If you think of me.
If you miss me once in awhile
Then I'll return to you,
I'll return and fill that space in your heart.
Your touch, your kiss, your warm embrace,
I'll find my way back to you.
If you'll be waiting.
- Tracy Chapman
AN: I told myself I wasn't going to do this. I told myself that I just didn't have the time. But, my mind wouldn't stop. The finale was what it was. There is a part of me that liked it and a part of me that was just so… saddened by it. And there is this part of me; the part that needed to write this because I know what separation from loved ones is like (my husband is a naval officer). I know how it hurts. How some days are good and some days are bad. And I think that's why this one wouldn't leave me alone.
So, here it is. The prologue. And then the story begins. It's going to be multi-chaptered. It's going to be emotional. It's going to be angst filled. And I hope you stick around for the ride.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones. And, season 5 finale and general spoilers for the show are within.
She didn't want to be here. She didn't want to be saying goodbye. She didn't want him to go into a war zone. She didn't want him to risk his life, to train others how to kill a life with one shot. But they had agreed on this. She had accepted the offer to head up the Maluku Island project. And they had toasted to change. This was what she wanted. A year away from the murderers and senseless deaths. A year to do what she loved. A year to possibly make an amazing discovery. And yet somehow as she stood beside Booth, just outside of the gate of the Fort Belvoir Army Base, it felt wrong.
She turned to him, drinking him in. The dark jeans that hung perfectly on his hips. The tight t-shirt that seemed to hug his body in all the right places. The way his body turned towards hers seemingly attuned to her needs. His warm chocolate eyes found hers and she felt the dam that she had carefully constructed around herself begin to break.
"Bones…" he whispered. His hand reached out for hers.
"Booth." She breathed, trying in vein to hold everything at bay. "If I hadn't – "
Booth silenced her with his free hand. Two fingers fell upon her lips before he spoke. "Don't. Don't play that game with yourself." His fingers moved from her lips and found the softness of her cheekbone. He cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand, caressing the tender skin with the pad of his thumb. "It isn't worth it."
She squeezed her eyes shut. "But Booth, I need to know."
"You don't. We can't change anything now." He took a step towards her, invading her personal space and causing her gaze to find his. "You can't… look Bones, there are no 'what ifs.' We both made decisions that we thought were best for ourselves."
A rebellious tear fell from the corner of her right eye. She pressed her chin down to her chest, embarrassed. "Rationally, I know you're right. I know that this is what I wanted. That I was the one that needed time. But I can't…" Her voice quivered and another tear escaped. "I don't want to lose you." She raised her chin, finding his warm stare once more. "I can't lose you, Booth."
Booth took another step forward, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her against his chest. "You aren't going to lose me."
"You're going into a war zone, Booth." She pressed her face into his chest, breathing all of him in. "Sometimes… you don't get to decide what happens."
"Hey," Booth said, tightening his hold on her. "I know that. And I know that you're scared. I know that. But, this is me. I can be a stubborn son of a bitch. You know that."
"Look, I'm not saying this is going to be easy," Booth admitted gently. "I'm not saying that I'm not going to miss you like hell because I am. I've spent five years of my life with you, being with you almost daily, and now… contact will be limited. But maybe this is what we need." His hands rubbed along her spinal chord. "Maybe this will give us both some perspective."
Brennan's hands gathered the fabric of his t-shirt and squeezed it tightly. A few more errant tears fell from her eyes and landed on his chest. "You're right."
"What?" Booth joked.
"I said, you're right."
Booth shook his head, slowly loosening his arms from around her. "I know, Bones. I'm just joking with you."
"We can do this, Bones." Booth smiled as his hands fell away from her, leaving her suddenly without his touch, without his warmth.
"I don't want to say goodbye, Booth."
"Then, we won't."
Her brow furrowed. "But – "
"No," Booth said, shaking his head. "We'll just say… 'I'll see you later.' Okay?"
"Booth, that doesn't make sense. Saying that implies that it'll just be a brief time until we see each other again, when in actuality it's going to be – "
"A year," Booth interrupted. "I know. But, saying goodbye seems so formal. It seems so permanent. So, let's just say 'I'll see you later' because you will, Bones. You will see me in a year. And I will see you."
She nibbled on her lower lip before she pressed firmly down in attempt to keep the tears at bay. "You can't make that promise, Booth. What if something happens? What if – "
He reached into his pocket then, pulling out a medium-sized box. "I got this for you when I knew that we were going to do this." He offered the box to her. "I wanted you to have something… to have a piece of me with you while you're over in the Mapoopoo Islands."
"Maluku," she corrected, Booth's small attempt to lighten the heaviness of the situation completely escaping her. With a quivering hand she reached forward, taking the box from him. "What is it?"
Booth laughed. "Open it."
She held it in her shaking hands. A frown settled on her face. "I didn't get you anything."
"You didn't have to."
"But you got me something," she argued.
"I got you this for selfish reasons, Bones," Booth explained. "I needed you to have this so that I would feel better. So that I knew that you were protected."
Her curiosity got the better of her and with slow fingers she opened the box. A gasp fell from her lips as she looked inside. "Booth…"
"I know you don't believe in my faith, Bones. I know that it's not… something that you feel the need to have in your life. But I've had this for years. I've worn this for years. And now I want you to have it."
She fingered the necklace that held Booth's St. Christopher pendant on it. "Booth, I can't."
"I want you to. I got the chain redone so that it looks more like something you'd wear." He took a tiny step forward; his eyes seeking hers. "Will you wear it?"
Large droplets fell from her eyes. She was unable to hold them back any longer. Her gaze remained trained on the necklace, on the pendant that Booth had given to her. "Of course I will."
One of Booth's hands moved under her chin and with two fingers he urged her chin upwards, seeking her eye contact. What he saw there startled him.
"Bones?" He asked, concerned.
"I'm just," she breathed in and out, trying to stop the sudden surge of emotions that she was feeling.
When she didn't continue, Booth tenderly began to wipe away her tears. "Are you okay?"
She tried to smile. She tried to stop the tears. But nothing worked. The small drops continued to pour out of her eyes and she felt a tightening in her chest.
"Breathe, Bones," he reminded her. "Breathe."
"I just…this means…" The words stopped coming. The emotions overtaking her brain. She leaned into him, allowing herself this moment. Allowing herself to need him, to want him.
His arms came around her broken frame, holding her closely to him. His hands moved up and down her arms, her back. They moved into her hair, gently stroking her brown strands between his fingers. Neither of them moved. Neither of them said a word. They just stood, holding on urgently to each other as if they were trying to imprint this feeling in their brains.
After a few minutes had passed, Brennan pulled away. Her fingers latched onto the necklace and handed it to Booth. "Will you put it on?"
Booth swallowed. "Of course."
And as his hands grabbed the necklace, she turned, putting her back towards him. Slowly, he brought the necklace around her head and placed it on her chest before locking the clasp in place. Brennan's hand trailed up her body until it landed on the pendant that now rested on her chest, near her heart. She turned back around, facing him once more.
"I won't take this off."
Booth smiled through his sadness. "I'm glad."
She held the pendant inside of her closed fist. "What about you? Do you have one?"
"I have one," he nodded. "I'll wear it. Every day."
Her hand released the pendant and sought out his. "Booth, if I had the words…if I could – "
"Don't," Booth interrupted. "Don't question yourself. You will find what you're looking for. In your work and within you. And after this year… we can talk."
"I didn't realize it was going to be this hard," she admitted, her hand squeezing his.
"It's okay," Booth said. He looked at his watch, the numbers it shown back to him reminding him of how much time had passed. "I have to go. I need to check in."
"I'll try to get out and see you one more time before your flight tomorrow, but I don't know if – "
She reached upwards, cupping his cheek in the palm of her hand before she titled her head towards his and pressed a soft, quick kiss on his cheek. "I know you'll be there if you can be."
"Just promise me, Bones, promise me that you'll be careful."
Her hand fell from his cheek. "Only if you do the same."
"You know I will."
"And I will do the same."
Booth reached forward, pulling her into his arms one last time. "I will miss you, Bones."
"I will miss you too," she said into his chest. "Just remember your promise."
He pulled away, placing his own tender kiss on her cheek before their bodies parted. "And you remember yours."
She reached up and grasped the pendant in her hand. "I will."
She watched him as he reached down and grabbed his bag. She watched as his body rose and met hers one more time. This was it.
"I'll email you when I get the chance," Booth said. "And…you know whenever I can I will try to contact you."
"As will I."
"Okay, Bones," Booth said softly. With his free hand he reached out and grabbed hers one last time, squeezing it firmly in his. "I'll see you later."
She tightened her own grip on his hand. A fresh batch of tears pooled in her eyes. "I'll see you later, Booth."
He released her hand and turned, unable to wait any longer. And she watched as he showed his ID to the gate guard. He turned to face her as he waited and then the guard handed his ID back. Sad smiles graced both of their faces before he turned and walked into the base.
She remained still, watching him move. Illogical thoughts filled her brain. She wanted to stop him. To scream out his name. To beg him not to go. But she didn't move. And then he was gone. Her heart clenched. Her chest heaved. And she angrily swiped at the tears that had begun to fall from her eyes. With one hand she reached up and grabbed at the pendant again, and wondered if this is what love felt like. If this pain she felt in her chest, if this desire she had for Booth to stay, was what love was. She wasn't sure and Booth wasn't here to tell her, but she was going to find out. Because she knew that if she could love someone in that forever kind of way that Booth had told her about, it would be him. He would be it. He was the only person that could be it.
The idea for this scene came from speculation over the necklace Brennan was wearing in the airport scene. I know that it may be the same necklace from episode 5x6, but I'd like to think that they had a real goodbye before the airport scene and that Booth offered her something like the St. Christopher pendant.
Thanks for reading. Like it? Hate it? Want more? Let me know.