1. Never Say Never
“So, are you coming or not?” Booth asked, with a hint of impatience.
“I don’t know,” Brennan said, putting a last folder in her bag before zipping it shut. She looked at all of her coworkers gathered in front of her office, getting ready to leave. This is a waste of time. “I still have at least three hours of paperwork to finish up. And you said you would help,” she reminded him.
“And I will. Later. Cam invited all of us, and I think you should go too.”
“She invited me because she’s polite. She doesn’t really want me there.”
“Since when do you read minds?” Booth laughed out. “And why wouldn’t she want you there?”
“She doesn’t like me very much in social settings,” Brennan stated.
“That’s not true. She likes you just fine, settings or not. Now, come on,” he said, taking her bag from her hands. “Paperwork can wait. It can always wait.”
“You know,” she explained, passing in front of him. “According to clinical literature, rebelliousness, hostility and disagreeableness are thought to be major motivations for procrastination.”
She felt his hand on her back. The usual illogical feeling of comfort crept inside of her, along with a not-so-new twitching burning sensation in the pit of her stomach. Her mind ignored it, as it always did. But the inaudible breath she drew was sharp and shaky. He touched her a lot these days. Or maybe she just noticed it more.
“She’s coming!” Booth announced to everyone. They all clapped and cheered. Brennan’s cheeks flushed a little and she couldn’t hold back a smile.
“I told you Booth would convince her,” she heard Angela tell Hodgins.
This apartment looked nothing like what she had expected. It was charming, inviting and warm. She would never have guessed Cam lived here.
“And here is Michelle’s room. I know it’s a mess. She’s away on a school trip for the weekend, and I’m trying really hard not to clean it up. Invasion of privacy is something she takes seriously,” Cam explained.
Brennan listened to Angela talking about her bedroom as a kid, and she heard laughs coming from the kitchen. Booth and Hodgins were making dinner. Cam had dared them to, and Booth never could refuse a challenge, although spaghetti hardly qualified as a challenge. While the two women were talking about wallpaper, she discreetly went back to the hallway, towards the cooks.
“This is not one of your little experiments, buddy!” she heard Booth say. “If you blow up Cam’s kitchen, she’ll kill you and I’ll have to clean up the mess by myself.”
“Oh, I’m sure Dr. Brennan would help you,” Hodgins muttered between smiles.
“You need my help?” Brennan asked, suddenly appearing in the kitchen.
Booth jumped, startled, and dropped the wooden spoon he was holding in the pot, splashing red sauce all over his white shirt.
“Aw, Bones, come on!”
Brennan bit her lips together, torn between the urge to laugh and the need to apologize. Hodgins snorted, clearly amused.
“See what I mean?” he said.
“This was a new shirt!” Booth whined.
Brennan walked up to him to assess the damage.
“A little hydrogen peroxide, and it will be like nothing happened,” she said.
“You know, man, if you didn’t dress up in such expensive clothing all the time, you wouldn’t mind getting dirty,” Hodgins said.
“I only get dirty when Bones is around,” Booth mumbled.
Hodgins burst out in laughter. “Oh, I know.”
Booth shut his eyes, embarrassed. “It’s not what I meant.”
“Whatever.” Hodgins handed Brennan a wet cloth. “I’ll ask Cam if she has any H2O2,” he continued, leaving them alone.
Booth sighed, clearly bothered. Brennan did not dare to look at him.
“I’m sorry,” she almost whispered as she worked on the biggest stain, up on his chest.
“It’s fine,” Booth let out, teeth clenched. She was way too close to him. She smelled way too good. That shampoo of hers was going to kill him. With a frustrated sigh, he went to grab the cloth, but her hands drifted down. And down. He felt her fingers near his belt buckle and implored God not to let his body react. Too late.
“What are you doing?” Booth’s voice cracked.
“I’m trying to get the sauce off your shirt, what do you think I’m doing?”
Booth grabbed her wrists. Another move from her and he was a goner.
“I can do it,” he said.
“But it’s my fault, I should...”
“You’ve done enough,” he interrupted her. He hadn’t meant to sound so blunt.
Brennan took a step back, a little hurt. “I’m sorry, Booth. I’ll buy you a new one.” Boy, that man could be such a baby sometimes. “No need to be so angry with me.”
Angry? He wasn’t angry. He was so turned on, he could barely breathe!
“I’m not angry.”
“Well, you look angry,” she insisted.
“I’m not. But now I’m annoyed,” he corrected her, locking eyes with her for a second before she looked down.
“Looks like Sweets didn’t help me much in recognizing facial expressions.”
Now, he felt bad. Lifting her chin up, he waited for her to finally look at him.
“It’s just a shirt. I’ll survive,” he smiled.
He held out his hand, palm up, waiting. She looked down at it. Peace offering, she thought. A smile crept on the corner of her lips and she slowly put her palm on his. Her heart skipped yet another beat. She loved his hands. He gently brushed his thumb on the top of her hand and gave it a little squeeze. When she looked up at him, he was smiling broadly, milliseconds away from laughing.
“What?” she asked, unable not to smile back. She tilted her head and dug through his eyes for an answer.
He brought up their joined hands. “I just wanted the cloth,” he said, explaining his ‘peace offering’.
“Oh.” She quickly drew her hand back, now self-conscious. Or mortified. And you’re supposed to be a genius, she told herself. “Here,” she tried to laugh.
Booth took it without breaking eye contact. That’s the 9th today, he thought to himself. As if counting their moments of silent tension made it any easier not to kiss her. He wondered again what her lips tasted like today.
“May I have a taste?” Brennan asked.
Booth blinked. What?
“Uh?” He cleared his throat.
“The sauce. May I taste it?” she specified, pointing the pot.
“Uhm, yeah. Sure.” Get your head back in reality, Booth. “Go ahead.”
“I don’t have any hydrogen peroxide, but I have this magic stuff here that does wonders with stains,” Cam said, as she entered the kitchen followed by Angela who walked up to the stove, next to Brennan. She tasted the sauce, too.
“It’s not magic,” Brennan said. “The chemical reaction...”
“We know,” Cam, Hodgins and Booth cut her off.
Brennan looked down at her feet. She knew they knew. She had to stop correcting everyone. She knew it was annoying for them. She was trying really hard, but she rarely could stop herself.
“Here,” Cam said. “Give me your shirt, I’ll take care of it.”
“What? And spend the rest of the evening half naked?” Booth snorted.
“That’s not a half bad idea,” Angela joked.
“Easy, Angie,” Hodgins warned her, smiling.
Cam explained. “I still have one of your shirts in my closet. You forgot it here last time.”
Brennan leaned harder against the counter, trying not to react. But she instantly looked at Booth, then her eyes averted to Cam. And back to Booth. They couldn’t have, right? Booth had made it clear. He had even drawn a freaking line which, she assumed, did not only apply to her. She knew she had no right to react like this. Nor to react at all.
Booth looked perplexed. Maybe he didn’t want their secret out. Brennan couldn’t stop trying to analyze his face. He should have told her he had resumed a sexual relationship with Cam.
“You still have it?” he asked, feeling Bones’ eyes on him. “After two years?”
Brennan let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. She watched Booth follow Cam to get the forgotten shirt.
“I heard that,” Angela whispered.
Brennan looked around.
“You heard what? Why are you whispering?”
The doorbell rang. “That’d be Sweets,” Hodgins said.
Angela motioned her head for Hodgins to go open the door.
“You’re so bossy when you haven’t had sex in a while,” Hodgins joked before walking away. “I like it!” he yelled from the front door.
Brennan was still waiting for her friend to answer her question. She repeated, “What did you hear?”
Angela smiled at her and shook her head in disbelief. “You were relieved when Booth made it clear he hadn’t rekindled things with Cam.”
“What? Why would I be relieved? It doesn’t have anything to do with me. It’s none of my business.”
“Oh, I never said it was your business. I’m simply stating a fact. You usually accept the facts, sweetie.”
Brennan frowned, but before she could argue, Angela continued.
“What’s even more interesting is that he felt the need to make things clear for you...”
What’s in that sauce? Hallucinogens?
“Hey, guys!” Sweets’ happy voice filled the apartment. “Thank you for inviting me.”
“What have you got there, Dr. Sweets?” Angela asked, pointing to the bag the psychologist was holding.
“Oh ! Let me.” Hodgins chimed in before Sweets could answer. “He brought games...” Even Brennan got the hint of amusement in his voice.
“Are we gonna play Pin the Tail on the Donkey?” Booth asked, joining them in the dining room. He was still buttoning up his clean shirt. Brennan did not look at the skin of his chest. Ok, maybe she glimpsed. A little. But Angela didn’t notice, so it didn’t count.
“I brought beer, too,” Sweets said before looking at Booth. “And before you ask, no, I did not get carded.”
Cam took Sweets’ jacket to put it away, Angela took his bag of games, Hodgins finished setting the table and Booth took the plates out of the cupboard. Brennan suddenly felt useless. She looked around, trying to shake out that sensation she often experienced growing up. She felt out of place.
Slowly, she backed away and leaned on the wall at the kitchen entrance. She could observe everyone from here. And she started to relax. She smiled as her best friend’s clear laugh filled the air. Angela was teaching Hodgins how to fold the napkins and he was evidently failing.
She turned to the living room where Cam was showing Sweets a photo album... She bit her lips as the image of Zack popped into her mind. She missed him still. A lot. Her eyes drifted to the floor and she sighed. What a crappy week. Scratch that. What a crappy month. On more than one occasion, she had been completely useless in the lab. First with the foaming bones, which she could not examine, then because Cam had refused to give up on her idea to rehydrate the dried flesh of that pregnant teenager... And the interns helping them were doing well even when she was not around. Maybe that’s why she had tried to be efficient in the interrogation room... without any success. She had to rely more and more on others and she wasn’t sure she was comfortable with that.
“Why are you so quiet?”
Startled, she spun her head up to see Booth standing right there, leaning against the wall beside her, his arm above her head.
She shrugged and shifted on her feet.
“Is dinner ready?” she asked.
She’s getting good at changing the subject.
“In a minute. You okay?” he asked, concerned.
But Booth wasn’t buying it.
“I’m just really tired,” she explained. He brought his face closer to hers, squinting his eyes. She tried not to look at his lips. “You look tired, too.”
“Jeez, thanks!” he said, pretending to be offended.
“You’re welcome,” she smiled. He grinned back, sweeping his eyes across her face. He resisted the urge to put a strand of her hair behind her ear, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Hey, you two, if you’re that hungry, you should join us at the table. Where there’s actual food!” Hodgins exclaimed. Brennan and Booth turn towards him at the same time, but whereas Booth abruptly pulled away and almost ran to take a seat, Brennan took her time.
“How does one know how hungry a person is?” she asked.
“He’s talking about the kind of hungry that makes mama’s radar go off these days,” Angela tried to explain.
“I don’t know what that means...” She turned to Booth.
He choked on his breath a little, looking around, wide eyed.
“Why are you looking at me? I didn’t say anything!” he defended himself.
“Well, you’re usually the one who explains to me their cryptic comments.”
“Yeah, well, maybe later,” he said, taking a big sip of wine, and winced a little.
“I bet you will,” Hodgins murmured. Angela nudged him with her elbow.
Brennan seemed lost, looking at them one by one.
Cam raised her glass of red wine. “To another case closed by our wonderful team.”
They all clinked their glasses together.
“To us,” Booth said, as his glass touched Brennan’s. Her soft eyes met his gaze, smiling through the blue, as always, and he felt his chest tighten. “To us all,” he added.
Brennan insisted on cleaning up the kitchen with Cam. It gave her something to do. Everyone else was chit chatting in the living room, laughing. And she didn’t have that many jokes or funny stories to tell. Putting the last plate in the cupboard, she realized she was a little disappointed. Oh, she loved every one of her coworkers, which she considered her friends now. But usually, after they closed a case, Booth would take her out, alone. She was comfortable when she was alone with him. She didn’t feel the need to come up with funny stories. As a matter of fact, sometimes, she’d just have to give him a look and he would laugh.
“Thank you for helping me,” Cam said. She handed her another glass of wine.
“No problem,” Brennan replied.
They entered the living room. Angela, Sweets and Hodgins were sitting on the same sofa, while Booth was alone on the other one. When he saw them arrive, he smiled and patted the spot next to him. Brennan looked at Cam, wondering if she should let her sit next to Booth and grab a chair from the kitchen instead. It was her apartment, after all. But Cam grabbed a cushion and sat on the floor. Weirdly satisfied, Brennan put her glass on the coffee table and sat next to Booth, who rested his arm behind her, on the edge of the couch.
“Cam, you can’t stay on the floor!” Booth said.
Instantly, the anthropologist turned to him. Guilt washed over her.
“You’re right, I should go sit on the floor,” she said, getting ready to get up.
But Booth put his hand on her shoulder so she’d stay put.
“No one sits on the floor. Come on, scoot over. Cam, sit over here.”
It’s not that she absolutely wanted to be next to Booth, or that she didn’t want Cam to be next to him, but... She held back a sigh and scooted over to the other side of the couch, creating a place for Cam between them.
Cam almost laughed. As if I would sit between those two. They will probably spend the evening trying to talk to each other...
Where is she going? Booth wondered. Without thinking, he quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her close. She didn’t resist, but surprised, she gasped a little. And breathed him in. He probably wanted Cam to have better access to the coffee table next to the couch. That’s why he had pulled her so close to him. Their thighs were glued together. She had never been more aware of her right thigh in her entire life. Being that comfortable made her uncomfortable.
“Remember that drinking game, ‘Never Have I Ever?” Hodgins said.
“Yeah!” Angela smiled.
Booth and Cam laughed.
“Oh, my God, yes. We used to play every weekend in college,” Cam said.
“What is it?” Brennan asked.
“You have to say something starting with 'Never have I ever...' and those who have drink,” Booth explained.
Sweets tried to explain better.
“For example, you say ‘Never have I ever had a dog’...”
Hodgins interrupted him. “Well, that’s usually not in that line of questioning.”
“Yeah, it’s usually slightly more... personal,” Angela continued.
“Ok, for example, ‘Never have I ever kissed a dog’, and those who have kissed a dog have to take a sip of their drink.”
“Who would kiss a dog?” Brennan asked.
“The point is to get others to reveal their secrets,” Angela concluded. “We should try. You’ll understand once we start.”
“Yeah, I’m not sure I wanna play,” Booth winced.
“Too many secrets, agent Booth?” Sweets prodded him.
Brennan was curious now. “You afraid, Booth?”
“Fine!” Booth took his beer. “I’ll start. Never have I ever... Uhm... Yeah. No. Somebody else should start. I have no idea what to say.”
“I’ll do it,” Brennan said. "Never have I ever gotten straight A’s in Personal Identification and Analytic Methods in college.”
“That’s not a fun question, Bones! No one’s gonna drink to that.”
“Oh, but I will...”
She looked at all their blank faces, smiled with pride and took a big sip of wine.
Angela laughed. “At least she got the point.”
“You really should drink beer, Bones. There’s nothing worse than a wine hangover.”
Brennan shook her head. “I’m not planning on being hung over.”
“Yeah, a hangover is usually not something you plan...” Cam replied.
“My turn,” Angela said. “I’ll go with a classic, so that everyone can drink. Never have I ever been drunk.”
As expected, everyone took a sip. Except Sweets. Hodgins looked at the psychologist, who was staring at his feet.
“Didn’t you say that when the statement doesn’t apply to you, you have to drink?” Brennan verified.
They all looked at each other wide eyed. Booth tried to wrap his brain around the confession.
“You have never, ever been drunk in your whole entire... yet so short existence?”
Sweets sat up straighter, gathering some fake pride. “Nope.”
“Wow,” Angela let out. “Well, let’s get to it, then.”
Sweets turned to her. “What?”
“Let’s get you drunk,” Hodgins continued. He raised his glass to his lips. “Never have I ever had a crush on Angela,” he said slowly, making sure Sweets understood he was talking to him. He waited for the shrink to raise his glass too, and they both took a sip. Just before putting his glass down, Sweets whispered in a threatening tone, “You just wait...”
Brennan saw a change on Sweets face. She wasn’t too sure of the significance, but if she had been one for guessing, she would have said the young doctor had somewhat of a thirst for vengeance and that he was about to get even.
“Never have I ever...” he started, painfully slowly, enjoying every shadow of emotion passing on Hodgins’ features, “... had a tattoo.”
Oh, well. She had been wrong before. Angela took a sip, even though a non-permanent inking hardly qualified as a tattoo. Brennan went to turn to Booth, knowing he was going to drink too, when she realized Sweets was grinning from ear to ear. He probably had lied saying he had never been drunk. That young man was clearly not well.
She heard Hodgins mutter, “I’m gonna kill you.” And to everyone’s surprise, he drank. And he drank again when he caught Angela’s stare. The initial shock passed, and everyone started to talk at the same time, but Hodgins had gulped down all of his beer. He stood up. “Who wants more beer?”
“Sit down,” Cam said. You could hear she wanted to laugh, but Hodgins took it as an order and sat back down.
“You don’t even have a tattoo...” Booth started before he realized how it sounded. “Not that I’ve seen you... Or anything.”
“Oh, but I have. I’ve seen him. Every inch of him. He doesn’t have a...”
Angela stopped abruptly. Hodgins had taken his shirt off, exposing the drawing on his shoulder.
“Wow!” Angela first exclaimed. “I mean... It’s a little creepy, but it’s beautiful!” she said, grabbing his arm. “Why did you do this?”
“It’s not me!” he cried out.
“Been abducted by aliens again?” Booth teased him.
“No. By Angela’s dad.”
Angela winced. “I told you to leave town.”
“Sure. Rub it in.”
“How did you know about his tattoo, Dr Sweets?” Cam asked.
“He told me.”
“In confidence!” he yelped.
They started to argue. Surprised and unsure of how she was supposed to react or what she was supposed to say, if anything, Brennan turned to Booth. He was watching the scene play out in front of him as if he were watching a TV show, trying not to laugh.
Angela tried to calm Hodgins down.
“It’s no big deal. Everyone knows. So what?”
“No big deal?” he repeated. “How would you feel if I told everyone one of your secrets?”
“Like I would care. I don’t have any secrets,” Angela smiled slyly.
Hodgins snorted. “Let’s see...” He took Angela’s glass and handed it to her.
“Never have I ever kissed Booth on the lips,” he dropped.
Brennan’s heart sank deep into her stomach. Her brain had never processed information so fast. She couldn’t even catch up with it. Before she realized it, her hand went up. As she felt the cold glass on her lips, her mind remembered she had kissed Booth. But as quick flashes of them under the mistletoe started taking over her, she frowned. “HOLD ON!” she wanted to yell. She felt the urge to pause everything and everyone around her as she understood that Angela was drinking, too. She tried her hardest not to react. Not to see everyone’s eyes on her. Why were they all looking at her? Why weren’t they all over Angela? Angela had kissed Booth? When? Why hadn’t Booth ever told her? She caught a glimpse of Sweets trying to hide his laugh. Hodgins, who should have known it was impossible to make Angela uncomfortable, was stunned by the secrets he had just unleashed. Cam was agape. Booth was... she couldn’t verify. She didn’t want to look at him. She tried to put some distance between him and her, but with Cam on the other side, she was stuck. Stuck on him. Stop fidgeting. Say something. But Angela and she spoke at the same time.
“You kissed Booth?!” They both said. Brennan didn’t intend for her voice to sound so screechy.
Booth cringed. Crap.
The confusion was getting to everyone. Sweets’ professional instincts took over. “Ok, wait. Everyone calm down.” He hid his smirk the best he could. “One at a time.” Except for Brennan who was biting her lip, and for Booth, who had his head between his hands, they all looked as if they wanted to talk. Sweets said, “Me first. Agent Booth, do you realize you kissed all of your female coworkers?”
“Not all of them!” he said, defensively.
“Oh, and who are you forgetting, mister?” Cam said.
“No one! Can we talk about something else, please?” he grumpily barked.
“I agree.” Brennan didn’t want to know. She didn’t want to think anymore. She took her glass, his empty beer bottle, and got up. Booth got his legs out of the way so she could escape. As she squeezed passed him, Angela got up, too. “Let me help you,” she said. And before Brennan could respond, Angela was already in the kitchen.
She could hear the laughter all aimed at Booth. “Way to go, Booth!” “Hope you never kissed Daisy...” “Or agent Perotta.” Yeah, Brennan didn’t want to know.
Brennan knew she couldn’t avoid going into the kitchen. She entered, dreading every second of it. She walked straight to the counter and put her glass on it. Without even glancing at her friend, she opened the fridge and took out a beer. She heard Angela’s voice. “So, when exactly did you forget to tell me you and Booth kissed?”
Brennan didn’t mean to sound snappy when she let out, “I don’t know. Was it before or after you forgot to tell me you kissed him, too?” Regretting every syllable, she opened the bottle and drank from it. Angela winced. You really shouldn’t mix beer and wine, Bren.
“Who cares about me?!” Angela cried out. “You kissed Booth?! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me! Oh, my God! Wait!” Angela jumped up and pushed herself up to sit on the counter. “When did you... or was it him?”
Let me breathe. Brennan couldn’t find the words to start. She had the same questions for her friend.
“We should get back,” Brennan said. Not that she really wanted to go back out there.
Angela’s feet touched the floor again. She grabbed Brennan’s shoulders and forced her to look at her.
“Why are you so worked up?” she almost whispered.
“I’m not worked up,” she replied, taking another sip.
“Are you mad at me? Because I should be mad at you for keeping this from me.”
Brennan turned around and opened the fridge again. She took out another beer for Booth. Angela continued.
“The only way I’m gonna forgive you is if it just happened, and you didn’t have time to tell me.”
Brennan didn’t have much experience with silly situations as this one. She needed time to process. She didn’t want to get into it.
“Of course I’m not mad. I’m... thirsty. We’ll talk about this later.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not about to drop this one,” Angela concluded. She was about to return to the living room when Brennan called her back.
“Ange...” She lowered her voice as her friend came back closer. She felt weird for asking, she didn’t want to make a big deal out of this, but she couldn’t help wanting to know. Though her vocabulary skills were well above average, no words came out. So she stood there, mouth opening and closing until she shut it for good. She concentrated on the cold sensation from the bottles of beer in her hands.
“It was over 3 years ago, Christmas party, I was eggnog-ed, dressed as an elf, under the mistletoe and it was only a peck. It was like kissing my brother.”
She watched Angela leave. Booth and mistletoe. And she stood there a second before following her. It was like kissing my brother. Another sip of beer.
Brennan waited for Cam to get up and managed to sit back down between Booth and her. She handed one of the beers to him.
“Thanks. What happened to it?” he asked her, lifting the half empty bottle.
“Sorry, that’s mine,” she said, taking it back and handing him the unopened one.
“Did you spill?” he asked.
“Of course not! I didn’t say anything. Not that there’s anything to say since it didn’t mean anything,” she quickly reassured him.
She saw him frown and realized he hadn’t meant “spill” as a colorful synonym for “talk”.
“I didn’t spill my beer, no. I drank.” She breathed in. “So, who’s winning?”
“It’s not a win or lose type of game, Bones.”
“I know that. Who’s turn is it?”
“Why are you so snippy?” he pressed her.
“I’m not. I’d just like to know what’s going on.”
Before they could argue even more, Cam decided it was her turn.
“Ok! My turn! Never have I ever been in love,” she said, taking a sip of her glass.
“Bottom’s up!” Angela said, smiling from ear to ear, before gulping down almost all of hers.
Hodgins laughed, and drank, as did Sweets. Booth looked at Brennan before taking his beer to his mouth. She waited, wondering what would be a good question for her to ask next. They all just stared at her, waiting for something. Whatever, right?
“Uhm... Never have I ever seen a dead body,” she said. That’s a good one. ... Isn’t it?
No one drank. Maybe she misunderstood the game, after all. They were still staring.
“You’ve never been in love, Dr Brennan?” Hodgins asked.
“That’s why I didn’t drink. Isn’t it how we’ve been playing for the past 15 minutes?”
“Just checking...” he mumbled.
She saw Angela slowly shake her head and sigh.
Sweets carefully said, “I find it hard to believe...”
Booth knew Brennan was getting annoyed. He let her explain to them how love was merely some trick from the brain to force us into copulation, or something similar with better terminology. But he was getting annoyed, too. So he said,
“That’s a load of crap.”
This is not a good idea, Booth... Cam warned him silently.
A little uncomfortable, but really fascinated, Sweets put his beer on the table, ready to listen and take notes in his mind.
Uh, oh, Angela flinched, sinking into the couch.
Ah! This is gonna be soooo good! Hodgins chuckled inside.
Booth recognized that look on her face, that clenching in her jaw. Here we go.
“You’re dismissing thousands of years of evolution. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you can just ignore the...”
“Exactly! Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you can complicate it with scientific babble that sounds so smart. You can’t tell me you’ve never felt the butterflies that start swarming around in your stomach, the...”
She interrupted him again with a laugh. “And how would those insects get into my stomach?”
“When you open up.” The seriousness and intensity in his eyes shut her up. “Don’t tell me you’ve never felt them. It’s like someone’s tickling your insides. And it makes your heart race.”
His face drew imperceptibly closer to hers. Everyone else disappeared in a fuzzy blur when he locked his eyes with hers.
“When your eyes meet, for an instant, you feel as if no one else exists but you two.” He waited to make sure she was listening. “When you’re in love, you want to know, to understand the other person completely. You want to make them laugh. You think about that person all the time and you miss them when they’re not around, sometimes even when they are there. You want to share everything. You feel good around them. You trust them with your life.”
She tried to steady her breathing, but his eyes still on hers made it extremely difficult.
“Sometimes, whenever there’s the slightest touch,” he said as he ever so lightly brushed the back of her hand with his fingers, “you get palpitations, you’re whole body comes to life, tingly and calling out the to the other. But it’s not just physical because it goes deeper than that. In that moment, that instant when you feel as if they’re looking right into your soul, that moment when, even if you’re afraid to let them in, you want them to see you, you let the moment swallow you up into that connection...”
Booth realized he was still touching her hand. He slowly backed away. She was still looking at him.
Brennan couldn’t take her eyes off of him, but thanks to Angela who cleared her throat at that exact second, she managed to blink and break away. She pretended to read the sticker on the beer bottle.
“Well,” she said. Since no one was talking, she continued. “That sounds exhausting. Part of the symptoms even resembled some indicators of a heart attack.”
They all laughed, even Booth. He laughed, shaking his head from side to side. She hid a smile.
“Let me rephrase the statement,” Cam said. “Never have I ever felt what Booth just described.”
They all drank, watching Brennan closely to see if she would, too. She rolled her eyes. Everything he had said, she had felt at the exact moment he had said it. And it shook her up big time. She knew it was only the power of suggestion mixed with Booth’s alpha male charm. She was not in love with him. She was not capable of love. Not yet. She didn’t understand love enough to experience it. She was not in love. She was not. But to be honest with everyone, not that it really mattered, she had to.