Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well. This story's set kind of in between "Aliens in a Spaceship." It's after Booth and the Squints rescued Brennan and Hodgins but before Booth took her to Church. I hope you all enjoy it!

Bones and the characters aren't mine, and the dialogue at the end was borrowed from "Aliens in a Spaceship."

They walked quietly up to her apartment door. The ride to her home had been silent as well. After a few whispered words at the scene to assure him that she was physically fine, she hadn't said anything to him since he had pulled her from what was supposed to be her grave.

The medics had instantly rushed Hodgins, and coincidentally, Angela, off to the hospital before focusing on Brennan. She had immediately refused any medical attention. She knew she was fine and didn't want to spend hours in a hospital having a thousand different doctors test her for various things she knew she didn't have. All she wanted to do was go home, take a long, hot shower, crawl into her warm, inviting bed, and go to sleep.

Booth picked up on her desire to get away from everything and all the fuss they were making and angrily pushed newspaper and television reporters out of their way as they made their way up to his SUV. As he opened the passenger door for her, a fellow FBI agent had informed him that she needed to be taken to the J. Edgar Hoover Building for questioning. He had told the agent that she could answer the same questions just as well the next day before getting into his car and driving her away from all the madness.

It was early in the afternoon as they walked up to her apartment. She had spent the night underground after being attacked in the parking garage. She knew it was afternoon but had no idea what time it was. Her mind couldn't even remember what the little red numbers in his SUV had said even though she stared at them half of the way home. She didn't know what had gone on while she and Hodgins were…away, but from the look of his face, Booth hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, either.

Brennan panicked as she realized that her keys were with the gym bag that was still sitting in the car underground. She turned to Booth and opened her mouth to ask how they were going to get in. He beat her to it and produced a key from his jacket pocket. She didn't ask why he had it or how he got it. The only thing she cared about was getting inside.

Booth stood behind her as she turned to put the key into the lock. He could see the dirt streaked through her hair and over her skin. He was worried about her. She was being so quiet and so still. Her emotions were hidden; her face expressionless, but he could see the fear and relief behind her eyes. She seemed to be having some trouble getting the key into the lock. He placed his hands on her hips and spoke quietly, almost afraid to disrupt the silence that had enveloped them since they got into his car.

"Do you need help?" he asked, knowing she wouldn't allow it.

"No," she instantly replied. "I can do it for myself."

She got the key into the lock and pushed open the door. Booth secured the deadbolt lock and the chain on her door as she walked slowly into the room.

"Are you okay?" he asked her, knowing she would lie to him.

"Yes. Why?" she predictably replied.

"You just haven't said anything. That's not like you," he smirked.

"I don't have anything to say," she said quietly. "Who's going to be questioning me at the FBI later?"

"I don't know, but I won't leave you alone in there if you don't want me to," he said. He wished he could conduct her questioning himself, but he knew Cullen wouldn't allow it since they were partners.

She nodded and smiled slightly. "Thanks."

"You must be starving. What kind of food are you in the mood for?" he asked, picking up the phone to order takeout.

"I just want to shower and get in bed," she said, shaking her head. Upon his concerned look, she added, "I'll eat when I wake up. I promise."

"Okay. Do you want me to stay?" he asked, knowing that she'd say no even though she really meant yes.

"That's not necessary," she said. "I'm sure you could use some sleep yourself. You can go home if you'd like."

"Temperance, I'll stay if you want me to. It's okay for you to want me to stay," he said, curling his finger under her chin. The expression on her face softened at his gentle touch.

She finally nodded. "Just…in case."

"I'll be out here if you need me. Go shower," he said.

She nodded and walked into the bathroom. Booth took off his jacket and sat down at her kitchen table. He took a deep breath and buried his face in his hands.

She's okay. Hodgins is okay. We saved them. They saved themselves, Booth thought, his mind racing. But that son of a bitch is still out there.

His stomach grumbled, and he realized he hadn't eaten anything since he was in the diner with Cam the night before. He stood and walked into Brennan's kitchen to make himself something to eat. He opened cabinet after cabinet, amazed at how little food she actually had in her apartment. He made a mental note to have a talk with her about that when she was feeling better. He rummaged through her refrigerator until he found enough food to make a sandwich with.

Brennan closed the door to the bathroom but left it unlocked. For once in her life there wasn't a single thought swirling around in her head. Once inside and covered by the door, she stripped her clothes off of her body almost instantly and watched as particles of dirt and whatever else she had been buried in fell from the cloth onto the tiled floor of her bathroom.

She threw her clothes into a laundry hamper and looked up at her reflection in the mirror. She barely recognized the girl she saw in the mirror. Her eyes looked gray to her instead of their normal baby blue color. There was dirt splashed throughout her hair and over her face. There were even traces of it on her chest. The dark color of the ground provided a huge contrast against her pale skin. She stared into the glass and used a single fingertip to trace a line of dirt from her collarbone to the top of her breast.

The dirt that covered her skin was really traces of him, the one who had placed her down there to die. She needed to cleanse her body and her mind of the events of the last twelve hours, but she felt physically and emotionally broken. Stepping into the shower and washing away the temporary physical scars seemed like an impossible feat. Only one thought raced through her mind.

If it weren't for Booth, I'd be dead right now.

That line repeated over and over in her head as if it were on a loop. She hated this. She hated feeling weak and broken. She hated being afraid to be alone. Most of all, she hated that the killer who had caused her to feel helpless was still out there.

Booth sat at her table eating a sandwich and staring out the window. It was a beautiful day: sunny, with clear skies and no wind. He thought of all the people who were probably playing outside, riding bikes or hiking or playing on swing sets, enjoying the last bit of warm weather before winter. He envied them. He should be outside enjoying the nice weather instead of sitting in his partner's kitchen feeling utterly defeated. The two halves of his brain also seemed to be at war with each other.

She should be dead right now.

But she's not.

You saved her.

The Squints saved them. You didn't do anything.

She needs me.

No, she doesn't. You want her to need you. Bones never needs anyone.

As he finished the last few bites of his lunch, his ear picked up small noises coming from the bathroom. It was then that he noticed the water in the shower hadn't been turned on since she went in there. He threw away his trash and walked over to the bathroom door.

"Bones," he said, knocking. Sounds of deep sobbing met his ear, but she didn't respond. He knocked again. "Bones?" Still no response. He tried the handle. Unlocked. "I…I'm coming in."

He expected to walk in and find her leaning back against her counter, wiping the tears from her face. Instead, he found her sitting in her dry, cold bathtub, leaning against the back wall. She was naked and crying, her body curled into a ball.

"Oh, God," he said when he realized she wasn't wearing anything. "Jeez, Bones, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were…I'm sorry."

She barely lifted her head to look up at him, eyes overflowing with tears. She had heard him knocking, and she wasn't sure whether she had chosen to ignore him or whether she had wanted him to come inside and find her like this.

Being buried in a car overnight while her only companion was passed out in the backseat had given her a lot of time to think. More than anything, she thought about Booth and what they meant to each other. She recalled every fight, every sweet thing he had ever done for her, every night that was spent over takeout in her apartment. She had analyzed the evidence, like a good scientist would, and, after careful review of the facts, concluded that someday, inevitably, their friendship would turn into more.

She just didn't realize at the time that she apparently wanted that day to be today.

"It's okay," she muttered.

"No, I shouldn't have…I'll just go," he replied, flustered. He couldn't even see anything other than her pale skin due to her curled up position, but he still felt like he was violating her privacy. He turned to leave.

"No," she said as soon as she saw him begin to walk out of the door.

"No?" he asked, stopping in the door frame. He turned back to her.

"Stay," she said just loud enough for him to hear her.

"But you're…" he started, not knowing how to finish that sentence.

"Get in here with me," she said. Her mind was completely independent of her mouth at this point, and she could barely believe what she was saying.

Booth remained by the door. "In the shower with you?"

"I don't want to be alone right now," she confessed.

He knew that must have been a hard thing for her to admit, and the sad look on her face made him want to do exactly as she asked, no matter how unprofessional or stupid the idea was.

"I know, Bones, but don't you think that would be a little inappropriate?" he asked. He didn't want to turn her down, so he decided to try to get her to take it back.

"Booth," she said. She stood, climbed over the side of the tub, and walked over to him. It took everything he had in him to keep his eyes focused on her face and not stare at her exposed body.

"What's going on in that head of yours, Bones?" he asked.

"It's an anthropological inevitability for our relationship to evolve beyond the platonic friendship level," she said in her scientific tone that he had grown so accustomed to. That was the Brennan he knew. She began to grin as she watched him fight the urge to explore her body with his eyes.

"What?" he asked with a slight chuckle, completely stunned by what she had just said to him.

"Hodgins was writing a note to Angela, and when he asked me if there was anyone I wanted to say goodbye to, I could only think of you," she explained. "Then, when Hodgins had passed out, I kept thinking about how, by the time you found me, I'd be dead, and now, I keep thinking that if it weren't for you, I would be."

"Bones, what are you trying to tell me?" he asked.

She took a deep breath. She could tell him. "If I were the kind of person that believes in love…I think that's how I would feel towards you," she confessed.

He stared into her eyes, even more stunned by that last confession. It wasn't exactly 'I love you,' but coming from Brennan, it might as well have been. She loved him. Now he resisted the urge to smile and jump and down like Angela would if she could hear this conversation. He cupped her face into his palms.

"These last twelve hours have been the most terrifying hours of my life. I thought I was going to lose you, and I just couldn't deal with that," he said.

She looked slightly confused. "Really?"

"Yeah, I've got a few Squints to apologize to tomorrow. Anyway, just so you know, I love you, too," he said. She looked down at his chest before looking back into his eyes.

"Will you stay with me?" she asked again, uncertainty in her voice.

"Go turn the water on," he said, unbuttoning his shirt.

She had calmed down while talking to Booth, but she felt herself begin to cry again as the warm water hit her skin. She watched as the water running off her arm turned a murky brown color from the dirt disappearing from her body. He saw her begin to cry again and finished undressing quickly, leaving his clothes in a forgotten heap on her bathroom floor.

He stepped in behind her and drew the curtain shut around them. She immediately turned, walked back to meet him, wrapped her arms around his chest, and started crying into his shoulder. Booth shut his eyes and lost all train of thought as he felt her bare breasts press into his chest. They stood just outside of the spray's reach, and Booth pulled her closer to his body and let her cry.

He rubbed her slightly slick back, trying to soothe her heavy sobbing. Her arms bent to curl up his back and rest on his shoulders. Little droplets of water transferred from her chest and stomach to his, and he rested his face on her hair.

Booth knew she was hurting, but he couldn't help but revel in how incredibly sensuous their current situation was. He could feel every curve and contour of her body pressed against his skin. He still had no idea what she looked like, but he could feel her small frame tucked snugly against him. He could feel her warm tears and hot, heavy breathing against his chest, and, if he peeked over her shoulder, he could see little water droplets running down her back and over the curve of her ass.

"Shh…" he whispered. "It's okay."

"No, it's not okay. He, or she, I suppose, is still out there," she said quietly.

"We'll get him, okay? I promise you we will get him," he told her with confidence.

"What if he finds out I survived without the ransom being paid and…" she started, but Booth cut her off.

"It's not going to happen. I got you, okay? You're safe, Temperance," he said.

She nodded and pulled away from him, barely stepping into the water's spray. Booth seized the opportunity to finally look at her. Her eyes were closed as the water soothed her aching muscles and washed the tears away from her face. His eyes traveled over the pale skin of her neck, chest, and arms. He watched the water run over her full breasts, pink nipples, and flat stomach. He allowed his admiring gaze to linger over her stomach, hips, and the dark curls that disappeared between her legs before traveling over the long, slender legs that made up her tall frame. He stepped towards her and clutched her hips. She opened her eyes at his touch, and he looked directly into them.

"You're so beautiful," he whispered to her. "So fucking beautiful."

She slightly smiled at him, unaware that he had been staring at her. She placed her hands on top of his. "Thanks," she whispered.

"Let's get you cleaned up, okay?" he asked. She nodded.

He walked her backwards until she was fully immersed in the water pouring from the showerhead. She tilted her head back and lifted her hair to saturate it with water, but she gasped in pain as the warm water hit the burned skin on her neck.

"What? Too hot?" Booth asked.

"No, it's not that. The stun gun," she said, pushing her hair aside so he could see the mark on her neck.

"Oh," he said, stroking her cheek. He leaned in and placed a light kiss over her burning skin. "We'll put some medicine on that when we get out."

She nodded and titled her head back into the water, wincing in pain. He grabbed a bottle of strawberry-scented shampoo from her shelf and poured a generous amount into his hands. She leaned her head back up and ran her hands slowly up and down the sides of his chest and stomach while he worked the gel through her hair, trying to remove all the pieces of ground from her auburn locks. He stepped with her back into the water and rinsed out her hair as the water flowed over both of their heads. She closed her eyes and moaned softly as the warm water hit her scalp and Booth massaged her head to get the shampoo out.

Booth watched her closely as she moaned in pleasure and immediately tried to commit the sound to memory. He spun around, grabbed a bar of soap, and handed it to her. She lathered up her hands and began smearing the suds onto his chest. He chuckled slightly at her unexpected actions before relaxing and letting her work.

Her soapy fingers traced the muscles on his chest. She used this time to look at his body. She had seen him without a shirt before, knew how well-defined his muscles were, but she felt like she was looking at him for the first time. She barely had time to allow her eyes to travel over his tanned legs and slightly erect penis before he spun her around.

He turned her away from him and pressed her back against his now soapy chest. As much as Booth was enjoying having Brennan's hands caress his chest, he knew that this was about her feeling good, not him. He used the soap to fill his own hands with suds and began to slide his now slippery hands against her breasts. She sighed as he touched her and leaned her head back into the space between his neck and his shoulder.

He continued to massage her breasts, finally dragging his thumbs across her nipples. They puckered under his touch, and she let out another sigh. She was gently leaning her hips back and forth into his waist as he touched her, and her movements, combined with the feel of her skin beneath his palms, caused him to grow hard.

She felt his arousal against her lower back and reached between them to run her hand over his length. He groaned and tightened his grip on her breasts. She moved her hand against him again, producing another moan from deep within his throat. Once more, and she couldn't take it anymore. She wiggled out of his touch and turned to face him, a seductive look in her eyes.

Brennan stepped towards Booth, and he involuntarily took a step back, causing him to lean against the back wall of the shower. Steam from the water rose around them as she brought her leg up to rest her foot on the side of the tub, trying to guide his penis into her center. He felt her wet folds brush against his leg and held her hips to stop her from moving. She looked up at him with a confused and hurt expression on her face.

"Uh, uh," he said, shaking his head. "Not right now."

"What?" she asked. "Why?"

"Because, Temperance, you deserve more than just a quick fuck against your bathroom wall. Our first time making love is going to be soft and slow and in a bed," Booth said in a low, raspy voice.

She paused as she realized he had thought about what their first time together would be like. Her lips curled into a small smile. "Okay," she agreed. "But, Booth, I need…" He cut her off.

"Turn around," he muttered.

She did as he asked, once again leaning her head back into his neck. He slowly drug his hands down her stomach, ridding his fingers of the remaining suds. He gently lifted one of her legs and placed it back on the side of the bathtub. He reached down and stroked her between her legs, and she unconsciously trembled against his touch, her eyes fluttering shut. Booth repeated the action and slipped one finger inside of her. He felt her muscles contract around his finger before adding another. She buried her head further into his neck as the movements of his fingers became faster and deeper within her. His arms were around her hips, and they held her steady as he moved his thumb against her to heighten the sensations she was feeling. After several minutes, she turned her face and placed several quick kisses on his neck before moaning loudly as waves of pleasure washed over her.

He removed his fingers and wrapped his arms around her stomach, holding her close to him as her breathing returned to normal. She lowered her leg back to the bathtub floor and placed another kiss along his jaw line. Neither spoke, and she continued to relax in his arms as he used his hands to wash her chest, stomach, and arms. She kept her eyes closed and enjoyed the feeling of his hands on her now overheated skin.

After he was sure all traces of her ordeal had been washed down the drain, he shut the water off and pushed back the curtain. She grabbed two towels out of her closet and handed one to him.

They toweled off quietly in her steam-filled bathroom. He put his boxers back on and walked into her bedroom to get something comfortable for her to wear. He returned with an oversized FBI shirt he had given her. She was just finishing drying her hair, and had returned to looking at her reflection in the mirror. He watched her for a moment before walking in with the shirt.

"This good?" he asked. She nodded and pulled it over her head. "Now, do you have any kind of medication for that burn?"

She pulled back one of the sides of her mirror and pulled out a small, white tube.

"This should do it," she said.

"Okay, turn, please," he asked.

She turned her back to him once again, and he gently moved her damp hair out of his way. He placed another small kiss onto her neck before squeezing some of the cream onto his fingertips.

"This will probably sting," he warned her. She shrugged.

"Just do it," she said.

He gently applied the cream to the red circles on her neck, and she immediately hissed in pain, just as she had done when the hot water assaulted her skin. He grabbed her waist to hold her steady and rubbed his thumb against the fabric of the shirt to distract her from the stinging.

"Okay, we're done. Time for bed?" he asked.

"Yes," she said simply.

"You want me with you?" he asked.

"Yes," she admitted.

He followed her to her bedroom, shutting the door behind him, and drew the blinds shut to block out the sun as she climbed into bed. He then climbed into bed next to her, pulling the covers over them both. Booth glanced over and found Brennan already sleeping soundly, a pillow wrapped tightly in her arms.

"I love you," he whispered to her before falling asleep on his side of her bed.

A few hours later, Booth awoke to the sounds of tiny whimpers and rustling bed covers. As his eyes focused, he saw Brennan tossing and turning, her face slick with sweat. He knew she was having a nightmare. He also knew that it unfortunately wouldn't be her last.

"Bones," he said, moving towards her. She let out a small gasp. "Hey, Bones. Wake up." He shook her gently.

"Booth?" she whispered.

"Yeah, Bones. I'm here," he said. "What happened?"

"I was back in the car. We blew out the windshield, but I couldn't reach the surface alone. You weren't there," she said quietly.

He didn't know what to say to her, so he simply brushed a tear from her face and wrapped an arm around her stomach. Her t-shirt had shifted up her body during her nightmare-induced movements, and his fingertips rested on the bare skin of her hips.

"Are you gonna be okay?" he asked.

"Yeah," she sighed, looking at his face.

Her head moved towards his, and he moved his up to meet hers. Their lips met in a soft, open-mouthed kiss. Booth fought back a laugh as he realized that this was their first kiss. He had seen her naked, allowed his hands to thoroughly explore her body, but he never once during all of that stopped to actually kiss her mouth.

They sucked gently on the other's lip, she on his bottom one, and he with her top lip. He applied a bit more pressure and touched his tongue to her mouth. She opened her mouth wider beneath his lips. Their tongues met in between their mouths and curled together. Their lips closed around each other's one last time before they simultaneously pulled away. Before letting her go completely, Booth leaned in again and placed another short, gentle kiss on her lips.

"Still don't believe in love?" he asked. He gazed into her eyes and smoothed her hair against her head.

She giggled slightly. "No, but I think you may be able to come dangerously close to persuading me otherwise."

"So are you awake or do you need to sleep some more?" he asked.

"I'm awake. Why?" she asked.

"Get dressed," he said, sitting up.

"Why?" she asked.

"You need to eat, and there's somewhere I want to take you first," he said.

"Where?" she asked.

"You'll see, Bones. Get dressed."

He walked to her bathroom and put his suit back on as she dressed in her bedroom. They climbed into his car, and, after she realized he wasn't going to reveal their destination, drove in silence.

Booth pulled into a parking space at his Catholic church. She looked stunned.

"What are we doing here?" she asked.

"You wanted to come," he said, remembering their earlier conversation.

"And you told me to turn on the religious channel," she pointed out. "And it's not Sunday."

"It doesn't have to be Sunday to go to church. Come on," he said.

Booth met her at the front of the SUV and placed his hand on the small of her back to guide her inside. She was touched that he was letting her into this secret part of his life.

"Booth," she said and stopped walking.

"What's wrong? You asked to come here," he said.

"What if I offend someone?" she asked nervously. He immediately opened his mouth to tell her she wouldn't, but stopped.

"Just…you know, don't…talk to anyone," he said, deciding that was a safer answer. She glared at him.

"Booth," she said again.

"Just do your anthropology thing and observe, and it'll be fine. There probably won't be many people in here for you to offend anyway," he said.

Brennan sat against the wooden pew near the front of the church alternating her gaze between the stained-glass windows and the altar and the man sitting besides her praying to his god. She had noticed an offending smell when they entered the room, but she hadn't yet been able to ascertain where it was coming from. She finally settled her eyes on Booth.

He picked his head up and joined her against the pew. She wanted to speak to him, ask him what he was praying for, but she was worried about disrupting his silence. Curiosity got the better of her.

"What did you ask for?" she asked.

He spoke in a low, quiet voice. "That's between me and a certain Saint."

She nodded. Of course he wouldn't tell her. He noticed the slightly disappointed look in her eyes.

"Although I did ask for a little help finding the Gravedigger," he revealed.

"Good move," she said. The offending smell hit her nose again and she crinkled it up. "What's that smell?"

"The candles," he answered, gesturing to them. "And I said thanks. You should try it sometime."

She resisted the urge to roll her eyes at his suggestion. She hadn't expected him to try to convert her.

"If I were going to pray, I would've done it just before we set off the explosion," she said.

"And you didn't?" he asked, surprised.

Okay, she thought. We can play it this way if you want to.

"No," she said. "See, if there was a god, which there isn't…"

"Shhh!" he interrupted. "Do you see where we are?"

This is what I get for going against my instincts and bringing her here, he thought.

"And if I were someone who believed he had a plan…" she continued.

"Which I do," he said, his anger building.

Don't get mad at her, idiot. You're the one who started it, he thought.

"Then I'd be tempted to think he wanted me to go through something like I went through because it might make me more open to the whole…concept," she finished, satisfied with her response to his ridiculous suggestion that she try praying to his invisible friend.

"Hmm…" he replied. Her suggestion sounded logical to him. "It obviously hasn't."

Because God's never had to deal with someone as stubborn as Temperance Brennan before! he thought.

"I'm okay with you thanking God for saving me and Hodgins," she said.

Well, gee, Bones, thank you for your permission, he thought. He calmed himself down and looked at her. He returned to his low tone of voice.

"That's not what I thanked him for," he said. She looked confused. "I thanked him for saving…all of us. It was all of us, every single one. You take one of us away, and you and Hodgins are in that hole forever. And I'm thankful for that."

She still didn't quite understand what he had just said to her, but maybe she wasn't meant to. She felt her eyes begin to fill with tears again.

"I knew you wouldn't give up," she said, her voice breaking. He smiled at her.

"I knew you wouldn't give up," he told her.

She returned his smile and leaned over to his ear. "Is it a sin if I kiss you in church?"

He cupped his hand around her face. "Not for people who are in love," he teased.

"But I don't believe in love," she instantly replied.

"But if you did?" he asked, wanting to hear her say it.

"Then I love you," she answered.

His face lit up at her words, causing her lips to twitch into a similar smile. She leaned in for a warm and gentle kiss. He moved his hand from her cheek to the curls that framed her face, letting the silky strands run through his fingers. She held his face between her hands as they sweetly kissed.

"What now?" she asked after pulling away.

"Food," he said. "You still haven't eaten."

"Diner?" she asked.

Booth froze, remembering the voice message he had received the last time he was at the diner.

"How about Wong Foo's?" he asked.

"Okay," she agreed.

He handed her the SUV keys. "I'll be right there."

She stood up and started towards the church's door, wondering why he was staying. She hung back by the entrance, waiting for him, watching him.

Once she had left him, Booth said another prayer, one unrelated to the Gravedigger and Brennan's ordeal. This prayer was different. If Booth couldn't get Brennan to believe in God's love for her, maybe God could help Brennan believe in Booth's love for her and hers for him.

Booth stood and turned to leave the chapel when he saw her standing in the doorway watching him. He caught up to her and took her hand in his.

"What did you ask for this time?" she asked. He squeezed her hand, knowing she'd kill him if she knew.

"Maybe I'll tell you someday," he said with a twinkle in his eye. She gave him a strange look and curled her fingers around his, letting him lead her to the parking lot.

Reviews are greatly appreciated! I've never attempted an M story before, so I'd love to hear what you thought of it.