Title: Dying to Catch My Breath

Summary: Life is just one breath away.

Rating: T-rated because of violence. (Yes, there'll be some violence. -cue evil laughter-)

Genre: Drama/Friendship (for now)

Characters: Brennan, Booth, the rest of the Squint Squad. Oh, and Sully's there too.

Author's note: So this is it...My new multi-chap fic. This time it's just me, no other authors involved. Unless you count my proof-readers as co-writers...(Thanks for all the advice, M and Addictt!) This first chapter is kinda short. The others are all about 2,000 words long. I'm not going to reveal what the story is about just yet. You'll have to wait for the second chapter to find out. All I'm saying is that you should keep an eye on the timestamps. (I'm so proud of those!)

I'd like to dedicate this chapter to Jemb. She knows why. Is my present okay or not?

Disclaimer: Bones, its characters and whatever is connected to it doesn't belong to me. Only this plot line is entirely mine.

Chapter One
- On the Edge

Tuesday May 29th 2007 -- 03:22 p.m.

A gentle breeze ran through her hair, chasing it away from her face and over her shoulders. A couple of stray curls wrapped themselves around her neck. She let out a deep sigh and tilted her head to let the rays of light wash over her face. The sun and the wind took turns in warming up and cooling down her skin. It was a pleasant, and more than welcome, sensation.

This was something she had missed, this feeling of calm and utter content. Who could have guessed Temperance Brennan would one day stand at the edge of a cliff, simply enjoying the sun beating down on her while the wind played with her hair? All that occupied her mind was the next town and the feeling of freedom that rushed through her veins every time she sped over the highway. It almost seemed as if nothing had ever happened---almost, but not quite.

A tall dark-haired figure came up behind her. Brennan threw a furtive glance in his direction before turning back to the peaceful sight before her. She remained quiet as he placed himself beside her. The only indication she gave of acknowledging his presence was a featherlike stroke of her knuckles over the back of his hand.

They stared straight ahead, completely mesmerized by the depth of the cliff and the silence hanging around them. The contrast between the light breeze sneaking under their clothes and the wind that howled and roared at the bottom of the cliff was immense. It emphasized the heaviness of the thick layer of emotions that coated them. The wind that was violently pushing through cracks and holes below their feet was nothing compared to the storm raging inside of them. They were on the run. From who they had been. From what had happened. But mostly from who they were now.

Brennan crossed her arms and let out another deep sigh. "We will never forget what happened."

Nodding, he said, "I doubt we ever will." He reached up to brush the curls around her neck aside. It had become a regular habit for him to gently untangle her hair, just as it had become a habit of listening to her steady breathing. He'd never tire of hearing the air escape over her parted lips. It soothed him; it told him she was still with him. They both shivered at the contact of his warm fingers and her cold skin. "You're cold," he noted.

His words involuntarily triggered a memory she had carefully tucked away. Blood---there had been blood. Not just where it was supposed to be, but everywhere. It had pushed out of its confinement, and had poured upon their clothes, their hands, their faces…It had been seeping into the carpet, and had been dripping off the television set. There had even been blood spatters on the legs of the dining table. And someone had said that she was cold.

Brennan drew in a sharp breath. Block the memories. You know you can do it. Block them out. Make them disappear.And breathe. She inhaled and exhaled slowly. Never forget to breathe. Never. She cringed as another memory rushed through her mind. "Breathe, damn it," a voice had begged. "You have to breathe." She closed her eyes as the next memory washed over her. "Promise me you'll never forget to breathe. Promise me." She had promised. On everything she held dear, she had promised him to never forget to breathe---even if it hurt, even if it killed her...even if it made her happy.

They were on the run, trying to find some breathing room. They both needed some time away from everything they knew, to learn how to breathe again. The act itself wasn't difficult. Inhaling and exhaling in a steady manner was easy once you found the right rhythm. Dealing with the pain that came along with every gulp of air was what tortured them.

When Brennan opened her eyes again all evidence of hurt had been safely pushed aside. She filled her lungs with fresh air, a small smile finding its way to her mouth. Here she would be able to breathe again. It was just a matter of finding the right air. She cocked her head to the side to look at him. "Will we ever get over it?"


"It aches."

"I know." He brought his hand up to touch her shoulder, but let it fall down at his side again two seconds later when he sensed her stiffen.

"Not my shoulder, please," she softly said. "It still hurts."

He shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans while he nudged a piece of rock over the edge with the tip of his shoe. They watched it tumble down, only to come to a rest at the bottom where the wind swirled around. "Time will ease the pain," he assured her.

"I hate metaphors."

"A metaphor is all I have to offer, and all you're willing to accept right now."

Brennan hung her head. He was right. Her wounds would have to heal first, both the physical as the mental ones. The same went up for him. They'd have to run harder---and further away--- before they would be able to let someone else in again. But not all hope was lost. She had discovered something important in the last few days. She trusted him. She completely and utterly trusted him, even more so than before. And he trusted her. That was something she was desperately clinging onto. They would make it as long as they trusted each other.

A smile graced her lips as she fully turned to him. "That's not true." He cocked his eyebrows in response. "I'm accepting your trust."

He returned her gentle smile. "Thank you."

They spent a few more minutes staring down at the cliff face before they both zipped up their leather jackets. After one last look at the blue cloudless sky, they turned around. Their heavy shoes kicked up the sand when the pair retraced their steps to their motorcycle. The farther they moved away from the cliff, the more trouble Brennan had breathing. Without that soft breeze to caress her skin, all that was left now was the scorching sun. It burned through her jacket and set her wounds on fire.

She needed to breathe. A gulp of fresh air would calm her down and would make her forget about her sore muscles. While approaching their motorcycle, their footsteps throwing up clouds of dust against their jeans, she rolled her shoulders to get rid of the stiffness. She ached all over her body from all those countless, straining hours of pacing around. That was another thing she desperately wanted to forget---the endless pacing around, the nerves wrecking her body and spirit, the constant balancing between drowning and surviving. She was tired. She just needed some breathing room.

Brennan crawled onto the Harley Davidson behind him. After having put on their helmets, she wrapped her arms around his waist. Even though she had cringed when he had reached for her shoulder, she didn't hesitate to touch him. He made her feel safe, and feeling his muscles flex under her palms assured her that he was safe as well. She brought her head next to his and asked him, "How am I…are we…supposed to deal with this?"

He first slipped on his sunglasses before he kicked the engine to life. The loud roaring of the motorcycle chased the silence away and made every square inch of her skin tingle. "We move on, Bones. We try to move on."

Be honest. You thought it was Sully who was there with Brennan, hmm?