Note: So apparently people wanted a continuation?

Title: Fifth wheel

AU? Yes

Disclaimer: I don't own them

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The apartment door had creaked since he had bought the place. It was on the list of things that needed fixing, but other things always seemed more important. He was used to the creaking.

This morning, though, the familiar creak of the door opening woke him. He sat up in bed, his heart pounding madly as panic rushed through him. It wasn't until he saw her sleeping soundly by his side that his panic started to abate.

The clock radio showed 6:22 when Booth rolled out of bed. He turned off the alarm and pulled on a pair of jeans. Jared was in the kitchen, looking none the worse for his night of partying.

Booth pointedly looked at the clock on the microwave. "Good party?" He pulled filters and coffee grounds from the cupboard and started to make a pot of coffee.

Jared grinned at him. "Didn't stay long. I hooked up with this girl and we went back to her place." At the look on his brother's face, he continued, "Come on, Seel, just because you live like a monk doesn't mean I have to. I like women, they like me, everyone's happy."

Booth grunted and turned on the coffee maker. Shaking his head, Jared pulled a carton of orange juice from the refrigerator. He unscrewed the cap then, after an assessing look at his brother, grabbed a glass from the cupboard instead of drinking from the carton.

When the glass was empty, Jared set it in the sink. Clapping Booth on the back, he said, "I'm going to get some sleep. What time are you … Temperance?"

Booth whirled around. There she was, dressed in the tank top and shorts she had been wearing the night before. "Good morning", she said quietly.

Ignoring his brother, Booth walked towards her. "Good morning, Temperance", he said, taking in her finger-combed hair and the faint bruises on her arms. He lifted one hand and traced the outline of a mark on her upper arm before raising his eyes to meet hers. "I hurt you." He swallowed, horrified at the marks of what he had done to her. "I'm sorry."

She shrugged. "I bruise easily."

"Do you need me to kick his ass for you, Tempe?" Jared was leaning against the wall, observing the scene.

"Go to bed, Jared", Booth growled.

Jared walked over to them. He'd never known his brother to be violent with women, and he was pretty sure there was more to this story, but he wasn't going to leave until he knew that Temperance felt safe. "Are you OK?", he asked.

"Yes", Temperance answered. "He didn't mean to hurt me, Jared. Go to bed."

Jared studied her face, reading her sincerity. Finally, reassured by what he saw, he nodded. "Yeah, I guess I'm kind of a fifth wheel here. Good night Seeley, Tempe." A big grin on his face, he walked into the spare bedroom.


With Jared gone, Brennan felt incredibly self-conscious. What was the etiquette in these situations?

Booth wasn't helping – he was still standing in front of her, seemingly searching for something to say. Finally, she broke the silence, saying, "I should be going. I need to change and make myself scarce so that you can work on the car."

"No!" He looked stunned at his reply, which was just a little too loud. Almost immediately, she saw his face change as he made an obvious effort to hide the hint of – was that panic? When he smiled, she decided she must have misread it. After all, she'd never been that good with people.

He took her hands in his, his grip light, as he said, "I can get your stuff from the car. Why don't you spend the day here? It'll be more comfortable than the waiting room."

Brennan was sure her confusion must have shown on her face. After all, they were practically strangers – was he really inviting her to spend the day alone in his apartment? His grip tightened just a little. "I don't mind the waiting room", she answered.

His head was shaking before she finished her sentence. "I'll get your stuff, You can take a bath, watch TV, whatever you want. Maybe ..." His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed. "Maybe we could have lunch together?"



The single word had been running through his mind ever since he'd set the duffel bag outside the locked bathroom door and made his way downstairs to open up for the day.

As soon as Sam had arrived, he had left him in charge and retreated to the crowded office. He wouldn't be able to hide there long – despite his claims that he had paperwork to sort out, he was more valuable in the shop – but he needed to get his head around the idea that she was going to leave. He was going to fix her car, and she was going to drive off into the sunset.

He'd never see her again.

The very thought made a knot settle in his stomach.

It wasn't like he hadn't known she'd leave – hell, the only reason she'd stayed this long was because her car needed repairs – yet somehow, the night they had spent together had felt so right that he couldn't imagine going back to a world without her.



Brennan sank deeper into the steamy water. She couldn't remember how long it had been since she'd been able to enjoy the simple luxury of a bath. Her muscles relaxed as tension she hadn't even realized was there floated away.

It felt incredible.

After he'd offered to let her spend the day in his apartment, Booth had made scrambled eggs and toast, insisting that she join him for breakfast. She had helped, setting the table and pouring the coffee. It had been nice, almost like being part of a family.

After breakfast, he'd washed the dishes while she dried. She'd teased him, finding non-existent spots on the dishes. He'd retaliated, dabbing soap on her nose while she squirmed and squealed.

Before he'd gone outside to get her things, Booth had pulled two mismatched towels from his sparse linen closet and dug around in a cabinet until he found two lopsided candles and some scented soap obviously taken from a hotel room.

It was the nicest thing anyone had done for her since her parents had left.

As she soaked, she wondered what she could do for him in return.



Booth shook his hand, trying to the sting of his skinned knuckles. He had been trying to loosen the bolt for far too long, but the tricky angle was making it more difficult than it had to be. Telling himself to suck it up, he reached up to give it another try.


"What?", he snarled.

"You have company."


Brennan shifted nervously at the harshness in Booth's voice.

He had been the one to mention lunch earlier, and she had thought it would be a nice gesture to bring lunch to him. She had raided her cooler and his fridge and had ended up with a paper bag containing sandwiches, carrot sticks, and a thermos of ice water.

It had seemed like a good idea when she was upstairs, but now it suddenly seemed like a huge mistake.

When he saw her, some of the tension in his face disappeared briefly, only to be replaced by a look of panic. "Temperance! I'm late for lunch, aren't I?"

"We didn't specify a time", she answered.

He grimaced. "I'm sorry. Look, I'll just get cleaned up and we can go."

Temperance held up the bag. "I thought we could eat here?"


If he'd known they'd end up eating lunch in his office, he'd have cleaned the stacks of manuals and catalogs off his desk.

She'd brought him lunch. He couldn't remember the last time someone had done that for him.

She didn't even seem to mind the mess, gamely clearing off a chair and sitting down while he tossed the stacks of paper on a filing cabinet and wiped off the newly-cleared desk with some dampened paper towels from the bathroom.

He'd wanted to take her out, to show her the parts of his town that he loved, but he couldn't help but enjoy having her to himself.

She was smart, with a shy sense of humor that he liked to think was just for him. He found that he liked teasing her, and she gave as good as she got, always trying to one-up him. It made him feel young, gave him a way to forget the guilt he still carried from the war.

By the time he dragged himself back to work, he had fallen for her even harder.


She spent the afternoon walking through the town, peering through the windows of the shops and restaurants and soaking up the sunshine. By tomorrow morning, she'd be miles away, looking for a place to start over. Today, though, she was here, and she found herself consciously trying to remember the sights and sounds of the town – a gruff-looking woman sweeping the sidewalk in front of the diner, two men in pick-up trucks chatting in the middle of Main Street, a group of kids kicking pebbles down the sidewalk. She found a bank machine and withdrew enough cash to pay for the repairs, then made her way back to the garage.

She walked through the door as one of Seeley's mechanics walked out, flipping the sign on the door to "Closed' on the way.

She'd expected Seeley to smile when he saw her, but instead his face turned grim. He turned around and pulled the lone set of keys off the key rack. Without meeting her eyes, he set them on the counter in front of him. "Your car is ready."

Silently, she pulled out her wallet and counted out the bills as he stared at the growing pile of money in front of him. When she reached $250, he took the money and put it in the register. As he printed her receipt, he asked, "Where are you going to go?"

It took her a second to answer, and in that time he turned his head and met her eyes for the first time since she'd walked through the door. "I don't know", she answered. "Somewhere I can find a job."

He pulled her receipt out of the printer and walked around the counter until they were face to face. He handed her the receipt, saying, "Caroline's hiring at the diner."

Her brow furrowed as she processed his words. Was he asking her to stay? He was looking at her hopefully, so she replied, "Oh?"

He nodded and took a step towards her. "I like you, Temperance."

She searched his face, trying to understand what he was telling her. Finally, she answered, "I like you, too."

He nodded vigorously, taking the keys and receipt out of her hands and setting them on the counter. When her hand were free, he wrapped them in his own and tugged gently. She stepped toward him until she was close enough to feel his breath on her cheek. He wrapped his arms around her and murmured, "I don't want you to go."

Before she could answer, he bent his head and kissed her.


He'd spent an hour on the phone convincing Caroline that she needed another waitress. When she'd finally sighed and said, "OK, cherie, but you owe me", he'd felt relief surge through him.

When Temperance had finally appeared, he had stumbled over his words, not sure how to convince her to stay. When she'd blinked and looked at him with her clear blue eyes, he couldn't resist any longer.

Despite the way they'd spent the night, it was their first kiss, and somehow it just felt right. He'd never had such instant chemistry with anyone else, and before long they were tugging at clothes and fumbling with buttons.

He was tugging her shirt over her head when he heard the crunch of tires on the gravel parking lot outside. It was enough to pull him out of the moment, and he stepped back, frantically looking around the room. The front of the building was all glass, and the door was still unlocked. He handed Temperance her shirt and shooed her toward the office. He made a short detour to lock the front door and then followed.


Temperance set the shirt on the chair and leaned against the desk, ignoring the small voice that told her that she should get dressed and go. She knew she had to leave, but surely she could stay just a little longer.

She didn't have long to wait – a moment later, Booth walked into the office and shut the door behind him. His smile at the sight of her made heat pool between her thighs. Her eyes on his, she unbuttoned her jeans and kicked them off.

He stepped towards her and pulled her into his arms again. A moment later, their clothes were on the floor and she was sitting on the desk, her legs wrapped around his hips.


When he'd walked through the door, he'd half expected her to be dressed and ready to leave. He'd never been so glad to be wrong.

When she'd stripped off her jeans, he'd lost all ability to think. Nothing had mattered except the unrelenting urge to have her again.

It wasn't until her legs were wrapped around him and he was positioned at her entrance that he remembered that this could be their last time.

It was too late to make it the romantic experience she deserved – there was no way they'd make it all the way upstairs to his bed, and Jared was still there, anyway – but he needed to make it good for her.

Her eyes were on his, a look of concentration on her face as if she were trying to memorize him. He pushed into her, determined to make her forget whatever was going on in her head.

He began to move, bending his head to kiss her, then trailing his lips down her body until he reached one of her nipples. He sucked it into his mouth and felt her lose the rhythm briefly as she arched towards him.

Smiling, he moved his head to her other breast. By now, she was leaning back on her elbows, and her head fell backwards as her legs tightened around his waist.

He lifted his head and stilled, waiting until she summoned the energy to lift her head again. When she did, he pulled out of her and slammed back in. At the same time, he sucked her nipple into his mouth and ran his free hand firmly over her clit.

She shattered, her head falling backwards again as she arched towards him. He couldn't take any more, and he followed her into oblivion.


Brennan fought back the tears as the car picked up speed.

She couldn't didn't belong here.

She had a plan – find the nearest city, get a job and save enough money to start school in January.

She couldn't let herself get side-tracked by a mechanic, by some job in a small-town diner.

She turned up the radio and focused on the road. She had to keep going. She couldn't stay.

She made it ten miles down the road before she turned around.

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And … I think this is the end. Thanks to all of you who have read these, shared your suggestions, and left me comments.