A Piece of String?

Seeley Booth smiled as he hurried down the hallway of his partner, Temperance Brennan's apartment building. He held, in his hand, a gift that was a total gamble. It could go one of two ways, and he was betting that it would end up going the way he wanted to. If for no other reason, out of sheer desire.

He knocked on her door, and rocked back on his heels and forward again, his hands clasped behind his back, gift securely tucked away in his pocket. He could hear her footsteps approach the door, and then finally, he heard her unlock and swing open the door.

It was late on Saturday night. Since they'd had no cases within the last week or so, he'd had no cause to stop by the lab and see her, much less call her, so she was no doubt surprised at his appearance here.

"Booth? What's wrong…. do we…do we have a case?" she stuttered, her face a mask of confusion. Bones stood there; in a pair of black leggings and a stolen FBI tee shirt he must have left here at some time or another. Her hair was skinned back into a ponytail, a few tendrils had escaped, and curled becomingly around her features.

"Nope, no case Bones. The polite thing to do at this point, would be to allow me access into your home" he pointed out cheerfully, eyebrows raised for emphasis

Her cheeks flushed. "Right, of course" she stammered, embarrassed. She stood back and allowed him entrance.

Her home was quiet. No music, no Tibetan throat singers, no classical, nothing. Candles were lit here and there, and from the looks of it, she had been sitting on the sofa, reading a forensic journal. A glass of wine sat on the table beside the sofa. The heady scent of sandalwood assaulted his senses.

"I'm not disturbing you or anything am I Bones?" he wondered aloud as he made his way into her home, glancing back at her over his shoulder.

"No, I was just reading. I couldn't sleep anyway," she admitted, following close behind him, her feet bare.

"Yeah, saw your lights from the road. Listen…the reason I am here…." He trailed off, suddenly unsure of himself.

Booth glanced away, and let his eyes wander around the familiar space. They'd spend so many hours here, going over cases, talking, and just being together, he mused silently

"Yes?" she prodded, her arms crossed, impatience evident on her face, and in the tone of her voice

"Well, I have a present for you Bones" he said in a rush, now more nervous than he was before. This seemed all so easy when he was planning it out, why was he as nervous as a teenager now? He wondered, irritated with himself

"Oh? You don't have to buy me presents Booth" she admonished, impatience replaced with genuine surprise.

"I know…it's just…." He struggled to find the right words to say. Booth took the small box out of his pocket, and handed it to her, carefully gauging her reaction

"Booth…. what is this?" she asked him quietly, eyeing him suspiciously, turning the box over and over in her hands. It was small, and blue, with a lid on it. Decorative enough without being gaudy.

"Right, this is the part where you open it Bones" he reminded her with a laugh, uneasiness now gone.

"Oh…" she said, and nodded her head. She lifted the top of the small box, and peered down inside. Booth thought his heart would explode it was beating so fast, the anticipation was killing him

"Booth…?" she wondered aloud, and with the tips of her fingers withdrew a long white piece of string. She held it up between them for a moment, and dumbfounded, raised her eyebrows and looked at him for answer to her question

"Bones….would you please lay that piece of string on the floor please?" he managed, struggling with everything he had to remain calm

"What? Booth…why?" she asked him, totally confused now, just as he thought she would be.

"Please?" he pressed, his eyes meeting hers

Shrugging, she did as he asked, and placed the white string on the floor between them.

Their eyes met, and yet she still didn't see what he was trying to say.

"Bones, look down at the floor. What do you see?" he asked her gently, willing her to understand what he was trying to say

She obliged, and looked down.

"A piece of string on the floor" she replied bluntly

Squelching his desire to shake her silly, he instead said

"Close…try again"

She again looked down, and that moment, Booth etched it into his memory, the expression on her face in that exact moment

"A line…" she breathed

With an exaggerated step, he stepped over the line, and into her personal space, he was now looking down into her clear blue eyes, their breath caught simultaneously, their faces millimeters apart.

This is it Seeley, he thought to himself

"That's right Bones, a line" and he slid his arms around her and tilted his head down to hers and kissed her gently, then as she responded the kiss deepened, and he felt her arms slide around his neck, her fingers twining into his hair. He reciprocated and slid his arms around her narrow waist. The kiss only went on for a few moments, but it felt like a lot longer. Finally, he pulled away, and pressed his forehead to hers. Her eyes were glassy, heavy lidded

"I just crossed that line Bones…." He trailed off, waiting for her response

"It's about time Booth…" she whispered, drawing him in for another kiss.

The end!