Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue.


Epilogue – Denial

Temperance Brennan smoothed down the material of the long black dress she was wearing, a rather dangerous slit creeping far enough up her thigh to make her a little worried. She had bought it with the persuasion of Angela, assuring her that it would do her figure justice, and that she had to have something new seeing as it was her first official 'date' with Booth.

Since Wednesday morning she had only gone home to collect clean clothes and check that everything was alright in her apartment, then returning to Booth's where they had felt as if they had been together for years rather than days, although given that they had worked closely together for sometime, it seemed obvious to her that they shouldn't have to undergo the usual discomfort in a new relationship.

Angela now stood next to her, looking at them both in the mirror. Her dress was to the usual Angela standard, guaranteed to knock most men's eyes out. But for a change she wasn't interested in most men, just the one this time.

"I've told Ryan to pick me up here," she smiled, excitement bubbling in her voice. "I can't believe that I've been with him for so long and neither of us has gotten bored yet," she turned slightly so she could check out the back of the dress. "This is the first guy since Kirk that I've liked like this," she confided.

Brennan smiled, saying nothing. Angela was clearly sold on this guy, a fact that seemed to have rubbed the edge off her excavating Brennan for all the gory details about her and Booth.

"You look just amazing, sweetie," she said, looking at Brennan. "Booth won't know what hit him."

Brennan shook her head. "Nothing's going to hit him," she said, looking puzzled.

"It means he won't believe how gorgeous you look," Angela informed.

Brennan nodded, her ears pricking at the sound of a car engine pulling up outside her home. She moved across to the window and peered outside, seeing Booth step out of what she could only describe as a classic car. Angela pressed her nose nearer to the glass, looking at the vehicle.

"Wow," she said. "I don't know what looks more impressive, Booth or the car."

Brennan laughed, watching Booth as he locked the car and headed to her door, knocking hard even though she had given him her key back once she had borrowed it to retrieve the one she had left inside. She appreciated that he respected her space, and he had told her earlier – he wanted this to be their first 'proper' date.

Angela followed her to the door to greet Booth, standing a little away, watching them as they admired each other, Brennan going a little flushed as she felt Booth's gaze.

"You look…" Booth stared at her. Brennan hoped that the following adjective would be a positive one. "Incredible." He handed her a bunch of roses, although they could have been a bunch of twigs, she was too absorbed in him to really notice.

"Thank you," she smiled, feeling Angela take the flowers from her before she dropped them.

She smiled, a little flirtatiously, liking the look she had created in his eyes. "Angela made me buy the dress," she told him.

"Then thank you to Angela," Booth said, still transfixed by the high slit in the material.

"Yes, you're welcome," Angela chirped from her vantage point a few feet away and holding the flowers, a little bemused at being ignored, but excited that they had finally gotten together.

"Shall we go?" Booth offered Brennan his arm. She took it, still smiling.

"Ange, will you be okay to lock up?" She called back.

"I think I can manage that," Angela nodded. "Somehow."

Brennan gave her a smile, then let Booth lead her out of the house into the car that stood waiting for her.

"Is this one of your projects?" She asked, remembering that he had said in the past that he like to restore classic cars.

"I wish it was. I've not had the time recently. I borrowed this from a friend," he said, opening the door for her. She slid into the seat, putting on the seat belt that looked as if it had only been fitted.

"You really look amazing," he told her, giving her a long lingering look before starting the engine.

"So do you. You tie that tie yourself or is it a pre-done one?" She put a finger to it, gently seeking her answer.

"'Course I did it myself!" he said, a little indignantly, leaning closer to her. She felt his lips softly press against hers, and her body responded in a way that she was enjoying getting used to. One of his hands began to explore the flesh that was exposed by the slit in her dress, creeping higher up to her thigh. Even in the small space of the car she felt herself letting go. Being close to Booth was something that she was now finding all too easy.

A car horn tooted behind them, distracting them from their antics. She turned her head and looked out of the rear window. A tall, brown haired man jumped out from the drivers and seat gave them a cheeky wave. She recognised him as being Ryan, Angela's latest beau, and seemingly quite a serious one too. She waved back, hearing a quite chuckle escape from Booth's lips.

"Caught red-handed," he smiled. She smiled back, her fingers moving to his mouth to remove the traces of lipstick that she had applied with her own lips. She felt teeth softly bite down on her fingers, playfully nipping them and causing her to squeal.

"Booth," she said rather huskily. He kissed the fingers and let her pull her hand back.

"When are you going to start calling me by my first name?" He asked her, turning the key and starting the car.

She laughed. In the past few days it had become a discussion point between them that they were still calling each other by their surnames, or in her case, her nickname. He argued that 'Bones' was a term of affection, and she had agreed that it did affect her, but not in the way he wanted. She had retorted that calling him 'Seeley' would make her feel uncomfortable, to which he had offered to do something that would help that, and then had shown her what that was, thus the discussion had been forgotten.

"I'll try to remember," she said, pacifying him. "But you've been Booth for so long."

"And you've been Bones for so long," he said, the car prowling down the streets toward the hotel where the ball was taking place.

"But that's not my name – at least Booth is your name," she replied, a hand placing itself on his thigh and working its way slowing up his leg. She felt the muscles tense, and a sideways glance told her that her form of combat might just persuade him to call her Tempe for the rest of the evening.

"Okay, I'll call you Temperance," he agreed. She removed her hand, knowing that if he continued they may have to find a cold shower somewhere, or at least find a quiet car park. She smiled, enjoying the effect she knew she had on him, it giving her a sense of victory she knew was acquired only through relationships like theirs.

Relationships.

Theirs.

The words echoed around her head like dancing butterflies in spring. It had only taken four nights to come to terms with their situation and finally let herself sink into it. Now her future had been lit up by the man who had aggravated her incessantly, been her verbal sparring partner and caused sparks to fly every time she set eyes on him.

They pulled up at the hotel, a valet automatically coming to them and Booth handed him the keys.

"Agent Booth," he announced. "Room 3."

"We have a room?" Brennan looked at him in puzzlement.

"We have a room, Bone.. Temperance, just like I told the good man," he replied once they had gotten out of the car.

"I haven't brought any things…" she protested.

"No, but Angela will have packed them when you left and she will be bringing them for you," he smiled, victorious.

She was quiet, unsure of what to say. She wasn't used to romantic gestures and she'd never read anything on how to deal with them. She felt Booth's arm go round her waist and leant into him, gratefully knowing that he understood her silence and what it meant.

"A thank you would do it," he whispered, leading them up the steps into the hotel.

"Thank you," she whispered back. He nodded, and she leant a little more.

------------------------------

Booth felt like he was king of the world when he walked into that room with Bones on his arm, knowing that a good number of his fellow officers there had remarked at one time or another on how they would like to have taken her out, but were a little too scared to suggest it to her. She was with him, not begrudgingly, or because they were on a case, but because she wanted to be.

He gave her another look, appreciating her slim figure and the dress that almost did it justice. He noticed that she reddened a little, under his gaze, but didn't flinch from it.

The last three days had been almost like magic. When he had gotten home she had been there, or he had picked her up from the lab and they had gone back to his. The nights had then been filled with talking, watching ridiculous things on television and eating. It had felt more like home than home had ever done before.

Cullen approached them, a small, red haired woman on his arm, who Culled looked to be faintly scared of. He realised that this was his boss's wife, the living version of the picture on the desk, which was occasionally hidden in a cupboard.

"Good evening, Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan," Cullen greeted them, holding out his hand to both of them in turn. "This is my wife, Claire." They nodded their hellos.

"It's good to meet you, finally," Mrs Cullen said to Bones. "I've read all of your books, and I find them superb. Do you base any of your characters on real people?"

Booth suppressed a chuckle. Bones resolutely denied that she based her characters on nothing but what her imagination came up with. However, there had been a certain character, an FBI boss, who Booth considered to be very like Cullen. He wondered if Claire Cullen had noticed the similarities.

"No, I try not to," Bones began to explain, stuttering a little. Booth dug a finger into her waist, provoking her even more. She tried to discreetly wriggle away from him, but he just clutched harder, hiding his amusement at her discomfort underneath feigned interest.

"I think your characters are very cleverly done," Claire said, after Bones had done her best to explain how she came up with the people in her books. "Especially Andrew Ryan's boss. He was very true to life!"

Booth burst out laughing as they walked away, partly at Bones' confused expression, but even more at Cullen's worried look. He didn't know if Cullen had ever read her books, but he was certain he would do now.

He spotted Hodgins wandering over to them, his arm wrapped around the waist of a petite brunette who look suspiciously like Angela, but was actually called Lydia Thorpe, an agent Booth had never worked with, and knew little about.

"Hey!" He heard Hodgins call them. He wondered just how easy it would be to enact revenge on the person who had invited the rest of the squints.

"Hodgins," he responded despondently.

"Good ball," he told them, swigging on a glass of the complimentary champagne that had been given out. "I heard you were staying here tonight," Booth wasn't sure if it would actually be illegal to kill a squint. He was certain Cullen would be willing to support him.

"It's a good thing I've already told her," Booth raised his eyebrows.

"Well, if you hadn't she'd only find out from…"

"Hey!" Another voice joined the melee. "I dropped your night bag off at reception," Angela said to Bones.

"See," Hodgins interjected in his usual manner. "Even if you hadn't told her and I hadn't have said anything, the surprise would have been spoilt by now!"

"You do know, don't you?" Angela looked worriedly at Bones.

"Booth's said that he's booked a room for us – thank you for getting my things together," Bones turned toward her friend.

"A room?" Angela raised her eyebrows. "Sweetie, I don't think this is just any room. I saw the brochure."

"Well," Booth glared at Angela. "Let's not say anymore, shall we?" he grabbed hold of her and pulled her onto the dance floor, where he could see Zack doing his best to make a move on one of the secretaries who worked for his department. Booth shook his head sadly. Zack may have a genius IQ, but he lacked any notion of how to woo a woman. He noticed Bones looking at Zack a little sadly, then at him.

"Booth…" she pleaded.

He rolled his eyes. "Okay," leaving her looking at him, he wandered over to where Zack was committing social suicide, and managed to pull his attention away, letting the secretary make a thankful escape.

"There's someone I'd like to meet," he said, feeling a mixture of pity and annoyance at the rather petulant face in front of him.

"Who?" Zack said a little desperately.

"Come with me," Booth brought Zack over to a table where a young woman with strikingly long, curly red hair was sat. "Zack, this is Kristen. Kristen, this is Zack. Zack is a genius, and very few people understand what he's talking about. Zack, Kristen also had an extremely high IQ. She may get you a little better than some of the other people here."

"Amy was getting me just fine…" Zack protested.

"I'm sure she was," Kristen interrupted, making Zack's eyes flick from Booth back to the woman. "But I'll probably get you better." Booth smiled and left Kristen to it.

"Who was she?" Bones asked when he got back to her.

"She's another agent. Has a reputation for eating men for breakfast," he grinned at his girl.

"Zack…" Bones began.

"Will have the most wonderful night of his life, and will probably learn a lot more that he would from a text book," he interrupted.

-----------------------------------

It wasn't that late when they walked to the room Booth had booked. He had seemed eager for them to get away from the rest of the crowd, who in true FBI tradition, were becoming more and more intoxicated.

Angela and Ryan had left sometime ago. He had also booked a room, and it had seemed that if the couple hadn't have retired to it when they did, then they would have gotten into trouble for indecency. Like Booth had done for her, Ryan had surprised Angela in the same way, only he had actually packed her over night bag for her. Brennan had almost been deafened by the squalls or excitement that had erupted when Angela had found out, before hiding her eyes from the resulting hot-blooded kiss.

"At least they didn't have sex on my desk," she had heard Hodgins whisper in her ear, watching her divert her eyes away from Angela and Ryan. She had turned to her colleague and glared. Hodgins had scuttled quickly away.

Booth unlocked the door to their room with a credit card like key. He had let her enter first, his hand knowing exactly where the lights were, so she figured he had already been here earlier.

It wasn't a room. It was more like a suite. A large, four poster bed took the centre stage in the main room, antique furniture stood around it, giving it an olde worlde look. A room came off it that looked over the hotel grounds, patio doors and a balcony at one end. The room contained two sofas and a small table. She paced round it, feeling Booth's eyes upon her the whole time.

"Check out the bathroom," he prompted. "This way." She followed him back through the bedroom, and ended up in a room with a spa bath, already filled with hot water and a cool bucket of champagne next to it. She looked up at him, eyes laughing.

"Are you feeling in need of a bath, Seeley?" she asked him. His mouth curled up into a smile.

"It was a little grimy on that dance floor," he replied. She felt her insides quiver at the thought of his touch. Nothing seemed to sate their desire for each other, it was an unquenchable thirst.

He stepped toward her, his hands sliding up to her shoulder where the thin straps of her dress were placed. His slid them down, exposing flesh.

"I thought you liked this dress?" she smiled, as he began to slip it from her body.

"I do," he said deeply. "But I like what's under it more."

She smiled, fingers undoing the tie, then the buttons of his shirt, then the belt. Electricity caused bumps to appear on her skin, anticipation burned inside of her and as his lips began to take over once more, she fell completely into him, anxiety and fear now totally eroded by something she was beginning to understand.

-----------------------------

Booth rolled over in the large bed, turning to face Temperance, as he was learning to call her, and investigating whether it was she who had made that banging noise. Seeing that she was still perfectly asleep he got up, pulling on one of the house coats the hotel provided in each room and made his way over to the door, where the irritating sound had come from.

He opened it and wondered if he had awoken into a living nightmare. Cullen stood in front of him wearing a pair of plaid pyjamas. Booth rubbed his eyes.

"I'm sorry to wake you," Cullen began.

"What time is it?" Booth said, sleep still filling his voice.

"Six thirty. I've had a call. A skeleton has been unearthed in the walls of an official's house about an hour's drive away. I need you there, along with…" Cullen poked his head around the door. "…your bone lady."

"Can this not wait?" Booth said. "When was the body discovered?"

"Late last night. The teenaged daughter let the bath overflow, bringing down a ceiling. They called someone in to repair what they could, but after tapping on a few walls to assess further damage they found a skeleton. I got the call about ten minutes ago," Cullen sounded almost sympathetic.

"We don't have to go straight away, do we?" Booth sighed. He wanted to enjoy the room and its contents. They hadn't actually managed to get in the spa bath last night, having discovered that it was nigh on impossible for anyone else to see them from the balcony, and that had been after realising that the bathroom floor tiles weren't actually that cold.

Cullen gave him a knowing smile. "I said that you would be there after midday, as you were currently engaged in another case. Oh, and by the way – the principal is also being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. I though you'd like to know."

Booth laughed. Maybe Cullen wasn't such a nightmarish figure after all.

He closed the door after getting a piece of paper with the details of where they were to go on it. Discarding his robe, he got back into the bed, pulling a now almost awake anthropologist into him.

"Who was that?" She asked sleepily, pressing herself against him.

"Cullen," he responded, his hands seeking out the places that he knew would make her shudder.

"What did he want?" she murmured, easing into his touch and responding with one of her own.

"Nothing that can't wait," he answered, wondering just how lucky he could actually be to finally have Temperance Brennan lay beside him, purring in pleasure – because of him.

----------------------

Later on, in the midst of rushing to pack everything up after taking a little too long to discover just how well the spa bath worked, Brennan looked up at Booth, taking in his build, features and all the characteristics that made him hers.

A feeling went through her, it was no longer frightening, or making her want to run for cover, but a settled one that was also full of anticipation, excitement and of an urge to hold on to this thing they had.

She thought of the past week, since he had interrupted her date, and wondered just what would have happened if the body hadn't have been found by the river, and if she and Booth had spent yet more time, swimming around in denial.

----------------------------------------

Finis


Thanks you for reading this! It's a while ago since I wrote it now, but I still get reviews for it from time to time, so thank you if you are one of those people. I am aware of the metatarsals mistake in an earlier chapter. At the time of writing it I was too in the flow of writing to remember the correct word, so put in what I could think of, then forgot to correct it. I'm leaving it as it is for now for posterity's sake!

It's great to know what you think of a story, so please let me know! And I still get a kick out of getting reviews or being added to people's favorites. If you're looking for another Booth/Brennan story to read then I have written another - shorter one - called 'Sleeping', although there are tons of good BB stories out there!

Thanks again,

Sarah