Little moment imagined from the Season Two finale, Stargazer In A Puddle. Can I just say that this is probably the last episode I truly, truly loved of the series, even though the case wasn't that amazing. After that, the show gets a little annoying. Love it anyways, like you love an annoying little sister.

Brennan-centric. Sad. Hopefully makes sense to you guys.

Quiet once again invaded her sombre apartment. She sniffled, trying to wipe tears from her cheekbones. Her heart, what had felt empty and rather hollow, suddenly felt like it was being compressed, as if her entire chest was collapsing inwards. She couldn't even stand properly as she stumbled towards the television screen, placing her hand over her mother's face, tracing the bad image quality with her hands. She choked, tears rolling back down her cheeks.

She choked again, looking around the floor of her apartment, looking around.

She almost wished her father would knock on the door. She almost wished her father would break in, and hug her, and tell her it would be okay. She missed her mother, now, more than ever, and she hadn't felt this way since…perhaps since before her sixteenth birthday. She remembers her sixteenth birthday. Russ called her, and they'd fought. She was alone, her foster parents were busy handling their own problem…

Ignoring the remote sitting on the ground next to her, she pressed rewind. Temperance Brennan was sobbing like she hadn't in a long, long time.

Moments later, a soft click from the VCR told her the video was ready, and she pressed play, and watched it again, and again.

She finally shook herself, standing up, found a box of tissues and blew her nose, several times. She went to go find the little silver dolphin from her purse.

It was too much to deal with. She went into her kitchen, putting water to boil in her expensive fancy tea kettle, and chose chamomile, from the back of the shelf, a box she had never opened before.

She removed the tea bag and placed it by the kettle, and returned to her living room, looking for her leather bag.

She took out her copy of the near-complete case file. Something was on her mind (several things, many things, hundreds of things) and she couldn't sort through it. Not properly, the tears were silently rolling down her cheeks, she couldn't stop them, and she stopped trying. She caught a glimpse of the ring her mother had given her, through her father, and had to stand very still, and very quietly, to calm another disintegration into tears.

Her cell phone rang, making her jump, slightly, and when she picked up, it was Booth.

"Booth, what's going on?" she asked, trying to make her voice sound as normal as possible and yet knowing that even to her own ears, her voice sounded disturbingly weak.

"I…oh…ommph…ugh, Bones, I…uhh…I got your dad here, at the FBI," came a strangled voice.

"Are you in pain?" Brennan asked, frowning, and sniffled as discretely as possible.

"I…its nothing just a nasty fall, look, Bones, they found DNA proof linking your dad to his real identity, so he's being detained…" Booth sounded like he was in pain.

Brennan sighed, her free hand opening a folder from the stash of paperwork.

"I'll see you tomorrow, at the wedding. Get better."

She looked over her case files, opening the first one, Cynthia Cole's medical records. Her eyes trailed over the dates, when she noticed something she hadn't noticed before.

"Bones, wait, look, I want to tell you something."

"I have to go, Booth."


She closed her phone, returning to the quiet of her apartment. Opening another file, she uncovered a piece of evidence in a Ziploc bag, a small, round pebble with the words "I love you" etched on them.

I love you.

Brennan gathered her car keys and a jacket, didn't both checking herself in the mirror, pocketed the stone and walked out her front door.

She darted back in, moments later, to turn off her very expensive fancy tea kettle, and ran back out the apartment door.


About an hour and a half later, she placed the grey pebble in Cynthia's hand.

She didn't know what her mother had felt, she hadn't known what her parents had felt, and she'd spent a long time wondering why they had done this to her. 

Cynthia and her mother had something in common. She'd told Cynthia, just earlier that night, that no would ever understand her. Maybe Brennan would never really comprehend what her mother had gone through, what Cynthia had gone through, but she understood something else.

Brennan looked up, her hand resting gently over Cynthia's.

"I'm…I'm sorry I told you that you threw your daughter away." She said quietly, looking at the distraught older woman's face. Brennan didn't apologize much. She very, very rarely felt the need to, especially to killers on her case.

But this was a case that left Brennan bitter, a simple case, few suspects, few stories, quick resolution- and yet this case was more emotionally cumbersome than some cases that had taken Booth and her team and herself months to wrap up.

Cynthia kept sobbing quietly, her lips quivering and her little whimpers echoing in the grey room they were in. Cynthia was eyeing the rock mostly, tears falling down her face, reliving the moment she'd placed it within her daughter's hands.

Brennan looked at the heirloom on her fingers.

She'd apologized because she'd realized, she realized that her mother and father had not thrown Russ and her away like trash. She couldn't believe that, despite the proof and the evidence pointing to the contrary, she couldn't believe that despite the lying and the killing and the stealing, she couldn't believe that despite the years she'd spent alone, buried in school books that couldn't hug her or tell her she was smart or that she sang well.

She didn't believe her mother and father had thrown her away because she couldn't. It simply hurt too much. So she accepted her mother's heirloom, and the apology she had asked for years and years ago, and Brennan had never acknowledged. Her parents were dead, or missing, or fugitives, and whatever she had believed through the years had not removed the sting of their absence, the cruelty of ignorance. Through most of her life, her young, teen life, she'd been angry. Angry at the world, and at her parents- Brennan couldn't accept her parent's forgiveness, not yet, but she would try. And in the meantime, she'd broken into Cynthia Cole's house and taken the drawings, and brought to her mother a bit of recognition, a bit of understanding.

Brennan had lied. Cynthia had found somebody who could empathize with her, somebody who understood what had happened. And all it had taken was a quick glance at old medical records and the presence of a pebble lodged in a little skeleton's phalanges.

Brennan stood up, leaving the woman with her tears.

"I spoke to the prison about your daughter's drawings. They'll let you keep them. And that pebble."

There was no response, and Brennan left the room, one last glance at the mother sitting in the grey room.

Tears were still falling quietly, unnoticed, falling down Brennan's cheeks as she left the prison and drove away, breathing and looking up into the night sky.

Stargazer- the victim had been a stargazer.

Brennan wondered if she could spot the dolphin constellation in the sky. And as she glimpsed at the stars, pulling over on the highway, heading home, she felt it for the first time, the same feeling she'd felt when she'd stargazed with her mother, looking for the dolphin.

Review if you like ice cream. Review if you like puppies. Review if you should be doing something else other than reading right now.

Thanks for reading, guys.