five awkward moments
1) "Well, if you consider the -- hey --"
Booth ignores her belated grab and her annoyed expression and lifts her phone to his own ear. "Sorry, Dr Brennan can't continue this conversation. It's a Friday night and she has an appointment with a very handsome FBI officer and a dessert comprised mostly of whipped cream."
"Booth." She flaps her hand like she does when she's not convinced her voice is conveying the right amount of disapproval. It's adorable.
"What? All work and no play, blahdeeblah, you know the drill, Bones." He tosses the phone back to her.
"Actually, I --"
"Come on, come on! Get your coat. Ice cream sundaes are being eaten by less deserving beings as we speak. Who was that, anyway?"
She slides her phone back into her bag. "My father."
Booth's mind helpfully replays the comment about whipped cream.
"Oh," he says.
2) It's nothing huge when it begins, just one of her enthused descriptions of something that Zack said and how that ties in with something she wrote about in her thesis and to be quite honest, Booth is just nodding occasionally and listening to the soft rock song playing underneath her voice. But then she draws in Catholicism, and it's almost like listening to those dumb kids who get pulled in as tiny cogs in a huge investigation but think it's all about them, so they just talk, on and on, digging themselves all unknowing into disastrous legal messes. Brennan just talks, and he likes her enormously, but something about the way she presents her own opinion as inarguable fact can still floor him on occasion.
Booth looks at the road, at the pedestrians, anything but his own knuckles turning white against the black leather of the steering wheel.
Her silence when she breaks off, mid-sentence, is tight and urgent and not quite embarrassed, just aware.
He turns the radio up before she can say anything.
He taps his fingers in time with the song and thinks about the fact that when he first met her, she probably wouldn't have stopped at all.
3) "Look, Bones, that wasn't an invitation to -- ow -- what are you doing?"
She seems to be trying to extend his elbow by yanking on his wrist. "I'm just saying, the ulnar development in adult men such as yourself --"
"Right, that's it," and he grabs her by the arms and yanks her forward until she trips and sprawls half on top of him, half off the couch, her hair scrunched up wildly by the friction. She looks like a well-dressed savage, and she's grinning as she tries to wrestle his arm back into her grasp.
Booth really should be old enough to not feel guilty in these situations, but he blames it on the fact that Cam has her hands on her hips and her most amused evil-kindergarten-teacher smile on her face.
"Oh, don't mind me," she says. "Carry on with your important -- what is this, Dr Brennan? Some kind of experiment?"
Bones gives a final burst of laughter against his shoulder and then, to his surprise, lifts her head and gives Cam a very composed look. "Yes," she says. "Momentum analysis." She blows her hair out of her face and looks exactly like she's going to start lecturing them both on stress fractures, her eyes alight with knowledge and mischief, and Booth clenches his hand around a cushion and thinks: I love this woman more than cars, and life, and pie.
4) "That sounds like something -- never mind. You reminded me of someone."
"A someone, huh? What happened to this someone? Have I met them?"
"He's dead," she says, and something glassy clicks over her face, like a visible security firewall. That expression is a bright red stamp: it says, not your need to know. Booth hates bright red stamps. But he's got a few tucked away in his own past that he hasn't told her about -- not yet -- that's just the kind of people that they are. Unfolding their secrets one by one, origami in reverse, each new flattened crease laying something of themselves bare.
He opens his mouth and then closes it again.
He can wait.
5) "Seriously, Bones, don't you have anything better to do with your Sunday afternoon than come and help me eat dubious pizza?"
"No," she says, leaning back against the kitchen bench, and her smile is breathtaking, like, literally so wonderful he gets stuck midway through an inhalation just staring at it. "I guess I can't think of anything," and he still hasn't breathed in so maybe his brain is getting -- what's that word Cam used the other day -- hypoxic -- because surely there's no other explanation for the fact that it's ordering him to step forward and slide his fingers up her face to rest right where her hair curls over her ears.
This is really crazy, he thinks, and kisses her. Once he's started it's difficult to stop, not least because stopping means dealing with the fallout, and, well, Booth has always been good at saving the day first and letting other people clean up the mess later; he doesn't think that's going to work here.
It seems to last forever, a kiss that's warm and hungry and curious, the smell of her skin mingling with the tomato tang of microwaved pizza, but all of a sudden her hand is at his shoulder and she gives him a firm shove backwards. She's very strong.
"Booth --" she starts, but he puts his hand over her mouth and shakes his head. She tries a few more times, her indignation buzzing against his skin, but he keeps shaking his head and keeps looking at her, willing this sudden strangeness between them to disappear, trying to work this out with just his eyes. Because God knows they're just as good at saying the wrong thing sometimes as they are at saying the right thing every other time.
Eventually she stops making attempts at speech. A little while after that the tiny lines of anger between her eyes melt away.
Under his palm, her lips curve into a smile.