A/N: Set during "The Hole in the Heart." My take on what happened that night at Booth's apartment.

Two Become One

Together, they collapsed on to the firm mattress. Brennan sobbed into Booth's expansive chest, so consumed by misery that she scarcely noticed his words of comfort.

Why? Why did Vincent have to die? Why couldn't she have saved him? Why did people have to leave when they so desperately wanted to stay?

There were things in this world that Temperance Brennan knew to be true. She knew the hardness of bone. She knew that when something broke that hardness, it inevitably left behind evidence. She knew that if she discerned the evidence and gave it to Booth, he would use it to catch murderers.

But she didn't know why. Why people killed other people. Why innocents died. Why a good, kind, gentle young man had to die.

The tears poured out of her as she clutched brokenly at Booth's chest. "Why?" she sobbed, choking with helplessness. "Why…"

"I don't know," he whispered in reply. He stroked her back with firm hands. "We all have our time, Bones. It's not right, and it's not fair. But it was his time." Booth pulled her deeper into his embrace, surrounding her with his strength.

Brennan raised her head and slowly met his eyes. Her breathing jerked; her voice was marred by hiccups. "Broadsky is bad. He is an evil man," she bit out.

Booth lifted her weight fully over him. Allowing her body to rest atop his, he took her face between his hands. Her hair formed a curtain around their heads and his eyes bored into hers. "Yes. He is evil. And I will see him brought to justice."

"Yes," she acknowledged with a nod. "You will." Her faith in him was not shaken.

Brennan closed her eyes and settled her head back upon him. The occasional tear still slipped from beneath her lids as her breathing evened out. Sleep beckoned. Booth tightened his arms and Brennan burrowed deeper into his chest.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Her lids popped open.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump. And her muscles went rigid.

Booth felt the new tension enter her body and swiftly take over. "Bones?" he questioned, the worry in his voice echoing in the small room. Her only response was to press herself harder into his ribcage. "Bones?" he repeated with a cough. The pressure she was exerting was making it hard to breathe.

Brennan lifted her head and pierced him with a glare. "Be quiet!" she demanded, moving her hand up to cover his mouth. "Just be quiet!" She slammed her head back to his chest, her ear directly over his beating heart. Her arms locked in a vise around him.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Closer. She had to get closer. Rearing up, she grabbed handfuls of his shirt in her fists and yanked violently. Booth was so startled that he passively allowed her to work the collar up and over his head. Her goal achieved, she flung the thin material to the side. She didn't see where it landed; her ear was already pressed back to his heart.

"Bones, what-" He was cut off as the strength of her embrace again impeded his ability to breathe.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Not enough. It wasn't enough. She needed more. More. Her hands dug roughly into his flesh as she desperately tried to pull his entire being into hers.

"Bones!" he winced. It took all of his strength to wrest her hands away. He pushed up firmly, holding her torso away from his. Her limbs flailed and her nails continued to scratch at his skin.

"No! No! Put me down. Please! I need to-"

"Bones! What is it?" he demanded frantically. "What's wrong?" He met her eyes and gasped at the sheer terror that burned in their depths.

"You," she answered. Her frame shook with the force of her fear. "Broadsky was aiming for you. For your heart." Her eyes were impossibly wide and her breathing was shallow and rapid. Her hands still reached for him. "It was…you could have…" She fumbled, trying to communicate her feelings, but not knowing how. "I don't know what I would have done if you were the one who-" No. She would not finish that thought. She could not.

She didn't need to. As always, Booth understood what she could not say. He brought her body back to his and enfolded her in his bare arms. Strong fingers guided her head down to his heart. He inhaled deeply, letting her feel the life force move through his body.

She silently rode the soft movement of his expanding and contracting lungs. Each new breath lifted her, and she unconsciously matched her breathing to his. In… She lifted up. Out… She came back down.

Calmer now, she rolled her ear away. Moving softly, she replaced it with her lips. Moist air whispered over Booth's skin as she pressed slow kisses into the broad pectoral muscle on the left side of his chest.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

"Bones," he murmured. "I'm here. I'm right here, honey. I'm alive."

Brennan softly trailed her lips over his clavicle, along the cords of his neck, up to his stubble-covered jaw. She lifted her head and pinned his eyes with hers. "Show me."

Booth's body reacted even as his mind rebelled. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. It was supposed to be happy and joyful and everything that was good. It wasn't supposed to be wrapped in fear and sadness and soul-crushing grief.

"Please," she implored softly. "Please."

No, it wasn't supposed to happen like this. But fate had other plans. She needed him and he could deny her no longer. Without breaking eye contact, Booth reached for the hem of the sweatshirt she wore. With a quick whisk of his hands, it joined his shirt in the darkness.

With exquisite gentleness, he rolled so that she lay beneath him. He sat up and swiftly finished undressing her. Unembarrassed by her nudity, she shifted to hook delicate fingers under his waistband. He leaned back and allowed her to draw his pants and boxers over his hips and down his legs. His brightly striped socks topped off the pile of discarded clothing on the floor.

Booth pulled her nude body to his and kissed her deeply. He lifted the covers and cocooned them inside the downy warmth. Slowly, gently, he used his hands and lips to love her, using her responses as his only guide. His face a mere centimeter from hers, he flexed his hips and joined their bodies. She gasped as he pressed into her and she reached to weave her fingers through his.

There were no flashes of light or blinding explosions. Just the gentle crests of waves that they rode together. When the final wave had ebbed, they settled into the softness of the bed, still wrapped around each other.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Finally reassured, Brennan allowed her lids to drift shut. Yes, Booth was alive. He was inside of her. Surrounding her. A part of her. They were one.

She slept.

A/N: What keeps writers writing? Reviews! If there's enough interest, I might add another chapter. Please let me know what you think!