Title: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones (though I wish I did). The song Cold as You by Taylor Swift and the title aren't mine either. (The line is from Romeo and Juliet, so credit goes to Shakespeare!)
Summary: Brennan and Booth aren't much more than colleagues. But when it comes time to say goodbye, it hurts them both. More than they could have ever known.
A/N: I just had to write something after watching the 100th episode. It was so amazing and perfect! And this morning, an idea came to me. Yay! SPOILERS for the 100th episode and probably other episodes before that. I hope you enjoy reading it. :)
Oh what a shame, what a rainy ending given to a perfect day.
Just walk away, no use defending words that you will never say.
And now that I'm sitting here thinking it through,
I've never been anywhere cold as you.
Watching Temperance Brennan drive away, Booth was still confused about what had just happened. He saw her look back at him from the window of the cab and when their eyes connected, he still felt the same spark that had hit him the day they'd first met. And he knew she felt it too, the way he'd catch her staring at him out of the corner of her eye was undeniable proof.
So why did she leave him standing out here in the rain? He'd listened to her explanation, they were both drunk and she didn't want to regret the decision to sleep together in the morning. But already he found himself longing for the touch of her lips on his. That kiss, as brief as it may have been, was the most real thing he had felt in a long time.
And he didn't want it to end there. He wanted to wake up tomorrow to find her lying next to him. But that was never going to happen, especially since he'd just fired her. Now he was certain he would never see her again.
I should have stopped her, he thought sadly as he began to walk home. Never should have let her drive away... Booth realized now that he'd been gambling again, betting his heart on her. He'd taken a chance by thinking she would want to be with him. And he'd been wrong. That was the way it always worked. The small bets were the ones he could win, but when he put everything on the line, he was bound to lose.
He'd confessed his problem to her, saying he was trying to change. Now he wished that part about getting help was true. He would overcome his problem, if it would help him win her back. But she hadn't looked at him any differently, admitting his flaws hadn't changed her opinion of him. And he knew that his gambling addiction was not the reason she hadn't wanted to sleep with him.
There was something else holding her back and whatever it was, she wasn't telling him about it. But if Booth didn't know what was keeping Bones from being with him, how were the two of them ever supposed to be together?
He continued to walk, puzzling over that final goodbye. The rain kept falling down and he could feel it seeping into his shoes as he stepped in puddle after puddle.
He wanted to respect her decision, wanted to believe they'd both made the right choice by going home to their own beds. But when he finally did make it home, the silence and the emptiness that accompanied him through the door seemed more present than usual.
After drying off and throwing his wet clothes in the bathtub, choosing to deal with them tomorrow, he slumped down in a chair at the kitchen table. Then Booth laid his head in his hands and closed his eyes.
And in the quiet that surrounded him, wrapped around him like a blanket, he could still hear her laugh. Not the polite one she used when he told a joke she didn't understand, that wasn't the real her. The real Bones was the one who shook with laughter when he said something ridiculous that wasn't even meant to be funny. That laugh gave him insight into the real human being lying beneath her cold exterior.
It showed him that she wasn't as sure of herself as she seemed to be. She was vulnerable, a person with feelings just like everyone else. And just when she'd started showing him that side of her, he'd gone and thrown it all away. All because Caroline had told him to.
"Damn prosecutors," he muttered to himself.
As he began to drift off to sleep, Booth formulated a plan in his mind. Tomorrow morning, he would go to the Jeffersonian to find Bones and apologize. He wasn't sure what he'd done wrong, but he knew from experience that it usually involved an apology on his part. And if that didn't work, he would demand answers, not leaving until she explained why their relationship would never work.
But before he drifted off to sleep, a part of him, the deepest voice of his subconscious, began whispering angrily. At first the words were just a faint buzz at the back of his mind, then they steadily grew louder.
This isn't your fault, it said. She's the one who walked away from you. You've done nothing wrong. Don't go and apologize to her. She should be begging you to take her back, not the other way around.
Booth tried to ignore the angry accusations, stop them from tainting his thoughts. But he was tired and his mind was weak. And slowly those words of injustice engulfed him, became him so that he could no longer tell if they were his ideas in the first place. He didn't want to fight the anger anymore.
That once-small voice in his brain was right, Bones was to blame. If there was ever a chance for the two of them to be together, she would have to apologize first.
When Booth finally fell asleep, his mind kept circling those angry ideas around in his dreams. He saw Bones' final glance at him from the back window of the cab. Except this time it wasn't filled with the sorrow and longing he had seen on her face before.
Now she was smirking at him and she could see her obvious relief at not having to be involved with a guy like him. "Damaged goods," he could practically hear her shouting at him above the noise of the rain.
Those words kept repeating themselves over and over again. Damaged goods. And it hurt because he knew it was true.
He wanted to remember the good times, the hours he and Bones had spent talking together, getting to know each other. But all of those feelings of comfort and togetherness were pushed aside by the overwhelming emotion of anger.
And when he woke up the next morning, his arm numb from being slept on all night, that sense of unfairness carried on in his mind. Now he didn't want it to go away. Now that feeling was giving him something solid to hold onto, even when his world was crumbling around him.
They had barely even known each other a week, had never even gone on a date. But ever since that first kiss, he'd known he loved her. And hated her. And wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
Temperance Brennan – the woman had changed his life. He just wasn't sure if it was for better or worse.
The ride home was quiet. Brennan sat in the back seat, trying to keep the emotions off her face. The driver remained silent, sensing her mood and not about to say anything that would send her into a fit of tears. She appreciated his tactfulness, but also wished she had someone to talk to, to yell at. Because right now, staring out the back window to see Seeley Booth standing out in the rain, she worried that she'd just made the biggest mistake of her life.
Coming home to an empty apartment wasn't that uncommon for her these days, but tonight it hurt more than usual. The loneliness inside her reared up and threatened to consume her. She was always taunted by feelings of abandonment and tonight was no different, even though she was the one who abandoned Booth this time. But that was only because she was so afraid of growing closer to him.
That was her constant fear. She tried to keep it hidden most of the time, although every once in a while she had to make a decision to stop those nightmares from coming true. Brennan worried about becoming attached to Booth.
Their first encounter had been strange, but as soon as she met him, she knew there was something different about this man. There was this undeniable...chemistry that she felt whenever she was around him and she worried about it turning into something stronger.
So she ran away and, hiding behind her science and her rationality, Brennan most likely ruined the best chance she had of ever becoming normal.
As a young girl she'd dreamed of growing up and starting a family, just like all young children do. But when her parents abandoned her, turning their backs on her and Russ like she'd just done to Booth, Brennan knew she would never be normal again. And now, so many years later, she was still the same. It wasn't in her genetic makeup to handle change well. That was just the kind of person she was.
She wished she could change because every part of brain, every fiber of her very being wanted to be with Booth the way he suggested. And after sharing that kiss with him, the kiss that was like nothing she had ever experienced before, it nearly killed her to come home by herself.
But she could see that she was getting too involved with him and being vaguely intoxicated made a good excuse not to stay. It wasn't relief that she felt as she drove away though, it was sorrow. And the part of her mind that had yet to be consumed by the rational which now took over the rest of her body was screaming at her to turn around. To go back and rest in Booth's arms like she desperately wanted to do.
It was too late now, though. She'd made her choice and she had to stick with it. Because that was who she was, or who she pretended to be so fiercely that she almost became that person. A strong-willed woman, confident in herself and her decisions. Someone who didn't second guess her own choices.
She just wished that Booth had tried harder to stop her. She'd almost thought that he could be the one, the one to break through the layer of ice surrounding her and see down to the true person hiding underneath. That maybe he would love her, even if he knew how messed up she was.
But his feeble attempts to stop her from leaving made her see that he was glad to get rid of her. She was too far gone to ever be able to love him back. So, just like all the other men in her life, he bailed on her when he got the chance.
Brennan wished he had cared enough to never let her get in that car. To pull her back and hold her tightly and whisper in her ear like she wanted him to. Then maybe she wouldn't be lying here, alone on her couch. Trying not to cry and trying to close off her heart before Seeley Booth could damage it any more.
But she'd learned a long time ago that reality was no fairy tale. It was a road full of twists and turns. And it is how people handle those turns, those bumps in the road, that makes them who they are today.
So tomorrow she would pull herself together, get dressed and go to work like any other day. She would look at some ancient remains, maybe successfully identify a skeleton. And she would try to move on with her life, and forget about her broken heart. Because that was the kind of woman she was. Deep down, beneath all the layers of anguish, pain and unfeeling, she was Temperance Brennan.
She was resilient. And she didn't care about Booth – he meant nothing to her.
Sighing, she curled up tighter on the soft, squishy couch and continued to whisper those words to herself, hoping someday she would believe them.