**AN: Hi, Guys! This Bones scene flashed into my head while I was in the middle of class today, so I punched out this as soon as I got home :) This is my 2nd fanfic (the other being for Law and Order: SVU...still in progress, kind of stuck at the moment though)...but reviews and comments are GREATLY appreciated! I'm always looking for ways to better my writing and keeping readers interested.

This is post-Hannah/Booth breakup...about a year later. Angela isn't pregnant in here (yet...)...I didn't want to incorporate the baby since we don't know what she's having yet! But the rest of the gang is all here...Cam, Sweets, Daisy, Hodgins, and other interns as we go along :) ENJOY! **

Dr. Temperance Brennan sat at her desk at the Jeffersonian for the first time in nine months. Her nerves were crawling, stomach was flipping, and skin was clammy. She powered on her computer and looked across her office as she waited. Her eyes came upon a silver picture frame with a ribbon pattern around it that sat on the edge of her desk, causing her to take a deep breath and smile.

The picture, taken three years earlier, was of two people. Two people who were so entirely different than they were in the present time. She remembered the night the picture was taken. The Jeffersonian hosted their annual Donors' Ball, and just like every other year, Dr. Brennan was forced to go. But the year that the picture was taken, there was a different element that made things so much more pleasant.

"Booth," she spoke softly and sighed. She had her arms slung around his broad shoulders as she smiled beautifully for the camera, her blue eyes glistening. The FBI agent, on the other hand, wasn't looking at the camera. He was looking up at her, his brown eyes full of hope and desire along with a genuine smile on his face.

Brennan felt a drop of moisture roll down her cheek as she remembered what it was like to be happy. She wasn't normally so sentimental, but the previous year had completely changed her personality. Well, to be honest, the previous year had just brought her old "Dr. Temperance Brennan, Anthropologist" attitude back out.

Shaking her head quickly and turning to look back at the computer, she wiped the tear off of her cheek and took a deep breath. "You can do this, Brennan," she told herself. She knew it was going to be different, being back at the Jeffersonian after nine months, but she didn't expect to feel the amount of loneliness that she felt. Hell, she didn't expect to feel anything.

As she tapped a few keys on the keyboard, entering the password to log-on to her computer, she heard a soft knock at the door. Looking over, she smiled as she saw her best friend. "Hey, Ange," she said as she motioned for the artist to come inside her office.

"I was just wanting to check and see how you're adjusting to being back," Angela said as she plopped on Brennan's couch.

"Adjustment is a natural adaptation that every human being must come to terms with, Ange. After three days, my world will be right side up again."

Angela chuckled and rolled her eyes before she landed them on the stone-cold scientist sitting across the room. "Sweetie…are you okay?"

"Didn't I just answer that?" Brennan replied as she clicked away at her overflowing email inbox.

"Bren, you know what I mean…" Angela got up and walked to the large desk, propping herself up on it with her hands. "Have you talked to him?" she asked in a soft, caring voice.

"Who are you referring to?" Brennan asked as she looked up. Angela cocked an eyebrow towards her best friend and cleared her throat. "Booth?" Brennan asked again, realizing what Angela was hinting at.

Nodding her head and widening her eyes, Angela sighed. "Yes, Booth. Have you talked to Booth?"

"No. Why would I converse with him? I am no longer a liaison with the FBI, we have no business together." Her fingers flew across the keyboard, trying to keep her mind off of the feeling thing again.

"You need to talk to him, sweetie," Angela urged as she stood up and crossed her arms in front of her.

Taking a subtle deep breath, Brennan looked up. "Why?" she asked sternly. "Why would I talk to him? There is no point. He cannot help me further my career any farther. He does not cause endorphins or dopamine to surge my neural cavity and body. There is no point. And if there is no point, I'm not partaking." Returning to her emails, Brennan noticed her stomach flipping again.

"I'll tell you why, Bren. And you need to listen to me," Angela responded, reaching out and turning her best friend's head back towards her. "Are you listening?"

"Yes." Her answer was short, but it was enough to signal to Angela that she wasn't in the mood for this talk.

"Brennan…no matter all of the complete crap that happened between you two and Hannah and whoever the hell else, you still care about him. You care so much that when you came back into this office, all you could think about was all the times he was in here and made you smile or laugh. I remember you kissing him right over there," she said, pointing, "and I remember the way that your face lit up when he would say his corny-Booth lines and smile. And even though you didn't understand them, they made you happy because you knew he was happy."

Angela took a deep breath and took Brennan's hands in her own. "Sweetie…in this world…not your science world, but in this very real world…you can either forgive and forget, or hold a grudge for the rest of your human life." Brennan's eyes were tearing up as Angela rubbed the back of her porcelain hand. "He called me every day when you were gone, Bren. Every. Day. He asked about you and what you were doing, where you were going, who you were meeting, everything. He still cares, sweetie. He just didn't know how to show it when he was hurt."

Another tear rolled down the anthropologist's flushed cheek. "Just promise me that you will at least consider what I've told you…" Angela requested.

Nodding, Brennan replied "I will analyze the information that you have given me and attempt to apply it to the situation."

"Good," Angela said with a smirk. "Now…let's go get a drink!" she shouted, pulling Brennan up from her desk.

"Ange, I really don't feel like drinking…" the groaning scientist said as Angela pulled her out of her office.

"Then don't drink. But I'm starving, and I know you have to eat, so let's go."

"Uuugh," Brennan groaned as she pulled her office door to the frame.

"I'm so glad you're back, Dr. Brennan!" Cam said from across the large table. "We've missed you terribly."

"I found myself to be quite lonely without the accompaniment of all of my colleagues, as well," she said and pushed the food around her plate.

"How was your work in Argentina, Dr. Brennan? From what I've heard, it sounds fascinating!" Daisy Wicks asked ask Dr. Sweets put his arm around her shoulders.

After taking a quick drink, Brennan spoke up. "The work was very interesting, Miss Wick. I had the pleasure of working with the local tribes in order to determine if the skeletons found on their land were actually members of the tribe. There have been many multiple-skeletal discoveries in South America recently."

Angela looked towards the door as she listened to Brennan, only to have her eyes widen and become stuck on the entryway. She shook her head quickly, trying not to cause a big ruckus. "What is it, Ange?" Hodgins whispered as he kissed her cheek.

"Three o'clock. Trouble," she said quietly trying not to draw any attention to what was happening.

"Hey!" Daisy shouted, pointing. "Look who it is!" Angela's head went down.

"Freaking loudmouth intern," she hissed under her breath.

Cam stood up and smiled. "Booth!" she welcomed him with a hug. "We haven't seen you in months!"

"Hey squints," he said, noticing the oh-so-familiar person sitting at the corner of the table. Both of their hearts raced as Brennan avoided eye contact. He knew that she wasn't going to make the first move. "Hello, Dr. Brennan."

Looking up quickly, she nodded. "Agent Booth," she addressed him sternly with her teeth clenched and looked back down at her plate.

Hodgins squeezed Angela's hand under the table. "We may witness a murder," he whispered into her ear. She shrugged with big eyes.

After a long, awkward silence, Daisy coughed and elbowed Lance. "Booth, why don't you join us?" Sweets offered, wanting to push Brennan to open back up.

"Oh, no…I don't want to ruin your dinn-," he said with a smile.

Cam raised her hand and interrupted him. "Nonsense, Seeley. Drag up a chair." Hiding an evil smile, she moved her chair over towards Sweets, leaving the only empty spot beside Dr. Brennan.

Dragging a chair over, Booth sat down with a chill running down his spine. He watched as the others carried on conversations. Everybody was talking. Everybody except her. Looking over at her, he noticed her auburn hair falling in soft curls around her face. She looked exhausted, but she held her eyes wide open staring at her plate. 'Talk to her, you idiot,' he told himself.

His stomach was in knots as he kept catching glimpses of her. He anticipated a loud spot in the conversation going on between the rest of the group, about something he couldn't care less about, and jumped on his chance. "Bones…" he nearly whispered. Angela watched sharply from the other side of Brennan.

She finally caught Booth's eyes and shook her head slowly as her eyes got wide again. Booth rolled his eyes and looked back at the beautiful figure sitting next to him. "Bones…will you please talk to me?" he asked, still in a low voice.

Brennan snatched her purse from the back of the chair and rummaged through it. After finding what she wanted, she threw a twenty dollar bill down on the table, stood up, and began to leave. "Bren!" Angela called out.

As she made it to the door, her eyes were growing watery, and Booth was only half a step behind her, leaving the rest of the crew in shock. "Bones…" he called out as he finally exited the building, watching the back of her walk away. He took a couple of quick steps and finally made it to in front of her, stopping her from walking. "Talk to me…please…" he begged.

She looked up at him with her slate-gray eyes filled with tears. Her jaw was clenched shut and her fists were squeezed tightly. She took a step to the right, followed by Booth moving that way, also. Trying the same step to the left, he was in front of her again.

Abruptly, Brennan turned and started walking the other way as tears began to slowly roll down her cheeks. Her high heels were making a loud clack against the sidewalk as she walked quickly. Yet again, Booth stepped in front of her. "Temperance…" he said and put his hands on her upper arms. "Talk to me…please…" he begged again.

Without another thought, Brennan pulled her arm back as far as she could and knocked Booth across his face. "Don't touch me," she growled through her clamped teeth before resuming her walking.

"Bones!" Booth called out and got in front of her yet again as he rubbed his face. "Bones, listen to me…if it takes you having to hit me a million times in order for you to talk to me, I'm going to stand here and take it." She looked up again through her reddened, blurry eyes.

"Please just let me leave, Booth…" she pleaded. Her voice was small and so much less powerful than normal. It absolutely broke his heart when she cried…but especially when she cried because of something he did.

Nodding, Booth stepped out of her way and sighed, rubbing his cheek again. For such a small woman, she packed one hell of a punch. He watched as she walked towards a cab, opened the door, and got in without ever looking back. As his hands fell to his sides, he looked up towards the sky, noticing the darkening clouds. "I really need your help…" he spoke to any god, deity, or spirit that would listen. Turning his head back towards the restaurant, he saw the five squints staring out of the window at what just happened.

He shook his head, and began walking down the sidewalk. As he passed the front doors of the place, Angela bolted out, her eyes as big as saucers. "Booth…" she said, not knowing what else to say.

"Ange, don't…" he told her. "Don't try to make me feel better. I brought this on myself."

She shook her head. "I know you brought it on yourself. And in the divorce, you know I chose Brennan. But, I'm still pulling for you, Booth."

"I know…" he said solemnly and took another step passed the restaurant.

"I talked to her today…" Angela admitted, stopping the strong FBI agent in his place. "I told her that you deserve another chance. And I reminded her of how happy you made her." Booth nodded slowly, thinking about how much of a nonexistent chance he had with betting Bones back. "Just give her time, sweetie. She'll come around. I know Brennan's emotions and how they work."

"More like how they don't work," booth quipped with an eye roll.

Angela shook her head. "She loves you, Booth. You know that. I know that. And she knows that. And that is what scares her the most." Reaching up, she pulled his chin towards her to look him in the eyes. "Give her time, Booth. And know that I'm working on explaining this type of human pain to her."

He nodded. "Goodnight, Ange. Sorry for breaking up your dinner party."

"Seeley," she called out after he was a couple steps away. "Trust me on this." He nodded again, threw a hand in the air as a signal that he understood, and went along his way…his said, pathetic, depressed way.

Within half an hour, Brennan was changed into sweatpants and big tshirt with a glass of wine as she sat on her couch. She stared out the living room window across the city's lights as lightning began to strike in the distance. Jumping when she heard a knock at the door, her heart dropped to her knees. "Sweetie, it's me. Open up," Angela's voice rang out.

Taking a deep breath of relief, Brennan walked to the door and opened it. As the door swung open, Angela kindly smiled at her. "Come on in, Ange," Brennan said as she motioned inside the apartment.

As Brennan shut the door behind her, Angela sat down on the couch, followed by Brennan following suit. After a couple of minutes of silence and watching her best friend, Angela decided to speak up. "About what happened…" she started.

"Angela, I don't want to talk about it," Brennan replied quickly and bluntly as she pulled her knees up to her chest, tears building up yet again.

"Sweetie…everything is going to be okay. You know that, right?"

Brennan sniffled and nodded. "Of course I know that. The world doesn't stop just because someone is viewing things irrationally."

"You think you're viewing things irrationally?"

Sitting her wine glass back onto the coaster, Brennan said "Of course I am. There is no reason to act this…this dysfunctional…an entire year after a friendship is severed."

"Bren…don't you think that you and Booth had a little more than a friendship?"

She shook her head. "No. We had a platonic relationship, which is a friendship. The next relationship level, as I've studied anthropologically, is a committed, dedicated relationship that includes such bogus feelings as passion, trust, and love."

Angela smirked. "You are so smart, it's not good."

"Actually, my intelligence is very benefic-"

"Sweetie…" the smiling friend interrupted. "We're talking about having emotions, feelings, sensations, those types of things. Brennan…passion, trust, and love are all real. They're very, very real."

"Even though there have been many studies done to try and validate the assumption that one can measure emotions, it's just a bunch of nonsense," Brennan said with a choke in her voice.

"Bren…listen to me…" Angela pleaded. "Yes…passion, trust, and love are generally what you find in a committed, dedicated relationship between two people. But they're also found in between the official stages of relationships. Before everything happened…that look you got on your face whenever Booth walked into the room, that's passion. The spark that lit up when you two looked at each other, that's passion. The feeling that you got every time your nerves were on edge in a dangerous situation as Booth protected you, that's trust. You knew that he would always be there. Maybe not scientifically, but inside your Brennan-heart, you knew," Angela said as she pointed to her best friend's chest.

"And sweetie…the reason you're hurting so much right now…and for the past year…is because you love him. If it was strictly a platonic relationship, this pain wouldn't be here. That feeling that you get when your stomach does flips, the hair on the back of your neck stands up, and your heart flutters every time a thought about Booth crosses your mind…THAT…that right there…is love." Tears rolled down Brennan's cheek as Angela smiled sympathetically at her.

"Love is real, Bren. It's what you feel for me, Hodgins, Cam, your family, Parker, even Sweets. It's something that cannot be forgotten, no matter how many drinks you've had or how many skeletons you identified in nine months. There's no point in emotional living if you don't love someone, sweetie. And yes, it's terrifying and horrific, but it's completely and totally worth every bit of emotion that comes from it. He's your guy, sweetie. He's your guy."

By this time, Brennan was starting to sob heavily. Angela leaned over and pulled her best friend into a giant hug, squeezing her tight. Brennan sobbed into Angela's shoulder as every emotion imaginable rushed through her. "It hurts so bad," she cried. "But there's no pain…"

"I know, sweetie…" Angela comforted the crying scientist in her arms. "You're going to make it through this, Bren. You're strong, amazingly beautiful, intelligent…and believe it or not…lovable." Angela ran her hands across Brennan's hair, trying to calm her down. "Shh…sweetie…"

"It hurts…so, so bad, Ange," she sobbed again.

"I know…shh…." She felt Brennan shaking. "But I'm going to make sure you and Booth figure this out. I promise."

Brennan nodded, continuing to cry, and realized exactly how real the pain actually was.