Thanks for your continued support! The following takes place immediately after 'The Predator in the Pool.' Sorry it's rather short; there wasn't much to build on!

For Rachel and Julia.



"How do you know about the rat pack?" Brennan asked, taking another sip of beer.

Booth chuckled and brought his own bottle to his lips. "They're not rodents, Bones."

"Rats are rodents, Booth," she stated. "The taxonomic classification…"

"Hacker's not talking about actual rats," Booth cut her off. "He meant Frank, Dean, and Sammy."

Brennan's forehead crinkled in confusion. "What are you talking about?"

Booth placed his bottle back on the table and clasped his hands together. "Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. That's the real Rat Pack."

"Those are names of rats?"

"No, Bones, they're people, singers!" Booth chuckled and shook his head. Sometimes he loved--no, he corrected himself, was in awe of--how clueless she was when it came to pop culture. She knew Foreigner, but not Michael Jackson nor any member of the Rat Pack? There was something rather endearing about that.

But he couldn't focus on that now.


"Yeah," Booth nodded. "'I've Got a Crush on You,' 'What Kind of Fool Am I,' 'You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You,'" he told her, moving his hand in a rolling gesture as he spoke.

Brennan shifted in her seat and slightly tilted her head, though her eyes remained locked with his. "I thought you understood that I don't share those feelings."

"Huh?" Booth asked, making a face.

"You said that you had a crush on me…"

"What? No, Bones, those are song titles," he clarified, singing a few bars of the last song mentioned. "Nothing?"

Brennan frowned and shook her head. "I am unfamiliar with that song."

Booth sighed and listed a few more song titles, eyes searching her face for any sign of recognition. "Anything?"

Brennan continued to shake her head.

"But they're Standards!"

"Oh, you mean like we are each other's standards?" she asked, referring to their earlier conversation while waiting for the elevator.

Booth drank some of his beer and thought about Brennan's question for a moment. A standard, by definition, set the bar high for anything that followed. They were called 'standards' for a reason.

"Yeah, Bones, it's the same," he grinned.

She returned the smile but averted her gaze, her thumbnail picking at the corner of the label on the bottle. "May I tell you something, Booth?"

"Sure. What is it?"

"Andrew wanted to be the one to acquaint me with The Rat Pack. After hearing your explanation, I'm now confident that he was referring to the singers and not to an actual pack of rats…" she trailed off.

"Oh, geez, Bones, I'm sorry," Booth told her. "You should have said something before I ruined the surprise."

"I'm glad it was you," Brennan finished quickly, meeting his gaze again. "Is that okay?"

Booth inhaled deeply and watched as Brennan battled with her conflicting emotions. He hated seeing his friend in this state, but eventually, he grinned and nodded in an effort to ease her mind. "Yeah, it's definitely okay."

"Good," Brennan sighed and drained the remainder of her beer.

"You know what, Bones?" Booth said after a beat. "I'm glad it was me, too."


Thanks for reading!