A/N: Everyone's been begging for a continuation, so here it is. Thanks for the lovely reviews. They made me smile like an idiot.
Love, Love Me Do
Six days passed. They hadn't had a new case, so there hadn't been a reason to see each other, for which each of them was grateful. But Booth knew they needed to talk before a case came in, just to ease any awkwardness. He decided she'd had enough time to analyze the whole situation inside out and up and down and would be able to discuss it rationally. He just hoped he would too.
Knocking at her door at ten on Saturday morning, he put his hands in his pockets and waited patiently. A shadow passed over the peephole, so he knew she had looked to see it was him, but a long moment passed before the door finally opened. She stood there with a wary look on her face.
"Why are you here?" she asked huskily, turning and leaving him to follow her. Booth sighed and came in, closing the door behind him. He had a bad feeling she wasn't going to make this easy.
"We need to talk," he said, following her to the couch. She sat down in the corner, drawing her feet up under herself and wrapping her arms around her legs in a classic defensive pose. Booth sat down on the other end with his body angled toward her. He noticed she had faint shadows under her eyes and wondered if she was having trouble sleeping. Not that she'd ever admit it.
She pursed her lips. "About the kiss," she stated. That was his Bones, direct and to the point. He wished she didn't look so tense.
Booth leaned toward her and she flinched back. "Yes," he said, trying not to be hurt that she seemed to be afraid of him. "It happened, there's no way to erase it, but if we don't talk about it, it's always going to hang there between us."
Her eyes met his and he saw confusion there. "Why did you kiss me? I don't understand. You told me at the carousel that day about the line people who work together shouldn't cross. Did I misunderstand? Weren't you talking about us?" she asked.
He studied her for a long moment, then decided the direct approach was the only way she'd understand. "Look, Bones, there's been this—attraction between us for a long time. And while my mind understands the reasons we can't go there, my body seems to have a will of its own."
Brennan frowned, unfolding her legs and turning towards him, intrigued in spite of herself. "How can your body have a will of its own? The will is a part of the psyche—"
"It's a figure of speech, Bones," he said, frustrated at her tendency to take things literally. "What I'm trying to say is, it was a mistake. We need to forget about it so we can continue to work together."
Her eyes locked with his. "You can do that?" she asked softly.
His lips firmed. "Yeah, I can, for the sake of our partnership," he said unequivocally.
She looked skeptical. "I'm not so sure," she argued. "You can be very emotional, Booth. What if you slip again?"
"Then you can kick my a$$," he said with a wry smile. She smiled in return. "All I know is, our partnership is very important to me, and I don't want this to wreck it."
"So, you don't want a romantic relationship with me?" she asked, just so things were absolutely clear. She didn't want to misunderstand him.
Blowing out a breath, he looked away, uncertain of the best way to answer her. Honesty was best with her, but he didn't know that he wanted to tell her how close he was to saying the hell with it and giving in to his emotions. He tempered his response. "I didn't say that. I do. I'm just saying it's a bad idea. If we were to get involved, it would change the whole dynamics of our partnership and possibly have some disastrous repercussions. That's not even considering the fact that if it didn't work out, we'd find it nearly impossible to go back—"
Her heart had started racing madly at his first words, but slowed again as he went on. Logically, she knew he was right. She was just having a hard time convincing her heart. "I understand, of course you're absolutely right." His gaze came back to lock on hers and he was saddened by the sheen in her eyes. Blinking, she stood up and moved away. "So, I'll—see you later?" she said, refusing to look at him.
He stood and resisted the urge to reach for her. It would only make things worse. "Yeah. I'll come by the lab when the next case comes in." He headed for the door. There was nothing more to say, and he needed to leave before all of his good intentions went out the window. She trailed after him, keeping her distance. He turned at the door to look at her one last time, trying to read her. She looked up at him calmly, and he wondered where the woman who had melted in his arms had gone.
"Bye," she said softly with a faint smile. Her hand was on the doorknob.
'I can do this if she can,' he told himself firmly. "Bye. Take care of yourself," he murmured, his heart breaking a little at the door they were closing.
"I always do," she said, smiling fondly. He turned and walked out and she made herself close the door, resisting the overwhelming urge to watch him walk away. Her heart wouldn't be able to take it.
Okay, yeah, I know, you're probably double checking the name of the writer of this piece. But let me assure you, it's me, Red, and no, aliens haven't abducted me and replaced me with an evil clone. I just felt the need to go this route at least once. All my other fics have them kiss and hash it out and wind up together. Musie didn't want them to end up together this time. She was quite insistent. Every time I tried to write it the other way, the words just wouldn't come. So please, R&R, and if you want some lovely fluff, go read 'The Secret' and 'Secret No More'. Thanks for reading!