AN: A warning to all - this is not a happy piece. Read no further if you are after happy fluff, or case stuff. Not going to happen here. I was not in a happy place myself this last week and this is the result. I needed an outlet. I kind of debated about posting it, but as I myself occasionally read a tear jerker because I'm in the mood to be sad, I figure why not.
Character deaths - be warned.
Probably a good thing I don't own Bones and the characters - look what I did to them, after all!
Her body felt the pull to him. A physical thing, irresistible. Languor invaded her, her mind shut down to everything except the feeling of his skin on hers, his breath ever so lightly skimming her ear, her neck, her lips. Nothing mattered except his touch.
She would regret this later, almost certainly. Did she even know his name?
A grunt as her hand slicked over his hardened shaft. She paused, a sense of wrongness pervading her. He didn't sound right.
No matter. Her body needed him. She hurt. He started to mutter...
"Baby, oh god...."
"No. Be silent or this ends here." Her voice stiff and angry. Unyielding.
Confused brown eyes met hers, then acquiesced. The wrong brown. But close. Close enough. No one would ever be right again. If she closed her eyes, she could imagine him. His touch, his scent. So long as she concentrated on the scent of the cologne she'd be ok. It was him. It was. It was what had attracted her to him in the first place.
Poco played in the background, ever so quietly. On repeat the lyrics soothed her over and over. She kept her ipod with her, needing to hear something familiar; if she listened hard enough she could hear his voice, slightly off tune, his eyes looking into her soul as he sung the words...
"Get home to you". Yes. He wouldn't leave. He promised. He didn't leave. Not forever.
His hand swept slowly down her neck to her left nipple, his fingers plucking the pebbled surface 'til she moaned in abandon. Yes. This was what she needed. His fingers slipped around her ribcage to scratch his nails lightly against the small of her back.
The touch grated on her...wrong. His touch didn't feel like that, it comforted, soothed. Why did it...?
Don't think. No. Don't go there. It's him. It has to be him. His hair crinkling under the palm of her hands, he smells right, he feels right he does he does he...
No. She lost it. Her body began to cool, arousal gone.
The undertone to the cologne was ever so slightly wrong, the hands were wrong.
It wasn't him.
It would never be him again.
She lay there staring at the ceiling as her lover moaned and panted above her, unaware in his moment of passion that she was no longer with him.
She bit her lips, tears leaking from the corners of her eyes as he groaned loudly and long above her, his body stiffening. She tried not to show him. It was hardly his fault he wasn't the man she craved.
He rolled off her and she turned away, empty. The gentle chocolate eyes she loved would never look at her in passion again.
Once. That's all they had. Before her own personal hell began to burn her, flaying at her tender heart. Vulnerable because she stupidly loved.
Rationally, a heart couldn't burn in hell. She knew that.
Knowing didn't make the blistering pain any less.
A snore at her side had her flicking her eyes toward him in disgust. What the hell was she doing? Would she never learn that there was no going back? She could never hope to find what they had. She'd been content before he came along, happy with her life. Content to satisfy her body's urges with any male of acceptable physique, passable personality. She didn't need to...break the laws of physics. Once should be enough for any person, shouldn't it?
Only it wasn't. She would have given him a lifetime, she would. But she never had the chance to tell him. He never knew. She would never forgive herself for that.
That morning...so long ago now... was the most beautiful she'd ever experienced. She didn't want to break the spell by talking about the future. She wasn't quite ready. He'd smiled at her with that smile that he kept exclusively for her and didn't push. Always giving her what she needed. Loving her with his smile. The smile that told her that she was the sun, moon and earth as far as he was concerned. And he loved her. She knew he did.
And she loved him. But she didn't tell him.
She planned to. She'd thought of nothing else all afternoon. But she wanted to do it in person. She had trembled with anticipation, and a little apprehension as the afternoon wore on and she got closer to 6pm. He was coming to pick her up. Her smile lit the lab. They all knew. They'd seen the kiss yesterday afternoon as she finally knocked down the last wall between them and reached up to connect her lips to his.
No mistletoe, no guy hugs. Just the two of them, and the knowing look in his eyes that she could no longer ignore. That melted her from the inside out. And she kissed him. Just like that. Not realising at first what she was doing, it was simply a natural progression for her. It was time. Finally time for them.
The squeals from Angela had probably deafened poor Cam, who had been standing next to the excited artist. For once she didn't mind their focus on her relationship with him. Why shouldn't they be thrilled for them? They were as close as any family.
So long ago now.
Then the phone call that had plunged her into hell. Her world turned gray, she forgot to breathe.
A car accident... drunk driver...so prosaic. So ordinary. He wasn't ordinary. He was everything. It wasn't true. It couldn't be true.
He wouldn't leave her like that. He promised.
She stared at the ceiling through the darkness, trying so hard to stop the memories. To think of something, anything else.
Another snuffling snort from beside her, and she had to swallow to force down the bile that suddenly wanted to exit her stomach.
She dragged herself from the sheets, slowly, quietly. She didn't need to look into another face that wasn't the face she needed so desperately to see. She lurched into the tiny bathroom, closing the door behind her, the light off. She sank to the tiled floor, not feeling the cold tiles biting into the tender skin of her knees.
From bitter experience she knew there was no point in trying to stop the images that pressed behind her eyelids now. The scene had to play out.
Her cell phone dropping from her hand, bouncing down the stairs in slow motion....
The lab whirling around her as she stumbled forward, trying to deny Cullen's words...
Gasping for breath, her lungs feeling like she would never take a full breath again. ..
Angela's concerned face rushing towards her, Hodgins grabbing at her to hold her upright...
The ride to Georgetown Memorial hospital, hoping against hope that the news was wrong, buildings and cars blurring together before her staring eyes...
Running full tilt into the emergency room, demanding that someone tell her where he was.
Seeing Charlie on a gurney in the hallway, dried blood on his chin and temple, one arm clutched agaist his side in pain. Suddenly standing in front of him, shaking him, shrieking, begging...Where? Where?
His eyes filled with pity as they involuntarily looked to a curtained cubicle.
Angela trying to hold her back as she tore the curtain aside.
A familiar shape under a sheet, ripping it from his face, needing to see...a tube still coming from his slack mouth, the mouth that had kissed her lips that very morning... his chest and left arm a mangled mess, the same chest she had nestled against overnight, that arm wrapped tightly around her, safe and loved. And so very happy.
And then the pain rose up ten times, a hundred times worse than any she'd felt before.
Three months now, it didn't get any better.
She had left her home, her job, and her friends that same day he had left her. She had no intention at first of coming back.
She didn't go to the funeral. Couldn't bear to see him put into the ground, gone from her forever. He wouldn't have been happy about it. Too bad. He left her.
But, she visited him several weeks later, having driven back into DC for that express purpose only. Because she had promised him.
Such a stupid thing to ask of her, such a long time again now, visit his grave, and talk to him sometimes.
She tried. Because she'd do anything for him. It didn't help. What did you say to someone who couldn't hear you, anyway? She felt like screaming at him, really. He left. How could he leave her? She didn't see the point. She'd agreed to do it, never thinking she'd have cause to do anything so illogical.
She had very little to say. She choked out a few phrases, feeling useless. "Why? Ask your god that! Why?"
No god would subject anyone to this dying inside.
Oh, she was still here. Still walking, still functioning on the outside.
But the burning in her chest never stopped. It took her breath away at times like this. She knelt on the floor, her arms wrapped around herself, shaking. Her eyes dry.
If she cried it would be real. So she didn't cry.
Memories of grass bending gently in the breeze, a gravestone she could not bear to read.
A single daffodil laid there.
It looked so lonely. Lost.
She hadn't placed it there. That would be irrational. But someone had. She suspected it had been Angela, thinking he would like a flower that reminded him of her - Angela was irrational like that. But it hardly mattered, he was gone. Nothing mattered.
She stood now, her jaw tightly clenched, shaking her head to remove the image of that single lonely daffodil so pitiful against the white of the marble gravestone. Resolutely squaring her shoulders to re-enter the bedroom.
She gathered her clothes, dressing quickly, sparing a glance at the snoring figure in the bed, silently apologising to him. She wouldn't have once. But...he had changed her, with his sensibilities.
Biological imperatives just didn't seem so logical anymore. Nothing soothed the ache he'd left behind, nothing quenched the burning where her heart used to be.
Taking up her bag she slipped from the room, silently pulling it closed behind her in the darkness.
Finding herself on the street outside, wandering down the dimly let sidewalk, not caring that her behaviour was hardly prudent at this hour. It was a main road. Still some traffic, even at 11pm. How bad could it be?
He would have chastised her, she knew. Her heart yearned to hear him barking his irritation at her, his hand going to its customary place on her lower back, his body curving slightly over hers, protecting her even while he berated her. She could almost feel him...her eyes stared glassily ahead, shimmering in the moonlight. She would not cry. It wasn't real.
For moment she thought she felt a warm breath on her cheek, and her heart clenched within the empty cavern that was her chest these days. The burning increased until she was barely able to breathe, panting shallowly. She stumbled and grasped at the lamppost beside her. Gripping tighter until she could feel the ridges biting into the palm of her hand, blood welling. Anything to stop the pain in her chest...please...make it stop.
"Lady? You ok?"
A voice from further up the street. Concerned. No. No one could see her like this, she didn't want to explain, she couldn't. No. Why did she have to come across a good Samaritan now of all times?
A figure moving closer, faster...a hand held out to help.
She had to escape, get away. She needed to lick her wounds in private. Figuratively speaking of course.
She stepped into the street, hurrying away from the concern on the older man's face, needing to get away.
Needing him. She hated him, loved him, oh please. Why? Why him? Why did she have to always be left alone?
Brakes squealing....turning to find headlights blinding her...white light... flying through the air...her face pressed against the rough pavement.
The burning in her chest rivalled by the new stabbing in her abdomen and legs...then everything dimming...the pain leaving her...brown eyes melting her from the inside out, a smile that she knew and loved and then the last thing she heard, disbelieving joy filling her, a voice murmuring gladly, "What did I tell you Bones?"
Cam stood in the door to Angela's office.
"Have you heard from her Ange?" Her voice was hopeful.
Angela's head bowed, not turning to look at her boss. Cam had asked her the same question every Monday since Brennan had disappeared. Hodgins never asked, knowing it hurt her that her best friend had not been able to allow her to help. That she had simply bolted from the hospital after they had finally dragged her from Booths still form and that Angela hadn't been able to catch her.
She had known then that something had broken in her friend. She searched for her, desperately, finally giving up three days later. Knowing she was gone.
"No, you know I haven't. She's gone Cam. I told you. She won't be back."
"You don't know that, she's probably off on a dig somewhere trying to hide from her feelings. That's what she does. She'll come back when she's ready."
Angela turned and just looked at her.
"No. She won't."
Camille's face fell again, giving Angela a tiny, apologetic smile as she turned away, back to a lab left rudderless by the absence of the forensic anthropologist and her partner. Angela had overheard Booth once talking quietly to Brennan after one of their more difficult misunderstandings: "We still the centre Bones?", and Brennan's blue, blue eyes gazing up at him, unconsciously adoring, "Yes Booth, of course. Always. The centre will hold." She'd never really understood at the time. She did now.
It had been three months. There was another anthropologist in Brennan's office. Another FBI liaison. But the heart of the lab was gone. Their family sundered, Angela, Hodgins and Cam clinging together in grief - close as always, but lost. Sweets, no longer able to bring himself to enter the lab had drifted away from them - he'd always been there for Booth and Brennan anyway. Brennan had confided in Angela once that he was her and Booth's very own baby duck, something that had caused Angela to shake her head in amusement at the time, but that saddened her now. It was a hard way for a baby duck to grow up.
She sighed and continued to program information into the Angelator for Roger to go through. He was ok, but he'd never be as good at the forensics as Brennan. Not his fault. Her brilliance made anyone else seem secondary.
Her phone rang, a jarring noise in the quiet of her office, she leaned forward to pick it up, answering absently, her mind only partly on the call.
"Miss Montenegro, I'm Dr Robert Crenshaw, I work in the emergency department at the Sisters of Hope hospital in Montreal."
Angela sat up straight, her attention suddenly fully on the voice on the other end of the phone. Ice slid slowly down her spine.
"Do you know a Temperance Brennan?"
"Oh god. Yes..." Her voice was a whisper of apprehension. Walking past her door, Hodgins glanced in, then backed up and came into the room when he saw the frozen look on her face.
"I'm sorry to have to do this over the phone Miss Montenegro, but we're too far away to do this any other way. She has your name on a card in her wallet as her secondary emergency contact. Do you know a Seeley Booth? We can't reach him at the number we have, and I should call him as well."
A sob escaped her, Hodgins hand coming to her shoulder in silent support. "Yes, I did. He's...he died several months ago. Is Bren...ok?"
"Ah. I'm afraid not, Miss Montenegro. She stepped in front of an oncoming car last night...they brought her in just before midnight but she never regained consciousness. She died a few hours ago. I'm so sorry for your loss."
Angela stood up and handed the phone to a bewildered Hodgins.
"Bring her home, can you Jack? Please? I can't...do this. But...she has to come home. We have to put her next to Booth, ok?"
Hodgins blue eyes filled as he realised what Angela was saying, before he steeled himself to do what had to be done. He had to be strong right now. There would be time for tears later. He watched the woman he loved collapse on the couch she had had removed from Brennan's office before the new forensic anthropologist took it over. She wrapped the afghan Brennan had always kept on it around herself and cried.
A year later, Angela stood before a pair of headstones in a wedding dress, Hodgins waiting patiently behind her in his tux.
"Hi guys. I couldn't get married without you guys being part of it. I mean, you were meant to be there, you were there the first time, and I'm really pissed that you're not here now Jack and I have finally got our act together. But I had to come and let you know we did it. And we love you guys so much. I miss you."
Pulling the lone two daffodils from her bridal bouquet, Angela placed one at each headstone, her eyes shimmering with tears, her head bowed for a moment before turning to her new husband.
"Hey Ange, they're together now, at least. Right? You know that's what they both would have wanted." Jacks voice was gentle, sad.
Angela smiled at him, loving that he always knew what to say to her.
"I suppose, Jack. No, I know you're right. I just wish they could have had more time together, you know. "
"I think that wherever they are, they're together now, for always. And watching us, and smiling."
Angela laid her head on his shoulder briefly, grateful for the thought, and they turned to the limo waiting to take them to their reception.
Behind them, the grass bent in the light breeze, and two daffodils didn't look lonely at all.