Disclaimer: I own nothing, as per usual

A/N: This came to me as I was watching the court scene at the end and looking at Booth struggle up on the stand. I don't know if it's any good, but I decided to throw it out there!

Booth's heart pounded and his eyes stung as the images of what the defence attorney was describing flashed through his mind. His eyes went to Bones. He couldn't believe she was asking this of him. That she was willing to go to these lengths for those she cared about was no surprise, but…

"That's a lotta heart, Bones," he murmured, not really caring if she or any one else could hear him. He tried, he tried to think like her; calm, cool, rational. Did he think she could have possibly killed Director Kirby? She had motive, time, knowledge, weapon, skill.

A part of him was screaming. She was his partner and he couldn't, wouldn't sit up here and say she was capable of cold-blooded murder. She was his friend, for Christ's sake! And what she was asking of him now was too much. She couldn't seriously be expecting him to sit here, in a court of law, and blithely admit that she could have killed Kirby. Even if it was true, he couldn't do that to her. But she could and she was expecting him to do this, just like she expected her squints to do their jobs and testify, even if it meant sending her own father to death row.

The defence attorney, Mr. Barron, pressed him, ignoring his avoidance comments, forcing an answer to the question he really asked. Booth looked at Brennan again. Her eyes, always so expressive, were somehow both so old and so young in that moment. And in them, he saw both the permission and the forgiveness that he sought. Booth turned back to Barron, trying and failing to keep his voice from cracking.

"Yes, she had time."

In the rise of sound that followed, Booth once again sought Bones' eyes with his own. She smiled at him, grateful and a little relieved. He tried to smile back, wasn't sure if he succeeded, while he tried to calm his wildly racing heart and shove it back down out of his throat.

As he left the witness stand, Booth had one final thought. Forget war, being a sniper, proposing to Rebecca, raising Parker, working for the FBI and having to decipher squint-speak all the time… That was the hardest thing he'd ever done…

A/N: Thanks for reading! If you liked it, or have some concrit, please leave me a review. I always enjoy them! -Druid