Ange identified our murder victim as someone. Killed with some weapon. Time of death: some day. I'll know for certain eventually.

I stare at my cell phone in disbelief. That text message came from Bones? My Bones? The last time I heard something that strange from her, she and Angela had accidentally inhaled crystal meth at a night club after discovering a mummy in the wall. I remember I was on a date with Tessa when I got the call and she was annoyed that I had to go check it out. Not as annoyed as the time I called her "Bones" in bed, but close.

Maybe Hodgins and the squint-of-the-week were doing an experiment and it went wrong as it usually does and they unleashed some mind-altering drug into the Jeffersonian air supply. Maybe they had to lock down the lab. I'll have to get Bones out somehow; I don't want her trapped in a building of crazy drugged squints without me there to protect her. Of course, she'd get pissed at me for thinking that she needed to be protected. I know she's more than capable of defending herself in most situations, but I like being by her side just in case.

But maybe this has nothing to do with drugs. She could just be playing a joke on…no, Bones wouldn't do that. I tried to get her to play jokes on the squints on April Fool's Day, but she said it would be unprofessional. It was a shame because I had a lot of great ideas for her: tell Cam that she was quitting; tell the squint-of-the-week that he was fired; tell Angela that she and I finally had sex and that it was amazing and I was the best lover she had ever had…

Hopefully someday that won't be a joke. We'll end up crossing the line eventually, won't we? Why did I even draw that line in the first place? Oh yeah, because I was scared. Me, the big, tough, FBI agent and former army ranger, was scared I'd mess things up with her like I did with Cam and Tessa and Rebecca and the girlfriends before them. But I didn't tell her I was scared, did I? No, I had to give her some dumb line about how people in high risk situations shouldn't be involved romantically because--

High risk.

Oh God.

What if Bones is in trouble, but someone's looking over her shoulder so she can't say so directly? Maybe her message was a code I'm supposed to figure out, like the time she sent me those numbers after she and Hodgins were kidnapped by the Gravedigger. I'm sitting here thinking about having sex with her and her life could be in danger!

I call our tech guys. "This is Booth. I need you to trace a text I received on my phone right now."

"You got it, Booth."

I pace up and down my office until I get a call back a few minutes later. "It came from the Jeffersonian."

XXXXXXXXXX

After speeding from the Hoover building to the Jeffersonian--if Bones was in the car with me, she'd have told me I was driving like a crazy person, which I definitely was---I run from the parking lot to the forensic platform, arriving just in time to see…Bones in hand to hand combat with an unknown assailant? No. Bones being held at gunpoint? No. Bones being forced to kiss someone else because Caroline Julian feels puckish again? Still no. All I see is Bones standing over the decomposed body of the victim in our latest case. Unless that victim turns into a zombie who wants to eat my partner's brilliant brain (and what zombie wouldn't?) she's perfectly safe. Confused but relieved, I stand still for a few moments to catch my breath, then move to her side. "I got your message."

"Good." She keeps her eyes on the body before her. "Did it help you catch the killer?"

Is she serious? "No, it didn't help at all. It just confused me."

"Exactly." She walks off the platform, heading for her office, and I follow close behind.

"Exactly what, Bones?" I ask when we arrive in her office and sit down on her couch. "What's going on?"

"You're frustrated." She smiles that 'I know something you don't know' smile.

Her obvious enjoyment of the situation pushes me over the edge. "Yeah, I'm frustrated! You sent me that weird text and at first I thought you might have been drugged. Eventually I decided it was a code that you were in danger, so I dropped everything to rush over here, but clearly it was all for nothing and now you won't even tell me what's going on!"

Her smile fades, replaced by a look of genuine remorse. "I'm sorry you thought I was in danger. That wasn't my intention."

I let my anger go; I never could stay mad at her for long. "What was your intention?"

"I wanted you to understand how confusing and frustrating it is when you need concrete information from another person and you receive vague statements like 'There's someone out there for everyone' and 'Someday you'll know what love is' and 'Everything happens eventually.' Please just tell me, Booth: do you want a sexual relationship with me or not?"

Whoa! I think my heart might have stopped for a second there. "Is this conversation really happening, Bones? Or am I hallucinating again?" I look around the room, wondering if more famous athletes, ghosts of dead friends, or cartoon characters are about to drop in for a visit. Maybe Bugs Bunny will have some sex advice for me.

"You're not hallucinating, Booth." She puts her hand on my arm.

Her touch feels real, but so did the sex we had in my coma dream. "How can I be sure?"

"Let me prove it to you. Do you know what arma virumque cano means?"

"No. What language is it?"

"Latin. It means 'I sing of arms and a man.' It's from the first line of Virgil's Aeneid."

"Why was he singing about a guy's arms? Did he have an arm fetish?" I hope she'll find that amusing.

She laughs. Score one for Seeley Booth! "Not arms as in the body part, arms as in armor and weapons of war."

"And how does that prove I'm not hallucinating?"

"Because you didn't know it. If this conversation existed only in your mind, I couldn't say anything you didn't know. Would you like more examples?"

If Bones starts listing all the things she knows that I don't, we'll be here for days, maybe even weeks. "No…I get it. So…you really asked me just now if I wanted a sexual relationship with you?"

"I did. What's your answer?"

So this is it. No more hiding my feelings behind vague statements. It's now or never, and never isn't an option. "Yes, I want a relationship with you. I love you, Bones. I know you don't believe in love, but--"

"Make me believe." She gives me the sexiest look I've ever seen and leans toward me.

I take her in my arms and kiss her with every ounce of passion inside me. She responds immediately, her mouth fused to mine while her hands clutch my shirt collar. I can't believe that we're finally doing this and it's so much better than I ever imagined and, oh God, did she just moan? That's the hottest thing I've ever heard. I want her to keep making that sound over and over again, louder and louder…and then I remember that we're in her office, not her bedroom. The last thing we need right now is an audience of squints. When I reluctantly pull back, I see that Bones' face is flushed and she's smiling. She's never looked more beautiful. "Do you believe in love now?"

She leans her head against my chest, right over my heart. She must be able to feel how fast it's beating for her. "It's possible I'm starting to. I'll need more evidence before I come to a conclusion, of course."

I kiss the top of her head. "Of course. No problem, Bones. I'll give you all the evidence in the world."

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