TITLE: Pavement

AUTHOR: Gryphin

DISCLAIMER: You think they're MINE? How sweet! ;-)

Booth tries to outrun his inner turmoil.

A/N: Ok, I had to get away from all of the craziness for a little while. My brain is full of spoilers, and I'm constantly thinking about the Gravedigger (If this is the end, then I feel cheated!), baby daddy drama (How the heck are they going to pull that off and remain in character?), and what the heck is going to happen in the finale (We'd better not be tricked!). So I just sat down and wrote this little one-shot that isn't based off of anything. Probably not my most stellar work, but it served a purpose. I feel better now!

PS - I am looking for a beta, so stop by my beta profile to check me out. I'm looking for someone that wants to help me push out more stories, stay in character, and keep my spelling/grammar in line. Let me know if think you can do the job!

His feet hit the pavement in tandem with the condescending voice in his head.





His body was protesting the abuse, muscles aching, chest heaving. The burn in the back of his throat told him that he wasn't getting enough oxygen and needed to slow his pace. But as his body continued to push itself forward, his unwanted thoughts continued to push themselves into his mind. He was running to clear his head, not muddle it more.

"Focus, Seeley" he huffed out between paces.

He switched his mind over to his surroundings. It irked him that he hadn't really been paying attention, even though it was a honed and trained skill that he yielded at all times. How far had he come so far? A mile?

He shook his head and strengthened his resolve to banish her from his thoughts.

Looking around, he knew where he was. Up ahead was the stoplight where he would cross the street and head back. As he approached it, he calmed his pace and slowed his breathing down. He needed to get back in control. Being out of control was a seriously scary state for Seeley Booth. Some of his most feared nightmares stemmed from memories of when he had lost his cool.

Yes, control was a valued commodity.

He could do this, right? He was Special Agent Seeley Booth. He was charming, disarming, and cool as a cucumber. No way this was gonna shake him.


Booth reached the stoplight and bent over at the waist, his hand shooting out to hit the button on the crosswalk before coming back to rest on his knee. He leaned over, catching his breath while he waited for the light to change.

He was just a guy out for a run. No big deal. It was a nice night, although rain was on the way. He could smell it as it practically hummed along his olfactory senses. An unwanted voice started ranting off facts in his head. It was the ozone he was smelling, not the actual rain itself.

He was back in the SUV with her, windows down, telling her how he loved the smell just before rain came. She had responded with that logical tone of voice that made him want to both strangle and kiss her.

"You're not actually smelling rain, Booth. You're smelling ozone which is commonly produced through dissociation of molecular oxygen into two unstable atomic oxygens, each of which then combines with molecular oxygen to produce ozone."

He had just stared at her.

The crosswalk flashed the yellow walk signal.


Booth ran across the street, resuming his unrelenting pace from earlier. He was supposed to be purging his mind of her right now, not hearing her smart ass voice in his head.

He kept his pace up, ignoring the pain in his body as he pushed himself on. It was a welcome distraction. For a short time, all he could hear were the quick huffs of his breath and the pounding of his feet on the sidewalk. But there was no way he could keep it up, and he finally collapsed onto a bench at the bus stop just down from his place.

This wasn't working.

Booth leaned over, letting his head fall into his hands. Admittedly, he wasn't going to outrun this. And in truth, he was no coward either. He was going to have to face the fact that he had kissed her.

He groaned, slicking his hands back up over his sweaty brow as he sat up, pressing his back into the hard wooden seat. He was starting to catch his breath again, and with lack of oxygen no longer being what consumed his brain, thoughts of his partner came flooding in.

He had kissed her.

Booth had always known it was just a matter of time. Whether he liked it or not, he was falling for his stubborn, brilliant, socially challenged, and frustrating partner. And Lord knew that he was fighting it.


She was the last thing he needed. They worked together, which in and of itself made a romantic relationship challenging. But combine that with the fact that they were so different from one another, and it was a disaster in the making.

She scoffed at his ideas of love and romance.

He couldn't believe that she could dwindle any emotional response down to its bare chemical components.

She was an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist, recognized world wide for her brilliance in the field.

He was that FBI agent she worked with.

The list truly went on and on.

Booth looked up at the sky above him. The clouds had moved in, pointing another sign at the rain he knew was coming. But there was still a small open patch where he could see the stars winking out from the inky blackness. He gazed at them for a minute, letting one thought truly settle in his mind.

He loved her.

The old adage was certainly true. You can't pick who you fall in love with. She was everything that he wasn't, and everything that he needed.

But if it was only a matter of time, Booth had hoped that with a little…oh hell, a LOT of self-control on his part, he could postpone what had happened tonight a lot longer. He could put it off until the right moment. Or maybe he would come to his senses and suddenly lose the craving for her.

"Ha, fat chance buddy." The sound of his derisive voice hit his ears a little harshly, and he looked up quickly to see if anyone had caught him talking to himself. But the streets were empty of pedestrians, and other then the white Honda Accord that had just driven by, there weren't really even any cars either.

He had tried dating other women, telling himself that maybe he could find someone that wouldn't be so much damn work. But in the end they all fell flat when he couldn't help but compare them to Temperance Brennan. He was stuck with his addiction, unshakeable in his need for her, and just as determined to keep it to himself for as long as humanly possible.

Thoughts of what he had done hit him once again, causing his gut to clench. What had he been thinking? Or maybe lack of thinking had gotten him into this mess. He was there, she was there. It was nothing special.

But everything was special when they were together.

They were laughing, she had her face tipped up toward him, and before he even knew what he was doing he had leaned down and softly placed his lips to hers. Even sitting out here, with the cold seeping in as the sweat cooled on his body, he could still recall the sweetly biter taste of the wine she was drinking.

If she had pushed him away he might have recovered. He could have told her was tired and it was nice to see her smile. It could have been a kiss between friends. But she had surprised him, because before he could even register what he was doing, she had sighed softly and relaxed into him. The sound had been all the encouragement that he needed, and he had reached up, placing his right hand on the nape of her neck before sweeping his tongue along her lower lip.

The woman that he thought would have stiffened and pulled away was at that moment all pliant and willing in his arms, and it escalated from there. By the time that he had managed to pull himself from her, there was nothing left for him to fall back on. That had been no kiss shared by friends. It had been the kiss of lovers, leaving no doubt as to what his motivation had been.

And although he had imagined it a thousand times before, and he knew with certainty that the worse thing he could do is act like he had made a mistake, he found himself once again acting before thinking. He had stammered, made apologies, tried desperately to climb out of the mess he had made. His brain wasn't working, and he needed to process what the hell had just happened. Worse yet, under all the rationalizing he was attempting, was a voice screaming at him to just kiss her again and to hell with the consequences.

She had sat there quietly for a minute, lips all swollen and glossy from the attention he had laved upon them. He remembered that she had been strikingly, agonizingly beautiful at that moment.

And then she had taken a deep breath, and gone all "ozone" on him. The woman that he had been kissing was suddenly replaced by the one he was familiar with. She talked about chemicals and attractions and how it was normal, and then she had smiled and said it was no big deal.

No big deal.

Just the biggest deal he had ever hoped to make in his life, with the most at stake imaginable.

He sat there for another ten minutes until the cold had permeated his body and he was too uncomfortable to keep his vigil on the bench. He started walking the last quarter mile to his apartment, his thoughts slightly less jumbled.

He was off the hook, really. She had given him an out, and he had mumbled an apology before leaving. He was pretty certain that Temperance Brennan was more than capable of compartmentalizing and picking right back up in their partnership as if nothing had happened.

And that was the problem, because he wasn't so sure that he could. It had been so stupid of him to let his resolve slip, and now he felt lost. For a brief moment he had had everything he longed for in his arms, and now he had to pretend that he didn't know what that felt like. And the worse thing of all is that he thinks that just maybe, he had been hoping for more. He had hoped that she would have responded with…with what? A declaration of undying love? He felt foolish for allowing his body to test something that his mind had already told him.

Someday was obviously not today.

As he approached his building, he reminded himself that he could do this. He'd been doing it for a long time. What they had was too important to risk for a "what if". So for now, he'd allow her to chalk it all up to hormones, and let that be that.

Booth jogged up the front steps to the doors leading into his apartment complex. He fumbled a moment in his pockets for the keys and only noticed the small figure approaching as he was unlocking the door. He turned to see her as she mounted the steps.

"Can I talk to you?"

He looked her in the eye, noticing how she seemed a little uncertain, before nodding and opening the door for her.

HAHAHA! I LIED! I said it was a one shot, but Musie has other plans! I think we really need to see Brennan's side of it too. And maybe even a peek into the talk that she wants to have. What do you guys think? I know its a little frayed around the edges, but it was a fun distraction. I hope you liked it anyway! ~Gryph