Special Agent Christopher Chase was bored out of his mind. When he had dreamed of becoming a FBI agent, he had imagined catching killers, taking down terrorists and saving the occasional damsel in distress, but so far reality had proven far less exciting.

Chase had spent his first few weeks on the job confined to a desk, feeling more like a secretary than a special agent. Today was his first day in the field. He had hoped that he would finally see some action, but so far there was none to be found…at least not for him. While his more experienced colleagues were starting to document the remote wooded area where a human skeleton had been discovered, he was standing in front of the crime scene tape, supposedly making sure that only authorized personnel gained access. That might have been an exciting task if they were on a street downtown, but they were in the middle of nowhere. He had been standing in this exact spot for nearly a half hour and had yet to see a single person approach the scene; he had gone from secretary to department store mannequin. He was starting to seriously question his choice of career when the most beautiful woman he had ever seen came walking towards him.

It surprised him at first that he thought she was so beautiful. She wasn't wearing a low cut dress that offered a glimpse of her cleavage or a short skirt that showed off her long legs. Her Jeffersonian jumpsuit was hardly an alluring outfit, but her porcelain skin, dazzling blue eyes and confident stride were undeniably arousing. Chase was so focused on admiring this sexy scientist that it took him several seconds to realize she wasn't alone. There was a guy in a suit behind her, possibly a fellow FBI agent. Peering over the crime scene tape, Chase caught the eye of Agent Dan Taylor and motioned for him to come over.

"Who are they?" Chase whispered, tilting his head in the direction of the oncoming pair.

"That's Agent Booth and his partner, Dr. Brennan." Taylor greeted them moments later as they entered the crime scene.

"She's Dr. Brennan?" Chase asked when the pair was out of sight. He had heard about the world famous forensic anthropologist, but he had imagined an old man with graying hair, thick glasses and a pocket protector.

"Yup. She's the best squint there is. She can look at a pile of bones and tell you sex, age, cause of death, the whole shebang."

"Wow. Her husband must be very proud of her."

Taylor shook his head. "She doesn't have a husband."

Chase bit back a grin. "What about a boyfriend?"

"Whoa, stop right there, kid," Taylor said with a laugh. "If Booth knew you were thinking about her like that, he'd kick your ass…or worse."

"She and Booth are together?" Chase tried to hide his disappointment, but failed miserably.

"That's been one of the hot debates at the Bureau for years now," Taylor said. "Some think they're dating in secret, some think they're not together and never will be, some think it's only a matter of time before they confess their feelings and jump each other…preferably in a public place where they can watch."

"What do you think?" Chase asked.

"I think Booth hasn't made his move yet, but it's totally obvious that he wants to. He's always standing really close to her and giving her these goofy smiles and putting his hand on her back and--"

"Booth says they're just partners," interjected Agent Mike Rodrigues.

"Yet he doesn't like anyone else dating his 'just partner'," Taylor retorted. "Remember when she dated an agent a couple years ago? I caught Booth giving him the evil eye behind his back…and then the guy disappeared. You ask me, Booth took him out."

Chase's eyes widened. "You're saying Booth killed him?"

"Hold on," Rodrigues said. "Are you talking about Sully? Booth didn't kill Sully; he bought a boat to sail around the Caribbean."

"That was the official story," Taylor conceded. "But they say he was only supposed to be gone for a year. Why hasn't anyone seen him since? Because he's lying at the bottom of the ocean, that's why."

Rodrigues laughed. "Don't listen to him, Chase. Booth is a good guy."

"Sure he is," Taylor agreed, addressing Rodrigues. "Most of the time. But you can't deny he has a violent streak. You've seen him play hockey, haven't you? And remember when he went crazy and shot that clown?"

"He shot a clown?" Chase asked, wondering if he had heard correctly.

"You mean the serial killer in the clown costume?" Rodrigues asked Taylor indignantly. "The guy was shooting at Booth, Dr. Brennan and a teenage girl! Booth had to shoot him!"

"I wasn't talking about that," Taylor shot back. "I was talking about the other clown he shot…the one that got him sent to therapy."

Rodrigues was confused. "He and Dr. Brennan have to go to therapy because he arrested her father."

"He arrested her father?" Chase repeated incredulously. "What for?"

"Murder. He killed Deputy Director Kirby and another guy who used to be FBI," Taylor answered. "Killing FBI agents is one of his favorite hobbies."

"Her dad's really a murderer?" Chase was starting to think that lusting after a woman with a homicidal partner and father could be a very bad idea.

"He was acquitted at trial," Rodrigues argued.

"Which doesn't make him innocent," Taylor retorted. "But I was talking about the first time Booth had to go to therapy. Don't you remember the ice cream truck incident?"

"When he shot the clown speaker," Rodrigues realized.

"Booth shot an ice cream truck?" Chase laughed. "Why?"

"I think he had a minor meltdown after a rough case," Rodrigues answered.

"Maybe. Or maybe he thought the driver was hitting on his beloved Bones," Taylor suggested.

Rodrigues rolled his eyes. "You're so full of crap, Taylor."

"He calls her Bones?" Chase asked.

"Because she works with bones," Rodrigues explained.

Taylor smirked. "Or because he wants to bone her…just like Chase here."

Chase's face reddened. "I never said that I--"

"Working on the case, gentlemen?" came a loud male voice from behind them. All three men turned to see Booth glaring at them. A long, awkward pause followed, during which Chase, Taylor and Rodrigues fantasized that they were somewhere else, and Booth fantasized that he pulled his gun on them and they ran away in terror, screaming like little girls.

Ultimately Rodrigues was the first to speak. "I'll see if I can find anything else you and Dr. Brennan can use to catch this guy." He headed back to the scene.

"Yeah…me too," Taylor said, jogging after Rodrigues.

Suddenly Chase felt very alone…and very anxious. "Agent Booth, if you heard what Agent Taylor said just now, it's not true. I didn't say that about Dr. Brennan, I swear!" He wondered if this was the end. Maybe the next pile of bones Dr. Brennan looked at would be his.

Booth gave Chase a paternal smile. "Calm down, kid, I believe you. Don't listen to anything Taylor says, alright? Dr. Brennan and I are just partners."

"So…you'd be okay with me asking her out?"

Booth laughed, but his face darkened. "No."

"But if you're just partners--"

"Dr. Brennan doesn't date FBI agents."

"I dated Sully," Brennan said as she approached him from behind.

Booth jumped at the sound of her voice. "Bones! You shouldn't sneak up on people like that."

"I wasn't sneaking; I was coming to tell you that I'm ready to go back to the lab."

"Great. Let's go." Booth put his hand on her lower back and quickly steered her away from Chase.

As the pair walked away, Chase heard Dr. Brennan ask: "Why were you telling him that I don't date FBI agents?"

"So you wouldn't have to reject him personally," Booth answered.

"Why did you assume I would reject him? He was suitably attractive." Chase smiled at the compliment.

"He's in his twenties, Bones…his early twenties. He's Sweets' age! He might even be younger than Sweets!"

"Anthropologically, it's not uncommon for women to choose younger mates who are at the height of their virility."

"Hey, I'm still at the height of my virility!" Booth protested. "Tell you what, Bones. After we solve this case, we'll go to the FBI gym and I'll show you I can bench press as much as any guy there."

"You shouldn't over exert yourself. You might hurt your back again."

"My back is fine…but if something did happen to it, you could use your magic fingers to fix it again."

Brennan laughed. "I don't have magic powers, Booth."

"You have power over me." Booth smiled at Brennan, she smiled back, and then they were out of Chase's sight and earshot.

Chase had seen and heard enough to know he'd never have a chance with Dr. Brennan. At that moment, he understood something his veteran colleagues did not: someday Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan would undoubtedly have sex-- really spectacular sex--but it would just be the icing on the cake.

They were already a couple.

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