This is my story takes place in my world, not HH or SN… and that means the story in the 100th ep turns out different.

I do not own or have any connection to Bones, other than being a fan. No infringement intended.

Booth and Brennan were ascending the escalator from the underground subway, on their way to a meeting with FBI Psychologist Lance Sweets. It was a nice sunny spring day in DC and the mood between the partners was light and relaxed. They both carried a copy of Sweets' book, which he had given them to read before he sent it off to be published. The partners had read it separately and really hadn't had much of a chance to discuss it until now.

As the stepped off the escalator, Booth began the conversation. "You know, we'll have to break it to Sweets very gently."

" Why? He should be grateful"

"He'll be grateful later.

"I don't understand."
"You know now people are grateful when you yell 'fire', but before they are grateful they panic and run into walls?"

"You think Sweets is going to panic and run into walls?... Oh, metaphorically speaking."

"He's not going to like it"

"Well, if there was a mistake in one of my books I'd want to know."

"What you call a mistake Sweets calls interpretation."

"Interpretation? NO, it is an actual, factual error."

"What exactly is it you think we are telling him about?"

"Page 31… and I quote: "Subjects worked together for the first time in solving the murder of pregnant Congressional Aide Cleo Miller."

"Oh, right… yeah, we worked that first case before that."

"What did you think we were going to talk about?"

"The whole love thing."

"The love thing… Oh – his conclusion that we are in love? I don't care about that!"

And with that Brennan started walking again towards the Hoover building for their meeting with Sweets. Booth started walking with her, matching her stride for a few steps until suddenly he stopped. Brennan didn't realize at first that he was not by her side, but when she noticed him not there she too stopped and turned to look at him as if to say 'why aren't you walking with me?'

"Bones, wait a minute. There's something I have to ask you."

"Now? We're late as it is for our meeting with Sweets. You know he gets upset when we're late."

"Well, we're almost always late with him. If we got there on time, he'd think we were early" Booth said with a bit of a smile. The look on his face, though, was serious and it stopped Brennan from saying anything.

"What's wrong, Booth? You look upset."

"No, I'm not upset Bones. Something just came to me and I want to talk to you about it before we go upstairs. Here, can we sit down over here" as he pointed to a park bench off to the side of the walkway. Booth sat down first and Brennan came over to sit next to him. Booth fidgeted with the book for a few seconds, before Brennan put her hand on his arm and looked him in the eye. "What's the matter, Booth? You seem awfully nervous all of a sudden. Is it about the book?"

"No Bones, it's not about the book – it's about Sweets' theory about us." As he said the words, he looked into her eyes. He needed to say this and get it off his chest before seeing the FBI Psychologist (or anyone else, for that matter). When he looked at Bones, he knew she wasn't following him. He knew he was going to have to take it slow, and explain everything very carefully and completely, so that he wouldn't scare her and have her run away.

"Bones, I know that when you read this book" he held up the softbound copy of Sweets' manuscript, "you immediately dismissed his conclusions because you don't believe in psychology. I get that" he said, and as he looked into her expressive eyes, he garnered up the courage to continue. Those eyes held such beauty in them; and really, unbeknownst to Brennan, Booth could read so much of her emotions and even her thoughts through her eyes. "But Bones, I've gotta tell you, I agree with him."

"What? About our first case? No Booth, he…"

Booth cut her off before she could get all wound up. "Bones! Please stop. That's not what I'm talking about." His raised voice stilled Brennan and when she looked at him she finally understood that there was something important that Booth was trying to tell her. The pleading in his voice, and the dilated pupils in his eyes told her this was a very serious. She nodded for him to continue.

"Bones, I'm talking about his perception that we love each other. Please, let me explain… and don't get upset with me. Can you do that for me Bones?" She nodded yes and sat still, even though every cell in her body was now on full alert and she wanted to bolt.

"You've said a hundred times that you don't believe in love. Believe me, I've heard you" he said with a small chuckle. "But, even if you don't think you believe in love, I do; and I believe in us. What Sweets said here – he knows us very well. He's studied us for over two years now. But it didn't take Sweets saying it, for me to know that I was in love with you." He reached out to grab her hands because he could see his words were making her nervous. "Please Bones, I don't mean to scare you; but I have to tell you how I feel. I've been keeping this in for so long now, I swear sometimes I think I'm going to burst."

"Booth, you know that's impossible. A heart won't burst like that. And Booth, you scare me when you say things like that. I know you feel love and think you love me, but I really don't have your kind of open heart. I can't change who I am. I don't know how. I'm not what you need."

He was about to give a retort when suddenly Booth stopped. He knew why she was saying things like this – she was scared. He knew this subject would frighten her, but he just had to tell her how he felt. He squeezed her hands in reassurance, and said quietly "please hear me out Bones. Can you do that for me?" She nodded her head, but he knew she was very nervous.

"Bones, you say you don't have the capacity for love – but I've seen it in you countless times." He raised his hand to stop her because he could see she was about to argue the point with him. "Remember when you flew out to Arizona to help and comfort Angela when Kirk died? You did that out of love for a dear friend. When you paid the money to have the bridge rebuilt in that small West Virginia town, you did that out of compassion for little Andy. When you paid for the burial of that Latina girl and her father –that was an example of compassion…and love. Love for a fellow human being that needed help and you could give it. Bones… don't you see that you have a lot of love in you and you give it freely all the time?"

"But Booth, that kind of empathy and concern for these people, and the examples you gave… that's different. You're talking about romantic love between two people, and I don't know that I agree with that. I don't know that I can do that." The pitch of her voice raised, telling Booth that she was struggling for responses to the points he was bringing up.

"Bones, I know it scares you. Sweets even talked about it in the book here; he said…"

"He wrote that being abandoned by my parents made me convinced that all meaningful relationships are doomed" she answered him.

"Yeah Bones, he said that… but do you really believe it? I don't think you do. I think you're scared to give your heart – metaphorically, of course – to someone. But Bones, this is me. You have to know that I want to give my heart to you as well."

The words he had said stunned her, and they sat there in silence for a while. Booth knew she needed to process what he'd said. He needed a little time to get his thoughts in order, too. He turned more towards her, still holding one hand and occasionally rubbing a small circle on it with his thumb. The caress seemed to calm Brennan down, and so Booth took a breath and continued on.

"I know that you love me, Bones. Want to know how I know that?" She thought he was joking or trying to lighten things up with his comment, but as Brennan looked at his face, she realized that he was very serious. She gave a slight nod to have him continue. "Remember when I asked you to not fire Max?" Again Brennan nodded her head in understanding and agreement. "I asked you to let him stay and teach the Science Club to Parker. You did that; you let him keep his job because I asked you to.

And when you hit me at the cemetery?" They both smiled at the memory of her punching Booth in the jaw; "Bones, you were upset with me because you thought I was dead. Up until that point, I would have agreed with you that we were just partners… but when you hit me hard like that – that is when I knew you loved me."

"See!" She said. "That's some kind of love I have… hitting you! If that's what love is, Booth, then you should run as far and as fast away from me as you can." And while Brennan was serious about what she had just said, her words had the opposite affect on Booth and he started laughing.

"Bones, Bones, Bones… how am I ever going to make you see that these things you do – all they prove to me is that you are a very loving person… and it makes me love you all the more."

Brennan was getting frustrated. She didn't like to talk about this, and she especially didn't want to talk about it with Booth! In her mind, she was not capable of loving him. She had thought it through countless times (many, many nights while in bed alone, her thoughts would turn to her partner). As much as she knew that she cared for him, wanted him even, she didn't know that she could call it love. The whole idea that she could love someone in that way frightened her.

As if he read her mind, Booth spoke again to her. "Bones, I know you're scared; I'm scared too. But believe me, I have loved you for so long, this isn't just because of what the kid wrote in his book about us. "

Again silence overtook them. Booth took some comfort in the fact that Bones hadn't gotten up to run away, and hadn't turned him down. He knew it could still happen, but he was gathering up his verbal weapons to shoot down any rejections she might come up with.

As if marshalling her own thoughts, Brennan spoke up to him as she looked into his eyes. "Booth, we have told people for a long time that we are just partners. I have said it so many times, that it's now an automatic response when people bring up our relationship." At the term 'relationship', Booth's eyes widened. He wasn't sure where she was going with this, but it both excited and scared him, all at the same time. He kept quiet though – understanding that Bones was trying to sort her thoughts out as she spoke.

…"Some of what Sweets says in his book is true. My parents leaving me, making me think for years, that they didn't love or want me… that has lead me to close off myself in order to protect myself. It probably doesn't make sense…"

"No, it does Bones. Really, I understand."

"… but it was what I needed to do to protect myself from further pain. But also, as you've said before I haven't had the best of luck with men and relationships."

Booth was getting frustrated and a little desperate. He saw she was trying to reason her way out of giving them a chance. "Bones, can you do something for me?" he pleaded with her. "Can you take a look at our working relationship? Think about all the things we've done together – all we've accomplished on the job, the fun times we've had along the way, and see if anywhere in that time, if I have shown you my love for you."

Brennan was perplexed. She had never thought of the things he did for her as a show of love. To her, it was what a good friend, a real partner did. Booth could see the confusion, so he continued. "Bones, when I got the concussion while playing hockey… you don't think I could have asked anyone else to stay with me to help me stay awake all night? Hell, if I'd wanted to, I could have called a couple guys over and we could have played cards all night.

"Booth" she exclaimed, "are you gambling again?"

"No Bones, I'm not. What I meant was if I had wanted to, I could have called up a couple of buddies from the FBI to come over and we'd play pinochle or some other card game that doesn't involve gambling. What I'm trying to show you is that I wanted to be with YOU then. Just like when I flew with you on your way to China to examine those old bones."

"But we never made it off the plane - we ended up coming home. And besides, you were there because the FBI was concerned for my safety… not that they needed to be…" she added with a hint of indignation in her voice.

Booth was getting a bit frustrated now. "But Bones! Don't you see – I was the one who convinced my bosses that I should go with you in an official capacity." He knew he was taking a chance here, because he'd never told her the idea had come from him. Still, if it helped her see what was obvious to everyone who knew them, then he'd risk her getting upset over it. "They didn't think you needed official protection, until I sold them on the idea."

"But Booth, why would you do that? That seems rather sneaky to me." Booth could see she didn't like this new development, and he had to think quickly.

"Bones… you don't get it, do you? I didn't want to be away from you for the three weeks you were supposed to be gone on that expedition. The thought of not seeing you for over twenty days, it almost made me sick. Then I came up with reasoning that the FBI could agree with, and voila, there I was, on the plane with you."

"In coach. While I was in the first class section. Then, you came up to talk to me and got in trouble with the stewardess."

"Yeah Bones, I remember. I was there, you know. What I'm trying to show you, is that I have loved you for a long time. This isn't something new. I. Am. In love. With. You. These things, people who are just partners, they don't do things like that. Someone who loves you – they would do something like that.

Another moment of silence fell between them. This time, when Brennan looked up at him, he saw fear in her eyes. He acted quickly to hold her back from talking because he knew she was going to try to reason out of this.

"Bones, see, I know something else. I know that you love me, too." What Booth also knew was that he was taking an enormous gamble, and he was very much afraid that he might lose. But, he knew he had to metaphorically put all the cards on the table, so he continued. "Bones, let me prove it to you. Please?" A reluctant nod of her head gave him the courage to continue.

"See, I can prove to you that you love me. Remember when you put the bone in the pudding? I knew you were doing that experiment to prove that the skeleton wasn't JFK's. You did that for me. And when the Gravedigger had me – I knew you wouldn't give up and that you would find me. .It. And then there you were – with a helicopter to get me off that ship in time. Bones… don't you see?" Booth knew it in his heart, and he was frustrated that Bones couldn't see it too.

"Bones. Remember when I was in the coma?"

"How could I forget it, Booth? I was so scared you weren't going to wake up."

"See – right there. What you did then – that isn't what just partners do. You stayed with me the whole time. You read me that story… that story that you wrote. Don't you see Bones? That story of us married, you were pregnant… that was something you wanted to have for yourself, and you read it to me. You wanted us to be together then. Why can't you see that now?

Brennan drew in a shocked breath. Her face drained of color and she closed her eyes. She had never thought of that whole incident in that light before. Yes, she'd written the story and had then read it to Booth as he lay asleep; but in her mind she had always said that it was Kathy and Andy she was writing about – not her and her partner. Suddenly, Brennan couldn't look Booth in the eye. She was afraid of what she might see… and what he might see in her eyes.

But as she expected, Booth knew what her thoughts were. His fingers found their way to her chin and he lifted her head up so that if she opened up her eyes, she would be looking directly into his. "Temperance" he softly said. "Look at me. Please."

Her given name shocked her into opening her eyes, and she opened them looking directly into his chocolate pools.

"Temperance, I love you. And, I believe you know that you love me. Will you give US a chance?"

As she was pulled into those warm dark eyes and continued to look at him, she realized that he was right. She knew it in her head; she knew in her heart. She even knew in her gut – but she wouldn't tell him that. Booth was right, and he had made her see it. She did love him. It scared her to think that she could love him, but Booth had given her numerous examples of how they both were in love with each other. A tiny smile peaked out from the corners of her mouth, and as she began to smile, it was now Booth's turn to gasp.

"What?" she asked, a bit concerned.

"Your eyes, Bones. I don't know that I've ever seen them this color before. They're beautiful!" They are the most gorgeous shade of blue I have ever seen!" Brennan thought he was going to come in for a kiss, but instead Booth gently wrapped his hands around her face and continued to stare into her eyes.

After a few seconds Brennan began to feel a bit uncomfortable with him staring at her. She broke the silence by asking him "So what do we do now?"

"What do you mean, Bones?" He knew what she was asking, and he thought he knew why her eyes had changed color. But, he hadn't heard her say the words or acknowledge out loud, what he had said. He needed some kind of confirmation from her.

"I'm saying, where do we go from here?"

"From where?" Booth asked.

"Well, we admitted that we love each other… what do we do now?"

"Bones, do you love me?" Booth asked in a somewhat teasing voice. He knew not to push it, but he needed to hear it from her.

Finally understanding that she'd left something out, Brennan looked him in the eye and said "yes Booth, I find that I do love you."

He smiled at the squinty way she said it. "See Bones, you said the words and the world hasn't fallen apart" he said with a grin, as he hugged her.

"Well, give it time" was all she said. She would have talked on, but Booth finally did what he'd waited seven years to do – he let go of the hug, and then he kissed Temperance Brennan!

The sudden action took her by surprise, but Brennan recovered quickly and soon she parted her lips to accept the kiss. Not only did she accept his kiss, she kissed him back. As she did so, she felt new emotion pour forth. It was as if the floodgates opened and she was actually feeling love. It was new and exciting and exhilarating all at the same time.

They sat on the bench, one passionate kiss after another, until they finally had to break for air. They leaned together with their foreheads touching, both gasping to catch their breath, but still holding on to the other. Brennan had grasped Booth's forearms and still held tight. Booth had run one hand round the back of Brennan's head, cupping it in his large hand. The other hand had gently held the side of her face. The soft caresses he now gave it, sent chills through Brennan's lower stomach. She loved the reaction she felt to his touch and his kisses.

Three stories up in the Hoover Building, Lance Sweets had been pacing his office, waiting for Booth and Brennan to show up for their scheduled appointment. They were to go over his book – they'd both told him there were inaccuracies in it and so he'd scheduled a time for the three of them to meet and discuss it. They were thirty minutes late and Sweets was frustrated. As he paced, he finally settled in front of a window and looked around. It was a nice spring day outside, and Lance would have liked to have been outside enjoying it, instead of waiting on the errant work partners.

As he stewed in front of the window, Sweets saw a couple kissing on a bench. "I wish that was Daisy and me" he said to himself, while continuing to watch the pair. He found he couldn't take his eyes off of them – there was something familiar about them; but all he could see was a man in a suit (everyone at the Hoover wore suits so that was no help!), and a woman in a light-colored jacket. He couldn't see them completely, until they broke the kiss. "Oh. My. God!" Sweets said, and raised both fists in the air as a boxer might in victory. "Sweet! Mega Sweet!" he shouted, and the good doctor broke into the biggest grin he'd ever worn. "It's about time" he said, as he watched the couple continue to sit on the bench.

After a few moments to catch their breaths, Brennan spoke up. "So, what do we do now? Should we go upstairs and meet Sweets?"

"Nah. I think he'll forgive us if we don't go to our meeting. I have something better to do than talk to the kid." As he said this, Booth stood up and reached for Brennan's hand to bring her up to her feet.

As she rose, she asked him "what do you want to do?" She was a bit uneasy, thinking he was going to do something and she didn't know what.

"I want to spend time with the woman I love. What about you, Bones?"

Brennan looked at him, and somehow she knew that this was right. "Booth, you know I'm scared. I do love you – I know that now… but it's still scares me. Can we take things easy?"

Booth put his arm across her shoulder and they started to walk away from the building. "How about a cup of coffee Bones? How about we start there?"

"I'd like that, Booth."

"And I won't even ask if you want to have a piece of apple pie with your coffee."

With that, Brennan laughed. She hugged his arm, put her head on his shoulder, and they walked through the courtyard towards the diner. They looked like any other pair, but if anyone could have looked into their eyes, they would have seen a sparkle that is reserved for very few couples in love. This was a one-in-a-million love affair. The proof was in their eyes.