Title: All The While
Author: Jen - (Ladybug218)
Fandom: Bones
Pairing: Booth/Brennan
Spoilers: 4x03 - The Man in the Outhouse
Rating: PG
Summary: Brennan comes to a decision and shares it with Booth
Author's Note: Thanks to Storydivagirl for the quick beta.

The Baltimore-Washington Parkway was pretty in the fall; the leaves changing colors and the early morning sunlight streaming through the trees. It was early enough that there was only a little traffic, and Seeley Booth maintained an easy speed as he and Temperance Brennan headed back to the Jeffersonian, after spending most of the night examining remains in Laurel.

"I've been thinking about what you said," Brennan piped up. They had been driving in silence, both exhausted and weary from a long night of work.

Booth glanced over at her. "I didn't say anything, Bones."

"After Mark and Jason broke up with me," she explained.

"That was like a month ago, Bones."

"I know," Brennan said. "And I've been thinking about it ever since."

Booth knew that his partner was overly logical, but this caught him off guard. He eased off the gas pedal a little, slowing to just under the speed limit and glanced over at her again. "Okay." He assumed she was leading up to something, but he knew her well enough to know that pushing her wouldn't get them anywhere faster.

"I think you're the one," she said. "Watch out!"

The last was added when Booth swerved and nearly ran them off the side of the road. "Geez, Bones, this is not a conversation to have while I'm driving," he said.

"Okay," she said, going back to staring out the window and watching the scenery pass by.

Flabbergasted by both her blunt statement and her casual attitude, Booth took the next exit and followed the signs to an IHOP. Brennan gave him a look of confusion when they pulled into the parking lot. "I thought we were going back to the lab."

"We will," he assured her. "But first we're going to have a cup of coffee and talk."

They beat the breakfast rush and Booth managed to sweet talk the hostess into giving them a corner booth where they could talk privately. Smelling the food in the restaurant made him realize that he was starving and he decided to order a full meal of eggs, bacon and pancakes, figuring that a full stomach might help him get through this conversation easier. Brennan ordered coffee and a bran muffin. Their server left a coffee pot on the table and, once she walked away, Brennan gave him an expectant look. "What did you want to discuss?"

He stared at her. "Are you serious? You just dropped a helluva bombshell on me, Bones. I think we need to discuss it, don't you?"

She shrugged. "If you want to, we can. I felt the need to share my conclusion with you. I don't expect you to reciprocate or do anything about it."

Booth wondered if he would ever get used to her scientific mind. "Temperance," he said, knowing that the use of her first name instead of his nickname for her would catch her attention, "do you really think that I don't reciprocate your feelings?"

"I hoped that you might," Brennan admitted. "But it could make our work situation awkward. Look at Hodgins and Angela."

"Hodgins and Angela are being idiots," Booth said. "They'll come around and find their way back to each other. But this isn't about them; this is about us." Saying 'us' in reference to them as a couple gave him a bit of a chill. It was something that had crossed his mind on and off for the past four years, but he never really expected anything to come of it.

Brennan smiled at him over the top of her coffee cup. "Do you want there to be an us?" she asked.

"Yes, I do," he said with no hesitation. "Do you?"

There was enough of a pause before she spoke to make him nervous. "Yes, I do. As long as we can still be partners, that is. I don't think I could work with anyone else."

He grinned. "Well, you're not technically FBI, so there shouldn't be any issues there. As long as we can get Sweets on board, I think we'll be okay. Cam obviously doesn't mind inter-office relationships."

She scowled. "You don't need to remind me that you used to sleep with my boss."

"Aw, come on, Bones," he said. "That was ages ago. And besides, aren't you the one that's always spouting off about meeting your biological needs? Or are you jealous?" he teased.

"I have no reason to be jealous," she insisted. "You're not interested in her any longer."

Booth laughed. "No, I'm not. I'm definitely interested in you."

Their food arrived then and the conversation stopped while they ate. Brennan finished before Booth since she only had a muffin, but she sat pensively and watched him eat. When he was done, he gave her a questioning look. "What's on your mind?"

"What do we do now?" she asked. "We have feelings for each other and we want to act on them."

"I was thinking maybe we could go out on a date tonight? Assuming we don't end up working all night again," he said. "Dinner out somewhere nice, maybe a drink after."

Brennan nodded. "What about sex?"

Booth nearly choked on his coffee. "I'm sure we'll get there eventually," he said, wiping his mouth. "But I'm not in a hurry. I want to do this right."

"I'm not sure if there is a right way to have a relationship," she said. "But I concur that taking it slow might be our best course of action. As long as it's not too slow."

"Let's just take it as it comes, Bones," he said, pulling out his wallet and throwing down some cash for a tip. "For now, though, I think we should get back to the lab and see if we can wrap this case before noon. I'd like a nap and a shower before our date tonight."

She smiled as she slid out of the booth and followed him. "I'll do my best," she promised.

He grinned and leaned down to kiss her cheek. "I know you will. You always do."