AN: Many thanks to adangeli for her help and friendship. She's awesome, folks. If you haven't read her stuff, go do it. Now. Run along! Forget this drivel I've written- her stuff is MUCH MUCH better.

This was never going to work.

Angela never would have been brazen enough to stand on the platform and undo his tie. She'd think about it, and she'd cock an eyebrow in his direction. His eyes would twinkle in reply knowing it was friendly flirting he'd come to expect from Angela. But she'd never actually do it.

Cam, Cam knew better; she knew that the mere thought of 'let me undo that knot for you' was nudging open a door they both knew was best left firmly closed.

But no, Bones just reached up and slid the precisely done knot right off his neck as if she undressed him every night.

And his breath had stilled in his throat the minute her fingers had worked the knot loose.

He had spared a quick glance at Hodgins and the amused look on the scientists face reminded Booth why he had given up gambling; his poker face had gotten worse over the years.

He forced himself. Inhale. Exhale.

Despite the intent, to mimic the actions of the killer, the feel of her hand gently caressing his cheek nearly had him undone.

Somehow he made it through the day. He imagined it was through sheer will that he was able to keep his hormones in check.

But that night, when he got home and changed into his civilian clothes, as he unbuttoned his shirt the rest of the way his memory flicked back to her touch as she took the first step to undressing him.

He flopped back onto his bed with a groan.

The moments, the eye contact, the long gazes – they had gotten more frequent since his surgery.

He was getting signals that, on any other woman, he'd consider signs of interest. But this was Bones. She'd take two hesitant reluctant steps forward and then a firm, intentional step back behind her walls. He didn't know what her intent was because it seemed she didn't know what her intent was.

Today with the damned tie, that damned touch, they were the proverbial straw. Something had to give.

This was never going to work.