Hey, all! Trying to get back into posting, so I'm offering up a little one-shot. Nothing groundbreaking, necessarily, just an idea that sprang into my head while I was at work. (Which is when most of them hit me, drat it!) I really hope you like this, it was a little bit of a different style of writing for me. Truthfully, I'm not actually sure what my style IS, since I haven't been writing for that long! But, I hope it pleases you - you know I write for you guys, right?
Geometry was good. Of all his subjects he'd ever studied, the maths were his favorite, but Geometry held a special place in his heart.
It was The Line that had been the catalyst. In the Irony of All Ironies, the desperate defense he'd constructed, the fabricated bulwark that had been meant to keep his heart whole and his friends and family safe was his undoing. If he'd suspected it at the time, he would never have uttered those foolish, foolish words. For, in doing so, he'd acknowledged the 700-pound gorilla in the room. If the gorilla was his brutally overwhelming, all-consuming love for Temperance Brennan.
Before The Line, things had been relatively normal. He worked every week solving cases with his always brilliant, seldom tactful, occasionally very irritating partner. Crime scenes were assessed, determinations made, remains probed and measured and cleaned and scanned. Occasionally, he was forced to step in with the squints, stop them from going off on Tangents. At the end of the process, a picture began to present itself. A picture whose main creator was the woman who sat next to him in his truck, deciphering reports and squabbling with him and creating new works of art with her theorems.
Based on the picture and theorem generated, they would question people, narrow the field of suspects, and then swoop in and nab the bad guy. Simple enough, really, except it didn't always go so smoothly. On the odd occasion when things didn't happen according to the plan, well, those were the sleepless weeks. Most of those weeks involved his partner being in some kind of peril, and he managed to keep her safe – just. She was pushy, and aggressive, and, well, yes, usually more than capable of defending herself, but she took too many risks, put herself in situations that were guaranteed to end badly. Nothing he said ever made a dent in that flinty, squinty brain of hers.
Regardless of her penchant for self-endangerment, he'd sworn to protect her, and he did. When whatever situation she was in devolved into a clusterfuck of epic proportions, he would somehow get to her in the nick of time, saving her and, in the process, his sanity. The nights following these dramatic moments – well, he'd learned to operate on little to no sleep, spending days finishing up paperwork and nights parked outside her building, watching. Waiting. When the urge to ensure that she was still alright became too much to bear, he would covertly gain entrance to her building, often spending the rest of the night just down the hall from her apartment, lurking silently in the stairwell. By the time the murky grey light of dawn was appearing he was gone, unwilling to suffer witnesses to his Achilles' heel. In a few days, the terror would release its hold on him, and he would gratefully resume his normal activities – normal for an FBI agent, at any rate.
These incidents were, thankfully, relatively rare, and his reaction could simply be defined by his dedication to his work, and by the sanctity of partnership. You looked out for your partner, no matter what. He was just doing what was right.
Then, after that first year, something happened. Something horrible that caused him to question himself, his courage, his job. His heart. When it was over, The Line was firmly entrenched, like a slice from a knife that only gets worse before it gets better. His coworkers and friends thought it was there to protect his partner's boss, and he didn't disabuse them. He knew better. But he wasn't talking.
Over time, however, that goddamn Line began to take on a life of its own, twisting and snaking around his body, tripping him up and constricting just enough that he felt pain no matter how he moved. He cursed it, railed against the injustice, that the very thing that was supposed to make everything right had now suddenly made everything just as completely wrong. It began to taunt him, its very existence putting ideas into his head that shouldn't be there. Ideas that had never had any business being there. Then The Line was joined by a Triangle, and he had to watch his partner find contentment in a long-term relationship. A relationship that wasn't with him. Like a wolf in a trap, he circled madly, contemplating how much of him would need to be sacrificed before he could gain his release. But he couldn't do it. Worse, much worse than being confronted daily with the object of his desire would be to not be confronted daily with the object of his desire. A victim to his needs, he continued on - the good son, the good soldier, the good partner.
So used to the longing hacking away at him that a moment without it was an oddity to be pondered over, he tried to focus on the work and forget about the weakness. For a time, he was successful, because he was strong, and responsible, and, hell, he was Catholic, and abnegation was in his soul from the start. But he knew fate had always had a way of biting him in the ass, so he wondered at his surprise when he realized that he'd begun disentangling himself from The Line in which he'd been snagged for so long. Lunches that ran into dinners, dinners that ran into midnight bouts with paperwork, breakfasts that hadn't been happening before at all. Guy hugs and comforting; long yearning stares pretending to be anything other than what they were. Aid and refuge provided when other, more appropriate providers were readily available. Non-work outings. Bedside vigils. Rare silly moments. Candor so deep and disarming it changed the landscape for days, weeks. The evidence spread out before him like a skeleton on his partner's examination table. Even he, rolling in self-denial, couldn't help but see it.
He was nothing if not strong; he was also stubborn. Unwilling to admit he was powerless to avoid that which he coveted, afraid of succumbing to an obsession that could damage him even more than the last addiction, unable to subject his pride to the beating it would undoubtedly suffer, he fought. He fought harder than he'd ever fought in his life. All previous battles, physical and otherwise, were playground scuffles compared to this. He couldn't stay away from her; he'd never been able to do that successfully. But he hid his true self, kept his life a mystery. A moment revealed to her would merely be yet another moment that would belong to her.
They'd hit a rough patch, a scuff mark left by his brother who worked at the Pentagon. It had caused a bad moment or two, but it hadn't ruined their partnership, and, in the end, brought them even closer together. After that, he had no choice but to uncover himself, to allow her to see him. The non-scholarly, infinitely more painful variation of publish or perish.
Piece by piece, bit by obstinate bit she collected him, and began creating her own personal picture, much like she did every day at work. To his great surprise, instead of turning and running, or closing off completely, she began to slowly, cautiously, open herself to him. To show aspects of her to him that he had never suspected existed. She leaned on him, laughed with him, fought for him. Cried for him. She was deliberately, willfully reaching out, and he would have to be a jackass of the first order to ignore it. Seeley Booth was not a jackass of the first order.
One day, he jumped. Just stepped up to that Line and did a cannonball over the edge. If it went badly, at least it'd be a spectacular failure, and he could handle the guilt – he was a good Catholic boy, after all, and he knew what to do with guilt. If it went well – he tried not to think about Heaven on Earth, because that was sacrilege, and he was trying to remain that good Catholic boy, but he couldn't quite erase the blasphemous feeling that it would be the culmination of all his hopes and dreams for this life.
So there he tremblingly stood, tie askew, wrinkled jacket clenched in nervous hand, trying and failing to swallow the boulder in his throat. He'd caught her alone; knowing her work habits, he'd waited until late in the evening, sure that the squints would all be long gone, but that she would remain behind. How many nights had he done just the same thing, unaware that they were all merely dry runs for this night? It appeared his heart had known for quite a bit what his head had not, and had gone behind his back to find a solution. Feeling like a human version of Twister, he strode into her office, hoping to put his feet on all the right colors. Spin good, and you win. Spin bad, and you wind up in a painful heap on the floor, wondering why you'd put your hand just there.
She looked at him, without the slightest inkling that tonight was different; tonight was it. It didn't seem fair to spring his revelation on her without some warning, although he had reason to hope that it wouldn't be a complete surprise. She was frowning – she'd suddenly realized something was different. The gig was most definitely up. Maybe the frozen mask pretending to be his face had tipped her off, or perhaps she was a bit more intuitive about him than she'd revealed. Either way, she was on the scent now, out of her chair and over to him. And who'd taught her how to follow her instincts, to follow a lead? Ha, that was funny. Ammo he'd given her, without realizing she'd be aiming at him one day. But he wanted this; this was why he was there, so he held his ground, looked down at her, at her poetic eyes and stubborn brow and soft, revealing lips. Instead of the panic that threatened to come out of his mouth, he heard the words he'd spent more than two years trying not to say stumble over his tongue.
His smoothness deserted him. He couldn't breathe – he might never breathe again. Even when he was a sniper, in that endless instant from Endpoint to Endpoint, from finger squeeze to target strike, he'd never felt like this. Accustomed to being an expert at reading her face, her body, her emotions, he'd now forgotten the language, had become illiterate in the space of a heartbeat. He didn't know what she was feeling, couldn't see it. He'd have to wait for her. She didn't know it, but he'd wait forever for her. She was moving again, incredibly she was moving closer, and now he remembered some of her dialect, words like the sparkle of her eyes and the lift of her mouth, and began learning new words like the soft press of her hands and her breath tangling with his.
It was The Line that caused all of this, but now The Line was gone, and he'd never forget it, the wondrous miracle that had occurred. He thought again that he'd always loved math, had excelled at calculus and algebra and geometry, easily learning the endless calculations throughout school and when becoming a sniper. But now he was sure that Geometry was his favorite, because The Line had become a Circle, with them at the center as they'd always claimed to be. The Parallel Lines of their lives were no longer parallel; they had finally intersected. The very thing that he'd thought was obstructing his way to her had become the path that led him to her. Yes, Geometry was good.
Well, that's it! I truly hope you enjoyed it, I had quite a bit of fun writing it. And I've now remembered all my Geometry terms from when I was in school! All reviews are welcome, and are most sincerely appreciated. Your opinions mean the world to me.