Disclaimer: This may come as a shock to some of you, (it shocked ME) but I didn't receive the rights to Bones for Christmas. My birthday IS coming up, though, so I'm sure I'll get them then. (nods)


It had been a really boring day for Dr. Lance Sweets. In fact, he had spent the past two hours doodling because Agent Edwards had cancelled last minute. Literally- one minute before his session was supposed to start. It seemed like no one respected him. Did they not see the nice certificate on the wall that stated his achievements? Sweets groaned when he heard shouting coming from down the hall. Great. Just what he needed. He could hear them very clearly. Most of D.C. could probably hear them clearly.

"That's not FAIR, Booth!" Sweets winced. Brennan sounded very angry.

"Life isn't fair, Bones. You should know that since you're so intelligent!" Hmm..Booth seemed slightly calmer than Brennan.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." Brennan laughed.

"You are so ANNOYING!" Sweets nearly jumped out of his seat when Booth threw the door open. The poor door bounced off of the wall with a bang, before swinging back and slamming shut. Sweets took a deep breath in and slowly let it out before speaking. He had learned that it was best to remain calm and patient when dealing with these two.

"Dr. Brennan. Agent Booth. Good afternoon. You know, you probably should call before you come, just to make sure that I'm free."

Booth laughed as he sat down on the couch. "What, did we interrupt your game time? Stop you from getting a new score on Call of Duty 4?" Brennan's eyebrows knit together in confusion and Booth continued before she could ask. "It's a video game, Bones."

"Oh. Well, I don't think that you should be playing games during your working hours, Dr. Sweets." Brennan responded. He tried his hardest to be patient, he really did, but Sweets couldn't help the automatic eye roll.

"I think he was being sarcastic, Dr. Brennan." Sweets glared at Booth.

Booth smiled. "Um, no. I was completely serious. It's alright, though. I won't tell your mommy."

"Booth! Don't be mean to the boy." Brennan hissed.

Sweets cleared his throat. "Was there a…reason you came here? I mean, I'm totally cool with you guys coming here, but I'm guessing that you didn't come just to visit with me."

"Well," Booth began, "Bones, here-"

"Don't blame this on me Booth!" Brennan quickly interrupted.

Sweets took another calming breath. So much for his boring day. "How about you each tell the story from your point of view. No interruptions allowed. Agent Booth, please continue."

"Thank you!" Booth said, sending a victorious smile at Brennan. "Anyway, I was just trying to do my job and protect Bones-"

"Protecting me is NOT your job, Booth! Your job is to catch murderers!"

Sweets sighed. "Dr. Brennan? Do you remember that I mentioned no interruptions? Please let Agent Booth finish first, and then you can tell me why you disagree."

Brennan crossed her arms in front of her chest and twisted her face into a pout. It was a strange sight that made Sweets want to laugh. Dr. Temperance Brennan, world renowned forensic anthologist and novelist was pouting like a child.

"Sheesh, Bones. You look like you're five." Booth said, gesturing at Brennan.

"I know! She totally does. " Sweets agreed. "I mean, um, please finish your story Agent Booth." he amended when he saw Brennan's glare.

"Right. So, I was just trying to do the right thing and protect Bones. The suspect had a gun aimed at her, but she had her back turned to look at the other guy. I jumped in front of her and pushed us both out of the way. No big deal." Booth finished.

"Alright." Sweets nodded, "Now, Dr. Brennan, please tell the story as you experienced it."

"Booth purposefully put himself in danger to 'save me'! He obviously has some sort of alpha-male superhero complex that I find extremely irritating!" Brennan huffed.

"What is wrong with you, Bones! Would you rather I let you get shot?" Booth asked angrily.

"YES!" Brennan shouted back.

The room was silent while everyone processed what Brennan had just said.

"Let me get this straight," Booth said skeptically, "You'd rather I let you get hurt then have me push us both out of the way so that neither of us is hurt? Are you insane?"

"You could have been hurt, Booth! Don't you understand that?" Brennan's voice shook with emotion.

Booth spoke slowly, obviously confused. "But..I wasn't…hurt."

Brennan shook her head in frustration. "Not this time, you weren't. But what about next time? Or the time after that? What if next time you die you actually die and don't come back in two weeks? Do you have any idea how it feels to know that you killed your partner?" Tears were threatening to fall by the end of Brennan's rant, but she blinked them away expertly.

Sweets had been expecting this to come up. He was actually amazed that she had made it this long without mentioning it. Making the decision to not force Brennan and Booth to discuss his "death" and the affect it had on Brennan had seemed like the right choice at the time, but as the months went by he had started to wonder if he should have brought it up sooner.

"Bones…" Booth whispered. Brennan shook her head again, clearly not wanting to be comforted right now.

"Just…don't. Please." Brennan begged in a weak voice.

"Bones…" Booth repeated, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't-"

"Didn't what, Booth?" Brennan snapped. "Didn't expect that I could actually feel things like a human being? Didn't expect that I might miss you if you died or feel guilty because it was all my fault? Didn't realize that I might really care about what happens to you?"

"Would you stop that? It was NOT your fault! I CHOSE to jump in front of you! " Booth was just as frustrated now.

"It was obviously a very stupid decision!" Brennan stood up as she said this. Sweets knew that there was a reason she stood and he should probably know that reason, but he was too engrossed in the argument to think about anything else.

"Stupid?" Booth repeated incredulously as he too stood. "Me saving your life is stupid?!"

Brennan was unwilling to back down. "If it means that you give up your life to do so, then absolutely."

"You are incredible." Booth muttered.

Brennan looked confused. "Thank you?" she questioned.

"That was not a compliment, Bones." Booth ran a hand through his hair in frustration.

"Oh." Brennan sat back down and Booth followed suit. Sweets awkwardly cleared his throat, realizing that he should say something.

"Is that why you don't like it when Agent Booth tries to protect you, Dr. Brennan? Because you feel that you are not worth it?"

Booth's eyes flashed with anger. "Of course she's worth it! What is wrong with you?!"

Sweets fought the urge to run from the room. It took all of his courage to remain seated and not start shaking. Taking yet another deep breath, he responded. "I didn't say that she wasn't. I was simply asking a question."

"Well, don't. That's a really stupid question. She knows that she's worth it. You do know that you're worth it, right Bones?" Booth looked at Brennan in concern.

"No, Booth, I am not." She answered in a frightening emotionless voice.

"Dr. Brennan, I can assure you that your life is worth saving." Sweets jumped in before Booth could respond. He really didn't want to listen to ten minutes of "Yes you are." "No I'm not". The sad part was that ten minutes might actually be an understatement of how long the two phrases would be bounced back and forth between the two partners.

"Thank you!" Booth exclaimed. Sweets felt relieved that the FBI Agent was pleased with him again. Booth could be very, very scary. "See, Bones? Sweets agrees with me!"

Brennan rolled her eyes. "Make up your mind, Booth. Is he a twelve year old that I should ignore or a professional that I should listen to?"

Booth seemed to seriously think before answering with "A professional, of course. Show a little respect, Bones!"

"Guys?" Sweets nervously interrupted. "Let's talk about this, okay?" His patients nodded silently, so he continued. "Can you explain why you don't appreciate Booth's protection, Dr. Brennan?"

"I never said I didn't appreciate it." Brennan corrected, "I just don't think that it's very fair. We're supposed to be partners. Equals. But it seems like Booth is always the one doing the protecting and the saving and I'm just some kind of…damsel in distress. Did I say that right?"

"I'm impressed, Bones!" Booth laughed. She ignored the hand he raised for a high five.

"Do you agree with that, Agent Booth?" Sweets asked. "That you are constantly saving Dr. Brennan?"

Booth shook his head. "No way. I need you, Bones. You know that. You've saved me before, too. That's what partners do- we save each other."

"I just…I just feel like I'm a burden to you." Brennan failed to hide the worry in her voice.

Booth gave Brennan a charm smile. "You're definitely not a burden. The opposite, actually. I'm honored to have you as my partner."

"Really?" Brennan questioned.

"Absolutely."

Brennan nodded. "I'm honored to have you as my partner, as well."

Sweets smiled at his patients who seemed to have forgotten that he was there. "See how you discussed your feelings to resolve the issues? That was totally awesome!"

"I suppose you are somewhat useful, after all." Brennan acknowledged.

"I'm not going to be offended by that backhanded compliment, just so you know." Sweets replied with a slight pout.

Booth frowned. "That was kinda rude, Bones."

"What?" Brennan seemed surprised. "I didn't intend it to be rude!"

"So, is there anything else you want to discuss?" Sweets asked eagerly.

"Nope." Booth smiled, "Thanks for the help, kid. I'll tell your mom to raise your allowance so that you can buy that comic book you've been saving up for."

Sweets sighed. Some things never changed.


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