Bones struggled to keep up with her partner as the hurried away from the FBI building. She just wanted to forget about cases, wanted some food, and to stop thinking about what could have—and didn't happen with her and Seeley Booth. Dwelling on the past was illogical, was it not?

Suddenly, he stopped short. Brennan whirled around to face him. The look on his face was the one that she normally associated with him coming to a realization that would solve their case. "What?"

"I'm a gambler." He said as though just realizing it. She frowned. Yes—she knew this about him, but it wasn't relevant to their current conversation "I believe in giving this a chance." He said definitively. "Look, I wanna give this a shot."

It didn't take a genius to understand the meaning behind his words. Even with her social awkwardness she could make out what he was trying to say. "You mean us?" she choked out. Yes, she had understood, but that didn't mean she hadn't want confirmation.

He nodded with so much enthusiasm she felt her insides go cold. And yet some part of her—some part of her she struggled to keep in line was elated. "No, the FBI won't let us work together—" she argued. Yes, though silly as it sounds, Doctor Temperance Brennan argued with him refusing to give in to her deepest desires. It was illogical from a bystander's point of view, but from her point it was all she could do.

"Don't do that," She should've expected this; he knew her, and she knew he would fight. "that is no reason—" but she looked away. As soon as he lost sight of her shimmering blue eyes, his rationality flew out the window.

He kissed her.

He kissed her.

And she was kissing back.

Reality struck her like a bolt of lightning, only much more painful. This felt so right. It was illogical that something that felt so right was so wrong. But she couldn't do it. Not to him.

Brennan struggled to pull away, somehow even lightly smacking his shoulder to emphasize her point. "No! No!"

And then she saw it. The hurt in his eyes, the disappointment, the worry, the…desperation. She knew the image would be forever burned into her mind, haunting her nightmares, taking over her dreams.

"Why? Why?" Just like a sign, a piece of evidence it was right before her. They spoke the same way now, yet with totally different standing points; like two opposite pieces that were somehow exact copies.

Why? Why couldn't they be together? It's what you want, the little voice in her head (which sounded a lot like Angela) seemed to beg, just as Booth had. Brennan swallowed her wants, reminding herself not to be so selfish. "You—you thought you were protecting me, but you're the one who needs protecting." She struggled to explain. She was a genius, not to mention a bestselling author. Explaining something like this should be easy for her.

Why couldn't it be that simple?

Booth frowned. "Protecting? From what?

She felt the tears in her eyes threatening to spill over. She noticed Booth too, was struggling with the same issue. "From me. I—I don't have your kind of open heart." Why couldn't he see? He was smart. Why couldn't he understand? She loved him, she loved him so much it hurt—that's why they couldn't be together. She loved him too much to doom him to a closed hearted relationship with somebody like her.

Her words must have done it, for now tears fell shamelessly down his cheeks. Due to their close proximity, she not only watched them, but felt them fall, the cold salty drops falling onto her sternum, symbolically they were like pieces of ice, sending chills of pain into her heart with every drop. She wished they weren't so close, that their arms didn't hold them together. It was a comfort she didn't feel she deserved. He was comforting her while she broke his heart—and hers too.

"Just—just give it a chance," he begged, genuinely begged. "that's all I'm asking!"

"No, you said it yourself: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome." There was no doubt in her mind, this was the most painful thing she had experienced. Worse than discovering her mother's bones had been in Limbo, worse than attending Booth's funeral, worse than being buried alive. She wasn't the only one hurting. They were both hurting. And it was all her fault.

"Well, then let's go for a different outcome, here! All right, let's just hear me out, right? You know when you talk to older couples who, you know, have been in love for thirty or forty or fifty years, all right? It's always the guy who says, 'I knew.' I knew, right from the beginning."

Her heart felt five times heavier, and the tears falling down her cheeks doubled in frequency. How could she say no? "Your evidence is anecdotal." She insisted, and she wished she could take it back, wished she could just say yes. He was the only person she could ever to this to. She had to. She had to hurt him, because she loved him.

"I'm that guy, Bones. I'm that guy! I know."

That was is for her. Whether it was his declaration of his love, the fact that she didn't what to hurt him, or the fact that she couldn't even understand her emotions, let alone figure them out, she wasn't sure. All she was sure of was the first sob she choked back. "I—I am not a gambler. I'm a scientist. I can't change! I don't know how. I don't know how." but I want to.

"Bones, don't, don't do this. You can—you can change, and you already have! You've been changing since I met you. When we met the squint squad hated each other! But you have an open heart! You pulled them together because of it! You have an open heart!"

Fighting back another sob, Bones took a deep breath "No, I can't—I can't do this," she murmured.

"Please," he begged, staring into her eyes with such a fierceness she had to look away, burying her face in his shoulder.

She said nothing.

Booth sighed. "Bones, just, just tell me you don't love me, and I'll never bring it up again."

She pulled away as she felt the familiar fire of anger coursing through her veins. How could he be so stupid? "How can you say that!" She screamed. "Booth, how can you say such a thing? You know me better than I know myself! This isn't because I don't love you, this is because I do! I can't let you waste your life with a heartless woman like me, because I love you. I didn't believe in love until I met you, so don't you ever accuse me of not loving you!"

Her anger did not result in the reaction she expected from the special agent. On the contrary, she witnessed the exact opposite of what she had expected. A smile. One so bright, brilliant, and true, and then he laughed in what she could only assume was elation. "Say that again,"

"Why are you grinning? Booth, this isn't funny!" she protested, only to be met with a chuckle. Playfully, though angrily she slapped his shoulder. "Why are you laughing?"

He didn't answer her, only kisses her quickly on the lips. "Because I love you, and you love me, and that's all we need."

She frowned, struggling to follow his logic. "I think you deserve better than me."

"And I think you deserve better than me, but you know what? I don't care right now. I love you, you love me, what else is there to worry about?"

"Me messing this up and losing you forever," She said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Let's face it Booth—you know me, which means you know it's definitely a possibility."

"Bones, you and I have been fine for years why would that change? I loved you before tonight, and we're still together."

Brennan sighed. "You're not going to give this up, are you?"


"And you really love me."


"And I love you."

"I'm glad to hear that."

"And you think this can work?"

"I know it can work."

"Booth," she sighed. "You can't know how the future will end up, it's impossible—"

He silenced her by pressing his lips to hers for the third time that night, the fifth time ever. She would be lying if she said she had any will to fight left in her, and found herself giving in to him, physically and emotionally."

He pulled away, much to her dismay. "We can make this work Bones, this will work, okay?"

She looked down, suddenly finding his shoes more entertaining than his beautiful deep brown eyes. "Okay."

He wasn't having any of that. He slid a finger under her chin, forcing her to look into the dark chocolate pools. "Okay?"

Despite herself, Brennan felt a smile blossoming on her face. "Okay."

"I love you."

"I know, I love you too."