AN: WOW, I haven't wrote a Bones oneshot in ages. It just came to me. Ok, before I begin I haven't seen the episode CitC yet because it's not airing over here in Ireland for another two weeks but I have a general idea of what happens and I have watched a few preview clips but that's all, so just keep that in mind in case I've mentioned something that doesn't fit, but I don't think I have seeing as this is set after the episode. Even though it has both Bones and Booth in it, it doesn't bring up anything about the possible pregnancy, just Booth's health issue. Ok, I'm most likely rambling so on with the story...

He finds that he can no longer watch Family Guy anymore.

It's not that the he wouldn't enjoy it, but it wouldn't be like it used to be and that's down to the almost-near-death-experience which involved him, a hallucination and a tumour in his brain – a benign one but a tumour nonetheless.

That would be enough to put anyone off it.

He first realised he wouldn't be able to watch it again when he was released from hospital. He had been channel flicking at the time, whilst Brennan stood in the kitchen making him dinner.

Bones had in recent weeks taken to staying closer to him, and once he was released there was rarely a time when she hadn't been by his side. He hadn't minded, but there was a notion always niggling in the back of his bandaged head, in which he would think that she wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for his illness. And that thought makes him feel guilty, but he doesn't make it known to her because he doesn't want to be alone on the off chance that his hallucinations occur once again.

He's not sure what he would do if that happened and despite being assured that they had indeed managed to remove all of the benign non-cancerous tumour and that there is literally no chance of it reoccurring, it's that's tiny sliver of a possibility that plants that doubt back into his mind.

He doesn't like that doubt. He's always been a man of surety – sure hunches and sure shots. He never misses, yet he missed the obvious – the blatant fact that something was wrong even though it had been staring him straight in the face in the form of a cartoon character, he had chosen to ignore it because it had been impossible for anything to be wrong with him.

It had been Bones who had to be the one to point out that something was wrong, the one to get him to a hospital, the one who probably saved his life in the long run. He was grateful that he was getting the chance to be alive, and relatively healthy (he hoped) sitting on a sofa watching TV again without the chance of the characters talking back.

He had felt only gratitude until the press of a button sends his mind into panic again.

The sight of the red overall clad baby makes his muscles become slack, He can hear in the distant, the sound of a remote clattering against the floor, of Bones shouting his name and fast approaching footsteps but all he can see is that damn cartoon baby.

Thoughts of tumours and cancer jumble in his mind, and he can't handle it – he just can't. So when his breath becomes ragged, and his palms become sweaty as fear claws down his throat he almost hopes that everything will go black. At least then he wouldn't feel the need to think, to remember, to-


Maybe he didn't really wake up, maybe he's still hallucinating, maybe everything isn't real and really he's still being operated on and this his mind's way of concocting a slightly happy ending that only gets ruined when reality starts to take his place. Maybe he's about to wake up…maybe he's about to die…

"Booth, come on! Look at me! Booth!"

A hand slips into his, another one lands on his face, cupping it gently as if the touch would break him. He blinks, because the skin is warm and even he wouldn't be able to think up a touch so real and soft.

He turns his head away from Stewie to look into her eyes and it's only then does he realise that tears are threatening to spill from his own because he feels broken and lost and he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't want to go back to when his sanity was questionable.

"Booth…" Her voice is a quiet whisper, unlike her earlier tone of panic, "It's okay."

"But-" His voice is cracked, hoarse as if all the moisture in his mouth has been sucked out, leaving everything brittle.

"It's only the show. It's Family Man." She replies, unaware of her blunder, "You're not hallucinating Booth."

He frowns, a half-laugh, half-choked cough spilling from his parched throat. Only she could get that wrong, "Family Guy, Bones, not Family Man."

"Oh." She says after a moment.

His eyes flicker to the TV again, and he swallows because he can't help but doubt.

"It's not a hallucination, Booth. Trust me."

"I do." He says automatically, without thought, "But…" He trails away, unable to get the words to make her understand.

"What is it?"

"I-I don't want to-" He looks down at his feet for a moment, noticing the remote beside them. His brow furrows and he reaches down for it before continuing, "I just don't want to wake up and find that this isn't real." He says finally, his gaze returning to hers.

Her grip on his hands tightens, "You won't. This is real." She smiles, "I promise you, Booth. This is real."

He nods, and the grip she held loosens as she moves her hands. He wants to grab hold of them again and never let go, because at this moment she is his only anchor to what he knows is reality, but he doesn't when he realises what she's trying to do. She gently takes the remote out of his hand and turns off the TV, the cartoon baby quickly fading to black.

His mind relaxes, shouts of cancer and tumours and all things that send fear down his spine going back to the little box in his mind for now as he focuses on her. "Thank you Bones." He says with a smile.

"For what?"

Everything, he wants to say before listing off each and every little thing she's done for him but that would take much too long so he settles with, "For being my anchor."

She doesn't know what he's on about, he's sure but she doesn't question his words for once; she only smiles in return and rests her forehead on his. He closes his eyes at the contact, "No problem." When he opens them again, she's still smiling, "Now I made you some food, the doctor said you should eat regularly."

She stands, tugging at his hand to make him get up, "Is there pie?"

Brennan rolled her eyes, "Yes Booth." She said, "And it's apple pie with whipped cream."

She pulled him along, but he couldn't help but glance over one last time at the TV. He knew from that moment on that he wouldn't watch Family Guy again.

AN: Review if you enjoyed...