Ties That Bind
by Tesla

"So, I just know that you're a total romantic behind that cynical exterior," Angela teased.

"What? No, I'm all cynical. And, why are you at my counter?" Booth asked.

Angela smiled. "Oh, don't be so stuffy. Besides, I wanted to see what Sid brought you."

"Hot apple pie," Booth said, with satisfaction. He looked up at Sid, and frowned again. "Hey!"

"Pie for me, too?" Angela said, delighted. "Sid! You're an angel!"

Sid winked and went back to the end of the bar, to watch his miniature television.

"Why this sudden attack on my exterior?" Booth asked, stabbing his fork into his slice of pie.

"Oh, I was just thinking about your skinny ties," Angela said.

"Yeah? You like 'em?" Booth asked, mollified.

"Oh, yes. In fact, I think it would be sexy to be tied up with them." She gave Booth a sideways look out of the corners of her eyes.

Booth put his fork down, and stroked the narrow maroon tie. "Are you kidding me? These babies are vintage. They'd never take the strain." He forked another bite of pie, and looked at her, chewing.

"How about the cuffs, then?" Angela asked. "Real FBI handcuffs, they'd take the strain."

Booth scowled at her, and hunched his shoulders as if he thought she'd grab at his pockets. "No! My cuffs are--they're business." He ate another bite. "Besides, I don't think they're--"

"Romantic?" she asked.

"Sexy," he said, flatly. "I've seen handcuffs used in way too many ways to think it'd be fun to use them for sex."

She started to tease him into speech, but then, she closed her mouth. Instead, she moved her hand, and brushed his shirt cuff with her fingertips. "Speaking of cuffs--you never button these," she said.

"Yeah, " he said. "It--my sleeves don't catch, you know? When I have to draw on someone."

"And it feels good," Angela said. "The material feels good on your hands, right? You have to be aware that you have very attractive hands."

One side of Booth's mouth curved up. "I am," he said. He turned, leaning one elbow on the bar, turning his torso towards her. "And, you, Angela---you're double-bluffing. You're just as romantic as you pretend to be."

"So?" she asked, her forefinger trailing around the cuff, and brushing his wrist. He turned his hand up, and she touched the tattoo. "Fate," she said. "Right?"

"Right," he agreed, and held his wrist out for her to trace the inked character.

"You're really a swashbuckler in an expensive suit," Angela said, bending her head. "Look how you drape your jacket over your holster--- in fact, look how you wear a waist holster instead of a shoulder holster."

He shrugged, not quite smirking. "Don't need to conceal the fact that I'm armed."

"Oh, you don't," Angela said. "Not at all. And, let me say, you make Kevlar look good."

"You make your squint smock look good," he said, and they both immediately burst out laughing.

She let go---reluctantly---of his forearm, and returned to her pie. "Mmm, apple-cranberry!"

"Raisins and walnuts, too," Booth said.

"I should really take this home and finish it," she said. "You're waiting for Parker, right?"

He sighed. "Well, Rebecca brought him, but the poor little guy's got a cold. I was going to take him swimming, but he doesn't need to risk an ear infection, I thought, so we've swapped weekends. He was ready to go back home and sleep."

"Poor little guy," Angela said. "I hope he wasn't too disappointed?"

"Yeah, but, you know, at least I knew he was really sick and it wasn't his mom just putting me off."

Angela put her hand on his forearm again, and squeezed it.


After that evening, Booth called Angela's extension at the Jeffersonian, when he couldn't reach Brennan----or when he could , but wanted to complain about Brennan. "You two are so Mulder and Scully," she told him, once.

He chuckled, a funny little laugh, almost a giggle. "Yeah, but I'm Scully, right? And I did not say that."

"Yeah, yeah, you're totally Scully. You want us squints to show you before you believe it, but Brennan is the agnostic, and the one with the degree."

"As long as I'm the one with the gun," Booth said.

Which made complete sense, when Brennan shared that he'd been a Sniper and a Ranger. She seemed to remember that Mulder kept losing his gun. "But you do have an ankle holster? Because I would be absolutely disappointed if you didn't."

"Yep," Booth said.

Just then, Zach came up behind her. "Is that Booth? I have a question for him."

"No!" Booth hissed into the phone. "I can't handle one more sex question---can't we take up a collection and hire him a hooker?"

"No," she said to them both. "That's demented," to Booth.

"We could get a very nice girl, one who wears a plaid pleated skirt and kneesocks," Booth said. "One who wouldn't scare him."

As Zack returned to the lab, Angela said, "Is that supposed to be his fantasy or yours? And I can hear you smirking. Oh, wait, Brennan's just come in."

"Good," Booth said. "Talk to you later, Angela."

"Later," she echoed.


"Angela, I am not making a play for Booth," Brennan said. "I'm perfectly happy with how we relate now ."

"You call it relating," Angela said. "Honey, I swear! He's hot, he's a sweetheart, and he's totally---"

"My friend," Brennan said, holding up one palm. "He's my friend , Angela. I don't have that many friends." She gave Angela an earnest, appealing look. "Why would I want to turn him into a lover?"

"They're not mutually exclusive," Angela said.

"Maybe not to you, Angela," Brennan said, and squared her shoulders. "Besides, we're too opposite for such an intimate relationship."

"Hmm," Angela said, unconvinced.


"This car has had it," Booth said, slamming the hood of Angela's car. "You'll just have to get it towed away."

"I killed it!" Angela exclaimed, her palms on her face in "Home Alone" fashion.

"I think it died of old age," Booth said. "You got anything I can wipe my hands on?"

"Tee-shirt in my gym bag," Angela said, rummaging. "I got it for donating to the friends of the animal shelter." She handed him the old shirt, and he wiped the oil from his hands. "Well, how about completing the rescue? Give me a ride home?"

"Sure," Booth said, and picked up her portfolio. He opened the door of his SUV, and put the portfolio on the back seat.

"Hey," Angela said. "I'll cook you dinner. I have steak."

They were at the exit to the parking garage, and Booth shook his sunglasses open. "If you have steaks, I'll cook." He put on the sunglasses.


It was difficult to understand how Booth's looking for dental floss in her bathroom led to Angela looking to see if Booth had any more tattoos, but the bathroom was in her bedroom, and she had put clean sheets on the bed the night before.


"Stop calling me Booth," Booth said. "Or I start calling you Montenegro." The stern voice would be more effective, if he hadn't been standing bare-assed in her kitchen, drinking the last of the orange juice from the jug.

"You have such a sweet ass," Angela said, patting it.

Booth chuckled. He set the empty jug on the kitchen counter, and then swatted her on her own ass. She jumped, and bolted back to the bedroom.

Later, they were both under the sheet, one of Booth's large feet sticking out. "B---Seeley, I have to say that your feet aren't false advertising," Angela said, contentedly.

"Right back atcha, babe," Booth said, sleepily. He turned on his side, and put one hand on her hip, rubbing the cotton sheet with his thumb. They grinned at each other. "I love your dimples," he said. "Your smile. Great smile."

"Charm smile?" she teased.

"Hell, yeah." He inched closer----she had just known he'd be such fun in bed!---and lifted his hand to trace her lips with one finger. She kissed his fingers, and he gave her a very sweet smile.


"No stages," Seeley said, reading the newspaper. "Don't try that stages shit with me, now. A little head's up, and I'll just go back to my lonely---ow!"

"Lonely! When you already had a spare toothbrush in the bathroom!"

"It's from the dentist, " he said peacefully. "Can I turn around, now?"


He turned around, and stared.

Angela blushed, and turned her feet, a little pigeon-toed. She was wearing a short plaid pleated skirt, knee-socks, Mary Janes, and a sweater over a white shirt. "You did say this was---"

"Oh, yeah," he said. "You just need one thing." He loosened his tie- --a skinny black one with a tiny white ace----and pulled it off his neck, still tied. He looped it around her neck, and under the collar. "There you are, Catholic school girl."

"I have a confession, then," she said. "I was one." She felt his hand on the hem of the skirt.

"A good parochial education makes the best rebels," Seeley remarked, and then jumped as his trailing fingers found bare skin from knee to hip.


The next morning, Angela was folding and packing up her schoolgirl uniform. "Sweater, skirt, blouse, socks," she said, "That's cleared away."

"Forgot something," he said. He handed her the black tie.

"One of your vintage ties?" she said, running it through her fingers. "Seeley!"

"Never know when you might want to tie someone up," he said.

"Think it'll stand the strain?"

"Just might."


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