Title: A Gentle Touch

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.

Rating: This story is rated T. No hardcore sex, my friends. Sincere apologies in advance.

Spoiler: Post 'Solider in the Grave'

Summary: She reached out. The single touch.

A/N: Lest we forget that British soldiers have died in the Iraqi war too, I would like to commemorate them, and remind people that, although many, many more American soldiers have died, this does not lessen the pain of the families who lost their loved-ones in Britain. And, for the American soldiers too – because like Booth says, everyone dies a little bit.

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(Quote from a British detergent advert: 'Is gentle something you touch, or something that touches you…?' - Thought it was fitting.)

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"We all die a little bit, Bones…" She turned her hand, and their fingers linked. She wasn't entirely sure what she was supposed to say. She hated to admit it, but she was probably on Hodgins' side more than anything. But Booth was proud. Proud and wounded. And she wasn't capable of reaching out in such an emotional level.

Her thumb drew circles on his skin, while her mind faltered and stuttered and tried to make sense of the awkward moment where she was supposed to say something that wasn't trite. Something meaningful and significant. To say she was 'sorry' was an understatement – it had no value, because Booth knew how sorry she was.

He sighed, lifting his eyes from their linked fingers to her face, expectant, waiting on her saying something. She blinked slowly, her own eyes almost as watery as his. She noticed how his lashes were wet, and he still gnawed on his lip, as though he were embarrassed about such an emotional show.

Her fingers tightened, but she still had nothing to say. Here he was, sitting before her, divulging things to her that he had never told anyone else. She felt overwhelmed by the gigantic leap that their relationship had taken in just a few moments. But instead of being full of scientific words, rational explanations or even just an opinion, she was rendered speechless. It was ironic that Booth had asked her if she always had to have the last word.

Now, when words were needed so badly, she'd lost all thought. Everything except how much she respected the man whose hand she held. The man who gazed into her eyes now with so much hurt and sadness that she felt her lungs tighten a little in response. She was supposed to comfort him, dammit! She was a writer for God's sake!

She thought an eternity had passed by, but it was probably only a few seconds. Her hesitation had been slight, but mental block seized her heart with an iron fist and she struggled. God she struggled. And he had a sensitive soul. If she didn't say something soon, he'd think she hated him. He'd think she was horrified.

Brennan bridged the gap between them, pressing her lips to his in an awkward kiss that stunned him. His eyes widened, staring into hers until she was almost humiliated by the choice she'd made. Then she seen the hurt. The depthless hurt that no one had ever reached before. She saw how it ebbed away, and a light appeared back in the desolate muddy brown.

His arm slipped around her back and their lips relaxed, their mouths moving on their own accord. Brennan tasted coffee on his tongue, and mint. He'd been chewing gum on the way to the cemetery. She felt his arm tighten around her back. Then she realised she was still staring and her eyes fell closed, telling herself that her choice was by far more meaningful than any words she could have conjured.

Booth released her hand and laced his fingers though her hair, tugging, gaining entry to the deepest crevices of her mouth. And her soul. When had he crept in like this? When had she started to wonder about what went on inside his mind? Or worse… when had she started to care?

Answers alluded her, and Brennan disliked the confusion she felt. She had a neat and orderly mind, with comprehensible thoughts that were rarely jumbled. Yet, as Booth kissed her, alternating between a sense of importance and gentle brushes, she realised her mind had never been more of an unfathomable and perplexing mess.

And while she disliked it, she was able to shrug it off because Booth arms had snaked around her now, and it was almost as if he needed her. Their knees touched and his mouth plundered hers, long and sensual as if he'd been waiting to discover her for an eternity. She liked how his fingers splayed out across her spine, and how he made her skin prickle with goosebumps of anticipation. Anticipation of what? Sex? Hadn't she told Angela that she and Booth weren't into the whole 'friends with benefits' package?

Admittedly there was a tingle of need for sex. But it was something else. It was something emotional that made her want to remain where she was for the conceivable future. It was the thought that Booth was leaning on her. That she could lean on him, too.

When was the last time she'd had that kind of support? Had she ever? God, she didn't think so. It was exhilarating and she hoped it felt like that for him, too.

Booth broke the kiss first, releasing her. He brought his hand to her face and brushed away her hair. She looked stricken. Astonished. Shocked. He smiled softly, drawing slow circles on her temples for a long time.

"Well," he said softly, "that was unexpected." She chuckled, slightly embarrassed and quite unsure, once again, of what she was supposed to say. Brennan chewed on the inside of her lip, the taste of him lingering on against her tongue. She wondered how they would define what had happened. Would Booth want to ignore it?

He was looking at her again, as if he were awaiting a response. To which statement, she didn't know. Did he want her to answer his confession or comment on their kiss?

She mentally shrugged, leaning in to kiss him again. It was the only answer she could think of. And, if it continued as it had, it would probably prove to be a vicious circle. But, since Booth kissed better than anyone she'd ever been with, she sincerely hoped so.

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A short story that came into my mind as I sat here. Mostly, it was improvised so there's probably loads of people who think it's bollocks. But hey! There's hopefully some people who do not!

Please review!