A/N: Given the most recent episode discussed Booth's past as a sniper, my mind flashed back to this little Bones moment and I had to type a little something about it. Enjoy!
"Seriously, Bones, can you move any slower here? I can't move forward with this case until I get an ID or a cause of death, or something." Booth said as he made his way up the platform.
"Booth, I've only had the body for a few hours and given that there is a serious amount of damage done, it's going to take some time to reassemble the skeletal remains. I've only seen damage like this done in the jungles of Central America with ancient remains." She said curiously.
"Dr. Brennan, have you seen this?" Wendell asked as he moved the microscope towards the clavicle. "I think there may be some unique signatures of the murder weapon."
"Murder weapon?" Booth perked up. "I always knew you were my favorite squintern." Booth said. Cam and Brennan rolled their eyes at each other.
"I'm going to need my other tools. Booth, you can finally help." She patronized him unknowingly. "In my office, in the second drawer of my filing cabinet, is my dig bag. Can you bring it to me?"
"Um, sure Bones. I'd be happy to?" He said as he glanced toward Cam. She just smiled her 'Hey, you asked' smile and nodded towards Brennan's office. Booth made his way towards her office mumbling, but made his way to the filing cabinet and cracked open the second drawer. Her bag was right on top and he pulled it out. However, it was what was underneath it that caught his eye. It was a black journal with his name written on it. He set the dig bag down on the floor next to him and pulled out the journal, glancing out the glass wall to make sure no one was coming or could see him. He opened it up, but as far as he could tell, it was just a series of tallies. Pages and pages of tallies in a variety of colors, inks, pencil. It made no sense whatsoever.
"Hey." Booth jumped a mile in the air as he was startled out of his discovery.
"Bones…I was just getting your, and then I found, well it was underneath, and it has my name so…" He stopped as he realized he wasn't making any sort of sense.
"It's okay Booth, it really belongs to you anyway." She said with a smile as she took the journal from him and sat down on her couch.
"What the Hell is it?" He asked.
"It's the other half of your cosmic balance sheet." She said. Booth stared at the book in her hand before glancing back at her in confusion. "I told you that I wanted to help you with it after our second case." She said, opening it up. "Whenever you capture or kill a murderer, you get one tally." She explained. "Whenever you make someone's life better, you get another tally." She said. "See, first case, three tallies. One for the Judge, and two more for Cleo Eller's parents, for giving them the answers that they needed to move on." The variety of inks and colors of the tallies suddenly made sense. Booth was certain that if he went back through their history chronologically, he would find that every single tally was accounted for. They were all there.
"You've kept track of every case?" He said, shocked by her dedication.
"You've kept track of every person that you've killed." Brennan said, knowing it was true. "And I have to admit, I've also added one extra tally for each of us at the lab, and for Caroline. You've saved all of our lives at least once." Booth felt his heart swelling at her words.
"Bones…" He said, unable to express his emotion at the sight of her kindness. "I can't believe it. Were you ever planning on showing me this?" He asked.
"Assuming that you survived, I thought it would make a good retirement gift." She said. "When you were shot and we thought that you had died, I had decided to give it to Parker when he got older. I know how important it is to you that he be proud of you." That was the straw that broke the agent's back. He pulled her in for a tight hug. Brennan was surprised, but didn't pull away.
"Thank you." He said as he held her tight. "You have no idea how much this means to me."
"Booth, it's just a record of your influence. You are the person who chose to change all of these lives, I merely kept the record of each one."
"You know that each of these tallies belongs to you as well. Each of these tallies is someone who has answers because you found them and presented them to the family." She glanced down.
"But I don't believe that someone will judge me at the end of my life for my actions. You do." She said. "For me, these tallies are a sign of my acumen and talent for my job. For you, it's life or death in eternity." She said. "I know that sometimes, these cases can be really hard on you. I just want you to know that all of the good that you've done, the man that you are, it doesn't go unnoticed. Everyone knows who you are, Booth. We know and you should know too."
"Bones." He whispered, touched by her kindness. He put his hand over his heart to show what he couldn't say and for once, she got the unspoken message.
"I'm an anthropologist Booth. I observe and write down what I see. It's nothing more than that."
"It's so much more than that." He said as he reached out for her hand. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." She said as she gave his hand a squeeze. They stared at each other for a little bit longer before Brennan broke the stalemate by taking back her hand. "Now do you want to find this murder weapon or not?" She asked with a significant glance towards her dig bag.
"Yes please, which means back to work for the squint." He said as he reached down and handed her the dig bag. She rolled her eyes and sighed at his nickname.
"Meanwhile, the Philistine of an agent in my office can take a nap on my couch while the scientists solve the murder that he can't." She said as she stood up.
"Ouch." He said dryly as she left her office smirking.