They'd been work partners for years, however over time it evolved into something much deeper and they became lovers. Always colleagues, then friends and then inseparable until the stress of their combined lives became too much to take.
"I can't keep having this discussion with you Booth. I can't. We've gone over this and over this a thousand times! I was a forensic anthropologist before I was your partner, I was an anthropologist before I was your friend and I was an anthropologist before I was your lover. This is what I am! This is my life, my career and my passion! Why can't you just understand and accept that?" Brennan and Booth were in their apartment, once again arguing.
Luckily she had no neighbors on the one side and the other side was the outside wall. They'd been arguing more and more lately. It didn't take much to set one or the other of them off. They'd always bickered at each other and that had worked for them rather than against them. They were usually able to see both sides of an issue and then resolve it through compromise, but the bickering had stopped being their way of figuring out an answer and had escalated into their way to avoid an answer.
"Bones, listen to me. I asked you to MARRY me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, I want to wake up every morning with you, and go to sleep every night with you. I'm not asking you to give up being an anthropologist, I'm not asking you to give up being a forensic anthropologist, I'm asking you to stop going around the world to places where there are armies with big guns pointed at you while you try to figure out who it was they killed! I'm asking you to stay in the lab, with Angela and Cam instead of going out UC with me and any other agents that the FBI in their infinite wisdom sends you with. I want to know that you are safe. That one day when we decide to have children that you will be there for them. Our jobs are dangerous enough, well at least mine is, without both of us constantly worrying about the others safety! I don't think this is too much to ask!" Booth was furious, he and Brennan had woken up early and made love and then somewhere between getting the coffee and the newspaper they'd started to argue again. Now, standing there in nothing but sweatpants, he ran his hands through his hair and beseeched her to understand what he was saying to her.
"You want me to stay behind and be the dutiful little wife, watch the progeny and welcome you home with open arms at the end of the day Booth! That's what you want admit it!"
"FINE! YES! That's what I want. I want you to be here when I come home, and I want you to be safe, and I don't want to worry about you and I want you to have my children and take care of them and nurture them, yes, that's what I want!"
"Then you don't want me Booth." She said resignedly.
"What are you talking about Bones? I just told you I wanted you. That's why I asked you to MARRY me, what am I speaking German or something?" he didn't want to be snide, but the constant arguing was wearing thin.
"If you wanted ME Booth, then you would know that I could no more give up my passion than you could give up…hockey or …your gun. You have asked me to give up what I love, my life to be your wife. I would never ask you to give up anything for me Booth. Never."
"You would still have your job Brennan, you'd still work at the Jeffersonian, you just wouldn't be going to Guatemala or China or Africa every other month for some other government, and you'd be here, where I could watch over you. Why is that so hard for you to understand?"
"It's not hard. I understand. Booth, please leave. I'll get you your things by the end of tomorrow. I can't do this anymore. I'm done arguing with you about this; I'm done living this life. It's over between us. I'm going to go to Angela's for the day. Please don't be here when I get back." She told him grabbing her purse and leaving without a backwards glance.
Booth was in anguish. In all of his dreams, he'd never seen this coming. How could a morning that started off so well, end so horribly. "Bones, what are you saying?" he followed her to the elevator. "We can work this out Bones, don't go, please?" he didn't care that he was begging, she was his whole world, he couldn't handle not having her in his life.
"I'm saying I don't love you Booth. I'm saying we're over. Goodbye."She let the elevator door close and she was gone. Tears filled his eyes and he punched the wall as he went back into the apt they'd shared for the last few years. He didn't know what to do or where to go. He called Jared and told him what was going on and cried like he hadn't cried since he was a kid, Padme told Jared to come get him and he could stay with them as long as he needed to. Booth threw some clothes and a suit into his bag and grabbed some necessary things and then left. He knew she'd come around, she had to.
The next day, Booth went back to the apartment and his key wouldn't work. He knocked and knocked but there was no answer. He tried calling her and her number was disconnected. He called Angela and asked where she was, all she could tell him is that she had left in the morning and said she would call her that evening. He asked for her new number, and Angela had to tell him that she had promised not to give it to him, "Give her time Seeley, maybe that's all she needs." Booth's shoulders slumped as he left the apartment building to go back to Jared's.
Thanks to some meetings he couldn't avoid, he wasn't able to get to the Jeffersonian until later in the afternoon on Monday. He'd called her office phone repeatedly throughout the day as he had time, with no response. He'd even gone to see Sweets, but the young psychologist was out of the office all day. He went to her office, and was shocked to see most of her personal things were gone. Wondering what was happening, he stormed into Cam's office, "Cam, what is going on, where is she?"
Looking up at her old friend, she tried so hard to not see the despair etched on his features, her heart was breaking for him, speaking softly, she stood and walked over to him, "She resigned Seeley. She packed up her things yesterday and the letter of resignation was on my desk this morning."
"Where did she go Camille?" he asked his voice breaking as he slumped into a chair by her desk. "I don't know Seeley, she didn't say in the letter, all it says is that she was resigning for personal reasons. I tried to ask Angela, but she doesn't know either. I'm so sorry Seeley, so very sorry."
Booth left the Jeffersonian and went back to their place. There was a note on the door in her script, "Booth-I changed my mind, the apartment is yours. I've had my things packed and shipped elsewhere. The key is in the envelope-Brennan" using the enclosed key, he went inside and saw that the apartment was a ghost house, everything that had made it uniquely hers and then theirs was gone. All of his personal things were still in place; it was like someone had taken an eraser and just erased her from his life. Booth sat down and cried, he cried for her, for him, for them.
Slowly over the months to follow Booth sank deeper and deeper into depression over her. He'd never heard from her again, she still called Angela occasionally, but she never asked about him. Cam and Angela and Jack tried repeatedly to get him to come to grips with it, but all they could do was watch him sink deeper. Soon, he started drinking to forget her, and then drinking to forget that he was drinking and then he would drink to forget about his job. Eventually he didn't have to worry about that either. Special Agent Seeley Booth was released from his job when he'd been drunk in his office. Cam and Angela tried to get him reinstated, to no avail. He stopped coming to see them for lunch or just to chat, then he stopped answering his phone. One night, they'd all gone to the Founding Fathers and he was at the bar, blind drunk and was physically being restrained by the bar tender. Jack took him home and tried to sober him up, but he opened another bottle of scotch and told Jack that he was fine, "I'm not going to watch this man, call me when your sober" Jack said to the sad resemblance of what was once a great man, slumped on his couch, open bottle in his left hand, her picture in his right.
Days went by and no one had heard from him, so Cam had gone to the apartment with Jared, and that's where they found him. Face down on the pillow, his hand still holding her photo, the empty bottle of scotch, broken on the floor. There was a note on the night stand, written in his once strong hand, "I'll love her until I die" was all it said. His friends buried him beneath a large Willow tree and it seemed as though the angels were crying when he was finally laid to rest. The wind through the trees was soft, and a light rain was falling, it seemed as though the branches were singing a lullaby.
The next few months were rough for all of them; they'd been hearing rumors that she was back in town, if she'd ever left. Angela had tried to call her and once again her number was disconnected. Occasionally someone would mention they'd seen her at the diner, or at the Founding Fathers. Angela and Cam both tried to talk to Max or Russ, but they hadn't heard from her either. Soon the rumors that were going around were proved true, Angela ran into her at the diner one early morning while getting her coffee. She almost didn't recognize her, her hair was unkempt, her makeup was smeared and she smelled of alcohol. Angela tried to help her get home, but she smiled and told her she would be fine, they should get together for lunch or something and then she was gone. Over the next couple of weeks, Angela, Cam and Jack saw her more and more frequently hanging around the diner. Jack had taken the initiative to see where she lived, and it was no surprise, she'd moved into the apartment that Booth had sublet out, the one above the liquor store. He followed her and watched this once strong and proud woman stumble down the sidewalk to the entrance of the stairs leading to her apartment.
Max and Angela decided enough was enough a couple of weeks after Jack had followed her and were determined to get her some help, she needed to get cleaned up and they were going to have their work cut out for them, the waitress at the diner said that the cops had come to get her earlier in the week because she was hassling a man that looked like her old partner. The two of them went to her apartment and banged on the door, when there was no answer, Max got the super and he let them in. Finding empty bottles everywhere, most of her things were still in boxes. The only personal things that had been unpacked were her pictures of them, of him, everywhere, his face stared at them. Going into her room, they found her laying on the floor, holding a bottle of scotch and his a picture of the two of them. There was a note beside her pillow on the floor, "I'll love him until I die." Angela clasped her hand to her mouth and turned to Max for comfort. He slumped to his knees and touched his daughter's prone body.
Max and her friends buried her beneath the same Willow tree that he was buried under. It only seemed fitting. Everyone left but Angela and as she stood between the two graves, she felt the cold in the softly falling rain, and heard the song in the branches again. She could almost feel the two of them walking away, hand in hand, heart in heart, together in death as they were in life. Lifting her face to the sky, Angela smiled sadly and the angels cried their whiskey lullaby.