AN: Well, here we are at the third installment of 'The Butterfly Effect' series. I don't know if any of you remember my original 'Mordecai' story, but this one will have a similar plotline, just with the added Booth/Brennan stuff I'm going to throw in here. Anyway, here is the first chapter, and I hope that you enjoy it.
Six days had gone by since Booth had last spoken to her, and five of those days had seen bouquets of daffodils delivered to the Jeffersonian. Temperance sighed as the latest bouquet made its way into her office, this time via Angela. The artist was sick of seeing the flowers either turned away or thrown in the trash as soon as they arrived.
"Ange, please get rid of those flowers, I don't want to see them." Brennan turned from the bouquet and back to her computer as she looked over a research paper done by one of her grad students.
"No, this one's going to stay in here sweetie. You need something to brighten up the gloom that's settled over this office." Angela arranged the daffodils onto the table by Brennan's couch and stepped back to admire the sunny flowers.
"There is no gloom here, and I don't see any reason for there to be flowers displayed in my office. There's always the chance that the pollen will carry out into the lab and contaminate remains."
"Now you're just looking for excuses. No, these are staying here. Besides, the note that came with them said that he'd be here later to talk. If he wants to grovel and ask forgiveness for being an ass, then let him."
"I'm sure he's not going to ask for forgiveness Ange. Booth made it very clear that things were over between us. If he's coming here, it's probably to introduce me to his replacement, not that I'm interested in working with someone else."
"Bren, sweetie, you know I love you, but you can be so dense sometimes. Booth has sent five bouquets in five days. To me, that says I'm sorry for being such an ass, will you forgive me. Just promise me that when he gets here you'll listen and not jump to conclusions." Brennan turned back to her friend and scoffed.
"When have I ever jumped to a conclusion? I always wait for the facts to come in before making up my mind."
"Not always sweetie. You're certainly making assumptions about what Booth is going to discuss when he gets here. Look, all I'm saying is that you need to let him say his piece before you say yours. It will at least let you know where his mind is, and once you hash out your differences, then I'll take you to lunch and you can vent all the details to me, okay?"
"If I agree, will you leave me alone?"
"Okay then, I'll give him a chance, but if I don't like what I hear then tough luck. I don't need someone who would just abandon me like that. He promised he'd never betray me Angela. How can I trust him now that he's done exactly that?"
"I don't know what to tell you. For now though, I need to get back to work. I have to get a three dimensional rendering of a Celtic ceremonial site done for archaeology before the end of the day." Angela smiled in sympathy at the anthropologist as she left the office. Once the artist was gone, Temperance got up to take a closer look at the flowers. Of course he'd remember what her favorite flower was, and she had to give him credit for not sending roses like anyone else would have done. The sunny yellow flowers did seem to brighten up the room a bit, and Brennan found herself smiling as she touched the soft petals of the flowers.
"I hope you like them," came a voice from her doorway. Brennan jumped slightly before turning around to face Booth. He stood there with a somber expression, his hands resting on his son's shoulders.
"They're beautiful, thank you," she managed to say. Something was up if he was here with Parker. In the past he would have used his son to convince her to leave work early and head to the park or a movie, but she had the distinct impression that wasn't why they were in her office.
"Parker insisted we come so he could say goodbye." Suddenly, she understood. The two weeks had flown by and now it was time for Rebecca to move. Temperance crouched down and held out her arms as Parker raced across the room to give her a hug.
"I'm gonna miss you Bones," he said into her shoulder. She patted him on the back, her eyes welling a little with tears.
"I'll miss you too, but you aren't going to stay away very long are you? When are you coming back to visit?"
"I'll be coming back for Thanksgiving." Brennan frowned as she pulled back from Parker.
"But that's eight months from now. I thought you'd be seeing your father every other weekend." Temperance looked up from Parker and focused on his father.
"Hey bub, why don't you go see what Angela's doing. I need to talk to Bones in private, okay sport?"
"'Kay dad." The little boy ran from the office as Booth came in to stand next to Brennan. She wore a wary expression and crossed her arms as he ran a hand through his hair. Once she was sure Parker was out of earshot, she turned on Booth.
"Do you want to tell me what's going on?"
"I'm taking a six month leave from work, and I'll be staying with Rebecca in New Jersey."
"You couldn't tell me sooner?"
"Look Bones, I'm not here to argue with you, okay? I would have told you five days ago, but I figured it probably wasn't a good idea after you had the flowers sent back."
"If you weren't so stubborn, and hadn't kicked me out of your apartment six days ago, I wouldn't have sent back the flowers."
"I'm not going to say I'm sorry for doing that, okay? God knows what we would have said if you'd stayed there any longer that night."
"Well we certainly never will since you decided that you don't love me enough to stick around."
"I don't love you enough? Don't you dare accuse me of not loving you because you've been aware of my feelings toward you, and believe it or not, I was fine with the idea of not being married to you. I wasn't planning to ask you."
"Why not?" Booth looked at her as if she'd grown a second head.
"Are you serious? If your little snit from a few days ago is any indication as to why I wasn't planning to ask you, then nothing is. I didn't want to deal with the same rejection I got from Rebecca, and I knew that if I asked you, you'd turn me down just as bluntly as you did when I asked you out that first time."
"But you asked me to stay married to you."
"Yeah, because we're already married. Why go through the hassle of getting a divorce if we love each other and were already in a committed relationship? Why shouldn't we just let the marriage stick?"
"Because it never should have happened in the first place." She didn't mean to yell at him, but the words flew out of her mouth in a much louder tone than she'd been intending. With a sigh, Booth shook his head.
"You want that divorce so badly, then I'm not going to stop you. What I am going to do though is go away for a while because I need some distance from this whole mess. I hope when I come back in September that everything will be resolved and we can sit down and discuss our relationship."
"I can't believe you're running away from this."
"I'm not running away. I'm creating a distance so things don't get any worse between us over the issue."
"Is that what you told Rebecca after she turned you down? I'm guessing you did the same thing then, and that's really why the two of you didn't stay together."
"This conversation is over. I'll send Rebecca's address to you so that when the papers are drafted, you know where to send them." He stalked out of the office and toward holographics to pick up his son. Brennan watched him go, but didn't go after him. Her stomach however seemed to turn over and drop with every step he took away from her. Even though he was agreeing to her terms, he'd somehow managed to make her feel like she was the bad guy. Disgusted with herself, she turned back to her desk and began to work knowing that once she got started she'd be thinking about the task at hand and not the fact that she might have possibly said the one thing to permanently push Booth out of her life.
"Well, that's the last of it," Rebecca said as she flopped down onto her front porch swing. The house was a definite steal, and though it needed a little bit of work, it was the perfect place to raise a child. A tire swing hung from an old oak tree in the front yard while the front porch wrapped around the front and one side. It sat off of a dirt road just outside of a little town that was still close enough to get to work. Paint peeled off of the exterior and a huge field led out to woods and a little pond behind the old farmhouse. Sure there was work to do, but it would let her make the place her own. "Thanks for all your help Seeley."
Don't mention it, I was happy to help." Booth leaned against the porch railing as he watched Parker play on the tire swing. This was the life he should have had; a quiet home, being there for his child, a loving wife to share experiences. He frowned at that thought. What right did Temperance have to say that he ran from a relationship when things didn't go his way?
"What's on your mind Seeley? The wheels I see turning don't look very happy." Rebecca looked at her ex and waited for a reply. It took him a moment to respond, and when he did, his question surprised her.
"Why didn't we work out, Becca? Was it my fault?" He looked almost lost in his wonderings.
"I think it was both our faults. We were never really meant to be I think."
"But why did you turn me down? Was it something I did, or did you not love me enough?"
"Seeley, my opposition to marriage had nothing to do with you. I was afraid that marriage would change who I was, that I'd grow weak if I had to depend on someone else. By the time I realized I was wrong, it was too late. We'd already grown apart."
"But did we grow apart because I ran from the relationship?"
"You did at first, but that was my fault. Whenever you tried to come back, I just pushed you away. I didn't want to admit I was wrong." The pair looked at each other for a moment before they looked away again.
"Would you have agreed to marry me if I had still been interested that time you asked me?"
"Seeley, that was two years ago, and besides, I don't think it matters. You have a wife now." Booth pushed away from the railing and began to pace the length of the porch.
"Yeah, not for very long. Bones is having divorce papers drafted right now."
"Ah, so the truth finally comes out."
"How do I always manage to fall for people that don't want to marry me?" Rebecca laughed a little and shook her head. She called for Parker to get in the house as it was past his bedtime before she responded to Booth.
"That is one of life's biggest mysteries I think. Now come on. I'll see if I can find some sheets for you. You can use the bedroom across from Parker's." Rebecca got up from the porch and made her way indoors leaving Booth to his thoughts. He wondered what Temperance was doing. If he knew her like he thought he did, she was probably at the lab trying to keep her mind off of their current situation. He'd likely be doing the same thing except he was on a leave of absence and had nothing but time on his hands.
He stepped off of the front porch and took a look at the old farm house. There was just something about the place that gave him the creeps. Maybe it was because the house was over one hundred years old, or maybe it was just the way the paint was peeling from the siding, but something wasn't right about the place. Or maybe it's because you really want to be back with Bones, he thought as he made his way inside the house. A separation was probably for the best, but he just wished it didn't hurt so much.
AN: Point of clarification, I am not trying to set up Booth and Rebecca, so before anyone gets their panties in a twist over their relationship, they are nothing but friends, okay? Okay.