TITLE: Nothing Personal
SPOILERS: "The Girl in the Fridge"
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is an alternate-ending to "The Girl in the Fridge", taking place directly after the Costello's trial. Also, while in plenty of other fandoms, smut is considered to be my 'specialty', this is my first attempt at it for the Booth/Brennan fandom.

Nothing personal. Nothing personal. The phrase tumbled endlessly through Temperance Brennan's mind as she marched angrily toward her office, the heels of her boots making sharp clicks on the tile. She tossed the files she'd been holding onto her desk, and spun to confront whoever was entering the office behind her.

Upon catching the scathing look in her best friend's eyes, Angela Montenegro raised her hands, jesting, "I come in peace."

Temperance closed her eyes and shook her head. "Ange, this really isn't the best--"


The scathing look was back as Temperance met the intense, dark brown gaze of Seeley Booth, who had just joined Angela in the doorway. "Go away," Tempe barked. "You are the second-to-last person I want to see right now."

Angela furrowed her brows at this. "Second-to-last?"

"Michael Stires being the first," Booth supplied, earning him another glare from the pretty forensic anthropologist.

"Stay out of it."

"Nice tie, Booth," Angela commented, more as a means to cut the tension than anything else, while she studied his necktie.

He paused only briefly to throw a charming smile her way before turning back to his partner, and the argument at hand. "Bones, I told you--"

"How dare you! You had no right to do that!"

"Yeah, I know," he nodded. "You already yelled that at me at the courthouse, remember? It was nothing personal."

"Me being forced to recount -- in front of everyone in that courtroom -- just why I chose this job in the first place, is nothing personal? Go to hell, Booth!"

Angela's eyes nearly popped from their sockets at this, and she gestured to the doorway behind her, though neither of the office's other two occupants took notice. "I'll, uh, just see myself out." She turned on her heel and called over her shoulder, "keep fighting. Don't stop on my account."

Both Tempe and Booth ignored her. "Bones, I told you... this was my case, too! And I'm sorry to say, but if it hadn't been for that line of questioning, the Costello's would've walked."

"Yeah, well thanks to you, they're in jail and now over a hundred people know my twisted back story! Thanks a lot!" She shook her head in frustration and pointed angrily toward the door. "Y'know what? I want you out of my office. Now."

"What do you want me to say, Temperance!" He boldly used her first name... something he hadn't done since they had first been working together... and didn't even flinch when she stared him down for it. "Want me to say that I'm sorry? Fine, then I'm sorry!"

She barked a mirthless laugh. "Yeah, you're sorry! I'll just bet you are."

"I am!" he shouted back, taking a few steps into the room. "I am sorry that I had to take such drastic measures to win our case. I'm sorry that Dr. Stires is a dick and completely screwed you over while he was on the stand! I'm even sorry that I brought you this damn case to begin with, Bones, but I'm not sorry for asking what I asked!"

Lights flicked off outside the office, though neither cared to notice such a minor detail in the midst of their fight. "You just said--!"

"I'm sorry for going about it the way that I did, yes, but it had to be done. I needed that jury to understand you the way that I... that even Michael... understands you. I needed that jury to see through your techno-babble and into the heart of our side of the case."

"The way you understand me?" she balked, hands on her hips. "You don't understand me, Booth! Not even a little bit!"

"Oh, yes I do." There was a challenge in her eyes, one that he was all-too-willing to take. He stepped up to her, not backing down even when fire flashed in her bluer-than-blue irises. "You don't expect that I do, but I do. You expect I only see you for the stoic, detached scientist that you project yourself to be. You don't think that I can see through your little facade even for a minute, when really, Bones? I've seen through it from day one."

"Fine, then what do you see?" She took another step into him, now toe-to-toe with the infuriatingly gorgeous federal agent.

"Tons of things. I see someone who's stronger than she thinks she is -- who can handle the most terrifying, gruesome cases without so much as batting an eyelash. I see a woman who projects the image of cold-hearted scientist on the outside, when inside she's anything but. I see someone who seeks validation in inappropriate places at times just to prove to herself that she's as smart -- smarter, even -- than the rest of the world."

His gaze was intense, his intent to stare her down, but she didn't flinch... and she didn't back down. "I also see a woman who's astonishingly insecure for being as gorgeous as she is -- someone who settles for the tawdry, superficial relationship here and there because she thinks she's not good enough for the real thing."

Her eyes narrowed practically to thin slats at his last remark. "You are dangerously close to crossing the line," she growled.

Booth nodded. "Oh, I know." He took one last step, breath mingling with hers. "And I also see a woman..." he leaned close, "who is terrified to admit that the fights she has with her partner turns her on -- because to admit that would be admitting that he's her weakness... and she'll be damned to let him know that an ass like him makes her weak in the knees."

"Just shut the hell up and kiss me, Booth."

Not one to argue with a beautiful, highly-irate woman, Booth leaned the rest of the way and aggressively captured her lips, his fingers digging into her waist and pulling her close. She met him kiss for kiss, needing their usual equality every step of the way, as she pushed him toward her couch. Their lips broke with an audible 'smooch' as she shoved him down onto it.

There was a fire in her eyes again, Booth noted... but a drastically different kind than what he was used to seeing. She grabbed the windsor knot in his necktie and he yelped as she yanked on it -- hard -- loosening it just enough to pull it over his head and discard it between his body and the inside of the couch. He began to pant as she attacked his shirt buttons, and he stared up at her, hazy-eyed through his lashes as he breathed, "Nothing personal?"

Tempe shook her head adamantly as she agreed to the terms he seemed to be setting down. "Nothing personal." And she meant it. She didn't want to get personal with Seeley Booth. He had been right when he accused her of being turned on by their fights -- she always had been, anyway -- but that didn't mean she wanted to get into anything personal with him.

This could be just sex. Just bodies in need, using each other to sate urges, before going back to their stoic professionalism. There would be no romantic dinners, no flowers, no weekend getaways. Just mindless sex to take the edge off their fights. It would be meaningless. Tempe figured to herself, if Angela could do it, why couldn't she?

In her haze, she managed to not only get all his buttons undone, but to completely remove his shirt and toss it somewhere in the vicinity of her desk. When she reached for his belt, his hand clamped down over her wrist, and he yanked her onto the couch, rolling her beneath him. "My turn, Bones," he stated with a tilt of his head. "Nothing personal."

She cried out as his lips latched onto the taut skin between her neck and shoulder, his hands busy pushing the material of her shirt up to expose her stomach... then higher, to expose the bottom of her ribcage. Tempe dug her fingernails into the sinewy muscle of his biceps, for once not tempted to mentally name the rest of the muscles in his arms, and she delighted in the wince she got as a reply.

Booth took possession of her lips again, pushing his tongue past the barrier to taste her, and she moaned into his mouth. His fingertips drew errant patterns on the soft skin of her stomach and she felt her abdominal muscles clench and jerk in response to the light, teasing administrations. He pulled at her shirt, pulling her to a sitting position as he went before breaking the kiss and yanking it over her head, tossing it in the same direction as his own shirt.

Fabric flew in every direction, then, as they divested each other of the rest of their clothing. Booth kissed her lips with urgency and Tempe felt her heart lurch, though she pushed the feeling away and moved to roll atop him. He pinned her with his weight, however, and shook his head when she looked to him questioningly.

"It's nothing personal, Bones," his deep tone seduced her, "but I kinda like to be on top."

He slid inside her and she gasped loudly; Booth quickly leaned forward to swallow the gasp with a kiss as he began to move... slowly at first, then, when she began to whimper, he sped up. He let out his breath when he felt her fingernails raking down his back, probably carving a path of pink in their wake before they dug in to the small of his back. He groaned.

Tempe moved her hips in tandem with his, their prior heated argument enhancing the sensations ten-fold. What was it about arguing with Booth that left her so sexually charged? Fighting with him somehow transformed from annoying, as it was in the beginning, to a suddenly powerful aphrodisiac. Now when she fought with him, she found herself craving his body -- the energy only his spirit could give to her.

Booth felt her shudder when he hit a particularly sensitive spot inside her, the whimper that cascaded from her lips as a result nearly sending him flying over the edge. But he needed her with him. Fifty-fifty all the way -- it was how it just had to be with them. He would not allow himself to give over to the pleasure unless she was with him one-hundred percent. So he leaned into her, trailing kisses down her neck as his movements slowed. He smiled when she let out another whimper, this one of disappointment.

"Faster, Booth," she panted, digging her nails into his back again.

He winced at the pain that assailed him briefly, throwing her a rakish grin when he'd recovered. "I told you you were bossy." He compliedwith her demands before she could shoot a comment back at him, and his eyes snapped shut when he felt her reaching the peak.

When it hit, Tempe's body went completely still as her eyes went wide, her mouthgaping on a silent scream. Booth's eyes widened, too, at the feeling of her pulsing around him, and he moaned her name -- her first name -- as he followed her into that heavenly abyss. They rode out the waves together before collapsing, sated, against the couch... limbs still tangled together while they fought for breath.

"I'm crushing you," Booth managed to mumble into the crook of her neck after several long moments had passed.

She nodded against him. "Yeah, you kind of are." She pushed at his shoulder feebly. "Get off."

He held his tongue to refrain from making the cheeky comment he could have made in response... and rolled off her, searching for his boxers and pulling them on. They dressed in silence, throwing glances at each other every few seconds. Booth studied his partner carefully while he pulled his shirt on, unbuttoning the cuffs so he could roll up the sleeves.

Tempe's face was flushed... glowing... and there was a certain satisfied sparkle in her eye. He fought not to strut proudly at the fact that it was he who had given her eyes that sparkle, not that asshole-ish excuse for a professor, Dr. Michael Stires. When she noticed him watching her, he turned his eyes away and finished buttoning his shirt as he sighed out, "So, I'll see you tomorrow then, Bones."

She furrowed her brow as she finished straightening her clothing, picking up his suit jacket and handing it to him. "Tomorrow?"

Booth pulled his suit jacket on and fixed the collar while heading for the door, spinning to face her once he was a safe distance away -- in case an attack ensued. "Oh yeah, did I forget to tell you? We have another case."

Her eyes widened, and she tilted her head admonishingly. "Booth!"

He laughed and tossed his keys up into the air, catching them effortlessly as he threw her what she referred to as his 'charm smile.' "Come on, you know you're just itching to dig those claws of yours into another juicy case." At the mention of her 'claws', however, he had to fight not to rub his lower back, where the skin was most certainly boasting deep, crescent-shaped marks.

"What about no working on the weekends?" Tempe had to silently marvel at the fact that, even though they had basically just 'fucked each other senseless', as Angela would so eloquently put it, they were still able to retain their usual banter.

"Ah, a guy's gotta take a weekend case for his country every now and then," he sighed, and strolled out the door. He called his farewell over his shoulder, "See ya bright and early tomorrow, Bones. Until then, have pleasant dreams."

Tempe raised an eyebrow at his path of retreat and sighed to herself, throwing a glance toward the couch. Pleasant dreams, indeed.

To Continue, or Not to Continue? That, truly is the question. And only you guys have the answer...