Title: Worship

Author: Anna (bite_or_avoid)

Pairing: Booth/Brennan

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own nothing except the words I write and my medical school debt :(

Spoilers: None


Logic is the cornerstone of her religion.

She worships at the altar of a gleaming steel platform, the careful, almost reverent way her elegant fingers skim the surface of bones- her sacrament. Terms of anatomical significance drift like murmured prayers across her lips, a litany of phalanges, sphenoid sinus, ischial tuberosity that reaffirms her resolve to uncover the fates of nameless victims.

Her faith is no less profound than his. Faith in quantifiable measurements, in proven facts. This, he knows.

But there are things he doesn't.

He doesn't know that the foundations of her beliefs have been altered, shaken loose by what she has learned from him. He doesn't know that living in the House of Science no longer holds the appeal it once did; not when she could be out in the Real World by his side. And, while she is no less resolute in thought and action, a new realm of possibilities now exists when she attempts to view things through his eyes.

He finds comfort, as many people do, in the misguided notion of some omnipotent being who giveth and taketh away and guides His human flock to a predetermined destiny. She knows better, and this is a notion she can never embrace. He kneels, and prays, and calls upon the invisible the way she calls upon what is known and understood.

But that is not what makes him a good man.

It is not what makes him the attentive father of a son he has no legal claim to. It is not what makes him a loyal and devoted friend. It is not what enables him to rise above the anguish of his own tortured past and take on her pain as his, helping her face and shoulder its burden. And it is not why he atones for sins committed in the name of God and country, the very same God whose approval he deems a necessity. He is these things, does these things, because he cannot bear to be anything less than the standard he holds himself to, and, in her eyes, he has never fallen short.

She thinks and he feels, and always, always, they meet in the middle. It is the balance between them. She is steadfast in this conviction.

And then he breezes into her office with his cocky grin and his come on Bones, chop chop and she follows on blind faith alone, faith in something decidedly unquantifiable but proven nevertheless. Faith in him. She doesn't understand what that means, but thinks maybe she will. After all, evolution takes thousands of years. They've only had four, but she feels herself changing.


One day, against all reason and rationality, a line is crossed. It's not clear which one of them instigates the heresy; they've been dancing around the edges of that boundary for so long that when one falls, they both tumble.

It's sensual and passionate and intense and the embodiment of everything she never knew he had been promising to show her. The anthropological constructs she clings to have no place in his bed, and he is so vigorous in proving this that she can't help but concede the point. Her physiological responses to him are far more than simple biology could ever explain. She concedes this, too.

So she worships at the altar of 187 centimeters of Seeley Booth, the careful, almost reverent way her elegant fingers skim the surface of his flesh- her sacrament. His name and quiet entreaties to a God her beliefs don't allow for drift like murmured prayers across her lips, a mindless litany of oh God, please... Booth! that drives them both beyond all pretense of control or reason.

The weight of four years should be suffocating; it is not. It settles within her heart and her gut, those cornerstones of his religion, and swells inside to such extravagance that it crowds out all else. Nothing exists except the feel and the taste of him, the vague sensation that she's floating somewhere outside herself (even though that is scientifically impossible), and the completely illogical certainty that he would never let her fall.

It is not the first time (or the last) that he proves her logic flawed. And he demonstrates, very convincingly and satisfactorily, that there are more things in Heaven and Earth than can be dreamt of in your science and bones, Bones.

She doesn't understand what that means, but thinks maybe she's starting to. After all, evolution is an anthropological imperative. Those that do not adapt perish, and Temperance Brennan has always been a survivor.

That survival instinct kicks in a second later, when some irrational fear envelops her in its grasp. It's fight or flight now, even while logic dictates that there is nothing here to fight for or flee from. She defies logic, commits sacrilege, and chooses the only path she can. She fights for him.

She meets his eyes, because sometimes they are the only thing that steadies her. The warm brown is unflinching, reassuring. For the first time, she recognizes that look for what it is- he is worshipping her.

And she knows: she will never question her faith in him.