Title: Upside Down, Inside Out & Backwards

Author: Eyrianone

Rating: T

Category: Angst/Romance

Disclaimer: Booth, Brennan and all other recognizable characters within this story are the property of Fox & Hart Hanson. Anyone you don't recognize I'm claiming.

Summary: Post 6 x 09. 'Confessing her mistake & telling Booth how she feels has changed nothing, and in a world that won't 'right itself', Brennan struggles to live each day the only way she can – upside down, inside out and backwards . . . '

Authors Note: This story is will be multi-chapter and starts in canon with the prologue below occurring a couple of months post 'The Doctor in the Photo.

Prologue: The Proverbial Straw.

27 February 2011.

It was the pity in his eyes every time he looked at her that did it, that built the tower.

Each look, each painful glance became a straw, all of them piling up in her memory and on her back until there was that one . . . the proverbial one, which finally sent the pile tumbling over, leaving only chaos and destruction behind it.

'I asked Hannah to marry me.'

Pity - aimed at her. She doesn't want his pity. She doesn't want anyone's pity. She's a lifetime of pity behind her . . . and in the past, in her childhood and her high school days is where it should stay. She's brilliant, she's beautiful . . . and she'd finally begun to believe she was lovable if she'd only open-up and allow herself to be.

This is what he taught her. This is how he changed her. And no matter how much she wants to, no matter how hard she'd tried too . . . she can't make the change back.

Her heart remains open and raw and bleeding . . . and there is pity in his eyes.

She doesn't recognize the world now, for every part of it remains inverted and all she's relied upon for so long is backwards. Where once she had a place, now she's been replaced; where once her love was desired, now it's unwanted. Where once she did not believe, now she's doomed faithful, her heart and soul chained to something lost in time as she drifts anchor less and unreachable by another; for she will always love him, the Booth she once knew, and no matter her desire for a life with no regrets this single fact alone dooms her to an existence with a huge one.

But how could seven months make such a difference in him? In what he felt, what he wanted, in the way he looks at her?

How is a moment so easily lost? Why should love hinge on a single moment anyway?

He told her he 'adapted' as she tells him she will, but there is only so much change she can make; and learning to love him, to need him, to rely on him is not something that can easily be undone.

All that remains to be seen is how she will live in her new disorienting environment, so she walks out of his life this night in a last ditch effort to retain her sanity. All formal ties to him cut, all search avenues sealed against him, and with an unforgivable secret inside her.

All because where once there was love . . . now there is pity in his eyes.