Disclaimer: If I owned the show oh the fun I would have, but then again if I ruled the worl I would need to clone David Boreanaz so I could have kept Angel on the air as well as this. Not that two of him would be so horrible. Also if I had the power I'd find Zach a nice girl who can deal with all his oddities and "can teach him how to make love" so I think it is fairly clear since none of that had happened this is not my universe, but I'm working on the portal to find me a world to rule.
Warning: Contains swearing, nothing very bad but it is there. Oh and character death too.

Mahogany Box
by Moonbeam

Booth stared at the mahogany wood, and thought about the person who was encased in the coffin. Inside was burgundy silk and she wore her favourite dress, something so red he always called it her blood dress. But she did not like blood. Bones were her thing.

He had called her Bones from the moment he meet her when she looked at a skeleton and told him things only written down inside the folder clamped under his elbow. From that day forth regardless of her asking him not to he called her that she was Bones. They were her first love, the one that had allowed her to make it through being abandoned by the parents and brother and what dragged her out of the vicious cycle seen so regularly with foster system kids. She was smart and she never wanted someone else to not know where their loved ones were, so she worked hard at becoming more knowledgeable than everyone else when it came to bones but she worked so hard she missed the world around her. That first day he knew she knew things and understood things he would never be able to fathom but that never stopped him from realising she needed to be taught things other thirty year old women knew.

The first time she had said those words to him he thought she was mocking him, this genius girl in the blue overalls with eyes so blue he was mesmerised was telling him she did not know who Skelator was. He had not believed her until later when the nerdy looking guy who had followed her around and did as she told all day explained the reference to her. He knew then that she was a strange woman. But he had no idea just how fascinating he would find her.

He said she could help him in the field to get her to look at the damn bones, then she had to go and shoot the murderer in a room full of gasoline with a stalker in the next room. And she had not even told the squints where the hell she was going. If he had not been able to decipher the ramblings of the strange little team she had assembled then that day may have turned out differently.

Then before he knew it she was there on every case and he was in her lab almost as much as he was in his own office and he started keeping a fresh shirt in her drawer as well as his own. Then the sick son of a bitch with the key fetish had struck again and a man who he had trusted tried to kill her. He was grateful to this day that he had been the one to open that door. Even if it had killed him he thinks maybe he would be glad anyway up in heaven knowing she would have caught both of them and closed the case that had haunted him, like all his unsolved ones. But he had lived and put her in the care of a man who had betrayed his trust and tried to kill her. That was the first time he realised they were a team, all five of them. In that little car with the pain expanding to each and every bone in his body, all of which she had examined only the day before he realised he had come to rely on their skills to help him get the bad guy quicker. That thought made him realise what he would be losing if he did not get to her in time, if he could not correct his mistake after sending her off with the bad guy. Then he saw the keys and he felt a tinge of hope, she was there and he would save her God

had sent her to him so that they could save people and send the criminals to jail. So he would save her. But seeing her hanging from that hook still made his heart skip and he could still see it as clearly as if he were watching it right now. He could not remember raising the gun or aiming, not that he even had to anymore, his body knew how to take the most effective shot, and pain was more important than death in this instance, then he was there trying to free her but his beaten and bruised body contained no strength to lift her normally insubstantial weight. He'd dropped to his knees in defeat and used his whole body to lift nothing more than her arms. He had wanted to hold her as tightly as she gripped him when her hands were free and she was slumped to the ground with him. All he could do was raise a too weak arm and reassure her, and himself, that he was in time and that he had saved her and that she did not need to worry anymore because she was his responsibility now and he would always be there to save her. And even as he thought it he knew she would argue with him for days that she could defend herself and he knew that but she was a member of his team and he protected his team, no matter what. He had lived by that code for so many years it did not matter that many on his current team were more annoying than helpful. They were HIS team and he would protect them.

She finally stopped asking him to stop calling her Bones realising it did not matter. Then another agent worked with them, dared to call her Bones. He did not understand getting reamed out by his ranking officer about the level of respect that she deserved and the fact he should show her that respect by calling her Dr Brennan, Temperance only if she permitted it. She had worked long and hard to earn her PhDs so that she would be able to help the FBI solve these cases and he should remember that if he wanted to be a part of the team; he would have to learn to respect her and the rest of the squints. All that young officer knew was that his boss was a hypocrite and that he would never call a scientist anything derogatory in front of him again.

If he was modest he would say he was a good sniper, if he was honest he could give you stats of his time in the army, none of which he was proud of but the job had to be done. He remembered the first time he had seen her at a gun range, she was good with a hand gun, knew how to inflict damage without killing and also how to take the killing shot. He had missed the head that day. He did not want her to ask questions, she knew he was a sniper but he did not want her to know everything still unsure if he could trust her with that yet. Then they were standing on a mezzanine looking at a man holding a bomb and it did not matter who was watching so long as he got the right guy. And she did it, what he could not do, all his training told him to stay quiet, wait for the kill confirmation and then take the shot that would end the crisis. She did not have the training or the voice of a sniper instructor still floating through her mind. She called out, provided him with a confirmation, all it took was one shot and the bomber was down, the threat neutralised and one more body on his redemption list. It had never mattered to him that the men he was sent to kill or was forced to kill were bad people, sure that each of them had some redeeming quality, all he knew were the commandments and the fact that he had taken a human life. So every day he woke up and put on a suit and went out to catch bad men and save innocent people. He knew of no other

way to apologise to a mother or father, sister, brother, cousin, wife, husband or child from whom he had taken a loved one.

She did not understand religion, she did not believe in things she could not prove, she was a scientist. The world she lived in, the world of bones and fact had taught her to trust only the things she could see, smell, taste, hear or touch. That she could prove on paper and experience. He believed in the things you could not see, the way that people thought and reacted. The things that drove them, she always related it back to 'subtle indicators' that he was adept at reading. But he knew that it was more than that, it was experience and knowledge of the world outside of a lab or an office. He knew the world of men, she knew the world of science and in that they complimented each other. That was what made working together so easy and so frustrating. Where she saw the how he was able to see the why, was able to look past evidence to the people and put the puzzle together with piece she could never see. But they fought; she was too rigid, used to the world inside her glass doors, where there were procedures for everything and everyone knew them and did not do things any other way. He was just as rigid, used to people doing what he told them to do, or following the rules set down by the army, the FBI, but he knew how to push them in the right direction to get what he wanted. He had to teach her that, sometimes you have to do something incorrectly to get the right answer.

'Nothing Brought People Together Like A Lung Fungus' and it was true. Over those two days more of themselves were exposed than ever before. He had always felt fairly confident pinpointing that as the time that they had become friends. She had annoyed him at the time, saying things that while not intended to be were hurtful, and he had probably been a little insensitive to her dislike of the holidays. But regardless of that the people there, all members of her team, had managed to turn what could have been a truly awful experience into one of the better ones he had had in the years preceding it. And the day that he began to like Zach, realising that as annoying as he could be he was a good guy and that was more important. Now, years later, Christmas was a large affair, Hodgins and Angela, Zach on the odd occasion, Parker, Mary, Zoey and David all together, with partners and children and spending the time together making the holidays about more than presents designed to 'promote yourself'. And it all started with a lung fungus.

The first eight months he knew her it was like talking to a French woman, he knew she understood him but every second word out of her mouth made him wish he carried a dictionary of weird scientific phrases around in his jacket pocket. Striate, curf marks, radial tubrocity were all terms he now understood and could use in sentences. He tried not to, pretended he still did not understand the terms that were being bantered around. He should not enjoy having things explained to him, but when she did she looked up and in that moment he was more important than the bones sitting in front of her. She wanted to impart knowledge and he wanted her attention so he ended up hearing the definition of words that he knew repeatedly. It gave him time to study her, when he found himself doing that he told himself he was checking to make sure she was looking after herself, that she was eating regardless of her bare cupboards that he was slowly filling, but now he could admit he just liked the way

her eyes would be completely focussed on him as she spoke the way her hands would move in tiny gestures and a smile would play along her lips as she used words he was not supposed to know to explain a term he was not supposed to know. It would have annoyed him if he had not been so captivated.

The day he pocketed an earring to protect her he assumed was an anomaly. But then a psychopath who liked to mutilate young girls started placing evidence that it was one of his team. He put himself on the line to keep them out of jail and working the case for as long as possible. They caught the son of a bitch and put him away, the fact he was captured with a few bruises was really his own fault. Again, the night she disappeared with Angela during a particularly disturbing case he broke at least six FBI codes and laws and before he was done she was back and safe with a broken arm, Angela had a twisted ankle and broken rib but they were both safe and he was in front of a review board. Every time he broke the rules he saved someone and he got the bad guy, but it did not look good on his record and gave his superiors every reason they could ever need not to promote him, and to fire him if they ever had the inclination. But that never stopped him from going where he needed to to protect his team and somehow he managed to keep his job, but then he never broken any big laws. Before he meet Bones there was no such thing as a big or little law but the longer he knew her the fact that she or another member of their team was in danger meant that sometimes he had to make a distinction.

Sometimes she was so confident, sure of herself and the world around her, sometimes she was just pretending. She was strong, so much stronger than he was but sometimes she was hiding the terror or the awkwardness that separated her from the world around her. She would admit it, she did not know what some things meant but outside of pop culture she hid the things that made her feel weak. The first time he realised that she had her arms wrapped around him as her kidnapper and would be murderer moaned in pain behind him. Then he began to see it when she was uncomfortable or unsure of the world around her, the slight indicators, and he found himself wanting to save her. To end the discomfort. He would explain to her what she did not recognise or understand. What she showed interest in he would introduce her to. Movies, songs, TV shows, anything he was able to expose her to. Before he knew it they would be sitting in his lounge room weekly to enjoy a movie or dinner or whatever was the new experience for the week. Then they were meeting at her house as well, she shared her things, tried to introduce him to world music, the wonder of documentaries, anything that she enjoyed. She did not like 'Rocky Horror Picture Show', if there are aliens why would they be transsexual, and humanoid and is there any reason that they would dress like that or have the ability to create life in such a way, there is no evidence of cloning and...the tirade had lasted longer than the movie. He did not like documentaries about war, he knew war, he did not need someone who had never stood next to a friend while they were shot, or protected a comrade to the detriment of himself to tell him about war, she had only suggested that once. Sometimes others would join them, for big movie nights, or actually trips out to the cinema, or theatre or whatever places their mutual tutoring took them. Then there were the nights or days eating at Sid's, before he knew it the only days when he did not see her were when he had Parker. Then she would sometimes come over when he had

Parker, and they would play or Parker would show her a movie that he would never think to make her watch, she adored 'The Little Mermaid'. And like that without trying she had wormed her way into his life without his ever even realising it.

The day she told him she was in love with him was like most days, he was cooking her dinner. Something his mum used to make him. He could still hear her, 'Booth I feel that I should inform you that I will not be coming to your house for dinner anymore as I seem to have developed amorous feelings for you.' She had then moved next to him and took the necessary cutlery out of the drawer. He had not been surprised by either her statement or the way that she had just blurted it out. What had him frozen was the fact he was in no way surprised, he knew this day was coming, knew that he was in love with her and that he had just been ignoring it without even realising it. He turned away from the meal when she returned to get a couple of glasses and stopped her with a hand on her soft waist. He'd kissed her then, and she had kissed him back. There was no moment of discomfort, or strangeness only a comforting feeling of the correct destination at the end of a journey, and the burn of passion that had been hiding beneath his skin and screaming out for her for longer than he knew. That night he had peeled her clothes off and watched as he body was revealed to him. And as he had stood in front of her naked and she looked at him with that stare that she reserved for the bones in her lab he felt the thrill of lust radiating off her and it pleased him and turned him on more than he could ever remember being. That night as he laid next to her in bed thinking about the journey that had delivered him here; to be holding the love of his life. And as he fell asleep he prayed to God that she would still be there in the morning.

The FBI had not been very pleased, had pulled him off the Jeffersonian liaison job, Bones had offered to end what they had, but he knew she did not want to and his job was suddenly not the most important thing in his life. So they started working apart, still seeing each other every night, every morning, until eventually they were living together without even sharing an address. It had taken six other agents for Director Cullen to call him into his office and inform him he was back on the Jeffersonian job. He had never pressed but he knew that those six agents had seen all the worst that his squints had to offer, and they had done it for him. But he refused to change how he treated them. They were a team and in order to be a team they each had to be themselves and rely on their strengths, so when he went back he refused to show how pleased he was even though he smiled a bit too big and was almost nice to Zach, but only for about five minutes.

He was old fashioned he believed in marriage, he had been ready to marry Rebecca, and he had cared for her but he loved Bones, so it was natural that he would ask her to marry him. It had taken him so long because as well as he knew her he just was not sure what her true stance was. Would she say yes because she loved him and he wanted to, or would she say yes because this was what she wanted? He had the ring for over six months before he forced himself to ask her, and even then it was in the middle of a fight. He was standing on one side of their dining room table her on the other a tub of ice cream melting between them as they 'spoke loudly' to one another about the fact that she should stop going off alone where he could not protect her, but he should not have to protect her she was capable of protecting

herself so he should stop acting like an alpha male. Why that forced him to ask her to marry him he still did not know but watching her standing there eyes alight, cheeks flushed telling him that he should stop treating her like his responsibility made him want to force her to see. She was his responsibility and he was hers and if she died something inside him would curl up and die. She said yes. Then told him that it was illogical to end a fight by proposing since it was counterintuitive. Fighting should not make someone want to send the rest of their life with their opponent. He had walked out and returned holding a part of socks from which he pulled a diamond ring. He dropped to his knee and asked again. This time when she said yes she did not query his decision to ask just said yes and kissed him. The next morning his kitchen floor had been covered in melted mint ice cream, the tiny chocolate chips remaining imbedded in his floor for weeks.

He had almost lost her more times than he could count. To another FBI agent, to the Grave Digger, to the man who had asked her to marry him before he realised he was in love with her, to sixteen different people who wanted her dead because she could expose them, because she was smarter than any criminal they had ever come across. Sometimes he thought about where his life would be if just one of those times he had been too late or if she was even a smidgeon dumber than she was. Every time he did he felt like someone was cutting out his heart but he would hear her in his head reminding him that this was illogical, she was not dead, she was lying beside him at night and she was sharing her life with him.

He had Parker, if he never had another child he was okay with that, so long as he was spending that life with Bones. But that did not mean he did not want to have any more children. He had always left that decision up to her she was the one who did not want children, if she changed her mind he knew she would make an amazing mother, and that child would have the best vocabulary in the area. A part of him believed that having children would help her heal, more than he could regardless of how much he tried. But he never really thought she would change her mind, she had been opposed to motherhood for as long as he had known her. She never showed any sign she had changed her mind until he walked in one day from work and found her cooking, the strange thing was that she seemed to be cooking spaghetti, usually when she cooked it took him three times to correctly pronounce the name of the dish and he had stopped asking what was in them as he found it was best not to know. When he had asked her why she was cooking it, she had simply explained that if she was going to be a mother then she should learn to cook "plain meals". He had assumed that meant she was pregnant, but she reassured him that she had simply decided she was ready to take that step, especially knowing what a good dad he was and that he would be there when she was unsure what to do. There were only two other days up to that time that he was quite that happy. The day Parker was born and the day he married Bones. They tried rather vigorously to make a baby that night but did not for three months. Eight and a half months later weighing 6 pounds, four ounces they had a baby girl named Mary Christine. Two years and seven months later they welcomed another little girl Zoey Michelle, seven pounds even. Four years later Bones fell pregnant again, this time with a little seven pound six ounce boy they named David Seeley. With Parker they were a complete family but she never cooked spaghetti again.

The day Parker had said his wedding vows she was sitting next to him, holding his hand watching his little boy pledge to love and care for his wife in the same way he had pledged to love and care for her, even before he had stood in front of a priest and declared it to the world. She had danced with him that evening as the parents were called up to join the couple after their first dance. She had tucked her head under his chin like she did every time they danced and he held her close. He still did not understand why that day had made him both sad and proud, he understood the proud, he was a big reason that Parker had turned into the man that he was and he had never been more sure of that then when he watched his son pick his new wife up and carry her across the puddle formed by the rain that superstition said was good luck.

Their first kiss under the mistletoe had made him feel something he could have never imagined. Kissing her was like taking all the best parts of every kiss he had ever had and rolling them up in cherry lip balm. The last time he kissed her, though he did not know it would be, still made him feel like that. He had kissed the only woman who had ever loved every part of him and who he had loved completely, surrendering hidden parts of himself to her; parts he had hidden fervently before that. He kissed her and went to sleep with his arm around her like he had almost every night for forty-six years but the next morning she was gone, the doctors said she had a heart attack in the middle of the night, she would have never woken up, but he did. At 5:03am he woke up and wondering what had woken him simply moved in bed and went back to sleep, they told him there was nothing he could have done, even if she was sitting in a hospital bed with the best doctors in the world at the bedside when it happened. That morning when he woke up he knew something was wrong, felt that something was lost it was not until he felt the soft skin of her neck with no pulse beneath that he realised what he had lost he would never be able to find again.

In that mahogany box was the live of his life, his partner, wife, teacher, student, friend, lover, the mother of his children and the most amazing person he had ever known. And she was gone, she was not sitting next to him holding his hand anymore and she never would again. He believed even if she did not that her soul was in heaven waiting for him. But that did not make this day, this week any easier, that knowledge would not comfort him tonight or any other night for the rest of his life as he went to bed alone and thought only of how much he missed her cold feet and the way that she sighed softly just before she fell asleep. He sat next to his children, grown and married and parents both established and expecting and knew that if he looked to the right he would see her in them, even Parker who she would have reminded him shared no DNA with her. All of them carried a little bit of her inside of them. He just hoped he had enough of her inside of him to last him however long he would remain on this Earth while she waited for him in heaven.

The End