A/N Hello and welcome to this 'short' One-shot.

On May 29th, I was playing a word game with some Twitter friends and I came up with the word "oomiac". **shrugs** can I help it if I get good letters? LOL Anyway, I challenged one particular fellow-author to use it in a story, but my challenge was shot down. So, I took the challenge myself.

An oomiac is a type of boat used by Eskimo people, both Yupik and Inuit. I remembered learning about them one a cruise to Alaska – it's one of those words that just stuck with me. There are various spellings, apparently, which I later learned when I started researching for this one-shot challenge.

So, that's the story of how this little tale came to be.

So, I dedicate this piece, in particular, to my Twitter & FF friends, dharmamonkey, hpaich & AMemoryofaDream, who were all giving me grief about my mad Word skills. LOL

I don't generally write One-shots – I struggle with the small structure of such a piece, so I hope you like it OK. It takes place before B&B were together, but you'll figure that out.

In response to some of the PM's I'm receiving, YES, I will be posting again for 'Death, Plus One' soon. And sometime after that will be another installment for 'Letters from Maluku.' I write as often as I can, I promise. :)

Disclaimer: Nope, do not own Bones or its characters, just this little story.

It took a tremendous amount of effort for Brennan to peel open one eye. The fog in her brain was so thick, it felt as though she was asleep for a week, and still not quite ready to wake. Her surroundings were dark, the only light infiltrating her vision appeared to be coming from the faint glow of an alarm clock, or perhaps her cell phone screen, from somewhere behind where she lay. Her head was pounding, her limbs – though currently immobile – felt like lead, and her throat was parched dry, giving her the fleeting, sleepy impression that her tongue was nothing more than a useless wad of cotton sitting in a lump in the center of her mouth. Trying to think beyond the dense smog filling her mind proved to be too much, and Brennan let her eyes drift closed once more, unable to fight the waves of exhaustion that were sweeping over her body. The only cohesive thought that flitted through her consciousness was the knowledge that she was safely tucked into the embrace of a pair of arms belonging to none other than Special Agent Seeley J. Booth; the 'why' of her present location never even entered her brainwaves, and wouldn't do so for several more hours.


She was whining – whimpering in her sleep – and Booth tightened his hold around her naked torso, pulling her close, so her back was pressed firmly against his chest. With one wide hand splayed across the softness of her tummy, Booth wrapped his other hand around one of his partner's hands, as her arms were folded across her chest, trapped beneath his much larger forearm. He pressed his mouth into her wild, pillow-mussed hair.

"Shhh…. You're OK, Bones. I've got ya…" His voice was thick with sleep, and he sighed with relief when she calmed immediately, falling back into a heavy slumber. Booth caressed the forbidden skin he felt beneath his calloused fingertips, dragging his pads lightly across the silky smoothness of her stomach before he forced himself to stop, lest he do something he knew he'd regret. Closing his eyes, he pressed a light kiss to the back of Brennan's head and followed his partner back into a fitful land of confusing dreams, his exertions from early the previous afternoon metaphorically kicking his ass back to sleep.


By the time Brennan woke again, it was quite obviously daytime; the filtered light caused her blurry eyes to have trouble focusing on any of her surroundings. The bed she laid on was hard – ridiculously firm… who sleeps on this kind of mattress? The blankets wrapped around her were tight, like the wraps of a mummy, she mused.

Her head was still pounding, though slightly less-so than when she woke in the night, and she tried to remember if she had been drinking.

She tried to remember where she was.

She tried to remember what day it was.

She tried to look around without actually moving her head.

Temperance Brennan failed at all these attempted tries, and in doing so, began to feel the effects of an unknown panic setting in.

The only thing the scientist was perfectly clear on – crystal clear – was that the bare arms wrapped around her naked body would, if she were to follow them up from the wrists to shoulders, be attached to the impressive, equally naked, torso of her partner. Lying absolutely still, Brennan closed her eyes, not to sleep, but to compose herself, instead.

She tried to remember why Booth's body was wrapped around her own.

She tried to recall the last place they were together.

She tried to picture what he must have looked like as they made love.

Again, Dr. Temperance Brennan was pulling a blank in the memory department, for which she felt a great amount of remorse…not for her failure to recognize her surroundings, but because she couldn't remember what would have been an event she'd been secretly dreaming about for years…

Sex with Booth.

She could not remember the first time she had finally crossed that line with her partner; for that, she would always feel regret.

Booth knew his partner was awake. He knew the minute her body slipped from deep REM into the light slumber of one nearly ready to crawl into the daylight…and he remained perfectly still – not wanting to alarm her, not willing to scare her. When he felt her frame finally ease back against his, he knew she wasn't panicking, so he flexed the fingers lightly against her tummy.

"Hey…" He breathed into her hair, thankful she'd woken this time without a nightmare.

Brennan listened to the rich baritone timbre of her best friend's voice, and though it was only one word, she felt immediately calmed at his presence. "Hi…." She whispered into the quiet.

As Brennan opened her eyes once again, her vision was clearer, despite the fact that her head was still aching terribly. She studied the vision before her eyes: the wall was red.

A tent… We're in a tent.

Closing her eyes again, she tried to think.

Sleeping bag… not blankets… We're in a sleeping bag.

On the ground; not a bed… That's why it's so damn hard

Opening her eyes again, she became suddenly aware of how cold the air touching her face was, and how incredibly warm she felt inside the sleeping bag, pressed against Booth's body.

"How do you feel, Bones?" His voice was gentle, soft, like he was afraid to speak; scared to bring back too many memories.

"Tired…Confused…Foggy." She wrinkled her forehead as her eyes darted around their tight quarters. She spotted a backpack a short distance away.

A long rope wound into a figure-eight.

Booth's heavy winter coat – some people call it a parka, she mused absently…

Winter coat…?

Boots… There were two pairs of boots; one was obviously hers and the other, much larger pair, belonged to the man keeping her warm.

Gloves; goggles; hats; scarves.

All these things were draped across a wooden stand that she didn't recognize immediately; then she realized that it wasn't a wooden stand, it was a sled.

Everything came back to her in a sudden flood of memories, like a steaming locomotive charging forward through the night, memories hit her full-force and her body jerked with realization.

Feeling her stiffen in his arms and gasp for breath, Booth knew the events of the previous 36 hours were finally creeping out of the fog that his partner had been blissfully lost within for at least sixteen of those hours. "It's OK, Bones…" he spoke gently, but he cradled her body firmly, unsure of how the cold that she'd been subjected to may have affected her mobility and coordination. "You're gonna be fine…" he hoped she was going to be fine…

"Booth…" she breathed in a shaky voice. "I…I'm falling….!" As if reliving the moment, Brennan closed her eyes and tried to roll herself into a ball, wanting to fold her lithe body into a fetal position. However, given the confines of the single sleeping bag that she was currently sharing with her partner, she was unable to move. Struggling against further confusion, Brennan tried to push Booth's arm away from her body, but again, was unable to navigate her movements successfully.

"I gotcha, Bones… You're not falling…. Open your eyes… Open your eyes, Bones." Booth's voice became firm, but dripped with concern for the woman around whose body he was wrapped. He opened his hand that had been holding her forearm and slid his palm down, gently unrolling the fist she'd formed in her disoriented state of mind. He wove his thick fingers between hers and held her, rocking their bodies gently.

Prying her eyes open again, Brennan finally forced herself to turn her head, so she would be able to see Booth. He had his cheek pressed against her shoulder blade, his face turned outward and slightly away. But in feeling her motion, he slowed their rocking and turned to face her, meeting her scared blues with compassionate browns. "You did fall, Bones… You fell beneath the ice. Do you remember?"

Brennan nodded slightly, letting out the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. "I remember we were looking at remains… Old remains… You questioned why we were here…" Her eyes drifted away, as if lost in thought. She lowered her head back down to the small pillow and subconsciously tightened her hold on Booth's hand. "We're in Alaska…"

"Yeah, we are, Bones." He, too, lowered his head once more to her shoulder, but didn't ease up on his embrace. "Do you remember why we were called to Alaska?"

"There was an ice-shift…and it revealed bodies… as well as what turned out to be an ancient Oomiac boat." She felt a ghost of a smile grace her lips at the memory of the 1880's boat-frame, then she remembered what she saw in her initial examination. "Not modern-day victims, but clearly victims nonetheless." She wrinkled her forehead in thought. "The remains showed evidence of violence and warfare. Probably over food-hunting territory…but that is just initial speculation, which I hypothesize, based on my knowledge of the native tribes, or peoples, in this region." She grew silent for several moments, and Booth let her process her thoughts without interruption. Finally, she asked, "but what happened after that, Booth? I don't remember what happened… I just barely remember falling…" Her voice was small; weak and frightened like that of a lost child.

"We re-covered the site, protecting it from the elements, so we could return to camp and you could make your report to the local archaeological authorities. You, me and Wendell all started hiking back, but a blizzard started to kick up…we lost our immediate visual path and had to revert to using the satellite GPS, which led us long the length of a frozen – or partially frozen as the case was – river…" He tightened his arm around her waist ever so slightly. "You turned to me trying to explain something exciting about the boat you found. And that's when you slipped on a small fracture in the ice layer and fell, you broke through…"

Her breathing pattern began to increase, spawned on by his retelling of their story mixed with her nearly-erased memory of events. "Where's Mr. Bray?"

"I sent him back to camp, to bring back help, once we got you out of the water… I had to perform CPR, because you weren't breathing… your lips were blue and you weren't responding…" Without permission, his lips found a bit of skin peeking out from beneath her errant curls, and he pressed a kiss to her shoulder. "I had to get you warmed; I couldn't risk moving you until I was certain you were OK…" He inhaled shakily. "Wendell built a fire for us while I got you out of your wet clothes and into the sleeping bag to try to warm you up… He pitched the tent for me, so I could move you inside. While I went back to the river bank to try to find some of your equipment, he gathered what little fire wood he could find for us." Booth pressed his forehead into the back of her hair and felt her respond by pressing back against him. "I couldn't find your pack or emergency rations; they're someplace under that ice, floating way down river by now…"

Brennan nodded as she listened to his recount, though she had very little memory of any of the events. She could see flashes of scenes playing out before her eyes, like the choppy footage of an early silent film, but nothing was whole…no scene sequences were complete.

Booth continued. "Once I got back inside the tent, I told Wendell to head back to base…by then the passing storm had blown-over, but our radios weren't working. He offered to leave his equipment until he could get back with help, but I didn't want to risk him going out there alone with nothing… so I convinced him that we'd be alright." He nuzzled his nose against her, again without permission, but he'd come damn near losing her, so he figured it was worth the risk. "Do you remember me feeding you tea? You drank it, but were pretty delirious with, I guess it was hypothermia…"

"I don't remember…but I wouldn't be surprised if I was in a state of hypothermia, Booth… you're likely correct in your assessment."

"Yeah, well, Wendell had been gone about 2 hours when the storm kicked up again, and that was, I'd say, 13 or 14 hours ago…The blizzard just stopped about forty-five minutes ago… He got back to camp; he was able to send a message to me, but there was no way for them to come back out in the weather… I assured them that you were doing OK and that we'd be alright out here until it was safe for a team to come back out."

Feeling the weight of her near-death metaphorically pressing down on her shoulders, Brennan craned her neck until Booth raised his head to meet her gaze. "Thank you, Booth… You saved me… again…" She dropped her head back down in exhaustion mixed with relief. "You saved my life…"

"You don't need to thank me, Bones… Just, well, next time I tell you not to walk so close to the edge, how about listening to me, huh?" He smiled as he felt her tighten her own fingers around his in silent appreciation and affection.

After several silent moments, Brennan spoke. "You came into the water after me… you pulled me out, but you were in the water as well…"


"You could have also gone into a state of shock, Booth…"


She simply nodded, realizing he knew full-well the risk he took in saving her from the frigid currents.

Brennan was about to speak when they heard movements and voices outside the tent. "Dr. Brennan! Booth?!" Wendell's concerned voice called out as he approached with a guide and medic.

Booth answered for them both. "Yeah! We're here, guys… we're alright…" He stole one more quick peck, brushing his chapped lips against Brennan's shoulder, causing her to shiver slightly at the realization that she was still lying naked, in a single sleeping bag with her partner, who had once again saved her ass from certain death…And he was kissing her warm skin…

She didn't have time to think about anything else, because Wendell was yanking up on the zipper closure, opening the tent so the trio could ensure the safety of the partners. Following the intern into the tent, Dr. Meniuk, the on-site medic for their impromptu expedition approached the partners. "Dr. Brennan, how are you feeling?" she asked as she knelt down beside the sleeping bag. "Can you feel your limbs?"

"Yes, Dr. Meniuk, thank you. I believe I am fine; I can fully feel all my limbs and digits. The worse thing from which I am currently suffering is a very bad headache."

"Well, we brought you some dry clothes to wear back to camp; and when we get back, I'd like to perform a full exam, just to be sure that everything is alright before we continue further back into town."

Brennan nodded in appreciation and looked up when her intern spoke.

At that point, Wendell spoke up. "Booth, I brought you some extra clothes, too, buddy. I found them in your tent, man; sorry I had to go into your bag, but I figured you'd need them…"

Booth turned his head from where he was laying and nodded at his hockey teammate. "Thanks, Wendell. I appreciate it."

After much fuss, and awkward realizations that the partners were squeezed into Booth's 1-man sleeping bag naked, everyone else left the small tent, leaving just Booth and Brennan to figure out the logistics of getting dressed while maintaining some sort of decorum of decency.

With a sudden warmth of blush, Brennan thought about the fact that Booth had already seen her naked, since he'd stripped her. She innately knew, however, that he would not have been looking at her in the sense of seeing her nudity…he would have simply been in survival-mode, intent to save her from freezing to death in wet clothing. At the same time, Booth did everything he could to avert his eyes from his partner as she struggled to sit up while grabbing the shirt that was left for her, clutching it to her chest modestly.

"Ah, Bones… I'm just gonna lay my head down and close my eyes… you can move about freely until you're dressed, I won't look. If you need help, maybe Dr. Mucky-yuk can come back in and help you out… But I…uh…I'll just keep my eyes…down."

Glancing over her shoulder, Brennan met her partner's kind brown eyes and smiled. "It's Dr. Meniuk, Booth! She's a very skilled medic, you know…" she admonished his playfulness. "But it's OK, Booth… I know you're a gentleman." With a weak, but brighter grin, she continued. "Besides, it's not like you haven't already seen me…"

"Bones – I didn't look at you… not like that, I swear. I just-"

"I know, Booth… You did what you had to do to save me," her eyes were soft and appreciative, and he knew she trusted him. "I believe in your honesty, Booth; and I know you wouldn't have done anything inappropriate." She turned away then, refocusing on the clothing, as she felt the chill of the air settling into her weakened body. She smiled to herself, then reprimanded herself for thinking the thoughts she did when she first woke…she had automatically assumed she and Booth'd had sex…and she was saddened by not remembering it. Brennan felt a little embarrassed that her mind automatically went that route, and then she was sorry that they hadn't actually crossed any lines.

He's with Hannah, she reminded herself… He is with someone who makes him happy in a way that I couldn't… She hastened her movements, suddenly feeling claustrophobic inside the small tent with the one man who had offered her everything and she'd foolishly turned down. "I'll wait with everyone outside, Booth…"

He noticed the immediate shift in her posture and temperament, and had a feeling the awkwardness of their situation was finally sinking into her brilliant mind. "Bones," he beckoned her before she reached the tent flap, and was thankful she didn't ignore him, but instead turned fully to face him. "Bones, it's gonna be alright… You know that, right? We're gunna be fine."

"Of course, Booth," her clinical, distanced tone was back, bringing with it, a twinge of regret that settled deep in Booth's chest. "Take your time," she turned back to the zippered closure and exited the space immediately.


Their trek back to main camp was relatively silent. The team had brought a large sled with them, and Brennan sat for part of the journey, her legs giving her grief the longer she walked. Their medic assured them that what she was feeling was quite normal, and that as long as her limbs were saved from frostbite, then her normal level of energy would be restored in a day or two, based on her years of experience.

Once back at camp, phone calls were made to Officials, so Brennan could report her official findings and make arrangements for the extraction of the ancient remains for further study. The recipients on the other end of the call were quite elated to learn about the Oomiac frame also having been discovered with the remains, and assured Brennan that as soon as the site had been properly surveyed and excavated, she would be invited back to study the findings as well.

Booth felt a great sense of loss at Brennan's distance once they returned to camp. After spending nearly a full day with her wrapped in his embrace, teetering precariously on the edge of departure, he longed to feel her against him once again. Over dinner, as he caught her eyes for a fleeting moment from across the far end of the table, he made a silent promise to himself that he was going to do what he needed to do in order to have her in his arms once again. Soon.

Following clean-up, everyone slowly departed for their respective tents, the excitement of all the activities taking a toll on energy levels. Booth made his way into the communications tent to call Parker. After such a close call at losing someone dear to him, Booth felt the need to talk to the first most important person in his life. The connection was chock-full of noisy static, but not so much that Booth couldn't hear his son's happy voice. They spoke for about ten minutes before the interference was so bad on Booth's end that he had trouble making out the words that Parker was saying. Bidding his son good-night, he promised to take a picture of the Alaska snow for Parker, and yes, a picture of Bones too, Booth agreed, with a smile.

Before walking out of the Communications Tent, Booth looked down at his phone, and instantly chastised himself silently. What the hell am I looking for? No one is gonna be leaving me a message….

He thought back to several evenings earlier, when he received an unexpected visit from his boss…

Booth and Hannah had just finished a quiet dinner and were watching a TV movie; Booth sitting in his lounge chair with his feet up and Hannah lying down on the couch. Things between the couple had been relatively stressful of late, and Booth was happy to just sit in silence. A loud knock interrupted their movie and Hannah paused the DVR while Booth answered the door.

"Sir…" Booth was surprised to see Sam Cullen standing outside the apartment and he opened the door wider in silent invitation for the man to enter. "What, ah, what can I do for you?" Booth scrubbed his hand along the back of his head, self-conscious that his boss was seeing him in nothing but a tank-style undershirt and a pair of lounge pants.

"I don't mean to intrude, Booth, but I was just downstairs buying some wine for my wife when I received a call. I saw your living room light on through the window, so I figured I'd just pop up…"

"Yeah, sure, no problem Sir… You're not intruding; we were just watching a movie." Booth motioned towards the living room, where he knew Hannah was still sitting on the couch, waiting to resume the chic-flick that she'd picked out to watch. Secretly, Booth was thankful for the interruption; while he was happy to sit in silence at the moment, he was not enjoying the movie at all… He smiled at Cullen, "So, what's up?"

Cullen peeked into the living room and waved at Hannah as the woman sat on the couch, looking annoyed at the interruption, but forced a smile and a wave nonetheless.

Turning back to Booth, Cullen started to explain. "Well, I just had a call from the authorities up in Alaska. It seems that some remains were found on a piece of land bordering Federal Property a bit north of Barrow, the northern-most US city."

"Isn't there a field office in Alaska? Why are they calling you? Don't they have capable Agents up there?" Booth's brow wrinkled in question.

"Yeah, there is… and yes, they do… But they don't have Dr. Brennan…" Cullen raised an eyebrow at Booth before continuing. "A couple things… First, the remains appear to be old, and they were found with the remnants of some kinda boat or something that the archaeologists are all excited about… But, there is controversy as to where the actual line is for Federal Property versus State Property… So the great State of Alaska conceded that, if we could get our world-renowned contracted Anthropologist to examine the site, they would not be opposed to the Federal Government handling the investigation, even if it is State land… If it is determined that the remains are ancient, then we would turn them over to the State, and Alaska can then grant the necessary permission for the Antiquities Community to see to them accordingly. If, however, it turns out to be a modern set of murdered remains, well, then…the case will be yours." Cullen shrugged. "Of course, all that will only play out if Dr. Brennan will agree to go…" The FBI Deputy Director eyed his best agent knowingly. Technically, Cullen could have gone directly to Dr. Saroyan and advised her that the FBI needed to send Brennan to Alaska, bypassing Booth all together, and it would have been so; and everyone knew that Brennan would agree to the challenge. But Sam Cullen knew that Booth would balk at taking the case if he wasn't involved from the very beginning, and Sam also knew that his top team wouldn't be happy if either one was kept out of the loop simply for political reasons. So, rather than ruffle a few feathers by placing a call and making an 'order', Cullen decided to toss the ball into Booth's court and let him make the call directly to Brennan. He knew he'd made the right decision when he saw a slight twinkle in Booth's eyes.

"Bones'll be very excited about this, you know… With the possibility of the site and remains being ancient? She will be all over this…"

Cullen nodded once. "Great, do you want to make the call, or shall I?" He didn't need to ask the question, he already knew the unofficial routine… but out of respect for one of his favorite employees, he let Booth feel in charge.

"Nah, I'll give her a call right now. When should we prepare to leave?" Booth was already mentally calculating the time it would take for him to pack and go pick up Brennan, but didn't know about the travel arrangements.

"I'll call Anderson and have him make the reservations; then I'll have him call you with the details. Have a good trip, Booth." Cullen made a move back towards the door, nodding goodbye to Hannah, who had joined the men in the foyer just moments before.

"Yup, thanks, sir. I'm glad you saw my lights on," Booth smiled, feeling the excitement mount at the idea of a possible out-of-town case. And out-of-town case with his partner… "Good night, sir."

After locking the door, Booth turned back as saw Hannah standing there with her arms folded across her chest, staring at him disapprovingly.

"What? Can I help it if bodies just turn up? Remains are hardly ever found at convenient times or locations, you know…Bones has told me that plenty of times…" He pushed past her, grabbing his phone off the kitchen counter where he'd had it charging.

"Seeley…" Hannah turned, her hands planted firmly on her hips.

"Hang on; I gotta call Bones so she has time to pack." He kept his back to his girlfriend as he dialed his partner.

To say that Hannah was less than impressed at her boyfriend's excitement of leaving town, would be a grave understatement. She huffed after listening to the first portion of his animated conversation with the woman on the other end of the call, then proceeded to storm out of the room.

When Booth entered his bedroom several minutes later, he went straight to the closet and grabbed his suitcase, having already received the confirmation of travel arrangements from Anderson; the partners were due at the airport in less than two hours. His plan was to pack (for friggin' cold weather, he grumbled to himself), take a shower and then pick up Brennan on the way to the airport. They'd likely grab a coffee once they were at the terminal, and he would welcome a little quiet time to talk with his partner before being confined to a tiny airplane for the next several hours. They were going to be joined by Wendell for the trip, but Booth was fine with that… Of all the interns, he really liked his hockey-mate the best.

His mental lay-out of plans was interrupted by Hannah plodding into the bedroom as she exited the bathroom. "Why are you going, Seeley?"

"What?" he turned to her with a quizzical eye. "You heard Cullen…Bodies were found…"

"Yes, I heard Cullen. I heard Cullen say that Temperance was requested…She was asked to examine the remains… I didn't hear a damn thing indicating that you were needed!"

"Hannah, Bones is my partner. If she gets up there and needs help, I need to be there for her. Of course I'm going to go! Why the hell would you think I'd send her up there and not go along!?" He was pissed now… This was just turning into a continuation of the countless arguments they'd been having for the past several weeks: Hannah was jealous of his partnership, and he wasn't willing to lessen his contact with said-partner.

"Temperance won't need you there if it turns out to be ancient remains, Seeley! She doesn't need you following her up there!"

"Hannah, I don't have time to argue. I'm going with Bones to Alaska… Besides, what the hell do you really care? You're leaving tomorrow for a week-long assignment!" Booth was sick and tired of Hannah's double-standard practices, and frankly, he was done playing nice. He'd changed himself to try to be the guy she wanted, but Hannah sure as hell wasn't making any concessions to change anything about herself for him.

"I'm tired of being left behind while you and your partner go running around the country, Seeley. You are not supposed to be a travelling Field Agent… you're supposed to be incharge of Major Crimes… Yet every chance you get, you go running off to a distant crime scene! You just decide to drop everything to go play partner to a crime that probably doesn't even exist!" Her face was blood red as her fury boiled to the surface.

"It could be Federal land, Hannah, on the outskirts of the Alaskan coast; it's FEDERAL…. I'm a Federal Agent…"

"Whatever, Seeley… I'm sick of being left behind."

"What about when you go running off in the middle of the night, or for a week at a time, or hell, in the middle of sex, for Christ's sake, in search of that 'perfect story'?" Booth was referring to the last time they'd had sex, which was weeks and weeks earlier, when her cell phone rang and she stopped their passion to answer it…

"That's different; that's my career at stake… Your career would be just fine if you'd stay home. You could go up there IF they decide you're needed. Instead, here you are packing already! You're choosing Temperance over me…again."

"Hannah, if you have a real problem with how our relationship is working out, then I suggest you pack your things and go. Bones is my partner, and I won't send her to a possible scene alone."

"Fine! Yes, I do have a problem with this relationship and, believe me, if you go running off on this little escapade, you can expect to find an empty apartment whenever you return…" Her tone was cold and unremorseful, and suddenly, Booth simply didn't care.

"That's fine. Have a nice life, Hannah." He turned his back to the woman and proceeded to gather his heaviest winter clothing. As he moved, he felt as though a heavy load had just been lifted, and a light, airiness entered his heart as he realized that this was exactly what he had wanted…

Shaking the memory from his head, Booth moved to the exit of the Communications Tent. He still hadn't told his partner about his change of status. On the flight out of DC, she was so excited after speaking with the Officials directly, that all she was talking about were Inupiat remains and the fact that she may be soon examining the remnants of an ancient oomiak… Booth didn't have the heart to turn the conversation in his direction, so he sat quietly and listened as she tried to teach him about what she'd be looking for. It was on that flight that he realized that he was, once again, with the only person he could ever be happy with – regardless of whether she believed it or not.


Brennan's tent was immediately next to Booth's, connected with his by an attachable walkway, which they'd zippered in place the moment their tents were erected. Until two nights ago, that walkway had remained open, so the partners could communicate like they did when they shared connecting hotel rooms in other settings. But now, she struggled to decide if it was such a good idea to be sleeping so near to him. In one way, she hated being in such close proximity; yet in another, more powerful way, she was reluctant to be anywhere but close to him. She walked into the little connecting hallway and closed the zipper on his tent, knowing he wasn't there yet, before re-entering her own space and pulling the zipper closed on her flaps as well. The scientist moved about her tiny area slowly, preparing for bed. She wrote of her near death event – she didn't dare call it a 'near-death-experience', although it was an experience, for fear that someone, someday, might misinterpret her musings and think she'd gone through one of those delusions that people claim to have when they die.

She wrote about how Booth saved her and about their journey back to camp after regaining consciousness. She purposely omitted the intimate feelings she'd harbored those early moments after waking; they were emotions she was not comfortable sharing, not even with just her journal. She also wrote about her findings and her report that she made to the local officials. She wrote about how excited she was to come back in the near future to study the remains on a more up-close basis. Once she was through writing, there was nothing left to do but slide into the sleeping bag she'd borrowed from the team lead and try to sleep.

Booth moved about his tent quietly, missing the presence of his partner. He noticed immediately upon entering his artic-rated enclosure, that the connection to his partner's home-away-from-home had been cut off. With a sad sigh, he quickly stripped out of his clothes and into his thermal sleepwear before sliding into his sleeping bag, where he was instantly engulfed in the sweet scent that his partner had left behind while sleeping in his arms the previous night, out in the field inside his tiny emergency pup-tent. He inhaled deeply, taking in a lungful of her sweet and salty smell, missing her even more. While Booth lay quietly, he could hear Brennan shuffling around inside her tent, thankful that even though she'd closed him out, she hadn't decided to move completely across to the other side of camp. He heard her lantern click off, then on, then off and on yet again. He could hear zippers opening and closing, and he imagined his partner rifling through her camp gear in search of an Anthropology Today Journal to read before sleeping, or her daily diary, in which he knew she recorded everything she did when they were out in the field. Everything quieted down after that, until he heard the click-click of her lantern for a third time. Rolling over, he faced the tent wall that shared hers and he could see the soft glow of light through the double wall. Booth unzipped his sleeping bag, rolled off his foam-mattress cot and shuffled over towards the zipper closure, hesitating for a moment.

"Bones?" He whispered loud enough that he knew she would be able to hear him.

Everything in her tent grew instantly silent. She did not answer.

"Bones, I know you're awake…You've been piddling around in there for the past thirty-five minutes…"

Hearing her unzip her own tent, Booth bent and unzipped his, meeting her face to face in the near non-existent walkway, closer than they'd been since she stood up from his sleeping bag earlier that day. "What's the matter, Bones?" His eyes were warm and concerned…his voice caring and filled with emotion that she didn't quite understand.

Hesitating, she looked down at her moccasin-covered feet as she played with the hem of her night shirt. "I can't sleep…"

"Why not? Aren't you tired?" He tilted his head sideways as he studied her nervous behavior.

"I am very tired…exhausted, in fact…but I can't…" she huffed in frustration and shrugged. "I can't get comfortable."

With a small smile, Booth reached for his partner's hand, effectively stopping her from unfraying the sewn edge of her shirt. "C'mon," he said quietly, giving a gentle tug in his direction. "I can't get comfy either…" As she entered his tent, he closed her tent zipper then his own, never releasing her hand as he moved.

"Why am I coming in?" Brennan was cautious, not certain she would be able to tolerate being as close to him that night as she was when she was virtually unconscious.

He paused in front of her, still holding one hand in his, and raised his free fingers to her cheek, brushing his knuckles against her soft skin. "My sleeping bag is too…big…I dunno…I can't get comfortable either…"

"Booth… I just…" She struggled with the onset of a small panic, realizing that her feelings for her partner were far stronger than she ever openly admitted. The dreamy blissful feeling she imagined that morning, thinking that they'd finally crossed that line, made it evident to her that she had made a mistake in not trusting his 'gut' that fateful night on the steps of the Hoover.

Seeing the fear in her eyes, Booth suspected that his partner assumed he was trying to invade her carefully reconstructed walls, and he was loathe to frighten her away. "No, Bones… I just… I just need you near me…" He pulled her again, gently guiding her further into his tent, towards the only chair in the space. Planning to invite her to sit, so they could talk, Booth turned to the side and noticed how nervous Brennan was. She'd rolled her bottom lip up into her mouth and locked her eyes on his open sleeping bag; she looked like a frightened girl about to cry and Booth's heart broke for her, not knowing exactly what she was thinking, but knowing that she was struggling to understand something.

"Hey," his voice was soft as he turned to stand in front of her and knuckled her chin, forcing her to look at him. "What is it?"

"If you hadn't been there, Booth… If someone else had been with me instead…I might have died out there yesterday, Booth…If not by drowning, then by freezing…" She could hear, in her own voice, the shakiness that preceded her rare emotional break-downs, and she mentally kicked herself for feeling so weak.

"Bones…" Booth could not only hear her worry, but he could see it in her eyes and hear it in her words. "Hey…c'mere," he released his hold on her hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her in for a 'guy-hug' that was nothing like a 'guy-hug'. "It's OK…" He felt her sink into his chest as her body shuddered with emotion she didn't understand, and he simply held her, unwilling to let her struggle alone. When he felt the warmth of her tears hit the crook where his shoulder met his neck, he held tighter, weaving his fingers into the loose hair at the back of her head. "Shhh…"

After several moments of silence, Brennan felt her composure coming back and once again, she became suddenly aware of where she was standing: in Booth's comforting embrace with her own arms wrapped tightly around his waist and her face pressed into the side of his neck, breathing him in slowly. "I can't…" she whispered, but she didn't move.

"You can't what, Bones?" He spoke into her hair, his lips resting just above her ear.

Unable to avoid the shivering reaction that was brought on by the warmth of Booth's breath mixed with his husky baritone timbre, Brennan squeezed her eyes shut. "I can't…" she swallowed thickly.

"Bones, you're a genius… You can do whatever you set your mind to do…" He smiled against the side of her head and rubbed large circles across her back, silently encouraging her to open up to him about her fears.

She pulled back slightly – not out of his arms and not releasing her own grasp of his body – but enough to look at him when he bent his head to look down at her. Taking a deep breath, she looked into his eyes. "I can't be this close to you, Booth… Not when I'm just going to have to let you go again tomorrow…" Her bright blue eyes darkened with sadness and threatened to spill tears as she rolled her lips once again, between her teeth.

Booth smiled at her admission, feeling his stomach flip in happiness that she must have, at least, some of the same feelings he had. "Bones," he tilted his head to the side as he spoke quietly. "What if I told you that you didn't have to let go tomorrow...? What if I told you I don't want you to let go?" His eyes darkened with desire without permission as his body physically reacted to her close proximity; but at that moment he didn't want to hide it – he was tired of denying it.

"Booth…" She was sad – pure and simple. "I made a mistake. And now… Now I have to let go." She started to loosen her hold on his waist, but noted that he didn't lessen his embrace on her. She recognized all the physiological signs that her partner was displaying; he enlarged pupils, the increased pulse beating in his throat, the growing erection she could feel against her lower abdomen. While she was slightly surprised at his lack of modesty about his reaction to her, she wasn't shocked at her own body's response to his. "Booth… In two days we will fly home…Tomorrow we will make the trek back down into town and catch a ride further south into the city, at which time we will begin our journey home… I can't do this with you… You're too important to me… You're the one and only person I'd ever have that emotional attachment with…And in the morning, I know I would metaphorically die a little inside when I have to leave you… It wouldn't be like it used to be when I… participated in a simple release of biological urges…" She swallowed thickly. "You told me once that with some people it would be more… and it would be so much more with you, Booth…" She stopped trying to hide the tears and let them fall freely.

"Don't cry, baby," the moniker just slipped out, as naturally as his normal nickname for her did. "Bones… neither of us has to let go…" He was trying to form a cohesive thought, wanting to tell her about Hannah, but his head was swimming with her scent…and her closeness…and her tears…and her body…

"Booth, you're with someone. You're in love with someone already…"

"Bones, I'm in love with you. Only you. It's always been you," the words spilled from his lips, unfiltered and he felt as though he was soaring with the freedom of just talking. "I thought I was going to lose you yesterday… I couldn't break through the ice at first…and when I did… you were weighed down by your pack – the only thing stopping you from sinking to the bottom and being swept off with the flow was that your backpack strap had gotten caught on a downed limb. You were turning blue… you stopped breathing… you weren't responding to me…you weren't even shivering anymore at one point…" He felt his eyes well up with tears as he watched her expression change at hearing her story. "I could barely breathe, I was so scared. But then, once the CPR got your heart pumping and your lungs working again, I knew I had to get you dry and warm, otherwise you were going to freeze to death…" He searched her eyes for understanding, hoping that she would hear the sheer terror in his voice and know he was telling her the truth when he said he loved her. "And Bones, nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, else mattered besides getting you warm and dry and safe and alive..."

"Booth. I know you care about me…but Hannah…"

"I told Hannah to leave. She left the same night you and I left to come to Alaska…" His confession was rushed, and, he knew, incomplete, but he just needed to say it.

"What? Why? I thought you loved Hannah?" Now she was surprised and confused.

Too many emotions for one day, she thought…

"Bones, when I couldn't have the grand prize that I really desired, I settled…for the consolation prize…" Booth didn't loosen his hold; in fact, he splayed his hand across the small of her back firmly, as if planning to hold her in place. "And I'd really much prefer to be the First-Place-Winner…"

Brennan's trademark 'V' formed in the center of her forehead as she looked deep into his dark eyes. "I don't know what that means, Booth…"

"Yes, you do, Bones… You know exactly what that means…" He bent his head slowly, unable to refuse his desire any longer, and knowing innately that she needed to hear him say the words. "You are the Grand Prize…You were my grand prize from the very first time I saw you, Bones…." He lowered his lips to hers, and was grateful when she didn't pull away.

She watched through hazy, desire-filled vision as he closed the distance separating their mouths, and she responded immediately. When she felt the warmth of his breath against her slightly chapped lips, she darted the tip of her tongue out to moisten them. A fraction of a second later, he was covering her mouth completely, his tongue asking for permission without warning. She granted him what he wanted, and parted her lips eagerly, letting her tongue collide with his as they reacquainted themselves with the tastes they'd both denied themselves for years.

Booth swallowed his partner's moan as he dragged on hand up to cradle her face, tilting her to his left slightly. He hooked his thumb around the front of her chin and pressed it gently, forcing her to open her mouth wider for him, which she did without argument, allowing him to thrust his silky tongue further into her warmth. He found the bottom hem of her night shirt and slipped his fingertips beneath it, finding her perfectly smooth skin and dragging the pads of his fingers along the elastic waistline of her leggings. Groaning with realization that he was finally kissing the woman he truly loved, he pressed his open palm against her lower back and held her as he thrust his hips forward, unable to deny his raw instincts.

Without conscious permission, Brennan's hands found their way under Booth's shirt and splayed upward, feeling the muscular contractions across his back as he reacted to her touch. She always knew he had smooth skin – she learned that when she had to disrobe him after Santa blew up, covering his suit with bodily detriment – but the masculine feel of his skin spoke volumes to her ancient biological needs. Temperance Brennan had touched many men in her lifetime, that was no secret, but this…her partner's body beneath her hands…was unlike any other…this was more than biological…. He was warm and cool at the same time, tightly coiled and completely in control simultaneously, taking and giving without pause.

This is what he was trying to tell me, she thought. This is what it feels like to be with the one you belong with… She kissed him with renewed vigor, chasing his tongue back into his mouth and nipping his lips hungrily.

The sheer need for oxygen forced the partners to pull apart, but only by millimeters, their lips never completely breaking contact. He watched as she opened her eyes slowly, and finally peered up at him, causing his breath to hitch at their brilliance.

"Tell me you want this, Bones…Tell me that you're not gonna turn and run away," he mumbled against her mouth while squeezing his fingers against the soft flesh of her hip.

"I want it all, Booth…"

The words had barely dripped from her lips when he crashed forward once more, reestablishing the kiss with renewed fervor. He pressed his tongue into her mouth, caressing hers lovingly while forcing her to open her mouth even wider to him. Before he knew what happened, Booth felt Brennan's legs reach up, one at a time and wrap themselves around his hips, her ankles locking together just at the small of his back. He reached down and palmed the perfect curve of her bottom to give her extra support as he moved over to the thick foam mattress that served as a base for his sleeping bag.

When he reached their destination, Booth reached back and grabbed one of her calves, motioning for her to lower her legs, but never broke their frantic kiss. They were battling for control - something they both innately knew would happen if they ever crossed that line, and as if they understood each other's silent thoughts, the partners both smiled into the kiss.

Lowering her legs slowly, Brennan held tightly to Booth's shoulders, using his stability to stop from falling backwards. Once she was firmly on the ground with both feet, Booth brought his hands up to cradle her face.

"You're so beautiful, Bones," he muttered as he studied her face.

Brennan knew he wasn't giving her a compliment as a precursor to sex; she'd known Booth long enough to recognize that he was just speaking his thoughts, unfiltered; and for that, she was unexpectedly grateful. Reaching up, she traced a single finger along his pronounced cheekbone. "You know I've never believed in 'love', per se, Booth…" Her voice was quiet, her words measured.

"I know, Bones. It's OK," he started to assure her, but she interrupted.

"I always thought it was nothing more than a chemical reaction spurned on by biological desires and the primal need for two people to procreate in order for their lineage to continue…" Her eyes followed the path of her fingers as they mapped his face, tracing his cheek, outlining his slightly-open mouth, dragging down his chin and under his jaw until they reached his Adams Apple, which bobbed up and down as he swallowed nervously, not understanding why she was giving him a lecture. She continued. "But, Booth… You've been trying to tell me for years that there was something more to love...more than just chemicals…more than just an age-old instinct…" She watched as he nodded, nearly imperceptibly, in agreement with what she was saying. Finally she raised her darkened blue eyes and met his intense gaze. "I think I like your definition more…and I want you to make love to me, Booth…Help me learn what you like…teach me how to please you…because I am quite certain that I am in love with you…and I want to be sure that I can do everything necessary to make you happy…"

Booth felt his stomach flip in relief and excitement at her request and admission. His immediate need for her intensified as he pushed her gently down to his temporary bed. "You already do, Bones…You already make me happy…Every fucking day that I spend with you, I am happy…" The raw desire he was battling was made evident by his sudden swearing. "Every goddamn second that I watch you work by my side…sit with me at the diner…fucking devote yourself so fully to whatever case we're working… Jesus, Bones… 'Happy' doesn't even cover it…You make me delirious." He covered her mouth once more while his fingers got busy finding the bottom hem of her sleep shirt. He pushed his hands beneath the soft cotton material and skimmed his palms across the silky skin of her abdomen.

Booth dragged his lips from his partner's mouth and skated the straight edge of his teeth gently along the line of her jaw until he reached her neck, where he nipped her playfully before soothing the bite with a slow, wet kiss. Slowly, he peeled her shirt upward, revealing her creamy, perfect skin to his hungry eyes.

"Gorgeous," he whispered reverently as his molten eyes drank in her appearance.

Brennan was not shy about her appearance, she knew that men found her sexually attractive, but the way that Booth was looking at her caused her body to flush with warm anticipation… He seemed to be speechless and moved in slow motion when he did finally start to move again. She watched as his eyes travelled over her torso, as if he was trying to memorize every detail in case he wasn't given the opportunity to see her in this way again. Brennan forced herself to remain as still as possible, wanting to learn from her partner, wanting to watch his reactions to when they were about to do. When Booth's eyes found an old scar left behind courtesy of her third foster father, he craned his head slowly and pressed his lips to the tell-tale reminder of just how difficult her teenage years were. Brennan's eyes immediately flooded with tears at the sheer tenderness she felt in Booth's sentiment.

Booth felt his stomach knot when he saw the jagged scar running from just beneath his lover's breast down to an inch or so above her belly button. He felt an immediate hatred swell inside his chest for the man who left his mark on her in that way. Over the years, Booth had learned about many of Brennan's scars, but until that very moment, he hadn't seen this one…though he remembered the terrifying story. Placing his mouth over the marred skin, he peppered kisses along the length, starting at the bottom, and when he reached the upper curve of the scar, he opened his mouth and pressed a slow French kiss against her skin.

After several seconds he raised his eyes to hers and brought his face back up so he could brush his nose against hers. "No one will ever hurt you again, Bones…" his voice was thick with emotion, "and if I ever get my hands on any of the bastards who did hurt you, they'd be unrecognizable by the time I'm done with them… Unrecognizable even to our team of geniuses…" He slanted his mouth, covering hers in a sensual, deep kiss, completely opposite from the frantic urgency he felt just moments earlier. He wanted to take his time with her, worship her. He wanted to show her that she was loved and adored and precious.

Breaking their kiss, Brennan brought her hands up to Booth's face, palming his cheeks as she stared up into the depths of his eyes. "I love you, Booth… In a way I never thought possible…"

That was all he needed to hear; he rolled slightly, bringing her to lie atop his chest. He had already shucked her sleep shirt, but was now in a near frenzy to lose her pajama tights as well. He palmed her hips before hooking his thumbs into her waistband and tugging them down over the perfect swell of her ass. Brennan helped by wiggling slightly, just enough to get the snug material moving and once Booth had the pants pushed down mid-thigh, she felt him roll them again, back to their original position, where he was looming above her.

She wrapped her arms around his back and fisted his shirt, pulling it up so she could remove it completely, and Booth let her do so without argument, but when she reached for his waistband, his hands shot down and grabbed her wrists. "Wait, Bones… not yet. Otherwise this'll be over way too quick." One side of his mouth curled up into a sexy grin as he maneuvered her arms up to rest on the small pillow beneath her head. "I wanna kiss you more…" he lowered his mouth to the hollow of her throat and pressed the flat of his tongue against her racing pulse. "I wanna taste you, Bones…"

His mouth on her body was making it near impossible for Brennan to process a coherent thought, so she simply acquiesced to his man-handling of her limbs as he moved her the way he wanted. She missed the smug smile he wore when her whimpers started growing in earnest and volume. She fed off his enthusiasm when he growled against her sternum as he moved his mouth further down her body. She vibrated with anticipation when she finally felt his warm breath caress the outer folds of her throbbing core.

Booth spread his hands across her inner thighs and pushed so gently it was more of a request than an order, and when her body responded with hesitation, he groaned with passion. "Fucking beautiful," he muttered as he slowly lowered his mouth, covering her completely with his parted lips. "Mmm…" he growled again, tasting her for the first time as his tongue darted out and ran along the center folds of her swollen lips.

"Booth…. please…" she begged for what she knew he was going to give to her, but she didn't know what else to do…what else to say…how else to convey to him the fact that she needed what he was about to do. It wasn't about want at that point, it was about need. She felt like, if she didn't attain the ultimate release, with him, she was going to explode. Mentally, she chastised herself – never before had she begged a man for anything in bed… But here she was, with her partner, who had done little more than touch her for a few short minutes, and she was ready to shatter. But at the same time, she didn't mind her own pleading words, because she instinctively knew that, with Booth, her wants, fears, desires and needs were all safe.

Before she could think any deeper, she felt it… the warm, silky, strong heat that was her lover's tongue, opening her the way he wanted to. She let out a chesty moan as he circled her throbbing little clit before tugging it between his rolled lips and suckling. Without permission, her hands darted down and her fingers tangled into his messy brown spikes as her hips started moving on their own accord, rotating against his mouth as he made love to her with his tongue.

Booth used his thumbs to hold her clean-shaven lips open, allowing his mouth the full-access he desired. When he first tasted her, he felt dizzy – she was salty and sweet and musky and all that was right in the world. And she was responding to his touch in just the way he wanted her to: with heady moans and growing heat. He brought the knuckles of his right hand down to brush against her wetness and smirked when she hiked her thighs up higher, opening to him completely. Raising his eyes to look at her from where he was tucked snugly between her thighs, he watched as she palmed her own breasts, squeezing her own nipples between her forefingers and thumbs in time with the strokes of his tongue against her sex. Watching how she touched herself only served to harden his already granite cock, and he thrust two fingers inside of her dripping pussy with ease, silently imagining what it was going to feel like to have her wrapped around his dick.

"Booooooth…" she moaned loudly as she rocked against his hand and mouth.

He was certain the whole camp could hear, but at that point he didn't care… his only focus was to make her do it again… To make her moan his name in pleasure. And so, he did it again: he pulled his fingers from their warm sheath and thrust them up again, burying them as deep as he could reach and curling them once inside, stroking her inner walls.

"Oh God, Booth… More… Again…" She was louder this time, and planted her feet on the mattress so she could meet his thrusts. "Please, Booth…"

He obliged willingly, never taking his eyes off her elated face as she lay on his sleeping bag, open and vulnerable to him, pinching her own perfect tits while her head was thrown back in pleasure… Pleasure from what he was doing to her… He stroked her fast and hard, slamming his thick fingers into her as he met the tempo she was trying to set.

Her moans of desire and passion grew and he felt the unmistakable sensation squeezing his fingers as she approached her first climax of the evening. Releasing the hold his lips had on her perky little clit, Booth blew a stream of hot breath over her dripping pussy as he pumped in and out.

"Cum for me, Bones…Let go…" He spoke against her parted folds and watched in awe as her mouth formed a silent "o" and her body contracted around his hand. He continued to curl his fingers inside her body, tickling her inner walls as she rode out the waves of her powerful orgasm.

He crawled up her body, shucking his pants as he moved, and crashed against her lips hungrily. Brennan moaned when she tasted herself on his mouth and fisted his hair in earnest.

"You're the most amazing creature I've ever laid eyes on, Bones…" he whispered harshly against her temple as he moved into position. When he felt her reach her hand down towards his raging hard-on he bucked his hips backwards. "Nuh-uh… You can touch him next time… If you lay a finger on him right now, he's gonna explode and that would not be the finish I'm looking for, Baby…"

She met his heated gaze with one just as full of yearning. When she felt him pause, she nodded and cradled his face, pulling him down so she could speak against his lips. "I want this…I want you, Booth…" She licked into his open mouth as he rocked his hips forward, parting her soft petals with his thick girth.

She gasped, and he held still, waiting for an indication that it was OK to continue moving. He knew it had been a long time since she was with anyone, so her body had to adjust. Once he felt her tension release, he began rocking slowly, deliberately and taking care to fill her completely before pulling back again. "Fuckin' perfection…that's what you are…" He held his weight up on his forearms, so he could watch her face while they made love.

"Booth…" her eyes were wet with emotion and a disobedient tear escaped from beneath her lower lid. "Don't stop…. Please don't stop…Don't stop loving me…"

Happy to know that it wasn't a tear of fear or sadness or regret, Booth smiled tenderly and kissed the teardrop from her cheek. "Never… I could never stop loving you, Bones…Not even when I tried…" He picked up the speed a little, feeling himself about to uncoil. "You're the standard; you have been for years. And I've never felt like this about anyone, Bones… You have my word…" He craned his head again and kissed her slowly. "I will protect, and stand by, and love you until the day I die."

His movements, combined with their perfect fit and his promise, pushed Brennan over the edge again, much to her surprise; normally she needed more recovery time. Clinging to his biceps, she dug her wiry fingers into his muscles and shattered, pulling him to the edge. When she felt him try to pull out, likely because he didn't know she was on birth control, she wrapped her legs tight around his hips, holding him firmly in place. "Stay, Booth," she breathed against his shoulder, "cum for me… let me feel you inside me…"

Her gentle demand was all it took and he felt the tight spring at the base of his spine come uncoiled as he pumped into her twice more before bottoming-out and emptied everything he had deep into her body. The blinding white flash of light behind his eyes quickly turned to brilliant blue as he peeled open his eyelids and met her smiling gaze.

"Your eyes get me every time, Bones…" he grinned and pressed a smiling kiss to her lips. Rolling off to the side, Booth pulled her with him inside the confines of the sleeping bag. His hum of approval told Brennan that he was happy she snuggled into his side, and she felt him blindly searching for the rope attached to the zipper closure, so he could wrap them up in a cocoon for the rest of the night.

Once they were settled, he mumbled into her sweet-smelling hair, "Now, this is how my sleeping bag is supposed to feel…" He flexed his hold on her and she splayed her hand wide across his bare chest.

"Your sleeping bag is much more comfortable than mine, Booth…" she joked sleepily as she inhaled the masculine scent she'd come to adore over the years. "G'night, Booth…" her sleepy words were starting to slur. "We have a lot to talk about, you know…"

"Yeah. I know. But we have time." He wrapped his arms around her securely and followed her into sleep, too exhausted to even contemplate everything they had to discuss."

Elsewhere in camp, Wendell finally removed his earbuds after the battery to his MP3 player died. He chuckled as he looked over at his bunkmate, whose head was snuggled inside his sleeping bag with his pillow pulled over his ears...

"Well, I guess now we know how Booth kept Dr. Brennan warm all night after he pulled her out of that icy water… That emergency pup tent certainly wasn't rated for these temperatures…"

"You think they're finally done?" The 24-year-old guide raised an eyebrow.

"God, I hope so…. I have to work with them on a daily basis… I don't think I can take it if they keep going…" Wendell rolled over to his side, facing away from his temporary roommate, but he was smiling. Finally, he thought, and wait 'til Angela finds out that I know something she doesn't even know yet…. The young intern drifted off to sleep, happy for his friend and mentor; it had been a long time coming, but finally they were together.

Postscript A/N

So, there you have it… My own challenge to myself – I used OOMIAK in a story… It was really just an excuse to write a quick smutty piece the put our favorite couple into bed for the first time.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts!

Peace & love