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

Spoilers: "A Night at the Bones Museum"

A/N: This episode was so good it inspired me to write two fics! Thanks lizook for the read through.

A Chance to Finally Shine

He's nervous now. Hell, he was nervous before their little excursion to the Anok exhibit and now he's downright freaked out. Because he almost kissed her, and because there are so many complications involved in kissing her. But in that moment, he couldn't seem to think of anything other than the woman in front of him and how badly he wanted to kiss her.

It didn't happen. There should be some kind of relief in that, but there isn't.

His eyes follow her as she leaves his side, ready to take her place onstage. If she hadn't just told him how much she hates these things, he would never have guessed. She's a natural in this world of academia, unlike him, with his rented tux and his blue-collar background. He doesn't belong here, but she does. In her element, she is stunning.

She begins to speak and, while he doesn't follow all of her scientific mumbo-jumbo, he's mesmerized. And though her eyes occasionally travel over the audience—every good speaker knows to do this—her gaze only lingers on him. He feels the weight of it, heavy.

He's all too aware that she has the power to crush his heart in her tiny little hands. No person should ever have this kind of hold on another. It's only been recently that he's begun to realize he might have the same grip on her.

That awareness scares the hell out of him.

She cracks a joke and the crowd chuckles. He can't help but smile proudly. Lucky. He's so lucky to be here with her. He knows this.

Eventually the speeches are over and he stands on the outskirts of the crowd. It seems everyone wants their chance to speak to the world-renowned anthropologist. He's content to wait, knowing he'll get more than a measly two minutes of empty chit chat with her.

He occupies himself how she would: observing the culture. It makes him feel inadequate. If he were being honest with himself, he'd admit that Hacker would have been a more suitable date for her tonight. He wants nothing but the best for her, yet he can't bear to see her with anybody else. It's the ultimate catch-22 and it frustrates the hell out of him.

He's caught by surprise when she pushes her way through her admirers and takes his arm. Her smile is positively radiant and he can't help but grin back at her, tightening his grip as she leads him directly into the crowd.

His heart soars each time she introduces him to Professor So-and-So and Doctor What's-His-Name, touched by the way she treats him like he's as important as any one of them. And he hopes that maybe it's the way she really feels about him.

She sneaks them out of there as early as they can leave undetected. They're still arm in arm as they walk to his car and he likes this, being Temperance Brennan's date. He's much more at ease now, just being with her.

He clears his throat. "Are you sure you can just leave like this? You're the guest of honor, after all."

She laughs a little and shrugs. "The champagne is flowing freely now… They won't even notice we're gone."

We. He loves that she thinks of them as 'we' tonight. And for the first time, this doesn't feel complicated anymore. They've reached the car and he reluctantly releases her arm so she can climb in. He's about to close the door when she stops him.


He ducks his head into the cab. "Yeah, Bones?"

She hesitates for just a moment before leaning forward and pressing her lips to his. He responds instantly, his fingers reaching out to lightly trace the line of her jaw. It's much too brief, just a taste of what could be, really, but they're both smiling when they part.

"I like what's between us," she whispers.

"Me too, Bones. Me too."