Author's note: Once again, thank you to MickeyBoggs for the betaing services.
The title of this piece was shamelessly nicked from Bonnie Raitt's song "Take my love with you".
The last line belongs to Pablo Neruda.
The mornings were not the worst of it because for a little while, when he was still between wake and asleep, Bones was still in their bed and Christine was still in her crib and all was still whole and well.
But mornings were over soon. With military precision, Booth would execute his morning: get up, brush, shave, dress, do. There were days he was not so sure of the what, but he needed to keep doing because the moment he stopped, that would be when he lost all hope. He stayed away from the Jeffersonian because he could not afford to compromise the team with his presence. He stayed away from the Hoover because he was damaged goods, without his badge and his gun. Old friends eyed him either suspiciously (and seriously, he now knew who he could trust) or with pity (and that he could not stomach). But he kept moving. He had contacts and he was not too proud to knock on doors and to make phone calls from public phones because he was sure that his phone was compromised. He was not shy to collect favours or too embarrassed to remember old debts because the single most important thing was to get Bones and Christine back. He could not stop, because he if he did, the momentum forward would stop.
He forgot who he was because he was only this chasm their absence left, this empty shell of a person trying to bridge the time before with the time after. The time in between was not worth thinking about because he was nothing without Bones, without their Christine, in an empty house (even their house).
He moved ruthlessly through the day because their house, the house they had built out the ruin of their lives was empty. He would not waste time looking at empty walls, holding cold pillows, caressing forgotten clothes. Though, God as his witness, he wanted to. In the evenings he wanted to, because until the moment came (and it would come) that they returned, what did he have left?
When the day was over, when everyone else was asleep, when there was only silence and he returned home, he would sit by the door like a dog left behind, waiting for his people to return. Anywhere else was too much and too little. Their scent was fading but their presence was still too stark. He had not put away the toys left on floor of the nursery nor the bathrobe carelessly left at the foot of their bed, but though the objects remained, those that animated them did not. And yet, while those objects remained there, he could believe they would soon be home.
And then he would pray. He would pray she had taken his love with her, that she would let it see her through this because he knew she held no other faith but him. He did not worry about her. He trusted her above anything, above anyone. Even above God, because his Bones was good as gold, and she would keep herself and Christine safe until they came back. He just needed to clear the path for her to return. That was his only job.
He prayed his love would see her home, would light her path. He prayed she had taken his love with her because her part in this was so much more difficult than his, because he only had to miss her but she had to keep going. She had to be away and that required a special brand of strength he wasn't quite sure he would have had. She had to stay away because she would not leave Christine behind. He had seen it the day he'd delivered their baby, that Bones would never leave her behind. She would carry her in her teeth if she needed her hands to walk. His Bones was that fierce, fierce lover. She made loving an action. She loved actively, protectively. She loved entirely, faithfully, without pride because that was the only way she knew how and he prayed she had taken his love as her strength, because she loved him and no matter how much he wanted her back, he wanted her back free. He loved her and he would not ask her to come back until she could come back free. And he had learned to love with her, from her- opening his hands. Bones had opened her hands to let him come or go as he had needed back then. He had learned love from Bones. Even if she did not quite believe him. Not even in rainy days.
He prayed she had taken his love with her because his love would keep her company at night, would look after her during the day. He prayed she had taken his love with her because that would bring her back. God knew he had kept her love. Being loved that way made him stronger. Loving Bones gave him courage.
And he had faith in the night. There was still beauty then, still echoes of laughter and wisps of warmth in his hands and maybe, just maybe, they were looking at the same moon, counting the same stars and maybe the same cicadas would echo through them both. Nights were easier than mornings (though Bones would call some mornings- he knew just from the silence it was her because what was not uttered said I love you). Nights were easier because when there is no light the distance feels shorter. It could have been perception, but it felt a lot like reality: at night, they were closer. And because she had taken his love with her and he had kept her love with him, the miles between them could have been only a state of mind.
Pelant? He could go on. He could fabricate and he could lie and manipulate. But Booth had his hands full of love and soon, quite soon, (because his people- their people, they were tireless and faithful and true) they would be home and Pelant would be no more than a paragraph in their lives (because lies had short wobbly legs and they could not run for long).
Pelant could cut all the flowers, but he could not keep the spring from coming.