Author: softsyllables PM
"What if underneath the calm surface a secret irrational storm was brewing underneath? What if logic just prolongs a problem? Sometimes skin and tissue have stories to tell as well. Contains Self-Injury. Full Summary Inside.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Drama - T. Brennan & S. Booth - Chapters: 5 - Words: 5,170 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 05-05-11 - Published: 05-03-11 - id: 6962786
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Temperance just fell into Booth's chest as the tears started to fall uncontrollably. She didn't know what she was doing, her mind had just... turned off. She was numb and all she could so was go limp in her partners arms and cry.
Booth didn't know what to do or say next. He had just brought an elephant into the room. He had just, without meaning to, brought the relationship between himself and Brennan to a whole new level. So used to combat and the life of a soldier, Booth was suddenly just overflowing with emotions, but without any outlet for them. He just watched Tempe's body heave with each sob, he watched her become so vulnerable right here, while clinging to his shirt - while clinging to him - for support. Booth just reached his arms around her, holding her and loving her with all his being.
As he was holding her and gently running her hair through his fingers Booth was trying to think of what was supposed to happen next. What should he say? What should he do? What would she say? As much as he wanted to help her, he was starting to worry if someone like Angela wasn't more able to help Temperance right now. Booth sighed and just held his partner, letting go of any stray thoughts and worries he just held her. The two people just stayed there on Tempe's couch, one holding the other, one being held and somehow it was enough, it was just right.
After some time had passed, unbeknownst to the two people sitting in an apartment building feeling more than anyone else could be at that moment, Booth started to think again, this time with more certainty of where he would go from here. He was just about to speak when Temperance sat up and wiped her eyes and started to compose herself. Almost as soon as she had stood up she had a confused look on her face. She saw the tear stains on Booth's shirt, but she didn't know why or how they got there. Tempe tossed the thought aside and looked directly at Booth, "Let's get going Booth, we're going to be late."
She started to stand up, but Booth tugged on her wrist and brought her back down onto the sofa. "Bones," He let her nickname be a source of comfort, "Tempe, we're not going anywhere."
"What... what are you talking about Booth?" She looked confused. "You called and said we had a case."
"Tempe - "
She cut him off. "Why do you keep saying my name like that? Booth, let's go." Part of her didn't have any idea why he was being so emotional, but another part didn't want to have this conversation, didn't want to go into this at this moment. She wasn't ready to handle what he had to say, so she blocked it out and tried to focus on work.
"Tempe, listen to me." Booth took her wrists in his hands and looked into her eyes. "Tempe, I'm worried about you. You scared me today when I saw what I did in your bathroom. Please, please talk to me. Please, even if you won't talk, please listen to me."
For once Temperance was silent. She looked down at her wrists in Booth's hands. Her... scarred wrists. He knew what he was holding. He knew what he was holding and he still touched her, he still wanted to be close to her and hold her.
"It makes me feel better." Was all she said.
"Oh Bones." He reached over to hug her. As they embraced Booth went to life her sleeves, but she recoiled. "It's okay, it's okay."
Temperance was still silent at this point, trying to make herself take in all that was happening. She drew back at Booth's touch, trying to bury herself in the corner of the sofa. She was ashamed and she didn't know why. It was perfectly rational what she was doing, so why... why was she so ashamed and insecure right now?
"Have you ever talked to anyone about this?" Booth let her hide in the corner of the sofa. He watched her as she tried to make herself disappear behind one of her decorative pillows. He knew this would take time. "Does anyone else know?"
She started following the stitching of the pillow with her finger, tracing the floral patterns and trying to calm herself down. She had gone over ever flower twice before she spoke. "No one noticed because it wasn't a common problem that people knew about."
She looked at Booth and continued. "Only one person ever found out. It... it was in college and usually I could say I was clumsy with the lab equipment, but one day another student realized where the - " She stopped, she couldn't say the word.
"It's okay." Booth said, giving her all the time in the world.
"She realized that I wasn't that clumsy. I had to do her lab reports for two weeks so she wouldn't tell anyone what I was doing. But other than that no one noticed - or they never said anything, until you that is."
"Have you - "
"Please don't tell anyone. Please don't tell Sweets." Tempe looked down at the pillow in her arms, unable to look at her partner. "Please."
"I won't tell." Right then and there Booth made the conscious decision not to tell anyone until she was ready to tell someone, unless if she did it again and got reckless.
At that point he saw the first part of a small smile creep across her face, but it was gone before he could say anything else. "Bones, have you ever." He paused. "Have you ever tried to stop?"
She paused, really thinking about it. She paused, trying to suppress her shame because it wasn't a shameful thing. It never was. "I guess not... no. It's not... It's not a bad thing, it's a normal response to pain."
Booth didn't understand so he just let her continue.
"It's like, I've found a way to take emotional pain, the complication of thoughts and feelings and things that just hurt and express them in a way I know how to solve. It's impossible to confront feelings and solve them at that level, so you have to change them into something you can directly fix, like multiplying fractions or balancing a chemical equation. My thoughts and emotions become physical. That I can handle, that I can fix. And, it's not unique to me. Bloodletting was a common practice for hundreds of years for all sorts of ailments, including melancholy. It's just... my way of dealing with everything."
"Tempe..." Booth didn't know what to say. He wanted to hug her, but she was still hiding herself and he didn't want to ruin this and not be able to help her. The silence enveloped the two people. It seemed like the silence would last forever because neither knew what to say or where to go from this point. They were both lost for words, one lost in trying to get back to the place she was in just a few hours earlier, the other at a loss for how to bring his partner through this without setting everything back.
It was Booth's cellphone that broke the silence. He was all set to ignore the thing, but the loud ringtone was just intrusive. Booth glanced at the caller I.D., it was Angela. He looked over at Tempe, she was still tracing the pattern of the pillow and looking away from him.
He would later realize that it was a rookie mistake, but he stood up and walked into the small atrium where she couldn't hear him and clicked answer. "Booth, Hodgin's covered in slime or else he would have called, but where are you and Brennan? I mean, if you two wanted to have a little early morning fun, at least call first." She laughed at her own lame joke.
"Ange, we're not coming to the scene. Tempe's sick and I'm taking care of her for the day, just making sure she's okay. Gonna make my famous grilled cheese and tomato soup. Perfect sick food." Booth tried to sound as normal as possible.
"Okay sweetie. Tell her I said to feel better. Maybe I'll stop by when we're done here."
"Alright." Booth said without thinking. "Let Cam and everyone know, okay? Thanks Ange."
Angela should have known something was wrong when Booth called her Tempe instead of Bones like he usually did, but she didn't think of it at the time and after getting back to Hodgins, who was not trying to chase her around with whatever slime was on his hands, she forgot about it.
After he hung up with Angela Booth felt relieved that she didn't question anything. He put his phone on silent and left it on her kitchen counter. He was in a hurry to get back to Bones.
"Tempe, I'm back." He called out as he walked into the living room. She wasn't sitting on the couch. "Temperance!"
He called out her name, but got no answer. Panic filled his entire being and he started to look for her.