He watched the merry-go-round carefully, following his son's face as it appeared until the second the mess of blonde curls faded behind the other children. He tried to think, but she was too close for the words to form properly. "People who work in high-risk situations can't be involved..." his voice faltered as Parker's face came into view. "...romantically because it leads to things like what heppened..." He tried to shift away from her, unable to concentrate on his thoughts.

She herself was having trouble focusing on his words, absorbed in the feeling of being close to him. She realized he was hesitating, awaiting some form of verbal confirmation. The only thing she could do was repeat his words, "High risk situations..?" she tried to play it off, tried to ignore the pounding of her heart in her chest as she slowly moved closer to him. Suddenly, she noticed he was talking again, and she struggled to focus.

"There's a line, and we can't cross it. Do you know what I'm saying?" He glanced at her expectantly, wondering if she'd noticed he was no longer talking about himself and Cam, but himself and her.

She fought the urge to place her head on his shoulder... the urge to kiss him, to tell him to hell with the line. Fuck the line, Booth! she wanted to scream, throwing herself at him, willing him to see her as more than just a friend, more than simply a partner. "Yes... I do..." she whispered, forcing herself to stop looking at him as she began to watch his son. "Booth?"

He glanced at her, raising his eyes from his collapsed hands, "Yeah, Bones?"

"You are a hero. You know that, don't you?" she asked, her eyes still focused on the smiling face of his son.

"To him, yes."

She looked at him, willing herself not to do anything stupid. "Not just to him, Booth. You saved Zack. You've saved me multiple times." She tried to remember to breathe, her heart now beating hard against her ribs, and she feared he could see it move beneath her shirt. "You're my hero... do you know what I'm saying?"

His lips curved into a cautious half-smile, "I think so..."

I'm saying you're incredibly dense for not seeing what I'm feeling, what I'm saying. I'm saying that I want you to be more than just my partner, more than just my friend. I want you to break up with Cam. I want you to ask me out on a real date. I want you to invite me to spend time with you, with Parker... I want to be a part of your life, dammit!! "Good..." she whispered, closing her eyes as the wind blew slightly, bringing in a gentle chill.

"Here," he whispered, shrugging off his jacket and placing it on her shoulders. She inhaled deeply as his fingers gently brushed her skin, and he felt a fire spread from his fingers to his lips--he yearned to kiss her, to tell her he was willing to cross that line for her, to cross that line and never look back. Reality set in quickly, however, as she began to speak.

"See what I mean?" her voice was soft and raspy as she cocked her head to look at him. "My hero..."

He smiled at her, a blush creeping into his cheeks. "well, I hardly think that was heroic..."

She leaned in close to him, her face only inches from his now. They stared into each others eyes, both lost in their own thoughts.

"We can't, Bones..." he whispered, his breath warm against her lips before he pulled away hesitantly. "After what happened with Cam..." he closed his eyes, turning to face the merry-go-round again. "I'm not willing to risk your life, Temperance.."

"Don't call me that," she whispered, elbowing him playfully in his side. He smiled despite the grim realization he now faced. "I understand, Booth. I really do." she forced a smile as she stood, shrugging off his jacket, "You're still my hero..."

He nodded briefly, his fingers brushing hers as she handed it to him. He watched her walk away, and as she faded out of sight, he finally found the words he knew he could never say to her, "I won't always be able to rescue you, Bones. That's why I drew this line, and that's why we can't cross it..." He stood, approaching the ride and gathering his son in his arms, placing a kiss into his curls as he carried him to the car.

AN: one shot... or to be continued?? it's up to you!!