"Forgotten Gift"

Post S3 "Santa in the Slush"

Rated: K

Pairing: Booth/Brennan

Disclaimer: Fox, Hart and D/E are responsible for my giddiness after this episode.

"So, no trip?"

She looked up at the doorway to her office, past the wilting mistletoe, and gave him a sheepish grin.

"No trip. Uh, I figured I could get caught up on a few cases. Or write a few pages of my novel. My editor has been relentless. So, yes, I actually am quite busy," she quickly closed down her game of Solitaire.

Seeley moved to perch on the corner of her couch, hands in jacket pockets. It was a few days past Christmas and the lab was eerily quiet. Jack and Angela were on a spontaneous trip to France for holiday. Cam was on a cruise ship somewhere and Zack had family in town. Even Sweets wasn't in the office recording their every move and inquiring about tongue action. Seeley surmised he was playing with his Transformer action figures somewhere.

"I see. I just talked to Parker on the phone. He said Vermont is cold, and snowboarding 'Rocks, Dad!'" he chuckled. Temperance observed the way his eyes lit up when he talked about his son. She was glad he was able to spend some time with him. She was starting to understand what it meant to have a family.

"Well, I won't keep you from your work," he started to get up, and then whirled around. "Bones, if you want some company...

I need an excuse to try out the new Thai restaurant on my street. I'm sure I'll have plenty of leftovers. Just don't bring the earwax beer." He made his way toward the door, reaching up to touch the mistletoe she hadn't taken down days later. Something was changing. He could feel it in the air between them. It wasn't like that cold knot of fear in his stomach that clenched everytime they touched or veered into dangerous un-partner-like territory. He felt warm. And hopeful. And patient.

"Booth?" she got up from her desk with a screech of the chair that echoed through the silent lab. They were alone. That thought alone thrilled and terrified her. It wasn't like kissing her brother.

He turned and a second later she was pressed against his chest and he was warm all over. He allowed himself the moment to bury his head in her hair and inhale everything that made her, her. Unique, combative, inquisitive...He wouldn't have her any other way.

"Thank you," she whispered, her breath tickled his ear and he relaxed into her arms. "For everything."

He let her pull back first since she initiated the hug, just as she'd initiated the kiss. Even if it wasn't real... This time.

A pinkish hue tinged her cheeks again and she averted her gaze for a moment.

"Don't forget about my offer," he smiled in a way that made her blush on the inside. He put his hand up to wave goodbye as he left. Suddenly, a thought occurred to her.

"Oh, I forgot to give you your present!" she shouted at his retreating figure.

"No, you didn't. Dinner's at 8!" he called from behind him.

Christmas was a time to believe in the impossible. Seeley Booth could wait.

He'd already gotten his miracle.

Thanks so much for the great reviews on my previous stories. Happy Holidays everyone. Please review if you have something to say! It always helps an author to know what touched the readers.