and this is number four, this assumption

(The state of being dead has many names: meet your Maker for the poetic; gone home for the religious; dimensionally challenged for the cynics; put to sleep for the euthanized and for the children.

This, he thinks, this is real death—the finality of it; the silence.)


He'd made his first kill early.

That wasn't when logic and death first made his acquaintance—the first time bubbled from the top of a stainless steel cauldron with an off-white human skull in tow. The first time was an eight-year-old crushed, suffocated and scattered in a field overgrown with long grass and lilies; hands shaking with a jawbone lowered into velvet. The first time, and he blinks as Dr. Brennan lowers her face to his; he catches the slightest scent of antiseptic solution and shudders at the strange sensation of saltwater down his cheek.

It's her eyes, he thinks, her eyes, blue-green, anthropologically attractive, interesting to him only because of pigmentation and the reflection of light and how she manipulates it—

-- how she manipulates it, but he has to stop; she looks at him the way she's never looked at Booth (he knows); shiver down his spine.

(assumption number one, she begins, and he knows this game.)


fin.