The Evidence in the Research

This is for cmol8806 as part of Biba79's 2012 Fanfic Secret Santa. She asked for B&B set in any season prior to the birth of Christine and wanted some reference to Stephen King and Nora Roberts. Hope you enjoy this fic – huge apologies for the slight delay. The planets, life, the weather and my rustiness at writing fiction all conspired against me, but here it is!

Temperance Brennan was calling it research.

She was lounged on her sofa, a glass of red in hand and a bowl of popcorn next to her on the table. She had pulled her hair up in a messy knot, and had chosen her red silk robe for the occasion. It was feeling cool on her skin, yet the wine that she sipped slowly warmed her. Engrossed, she flicked to the next page of her book.

There was a knock on the door.

It was 10.45pm on a Saturday.

There was only one person it could be.

She stood and adjusted her robe, and walked over to the door. 'Hi Booth' she said as she opened it and turned to walk towards her bedroom. She was not going to ponder what he was doing there. It was easier to just accept. But she did know that she should probably be wearing something a little less, ahem, comfortable.

'Hey Bones, interrupting anything?' he would have given her a smile, but given she already had her back to him, he was slightly distracted by the sway of her robe.

Instead, he headed towards her kitchen, and retrieved a glass from the cabinet. It seemed that wine was in order. He could do wine. Sure, there was a time when he would have chosen beer. But it was easier not to think about that.

When Brennan returned, now in yoga pants, a tank top and a sweater, she found that Booth had made himself comfortable on her couch – in exactly the same spot she had been sitting moments earlier - with his own glass of red. He looked very much at home. In his jeans and dark v-necked t-shirt she took a second to admire the way his biceps filled the shirt's sleeves. Must have a new trainer, she mused approvingly.

She made her way to the armchair as Booth picked up her Nora Roberts novel. Given that she rarely read anything that was fiction – unless it was her own novels, which of course were fiction as Kathy and Andy were certainly NOT based on any real people - Booth was surprised to find what could only be described as Chick Lit in her apartment. Flicking through the pages he skimmed over the words, before turning to her and raising an eyebrow.

'Bones…'

'Yes Booth?' She had on her innocent look. The one that made him believe that she was rather clueless when it came to anything to do with popular culture.

'What are you doing?' The drawl, accompanied with the twinkle in his eye, had an effect. One that she didn't really wish to explore right now.

'I'm sitting on my armchair'. Her eyes widened just enough to make Booth roll his eyes.

'I know that you're doing that, I mean what are you doing reading this book?' Brennan was a constant surprise to him. Who knew she read anything other than anthropological journals?

Brennan was startled to find herself answering. When she decided she was ok with sharing these details of her life with Booth, she wasn't quite sure what it meant. But for now it was just another of those 'Just Partner' things that she filed away in her 'Booth' compartment. And being the Queen of Compartmentalisation meant that she didn't need to go exploring that area very often.

'Research.' She said. 'I've decided that it's time to take a bit more creative control over certain sections of my books, rather than get Angela involved, so I'm just checking to see how romance novelists write their intimate scenes'. She reached over for her wine glass and frowned a little. It was nearly empty so she took the opportunity to stand and walk back to the kitchen to refill her glass. Away from the Seeley Booth Eye… well, what could she call it, Eye Sex? (no, no, not that!) she realised that she felt odd. Flustered? Nervous? Embarrassed? No. Temperance Brennan did not get embarrassed.

She watched Booth from the kitchen as he continued flicking. Pausing at certain sections. Looking up at her. Smirking a little. Looking back down.

'You know Bones,' he finally said, as he stood and well, sauntered – if you can imagine that! – over to her, 'if you want to do research, you really need The King.'

'Stephen?'

'Who?

'Stephen King, the horror novelist. He writes extraordinarily…'

'No Bones, not horror. Music. The King'

She looked blank.

'The King of Music.'

'No…'

'Nothing?'

'Nope...'

Booth frowned a little, trying to work out whether she was being serious. She had that little frown between her eyebrows which she only had when she really was truly puzzled. Still, he never could be too sure how much she really knew about these matters. Her knowledge amazed him, yet sometimes, well sometimes she needed one of Seeley Booth's Special Lessons.

On this occasion he decided to take her innocent demeanour at face value and proceeded.

'Well then, let's begin some different research.' He took his iPod out of his pocket and walked over to her docking station. It may have taken her years to get a television, but she was quite happy to go all out with her stereo system. What he would do be able to connect a home theatre to that baby.

He scrolled through his playlists and the 'Aha' which was followed by a Booth Special charm smile was only interrupted by the sounds of The King filling the room. He spun around, his eyes sparkling, and launched into song:

'I don't wanna be a lion, cos lions play too rough, I don't wanna be a tiger, cos tigers ain't the kind you love enough…'

He growled over towards her and grabbed her hand. He shuffled backwards as he playfully asked her let him be her 'teddy bear'.

'Booth, you know how many people are mauled each year by bears, they really aren't the kind of animal that should be play things'.

Booth groaned. She really had a knack. Yet they danced and at one point she even allowed him to twirl her around.

Progress was being made.

The song ended and the iPod shuffled to its next track.

'Ok then, Bones, how about this one?'

'Why can't you see, what you're doing to me'

'Really Booth? Suspicion is not very sensual'

However she did sing along to that song and the high kick which she executed towards the end rivalled a certain Foreigner effort from years past.

Another song began.

'Oh I got lucky, when I met you!'

'Oh yes! I know this one, from 'Kid Galahad'. It was a very entertaining film. It had Elvis Presley in it! He was very talented you know'.

It was the glint in her eye at that point that told him that he had been played. Yet, he didn't care. It was so much better to not care.

The iPod continued to shuffle, the partners/friends/or something continued to dance and laugh and whatever 'research' that Brennan was trying to conduct was taken over by her eager partner who was convinced that he knew about romance.

It was only when the final song started that the mood shifted. Ever so slightly but it was there. The dancing slowed and Booth looked over at his partner and held out her hand.

She didn't hesitate.

Temperance Brennan could have called it research, but she knew that it was so much more.

As she felt his arms around her, and rested her head on his shoulder, she felt his lips whisper the words of the song.

'Take my whole life too, for I can't help falling in love with you'.

She could have hesitated. She could have pushed away.

But she didn't.

She looked up at him and he lowered his head to catch her lips in his and it was slow and gentle and it was just like the song.

He touched his forehead to hers.

'So, Bones, what do you think of this type of research?'

She reached up and allowed herself to place her hand on his chest. She could feel his beating heart. 'I think that the evidence is rather conclusive.'

'Which is?'

She smirked, 'that The King really does know a bit about romance.'

Booth let out a laugh, 'Oh yes, I do. Thank you, thank you very much'

She slapped him and he grabbed her hand, allowing the laughter of the moment to lighten the mood, 'And have you found any inspiration tonight that might help you in your quest to write more, what did you call it, "intimate scenes"?'

She looked up at him and smiled. A smile that made him warm and made him hope.

'Yes, I think so.'

Temperance Brennan had decided to spend the evening doing research. She just hadn't planned to still be researching well into the hours of the next day.