Disclaimer: I don't own Bones or any of their characters. Unfortunately. Spoilers for "The Hole in the Heart."

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The Closeness in the Comfort

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Brennan raised an eyebrow as Angela ordered Hodgins out of Limbo. Her friend just grinned at his expression as he threw his hands up in exasperated confusion, turned, and walked out.

As soon as Hodgins rounded the corner, Angela focused in on Brennan again, and she bit her lip, waiting for the other woman to question her once more. She didn't have to wait long.

"You...Booth...crawl...bed," Angela stammered once more, her voice rising in pitch with each word. She shook her head, as if to clear it. "And?"

Remembering back to the night before, Brennan thought of how to explain to Angela everything that had been said and done.

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Brennan continued to sob as Booth pulled her down to the mattress, scooting them up so they were reclined on his bed. With her face buried in his chest, his arm around her shoulders, and his hand slowing rubbing her back, she cried, letting her grief and anxiety spill out of her.

"You know the worst part?" she asked him tearfully after catching her breath for a moment.

"Hmm?" she felt as much as heard him murmur.

Stifling another sob, she admitted, "I am a horrible, awful person, Booth."

"What?"

Brennan felt him pull her away from him slightly. She opened her eyes to see him staring down at her, his eyes narrowed and his head moving slowly from side to side.

When she didn't say anything, he continued, "What makes you think that?"

She dropped her gaze, swallowing around the lump in her throat. "All I can think is that if you had not given the phone to Mr. Ni—" she shook her head "—to Vincent, you would have been the one to answer the phone. You would have been the one shot. I..." She looked up at Booth again, feeling the tears running down her cheeks as she confessed, "I am glad it wasn't you. I...I am happy it was Vincent, because I c-could h-have l-lost y-you!"

Booth groaned and pulled her tighter against him. Brennan reveled in the feeling of his muscular chest, warm through his black T-shirt.

"Oh, Bones," he murmured. "Just because you're glad it wasn't me doesn't mean you're happy Vincent is dead. You know that, right?"

Brennan nodded against him, but was unable to stop the latest round of tears. "Intellectually, on a rational level, I know you are correct. I know I did not wish for harm to come to him, but that does not lessen the guilt I feel at being unable to be sad that you gave him the phone. I just continue to think, 'What if?'."

She felt Booth sigh beneath her head. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, rough.

"I've been lying here for hours, Bones," he began, "and have been asking myself the same damn question."

Raising her head enough that she could look him in the eyes, Brennan asked, "You mean about what would have happened had you answered the phone instead?"

She watched as a frown creased Booth's face, and his hands tightened in the sweatshirt she was wearing as he shook his head.

"No, Temperance," he said quietly, yet a tremble in his voice was evident.

Brennan's eyes widened at the sound of her name and the intensity of his gaze, both of which thrilled and terrified her simultaneously.

He took an audible deep breath before continuing. "About what could have happened had I given you the phone, rather than Vincent." He was silent for a moment, his eyes never leaving hers, before he choked out in a strangled voice, "I could have lost you, Temperance Brennan, and that thought scares me down to my very soul."

Brennan felt her tears as the rivulets tracked down her face to her chin. She and Booth were silent except for the deep breaths associated with her crying. When a tear fell from her face and landed on his cheek, she reached a hand up and brushed it away gently, feeling rather embarrassed at her emotional display.

To her surprise, Booth reached up and took her hand in his, drawing it to his mouth and placing a long kiss to her palm. At her gasp of surprise, he tugged her down with his other hand until they were hovering only an inch apart.

"I can't lose you, Bones," he said on a ragged breath. "I wouldn't survive it."

Brennan gave a gasping sob and closed the remaining distance between them, pressing her lips to his.

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Angela stood gaping at Brennan like a fish, opening and closing her mouth repeatedly.

"No," Brennan said quietly, able to tell Angela was about to ask if she and Booth had actually had intercourse. She knew she could not explain that what they had shared was far more intimate. "I kissed him, and he kissed me back. When I yawned, Booth curled me up to him and pulled the cover over us both."

She paused for a moment, giving her friend a soft smile as she remembered the feeling of being in Booth's arms the rest of the night—how safe he had made her feel.

"I felt safe, Ang," she admitted with a whisper. "Every time I closed my eyes, I saw...Vincent. His eyes as he begged—" she swallowed and shook her head "—to stay." Her stomach gave a lurch at the memories, and she took a moment to center herself before continuing. "The nightmares were the worst I have ever had, but in Booth's arms, they were gone. I don't know how to explain it any more than that other than to say I felt safe enough to actually sleep."

She shrugged slightly, feeling her cheeks pinken with the embarrassment of having had "word vomit," as Angela sometimes called it.

Angela did squeal then, bouncing on her feet as much as her very-pregnant body would allow. "This is so great, Bren!" She frowned. "I mean, still very sad, but I'm so happy for you."

Brennan nodded and again began examining the skull she'd been studying for hours. Just as Angela was about to say something more, Cam came rushing into Limbo.

"We're connected with Booth. He believes he knows where Broadsky is. Come on; you need to hear what Hodgins found."

When she left the room, Brennan and Angela were hot on her heels.

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A/N: Obviously, they did more that night on the show, but at the time I wrote this, we didn't know that. ;)