Back after yet another hiatus. My thanks to Jen for beta-ing. And no, I haven't forgotten about The Strike in the Alley...

Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.

Midnight rain fell heavily across the Metropolitan Washington DC area, creating a constant tapping against the window; a gentle rhythm that echoed around the bedroom like a Bossa Nova. Seeley Booth held his wife in their bed for the first time in what had felt an eternity. He was home, for tonight at least; and he was sure as hell going to make the most of it.

The door to his gambling demons that he had prised open to re-start a bloody war, for so long pushed to the very darkest recesses of his mind and forgotten, was far from over. There would likely be challenges to come that would test his resolve, but he'd at least won this key battle. His victory, this unexpected reunion with his wife - his everything, was worth every ounce of pain and effort of the previous thirty days. He held her protectively. Nuzzled his face into her hair. Breathed in the familiar scent of her shampoo. And remembered...

"The sense of smell is the strongest of the five 'traditional' senses at evoking memories because the olfactory bulb is the only sensory organ to have direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus...", Brennan had once told him. He remembered where (in the car, stuck in a jam on the Beltway) and when (during a case involving the apparent suicide [that wasn't] of a used car salesman, approximately seven years earlier). She'd worn a black skirt and a pale blue shirt that day that had matched the colour of her eyes. The top couple of buttons had been left open in the warmth of that late Spring day, and whilst she'd been momentarily looking out of the window, he'd taken that single stolen moment to glance across at her exposed skin, considering what that spot might taste like against his tongue.

Booth smiled to himself. It was funny that of all the details he'd recalled in that moment, the ones about Brennan were by far the clearest. As he lay quietly, their breathing in synchronisation with the rain, he thought about it. He could probably recall nearly her entire wardrobe and almost every hairstyle change she'd had since the first day he'd met her at AmU all those years ago.

Brennan sighed contentedly in his arms. He kissed her temple and pulled her in yet a little closer, taking the opportunity to stroke more of the soft curves of her child-bearing form which lay under the tank top and panties she was wearing. She was magnificent in every way, but in typical Brennan behaviour, had shunned an obviously seductive nightgown in her wardrobe for something eminently more practical, and of course, Booth had found that even sexier. Maybe she'd planned it that way. Now that he had her back, even if it was just for one night, he desired to enjoy every inch and every breath of her. She was like his oxygen - necessary for him to breathe, but might just as easily set him on fire.

"How are you?" she had asked him two days before. The question had been to be civil in the first instance, but she had found herself willing him for a positive response. Watching him with Christine, she found she missed him rather more than she'd allowed herself to admit.

"Good... determined". Booth was decisive in his reply. He had to be a strong substance, just like his wife had become before him. She had taught him many things about resilience and evolution, some of which he only ever realised months or years after the event. She truly was exceptional, but not only in the ways she'd thought. Brennan had looked pleased at his answer, but before they could discuss it further, Max called and rescued them both from dealing with it.

However, in that moment, something had returned. Maybe it was Booth's thoughtfulness at bringing her current craving go-to ice cream. Maybe it was the way she had heard the resolve in his answer. Maybe it was the look of happiness on her face that he had been so clear on his intent. A spark had ignited, with only those two words. Neither of them could quite put their finger on it, but it might just have been enough to light a small flame of reconciliation. As he'd left, they'd managed an awkward but genuine kiss and a hug that left them both wanting a little more.

"I've missed this. And you. I missed you so goddamn much, Bones." She pulled back slightly, looking up to gaze at him with the same loving eyes she given him when she'd invited him to stay earlier, caressing the stubble on his cheek, which felt pleasingly rough against her soft hands. "I missed you too, Booth." She paused for a moment and her mouth morphed into her trademark dorky smile. "I love you."

He smiled at her words before his face took on a much more serious expression.

"I am so sorry, Temperance."

"I know", she responded, her own features mirroring his. He placed his hand over hers, stilling the movement of her caressing his cheek, and held her gaze.

"I promise you I will do everything, and I mean everything, to beat this." She nodded, pulled his head down towards hers, bought her lips up to his and kissed him very gently for a few moments before returning to their locked gaze.

"I know it's hard, but you were abstinent for over ten years, Booth. You can do this. I'm here. I'm your wife. I told you, we share this challenge together." She frowned for just a moment before her face softened again. "So let me be your wife." As Brennan spoke, a stray lock of hair fell onto her face.

"Why didn't you want me here, Booth?"

Brennan had appeared at Booth's GA meeting for all the right reasons. He'd tried to come up with a smart answer to her question, failing miserably. She had clearly felt hurt at her exclusion and he felt bereft that, at that point in time, he hadn't had the strength to ask her, or to at least explain himself adequately. At least they'd overcome that hurdle. Admissions he had to make to himself that were not easy to confront, but she had been his wife, and had been there for him just like she said she would. One more battle won, because of her, and her beautiful, open heart.

Booth looped the rogue twist of hair around his finger loosely and twirled it a couple of times before letting it drop away from her face. He pressed his lips against her ear and whispered:

"Before... you asked me what would motivate me to keep going if I came home. I know I can never screw up like this again, and I have to keep working at that to make sure it never, ever happens. But more fundamentally, being with you here right now, like this, and knowing I can see Christine in the morning, feel the little guy kick... I want that every day."

I love every day...

...the memory of his words from just weeks before their wedding echoed around them. It had been the sweetest of moments, the happiest of times.

"I have all the motivation I need."

With that, he began trailing kisses down her neck. Brennan moaned at the tingling feeling, his lips leaving the line that he'd followed down to her sternum, both from his touch and from further expectation. The effect he had on her was quite remarkable. His whole "two sets of atoms occupying the same space" statement hadn't been as far off as she'd first thought when he'd mentioned it some years earlier, in what Brennan now realised was an embryonic attempt to seduce her; a seed planted in hope rather than expectation that had since flourished. But then, Booth's whole grasp of physics had been somewhat innovative...

"You can't eat pie fast or you cramp. That is a science", Booth called out in the diner, to everyone and no one at the same time.

"Someday I would love to live in a world governed by your rules of physics", she chuckled. He was funny. He was her funny. The fact that they'd spent over two hours amusing each other and playing around with suspect motives at the diner, and not even noticed the time? It hadn't been lost on either of them when Max had called to break their spell once again.

"You will, someday you will, soon, very soon." And there was their pocket universe back again, just them and a lot of Angela's patented term of 'eye-sex' before Brennan had to pull herself away for the sake of practicality. As she'd had walked back to her car immediately afterwards, she considered that aside from the great big pachyderm in the room called "Booth's Gambling Addiction", they were showing all the hallmarks of what had made them such a great couple in the first place.

She knew, from great empirical evidence, that the reality over every expectation of just how good the love making would be, however high that expectation had been prior to the event, would be exceeded.

Back in the present, in their bed, Booth was proving this point by making steady progress down her body, although still respectfully remaining over her tank top, like he was waiting for some sort of permission, and Brennan was remembering just how much she'd missed her husband's deft touches...

"And if we try and be certain before we act... we - we never act..."

Wait a sec, what are you saying, Bones?"

"I'm saying... I have faith in you, Booth... and I think you should stay the night with me."

"I think I should too."

Their lips had met their respective targets. All those stolen pecks on the cheek and awkward moments from the last month disappeared in a flash. What was left was just the two of them and the raw attraction, affection and respect that had existed between them for over a decade. It was so natural, and so exceedingly pleasurable. It was her manna, her fuel; and no doubt, his too.

A call of "Daddy!" from Christine wrested them both back to the material world from that pocket universe yet again - the one that had involved much kissing, reasonably appropriate touching and longing gazes; the one that had usually been their centre; the one that had imploded on itself since he'd been a stupid, stupid boy and almost thrown away everything he'd fought to build over the last decade. They'd put their little monster to bed, and as they left their daughter sleeping soundly, Brennan took Booth's hand and led him to their bedroom with great purpose. There had been further kissing and clear intent for a more rigorous approach. Instead, just when things were heating up - clothing loosened, mouths and hands starting to roam beyond a PG certificate, Booth slowed Brennan down, wanting to build up some of that expectation he'd been thinking about, but also just enjoying the simplicity of being together, before lust and that enforced month apart kicked in. Maybe it was the maturity of their relationship, and indeed of them, but Brennan was surprisingly amenable to the idea. So they returned to their regular bedtime rituals - turning down the bed together, brushing their teeth together, making one more check of Christine.

Looks and smiles were exchanged before a brief but intense gaze-off across the bed linen reminded them of the possibilities to come, so they finally climbed in and straight into each other's arms, where there they held each other tightly and began long, lingering kisses as they slowly rediscovered each other, heating up the air around them until it reached a point of combustion.

Booth pulled his wife on top of him and encouraged her to lever herself up so she was sitting astride him, his body propped against the mountain of pillows that often resided on their bed. He admired her. She was a goddess, her hair somewhat mussed from their petting, her skin flushed already. Their pocket universe was back.

From their initial set of activities, Brennan could feel the familiar ball of desire already welling in her groin from her husband's attentions that overrode any semblance of rational thought. She looked down at him with only one objective on her mind.

"Make love to me." Brennan didn't even know if it was a statement or an order she was intending, but in either case, it was delivered as an urgent solicitation and there was only one correct answer. Booth was about to speak but she put her finger on his lips. "And before you start," she rolled her eyes at him, knowing exactly what he was about to say. "Yes, I know by your usual definition we've already been making love for the past twenty minutes, but you know exactly what I'm referring to."

Booth smirked at her mock admonishment. She knew him too well. He didn't have to be told twice. Permission granted. Time to switch gears.

As the rain continued to fall outside, a soundtrack to their coupling, he slipped his fingers under her tank top and pushed up the ribbed cotton with his knuckles as he slid his hands up to her bare breasts underneath, already engorged as they readied for their son's impending birth. Brennan gave a whimper as he began to massage each breast, his mouth following where his hands trailed expectantly. He knew exactly how much pressure to use and in what way, and seemed to have factored in the additional sensitivity she was experiencing in that final trimester to ensure that it all didn't ever cross over into discomfort. Then, when he felt he'd thoroughly reacquainted himself with two of his very favourite body parts, he gave just enough body language to indicate his intentions to her so as not to cause any painful accidents, and securing her to him, flipped them over so he could maneuver better from above her. He kissed her soundly again on the lips and smiled before disappearing southwards again.

Brennan, for her part, was kissing and touching any part of him that she could get her hands on, although this was becoming more of a challenge as Booth reconvened his path down her body, inch by inch, kiss by kiss. Her tank top was now discarded, having been thrown somewhere on the floor, leaving her just in her panties, a simple high cut in a comfortable white cotton. Booth continued until he reached his chosen destination, hooking his fingers in the offending item and in one much practised and synchronised move between them, she pushed up her bottom long enough for him to pull them down and off and leaving her recumbent and gloriously naked in front of him.

"Mmmm... Bones," he sighed happily as he began kissing her everywhere around the apex of her thighs, but for the spot where she wanted him the most. "I have missed this so much..."

Brennan mumbled some sort of agreement as she found his head with her hands, running her nails against his scalp and guiding him to where she wanted. As he finally stopped teasing her and latched onto her nub, she let out a sob of relief as a month of sexual abstinence was broken and her husband reminded her of just how much she'd missed him too. He added a finger into her heat, and then another, swiftly bringing her to an impressive climax. Pregnancy plus abstinence equalled fireworks, but Brennan had already concluded that this particular Booth sacrifice was not one she was willing to make again in this lifetime.

Booth, looking very pleased with himself, made his way back up his wife's pliant body and now shimmying off his boxer briefs, settled between her legs, his tumescence resting against her centre in anticipation.

"Do you need some recovery time?" He asked her. He kissed her softly again, letting her taste herself on his lips and enjoying her body's hitched response to the stimulation. She shook her head and her mouth turned upwards a little.

"No, I want you now", and she pushed up against him, her intent clear. He flipped them so once again she was on top, the practicalities of her pregnancy remembered in the heat of their passion. Booth reached between them and positioned himself at her centre. They locked eyes again and a grunt of satisfaction involuntarily left his lips as she sunk onto him, the familiar feeling of her warmth enveloping him. They moved to a steady rhythm, trying not to hurry the inevitable primal need that would soon overcome them both. Brennan watched his expression, his eyes closed for some moments in sheer pleasure as they moved against each other. It was mesmerising, and the anthropologist in her found it compulsive to watch his reactions, especially knowing that she was the one responsible for them. Despite plenty of sex they'd been having in the immediate few months before she'd thrown him out, it had been quite a while since she'd really studied him during intercourse. Then he opened his eyes again and saw her fascination. He grinned at her intently, recognising the look on her face, and increased his thrusts from underneath her - harder, deeper, bolder, challenging her to match him.

As sure as they would have both predicted, his increased efforts triggered their basal needs taking over any attempts to prolong any gentle, controlled love-making any further, and before long, instinct took hold and they were rutting hard against each to reach their climaxes, one after the other, tumbling like dominoes. She collapsed onto him in a delighted exhaustion, and they were stilled, but for their collective catching of breath.

Sometime later, Booth was wrapped up in his wife's arms, nestled with his head on her shoulder and his arm tucked neatly under her baby bump, as she held him tightly and stroked his hair. He may have been, in Brennan's words, an 'alpha male', but that didn't mean he couldn't feel his own vulnerability, especially around her. Her caring for him like this was so soothing, and he sensed she drew her own strength from holding him.

In the dark, they listened to the rain still pounding outside, still sending a comforting slow Latin beat to their ears.

"Booth?" Brennan whispered.

"Yeah, Baby?" She stilled her movements and glanced down at him.

"I want you to move back in. I find that being apart from you like this has become untenable, especially as you have shown the necessary remorse to permanently resolve your addition."

"I have. But Bones, really? I can come home?" He turned his head to look at her, his expression happy, yet surprised.

"Yes. But you have to promise me, you will keep going to GA meetings, and you will come to me any time you feel you might slip, OK? Let me be there, Booth. Let me be your wife. Let me be your partner."

"I will, Bones, I will."



Reference: blog/brain-babble/201501/smells-ring-bells-how-smell-triggers-memories-and-emotions

Constructive reviews greatly appreciated. :)