Baseball and the Squint
A/N This was written for the "early September challenge" on Bonesology. It went off in an entirely different direction than what I had planned and wound up at Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia). Takes place between Season 6 and 7.
My last story was sort of "angsty," so this one is a little lighter!
I do not own Bones – could anyone?
I do not own Booth – if I did, he would be a Detroit Tigers fan.
To say the least, it's been an interesting summer, probably the most interesting summer of his life, Booth thinks. He leans back against the couch and looks down at the beautiful woman asleep in his arms. With a smile he thinks back to the evening that Michael was born and walking back to the car with Bones. "I'm pregnant," and then a full beat later, "you're the father."
He's gone over and over that night in his mind, and just when he thinks he's reached the pinnacle, he finds himself feeling a little more grateful and a little happier at the unexpected turn his life and their partnership has taken. It hasn't been easy. He chuckles. Easy! That would be the understatement of the year. But they seem to be finding their way. He's taken her to all of her doctor's appointments, he's held her hair back off her face when she's had morning sickness, he's made runs to the store in the middle of the night when she has a craving, and they're doing it together. Bones and Booth.
They've learned about sharing and compromise this summer. Not just in how they communicate. But in things like which side of the bed each of them prefers (she's on the right, he's on the left – but really they both wind up wrapped around each other in the middle). And toothpaste. He's a Crest guy and she prefers Colgate. She has an Oral B. He has a Sonicare. She prefers Tide for washables, and he has always used whatever is on sale (they use Tide).
And they've learned what's important. She prefers some quiet time when she gets home from the Lab. She likes to change into yoga pants and do some meditation before dinner. He's gotten into the habit of grabbing a game of handball after work so that she can have the quiet time to decompress.
They have every other weekend and occasional weeknights with Parker. When Booth told Rebecca about the change in his relationship with Bones, she gave him a quick hug and responded with only one word, "Finally!" When he told her that they are expecting a baby, she smiled, kissed his cheek and told him how happy she is for the both of them. That was not what he expected, and it might not last, but he'll take it for now.
They still haven't decided just where to live, but they've talked about it and most of his clothes have wound up at her apartment. One Saturday after his morning run she asked him if he'd like to go shopping with her. While not a huge fan of retail therapy, this was an unusual request from her, so he agreed without question. Later that afternoon, he had a smile on his face as he set up the new 62" flat screen and Bose surround sound system in her living room.
He's watched documentaries and PBS shows with her, and she has sat with him for sitcoms and a couple of police procedurals, although she is usually working on her laptop or doing something with her iPad at the same time. His heart skipped a beat (metaphorically, of course) when he watched her response to Parker's excitement about watching Saturday morning cartoons on the large screen.
But what has surprised him the most is her willingness to sit down and watch baseball with him. It's getting close to the end of the season and he's catching every game possible. His beloved Phillies are in first place for their division and they have the best winning percentage in both leagues. This could be another year that they go to the World Series.
He loves that she's willing to watch a game with him. Parker is with Rebecca this weekend and they had run some errands earlier in the day, returning just in time for him to get settled in for the game. She was at the dining room table working on her laptop when he nuzzled her neck and asked her to join him. Looking up at him she rolled her eyes and he pouted in response, drawing a quick chuckle from her, but it got her next to him on the couch.
Propping his feet up on the ottoman he wonders what could possibly be better than a Saturday evening with the windows open to let in a slight summer breeze, his arm around his favorite girl, a beer (for him), iced tea (for her), snacks within reach, and the Phillies on the new 62" flat screen TV in her living room? Well, the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park might be better, but he knows that isn't going to happen in his lifetime!
As they sit and watch the game, Bones leans back into the couch with her iPad propped up on her slight baby bump. He considers saying something to her about watching the game instead of doing research for some paper he assumes she is working on, then thinks better of it. One of the things that living with Temperance Brennan has done for him is learning to be prudent about picking his battles. She's sitting next to him on the couch, he doesn't need her to be as engaged in the game as him.
He glances over at her from time to time and a couple of times he catches her looking up at the screen – usually when he's muttered something under his breath about pitching or umpires or batters or some other irritant. Then he sees her get a puzzled look on her face, and her whole body language changes as she leans forward (as much as her baby bump will allow). He watches as her face gets the look that has become very familiar to him over the years. He watches as her brow furrows, she kind of bites her lower lip (he loves when she bites her lower lip, but the bases are loaded with two outs so he's going to do his best to let that pass for now), and, oh, no! He sees her squint at the screen. Now he knows that trouble is brewing.
"No! Bones. No! You are not going to squinticize baseball! It's baseball. It's the Phillies. There is no crying in baseball and there is no squinticizing in baseball, Bones!"
"Booth? I don't know what that means? Crying? Why would I be crying about baseball? Your Phillies are winning. And 'squinticize' isn't even a word!"
"I don't care if it's a word or not. I see what you are doing. You are sitting there watching this game and your brain is just whizzing along like it does, isn't it? You're going to give me some scientific theory about baseball. Don't do that to my Phillies, Bones! It's baseball! It's the national past time! It's an honored tradition in our country. It is not science, there is nothing squinty about baseball!"
By this time he has worked himself up and she is sitting back on the couch clutching a pillow and laughing out loud. She replies innocently, "Booth, I was just watching the game. You know, of course, that there is a lot of physics in baseball."
"Physics, Bones? Physics? You are going to talk to me about physics when I am watching the Phillies!" He looks at her aghast.
Bones moves her attention back to the television as she responds, "Well, for example, Worley's last pitch was clocked at nearly 90 miles per hour. When a baseball is thrown at that speed it takes the ball approximately .4 seconds to reach the batter. The batter has about .2 seconds to decide whether or not he is going to try and hit the ball because he needs about .15 seconds to swing the bat. If the ball is a curve ball, the break will happen in about the last .10 second of the pitch. If the batter underestimates the speed of the pitch his swing could be early or late. Anthropologically, baseball is a fascinating example of physics in our day-to-day life, Booth. I had never looked at it from this perspective before! And, then if you factor in . . . . " Bones' voice trails off as she glances over to see Booth with both hands up to his face shaking his head.
"Booth, are you okay? Are you mad?" She knows that he loves his Phillies, and now she's just a little nervous that perhaps once again she has been inappropriate in her response. Then she sees his shoulders start to shake. Punching him in the shoulder, she asks, "Are you laughing at me, Booth?"
He takes his hands down from his face and can't contain the laughter that he has been trying to hold back. "No, baby. I'm not laughing at you," he smirks, trying to bite back the laughter, but it will not be contained. He tries to pull her closer but she is pushing back against his attempt. "Really, Bones. I'm just glad that you are enjoying the game, really. I'm not laughing at you," he repeats, "you were saying something about other factors?"
Giving him a skeptical look, she continues, "Well you also have to factor in how many times the ball has been hit. In the major leagues a baseball is used for an average of four or five pitches, every time a ball is hit it gets deformed from the force that is applied to it . . . Oh, you!" He grins at her as she swats at his arm and leans into his embrace for a hug. He pulls her closer, her head finding its way to his shoulder and her arms reaching around his waist.
She tips her head back on his shoulder and he looks down into her beautiful blue eyes. He's noticed that when she's excited about something, passionate even, her eyes get this little glint in them and he sees it there as he leans down to give her a kiss.
He thinks, "Not even the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park."
Thanks to John Drobis and 'The Physics Behind Baseball.'