So I haven't written any fanfic in about 10 years…maybe more. I'm rusty, I'll admit. But since the show isn't doing what I want, I'm forced to find the good stuff in other people's writing and I felt like adding my own.

Spoilers for The Pinocchio in the Planter, season 6 episode 20 and anything that comes before that, I suppose. I found it unsatisfactory. I would imagine you will see a few of these stories popping up soon from other unsatisfied Bones watchers.

Lies

"That's not a lie, Booth." She spoke carefully, keeping her voice low and steady, but oh, so tired of dancing around him and his anger.

"Sure it is, Bones. I didn't tell you, so it's a lie of omission." He was keeping it light, trying to play it off.

"No, it's simply an expression of gratitude you failed to mention until now. That is not, by definition, a lie."

"What are you looking for here, Bones, huh?" his voice hardened, his mouth set.

Brennan sighed. What did she want him to say? That Hannah was a mistake? That he'd never really moved on? She didn't know that those things were true. She only hoped they were.

Booth broke into her thoughts.

"Have you ever lied to me?"

She felt kicked in the stomach at the turn in conversation, but decided to be straightforward. She couldn't ask of him what she herself would not admit.

"Yes," she admitted, lowering her eyes. "I have."

"When?"

Brennan felt as if all the air had been sucked out of the bar and the pachyderm in the room was now sitting on her chest. She knew that her answer to him might get her the response she sought or it might drive him further away. But was she ready for the whole conversation to be that honest? After all, the Honesty Policy people hadn't found that it worked out so well for them.

She met his eyes and decided to go all in. As things stood, right now, she wasn't sure there was anything left to lose, really. Things hadn't been good in a while.

"I lied when I said I was happy for you." She picked at the label on her beer, avoiding his gaze. "I…..I wasn't happy for you when you found Hannah. I was very unhappy. I wanted to find it within myself to be happy for you. That's what friends do, but it was very difficult for me and I couldn't seem to manage it." She met his eyes for a moment, then looked down. "I was honest with you during the Eames case, but it was too late, then. I'd lied too often up until then for that to be enough."

Booth sat frozen. This was not the way he had thought this conversation would go. "When else did you lie?" It came out in a strangled whisper, more charged with emotion than he'd meant for it to.

"That night. On the steps of the Hoover. The night everything changed." Now she fussed with her napkin. She took a deep, jittery breath. "I told you I was protecting you from me. It wasn't a complete lie, but it was a half truth." She sighed. "I was protecting me, too. I thought if we could just….just…maintain, then I would keep you. We'd always be us and that would be enough, right? Because if I said yes to more and we failed, I failed, then I wouldn't have you at all. I couldn't bear that. I couldn't see that the possibilities outweighed the risk."

"Bones…"

Suddenly she was desperate to escape. She'd said too much. In an effort to get him to talk, she'd shown her metaphorical hand and she had nothing left to cling to for her own emotional safety.

"I have to go." She stood, grabbing her coat, blinking back her tears. When had she become this woman? This crying, lying woman was not only not impervious, she wasn't even strong.

"No, wait, Bones, sit down." Booth sprung to his feet. His voice remained calm but the urgency was unmistakable. He placed a hand on her arm. "Please, just….sit down, okay?"

It was the pleading "please" that was her undoing. She sat, unsure her legs would even carry her to the door anyway.

The silence crawled by for a few moments. She knew him well enough to know he was trying to figure out how to tell her what he needed to say. And then:

"She was a mistake."

Brennan's eyes snapped up to meet Booth's. Had she said out loud that that was what she wanted to hear? She didn't think so, but there were the words, nonetheless, hanging in the air like a text bubble over a very serious cartoon. She swallowed and said nothing, waiting for him to continue.

"I made mistakes. I told myself a lot of lies. I told myself I could move on from you. I told you I had to move on, that I did move on. That was a lie, the biggest one of all. I can't say I didn't love what I thought Hannah might be for me or to me, or whatever, but I lied when I said I could move on from you. What you are to me….that's not something I could ever just leave behind."

She couldn't breathe. She could only barely hear Booth over the whooshing sound in her ears and the sound of her heart pumping at it's loudest possible decibel.

"I hurt you." She whispered, her eyes churning with turmoil, her emotions barely in check.

"I hurt you, too." As always, he wanted to save her from herself, from her pain. "And I'm so sorry for that. I've got some things I'm still working through, some stuff I've still got to figure out. And you've stood here, right by me, and taken it all in stride, waiting for me to get my head screwed on straight."

He leaned forward, resting his fingertips on hers, not quite holding her hand, but needing the contact. "I meant what I said. You being here for me after Hannah? It meant the world to me."

She smiled at him timidly. "I'm sorry too."

He smiled back. "Sometimes honesty is good."

"It would seem so." She put her fingers over his and lifted her beer in a toast. "To saying what needs to be said."

"I will drink to that." He clinked his bottle into hers and both their smiles reached their eyes for the first time in a long time.

Please review. Thanks for reading!