Short pieces about Booth and Brennan and senses. No chronological order.

SENSES

I. Sight

The first time he saw her, he was barely sober. A drink had led to a game had led to another drink... had led to a full-fledged hangover. She was not what he had expected. Like... not at all. Seeley Booth had been ready to put up with a squinty scientist, and while Dr. Temperance Brennan lived up to every expectation concerning that, he hadn't been prepared for her sheer beauty. Grace and brilliance on high heels, a pretty dress framing long legs, eyes so deep, hair so shiny...

His first reaction to her was that of a man. The partner came later. It had been the partner, the friend, who had never seen something as beautiful as the sight of her covered in earth and dust, dirty but alive. Bruised but breathing.

And then he had learned to see her with his heart. Had seen the scars hidden so deep underneath her professional attire, had gotten to know her soul.

In a room full of people, he was always able to spot her immediately, and he tried not to dwell on what that said about him or her... but she had become his standard. For beauty and everything else.

A few times he saw her crying, and boy, how did that hit him. The first times he could offer a hug, shield her, if only temporarily, from the world. Then it had gotten worse because she had been crying about him. Because of him. Once... when she had broken his heart. And once more, when he had broken hers. There's nothing worse than sobs of regret, and the sight of her all in tears would forever gnaw at his soul.

He couldn't quite look at her after that and he tried hard, so very hard not to see her beauty.

Then she was crying again, and their equilibrium was still so new and fragile, but he couldn't not take her into his arms... and even though her eyes were swollen, even though she wore a shirt way too big for her – his shirt – he had never seen her more beautiful. Not during their first case, not when he had interrupted her dates, not ever.

Through the tear-filled baby blue of her eyes he could see straight into her soul, and he spotted the change in her immediately... even before she turned her head to brush his lips, even before she tried so desperately to crawl into his body. Before the sense of sight was replaced by a million different sensations.

Then he saw her again, first thing in the morning, dark hair spilled out on his white pillow, and in that split second before grief and anger rushed through his veins, he was dazzled by the sight of her so small and innocent in sleep. His heart clenched and expanded, his gaze followed the curve of her bare shoulders, the silhouette of her under his blanket. He saw freckles on milky-white skin, noticed a faint scratch on her lower arm. Her long lashes cast shadows on her cheeks, her lips were rosy and swollen from his kisses.

And in that split second right before her eyelids fluttered, right before everything came back, he just took her in, desperate to capture this moment for eternity, unwilling to blink until his eyes started to hurt.

It was as if he saw her for the first time. Over and over again.

To be continued...