Three Paces at Dawn

A/N: So, I've been owing Jessah this fic for, what, three months now? Way overdue. A lot of stuff got in the way...but here it is. A long time coming.

He was running...

He was running, running down the street in the Batman Jimjams that Parker had bought him for Christmas. No shoes- the matching slippers had fallen off somewhere around Deirdre street- and just enough sun to make sure he didn't run head first into a stop sign.

Seeley Booth was running. No, Seeley Booth was chasing, chasing something that wasn't necessarily moving. If you had asked him why, he wouldn't have an answer, because it was six am and he hadn't had his coffee and all of this had come to him in a dream. A big stupid dream that had it had seemed imperative he followed at the time.

Well, of course the time had been five in the morning. But that wasn't important.

What was important was that he was three blocks away from her house with no idea what he was going to say or, more importantly, do. He could kiss her, but she'd probably kill him with her Yukocraslovish Battle Spoon. He could babble, but she'd probably kill him with her mad karate skills.

Christ. Booth knew he should have brought his bullet proof vest.

Temperance Brennan was not a force to be reckoned with, especially not in a situation like this. He should just pop in, make up some excuse for the early hour and his superhero jimjams, have a spot of coffee and toast, and tell her that he loved her while watching Good Morning America! On the TV he hoped she had gotten to work.

...and then he'd run out of her house before she brought down the dual wraths of Karate Skills and Battle Spoon, change his name and move to Arizona.

It was perfect!

One block to her house. His feet were starting to go numb and thoughts- the rational kind- were one by one starting to filter back into his brain.

What the hell was he doing?

Why was he doing this in his superhero Jamjams?

Why had he left his goddamn slippers out for the dogs!? He had liked those pair!

Oh, Jesus. What the hell was he doing?

He had just woken up that morning, realizing (rather inconveniently) that he loved her. And that there was no getting over it, at least not before he had his coffee and obligatory morning bagel. And then there was the sudden urge to tell her right then, as if his life, his son, and his blueberry bagel depended on it.

Why had he acted on it?

But it was too late then, standing at her apartment door with his arm raised to knock. As Booth figured, there was only one thing left to do.

He brought his fist down on the wood door and pounded one, two, three solid times.