The night was warm. A slightly cooler breeze rustled the leaves. Special Agent Seeley Booth and his sometime partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan sat at a picnic table enjoying a dinner of Chinese food. "This was a good idea, Booth," Brennan said, finishing off the last bit of her noodles.
"I do have those from time to time." Booth gathered up both of their trash and walked the short distant to the garbage can. "I figured," he said walking back, "that this last case really sent us both in a tail spin. That we both needed so down time, although I'm sure you would rather be working, eh, Bones?" Brennan had changed position, and Booth found her laying long ways on the table, her legs, from the knees down, dangling over the edge. Even through he couldn't see her eyes, he knew that she had rolled them. Brennan hated his nickname for her, and frankly, that was one reason he called her that. Letting out a sigh, Booth walked around the table. "Move over a bit." Booth mirrored Brennan's pose from the opposite side, bringing the heads almost in line with each other. For a moment they both just laid there. Letting the wind wash over them, as if wishing that their problems would be taken with it.
"I don't know when I can remember seeing so many stars in the sky," Brennan said, breaking the silence.
"Someone once told me, back when I was a kid, that stars were all the souls that had passed away. And when you see them twinkling, like that one," Booth pointed up to the sky. "That it's someone who's dear to one winking from beyond."
"You don't really believe that, do you Booth?" Brennan asked, looking over at him. The light from the bright full moon created shadows over his features.
"I did when I was a child," he started. "Oh, about five or six. Then I got a little older, and it didn't really ring true, but I still wanted to believe. Once my teenage years came about, it was a bunch of hogwash. But you know, as I've gotten on up in age, I like the concept. It's, what the word, life affirming, to think, to believe if you will, that there's something more to this world than what we see." Brennan turned her head back toward the sky, and for a moment tried to believe that Booth was right.
"Booth," Brennan stopped, and Booth didn't push. "Since you're in a talking mood, answer me this. Why do you keep calling me Bones? You know I don't like it." Booth thought for a moment.
"I guess, Bon-uh-Temperance, that I like the fact that it annoys you some."
"That's not very nice, you know that right?" Brennan was surprised when Booth chuckled.
"It's all in good fun, Tempe. A sign that, well, you know, I like you. We are colleagues, after all." Brennan felt heat spread over her cheeks. Angela had told her that it was just a pet name. It was a way for Booth to show friendship, or at least comradeship, without having to say so. Men don't like to say things like that, Angela had said. Once more a silence fell over them. "My turn."
"You turn what?" Brennan asked.
"I thought we were playing 20 question. You asked the first one, and now it's my turn. You do know what 20 question is, don't you?"
"Of course I do," Brennan said. "I just didn't know we were playing it."
"Sure, why not, nothing else to do. OK, so, tell me something about your life nobody else that you work with knows." Brennan cocked her mouth to one side.
"I don't think that's a very good question."
"Sure it is." Brennan took in a deep breath, held it for 10 seconds and then let it out. All the while, thinking back over her life to find something to tell Booth. Oh, he's going to pay for that one, she thought to herself.
"Ok, I have something," she finally said. "But if this gets out, I swear I'll track you down and hurt you. And you know I can." Booth held up his right hand.
"When I was little, about three or four, I had an imaginary friend."
"No way," Booth said, a little doubtful.
"I know," she answered, "it's hard to believe. It was a purple hippo named Spanky." Booth dropped his head to the side to look at her, to see if she was laughing.
"Spanky?" he asked when her face appeared smooth and serious. Brennan nodded.
"Yup." Booth smiled, then looked back up at the twinkling stars. "Look!" Brennan's hand shot up toward the sky. "Did you see it? A shooting star."
"I saw it, alright. The same guy that told me about the twinkling stars also told me that when you see a shooting star, then you get to make a wish. And it you ever could catch one, then all your hearts desires would come true."
"Ok, Booth, I can go along with making a wish, even through I don't really believe in that, but you never thought you could catch one, did you?"
"Why not?" Booth asked. When Brennan didn't answer, he went on. "So, what shall we wish for?"
"How about more hours in the day to work?" Brennan suggested.
"How about I wish that a certain woman I know wasn't so…so…dependant on work?"
"It's not my fault that I like what I do. You like your job, don't you?"
"Sometimes are better than others."
"My turn, by the way. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?"
"How many days do I have?"
"As many as you want. And you can take anybody and as many as you want." Booth stared up at the stars as he thought.
"Umm, well, I've always wanted to go to Egypt. See the pyramids and things."
"Yeah, what's so funny about that?"
"I don't know," Brennan said. "I didn't mean to laugh, it's just that I never pictured you as a Egypt history type of person."
"Well, that's what this game is about, right? Learning something new about somebody."
"Yeah, I guess you are right." Brennan sat up, and wrapped her arms around herself. The wind was getting cold against the bare skin of her arms.
"Here," Booth said, sitting up as well. He took off his suit jacket and put it around her shoulders.
"Booth," Brennan started, and then stopped. "Seeley," she tried again. "Do you consider us friends?"
"Now, Temperance, that's two questions in a row. It's my turn." Brennan rolled her eyes.
"Ok, then you ask a question." Booth stood up and offered Brennan his hand. When she took it, he pulled her to her feet.
"Do you consider us friends?"
"Hey, that's my question."
"I know, but now you have to answer it." He flashed her his world famous Booth smile.
"Yes, I suppose I do consider you a friend. Even through you are annoying most of the time." Booth chuckled. He put an arm around her shoulders and they started off towards his SUV.
"That's good, Bones, because I think of you as a friend, too." The wind swirled around them, and above them the stars twinkled and yet other shooting star arched across the star.