A/N: This takes place between this week's episode and the finale and does not take into account anything that have been revealed about the finale. It is a hopeful piece that my shipperself needed to write. Hope you enjoy:)
"Booth just becomes more distant, even when I attempt to reach out to him. He knows that it is extremely difficult for me to reach out to people." Brennan informed Sweets in a whine that he did not think she was capable of. But her obvious confusion shone through.
"Dr. Brennan, you broke his heart. He is trying to put the pieces back together."
"Hearts can't actually break" She said weakly. Sweets couldn't help rolls his eyes.
"Metaphorically, you broke his heart. He needs time to heal. You reaching out to him doesn't help because it gives him hope, hope that he doesn't have anymore because you told him no." Brennan uncharacteristically looked down at her shoes, unable to respond.
"I just want things to go back to normal."
"They can't." Sweets said bluntly and her head snapped up. He could see the question in her eyes.
"Dr. Brennan, you have to realize that Booth had abandonment and rejection issues that are very similar to yours."
"You didn't write that in your book." Brennan said defensively.
"My book is crap." When she didn't say anything he continued.
"You were abandoned by your parents and brother at fifteen. You fear that abandonment in all your relationships. When they abandoned you, you felt rejected by them, which leads you to having a fear of rejection also. I don't know as much about Booth's past as I do about yours, or as much you know about his past, but I do know that he went to live with his grandfather after his father left. That implies that his mother was gone also." Brennan nodded her head.
"Do you see where I am going with this Dr. Brennan?" Sweets asked gently. Brennan bit her lip.
"Following your logic, Booth would feel the same or similar feelings of abandonment and rejection as I do because his parents also left him."
"But he had Hank. And lots of girls in high school who…" Sweets cut her off with a raised hand.
"He did. But that doesn't mean he doesn't feel abandonment or rejection less powerfully than you. I think he just deals with it much better than you do. Why do you think he waited so long to ask you to give a relationship a try? It was because he was scared you were going to reject him. And you did."
"I didn't reject him. I never said I didn't want to be with him, I just I couldn't."
"Intellectually he knows the semantics, he understands, I understand what you said and more importantly why you said it. But to a heart that is fearful of rejection and abandonment, the semantics don't matter, all that matters is that you pushed him away." Brennan's eyes began to fill with tears, as they had been more often in the past few weeks than they had in the past ten years, but she blinked them back, refusing to let them fall. Sweets could see the tears but chose not to comment on them. He knew that she understood more fully what she had done to Booth that night. She had thought that she was protecting him from her, but she had failed and she had failed to protect herself also. Sweets felt the need to make sure that everything was perfectly clear so that she would be able to make an informed decision about what to do next. He prayed (even thought he didn't necessarily believe in God) that everything would turn out okay. He had been apprehensive to meet with her as he felt the entire situation was his fault. He had pushed Booth to act that night when he should have waited.
"Hypothetically, if the situation and been reversed and you had asked him and he had pushed you away and said no…"
"I understand Sweets. I am a genius. I understand." She tried to make her tone clinical but it wavered slightly. Sweets sat back in his chair.
"So, what are you going to do?" He asked.
"I don't know. This is all so confusing, I felt extremely jealous, even though jealously is completely irrational, I felt jealous when he began to date Dr. Bryar. I know it will surprise you to hear me say this, but it felt wrong in my gut that he was with her."
"He is attempting to move on."
"Does he have to do it in front on me?"
"Jealously may seem irrational Dr. Brennan, and in some cases I would agree with you, but this is not one of those cases. You are jealous of Dr. Bryar because Booth was being affectionate towards her and not you. But you know that he gave you the chance to be not only the object of his affection but the person he loves for the rest of his life. He will love you for the rest of his life Dr. Brennan, because he knows that you are, for lack of something better, his other half. You complete him. I told you in one of our first meetings that you complemented each other."
"Dr. Sweets please stop. I don't need to hear this." She didn't even attempt to sound clinical and was trying her hardest not to cry. Sweets had never seen her like this before so he acquiesced and stopped talking. They sat in silence for a few minutes before Brennan got up and left without saying anything. Sweets sighed as the door closed behind her.
Brennan walked briskly through the halls of the Hoover building, trying to make it to the elevator and out the building without running into Booth or Hacker. She didn't think she could deal with either of them at the moment. Booth had stopped seeing Dr. Bryar after a few short weeks, she didn't understand why and he did not offer an explanation. Since then she had refused any more advances from his boss, who she was beginning to regret going out with originally. The night he had broken up with Dr. Bryar she had expected him to show up with Chinese take-out and beer and either some silly movie for them to watch or simply to talk. She waited until two am but he never knocked. Sitting at home alone, she had allowed herself to give into weakness and let the tears fall. She had been cranky the next day at work and Booth had commented but not offered to take her to lunch. Even when she had asked he said he was busy. All week she had been reaching out to him and he had become more and more professional with each advance. She knew what Angela would say about his behaviour and decided to go see Sweets. Even if she didn't put much stock in psychology, he was very good at his job. What he had told her, his interpretations, it drove the metaphorical knife deeper into her heart. She felt stupid. And miserable, and horrible.
Brennan was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she did not notice as she ran straight into Booth who was getting off the elevator. The both stood frozen for a moment, unsure of what to say or do. In the past he would have teased her about being in her own world and thinking too much. But that was the past. The present was tense and awkward and simply professional.
"Watch where you're going Bones." He said, it was not said in his normal voice but it was not rude or annoyed either. Her chest constricted. Brennan found she was having all sorts of odd physiological responses to the events that had occurred in the past few weeks.
"Sorry Booth, I apologize." She felt Booth let out a breath.
"Come with me." He said, sounding more like his old self, like her Booth. He gently grabbed her arm, nothing like the way he had six years ago and led her into his office. He closed the door and sat down behind his desk as she stood lamely in the middle of his office.
"What's wrong Bones?" He sounded concerned. It was so familiar, something she had missed so much since he had stopped being her Booth that the proverbial floodgates opened and all the tears she had managed not to cry in front of Sweets came pouring out before she could even attempt to compose herself. She was still standing, but she vaguely registered Booth jumping out of his chair and suddenly his arms were around her, in a guy hug that was never really a guy hug.
"Please don't cry." His voice was soft and gentle, same as his hands that he was rubbing up and down her back in an attempt to sooth her. It only made her cry harder. He stepped away from her and she thought that he was going to scold her for being unprofessional, that he was going to tell her that she didn't deserve to cry because he was the one who was feeling rejected and abandoned. Instead he quickly closed the blinds so that the other agents couldn't see into his office and then his arms were back around her.
"Shhh." She could feel his breath on her neck; the combination of his strong arms around her (and the security she felt from being in them) and his soothing hands calmed her. Taking a few deep breaths she managed to calm herself. She pulled back slightly out of his embrace, enough to see the large tear and mascara stain on his shirt, but held onto him. She didn't know if she could meet his caring eyes. For all his professionalism, when she really needed him, he was there; being her Booth, even though she knew it caused him great pain.
"I'm so sorry Booth." Brennan whispered, she felt him tense for a moment.
"It's…its okay Bones. I understand. I do…Its just hard." He replied. Brennan nodded her head.
"I did not realize how much our relationship was going to change after I said no to your advances. I was operating under the impression that we would be able to continue on as we had before you had told me that you knew from the beginning. And I apologize for that. I should have foreseen that it would be difficult for us to return to that stage of friendship when in fact it was a level beyond friendship that I had not recognized as such." Booth didn't respond and she was unsure of what to think.
"I talked to Sweets."
"I guessed as much."
"You were walking down the hall, lost in your thoughts, ran right into me and froze, and you looked like you were going to cry."
"That does make Sweets sound very good." Booth laughed. It made her heart soar (as scientifically impossible as that is). She loved his laugh.
"So what did you and Sweets talk about?"
"You…Me…how I messed everything up."
"Oh Bones, you didn't mess everything up. I did."
"No Booth. I am taking responsibility for what happened. You were being honest and I wasn't."
"I said no. I said I wanted to protect you, and it's true, I do. I don't want you to hurt. But I didn't realize how much saying now, when I really wanted to say yes, hurt. It hurt you more than I thought it would. And I'm sorry for that."
"I know Bones. I know" He pulled her back into a tight embrace.
"Wait, you said that you really wanted to say yes." Brennan nodded. He didn't realize that he was holding his breath waiting for her to continue.
"I wanted to say yes Booth. But I was so scared. Scared that you would leave, even though I know I can trust you. Scared that I would mess everything up and you would leave. Scared that one day you wouldn't love me any more and want me to go away."
"When I said 30 or 40 or 50 years, I meant that Temperance. I want from now until the day I die to be with you. And I will love you for that long, no matter what happens."
"Even when you move on?" Booth sighed. He put a finger under her chin and lifted her face so that she was finally looking at him.
"I knew right from the beginning. I'm that guy. No matter what happens. I'll always love you"
"I hated Dr. Bryar." Brennan blurted out. Booth laughed again and couldn't help but place a chaste kiss on her lips.
"I know. I sorta read people well." He teased. Brennan laughed something she had felt she had not done in weeks.
"If you haven't moved on yet…I mean, I don't really want you to move on….I want to give this a try." Brennan stumbled but the words managed to get out. She held her breath waiting for his response and hoping (even though hope is irrational) that he would say yes. Booth kissed her. It wasn't like any other kiss they had shared. It was gentle yet passionate, and full of promise for the future.