Title: Learning Curves

Rating: T, but definitely going in the direction of M

Summary: Brennan has always insisted that she had a steep learning curve - but does that apply to dating Booth? Spoilers for Season 6 and much speculation as well.

Disclaimer: I don't own Bones. I wish I did, but I don't. It belongs to Hart Hanson, FOX, and various affiliated.

Author's Notes: This is an immediate follow up to "A Love Warm and Bright". I'd suggest you read that one first before diving into this, just so you have a pretty good idea of the timeline. Also, I've never planned such a long multi-chapter fic before, in between work and my real life writing projects, so apologies in advance for possible delays in posting. Having said that, I'll attempt to post at least once a week. :)

And now, to the fic-mobile!


Even though most of her colleagues were already getting ready to leave by 5 o'clock on a blustery Friday afternoon, Temperance Brennan prided herself on her disciplined work ethics. Though there was currently no outstanding FBI cases in her docket, she was still typing away furiously on her keyboard in her office, completing her authentication reports on several skeletal remains that the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale up in Quebec had sent over for her to identify. On top of that, she was getting ready to send over a spec summary of her latest Kathy Reichs novel to her publisher for next year's publication line-up. So it came as a surprise to her when her IM pinged and the dialogue screen opened up on the bottom right-hand corner of her screen.

Whatcha doin, Bones?

She grinned. Her partner, Seeley Booth, had promised to take her out on a date as soon as both their schedules permitted - in other words, barring horribly disfigured and/or dismembered remains, potentially dangerous chases when apprehending murder suspects, and more time spent as expert witnesses in courthouse cases compared to even the most diligent volunteers for jury duty. He'd broken up with his war correspondent girlfriend, Hannah, at least a month back, but as expected, they were given a case as soon as the smoke had cleared from that particular break-up, and the partners had hit the ground running.

I'm at work, Booth. You know that.

Yes, but I still want to know what you're doing.

I'm writing up a report for a set of remains that were sent over to me from Quebec to identify and corroborate with their own forensic anthropologists.

Nothing like being the best in the field, huh, Bones?

I am the best in my field, Booth. She tried to stop herself from sticking her tongue out at the computer screen.

Well, would Miss Best-In-Her-Field want to go out on a date with me tonight?

Brennan nipped on her bottom lip, a childhood nervous habit that she failed to break even after receiving her doctorates. I have a lot of work to do, Booth.

All work and no play makes Bones a dull girl.

She rolled her eyes. Fine. You can pick me up at 8.

7

7:30

7:15

Fine. 7:15. You are incorrigible, Booth.

It's one of my best traits, Bones. See you at your place at 7:15. Don't be late! His name winked out of her contacts list and she deduced that he had logged off and most probably would be heading out of the Hoover Building. She stared back at her computer screen, the words suddenly blurring in front of her like rainwater against a glass window. Suddenly, she felt her stomach sinking - a feeling that she had never really associated with a date before. But then, this was no ordinary date. What am I going to wear?

There was only one person who could help her.

Steeling herself for an inevitable backlash, she pushed back her chair, unbuttoned her crisp blue lab coat and hung it up on the coat rack at the door of her office, and walked briskly towards Angela's office. The recently-married forensic artist was seated in front of an easel, her brush creating graceful arcs and swirls of color across the canvas. "Ange?"

"Yes sweetie?" She put down her brush and grinned at her best friend expectantly. "What brings you to my cave of artistic bliss?"

For a moment, Brennan considered just stalking out of the lab. Angela was unaware of the change between Booth and Brennan since that afternoon at the Botanic Gardens. Still, after six years, Angela deserved to be the first to know. "I... need your help. I have a date tonight."

Angela's dark eyes sparkled with excitement as she reached over and tugged Brennan inside her office-slash-studio. "And who's the hunk who's taking you out tonight?"

"Hah. Hmm."

"Bren. Sweetie. This is me, Angela, your best friend. Not the best person to prevaricate with."

Was everyone around her psychic? (Not that Brennan ever believed in psychics, but somehow, it seemed that the people surrounding her day-to-day existence was able to glean information from her even before she opened her mouth.) "I'm not prevaricating, Angela. I simply require your assistance in preparing for a date tonight."

"Uh-huh. Except that you never ask my help unless it's important, sweetie."

She huffed. "Fine. It's Booth, okay? We have... a date tonight. Angela... Angela... please don't scream..."

The sound coming out of her best friend's mouth sounded somewhere between a squeal and somebody requiring the Heimlich maneuver. Brennan rolled her eyes and attempted to cover Angela's mouth with her hand. But it was too late - Cam skidded inside in her coroner's uniform and sensible heels; Hodgins at her heels, his plastic goggles still hanging awkwardly from his neck and rubber gloves still wrapped around his hands. They took in the scene: Angela's eyes glittered maniacally and she was hopping up and down even though Brennan's hand was still covering her mouth.

"Uh, care to tell me what's going on?" asked Cam in amusement.

"Nothing," Brennan answered quickly, attempting to stop Angela from spontaneously combusting with excitement. "Absolutely nothing."

"Then why are you trying to suffocate my wife, Dr. B?" Hodgins asked.

"Oh." Brennan removed her hand from Angela's mouth. "I'm sorry. I merely attempted to control the volume of her excitement in order to reduce the concern in the lab in case someone assumed that something of negative consequence was happening in her office, which of course you did. I apologize if I overstepped my boundaries."

Cam gave her a bright grin. "And what, precisely, was Angela so excited about?"

"Ah..."

"Brennan's going on a date with Booth!" Angela clapped both hands across her lips and looked at Brennan, horrified. "Oh my god, did that just come out of my mouth?"

Brennan sighed. "Yes, Angela."

"I'm so sorry!"

"It's okay - " Brennan was unable to continue when Hodgins' arms engulfed her in a big bear hug, quickly followed by Cam's more subdued, yet still enthusiastic, embrace.

"It's about damn time!" crowed Hodgins as he twirled his wife around her office. "Glad to see Booth finally found his balls!"

"I am fairly certain Booth's testicles are in their proper anatomical position, right, Dr. Saroyan?" She turned in concern to the forensic pathologist beside her, who was attempting to hide a grin. "I have no firsthand knowledge of this, but I assume that since you and Booth - "

"That ship has sailed a long time ago, Dr. Brennan," Cam said amiably. "I'm happy for the both of you."

Disengaging herself from an impromptu waltz with her husband, Angela scurried over to Brennan's side and started pulling her towards the door. "We have to get you an outfit pronto, and your nails, and your hair and... what time is he picking you up, Bren?"

"7:15."

"Okay, that gives us a bit over two hours." She half-pulled, half-dragged Brennan out of the office. "Come on, I know this boutique over on Wisconsin that has a dress selection to die for..." The two women's voices faded in the cavernous hallways of the lab, although they could still hear Brennan protesting that Booth would most probably prefer her alive rather than dead in a dress.

"Sure," said Cam to the almost-empty room. "Go ahead, my star employees. Take the afternoon off. I give you my permission."

Hodgins chuckled, shaking his head as he left his boss to her musings.


"Do I look okay?" Brennan smoothed the skirt of the burgundy-and-lace halter dress in front of Angela. It had a delicately ruffled decolletage, hinting only at the shadow of her ample cleavage, before narrowing at the waist and tapering into an A-line skirt that skimmed the edge of her knees. The fabric was light and silky - perfect for a spring evening that was slowly giving way to summer. Brennan's hair tumbled artfully down her shoulders, changing from mahogany to copper under the bedroom lights. Angela had insisted on simplicity tonight: she wore an elegant silver chain around her neck and star-shaped earrings dangling on a myriad of delicate links. Simple wine-colored sandals wound around her ankles, highlighting the curve of her feet and the length of her legs.

"You look gorgeous, Bren." Angela sat at the edge of the bed, surrounded by discarded tissue packaging and plastic wrappers. "Booth's going to want to eat you up as soon as he sets his eyes on you."

Brennan sat opposite Angela, balancing herself at the edge of her dresser table. "I have to admit, I'm experiencing accelerated heartbeat and slight palpitations in my chest cavity, as well as a rise in temperature that doesn't corroborate with the weather outside."

"It's normal to be nervous, Bren."

"But it's Booth."

Angela rolled her eyes in amusement and swung her long legs to the floor. Brennan watched her as she started tidying up the room, stuffing the remnants of their shopping into a plastic bag and tying the two ends together decisively. "That's precisely why you're nervous, Bren. It's Booth. You two have been dancing around this for six years. Six years, Bren. Most people manage to get married and divorced in six years, and you two haven't even gone out on a date. It's not slow. It's positively glacial." She took Brennan's hands in hers and squeezed them reassuringly. "I love you, sweetie, so trust me when I tell you that this? This thing between you and Booth? It's a good thing. In fact, it's a thing from which all other things spring from. It's the thing to end all things. It's a thing from which whole universes and then some come from, exploding in their... thing-ness." She waved her hand dismissively before Brennan could say anything. "And yes, you know what I mean, Brennan, so don't be oblivious now."

Brennan took a deep breath. "Thank you, Ange. I think I needed that."

Angela gave her a hug just as the doorbell rang. "Now, go get him, tiger." She ushered Brennan out the bedroom and closed the door behind her.

Somehow, the distance from her bedroom to the front door never seemed as far as it did right now to Brennan. She took a deep breath, grabbed her clutch from the kitchen counter en route to the door, and grasped the doorknob. Relax. It's just Booth.

Except that the Booth in front of her... well, now. She had seen her partner poured into exquisitely tailored dress suits, rented tuxedos, ratty jeans and t-shirts, and on one glorious occasion, sitting in a bathtub wearing nothing more than a beer helmet. But tonight - ah, tonight she could feel her heart hammering against her chest, pumping away for all it was worth as she drank in the image of Booth looking as though he stepped out of the pages of GQ (and yes, she was aware of that magazine, thanks to Angela's insistence). He wore a white dress shirt that seemed to mold against the hard planes of his chest and shoulders, accentuated by a midnight-blue vest, casually unbuttoned, and matching dress pants. Shiny black Italian leather shoes completed the ensemble.

"Your... your belt?" she managed to stutter, finally taking a moment to breathe.

He grinned at her and flicked open the vest to show her his suspenders, a shade away from burgundy. "Like what you see there, Bones?"

She took a cleansing breath and looked at him cheekily. "I should be asking you the same question."

"Oh, I'm definitely enjoying the view here."

She stepped aside to let him enter, just as Angela was stepping out of the kitchen. "Well, hello there, Studly," she purred, giving Booth an appreciative once-over. "Brennan, I've cleaned up your bedroom already and threw away the trash.' She grinned at both of them. "Now, you two, don't do anything I wouldn't do - which is pretty much everything anyway." She flounced off to the door, giving Brennan a quick hug on her way out. "Enjoy yourselves tonight."

There was a sense of stillness that settled over them as the door clicked shut behind Angela. Booth reached out and wrapped his hand gently around her forearm, drawing her close to him. She could smell his aftershave on him - a hint of musk and something else that was undeniably Booth, as much a part of him as his Cocky belt buckle, his outlandish socks, and his perfectly groomed hair. He tucked her against his body, wrapping his arms around her waist and tugging her until she was flush against him, her curves molding themselves against his unyielding form. "Hi there, Bones."

And before she could even form a coherent response, he'd bent down and latched his lips on to hers, kissing her quietly. She felt the heat in her belly ignite, spreading across her abdomen, flickering tendrils of desire wrapping around her body as she sank into Booth's kiss. His tongue urged her lips to part, and she gripped his shoulders to keep her balance as his lips carefully undid every other kiss she had ever received - this was her first kiss, this windswept, passionate tornado of a kiss that left her breathless, wanting for more.

Booth stepped back, his hands resting languidly at the curve of her waist. For once, he managed to reduce Temperance Brennan, renowned forensic anthropologist and bestselling author, speechless. She looked gorgeous, her hair tumbling down her shoulders, her ocean-blue eyes glittering, a flush of pink coloring her cheeks after he kissed her hello. Man, if this is just the start of the night...

He released her and crooked his arm in invitation. "Shall we, Bones?"

She laughed and hooked her arm around his, smiling. "Yes we shall, Booth."


He parked the SUV under the pale glare of the streetlamp and hurried over to her side to open the door before the popped off her seatbelt. "Just let me do this for you, Bones, okay?" he said before she could even assert her independence and inform him that she was able to disembark from the vehicle just fine. "It's our first date."

She peered up at him curiously. "Are you nervous, Booth?"

He raked a hand through his hair, making the short brown strands stick up in unruly directions. "I just don't want to mess this up, you know?" he said quietly. "I mean, when you turned me down the last time..."

They crossed the street, hand in hand, and paused in front of a 24-hour convenience store, its bright electric lights making Brennan's skin almost luminous. "Booth, look, I'm nervous too, okay? This is new to me. I've never dated my best friend."

His brown eyes met her blue ones in a steady gaze that spoke volumes. "I'm glad you're my best friend, then," he said quietly.

She was the first one to break away; still uncomfortable with the emotions blossoming inside her in relation to Booth, she decided it was easier to turn her sights away from him and towards the shadowed street. "Where are we going, anyway?" she asked lightly, fumbling with the strap of her clutch purse.

Booth gestured towards the small art deco building a few shops away. "Avalon Theatre," he smiled. "I heard there's a special double feature tonight."

"You're taking me to the movies?"

He waggled his eyebrows. "Not just any kind of movie." They finally arrived at the innocuous black metal door with the crossbar, nestled behind a curve of purple velvet cloth tied back with a gold sash. He pushed the bar down and held the door open, ushering her into the theatre.

A man in his forties met them at the small lobby, just shy of the theatre proper. His grin was partly obscured by a neatly trimmed beard. He held out his hand and pumped Booth's enthusiastically as the FBI agent made the introductions. "Bones, this is Jake Malone. He owns the place. Jakey, this is Dr. Temperance Brennan."

Jake shook her hand enthusiastically as well, then clapped Booth on the shoulders. "Glad to see he's calling in his favor for you, Doc. I don't like owing any debts, especially to this big lug."

Booth's eyes crinkled in amusement at Brennan's displeased expression. "Relax, Bones. It's not a gambling thing. I saved his ass in Kosovo, and he said if we returned stateside in one piece, he'd lend me his theatre."

"Once." Jake rubbed the bridge of his nose and ushered them inside. "Everything's all set up, Booth. The technician will start the reel once you give him the signal and then wait outside. He'll lock up after you guys."

"Wait, you mean we're the only ones here?" Brennan asked.

"Yeah, babe. The entire theatre's ours. Jake closed it for the night."

"Thank you." This time, it was Brennan who favored Jake with a sincere smile. "We really appreciate this."

"And she's polite to boot. Gorgeous and has good manners. You got yourself a killer combo here, Booth." Jake chortled and waved as he headed towards the exit. "Enjoy yourselves, kids."

Booth led her to the darkened theatre with an exaggerated bow. "After you, milady."

She rolled her eyes and entered the small theatre. Elegant sconces on the walls gave the place an intimate glow. Unlike larger cinemas, the theatre Booth's friend owned used padded black folding chairs, comfortably seating about sixty people per room. A large projection screen took over one of the four walls of the velvet-draped theatre. The folding chairs were all pushed towards the back, and a simple wool blanket was spread on the floor, surrounded by brightly colored throw pillows, a large wicker hamper, and a bucket of chilled wine. Brennan turned to stare at Booth in surprise. "This is all for me?" she asked, trying to keep out the catch from her voice.

Booth took her hand and led her towards the indoor picnic. He kicked off his shoes and she shimmied out of her strappy sandals, and the pair settled down on the blankets. Booth gave a thumbs-up sign towards the back of the room, and Brennan heard the whirr of the projector as the film flickered on the screen. In the chiaroscuro of the room, she quietly observed his movements as he laid out the picnic he had prepared for them - a salad with pecans, apple slices, and doused with a tart vinaigrette for her, a roast beef sandwich for him, crispy fries for two, and an apple turnover for him. He rummaged around some more and produced her favorite organic chocolate-chip cookies, handing them to her with a wide grin. She accepted them silently, carefully cataloging everything in her eidetic memory.

His hand brushed her bare calf and she gasped in surprise. Skin to skin contact - now that was something new between the two of them. She'd held his hand, felt his lips on hers, his hand occupying the small of her back on a regular basis. But to be able to touch each other anywhere, everywhere - that sent a jolt of nervous excitement through her body. She was allowed to touch now, allowed to mark him as her own. For a fleeting moment, she felt a pang of sadness: even Hannah was able to feel him under her hands, under her skin, was able to lay claim on him in the most primal of ways. Whereas she had always kept him at arm's length, always afraid to allow him to see her flaws, her failures, the cracks in her armor. Suddenly, she felt a sick desire to flee.

Booth looked at her, concern written all over his face. "Are you okay, Bones?"

She twisted the hem of her skirt around her fingers in a nervous gesture. "I... I don't deserve this, Booth. Why are you doing this?"

He inched closer to her, until their noses were mere millimeters away from each other, their breath mingling in the dark air-conditioned theatre. "I'm doing this because I love you," he said softly. "And I'll keep on saying it until you actually believe it."

"I do." She reached up to stroke his forearm, her nimble fingers running up and down the decadent fabric of his dress shirt. "But this? This scares me, Booth. What if what we're doing is wrong?"

In response, he leaned forward, his lips slanted against hers. She parted her lips softly, allowing him to tug at her bottom lip, gently worrying the soft skin. His arms were on either side of her, his body sliding against hers in a deliciously slow manner. Brennan leaned backwards so that she was resting against the mountain of pillows that surrounded them. Booth followed her downwards, sinking into the kiss. He devoured her hungrily, all thoughts of dinner forgotten. His fingers sank into the soft curls framing her face, his tongue exploring the sweet curves of her mouth. Her fingers clutches his back, running up and down the smooth valleys and hills of his muscles, slipping underneath the back of his shirt to explore the expanse of skin beneath the crisp white cotton. Surfacing from the kiss, Booth leaned forward, their foreheads touching. Her eyes were shadowed in the almost-darkness, glittering agates in the shifting light. "Did that feel wrong?"

An exhale. "No." Never.

:"Then we're good, okay, Bones?" He pressed another kiss against the soft skin at the juncture of her neck and shoulder, tracing the curve of her collarbone as he dipped his tongue into the shallow juncture of her clavicle, tangling with the silver chain around her neck. She gasped and pressed herself against him, desire churning inside her body like a storm waiting to be unleashed. She could feel the heat of his erection pressing against her thigh and slid one small hand to stroke him through his pants. She heard him gasp, his body taut with desire, his eyes dark and dangerous as he regarded her beneath him, flushed and panting. "Bones, I love you, but I don't want our first time to be at the back of some movie theatre, necking like teenagers."

She grinned at him. "Why not? I must admit, I've never had intercourse in a theatre..."

"Bones," he groaned, sitting up and trying to reign in the need to rip off the lacy concoction of a dress surrounding his partner's body and taking her right there on the floor. "Give a guy a break. I've been fantasizing about this for seven years, okay? Let me make it right."

"I'd say you're doing very well already," she replied innocently, leaning back against her elbows on the pillows, looking every inch lovely and ravished. The artful curls that Angela had done tonight were now loose, framing her face softly. She looked at him from underneath half-lidded lashes, deciding whether or not to have him for dinner or dessert.

"Bones, if you keep on looking at me like that - "

"Like what?"

"Like you're going to eat me up."

She gave him a lazy smile. "Some day, I'll have you for dessert, Agent Booth. I assume you'll taste just as well as chocolate syrup."

"Bones!"

She reached out and grabbed her salad bowl and a plastic fork, grinning at him. "All right. What are we watching tonight?"

He leaned back, settling himself at her elbow, setting the plastic box of fries between them. In front of them, a very young Al Pacino glowers at Sterling Hayden and Al Lettieri inside a dimly lit Italian restaurant. "Don't recognize it, Bones? I lent you the DVD last year and you promised to watch it."

She chewed on a piece of apple thoughtfully. "This is The Godparent, yes?"

"The Godfather, Bones. A classic American film, okay?"

"I prefer French or Italian films." She listened to the dialogue carefully. "Their linguistic coach must not be very good, since I'm fairly certain that's now how you say - "

He pressed a finger against her lips. "Shhh, Bones. Just enjoy the movie."

"I don't appreciate being treated like a child, you know."

"I know. But I want to share this film with you, and I can't do that if you keep on contradicting every single thing about the movie." He gave her a conciliatory smile. "Just let your mind go free and let the movie take you where it wants you to go."

"That's actually very profound, Booth."

He took a bite out of a fry and held out the other half to her. "I did take a few film classes in my time, you know. I'm not just some Neanderthal who bashes people on the head and then runs back to my man-cave."

She laughed. "There's no historical evidence that - oh, I'm doing it again, aren't I?" she said in response to Booth's amused grin. "All right, I shall attempt to enjoy this cultural experience you are providing me."

"Ah, Bones," he said, leaning into her. The weight of his head was comfortable against her side, and she reached out one hand to thread into his hair. "This is perfect."


It was past midnight when the couple left the theatre, Brennan chattering happily a mile a minute as she explained the anthropological significance of the Corleones' actions and how the Mafia was romanticized by the movie industry. Discreetly tipping the young man who manned the projector before they left the theatre, he then proceeded to steer Brennan in the direction of the SUV on the other side of the road.

Her eyes were bright as they drove towards her apartment. "That was a lovely date, Booth. I thoroughly enjoyed myself."

He chuckled. "I can see that, Bones."

She almost bounced in her seat. "I believe you mentioned that this film is part of a trilogy? When can we watch the other two?"

"I've got the entire DVD collection, Bones. Remember? I lent it to you and then you gave it back."

He felt, rather than saw, the shadow of sadness that suddenly fell across her face.

"Hey. What's going on in that brilliant brain of yours?"

She sighed. "I've hurt you. I am aware that my thought processes are significantly faster compared to my peers, I've discovered that when it comes to emotional processes, I am still quite naive. It's only now, in hindsight, that I've come to realize that a lot of my actions were a result of my own feelings of inadequacy and fear of loss, but unfortunately they've also affected the way we interact. I'm sorry for that."

"Hey." He gave her a reassuring smile. "You've come a long way, Bones. Six years ago, you wouldn't even have been able to figure out why you're the way you are. And you know what? I wouldn't have you any other way."

"The only reason I was even able to look at myself is because of you," she said quietly.

"And that's why we're partners, Bones. Because you and me? We bring out the best in each other, yeah?"

"I bring out the best in you?"

"Every day, Bones. Every day."

The SUV turned a corner and slid into a parking space in front of Brennan's apartment. She turned to him as she undid her seatbelt. "Would you like to come up?" she asked. The palpitations were back, insistently trying to drown out the sound of her voice.

Booth smiled at her. "Not tonight, Bones."

"Why?"

He drummed his hands on the steering wheel. His shirtsleeves succumbed to gravity, the tattoos on his wrists suddenly stark against his skin. "Because this isn't just a booty call. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I want to actually court you, Bones. I want you to see what making love is all about - you know, where the 'love' part is actually important."

"But you already know that I love you."

He smiled at her words and reached over the center console to haul her up to his lap. She slid against his body, her dress riding up to her thighs. She fit perfectly in his arms. She looped her arms around his neck and nuzzled him, sending a tingle up his spine and sending signals to his cock to stand at attention. All his fantasies - seven years' worth of them - didn't even hold a candle to the real thing. He inhaled her scent, a heady mix of jasmine and Temperance, and tried to maintain his control. He knew he was fighting a losing battle the entire evening - she was a mix of minx and mystery, constantly teasing him and tugging at his heartstrings. She was everything he missed in Hannah, all tangled up in burgundy and lace.

"I love you too, okay Bones? Never ever doubt that."

She laughed against his neck. "I've never doubted you."

"That makes one of us." He planted a kiss on her bare shoulder, softly brushing away her copper curls to taste her skin. She thrummed underneath him, her hands tucked underneath his vest, skimming his torso. His arms were full of Brennan - her thighs pressed on either side of him, her body flush against his despite the edge of the steering wheel digging into the small of her back. "Let me make this special, Temperance. For both of us. All right?"

She sighed. "All right."

"Good. Now let me take you up and kiss you good night."

She grinned at him wickedly. "I can kiss you good night in a lot of ways, Agent Booth."

"I'm fairly certain of that, Dr. Brennan."


The insistent ring of the doorbell roused Brennan up from her slumber ten minutes before her alarm rang. Slipping into a fluffy coral-colored robe, she padded towards the door, hoping that whoever it was wasn't afraid of a little bit of bed head.

A delivery man stood on the other side of the door, clearly appreciative of the sight that greeted him. "Delivery for Dr. Temperance Brennan," he stated, shoving a brown paper-wrapped parcel in her hands and a clipboard awaiting her signature. She signed quickly, tipped the man, and then padded back inside, locking the door behind her. She grabbed her scissors from the kitchen counter and carefully snipped off the twine that tied the package together. Unfolding the paper, she discovered a special-edition box set of The Godfather trilogy. She grinned. Only one person could've sent her that.

A note fluttered to the floor, covered in Booth's familiar scrawling handwriting. She bent down and picked it up, smoothing the sheet on the counter. Bones, it read, I know you've got a steep learning curve, and I promised you that I'd return your stuff for each date you go out with me. So here's the first of your stuff (well, my stuff, really) that I'm returning to you. Do you get where this is going or do I still have you guessing? Use that beautiful brain of yours, gorgeous, and get ready for our next date. Love, Booth.


A/N: Sooooo what did you think? Shall we continue? Do you want to see how the other dates go, and what else Booth has up his sleeve? (Aside from all that sexy muscles, yum.) As usual, reviews fuel a writer's soul - I'm looking forward to your thoughts! :)

As an aside, the Avalon Theatre does exist in DC, and thanks to Google Maps, I at least have a relative visual of the area. Unfortunately, the inside decor of the place was left to my imagination, so I hope it works. Similarly, I've never seen The Godfather but I've attempted to do my research as much as possible. Plus, I've always thought of Booth as a movie buff, given his vast knowledge of pop culture references.

Again, any mistakes are my own. That's about the only thing I own with this fic. :D