Disclaimer: I own nothing…

Summary: A continuation of 'The Man In The Fallout Shelter'… Booth drops by the lab to offer Brennan a little comfort.

Rating: PG.

Author's Notes: I have no idea where this came from. I was just making a video, and I used a clip from this episode, and this was the result… Hopefully it turned out alright. It's three in the morning, I'm a little tired, and I'm working with Microsoft Works at the moment instead of Word, so it's likely there're some mistakes, and it's more than a little possible that it's not a very good fic…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. There're two sets of lyrics here. The main ones are from Teddy Geiger's "For You I Will (Confidence)"… I've finally given in and decided I like him. I tried desperately not to, because he's from Rochester, NY, and that's pretty much the only reason the radio stations around here are interested and that pisses me off… But he's actually pretty good… And I apologize for that little rant; like I said, I'm tired…

Yeah… And the other lyrics are from Savage Garden's "Crash And Burn", which is, in my opinion, the most meaningful friendship song ever written. My best friend would agree with me. It's sort of our song. Very uplifting. One of my favorite songs of all time… Which is why it's here… And I'm just gonna stop now, 'cause I really think I need to go to bed…

Enjoy!

(Also, I apologize for the formatting. is giving me problems... Hopefully it's not too bad this way...)

Confidence:

Wandering the streets in a world underneath it all
But nothing seems to be
Nothing tastes as sweet as what I can't have
Like you and the way that you're twisting your hair round your finger
Tonight I'm not afraid to tell you
What I feel about you

The soft knock at the door jolted her from her reverie, and she looked up, surprised at the sudden intrusion. When she saw Booth standing there, his head tilted to the side as he watched her, a pleasant half smile playing on his lips, she gave him a little smile of her own.

"Hey."

His voice was barely above a whisper, as though he feared he may disturb the quiet that echoed through the lab. It was funny how that quiet suddenly seemed so warm and inviting, when just moments before he had found her, it had been far more eerie and disconcerting. For a moment, he wondered if it was Angela's office, with it's festive décor and the Christmas tree glowing from the Angelator… But as he stood there, his eyes falling to the pretty smile that crossed his partner's features, he knew it had nothing to do with the office and everything to do with the woman who sat before him, suddenly the very embodiment of his own merry Christmas.

"What are you doing here?" she questioned, her own voice quiet as she watched him curiously, leaning forward to rest her elbows on her knees. "I thought you had Parker for the night?"

"Nah." He shook it off, waving a hand as though it were nothing. But she knew better. He was heartbroken, and he wasn't terribly good at hiding it. "I only get part of the day with him. Rebecca picked him up an hour ago… I got bored, figured I'd find you here."

He moved toward her then, making himself comfortable on the couch beside her. She looked over at him, her chin resting in her hand as she gave him a little smile. "I'm glad you came."

Her smile grew at the surprised happiness in his eyes and the wide grin that stretched across his face. It was at that moment that she resolvedthat, if it meant getting another look like the one he was currently offering, she was going to be honest with him more often…

"Well, that's good." The smile never left his face as he sat back, pulling a perfectly wrapped package from behind his back. "'Cause I brought you a little something."

He handed it over to her then, and she took it, her surprised gaze meeting his, her eyes wide with uncertainty. "Booth…"

"It's just a gift, Temperance." He told her as he watched her sit back against the couch herself, her hesitation obvious. "I know you hate gifts. I have no idea what the hell you were talking about earlier, but I get that you don't like this whole gift giving tradition… But I really couldn't care less, because I want you to have this. Earlier today, I had made the decision that I wasn't going to give you this because of your insistence that gift giving is the embodiment of all evil, but I want you to have it, so please, just accept it… Please."

Forgive me if I st-stutter
From all of the clutter in my head
Cause I could fall asleep in those eyes
Like a water bed
Do I seem familiar
I've crossed you in hallways a thousand times
No more camouflage
I want to be exposed
And not be afraid to fall

She nodded mutely, her eyes on the gift she held. She turned it over in her hands then, studying it. It had been so long since she had been willing to accept anything from anyone, but sitting there, with Booth, it felt right. The paper was a bright red, little teddy bears and snowmen scattered around the big bubbly white letters that promised a Merry Christmas. She smile lightly as she studied the paper. This must have been what he used for Parker's gifts… But then again, in many ways, Booth was just a big kid himself, and she could easily see him picking it out, with or without Parker.

She felt him lean over her then, his lips just a whisper away from her ear. "Just open it."

As his breath tickled her ear, she fought the urge to shiver and simply offered him a smile before turning back to the perfectly wrapped present that still sat in her hands and allowed her fingers to begin working carefully at the tape that held it together, trying her best not to damage the paper. Ripping it open simply didn't seem like an option to her, but Booth clearly had other ideas as she heard him sigh loudly beside her. She stopped then, and the beginnings of a smirk tugged at her lips before she glanced over at her partner. When her eyes locked with his she tried her best to mask her amusement with question and annoyance.

He returned her gaze with equal annoyance, and she was sure just as much amusement as he leaned toward her just a bit. "Come on, Bones, just tear it open already!" he insisted, fidgeting with impatience as he sat beside her, desperate for her to finish and put him out of his misery. He couldn't take the suspense. He needed to know what she thought…

She gave a light giggle at his childlike eagerness before dipping her head once again and resuming her very delicate treatment of the task at hand. After a moment, however, her eyes swooped up to lock with his once more, and with a big smile and a little laugh, she tore away the paper; watching as her partner's eyes lit up at the sight.

It took a moment before she was able to tear her eyes away from him, however. Seeing him this way, so excited over some silly Christmas gift, made her rethink her entire theory about gift giving. At least when it was Seeley Booth doing the giving… At that moment, he wanted nothing more from her but a reaction. He was trying to make her feel better. He wanted nothing more than to see her happy on Christmas for no other reason than the fact that she was his friend and he never wanted to see her hurt, or closed off, or anything other than joyful. She could see it in his eyes. He cared for her more than he was willing to admit and her reaction here meant everything to him…

If I could dim the lights in the mall
And create a mood yeah, I would
Shout out your name so it echoes in every room yeah

That's what I'd do
That's what I'd do
To get through to you yeah

After what felt like an eternity to the both of them, she finally looked down, pulling the top off of the plain white cardboard box that now sat in her lap. Pushing away the little strips of paper he had used to cushion the fragile gift, her mouth fell open around the tiny smile that touched her lips and her eyes filled with tears.

There before her lay a gorgeous silver picture frame. The photograph that stared back at her was one of the two of them. They were sitting on her office floor, propped up against the couch, papers scattered around them. And both of them fast asleep. Her head rested on Booth's shoulder and his arm was wrapped protectively around her, his cheek resting against the top of her head. She remembered the day vividly; remembered waking up wrapped around her partner and feeling safer than she had since before her parents had disappeared. Remembered sitting there, studying him, as she had been the first to wake, watching as he slept peacefully; the innocence she saw in him tugging at her heartstrings and bringing a tiny smile to her lips as she traced his features with a feather-light touch, careful not to wake him… It had happened no more than a week before, but she had had no idea the moment had been captured on film.

It wasn't the image, however, that had caused her emotional reaction, but instead the words she found engraved around the frame. It was a song. By whom, she couldn't remember, but it was one she knew. One she hadn't given much credence until this moment, sitting beside her partner. On Christmas. A holiday she had long since written off as just another day… But now, suddenly, she wasn't alone. Booth was there for her, and she felt confident that he always would be…

And it was exactly that which gave the words so much more meaning… With a teary smile she looked up at him, her fingers tracing over the words on the frame:

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

"Angela took it." he explained in a whisper, reaching up to wipe away the single tear that fell, a tiny smile touching his lips. "She showed me the next day, and I asked her for a copy; told her not to show you, 'cause I had something special planned." He let out a laugh at that, his eyes dancing with amusement. "She assumed it meant I was about to initiate a romantic relationship."

She, too, gave a little laugh at that. Angela was just a bit too invested in the idea of Booth and herself. Brennan was quite sure her friend would have been amusingly ecstatic at the idea of a relationship, one beyond the bounds of partnership or even simple friendship, forming between them.

And yet, even though her mind was insisting that this could be nothing more than an offering of friendship, she had to wonder if Booth's intentions had been more inclined toward romance than he was letting on. And so, with a question in her eyes, she looked up at him, unable to actually speak the words, and hoping he would understand.

Oh I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
And cannonball into the water
I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
For you I will, for you I will

With a smile, he rested a hand over hers, giving it a little squeeze as he caught her gaze. "I promise you, Temperance, this is nothing more than friendship. I'm not asking anything of you, I just want you to know that I care about you, and no matter how much you're hurting, I'm always going to be here. You don't always have to be strong, Temperance. If you need to break down, I'll be here, and I'm not going to think anything less of you if you allow yourself to let go… I need you to know that. I need you to understand that you're more to me that just my partner. You're my friend, and that's not something I take lightly… I'll be your shoulder, whenever you need me."

He indicated the picture then, and she smiled, twining her fingers with his as she leaned against him, tears suddenly stinging at her eyes as she took in everything… She had lost so much at that Christmas so long ago, that she had never completely opened herself to anyone before, including Angela, and yet, here was Booth, offering her the one thing she had denied herself for so many years…

Comfort.

And so, with a deep breath, she dove in, burying her face against his neck and letting go. She felt him gather her into his arms as she cried, his fingers stroking her hair as he rocked her, whispering assurances to her; letting her know that she could cry all she wanted and he would be there, through it all. He wasn't leaving her, and she knew that… She just knew.

And for the first time in a long time, it wasn't her head she was following.

Tonight I'm not afraid to tell you
What I feel about you

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
For you I will, for you I will, for you I will, for you I will...