I know this is short, really just a drabble. It's what I feel that Booth is thinking during the last segment of The Critic in the Cabernet. There are DEFINITE spoilers in here, so reader beware...


This isn't what I planned.

None of this is what I planned. It's not what I dreamed of, or wanted, or even thought in my worst nightmares would ever happen. But it's what I've got.

Cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma. Ever since I started at the bureau, I always thought that if I died it would be in the line of duty. I mean, I have to face it, I'm not a milkman. Bad things happen to me on a regular basis. So I always figured that maybe one day I wouldn't be fast enough, or smart enough, or strong enough, and it'd be over. I never imagined that the thing that could finally take me down was inside me all along.

It's all happening so quickly. Too quick to call Rebecca, way too quick to try and see Parker before I go. He's too young, anyway. I don't want him to be scared. If it doesn't end up okay – well, Becs'll have all the time in the world to explain things to him. I have to ask Bones to get the hospital priest up here. God, Jared. I'm glad he doesn't know. There's nothing he can do, anyway.

All the people I want to say things to, to tell things to, and I don't have time. It's all happening so fast...

Bones is going to tell the squints what's happening. I don't envy her that conversation. But they need to know. They're our family. All of them out there, they belong to us. She didn't want to leave me to go tell them. I know why she didn't want to leave me. We never talk about it, but I know anyway. Why isn't she back yet? I was doing alright, but now that she's not here it's all hitting me at the same time. I'm being swarmed by forty nurses and I have no idea what they're doing. I wish she'd come back. I can be brave when she's here. I can be brave for her. It's the least I can do, since I'm the one who's putting that look on her face in the first place. It's been there since she pulled me out of our interrogation and made me come to GWU. I've only ever seen her look like that once before. And just like that time, I can't make it go away.

She should be back soon. I wish she'd hurry. I need to ask her something before it's too late and they take me in. Where is she? I hope she doesn't run. No, no, she wouldn't do that, not now. Not to me. She's my partner, and partners stick. She didn't even want to go to the waiting room - I know she'll be here any minute. It's just so much easier with her here. She keeps the fear away. As long as I can see her I'm okay. Alright, now what do they want? I wish they'd just finish all this and leave me alone for a few minutes. I need to collect my thoughts, I need a minute. I need to talk to Bones...wait. There she is. There's my girl. Okay. Okay. Oh, man, I feel so much better now. Okay.

I might as well admit that I can't do this without her. I've never met anyone as strong as her. I don't know anyone else who could stand here like she is and do what needs to be done. It boggles my mind, what she's done for me already. Of course one of her closest colleagues would just happen to be a neurologic surgeon. One rushed phone call while we're in the truck and Dr. Jurcik is on the first plane up from Florida. I don't know how she does it, but she has what I need, right when I need it. She always has. She's my rock, my mainstay. She's my keystone. She locks everything together for me.

She's hesitant about being in the operating room. I understand, but I'm not taking no for an answer. I need her there. I need to know she's near me, looking out for me. I tell her she's a genius, and that's good enough for me. Both parts of what I say are true, but only one part's important. She's good enough for me. All by herself, even without her smarts and her logic. She is good enough. I wish I'd told her. Thank God she agrees. Thank God. I know she won't let me go, no matter what.

I can see her out there talking to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. Here I am, about to have brain surgery, and I'm actually laughing. Laughing at the show on the other side of the glass. I can tell they don't want her in the operating room. They're not in the habit of being told what to do. But c'mon, do they really think they're gonna keep her out, now that she agreed? They should save their breath and their energy for the surgery. They're not gonna win this one. Not against Hurricane Brennan. Yup - right there. Hands thrown in the air, head shaking in defeat. That's right, Bones, you tell 'em. Atta girl. Bones 1, surgeons 0. I really hope this one ends in a tie, though.

Wait a minute – I could swear that's Father Froelich. It is...but how did he know? Bones, oh God. She must have called him. She only went to my church once – I brought her, after she and Hodgins blew their way out of her buried car. I don't even bother to wonder how she managed to get my own parish priest to come on such short notice. She made it happen. She knew. Of course she knew how much I'd want this, how much I'd need to receive the Eucharist. She always scoffs at me when I talk about my religion. But she listens, too. She may not believe in it, but she knows what it means to me. Does she know what she means to me? I hope so. I look at her, trying to show her everything I've never been able to tell her. She looks right back, unblinking. Maybe she does. And just like that she disappears, giving me a moment of private time with the Father.

The Anointing of the Sick. Man, I never thought I'd be receiving the sacrament at lunchtime when I got up this morning. Oh, man.

Okay. Alright. I feel better now. More prepared. I just need Bones and I'll be ready to go. No point in putting this off any longer. Whatever's going to happen will happen. I can hear the nurses murmuring about how 'that rude scientist woman' is gowning up. They have no idea – if I wasn't a human beer bong right now I'd get in their faces. They just don't understand her. They couldn't possibly. You need a lifetime to know Bones. I want that lifetime, I need to figure out the rest of her. All of her mysteries. Where is she? I have to tell her something, something important. I heard what she said, outside of interrogation. I remember. She said she wouldn't have a baby. Not that she wouldn't have MY baby, but that she wouldn't have a baby. At all. I need to talk to her. I need to tell her...we're going now? I can't go yet, she's not here, but I can't stop them. Where the hell is Bones? Ah, come on, come on, Bones! I'm ready to start yelling, but I relax the minute I feel her hand on my shoulder as she catches up to us. I have to tell her. This can't wait. It's too important.

They actually leave us alone for a minute so I can talk to her. She has to understand. With everything that's happened today, with everyone I've thought about and worried about, it's Bones I'm worried about the most. I'm scared, but most of my fear is for her.

I don't want her to be alone.

The very thought makes the bile rise in my stomach. It's unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. She can't be alone. If my time is up, if I only have time to fix one more thing, then I have to fix this. I have to make my wishes clear. I won't let her be alone.

I know she has Angela, and the squints, and Russ and her Dad, but so many times she still seems so lonely. I've tried to fill that void as much as I can. But I can't bear for her to not have a person who loves her more than anything else in the world. Another person. It's my legacy, but it's not for me. It's for her. It's all for her.

I tell her, and she doesn't want to think about the possibility of me not coming out of this okay. But I know she heard me - heard what I said, and what I meant. She'll do it. I know she will. My panic mostly eases after that. The most important thing is done. If I don't make it, if things go wrong, I've prepared for that possibility the best I can. My worst fear won't come true now. It sounds crazy, but I'm more afraid to leave her than I am to die. But I'm ready. I don't tell her the other thing I want to say. At the last minute, I can't do it. If I make it through, then there's plenty of time to tell her. And if I don't...I don't want her to hurt more than is necessary. I hold my hand up without looking, knowing she'll take it. She asked me to trust her, and I do. I trust her completely. I always have. I know she won't let me down.

Phew. Like I said, just a drabble. I did start a second part with Brennan's thoughts, but I think this works better on its own. I hope you enjoyed this - I know it certainly helped me deal with this last episode. Thanks so much for reading.