"Be very careful removing that ulna, Daisy. Careful, it's quite delicate." Temperance Brennan watched as her former intern lifted the ancient arm bone out of the moist Indonesian soil. The pair had been working on the small Island of Flores, unearthing the remains of Homo Floresiensis, a small hominid that had lived on the island for at least a million years for a month now. Initially, Brennan had been excited at the prospect of unearthing the ancient remains of the extinct species, but she'd found herself with a heavy heart shortly after arriving on the beautiful Island.
After her partner and friend, Seeley Booth had asked that they try for a relationship, she'd turned him down, breaking his heart in the process. She'd watched for a few months as they tried to find normal again, watched as he tried to move on with his life, and found the process to be unbearable. The opportunity to unearth these remains had come up, and she'd jumped at the opportunity hoping that the time away would allow him to heal his wounds. What she hadn't counted on was the wave of guilt that she felt almost daily that she'd left him, and left any possible chance that they had to maybe give a relationship a try. It was an irrational thought, especially because it wasn't like Booth had decided to stay and wait for her.
A lump found its way into her throat, which she forced down, willing her eyes not to tear up as well. It was irrational to cry over something that was her own doing, but the idea that Booth had given up and left Washington to train snipers for a year was upsetting. She'd left, not a new occurrence for her, but always came back after a few weeks. Booth though, he was always there waiting for her when she was done with her digs. The idea that he didn't wait this time hurt her more than she wanted to think about.
It didn't help that her assistant, Daisy talked about her wedding plans constantly while they were on the excavation. In fact, being around the perky and overly-happy woman made the trip that much more unbearable. She couldn't escape the other woman's happiness if she tried.
Temperance sighed and sat down to take a small break from the toil of the dig, the sweltering jungle air making it difficult to breathe properly. As she picked up her canteen to take a drink, her satellite phone rang. With a frown, she picked it up. While she'd given the number to her team at the Jeffersonian, they generally communicated with her through e-mail since it was difficult to get a signal in the middle of the jungle.
"Hello?" Brennan listened to the crackle on the line for a moment, wondering why someone would make a call to her and then not speak.
"Hiya Bones." Temperance's heart leapt into her throat and she gasped at the voice coming over the weak connection.
"Booth? What on earth are you doing calling me out here?"
"What, I can't call my best friend to say hello? Gee thanks Bones, that makes me feel so loved." Brennan glanced at her watch, and after noting the time shook her head.
"Why are you calling me at three in the morning your time? Are you drunk?"
"God I hope so," he said, and she could hear it in his voice. Though he rarely drank to innebriation, something had obviously caused him to partake in way too much alcohol. She frowned as she thought about that. Was this what Angela referred to as drunk dialing? "I really do because I need to take my mind off of some things." She heard him laugh on the other end of the line and was tempted to hang up, but something in his tone stopped her.
"Oh? And what's weighing so heavily in your thoughts that you had to get drunk and call me during my excavation."
"Lot's of things, Bones. I love you, did you know that?"
"Booth..." Temperance sighed, but said nothing else. It wouldn't do to argue with him, and since this call was likely going to cost him a fortune, she didn't want to prolong the call.
"I do, I love you and have ever since I first saw you. I walked into that lecture hall and there you were standing on stage in that red shirt and flowery skirt and I just knew that I'd love you for the rest of my life."
"Booth, please don't do this right now. Can I call you later on and we can talk then?"
"You don't want to talk to me?"
"Not if you're drunk I don't. You need to get some sleep. I'll call you in a few hours, okay?"
"No please Temperance, I really need to hear your voice right now." That scary something was back in his tone, and whatever it was she heard kept her from hanging up on her drunk partner.
"What's wrong Booth?"
"I miss you, you know? I've tried really, really hard to get over you since no matter what I've done to be a better person in your eyes, you'll never love me."
"What are you talking about?"
"You're my reason, you know? I thought that we were going somewhere, and I was okay with us not sleeping together that night, but you know what? Seeing you drive away in that cab, I couldn't help but think that maybe it was the gambling that changed your mind, so I gave it up."
"You..." Brennan paused in the pacing that she'd been unaware she'd begun to do. "You're telling me that you stopped gambling because of me?"
"I tried so hard to get you to see me as the man you'd want to spend your life with, you know? I sat back quietly and watched you date all those jerks because I thought that if one of them made you happy, then I'd be happy for you. I kept hoping when it didn't work out that you'd realize that I was waiting for the day that you'd realize you loved me too, then I'd confess my feelings and we'd be happy. I've worked so hard to be what you want, but I'll never be smart enough to keep you 'mentally stimulated' and I care too much about us to just be there to serve your biological urges, and it hurts you know? It hurts knowing that I'll never be good enough for you."
"Don't do this Booth. I don't appreciate it when someone tries to lay guilt at my feet."
"No, but it's okay for you to do it to others, right? You have no problems with leaving, but I know you. You want everyone to wait behind for you even when you keep trying to push them away. That way when they do give up on you, then you'll have your validation that no one stays for you."
"I don't need this right now Booth. You're drunk, you shouldn't be calling me out here. I'm hanging up now."
"Bones, please I need you..." Whatever he said after that point, she didn't hear as she terminated the connection. Something was wrong with Booth, had to be wrong, but she wasn't going to let him lay on the guilt especially when he was drunk. She'd give him a couple of days to get sober and think about what he'd done before they talked again. Even though he'd hit a few chords with what he'd been saying, she wasn't going to let his drunken ramblings get to her. With a huff of air, she stepped away from the phone and back to her remains. That was the reason she was here after all.
"Hey Seel, I thought the doctor said no eating or drinking for twelve hours before your surgery," Jared said as he stepped into Booth's apartment. Booth glance up at his brother from the couch with bleary eyes and looked at the clock. When had it become noon?
"I stopped drinking at three in the morning, and the surgery is scheduled for three this afternoon, hence the twelve hours."
"Yeah and you'll need to eat something to settle your stomach. What are you trying to do, postpone the surgery so she'll have time to make it?" Booth shook his head and rolled slowly to a sitting position. The near constant headache he'd had for a month was worse because of the alcohol, but despite the excruciating pain, he found that he really didn't care anymore.
"She's not coming. She'd rather play 'Lord of the Rings' and dig up Hobbits in Indonesia."
"So she said no? She's not coming out here?" Booth shrugged and ran a hand over his face and into his hair. He winced; even his hair hurt today.
"We didn't even get to that point in the conversation before she hung up on me."
"Yeah and I'm sure that calling her while you were drunk didn't help any." Jared slapped a hand on his brother's shoulder and helped him to his feet. "Come on bro, let's get you packed up and over to the hospital. The sooner we get this taken care of, the sooner we can get you back on your feet." Booth hesitated for a moment and looked at his brother, fear in his eyes.
"What if I don't wake up this time?"
"Then you'll have the life you want, won't you? You'll get to have the wife and the kids and everything." Jared clapped his brother on the shoulder again and headed back to the bedroom to help Seeley pack. Although he offered Jared a smile at the comment, a wave of sadness washed over him. He didn't want the wife and kids really. All that he really wanted was Temperance Brennan.