Chapter 1

Brennan took a frustrated breath as she looked at a picture of her and Booth. It was one of the few she had of them together and it was from their circus act. One of her favorite assignments with him. She smiled thinking about their act and how much fun she had with it. Also how he had cheered her on when she was walking the tight-rope.

Then her smile faded. The memories were there. They were very real but only to her. Booth still couldn't remember anything. He didn't remember her.

He didn't even remember Parker. How he could forget his own son she didn't/couldn't comprehend emotionally. Logically, she what it was—why he was having these problems. Scientifically she could explain it. She knew it could take time or he could never get it back.

He didn't remember being a Ranger or even meeting Rebecca for the first time. The last memory he had was one of leaving home and that was a non-negotiable moment that he would never talk about.

So here she was, waiting for him to show up for their every other day dinner to try to get his memory back. Tonight she had decided to cook something simple-his favorite: macaroni and cheese. She even bought Foreigner to play.

Brennan knew she had to be strong but she didn't know how much more she could take. She was determined to fight for their friendship, their partnership and their love. Yes love. She had admitted to herself that she loved him and was pretty sure that he loved her too. Both of them were just too scared to make the first move. Somehow though, she had found the courage to admit to it while she was in surgery. She would fight for him, for them, just as she knew he would fight for her if their situations were reversed. Though Booth would be much better at it. His people skills were so much better than hers though he had helped her so much.

The doorbell rang, interrupting her thoughts. Placing a smile on her face and hoping for the best, she went to answer the door.

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Booth didn't know why he was so nervous. He had been over to her apartment several times over the past couple months and apparently even more so the past four plus years.

Though his conversation with Special Agent Payton Perotta nagged his mind. She's just your partner. Yes, you two are close-a little closer than most; however Agent Perotta (Payton she insisted) claimed that he and Dr. Brennan were not an item. Yet how could he explain his feelings towards Dr. Temperance Brennan?

Agent Perotta-Payton said that he was getting serious with her. Perotta, that is. But he had a couple of issues with that. One, no one else had mentioned it. But everyone else that claimed to be his friends, his family, seemed to trust her.

Payton had told him that he was spending too much time with Dr. Brennan and should concentrate on her instead-since they were seeing each other before his surgery. Otherwise he may lose her. He had promised to talk to Dr. Brennan tonight about how much time they were spending together though something in his gut was telling him that something was wrong. He just didn't know what.

So here he was at Dr. Brennan's place-she had told him that he always called her Bones but he couldn't bring himself to call her the nickname when he couldn't even remember why he had started the nickname. It made sense. She worked with bones so calling her Bones made sense. But he couldn't-he wouldn't call her Bones till he remembered her. Remembered them.

So now he was here. He knocked on the door. "Hey."

"Hey."

They smiled at each other a bit awkwardly. "Come on in." Brennan shut the door behind him. "I'll take your coat."

"Actually," Booth felt guilty for even thinking about what he was going to say. Though he didn't know why. He couldn't explain it. Except he had promised Agent Perotta that he would and she was waiting for him at his place. "I'm not staying."

"You're not?" her brows came together in confusion.

"No. Agent Perotta is waiting for me back at my place."

"Are you working on a case with her?"

"No. I," he put his hands in his pockets then ran a hand through his hair. "Look, I don't know how to say this without coming off like a jerk but I need to say it."

"What is it Booth? You've got me worried."

"You don't have to be worried about me Temperance. That's not your job. You know, I get it—we're partners. We were close. But each of us has a life outside of one another and I think it's time we got back to it."

"What are you talking about?"

"Well, I'm sure you have things to do besides help me with my memory. And Payton is waiting for me. We're seeing each other."

Brennan gripped her hand on the doorknob. "You're what?"

"We're seeing each other. I guess she's pretty important to me. And she feels a bit neglected so I promised that we would spend some time tonight together. So look, I'm sorry about dinner and everything, but I really have to go."

And before Brennan could get over the shock, he fled. Once the door had closed both felt various waves of shock, guilt, humiliation, anger and loss. But neither was willing to confront the other or themselves on what they were feeling so they each went their separate ways.

After tossing out the macaroni and cheese, Brennan changed into some work out clothes and began to punch madly at her bag—calling herself all kinds a fool for letting him in. For caring about him the way she had. For letting herself fall in love with him. And he had left her. Again.

Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew that there was more to this than both she and Booth knew. But this was the second time that he had kept a relationship a secret from her. She was hurting and wanted to block out the pain as much as she could. She kicked her bag so hard that it hit her back, knocking her on the ground.