That's a wrap for season seven...
"No, computers are the system. And this son-of-a-bitch runs computers."
Within the blink of an eye, Brennan knew that her father was right. Her mind whirled through the possibilities with light-speed, saw means, opportunities and outcomes... some of them devastating.
Jail, a glitch, a transfer. Another mental health institution. Or worse. An abandoned baby. And Booth...
She wasn't the lonely woman anymore. She had so much... to lose.
No, she couldn't go to jail. She couldn't make herself that vulnerable.
Running was the rational thing to do... but she had to leave Booth behind. Something in her tightened at the mere thought, and she blinked the cold fear away. She had to. There was more than the present at stake; their whole future was. If he came with her, he could never be an FBI agent again. And Pelant had already changed too much.
Brennan blinked again. She saw Booth in the early morning, all strength and softness, cradling their daughter in sleep. She saw him in the interrogation room, navy suit and cocky smile. She saw him in the evening, cozy and warm. She heard him at night, whispering to her somewhere between wake and dream. She saw him then and now. He was standing right next to her in their hallway, but already she was saying her silent goodbye. No, not goodbye. See you soon.
"We should have Christine christened before I'm arrested."
"We? You mean... both of us? You gonna come?"
She wanted to give him so much, so much. But there wasn't all that much, the only thing she could give him was one more moment of unadulterated happiness... hope to cling to... something to pray for. Attending the baptism didn't feel like a sacrifice anymore. At least not in relation.
Sometimes running is the logical thing to do, the safest even, but, out of all the people, she was the one who knew first-hand that it never, never felt like that for the ones left behind. Another family torn apart... and this time she would be the one doing the tearing.
They're my family... I wanna get my family back...
The words were screaming in his otherwise numb head, throbbing and stabbing. The stairs were cold, but he didn't feel it. They were gone. Burying his hands in his palms, Booth let go of a heartfelt sob.
He could still smell it, the familiar mixture of baby powder and woman.
"I need them back," he whispered, blinking hard.
Once upon a time, somebody had told him a story about love, about burdens and wings. Not that he remembered it in this darkest moment, but he would. Maybe later, maybe tomorrow.
The thought of losing so much control over personal happiness is unbearable. That's the burden. Like wings, they have weight, we feel that weight on our backs, but they are a burden that lifts us. Burdens which allow us to fly.
Guess what? He had flown. But, just like Icarus, he had to pay the price.
They were gone.
Fly and burn.
I love you, Booth...
Her words came back to him through the pain, and, above him, the church bells began to ring.
"It's gonna be okay, Baby. I'll make it right again. Take good care of her. I love you too. Both of you. Everything's gonna be okay..."
Getting up, he grabbed the empty baby seat. Taking a deep breath, he stood straight.
"This is war, Pelant. This is war."
.. at least of this story. This chapter will probably be woven into another multi-chapter fic I plan to write during the hiatus. So, stay tuned.