Author's Note: Do you ever just get an idea in your head that you just can't get out? Well this one has been bugging me for two days. I'm still working on my other fic 'Tell Me What To Do' (sorry for the shameless plug). However, I can't seem to get this out of my head. So I decided to write it now, so I can get it out of my head. If there are any mistakes, sorry but I was in a hurry so forgive me.
Something to keep in mind before you read the story: 1. I'm going on the premise that Booth has declared his love for Bones after breaking things off with Cam, but she didn't want to ruin their partnership or friendship. 2. Also that he never made the statement about a line that couldn't be crossed.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine ::sniff sniff:: except this idea I can't seem to shake.
WHAT IF SHE DECIDES TO GO?
Jeffersonian – Friday Morning
Angela entered Brennan's office to find her friend staring into space.
"Good morning Bren! What are you thinking so hard about?" Brennan jumped
"Sorry Ange, what did you say?"
"I asked what you were thinking so hard about?" As if I don't know! Angela thought to herself. Ever since Bren had announced two weeks ago that she was leaving to go sailing with Sully for a year things had changed around the lab. It seemed like there was a cloud hanging over the place. Brennan was acting like her normal oblivious self, or at least it seemed like it. The rest of the squint squad was subdued, they were going to miss her. She was set to leave tomorrow. Booth, however, seemed despondent. He was hardly ever at the lab anymore, he didn't call unless it was necessary, never dropped by just because he felt like it and he hadn't smiled once. Angela had never heard him call Brennan 'Bones' since her announcement, he only ever called her Brennan or Dr. Brennan. She wasn't completely sure what was going on in head, but she had a good idea that he was devastated that His Bones was leaving.
"Ange, why do you think that Booth doesn't come by anymore? He used to call sometimes just to say hello. And why doesn't he call me Bones anymore?" Brennan turned her face to look at her friend.
"Sweetie, those are questions only Booth can answer. If you really want to know the answer then you'll have to ask him yourself." Brennan slowly nodded her head.
"He just called a moment ago to let me know that he required my signature on the paperwork for our last case. When he comes by in little while, maybe I'll ask him."
"Brennan, just make sure that you REALLY want to know before you ask." She offered.
"What do you mean?"
"Honey, you just need to be prepared for the answer, you might not like what you get." Angela gave her friend a sad smile and left her friend to ponder her last comment.
Jeffersonian – Later that morning
Booth stopped and took a deep breath before he entered the lab. Ever since Bones had announced she was leaving it was so hard to come here. ((I can't believe she's leaving me)) He avoided the lab at all costs, only coming when it was absolutely necessary. When he did come he tried his best to have as little to with Bones as possible. He didn't take her in the field anymore. He was trying to get used to not having her around.
When Booth finally entered the lab, he saw that the squint squad was on the platform. Swiping his card, he climbed the steps and went to them.
"Hi guys. Brennan here are the forms I need signed, if you could do that I'll get out of your way." He fought to keep his voice neutral and to keep his hand from shaking as he handed her the file.
"Hi Booth." She said softly as she took the file from his hand. She kept glancing at him as she signed the forms.
"Hey Booth. Are you coming to the diner later for Bren's going away party?" Angela asked.
"No I won't be able to make it, something came up. You have fun though."
Brennan's head jerked up at his words, her eyes filling with tears. "You're not coming?" She asked.
"No I'm not, but you have fun on your trip. It was nice working with you." He turned to leave, but her voice stopped him as he reached the steps.
"Why don't you call me Bones anymore?" His back stiffened and he dropped his head.
"It doesn't matter."
"Bren sweetie maybe you guys should go to your office and talk about this." Ange offered.
"No we can talk about it here." Bren said, she was unaware of what she was getting into. "It matters to me Booth, you are my partner and I want to know why." His answer shocked her.
"I used to be your partner Brennan, not anymore." His back was still to her. At his words, the noise in the lab was immediately silenced. Everyone heard Brennan's sharp intake of breath.
"What do you mean Booth? Of course, we're still partners, I'm coming back." Her voice was shaking. Booth slowly turned to face her.
"When and if you decide to return Dr. Brennan, I will NOT be here. I've already requested that once you return I be removed as the liaison between the FBI and the Jeffersonian." His voice was hard. "So have a good life. It was nice knowing you Dr. Brennan." He once again turned to leave.
"Booth, stop right there! What are you talking about?" She demanded. Angela, Jack and Zach were watching with matching shocked expressions on their faces. They knew they shouldn't be witnessing this, but it was like an accident on the highway, you couldn't help but stare.
Brennan walked up to Booth and put her hand on his arm to restrain him. He jerked his arm away from her.
"Don't touch me. We are not partners or friends, you don't have the right to touch me anymore." He shouted. Brennan immediately removed her hand but did not step back.
"Booth what is wrong with you? Why are you acting like this?" Her own voice was raised. This was the last straw for Booth, he honestly was shocked that she didn't understand.
"You want to know? I mean do you REALLY want to know?" He demanded.
"Yes I REALLY want to know." She said with her hands on her hips.
"Booth. Bren. You guys really should take this somewhere else." Angela had finally found her voice. Booth jerked his head to look at Angela.
"No Angela, if she wants to know I'll tell her. You've been bugging me to tell her this since her announcement, I though you would be happy."
"Not like this Booth." Brennan's gaze was moving backing forth between Booth and Angela.
"Yes Ange, like this. This is probably the only way she'll listen to me, not that it will change anything." His voice shook as he said the last bit. He turned back to face Brennan. "Fine. I'll tell you."
"Booth maybe…." Brennan started to say.
"NO, YOU DON'T GET TO BACK OUT NOW!" His voice was once again loud and angry. "I've had enough of this crap. I don't call you Bones anymore, because that was the nickname I had for my best friend. I don't have a best friend anymore. I called my partner 'Bones' and I don't have one of those anymore. You took that away from me, so you deal with it."
"I don't know what you mean." She said softly. She was completely taken aback at his words. Her eyes once again filling with tears.
"That 'I don't know what you mean' crap is getting old Brennan." He used his fingers to make quote marks. "How can you be so naïve?"
"I really don't understand Booth." Her voice was barely a whisper.
"Of course you don't." He said sarcastically. "Do you remember the last time I was at your apartment? Do you remember what I told you?" He grinned as he saw her eyes widen in memory and she slowly nodded her head.
"Good you remember." He paused. "I told you that I loved you. I poured my heart out to you and asked you to consider being more than my partner. You said no! You told me that you cared for me, but you didn't want to risk our partnership and our friendship. You said that they meant too much to you to lose. What a load of CRAP!"
"But Booth when I told you that you said it was okay. You said that you would still be my friend." The tears were flowing down her face
"SHUT UP!" He shouted. "I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT! It's obvious to me now that you don't care about me and you couldn't care less about our partnership or friendship."
"THAT'S NOT TRUE!" She cried.
"Yes it is. You said that you couldn't be with me because of how much our work and our friendship meant to you. You said that you weren't ready to take that risk. You SAID that one day you would be, but you weren't ready YET! Another load of CRAP!" He was pointing his finger at her now. "Being the chump that I am I believed you, what a fool! I even told you that I was willing to wait, that I wasn't going anywhere. That things could remain the same between us until you were ready. I was such a fool."
"You're not a fool Booth."
"Yes I am because I believed you. Brennan how long ago was it that we talked about it?" She dropped her head and mumbled her answer. "Come on tell me, tell them how long it's been." He gestured to Angela and the guys.
"Come on Brennan, they can't hear you." His tone was mocking. She said nothing and didn't even bother to lift her head. "Fine I'll tell them. It was TWO MONTHS AGO! Two months ago you weren't ready to risk anything to be with me. You've been dating Sullivan for a month and you're ready to go sailing around the world with him for a year." His voice broke at the end.
"That just proves how little you think of me, our partnership and our friendship." He had tears on his face now. "You said you cared for me Bones. You told me that what we had was something you weren't willing to risk. Now you are ready to throw it all away, evidently it didn't mean as much as you said."
"Booth…I…Seeley…." She tried but couldn't get anything else out.
"Do you remember our first case as partners? I told you that my hope as an FBI Agent was to catch as many killers as I could. I wanted to catch at least as many people as I had killed as a sniper. You told me that you wanted to help me with that. I'm not there yet, there are more killers to go. Now you are bailing on me. You are just leaving me on my own."
"Let me ask you something Bones. Is he worth it? Do you love him?" Her head lifted and her eyes met his but she didn't say anything. "Do you love him?" He repeated.
Brennan just stared at him. She didn't need to answer him, he could see the answer in her eyes.
"That's just great Temperance. You supposedly care so much for me. You are willing to throw what we have and what we could have had away for some guy you've know a month and you don't even love him." His voice was quiet and defeated. When he finished speaking he simply turned, swiped his card again and left the lab.
The lab was so silent the only thing you could hear was Brennan crying. Angela was crying as she watched her friend slide to the floor and bury her face in her hands. She walked over and looked down at Brennan.
"Brennan, did he really tell you that he loved you two months ago?" Angela asked quietly. She couldn't believe it when her friend nodded. ((Oh my god, poor Booth.)) Angela thought. "Bren, how could you?" She asked and turned to run after Booth. Brennan lifted her head at her friend's words, shocked to see her friend run after Booth. Normally Angela would have comforted her. Brennan turned to look at Zach and Hodgins, they just looked at her for a moment and then turned and walked away. She was left sitting there and sobbing all by herself
Jeffersonian Parking Lot
"Booth wait up." Angela shouted as she ran after him. "Booth, please."
Booth stopped walking and turned to face her. He wiped his tears away before she got to him. When she reached him she simply threw her arms around him and hugged him. He wrapped his arms around her and held on tight. They cried together.
"Oh sweetie I'm so sorry. I had no idea."
"Ange, that was the point. Things were supposed to go back to normal. I was just supposed to wait until she was ready. Now I know she never will be."
"Seeley I wish I had known, maybe I could have helped."
"No there's nothing you could have done. She refused to open up and let me in." He pulled back and placed his hand on her shoulders so he could look in her face. "Ange, not that I don't appreciate it but why are you here? Why aren't you in there comforting Brennan instead?"
"I love her dearly, but you were right in there, she brought this on herself. I love you too, you are a good friend and right now you need me more." Booth was touched by her statement. "You know, she asked me this morning why you haven't been around or call her Bones anymore. I told her she should ask you and I told her that she needed to be prepared for the answer. She asked and you answered; now she has to deal with the consequences."
"Maybe you should go back in there." Even after what had just happened and all that he had said, he still cared for Brennan. It was hard to see her in pain, especially pain that he had caused by yelling at her.
"Bren is a genius, but sometimes she can be so stupid. I've tried to help her in the past. I knew how you felt about her and tried to bring her around; nothing worked. She really needs to figure this one out on her own. Just trust me, okay?"
"Okay. I trust you." He looked up as Hodgins and Zach approached. Hodgins was carrying Angela's purse, he handed it to her when got to her.
"Here I thought that you might need this." He told her. Turning to address Booth he said "Sorry man, I really am."
"Thanks Hodgins." The two men shook hands. Zach stepped forward to shake Booth's hand as well. "I'm really sorry Agent Booth."
"Thanks Zach." An awkward silence fell over the group. Finally, Angela spoke up.
"Come on Booth, I'm taking you to lunch." She stepped over to Hodgins and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Hodgie, I'll probably be gone the rest of the day will you cover for me?"
"No problem." He kissed her on the cheek then whispered in her ear. "You just take care of Booth and call if you need me. I'll keep an eye on Brennan and call if something happens that you need to know." As they stepped apart, Angela gave him a wink in acknowledgement. She then turned to slip her arm through Booth's.
"Alright Agent Hottie, let's go get something to eat and figure out how we will spend the rest of our day." Booth chuckled.
"Lead the way Ange, lead the way."
Booth's Apartment – Later that evening
Angela and Booth had gone to lunch at Wong Foo's, to the movies and for a walk in the park. They had talked a lot, but they hadn't really talked much about Brennan, mostly they had just talked about inconsequential things. There had been a lot of silences too. Now they were sitting on Booth's couch eating ice cream and watching TV.
"So Ange, is this what you do when you are trying to mend a broken heart?" He finally asked.
"Yup." She told him with a grin. "Sit around, do nothing all day, eat ice cream and veg out."
"I like it!" He chuckled. Booth glanced down at his watch and sobered. "Ange, don't you think that you should be heading out to Brennan's party?"
"Yeah I suppose so. I'll be back though."
"That's really not necessary, go and have fun."
"Booth we're not done here yet. Next comes staying up late and getting drunk! Sounds like fun huh? The boys will be coming back with me, I called Jack a little while ago when you were in the bathroom and it's all set up. We're going to put in an appearance at the party, go to the liquor store and come back here with booze and munchies."
"Shouldn't you do more than put in an appearance?"
"Honey, I know that no matter what you said earlier, you still care about Bren. Don't worry about it, the boys and I actually took her out for dinner and had our own little going away party last night. She's supposed to be leaving first thing in the morning and she doesn't want us to be there, so tonight is just a final goodbye." She sighed. "Maybe if things were different I would stay longer, but best friend or not I am SO ANGRY with her right now. I know you don't want to talk about it anymore, it's just that she can be such a hard headed fool sometimes. I really thought she would come around before now."
"Me too Ange, me too." He admitted sadly. "Thanks for today, you really made it a lot easier to get through." Angela rose from her spot on the couch to leave. Booth rose at the same time. At the door, she turned to give him a quick hug.
"The boys and I will be back in an hour, two tops."
"Ange…" She interrupted him.
"No arguments. This is something that friends do for one another and we're friends. We're family too, we gotta stick together." She grinned and left.
Wong Foo's – Brennan's going away party
Brennan kept looking around for her friends, they hadn't shown up yet. She was worried that they wouldn't. If they didn't she wouldn't blame them though. She had been surprised when Angela had run after Booth, but she couldn't be mad. Hurting Booth had never been her intention; it was the last thing that she had ever wanted. After he had told her he loved and she had told him what she had, things had returned to normal. At least she thought that they had returned to normal. Booth had kept his word; so much so, she convinced herself that he had gotten over her. Today, however, had proven that she had been wrong.
I really do care for him. She told herself that, but she knew that was a half-truth. She loved him. She always would. It had been too much of a risk then, a risk that she wasn't willing to take, so she pushed it from her mind. When she Sully first asked her out she said yes, thinking it would just be once or twice for fun. When Booth didn't seem to care, she convinced herself that he was over her and then she had said yes to this trip. Maybe if she got away from Booth, she could shake her feelings for him.
Brennan had always been scared of loving someone. She always worried that if she loved someone they would leave her. She was willing to go on this trip with Sully and to date him because he was fun and charming, but he wasn't a risk to her heart. It shamed her to admit this to herself. It certainly wasn't fair to him.
She was startled from her thoughts by a hand on her shoulder, she turned to find Angela standing there.
"Ange, I didn't think you would make it." She told her friend softly.
"Of course, I would come Sweetie. I wouldn't miss it." She turned to gesture to Hodgins and Zach who were behind her. "We're not staying long though. We're going over to Booth's." Brennan nodded her head in understanding.
"How is he Ange? He was so mad today."
"Yes he was mad, but he was hurting more than he was mad. He'll be fine eventually." She saw no need to sugarcoat the facts. "He's in a lot of pain right now. Since the three of us had our own going away party for you last night, we thought we would spend the evening with Booth."
"I understand. Would you please tell him I'm sorry? I really am." Brennan looked at Angela hopefully.
"No, I won't tell him. I love you Sweetie, but sometimes you can be the most stubborn person on earth. You are so frightened of caring for someone and being left behind that you can't see what's right in front of you. It makes me so angry sometimes, that's why I left you sitting there and ran after Booth today."
"So what's right in front of me that I can't see?" She asked indignantly. Her back had stiffened in defense.
"You can't see that you are so scared that someone will leave you like your parents did, that you have become like them. You walk away when it starts to get too scary for you. You don't want anyone to leave you. Brennan you're leaving Booth behind. You are doing to him EXACTLY what you are afraid he'll do to you. You are walking away, but not just from him. You're walking away from what you said you couldn't risk. You're walking away from your partnership and friendship." Angela watched as her words sank in and her friends shoulders slumped in defeat. "Honey, I'm just trying to get you to see what you've done. Booth has always been there for you. He told you he loved and wouldn't leave you. You didn't believe in him in enough. You didn't trust him to keep his word. He even proved it by sticking around after you turned him down. Booth buried his feelings and went back to the way things were just to make you happy. He loved you enough to put you first, he told you he would wait for you and then you turn around and start dating someone else." She stopped as her friend started to cry. Pulling Brennan into her arms, she continued.
"Honey, I'm not trying to hurt you or punish you with what I'm saying. I just want you to realize that when you get on that boat tomorrow, there is NO going back. Booth won't be here for you when you get, he was willing to wait as long as you were here. You leaving means no more waiting. When you agreed to go with Sully, who you know you don't love, you agreed to leave Booth behind along with your partnership. Do you realize what that told him?" Bren just shook her head.
"Brennan. That told him that he wasn't worth it. It told him you thought he wasn't worth the risk. It told him that he doesn't mean anything to you."
"Oh Ange, what have I done?" She cried, pulling back to look Angela in the face. "How could I be so blind? He means such much to me. Do you think he could ever forgive me?"
"Not if you get on the boat he won't." Angela told her softly. "He and I had a long talk today. Booth still cares about you, but he meant it. If you go on that trip, when you return to the Jeffersonian, he will not be there. I don't blame him. If means as much to as you say, then you need to make things right."
Brennan's mind was racing, but she knew what she had to do. Nothing was worth losing Booth. How could she not have seen that she was doing to him what she feared most? She was leaving Booth, the most important person in her life, just like her parents left her. She was as bad as them. Well, no more, the cycle ends tonight.
"Angela, please don't go back to Booth's. I need to find Sully and then I'm going to see Booth. I will call you later if things go bad and you can go over then. If you don't hear from me, I'll see you at work on Monday." She started looking around for Sully. After spotting him in the crowd she began to move in that direction, but was stopped by Angela's hand on her shoulder.
"What are you saying Brennan?" She asked hopefully.
"It means I'm refuse to be like my the rest of my family, my birth family that is. I'm not going to run away." She looked into Angela's eyes. "It means I'm going to and fight for the man that I …I… it means that I am going to go and fight for the man that I love. It means that I'm not giving up until he promises to give me another chance." Angela squealed in response.
"Oh honey, I'm so happy."
"Well, let's hope it works, now have you seen Sully. I have to tell him I'm not going."
"He's over by the bar Dr. Brennan." Zach stepped forward to tell her. Angela turned to pull Hodgins and Zach into a celebratory hug.
"Well boys, it looks like we're on our own for tonight. Why don't we head to the bar and get trashed?" They laughed and let her lead them to the bar.
Booth's apartment – 1 hour later
"You weren't gone for very long is everything ….." Booth said as he opened the door, but stopped talking when he saw Brennan standing there. He stiffened. "Brennan what are you doing here? I'm sorry, but I'm expecting company, besides shouldn't you be finishing packing."
"They're not coming."
"No, not unless I call Angela and tell her that you need her here."
"Oh and why would that be?" He was confused, but as he looked into her eyes he saw something. Trying not to get his hopes up, he asked again. "Bones, what are you doing here?"
"You called me Bones." She said wistfully.
"I know. You'll always be my Bones." He admitted. Booth stepped back to let her into the apartment, they made their way to the couch and sat down facing each other.
"I'll miss you, I'm glad you came by. I want to apologize for being so hard on you today. I'm sorry." She held up her hand to stop him.
"Seeley, you have nothing to apologize for. I deserved everything you said to me and a whole lot more. I'm the one that came to apologize to you." He started to interrupt but she stopped him. "Yes, I need to apologize, so please let me say what I need to say." He nodded and let her speak.
"I always tell you that I'm tough and I'm not scared of anything. It's all a lie. I'm so terrified right now I can hardly breathe. I'm terrified that I've totally ruined everything between us." She stopped for a moment to take a shaky breath. Booth took her hands in his. "When you told me you loved me, I got so scared. You were so great about it and everything seemed to go back to normal. I was back in my comfort zone, so comfortable that I thought you had gotten over me, that maybe I had imagined it all. I thought you didn't feel that way after all and when Sully asked me out I said yes. When he asked me on the trip I said yes again. You were right I don't love him. He's nice, charming and fun, but I don't love him, he wasn't a risk to my heart. Booth I'm so sorry that I did those things, that I hurt you. I would never intentionally do anything to hurt you."
"I know you wouldn't Bones."
"I hurt you anyway. When I spoke to Angela at the party, she made me realize that by giving into what I fear the most I was becoming what I dread the most. I'm scared that I'll be left behind. I was so scared about you leaving me that I almost left you. I almost did to you what my parents did to me. I don't know if you can ever forgive me but I hope you will try." She looked at him as tears ran down her face and she saw matching tears on his face. His voice was thick when he spoke.
"What do you mean 'almost'?" He was beginning to hope in earnest.
"I mean that I'm not going away, I'm going to stay here in D.C. and continue working at the Jeffersonian. I won't be seeing Sully anymore even if was staying, he's still going by the way. I also mean that if you'll have me, I still want to be your partner and your best friend." She took another shaky breath. "If you would give me another chance, I want to be more than that to. I want you to love me again. I know it is asking a lot, but please Seeley. Please give me another chance, I don't want to be like them. I don't know if you will believe me or not, but I love you, I really do….I…I was just so scared."
She got her answer as Booth pulled her into his arms and onto his lap. He placed his hands on either side of her face and gently placed a lingering kiss on her forehead.
"Oh Bones." He murmured against her skin. "I never stopped loving, even after today, I still love you and I always will. You are the other half of my soul. I know you don't believe in that kind of thing, but without you I feel like something is missing in my life." He pulled his head back so he could look into her eyes and somehow let her see all the love he had for her.
"I love you Temperance. You can have all the chances in the world as long as you fight for us. I know you're scared, but together we can do this. We make a great team."
"Don't call me that." She said and he looked at her in confusion. When he saw the twinkle in her eye he understood.
"So you like the name Bones after all huh?" He teased.
"I do, I never realized how much until you stopped saying it. At first it was annoying, but now it just makes me feel special." She admitted to him.
"You are special to me."
"You're special to me too Booth. You're right we make a great team. With your help, maybe I can learn to let go of my past and the hold it has on me. I really am sorry Booth."
"I know you are Bones. I'm sorry too." He gave her the charm smile. "I know how you can make it up to me."
"How?" She asked suspiciously.
"Tell me you love me again."
"I love you Seeley Booth."
"I love you Temperance Brennan."
"Don't call me Temperance!" She told him in much the same way she used to tell him not to call her Bones. They both laughed.
"I love you Bones." She grinned at him.
"Much better Booth, much better."
"So we're agreed, we forget the past and move on from here. We can go at whatever pace you want, but we keep going forward okay?"
"Agreed." She responded.
"Now how about we seal that deal with a kiss?" He wagged his eyebrows at her and lowered his mouth to hers.
When Angela woke up on Saturday morning the first thing she did was grab her cell phone off of the nightstand and check for missed calls. She saw that there weren't any and started squealing.
Across town Booth and Bones were already awake, lying in his bed. They were whispering words of love in between kisses, when suddenly Bones lifted her head.
"Did you hear something Booth?"
"No, now come back here Bones." He tugged her head back down to his. She lifted her head back up as her phone started to ring. She reached for it even though Booth tried to stop her.
"It will be Angela. I owe her." He nodded his head in agreement and when she answered he pushed the button to put Angela on speakerphone.
"Good morning, Ange."
"Brennan you didn't call me last night."
"I only told you that I would call if you needed to go back to Booth's"
"Wait. You said go, where are you at?" Booth shook his head, Ange never seemed to miss a thing.
"Why do you want to know?" Brennan teased.
"Temperance Brennan, you tell me where you are right this minute. And so help me, if you are on a boat, I'm gonna hunt you down and kick your butt."
"Come down Angela." Booth spoke up. "She's right here and I'm kind of partial to her butt, so no kicking it please." There was more squealing, when it finally subsided Brennan spoke up.
"Angela, I love you, but I'm going to hang up now. I'm kind of in the middle of something. Monday morning I will meet you in my office, you bring the donuts and coffee, I'll bring the details. Bye now."
"No wait." Angela shouted. "Give me something." Booth and Brennan looked at each other and shrugged.
"Okay a little something, but then I'm hanging up the phone and turning it off along with Booth's. I will not turn them back on until Monday morning, understood?"
"Understood." Brennan looked to Booth.
"I love you Booth."
"I love you Bones." As soon as he finished speaking, she shut the phone off while he shut his off.
"Did you hear that?" He asked this time, cocking his head.
"No, now come back here Booth." This time she tugged his head back down to hers.
Across town Angela was squealing once again.