Disclaimer: This time the song is What hurts the most by Rascall Flatts.

Author's Notes: Okay guys, I was gonna leave this one but I couldn't. I'm going on a 'school trip' tomorrow and as my friend lives near the school I'm going over her house for the night in about two hours time. We have to be in school for 6AM so... anyway, I just couldn't wait to get this uploaded so here ya go. XD

Thanks to obsessedwithspike for telling me about this song – I got my friend to download it for me and I loved it and decided to use it XD.

Chapter 14: Life Support. Coma. Kiss

Her pace was fast and her movements sharp as she made her way to the desk.

"Can I help you?" The receptionist–Amanda–said cheerily.

Temperance leaned forwards and tried desperately to swallow the lump in her throat before answering "is Doctor Adams available?"

"He is, I'll just-"

"Temperance," Dr. Adams came over; a smile on his face "is everything okay?"

Okay? How could anything be okay? She was about to do something she swore she wouldn't do and yet how could it feel so very right at the same time as so very wrong? How could it feel almost easy?

"I want to do it," she said firmly.

"Are you sure?" he asked gravely, his bright smile fading to an expression of sincerity.

I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house,

That don't bother me,

I can take a few tears now and then, and just –

Let 'em out,

I'm not afraid to cry every once in a while,

"I'm sure," she said resolutely "I'm sure," was she sure? Shouldn't she be? She was unsure because she was sure. How on earth after so long, after so much pain could she be sure that ending it this way would be the best thing?

Was she stealing again? If she didn't do this would he wake up?

"Very well," he nodded, it was times like this he hated his job, hated having to be the one to advise the grieving, having them on some level blaming him for telling them that their loved one didn't stand a chance "follow me,"

In silence she followed him down the corridor, every step leading her closer, every second one less chance that Booth had. She was going to kill him.

Please let him be awake when I get in there, let him have woken up. Don't make me do this, I can't do this, I'll hate myself.

But she had to do it, had to end it. She knew she, and Parker most definitely couldn't, live the rest of this life waiting, not knowing, never once being able to say whether or not he would wake up.

Chances were slim, they'd already been told that and now with Carter out of the way… there was no trigger, nothing that would wake him up. Months of suppressed logic, common sense, months of being blinded by love and living in a land of make believe and suddenly it was crashing down.

Suddenly she knew the best thing for everyone but that didn't stop it from hurting like she was being torn to pieces. Once he was gone she would never be whole again. He was her other half, her reason, her point, the thorn in her side and he had to go into a coma for her to realise that she loved him.

That she needed him. It brought a whole new perspective on the phrase: You never know what you've got until it's gone.

Even though goin' on with you gone,

Still upsets me,

There are days every now and again,

I pretend I'm okay but that's not what gets me,

Would things have been different if she'd realised sooner? Would any of this have happened if she'd told him how she felt? Her fear of being wrong, of not knowing, of having everything spin out of control was what stopped her only everything was out of control.

Rebecca was dead.

Booth was in a coma.

Parker was as good as orphaned.

And she was heartbroken.

"Everything's ready," Dr. Adams said quietly "we'll leave you now so you can say goodbye. Take as long as you need," he touched her arm in sympathy and she looked down at it.

Her arms were once more wrapped round her body imagining it was Booth holding her, keeping her safe she nodded, not trusting her voice enough to speak.

Dr. Adams nodded and he and the nurses he must have called in when she was off in her own little world left the room, softly drawing the door to a close as it shut behind them.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, looking at Booth, still the same, still unmoving. Still in a coma "I'm so sorry. Don't make me do this. Don't make me end your life. Wake up and fix it. Fix it. I'm begging you now Booth. Fix it. Fix me. You're the only one that can," You're the only one strong enough.

What hurts the most, was bein' so close,

And havin' so much to say,

And watchin' you walk away,

And never knowin' what could've been,

And not seein' that lovin' you,

Is what I was tryin' to do,

Temperance took a tentative step forwards and when nothing happened, what she was expecting she wasn't sure, she took a seat in the chair next to his bed, laying her purse on the bed next to him.

Touching him was so hard now, she trembled. Like kissing a corpse, like touching one too. He was so still yet so warm. Booth was never still for very long, always on the move, always doing something, fidgeting, examining things, talking. He never knew when to leave well enough alone.

Why? Why hadn't he left her alone? Why and how and he gotten in? She was always loosing people, the ones she loved, the ones she needed more than she needed herself.

She allowed her hand to hold his, letting their fingers intertwine, hers shaking, his pliant. His hand was so much bigger than hers, her hand looked like a child's compared to his.

"There are so many things I want to say to you but I guess I never will get that chance huh?" A small chuckle escaped her lips as she looked down at their hands then back at his sleeping face, a serious look once more on her own "Parker's great you know. You've got one amazing son, Booth; he's got a heart of gold. I couldn't have gotten this far without him," Parker, like an angel from heaven, one person that got her through the night and lit up a suddenly dark world with just a smile.

Warm, how could he be so warm when she felt so cold? So, so cold, not one that could be cured by central heating and blankets. One that was on the inside, one that could only be warmed by one person's touch, one person's arms, one person's voice.

"I need you to know something Booth. Something I haven't told anyone in a very long time," words that meant her opening herself up. It couldn't hurt any more than it did already right? "I love you," she said so quietly it was almost a whisper as she looked in earnest at his face "I love you,"

Temperance closed her eyes as tears began to spill over and roll down her face, so many tears, so much pain, so much for just one man. She hung her head; the salty water tickling her face as it trickled down it.

It's hard to deal with the pain of losin' you,

Everywhere I go, but I'm doing it,

It's hard to force that smile,

When I see our old friends and I'm alone,

She felt a single tear fall onto her hand and her eyes instantly opened, wide, as she looked down, had she just… there it was again, a gentle, barely there squeeze. The smallest amount of pressure around her hand. Was he… it couldn't be right? And again, harder this time, not noticeable with the human eye but she could feel it, soft as a heartbeat.

"Booth?" she choked, not daring to hope.

No answer, not a thing.

Had she imagined it? No, no she hadn't, she knew what having her hand squeezed felt like, she knew.

Releasing his hand and getting to her feet Temperance rushed to the door "he's waking up!" she blurted out.

Dr. Adams who was signing something on a clipboard someone was holding out to him through the pen down and rushed over to her, nurses on his heels.

"Are you sure?" he said as the nurses checked the machine and spoke to one another but Temperance wasn't listening to them "what happened?"

"He… he squeezed my hand," she said breathlessly, feeling uncertain, unsure, self-conscious.

"Did he say anything?" Dr. Adams exclaimed as he hurried over to the bed and took Booth's wrist, checking his pulse in time with his watch.

"No," she followed him "but he did squeeze my hand,"

"Seeley?' Dr. Adams said loudly "Seeley can you hear me?"

"There's no change on the monitors," the nurse reported.

Dr. Adams took a small torch from his pocket and pried open Booth's eye, shining it in then away again, in and away again "no change," he added, pocketing the torch.

Temperance watched as the puttered round Booth, checking things, talking, words that meant no sense. The clock on the wall ticking so loudly it was deafening. It wasn't a fluke, he was… was he? Bodies in the morgue often just sat up because of the acids still in their bodies and that happened to people in comas too so maybe they were right ... No!

Still harder getting up, getting dressed,

Livin' with this regret,

But I know if I could do it over,

I would trade,

Give away all the words that I saved,

In my heart,

That I left unspoken,

"Temperance," Dr. Adams said gravely causing her to jerk out of her reverie "he's not waking up,"

Her eyes narrowed and looked about ready to start spitting fire "get out," she said dangerously low "get out, get out, get out!" she screamed, pointing at the door "all of you get out! You can't do this! You can't tell me he's not going to wake up! I know he is! I felt it!"

"Let's go," Dr. Adams motioned to the nurses and ushered them out "I am sorry about Seeley, Temperance," he said looking at her as she stared, fists clenched at the bed.

Temperance looked at him furious "you don't get to say that name," she said, her voice getting even lower, even more dangerous "now get the hell out of my sight,"

Dr. Adams nodded, determined not to let himself be intimidated by her as he shut the door and left her and Booth to themselves.

"Why the hell are you doing this?" she screamed at Booth "you can't just leave me hanging, you can't just do something like that and then just leave me. I love you dammit now wake up and tell me you can hear me!"

What hurts the most, was bein' so close,

And havin' so much to say,

And watchin' you walk away,

And never knowin' what could've been,

And not seein' that lovin' you,

Is what I was tryin' to do,

Is what I was tryin' to do,

"What gives you the right to do this to me Booth? No one has ever done this, no one, no one has ever made me feel like this so don't you dare just leave me to deal because I can't!" she paused, she was so tired, she slept but only woke up more fatigued, even more exhausted. Even more tempted to just give in. "I can't," she pleaded.

She stood there for seconds, minutes maybe even hours, she didn't know, before she went and sat down again, calm but aching twice as much as before.

She took his hand again "you showed me once," she said "now show me again,"


"Booth please," she sobbed, voice breaking, tears flowing yet again. Would she ever stop crying?

What hurts the most, was bein' so close,

And havin' so much to say,

And watchin' you walk away,

And never knowin' what could've been,

And not seein' that lovin' you,

Is what I was tryin' to do,

Is what I was tryin' to do,

Tiredness swept over her in waves. It wouldn't hurt to sleep, if he woke he would wake her too surely, and if not? If not she would stay here until he did. Pulling the chair closer to the bed she folded her arms on the mattress, still holding his hand, her lifeline, and lay her head down, closing her eyes she let herself slip into the easiest sleep in months.

In a dimly lit room of a silent hospital one word broke through a slumbering anthropologist's dreams, waking her from both sleep and a daze she'd been in for too long to even recognise it was there at all.


The End

I'm gonna take a wild guess here and say that I'm on pain of death to do a sequel. It'll be called The Missing Piece if ya want me to continue. XD

Thank you to all the readers who have followed this from the beginning, to all of you who started reading any time since, and to any of you who read it in the future it's definitely been something I enjoyed doing. XD

If any of you have received email updates or are under the impression that this fiction is any longer than it is now, my apologies, I was simply doing a much needed, grammatical refit for the fiction.