A/N: A very strange little... something... that is the result of a 'personal canon' meme making the rounds- hence the lame title - M for Maror (or my real name, which I'm not telling but starts with M also). Not quite meme, not entirely fic, though it reads enough like one that hey, why not? The numbers mean nothing except that it's how this looks in my head. And yes, this is the circumstances/future that exists in the little world of my other ficlet.

1) There is nothing special about the way they come together. No post-trauma sex, no deep and meaningful conversations. It is mundane; one minute everything is normal and the next everything is different.

2) They're together for almost a year before he brings Parker into the equation. It's not entirely on purpose, because Brennan wants to give him his time with his kid. But he's not entirely confident that they won't burn bright and fast and fizzle out just as suddenly as they came together, either.

3) He turns his apartment upside down looking for his favourite socks, and when he finds them at her place three weeks later he suggests that they move in together, because he's sick of not knowing whether any given thing he's looking for is actually in his apartment.

4) After five years, they buy a five bedroom townhouse in the Capitol Hill district, because it's close to work. He thinks it's ludicrous to buy such a big place, but she's right when she says they need their space.

5) She really does understand everything that he has given up or compromised on for her, which is why she lets him bring home disgusting hunks of rusted metal and play with them, why she sometimes surprises him by having some antique hauled out of a junk yard and put in their garage when he's at work. It makes him happy, and that makes her happy. And she'd never admit that to anyone but him, because it would ruin her image.

6) She gets pregnant once, but miscarries before either of them realise she ever was. She never tells him that she sometimes wonders what their life would be like if she hadn't, whether it would have been a boy or a girl, whether she would have risen to the occasion, whether it would have had his nose or her chin, her intelligence or his temperament. And he never tells her he's glad it turned out this way, because he's sure it would have torn them apart and he'd rather have her than another child.

7) Rebecca's husband gets transferred to Cincinnati when Parker is twelve, and he doesn't want to go. After months of arguments on all sides, Parker moves the rest of his things into his bedroom on the third floor. Things are good until he realises that Brennan is now more than just his father's girlfriend, that she has real control over his life. Booth wants to throttle them both, and they end up going to family counselling to get it all sorted out. Parker resents the implication and Brennan hates psychology, but Booth is just glad they're all together without him being forced to chose.

8) Parker expresses an interest in the arts early on. Booth would rather he take up football or baseball or even Science Club, he doesn't object when Brennan quietly provides him with whatever he needs as he tries to find his niche. A dozen instruments are taken up and tossed aside, painting and sculpting experimented with and abandoned, and when he finally settles on writing, Booth can't help but smile.

9) After one too many slip ups in the field, he decides it's time to turn it in. She waits a month before surprising him by bringing up foster care. Their first kid is eleven. Their second is sixteen. Neither stay long. Their third is actually a sibling group, nine, twelve, and fifteen. They stay longer. Two years in, they take a six year old girl because there's no other spots available for her; and though they never discussed adoption and they're neither of them in their prime, they both agree- she's not going anywhere.

10) He dies too soon. One day he's fine and the next day he isn't, and two days after that she sits in a church pew and stares blankly at the altar. Their daughter is fifteen and clutches at her hand like she's afraid she's going to disappear. Parker is thirty-five and holds her other hand like he used to when he was eight and didn't want anyone else to know he was still afraid of the dark. She's just grateful not to be alone.