These are a collection of random Bones drabbles. Blame wtvoc for luring me into the Bones fandom. The pee was irresistible. Originally they were written for the bitesize_bones lj community's Bones Fic Comment Meme.

Title: The Birthday Present

Characters: Booth/Brennan

Rating: PG

Word Count: 394

Prompt: Brennan, "I hate my birthday." (thanks to lime_mhc for the prompt)

"Booth, I hate my birthday. That's why I told you no presents," Brennan says, her voice accusatory with only the barest hints of embarrassment. She is used to being lauded for her professional self; in fact, she expects it. She does not expect be recognized as a person—or as a woman. Lately, it has seemed that Booth is going out of his way to do both and she is unsure, and perhaps even deeply, achingly afraid of what this might mean to the delicate balance of their working friendship.

Booth shrugs, his bruiser's shoulders hunched over under the perfection of his black suit jacket. He looks, Brennan thinks, almost ashamed. As if he broke the rules willingly and with a very real idea of the consequences of doing so.

"Just open it."

She does so, carefully and neatly slitting the newspaper that he has used to wrap the package, before folding it neatly on her desk beside her. The paper disposed of, she turns her attention to the box in front of her. With a heart that is stuttering, she opens the small black box and her intake of breath is sharp and immediate.

The box is empty.

She looks up at Booth almost beseechingly, wanting him to explain—no, needing him to explain. Is this a cruel prank? A joke on the woman who is constantly harping on the fact that birthdays are an unnecessary waste of time and energy? She is reminded of the high school boys she went to school with, and something deep within her trembles.

His eyes are dark and full of the normal Booth-like comfort she expects from him, but there is something new. Something . . .different. Unsettling. Disquieting.

He bends down, the vaguely spicy scent of his aftershave and the heat and rhythm of his breath overloading her olfactory senses. "Happy birthday, Bones," he murmurs, and she almost feels rather than hears the deep rumble of his voice near her ear.

She can almost see her surprised and wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights expression in the glass walls of her office as his lips carefully, purposefully brush her cheek.

He is gone before she can react, before Brennan's abnormally sluggish brain can process the gesture or its inherent meaning. But still, moments later, she wonderingly raises her fingertips to brush the skin of her cheek, and she smiles.