AN: This story was originally meant to be a one-shot, but towards the end I started thinking that I should do a chapter with Brennan's POV. Let me know what you think!

Thanks again to my beta CalleighAryn for her brilliant suggestions.

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My brother has done a lot of stupid things in his life--and I mean a lot-- but this time he had really outdone himself.

"I can't believe you did this," I fumed. "What the hell were you thinking?"

"I was thinking that for once I'd get my big brother a birthday present he might actually enjoy," Jared answered defensively. He cast a glance over his shoulder at the stripper he had invited into my home--the brown haired, blue eyed, long legged stripper wearing an official Jeffersonian lab coat.

"You really thought I'd enjoy a stripper dressed up like Bones? She's my partner!"

"Come on, Seeley. I'm not an idiot." I was about to argue that point but the idiot continued. "I've seen the way you look at her and I've heard the way you talk about her. Clearly you like her but you're too chicken to make your move, so I got you the next best thing." He urged the stripper forward. "Give Misty here a chance." He winked at me and walked out the door.

"You should listen to your brother, birthday boy," Misty purred, eyeing me like I was her next meal. "I can make you forget all your troubles."

"No thanks," I said as politely as I could. "You can go home."

"What's wrong?" She asked, inching closer and closer to me. "Do you think I'm not pretty?"

I backed away from her like a man under siege. "No, but I--"

"But you like your partner? It's okay, baby. She'll never know about me. It'll be our little secret." She continued to advance on me, and I continued to back away.

"Look, Misty, I know you're just trying to do the job my brother paid you for, but I'm really, really not inter--" The back of my legs hit something solid; I had walked into my own couch. Great escape plan, Seeley.

Misty pushed me back onto the couch and leaned over me. "You don't have to be shy, honey. Just sit back and enjoy the show."

Okay, this had gone way too far. I put my hands out to push her away--and that's when I heard someone unlocking my door. What now? Was Jared coming back to see if Misty had made any progress with me? The door opened and my heart stopped. It wasn't Jared standing in the doorway...it was Bones. She must have used my spare key again. At least I wasn't in the bathtub this time…but I did have my hands on a stripper. Of course Bones would show up at my door the night my idiot brother gives me the most horrifyingly inappropriate birthday present ever! She looked disappointed and maybe even a little hurt. Gently pushing Misty aside, I leapt up from the couch and ran to her. "Bones! This isn't what it looks like."

"So you're Bones," Misty said, looking at my partner as if sizing up the competition.

Bones appeared to be studying her in return. "Dr. Temperance Brennan. I'm a forensic anthropologist in the medico-legal lab. What department are you in?"

I cringed when Misty laughed. "She doesn't really work at the Jeffersonian, Bones."

Bones looked confused. "Then how did she get a Jeffersonian lab coat?"

I had to tell her. "Jared used his government connections to get it. He…uh…he hired this woman as a birthday present for me…as a joke."

"Your brother hired you a prostitute?"

"Hey, I'm not a prostitute!" Misty cried. "I just strip."

I could feel myself getting a headache. This had to be the worst birthday ever. "Misty, I'd really appreciate it if you could leave us alone. NOW."

"Fine," she grumbled. "You have fun with your partner." She gave me an exaggerated smile and left. Finally.

"I apologize for interrupting you and your stripper," Bones said. She was trying to sound casual, but I knew she was angry. "I should have knocked, but I thought you were out with Jared and I wanted to surprise you. But that doesn't matter now. Good night. I'll see you tomorrow."

She started to turn away from me, but I put my hand on her arm to stop her. "Bones, wait! You weren't interrupting anything. I wasn't going to let Misty strip for me; I told her I wasn't interested."

"Why not?" She asked, sounding genuinely curious. "Wasn't she attractive enough?"

I remembered Max asking the same question about her. "She was very attractive," I admitted. But she wasn't beautiful like you are.

"Yet you would have preferred a blonde?"

She must have been thinking about Rebecca and Tessa. "No, I don't really care about hair color."

"Was there something wrong with her?"

"Not that I could see."

"Then why--?"

"I just wasn't interested!" I blurted out.

She looked at me with concern. "Perhaps the stress of our work is affecting your libido."

I almost laughed. "My libido is fine." More than fine, actually. If you could see the dreams I have about you nearly every night, you'd never question my libido again.

"Maybe you should see a doctor just to be sure."

"I don't need a doctor, Bones! There's nothing wrong with me. Misty was attractive, but I'm interested in women who have more than good looks. I want someone with brains and heart…someone I can talk to…someone I can trust…someone who can make me laugh…someone who understands the passion I have for my work…someone who doesn't judge me for my past but sees the man I am now…someone who will be there for me just as I'm there for her." Oh God, I had just described Bones! Would she know that?

"Someone like me?" She knew…and she looked hopeful. I'd never been more certain that she wanted me just as badly as I wanted her.

I put my arms around her waist. "No, Bones, not someone like you. Just you…only you." Slowly I leaned in for a kiss, wanting to give her time to stop me in case she wasn't ready for this. But apparently Bones didn't need any time. Throwing her arms around my neck, she pulled me towards her eager mouth and kissed me for a long, long time. It was easily the most spectacular kiss of my life. I did my best to return the favor. Judging from the blissful look on her face when we eventually pulled apart, I'd say I was successful.

"You…are…so…incredible," I gasped.

"You are too," she said. Then she laughed. "I thought I was going to have to make the first move." She unbuttoned her floor length coat and slid it down her shoulders, revealing a black satin teddy with a red bow tied around her waist. My eyes widened and my mouth dropped open. She had been wearing that all this time? For me? "Bones…what…why…"

"For your birthday," she explained. "Do you like it?"

Did I like it? She had to be kidding. I had always thought she was gorgeous, whether she was wearing a lab coat or a dress or even one of those shiny Jeffersonian jumpsuits, but this…this was beyond anything I'd ever imagined. And I have a really, really good imagination.

Wow.

I wanted to tell her she was beautiful and radiant and breathtaking and every other word I could think of, but my mouth seemed to have forgotten how to make sounds. I nodded instead.

Wow.

This was the best birthday ever.

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Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.