Another Bones fic. I have to say, writing Bones is just FUN.
Even the Blind Will See Our Love
Spoilers: Through The X in the File.
Pairings: Booth/Brennan, appearances by a number of others.
Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters; Hart Hanson & Co. do.
Summary: The Jeffersonian Institution is not a good place for keeping secrets.
A/N: Written for my BFF, xphilehb, to help her through busy season, since when I said I wanted to see a secret Booth/Brennan relationship that everyone knew about, she told me to write it, whether we got to see it or not.
Brennan learned the hard way that the Jeffersonian Institution was not a good place for keeping secrets. Later—months later—when she knew that everybody else had known that she was dating Booth, she asked Angela how they’d known.
Angela had laughed and rolled her eyes in what Brennan knew was an affectionate way. “Sweetie, a blind person would have noticed that you and Booth had finally taken the next step. I’ve only been waiting forever.”
“Did everyone know?” Brennan asked, knowing that she was using hyperbole, because it was impossible that everyone knew about her relationship with Booth. At the moment, however, Brennan felt like exaggerating; she really had believed that they were being stealthy, and she didn’t like being wrong.
Angela hugged her. “Of course. You two are the hottest couple at the Jeffersonian. Don’t fight it, Bren. Just go with it.”
Brennan figured that she probably shouldn’t be surprised that she was one of the last to know.
When Brennan told the story of how it began, she never knew quite what to say, because that night began like any other. She and Booth had been tired after resolving a long case involving a dead child—which was always exhausting, leaving them with no desire for company—so instead of getting a drink at the Founding Fathers, they had met at Booth’s.
Dinner at her place or his had become a part of their regular routine, and so that particular night wasn’t necessarily memorable. Booth ordered Thai food, doubling up on the Mee Krob, and Brennan brought a bottle of wine and a six pack of beer.
She could remember that the Thai food wasn’t as good as it usually was; Booth said that the management had changed. She could also remember that she drank nearly the entire bottle of wine, while Booth limited himself to two beers, and that they talked about anything but the case. They had each understood the desperate need for distance from the horror of tiny bones.
Brennan could tell the questioner the bare facts—that she had been tipsy enough to knock over her empty wine glass, and that she and Booth had reached for it at the same time. She could catalog the empirical data—the way her fingers had collided and tangled with Booth’s, the way her breathing quickened, the smell of his cologne, his pupils blown wide in an automatic arousal response.
For all of her observations, Brennan couldn’t say which one of them had closed the final distance first, the gap that had always remained impassable before. She couldn’t explain how Booth’s lips on hers made her feel as though she’d finally come home, or how she finally understood what Booth had meant about love being more than chemical responses in the brain.
Brennan felt all of that, but she couldn’t explain it in words, which she knew was a mark of how much she’d changed—how much Booth had changed her.
So, maybe it made sense that neither one of them wanted to make a big announcement—there wasn’t one to make, not when being together was as easy as breathing.
Angela wasn’t the first to know; that honor went to Cam, who had an uncanny ability to walk in at precisely the wrong moment. In this case, it was definitely less embarrassing than finding out that security had footage of Hodgins and Angela enthusiastically enjoying their lunch break, and slightly less embarrassing than walking in on Angela and Wendell flirting with intent.
Cam had, in fact, stopped dead on her way to Dr. Brennan’s office when she saw Booth through the glass windows. There was nothing inappropriate in their actions, exactly, and Cam knew how close they were, but this was different.
This was Booth standing toe to toe with Brennan, his head bent to look at her, a big, goofy smile on his face. This was Booth’s hand subtly capturing Brennan’s. This was Brennan positively glowing, and looking happier than Cam had ever seen.
The scene was so intimate that Cam knew immediately that they were sleeping with each other, and judging by the newness of the glow on Brennan’s face, and the sappiness of Booth’s grin—well, it hadn’t been going on for very long.
Cam just smiled and nodded to herself and decided that she could wait to talk to Dr. Brennan about the case later. She thought—no, she knew—that they would be good for each other, and she didn’t want to take the shine off.
Cam figured she could wait for them to make the announcement on their own. She just didn’t realize how long that would take.
Sweets noticed that something was up when he had lunch with Booth and Brennan. He was a trained observer of people, after all, and they were acting weird.
That was a clinical term, by the way.
Brennan sat next to Booth, their shoulders just touching, closer than usual. Booth’s smirk never left his face, and Brennan smiled more than usual. They traded what they probably thought were secret looks, and Sweets swore he felt a foot tap his under the table. He suspected the owner had the wrong foot.
His suspicion was confirmed a moment later when Booth’s smirk grew into a grin.
Brennan bumped shoulders with Booth, and Booth smiled into his cheeseburger.
Sweets’ eyes went wide as he realized that Booth and Brennan had finally taken the next step in their relationship.
Booth frowned at him. “Something wrong, Sweets?”
Sweets did a quick mental calculation and decided that it did not behoove him to reveal his knowledge. Besides, it wasn’t like Dr. Brennan believed in psychology anyway.
“Nope,” Sweets replied. “Not at all.”
He immediately began making plans for contacting Dr. Wyatt, however.
It made sense that Wendell would be the first of the grad students to notice the changes. Other than Arastoo, he was the most perceptive, probably because he’d had to be. Wendell had seen some things, and he’d had to think on his feet. Plus, he spent more time with Booth and Hodgins outside of work than any of the other interns.
That night, he and Booth had a hockey game, and Wendell had seen Dr. Brennan and Angela in the stands, seated next to Cam. It gave him a strange, warm feeling to see the three of them cheering Booth and him on; Wendell hadn’t had anyone to attend his hockey games in years, not with how his mom had worked all the time.
His parents both had worked their fingers to the bone for him, to allow him to get good grades and fight Golden Gloves and play hockey.
So, he was still riding a little high on the glow of having friends on the sidelines and a game well-played when he turned a corner and halted abruptly.
Booth was still in his gear, making him look broader, bigger, dwarfing Dr. Brennan, who always seemed larger than life. She didn’t seem to mind, though, because she was leaning against the wall, wool cap still pulled snug over her ears, cheeks flushed. The hallway wasn’t cold, and Wendell watched with wide eyes as Booth’s head bent lower, and Dr. Brennan tipped her head up, and their lips met.
Wendell hastily backed away, not wanting to be seen or heard. It was none of his business who Dr. Brennan was sleeping with, and he made a habit of keeping his head down and his nose clean. Besides, he had a lot of respect for Booth, and Wendell had no idea if they’d get into trouble if the FBI found out what they were doing in their off-hours.
And Wendell certainly wasn’t going to risk losing his position just because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut about something that wasn’t his business anyway.
He didn’t even mention what he saw to Angela; Wendell was really good at keeping his mouth shut when he needed to.
Angela later comforted herself with the knowledge that she wasn’t the last to know. She had wanted to be angry at Brennan for not telling Angela herself, for allowing her to find out by accident. Really, though, Angela was angry at herself, thinking that if she’d been a better friend, she would have noticed immediately.
Angela had been focused on the weirdness between her and Hodgins, and Wendell and Hodgins, and between the three of them, though. She had been too busy thinking about whether she could enjoy her fling with Wendell while still being rather more interested in Hodgins than she should have been to notice that Brennan was—glowing.
Hindsight being twenty-twenty, Angela could look back and figure out exactly when Brennan had begun sleeping with Booth.
The way she discovered that Brennan and Booth were sleeping together was so incredibly cliché that Angela couldn’t help but laugh about it later. She had been tired of the slight sense of guilt around Wendell, because she couldn’t help but think of Hodgins—and his tattoo, and oh, my God—and all she wanted was a girls’ night out.
Angela knew that Brennan wasn’t in the lab because Angela had watched her leave, so she assumed that Brennan was at home, working. That’s what Brennan did, after all.
Instead, when she’d called, Angela got Booth on the other end, his voice growly and sleepy and all kinds of sexy, and Angela had panicked and sputtered and blurted out some excuse about accidentally dialing Brennan’s number.
It didn’t take all that long for Angela to figure out that Booth and Brennan were together—she’d bet her next paycheck that she’d interrupted them having sex, or on a break from having sex.
They didn’t have an ongoing case that weekend, so Angela had no intention of going into work, no matter how badly she wanted to know what was going on. On the off chance that Brennan had shacked up with Booth, Angela wasn’t about to interrupt. She wanted to wait until Monday morning, when she had a chance to confront Brennan head-on, without Booth around.
She had every intention of cornering Brennan in her office, too, but Angela ran into Cam on her way. Cam had files that she wanted to go over with Angela, and Angela had no choice but to go with Cam.
“Did you know?” Angela demanded, unable to hold it in any longer.
“Know about what?” Cam asked, sitting behind her desk.
Angela hesitated only a moment, hoping that she wasn’t outing them. “Booth and Brennan.”
Cam grinned. “A couple of weeks now.”
“How did I not know?” Angela demanded, aggrieved.
Cam shrugged. “I think they wanted to keep it a secret.” And Cam’s expression changed from amused to almost fierce. “I think we should respect their wishes, don’t you?”
Angela sat back in her chair. “Yeah, of course.”
Cam nodded, apparently satisfied. “Good.”
“But aren’t you insanely curious?” Angela burst out, unable to help herself. “About how?”
Cam smiled. “I imagine Seeley will tell me when he’s ready.”
That wasn’t good enough for Angela, but she understood Cam’s point. It had taken Booth and Brennan so long to get to this point that no one wanted to scare them off.
“Okay, but still. I want to know.”
It became something of a game, figuring out who knew and who didn’t. Angela was the best at it, figuring out with a look and a veiled question who was aware of Booth and Brennan’s new relationship.
The list was fairly short at first—something that reassured Angela—but it grew quickly as Booth and Brennan seemed to disregard the need or the desire for stealth.
Angela began to really enjoy hearing all the stories about how various Jeffersonian employees had found out. She found it rather ironic that not even Booth seemed to know how close they’d come to being caught outright.
And by ironic, Angela meant that she had fodder for teasing him for years to come.
After 72 whirlwind hours racing the clock to find a kidnapped girl, no one was quite ready to go home, wound up as they all were from adrenalin and fear. Hodgins knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep if he went home now; he wasn’t good at working under pressure, and even when he guessed correctly, it left him with nightmares spun of questions.
What if he had guessed wrong? What if someone died because he didn’t get it right?
But the case had been wrapped up, the girl had been saved, and by silent agreement, Sweets, Cam, Angela, and Hodgins had settled in the upstairs lounge. Cam had been the one to ask where Booth and Brennan were, since Booth had mentioned joining them, and Hodgins had volunteered to go look.
He had a new vodka recipe that he wanted to try out, and he thought Booth might offer an educated opinion.
The medical platform was empty, and Brennan’s office door was closed and had the blinds drawn. Hodgins frowned, wondering if Dr. Brennan or Booth had decided to catch a nap on the couch; nearly everyone in the lab had slept on the couch in Brennan’s office at one point or another. It was a comfortable couch.
The soft moans coming from behind the closed door had Hodgins reaching for the doorknob—but he stopped when he heard Dr. Brennan moan, “Oh, Booth.”
Hodgins backed away slowly, feeling dazed and not a little confused. Wandering slowly upstairs, Hodgins plopped down on the couch next to Cam.
“You okay?” Cam asked. “You look like you just saw a ghost.”
“Uh.” Hodgins jerked his thumb in the direction of Brennan’s office. “Did you guys know…”
“Is Brennan in her office?” Angela asked.
Cam grinned. “Is Booth with her?”
Hodgins looked from Sweets, who was hiding a smile behind his mug, to Angela, who had that smirk that used to make his stomach do flips. Hodgins huffed out a breath that was almost a laugh. “Yeah. They’re together.”
“Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan were working separately for most of the case,” Sweets pointed out helpfully.
“So they’re making up for lost time,” Hodgins replied dryly. “How long has this been going on?”
Cam’s shrug was eloquent. “At least a month, maybe longer.”
“Longer,” Sweets said decidedly.
“And you would know how? They’re keeping it a secret.” In the face of Sweets’ smug assurance, Hodgins felt stupid, and he hated feeling stupid.
Sweets gave him a very serious look. “I’m a trained psychologist. I notice these things.”
Hodgins suspected that’s exactly the superior attitude that used to get Sweets shoved into lockers back in school, and he said as much.
Sweets took another drink, and Cam cleared her throat and changed the subject, ever the peacemaker. “You know, Hodgins, I think this is your best batch of vodka yet.”
And somehow everyone managed to keep a straight face when Dr. Brennan and Booth joined them half an hour later.
Neither Booth nor Brennan had feared the FBI higher-ups finding out about their relationship. Brennan hadn’t hesitated to point out that she was the best in her field, and she had no desire to work with anyone other than Booth. The FBI got good press by having a renowned forensic anthropologist on speed dial—not to mention what it did for their ratio of solved to unsolved cases—and Brennan would just stop answering the FBI’s calls if she had to work with someone who was not Booth.
Besides, she’d said, with a toss of her head and the stubborn set to her jaw that Booth had learned to love, she wasn’t an agent. The FBI couldn’t tell her who she could fraternize with on her off hours.
Booth had been tempted to point out that the FBI could tell him just that, but he’d refrained, knowing from experience that Brennan would get her way when she had that expression on her face. She almost always did.
In fact, there had been no real reason for them to keep their relationship a secret, other than initial reluctance to make an announcement. But the more time had gone by, the harder it became to find a way to tell people—and it had been fun.
“This is like the time we ran out of the restaurant without paying,” Brennan had whispered in the middle of a make out session in her office one day.
It had taken him a moment, but Booth finally remembered what she was talking about. Since he had paid, it took him a second. “Yeah, it kind of is,” he’d replied.
After a while, though, Booth wanted to be able to kiss Brennan goodbye, no matter who happened to be around. He wanted to hold her hand, instead of playing footsie under the table. Sneaking around might be fun, but Booth wanted to be able to shout that Bones was his from the rooftops.
“I think we should tell people,” Booth announced one night over pasta and red wine at a tiny Italian bistro.
Bones glanced up from her lobster alfredo with a question in her eyes. “Why?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I just—it’s been fun, but people are going to find out eventually, and I think it would be better if we told them.”
Bones appeared to consider it for a moment. “I should probably tell Angela first. Do you want to tell Cam?”
Booth gave silent thanks for Bones’ understanding. “Yeah, I do. Tomorrow?”
He was nervous, even though he knew that Cam would be happy for him, but he knew that she knew, as soon as he sat down across from Cam. “How did you find out?”
It wasn’t what he’d meant to say, but Cam just shook her head and grinned. “Booth, you two weren’t nearly as discreet as you think you were.”
He winced. “How many people know?”
Cam shrugged gracefully, a wistful smile playing around the corners of her mouth. “Quite a few at this point. Do you love her?”
“I’ve loved her for a long time,” Booth admitted.
Cam nodded. “Yeah. I know you’re happy. It’s a good look on you, Seeley.”
Booth met her eyes and knew he was grinning madly. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” Cam reached across the table to grip his hand. “Dr. Brennan, too.”
Brennan didn’t know how to tell Angela about her and Booth. She couldn’t call Booth her boyfriend; he was so much more than that. She didn’t want to say they were dating; they worked together, ate together, slept together. Brennan was closer to Booth than she’d been to anyone else—ever.
And just saying that they were sleeping together didn’t exactly cover it, either.
“Okay, Bren. What’s going on?” Angela finally asked after their second glass of wine and Brennan’s third false start.
Brennan took a deep breath. “Booth and I, we’re—together.”
Angela just laughed, as though she already knew, which she did. “Booth answered the phone while he was at your place, probably right after you guys had sex.”
Brennan winced. “I thought you didn’t know.”
“I figured it out.”
Brennan shrugged. “I wanted something for myself. I wanted to keep it secret.”
Angela pulled her into a hug. “I get it, sweetie. It’s okay.” She pulled back, her hands on Brennan’s shoulders. “Just tell me one thing.”
“What do you want to know?”
“How’s the sex?”
Brennan looked into Angela’s eager eyes and thought about nights and days and how easy it was to be with Booth, and how it was about way more than good sex.
But it was really, really good sex.
Brennan finally smiled smugly. “It’s like breaking the laws of physics.”