Created May 2014 - I don't own these characters or the words made famous by the TV show, Bones. Love them anyway. I don't own a Sealy Posturepedic mattress. I'm a Simmons Beautyrest Girl all the way, because...Simmons. Can't remember if I owned a Stretch Armstrong doll or not...seems like it was something that I would have had...I DO own a case of Asperecreme and boxes of various sizes of ZipLock bags, but no trademarks...alas! All the rest that follows is my feeble attempt to keep time in between broadcasts and Razztaztic, Threesquares, and Covalent Bond postings

A/N: 05/22/2014 - S9's finale was such a ride, I can't even look at my multi-chaps right. The best I can offer you is a drama-free oneshot dedicated to the Season 9 Finale Support Group. Push ups, Ladies! Also some love to the Artist Formerly Known as Dharmamonkey, who is dealing with a boo-booed solider of her own :)

Oh, and sorry for the story title. Couldn't help myself.


Booth emitted a long, bellowing, cathartic howl that reminded Brennan of her travels in Tibet. His expression of bewildered elation triggered her throaty laugh. She smiled, satisfied knowing that she had worn him out.

She rose, leaving her panting partner in his self-described puddle of jelly on the floor in the middle of his apartment. Incredulously (and pruriently) he watched her lissome limbs rise slowly and effortlessly stroll to the kitchen.

Man, she is an advanced life form from another world! How can she possibly move with the ease of human who has not been doing what we've been doing for the past hour?

Inconceivable.

"Water?" she inquired back to him airily.

"Ungh!" he grunted, trying to sit up.

Shit I'm beat! I may be way out of my league here….

Confused by the meaning of 'ungh', Brennan turned to find him struggling to nod in the affirmative. He smiled weakly, straining to raise his left hand to signal a thumbs up.

It was still early in this more intimate phase of their relationship, so Brennan resisted to strong urge to scoff at his lack of conditioning. Granted, Booth was still healing and reconditioning from the injuries from the explosion that Broadsky had staged months back, but Brennan was genuinely surprised by his exhaustion. Given the regimen that both Booth and Hannah (and Cam) had boasted about ad nauseum, Brennan was expecting the human form of her brother Russ's Stretch Armstrong doll from their childhood.

But apparently, even Seeley Booth was mortal. Feeling a measure of empathy wash over her (such perplexing emotions she was experiencing more and more since The Breakup), she elected to offer him an Avoid Incarceration card.

"Are you certain that you wish to continue this Booth? " She asked, her eyes brazenly hopeful that he would dismiss her question as nonsense. Though she had assessed that a significant level of effort would necessary for him to achieve parity to her stamina, she cherished her role his physical learning journey. Very much. The past few weeks - their new closeness - had been exhilarating.

Oh Jesus-Lord, thank you!

Some feeling was returning to his body…finally.

Phew! Aw...fuck!

Some feeling to his upper body at least. He propped himself up on his elbows, not yet ready to trust his legs. He regarded her while he considered the question. Actually, his "deliberation" was a thinly-veiled gawk as his eyes roaming her well-maintained figure.

Do I want to keep doing this?

He had always known that she was legit, but since they returned from Afghanistan and Maluku, he had trained his eyes (and his "boys") to feel penitent guilt about his gratuitous glances at Bones. But that was before. Things had changed. And what they were doing - he decided - he had full permission to eye fuck her. And on those rare occasions when she finally caught on to what he was doing, she blushed and fidgeted...and it was glorious.

This new version of "them" - it still needed a lot of work. And from what she had just done to him, Booth wasn't certain that he was ready for it, at all. It opened his eyes to why they had not started it sooner. He knew better now. He was convinced that Bones could retire from the skeletons and become a damned first rate contortionist. Over the past few weeks, his emotions pinball-volleyed between serenity and terror bumpers from the positions that Brennan could get her body (and sometimes, his) to achieve.

It. Was. Amazing.

And he couldn't get enough of her. Even if it killed him.

And so, The Gambler let the fond memory of his partner's "euphoria face" ultimately decide for him: no fucking way that he was giving this up.

Even if it killed him.

"I do. Yes, of course I do Bones! Absolutely" he resolved soundly. "But just give me a little more time to get into the full swing of things, to catch up to your skills. And I'll be just fine!" he promised, albeit weakly.

With an unmasked glee, she beamed, continuing toward the kitchen to retrieve some water.

Poor Buffoon, you'll never be able to achieve my skills.

Phew! With Brennan's concern resolved, Booth took the opportunity to collapse back onto the floor in agony. One eye still open and on his partner in motion.

Mmm, that ass.

Thank you Max and Ruth Keenan!


A long hot shower and a full tube of Aspercreme later, Booth emerged from the bedroom to find his already freshly-scrubbed partner sitting crossed-legged on the sofa snacking on dried mangoes, bananas and ginger.

He stepped closer, the fresh scent of her shampoo filling his nostrils. He sighed to himself. This is going very well. Maybe I can get her to stay for a real dinner. And maybe stay the night.

Here goes nothin...

Sneaking up on her, he snatched the Ziplock bag from her hand to survey the contents.

"Nah-uh, Bones. If we're gonna keep doing this, we're not eating your hamster food. I call the snacks!"

"Booth!" she protested climbing off the couch to block his path to the garbage. "Don't!" she pleaded as she clumsily charged toward him.

The scent of his crisp aftershave disarmed her. Catching up to him, she snatched him by the collar of his t-shirt with both hands. She clung to him as her mind raced to remember what specifically had warranted her mad dash over to him, as her mental processors were being repeatedly interrupted by a command to strip him naked. She pushed him against the door jamb, one rebellious hand sweeping down his chest.

Booth braced his left hand on the opposite side of the door, the other slipping to squeeze her hip.

Brennan gasped at his touch, as his fingers spread to explore high and low. She pushed into him, her right hand gently encouraging his left to mirror its mate.

Booth obliged and brought his left hand down to her hip.

The left hand that had the Ziplock bag.

Faster than a Dickens pickpocket, a giggling Brennan snatched the snacks and stole away toward the living room.

But she was messing with Seeley Booth. She hadn't taken more than four steps before he caught her by the wrist and snatched the bag back.

"Give it back!" she whined as she jumped and stretched to retrieve her Hamster mix.

Unguardedly, Booth laughed, his partner easily foiled by his seasoned, big brother keep away tactics. It was fun to see her this relaxed and playful. Plus, her hands roaming all over him wasn't a bad deal either. He could keep this up for hours.

Or at least until his back gave out.

Which happened about a minute and eighteen seconds in.

"Owwwwwwwww! Dammit! My back!" he hissed.


Returning from lunch at (of all places) the Royal Diner, Hodgins, Angela and Vincent were surprised to find Sweets emerging from Booth's SUV in the parking deck.

"Hey Sweets." Called out a waddling Angela. "Did you get permission from Dad to take the car? Prom's coming, y'know. You don't want to get grounded!"

Sweets rolled his eyes as he caught step with the trio. "Ha, ha, ha. I'm here to pick up Dr. Brennan."

"What, is Agent Booth tied up in a meeting of some sort?" inquired Vincent as they stepped on the elevator. "Did you know, that an executive spends – on average – twenty three hours a week attending meetings? Ruminate on that for a moment. A salaried week is thirty seven point five hours and yet, an executive spends twenty three of them locked away in meaningless tête á têtes. Though Agent Booth is not a titled executive per se, anthropologically, his status among other agents is such that…"

"Is this what all those impressive degrees gets you at the Bureau, Sweets? Car service duty?" Hodgins chuckled, interrupting the Vincenting.

Ignoring the barbs, officiously, Sweets explained "I just took Agent Booth to the Emergency Room at Howard. He's meeting his orthopedist there right now. He's in a considerable amount of pain."

Angela grabbed her swollen baby belly. "Pain? What happened? Is he okay?"

They all stepped off the elevator and headed toward the Medico-Legal lab entrance.

"Oh yeah, he'll be fine. Dr. Brennan just broke him again." Sweets grinned, competitively triumphant that "the Bestie" didn't know what had transpired.

"Ohhhhhh!" Angela and Hodgins echoed in unison, laughing.

"That…does not sound humorous, at all." Vincent observed.

"What was it this time?" Angela queried. With Hannah gone, she knew that FINALLY, once and for all, 'the Horizontal Mambo' was on the horizon. Just not yet. The pair was still sniffing around each other. If it had happened, she would have been the third to know, no doubt about it.

"Yoga." He replied. "Apparently Booth attempted Dr. Brennan's full workout…"

"What! Is he nuts?" gasped Hodgins. "She's studied with real yogis. Hardcore yogis!"

"Dr. Hodgins, I find your characterization delightfully oxymoronic." Vincent smirked.

The psychologist responded. "It is probable that Agent Booth is crazy. But in this instance, he was just overconfident."

"I swear. These two are going to be the death of me. Booth's finally trying to get into her pants." Angela sang. "But all he's gotten into, is traction." she grinned.

Hodgins groaned.


TWO WEEKS LATER

"Your orthopedist is a fool, Booth." Brennan argued. "You need a medium firm mattress, not a firm. Several European studies have discovered that as you enter middle age, your injury-addled body is even less likely to confo-"

"Bones!" he snapped. "Can we have just one conversation without you reminding me that I'm forty? I get it."

Brennan fidgeted, attempting to read her partner. "I'm just trying to support your road to recovery, Booth. I don't mean to-"

"May I ask what brings you folks here this morning?" interrupted a salesperson.

Booth winced, knowing the very literal explanation that this poor bastard was about to receive.

"The Red Line for approximately two and a half miles. And then the effort put forth by our own feet." Brennan responded, confused by why that would be of any interest to the young man.

The handsome young man.

The handsome young man who - in Booth's opinion - was smiling a little too broadly at Brennan.

"That's hilarious." The handsome young man chuckled. "Funny, clever. And refreshing. Most people just tell me that they're just looking, but then chase me down two minutes later with a bunch of questions. You took the literal route. I like that. It's…refreshing." He punctuated as he eyed her up and down.

"You said that already" she replied. A telltale flush kissed her cheeks. She obviously was appreciative of the salesperson's comments.

And his symmetry.

Lady, I'm thinking of a few things that I'd like to do twice in your presence.

"Um, I know this will sound like a pick up line, but have I seen you on the Georgetown campus? Near the law buildings? You look very familiar to me." He smiled solicitously.

Booth groaned and rolled his eyes. Nice try pal.

Unconsciously, Brennan took a step toward the Robbie Benson look alike. Always evaluating, she reciprocated his smile as she assessed the salesperson's physical attractiveness. "Pay no attention to my partner. Yes. I guest lectured there back in late October, with colleagues of mine from the Justice Department and the FBI. My name is Dr. Temperance Brennan. I'm the world's leading forensic anthropologist. With my partner - he's FBI - I help solve unsolvable deaths. We work very closely with the Justice Department, so I was honored to co-host a lecture with them."

"Wow, that's very impressive! Well, Dr. Brennan. Hello. I'm Sergio Espinosa. I'm a third year law student. And while didn't have the pleasure of attending your lecture, but I'm sure that I would have enjoyed it."

"Yes, you would have." Brennan confirmed, still holding Sergio's extended hand.

Booth frowned. The unfolding situation was too much. This little shit's got a set on him. How come he doesn't think that we're a couple? Sigh! Not that we are yet, but…

Dividing a space between his horny partner and the bed guy, Booth sneered.

"Well, Sergio. I'm literal, too. We are literally looking for a mattress."

"And a box spring." Brennan added.

"My partner has been suffering from discomfort associated with degenerative disc disease. Plus recently, our relationship has become more physical, and one of our activities instigated a sciatic event. Given his stage in life and the increasingly chronic nature of these episodes, I think that it's best that he invest in a new mattress and box spring." She looked to an amused Booth to see if he had anything further to add. But remained mute, just smiling at the handsome young man, whose expression had changed dramatically.

"Sergio, can you help with that?" she asked seductively. Brennan took another step toward Sergio, not realizing her comment about Booth and her being "physical" would be a deterrent to Sergio's game. Sergio took a step back.

Booth chuckled to himself. Since they approached the kid, Booth had vacillated between jealousy and irritation. But he knew, if he waited long enough, Bones would insert her daintily painted toes into her pretty little mouth. Sergio eyed him, newly wary of the breadth of the FBI Agent's shoulders. Casually, Booth slipped his hands onto his hips, revealing his unsnapped holster.

Booth chuckled again.

That's right you little bastard. She belongs to me.

Or she will.

Eventually.

Soon. Definitely soon.

In spite of his ass-crack-of-dawn doctor's appointment, Booth had been in an excellent mood. Up until "Sergio", Brennan had been obsessively focused on him getting a new mattress set.

"For your lumbar health." she suggested to him as they left the ortho's office.

Bullshit.

Booth took Brennan's mania about him getting a new mattress set as a promising development in their relationship.

Very promising.

During his checkup (which she insisted on attending, of course), his orthopedist hadn't uttered more than three sentences about Booth's progress before Brennan blurted out:

"You should replace your mattress, Booth."

As soon as she said it, she regretted it. Blushing, she recoiled in her seat. It was obvious that she had not wanted to seem so eager. But she was unable to hide from Booth the excitement that flashed in her eyes when the doctor agreed with her suggestion.

In that moment, their past two weeks together made perfect sense. Booth's bed, more specifically (and pragmatically, it is Bones after all), his mattress symbolized Hannah; and Cam; and Rebecca.

And Bones wanted it gone.


TWO WEEKS EARLIER

"This is ridiculous, Bones!" Booth complained as he placed the ridiculous bell on the side of the bed. "I am not going to ring a bell to get your attention from all the way down the hall." Gingerly, adjusting his position on the bed, he gestured for her hand. He grabbed it and held her gaze. "Just stay in here with me." He asked earnestly. And then, as but as rationally as he could muster, he argued. "We've shared a bed before. Lots of times."

Booth watched patiently as Brennan's mind raced.

Yes, they had shared a bed. Just not this one.

Booth waited out her silent processing. Her eyes darted from his large, warm inviting hand to his entreating eyes. Should could feel her ears warm with her desire to acquiesce.

Since their afternoon stuck in the elevator, theirs had been an encouraging snail's pace journey toward being together, as she wanted. Booth had been very patient with her, ensuring that she had all the wiggle room she needed. And the pace had proved to be quite an effective strategy. After consulting with Cam and Daisy (Angela had been busy preparing for the arrival of Baby Hodgins) Brennan understood the meaning behind Booth's sudden interest in the Saturday afternoon lecture series.

Reflexively, Brennan invited herself to Booth's for his March Madness gatherings, and though they didn't speak much during the marathon of games (only Arastoo had the patience to watch and explain the game to her. Clark and Max would go and watch the game in Booth's bedroom when Brennan stopped over), Brennan cheerfully lingered afterwards to share her new learnings and help clean up. And sometimes, watch the sports station with Booth as they absurdly recapped all of the events they had just seen. Booth loved those nights, when her incessant fussing at the sportscasters meted out into paced breathing and then submerged innocently into a peaceful nap in his arms. It made him hate the championship series.

More and more, the partners yielded to explore the other's avocations, increased their random "drive bys", and - to everyone's collective empathetic sexual frustration - locating more lint on each other's person than was possible by the laws of reason.

As she wanted, the pace was slow, but intentional. Soon, their covertly overt dance would pay off. Just not yet.

Booth's latest Bones-induced back issues had been the best and worst injury that he had ever suffered. The "bad" of it was that the nature of the episode left him partially immobile for several days. The "good" of it being that his penitent partner announced that she would move in with Booth until he recovered. Shouldering the burden of his convalescence was the least that she could do, given her role in the event.

And truth be told, Brennan was eager to evaluate if they were as compatible off the job as they were on the job. After finally having the chance to observe Booth in a serious relationship, she was confident that she would improve upon the template where Hannah had failed. And after a few hours in, it was so far, so good.

And now he was inviting her into his bed.

Platonically, of course.

But it was still her bed.

"While it would be efficient if we shared a bed, which is always my preference," she said quietly.

"To share a bed with me?" he teased hopefully.

She chuckled. "No. To be efficient, Booth." Her fingers traced the bones in his hands. "I wouldn't want there to be any confusion or complication about being together." Reluctantly, her eyes left his hand, slowly traveling back up his arm to his disappointed brown eyes. "And with Parker coming for the weekend…."

A beat of silence paced between them as they lost themselves in each other eyes. Neither was yet prepared to say what they were both thinking – they were both ready. Secretly each of them desperately wanted to take a jackhammer and explosives to the "Hoover Dam". But Brennan feared that Booth hadn't healed enough. And Booth feared that Brennan wasn't confident enough in the concept of "them."

Isn't that what she had just said?

What was she suggesting? Was she ready? Was she not ready?

Fuck, I can't read her. At least not about this.

He chose the safe route, again. "You're right, Bones. We…don't want to confuse things." He swallowed. "But I am not ringing that bell!"


The entrance bell dinged. All three turned to watch another couple enter and be greeted by a female associate. Smiling sheepishly, Sergio turned back to his customers to be greeted by a Seeley Booth Chesire grin.

She's mine his smirk conveyed. "So, ah…the medium firm mattresses?" Booth asked, cocking his chin up at the kid.

Mutely, Sergio nodded at Booth as he extended his hand, gesturing a path for Brennan and Booth to follow.

Cheerfully, Booth palmed his hand down Brennan's spine and then to her hip, guiding her forward. He flashed Sergio another big grin. "Thanks Pal."

Mine.


Booth smiled as Brennan examined the specs on the fifth bed.

He sighed contentedly. This is going well. I can't believe how easy we are together. Well, as easy as Bones and I ever are. But this…this is good. Everything has been really – good – so far.

Brennan turned to Poor Sergio, who had subtly been trying to escape her interrogations after the third bed.

Yep.

Everything has been really good. Bones wants this bed...for us. Smooth sailing...well, except for that 'c'mon fuck me in the stockroom' look she threw at the bed guy earlier. Heh! But Law School Serge seems to be over his little crush on my Bones. Lucky Bastard. Me, I'm done for.

"Booth, come here. This one seems promising. I need you to assess if this is more or less appealing than the second mattress that you tried out. We only have two more to evaluate."

Booth snickered when Sergio's shoulders deflated. The partners had been in the store for almost an hour and forty minutes. "Uh, Dr. Brennan? Can you please excuse me for a second?"

Brennan had been waiting for Booth to stroll over to her. Distracted from Sergio's question as she monitored Booth's gait, she mumbled "Yes of course."

Her lips pursed. Booth was walking with no signs of discomfort. Annoyed by her irrational disappointment, Brennan scolded herself. She wasn't ready for "this" to end. Much to her surprise (but pleasant satisfaction), their temporary living arrangement had been very enjoyable. Her experiment had expanded upon her assumptions about their compatibility in a positive way, even though the experiment wasn't fully realized given Booth's injury. Still was very pleased to observe that the more that she cared for Booth, the more intimate they became.

And the more intimate that they became, the weaker her defenses became.

It was the best of times.

She didn't want them to end.

"You are walking very well Booth. I'd agree that your dependency on my support has expired." She remarked, forcing back a frown. "Perhaps I should vacate your apartment before Parker arrives tonight." She stood up from "his" side of the bed as Booth approached.

The amount of space between the beds was somewhat limited, requiring Booth and Brennan to brush past each other as he moved toward and she moved away from the mattress (Never occurred to either of them to have Brennan exit before Booth entered.) Ruthlessly, Booth drew in the intoxicating scent of her, while Brennan leveraged their tight squeeze as an impromptu opportunity to check his alignment. She slipped her hands under his suit jacket, past his holster, and began to feel his spine.

"No Bones! That's not a good idea" Booth pleaded.

Brennan froze, embarrassed by his rejection of her actions."Do you not want me to check your alignment?" Booth squirmed and sighed at the feel of her breath on his neck.

She began to withdraw her hands from around his body, but he stopped her, holding her by the elbows. Looking down at her, her mouth was so close. He tilted his head, watching her breath hitch when he wet his lips. "No Bones. My 'no' was a 'no don't be silly.' You can't leave me to my own devices with Parker this weekend. I'll forget I'm forty and hurt myself again. It's better to be safe than sorry. I want you. I want you to stay. Stay for me, and because we'll have more fun with you there. And you'll protect me."

"Oh." Brennan nodded, unable to hold back her relief. Shifting, she slipped her hands again around to Booth's back. "I would enjoy that Booth." The incidental bob of her head to show her understanding caused her nose to graze his. Booth couldn't hold back his groan. This was the bejillionth time that she had drawn that or a similar sound from him that week.

For Booth, it was the worst of times.

Going into it, he was well aware of how touchy-feely Brennan was, but the past two weeks had proven to be worse than torture. Given the nature of his back injury, for the first few days, Nurse Tempe was rarely less than inches from him at all times. Always touching and feeling and rubbing and staring and smiling and laughing and smelling like nectar. He thought his heart would explode from the blissful domesticity of their two weeks together - Bones on his couch, napping in his favorite chair, preparing meals in his kitchen, waking him up with her feather-like caresses to his temple.

And when he was finally able to begin physical therapy, Bones in his sweats, no makeup, stretching and crawling all over him on the floor. Perfect. Torture.

On the floor, never the bed, he realized.

And now, here she was again clung so close to him as he pleaded for her to stay the weekend. Standing beside what may end up being Their Bed. Enough was enough. He had to kiss her. In the darkening of her piercing eyes, he read her permission.

"Bones" He whispered against her lips.

"So how are you guys doing?" a very perky voice inquired.

Reddened faces flushed and simultaneously turned toward the disturbance. A furious and panting Brennan was the first to speak. "Who are you?"

Dimples popped on the young woman's face like a kernel of corn on hot oil. "I'm Corinne. Sergio tells me that you're looking for a medium firm today. How are you doing with this one?" she asked, unaware of the sin she had committed.

The partners exchanged regretful glances. Booth offered a sheepish grin as he released Brennan and continued toward the head of the bed. Brennan stepped out toward the sales girl.

"Where is Sergio?" Brennan inquired, obviously irritated as she looked Corinne up and down.

Corinne's jaw dropped. That douche Sergio did it to me again. Pointing to the opposite side of the showroom, "Ah um. He's with another guest right now…he asked me to show you the last two models that you wanted to see…?"

"What!?" Outraged, Brennan turned toward her partner to find Booth innocently bouncing on the mattress. He shrugged his shoulder at her mid-bounce. The sight of him made her chuckle, but she was not yet done unleashing her irritation. This...person had interrupted their moment. And it was Sergio's fault.

"Well that's a ludicrous idea. Sergio has already shown us five mattresses. He's familiar with my requirements and he committed to retaining my pros and cons on the mattresses that we've seen thus far. It would be a waste of our time to recap all of that information with you."

"Uh, no offense." Booth added. His head popping out from behind Brennan.

Gob smacked by the Mega-bitch's diatribe, Corinne blushed appreciatively at The Suit sprawled out on the bed. This, of course didn't sit well with Brennan either.

"Tell Sergio that I demand he fulfill his commitments to our sale, or I will have to speak with your manager." Brennan threatened, crossing her arms for emphasis.

Oh Thank God! Corinne thought trying to mask her relief, though she would miss the hottie that she was with. "Of course. My apologies. Let me go get him."

"Thank you." Brennan snapped. Uncrossing her arms, she pivoted back toward Booth, who was holding his phone up, recording her.

"What are you doing? Stop that!" she frowned. "This isn't funny Booth!"

He snickered as he saved the file. Patting the other side of the bed, he invited her to join him. Obediently, she cornered to her side of the bed to join him, her frown replaced by a sheepish smirk as she settled onto the mattress.

No, it wasn't going to be this one either, she thought.

"Bones, you're going to be an amazing Mom." Booth offered dreamily, turning his body toward hers.

She mirrored his position watching him stare goofily at her. "Did you double dose your medication again?" she asked him confused by his out-of-the-blue observation.

"No Bones! I did not...sigh! Just...the way you've taken care of me these past few weeks, how you are with Parker…" he fiddled with the wrist strap of her trench coach. "How you just put Corinne in her place…I can't wait to see what you do with Georgetown Law Sergio."

"That's maternal?" She inquired, masking his soft tone. Unconsciously, she rocked her body toward his.

"Yeah. You know right from wrong, and you're unapologetic about expecting it. Very mom-like. Hot mom-like." He teased, causing her to scoff at him.

Booth now moved on to fiddling with her fingers. "Hey, who'd you do that lecture with, by the way?"

Drawn in by his finger tease, Brennan countered each of his strokes to her hand. Distractedly, she replied. "Caroline. And Sweets."

"Sweets!? Huh? Why did Caroline ask Sweets to join you guys?"

Brennan ceased the finger wrestling as she watched for Booth's reaction to her reply. "I did. You were unavailable. Hannah..."

"Oh." His face fell. How many ways have I let you down, Bones? he sighed. Never again, Bones. I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to you. "I'm sorry about that Bones. It should have been me. I'm your partner. Above everything else, okay?"

Brennan sat up. "Okay." she said quietly.

Booth sat up as well. His fun morning was going south in a big way. Fuck.

"I don't think this is right, Booth." Brennan stated. From the look of fear on his face, she hurried to clarify. "The bed, I mean."

"Oh!" Booth breathed a sigh of relief. Phew! "I'm glad to hear that Bones. That it's the bed that's not right, and...Not. Us." He cleared his throat, threading his fingers with hers. "I think things are really good between us again Bones." He eyed her cautiously. "I like where this is going."

Brennan's shoulders relaxed. "Yes. I agree." she offered, terrified of saying more and ruining their moment. She smiled shyly at Booth's broad grin.

Kiss her now, moron. He thought to himself. Quickly, he looked around to make sure that his stolen kiss was also a secret one.

Dammit, Sergio!

"Ugh!" he dropped his head in annoyance.

Brennan followed Booth's sight line to see what was the drain on Booth's flirty mood. She bit her lip, remorseful that she had requested Sergio's return at all.

"He certainly took longest route to us." Brennan offered apologetically.

"Dr. Brennan, I'm sorry. I thought you wouldn't mind if Corinne continued to assist you while I monitored the traffic on the floor. Please accept my apologies."

"You should apologize. There are three salespeople on the floor and yet during the time that we've been here, seven people have entered unacknowledged, four of them who walked past your colleagues a minimum a two times each. By my calculations, you've missed out on at least five thousand dollars of sales in the past hour alone. Salesmanship requires rigorous attention to detail, as does the discipline that you're pursuing. If you're studying to be a lawyer, your ability to-"

Though he was thoroughly enjoying the take down in front of him, Booth was more interested in resuming their moment. He interrupted. "Hey, you know what Bones? I really liked that second mattress set. I don't think that I'll find another set that I like better and it meets all of your expectations. I say we go ahead and get that one. How about it?"

Brennan turned toward Booth, studying his sincerity. She had learned that he had a tendency to rush her when he became restless. But his statement seemed earnest.

"You don't want to test out a couple more?" she asked, eyeing him suspiciously.

"No. I'd be more than happy with the second one. I think, no. I know…the second one, is the one." He smiled broadly. "Without question, the second one is for me."

Booth chuckled at the knots forming in Brennan's head. She knew that he was speaking in code about something, but she struggled to unlock the riddle hidden in his comments. Frustrated, she decided to ask for a clue, but just then, the phone rang.

"Booth." he moved to the side of the bed, gingerly curling his feet back towards the floor.

From his expression, she knew immediately that they had a case. Brennan got up as well to give Sergio his instructions. Gesturing to Booth for an index card and a pen, she started. "We'll have to arrange delivery by phone, Sergio. We have to go to a crime scene. "Give me the store phone number please." Brennan requested.

Snickering at the pen that she handed to him, he replied "Sure. Just the store phone number?" he winked. Annoying or not, Dr. Brennan was hot and from what he had seen, not fully committed to The Suit. Why not try a Hail Mary pass?

She ignored his overture, and simply replied. "Yes, that's all that's necessary. Here's my Amex, we'd like the second mattress and box set that we saw. It's the third one in from that row, if you've forgotten. Scan this now, and I'll call back to arrange delivery. How long will delivery take, by the way?"

If you had decided an hour ago, we could have had it out to you today, Lady. "The earliest delivery would be on Monday. But I'll have to confirm this is in stock. Are you certain that you don't need a mattress cover, or…"

"Go process this transaction please, Sergio. There's no time for fruitless upselling." She quipped, turning away from him completely. "We'll meet you at the desk for my card and receipt.

"Okay." Sergio replied, feeling put in his place. He darted off toward the desk. I'd still do you, Girl.

A hand invaded Brennan's personal space as Booth's hand found its home. "Body found in a flower bed outside a Community Center. Lab's on its way. We can catch a ride back with Hodgins or one of the techs. Let's go. We need to get a cab. We can come back later."

"No need. Sergio's completing the transaction right now. I'll coordinate delivery from the taxi. I just have to retrieve my card from Sergio."

Though he was used to the 'you'll pay me back' look she was giving him, it still bothered Booth that she so readily pulled out to pay for his large purchases. He sighed. "Uh, okay. Thanks Bones! We got our bed! Let's go! He grabbed her hand as he maneuvered her through the maze of beds.

Brennan was exhilarated as Booth led her hurriedly through the maze of beds to the desk. This was the longest that they held hands. Feeling like an irrational teenage girl, she wondered at the command of his large rough hand as it secured and towed her. She stroked the thenar of his palm, it triggering her disappointment that the mattress arrival wouldn't be sooner than Monday. Because she was ready.

Brennan was ready. And a new case meant no Parker for the weekend.

Wait?

If there's no Parker, there's no reason for me to stay at Booth's anymore.

But if there's a new case, and no Parker, Booth could come to me….

Booth shook Brennan out of her thoughts with a "hey." Looking up, she realized that she was at the desk and Booth was waving his pen at her. "Sign please." He instructed, shifting to stand behind her.

Slowly, she reviewed the invoice before she signed – not because she had concerns about billing and warranty, but because Booth was close behind her, his hands palming her hips. He persistently kept peeking his head over her shoulder, repeating his taunt, the "FBI's gonna get there before you! They're gonna ruin the scene!"

But what Booth hadn't realized was that with every lean in, the full plane of his body would nudge into her. A wall of well-muscled Booth reminding Temperance Brennan that she was ready.

"Finally!" Brennan signed the invoice. Snatching the card and invoice from Sergio's hand, Booth offered him a quick "thanks Bro!" and took Brennan's hand again as they tore out of the store. "C'mon Bones! We need a cab!" (It had never occurred to him to hail the cab while Brennan paid).


…Okay, thank you." Brennan finished as she completed the call. "You're all set. The delivery is scheduled for next Friday." She announced dejectedly.

Booth studied her. "That's great Bones! We got our bed!" he teased. "Why are you bummed?"

Looking out the cab window, Brennan garnered the strength to look her partner in the eyes. Exhaling, she turned to him. "You keep referring to the bed as our bed."

Booth paled. "Oh Bones, I'm just kidding! I'm not trying to put any pressure on you or anything." Absentmindedly, he captured a lock of her hair through his fingers. Taking the risk, he added "But I'll be honest with you. I do like the timing of the purchase, Bones."

She relaxed, warming as his ebony eyes bored her blues. "Me too." She nodded. "I, I'm ready Booth. I want to have sex with you. I understand that your back will be an issue for a while, so I was thinking that we'd be suitably sated for a few weeks if I was astride..."

The shape of Booth's mouth matched the widening of his eyes. "Whoa! Bones! Hold on! We're not just going to start having sex!"

"We're not?" she fretted, her disappointment apparent.

"No! Bones, no!" he soothed. "After all this time, and all we've been through, I don't want us to just hop into bed for the sake of christening a bed. I want us to take our time together, Bones. I want to take my time with you." he said hungrily. His fingers released from her hair, and traveled down the side of her neck to a zone he had only touched accidentally over the years. Gently, his fingers tugged - just teasing - at the opening of her blouse, an errant finger occasionally grazing the creamy flesh between her breasts. "I'm going to make up for a lot of lost time Bones. We're gonna going go out on dates and-"

"Dates? What will we do?" she asked innocently. Her throat was dry and husky.

Booth smiled, so incredibly happy to finally be having this conversation with her. "Oh I don't know. I'll take you dancing, we'll go to concerts, movies, museums, out to dinner of course." He unbuttoned the first button of her blouse and then refastened it, repeating this action several times.

Brennan was confused. "But we do all of those things already, Booth."

She was right. So he laughed. "I know Bones, we do, don't we?" His unoccupied hand grabbed one of hers. "What say we do all those things, but maybe hold hands while we do some of them? And maybe kiss at the end of the night?"

Brennan nodded, squeezing his hand, pulling it into her lap. "Perhaps we should kiss during some of those activities? And, maybe…stay in more? I've really enjoyed our conversations this week, Booth." she exhorted.

"Me too. Bones."

"Plus, staying in more will give us more of an opportunity to...christen things." He watched her eyes dilate again. If he wasn't so terrified of losing her, he would have taken her eight ways to Sunday right there in the taxi.

But he didn't want to fuck things up. And she still had some bad behaviors to correct, and quickly.

"Soon, but let's take it slow, Bones. You were totally just flirting with that kid, remember? Who's to say what would have happened if I wasn't with you?"

"What! I can't admire an attractive, virile young man? I'm thirty-five, Booth. It's going to happen." She argued.

"See! This is why we need to take things slowly! You still want to sow your oats! That's fine! But just know that I only want you. And I want you to only want me, Bones. That's your last hurdle. The longer that you don't agree to be exclusive with me, the longer I hold out from putting out, Bones."

She was flabbergasted. "You're joking!" she laughed nervously.

"I am not." He glared at her with a glint of mirth, but utter sincerity. "No flirting with twelve year old boys anymore. And no dating! I want you to cancel that weekend you planned with Sherman for the weekend of the eighth. Cancel. It."

Brennan found herself further aroused by his imperatives, but wait!

How did he know about her trip to Florida?

"What? But why?" she whined half-heartedly.

Booth crowded her face, his nose to hers. "Because Walter wants fly you down to his lair, load you up with cocktails and compliments, fuck you all weekend and then fly you home Bones. And that is not happening."

She scoffed, her arousal more elevated with each passing second. If they were not to have sex yet, she could learn to live off of his Alpha aggressiveness for a while. "I think you're worried that I may find Walter to be more physically compatible and satisfying." Her nose nuzzling his.

""Is that right?" He growled. Booth checked the window, they were about three blocks from the crime scene. Cupping her face, he watched her eyes spark with anticipation. She needed some convincing.

For now, a kiss would have to suffice.

Fully, softly and deeply. Booth took his time as he tasted her lips, explored her mouth, reuniting with her in a way that he had so desperately missed. It was not so long ago that he thought this would never happen again. He was going to make her understand just how serious he was about never losing her again. He pulled her into his arms, grinning smugly as she softly moaned at his press. He kissed her until she was trembling and whimpering for more. But knowing they were close to the scene, he finally willed himself away from her lips, but kept her in his arms.

Slowly, a dumbstruck Brennan opened her eyes. She was lightheaded, her lips (and other thing parts) pulsing, impatient to resume the kiss. She pouted when it was apparent that he was not going to reengage. She touched her lips, mesmerized by his argument and tactics.

These terms were satisfactory.

She nodded her head. "I'll cancel the date."


This one shot was inspired by a random left glance out the car window, where I spied a Sleepy's Mattress store.