Guns and Hoses

Disclaimer: Unfortunately I neither own, nor am involved with, the production of Bones. On the plus side I work really cheap, so if Hart Hanson or Stephen Nathan is reading this? Call me.

Synopsis: The tenth annual 'Guns and Hoses' boxing event between DC's elite law enforcement officers and the district's fire fighters is coming up, and you know who will be representing the FBI. Of course, wherever Booth is, Brennan won't be far behind, and when Angela discovers the world's foremost forensic anthropologist has been moonlighting as Booth's trainer and physical therapist, well, let's just say Angela's sex deprived brain has all the motivation she needs to see someone's unresolved sexual tension get resolved, and soon!

A/N: This story takes place during the 5th season in an AU where the 100th episode didn't take place and Angela never slept with Wendell. The first is because, well, basically I think the 100th episode was crap. The second is because I never really bought the whole Angela-Wendell relationship – she's Hodgins' girl, all the way. Not that her getting together with Hodgins will be exactly easy, but it will happen. I mean, everything happens eventually, right? Oh, and this one is starting out rated T, it'll turn M later I'm sure, everything I do seems to end up an M eventually. Heh, there's that word again...

Guns and Hoses – Training Day


A small droplet of sweat formed on his forehead, hesitated, and then answering gravity's siren call began to roll slowly down the bridge of his nose, clinging momentarily to its tip before falling onto a well formed pectoral muscle. Said pectoral muscle coiled and flexed rhythmically in tune with the deltoids, biceps, triceps and a host of others as he repeatedly propelled his body upward, lifting his chin atop the steel bar before lowering himself to do it again and again. Up and down, chin to steel, muscles flexing, sweat beading, rolling, dripping with every motion, and all the while he kept count in his head, oblivious to the small crowd that had gathered to watch his routine.

'…forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty.' Booth released his grip and landed on the mat with a soft thud. 'another set of crunches and then I'll go back to working the bag for ten more minutes and…ah fuck. The pack is back and Angela's with them.'

Booth snatched up his towel and mopped the sweat from his face, before tossing it over his shoulder. He shot Angela a friendly look, nodded at her and grunted in acknowledgement as she called out to him, waving all the while like a possessed fan girl. A wry smile forced its way onto Booth's lips as he shook his head at her and studiously ignored the rest of the pack. Turning back to the task at hand, Booth adjusted the incline on the sit-up bench to increase the angle, and subsequently the difficulty, for his workout. Laying down he began ripping out his next set of fifty sit-ups, focusing on the burn that set in along his abdominals to block out the sound of his gossiping admirers who weren't half as quiet as they thought they were.

"Mmm-mmm. I'm telling you I could just sink my teeth into that stomach…or any part of him for that matter."

Angela snapped off a carrot stick to emphasize her point and was met with a chorus of 'yesses' and 'oh yeahs'.

"He smiled at you, a real smile. He never smiles, not at anyone. Ever!"

Angela turned to see a fresh faced young woman staring at her with surprisingly green eyes. Next to her a thin lipped, bleach bottle blond with very large breasts stuffed into a very tight blouse had fixed a pair of cold green eyes on her. The fresh faced young woman was definitely a rookie agent, that much was obvious, as was the serious case of hero worship she was carrying for Special Agent Studly. She was fairly harmless, Angela knew that, but the other one, the one she'd already nicknamed 'Big Tits' in her head? She was another story all together. When she spoke Angela's hackles rose instantly.

"How do you know Seeley?"

"How do I know him or how well do I know him?"

Angela rolled her eyes at the woman.

"The answers to those questions, in no particular order, are intimately and well enough to know he doesn't like to be called Seeley."

The acidic remark stung enough that the blond sat back without pressing the issue, but as soon as she did another member of the pack readily filled the void, the younger one from before.

"I think what Marnie was really asking was if you're dating Seel-, um, I mean Agent Booth. No disrespect if you are it's just that he's, well he's a very handsome man and he's single, and as far as anyone here knows…"

"He's the most eligible bachelor at the Hoover?" Angela finished for her.

The woman nodded shyly. Giving her the once over, Angela smiled back. Sure, the young woman was quite pretty in her own way but she was probably fresh out of the Academy. And while her pretty face, framed as it was by shoulder length sandy blonde hair and adorned with a sprinkling of freckles across the nose and cheeks, probably had men tripping over themselves most of the time, Angela knew Booth wouldn't give her a second look. Besides, she was definitely a junior member of the pack, a beta female at most, and Booth only went for alphas. 'Still', Angela thought, 'best to make sure she and the rest of the pack know he's off limits.'

"I've known Booth for years, and your right sweetie. He's a hunk of man candy if ever there was one."

Angela's smile widened, and noticing the attention she'd garnered, the artist decided to push the point home.

"Not just that but he's a total sweetheart. He's kind, attentive, caring, romantic, built like a brick shithouse and chivalrous to a fault. Don't even think about opening your own door or paying for a meal with him around, and girl that man can kiss!"

Angela watched as several faces fell at once, but noted the few that didn't fall at all and instead became more focused. 'What bitches. Thinking they can make a move on Booth when I'm talking about him like we're dating. From the looks of things that Marnie bitch is probably planning on throwing her boney ass at him first chance she gets. Well it's time to nip that in the bud.'

"Oh, so how long have you and Agent Booth been going out?"

Thin lipped, big titted Marnie was speaking again.

"Oh we aren't going out honey, but he is sort of seeing a friend of mine."

Her offhand remark sparked looks and a few not so hidden smiles.

"Sort of seeing? So they're not really dating or anything?" Marnie pressed home her question. "I mean, how do you 'sort of' see someone?"

"Well they've been together five years off and on, the last year or so pretty exclusively. They go out all the time, take trips together, have their little sleepovers, and she's practically a surrogate mom to his boy, Parker."

Angela smiled as it all sank in and every face fell then, even the steely ones from before.

"They just don't want to put a name on what they have because they've both been burned. It's sort of sad, but in a really sweet way."

That should have been enough to finish them off, but Angela was surprised that even though many of the pack wavered none had actually left. She turned back to watch Booth as he continued his workout. He'd finished his sit-ups and moved on to the heavy bag which was being held for him by an Agent she didn't recognize. Angela couldn't help but smile appreciatively as Booth worked the bag landing solid blow after solid blow and making the man holding it flinch in anticipation. Her open admiration for him was brought to question by the pack's unofficial leader then.

"So you're friend doesn't mind you ogling her man while she's not around?"

Marnie's comment elicited a few knowing sniggers.

"Nah, we're cool like that, and anyway she knows she can trust me. I mean if they weren't together I'd be rocking that body like a wooden hobby horse honey, but they are so it's no big. Anyway I've taken a vow of celibacy, so all I can do is look."

"Right, and there's no harm in looking."

It was the young blond who spoke this time, casting a sympathetic eye toward Angela.

"Not for me anyway, but you might want to ask her yourself."

Angela nodded toward the far side of the gym where Brennan had entered. She wore a midnight blue suit that was perfectly tailored to accentuate her figure and compliment her skin tone. The warmth of the day had given her reason to remove the jacket which she carried over her shoulder revealing a sleeveless coral silk blouse with a scoop neck that emphasized her breasts and showed an impressive expanse of creamy bare skin around her shoulders and upper chest.

Brennan waved at Angela, completely oblivious to the stares of every man in the gym or the fact that Booth had locked onto her presence before anyone else, even Angela.

"Huh, she's pretty enough." Marnie added dryly. "Not exactly what I expected though."

Angela struggled to keep from laughing out loud. Pretty enough? Brennan wasn't just dressed to kill, she was sporting a fresh, wind-blown look that made the naturally attractive brunette appear positively stunning.

"Yeah, Well Bren's pretty unique. I mean what else would you call a woman with three doctorates who's also a certified NRA marksman, has hunting licenses in four states and is an expert in three different types of martial arts?" Angela smiled knowingly at the wavering pack. "I think that's what Booth found attractive about her in the first place. She's not just drop dead gorgeous, but brilliant and tough and that's important to him. Booth has a dangerous job but he knows she can handle herself, and he trusts her to have his back. Like when she shot that stalker of his a couple of years ago…"

Angela spun a yarn that left no doubt as to the partners' devotion to one another. She took great pains in describing how Booth jumped in front of the bullet meant for Brennan, how he gladly risked his life for the woman he loved. The wavering members of the pack bolted first, the others left in ones and twos as she went on to narrate the scene of Brennan calmly and effortlessly picking up Booth's gun and dispatching the psychotic woman. By the time she was done only thin lipped Marnie and the young fresh faced blond remained.

Angela gave the younger woman an appraising look. The younger woman might be more of a challenge than she'd originally thought, but in the end she dismissed her concerns. After all, no woman stood a chance once Temperance Brennan made her presence known. As if on queue Booth's voice boomed out across the gym.

"Bones!"

Booth had stopped working the heavy bag and was waving enthusiastically at Brennan. His booming voice brought Brennan to a stop mid-stride, and she turned toward him instinctively, beaming a smile back at him and giving him a small, timid wave. Booth motioned for her to have a seat with Angela, while he returned to the heavy bag and the agent holding it for him. Brennan approached Angela and sat down in the vacant space next to her on the portable bleachers.

"Hey Ange."

"Hey Sweetie, so what brings you out today? Come to watch the FBI's hottest hunk work out?"

Brennan's cheeks flushed suddenly as she turned back from the sight of her partner pounding the heavy bag into submission.

"No, I had to pick up Parker. His school called and he wasn't feeling well." Reaching over she snagged one of Angela's carrot sticks. "I brought him by Booth's office but Charlie said he was down here. Poor Parks was so tired that I put him to sleep on the couch and left Charlie to watch him, I thought I'd come down here to get Booth."

Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, between picking up Parker and coming to get Booth, both thin lipped Marnie and the fresh faced blond finally gave up and followed the other members of the pack out of the gym, leaving only Brennan and Angela on the bleachers to watch Booth finish up his workout.

Angela looked over her shoulder, watching the last two members of the pack as the lingered at the doors leaving the gym. Even at a distance she could see them looking at Booth and Brennan, watching as he looked in her direction between punches while he worked the bag, watching as she smiled and waved at him or laughed at the faces he made. It was with a sense of deep satisfaction that Angela saw the two women turn, and with shoulders slumped and heads hung low, leave the gym.

The pack was gone, only the alpha female remained.


It'd been twenty minutes since Brennan joined her for lunch, fifteen since she's watched her best friend finish off her carrot and celery sticks. With only the apple slices left she was thankful that she'd chosen to eat her yogurt cup first or Brennan would have taken that too. Angela chuckled quietly to herself. This was the same woman who, five years ago, could go an entire day without remembering to eat a single meal was now so conditioned to eating regularly she'd practically eaten Angela's entire lunch. That was Booth's doing, and Angela told her so. She'd expected some sort of argument but instead got a silent smile.

The artist stared at her best friend and broke out into a mischievous smile as she realized what had so distracted her; Brennan was watching Booth with an intensity normally reserved for a set of Bronze Age remains. Her smirk grew as she watched the forensic anthropologist ogle the man she claimed was nothing more than her partner like he was a Chippendale's dancer. There were a dozen other agents working out, a few as well defined as Booth and as attractive in their own way, but Brennan was so enthralled watching Booth's body as he landed blow after thunderous blow on the heavy bag that Angela eventually had to pinch her to draw her out of her reverie.

"Ow! Angela! What was that for?"

Brennan rubbed her forearm vigorously at the site of injury.

"I asked you a question but you were so busy ogling the goods over there that you didn't hear me." Angela smirked.

"I. Was. Not. Ogling." Brennan fumed. "I was observing Booth's form and looking for signs of workout related stress in his lower lumbar region."

"Uh-huh. You were staring at his ass sweetie, admit it."

"I'll admit to no such thing. Honestly Angela, you know that Booth's back has been bothering him with this increased workout schedule. I've tried to convince him to take yoga with me but he insists that the deep tissue massages are enough." Brennan stole an apple slice. "I'm just watching him to make sure he doesn't cause any permanent damage."

"Well if he's got a good masseuse he could be right."

Seeing the eyes-wide stare she was getting from her friend Angela quickly amended her comment.

"I mean it's not like he's going to keep working out at this level forever, this is just for the fight. Right?"

"Yes, but his back will always give him trouble and yoga is a better long term solution. Deep tissue massage only lasts so long and he can't do it on himself, so what's he going to do when I can't drop everything to give him a massage?"

Brennan was utterly serious, betraying no hint of sarcasm nor giving any indication that she was putting Angela on, and yet the artist couldn't believe what she'd heard.

"Excuse me, sweetie, but you've been giving studly massages? On a regular basis? Him all naked, you straddling him, with hot oil and…everything?"

Brennan nodded in response and Angela was unable to keep the shock from registering in her voice.

"Anything else you've forgotten to share with your celibate and sex-starved best friend Brennan?"

"For the most part, yes." Brennan saw the smile erupt on her friend's face and groaned. "I mean no! No, I haven't forgotten to share anything else and yes I am giving him deep tissue massages to help manage the pain from his increased workout schedule, but it's not what you think. He's not completely naked Angela, he wears shorts and the warm oil simply helps the surface muscle relax thereby increasing the efficacy of the massage."

"Right. And the part where you're straddling his hot, oily, mostly naked body, what does that increase the efficacy of? Because honey I have some suggestions for you if you need them."

Rolling her eyes Brennan couldn't help but return her friend's amused smile.

"I have to straddle his thighs Angela. I am much smaller than Booth, physically, and I need the extra leverage to effectively reach the deeper muscles of his back and shoulders, and his back."

"You said back twice sweetie. Or were you talking about his backside?"

"He does occasionally complain about cramping in the gluteus maximus and medius. So yes, I do find myself forced to massage those areas as well." Brennan offered, without missing a beat.

"Uh-huh. And by 'occasionally complain' you mean he mentioned it once, and by 'forced' you mean you'll use that as an excuse to cop a feel of his luscious tushy every time you give him a massage."

Angela watched Brennan's cheeks pink in acknowledgement and the smile on the artist's face threatened to reach her ears.

"Temperance Brennan you shameless hussy!"

"I have found that when it comes to dealing with issues of physical health one can never be too cautious. So when he mentioned the pain I may have taken it upon myself to make sure that it wouldn't aggravate his pre-existing back problems."

Brennan could tell that her well reasoned explanation was having no effect on her friend whose grin had grown even wider, if possible.

"It's true Ange! Left unchecked muscle strain in the gluteus cluster can adversely effect posture and carriage putting additional strain on the muscles of the lower lumbar region."

"Bren sweetie, it's okay. Really, I totally believe you."

Stroking Brennan's forearm reassuringly, Angela smiled.

"I totally believe you are shoveling a big ol' steaming pile of well reasoned logic just so you have an excuse to grab that man's ass."

"Angela!"

Brennan's scandalized look only made Angela smile more.

"Seriously Brennan, between you and me, how good is it? I mean is it as good as I've always imagined?"

Angela couldn't miss the very pointed, and possessive, look her best friend was giving her.

"Angela I am not going to indulge you or your sexual theorizing about Booth."

Brennan locked eyes with her friend who'd adopted a more aggressive, even somewhat intimidating, stance as the two engaged in a stare down. Brennan lasted almost ten seconds before caving in.

"Fine. Without admitting to anything, and speaking from a purely anthropologically standpoint about my observations as a scientist, I would have to confirm your previously stated hypothesis…Booth has the firmest, most well proportioned butt I've ever seen."

"Seen? You've seen that butt naked? What about his thighs? Thighs too?"

Angela's animated questioning shocked Brennan back into a defensive posture, and holding up her hands in surrender she shied away from even making eye contact with the artists.

"Ugh, Sweetie! C'mon, you have to dish. You're holding out on me!"

She studied her friend for a few moments with open curiosity. The normally unflappable anthropologist who's ability to discuss almost any sexual act in the frankest of terms, and who had been known on occasion to even embarrass her, was suddenly acting like a virginal school girl. Angela grinned and decided to bait her friend, seeing how far she could push things.

"I'm betting those thighs are as muscular and yummy as that tushy of his. Can't you just imagine being between them, having him squeeze you until you pop like a bottle of warm champagne?"

Brennan blushed furiously and fidgeted incessantly in her seat, but never took her eyes off Booth's backside.

"Oh jeez Brennan, give it up. You've obviously got the hots for our FBI honey."

"I do not Angela, that's ridiculous." She protested weakly.

"Really? Well it's a little late to play the reluctant virgin now sweetie, and you're already as red as a lobster so you might as well save that act for studly and dish already."

"Fine." Brennan let out an exasperated sigh. "I have, on occasion, found myself fantasizing about Booth in a more than platonic manner, but we are friends and work partners who spend an inordinate amount of time together and it is only natural that our bodies respond to certain stimuli. Any fantasies that do occur are entirely unbidden and uncontrollable on my part and are, in any case, the result of a totally normal and purely biological reaction my healthy libido has to the proximity of his well structured and very, very symmetrical form."

Brennan's mouth had gone dry and Angela watched in fascination as her tongue snaked out to gently trace a path of moisture on her parched lips.

"Uh-huh. And his thighs sweetie?"

"Like sculpted marble…" Brennan managed a whisper, eyes never leaving Booth's body. "Butt too."

Angela finally relented, knowing that if she continued pushing Brennan their was a good chance the somewhat volatile woman would end up taking it out on Booth, or more likely not take it out on the poor man and leaving him wondering what he'd done to make her withdraw. Instead she tried to lightened the mood by telling Brennan about the rabid pack of fan girls from the Hoover who'd come to watch Booth workout. The artists noted the jealous look in her friend's eyes and how it gave way to laughter when she was provided a somewhat edited account of how they'd been run off. The women's conversation was suddenly interrupted by the overwhelming presence of their topic of conversation.

"Hey Bones! Hi Angela."

Booth smiled at them both, but his smile positively glowed when he looked at Brennan, Angela rolled her eyes at them both.

"What brings two of the District's most beautiful women to the bowels of the Hoover building?"

"Oh please studly, as if you didn't know."

Angela slapped playfully at Booth's arm only to pull her hand back in disgust.

"Ugh, sweaty."

"What did you expect? I just finished working out."

Booth grabbed his towel then, self consciously wiping down his chest and arms.

"Yes, we noticed Booth, and it was a workout that went far beyond what we had agreed upon as reasonable."

Brennan locked eyes with her partner, all traces of her earlier reticence instantly gone.

"If you keep setting this pace you'll end up injuring yourself or, at the very least, be too tired and muscle sore to face Bishop effectively in the ring."

"I know my body Bones, and I know how hard I can push it. Besides the fight is a week from this coming Saturday, that's only 10 days away, so even if I do overdo it a little, well, I've still got you, right?"

Booth saw her brows furrowed in consternation and quickly tried to sooth her.

"I mean, I know I can count on you to be there for me, okay?. Even when I'm an idiot and I push myself a little harder than normal, like today, I know you can give me one of those fantastic massages to help me work the kinks out. That, some Ranger candy and a hot bath are all I need to be as right as rain."

"Um, Ranger candy?"

The partners turned as one to see a confused Angela staring at them.

"That's what we call…" "That's what Booth calls…"

Angela smiled and shook her head at the two as they began talking over one another. Her smile broadened as she watched Brennan give Booth a no-nonsense look that cowed the otherwise indomitable agent.

"Ranger candy is what Booth and his army buddy's call ibuprofen. It's a sobriquet demonstrative of the frequency with which they use it for relieving the pain associated with strenuous activity." Brennan finished.

"Okay, good to know."

Angela stood then and gathered up the remains of her lunch, listening to Brennan and Booth talk as she did. Booth put a leg up on the lower riser and leaned in grinning.

"So you never said what brought you here. Did ya' miss me? Is that it Bones?"

"No, I had to pick Parker up at school."

Brennan instinctively put her hand on Booth's chest and leaned toward him with a reassuring look on her face.

"Relax, Booth, Parker's fine. Poor boy's just a bit tired. He wasn't feeling well and since Rebecca and Brent won't be back in town until tomorrow, and you weren't answering your phone, they called me to come get him."

"He isn't feeling well? What's wrong? Did he get sick? I mean at school?"

Booth had relaxed somewhat but still seemed anxious.

"Nothing's wrong, the school nurse said there was a gastro-intestinal illness going around, and yes, he did vomit while he was in the cafeteria but he's alright now."

Brennan saw the look of concern on Booth's face and hastily added, "It's not as traumatizing as you might think Booth, actually he seemed rather proud of the fact that right after he threw up several other children did as well."

Booth's face relaxed as she'd hoped, but Brennan was surprised when he actually started to chuckle. He saw the look of confusion in her face and shook his head benignly.

"It's a little boy thing Bones, gross things fascinate them. When Parks goes back to school tomorrow he'll probably be the most popular boy in class. I'll explain it later." Booth smiled at the bemused look on Brennan's face. "Hey, instead of going out how 'bout we have dinner in tonight?"

"I was thinking that myself, I told Parker if he was feeling up to it I'd make him Mac 'n' Cheese."

"Bones! You're making us Mac 'n' Cheese for dinner? You're the best!"

"Slow down Booth, I said I'd make Parker Mac 'n' Cheese for dinner, I never promised you anything."

The pitiful groan he'd emitted nearly caused her to relent right then, but Brennan held fast, unable to pass up any chance to tease her partner.

"If you're good, and you promise to tone back your workout until the fight I'll think about making enough for you too."

"It's tone down Bones, but hey, you're the boss."

Booth flashed his patented charm smile.

"So am I getting Mac 'n' Cheese, right?"

Brennan sighed and rolled her eyes at Booth.

"Don't try to charm smile it out of me Booth."

She sighed again when he added the puppy dog eyes.

"Fine. But we are discussing your workout schedule when we get home."

"Absolutely Bones, whatever you say. Hey, we can talk about it while you're giving me my massage, okay?"

"Okay, but will you please take your shower now? You're starting to get a little malodorous."

Brennan gently placed her hand on his chest and gave him a shove to emphasize the need for distance. Booth rocked backwards, slightly unbalanced and with a practiced expression of shock and horror as he lifted one arm and gave it a hesitant sniff. The face he made was mirrored by Angela.

"A little, Bren? Sorry G-man, but you reek."

Angela held her nose and swatted Booth firmly on the butt eliciting a small, sharp, yelp. Both Brennan and Angela laughed at Booth's reaction, though Brennan stopped when Angela turned toward her with a smirk.

"You were right Bren, Booth's ass really is firm and yummy."

The shocked look on her face was accompanied by furious blushing which rapidly gave way to anger directed at a startled Booth who'd turned back to her with a wide eyed grin that was anything but partnerly. Angela stifled a giggle when the baffled and blushing Special Agent attempted to extricate himself from the sudden appearance of Brennan's wrath and ended up hotfooting it to the showers. Once he'd left, however, it was Angela's turn to feel the anthropologist's spleen. Ignoring all the warning signs, the artist gamely turned to Brennan and smiled.

"Hey Bren? I'm heading back to the lab. You coming with, or are you staying here with the Booth boys?"

"While I should probably head back to the Jeffersonian I have no desire to accompany you right now Angela. In any case I drove and I imagine you'll be taking your own car back as well."

Brennan picked at some invisible lint on her blouse, her eyes never making contact with Angela's.

"Um, actually it was a nice day and I walked. It's only about fifteen minutes and the flowers on the Mall are in full bloom." Cocking an eyebrow at Brennan, Angela voiced her concern. "You're really mad at me aren't you? Not just peeved or irritated, you're really, really upset this time."

"I'm not sure what you're talking about Angela, but I do take exception to your inappropriate behavior just now. Even if you can't find it within yourself to respect my confidences I would have thought you'd at least spare Booth the humiliation of having to deal with that kind of inappropriate behavior at his place of work."

Brennan completed her commentary by pulling on her suit jacket, and adjusting the buttons until she looked as professional as she sounded.

"Look Bren, sweetie, it's all in fun, surely you know that? I would never do anything to hurt you or Booth, I was just giving you a hard time and tweaking Booth's ego a little bit. Okay? Brennan?"

Brennan's non-responsive nature only served to underscore how upset she was with Angela, and the artist rolled her eyes in exasperation.

"Alright, fine. Stand there like a statue and ignore me now but you'll at least hear me out. First, you're my best friend and you know me. You know I love to tease you and Booth and anyone else I care about, it's my way. I love you and I love Booth, and it was all meant in fun. You may not want to admit that now, but you know I'm telling the truth."

Standing stock still, Brennan remained as silent as before though she did appear to have relaxed her shoulders some. Angela put a friendly hand on her forearm and leaned in to force her friend to look her in the eye.

"Brennan, I'm sorry if what I said to Booth was too private to share and ended up embarrassing you. I'll apologize to him later when I see him and I'll explain that I was just trying to get a rise out of you and it didn't mean anything, okay? As for the whole sparing Booth the humiliation thing? Honey, don't sweat it. The pack of hyenas in here earlier was as bad as any gang of construction workers when it came to the comments they were making about our favorite G-Man. Trust me, nothing I said or did will even register on the Hoover radar compared to them."

Angela patted her arm and Brennan finally relented and gave her friend a wary nod.

"Are we okay Bren, or do I need to apologize some more?"

"We'll be okay Angela. I just, well, it's...complicated. Ever since I became Booth's partner there have been rumors and accusations of impropriety between us."

"Impropriety? Do tell, what have I been missing out on?" Angela smirked.

"See! That is exactly the kind of thing that Booth and I do not need Angela, people who know me, people who aren't FBI employees, adding wood to the fire."

"Fuel honey, it's adding fuel to the fire and I don't get the problem."

"Wood is a fuel." Brennan shook her head in confusion. "In any case it's bad enough that Booth and his subordinates are constantly working to put down rumors of alleged liaisons between us, we don't need to exacerbate the situation with someone from the Jeffersonian coming over here and making matters worse by reinforcing false accusations."

Angela didn't say a thing to Brennan at that point but part of her was panicked. It was good that she'd given Brennan only an edited account of her dealings with the pack, because she was fairly certain if her friend knew that she'd gotten rid of the competition by telling them specifically that Brennan was involved with Booth, her friend would be wringing her neck right then and there. Instead Angela gave Brennan a weak nod and a watery smile.

"I got it Bren, and I'm sorry, really I am. Listen, I'll talk to the G-man and do whatever damage control he thinks is necessary, okay?"

Brennan relaxed a bit more and managed to give the artist a more friendly nod.

"Now if you're sure you're staying…"

"I am staying. Booth has a meeting with Cullen and the other SSAs this afternoon so he won't be able to stay with Parker. I am certain that Parker won't want to remain here and the FBI's day care won't admit him since he's sick. I will call Cam after I confer with Booth, but I'll be taking the rest of the day off so I can take Parker home and care for him." Brennan saw the look on Angela's face and groaned. "I know that look Angela, and it signifies nothing. This is nothing more than a favor one partner would do for another."

"Bren sweetie, I know I'm in no position to say anything to you right now so all I'm going to say is this, it's a place called denial hon' and you've been living there a little too long." Brennan's mouth dropped open and she stared at her friend. "Besides if you really wanted to do your partner a favor, the next deep tissue massage you give him you'll both be naked."

Angela pushed past Brennan, ignoring the shocked look on her friends face and left with a parting shot.

"Trust me sweetie, there's a reason the man does all those things for you and never asks for anything in return, the one thing he really wants from you is the one thing Partners don't do for one another."

Angela turned and walked off, leaving her best friend standing there, mouth agape and blushing. The artist recounted all the little revelations of the last ten minutes with a growing smile. First there was the fact that Brennan was taking care of Parker like an old pro, which was sort of odd for someone who claimed to have no maternal instinct and didn't want children. Then there was the very evident change in the partner's dynamic.

Angela was used to seeing Booth push Brennan around; hell he practically mugged her some days he'd get so handsy and bossy. What she'd never seen before was Brennan bossing Booth around, let alone the G-man acting so whipped. Everyone always said they bickered like an old married couple; well this was one big step beyond that, and Brennan using food as a weapon? Please, that was just an allegorical argument for sex. Not to mention the whole family meal scenario or the fact that Brennan said 'when we get home' – home, not her condo or his apartment but home, as in the place a family lived.

Angela rolled her eyes at the thought, but she had to admit it was as if they'd skipped steps two through five and went straight to six, cohabitating. And yet there was something not quite right. Somehow Angela knew that even with all of the evidence before her; the looks, the sighs, the smiles, the eyes, him baiting her, her playing him, the meaningful touches, and the deep tissue massages – somehow if she confronted them, either apart or together, she'd get the same answer, just partners.

Why couldn't they just commit already? Well she was done being the quiet, supportive one who got crap for being such an obvious fangirl. They were meant to be together. They'd had enough time to figure this out on their own and they were still screwing around, enough was enough! Auntie Angela wanted her vicarious sex life and Booth and Brennan were going to give it to her or someone was going to die trying. Playtime was over.


A/N: As always, feedback is welcome…that means leave a review already!