Disclaimer: I own nothing…

Summary: When it comes to Temperance Brennan, he does not know much, but he knows that, were she to reject him, his world would no longer exist, because he needs her at his side.

Rating: PG-13

Author's Notes: This began as a piece for the February CBPC, but I quickly discovered that the whole first person thing wasn't going to work for this one… Or, really, for anything I've been writing… I tried again today, and I still couldn't do it in first person. I'll probably post that one tomorrow. I was going to do it tonight, but its almost 2am and I have to be up at seven for Linguistic Anthropology, so I'm not even going to try it tonight… Especially since I've also got a presentation tomorrow that I need to be ready for. On Bones. Seriously. I'm writing a 15 page paper on Bones for Paranoid Masculinity. And my professor loved the idea! So yeah, I'm pretty excited…

And I'll stop now… Hope you like this little story!

Lyrics are "Dance Inside" by All American Rejects.

Dance Inside:

You don't have to move, you don't have to speak
lips for biting
You're staring me down, a glance makes me weak
eyes for striking
Now I'm twisting up when I'm twisted with you
brush so lightly
and time trickles down, and I'm breathing for two
squeeze so tightly

"Will you…" she sighs deeply, suddenly just a little unsure of herself. "Will you touch me?"

He looks up, shocked, and it feels as though all the air has been sucked from the room, a pressing, painful weight suddenly compressing his chest. He does not know what to say, and all he can manage to force out is a raspy, quiet "What?"

"Will you touch me?" She is just a little bit more confident this time, as she takes a step closer to him, the tilt of her head making the soft waves of her hair fall toward him, and he immediately realizes exactly how close she has placed herself. "I want you to touch me."

The weight does not lift, but instead crushes further, forcing his face into a contorted mask of confusion, his breathing shallow but rapid as he tries his best to push himself back away from her… But she has him backed up against the wall, and, though she has yet to touch him, he wonders if she has intended to cause such an intense reaction in him. No other woman has ever had such an effect on him. He is always the one in control. The one calling the shots… But with Brennan, it is different. Always has been. When he is with her, she demands control, and if it is not surrendered, she simply takes it…

And she is certainly a woman with power over him.

She sinks in my mind as she sheds through her skin
touch sight tastes like fire
hands do now what eyes no longer defend
hands to fuel desire

An eternity of only moments passes before he finds the voice to reply, telling her with all the confidence he can muster (which, if he is honest with himself, is hardly any at all) that he cannot because it would be an immense mistake, and even then it is little more than a whisper because she has him pinned there, helpless, her confusion at his intense predicament echoing through her eyes as her head tilts in question. He knows she is studying him closely, her eyes exploring every ridge and contour of his face, lingering for a moment at his lips before sweeping to take in the tense set of his jaw and then moving back to the dark of his eyes…

Where he knows she finds only fear and excitement… Because if he is honest with himself, there is very little protest reverberating through his mind. He is helpless against her, and he hopes that he can hold his resistance at least long enough to discover her true motive, because he could not bear for their first time to be some sort of fluke.

"Please…" Her whispered voice is breathy and pleading, and he wants nothing more than to reach out to her, because she sounds so desperate in that moment that he is sure she needs comfort, though he cannot understand why… And yet, he knows that if he were to touch her, it would end it all, because he would not be capable of containing himself.

And so instead, he looks at her, a question floating in his gaze, and he sees the fear behind her eyes, and suddenly he knows that he has been right to protest, because her drive is not love, or lust, or even simple passion… There is something more there, and though he cannot say what exactly it is, he knows it is bad, and giving in to her requests would lead to no more than pain, and fear, and denial, and he knows that he simply could not handle that…

When it comes to Temperance Brennan, he does not know much, but he knows that, were she to reject him, his world would no longer exist, because he needs her at his side, even when she is infuriating…

And so, rather than touching her the way she wishes, his eyes find hers, his gaze meaningful and demanding, and he pulls her hands into his, lifting and entwining them, making them one in the only sense he really can, because he sees now, more than ever, that he can never have her. That she can never be his. "Temperance, what is going on?"

She is fearful. He can see it in the drop of her eyes and the tension in her posture. She does not want to talk. She wants to do something rash and stupid and desperate because she wants-- Well, if he is honest with himself, he does not know what she wants. Not this time…

It is not often that he is willing to admit that there is something he does not know, something he cannot read, about Temperance Brennan. He is always so sure that he knows her, that, at least for him, all of her walls and barriers and desperate attempts to keep the world at bay are simply translucent, if existent at all… But this time… This time he does not know. He cannot see.

All he knows is that the woman he so loves is hurting, and broken, and he simply cannot understand why.

She is silent, has remained that way for several endless moments, her eyes locked on the floor at their feet, and he cannot take the silent fear she is exhibiting. She is afraid to tell him, but he cannot accept this… Not after her sudden advances.

And I'll be fine, you'll be fine
Is this fine? I'm not fine
Give me pieces, give me things to stay awake

"Temperance, please." He disentangles one hand from hers, using a gentle touch to pull her eyes from the floor urging her to focus on him. "What is going on?"

"He doesn't want me." She whispers it, in a voice so soft and broken he can feel all of that pain and uncertainty washing over him, dampening the raging desire that had only moments before been forcing its way to the forefront.

"What?" The word barely leaves his mouth, before he hears her answering, and he cannot do anything more than listen.

"Sully. He doesn't want me. He--" she pauses, sniffling as she drops her eyes once more, trying her best to hold back the flood that threatens. "He said we weren't right for each other… Said he wasn't right for me. And he told me it was a good thing, that-- that there was someone else I ought to give my heart to, but I don't understand… I don't understand any of it. Why didn't he want me, Booth? Why don't you want me? Am I that undesirable? Am I physically unattractive? Am I so bad with people that I'm just not human enough to deserve a relationship?"

It only takes moments for her tears to begin to fall as he looks at her, speechless and unsure, because he does not know how to put into words for her everything that she is to him, and everything that she could never be (though she had done a rather good job of describing this on her own), and so instead of speaking, he pulls her into his arms; her body weak and trembling, and he holds tight, as though she is his only salvation… Which, if he is honest with himself, he knows she is.

The words he mumbles against her hair are unintelligible, but they are soothing, and he feels her beginning to soften in his arms as she finally truly lets him hold her, her knees going weak as she allows the strength of his arms to support her. It is a big step for her, surrendering the control she has over her own body, to allow him to support her both physically and emotionally.

He runs gentle fingers through her hair, and she clings to him with a desperation that he has never seen in her before… Much like the determination he had seen when she had first advanced on him, her eyes so full of fire and need.

And there is still need. But it is a different kind of need. It is a need for emotional connection. A need she rarely lets show… A need she attempts to cover with sexual advances and smokescreens of biological urges and cultural imperatives… Beneath it all, she is a woman. A beautiful, strong, intelligent woman with real feelings and emotions, who loves with everything that she is, even though she claims that love cannot possibly exist. She is full of contradictions and insecurities, hatred and love, emotion and distance…

She is Temperance Brennan, beauty and science all tied up into one perfect package, and he knows exactly Sully's reasoning for leaving her…

"You are not undesirable, and you are certainly not inhuman… Temperance, you are beautiful and--"

He almost chuckles when the muffle of her voice interrupts him, her face still pressed into the silky fabric of his shirt, her tears burning his skin, "Then why don't you want me?"

Really, it is a ridiculous question. Of course he wants her, and he knows she must be aware of it… Somewhere in her mind she has to know how much he wants her. Otherwise, she would never have come to him, would never have insisted that he touch her, or even admitted that she wanted him to do so.

"I do."

What makes the one to shake you down?
Each touch belongs to each new sound
Say now you want to shake me too
Move down to me, slip into you

She is shocked, and he immediately feels her pull away, just a bit, her eyes suddenly locking on his as she stares in disbelief for a moment, her voice feathery as a word that sounds something like a quiet "what?" escapes her lips.

He smiles, a gentle thumb rubbing soothing circles into the skin of her cheek once it has found its place there, his hand feathering along her jaw. "How could I not?"

It takes him only seconds to make a decision, and he quickly takes advantage of her shock, seizing the moment and catching her lips with his own.

It is as though her response is instantaneous, her lips quickly finding their place against his. The kiss is not one of instant passion, it is not the type that will lead to the sexual gratification she had so intently been searching for… Instead, it is a kiss that holds all of the love and caring that the two of them have been holding back for so, so long. It is languid and gentle, a perfect dream…

Because he wants more than just sex.

He wants more than just one night.

He wants forever.

And when they break apart, her forehead resting against his as she tries to catch her breath, her eyes still focusing on his mouth as her lashes flutter in satisfaction, he knows that forever is something the two of them just may have a chance at…

Because, though she is not yet ready to believe in love, she still feels it…

And in that moment, he knows.

I'll be fine, you'll be fine.
this moment seems so long
Don't waste now, precious time
we'll dance inside the song