Sort of a filler chapter. But there's more actual action to come. At least I threw in some filler smut, too.

"You okay?" Booth asked Bones as she slowly stretched after he swatted off the alarm, its rude morning blare calling them both back to attention. It was warm in Bones' bedroom, the closed curtains making it feel like a cocoon, and the soft weight of her comforter over them made him sure he never wanted to get up-- especially with Bones curled over him and his arms around her. Her bare skin. Especially after the way she'd responded to him last night when they started again.

It was amazing, the way she'd touched and caressed him-- the way she'd kissed him, met every thrust, made the most wonderful sounds in response to a really nice start all of the things he'd dreamt of doing with her-- it felt like a dream but it wasn't, because here they were in her bed.

Their second round of lovemaking last night started off langorously. She'd pressed him back into the bed, her talented hands and mouth drawing him so close for so long that he was trembling and sweating from need until he pushed her away so he could lay her beneath him and explore her heat with his hands -- as well as better enjoy the wanton expressions passing over her face as he delved into her center.

When she came, gripping his fingers as she cried his name mindlessly, he pulled her just to the edge of the bed and knelt, stroking just inside her entrance. She squirmed, and he couldn't resist teasing her as he withdrew and returned only an inch at a time, her head thrown back as she bucked into him, trying to bring him closer. Only when she was whining as she trembled and sweated as much as she'd made him earlier did he thrust himself home-- she climaxed almost instantly as he pumped into her, his own orgasm exploding through him not long afterward.

No one had quite responded like this to him before, and he'd never lost so much control to anyone either. But Bones had laid herself completely bare to him and he counted himself a lucky, miserable bastard that she let him in-- all the way.

He trailed his hand lightly over her spine, reveling in the soft feel of her skin under his palms. As he'd explored her and tasted her, he'd felt and seen scars of various types, mostly older. He determined to ask her about them-- sometime. Maybe she wrote about them and she'd let him read about them instead. Whatever their source, it had been some time since she'd earned them.

She was so beautiful-- to him. There were more textbook beautiful women out there, but her stubborn jaw, her generous curves, her flashing eyes, that slow smile so often only for him-- all made her more beautiful to him than anyone else he'd known-- though it was her brilliance, her passionate integrity, her sense of self-sacrifice that illuminated everything else.

"Mmmm," she said, cracking an eye. "Fine," she replied, seeming to understand that he was asking about her neck more than about them. "Not too tight, despite all that vigorous exercise." She gave him a feline smile at that remark, stretching further and making a satisfied noise as she rolled onto her back, twisting her head back and forth as she looked at him.

"Good," he replied, regretting that they'd set the alarm late enough that there would only be time to really get ready for work. "I suppose we have to go to work," he grumbled aloud.

"And eat breakfast," she teased, eyes sparkling. "Since that's the only thing mornings are good for."

The light of challenge was in her eyes as she said it, and he couldn't resist just a tease back. Shifting upward and back, he bent his head to her breasts, mumbling "I can think of a few other things" before he sucked one tight rose nipple into his mouth.

"Booth," she hissed, then squirmed and groaned when he slid one testing finger into her heat.

"Screw breakfast," he groaned as she closed her hand around him in response. "We can pick something up on the way."

I never used to offer to carry girls' schoolbags, but none of them quite looked like Bones, either, Booth thought as he followed his partner? girlfriend? lover? Bones into the lab, lugging the weekend's worth of work in two bags she'd somehow smuggled home. They weren't too late-- Cam still wasn't in, though Jack was and Angela too.

While Jack just smiled knowingly, Angela's sex-seeking radar apparently flashed, because her head whipped around as soon as Bones turned the corner into the main part of the lab and a leer the size of Cleveland bloomed on her face. She practically ran over, stillettoes and tight skirt being no impediment to Angela on a matchmaking mission.

"Studly," she said appraisingly, looking him over as Bones rolled her eyes and kept walking, a silly smile on her face nevertheless. "How are we this morning?"

Booth chuckled as they both followed Bones into her office, Angela clearly waiting for details. Booth set Bones' things down, ducked in to kiss her before she could swat him for getting all PDA in the workplace, and headed out before Angela could press him for details.

It didn't work. As he was headed back out the door, Ange called after him. "She's still walking straight! You can do better than that!"

Most of Booth's bullpen was still straggling in for the day as he walked into his office, unable to stop the spring in his step and the urge to whistle one of his favorite and most vulgar Army cadences. Charlie looked at him askance, probably wondering if Booth had gone manic depressive and was now on an upswing. I have been a goddamned moody Mary. I'd better order in pizza or something.

Whistling, he sat down at his desk, booted things up, and looked around at the pile of papershit (as he liked to call it) lying in stacks all over the place. Make hay while the sun shines, Seeley. You clear up some of this crap on your desk there's more time to have more time with Bones.

Three hours later, his admins were groaning and so were his desk jockeys, since he'd managed to plow through about two thirds of the stacks on his desk. Amazing what a little Bones lovin' could do. Okay. A lot of Bones lovin'. Heh. Looking at the clock, he saw it was not long until people would start ducking out for lunch, so he made good on his internal promise, picked up the phone, called in an order, and sent out an email to his department.

Hungry Bastards--

Pizza, salad, soda and cookies in the large conference room at 12:30. Quit complaining and get back to work.


Not two minutes later, there were calls of "Woohoo! Lunch!" out in the bullpen.

Freeloading hungry bastards. He went back to work, singing under his breath "Jesse James before he died, named five things he wanted to ride, bicycle, tricycle automobile..."

The week proceeded smoothly. Booth had a few cases not involving the lab; Brennan had a few paper and x-ray based consults. He stayed one night at his place after staying out late at a stakeout.

"I didn't sleep well," he grumbled when he came in to her office early the next morning with coffees and muffins for both of them, setting them down on her coffee table and flopping down onto her sofa. Brennan smiled at him slightly before signing something and setting it into her outbox and joining him.

"Hey, baby," he murmured into her hair when she sat next to him and let him pull her into his side.

"No baby at work," she said, reaching forward and taking her coffee. "It's bad enough I let you get away with it in bed."

He rumbled a laugh, then took up his own coffee and slung his feet up onto her table.

"Booth. Off," she said, swatting at his legs. He grinned, clearly testing her, then did as she'd hoped and took his feet off the table as he leant forward to give her a real good morning kiss.

"You have PT at lunchtime?" he asked, watching as she sipped her coffee again.

"Mmm. No," she replied. "Moved it until 5-- I need to do a make-up seminar and I'm going to have the students come here to Limbo."

"Do you need a ride?" he asked, clearly concerned since she'd been twingy enough, off and on, that she'd mostly avoided driving until now.

"No, I drove," she replied, smoothing her hand over his leg. "Those stretches are helpful and it's much better already."

Brennan was mostly telling the truth. She no longer had excruciating jabbing pain from her fingertips to the top of her skull, and her cervical range of motion was significantly improved, but she did still have unpredictable twinges that were somewhat startling. She was trying to be deliberate in her movements, and that seemed to help markedly, but she was looking forward to her massage tomorrow. She did tighten up doing her normal activities, and found that lying down on the floor in her office as she did her stretches was more helpful than standing, since it allowed for her lower back musculature to relax bilaterally. But she was healing, and she didn't want to alarm Booth by giving him too many details-- though of course if he asked directly she would answer. But having Booth worry wouldn't help her heal faster, and she still caught him looking at her guiltily despite the fact that they'd been over the incident several times.

Certainly, "keeping her muscles warm" had certainly worked to keep her from stiffening up too much overnight, she thought with a smirk as she tore off a piece of her muffin. She and Booth hadn't quite been "making up for lost time" as Angela put it, but she hadn't slept nearly as well last night has she had since he'd first appeared at her apartment last week and she'd allowed him to stay, and not just because of their sexual intercourse.

"What are you smirking about?" Booth asked after gulping the last bite of his muffin.

"That's for me to know and you to come over later and find out about." He laughed and leant over to snag the rest of her muffin, but she was quick enough to pull it away and hold it just out of his grasp.

"You're always on about me eating food, but now you just try to eat mine," she said teasingly.

"Gets you back for all those french fries," he said with a smirk, then reached further and pulled it out of her hand. Brennan let go without struggle, having already eaten as much as she wanted. She stood, brushing off crumbs, and gave him what she admitted was a wholly-unlike-her peck on his cheek before finishing her coffee and dropping it into the trash. My dopamine and norepinepherine levels have been consistently high, and I have engaged in heretofore uncharacteristic behavior. I would be more concerned, I suppose, if I hadn't already been so distraught at the idea of not having him around-- but mushy-brained behavior plus Booth is to be preferred to presumed rationality and no Booth at all.

The therapist removed the hot towels from her neck, then tested her passive range of motion with one hand at the join of her neck and the other at her elbow, moving her gently. "Much better," he said, then helped her sit up. They added two new stretches to her neck stretching routine, including as well as a higher count to hold each old stretch after Brennan demonstrated her progress. The therapist then showed Brennan a new passive stretch to do-- two tennis balls, taped side by side with athletic tape. "You should place this at the base of your cervical spine, right at C7-T1. Allow the head to tilt back, and the two points will work their way into the muscles to relax them. Once you can tolerate that sensation, you should raise your arms as if you are doing the backstroke." He went on to discuss repetitions and durations and had her try the exercises herself. Brennan asked a few questions as they worked, then the therapist then had her stand and practice new arm stretches using therabands to take advantage of her resumed range of motion.

When they were done, Brennan slipped her blouse back on over the tank top she wore to therapy so that the therapist could use his hot towels and better observe her progress. "You're doing well," he said cheerfully. "You should be back to normal in another three weeks or so."

She called Booth as she drove home. His response after his greeting was typical Booth. "Are you on a headset? Because I can tell you don't have me on speakerphone. You should really be using a hands free headset until your neck gets better."



"Are you still at work?" she asked, debating as to her next plans. She could go back to the lab and do a bit more work. The make-up seminar had gone well and the students seemed to grasp the lesson very well, but Brennan still had a few things to catch up on and she'd promised Jack she'd look at another paper for him before the weekend was out. She never would have expected one of the side effects of she and Booth falling out to be that she and Jack would become faster friends, but it was something that should have happened earlier, and she was glad she could be a "science-y dork friend" as Jack put it. She was no Zack-- would never be-- but she and Jack had their own way of getting along. As long as he didn't ask her to take up beetle-racing, they should be fine. Thank goodness Wendell was there to complement Jack's mischievous side and propose experiments.

"I was just packing up," came Booth's voice through her reverie. "Did you eat?"

"What do you think?" she asked. "Diner? Or the bar?" If she went back to work she would tense up again. At least if they went out to eat she'd be sitting and putting less pressure on her body. Eating it was.

"I want potato skins, so the bar," came his response. "But I want to change first. Meet you at home?"

"Sure..." Brennan said automatically. She hung up after a short further exchange, setting her phone down and musing more seriously.

When did "home" become my apartment for both of us? I'm not quite sure what that means.

Setting the thought aside in her "to be journalled" mental compartment, she drew her attention back to the road, but not before thinking a little bit further. I haven't really journalled-- something more than a few jottings-- all week, except for that night Booth was out on that stakeout. It's all good, so far, as Ange would say but ... well, I'll think about that later. I could use some vegetarian nachos and beer.

She then snorted to herself at her food cravings. If she let them both eat like Booth ate all the time she would need a cholesterol-reducing statin within the next year or so. For now, though, she set her mind to enjoy the interlude. More serious and permanent thoughts could come later.

"Oh God, Bones," Booth moaned as she backed him against the wall of her shower later that night and knelt down to start licking his penis. "Jesus, woman," he hissed as she sucked him in, laving his shaft with long firm strokes of her tongue in alternation with the slow hard slide of her lips over him. He threaded his hands in her hair, holding on despite the wall at his back, intermittently groaning or cursing as she used her mouth on him while she massaged his testicles with her hand. It was certainly gratifying how much Booth seemed to enjoy the oral sex she administered, and she had to admit she enjoyed it herself, though the inevitable way he would stop her and respond because "there's no way I'm going off in your mouth when I could be inside you," as he'd said one time-- well, it was more than rewarding.

This time was no different, and she could tell he was close to the edge when he groaned and tugged at her hair, drawing her up before he lifted her against the wall and speared himself into her core. Brennan's legs clamped hard around him, her head falling back into the wall as he shifted his hold on her, the motion bringing her deeper inside. Her own moan of appreciation was loud and bounced off the walls of her shower, adding to the sensory overload of the hot water pelting their skin, the smell of her soap, the feel of his hands on her.

She shifted her grip, looping her left arm around the back of his neck to hold on as they started to move in tandem, rocking their hips against one another. She built quickly as Booth sucked at each inch of skin he could reach, licking and kissing the water from her skin as she moaned "Booth" and "Seeley" in response to each finished thrust. Soon she was wordless, her grip on him looser, more erratic as she gave herself over to the waves of heat coursing through her, and she felt Booth shift again, bearing her weight into the wall with his own so he wouldn't drop her. "Now, oh, now," she moaned at last, unable to stand the tension any longer-- he obliged, slamming into her with hard grunts in time with her own wordless cries as he came to the end of her walls.

Her scream of release was met by his groan into her ear as he leant his forehead against the wall. "Mmmmph. Jesus, Bones. You're going to kill me," he rasped in her ear.

Swallowing, she cracked one eye to take in the pleased and tired look on his face. "Me too. But what a way to go." His rumbled laugh in her ear and in his chest against hers as the water still coursed over them brought an answering smile to her face. It was nice to smile so often, she decided. More permanently elevated levels of dopamine and norepinepherine were quite sustaining.

Love, Temperance. Stop being so technical and quit analyzing it so much. While old habits die hard, some deserve to be put to rest.