You know things. Some things are facts, things you've been told or learned on your own. Some things you wish you didn't know, and some things are just instinctive.

For example, you know what it's like to take a life. You know the tingle that starts in the tips of your fingers and engulfs the rest of your body, fully, horribly, the second the target, the person, breathes their last breath. You've looked at friends as the light leaves their eyes and you've looked at enemies as the light leaves theirs. You know what it's like to kill good guys, to kill bad guys, and that at the end of the day it doesn't really feel any different, any better. It makes you feel cold and numb and a little sick, every day, and you try to forget, to make amends.

You know that your team of squints is hurting more than they let on, and that the loss of Zach has affected them all in completely different but equally devastating ways. You know that Bones hasn't recovered, and that underneath the surface, she's full of writhing emotions, scratching to get out. None of them are fine; they're conflicted, torn between their love for their friend and the horror of what he was capable of. You're conflicted too. You, like the rest of them, still think that there was something you could have done that you just failed to do.

You know you're a good father. You question it, sometimes, but deep down you know it's true. You're nothing like your own father. You may have pain and you may have anger and a bit of rage, but you're not a monster like your old man was. You love your son more than anything in the world, and he knows that. The thought of anyone doing to Parker what your old man did to you makes your blood boil, so you tell him you love him and hug him and pack his lunches and teach him to throw a football. You do everything your own father didn't.

You know that you don't know everything. Hell, it's hard to forget with Bones around. You know your limitations, mental and physical, though you ignore the latter, pushing yourself further than you should. You have to, in your line of work, when your teammates, coworkers and loved ones are put in peril as often as they are. You know you might not be the smartest, the fastest or the best dressed, but you've sure as hell got heart, and you know that counts for a lot.

You know that falling for your partner seems insane on paper. You two are as different as two people can be, if you ignore the matching stubborn streaks. But you love her. Damn it, you love her. Adore her. And you'd do anything for her. Her touches, even the slightest ones, even the most overt, the hugs, the kisses, the slight brushes of the hand, affect you like no other person's. Her voice, her laugh, her impossible eyes, they get you through the day. She looks to you for comfort, for protection, for friendship, and you give it all willingly. You'd give her your right arm, if she asked you to. You don't tell her though, not yet.

You also know that she'll come around, eventually. You know pushing her will bring the exact opposite outcome than the one you want. She'll figure it out sometime, in that incredibly brilliant but socially inept way she has. And when she falters, takes three steps back from everything you've built, you'll smile and reassure and lead her four steps forward. When she gets there, to the same place as you, you'll be happy. You know this because right now, you're pretty damned close. You let yourself drift into fantasy sometimes. You wonder what it will be like when she finally comes around, who will move into whose place, what she looks like when she's just woken up from a full night's sleep, how long she takes in the shower and how she organizes her closet. You think back to that mistletoe kiss and you look forward to about a million more.

You know she'll come around. Instinctively, you do. You've been dancing around one another, building this structure of trust and dependence and barely-concealed love, and eventually, you'll both be in the same place at the same time, and it'll be magic. She'll tell you there's no such thing, and you'll just smile.

Because you know.