Spoilers: Through Santa in the Slush.
A/N: Thanks to alderaan_ for the prompt. :)
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When the truth is I miss you. - Coldplay
When two weeks pass and Booth doesn't come by with a case that requires her expertise, Brennan discovers a feeling that her innate honesty compels her to label disappointment. Not because she doubts the value of her work when it doesn't involve chasing criminals. No, the restlessness that accompanies Booth's absence–from the lab and her cell phone log–has nothing to do with their work...and everything to do with the man.
In the midst of a life that has for so long been remarkable for its very lack of constancy, her partner has become a constant. Searching her mind, she cannot pinpoint the moment when that happened. But she misses him, she realizes with a physical jolt that sends the file in her lap tumbling to the floor, scattering papers this way and that.
As she slips from the couch and gets down on her hands and knees to retrieve the errant pages, she muses on what exactly she misses about him. It couldn't be the way his eyebrows draw together in a scowl when he is irritated with her. She shakes her head. No, not that. Nor the way his eyes dance as he takes the first bite of his burger. Not that, either. Could it be the way his mouth moved against hers, gently and with just a hint of eagerness, as they stood under mistletoe? Definitely not that, she decides, shoving her hair back as it falls in her face.
A shadow slides over Brennan, drawing her gaze upward. It travels over impeccably shined shoes, long legs encased in black pants wearing creases as sharp as one of her scalpels, the flash of a familiar belt buckle, arms folded over a broad torso, and up to a knowing grin that sends heat flooding her cheeks with a rapidity that stuns her. She wonders how long he has been standing there watching her. "You could make yourself useful and help me," she says, narrowing her eyes and shooting him her most severe look. That look has intimidated many a person and sent them scurrying off to do her bidding.
Unfortunately, it has never had much of an effect on her partner.
This time is no different, for though Booth's grin widens, he doesn't otherwise move. "Seems like you've got things under control," he replies with a lift of his eyebrows. The glint of mischief in his eyes wipes away all thoughts of unexpectedly pleasant kisses and calls forth visions of whacking him in the shin with the spine of her folder.
"You are insufferable."
"Sweet talk will get you everywhere, Bones," he replies.
Ignoring his outstretched hand, she sniffs and rises to her feet with as much dignity as she can muster. After brushing off her legs, she smacks him in the arm with the folder.
"Aww, Bones," he says, looping an arm around her shoulder, "you really missed me, didn't you?"
"Never," she replies, slanting him a sideways glance.
He laughs and squeezes her shoulder. She lets him.