Needing to Confess

By: Lesera128

Rated: M

Disclaimer: stares:: ::blinks:: ::stares again:: Yeah. I still don't own anything…but, you knew that from the stares, right?

Summary: How does Booth go from a discussion about questioning his faith one day, to ending up with the need to go to confession less than 24 hours later? Of course, Brennan and some fluffy smut has something to do with it. Set at the end of 5x14: The Devil in the Details. 2012 Bones Secret Cupid. AU.

Author's Note: If you aren't of a legal age to read this material (legal age defined by statute as 18), please don't read this as you are not the intended audience for whom it was written. If, like most people under the age of 18, you choose to disregard this warning, please...don't tell me. I don't want to know. As for others, if what I've been told qualifies as epic hotness bothers you, I suggest you turn back now. If it doesn't, well, then...proceed at your own risk, but don't say I didn't warn you. :)

Part II - Searching for a State of Grace

Things continued to become less normal, and more abnormal, as they progressed closer and closer to her apartment. By the time she was drawing her keys out of her trench coat pocket and unlocking the door, Booth stood a few steps away from her―not too close, not too far away, but just enough so that she would know he was there while still giving her enough space to not feel encumbered by his presence. And, that was when he noticed, as she twisted the key in the deadbolt and swung the door open that, at some point in the course of asking him to stay and coming to the threshold of her apartment door, she'd started crying.

"Hey," he said, his voice low and tender as he took a step towards her and immediately put an official end to the carefully balanced of the last four and a half years, act as he unknowing crossed 'the line' with that step towards her. "What is it?"

Shaking her head slowly, she sniffled once before shaking her head slightly, refusing to meet his faze as she said, "Nothing."

Pushing forward into the apartment, she waited for him to follow before she turned around and locked the door. Moving towards the dining room table, she set down her bag and keys in a jumble, and then stood with her back to him. Her body started to shake in that moment, as she gave up fighting the confusion she'd started to feel as the image of her partner, lost and adrift without his faith, began to overwhelm her.

"What is it?" he asked, coming up behind her, the black leather of his jacket cool to the touch as his arm brushed hers. For a split second, a small sliver of rationality in her mused that the temperature of the jacket was probably because of the time they'd in the cool night air. He stood awkwardly next to her as he tried to maintain a compassionate distance from which he could comfort her while not overstepping his boundaries, even though he'd already crossed the line of no return, even if he didn't want to admit it.

"It's stupid," Brennan said, refusing to turn around and face him. Quickly moving the back of her hand to her face, she brushed away the tears as she sniffled once more. "It's stupid, and I'm being foolish., so―"

"No," he said, reaching out and letting his fingers lightly wrap around her arm. Giving it a squeeze, he said, "If it's bothering you enough to make you cry, then it's not foolish, Bones…so tell me what it is, and maybe I can help." He stopped, and then, just as she'd looked at him when she'd asked him to come up, he implored her with his eyes. "Please?"

And, that was when she began to talk, haltingly at first…of things of faith and how, logically, if a man like Booth was wrong and lost his faith, then what would that do to him as a person?

"If you lose your faith," she told him. "You'd never be the same person. You'd be so different…to use one of your own religious terms, in effect―you'd be a lost soul. And, if you were no longer than man you were, and you were gone―although I know it's selfish of me, all I can think about it that means that I'd have lost you, Booth. I'd be all alone. And, I can't tell you…more than most things I can think of, the idea of losing you scares me. It terrifies me, really...more than anything else. I don't know when or how or why it happened, but it did. At some point, somewhere along the way, it's just become a simple fact of my existence. I can't lose you…I don't know what I would do without you. I know that rationally, logically, I would attempt to find a way to go on…eventually. But, there's another part of me that doubts my capability that I would be successful at such an endeavor―well…you can't really blame be because I don't have faith like you do. I never have, and I probably never will. And, so…it's just not a chance I can take. I can't lose you. I just can't."

Booth considered her words for a moment before he took another step towards her. Instead of saying anything verbally as a first response, he allowed his hands to come up to her shoulders in that moment, his fingers wrapping lightly against the curve of her shoulder joints. He began to flex his hands in a comfortingly rhythmic gesture against her tense muscles. For several moments, they just stood like that, his fingers and hands gently massaging her muscles. The only sounds were his gentle and measured breaths―in, out…in, out―and her shorter rapid puffs of air. Mentally willing some of the fear that she held so tightly coiled in her muscles, Booth smiled at her when he felt her begin to melt into his touch.

After another minute, he said, quietly "You know, Bones…you'll never lose me. Never."

"How can you say that?" she said, a crack of emotion coming into her voice betraying her inner turmoil again as she struggled to stay completely still. Calming herself with a breath, Brennan knew she was fighting a losing battle as she struggled with her thoughts and feelings. Shaking her head slightly, she finally gave into the emotions and told him, "The risks we take…statistically, one day, if something doesn't happen to damage your physically, it's likely that you'll suffer some mental or emotional crisis that could be just as detrimental. And, it's highly likely I will―and goddamn it, but I can't stop crying, and I hate myself for it!"

"You know what?" he said as he moved his right hand from her shoulder, up the gentle curve of her shoulder blade with his palm flat as it traveled over skin covered by the rough material of her white trench coat. Allowing his hand to lightly touch her as he moved his hand towards her neck, and then down slightly over her breastbone, he stopped just shy of turning what was supposed to be a gesture of comfort into something more.

Letting the fingers and palm of his hand rest over her heart, he gently patted it once, twice, and then a third time, as he unintentionally pressed his warm and muscular body up against her back.

"Feel that?" he said, his voice measured and even in its comforting reassurance. "Can you feel that?" He could feel her hair tickle his nose as his mouth hovered just inches behind her ear, He inhaled the sweet, faint scent of her shampoo and something else. He sniffed deeply as he tried to identify the various parts of the fragrance he smelled. It's her, he thought. Vanilla and honey and shea…and a sprinkling of cinnamon. It's Bones…it's the scent of her…the smell of her. It's just, Bones, and damnI think it's my favorite smell in the entire world and has been since the very first time I ever met her.

"You're using your carpals and metacarpals to press against my sternum and ribcage―" she said, her voice catching in her throat. She allowed her head to roll back slightly, reciprocating his touch as she sighed softly at his nearness. Some of her anxiety had already started to melt away as she drew closer to him instead of pulling further away. Content to draw from him what she could, Brennan closed her eyes and snuggled a bit into him, allowing her intentional obtuseness to buy her a few more seconds of his touch.

She felt him press against her as he shook his head slightly, even if she couldn't see his response.

"No," he told her. "Try again."

"If I weren't being as accurate as I normally am―"

"Or, so literal," he chuckled into her ear.

"Or, so literal," she agreed as she amended her statement. "I might say that you want me to acknowledge that I can feel the beating of my heart."

"Yup," he told her. "See how steady it is?"

"My rhythm is―"

"Strong," he said, cutting off what he knew might be another scientific killjoy diatribe of anatomical significance. Smiling, moved his head so that it was near her ear, and said, "Strong and firm and steady…just like I feel for you."

He stopped, letting the words flow freely before something stopped to change his decision to let the confession be made.

"It's time," he said. "I've known it for a while now, and I think―based on what you just told me, I think…well, Bones, I think you do, too…"

"Time for what?" she asked, her voice no more than a dull whisper.

"Time to admit why you'll never lose me, Bones," he said, his voice growing rougher with each word he spoke. "Time to admit the reason why you can never lose me―because, the reason, Bones? It's the same one. It's the same reason that I'll always be there for you and why you can never lose me."

"Why?" she said.

"You know," he told her simply, not quite willing to make it that easy for her. Come on, Bones, he silently encouraged her. We've done the hard part. We're here and neither one of us is going anywhere. We're talking…now you just have to say the words because I already know you mean them. I can feel it. "You know already."

"I do?" she asked, some uncertainty and a bit of surprise still clear in her voice. "But, how can I know?"

"The same way you said before when we were talking on the ride back from the mental institution when we were talking about faith. Two plus two equals four. You put sugar in your coffee, and it tastes sweet. The sun comes up because the world turns. And those things are beautiful to you because there are mysteries you will never understand, but everywhere you look, you have proof that for every effect there is a corresponding cause―even if you can't see it," he said with a small smile as he parroted her words back to him.

"And, the effect that you want me to see…me never losing you…and you never leaving me…that's caused because―"

"Because…." he prompted gently.

"Because," she breathed after gulping down some air. "Because you…you love me?"

"Bingo, baby," he said, as he rested his chin on her shoulder. "See?" he smiled. "I knew you knew it…even if you couldn't understand why it's true. But…it is."

"You love me?" she asked, blinking as she tilted her head and considered his words. "You…love…me."

"With everything I am," he admitted. "Heart, mind, body, soul, and everything in between, Bones."

"You love me," she said, this time, more of a statement than a question. "You love me."

"Yeah," he said. "I do…and more importantly, I think you love me, too."

Slowly, she turned around and finally lifted her gaze to his. Although she opened her mouth, took a breath, and tried to say something, when she attempted to speak, nothing came out. Instead, her eyes spoke for her. He tilted his head in response, trying to read her. A slightly nod of her head was all she could say as she partially lifted her hands and reached for him. It was all the sign he needed to proceed.

Things moved quickly after that.

Somehow, he closed the distance between them and gently but firmly reached for her. Pulling her towards him, he moaned into her ear as his hands plucked at the tie on her trench coat. "You know," he murmured. "I never really liked this jacket." He growled in frustration as he tugged at the knot, and after a minute, a laugh soothed his frayed impatience as her deft fingers came to his, pushed them aside, and quickly untied the source of his frustration. Once it was free, Booth grabbed one of the ends of the belt and ruthlessly pulled it free of the loops of her jacket. As it came lose with a twwwppht, Booth gave Brennan a toothy grin and said, "Hmmm, I never thought I'd say this, but I think I like taking a belt off of you almost as much as I liked it when you whipped off my belt that one time at the lab."

"I can take off your belt right now," Brennan said with an arch of her eyebrow as her hands went to the waistband of his jeans. "If you want."

"Oh, I want," Booth growled. "I definitely want."

And, after that, the number of things that Booth would have to remember to confess in the morning started to increase in number rapidly.

They stumbled as he pulled her towards him, and she guided them towards her bedroom. His lips moved towards her neck, anxious and eager to taste her finally.

"Definitely want," he murmured as he brought his lips to the crook of her shoulder and started to lick his way up from the base of her neck towards her ear. He made his way from top to bottom in small but steady licks, his tongue darting out to swipe back and forth as he breathed in her pungent scent…tangy sweat mixed with the crisp apple scented hairspray she wore pooled with the vanilla and honey body wash mixed with the amber and cinnamon light body spray she'd spritzed on herself every morning before she walked out the door. The combined scents made Booth think of a comforting and familiar smell. He smiled as he realized what she smelled like to him in that moment. "Apple pie," he chuckled. "You smell like apple pie."

"Mmmmm," she said. "I'll have to take your word for that," she said as she pushed him through her bedroom door. He fell onto the bed, landing on his back, and he barely had time to register his change from a horizontal to vertical position before Brennan was on top of him. "I'm going to have to take your word for it," she repeated as she climbed on top of him. "Since we all know that I don't eat my fruit cooked."

"No," he moaned as he felt her shift so that she had situated herself with one knee on either side of his muscular thighs. "You don't. But, fortunately I do…"

"You do?" she breathed as she rotated her hips in a clockwise motion as she grinded against him. She could feel the heat of straining erection pressing back up into her core, and it started what had been a soft and gentle buzzing into something much stronger and much more desperate.

"Uh huh," he told her. "I never leave a piece of apple pie untouched, Bones. It's sorta a cardinal rule I live by."

"Oh?' she managed as his hands came up and deftly plucked free the tails of the salmon colored blouse she was wearing.

"Uh huh," he mumbled again as his finger began to make short work of the buttons. "I've always believed in the take-what-you-want but eat-what-you-take school of desserts."

"And, what it is you want right now, Booth?" Brennan breathed as she felt him reach up, push the button-down off of her shoulders, and toss it off of the edge of the bed.

"You," he said as he ran his palms around her ribcage, across the soft skin of her back, and linked his fingers together as he pulled her down to him. "You're what I've always wanted, you that know, right?" he whispered when her ear was near his mouth as he pressed his rough stubbled jaw against the softness of her soft cheek. "Just you."

"I'm here," she whispered. "I'm here…and you've got me."

"All of you," he insisted. "It's got to be all of you, Bones."

"I know that," she said in a very delicate voice. "I knew what it meant when I asked you to stay, Booth."

"God," he whispered as he felt her slowly press her pubic bone against his crotch. "God, Bones. You're making me crazy here."

"Then," she said as she pulled away just enough to tilt her head so that he could see the playfulness in her eyes. "I suggest you put us in a position where you're able to do something about that, Booth."

Taking the encouragement for all it was worth―and then some―Booth unlaced his hands from where they were still linked around her waist and resting on the same of her back. Quickly, he moved his hands to where her bra was stubbornly clasped. Making short work of the eye hooks, the melon-colored satin plunge demi bra, he gave her a lopsided grin as he pushed the bra straps from her shoulders and her tits came spilling out into his ready and waiting hands. "You don't need it, you know," he said, separating them long enough to toss the bra on the floor.

"What?" she moaned as he brought the rough pad of his thumbs to her nipples and brushed over them.

"The whole lifts and separates thing, Bones," he grinned when he saw her reaction. "Now, I'm not saying you've got false advertising going on here, but you don't really need it. These tits of yours are just perfect as is."

"Perfect?" she moaned.

"Mmmm hmmm," Booth said as he quickly rolled them over so that she was underneath him. "And, anyone who says otherwise, lemme know, and I'll kick their asses...if you haven't already."

"Oh, fuck―" she moaned as she arched her back into the solid wall of his muscular torso as he continued to draw light circles around the pebbled delicateness of her dusky nipples. "Oh, God, Booth―"

"Mmmmm," he said, moving his mouth to the creamy swell of the top of one of her milky white breasts before he licked his way around her areola and then wrapped his tongue around the perfect pink nub that stood erect and proud without any of his unneeded, but very welcome, ministrations. "Excellent," he whispered against her nipple. "So very fucking excellent."

"Booo-thhh―" Brennan mewled.

"Yeah, Bones?" he grinned as he felt a tingling that had been present since she'd guided them to the bedroom―the bedroom that was once her bedroom alone, but would be their bedroom from that moment on―growing as a tugging at the base of his dick suddenly made his balls fell entirely too heavy and entirely too constrained.

"I need you," she whispered. "Please?" she told him. "I need you." She didn't have to tell him twice.

Somehow, garments quickly disappeared. In the morning, Booth would have difficulty finding his own long-sleeved casual green button-down shirt…and, when he did find it, several button would be missing. Shoes quickly got kicked off the edge of the bed, followed by socks, and jeans. By the time Brennan had stripped him down to his blue and white plaid boxers, Booth knew he was close to losing it.

"Jesus, Bones," he choked as her agile fingers reached inside the elastic waistband of the knit jersey fabric and slowly wrapped around the tip of his stiff cock. "Baby, careful."

"What?" she said, finally looking up at him.

"I want to make this good," he said, his voice rough with desire and want and a growing, desperate need to be seated balls-deep inside her. "Our first time, Bones―I…I-I want to the first time I come inside you to be special―" He struggled to get the words out as he gasped for air and control…and didn't seem to be able to breathe, hang on to his self-control, and speak all at the same time. Swallowing once, he said, "And…it won't be if you…if…you do that, okay, because I'm about two pumps away from having you jerked me off in your hand."

Laughing, she slowly let her hand retreat. "Well," she said. "As much as I wouldn't necessarily mind that, I can see you having a point. I think I'd much rather you ejaculated inside me."

As her hands came to his hips, she ruthlessly tugged at the knit fabric and pushed it down his ass so that he had to shimmy to get into a position in which he could successfully push it away. He hissed as her hands cupped his ass cheeks and gave them a firm squeeze.

"Hey, there," he growled, as he turned his hungry gaze to hers. "This isn't the produce department at Whole Foods, Bones. My ass isn't a shipment of mangoes from Mexico that just cleared customs."

She laughed as she said, "Well, neither are my tits, but you didn't hear me complaining when you were squeezing them like you were a quality control agent for the Florida citrus industry."

Her panties already having disappeared at some prior moment, Booth rolled them over again so that she was on top. The position allowed him better access to her clit, and it was with a ruthless proficiency that he moved his thumb to her swollen bundle of nerves. Massaging it in circles, he enjoyed seeing Brennan squeeze her eyes shut as her breaths became more shallow and her body began to flush a healthy rose color from the top of her forehead, through her torso, and further down to what Booth wouldn't have been surprised to find was the tips of her toes. She started to chew on half of her lip as she began to mutter, and Booth knew she was fighting him. Suddenly, he stopped and began to move in a counter clockwise direction that differed from the clockwise movement he'd been using to torment her earlier.

"Be nice, Bones," he whispered.

"I'm very nice," she breathed as she twisted against his hand "Ah, ahhh, ahhh―fuck."

"Good?" he grinned, although he knew the answer already when he felt another gush of wetness flood out of her. Moving his other fingers down the slick wetness of her slit, he felt her more than heard her whimper as he parted her folds. As he gathered some of her stickiness on his fingers, he felt his own cock jerk a bit in want and anticipation. "Oh, fuck, Bones."

"Now," she whispered. "No more playtime, Booth. Fuck first times…you can be romantic later. We can have a do-over later. Several do-overs, if you want, until it's perfect. But, right now…I need you inside me now. I need you...and your cock inside me, understand?"

Giving her one of his trademark grins, he wrapped his right arm around her torso as he rolled them over again, making excellent use of Brennan's king size bed. "Yes, ma'am."

As he reached between them, moving so that he'd positioned the swollen tip of his cock against her wet and warm entrance, he couldn't help himself as he used his hand to swipe two or three circles. Brennan immediately bucked her hips of the bed.

"Fuck, Booth―" she growled. "Please…stop teasing."

"Sorry," he grinned as he slowed his movement, let his hand drop, and thrust his hips forward just a bit as he pressed against her lightly, although didn't allow himself to slide home quite yet. Moving his hands, he reached for hers. Intertwining her fingers with his, he said, "Bones?"

"Hmmmm?" she moaned softly, her head pressing further into the mattress.

"Bones, baby," he said. "Stay with me for this part―"

Rolling her head, she met his hungry stare with a curiously dazed look.

"But, I am with you―"

"Good," he said, holding eye contact as he simultaneously squeezed her hands and slid into her inch by silky inch. "Oh, God―" he groaned. "Fuck, fuck, holy fuck."

Slowly, the two began to move. As they found a rhythm, their words became more unintelligible, but for the single idea Booth kept moaning softly to her each time he moved in and out of her tight pussy.

"Love you," he whispered. "Oh fuck, I love you. Love you, Bones, love you."

"Booo-thhhh," she groaned. "Oh, God…keep…I need you."

"Tell me you love me," he begged as he slowed his pace.

"Love you," she responded instantly as she used every bit of willpower she had to keep her eyes open as she came close to falling over the edge. "Oh, I love you."

Her words gave him a renewed sense of purpose and focus. Instantly, he quickened his pace. And, after only two or three more quick thrusts, he felt her wet and scorching walls tighten around him. Her body arched into his as she squeezed his hands that they still held clasped together.

"Ahhh, ahhhh, ahhhhh," she cried out. "Booth―"

"Love you," he whispered as he felt a cry tear out of his throat. "Oh, fuck me…I love you, Bones―"

As he emptied himself into her, Brennan tightened her legs around his waist, trying to draw him closer to her, although such a thing was hardly needed. Spent, Booth felt the world blink out as pinpricks of light caused his balance to spin a bit. So he wouldn't collapse on top of her, he used his last bit of conscience thought to roll them over so that they lie on their sides. Brennan's left leg loosened a bit from where she'd wrapped herself around him.

They both were thirsty and sweaty and hot and trying to make sense of what had just happened as they became aware of the roaring in their ears, the perspiration on their brows, and pounding heartbeats that surely hadn't been that way just a few seconds earlier.

Smacking his lips, Booth squeezed her hands as he brought one arm up to rest on the swell of her exposed him.

"You okay?" she finally asked, her voice a bit raw from what she would later wonder if from when she had screamed.

"Better than okay," he nodded as he moved to kiss her. The kiss was soft and gentle and warm and welcoming. When they pulled away, Booth gave her a lopsided grin as he said, "Bones?"

"Yes, Booth?"

"Did…did you mean that part about a do-over?" he asked, giving her a cheeky look.

Licking her lips, she smiled as she said, "However many you need."


Twenty-Four Hours Later

It turned out that he needed four do-overs in the subsequent hours between when they slept, talked, cuddled, had sex, and started the process all over. And, with each subsequent 'do-over'…their acts had become subsequently less romantic and more carnal―including one particularly memorable act where Brennan had gotten out of bed to get a drink of water, had gotten cold, couldn't find her robe, and had grabbed his discarded black leather jacket from the floor of her bedroom instead. When Booth saw her return to the bedroom, eyes groggy and hair flying in several different directions, as soon as he'd seen her clad in nothing but the jacket, he'd gotten instantly hard. Moving with his own brand of speed, Booth quickly threw off the sheet that covered his naked body, rolled out of bed, and then proceeded to slam Brennan against the bedroom wall before he started pistoning into her, and in so doing, endangering his immortal soul once again in an act that he'd only have been to happy to go to hell for after they'd both come.

And, so it was with the guilt of the afternoon sun that Booth eventually had sneaked out of Brennan's apartment on the explanation of a plan to return to his place for fresh clothes and a stop to pick up some take out before he returned to her for another round of 'do-overs'. However, after he stopped at his apartment, showered, changed, packed an overnight bag, and jumped into the car, but before he picked up some sushi takeout that Brennan had suggested her procured, when he realized he could make confession if he was careful about his time, Booth had high-tailed it towards one of the dioceses he occasionally attended in Falls Church.

These and other thoughts swirled in his mind as he stood in the chapel. Eventually, Booth realized that it was his turn. He walked towards the confessional door with a determined step. Opening the door, he quickly knelt on the small riser that sat in front of the screened confessional. The faint outline of the priest's mouth could just be made out through the distortion of the woven mat that preserved some anonymity between the confessor and the sinner.

Instantly lifting his right hand to his head, Booth made the sign of the cross as he murmured, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been approximately five weeks since my last confession."

"Yes, my son? Go on," came the calm and deep tone of the priest's measured voice. Booth thought he detected just a faint hint of a faded Irish brogue in the man's limited words, but quickly shrugged the thought away as he crossed his hands and thought about how to begin.

At last, taking a breath, Booth said, "I've sinned, Father."

"How have you sinned, my son?"

"I-I…" Booth suddenly swallowed the large knot that had formed in his throat. God, I hate this part.

"I…I committed the sin of fornication, Father, with a woman. Several times, in fact," Booth said, flushing a bit as his ears turned red, despite the fact that he knew the priest couldn't see him.

"And, you regret this act?" the priest prodded gently.

"Of course I regret the fact that I sinned, Father, yes," Booth explained. But, I don't necessarily regret the fact that I made love to Bones. Technically, that's probably a technicality, but I'll sort that out with God during penance. "I know that having sexual relations outside of marriage is a mortal sin…that's sorta why I'm here."

The priest was silent for a moment, and Booth winced as he heard him shifting slightly on the other side of the screen. At last, the priest said in a voice that seemed no different than it had been before Booth made last statement…although, for some reason that Booth couldn't quite put his finger on, it did.

"So, can you tell me the difference between mortal sins and venial sins?" came the question.

"Of course," Booth said, almost as if he was reciting a litany that had been drilled into his head verbatim. And, truth to be told, it seemed that way because it had been. "A mortal sin is a sin that can result in my eternal damnation if I were to die unshriven. I'd automatically be separated from God and go to hell. A mortal sin deals with a grave matter that was committed with full knowledge and full consent, as opposed to venial sins, which, while still concerning serious matters, only involve a partial loss in grace from God since they weren't necessarily committed with intent."

After Booth finished his explanation, a small chuckle came from the other side of the screen.

Booth flushed a bit as he asked, "Did I say something wrong, Father?"

"No, of course not," came the instant response. "I'm sorry. It's just that sometimes I can't help it when I hear confessions, and every so often I come across a young man such as yourself and I can tell he must've had the good ole post-Vatican II pre-Vatican II litany drummed into his head. It's just…I mean, it's not a bad thing that you know what you know, it's just that since the papacy of John Paul II that things have taken a bit less a…harsh stand on the interpretation of such matters." The priest stopped for a moment, and then said, "I assume that since you'd be a good guy to phone-a-friend on the difference between mortal and venial sins, I don't need to ask if you know the difference between fornication and adultery?"

"She's not married father," Booth said, suddenly looking at a very interesting spot on the red tiled floor. "And, neither am I."

"You know, before his death, the Holy Father was very big about the meaning of the physical act and pleasure and its connection to love," he said, a thoughtful tone coming into his voice.

"Do you mean John Paul's lectures on The Theology of the Body?" Booth asked, his curiosity piqued.

Again, Booth heard another shifting as a response, a clearly impressed tone now present in the priest's voice answered Booth's question. "Why, yes―yes, I do."

"Sex and pleasure, within the bounds of marriage between two people who love each other…the Holy Father believed it was one of the closest ways that two people could come to knowing divine love," Booth said. "I've read the transcripts of his lectures on the matter very carefully, Father―they hold…particular interest for me."

"And, yet," the priest said gently. "You're here confessing the sin of fornication?"

"Errr," Booth said, again feeling the tips of his ears flush red. "Sins of fornication, Father…as in more than one."

Although Booth couldn't see it, he almost knew he could feel the priest's eyebrows arch as he simply amended his statement and repeated Booth's early words. "Sins of fornication, then."

He stopped and then said, "You know, my son―"

"That's not all," Booth said, suddenly knowing that if he didn't get it out while he had the chance he might chicken out and allow his unspoken sins to be covered by the priest's blanket absolution at the end. "I, ahhh, also need to confess to…well, having impure thoughts…and self abuse, Father."

Trying very hard not to chuckle, the priest said, "You know, even though this is the confessional, you don't have to toss out the biblical terms unless you really want to."

"I, uh―I know that, Father," Booth said a bit glumly. "That's why I didn't go with the Sin of Onan."

"You could simply say that you masturbated," came the quiet response.

"Yeah," Booth swallowed. "Well, I've done that…a few times since my last confession."

"So," the priest said slowly. "The impure thoughts…the masturbation…the fornication…were these all merely physical acts sought in the act of trying to find relief of the body?"

"No," Booth replied instantly. "It's…I mean, okay―I'd be lying if I said that sometimes I-I…I touch myself because I need the physical release. But, for me, it's never been just about the sex."

"So," came the response. "Can I take it then that the commonality among all these sins is the same object of your affection?"

"Yes," Booth said, his voice suddenly becoming a bit rough. "Yes, it is."

The priest was silent for a moment and said, "Do you love her?"

"Yes, Father," Booth answered, without hesitation. "With all my heart and soul."

"Does she feel the same way about you?"

Booth stopped at that question. If he'd been asked it more than twenty-four hours before, he knew he'd have a different answer to that particular question. But, now, Booth felt a flush of warmth as an image of him moving in Brennan came into his mind. Smiling, he tilted his head as he finally answered, "Yeah, I think she does."

"Then," the priest said. "I'm going to tell you one way you can cut down on your time in the confessional. The sex isn't a sin if you're married to her…you know that, right?"

"Yes," Booth chuckled. "Yes, I know that, Father."

"Then, go," he encouraged him. "Get that woman to marry you, love each other, make babies, and get on with the getting on, hmmm?"

The smile on his face began to change from a smile to an outright grin as he could only respond, "Yes, Father."

"Then, unless you have anything else that you want to tell me, I won't ask for specifics like positions or the number of times you had an orgasm―"

Great, Booth laughed silently. Just my luck. I get the one smartass priest in the diocese who's hearing confession today.

"We'll just go with the blanket label of multiple fornicative acts," he said with a nod.

"That works for me, Father," Booth said.

"Then, unless there's something else?"

"No, Father," Booth said with a shake of his head.

"Then, for you're penance, you're to say the Rosary for seven days, reread one letter from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, light a candle for the Holy Father John Paul II, do three good deeds―" the priest said.

Titling his head, as Booth listened to his penance, he smiled a bit. Man, all things considered, that's not too bad. I could've gotten off a lot worse.

"―and tell that girl of yours you love her everyday until you get her to marry you," the priest finished.

"Yes, Father," Booth said. That last one I can definitely do.

"Then, God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen," the priest said as he completed giving both the sacrament of penance.

As Booth raised his right hand and made the sign of the cross, he smiled as he thought on his penance.


~The End~

Author's Notecontinued ―: A fun fact about this piece: the inspiration for it came when I was helping the indomitable dharmamonkey finish the climatic smut scene of Scenario #4 ("Pulling the Goalie") in our joint effort "A Very Bad Idea." If you've read it―and if you haven't you don't know what you're missing on the epic hotness scale, if I do say so myself―then you know that Booth says/does some things that definitely ended him up in confession in that piece. Anyway, it got the gears turning…and this piece was born. But, I must give credit where credit it due since the seed for this piece germinated in the creative exchange of that piece. ::pauses:: Gee, that sounds more dirty than I'd intended to…oh, well. Anyway, I tip my hat to the monkey for the initial bit of inspiration. So, there we have it. This piece was fun to write, and I hope it was enjoyable for everyone to read! It almost makes me want to write more pieces of Booth in the confessional. I don't know…does that sound like anything anyone would want to read? After all, I love making Booth squirm. So, ummm…yeah. There we go. Feedback/comments are cherished, so don't forget to leave a message at the beep. Beep!~