking a nibble of her bagel. “It’s whole wheat.”
“Like I said: cardboard.” Their bickering reassured him. Sure, they’d had sex and shared a pillow and a shower. But he was still Booth, and she was still stubborn, infuriating, beautiful Bones.
A smattering of crumbs stuck to Brennan’s lips; Booth tried not to notice when her tongue darted out to lick them. “You missed a spot,” he said, voice rough, as he swept the pad of his thumb across the softness of her bottom lip.
She blinked at him, eyes bright and expression watchful. Slowly, Booth pulled back, clearing his throat and fumbling for a safe topic of conversation.
“Why did you stay with me last night, even though I told you I didn’t want to sleep with you?”
So much for a safe subject. The coffee and the sandwich suddenly seemed much less interesting; he moved them both to the coffee table. “Because you had a nightmare, and I didn’t want you to be alone.” I never wanted to sleep alone in the first place.
“But I told you I was fine,” she shot back.
“I know. “ He shrugged. “But sometimes people say one thing and mean another. Sometimes… Sometimes they don’t know how to ask for what they want.”
“Are you saying that I don’t know how to ask for what I want?”
“You tell me; you didn’t push back much when I told you I was staying.” Leaning back, he steeled himself for an explosion.
“I was disoriented and half asleep, Booth,” she said, eyes flashing like crystal. “You… You bullied me.” She speared her fingers through her hair, holding it away from her face.
He looked back at her steadily. “Did I?”
Her hands dropped to her knees. She stared down at her jeans, lips pressed together tight.
Her shoulders straightened. With a sigh, she shifted to meet his gaze. There it was again – the same look she’d had on her face when she’d held his foot in her hands and told him she didn’t like the thought of him hurting. “No. I was glad you stayed,” she admitted at last. The words settled in the space between them, gathering weight and meaning.
Her confession brought back a glimmer of the cautious hope he’d felt when he first woke up that morning. “Me too.”
“Are you angry with me?” she asked.
Man, she was full of interesting questions this morning. “Why would I be angry with you?”
“Because I said I didn’t want to sleep with you last night. It’s not always easy for me to read the nuances of facial expressions; I’m not as skilled at it as you are. I just…” She trailed off, and Booth took advantage of the pause to let his brain catch up. “I thought, for a second, that you were upset with me.”
Scratching at the stubble on his chin, Booth considered his words. “Look, Bones, you were honest with me from the start; I respect that. So it’s not really that I was angry. But you did catch me off-guard.” He paused, meeting her eyes straight-on. “I mean, we’d fallen asleep together the night before. I just didn’t get why it was a big deal for you last night.”
For several seconds, Brennan remained quiet. Finally, she spoke. “I accept that. I apologize if my behavior was confusing.”
Regardless of how he felt about her not wanting to sleep with him, Booth knew Brennan hadn’t intended to piss him off. “It’s ok.”
Since they were talking about it, he decided to ask. “Do you regret what we did?” he said, knowing her answer mattered a lot more than he wanted it to.
She tilted her head. “You mean having intercourse?”
“No, I don’t regret it. Do you?”
Booth knew his answer was more complicated than a one-word response could possibly encompass. But he opted for simplicity: “No.”
“Afterward, though, I felt differently than I expected I would.”
“What do you mean?” he asked, wiping his mouth with a napkin.
“I’m not certain I can articulate it,” she replied, staring down at her hands.
Nodding thoughtfully, Booth picked up his coffee. Part of him wanted to challenge her to explain what she meant. Part of him wanted to push her to tell him about her nightmare. Yet another part of him knew that doing either of those things might spook her.
She’d already given him an opening he hadn’t expected. An idea began to form. Booth wasn’t a patient man by nature. He’d learned patience as a sniper. He’d had to endure endless hours – sometimes days – of waiting.
Brennan had been kidnapped and buried alive. She’d watched her remaining family drive off for who-knew-where. Though he didn't like her wanting to put him in a box labeled "friend with benefits," his gut understood her hesitance to acknowledge he was, or at least could be, more.
Whether he could afford to do it or not, Booth wanted to show Brennan some understanding. So he would wait. Recalling how he’d woken to find her draped over him, he decided to take a calculated risk: “OK. Well, if you ever want to do it again, you know where to find me.” He knew he’d just contradicted what he’d said to her a few months ago about there being some people you just couldn’t have sex with, but he felt pretty sure she wouldn’t mention it.
Brennan's eyebrows shot up at his words. “Really?”
Flashing her an easy grin, he shrugged. “Sure. It's just sex, and what’s a little sex between friends, right?”
“Right,” Brennan answered, cutting him a sideways glance that made him stifle a laugh. When she turned her head in his direction, a small wrinkle appeared between her eyebrows. Without speaking, Booth turned his attention back to his food.
A/N: If you've got a sec, let me know what you thought. :)