TITLE: Nobody But You
LYRICS: "Nobody" by Amy Studt.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: The idea for this fic hit me while I was listening to the song mentioned above, as being so perfectly Brennan, for a realization moment. Here's what came of it:

Temperance Brennan watches her date circle around the table to his side after having pulled her chair out for her, and he smiles as he sits down. He comments, "I'm glad we were finally able to do this."

Her reply is automatic and knee-jerk, "So am I, David. This is nice."

"Yeah." The light of the lone candle on their table flickers across his face as he gives another smile, and she plasters on one of her own.

His eyes aren't as brown as Booth's, she thinks, then immediately ridicules herself. Just why should she be thinking about her partner when she could finally go on a date with her online suitor?

Maybe it was the fact that she'd just dropped Booth off at his place before coming here. He had been discharged from the hospital, a bit earlier than the nursing staff would have liked, but Booth's firm tone and his charming smile got him his release papers. She had helped him inside his house against his mutterings that he was a big boy and could take care of himself.

She had then set his pain medication on the end table by the couch and made him sit down, pressing gently on his shoulders to do so as she remembered they were still bruised. How could she forget? He'd held her tight, for so long, in that warehouse though he was battered... but when they watched a movie in the hospital and she wanted to be close to him, wanted to lean her head on his arm to feel his safety and comfort... he'd pulled away and muttered a reminder about his injuries.

Booth, once on the couch, had grinned up at her in that annoyingly charming way of his and asked if she was positive she really wanted to go out with a computer geek like David. He'd promised they could listen to Foreigner together as a lame attempt to get her to stay, and she declined, though her heart had emanated a strange ache when she said goodbye.

She didn't know whether to hug him or not, so she'd settled for ruffling his hair before she had gathered her purse and jacket, and left. Now here she sits in front of David, the man she's been attempting to go out with for several days, and she's thinking of Booth.


She meets David's eyes and resolves to think about something else. To think about something, anything, other than her partner. "Yes?"

"Are you okay?"

She nods reflexively and chooses to avert her gaze from those not-brown-enough eyes, glancing around the restaurant. Soft music, 'lite rock' as she'd heard it was called, plays over the speakers in the ceiling, one of them directly above her head. A piano melody and a smooth female alto drifts down to her as she verbally assures David that she's fine.

Sometimes it seems that I have no place
And I don't know what to do with myself

Hmm, now there was an attention-grabbing couple of lines. She wonders what Booth is doing and immediately flicks her gaze back toward David. Okay, so maybe looking at him constantly can keep Booth out of her mind. "So, you've been here before, David, right? What's good here?"

Light up another, I can taste the filth inside
And I need to cleanse my soul

David begins to describe a particular salmon dish he's fond of, and Temperance finds herself once again drifting away. Had Booth remembered to take his medicine? Maybe she should call him. Was he upset that she left him to go on a date? He definitely didn't seem to be very fond of any of the men she'd shown an interest in. First Michael Stires, then Jesse Caine -- even though she never reciprocated his very obvious feelings -- and now David.

Does he not understand that she needs this occasional human contact? Does he even think that she is human? He'd been oddly surprised that she listened to something other than world music. Maybe he just saw her as this emotionless android that can spout off scientific fact like there's no tomorrow but that will break down when any kind of human emotion or attachment presents itself. She needs this kind of contact tonight, so she can still feel alive.

Nobody knows, nobody cares
That I die on the inside

Of course Booth knows this, she tells herself. She's made subtle mention of it to him before. Even on the first day of their last hellish case -- when they'd been arguing in the warehouse. He knew that she needed this and yet he was still angry about it. What was there for him to be angry about?

Nobody sees the lie that is me
'Cause I smile on the outside

"So what do you think you'll have, Temperance?"

She once again has to force herself to meet David's eyes, that little voice at the back of her mind still nagging that the brown irises aren't brown enough, and replies, "I'm not sure. I'm actually not feeling very hungry."

Temperance then inwardly yells at herself when she wonders if Booth's hungry, and if he's making sure to get up and find something to eat. Booth cannot matter. Not tonight. She asks David what he's ordering in return and as he replies, she glimpses out the large picture window over his shoulder and sees a couple crossing the street. The woman moves first but doesn't see a car coming, and the man reaches out and grabs her arm, hauling her back to safety until the car has sped past.

Nobody knows, and nobody cares
When I walk on the wrong side

She smiles at the sight. Booth has done the exact same thing before. Hell, Booth's done a lot more than keep her safe from reckless drivers. Booth's shielded her from gunfire, he's saved her from a madman -- hell, he was blown up for her.

Tell me who - nobody
Nobody but you

Temperance looks up at David and knows he wouldn't do the same thing. They barely know each other, so why should he care so much about her life? They've only talked over instant messages and brief telephone conversations. Does he know, like Booth does, that she enjoys jazz? Does he know, like Booth does, just when she's about to kick somebody's ass? Does he know that when he wakes her up too early in the morning that she wants black coffee and bagels? Does he know what she looked like when she was a kid? How about that she keeps her glassware in the cupboard right next to her fridge? Does he even know what has happened to her fridge in the past twenty-four hours?

All the friends that I've had,
Where are they now?
Guess I'm far too intense to be loved

Only Booth knows these things. And she realizes, as she absently engages in more idle conversation, that she doesn't want anybody but Booth to know these things about her. She doesn't even want Angela to know some of the things that Booth knows about her.

All the things that I hate,
I hate about myself
And I need to cleanse my soul

Temperance has always been content with never having a serious relationship. But it's now, sitting across from David, that she realizes she's already in a serious relationship. She's always wanted to have intimacy with someone... but it's never occurred to her until tonight that she already has it.

Nobody knows, nobody cares
That I die on the inside

"Temperance? Are you alright?"

She again has to look into his eyes. And when he smiles, she just feels worse -- it's nothing like Booth's smile.

"You seem distracted," David continues.

She is.

Nobody sees the lie that is me
'Cause I smile on the outside

"I am. I'm sorry," she apologizes, and picks up the napkin that she had spread in her lap, placing it now on her empty bread plate. She rises to her feet and, as she looks down at David, she sees the confusion.

"Where are you going?"

She looks out the window and another couple is crossing the street, holding hands as they appear to spar back and forth. Her heart lurches again, and she grabs her purse. "I have to go. I'm so sorry."

Nobody knows, and nobody cares
When I walk on the wrong side
Tell me who - nobody

"Well, should we reschedule?" David asks, rising to his feet as well. He reaches out to touch her arm and she backs up a step.

Nobody but you

His touch doesn't shoot currents of electricity down her spine, like Booth's sometimes does. "I'm sorry. I just... I don't think that's a good idea. I'm really busy with work, and--"

"With Booth," he finishes.

I have nobody but you
Nobody, nobody but you

She closes her eyes. "Booth is my partner. And he and I went through something really traumatic the other day, and... I guess I'm just not over it yet."

Nobody knows, nobody cares
That I die on the inside

David nods, and a slow smile of understanding spreads. "That's understandable. And, I kinda figured I was getting in the middle of something."

Nobody sees the lie that is me
'Cause I smile on the outside

Her first instinct is to deny it -- to assure David that there's nothing for him to get in the middle of, but her aching heart knows the truth. She's not over what happened the other day. She's not over watching Booth on fire, wedged beneath her refrigerator door. She's not over the sight of him, battered and broken in a hospital bed. And she isn't over the feeling of being held by Booth. She's especially not over the realization she's come to; she's not over how deeply intimate she is with someone she's never been truly intimate with.

Nobody knows, and nobody cares
When I walk on the wrong side

So all she can do is apologize profusely. She shakes his hand and tells him -- quite lamely, she knows -- how nice it was to finally meet him in person. He echoes the sentiments and wishes her luck.

Nobody knows, and nobody cares but you

Temperance starts to walk toward the exit, but her legs take over, as does her racing heart. She jogs toward the door and grabs the large brass handle, swinging it open and rushing out into the cool D.C. night, and the last strains of that attention-grabbing song make their way through the slowly-closing restaurant door.

Nobody knows, and nobody cares but you

Temperance is sure she has broken about twenty different traffic laws on the way to Booth's place, but she's not concerned. Her partner's in the FBI -- he's pulled strings for her before and she knows he'll do it again.

She pulls into his driveway and just barely gathers enough sense to throw the car in park before she cuts the engine. She stares at the warm light coming from his living room... a soft yellow glow painted with various flickering shades of blue -- from his beloved television, probably. She smiles when she remembers the look on his face upon finding out she didn't have a TV -- he was nearly devastated.

She jumps out of her car and slams the door, jogging toward his front door. She smiles again when she sees the light in his entryway turn on. He knows she's coming. That thought is confirmed as she raises her fist, ready to knock, and he's already got the front door pulled open.

The smile he sends is full of pain as he cradles his left arm close to his body, and she smiles back -- a memory briefly assails her of that same look on his face in the warehouse, when he'd freed her.

"Bones?" He steps to the side and gestures for her to enter. "Whaddya doin' here?"

They stand and stare at each other for a moment before Booth seemingly gives up; he carefully shrugs his injured shoulders and turns to head back to the couch. "Just let me know when you're ready to use your words," he jests, and takes a seat, with many grunts and groans on the way down.

For what feels like hours, she stares at the back of his head, her hands in the pockets of her dress pants as she worries her bottom lip with her teeth. Finally, she spits out the most prevalent thought in her head. "You know me."

His head slowly swivels and she notes the wrinkles in his forehead -- complete and utter confusion. "Bones, what the hell are you talkin' about? Get over here. Sit down."

She complies and takes long strides toward the couch, settling in directly next to -- but not quite touching -- him. She meets his eyes and can't help but smile -- they're the perfect shade of brown. "Booth, you know me."

He searches her eyes for a second before chuckling softly. "Yeah. Yeah, I do. On your pissy days, I definitely wish that I didn't... but I do."

"I mean you know me know me."

Booth raises an eyebrow, an action that is probably the only thing that doesn't hurt him at the moment. "Ookay..." He grunts in pain as he forces himself to sit up a little further. "I really hope you're going somewhere with this, Bones, because it's getting to be past my bedtime."

She rolls her eyes, having already glimpsed at the clock on his wall. "It's eight-thirty -- and yes, I was going somewhere with this."

"Alright, then let's hear it."

"You know me."

He nods. "Yeah, we've already established that just a few times."

Temperance tilts her head and widens her eyes slightly. "Will you let me finish?"

He holds his hands up in a gesture of supplication, then winces at the pain caused by the movement. She looks to him in concern for a moment before pressing forward. "You know what kind of music I like to listen to. You know where I keep the glasses. You know how I like my coffee in the morning, and how I like it in the afternoon. You know what I looked like when I was fifteen, and you know the kind of look I get on my face when I'm going to kick somebody's ass."

He chuckles at this, but lets her continue: "You know that I need my independence and you let me have it..." she tilts her head and amends with a smile, "sometimes. You know when I need to get sleep even before I know it. You know when I'm having an off day or when I'm having a very productive, satisfactory day. Booth, you can recognize each and every one of my moods just by looking at me." She sighs and looks down at her hands, where she's currently putzing with her fingers.

Her eyes close and for a moment she doesn't think she can continue. That is, of course, until Booth's finger finds her chin and gently lifts it up, his gaze encouraging. She takes another breath. "I was out with David tonight, at dinner, when I realized all this. And along with all that, I realized something else -- I don't want anyone else to know all that stuff about me. I don't want David to know it, or Michael, or any other man. Any other person, I guess -- I don't even want Angela to know me like you do.

"And it's so strange to realize just how well you know me, to realize how..." she clears her throat, "um, intimate we are, be-because I mean, we've never even been... you know, intimate."

Booth nods sagely. "I know."

"You know?"

He chuckles, and reaches for her hand. "Yeah, of course I do, Bones -- Temperance. I'm feeling all these same, weird things that you're feeling."

His confession is heartfelt, sincere, and causes her to blurt out, "And I did miss you on those two cases we didn't work together."

He grins and melts her heart. "I know, and... just between us?" He beckons her close with a curl of his finger, and when she leans toward him, his voice drops to a conspiratorial whisper. "I kinda missed you, too."

She smiles at him and wants to be in his arms again. But will it hurt him?

Booth, apparently, also has the ability to read her thoughts, for he grins again and says, "I don't know how much it'll hurt, but I definitely think we should try that hugging thing again."

Temperance is in her partner's arms again before she can process the action, being held against his still-injured body, though this time she hears no grunt of pain. She snakes her arms around his shoulders and clasps her right hand over her left wrist -- securing her hold on him as she asks, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," his voice is only slightly strained. "Never better."

They hold each other in silence forever, sometimes tightening their arms in another hug before they relax and go back to holding each other. Finally, she finds her voice again. "So what do--"

"--we do now?" he finishes. "You tell me, Bones," and she can feel the grin on his face without seeing it.

But she wants to see it, so she pulls back. Her arms are still locked around his neck as she searches those perfectly-brown irises and takes in that wonderfully bright smile. One of her own reflects back at him. "I don't think I need to," she replies, and blinks slowly as she feels him advance.

"Yeah, why's that?" His breath mingles with hers...

She exhales a soft chuckle. "Because you already know."

And he does.

His lips dust across hers lightly -- testing, teasing -- before she presses her lips fully to his.

"Hey..." she murmurs through his deep kisses.

"Hmm?" He captures her lips over and over again and she's afraid she'll combust from the euphoria.

"Still wanna listen toForeigner tonight?"

He pulls away only long enough to laugh before their lips find each other again.