Disclaimer: Bones originally belongs to Kathy Reichs, but is currently under the great care of Fox, Hart, Deschanel, and Boreanaz.

A/N: ORIGINALLY TITLED: O, Death.

Will include the last two episodes of Season 5 PLUS speculation on Season 6.


Brennan's Prologue:

Temperance Brennan knows death. She spends her life around the bones of murder victims. She is very well acquainted with death in all its forms. But this pain, it's a different kind of death, one like she's never before experienced. This doubt, this separation, this constant ache. It's something she's never dealt with before, at least, not to this capacity.

If her strong exterior is cracked will the fissures continue to spread?

Can Temperance be who she is without a strong shell?

Or, will death change her?

Brennan wakes up, gasping. It's happened again. The nightmare's returned, and it's not just in her dreams.

"Brennan was there too." Angela asserts as they stand in her office, facing the aftermath of Hodgins' near break down.

"I'm fine." Brennan announces before bolting from the room. But does anyone else see her response as comical? Obviously a lie.

"I have nightmares, Booth. You're drowning, Hodgins is bleeding. I can't save anyone." She finally lets the fear surface. To the one man she trusts completely. He offers her words of reassurance and pulls her into a hug. She's ready to cry into his shoulder. Can't she see how her rational mind is always a hindrance? Let that shell break, open up for him.

But she doesn't. He doesn't push. And they behave as usual.

But one thing has changed. She is unsure of herself. Unsure that she wants to do this work, solving murders. It is trying. It is painful, and with a cracked shell she cannot keep herself emotionally distant. But a more important thing the brilliant doctor has overlooked is trying to discover what first caused those fissures in her hard exterior.

Was it Booth? Who reached her heart?

Was it the connection to her friends?

Was she getting weak mentally because of her emotional ties?

Ties, which are fleeting and unnecessary in her eyes.

Someone or something started those cracks in her perfectly polished shell.

The gravedigger deepened them.

Now, the only way she can think to stop them is to question her very reason for being. Her work. No, not her work. Her work with Booth. Because her work is merely anthropological. Scientific. But her work now is a partnership. Symbiotic.

But, ever rational, she leaves him. Always protecting herself first and never quite getting the deeper message.


Booth's Prologue:

Booth was uncertain. He had never been this uncertain in his life. His faith- his standard belief system had been shaken. And all because of one event. One little thing that had set this all in motion, and shaken Seeley Booth down to his very core.

He watched his son sleep, the pinnacle of innocence. He could only hope that Parker would never have to experience or see most of the things that Booth himself had been through during his life. Sometimes he worried over it, obsessed. So afraid because Parker wanted to be 'just like dad'. It was something he didn't want for his son. To cause deaths as a sniper, to see deaths as a crime solver. It could snatch away that beautiful innocence in the blink of an eye, or a snap of his fingers.

Booth sighed. It was true; he had been shaken, after looking death straight in the eye.

"I can't believe they actually got hitched?" Booth grinned after the happy couple as they walked down the sidewalk.

"I know." Brennan glanced after her friends, but there was no happiness in her eyes. "I have the sense that everything is changing, Booth."

"We're still partners. Don't make any decisions about your future now." Booth threw up his defenses, trying to get his partner to listen.

"I might need more than a little time, Booth." Brennan's voice held that hint of choked emotion.

"Let's just go inside and have one more drink." Booth took Brennan's hand, trying to pull her back into the bar.

She yanked it away, guard up. "No, I'm tired, Booth."

He gave in, again. "Alright. Let's get you in a cab." He gestured for one.

Brennan climbed in and Booth lingered by the cab door. "Hey, I'll see you tomorrow, right?" His brown eyes held more sadness than any beautiful partner should've been able to bear.

But she shut the door, without so much as a goodbye.

For the second time in his life, he watched her drive away in a cab. Missing a moment.

For the second time in his life he let it go. Agreed with her easily. Made light of the situation.

For the... well, for more times than he could count, Booth let the woman he loved just drive away, without so much as a goodbye.

How had this 'death' grasped them both by the hand?


A/N: Comments? Complaints?