A/N: this story is meant to explore a first in the Booth and Brennan relationship. The concept is a little out there, so, erm, enjoy. I hope. Oh, yeah, and it's a round robin between myself and Siapom, so hopefully it'll be up to our "funny" standards. And to anyone who's read this and wonders why it's a little different, I posted it last night around midnight, and when I got up today, Siapom noticed a similarity to another story, so in order to not impugn their work, some changes were made.

Special Agent Seeley Booth had never before been so happy to feel the landing gear of a plane touch down than he was at that moment. He glanced at his partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan, and gave her a wan smile.

"We made it. I've never been on a plane ride that was that rough. Not even on the hop flights back in my Army days." He rubbed his hand across his face. "God. What time is it anyway?"

She nodded and glanced at her watch. "Um. Eight PM local time. And, I know. The turbulence was terrible." Their seats were in the next to last row. So, with weary sighs they waited for everyone else to get up and move to the front of the plane.

Without thinking of it, Booth gently placed his hand onto her back to help guide her off of the plane. Truth be told, Brennan didn't mind. She'd grown so used to Booth's little touches, she didn't notice them anymore.

"Man, I'm starving," Booth mumbled as they finally got their baggage and left for his vehicle.

"You want to pick up something on the way home?" Brennan asked, stretching before getting into the SUV.

"Whose home? Yours or mine?" He got into the SUV and put the key in the ignition. "Actually, we'll make it mine. We've both been up for over 30 hours straight. I'm not taking you back to the Jeffersonian for your car when you haven't had any sleep."

Brennan turned a cold look to him and pointed to the steering wheel. "Booth, that makes no sense. You're driving on no sleep. What makes that any different?"

Blinking weary eyes, Booth followed the familiar signs as he navigated his way out of the airport's maze of roads. "The difference is that I'm not the one who has been bent over a sub-standard examination table in BFE Wisconsin studying the remains of young teenage girls for days on end." Brennan arched an eyebrow, but before she could respond, Booth interrupted her. "It means we were in the middle of nowhere."

"Oh. And where do you propose we stop for food?"

"How about that new Tex Mex place that just opened. Angela said it was pretty good."

"I don't know, I mean if you're planning on going to bed when we get to your place, then it might not be the best thing to eat right now."

Booth just snorted. "I think I can judge what I should or shouldn't eat before my bedtime, Bones." He glanced her way. "I'm a big boy, now, just in case you haven't noticed. I can even dress myself in the morning and everything."

With a roll of her eyes, Brennan breathed, "Yeah, except for your socks."

"What's wrong with my socks? There's nothing that says I have to wear boring black or white socks."

"Oh come on, Booth. The ones you have on today have little gnomes on them and say 'lucky'."

"They're my lucky socks, and they aren't gnomes. They're leprechauns." He just glared at her for a second before turning back to the road. Brennan smirked, but didn't say anything else while he drove. They reached the restaurant a few minutes later, and got out, glad for the blast of cold air that helped them wake up a bit.

"I still don't think this is a good idea, Booth."

"Duly noted." he said before pushing open the doors to the restaurant.

Just as they passed through the doors, the entire floor staff yelled "Hola!" causing them both to jump and Booth to go for his gun. Brennan jabbed him with her elbow before he realized that he'd already unsnapped the holster. With an embarrassed smile, he casually resnapped it and lowered his hands.

"You know, we're both a little on edge. Maybe we should get the food to go."

She nodded agreement, and they headed into the bar area to place their orders. It took a while for the food to be prepared, and when the waitress handed over the food, the smiled wearily. At this point, the only thing that sounded good to them was a full stomach and sleep.

"Well, I'll say one thing, the food smells good," Brennan murmured. She inhaled the slightly spicy scent and sighed contentedly. Her stomach growled loudly, making Booth grin a little.

"I think you were hungrier than you said, Bones."

She glared at him. "Well, if someone hadn't insisted on seeing the huge ball of twine that was shaped like a football before we left the state, I might have had time for lunch!"

"Oh, come on, Bones! How many times in your life are you going to see a ball of twine that's that big?"

Brennan opened her mouth to retort, but couldn't think of a response to that inane question.

Booth continued, "Besides, it was the only interesting-in-a-good-way thing that we saw in Wisconsin. Come on, how can you not like a ball of twine?"

"I'm sure I can think of plenty of reasons."

"Such as?"

"Just give me a minute, I'm sure I can think of something."

He chuckled gleefully. "Nope. Time's up, Bones. Admit it, you found it interesting." He poked her arm. "I saw you studied how the old guy'd weaved it all together."

Brennan crossed her arms and huffed. "Fine. I found the meticulous attention to detail to be of some interest, purely from an anthropological point of view."

"Ha! I knew it!"

She glared at him, but said no more as they pulled up to his place. He offered her a smile before climbing out to get her door. Brennan muttered under her breath as she climbed out, the food in hand and followed Booth to his front door. Booth glanced at her one more time before chuckling. He got his door open and looked at her as she swept past him and into the apartment.

"Make yourself at home, Bones."

She smirked and called over her shoulder, "Kitchen or living room?"

"Living room," he called as he kicked off one shoe.

"Oh, did you forget my bag's in the back of the SUV?"

"Then by all means, let me get it." Booth muttered on his way out to the car. "Anthropological inevitability. Women nag." He stomped back to the SUV, and pulled the bag from the car, accidentally dropping it on the ground. It spilled out the contents. "Damn." Booth grabbed the first article of clothing he spotted. When he realized what it was, he dropped it again. Wow, I didn't know Bones wore stuff like that. He picked it up and looked at it, then guiltily put it back in the bag. She'd kick his ass if she knew he was looking at her underwear.

Just as his fingers curled around a red lace bra, he heard the door open and looked up.

"Booth, don't forget my compu – " She stopped mid-word. "What are you doing with that?"

"Uh. This?" He held up the bra. "Well, you see I was getting your bag, as requested. But, I bumped my arm on the door. And, well, it dropped. The bag, not my arm. And, when it dropped, it opened, spilling your stuff – " He waved the bra as an example. " – all over the ground. So…"

Her face was about as red as the undergarment.

"Just...how about I clean that up, and you just...you know, inside."

"Yeah, that's...I'll just go inside." He waved the bra as he said it, and handed it to her as he passed by.

"Thank you."

"No problem."

She heard the door shut and lowered her chin to her chest. Then, with a deep breath, she walked over to pick up the rest of her clothing.

After closing the door, Booth leaned his back against it, taking a deep breath. "I am so lucky she didn't kick my ass." Then, once again taking off his shoes, he walked toward the living room just as the door opened and Brennan entered, bags in hand.

"Hey, Booth. Do you have somewhere I can plug in my – Oof!"

A loud thud had Booth turning before Brennan's bag could follow her fall to the floor. As it hit, it snapped open and the contents, once again went flying. But, he was more concerned with his partner.

"Bones! Are you okay?" He rushed to help her up, not noticing as his foot was crushing something as he reached her. She allowed him to help her stand, but when she looked down, her face went red.

"Bones?"

"Um, Booth…do you think you could move your foot off of those…that…my birth control pills?"

"Huh?" He looked down to see that he was standing on a pink, circular case. "Oh, geez, I'm sorry." He moved his foot, and watched as Brennan hurriedly grabbed the packet and shoved it quickly in her pocket. Booth started to laugh a little as he helped up Brennan.

"Here, why don't we start over. The food's on the coffee table."

"Sound's great," she said as she tried to contain her blush.

She made her way to the living room, ignoring her red bra, now draped artistically over one of Booth's hiking boots. Once she was safely seated on the couch, she pulled off her shoes, rubbing her ankle where she'd twisted it. Glancing back to the hall, she saw that the matching red panties were hanging from the handle of Parker's new bike, and she started to laugh.

Booth popped his head around the corner to look at her. "You okay in there? What's so funny?"

"Nothing. Nothing's funny." She looked back at the bike and started to laugh again. Booth glanced at the bike, and started to laugh as well.

"Come on and eat before the food gets cold."

Taking a few deep, calming breaths, Brennan was able to stop laughing long enough to help "divvy up" the food as her partner put it. Then, safely settled back against the seat cushions, she gave Booth's food one more skeptical look.

"Booth, are you sure you want to eat the Three Bean Burritos right before bedtime?"

"Of course I'm sure. I know what I can handle, Bones. Remember, I'm a big boy."

"Yes you are." Brennan shook her head and began to eat. She would glance over at Booth every now and then with a shake of her head as he made his way through the mountain of bean burritos. That's gonna come back and bite him in the ass, I swear.

Glancing down at her taco salad, she felt reassured that she'd made the safer choice. However, as she bit into a stray habenero, she changed her mind. Her eyes started to water, and she grabbed the first beverage she got her hands on.

Booth watched in shock as she grabbed his beer and chugged it down.

"Bones, what in the hell are you doing?"

"Hot. Pepper. Sorry." She coughed and fanned her mouth. She smiled at Booth in apology.

"Oh! You want a glass of milk? That beer isn't going to do you much good."

She reached for her water and gulped a mouthful before replying. "No. I think I'm okay."

"Okay, if you insist."

"Really, I'm fine." Booth shook his head, but didn't say anything else about it. The rest of dinner passed without incident, and the two began to relax.

"You know, I think you need to get a new suitcase."

"You know, it would have been fine if you didn't drop it before."

"It should never have popped open like that. I mean honestly, who buys a suitcase without a zipper?" Booth yawned and pushed his plate away from him. Maybe Brennan was right. He really shouldn't have eaten so much.

"The sales clerk said it was the best model in the store." Brennan yawned and leaned her head back on his couch, closing her eyes.

"Well, expensive and sensible are generally two different things."

"If you say so, Booth." A small, sleepy smile graced her lips, but she didn't open her eyes. He loved to watch her like this. She looks so peaceful when she's sleepy. He'd spent most of his time trying to ignore the feelings that came over him at moments like this. But, this time…maybe it was the lack of sleep or the beer. But, this time, he didn't want to ignore it. He wanted to revel in the closeness they had been sharing.

"Of course I say so, although…" Brennan opened her eyes and noticed how close the two of them were sitting. Booth was looking at her intensely, like he'd done many times before, but now the look was unwavering.

"Booth," she whispered, trying to put a warning in her voice, but her pounding heart shut off that thought.

"Temperance." He reached out and caressed the side of her face. With a small shiver, she closed her eyes and her lips parted slightly. Oh, god, he's going to kiss me. She could feel him close in, and just as his lips touched hers, it happened.