Note: I woke up on Wednesday knowing exactly how this was going to start and … promptly dropped a glass on the screen of my laptop. (Do not try this at home.) Three days and a new laptop later, here we are.

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Sully rolled over on his side and looked at the naked woman beside him. "This isn't working."

Her eyes snapped open. 'What do you mean? I thought you enjoyed that."

"You know I did, Brennan. I'm pretty sure you enjoyed it too, but … look, it's been four months. I thought you'd be over him by now."

Brennan sat up and reached for her clothes. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Sully rolled out of bed and walked over to her, pulling her into his arms. "I don't like seeing you so unhappy."

"I'm not unhappy. Why would you say that?"

"You don't smile anymore. You're touchy – you snapped at the new guy yesterday for coiling the rope counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. And when you don't think anyone is looking, you look like you've lost your best friend."

'That's ridiculous. And don't you have work to do?"

Sully looked at the set expression on her face. "Yes. Sorry, captain. I'll just get to work." Turning from her, he pulled on his clothes and went back to work.

"Sully!" The captain's anger was palpable as the cry rang through the halls.

Sully looked up from his food and grinned at the cook. "Do you think I could hide in your big soup pot?"

The cook clapped him on his shoulder. "I doubt it, Timothy. I find in situations like this, it's best to take your medicine like a man – and stay out of range of her fists."

Sully chuckled. "That's good advice. I hope she didn't stop to pick up her sword."

The door swung open and hit the wall with a loud thud. The men looked at the doorway, which held a clearly-irate captain. "Sully!"

Standing, Sully raised one eyebrow and grinned. "Yes?"

Her hands on her hips, Brennan stormed towards him as he took a step back. "Do you want to tell me why we're 300 miles from where we're supposed to be?"

"Oh, that."

Her foot tapping, Brennan spat out, "Yes, that."

"You told me to do my job. My job is to make life on the ship run smoothly, and to cover for you when you're not able to do your job."

"What does that have to do with sending us off course?"

Sully stepped towards her. "You need to talk to him. We dock tomorrow morning."

" I do not need to talk to him."

Sully reached out and hugged her. "You do, Bren. You can't go on this way."

Pulling away, Brennan said, "He wants a normal life, Sully. A wife, kids, the whole package. I can't give him that."

Sully grinned at her. "I'm pretty sure he wants you. But I guess you'll find out when you talk to him tomorrow."

"But … but … you are going to pay for this." Brennan turned on her heels and stormed out of the room..

Sully released the breath he hadn't realized he was holding and looked over at the bemused cook. "That went better than I had expected."

The cook shook his head. "If ever anyone doubts your courage, I shall recount a tale of that conversation, my good man."

Booth smiled at the blonde girl who worked for his father. "Hi, Katie. Is my father around here somewhere?"

She looked up from her sweeping and smiled back. "He's in the back."


Coming home had been difficult for him. After being a respected member of the crew on the ship, it was hard for him to adjust to being around his family. As much as they loved him, in their eyes he was still the unfocused young man he had been.

Katie hadn't known him before he had gone to sea, and when he was with her, he didn't feel the tension and resentment that he felt around his family. Over the past months, they had struck up a friendship of sorts.

Booth was aware that she was interested in deepening their relationship. He knew he needed to move on – to get over the captain and find an ordinary woman to build a life with – but he couldn't seem to muster up any interest in doing so.

Still, he was too selfish to give up Katie's friendship altogether. He enjoyed her company and justified raising her hopes by telling himself that one day he'd be able to fall for her.

Instead of immediately going in search of his father, Booth asked, "How's your mom doing, Katie?"

A shadow seemed to cross her face. "Oh. She's … she's still pretty sick."

Booth reached out and covered her hand with his. "I'm sorry, Katie. I hope she gets better soon."

Katie looked up at him, tears in her eyes. "Sometimes I wonder if she'll ever get better. I feel horrible even thinking it, but … she's been sick for so long, and she hurts so much – sometimes I think it would be better if … if ..."

The broom clattered to the floor as Booth pulled her into his arms. "Oh, Katie, it's OK. You love your mother, it's not wrong for you to not want her to suffer anymore."

"I feel like a horrible daughter."

Booth pulled back to look her in the eyes. "You're not, Katie."

He reached into his pocket to pull out his handkerchief. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of a familiar figure out of the corner of his eye. By the time he turned to look directly at her, the only thing he saw was a swirl of her skirts as she hurried around the corner.

Sully walked down the narrow hallway. He had completed his business in town earlier than he had expected, and he was looking forward to a relaxing evening at a local pub.

As he turned the corner, he was almost knocked over by the captain as she ran down the hall. He reached out to steady her, saying, "What's the hurry? Hey, how did it go today?" That's when he noticed the tears streaming down her face. His voice deepened. "What did that idiot do?"

Brennan looked up at him, then pulled her arm back and punched him. As he staggered, she said, "I told you we shouldn't come here."

Recovering, Sully stepped towards her. "What happened?"

"He found someone else." Brennan brushed past him and went into her cabin, slamming the door behind her.

Stunned, Sully stood there for a second, trying to decide what to do. Finally, he took a deep breath and reached for the doorknob. Before he could open it, he heard fast footsteps coming from down the corridor.

When Booth turned the corner, Sully smiled and stepped back. "She's all yours."

Booth nodded tersely. As he opened the door, Sully turned and walked up on deck, trying to remember where the nearest pub was.

"Go away, Sully. You've done enough."

Brennan was facing the porthole as Booth shut the door behind himself. "What did Sully do?"

At the sound of his voice, Brennan whirled towards him. "What are you doing here?'

"I wanted to see you. You must have wanted to see me, too. That's why you came to the shop, right?" He walked towards her.

Brennan shrugged. "I figured I was in town, I might as well stop by", she said, desperately trying to sound like it was a trivial decision, made on a whim.

Booth continued walking towards her. "But you didn't. You turned around and left. Why was that?"

Brennan took a step back to find herself against the cabin wall. "You looked busy, and I had a lot to do today. I didn't have time to wait around."

Booth placed his hands on either side of her and took a final step forward, pinning her to the wall with his body. He stared incredulously at the drying tears on her face. "You were crying. You saw me with Katie and you were jealous."

Brennan turned her head away from him. "No! I'm happy for you. I know you want a family, and she looks like a very nice girl."

Booth laughed, elated that she returned his feelings. "You were jealous. You had no reason to be, you know. Katie is a friend. Her mom is sick, and I was comforting her. That's all."

"It's none of my business." Brennan wedged her hands between their bodies and pushed against his chest. "And I don't believe I invited you here. You should be going."

" We tried that – being apart. It didn't work for me, and I don't think it worked for you either. I think you still want me – and I know I still want you."

As she opened her mouth to protest, he leaned down and captured her lips with his. As they kissed, the four months they had been apart seemed to disappear.

Before long, Brennan's quick hands were unbuttoning his trousers and pushing them to the floor. As he lifted her skirts, she wrapped her legs around his waist.

Booth pulled back. "Can we … shouldn't we move to the bed?"

Brennan shook her head. "No. I need you now." She reached between them placed his erect cock at her entrance. With a grin, she shifted so that he was inside of her.

Booth gasped at the feel of being inside of her once again. In their vertical position, her weight pressed against him so that it felt like he was deeper inside her than ever before. Pressing his forehead against hers, he paused for a moment before starting to move.

It didn't take long before they came, sliding down the wall to land in an undignified heap as Booth's knees buckled underneath him. As they lay tangled together, Brennan started to laugh. Booth joined her as the absurdity of their situation hit him.

When the laughter finally stopped, Brennan asked, "So what now?

Booth turned onto his back and thought about it. Finally, Booth replied, "We compromise."

Brennan looked at him. "How can we compromise?"

Booth raised himself up on his elbows to look her in the eye. "I sail with you half the year, you stay on land with me and live a more … traditional life half the year. If we have kids, we re-evaluate. The important thing is that we're together. I don't like living without you. Does … does that sound like something you'd be willing to try?"

Brennan's brow furrowed. "But … that's not what you want."

Booth reached out and pushed a lock of hair back. "I want you. The rest is negotiable."

Brennan nodded slowly. "I can try."

Booth smiled and kissed her. When the kiss ended, he struggled to untangle himself from the trousers that were still bunched around his feet. When he finally succeeded, he stood and pulled them on before holding out his hand to her. "I need to go back to the house and pack a few things. Will you come with me and meet my family?"

She looked at his hand apprehensively.

"Brennan? It'll be OK. You need to meet them eventually. Why not today?"

She took a deep breath, then reached out and took his hand.

And … that's really the end.