Keep reading, even if the first chapter breaks your heart, I promise by the third it will be worth it.

A/N: I'm not really sure how Marshals do this so I hope you'll forgive any inaccuracies

"Mrs. Booth?"

"It's Dr. Brennan but Seeley Booth is my husband." Brennan opened the door a little wider and eyed the men in her hallway wearily.

"I'm Marshal Scott and this is Deputy Davidson. May we come in?"

Brennan swept her gaze over them once more before giving a curt nod and widening the opening for them to enter the apartment. She didn't even think to check the hallway for the person she'd actually been waiting for, the babysitter.

"Mommy!" A 2-year-old boy, the spitting image of his older brother except for bright blue eyes, came barreling out of his bedroom, blonde curls flopping in the breeze. Mathew didn't even notice the strangers settling into the couch as he hugged his mother's legs. Dressed in a blue and red striped Elmo shirt and pull-up training underwear, he looked up at her, stretching his little arms as high as they would go.

"Shoe! Shoe!" He yelped, followed by a string of unintelligible babbling Brennan leaned over and lifted the boy to her hip, taking the Velcro shoe from his hand.

"What is this about?" She asked, keeping her voice steady despite the growing dread in her stomach. The men glanced nervously at the ground, the wall and Brennan's face. Her stomach lurched, afraid she already knew what they were there to say.

"Maybe you want to put him in his room Mrs…Dr. Brennan."

Brennan glanced at Mathew who had suddenly produced a Tonka Truck and was studying it carefully.

"No. If it's about Booth then he can stay. He's his son." She sat down across from them in a chair and Mathew straddled her lap, still mumbling nonsense to himself.

The Marshal cleared his throat.

"Dr. Brennan, I'm afraid we have…um, some bad news…it seems…"

He fumbled over his words and Brennan grew impatient. She didn't need it broken to her softly, she just needed to know for sure. His letters had stopped two weeks ago.

"Just say it please." She said evenly.

The men were surprised by her strength, her voice didn't even waver. Of course, they couldn't see that in order to keep her voice steady Brennan was squeezing her nails into the palms of her hands.

"Ma'am…Captain Seeley Booth was killed three weeks ago by a roadside IED."

Brennan blinked twice as silence descended. She stared straight ahead at a clock on the far wall. A clock that seemed to have stopped.

"Get out." She whispered, the men glanced at each other , unsure of what to do.

"Get out!" She screamed suddenly, suprising Mathew who immediately started to cry. Brennan hugged her son to her and buried her face in his hair, her chest was closing in on itself.

Faintly in the back of her mind she heard. "We're very sorry for your loss." And then the sound of metal on the wooden table in front of her followed by the click of the front door closing.

Her breathing became sporadic and labored as she held back sobs, beat them down into her lungs. Mathew had calmed down and squirmed, uncomfortable in the tight hold his mother had on him. After a few seconds she let him slide off her lap.

"Shoe! Shoe!" He screamed, running with heavy footsteps back to his room.

Brennan stared ahead of her at a medal lying peacefully on the coffee table. It held a gold American Eagle engraving enclosed in a ring of blue. Attached to it was a ribbon with a thick stripe of white down the middle, a thin stripe of blue on both sides and a stripe of red on either side of those. On the ring around the eagle were the words 'For Distinguished Service'. Brennan reached forward to pick it up.

It wasn't until her slender fingers touched the cold metal and she felt all that was left of him sliding across her skin that she fell apart.

The tears finally started falling, the sobs racked her body with such force she thought they might never stop. Her chest constricted and her lungs found it hard to draw in air. Her heart slammed against her chest, pounding itself into oblivion. Her head started to ache and she trembled all over. Maybe it was all over.

She wrapped her fingers around the medal and brought it to her chest.

She told herself to stop crying. She needed to compose herself, she needed to be strong. Brennan ordered the tears to stop flowing and the sobs to stop choking her. Slowly, they did.

She needed to be strong. For herself. For Mathew. Brennan sucked in her breath as one of her hands found it's way to her noticeably swollen belly. For the baby Booth would never get the chance to meet.

Put your heart in a box Brennan. They need you.

She looked up at a picture on the wall. Booth had his arm around Brennan's shoulder while Mathew sat on his bicep, little fists raised high in triumph after attending one of Parker's football games. She realized the smile in that picture would never grace her lips again.

I am Temperance Brennan. I am a Forensic Anthropologist at the Jeffersonian Institute. I am a mother. My heart is in a locked box. Booth is gone. He left me here to fend for myself. He took the key to the box with him.

Brennan took a deep breath. She was always telling everyone how she could take care of herself.

It was time to prove it.

She clenched Booth's medal in her hand and stood, heading toward Mathew's room to finish dressing him so she could get ready to go.

She was due at the lab in an hour.

I'm sure there will be people who think Brennan was too cold, but I figure after hearing tragic news like this, she would be shocked and horrified, yes. But then the scientist, the wounded woman in her would take over and shut down her emotions. I figure it's the only way she would be able to function. R&R