A/N: I've read a lot of stories that have bridged the Season 5/Season 6 gap but I don't think this has been done before. If it has, I haven't read it. I shopped this idea to several of my regular readers and got a very positive response, so I don't want any complaints that this is some sort of a "party foul."

Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.

Chapter Fourteen: Pretend You're Not My Partner

Brennan looks at Murphy as they walk down the hall. He has the stiff gait of an officer, but she detects something else in him that she can't pinpoint. He leads her back into the medical building, but she stops in her tracks. "I won't be doing anymore today," she tells him. "I'm exhausted from traveling and I'm waiting for results from my team."

"But General Davis gave strict instruction," he stammers as she walks ahead of him.

Brennan grabs her bag from the corner of the room and slips her laptop inside. "I'll be back tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.," she tells him. "I trust that Captain Peters medical files will be here when I arrive."

He grabs her arm tightly as she walks past him. "I'm afraid you don't understand," he growls at her.

She twists away and sweeps her leg, knocking him off of his feet. His head slams into the wall. She looks down at him with raised eyebrows. "I warned you not to touch me," she hisses before leaving him struggling to pick himself up.

She walks the short distance from the base to the town easily. Seeing the vendors at the local market still have out their wares, she walks over to the tables. The weight of the different objects feels good in her hands. It almost makes her forget the tasks that await her and the fact that she will be forced away from Booth for at least a while longer.

He stands in an alleyway and watches her flit through the different vendors in the marketplace. He smiles as he sees her face light up as she picks over chunky, handmade jewelry. It's not often that he's gotten to see her like this, exploring another culture in her anthropological glory. Taking in the little things that make this group of individuals different from others.

He waits impatiently in the shadows. Watching. Wishing she would draw nearer to his hiding place. And when she does, he grabs her wrist and pulls her close. "You better watch it, Bones," he tells her when she doesn't fight him. "I could have been a stranger."

She smirks up at him, her hand sliding over his cheek. "And if you were a stranger, your arm would be broken," she responds dryly. "Along with your nose and..."

"Ouch!" he says with a grimace. "I get it, okay?" He cradles her against his chest. "Bones," he murmurs softly against her ear as his lips brush a trail over her cheek to collide with hers.

She sighs, her lips turning up in a smile he feels rather than sees. "Booth," she says softly as she endeavors to escape his wandering mouth. "Booth, I know you're innocent."

He continues his tender exploration, reveling in being able to kiss her - to feel her in his arms - again. His fingers glide over her back, massaging and drawing her closer. "I know that already, Baby," he whispers against her lips.

She pushes against his chest. "You're quite distracting," she says as her eyes narrow. "I've spoken to the General, but he still refuses to let you work with me."

Booth heaves a sigh, but doesn't release her. He looks into her eyes and sees the look she gets when she's intently focused on a case. He loves that look, but he's more interested in the newest facet of their relationship. "I saw that coming," he says as he kisses her temple.

"I'm going to contact the State Department and Car..." He silences her rambling with a kiss and takes her hand. "Where are we going?" she asks him.

He grins at her and pulls her along behind him. He knows just the place. Beautiful. Secluded. "You'll see," he tells her.

A brisk walk takes them away from the crowd and onto the slope of a gentle hill where a patch of soft, green grass grows beneath a graceful fig tree. The scent of ripe fruit is sweet and sticky in the afternoon heat. He leans her against the trunk and kisses her throat.

"Booth," she moans, "We really should talk about the..."

He takes her mouth. "Bones," he utters between kisses. "Pretend you're not my partner," he breathes against her lips as his hands pull her shirt loose of her shorts. They glide over the flesh of her slim waist as his tongue dances over her lips. He pulls away to look at her. "Just be the woman I love."

She gulps at the lust and desire in his eyes, delights in the hard heat of his body as he leans into her. This is a side of him she's never seen before. And she likes it. A lot. "What's come over you?" she asks as nimble fingers work the fastenings of her blouse.

His breath is hot as it fans over the skin of her chest. "I want you," he says plainly. Flick. Another button is released, this one revealing the creamy flesh of her breasts as they rise and fall beneath the nude satin of her bra.

"Now?" she pants as he continues to caress her. His touch creates a burning need. A need for something more than just the satisfaction of mere biological urges. "Shouldn't we go to my...?"

The question dies on her lips as he pulls her into a crushing embrace. His lips curve into a cocky grin and his eyes challenge her. "Are you calling me a prude, Temperance?"

The sound of her given name makes her shiver with desire. Her lips seek his, but he holds back. "Booth?" she questions on an uneven breath.

He eases her down until she sits on the ground. He tugs the fabric of her shirt away and it floats softly to the grass behind her as he makes quick work of her shorts. "You've got a lot to learn about me, Baby," he tells her wickedly as his hands brush her thighs. He moves toward her, forcing her to lay back in the grass as he devours her in a hungry kiss.

She pulls at his shirt, suddenly eager for the touch of his skin against hers. As he teases her, working her body into a humming frenzy, she realizes something that serves to strengthen her desire: they've been making love for years in their arguments. The back and forth, give and take banter is exactly what's happening between them in this moment. And she's lost. In him. In the way they are when they're together.

Plink. The soft sound of metal on metal - of dog tags against the medallion around her neck - drags her back to their tangled limbs. Warm flesh on warm flesh as he moves over her. In her.

Slowing, he tangles his fingers in her hair and looks into her eyes. "I fantasized about this," he says, kissing her. His tongue teases hers, stroking against it expertly at a different rhythm than he's set for their bodies. "Taking you here." - stroke - "Under this tree." - stroke - "Just like I'm doing now."

His voice and movement cause her to shatter in his arms. She arches beneath him, head rolling back and fingers curling into the thick grass beneath her. As she rides the wave of her release, she lets go of the foliage and clings to him. Her nails biting into his shoulders. She moans his name and matches his every stroke. He spasms and his body relaxes against hers.

They lay there for a while, struggling to catch their breath. He kisses her face. Figs are never going to be the same again. "I love you," he tells her softly.

Her eyes meet his. He is her center. And now, more than ever, she knows they'll hold. "I love you, Booth," she answers, her fingers tracing over the muscular lines of his back.

When they come apart, they dress quickly. He gives her a lingering kiss. "I swear to you," he says, his hands stroking down her arms. "When we get home, I may not let you out of bed for a week."

She smirks. "Just a week?" she replies as she buttons her blouse, squinting at him in the late afternoon sun.

He helps her to her feet and takes her into his arms. "I'll keep you there for as long as you'll let me," he tells her.

Her brow furrows in confusion even as her arms loop around his waist. "So, when we talked about intercourse in the SUV..." she starts.

A very Boothy grin plays on his features. His eyes crinkle at their corners. "There's a difference between being private and being a prude, Bones," his lips find the shell of her ear. "Besides, it was difficult enough just to look at you some days. Talking to you about sex probably would've made my head explode."

"I don't know what that means," she says slowly.

"Yeah, you do, Bones," he smiles as he kisses her. "Think about it."

As they stare into each other's eyes, her hand smoothes up the wall of his chest. She hears the rustle of the papers he's tucked into his pocket. He removes the notes and hands them to her. "I talked to Hannah," he asserts. "I got some information about Sarah. I don't know what the MPs will think to ask her and I wanted you to have as much as possible."

She grins at him. "I'm sure you've gotten something that will help," she answers. "I don't trust the way they're handling things. I feel like they're attempting to manipulate the facts."

"Yeah," he agrees. "Something just doesn't feel right."

She shakes her head. "You and your gut."

"Just be careful, okay?" he asks, slipping a hand beneath the curtain of her hair to cup her neck. "I need to know that you're safe."

She thinks for a moment about the events with Murphy. She knows that he'd kill for her and that, while he wouldn't kill the young captain for his actions, there would be consequences to deal with if she shared what happened. "I will," she promises. She can take care of herself.

"I wish I didn't have to leave you," he says as his lips slide over hers.

"But we both know that you have to get back," she concedes.

"I'll see you soon," he insists.

"Soon," she repeats, her fingers taking the place of his lips. She hears his whispered words of love but before she can reply, he's gone. And she's left with the afternoon's memories and the sweet smell of fruit and grass on her skin.