A/N: So this is my first attempt at a Bones fic. I really hope you like it. It takes place sometime after Santa in the Slush. Spoilers for the end of Season 2 (2.15- Bodies in the Book, and 2.16- Boneless Bride in the River).

His voice cuts through the chaos and she looks up from the remains she's been studying to watch as he argues with the local law enforcement. His hands are in motion, his cop-face is on, and he looks as intimidating as she's ever seen him. That sheriff doesn't stand a chance. He's wearing his bright orange socks today, meaning that he is feeling particularly insecure. She's never understood the need for ostentatious belt buckles and over-the-top socks, but it works for him and so she doesn't comment. He pauses in whatever it is he's saying and glances over at her. Their eyes catch and one corner of his mouth tips up just a tiny bit. Not enough to throw off the cop face, but enough for her to notice, enough to make her smile back. Then he turns back around and Brennan goes back to her work. She manages to announce the sex and approximate age of the victim, then instructs Zack to get it all packed up and back to the Jeffersonian. She'll wait here for Booth, she tells him.

She loves to watch Booth with people. Where she is an expert at reading bones, he is an expert at reading people. If she believed in magic, she might think he has some sort of magical power, like mind reading. But she doesn't believe in magic, and so she maintains that Booth is simply well-versed in reading subtle indicators of lies and truths. Watching him is, nonetheless, one of her favorite things to do.

"I'll contact you with any further questions," he says to the sheriff. The other man nods and moves off to his deputies, looking decidedly worse for the encounter. Booth turns and she smiles up at him.

"Did you get your bones all squared away?" He asks with a grin. She rolls her eyes and falls into step beside him.

"Remains, Booth, they're called remains." He chuckles and throws an arm over her shoulder.

"Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to, Bones." She's stopped telling him not to call her Bones. Partly because it doesn't seem to matter how many times she tells him, but mostly because she's decided that she rather likes the nickname. "Let's go see if your squints have got us an I.D. yet." He opens her door and waits for her to hop in, then walks around to the other side of the SUV.

"They'll have barely made it to the Jeffersonian, Booth. They don't work miracles." He mumbles something that sounds a bit like "could've fooled me" as he gets into the SUV. She takes a moment to wonder why he didn't even remind her that she doesn't believe in miracles. Perhaps they're past that; perhaps he realizes that she's willing to accept his beliefs as a part of him.

She watches him as he drives. She knows it's not a safe but she's always appreciated the way he drives, with one arm crooked over the steering wheel. It is purely aesthetic appreciation, of course; the man has great arms. But it's really more than that. She likes the way he usually seems so relaxed when he's driving; that zone he seems to fall into. He looks over and catches her staring. A secret little smile curves his lips.


"Nothing," she says, but she can't help the little mischievous grin.

"Seriously, Bones, have I got something on my face?"

She gasps in mock outrage. "What? I'm not allowed to look at you now?"

He focuses his attention on the road, but she sees the way his lips are curved up at the corners. "Look all you want, Temperance."

She loves the way he says her name. When she was little she'd hated her name. Kids would make fun of her for not having a "normal" name. She'd gone home crying on more than one occasion. Now that she's older, she doesn't mind the name so much. No one in her circle thinks it's a strange name. On the contrary, she gets quite a few compliments. But coming from Booth's lips, it's more than just a name. It's like a call to her soul. She blushes at the complete idiocy of her thoughts. She doesn't believe in souls. But he does.

They pull into the parking lot at the Jeffersonian, and before she can even think to take off her seatbelt, he's there, opening her door, reaching over to unbuckle her.

"What's the rush, Booth?" She laughs as he practically lifts her out of the car.

"No rush, I just really want to nab these guys." He always wants to "nab these guys." And that's just another thing she likes about him. He's compassionate and heroic and brave. He really cares about the victims; he really wants the bad guys off the streets. He has a passion for his job that rivals her own.

They enter the lab and Booth whips out his I.D. card and bounds up to the platform.

"What have you got for me?" He asks anyone within hearing distance. The man is nothing if not exuberant. Hodgins and Zack rush over with explanations and crenulations and striations, and Booth turns and grins down at her; his "Wasn't I right?" grin. She'd never admit it aloud, but she loves that grin.

Everyone had asked her why she hadn't gone with Sully on his sailing adventure. At the time she'd told them she didn't know. Then Dr. Wyatt had decided that she simply hadn't been ready to lead a purposeless life. She'd gone along, grabbing onto the excuse like a lifeline, but she'd known the truth all along. She'd known it since the night she'd asked Booth whether she should go. It wasn't that she hadn't needed Sully. It wasn't that she hadn't needed the freedom and the luxury and the peace that he could offer her. It was simply that she needed Booth just a little bit more.

"Bones?" She looks up at him. "You coming?" She smiles and nods and mounts the platform.

A/N: So yeah. This fic all started when the line, "she'd just needed Booth a little bit more" popped into my head. I like the idea that Bones knew all along why she didn't go with Sully. This is a one-shot, but I do maintain the right to turn it into a story at any time. Thanks so much for reading, and I appreciate any reviews!