My third entry into the Fox Last Author Standing challenge over at Livejournal. Also known as the one that got me booted out. A bit late in uploading this here, but I've been very distracted by my epic rewactching of Buffy. The prompt for this was a character getting their laptop blown up. Or something like that. So here we go.

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Happy

"It's not just a computer Booth."

Brennan sighed as she surveyed the amount of damage caused by Hodgin's latest experiment. Her partner stood beside her, holding the charred remains of her Macbook Pro.

"Look, Bones, we can get you a new one. It's not a big deal," Booth tried again. He didn't understand her sudden attachment to her laptop. Of all the things the explosion had blown up, including her precious artefacts from her various digs, the one thing that seemed to affect her was the destruction of her laptop. Booth reached his hand out to calm his partner down, but she flinched at his touch and shied away.

It was then he realised he hadn't actually touched her in a while. Before, it used to be the casual touch on her back, or her threading her arm through his; their 'man hugs'. A pang of sadness coursed through him as he realised this, and a familiar ache spread through his heart.

"No, you don't understand," She said softly.

And her words cut him so deep he thought he was physically hurting. Booth turned to fully look at his partner. It used to be that he was the only one who understood her. That he was the one she turned to when she was in doubt or pain. But it was obvious now that something had changed. The way she held herself, standing that much farther away than she used to and the way she avoided his gaze spoke volumes at just how much he had had failed to understand her.

And it hurt.

"So help me understand Bones," He said, almost pleading. "I want to understand." Suddenly, they weren't talking about her broken computer anymore. Her blue eyes remained fixed at a random spot on the floor, and he willed her to turn to him. She didn't.

"You want to, but you can't."

"Bones, listen, I'm still your partner. I can still – "

"No, Booth."

"Why?" he was getting frustrated now. He was trying here. Honest to God, he was trying. He wanted, more than anything in the world, to make that look of utter despair disappear from her features.

"Because … because only two things in the world truly make me happy." She whispered, and finally she turned to him. Her hands, he noticed, were balled into fists and the shine in her eyes told of tears that were threatening to fall. She licked her lips and drew a breath before she spoke again.

"Two things make me happy, and in the past six months I've tried to live without one of them."

Booth blinked at the implication of her words, but before they could fully sink in, she continued.

"And my writing, in that computer, that's the other thing that makes me happy. Only two things, Booth. I now have neither. "

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Reviews much appreciated.