Disclaimer: They are not mine, no infringement intended, ever.

Summary: Booth needs her, will she hold true to her promises? This is intended to be the dark/angst-y part. Part two is the light. Box of tissues and an hour or so of your time.

Rating: M+/NC17

Thanks: Goes to Kam,

Son's and Father's.

Part One.

Jeffersonian Governors meeting. 10.33 am.

Dr Temperance Brennan sat listening intently to the current discussion on the next budget levy's for her department, for the next financial year. She scribbled copious notes, and shook her head annoyed with the meagre contributions to come the forensic lab's way. It was clear by her furrowed brow, she was not content with the way things were panning out. Even Cam, who sat next to her, seemed pissed as well. She didn't write notes but fingered a cooling cup of weak coffee.

Cam peered intrigued over the scribbling hand of her colleague, to sneak a glimpse at what she was writing. Bones must have sensed her, as she stopped writing, after underlining the last sentence and with two hard thick lines, then pushed the pad towards Cam to read.

Cam read it, then stifled her ironic chuckles, as the secretary droned on and on, about percentages, mounting cost and poor results. Bones rolled her eyes at Cam, who nodded at her.

Then Cam raised her hand having listened long enough. Everybody stopped and looked at her as, she said, 'Excuse me... but this is a crock of shit.' There were muffled reprimands and snorts of disapproval, but it did the trick, everybody woke up suddenly.

'The Medical Forensic department is the most productive, cost efficient unit in the Jeffersonian. We have a nearly 100% success rate in conjunction with the FBI. Our teaching programme produces three full doctorate candidates every year. We are the most sought after teaching program on the planet in forensics, under Dr Brennan.' There were a few blushes and dropped heads of shame, as she rattled off her department's attributes and achievements. The failing department heads suddenly felt very uncomfortable.

Cam continued, by standing and leaning on the desk on her knuckles, 'It seems to us, that our labs are being penalised for the short comings of other departments...' Bones looked up to her with an impressed grin. 'Our funding is being channelled elsewhere, to keep other inefficient, and frankly, obsolete departments afloat. I think you will find if this budget is approved, you will be left without your most prestigious asset this institution has ever had...'

'We'll not be persuaded by idle threats, Dr Saroyan,' the stuffy plump chairman said, affronted by her stark warning.

'You should be, and it's not an idle threat,' she retorted just a severely. 'These...' Cam tossed out a file to each governor, from the stack in front of her. They slipped across the polished oak table, into the hands of each. 'Are my recommendations for cost cutting measures in those failing departments, staff trims and some simple changes, required to make them actually productive,' she said with sarcasm. 'You will also find a revised budget required for our labs this coming year. I strongly advise you to take note, and approve this budget, ASAP.'

'Or what?' he asked casually, not being persuaded as yet.

'Or...' Bones said, standing up next to Cam. Just as she was about to continue, her cell rang, Bones pulled it out of her jacket pocket and read the caller ID. Her heart sank suddenly, she flicked it open immediately. Everybody held their breaths, Bones looked into Cam's puzzled expression, as she too waited. Then watched as Bones listened, her eyes glazed and she said, 'Ok, thanks for letting me know. Yes. I will, thank you, bye.' Bones closed her eyes for a brief moment, sinking slightly. When she opened her eyes, and looked into Cam, the tears were welling deeper and started to slip over her lower lashes. Cam looked sympathetically at her, placing her palm on her forearm.

'Dr Brennan, are you ok?' said softly. Bones leant down, and picked up her purse, paper and pen, putting the items in it. Two of her tears splashed onto the polished oak, as she put her bag over her shoulder. Bones was obviously preparing to leave in a hurry.

'I've got to go.' Cam nodded, that much was obvious, Cam thought. Bones looked around the table at all the waiting faces. 'I'm sorry, I'm leaving.' She wiped her eyes quickly, trying to compose herself. 'Sorry,' she said again, and headed towards the door. The governors looked terrified, as they had taken her words literally. Assuming that she was indeed leaving the Jeffersonian for good, and right now.

Cam trotted out after her, and closed the door, grabbing Bones' arm, she enquired, 'What's happened?'

Bones wiped her cheeks again, 'I've gotta go to Booth, his grandfather has died,' she said sorrow filled, not just for her partner, but clearly in some pain herself. Cam knew Bones and the old man had a deep affinity, and had kept in contact with each other since their first meeting.

'Hank? Oh. God...' Cam looked upset too, knowing the grandfather herself. 'Course, you go, go... I'm so sorry, Dr Brennan, give Seeley my condolences.' Bones nodded, dropping her eyes, and then stepped into Cam, giving her a hug. Cam didn't know if it was for her, or if the doctor needed it, but she gave it back just as sweetly anyway. Bones turned, walking away quickly. Cam watched her go, then took a deep calming breath. She walked back into the meeting where World War III was breaking out amongst arguing department heads, and furious red faced governors.

On her drive over to the Hoover building, Bones tried to contact her partner several times, but his cell was going straight to answer phone. She didn't bother to leave a message. She just knew she needed to see him. She rang the Hoover reception, and asked if he was still signed in. They checked, saying that he had left around an hour ago. Then when she was about to try his home number, her phone rang. She saw the caller ID, it flashed Booth. Relieved, she pushed the call accept on her hands-free unit.

'Booth?' There was a silence on the end of the line. 'Booth? Where are you?' Again a hollow long silence. Bones heart twisted, and she rolled her watering eyes, instantly pulling over to the curb. She whipped the cell off hands-free, and held it to her ear. 'I'm so sorry, Booth so sorry...' she whispered delicately. 'Where are you?' She tried to get him to talk but all she heard was quiet hitching breaths and him trying to talk. 'Please, Booth...' she pleaded with him to talk to her, flicking more tears from her cheeks.

'Home, I'm at ho-ome...' he spoke quietly and haltingly. Bones sighed relieved on hearing him give her his location.

'Ok... Do you want me to come?' Again there was more silence but it spoke to her loudly. 'I'll be there in a few minutes,' she said tenderly.

'Ok.' Bones could hear his relief in his tone. She was putting the car into gear before she finished the call, wanting to get to him as quickly as possible.

As she headed back out into the traffic, she had many thoughts to contend with. Firstly, and foremost, her promise to Hank, that she would hold Booth when he needed it. That time was here and she was never one to break a promise. Secondly, fear for his sensitive heart, when he found out about what happened between his father and Hank. She knew that revelation would be very difficult for him. Bones had promised to tell him that too. She knew she'd have to pick her moment, and that scared her. She suspected he blamed himself for his father's departure and his continued absence.

Booth, she mused, had only just had another issue to get over, it was less than three weeks since his brother and Padma got married. Which she knew had concerned him, as their relationship was a whirlwind romance. Padma's previous career had concerned him, and the brothers had fought over it. Bones felt for Jared too, he had only just got back from his honeymoon to come home to this heartbreak. At least Jared had Padma to lean on in his grief, she mused. Whereas Booth only had her. She hoped she would be enough but doubted herself.

The person her partner worshiped and cherished more than any other on this planet had passed away, how could she ever console him after such a loss? Bones pondered.

Bones decided, pulling up outside the liquor store, she wasn't going to tell him that she was taking an extended break soon. At least she was able to postpone that till after the funeral. Which she wanted to attend, not just to pay her respects to Hank but to support her partner as best she was able.

Special Agent Seeley Booth's apartment. 11.23 am.

Bones stood at his dark wooden door, fingered her hair back, taking a deep controlling breath, and made sure her eyes were no longer weeping.

She tapped the door gently, dropped her eyes, and listened for his footsteps to near. She heard him come close on the other side, he must have checked too, as it took a few moments before he opened the door. Her heart crashed against her chest wall as his door opened slowly. He was already turning away before she could enter. She realised he obviously didn't want her to see him crying. He walked into the kitchen as she came in, and closed the door behind her in silence.

Bones took off her coat and hung it up, as she heard the kettle switch being flicked on. She turned to see him leaning heavily on the counter with his back to her, head bowed, his shoulders trembling. She only just realised she was weeping again, seeing him drowning in sorrow.

Bones stood still for a moment not knowing what to do for the best. Then she made up her mind, it was an easy decision. She, needed to hold him, as much as he obviously, needed to be held. She crossed the three yards between them quickly, and wrapped her arms around his torso and arms together, slamming her body against the back of him, gripping him hard to her. He rocked forward slightly at her almost violent comforting clinch.

'I'm so sorry, Booth,' she whispered into his back. He spun instantly, buried his head in her chest, and sobbed against her. Bones gripped him even tighter, feeling him cling to her, trying to get her as close as he could. Bones felt her heart breaking for him, feeling his pain rolling off him in waves. He began to slip down her body, his knees buckling, he tried to catch his breath between sobs. Bones sunk with him, not daring to let go her vice-like grip of him. They slipped to their knees, then buttocks on his kitchen floor, while she rocked him gently in her arms, kissing the top of his head many times throughout his breakdown. Bones just let him pour all his grief across her, she wept with him too.

Bones wasn't sure how long they stayed like that, while she rocked him, comforting him like you would a distraught child. His wracking sobs slowly subsided. Eventually, finally, he lifted his head to look into her eyes. Bones rolled her head with sympathy seeing his distraught face, and wiped his cheeks softly with her fingertips. Booth thought it felt like a feather brushing his cheek, she was so gentle. He thought if he looked half as bad as she did, he probably was scaring her. Knowing she rarely cried so openly, or showed her emotions to anyone. 'Oh. God, Bones...' he whined worried for her, wiping her face now, their eyes bleary and swollen.

A flicker of a smile crossed her features, as she took a breath, saying, 'Come on, Partner.' This was about him not her grief, so she brushed over his concern for her.

She helped him up, and led him into his lounge, then eased him to sit down. He complied easily, grateful for her taking control. She walked to his bathroom and took the toilet roll off the holder, ripped some off and blew her nose, quickly wiping her eyes. She strode back out, and sat next to him. He had his head in his hands and she nudged him tenderly, offering him the roll. He took it, nodding a thank you.

'How did you know? he asked gently, blowing his nose, taking a deep breath and letting it slip out slowly through his pursed lips. Bones got up and walked to the kitchen to put the kettle on again, making herself busy with coffee making.

'They called me from the home,' she said too casually. Booth's brow furrowed, confused by her explanation.

He turned his head towards the kitchen, and asked, 'Really?'

'Yes, Hank told them when this happened, he wanted me to be informed.' Bones knew now wasn't the time, to tell it all, so she tired to deflect him.

'Why?' Bones came back in with two steaming coffee's, she put them on the low table, and sat down carefully. She looked into his red eyes, and smiled gently.

Bones answered humbly, 'I think Hank liked me, that's all,' clearly obfuscating. Booth nodded and smiled back, letting that go for now. Booth knew Hank not only liked her, he thought her a keeper and probably adored her like he did.

'Yeah, he did,' he said sweetly, confirming with understatement. He picked up the coffee, and sat back, holding it on his stomach, looking off into nothing. Bones watched him carefully for a few discreet seconds, then picked up her coffee too. Booth started to talk, 'I should go to see him. I need to arrange the funeral. I've asked them to perform the last rites.' Bones nodded, looking into her mug. 'Jared and Padma are coming over a little later. He was very...' Booth trailed off remembering the sound of Jared weeping on the phone to him. Booth's cheek twitched and his stubbly chin wobbled as he added, 'I've been a little...'

'Yes, of course, Booth.' She smiled, understanding him completely. She ran her palm over his shoulder to his neck and back, as she spoke, feeling the tension in him. She mused, he was barely keeping himself together, obviously for her benefit.

Looking into her now, he explained, 'It was a heart attack apparently. They said he was playing dominos and telling jokes. He was laughing, rocked back in his chair and... that was it. Gone... They tried to resuscitate him, but...' Again Bones nodded, understanding his trailing off. Seeing tears now welling, about to fall. She shifted closer, taking his free hand and entwined her fingers through his, and squeezed. Booth lifted their hands to his lips, and pecked the back of hers platonically. In a gesture of thanks for her affection and comfort.

'I know it's little consolation for you, Booth, but his passing was quick and... He was doing what he loved; laughing, telling jokes and playing dominoes.' Booth nodded, smiled through more tears, her body seemed to be his opposite, she the positive to his negative. They attracted again and he rolled into her slowly.

She took his coffee from his wilting hand, and placed it on the table. She drew her legs up on the couch, pulling him with her. 'Come here,' she said, so sweetly he wanted to beg her to stop being so understanding and tender. He felt like a snivelling wimp, embarrassed and utterly overwhelmed by his grief, but unable to anything about it. He went with her without protest, as she laid him across her torso, holding him close. Booth rested his head over her heart, hearing it beating under her blouse. He closed his eyes and sighed, comforted by its gentle thudding. Bones used her tissue, peering over his head to wipe his tears away for him.

'What would you like me to do?' she asked after he seemed to calm again. He thought for a moment, and looked up from her chest, warm and safe in her gentle hold. She was smiling at him, her eyes still red and wet. 'I can be very practical in a crisis, my organisational skills are quite honed,' she added simply but serious. Her statement made him chuckle, and rub his cheek into her chest. Still he was very content just to be held warmly, and caressed, he now noticed suddenly. She was running her fingers over his forearm delicately, extremely casually, eliciting the downy hairs to stand on end. She didn't rise to his feeble chuckling but continued, 'Is there anything you need, Booth?'

He took a while considering her request and whether he should put such a burden on her. Booth knew she was asking a genuine question, wanting to help him in anyway she could. He took a deep breath, then said, 'A shoulder... to lean on for a while.' Bones felt her eyes close and forced back her touched tears, understanding how hard that must have been for him, to confess that to her. To show his vulnerability and need so openly.

Bones bit her bottom lip, and nodded in the dark of her eyelids.

Hank had been right, Booth maybe strong and tough but everybody needed someone to prop them up sometimes. The fact that he'd asked so willingly, proved to her how sure he was of her support. She knew he would never ask that of anyone but her, so certain of his feelings and trust in her. She was honoured, flattered immeasurably by his simple grantable request.

She whispered, barely heard, 'You have both of them, always,' said with ruthless honesty. Booth couldn't help but look up at her, astounded by the depth of her sentiment that entwined her words. She opened her glistening azure eyes to his, as time paused for a moment.

A flicker of something deeper than a strong friendship, passed over her bloodshot eyes. Like a sudden blaze of sunbeams from behind a rushing cloud, it illuminated the concealed quantum meaning. A warmth so sweet and peaceful seeped lusciously into his body. He felt the long held tension leave him, as his soul soared to dizzying heights, as if the chains around it dropped away, allowing it to ascend.

Booth knew that one day this moment would happen and now it had, he didn't know quite what to do. When you get everything you've ever desired, it's hard to see the path ahead. All he could think of now was to thank her.

'Thank you,' he said, with his eyes piercing hers, Bones smiled hard. Booth noted she seemed to enlarge somehow, get taller. She patted his arm, tearing them gently back to the arduous tasks at hand.

'You're welcome... ' said tenderly, Bones knew now, he knew for sure the depth of her feelings for him. She imagined it to be a terrifying experience, but oddly, she found it hugely invigorating. So leaving the hugely cathartic moment to one side, Bones understood now was not the time to delve into that labyrinth and confuse matters more. There were more pressing matters at hand. It was time for practicalities and she did those so very well and romance extremely poorly. She added, 'So, what shall we do first?' Booth reluctantly lifted off her a little, propping up his torso on his palm, behind her on the couch arm.

He thought for a moment, and said, 'I'm gonna change first I think, get more comfortable.' Bones nodded. 'Jared said he would come to see Pops with me. I think Padma is coming too... would you... like, you don't have, umm.' Booth was mumbling, and running his agitated palm through his hair, looking awkwardly at his coffee table, and not her.

'I'd like to come with you, if you want me there?' she said tenderly.

'Yes... Please.' Booth got up off her carefully, and stood with his back to her. Bones sat up, swinging her legs to the floor, took her coffee and drank it cold.

'Then that's settled,' she told him casually, easing his awkwardness. Replacing the empty mug on the table, she added, 'Is there anyone else to call?' She stood up too, taking the mugs out to make more drinks.

Looking over to her now walking to the kitchen, Booth said softly, 'Yes... My Dad, Bones.' Bones felt her feet grow roots and plant her in the hard wood floor. She swayed slightly, as if his words were a sudden gust and rocked her branches. Bones felt the colour running from her cheeks. She turned her torso around to look at him, her lips slightly parted. He smiled cautiously back, already knowing what she was thinking.

Although her feet weren't working, she seemed to have full control of her larynx. 'Do you know where he is?' she asked disbelievingly.

'No...' He moved closer to her, taking the mugs from her hands, and put them in the sink. 'But Jared does. He's been in contact with him recently.' Booth picked up his kettle and refilled it, while Bones stood motionless in the same spot, watching him move and talk. 'Before they got married, I believe. Jared wanted him at his wedding but obviously that didn't work out. I don't know why he didn't go. Jared never said.'

'Are you sure it's wise to call him, Booth?' She stepped over to his kitchen table, and took a seat. Her feet finally moving after the initial shock had dissipated.

'Yes. Pops was his father, Bones.' He pulled out a high stool and sat opposite her. He fingered the utensils in the pot to his right absently, moving them to seemingly better positions. 'He should know. I should tell him.'

Bones felt the pit of her stomach flinch. 'Let, Jared... Let me call,' she almost ordered, not wanting him anywhere near the man that had plagued his childhood, and left weeping deep scars over his tender heart. Booth looked to her concerned face, and smiled to appease her.

'Oh. Bones.' He rolled his head, dropping it to rest on his folded arms on the table. So touched by her wanting to protect, and shield him, he ached. Bones reached across the table, and caressed his hair softly. Booth flicked his eyes up to hers, she was looking back to him with deep sympathy and tenderness. Her caring touch soothing him.

'That feels good,' he mumbled, closing his eyes, Bones got up and stood beside him, her hand never left his head through her manoeuvre. She pulled him into her stomach, and held his head close, caressing his whole head too now. He nuzzled into her sweetly. Bones dipped her head and kissed his head through his scented soft hair, holding her lips to him. 'Uummm,' he hummed, then amazed to feel her fingers under his chin, urging him to look up. He complied nervously, her whole being seemed to be smiling at him.

'Cam told me to tell you, she sends you her deepest sympathies.' Bones stroked over his jaw with both hands. Then held his head in her palms, thumbing his brows, running the line of their shape. She continued quietly, while caressing him. 'I thought your Pops was a wonderful man, Booth. You and Jared were so lucky to have him... He saved you...' She kissed his forehead softly, continuing with, 'If it wasn't for Pops, you could have turned a different corner... and maybe we'd never have met. To me, that's unthinkable... An unbearable notion...' She leant in slowly and almost casually slipped her warm, sensitive tongue passed his lips. Booth straightened slowly in her arms and held on. Bones took him beyond his darkness and sorrow for a few minutes of serenity and peace.

If a kiss such as this could be called innocent, then it was, Booth thought. It felt desperately tender; kind, and heavily weighted with the strongest of all emotions. It punctuated her statement and sentiment perfectly. There was no sexual aspect or intent to it either, that he could sense. He was sure it was meant as a comfort and not as a seduction. He'd never been French kissed so platonically before, yet it felt sensuously exquisite. He knew instantly with certainty, he would never want to be kissed by anyone else again, ever.

It was over all too soon for Booth, as she eased back from inside him, he followed the sweetness and warmth, leaning towards her retreat. He fluttered his eyes open to look at his beautiful partner, and whispered, 'Is it too much to pray for, you'd ever bless me with another kiss, as sublime as that again?'

Bones grinned slowly, charmed by his sincerity and how touched he was by it. She still stood close, and caressed his neck with the pads of her thumbs. Booth could see she was about to say something but his door bell sounded. She turned her head towards the sound, and stepped away slowly. 'I'll go.' She walked away, opening the door. Jared and Padma stood, hand and hand, looking tanned and gave her a sweet hug each. Bones thought Jared looked as grief stricken as Booth though.

They walked in and Booth stood, locking eyes with his brother. It was only then that Jared let go Padma's hand, and strode over to his brother. They hugged hard for a long while. Padma was trying to contain her tears for her new husband's pain.

Bones gestured to her to come in proper, and she closed the door quietly. Bones smiled at Padma, while the men still embraced, both weeping silently on each other. 'Tea? Coffee?' Bones asked of Padma, she nodded sweetly. They moved past the men, and Bones flicked the kettle on again.

Booth broke their clinch first, he held his brother's shoulders, and wiped his cheeks for him. 'I called Dad,' Jared said softly. Bones flicked a worried glance to Booth, as Padma leant on the counter, watching them.

Booth walked over without comment to Padma, and asked kindly. 'How was your honeymoon?' Giving her a tender hug, and kiss on the cheek.

She seemed surprised by his easy affection but delighted by it, all the same. 'Wonderful, thank you, Seeley... I'm really sorry for Pops and you two.'

Booth nodded dropping his eyes, sniffed and wiped his eyes. 'Good, I'm glad. I'm sorry you came home to this. It must have taken the edge off a little,' he said sadly for her and his brother. Padma shook her head, not concerned really. Jared looked at Bones, seeing her obvious previous upset; her eyes were still a little puffy. He walked to her, and kissed her cheek. Bones gave him a sweet hug, whispering, 'I'm sorry, Jared, Pops was a gentleman.'

'Thanks, Tempe, and thanks for being here for Seeley.' Bones fluttered a humble smile across her lips, in recognition of his appreciation of her care for his brother. The kettle boiled, so Bones set about making drinks. Padma went back to her husband, and retook his hand.

'Ok, what we doing?' Jared asked. Booth rubbed the back of his neck.

'Does Dad want to be involved in the funeral arrangements?' Bones felt her jaw clench, she changed her stance, averting her eyes from them, not wanting them to see her agitation and annoyance. She didn't think their father had any right to be involved, or have a say.

'No. He was pissed when we spoke. Just like before. I gave him your number here, in case he wanted to call you. I'm not sure he took it down though.' Jared gave him a shrug of his shoulder. Booth nodded, and looked to Bones' back. 'He didn't seem upset or anything,' Jared tagged on.

'We should get going soon.' Booth didn't comment on Jared's words about his father. Bones thought that was significant. She turned with a full tray of drinks, walking past them into the lounge, and placed it on the coffee table. The others followed slowly.

'Seeley? Are you going to say anything about Dad?' Jared seemed put out by his lack of comment. Booth picked up his mug, and took a sip, as Jared and Padma sat down close. Booth sat in his armchair, flopped back, puffing out a breath, tilting his head to the ceiling.

'What do you want me to say?' he asked calmly.

'I don't know, Pops was his father.'

'I know that, Jared. It's just they hadn't spoken for years. I'm not sure Pops would want him at his funeral.'

'That's what I was thinking,' Padma said softly, agreeing with Booth but Jared didn't seem to agree, it was obviously a sticky subject between the newly weds.

'Hank left a will and expressed his wishes in it,' Bones said gently. All eyes snapped to her, as she perched on the arm of Booth chair, sipping her coffee.

'How do you know that?' Booth asked stunned, leaning forward a little. Bones turned slightly to look at him.

'He asked me to witness it,' she said even more softly. Booth rolled his head and she saw his chin start to go again. So moved that his Pops had so much trust in her, to entrust her with something so personal. Bones put her mug on the floor, slipped elegantly off the arm onto his lap, sliding her arm around his shoulders, holding him close.

Booth turned his face into her neck, and whispered, 'Oh. Bones.'

'You need to read it, he was quite specific.'

Jared asked, 'Where is it?'

'At the care home, in their safe. I have copies with my accountant. There is a letter to both of you about what he wants. And two others to be opened after his funeral. He'd made arrangements for his funeral. His wishes are simple and all paid for.'

'What does he want?' Jared asked, still reeling that Bones was so involved. He had no idea she and his grandfather were as close as they seemed to be.

'A short service in the local Catholic church, then cremation. His ashes scattered.'

'Where?' Jared asked.

Booth smiled, and said, 'Over Grandma,' Bones nodded, looking into him, smiling cheekily.

'Yes, it was quiet humorous actually, he did make me laugh...' Bones smiled remembering. Booth grinned too, seeing the memory flash across her gorgeous eyes. Booth was enchanted by the interaction they obviously shared.

'Tell us then!' Jared urged intrigued, adding a little grin. Bones looked to Booth, and chuckled, caressing his napes' hair gently.

'He said, she always preferred sex missionary and he couldn't think of better way to spend eternity then on top of her.'

'Ha! Dirty old...' Booth chuckled, stopping short of speaking ill of the dead. Jared and Padma laughed too. As the chuckles died down, Bones reached to her mug and Booth's, handing him his. He took it with a mouthed, thank you.

'No problem.' She smiled briefly at him. 'Should we get going soon?'

'Yeah we should, I'm gonna change.' Bones stood to let him get up. He slipped his hand off her waist gently, it lingered as long as it could, as if it didn't want to leave the warmth of her. Bones watched him go, then sat back in the chair he had just vacated.

'So you and my brother, Tempe. That's cool and long overdue.'

'Oh. No. It's not like that, Jared. I'm just...' Padma and Jared looked at her suspiciously. Bones shook her head, placing her mug on the try, a little confused.

'You're just what?' he said as a challenge, with a sarcastic tint. Bones looked to him and then Padma. She picked up the tray, and walked to the kitchen, Jared followed her. She knew he was standing behind her so she answered.

'I made Hank a promise, that's all. To hold Booth, when Pops' time came.'

'You didn't need to promise Pops that. You would anyway, promise or not.' Bones looked into him now, leaning against the sink and, sighed. She dropped her eyes, and said, 'That's true, I'd do anything for your brother.'

'I know that... Has he dared to kiss you yet?' he asked ironically, Bones grinned, and shook her head almost shyly. Jared shook his head astonished at his brother still dragging his feet. 'God, that man, he needs a...'

'Don't, Jared, he doesn't need all that on top of your Pops passing.' Bones wasn't prepared to say she had kissed him. As she had made that error before, inadvertently telling a private moment they had shared. What happened between them was sacrosanct, and she wanted to keep it that way.

'No, you're right, sorry. I'll butt out.'

'Ok, are we ready?' Booth appeared in the kitchen, Jared turned and smiled, Padma came too and took his hand, pecking his cheek sweetly. Bones straightened, smiling at Booth, looking a little more casual and relaxed. 'Do you wanna pop back home and change too, Bones? Oh. Wait, what about work?' He looked concerned for a second.

'No problem, I had meetings all day. Nothing pressing,' she lied. He missed that one only because she had her head turned, and was getting her coat and purse, so he couldn't see her eyes. Which always gave her away to him. 'I'm comfortable enough, thank you,' she said, tying up her light coat. Booth grabbed his keys, opened the door, and they all left.

The journey to the care home was easy but not for the brothers. They spent most of their time on their respective phones. Talking to a priest and his curate, the undertakers and several old friends of Hank's, telling them the sad news. Bones drove with Booth at her side. He hadn't protested when she said it would be easier and logical for her to drive the SUV. To give them time to get a started on the preparations.

'Ok, thanks very much. We'll see you at four. Thank you again, Father...' Finishing the call, Booth turned and explained, 'Father Thomas is expecting us a four, to talk about the service. He's pencilled in ten am Thursday. Is that ok for everyone?' Booth asked Jared. He nodded, then looked out the window. Booth saw he was struggling, and reached his hand over to him.

'Hey man.' He offered his hand to his brother, and a deep reassuring nod. Jared took it and they clutched hard. Jared took a deep breath, then looked to his wife. She rubbed his jean covered thigh, looping her arm through his, then snuggled up to him. Bones snuck a glance at the exchange via the rear view mirror, touched. Padma whispered discreetly her support in his ear. Jared closed his eyes, resting his head on hers affectionately. Booth turned forward again, glancing to Bones. She smiled softly at him, then back to the road.

Booth was lost in thought, when he felt Bones put her hand on his thigh, and asked him mouthing, 'You ok?' Booth sighed, shaking his head slightly, placing his palm over hers on his knee, and gently squeezed her digits together. Bones rolled her wrist to turn her palm upwards, and laced her fingers through his, to create a tighter grip on him. Booth closed his eyes, grateful for her continuing support.

Bones wanted to hold him again, he looked so drawn, pale and old suddenly. She knew he was trying to be strong for Jared. He snapped her from her worry by asking her gently, with a sweet smile on his lips, 'Do you remember him dancing in the Jiggles club with those women?'

Bones grinned wide, then chuckled, nodding at him. 'Yes. He could dance,' she said impressively, with great affection. Booth chuckled a little, delighted they had that lovely shared memory.

'And those grilled cheese sandwiches?' he asked for more from her.

'Yes, best I've ever tasted, Booth,' she offered sincerely. Booth seemed delighted by that, squeezing her hand a little harder. Seeing that pleased him, Bones squeezed his fingers, before taking her hand back and concentrating on the driving. Booth thought that it felt like she had just ripped off a band aid from an unhealed wound. Although he knew it wasn't a cruel thing she had done or meant but it made him bleed anyway.

Bones hadn't realised what he was feeling until she saw him looking out of the side window. His jaw clenched, his muscles flickering, and the wringing of his hands. She berated herself internally for her thoughtlessness. He wasn't ready to stand alone yet, she realised.

Bones reached for his fidgeting hands again, while watching the road, and retook his hand in hers, squeezing it so hard it pushed tears of gratefulness over his lids. He looked to their fingers entwined, and hung his head. Bones knew if she looked at him, she would be a wreck too, so she kept her eyes forward.

After ten minutes or so, he brought their cluster up to his lips and kissed the back of her hand, then placed her hand back on her thigh. He was slow and precise in his movements. Bones thought it was his way of saying thank you.

'Seeley, have you told Parker yet?' Jared asked suddenly. Booth shook his head, then turned to look at him.

'I'll go see him tonight.' Jared nodded.

Bones drove up to the care home, and turned off the car. They all got out, Bones felt her stomach tug at her again, seeing Booth taking a deep breath, and rubbing the back of his neck nervously. Bones put her bag over her shoulder, set the alarm, and walked around to him. He lifted his eyes but not his head, seeing her coming closer. She could tell he was anxious and needed her close.

'I'm here,' she whispered, Bones trotted to him, holding her hand out for him. Booth took it without a second thought, and they walked in together, to join Jared and Padma. They were already talking to the sympathetic receptionist. Jared turned to Booth, saying, 'Pops is in his room. They said we can go in.' Booth nodded, Bones felt his hand clench a little tighter.

The receptionist recognised Bones. 'Oh. Hello, Dr Brennan,'

'Hello again, Natasha.' She grinned at the young blonde twenty-something, with stylish glasses. 'Is it possible to talk to the manager, Mr Trench?' she asked softly.

'Of course, he's on his way down now,' she said kindly.

'Thank you.' Then turned to Booth at her side. 'Shall we go?' Bones asked, he nodded absently and seemed to be in a daze. He was obviously not looking forward to this part.

Jared and Padma walked down the corridor towards Pops' room, after saying, 'We'll go in first.' Booth nodded, mute still.

Just then a tall distinguished silver haired man, in an open necked russet shirt and navy pants neared them. He held his hand out, and wore a compassionate smile on his face. He reached for Booth's hand first, which he took without letting go of his partners'.

'Seeley, please accept our deepest condolences. Your grandfather was extremely well loved here, and he will be sadly missed.' Again Booth just nodded, his throat dry and closing. Bones smiled at Mr Trench, and shook his hand too.

'Dr Brennan, it's a pleasure to see you again. Please, come through to my office. I have all the papers ready for you.'

'Thank you.' Bones spoke for her silent partner, as they followed him into his office. Mr Trench was unfortunately used to this part of his job, and seemed unconcerned by Booth's fragile emotional state.

Mr Robert Trench's office 14.20.

'Take a seat, please.' There was a file on his desk and one large white plump envelope on top of Pops' file. They sat down on the couch, which overlooked a little garden with a small water feature, water tinkling through it pleasantly. The doors were open and a warm June breeze cleared the air in his office. Robert sat in a pulled up chair in front of them, and offered Booth the white envelope. He took it, looking at the handwriting on the front. It was written by his Pops.

'That contains Hank's will and several letters. It's all he wanted us to hand over when he passed away. The house doctor has signed the death certificate. No autopsy is required, so you are free to arrange his funeral and we can release his body to the undertakers he requested you use.' Booth nodded, understanding then Robert continued, 'He had a massive heart attack, Seeley. He didn't even know what was happening to him. And believe me, that will be a comfort to you in time, knowing he didn't suffer...' Booth dropped his eyes, and placed the envelope in his lap. Bones could feel his sorrow permeate the room. 'We've laid him out among his things and his favourite set of dominos,' he said sweetly, Booth huffed slightly, nodded, not looking up though. Then it hit him, his sorrow resurging, and he rolled into Bones again weeping. She slipped her arm around his shoulder, and pulled him closer. She looked up to Robert, and smiled softly.

Bones asked, multi tasking; holding Booth while he wept, and asking the question, 'Were you able to arrange for Hank to be give the sacrament of the last rites?' Robert nodded, and sat back a little.

'Yes. Father Anthony came within two hours of Hank's passing.'

Bones nodded. 'May I have some tissues please?' He got up, and brought over a box handing it to her. Bones pulled out several, and lifted Booth's head. He looked into her, his brows curled to express how moved he was with her taking such care of him. She wiped his eyes, then his nose, with the gentlest of smiles on her features. 'Blow,' she said sweetly. Booth took the tissues and did as instructed. As he was busy, Bones asked, 'I expect you would like us to clear his room.'

'There's no rush. When you're feeling up to it, Seeley.' Booth nodded again and sniffed.

'Sorry, I'm having a little trouble holding it together,' he apologised with a cracked voice. Bones had never heard him sound so fragile before, and it scared her.

'Totally understandable, please don't apologise... Umm. I must just tell you, we got a call a couple of hours ago,' Robert said cautiously. Booth wrinkled his brow. 'From an, Arthur Booth?' he said suspiciously. Bones felt her stomach wrench, and could sense Booth stiffen in her arm.

'My father, Pops' son,' Booth clarified and explained, Robert nodded. 'What did he want?' sounding even more weak to her.

'He wanted to know if Hank had left a will. I didn't tell him anything. I assumed he's a relative but I had never heard Hank talk of an Arthur, so I ended the call... He seemed inebriated and quite put out that I didn't give away any details. I didn't think it was appropriate. I hope I didn't do anything wrong?'

'No, not at all. Thank you for your discretion,' Bones eased Robert, snatching a glimpse at Booth again. 'So the forms?' she pushed on the meeting. Robert opened the file on his desk, and lifted out three, placing them side by side across his desk. Booth stood unsteadily, wiping his eyes again, and looked over them. Robert handed him a pen, and explained each quietly, and watched as Booth signed them all. Robert tore off the top copy to each, then folded them, putting them in an envelope, giving them to him.

'There're many people who would like to pay their respects, Seeley. Do you have any objections to those people attending Hank's funeral?'

'No, of course not. We've got to speak to Father Thomas this afternoon. But we have set a provisional time and day, Thursday at ten, at St Clair's.' Robert nodded, smiling.

'Lovely, thank you.'

'Hank requested donations for a new games room here,' Bones interjected softly. Robert chuckled, his shoulders shaking with his handsome laughter.

'That would make sense! He was always on at me to update the games room. Gave me hell actually.'

'I bet,' Booth said with a wisp of a smile on his lips. Bones stood now, picking up the large envelope. Booth continued, 'Thank you, Robert. I'll go and say goodbye now. I'll get in contact after the funeral to clear his room.'

'Ok. As I said, no rush, Seeley.' The men shook hands, and Robert went to his door for them to exit. He walked with them back down the corridor.

Sunlight streamed through the windows to their left and heated the space. But as she took Booth's hand again, she noted how cold it was. He was in shock still, she mused either that, or his heart was broken and refused to pump his blood around him. She wanted to rub his fingers, like you would if they were chilled from a bitter winter wind.

They saw Jared and Padma sitting on a bench outside his room. Bones couldn't see Jared's face as he had it tucked into Padma's neck, and was clearly very upset. Padma looked up to Booth and Bones nearing, and tilted her head, pouting at them. Bones gave her a little smile of understanding. Robert stayed with them, while Bones stood with Booth outside Pops' door. He didn't look at her but held her hand tighter.

'Ready?' she asked delicately. Booth's torso rose with his intake of air, as if summoning the strength. Then he looked into her eyes, they darted between hers.

He whispered, 'Don't let go.'

Bones swallowed, her eyes on fire at his almost whimpered request. Then they soothed with the water flowing over them. She nodded, whispering back, 'Never.'

The drive back to DC was quicker than in the morning. They'd arranged the service, hymns and been to the undertakers. Hank's instructions were clear and simple to follow, and they adhered to them all. There was a sense of relief and calm. However, Bones noted the brothers were obviously exhausted emotionally. Bones knew they must be hungry and thirsty too. The coffee and cookies they had at the undertakers wouldn't have filled them up. So she enquired, 'Does anyone want to eat?' Booth smiled at her, she looked to him, then the car mirror seeing everybody nod. 'Good. Before or after you speak to Parker?'

'I'll go tomorrow, I can't do it today,' Booth said forlornly.

Then Jared said from the back seat, just as tired and drained, 'Actually could you just drop us off home? I just wanna crash.'

'Sure, no problem,' Bones replied softly, knowing that Booth probably would want to do the same.

As they arrived at Jared's apartment. Booth walked them both to the door, and hugged them in turn. They had a brief talk which Bones couldn't hear. She knew though it was about their father. She knew Hank wouldn't want Arthur at his funeral if it was going to upset either of the boys. But they were to work it out between them. She suspected Booth was capitulating for Jared's sake, which made her very uneasy. Bones felt herself flagging too, weak from the lack of sustenance. She had many calls to make herself, and needed a shower.

Booth returned quietly, Bones drove off into the homeward bound traffic. 'Where we going?' Booth asked sounding confused, as she had missed his exit.

'To mine, I need to pick up a few things.' She didn't look at him but he knew from her tone that she was going to stay with him tonight. He sank back in his seat, and closed his eyes, utterly relieved. He didn't want to be alone tonight.

Dr T Brennan's apartment. 21.32.

'Take a seat, Booth. I'll not be long. There's beers in the fridge, help yourself to anything.' She chucked her keys on the side table, and strode quickly towards her bedroom. Booth closed the door, and went to the fridge.

'Do you want one?!' He listened for her reply but got no answer. He pulled one out, twisting the cap off, and took a sip. Looking at the label, he called again, 'Bones, do you want one?!' walking down the corridor towards her room. He heard a muffled noise and squinted to hear better, irrationally.

He heard her say, 'Sorry, Booth?'

'Did you wan...' He looked up, to see her standing by her mirrored wardrobes, just in a bra and knickers. She was reaching for something on her high shelf, her over night holdall. Booth stood still, and just stared transfixed. Her set of deep purple satin under wired bra and French knickers complimented the smooth tones and slightly tanned flesh all too well. Her narrow waist flared at her pelvis and he mused her legs went on for an eternity. 'I, Oh... Sorry,' he stuttered, feeling a fool, as she looked over to him in her door way. She walked over to her bed, depositing the bag on it.

'For what?' Not understanding why he should be apologising, Bones continued casually, 'Come in, Booth. I'm fairly decent...' She returned to her wardrobe, to search for some garments she required. Booth knew she had no issues with nudity or false modesty. He mused, why would she, with a body like that?

So he walked in hesitantly. 'You-can-say-that-again,' he muttered under his breath, while she rummaged.

She didn't hear his comment, so asked, 'Sorry?'

'Nothing...' he covered. 'I just asked if you wanted a beer.' Looking around her bedroom surreptitiously, he thought it gorgeous, smart and fascinating, not far off her best attributes. He didn't know what to expect, this being his first time in here but thought it chic nonetheless.

'Umm.' She knew she should keep a clear head, so compromised, 'Shares?' With a little smile attached, walking over to him. He sat on her bed, trying to look casual, and not ogle her but it was extremely difficult not to stare. He thought she was magnificent.

She took the bottle from his hand, taking several gulps from the thin neck daintily. Booth watched, as she swallowed several times. Her throat bobbed seductively. Then she smacked her lips together, and sighed, closing her eyes, obviously savouring the cool malt-y beer. She handed it back to him, locking eyes. Booth only then noticed his mouth slightly agape, and his pupils seemed locked on her and wouldn't move. Suddenly realising she was waiting for him to take back the bottle. 'You ok?' she asked naively, standing between his legs, the crests of her breasts' flesh peaking over the satin, and testing his control.

'Feeling much better, thank you... I'm starving though.' He was impressed with his voice, he thought he'd lost it somewhere between the door and the bed. Finally taking the half-drunk bottle back, and took several mouthfuls himself. She was off again, and opening her underwear drawer, sorting through items. Booth crossed his legs, to trap his growing ardour between his thighs, trying not to itemise or burn those items to his memory.

'Yes, me too... Why don't you order Thai, and get it delivered to yours? We'll be back there before it's delivered.'

'Genius,' he complimented, for her idea and her clever logic, pulling out his phone. After flashing him a smile, she walked back over, with a fist full of soft flimsy things, stuffing them into the bag, then headed off to her en suite. Booth watched her go, seeing her buttocks peak tantalizing out from under the satin. He looked up to the ceiling trying to be the gentleman, but fell way short when she returned, with a small wash bag in hand. The urgency at which she walked, wafted the air around her and lifted the soft material of her knickers. He got a glimpse of a soft decorative line of golden brown hair, that lead the way to other secrets. Booth almost groaned in approval but managed to stifle it, as he ordered their usual supper.

She was back at the bag, folding a pair of ivory satin pyjamas into it. 'Order double prawns,' she whispered over his conversation. Then placed her hand on his shoulder to get his attention. 'And put it on my account, I've got no cash.' He gave her a wonky pout, as if he thought she was crazy to think that after today and all she had done for him, he wouldn't pay for her meal. Bones read his pout and sentiment, glaring at him in a reprimand. He ignored her and finished his order.

'It's on its way... And if you think we're going Dutch tonight, you're not a genius,' he said mockingly. Bones sat beside him, finally slowing down and took his hand in hers, her bare shoulder touching his shirt. He could feel her warmth through it, and liked the sensation pooling in his stomach.

She said slowly, almost distantly, 'Your hands are still cold.' Looking at his fingers. He crinkled his brow, not understanding her statement. She looked into his eyes, lifting her hand and his, kissing it softly, then sighed. 'I've got some things to tell you... And I don't want to... but I made a promise.' Bones knew she had to tell him soon, in case his father reappeared and explained what happened. And neither she nor Hank would want that for him or Jared.

'What things?' he asked nervously. Bones hated him feeling so cold, or looking so worried. She felt such sympathy for him, knowing what she was to say and how it would probably crush him, realising Pops had carried such a burden for so long.

Bones decided he would feel comfortable in his own home, when she told him, so she said sweetly, 'Let's get to your place, eat, get comfortable, then... then I'll tell you, ok?' Booth could tell by her softness and the way she was looking at him, he wasn't going to like whatever it was she had promised to tell him. Booth just nodded in agreement though. She looked to his lips, he thought almost longingly. Her free hand rose, while her thumb smoothed over his lips from right to left slowly. She was reminiscing, and he was praying she would grace him with another one of those kisses.

'Soooo soft,' she breathed the words, then looked up the few inches to his eyes. His heart somersaulted when she leant in further, brushing her lips across his, again with innocence and charm. Bones tilted her head slightly, and again he was flying. Her hand squeezed his, her free one pushed back through his hair, then eased his head closer to her. He felt himself trembling and tried to match her tender tongue's caress, although he just wanted to be still, and let her take him away again.

This time he ventured to touch her shoulder and memorise the smoothness of it. Just as he did, she changed position again, then went deeper, as if encouraging him.

Bones' body rose in relief at kissing him again and the pleasure he was taking in it. She knew she shouldn't be doing this. It must have been confusing him but she just couldn't help herself. His lips were so soft and he tasted wonderful.

The emotion she couldn't verbalise, she poured into him through her kiss, hoping, wishing he felt it, understood that it was to ease his worry, warm up his body, and show how much she cared.

Booth could hear their kiss in his ears, their gentle lapping, the leisurely swirling of tongues caressing. The intoxicating sensation of her mouth's heat and silky wetness, with her pure essence mixing with his. This kiss wasn't innocent anymore, he thought. He also knew what she was expressing with it, and how that eased his worry about what was to come.

Her hand came off his hair and around to his chest, then she pushed gently over his heart. He didn't understand at first but when she pushed a little harder, he complied instantly. Booth laid back on her bed hesitantly, not wanting her to break the connection. She followed him, he barely noticed the bottle being taken from his hand, so astray in her sensuousness.

Then she slowed inside him and withdrew. When he opened his eyes, she had the bottle at her moist lips. She slid her eyes to him, as she spoke into the neck of the bottle, 'Let's share the rest.' Booth lay motionless, stunned at her sultry tone that seemed to have paralysed him.

Bones took some into her mouth and held it in there. She then leant in again, placing her closed lips on his. Booth felt his erection almost puncture through his jeans, as he whimpered adolescently, comprehending what her intention was. He opened his lips slightly, bracing himself for her next marvel. She dribbled the merest amount into him. The liquid fizzed against his tongue and the bubbles effervesced on his palate, feeling like softest erotic touch. Again he whimpered then jarred his torso up, towards her body involuntarily, as the rest followed along with her tongue and she swirled it with his, so they could experience the exotic sensations together.

Booth felt a monstrous heat swarm out from that point of contact. He gripped the flesh of her hip and sighed, calming, feeling her body flex slowly against his side. Booth knew she was just as aroused by what they were doing.

He swallowed the beer and her down. Flames of desire licked at his heart, they heated up his blood and returned heat to his hands, feet, everywhere, places he didn't know were alive till now.

If their first kiss was for comfort, this one was for heat. A heat that scorched him.

Moments later Bones moved to leave him there. Booth knew he couldn't stand the separation, he wanted time to stop, for the world to stop turning and to lay there forever, feel this sensation for eternity. Bones placed soft sultry moist kisses over his parted lips, floating him back down with her petal soft lips.

Bones knew her ploy had worked, as he seemed extremely relaxed and warm now, except for an evocative bulge in his jeans. She hadn't expected her kiss to have such a impressive reaction on him but took that as a massive compliment. It was time to move on, so she said tenderly, 'We better go.' Rolling away, and walked over to her wardrobes again, swigging the last of the liquid in the bottle. Booth rolled on his side to watch her dress, registering how hot his flesh was on her cool sheets.

She pulled on jeans, jumping a little as she tugged them up over her hips, then did the button up. Finally she looked over to him, which made him smile. He thought it was kind of cute, her jiggling to get into the tight navy jeans.

'You feel warmer?' she asked sincerely.

'I've never felt hotter.' He grinned handsomely, she zipped up, chuckling a little at his innuendo. Turning to pull a tight sweater off her stack, she threw it on, her head popped out, messing her hair up. The shade of blue flattered her irises he mused.

'Humm.' Bones picked up her hair brush, racked it through her locks quickly, then walked over, as he sat up. She put the brush in her bag and zipped it up. 'Ready?' He couldn't believe she was so casual about what she had just put him through and how strong she had made him feel. He stood without comment, following her out as his erection slowly dissipated. She grabbed a coat; her purse, flicked off her lights and pushed her feet into her sneakers. Picking up her keys, she took one look around.

'Got everything?' he asked quietly.

She nodded, saying, 'Yes. Everything.'

Special Agent Seeley Booth's apartment, 23.23.

They had polished off their meal in record time, while Bones wrote to-do's on a notepad. The list was long. She simultaneously wrote a sister list for herself, as things came to her mind. Booth sat back replete on his couch, and watched her scribbling on her list. He studied her as she concentrated, dipped prawns in sweet chilli sauce, bringing them slowly to her lips, then wrote something again, before she bit off half and chewed slowly, humming quietly.

Booth jumped a little as she caught him staring, and asked, 'Do you mind if I pop into work tomorrow, Booth, in the afternoon?' She saw his slight awkwardness at his being caught, but didn't react. 'I've got some errands to run, but I'll bring back dinner, or make you something about seven-ish?'

'No, no, I'll be fine.'

'You're sure? Because...' He leant forward, placed his empty beer bottle on the table, rubbing his palms together slowly.

'Honestly, I've got loads to do...' He pointed to her list for him, with a wry smile. 'By the look of it. And I'll cook, Bones.' Bones flumped back and grinned, watching him now. She placed her palm on his back and rubbed slowly up his spine, sighing herself. Booth straightened slightly at her tender comforting action. 'So... I've eaten, I'm comfortable and ready for this thing you have promised to tell me.' He looked around to her over his shoulder. Bones lost her smile gradually, staring at him, then took a breath.

'Yes. Ok. But shall we get ready for bed? And clear this up too.'

'You're stalling, Bones,' he said, narrowing his eyes. Bones slipped her hand off his back and stood, gathering all the cartons together and generally tidying up. 'Hey.' He could see how distressed about this thing she was, he took her free hand, giving it a tug to turn her. She did, looking down at him, perched on the edge of his couch. He thought her eyes looked glassy.

'Whatever it is, Bones. Please don't be scared to tell me,' he said softly, with deep compassion. Bones was so touched, she knelt down between his legs, and slid her hands around his waist, hugging him sweetly. Her head under his chin, Booth held her back warmly, she sighed and relaxed a little. He knew she obviously needed the cuddle.

She sat back on her heals, and stood by placing her palms on his knees for support. 'I'm going to shower and get ready for bed. You tidy this, I'll only be a little while.' Booth nodded, watching her walk away, and as she picked up her bag en route to his bathroom. Booth did as instructed and tidied up. He could hear her in the shower and so he changed into his sleep sweats and a vest to sleep in. He padded out bare foot to the couch again, and lay down, with his hand behind his head, running over the day in his mind.

When she came out in her pyjamas and slippers, she saw him laying full length on the couch. He had his eyes closed, TV on mute, CNN newscast. The room was dark, only the flickering light from the images on the screen lit the room. She felt a little relief that he was asleep and could put off till tomorrow this burden. However, he made her jump a little when he said, with eyes closed, 'It's ok, Bones.'

She walked over slowly, he looked up to her. She had the most careful beautiful smile on her lips. He thought she looked lovely in her baggy PJ's, really very cute too.

Bones knew it was time, she couldn't procrastinate any longer. She lay along his body carefully, he shifted back, so they could be facing each other. It took a few moments for them to get comfortable. She propped up her head on her palm, then slipped a satin covered leg over his. Then took his hand and laced her fingers with his. Their eyes danced together for a few moments while he waited, lost in her soft eyes.

'Do you remember,' she began quietly. 'That day when Pops, you and me were having lunch at the Founding Fathers?' Booth nodded. 'You got a call and left, that's when Hank and I talked...' She swallowed hard, but didn't break her delicate hold or eye contact. 'He was worried about you for when his time came... that you would need someone. So, he asked me when the time came, to hold you, for as long as you wanted or needed. I made him that promise.' Bones fingered the tuft of hair that peaked over his eyes gently, with such affection he wanted to kiss her, but he knew he should pay attention. 'But I didn't need to, he needn't have concerned himself... Because of all the things you have done for me in the past.' She fingered over his brows, he watched as her eyes glistened at him like they had done earlier. He knew he was safe as long as he looked into her.

'You've stood by me through the worst times in my life, Booth. When people have lied and tried to deceive me, you were the truth I respected and relied on... You, Booth,' she emphasised strongly, her warm breath caressed his lashes. 'Have protected me, supported me endlessly and cared for me countless times. I'm a better person now, than when I was before I met you...' She kissed his lips softly, the tears that threatened in his eyes began to topple over his lids.

Bones generous continued praise went on with, 'You will always, always be my inspiration to be a better person...' Booth felt her hand squeezing his, felt her warmth seep into him. Her sweet mint-y breath cooled his moved tears. 'If Hank hadn't asked, I would be here with you anyway. I owe you that much at least, at the very least,' she said drenched with sincerity. 'I'm privileged to do this for you. To hold your hand and you.' He stared into her eyes, stunned into silence by her heartfelt words and big-hearted compliments. He blinked several times, trying and failing to staunch his tears. She kissed them away softly.

Then Bones took a long deep breath preparing, and smiled as she said, 'Booth, Seeley... you understand the depth of my feelings for you, don't you?' Her eyes sparkled with that glorious light which he had seen earlier, that had so dazzled and held him aloft for so long.

Booth sighed, nodding, she smiled generously, then kissed his lips again confirming her deep seated affections. 'That's good. We understand each other, and so you must understand, that when I tell you the rest... You have me to hold...' He smiled tentatively, fearing what was to come now. Bones told him surely and powerfully, 'I'll not shatter, break or crumble... because you've made me, sooo strong, virtually bullet-proof.' She kissed him again chastely, her solemn tone, and assurance eased him slightly. Then she drew his body closer, with her leg over his, their noses almost touching.

He could feel her heart beat next to his, they trembled together as if they were a linked pair, twins that needed to be close. Vibrating at the same frequency and pace of beat. Booth nodded, humbled. He unlaced their hands, placing his hand on her satin cover hip, then caressed her lower back. He accepted her words and her body to hold. Bones placed that now free hand over his waist, and caressed delicate patterns over his lumbar area.

She waited a few moments, then checked with him, 'Are you sure of me?' Needing to be sure he knew he shouldn't worry for her, whatever happened now.

'Yes,' he said feebly.

'Ok...' She nodded, her voice wavered slightly, knowing this was going to give him so much pain. 'Pops told me, that you didn't know something about him and what had happened the day your father left.' Booth swallowed again, taking a deep breath. His body felt paralysed again. That submerged memory resurfaced and he was reliving it instantly, the pain of that day surged back, roaring like a savage tiger in his heart, making it react and tremble. He gripped her back a little harder.

Bones understood she needed to go on. 'Pops knew you've blamed yourself for all these years, for the beatings you took... and for your Dad leaving... But it wasn't your fault, none of it was, Booth...' He blinked, and took a deep stilted breath, clinging to her vision and soft voice. 'He told me what happened, he saw Arthur, his son, beating you. He dragged you and Jared away.' Booth know knew she had been told the events of that day, and carried his terrible childhood pain with her too. He couldn't tell if he found it a relief to have that shared with her because he was aching too much.

'He saw the bruises on you, the old fractures and was repulsed, angry and ashamed. It was he, Pops, who told your Dad, he didn't deserve to be a father. It was Pops that told your Dad to go and never come back...' Booth face screwed up contorted in agony, and his eyes gushed incessantly, so did hers. Bones gasped a breath with him, running her leg along his, as he gripped her closer. Booth let go the sin he thought he had done, knowing the truth finally. Bones cried for his relief, and clearing his conscience.

'Booth, my wonderful, Booth, Pops couldn't tell you, he blamed himself, you see? For not seeing the signs earlier. He didn't want you to blame him for your father leaving.' Booth buried his face in her neck and shook with his sobs. She felt him clinging on and was grateful for him heeding her words, that she was strong enough for this. 'I think he couldn't bring himself to tell you face to face because he felt so guilty. So I promised I would.' She felt him nod on her, understanding. She let him cry, while she soothed him with her legs, fingers and delicate kisses.

After a while she spoke again, reiterating, 'It wasn't anything you did. You were so brave and took the burden on, you protected Jared. You took the blows meant for him, didn't you?' she asked rhetorically. 'You were so young to carry that on your shoulders and the secret in you huge heart... Jared doesn't remember, does he?' Booth shook his head slightly, still buried in her cleavage. He slid his other arm under her, holding her whole torso in both his arms.

'He doesn't know what you did for him. I expect he's blamed you for your father leaving all these years, and you never told him, did you?' Again Booth shook his head, shifting against her. Bones was still weeping with him, her pain at his sorrow and secret revealed between them. Booth thought he would have this scar on his soul forever. He was free of that now but another agony swamped him. Now he ached for Pops and his long held guilt for not explaining. Now he couldn't tell Pops he was forgiven, although he didn't need his forgiveness. Booth thought, how could he blame a man that had saved him from his violent father and gave him back his life.

'Oh, Booth, my beautiful, Seeley, look at me, please,' she begged, he lifted his head, and looked into her slowly. They both knew they were on the edge of the darkness. 'One more thing we have to share. Just one more, I promised. I'm so sorry I promised,' she wept, rushing her apology, clinging to him, her body trembling now. Apologising for what she had to say now, knowing the pain she was going to give him. This was the last secret, the most heart crushing of all.

Bones took two fast breaths, and wiped her cheeks quickly. 'Hear me, believe me, and your Pops...' she said firmly. 'Your mother...' As soon as Bones mentioned his never spoken of mother, Booth's face crumpled and he knew. He knew Bones knew the deepest slice in his heart. What he carried everyday of his life and weighed down his soul. What tormented and plagued his nightmares.

'Your mother left... because she feared for her life, not because you weren't loved or wanted or were a bad boy. She loved you so, so much. She knew Pops would care and protect you from him. Your father had threatened her if she returned he would kill her. She had no reason to doubt him. It broke her heart and body to leave you, Seeley...' Bones laded her words with sympathy and empathy. She too had the same pain and had it lifted from her heart only recently.

Booth was whimpering like a small child he was at this moment, twisting in agony in her arms. 'Did you know, she watched you playing in the school yard from the gates?' He whined into her, rolling his head and eyes, knowing that now. He leaked, staring into her for her support. He had a vision flash, of a woman peering around the gates, remembering her turning away as he looked over.

Bones managed a tiny smile, saying, 'Did you know who brought you your first racing bike? The blue and white striped one?' Booth shook uncontrollably in her arms, clawing her to him, he wailed and writhed on hearing that. Remembering that bike he had so craved for his twelfth birthday and got it, he thought from Pops, although he knew Pops couldn't afford it.

'No, Oh no, no, no. Bones, Bones.' Bones held on, as he crushed her to him.

'My Booth, my lion hearted hero, Pops told me, she was there, she watched you from afar when you graduated, with pride. She was very sick then. The doctors say she held on to see you on that platform... That's how loved you were. So loved...'

'Bones, Bones...'

Bones held him while he poured out his heart and soul, drained himself of his tears, exhausted his body against and around her. Till finally he rested under her gentle wings, and they eventually slept.

The dawn broke, sending shards of light in inch thick beams through his kitchen blinds. The fridge rumbled as it went on its cycle to cool. The rattle it made confused and dragged Bones awake. She blinked a few times, getting her bearings and remembering where she was. Her partner was still asleep across her. She spent some time watching him breathe softly onto her chest. He still held her but gently now. Her satin top felt damp under his head, obviously from his tears. Her eyes felt swollen and tired. She couldn't remember ever crying so much herself.

She just wished when he woke, he would have resolved some issues in his mind. She knew though, it would be a while before he came to terms with everything she was entrusted to tell him. But at least now he knew he was loved and nothing that occurred in his childhood and adolescent years was his fault. She hoped he could let go the burden and move on with his life. She also knew he still had several very hard days ahead. He had to tell Parker his great grandfather was gone. Then there was the funeral and the readjustment to his life without Pops to back him up. She feared that Arthur might get in contact with him and reopen all his wounds again.

Something caught her eye; it was the TV, still on, flashing the time of the 6.30 news headlines. Bones had so much to do herself, so she kissed his head tenderly, and slipped gracefully and slowly out of his hold, pulling down the throw. She tucked it around him, as he groaned weakly, readjusting his position. She walked into the kitchen, used two fingers to open the blinds a little, to look outside at the morning. She filled the kettle and flicked it on, getting out cups and making up his peculator to make a pot. She searched his fridge for items for breakfast. He had eggs and milk. She smiled, shaking her head at the lack of food. She opened the cupboard to find; flour, jelly and a can of peaches. Pancakes, she thought, was a good option and some scrambled eggs.

Bones peeked around the door frame, to see him still fast asleep, even though the kettle was making a racket. She poured the water over the grounds and left it. She walked past him to the bathroom.

When she came out dressed and refreshed, he was still asleep. She picked out her phone from her purse and her list, walking back to the kitchen, then began on breakfast, while she made some calls.

'Kalimera Dr Kalopi, Tempe Brennan.'

'Oh. Kalimera, how are you?'

'Quite well. I have to postpone my arrival by two days, I'm afraid. I have a funeral to attend. Could you possibly notify Alexanders for me?'

'Oh. Yes of course, no problem. I'm sorry to hear that, Doctor. No one close I hope?'

'My partner's grandfather, he was a dear man and my partner needs me here for a while. I'm sorry to inconvenience you.'

'No! No, not at all, we're delighted you are coming to our island.'

'Ok. Efkaristo. I'll see you Friday then?'

'Yes ok. Efkaristo, Doctor.' Bones ended the call, and broke eggs into a bowl and began mixing up the pancake liquid. She pushed Cam's number. It rang three times before she answered.

'Cam? Tempe.'

'Oh. Hi, how is he?'

'He had a bad night, he's still asleep.' Cam realised she must have stayed with him, and smiled, delighted that she hadn't left him. 'The funeral is arranged for Thursday at ten. Will you be able to come?'

'Yes, Sweets, Ange and them all. They all want to show their support for Booth.' Bones smiled, touched by that.

'I think he will be grateful for that. I'll be in later, just for a little while. I need to finish of the interns' essays and go over their duties so they know what their tasks are while I'm away. I've pushed back my departure by a few days for obvious reasons.'

'Yes of course, have you told him yet?' Bones multi tasked efficiently, pouring the mixture into the pan and cooked up several pancakes while she spoke.

'No. He got so much to contend with right now.'

'Ok, oh and FYI, the budget we asked for, we got. They went crazy after you left, they thought you'd left for good.'

'Excellent. Well done, Cam. I've got to go, the pancakes are getting cold.'

'Sure. I'll see you later. Give the big guy a kiss from me.'

'Umm. Ok.' Bones sounded a little confused, while rummaging for a fork in his pot on the kitchen table. She opened the blinds to let the morning in.

'A friendly peck will suffice,' Cam explained gently, so Bones knew there was no residual romantic affection between them.

'Right, ok.' That seemed to placate her. 'I'll see you later. Bye.' Bones put the last pancake on the pile, poured over the canned peaches, then sprinkled the stack with a little brown sugar. She poured him a large coffee from the pot, and walked out to the lounge, putting it all on the coffee table. She opened his curtains and the room filled with sunlight. She looked over the back of the couch, to see him opening one eye and looking to the pancakes. She smiled seeing his eyes widen, and the sweet smile that her little treat had done for his spirits. 'Morning,' she said softly, as he sat up, looking for her. He turned around, leant back, tilting his head up to look at her. Bones stroked down his stubbly jaw affectionately. 'How are you feeling, Partner?'

'Crappy... but pancakes are a good start, thank you,' he said honestly, sincerely and utterly touched. He took her hand on his jaw, and kissed her palm gently. Her grin broadened to a smile, she leant down and kissed his forehead, holding her lips to him for a few moments. 'You're welcome. Eat them before they get cold.'

'What you having?' he asked, as she walked out to the kitchen and poured herself a coffee, retrieving her phone. He was tucking in before she came back to sit next to him.

'Eggs, in a while, I need caffeine first.' She smiled sweetly at him, as she dialled another number. She sat back with him, putting her feet up mirroring his positioning, shoulder to shoulder with him. While she waited for the call to be put through, she looked to him eating and looking absently at the TV headlines. She pinched a slice of peach off his plate, and popped it into her mouth, flicking a brow to him cheekily. He looked at her almost appalled at her theft, pouting at her for stealing his breakfast.

'Yes, hello. Good morning. Temperance Brennan here. Could you give Helen Summers a message from me please?'


'Could you tell her I need her to make that donation now, to release the funds and that I've approved the release with my publishers. She'll understand, have you got that?'

'Yes, publishers release, funds, and make the donation.'

'Yes, thank you. Good bye.' Bones shut the cell down, and picked up her coffee, taking a sip.

Curious Booth asked,' You finished the book then?'

'Yes finally.' She sighed, rolling her eyes.

'Cool. Another best seller?' Bones shrugged her shoulder, as if she didn't know or care. They sat quiet while, he ate his breakfast. 'Last night, Bones...'

'I'm sorry, Booth. I didn't want to tell you...'

'Don't apologise, Bones. I understand, it must've been so hard for you to know that hanging over you.'

'No, it was ok, Booth. I was concerned for your reaction. I still am.'

'I'll be ok,' he eased. Bones nodded, drinking her coffee down. Then he said quietly, 'It was lovely sleeping with you.' Bones looked into his eyes, and smiled gently.

'I thought so too, despite the circumstances.' Booth agreed with a slow nod.

'Will you stay tonight?' he asked tentatively.

'Yes, I'd planned on staying with you for a little while.' He nodded slowly again, dropping his eyes a little ashamed of his need for her. 'Hey, Booth, don't be coy or embarrassed but can I make a request?'


'Can I sleep in a bed tonight? My neck is extremely stiff.' She grinned wide at him, while rubbing it. Booth lifted his hand to hers on her neck, and made small languid circles on the knots he could sense. Her head dropped forward slowly, her eyes closed, and she sighed softly.

He asked gently, 'How's that?'

'Ummm. Lovely,' she whispered. Bones rolled her head slightly, Booth put his other palm on her neck, and massaged with both hands now.

He continued gently along the line of her elegant neck to her shoulders. He leaned in, whispering in her ear, 'Thank you for last night, all your tenderness and the comfort, all those wonderful things you said.' Bones turned her face to his, a whisker away from his lips. She looked to his lips and sighed, struggling with her resolve. She rested her brow on his, trying to control her desire to kiss him again. Booth slipped his hand down her back, and one onto her thigh.

'Is it ok if I kiss you?' he asked tremulously. 'A thank you kiss,' he added sweetly. She gave a nod, feeling her body responding before his lips touched hers. Her lips parted slightly, and sighed out softly onto his face with relief. Booth slid his lips over hers, they felt the lightning strike yet again. He mouthed over lips twice and found her react by doing the same, with an added audible hum. He ghosted his warm sweet tongue across her lips, then just touched his tongue with hers. She flinched at his action.

'Booth.' His name an implore to give her a little more. He did it again, sliding his hand up her thigh to rest it on her hip. Bones slid her hand around his neck and held him fast to her lips. His tongue went a little deeper, just a bit, and she hummed appreciatively.

'Thank you... thank you... thank you...' with every syllable, he made a pass over her tongue with his, whispering into her open mouth. Then his phone rang, ripping them back to earth. She closed her eyes, sighing, then swallowed, utterly affected by their brief kiss.

'You better get that,' she said, Booth noticed her voice quivering with emotion and arousal. She smiled, as he pecked her gently once more, getting up slowly, noting his cock at half mast, clearly visible in his sweat pants. She got up too, taking his cleared breakfast plate out, along with her mug to get more coffee. She mouthed wow to herself, at how she felt from his delicate kiss.

He answered the phone, watching her closely in the kitchen making scrambled eggs. It was Jared, and they talked casually. Booth sat up on the stool at the breakfast bar, while Bones made two plates up, placing one in front of him. She sat opposite, and tucked in. He couldn't take his eyes from her as she ate, she was watching the people in the street start their day below. He picked up a fork and scooped up some. She smiled at him briefly, then looked back into the street.

The brothers ended the conversation eventually, Booth placed the phone beside his plate, tucking in properly now.

'Jared had a bad night too.' Bones nodded, looking back to her plate.

'Will you tell him?'

'No, is there any point?'

'No, maybe not but saying that, it may improve your relationship if he knows what you endured for him.'

'No, we're ok, Bones. I don't want to bring all that up. He won't want to remember. I know I didn't.' He gave her a pout, she reached for his hand, he took it and they squeezed one another. 'Great eggs, Bones. I better ring Rebecca. What do you think, should Parker come to the funeral?' he asked casually.

Bones looked stunned. 'You're asking me?'

'Yes,' he added, with a serious confirming nod.

'Oh... Well, isn't that up to Rebecca or him?'

'He'll wanna come, he loved Pops. Kids are pretty resilient and Parker is very level headed. What do you think?' He really wanted her opinion, and if she was honest, rather flattered he wanted her thoughts. She took a breath, and sip of coffee.

Bones said reflectively, 'I remember when one of my aunts died, I was ten, possibly. Dad said I wasn't to go, I remember being hurt and confused because I wasn't given the option to go. Does that help you make your decision?'

'Yes, Thank you... again.' She smiled, finishing her plate and coffee after. She sat back a little, looking out the window, while he watched her with a contented smile on his lips. She looked back to him noting him staring, she smiled a little bit more this time at him, saying, 'This is nice, you me, breakfast, sharing our thoughts, I like it.'

Booth nodded, matching her beautiful smile, replying sincerely with, 'Me too. It's like were an old married couple.' He cringed internally for his off the cuff comment, but he meant it wholeheartedly.

Bones dropped her eyes from his, without a flicker of a change in her expression, placing her mug down carefully, and looked into its void.

'I'm sorry,' he said softly, sensing that was way too intimate a statement. Bones flicked her eyes to his, took his hand, and smiled tenderly.

'Less of the old please. I'm only thirty three. I'm in my prime,' Bones scolded him sweetly, then beamed a corker at him. Booth almost tore up in flames with the heat from it scorching into him.

Comforted by her brushing over this flippant comment, empowered by her gorgeous smile, he said soulfully, 'Yes, you are. You're spectacular.' Bones squeezed his hand for such a lovely compliment.

'You better get showered, Booth. We have so much to do,' drawing him back to his tasks. He nodded, picking up his plate, and putting it the sink. He returned to her still on the chair, and slipped his arms gently, nervously around her body from behind. Bones placed her hands over his on her stomach. She felt her body lean back into him, and she closed her eyes slowly at his tender embrace.

'What is this, Bones?' he asked softly. Bones opened her eyes, and sighed. This was exactly what she didn't want, for him to be confused or to feel awkward right now.

'It's what it is, for now... Please don't think too much about it. I'm here to support, comfort and hold you. Ok?'

'I get that but you keep kissing me,' he said almost as a confused question. 'I don't know what to do with that, this.'

She stood up, and carried her plate to the sink, turning on the taps to wash up. He watched her set about her task quietly. 'Bones?' Bones turned, and leant on the sink with her palms reversed, and looked into him. she said calmly, 'I apologise... I shouldn't have kissed you those times. Not at this time, they were impulses, and extremely narcissistic of me.' Booth was shaking his head, not agreeing at all. He hadn't sensed any selfishness in them. 'Why are you shaking your head like that?'

'Because...' He stepped in front of her. 'You weren't being narcissistic, Bones, you were being tender, and sweet, and fucking wonderful. Please don't take them back, pleeese don't,' he said painfully, for the thought of her retracting them or even stopping the next one coming his way. He peered into her eyes longingly, pleading with her. Suddenly she was reminded and saw what his heart was yelling at her. She snapped her hand up to the back of his neck, and pulled him to her lips. He almost fell into her as they kissed passionately.

As their tongues duelled and delved deeper, they whined and hummed in their joy. Their hands got busy, hers slipped under his warm t shirt and explored the even warmer muscles of his back. While he palmed her lower back, holding her closer to his body. His other hand went to her face and caressed up through her hair. They changed angle and got their bodies even closer. His thigh went between hers and he pushed in, she groaned and dug her nails into his back a little. Her hips shifted against his rising cock. He groaned into her mouth, then her mouth was gone and she dropped her head into his shoulder. She panted a little.

'What?' he asked, his voice sounded scared, as if he'd done something wrong. He felt her chuckle against his neck, where she placed a sweet kiss, then titled her head back, to look into his furrowed brow. Her hands slipped out from under his shirt slowly.

'I'm wet,' she explained, Booth groaned salaciously, deep and long. She smacked his arm in chastisement. She turned slightly to turn off the tap behind them, saying, 'The sink has over flowed, Booth, and made my jeans wet.' She pulled the plug to let it drain. He understood and grinned naughtily, seeing the funny side of their obliviousness to the flooding of the sink.

'Take them off,' he said hopefully, Bones smiled, charmed by his loaded words, pushing him away a little, and he complied reluctantly.

'Haa! Go get ready, Booth.' He stood for a moment, waiting for her change her mind. They both smiled hard and wide at one another. She sensed his hesitancy and almost did change her mind. Today was not the day, she mused. 'Go on,' she tagged on, pecking his lips one more time as a consolation.

'Ok.' He walked away slowly, letting go her hand at the very last moment, only when he had to. Bones watched him go, with a grin flirting with her lips, and brightening the colour of her irises. He looked back to her twice during his departure.

Once he was invisible, she began to wash up and tidy the kitchen. She had made three more calls by the time he had come back, showered, shaved and dressed. Her jeans were dry and the lounge and kitchen back to normal.

'Thanks, Bones,' he said kindly, seeing his apartment looking spic and span, thinking she was a shining bright star, that pierced his black funk and sorrow. He realised she had been right not to concede to his request for them to get more intimate. He didn't think it would have been a good idea, not right now. He still felt shaky emotionally, physically exhausted and knew he wouldn't do them justice.

'Oh. You're welcome, you ready to go?' Bones brushed over his thanks easily.

'Yep, where's that list?' He looked around for the pad she had been scribbling on last night.

'Here.' She handed it to him, he took it, touched at her taking such responsibility.

'Cell, where's my cell?' Again looking around, Bones grinned and handed it to him smugly. He dropped a hip, and grinned, charmed at her. 'Wallet?' She smiled even wider, handing him his leather jacket to put on.

'Inside right pocket.'

He twittered impressed and felt very looked after, 'Bones, you're incredible.'

'I told you my organising skills are well honed,' she told him, with a raised brow for effect, as if he should never doubt her.

'Ha! Yeah, ya did.' He followed her out the door, closing it with a little smile on his lips.

Jeffersonian Institute. Medical crime lab, Dr T Brennan's office. 18.13.

Cam strode into Bones' office and took a seat opposite, while Bones flicked her a glance over her pile of almost finished paperwork. 'I'm nearly done.' Bones told her scribbling fast and efficiently. She tapped a button on her computer keyboard, and her printer started up. Cam nodded, and waited patiently for her colleague to finish her current task.

Bones closed the file and put it on the out pile, along with a stack of letters to be posted. She turned in her chair, leaned over, picking up the printouts as they spewed out of the printer. 'I've finished the reports and e mailed you them, Cam. Could you mail these for me? And these are my interns' essays for the next three weeks. A list of tasks and revision notes on my last three lectures. If there's any problems I can be contacted at Alexanders. But please, only if absolutely necessary,' Bones explained efficiently. Cam nodded understanding.

'So, how is he really?' Cam enquired gently, obviously deeply concerned for her former lover and old family friend. Bones sunk, and sighed heavily, leaning back into her leather chair.

'Yesterday... ' she drifted off, Bones closed her eyes briefly, and offered Cam a head tilt, Cam understood and nodded slowly. 'He had a really tough night last night. I had some things to tell him and he found that very difficult. This morning he was a little better but I think he hasn't really come to terms yet.'

'It's early days but he will. He just needs time.' Bones nodded with a little grin.

'Did you know his father?' Cam furrowed her brow, and sighed out hard.

'Yes, he's a nasty piece of work. Thankfully long gone.'

'Not quite.' Cam looked shocked at that. Bones explained, 'Jared got in contact with him before they got married, and he called Arthur to tell him Hank was dead. He rang the home to ask if he left a will.'

'That sounds like Arthur Booth...' Cam said unsurprised, then asked, 'Why on earth would Jared rake him up after all this time?' Bones shrugged her shoulders. She shut down her computer, then began to tidy her desk.

'We're not sure if he will be at the funeral.'

'Oh. God let's hope he doesn't, for Booth's sake.' Bones nodded agreeing with Cam's sentiment. 'So, we'll see you Thursday at the funeral.'

'Yes, then I'm off in the evening. I've changed the flights around. Will it be ok if I get a lift back with you after the wake?'

'Yes of course. No problem.' Cam could see the doctor looked very worried about leaving him so soon after the funeral.

'I've not told him yet. I don't think...' Bones trailed off, clearly conflicted about her departure.

'No, don't tell him. He'll be better after the funeral, it will be a relief. Then he will start to get himself together.' Bones stilled, nodding thoughtfully.

'Cam, can I ask a favour?' she asked tentatively.

Eager to help, Cam said, 'Of course.'

'While I'm away, if Booth needs...' Cam interrupted her instantly, understanding what the doctor was going to ask of her if required.

'Consider it done. I'll call you if things get out of hand.' Bones smiled, pleased and relieved hearing Cam's assuredness.

'Thank you. I'd stay but I really can't put this off any longer,' Bones said, apologising for her soon to be absence.

'I know, it's ok. We'll all keep an eye on him. Have no fear.'

'Thanks.' Bones checked her watch, seeing it was way past the time she should be here. 'Oh. I've got to go.'

'Sure, go. We'll be ok, Dr Brennan. I hope all goes well. See you Thursday.' Bones nodded, pulling her coat off the stand, then picked up her purse preparing to leave. Cam stood, and walked to the door with her.

Bones gave her a warm hug, again charmed, Cam gave it back. 'Thanks, Cam.'

'See ya Thursday. Let me know if you two need anything.'

'Will do. Thanks, bye.' Bones left the Jeffersonian for the last time for three weeks.

Special Agent Seeley Booth's apartment. 19.50.

Bones rummaged in her purse for his apartment key on her set, as she jogged up his stairs towards his door. As she neared, she heard a raised voice. Curiously she thought it sounded like Jared but not quite. She pushed the key in the lock and went in.

'You stupid fuck! What kind of brother are you, eh? You let him marry a hooker!?!' Bones heard the shouting, flung her coat and purse on the kitchen table, walked briskly into the lounge, to find Booth head in hands. A tall, thick set man, with salt and pepper hair was standing over him menacingly. His hand was raised ready to hit Booth. The resemblance was remarkable, Arthur Booth had arrived.

Bones noted there was a glass of scotch poured deep and a half drunk glass of milk beside it. It was clear whose beverage was whose.

Something in Bones snapped, a quake of anger, rage and emotion she had been suppressing, bubbled up from deep within her heart. Everything happened as if in slow motion. Booth was weeping, not resisting his father's mad rant at him, or obviously his physical abuse either. Her female instinct to protect her man, came gushing out of her body in a flush of ancient instinctual passion.

'Don't you dare touch him!' she growled viciously her warning. Booth's head came up instantly to look at her. Arthur dropped his clenched fist slowly, turned and smiled smarmily at her.

'Well, hello darling… Is this her, Seeley? She's a definite keeper,' he oozed, trying to sound charming, but making Booth squirm on his seat.

'You're the enigmatic Dr Brennan, I presume.'

Eyeing his father with disgust and loathing, Bones walked over to Booth, putting a hand on his shoulder and he gave her a quick look. He looked so ashamed, full of guilt, and had a bleeding welt rising on his right cheek. Bones' blood boiled. She gripped his shoulder, seeing it, knowing his father had already hit him.

Bones lowered her voice, and asked her partner, 'You ok?' She flared her eyes at him, about to throw his father out if given the opportunity. Booth placed his clammy hand on hers, and tried to smile.

'So this is the bit of skirt you and Jared got some off. Shame he didn't stick with you love, with all your money, great tits and obviously not a two bit hooker...' Booth winced at his words, hanging his head, letting go Bones' hand not wanting to soil her with his appalling genes.

Bones riled, 'Don't you call your son's wife a hooker, and I'm certainly not your love,' she spat. 'And for your information, I haven't had sex with either of your son's.' She stepped towards Arthur, facing him down. 'You have no rights here or opinions worth listening to. You lost that right when you abandoned your sons and beat them within an inch of their lives.' Bones felt Booth put his hand around her thigh, to stop her from getting any nearer. Knowing that his father had no qualms about hitting a woman.

Arthur stepped back a little, obviously impressed, smiling, then said, 'Woooo hooo! She is feisty, Seeley, very hot. Bit of a cat in the sack no doubt, you really should do her.' Booth leant back into the sofa, closing his eyes, his pain cutting deep, unable to defend. He had been used to this kind of abuse and humiliation since a young boy. He knew it was safer to take it, rather than rage against it.

Bones couldn't let that go, she steamed on despite Booth's gentle warning, 'You're pathetic... Blaming Booth for his brother's choice of mate. You're just a drunk fuck, money grabbing, waste of space bully, that doesn't deserve to stand in this man's shadow!' She pointed at Booth to accentuate her point.

Bones moved even closer, challenging him, Arthur snarled at her home truths, and went to hit her. Bones' hand shot up and grabbed his wrist easily, stopping the blow intended for her face. Booth's father looked a little shocked, realising he was outmatched on many levels.

Bones said with chilled eyes, 'Give me a reason... I swear I'll break you, like you tried to break Seeley,' said quietly and calmly but with real menace lacing her words. Booth looked at Bones with a range of emotions, all of which ended with tion. The main one being admiration.

She felt his father relax his bicep, so Bones released his wrist carefully. The adrenalin flushed quickly around her body, still prepared for the next slap or punch that might come her way though.

Arthur stepped back a little again, he picked up the glass of scotch, drained it, dropping it onto the carpet deliberately. The glass smashed, hitting the edge of the coffee table. Booth flinched, although Bones was still eyeing his father, she felt Booth jump.

'Well, this has been fun, thanks for the drink. See you at the funeral.' He went to go with a sickening smile on his thin lips. He was obviously trying to get the last word. Bones wasn't going to let him have the satisfaction.

'You're not invited,' Bones gave with gusto, walking after him. Booth looked at her as if she was mad, knowing his Dad would soon lose it if she carried on in this vein. Arthur spun, looking at the livid anthropologist.

'He's my father!' he shouted, a little affected by her comment, the first sign of real emotion from him.

'Was your father! What a wonderful son you turned out to be! Should we all be so proud and touched, seeing you standing by his grave? The drunk abusive bastard who put him six feet under, breaking his heart, and Seeley's mother's no doubt,' Bones slashed her words viciously across him. Arthur visibly withered, stepping back as if the words actually had cut him. Booth saw her words wound, suddenly amazed that his father had reacted so obviously. Bones knew she had hit the right nerve end.

'Bones,' Booth finally spoke, trying to calm her, his voice weak, childlike.

Bones heard him but carried on saying her piece, 'If you're sober, come, if you turn up drunk, or slightest whiff, I'll personally make sure you'll suck your booze through a straw for the rest of your pitiful life. Get it, big man?' Bones was nose to nose with him, still glaring at him, not flinching herself. She saw the softness of Booth's eyes enter his suddenly. Arthur had met his nemesis and knew he was well beaten.

Arthur looked into her deeply, then after a few seconds, gave her the slightest nod of understanding. Then he looked over to Booth, sitting leaking salty water from his eyes. Bones opened the door, Arthur went to walk out but Bones put her hand on his chest stopping him. He looked at her hand on his chest, then into the raging tempest in her eyes of cerulean blue.

She said calmly with severe honesty and ruthless, 'I'd go to the chair for, Seeley. If you ever touch him again, I'd happily take you out… Kappish?' She raised her eyebrows at him for conformation he understood her sentiment. He gave her another tiny nod, walking out quickly, Bones closed the door quietly behind him.

Although Bones had tried to hide her last statement from her partner he had heard it. The range of emotions which charged around his head, welling in his heart, was overwhelming him. He had very little defence left.

When Bones heard Arthur's footstep descend the stairs, she took a deep calming breath, then walked into the kitchen to find his medical kit. Once she got it, she walked into the lounge, and found Booth weeping, on his hand and knees, picking up glass shards and trembling.

He didn't look up but said through his tears, 'Sorry, Bones, he made a mess, I'll get it all...' He sounded so small and childlike. Bones' heart twisted for him, seeing him on the floor. She could just imagine how many times he had done this as a small boy. Because he looked like that to her now. He was still crying but trying to stop himself, flicking his warm tears off his cheeks.

Bones went to him, dropped in front of him, pulled him into a bear hug, never wanting to let him go ever, trying to squeeze his pain out of him, and force her strength into him. He held her back just as hard, sobbing onto her shoulder, hiding his eyes from her. She rocked him as if he was that infant again.

'Bones...' was all he could manage, over and over again. Whispering her name, as if he was chanting a mantra that would save him. Bones didn't know what to say, so she just held him. They both sobbed, falling slowly to the floor, laying, holding one another, because if they didn't, they might stop breathing.

It was an hour later at least, when Bones released him a little, looking into his eyes, touching the cut on his cheek delicately. She gave him a gentle smile. 'I don't like your Dad, Booth,' she said honestly but almost as an apology.

Booth nearly chuckled, the best he could manage was a nod and, 'Me either.' Smiling at her via his eyes but not his face. Bones sat up a little, crossed her legs on the carpet, pulling him up with her. He was happy to go where ever she led.

'Just gonna sort this out, then I'll get us something to eat, how does that sound?' Bones busied herself with the med kit, trying to get a little order back in his life. The chaos of the last two days were battering him from every direction and she feared for his survival.

'Sounds good,' he said, utterly grateful and relieved she was there. He refused to take his eyes off her, aiming his stare, riveting his glare precisely. Bones set about cleaning his wound, and plastering it softly and carefully. She looked into his eyes often as she patched him up. When she had finished, she placed a soft kiss on the plaster, holding his face in her warm palms.

She stood, pulling his arm to make him stand. He wobbled a little, so she slipped her arm around his waist to support him. 'How does pasta sound?' she said sweetly, pecking his cheek tenderly. Booth put his arm around her waist and didn't want to let her go. She realised how scared he had been, how ashamed he was for not defending her or himself. He had reverted back to that frightened boy. Bones understood totally and said nothing of it.

Bones could sense his worry for needing to hold on to her so fervently but was reluctant and seemed slightly awkward. Bones held him close, her arms around him, and whispered, 'Don't let go till you can, ok?' She felt him relax at her words, and nuzzle into her neck, then breathe her in. He nodded. She smiled gently, turned around in his arms, then placed his palms around her stomach. Bones then walked with him slowly into the kitchen, holding his hands to her stomach.

'Cheesy veg pasta, I think,' she said softly, as his body was flush against her back. Bones moved to the kettle filing it, while he stayed attached to her like a prehensile appendage, drawing his strength, and regaining his equilibrium from her. She poured plenty of pasta in a saucepan and then boiling water over it. She sprinkled a little salt and began on the sauce. All the while he watched her hands move, while she prepared the vegetables and cheese sauce. 'Shall we have a little garlic in it?' he nodded, she smiled unseen, thoroughly enjoying the heat and wonderful closeness of his unrelenting hold. He was pouring his deepest affections into her, silently thanking her with his tenderest touch. 'Milk or beer?' she asked, as she dished up two plates of pasta, pouring her sauce over the top.

'Milk please,' he said, kissing her throat. Bones stilled, and leant back into him, closing her eyes.

'Humm.' Her soft hum, and the tilt of her head encouraged him to kiss her again. 'I really like you doing that,' she whispered breathlessly.

'So do I,' he said, she felt the little smile on her throat as he continued, then his stomach rumbled loudly, making them both chuckle.

Bones picked up the plates, walked into the lounge, after asking him to get cutlery. He still clung tightly, as she put the plates on the table. 'Tuck in before it gets cold.' She went to return to the kitchen for his milk and a beer for herself. It made her chuckle as he refused to let go, and went with her, ignoring her instruction to eat. The little sound of surprise and delight from her fuelled his next kiss, and sweet smile. It felt like a magical concerto to his ears, hearing her giggle so cutely. They frog marched each other there and back.

They stood at the couch, then Booth sat down, Bones sat on his lap. She handed a plate to him, then reached for her own. Bones swivelled slightly so she was across his lap, and they began to eat. He still had one hand around her as he ate. After her third satisfying mouthful of pasta, she reached for his milk, and lifted it to his lips so he could drink some. He did, with a sweet grateful look to her. Bones grinned back, replacing the glass carefully. Then she had a long draught of her beer.

Everything seemed to be calmer and Bones thought him more relaxed, so she asked carefully, scooping some more pasta into her mouth. 'When did he arrive?'

'About twenty minutes before you did. He called this afternoon and asked to come round. I said ok. He was fine to start with, saying it was good to see me and Jared again. We talked about my job, you and Jared. He asked where the funeral was and stuff.' Bones nodded, sipping her beer, watching him closely.

'He wanted a drink so I gave him one. He'd already had one though, I could smell it. Then he asked had Pops left any money in his will. I told him we didn't know, as we weren't to open the letters he left us before the funeral. That's when he got mad and started shouting, and hit me, yelling at me to open them now. I refused, saying it was Pops' wish and I wasn't going to do that.' Booth dropped his eyes to his plate, and rested his head on her shoulder. Bones kissed his brow sensitively.

Booth looked back into her eyes, and said, 'It was just like it was before, Bones. I just couldn't believe he could change so fast, I was in shock I think. I should have remembered...' Bones gave him a little pout and sighed. 'Then he went off about Jared and Padma. That's when you came in... I'm so ashamed I didn't defend you. I'm so sorry,' he said forlornly, utterly ashamed of his weakness.

'Shhhh. It doesn't matter. Please don't worry about that. I can take good care of myself. I told you I was strong.' Booth grinned wide, and gave her a squeeze.

'I was in awe of you, Bones. You really got to him. I'm never seen that look on his face, when you stopped his fist. He was really scared.' Bones nodded, agreeing.

'Yes, he's just a bully and sometimes bullies need to be challenged, usually they back down. I was just so mad that he'd hit you,' Bones said firmly, remembering her reaction to seeing her partner bleeding. 'Do you think he will come on Thursday?' she asked curiously, Booth nodded.

'Oh. Yeah, he'll come. He'll want to know if he can touch us up for money to piss up a wall, no doubt.' Bones sighed, and placed her empty plate on the table. Booth finished his, and leant over doing the same.

'Wow, that was great, thanks. I really needed that,' he said, relaxing back on the couch, plainly feeling better.

'There's a little more if you want some?' He shook his head, swigging the last of his milk, leaving a white line on his five o'clock shadow.

'I've got some rocky road in the freezer, would you like to share it?' He waggled his brows cheekily. Bones grinned wide and hard, then leant in and licked off the milk residue from his upper lip seductively. Then she kissed his lips a few tender times. Booth's smile returned to brighten her, and shoo off some clouds from her eyes, seeing him getting control of his emotions.

'I'll get it.' She was up leaving his body cold. He didn't think twice and jumped up, trotting after her, slipping his arms around her waist again. Bones chuckled again at getting her appendage reattached. She snuck a look to his grinning face. Normally she would remonstrate anyone for being so clingy but she was enjoying him needing her this much. She had always supposed him to be a demonstrative man, and this was proving her point beautifully.

They waddled back to the couch, this time she sat first, putting her legs up, after toeing off her sneakers. Booth lay propped up with her on the arm of the couch, facing her. She opened the pot, and they delved in to the sweet icecream. He entwined his feet with hers and they played a little absent footsies, while they tried to pick out the cookie pieces. They tapped spoons to push the other away from the best bits and watched each other eat. They exchanged smiles and pouts often, when one or both got a good morsel from the pot.

Bones said casually, 'You look a little better.' Bones licked the last of the chocolate from her spoon, having more than enough. Booth smiled, he knew exactly why too. It was all down to her.

'Thanks to you, I feel really cared for,' he said sincerely. He put the empty pot on the table, taking her spoon, then popping them both in the pot. He looked back to her, resting her head on her palm, watching him. She had a pretty smile on her lips. 'I know I'm leaning on you very hard, Bones. And I'm forever grateful for your support. But I have to ask...' Bones lost her smile, and flicked her hair over her shoulder with a quick turn of her head. Once she settled again, she answering him with a little nod, for him to continue. 'How are you doing? I know emotions are running high, good and bad, and you were very fond of Hank.' Bones smiled a little, nodding.

'I'm coping fine, thank you for asking.' She stroked his brow tenderly, touched by his concern for her. 'I'll miss him. He used to call me sometimes, you know? Just to talk to me about what I was up to and ask how you were doing.'


'Yes, quiet often actually. We had this strange comforting affinity. He used to talk to me about his days as an MP, and make me laugh all the time. We'd talk cooking, music, current events. I liked that. He was so easy to talk to and fun, such fun. It was like he was my Pops too, kind of,' she said a little shyly. Booth seemed delighted by her sentiments. He slipped his hand to her hip, and nodded. Bones slid her free hand down her side to place it over his, and ran her finger pads gently between his fingers, smoothing the skin gently.

'That's so cool, Bones,' Booth said impressed. 'So, he asked you to witness his will? How did that come about?' Bones dropped her eyes a little, and swallowed.

'I was discussing my plot with him as I was struggling with it...' Booth interrupted her.

'Err. Excuse me! You talked about your novel plots with him?' Booth asked incredulously, stunned by that.

'Haa! Yes! He was very helpful, insightful and often pushed me different directions with his unorthodox wisdom. I told him I was past a deadline I'd set myself and had my publisher biting my heels.'

'Snapping at your heels, Bones,' he corrected sweetly, with a charming smile.

'Right, yes. Anyway, in the plot there was a part where one of the characters had murdered someone for their life insurance, and I was stuck on this will technicality. I told him I had never made a will and kept putting it off and had to research it. Well, Pops was appalled by that, in our type of career. He thought my accountant was jerk for not insisting on making me write one. He gave me a real talking to. He insisted that I write one and said he would witness it, if I would his. Which he said needed updating. So I agreed.'


'He was very persuasive and extremely helpful too. I took my accountant to Hank's. We had lunch out and spent a lovely afternoon sorting everything out.'


'Hum. Very.' Bones smiled softly. 'I finished my manuscript too, a few days after.'

'So, he knows your stuff and you know his,' Booth said impressed.

'Um hum.' She nodded slowly, humming her answer.

'Give me a hint?' He leaned in closer, waggling his brows at her, she chuckled and shook her head, and kept her lips tight together. 'Will tickling work?' Adding a cheeky smile to his question.

She reprimanded, 'Ha! No! Stop prying.'

'Sex?' Bones snapped her eyes to his frozen in his serious stare for a moment, then smiled, closed lipped and hard. He saw her eyes sparkle, feeling her fingers entwine with his.

'I think you might be delirious,' she said softly, with an amused smile curving her lips.

Booth nodded slowly, and pouted, rolling away a little. He sighed long and hard, looking up at the ceiling. 'I don't think I could manage making love to you. I'm exhausted.'

Bones felt her cheeks flush, she dropped her eyes from him, and squeezed his hand. 'You need to get some sleep, Booth. I'll run you a bath and you have an early night.' Touched, Booth looked to her, with her eyes cast down.

'You need an early night too... Join me?' he asked after a few moments summoning the courage to ask, still not wanting the luscious comforting contact to stop. Bones lifted her head extremely slowly, her eyes switched between his, considering his offer. His heart beat suddenly stopped, his lungs burned, while he held his breath. Bones finally smiled, letting him breathe again.

She said softly, 'Okay. A bath sounds good.' Booth kissed her lips for agreeing, she reciprocated just as softly. Then said impishly, 'I like bubbles, candles, wine or beer and music.' The corner of her mouth lifted a tad with the smile that threatened.

Not phased he asked, 'Ok, what kinda music?' Feeling his heart palpitate, musing he was delirious, deliriously happy. She rolled over him very slowly, and stood beside him, retaking his hand, pulling him up. He complied without protest.

'Something slow, jazzy?' He nodded, as she slipped his arm around her waist again, in permission for him to hold her still. They cleared up the kitchen together, still attached either by hands or holding one another.

They made their way to the bathroom, Bones turned on the taps, and put the plug in the drain. She stood looking around for bubbles. 'In the cupboard under the sink, Bones. I think it's Matey, Parker loves the stuff,' he told her casually, as he looked through his stack of vinyl under his turntable, searching for an album he wanted. She opened the cupboard and found it, then poured some in. The bubbles began to form, as the steam rose, so did the scent too. Booth looked around to her when she started to giggle.

He asked why she was giggling adorably, 'What?'

She was looking at the bottle. 'It says, what pirates use, am I going to smell like a pirate? That's a little disconcerting,' she said grimacing. He chuckled softly at her worried expression. She peered over his shoulder, her palm on his hip, looking at the album cover he'd chosen. 'Excellent choice, Booth. Billy Holiday is a favourite of mine,' she told him cheerfully. He turned slightly to look into her, twinkling her eyes and nodded.

Booth revealed, 'I know...' She looked curiously at him, snagging her head back slightly. He felt he should explain, so he did sweetly, a little shyly, 'When you're really concentrating sometimes, I hear you humming, Lady Sings The Blues. It's very endearing.' Bones dropped her shoulders, touched, and pecked his cheek sweetly.

'You can be so observant,' she said complimenting him. Booth grinned wide.

'When it comes to you, I am.' Bones wrapped her arms around him, and kissed the back of his neck, as he placed the stylus on the black vinyl carefully. The little scratches came over the speaker, then Billy began to sing. Bones' grin widened, and she ran her hands down his back slowly.

'I'll be back in a while,' she said softly, Booth nodded, watching her as she left the bathroom. He took the time while she was absent to undress, clean his teeth, and use the toilet.

Bones went to the kitchen picked up two beers, and found his cigars and matches, then his ash tray. She went to his spare bedroom, undressed, putting on her kimono. She returned to the bathroom, but halted taking a breath before she entered.

Booth had lit two tiny nightlights, so as she entered, she chuckled. 'Haa. Is that it?' she said with a pathetic brow, Booth chuckled too.

'Yeah, sorry, I am a guy.' Bones grinned wide, flicking a brow high into her hairline.

'Yes, you certainly are.' Looking at his bare chest covered in Matey bubbles, as he sat in the bath already. She handed him his cigars and the ash tray. He looked astounded at her. 'I thought you deserved a treat,' she explained softly.

'And sharing a bath with a beautiful woman isn't?' he said mockingly. Bones placed the beers on the bath tidy across the bath. She flicked a glance to him for that lovely comment, but didn't comment herself. Although she wanted to kiss him for it.

'Do I get the taps then?' she asked, seeing him at the far end of the bath.

'God no! I thought... you could, umm,' he mumbled embarrassed.

'Between your legs?' she helped him out, enchanted by his nervousness, which he was desperately trying to hide. Bones untied her kimono, and slipped it over the door hanger. Booth swallowed, and found his voice had failed miserably in the light of her unashamed nakedness. His eyes darted around her body from one gorgeous curve to voluptuous mound and luscious leg to the other. He watched transfixed, as she placed a delicate hand on his shoulder, stepping into the water slowly, placing her foot between his knees. Then she brought the other leg over the side slowly. She looked down at him over her shoulder, looking up at her. She laughed at him.

'Haa. Close your mouth, Booth, you could catch flies like that,' she said cheekily, but utterly flattered by his obvious enchanted expression. He looked to her eyes, hearing her comment in the distance and snapped his mouth shut, grinning wide. She sat down slowly into the water. It rose and swirled seductively around them. He adjusted his legs and she settled, humming, then she laid back against him slowly.

He said softly, 'I must apologise in advance.'

'For what?' she asked confused, then started to laugh, when she felt the reason for his apology. 'Oh. Right. Haa!'

'Not the reaction I was hoping for...' He rolled his head back, feeling the fool. Bones shook her head slightly, charmed, looking around to him, with a delicious smile curving her lips. Her bubbly hand came up to his cheek, and caressed his jaw.

'Hey, I'm flattered, really...' she eased, then said a little more gently, 'Just relax, Booth, ok? We're not going to be that intimate.'

'We're not?' he enquired softly.

'No, not tonight. You've already said you're exhausted and you've had a terrible couple of days. I don't want to add you your troubles.'

'Troubles? You could never be considered trouble, Bones,' he told her sincerely.

'Thank you, but we wouldn't do each other justice. I'm not really in the mood anyway. This is lovely, just you and me holding one another. It feels very special, doesn't it?'

'Lord, yes,' he agreed fully with that statement, wrapping his hands around her stomach, and nuzzling into her neck, planting delicate kisses over her. She settled back again, perfectly content.

'Ok, so we understand each other?'

'Yes. FYI, it may take a while for him to settle back though. You are phenomenal.'

'Of course I am.' She grinned cheekily, eyes closed, adoring that he was chuckling on her shoulder at her comment. She leant forward, grabbing her beer bottle and supped from it.

'Do you really not mind if I smoke a cigar?'

'Nope. Enjoy.' She supped some more amber liquid. Booth kissed her cheek, delighted and lit a cigar, blowing the smoke up above their heads. Bones pulled the bath tidy closer, so his beer and ashtray were in easy reach. Bones relaxed again, placing her hands on his thighs under the water, and caressed him gently, while she listened to the music playing in the background. She could feel him settle back and felt Booth relax too.

The next track was Lady Sings The Blues, Bones began to loll her head on his shoulder, humming along quietly. Booth caressed her forearm, smiling as he did. He thought this was a perfect moment, he had never felt so content in his life. With the woman he adored in his arms, naked in warm bubbly water, cool music and a cigar with a cold beer. He mused, life just didn't get better than this. Which he found extraordinary, as he had probably just had the worst two days of his adult life.

He found himself weeping and hadn't realised his eyes were watering profusely. Bones felt him lay his temple on hers slowly, her hand instinctually came up and caressed his hair, understanding his emotional state. She felt so content too and ached for his heart break. His joy mixed with loss was a difficult concoction to rationalise. It seemed peculiar to be weeping for two very opposite emotions.

'I'm so blessed, Bones. I'm so happy and so sad,' he confessed, she nodded.

'Yes, I feel the same. Do you want to feel a little better?'


'Then we should go to bed...' He nodded understanding. He did feel utterly drained of emotion.

'Will you...' he trailed off. Bones smiled, and pecked his cheek.

'Yes, I'll sleep with you again, in your bed this time. I think we'd both feel better for that. Come on, water's getting cold.' She stepped out onto his mat, holding her hand out for him to take. He held it, kissed it sweetly, then stood. Bones grinned a little wider, seeing his thick thatch cushioning his flaccid member. Clumps of Matey bubbles clung to them both seductively, reluctant to leave their bodies. Bones snatched a towel off the radiator and flung it around him, she took another, and began to dry herself.

'You've got a wonderful body, Booth. I'm really looking forward to exploring it.' Booth looked surprised but totally flattered by her compliment, as he dried his legs. She was looking openly at all his attributes.

'You sound like Magellan,' he said amused at his own humour, charmed and unabashed by her definite ogling of him.

'I prefer Marco Polo, please,' she said, dragging her eyes off his buttocks, and smiled at him with something more than a impressed grin on her lips. Booth thought it was physical arousal.

'Ha. You got it.' He continued to dry off, while she wrapped the towel around her torso, moving to the sink to clean her teeth. 'Would you like a milky drink in bed?'

'What, like hot chocolate?' He nodded. 'Sure, thanks.' He kissed her cheek, before he walked out, taking his cigar and other things with him. Bones watched him go; he still had a hunch about him, like a weight was baring down on him And he didn't move too quickly either. Then she realised why, not only was he troubled emotionally but after last night sleeping on his couch, his back was aching him. She chastised herself for not picking up on it sooner.

Bones finished up in the bathroom, and put on her silky pyjamas. She went into his bedroom, pulling back the covers, and settled into the bed, looking around his very masculine bedroom. Booth came in with two mugs of hot chocolate, and placed one on her side table.

'Ooo. How precious,' she cooed, delighted with the sweet drink, picking it up, as he walked around to his side.

'Careful, it's hot,' he said, taking off his towel, and folding it, taking it back to the bathroom. She watched him go, noting that he was favouring his left side. When he came back, he went to his drawers, and pulled out boxers to wear to bed.

'Don't on my account if you don't usually,' she said easily, he turned and straighten slightly.

'Really? Cos I don't normally,' he wanted confirmation.

'Neither do I.' She took a sip. 'Rarely, only if it's really cold.' He put the boxers back in the drawer, padding around to his side, then slipped in beside her. Picking up his chocolate, he took a sip, humming as it slipped down his throat, he rocked his head back, then sighed.

Bones asked, after a few more sips, 'Why didn't you tell me your back was troubling you? I told you to tell me.' He sighed, realising she missed little, rolling his head on the back board, he looked at her with a wonky pout.

'You've had enough to deal with.'

'Boooth,' she reprimanded him softly.

'I'm ok. Really,' he covered, sipping some more.

'Tut. Liar. Have you taken any pain relief?' He shook his head a little, he didn't have any in. 'Let's finish this, then I'll give you a back rub.' He shook his head ironically, moved by her eagerness to make him feel comfortable. Bones put her mug down, and got out of bed.

'Where you going?' he asked concerned, she flashed him a smile, then went to her bag in his spare room. She stripped off her pyjamas, and brought her bag back into his room. Booth's smiled broadened, seeing her naked again. She put the bag on his chair, searched and pulled out her make up bag. Bones popped out two tablets, and walked over to him, handing them over. 'Thank you.'

'You're welcome.' She stood watching as he took them. Happy he had she placed the two more on his night stand, and returned her makeup bag to her holdall. Then checked his window was open a little. Booth noted she had a cute black freckle on her left buttock. It seemed to him, to be the only blemish on her alabaster flesh. It didn't mar but intrigued him.

'Are you checking out my gluteus?' Booth chuckled, nodding. She flashed him a sweet knowing smile. 'Did you spot it?'

'Yeah, your cute freckle.'

'It's not a freckle,' she said evasively, flaring her eyes, settling back to bed.

'Oh? What is it then?'

'That freckle has a rather good adventure to it. One day I'll tell you all about it.'

'Not tonight?' he asked a little disappointed.

'Nope. Another night when we sleep together. How's that?'

'Cool,' he said placated, knowing that was a promise of more nights with her, and was completely satisfied with that. Bones kissed his cheek, retaking up her drink and finishing it.

'Drink up, Booth and let me fix your back.' He did as instructed quickly.

'I apologise in advance,' he said again, as he rolled over onto his front slowly. Bones laughed softly. She pulled his pillows out from under his chin, and put them over on her side.

'Not necessary,' she whispered, then said, 'Arms up and take long deep breaths and just relax, ok?' He sighed, utterly compliant, nodding, looking at her from his flat position. She leant in, and kissed his nose. Bones shifted further down the bed, rolling down the covers so they were just covering his lower legs. 'Lift your hips if you can, please.' Booth brow wrinkled but did as instructed, then to his surprise she slipped her warm palm under his groin, and flattened his member up so he was comfortable.

'Bones, Jesus,' he mumbled, realising she had just stroked him.

She was just as affected but hid her arousal better. She said gently, almost casually, 'Just in case you get an erection, you can enjoy it without having to move,' explaining her gentle action. Booth groaned, and pushed his face into the sheet, his fingers curled around the edge of the mattress and squeezed it. He didn't think she had any idea the effect her words and deeds were having on him.

Then Bones slipped her leg over his and straddled his legs, without sitting on him. She placed her warm hands on his shoulder blades, and slipped them down either side of his spine. He sighed, and wriggled a little, getting more comfortable.

'Don't talk, don't think, just breathe slow and deep,' she whispered her instruction. She began to finger back up his spine delicately. He mused that was easy for her to say, as he could feel her pussy heat on his calves. Which just sent visions to his mind and thickened his cock virtually instantly. He shifted again, while she tenderly massaged around each delicate bones of his spine.

'Umm. Just there,' he said, when she reached the area needing relief.

'Ssssshhh...' Bones hissed calmly. He realised his instruction was irrelevant, she knew the body and his body probably better than he did. Bones made languid movements, and manipulated his tense muscles with reverence. His cock was rock hard and pulsing under him but oddly he wasn't feeling any urges to race to satisfy himself. He was feeling extremely relaxed and tired. Her miraculous hands and fingers were performing miracles on him. He felt himself drifting off, he tried to pull his mind back to what she was doing, but it was if he had taken a strong sedative. He couldn't keep his mind on keeping awake. Then finally he was unconscious. Bones didn't stop, till she heard him breathing heavily, obviously fast asleep.

Bones reached behind her, pulling the covers over him and herself, as she rolled off him gracefully, and watched him sleeping before she too felt the tug of exhaustion. She surrendered.

Booth woke with an aromatic anthropologist draped over him as much as he was draped over her. Her face was millimetres from his. They were breathing each other's sweet exhalations. He looked into her face as close as he had ever been to her. He thought she was stunning with the morning sunlight on her features. And his body felt pain free for the first time in a few days, possibly several months. He noted how warm he was too. He lifted his arm off her back and picked up a lock of hair that was just covering her left eye, and popped it slowly back into place.

They had slept together before, even in the same bed, but that was top and tailing in a caravan on an undercover case, and didn't really count. They had slept on his sofa for a couple of hours the other night but that had been fretful and intermittent. This time they had both been catatonic, obviously needing the twelve hours or so they had slept for.

Booth loved the fact that she was using him as a hot water bottle or an electric blanket. This was a delicious treat to have her body so soft against his. He looked between them and saw the curve of her breast tease him. The creamy fleshy mound was topped with a ruby nipple which begged to be suckled, kissed and licked. Her thigh muscles, even relaxed, were honed and strong. He adored the way her ribcage dipped into her waist, then the rest of her body rose to the wide hip.

In their slumber the covers had rolled back and revealed nearly all of her to him. He felt like the luckiest man on the planet right now. All his imagining was over, he finally could look and touch if he wanted. However, no matter how much he wanted to, she was still asleep and couldn't bear the thought of waking her from her beautiful dreams. Or lose this opportunity to have her against him a while longer. His only dilemma was the turgid, nearly painful erection that was nestling on her belly, and seemed perfectly content to be where it was.

He didn't notice the slight movement of her hand, as he was so enwrapped by her serene face, till her fingers curled around his shaft and held his weight in her palm. He closed his eyes for a second, and flexed his hips into her slowly, gently trusting through her tender hold. Her face didn't change expression, and she didn't open her eyes.

He was a little worried, not knowing if he should do it again, so he held still. Booth was blissfully relieved when Bones leisurely used her thumb of the same hand, to smooth the ultra sensitive ridge under his crown, and squeezed a little. He knew that was her permission given and instruction to continue. He breathed again, and flexed again, sliding his cock through her warm palm just as slowly as the first time.

Booth knew he wouldn't be long, as whatever she was doing, was plucking all the right strings he possessed. It had been weeks since he had treated himself, with her name on his lips even then. It was always her name he whispered secretly, as if he knew he was transgressing. Booth moaned softly as his pleasure grew, hearing the seductive rustle of sheets against his heated flesh, her mellow breaths, timed with the slow tapping of the blind cord gently on his window frame.

He had his eyes fixed on hers, wishing, praying for her to open those gorgeous, all-telling eyes to his. She was so tender and unhurried. He tried not to rush, and then as he trembled, taking a deep breath, bracing for his eruption, he paused. Knowing he was going to shoot all over her adolescently and he didn't want to mess her up, as she was pristine and pure. It was if she realised his dilemma, felt his reticence to let go. Bones lifted her lids, and looked into his still staring eyes, saying softly, 'S'ok.'

Bones' tongue slid evocatively into him, causing that tantalizing irresistible sizzle to start deep in his loins. He opened his mouth in his ecstasy, and eased once more through her hand, spurting over her belly, with three further hot eruptions, which snatched his breath. His eyes open to hers, she watched his pleasure course through him and nearly break their visual contact. She could see him force himself to stare right back, laying himself open to her study, and letting her see him at his ultimate vulnerability.

Bones stifled her groan of pleasure at feeling his hot semen covering her belly. She, delighting in the gold and silver flecks of colour in his deep eyes, twinkling at her, as he succumbed to her gently given pleasuring. She thought how handsome he looked, and how tenderly he was treating her. She was also pleasantly excited by how endowed he was. She was eagerly anticipating when they would be together, so she could experience him fully. She knew though that wouldn't be for a while. She had just wanted him to feel good.

Booth rode out the extreme wondrous turmoil in his body she'd given so generously. He could no longer keep his eyes open and sank back to the sheet, as if he melted into it. Bones ceased kissing him slowly, then watched as he slipped back to sleep. She whispered, a little amused, 'And, he sleeps.' Bones pecked his brow with a miniscule smile on her lips.

She slowly got up, went to the bathroom, and getting in the shower, she turned it on. She looked to his pearly ejaculations on her belly and slipped her hand through them and eased some down to her juicy folds and hummed, closing her eyes. Then with well practiced fingers coated with him, she pleasured herself.

The steamy water cascaded over her rigid nipples and swollen breasts, tight belly and trembling thighs. She bit her tongue to stifle her orgasmic gasp of his name. With one palm on the wall she held herself upright, panting softly, while she calmed. Bones brought her fingers up and tasted them together on them. 'Oooh. Booth, we're too good,' she mumbled, physically satisfied and wholly content.

Late June. 10.24 am Wednesday. Special Agents Seeley Booth's Apartment, bedroom.

When Booth opened his eyes again she wasn't beside him. He was covered by the blankets and on his back. He only then realised he had fallen right back to sleep after she had woven her spell over him. Booth felt two very powerful emotions. Firstly guilt, he had been so selfish, taking what he wanted without giving back. The second, shame he had come all over her and not thought twice about her comfort or the aftermath. Now she was absent and he didn't know how to put it right.

'Stop that,' Bones said firmly but lacing it with tenderness, walking back into the bedroom with a tray of porridge oats with hot milk, toast and coffee. She walked over to him waiting while he sat up, speechless. She was showered, dressed and looked amazing. 'Stop the guilt trip, Booth.' She placed the tray on his lap, and sat down on the edge of the bed, picking up a piece of toast off his plate nonchalantly. His jaw hung aghast; she had read his thoughts. She chewed, smiling, then leant in and kissed his lips softly.

'You must be psychic,' he said softly, then with deep sincerity, 'I'm so sorr...' She kissed him again, holding her lips to him, and shook her head. She leant back and seemed utterly content and unaffected by the morning's events. She took another bite, the toast crunched loudly, she chewed heartily.

'I wouldn't have let you, if I didn't want you to. Remember that, Booth.' she told him seriously. He sighed, and looked to his plate. She continued, 'Ok, eat up, you've got a few more things to do today. I've got to go home for a while. I have some things to sort out before tomorrow. Will you be ok?' He nodded, watching as she picked up his spoon and scooped some oats, holding them to his lips. He mouthed off the spoon and munched. He noted they tasted different and ridiculously delectable.

'Wow! What did you do to my oats?' he asked, astounded.

She laughed out loud, delighted he liked her twist, 'Haa! Nutmeg, you like?'

'Yeah! Bones, delicious, I've got nutmeg?' he gushed, taking the spoon from her, and began to help himself. Bones took another bite of toast, smiling, seeing him getting into her breakfast tray. 'Oh. I could soooo get used to this.' Again he sunk, saying the wrong thing, he looked up to her under his hooded lids, cautiously. Bones grinned wide, and stopped chewing.

Finally she said brightly, 'Me too.' She pecked at his lips again, and stood, finishing her toast. 'I've got to go, call me later.' She walked away, grabbing her bag en route.

'Bones! hey, wait...' She was already waltzing halfway down the hall. He placed the tray on the bed, and trotted after her. She stilled, and looked back with a smile. 'Will you come back, I mean, what's happening?' he asked, confused and still worried about this morning.

'Booooth, of course I'll be back later,' she eased instantly. 'It's just I have a few errands to run this morning. You need to do the remainder of your list, it's on the kitchen table. I've added a few more things to it. Not many, just a few things I thought of. Do you want me to cook tonight?'

'No, let me cook for you. You gonna stay again?'

'Yep. Then we can go to the funeral all together. That will be nice, I think.' Booth smiled delighted, and nodded, obviously reassured. She saw his shoulders relax. She added sweetly, 'Last night went rather well, don't you think?' He nodded gleefully again, touched by her loveliness and unconcern about his appalling behaviour this morning.

She dropped her bag, and slipped her hands around his naked waist. 'If it's any consolation I enjoyed pleasuring you very much,' she told him sincerely, then added casually, 'And please don't feel bad for me, Booth, I masturbated in the shower after.' Booth didn't know whether to take her against the wall now, at how hot that made him, scream with anger at his selfishness, wither with guilt, or cheer, jubilant that she had come in his shower, or feel totally pissed off he had missed that. All he could do was crush her to him in a heated passionate deep wet kiss. He was delighted when she wilted into him, and moaned wantonly. She gripped his buttocks, pulling him close into her reciprocating his kiss, vehemently.

She broke their frantic kiss and panted a little, grinning hard, 'Go on, eat your breakfast, and call me, ok?' He nodded fast. She picked up her bag as she turned to go, then checked, saying seriously, 'Oh. Have I told you you're a superb kisser?'


She replied in a heart-beat, 'You're a superb kisser,' said straight-faced, as she didn't get the joke she had made. Booth held back his chuckles and followed her to his door. She opened it, pecking his lips once more. 'See you later.'

'Missin' ya already.' Booth positively blossomed in front of her. Bones stroked down his chest to settle her hand over his heart.

'You look so much better,' she told him honestly. He watched her trot down the steps and away. He closed the door, rushed to his kitchen window, and pushed the sash up. He watched as she crossed the street to her car.

'Bye, Bones, drive safe!' he shouted across the street, waving. Bones looked up, waved back, beaming a glorious smile up to him. She got into her car and drove off. Booth closed the window, and rubbed his palms together. He jumped a little, as he rushed back to his perfectly prepared breakfast. As happy as Angela's pig in poop.

Dr T Brennan's apartment 14.35.

Bones had almost finished her packing when her cell went off, she reached for it in her back pocket and checked the ID, it flashed Booth. She allowed herself a little smile, as she flipped it open, tucking under her shoulder.

'Hey, Booth.'

'Hey,' he replied softly. Bones frowned, he didn't sound great, she sank to the bed worried and fingered the zip on her case.

'What's the matter, Booth?'

'Oh. I'm fine,' he lied, continuing, trying to brighten a little for her. 'I've spoken to Rebecca, she's happy for him to go if he wants too. I'm gonna pick him up from school in an hour. He's going to stay at my place tonight, then I'll drop him back tomorrow evening.'

Bones knew that her staying at his apartment could be a potential issue, so she clarified. 'Right ok, do you want me to stay at mine tonight?' Her heart sinking, she really wanted to be with him on their last night for a while.

'What? No, no, it'll be ok. I want you to stay. Need you to.' Booth was so insistent in his tone she had no concerns now. 'Oh. God,' he sighed heavily. 'I'm not looking forward to telling him. He's gonna be so upset. I hate making the little guy sad, it breaks my heart,' he confessed softly. Bones pouted, feeling for him. She zipped up her case, then stood.

'I can imagine. Do you want me to be with you when you do?'

'Oh. You're so sweet but I think I should tell him alone. A guy thing, father and son.' Bones was nodding, understanding completely.

'Yes of course. Did you get through your list of errands?' she asked, carrying her bag out to her lounge, ready for her departure tomorrow evening. She heard his chuckling; it made her smile, imagining his face as he did.

'Haa. Yeeeeah, You said you only put a few on the list. There were ten extras!'

'Haa. Yes sorry,' she eased then added, 'They were relevant though.'

'Yes they were, shine shoes, hair cut,' he mocked her sweetly. Then he said a little softer, 'I've missed you today.' Bones smiled, flicking on her kettle.

'It's only been four hours, Booth?' she chastised tenderly, hugely touched though.

'I know, but it's true... Where are you?'

'Umm. At home.'

'How long will you be?'

'A few more hours, why?'

'Cos, I wanna kiss you, hold you, kiss ya some more,' he whispered seductively, Bones made her tea, and sat up her kitchen island, waggling her legs slowly. She thought that sounded very acceptable.

'Where are you?' asking as she thought it peculiar that he was whispering if he was at home, also noting he hadn't used her name once yet.

'I'm in the queue in the barbers,' he whispered even more quietly. 'The guy next to me thinks I'm a sappy jerk.' She could tell he was talking out the side of his mouth, trying to hide his conversation from his male neighbour.

'Haa! You are!' she confirmed heartily, then, 'I like it,' she tagged on gently though, sipping her tea, a grin on her lips.

'Good. Cos I can't help myself. When you're close I can't take my eyes of ya, you're magnetic. I just have to stare, you're so beautiful,' he cooed softly. Bones grinned wider, swapping the phone to her other ear.

'Beauty is transient, Booth. It never lasts.'

'Just accept the compliment,' he reprimanded, amused by her brushing him off. 'Even when you're sixty, got a pot belly, wrinkles, and stretch marks over those gorgeous hips of yours, from all the kids were gonna have, I'm still gonna think you're the most beautiful woman in the universe.' He recapped hearing nothing from her, and realised his huge error. 'Oh shit. I was joking, just joking around, ok?' Bones could hear the terror in his voice and apology.

'You taking that back then?' she said softly. Booth closed his eyes and tilted his head back to the ceiling in relief.

'No, not now,' he grinned. Bones sighed, which he heard.

'Good,' she simply stated, then moved on briskly, 'I was thinking, Booth.'

'Oh. God, don't think!' he whined, thinking she was going to say something to dull his happiness. She chuckled, shaking her head.

'No, listen, I'll sleep in the spare room, you and...'

'No! You're sleeping with me!' he shouted almost desperately. Bones started to laugh hard, when there were cheers and applause from the other male clients in the barbers. Accompanying the cheers was his groan of embarrassment, and shouts of, 'You tell her man!'

'Haa! Maybe we should discuss this later, when the male bonding, and macho posturing is over?' Bones said humorously.

'I apologise, I got a little...'

'Yes, you did,' she admonished with a delightful smile which he could almost see. The noise in the background continued.

'Is egg plant parmesan ok for dinner?' Booth asked, knowing it was one of her favourites. She could hear the clipping of his hair being removed, understanding he was being trimmed up.

'Aww he's cooking for her.'

The sarcastic comment from his regular barber made her stifle her chuckles, as she heard Booth shout back, 'Shut up!'

'Ooooo touch-y. Who is she, Booth?'

'The woman of my dreams manifest. Now butt out, baldy.' Bones was laughing strongly in his ear. Which made him smile, and his stomach flutter.

Another comment wafted down the line, this one Bones didn't react to. 'Awww, Booth's in loooove guys...'

Although she skipped over that, she thanked him with, 'That's a very endearing thing to say, thank you.'

'You're welcome,' he said softly, sounding very embarrassed not just for himself but her.

'Egg plant parmesan sounds wonderful. What time?'

'Ooo. Six-ish?'

'Ok. Oh. Did you pick up your suit?'

'Yep got it... I better let you go.'

'Suppose so. Booth?'


'I hope it goes ok with Parker.'

'Thanks, I'll see you about six then?'


'Sorry about all the heckling,' apologising for his fellow long haired males. Bones grinned, touched.

'No need. That was nothing compared to my hairdressers.'


'Ha. Yes! Females are far worse, believe me.' Booth had no reason to doubt her. Then she added, 'Don't let them take too much off, I like it spiky too.'

Booth chuckled, touched by her soft implore. 'Ok, I'll tell him. What about a shave?'

'Ok, but for your future information...' He pricked up his ears. 'I have no aversion to a little beard rash in strategic places.' Bones' voice had sunk a semi-quaver, but it sent a shiver up his spine, he adjusted his posture, and swapped ears with his cell.

'Where would they be?' he asked expectantly, feeling heat travel to his nether regions.

'One day, I'll let you discover them for yourself.' She sounded as steamy as high noon in a pristine rain forest. She heard him hum deep and long. She smiled knowing he was imagining where those soft places were right now.

'Ok, Marco,' he said cheekily. Bones laughed, picking up her cup and putting it in her dishwasher.

'See you later.'

'Kisses,' he said, the men around him all groaned and heckled again.

'Ha. You poor thing... Bye, Booth.' She ended the call, and shook her head, looking at her cell, having enjoyed their call very much.

Special Agents Seeley Booth's Apartment. 17.55

Bones got to her partner's door but was unsure if she should use her key or knock. She had her arms full anyway. Retrieving his key would be difficult, so she tapped the wood with her knuckles.

Booth came to the door, and smiled, opening it wide as she came in. Bones looked into his eyes, they looked a little puffy to her. She realised he'd been upset when telling Parker. He pecked her cheek, taking her suit bag and bag from her helpfully.

'Thanks. You ok?' she asked quietly. He nodded a tad, putting her things on the hall hooks. Then he turned.

'Can I have a hug?' he asked nervously. She shook her head slightly, surprised he still asked for permission. She hugged him first, hard and warmly.

Bones whispered over his shoulder, 'How is he?'

'Better than me,' he said honestly. Then Bones kissed him, wet, warm and deeply, he gripped her close grateful. It was one of those comforting kisses that filled him with strength. They were broken apart by the sound of a little boy giggling cutely. Bones looked to Parker and smiled, trailing one hand down to her partner's hand, and laced her fingers with his naturally.

'Hello, Parker, Sorry about that,' she apologised for him catching them in a clinch.

'Hi, Dr B, are you my Dad's girlfriend now?' Bones flicked a glance to Booth, smiling still. She took her lead from the small boy's emotional state and matched it. Bones was surprised he seemed perfectly content and unfazed by the sad news.

'Yes. I think so.' She looked to Booth, who grinned just a little back.

'Cool. Did you hear about Pops?' said almost brightly by the young boy.

'I did. I'm so sorry about your grandfather. He was a lovely man. I'll really miss him.' Parker nodded, turning to walk into the kitchen, then he clambered up to take a seat on one of the high stools. As Bones pulled Booth with her gently.

'Yes, me too. We've made you egg plant parmesan. Dad said it's your favourite.' Parker's eyes lit up at telling her about their recent culinary exploits. Bones thought he had enjoyed preparing the dish with his father. Who was now wrapped around her from behind, while she sat opposite Parker on the other chair. Booth rested his chin on her shoulder, while Bones held his hands tight to her stomach.

'It is and, thank you. Do you like it?'

'Yeah. Mum makes it. She's not coming to the funeral tomorrow.' Parker looked to his Dad. Bones thought Parker seemed concerned for his father.

'No, so I understand,' she answered, then thought it best to change the subject with, 'How was school?'

Parker grinned, saying casually, 'Ok, the usual, maths, tables,' as if they were boring, then he brightened sweetly, lifting in his chair. 'And did you hear I got a B in science for my project?'

'Did you? Woow, well done! Was that the one we worked on?' He nodded fast and excitedly.

'Yep. The volcano went off with a bang, everybody cheered. It was brilliant!'

'Fan-tastic. You worked really hard on that. I'm very proud. I bet your Mum was too.' Booth kissed her cheek for her generous praise of him, knowing Rebecca was not so impressed with his efforts.

'Yeah, suppose,' he said, dropping his eyes from the doctor, then he added a little sadly, 'She said I should've got a A.'

'We'll blow up the classroom next time, how does that sound? You're bound to get an A for that,' she told him with a huge smile attached. He lit up utterly impressed with the thought.

'Yeeeehaar that will be awesome! A for awesome.'

'Exactly.,' Bones confirmed with a short sharp nod, then asked cheekily, 'Now where is my dinner? I'm famished and been looking forward to this all day.' Bones flared her eyes at the small blonde boy with magical eyes, reminding her of his father's. Booth slid his hands off her waist, as they were seemingly reluctant to leave her. She watched him for a second as he went to put on oven gloves, and retrieve the dish.

Parker looked at her, watching his father. Bones looked back to Parker and smiled softly. 'I'm think it's great you and Dad are girlfriend and boyfriend now.'

'Glad to hear it,' Booth said, placing the dish between them. Bones grinned at Parker.

'This looks gorgeous. You made this?' she asked, amazed. It looked and smelt delicious. Parker wriggled on his chair excitedly.

'Yes, I think it should be good, it smells great.'

'Parker get some drinks, please,' Booth instructed softly, as he began to dish up on three plates. Parker jumped down, pulling open the fridge.

'What would you like, Dr B?'

'Oooo. I got a bottle of your fav wine, Bones. Would you like some?' Booth chirped.

Bones smiled impressed and delighted by his thoughtfulness. 'Yes please.' Booth handed her a knife and fork. While Parker brought the bottle of wine over, handing it to his father to open. Parker poured himself a large glass of milk, putting it beside his plate piled high with food. Bones thought it way too much for a small boy. Booth had the same, a long glass of cool milk.

'You not having a glass?' Bones said, as she poured her glass out. Booth shook his head, and sat down.

'Nah. Milk's good.' He smiled at his son, putting his knuckles out for him to tap, Parker did as if it was code for something Bones didn't understand.

'Tuck in,' Booth urged her, while the boys watched for her reaction. Bones popped some into her mouth, they waited with bated breath.

Bones rolled her eyes, and smiled, saying, 'Oh. Wooow, so good,' she drooled sincerely. She honestly thought it excellent. Booth and Parker grinned proudly at each other, then started on their own plates.

'So what happens tomorrow?' Parker asked, stuffing his face and munching. Booth flicked a glance to Bones, she smiled back at him, sipping some wine.

'We're all driving to the undertakers and will follow a big car with Pops in the back to the church. Then there will be a short service and then we go to the crematorium. There will be another short service and then Pops' rolls behind curtains and away.' Parker had listened intently, while Bones had her hand gently resting on Booths thigh under the table.

'Ok, I understand. What happens after that?'

'Umm. We are going to have what is called a wake. It's when people friends and family will have some food and drink and remember Pops.' Parker was nodding, putting more into his mouth.

'Dad? If you and Jared are carrying the coffin in, who will I sit with?'

'Me and Padma,' Bones said sweetly, with a charming smile. Parker grinned happy with that, it was obviously playing on his mind.

'Cool... Will there be a lot of crying?' he asked innocently. Booth eyes glazed, and sat back a little, Bones answered for him.

'A little I expect. It's quite natural to cry when someone you loved dies and you know you won't see them again. Not for a long time at least.' She felt Booth's hand grip hers, for her gentle explanation. Parker nodded, and began again happily on his meal. Bones smiled at Booth, and squeezed his hand. 'Any more questions?'

Bones grinned charmingly at Parker with a huge pouch of food in his cheek. He shook his head, and muttered, 'Nooope.' She chuckled at him, struggling with his mouthful.

'Little man, go steady. Don't stuff so much in,' Booth warned him, a little amused too. He swallowed, then drank some milk, leaving a white line on his top lip. Bones chuckled, seeing the residue and remembered the other night.

'Like father, like son.,' Bones said to Booth, nodding towards Parker. Booth grinned wide, and handed Parker a napkin, He wiped quickly.

'What did you do today, Bones?' Booth asked, regaining some emotional control, the rest of their meal didn't mention the funeral. They talked casually and easily to each other. As they finished the bananas in cold custard, Parker asked, 'Dr B?'

'Yes, Parker.'

'Will you listen to me read tonight? I've got two chapters to get through.'

'Umm. Don't you want your Dad to?' Bones looked a little worried to Booth. She didn't want to take any quality time away from him. Booth grinned wide and hard, absolutely delighted by his son's request of his partner. Parker seemed positively excited by the prospect of reading to her.

'Do you mind, Dad?'

'Nope. Not at all. Do you want Bones to bath you too?' Parker looked horrified at his father, then to Bones shyly.

'I umm I eeerrr.' Booth started to laugh at his embarrassed mumbles. Parker realised his father was messing around, and gave him a shove. Bones laughed too at the playful pair.

'I'd be honoured to listen to you read, Parker. What is it you are reading?'

'Oh. It's really boring, that's why I have double to do tonight. Can I get down, Dad please?' he asked politely.

Booth nodded, 'Yeah sure. We can do the washing up together.' Parker jumped down, carrying his cleared plates to the sink. Bones smiled at Booth, while Parker's back was turned, leant in, and kissed his cheek softly.

She whispered in his ear discreetly, 'He's so gorgeous, polite, a credit to you.' Booth looked deep into her eyes, and kissed her lips for her compliment. Bones held his head to hers for a moment longer, resting her warm lips along his.

'Are you going to get married?' Parker asked casually, as he took down the next set of dirty plates. Bones and Booth snapped open their eyes to each other, staring into one another for a few seconds. Parker was back at the sink before they broke their chaste kiss, but not their eye waltzing.

Bones started to chuckle silently, Booth huffed a chuckle too, saying, 'Paaarker, that's not an appropriate question.'

'Why?' again innocently, he was pouring washing up liquid into the sink. Booth got up, and stood beside him. Both boys stood with their backs to her. Booth looked down at his son, rubbing his hair affectionately.

'It's appropriate but Bones and I have only just got together. You're the first person to know about us...'

'Really??' Parker seemed delirious at knowing that. He turned around to Bones for confirmation, she was sipping her wine, with a little smile on her lips. Bones nodded at him gently. 'Cool.'

'We'd like to keep it quiet for a while, is that ok with you, Parker?' Booth asked his son, who placed a clean plate on the drainer.

'Sure, Ok... Tony Franks at school, was his Dad's best man at his wedding. He had to give a ring to the priest, look after it and everything, I'd like to be the best man at your wedding, that's why I asked. I thought it might be a fun thing to do.' Parker looked up to his Dad cutely.

'Oh. Riiiight,' Booth said, glancing quickly over his shoulder to Bones.

Bones sat listening to the pair chat sweetly, while they washed up. Parker, she mused, was a carbon copy of his father, except for the blonde hair. They both had the same stance and build except in miniature in Parker. They wore jeans, t shirts and sneakers. Bones thought they looked adorable together. 'Shall I make hot chocolates?' Bones enquired in a lull in their conversation. Parker snapped his head around, nodding frantically.

'Oh. Yes please,' he gushed. Bones walked over, standing close to Booth back, reaching to the kettle. She couldn't resist the soft spot on his neck and kissed him there briefly. Booth smiled at her action, finishing the last plate and put it on the drainer. Parker was drying the plates, when he saw the sweet kiss, and giggled again.

'Daaaad luuuuves Dr Beeeeee,' Parker drooled playfully, sneakily. Booth looked at him with amused daggers for eyes. Parker belly laughed, jumped and ran like crazy away from his growling, chasing father. Bones laughed as they disappeared into the lounge.

The apartment came alive with screeches of childish laughter and a growling FBI agent. The screeches increased as Booth brought back a kicking, laughing boy over his shoulder, smacking his jean covered backside. Bones leant on the counter, waiting for the kettle and milk in the pan to boil.

Booth looked at her, his face shone, the happiest she'd seen him in a long while. Bones locked eyes with him. 'Do you want to spank him too?' Booth asked of her playfully, Parker looked up at her, his face pink and glowing. Booth deposited his son on the kitchen table, turned, as Parker jumped onto his back, Booth then spun him around.

'Don't spank me, I'll be good, Dr B!' He panted, his eyes in a puppy dog expression plea, Bones grinned.

'Why should I? He's only stating the truth, Booooooth luuuuves Dr Beeeeee,' Bones droned just as Parker did, Booth looked at her incredulously at her taking his son's side. Parker belly laughed again, then found himself alone on the table, while Bones and his father ran like the wind around the apartment, in fits of giggles, while Booth tried to catch up with her. 'Come here! You anthro... polo...gist!' using her career title almost as a swear word. He tried to corner her but she jumped athletically over the back of the sofa, and back into the kitchen, ran around into the hall and back into the lounge. Parker was laughing at the adults acting like children and adoring it.

'Forensic anthropologist to you, Arrhh!' She scolded, sticking her tongue out at him and nearly got caught.

'Run, Dr B!!' Parker warned.

She screamed, running down the hall to his bedroom. She ran in and slammed the door. Finding no lock, she knew she had made an error. She was cornered. Booth heaved his shoulder against the door, and pushed it open, even with her full weight on the back of the door, it opened. She ran onto the bed, and stood waiting for him. He crashed in, then growled, seeing her jiggling on the spot, her hair wild, her expression full of an unearthly light, she was panting slightly. Her torso rose with her inhales, he thought she looked amazing.

'Gotcha!' he shouted in triumph. Booth grabbed her ankles and pulled. She screamed, and fell back in hysterics, bouncing on the mattress. Booth leapt over her body, laying over her heavily, before he smothered her with wet frantic kisses, getting higher to her face. Bones wrapped her arms around his torso, holding him close and kissing him solidly, surrendering happily. Booth groaned in appreciation at her welcome tongue, then he rolled them, so she was on top. Bones straddled his waist, sitting up, breaking the kiss. Placing her palms on either pectoral, they both stilled, panting softly. Their eyes danced, she could feel his engorging member on her centre and wriggled slightly, enjoying the sensation it gave her immensely.

Booth stroked away a wayward strand, so he could see both her beautiful expressive eyes. Then rested his hands on her hips, he sat up and held just off her lips with his. Running his hands up her back, he held her closer. Bones embraced him tenderly. Neither needing to utter anything, it was all there expressed in their touch.

'Milks boiling over!' Parker yelled from the kitchen counter. Bones stood in one easy move, towering over him. He leant forward, and kissed her pussy through her jeans, holding her buttocks in either palm. Then he looked up slowly, seeing her smile, stroking his cropped spiky hair. She felt her pussy pulse and a luscious thrill course up from that sweet kiss.

'Miiiiiillllkkkk!!!' Parker yelled again more frantically. Bones started to chuckle, Booth pulled her over his shoulder got off the bed, and walked with her hanging over the back of him.

She patted his buttocks like bongos, saying, 'Mind your back.'

'Shut up you. Enjoy the ride.'

'I'm enjoying the view,' Bones told him mischievously. She gave his buttocks a seductive squeeze. He jumped a little and smacked her ass, then kissed the area he just smacked.

'Did you just kiss my ass?'

He retorted obviously, 'I've been kissing your ass for years.' He deposited her on the counter next to a beaming Parker, and slipped the pan off the heat. Bones smiled at Parker.

'He always catches me,' Parker said cheerfully.

'I let him catch me.'

'No, you didn't! Booth scolded and corrected. Bones jumped down, pecked his lips, grinning, knowing better, and made the drinks.

She turned to Parker, and mouthed, 'I did.' Parker giggled, nodding. Booth looked to them both in turn, missing the joke.

'What?' Booth asked wanting to know what was afoot between them.

'Nothing,' they both said together, then laughed, clearly lying.

'Can I have my drink in the bath, Dad?'

'Yeah course. I'll go run it now.'

'Thanks, Dad.'

'You're welcome, little man.' He smiled at Bones as he walked away.

'He's ready for ya, Bones,' Booth said casually, as he walked back into the lounge, clad in a white terry robe and barefoot.

'See you in a while.' She pecked his lips, and went to join Parker.

'Knock, knock, are you decent?' Bones enquired from the far side of the door

'Haa. Yes, Dr B. Come in.'

Bones walked in, leaving the door a little ajar. Parker was already in the double bed with his spaceman pyjamas on. He sat up against the head board, and smiled as she walked in. Parker patted the covers beside him for her to join, so she did. They sat shoulder to shoulder, then he reached for his book on the night stand.

'I'm sorry, it's really boring,' he apologised again, sulking.

'No matter, let's see.' Parker handed the book to her, as they began to settle against each other. Bones crossed her ankles, and turned the book around so she could see the cover. 'Never heard of it.' She handed it back to him.

'You write books, don't you?'

'Yep, sometimes.'

'Ha. You're being shy. I've seen you're books. My Mum reads them and Dad too.' Bones grinned shyly.

'That's nice. I'm flattered.'

'Dad says they're not for small men. He said I can read them when I'm older though.'

'Yes, when you're really big.'

Parker looked deeply into her eyes, and smiled softly, nodding. Then said quietly, 'You're really pretty.' Bones saw his eyes inspecting her, looking all over her features deliberately.

'Thank you, Parker. I think you're very handsome.' Bones was pleased by his reaction to her compliment, he smiled really wide so his cheeks puckered and flushed pink, he nodded a little too. Bones thought it made him look even cuter. 'Ok, where are you up to?'

Parker took the book, finding the page. 'Nothing has happened and I'm almost halfway through,' he sneered, Bones stifled her chuckles at his wonky grimace and clear dislike of his current reading matter.

'Tell you what,' she said, wanting to ease his boredom. 'What if you read these two chapters, then I'll tell you a true exciting story, about knives, scorpions and a foreign land?' Parker snapped his head to look into her eyes, they twinkled excitedly.


'Yep, one of my adventures.'

'You've had adventures??' he asked, almost jiggling on the spot.

'Oh. Yes! Many... Read on,' she encouraged, while he grinned and snuggled in warmly. Parker read quickly and made a few mistakes. Bones corrected him gently, and helped him sound out some of the larger words he got stuck on. Bones mused it really was terribly poor reading material and could see why he had been putting off his home work. She suspected his errors were due to his eagerness to complete the chapters fast, so he could hear her story.

Unbeknownst to the pair, Booth had taken up a seated position on the hall floor, beside the door, and was listening to them interact. He felt his heart swell hearing them. Bones was easy going and gentle with him, he noted and seemed to be really enjoying the time with him.

'Finished, phew! I told you it was boring.'

'Yes utterly mind numbingly boring,' Bones agreed wholeheartedly. She took the book from his hand, placing it on the night stand, saying, 'Right, you ready?'

Parker nodded quickly, lay down on his side, propping up his head on his small palm. Bones thought it was a good idea and position, so did the same. 'Is it scary?' he asked, his eyes flaring.

'A little.'

'Cooool, go on.' Bones laughed, peering into him, taking a deep breath.

'First of all, Parker, do you understand what I do? What my job is?'

He smiled, and nodded,. 'Yeah, you dig up old bones and stuff, that's why Dad calls you Bones,' he said cheerfully. Bones chuckled at her infantile job description put so succinctly. Booth stifled his chuckle too.

'That's right. Well, about nine, ten years ago, I went on a dig to, Egypt.'

'Wow, where the Pyramids are?'

'Yep. But I went a little further down the Nile than them. The archaeologists had found a tomb in the desert, and there were some remains they wanted me to help bring up. So I went.' Bones flicked a wayward strand back off her eye, and smiled sweetly.

'Picture the scene, Parker. I travelled down the fast flowing Nile in a type of boat called a felucca. They have a big triangular sail, are made of wood and are the ancient way of getting up and down the wide river. We sailed past huge three thousand year old temples in the burning heat with my guide to the dig site. We were miles from anywhere. All you could see for miles were sand and rocks. We camped under canvas, and sat around the fire at night. It was a beautiful, tranquil place. We were set up high on a ridge, overlooking a lush Nile valley below. In the far distance rose a huge mountain range that stretched for hundreds of miles in either direction. The views were spectacular, and at night it got so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.' Bones brought her hand up to her face to aid her narration. Parker nodded understanding, looking expectantly at her, eager to hear more.

'Everyday it was over 100 degrees and at night it dropped to almost freezing. I was the only woman among my colleagues working on the site. They were very shy of me, being a western woman. Luckily I can speak a little Egyptian, so I didn't have too much trouble communicating with them.' Parker nodded, understanding, Booth shifted position outside the door to hear better. He understood she was being humble; she could speak many languages or at least get by in scores.

'Anyway, one afternoon it was extremely hot and I'd been working very hard. The men were taking a break during the sweltering heat of the mid day, and having their lunch naps. So I went for a little walk, to stand on this stunning ridge to look at the spectacular view and hopefully, catch a breeze that came up the valley wall.... The sun was at my back and the mountains in the distance shimmered, like they were moving, dancing across this brilliant blue sky.' Parker grinned wide imagining the scene. Booth closed his eyes, and leant his head back on the wall. He imagined her there too.

'I found a lovely spot, took my hat off to let the cooler breeze through my sweaty hair. I sat on a rock to take in the view and the breeze. Just as I sat down on my old canvas hat, which goes with me everywhere on my digs. I felt something sting my bottom through my shorts. I jumped up, flicking my hat off the rock, and found I'd just sat on a black scorpion. Black scorpions are very dangerous, Parker, so dangerous they can kill you very quickly.' Booth grimaced hearing that, knowing she was right.

Parker exclaimed, 'Oh! My God!'

'Yes, I'd crushed the poor thing and it had obviously stung me as a defence reaction to the hat disturbing him.'

He asked intrigued, 'What did you do?'

'Well, I knew I had to get back to the camp quickly, so I started to run but the poison started to effect the muscles in my leg. I ran dragging my almost paralysed leg, back towards camp. I screamed for help all the way there, knowing I didn't have very long. I was thinking I'm only 23! And had so much to do with my life, that I didn't want to die. It seemed so unfair.' Parker's brow furrowed, and looked sad for her.

'I saw the camp come into view, all the men I was working with came out of their tents, looking very confused at this crazy American woman screaming. I was waving my hat, and barely able to move, I was in so much pain. My chest hurt, my other leg starting to go numb too. Finally Mustafa, the camp manager came out to meet me. I collapsed on the dirt at his feet and held up my hat. He looked inside and saw the scorpion, he turned very pale... Now you have to remember, Parker, these young men and Mustafa were devout Muslims, I'm a woman, of no faith, half naked woman, as I'm dragging my shorts down off my bottom to show these men the sting.' Parker chuckled cutely. Booth smiled too.

'They were very reluctant to touch me, as you can imagine. They went crazy, hiding their eyes and chanting prayers from Koran. I'm screaming and shouting for them to help me, I was getting more and more numb and angry, I'm thinking, I don't need prayers, I need medical assistance and fast!' Parker huffed and nodded, as if he totally agreed with her, angry with her. He was totally engrossed in the story.

'Mustafa instructs them to bring me into his tent, which they finally do, by means of two shovels.' Parker jarred his head back, furrowing his brow, confused. 'Yes, they literally shovel me up and carry me into the tent! They all leave except Mustafa, he's standing over me, chanting. Then he too disappears, and leaves me to die.'

Parker asked stunned, 'Nooo! Leaves you too die??'

'Yes. So I drag myself off the cot through the dirt, out of the tent. I creep on my elbows, dragging my two paralysed legs towards them, they're all standing in a huddle around the fire. I finally find enough energy to shout at them, my last breaths...' Parker's eyes widen in horror. 'Oh, I swear at them I'm afraid, really very rude to them in Egyptian... They all turn around. One of the men has a huge pointed dagger in his hand, and its tip is so hot from the fire, it's white. I think he is going to kill me quick, so I don't suffer the agony of my fate. Mercy killing me if you will?' Parker's mouth hung open, waiting on her next word.

'I try to drag myself away from these mad men, seeing them all looking at me, looming over me with sad apologetic faces.' Parker nodded, aghast, totally enwrapped in her story. Booth's grin widens, his understanding now dawning.

Bones flared her eyes, rocking into his face a little, for effect. 'There's this commotion around me, strange voices and shouting. I'm feeling myself slipping into unconsciousness, when Mustafa sears the sting in my buttock with this huge knife! I screeeam in agony, smell flesh burning, hear my buttock sizzle, and feel this horrendous pain in my left butt cheek. I try to fight, to push away the hot blade. Then... Everything goes black, quiet and peaceful...' Bones trailed off, seeing his eyes wide and horrified.

'Ooooh noooo, you're dead,' he said desperately sadly.

Bones belly laughed, his statement clearly ridiculous. 'Haaa! Parker, no. Haaa.' Parker smiled, realising he was obviously wrong, she was very much alive, and telling him a cool story.

Bones continued quietly, 'I wake up surrounded by beautiful apparitions, dressed in white from head to toe, the room is white too, filled with bright blinding light. It's cool and calm, I look around...' Bones waved her hand, as if showing him where she looked, acting out the adjective. 'I think to myself, ok, heaven isn't that bad.' Parker grinned, nodding.

'Then one of these beautiful serene women, I think she's an angel, lifts me to sit up and I feel my buttock throb severely. She says to me, that I'm in a Christian hospital in Aswan. That they're an order of nuns who run the hospital. That I was brought in two days ago. It's then I realise I'm not dead, and this place is not heaven, just a hospital. She hands me a glass of water, and tells me that I was strapped by ropes to the hood of a jeep, with my buttocks still exposed, as my colleagues drove like crazy through the busy market and streets, to get me to hospital. They said I was quite the sight...'

'Haaaa I bet, Dr B! With your butt hanging out everyone must have seen you!'

'Yes, everyone in Aswan market saw Dr Brennan's butt, it's true.' She grinned wide, delighted Parker seemed to really enjoy her adventure. Giggling sweetly, Parker nodded.

Bones finished off her story softly with, 'I spent another week in the hospital, till I was fully recovered, then returned to the dig to get those bones.' she said with a wink, then, 'I only send one Christmas card every year, and it's to those wonderful angels in the Christian hospital in Aswan who saved my life...'

'Awesome story, Dr B, awesome.' Booth grinned understanding where she got that cute freckle on her ass from.

'Thank you, I glad you enjoyed it. Maybe next time, I'll tell you the one 'About me and the pygmy's,' she said, flashing him a lovely smile.

'That was a cool story, thank you for telling me it.'

Bones sat up a little, preparing to go. 'You're welcome, Parker. Well, I think you should...'

Parker interrupted her. Booth was about to stand, when he heard Parker add, 'When you thought you were going to die, did you cry?'

'Umm. No, I don't think so. I was very angry actually and in a lot of pain.'

'You were very brave,' he stated, dropping his eyes from hers, and looked very sad suddenly. Booth strained to hear their conversation.

'Maybe, I suppose,' she said softly, seeing him struggling with his emotions. 'You ok, Parker?' she asked tenderly, trying to see his eyes. He looked up to her, his chin wobbling, his eyes filling up.

'I don't think my Dad's brave anymore,' he said tremulously, Bones could see his little heart breaking. He sunk into her, and cuddled her gently. Bones held him back, caressing his hair, while he wept softly on her chest.

'Why on earth would you think that, Parker?' she asked tenderly. Booth sat up straighter, hearing his son crying and his statement.

Parker lifted his head, and explained, 'When Daddy told me about Pops he cried. He cried a lot. I didn't think big men cried. It's not brave to cry. People call you a woose if you do.'

'I see,' she said calmly. 'Answer me this, Parker. Who are the bravest men you know?'

'Soldiers like my Dad was.' Bones nodded.

'Do you ever watch the soldiers on the Veteran's Day parade?'

'Yes, Dad makes me watch every year.'

'Good. They're very brave and have won medals for their bravery, haven't they?'


'They cry, Parker. The bravest of all man. Have you seen them cry?'

'Yes, I have,' he said, wiping his eyes, looking a little eased.

'Just because men cry doesn't mean they're not brave or are not brave anymore. On the contrary, with everybody watching they still cry. They are brave enough to cry sometimes.' Parker nodded, then sniffed. Bones held him close, cuddling him under her chin, while he held her back.

'Think of it this way, Parker, when your Dad told you about Pops, he was very sad, he loved Pops so much. He knew he was going to upset you very much and that made him very sad. Just think how brave your Dad had to be to tell you something so sad.' Parker nodded, giving her a little smile. 'I've been to every continent, I met very brave people who have lost their families in war and natural disasters, all kinds of horrible things, but I've never, never met anyone as brave as your Daddy,' Bones said sincerely, Parker stared into her, then smiled wide convinced of her. Bones could see his mind working through the logic and seeing his relief, it was clear from his expression.

'Dad was very brave to tell me. He did cry lots.' Bones nodded, and kissed his brow softly.

'He will probably cry tomorrow but we know, don't we? We know how brave your Dad is.' Bones smiled hard at him.

'Yes... Is it ok if I cry?' he asked quietly, asking for her permission to cry tomorrow.

'I think that would be very brave of you, Parker,' she said assuring him gently. Booth's tears trickled over his cheeks, so moved by her explanation and clever logic. She had restored her son's faith in him and knew he would be eternally grateful. 'Ok, you better get some sleep, it's very late.' Parker nodded, and kissed her cheek hard and long. Bones felt her cheeks flush, and her heart palpitate at his loving smooch. Bones squeezed him, then let him settle down. She kissed his brow again, smiling, as she stroked his hair out of his eyes affectionately. 'Night, night, Parker. Sweet dreams.'

Booth got up quietly, and walked into the lounge. He sat on the couch, slumping back. Booth knew those three little words wouldn't do her justice or portray his abyssal feelings for her, they would never be enough.

'Sweet dreams, Drrrr Beee,' Parker yawned. Bones tucked the sheet around him, then slid off the bed. She flicked the light off, as she left the bedroom, seeing Parker smiling, closing his eyes.

Bones walked out to the lounge, sat down next to him, slinging her legs over his casually. 'He's gone off. I think he's fairly tired.'

'I heard. I heard what you said.' Bones smiled at him, stroking the back of his neck gently, missing the tears storming in his eyes.

She asked brightly, 'My scorpion story? It's a fairly...' He cut her off, placing his hands on her thighs, staring into her with glassy eyes.

'And the rest.' Bones took a deep breath and let it go slowly, knowing he had heard everything.

'Did I do it right? I have little experience with children and my parenting skills are very limited. I...' she said humbly. Booth cut her off again, so touched by her humility and nervousness.

'Yes, Jesus yes. You're a natural and so-fucking-amazing.' Booth almost hurt with his honesty and the passion in which he told her his soul-deep thoughts. His tears rolled again, as he leant over her torso, rolling her back to the couch to hold her. 'It was beautiful, you're beautiful, words can't express... I don't have the vocab...' Bones pulled his head up, and kissed him, cutting him off now. Bones scissor-ed her legs around his hips, and her arms around him. their tongues slipped around and up, feeling, searching for the deepest recesses of each other. Both knew this was her thank you to him for his praise.

They changed position and pace, slowly down, caressing tenderly with gentle circling and tender sucks. Their combination of heat and taste was fast becoming an essential element, needed to live. Bones moved her body against him slowly, getting him just where she needed the stimulation. She purred into his mouth, twisting her body, shocking him. Booth found himself on his side, with her legs still wrapped around him tightly.

Bones broke their long make out kiss, panting sweetly onto his wet lips. He didn't have time to smile back, when she devoured him in another sultry moist kiss, dragging him down into her. Her hands gripping his hair through her fingers. Booth heard her purr again, and shift her pelvis into his again. She was very turned on but trying hard not to let herself run amok over him. She knew he was still fragile and this wasn't the time for them. They were fresh and new, and she adored them this way. She felt like a giddy teenager, making out on her foster parent's couch with a new beau. Booth broke the kiss, and stroked down her back.

'Would you like to make love?' Booth asked sweetly, shyly.

'No...' She saw the tiniest wrinkle on his brow at her negative answer, she knew he knew she was burning inside. He could smell her arousal and the heat coming off her, 'Yes of course I would,' appeasing him gently, then said firmly, 'But no. I'm perfectly content, Booth.' She stroked over his jaw delicately. They had sex with their eyes instead, for a long while, both smiles widening as they thought about it together.

'I like your hair, it looks good, well it did, I've messed it up, haa.' Her soft chuckle, sent a smile to his lips, and made his pulse race. Booth placed his lips on hers, letting the heat from them seep in to him. She mouthed over them with a little suction, it was his turn to purr. She leant back to look into his whole face, with a rather sexy grin teasing her mouth.

'Was there much more heckling after I hung up?' she asked, letting go her hold of him slightly and relaxed their desire.

'Yes! Tony gave me a roasting. He wanted to know who had got me all gooie.' Booth settled back too.

'Haa. Did you say?'

'Nope. Just that you were gorgeous, smart, sexy and very lick-able.' waggling his brows naughtily. Bones' mouth shot open in shock at his sexy comment.

'Boooth?! That's so...' she chastised shortly, then grinned lecherously, 'True.' Waggling her brows just as sexily as he had done. Booth laughed hard at her joke, throwing his head back charmingly. Bones kissed over his pulse on his jugular and sucked, softly.

'Geeze, Bones that feels incredible,' he told her, oozing his words, closing his eyes to the delectable sensation.

'Good, supposed to,' she muttered against his hot neck, licking a slow path lower to his clavicle and suckling gently again. 'You want a hickie?' Bones whispered slowly, wanting to leave her mark on him, a reminder to him that she had been on him, while she was away. 'I'm good at hearts.'

Booth thought they were slowing down, but her offer and sultry tone only hitched up his gears. 'Oh. God, really?' He felt her nod, and pick her spot. She clenched her thighs over his leg, and her hands racked softly through his hair, tilting his head back slightly with her firm hands.

'One love heart coming up,' she said slowly, deliberately. Booth nearly spontaneously combusted at her term love heart, and when he felt her suckle his lower neck. His toes flexed and curled, his hands gripped her to him. He squirmed slowly in her hold and rumbled like a distant summer storm.

Bones made the slightest adjustment of her mouth and suckled again. 'Boooones,' he crooned lusciously, rumbling some more. Then she stopped the suction, and kissed around the mark gently. She looked to it and smiled, obviously pleased with her result.

Booth lay still now, trembling, slowly opening his eyes to hers. 'Looks good,' she said, obviously just as affected by her actions and its effects on them. 'You're trembling,' she said softly. Booth smiled shakily.

'So are you.' Bones slid up to his lips, kissing him once again softly. She didn't comment on her physical reaction but smiled a tad.

Bones said, knowing they should stop or they never would, 'We should get to bed.' She kissed his lips again, sliding away, then standing. Booth sat up quickly, and held her hand before she walked away, he looked up to her.

'Are you sure, Bones?' Bones knew what he was referring to. He wanted to know if she had changed her mind about them being intimate tonight. She nodded, kissed his warm hand, and walked away.

It felt like the hardest thing she had ever done. She knew she would choke on her answer so she didn't risk her voice. Which would have certainly given away her conflict to him.

Bones grabbed her night shirt and wash bag, and entered the bathroom. She closed the door and leant heavily on the back of it, closing her eyes, rocking her head back. She sighed out long and hard.

Booth sat, listening in the same position to her having a shower. His thoughts full of her and her tender kisses, the aroma of her arousal and what that had done to him. He wrinkled his brow, remembering her sweet love bite, he raised his hand to the still pulsing mark. He could almost feel her soft lips on him, and how sensuous it had felt.

Then it hit him how passive he had been, not just tonight but this morning too. He had taken from her and given virtually nothing back. He dropped his hand from her mark, and bowed his head ashamed. Booth remembered Bones had been so gentle with Parker, comforted him and eased his worry about him. Then had showed great humility in his praise and such compassion while he fell apart in her arms several times over the last two days. He tried to comfort himself with the fact that he had asked if she wanted to make love, but she'd declined. He had a terrible thought, that maybe she thought it was all going too fast for her. That it was too much emotion and she couldn't handle it anymore. That she needed to step back and cool off for a while.

Booth rubbed his face with his palms in turmoil. His thoughts turned to tomorrow, and all he had to go through. His father was bound to be there, he feared he would turn up drunk, and cause an ugly scene. Saying goodbye to his cherished grandfather was hard enough, without him dragging up repressed memories again. Then there was the letter from Pops which he was not looking forward to opening.

Booth got up to check the apartment, locking windows and doors. He washed up the dirty mugs, and flicked off the lights. As he walked into the bedroom, Bones was sitting up against the headboard with a pad and pen in hand, resting them on her knees. The bedside lamp was on and threw a subtle warm glow over her left side, highlighting her perfectly. The pale lilac baggy dress shirt she wore, reflected in her irises and made them look the same colour. She looked up to him and smiled. He thought she looked so serene and calm, his complete opposite. She took his breath away.

Booth pushed the door leaving it ajar, checked the window was open slightly. He noted the scent of her clinging to his room now. A seductive expensive aroma he found captivating, taunting him. He pulled back the covers, then got in naked beside her quietly.

'Booth, I'm sorry,' she said, putting the pad and pen on the night stand. Then turned slightly to look at him. Booth looked confused.

He queried, 'What for?' Bones thought his voice sounded very weak again, like the first night she had arrived and comforted him.

'For refusing to make love with you. I was being selfish, I apologise.' she said heartfelt. Booth instantly started to sob at her apology. It was the last straw. The irony stuck in his throat, he covered his ashamed face by crossing his arms over it tightly. He screwed himself into a ball as small as he could, praying he would implode and disappear.

'Oh. God, I'm so sorry.' Bones voice cracked, she thought she had clearly hurt him deeply by refusing him. She put herself around him as best as she could. Which was difficult as he was scrunched up so tightly. He shook his head behind his arms.

'Parker's right, I'm not brave anymore. Not brave without you. I need you so badly, I have this pain, right here, here.' He punched his chest over his sternum. 'You smell too good, look like you just dropped of a cloud. You've been a God damn angel to me and Parker. Seen off my father and protected me from him. Bones, oh, Bones,' he whimpered. 'It's me that's sorry. I've screwed things up, I know it. And this was supposed to be an amazing, special time between us. I've screwed it all up like I always do...'

Bones knelt beside him, taking away her warm embrace, and took a breath before he went off again, she said firmly, 'Have you finished? Stop being so fucking noble. And stop feeling sorry for yourself!' Booth looked into her, shocked at her abrupt reprimand. Then she softened slightly saying, 'You've done nothing wrong. With the exception of the death of Pops, these few days have been the happiest of my life, Booth. So stop the self flagellation. Tarring and feathering yourself, it's very unattractive and inane. And frankly, it's staring to piss me off.'

'But I...'

'Shut up; lay down and sleeeep.' She pulled at his legs hard to straighten them, so he lay flat out, then she pushed his shoulders back, and wiped his eyes with her thumbs. 'If you think for one moment I'm walking away or sick of you, you're very much mistaken. I'm tired; emotional, clearly volatile, and so sexually aroused it's shameful! I'm not looking forward to tomorrow, as no doubt you aren't either.' She rolled till she was half draped over him, kissed his cheek quickly, then nuzzled into the crook of his neck. 'Just... Sleep, ok? Everything will work out. You'll see. Night, Booth.' She closed her eyes, and sighed. Booth lay still and silent for a few moments, tears of joy, relief and awe trickled down into his hairline. He dare not say anymore, he just gave her a little squeeze. Bones smiled slightly, feeling his deeply affectionate hug.

'Yes, I know, I'm awesome,' she replied to his unspoken statement, whispering her comment. Booth smiled just a little wider.

It was a few hours later, Booth hadn't yet slept, he just held her gently, while her soft deep exhales soothed his throat. He listened to the occasional car drive by under his window, and listened to the cord of his blind tap like a dripping tap against the window frame. The bedside lamp was still on and partially lit the room. He couldn't reach it without disturbing her, so he left it. By leaving it on he could have the treat of watching her sleep peacefully as long as he wanted.

Booth looked to his digital clock: it read 04.07. The luminous green glow of the numbers flashed the second of the night away. It flicked to 04.08 and he sighed. Bones rolled off him onto her back, but he found it sweet that her hand stayed in contact with his side, as if even in her sleep she knew she shouldn't break their contact.

Being a little freer to move, he rolled gently, to reach for the lamp and turn it off, but before he could Bones opened her eyes, blinking a few times to see him almost over her, he looked down, and smiled tenderly.

'Lamp,' he whispered, explaining his position.

'Leave it,' she said just as quietly. Bones lifted her head up and kissed his lips softly, her hand slid slowly onto his back and put pressure on him to cover her. They stared for a few moments, Booth froze like a Italian marble statue, understanding what she was willing to give him. She slid one leg out, and touched his jaw with her other hand. Then she nodded, feeling his substantial cock rising against her thigh.

Booth felt the tears welling again, he tried to suppress them, but they dropped, as he tucked his head beside her, hiding them from her. He lifted his hips slowly over her hers, trying to give her something back for once. Bones stroked his hair, and placed the other hand on his lower back. She opened her legs, and felt him nestle between her thighs. She bit her lip waiting for him, not realising he was in such a fragile state.

They felt their hearts trembling, being paired again, their bodies magnetised. Booth could feel her sex wet and more than ready for him. He crushed his eyes closed, and shifted his hips extremley slowly, easing himself into her with great caution. He pushed past her silky folds and into her, finally, sheathed by her molten heat and softness. He didn't moan or groan his bliss. The sensation rendered him dumbstruck.

Bones arched her body elegantly under him, while he slid higher. A whisper left her lips and soaked into his ear. It was his name, not Booth, but a long drawn out baptised Seeley. That only made him leak more saltwater.

They held still and silent, breathing slowly in unison, hearts beating in a synchronised rhythm. Bones held the weight of him inside her and marvelled at how her body felt connected with him finally. It pulsed and pulled at him. Her logical mind slipped into neutral and her emotions overran her. She hadn't envisaged them to be so idyllic together, good yes, but not so immaculate.

Booth hadn't been held so tenderly before, so preciously. He rubbed his face in the pillow to dry his never-ending tears. Overwhelmed with everything, he looked up and into her eyes, she was staring up at the ceiling, trembling, her eyes leaking too.

Bones focused on his pupils, her chin wobbling. Booth looked horrified by her tears, he didn't think they were for joy, they were for all they had been through and they were taking there atrocious toll now. Bones rolled her head a little in sympathy with him, he thought. But it wasn't for sympathy, it was unequivocal joy and utter bliss at the beautiful revelation bestowed. In his emotional chaos and dismay he misread her expression and gesture.

Booth dropped his head back into the pillow beside her, then to her deep sorrow, Bones felt him wither inside her slowly. She knew this was a dreadful idea to do this now, he wasn't anyway near ready she thought. She blamed herself for pushing him too soon.

Booth grit his jaw, saying sadly, 'I'm so sorry, not like this...' Bones sighed, melting into the mattress, as he slipped from her. The glorious link snapped, leaving her dazed and empty. He rolled away, and lay on his side facing away from her. 'I'm sorry.' Bones lay still for a few moments, letting the disorientation of his loss dissipate, then enabling her to move again. Bones spooned him tenderly; kissed his back, slipping her hand over his chest, and rested it over his heart. 'I'm sorry,' he said again, closing his painful tired eyes.

'Sssshh. Try to sleep.' Booth nodded, and held her hand tight over his fractured heart.

Booth slept but she didn't now. She knew it was wrong and selfish but she couldn't help herself. The few minutes they shared inside one another, the sensations and emotions that so affected her, replayed. She repeated those moments of ecstasy over and over, revelling in them, sealing them away. She knew that when they were both fully recovered, and over this current trauma, she had that life, that physical sublimity to look forward to experiencing again. She kissed his back often throughout the next few hours, caressing him gently, with a knowing smile on her lips. Her heart so full it was fit to burst.

Parker peered around the open door of his father's bedroom. He saw Bones cuddling the back of his father. He smiled seeing the pair. To his amazement, Bones lifted her head, and smiled at him, gesturing with her head, for him to come in. Parker grinned wider, and came in quietly but excited by being allowed to. Bones rolled slowly away from Booth and whispered to Parker, 'In the middle.' Parker nodded, deliriously happy, crawled over her carefully, and sank between the two adults. Bones checked the clock to make sure they were not late. They weren't, she noted they still had half an hour before they should rise.

Booth groaned grumpily at being disturbed. Bones threw her eyes up to the ceiling, with a cute smile at Parker. The gesture made him giggle and nod. 'Did you sleep well, Dr Bones? I did, I dreamt of mountains, knives and pyramids,' he whispered excitedly. Bones smile grew, enamoured by his handsome face.

'Did you get stung by a scorr-pion?' Bones whispered her question scarily playful, as Parker's sparkling eyes twinkled at her amused.

He laughed, and answered loudly, forgetting his father was still asleep, 'Ha! No, by a snake!'

'Shhushh!' Booth barked over his shoulder, then sunk back, huffing. Bones and Parker stilled and grimaced at each other. Then started to silently giggle at how grumpy Booth was.

'What kind of snake?' she whispered, wanting to continue the conversation with the delightful young boy.

'The ones with the wide necks?' Parker asked curiously, not knowing their names. Bones smiled, nodding knowledgably as he acted out the shape on his neck cutely.

'Cobra,' she told him sweetly. 'Where?'

'On my nose,' he said impressively, clearly thinking that was a cool place to get bitten. Bones drew her legs up under the covers, placed one hand under her head, the other behind Parker to Booth's head, and caressed his hair absently. Booth smiled unseen at her sweet caress. His grumpiness wafted away like smoke on a summer breeze.

'Oooh. I dislike snakes immensely,' Bones told him honestly.

'Why? Have you been bitten by one before?' Parker enquired, wanting to hear more adventures.

'Actually, yes I have. A corn snake I once had as a pet, thought my finger was the mouse I was about to feed it. It snapped around my index finger and wouldn't let go. I ran around my bedroom trying to throw it off me, shaking my hand about and screaming.' Parker was giggling, Bones was chuckling too, remembering the fiasco. 'My brother, Russ came running in as it let go, and it hit him in the face as he opened my door. Haa!'

Booth laughed too, rolling 180 degrees, to watch them giggling madly. 'Russ went doolally, freaking out, Long Slim Sally fell to the floor and slithered away. It was two days before Max found her in my underwear drawer. She lost her appeal after that. I've got a scar from her vicious bite, look.' Bones pointed her finger at Parker's nose, with a beautiful smile on her features. Parker looked at her finger, trying to see the scar, as did Booth but neither could see it. The boys looked at each other and furrowed their brows. Seeing their scepticism, Bones said again, 'There, look.' She pointed with the other hand now, again they both looked, peering at the mystery elusive scar. 'That mark, there,' Bones added, pointing fiercely.

'That's not a scar! It's a freckle,' Booth said mockingly. Bones dropped her mouth open in shock at his incredulity.

'It's a scar, I tell you!' she retorted, affronted. Their eyes forged in an early morning affectionate glare. Parker lay between them, smiling at their fake annoyance and anger at each other. He looked from one adult to the next, as they bantered. 'You need to see and ophthalmologist, you're obviously presbyopic,' she told him, propped up on her elbow.

'Bones, it's a freckle,'

'On my finger pad??' she asked mocking him now. 'Don't be absurd. Impossible.' Booth leant over Parker, and grinned charmingly at her. Bones leant in too, with a mirroring smile.

'Not a scar, Bones,' he said looking to her eyes, lips, then back to her eyes. 'Freckle.'

'Scar.' She glared forcefully.

He gave back just as strongly convinced of his stance, 'Fre-ckle.' The urge to kiss one another was overpowering, both knowing what the other needed. Their bantering had always been a perverse kind of delicious foreplay, this was no exception.

'Don't you dare kiss me,' Bones scowled, narrowing her eyes. Booth grinned secretively, but sneered, absolutely spellbound by her.

'Wasn't gonna.'

'Yes you were.' She screwed up her nose, as if he was the bad smell under it. Parker thought this was brilliant fun.

'Nah-ar. No way.' Booth turned his head, closing his eyes, pretending to be nonchalant. Then looked quickly back to her expectantly.

'Kiss me,' she demanded.

'Ok.' Booth smooched her smiling lips, smashing them together as they both hummed. Parker applauded under them.

'Oh. That was so cool,' Parker said to them, but they were still smooching each other innocently over him. They chuckled, mouthing over each other's lips hearing him. Bones ran her fingers through his hair affectionately. Booth held her head to his lips to prolong the contact. Bones leant back, and looked into him. Booth saw that sweet comforting glow about her soft eyes.

'Morning,' she whispered, then pecked his lips once more. Her single word spoke chapter and verse to him.

'Morning,' he offered back, Bones beamed brightly at him, seeing what his heart was confirming back to her through his deep brown eyes.

Parker watched, as they lay back, and entwined fingers behind his head. 'Shall I use the bathroom first?' she asked gently.

'Ok,' Booth said, squeezing her hand, knowing they had a long day ahead and they really should get started with it.

'What would you like for breakfast?' she asked, kissing Parker's head, Booth saw him glow at getting a kiss from the beautiful doctor.

'Oatmeal, please,' Parker said cheerfully. Bones smiled, flicking a glance to Booth thinking he really was just like his father.

'With brown sugar?' she asked affectionately, Parker nodded. 'You?' she asked of Booth, he nodded too, touched by her looking after them. 'Right. I'll get washed up and right on it.' Bones pulled the covers back, and stood. She pulled her nightshirt down modestly to save Parker's blushes. Parker watched his father watch her avidly, as she walked out of the bedroom.

'She's lovely, Dad...' Booth nodded agreeing, still watching the space she had just vacated. 'Have you seen her scorpion sting?' he asked innocently but he was being far from innocent. He masked his giggles, as Booth snapped his eyes to his son's. Booth grinned slowly, then started to laugh.

'Haa! Yeah, it's very cute.'

'I bet,' he said sweetly, then, 'I might cry today, Dad. but that's ok, isn't it?'

'Yes it's very ok, Parker. Lots of people will because we'll miss Pops very much.'

'Yes, Dr Bones said it was. She's a proper genius and knows everything there is to know about in the whole world.' Booth smiled warmly, laying down on his side, looking into his son's eyes. He watched as Parker teared up, then hugged him hard. His little sobs started him off too, even more so when Parker whispered in his throat, 'We'll miss Pops sooo much.' Booth caressed him through his breakdown, the first time he had witnessed him cry, since he had told him about Pops yesterday.

The boys were fed, watered and suited, and sat at the kitchen table, talking quietly. While they waited for Bones to come out from the bedroom.

Bones zipped up her suit bag, folded it, then put it in her holdall. She looked at herself in Booth's full length mirror, checking her hair, and jet trouser suit for fluff. She sighed, catching a glimpse of the bed over her shoulder in the reflection. Booth had made it, but she saw herself and him in it over the last few nights, and all the good and bad they had shared in there. Those memories whistled through her mind. She wished it wouldn't be too long before they could share a bed again. She hoped what they had shared, would sustain her till they could be together again. And lastly, hoped she had been enough for him, and that after today, he would have the strength to stand alone again.

Bones walked out of the bedroom down the hall, her heels clipped the hardwood floor until she reached the carpet of the lounge. She placed her bag on the couch, and walked into the kitchen. Parker's eyes widened to saucer size, and his smile shone on his features. Booth saw his expression, and turned to see Bones in the colour of mourning. However, she didn't look dull, sombre or fading to grey. Booth thought she looked stunningly elegant, expensive and too good to touch.

Her wide flaring pants flattered her long legs. The suit jacket nipped in perfectly at her waist and under her breasts, immaculately tailored. Under that she wore a simple silk blouse of rich emerald. A gold chain in dainty links and an emerald pendant drop in four matching stones, which draped into her cleavage, and matching drop earrings. Her hair loose and the highest, thinnest pointed black patent leather shoes he had ever seen her wear. 'Will I do?' she asked, placing a soft kiss on Booth's stunned open mouth.

'Too good,' he said softly, gorging his eyes on her.

'Thank you, I thought I better make an effort for Pops' send off. He said emerald was my colour,' she said casually, unaware at the effect she had on the boys.

'Lord, you smell divine too,' Booth said, slipping his hand to hers, and pulled her closer. She looked down into his eyes, and stroked his cheek, resting her body against his side. 'Is that new?' She nodded, smiling softly.

'Again, thank you.' She kissed his lips once more, looking him over. His three piece suit made him look just as elegant and very fetching, she thought. 'You look extremely handsome, both of you. Pops would be so proud of you both,' she said sincerely. Parker grinned wide, delighted by the compliment.

Bones adjusted Booth's tie although it didn't need adjusting, just so she could touch him a little more. 'Have you got your eulogy? Hanky?' He nodded, tapping his pocket and his hip. 'Pops' letter?' Again he nodded, tapping the other inside pocket. 'Good.' She looked at her watch, slipping her other arm around his shoulder, staying close as he held her around her waist. 'They should be here soon,' she said softly, referring to Jared and Padma.

The door sounded with Jared's knock almost the moment she mentioned them. Parker jumped down, saying, 'I'll get it.' Bones looked into him, Booth grinned hard.

'I'm ok,' he confirmed, seeing the question in her eyes and on her lips. She felt her body relax a little. 'But...'

'But what, darling?' Booth's mouth curled slightly, hearing her sweet term of endearment. She kissed his lips grinning, seeing how touched he was.

'Can you stay close? Hold my hand?' he asked quietly, with a plea in his eyes and tone.

'Booth, if you want to take me on the altar I'm there for you,' she whispered in his ear so Padma and Jared couldn't hear, as they walked in. Booth chuckled, looking up to her glowing smile. She spun and welcomed Padma with a tender hug and kiss. Parker had got a hair ruffle and a playful kick on his butt from his uncle.

'Wow, Tempe... just wow,' Jared gushed, utterly impressed. Jared looked her over, holding her hands out. She smacked his shoulder in a chastisement for overdoing his compliment but it was actually an understatement. They pecked cheeks, then Bones turned her attention to Padma.

'Chanel?' Padma eyed the suit she wore with admiration. Padma once wore this sort of designer couture and recognised the style and tailoring.

'Sort of,' Bones said shyly. 'Karl Lagerfeld,' Padma grinned, nodding slowly. They pecked too. Bones went back the yard to Booth, and kissed his cheek tenderly. 'We should get going.' He nodded in agreement.

'I'll drive,' Jared said, almost cheerfully. Booth looked puzzled at him as he picked up Parker and carried him down to the SUV. Bones saw Booth's curious brow. Padma smiled at her brother in law, then to Bones following them down the stairs. Bones went to get her bag in the lounge, Booth waited for her to come back.

'Jared's seems really happy, don't you think? I'm mean its kinda odd for a day like today,' he asked furrowing his brow. 'Do you think he's opened the letter already?' Bones grinned, holding his jaw in her fingers, pouting his lips with a squeeze of her fingers.

'I don't know about the letter but Jared should be ecstatic, he's going to be a father and you an uncle. Padma's clearly pregnant.' She kissed his lips cheerfully, obviously delighted for them. Booth looked stunned, then he grinned hard and wide.

'Really?? You can tell?' He took her bag from her, as they walked to the apartment door.

'Yes, Booth, I can tell... I think it's wonderful. However, they want to keep it quiet, so act surprised when they tell you.'

'Yes! Of course I will.' Booth beamed, slamming the door behind them. 'I'm gonna be an uncle, that's so cool. How far along do you think she is?' Bones walked down the stairs, then stopped. She turned, and smiled looking up at him nearing.

She whispered, 'At least three months.'

Booth nodded, saying, 'Honeymoon baby then.' With a huge smile he tottered past her.

'No.' She shook her head, confused. 'I said three months not three weeks,' she corrected, knowing they had only been married a short time. Booth turned, kissed her lips, and chuckled.

'That's what us Catholics say when you get pregnant before you get married. It's kinda code for ooops, we did the deed before we got hitched.'

'That is so antiquated and totally unnecessary in these modern times.'

'I know, but it's still great news.'

'Pops would have loved to know he was going to have another grandchild,' Bones said softly, nearing him now, standing above him. He smiled wide, his eyes sparkling in the semi-darkness of the stairwell.

'He knows, Bones, he knows,' Booth said with certainly.

'How? Oh.... Is that because his immortal soul is watching over us all in heaven?' she said softly with a touch of sarcasm. Booth grinned and stepped up to her lips.

'Yes, Bones.'

'That's good then. On that logic he should know about us too.'

Booth slipped his warm tongue into her and they swirled together, Bones held his cheek, as she delved in, wanting him as deep as he went last night into a different space and filled it so divinely. His passionate kiss was beautiful and satisfying but not as much as he had been last night. She sighed, breaking the kiss, and rested her brow on his. 'We better go.'

She wiped her moisture from his lips. He nodded, turning to see Jared standing with his hands on his hips, and a delighted smile on his face. He pointed to them, saying cheekily, 'You two've done that before.'

Bones laughed, taking Booth free hand, and walked down the steps towards Jared, flaring her eyes. Then she said sexily, 'Once or twice,' winking at him. Booth smacked his shoulder and nodded fast, confirming before brushing past him.

St Clair's church Thursday 10.00 am.

The quaint church of St Clair's was unusually filled to the brim with the old friends and staff from the retirement home. The pews groaned under the weight of so many people and the small narrow nave was filled with conversation and even a little laughter on occasion. An onlooker may have been surprised by the cacophony but they should have been. Pops, Hank to his friends, was extremely well liked, highly thought of and had a great sense of humour. This of course had endeared him to many who wanted to pay their respects. Most of the mourners knew Hank had a good long life. Yes he was dead now and they were sad at losing him, but at their advanced ages they were familiar to days like this.

The front two pews on the left, in front of the altar, were left empty for the family. In the second one back, sat Cam on the aisle, then Ange, Jack, Sweets and two agents that played ice hockey with Booth regularly on a Friday night, and knew how much Pops had meant to him.

Cam looked at her watch as the priest, Father Thomas, seeing the cars arrive walked off the altar dais, and up the nave towards the doors.

'Here we go,' Cam said to Ange. They all had a brief look around back up the nave as the priest went past them. 'I think Booth and Jared will be touched by how many people are here to say goodbye to Hank.'

'Yes,' Ange agreed, then turned forward again, after smiling at some of the ancient smiling faces behind her, who nodded their respects to her.

Outside the church stood a very nervous, smartly dressed Arthur Booth. As Bones slipped gracefully out of the car, she looked straight at him. Bones' stomach flipped as she scrutinised his face, trying to tell if he was sober. Booth, Jared and Padma got out too, and finally Parker.

Bones looked to Booth who had seen him standing next to the priest and exchange a brief conversation with him. The undertakers were preparing the casket behind the other car. Booth walked over to her. She took his hand, looking deep into his eyes, which seemed grey now, almost hollow to her.

'I'm going to ask if he wants to carry Pops with us.' Bones tilted her head, and squeezed his hand, deeply touched by his forgiveness and humbled by it. She didn't think she could be so forgiving in the light of what that man had put him through. Then to her astonishment, he kissed her lips, and said, 'I've got my strength back, I can do this because of you.' Bones felt her eyes burn, she swallowed, and hugged him.

'Give me one moment please,' she asked with a plea. Booth nodded, Bones let go his hand, and walked slowly up the steps towards the priest and Arthur.

Booth took Parker's hand, and watched as Bones shook hands with Father Thomas. Booth thought his father looked drawn and extremely nervous, as the beautiful flowing doctor stood in front of him.

Bones peered into Arthur's face, he tried to smile but he knew he was being assessed and lost his smile instantly. Bones leant in towards his face, and sniffed his breath discreetly. She leant back a little, and gave him the slightest of nods, in recognition that he had headed her warning.

'Seeley would like to ask you something, Arthur,' she said carefully,

'Ok,' he said, sounding weak, and his eyes glazed a tad. Bones walked back down the step towards the almost ready head mourners.

Bones whispered out of the side of her lips to him, 'I'll be watching you.' Arthur glanced at her, and nodded, as they neared Booth, Jared and Padma.

Parker looked puzzled at the silver haired man, thinking he looked familiar, although he had never met him. Bones took his hand, and leant down whispering in his ear. 'Your Dad will explain later,' she said softly, seeing his brow pucker, Parker nodded.

Jared introduced Padma to him, and seemed delighted that his father was here. They exchanged hugs and restrained smiles. Booth spoke very quietly in his ear. Bones watched as his father nodded his head, hanging it, obviously moved by what he had asked. Arthur's chin began to shake as he lost some of his composure. Bones watched on but her eyes were on her Booth. To her amazement he slid his hand to his father's and they shook firmly. Again she felt tears burn her eyes, and a tightness in her chest.

Booth looked over to her, and smiled slightly. He walked up to her and Parker, he rubbed his son's hair affectionately, and kissed his head. When he righted and kissed her lips gently. Their eyes danced for a few seconds, those powerful words were spoken fervently in their silent exchange. She kissed him, running her hand around his neck, she whispered in his ear, 'I'm the one in awe now.' Her statement touched him deeply, he smiled humbly in reply. Her hand trailed over his jaw and down to his heart, where it rested. She could feel its warmth and it beating strongly. 'We best go in,' she said softly.

Padma came up, and smiled sweetly at Parker. 'See you a bit,' Booth said, walking away, back to his father and Jared. Parker, Padma and Bones in his hand, walked into the church.

As the three entered, heads turned and the congregation quieted down. Bones was delighted by the crowd gathered in the small church for Hank. Bones felt Parker squeeze her hand a little tighter and she looked down at him with a calming smile, squeezing his hand back gently.

As they neared the front row, Ange, Cam and the gang all rose and Bones kissed and greeted them. Parker was pleased and relieved to see some faces he recognised. He genuflected and crossed himself as he slipped into the pew, turning to kiss Cam and Ange sweetly on the cheeks.

'Thanks for coming,' Bones said softly, over the rumbling chatter of voices her entrance had caused. Ange gave her a very hard hug, which she gave back.

'You look amazing, you've done him proud, Sweetie.' Bones smiled with humility.

'Did I see Arthur on the step?' Cam asked, as Bones turned and sat down. She looked around, nodding solemnly. Bones was about to say something to her, when the priest said, 'All rise.'

The organ notes filled the church and everybody stood. Bones felt her heart palpitate her emotions close to the surface, feeling so worried for Booth, and the weight of the task he was to perform. The congregation started to sing as the funeral cortege made slow progress down the centre aisle, held on the shoulders of Booth, Jared, at the front, Arthur behind Booth, and three undertakers.

Parker looked around to see his father and uncle weeping openly, as they carried him along. His eyes welled and he held Bones hand tighter. She pulled out a linen hanky from her suit pocket, and handed it to him with a delicate smile. He took it, and wiped his eyes as they leaked. She put her arm around him, and held him close to her side. She couldn't watch as the men neared.

The priest stood on the dais, and waited while the men placed Hank's coffin on the bier. Then they bowed and turned, Bones looked to Booth, having only eyes for him. He walked to the pew, genuflected and sat down, almost slumping with the effort it had taken out of him. Not from the weight but the emotion. Bones slid her hand around the back of Parker, and caressed Booth's neck. He lifted his head to look into her. Her eyes now were pouring too. Parker whispered to his father, 'You're so brave, Daddy.'

Booth kissed his blonde head, and hugged him for such a sweet statement. Then he looked to Bones over his head, she leant in without hesitation or care for the consequences and kissed him on the lips, holding them there for a few moments, then they mouthed over each others lips deeply, affectionately. No one who witnessed their kiss was in any doubt about what that meant between them.

Ange and Cam exchanged little surreptitious smiles. Then Booth took hold of her hand and Parker's, and the cluster of warm palms rested on Parker's lap.

Ange and Cam again shared another smile seeing that.

The rest of the service was mostly a blur to Bones. She spent most of the time sharing little comforting smiles with Booth and Parker. Padma on her other side, held Jared. He seemed to be having real difficulty with his emotions. His father sat beside him, his hands fidgeting in his lap, with a sodden paper tissue. Bones reached into her purse and pulled out another linen hanky, and passed it along to Arthur. Who looked across to her and nodded a thank you. Booth saw her compassionate gesture and leant in again, whispering, 'Thank you, Bones.' Kissing her lips too. Bones gave him a wonky pout, and sweet ironic grin.

When it was time for Booth's eulogy, he kissed his son and her again on the cheek, and walked up to the lectern. Bones noted that he seemed so much more in control, and watched impressed as he took a deep breath, and looked around the church at all the faces looking at him. He smiled wide, and then forged eye contact with Bones.

'Hank Booth or Pops as we, his family called him... Was a cantankerous; womanizing, domino playing, cigar smoking, rule breaking old bugger, that pissed everybody off sometimes,' The church broke into laughter and nods of agreement, and the atmosphere suddenly lightened. Bones was no exception. She laughed, and smiled beautifully at him for putting everyone at ease. Something she found so touching under the circumstances. Booth waited for the chuckles and noise his opening line caused to die down before he continued. Then he looked to his father briefly, then back to the mourners.

'He was also... a quietly humble, deeply compassionate man, a wonderful husband and man who stood by his responsibilities to his family, in the face of great hardship and never flinched, complained or gave up on Jared and me. My brother and I will be eternally grateful for what he did for us. It is a testament to the man he was, that so many of you have come to pay your respects today. We thank you all for supporting us... You are all welcome to the wake and to share your stories about him with us. All that left for me to say is, that we shall miss you so much, Pops, and give grandma a kiss from us.' He stepped away from the altar to the casket, patted it, whispering, 'Love you, Pops.' He sat back down retaking Bones and Parker's hand, as she smiled warmly at him.

The service at the crematorium chapel was just for immediate family. Again Booth sat with his family, in the front pew. Father Thomas said the internment rite and left the family to say their last goodbyes. Jared and Padma went up together, placing a pack of cigars on top of the casket. They held each other as Jared had another cry, until Padma eased him away, and walked slowly out leaving Bones, Booth, Parker and Arthur. Booth looked to his father, giving him a nod to go next.

Bones noted it took him two attempts to get to his feet. She glanced to Booth as he watched his father walk to the coffin, and placed his hand on the casket, bowing his head. Booth grit his jaw, and looked up to the cross. While his father said what he had to. Parker looked to his dad and asked quietly, 'Dad, who is that man?'

Booth looked down at him, and smiled with tears in his eyes, 'That's my father, Parker. Your granddad.' Parker's eyes widened and he smiled.

'Can I say hello?' Booth looked to Bones, then back to his son.

'Yes, go say hello,' he said softly.

Parker got up, and walked up to the bowed silver haired man, he tugged the back of his suit jacket. Arthur turned slowly, and looked down. Parker grinned wide, and said, 'Hello, my name is Parker, you're my granddad, aren't you?' cheerfully. Arthur looked over to Booth and Bones, smiled and looked back to the small charming boy.

'Yes and you're my grandson.'

'I'm sorry about your Dad. He was a lovely man.,' he said innocently but with deep kindness in his eyes. Arthur teared up again, nodding.

'Thank you, yes he was, the best kind of man.' Parker nodded, patted the coffin and said easily, 'Bye Pops, see you again one day.' Then he took the hand of his grandfather saying, 'Let's go get something to eat.' Arthur nodded, smiling wide.

'Good idea, Parker. I'm pretty hungry.' The two walked out of the small chapel, leaving Booth and Bones with Pops.

'What did you think, Bones? Did I do right?' Bones pecked his cheek, and smiled warmly.

'You're more forgiving that me, Booth. But yes, I think you did right.' Booth nodded, looking down at their hands entwined. He caressed over her soft skin, sighing heavily. Bones watched him for a few seconds, then said softly, 'Time to say goodbye?'

Booth nodded gently again, looking over to the casket. He stood, lifting her too, and they walked over, Bones picked up the single yellow rose she had brought with her, and placed it on the coffin gently, adjusting it to a perfect position, then whispered, 'Bye, Hank, and thank you.' Booth watched her precise movements, and the tears well in her captivating eyes, but they didn't fall this time.

Booth reached into his pocket, and placed a single double six domino next to her rose and patted it gently. 'See you, Pops.' Booth then leant around Bones a little, and pushed the button. His coffin slipped slowly away from sight. Both sets of eyes watched till he was gone, then looked at each other. Bones smiled the tiniest amount.

'You ok?'

'Yes, I am thanks. So much better. I bet you could go for a glass of wine...' Smiling back, clearly ready to move on.

'That sounds like a great idea.' She looped her arm with him, as they walked out of the chapel. Bones felt the relief that Cam had spoken of, flush through her. Booth seemed to brighten too, his shoulders broader and his slight swagger had returned, she noticed.

They walked out hand in hand, seeing the gathered crowd chatting quietly and very relaxed. Ange and Cam came straight over, and took it in turns to hug and kiss Booth with huge affection, offering him their condolences. Bones stepped back a little, letting go his hand. Ange hugged her, whispering in her ear, 'You've been his rock, Sweetie.' Bones kissed both sides of her cheeks, and smiled. 'And by the look of you two, you're together.' Ange cocked a brow, with a curl of her mouth. Bones glanced to him, then back to Ange.

'We've got very close, it's true.' Bones obfuscated sensitively.

'I bet.' Ange waggled her brows suggestively, not falling for her understatement. Bones drooped her head, and hip a little, shyly. Ange saw her brow furrow. She placed her hand on her forearm concerned for her friend. Bones looked back up, and pouted slightly.

Bones conceded honestly, 'I've grown accustomed to holding him and he me.' Ange smiled sweetly, understanding her unease at leaving him. Booth came over to them, and kissed her cheek softly.

He asked gently, 'You ready to go?' Bones nodded, taking his hand as they went to the cars and off to the wake.

The wake was a fairly rowdy affair. The older generations, all Hank's friends from the home, kept everybody amused with stories and antics about him. Bones found herself sitting back relaxing, and sipping wine, while Booth had Parker on his knee, listening and laughing at all the stories. Jared and Padma spent time with Arthur, who Bones noted happily, didn't drink any alcohol.

Bones could see that Booth was back on top emotionally, and knew he would be ok now. She didn't have any concerns about leaving him. Bones had done the rounds with him socially when they first arrived but now she relaxed with her colleagues.

Parker came over with a huge smile, and instinctually sat on Bones' lap, kissing her cheek, and started to drink his cola. Bones was delighted by his casual affection and ease with her. He leant back into her chest, while she grinned, enwrapped by his handsome face.

'Dad's talking with Mr Leibnitz about the new games room at the home that's going to be built.' Bones nodded, and flared her eyes. 'The one you've paid for,' he said, letting the cat out of the bag about her donation in respect of Hank. All her colleagues looked at her with wide surprised impressed eyes. Bones blushed instantly, then whispered in Parker's ear, 'Shhhh, It's supposed to be a secret.' Parker looked puzzled at her, as she cuddled him.

'Well, Mr Leibnitz is telling everyone! Why is it a secret, Dr B?' he asked innocently.

'Well, I suppose that doesn't matter now if everybody knows,' she said looking around her friends.

'Are you staying again tonight Dr B, with Dad and me?'

'Umm. Probably not. I thought you we going home tonight?'

'No, Dad said I could stay and hear more of your cool adventures.' Bones smiled at him, her heart fluttering. He pouted sadly, 'Oh. That's a shame.' Then he said to the audience excitedly impressed, 'Did you know, Dr B has been stung by a scorpion on her left bum. Dad says it looks cute.' Again Bones blushed, dropped her head, then started to laugh at all her secrets being revealed to all and sundry. Parker started to giggle too, realising he had said too much. Everybody laughed at her rare embarrassment and pink cheeks.

Booth made his way over, locking eyes with the chuckling, smothered by his son Bones, and thought it a wonderful sight. She followed his eyes and progress, as he stood behind her, then leant down, saying softly, 'Hello you.'

'Hey you.' She beamed, and lifted her torso up a little to be in range of his lips. Delighted by her intent, Booth dropped the next few centimetres, to place a delicate kiss on her waiting lips. Everybody watched on, and grinned at the affectionate pair.

'Everybody ok?' he asked, kneeling beside her, Bones caressed the back of his neck idly.

'Yes. Thanks, Booth. We're going to head off soon, is that ok?'

'Sure, yeah, I'm so touched that you came. Your support means a great deal,' he said, heartfelt and generously.

They all stood up and said their goodbyes, Bones whispered to Cam, 'Wait for me.' Cam nodded a little. Jared and Padma came over and said goodbye to them too. Bones pulled Padma to the side, and said quietly, 'I'm so happy for you both. Congratulations.' Padma looked stunned that she knew, Bones smiled, and eased her further away. Padma went with her a little confused.

Bones explained briefly, 'I've got to go, Padma. Will you take care of Booth for me, keep an eye on him? For the next few weeks?'

'What? Why? Where you going? You're leaving?' she asked utterly confused. Bones nodded looking over her shoulder to Booth, chatting happily to Parker and two other friends from the retirement home.

'Will you promise?'

'Of course we will.' Bones nodded, placated, kissed her cheek, then walked over to Booth and Parker. She leant down, kissed Parker's cheek, then lifted Booth's chin, looking down at him in the chair from behind him.

'Just going to the...' She nodded in the direction of the toilets, he nodded carefree. He went back to talking with the wrinklies. Bones turned, sliding her hand off his warm cheek for the last time.

Cam's Chevrolet on the freeway back to DC.

Cam glanced in her rear view mirror at the silent doctor, deep in thought, who was looking out the window at nothing. Cam glanced to Ange, and grimaced slightly. Ange nodded, flaring her eyes then turned in her seat to Bones.

'You ok, Sweetie?' Bones snapped her head around, and smiled softly. Ange could see she was far from ok.

'I will be. I should have told him...' she said sighing, Ange nodded.

'Yes, you should have. He'll be freaking out about now.'

'I didn't know what to say.'

'How's about; I've got a dig, see you three weeks, oh and by the way, I love you.'

'Tut, Annnnge,' she sighed, rolling her head, looking out the window again.

'It's true, isn't it? How hard could it be?'

'You don't understand, Ange. These last few days have been agonising for him, he's been turned inside out...' Bones said forlornly. 'So much has been going on you don't know about. His father turning up, Hank, things I promised to tell him. Parker, then us. He has relied on me so heavily. I'm not complaining, far from it. It's just I didn't have the heart to tell him something else he would be upset about.'

'I agree,' Cam supported firmly.

'Thanks, Cam. You saw him today, Cam's correct, today was a relief. He needs to stand alone for a while. He needs to get back his equilibrium. He can do that better without me to lean on, or getting in the way. I just feel bad the way I left him.' Her voice sounding distant and desperately sad.

They arrived at Bones' apartment block, and said their goodbyes and thank you-s. Cam and Ange watched her go in, looking like the saddest million dollars they had ever seen. Just as Bones walked into her elevator, Anges' cell rang. She pulled it out, looked at the caller ID, and smiled.

'Hey, Booth,' she answered instantly. Cam looked to her, and smiled, squeezing up her shoulders cutely, at his frantic call.

'Where-is-she?' he demanded an answer. Ange smiled, turned on by his determination and urgency.

'At home. We've just dropped her off. 'Booth didn't wait for an explanation from her. Ange said, 'They're so cute those two.' Cam laughed agreeing, and drove off.

'Crap!' Booth shut the phone down. He turned to Jared driving, saying, 'Bones' apartment, put your foot down.' Booth threw the switch on for the police lights and siren. Parker grinned at his grandfather and Padma excitedly.

'This is so coool,' Parker oozed. Arthur and Padma nodded, agreeing as Jared did as his brother instructed.

Dr Brennan's loft apartment, 20.50. Thursday late June.

Bones hung up her suit in her closet, and put on loose linen trousers, a tight fitting t shirt and thin sweater. Taking off her emeralds and putting them in her safe. She pulled out her passport and put it in her purse, then walked out into her lounge. She put her purse beside her large backpack, large case and tied together Brasher boots. She checked her watch, just as the apartment door sounded to a loud banging. She knew it was her car to take her to the airport, her flight being in 2 hours.

Travelling first class had its advantages.; limo pick up, straight through at customs, and baggage loaded last so it's first out when you arrive. She had a fourteen hour overnight fight to Amsterdam, a change of planes, then three and a half more to the Greek island of Santorini.

Bones opened the door wide, and smiled at the driver but lost that smile when there stood a worried sick Booth, panting and looking distraught. She looked his face over, not knowing what to say, as the air in her lungs bypassed her vocal cords, so she couldn't make a sound.

He flicked a glance to her cases, then back to her. He wrapped himself around her in a bear hug, whispering in her ear, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry I can do better, please don't leave me. I can do better.' Bones closed her eyes, gripping him back fiercely.

'What are you talking about?' she asked, utterly confused by his whimpered apology. Just as she opened her eyes over his shoulder, Padma, Parker, Jared and finally Arthur came up behind Booth. Bones stepped back, and took his hands. She smiled at them all, 'Oh. You brought everyone. Ok,' she said a little freaked, seeing all the family. Booth ignored the gathering clan behind him, looking into her eyes for answers.

'I'm sorry,' he said again, his eyes wet. She looked at him, seeing his distress.

'Come in all of you, if a car arrives for me, get the driver to put those in the car. We'll not be long. Help yourself to anything,' she said at a rush, while dragging a scared Booth through her apartment to her bedroom for some privacy. Padma nodded, with a cheerful smile, as they all traipsed in, and sat down or looked around her apartment.

Bones pushed him to the end of her bed, and closed her door. She took a breath, and knelt down in front of him, holding his hands. 'Now, why are you apologising? It's me that should I should have...'

He interrupted, 'Don't leave me.'

'I'm not.'

'You've packed bags, you're leaving,' he said, his eyes trickling water. she wiped them away. 'I can do better.'

'At what?' she queered, still confused.

'I'm sorry for last night, I can do better, if you let me, give me another chance, I beg you,' he whispered soulfully, squeezing her hands.

'Booth? What are you talking about? Last night was incredible.'

'Don't, it was a catastrophe. I feel so inadequate and pathetic. You cried. It was all wrong and...' Bones clutched him to her, hugging him mercilessly. Then she looked into his eyes.

'Booth? Is that... why... You think? Did you think?' she stumbled on her words, absolutely dumbstruck by his concern for his performance or lack of it. She tilted her head, sympathetically, stroking his jaw, and then held his head in her palms. 'Booth, listen to me. Listen.' He took a breath, and nodded a little.

'I'm not leaving you... Well, I am, for a while.' she said almost amusedly. 'But I'm not leaving for long. Three weeks to be precise... I have a dig to go to in Greece, a Greek island called, Santorini. It's been planned for a few weeks.'

Booth stared into her eyes, checking she was not trying to cover for his sake. She continued to talk calmly and sensitively, explaining, 'And when Hank died I had to postpone the trip. I wanted to support you, be with you, and I had those promises to keep?' He nodded a tad, and smiled as she caressed over his warm firm chest.

'I knew you would get back on your feet in time, and after today you have. You've been amazing today, so strong and with your father here, you've so much to catch up on, and talk about. My leaving has nothing, nothing to do with you and me last night. Nothing to do with it,' she told him vehemently. He didn't look convinced.

'I was terrible. I've been so selfish and taken all your affection and given nothing back.'

'Yes, in a way, but that was perfectly understandable in the circumstances, you've been in such emotional turmoil. I totally understand that but I didn't complain did I? I was so concerned for you and wanted to make you feel better. The last thing you needed last night, was a rampant anthropologist pushing you into something you weren't ready for.' Booth grinned matching her sweet smile, at her cheeky remark about her amorousness.

'I'm sorry, it's me who should apologise... I pushed you into being intimate. That was very selfish of me. I wanted you so badly, you're physically... Sexually... I, umm, wanted to know you,' she said a little affected.

'But you cried, you were so sad.'

'Yes, I wept.' Bones pecked his lips. 'I was crying for the most perfect few moments of my life so far. Being a part of you was so moving, I wept. They were tears of joy and bliss, of a dream realised. You felt sublime inside me.'


'Yes, really.' There was a knock at her bedroom door, and Jared popped his head around, smiling at them.

'The cabbie is chomping at the bit, I'm afraid,' he grimaced.

'Ok, thanks, Jared, two minutes tell him,' Bones said, Jared nodded, ducking back out, closing the door quietly. Bones stood, pulling him up with her.

'I've got to go, Booth.' She pouted

'What about this letter?'

'Pops'?' she clarified, smiled softly knowingly, kissing his lips. He nodded, not wanting her to let go of his hands. 'Don't worry, whatever it says you're going to be ok.'

'Will I?'

'Trust me, it's going to be ok,' she told him gently, certain of her words.

She pulled him out into the full lounge, where everybody either had a mug of tea or coffee, which amused her as they all seemed so at home. 'Haa! Hang out as long as you want. Water my plants, Booth, ok?' He nodded, not letting go of her hand. She grabbed her purse; her cases already gone and put in the limo.

'Bye, Dr B!'

'Bye, Parker, be good. See you in a few weeks. Bye everybody.' She kissed Parker's cheek, and pulled Booth down the stairs. They trotted fast to the blacked out stretch. The capped driver held open the door for her, giving her a respectful nod. Bones slung her purse in, and turned to him, slamming her body against his, tears welling.

'I'll not sleep without you,' he said gently, holding her back vice like.

'Yes, you will,' she chastised a little, but touched he had said that.

He could see she was struggling too, so he made a gentle joke, 'Nah-ar, won't. Who's gonna make me oats like you, eh? Share my beer with me? It won't taste the same without you. Give me love heart hickies?'

'Booth, do you know why I gave you that?' He shook his head. 'So you will see it and know, be certain, even if I'm not close, I left my heart with you and all that's in it for you. Do you understand?'

He said seriously, his tears welling too now, 'Yes, blood.' She smiled so hard, her tears rolled over her cheeks.

'Exactly... Blood.' Booth chuckled, as did she. She slipped in the car and closed the door, dropped the window, as the driver went to get in the car to take her away from him.

'Three weeks,' she said, as he kissed her through the window.

'Three weeks,' he confirmed, with another few wet kisses, hungry, life sustaining kisses.

'I'm sorry, we really must go,' the driver said. Bones nodded to him, then she looked back to Booth.

'Bye,' she said, as they drove out the underground car park, Booth followed the car, waving to her, as she waved back, and the limo headed off down the street.

To be continued in part two...

Author's Notes: I hope you enjoyed this part. This was the dark the next part is the light. Part 2 is called imaginatively, Son's and Father's Part two, and will be posted soon. I hope I've wetted your appetite for the Booth's resolutions and a little travel adventure. Till the next time, keep safe, Lebxeb X