Thanks for all the feedback for chapter one. I haven't replied to all of the reviews yet, but I wanted to go ahead and post chapter two. I know I said in the a/n for chapter one that this chapter was already written, but after reading it again, I knew a lot had to be added before it was fit for posting. That's why it was delayed. Enjoy!
Frustrated, Booth pounded the steering wheel with his fist. This was not how he imagined the night would end. Now he wanted nothing more than to go home and drown his sorrows in a bottle of scotch, yet somehow, he found himself somewhere other than home.
Booth knocked on the door, but didn't expect to find Sweets still around, so he was surprised when the door opened.
"Agent Booth," Sweets exclaimed, equally surprised to see Booth. "I was just on my way out."
Dismissing Sweets' plans with a wave of his hand, Booth pushed past him and into the office, then ungracefully flopped down onto his usual place on the sofa.
Sweets closed his eyes and shut the door, hoping Daisy would understand and silently vowing to make it up to her. "Is Doctor Brennan with you?" he asked as he sat in the chair opposite Booth.
"No, Sweets, Bones isn't with me," Booth spat. "And because of you, Bones'll never be with me!"
Sweets sighed and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "Okay, let's back up a second. What's going on?"
"It's your fault things are so screwed up with Bones."
"My fault?" Sweets questioned. "Why? What happened?"
Booth sighed and tilted his head back, looking up at the ceiling. "I kissed her."
"I know, Booth," Sweets said, shaking his head. "I'm still reeling from learning about that."
"No, after we left your office."
"Oh," Sweets mumbled, a beat passing before the weight of Booth's words sank in. "Oh."
"Don't you think that was ill-advised?"
"You know what, Sweets?" Booth glared at the young psychologist. "Bones and I wouldn't be in this whole damn mess if it wasn't for you and your little book." He stood and began to pace behind the couch. "Then you just had to bring up that gambling business again."
"Well, technically, you brought it up," Sweets began, but immediately quieted down upon seeing Booth's reaction. Sweets took a deep breath and mentally regrouped. Just when he thought he knew Booth and Brennan… "I can see that you're upset…"
"'Upset' doesn't begin to cover it," Booth exclaimed as he continued pacing. "I'm pissed off!"
"Okay, expressing anger is actually quite healthy," Sweets began, his voice neutral. "But I need more information to fully understand the reason for and the extent of your anger."
Booth sighed heavily and vigorously rubbed his face with both hands. "You said that I was the gambler, the one who had to make the first move." He stopped wearing out a path on the carpet and pinned Sweets down with an intense glare. "You challenged me earlier, with your whole 'make the gambling work for you' speech. Yeah, I noticed your little hand gesture toward Bones. And your eye-twitching thing."
Sweets--only slightly surprised that Booth had picked up on the subtle hints (Booth was, after all, one of the best at reading body language)--studied Booth, seeing the pain and anguish written all over his friend's face. But there was something else there, too. Something Sweets had known for a long time. "You love her." It wasn't a question.
"Of course I love her," Booth admitted as he resumed pacing. "And not in the 'she's-my-partner-so-I-have-to-love-her' kind of way, but the 'I-can't-see-myself-with-anyone-else-but-her' way."
"The FBI has strict protocols against…"
"Bones said the same thing," Booth told him, shaking his head, "but I don't give a damn about protocols."
Sweets licked his lips and sat forward even more. "Is that what you told Doctor Brennan?"
"I told her I wanted to give us a chance and I kissed her. Then she pushed me away and said that I needed to be protected. From her. That she's a scientist and doesn't know how to change." He rubbed his face again. "She asked if we could still work together."
"And I told her we could, but that I had to move on with my love life. I thought we were going to be okay, Sweets. I mean, she said she understood, and then as we walked away, she slid her arm through mine and put her head on my shoulder…but at the diner, I don't know, something changed."
"Wait, so you told her you loved her, she turned you down, essentially breaking your heart, and then you went to eat?" Sweets shook his head in disbelief. "Well, I was right about one thing--you two are definitely messed up!"
"What was I supposed to do? I was following your advice."
Sweets glanced up at Booth and hesitated for only a moment before replying. "So you're angry because you gambled with Doctor Brennan. And you lost."
"No. What?" Booth halted, his hands gripping the back of the couch as he stared across the small space at Sweets. "No, don't say it like that, Sweets. I didn't lose Bones."
"Because you can't lose someone you never had?"
Booth squinted at Sweets, trying to decide if Sweets was attempting to help or just being a pain in the ass. He concluded that it was a toss-up.
Sweets held Booth's stare, but sat back in the chair, chin resting on his steepled fingers. He remained silent.
Eventually, Booth caved and broke the stare, dropping his head and sighing loudly. "Bones is still my partner," Booth said, circling again to the front of the couch, sinking onto it heavily. "And for the record, I hate that silent treatment crap you did there."
Sweets shrugged. "It's more effective when people come to realizations on their own. It's my job to be the listener and the observer, and only to give advice when absolutely necessary."
"And to tell people when to tell their partner he loves her?"
"I can not make conclusions for you. It was you who ultimately decided to tell Doctor Brennan about your feelings."
Booth, now leaning back and once again staring at the ceiling asked, "Why'd you suggest I share my feelings with Bones if you knew about the FBI's rules?"
"Oh, come on, Booth," Sweets practically scoffed. "You had to know that eventually the day would come where you and Doctor Brennan would have to choose between a partnership and a partnership."
Booth was too tired to argue. And Sweets had a point.
"What if I did lose her?" Booth asked, sounding more like a scared little boy than a macho FBI agent.
Sweets' heart went out to Booth. "I wish I could tell you everything will be okay, but rather than instill a false sense of hope, the best advice I can offer is to wait it out."
Booth groaned, knowing Sweets was right. "Time will tell?"
"Yeah," Sweets replied sadly. "Time will tell."
Thanks for reading!
Chapter three will probably take a few days, as the weekend is terribly busy. Apologies in advance for that…