Temperance Brennan stood at the examination table looking over the remains laid out before her. The entire lab was silent save the sound of the pounding of rain on the glass roof above. Thunder clapped overhead, startling her from her work.
"Why am I not surprised to find you here?" At the sound of the voice, Tempe turned around to face her partner, Seeley Booth.
"Booth, you startled me."
"I'm assuming that you've forgotten about the date we had for tonight?"
"Oh, I am so sorry. I guess time just got away from me." She offered him an apologetic smile, somewhat embarrassed that she had completely lost track of the time. Booth shook his head and produced two bags from behind his back.
"You know, I'd rather hoped our first date would have been at an actual restaurant, and not here, but knowing your interest in your work, I thought I'd bring dinner here."
"You didn't need to do that you know."
"I realize that, but you have to eat at some point, and I'm guessing at this hour, the lounge is free."
"I'm guessing you're right." Brennan pulled off her latex gloves and the pair left for the lounge overlooking the lab. As they sat down and spread out the food before them, Booth couldn't help but chuckle a little at his partner. She looked at him, slightly concerned. "What's so funny?"
"You are. I've never seen someone who could get so wrapped up in their work."
"You make it sound like a bad thing. I just love my job, that's all."
"If only I could get that much attention from you. What is it you find so fascinating about a pile of bones?" Booth picked up some food and took a bite. Brennan looked at him thoughtfully as she chewed on her own dinner.
"Each set of remains tells me a story about who that person was in life. When I look at bones, I don't see who they are in death, but what they were while they lived."
"Not really. You just have to know what you're looking for. It's probably no more difficult than what you do, reading subtle indicators in behavior to get a sense of whether someone is lying or not."
"I wouldn't say that's exactly what I do."
"Oh but it is. What you classify as using your gut is really just observation of human behavior."
"Okay. I'll make a deal with you Temperance. If you can teach me a little about what you do, then I'll teach you how to do what I do."
"I'm amenable to that." She offered him a smile, which he immediately returned.
"Good. Then how's about we get started after we finish eating."
"Sure." Brennan looked up at Booth one last time before turning back to her food. Booth watched her for a moment and shook his head. This ought to be interesting, he thought before he too returned to his meal.
"All right," Booth said, rubbing his hands together. "How do we get started with this?"
"Well, it's certainly not something you can learn in a day, but we'll see what we can cover."
"Okay, I'm all ears professor." Booth stepped up behind Brennan as she snapped on a pair of gloves.
"The first thing that must be done is to sex the skeleton."
"Sex the skeleton? How exactly do you do that?"
"Two areas give a definite indication of sex. The easiest way to identify whether remains are male or female is by the pelvic girdle." Brennan pointed to the bones and felt Booth grab hold of her hips as he leaned in over her shoulder. She paused for a moment in her explanation. As close as she and her partner had been getting of late, she had never been this close to him. He was pressed completely flush against her as he waited for her to continue. After taking a breath, she continued on. "Do you see here how the shape of the pelvic girdle is somewhat rectangular?"
"That shows that these remains are for a female. Male bones are much more triangular in shape."
"What was it you said a while back about a pregnant woman…something about her hips?"
"The ileum spread to make room for an infant's head." Brennan put her hands over Booth's and guided them to the correct part. Slowly, he massaged over her skin with his thumbs, neither saying a word for a long moment.
"And, um, how else can you know if you're looking for a girl or not?" Booth almost breathed the words. Temperance took in a gulp of air and closed her eyes.
"From the, uh, skull." Brennan opened her eyes and picked up the skull. "Do you see how the brow ridges here are not pronounced?"
"Not really." Brennan set down the skull and took off one latex glove. She turned in Booth's arms to face him. Slowly, she reached up and ran her fingers over Booth's eyebrows.
"Males have distinct brow ridges here, while on females, it's much less pronounced. Here, feel." She moved her hands away from Booth's face, waiting for him to feel the bone structure. Slowly, Booth reached over and caressed her skin and onto her brows. Tempe closed her eyes at the gentle sensation. Smiling, he leaned over and gently kissed her cheek.
"The um, it's…" she trailed off as Booth continued a path from her cheek and down onto her neck. Brennan placed her hands on his chest, slightly gripping the material of his shirt.
"Wait, I know this one. It's the collar bone," Seeley murmured against her skin, nipping gently on the bone.
"Clavicle," she whispered. The situation was quickly getting out of control, and the last thing she wanted was to have some unbridled encounter with Booth caught on film. "I thought you wanted to learn about the skeletal structure."
"I do," he said against the hollow of her throat. "I want to learn as much about Bones as possible."
"Okay then," she gulped as she gently pushed away from him and turned around. After taking a breath to calm her racing heart, she began again. "The frontal lobe on women is much more globular; men's are sloping." She took another breath as Booth reached around and slowly massaged her temple.
"How can you tell age? That's always been fascinating to me."
"Bone fusion and suture lines show age. I'd need to see a skull or the pelvic bones to accurately check age." Brennan pointed to the suture lines on the skull before them as Booth ran his fingers along her hair. "Booth…" she breathed, feeling her partner stiffen behind her. He brought his lips close to her ear, speaking next to her skin.
"We shouldn't…I mean…have you been paying attention at all?"
"I'm hanging on your every word."
"Okay. Then what do you see here?" Brennan reached down with a gloved hand and picked up a vertebra. Booth looked at it from over her shoulder, his gaze searching over the surface of the bone.
"Are those knicks?"
"Yes, most likely from a knife slicing through the throat." Brennan set the bone down and felt Booth's lips along the back of her neck.
"How do you know it was a neck bone? What's the difference?"
"There are three regions, the cervical, thoracic and lumbar." As she pointed to the different regions, Booth traced his hands down her back until his arms encircled her waist. His hands moved slowly up her abdomen, stopping about halfway up.
"You haven't talked yet about the sternum and ribs." Brennan gasped as Booth ran his hands up her sternum and along her ribs, fingering the bones gently as his hands passed along the skin. She was beginning to tremble under his touch though he avoided touching her breasts.
"I was thinking maybe we could save that for another lesson." Tempe turned her head and met Seeley's lips for a kiss. His lips maneuvered over hers, manipulating their soft surface as he flicked his tongue against them, tasting her. She reached behind him, burying her ungloved hand into his hair to draw him closer to her. As the two pulled apart, Booth looked at her, their gazes locking.
"I'm thinking you might be right." He pulled her hand from his head and grazed its palm with his teeth, causing an involuntary moan to escape her. "We can save things like hands for another time." All temperance could do was nod. He kissed her palm, and then moved away toward the stairs of the platform. "I'll pick you up tomorrow at nine for your first lesson in reading people." With that, he left the lab, glancing back at her once and winking. As Brennan watched him go, she tried to compose her flushed state of mind. If tomorrow's lesson was as interesting as today's then it should be a really good day.