AN: It's that time again people. It's time for the entries for Cullen's Bull Pen Challenge. This month's theme is 'The Full Monty'. For more details, please PM me or go to livejournal and visit the bonesonfox community. The full challenge rules are posted there. With that, I hope you enjoy this one shot. It's not only an entry for the challenge, but it's also a companion piece to my story, 'The Red Strokes'. They can be read separately, but I hope you go and take a look at the other. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

"How did the visit with your aunts go," Angela asked Temperance as she sketched the forensic anthropologist. Brennan glanced back over her shoulder at her friend as she adjusted herself on the pile of pillows upon which she was currently sitting.

"I'm not sure really. I was really uncomfortable being there with people I know nothing about."

"Well why didn't you take Booth along? I know he offered to go with you."

"People already misinterpret our relationship, and I didn't want to have to justify our friendship to perfect strangers. I have to do that at every crime scene I visit as it is."

"A piece of advice then?" Temperance sighed and placed her hands next to her sides. "Oh, hold that, and keep looking over your shoulder."

"I am not going to have sex with Booth."

"Whoa, a bit of a leap there Sweetie. That wasn't what I was going to say at all."

"Really, because you seem to have made it your mission in life to throw us together."

"Hey, I haven't said anything about the two of you since he broke up with Tessa. I was simply going to say that maybe you should re-evaluate your feelings for him. I know you love him."

"Of course I love him, he's one of my best friends."

"You're not getting my meaning here Bren. Do you remember when we talked about why you chose to not go with Sully to the Caribbean? You need to stop closing yourself off to love." A small smile graced Brennan's lips for a moment.

"He's coming back Ange."


"In two weeks, he's going to be back. We're going out to dinner when he gets back to talk things over."

"Are you going to give him a better chance this time?"

"I think...I really want to, but I am scared. I don't want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again."

"Well, I've never met someone who learns faster than you. Have you told Booth yet?"

"I don't really see a reason to."

"It's just my opinion, but I want you to talk to Booth about this whole Sully thing. I know the man just wants you to be happy, but he might have an opinion about your getting back together."

"Not this again..."

"Just talk, because I think you could use a good listener. Besides, he might surprise you." Angela brushed a few of the charcoal lines, softening the edges of the portrait. "Okay, I'm all done here."

"So I can get dressed now?"

"Absolutely. I put a robe out for you." Angela put away her art supplies as Temperance wrapped the plush terry cloth robe around her bare frame. "Where do you want to go for lunch?"

"Why don't we try that Moroccan place near the capitol building. Cam said the food is amazing."


The lighting at the art show differed by exhibit, and as Brennan walked arm in arm with her date, she noticed the reddish tone of 'Intimacy' melting into soothing blues and greens. Angela's show was amazing, each section of the exhibit relating to a different emotion or state of being. As Brennan stopped before the featured piece she gasped at what the artist had captured.

The picture was of Brennan, her head turned over her shoulder, hair fanning out as though caught in a strong wind. She was partially in shadow, but seemed to be emerging from the darkness like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Brennan's date looked over at her, then turned back to examine the painting.

"I don't think I've ever seen you looking as vulnerable as you do there." Temperance looked at him and smiled softly, her expression mirrored in the artwork that she stood before.

"Well she caught me at a crucial decision."

"I hope whatever you chose was the right decision then."

"It was," she said and kissed him gently on the lips. Booth wrapped his arms around her, enjoying the feel of her against him. He was surprised she'd told him about Sully's return, but was even more shocked when she agreed to give him a chance. He planted a kiss to her hair and pulled away, taking her hand in his. It was time to move on, and see what else they would discover about 'Emotions' and each other.