Well, here we are, last episode of season 5. Anyone else as stunned as I am? Thanks for all your reviews, alerts, and favorites through out the season. I can't tell you what that means to me.

It's going to be a long hiatus, but as I told a friend earlier, it'll only be a third of a revolution of the Earth around the Sun. :D Enjoy.

VVVVV

Booth knew he'd probably get in trouble if he was caught off the base without permission, but he didn't care. Bones was worth it--she always was and always would be.

What was a year? It was only 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, or 31,536,000 seconds.

One revolution of the Earth around the Sun.

That was his favorite definition because, when said that way, it didn't sound so…long. There was just one of something. Or perhaps it was the one he preferred because it was Bones' definition.

He heard her voice saying those words to him earlier, and he replayed their conversation at the airport. She told him to not be a hero, to not be himself. Basically, though she didn't say the actual words, she told him she cared about him.

And with his words to her, along with grasping her hand in his and the oodles of eye contact, he told her that he cared for her, too.

But he had a job to do, a duty to fulfill for the Army--and for his country. Still, he promised to meet her at the reflecting pool by the coffee cart in exactly one revolution around the Sun. And Seeley Joseph Booth didn't break promises. Especially ones to his partner. He would meet her, and they'd be back to solving murders before they knew it. The time apart would do them good; it would allow each of them to return to their roots and reestablish themselves in the realms of their beginnings.

He just needed to keep repeating that to himself; eventually he might even believe it.

Could he really go a whole year without seeing her, without even hearing her voice? It was going to be a hell of a long year.

VVVVV

"We're going to be late, Dr. Brennan," Daisy exclaimed as she all but herded her boss in the direction of the Indonesia-bound plane gate.

With one final look over her shoulder, Brennan set her jaw and sighed, annoyed that she'd spend the next year with the over-zealous anthropologist-in-training.

"What are you doing, Ms. Wick?" Brennan asked as Daisy followed her to the front of the plane. "This is First Class."

Daisy beamed as she removed her giant Panama Jack hat. "I know! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I splurged and upgraded to First Class! Isn't it so exciting? And how awesome is it that our seats are right across the aisle from each other? Talk about luck!"

As Daisy continued to ramble, Brennan glowered and tucked away her carry-on before flopping into her seat.

Ten minutes after takeoff, Daisy had quieted down, the realization of her breakup finally beginning to sink in. "Do you think my Lancelot and I will ever get back together?" she asked Brennan. "I probably shouldn't call him that anymore since he's technically not mine. I asked him to wait for me because that would be totally romantic, but I did tell him that my career came first, so it's unfair of me to expect him to wait…"

"Ms. Wick," Brennan began.

But Daisy, now consumed with thoughts of how this opportunity could benefit her career, was quickly on the road to one of her bubbly and incessantly annoying--to most people who knew her--outbursts. "This year is going to be the best year, ever! Just think of what we'll find, all the articles we'll have published, and the awards! Wick and Brennan," she continued, eyes glassy with delight.

Brennan glared at her, not even attempting to hide her disdain. "Ms. Wick…"

Daisy turned to Brennan. "I mean Brennan and Wick, of course," she laughed nervously. "Your name would obviously come first as you're already a doctor. Alphabetically, too! 'B' comes before 'W.'"

Brennan took a deep breath and clenched the armrest. "Ms. Wick, I've no choice but to spend the next year with you, and in light of that situation, I would appreciate it if you would not talk to me for the rest of the flight."

"But Dr. Brennan, that's like forever!" Then, upon being at the receiving end of another icy glare, Daisy finally conceded. "Shutting up now…"

"Thank you," Brennan declared, finally able to release her vise grip on the armrest.

Although it was the middle of the day, Brennan found the supplied eye mask, and without another glance in Daisy's direction, she put it on and leaned back in the seat. She wasn't a bit tired, but at least she finally had some peace and quiet.

Brennan's thoughts centered around Booth and the trouble he could face if he was caught sneaking off base. But his actions weren't lost on her. He made sure he was at the airport to tell her goodbye, no matter the consequences. No one had ever gone out of their way for her. Not the way Booth did on a consistent basis.

Eventually, her thoughts shifted to earlier conversations. Was Caroline right? Was she running from Booth?

No, Brennan told herself. She needed a break from the murders, that was all. She was an anthropologist first and foremost, and the dig she'd been chosen to head up could prove to be the one that solidified her place in science and history. Not that notoriety was her sole purpose in leaving DC for the Maluku Islands.

Flashes of an association ripped through her brain.

Evolution…

Change.

Evolution…

Change.

Brennan gasped at her newfound, and slightly unsettling, revelation. She was an anthropologist, and it was anthropologists' very nature to study and accept the evolution of a culture.

Evolution was synonymous with change.

Then why was she so adamant in rejecting her own ability to change? Hadn't her provenance as an anthropologist confirmed that people often changed upon associating with new people?

Was Caroline right?

Brennan sighed. It was going to be a hell of a long year.

VVVVV

One revolution of the Earth around the Sun later…

Shifting his weight from foot to foot, Booth anxiously glanced at his watch, then back up at the Arrivals board. It had been one year since he'd worn crazy socks or the 'Cocky' belt buckle, but most importantly, it had been one year since he'd seen his partner. His Bones.

Finally, the Arrivals board showed that her plane had landed. Palms sweaty with the anticipation of seeing her again, he rubbed them across the seat of his jeans. Long minutes passed and he swore under his breath. He'd waited to see her for a whole year, and the last few minutes seemed to be passing agonizingly slowly.

Groups of people made their way through the terminal, and he scanned each face searching for the one he most wanted to see. She must've been one of the last passengers to disembark, but at long last, he saw her. Fighting every impulse that told him to run to her, he waited until she passed, then followed a few steps behind. Her pace was quick, and he had to do some fancy footwork to keep up with her. Eventually, he'd had enough--he had to talk to her.

"Hey, stranger," he grinned as he jogged up beside her.

Shocked to see him standing there, her bags fell to the floor and she pulled him to her tightly, her arms wrapped around his neck.

He chuckled and returned her embrace, ecstatic that she'd been the one to initiate it.

"What are you doing here, Booth?" she asked as she pulled back, but not completely out of his grasp. "What happened to meeting by the coffee cart?"

"You have something against me picking you up at the airport?" he grinned, glad to still be holding her. "At least I didn't have you detained this time. That counts for something, right?"

Brennan grinned but left the question unanswered. Then she stepped from his grasp and bent to pick up her bags.

Booth, always the gentleman, took them from her and waited for her to object.

She didn't. Instead, eyes twinkling, she slid her arm through his, linking them together at the elbow.

"You look good, Bones," he told her with another smile as they began walking again. "You haven't changed a bit."

"I disagree," she replied. "Everything changes."

"And everything says the same," he finished.

The irony of the role-reversal from a year ago wasn't lost on either of them.

"You hungry?" Booth continued.

"Famished. I feel like…"

"The diner?" he supplied.

"The diner," she agreed with a nod. "Hey, Booth?"

"Yeah, Bones?"

"We're back."

"Oh, yeah! We're so back!"

VVVVV

Thanks, as always, for reading!

I've decided to take a break from writing Bones. I'll be back, but I don't know when. I'll still be around if anyone wants to chat though. Just send me a PM!