A/N: This one's a little shorter than the others, but I don't think it needs more than is here. I hope you enjoy this sweet little chapter based off of the song, "The woman in me," by Shania Twain.
Temperance looked once more at the note in her hand. While not one to understand emotions, this was something she couldn't deny. Maybe Booth had heard her confession, but if he did, why hadn't he said anything? He probably wants me to admit it to him. She sighed. This whole love thing was so confusing. As strong and independent as she always felt, he had somehow become the one person she leaned on more than any other. She knew a single hug could make her feel safe and loved, and that more than anything terrified her. She felt too needy, like she would lose her independence if she were to admit to needing someone else in her life. And yet, at the same time, she could imagine living a happy life with him.
"This is ridiculous," she sighed and grabbed her keys. They had to address these feelings if they were to move on, regardless of what the outcome of the discussion was. Maybe a romantic relationship would destroy what they had, and maybe it wouldn't. Her mind made up, Temperance left the apartment to head to Booth's house.
Booth ran a hand over his face and let out a tired breath. The whole day he'd been at work, he hadn't been able to concentrate. He kept thinking about the situation he was currently in with Temperance. Why can't she just tell me how she feels? I thought we were past the secrets. He stood up from his couch and stretched. As much as he wanted to go jogging to help clear his head, he didn't want to leave in case she came over to his place. His hope was waning, however as it got later. Maybe she'd never tell him. Maybe she felt it was safer for her to just exist than to expose herself in such a manner. At the knock on the door, his heart stopped for a moment. He walked over to the door and looked through the peep hole. There stood Temperance, and she was muttering something to herself. After a deep breath to steel himself, Booth opened the door.
"Bones what are you…" He didn't finish the sentence as she stepped up to him and wrapped her arms around him. Reflexively, he did the same, neither saying a word. It wasn't until he felt the wetness of tears that he spoke again. "Hey, it's okay, I'm right here."
"I know, and that scares me." She pulled from his shoulder to look at him. His heart broke as he saw the trail of tears running down her face. Gently, he wiped them away with his thumb.
"Here, come on inside and we'll talk, okay?" She nodded and he led her inside to the couch, shutting the door behind them. "All right, now why does my being here scare you?"
"Because one day you're not going to be here for me."
"Temperance, as long as you need me, I'll be here. I'm not going anywhere."
"You can't promise that. I don't want to get hurt because you aren't there anymore."
"Why do you think I'd ever want to leave? It's gonna take a lot more than a bullet to get rid of me. Believe me, people have tried that, and it hasn't worked so far."
"I'm not as strong as people think I am. Too many people have left me. I can't handle how I feel, Booth."
"Listen to me. Love is a scary thing. It makes you worry, sometimes unnecessarily about others, and it can hurt if it isn't reciprocated."
"How do you…"
"I heard you and Angela talking."
"Then why didn't you say anything?"
"I don't know, maybe I was hoping I'd hear it from you." He pulled her closer to him and wrapped his arms around her again. Temperance sighed and put her head on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry I couldn't tell you."
"Hey, none of that. It's a hard thing to say. The last time I told someone I loved them, it didn't go so well. That doesn't make me want to give up on it though."
"I don't want to give up, but I…I don't know if I can do this."
"The relationship thing."
"We'll just take things one day at a time, that's all. If you think you can get rid of me easily, you've got another think coming."
"Can you just hold me tonight? I don't want to be alone."
"As you wish, sweetheart, as you wish." He kissed her hair and smiled as she crawled into his lap like a frightened child looking for comfort. He said nothing, but just held her tightly, listening to her deepened breathing as she fell asleep in his arms.