Just going to jump into the deep end with this. I need the distraction of a different kind of terror right now! The beginning is short. My first foray into fiction of any kind. I swore I'd never write Bones. (It's on Twitter, I'm not kidding!) I want to thank a couple of people, but if this sucks and you hate it, don't blame them! GCatsPjs & Thnx4theGum...y'all are awesome. Really.

Disclaimer: Don't own Bones, just addicted to it.


Booth looked down at the hand he grasped so tightly. He didn't want to let go, couldn't let go, but knew he had to. Was he moving on or was he letting go hoping she'd come back to him? He looked up into her eyes, the eyes of the woman who had come to mean so much to him, and his heart exploded. He felt it. He'd always said these feelings existed. Truly believed they existed. But she was the one who'd proven to him just how overwhelming and powerful they could be. How they could literally define his concept of the world and his place in it. Somehow, he'd wrapped his whole life around her. She was right. As badly as he hated to admit it, he needed to gain some perspective too. He had let his feelings for her consume him.

Booth's voice reflected his fears as he made a vow to meet her at the coffee cart. Their coffee cart. He squeezed her hand even more as he made his promise, as if the strength of his grip could help dissolve his fears, and felt her hand return the pressure. She smiled as she confidently returned the same promise to him. Coffee cart. One year.

He'd known this was going to be difficult. Who was he kidding? He'd known it was going to be worse than the night he'd taken a chance. But this? This was ripping his heart out. A year? How was he going to survive a year without talking to her every day? Without running ideas by her to get her take? Without teasing her and laughing with her? He looked into her eyes. God, he was going to miss those eyes, that smile...everything about her.

It was time. It was time to move on. It was time to let them both get the perspective they needed. It was time to figure out if they could make it without the constant companionship they'd grown used to over the years. She had a plane to catch. He had a job to do. He straightened his hand and gently tugged it from her grasp. He was going to be strong if it killed him.

He turned and walked away from his life. He knew the sound of a heavy metal door slamming shut was only his imagination, but he winced just the same. The sound triggered an onslaught of memories, each one coming faster than the last. All of the times she'd looked up at him from the bones of victims in the lab. The pain in her face when he had to tell her Ripley was dead. The fear in her eyes while she waited to see if she'd successfully manipulated twelve people into doubting her father was a murderer. With each step he took, another memory flooded into his mind. Flashes of meals at the diner. Celebrations at the Founding Fathers. Every single one of her smiles. But the sound of that slamming door stopped on the memory that lead them to this moment:

He had been so nervous. He'd had so much to lose. But Sweets had been right. Booth was the gambler. It wasn't gambling if you had nothing to lay on the table. Their partnership would go on forever, just like it had been, if he didn't make the first move. His fateful statement rang through his mind again, "I believe in giving this a chance." Her panicked look and desperate, "No! No!" followed. That night he'd been so sure that things could be different for them. So ready to show her a different life. But she'd been just as sure as he had been. Her words now echoed through his mind. "I can't change. I don't know how. I don't know how."

He stopped. Was this it? Here, in this airport? Was this the last time they'd be 'them'? He needed to see her one more time. Just one more glimpse of her parting figure. He turned, worry and fear etched in every line of his face, knowing he might be looking for the last time on a life he loved more than he'd ever thought possible. What he saw caused him to pause. She slowly turned, her eyes sought his and that beautiful face of hers reflected the same worry and fear as his. What did it mean? She had been so confident just a minute ago. He looked into her eyes, the eyes he desperately loved and would miss more than he could express to even himself. For the first time since that night all those weeks ago…he felt hope. He turned and walked away from her, toward his new life.