Just a little something I HAD HAD HAD to write after seeing The Verdict In The Story. (No, it wasn't me screaming "KISS" at the screen, what are you talking about?) Brennan turns up at Booth's apartment.

She walks into the corridor, head spinning slightly.

Walks up to the door, feels the doorbell under her finger. Presses.

He walks through his apartment, shoving a shirt over his shoulders.

Walks to his door, peers through the peephole. Smiles.

The door opens with a resounding creak, and seeing her there makes his heart swell a little bit. She's got the little half smile on her face she gives when she doesn't know what to say or do.

He's got that grin on his face that come to think of it, she's only seen when he looks at Parker. Or at her.

She steps over the threshold, as if crossing some invisible line. He smiles, and takes her coat as she closes the door behind her.

Neither of them mention that it's three o'clock in the morning, neither of them consider the fact that this goes beyond partners and friends, that Sweets would have a field day. Or he might laugh.

He hangs her coat over his closet door handle and offers her a drink. She smiles wider, and agrees.

Minutes later they are sat enjoying a whisky on Booth's couch, trying not to grin like idiots at each other over the rims of their glasses. "I beat you." she says, enjoying the taste of the words on her tongue. "I won."
He rolls his eyes. "Don't you always?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing." he says, shrugging, and pours himself another drink.
"Logically, Booth, it meant something."
He laughs, cutting off her little speech about logics. "I meant you always beat me. You always win."
She looks at him strangely, and doesn't respond. He pours her another glass as well, because he feels she needs it. Hell, they both need it.

"I was glad, though." he adds, quieter this time, and her eyes dart up to meet his. "Glad that you won."
She smiles, wider still. "Thank you." she says, and they both know she isn't talking about that comment, or about the drink, or about letting her in at this unearthly hour of the morning.
Something in him cracks. "Jeez, Bones, I was put on the stand today and I had to say there was a possibility you killed someone!" his tone isn't accusing, or even hurt. It's almost incredulous.
"Sorry." she says. "I did think about how hard it would be for you, you know."
He shrugs. "It's ok. It was a means to an end."

A silence hangs between them.

"I couldn't compartmentalise. Not completely."
He looks at her, feeling it is not yet time for a response.

"Not when Angela said he might get the... the electric chair. Not completely."
He shakes his head. "No one except you expected you to."
"I'm usually good at objectifying." It's confusion in her eyes now, confusion that she has shown emotion, and for that he loves her even more.
"And it's not usually your Dad, Bones. It's ok." He reaches out for her and she leans into his arms, not stopping to wonder when guy hugs became frequent and, well... less like guy hugs.

And as for Booth, well he thinks about nothing other than what it would be like to hold her like this forever, and how he wishes he could.

"We know he did it, Booth. I know he did it, and I still did everything to stop it. Does that make me a bad person?"
He lets out the indignant, "No!" before she's even finished, and she smiles, seemingly not noticing he's still holding her at arms length. Gradually, they slide away from each other, back to their drinks, awkward again.

"Bones, I want you to know... I want you to know that if I could... I would have... I..." he draws in a deep breath. "I would have done what Angela did..."
She looks up at him, and the tears in her eyes are enough to undo him.
"I...I wouldn't have expected you to, Booth."
He takes one of her hands in his. "No. You wouldn't have. And you know what, Bones, that's what makes you you. You wouldn't have blamed me, even if he had gone down to the electric chair. Although you would have every right to. I arrested him, for-"
"I don't blame you for that! You had no-"
"Shut up, Bones." he says, and she falls silent, all the fight gone out of her. She looks down at their hands, joined in her lap, and a single tear falls on his thumb. "I just wanted you to know that when I was on that stand, if I could have been any place else..."
Hey eyes are raised to his, again. This time a smile touches her lips. "We got told off for whispering in the court. Like schoolchildren."
He grins, and thumbs away the tear.
"Like schoolchildren." he echoes, "Did you have fun celebrating with Russ and your Dad?"
She grins. "Yes. I was going to ask you to come but you just wandered off..."
"Hey, Bones, I don't really think I would have been the most welcome, do you? I was the arresting officer, witness for the prosecution..."
She laughes a little bit. "It was... nice. Thank you."
He smiles. Suddenly she gets up, draining her drink and heading towards the door. "I'd better go, it's getting late."

He won't let her run. Not today. Not now.

He catches her wrist. "Bones, why don't we talk about why you really turned up on my doorstep at three in the morning?"
Immediately, the deer-in-the-headlights, trapped animal look in her eyes makes him almost back down, but this has gone too far and on too long.
"What do you mean?"
"Come on, Bones..."
She knows what he means. "I...I have to go."
His eyes are dark. Hurt. Let down.
"You're not fooling anyone, Temperance, not even yourself."
The first name hisses. He's feeding the flames.
"I don't-"
"Why here, Bones? Why not Angela's? Why not back to your father's? Your brother's"
"I can't..."
"Bones, just talk."
"What do you want me to say, Booth? That seeing you on that stand, fighting to say what you had to say, seeing you hurting, hurt ten times more than the fact you were up there? That not being able to talk to you about the case, not being able to talk to my best friend, made me feel completely alone? That when you hugged me before the verdict I didnt ever want to let you go? That all I could think about all night was what you did for me and my father, even though you're FBI and you're supposed to be on the side of the law and-"

His lips descend onto hers, meeting softly, testing, waiting for resistance. Waiting, giving her the out she needs.

She doesn't take it, of course. Her eyes, wide with shock, full with emotion, drift slowly closed to mirror his and her arms come around his neck. He wraps her in his arms and it's only when he's holding her tightly to him, and she's safe against him, that he furthers the kiss.

Sparks ignite, and fireworks explode. Two hearts beat out the same rhythm.

He pulls back. She's looking up at him, smiling that smile he knows is reserved just for him.

She might always win. The arguments, the games, even the cases.

It doesn't matter right now. He's won this time. He'll be winning forever, if only he can hang on to her.

He holds her to him tightly, thanking God that Max Keenan was found not guilty, thanking God that she's such a genius, thanking God that maybe... just maybe... she loves him as much as he loves her.

Reviewies much loved. Thank you. :D