My Brother and I


I feel breathless. Hurt. Angry. Not so much because I cared about Will Hastings, but because I thought I'd met someone who could relate to my experiences. Someone I had begun to admire extremely for doing something Russ didn't.

But as it turned out, Graham Hastings would've been better off without Will. Maybe if Will had left Graham like Russ left me, Graham would still be alive today. It's possible, anyway.

I meet Booth's eyes again. It's illogical for me to assume what Booth is thinking, but I know that Booth hates this. He doesn't want to hurt me. But I can handle this. I can be alone. I've been alone for a long time.

"What are you waiting for, Booth?"

My apartment is as tidy as ever, with everything in its place - everything but the kitchen phone. That - that I cradle in my hands as I sit on the couch, trying to decide what to say to Russ. Because eventually my fingers are going to start dialing and I'm going to feel really stupid if I don't have something to say. And I hate feeling stupid because I'm very much not stupid.

At least Booth hasn't arrived with Thai and his classic cocky smile, trying to cheer me up. I like spending time with him and I appreciate when he shows up - usually - but in all fairness of truth, I would rather be alone.

With the telephone. And the voice of my brother, whose number I'm dialing. Without knowing what to say. Oh no.

Someone answers before I can hang up. A woman's voice speaks. "Hello?"

Okay... "Ah... Hi, this is Temperance Brennan. Is Russ there?"

"Oh, sure! Hold on." I hear the phone clanking against some hard surface while the woman - Amy, I believe - walks away. A moment and a short, muffled conversation later, and Russ's voice comes on.

"Tempie?" His voice sounds...worried. Concerned. "Is everything all right?"

I swallow. "Yeah."

"Sure." Disbelief. "Tempie, you never call me."

"I just wanted to talk to you," I say, fidgeting. "How was your camping trip?"

"Fine. It was...fine." Russ pauses. "What happened?"

He's not going to let it go...and he's right. "We just finished a case..." I say. Tears are threatening the corners of my eyes, and my voice catches. "And just made me realize how little I've appreciated you. I just wanted to say..."

Here I pause. Say what? Nothing could adequately relate my current trail of thought. What could I possibly say? "Thanks for abandoning me and not becoming a psycho that decapitates siblings in the woods,"?

Russ says quietly, "I love you Tempie, you know that, right?"

The tears fall, trailing down my cheeks. "Yeah. Love you, too, Russ. Really."

I hear a small huff on the line, and I can almost see him smile. "Marco."