Disclaimer: They are not mine. No infringement intended.

Summary: Booth has a serious gambling relapse. For a very good reason. Can his partner pull him back together? Let's find out shall we? For this you will need; a quiet place to sit, a pot of tea, dunking cookies, and an open mind. J Angst, romance, language, mature themes.

Rating: M+/NC17.

Thanks: Goes to, Kam my lovely beta, who encourages and gives up his valuable time to correct my shocking grammar! Hugs X


Angela Montenegro sat at her friend's desk and sighed. Then picked up her phone, dialling Dr Temperance Brennan's mobile, carefully and slowly. Because she was trying to get her thoughts in order, before she spoke to her dear friend about her partner. And the news she had just received about him. The mobile rang three times, before the doctor picked up.

'Dr Brennan?'

'Hey, Sweetie, it's Ange.'

'Oh. Hi, Ange, great to here from you. I've been so busy. Swamped actually. Having a brilliant time. Skeletons popping up all over the place Haaa,' she said excitedly and sounding very relaxed.

'Right. Great. That's really good…' Trying to sound excited for her friend, who was on a dig in Mexico, and had been for the last five weeks. Bones had been taking a little R&R, out of her lab for a while.

'Ange? Is everything Ok? You sound a little down?'

'Actually, Bren no, it isn't.'

'Is it Jack? Because you know I'm terrible with relationship issues. Talk to Booth or Cam they…' Ange interrupted her.

'No, Bren, Jack and me, we're fine. I didn't know whether to call you or not but,'

'What, Ange? What's up?' Bones sounding concerned.

'It's Booth.'

There was a long pause then Bones said softly, 'Okay. Is he ill again?' Noting the sense of dread in herself, her stomach starting to churn. She swallowed the bile that rose to her throat.

'No. Well, as far as I know. Bren? I got a call from the police in Las Vegas.' Bones heart heaved and started to race. Vegas? Booth her partner, was a recovering gambler, and Vegas was somewhere she knew he should avoid like the plague. Bones bowed her head.

'Why?' she asked her friend.

'It was a courtesy call actually, they picked Booth up after he crashed his car, into a statue of Caesar. He's ok, just a few broken ribs. But he was drunk, Bren… They realised who and what he was, and this could be his career. So they have not charged him, but wanted someone to come and pick him up and, take him home. Apparently he asked for you but when they went to check on him, he had left the hospital and disappeared. They are keeping an eye out for him but,' Ange grimaced.

Bones sighed heavily. 'Do you know what set him off, Ange?'

'Yes. Rebecca is moving. To San Francisco, obviously taking Parker with her.'

'Oh. No,' Bones groaned, rubbing her face. 'Ok. I'll go and see if I can find him. Did you have an address in Vegas for him?'

'No, no fixed address but the police officer said he was heading back to Caesar's, when he hit the statue.'

'Ok, Ange, thanks. If you hear anything, call.'


'I'll call you when I get there.'

'Right, ok, Bren,' Ange said sadly. Though, proud of her friend and her decision to go and find her partner immediately.

'Bye.' Bones' heart broke there and then. Not just for her partner but for hers. She had grown extremely fond of Parker, she had been enriching his education and spending loads more time with him and Booth. They used her apartment pool regularly, as her guests. They would always pop in after and thank her. Stay for a drink or sometimes she would go out to dinner with them. They had got increasingly close, over the last year or so.

Bones got off the plane, then hailed a cab to Caesars palace. She watched the streets and hotels whiz by, as the cab took her up the strip. The gaudy lights and over the top neon signs, blurred the vision and enticed the public inside the casinos and gambling halls. Luring the punter to spend their money, in a vain attempt to fool them to thinking they would leave Las Vegas as millionaires.

Its façade a clean fun image but underneath; prostitution, money laundering, drugs, and loan sharks lurked on every corner, and down the dingy side roads and alleyways.

The thrill of the win, big or small, kept the city pumping twenty four seven, 365 days a year. Bones loathed the place already. Knowing what it had already done to her partner. How it preyed on the weak and addicted.

Many came, had fun and left. Others stayed a life time, dropping lower and lower, till a vice ruined them. Drugs, booze, debt. Bones knew her partner had used his gambling as an escape from what he had done in his military career. To blot out the pain and shame of what he had done as a sniper. He luckily saw the error of his ways and got help. He went to his meetings, and stayed clean. But with his son leaving, it was the stab to the heart, and left him with nothing. His life a mess and feeling desperately low, he needed his fix and had obviously gone to get it.

Bones walked up to the reception of Caesars Palace, which had slot machines either side of the wide long counter.

'Hey, hi. Do you have a Seeley Booth, staying with you? I'm his partner.'

'I'm sorry, madam. We don't give out the names of our guests, but we can get you a room? We have several suites and…' Bones lifted her hand, to stop the perfectly made up and silicone enhanced receptionist.

'No. That's fine. Can I leave this with you for a while? I'll pay you to keep it safe, while I check the halls for him?'

'Sure. Hundred?'

'Hundred dollars? To look after a rucksack??' Bones said incredulously.

'Yes, take it or leave it. It is a big one?' The receptionist said looking down her nose at Bones. Who was dressed in khaki trousers; hobnailed boots, t shirt, all of which were rather dusty. And her hair bunched up behind her head, in a ragged pony tail.

'Right. Ok,' she sighed pissed off, pulled out her purse and slapped two fifties down on the counter. 'Receipt please,' she gave bitterly. The receptionist bleated and wrote her a receipt out. Bones noted she popped the cash in her fake cleavage with a smile, sickly sweet.

'There you go. Have a good day,' she said falsely.

Bones sneered, took the receipt and walked through the double automatic door. She was assaulted by lights, noise, the smell of alcohol and the rattle and hum of hundreds of coins dropping. She checked her stride and took a breath. Seven in the evening and the place was packed. People sat at slots with plastic pots, pouring change into holes and pulled handles. Transfixed by the spinning coloured lights, music, and the anticipation of winning.

Bones, rational and logical, knew she had to do this as an investigator would, as Booth would. Craps. Craps was his game he had told her once. So she decided to start there.

She walked through the throngs of people towards the tables. People milled about, watching silver balls race around the roulette wheels. Couriers dealt cards on the black jack tables, to men and women who had girls and interested men watching on. Bones neared the craps tables, where several games were in full swing. She scanned the tables for him.

'Drink?' Bones turned her head to see a slightly swaying balding man, who smelt of too much beer and bad teeth, grinning at her.

'No, thank you.' She moved off hearing him say under his breath, bitch.

As she scanned, she heard him before she saw him. 'Wow! Go girl! Blow again. You're good luck!' Booth was drunk, sitting with two scantily clad girls, one on each knee, holding up two dice to one of the girl's lips, grinning stupidly at her. Bones felt relieved she had found him, but not quite sure how to handle the situation. So she decided to watch for a while and observe him.

She watched the girls whispering in his ear, caressing his back and hair. Bones wanted to vomit. Booth had a double scotch beside him, an unlit cigar between his clenched teeth, and a pile of chips in front of him. He had obviously done well, and the girl's were taking advantage. Booth picked up a chip, and slowly put it in the girls cleavage, locking his glassy eyes with her, while she giggled like a school girl. She whispered something back, then got off his knee, and walked to the bar.

Bones watched her go, order a drink, lose her smile as she leant on the bar waiting. She downed a tequila shot, took the change and slipped it somewhere, then carried back his scotch. Bones noted she didn't give him the change.

Booth threw the dice. 'Sevens!' Everybody cheered, he stood quickly, knocking the girls off him, thrusting his arms up in victory salute. The girls giggled and got back up, as he pulled another pile of chips to his growing pile. They draped themselves over him again. He was being whispered to, kissed and caressed. That bile was back and stinging Bones' throat.

She had seen enough, she walked to the bar and took a seat, her eyes fixed on him. Bones fingered out her mobile from her back pocket and rang Ange.

'I found him.'

'How is he?'

'Not good, Ange. Pile of chips. He's winning at the moment. Scotch, very inebriated. Two girls, one on each knee, playing craps in Caesars,' she told her gravely, as if she had a bad taste in her mouth.

'Shit, get the bitches off him,' Ange said sneering.

'Believe me, I was going to but he's seems to be enj…'

'Fuck, Bren! They're staff checking him out, or hookers. They'll be with him till he loses it all, or steal it.'

'I know, I'm just watching to see if he walks away.'

'He won't.'

'I hope he does, Ange. But maybe it's better he looses it all. Then he might.'

'He might not, Bren.'

'It's a risk I know, but at least I found him.'

'Yeah… You ok?'

'Ha.' Bones said ironically, 'No.'

'Oh, Sweetie,' Ange sighed the words, feeling for her friend.

'I'll call you later, Ange,' Bones said moving on unselfishly.

'Kay. Good luck.'

'Yeah. Bye Ange.'

Bones sat sipping a hugely expensive glass of chardonnay, and nibbling stale nuts for hours, while the girls vied for Booth's attention. Getting increasingly intimate the drunker he got, the richer he got. He was winning and winning big.

Bones watched as he staggered to his feet, muttering he was going to the men's room, leaving the girls by his chips. Bones watched him stagger off, one of the girls pointing him in the right direction.

Bones followed at a discrete distance. She stood outside as he fell in, almost falling to the floor and chuckled. Ouch-ing, holding his side. His ribs must have tweaked, she thought.

She leant on the wall her hands behind her back, eyes closed, head back, waiting for him to come out. He took a while to return.

Bones took a deep calming breath, as he fell out of the door onto the floor. Another punter stepped over him unperturbed, as he rolled and got up muttering to himself.

He weaved, almost past her. 'Hello, Booth,' Bones said softly, her heart trembling. He stopped in his tracks and turned his head, to look at her with a smile. Then that smile dropped slowly away, when he recognised her.

They locked irises for a long time, Bones didn't change her stance. She could see his eyes searching hers, asking questions. Then his shame, his weakness evident to her, made this too hard for him. He grit his jaw, dropped his eyes and walked away. Bones started to breathe again. She closed her eyes briefly, then walked back to the bar and sat down again.

He wasn't ready.

Bones sat watching the cycle repeat; girls, scotch, dice, win, lose, lose, win, lose, lose, lose, lose, win, lose. His eyes glanced, flicked to her at the bar, as she kept silent vigil over him. Many, many times over the evening, and the small hours, they exchanged glances. She didn't smile, just watched, waited till the girls slunk away, the chips disappeared and the glasses were empty. Till he was alone and broke.

He's ready now, Bones thought.

Bones got up slowly and walked over to him, stood close waiting for him to look up to her. He didn't, but took her hand and squeezed it. She had to stifle the tears and swallow the cotton wool in her throat. She squeezed his hand back.

He reached into his jeans pocket, and threw his room key on the table. She picked it up, looping his arm over her shoulder and pulled him up. Booth kept his head down and staggered with her, as she struggled to get him to the lifts.

Bones opened the room, then heaved him inside to the bed, and sat him down. He toppled back exhausted, stinking of neat scotch, his eyes closed. Bones pulled off his shoes and socks. Undid his jeans and pulled them off, his jockeys nearly came too. She pulled them back up his narrow hips, then unbuttoned and removed his shirt.

Booth breathed heavily, not caring what was happening, he was catatonic. Bones pulled the covers open on the bed, then shifted his body till he was under the covers. She put the cover over him, looking him over, her heart bleeding for his pain and shame.

His ribs were badly bruised He had a nasty purple welt over the break, obviously from when he hit the stirring wheel. She ran her fingers delicately over the marks, he stirred and rolled.

Bones took the key and went back down stairs to retrieve her rucksack. When she returned to the room, she got worried, as he wasn't where she had left him. Then she realised why when she heard him vomiting in the bathroom. Racking his stomach free of the alcohol.

She walked in to see him barely on his knees, head over the bowl, hugging the rim, trying to hold himself over it. Bones knelt beside him, reached up for his face cloth, and rinsed it with warm water, while he retched and retched. Evacuating the last of the rancid half digested, liquid from his stomach.

He groaned and moaned constantly. Bones ran her hand over his back, caressing him tenderly. She gave him a few minutes, till she believed he was over.

'Are you done?' Bones asked softly. He rolled to the floor, panting, mouth open and groaned again, half propped up on the wall. She flushed the toilet, then wiped his face down of the drool and remnants of his vomit, hanging off his stubbly chin. Bones rinsed the cloth again then, repeated her previous action. She opened the bottle of complimentary water, holding it to his lips, her caring palm holding his head up to the bottle of water.

'Here, rinse your mouth, Booth.' Again with extraordinary tenderness and care for him. He opened his eyes, took the bottle, taking a large gulp, rinsed and spat in the bowl. He did it again and Bones then wiped his mouth gently.

Booth tried to stand, rolling onto his knees and palms, on all fours. Eventually with her help, he stood. Bones tried to move him towards the door but he resisted her pull. He stood planted to the spot near the toilet, struggling, fumbling with the flap in his jockeys, trying to get his penis out. Bones realised he needed to urinate, and was too drunk to know where he was, or what he was doing.

'Hang on, Booth.' She turned him, easing him closer to the pan, slipped her hand into his jockeys and released his penis, then aimed him. Holding him up as best she could.

'Ok. You're all set, Booth.' He moaned, rolled his head, with his eyes closed then almost toppled forward. She struggled to hold him up. 'Booth? Pee or it will be over the floor. You're heavy,' gritting her teeth, struggling under his weight.

'isstle…' He muttered.


'Whiss…tle.' He swayed, trying the word again.

Bones understood and started to whistle Dixie. He chuckled a little and began to urinate. Bones couldn't help the smile that crossed her lips, at the ridiculous situation they were in. She would have laughed, if it wasn't so pathetic and ironic.

She had a strange sensation, his penis in her hand, aiming his pee for him. While she whistled and he drained his bladder. It was strangely, extremely erotic. His penis was large and warm, it swelled as he relaxed and moaned his relief. Was it perverted, that she was a little turned on? She shook that thought away, as she watched the arc of fluid drain into the pan. Not circumcised, he looked very neat and tidy, she thought idly. This was not how she had imagined she would touch his member. Not like this.

The arc narrowed and fell, she gave it a little pull, and shook the drips off, then reached for some tissue and wiped him gently.

'There you go. Better?'

He didn't answer, but looked to her as she popped him away. She looked up, he had tears in his eyes. She gave him a tender understanding smile, and moved him to the door of the bedroom.

'S'okay, Partner,' she said sweetly. Touched by his shame and obvious upset, at what a state he was in and what she was doing for him.

She got him to bed again and put the covers over him. Bones stood over him for a second, stroking his brow and hair. He rolled onto his back and fell asleep almost instantly. Bones pulled the rough cotton sheet up over his torso and took a deep unsettled breath.

Bones took her rucksack into the bathroom and had a shower. Her mind full of the images of him this evening. Watching him win and lose, then finally lose it all. The emotions tearing through him at all stages, and the way he looked to her, almost made her cry.

She leant with her hands on the tiles, under the flow bracing her weight. She tilted her head back into the hot water, letting the water wash away her tension and the grime of the dig. And the sordid sights she had witnessed in the last eight hours. She knew the water couldn't wash away her anxiousness and worry for her partner, but she wished it would.

Tomorrow would be a hard day, she mused. Eventually she left the shower and dried herself, slipping into sleep boxers and a clean nightshirt. She flicked off the light, bringing analgesics and the water with her, as she left the bathroom quietly. Bones felt exhausted but finally clean. Bones put the items beside him on the night stand.

She slipped in beside him, arms loosely over her stomach, looking to the dark stain on the ceiling, and sighed. She relaxed a little having found him, having him safe again. She just had to put him back together again. That, would be the hard part.

Booth was breathing heavily, and that soothed her. Bones closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

Booth rolled over and sighed heavily, towards a warmth of another person in beside him, unaware of who it was. The scent and softness felt good and comforting.

Bones, not asleep yet, felt him shift, she could smell him, under the whiff of scotch and male scent. And in a strange way it was highly seductive. She lay still, listening to his breathing but she heard him mutter, and felt him curl up on his side. Drawing himself into the foetal position.

'Little… Man…' Bones heard him weep softly. Her hand instinctually went to his head and caressed his hair with her fingertips, trying to calm him. Hoping her touch would sooth his ache. Her heart ached too, she felt like she should rub it, to ease it.

He moved closer towards the warmth of her. She didn't wait, she moved closer shifting her bottom, then slowly rolled to face him, drawing him closer and placed a calming hand on his back. Booth stretched out his legs and became flush with her.

He nuzzled in her neck, she could feel his wet cheek on her clavicle, his soft ragged exhales on her throat. Again hugely arousing to be this close to her partner, the man, the person, she cared for the most on this planet. Who she had loved for as long as she could recall. Her eyes leaked too, hearing and feeling his sorrow. He lay perfectly still as did she, just her gentle touch calming him.

His tears subsided slowly, her body relaxed again. They both had a brief respite of calmness before, another problem arose, literally.

Bones swallowed hard and took a breath holding it, as Booth nuzzled closer, lifting his leg over her two limbs extremely slowly. She bit her lip; he was breathing deeply and obviously still half asleep. He was still drunk, the effects of the alcohol warring off very slowly. Obviously being so close to something so warm and comforting, the proximity of a woman, soft and gentle, confused his mind and body.

He nuzzled again in her neck. Bones was in a quandary, had a terrible dilemma. The more she procrastinated the worse this would be, she knew that. But she couldn't decide what to do, so she lay still. Hoping she wouldn't have to make a decision just yet. Hoping he would fall asleep and lose his arousal. The trouble was he felt warm and having him so close, was an indulgence and hugely significant. She closed her eyes and sighed.

She wished she had her phone close, so she could ring Ange and ask her what she should do. Let him, or not. He was being so slow about his movements, rocking his erection gently against her right hip. She could hear him sigh a little, and then his lips puckered and he kissed her throat softly. Bones didn't know where to put her hands, it was awkward and confusing. So she decided just to barely touch his back. Not to arouse but just to rest them somewhere.

She thought she should stop him. Would he remember in the morning? Probably not. But if he did, he would be mortified. Horrified at his actions, which would only add to his pain. But on the other hand, he would know she had let him be intimate with her. She didn't even want to think about what conclusions he would draw from that.

Her mind stopped rambling about the ramifications, when he shifted his body to be fully over her, till he was flush, except for his face which was buried in the pillow, beside her ear.

Oh God, oh God,Bones silently rambled in her head, her sex flushed and moistened. It had been so long, so long, for her too. Not taking a lover for a couple of years. Since they had become so close. A couple in every sense but for the celibacy decision, they mutually made.

Bones couldn't help the soft groan of desire, that drifted into the air over his back. Booth nudged her knee out a little with his, so slowly and tenderly, she almost whimpered with delight. She jut bit her lip tighter to restrain it.

What the hell was she doing? She should be putting a stop to this right now. And yet, she felt powerless, terrified to, as this might never happen again. She would never feel him again, and that was something that almost made her weep.

She could hear the drip of the shower onto the tub floor. The soft breathing of him and the distant rumble of traffic, outside the third storey window. The seductive rustle of the sheet, as he moved slowly against the fabric with his hips.

A hand moved down the sheet beside them, and went to her sleep boxers to pull the crotch aside.

'Booth?' she managed, just as he slipped forward into her moist warm sex half way, then stilled. She slammed her eyes shut, suddenly frightened. Then after a few moments he pushed up again, sliding into her easily the rest of the way till he was sheathed in her warmth.

Bones held her breath and arched her neck. Strangling her groan in her throat. It was a perfect elegant move, tender and felt extraordinary. She heard him sigh, then he held still, high and deep. He was obviously just as content as she was.

Bones placed her palms on his shoulders, intending to push him off. She knew she should, but he felt wonderful and something was telling her not to. Her heart and body begged her not to push him away. Bones knew then, this was the single, most selfish thing she had ever done. Leaving her ashamed at her own weakness and desire for her elusive partner.

He began to move, barely. Bones could feel his member throb, pulsate deep and swell more. It was truly a sensuous feeling. Her breath hitched, she could feel her clitoris throb, and the slow movement of his tender retreat then gentle thrust, that made her sex quiver. He was perfect, this was perfect.

Booth made two deeper slow thrusts, taking her to the higher edge of her pussy. She trembled at the gorgeous sensation they caused, wanting this to go on for eternity. Then felt him take a deep breath and hold it. Booth spilled into her, in three hot rushes, stifling his grunts in the pillow, beside her head. Bones covered her teeth with her lips and let her breath go, relaxing, feeling totally bereft.

It was over.

Booth held still, his whole weight almost crushing her. He had barely been inside her for three minutes, he had climaxed then fallen asleep.

Bones felt un-sated and so, so sad. Not because she hadn't been satisfied, that was too much to expect in his present stupor. No, what made her so upset was, he hadn't known it was her, or what they had done. Hopefully he would never know what had happened. It was the alcohol and his emotional state, that had wanted him to feel better. For few seconds of pure pleasure, and it was gone, and now he slept.

Bones caressed his hair and his back for as long as she could, until he groaned and slid off her, laying face down and began to snore.

She rolled slowly away from him, drawing her legs up and held her stomach with wrapped hands. It was her turn to weep. She did in silence, letting the tears rain down her face to wet the rough cotton pillowcase, leaving a cold patch on it.

The day dawned, she could hear people in the next room laughing, the TV going on and the sound of heavier traffic on the strip. It was a bright clear morning. But she felt horrific, her eyes sore, swollen from her tears. Her sex felt wet and sticky, tell tale evidence of the events of a few hours ago. The room smelt stale and sour, and looked completely shabby and cold.

She took a peek at him still asleep on his front, breathing slowly and quietly now. She slipped out of the sheet and went to the bathroom. Bones had a shower, changed into a clean t shirt and jeans, did her hair and cleaned her teeth. She caught a glimpse of her face in the mirror. She looked drawn and tired. Her eyes didn't glow, they just looked sad and lifeless. She closed them, resting her weight on the sink via her palms.

You can do this Tempe, for him, come on, he needs you.

She looked up to the mirror, set her goals out, and began by running the bath. She walked out fully dressed and clean, no evidence remained of the previous night. Except for her hollow eyes, which she tried to mask.

Booth lay still, opened his eyes and watched her come out from the bathroom. She caught him with his eyes open. She stopped still, and smiled a little at him.

'Hey, Partner. I've run you a bath. Could you eat?' Bones knew the casual practical approach was best, and went with that.

He shook his head and closed his eyes. She saw his chin quiver, and hold himself tighter. Bones closed hers too, then stepped to the edge of the bed. She knelt by his head, caressing his messy hair till he felt safe enough to open his eyes. When he did she nearly recoiled. Her Booth was unrecognisable. Cracked and lined, making him look older than his years. His cheeks were wet, tracks of saltwater draining down to the pillow, as hers had done a few hours ago. His face empty and devoid of something vital.

'Parker is moving away,' he said softly, clamping his eyes with hers.

'I know, Booth. I'm sorry. Truly…' Her warm fingers wiped his tears away but they kept coming. He shifted closer, closed his eyes again, as she held him close and warm, letting him weep into her chest. Which he did for a very long time. He lifted up to hold her tighter, needing her closer. Just like he needed her last night. She sat on the bed, her back resting on the head board, pulling him closer. He manoeuvred into her chest then clung to her, as she caressed his back and hair. Bones just let him pour it all out.

He began to calm, his tears shed, and exhausted for now, he took a breath and sighed heavily. Bones knew it was time to be practical.

'Tablets, water, bath, then breakfast, in that order. You ready?' He listened and tried to smile. That was his Bones, logical, reasonable and organised. He was grateful and nodded.

She reached to the tablets and bottle, as he lifted up, taking the tablets from her palm and threw them into his throat, taking the bottle from her hand, then swallowed the lot in several gulps.

She got up and waited for him to get out of bed. He did that in several stages. His head pounding, his ribbed twinged, he grimaced and touched his wound, looking to the area. Then he looked to her, she gave him a wonky smile.

'They are not pressing charges, Booth. You still have a career.' He grit his jaw and stood, but swayed, his legs still unsteady. She reached for his torso, her palms flat on it to hold him up, to stop him from toppling.

'Fuck. Sorry.' He righted himself, annoyed that his motor functions were still off.

'It's ok. You will have some residual effects, Booth. You need water and food. When did you last eat?'

'Don't recall, not hungry,' he said curtly, then walked slowly, his hands out to steady himself to the bathroom.

Booth cringed knowing his curtness was due to his shame. He knew he was taking out on her, just because she was the closest. It could have been anyone.

Booth stood by the toilet and took himself out and urinated. Bones leant on the door frame watching him, for a second remembering her doing that for him last night. She snapped out of the memory.

'I'm ordering breakfast. You're going to eat, Booth,' Bones said a little sharply sensing he was going to be awkward. He flushed, then looked over his shoulder to her.

'Told you, I'm not hungry.'

'Get in the bath, Booth,' she said exasperated, then spun and walked to the phone picking it up. He slammed the bathroom door, making her jolt. She stilled, dropped her head, and closed her eyes. She knew today was going to be hard, she just hadn't realised how hard.

'Err. Yes. Morning, room 303, two full platters, stack of pancakes, plenty of juice, please.'

'I'm sorry, but you're due to check out in ten minutes. You only paid up till ten?'

'Book us another night, and bring the breakfast as soon as please.'

'There's an extra charge for not pre-booking?'

'Fine, whatever…' Bones loathed this town, money grabbing bastards all of them, she thought, slamming the phone down in it cradle. She took a calming deep breath. Bones opened the bathroom door to see him sitting in the bath, knees up, his arms wrapped around his legs, head down. He jumped when she came in.

'Breakfast on it's way.'

'Fuck, Bones! What the hell are you doing? Get out! I said I'm not hungry!' he shouted harshly, bitterly. Bones stood closer, her anger bubbling up now.

'Don't take this out on me, Booth! I'm doing my best here… Flew a few hundred miles to find you, watched you screw around with two prostitutes while you blew your salary. Do you know how that made me feel? Huh? Do ya? Sick, damn sick!'

Bones felt mad and was not going too let him get away with the self pity ploy. She got increasingly more angry and carnal, with each reprimand she spat.

'I wiped your stinking face of vomit and helped you urinate. Held you, while you sobbed your fucking heart out, because you would do the same for me, in the same situation. So don't play the ass with me! Stop being such a jerk and take the hint… I'm helping you because I care. Love you, you God damn idiot! Or do you want your only real friend to walk away? Do you? Cos I can. Just like that!!' She snapped her fingers together, in a gesture how would be easy for her to go.

He looked stunned at her, then did something she was not expecting him to do. He beamed a huge shining smile at her, she almost staggered backwards by its brightness.

'God, you're a fucking angel when you're angry, awesome,' Booth offered with pure admiration and sincerity.

She took a double take of his face, then dropped her hip and smiled down at him.

'Right. Thank you. So, you gonna eat?'

'Yes, Bones, I'll eat.' Nodding seriously, but a little smile curve his lips.

'Right. Bathe and shave. You look like a homeless person. Then we'll talk.' She walked out, closed the door and sat on the bed. Relaxing, closing her eyes, when her phone rang.

'Hey, Ange.'

'Oh. Shit, you sound…'

'Yeah. Well, I just tore him off a strip, he was being a jerk.'

'Oh, right. So, he's ok then?'

'No, he's in a mess. So am I, but he needs me, so…'

'You're a mess, why?' Bones sighed and walked out into the corridor, leaning her body against the wall, the door left ajar. She checked the corridor to make sure she was alone.

She looked down to her feet. 'We… He, had sex with me, Ange.'

'Oh dear. That wasn't a good idea, Bren.'

'I know, it's damn mess. He doesn't remember.'

'Oh. Bren, this just gets worse.'

'Yeah. He was virtually unconscious. It was all over in a minute.'

'Bren he, he… didn't rape you?'

'No! God no. He'd be dead and you'd be bailing me out. No, I just didn't stop him. It's all so complicated. It's all just…' Bones couldn't explain clearly, so she just let Ange complete her thought.

'A mess, yes, I get that. So what you gonna do?'

'Sober him up, go see the police officer just to check things are fixed there. Feed him, take him to a meeting. Fix the car, statue, then get the hell out of Dodge.'

'Haaa. That's a plan right there, girlfriend.'

'Haa. Yeah. That's what I'm good at, plans. Till they go butts up.' forlornly.

'Arrrr. Don't be so hard on yourself, Bren. That's what he needs now, for you to be his rock and lead. He'll take the reins back soon enough.'

'Yeah suppose. God, I hope he can, losing Parker. Well, he's broken, ripped, Ange. I can't find a plan for that one,' Bones said, holding back her tears of empathy for her partner's problems.

'Give him time, Bren.'

'Oh, breakfast is coming, I gotta go,'

'Sure. Give him my love, Sweetie,'

'Will do. Bye, speak later.'

'Yeah bye.'

'Breakfast for two hungry inhabitants of 303?' The young bellhop grinned falsely, obviously hoping for a large tip. Bones grimaced and rolled into the room again.

'Yes, set it up would you, over there.' She pulled out a twenty dollar bill rolled it and passed it into his hand. The bellhop grinned wide, saying, 'Thanks.'

'Sure, bye,' Bones said sourly, slamming the door on his retreating ass. Booth stepped out of the bathroom, shaved, and cut. Blood spotted toilet tissue pieces in place, stemming the flow, with a towel wrapped around his hips. Bones looked over and almost keeled over, he looked edible and smelt and looked so much better.

'Thanks, Bones.' Booth settled to the table, noting her off centre. 'What did he say to piss you off?' Lifted the lid on his breakfast, then started to tuck in.

'Hate this town, everything and body is so obviously artificial. It's all about the almighty dollar and silicone implants.' She poured them both a coffee. She didn't sit down but moved away and looked down to the strip below, resting her brow on the window pane. Hugging her mug of steaming Joe to her chest.

He didn't respond, just ate slowly. She looked to him, and sighed sitting down finally, then looked into him.

'We need to do some things today, Booth.' He swallowed and nodded solemnly.

'Yeah I know,' softly. She smiled with a little nod.

'Eat up. Drink plenty. How's your ribs?'

'Painful. The car is drivable, but the FBI are gonna freak and ask questions,' he confessed almost terrified. She shook her head, picking up a piece of toast, nonchalantly.

'No, we're gonna get it fixed, they'll not know, Booth.' He dropped his head and sighed, ashamed saying,

'I've got no money left, Bones.'

'Don't sweat it. Is that the correct colloquialism?' Bones offered him a sweet smile. He nodded still not looking at her. She reached for his hand, giving it a little caress. He looked to her fingers, then up to her eyes.

'I'll pay you back.' Bones just nodded gently, then sat back in the chair looking out the window.

'We should go to a meeting too.' He swallowed his mouthful, looking again to her, utterly touched by her, we should. Booth felt tears sting his eyes.

'Yeah? You'll come with me?'

'Yes,' she said simply. Bones drank her coffee and ate her toast. They were silent for a long time, while he cleared his plate.

'Eat mine, I'm good with toast, Booth.'


'Yes.' She stood, then walked to the bathroom and closed the door quietly. Booth dropped his head wanting to cry. He knew she was upset. Ashamed of him, hated his weakness, and appalled by his actions at the craps table. With those cheap hookers and the amount of booze he consumed. Then to top it all off, he had shouted at her, his final selfish insult. After all, she was only trying to help out a friend, he mused. Ashamed of himself just didn't cut it.

Everything about him ached, pain gnarled him, mind, body and soul. He forced the food down his throat, washing it down with juice, water and strong coffee. Not wanting to disappoint her anymore for not eating what she had ordered for him.

Bones sat on the closed toilet lid, holding herself around her ribs, rocking herself. She wanted to hold him again. Take away his pain. Suck it out of him, and throw it away. She could see his shame and self loathing of what he had done. His relapse, blowing his money trying to feel better about himself. She hated those emotions eating him up. He was flawed, she knew that when she fell for him. It wasn't an issue then and it wasn't now. She just wanted him back. Her Booth. Her strong, confident Booth. The only problem was, how on earth she was going to do that?

Bones stood, flushed the toilet although it didn't need it, and washed her hands. She took a deep calming breath and fixed her face from a painful grimace to a rational expression. When she got out into the room, he was dressed and sitting on the bed waiting patiently for her return.

She flashed him a glance, and a tentative smile, picking up her purse.

'Car keys?' she asked softly. He stood and pulled them out of his jacket handing them to her. 'Kay, thanks, lets go.' He nodded, following her out of the room.

They walked in silence down the hall, 'How… How was the dig?' he asked tentatively, she glanced at him again.

'Fine. Lots of bones,' said with a little smile. He nodded not looking at her, then to her shock, he pulled her hand to him, and hugged her hard in the middle of the corridor.

'I'm so, so sorry, Bones.' She held him back hard, resting her head on his.

'It's ok, Booth. Please don't worry yourself, ok? They will still be there for another day,' sounding sweetly reassuring. He looked into her eyes, loving her more for her gentleness towards him.

'Let's get this car fixed, ok?' She tenderly picked off his forgotten toilet paper spots, from his handsome drawn face. He nodded swallowing hard, moved by her gentle touch. She took his hand, giving it a squeeze, and to his delight and surprise she didn't let go this time.

Bones pushed the lift button, the doors opened and inside was one of the girls he had been with last night, with her tongue down some other poor sucker's throat. The floozy turned, pulled the man out of the lift, dragging him down the corridor. Not giving either of them a second glance.

Booth, Bones noted, dropped his head and walked into the lift with her, also noting her palm had left his.

'I didn't sleep with anyone, Bones,' he said gravely. Bones sighed, a little relieved, although she had no right to be. It was his right, his prerogative to sleep with whom ever he wanted. She was not his wife, keeper, lover or sweetheart.

'Who you do, or don't have sex with, is none of my business, Booth. You don't need to tell me.' He shifted nervously, awkwardly on his feet, nodding. Bones glanced at him, then to the lights above the doors, as they entered the lobby of the hotel.

The lobby was noisy and flashed neon and chintz. Ugly, she thought. Bones took his hand and pulled him outside to the fresh air. They both took a deep cleansing breath.

Booth and Bones looked to each other. 'That's better, Bones.' She grinned agreeing. He didn't let go her hand, though the strip pulsed and beckoned him elsewhere. He walked her around to the car, distracted only by the warmth of her hand in his. She stood inspecting the damaged SUV.

'Right. New bumper and hood, crash bar. Not too bad really.' Bones was pleasantly surprised. Booth seemed to lift a little, hearing her relax. 'Get in, I'm driving.' He gave a short nod and did as instructed. She was glad he didn't protest.

The garage mechanic was happy to help out. Bones negotiated a price and time for collection. 'Tomorrow afternoon, good enough?'

'Morning?' Bones obviously wanted out of this town ASAP, Booth mused.

'Well, could do if…'

'Yeah, I get it. Extra hundred in it, if you can?'

'Deal,' the mechanic nodded delighted, 'Drop it back around three and I'll have the parts.'

'Good. Thanks, see you later.'

Booth got back in the car, rubbing his palms on his thighs, blowing out an exhale.

'You ok?' Bones asked, curious at his body language not understanding it.

'No… I'm humiliated, Bones.' He was nothing if not honest.

'Oh. Yeah, I get that. And ashamed and appalled, embarrassed. Felt you have let yourself down, Parker and me. Emotions I have experienced under your gaze many, many times Booth…' She turned the ignition starting the engine then continued, 'I'll tell you something, Booth…' He looked despondent but she looked to him with a little smile. 'At least it proves you're not super human. You're just like me, flawed.' Simple and true, that's how Bones worked, how she told it.

Bones looked down the road for traffic, then drove off. His inner buried smile, rose to settle on his lips and his heart throbbed, burned with love for her. He didn't think she was flawed, he thought she was just, flawless.

'Good morning, I was wandering if officer, John Clancy was available? We would like to speak to him please?' Bones asked politely at the reception desk to the police office. The officer looked them over and said picking the phone up, 'I'll check.'

Bones looked to Booth, who had both hands shoved down in his pockets, along with his eyes to his shoes.

'Yes. Ok John. Right, thanks. Officer Clancy will be out in a while, take a seat,' he said flatly, returning to his desk work. Bones went and sat down. Booth sat beside her, stroking his side.

'More tablets?' Bones asked tenderly.

'Sure, why not,' he said softly, secretly delighted, he was in some considerable pain. Although he wasn't sure if it was the cracked rib or just a heartbreak that caused the pain.

They sat for around twenty minutes, watching as policemen brought in stinking drunks, bitching hookers and angry punters. The officers booking them in, and charging them. It was all so sordid and made Booth feel soiled; that was him two days ago. His stomach rolled and he felt bile rise. He leant forward, elbows on his knees, taking a calming breath.

Bones understood, placed a palm on his back. 'It will be ok, Booth,' she said softly. He could have cried again. She was being so sweet and calm, when he just wanted to fall into a pit and die.

'Ahh. Hello again, Seeley. Come through.' The police officer, Clancy was old and portly, Bones noted he had kind eyes too. He smiled a nod at Bones, reaching for her hand, which she took warmly, smiling back at him.

'Hi, thanks for seeing us. You look extremely busy,' she said, a little nervously Booth thought. He grinned and huffed an ironic chuckle.

'Yeah. And you must be the enigmatic Dr Temperance Brennan? It's a pleasure. Please come through.' He gestured to a door and they followed him.

Kill me, take me now…

Booth wanted the ground to swallow him up, he remembered his mutterings that evening to Officer Clancy, he had waxed lyrical about Bones to them in his drunken state and called her exactly that.

Clancy held the door open for them, as Booth went first, head down, his palms sweating and his head throbbing over his eyes.

'Seeley told us all about you. But I have to say, we thought it was just drunken ramblings,' he said sweetly. Booth cringed, glad they couldn't see his expression. Bones felt his embarrassment and bled for him. She tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear nervously, nodding but saying nothing. They walked into an interview room, Booth headed for the suspect's chair instantly.

Being the other side of the law was hugely distasteful and uncomfortable. Bones sat next to him. He knew she was feeling the same emotions and having the same thoughts. Hating himself all over again, because she was with him, by this side. And how distasteful this must be for her too.

Clancy closed the door and smiled, tilting his head at Booth. Then looked to Bones.

'I'm a fan of your books, Dr Brennan. As is my wife,' he said taking a seat casually, resting his forearms on the table. The florescent lights flickered on and the air con kicked in loudly, making Booth jump a little.

'Thank you, you're very kind.'

'Nah. Don't mention it. So, to business…' Booth looked up to him and Bones shifted a little on the seat taking his hand, which Booth felt so relieved by, its warmth and the gesture. She was with him through this and how that moved him.

'I did a little discrete checking, Seeley. Your record is exemplary. Both of you. Although… Dr Brennan? There was an interesting episode in Heckle ten years ago?' Officer Clancy said cheekily, obviously amused.

Bones gave a soft chuckle and nodded dropping her eyes, Booth looked to her with a question on his brow, but Bones just ignored his gaze, preferring to look back up to Clancy.

'Look, you got drunk, hit a statue, it happens. It happens a lot around here. This city has many lures. I haven't filled a report and I'm not going to charge you. It's just more crappy paperwork and frankly? It's all crap anyway. So… Smack on the wrist, don't do it again, and for fuck sake go to a meeting?' Booth snapped his head up to him, Clancy grinned warmly.

'Yes, I am,' Booth said immediately.

'We are. Now,' Bones added just as quickly, Booth squeezed her hand for that, and the we again. Her heart trembled.

'Good. I'm in the programme too, Seeley, fifteen years straight.'

'Not a good city to work in, with its lures, Officer Clancy?' Bones said incredulously, although highly impressed. He rocked back and chuckled, nodding.

'Yes, well, it reminds me to keep focused, everyday's a challenge and when I end it clean, I feel good, so, I stay.'

'Impressive,' Bones said sincerely.

'How long have you been clean for, Seeley?'

'Seven years till…' He nodded gesturing backwards, Clancy smiled sweetly.

'So you had a relapse. Why?'

'My ex-partner is moving and taking my son away with her. He and Bones here, are my existence and I just lost it.' Bones felt her chest inflate, water sprang to her eyes, it didn't run though. His words touching her so deeply, she ached to grab him tight and never let go, for his lack of shame or embarrassment at telling this sweet man his heart. Clancy nodded and looked to Bones with a smile.

'That's good to hear, isn't it?'

Bones just nodded at Clancy as Booth looked to her, she didn't look to Booth. She needed to take control.

'So. Put it behind you, start again, one hour, one day at a time. Yeah?'

They both nodded solemnly.

'You need to make good the statue. I had a word with Tony Franks, he's the grounds man at Caesar's. Two grand should cover it. Put it in an envelope and write on the front, Clock tower. Give it too him, he will know what it's about… Don't ask, I have no idea! Just do it and it's forgotten. This town is bizarre and full of contradictions and puzzles. I'm still, after twenty years, trying to figure the place out,' Clancy laughed sardonically. Booth nodded and smiled, Bones huffed ironically too. Clancy stood, they all did, utterly relieved, he reached for Booth's hand and smiled, piecing him.

'One day at a time ok, Seeley?'

'Yes. Thanks so much.'

'Don't mention it. I get less paperwork this way, help a fellow officer out. Life is good,' charmingly, then, 'Oooo, Dr Brennan?'

'Yes?' As they all moved to the door ready to go.

'Couldn't send me a signed copy of, Dry Bones could you? My wife's birthday?'

'Of course! Least I could do. My new one is due out, would you like that too? Signed pre-publish?'

'Oh, wow! That would be amazing. Yes, thank you.'

'No problem. Week ok?'

'Lovely, lovely.' Officer Clancy was obviously highly delighted by the offer, he opened the door for them,

'What's your wife's name?' Bones enquired gently.


'Great. Thanks so much for your time and patience.'

'Good luck.'

'Thank you.' Booth gave him a warm hand shake and hugged him. Clancy winked to Bones over his shoulder, Bones grinned and nodded.

'He was nice, Booth?' She drove down the strip, as Booth looked ahead in silence. Bones could see him churning inside.

'Bones… I don't know how to thank you? Tell you how much… I just… I…' His eyes started to leak and he hid his face in his palms, sobbing. Bones rolled her head, indicated instantly, and swung into a side street pulling up. She was hugging him hard, as fast as she could. He held on to her tightly.

'Please don't cry anymore, Booth. I hate it when you cry. My heart is constricting,' she whispered. It did, painfully. He nodded on her shoulder. Her hands stroking his back, she pecked his cheek hard, holding him tighter, 'Please, Booth, don't…'

The next thing either of them knew, they were kissing. Not pecks but kissing, deep, sensuously and extremely slowly. His tentative hands trembled on her face, Bones relaxing into his mouth, smoothing her tongue around his. It was wonderful, delicate and so seductive but tinged with irony. All this time together all those terrible life threatening episodes in their lives, and it took a drunken fender bender, for them to cross the line.

They were jerked from the delectable kiss by her phone ringing. Booth dropped his hands and sat back instantly, sneaking a peak at her while she fumbled for her mobile in her purse.

'Brennan?' she answered very shakily.

'Hey, sweetie it me,'

'Oh. Hi, Ange.' She flicked a glance to Booth, who was taking a calming breath and wiping his eyes with a hanky.

'You ok?' Ange noting she sounded off kilter.

'Um. Yes. Just bad timing.' Bones placed one hand on the steering wheel, clutching it, needing something solid to hold on to. She felt very shaky, as if she was about to fall off a high cliff. Booth glanced catching her eye; she smiled a little to him.

'Oh sorry. I'll call back,' Ange said sweetly.

'No, no, it's fine, we're fine. We've just come from the police. He was very nice.'

'Oh. Good. So, when you coming back?'

'We're getting the car made good and will make our way back tomorrow morning. It will take us a day. I was thinking we could stop off, do it in two stages.'

'Makes sense. Ok. So, I'll leave you to it then. Call if you need me. Any repercussions after last night?' Ange asked casually.

Bones turned her head to look out the window, and changed ears not wanting Booth to get the implication of Ange's question. Bones' tone changed too, upping a semi-quaver.

'No, no, all fine, fine. I gotta go, Ange,' Bones said sounding breezy. Booth looked to her knowing something had changed her, although he didn't hear Ange's question.

'Sure. Ok. He's with you, isn't he?' Ange said whispering.

'Yes. That would be good, I'll tell him, bye Ange.' She shut the phone down and smiled to Booth.

'Ange sends her love.'

'Nice. That's sweet.' He nodded rubbing his thighs again nervously, he was still as off kilter as she.

'Right, so meeting?' Bones carried on as if nothing had happened between them.

'Yes, definitely,' he nodded sensibly.

She smiled wide. Then taking a breath. She just had to ease him, he looked petrified. She said gently, 'Lovely kiss, Booth, thank you.' He sunk his tense shoulders, and let his breath go, relieved he didn't get a thump.

Booth said sweetly with a charming smile, 'Yes. It was. Lovely,' he agreed sincerely. His heart quivering, her eyes sparkling at him.


They found a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Ironically they had a choice of meetings within two hundred yards of each other. They catered for all in this city. After an hour, a good chat, more coffee and cookies. Booth sighed and relaxed into the chair. Bones patted the back of his hand and whispered softly, 'You're doing so well, Booth. I'm so proud.' He looked incredulously at her, needing to kiss her again. But he didn't, he just sighed closing his eyes and rested his brow on hers, squeezing her hand.

'Does this mean I'm your sponsor now?' Bones asked him quietly. He opened his eyes to hers, peering straight back, their brows still resting.

'If… If you want. I'd like that. Be honoured.' Moved again almost to tears, but knowing that made her heart hurt, so he resolved not to. Bones nodded and smiled.

'Excellent. I'll be your sponsor and you can be my yoga partner.' He leant back a little looking perplexed. She grinned wide and said, 'Yoga is an excellent way to tone, relax and control your breathing, emotions and urges, Booth. Works for me,' she explained simply. He grinned wide saying, 'You got it, Bones.'

'Shall we go? Or do you need more time?'

'No, I'm good, Bones.' His heart beginning to beat faster.

'Okay then, a little lunch. I'm starving and we can drop the car off. Work out this clock tower, thing…' she said with a wonky, don't understand that at all, pout.

Booth stood and held out his hand, 'So tell me, Bones? What do I have to do as your partner in yoga?' he asked kindly. She took his hand and they walked out as she explained.

They sat in a restaurant munching through a rather good chicken dinner and swilling a carafe of refreshing ice tea. The deck was laid with tables and was smart. So much classier than the rest of the restaurants they had come across along the strip. Booth mused that she had relaxed a lot and ate well. Even ordering dessert which she rarely did. The sun was shining and it was extremely warm.

Bones relaxed back into her chair and looked at him. He let her stare, inspect his features, she took a while then smiled a little.

'You look better, Booth. Your eyes look warmer.'

'I feel it. Thanks to you.'

'I'm just here to hold your hand,' shaking off the compliment. 'You're doing all the work.'

'Yeah, you just keep telling yourself that,' Booth said, with a chuckle at her humility.

'So tell me, Rebecca, what did she say?' Bones asked softly, leaning forward, resting on her elbows, sipping her tea. Booth sighed and dropped his head, copying her position.

'She's got a job. It's a good job, almost double the salary. It's for the next three years or so.'

'Right. So they are moving Parker for a three year contract?'


'That's a little selfish on their part, don't you think? He's at a critical stage in his education and emotional development. What about Tod's children? Are they going too?'

'No. His ex feels the same, and she refused him visitation rights. They are in a fight over it apparently.' Bones shook her head and flumped back, looking up to the sky.

'Why is it, it's the children that always get hurt? I saw so much of that in the foster system. It kinda cruel, you know?'

'Yeah I know. But what can I do? I have no legal rights or privileges over Parker.'

'You're his father, Booth. An excellent, fucking brilliant father, at that,' Bones said almost violently, she felt the sentiment so deeply.

'Thank you.' Booth was impressed by her Anglo Saxon expletive, and her passion.

'What does Parker say?'

'Oh God, Bones, he's a mess…' He said sinking back, shaking his head, 'Where shall I start? He's losing his friends at school, little league on Sundays, ice hockey classes on Mondays. He sobbed when he realised he probably won't see you again. You and Max enriching him, and all the cool experiments he was gonna miss. And me of course. Oh, Bones, he sobbed and sobbed, wouldn't let go of me, when I took him back to Rebecca's. He, he…' Booth welled up and bowed his head, Bones reached and took his hand, tears in her eyes too.

'Oh, Booth. The poor little guy. He's got a girlfriend too, you know?' Bones said softly, Booth shot her a glance, surprised, obviously news to him. Bones smiled sweetly, 'Yes. Lucy? He's smitten. He told me, she had beautiful blue eyes and smelled like Christmas. So cute.' Bones gave Booth a little pout. Booth moaned.

'Rebecca told me I could have him in some of the holidays. Maybe when she and Tod came back to see his kids on weekends. That kind of thing.'

'Well! That's just a crock of crap!' Bones spat, several other diners looked around, tutted and frowned at her. Booth chortled a little, then lent forward, holding her hand a little tighter.

'Shit. Crock of shit, Bones?' he corrected gently, so touched by her obvious anger. She sighed.

'Yes, croak a shit,' absently. She looked into her dessert and took her hand back, taking a mouthful of dessert, her brow wrinkling. Booth could see her thinking, and his hand felt empty now, he hated that sensation. He watched her closely for a while, while she licked her spoon of rocky road ice cream, and processed.

'What does Tod think to all this?'

'He's not happy either, but Rebecca, well, the job is a great opportunity.' Bones had her head down messing with the dessert, nodding slowly.

Booth watched her spoon a little up, then pause before it hit her lips. She turned the spoon one eighty degrees, and placed it to his lips. Booth was utterly charmed and mouthed off the confection slowly. She watched his lips cover the spoon, then dropped her eyes. She had fed him, instinctually, without a second thought. Subconsciously thinking he should try it, or possibly want some.

'So, she'll be flat out working all the hours to impress, and see less of Parker no doubt?'

'Probably. Yeah, it's just a fucking…'

She finished his sentence with, 'Mess. Yeah,' wistfully. She scooped up some more ice cream and savoured it on her tongue. Booth watched on, his cock twitching in his jeans. He dropped his eyes ashamed of his thoughts. Bones was still in deep thought, Booth knew not to interrupt when she had that expression.

'You finish it, Booth. I've lost my appetite.' She picked up her ice tea and took a couple of gulps. He did, munching his way through a piece of brownie. Bones looked to the bowl and pinched the last piece, before he devoured it. She sucked the tips of her fingers dry of the moist cake.

'Hey?! You said you'd finished?' Booth said appalled by her taking the last, best bit. She giggled softly and flared her eyes at him.

'I lied,' cheekily. He huffed a chuckle, shaking his head at her, she watched him eat the rest, still thinking, processing, musing.

'Booth? I'm just gonna go to the bank, over there, ok?' Bones told him gently. He swallowed and gave a little nod, extremely embarrassed. Bones noted and reacted instantly,

'Hey you?' She prodded his chest with a smile, he looked up. 'It's a drop, in the vast ocean to me, Booth. So don't, ok?' He sighed and nodded accepting, as he had no other alternative. Bones got up and continued with, 'Order coffee, iced for me. I'll be back in a while.' He nodded and to his delight, she leant down kissing the top of his head then walked off. He watched her go. The rising affectionate touches and pecks making him feel excited. They were getting suddenly, almost like a couple, and he loved the feel of that.

Bones came back with a sweet smile, and sat down easily and elegantly.

'Booth? I've been thinking. It's a plan. It's forming, and it's a little radical and I don't want to tell you yet, because I have to work the details out in my grey cells, but I will. Then I'll make a decision whether to tell you or not, ok? Oh, and by the way? I refuse to stay in that horrific room again. I'll get us a room down the strip, away from all this, crap.' Bones waved her hand elegantly. Using the colloquialism, crap effectively. She had been trying to be more earthy of late.

He nodded relieved, he hated the place too, now.

'Cool, Bones. Thank you.'

'No problem. God, I'm tired aren't you? I didn't sleep well,' she said, wrinkling her brow and rubbing the crick in her neck. He swallowed, drawing his coffee towards him by the saucers rim.

'Not too bad. I was blotto. Did I snore, Bones?' he asked with a wonky pout.

'Yes! Like you were drilling for crude oil!' Bones told him with an attractive grin, Booth chuckled nodding.

'Yeah, the booze does that to me. On the wagon for a while.'

'Humm. Yes. I hope so.' Bones suddenly looked embarrassed, dropping her head, sipping her coffee. Booth felt just as awkward but decided to make a joke to lighten the mood.

'You molested me?' She snapped her head up, her mouth open in shock. He was grinning cheekily.

Bones laughed and smacked his arm, he rolled and chuckled as she said, 'If I hadn't fiddled you out, you would have urinated all over yourself and the floor!'

Fellow diners looked around again, she saw this time and said to them, 'Oh, turn away, you eavesdropping imbeciles.' Booth started to belly laugh, seeing the people look appalled at her, for telling them off.

She motioned to the waiter for the bill, with a charming smile fixed.

'Bones? You wench.' Booth offered his compliment, turned on and highly amused.

'Haaa. Wench? I like that. So, lets get this car sorted, make the drop off.. .' with an expression of secrecy, which made him shake his head and smile at her antics. 'Then change rooms then sleeeeeep. I just wanna sleeep,' she crooned in an exhausted way. Booth grinned, nodded, then sat back.

'I think you're a miracle, Bones. Perfect in every way.'

'I am,' Bones replied seriously, flinging a pile of dollars on the dish to cover the tab. He mumbled a chuckle. She grinned, standing up, he locked eyes with her and leant over the table. She leant in the rest of the way. They both knew what was needed.

'Are we gonna kiss again?' She said softly, hoping they were, 'Cos I thought the last one was rather, stupendous,' Bones said with a little smile curving her lips. Booth's belly tightened and he nearly melted to the deck. Her sweet breath close to his lips, sent a thrill up his spine, and blood flow to his groin. She could be so damn hot without even trying, Booth thought.

'I agree, Bones.' He slid around the table and her with his arms. Bones stepped closer and they kissed again, on the deck in the middle of the diners, tuts and affronted mutters serenading them. Booth and Bones were oblivious to them, as they kissed delicately and slow.

This one was better than the last time. Hugely superior. Bones had a thought race around her head all the while, practice, obviously, makes perfect.

By early evening, they were car-less, two grand lighter and walking into a clean smart suite in the Hilton, just up from the strip. No flashing neon buzzing lights, whistles or the sounds of cars and other people.

'Oh. Wow, Bones. Lovely.' Booth looked around the room. It was gorgeous. Huge bed, double doors to a smart balcony overlooking the desert. Tasteful, fresh and clean.

Bones tipped the bellhop with a smile, closing the door. 'Oh yes, much better. Right, I'm showering and going to sleep for a while. We can order room service for dinner, plan?' she said casually. He nodded frantically, grinning wide, delighted.

'Excellent. See you in a while.' He nodded walked over to the TV and put the game on. He laid on the comfy couch and relaxed. Bones was back out in twenty minutes, she saw him already asleep, so she hopped into bed and rolled on her side, going straight to sleep.

Bones woke slowly, stretching herself out to the sound of men's hushed voices, and the smell of food. She rolled over in bed to be on her back, to see Booth and the bellhop, setting up dinner on their table.

'Ooooo. What did you order?' she said, rather surprising herself; she sounded very husky and really sexy. Both men turned to see her, Booth beamed and the bell hop gave her a nod, respectfully.

'Good evening, Dr Brennan. Steak, rare with pepper sauce and for you, a lovely fettuccini with wild mushroom and egg plant sauce.'

'Lovely, but I could eat steak.' Booth's jaw dropped, Bones giggled cutely.

'Joking, Booth relax. Pasta's perfect,' she placated.

'So, enjoy.' The bellhop retreated smartly to the door, Booth looked a little worried for not tipping the young man. Bones said, 'Hang on a sec,' got up and padded to her purse, then pulled out a twenty and gave it to him, 'Could you bring me a bottle of Chardonnay. Booth? Do you want a beer?'

'No, no, I'm good thanks.'

'Just the wine then.' Looking back to the charming bellhop, with a wide smile.

'No problem, thank you.' The bellhop disappeared.

Booth sat down heavily at the table and rested his head in his palm, looking at the delicious food and linen napkins, pouting a little. Bones decided not to say anymore or reassure him, she just went over and sat opposite him, with a casual smile.

'We slept well?' Bones said, starting to eat.


'Good game? Did you see the result?'

'No. Well, yes, after, when I woke. You snore.' She didn't, but he wanted to keep things light.

'Haa. I know. Did I disturb you?' Believing him to be right, munching her delicious mouthful.

'No, it was kinda cute, nuuuuurrrhhhh,' He made an impression of a snorting snore, which made her giggle. His eyes lit up to see her rock around on her chair with chuckles. His mood lifting gently. Her laughter always lifted his spirits.

'So, I'll take the couch you have the bed,' he said casually and began to eat. His appetite returning with their gentle playful humour.

'Don't be foolish, Booth! We managed last night without much incident.' Bones could have sworn she felt her cheek blush at her little lie, but ploughed on just the same. 'At least you'll not stink of scotch and hog the covers all tonight.'

'This is true,' he nodded kindly, his heart pounding. Booth would be sharing a bed with her again, and this time he would be sober. That thought gave him the chills.

They talked over dinner of her dig and what she had uncovered. Booth found it fascinating. She recounted several stories of her previous adventures which had him chuckling, and feeling normal for a while. She drank a couple of glasses of the wine, relaxing herself. It was late and they had been talking for hours. Booth yawned and said quietly.

'I'm gonna take a bath, Bones. Long lazy bath, ok?'

'Sure. Let me just use the facilities and it's all yours,' she said simply. 'How are your urges?' she enquired innocently, Booth was confused and a little blush hit his cheeks. A rare event in the Agent's life.

'I… Errr, don't know what you mean?' He said nervously. Bones started to giggle, and rubbed his hair affectionately, getting up to use the bathroom.

'Fool, I meant gambling urges, Booth? Not sexual urges.' Explaining her question.

'Oh. Thank God for that. Good, good, I've not had an urge of that kind since we… Since you've been with me.'

'Oohh. Good. That's good.' Touched and delighted by his statement.

Bones went to the bathroom and did her ablutions, and started to run his bath, putting in bubbles. She pulled out more pain relief from her ever present med kit, and left them on the side dish for him. She came out to find him sitting, flicking channels with the remote.

'What you looking for?' she asked curiously.

'Oh. They have tones of old movies, thought you might like to watch Raw Hide or Shane, or something.'

'Sweet. Thanks. Your bath's running. I've put some pills out for you too.'

Touched, Booth snapped his head to hers, locking eyes with her. 'I could get used to this.'

Bones just gave him a little nod and took the remote from him saying, 'Off you go. Enjoy.'

'Thanks, Bones, my angel.' Booth pecked her cheek as she sat down on the couch, to watch a movie. Delighted by his obvious good mood, and his affection. She smiled warmly with yet another little nod. He padded off and closed the bathroom door. She let her held breath go in a long phew. Then her phone rang.

'Hey, Ange.' Instinctually knowing it was her great friend calling.

'Hi, Bren. Everything going well?'

'Yes, actually things are much calmer. He's… Oh, Ange, we've been kissing,' she said quietly.

'Ho, ho, really?' cheekily inquisitive.

'Yes. We've changed rooms, hotel. That last place was horrific, paid off the statue man, seen the police officer. Your call interrupted our rather pleasant osculation.'

'Oh, God. Sorry! How was it?'

'The police man?'

'No, Sweetie, the kiss?'

'Oh. Wonderful actually. The second even better. We went to a GA meeting. He did really well. He told me all about Rebecca and Parker. You know, the situation? And now we've just had dinner and he's in the bath. I'm going to watch a movie and catch up on some more sleep.'


'Yes. He wanted to take the couch but I said no.'

'Go steady, Bren. He's still fragile emotionally. I mean, don't mix the sex with his shaky emotions, He's still a mess.'

'I know, Ange. I'm not going to have sex with him, or let him with me. If you know what I mean. Just sleep and maybe some platonic embracing for comfort. That's it, I don't want him worrying over us too.'

'No, good thinking, Bren.'

'Yeah. So, everything ok at the lab?'

'Oh yes! Nothing's changed, all fine.'

'Good, good. Ok. The Duke is on, so I'm gonna catch the movie. I'll call you tomorrow, when we are on the road, ok?'

'Cool. And Bren?'


'You've been his rock. Total babe,' Ange told her sincerely.

'Thanks. He did say Parker and I were his existence,' quietly enwrapped by his words, that were still whizzing around her head, in a very pleasant way.

'Awww. So sweet. You are too. So call, ok?'

'Yeah. Bye, Ange, night, night.'

'Sweet dreams, Bren.'

Booth came out of the bathroom an hour and half later, to find Bones asleep in bed. Propped up on the head board, the Duke on the TV, and the remote loose in her hand. He grinned seeing her head down and the sweet little mews she was making, which made his heart flutter. He turned off the lights, slipped in next to her gently, took the remote from her hand. She stirred, then bleary eyed, settled into the bed properly.

'Night, Booth,' huskily. He grinned watching her settle and get comfy.

'Night, Bones,' slipping that pesky wayward strand of hair out of her eyes. He saw her smile a little, feeling his gesture, which made him grin too. He turned off the TV, and settled down on his back, arms over his head, palms tucked under his nape and sighed heavily, closing his eyes.

They both woke to the alarm call they had set up with reception, to find themselves casually entwined and draped over one another. It felt so natural and normal for both of them. Bones opened one eye, then the other, then smiled at him from his chest, her head over his heart.

'Morning, Booth. Sleep well?' Bones rolled off him, feeling like she had an amputation. He felt the same, something essential was being taken away.

'Yeah. Like a log.' He released her so she could pick up the phone, although their legs were still wrapped around each others.

'Yeah. Thanks we're up. Great, tea, toast and blueberry pancakes please, juice, lots of juice. Yeah great. Booth?' She enquired for his order.

'Sound great.' He didn't move his legs, wanting her over him still.

'Make that twice. Thanks, ten minutes? Lovely.' Bones replaced the phone and turned back to him with a little smile.

'Ten minutes,' she confirmed, he nodded with a little grin. Then to his delight as they stared at one another, realising they were reluctant to move, it was so delicious being so close. She took a breath and laid back to him, her head on his chest. He grinned and held her too, closing his eyes relaxing. Caressing her back with his fingertips, his touch tender and soft, making her sigh.

'You're so warm. This is very pleasant,' Bones told him sweetly.

'Yeah. Cosy,' Booth said nervously. She smiled catching his unease, she thought that extremely endearing. He felt her cheek pucker on his chest, smiling too. Her warmth breath whispered, silky smooth over his torso. Her palm on his right pectoral, firm and twitching a little, at the warm touch of her.

'I've thought about some stuff,' she began softly, slowly. 'I'm almost ready to tell you, Booth,' she said cryptically.

'Oookay. I have no idea what you're thinking, Bones?'

'Good, cos it's big. So maybe later, ok?'

'Sure. Take your time.' Kissing her head. Bones thrilled to the touch of his lips and shifted up to look into his face. He looked down to her, with the softest eyes, which made her want to drift away on.

'Do you want to kiss me, Bones?' Booth asked quietly, praying she did.

'Very much,' replying just as quietly.

'Ditto.' Bones beamed a wide grin at him, as he slid down a little and they held each other gently. Then kissed for the third time. Which Bones mused was the charm.

This third kiss was long, lazy and stoked their desire. It went on and on as they changed angle, pressure and depth regularly, sultrily. Till they were almost breathless and totally turned on. They only stopped when the rap on the door jarred them back to earth. Bones took a deep breath and looked into his smouldering eyes. Smiling seductively, wiping some moisture from his lips she had left with her index finger, something Booth found utterly erotic. His already fairly firm dick, tightened even more.

Bones slipped off him gracefully and went to answer the door. Booth took the opportunity to control his erection. The bellhop from the previous night came in with a trolley and a smile saying, 'Morning, Dr Brennan. Breakfast for two. Did you sleep well?'

'Wonderfully thanks. Ooo pancakes,' she oozed charmingly, making Booth and the bellhop exchange appreciative male glances. She gave him a tip and he went. Booth sat for a while letting his erection wane. Bones said, 'Come on Booth, they are getting cold?' confused by his lethargy.

'Give me a sec, woman,' he said flaring his eyes at her to understand why he wasn't getting out from under the sheets.

'Oh. Right, sorry.' She grinned turning away, cheered by his embarrassed pout. She mused idly, as she sat down to eat, he didn't have anything to be shy about.

Bones showered and dressed, went down and paid the bill while he was in the shower. Returning to the room without him knowing what she had done. His male pride had been dented enough and she loathed to make him feel any worse than he already did.

It was another hot day in the desert, bright and clear. The cab took them to the garage. The car looked like new. Booth was delighted and extremely relieved. Bones slipped the mechanic an extra tip, who was delighted, and waved them off cheerfully flicking through the wad counting the extra. Booth didn't make a sound, when she took to the wheel, doing up her seat belt.

'Right. Let's get the hell outta Dodge,' she said amusingly. Booth belly laughed, nodding happily. Bones put her foot down and headed East. She slipped on her sunglasses, the sun directly in their faces, and rising. Once she was on the interstate, she wound down the window and flicked on the radio. Leaning her elbow on the open window frame.

'I'll drive for a few hours, then we'll swap. Is that acceptable, Booth?'

'Totally.' He relaxed into the incredible scenery. She smiled at him unseen, he was looking almost back to normal. They hummed and whistled tunes, chatted casually. It was such a lovely day, the roads clear and the scenery spectacular.

They pulled up at an old garage and stocked up with soft drinks, water and chips. 'Booth? Not healthy?' she chastised but he shrugged a shoulder, countering with, 'You want chocolate?'

'Course! Do you really have to ask?'

Booth chuckled and piled the goods on the counter. Booth pumped the gas, while she paid. While watching him do it, she asked the clerk, 'Can I have one of those and a pack of them please.'

'Sure,' the clerk said kindly.

'Ooo. And I better have one of those too, thanks.'

'No problem.' She tucked those extra items in her purse, and brought the bag of groceries out to the car. Booth came out of the garage bathroom to see her sitting in the passenger side now. Bones grinned, almost mischievously. 'Ready?' she said sweetly.

'Yep. My turn?'

'Yep. My blackberry says, four to five hours along this interstate, then we should be half way. We'll stop in Heckle. I've been there before. It's got a great place to stop the night.'

'Cool. Old haunt?' He drove off as she explained, and the easy conversation continued. She made a call to Ange, and the ranch she was hoping to stop off at tonight.

'Hey, Ange,'

'Oh. Sweetie, hey, all good?'

'Yeah, we're heading East. We're going to spend the night in Heckle,' she grinned.

'OH. God. No! Are you allowed back in that borough?'

'Haaaa. Yes.' Flicking a glance to Booth, who looked intrigued, and a tad amused too.

'Just checking in with you, we should be back around six-ish tomorrow night, I'll let you know.'

'Great. Ok, enjoy. Erm… Everything else, ok?' Ange asked quietly.

'Yes. Not bad. So I'll call.'

'Ok. Duck if you see a patrol car.'

'Haaa. Yeah, I intend too! Bye, Ange.'

'What's this about Heckle then?' Booth enquired, curiously.

Bones sat back, heeled off her sneakers and put her soles up on the dash, opening a bottle of soda and took a swig. A mischievous smile on her lips.

'I was on a dig near the Appalachians. It's a beautiful spot. Me and the troop were staying in this ranch, where we are heading tonight?' Booth nodded, relaxing too, she handed the soda to him, to share it. He nodded his thanks, glimpsing her legs in jean cut off's, three quarter length, not her usual attire. It was a treat to see her so relaxed and casual.

'We had been working hard and decided to go into town and let off a little steam. We ended up, all of us, a little, well, I was exceedingly inebriated. Doing tequila and lime with the guys. I was the only girl.'

'How old?'

'Twenty. I was attracted to, Eric. We were having a thing, but nobody knew, anyway… We were all drunk in this pool bar, this guy came up and wanted to join in the game, so we let him. He was good, really good. He said did we want to make it interesting. So the guys agreed. Truth was, he was a hustler. The guys didn't get that, I did, I've seen the film,' she said cutely, Booth chuckled.

'Anyway, the guys played, lost their money and were pretty upset with this guy, and a fight started. In the mêlée, I got a smack in the face. Well, Eric went crazy, and then the whole bar got involved. See the thing was before we had headed out on this evening. We had all partaken, for research purposes of course, a local native American Sharman hallucinogen. We were high, totally spaced out.' Bones looked to Booth, who was utterly flabbergasted.

'Bones? Drugs?' Looking to her with pupils dilated, seeing her in a whole new way.

'No! Native American Sharman hallucinogens,' Bones said sensibly playing it down. He interrupted her.

'Drugs, Bones,' clarifying.

'Ok. Yes it was. Pretty good too… Anyway, the police arrived, the bar was trashed and five anthropologists and archaeologists, were locked up for the night. But…' Bones paused for effect.

'Buuut?' he drew out.

'We didn't realise that the alcohol mixed with this stuff, had another side effect. It caused us all to wake up in the drunk tank, and start laughing. It had turned our skin, a rather pretty shade of blue…'

'HAAA!!!' Bones and Booth laughed for a few minutes.

'We looked like Smurfs. It was hysterical. We nearly urinated on ourselves, well, actually I think Horice did. My idea of course to try it out. I was crazy back then,' she said wistfully, looking out the window. Her smile fixed and making her look adorable to him.

'It took two days for the blue tinge to dissipate, we were charged then it was revoked, fined instead, then given a caution. The report says we had taken drugs but it was indeterminable what. So they just noted the effects, and wrote them in the report. I'm assuming that's what, Officer Clancy was referring to yesterday.' Bones took a swig of soda, still smiling.

'Brilliant Bones. Great story,' Booth said impressed with her and her story telling.

'I have more?' Charmingly.

'Bring it on.' Booth was delighted to listen again. She looked divine as she recounted other hilarious escapades, while she was getting her education.

What a treat it was to listen and laugh with her like this. A real gift. Rarely were they in the situation, able to share memories outside of their careers. Booth learnt so much about her antics, and her fearlessness as a young woman. And saw how she had become the extraordinary woman she was today. He relished these moments.

'Ooo. Turn off here, Booth, just down there for about five miles. You'll see the ranch in a while.' She pointed towards the only turning on the long road.

'Cool. Need to pee,' he grinned, she flared her eyes agreeing. They were having a lovely time. A road trip was just the ticket, to ease him back to Washington and his problems to come.

The ranch was nestled at the bottom of a wide majestic ridge of the Appalachians, it looked beautiful in the setting sun. White crests, turning pink, adorned the silver blue granite. The tree line adding lime and olive hues to the spectacular painting. The ranch, set low and large in the foreground with grey, sweet wood smoke, billowing from its chimney.

'Oh Bones, stunning.'

'Yeah, isn't it? Pull up around the back, don't spoil the view,' Bones said sensibly.

Booth did as requested, just as the owner came out to greet them.

'Hey folks. Dr Brennan, long time no see.' Tony, a rugged bearded ageing man, dressed casually in perfectly clichéd cowboy Levi's and chaps, with a checked shirt and waist coat. He pushed his knurled strong hand out, for Bones to shake.

'Hi, Tony. Great to see you again. Tempe, please. This is my partner, Seeley Booth.' Booth stepped forward and shook Tony's hand firmly.

'Great to meet you, Seeley. Welcome.'

'Likewise, Tony. This is a beautiful spot. Thanks for putting us up.'

'No problem. Delighted I could oblige.'

They all headed inside, Booth carried their bags.

'You're in the front room. Should suit, got a great view,' Tony explained proudly.

'Yes, I remember. Thanks, this is fantastic,' Bones told Tony, delighted to be in the best room, with the most phenomenal view from their wooden balcony.

'You're welcome. Make yourselves at home. BBQ is on. Hope you like steak, Seeley?'

'Oh. Yeah! Staple diet, Tony,' Booth confirmed, with a hearty smile. Bones chuckled throwing the French doors open, taking in the view and the fresh mountain air, planting her hands on hips.

'Come down when you're settled.' Tony left them to it, clicking the door closed behind him.

Booth walked up behind Bones and slipped his arms around her stomach and looked too. Bones felt so relaxed in his gentle embrace. The thrill that his touch gave her made her smile, it trembled on her lips. She smoothed her hands over his on her stomach, rocked her head back to rest onto his chest. He put his chin on her shoulder.

'Great view isn't it?' Bones said quietly.

'Nothing compared to you.' Bones sighed softly and squeezed his hands. Booth turned her around slowly and they gazed sweetly at each other.

'Do you want to kiss me, Booth?' she asked quietly, knowing they both did.

'More than my life right now.'

'Good answer.' They did, this time the kiss was passionate, hot and prolonged, yet still exploratory. Bones slipped her hands up to caress his cheeks, hair and back, while his fingers smoothed down her spine, to her lower spine, at the top of her buttocks. She desperately wanted him to go lower, but he didn't. She could felt his strengthening erection on her hip. So moved to get the hardness and heat right where she needed it most. Booth hummed as she slipped her hands down and eased his buttocks into her core a little. He broke the kiss and tucked his head in her shoulder, whispering, 'Bones. Driving me insane woman,' he whispered a little shyly.

'Sorry…' She apologised softly, not realising it was a compliment, not a rebuke.

'In an incredible way,' Booth corrected gently.

'Oh, ok. That's good then.' She grinned, looking into his face, stroking over his brow, watching her fingers traversed his soft skin.

'Is it? Cos if this is gonna be over when we get back to Washington, I don't know if…' He almost whined, feeling he couldn't cope now he had a taste of her, the real Bones, and then it all was dragged away. And they went back to being just good friends and partners.

'Husssh,' she eased softly to his lips, 'This is a beginning, not an ending, Booth.'

'Yeah?' His heart quaking with joy at her statement.

'Yes.' A lovely smile teased her lips. He held her tighter and sighed into her hair, relaxing into her warm embrace.

'Come on, Booth, dinner. I'm famished.' He release her, delighted that he had a promise of something more with her. They went down stairs, Booth following her cheerfully.

Dinner was excellent, delicious and massive. They ate outside, under the stars and the cooling mountain air. The company great and extremely relaxed.

Bones opened her purse and pulled out a pack of good cigars and a lighter. She nudged Booth's arm, as he sipped his bottle of beer relaxing in the wooden rocking chair on the veranda. Booth looked to her, then what she had in her hand. His eyes widened and then slowly narrowed. He was obviously moved by her thoughtfulness. She noted it, and nudged again, with a wider smile this time, adding a nod for him to take them.

'Just looking out for my… Partner,' she said softly, Booth took a breath and closed his eyes, leaned over and kissed her lips softly, sending volts up her spine.

'Thanks, Bones, you're too good to me. I might cry again.' Beaming his best charmed ridden smile at her.

'I can cope. Here, don't make it a regular occurrence though.' Booth gave her another soft peck on her warm lips, taking the cigars from her. He nodded touched, and opened one and lit it. Bones watched him relax and sigh, as he took a long draw on the cigar. Bones grinned and sipped her beer looking back out to the mountain ridge. Delighted by his reaction and the sweet smell of tabbacco drifting away on the warm evening breeze. She relaxed further, her shoulders dropping a few more centimetres.

The night was enchanting with the sound of the wind in the corn, nocturnal animals foraging, and the occasional neigh from the stables. It was a while before either one said anything. Just content to be quiet and in each other's company.

'I'm going get up early, Booth, take a hack over the ridge there.' She pointed and smiled sweetly, Booth nodded. 'I'll be back before breakfast,' she concluded.

'You want me to come with you?' Booth asked delicately, he didn't want to push her, especially if she wanted a little time alone.

'Can you ride?' Bones asked surprised.

'Haa. Yes.'

'Ok,' she grinned, delighted. 'That would be lovely.'

'Yeah, it will be.' Booth took her hand and held it to his lips, looking into her eyes. She shone. She knew tonight, if he didn't instigate making love, she was going to. They had waited long enough.

Eventually they got to bed after showering and avoiding each others sly glances and furtive looks, as they prepared for bed. Bones was not a nervous lover, hell, she was usually a little aggressive but tonight with him, it was different. He wasn't the kind of man that just had meaningless sex. Not sober anyway, so she was slightly apprehensive.

'Shall I leave these open a little? It's a warm night, Bones?'

'Sure, why not.' Bones got into the bed and slipped down, laying on her side as he walked over to the bed, and got in rolling to face her. Tucking his hands under the pillow to watch her, seeing her eyes and sighed gently. They stared for an age. Reading one another. He shifted a little closer, she did the same.

'You're so gorgeous, Bones. Do you know that? Not just visually, but inside too. Beautiful. You have a pure, tender heart.' Bones sighed and closed her eyes briefly, opening them to him watery and deep.

'Thank you,' she said a little strained. He grinned wide with a closed mouth, then placed his lips to hers delicately. They both felt the energy crackle between them.

Booth leaning back a little, to take in her whole face to see her more clearly, now his cones had adjusted to the half darkness. He said softly, 'I love you.'

The relief he felt at finally being honest with her, was evident by the way his body sunk a little further into the mattress. Booth could finally, after all these years, fill his lungs to their capacity, and breathe.

Bones' eyes clouded at his whispered confession. Booth had just transgressed, told a secret he was supposed to hold sacred and tacit. He waited for her reaction. Expecting her to tell him, he was being too emotional, that love was a rush of chemicals inducing euphoria. Or his worse fear, for her to roll her back to him, and clam up.

Booth knew it was a gamble but the words just couldn't be restrained anymore. His heart, his soul had ached to tell her. She had made loving her so easy. He had found it impossible not to be drawn to her fragility and quirkiness. Her endearing veils of rational and logical behaviour were just her way, of protecting herself from emotional pain. Which she had endured in her early emotional development. But Booth saw right through the tissue paper, to her real self.

Bones knew it was time, enough time had passed. If she didn't open herself up with this man, she would never with anyone. Booth had just given her permission and the incentive to draw back the veils, and let her true self speak and be seen.

'That's good to hear, Booth. Especially when I feel the same of you. I've needed you…' Booth didn't move, just looked into her, his heart racing, his soul lifting, rising high and fast. Bones continued softly, 'Don't ever break my heart. Because I'll not survive…'

Was all this coming out of her mouth? Bones knew she had said it. Something in his eyes was drawing her fears out and telling him. Knowing he would understand. He already knew this, she was convinced but she just had to confirm.

'I won't. You're my shield against this world. If you leave me… I'll wither and die.'

Booth pulled her to him, and gripped her so hard it hurt his damaged rib. But he pushed the pain back, needing to hold her. Reassure her.

'I vow it, on Parker's life. Pledge it on my Mother's memory. I will never, ever leave you. I love you, woman.' Bones gripped him tight nuzzling into his chest, kissing softly on his sternum nodding, tears dripping on his warm flesh.

'Never doubt that, ok? Even when we are arguing, I will always. But Bones, you already knew that, didn't you?' His voice tight with emotion.

'Yes. I did,' she muttered, overcome, moving herself up to his face, rolling over him and kissing his lips, his head to her head, smiling into one another. The truth out and fears vented. Aired and washed away.

She kissed him again and, this time he joined in the slow luscious kiss, that had them easing flimsy night garments off and revealing the last secrets of themselves. Until they were naked and bathed in silver blue moon light.

Booth smiled wide, seeing her for the first time. Her full breasts, the curve of her hips and strong toned thighs, elegant long legs, adorned with pretty ankles and dainty feet. His eyes trailed languidly down her form. As his eyes trailed back up, Bones arched her back and wriggled a little, squeezing his shoulder.

'Booth, touch me,' she urged, needing him to.

'Sssshhh. Let me look, Bones. Need to look.' His eyes seeped fever from them into hers. An excruciating bliss ripped through her, his words exciting her. She had never felt so beautiful and admired. The reverence of his gaze, its intensity, was breathtaking.

'Oh God,' she groaned, rolling her head as he touched eventually, and felt. Bones fidgeted with his delicate exploratory, learning, innocent touch. She had never seen such intensity from a lover's eyes. He was entrenching her curves and hollows to his memory vault. Padlocking it all away, never to be removed.

Then Bones suddenly huffed and sat up, grabbing his face in her palms and stared forcefully into him. Booth came out of his trance and looked stunned by her sudden movement.

'Enough. Do something, Booth, or I'll take over.' Booth nodded slightly not losing eye contact to watch her reaction, as he placed his fingers on her ready pussy. Bones nearly detonated at his touch, she stared manically into his eyes, Booth jerked at the feel of her hotness and his fingers getting slick with the moisture that lubricated his digits. Bones rolling her eyes and body back.

'Boooooth.' Whining her desire at him. He moved his digits slowly into her and she grabbed his hand in her 'Yeesss. Go on.' She snapped her hips down on his fingers. Finally having something inside her, other than her own fingers.

'Is that, ok?' he asked quietly, much calmer than her. Although he nearly lost his control and ejaculated over her stomach the instant his fingers disappeared inside her. He thought the sensation mind blowing. Her aroma filled his nostrils. Her sapphire irises misted and her vision blurred slightly. Booth moved to kiss her, laving her tongue in a beautiful slow sexy rumba. Bones gushed little puffs into his mouth, as it opened wider the moment he started a caress, to find her sweet spot.

'Yes. Ummm. Just a little deeper please, Booth,' gently instructing him. Bones eased his fingers into her a little harder, with her delicate hand over his, helping. She gave him a soft smile as he did as requested.

He was excited by her request. Not many women were so forthcoming with what they liked or enjoyed. Either they were too embarrassed to say or to give pointers. But he knew Bones was confident sexually. And that didn't hurt his ego, on the contrary it relaxed him. Knowing she would tell him which paths to take and routes to explore, to get the best out of her.

'There, you found it, Booth. Umm… Such a pleasant sensation.' Bones kissed his lips as she felt him swirl the smooth patch, high on her upper fore wall. Her free hand slipped to his shaft and fingered him delicately. It was his turn to gasp, jerk and breathe a sigh. Her thumb swirled his tip smoothing his serum to lubricate the crown.

'Oh Bones, you have no idea… No idea how good it feels, to have you touch me. I've waited so long.'

'Yes I do, Booth.' Bones grinned, her implication being, by his touch she understood, she was having the same emotions. Bones then closed her palm around his glands and stroked a slow tempo up and down, matching his rhythm inside her. Booth eased his hips backwards and forwards, pushing his cock through her palm. 'Firm enough?' Bones asked whispering to his lips.

He nodded and hummed, 'God yes, perfect, Bones, perfect. Thank you, thank you.' He nodded confirming, his eyes rolling back in his head but not forgetting to pleasure her. Although the feeling of her clench sent his mind spinning, and all his muscles thickened. Then to her deep joy, his thumb brushed across her bundle of nerves.

'Kiss me, Booth, kiss me,' she mumbled, gasping to his lips. They did, this one wasn't slow or tender, but rampant and thirsty. Bones pushed his hand harder into her as his thumb rolled around the tightening nub. The tension building inside her fast. Her palm working more vigorously on his cock. Her thumb now joined in to stimulate his fraenulum too. The male clitoris effectively.

'God! Jesus, Bones, fuck, that feels good…' Booth muttered breathlessly, pumping hard through her fist. His body straining, brewing like a vat of malt liquor.

'I'm nearly…' She planted a hard wet kiss to his almost open mouth, 'Nearly, yes!' Another kiss, and a breath, 'Booth, come on, be with me…' Bones wanted him with her when she climaxed. So did he.

'Yeah, Bones. I'm with ya.' Booth kissed her back, his talented hand working beautifully well. Considering there was a cluster of hands and flesh writhing between them.

'Booth, I'm…'

'Come, Bones,' he said, almost ordering her. Booth thrust hard and spurted once as she gasped, then jerked with the tension releasing in one brutal rush of ecstasy. Gripping his hair with her free hand and pulling his mouth to hers, kissing him hard, moaning into him. She could feel of his hot spurts erupting over her hand and through her fingers, and to her stomach. This released another rush of endorphins through her blood stream, and sent a thrill through her of womanly triumph.

They began to settle and slow their movements, until they were still and silent. Bones brought her wet hand up to her mouth and licked off his semen. Booth watched on as she watched him. His eyes widening in surprise at her actions. Bones' grin oozed across her features and she flared her eyes, seeing his reaction.

'It's only you. Neat, Seeley Booth.' Booth thought it so sensuous and erotic, he was turned on all over again. Booth lifted his wet fingers to his mouth and did the same. Bones then took his hand and licked it too. Then sucked humming on his index finger then the middle one. Neither looking away. Tasting her hit the Neanderthal gene that lurked, and he was off. Grunting as he rolled her over onto her back, then licked down her torso, sparring with each breast and down to the wetness he had just spilt on her stomach. He lapped it up hungrily.

'You're going give me oral pleasure nowm aren't you?' she said almost accusingly, Booth stopped and looked up, she was glittering with excitement. Sparkling from pupils to toes. Booth could see her quivering, she lifted up taking his face in her palms.

'Yeah, Bones, gotta do something while my Cocky reloads…' Booth said apologetically but weighted with sarcasm. Bones chuckled and pecked him briefly, saying knowledgeably,

'I think cunnilingus is illegal in this state, Booth?' Gravely, but his eyes showed her, that her recent attempts at being humorous were paying off, because Booth belly laughed.

'HAA!' Bones huffed a few chuckles too, delighted by his laughter. Then lifted her right leg up and out, to splay herself for him. Booth ran his warm palm along the inside of her thigh. 'You're used to breaking the law around here. I'm sure you won't mind breaking another.'

'Haaa. No, You're correct in your assumption. I am prepared to face the consequences.'

'Haa. Brace yourself, Bones.' Booth smiled with lashings of charm. Taking him too literally, Bones slid her other leg over his shoulder and used her ankle to ease him down gently. Lifting her arms above her head slowly finding a gentle grip on the head board behind.

'Ok. Booth, I'm braced.' Her devastatingly seductive smile blossomed on her features. Without further ado, Booth licked her pussy and looked up to her. Bones was almost lost with one lick, albeit a fantastic slow, full sense datum lave, from perineum to clitoris, at precisely the right pressure for her. Her buttocks clenched, and rose to follow his tongue, her body twisting to fit his modus operandi.

'Ssssh… it!' Oh, Bones knew she was in serious physical danger. How long had it been? Two, possibly three years, since she had felt this kind of sensation? However long it had been was irrelevant now, because that one lave, just obliterated all previous memories and lovers.

Normally Bones was fairly quiet during this particular act. But as he continued, she got increasingly loud and started to lose her etiquette. She arched, moans rumbled, satisfying nonsense words exuded from her mouth. 'Geeessaarrrh yeesss oooooh Seeeelleee. Arhh fu, fu… Arrr,' Bones was mumbling, whimpering, soft gushes of warm air left her lungs, as she undulated to his gifted tongue.

It felt like he had just injected her with an illegal narcotic. Her hands grasped the head board tighter and she tried to get him to her screaming nub. Which he seemed reluctant to touch. Preferring to flick, rub, and suckle softly on her inner lips. Then gently penetrating her, with just the solid tip of his tongue.

'Booth? Arrr… Will you… Please stimulate my…' She didn't get to finish, as like he had read her mind, he couldn't deny her any longer. It would have been a felony to. Booth wrapped his fervent tongue around her pip. Bones slammed her hands to his head and felt the delicious agony of orgasm approach, finally. 'Yes! God, Booth Yes! That's it.'

Booth smoothed the little foreskin back with delicate pushes and nudges to it. Holding her hips still, she gasped and stilled. Her eyes shot open, in amazement looking down to him, his eyes wild, watching her lose all self control. Her acme approached at mack speed. Almost there, almost.

Then he stopped. Left her hanging.

Bones could have drop kicked him into space. Punched him senseless, she was so pissed. 'Get back to work, FBI! Unless you want a crazy anthropologist on your face!'

To her amazement, Booth belly laughed at her. Chuckling as he crawled up her quivering body, to be face to face with her and said, 'HAAA! God, Bones, I love you so much…' Bones relaxed a little, just a little and smiled tenderly.

'Ok. You're absolved. Almost…' Bones eased her palms onto his shoulders and pushed him gently back down, flaring her eyes at him to continue.

'I'm sorry, Bones. Couldn't resist… You're gonna feel so good, baby,' he said the last part of his sentence quickly, then to avoid the reprimand she was about to give, he suckled her nub instantly.

Bones took off like the shuttle on launch day. Thundering through the atmosphere, headlong towards the moon. Bones pushed her pussy into his mouth. Gripping his hair and shoulder.

'Arh arh arh arh arh,' she cried out trembling, her thighs quivering uncontrollably. She reached the zenith, and burst through. Piercing a thin veil, into silence and peacefulness. She was held suspended for a few elusive moments in the vacuum. Then tumbled back through to the present.

Booth thought her breathtaking, in full wings spread orgasm. Clutching him, the head board, the sheets, anything to feel safe. 'Oh. Christ, woman. Love you.' Booth muttered to her quaking pussy. Her orgasm ebbed and flowed, it seemed relentless and unending, Booth thought.

Her grip relaxed on the headboard and him. She sunk back elegantly to the bed, covering her eyes with a limp forearm. Booth laid still in the radiating warm glow of her body, and its aftershocks. His head resting on her hip softly. His senses full of sensual, delicious, graceful doctor Temperance Brennan. And he relished it, licking his lips, elated by what he had given her.

Booth slipped back up to her side and rested his head beside hers watching her. Waiting patiently for her to come back to him. He placed a calming hand on her abdomen, where he caressed Mobius loops with his finger tips. He saw her grin.

'Second. Just a second, Booth. I need a moment...' she said with a musky, smoky tone, one he had never heard before. Neither had she. That had been the singularly most intense climax she had ever experienced. She was still feeling euphoric, her body still juddered and pulsed. It took a long while for the prolactin surge to dissipate. Booth kissed her cheek tenderly, whispering, 'No rush, Bones, take your time,' gently calmly.

Bones moved her heavy arm off her eyes to put it around his head, and caressed a lock of his hair for a while. Eventually she rolled her head to look into him, as he lifted his eyes to hers. Booth noted hers shimmered in the partial moonlight that crept across the room and bed via the open balcony doors.

'Wooow,' she said softly. Then pecked his lips, holding them to his for a few seconds. 'Thank you, Seeley.'

Booth couldn't mask the sharp intake of breath he needed, after her sultry use of his baptised name. His reaction didn't pass her by. She smiled tenderly and kissed him gently again. 'My Seeley,' she said it again. Rolling slowly on top of him. Bones took him in her hand, positioned him, then slipped him inside slowly. Booth closed his eyes and arched his neck.

He was inside the woman who had made him love her, unwittingly. Who had been his fantasy, night after restless night. When he touched himself, it was her name on his lips as he trembled and released, shamefully. He had envisioned this moment, how she might feel, many, many times. How she would look at him, how she smelt, what she might say or do. Yes, he had imagined, dreamt. Thought he knew.

However, as she started to move, looping her feet under his upper thighs to lock their two bodies together and clamp herself to him. Dovetailing them, and swallowing him up. He knew he had known nothing. He had got it all wrong. Booth's dreams where nowhere close to the sensation he was feeling now. He had been so misled. His imagination had deceived him. But Booth knew now. He understood.

Booth lifted his hands to his face and covered his eyes. Feeling the tears come. His emotions pushed the tears out. Everything had gone to shit in his life, except for the woman he worshiped, who now cradled him so tenderly. It was all too much, too much.

Bones brought her torso down and eased his palms off his face. He tightened his lids. Pitifully ashamed of his weakness under her gaze.

'Seeley, Please. It's Ok.' Booth shook his head a little, then covered his eyes with his forearm. His chest tightened, the back of his throat closed and he gasped a needed breath. Bones could see his chin quiver. Her tone had made him lose what control he had thought he had left.

'You promised,' she said gently, pushing his forearm away and holding it to the pillow above him. 'You've got nothing left to hide from me.' Her heart clenched, her eyes glistened too.

'I've see you at your worst and best.' Bones kissed his lips softly, 'My love has no pride with you. Nor should yours with me.'

His arms and torso snapped up and clutched her to him. Bones held him close rocking him gently. 'We're going get through this, Seeley. We will.' She gave him a few moments, kissing his shoulders and neck tenderly, as he wept silently.

Bones leant back a little, relaxing her grip and lifted his chin up with her palm. He still had his eyes closed.

'Open your eyes, Seeley. I'll let you call me baby again?' Bones painted on a smile as he huffed a little chuckle and flickered open his eyes finally. Bones tilted her head and smiled a little wider. She wiped and kissed his tears dry. He just stared into her.

'That's better. There's my beautiful, Seeley,' she said sweetly. 'Now… Show me what I've never known,' she asked gently, Booth smiled warmly, getting lost, washed away by her eyes. He gave her a little nod understanding, then sniffed.

'I should make up for the other night and my selfish, miserable performance.' Bones looked suddenly stunned. He knew, he remembered.

'You remember? You never said?' Bones enquired incredulously. Covering her face with her hands, sneaking a peak through her fingers hiding her blushes.

'Hey, why are you embarrassed? It was me that was the ass. Drunken screw up, I'm so ashamed.' He hung his head and shook it. Bones dropped her palms, she caressed his jaw, holding him close, kissing him gently.

'You needed me. It didn't worry me,' she said softly.

'Bones… You're too generous, too understanding. And that's bull shit.' He kissed her lips and began to ease his hardness into her.

Bones let a soft chuckle rumble up, and out of her throat and mouth. 'Ok. I was a little sad. You felt wonderful. I didn't want you to end,' she confessed gently. Booth stroked her hair off her face with both hands and smiled.

'Do I feel wonderful now?'

'Yes. Sublime.' He cocked a brow cutely, delighted to hear that. His fingers slipped purposefully between them and swept over her clitoris. Bones rolled her head and rocked it back a little, half closing her eyes. 'Oooooh,' she cooed. 'Thank you. I can do that?'

'Sssh. I got ya, baby.' Bones grinned dropping her head back down to look into him. Seeing her grin like that, made him half apologise, 'Haa sorry. Couldn't resist. You did say I could?'

'How's your rib?' She asked kissing his brow. Ignoring his cheeky comment.

'It is a little sore, to be honest.' Booth gave her a wonky pout. She nodded taking a breath deep in and long out.

'Lay back, we should be real gentle,' Bones told him sweetly. He nodded and dropped slowly back down, breathing out in relief. As their hands wandered and caressed. Their trembling hearts beat in unison, along with the languid movements of their bodies.

'You're a little large, Seeley,' flaring her eyes at him, 'You feel incredible though. Hold still… I'll just…' Bones relaxed her core and shifted her hips slightly, Booth slid all the way till he could go no further, satisfying her entirely, in all four dimensions. Three physical, one theoretical.

Booth gasped as she gripped his member deep within, then began a slow elegant rhythm. Her pussy doing things to him that were definitely not legal in several states, possibly countries. They were on the edge of heaven in minutes, 'God yes. This is…' Booth offered, swirling his slim hips thrusting gently upwards, as she matched him on the down stroke, harmonising with him.

'Oooh. Seeley? Superb.' They both opened their eyes and looked at each other. Then smiled wide, reading one another's mind. Bones whispered tenderly, nearing the end,

'You know we're never going to want anybody else after this?'

'I've never wanted anybody else,' Booth countered seriously. Then added, 'Gotta kiss you.' Booth explaining his sudden nearness to her lips. His need. His hands caressing her buttocks now, which flexed and rolled sensuously.

Bones delved in keeping their tempo constant and gentle. Bones knew this was unique. She felt utterly adored, treasured like fine jewels. 'Come closer,' she whispered, 'Closer, Seeley.'

He couldn't get any nearer, this position wouldn't allow it. So he held her close and rolled them onto their sides. Bones was charmed by his eagerness to please her, sate her every whim. Bones felt her emotions run high. They writhed together, slipping around and deeper into each other's bodies. 'That's better, I can see your gorgeous eyes,' he whispered, kissing her, using his free hand to caress her hair.

Minutes in the night slipped by. The drapes billowed into the room gently with the soft gusts of mountain air. The gentle rustle of bed linens, soft sighs, delicate moans, subtle indicators of the love they were making.

'Together,' she whispered finally, he nodded unable to hold back from the finale. She watched his eyes, he hers. 'Oh. Seeley.' Bones felt she was a ball of sodium on water and fizzed over its surface. Tingling and effervescing.

The sensation of climaxing around him, her walls vibrating against his body, deep within, made the moments feel tremendously liberating. Especially when Booth's seed pumped into her with such force, she gasped feeling the explosion. His joy equalled by hers.

The intensity of the mutually shared climax, scared them a little. Their eyes bursting with love and a little water. Bones found a calm sanctuary within their depths. This ancient intimate act, only at its best when both parties forget about their own needs and concentrate on the other.

Booth lay still and quiet as did Bones, both with their eyes closed. Not wanting or able to move. Booth managed a barely heard, 'You ok, Bones?' He caressed her hair from her face, so he could see her properly.

Her eyes opened accompanied by a little nod, smile and a hug to him. 'Yes.' Bones shifted a little and brought her hand up to caress his face, placing a delicate kiss on his lips. 'Whatever I say now will be inadequate, Seeley. So I'm opting to say nothing.'

Booth kissed her back with a understanding nod. There were no words to define love, it had to be felt.

They recovered slowly and gave themselves a little more room, just a little, 'You and me, Seeley? That's colossal. Ange is gonna have a coronary,' she said seriously, mixed with a little mischief.

'Haaa. Yes, more than likely.' Booth kissed her lips again, although his eyes were dropping and his mind was shutting down. Bones could see him struggling to stay awake with her. She took pity and stroked his brow till he fell completely to sleep, thinking.

Booth lay exhausted and mewing with a sheet loose over his groin. Bones got up, went to the bathroom, putting on the complimentary robe. Taking her purse out onto the balcony, closing the door gently behind her. Checking he was still asleep through the pane.

She sat down on the balcony floor, her back resting against the wall, looking at the night, the stars and moon. She opened the box she had purchased earlier, pulled one out and lit it, taking a long draw. Closed her eyes as the smoke filled her lungs, then sighed as the smoke left her pursed lips. Dropping her head and closing her eyes, she relaxed.

This illicit, exceedingly rare pleasure, smoking a menthol cigarette was abhorrent to her in her normal state of mind. But she wasn't in a normal state of mind.

Twice before she had done this. The first time was two weeks after Russ, her brother, had abandoned her along with her parents. When she realised neither he or them, were coming back. That was for rebellion, fear and to calm.

The second time was before she decided to lose her virginity. That was nerves and to calm. Then the third time, now. When she had a huge life changing alteration to make. And this was fear, calmness and altruistic.

As Bones had thought about a conundrum and solved it in her head. But needed the courage and strength to tell it. The smoking was a way of calming herself. Before she breached the answer with him. Was she sure? Would he see the beauty of it? How rational and logical the solution was? Those were the puzzles to come.

Bones drew on the cigarette, she didn't realise Booth was standing behind her, his mouth dropped in shock. He was wrapped in the sheet from the bed they had spent the last hours making love on. He opened the door gently but Bones jumped at the sudden disturbance.

'Bones? You rebel…' he said charmingly. Bones grinned, looked at the cigarette then chuckled. He thought that so cute.

'Yeah. I rarely do this, but I had an impulse.' She grinned up at him, taking another puff, then looking out to the night again.

'Can I join you? Or do you want to be alone?' Booth asked, ready to leave her to her thoughts if she wanted.

'No, join me, please,' she almost insisted. He sat down slowly, giving her space and time. She looked over to him, with a gentle smile. They locked eyes.

'I've got a proposition,' she began nervously.

'Right. Go on,' Booth said softly.

'Parker? He should stay here, with you.' She flicked the head of ash into the ashtray, watching her task diligently.

'Yeah, I know, Bones.' He nodded looking out to the night sky.

She picked up the pack and held it to him, 'Want one?' He shook his head. She took a long drag down and blew it out slowly. Calming herself, as he waited.

'We go to Rebecca, Parker and Tod, telling them how bad the decision is to take him away. Tell them all, together, that we are prepared to have him live with us. We will look after him for six months, until they are settled or her job is permanent.'


'Sssh. Listen. We can work this out between us, Seeley? I've got a spare room for Parker. More room than your apartment… You move in and we're a stable family, two parents and everything stays the same for him. He's the priority here, not her job or Tod's… I bet he doesn't want to go, leave his children either. It's Rebecca that should go… If it works out for her, she may want him but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.' Bones spoke softly, sensibly. Booth's breath had already left his lungs when she had begun. He had to force himself to focus on her, as she took a long draw and continued,

'She said to me once that you weren't stable or settled enough, that you led a single life. So it makes sense if we were a couple, she would be more likely to agree or at least see the benefit. Parker would have a female influence, me. Rebecca could come and go as she wanted. Have her career, without the restrictions of having to chase around with Parker. While she is trying to impress her new bosses. You never know, Seeley… She might hate it? Or love it, and not feel the restriction of motherhood and permanently decide the situation suits all parties?' She took another drag and looked off to the sky, putting the cigarette out in the ash tray then pushing it away.

Booth was silent for a long while. Bones took a breath with courage now to look to him. Booth was leaking salt water.

'You'd do that for me and Parker?'

'Yes. I love you and Parker.' He dropped his head, totally overcome.

'So what do you think?' Bones didn't react to his tears.

'I think… You're amazing. I'm humbled, Bones, honestly. It's a brilliant idea but… I'm not sure Rebecca will agree.'

'But do you think Parker and Tod will?'

'Yes, definitely,' Booth said confidently.

'Well then, Rebecca is out voted. She may even learn a lesson or two. About how hard things have been for you and she has not helped. I have other incentives to offer, but I'm not prepared yet to divulge until we speak to them.'


'The sooner the better, you should call Rebecca her in the morning. We could head straight there, from here.' Bones urged his compliance looking up to the stars, and sighed resting back propped up by her palms.

'Ok. Agreed… Bones?' She turned her head to look at him.

I love you,' he grinned wide.

'And I you.' Bones leant over and kissed his lips. She smiled warmly and stared ahead yet again, after lighting another cigarette. Bones knowing that one question would be coming her way fairly soon, and she needed to be calm for that too.

Booth asked gently, 'So, do you want to get married?'

And there it was.

She froze, then slowly looked into his eyes. He gave her a wonky hopefilled smile.

'Yes, at some point. Let's get this resolved first, ok?' Bones answered casually.

'Yes, course.' He nodded, dropping his eyes, sadly. Bones noted his sadness. She placed her palm on his forearm and squeezed gently. He looked up,

'I said yes, Seeley. With or without, Parker. I can't see my life moving forward without you. I want grow old with you. Have a child with you and be an inadequate wife. You'd like that, wouldn't you?' Bones said gently.

'Sounds perfect, Bones.' He took her hand in his, then added, 'One thing.'

'What's that?' she asked, a tiny smile hung on her lips.

'Put that ciggy out, woman, doesn't suit.'

'Haa. Ok. But I reserve the right to smoke on extremely stressful occasions.'


They returned to their bed, entwined and slept.

'So what do you think?' Booth asked Rebecca, Parker was almost delirious and jumping on the spot, Tod looked up for it too. Rebecca looked to Bones, then gestured her out to the kitchen, silently. Bones got up and followed. The three men sat looking at each other, in nervous silence.

'Tempe? It's a great plan, but six months is a long time without his mother.'

'I know. There will be times he needs you, I understand that. I can put him on a plane anytime. I have the finances, I'm sure you're aware.' Rebecca nodded, making coffee.

'But I would rather you trusted me, Rebecca. I know what it is to have no parents, or have them unobtainable. I can empathise with that. And so can, Seeley.' Again Rebecca nodded.

Bones continued, 'There are web cams and phones, it's not like you're the other side of the world.'

'No, no I understand… You and Seeley? You two solid?'

'Yes. Together, no couple stronger. We're getting married.'

'Oh. Wow! That's great news, about time!'

'Thank you. I'm delighted.'

'What about his gambling?'

'What about it?'

'Well, he just went off on a bender?'

'True. With good reason, he was devastated. We all have our breaking points, Parker and me are his. I'm his sponsor now, I'll keep him straight if he needs it, but I doubt he will… I trust him with my life and heart, why wouldn't I trust him with my money too? When you love, you love. You don't make exceptions or put limits on that love…'

Rebecca handed her a cup of hot coffee and beamed at her. 'Good answer. Tell you what, can we make it a year and review after? Six months is nothing?' Rebecca grinned sweetly. Bones heart trembled and she hugged Rebecca hard.


'Come on, let's go tell them.'

The three men stood nervously, as the ladies came back in. Parker looked to his mother, then Bones, who grinned hard and wide. Parker ran to both of them and hugged them around their waists, at the same time. Booth locked eyes with Bones. She gave him a slow wink, accompanied by her trademark enigmatic smile.

Authors Notes:

Thank you for reading this far. I hope you enjoyed the fluff and smuttiness. If you did, please review.

Smoking? I knooow, freaky eh? I feel the heat of the flames rising already.

You thought the packet was condoms, didn't you??

May your God keep you safe. Till the next time… X