A/N: If you've read Ch. 1 & 2, you know this was meant to be at least somewhat on the lighter, funnier side. I hope you won't hate me for that.

Timeframe: This is set sometime after The Santa in the Slush.

Presbyopia: The loss of the eye's ability to change focus to see near objects.

Chapter 3: Clinical Trials

"Bones," he said, inhaling sharply through his nose and arching backward in an effort to evade his partner's grabby hands, "trust me, you do not want to go down that road."

"Why not?" she asked, gazing up at him, all innocent eyes and flushed cheeks. When he accidentally glanced down at her two undone shirt buttons, he had to remind himself why not, too.

"Because this is one genie that's not going back in the bottle once it gets out." Why didn't she understand that this was just a bad, bad idea? A fucking terrible idea, in fact, he reminded himself. Worst idea in the history of man. Worse than New Coke. Except...except...

"I don't understand--" Of course she didn't. This would be way too easy if she did. And why should anything ever be easy for Seeley Booth?

Reluctantly, he pulled away, forcing himself to climb off the couch -- and Brennan. At least the old thing had gotten close to seeing a little action tonight; definitely more than it had witnessed in exactly how long Booth didn't want to determine.

Love life? What love life? If actions spoke louder than words, Booth was a true believer in celibacy. Maybe he should break his lease, quit his job, and find the nearest monastery.

He leaned back against the sofa and stretched his legs out in front of him, trying to get comfortable despite the hard-on that currently made it just a tad tough to do so. On the bright side, he didn't need to add Viagra to his "to buy" list yet. "Come here," he said. Booth kept his voice light and friendly, patting the floor next to him and remaining silent until she moved, her arm and shoulder grazing his and sending an electric tingle shooting through his body. Man, was he that hard-up? If anyone would have that effect on him, he silently acknowledged, it would be Bones.

After heaving a sigh that would rival anything Methuselah himself could produce, Booth continued his explanation. "You're my partner, Bones," he said. "We're friends," he added, emphasizing the second word. "I can't talk about this with you and then just go back to pretending--"

"Pretending what, Booth?" she said, interrupting him, as usual. Apparently, allowing him to finish a thought was just too much to expect.

He gritted his teeth and shook his head, feeling the heat rise to his cheeks while he tried desperately not to think, again, of how he wanted to shred every bit of clothing she wore and feast on her delicious, naked body. God only knew how he was going to make it through this night without a series of arctic showers. If he survived tonight, period, it would be a small miracle. "Bones--"

"Oh grow up, Booth!" Brennan's furious gaze snapped to his, yanking him away from his horny thoughts, and Booth's eyebrows shot up in surprise. What the hell did she have to be mad about, anyway? One of them had to be adult and responsible.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"We are adults. Both of us," she said, punctuating each word with an impatient jab to his shoulder. The woman didn't need a gun; her fingers were lethal weapons.

"Ow. Stop that," he said, shoving her hand away.

"You are a grown man; you should be capable of discussing sex without blushing and stalling and avoiding the subject like...like someone who has never had intercourse before."

Against every instinct in his body, Booth struggled to do the right thing. "You know damn well I'm not a virgin." His partner was baiting him, and he knew it. But the woman pushed and pushed, knowing exactly what would get him going. She just didn't seem to know when to quit. Then again maybe she did, and that was the whole point. Those eyes of hers -- those ridiculously gorgeous take-me-to-bed-for-a-week eyes -- whipped a challenge at him, one that made his heartbeat thud heavily. "Prove it," they said, tugging at his already weakening resolve.

Booth had a choice to make, and he knew it. He'd done his best to give her an out, to convince her they shouldn't take this detour. But she seemed determined to do this, and if she wanted this, him, so badly, he wasn't going to be able to deny her any more than he'd been able to deny her a mistletoe kiss and Christmas with her criminal father.

Narrowing his eyes, Booth nodded, just once, then let his face smooth out. "You think" -- he shifted toward Brennan, moving in until her eyes started to flutter closed -- "I'm trying to be noble. You're wrong. Dead wrong. I want..." The last words came out on a whisper, the barest puff of air; he was so close now he felt her shudder. Good. She might have been the one to start this, but he was going to control it.

His right hand drifted down to curve around her neck, his thumb coming to rest over her pulse point. One gentle stroke across her warm skin and her breath came faster. He heard it. He felt it, a wave of satisfaction sweeping over him when he realized the effect he was having on her with a simple touch. He'd only begun. Booth knew he was a good lover; tonight he intended to be a great one.

"I want," he continued, "to kiss you until you forget everything but me and how I'm making you feel." Sliding a hand into the softness of Brennan's hair, Booth angled his head--

She pulled back. "It is highly improbable that a kiss, even from you, could cause me to forget all the knowledge I've worked so hard to acquire. In fact, I would venture to say that it is impossible."

--and dropped his hands, sitting back on his heels. "Says who? I'm a damn good kisser. And hey, a kiss woke Sleeping Beauty. Why couldn't one from me give you a little temporary amnesia?" he said with a wink.

The curve of her lips took on a condescending twist. "Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale, and therefore not meant to be interpreted in a literal fashion."

"You're telling me I'm being too literal?!" he nearly yelped. "That's just great."

"If the sock fits..." she replied on a shrug, looking way too self-satisfied.

"Shoe," he said, and groaned. "It's 'If the shoe fits,'" he said, rubbing his forehead. "Why are we arguing about fairy tales, anyway? You want me, and I'm telling you you can have me--"

"I want you, yes, but it is exceedingly evident that you desire me, as well. Your motives are hardly altruistic."

"Of course they're not," he said, trying not to shout. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and tried to calm down. When he thought he had himself back under control, he opened his eyes to look at her. "You want me, and I want you. It's mutual. Now" -- he inched closer, smiling --"since you asked, I was trying to tell you what I wanted to do to you."

"I would like it very much if you continued," she replied, a hint of a smile touching her mouth.

"Good." Remembering that he was still wearing his reading glasses, he reached up, intending to take them off.

Brennan stopped him with a hand on his arm, her smile widening and taking on a mischievous slant. "But please leave your glasses on."

To be continued...


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