Author's note: thanks so much for the reviews and favorite story & story alert adds! So sorry I haven't updated sooner! I referenced Gordon-Gordon several times in the last ficlet because he's featured in this one, as is another character. (You'll notice that I mock this character's awkward emphases in conversation.) This ficlet takes place a month after the last, so Brennan is fifteen weeks along. Enjoy!
A Matter of Taste
"Gordon-Gordon — my man! It's good to finally see you!" Booth greeted the psychiatrist-turned-chef with a grin and an enthusiastic handshake.
"It's good to see you, as well, Agent Booth." Gordon-Gordon smiled warmly at the agent. He turned to the forensic anthropologist and pressed his cheek to hers. "You love positively radiant, Dr. Brennan."
"Thank you, Dr. Wyatt." Brennan beamed.
"I made the career change to the culinary arts long ago, Dr. Brennan. Please, call me Chef. Or Gordon-Gordon as your other half does."
Booth and Brennan exchanged sheepish glances and followed Gordon-Gordon into his empty restaurant. The partners hadn't seen the chef in over a year and wanted to update him on their life together. They asked him to join them for breakfast at the diner, but he insisted on cooking for them.
Gordon-Gordon sneaked them into his restaurant at 4 P.M., several hours before it opened for dinner. He wanted them to enjoy the intimacy of chef's table without having to eat in a hot bustling kitchen. He seated them at a table in the center of the restaurant and poured a glass of Chardonnay for Booth and a glass of Perrier for Brennan.
Gordon-Gordon noted that the pair was dressed in complementary outfits (probably unintentionally). Booth wore a light blue sports shirt, grey pants, his cocky belt buckle and black Vans, while Brennan wore a sleeveless royal blue maxi dress with a v-neck that kept distracting her partner and matching sandals. Their relaxed body language indicated that they were much more at ease with each other since they dined with him last.
"Chef, what's on the menu this evening?" Brennan asked.
"I've prepared three courses to suit both of your tastes." Gordon-Gordon responded mysteriously and headed to the kitchen.
Brennan sipped her sparkling water and frowned. "Our palates don't have much overlap."
Booth shrugged and drank his wine. "I dunno, Bones. You force me to eat more vegetables than I usually do."
"Perhaps you're right. Since you declared yourself the apartment cook, I've eaten more poultry and meat in the past six weeks than in the past six years because you're under the impression that tempeh and tofu don't provide as much protein."
Gordon-Gordon returned to their table with a waiter in tow. The waiter placed a large square plate in front of the partners and hurried back to the kitchen.
"For the first course, I put my spin on pommes boulangères, garnished with sautéed spinach in each corner of the plate."
Brennan inhaled deeply. "Do I detect truffles?"
"You have a chef's nose, Dr. Brennan." Gordon-Gordon winked. "I made this because of Agent Booth's penchant for French fries — or anything with potatoes, really. And I figured that the truffles would appeal to your slightly more — " He waved a hand, as though to grab the word he was looking for from the air.
"Sophisticated taste?" Brennan suggested.
"Hey now — my taste is plenty sophisticated!" Booth interjected.
"I was going to say adventurous, but sophisticated could be an accurate descriptor." Gordon-Gordon joked and headed toward the kitchen.
The partners didn't bother dividing the appetizer onto their small plates. They huddled over the large plate, sampling the dish and occasionally feeding each other bites.
Booth lifted his nose, impersonating a pretentious food critic. "The truffle shavings elevate the richness of the dish."
Brennan laughed, but went along with the charade. "The spinach offsets the onions' sharpness."
"The potatoes were flawlessly executed."
"This is a rare instance in which I want more butter — truffles really do make everything better."
For the main course, Gordon-Gordon presented a broiled thyme crusted salmon filet on a bed of arugula and a pomegranate and lentil couscous, which the pair divvied up on the presented plate. The chef joined the partners for dessert — almond pumpkin beignets drizzled with a pineapple chocolate sauce and sprinkled with candied bacon.
"Gordon-Gordon, you've outdone yourself." Booth patted his stomach and leaned back in his chair.
"Everything was delicious." Brennan sighed contentedly, then added, "I couldn't help but notice a trend in the dishes — "
"Oh?" Gordon-Gordon raised an eyebrow, speared the last beignet with his fork and popped it into his mouth.
"The most prominent ingredients in each dish were aphrodisiacs."
Booth choked while sipping his wine.
Gordon-Gordon smirked. "You caught me, Dr. Brennan!"
"Feeding us aphrodisiacs wasn't necessary, Chef."
"Bones!" Booth hissed.
"What, Booth? It's true!"
"There's another common characteristic to the featured ingredients from tonight's menu."
Brennan's eyes widened. "Each dish included foods that pregnant women should eat."
"Oh dear, was I mistaken? That would be a terribly embarrassing thing to imply if it weren't the case — "
"No, Gordon-Gordon, you're right."
"Thank heavens! Congratulations, you two! How far along are you, Dr. Brennan?"
"Approximately fifteen weeks."
"I take it Agent Booth is making sure you don't lift a finger."
"Almost to the point of annoyance. The incapability to help oneself isn't a symptom of being pregnant."
"I like pampering you, Bones."
"I appreciate it most of the time, Booth, but sometimes, I want to cling to any semblance of normalcy as my body changes into an unrecognizable form — "
"Bones. You're beautiful. Always."
"I'm aware of that, but it doesn't make it less disconcerting to see my stomach balloon — "
"Dr. Brennan, if I were a stranger passing by, I wouldn't have thought you were expecting. And I'm sure you've noticed that Agent Booth is too distracted by your ample bosom to glance at your stomach."
"Way to call me out, Gordon-Gordon."
"Any thoughts on baby names?"
"I have a feeling it's gonna be a girl — "
" — which I told him isn't a valid predictor of a baby's sex."
" — and while we have no clue about first names for either sex, we've agreed that if the baby is a girl, her middle name will be Caroline."
"After the puckish prosecutor Caroline Julian?"
"The very same."
"It's a rather silly sentiment, but I'll voice it anyway — I'm proud of you two."
"For procreation? Because breeding is what has sustained the human race — "
"No, Dr. Brennan." Gordon-Gordon chuckled. "For — excuse the vulgarity of this phrase — getting your shit together."
The partners laughed as the waiter cleared the table and Gordon-Gordon shooed them away.
The hairs on the back of Brennan's neck stood. She slowly turned around. "Hannah."
Hannah launched herself toward Brennan, about to embrace the forensic anthropologist. The reporter pushed Brennan's sunglasses from her nose to rest atop her head as she eyed the brunette. "Oh, I guess we're not hugging."
Brennan's mouth straightened into a firm line. "You guess correctly."
"How have you been doing?"
"Very well, thank you." Brennan replied briskly.
"You look gorgeous." Hannah nudged Brennan, "Where'd you get the dress? I bet I could rock one in green — we could be twins!"
"I highly doubt that, considering it's from the Apple Seed Boutique."
"The maternity store?"
"May I ask — "
"I'm not sure why you're seeking permission, as you interrogate people for a living."
" — who the father is?"
Booth popped out of Gordon-Gordon's restaurant, keys swinging on his index finger. "Can't believe I almost left our keys on the table — let's go, Bones!"
Booth wrapped an arm around his partner's waist, wondering why she remained stationary. He did a double take when he saw the blonde reporter and hissed, "Hannah."
"Seeley! I was just catching up with Temperance. She was just about to answer my question about who the father of — "
Booth interrupted, "I am the father of her baby. But obviously, I'm more than that. We're together — not because of our child, but because we've finally gotten it right."
Brennan rolled her eyes. "For being a self-designated excellent reporter, your deductive skills are subpar."
"I — you — " Hannah stammered.
Brennan plucked her sunglasses from Hannah's head and put them on, further paralyzing the blonde with shock.
Booth smirked and began, "Y'know what they say about a lady's second trimester — "
" — her pregnancy hormones make her do highly irrational things." Brennan finished and kissed Booth's cheek. "Now I'm ready to go home, Booth."
Brennan leaned back and settled in Booth's arms, resting hers over his. He nipped her neck teasingly. She splashed at him in mock annoyance.
"A bubble bath was a good idea, Booth."
"We deserve it after the awkward run-in we'll never talk about again."
"At least it occurred after dining at Gordon-Gordon's."
"We would've lost our appetite, if we'd seen that bitch — "
" — before dinner."
"While you were retrieving our keys and she started a monologue at me —"
"She didn't even attempt to engage you in conversation?"
"No. Thus why I kept fantasizing about gauging her eyes out."
"Booth. She acted like we were as close as Ange and me."
"Which pissed you off, naturally."
"Ange would say that Hannah is what is commonly referred to as a frenemy."
"Can't argue with that...or with the fact you took back your sunglasses."
"Are you aware of when she asked for them?"
"No, but I have a feeling you're gonna tell me."
"I was visiting her in the hospital —"
"— when she got shot. Wait — was this before or after you looked at her x-rays and corrected her quack of a doctor?"
"So you saved her life and she demanded your sunglasses?"
"She attempted to bond by using anthropology to justify taking my Gucci sunglasses."
"The nerve of that woman — "
"Upon reflection, I know that I wasn't coerced into giving them to her; I did so because it was important to be on good terms with her, as — "
"Bones. Please don't finish that sentence. That train wreck was one of the biggest mistakes of my life."
"I highly doubt — "
"That night when we were sitting in your car and I told you that I was afraid I missed my chance — "
"It killed me to not hold you and carry you up to your apartment myself."
"I know that now."
"I thank God every day that I got a second chance with you."
"You know I don't believe in God."
"You used to believe that romantic relationships were ephemeral."
"You used to keep a cosmic balance sheet."
"You used to date cult leaders and spineless professors."
"You used to have a penchant for blondes."
"Our tastes have gotten better."
"Clearly, our tastes have improved with age."
"Like fine wine."
"Or mold, in Hodgins' opinion."
"One would think that after being my partner for this long, you wouldn't be squeamish at the mention of mold."
"One would think that after being my partner for this long, you wouldn't get all squintily offended that I'm not fascinated by mold."
"I can think of something that may capture your attention."
"Geez! Warn a guy, Bones!"
"I thought that was what I was doing when I said — "
"Bath time's over."
"Eek! Where are you taking me, Booth?"
"But we should dry off first — "
"Screw that. You obviously need tangible evidence that we're fine wine."
"In a second, mold is the last thing that's gonna be on your mind."
"All you're gonna be saying is my name. Or more."