Disclaimer -I don't own Bones,Fox, or any of their affiliates. Sadly, I don't own David Boreanaz, either.
Summary -"The first thing Brennan was aware of was that it was three in the morning. The second was a steady knocking on the front door of her apartment, increasing in pace and force as the seconds ticked by."Spoilers for The Parts in the Sum of the Whole,otherwise known as the 100th episode.
The first thing Brennan was aware of was that it was three in the morning. The second was a steady knocking on the front door of her apartment, increasing in pace and force as the seconds ticked by.
Climbing out of bed, she wrapped a robe around her and padded out of her bedroom, wincing as the knocking continued. Her head hurt, her body ached, and she was reasonably positive that the sclera of her eyes were bloodshot from crying.
Memories of the night flitted through her mind. Brennan knew that her advanced intelligence allowed her to process and comprehend facts much faster then the average person, but even she could not logically explain the speed in which the events assaulted her. From Sweet's accusations to Booth's confession, to the kiss and subsequent rejection, and finally, to a dinner where Booth tried so hard to act like everything was fine, when everything most definitely was notfine… she felt the vein in her right temple give a sharp throb.
The thought of Booth brought another memory to the forefront of her thoughts, a memory she wished she could metaphorically cleanse out of her mind. Booth's face, his eyes expressing heartbreak, glistening with tears that she'd caused. She'd hurt him, all in an attempt to keep him from hurting him. It was a paradox that she could find no answer to.
The knocking doubled, and Brennan realized that she was standing in the middle of the hallway, her arms folded tightly across her stomach, fists clenched. She forced herself to breathe deeply, her arms falling to her sides and the muscles of the subdivisions of her face relaxing.
She knew who was standing outside of her door. Not because she could feel his presence, or any of that romantic drivel. No, Brennan knew that Booth was knocking on her door from fact. No one else had ever come by this late at night, not without calling first. No one else would feel comfortable enough around her to do so
Brennan made the final few steps to the door and rested her hand against the cool metal of the door knob. She forced herself to stand up straighter and smile, ignoring when the expression felt forced, awkward.
When she opened the door, Booth's fist was raised, ready to knock yet again. He froze for a moment, taking in the open door before his eyes whipped down to Brennan. His hair was wet; water streamed down his face in rivulets, his jacket clinging to his shoulders.
"Booth?" she asked, opening the door wider when Booth made no attempt to move. "What're you doing here? It's late." Booth took a fraction of a step forwards, allowing the light off of her porch to cast down onto his face.
He looked almost as bad as she felt. His epidermis was pale, his mouth tightly set. Weariness radiated off of him, and Brennan felt something twist inside of her, knowing she was the cause.
"We can't work together." The words were spoken bluntly, almost too much force behind them. Brennan felt herself recoil backwards, absently noticing as Booth flinched, too.
She meant to say something strong. Something to reassure him that she understood; that she realized how unfair this situation was on him. Instead, a choked "What?" was the only word that she managed to force out.
"We can't work together," Booth repeated, the words softer, less demanding. "I thought I'd be able to. I- I thought I could work past this. But Bones… Temperance, I don't know if I can."
Brennan would've yelled, called him a hypocrite and a liar, if it wasn't for the completely earnest, heartbroken expression on his face.
'The heart is a muscle, and muscles can't be broken,'she remembered him telling her months ago, when they'd been discussing the death of an innocent woman's son during Christmas. 'Only crushed.' Brennan realized that he had been right; her heart felt as if it was being crushed within her chest.
She opened her mouth, closed it, trying to figure out what to say. She felt tears well up, and she ducked her head, hastily tried to blink them away. She could feel Booth's gaze on her, so intense, too intense, but he didn't say anything. He just stood there, watching as she breathed slow and deep, trying not to fall apart.
As the seconds dragged on, the first tendrils of anger begin to seep through her, winding through her body like poison. Logically, she knew she had no right to be angry; after all, Booth was perfectly entitled to his right to refuse to work with her. But yet the anger pumped through her, pushing any vestiges of hurt to the back of her mind.
"If you're trying to punish me for saying no-" she began, before being abruptly cut off as Booth stepped into the apartment. Brennan fell two paces back to allow him access inside, before standing her ground and crossing her arms.
"You think I'd do that?" he asked, the disappointment on his face outweighing the surprise. "You think I'd stop working with you, just for some kind of payback?"
Brennan's cheeks flushed with embarrassment, even as she raised her chin the slightest bit in defiance. "It's the theory that makes the most sense," she snapped out, surprising herself at the strength of emotion in her voice. "Besides, what am I supposed to think? You spring the idea of us being together on me, and then…"
"No." In the time it took Brennan to blink, Booth was standing in front of her, barely a hairs-breadth away. "You don't get to pretend that you had no idea how I feel about you." A pause, then, "How we feel about each other."
"Booth, don't…" Brennan whispered.
"I have to," he said, staring at her with something akin to helplessness. "Don't you get it, Bones? I have to do this. I have to make you understand before you say no."
"I'm perfectly capable of understanding the situation," Brennan shot out, grateful to be on more sturdy ground. "I'm not a child, Booth. I'm perfectly capable of making my own decisions. You're not going to change my mind." Brennan ignored the low pang in what Booth would call her gut, telling her that she was making a mistake.
"So you understand that I love you." Surprise parted her lips, widened her eyes, caused her breathing to hitch. "You understand that I knowthat you love me too. You understand that when I look at you, I see my future. You understand all of that, and yet you're willing to throw it all away?" Booth's eyes seemed to physically darken as he looked down at her. Brennan knew it was from his pupils dilating, but that knowledge didn't cause her breathing to stutter at the reaction.
"Don't, Booth." The words lacked force, something she knew Booth would catch onto immediately. "Don't predict to know how I feel." The words 'about you'floated in the air unspoken.
"Tell me you don't love me," Booth said suddenly, stepping backwards, away from Brennan. "Look me in the eye, Bones, and tell me you don't love me. Tell me that, and I'll drop this. I'll learn how to deal. I'll move on. But first, Bones… you need to tell me."
"Fine," Brennan said, her eyes flicking across his face before staring him straight in the eyes. "Booth, I don't…" She cleared her throat, tried again. "I- I don't… I don't…" She looked at him helplessly as the words refused to be spoken.
"You can't say it, can you?" Booth didn't sound triumphant, but merely resigned.
"That's not the point!" Brennan cried, feeling a tear slip down her cheek. Normally, she never cried; now, it seemed like the only thing she could do. She angrily swiped at it, leaving a shimmering streak on her skin.
"Then what is, Bones?" Booth asked, stepping forwards and closing the distance between them again. "If you can't deny that you love me, then what's holding us back? What's stopping us? And don't tell me it's about the FBI," he added on. "You know that's not the issue here."
A noise escaped Brennan; Booth would've called it laughter, if not for the complete lack of humour. "I already told you," she answered. "I can't change who I am, and you deserve someone better then me." She ducked her head, any hints of defiance gone.
A warm finger hooked around her chin, tilting her face up to meet Booth's dark eyes. "Don't you get it, Bones?" he asked. "I don't want you to change. I only want you. Just you." Booth's free hand lifted to tuck a lock of hair behind Brennan's ear, before the pads of his fingers traced gently down the side of her face. "Can't you just accept that?"
"How can I, when you wanting to be in a relationship with me is completely irrational?" Brennan replied, hating the way her voice wavered around the words. "We're completely opposite, and eventually you would become tired of it. Tired of me." The last words slipped out, and Brennan felt her cheeks flush, yet again.
"Don't try to convince me that I would end up tired of us," Booth whispered, his hand turning to cup Brennan's cheek. His other hand moved up from her chin, until he was cradling her face in his hands. "Because I wouldn't. Ever."
He paused, searching her face for permission. She tried not to give it to him- god, she tried –but Booth had always been able to read her the same way she read bones.
His lips brushed against hers, the pressure so light, she wasn't even sure if it qualified as a kiss. He pulled back the slightest bit, giving her the opportunity to shove him, or hit him, or tell him off. She did neither; instead, Brennan kept her eyes closed, waiting, her heart pounding so loudly that she could hear it in her ears.
Booth didn't disappoint. He kissed her again, one hand moving down to her waist to pull her closer as he slanted his mouth over hers. Tenderness turned into passion, and for one brief moment, Brennan forgot that this was wrong, that it could only end up hurting them.
Without warning, Booth broke the kiss, pupils blown wide, breathing heavy. Brennan knew she was no better off; she could feel her pulse racing.
Booth's hand trailed down the side of her face once again before retreating into his pockets.
"I'm not going to pressure you into this, Temperance," he murmured. "That's why we can't work together, at least for now. If I'm around you, every day, I'm afraid… I'm afraid I'll start to pressure you. Look at right now- I've barely even been here and I'm already trying to... this has to be your decision."
"How long of a break do you need before we can work together again?" Brennan asked, because that's what she was supposed to say. Compartmentalization was her strength, but even she didn't know how long she had before, as Sweets would put it, the dam broke.
"Long enough for me to process this, and figure out how to work through it. How to move on," Booth said simply. His expression softened as he gazed at her, all rumpled hair and reddened lips. "I came here to tell you that before I lost the courage. Believe me Bones, I never wanted to hurt you. And I'm not leaving you," he tacked on, soothing a part of her that she hadn't even realized was hurting. "This is temporary, I promise. Just until I can man up and figure out how to deal." A weak smile crossed his face, not quite touching his eyes.
"I understand. After all, you've never been sufficient in compartmentalization or rationalization." With that, Booth knew the discussion was closed.
He turned around and walked towards the still-open door, pausing briefly when she called his name. He looked over his shoulder, only to feel something warm flutter in his chest at the image she presented, standing in her robe, barefoot, her hair mussed around her face.
"Booth?" she repeated, not waiting for an answer. "If I… I mean, if I want…" Once again, she couldn't get the words out, yet Booth knew exactly what she meant. He always kind of had.
"You know where to find me." With that, Booth closed the door behind him, leaving Brennan alone in her apartment.
She stood in the middle of the room for a moment, an inevitable conclusion slowly dawning on her. She'd created a thousand arguments, a thousand different ways to prove that there was no way she and Booth would ever work together. Except now, she was realizing that there was a fundamental flaw in her logic, one that sent all of her arguments crashing to the ground.
I'm in love with Booth.
This is my first time ever writing in the Bones universe, even though I've been faithfully watching the show since season two. I'm desperately hoping that I didn't butcher two of my most favorite characters, so please let me know what you thought, and if I should continue this or not?