A/N: Okay, you knew it had to end sometime, and unfortunately that time has come. This is where the story ends for our favorite pair, and for me. I think I may have finally got them out of my system, too, so I won't be...yeah right. Who'm I kidding? I have Bones on the brain now, and already have some ideas for a possible sequal in a few weeks when I'm done coaching for the year.
One more thing before we get to the fluff--because that's the best and only way to end a story like this, with fluff. I have to thank all of you...every single person who read my wonky little story here, even those who didn't like it and told me as such. The reviews were always polite no matter the opinion being expressed, often very (very!) positive, and quite specific (which, as you all know, is an incredible help to any author). Thank you all so much for sticking with me for 23 chapters, for wading through the angst, for making me feel all warm and fuzzy and devious and evil and giggly and bouncy. Bren and Booth may be the inspiration for what I write, but you all are my inspiration to write...which is just a fancy way of saying that I live for reviews :-P Anyway, you Bones folks are quite a group, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent here so far. To say "I'll be back" with a bad Schwartzenegger accent would be cliche, so I won't do that. But I will be back, to both read and write. I don't think I could stay away if I wanted to!
And now...on with the show :-D
"Hey Bones, we got a case," Booth called, trotting through the lab toward Brennan's office. He passed a delivery man on the way and swiveled his head around to inspect the man's uniform, wondering who was delivering what to where.
He had an answer in short order. "Who sent you flowers?"
Brennan turned quickly, pulling her nose out of the fragrant bouquet with a start. "Booth! You shouldn't sneak up on people like that!"
He stepped closer and repeated his question, his lips curled into a teasing smirk. "Who sent you the flowers, Bones?"
Her eyes flashed back. "That's none of your business."
"Now see there? You're wrong. You're my partner, so your business is my business," he continued, his voice dripping with pseudo-rationality.
Brennan laughed condescendingly. "I hardly think so. But for your information, he happens to be a kind, caring, sensitive man…"
"Booorrrring," Booth interrupted.
"He is not boring, Booth," she argued. "But like I said, it's none of your business."
"He must be important," he persisted. "Those are red roses…"
She turned away, ignoring him to look for a vase, and was startled again, this time by Angela's exasperated voice calling from the hallway.
"For God's sake, Bren! Just tell him about how you've been mooning over this guy for the past two weeks…tell him how your new flame is handsome and strong and the best kisser you've ever had…tell him how sweet and thoughtful this guy is and how ga-ga you are over him…and then get the hell out of here so I don't have to listen to him whine anymore!"
Booth shot a look at Brennan, his eyebrows raised in amusement. "The best kisser you ever had? You're ga-ga over him?"
Before she could respond, Angela's voice cut in again, the irritation building. "And don't you even start, Seeley Booth! Don't think I haven't noticed you all goo-goo eyed over some woman, too. You're just as bad as Bren! Walking around with your head in the clouds…" She shook her head and growled through clenched teeth. "I just know you totally worship her!"
The frustrated forensic artist stormed off indignantly, leaving the pair momentarily alone.
"Worship her?" Brennan asked, her own smirk forming on her lips. "Isn't that some kind of sacrilege Booth?"
The expression on his face softened and he shook his head slowly. "Not with this woman."
Her eyes lit up and she couldn't keep her smile from growing. Leaning closer and lowering her voice, Brennan whispered, "The flowers are beautiful, Seeley. I love them."
It took every fiber of his being to keep still, but he managed to control everything except his pounding heart as he replied gently, "Not as much as I love you, Temperance."