Summary: Companion chapter to "Behind the Something." Booth's deal this time. Extended oneshot.
Disclaimer: The show, the characters, the general idea, the dialogue (taken from the show), and anything else that might fall in a category like that are not mine. Never was; never will be.
A/N: Thank you to all who reviewed the other part of this one shot. Or two shot. Or whatever. Anyway, it was suggested that I do a companion piece to that first part only from Booth's point of view. I was intrigued, my muse was very agreeable, and this is what came out.
He laughed at her when she told him where she was going for a "vacation." He was laughing more at her idea of a vacation than the location or what she'd be doing. He stopped when he saw the look of death, the one that she should have patented, being sent his way. But he found it amusing nonetheless. Slightly endearing, too. What kind of woman would go to a disaster-torn part of the country to help identify bodies that were being pulled from debris and mud for a vacation? That's my girl.
He was a little surprised when her name and number appeared on his caller ID. He winced a little to himself when he realized how desperate he sounded when he answered. He knew something was wrong on the first word that came out of her mouth. He would have sworn to anyone who would have asked that his heart stopped beating when she told him of the way she'd found herself. His comforting words were as much for himself as for her. He probed for answers, but she didn't have any for him and that scared him. She always had answers, regardless of whether or not he listened to them. She told him repeatedly not to come and he told her he wouldn't, but he knew that she knew he was coming anyway. He was already haphazardly throwing clothes into a duffle.
The plane ride was torture. Real torture. And he would know. Psychological torture was the worst kind, and that's what it was. His brain was being assaulted with situations that could have gotten her to the state she was in, each one worse than the one before it until he thought he was going to burst.
He didn't listen to the nurse yelling at him not to go in the exam room; he just burst through. He barely even heard her sigh, "Booth, I told you not to come," as his eyes fell on her. He gave a witty, "Yeah, whatever," to the curly-haired woman in the room teasing him for flying in from D.C. He focused all of his attention on his partner, bruised and battered. "Why can't she remember anything?" He just didn't understand. This was Temperance Brennan for heaven's sake.
He didn't really even think about what he was doing as his fingers went to her face. He saw the way her eyes fluttered shut at his careful caress, the way her face softened for just a second before trying to hide a wince at the pain his touch caused. His heart stopped momentarily again. It did that too often when he was with her.
Then she pushed his hand away and told him to go away. He wasn't too put off though, because she told everyone to go away, not just him. And anyway, her eyes told him to wait for her. I will. Forever if that's what it takes.
At Graham's house, he tried to cover his nervousness with a joke. It was a half-assed attempt, but he tried anyway. He just couldn't escape the nasty feeling that was eating at him. When she'd gone up the stairs like that, in a trance almost, all he wanted to do was grab her and run away. Far away from all this strange stuff. Voodoo, hurricanes, dead people. But he followed her, because that's what he always did.
No matter what he had done while he was a sniper, no matter how many crime scenes he'd seen, no matter how many forensic textbooks he'd looked at…no matter anything, the body crucified to the wall made him want to throw up. He didn't blame her for getting amnesia and he didn't even know what exactly she'd gone through. He wanted amnesia after seeing a scene like that.
But nothing could prepare him for the yet again heart stopping second he saw her earring on the floor. God, please. No, she couldn't have done it. He began to frantically think of any way he could get the detective's attention somewhere else long enough that he could get to the earring before anyone else did. If they found that, she would be locked up forever, he had no doubt.
He seized his moment as everyone's attention went to whatever the detective was looking at and her earring was in his pocket before anyone else could see what he had done. He tried to breathe. In. Out. He reached his hands out to her and tried to drag her away. He wanted nothing more than to shove the detective against the wall with a gun to her ear until she understood that his Bones could never do a thing like what they'd just seen in that room.
He managed to contain himself, but only barely. His hands grasped again at his partner's thin arms as he led them away. She didn't even protest.
Back at her hotel, he insisted on staying. He needed to be with her just a while longer. In her room, looking out her window, the full weight of what he'd done hit him hard. He didn't want her to know. He wondered what she'd think.
"I already did." Just three words he hoped and prayed she might understand someday. He'd risked his professional career for her. Only for her. She asked what he meant, but he needed her to figure it out for herself so he changed the subject.
At the restaurant, he saw her break through. The real her. And it made him smile. It made the food he was eating that much better. It made her presence that much more comforting. It made the reality of what they were going through that much farther away. If only for a minute. He knew what she was really asking when she'd said, "Why are you nice to me?" But he followed her lead and hid his message underneath different words. His eyes held hers, begging her to see what he meant. His heart did a little flutter when her reply met his ears and he wanted her more than ever. "Yeah…so maybe you should be a little nicer to me." Let this Temperance out a little more often. I know you have it in you. She seemed to understand what he was saying. She seemed saddened. He saw her nearly jump when Caroline Julian's voice broke through whatever was happening between them in that moment and he mentally cursed the jovial woman just a little for shutting her down again when he'd been so close. He felt her eyes on him for one last minute before let herself fall back into her shell.
But back home, sitting with these people he was learning to call friends, he drew her out again. It was harder this time, but he didn't give up. And just as he felt he had her, he opened his hand and let her mother's earring dangle from his fingers. She asked him where he'd gotten it and he watched her running through her mind, searching hard for anything in it that might clue her in on his conjuring powers. He gave her one more prod. "What does it matter? It's just a thing, right?" Almost. You're almost there.
He stood up as soon as he saw the recognition work itself into her eyes. "No, ah…magical powers over your future." He gave her his grin, the one he knew he should have patented, as he left. Follow me. I dare you.
He heard Angela ask her, "Does that prove something?" But he didn't hear her reply; she answered too quietly for him to hear as he walked slowly down the hall. He did hear her footsteps nearly running after him just a minute later, though. He slowed to a stop, stuffed his hands in his pockets, and grinned like a little boy who'd just been given the Christmas present he'd always wanted.
Fin. (For real this time.)