A/N: You guys… Sigh. We love you. Hopelessly, helplessly.

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"That was really good, Booth," Bones complimented. "How do you always find the best places?"

Seeley shrugged nonchalantly and grinned, even though his chest swelled with pride at his greasy-spoon-choosing abilities. "I like to eat. Pays to know where the best places are."

"Well. That was definitely the biggest and best plate of French toast I've ever had."

"Glad you enjoyed it, Bones," he replied. Truth be told, he'd enjoyed the hell out of watching her eat. The woman didn't half-ass anything she did, and inhaling that plate of French toast had been no exception. And the little noises she made when she ate? And how her eyes drifted shut when the sweet syrup hit her tongue? Suffice to say Booth was glad he wasn't going to have to get up from the table for a long time. And damn if the memories from Halloween didn't just keep flooding back…his mystery woman. Bones.

"Do you want to go for a walk?" Seeley asked the question abruptly, hoping that maybe he'd get lucky and Bones wouldn't want this day to end either.

"Sure," she smiled at him again, that same gentle smile that somehow got his heart pounding.

"Let's see, I think we can cut across here and get to the park," Booth laced his fingers through hers and started across the wide city street, secretly glad for the excuse to hold her hand. Was it just him that felt like they were both coming up with several good excuses to be touchy-feely today?

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There was a whole pile of paperwork to be done back at their hotel rooms. Typically that would have been on Brennan's mind, nagging at her. She didn't like to leave things undone, incomplete. But even though it was a mere few blocks away, it suddenly seemed to be the easiest thing to push from her consciousness. There was just so much to explore here…And when he asked her to take a walk, she greedily accepted that offer, eager to soak up every last part of this day.

He took her hand as they crossed the street, and the gesture felt strangely natural. She was getting used to this. Should she be getting used to this?

They walked silently for a few minutes, taking in the surroundings around them, the green in the midst of turning to a crisp orange and red. "It's hard to believe that we are in the middle of the city right now, isn't it? If you just dropped someone here in Central Park, without telling them they were in the largest city in the United States, they would have no context at all to make that determination. They'd have no idea that it was so different than what it seemed."

Booth looked over at her, smiling. "Think people who live in the city need that sometimes…to be reminded that there's a whole different world out there…an open one, a green one, one where people aren't so crowded and so busy."

She was thoughtful for a minute. What came out of her mouth next she wasn't even sure she completely understood. "I think people are usually surprised to find out we are a city. And not a park."

When he didn't respond right away, she glanced up at him. "Why, Bones. That was a very…abstract metaphor. For you." She shrugged, not entirely sure what to tell him. To her immense surprise, his next words suggested that he actually got whatever the hell she was trying to say.

"That's because…we probably kinda look like a park. From the outside. Especially today."

Brennan considered this. "I…I really enjoy the city though. That's where important things happen. That's where work gets done, and progress is made. And everything is always moving. That's important." She felt…not tense, but on alert. Waiting to change the subject if there was even a slight chance that her metaphor was caving in on her.

"Yes," he agreed, and she was relieved. And then he spoke again, softly. "But the park…wow. Look at it, Bones."

She gazed around. It was, without a doubt, beautiful. She tugged her coat around her just a little tighter. "It's okay…that we're here today. Don't you think? We should be okay." For some reason, she very much needed his reassurance right now. And, as always, he gave it to her.

"The city's not going anywhere, Temperance." The hand that was clasping hers now let go and slid around her waist, and he smiled at her.

"Thanks, Booth," she said softly, and returned the gesture. And they continued walking through the park, right now, feeling very much in their element.

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They were a city? And not a park? What the hell was she talking about? He usually had a little trouble interpreting squint-speak in the lab, but this was a new one. And then it dawned on him: their relationship. Their partnership was the city. Their… well, whatever Stella and Dante Rossi thought they were; that was the park. Suddenly it made sense to him, and he told her so. Of course he couldn't do that without teasing her a little. Just because he so loved the smile and the slight blush that would grace her cheeks.

"Why, Bones. That was a very…abstract metaphor. For you." She shrugged and he wanted to respond, but he knew he'd have to think for a minute to make sure he didn't stumble over his words. He explained to her, as best he could, that the way they acted around each other, it was pretty easy to see why people could get the wrong idea.

To which she responded that she really liked the city. Felt it was important. He was getting the distinct vibe that she was trying to tell him that while maybe it was okay that their relationship was sort of evolving into new territory, she really wanted to be able to hang out in the city. Not spend all of her time in the park. And hell, that was fine with him. As long as he got to spend time with her. And as long as he could convince her to leave the city and spend a little time in the park every once in awhile.

She asked him if he thought it was okay that they were "here" today. The word "here" even in itself was chock-full of meaning and innuendo in his mind. On the surface, "here" was wandering through Central Park when they both knew they had piles and piles of paperwork back in their respective hotel rooms that needed to be completed before they could head back to DC. But under the surface… here was just them; Seeley Booth taking his beautiful wife Temperance to New York City for her first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then wandering around the park hand-in-hand.

He dropped her hand and slid his arm around her waist, drawing her to him, giving her the reassurance he knew she needed. "The city's not going anywhere, Temperance."

She thanked him and agreed with him in what he had recently realized was his favorite way: flashing him a brilliant smile.

The pair talked and wandered, wandered and talked for the better part of the afternoon, until Seeley noticed how dusky it was getting. He glanced at his watch and let out a low whistle. "Already a quarter to six, Bones. Ready for the last tradition of Turkey Day?"

Bones glanced up at him, like she was afraid the tradition was "take your fake wife back to the hotel room and ravish her." Which, to be fair, was certainly not the farthest thing from his mind. "What is it?" she asked.

Seeley let out a chuckle. "Relax, Bones. Just ordering pizza and watching a movie. You look nervous."

"I don't know, Booth. We have a lot of mumphermumph," Booth cut her off with a hand over her mouth.

"Don't say paperwork. Movie. We have a movie to watch, and pizza to eat." At the slight hesitation in her eyes, he wheedled, "I'll even let you get veggie pizza, Bones. C'mon. You know I'm a pepperoni guy." Still the hesitation was in her eyes. "Cmooooon, Bones. Who can resist a gooey slice of New York style pizza?"

"Fine," she acquiesced. "Pizza. And one movie. And I get to pick it."

"It's not going to be Gorillas in the Mist or something, is it?" Booth eyed her suspiciously.

She sighed heavily. "Do you really think I have that bad of taste, Booth?"

He laughed half at her and half in relief. "No, I don't, Bones." And then, from somewhere, came the last words he would have expected himself to speak. "Actually, as I recall," he paused and lowered his head so he was nearly whispering in her ear. "You taste quite good."

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It was completely inappropriate. And it was something that he had said he wouldn't do—make mention of what had happened between one cowboy and his sex kitten on a surreal Halloween evening not so long ago. And the reason he wasn't supposed to mention it was because of the exact reaction that it elicited from her: discomfort. Discomfort in a shivering, heart-pounding, rush-of-heat kind of way. For the second time that day—damn him. Here she was, doing her best to keep things on safe ground with her talk of cities and parks, and then he had to go and bring up the fact that one time, in a place far away, he had had his mouth on her. And it had been so damn good.

Her head tilted up and her eyes met his, and they lingered together there for several seconds. In his, like always, she read unspoken truths. And it was practically too much to bear.

So she tugged at his hand. "Come on," she whispered, pulling him back east, in the direction of the hotel. And they made the rest of the journey in relative silence, each lost in their own thoughts.

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Shit. Shit, shit, shit. You are a moron, Seeley. There is a special place in hell for guys like you, my friend. Telling her how good she tastes? Seriously? After you decide (YOU! YOU DECIDED!) to never speak of the incident again? I mean seriously, man, you can think about it, have your little fantasies, whatever. But you promised her you wouldn't bring it up. Asshole.

Seeley quieted his mouthy conscience as best he could and followed Bones back to the hotel, wondering how he'd gotten lucky enough to be allowed to still hold her hand (and keep his balls intact). As he trailed a few inches behind her, he mentally promised himself that he'd follow her lead for the remainder of their time in New York. Because if he didn't, she probably would end up emasculating him.

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When they returned to the hotel lobby, he looked at her questioningly, waiting to take her cue. She gave him a small push in the direction of the elevator. "Go put on something comfortable then come to my room. I'll get the movie ready and order the pizza." She wasn't entirely sure when she began running this show (she wasn't the expert in Thanksgiving traditions, after all), but she sensed in him the need to follow her right now, wherever she would take him.

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Breathe, Seeley. Jesus Christ. It's not like you've never watched a movie with a woman. You're getting about half-stupid over her. It's just Bones...

Yeah, but… it's Bones. If I fuck this up, I might as well plan on workin' with Addy for the rest of my days.

Seeley continued his internal debate as he changed into gray sweats and a faded black Def Leppard tee shirt. Shoving his fingers through his hair, he grabbed his cell phone and his plastic key card off the nightstand and clicked off the lamp.

With a single backward glance to the dark room as he pulled the door shut, he gave himself one last command: Don't fuck this up.

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Up in her hotel room, Brennan changed to her sweatpants and zip-up sweatshirt, sighing in relief at the warm comfort of the ensemble. While she ordered the pizza, she flipped through the pay-per-view movies until she found the perfect choice. Perfect, providing that Booth wouldn't make fun of her for it. He came to her door right after the pizza did. And, she noted in relief, he was dressed pretty much like she was.

"Nice outfit," he teased, giving her a smile as he came in and nearly immediately attacked the pizza.

"Yours, too. Personally, I think we've never looked better." She might have been able to manage more of a laugh if it hadn't been at least partially true. Booth made a good cowboy. Somehow, he looked nearly as good with his sweatpants slung low on his hips, and his t-shirt emphasizing his chest and arms. It really wasn't fair.

"So what are we watching?" he asked, his mouth half-full while his partner flopped on the couch in front of the TV, cuing something up w/the remote. The opening credits started playing. He looked at her in amazement. "The Replacements, Bones? Seriously? I would have never, ever pegged you as a Keanu Reeves fan. Not for one second." He sat beside her, pulling the pizza box over with them.

"I'm not," she said indignantly. "I just…like the story. Triumph over adversity. The underdogs save the day. And besides…"

"Yes?" He drew out the word, teasing her.

"I just kind of like football movies," she mumbled. He laughed. Of course she did. Because just when he thought he knew what she would do in a certain situation, she surprised the hell out of him and did the opposite.

She blushed a bit and gave him a look. "What?"

"Nothing, Bones. It's…it's a good choice. Now watch."

They did for awhile, finishing half of the pizza. The food distracted them for awhile, and when they were done eating, she couldn't help but notice her partner looked a little restless, fidgeting a bit on the couch beside her.

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God, he wanted to kiss her. Bad. He'd seen The Replacements enough times that he knew if she asked him a question or tried to make conversation about the movie, he'd be able to hold his own. Which worked out well, because it afforded him the opportunity to sneak glances at her more often than not during the movie. He shifted on the couch, trying to get comfortable. Maybe looking at her wasn't a good idea. Maybe he should focus a little more on the movie. He shifted once more, but apparently that was just too distracting to her. When he looked at her again, he felt like her blue eyes were staring straight through him.

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"Long day, huh?" she said empathetically. He gave her a quick smile. "Tired?"

"No…at least I don't want to be." She chuckled a little at that. "So…what are you thankful for, Bones?"

She hadn't been expecting the question. "Oh. Um. Hmm. I'd have to think about it." Pausing, she considered. "You go first."

"Well, that's not fair." She raised her eyebrows. "But okay. I'm thankful for…Parker, and the time we got to spend together this year. And you. I'm thankful for mostly staying safe on the job this year, and how successful we've been. And you. Thankful for the rest of my family, and friends." Especially you. He thought for a few seconds longer, and she gave him that time. "I'm thankful for Steelers wins. And you. And for beer." And of course (have I mentioned this?) you. They chuckled lightly at that, together, before his smile faded. "And…I'm thankful for today. And for the fact that you haven't kicked me out yet." She looked at him meaningfully. "Okay," he said finally, after the moment had passed. "Your turn."

"Okay," she responded slowly, knowing exactly what she wanted to say, but not quite having the courage. "I'm thankful for…my dad and my brother coming back into my life. And you. And for being able to put my mother to rest. And you. For my work, and all the amazing places it's taken me, and the opportunities it's given me. To be with you. For Angela, and Zack, and Hodgins…my team. Especially my FBI agent. I'm thankful for the advances in technology which have made it easier to identify people based on their remains." There were so many things, when she really took the time to think about it. But she summed it up succinctly. "And I'm thankful for holidays." Because so far, in some way, I've gotten to spend the last three with you.

His tired eyes captured hers. "Me too, Bones. Me too," he said softly. And their quiet moment of togetherness was maintained, then, as eventually they turned back to the movie. After awhile, their fatigue got the best of them.

The last thing she remembered thinking before falling asleep—really and truly, this time--was how easily she had become used to sleeping on his shoulder.

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Seeley drifted in and out of consciousness. He was aware (barely) of the elements of the room, the TV, the hum from the mini-fridge, the soft glow from the nightlight in the bathroom. He was mostly aware of the beautiful woman curled up against his side and definitely aware of how good it felt to have her there.

He woke again when the first strains of daylight were coming in through the annoying crack in the drapes. Bones was still sleeping, breathing deeply and evenly. If he could only do one thing for the rest of his life (and for some reason wasn't allowed his obvious choice) a very close second would be watching her sleep. He knew it was cheesy, and he'd deny it if anyone caught wind for some reason, but God she was beautiful. And when she was silent, peaceful, and snuggled against his side? He was hard pressed to think of another woman as gorgeous as Dr. Temperance Brennan, world-renowned anthropologist. Her eyelids fluttered open, then closed again, then open groggily. Letting his thoughts come to the surface he greeted her. "Good morning, beautiful."

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Light. Too much light. And faint sounds from the city street. And, the humming from the turned-on TV, with the pay-per-view movie long over. Her eyes fluttered open, reluctantly, and she looked upwards through her eyelashes at the man she had been sleeping on.

"Good morning, beautiful," her partner whispered. She smiled faintly, then frowned. He looked troubled. "What wrong?"

She wasn't entirely sure. "The holiday," she said, regretfully. "It's over."

"There will always be more."

"You know what? I'm glad for that." She was quiet for a second. "I thought of one more thing last night that I'm thankful for. Do I have to wait until next Thanksgiving to say it?"

"Please don't."

A rush of boldness went through her. One that she hadn't felt since….well…since one cold October night not so long ago. She tilted her head up towards him. Her lips parted a little. "Booth," she breathed.

"Yeah," he replied just as quietly.

"No. That's it. What I'm thankful for." There, she had said it. And the trembling fear she felt upon the words leaving her lips was replaced in a second with a trembling desire as his mouth descended on hers, softly, caressing her.

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He had to do it. The compliment she'd given him, that she was thankful, thankful for him – it had pushed him over the edge. The edge of reason. Would he kiss her? Would he not? He'd vowed to follow her lead and he hoped like hell that she was leading him to kiss her. Because with his lips millimeters from hers; there was no way in hell he was going to back out.

When his mouth touched hers, he felt like his body was going to short-circuit. This, this was how it was supposed to be with them. It didn't matter to him if they were in the city, or taking a walk in the park, as long as he was with her, he was happy.

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It was nothing like Halloween, but it was a thousand times sweeter. She was warm and content and safe. Soon, the warmth turned to heat, and the heat made her head swim with a rush of thoughts and feelings that had been long repressed. With that kiss, she was awake.

And wondering if maybe, a walk in the park now and then might not be such a bad thing.

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A/N: Have a wonderful holiday, everyone.