DISCLAIMER: Don't own anything associated with the show… I just like playing with the characters in it from time to time. Dance Monkeys! Dance!
RATING: T for Teen
SPOILERS: Through US Aired Episodes (Specifically Season 4 Finale)
PAIRING: Booth/Brennan
SUMMARY: The aftermath of that final moment in the Season 4 Finale.

A/N: Here's last chapter. With many thanks to my beta, and all of the very encouraging reviews, I am very happy to have this story done. It was lots of fun to look at everything in a new light, to try and show the whole thing through both of the characters' eyes. Thank you again, and I hope you enjoy it.

REVIEWS: Reviews are the way I know if people are enjoying the work or not. So, if you leave one, THANKS! And if not, I hope you found at least a little something to brighten your day, and thanks for taking the time to read.

The others came and went throughout the day, each hoping to find him awake and smiling, ready to take on the world once more. Each left more somber than when they had come. Each leaving her alone with her secret.

Her father was the only one to share in her knowledge of Booth's amnesia. The only one to know she had been forgotten, one of her greatest fears realized; to live an unrecognized, unremarkable life. He was also the only one to remain with her as they waited for Booth to wake up.

Before her father was able to drag her into the room again, Booth had drifted off to sleep. The doctors seemed unconcerned about his current state, but it worried Temperance to see him unconscious once more. What else would he forget when he woke again?

It was an agonizing torture to sit there, watching him, when she knew the moment his eyes opened he would be staring at a stranger. After all their time together, just when she was finally ready to stop fighting the truth, when she willing to admit to herself and everyone else, that she did care, that she did love, to truly open her heart and accept the suffering that might come with it. It was gone in the haunted eyes of the one person it mattered most to tell.

That time, the tears came unbidden, and she squeezed her eyes shut as she hung her head in defeat. Her own words came back to mock her; You love someone, you open yourself up to suffering, that's the sad truth. No one had learned that lesson better than Temperance Brennan.

"Those are the risks," came the scratchy voice beside her.

At first, she tried to tell herself it was her father, but a quick glance the other way found him fast asleep in the chair on the other side of the room. And then she turned back, still keeping her gaze from rising to the bed.

Again the voice in the bed croaked, "People say you only live once. But people are as wrong about that as they are about everything." She felt his thick, callused hand take hers. "I've lived so many lives already. Son, brother, Ranger, agent, father, but I don't think any of them have been complete." He paused, stroking the top of her wrist with his thumb.

Not wanting him to stop, but still so afraid of seeing the blankness behind his eyes again, without looking up, Temperance asked, "Why is that?"

"Because I didn't have you." She looked up with a start, the power of those simple words nearly stopping her heart. "It took being stuck in a fantasy to really see the truth." He brought her hand up to rest over his heart. "And I don't care which Brennan you are, I don't want to live another life without you."