I don't own Bones

"Let me get this straight…. Angela bet you that I would leave my date at the ball and go home with you?"

Brennan stared out the window of the SUV as Booth drove them to the airport. She could kill Angela. Literally kill her, and she knew how to kill someone without getting caught. Why did she have to bring up the bet in front of her partner? Of course Booth couldn't let it go. And she was powerless to refuse him anything when he turned on the charm. It had only taken two hours for him to wear her down. And she'd told him everything.

"That is correct."

"Go home with you as in…"

"That was the exact phraseology of the wager, but we both understood it to have a sexual connotation."

"A sexual connotation." He repeated.

"Obviously Booth, I don't know how else that phrase could be interpreted."

"So what were the terms?" He was being surprisingly calm about all this.

"I don't know what that means?"

"What were the terms of the bet" he repeated.

"I had to let Angela dress me… and I had to be open to the possibility….I'm not sure if those constitute terms but…."

"The dress." He nodded as he said the words, as if something had just clicked in his mind. "You know, if I made a bet like that, you would kick my ass Bones."

"I didn't make the bet," she clarified. "Angela made the bet. I knew that you would be attentive to Agent Perotta regardless of my attire. That's why I'm fifty dollars richer."

"Fifty bucks!" the first emotion he'd shown during the conversation was over the amount of money she had wagered.

"An insignificant amount for me, but I think fifty dollars was really a lot to Angela. She was quite sure of herself."

They arrived at the airport and Booth unloaded their bags from the back of the big black SUV. He rolled her suitcase behind him in one hand and his in the other while she carried only a light briefcase. He didn't let the subject drop as they checked in, went through security and waited to board.

"So did Angela bet you that we'd sleep together while we're investigating this murder in Yellowstone National Park?" Booth asked sarcastically.

"No, but she did suggest we try out the hot springs while we're there and I imagine that had more to do with sex than anything else."

"I think Angela and I need to have a talk." Booth said darkly.

"I always assumed she made similarly suggestive comments to you as well."

"She and everybody else I know. Parker actually asked me yesterday why you never stayed the night." She snorted. Parker often surprised her with his abnormally mature suggestions.

"Why are people so enamored with the idea of you and I involving ourselves in a romantic relationship? Hank, Parker, Angela, Caroline, Sweets…. Don't they have anything better to do?"

Bones boarded ahead of him since she was in first class. They were headed for Yellowstone National Park to examine bones that had been discovered in one of the sulfuric hot spring pits. He was grateful for the long flight so he could continue to think about the bet.

The night of the Fire and Ice Ball came rushing back to him as they plane took off. His hand on her bare skin, the feel of her body pressed against him as they danced… And according to Bones, she'd been "open" to the idea of going home with him that night. Meaning, if he'd done what Angela predicted and ditched Perotta for Bones, she might've actually slept with him. At least that's all he could get out of their conversation. He could not get past that admission. For some reason his mind just stalled there and couldn't move forward. She had to let Angela dress her and she had to be open to the possibility…. The words cycled over and over again in his mind.

Angela would have won had Hacker not shown up. If he hadn't been faced with the reality of her relationship with his boss, he would've made a move. He wouldn't have been able to help it. And she would've let him. He could kick himself for not picking up on the signals.

The question was, had she wanted Angela to win or not? And what had prompted a bet like that in the first place? And how did Hacker fit into all this? She'd ditched him on Valentine's day but she'd said nothing more about him in the week since the ball. Were they still dating?

He didn't get to ask those questions until the following night. After a long day dealing with park officials and complex shipping arrangements and irritating tourists, they had a few moments of peace and quiet. They were huddled around an enormous indoor fire pit in the lobby of their hotel, sipping wine and staring into the flames.

"You still seeing Hacker?" He asked bluntly.

"I haven't seen him since the dance."

"I mean are you seeing him Bones. Are you dating him?" She could be so dense sometimes.

"I haven't gone on a date with him in quite some time."

"So you two aren't serious?" He grinned.

"Not really. He appears to be a little threatened by you Booth. I think you intimidate him." Ridiculous. The man was his superior.

"How so?"

"I don't know… he just… he brings you up in conversation a lot, even though I consistently remind him that I'm not comfortable talking about you. And he is always comparing himself to you… it's very annoying."

"He likes you a lot Temperance." He said honestly.

"I don't really see a future with Andrew." Yes! One more of Bones' boyfriends bit the dust. He was one step closer to winning her for himself.