Written for the Bitesize Bones Prompt: Tough Man in the Tender Chicken - What if Brennan hadn't changed her mind about helping Angela save that pig?

It has been 26 days, 6 hours and 12 minutes since Angela and Bones stopped speaking.

Booth had never been so primped, chocolate-d or girly movie-d in his life. He had never in the duration of their partnership been so aware that his partner was, in fact, a woman. In the intervening 26 days, 6 hours and, now, 14 minutes, Booth had apparently becomes his partner's best friend substitute. Not that he wasn't her best friend, but he most certainly was not his partner's best girl-friend.

He finally drew the line at the manicures. He did not care that gender was built in to the name of the procedure, his self-gnawed cuticles were just fine the way they were without an orange stick (and speaking of which, what the hell was an orange stick?! He suspected it wasn't something he would find on a Chinese food menu).

The Nora Ephron movies had been one thing, he's had plenty of girlfriends in the past, though of course there was a greater (any?) potential for sex back then. The ice cream was fine, he just added an extra 15 minutes to his daily gym routine. He even handled the impromptu shoe shopping with aplomb, so he thought, seeming to nod and smile at the appropriate Kristen something-or-others (especially the black pointy ones).

But this mani-pedi thing was definitely out. And they were rapidly heading towards a certain time of the month. He had faced down rebel insurgents speaking foreign tongues, but the influx of estrogen he knew was heading his way in the next 24 to 48 hours, without the girl-best-friend buffer was enemy territory he knew he had to evacuate quickly.

And so Booth found himself, on a Wednesday afternoon, 26 days, 6 hours and 24 minutes after his partner and her pseudo-sister (way hotter than those twins whose names he could not recall if pressed) had ceased all communications, brand new wingtips (courtesy of said shoe-shopping partner) covered in mud, at Uncle Apricot's Upstate Escapes, purchasing what the farmer swore was his cutest pig (and giant box of tissues) in the name of one Temperance Brennan, Care of Angela Montenegro, Jeffersonian Institute.