Disclaimer: As always, this story was written for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement was intended.

Spoilers: Up through "A Night at the Bones Museum"

A/N: I've never written a stream of consciousness piece before. I hope it's not too hard to follow! Thanks to the lovely lizook12 for the beta.

Between Us

Lost. He's so lost. He's so tired of feeling lost. He can't tell what's real anymore. What is real and what's just his fucked up coma brain messing with him?

There's socks and clowns and psychics and Cocky belt buckles. There are brain scans and bad guys and forensic labs-turned-dance clubs. Friendships and partnerships. And feelings. There are definitely feelings.

This. Her. She's real. Bones is real. And his feelings for her…? He can't be certain.

They sure as hell feel real. And he wants to tell her. Hell, he wants to tell everybody. He wants to shout it from the rooftops. But then everyone would definitely think he's crazy.

Cam warns him to be sure. He knows she's right. He thinks he's sure. No, he knows it. And then he tries to tell her and the doubts nearly suffocate him and he takes it all back. He tells her he loves her…in a "professional, atta-girl" sort of way—whatever that means—and then wishes the sidewalk would just swallow him up so that she'd stop staring at him with that—disappointed?—look.

So they go on with their lives and the way he feels about her, well it's almost painful. But in a good way. The way he feels about her is good. He just doesn't want it to be a result of the coma.

They spend most of their time together, even more than they did before his brain surgery. They almost lost something because of that tumor. And now they've gained something because of it too. They both seem to know it, but neither seems able to put a voice to it. They've always been close—closer than 'close'—but it's even stronger now. He likes to be with her. All. The. Time. Even when she's arguing with him or pushing his buttons or getting on his nerves, he wants to be with her. And even when they're apart, they're still together—phone, text, email—it doesn't matter how, but scarcely an hour goes by when they haven't spoken.

And now she's dating his boss—his BOSS!—and he wonders if she's doing it to drive him insane. Maybe she's doing some kind of damn experiment on him, dating his co-worker, his brother, and now Hacker, just to see how far she can push him. He puts up with a lot of her shit—it seems like she's always doing something that tests his patience—but this… This is too much.

If he were more certain about his feelings—and if Hacker didn't have the power to squash his career like a bug—he would've crashed their date and dragged her out of there because she's his. His. She'd probably kick his ass to kingdom come for acting like an "alpha male", but he wouldn't give a shit. He'd haul her out of the restaurant and throw her in his SUV and cart her back to his apartment—kicking and screaming if that's what it took—where he'd show her just what she means to him. His, damn it!

She brings out the Neanderthal in him, that's for sure. No woman has ever made him feel this way. Caught somewhere between wanting to throttle her and wanting to screw the daylights out of her. It's more than that, of course, but sometimes he can't see past the blinding anger-love she inflicts in him. Oh, but then she looks at him like this, talking with that soft voice and gazing with those gentle eyes… It makes all the anger melt away and all that's left is the love. And it's pretty blinding too.

He can feel himself moving closer… And she's moving closer, like they are magnets and any second they're going to come together, because this thing between them—it's stronger than either one of them. He vaguely wonders if she's testing him again. How far can she push him?

"What goes on between us... That should just be ours. Isn't that what you said?"

And suddenly the doubts are gone and he's leaning in and she's leaning in and it's going to happen. He can feel her warm breath on his face, can smell that glass of wine she'd just been sipping, and now he'll taste…

He wants it to happen so badly he thinks he might actually cry when their friends interrupt them. All this time, he's been afraid that kissing her would end up hurting him. Who knew it was not kissing her that would hurt like hell?

But the moment's passed and she fixes his tie and he can't help it. He has to touch her. He brushes back a lock of her hair, but that's all he'll allow himself right now. They both smile sadly and he knows it's only a matter of time.

He's got nothing but time. For her.

He'll wait.