Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.


It happened by chance, right on the day we decided to start spring cleaning. Or she decided, after a rather amusing sermon on the benefits of cleaning, reducing allergies or whatever. It was supposed to give you calm and relieve stress, she said.

I wasn't stressed. I was very content just with a beer on one hand and a hockey game in front of my eyes. But she turned those icy blues on me, while wearing some shorts I'm sure were meant to be practical (but only made me stare at her legs) and yellow gloves.

I told her it was a cute look. She didn't find it funny.

So, here I was. Bend over crates and dusty boxes that had accumulated in our garage. Taking clutter out of them to be sorted into precise piles of garbage, to save or donate.

While I was already covered in dust and some kind of oil that had seeped from old bottles, she was sitting on the floor sorting things, with a look that reminds me of her time concentrating over bones.

I couldn't but stare at her, smirk as how, now and then, her tongue would stick out when trying to decide in which pile something would go. During these moments, I got the feeling she had perfected her inner sense of me. I always got a scolding also perfected by the years spent scolding our mischievous child, "If you don't get back to work, we'll never finish this."

"Oh, c'mon Bones. Just taking a break. Can't I admire my beautiful wife?", when she got in these moods, my suaveness usually did the trick. Usually.

"While I find pleasing that you notice my physical attributes, this is not conductive to finishing this task."

I knew when I was defeated. With a sigh I got back to sorting through bags and boxes. How did we get so many things? Of course, we had ourselves to blame. The initial days, we spent so much time working on the house, our apartments got second place. Then came Christine. Having a crying baby at wee hours of the morning wasn't conducive to sorting through years of accumulated things. Then the dark months happened, as I like to call them, and then all I could think about was getting things right in the relationship department.

As my mind wondered, my hands came across a light bag, as I opened it all I could see were old clothes I haven't worn in years. "Hey Bones, we can donate these".

I threw the bag at her direction and got back to work. In the background I could hear her go through it and sometimes she would let out a little grumble. I was already smirking before I heard a lecture coming on, as she started taking things out of it.

"Booth, these are clothes you wore years ago. Some of these pants don't even fit you anymore. I'll never understand your need to grab onto old things like these."

"Old things? How about the things you have scattered all over our living room?" I regretted it as soon as it was out of my mouth. Sometimes she's rather infuriating. Especially when she decides to give me a speech on one of her tribes, just to get her point across.

"Those are antiquities. Some of them given to me during my many travels. One of the pots in our shelves is from my time in Shiwinnaqin. A Zuni woman gave it to me during my stay…"

At this point I had zoned out. Hearing her babble about explorations and the people she encountered could be adorable, even if I didn't really understand half of what she was talking about. But she carried on.

"…. Given the traditions behind its making and connection to local rituals, I'd thought you'd had a more open mind. Their own religious beliefs are -"

So when silence suddenly greeted me, confusion replaced my musings. Then panic, as I turned to see a very surprised and confused Temperance Brennan holding a piece of clothing I thought I had lost or already thrown away. A white piece of clothing that was no longer only white. Red tainted it. A dark red that had come from the very person now holding it.

I didn't know whether to go with my panic: take it out of her hands and burn it; or to grow a set and face it.

But panic was ruling my head, because only silence was coming from her. As she let go a shaky breath, I couldn't just stand here. I approached her carefully, stepping over the already sorted piles of clutter. Forgetting my bad back, I got down next to her, grabbing her hands gently. Her grip on the shirt tightened. Silence continued to rule and now I wished she was still going on and on about the Tuni tribe or whatever she was talking about. I preferred the look of her eyes as she talks about her work, her books, and her digs. They sparkled a vivid blue. It shone of life.

When she got this quiet, her shoulders will hunch over and her hair fall over her face as if trying to hide it from view. Her eyes... I put a hand on her chin, lifting it just after putting an errant strand of her behind her ear. Her eyes were a dark blue, filled with tears she was not letting go. Stubborn. Even in moments like these.

We stared at one another without speaking. Non-verbal communication was our forte. So I put my hands on each side of her face, caressing her with light fingers from her forehead to her chin.

She smiled. Understanding the meaning behind my actions. Sometimes we grab onto things we don't need as a safe blanket. In this case, it served as a reminder of a time I couldn't forget. I didn't want to forget, because then, it'd be like letting my guard down.

But we had to do some spring cleaning, even when we didn't want to. God definitely has a warped sense of humor. I swallowed a laugh, and did the one thing I could now do, but couldn't back then. I kissed her. Gently tasting her lips as my hands grabbed onto her waste, pulling her flush against me. As I back away, our eyes met again. She smiled and looked down. Between us, she still had the shirt in her grip.

In a second of inspiration, I grabbed one of the white cards she used to define which pile was which and set it aside. Caressing her fingers, I took piece of clothing from her and set it on the floor.

While touching her forehead with mine, she turned to read what I had written on the card,

"Letting go"


A.N.: In case it wasn't clear, the shirt in question refers to Season 5 episode Harbingers in the Fountain. So? Thoughts?