A/N: So, I was watching the premiere of the new series Life on Mars last night, when I had a thought. The thought went along the lines of, "This is a really neat concept... what if something like that happened to Brennan?" Later that night, I was listening to music when the song Conversations With My Thirteen Year Old Self by Pink came on. At that point, the thought turned into inspiration. "What if," my Muse whispered, "Brennan could go back and talk to herself when she was in the system?" That inspiration turned into a rough idea... and that rough idea turned into this. :) Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Bones, Life on Mars, Fox, ABC, the song Conversations With My Thirteen Year Old Self, or anything even remotely related to the aforementioned. They are all the property of their respective owners.

You're angry, I know this
The world couldn't care less
You're lonely, I feel this
And you wish you were the best
No teachers, or guidance
And you always walk alone
You're crying at night when

Nobody else is home

Come over here and let me
hold your hand and hug you darling
I promise you that it won't always feel this bad
There are so many things I want to say to you
You're the girl I used to be
You little heart-broken, thirteen year old me...

- Conversations With My Thirteen Year Old Self, Pink

"You go that way, we'll cut him off in the middle," Booth said, pulling a small pistol from its holster around his calf and handing it to Brennan. She took it and nodded, taking off in the direction of their latest 'track star'. That morning, they had found exactly the evidence they needed to identify their killer—one lone hair absorbed into the dead girl's decomposing abdominal cavity, missed by two forensics teams before the Squints took the case. One hair—short, curly, dark brown. The victim's own hair was so similar in color, it could have easily been passed over, and was until Brennan found it. The texture, she decided, was not quite a match, and Cam's DNA results proved it—the hair did not belong to their victim, but to two-time assault convict Roy Loper.

Brennan rounded the corner, slipping on some loose gravel in the alleyway between the two apartment buildings and nearly losing her footing. She regained balance and saw their convict ahead, sprinting down the alley towards the main street. She shouted after him—an incoherent noise meant to startle, rather than convey a message. It worked; he stopped like a child caught in the act, turning around to see who was on his tracks, then took off again. It gave her a few moments to catch up, and she was close enough to hear his haggard breaths when he suddenly darted into a narrow, nearly concealed passage to his left.

She rounded the corner after him, and stopped short when something very solid collided with her face. It was his elbow, and given her speed and his sheer size, it was enough of a blow to knock her out cold. By the time she hit the ground, she was unconscious.

The first thing Brennan became aware of was the sensation that her head was spinning while her body remained still. She could almost hear it whirring around, like fan blades in the stillness of night. Slowly, though, the whirring noise began to form recognizable phonemes, which turned into real, coherent words.

Russ? Russ? Russ?

The voice was hesitant, worried. It sounded like someone calling out into the dark, or the thick undergrowth of the woods, as if part of a search party. It was that of a girl, maybe in her teens. Suddenly, Brennan's eyes shot open.

The voice was hers.

She was staring up at the ceiling, fan blades turning noiseless circles overhead. She recognized that fan—she had spent years as a child lying face-up on their old couch in the living room, watching its blades turn 'round and 'round. Trying to focus on one, but inevitably letting her eyes slip out of focus, allowing it all to go blurry.

She turned her head, and felt a sharp pain in the middle of her forehead. She screwed her eyes shut, then forced them open. She was staring at the legs of the coffee table she and Russ used to play chess on, when he would play her—usually he refused, since he always lost and it made him mad to lose at anything to his little sister. Beyond that, the couch she and Dad used to curl up on when they watched TV together. She would get out of the shower, throw her PJs on, and lay her head in his lap while they watched their shows. He would run his fingers through her hair until it dried, occasionally disrupting her with a loud belly laugh.

She pressed her hands against the ground, and found not asphalt, but the rough Berber carpeting that ran wall-to-wall throughout most of their old house. She turned over onto her stomach and propped herself up on her elbows, taking in the entire scene. Everything was just like it had been in 1991—the same carpet, the same TV with the bunny ears on top, since dad was always too cheap for cable. The same couch, the same books on the same dusty bookshelf—dusty because she was the only one who ever really sat down and read anything. Russ was always into sports, or video games, leaving the books to her. She remembered each of them; a book of Frost's poetry, a collection of Twain novels, and other assorted classics like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Swiss Family Robinson. She smiled when she saw a black hardcover book lying on the coffee table next to the couch; without having to read the gold lettering embossed on the spine, she knew it was One Thousand and One Nights, the collection of classic Middle Eastern tales. She had been about half-way through it when…

"Russ?" She heard the voice again, coming from up the stairs. Suddenly she felt her hands and feet go cold; now she remembered. She had been about halfway through it when her parents disappeared. She lifted herself to her feet, ignoring the throbbing in her head and slowly approaching the staircase. She took the steps one by one, knowing the fifth step would squeak under her weight. It did.

When she reached the top of the staircase, she heard footsteps in the room at the end of the hall, like pacing. Back and forth, closer and farther; from the door, to the bay window on the far wall of her room, to the edge of her bed in the corner, back to the door. The large triangular path she used to pace whenever she was nervous, or thinking, or both.

What in the hell is going on? she thought to herself, placing her two fingers on the inside of her left wrist. She felt her heartbeat there, sure as ever. She felt alive, alive and well… but everything she had seen indicated that it was the year 1991, late December. In reality—or at least the reality she thought to be true—it should have been late August, 2008. Seventeen years later than where she was now, standing on the other side of her old bedroom door, listening to a fifteen year old version of herself pace from the door, to the window, to the bed, to the door. It didn't make sense—was she dreaming? She pinched the skin on the inside of her upper arm, and flinched.

That hurt, she thought, watching the patch of pale skin turn bright pink. She was breathing, her heart was beating, she could feel pain. Her head throbbed horribly from the wallop she had received from Roy Loper in the alley… but where was the alley? Where was Roy Loper? And more importantly, where was she?

Suddenly the door was thrown open, and Brennan was face to face with herself, seventeen years younger.

The girl was fifteen, and tall, nearly as tall as the fully-grown Brennan. She had a smooth, pale face, with a few of her childhood freckles still lingering across the bridge of her nose. Presently her eyes were red-rimmed and glassy with tears, and she bit her bottom lip so hard that Brennan was afraid she was going to make it bleed.

"Hello?" the young Temperance said, and Brennan stepped back, feeling her breath catch in her chest. Same voice, same face, same hair that would never lay right. Same long fingers, same big feet she had yet to grow into. Same girl. Same me.

"I…" Brennan started, not knowing what to say.

"Russ?" Temperance called out, brushing past Brennan without seeming to notice her. The girl headed towards the stairs, taking them in twos and jumping from the fourth step to the living room floor. Brennan couldn't help but smile; she never took those last few steps, but seeing herself do it from a distance, she could understand why her mother was afraid she was going to break her arm. Brennan followed herself into the kitchen, where Temperance had picked up the phone and was dialing a number.

Six-seven-two… Brennan recited in her head, watching her younger self punch the numbers into the phone. She would be calling Russ's friend James, to see if he had gone there without telling her. His mom would answer, and she would say no, they hadn't seen Russ at all. She would ask why, and Temperance would say—

"Oh, no reason, just wondering," Temperance said with false cheer, thanking James's mom for her time and setting the phone into the cradle gently. The girl turned around and leaned against the counter, putting her face into her hands. Brennan took a few tentative steps towards her, peering at the girl with the curiosity of a monkey looking into a mirror. She was looking into a mirror—a mirror seventeen years young.

"Hello?" Brennan finally said aloud as she watched Temperance think. No response. She said it again, louder. Nothing. She brought her hand up in front of Temperance's face and snapped her fingers twice. The girl turned and made her way into the living room, where she pressed her face against the window and stared out into the empty neighborhood. Brennan followed her there, bewildered.

"Hello!" she yelled in Temperance's ear. The girl continued to stare out into the street, tears rolling down her cheeks as she cried quietly. Even when she was all alone, she still cried quietly, out of sheer habit. She didn't like to draw attention to her emotions—she never had, and she never would.

"Hey!" Brennan yelled again. She felt her vocal chords strain, but it didn't seem to register with her younger self. Out of pure frustration—from not being heard, from being unable to say or do anything—she reached out to shove herself in the shoulder. She made contact with her own self's small, warm arm—

In one loud, sudden pop, everything seemed to expand and contract all at once. She saw every color and no color; voices and screams flooded through her head, at such a volume that she thought her skull would split down the middle. She was spinning and falling, paralyzed, being pulled apart, going up in flames—

Then it stopped. As suddenly as it began, it stopped, and she found herself in the dark. Something touched her on all sides, but not like hands; more like she was crammed into a tight space. She reached her own hands out in front of her, and touched something solid, maybe wood.

Oh my God, am I in a coffin? she thought briefly, before rationalizing that if she were indeed in a coffin, and therefore dead, she wouldn't be in the position to contemplate her existential state. As her mind reeled with the possibilities, she heard a woman's voice, seeming to talk to someone else not present.

"Temperance is back," the woman said. Brennan's heart jumped into her throat—it was the sound of the mother from her group home, the place she was repeatedly sent back to when foster home after foster home didn't work out. She remembered her as being very short and a little wide, with curly grey hair and a kind face. Brennan heard a very faint, vague muttering, and realized that she must be on the phone.

"I know, I thought it was going to work out too," she said, pausing and listening to the other line. "Earlier this morning. She's been in her room all day, Arthur. I don't know whether to give her some space, or see if she'll let me in. You know how she is." At first the words stung Brennan, but then as she thought about herself at that time in her life, she understood the woman's fear. Brennan remembered herself as being either very quiet and reserved, unwilling or unable to discuss her feelings with even her close peers, or sarcastic and biting, using her pent-up anger and wit to keep everyone at an arm's length.

"Yeah, I think I will," the woman said, and suddenly Brennan's field of vision was flooded with light. The woman—whose name was Janice—pulled open the door, cradling a cordless phone between her ear and shoulder. She reached past Brennan's head and grabbed a towel from the rack behind her.

The linen closet, Brennan thought to herself, looking at her surroundings. Janice closed the closet door, and Brennan reopened it, letting herself out into the hallway. Janice did not seem to notice the door open as she walked down the hall, letting herself into the master bedroom and closing the door quietly behind her, still on the phone.

She probably can't hear me, Brennan thought bitterly, feeling the same frustration from before well up inside of her. If she was dreaming, why could she feel pain? She didn't believe in life after death, so she did not think she was in the afterlife—and if she was, why would she be in her old group home, circa 1992? Wouldn't heaven be a lot nicer of a place? Booth had always made it out to be better than humans could even imagine. Thinking about Booth made her heart ache; where was he, and was he okay? She realized then how much she wanted him here—even though she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, she always felt safer when he was around. Something about having an extra set of eyes and ears, and the intuition she lacked, gave her the confidence to charge headlong into any situation without hesitation. If she fell, he would catch her.

She grappled with her thoughts as she walked down the hallway, towards the living room, then around the corner into the entrance of the house where the staircase was located. The room where she had stayed as a foster child was up the stairs, to the left, middle door. She hadn't thought about or been to this place in years, and yet she remembered its exact location as if she had only left yesterday.

She approached the door and put her hand on the brass doorknob, feeling it beneath her fingers. It was—it seemed—just as real as she was. Or wasn't. She turned the knob and let herself into the bedroom, where she was not surprised to see her sixteen-year-old self propped up against her pillows, reading a Biology textbook. What did surprise her, however, was when that sixteen-year-old girl looked up and scowled when Brennan entered the room.

"Who are you?" Temperance asked, and Brennan's heart skipped a beat and a half. Her mouth opened slightly, and she stared directly into Temperance's eyes, scanning them for some kind of confirmation. Temperance stared back, her eyes brooding and intense. Brennan was awed by the moment; here she stood, staring at herself, and she was staring back. It was unlike looking at a photograph, or even watching a home video, although closer to the latter. She watched her sixteen-year-old self shift her weight in her seat, putting on the defensive. She watched as Temperance slowly lay the textbook down on her lap, taking a mental note of the page she was on before shutting the cover. She watched the girl's eyes flick back and forth between her own, scanning her, trying to ascertain her intentions. She knew this because she knew how she thought, what she thought. She knew because she was watching herself.

"I… uh…" Brennan reached for words that would not come, not knowing what to say or how to begin saying it. She was still floored by the fact that, unlike her fifteen-year-old self, or Janice, this version of herself could see her.

"Are you a social worker?" Temperance asked, her voice hard. She said the words social worker like they tasted bad, like she was spitting bile. Like it was a curse, not a title.

"No, I'm not," Brennan said, finally having something coherent to respond with. "I'm a forensic anthropologist."

"A what?" Temperance asked, and Brennan could not contain herself—she laughed. Laughed at the irony, but mostly at her own utter confusion. Temperance, however, did not find the humor in it.

"I didn't know I said anything funny," she said darkly, and Brennan immediately stopped laughing.

"You didn't. I just… I don't know," Brennan said, giving up on trying to make sense of the situation. She pulled the chair away from the desk by the door and sat down in it, leaning back and stretching her legs out in front of her, crossing her ankles. She noticed at that moment that her sixteen-year-old version was sitting in the exact same way—leaned back against the pillows, legs stretched out in front of her, ankles crossed. She smiled, but her younger self did not.

"You never answered my question," Temperance said, voice and eyes still hard. "Who are you?"

"I… I'm you," Brennan said, tripping on the simple words and realizing how stupid they sounded as soon as they came out of her mouth.

"Me? What, a foster kid? You look a little old for that," Temperance said skeptically, raising an eyebrow coolly. Brennan decided to go with it.

"Not anymore," she said. "But I used to be." Temperance set the textbook aside and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Let me guess," she said. "Social services sent you to talk to me because you're like me. You feel my pain. You empathize. You're a psychologist." She said psychologist with the same disdain as she had social worker, and Brennan knew why. As a foster child, they were always keeping tabs on her mental health, on all the kids—they thought being in the foster system could have negative effects on one's mental and emotional well-being. They were right.

"No, trust me, I'm not a psychologist," Brennan said, shaking her head. "I think psychology is a soft science, with no basis in empirical data. Not worth my time." Temperance seemed to take this in, then nodded slightly, sitting up a little higher in her seat. Brennan knew she was resonating with the girl—after all, this was herself she was talking to. Already at sixteen she was beginning to separate herself from fields of study that were too mushy, too touchy-feely, in favor of those that were cold and factual.

"You like hard science," Brennan said. Temperance maintained eye contact with her, nodding.

"Yeah, I do," she said. "Biology, Chemistry, Physics. Stuff like that." Brennan nodded.

"Just the facts," Brennan said.

"Just the facts," Temperance echoed. "Well, there's a lot of theoretical physics, but I think that stuff is mostly—"

"—conjecture," Brennan finished, causing Temperance to raise her brows. "Just guesswork… not enough basis in reality to be worth anything, right?" Temperance nodded, and Brennan saw the beginnings of a smile. Not a soft smile, but more of a wry grin. But it was something.

"Don't discredit the social sciences, though," Brennan advised to Temperance, who frowned slightly. "They're rooted mostly in empirical data too—phenomena you can observe."

"Psychology is a social science," Temperance argued. "You said that was crap."

"I did," Brennan agreed, thoroughly enjoying being argued with by herself. "But the kind of 'empirical' data used in psychology differs from that used in, say, anthropology. Anthropologists collect a wide host of material data—tools, artwork, clothing, pottery, things like that—and create vast ethnographies about the cultures they study. Psychologists can't observe their data, because their data is feelings—they can only observe the feelings other people have, and those vary widely through interpretation. It's too variable, too soft." Brennan watched Temperance take in the information, processing it and shelving it accordingly in her memory. She knew the way she thought, the way she handled information. She nodded, signaling that the download had completed.

"That's valid," Temperance said, acknowledging Brennan's argument. "I'll take that."

"I'm glad," Brennan said, and this time they exchanged mutual smiles for the first time. Temperance's smile was small and hesitant, like she wasn't accustomed to the facial expression. Because she's not, Brennan thought to herself. She's not.

"You're smarter than most of the people social services sends to talk to me," Temperance observed aloud.

"You're right, I am," Brennan said. "And so are you."

"So am I, what?" Temperance asked.

"Smarter than most of the people social services sends to talk to you," Brennan said. "They talk down to you like you're slow, but as far as sheer intelligence goes, you blow them out of the water." Temperance smiled, looking down at her sheets.

"Yeah, they do," she said quietly. "It's annoying, having to deal with such stupid people."

"You're going to have to deal with them for the rest of your life," Brennan said, suddenly hearing the words and feeling like her mother. "They don't go away."

"You sound like my mom," Temperance said, echoing Brennan's thoughts. Brennan smiled.

"We're more closely related than you think," she said. Temperance scowled.

"I don't have any relatives," she said. Brennan got up and crossed the room, sitting on the edge of the bed. Temperance pulled back slightly, narrowing her eyes.

"You do," she said. "Your mom has sisters, she just didn't tell you. But you have aunts, three of them. Your dad will tell you all about it one day, and give you a ring that your mother was given by her mother, as the oldest daughter. You'll be able to show it to them, and they'll know who you are." Temperance looked disturbed.

"What do you know about my dad?" Temperance asked. "Where did you get all this from? Who are you?"

"I'm… you," Brennan said. There was a pause, and then Temperance began to laugh, shaking her head.

"This is funny," she said, hopping off of the bed and walking over to the desk, leaning against the edge of it. "Really. I don't know who you are, but you're funny. Get out."

"Temperance," Brennan said, standing up. "I can prove it to you. I know things about you nobody else knows."

"Is that so? What, did they give you my file to memorize or something?" Temperance asked, crossing her arms. Brennan sighed.

"Your name is Temperance Brennan. Your father was a science teacher; your mother was a book keeper. Your parents disappeared a few days before Christmas last year—" Brennan began, but Temperance cut her off.

"That's all in my file," she said loudly, and Brennan put up her hand.

"—and a few days after that, your brother ran off too. He tried to make Christmas for you by wrapping up all the presents your parents had hidden, but it blew up in his face. You thought your parents were home, and when you found out they weren't, you were upset and blamed him." Temperance frowned, but shook her head.

"That's… that's probably in my file too," she said. "I probably said that when I wasn't thinking." When I had let my guard down, Brennan thought to herself, knowing what the girl really meant.

"You woke up that morning, the day he disappeared—Russ, I mean, not mom and dad—and at first you didn't notice anything was wrong. You went down into the kitchen and made a bowl of cereal for breakfast, like always. Your feet were cold on the tile floor in the kitchen, though, so you took the cereal into the living room to eat. You don't usually eat in the living room because mom always worries about spills on the carpet, but since she and dad weren't there, it didn't really matter.

"After a while you realized that it was unusual for Russ to sleep in this late, and you were bored, so after you finished your breakfast you decided to go wake him up. You knocked on his bedroom door, but no answer. You knocked again; nothing," Brennan paused at this point, swallowing hard. Temperance's eyes were widened, flicking back and forth across Brennan's face. Brennan continued.

"You opened up his bedroom door, but it was empty. Not just empty, but unoccupied. His bed was made, and all of his clothes were picked up off the floor. He never picked up his clothes off the floor, so you knew something was weird. It looked like he had packed up and left, and that's when you first got worried. You called out his name, over and over—"

"Stop," Temperance said, biting her bottom lip.

"—But he didn't answer," Brennan continued. "You tore through the house looking for him, but you couldn't find him. You called his best friend James's house, to see if maybe he had gone there—" Temperance took in a sharp breath. "—but his mom hadn't seen him at all. You went to the window and you cried for a while, before you called the police. They came and decided to put you under the state's care until they could figure out what was going on.

"They told you to pack light, so you put a few days' worth of clothes in Russ's old duffle bag—the one he didn't take with him when he left—and went with the officer. Later the duffle bag got stolen, and you started using trash bags like all the other kids. That really demoralized you; when you were using Russ's old bag, it was like you were at a really horrible, extended sleep-away camp. Eventually you would get to go home. But when you had to carry your things in trash bags like everyone else, it meant you were really a foster kid. That you had no—"

"I told you to stop!" Temperance shouted, tears slipping down her face, her voice cracked. The girl sat down in the chair and put her face in her hands, and began to sob quietly. Brennan got down on her knees in front of the girl and took the girl's hands away from her face, holding them in her own. She looked down at Brennan, who felt her own face tighten in an effort to restrict the tear flow.

"I know," she said, squeezing Temperance's hands. "I know how you feel. I know what you feel. Temperance, look at me… really look at me. Who do I look like to you?" Temperance's eyes traced the features of Brennan's face; her eyes, her nose, her mouth. She even looked down at the hands that held hers, eyeing the shape of the fingers. She withdrew one hand and wiped at her eyes with the heel of her palm, sniffing loudly.

"You look like… like mom," she said slowly. "Mostly like mom. You have her eyes and nose, and her hands. But you have dad's smile… I have dad's smile." Brennan felt Temperance suddenly go very still, eyes widening as if someone had just turned on the light. Brennan nodded slowly, standing up and pulling Temperance to her feet. Hand in hand, they walked to the mirror on the opposite wall, standing before it. Nearly the same height, with the exact same eyes staring out at themselves. Like the Ripley's funhouse mirror, the one that projects your age fifteen, twenty years into the future. Brennan squeezed Temperance's hand; Temperance squeezed back. Both alive, both well.

"Oh my God…" Temperance said, feeling the entirety of the realization hit her. "Oh my God."

"Yeah," Brennan said, nodding and turning to face her younger self.

"I… I have lost my mind," Temperance said, smiling and shaking her head. "Totally lost my mind. I really am insane." Brennan smiled and shook her head.

"No you're not," she said. "No more or less sane than I am. Literally."

"I am insane," Temperance said. "Or dreaming. Am I dreaming?" She pinched the underside of her upper arm between her thumb and index finger, and flinched as she felt the pain.

"Here," Brennan said, taking the girl's hand and putting her two fingers on the inside of her wrist. They stood still, Temperance feeling for Brennan's pulse.

"You feel real," Temperance said.

"So do you," Brennan said. They both sat on the edge of Temperance's bed, just looking at each other. After a few moments, Temperance began to cry again. Brennan wrapped her arms around Temperance and she sobbed into her chest. She felt very emotionally in touch with the girl—the first time she had ever really felt emotionally in touch with anyone—and she realized it was because she was comforting herself. She was, of course, emotionally in touch with herself. Wasn't she?

"Why is this happening to me?" the girl asked thickly, resting her face against her shoulder as her body continued to shake. Brennan shook her head, smoothing the girl's hair.

"I don't know," she said quietly. "I really don't. I never figured out that part."

"Why don't they love me?" Temperance asked. "If they loved me, they wouldn't have left me all alone." The last few words were choked out, followed by another flow of tears.

"They do love you," Brennan said, feeling her own tears spill over onto her cheeks. "They really do love you, so much. They just… you'll understand one day." She stopped, thinking about the video her mother left her. The one that explained her father's desire to keep the family together, her mother's insistence that they leave the children for their sake. Should she tell her? No, she decided. I couldn't have handled it at that age.

"Just believe me," Brennan assured. "They do love you, and they miss you every day."

"Then why don't they come back for me?" Temperance asked. "If they love me so much?"

"It's complicated," Brennan said. "I can't explain it… but you will understand, and after a while, you'll forgive dad. And Russ. And mom. You'll forgive mom the most."

"I just want… God, it sounds pathetic," Temperance said, wiping her eyes again. "I just want somebody to love me. Nobody here does. Does that change?" Brennan looked Temperance in the eyes, and without being able to help herself, immediately found her thoughts centering on Booth. That ache in her heart again.

"Yes," she said simply. "It changes. I promise… it definitely changes. It gets so much better for you… it will get so much better for you, you just have to wait."

"Yeah?" Temperance asked, breathing in heavily. Brennan nodded.

"Yeah," she said, sighing. "You'll be okay."

"I'll be okay," Temperance echoed. Brennan hugged her closer, closing her eyes and resting her face on top of the girl's head.

"I'll be okay," Brennan repeated.

Bones? Bones? Can you hear me?

Brennan felt a sudden, sharp pain in her forehead, and she opened her eyes. Everything was bright, except for a dark spot in the middle of her field of vision. She shut her eyes, then slowly opened them again, forcing the dark spot to take shape. It became two dark eyes, a set of furrowed brows, and a mouth taking the form of silent words. Then the sound came back.

"Bones? Can you hear me?" Booth asked, leaning down towards her. She felt the ground beneath her—asphalt. She breathed in; the air was hot and muggy, and smelled like garbage. Booth was on his hands and knees next to her, his hand on the side of her face, looking upset. She put her hand on top of his and felt it—he felt real. This all felt real.

"What happened?" she asked, disoriented, her head swimming. Booth's face relaxed; he smiled.

"Thank God," he said, running his thumb along her cheek. "You were out for a while, I was really worried."

"What… what about Roy?" Brennan asked, suddenly remembering how she had gotten knocked out. "Did you catch him?" Booth frowned, and shook his head.

"No, as soon as I saw you lying here… some things are more important, Bones," Booth said, watching the expression on her face change from confusion to anger when she realized that he had not caught their criminal.

"Why'd you stop? I'm fine," she said, trying to lift herself from the ground but stopping when Booth put his hand on her shoulder.

"Lie down," he said. "I called backup and told them where he was headed, I'm sure we'll hear from them when they catch him. I need to know that you're okay."

"I'll be okay, Booth," Brennan said, hearing the words echo in her head and suddenly remembering. She looked up at Booth, watching his soft expression change to a bewildered smile.

"What are you looking at me like that for?" he asked, chuckling. "You must have really taken a hit. Are you sure you'll be okay?" Brennan smiled, shutting her eyes and rubbing them with the heels of her palms.

"Yeah, Booth," she said. "I'll be okay."

Until we meet again, oh I wish you well
Oh, I wish you well, little girl
Until we meet again...

- Conversations With My Thirteen Year Old Self, Pink

A/N: If you have never heard this song by Pink, I HIGHLY recommend listening to it. If you are or ever have been a teenaged girl (and about 50 percent of you have been... actually probably more since I have a feeling the male-female ratio on this site is tilted towards women) you will be able to identify with it. Again, I don't own anything, I just enjoy its entertainment value.

With that said, what are your opinions? Love it? Hate it? Think it's a little far out in left-field? Let me know! :)