Everything just felt so normal, sitting in Sweets office. I can almost picture myself back at the end of last year, before we got to know Sweets on a more personal level, back when we were afraid they'd still split us up. Now we're here voluntarily, although I figure I can assume that I will regret that decision. He's doing that thing where nobody talks. He's waiting for us to talk. He and Booth seem to be engaged in a staring contest. Sweets looks intimidated and twitchy from Booths intense glare. Finally Sweets realizes and excepts (after 10 minutes of the 25 minute session), that neither of us are going to begin. We're doing him a favour, why should we do all the work?
"So, this is our first session back since the shoot out, so I figure that we have a lot to cover. There are bound to be raw emotions swirling around, eating you up, and this is a zone of honesty, a zone with no judgement. This zone is a perfect place to share how you're feeling about this situation. Remember that."
I briefly look over at Booth and he looks as nonplussed as I am. We both sit and stare blankly at Sweets until he continues.
"I expect to discover feelings of guilt, worry, uneasiness, Agent Booth, why don't you start us off. How are you feeling?"
Booth leaned forward with his eyebrows raised and pointed at his own chest.
"Me? I was the one who got shot, so I don't need your...prodding. Trust me, I've been through much worse. Why don't you point that shovel at Bones and ya know, dig over there." Booth pointed in my direction and dug with his fake shovel.
I started to respond with discontent but I was happy to hear Dr Sweets voice interrupting me in order to address Booth.
"Is that always your way of deflecting Agent Booth? Saying that you've been through worse, implying that nothing but the worst could get to you now? That's a common verbal trick to..."
"Tricks are for kids Sweets, I'll leave that up to you. Why don't we discuss something more relevant? How's your newest video game going, death march 5 or whatever ridiculous shooting game they've marketed most recently."
"Halo 3 and it's totally awesome, I've just mastered how to blast the 4th level hardest setting boss and I...
don't appreciate your mocking Agent Booth. Tell me something then, related to whatever you'd like." Sweet's voice went from childish excite to a slightly waivering monotone.
"Ok, Bones has been avoiding me lately. It's been progressing ever since I was shot and I think she needs your psychological prowess." That Son of a...
"I have not been avoiding you Booth, I have a lot of deadlines and maybe I just" I stumbled for a way to finish this sentence as I know he is completely right "or maybe your just feeling a little lonely lately." I turned to address Sweets. "He hasn't been able to visit Parker much lately, so it's possible that he's projecting his own feelings of isolation onto others to shift the focus."
"That's real nice Bones, just great in fact I bet" At this point Sweets interjected.
"This is an anger free zone Agent Booth"
"That was NOT on the list! And you said this was an honest AND non judgemental zone." Booth said this looking pointedly at me because he knows as well as I do that I'm lying.
"You should really put a couple of signs up or something, just to remind people of the parameters of the zone" I replied, hoping to somewhat lighten the mood. Sweets didn't buy it and turned his attention to me.
"Dr Brennen, your response is completely natural. One of two things, or a combination of both could be causing your withdrawal from Agent Booth." This time I cut sweets off before he continued.
"One of two things or a combination of both. Psychology really is a useful, precise art." I responded sarcastically and stressed the term art strongly to point out that I hadn't called it a science.
"Thank you for agreeing with me on the capabilities of psychology Dr. Brennen. Now I'll continue what I was saying before your interruption.." I furrowed my brow at Dr Sweets and then leaned in to Booth while Sweets was still talking and half whispered.
"I was being sarcastic." When Sweets annoyedly tilted his head at me I told him the same thing.
"He knows that Bones."
"Then I don't understand why he agreed with me when I was clearly stating that psychology is not useful, unprecise and full of conjecture."
"It was his way of negating your comments without directly engaging you in conflict."
"But there is no conflict,... because I'm right" I replied slightly smuggly.
"Dr Brennen. The first reason, is that when Agent Booth got shot, you realized his importance in your life and it made you assess what your life would be like without him. Realizing how much this would affect your life leads to the realization of how much he is in your life and how dependent you are on him. A strong woman such as yourself would see this as a cripple to your independence and feel the need to "heal" He actually did say heal with bunny quotes. I've never quite understood that.
"And the second reason?" Booth asked the question
"Guilt. You got shot trying to protect her. Anybody would feel guilty and possibly feel the need to distance themselves to prevent such action in future situations. What you need to realize is that I suspect that agent Booth would do that for anybody out of honour and a natural need to protect. However, knowing someone does something like that out of love is a frightening thing." As Booth and I both begin to object to his choice of words Sweets corrects himself.
"Platonic totally non romantic work partner love."
"You've got that wrong Sweets" Myself and Dr Sweets both look at Booth with shock written on our faces. Realization dawns on Booths face.
"Not the love part, the whole situation part." It was my fault Bones was being shot at in the first place, so I should be the one feeling guilty for putting her in danger."
"Yea, see? It's Booth's fault."
Sweets shakes his head in frustration. "You know what guys, why don't you think about this, discuss amongst yourselfs and we'll pick up where we left off next week. I thank you Dr Brennen for giving me new material to analyze in my study of the two of you. Your reactions are really very interesting."
I gave Booth my look of supressed rage and annoyance. I'm not just here for his amusement and I would really like to wipe that smug smile off his face.
"No Bones, you cannot hit him."
"Why not? You let me hit the suspects in the interrogation room sometimes when they annoy me."
"I just don't want to see the pathetic show of him running away from a girl cause he's scared."
"I can be pretty scary." I nodded in agreement and turned to Sweets.
"I'm anxious for this unprecise, unscientific conjecture about us to be finished. Someone with your publications, resume and schooling Dr Sweets..." Booth masked his correction of "Dr Geeks" with a very weak cough. "... should be able to make it interesting, if not completely inaccurate." I paused for a second and turned to Booth.
"Was Dr. Geeks an official new title, I thought it was just a joke." I asked Booth slightly confused. "I had just gotten used to calling him sweets."
"Ahem...Next session, we'll continue on about the stress that Agent Booth being shot has caused in your relationship and hopefully Dr Brennen will be ready to open up by that time."
"Ya know she shot me once and it didn't bother her much then. I think I might need to let my feelings out about her lack of concern." Booth opened the door and slowly started making his escape.
"Booth that was just a scratch, you were completely fine"
"It's traumatizing you know, getting shot by Wonder Woman."
"It's not my fault I had bullet deflecting bracelets...Wonder Woman could have beat Superman anyday, he's a little whiney."
"You see what I mean complete disregard for my feelings or safety. Those things weren't even real amazonawhatever." Booth exited and I followed the door slowly closing behind me.
"Superman?" Sweets Questioned.
"Your backwards, it's when she takes off the bracelets that wonder woman is likely to be consumed with rage and lose her empathy. And it's Amazonium. It's a fake element that is supposed to be an indestructable metal located only on paradise island."
The sound faded as they walked down the hall leaving a confused sweets in his office. "That was totally psychedelic" Sweets commented as he headed back into his meeting room to await his next patients.