Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.

A.N.: Longtime fan. First time writer for this fandom. This one-shot mentions 'Two Bodies in the Lab'; 'Man in the Morgue'; 'Pain in the Heart'; 'Harbingers in the Fountain'; 'Shot in the Dark'; 'The Secret in the Siege'

She was sleeping. She was sleeping. She was sleeping.

I had been telling that to myself for almost an hour as a mantra. My heart not beating as harshly as before, but my eyes were still unfocused, staring at something beyond the white walls of our bedroom. Troubled by the images the nightmares had left.

The t-shirt I'd been wearing was wet with sweat. I needed to take it off but fear of moving kept me still. Staring to the left, seeing her peaceful figure asleep, I made a vow: it will never happen again. But as soon as this thought entered my brain, a harsh laugh almost broke out of my mouth.

I was getting jittery. Sleep was not coming back anytime soon. Finally getting rid of the damned t-shirt, I turned to the side. Facing her. As soon as I did, she moved too, finally resting on her back, her face turning towards me.

Almost on impulse my hand raised to push the hair out of her face. With feather like precision, I caressed her forehead. Images of her eyes watering, her hands tied above her head, suddenly emerged. As if unconsciously I felt an itch in my ribs. A need to kiss those lips, which once joined my own, through the beats of Hot Blooded, was becoming unbearable.

The reminder of her lifeless body on the floor compelled me to just admire. She deserved to rest.

But my hand was as controlled as my need for her. So it trailed a path through her cheek towards her red lips. They parted on their own, as if taking a breath. Or almost feeling I was near. Those perfect kissable lips. I never want to see them marred again. The souvenir New Orleans left behind was enough. Her skin tainted. The controlled look she perfected, in full mode while she sat in that gurney.

But mine was not. My control had left my body the moment I received her call. All I wanted was to teleport myself and hold her. Kiss the skin tainted by the madness of a man. Even in that moment, despite the chant we're just partners I needed her.

My exploration continued down her neck, detouring to her arm. A now non-existent scar glared at me. Powerless. It prompted a feeling of utter helplessness. That was the day I made another vow. The vow to never let her down. Her blood flooding through my fingers was not something I ever wanted to see. The river of red stuck between my fingers, mingling with my fingerprints. It was a permanent image.

No matter how many type of martial arts she knows, pain and suffering seemed to follow her. Like a magnet, she attracts evil. Or, in most cases, she runs at it. Straight ahead and never stopping.

As I raise my head, I see her icy blue eyes focused on me. Examining me like she does her bones. With careful precision.

She raises her right arm and puts a hand on my chest, over my heart. Her eyes always reveal so much. I pick her delicate and talented hand. Putting a kiss in her palm, uttering another vow: "I'd do it again."

My confession seemed to make her uncomfortable, her hand going back to caress the fading scar on my chest. Grabbing her hand again, I kiss her ring. We made a lot of promises, some we'll never break. Others, we can't keep.

So I repeated a promise I once made to her, "You aren't allowed to die."

"Neither are you."