"Piece of the Puzzle" by Krissy Mae Anderson

Summary: Seeley Booth is both an open book and a closely kept secret.
Rating: T
Spoilers: "Two Bodies In The Lab"
Disclaimer: Booth and Brennan are not mine - I'm just borrowing them for a bit of angst!


Seeley Booth is both an open book and a closely kept secret, Dr. Temperance Brennan thinks as she sits by his bedside and watches him sleep. Who would have thought several months ago that the annoying FBI agent would grow on her? Certainly not Dr. Brennan herself. But Seeley has become a part of her routine now, just as brushing her hair or eating breakfast. He's dropped some of his macho bullshit act, and she, in turn, has become more open with him. But still, she feels like he knows way more about her than she does about him.

The story of her life is simple – parents vanish, she immerses herself in her studies, becomes the best and the brightest in her field, all facts and files and books and documents, no mystery there. Seeley's different – he is more like a mystery to solve, a puzzle to piece together with important pieces missing. Temperance wishes she would not think of everything in terms of pieces, but her job is piecing things together, be they bones or pieces of the past. Seeley is a case to solve, a priority case with careful research, a case like no other she has had before. She has collected bits and pieces of Booth's past and present that she knows or can guess at, but they don't make sense yet, like bone shards that need to be washed and cleaned and painstakingly put together. Seeley can be quite the asshole, but he also can be almost accused of being overtly sensitive some times. He can shoot someone in the heart from across a crowded room if need be, but he loves his son and is a great father. There's a missing piece that ties everything together, and Temperance doesn't have it yet.

She has gotten a look at his x-rays at the hospital, and they had told her more than Seeley ever would have of his own volition. She shouldn't've told him what she saw – but she couldn't stay quiet – she felt indignant at whatever asshole that had dared to hurt her friend. Booth has become her friend, and she can now admit this to herself. But he, her friend, has gotten hurt because of her, and nothing he says will convince her otherwise. She looks at the bruises on his face and a tear rolls down her cheek before she can blink it away. I almost died, she thinks, and he almost died, and all of this because of some damned bones, bones of contention worth god knows how many lives… Temperance forces the thought back into the dark part of her mind where all bad thoughts are stored away.

"You're still here?" Seeley mumbles from the bed, rubbing at his eyes with his uninjured arm and wincing. He still looks like crap, but he's smiling, and Temperance can't help but smile back.

"Yeah," she says, running a hand through her tangled hair. "Lost track of time. I think I finally fell asleep after the giant spider attacked Godzilla."

"I conked out sometime during his fight with King Kong." Seeley looks up at the TV screen, and grins. "Oh, cool! Godzilla Versus Mothra is next! That's one of my favorites." His stomach growls, and his grin only grows wider. "Hey, can you grab me a pudding before it starts – and help yourself to some, too – the chocolate ones are really good. Just tell the nurse I want extra."

"Be right back," Temperance says, and walks out of his hospital room, the smile still on her face. They were hurt – but they survived, and that's what matters in the end. She takes two chocolate puddings from the nurse, who is criminally perky for someone awake at 4 a.m., and as she walks back, she mentally adds more pieces to Seeley's puzzle - Godzilla movies and chocolate pudding. She is still a long way to completing it, but she knows that one day, the last piece will fall in place.