Title: Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda
Series: Snowflakes

Character: Seeley Booth
Rating: K+ or PG
Spoilers:
Through 5x7: The Dwarf in the Dirt
Timeline: Set in Season 5.
Word Count: 300
Prompt: Remember
Disclaimer: Bones and its characters belong to FOX, not me. This story is purely meant to entertain. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Sometimes Booth finds it hard to pretend.
A/N: Snowflakes is a series of Bones oneshots. I have a 50scenes prompt table I claimed a gazillion years ago. Writing time is always at a premium these days, and on the random occasions when I have it (read: when my daughter naps), I'm finding it hard to find or create much inspiration. Too much pressure, maybe. Regardless, perhaps these will help.

If you read this, thank you. If you commented, thank you. Sometimes it's good to know I'm not shouting into the abyss. :)

***

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Startled awake by another dream of a life he's never lived, Booth sighs and rolls onto his back, hands folding tightly under his head. He shivers, hard, beneath the heavy down comforter draped over his body. The heat's on and Brennan always complains that his place is a touch too warm; right now Booth just feels cold.

On the outside and on the inside, ice.

Pretending with her is harder since the operation: Smile here; wink there; crack joke now. But he's watching himself do it, and it's all faking it till you make it. (He never makes it.) "We don't have time for this," he wants to say whenever she turns those blue-green eyes on him, "don't you get it? I could die. You could die. We're all going to die eventually..." Then what would his life be but a series of shoulda, coulda, woulda?

Waiting used to seem like the right thing to do. Patience and hope, he tries to remind himself, are what they need. Except that he remembers the weight of her on his lap, her arms around his neck, the curve of her smile against his mouth, sweeter and richer than his favorite apple pie. She smiles at him like that sometimes when they're sitting across from each other at the diner, and he has to shake his head to clear the sudden double-vision.

He's tired of mourning a life that was never his. He's tired of being alone. He's just so damn tired of wanting and wanting and never quite having.

In a few hours he'll get up and be the good friend and partner he's supposed to be. For a few bittersweet minutes, he wants to remember how much more he could be.

Shutting his eyes, Booth tries to fall back asleep.