The Evolution of Us

Summary: A dream leads Brennan to evaluate her recent feelings towards Booth, as well as their odd co-dependent relationship. An epiphany comes to her - one that results in a funny, loving, Booth & Brennan sort of situation.

A/N: Up to episode 99. I don't know if this is the best, definitely not the best in BONES Fanfiction, but I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this anyway. I liked writing it - it was funny, and I kinda laughed out loud when this popped into my head…Please leave me a line or two telling me how you found this piece. Thank you all so much.

P.S. I wrote this before the 100th even came out and I didn't want to change anything so this occurs before the 100th episode and will be disregarding any new information revealed in said episode. Also, most of the A/N at the end is also written before the 100th came out, and not the day season 6 (ah, break my heart!) starts.

Disclaimer: I don't own BONES.


Something landed on the bed with a soft 'flump', making the bed dip slightly. Something was shaking her shoulder. She moaned tiredly and rolled over on the bed, keeping her eyes closed. She had been up until two yesterday morning - it was funny how her morning sickness attacked during the night instead of in the morning.

When she continued to sleep - she was even starting to drift back to the comforting, black abyss - something else climbed on the bed. "Mama," a soft voice called. She moaned again. "Mama, wake up!"

Something wet landed on her cheek, a tiny little spot, and her eyes fluttered open to see little Emily leaned over her swollen belly, her lips pressed to her cheek.

Just like that, she grew to be wide awake. She took in a huge breath of Emily's scent - something soft and sweet like vanilla and lavender, with a tiny hint of baby powder. She sat up slowly, scooting backwards to rest her back against the headboard. She gently grasped Emily by the hips, lifting the squealing three year old into the air before settling her on her lap.

"Good morning, baby," she whispered, dipping her head down to press kisses on Emily's face. Emily giggled girlishly and leaned into her mother's embrace, hugging her fiercely. She turned her head and smiled brightly at her nine year old step-son. "Good morning, Parker."

Parker grinned at her. The smile was so alike his father's, all charm and twinkly eyes, that she felt a heartwarming pang in her heart. "Morning, Bones," he greeted her, leaning over to kiss her cheek as well. His kiss was less wetter than Emily's had been. She laughed and hugged him with one hand, the other keeping Emily to her. "Dad's making breakfast," he informed her.

She turned her head to look at the time. Her eyes widened almost comically. "Oh, my God, it's after eight," she muttered to herself. "It's after eight!"

Practically blinded by panic, she scrambled out of bed. She ran out of the bedroom, grabbing the coat she'd used to the lab just yesterday and the one shoe she could find, eyes frantically searching for the other one while balancing Emily in her arms to make sure that she didn't fall.

Emily giggled all the way down the stairs and into the kitchen, tickled by her mother's bouncy movements. When they reached the kitchen, she let Emily down on the floor. Emily immediately went to her father, hugging him by the leg. "Hi, daddy!" she grinned up at him cheekily.

She glared at her husband. "Why didn't you wake me?" she demanded angrily. "It's quarter past eight, Booth. I can't be late! I can't find my shoe, and where the he-" she stopped abruptly, remembering the young ones in the room, and reiterated. "Where on earth are my files? I could've sworn I left them on the counter."

She paused to take a deep breath, and finally noticed everyone's outfits. Booth and Parker and six year old Luke were all wearing pajamas. Emily still had on her Princess Ariel footie pajamas. Luke had his hand clasped over his mouth, giggling at his frantic mother. Emily had grown bored of watching the adults and was now whining at Parker to help her get into her high chair. She had her eyes fixed on the pancakes. She loved pancakes - especially loved the maple syrup that came with it.

"Why aren't you dressed?" she asked, frowning disapprovingly at them.

Booth chuckled, placing a fresh plate of eggs on the table before coming up to her. Taking her coat, shoe and keys from her, he placed them aside and took her hands in his. Looking her seriously in the eyes - though she could see the humor blatantly twinkling in those warm chocolate orbs - he told her, "Babe. It's Saturday."

She could see the corners of his lips twitching slightly, as if he were fighting one of his cheeky smiles.

She halted, stared at him incredulously. "It's Saturday?" she asked, gaping at him. He nodded in confirmation. "It's Saturday," she repeated to herself, as if to reassure herself. "I can't believe it's Saturday."

Looking up, she glared at her husband. She slipped one of her hands free to smack him on the arm. He barely flinched, of course. Strong man. "Why didn't you tell me! I was all panicked for no good reason!" she pouted. She'd stopped coming to the lab on Saturdays for a long time now. Ever since Luke was born, in fact. Not that the Jeffersonian minded - weekends were mostly done on her part willingly as extra work time.

To her chagrin, he merely chuckled. And to her slight irritation, that deep, husky, manly laugh caused a sudden, familiar tug in the pit of her stomach. "You were all adorable when you were flustered," he offered as way of explaining himself. "Besides, you just came charging in here…I didn't really have time to tell you." Smiling, he tapped the tip of her nose with a gentle finger. "I think your pregnancy's making your mind a little harebrained."

She scowled at him but before she could say anything else, she heard a loud squeal. They both turned their heads to find Emily, strapped in her high chair, with an open bottle of maple syrup in her hands. She had syrup pouring out of the bottle onto the tray of her high chair, the gooey liquid smeared all over her face, hands and pajamas. "Mama, look!" she beamed, obviously proud of her handiwork.

She gasped and flitted closer. She had to stifle an exasperated chuckle when she saw that Emily had poured the slightly viscous liquid onto the tray and had drawn little hearts in it with her fingers. "Oh, sweetie," she sighed, fighting the urge to roll her eyes.

"I'll clean her up," Booth offered.

"I'll clean up in here," she finished. They both nodded once, as if choreographed, and went to their self-assigned tasks.

Booth lifted little Emily out of her high chair, swinging her around in the air. She screamed happily and kicked her legs in the air - she'd always loved it when he swung her around like that.

"Alright, come on, little bugaboo," he said, hitching her on his hip and making a face as the sticky liquid on her pajamas transferred on his t-shirt. "Let's get you cleaned up for mama."

"Can we go to the zoo, mama?" six year old Luke asked as she set about cleaning Emily's high chair. "I wanna see the penguins."

She gave him an exasperated look all mothers had perfected by age one. "We went to the zoo last week-"

"-And the week before that," Parker grumbled as he stacked eggs on his plate, mouth already full with food.

She ignored him. He had been coming into his 'grumble at everything' phase lately and she simply wasn't in the mood to chide him this early in the morning. Especially after her not-so-pleasant scare just minutes ago. "-And you've already see the penguins. I think we should do something else this week."

Luke frowned at her unhappily. "Then we'll see the alligators," he promised. "Please, mama?"

She shook her head. "Sorry, baby," she said firmly. If she were to be honest, she just wanted to laze around the house today. Her back was killing her, she had to finish her latest chapter by tomorrow midnight and she had a doctor's appointment on Monday to worry about. She was exhausted from working away the whole week and, as much as she hated to admit it, Booth was probably right about getting maternity leave soon. She was already seven and a half months along. Being confined to the lab meant nothing when she had to bend over examination tables all day.

Luke whined in disagreement, a temper tantrum already showing. In one swoop of his hand, he had flicked the sliced piece of banana from his hand in a vague direction. Unfortunately for big brother Parker, it hit him solidly in the forehead.

"Hey!" Parker protested, glaring at Luke.

"Lucas Joseph Booth!" she gasped, wide-eyed at his actions. He had never thrown anything before, unless you counted that one time when he was two and had gotten so upset over bedtime that he'd thrown the red block he was playing with at Booth's head. Her husband had been unscathed but Lucas had thrown a tantrum over punishment.

Ah. Terrible twos. The good ol' days, she reminisced bemusedly.

Luke, probably recognizing the no-nonsense tone his mother had adopted, grew wide-eyed. His eyes - a beautiful dark color that resembled that of his father's and his older brother's - filled up with apologetic tears. "I'm sorry, mama," he whimpered.

She sighed, shaking her head. "Lucas, I know it's upsetting when you don't get something your way, but not everything will go your way," she said sternly. She very rarely let anything slide. Booth was the easier parent. "I don't want to see or hear any more tantrums in the future, you hear me?"

Lucas nodded, tears still welling up in his eyes. She was done cleaning the high chair so she sat in the empty chair next to Luke and wrapped her arms around him. "But it's okay, baby," she murmured, pressing a loving kiss to the side of his head. "I love you. Don't do that again, okay?" He nodded again, brightening up now that he knew he wasn't going to get into trouble. "Say you're sorry to your brother."

"I'm sorry," he told his brother, a little grudgingly. Parker rolled his eyes but accepted it nonetheless.

When Booth returned to the table, Emily was changed into a baby blue nightgown instead of her dirtied footie pajamas. He, on the other hand, was shirtless.

For a man steadily reaching his forties, Booth is in extremely good shape, she commented in her mind. Wincing a second later, she chastised herself. Damn hormones.

He smirked a little at her as he passed her, recognizing the look in her newly hooded dark blue eyes. "All clean," he announced cheerfully in a loud, booming voice, gently placing Emily in her high chair once more. He promptly dropped in his own seat next to her.

"Why is it that dad can walk around the house shirtless, and I can't?" Parker complained, raising an irate eyebrow at her.

She rolled her eyes. "He can't," she stressed, looking intently at Booth. He was avoiding her gaze, pretending as if mother and son hadn't even had a conversation about his shirtless form. "Booth!" she hissed, kicking his shin not-so-gently.

"OW!" he complained, glaring at her.

"Shirt. Now," she ordered.

He sighed, pouting at her, but obliged anyway. "Bossy," he teased in a low voice, bending down to press his lips to hers in a brief kiss as he passed. She smiled lovingly as she watched him walk off to the stairs.

"Mama, can I watch Spongebob?" Emily asked in her sweet, feminine voice.

She looked over to see Emily still sitting there with her breakfast. "You know the rule about eating in front of the TV," she warned the little girl gently.

Emily turned big, baby blue eyes on her - Booth had constantly told her how she looked most like her mother, while her brothers looked most like himself. "Please, mama?" she tried the Booth charm smile all Booth kids were born with.

She shook her head. "No, sweetie, I'm sorry. Finish yours breakfast then you can watch half an hour of TV," she promised.

Emily huffed, obviously upset, but nodded and complied. There really was no arguing with her mother - she was scary when she was angry. Not in a bad way, because she would never hurt her children, but still scary. Even daddy gets scared when mama's angry, Emily thought with a giggle.

"T-Ball starts in twenty minutes, Parks! We're gonna be late!" Booth hollered up the stairs. Lucas' team was having a game against another t-ball team this afternoon, so everyone was sort of jittery.

Emily had fallen asleep, her Thumper soft toy clutched to her chest as she hung on to her mother's neck even in slumber. Emily had her thumb stuck in her mouth, which she pulled out slowly after her little girl had fallen asleep - she didn't approve of the thumb-sucking, but Booth had mentioned that it would stop sooner or later. She'd witnessed it with Luke before, so she was slightly appeased.

"I have to go to the bathroom!" Luke shouted as soon as Parker made it down the stairs.

Parker gave his dad a look. "Can I bring my video game?"

He rolled his eyes. "No, bub. You're gonna watch the game, like we do," he gestured towards his wife and himself. "Support your brother."

Parker gave a long-suffering sigh. "Emi doesn't have to," he nodded at the sleeping girl.

"She'll probably wake up at the game," she offered absent-mindedly.

It took nearly ten minutes for everyone to finally get into the car - they were officially late because there was no way they'd make it to the park in ten minutes time. Since Booth was the coach, she didn't think they would be in that much trouble, but she doubted the other parents would be happy with their tardiness.

"Go, Lucas, go!" Emily was screaming. True to her mother's words, little Emily had woken up halfway through Lucas' game. Parker had started getting a little into it, though he still thought it was 'kinda lame' since 'the tykes can't even tie their own shoes, let alone play ball'. He'd joined their community's Little League minor league team last summer and had steadily gotten more and more athletic. As athletic as a nine year old could get, anyway. Father's genes.

"It's okay that you didn't win, Luke," Booth tried cheering up his upset little boy. "The main thing was that you had fun. And you tried really hard. Next time, we'll try even harder, okay?"

Lucas nodded glumly.

"How about we go for ice-cream?" she suggested.

Luke lifted his head and stared at his mother in surprise. "Really?" he squeaked in happiness. There was rarely a time when they could get dessert before dinner since she believed in healthy lifestyle choices. This must be really special.

She nodded, smiling. "Yes. I think that you deserve it after how well you played today," she explained.

Luke frowned at her. "But I didn't win," he pointed out.

She shrugged. "Winning isn't important," she dismissed. "Like your father said, Lucas. It's just important that you had fun, you played with your team and you tried your best."

Hugging both his parents, Luke went to catch up to big brother Parker - his hero, really. Emily, who was walking in between her and Booth, were swinging their hands back and forth, singing 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' over and over again. It was one of her favorite nursery songs lately, and it was steadily driving her nuts while being comforting at the same time. The contradictions of being a mother.

She sighed a little, and he shot her a questioning look. Shaking her head, the corner of her mouth lifted to form a crooked smile. "I just miss this," she said, waving her free hand around to indicate their little family. "I know it's only been a week since we all hung out together but this week had felt so stressful…It felt to me like a month instead."

He gave her an understanding smile. "I know what you mean, baby," he assured her. "Did you give any thought to taking maternity leave yet?"

He sounded slightly disapproving, and she knew it was because he had been against her working since the last few weeks of her second trimester.

She smiled but rolled her eyes at him. "Yes," she replied, to which he grinned cockily. "I thought of asking Cam on Monday."

"Good," he said simply, stopping. She stopped, too, and so did Emily. "I love you, Bones."

She smiled that sweet, lovely, 'I-know-you-want-to-kiss-me-because-we're-having-a-moment' smile of hers that reciprocated his, the two leaning forward until their foreheads were touching. He dipped his head, nuzzling his nose against hers and loving that laugh of hers whenever he gave her Eskimo kisses.

"I love you, too, Booth," she murmured softly against his lips. "OH!" she gasped, pulling away after a moment.

He looked concerned. "What? What is it!" he asked, panicked.

She grinned and shook her head at him. "No, it's nothing bad," she assured him. "It's just that the baby kicked again - really hard this time," she told him, grabbing his hand and placing it on her swollen belly. She loved that blissed out expression on his face every time he felt their baby moving in her womb. It happened every time when she was pregnant with Lucas, and it had happened every time she had been pregnant with Emily. Now, with their newest addition to date, he was still as happy as ever whenever he felt their baby moving.

She had to admit, she understood how he felt. She was the same way.

"Love you, baby," Booth murmured, rubbing her belly gently, soothingly. The baby pushed against where his hand was, as if to say 'love you, too, daddy'. She could've sworn she saw tears in Booth's eyes, but he had leaned forward to kiss her again and her eyes had slid closed at the warm, sweet yet spicy, masculine taste of him.

"Mama!" Emily complained, tugging at her hand impatiently. "Daddy! Ew!"

They pulled back to realize that they had gotten so caught up in their moment that not only Emily, but Parker and Lucas as well had stopped and were impatiently waiting for them. She blushed a little.

"Are you guys trying to make twins?" Lucas asked, a curious expression on his face. Parker merely looked disgusted at their display.

Booth chuckled and reached forward to ruffle his son's hair. "That's not how it works, bub."

"Then how does it work?"

Parker, who had already received the 'where do babies come from' talk from his dad - and Bones, which was a total disaster since she went all scientific and told him everything - cringed and pulled his baby brother away from the loving couple. "Don't ask," he warned the boy. "Trust me - you don't wanna know."

The family resumed walking again, the two adults laughing at Parker's reaction. "Swing, swing!" Emily squealed, tugging on both their hands again. She loved it when they would swing her as they walked.

"Alright, let's swing!" Booth cheered, like the big kid he was. "One, two, swing!" he cried out, both him and his wife lifting their arms as they walked, allowing Emily to swing in mid-air for a jump before her feet touched the ground again. "One, two, swing!"

She woke up gasping, her body automatically jerking up until she was sitting up in bed. She sat there, panting for a good few moments, her eyes wild as she traced her eyes over the dark room.

The first thing she noted was that, even though it was dark, she could tell that it was just her old room in her apartment.

The second thing she noted was that there was no half-naked Booth sleeping next to her (she knew he preferred wearing only boxers to bed due to all their undercover work and work-related trips outside DC), and there were no blue eyed baby girls cuddled up to her.

The third thing she noted was that she didn't have a swollen belly.

Her hands, which had flitted to her flat stomach just seconds after she had calmed down enough to realize that the entire thing had been a dream, squeezed her tummy gently before falling to her lap.

She stared desolately at the wall right opposite the bed for a long while before tears started to well up in her eyes. There was no Lucas. There was no Emily. And there was no baby number three - their little Jellybean - on the way.

She heaved a sigh, blinking away the tears. It was completely irrational to burst into tears and grieve a dream - it hadn't been real, so she had nothing to grieve for. Right? As confusing as this was, I think I'm starting to understand Booth's feelings on his coma dream a little better, she admitted to herself grudgingly.

She made to lie back down since the alarm clock to her left blinked ominously and told her it was only two thirty in the morning, but scrunched up her nose when she realized that her sheets were covered in sweat. Her tank top and pajama pants were, too.

Swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, she threw her covers aside and started stripping the sheets. Maybe a quick shower would do her some good. She felt a little too alert to go back to sleep anyway.

Even after her shower, she felt a little too hyper, a little too tensed, to get back to sleep. She decided to change into a pair of track pants and sweatshirt and go for a run around the block. She knew if Booth ever found out she did something like that, he would have a metaphorical aneurysm. He would tell her all the dangers that were present out on the street, especially so late at night. Not that she would listen, of course - she had multiple black belts. She was more than capable of handling herself.

And she didn't need Booth at all. For anything.


"Up and at 'em, Bones!" was his cheerful greeting as he barged into her office, a cardboard box carrying two coffees and a pastry bag she knew held her favorite cinnamon buns balanced on one hand while the other waved a vanilla folder in her direction. "We've got a case."

She didn't look at him as she swiftly saved her document and stood up from her table. "Great. I'll just grab my coat," she said, in what she sincerely hoped was a neutral voice.

She hadn't been able to get that dream out of her head. She'd gone for a forty minute jog, she'd taken a long bath, she'd read a few articles on anthropology in the latest digest, she'd even gotten started on her next chapter early.

None of those had helped her get her mind off of that wretched dream.

She'd gone so far as to rush off to the gym the first thing in the morning, and had been late to work for almost an hour. Cam hadn't minded - she'd called ahead and said she had a 'personal emergency'. She'd worked so many extra hours for so many years that Cam couldn't say no.

Angela had taken the 'personal emergency' comment to mean that she had been up late with a guy friend and had been having hot, steamy sex. Angela's assumption had only reminded her of her dream and, as a result, she'd practically snapped at Angela and rushed off to Limbo where she'd holed up for the better part of he morning.

Now here he was, looking like he had stepped out of a GQ magazine, wearing that melt-your-insides charm smile and it was driving her crazy.

"Are you okay, Bones?" he asked. She looked up briefly to see that his smile had disappeared and in its place was a concerned frown. Maybe she hadn't been as neutral as she thought she was.

She shrugged, not meeting his eyes as she put on her coat. "I'm fine," she stated coolly.

"Uh-huh," he said dryly, clearly not believing her.

She made to walk past him and out the door - her kit was already in the trunk of his car. She kept it there since it was easier and faster. "I'm fine," she stressed yet again, snatching a coffee cup from the cardboard box on her way past him. "Come on. I don't want my remains to be compromised."

She didn't see him shaking his head as he followed after her, but she did feel the lingering stare on her back. When he caught up to her, he raised an eyebrow at her fast pace. "Where's the fire?" he asked, chuckling a little.

She shot him a confused look over the rim of her coffee cup. "What fire?" she questioned innocently.

He rolled his eyes. "I meant…What's with you today? You're barely looking at me, you're practically running for the door, and you're all…Ice queen Dr. Brennan," he waved in her direction vaguely with the hand gripping the folder.

At her raised eyebrow and decidedly bemused expression, he quickly added, "I mean, you're all strict and stern…You haven't been that way with me since we started being partners. I feel like we took a step back six years."

She heaved a sigh and lifted her shoulder for a few seconds before letting it fall back down in a half-hearted shrug. "I'm just not in the mood today for bantering and bickering, Booth," she said quietly. "I think I deserve a bad day once in a while."

He stared at her a little too long, eyes narrowed as he studied her. Still avoiding his eyes, she grabbed the bag of pastries, strode the next few steps towards his truck and stepped inside. "Hurry up, will you?" she threw over her shoulder right before she slammed the door closed.

Her 'bad day' ended up lasting for several a week.

She couldn't concentrate on whatever he was telling her about the case on the ride over to the crime scene because his voice had sounded so husky, so manly…It had distracted her. She couldn't focus on the case file, either, because the inside of the Sequoia was filled with his masculine scent and had made her head feel dizzy.

She would constantly feel incredibly aroused, and incredibly irritated, every time he would lean over her shoulder to look over the case file, or to note whatever it was she was seeing on the bones, or even to scrunch his face up at the remains when she'd wanted to point something out. Booth in close proximity to her just wasn't a good idea.

And the worse thing about this all was that ever since that first day, she had been thinking over their relationship over the years. Subtle signs, signs that even she had missed, began to pop up in her mind. This attraction, this emotion bubbling under the surface, wasn't simply a cause of the dream she'd had. It had been around for a long time. Except she had gotten so good at compartmentalizing everything, especially her feelings concerning Booth, that she had sort of…Gotten used to the feeling and made it to be something common instead of something she should take the time out to sort out.

The dream she'd had had somehow pushed her feelings back up to the surface and now she was having a very hard time doing anything but focusing on that.

Thankfully, after her fifth time blowing up at the unsuspecting Booth, Cam had stepped in and ordered Booth to leave the lab. "We'll call if something new comes up," she had told Booth, practically pushing him out the door.

With Booth away from the Jeffersonian, she was able to mostly push everything in the back of her mind and focus on the remains of young Ms. Nielson on the table.

"Sweetie," Angela said as she sashayed her way into her office. "We need to talk."

"Oh, hey, Angela," she greeted distracted, eyes still fixed on her computer screen. Her work was mostly done for now and she would be unable to do more until Mr. Vasiri had matched the weapon to the crack on the skull she believed had been the cause of death of the victim. "Are you done with the rendering of the events leading up to the victim's death?"

Angela wasn't fazed. "Not yet, there are still a few kinks here and there, but I'll be done in an hour or so," she promised. "But we need to talk."

She looked up and shot her friend a confused look. "About what?"

"About why you're suddenly acting as if you're working with a new agent you can't stand, and how this is confusing all of us - especially our poor resident G-man," she drawled, dropping gracefully onto the couch propped against the wall.

She eyed Angela for a good few moments before standing up. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said defensively. "I'm not acting like that, and I'm sure I'm doing a sufficient job with the case."

"You're awesome as usual with work, Bren," Angela reassured her. "But we're talking about your attitude. What's with it?"

She sighed, casting a quick glance to make sure no one was around to hear her before striding over to the door and closing it. "I need to ask you something," she admitted in a low voice, sitting next to Angela.

Wide-eyed at her best friend's change of tone, Angela sat up straighter. She wore a worried expression on her face, concerned that something might be terribly wrong. "What is it? What's wrong?" she asked in a hushed tone.

Angela listened with rapt attention and a rapidly blooming smile as her best friend talked. She could tell that she was worried about the dream - her lips were set in a frown, her forehead was creased and she kept running her hand through her auburn hair.

Once she was done explaining her dream, and the feelings that it had evoked in her as well as the feelings she had been beginning to see was there all along, she turned to Angela and raised an eyebrow. Taking a deep, calming breath, she asked, "Well?"

Angela squealed all of a sudden, and threw herself at Brennan, wrapping her arms around her neck. "Oh, thank you, God!" she was squealing. Pulling back, she almost laughed at the startled, bewildered expression on her best friend's face. She was so happy that this was happening that she decided to laugh, anyway.

"Angela, what's the matter with you?" she asked, not at all aware of how insensitive that might have sounded.

Angela brushed it off, knowing how socially awkward her friend was, and pulled her into another bone crushing hug. "I'm just so happy, sweetie," she gushed, feeling tears prickling her eyes. "This was what I'd been talking about for years! You're finally catching up to your reality."

At her still puzzled expression, Angela decided to tone down the squealing a notch, and started to talk seriously. "Bren, I love you, and I think you're a brilliant woman most of the time, but you're pretty dense right now," she said with a small smile.

She took offense to that, scowling at Angela. "I resent that," she started to pull her hands away.

Angela held tight, though, and squeezed reassuringly. "Just listen, hon," she advised. Once she was settled, Angela began again. "Look, everything you've told me just reinforces what I already knew all along - you're in love with Booth. Everything that has happened over the past five, six, years…It's taught you a lot. Booth has taught you a lot. And I think that this dream was a symbolic sign that your heart is trying to tell you - you're ready to take that step. You're ready to fully embrace being in love, and with Booth no less."

She stared at Angela for a really long time. A part of her - the part that she had held onto ever since she was fifteen years old - wanted to protest. That part of her wanted to tell Angela that she really didn't believe in love, and even if she did, she and Booth were only partners. Nothing more.

Then flashes filled her mind of their course of partnership.

She thought of how he had always been there for her through thick and thin - it seemed as if he was the only one she could trust not to abandon her, and not to break her. He was the one good soul she knew she fully believed in.

She thought of how he had given her Jasper, had given her reassurances of who she was, had always been there for her. She thought of mac and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches, and Parker's soccer games and their weekend trip to the carnival last summer.

She thought of the way he had weaved his way into her metaphorical heart and had even given her hope to believe in love. Slowly but surely.

Could it be that after all this time…She had fallen in love with him without even realizing it? Could it be that she had been so sure that there was no such thing as love, so stubborn to believe in that due to her past, that she had completely missed the fact that she herself was in love?

Angela, seeing the incredulity and confusion etched on her friend's face, knew that there had to be warring thoughts and emotions in there at the moment. Her mind and her heart had to be at odds with each other.

Leaning forward slightly, hands still clasped together as if they were teenaged girls sharing stories about their crushes, she asked one simple question. "Just think of one thing, sweetie, and answer yourself truthfully - can you imagine a world without Booth?"

Angela pressed her lips to her cheek for a quick, friendly kiss before hopping off the couch, determined that she should be alone to process it. She left for her office, humming to herself the whole way. It would all work out. Booth would do his Jedi-FBI mind trick thing and figure out what's wrong and she would eventually come to the realization that running wouldn't do anything and they'd live happily ever after. Just a matter of time, she thought to herself.

Back in her office, she was frozen in her seat.

'Can you imagine a world without Booth?' Angela had asked, and the answer had come to her at the speed of a bullet.

No. No, she couldn't.

She'd lived through a world without Booth once, when he'd been shot and Sweets had neglected to inform her of his undercover work, leading her to believe he'd really died. She'd almost gone through the same thing again about a year later when he'd been diagnosed with a tumor.

In her entire life, battling abusive foster parents, guerillas in Guatemala and lunatic psychos in her apartment hell bent on killing her, she had never been so scared and so lost as when Booth was in danger - or when he was 'dead'.

Could she go through it again? Could she be in a world without Booth? Well, she'd live - she'd done it before. She'd do it for those who needed her like Angela. She'd even do it to watch over Parker, Booth's reason for living. But would she be alive? No, she wouldn't. She would be heartbroken and lost. And bitter, she'd imagine.

The epiphany hit her suddenly, out of nowhere, right as she was contemplating her answer to Angela's question. It hit her like a boulder, knocking the wind right out of her and shocking all rational thoughts out of her mind.

"Oh, my God! I'm in love with Booth!" she said to herself, her words seemingly echoing in her large office. She knew she must have looked horrified.


A knock at her door alerted her to someone there. Angela started and looked up, smiling when she noticed a sad-looking Booth shuffling his feet and waiting to be allowed entrance. She closed her sketch book and rested her arms on top of it - Booth didn't need to see it. Yet.

Ever since her friend had confided in her about her feelings for Booth, Angela had been feeling positively happy and hopeful about the two of them finally getting together. As a result, she had been sketching little 'moments' that she had witnessed over the years - including the one involving her confession to Angela - to create a scrapbook for the duo. She thought it would make a nice 'You're finally not idiots anymore' present.

"Come on in, Booth," she invited the handsome G-man into her office. Booth managed a small, strained smile and nodded as he entered Angela's office. Angela thought he looked so downtrodden. "You look like someone had run over your puppy," she commented bluntly.

Booth sighed heavily. "It feels like it," he admitted, blushing a little after that since he hadn't meant for her to hear that. "I just…Listen, I'm sure you've noticed. Everyone has. Bones has been…Weird lately."

Deciding to tease him just a little bit, Angela threw him a little smirk. "Brennan's always been weird," she stated nonchalantly. "How so more than usual?"

Booth threw her a glare. The one that said 'I'm in no mood to joke around'. Sometimes Angela thought the man was too wound up. Bet Brennan knows how to relax him, she thought deviously. "You know what I mean, Angela," he said, his voice terse.

She sighed and nodded. "Look, Booth, I know why she's acting like that," she admitted. At his hopeful look, she warned him off with a shake of her head. "I'm not going to tell you."

He opened his mouth to protest but she held up her hand. "I think it's Brennan's job to tell you. And I think she will - if you push a little," she hinted.

He looked worried. "I don't know…She's been so angry with me lately. I don't even know why but…I don't think pushing anything is going to do me any good," he brought one hand up to rub his chin.

Angela rolled her eyes at him. "Puh-lease!" she scoffed. "When have the two of you ever stopped pushing each other's buttons for any reason?" she pointed out. "Trust me, Booth. I've got a great feeling about this. It's like a psychic feeling, almost."

Booth had to roll his eyes at that. Angela and psychics. Eccentricity seemed to be the woman's strong suit.

Angela grabbed her bag and her sketch pad - she wouldn't be able to rest at home until her latest 'Booth and Brennan' sketch had been completed anyway. "I'm gonna head home," she said, winking at Booth. "Everyone else is gone…Maybe you should take the opportunity to talk to Bren."

Without any word or a backward glance, she'd swept out of the room and had gracefully strode over to the exit of the Jeffersonian Medico-Legal lab.

Booth stayed rooted to the spot for a few moments, trying to decide what to do. On one hand, he didn't feel like getting into another argument with his partner tonight. It seemed like all they ever did was argue this week. It had gotten so bad that one of their suspects they had interviewed had asked how long they'd been married. Of course, that had only riled her up further, prompting her to give him and their suspect a very long, detailed speech on how marriage wasn't a holy union but an archaic institution that only served to trap men and women alike into an unrealistic idea of a lifelong monogamous relationship.

On the other hand, it had been a whole week and he was sick and tired of fighting with her. They might've started out as two people who couldn't even stand to be in the same room with each other, but that had been six years ago. Now she wasn't just his partner, she was his best friend, and it pained his heart to have this gap between them.

Taking a deep breath, resolving to 'push her buttons' as Angela had put it, he spun on his heel and marched right out of Angela's office and straight into hers.

She was still frozen at her desk, eyes fixed unblinkingly on her computer screen. Even now, way past seven, after a long day filled with forensic anomalies and chasing the suspect all across DC, she looked beautiful. It freaking hurt to look at her sometimes, with her soft, silky hair and her piercing blue eyes…It was as if she were his perfect dream woman.

She was, as a matter of fact, some sadistic part of his brain reminded him, causing him to wince for a second.

Pushing that thought aside, he knocked on her door and entered. "Come on, Bones. You ready?" he asked, rocking back and forth on his toes as he watched her.

"Ready for what?" she asked, her tone distracted. She hadn't even looked at him, just continued typing away on her computer.

He frowned. "What d'ya mean ready for what?" he rolled his eyes. "We just solved our case, Bones. That means celebratory coffee and pie at the diner, followed by Thai and beer at one of our apartments while we finish paperwork, remember?" When she didn't answer, he probed further. "It's only been a tradition for, oh, I don't know…Five and a half years!"

She exhaled, and it sounded to him like she was frustrated he was even speaking and standing there in her office. God, that hurt. "I didn't forget, Booth," she replied, and her tone was back to being snappy. "I have a perfectly sharp memory. But I can't go tonight. I'm sorry. I have too much to do."

He frowned sadly at her. "But it's a tradition."

"Traditions are meant to be broken," she said. And, still without looking up, she added, "And don't even try to give me that puppy dog look, Booth. It's not going to work on me."

He sighed, shoulders drooping. He was just about to leave her in her office when he remembered Angela's words. Push her. Gotta push her. "Okay, Bones, enough. I want to know what's going on," he said suddenly, his voice turning serious like when he was talking about a suspect or a bad memory or something that had happened that had endangered her life.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said smoothly, slipping from her desk. She grabbed a book from next to her computer and strode over to the bookshelves to put it back, her back turned to him.

"You know, of course you know!" he was starting to get agitated. "You've been acting crappy all week, and I've had enough. I want to know what's wrong, Bones, and I want to know now. Don't even think of lying to me, either, because I'll know. I'm not going to stop asking until I find out."

She kept her silence, but he could tell his words were having an effect on her - her back had stiffened, her arms had stopped moving and she was completely silent even after he'd stopped talking.

Stepping a little closer to her - so close, in fact, that he was directly behind her - he asked in a lower, gentler and - to her, at least - a more seductive voice. "Just tell me, Bones. I'm your partner. We tell each other things," he murmured. "Tell me what's wrong."

That voice, that scent, that warm tickle of his breath against her cheek as he spoke just less than a breadth away from her…It sent her over the edge.

She spun around so that she was facing him, eyes blazing. He was startled. Not by her sudden movement because Lord knows his days as a Sniper had caused him to be practically immune to things like that. He was startled by the look in her eyes - the plainly raw emotions swimming in the blue.

He barely had time to adjust to that when she had started screaming at him.

"You want to know what's wrong! You're an asshole, Booth! You freakin' made me fall in love with you! That's what's wrong!" she was yelling as she slapped him over and over sharply across his chest and arms. She was upset and slightly hysterical and just plain embarrassed over her behavior this past week and how she was feeling now, but she couldn't stop. It was all his fault for making her fall for him. So she continued smacking his upper chest and his arms, ignoring his attempt to wriggle out of her grasp.

"Ow! Ow! Bones! Stop that!" he gently wrapped his large hands over her fragile wrists, his fingers overlapping each other.

Once her assault had stopped, her words seemed to sink in. He did a double take. God, I promise to dress up like Santa this year and make a fool out of myself at the Church's charity for Christmas if this really turns out to be real and not just a dream. Amen.

"Wait, what! What did you say! Fall in love…? You're in love with me!" he was so stunned he didn't even flinch as she ripped her hands away and threw her last slap on his cheek.

She turned away from him and stormed over to her desk, frantically packing up her laptop and her things. "Yes!" she was still fuming. "It's stupid, and it's all your fault. So excuse me if I don't feel like going to eat pie and drink coffee with the man who made me fall in love with him!"

She was ranting and raving, and half of her words didn't make sense - he caught something about endorphins and rolled his eyes at that.

"Bones," he said, a slow smile spreading across his face. "Bones!" he said again when she appeared not to have heard him.

She looked up, saw the smile and thought he was making fun of her. "Oh, that's just cruel, Booth," she glared and he narrowly missed a pyramid-shaped wooden paperweight she'd thrown his way. "You know what? This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you."


"This is horrible, and it's going to make things awkward between us and it's just reminding me of high school. Like you're that stupid, idiotic jerk-"

"Hey! What'd I ever do to you!"

"-of a popular jock and I'm some sort of silly, prepubescent girl with a crush. And I'm sorry if this is all very humorous to you but I would think that our partnership meant something more and that you'd at least have the decency not to laugh at me in my face!"

"Okay, wait, what! I would never-"

"-And you are so ingrained into my life, into my mind, my heart, that I dreamt about you! I don't even have the excuse of anesthesia. I just dreamt about you, and us, and being married and having three kids with a baby on the way! How stupid is that! Like there was even a chance of-"

"I'm in love with you!" he shouted, satisfied when his proclamation caused her to shut the hell up. Her ramblings had gotten more and more ridiculous by the second and he really needed to just let it all out.

She stared at him, mouth agape and jaw dropped, eyes wide as if she was looking straight at a ghost. He waited for a little while - minutes, really - then grew concerned. Had he shown her his feelings at the wrong time? It couldn't have been the wrong time. She had said it first! Was it too much, though? What was going on?

"Bones?" he asked tentatively. When she didn't respond, he stepped closer to her. "Did you hear me? I said I'm in love with you."

"I don't believe you," she blurted out, taking one step back.

He stared incredulously at her, all narrowed-eyed and wary-looking. "Bones," he said, a little exasperated. "Why on earth would I lie to you about something like that?"

She still looked hesitant to believe him, so he stepped closer and closer until he was standing right in front of her, barely a breath apart from her. "I love you, Bones," he told her again, voice lowered intentionally. "I love your beautiful mind, I love your smile, I love how you look the moment you know for certain what had happened to those victims on the table. I love your mac and cheese. I love that you're so protective of Parker. I love your heart, because honestly…People don't see that you've got the most beautiful heart out there. I love the feel of your hair underneath my fingers. I love how soft your skin is. I love the scent of you - all sweet and spicy and just Bones. I love your voice. I love how you know just how to calm me down when I'm angry or sad or right after I have a nightmare about the war. I love everything about you."

His hands, previously grasping hers, slid to her waist. His right hand reached up, stroking her bare arm as he went, and tangled in her silky tresses. "Most of all, I just love how you're you, Bones," he murmured huskily. "And now I've got something new to add to my list - I love that you love me."

She smiled a little that the corny voice he used to say that, obviously intended to make her laugh, and even let out one of her husky chuckles before being cut off by his lips on hers.

A soft sigh escaped her lips at the feel of his warm mouth on hers - the taste was better than she had imagined. A masculine blend of cinnamon and coffee and something that she couldn't really put her finger on. Her eyes slid close at the feel of his lips moving oh-so-urgently against hers. She could feel something cool and hard pressed against her back, and was more than a little startled when she realized that he had moved her backwards, pressed her against the wall of her own office, without her even realizing.

This kiss, this amazing kiss, felt so different than any other kiss she had ever had. Sure, it was wrought with sexual tension - all intense, fiery passion as he slid his hands from her hair to her waist to her bottom as he hoisted her up and leaned his hips into hers, encouraging her legs to wrap around his middle.

But it was also filled with love. So filled with it. She could actually taste in on his tongue, on hers. It was so blatant, so tartly-sweet if there was even such a thing. It was overwhelming to feel such strong emotions bursting forth, just running through her veins like live wire, with just a kiss.

"I love you," he murmured against her lips, still kissing her while he spoke.

Giggling uncharacteristically, she did the same for him. "I love you."

Their lips came together again, like magnets drawn together, and this kiss was rougher than before, much more hurried. She gasped as one of his hands went to her waist, his fingers flexing and tightening on her hip. His other hand slid from her waist, down to her thighs and to her knee that was hitched around his waist.

As they pulled away, slowly with gentle nibbles of their mouths, she took deep, steady breaths to try and shake off the lightheaded feeling. It didn't work but her breathing returned to regular. She kept her eyes locked on his deep chocolate eyes, their foreheads pressed together and both wearing matching, soft, loving smiles.

"Well, I'm glad we've declared our love to one another," she informed him happily. "But we've better get a move on - in my dream, we had two kids asides from Parker and another one on the way." With an impish grin and sparkling blue eyes, she told him, "I kinda want that, too."

His eyes widened to the size of saucer pans, and he stared open-mouthed at her. The happy smile on her lips told him he hadn't been imagining it. Yes, Temperance Brennan had really just told him she wanted to bear his children. Not that this hadn't happened before, but this wasn't because of her crazy, out-of-the-blue urge to have kids. It was him, and her, together and finally starting the rest of their lives with one another.

Chuckling a little, he shook his head, letting her legs untangle from his middle and lowering her gently to the floor. "What changed your mind about love and kids, and all of that?" he asked teasingly, but curious just the same.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, smiling back at him, and leaned in for another kiss. "Well, you've just helped me evolve, is all," she murmured, causing him to bark out a laugh.

"Oh, well, I'll be sure to let everyone know," he said, maybe a little gloatingly. She rolled her eyes and leaned in for another kiss. He happily obliged, letting the sweet tang of her taste invade his senses once more. This was their third kiss as a couple, and he was already addicted.

When they pulled away, he smiled and pressed a soft kiss to the tip of her nose, causing her to wrinkle her nose at him cutely. "Come on, it's not too late for pie and coffee," he tilted his head to the door.

She smiled and nodded. "I think I might just try a bite of pie tonight," she said out loud, almost to herself, as she slid on her coat.

He laughed at her statement. "Well, it's about time, Bones."

And this time, instead of his hand on her lower back, their fingers clasped together simultaneously, as if they'd been doing this their whole lives. Both grinning widely, casting sly glances at one another the way only new lovers could, they walked out of the lab side by side, hands swinging.


Goodness, it wasn't supposed to be this long. It was supposed to be one short, maybe thousand-word, one-shot. And it ended up being nine times as long. Goes to show that I can't write anything short and to the point…Ah, well.

It is now Thursday night, April 8th, as I finish writing this. A week ago, I'd been so very excited to watch the 100th episode of BONES. I thought…Hey, we'd get to watch their very first case together and maybe even get some steamy action and maybe by some God-given miracle, we'd get to see BB step in the right direction. But I read some comments by other writers here on that they think now that they've seen the episode that there's no hope for BB to be together, and how they've lost interest in the show now until BB get their act together…I was already planning on not watching the episode where Booth gets a lady friend, and now I feel like we're stepping way back into season 2 where the writers turned Booth into a man-whore in the early episodes. I just don't want to watch the two of them being apart and with other people. I didn't read spoilers after hearing about the lady friend, and about a certain ending to the 100th episode, and now I'm not so sure I want to watch the 100th episode.

Thank you so much for reading, for commenting if you could, and for any of you who would leave a review.

Edit, 22/9/10:

Just a heads up:

It's a very long, very family-and-romance-oriented story based on BB meeting at a young age and having lots and lots of kids because I need to just overwhelm myself on BB fluff due to all the heartbreak I feel regarding the spoilers I did read and cried over. I don't know if any of you feel the same way but even if you don't, please be kind and head down over to my account page and click on my new BONES story entitled 'The Beginning of Forever'.

It's not complete, not even close, but I'd written down everything I wanted to write from beginning to end in a rough draft/time-line of the story so all I have to do is write down the story and we're good to go. I already have seventeen chapters up, so that should tide you over if you wish to read it.

Thank you all for reading this really long Author's Note.