Artist Note: I do not own Bones! If I did, Brennan would have tackled Booth with kisses at his funeral(episode: A Pain In The Heart), rather than punch him XD Thanks for clicking upon this! I hope you enjoy it!

It started when she absentmindedly picked at a scabbed-over paper cut on her right index finger next to the nail. Every time she casually brushed a finger over it, she would be picking the scab off before she realized and it would bleed. From there she began making small cuts on the tip segment of her finger with her fingernails. She didn't understand why she did it, nor did she realize when she was making the wounds.

One night while in the shower, she turned the cold water almost completely off and let the scorching water hit her, making her feel like she was on fire and leaving red marks across her pale skin. The shampoo burned the raw, open wounds on her fingers as she lathered her brown hair. She couldn't stop the pain she inevitably felt when she thought about certain things, however, this pain that she caused herself was stoppable by bandaging the cuts or turning on the cold water. She took comfort in the control.

The cuts on her fingers and the redness on her skin from the burning water went unnoticed by her colleges. No one noticed her, and after five years in the foster system and being ignored by counselors, foster parents, and the other kids in her many schools, she had become so used to it she could no longer tell if someone was paying attention. Until one person voiced concern.

"Whoa, Bones, what happened to your fingers?" asked her partner one day when he strode into her office unannounced.

Until she someone noticed, she didn't even think about hiding the wounds, but now she wished she had. Her face flushed and she crossed her arms, covering her hands, "Nothing. Just a paper cut." she said simply, then tried to brush it off, "Do we have a case?"

"It's not nothing and it sure as hell isn't just a paper cut." his voice raised slightly in concern and he loosely wrapped his hand around her small wrist, pulling her hand out of hiding and inspecting the many cuts, burns and patches of raw skin, "What did you do?" his brown eyes were full of concern as he looked into her blue.

"Booth, please, I'm fine." she took her arm back, ripping her wrist out of his grasp and wincing at the pain it caused on the burned skin underneath the sleeve of her black top.

He walked around the desk and knelt beside her chair. Gently, he gripped her hand in his and pushed her sleeve up. Taking in the sight of her bright red, burned skin and the damage to her fingers he looked at her in disbelief, "Bones, did you do this?"

She didn't respond vocally, but he got his answer when she looked away from him.

"Temperance, look at me." he hooked his index finger under her chin and brought her gaze up to meet his.

Her eyes were full of tears that had yet to fall. She was at the edge, at the breaking point, and she didn't want to fall and shatter into the pieces of herself that she tried so hard to keep together all her life. But as her tears started to fall, so did she, right into his arms. Sitting there in his embrace, freely crying into his shirt, was something she didn't do often because she hated to feel weak. This time, however, it didn't bother her because the few times in the past that she did break down, he was the one standing there with his arms open, just like now, and he never looked down on her for seeming a little weaker than she put on. He knew she was strong, and never for a moment even insinuated that he thought otherwise.

"Why would you do this to yourself?" he broke the silence with a soft, caring voice.

"So there's at least one pain that I can stop." she pulled away and looked into his worried eyes.

"Why didn't you just come to me? I'm your friend. Friends help each other."

"I appreciate that, Booth, but what you can do to help me? The damage was done a long time ago." Brennan stood and walked to the other side of the room.

He followed her and turned her around with a gentle hand on her shoulder, "I can listen. Why do you hurt?"

"Because I burned myself in the shower." she replied.

"No, I mean when do you feel the pain that you can't stop."

After a pause of thought, she replied "When I think about the fact that everyone will eventually leave like my parents did."

"I thought you hate assumptions." he smiled.

"I'm not assuming. It's an anthropological fact that nothing stays the same forever. Eventually everyone I know will move on with their lives, and contact between them and myself will most likely be lost."

"You don't know that." Booth rolled his eyes at her logic.

"You said it yourself, 'everything happens eventually'." she crossed her arms.

"I was wrong. You're not going to end up alone."

"How can you know for certain that you're not going to leave one day?" her voice began to raise.

"Because I won't." his voice rose as well.

"You can't be sure of that."

"I am sure."

"How do you know?!"

"I just do!"


"Because I love you!" he said and she stared at him with wide eyes, "I won't leave you because I don't want to."

The room went silent as they stared into each other's eyes. Brennan's mind was racing as she put pieces together. The flutters in her chest every time she saw him. How comfortable she was around him. She opened up to him like she never did even to Angela. He was always there when she needed him, even when she didn't want to admit it. And he was the only one to notice her pain. He saw her.

Then she remembered when she told Angela about playing 'Marco Polo' with Russ in school, how good it felt to have someone who cared about where she was and how she missed it. Then Booth had called her from the main area of Medico-Legal lab, asking where she was. He cared where she was. He had always cared but she never realized it.

Tears swelling in her eyes and a small smile appearing on her face, Brennan caressed Booth's face and pressed her lips to his. He put his hands on her back and pulled her closer as they continued their kiss, lips parting to let the passion that had been building up over the years finally release. Once they broke apart, she let him hold her in his strong arms again.

"I love you, Booth." she said softly and Booth did nothing but smile.

Thanks for reading! I hope you liked it!

Reviews make me really happy! I mean REALLY happy! Like, jumping up and down, giggling and smiling like an idiot happy! (Hint hint ^^)

This story means alot to me because in it Brennan suffers from the same feelings and actions as I do. I see alot of myself in the character on the show, so I thought I would express what I'm going through and struggling to controll by interpreting it and what I hope to find through someone whom I already relate to.

In case you're wondering, what I hope to find is my own Booth.