Author's Note: I just got back to the United States after spending five days in Italy. Seeing Vatican City made me think about faith and in turn inspired this story.
All comments are greatly appreciated. Hope you enjoy!
Temperance Brennan was the most brilliant person he knew, but she was completely clueless about faith. She didn't believe in his god or religion and could give a dozen scientific reasons why. Sometimes he tried to discuss religion with her, to help her understand his point of view. Other times, when she said things like the "Christ myth" or called Jesus a zombie, he was too angry to argue with her. Would she ever understand? Would God ever be more than a word to her? Would religion ever be more than an anthropological phenomenon? Probably not. God was an unknown variable, and there wasn't any room for uncertainty in her concrete world of facts and figures.
Booth, on the other hand, needed to believe. He couldn't accept the idea that the universe had sprung up randomly; there had to be some plan, some reason for all the terrible things he had seen and experienced. Every night, before he went to sleep, he prayed that he might understand what those reasons were--why good people were being murdered while the bad guys lived and thrived. He prayed that he would catch those bastards before they killed again and, above all, he prayed for the safety of his loved ones: his parents, his son and the person who needed his prayers most-- his partner.
For all her intelligence Brennan was incredibly reckless. In their first year of working together she had assaulted, among others, a Homeland security agent, a senator's aide, and an El Salvadorian gang leader. She looked danger in the eye and didn't blink. He remembered trying to convince her to walk away from the Cugini case after she was almost shot. She refused and was nearly killed again by the treacherous Agent Kenton. When Booth realized that Kenton had taken her, he had prayed that he would reach her in time and he did, shooting Kenton just as he was preparing to shoot her. He would never forget the frightened look in her eyes, the sound of her sobs, or the way she had held him, squeezing his bruised ribs like Parker had squeezed his favorite teddy bear until the stuffing came out. He had never seen her that vulnerable and it terrified him.
He had prayed when she and Hodgins had been taken by the Gravedigger and all hope seemed lost. The squint squad was at a dead end with the evidence and he couldn't come up with the ransom. He could sell everything he owned, use all of his savings, take out the largest loan the banks would allow and still not come anywhere near eight million dollars. So he had prayed for help, and moments later Zack had his epiphany about their location. In his mind's eye he recalled how his heart had sunk when he looked out at the vast sandy plains, imagining her and Hodgins struggling to breathe somewhere below the surface. How could he get before they slipped away? He prayed for a sign and was rewarded with the sight of smoke rising from the earth. He raced to the source, not caring that no one was running behind him. With his own hands he clawed the earth and pulled her to freedom.
He often wondered why she had to endure so much. Maybe her suffering made her a better forensic anthropologist. She knew what it was like to be a victim and so she fought hard for the victims on her table. Maybe his suffering gave him the experiences he needed to be a better FBI agent and a better protector. If every person had a preordained role in life, protecting Brennan so she could do her job was definitely his. It was a responsibility he took very seriously, and so every night he said the same prayer: "Make me strong so I can be strong for her". Every morning, as he put on his suit and got ready for work, he took comfort in his faith. He knew that God was watching over him and Brennan, whether or not she would ever believe it.