After

You can't remember exactly how long you've waited for this. It feels like forever, sometimes. Part of you wanted it the moment you first laid eyes on her, a large part, really. And the first time she smiled at you… well, you almost took her right there, didn't you, Booth?

Your eyes haven't left her for half an hour, at least. You might have stopped blinking in that time, too, not wanting to miss a single millisecond. With each rise and fall of her chest, each steady exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale you brace yourself for an alarm to go off, waking you up. Because you must be dreaming, right? This can't be happening. You've waited so long you gave up hope, pushed the possibility out of you mind. Still. Might as well savor it, while you can.

Suddenly, you're really glad she's asleep. You have absolutely no idea how you would explain why the sight of her right now is so captivating to you. The look of complete calm that you've never seen on her face before, maybe? You think it may be her hair, at last spread across your pillow. You gently pick up an auburn lock and twirl it around your finger, smiling when she makes a small noise in her sleep. You don't want this to end. But you can't help wondering…

What happens next?

Your reasoning behind holding back as long as you did make sense. It wasn't like you made up all that stuff about how risky it would be for you—yeah, you were talking about you and her when you made that speech about lines, you admit it—to get involved. Not to mention that you can't imagine losing her. Her friendship. Her partnership. Sex changes things and nothing could be a worse change than that. As if to add to your fears, she chooses that exact moment to roll away from you, and you drop her hair, not wanting to wake her.

With a deep breath and a kiss on the back on her head, you close your eyes and try to get some sleep yourself. Whatever is going to happen can—has to—wait until tomorrow anyway. You shift over so you're next to her, then drape your arm across her stomach.

Might as well savor it, while you can.