A/N: Written for the Word Challenge in the BoneYard. This is set sometime after the season 4 finale. Xenobombulate means to malinger, or pretend illness to avoid duty or work. Enjoy! ~Deja

Disclaimer: I do not own BONES.


Booth flexed his aching wrist and groaned at the sheer volume of files that he and his partner had yet to go through. They had been working for two straight hours on the paperwork that had piled up during his hospitalization and convalescence after his surgery, but it didn't seem to put a dent in the boxes of files. Brennan looked up at his noise of pain, a worried look in her eyes.

"Do you need me to get something, Booth?" she asked. He smiled at her, noticing that her pile of finished work was almost twice as tall as his was, even though she had insisted on cleaning up after the dinner that she had made for him while he started the paperwork.

"No, thanks, Bones," he said with a smile, dropping his head back to his work. A few moments later, he sighed heavily.

"You sure you don't need anything?" Brennan asked, half out of her seat, ready to get something for him.

Booth thought for a moment about how eager his partner was to help him, and how it always made him feel better when Brennan let him help her. Maybe he could return the favor and make them both feel better.

"You know, I've been carrying a lot of tension in my neck, and I think it's giving me a headache," he admitted, rubbing the back of his neck theatrically.

"Do you think it would help if I rubbed your neck?" she asked kindly. He tried to hide his smile, knowing that it was less the tension in his neck that was giving him the headache and more the hole that they drilled in the back of his head. But he had decided that any excuse to have his partner touch him was good enough for him.

"It might," he replied. His gorgeous partner jumped out of her chair and circled the table, standing behind him and placing her warm hands on his neck. It was all he could do to breathe for a few minutes as she smoothed her hand down his neck and across his shoulders.

"It might help if you took your shirt off," Brennan observed as her hand bumped over the collar of his tee-shirt.

"Whatever you say," Booth said in a breathy tone. He pulled his shirt over his head, with Brennan helping. He tried his best to breathe normally as her hands rested lightly on his shoulders. When her hands began to move, testing the skin and muscles of his neck and shoulders, he closed his eyes and struggled to remember to breathe. All thoughts of any headache, real or imaginary, were forgotten, as were any thoughts of work.

"Does that help?" she asked. Booth noticed that her voice wasn't as steady as her words suggested. Her hands were working wonders on his shoulders and upper back, but they had also wandered onto his chest as well. From there it was easy for Booth to turn his head and let his cheek rest lightly on Brennan's arm. Brennan stilled, then let one hand trail up Booth's chest and neck to cup his cheek. He kissed the center of her palm and felt her shiver and suck in a deep breath.

"It's perfect," he whispered. Her hand on his chest rested right over the scar from Pam Nunan's gunshot and she caressed it lightly.

"We need to get back to work," she said, pulling her hands away. The loss of her hands on him felt a lot like pain, but he understood the necessity of not getting too close. She crossed over to her side of the table, trying her best not to look at his bare chest, and sat down to get some work done.

Thirty minutes later, Brennan had finished her first box of papers and began working on the second. Booth still lagged behind as he watched her hands move across the paper and play with her hair. He would quickly look back to his notes when she asked a question or commented on his lack of progress, but otherwise he just watched his partner.

"Booth, you haven't moved from that paragraph in the last five minutes," Brennan chastised. Booth put his hand to his head again.

"The headache's come back, Bones," he whined. "Maybe you can use your magic fingers to make it go away."

Brennan scrutinized him carefully as he gave her his best puppy dog eyes. He was debating whether or not a charm smile would make him look more or less vulnerable when she got up a second time and came to stand behind him.

"I would accuse you of malingering, Booth, but I know that you're not the type to xenobombulate," she said as her hands touched his shoulders again.

"That sounds like the worst kind of sin, Bones. I'd never deceive you," he groaned as she worked her magic on him.

"Then tell me this, and please answer truthfully and straightforwardly," she said as her hands smoothed over his chest, leaving trails of fire where they had touched. "Do you really have a headache?"

"Only when I try to read my handwriting," he admitted. She dug her thumbs into the corded muscles running down his neck and he groaned in pleasure.

"Are you trying to increase the amount of time that we spend in physical contact as a way to strengthen our partnership?" she asked seriously. He didn't know how to answer, and could barely form a thought that didn't revolve around them in his bedroom.

"I…uh…" he stammered, then moaned as her fingers drifted into his short hair at the back of his head, avoiding the area where he had had surgery. "…uh, yeah, I suppose that's part of the reason."

"Is this a way to tell me that you want to try a different aspect of our partnership?" she whispered into his ear. Her warm breath over his ear and the smell of the mint chocolate she had eaten for dessert made his head spin.

"What kind of aspect?" he asked, hoping with all his heart that she was talking about the same thing he was thinking.

"A sexual relationship that is exclusive and permanent," she said as she maneuvered until she was sitting on his lap. He let his arms wrap loosely around her, as if she would suffocate if he held her too tight.

"That would make me a very happy, very lucky man if I could have that with you, Bones," he said passionately. Her smile was wide and beautiful.

"That would make me very happy as well, Booth," she whispered before his lips touched hers. They kissed with the same passion that they brought to every aspect of their partnership. After a while, Booth stood up with his partner—now his partner in everything—in his arms. He carried her to the bedroom where four years of passions and frustrations were laid bare and a new partnership was begun.

A/N: I hope you liked this little story. Please tell me what you thought.