Not much to say here, other than it plans to be quite M in the next chapter(s), so consider yourself forewarned!

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The Couple On The Bench

Booth sat sipping at his coffee, gazing out of the window of the Royal Diner, watching people on the street outside. Rain pattered against the pavement as they hurried to and fro. In the midst of the rain-inspired chaos, a single couple sat on a bench, nonplussed by the rain, content at simply being together. Booth watched as they gazed deep into each other's eyes, her hand on his knee, his arm around her waist. They kissed, gently. Not a big fan of public displays of affection, even Booth found himself thinking 'how sweet' and was oddly jealous at their happiness.

He was fine alone, he told himself repeatedly. He shouldn't envy the couple on the bench; he knew one day he could be that happy. He knew he'd already met her, and was content to wait as long as it took for her to catch up with his feelings. There was no doubt in his mind that one day she would wake up and realise what was right in front of her. He had faith that she loved him just as much as he had fallen for her, just as of yet, she wasn't aware of it.

But he'd wait. He knew he'd wait. As long as it took. Booth knew he couldn't push her into feeling something, her stubborn streak would send her flying in the opposite direction.

So he'd wait.

Wait until she knew.

Wait for the moment she confronted him.

Wait for the day he was getting soaked in the rain, uncaring because at last he'd finally have her.

His focus drifted, no longer watching the couple on the bench, eyes falling to a puddle on the sidewalk. A leaf floated on the surface.

Booth, feeling philosophical, empathised with the leaf. It floated, for it could do nothing else, waiting either to be swallowed by the darkness or lifted from the pool. No say in the matter, no power to choose one over the other, no control over when, the leaf waited. Booth waited.

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She saw him through the window as she sheltered from the rain, hovering under an awning out of his line of sight. His brows knotted together, his eyes blurred; she knew he was deep in thought. She could be standing in front of him and he probably wouldn't notice.

He'd seemed distracted these past weeks. Their relationship, professional as ever, had plateaued – nothing changed, for better, or for the worse. She found it bothered her far more that he was stagnant, than if he had pulled away from her.

She knew why though. Or at least, Angela had tried to explain why. She'd used some convoluted metaphor about acorns and mustard seeds – big plants springing from tiny seeds, all the while longing to escape; hiding within a shell until the pressure was too great and the shell cracked. She'd tried to correct Angela, to explain that wasn't how it happened, but Ange had merely rolled her eyes.

"That's not the point, Sweetie. He's getting ready to crack. I can see it, and soon you will too. And when you do, then you'll understand."

Sometimes she thought she understood, when she caught him watching her absentmindedly, the smile on his face, the occasional twinkle in his eye, the brief moments his hand lingered on the small of her back. At those times, she understood.

But then he'd do something. Or nothing. And what she'd been so sure of just before, suddenly fell apart around her, she must have had it wrong all along. When he 'atta-girl' loved her. When he got angry with her for merely stating fact about religion. When he failed to laugh as he corrected her social nuances. Then she didn't understand. And she knew there wasn't a textbook or paper published that was going to help.

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The rain eased and she made a dash for the diner. He sat at their usual table, coffee left to grow cold as he stared out the window. In a move unheard of for them, she sat in a separate booth, leaning back against the chair, knowing he was barely inches away from her. The diner was quiet, she thought she could almost hear him breathing. Deep in thought, he hadn't noticed as she'd walked past. Looking out in the same direction as he was, Brennan saw the same rain-soaked couple and she understood.

In that moment, it all became clear.

Shooing the waitress away, she rose and left the diner as silently as she'd entered. The sun was beginning to poke through the cloud now, and the drenched couple stood to leave. Brennan took their seat; thankful that the portion of the bench they had been sat on was dry.

She sat and waited. Watching him through the window, his gaze still on the puddle a few feet in front of her. There was a sadness radiating from him that near enough broke her heart. If such things were possible.

She waited.

The line of his sight rose and Booth was startled to find her staring back at him from the bench. He hadn't even noticed the couple leave. Smiling, she made a 'come here' motion at him. Shocked, he didn't move. Despite already knowing the answer, he looked around in disbelief; there was no one else around that she would be motioning to. She nodded to him, as if to confirm what he already knew.

"Please, Booth." She mouthed to him through the window, as the rain began pattering around her. She repeated the motion at him.

Thunder rumbled ominously as Booth threw a hand full of bills onto the table and made a flustered exit.

"Bones! You'll get soaked!" he perched beneath the overhang from the diner, barely 10 feet from her, he shouted over the noise of the rain.

Smiling wide, she patted the seat beside her, a glint in her eye he'd never seen before. It looked like … no. It couldn't be … understanding? Had she finally caught up with him? All those months and years of waiting, was she finally ready?

Booth couldn't move, his feet seemingly disconnected from his brain stem. She'd tell him that was impossible, fatal even, and the thought of her typical condescending correction brought a smile to his face.

A deep breath and Booth was taking the few steps towards her, courage and fear surging through him in near equal amounts. He joined her on the bench, sitting far from her, still not daring to give into the thought that she might be aware of the significance this particular bench was holding for him right now. Maybe she hadn't seen the couple on the bench, and simply wanted to sit outside, he rationalised.

Closing the gap between them, she slid towards him on the bench, the rain growing heavier now, strands of her hair becoming plastered across her forehead.

She rest her hand on his knee, just as she'd seen the woman do.

He hesitated, longing for further confirmation from her before wrapping his arm around her already damp shoulders.

She scooted in closer, his arm enveloping her righter. Her head leaned in, finding refuge in the softness between his neck and shoulder. He kissed her hair softly, barley daring to touch her, drawing in a deep breathe. The air was sweet with the scent of rain.

Booth avoided the rain, always wore a coat, and made sure Parker did too. But right now, with Bones finally in his arms, the rain seemed refreshing against the burning of his skin.

Time drifted by. They sat. Rain poured. Neither spoke. Seconds turned to minutes. The world rushed by. But still they sat.

Booth lost all sense of time. He was brought back to reality by the shiver that ripped through her body. Her thin blouse soaked through, plastered to her chest, painting the outline of her bra delicately across her breast.

He raised his hand to her face, hooking his finger beneath her chin and lifting her eyes to meet his. Leaning in to kiss her, Booth left the final gap to be closed by Brennan. It seemed an eternity passed by in less than a second. His insecurities and doubts screaming at him that this was wrong, that it couldn't (shouldn't, even) be happening, that he was ruining the best friendship he'd know.

But when the softness of her lips met his, all doubt was forgotten, his fear seemingly sucked from him. Tenderly, she kissed him, unhurried but full of passion. The world dissolved around them, Booth's modesty thrown to the wind, no longer caring who saw them or what they thought.

She twisted her body towards him, the hand on his knee travelling to his hair, the other hand moving to take its place. Her urgency grew as she kissed him harder, nipping at him, trailing the tip of her tongue across his bottom lip. Her fingers in his hair; his hands caressing her back through the thin wet fabric.

Finally his lips parted, and her tongue darted into his warmth. Breathing deeply through her nose, she explored every corner of his mouth, lapping up his taste. Years she'd denied it to herself. Said he was just her partner. But she knew. He knew. Other people knew, but few had dared to vocalise it, the ramifications too intense to think of.

Her hand drifted up his thigh, barely conscious she was doing it, but Boy did he know. His blood pressure soared as she grew closer to him, aroused and terrified simultaneously by the thought. He seemed to be constantly hard these days, and right now was no exception. He fought it hard but, damn it, he was only human, and the sight, smell, heck even thought of her turned him on. There wasn't a night recently where he hadn't ended up in a cold shower because of her. He had no doubt that today would be any exception. He consoled himself with the thought that at least tonight, he knew for sure what she felt like in his arms, the way she tasted, the way she'd looked at him. He wouldn't be forgetting that in a hurry.

Another shiver rocked through her body, and she breathed it into him. Despite the delightful warming she was feeling inside, her clothes were soaked through, and even a smokin' make out session (Angela's words again coming to mind) with her partner couldn't change that.

Pulling away from her reluctantly, he cupped her face with his hands.

"You'll catch pneumonia if we don't get you out of these wet clothes soon." It was a slip of the tongue that said 'we', not 'you', but either she didn't notice or didn't care.

"Highly unlikely Booth. Pneumonia is an illness caused by …"

He should have seen it coming, but he smiled smugly as he claimed her lips once more, all squint talk momentarily cleared from her mind. His tongue wrestled hers for space, as he momentarily gave into the urge to sit her kissing her until neither of them could breathe.

It took all his self-control to pull away from her. He took her hand in his, looking deep into her eyes, watching for any trace of hesitation or fear. Finding none, he spoke:

"Come with me."

It wasn't a question, and yet she felt herself nodding to him, wet hair sticking to the back of her neck. They rose from the bench, and he led her to his SUV. Driving in silence, the journey seemed excruciatingly long. Looking across at her periodically, doubts began to form in his mind. He'd waited for too long for this, he could not, would not, ruin it now.

Glancing towards her again, she smiled at him, eyes happy and relaxed. Her hand moved to rest on his knee. Booth drew in a long, deep, breath. He told himself nothing was going to happen. She'd change her clothes, shower, get warm, and they'd banter like always. Maybe they'd end up back at the diner to eat. Nothing more.

Nothing more. He repeated it internally. But damn, if her hand wasn't resting so high on his thigh. And if her fingers weren't tracing out absentminded ministrations up his leg … Booth was well on his way to being fully hard, and the cheeky twinkle in her eye implied she knew it. His involuntary blushing did nothing to wipe the smug grin off her face.

Booth drew another steadying breath and tried to focus on the road.

Pulling into a parking spot, Booth turned off the ignition and they sat in silence. Removing her hand from his thigh, Brennan unfastened her seatbelt, dragging it very slowly across her chest, her head fallen back against the headrest. She knew he was watching her out of the corner of his eye and took great pleasure at seeing his fists clench at the steering wheel, as he attempted to remain composed. She was also well aware of the effect her touch had been having on him, after not-so-accidentally brushing her fingers over his hardness several times.

She leant over in the SUV and kissed his neck. Before he had a chance to respond, she pulled away and stepped out of the vehicle. Closing the door behind her, she leant against the side of the car, closing her eyes and facing away from him. She breathed several deep breaths, knowing that the moment of stillness was as much to calm herself down as it was for him.

Minutes passed and she heard his door open and close. Not moving, she kept her eyes closed and listened as his steps rounded the SUV, approaching her. Slipping his fingers into hers, she opened her eyes and found herself swimming in his gaze. Brennan smiled at Booth and nodded. She realised he hadn't vocalised any question, his eyes doing all the talking. Feeling self conscious all of a sudden, Brennan let out an uncharacteristic giggle and it spurred Booth into action, pulling her away from the SUV and towards the apartment. She followed him eagerly.

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Audience participation: Whose apartment are we at?