Disclaimer: I don't own Bones or any of its characters. They all belong to Fox.

I'm sure everyone agrees that Hero in the Hold was an awesome episode. I just wish Booth took Teddy's hint. This is just what I thought should have happened after the last scene of the episode. Written from Booth's POV.

As we leave Arlington and walk towards Bones' car, the conversation I had with Teddy while on the ship replays in my head. We're walking side by side, so close my hands brushes hers. The soft green grass crunches under our feet.

Can I really go on another day without telling her?

I stop. Bones takes a couple more steps before she realizes I'm not beside her anymore. She turns, a quizzical look on her face.

"Booth?"

"I err…" I'm not sure how to start. Teddy was twenty and he didn't know how to tell a woman he loved her. I'm thirty-six and I still don't know how.

"I errr… I'm sorry you had to miss your award presentation last night."

Bones smiles and my heart flutters. I'm pretty sure it's not the effects of any drugs I was given. She walks up to me.

"It's ok. Without you the award would have been meaningless anyway."

"Thanks for coming to get me."

"You thanked me already."

"Bones… there's something I need to tell you."

"What?"

"When I was kidnapped, when I was on that ship, I had some realizations. Do you know what was the message Teddy wanted me to give Clare?"

"Last words I would assume. But he was a figment of your imagination."

"He was there Bones." Just like he was here, but I don't tell her that. "Teddy never got the chance to tell Claire that he loved her. That back there…, if I had died Bones, that could've been you back there. Just like Claire, you would have come to my grave every year without ever knowing…."

I pause. I'm so nervous I feel faint.

"without ever knowing that… I love you."

I feel a burden lift from my shoulders. I half-expect to be kicked in the groin, or for Bones to take off in her car without me. Instead she stands there, I can tell the wheels in her genius brain are turning.

"You were drugged, having hallucinations, there's no way to authenticate what you remember or what you felt."

"I mean it Bones. I love you. I didn't realize it when I was on that ship. I knew I was in love with you for a long time now. I just… there was a point when I was trying to get out, to escape that ship that was gonna be blown up, I thought I had rigged the transponder to send a signal to whoever was monitoring the ship. When I shorted the transponder do you know what the first thing that came to my mind was?"

Bones shakes her head slowly.

"That I would never get to tell you, that you would never know that I love you, and that was what made me feel hopeless and frustrated. I knew then I had to get out, so that I cuold tell you… I love you Temperance."

Again I'm met with momentary silence. "Thank you for telling me Booth."

Of all the possible scenarios I had in my head that wasn't one of them. I know she is compartmentalizing, like she always does.

"Let's get you home."

I expect the car ride home to be awkward, but surprisingly it isn't. We don not talk but the silence is comfortable. When she pulls up at my apartment we still haven't exchanged a single word.

"I'll see you tomorrow." Bones says, not missing a beat. I was afraid telling her would ruin our friendship. If anything I find comfort that it doesn't seem to have changed anything between us.

"Yeah. See you tomorrow Bones."

I make it back to my apartment. I have no memory of how I was taken so being home isn't disturbing to me. I shower then microwave some leftovers. I'm not really hungry. As I settle down on the couch with my dinner and a beer, there is a knock on my door. I smile. I know who it is.

I open the door, and there is Bones. She wears a look of determination on her face. The look that tells me she's made up her mind about something.

I open the door wider. "Come on in Bones."

I shut the door behind us. She sits on my couch and I sit next to her.

"I've thought about what you said."

"Look Bones, before you kick my ass or decide to dismiss what I told you…"

"That's not my intention."

"It's not?"

"Here."

She hands me a folded piece of paper. It looks rather old and worn. "I've kept this with me for two years now."

I take the piece of paper unsure what she wants me to do with it.

"At the time Hodgins thought it would be a good idea to pen down last words."

"This was when you and Hodgins were kidnapped by the gravedigger."

"Yes. I would like you to read it. It is addressed to you."

I am surprised. I was with her that night after I rescued her. She didn't mention the letter to me. I open it.

To my partner and friend Seeley Booth. If you're reading this letter, it would mean I'm dead. The gravedigger took us, me and Hodgins. I want you to know that this is not your fault. And most of all if these are to be my last words, I want my last words to be to you Booth. For everything thank you. I love you. - Bones

I feel my jaw drop. She loves me? All the way back then?

"You love me?"

"Yes Booth I believe I do. After I rescued you, I kept the contents of this letter a secret because I thought that they were desperate words from a woman who was oxygen-starved and thought she was going to die. But after all we've been through, after you were kidnapped, and after what you told me this afternoon, I know these words I wrote to be true."

I slowly smile. She smiles back at me.

"Please tell me I'm not hallucinating."

"You're not Booth. This is real."

"I love you Bones." The words fall easily from my lips now.

"I know. I love you too Booth."

I lean towards her and our lips meet for what is our first and certainly not last kiss.

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