Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. I wish they did, but sadly they do not.
Spoiler: The Pain in the Heart
A/N: This darn story took me forever! I've had the idea ever since watching "Pain" and I finally started writing it a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea where I was going with it, so I hope it doesn't sound too overwritten. I'm not sure what I think of it, but I'm posting it anyway. It's in Angela's POV, which I love writing. The rating is for a little bit of language. Hope you enjoy!
The Heart in her Pain
My best friend is one tough chick. I've always known it. She's gone through a lot in her life, overcome more obstacles than anyone I know. She's got her flaws—we all do—but she's turned out to be a pretty amazing woman. As I stood there, watching her storm off and watching Booth rub his jaw, I couldn't help but admire my friend.
I've seen her kick the asses of many men… both physically and metaphorically. Temperance Brennan is not a woman to mess with. Many men underestimate her and think—incorrectly—that they can control her. Seeley Booth is not one of those men. In my not-so-humble opinion, Booth has been the only man worthy of her affection. He's been through the wringer with her, had his own ass handed to him on a platter, and weathered her stormy temperament. No matter how many times she has tried to bully him or drive him away, he always comes back. He's her fail-safe, her constant. She has no idea how much she relies on him.
When we thought Booth had died, I watched Brennan's world fall apart. She tried to deny it, burying herself in work and avoiding her feelings. Now that he'd been resurrected, her life had been turned upside-down once again. While my coworkers stood over Booth in stunned silence, I ran after my friend to make sure she was okay.
Hurricane Brennan was waiting impatiently for me at my car. To be honest, I was a little afraid of her at that moment. She had managed to catch Booth completely off-guard and dropped him like a sack of potatoes with her tiny fist. I'd used our friendship—for her own good!—to get her to attend the funeral against her will. I wasn't sure what was in store for me.
"Come on, Ange! Let's go." She was obviously still fuming and it didn't help that she'd had to wait for me to make good her escape.
"Bones! Bones! Would you wait up?!" Booth was running, trying to head her off. Poor guy. I really felt bad for him this time. I was sure there was a reasonable explanation for his fake death, but for once in her life, Brennan wasn't being reasonable. She hopped in my car and shot me an annoyed look. I obediently slid behind the wheel and started the engine. "Damn it!" Booth swore, jogging to his SUV.
Brennan stared out the window as I drove back to the Jeffersonian. Apprehensively, I tried to get her talking. "You know, he's going to follow us back to the lab…"
"I knew that funeral was a huge waste of my time! I can't believe I let you talk me into going! Did you know he was going to be there?" She looked at me accusingly.
"Of course not, Sweetie! Do you really think I could have kept this a secret?"
"I guess not…" she grumbled.
I tried again. "Sweetie, you really need to talk to him…" She glared at me. "Rationally… I don't usually encourage you to be rational, but then, I've never seen you so completely irrational."
"Anger is a natural response to being manipulated, Angela, especially by a friend." She certainly sounded rational, but I wasn't fooled.
"Bren, maybe you should ask yourself why you're so angry. You've had to face a lot of emotions when you thought he was dead…"
"I hate psychology."
"You hate psychology because you'd rather not deal with your emotions and the underlying reasons for your actions."
"Now you sound like Sweets. I don't want to talk about this anymore." She crossed her arms in a "that's final" gesture.
"Well, like it or not, you're about to talk about it a lot more…"
We had pulled into the underground parking garage at the Jeffersonian, with Booth's SUV screeching to a halt seconds later. Brennan sprung out of the car and walked hurriedly toward the elevator leading to the lab. Booth ran after her, trying unsuccessfully to get her to stop and face him. Instead of waiting for the elevator, Brennan stomped up the adjacent stairs with Booth close on her heels.
The rest of the team joined me in the elevator. "Whoa," said Hodgins, blowing out an exasperated breath.
"Like totally," agreed Sweets. Zack looked confused, while Cam and I just looked at each other helplessly.
We reached our floor just as Brennan and Booth made their screaming, stomping way to the top of the stairs. "…After I got shot, the Bureau faked my death so I could finally get that guy."
"I don't care."
"Look, I drove him underground. He said the only way that we would ever see him again would be at my funeral, so..."
"I don't care." When Brennan dug her heels in, it was really hard to get her to budge.
"Who is he?" Hodgins asked, trying to distract them.
"What part of 'National Security' don't you understand, Hodgins?" Booth was really getting irritable.
"'National Security.' Catch-all phrase for 'we can do anything we want.'" I grimaced. Now was probably not the best time for Hodgins's paranoid conspiracy theories.
"I knew I shouldn't have gone to that funeral. It was a complete waste of time, just like I said." Brennan was trying to appear cold and detached, but in reality it only highlighted her fragile emotional state. She hated being emotional and she was going to make Booth pay for it, big time.
"Wait a second… You thought that my funeral was a waste of time?" He looked truly pained. I'd never seen Brennan use emotions as a weapon before. Boy, could she be brutal.
"I thought it was a lovely service, Booth," Cam interrupted, clearly amused at the situation.
"Thank you. You know, I expected to see more people though."
"I always imagined a lot of ex-girlfriends crying." Hodgins also found the situation amusing, but I was worried about Brennan. Emotional outbursts were not typical for her, so it was obvious that she was extremely upset beneath her calm façade.
"Yeah, me too." Booth was barely paying attention to the rest of us. He was focused on Brennan, trying desperately to make her understand.
"You guys are pathetic," I muttered, running out of patience with all of them.
"Just know I won't be attending your next funeral," Brennan coldly informed Booth.
"Bones, I'm telling you. You were supposed to know that I wasn't really dead. I swear! That's why I thought you weren't crying!" He sounded hurt. Little did he know how devastated Brennan had actually been these two weeks.
"Informed by who, exactly?" Cam asked.
"I gave a list of people to the bureau to inform that I was not really dead. You know, if they didn't tell you, it's not my fault." Upset that Brennan refused to listen to him, Booth was getting steadily angrier.
"Dr. Brennan's actually upset because she had to face strong emotions that she'd rather deny." Sweets explained, matter-of-factly. "Striking Agent Booth indicated the depth of your feelings for him. It was a very passionate act." If the partners hadn't been so completely focused on each other, they probably would have chewed Sweets up and spit him out.
"Thank you! Did you hear that? Passion!" Booth shouted.
"Yes, passion, because anger is a passion! Anger at being manipulated!" She seethingly yelled back. The air practically crackled with electricity between them.
"Aw, forget it!" Booth threw his arms up and turned away. Brennan glared at him, furious at him for being so important to her.
As I watched them glower at each other, I prayed they would resolve their fight quickly. It was only a matter of time before the sparks between them ignited and I could only hope Brennan would be ready for it. Little did I know that our world was about to be turned on its head and she would need Booth to make sense of it for her.
As we sat around the lounge table, reminiscing over Zack's prized possessions, I knew our world would never be the same. I was so absorbed in my own misery that I failed to notice my best friend sitting quietly on the sidelines like an outsider. "I never gave him anything," she stated simply.
"Brennan, he totally loved you. I mean, as much as he was capable." I wanted to make her feel better, but my heart wasn't really in it.
"But I never gave him anything." She stood up, fleeing the proof—in her mind—that she'd failed Zack.
I started to follow her, but Booth stopped me. "Angela…" He followed his partner quietly away from everybody. I was relieved that he was there to provide emotional support for Brennan at a time when I couldn't be there for her. I only hoped she would allow him in.
Sweets, sensing my concern, tried to reassure me. "She'll be fine," he said quietly.
I looked at him uncertainly. "She's been on an emotional rollercoaster for weeks now…" I trailed off. I felt so numb that I didn't think I could deal with Brennan's emotional state at that time, let alone my own.
"Agent Booth has an uncanny ability to read people, especially Dr. Brennan. He'll get through to her." I knew he was right, but I couldn't help going to check on her a few minutes later.
Expecting to find them in Brennan's office, I was surprised to find the partners sitting in the stairwell. I paused at the top of the stairs and looked down at them. Her head was on his shoulder and he rested his cheek against the top of her head. He murmured something quietly to her, although I couldn't hear what, and she nodded slightly. Sighing, he put his arm around her, pulling her closer and she snuggled into him. In spite of my despair, I smiled to myself. Knowing Booth and Brennan were okay made me feel better. The world would eventually make sense again. I just had to give it time.