Uniform

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: Third in the "Ten Things I Really Want To See Seeley Booth Wear" series.

He adjusted the narrow tie, making sure his appearance was flawless before he turned away from the mirror, picking up his hat and tucking it beneath his arm. Another funeral for another army buddy who just couldn't take civilian life--or life in general--for another second. It would be closed casket, of course. They always were. It didn't matter. Everyone knew anyway. All the closed lid accomplished was to hide the means of death. And there was the stigma attached to it, as well. If there was any way to keep the casket closed, it seemed, they did it. Last wishes, gunshot wound, he'd heard every excuse in the book and made up a few himself.

So he'd go, and he'd be genuinely sorry, and he'd mourn, but underneath it all lay the dirty little secret--even he couldn't say the word--and the most terrifying question he'd ever had to face. When--not if, but when--the moment came when he couldn't stand another second on earth, would he end up in a closed casket with family and friends who barely knew him anymore telling each other how great he was, how he deserved more, how it was all a tragedy, a huge, huge tragedy, and such a waste? Or would he be one of the fortunate few who reached that moment at the side of someone they loved, someone who gave them the strength to keep on living?

Not knowing the answer haunted him more than the empty eyes of the photographs and the shiny, tightly shut lids of the coffins that made up what was left of his friends.