Created April 2013 - I don't own these characters as made famous by the TV show, Bones. Love them anyway. All the rest that follows is my feeble attempt to keep time in between broadcasts and Razztaztic and Threesquares postings.

"Awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" Angela scowled at her husband.

Hodgins turned to Brennan, whose expression gave away nothing but a little fear for Hodgins if he did not heed his wife's imperative. Fear, and maybe the look of a schoolgirl caught by her teacher – no, father, definitely her father - sharing a confidence with her BFF.

How abruptly his excitement about his find had been quashed by his wife. This find would definitely help Booth narrow down the search for Broadsky, and what the fuck could possibly be more important than information to help catch Vincent's killer? Knowing that everyone assumed that anything that came out of his mouth was self-indulgent science, Hodgins' mind raced for the quickest way to plead his case to his wife. But, then he considered the pregnancy hormones, and his desire to be able to sire other children one day. If Dr. Brennan had an empathetic look of fear, perhaps he should back down from this interaction. Without another word, off he stormed in search of a more level-headed audience. "Cam. Cam always listens." he grumbled.

Angela subconsciously rubbed her belly as if to reassure their baby that she would not yet kill his father - yet. She took a deep breath, refocusing her attention on Brennan. She raised her eyebrows at Brennan. "Sweetie…."

Brennan nervously shifted her weight from one leg to the other as she looked at Angela. She knew that she had to quickly correct the conclusions that the curl of her lip may have allowed Angela's imagination to draw. "We didn't have sex, Ange. Booth needed his rest, he has to kill Brodsky today." She stated matter of factly.

Angela frowned at her friend.

"But it w-, it was nice. Booth was very comforting. I was very distressed. I was not demonstrating control of my emotions, so he held me until I fell asleep. And, I find that I really enjoyed waking up in his arms this morning. I –", she hesitated and then sighed deeply. "I-, we...we exchanged affirmations of love". Brennan looked down, trying to hide the grin that this confession could not restrain. She attempted to reset her face as she looked back up to Angela for her reaction.

While Angela was initially prepared to fire into a diatribe about her best friend not taking advantage of the situation, the reverse direction of Brennan's last sentence caused her legs to buckle. A broad smile slowly covered her face as she grabbed for the stool nearby to sit. Evidently, the baby was as taken by the declaration as was she. She covered her belly this time with both hands, acknowledging the kick that Little Hodgins gave. "Whoa" she laughed.

"Horse." Brennan defaulted, causing a confused expression to interrupt Angela's obvious glee. Brennan shook her head indicating to Angela to ignore her response. She moved closer to Angela in case she needed assistance. "Are you OK, Ange? Is it the baby?"

Angela shook her head no. "Sweetie. This is huge. I'm so happy for you both." Angela held out her hands for Brennan to take. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Brennan took Angela's hands. She looked down at Angela's wedding ring. Instead of first noticing the swelling that pregnancy had caused, and subsequently remarking caution for Angela to consider wearing the ring on a necklace – she instead pondered the symbolism of the ring. Brennan rubbed her thumb over the ring and mused, "it is believed that Ancient Egyptians would shape sections of plants into circles to symbolize an immortal union. Wedding rings were placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was believed that this finger had a love vein."

Angela chuckled. "Well I bet that Jack and Studly have a completely different opinion of which body part is the love vein." A look of disappointment replaced her smirk realizing that her bestie was in evade mode. She searched Brennan's eyes. "I take it that this redirect means that you're not going to share the juicier bits of your morning with me." She paused as Brennan's expression affirmed her assumption. She sighed and then asked "Honey, can you at least tell me that you're happy about this?"

Brennan stared at Angela as she gathered her thoughts. Her ability to emote had improved through her friendships with Angela and Booth and even Sweets. Still, Angela's suggestion of the adjective 'happy' was confusing. She started, "I don't think 'happy' is the word that I'm feeling. I'm pleased to explore a more affectionate side to our partnership, but I'm experiencing emotions that are unfamiliar to me, which makes me uneasy." she fidgeted. "I am stalled in my evaluation of Leishenger because I'm distracted by thoughts of Booth...and me." her cheeks and neck flushed at the disclosure. "And I should be focused on helping find Broadsky."she said quickly.

Angela saw her opportunity. "You know Honey, it may be helpful to talk about it. Once you have cleared your thoughts, maybe you can focus on examining Leishenger."

Brennan's face lit up. "That makes sense, Ange! Well, not about the clearing of thoughts as that is not possible, but I'm always ready to return to productive endeavors wasting an hour in a session with Sweets!" she exclaimed.

Angela rolled her eyes and took a deep breath. She raised her eyebrows to cue Brennan to proceed.

"Evidence suggests, that when I love people, they leave me. My parents. Russ. Sully. Zach and now Vincent." She peered at Angela, secretly hopeful that she would poke fissures in her statement.

"That's not true, Bren. You love me and Jack, and you will love this little mad scientist I'm carrying...and none of us will ever leave you. And, your Dad and Russ came back, and you know that your mother would have if she could." Angela stood to look Brennan eye-to-eye. "You may not have quantifiable evidence Honey, but both your Mom and even Vincent adored you when they passed. Zach still loves you, he's not gone, he's just not here; and, I know you can disagree with me all you want, but you may have cared about Sully, but he was just a guy. Booth will be in your life until his last breath."

The women were silent for a moment - Angela to catch the breath that 8 1/2 months of pregnancy had limited, and Brennan to gather her thoughts.

"I suppose your argument has some merit. With Booth, I never expected our – partnership - to be as professionally successful as it is. I believed, that our collaborations on cases would serve as a serendipitous means for me to broaden my experiences as a forensic anthropologist. I never expected that we'd know each other seven years later, having been partners for six of those years and counting. I never expected to feel the way he has continued to make me feel. I have found, that I'm willing to make irrational sacrifices for Booth that I would never consider for anyone else."

"Like what, Sweetie?"

Brennan searched for a response, not wanting to breach Booth's confidences as she had done in the past. Her mind settled on one example that she deemed safe. She started, chuckling "while it is only tangential to my point, I'm certain that my capacity to tolerate Ms. Wick during our trip to Maluku is directly related to having someone with whom to talk about Booth."

The two friends shared a snicker, then Brennan continued softly,"While I don't foresee circumstances where the situation would arise, I am fearful of what logic suggests."

Angela nodded. She understood Temperance Brennan far better than Temperance did herself, and two truths that she knew well were that 1) Brennan had always been in love with Seeley Booth and that 2) her best friend was terrified that Booth would leave her like everyone else. She also knew that Fate continued to throw the couple together with as much clamor as equally as both (at times) seemed to will themselves apart.

"It's called cognitive dissonance, Sweetie. Having two opposing ideas at the same time. You think by loving him, you'll lose him, but you can't refrain from loving him because you can't bear to be without him. Well, let me tell you this clearly: He. Ain't. Going. Nowhere. Sister! That man loves you! He endured a whole year of rejection trying to win you back as a partner, and he didn't stop until you agreed to work with him again on the Eller case. He's risked his life for you - more than once. He helped you reconcile with your Dad and Russ. He gave you sperm because you said you wanted a baby, and he only wanted you to have his baby. He sacrificed his feelings for you to keep working with you after you rejected him. He put himself in a war zone to keep himself occupied while you were in Maluku because he didn't want to work without you."

"But he came back dating Hannah." Brennan returned sharply.

"Heh, yeah! Because you had rejected him, and he knew you'd be more likely to continue your partnership only if the romantic tension between the two of you was taken off the table. And, you can't tell me that it's a coincidence that he started sabotaging his relationship with Hannah once he knew that you had a change of heart? Whether he was conscious of it or not, he did. The day you threw him that bone was the day that couple was over."

Angela waited for Brennan to challenge her purposely inflammatory examples. Brennan wrinkled her nose, deciding to ignore most of Angela's charge. "I'm certain that the only bone that I've thrown at Booth was the ilium of William Chang, and I was seeing Sully at the time."

Angela laughed and rolled her eyes.

"I'm worried that I'll fail at the emotional aspects of our relationship, Ange."

"Booth is a big boy, a big, hunky, sexy boy, and he can take care of himself. And a part of taking care of himself is getting you. Booth's had seven years the learn about all your messy bits, and he's still crazy about you." she took Brennan's hands again in her own. "If you're ever struggling, turn to your friends. Talk to me and Cam. We'll help you."

"Thank you, Angela." Brennan mused, "You have a good point. Cam has had a lot of sex with Booth. I'm sure she will have very helpful insights."

Angela smirked at Brennan's reasoning. "I mean about the emotional stuff, Honey. I know you, and Cam's Booth's oldest friend. Between the two of us, we can talk things through with you, to help you get perspective."

"Booth doesn't like it when I talk about us. He believes what goes on between us is ours." Brennan stated definitively.

"There are some gray areas, Sweetie, trust me. Booth will understand some things require girl talk, like what we're doing now." Angela smiled warmly at her friend. From Max, she knew that Brennan had never been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, but like the condition, Brennan was all "ones and zeros". She demonstrated difficulty reading social cues and was sometimes perceived as being cold, rude and distant. But those who looked beyond the hyperlogical doctor and invested time in getting to know - even if not to understand - Temperance Brennan - found her to be very loyal and loving, in her own way. And those who stuck around discovered that the emotions she was challenged to verbalize, she had no difficulty scribing them.

"But if you don't want to talk about it, that's fine too. You do a good job working through your feelings on paper."

Brennan's face knotted with confusion as Angela explained, "Bren, have you never noticed that whenever something major happens between you and Booth, that you write? You work through your feelings by writing." Angela brushed Brennan's bangs out of her eyes. "Think about it Sweetie – you wrote your first book after the Gemma Arrington case, your first case with Booth; then another after Booth saved you from that creep Kenton; when you chose to let Sully go; Booth taking care of you during your Dad's trial; when Booth got shot. The story you wrote when he was in his coma; when he told you he wanted to give you guys a shot…."

Brennan had had enough. "OK, Ange, I get it."

Angela smirked. "I haven't even got to the whole Maluku/Afghanistan/Hannah mishegas…." Brennan smiled sadly at the Hannah reference. Angela pulled Brennan's hands to refocus her. "Through it all Sweetie, he has loved you – always and the most."

"I believe this to be accurate" she agreed. "And, I feel that I have enough evidence now to confidently interpret my feelings for him as being 'in love'." Angela beamed at her friend's confession while Brennan continued.

"And, if he is not killed by Broadsky, then I will make every effort to circumvent my fear of abandonment to pursue a romantic relationship with Booth." Angela winced, but shook her head for her friend to continue.

Brennan defended her bluntness. "The bullet that killed Vincent was meant for Booth. I owe it to Booth and Vincent to make an effort. I was unable to sleep last night thinking about how I waited until he was bleeding out at my feet to tell him what I thought of him. I don't even know if he was able to comprehend what I was saying." Angela squeezed her hands. "And, my unrest was further amplified, thinking about when Broadsky learns that he did not succeed in getting Booth…."

Her agitation spiked as she pulled away from Angela, walking toward, what she did not know.

"We've been trying to, get closer, Booth and I. We've discussed trying to be together, but we hadn't, yet, accomplished anything substantive. While I had not intended on revealing the evolution of my affections, this morning I became overwhelmed with the fear of us running out of time. I couldn't lose him without him knowing. I want him to come back to me, to us. That's why I told him that I loved him." She punctuated her statement with a resolute nod.

Angela grinned. "Kind of like the maiden sending her knight off to battle with promises of the spoils upon his return." She knew that Brennan would not like that analogy, and she didn't' care in the least. "Pah-lease tell me that you at least let him sample some of the goods before sending him away this morning."

It took Brennan a few seconds to catch up with the meaning of Angela's metaphor. When she did, she returned Angela's grin with a smirk of her own. "Well…" she started...