The name that only those closest to him used regularly.
The name she had never used unless she was speaking formal title: Special Agent, Seeley Booth.
The name that very few people called her.
The name that he only used when pressing a point. Otherwise she was simply Bones.
When their partnership began, it was out of professional courtesy that she called him by his surname: Booth.
Now, the habit remained, despite that she was closer to him than she had been to anyone in quite some time.
Seeley… The name sounded so foreign on her tongue, although rationally there was no reason she didn't speak it.
Subconsciously, though, her brain had made his first name taboo, in hopes of saving it for one day, when it was most important, when she truly needed him to listen.
Her name, Temperance. Unique as his own and yet, he felt its deeper significance.
Temperance: moderation or self-restraint; how fitting.
Long ago he had discovered the walls she had erected to keep out the world. At the beginning of their partnership, he had even helped to build some of them.
Today, though, he regretted his part in their construction. Those walls became his worst enemy and his biggest fear.
Her first name became his last resort when it came to scaling those walls.
Yes, he had noticed her reticence at referring to him with his given name.
Yes, he felt somewhat insulted that this woman to whom he had given his all was still just his partner.
Yes, this frustrated him to no end; and yet, he somehow knew that the day she called him Seeley would be the day they ended this cycle and gave into the inevitable.
No, she didn't mind that he only rarely called her Temperance; the ones close enough the her to use it always seemed to cause her pain.
No, she didn't mind letting him in. She knew he was dismantling her walls – compromising her ability to compartmentalize– and yet, she was strangely okay with it.
No, she knew him better, knew he would never betray her. He had promised…
The day came when the inevitable and unattainable became reality, when what should be and would be, was.
That day, the time was right, and the partners' hearts were full.
That day three words were finally able to pass their lips without fear of rejection. Suddenly, each was sure of the other's mind and, more importantly, heart.
--------- Three words: "I love you."----------
In that moment, all the bickering, disagreements, late night coffee, and sleepless nights were worth it.
In that moment, it was as if they had let out a breath they didn't know they were holding.
In that moment, they were whole.
She whispered one word in his ear:
He murmured her name:
And that is what they would forever be.
In life, love, marriage, sadness, and death.
Seeley and Temperance.
Special Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan.
Booth and Bones.