Okay, so here's the...well I've lost count. It's another in the "Inspired" Series, for more on that go to my bio. The song used is "Austin" by Blake Shelton. Wonderful piece, very moving. Don't own it or the characters you see here.
Just a note, italics denotes a memory
Doctor Temperance Brennan looked up from the Bronze Age skeleton she was examining to look at the time. Every day for a year, she had looked up at this clock and calculated what time it was in Washington, DC. Her heart still ached when she thought about her friends, about him. Here in London she thought she could distance herself from the pain of those thoughts, but it seemed that her heart didn't like being put in neutral for so long. She couldn't stop the flow of memories that overwhelmed her, and she raced to her office and locked the door before collapsing on her couch.
"You're what?" Seeley Booth was livid, and the target of his anger was someone he'd never guessed would be. "You can't be serious, Bones? After all this, you're just leaving!" A couple of people stopped to watch, but the rage that seeped from the agent made them quickly scurry on their way. Brennan's face was an impassive mask, though her eyes did spark with something before she pulled him into her office forcefully.
"Don't ever take that tone in my lab," she demanded, "I thought you'd know that by now."
"Well excuse me," he retorted sharply, "I thought I was talking to my sane partner, not this…" he gestured at her, and she could see the veins in his neck popping out.
"I got an offer from Oxford, I can do what I do now for more money, as well as teach at a prestigious university. I thought that, as my friend, you'd be more supportive."
"You're running," he shot back. "You can't take it that Zach betrayed you, you're still mad at me for not telling you I wasn't dead, and now the tension between Angela and Hodgins is driving the entire lab apart. Well guess what? I'm still here. Cam's still here. Hell, even Sweets is sticking around. We're a family, Temperance, and you're the one abandoning us." His words had the desired effect as her impassive expression faltered and he took a step forward, his tone softening.
"Stay with us, Temperance. The center must hold." But as he stepped forward she stepped back and shook her head.
"I can't," she said, her voice breaking for all the emotion she was keeping at bay.
"Then let me help you. Let me in," he begged. "For Christ's sake, Bones, I love you." The shock on her face didn't deter him, "Okay, so this isn't how I envisioned telling you, but I do. And I know you love me, even if you don't." Her expression hardened, and he cursed his own brashness.
"How dare you," she bit back. "You have no idea how I feel."
"You feel alone," he explained simply. "But you're not," he took another step forward, "let me shoulder some of your burden, Temperance. That's what friends do. We'll deal with…the other thing some other time." She reached up to her shelf and pulled down her Mayan artifact, placing it carefully in the box next to her other small items.
"My decision is made, and my plane leaves in the morning. I should finish packing." But he'd seen it, the hesitation in her eyes, and she was surprised when he stepped back.
"Alright," he said, and her head snapped up.
"You need space to think, to process what's happened. If you want to go to London to do that, then that's what you do. Just remember that when you want to come home, I'll still love you." And he left. She was dumbfounded for a moment, so sure that he'd fight tooth and nail with her to get her to stay that his abrupt departure left her feeling empty. With only a momentary glance at the closed door, she resumed her packing for her move to London.
Seeley Booth checked the clock for the tenth time that day. Rebecca was dropping Parker off so he could go bowling with his father. But as he looked up his eyes fell on a photo taken over a year ago of a group of people he'd come to admire and love. One image in particular made his heart twinge for a moment as the memories flooded him.
Seeley stood just outside her office door for a moment, steeling his resolve. The hardest part would be waiting, he'd surmised, waiting for her to return. But he would. He vowed to himself to never give up on her, and Seeley Booth was a man of his word. As he walked toward the door two strong hands grabbed him and turned him around.
"What the hell are you doing, Booth?" Angela's voice was almost an octave higher than normal due to stress. "You can't just let her go!" He smiled and removed himself from her grip.
"Angela, I can't stop her, and I really don't want to. She's completely shut everyone out, and there's no getting through to her. We're her friends, and all we can do is let her go and wait until she comes back."
"What makes you so sure she'll come back?" Again, Seeley smiled at the artist. Angela claimed to be Brennan's best friend, but it was all too clear just how little she knew about the anthropologist.
"Because I know her, Ange. She needs to think and she can't do that here. When she comes to her senses, I'll be waiting for her."
"You love her." It wasn't a question and he didn't deny it.
"And she knows that now," he said, ignoring the shock on his companion's face. "And I don't care how long it takes, I'll be waiting."
"Booth…she might never come back." He could see Angela's eyes brimming with tears, and he pulled her into a comforting hug.
"She will." He pulled back and quickly kissed the woman on the forehead before departing the lab.
She hadn't even left a number where he could reach her, and she'd never made any attempt to contact them. Over the past months he had grown closer to the squints, even without their beloved anthropologist. The new guy was good, Booth couldn't deny that, but he wasn't Bones. He wasn't allowed out into the field with Booth, and the men shared a distant but professional relationship.
"Dad!" Parker bounded through the door as Rebecca chided him on his manners. Seeley kissed her on the cheek in an obligatory greeting and he lifted Parker to his hip.
"Man, you're getting too big for this." Turning to the blonde at the door he smiled. "Thanks Beck, I'll make sure he gets to school on time tomorrow."
"Thanks, Seeley. Hey, I know you guys are going to the lake with Jack and Angela this weekend, but would you mind keeping him from Thursday night on? Brent and I are celebrating our two year anniversary."
"Congratulations. I'd love to, he can hang with Angela in her office all day."
"Yes!" Parker thrust his fist into the air in triumph. He said goodbye to his mother and waited with bated breath as his dad gathered everything they would need for their night at the alley. After changing his voicemail quickly, Booth led his enthusiastic son out the door.
Snapping out of her reverie, Brennan was shocked to find tears streaking down her face. She had missed them in the year she'd been gone, but never had the memories affected her like this. She had to hear his voice, and her fingers dialed the familiar number before she even realized what she was doing. Three rings sounded before the line picked up. She opened her mouth to greet him, but his recorded message filled her ear.
"Hey this is Seeley Booth. If this is an emergency, call the Bureau dispatch at 505-325-9980. If you're calling about the '84 Bronco, I sold it already. If it's Tuesday night I'm out bowling with Parker. If you're selling something, I'm not buying. Anybody else, you know what to do at the beep. PS, if this is Bones…I still love you." There was a beep, but she couldn't do it. She keyed the phone off quickly and dropped it, not even hearing the clatter as it fell to the floor.
He still loved her? It had been a year since she'd left them, left him. How could he possibly still love her? She hadn't kept in touch, not even an email to let them know she'd arrived safely. And he still loved her? And once again, thousands of miles away, she was reminded why Seeley Booth was a one of a kind guy.
"Great job, Parker!" Seeley high-fived his son after the seven year old managed to get a spare on the last frame and then nine pins to follow, putting his score over the 100 mark.
"That's the highest I ever got, Dad!" Parker was jumping up and down and trying to take off his bowling shoes all at once, creating quite the amusing scene for the nearby patrons.
Seeley led the exuberant boy out of the alley and settled him into the SUV before pulling out his phone. He hadn't heard it ring, but it displayed a missed call from an unknown number and a voicemail message. He keyed in his password and listened, not quite sure who would be calling him.
But the message was only a faint click, giving Seeley no clue as to the caller. "Probably a wrong number," he said to himself. "Park, what do you say we visit Sid, then go home and watch a movie?"
Temperance was startled awake early Sunday morning, but the cause of her disturbance was not apparent. The clock by her bed blinked twelve, and Temperance realized it was storming outside. Another flash of lightning lit up her bedroom briefly before the apartment shook with the clap of thunder. She reached for her phone, noting it was just past one in the morning.
Since Booth's voice message, Temperance hadn't really slept well. She still couldn't really believe that for a year his voice mail had had that on there. It was not logical for him to be waiting for her; he had no idea if, or even when, she was coming back. She blinked back sudden, unexpected tears as, for the 368th time, she realized Booth wasn't going to show up at her door with Thai food and a disarming smile.
Her fingers once again dialed his number, though she wasn't really sure what she'd say to him if he answered this time. But after three rings, his voicemail answered.
"Hey this is Seeley Booth. If this is an emergency, call the Bureau dispatch at 505-325-9980. If it's Friday night, I'm at the ballgame and first thing tomorrow, as long as it's not raining, Parker and I will be at the lake. But leave a message and I'll call you back first thing Sunday afternoon. PS, if this is Bones…I still love you."
Her throat closed at his heartfelt words, but she managed to choke out her number after the beep. She hung up quickly, deciding that she wasn't going into work tomorrow. She would wait for his call. He had waited for her for over a year; she could wait for him for one day. And after their conversation she would decide what she wanted to do.
On Sunday evening, Booth checked his phone as soon as they'd gotten within cell range. He was unsurprised to hear a message from his mother, and one from Rebecca asking when he was dropping Parker off. Cullen had called to tell him that they had a meeting bright and early Monday morning, and Sweets had called with the latest update on Zach. But the one that made his heart stop was the simple series of numbers from a voice he'd only dreamed about for over a year. He could hear the emotion, the conflict, in her voice and his heart broke for his inability to comfort her now. He played the message again and wrote down the number, staring at it for a moment. Finally, the moment he'd waited over a year for had finally come and he felt his stomach flip flop at the idea of talking to her.
His fingers were shaking as he dialed the digits, and as the phone rang once, twice, three times he wondered where she was.
"Work," he mumbled more to himself, and wasn't surprised when he got her voicemail.
"If you're calling about my heart, Seeley, it's yours. I should have listened to it more. Then it wouldn't have taken me so long to realize that I don't belong anywhere but by your side." Seeley was speechless, he had never expected such a heartfelt speech from her, especially after not speaking to her for a year. He had quickly realized he hadn't reached her voicemail, but was listening to his Bones pouring her heart out to him.
"I love you," he blurted out, unable to find anything suitable to answer her speech. He heard her suck in a deep breath, and he could practically see her brilliant brain working.
"I'm coming home," she said finally.
"I'll email you my itinerary."
"I love you."
"I love you too." And they hung up. No more words were needed, even now, and he found himself grinning like an idiot. His Bones was coming back, and the only person who wouldn't be happy would be the man that replaced her. Booth dialed another number, practically bouncing as the woman on the other end picked up.
"Ange, she's coming home."
I have to say that this is one of my favorites. I heard this song and thought of this little piece. It's not perfect, but the little plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone. So enjoy. Oh, and please review and let me know how it is.