Hello, this is my first attempt at a legitimate multi-chapter fic and I'm pretty excited (I'm also looking for feedback of any kind, I want to really develop this story). This follows Bones and Booth up through S6 (and the dreaded Hannah) but I am adding a spin on the episodes, and background scenes that suggest alternative intentions for many of the scenes on screen.

I own nothing, if I did we wouldn't be watching the mess onscreen now.

Dr. Temperance Brennan sat on the floor outside her partners office staring at the bottle of whiskey in her hand. She wasn't sure what had brought her up here after what she had witnessed in the bar, but the building was long past empty and she couldn't find the energy within herself to move. Her eyes were red rimmed, the carefully applied makeup long smudged off revealing the bags underneath, but that was the only gap in the otherwise numb façade she was wearing.

She had lost track of how long she had been sitting here on the floor when Angela came up to find her. Taking one look at the shell of her best friend on the floor Angela felt the guilt rush over her. Clearly Bren hadn't been sleeping right for weeks, but like everyone else around Angela had been too wrapped up in the thrill of being back to notice.

"Okay Sweetie, not that I'm against drinking your troubles away once in a while, but do you want to tell me why were at the Hoover? And the bottles not even open?"

Her attempt at diffusing the situation fell flat as Brennan looked up at her, her ice blue gaze both empty and desperately sad.

"He's so happy Ange." She said in a voice that betrayed the crying she had been doing for hours each night. "It's exactly what I wanted for him, I wanted him to find someone to share his love, to make him happy. I wanted this! I just don't understand why it makes me so sad." The lost, desperate tone in her best friends voice shattered Angela's heart even as the words confused her.

"I'm not sure what you mean Sweetie? I know you have a problem with Hannah but what do you mean that you wanted this for Booth?"

Brennan lurched to her feet leaving the bottle still sealed on the floor outside Booth's office. She stumbled her way into the elevator and with a sigh Angela raced after her, not willing to lose her strangely emotional friend in the deserted building. They rode to the first floor in tense silence, Angela could feel the tension rolling off of Brennan's stiff frame stretching the short ride to an excruciating length. Storming out of the building Brennan paused on the steps with a cry.

"Right here Ange is where I threw away my chance at happiness. Booth wanted to take a gamble, he wanted to give us a chance. He said he was the kind of guy who knew right from the start that we'd have 30 or 40 or 50 years together. He made me all the promises Ange…but he forgot to say the words."

The anger and sadness that had driven her out into the night, back onto the steps where she had given up her happiness, left Brennan as quickly as it had come and she sank to the stairs letting her grief wash over her. She pulled her legs into her chest physically trying to hold herself together and keep the pain inside.

"I love him Ange" Brennan said as her best friend sat down on the stairs beside her, staring out into the starless night. "I have loved him for so long, but he drew the line, he pulled away, he always talked about someones and moments and making love…but he never wanted that with me." Her voice was soft and strangely empty to Angela's ears after the raw pain she had witnessed earlier.

"Oh Bren, Booth has loved you for so long-"

" No Ange, not the way love is supposed to be, not the love he has with Hannah. I'm just his partner, his atta-girl" she spit out bitterly as if the words themselves pained her. "That's all I've ever been and suddenly he tells me he wants to take a chance on us and…and I can't let him do that. I love him so much, I wanted everything he promised…but I can't lose him. If he can promise all those years without telling me he loves me how can I know that he'll stay? I can't bear the thought of losing him, I thought that if I could still work with him and see him happy that it would be enough. But it's not..."

Angela Montenegro had never seen Temperance Brennan looking quite as lost as she did in this moment. Then again she had never heard her talking of love and lifetimes and longing, though she had dreamed of this moment for years of watching the partners. However the dream usually involved and uninvolved Booth and a much happier resolution, not the quietly sobbing pain that was currently next to her on the steps of the Hoover.

"Sweetie you've been saying your fine all week, brushing us off when any of us have tried to talk with you. What happened tonight to set this off?"

"I knew there would be changes in our partnership, you know no more late night dinner going over suspects or early morning coffee on the way to a crime scene. But we always have a drink after the case, just us. A chance to talk and decompress from the case you know? And I thought at least that we could keep. I guess I was just being silly and sentimental. I bought a bottle of his favorite whiskey and I was on my way over to his office when I get a text saying I could meet him at the Founding Fathers for a quick celebratory drink if I wanted. Not even a phone call Ange, I've been reduced to a text message."

She paused to catch her breath and still the shakiness in her voice, angrily brushing the tears off her face, seeming to gather herself before finishing her story.

"We hadn't even finished our drinks before she showed up to whisk him away. She offered me a chance to come with them but it was clear they wanted me to say no. Hannah asked me to come out with her some night for girl talk to dish about Seeley, like I even have the right to use his given name. I just wanted to have a drink with him, to finish the case like we always do. But he walked out of the bar laughing and smiling and didn't even look back as he left me behind."

Taking a deep breath Brennan turned towards Angela, a pained smile stretching towards the corners of her mouth that did nothing to brighten the somber mood between the friends. "Can you take me home Ange?" she whispered.

"Bren I really think we should talk about this…"

"We can…we will, I can meet you for lunch tomorrow, how's that sound?"

"It sounds like a brush off sweetie…"

"No, if there is anything I have learned from all of this it is that hiding my feeling is not going to do me any good. We will talk Ange and we can do so honestly. I just… tonight I just need some space still. You understand?"

"More than you know sweetie, and we will figure this out you know."

"I know." Those simple words seemed to shake her more than Angela could comprehend and she stayed uncharacteristically quiet as she led Brennan to her car, both women lost in thoughts of what had passed as they drove across town in silence.

"Thank you Angela, for being there, for understanding…" Brennan trailed off as she looked up into her darkened apartment building. She seemed lost as she fumbled for her keys and took a step away from the car, closing her door slowly.

"Bren" Angela called out softly. Lost in her own world the anthropologist looked startled to hear her friend's voice calling to her. "I'll pick you up tomorrow okay sweetie? We can try out that cute little Italian place down the street.

Brennan absently nodded, closing the door with a soft smile towards her friend. Angela watched her draw a deep breath and square her shoulders as if bracing for a fight inside her apartment. A sad smile grew across her face as she wondered, not for the first time her what her friend had gotten into, but if there was anything that could be done.

Booth, Toasting to our success on another case closed. May we be just as successful in the future. Your Partner, Bones

Next few chapters will be up tonight catching up through episode 3. Let e know what you think! ~Sarah