Disclaimer: Not mine. Belong to Fox. Sad for me.

"Because I love you, and it would destroy me if anything happened to you." The words hung in the air between them. He was repulsed, unable to believe that he had allowed that to escape, fearing that he had broken everything between them.

He had been so careful, never letting himself cross that invisible line he had drawn. In part since they were partners, and there were certain parameters they needed to function within. Mostly, though, because he knew she wasn't ready. Friendship, the closeness that had grown over the last several years, that was what she needed from him. So he carefully kept his feelings under wraps, not wanting to do anything that might put that friendship in jeopardy. He knew there were moments when it showed, when he touched her just a little too long, lingered when he shouldn't have, watched her when she wasn't paying attention. But she didn't notice, or she pretended not to.

But anger, fear, those two combined had been surging through him. Someone had been, was still trying to kill her. And she had simply refused to listen to him; had refused to stay away from the crime scene, stay out of the lab, give it a little while until he could be sure she would be safe. She'd argued and poked, explaining over and over that this was their job, his and hers, and that she would be fine, nothing would happen to her, until the words had exploded from him.

Booth stood there, struggling to find a way to undo it, to take it back, to turn it into some kind of joke, convert it into something inside her comfort zone. Something that wouldn't drive her away. But as he watched, shock and confusion both flitted across her face, shock, confusion, and the beginnings of something else.

Brennan stepped toward him, searching his face for some kind of answer. "What did you just say?"

He breathed deeply, struggling to regain some sort of self control, feeling himself fail. He reached out, laying a hand upon her arm. "You have to be safe, make better choices, Bones. Don't you understand what is happening here? How much I need you? I can't even begin to know how I would cope without you." He reached up, fingers shaking, and gently brushed her hair from her face. Fear plus the desire that always accompanied being this close to Brennan mixed within him. She didn't pull back, seemed to be searching for a response. An answering awareness appeared to flash across her eyes. She reached up, laying her hands, palms open, against his chest. For a brief second, Booth was afraid she would push him away. Instead, as he watched, her breath quickened; she carefully leaned forward and brushed her lips across his.

Need shot through him, overriding everything else. As Brennan leaned back, searching his expression for some unknown answers, he leaned in and captured her mouth, first gently, then more insistently, sliding his tongue across hers. He felt, rather than heard, her moan and his accompanying one as he pulled her tightly against him, tangling his hands in her hair.

They broke apart for air, standing, foreheads touching, panting. His hand came up to cup her face; she turned, kissing his palm, licking it, and he completely came undone, so aroused, losing whatever control he had left. Booth pushed her against the wall, pressing his hardness against her, loving the small mewling sounds she made as he kissed his way down her neck. She smelled so unbelievably wonderful. He felt her hands beneath his shirt, stroking his back as he brought his hand around to palm her breasts, beginning to undo her shirt, longing to touch her skin. Somehow they began to move, still kissing and caressing, toward the bedroom, shedding clothing along the way.

Afterwards, Booth lay there, arm draped across her, holding her against his side, lost for words, feeling as if his heart might explode. Trying to calm his brain down enough to figure out how to save this. Keep her from pulling away . Make sure she would let him touch her again, not disappear. Brennan turned toward him, kissing his chest, then pushing up on her elbow to look at his face.

"What happens now?" she asked, lightly running her fingers up and down his arm.

"We find a way to make this work, keep our jobs, catch bad guys?" he halfheartedly joked, leaning up kiss her, but inside, holding his breath, hoping, waiting for her to reply.

"That's not what I meant. We'll do all of that. This is too important, you are too important, for that to work any other way. It's one of those heart head things you were talking about. Except my heart and head are agreeing. Besides, that was amazing." She paused, climbing across him, kissing him deeply. "How long do you think we have to wait to do it again?"

He flipped her beneath him, leaning into her. "So what did you mean?"

"How are we going to rectify the fact I am not going to just hide until you think it is safe for me to show my face again? We work together, all of us, to stop this deranged person."

"As long as we are together, we will find a way." He whispered, leaning down to kiss her.

A/N: Thanks to Mrs. Pollifax for her wonderful advice and editing.