Author's Note: Yes, I have finally returned! Your sequel is here! Thank you to those reader's who followed my previous story 'When You're Gone' and persuaded me to continue. This is for you! For this story, I have three goals: (1) Create a deeper, more intricate plot line (2) Delve deeper into those original characters who, up until now, are simply faces with a name (3) Update more frequently. Now for those of you who remember how sadly inconsistent updates were previously, please try not to jump squealing out of your seats. I'll try my very hardest not to disappoint you on that account, but no promises. I do, however, have my story mapped out this time. AND, I have a beta! *Cheers wildly* Thanks Amanda, you're my hero!! Remember, this is a Sequel, so if you haven't read 'When You're Gone', you may be a little lost as there is quite a few characters that are not seen in the series. That said, I hope everyone enjoys!! As always, no copyright infringement is intended.

Preface

Talkin' you down from ledges to stay with me
I'll touch your sharpest edges
I'll be the one that holds your hand when you bleed
Falling off in pieces like you do
I would hand them back to you

Suzie McNeil – Broken and Beautiful

Hours may have past, Brennan did not know. Time, her tears, the roomful of eyes watching them - they held no importance. Everything was insignificant. Everything except him.

At some point her hand had weaved itself into his hair, using its grip to pull him more tightly against her. He, however, had already buried his face so deeply in the crook of her neck and his hands were clutching so firmly at her back that she figured her action had little effect on his relative position to her. It made her feel better though, as if she was actually comforting him and not just sitting there dumbly with tears rolling off her cheeks.

She had always rejected the idea that people could break. Physically, of course, she knew too well that it was very, very possible, but emotionally it was simply illogical. The scarce few people throughout her life who had managed to get close enough to her, would tell her that she had been broken - shattered on that fateful day when her parents decided to embark upon some last minute Christmas shopping. She denied it relentlessly - she had been hurt, not broken. And each time fear would fuel her to push the person away because somewhere deep down she knew it was true, and only people she allowed too close were able to see. Yes, way deep down she knew, yet it was not until this very moment, when her partner was all that held any significance, that she truly believed.

With every one of his shuddery breaths and every single body-wracking sob, she felt an invisible knife cut in further and further until she was sure she'd soon be cut clean in two.

His tearful mumbles had long since become incoherent, but she still made no effort to reassure him that all would be well. They both knew it was over. The danger was gone. They themselves had been the ones to see to that. Instead, the only words she spoke were a reminder that she was there. Always there.

Emotions coursed through her, morphing and entwining until no one of them was distinguishable without the other. She was furious at the people who did this to them - to him, terrified that this would change everything he held dear in his life and, admittedly, slightly panicked at the role-reversal of the comforted to the comforter.

He had been silent for quite some time, but for his uneven breaths, so when he finally spoke it startled her back to their position, crumpled on the floor in the front hall. His lips formed one word - his name for her - against the skin of her collarbone in a voice so painfully different from the strong and unbreakable man she knew. A plea. But she had no idea how to fix what had broke.

Desperation quickly consumed her until she was drowning. Her silent tears dissolved into a fit of sobs, spurring his to return. Through his own broken breaths he reminded her to breathe as she tried to choke out apologizes for incidents in which she had no control. Time continued on just as insignificantly as before; all that existed was the other as they shared what little shards of strength they still had until it was impossible to distinguish who it was that was comforting who.

She refused to allow her mind to dwell on what they had come so close to losing that day, for his everything, was her everything now. They were partners; each, essentially, only one half of a whole on their own. Together they made up a single being. And, as it is with anything, when one half breaks, the other is never quite the same.

A/N: And that's all she wrote! Intrigued? Please review and let me know!