I'm kinda surprised to come here and find that someone hasn't beaten me to this. Maybe they have by the time I post this. But anyway Cinderella in the Cardboard tops my list of season 4 episodes so far, and the ending to the episode is a fanfic writer's dream, so here I go.

A random one-shot following the high of the latest episode of Bones.

Disclaimer: I don't own Bones, FOX does but I must commend Hart Hanson and gang for doing a great job with Bones this season especially in terms of "evolving" Brennan.

They sat there together in silence, sharing Booth's bottle of scotch. Booth barely touched his from the glass Brennan had poured him. Brennan however seemed intent on drowning her sorrows in the alcohol, taking frequent swigs out of the bottle.

They were sitting so close together on his couch Booth could feel the heat radiate from her. Their thighs were touching, it was sensual and exciting, the heat from her burning past his jeans into his skin. It almost felt like she was branding him. Who was he kidding? He was already hers. She had branded his heart "Property of Dr Temperance Brennan" a long time ago.

He turned his head to study her, the sadness in her eyes causing his heart to ache unbearably. He would give anything to take her pain away.

Then it struck him, The idiotic thing was that he could take her pain away, right there and then. Careful Seeley, these are uncharted waters you're navigating. He knew he had to be careful. She had just opened up to him, admitted to emotions she would never ever admit to anyone else. Her heart was literally in his hands. And he didn't want to cause her anymore pain, or risk their friendship which had been heading towards something more, something that would soon be undeniable for the both of them.

Brennan was about to take another swig out of the bottle of scotch when he raised his hand to stop her, taking the bottle out of her hands.

"Whoa there Bones. I think you've had enough already."

"What? No way Booth. I'm not even drunk yet."

"You want to get drunk?"

"Yes."

"Come on Bones, am I that poor company?"

"It's not you… I just, I want to dull the annoying ache I seem to be feeling over the anatomic location of my heart."

"So that's squint-speak for having a broken heart huh?"

"What Booth? My heart is just fine, I'm healthy – "

"Too literal Bones."

Brennan kept silent. She wondered why he kept telling her she's too literal. She thought literal was good, but then again, she also thought honesty was good. Guess she was wrong. A disturbing trend lately. Yet she could not ignore the yearning, the feeling of emptiness inside she was feeling that science couldn't quite explain away.

"Hey Bones, don't look so sad. Remember what I told you?"

"What just now?"

"Yeah just now. About love and all that. What did I just say?"

"That I will someday find and believe in that love that I'm yearning to experience."

"Yeah, you will Bones."

Booth let out a breath. He knew what he had to do, to say but he was suddenly nervous.

"Why wait for someday Bones when it can happen right now?"

"What?" Brennan wondered if this was Booth's attempt to get her into bed with him. Although not drunk, the scotch had made her feel a little less inhibited. And there would be nothing wrong with that, she had entertained the thought of sleeping with Booth before, just more frequently lately.

He knew he would have to spell it out for her.

"What I mean Bones is that you can, no I can help you believe that love is transcendent and eternal. I can help you feel that you're in love, that you would want to lose yourself in me, like I want to…. in you."

Booth had lowered his voice to almost a whisper, as if conspiring against something or someone. Like a secret that was meant to be shared only between the both of them. They continued to stare into each other's eyes.

Time stood still as Booth became painfully aware of the pounding of his heart in his ears.

Brennan thought the clock on Booth wall ticked a little too loudly. Did she hear him right? His words almost sounded like a come on, but she knew Booth better than that. He was a gentleman; she was almost a hundred percent certain he wasn't just trying to get her into bed with him.

Booth broke the silence, swallowing the lump in his throat before saying slowly, just so she would be sure she hadn't heard him wrong.

"I love you Temperance."

Ok here it comes, the kick in the balls. Booth waited, but the kick he was anticipating never came.

Instead, tears started to roll down her cheeks.

Damnit! That was the last thing he wanted to do, to hurt her, make her cry. She came to him tonight because she needed comfort, not more pain.

Booth wrapped his arm round her shoulder pulling her close. Brennan rested her head in his shoulder.

The rush of emotions she was feeling was something she had never experienced before. She wasn't crying because she was upset, she was crying tears of joy and relief. The minute the words came out of her partner's mouth, she knew she was in love with him, had been in love with him for sometime now. She knew she could feel, she could believe in that love that all her friends believed in.

She felt to overwhelmed to respond.

Booth talked when he was nervous, so he talked.

"Listen Bones. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry. Hey, you'll understand someday. Someday you'll feel it. And when you do, you'll know. You can't blame yourself. People have abandoned you all your life. The reason you are the way you are is that self-defense mechanism you built round your heart to keep yourself from getting hurt again. But you're not gonna fool me Bones. You're not cold. You know what? Nothing's gonna change what I just said. I said it, and I can't, won't take it back. I love you Bones, always have. I'll wait, like I always have been waiting, and when you're ready, I'll be right here alright? I'm not leaving you Bones. Never."

Booth's words warmed her heart. The tears fell even harder now, wetting Booth's shirt. She understood. She wanted to lose herself in him, give herself to him in reckless abandon. It was just those three words from him and the logic in his promise never to leave her. He was right, if there was one person who had never left her side ever since she knew him, it was her partner, Seeley Booth.

"Don't do this ok Bones? You just need some time, you'll get it, you will – "

Brennan wanted to stop him, but she couldn't find the right words to say, so she did the only thing she knew.

She lifted her head, tilting it up and pressing her lips onto his. Booth's initial surprise made him momentarily unable to respond. When his brain started to comprehend what was happening he responded. He knew this was the only way, for now, she understood love to be, so he kissed her back, as if his life depended upon it.

She tasted of scotch, but something more, something sweet and innocent, something familiar yet new and exciting. Brennan found comfort in his lips. He tasted as she always thought he would, masculine and yet gentle. Firm but not pushy. Her lips parted and their tongues clashed. She was feisty, just like he remembered from their mistletoe kiss.

When they broke for air, both were out of breath and off balance. The world seemed to spin just for them.

"Wow Bones."

Brennan smiled, almost shyly. She remembered something and it bothered her. She needed to set things straight.

"What about your line Booth?"

"What line? Oh that… don't worry about it Bones. I put it there, I can easily erase it, and judging from what we just did, I think we obliterated it."

Brennan laughed, placing a hand on his cheek, caressing slightly. The emptiness she felt earlier on was gone.

As her hand fell from his face, Booth wiped the remaining tears from her face with his thumb, he was beaming back at her.

"Thank you Booth."

"What for?"

"I believe now Booth, I believe. And I do believe, I love you too."

So what did you all think? Click on the review button and let me know! And to all those faithfully following my other story, sorry I had to get this off my chest.

I'll get right back on it soon, maybe, after Mayhem on the Cross.