Wow. Wow wow wow. Talk about must-see TV. THAT'S the show I remember, the show I love. Just another tag, for Mayhem on a Cross, dealing with the fallout of that last, painful scene.


All the way back to my place, I watched her. She didn't catch me. She was very sharp, but I was used to observing unnoticed. It wasn't all that far, but add in all the city traffic and stop lights, and the ride took forever. We laughed and joked, but we were all aware of the mutual bleeding that had occurred back at the office. If Sweets had tried to talk about any of it again I would have physically dragged his ass out of the truck. But he was either still too raw from his own revelations or he could feel the rage coming off of me in waves and knew not to push me tonight. I was closer to my father now than I'd ever been in the past – I could feel him breathing down my neck.

Sweets cleared his throat and spoke up as soon as we were on the road. "Do we need to pick up more wine?"

More wine. Yeah, that's what we needed. I made a mental note to switch to Dewar's as soon as humanly possible. How long would it take to get rid of them? Not Bones, of course. Never Bones. "I don't know – Bones? You poured last. Where'd we stand?"

"We could pick up something, Booth. With another person, we're bound to run out before dinner is over."

Her tone was normal on the surface, but I knew if I touched her right now she'd– I don't know what, exactly, because normally Bones wasn't the type to fold, or shatter. But it wouldn't be good. I let out a silent sigh. This was not the way to start our little dinner party. And I wasn't about to stop at a liquor store and leave Bones alone in the car with him. I made a quick, selfish decision. "There's a liquor store next to my building – if we need more one of us can just run down and get some." I wasn't buying more wine than we needed. Extra wine just meant people stayed longer, and I was definitely not in the mood for company. I wasn't in the mood for anything but Bones.

Gordon knew. The minute we walked in the door he paused to look each of us over, his laser assessment finding and approving of what he saw. Opening his arms, he advanced toward us, beaming like a proud papa. It took everything I had to not rip out his throat.

"Ah, here you are, my lambs, just in time to partake of my divine creation. Sit, sit, and let me serve you my masterpiece. Ah yes, Dr. Sweets, you may sit just here. Agent Booth?"

I responded, not as I usually would, but normally enough that Sweets was fooled. Gordon was not. His shrewd eyes lingered on me, and for a moment I thought I saw a flash of regret. Fuck his regret. And fuck him. As adept at reading people as I, he inclined his head slightly in acknowledgment and stepped away around the table. I turned away as well and found myself looking right at Bones. She wasn't fooled either. Her eyes were a tragic shade of blue, but she gamely stepped up, chatting and laughing and making an effort. I was the only one who knew just what an effort it was. She was remarkably good at pretending to eat, and somehow arranged her plate so it appeared she'd actually done more than barely taste the food. The wine, however, was another matter. I didn't want to run out, because I wasn't about to buy more. When Bones and I finished our glasses, I rose without a word and took them into the kitchen. By the time I'd returned, she'd already brought the scotch and two tumblers to the table. We exchanged a silent glance. If we had to wait them out, we'd fucking drink them out, too. The scotch and rage swirled in my veins, and more than once only Bones' hand on my knee under the table kept me from hurling my glass at them. Fucking shrinks.

After what seemed like forty-seven hours , Gordon stood and stretched, stifling a yawn. Maybe he really was tired. Maybe he was just giving us what we wanted. I didn't really give a shit, as long as it got him gone. "Well, it's time I was off to bed, such as it is. Dr. Sweets, my hotel is just down from the FBI offices. May I give you a ride to your vehicle?"

As much the puppy following eagerly behind his master as he ever was, Sweets glanced at us for guidance. "Do you need help with the dishes, Booth? Because I can stay…"

Well at least we'd fooled him. I didn't really want to hurt him, anyway. He'd suffered enough for one day. I just wanted him out of here. "Nah, don't worry about it, Sweets, I'm leaving all of it until tomorrow." He looked like he might argue, but I heard Bones speak up from behind me, her tone as she lied light and seemingly careless.

I'll help Booth with the dishes, Sweets. Go ahead with Dr. Gordon. It's fine. We have some paperwork to do, anyway."

As I thought of her delicate hands cleaning my dishes, a vision of a young Temperance dropping a plate filled my mind and I almost heaved on the floor in front of all of them. I'd break every single piece before I'd let her touch one of them. And I'd take the shards with me when I went to find her foster parents.

Agonizingly slowly, the two of them at last said goodbye and left, an academic discussion springing up before they'd even entered the hall. I stood with the door open, wanting to hear them get in the elevator, wanting to see the lights taking them away from us. Finally, fucking finally, they were gone, the silence in their wake a gift. I quietly closed the door and fastened the locks before turning, my eyes instantly seeking her out like they always did

She was standing by the table, her body painfully stiff, one graceful index finger lightly tracing the curved edge of a saucer. Back and forth, back and forth. Before I knew what was happening, I'd crossed to her and reached for the dish, hurling it violently toward the sink, where it shattered explosively. The apartment seemed too small as I rampaged in a furious frenzy. Anything unlucky enough to be in my way was kicked viciously aside, until there was nothing else but the wall. I drew back and swung out hard, hissing as the impact screamed through my hand and up my arm. I stared at the hole in the wall where my hand had disappeared with a detached curiosity.


Her soft voice and trembling hands shook me out of my trance, and I turned my head to stare dumbly at her. "Bones." Now that they were gone and it was just us, the mask she so easily assumed in public dropped away, leaving only stark pain behind. "Bones." Carelessly I yanked my hand from the sheet-rock and turned to her as she stepped forward into my embrace. My arms wound desperately around her, and I was prepared to hold her like that forever. "Bones, I'm so sorry…" Somehow we found our way to the couch and sat holding each other, her head tucked under my chin. She seemed so slight, so fragile, although I knew she was nearly indestructible. After several long moments, her grasp loosened and she lifted her head, her eyes dry but burning with pain and anger. She laid her hand against my cheek and really looked at me, and I realized that her pain and anger were for me.

"Promise me, Booth…"

Whatever oath she was about to ask of me fell by the wayside as her lips pressed against mine. Suddenly we were back in each other's arms, kissing and tasting and touching. She pushed against my chest, and I obeyed her silent command, laying back on the cushions as she hovered over me. Her face was flushed and intense, her eyes fixed constantly on mine. I managed to grit out my concern to her, my voice harsh in the silence. "Bones, are you sure? I want you to be sure –" Her fingers against my lips stopped me, and she lay down, her slim, strong body flush with mine. I felt her curves and softness and strength as I'd never felt them before. I was seeing her as I'd never seen her before. Her soft, calm voice soothed away the rough edges and eased all my fears.

"I am sure."

Without another word, she slid her hands under my shirt, her fingers twirling and stroking, pinching and pressing until I was gasping into her mouth. She was the only woman who could do this to me, the only woman who would understand me. She was the only woman I would want ever again. Whether or not this was right, it was what we wanted, and neither of us was capable of stopping now. I was delirious from the feel of her on me and didn't notice that her hand had drifted lower until it slipped inside my jeans, gripping me firmly. I moaned helplessly, bucking up against her. She was moving faster than I was, her system reeling and revving from everything that had happened tonight.

The cool air in the apartment washed over me when she wrestled my pants down to my hips. She dropped onto me again, and I could feel her strong, smooth legs straddling me, one hand stroking me urgently while the other streaked to my hair to grip it tightly. My need finally caught up with hers and I ran my hands up her legs, sliding them under her skirt and gripping her hips, pulling her lacy panties to one side. She quickly took me in, sinking onto me as I pressed deep inside her with a groan. My rage was extinguished, snuffed out completely by my partner, my best friend. My lover. Instead of anger and violence I was filled with an incredible tenderness and desire. I didn't ever want her to hurt again. Even as a part of me acknowledged the impossibility of that, I still wanted it. We began to move, slowly and carefully, and I almost lost control at the scent of her hair spilling onto my face, at the silken feel of her sliding up and down my length. This wasn't going to last long; neither of us had the strength. Bones. My Bones. Mine. Quickly, too quickly, she convulsed around me, and I let myself go, spilling into her even as I clutched her to me. Gradually, our movements slowed, and we stilled in each other's embrace, too tired from everything that had happened to move at all.

She settled into my arms naturally, as if we'd been doing this for years, instead of only one day. The feel of her tucked against me was more of a reward than I knew I deserved, but I grabbed at it anyway. We'd both been through hell today, and we needed some comfort. As if in agreement with my thoughts on the day, her body trembled, and I felt the splash of hot tears against my neck, followed by a soft gasping sob. My heart clenched in my chest, and I locked my arms around her. "Bones, don't…" My words seemed to act as a trigger, and she clutched at me, crying silently now. "Shh, Bones, it's gonna be okay…" I rubbed her back, wishing there was so much more I could do for her. She only burrowed deeper, wrapping her arms around my waist and pressing her face against my neck. I knew now that she'd never told anyone that story about her foster family before. Never told anyone what they'd done to her. And now it was like they were doing it to her all over again. My fingers, my blood, my heart screamed for vengeance, but I only held her close, murmuring softly to her until she began to calm, until her breathing began to slow.

I could tell she was falling asleep, and I wasn't about to stop her. Another fifteen minutes passed before she was quiet, her exhausted body lax on mine. I flexed the aching fingers on my right hand, noting the blood and swelling on the knuckles. Minor damage for the day, all things considered. At least, physically. I began to feel the chill in the room, and knew she would too, if I didn't do something. The old crocheted blanket my aunt knitted for me was within reach, and I soon had it draped over both of us. I began to feel drowsy as well, and folded her more securely between me and the back of the couch. With her next to me, I knew I'd actually be able to sleep without suffering through nightmares of the day we'd just been through. She would be enough. She always had been. I let her slow, deep breathing lull me to sleep.

Hmm. Now, why can't they end an episode like this? I'd come back for more, I promise! If you enjoyed this, then my work here is done. And it's off to bed I go!