I do not own the characters of Bones

Temperance Brennan sat huddled over her desk as usual, writing up paper work for a case she and her partner had just closed. As always she was there way past the time she should have gone home. Around 9 o'clock Angela had left with Hodgins though not before stopping in her office to ask if she wanted to join them for the night out at a club. Of course Temperance declined and after 10 minutes of debating Angela finally gave up and left. Leaving Bren alone in the Jeffersonian.

Around 10:30pm Seeley Booth strolled into the door of the lab on a mission.

He had finally broken, as he always did when he tried to distance himself from his partner. He knew that he shouldn't be having these strong emotions for her, but he had stopped trying to deny those feelings to himself a long time ago. He loved her and he probably had been in love with her since the first day they met. The best he figured he could do was keep his distance and hopefully what he was feeling would go away on its own.

He had been trying to do just that for the past 4 years.

Now after spending 9 hours away from Brennan, and very unsuccessfully get any work done all day, he decided to give in to what he wanted and headed for the one place he knew she'd be.

As he walked up to her office door he stopped for a moment to admire her presence. Light brown hair hanging loosely over her shoulders and a look of concentration on her face as she worked furiously over her desk. He thought she worked entirely too hard, but he wouldn't dare get into a conversation like that with the workaholic, in plain blank fear of what lecture that would get him.

Brennan lifted her head feeling the gaze of somebody trained on her.

"Booth? What are you doing here?" she asked. The confused look of hers that Booth adored appearing on her face making him smile widely.

"Well I was wondering if you wanted to get something to eat. I knew that you'd be here as always and…"

"I can't." she replied shortly.

Booth's heart felt a pang at the tone of her words and his face turned quickly to pained, though not wanting her to see this he quickly tried to cover it.

Brennan turned to return back to her work, until she saw the hurt appears on Booth's face. She quickly tried to make up for her fault.

"I'm sorry Booth, I didn't mean it to sound as harsh as that came out…I'm just a little preoccupied and I have to get home soon." Brennan replied, wincing slightly at her words and hoping Booth didn't inquire as to why she had to 'get home' so urgently.

Though when was Booth ever one to miss anything.

What does she mean she needs to get home? Booth thought, It's already almost 11pm, and she always out this late, why the sudden rush today? Unless…

At the sudden realization of Brennan possibly having a date, Booths stomach dropped and his heart raced. He desperately hoped that wasn't the case.

"Bones…" he hesitated and then cleared his throat and this time was satisfied with the strong tone of his voice "What do you mean you need to get home, you're always out this late?" he asked curiously.

With his heart still pounding he dived into what it was he really wanted to know.

"What…you got a hot date or something?" he asked jokingly

Brennan thought about this quickly. She didn't have a date, but she did have a something. In fact she had a secret something, and that secret something was waiting for her at home right now and she was very eager to leave. But Brennan had to make sure not to say anything about what she had been hiding from her partner for quite some time now and even though she would have loved to go out to dinner with him, she would love even more to get home as soon as possible. And the easiest thing to do to get what she wanted without question would be to lie.

Temperance gulped deep inside herself, she was not the best fabricator, as she had been told many times before and knowing how good Booth was at reading people she desperately hoped that he would not be able to catch her bluff.

"Yes, Booth in fact I do have a date tonight."

Booth's could have sworn his heart had skipped several beats at her words.

Brennan thought quickly to back up her statement mistaking Booths look of defeat as him figuring her lie out, "I had to call and push the time back some because of the work that I had to finish, but now that you have interrupted me already I guess I will just have to finish tomorrow." Damn, Brennan thought I really wanted to get this done so I could spend some extra time at home tomorrow.

"Geez, Sorry Bones I didn't mean to bother you, just wanted to know if you wanted any company." He replied sadly

Booth turned to leave struggling with himself not to say anything or get involved in a interrogation on who she'd be going out with. Even if he may not like the fact that she was dating someone else he still wanted to make sure she'd be safe, especially considering Brennan's history of past boyfriends/dates.

Brennan, hearing Booths voice immediately felt sorry and got up from her desk to catch him.

"Booth! Booth. Wait."

He turned around not bothering to replace his hurt expression.

"Look Booth I'm sorry ok I just…I just really need to get home ok?" she said softly

"To your date." Booth confirmed

Bren hesitated for only half a second before answering "Yes."

She really, really hated lying to Booth, especially about seeing someone when she was pretty sure another man is the last person is that is on her mind when she has Booth. Brennan was pulled from her thoughts surprised to see the change in her partners face from sadden to anger.

"Fine," Booth said with tension in his voice. I can't believe this Booth thought, all this time you've been painfully in love with her Seeley and she just goes out with other men! Though then again whose fault is that Booth, you never even told her how you feel. How would she know?

He sighed and decided that he would just go to Wong Foo's on his way home and pick something quick up to eat, and try his very best to not think of the date his partner would be on tonight. He knew he would have no luck of this at all.

Temperance was taken aback by her partners changing of attitudes from sad to angry and now to what looked like defeat and hurt again. She honestly didn't know what to say but as her eye caught sight of a clock on the wall she became impatient again and was about to dismiss herself when Booth spoke again.

"Uh…I'm sorry Bones…I guess I'm just a bit stressed from the case this week. I'll just get out of your way and let you get to your date." Booth turned for the second time to the doors of the lab ready to leave.

Despite Brennan's want to go home she couldn't help but feel concern for her partner and caught his hand as he turned again.

Neither she nor Booth could help but feel the burning in their hands from the contact. Booth looked deeply at Brennan at that moment and they were trapped, both entranced in the other's eyes.

Brennan felt the heat rush from her hand all throughout her body and her heart pounding against her chest. Fear of whatever it was she was feeling she dropped both eye and hand contact after a few seconds, and seemed to find sudden interest in the marble floor beneath them as she spoke.

"Umm…I…I have to…" she stammered nervously

Booth finished for her, "Gets home. Right?"

"Yes." She looked up again "I'll see you on Monday?"

He couldn't help but give a small smile at her insecurity, he knew she had felt what he had, and he also knew she would never admit it. So better to protect himself from rejection, he'd see her on Monday as always at the Diner for lunch whether they had a case or not. He'd let her have her date tonight (which for some reason he had an odd feeling about whether she was telling the truth), but starting next week he's done playing games and he's going to take a leap of faith with her, and hopefully she doesn't run away from what is between them.

"Yeah, I'll see you on Monday."

"Ok."

Booth sadly put on a fake smile for Brennan's benefit and for the third time headed to the lab doors but this time he got through to them. Walking to his Tahoe he began dreading what he knew was going to be a long sleepless night with only one person on his mind.

Brennan sighed as she watched Booth leave. Turning back to her office she groaned as her eyes came in contact with the clock once again. She had really wanted to get that work done. Though instead she gave into her deepest desire and quickly packed her bag with some work that she could do at home (after deciding that she would do something she never did and call into work sick tomorrow). Then she locked up her office and left the lab.

--

Booth entered his apartment in a huff. He had somewhere between picking up the food at Wong Foo's and leaving Brennan's office lost his appetite so he just threw the takeout in the fridge for later.

He then plopped himself onto his bed after stripping down to only boxers, and as assumed his mind wondered to her. Her face her smell, her heavenly voice, her always confused expression to the idioms people would use around her, and the way she crinkled her nose when trying to figure something out.

Jesus Seeley He groaned to himself you got it bad.

He thought about their conversation tonight and came back to when she had said she had a date. He couldn't be absolutely positive though he could have sworn he saw her hesitate as she answered him, which got him thinking.

Was she lying? And if she were why would she lie to me? Something's going on that she isn't telling me.

Just then he rolled over on his side and his attention was drawn from his thinking to the sudden sharp pain in his rib.

Reaching beneath him he retrieved one of Parkers action figures that had been left there.

Uh…I thought I told him to make sure his toys where away before he left. Then again when does he ever remember?

Tossing the toy to the ground he continued to lay there until sleep finally caught him around 1:30 in the morning.

--

Brennan was just arriving in front of her apartment building at 11:15pm, and she couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief as to finally getting home. She grabbed her bag from the passenger seat and made her way to the elevator in her building.

When she got to the 6th floor she got off and walked down the familiar way to Ms. Ramirez's door, knocking softly she patently waited for the answer.

About one minute later Ms. Ramirez appeared at the door. She was an older woman around the age of 52. She was Hispanic American and looked much younger than she was, Temperance thought she could pass for ten years younger than her actual age. She had lived in the same building as long as Temperance had, and she was probably the only person in their building who Brennan even knew, other than the guy who opened the door for her every day in the front lobby (who she thanked every time regardless how alpha-male it seemed). She was perfectly capable of opening the door herself.

Mr. Ramirez smiled at Brennan "Hello Tempe. I know who you're here for." She said in her very faint Spanish accent as she turned and walked back into the apartment.

Brennan followed her in through the door of the grand apartment, (though it not as big as her own apartment it was still quite impressive compared to the typical size of an apartment) down the hall Brennan walked behind Ms. Ramirez.

"She was a perfect angel as always Tempe," Ms. Ramirez said "I tell you, if she was mine I would never let her go, she is just too precious for words…you are a very lucky woman to have her."

Ms. Ramirez had stopped inside the door way of the room at the fatherless end of the apartment, she had lowered her voice as she spoke now careful not to wake the sleeping small child that lay on the bed.

"I finally got her to sleep at about 9:30. For such a young child she has so much energy in her." Ms. Ramirez softly chuckled under her breath, her words causing Temperance to smile as well. Then she left Brennan alone and returned to the living room.

As Temperance walked closer into the room, the little girl lying on the bed came more into view. She had long dark brown soft curls that covered her head and ran down just above the middle of her back. Her skin was not as pale as Temperance though it was very close. Her little hands clung to the pillow sheet her head rested on, and her mouth was formed into an o shape, the same o shape that she had always wore on her face when she slept since the day she was born.

Brennan watched a second as the beautiful little girl, at age 4, chest rose and fall as she slept peacefully without a care in the world. Temperance could recall how she had never wanted a child and the day she was born her beliefs still wouldn't allow her to want a child, but when the doctors had placed the little girl in her arms for the first time and Brennan looked into those deep blue eyes that almost matched hers exactly she had fallen in love with her immediately. Though who could not fall in love with the child? The 3 days alone that Brennan had been in the hospital after her birth the little girl had every nurse and doctor in the hospital cooing and falling all over her, and since then, the child had been able to capture everyone's heart that she met.

And Temperance certainly was grateful more than she thought possible to know the child.

How tired Temperance was suddenly hit her full force and she sighed again for the umpteen-time that night. Ready to finally go to bed she reached down gently gathering the small sleeping child in her arms. The little girl stirred slightly, though never opening her eyes she repositioned herself in the new place of Brennan's familiar arms, wrapping her small hands around her neck she buried her face into the crook of her neck before she settled back to sleep.

Bren's heart filled at the simple contact and how natural it felt to have her in her arms. She still couldn't believe how much this child meant to her, and how easy it was for her to care for her.

Walking back to the living room with child now in hand Ms. Ramirez stood with the girls backpack and slung it onto Tempe's shoulder. After saying their goodbyes and Temperance telling Ms. Ramirez that she wouldn't need her tomorrow because was taking the Saturday off of work, she was back in the elevator. Once she had gotten to the 8th floor, the top floor, she exited and walked now to her front door. 4 years of training to open the door with a sleeping child on her shoulder had made her and expert on the matter and in a few seconds she was inside the comfort of her home. She then walked straight to the room down the hall from hers and entered switching on the night lamp. She placed the sleeping girl on her bed and silently thanked the fact that Ms. Ramirez had already dressed her in her pajamas (not wanting to interrupt her daughters sleep). Then as natural as ever she leaned down and kissed the 4 year old on the forehead after tucking her in.

"I love you." She whispered in the girls ears meaning every word of it. Watching as the girl stirred at the words and then settled back with the same o shape on her lips, the perfect picture of contentment.

Bren then turned off the bedside lamp and closed the door as quietly as possible behind her. Going into her own room Temperance changed into some shorts and a spaghetti tank top and tiredly crawled into bed and pulled the covers over herself. Though she was desperately tired from the day's work she couldn't find sleep, as the same thought plagued her mind as it had for the past 4 years. She felt something for Booth, she knew she did but the fear of being hurt was too great to admit it to herself and do something about it. Look how that had worked out for you last time Temperance. Besides you have a daughter to worry about. But this lying to her partner and best friend (other than Angela) was killing her, so she was brought back to the same question she asked herself over and over again.

Should I tell him?


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