Temperance Brennan was angry.

Not that having an emotion was an impossibility for her.

It was just that the law of probability indicated she was meant to be this mad for at least another few weeks.

Of course, Booth didn't go for statistics in a big way. Oh, he put up with science and its facts, its concrete evidence because she, or rather science – helped him. And when it suited, he just blew her- science – off and went to deal in emotions.

In people.

Well, she reasoned, she was a person, and that qualified her as someone to be dealt with.

Booth walked, no, slunk, was a better analogy, into her office.

"How's it hanging' Bones?" He greeted her politely, courteously, and dropped into a chair.

Took one look at her face and sat back.

Waited for it.

"You ditched me."

She began furiously typing at her computer, trying to hide the fact she'd done no productive work for the last half hour, mulling over the fact he'd left this morning, giving no explanation, when they were in the middle of an extremely complex case.

Wait. She had shredded several small plants' worth of expired case notes.

That was productive.

Feeling slightly better, she slashed him with a glare before pulling up some case annotations on-screen.

Booth placed both hands on her desk and leaned forward, waiting until she sat back, arms folded, and stared at him, her face devoid of all expression.

Booth sighed. "I did not-"

"-You're lying!" All pretence at disinterest abandoned, she thrust her chair back, and stood facing him, jaw set determinedly.

"We are meant to be partners, Booth."

Booth looked up once, to the heavens. She assumed he was praying. She hoped the God he believed in so ardently was listening, because his days were numbered, if she had anything to do with it.

"Look, Bones, I was just- out, okay?" He stood up also, shifted uncomfortably, then tried to pin her with a smile.

"As an explanation, that was about ten sentences too short." She informed him, then gathered up her things to leave.

He held up his hands in a calm-down gesture. The one he used on psycho-paths and drug addicts.

She debated, for a moment, how ethical it was to use a karate move on him.

Just a little one.

"Okay, Bones, whoa, hold your horses. You want an explanation?"

She stopped. Looked at him. His brown eyes met hers, searching to gauge just how pissed off she was.

"Yes, Booth, I would like an explanation."

He leant against her desk, a smug expression coming over his face, and for the first time, she didn't feel so self-righteous.

"Look, Bones, is it or is it not your birthday in two weeks time?"

She recognised the tone. It meant answer now or be subjected to The Look.

The Look was a phenomenon that was hard to decipher. At times she interpreted it as "You frustrate me." She could relate. In this current context it would probably translate as "I would quite like to strangle you right now." She could definitely relate to that one. Lately, The Look had taken on different qualities- amusement, enjoyment, mischief, and one other-but she hadn't been able to interpret-

"Bones. Still waiting."

"Yes, Booth. It is my birthday in two weeks time."

"Hmm." He grinned at her.

"What?" She was flustered now, unsure of herself. Damn him.

"Sooo, I was buying you a birthday present."

He pulled a small, gift wrapped parcel out of his coat pocket.

She was nonplussed. She wasn't sure if she'd ever been nonplussed before, but it seemed an apt enough description.


He raised his brows at her, pocketing her gift.

"Yeah. Let's go Bones, places to go and people to see, come on."

He grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the office.

She was quiet for a moment, analysing the new emotion flickering through her.

Ah. Greed.

"So what'd you get me?"

The Look. Exasperation. She was improving very nicely, she thought, on people skills.

"You don't ask people that, Bones."

"Why not? It's perfectly acceptable to ask- what if I don't like it?"

"Two words, Bones. Social. Defect."

She analysed this take on the matter. "I don't think it's defect-"

She ran into him. He had stopped without warning her.

He held up a finger and stepped into her personal space, his voice lowering menacingly.

"Bones. If you do not drop this I will be obliged to tell everyone that works here it is your birthday. That's one hundred and twelve different types of squints, two receptionists and six security guards."

"One hundred and fourteen." She corrected him.

He stared at her for a minute, obviously straining not to roll his eyes, then gave in.

"I don't think you fully understand here, Bones. This will mean a cake. Maybe a surprise party. You might have to make a speech. Angela will probably hire a stripper, god help us all. Now, do we go with Option A or Option B here, Bones?"

She stared at him. Raised her chin.

"You wouldn't."

He smiled at her, terrifyingly innocent. Leaned in closer.

"Try me."

She assessed yet another Look and pressed her lips together.

He would.

She huffed out a breath and crossed her arms. "Fine. I won't ask."

He gave her a satisfied smirk and turned to go.

"Hey, Booth?"

He threw his hands up. "What, Bones?"

"Thank you. That was nice. Really nice."

The Look she had yet to interpret.

Then he took her arms and hauled her along.

"See, Bones? Progressive social interaction. There's hope for you yet."