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Smile Like You Mean It


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((soooo, i haven't written a bones fic in forever and the last one i tried to write, i got really uninspired. i think it was because i was writing a sick brennan instead of a sick booth. i promise to finish this fic. haha. i hope you like it!))


It had started in the interrogation room as Booth was trying to get the man he knew to be the murderer to admit what he had done. He had been close, listening to Sweets in his ear as he told him to congratulate the man, relate to him, say that anyone would have done it. Booth had tried. Really, he had. Sweets had urged him to say it immediately and not let there be silence between them, but his nose had been itching for the majority of the day and it had been then in which the itching reached an apex and he gave one swift rub to his nose only to bring his forearm to cover three irritated sneezes. Huh’ESH. Huh’ETSCH’uh. ESSHT.

“Bless you,” Sweets and the man being held for questioning both echoed.

“Thank you,” Booth replied simply, forcing himself not to sniff even though his nose felt like it was about to run.

Despite the setback, with time he was able to get the man to confess and feeling triumphant, he left the room only to come face to face with a concerned Sweets.

“Are you okay, Booth?” Sweets pressed, his gaze probing and curious.

“Yeah, Sweets. I’m fine. Why?”

“The sneeze…”

“That’s what you’re basing this on?” Booth asked with a chuckle, trying to ignore it as his throat stung.

“Well, yes. But you looked to be distressed…”

“I was sharing a room with a man who killed three women. I was distressed. I’m fine, Sweets. Don’t they teach you not to jump to conclusions in psychology?” he asked with a smirk, poking fun at the young doctor.

Sweets sighed, clearly going to accept Booth’s reasoning, but he still looked troubled. “Okay, Booth, but the flu has been going around… Just be careful.”

“Will do, doctor,” Booth joked as he walked past Sweets. “Relax, kid. I’m fine.”

Begrudgingly, Sweets walked away from him, still calculating where he went wrong in his analysis of Booth. He could have been sure Booth was exhibiting the telltale signs of sickness.

Booth sped up his gait as an itching in his nose grew. He couldn’t sneeze in the earshot to Sweets, reaching the elevator and stifling one sneeze as he waited. Once the elevator dinged, he got on gratefully, but his anxiety level quickly rose as he noticed Caroline Julian in the corner.

“Hey, Cheri. How is it in the world of crime-fighting?” she asked good-naturedly.

“About the sihhhhh same,” he choked out, his nose itching desperately.

“What’s wrong with you?” Julian asked. She was almost as bad as Sweets.

Booth couldn’t answer her, bringing his forearm up to his nose and muffling a ETSCH’uh into it. He shook his head, sniffing to ward off future sneezes before looking at Julian, who was staring at him intently.

“Gesundheit, cheri. You’re not sick, are you?”

“Allergies,” Booth explained simply and Carolyn let that explanation suffice as they reached her floor.

“Take care of yourself,” she urged, making him think she didn’t really believe him, but she departed the elevator and after the doors had closed he let himself sneeze three times in the same irritated manner. Huh’ETSCH. ESCHH. ETSCH’oo.

Rubbing his nose, he made sure to be in control of his nose as he exited the elevator, saying his hello to a few agents as he made his way to his office. Sinking down into his comfortable chair, he felt his body relax and he also felt the adrenaline from interviewing the suspect wearing off. As it wore off, he noticed his other symptoms, ones he had to admit could not be attributed it to allergies. His head felt cloudy and there was a pressure beneath his eyes and in his sinuses. His throat was now aching faintly, sure to get worse. Resisting the temptation to lay his head down on his desk, he decided to get through some paperwork and then head home early, but first he had to call Bones to let her know they had wrapped up the case.

He dialed her number halfheartedly, not feeling like talking to anyone but he knew she needed to know those women could be put to rest.

“Dr. Temperance Brennan,” she answered formally, sounding distracted.

“Hey, Bones. What are you up to?” Booth asked softly.

“Cataloguing. Did he confess?” she asked.

“Yeah. He dihhhh’TSCH’oo,” Booth stopped, whirling the phone away from him as he failed to stifle another sneeze. Gnxx’TSCHOO.

“Booth? Booth!”

Brennan’s voice sounded far away and he realized he was still holding the phone away from his ear. “Yeah, Bones?” he asked quietly, not wanting to acknowledge the sneezes.

“You sneezed.” It wasn’t a question but rather a statement, one posed in a suspicious manner.

“Yes.” He matched her simple observation with a simple confirmation of his own.

“You are allergic to many different flowers, but I cannot see what could have made you sneeze in your office. Are you ill?” she asked scientifically.

“No. My nose just itched. Look, Bones, I’ve got a lot of paperwork to do.”

“Okay. We’re still on for dinner, right?”

“What?” he asked, a sense of dread settling into his stomach as he realized that it was their habit to have dinner the night in which they wrapped up a case.

“The case is over. You’re coming, aren’t you?”

The innocence in her voice made all the excuses fly from his mind and he found himself submitting. “Yeah. Seven good? Are we going to the diner?”

“Yes. I’ll see you there.”

Without so much as a goodbye, she had hung up and Booth was left to work on his paperwork, feeling worse by the second. He could feel sweat forming on his neck, which made his skin feel cold, except… He was pretty sure it wasn’t cold it all.


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Ahhhhhhhh! I'm so very happy to see another Bones fic! ^_^

Nothing like a sneezy Booth to make a fangirl happy, hehe. I love what you have so far! And those sneezes...yum! Thank you, David Boreanaz, for being so ridiculously attractive. :laugh:

I can't wait to read more! :wub:

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First Hotch, now Booth...you're killing me. ^_^ This is a great start; I particularly loved the concern from Sweets, Caroline and Brennan. Can't wait to see more sick and sneezy Booth...

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((thanks for the fast responses, guys! it makes me feel great that you all like this!))


Seeing no reason to go home when he’d just have to turn around and come back over here, Booth stayed in his office doing paperwork, trying to ignore the building feeling of sickness that was overcoming him. By 6:45, there was no way he could pretend like he wasn’t sick and he succumbed to feeling miserable for a few moments as he tried to plan out how he was going to deal with Bones without letting her know how he felt. He didn’t know why he couldn’t admit he was sick, but it had always been a struggle. He hated people thinking he was weak.

Knowing he’d be forced to answer a myriad of questions if he were late arriving to their dinner, Booth reluctantly stood up, loosening his tie as he noticed how tight it felt when he tried to swallow. That couldn’t be a good sign and neither could the way the room seemed to swim in front of him before his vision cleared. He felt drunk, his brain sluggish and vision tunnel-like. He found it difficult to focus on anything as he grabbed his keys and set off from his office.

By the time he got to the diner, he felt winded and chilled. All he wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep this off, but as he glanced in and saw Bones already seated at their usual table, he knew he couldn’t make up an excuse and leave her alone.

Taking a deep breath, which he let out in a harsh cough, Booth summoned whatever energy he had and entered the diner.

“Heya, Bones,” he greeted with a grin as he slid into the seat across from her.

“Hey, Booth. I ordered you your usual burger,” she replied, obviously proud of her thoughtfulness.

Booth nearly grimaced as she said that, wishing she had waited to let him order soup or something that wouldn’t rub against his raw throat, but he couldn’t blame her for doing something nice.

“Thanks, Bones. I owe you one.”

“One of what?” she replied blankly.

“It’s a figure of speech,” he answered patiently. “It more or less means thank you.”

Brennan nodded as she comprehended. It was then their food was brought out and Booth eyed his burger as if it were going to attack him.

When he noticed Brennan was watching him, he realized he had to take a bite as if to affirm her action was correct, so Booth lifted up the burger and ignored the feeling of dread he felt as he took a bite.

Satisfied, Brennan took to eating her salad and Booth allowed himself to wince as the food scraped his throat. He really wished he had been able to order his own meal.

Booth continued to eat his burger bite-by-bite as he tried to listen as Brennan talked to him about her cataloguing she had done today. He really tried to focus but he felt more and more feverish as he chewed robotically on his burger. Brennan finally noticed his apathy, looking quizzical as she saw him shiver.

“Are you cold?” she asked, studying him with that scientific gaze of hers.

“A little,” he admitted, his body shuddering again as if to prove his point.

“But you’re sweating…”

He hadn’t thought about hiding that piece of evidence and he swiped at his forehead. “Strange,” he mumbled as if he had no idea why he was sweating when he had goose bumps.

Brennan studied him even more intently and he felt his heart pound as his nose began to itch. He couldn’t let her see him sneeze after the symptoms she had already picked up on and so he focused on anything but the itching in his nose. They sat there in silence with Booth fiddling with his napkin and silverware and Brennan watching him like he was a science project. Finally his breath hitched almost imperceptibly and he knew he couldn’t prolong the inevitable. For that reason, he brought his napkin up to his nose and mouth and released two subdued sneezes into the fabric. Hih’ktschh. Kishhh’uh.

“Given that it is statistically improbable that an allergen would still be affecting you like this after hours of non-exposure and given the presence of chills, I have to conclude you’re ill, Booth,” Brennan explained scientifically.

Booth had to accept that he had no chance of convincing Brennan he was healthy, especially because she had evidence to support that he was not. Instead he nodded slightly, not wanting to give any more acknowledgment to the subject, as if she would forget that he was sick.

“Booth… You could be spreading your contagion here. Whether someone can spread his or her disease during the incubation period varies on the disease, but you are risking the health of the patrons of this restaurant by not being sure whether you are contagious or not,” Brennan explained in her unintentional insensitive manner.

Frustrated with her inability to sympathize, Booth massaged his temples to try to soothe his headache. “Bones, I didn’t want to bail on you,” he explained softly, giving up on eating his burger. Now that she knew he was sick, he didn’t have to eat the rest of this.

“If I knew you were ill, I would have understood. I don’t like to associate with people who can infect me with their disease,” she explained without sensitivity.

“Gee, thanks, Bones,” Booth replied, frustration turning into anger and turning his voice bitter. “I’m so sorry to have exposed you to my sickness.”

“I forgive you,” Brennan replied, taking his words as literal.

Booth groaned angrily only to cough a few times, standing up and throwing a $20 onto the table. “I think this will cover your meal, too. I guess I owe you for being such a jerk by exposing you to my sickness,” he said sarcastically, turning away and striding towards the door.

“Are you angry?” Brennan called as she finally comprehended that this was not his normal behavior.

Booth didn’t acknowledge her as he exited into the street, anger allowing him just enough strength to hail a taxi without feeling sick at all.


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Ohhhh nooooo! She didn't mean it, Booth! That's just the way her brain works! :(

Great update, kristen. I can see this whole thing happening a little earlier on in the series. Like, maybe second or third season? I don't know. I just get that feel. :laugh: Wow. I loved their dialogue (especially Brennan's cluelessness about certain figure of speeches and her literal interpretations - well done there!!). I also enjoyed poor Booth's misery (yes, I'm horrible for admitting that).

I really hope Brennan checks on him at least. He's so siiiick. The big ol' teddy bear. :wub: Love it!!!

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Oh I just LOVE your clueless Brennan - so dead-on character it's hysterical.

Poor Booth. I want to give him cuddles.

PLEASE continue, I love these two

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((i'm really inspired by this story, so here's another update. thanks for the comments, guys. hope this part is in-character, too. not much sneezing, but there will be!))


Brennan was more than a little confused when she went home. Part of her wanted to go after Booth, but she felt she had to consult with Angela before she did anything, since she was apparently missing something important.

At the Jeffersonian the next morning, Brennan sought out Angela, who after hearing her retell what happened, promptly buried her face in her hands.

“Oh, sweetie,” Angela moaned, shaking her head.

“What, Ange? I don’t understand what I did!” It aggravated her that she had no idea what she’d done wrong, but it was apparently quite obvious to her more empathetic best friend.

“I know you don’t, hon. It’s just that… Booth was trying not to let you down, so he came to have dinner with you even though he was really sick, and then you basically told him you didn’t want him there,” Angela explained slowly, sighing as she noticed the confused look on Brennan’s face.

“I didn’t want him there if he was sick, Angela,” she replied logically.

“Sweetie… You care about Booth, right?”

“Of course I do! Is that not obvious?” Brennan asked, hurt that her friend even had to pose such a question.

“Usually I can tell, but friends take care of friends who are sick. Booth was just trying to make you happy when he put his own health on the line and then you told him you didn’t want him there. I’m sure he took it as you not caring,” Angela explained quietly. “I can guarantee you if you were sick, Booth would take care of you, because he loves you, Bren. Now you should go take care of him…”

Brennan stood suddenly, her brow furrowed in distress. “I do care about Booth!” she repeated emphatically. She hated how people called her humanity into question on a daily basis and she thought Booth of all people would understand that she said things she didn’t mean all the time. Usually he was patient enough to work through her errors and keep his temper in check, but if she really had made him feel unwanted or unimportant like Angela said, Brennan needed to make it right.

For that reason, Brennan found herself asking Cam for the day off and then venturing to the store with a list Angela had created for her of ‘sick person essentials’. The list consisted of chicken noodle soup, tissues, Dayquil, Pepto Bismol, orange juice, cough drops and an assortment of DVDs, which she had to pick up from the video store.

An hour later she was standing in front of Booth’s place with her bag of supplies tucked neatly beneath her arm and a feeling of helplessness as she knocked on the door. Here was where Angela couldn’t guide her and she felt anxious in a way she rarely did around Booth. Usually she knew he would understand that her brain didn’t always work the same way as his, but he had been mad at her and Angela made it seem so obvious what she was supposed to do. Angela had referred to it as a sort of maternal instinct, and it made Brennan worry that maybe she wasn’t cut out to be a mom. She found kids to be very entertaining and liked to think that one day she’d have a baby, but she had to wonder how she would take care of a sick kid when she didn’t even know that she was insulting her friend? Hearing a shuffling behind the door, she braced herself to see Booth, convinced he would still be angry and hoping that maybe she’d be able to make him feel better, because she really did care.


After Booth had walked out of the diner, he had gone straight home and changed robotically into a pair of sweatpants and white t-shirt before he had collapsed into bed. That was more or less where he remained throughout the night save for the occasional trip to the bathroom spurred by his bladder or his stomach.

Booth had been asleep when Brennan arrived and he awoke slowly and painfully as he processed that there was someone at the door. Groaning at how awful he felt, he sat up slowly, shuffling towards the door with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.

Willing to bet that it was one of his neighbors coming to tell him to keep the coughing and sneezing down, Booth opened the door prepared to apologize profusely. All the apologies flew from his mind as he came face to face with an unusually meek-looking Dr. Temperance Brennan.

“Whad are you doidg here?” he blurted out. It was then he noticed the bag in her hands. “Whad is thadt?”

“It’s an assortment of items for sick people,” she replied simply. “I talked to Angela and know now what I did wrong. I apologize, Booth. I didn’t mean to make you feel unappreciated.”

Booth’s features softened as he understood what had brought her here and he felt his heart swell at her peace offering. Even though Angela had engineered this idea, he knew it took a lot for Brennan to be here following Angela’s advice. He needed to thank Angela for having the patience to explain things to Brennan when he didn’t, but he also felt the urge to apologize to Brennan for how short-tempered he had been.

“I gdnow you did’t. I should’t have sdnapped ad you,” he said guiltily, opening his door wide enough for her to enter, which she did with only a momentary hesitation. “You did’t gneed to cobe, though. I dohhhhhhhh’KTCHH’uh. Hih’KTCHUH…” he swiveled away from Brennan as far as possible as two sneezes interrupted him. “Sorry… I dod’t wadt to ged you sigck,” he said thickly, his voice even more congested after the sneezing.

“Don’t apologize, Booth,” Brennan urged quietly. “It’s not your fault you’re sick. I shouldn’t have acted like it was… I feel badly for how I made you feel, and I want to show you I care. I don’t want you to doubt my compassion…”

The look on her face nearly broke his heart and he felt the urge to hug her, which he resisted in order to try to protect her from his germs. “I dod’t doubd id, Bodes. I just felt sigck and took id oud od you. Please dod’t feel bad,” he begged, feeling torn. He really wanted to hug her and take away the pain she was feeling, but he didn’t want to risk her health.

“It was so obvious to Angela,” Brennan said quietly, clearly frustrated with her lack of comprehension. “I wish it were obvious to me… Angela said it’s a maternal instinct, so that means I’m not maternal.”

Booth felt more and more distressed as she talked, as he understood why it mattered so much to her that she had been wrong in her response earlier. She was worried she wasn’t going to be a good mother someday when she decided to have a kid. He knew she had been toying with the idea of becoming a mom and now she doubted her skill.

“Teberadce,” he pleaded quietly, touching her forearm gently. He wanted to hug her, but he didn’t know how she’d react and he didn’t want to get her sick. “You’re here, ared’t you?”

“Yes, Booth. Isn’t that obvious?” she replied quietly, meeting his eyes.

“Well thad shows you do have a madterdal idstidct, and please know that I gnever questioded you caring aboud be. I gnkow you do. I wadt to give you a hug, bud I dod’t wadt to get you sigck,” he said softly and intensely, his throat burning.

Brennan smiled faintly only to lower her bag to the floor and gingerly wrap her arms around him. “I’ve already been exposed, Booth,” she said quietly, only to tense slightly. “I’m sorry. I don’t want that to sound insulting.”

Booth hugged her back tightly, shaking his head as she apologized for what she had said. “Bodes, thad’s the gnorbal thidg to say,” he reassured with a small smile not that she could see it.

“Really?” she replied hopefully, looking up at him.

“Really,” he confirmed with a small smile, glad she was here.


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Oh. My. GOD! So many squee-inducing things in heeere! :P

First of all, I loved the interaction between Angela and Brennan. Of course she'd go to her best friend all concerned-like. So kudos there! Besides, Angela is just plain awesome, haha. :wacko:

Secondly, stuffy!talk Booth is the hottest thing in the world. Nnnghn...YES PLEASE! I loved the image of him wrapped in a blanket, shuffling to the door, all sick-like. GUH.

Lastly, he called her Temperance...okay, so it was "Teberadce", but still! You have no idea how many fuzzies that gave me. :P

I can't wait to see how she takes care of him. SQUEE! :D

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Oh my GOD this is fabulous!!!

You capture Ang and Bren's friendship FANTASTICALLY, and poor Bren's confusion. For such a genius she can be a bit dim, can't she? :lol:

Stuffy Booth. YUM YUM YUM. Very excited for upcoming chapters!!

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((so, i have been working like a beast (no lie) and thus i have been unable to update. saturday i will be going out of town for a few days, and i doubt i'll have time to update again tomorrow, so, if not, i will update again on tuesday. sorry this part is short!))


It didn’t take long for Booth’s nose to interrupt the hug, and he pulled away from Brennan sharply, turning away as he took a gasping breath and snapped forward with six harsh and back-to-back sneezes that tore through his throat. Hih’ETTTSCH. ETSCHHH’uh. UTSCHHHH. UTSCH’uh. Huh’TSCHHH’oo. TSCHHHH’oo..

Afterwards, he swiped at his dripping eyes to try to see through them, his nose still tickling but not overwhelmingly so. He sniffed hard to will the tickle completely away and to try to withhold the liquid tempted to stream from his nose. It was then he became aware Brennan was gone and he peered around, finding her digging through her bag of stuff. He watched curiously, sniffling wetly every few seconds to keep his nose from running. As she pulled out a box of tissues and passed it towards him, he couldn’t help but smile. He felt like shit and he already had a few boxes of opened tissues, but Brennan almost looked proud as she tried to take care of him. His smile widened as she said something he never expected to come out of her mouth.

“Bless you.” Her voice was unsure and she looked a little uncomfortable, but she was trying.

“Thadks, Bodes,” he replied softly after he had finished blowing his nose, walking past her to throw the used tissues away.

“I don’t believe saying ‘bless you’ is rational or useful, Booth,” she explained as an afterthought.

He chuckled which prompted a few coughs to escape. “Why did you say id thed?”

Brennan pondered her response momentarily before giving a shrug and answering honestly. “I figured it might make you feel better, since I know you find acknowledging a sneeze to be polite.”

Booth smiled at her again, nodding his head. “Well, thadk you,” he murmured, his exhaustion quickly overcoming him.

“You should be in bed,” Brennan instructed uncertainly, obviously not used to this caretaking business, but she took a few steps towards him and grabbed his arm, guiding him into his bedroom. “Lie down.”

Booth chuckled again, trying to shake any dirty interpretations of what she had just said from his mind. He complied willingly, curling up under the covers as he realized how cold he felt. He closed his eyes, trying to ignore how badly his body ached and fall asleep, but his face felt like it was full of concrete and his throat prickled as he tried to breathe through his mouth. Coughing, he winced as his throat stung and he opened his eyes wearily, shocked to find Brennan watching him from the corner.

“Uh, whad are you doidg?” he asked curiously.

“Angela said to look out for you wherever you were,” she answered from her post.

Booth smiled faintly again, but he didn’t laugh. He found her ignorance charming. “Id’s a figure of speech, Bodes. She just wadted you to tagke care of be.”

“Oh. How should I take care of you?” she asked, waiting for his guidance.

He was too tired to walk her through this, and he sniffled as his nose itched. “I dod’t gdknow, Bred. You dod’t really need to. I’b fihhh’KSHH’oo. KTSCH’uh. I’b fide.”

“Bless you,” she murmured again, sounding a little less uncertain this time. “Angela said you’d say that.”

Booth groaned jokingly, not actually angry at Brennan. “She did, did she?”

“Yes. And that makes sense. Anthropologically speaking, the head males needed to hide any sort of weakness so as to keep from being replaced.”

Booth yawned as his eyes began to feel heavier. He doubted his sudden ability to sleep had to do with Brennan’s anthropological stuff, but he had to admit it was pretty good timing. “Greadt job tagkidg care of be, Bodes. You’re pudting be to sleeb!” he exclaimed dramatically, yawning again. “You dod’t gneed to stay. Really… I’b just goidg to sleeb. You’ll be bored.”

Brennan paused only momentarily before she recalled that Angela told her not to leave under any circumstances. Angela had said Brennan needed to stay and take care of Booth, because men simply could not take care of themselves.

“I’ll stay, Booth. Can I watch something on TV?” she asked and Booth felt like he was with Parker as he nodded.

“Yeah, sure. Go ahead,” he said dismissively, yawning again as his eyes slid shut involuntarily. He was almost asleep when he heard Brennan shuffle towards the door.

“Sleep well, Seeley,” she whispered, convinced he was already asleep. It was something she could vaguely remember her mom telling her every night and it had made her feel very safe… It had made her feel very loved.


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OOOOHHH this is SO fantastic! You write their strange and wonderful relationship SO well, and I loved how unsure Bren is of blessing someone. Very her. :lol:

Short but very, very sweet. I can't WAIT for more! This should keep me going til Nov 3rd :)

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((oh how i love fluff. hope you enjoy))


When Booth woke up, he was drenched in his own sweat and trembling uncontrollably. His mouth was parched and his head was pounding, the room spinning as he clambered to get up and put a stop to this feeling of malaise. He stood up and immediately sank back down, feeling winded by the movement, his heart pounding in his ears. He really didn’t feel well and it scared him, but he needed some water, so he paused a moment and tried again, making it to the bathroom where he turned the shower on in an attempt to shake this feeling from his body and submerge his dehydrated body in water.

There was no way to control his body as the room spun ominously again and he clambered to grab the shower curtain, pulling it off as his knees buckled. His body hit the ground hard and he looked around wildly, unsure of what had just happened. It was then he saw Brennan’s concerned face and heard her voice, which sounded muffled and faraway.

“Booth… You need to talk to me. Are you okay?”

He opened his mouth to reply but couldn’t find the words, his eyelids closing heavily. He could sort of feel Brennan’s touch, but he wasn’t able to focus his attention and so he trembled pitifully and relentlessly on the cold floor of his bathroom.


Brennan’s voice was louder this time, any hint of hysteria gone as her voice took on a commanding tone.

Next thing he knew, he felt water sprinkling his face, going into his mouth and up his nose. He shook his head, sneezing freely from the irritation. Hih’KSHHHH. Hih’GNSST. KNSCHH’uh.

The sneezes seemed to clear his mind a little or maybe it was the water, but he found his vision focusing a little and he met the gaze of his partner. “Bred…” he whimpered in a manner unlike himself.

“It’s okay, Booth. Your fever needs to come down. That’s all.” Her scientific explanation and matter-of-fact tone soothed him and he followed her lead as she tugged him hard to get him to sit on the edge of the tub. As she began to undress him, he didn’t fight her, trusting the hurried and purposeful way she slid his pants off. Soon he was in his boxers, shivering as the air hit his hot skin. He lifted one leg over the edge of the tub and then the other as Brennan prompted him, and with her help, he lowered himself into a seated position under the stream of ice water. He yelped as his body registered the sensation and he took gasping breaths, scrambling to get out but Brennan stepped into the tub with him, bravely bearing the cold water as she held him in his spot. It didn’t take long for him to quit fighting her and he sat there in his boxers, shivering uncontrollably as he slowly regained his own mind.

He groaned softly as he looked at Brennan, who was fully clothed, trembling under the stream of ice water. “S-sorry,” he muttered through his chattering jaw, his own voice still clumsy as his fever began to go down and his mind cleared.

Brennan shook her head, slowly moving to sit on the rim away from the water, surveying Booth with her intense gaze. “You’re really sick, Booth.” Her voice was soft and worried, the confidence she had possessed when telling him what to do slowly melting away.

“I’b f-fide,” he replied automatically, sniffling as his nose began to run, which prompted him to sneeze. Hih’KTSCHUH. KTSCHH. GNSHHOO.

“Bless you.” Her voice was no louder than a whisper as she watched him with pity, looking thoroughly out of her element now that she was no longer in crisis-mode. “I don’t know how to make you feel better, Booth.”

“Whad are you t-talkidg aboud? You just d-did,” he replied softly.

“No, I helped you get your fever down. But… I don’t know what to do now. Maybe I should call Angela.”

He looked at her and could tell she was truly distressed, wringing her hands a little and looking vulnerable as she watched him uncertainly. It broke his heart that her instinct was to call Angela, as if she weren’t enough for him. He reached out and grabbed her hand gently. “I wadt y-you,” he insisted. “Now c-can you h-help me out of h-here?”

Brennan offered a ghost of a smile and nodded, holding his hand as she helped him up. She didn’t mean to look down, but she did momentarily and quickly averted her gaze. His underwear was certainly not hiding anything now that it was drenched.

Booth, too, looked down and he covered himself like a schoolgirl even as his body shook with chills. “I need a t-towel,” he muttered to himself, fumbling for the towel on his towel rack and placing it around his waist. He then proceeded to wander to his dresser, grabbing out his coziest T-shirt and some clean boxers, which he offered to Brennan.

“What’s that for?” she asked dumbly as she trotted after him.

“For you. I’b not going to let you frIHTSCH’uh. KTSCH’uh. KTSCHHH… freeze. Go chadge id the bathroob. There are sbare towels id the closed.”

Brennan took his shirt wordlessly, returning to find him with pajama bottoms on and no shirt, his back heaving up and down as he prepared to sneeze. “The light,” she offered quietly.

“W-whah what?” he managed to say between hitching breaths.

“Look at the light. It will help.”

Booth looked confused momentarily, but he followed her advice, his eyes immediately shutting as his upper body snapped forward at the force of his sneezes. Hih’KTSCH’uh. Hih’KUH’TSCHOO. KTSCHHH. KTSCHUH. Once he was done, he felt Brennan’s steadying hand on his bicep.

“Bless you.” This time she said it with no hesitation, offering a small, sympathetic smile.

“Thadks,” he replied with a wide smile as he saw her dressed in his oversized T-shirt, looking beautiful as ever. “I mead it, Temby. Adgela has nothidg on you.”

Temperance broke out into a full on smile now, her hand still on his bicep as she guided him toward his bed, now feeling more confident in her role as a caretaker. “I’m glad I’m here, Booth,” she confessed once he was settled into his bed and she was seated next to him.

He shifted so he was looking right at her even though his eyes felt heavy again and his body was exhausted. She looked so relaxed, leaning against his bedpost, and he felt his heart swell with gratitude and love for the women some people found to be cold. “I’b glad, too,” he murmured with a nod, cupping his hand over hers again as he allowed himself to fall asleep, relishing the feeling of her hand beneath his.

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Wowowow. I'm super behind in commenting on this! :wub:

So much goodness has happened! I'm loving the intense care-taking. It makes me all sorts of happy. :lol: Although, my favorite scene by far is definitely the bathtub scene. Ho'man, that was jam-packed FULL of awesomeness. I love how Bren actually got INTO the water with Booth, because she SO wouldn't be against doing that if it meant helping her partner. :D

I agree with tma. The dialogue is heartwarming and totally believable! On that note, the sneezing... Boy, I'm so glad Booth is prone to fits. :bleh: It's canon, after all! But man, those fits of four or more? THEY KILL ME, kristen. In a good way. Mmmm, Spoo like! :naughty:

There wasn't a 'TBC', so I'm assuming this is finished? If so, cool beans! I enjoyed every bit of it. If not, WRITE MORE SOON! :)

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Aaaaaahhh this is freaking wonderful. This has made my crappy evening SO much better!!! :yay: Sick Booth *drools*

I love protective and worrisome Brennan. Is it mean for me to say that I hope she gets sick too?? *evil-grin*

INCREDIBLE. :cry: More soon I hope!

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I read this all today. :yay: It's amazing! I've really watched Bones before, but I think I might have to start soon...:cry:

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((thanks for all the feedback, guys! the story was not over. i just forgot to put a TBC. here's the next part.))


Brennan sat perfectly still while Booth slept, watching him nervously as if at any moment he were going to realize that she wasn’t doing a very good job of being a caretaker. She could hardly remember ever being cared for while she was sick. She had been a very healthy child and even as a kid she had hated to show weakness, so her mom rarely had to nurse her back to health. It was times like these that Brennan wished she had let her mother fret over her, because then she would know what to do.

When her phone rang, she jumped at the suddenness and quickly clambered to answer it, gently tugging her hand away from Booth and moving out of his bedroom so as to not wake him.

“Dr. Brennan,” she answered quietly, slowly shutting the door behind her.

“Hey, Bren. Everything okay?” It was Angela. Of course.

“Yes. I think so. Booth is asleep. I had to help him take a cold shower to get his fever down earlier.”

“Really?” Angela’s voice was laced with curiosity and the words were delivered suggestively.

“Yes. He’s quite ill.”

“Aw, poor thing. So… Was he undressed when he showered?”

“He had on underwear,” Brennan replied unknowing of where the conversation was headed.

“So… You didn’t see anything?”

The question caused her to flush with embarrassment and she spoke a little too quickly. “No, Ange. Of course not.”

“Ooooh. You so did! How did he look?” she asked, her voice lowering as if Hodgins was going to walk in.

“Angela!” Brennan cried out in shock. “He looked… Fine.”

“That good, huh?” Angela replied knowingly. “Well I was just calling to check up on you. So everything is going well?”

“Yeah… Except I don’t know if I’m soothing or not.”

“I’m sure you’re fine.” Angela’s voice was reassuring but she hesitated before adding another thought. “Just rub his back or play with his hair. Booth’s a big, strong guy, but I can just tell he wants to be babied. Bring him soup in bed. Tuck him in. Do stuff like that. He’ll like it.”

Brennan took what she was saying and mentally catalogued it for future use, hesitating momentarily before she asked the question she was dying to have answered. “How do you know to do those things?”

Angela’s voice was warm and understanding, but it didn’t help to clarify much. “Oh, sweetie. I don’t know. I just do. Maybe it’s my artistic heart? I’m sure if you relaxed and stopped worrying about whether or not you’re doing a good job, you’d realize it comes pretty naturally to you, too. We all take care of the person we love.”

“I don’t love Booth!” Brennan responded immediately, trying to deny any feelings she harbored for her partner. “I mean… I do, but just as my friend.”

“I didn’t say otherwise,” Angela said smugly. Brennan could hear the smile in her voice.

The distant sound of sneezing brought Brennan back to the present and she quickly made an excuse to get off the phone, making her way back into Booth’s room, where she found him curled up on his side, his upper body curling inward with each sneeze. Hih’KTSCH’uh. Hih’KSHHH. KTSCHH’uh.

“Bless you,” Brennan said automatically, finding that she was quite confident in saying it now, knowing that Booth appreciated it.

He coughed a few times before croaking out “Thadks”.

She hesitated before crawling onto his bed next to him, slowly beginning to knead his back.

“Nggg… Feels good,” he whispered.

Brennan smiled as she worked on relieving the tension in his back. She could feel knots in the muscle, and she wasn’t too surprised that he held onto so much tension.

“I feel really sick, Bodes.”

His voice was so quiet she almost didn’t hear him, but she registered what he had said after he shifted to look at her through glassy eyes.

“I suspect from your symptoms you’ve come down with a strain of the flu,” Brennan confirmed. “So, yes, you are really sick, Booth.” She wondered if that was insensitive, but Booth didn’t seem to notice, flopping back down on the pillow and shivering. She hesitantly moved her fingers into his hair, massaging his scalp and smiling as he voiced his pleasure. She was rubbing right behind his ears when his head bobbed forward with a sudden sneeze. Hih’KSH’oo.

“Sorry,” he mumbled thickly.

“For what?” she asked with surprise, her hands moving to his back and massaging the muscles there again.

He didn’t have time to answer, and she felt his muscles contract as he snapped forward with a fit of six sneezes, each drawn out by a few torturous seconds of him hitching desperately. Hih’GNSHOO. KSHHHH. KTSCH. Huh’KSHUH. KTSCHOO. KTSCH’OO.

“Bless you,” she said again, watching him as he turned over to face her.

“I feel siggk,” he repeated in a voice laced with despair, looking fearful as he searched her eyes for reassurance.

At a loss for what to say, Brennan thought back to Angela’s response when she had heard Booth was ill. “Poor thing,” Brennan parroted in the same sympathetic tone of voice Angela had used, and she felt relieved as she saw Booth’s fear subside and his face relax.

“Cad you play with by hair agaid? Thad feld good,” Booth requested meekly.

The corners of her lips twitched upward in a smile as she felt needed by Booth, and she silently returned her fingers to his hair, stroking his head even after he had fallen back asleep in the hope that he was still getting some relief as he slept.


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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! You just like making me squee, don't you? :lol:

Booth is so adorable right now. All sick and vulnerable... Gosh. I love when big, strong men are reduced to clingy little boys who enjoy affection. Super cute! I'm glad Bren is getting the hang of things. And hah, that conversation with Angela? Priceless. :laugh:

More soon, please! :twisted:

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If this is not part of the season 7 opener then i shall be VERY disappointed!!!!

I can't stress how GOOD this is. You know it's NEVER allowed to end, right???? :twisted:

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Booth slept pretty well for the next several hours, soothed by Brennan’s presence next to him. When he awoke, he didn’t feel better, but he was at least not delirious as he registered where he was and who was next to him.

Brennan’s hand was resting on top of his, relaxed in her state of sleep. Her body was curled inward towards him and her face was so close to his, he could admire every last detail with ease: her eyelashes, her quizzical brow which was smoothed out as she slept, and her lips, soft and appealing.

Not wanting to wake her, Booth had gently pulled his hand away from hers and sat up. The first cough was meant to be soft, but it came out rattling with phlegm, which seemed to clog his airway. Gripping the bed, he coughed roughly and continuously, each cough seeming to shift the mucus but not dislodge it.


He barely heard Brennan’s sleepy address, but he felt as she began to rhythmically and firmly pat his back. Not only did the feeling of not being alone ease his feeling of panic, but the gentle hits to his back helped to completely dislodge his phlegm, which came up easily not long after she began to help. He grabbed a tissue and spit into it, breathing heavy.

“That sounded uncomfortable,” Brennan observed in what could almost be seen as sympathy.

Booth merely nodded, not trusting his voice at this moment. His throat stung sharply and swallowing took an effort, so he figured his voice would not be at its best. As Brennan continued to look at him expectantly, he knew he had to acknowledge her in some way.

“Yeah,” he whispered, his voice hoarse and congested.

“Do you need anything?”

Her question was a little shocking, as Brennan didn’t usually mean to be self-absorbed but often ended up that way. “Ibuprofid and some water would be good,” he rasped out, standing rather unsteadily.

“Where are you going?” Brennan asked worriedly as she went to his side, hovering by him uncertainly.

“Bathroob,” he stated with a nod towards the open door and Brennan nodded, mentioning she was going to get his medicine and leaving the room.

Once in the bathroom, Booth shut the door and relieved himself quickly. After flushing the toilet, he washed his hands and was in the process of splashing water on his face when a sudden itch assailed him. Snapping upright, he quickly sat on the rim of the tub, grabbing a wad of toilet paper and bringing it up to his face expectantly.

As his breath hitched desperately, he saw Brennan anxiously poke her head in the bathroom, coming all the way in and pressing a pill in his free hand and setting the water down next to him for when he was ready.

Unfortunately for him, the itching in his nose went from being acute to being a dull, constant ache in the back of his nose that hurt like hell and taunted him with almost sneezes. He took the pill once he was sure he wasn’t going to sneeze, gulping all of the water down quickly.

“Whahhhhd are you doidg?” Booth asked fearfully as Brennan turned the shower back on, afraid that she was going to force him back under icy water as his breath hitched torturously again. “My fever ihhhhh is dowd!”

Brennan said nothing, turning the knob all the way to hot and waiting until steam began pouring from behind the shower curtain.

“Come here,” she prompted, tugging at his bicep to get him to sit at the end of the tub where the scalding water would not reach him but the steam would. “Just sit here and breathe.”

Booth did as he was told and before long he felt the steam tunneling its way through the congestion in his sinuses. Not only was it helping his sinuses, but as he coughed, he was both disgusted and a little relieved to find out that producing phlegm wasn’t difficult this time around. He took the toilet paper Brennan was offering and spit into it, finding it a little easier to breathe.

“The steam should help to break up any nasal congestion, which your body will try to expel in a…”

She was interrupted by a series of harsh and wet sneezes from Booth. Hep’TSCHhhh. Chishhh. Huh’KNGshhh. Nggg’SHUH. Hep’TSCH’oo. KSHHHH.

Once his sneezing fit had stopped, Brennan offered a bit of a humored smile, finishing her previous sentence with the obvious word: “Sneeze.”

Booth chuckled which seemed to prompt a few thick coughs, which he directed into his wad of toilet paper with a look of distaste. “This is gross,” he observed hoarsely but with the congestion momentarily gone from his voice.

“On the contrary, Booth. This is your body’s defenses at work. Your body is trying to expel the pathogen, hence the productive coughs, frequent sneezing and high fever. They’re all good signs that you’re healing,” she stated optimistically.

A smile formed on his lips at her reassurance and he felt his heart swell for his partner, who had inadvertently said just the right thing. “Thanks, Bones,” he said warmly, giving his nose a good blow to rid it of the last bit of mucus.

“Your color looks better,” she observed with a nod, walking over to him and planting her lips on his forehead without warning.

“Uh… Bones?” Booth asked with a nervous chuckle.

She pulled back and frowned slightly at him but didn’t look too concerned. “I was checking for a fever. Lips are much more sensitive than using a hand to check. I think my mom used to kiss my forehead to check for a fever,” she confessed, crinkling her brow as she tried to recall whether she was imagining that or not. Somehow kissing his forehead felt… Familiar.

“So what’s the prognosis, doc?”

“Do you mean prognosis or diagnosis?” Brennan followed up.

“Either? Both? I don’t know, Bones. I’ve got a fever. Give me a break,” Booth teased.

“Well, the diagnosis is you have the flu and you have a fever because of the flu. The prognosis is that with proper care, you should be feeling better within a few days,” she explained.

“I feel okay now, though!” Booth protested, not keen on the idea that this was not the end. Even his body seemed to sense that this was just the eye of the storm and his nose promptly itched, causing him to snap forward with an unrestrained sneeze. Heh’IHkshh..

“I really don’t like saying ‘bless you’, Booth,” Brennan said suddenly afterwards, causing Booth to chuckle again.

“Then don’t say it,” he countered with a smirk.

“But you think it’s polite!” she retorted, her expression troubled.

“Do what you want, Bones,” he replied, amused by the conversation.

“It just isn’t rational. Salud or Gesundheit, both of which refer to health or good health make much more sense than referring to a deity,” Brennan countered.

“Thehhhh’KSHH. ITSCH’uh. Then say one of those,” he replied, the appearance of two sneezes proving to be good timing.

“Salud,” Brennan replied with a faint smile.

“Gracias,” Booth responded accordingly, blowing his nose again and then stepping out of the tub, feeling a lot better now that his head was clear even if it was just for the time being.


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I'm really enjoying this fic. In this part I especially enjoyed the early part where Booth was gripped by a fit coughing and Brennan helped him out. Booth's reluctance to speak afterwards was adorable too and then when he did speak...mmm, so well done. I could picture it all quite well.

Also fabulous about this fic is the title. Is it from The Killer's song by the same title? That was a good song on a good album.

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