Booth stared out at the water. He had thought that a walk would clear his mind but even the roar of the ocean couldn't drown out her words. The look on her face when she had left the table was killing him, even now. He still couldn't believe that she had flown all the way to Mexico just to make sure he didn't leave without saying goodbye. As if he could even think about leaving her without a single word of explanation. She had no idea the power that she held over him, the pull that he felt towards her. Or maybe the wounds from her past experiences had just cut too deep. She had been abandoned one too many times.

As he stood there in the sand, listening to her words, something occurred to him that hadn't before. She thought that he had fallen in love with her because of her story. She thought that he wanted that woman. That was ridiculous. He wanted her, in whatever way she would give him. As soon as the thought hit his brain, he knew what he had to do.

OOOOO

Brennan hadn't even bothered to unpack her bags. She hadn't planned on staying. This wasn't her vacation, no matter what the request she had filled out said. Now as she sat on her bed, her packed bags seemed to mock her. If she thought being alone in DC was driving her crazy, she couldn't have been more wrong. Being here, in the same hotel as him, was worse. She couldn't leave her room for fear of running into him accidentally again. Their meeting that morning had been a disaster. She had wanted time to find him, to rationally explain. Instead he had hijacked her breakfast and she hadn't been prepared.

He never gave her time to prepare.

She closed her eyes as she became overwhelmed by emotion once again. Part of her hated him, for springing this on her the way that he did. Part of her wondered why it hadn't happened sooner. It was strange, to be so surprised and not in the least bit surprised all at the same time. What had surprised her was her panic at the thought of losing him. She had lost so many people before, including her own family, but Booth... Booth was someone she couldn't lose.

A knock at the door reminded her that she was probably supposed to be meeting her taxi downstairs. She picked up her bag and headed for the door. As she looked through the peep hole, she was surprised to find that Booth was on the other side. She debated pretending like she wasn't there, but she knew that he knew better. He would wait her out.

"Don't worry. I'm on my way to the airport in ten minutes." She said as she threw her bag over her shoulder. "I won't be bothering you anymore." She assured him.

"Okay, but fair is fair and before you go, you need to have all the facts." He said, stealing her words from earlier as he pushed his way into her hotel room. She turned to look at him, surprised by his choice of words. "You think that I changed my mind because of the coma but you're wrong. I didn't fall in love with the story, Bones, I fell in love with you." He informed her. "With the woman who would stay by my bedside for days, who wanted me to be happy and healthy so badly that she would create a story worth waking up for. With the woman who sees the good in me when I can't see it in myself." She looked at him in surprise. "It sounds crazy to you, doesn't it? That occasionally, I don't see myself the way that you see me?" He took her silence as a yes. "It sounds just as crazy to me that you can't see what I see in you."

"You don't see me!" Brennan turned away at his words as her proclivity to run away from anything too emotionally intense started to kick in.

"Yes, I do." He said, turning her back around. "You think that I don't see the real you? That I'm creating some fantasy in my head about who you really are? Trust me when I tell you that I see you. In fact, everything about you drives me crazy." He told her. "I spend half my time trying not to kill you and the other half trying not to kiss you. Either way, I spend most of my time questioning my own sanity. You are frustrating, stubborn and get into more trouble than any other person I've ever met. You never let me win an argument, you always steal my fries, you hate pie!" He cried. "It would be so much easier to just walk away." He said. "But I can't." He said honestly. "Because no matter how hard it gets, walking away from you is harder."
"Booth…" She was begging for something but even she didn't know what it was. He looked into her pleading eyes and he closed the distance between them.

"Bones, I'm not going anywhere. Even if you think that you can never be with me. I will take you in whatever form you're willing to give me. But before you turn me down again, I think you should know what I really want. I want to be the person who sits by your bedside when you're sick. I want to be the guy who gets the phone call from Cam to come pick you up when you're working too hard. I want to be the one who reminds you of who you really are when you can't see it in yourself. The only thing I'm asking is that you let me." He asked quietly as he dared to push a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

"I don't want to ruin what we have." She whispered.

"Bones, in the five years I've known you, we've fought against everything we could possible fight against, including ourselves. The universe is running out of creative ways to try to end our partnership." She couldn't help but chuckle as he made his point. "And yet, here we are. Still standing. Together." He must have recognized a flash of give in her eye because suddenly, he knew that he was getting through to her. "Look, I know that I pushed us into this mess but I have to ask." He paused to take a deep breath. "Do you trust me? I mean, really trust me?" She looked into his calm, brown, reassuring eyes. Those eyes were her anchor. She couldn't read anyone else's facial features, but his eyes never failed to get through to her.

"Yes." She said, knowing it was the truth.

"And you know that I would die before letting anything or anyone hurt you?"

"Yes."

"How?"

"You've shown me." She said, understanding his point immediately. He nodded.

"You said that you were the scientist. That means that you need evidence, right? Well, when I asked you for that chance, I wasn't asking you to risk our partnership, I was just asking for the opportunity to prove it to you." She paused as his words sank in. "Sometimes the trust has to come before the proof, Bones. This is just one of those cases where I can't prove it until you let me." They stared at each other for a few seconds as she contemplated his words.

Suddenly, the phone on the dresser rang, startling them both back to reality.

"That's my taxi." She explained as they both glanced at the interruption.

"Of course it is." He muttered to himself. She furrowed her eyebrows at his statement. "It wouldn't be right without the chance to watch you drive away in a taxi. At least it's not raining this time." He mused. "Although, no offense, I don't think I'll feel any better about it this time arou…." She didn't let him finish his sentence. She kissed him until both he and the phone fell silent.

"I don't believe in fate." She reminded him, his glazed expression making her feel superior for once. He wasn't the only one who could spring things unexpectedly. This time it was his turn to furrow his eyebrows at her statement. The phone began to ring again and she picked it up. She could feel his sniper eyes on her as he tried to sort out what she meant but she turned her attention to the man on the other end of the line. "Gracias, pero no lo necesito más. No. Gracias. Adios." She hung up the phone and looked at Booth expectantly.

"You're staying?" He said, as if he couldn't believe it. She nodded.

"Unless, you don't…"

"No." He cut her off. "I want you to." She smiled as he grabbed her hand and pulled her back over to him, just to make sure she did, in fact, stay. He stared at her for a moment and despite the tropical weather, she felt a chill rise on her skin. He slid his hand up her neck and held her face still, just taking her in. When he had finished looking at her, he leaned in close and kissed her slowly. It was their first real kiss, without alcohol, blackmail, or desperation. It was just them. And for the first time, Brennan felt the difference. She couldn't name the feeling, but it was there, somewhere inside her brain; the knowledge that this was something new. When Booth pulled away, she kept her eyes closed as she tried to uncover what it was.

"Wow." He muttered, completely out of breath. She opened her eyes and she had a feeling she had the same mystified look on her face that he was sporting at the moment.

"I thought it was the tequila." She said quietly, a slight blush covering her cheeks.

"What?"

"The first time we kissed. I got dizzy and I thought that it was just the effects of the tequila." Booth looked like he didn't know whether to smile or sigh. "What we were doing, you said that you felt like it was going somewhere, that it felt important. I felt it too." She confessed. "And I wanted to remember it, you, so…"

"You got in the cab." Booth finished her sentence for her.

"I'm not going to make the same mistake again." She promised.

"Me either." He agreed. They looked into each other eyes and just like that, everything was settled. All of the years of misunderstandings were set aside for in favor of the fresh start. He grinned as he leaned in and kissed her again, just because he could. She got lost in him as she pulled him towards the bed. Sweets had warned them about the dam breaking and for the first time, she understood what he had meant. The rush of feelings that hit her as he began undressing her was unlike any she had ever felt. She had finally let go of the last of her control. Her walls were down and she was giving herself entirely over to him, trusting that he would take care of her. He felt so strong and hard against her pliant body, it was hard to believe that she had ever doubted him. She heard his words of devotion whispered in her ear as he entered her. She sighed in delight as she finally felt whole, which was ridiculous considering she hadn't really been missing anything to begin with. There was something about him that completed her, that she needed to survive. She had always known that he would give her anything that she wanted but she had never dared ask for it for fear of letting him down in return. Now, she knew that she really did love him as much as he loved her and the thought that she couldn't return his love no longer kept her in chains of fear.

OOOOO

"The sun is starting to set." He noticed as he glanced over her head out the window. He groaned as his stomach growled and he realized that he hadn't eaten anything since dinner the night before. "I haven't eaten yet today."

"Now who's being unhealthy?" She smirked against his skin.

"Someone interrupted my breakfast. And my lunch." He accused playfully.

"Are you complaining?" She asked, arching her eyebrow. "Besides, getting food requires leaving this room, which is non-negotiable." She said with a kiss to his chest.

"So I'm just going to be your sex slave now?" He grinned, loving that she was being so openly affectionate towards him. She shook her head.

"You," she said before she kissed his skin again, "are going to order us room service." She said wickedly as her hand trailed over his abdomen, his muscles involuntarily tensing under her fingertips. "And I'm going to go take a shower, and when you're done with your phone call, you can join me." She informed him.

"I can, huh?" He said, pretending to be offended by her bossy tone. The fact was, after years of putting up with her bossiness, he liked hearing it again. It was nice to know that their relationship hadn't changed in the midst of all the change.

"Well you certainly don't have to." She said. "If you're not up to it..."

"Oh don't even go there." He said as he rolled over top of her and grabbed the phone off the bedside table. Pinned beneath him, he made sure she knew exactly what he was up for. As he listened to the phone ring, he kissed her neck. When the man on the other side finally answered, Booth turned his attention to ordering dinner and she slipped out from underneath him. He watched as her tall, naked body headed for the bathroom and he couldn't help but stare. When he realized the man on the other end of the phone was talking, he snapped back to finishing his order. He fumbled a goodbye and headed directly into the bathroom.

In the fog of the steam, the intimacy of what he was doing finally kicked in and he got nervous. He paused, an old piece of him forcing him to reconsider the action.

"Booth?" She called from the other side of the shower curtain. "Will you grab my shampoo out of my bag. I left it on the counter." She requested. In that moment, with her carefree and easy attitude, he realized that, for all his talk, he was the one who was suddenly freaked out. He shook his head at himself.

"Yeah." He answered, realizing that this was his life now. Not only was he allowed to do all of the things that he had always wanted to, she was encouraging it. He had a feeling that the exciting thrill that came with that knowledge would never go away. He reached for the shampoo bottle and slid open the door. At the sight of him, she smiled that smile of hers, the same one that had sent him running for the border only a few short days ago.

"Thanks." She said, her sultry voice adding a knockout punch to the crooked grin. However, this time, Booth would make sure that she knew exactly the effect it had on him.