A.N.: I'm sure you've read plenty of those already, but I thought I could try, too. Inspired by the delicious Christmas episode promo we got. I might turn this into a new multi-chapter fic if you like it enough.


"Stop fidgeting, Booth!" she warned him, a gloved hand pressing down on his shoulder to hold him still.

"Get it off!" he muttered between his teeth. Knowing his whole body was covered with chunks of some sociopath Santa bomber's flesh and bone fragments didn't sit well with him. At all. He kept shuddering in disgust. Seeing a dead body was one thing; having pieces of one on you was another. "Get it off!" he repeated.

With the tweezers, she pulled another bit of Santa dust, as Hodgins called it, and let it fall into the appropriate container. "Would you calm down?" she said, looking him straight in the eye, head tilted. It was like working with a 5 year-old. Not that she'd ever worked with a 5 year-old.

"Easy for you to say!" he said. "Don't you have bigger tweezers? Maybe it'd go faster."

"That's absurd," she said, frowning. She spotted a piece near his neck. "Don't move!" she ordered just above a whisper.

Booth's mind and heart started racing.

"What?" he asked, so afraid of her answer. Was something crawling on him?

"You've got some..."

"What!" His knee started shaking. This gurney-type evidence table really wasn't comfortable.

He felt the tip of the metallic instrument brush his neck. She leaned in so close he could smell her hair. His stomach fluttered. Now's not the time, Booth. Just stay still. Don't touch her. As her breath touched his skin, his eyes flew shut.

Brennan tried to ignore the subtle scent of his aftershave. But she couldn't concentrate enough to get the tiny piece of evidence stuck on the inside of his collar. It dropped further down inside his shirt.

Booth really did feel something crawl down on his chest. He jumped up, trying not to yelp.

"What's that?!"

She swiftly got behind him and pushed down on his shoulders again so he would sit back.

"I'm gonna have to remove your clothing," she affirmed, gently reaching near his collarbone to pull on his jacket.

"Why?" he asked, stiffening, panic sneaking its way into his gut.

"You're covered with some kind of residue. It could very well be from the explosives. We're gonna need to process all of your clothes, not just the bits and pieces."

He watched her as she carefully put his jacket in a bag, still trying to process what was happening. She came back in front him and loosened his tie enough so she could pull it over his head. Increasingly nervous, he wet his lips and watched her put it in another bag. When her fingers found his shirt collar, he grabbed her wrists.

"I can undress myself, you know."

"No!" she fervently objected.

Booth laughed.

"I mean, you can't," she said, more calmly.

"Of course I can."

"I understand you are uncomfortable with the idea, but I have to do it. We can't risk you compromising the evidence."

"I'm not stupid, I won't destroy anything. You really don't have to do this..."

She avoided his eyes and concentrated on unbuttoning his white shirt. Her heart shouldn't have been beating that fast. Her knees shouldn't have felt that weak. This was work. She had always loved her work, but she shouldn't be enjoying this that much.

"We need to have a clean chain of custody, Booth. Evidence must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner to avoid later allegations of tampering which could compromise the case of the prosecution."

"Santa's dead, Bones. We don't need his flesh to convict him of anything."

"There's no purpose in your argument, Booth. I'm almost done."

With that said, she slid his shirt off his back.

"Stand up," she ordered.

Knowing too well what was happening next, he cringed.

"Come on," she insisted, pulling on his hands so he would get up.

He did, shaking his head. This was ridiculous and unnecessary. His reaction, that was.

His jaw clenched. Her fingers were on his belt buckle. Oh, dear God.

Brennan's stomach was tickling. She tried not to acknowledge her own body's intimate reaction. She was aroused. She had to get this over with. She took off the belt, unbuttoned his pants, and slid his zipper down. She hadn't meant to brush against it. She really had tried to avoid any contact with his penis. Booth let out a muffled moan and his chin spun up. He was looking at the ceiling, eyes closed.

This is not happening. This is not happening. I hate Santa. I hate God. I hate her tiny, excruciatingly delicate hands. I want to die.

"Did I hurt you?" she asked, really concerned. Maybe she had zipped him down to quickly and...

He just shook his head vehemently.

"You don't have to be embarrassed. I've seen you naked before," she stated.

Great. I feel so much better. Thanks.

"It's the gloves," he lied. "They're cold."

"No, they're not," she frowned, looking at them.

"They feel weird," he shrugged. "I feel like I'm being probed by a doctor."

"I am a doctor," she nodded. And she pulled his pants down, squatting in front of him to take them off.

The door opened. Cam stood there, mouth open, shocked but thoroughly amused at the scene playing in front of her. She tilted her head, waiting for the confused explanations they would certainly both spit out.

"Anyone for mistletoe?" she pushed them.

"I'm... recovering evidence," Brennan said.

"Just evidence," Booth agreed. "I have bones all over me."

"Oh, I can see that..." Cam laughed before leaving them alone. She'd come back later. Way later.

The door closed behind her. Brennan stayed down and vigilantly folded the pants.

Booth asked, "You don't think she thought... That we..."

"No! Of course not. I mean... We're in the lab. If we were gonna do... that, we woudn't... here. I mean..."

Thrown off by her own answer, she looked up to him. Maybe he had understood. Sometimes, he could understand what she was saying even when she had no idea what she meant. But then she saw it. The tent starting to form in his boxers.

"Oh," she let out, getting up, slowly, like she didn't want to scare it off.

Booth realized she saw. He winced and resisted the urge to cover himself up. Too late. She had seen everything. What was the point of this exercise?

"Sorry," he whispered, unsuccessfully willing it away.

"No, it's... a perfectly natural physical reaction to..."

He interrupted her. "Bones, please. Don't."

"But I..."

"No. I mean it. Let it go. I know how the human body works, I don't need a detailed anatomy lecture."

He had never been that embarrassed. Ever.

Brennan gathered all the evidence.

"I just wanted you to know... I have the same thing. But it doesn't show," she confessed, in all honesty. Hoping it would make him feel better.

Surprised, he looked at her. Surely he had misunderstood. She wasn't looking at him. At all. Maybe he had heard her right.

"You can sit back on the gurney. I have to bring all the evidence to Hodgins to analyze. You included."

Without a word, he sat on the metallic table and let her wheel him off to the other side of the lab.