Disclaimer: Bones originally belongs to Kathy Reichs, but is currently under the great care of Fox, Hart, Deschanel, and Boreanaz.

Just a small one-shot that popped into my head. may be a two-shot if i am prompted to continue.

!! This is set three years after 5.16


There was a persistent knock on his door. He set his beer on the table and muted the tv.

"Hang on a second." He called, reaching to open the door just as another knock sounded. There she stood in his doorway, auburn hair a mess. She had that look on her face of hope shattered. He had seen that look many times when they had worked together.

"Bones?" He couldn't help but let the old nickname slip past his lips.

The look intensified on her face as her blue eyes watered. "May I come in?" She didn't look as if she anticipated him saying yes. But he nodded and gestured for her to come in.

She sat on the couch, making herself comfortable as if they had seen one another earlier that day at work, instead of months ago. "Wanna drink?" He offered, trying not to look at her too hard, like she might disappear if he did.

She shook her head 'no' and he settled next to her on the couch. He lifted his beer to his lips and took a long swig, preemptively deciding after hearing what his ex-partner was going to say that he'd need it.

She wiped at her eyes and sighed. "I'm sorry that I'm in such a state." She muttered by way of apology for showing up at his door past one am.

"It's alright." He had to bite back the question of asking her what was wrong. She was here, which meant she would tell him in her own time.

There was an awkward silence that passed between them as she sniffled quietly.

"How's the new partner working out?" She asked.

He shrugged. "Alright." But it was a lie. In the past three years he had been through over a dozen partners, but none of them ever seemed to work out. If he hadn't been denying the reason for that to himself at that exact moment, then he might actually mention it.

"How's working with bones?" He asked, by way of conversation.

"Always rewarding." She smiled slightly, but it fell from her lips soon after.

He nodded. After everything had fallen apart between them she had left the Jeffersonian and gone off to identify bones all over the world. They had kept in touch, grabbing coffee now and then when she was in town, but it was never really the same. Not since that night. That night when everything between them had started to crumble.

"How are you and Alicia doing?" Her question shook him out of his thoughts. She had picked up a picture frame off of his end table. It was a picture of Parker smiling widely as the new woman in his life handed his son a huge ice cream cone, which Parker had later gotten all over his clothes and face.

He smiled at the memory. "Good. Parker really seems to like her. We're planning on taking him with us on a little vacation." He almost felt bad for mentioning it. Vocalizing the fact that he had moved on, that even his son had moved on. It was Parker, after all, who insisted his father was sad because Bones left.

"That's wonderful, Booth." Her voice broke when she said his name, and he had the valiant urge to put his arm around her, picturing her leaning into his shoulder like old times.

He took another swig of beer, and turned to look into his friend's clear blue eyes. She looked back and he could only what she saw. Once, she had said that he had reassuring brown eyes. But she wasn't reassured now. He had seen her shaken like this a fair few times before. Either he had been there for her, or she had reasoned her way out of it.

He placed his hand on her shoulder. She leaned noticeably into his touch.

"Temperance?" He ditched the nickname and tried to lead her into admitting why she had come.

She leaned towards him and he could smell the liquor on her breath. Unexpectedly, she grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him in to a warm, wet kiss. They broke apart gasping for breath.

"I apologize. It seems that I'm not completely in control of my actions." Her blue eyes flickered through a range of emotions. He tried to stop himself from pulling her in for another kiss.

There had only been a few times in their partnership when he had seen her act on pure emotion. Usually, that emotion had been anger. He knew that from firsthand experience.

She spoke quietly, glancing away from his kind eyes. "I'm sorry that I never gave us a chance." Her voice choked with emotion. "Running was the logical action for me at the time."

"Our partnership fell apart." He tried not to sound accusing. Bickering wouldn't make this any easier. But he found that it was nearly impossible to be angry with her for this. It wasn't as if he was engaged to Alicia, and let's face it, Parker would be thrilled. But was she really ready for him? And could he handle it if she decided again that she wasn't?

There was a look that passed between them, like old times. Understanding each other without words. There was a bond between them that had never truly been severed. She trusted that he still held deep feelings for her in his heart. And he trusted that she was ready, that she had changed enough to allow herself a heart that was ready to be open.

"Booth, is it too late for this?" Her eyes brimmed with tears.

"No." He shook his head. His voice choked with emotion as well. "It's never too late, Bones."

He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him. She placed her hand over his, gripping gently. There was a new start for them, a new beginning between them, and an old spark that had been rekindled with their undeniable chemistry. Despite her tears, a smile spread across her lips. Her logic had been broken. She was ready to let him into her life. Fully. Completely. She was sure that he wouldn't abandon her. There was no talk of love, but of course it was implied in the way their partnership had been revived. They were together again, partners in every aspect. The break in the anthropologist was slowly being mended by the only man her for. And his life had finally come together. Everything fit, all the pieces of his life now aligned as he held the woman of his dreams in his arms protectively. They were joined by fate, entwined with love. This was partnership that wasn't brittle. It wouldn't break.