Author's Note: Just me playing around. I thought I'd try out the technique where very little description is used, where everything is mostly dialogue. Lemme know how I did.

This could quite possibly be the prologue to a rather serious set of oneshots I'm planning for "Hero in the Hold." It's not in tune with most of the actual spoilers concerning the ep, but whatev. I march to my own beat. Little rebel heart, be still.

Not really any spoilers at all in this puppy, though.

An old but classic 80's song rackets the office, making the cell phone dance energetically across his desk. He scoops it up with a flourish, flipping it open and leaning back.

"Burger King, home of the whopper. What's your beef?"

"Can't you get in trouble for that?"

"Probably. What's up, Bones?"

"Bad day at work?"

He can hear the teasing smile in her voice, almost see it because he knows her face so well.

"Ugh. Let's move on from that cheap horror story. God, I haven't seen you in like twenty-six thousand years. How's everything at the Lab?"

She chuckles appreciatively, more than accustomed to his odd colloquial idioms. "Everything's fine, I suppose. And you saw me yesterday morning."

"Really? Wow."

"Anyways… I was wondering if you had decided to attend the Jeffersonian's most recent benefit banquet. On the fifth."

"That… would be tonight."

"Yes, do you have plans already?"

There's something in her voice that he can't immediately place. An odd mixture of cautious hope and suppressed eagerness. A passing wave of disinterest to perfect the impartial mask.

A smile irks the corners of his mouth.

"I do not, in fact. Therefore, you should be honored to be graced with my presence."

That husky laughter again.

"For certain. And now you have an excuse to invade my space."

Her little barb doesn't bother or bait him. Instead, it instigates a more curious impulse.

"You really want me to come?"

Hesitation. But when her voice interrupts the static quiet again, he hears not a thing but her honesty. The grin on his face broadens.

"Yes." More temperate delay. Now, restrained apprehension. "Please, Booth?"

The contented expression on his countenance blooms into a full Charm Smile. He lightens the air so she need not feel so vulnerable.

"If you wanted me on a date, Bones, all you had to do was ask." Laughter on the other line. He can hear her easiness through the scoff. "I'm totally flattered, by the way."

"I'll bet."

"Do I have to wear a tux?" he questions, digging into the plastic seal at the corner of his desk.

"Yes, the dress code is formal."

"I suppose I can whip one up."

"What are you eating?"

"What makes you think I'm eating anything?" Speech is moderately inhibited by the cyclic chewing.

"Well, either it's food or a writing pen. And I don't think I need to bring up what happened the last time you were chewing on one of those."

A frown.

"I was hoping you forgot about that."

A smirk.

"Not likely. Your teeth were black for two days."

Brown eyes roll heavenward. "Licorice. You want some?"

"I'm miles away, how do you conceive this as a possibility?" He can hear the endearing confusion in her voice, wishes he could see the expression to match it.

"Astral projection," he says around a mouthful of cherry licorice, splaying his hands as though she can see in a gesture of wide expanse.

Brief intermission.

"You just wanted to say 'ass'."

"It's scary how well you know me."

"You're the only grown man I know with the maturity level of a preteen adolescent boy," she rationalizes.

"Zinger. Score one for the anthropologist." Glancing up, his face noticeably falls. "Ugh. Listen, Bones – can I talk to you later? Charlie just came in with an Everest mound of fresh paperwork for me."

"Of course. Still no case?"

"'Fraid not, eager beaver." Multitasking between bickering with his partner and sending Charlie a lethal glare of doom is easier than first assumed.

"Couldn't you… I don't know… pray to your God for a new case?"

"That's the lowest you've ever gone at hokey pokey. You impress even me."

Despite the verbal admonishing issued to his partner, he feels another smile forming at the thought that perhaps she might miss him just as much as he misses her.

"It's a fair enough request!" Brennan protests from the other line.

Booth, still recovering from the brief shock of his partner understanding his reference to universal pop culture entertainment, formulates his amused reply.

"What, asking that someone get murdered so you don't have to be bored anymore?"

"When you say it like that…"

"Look, Bones, like I said – if you just want my company, all you have to do is say the word and I'll be over there in a jiffy. I'll toss off some excuse and we can play hooky for the day."

"Actually, I just want to study human remains. Hence the specific litany of my job title."

A grimace. "I think my company was the lesser of those two evils. Bones, you morbid thing."

"Just be happy I haven't kicked your ass for calling me an enthusiastic rodent."

A snicker chases the smirk spreading across his face. "Bones, you're miles away." Puffing out his chest, he sits a little straighter in his chair. "How do you deduce to achieve the kicking of my ass?"

"Astral projection," she supplies imperiously. A pause. "Get it? It's a pun."

Wincing against the silent laughter bubbling in his throat, he nods. "Got it. S'good one."

"Now you're mocking me. Go do your paperwork."

"Yeah. Ignoring the lameness of us and our prematurely attained "ass" quota for the day… I'll be…" Catching another glimpse of Charlie with more paperwork, he visibly deflates. "We really need a case."

"I told you. It's not too late you know – it's only 10:30."

"Seriously, Bones."

"What? You should make that request now."

"I'm not praying for someone to die."

"If you come by later, bring me some licorice."

"Will do."

Before the disconnect…

"Even if it's a little more fleshy – I'll take it!"