A/N: Just something I thought of while working on "With These Eyes". Hope you like it.

Disclaimer: I own nothin' as always :-)

SPOILERS FOR THE WOMAN IN THE SAND


Dropping her laptop bag onto her desk, Temperance fell into her chair and sighed loudly. It felt nice to be back in Washigton after spending a couple of rough days in Vegas. Not that she hadn't had any fun. Playing... how had Booth called it? Crap? Crabs? Anyway, whatever the game had been called, she had had fun playing it. Plus, she had won a lot of fun. Okay, she had spent it all on a phone number but still, she had won.

She closed her eyes, finally feeling the fatigue the trip had caused her. She hadn't slept well at all in that Las Vegas hotel room. The mattress had been uncomfortable, the pillows too hard and a certain FBI agent had taken up most of the space, pratically pushing her off the bed. This, mixed with his light snoring, had kept her up almost every night and now the tiredness was finally catching up with her.

She heard footsteps echoing off the empty halls of the Jeffersonian and she knew instantly who it was. She opened one eye as the person peered into her office.

"Tired?"

She smiled wearily.

"Only a little bit."

She opened the other eye and turned to her partner. In his eyes, she saw what she had seen back in the hotel room as she told him the second reason to why she had bet on him. That exact look that she had seen multiple times in the past but hadn't stopped to question. But lately, the warm look Booth seemed to love to give her was making her feel warm and fuzzy inside and she couldn't push that feeling down anymore.

"I'll see you tomorrow?" Booth asked, smiling tenderly at him.

"Yeah." She replied, softly.

Giving her one more smile, Booth then disappeared.

She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes again, a smile illuminating her often serious features. She had begun to like their little moments when their eyes would meet and she would instantly find comfort in them. He rarely took her in his arms yet, just by looking into his eyes, she felt safe. She didn't know for sure when this had all started but she had a vague feeling that it had started the day he had given her Jasper, the little pig that was currently standing on her nightstand. She remembered seeing so much compassion in his eyes that she hadn't been able to ignore it or to shrug it off. It had touched deep within her heart, marking her permanently. She had seen the truth that day: he was always there for her and would always be.

Another set of footsteps reached her ears. Angela, she thought.

"Hey Sweetie!" Angela said, cheerfully as she went to perch herself on her best friend's couch. "How was Vegas? Hot?"

Temperance felt herself blush. The whole black dress incident.

"Yeah, it was pretty hot."

"What did you do?"

Temperance, even with her eyes closed, could feel the tone of her friend's question. She sighed and opened her eyes.

"I investigated two deaths, Angela. That's all I did. And I played some Crap."

"Craps."

"Whatever."

Angela quirked an eyebrow.

"And that's all that happened?"

"Yes."

"You swear?"

"Yes." Temperance replied irritatedely.

"If you say so, Sweetie."

Angela got up.

"I was on my way out of the lab. Everyone else is gone for the night." The artist said, slowly walking towards the door. "I just stopped by to see how you were. I'll see you tomorrow."

Temperance watched as her friend left her office and walked away.

"Angela!" Temperance cried out, without even having a chance to stop herself.

She regretted it the second her name slipped from her lips.

Temperance watched as Angela slowly turned around and walked back to her office.

"Yes, Bren?"

Temperance took a deep breath. There was no backing out of this. Not this time.

"Something happened in Vegas."

"Really?" Angela replied, suddenly interested.

"Yeah. But could you close the door and sit down? I wouldn't want anybody to hear what I'm about to tell you."

Angela frowned but closed the door anyway. Taking the same seat she had just recently vacated, she waited for her friend to go on. She had a vague idea of where this was going but she couldn't be too sure.

"I had to pretend to be married to Booth."

Angela forced herself not to laugh. Her friend's serious expression told her that she was really affected by that and laughing in her face would only shut her down. After all, it wasn't every day that she was able to listen to her friend talking about what she felt, especially when it came to Booth.

So, instead of laughing and telling her best friend she was being so cute, Angela simply nodded.

"And?"

"Actually, we weren't really married. I came up with the 'engaged to be engaged' status for our fake relationship. I mean, why would I want to pretend that I was married to someone? Marriage is such..."

"Sweetie? Could you please focus?"

"Sorry." Temperance replied, giving her friend a small smile. "Anyway, as I was saying, Booth and I had to pretend to be a couple which was okay and, I have to admit, kind of fun. Then, Booth had to fight in a ring and, when I saw who he was against, and that guy offered to bet, I just did. I was scared, Angela. The guy was taller and bigger than Booth. If it wasn't for my observations, Booth wouldn't have known to punch him in his right lower back. When I told him I bet on him, Booth asked me why. There were two reasons but I only gave him one."

"Let me guess, the less emotional one?" Angela asked, a smile tugging at her lips.

"How did you know?"

"Gut feeling. Go on."

Temperance sighed. This was more difficult than she had expected it to be. She wasn't sure how to formulate her feelings. She was used to thinking logically and rationally, she was used to scientific speeches but when it came to discussing how she was feeling, she totally sucked at it. It was in times like these that she wished Angela could read her thoughts.

"I eventually told him the second reason."

"Which was?"

Temperance took a deep breath.

"I blamed it on beginner's luck. I hadn't lost a thing since I had arrived in Vegas and I figured that, if I bet on Booth, than he wouldn't lose."

"That was sweet of you."

"It was silly." Temperance replied, using the same words she had used back at the hotel.

"But it worked."

"But it was an illogical decision."

Angela smiled sympathically.

"Why did I take a decision like that if it was illogical?"

"I shouldn't have to tell you, Bren. I think you know the answer to your question already."

Temperance nodded. She felt sad and she didn't know why. She was confused by what she was feeling. Her decision just hadn't made any sense but she had been scared for her partner's life. After his opponent had been defeated, she had run up to you and hugged him. It had seemed like the natural thing to do. It's what Roxie would have done for Tony. Except, it hadn't been Roxie who had run up. It had been Temperance. She hadn't thought, she had only acted.

"I don't know the answer." She replied, in a small voice. "When I think about him, I feel..."

She stopped. What did she feel when she thought about Booth?

"Have you talked to him about that?"

"About what?" Temperance asked, frowning.

"About what you just told me."

"I didn't tell you anything yet."

"Your words didn't, but your eyes, your tone and even your body language did. You like him as more than just a friend or a partner."

"I'm not in love with Booth." Temperance immediately replied, sounding more desperate than offended.

"I never said anything about being in love. I don't even think you're there yet. But it's still more than friendship that you feel for him. And you know what? I think he feels the same way too."

"How do you know?"

"Because his actions speak louder than his words too."

Temperance smiled. She knew what her best friend meant.

"Thanks, Angela."

"No problem, Sweetie. That's what friends are for."

Angela got up.

"Come here." She said, motioning to her friend to come towards her.

Temperance got up and slowly walked to her best friend. Angela pulled her into a hug. She gently rubbed her best friend's back before pulling away and smiling.

"Now go talk to him. I think he's still here. He mentionned something about needing to stop by Cam's office to drop of the report or something."

Temperance nodded. She'd do it. She'd go talk to Booth. Giving her friend one last smile, she headed out of her office.

She heard their voices way before she reached her boss' office and she smiled. Good, he hadn't left. Feeling a confidence she had never felt before, she walked quicker. As she got nearer to the office, the muffle voices turned clearer.

"So nothing happened?" She heard Cam ask.

"Nothing happened. I was just helping her zip up her dress." Booth replied.

"Uh-huh?"

"Fine, don't believe me."

Temperance frowned. She stopped in front of the door left opened. She felt her heart began to pound in her chest as she saw Cam and Booth standing closer than she had ever seen them.

"Your place or mine?"

There was a small pause during which Booth seemed to consider the option.

"Yours." He finally replied.

"Good."

As their lips met, Temperance felt a pang of pain shoot right through her. Before she knew what she was doing, Temperance found herself quickly walking away. The confidence she had felt only seconds ago had been shattered, leaving her broken and hurt. She felt her knees give out from under her and she immediately reached for the wall to steady herself. Leaning against it, she closed her eyes. She should have known. She should have known it had been too good to be true.

She heard them in the distance but she still didn't open their eyes. She didn't want to see them. Them. The words sounded bitter to her ears.

The talking suddenly stopped and so did the footsteps. Temperance opened her eyes to find Booth and Cam staring at her. In her partner's eyes, she could see worry and something that vaguely ressembled guilt. Tears shot to her eyes and a few managed to slip out.

"Dr. Brennan, are you okay?" Cam asked, sounding genuinely worried.

When she didn't answer, Booth stepped up to her.

"Bones?"

His voice was soft and caring, just like he always was with her. Another stab of pain in her chest and a fresh new batch of tears. She cursed Booth for having so much effect on her before cursing herself for letting him do this to her.

"I think I'll stay here for a while." Booth said, turning to Cam.

The pathologist nodded but not before shooting her lover a disappointed look. Mouthing the word sorry, Booth turned back to his partner.

She didn't know why she stepped willingly into his arms. Maybe it was because she felt comforted and cared for there and that it didn't matter that her current emotional state had been caused by him. He was holding her gently, slowly rubbing her back. She sighed. If only he knew why she was like this. She wondered: what would he do?