Pairing: Booth/Bones
For: yanatya as part of the bubblefication on lj
Water Prompt: Extremely hot water, like really hot, nearly burn-y

Spoilers: 3x09 – "The Santa in the Slush"

A/N: Thanks to jenbachand for the beta.

Temperance Brennan sighed with happiness as she eased into the steaming bath. The water was much hotter than her normal utilitarian showers, almost painfully so, but it was just what she needed to relax. It was an unusual indulgence for her. Peru should have been the perfect trip: new ruins, ancient skeletons and endless puzzles. She should have returned refreshed and inspired. But she'd looked at the bones and wondered how they'd lived, not how they'd died. Which myths had this ancient culture truly believed and which had been propagated purely to protect the spirit and innocence of each new generation? Such musings had distracted her from her work and haunted her into the nights.

It was, Tempe had decided, all Booth's fault. Without his insistent interference in her life, she never would have considered such questions or thought twice about the (im)morality of lying to children about the existence of Santa Claus. Now such conversations were the norm and even when he wasn't around she could hear his voice in the back of her head. Less than scientific thoughts about cultural constructs and childhood joys had been neither the only thing keeping her out of sorts during her trip nor, if she was honest with herself, the most distracting.

She sighed and sank back below the water for a brief moment to blow out a frustrated breath. Their Christmas kiss seemed to have been playing on a loop in a not so quiet corner of her mind ever since. Damn Caroline and her Puckishness. What should have been nothing more than a somewhat awkward, definitely chaste meeting of lips below mistletoe hadn't stayed that way. Towards the end of the kiss there had been a distinct shift, an opening, which could have led to more, much more. Enough 'more' to startle her into breaking the kiss and to continue to short circuit her rationality even now. If they'd left it at that she might have been able to push it down, bottle it away under the rationale of saving their partnership. But he'd followed up the experience with a surprise Christmas tree at the jail and her heart had taken the inevitable, metaphorical tumble.

Pushing such thoughts aside, Brennan rose from the now tepid water and reached for her towel. The small bottle of delicately scented lotion, a gift from one of Angela's helpful phases, caught her eye and changed her plan. It was time to give Booth his Christmas present.

Booth wasn't expecting the knock at his door. Startled, he sloshed water from the kettle onto his hand. Cursing he dropped it back onto the stove top, turned on the cold tap and stuck his hand underneath. The knock sounded again and he hollered at the door, "Just a minute."

It was early evening, just into the New Year. He couldn't figure who it might be at his door. Parker was still with his mother in Vermont. Work would have called. He didn't expect to see Bones until he made up an excuse to stop by the Jeffersonian on Monday. Except that's exactly who he saw through his peep hole. Sticking his still burning finger in his mouth Booth opened the door and nodded her in.

"Hey Bones" he mumbled. "Thought you weren't supposed to be back yet." Booth shut the door behind his partner and turned to take a good look at her as she dropped her coat on his couch.

He nearly tripped over his own feet walking back into his living room because he couldn't take his eyes off her. He'd seen Bones dressed to kill before. Her Halloween costume had knocked him for a loop and the little red number she'd worn in Vegas had nearly given him a heart attack. He was pretty sure she wasn't doing it on purpose this time. He'd seen her dress for a date before too. Heck, he'd shown up in the middle of one date to arrest the guy. He'd stormed Sully's boat to drag her onto a case. This was different. This was casual Bones, a look he didn't get to see often despite the amount of time they seemed to spend together.

Her simple tank top and jeans outfit shouldn't have had such an impact, but the low scoop of her neckline had combined with the way the jeans molded to her hips and the unexpectedness of her arrival to ratchet up his usual response. Then his eyes skated back up her body and he noticed that her mouth was moving, though he couldn't hear anything. Was she chewing gum?

Booth's brain froze. He'd only seen her with gum once before.

Bones took two deliberate steps towards him and stopped to swallow. The voice of Sister Mary echoed down through the years and he started talking as Bones rounded the couch to stand toe to toe with him.

"I can't believe you just swallowed your gum. That's gross Bones. Didn't anyone ever tell you it takes 7 years to break down in your stomach? How could you just…"

She cut him off with a finger to the lips. "Booth, that's a complete fallacy. Gum passes through the digestive tract at the same rate of speed as everything else. Now stop talking."

Bones' finger slid over his chin and down his throat to worry at his collar for a moment before she leaned across the last few inches and pressed her lips against his.

And then they done sex. ;-) The End!