DISCLAIMER: I don't own Bones. Would like to, but a) can't afford, and b) don't think Booth would be too happy about running around shirtless a lot of the time. Just a theory.
Seeley Booth was angry.
No, he decided, striding along a corridor at the Jeffersonian, he was furious.
He'd been trained to gauge both other people's emotions, and his own, and right now, he wanted to kill something.
He paused in the doorway to a large lab room. Deserted.
Almost. He zeroed in on a pretty auburn-haired woman at a station across the room, working on a skeleton.
Ah. The culprit.
Temperance Brennan felt a prickle along her spine as she bent over the remains of a human body.
She ignored it. She dealt in hard facts, after all, not-
She turned to face Booth, taking in the tense stance and the unyielding set of his jaw, as he came to lean against her table.
Her eyes fluttered nervously over his face, and then, in a move he knew she considered brave and he considered really stupid, given his current mood, she gave him her patented look of impatience and turned away.
She turned away, trying not to fidget with the bones on the table. He was good at exploiting weakness.
Rationally, she knew she shouldn't have opened her present early. She shouldn't have snuck into his office this morning, shredded the paper on the tiny, velvet lined box in his desk drawer. Too bad common sense hadn't been part of that equation.
Now she had to come up with an explanation. A good one.
Somehow she didn't think "I really, really wanted to," was going to be acceptable.
Plus, she'd never demonstrated a fondness for gifts, before- he wouldn't believe her.
She kept her gaze on the bones, although her focus had shifted.
"What do you want, Booth?"
He said nothing, trying to get his anger under control.
He'd tried to be calm. Understanding, even.
But then the wave of embarrassment had come along. He'd planned to be very, very far way when she opened the present.
He'd wanted to think of her smiling as she put it on.
He'd wanted to think of her thinking of him as it lay warm against her skin, a subtle reminder she wasn't alone. She would have gotten it. Bones was good with the whole subtlety thing, when you figured in inanimate objects and took out people.
He didn't, however, want to have to face her now. Not when her track record with the whole gift and celebration thing wasn't so stellar. Not when the tiny, tapping doubt that she might not get it, might not want it, became an insistent knocking.
That fuelled the anger.
She risked a glance up at him.
The look in his eyes as he glared at her made her fingers clench convulsively on the bones she was trying to examine. She wanted to confess all, yank off the beautiful, delicate piece of jewellery she'd thieved and fling it at him. But they'd play the game his way. He'd just find some other way to torment her until he was satisfied. Classic Alpha Male behaviour.
"What do you want, Booth?" She repeated, slowly, hoping to goad him into action.
Was she trying to annoy him? He looked at her closely.
The pulse at her throat was hammering, and she wasn't looking at him, but was gazing fixedly past him. She only did that when she was nervous.
He smiled, slowly. He could work with nervous.
"What do I want, Bones?" He crooned, placing a hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him. He squelched a smile when her hand went to her neck, as she tried to casually hide the glint of silver along her collarbone.
"Well, for starters, did you find anything interesting in my office this morning? Top drawer of my desk. Left side. Ring any bells?"
To lie, or not to lie, she pondered, tightening her fingers over her neck as his hand left her shoulder and started to toy with her collar.
"N-no." She had just stuttered. When had she started doing that?
She thrust her chin out and glared back at him.
"I didn't see any bells, but there was a very interesting statue on your desk-"
"-Hmm." He cut her off.
"I don't think that's what we should be talking about, do you?"
He was getting to her.
She squeaked a little as he ran a finger over the hand at her neck, and then slapped it away with her free hand. He smiled inwardly. That was Bones. She'd fight quicksand just because it annoyed her.
"Fine." She'd better confess. He'd just keep getting in her face until she did. Not that it would be longer than five minutes until he was straight back in it again. That was how they worked. Funny how little time it had taken for her to get used to it.
Funny how it still threw her off balance.
"Booth, I'm sorry I stole my necklace. Okay? I should have waited until my birthday next week."
She paused, then couldn't resist it.
"But you shouldn't have put it away in plain sight. I saw you put it there. And birthdays are just a mark of another year passing- it's really just a formality that you wait to open your presents on the day."
Plus, she'd wanted to know what was in the box.
Booth blinked. She couldn't be serious.
"You're trying to blame your recent foray into kleptomania on me. This is my fault. Of course, why didn't I think of that?"
She blinked back at him solemnly. "I don't know. Why didn't you?"
She kept her hand over her throat, though. He might confiscate her present until her actual birthday, and she didn't think she could bear to take it off.
He sighed. Round One to Bones.
"Okay. Let me see it."
He noted how slowly her hand slid away. How her gaze searched his face anxiously.
She thought that he would take it back. She liked it. She liked his present.
The pleasure he felt at that melted away the last of his anger. He'd learned, much to his bewilderment, that she grounded him in a way no one else could, even when she was the one he was mad at.
There was, however, the little matter of revenge.
She held her breath as he slowly traced a finger down her neck, across her chest, and into the v of her shirt, hooking the fragile silver chain around his finger so that the small medallion attached hung glinting between them.
He leaned in closer, staring directly into her eyes, until her brain starting outputting conflicting messages.
He was going to take her gift. He was going to threaten her with staying behind in the lab while he took all the good cases.
He moved until their lips were almost touching.
Ohgod. He was going to kiss her…
Booth smiled as those familiar blue-green eyes fluttered once, twice, and then closed.
He watched her mouth, momentarily distracted by just how good she looked. Don't go there, he reminded himself.
He spoke, just out of reach of her mouth, lowering the medallion back on to her skin.
"Stay out of my things, Bones."
She snapped her eyes open as he stepped back.
He was looking at her, amused, triumphant, and a little flustered, if she was reading his body language correctly.
She shook off the irrational sense of disappointment, and tried to slow her heart rate.
"So I can keep it?"
He spread his hands, and gave her an exasperated stare.
"It's yours, isn't it? Birthdays are just a formality and all that."
She smiled at him, relieved he was letting it go. Relived he wasn't going to take it away. Thankful he wasn't bringing up the fact two seconds ago she'd wanted his mouth on hers.
"Booth-I…It's beautiful. Thank you."
He cocked his head and gave her a half-smile, a little disappointed she wasn't bringing up the fact he'd come close enough to kiss her. A little confused as to why he was disappointed.
"You're welcome, Bones. I'll see you later."
She watched him walk away, then pulled the medallion up so she could read the words engraved on it.
On one side- "There's more than one type of family."
And on the other, five words engraved in delicate script.
"Vos es secui of mei."
You are part of mine.
This was meant to be a one shot. However, lots of very smart people were like, hey. What's the gift? And I was like oh. Yeah. Good point.
And then I was like damn, what should he get her- so I shamelessly, with no morals whatsoever stole from the episode "Judas on a Pole." So that bit is property of Bones inc. and may God or Hart Hanson strike me down for using it.
Also, just wanted to say a huge THANKS to everyone who takes the time to R&R- especially those individuals who left such lovely comments recently- you really brightened up my week and, being new to the site- the Feeling Appreciated score is off the charts- so thank you!