A/N: This is my first Bones fic, and I'd appreciate any feedback, particularly on how I've done with the characters. And as I noted in my profile, those who are waiting for my next Eomer/Lisswyn story...be patient. It's coming, and hopefully won't disappoint. :)
This is post-The End in the Beginning, and was started well before I saw any spoilers for season 5.
"Who are you?" He regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. His mind couldn't immediately put a name to the exhausted woman in front of him, but watching shock replace the relief in her eyes hurt him. The devastation that flickered there, briefly, before clinical detachment hid it was even worse. He might not know her name, but she was still familiar to him, an anchor in a world of confusion, and hurting her was unacceptable.
The dream came back, and his heart jittered as he looked down at her left hand. No ring. She wasn't his wife. Why did that bring such a feeling of disappointment?
"I'll go get the doctor." Her voice trembled before she firmed it, and he made a grab for her arm.
"No. Please. Just give me a moment." He rubbed his face, then looked at her. "I'm just …confused." She was looking at him warily, but had checked her movement toward the door. If he could just figure out what was going on… "What happened?"
"Do you know who you are?"
He frowned. If he said 'no', she'd leave to go get the doctor. How could he be so certain of that when he couldn't remember her name? He felt the bandages on his head, and forcing back fear, found the answer she was looking for. "I'm Seeley Booth. Now, tell me what happened. Whatever it is, I'd rather hear it from you than a doctor."
"You don't know who I am."
"No, but I know you. I don't know how." It made no sense, but was still true.
She studied him for a long moment, and the look of intense concentration was one he'd seen on her face many times – he knew that, too. Then she nodded. "Very well, but then I'm going to notify the doctor that you're awake and confused."
She shifted, and he looked down, discovered he was still clutching her arm. Instead of letting go, he slid his hand down, entwined his fingers with hers. It felt …right. Pleased that she wasn't pulling away, he looked back at her expectantly.
"You're an FBI agent."
She paused, as if to let him absorb that, and he frowned. "Not a nightclub owner?"
Plainly startled, she glanced over at the other side of the room. It took him a moment to realize she'd been looking at her laptop, not where she'd find the doctors. "No, you don't own a nightclub."
"An FBI agent?" It sounded …right, somehow. More so than his identity in the dream, actually, though the dream had felt so real, it still hovered on the edges of his mind. But if he didn't own a nightclub, and she wasn't his wife, who was she? And why was he so certain he knew her nearly as well as if she were his wife? Then a new thought came, and with his free hand, he reached up to touch the bandages. "Was I shot?"
A shadow came into her eyes, and she looked down, to where his chest was covered by the hospital gown. "No. No, you weren't shot." He would swear he could almost see her mentally adding 'this time' to the answer.
The shadow was gone when she looked up again and her voice was once more brisk and professional, even as her thumb rubbed across his knuckles. "You had a cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma." She hesitated, then amended, "…brain tumor."
"A brain tumor?" His mouth went dry, and he fought to keep the fear from showing on his face.
"Benign. You came through the surgery quite well, but had a bad reaction to the anesthesia. You've been in a coma for four days." Her voice broke at the end, and he looked up, his own response insignificant in the face of her distress.
He tightened his fingers around hers, unsure what to say to comfort her. Asking her identity wouldn't do it. But somehow, in the same way he knew so much else, he knew honesty was important to her. "What is your name?"
She took a breath. "I'm Dr. Temperance Br-"
"Brennan," he finished.
At her startled look, he shook his head. "I had a dream. You were Brennan."
An uneasy expression on her face, she glanced toward at the laptop again. "That's why you asked about the nightclub? You had a dream? And I was in it?"
"Yes." He wasn't quite willing to tell her what her role had been. "Who are you in real life?"
"You're not an agent." Another of those things he knew without having memories to back up.
"No. I'm a forensic anthropologist. I work out of the Jeffersonian. I consult for the FBI."
"But you're still my partner."
"We're more than partners." He knew it was true, felt it with everything he was, even with no memories to back it up. Even so, he watched her closely to see how she'd respond.
She seemed to struggle for words for a moment, and then simply nodded.
Did that mean she couldn't put a name to what they were to one another, or wouldn't put a name to it?
Suddenly exhausted, he relaxed against the pillow. She tugged on her hand, probably once more planning to go for the doctor, when a new thought struck him with some urgency. Tightening his fingers around hers again, he once more caught her gaze. "I have a son. Where is he?"