Disclaimer: I own nothing…

Summary: He'd brought white roses.
Never trimmed the thorns.
By the time they left his hands, at least one had been stained red.
(Supernatural/Bones crossover.)

Spoilers: Supernatural - probably kind of through 4x01
Bones - None that I'm aware of, but be aware that really everything's fair game. Pretty sure there's nothing spoilery in here, though.

Rating: PG

Author's Note: Another Sam Winchester/Temperance Brennan fic. Follow-up to my previous fics, All The World Is Waiting For The Sun, I daren't speak of what I'm wishing uselessly, and It's Getting Cold (I dreamed we fell apart)... It's not really necessary to read the others first, I don't think. Frankly, they all kind of start in the middle of the whole thing.

I'm posting this one under Bones because it's Brennan's point of view. You'll probably consider it OOC. That's understandable. It's like that because I see her as opening up to Sam differently for reasons I haven't really written down (these four decided to come out before some of the earlier pieces I plan to put together). Hopefully it will still be somewhat enjoyable.

Lyrics and title from "A New Hope" by Broken Iris

Always just out of reach from my over frustrated, shameful hands:

She wonders sometimes if maybe she shouldn't be so cold.
She still hasn't completely opened herself back up to him.
But she's trying.
She's here.
Has been for three days.

He keeps telling her it wasn't Dean. Couldn't have been.
It was something imitating him. Shapeshifter. That makes sense. He keeps telling her that makes sense.

She thinks he's crazy.
He knows this. He's okay with it.
She's there. Doesn't matter if she thinks he's lost it.
And she gets that. He's been alone. Nobody there with him. No possibility of support or love, because he can't accept that from anyone. Not anymore.
Maybe not even then.
Because Dean is… was his protector. Always.
Without that, Sam has nothing.

She understands.
She's felt it herself. Parents gone, brother MIA.
She understands, and crazy or no, she's determined to be there for him.

She still doesn't know what to think of certain things. Imagines she never will.
But she knows he didn't kill his brother. She also knows that doesn't really make sense.
But she's sure of it.
She's seen him, knows him, and no matter what her mind may be whispering to her, her heart's just a little bit louder on this one.

She's starting to wonder if maybe she's going crazy.
And yet, every time she looks at him, she knows she's right. Knows he cares about her, knows how much he loved his brother.
Crazy or no, she's going to take care of him. She'd promised.

To your grave, I spoke
Holding a red, red rose
Gust of freezing cold air
Whispers to me, that you are gone

She remembers that day. When she told him she'd gotten a call from his dead brother.

He still insists she's wrong. It wasn't Dean.
But something in him had changed. She'd seen it.
He'd become less self-destructive. He'd held onto that tiny little shred with hope, and even if he didn't really believe it, something in him wouldn't let him let go.

He'd gone to his brother's grave that night.
She'd gone, too.

He'd brought white roses.
Never trimmed the thorns.
By the time they left his hands, at least one had been stained red.

Sometimes, while he sleeps, she watches him.
On occasion, sparse tears stain her cheeks.

She's not always there.
Wishes she could be.

Because when she goes and then comes back, she feels like she's losing him again.
And it scares her.

Once, when she comes back, she finds him outside the cheap motel, sitting against the side of the building, in the rain.
She's sure he's been crying.
He won't admit it, sets his face hard and pretends he doesn't want her there.

But he lets her pick him up and guide him inside with gentle hands that she hopes comfort.
Even if only a little.

When she's not with him, she thinks of him.
Doesn't show it. No one notices.

Except Angela. She's concerned. Doesn't think it's healthy; going back for him, every moment she has to herself. Spending weekends away in little secluded motels with a man who may well be crazy, and who Angela still believes probably murdered his own brother.

If there's one thing she's learned over the years, it's to take in everything Angela says and filter out that that doesn't work.
This doesn't work.
Sam is not dangerous.

Maybe if she keeps repeating it, she'll convince herself…

There are times she wonders how he managed to survive without Dean. Back when she wasn't around.

She watches him. Sees him after she spends a week away, and knows he's slipping back into that pattern of destruction.

Once, when it's particularly bad, she goes so far as to take an entire week off. Stays with him.
She's not sure what exactly compelled her to do it, but she imagines it was worth it the night he curls into her arms as the lay side by side. He never says a word, but he lets her see him cry.

It touches her.

Always, always asking the question why
Life is overrated but I
Never, never expected that I'd
Underestimated my love for you

She wants to know when exactly he managed to dig himself so deeply under her skin.
Wants to know why she cares so much.
He's crazy. She doesn't love him; doesn't even believe in love.

But she does care. More than she can understand.
She imagines maybe it's because, essentially, they're the same. Both broken, and lost, and maybe she's found herself, but for a while there, he had, too…
She thinks maybe if she can keep him sane, it might mean she won't ever go down that same road.
She doesn't want to become so broken and lost. Ever.

And she doesn't want this for him.
She wants him happy.
She wants to go back. Back to that first moment, those first weeks, months… even years. He was okay for a while. Good even. Back when he was at Stanford, and then, even when all he had was Dean.
She hadn't been a part of his life then; he had cut her out, but she knows he had been okay, and she wants that for him again. Wants to see him smile. It's been so long, she realizes. Maybe since Stanford.
And that seems wrong.
Sam Winchester had never been a happy, happy person, but he had been content back then and there had been times when that shy smile had just lit up everything around him.

She wonders if she'll ever see that smile again.

Spent a lifetime of holding on just to let go
I guess I'll spend another lifetime
Searching for a new hope

The first time she sees Dean is also the first time she sees danger in Sam.

She opens the door and recognizes him instantly. Doesn't know how. She's never seen him; not so much as a picture.
But she knows. Steps back instantly to let the two men on the other side of the door inside, glances to Sam, only her eyes moving.

There's a smile on Dean's lips. Not the cocky smirk she had always imagined. A soft, almost nervous little tilt of his lips, a hint of sadness shining among the relief that maybe she's imagining.
He looks an awful lot like Sam in that moment. Like the Sam she had known so long ago.
She's shocked, terrified when Sam goes after him with the knife; when Dean and the older man have to fight him off.
She realizes it's the first time it really registers that Sam had truly believed that the call hadn't been from his brother.

She's backed against the wall, frightened. Of Sam. For the very first time since the moment she met him.

But when they talk him down, when his face softens, and he realizes it's really Dean, really his brother, he breaks. Not in any way that should be noticeable. Probably not even to her, though she's sure Dean sees it. Sure because she sees the way he tries to lighten the mood. Sees the way he wraps Sam up tight in his arms, and even though Sam's bigger and he's got a good four inches on his brother, that hug makes him look small, because he's so desperate and he's holding on so tight and Dean's there holding him up.
She imagines this is how it's always been between them.

She thinks it's beautiful.

She leaves soon after.
Sam tells her it's okay if she stays.
She knows he's lying.
And it's okay.
He's okay.

So she slips away, almost unnoticed.
She thinks maybe this is it.
Almost hopes it.

Because he's okay.
His big brother is home, and all is right in his world.
He doesn't need her…

And all they ever seem to do is destroy one another.
But then, maybe she shouldn't be so cold…

Always, always just out of reach from my
Over frustrated, shameful hands
And I never, never expected that I
Would ever, no never take for granted our precious time