The Scientist

Come up to meet you

"Bones!" He calls out from a few hundred feet behind her. She turns her head to see him half-running up to her. It's a sunny morning in Washington D.C. She's heading to work; so is he. She's a few feet from the entrance to the Jeffersonian. More than a few seconds from entering, though.

She says nothing as he catches up. Once he reaches her, he presents her with one of the polystyrene cups occupying his two hands. She knows it's filled with coffee – decaf, one milk, one sugar, just how she likes it. She doesn't have to ask.

"Thanks." She says, taking it from him.

"No problem." He smiles – oh, that smile.

Tell you I'm sorry.

"Listen, about last night." He begins. She winces a little. Last night. She doesn't want to think about last night. Last night they didn't talk about what had just happened; why was now a more appropriate time? Why couldn't they just put it behind them? Didn't he say he was going to move on? "Bones, I'm sorry."

"Don't apologise, Booth." She shakes her head. "It's not something you need to be sorry for."

"But I still feel bad. I shouldn't have done that to you. Not like that." He can't believe how stupid he was last night. Why did he have to tell her all that stuff? Did he really think she wanted to hear that? Did he really think she would share his feelings?

"Don't feel bad. Just...forget about it."

You don't know how lovely you are

She brushes a lock of hair from her face with her free hand. Her hair is shimmering in the morning sun, flecks of gold shining sporadically among her brunette waves. Her eyes squint a little from the sunny glare, her nose crinkling slightly. She's got that look in her eyes that reminds him of when she works, when she looks closely at every detail of the body laid out before her. It's that attention to detail after minute detail that makes her the best in her field.

That, and everything else about her, is what makes her the best for him.

But she has no idea.

I had to find you

He remembers with painful clarity the moment when they parted ways last night. It followed many consecutive moments of awkward silence, interspersed with futile attempts on both their parts to strike up conversation. He didn't want to let her go, but she needed to leave. He lay in bed all night thinking about her, about what he had done wrong. He remembers dozing off at one point, only because his dreams were filled with her. His first thought when he awoke was that he needed to see her.

Tell you I need you

He needed to let her know that she meant everything to him. That there was no life without her smile, without her brains, without her.

Tell you I've set you apart.

He needed to let her know she was special. Not in the way she was already aware of, the genius way. No, the 'butterflies-she-gives-him-every-time-he-sees-her' kind of way. The 'brains-and-so-much-more' kind of way. The 'he-can't-live-without-her' kind of way. The way that really mattered.

But he knew he couldn't do that. She couldn't hear that. She didn't want that.

Tell me your secrets

She tells him everything. Everything, except the most important thing: why she can't just...try. Why she's so scared. Why she honestly thinks this couldn't work. Why she thinks she needs to change. What is it about her that she feels is so wrong? Because looking at her now, he knows she's perfect. Whatever she's afraid of, they could work past it, together. She just can't see that. Maybe she doesn't want to see it.

He nods.

"Okay, we can just forget about it. It was stupid anyway."

Ask me your questions

She doesn't want to forget. She tells him she does, but she doesn't. Or maybe she can't. She wants him to ask her again. She wants to be able to tell him she wants to be with him. But she can't. She wants to be with him, but she knows in her heart it wouldn't work. Or maybe she doesn't want it to work. Maybe she doesn't want to believe someone could love her forever. She knows love is ephemeral; no matter how many times he says he'll love her 'til death do they part, she knows it's not possible. If she lets herself believe they'll be together forever but she knows that's impossible...well then she's just setting herself up for heartache, isn't she?

But still, if he were to ask her again...she's not sure how she'd respond.

Oh let's go back to the start.

They both remember a time when things didn't seem so complicated. There was a mutual attraction, but it was mainly on a physical level. They didn't know everything they know about each other now. It wasn't so difficult to ignore the sexual tension. It didn't seem so important. He wasn't aware that she was the love of his life, even though deep down he knew. She was so much better at compartmentalising that she is now. She could distract herself with work, put all those feelings she didn't want to have into a little imaginary box and pretend they just didn't exist.

Oh how they wish they could be like that again.

"It wasn't stupid, Booth. It was the logical thing to do. I respect your decision to ask me, I just couldn't accept." She's retreating. She's speaking like a robot. That was what she would always do when she was uncomfortable. He recognises this. It worries him.

Running in circles, coming up tails

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome each time". They tried this before, and it didn't work. Every time she felt herself get close to him, something else went wrong. She'd come to the conclusion that any attempt to have a relationship with him would be futile. They were destined to fail.

He nods again.

"I put you on the spot, though. I didn't give you a chance to think. That wasn't fair." Defeat is evident in his eyes. He hates himself for what he did to her. It was the worst thing to do.

Heads on a science apart

He wishes she could understand that if they gave this a shot, it would be completely different to anything they'd ever done before. It wouldn't just be sex. That's all it was that night six years ago. Or, that's all it was going to be. No, this would be romance. This would be true love. This would be forever. But she's never known this kind of relationship, and she thinks she never will. This is a whole new ball game – she won't let him teach her the rules.

Nobody said it was easy

It's not an easy game. It takes a long time to get used to, to get the hang of. But she has a steep learning curve, right? Why is she so unwilling to just try it out, to let him show her how fantastic it can be? If she tries it and doesn't like it, who says they can't stop playing and just go back to normal afterward? Isn't that what they're trying to do now? They're trying to be friends in spite of the hurt they've caused each other. The only difference now is that they still don't know whether they could really be more than just friends. It's still unknown. She hates the unknown.

It's such a shame for us to part

But it's not unknown to him. He knows they could be amazing together. He's spent the last six years working with her, becoming more of a close friend than just a work partner. He knows what she loves, what she hates. He knows what makes her laugh, what makes her cry. He knows that while she may be a successful scientist and author, she's had a difficult life. He knows that she needs someone to love her, but she doesn't want to depend on any one person for her happiness, because she can't trust that they'll always be there for her. He'll always love her and she'll always wish, for both of their sakes, that he didn't, because for her love is equal to heartache. He wants her to open her heart, so she can see the truth: they are soul mates. They're made for each other. They shouldn't be apart. It's not right.

Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be so hard

She looks into those sad brown eyes, and it kills her. He put his heart on the line for her and she just crushed it. It shouldn't hurt this much to do the right thing. She didn't expect that it would be easy to say no to the man she loved when she said it, but she didn't know it would be this gut-wrenchingly difficult either. She loves him, she knows it. If she were a gambler, like him, she would take a chance, because this love feels so real. It's the future she's not so certain about. She wants to be sure that this feeling won't fade so that she won't hurt him. She thought she was sparing him pain, but looking at him now, she sees it in his eyes. He's injured, wounded. He puts on a brave face, but she knows better. She wants to make it all better for him, but she's afraid that healing his wounds now will only mean causing even greater ones down the line. It's for the greater good, she tells herself. She has to believe that.

I'm going back to the start

"Let's just stop talking about it, Booth. Just...pretend it never happened." She bites her lower lip a little. They can stop talking about it, but they can never forget about it. No one forgets a kiss like that. No one forgets a confession like that. No one forgets the moment when the love of their life rejects them. No one forgets the moment when they reject the love of their life.

But they can ignore it. Like everything else. Maybe after a while, things will become normal again. Well, as normal as they can be.

Without another word, they begin to walk into the Jeffersonian. She sips her coffee, he stares straight ahead. The place is alive with people running from place to place. Even those people who are interested in their lack of a love life don't notice anything out of the ordinary.

They arrive at the Lab, and no one detects any difference in their behaviour. They have no idea what happened last night. The two of them are thankful for this.

They get to work.

I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart

She examines a bone. It has a story to tell. It has weaknesses and strengths, just like she does. The difference is she can read all these off its surface. If you were to just look at her, you wouldn't have the first clue about the trauma she has gone through. You wouldn't understand why she acts the way she does – you just think she was being difficult or obnoxious.

But he doesn't just look at her surface. He knows better. She's a puzzle, like a Rubik's Cube or something. For the last six years, he has been learning, little by little, all about what makes her tick. He's been learning how to solve her. He thought he was getting somewhere with her, but now he isn't so sure. He made a wrong turn, and now he can't work out how to go back. He doesn't know if it's possible. Now he's in a mess, he has an even harder puzzle to work through. But he's determined to fix his mistakes, whatever it takes. There's an easy option to solve this, but she won't let him take it. He wonders if she ever will.

He told her he was going to move on, but in reality he'll never give up on her. He, like everyone else, had been condemned by some Greek god to spend his whole life searching for the person to complete him, as she put it. He knows he's found that person, but she refuses to be with him. He's destined to die alone and incomplete. But that's better than finding another woman. No woman could ever fit him like she does.

Questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart.

This is what she loves to do. Science...it's her life. Science will never hurt her, it will never let her down, it will always be there for her. It doesn't matter what goes wrong, she'll always have science. It's a constant challenge, the challenge which gives her motive to keep moving forward. It's her reason to get up in the morning.

Or is it? At least, is it still the only one? Or is there something else that keeps her alive, that keeps her on her toes? Or someone else? And is this someone else slowly becoming...no, he couldn't more important than science of all things. Science is black and white, just how she likes it. He is not. He's filled with grey. People in general are the grey areas. Science never confuses her with ambiguity and warm, fuzzy feelings. Science is hard facts. He's all soft. Clearly science is more reliable, more important to her.

But if this is the case, then why, when she's staring at this clavicle, is he the only thing she can think about? She cannot focus on examining these bones because her mind is filled with him. She can't hear her mental notes over her heart, which is screaming as loud as possible 'hug him, kiss him, tell him you love him!'. She wants to tell it to shut up, but she knows it won't listen.

Tell me you love me

Say it. He wishes she would say it. He knows it's the truth. If she didn't love him, she wouldn't have cried like she did last night. It wouldn't have been so hard for her, because she wouldn't have been lying. But she was. She told him she couldn't change. He knew, from the very beginning, that she was the woman he'd spend the rest of his life with. That was six years ago – she'd changed so much since then. She was the same woman, but she had evolved. It had been for the better, it had made her a better person, but at the end of the day it didn't mean shit to him. He didn't want her to change, even though any changing she'd done had been beneficial. She never needed to. She was perfect just as she was. Why can't she accept that? Why can't she see that she's the only woman he ever wants to be with? Why can't she just admit the truth and let herself be happy? She loves him now, and he'll do everything he can to make sure that's still the case in fifty years time. And he'll always love her back.

Come back and haunt me

She doesn't want to say it. She's afraid that if she says it, she can't take it back. She doesn't want to lead him on – he deserves so much better than that. She can't trust herself to be wrong. Once you put that out there, there's no going back. She wants to protect him, because he's worth so much more than the pain she knows she'll cause him.

Oh and I rush to the start

He's talking to the others about the case, she's consulting with an intern about some marks on a bone. It's just like normal. Right?

Wrong. On the surface, things are just fine. But they both know the value of looking deeper than the surface. And beneath this surface lies a storm.

Running in circles, chasing our tails

They'll dance around it forever, but they'll never be able to avoid the truth.

Coming back as we are

Nothing will ever change. Whether that means living apart, but longing for the other, for the rest of their lives, or finally accepting the hand life has dealt them, the fact will always remain:

They belong together.

Nobody said it was easy

Whichever path they eventually choose, it won't be easy. If they choose to avoid their feelings, they'll suffer. If they face the truth, they'll have to make an effort to make it work, to make it last.

But only one of those paths is worth the difficulty they'll go through.

Oh it's such a shame for us to part

And it's a pity that she can't see that. But who is he to force a relationship on her? He can't make it work alone. He can't alter her priorities, not if she really doesn't want to put her own happiness first.

Nobody said it was easy

And so they'll both suffer. Her heart will want to do something about it, but her head will tell her it's foolish. And we all know which she'll listen to. He won't be able to do anything to end it. He might try to move on, but it'll never happen. Not really.

No one ever said it would be so hard

She is a genius, but they don't prepare you for this kind of problem at school. They don't teach you how to deal with dilemmas like this. They don't warn you about this feeling, when your heart is beating so hard you can hear it in your chest, when your stomach is twisting and turning, when every atom of your being aches. She feels helpless, even though she knows she could end this right now.

She could, but she won't.

I'm going back to the start

She steals a glance at him; he's already looking right at her. She forces a little smile, as does he. For a moment, everything feels okay. Everything feels like it might get better, somehow. There a sparkle of hope.

And then they turn back to their work.