I've never written anything for Bones before, but I've always loved the partnership on the show, so I thought I'd give it a try and see what happens. This probably won't be long – most likely only a few chapters. Please let me know what you think and if you'd like me to continue, or I probably won't take the time if I think no one's interested. Takes place where we all left off – after Santa in the Slush.

Bones doesn't belong to me, but oh, would it be fun if it did... this story is rated M. please don't read it if you're too young.


how my heart behaves.

Chapter one.

Snowflakes drift and float behind the windows as Temperance Brennan steps off the airplane at Dulles International Airport. Hefting her laptop back up onto her shoulder, she grabs her carry-on, weaving her way through the large crowd that is gathered by her gate. Still wearing her headphones, the movement of people around her seems more lyrical when set to piano music.

She is excited to see her partner. She has a gift for him, something she knows will make him smile widely, the corners of his eyes crinkling with happiness. She had smiled herself when she realized what it was she wanted to show him. As the escalator delivers her to baggage claim, her eyes scan the crowded room for him, trying to pick out his build.

After several moments, she still hasn't found him, and someone bumps into her rudely from behind, and she realizes she has stopped in her tracks. Frowning, she makes her way across the room slowly, stopping in front of a series of monitors as suitcases begin to thunk onto the belt.


Turning, she sees Angela hurrying towards her, a brilliant smile stretching across her face. Smiling in return, she shrugs her bags off her shoulders and embraces her friend, holding her tightly.

"You're back!" Angela says happily. "We all missed you… How was it?"

Laughing, Temperance brushes her hair from her forehead. "It was wonderful. I always enjoy visiting Peru, and the remains we were looking at were incredibly well-preserved."

Grinning, Angela grabs her laptop for her, hefting it over her shoulder. "Your suitcase come out yet?"

Spying it on it's way around the corner, Temperance grabs for the large bag. "Right here."

"Great, let's get out of here. I hate airports."

Chatting easily with her friend on the way to the car, she tries to ignore the question eating at her, tries to avoid asking too quickly, seeming too anxious for fear of it being analyzed. When she is finally buckled in, she searches through her purse, attempting to fill her voice with a casual tone. "So, where's Booth? He was supposed to pick me up, not you."

Angela hesitates for a moment, starting the car and adjusting her rearview mirror. "He called me on Tuesday and asked if I could get you instead – something apparently came up."

She considers this for a moment, raising her head from her bag. "Is something wrong?"

Before pulling out of the parking stall, Angela meets her eyes. "I don't know," she says quietly.

Frowning, Temperance drops her bag between her feet on the floor. "What do you mean you don't know?"

Keeping her eyes on the road, Angela pauses. "He sounded strange on the phone. I don't know. But I called him yesterday to see if he knew your flight number and he didn't answer. And he didn't pick up at the bureau either. Same thing when I tried today."

Glancing out the window, Temperance presses her fingertips to the glass, watching the snowflakes swirl past the car. "That's strange – he always answers the phone."

Tugging her own phone from her purse, she quickly dials her partner's cell number and frowns when it goes straight to his voicemail – it's turned off. "Huh," she says quietly.

Angela glances at her quickly. "No answer?"

She shakes her head. "It went straight to voicemail."

"Maybe he's on assignment?"

She shakes her head slowly. "He would have gotten back to you, I know it."

"Well, I'm sure you'll track him down," Angela says soothingly. "Maybe you should go check on him," she says suggestively, wiggling her eyebrows.

Rolling her eyes, Temperance quickly changes the subject, asking about the lab and the others until Angela pulls in front of her building. The last bit of daylight is fading as she tugs her suitcase from the trunk, and thanking her friend for the ride, she heads quickly towards her front door, snowflakes collecting in her hair.


She's in her own car within the hour, having showered quickly and grabbed a fresh change of clothing. Booth still has not answered his phone, and worry is starting to prick at her, effectively covering her irritation. It isn't like him to ignore her calls.

Her gift for him is tucked against the back of the passenger seat, and she again pictures his smile when he'll see it, her own lips tilting up at the corners.

She's missed him. It's the first time she's traveled since their partnership began that he's remained in her thoughts throughout her entire trip. While hiking through the Andes, she could still feel the warmth in his voice that had reverberated through her phone on Christmas Eve as he'd wished her a happy holiday, the lights from the tree he'd set winking in the parking lot a glowing memory. It was the nicest gift she'd ever received. He'd stunned her with his thoughtfulness, and she'd seen that tree numerous times when she closed her eyes over the last few weeks away.

Light glows from his windows on the second floor, and she makes her way up the stairs to his apartment, packed snow kicking loose from the heels of her boots. She knocks quickly, rapping her knuckles against the wood, struggling to keep a hold on the frame she has tucked under her arm.

There's no answer, and she bangs again, this time more loudly. "Booth, it's me! Open up!"

When he still doesn't arrive at the door, she sighs, setting the frame against the wall outside his apartment, digging in her purse for the key she keeps to his apartment in case of emergencies. Maybe he's in the shower.

Slipping the key easily into the lock, she pushes through the door and stops in her tracks as her partner raises his head from where he sits on the couch.

Stunned, she takes in his bleary eyes and rumpled hair. A near-empty bottle of bourbon is in front of him on the coffee table, and he's dressed only in a pair of jeans, the silver of his belt buckle catching light from the lamp next to him.

Blinking, she lets her purse fall from her shoulder, shrugging off her coat and scarf. "Booth?"

He sighs, his hand reaching for the tumbler next to him, rubbing his eyes wearily. "Bones…What are you doing here?"

Frowning, she walks quickly over to the couch. "I was worried about you. You haven't picked up the phone, and Angela says you haven't returned any of her calls, despite her leaving several messages. That isn't like you."

He sighs, leaning back against the couch, his glass resting on his thigh. "Don't worry about it," he mutters.

Dropping down next to him, she snatches the bottle from the table before he can grab for it. "Don't worry? You're sitting here at eight at night by yourself getting drunk, and I'm not supposed to worry?"

He plucks the bottle from her hands, refilling his glass. "I'm an adult. If I want to get drunk in my own home, that's my business. It certainly shouldn't warrant breaking and entering."

"I have a key. That's not considered breaking and entering," she says calmly. "And I'm sorry, but the fact that you haven't been at work in two days, sent Angela to pick me up at the airport and turned off your phone makes it seem more than you just deciding you needed to cut loose."

He lifts his drink, avoiding her eyes. "Leave it alone, Bones."

She covers his glass with her hand before he can take a sip. "What's going on with you?"

"I don't want to talk about it," he says, his voice low. "Understand?"

She shakes her head, and he peels her fingers from his glass, scooting an inch or so away from her. "I mean it, I'm not in the mood."

"Is it something with Parker?" she asks, worriedly. "Or Rebecca? Are you upset with her, is she not letting you see him?"

"Parker's fine," he says flatly.


She's confused, frustrated. It isn't like him not to talk to her, to be so dismissive and cold. His eyes are an angry pink, and his broad shoulders are slumped against the back of the couch. Reclining more deeply, he sets his bare feet up on the coffee table. This wasn't exactly the homecoming she'd been expecting – he's hardly looked at her once.

"Did something happen at work?" she asks quietly.

He snorts, wiping at his nose with the back of his hand, and with the slight tilt of his head, she sees a shimmer catch in his eyes from the lamplight, and she realizes instantly he's been crying.

"Booth…" She reaches out to touch his knee, and he flinches, jerking his legs off the table and away from her. Hurt, she reels back herself, pressing closer to the arm of the couch.

They sit in silence for a moment as she tries to decide what she should do. Clearly, he wants to be alone, but it seems like the worst thing she could do at the moment. She feels unprepared to deal with this type of situation – when someone doesn't want to talk to her, she generally waits until they make it clear that they do.

But that isn't what he would do, if the situation were reversed. If she was alone, and hurting, he wouldn't leave her, she knows this. And so she takes a deep breath, slipping off the couch and crouching down between his knees, trying to search out his eyes.

"Hey," she says softly. "Please talk to me."

He shakes his head slowly, refusing to look at her. "I can't," he says wearily. "You don't understand."

It feels like a slap, those three words. You don't understand. It's like a constant reminder that she never quite fits, that she never quite gets it. That somewhere along the line in her development, there had been a disconnect from the rest of the world, one she's never recovered from.

Taking a deep breath, she sets her hand on his knee, and it twitches slightly under her touch. "Why won't I understand?" she says bravely.

Rubbing his eyes again, he shakes his head. "Because…" he murmurs. "You won't… It's not who I'm supposed to be, you don't want to know this about me."

His voice is so quiet she has to strain to hear him. He's so out of character at the moment, she doesn't know which way is up. Swallowing, she reaches for his large hand, tugging it lightly from his face. Finally able to meet his eyes, she sees the weariness there, mixed with something that looks almost like fear.

She says the words he's heard hundreds of times: "I don't know what that means."

Groaning, he leans forward, and she drops back on her heels as he comes closer, swaying slightly. "Bones, just leave it be," he pleads.

She considers this for a moment, wondering if logic will find its way through his alcoholic haze. "If it were me, would you just leave it be?"

He laughs harshly. "You mean if I found you getting drunk alone in your apartment?" He pauses. "I'd probably check to make sure the sky hadn't fallen."

Ignoring his comment, she sighs, trying to sound confident. "I'm not leaving until you talk to me."

He raises an eyebrow and moves as if he's going to stand, but she sets a hand firmly against his chest, feeling the heat from his skin against her palm. Surprised, he lets her push him back with little resistance, flopping back against the cushions.

"You're a pain in the ass."

She blinks, startled. "I don't see what that has to do with anything."

He smiles a wobbly smile. "Of course not."

Sighing, she sits on the edge of the coffee table, facing him. "Please talk to me," she says evenly. "I think we both know that I'm fairly stubborn and when I say I'm not leaving, I'm not leaving. But I have had a long flight, so I'd appreciate it if you told me what's got you so upset sooner rather than later."

He chuckles at her briskness. "Gee, now I'm just itching to spill my guts."

Tired of playing around, she reaches out and winds her fingers around his wrist. "You're in pain; it's obvious, even to me," she says matter-of-factly. "And I'm your partner, and your friend. Telling me would be natural."

He eyes her for a moment, raising his glass to his lips to take a sip while he seems to consider whether or not what she's said holds any validity. "Yeah, fine. Something happened at work."

"Did you have a fight with Cullen?"

Something flickers in his eyes, and he chuckles again, his voice low. "No, no. Cullen's as nice as can be."

Stumped, she becomes impatient, wracking her brain. "Did you –"

"I killed a man," he says sharply, his eyes finally meeting hers. "An innocent man, on accident."

Stunned, she shakes her head, moving to sit next to him again. "I don't understand."

Sighing, he takes another swig of bourbon. "I was with a SWAT team, after a man who'd killed two people and taken a third hostage." He pauses, as if still amazed as she is by the events. "I… He shot at me," he says slowly. "And I shot back."

Confused, she waits for a moment for him to clarify, but he doesn't. "And he was innocent?"

He shakes his head. "No. But…" He looks up at her suddenly, and she sees his eyes well, shimmering with their dampness. "But I missed. I missed and the bullet ricocheted and hit the hostage."

She sucks in a breath, and he turns his head from her instantly, hiding his face and she realizes too late that he think it's in reaction to what he's done. It had been involuntary, the quick breath she'd taken, but she'd needed it to force her heart back to a rhythm – it had stopped beating when she'd seen the hurt in his eyes.

"Booth, it was an accident –"

He whirls around to face her again, his eyes wild. "I was a fucking sniper! I don'tmiss," he spits out. "Understand? That's what I was trained to do: hit the target. And not only did I miss, but I killed an innocent man; a father, a husband." He chokes out the last two words, dropping his head. "I missed," he repeats, as if speaking only to himself. "I missed."

Her chest hurts, her breathing suddenly feeling restricted. "You don't –"

He cuts her off again, his eyes shining. "I'm not a genius like you, Bones," he snaps. "I don't have multiple PhD's and I'm not an author of best-selling books. I'm just a guy, a guy who has one thing he needs to know how to do, and that's shoot the right fucking target."

She realizes it hurts to hear he thinks so little of himself, that he compares himself to her and thinks himself to be lacking. Or that he thinks all the gifts he has, all the gifts he's given her in the two years they've been partners mean nothing. The ache in her chest is unfamiliar but insistent, growing rapidly. She wants desperately to reassure him.

"Booth," she whispers. "Listen to me."

His eyes stay on the glass in his hands, his fingers slowly tracing the rim, his jaw clenched tightly.

Her hand falls on his thigh again, and she keeps it in place even when he moves to shrug her off. "I don't know exactly how you feel, and I'm not going to pretend to," she continues. "But I've made mistakes before on the job, mistakes that didn't get the case solved in time, mistakes that have cost people their lives, innocent people." She swallows. "And I have to live with that. We've lost people before, even when we try our best not to. It comes with what we do."

"I shot a man," he repeats. "To death."

"No, you didn't," she says quietly. "You missed a target and the bullet hit something else, which indirectly --"

He glares at her suddenly, his face contorted. "Don't try to use fucking semantics on me. It's the same fucking difference."

She sighs. "If it weren't for you, I'd make hundreds of bad calls. I can read data; I can read facts, but not people. You can read people, Booth. You know when someone's lying, when someone's hiding something. You've saved countless lives because of that, when I couldn't."

"It doesn't make up for it," he mutters. "So don't waste your breath."

"No, it doesn't, I suppose," she says softly. "But it also doesn't change the fact that what you do is important, and that you're needed. And you can't let this stop you from doing what you do best."

"Kill people?" he asks sharply, sitting forward, his elbows resting on his knees. "It's what I've done most of my adult life. I'm tired of killing people. Someone else can do it, I'm done."

She hears the weariness in his voice, the sadness, and her own eyes tingle with the threat of tears. Reaching out, she presses her hand to his cheek, feeling the warmth from his skin on the palm of her hand as she turns him to face her. The pain is so evident on his face it almost chokes her, and she blinks, silently ordering her body to behave, to remember this is about him.

"You know what you've done?" she whispers. "You've seen the world at it's worst. You've seen it war-torn and damaged. You've seen children killed and abused, bodies disposed without thought or respect -- you've seen every way human beings can hurt one another. And you've gotten up every day and gone out there to try to protect people, to rescue them." Her voice wavers slightly. "Most people would run from that. Weaker people would run."

He closes his eyes, and tears slip down both of his cheeks.

"What happened was an accident," she says slowly but firmly. "And you can't change it, and you can't take it back, but you can't let it keep you from all the people that need you, you understand?" She takes a deep breath. "We need you."

He lets out a shuddering breath, his eyes still remaining tightly closed, refusing to meet hers.

"Seeley," she whispers, stroking her thumb over his jaw. "Look at me."

At the sound of his first name, he raises his eyelids slowly, meeting her eyes as she lets her fingers stroke his face, the stubble along his jaw sharp against the pad of her thumb. "I need you," she confesses. "I can't do this job without you."

He swallows thickly, nodding slowly, and she lets out a breath in relief. Swooping forward, she presses a kiss against his cheek, and his fingers suddenly wrap around her wrist where it sits against his jaw.

Pulling back, she pauses a few inches from his face, meeting his eyes again, and her heart thuds at what she sees.

He tilts his head slightly, his eyes slipping from hers to sweep over her face, lingering on her mouth. Releasing her wrist slowly, his own hand cups the side of her face, and he sweeps a thumb across her lower lip.

She is unable to move, mesmerized, completely under his spell. She can feel the warmth of his breath against her face, can feel what seems like electricity crackling between them.

And his eyes… they're darker all of a sudden, deeper. Seldom does Temperance Brennan find herself in a situation she is unprepared for, but she's lost all sense of reality as he hovers just above her, simply waiting.

Sex is something that's always been simple and easy for her. She knows what she likes, and she sees it unnecessary to hide her expectations from her partners. She sees it as a natural thing, a release of energy; an instinct as basic as eating or sleeping.

But the way he's looking at her, it's as if he's leading her into something she's never even dipped a toe into before. He's barely touched her, and she can feel her whole body responding, can feel her stomach, and it's dropped somewhere below her knees. She flushes from head to toe, her breathing uneven, and she sees the corner of his mouth tilt upwards slightly, knowing. He's leading here, and he knows it.

He tips slightly closer and she shudders, and his eyes glitter dangerously as he realizes just how much power he has at the moment. Dropping his eyes to her mouth again, he finally reaches for her lips with his own, lightly.

It's nothing like the kiss they'd shared in her office, under the mistletoe. Despite the fact that it had been Caroline's suggestion, she'd been curious herself, and had gone along with the blackmail without much protest. Still, in the moment, she'd decided to take control, pressing her lips to his first, grabbing the collar of his jacket. She'd been surprised at how soft his lips had been, how nice it had felt. She'd even been reluctant to pull away.

But only this simple tease of his lips, and she realizes whatever she thinks she knows, it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Seeley Booth. When he pulls back slightly, she trembles, hitching in a breath.

He hears it, and he cups her face more tightly, his mouth descending on hers this time, open and hot. As his tongue sweeps into her mouth she starts to shake, her hands reaching for something to hold onto and only finding the warm, bare skin of his chest and shoulders.

It is the most erotic kiss she's ever received. Heat rises to the surface of her skin, warm and pink, and she feels a tug, strong and clutching in her crotch. She can taste the bourbon in his mouth, can feel the slight sting from the shadow of beard against his jaw. His hand slides through her hair to cup the back of her head, and he pulls her more tightly to him, his tongue like velvet as it slides against hers.

Her fingertips dig into his shoulders, holding on as if she's falling, and he presses forward, leading her back onto the couch, following her down until his body is flush against her. The heat from his skin burns through the thin cotton of her shirt, and his arm slides beneath her, his palm slipping into the small of her back, lifting her, and he suddenly jerks her more tightly against him, causing her to gasp into his mouth.

He steals a breath of his own, pulling back, only to drop his mouth against the column of her throat, trailing damply up to her ear, catching the lobe lightly between his teeth and she instinctively curls her leg closer, pressing against his hip, and there's a rumble, deep in his chest that makes her feel as if her heartbeat is between her legs.

Trailing the top of his tongue over the other edge of her ear, he suddenly drops lower, sucking at the pulse at the base of her throat.

Her fingers tangle into his hair, her arms feeling heavy and weak, and he makes his way swiftly back to her mouth, stealing the breath from her again, his tongue thrusting in and out firmly, still leading her.

There's an electronic chirp suddenly, and he rips his mouth from hers, freezing, as his eyes glance around the room in confusion. She realizes as he does that it's her cell phone in her purse, across the room lying on the floor where she'd dropped it in a heap. Someone's left her a message.

Her chest heaves beneath him, and he slowly pulls off of her, dropping back down on the opposite cushion, closing his eyes. "I'm sorry," he says quietly.

Still shell-shocked, she searches for words, for something to say. "You were upset," she manages. "It's perfectly natural that you would want comfort –"

He stiffens, standing up quickly, turning from her, the strong muscles in his back evident as he moves. "You should go," he says, cutting her off swiftly.

She doesn't understand what's just happened. One minute she was comforting her partner, urging him to forgive himself, and the next, she's pressed against his body, every cell and fiber in her responding. He'd showed her something, just a glimpse, and now all she can think of is his large palm sliding up to cup one of her breasts, of his face buried between her legs.

Confused, she struggles to a sitting position. "Booth –"

He leans down, his fingers grasping the rim of his glass, and he walks away from her, retreating towards his bedroom.

"Booth, wait –"

He pauses, not turning around, the drink in his hand held next to his thigh as if defeated. "Go home, Temperance," he says wearily, and he disappears past the kitchen, leaving her on the couch searching for understanding.