Okay... So this fic is post Episode 101... If you have not seen it, this won't ruin much, but you may want to see the episode first... So, Beware... Oh... and it's a oneshot.


Change is Hard

"What are ya doin', Bones?" Booth said suddenly, the first words he had spoken in nearly twenty minutes. It sounded like a simple question, but he had been drinking and was oblivious to anything other than his thoughts. "What are ya doin'?" He said again, shaking his head.

His partner's blue eyes flashed in his direction, and it was almost as if she didn't recognize the man in front of her for that split second. "I don't understand." She said honestly, her fingers dancing over the nearly empty beer bottle, her fingers mashing into the label as she scratched at it without thinking, her focus on the man across from her at the high top table.

Their friends had all dispersed, citing duties and the late hour, disappearing one by one as they left the two remaining friends sitting across from one another. "You know exactly what I'm talking about." He said, swallowing hard, his tongue ran over his lower lip, just before lifting his beer bottle to settle on it, he tipped the bottle back, his eyes remaining steadily on hers. He swallowed his sip, pointing the top in her direction while his eyes narrowed, that tongue darting out for another taste of his lips before he shook his head. "You pretend you don't know what I'm talking about, but you know exactly what I'm talking about."

"I think you've had a little too much to drink." She said, reaching across the table, a smile on her face, though it disappeared as soon as he pulled the bottle away from her invading fingertips, a look of disdain darkening his features.

"I'm tired of this." He said bluntly, letting the bottle settle on the table a little harder than he had intended. She jumped a little at the sound and her eyes widened slightly.

"I don't understand. Is this about the other night?"

"Yeah." He said, his voice thick with resentment as he pulled the bottle to his mouth again, swallowing down the bitter liquid as if it were his saving grace. His eyes were steady on hers, and he could feel the fire in his heart igniting the longer he looked at her.

"This is about the other night? The dance?" She asked, her voice was apprehensive, but she knew that he would continue. "I thought we were past what happened between us. I thought we moved past it."

"Past it?" He asked, his face contorting into a sickened face that sent her stomach twisting violently. "You think we moved past it?" He spat, his words were like venom, his facial expressions were filled with untold anger.

"Yes." She replied, her voice conveying an innocence that she had long lost, but tried to maintain. It was a tone he was very familiar with, a tone that she would use when she felt that a subject was complete, and she didn't know why it was being brought up again. "You told me your feelings, I told you mine… and you decided to move on… I agreed. It was a simple discussion, and I thought we had moved past that." She said, her voice beginning to take on that clinical tone that made him want to ram his head into a wall at full impact just to stop the pain that it caused in his heart.

"Bones." He growled. His voice was low and grating. He was clearly inebriated, his eyes glassy from alcohol consumption, his lips trembling with unspoken angry words as his mind whirled around the correct way of saying what he needed to say without sending her packing to some foreign country to free herself of the burden of facing him. He rarely growled her nickname, never spoke it out of resentment, hate, or sympathy, that was what her given name was for, but the way he had just spoken it sent a chill down her spine.

"Booth." She whispered.

He stood up abruptly, kicking the barstool out from under him, he nearly stumbled, steadying himself on the table, he kept his eyes steady with hers. "The things that I said to you are not things that can just be moved past, Bones." He said. "What I told you out there was set in stone… it's how I feel… I can't just move past how I feel."

"But you have to." She spoke before she could stop herself, a habit that she had been trying desperately to curtail, with no luck at all. "I thought we went back to normal." She tried to correct herself quickly, before he became even angrier at her. "I thought that we went back to being partners, friends."

"Are you stupid?" He asked her, a droplet of spittle exiting his mouth, landing on his lip, and her eyes focused on it for a moment.

"I…" She stammered, tears forming in her eyes as her partner stared angrily at her. She had no words, and no way to express the betrayal she was feeling at this moment.

"You can't just go back to normal, Bones." He said angrily. "You can't just… spill your guts and expect that just because that feeling isn't shared… that things can just go back to normal." He whispered angrily at her, realizing that he had become a bit belligerent in his current state. He leaned over the table and stared at her with an intensity that he could never remember having before, and intensity so powerful that when he noticed her eyes were focused on his mouth, he felt his body react painfully. "Things are changed forever."

"No." She said, shaking her head, she kicked the barstool from beneath her as well, and flinched when he took a step back. "No, things don't have to be different, they don't have to be changed." She said, her voice sounding desperate as he broke eye contact and glanced to the bar.

"You played with fire, Bones." He said, swallowing hard. "You played with fire, and you got burned." He said, watching her brow furrow, he wasn't prepared to hear her confusion over his words. He reached into his pocket and tossed down several dollars onto the tabletop, and turned to walk away from her.

She reacted quickly, perhaps too quickly, because before she could tell her body to listen to her brain, her hand was wrapped around his wrist, pulling at it. He turned sharply and flung his hand, striking her lightly on the arm, but he was far too enraged to care, far too involved in his internal feelings to let her control him. He needed control, he needed to get out of there before he did something stupid.

"If you felt this way before, and you weren't acting on it, and I felt this way, and wasn't acting on it… How is knowing about how one another felt going to make things different? I just don't understand how it's different." She rushed, trying to get her words, her thoughts out before he turned and walked out, before he disappeared into the night alone and angry. "You were dancing with me because you are my friend, you are my partner. That's what we were before you told me that you had feelings for me, what we've always been. I don't understand how knowing makes things different… We can both argue that we always knew." She begged.

"The difference… Temperance." He said, his voice taking on a foreign, angry tone, a regretful, somber, almost hateful tone. "The difference is that there was a time that you didn't believe in love, didn't believe in marriage, didn't believe in anything but your science. There was a time that you would prove most anything that I believed in to be false. I took a chance because I saw a change in you recently, a change that anyone else would have seen as impossible… a transformation so magical, that it gave me the courage to put my most prized possession on the line, my heart. But in true Temperance Brennan style and grace, you crushed my heart, and if you can't see the changes that you made, if you can't see what you've become… then maybe I'm just hallucinating, maybe I'm just as stupid as you always seem to remind me that I am. Things aren't the same, Bones. Things will never be the same.

He spoke the words to tear filled eyes, and simply turned and walked away.