A/N: Thanks to shipperatheartrealistbynature, who always gets my creative juices flowing.


Bones thinks so much of herself, and not so much at all.

She doesn't know any famous anthropologist she'd fantasize about meeting (except for hers truly), but she also can't imagine that she's the "good woman" that Booth deserves.

She tells Sweets that he shouldn't be surprised by all the amazing things she can do, yet she vehemently denies her ability to love the way much less intelligent people do every day.

She's an exercise in contradictions, and it never fails to amaze him and often, pain him.

When she sits beside him at the bar and they sip beers together (like nothing had ever happened), she tells him that their partnership is still important to her, right after she asks if the woman he's dating can play the guitar. The conflicting messages play across her face.

Tell me I'm still important to you, but don't, because it makes me feel so guilty. Tell me that we are still the same, but don't, because I know it's not true. Tell me that you still love me more than her, that even though she makes you smile, I make you smile more; tell me that I'm still the best, because I'm not special unless you think so. But please, please, tell me anything except for that, because it hurts so much to know the things I can't have.

He tells her that he'd die for his partner, and hopes that it doesn't sound as romantic as it feels. She doesn't do romance, she swears up and down; the woman who wrote the exquisite love story at his bedside while he lay in a coma, one so powerful he felt it in his dreams.

But her agreement to his statement is in her eyes.

She won't live for him, but she'd die for him.

He doesn't understand it, or the reason why dating Catherine makes him feel like he's cheating on two women.

Her incongruity frustrates him.

Then he remembers how easily he gave up, how quickly he gave in to her no, I can't, I don't know how. When he knew, from the very beginning. She was the one, and he was that guy.

Bones has to be rubbing off on him, because he's never felt so inconsistent in his life.