Title: Five Times Brennan Kisses Booth and One Time He Kisses Her Back

Author: Cardiogod

Rating: PG

Word count: 1765.

Pairing: Booth/Brennan

Spoilers: Through season 4. Specifically for "The Woman in the Sand," "The Knight in the Grid," "Santa in the Slush," and "The Wannabe in the Weeds."

Summary: "The first time she kisses him is early in their partnership, before either of them would really call it a partnership, and completely on accident."

Disclaimer: Bones and co. belong to Hart Hansen and the people at FOX. I'm just playing with them for a while.

Author's Note: First attempt at a "Five things" fic, wanted to try it on for size. No beta other than myself and my kitty, Crackhead, who likes to walk on the keyboard when I'm working instead of petting her.

----

The first time she kisses him is early in their partnership, before either of them would really call it a partnership, and completely on accident. They are bickering; he won't let her go out in the field, says that it's no place for a squint, and she is fuming mad because, even though she doesn't know what a squint is, she is pretty sure it's derogatory and she doesn't like being talked down to. He is saying no no no and she is providing him with scientific reasoning to support her argument which, he says, proves exactly why she belongs in the lab and not in the field. He is hovering over her, always the alpha male, and she finds herself leaning towards him, a rebuttal on her breath.

It is curiously arousing and, if he had been any other man, she may have kissed him to shut him up. But she doesn't because he is Special Agent Seeley Booth and she is a squint and he clearly wants nothing to do with her.

Determined not to give him the satisfaction of intimidating her, she takes a step forward. She doesn't see the pen lying precariously underneath her foot, and before she knows what's happening, she is stumbling, hard, right into him and he is breaking her fall with his arms and his chest. Her mouth lands to the left of his breastbone, where his heart would be if he had one (metaphorically, of course, because she knows that every human being is possessed with a heart, whether or not they call valued scientists squints or act like decent people), and she is left breathless, not knowing how to respond.

----

The second time she kisses him is in Vegas, possessed by the lights and the fight and the adrenaline and a woman named Roxie who is much more daring than she.

She hurls herself into her arms, telling herself that it is the appropriate reaction for the doting girlfriend she is portraying and ignoring the part of her that tells her it's the appropriate reaction for her, too. Today she is not Temperance, today she is Roxie, and Roxie is allowed to show affection for her man. Anthropologically speaking, females have shown their possession of their mate through physicality for centuries, using a touch, a glance, a relieved bear hug to ward off other potential competition. Booth calls it "feminine wiles." She just calls it claiming what is hers. (Even though he isn't, really, but he is Roxie's and she's good at pretending.)

He throws an arm around her, casually, and she presses a kiss to the pulse point just under his jaw, feeling the blood pumping through him steadily, reminding herself that he is okay, that he is alive and not beaten to a bloody pulp by his huge brute of an opponent. He looks at her quizzically but she just shrugs. She is in character, she tells herself and him later when he questions her about it. Temperance Brennan has always strived to be the best at everything, why should going undercover be any different?

----

The third time she kisses him, he is preparing to do something awful and he can't quite understand, for all his intuitive prowess, why she is thanking him for merely delaying the inevitable. He is still taking away another member of the family she's already lost once, twice if you count the time her father handcuffed her to a bench and drove away with her brother.

But she thanks him anyway with her lips to his cheek and she leaves him to do what he knows he has to. He hates that he has to be the one to do this to her, but knows that she needs it to be him, that somehow the fact that he is the arresting officer makes it easier on her.

He looks at the picture before him of Russ and Amy and the two little girls brimming with joy at the sight of their pseudo-father and he wonders if they know the reality they are about to face. Russ does, he's been in jail before, but Amy and the kids have no idea just how upside-down their world is about to turn.

"Russ," he calls, and the man rises and walks toward him, his eyes as grateful as his sisters'. Booth cringes. He doesn't deserve their thanks.

"Take care of her, Booth." It is half-instruction, half-threat and he doesn't say anything as he spins him around and cuffs his left wrist to his right.

"Russ Brennan, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney…"

As he Mirandizes his partners' brother, he prays that she remembers that there is more than one kind of family and that the one they've built between the two of them, rooted in partnership and friendship and trust, is enough to withstand the loss of the one she'd only just found.

----

The fourth time she kisses him is at Christmas under the mistletoe and it is forced and awkward and blissful and he is sure that he wants to spend every waking minute with her lips pressed against his. He'll retire from the FBI, they'll live on her book sales, and he'll do nothing but kiss her and love her and make her his.

He laughs at the thought, at the way her face would contort if he even mentioned giving up their work- because at some point down the line it had become theirs and not just his- to neck on the couch. He can almost hear her saying "I don't know what that means," and explaining to him that the neck is a layman's term for part of the spinal column that has very little to do with couches or kissing.

He wonders idly if she might agree to the kissing part, if he posed the question in a logical, anthropologically justified fashion. Somehow, he didn't think "Hey Bones, wanna make out?" would cut it.

His step still falters every time he walks past Caroline Julian, who looks at him and grins impishly, like she knows some secret that he will never be privy to.

----

The fifth time she kisses him, he is unconscious.

His blood slips through her fingers like liquid sand, drenching them both in copper and scarlet and fear. She feels the air go out of him, his chest as still as those she spends her days examining. Panic floods her as she reaches for him, letting Cam pressurize his wound while she moves to hunch over him, beginning a whirlwind of chest compressions and manufactured breaths.

She breathes for him, her own air flowing into his lungs, and she would give anything to trade places with him because she knows it should have been her.

One, two, three, four, five, breathe. Over and over and over again. One, two, three, four, five, breathe.

After the eighth breath, her tears falls. After the eleventh, her arms are tired and she is still crying and she begs him to come back to her. After the thirteenth, she feels Angela's arms coming around her, trying to pull her away, but she will not go because she needs to save him so that she can save herself.

One, two, three, four, five, breathe.

One, two, three, four, five, breathe.

Fifteen breaths and her breaths are more like plaintive kisses as she struggles to hold herself together.

Sixteen and the paramedics arrive and they force her away and resume CPR, ignoring her when she says that he's blood type O-positive and that he's been shot by what looks like a 22 and that he has to live, absolutely has to because he promised her he'd never leave and he knows she'll kick his ass if he breaks that promise.

Her last thought as they load him into the ambulance, still pumping and breathing and refusing to give up hope, is that she never kissed him the way she wanted to and now she'd never have the chance.

----

He kisses her back on a Tuesday and she tastes like wine and toothpaste and happiness. It is nothing momentous. No one has died, no one is in danger, they are just sitting in his kitchen eating dinner when the urge overwhelms him.

He wonders how much would actually change if he leaned across the table and did it. He would still be Booth, she would still be Bones, they would still fight crime and speak for the dead and bicker about politics and religion and the necessity of major league basketball in American culture. He thinks of all of the things that they've been through together and he almost laughs at the idea that kissing her could somehow separate them when homicidal monsters and fathers and brothers and therapy with a twelve year old and near-death and fake-death and the return to life that was more traumatic than the fake death couldn't do anything but strengthen them.

He is thinking about this when she takes the decision away from him, moving her wine glass to the side and closing the gap between them.

When he pulls back, she cocks her head and looks at him like she does a particularly interesting piece of evidence and he tries not to squirm under her scrutiny. Her lips are drawn into a half moon smile and her eyes are a lighter blue than he thinks he's ever seen them.

Unable to stop himself, he kisses her again. His lips rest against hers, caressing, and he doesn't count the steamboats, and the world does not end.