Corruption on High

1. Strange Conversation

Booth shut the passenger door of his car for Brennan after she settled her bag at her feet, then jogged around to the driver's side. It was time for dinner, coffee, and pie after closing another case. The jury returned a guilty verdict after deliberating for two hours, taking another killer off the streets. They didn't usually stay in the courtroom for verdicts after their testimony, but Brennan wanted to see this guy put away. All their cases involving foster children were sources of pain for her, but this one was particularly difficult. She related to these victims. He was proud of her, but he knew she needed a break.

"So, Bones, I thought we'd grab a bite to eat and then take a stroll around the Mall. It's not too cold, and a little fresh air after that stuffy courtroom will do me some good," Booth suggested as they drove.

"Sure, Booth, that sounds nice. Fresh air sounds like the perfect way to forget death-filled dungeons, stuffy courtrooms, and condescending lawyers," she grinned at him as she grabbed her phone from her purse to check her messages.

"Hey, don't let Caroline hear you call her condescending," he joked.

"Oh, not Caroline, although she does have her . . . puckish moments," Brennan said with a half smile on her face, phone pressed to her ear "Did you notice the court reporter, Booth? She couldn't take her eyes off you during your testimony," Brennan teased him.

Slightly off-balance by the 'puckish' reference, Booth replied, "What? No, c'mon, Bones. I wasn't paying attention to the court reporter, I was focused on the facts of the case," he said as he glanced across the car at her, catching her grinning at him. "She was staring at me, huh?" he asked, deciding to let the puckish comment pass altogether.

"Yes, she was. You are very well put together, Booth. She would have to be blind not to notice," Brennan said, still teasing him. She shut her phone and tucked it back in her purse.

"Do you make a habit of checking out the women who check me out?" he teased back.

"Hey," Brennan replied indignantly. "I'm just here to help you pick a girl, Booth. Maybe she's the one."

"Hm, you didn't happen to get her card for me, did you?" Booth asked her, a little surprised to hear her repeat his words from London. "It's been a lean month what with all the dungeons and death, you know?"

"Yes, I know exactly what you mean," she agreed with a nod.

Booth wondered where she was going with this. He was starting to get used to their frank discussions, but she had never tried to set him up with someone before.