Arabian Nights

Chapter 2: The Second Day

She was on her way out the door before he blurted out. "When will you be home?"

Brennan turned her head to look at him, body still facing forward, bag and laptop slung over her shoulder. Only the smallest of hesitations and then, calmly but definitively. "I don't know. I...have a lot of work to do and with Christine away, I'm going to take advantage of that." Not Do you mind? or Did you have something planned? or even, Do you want to meet for dinner?

"You don't want to go out or something? Together? Since Christine is with your father?" He gave it one more shot.

She wrinkled her nose, trying for casual. "No. Not tonight. See you later?" And she was in motion again. But then she turned back. "Booth?"

"Yeah, Bones?" Hands in pockets to keep from grabbing her, although at the distance she was keeping between them, there was no chance of that.

"What happened when you got home from the army? I fell asleep before you said."

A spark of an idea. The smallest lift in his chest. Without thinking he shot back, "That's for me to know and you to find out, Bones."

That surprised an actual laugh out of her, a little feminine huff of sound. "What?"

"You'll have to wait to find out. I'll tell you the rest tonight."

"Booth..." She was even smiling a little.

"No, Bones, you fall asleep, you have to wait until the next bedtime to get the end of the story."

"Like Scheherazade?"

"Shehaira who?"

"Arabian Ni—"

"Yeah, I'm just kidding you, Bones. I know who she is. Do I look like Scheherazade to you? I can't even spell it."

She pressed her lips together in another little smile. "Well, I guess I'll see you later then."

He tipped his head to the side and down, going for boyish, baring his throat a little, hoping that the vulnerable body language encouraged her a little. "Yeah. See you later."

She hesitated a minute more, looked like she might speak and then took herself away to the lab.

Booth looked around. It was noon. They'd picked up, done some of their normal Saturday morning chores. He needed to think about this, if he was going to wage a war of words. This really wasn't his best thing. He rubbed the back of his neck and then headed for the garage. He did his best thinking behind the wheel, bent over the engine, or even under the car. He'd better get to it.

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