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She can feel his pulse racing under her hand. Not such a normality, really. She feels a choke in her throat as his fingers move lightly across her shoulder. So much life. He's so solid, so firm, so real right there underneath her, but also so fragile. It seems, somehow, that in that moment, Vincent's last breath playing and replaying in her mind, life seems more fragile than it ever has before. And considering she works with death, her whole life is death, she deals in bones, that's saying something.

She supposes there's a distinct difference between cold bones laid down, impersonal until studied, and the light, the life in someone's eyes vanishing right in front of her. It's fresher, more harrowing than she could ever have imagined. A thousand fears rip through her mind as her thoughts dance in and out of the short, cruel mortality, and he's whispering something to her, something she can hardly hear, because there's a roaring in her ears; voices are whispering cruel things to her about where Booth is surely going to be in the morning, facing down Broadsky directly, dodging bullets and running for his life, and it's what he does every day, but that doesn't seem to mean anything, not right now, and suddenly everything in the last seven years has more clarity than she'd ever hoped it would; everything they've ever been to one another, everything they are right now, everything that happens around them, behind them, to them, all those risks…

She lifts her head up and turns herself slightly in his arms, rolling towards him, finding her leg resting between his, her body suddenly tingling. Tingling with everything, with all these feelings, these truths that are finally rushing through her, all that fear, still caught in her throat, the thought that he's the only one she could feel safe beside, the thought that he'll throw himself headfirst into danger come the dawn, and she'll have no control over the outcome of that, however brilliant he is, however skilled. That truth is suffocating, and suddenly he's there, half underneath her, but he maybe won't always be, and she doesn't know, in that moment, why he hasn't always been. She meets his eyes for a moment, and there's something of confusion in them, before she pushes her lips against his, her fingers threading into his hair, a hunger suddenly coursing through her.

He's only human, and she can feel his reaction to her, pressing almost where the sensation in her body is the most intense, but he pushes her back gently by the shoulders, holding her away from him.

For a moment his eyes are too dark, for a moment they look like he can hardly think.

"Bones…" he whispers, almost breathlessly, and he sounds in pain. "A lot's happened today… you're in a lot of pain, you're not yourself…" his breath catches, and he can't hold her gaze any longer, "You don't want this…"

There are tears in her eyes but a tiny smile on her face when he brings his eyes back to hers.

"I need this." She whispers, and there's something in her hardly-there voice that floors him – so much raw, bittersweet honesty. "I need you."

He gives a tiny, almost indiscernible sigh, as if he doesn't quite believe her.

"Life goes out so quickly." She breathes, "We're wasting so much time…"

He can't argue with that. She looks so tiny, and vulnerable, and at the same time something he can't refuse in his arms in that moment, and perhaps he needs to accept that, and take her as she is, with everything she has to offer. Because right now, that seems to be more than enough. Right now, from the look in her eyes, she's offering him everything. He lets his eyes drift closed this time as she leans towards him.

She tastes like fear, and so many unknowns, and everything he's been wishing he had for most of the last seven years, who is he kidding? Her teeth make contact with his lower lip before her tongue snakes in against his, and suddenly he can feel, acutely, every inch of her body pressing against his, every curve, every perfect imperfection and how light and fragile that frame is against him. He tastes blood in his mouth as he threads his hand roughly into her hair, tugging her head somewhat roughly as he starts trailing kisses down her throat. Because as much as he'd love to be the most gentle, caring, devoted lover, this is all so overwhelming, so new and so longed for – he can't quite control himself.

Suddenly, as she tilts her head back as his mouth travels towards her collarbone, her fingers are sliding against his skin under his T-shirt, and this is all suddenly very real. He feels so strong, so solid, and that's what she needs to keep telling herself. She grasps the fabric and pulls away from him slightly as she tugs the material roughly over his head. He follows suit with her own shirt and as the bare skin of her torso presses against his, she finds the warmth reassuring. Suddenly, he rolls her less than gently towards the other side of the bed, towering above her, something not quite like she's ever seen before in his eyes, and she's reminded how big he is. His mouth meets hers again for a moment before it starts to move, and with all of him pressed against her she can't help feel a thrill at the sensation of the bulge in his pants, all her doing.

She gasps, lightly, sounding naïve, inexperienced, impressable, like she hasn't in years, when his fingers find their way around her left breast, pinching her puckered nipple, at the same time as she feels his lips snaking back down her neck and his other hand dancing at the waistband of the sweatpants she can't work out why she's still wearing.

She threads her fingers into his hair, gripping so tightly she's sure she's causing pain, and as she pushes his lips down to where his fingers are, his hand snakes under the loose elastic and into her panties. With his mouth and Dear God, his teeth, around her nipple, she rocks her hips against those fingers wandering too slowly, and as his fingers find her centre, and how wet she is, he mutters something against her skin. She pushes herself against his fingers, suddenly needing something more than just a glancing touch, more than just the hope of more, but he seems content to nothing but dance his fingers lightly ever-so-close but not quite where she needs them, and she's sure she hears herself make something of a whimper, which is so out of character for a moment she doubts it. He pulls his mouth away, and that's definitely a whimper as his hand leaves her other breast, and he just looks up at her, his pupils so dilated she's hit by the sudden realisation she can see more in the eyes of the man above her right now than she's ever seen in anyone else.

"Please." She hisses, reaching futilely to give his sweats a rough push, hoping only to indicate her strong disapproval of all these items of clothing they're still wearing. There's a slight smile on his lips as he slowly skulks down, away from her face, and then his fingers catch the waistband of the too-loose sweatpants and push them away, and those frustrating dancing fingers are catching in the lace of her panties, and easing them over her hips, and suddenly she's kicking them off from around her knees and those fingers are back, but this time they're rubbing her clit, and all of a sudden there's something warmer, wetter and dear God, his tongue is right next to his fingers, teasing right where she needs him, and she's no longer got any control over her movements, her hips are bucking like crazy into him, and that sensation coursing through her body at an alarming speed – she can't remember the last time she felt an orgasm building this quickly.

As his tongue darts inside her, she cries out, and somehow, the fingers of his other hand have found their way threaded through hers. She grasps as hard as humanly possible, and she's not in any control of the noises (and the expletives) coming out of her mouth as both his fingers and his tongue do sinful things between her legs. And she's always been interested in experimenting; she's done plenty of sinful things before, but nothing that's ever made her feel quite like this.

Like everything she knows doesn't quite make sense anymore, and she doesn't even care.

Like she's hanging on to everything she once was with a tiny thread that's about to inevitably break.

Like she's about to lose all control of herself entirely, and for once in her life, that doesn't seem to matter.

He starts alternating the thrusts of his tongue with that of a finger, and she feels that control slip away. She feels her orgasm build to the breaking point, and somehow her other hand has found its way to intertwining her fingers in his hair. He keeps up the alternating pattern until she comes around him, gasping and struggling for breath as the world goes out of focus for a moment.

She rides out her orgasm on his tongue, and then as he lazily pulls back and slides up the side of her body she doesn't have the energy (or the sanity, in that moment) to fight the sudden loss where she needs it. When he reaches her face, he presses his lips against hers, his tongue between her teeth, and she can taste herself at the same time as tasting him and that's so incredibly hot she feels the burning reignite between her legs when the flames are hardly doused. She can feel the bulge in his sweatpants pressing against her again, and it must be almost painful, it's been so cruelly neglected this whole time. With the ounce of energy she has left, she slides one of her hands straight under both the waistbands of his sweats and boxers and traces her cool fingers lightly along the length of him.

His breath hitches and he stills against her, and so she keeps moving her fingers and starts to help him ease both remaining items of clothing down his thighs. When, finally, there's not an item of clothing between them she starts pushing him up, and she's sinking to her knees on the side of the bed, and she sees him take a visible gulp as he realises her intentions. She pulls him towards her, roughly, by the hips, her eyes darting between his eyes and throbbing cock, something of a sly smile turning the corners of her lips slightly.

"Bones, you don't have to…" he chokes.

"I want to." She whispers, so close he can feel the little breaths of her words against the sensitive area of skin there, and he knots his hand in the hair at the back of her head as she takes his full length in her mouth.

He groans as he hits the back of her throat, and as she starts snaking her tongue around and up and down the length of him she feels the pressure of him holding her head into him.

"Fuck, Bones…" he gasps, because this is everything he'd never dared to dream about and more, and he shouldn't have even considered any other possibilities, because she's brilliant at everything she does, but she is good at this.

And her eyes are closed, and she looks like she's enjoying this as much as he is - which has him even more aroused, which is incredible is even still possible.

But he feels everything building within him, and more than anything he wants her to come again, come around him, and if she keeps doing that with her tongue they won't even get to the main show, so he half-heartedly pushes her away.

"I won't last, Bones." He manages to sigh, tugging her roughly back onto the bed and beneath him with a fluidity almost atypical of lovers experiencing one another for the first time.

And all of a sudden, his length is teasing at her entrance, and he's still marvelling at her wetness, and she's rocking impatiently up against him with something not dissimilar to annoyance in her eyes.

"I need you. Inside me. Now." She manages through gritted teeth, and he doesn't need asking twice. She cries out as he thrusts into her in one fluid movement, reaching further back than she's been touched in a long time, and she matches her hips against his then, rocking her hips in time with his movements, digging her nails into the skin of his back.

"Oh." She gasps as he finds a rhythm that reignites those embers deep inside of her, and he smiles slightly and kisses the side of her mouth. "Keep doing that." She whispers, cupping his jawline as he rests his forehead against hers.

As his fingers find their way to her nipple again, he feels her muscles start to quiver around him, senses how close she is and forces himself to maintain the pounding to the beat that's driving her crazy.

"So close." She hisses below his ear, and his fingers leave teasing her nipple to slide between her legs and find her clit.

"Fuck." She gasps, and with two more gentle teases she feels the orgasm breaking inside of her, her muscles clenching around him. He holds her close to him as she rides out the orgasm, burying his face in her neck, lips roughly grazing the skin at every available opportunity. He can feel her clenching around him, almost in time with the breathless gasps. He's so close, himself, and as he feels her begin to ebb around him, it only takes two thrusts into her before he feels himself emptying inside her.

I love you, he wants to whisper as she laces her fingers with his as he comes, but now is not the time, nor the place, and he wants to keep her in his arms forever, not scare her away in the first few moments.

He collapses against her, the exhaustion of everything suddenly hitting him, and her fingers dance meaningless patterns lazily across his shoulders.

He thinks he hears her breathe "Stay" as he drifts into sleep.

***

In the morning, as he prepares to leave, to finish this once and for all, he keeps roughly kissing a half sleeping woman between his sheets. Almost lazily, as he sits on the edge of the bed for a second and smooths her hair at the side of her face, she wraps her hand around his and drags his face to hers.

"Come back." Is all she whispers before kissing him roughly, and as he pulls away, loathe to leave her, she fiercely rubs at her eyes. "Come back to me."

He doesn't promise, because he knows she'll tell him he can't. He doesn't say anything, he just kisses her lightly on the forehead, squeezing her hand tightly, promising her in his mind. Because she added to me to the end of that sentence, and he will do anything in and beyond his power to make sure he's back to this woman.

He doesn't think he's ever wanted anything so much in his life.