"I'm going to visit Sweets' office," Brennan said.
Booth looked up from the work on his desk. "Are you sure?"
"Yes," she said. "It's been a while."
"Okay. I'll find you when I'm ready to go."
Brennan nodded and turned in the direction of Sweets' office. The door was closed; she opened it carefully and stepped inside. For a minute, she couldn't see anything. She noticed the lights were off. She flipped them on, and everything popped back into her vision; his untidy stacks of papers on his desk, his overstuffed bookshelves, and the silly little toys lying on the table that Sweets liked to give Brennan and Booth during their sessions as if they were children who needed to fidget in order to sit still.
She could finally see the young psychologist in his chair hunched over his desk. He jumped and swiveled around when the lights turned on.
"Dr. Brennan!" he gasped. He shook his head as if to clear it. "Haven't you heard of knocking?"
"Yes, I have," she said.
He nodded at her, face half annoyed and half amused. "Of course. What brings you here?"
"I wanted—" she paused, and he tilted his head at that. "How are you?" she asked.
"I am well," he said. "Yourself?"
"You always do that," Brennan said.
He sat back a bit in his chair. "What do I do?"
"You always turn the conversation around," Brennan almost snapped. "You never talk about yourself. You always redirect to the other person."
His knowing smile was annoying. "I think you know that's an exaggeration."
"Why?" she asked.
"Why do you always turn things around?"
"I'm a psychologist," Sweets said. "It's my job."
Brennan stepped further into the room, standing next to the couch. "So you use psychology with everyone, always, even when you're not in a session."
"Nearly everyone," Sweets said. "Nearly always."
She pursed her lips, frustrated.
"Is something bothering you?" Sweets asked. He leaned forward again as if concerned. "Is that why you're here?"
"No," Brennan said.
"You forget," Sweets said. "I can always tell when someone's lying."
Brennan smirked slightly. "Just a moment ago, you were telling me not to exaggerate."
Sweets nodded. "Fair enough. More accurately, I am very good at telling when someone is lying."
"Based on what?" Brennan asked.
"Psychology, of course."
Sweets sighed. "After everything that's happened," he said, "you still don't believe in psychology?"
"It's a pseudo-science," Brennan said. "If it's a science at all."
"You're a scientist," Sweets said. "You understand that nothing in this world can be absolutely proven, without a shadow of a doubt."
"That is correct, yes," Brennan said.
He placed his elbows on the arm rests, clasping his hands in front of him. "As such, what we consider to be scientific fact is not based on irrefutable evidence, as there is no such thing in the scientific world."
"The only way to prove something," Sweets went on, "is to see the same result over and over again when a hypothesis is tested in the exact same way. Then, we can reasonably assume that the hypothesis is reliably, if not irrefutably, correct."
"This is all fact," Brennan said. "Why are you bringing it up now?"
"Because I want you to understand that psychology is a legitimate science," Sweets said. "Yes, it can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. But neither can any science. However, you've seen my methods have results. Over and over again. That brings it as close to fact as science can get."
"I can see how that argument can be made. However, if those are the only criteria, that definition of science could apply to any number of things."
"Like what?" Sweets asked.
"Walking," Brennan said. She sat on the couch, finding the exact spot she was so used to. "If you follow the same steps someone else took, you should reach the same destination, in effect, achieve the same results."
Sweets laughed derisively. "Whatever you say, Dr. Brennan."
"Or friendship," Brennan continued.
His smile quirked wider. "What about it?"
"It could be a science."
"Friendship is the state of a person or persons being connected to others through ties of mutual respect and affection."
"One gains respect and affection by exhibiting consistently reliable, valuable, considerate behavior."
"If such behavior remains consistent over an extended period of time, individuals sharing these behaviors often consider each other friends."
"So," she concluded, "though each friendship can be considered unique, the methods to reach the state of being friends can be seen as consistent across cultures. Making friendship a given in anthropology, a true science, and therefore, based on your conclusions, a science in and of itself."
Sweets lifted his palms in agreement and leaned back in his chair. "You got me there."
Brennan nodded, feeling herself smiling a little. "It seems as close to a conclusion upon which one can reasonably arrive."
"I'm glad to hear you say that," Sweets said.
Brennan leaned back into the couch, crossing her arms over her chest. It did feel like they were in a session now, with Sweets swinging back and forth in his swivel chair, smiling at her, and she on the couch with an almost defensive stance. It seemed like such a long time since they'd done this.
"How are you?" Brennan asked.
Sweets tilted his head at her. "That's a very direct question. You're usually not that direct."
"Sweets," Brennan snapped, "you're doing it again."
"What am I doing?"
"We never talk about you. I feel like I don't know anything about you."
"Feel." Sweets leaned towards her yet again.
"Yes, I feel—but this is not about me. We don't know you, Sweets. Not the way we should. Not after all these years—there's so much about you we never learned. After everything that's happened—after—after all—"
"Hey," Sweets said gently, "it's okay."
She felt herself breathing heavily. "It's not."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because we should have done more."
"Done more for what?"
"For you," she said.
"Are you alright, Bones?"
"Don't call me Bones."
"Wow," Booth said. "Haven't heard that one in a while."
Brennan's head snapped towards him. She hadn't realized her husband had walked in.
"Are you alright?" he repeated. "It sounded like you were talking to someone."
Brennan looked back to Sweets' chair. It was empty. In fact, the entire room was empty. Empty of all of Sweets' things. His books. His writing. His pens. His fidgets. Of Sweets.
"Of course not." She fought to keep the tremor out of her voice. "There's no one here."
She stood and faced him. "You're done?"
He nodded, almost hesitantly. "Yeah. But we can stay—if you need—if you want to."
She shook her head. "There's no need to."
"Bones," he said softly.
"It's just a room."
"It was his room."
"It was," she said.
He glanced from her to the empty chair, and saw his stoic face turn to one of sadness. She wrapped her arm around his and turned him to the door.
"Let's go home."
They turned off the light on their way out.