Hello, everyone! I've been AWOL for so long you probably don't remember me. Between the holidays and some family drama, I fell off the radar for a while. Hopefully, I am on my way back to a normal FF existence again.

I just finished watching The X in the File, and that last scene was so fabulous I just had to tag it. I know I won't be the only one who does so - but it really spoke to me. Spoke to me in a totally fluffy way, which is unusual for me. So - spoilers through Season 5, and for those of you who are waiting so (im)patiently for the next chapter of The Bet, don't despair - the next chapter is almost done!

THE SLIDE

"Did you hear that?"

Straining, her ears almost twitching from the effort, she listened but heard nothing. How strange. Not just nothing, but nothing. No crickets, no bats or rodents, none of the sounds of the nocturnal insects and mammals that had been running in the background since they'd arrived. Just complete and utter silence. One quick look at his face told her that he'd noticed the difference as well. "What was it?"

"I...I don't know."

His eyes were searching the darkness, sharp and alert as he scanned the area. Trusting his superior nighttime vision she waited, and finally the tension began to leach out of his body. It was alright. There was nothing to worry about after all. Opening her mouth, she began to speak. With a suddenness that shocked her, a radiant rosy light filled her vision and flooded the area as far as she could see, followed almost immediately by a harsh hissing, almost like static but louder than she'd ever heard. Alarm flooded her and she looked around wildly for the cause.

"Look up, Bones. Look up!"

At the sound of Booth's voice she immediately threw her head back, watching in awe as the showering stream of light exploded across the sky, crackling and throwing off millions of glowing sparks. Instinctively she reached out and felt Booth's strong, warm fingers wrap tightly around hers. In silence, they watched the object travel almost to the horizon before disappearing, its journey ending just as suddenly as it began. A few seconds passed, then a moment. Slowly the normal night sounds picked up again, as if nothing unusual had just occurred. No evidence remained of what had happened. Several more moments passed and still neither of them spoke. Her heart was pounding, her breathing unsteady. Feeling the brush of Booth's thumb across her knuckles, she finally turned her head and met his gaze. His eyes were glowing almost as bright as the sky had just seconds ago, the energy of that unexpected moment still rippling across his face. His voice was barely a whisper, his lips hardly moving as he whispered one word.

"Meteor?"

Still stunned, she nodded mutely. A brilliant smile spread across her face, finally travelling to his as he beamed back at her.

He spoke softly yet again. "Why'd we hear it? I didn't think you could hear them."

Facts ran rampant through her mind. Details about fireballs and bolides, ionization trails and electromagnetic impulses bounced around in her head but still she only looked at him and nodded, struck dumb by the one fact that towered over the rest. Because of him. He'd cajoled her into coming here. She'd seen this because of him. How many other things would she never have seen, never have known, if it wasn't for him? Emotions, memories, experiences. Laughter, tears. Life. So much of it because of him. Mind and heart brimming with emotion, she wondered how long it had been like this. How long had this slow slide been happening? Since his operation? Since he took the bullet for her? Since he held her when she found out about her parents? Perhaps since the very first day? She didn't know. It didn't matter. All that mattered was that he was here, and that she was here too.

"You okay, Bones?"

She looked at him. Yes, she was okay. More than okay. She was wonderful. She was happy. For the first time in years, the first time in perhaps decades, she was not conflicted. Every part of her, mind, body and heart, was in harmony.

When she nodded yet again he squeezed her hand; a quick reassuring tug. "So, Bones...what did you think of that?"

Without warning she said the first thing that came into her head. "Wow."

"Wow?" Delighted, Booth chuckled and dropped a quick, careless kiss on her fingers. "Just wow? Is that your professional, scientific opinion, Dr. Brennan?"

"Yes, I believe that that is an appropriate description of what just happened." She heard the slight tremor in her voice. She was speaking of more than just the fireball. She hoped he knew it. But then, this was Booth. He knew all the things she thought, often before she was aware she was even thinking them. All she had to do was look at him and he knew. He always knew.

Groaning just a little as he shifted from his uncomfortable position on the hood, he hooked his heel in the grill and pulled, coasting down the overly-waxed metal and straightening his shirt as he turned back toward her. "Well, I don't think we're gonna see anything that'll top that tonight, Bones. I'm starving. What say we head back into town and hit the Whataburger before we head out to the airport?"

She sat up, fingers gripping an edge as the slick surface of the hood tried to hasten her descent. "I'm not really hungry, Booth. And I'm not sure we have enough time before our flight for a meal."

"Nah, there's plenty of time." Grinning and winking, he wrapped his fingers around her ankle, tugging at her. "C'mon...I'll let you have some of my cheese fries..."

She felt herself shift another inch toward him and tightened her grip yet again. "I don't like cheese fries, Booth."

"Yes you do. I saw you steal six of them off my plate the last time I ordered them. You're a cheese-fry lovin' fool, Bones." One eyebrow rose mischievously as he pulled at her again. "Now come down off of there and let's go."

She thought once again that there was no evidence left of what had happened before. Not of the meteor, and not of what had happened between them. Nothing left but what was inside of her. Looking down at him, she waited, memorizing the moment. The expression on his face, his hands and arms outstretched and ready to catch her. Always ready to catch her. At her hesitation he nodded, a tiny, subtle tilting of his head. She took a deep breath, held it for as long as she could.

And let herself slide.

Lest you think I've taken dramatic license, my family and I actually experienced an event identical to this in Western Pennsylvania when I was younger. Based on definitions, I believe it was a fireball, and count myself lucky to have seen it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and have a wonderful night!