We had already said our good-byes, but I couldn't leave it at that. I had to see her one more time before she flew off in one direction and I went in another. The thought of being away from her for a year was more than I could take. I needed one last look, last touch, maybe that would get me through the next year without her. In the last six years, the only significant time we had spent apart was when she had gone on digs. Those were torture enough – six weeks here, a few months there. Not seeing her for a year? I don't think I could survive it.

I said I would move on, but I can't. I still love her, even if she doesn't want to or can't commit to me. Because I love her, I will play this the way she wants. I will move on, or maybe just act as if I am. She won't have to know the truth. She won't notice, she misses the little things, anyway. She won't have to know the agony I feel to be with her every day and not being able to be with her. As hard as it is to be with her every day, to see her, to touch her, I know that being away from her will be even worse. Why had I thought this was a good idea?

That's right, she decided to run first. That's what Temperance Brennan does. She decided to run and I decided that I couldn't be surrounded by everything that reminded me of her when she did it. I guess I'm running, too. Running from the loss of her. Running to a place where I'll be so busy that I won't have time to think of her. One more week and I'll be in that hellishly hot dessert and Temperance Brennan will be the furthest thing from my mind. I'll be too busy training soldiers and trying to keep my ass alive. And she will be digging up bones in a jungle and I'll be the farthest thing from her mind. I guess I'm taking another page from Brennan's playbook.

I can't get a pass, so I have to sneak off base to say good-bye. I make my way back to DC, hoping that I'll make it to the airport in time. I don't have time to get to her apartment for another private good-bye. In any case, I'm not sure I want to see her alone. If it were just the two of us, I'm not sure I could let her go. This will be safer. I'll see her at the airport, surrounded by our friends and I'll have to let her go. Let her go to that jungle where I can't protect her like I have for nearly every day for almost six years. I can't think about that either.

I make it to the airport in time. She's there, I see her as I walk into the terminal. I was right, she is surrounded by our friends. She doesn't like good-byes. I'm surprised she agreed to let everyone come see her off. Maybe her heart isn't as closed as she thinks it is. Maybe she has changed like I think she has.

I stand back and just watch. She's so beautiful and she doesn't really get it. I know she says she's beautiful, but she means physically. If only she could see what I see. Her heart is shining in her gorgeous blue eyes and her brilliant smile. That's what makes her so beautiful to me. Our friends see it, too. She's finally let all of us in. We know the true Temperance Brennan.

I watch as she hugs Cam, Hodgins and Ange. I want to go to her, but my nerves are getting the best of me. Some sniper I am, huh? Nerves of steel, not so much when it comes to this woman. I still stand there, fingering my cap, trying to work up the courage as she starts to walk away. This is it, my last chance before she's gone for a year, before I'm gone for a year.

Thank God, she sees me. I don't have to find the courage on my own. One look from her and I lose my breath, my resistance and all conscious thought. One look at those eyes, and I'm pulled right in, drawn to her, with no power to resist. Those eyes give me the courage to walk to her as she is walking toward me. That smile, that inner glow, they make everyone and everything else fade away.

It's just the two of us in that terminal, heading toward a good-bye that I would rather avoid. We've both made commitments and we'll both keep them. It's who we are, who we'll always be. Maybe one day, those commitments will be to each other. For now, I put a brave face on the situation. I beg her to be careful. I step toward her and fight the urge to kiss her. It wouldn't be fair to either of us. I take her hand even though I want so much more. I remind her that I'll see her in a year, even though I know she hasn't forgotten.

The crowd around us comes back into view. Her flight is called again and she has to go. I have to go, too. I can't watch her get on that plane, I just can't. I make the first move. I pull my hand away, but she holds on to it as long as possible. I turn and walk away from her, toward the longest year of my life. I know I shouldn't look back, but I can't help myself. Just one last look, that's all I want. At least, that's what I tell myself. She's stopped to look back at me. The regret I feel about our choices is mirrored on her face. Finding a strength I didn't know I had, I turn from her and walk away.


A/N - I've had a severe case of writer's block this week. I hope this little piece of drabble has broken through it. Please leave a review and let me know what you think of it. My muse loves to get reviews.