Author's Note: This is my first attempt at fanfiction. I've been reading it for months, but only just got the courage to take a stab at it myself. This story is the result of an idea that I presented to a couple of my favorite authors, neither of whom seemed very interested in exploring it further. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and Man Up (or Woman Up, as it were) and do it myself. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Brennan looked up as Booth entered her office bearing a brown paper bag and bringing with him the enticing smell of Thai food. He carefully unloaded the paper cartons, then turned and said, "Come on, Bones. You've been at it for hours. You gotta eat something."

Distractedly she replied, "In a little while." Then, frustrated, she continued, "Her old court documents from when she was a prosecutor have case numbers, criminal code numbers, and then there are zip codes."

"Well, that's great and all, but you know what? It's not going to be any good if you starve yourself to death."

Brennan looked up at him severely. "She was laughing at me, Booth. I-I can't let her win."

"She won't," he reassured her.

"You hope. She may be amoral, but she is brilliant," a touch of anger colored her voice.

"Well, you're more brilliant." He wasn't sure where she was going with this, but he had a pretty good idea of where it was coming from.

"What if her dispassion makes her more logical? What if that gives her an advantage over me?"

"Wait a second. Now you're upset because you're not more like a psychopath?"

Brennan took a deep breath. "I just think…maybe I've lost my advantage because of all the people I'm involved with now."

Booth felt his stomach drop as he raised his eyes from his food to her face. Regardless of her words, what he heard in her voice was, You make me weak. He looked at her, speechless.

"All of the relationships—they complicate logical thought," she continued.

Shaking his head, Booth insisted, "You don't mean that." He held her eyes and watched her struggle internally. Please, say you don't mean that.

She looked away from him and bristled. "Could we please just work?"

"Sure." He knew this was not the time to push her, but he couldn't help the despair that needled him at her words, spoken in that curt, no-nonsense tone.

She raised her eyes to his once more before reaching for a carton and taking a bite.