Title: After the Garden
Author: Maeve Bran
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones or Brennan or anyone else; I'm just borrowing them and will return them to their owners when I'm done.
Summary: Booth and Brennan have a conversation after the events of "The Woman in the Garden".
Notes: SPOILERS for Bones 1.13 "The Woman in the Garden".
He jogged up to Brennan and Angela. He knew he was late to the funeral but he didn't know just how much trouble he might be in, so he asked. "Am I in trouble?"
"You're late for a funeral." Angela answered. "Of course you're in trouble."
"Sorry. I apologize," Booth said. "Everything okay here?"
Brennan, who had wandered away, turned and asked, "Where were you?"
"I had something to do," he answered, hoping it would end there.
"More important than a funeral?" asked a puzzled Brennan.
Obviously evading wasn't working so Booth tried charm. "I thought so at the time." he answered giving the ladies his charming smile.
Apparently charm worked because the ladies dropped the subject and led the way to the parking lot. Booth followed. Once there Angela hugged Brennan and nodded at Booth. She got into her car and drove off.
"She has a date." Brennan answered Booth's unasked question. She paused and added, "She also left before you could protest because I rode over with her ..."
"And she was trying to force me to take you home." smiled Booth.
"Yeah." Brennan said, embarrassed. Booth looked at her and the charming smile was back. He was going to offer but he wanted to let her sweat it out for a minute.
"You want to get some Chinese food?" asked Booth.
"Sure." answered Brennan.
Sid took one look at their faces and gestured to a booth far in the back. Booth nodded, knowing the privacy would be essential for the conversation that was going to have to take place. He wasn't going to tell her about the threat but he knew he couldn't keep her safe if she were ignorant. He also knew if she found out and he hadn't told her, no amount of charm would get him out of the troubles he'd be in.
They chatted companionably until Sid had brought their food. After the initial hunger had been sated, Booth brought up the subject he'd been dreading.
"You really know how to annoy people, Bones." He was trying for ironic humor to soften the blow he was about to deliver.
"What?" sputtered Brennan. His statement appeared to come out of nowhere.
"Right before I left headquarters, I got a message from the gang task force," he said more seriously. She nodded for him to continue knowing he was going to get to a point. He did. "Mara Muete put a hit out on you."
She had been searching his face and noticed that he was deadly serious and more furious than words could express.
"What did you do?" Brennan asked. He didn't answer so she asked a little more strained, "Seeley, what did you do?"
He was surprised at the use of his first name but not by the commanding tone in her voice. There were a number of things Seeley Booth didn't want to do or talk about and this headed the list but he also knew she wasn't about to let this go. He turned the small tea bowl in his hands a few times staring down into the amber liquid as if trying to read his future there.
"I followed Ortega and cornered him in an alley ..." his voice dwindled away. He still wasn't looking at her, so he didn't see the dawning concern in her eyes. He continued, "I pulled my gun and pointed it at his head before shoving it in his mouth and threatening him about anything happening to you. I walked away and then pointed the gun at him again and then left. If Cullen finds out, I'll be on desk duty till judgment day."
Brennan just gaped and did an impression of a fish for a few moments. She finally found her voice, but it was a small, quiet version of her normal voice. "That's what was so important, wasn't it?"
"Yes." Booth finally looked up. Regaining his usual manner, he said, "I wasn't going to tell you but I thought you ought to know about the threat."
"So I can be careful. You're right to tell me. I will take some precautions." She reached out and put a hand on his wrist that was on the table, his hand still holding the tea bowl. "You be careful too, Seeley."
They turned the conversation back to other topics and finished dinner. Booth put his hand on her lower back as he escorted her out of the restaurant. She made no protest. This surprised Booth as Brennan was usually the most bullhead and independent woman he knew. He opened the door for her, and to his further surprise, she thanked him. He guessed the news about the hit had her extremely distracted or he would have gotten a lecture on how he was trying to exert his dominance in the form of supposed chivalry.
"Your place or the lab?" Booth asked once they were in his SUV. She jerked her head around and stared. He repeated, "Do you want me to take you home or to the lab?"
"Oh, my place." Brennan answered. She then stared out the window for the fifteen-minute drive home. When he had parked, she turned to him and said, "Booth, I have to tell you some things and I'd like you to come up."
"All right, Bones," he answered. They both left the SUV and were silent until inside of Brennan's apartment and she had looked the door behind them.
"Okay, Bones, what is it?" Booth asked, concerned at her demeanor.
"You may want to have a seat." She gestured to the couch in the living room. He sat down at one end and she sat at the other. She slipped off her shoes and tucked her feet up beneath her.
"Okay, now you're scaring me. Bones, what is it?" Booth asked.
"On my last trip to El Salvador, I was taken hostage and thrown in a basement for what felt like weeks but was really three days. Every day my captor would come and make me believe I was going to die . . ." she explained.
Booth was shocked. No wonder she was touchy about having men touch her. He slowly scooted closer and gradually put his hand on her shoulder.
"Did he ...?" Booth whispered. No wanting to know but knowing she probably needed to get it out.
"Rape me? No, but he beat me and threatened it," she answered, turning into the comfort of his offered shoulder. He lowered his arm and put it around her and pulled her close. He held close for awhile. No tears were shed but Booth knew she needed the comfort he was offering for a few minutes. When she sat up and gently pulled away he let her go but held on to her hand.
"Thank you, Booth, for listening. I told Angela the story yesterday but no one else knows," Brennan said.
"Don't you think it is about time you called me Seeley? After all, you managed to do so earlier tonight," he asked, thinking it was a bit weird that she would tell him her most intimate secrets but still insist on the semi-formality of calling him by his last name.
"I think I can manage if you can manage to call me Tempe or Temperance." She countered. She smiled up at him. "Of course around the lab and on the job, you'll still be Booth."
"I think that's a deal, Tempe." He smiled that charming smile of his and leaned in. "How about we seal that deal with a kiss?" he said seductively.
She leaned in to meet him. "I think I can manage that." He leaned down and took her mouth with his and kissed her.