A/N: Hello Everybody! Today I was supposed to write a paper on Augustine's Confessions, but this fic refused to be ignored and forced itself out of my brain and into being. I say it was a day well spent!
It had been a very long and a very boring day on a stakeout for a drug bust. Booth was grateful for the long walk from his car back up to his office. He couldn't believe that he was able to sit for, what, eight hours straight? His back was starting to bother him and he thought for a fleeting second that he could have Bones realign it for him before he was confronted with a choice. Elevator or Stairs? He opted for the movement the stairs supply, each step providing relief to his bored muscles.
Everyone in the office had already left for the weekend. He hadn't necessarily needed to go back to the office after the stakeout, but he desperately wanted to check his messages. He hadn't been able to have his cell with him today so if someone…someone….needed to get a hold of him, their best bets were to just leave a message with the secretary. Booth entered his office and saw a very small pile of little pink message slips.
Hodgins wanted to tell him something about squinty-stuff on their latest victims. Cullen left a message to update him on the drug bust (40 kilos of coke were recovered fyi). Nothing else really special. His hopes had been dashed that Bones might have called. This makes 46 hours since they last saw each other, not that he was counting or anything…The first couple of days after that conversation, where she turned him down, had been strained; awkward even. Booth wasn't sure if he should be mad with himself, with Sweets, or with her.
When was it going to be his turn? He might make fun of Sweets for being a child all he wants, but at the end of the day, at least the love of Sweet's life loves him back. He doesn't have a kid out of wedlock with a woman who hated him for years: and messy and sparse visiting days with him on top of it. Sweets doesn't have a gambling problem. He doesn't have to go home to an empty apartment at the end of the day.
Booth ran his fingers through his hair and massaged his face in frustration. A corner of white paper caught his eye underneath the key board. I don't remember stowing anything there. He pulled out a paper folded in thirds, hamburger style, with his name S. Booth written neatly across it in her handwriting.
His heart jumped in his throat. It was nice to have contact from her, but this can't be good…He folded it open with trembling hands and read:
I'm not sure really how to write a letter like this so I suppose it's easiest to just state the facts as they are without trying to cushion them.
I'm going away for awhile. The Russian Government needs help identifying a mass grave found in a gulag in Siberia. I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong. I'm not going there to try to forget about this past week or to forget about you. I could never forget about you, Booth. Therein lays the problem. Whether I like it or not, my ability to compartmentalize you has somehow disappeared over these past years and you are ever present in my thoughts. Having accepted and come to terms with this, I now venture to see what I can do about it.
Please know that you're the most important person in my life. No matter how this ends, that fact cannot change. I need time and space to think, without you. Here in D.C. you affect every part of my life. Something I've come to depend on and even enjoy. By removing myself from the familiar environment I will be able to more objectively think and perhaps I'll venture to make "gut decisions"
I'm afraid. I'm afraid of what this change will mean. You're the most important person in my life and I don't want to lose that. I've begun to depend on you more that I would like to admit and I don't want an attempt on further intimacy to destroy us like it did years ago. I don't want to work with anyone except you; you're the only person in the FBI who is capable of putting up with me and I think that if we couldn't work together I would simply return to anthropology of ancient remains.
I know that I have hurt you, and it hurts me to do this too. It may be cowardly, but I need to do this and this is the only way I think I can think it through. You're my best friend and I think I love you, but maybe not in the way you need to be loved.
I miss you already.
Your Bones x
Booth stared at the paper after having read it, trying to wrap his mind around the information. "I think I LOVE you??" He began to reread it again and again, these times, dissecting each word and phrase and how it fit with the others. He looked at her handwriting: it was more uneven than her usual perfect handwriting (when didn't she try to do anything perfectly?); he could see hesitation marks where the pen had bled through the page. The greatest hesitation marks were in and around the phrase "I think I love you".
He was torn. He wanted to be happy that she was seriously considering a relationship; that she recognized her own feelings finally (or finally acknowledged that she feels so). She even signed it with a kiss! But she was gone. Far, far away this time, in a dangerous country; while she thought about their relationship, weigh out the pros and cons. If Bones was anything, it certainly wasn't conventional. But she was right; she had to do this her way.
Her way was what made Brennan Bones. He wouldn't love her if she didn't insist upon tagging along all the cases, perform over-thorough examinations of remains, and give her heart and soul over to her career. She had a passion for justice and truth that Booth could never hope to find again. She said that she didn't have an open heart; but she was oblivious to just how open her heart was. If only with the dead.
He couldn't just let her go off without a word. Yes, her intent had been that the letter would satisfy his desire to talk her out of going; although, he wouldn't have needed to say anything to her. One look from him and she would be pudding in his hands. And she needed to go for this to be done correctly.
Booth picked up his phone and hit her speed dial.
Across town in Dulles airport gate D16, Dr. Temperance Brennan was jostling her knee waiting for her plane to board. She impatiently glanced at her watch: 7:15. Two more minutes since she last looked. And boarding wasn't going to happen for another half hour at least. She thought she might have brought a book, but accepted the fact that she was too agitated for any task besides checking the time every two minutes. Once we take off, you can calm down…
She nearly jumped out of her skin when her phone rang in her pocket. Irritated, she dug it out of her coat pocket and glanced at the caller ID: S. Booth. A surge of adrenaline was released in her blood stream while she contemplated her next move.
"Are you going to answer that, dear, or let it bother me the rest of the night?" a kindly old biddy with knitting needles asked Brennan.
"Um…um…please!" Brennan shoved the phone into her hands. "Will you answer it and see what he wants?"
Brennan looked too frazzled and distraught for her to say no. The old biddy rolled her eyes expertly and hit the Call button.
"Hello?" She asked with a bit of a 'tude.
"Um…Is this Dr. Temperance Brennan's phone?" Booth asked, very confused.
"If she's a brunette with icy blue eyes then you're in luck. Although I don't think that she wants to speak to you at the moment since she shoved her phone into my hands when you rang."
"Um…" He swiped his hand through his hair. "Well could you relay a message for me?"
"No. I'm just going to give her the phone back and she can listen to you like a big girl." The biddy gave Brennan and piercing look as her face fell. She'll have to hear his voice… "If she doesn't want to talk, she can just listen. Here you are sonny." She handed off the phone to a reluctant Brennan. The biddy went back to knitting her yarn as Brennan's intestines knitted in her gut.
"Bones?" Booth didn't know whether to expect a response or not, but he waited a few seconds. A sniffle confirmed his listener.
"Bones…I…I got your letter. I'm not calling to try and stop you or anything, because I know you and I know that this is how you work…"
Her heart flipped in her chest hearing his voice; sweet as honey and smooth as a good chocolate bar. Her every comfort was in him.
"We're both confused right now about a lot, but the only thing I'm sure of is you. You're most significant woman I've ever known and I love you Bones, with all my heart. Please, don't be scared or confused on that account. If we start something, I'm not going to leave you, and I'll never intentionally hurt you." By now, they both had tears streaming down their faces.
"Back then, we didn't know each other. We weren't in tune with each other like we are now. We were different people. We wouldn't be fated to the same outcome.
"You didn't say in your letter how long you were going to be gone this time…I wonder if you told Angela—"
"No." She cut in desperately. Grasping for control over her emotions. Booth was stunned for a minute to hear her voice finally after two days.
"Um…do you know how long you're going to be gone?"
"No." She barely breathed into the receiver.
"Well…for my own sake, will you let me know—somehow— that you're safe? That you're alive? You don't have to directly contact me. Make Angela the middle woman or something…but please just let me know that you're okay?" He sounded like he was begging…then again, he was.
"Yes." She sniffled. The conversation paused.
"Bones…did you mean what you wrote? About—"
"Yes." She asserted more confidently, which didn't go by unnoticed by Booth.
"Please, just don't make me wait forever. I can't bear it much longer…"
She paused. Torn. She could hear the weariness in his voice, the pain, the weight. He could express everything she felt but had no way of letting out.
She sighed and whispered quietly in the phone so that he barely heard it: "I love you." And she hung up.
A/N:This is going to be a multi-chapter fic, hopefully no more than five chapters and will be finished instead of sadly ignored after years like my last attempt at a multichapter. As that paper is due on Friday, it is guaranteed that another chapter will be written by then.
Reviews are always appreciated. For my own amusement, let me know what country you're from!! This is how I travel the globe as a poor college student! Thank you all for reading :)