Title: The Seconds After

Summary: Sirens shatter the peace of the day. Where would you go, in the seconds after? Tag to 6x22, The Hole in the Heart

Genre: Angst; Hurt/Comfort

Spoilers: 6x22, The Hole in the Heart

Warnings: Character death, obviously. Nothing else.

Characters: Team-centric

Rating: K

A/N: Reviews are always welcome, especially constructive criticism, since this is my first time to write Bones.

Sirens split the air. People look with polite interest as ambulances and police cars go by. It's scary, but it's not about them, so they just pass by—something to watch on the 10 O' Clock news, nothing to change their lives.

But there's been something in the air all morning and three people lurch in their movements, then change course and run towards the sirens with purpose. They know where the emergency is, know what it could be, and they send up silent prayers that it isn't what their imagination has conjured up.

Angela can't run fast, even with her hand fast in Hodgins', and they've only been running for a few minutes before someone breathlessly shouts their names. "Angela! Hodgins!"

Sweets runs into them from behind, almost tackling them. The young psychiatrist is pale. "Are you ok?"

It's an obvious question, but he feels the need to ask something. Angela just nods and grabs his hand. Together, they press on, running towards the answer they both need and are afraid of finding.

They fight their way in, but no one will tell them anything. There are no familiar faces in the chaos and, hearts beating fast, they make their way through.

At last they spy Cam. Her eyes meet theirs from across the room. For a moment, they all freeze and just stand there, waiting. Someone tells them they need to move and the spell is broken. They meet Cam midway. She's shaking and there are tears in her eyes.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Sweets reaches out to steady her, his hands wrapping around her arms.

"Cam?" Angela manages shakily.

"Vincent's dead." Her voice is flat, disbelief at the edges. And there it is. For four people huddled together on a pleasant May day, some small part of their world is changed forever.

Hodgins grabs Angela, pulling her as close as he can. Angela throws her hands up to cover her face, tears streaming down her cheeks. She leans into her husband for comfort. Sweets eases Cam into a chair and sits down beside her, running a hand over his face. The four friends lean in close, just for a moment. They breath in unison; breaths slightly jagged as they try and take it in.

A sympathetic police officer moves them from the scene, to a conference room where they find Brennan. Angela runs to her side, hugging her tightly. "Sweetie, I'm so glad you're ok," she whispers. The others find their seats, weariness and reality settling in.

There is nothing they can do but wait. So, five people sit in silence in the very conference room where they've quietly informed so many people that someone they knew has died. It's the very room where they've promised they'll catch the killer and that justice will be served. They're on the other side now. The tragedy is theirs today and there are no words to say.

And outside, the sirens are silenced. Curious onlookers go back to lunch, businessmen pack up their briefcases and go back to bartering deals. The world moves on, with nothing but a late night news story to remind them.

-the end-