She sat across from the man, his eyes were kind, his words were filled with humor, and his charm was doting and real. He reached across the table for her hands, and politely she let him hold them in his. He let her hands rest firmly in his, his thumbs rolling rhythmically on her skin, and he imagined for a moment that it was an unconscious thought of what he wished he could be doing to her entire body. For some reason, that thought made her stomach churn just a bit, and she thought of excusing herself, she thought of running, but stood fast knowing that she couldn't run, there was far too much riding on this, not for herself but for her partner and best friend. If she did something to ruin his career by walking out on Andrew right now, she would never forgive herself.
Her eyes flashed to the raindrops slamming into the windows outside, the wind blowing the trees angrily outside the window. It was a miserable night, and in her heart, though she was trying to be positive, she felt like letting her tears fall like the rain that was beating down on everything outside, and she wasn't exactly sure why. She heard him say her name again, and his eyes held a genuine concern.
"Temperance, are you alright?" He asked, sincerely.
"Honestly, No. No I'm not," she said softly.
"Is there anything that I can do to make you feel better?" He whispered, pulling her hands tighter into his, he felt a bit of resistance and knew that her mind was still elsewhere.
"I'm just… I'm not feeling well," she replied. "Andrew, I am sorry. I believe that I've been misleading you."
"I don't understand," his voice was genuinely confused.
"I really don't think that I am ready for a relationship right now," she whispered. "I don't want to mislead you any longer. Initially, I accepted your invitation to dinner, and was under the impression that it would give me an opportunity to release some of the pent up… feelings that I've had recently. Unfortunately, through observation and knowledge that I am…"
"So you're breaking up with me?" He asked, his head tilting in a question that she wasn't exactly sure how to say without sounding cold.
"I am sorry, Andrew." She whispered, noting just a flash of hurt, she felt something stirring within her that was making her feel increasingly uncomfortable. She had felt this feeling before, and she tried to work through her mind quickly to determine when the last time she had it, realizing immediately that it wasn't regret. "I… if…you'll excuse me." She whispered softly, moving to pull her chair out, she noticed him trying to stand up to help her from her chair, she became increasingly flustered, she waved his hand from her and stood carefully, leaning down a bit, she looked him in the eyes. "I apologize if my leaving causes you to dislike me, or to wish ill upon me, but please… I ask of you… and if there is anything I can do to ensure this, I will surely do it."
"What is it, Temperance?"
"Please don't hold this against Booth." She whispered. "He's a good man, a hard worker… a father, and an incredibly good friend. I don't want to think that something that I did would cause him any pain, or an issue with his career." She whispered.
Andrew bit his tongue, feeling more and more like the fool as he sat at the table, now alone with his date leaning against the table unwittingly making overtures about another man. He could see the concern in her eyes, and cared enough about her to not wish her any harm. "Does he have anything to do with your decision?" Andrew asked.
"No." She replied, her voice was filled with emotion, and her eyes were still searching his as she waited for him to simply respond that Booth's career would be safe. "Andrew, please tell me that you will not take this out on him." She whispered. "He respects you." She had to bite her own tongue at that blatant lie, for she knew what Booth really thought of the Deputy Director, though he would never, ever voice it to anyone but her, she knew that despite his feelings, Booth would never show disrespect to him.
Andrew stared into Temperance's crystal blue eyes for a moment, trying to keep himself under control, when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye and heard a very familiar voice. Not four tables away from them, the very focus of his and Temperance's conversation was being seated by the hostess. On his arm was a strikingly beautiful woman who looked almost familiar. Dark hair and blue eyes, he had never met her before, nor had he heard Booth speak of her, he watched Booth take her hand as he helped her to her chair, and Andrew's eyes moved back to Temperance. "I won't take it out on Booth." He replied coldly, watching Temperance physically relax at his words. "I won't take it out on him, it wouldn't be right."
"Thank you, Andrew." She whispered.
"Wait, Temperance… how are you getting home?" He asked curiously, watching her fingers as they fiddled on her purse, she watched as he started to get up.
"No." She shook her head. "No, it's alright, I'll just take a cab home, it'll be fine. You've been the perfect gentleman, and I don't want to take any more of your time… just stay, I can… cover your meal or whatever you like. I just… I'm sorry…" She whispered as she turned, flustered and upset, she turned and rushed toward the door of the restaurant. Without thought or consequence, she pushed past several people who were moving around a table several feet away, and for a split second swore she had heard someone call out to her. She was far too upset to turn to see if it were true, and she was far too flustered to even realize that it wasn't her given name that they called out, but a clear and solid name of 'Bones' that had slipped past someone's lips that she hadn't noticed. It was a name that was so familiar and so accepted that upon hearing it, her pace never slowed, for that name to her was just as commonplace as her given name.
She stalked out into the vestibule, and through the doors without thinking, her emotions giving her the only strength that she had as she was suddenly pelted with the hard, merciless rain that was pouring from the sky. She held her purse in her hand, and though she could very well reach into the depths of it and pull out her phone and call a cab, the rational thing. Instead, she did something that even she didn't expect, something irrational and stupid, something surprising and different, something freeing.
In heels and a dress.
In the unrelenting, punishing rain.
She began to run.