The Confession in the Kitchen

A/N: Part two! Not M yet, but perhaps the next chapter. Thank you for the feedback, I love you all! Updates may be slow, as it's not my priority, but I'm enjoying this quite a lot. Keep in my that I'm simply writing when I feel like it, and there's no particular story line where I'm taking this. Leave a review, let me know if you have any ideas!


"Because, Booth! Because I had the nerve to fall so far in love with you that it felt like I couldn't breathe without you here! That's why I can't let it go!"

The silence that settled over the kitchen was sudden and absolute.

He froze, every muscle in his body rigid. "What? Bones…" he stuttered, searching for words.

"Don't, Booth. Just don't," she said, turning to face him. "Please." He wasn't touching her anymore, but his hands hovered over her uncertainly, and she could see disbelief, coupled with arousal, on his face. The grief and exhaustion of the past two weeks were finally catching up with her, and she breathed a sigh, too weary to fight it, to fight him, anymore. Ducking down, she retrieved the bag of vegetables, now slightly less frozen. "I'm sorry about your eye," she murmured, delicately resting the bag over the bruise that had begun to form.

"It's okay." She figured that was all the acceptance she was going to get. His hand came up, her own trapped beneath it, to hold the makeshift icepack on his eye. She could just make out the beginning of a smile on his face. "So you love me, huh?" he goaded, his other hand tapping her gently on the chin as it had that day outside the diner when she'd realized that he was quickly becoming her family.

She rolled her eyes and shook her head, failing to hide the answering smile on her own face. "I guess you could say that," she said simply.

"But I thought you didn't believe in love." His gaze was warm, and she melted into him.

"I've evolved," was her answer, and the bag of vegetables dropped to the floor as he slid both arms around her and pulled her to him.

They'd kissed before, but nothing could have prepared her for this. His lips were slightly chapped but balmy, and her mouth opened under them. Her head was spinning, and in a frantic attempt to ground herself, she curled her fingers into the muscles of his neck and pressed her breasts into his chest, rising on her toes until their pelvises were aligned.

He hissed out her name, "Temperance," and she halted her desperate movements to pull back and look at him. He was breathing hard, his hands clenching and unclenching the fabric of her shirt over the small of her back. "Evolution takes thousands of years," he murmured.

"Yes, that's true," she agreed. "But I have a deceivingly steep learning curve."

Her intent was to be playful, and his deep, belly-shaking laugh as he rested his forehead against hers told her that she had, for once, succeeded. He laughed until there were tears rolling down his face, and rather than laugh will him, she simply stared, wide-eyed, concerned for his mental well-being as he continued to wheeze. She thought she'd been amusing, yes, but not hysterically so. Booth still held her, hands pressed to her lower spine, and, at last, he finally stopped hooting long enough to draw a breath.

"This is so fucked up!" he blurted, letting her go to lean against the fridge.

"I'm afraid I don't know what that means."

He missed the flicker of hurt that flashed over her face, but not the way she folded her arms defensively over her chest.

"No, not this, not us –" he paused to gesture between their bodies – "just the situation."

She frowned, still confused, which prompted Booth's approach, all amusement gone from his eyes. When he reached her, he gently unfurled her arms and grasped her hands in his, and she was surprised to feel the slight shake in the usually so steady fingers. She sighed and returned his gentle squeeze, waiting for the explanation that she knew would be coming soon.

"It's not supposed to go like this. I'm supposed to know first, Bones. I'm supposed to be the one to ask you out, and you're supposed to say yes. I'll bring you flowers and you'll dress up in one of those dresses that looks modest from the front, until you turn around and I see the back and I'm like wow. I'll take you someplace new, not Wong Foo's, not the diner, and we'll order a bottle of wine and have the best chocolate cake in the world for dessert. Afterward, I'll take you home and walk you to your door, but I'll only kiss you on the cheek after debating the whole evening whether or not to kiss you at all and –"

Booth was rambling, and if he had been paying any attention to her, he would have been prepared for her lips to suddenly stop the nonsense spewing from his. She kept the contact light, almost chaste, just enough to remind him that she was there and to stop him from rambling the night away. When she pulled back, he looked somewhat embarrassed, his cheeks slightly flushed, and she extracted a hand from his and smoothed down the hair at his temple that her wandering fingers had mussed mere minutes ago.

"Ask me, please," she instructed quietly, grinning up at him.

"Bones, may I take you to dinner? Tomorrow night, say, around seven?"

"Yes, you may."