Sometimes, Temperance Brennan hated being right. She didn't hate it quite as much as she hated being wrong, but still. In this case, being wrong would have been preferable. Somehow, she kept smiling as he pulled out his cell phone and showed her a picture of a beautiful blonde. He always had a thing for blondes. She kept smiling as she clamped down on her nausea. She agreed that a heart attack was indeed serious. She was probably about to have one.
She now had yet even more proof that love never sprang eternal. A little less than a year ago this man had told her he wanted to be there in thirty, forty, fifty years. And now? It had taken him fewer than three hundred and sixty-five days to find someone with whom he was 'as serious as a heart attack'. Of course, he'd given her fair warning that he'd planned to move on, he'd told her he couldn't waste his time waiting for her to love him, or something to that effect.
She supposed, in that regard, he still didn't understand her. She did love him, so very much. That was why she couldn't give a relationship with him a chance. She was too damaged, too awkward. She was incapable of having a successful relationship, and ruining him, this man who loved her, and their friendship was unacceptable. So she'd given him up. What was that stupid saying Angela spouted sometimes? 'If you love something, let it go…'? Well, after a couple months of their strained friendship, and the whole mess of the grave digger trial, she'd needed to let him go. She'd hoped time and perspective would allow both of them to either put their mutual attraction aside and allow their love to be simply platonic, or that they would decide that that was unacceptable and that they should be together.
Maybe she should have discussed all that with him. She almost blamed him for knowing her so well, for making her think she didn't need to tell him these things, that he just knew. She still cringed, thinking back to her response to him. 'You arrested me too, once.' Nice, Tempe. Don't just let him have a moment to tell you about the woman he loves, who is still in a war zone. Somehow, though, he missed the somewhat subtle reminder that he'd loved her once as well, and simply spoke to her like she was a three year old or an emotionless robot. Perhaps that was how he saw her, as a high functioning savant, a sociopath. In reality, she'd had her heart broken a few too many times. She hid behind logic and being far too literal because it allowed her to avoid being hurt like that again.
She knew love didn't last, that no one had it in them to love someone for thirty, forty, fifty years, and she hadn't wanted to break Booth's heart in ten years time when one of them could no longer ignore the idiosyncrasies of the other. When her literalness stopped being something he found cute and became an irritation. When his attempts to charm his way out of trouble stopped being, well, charming and became something she hated. Of course, now Booth had some proof of his own that there was no such thing as true, everlasting love. She'd been out of contact for a mere seven months and he'd found someone else to love.
And that was fine. He hadn't come back, and thus had never been hers to begin with, if Angela was to be believed. It didn't help that those seven months had convinced her that she really did want to be with him, that risking it all might just be worth it. Of course, she'd had several opportunities to have sex while in Maluku. Every time she'd considered a potential partner, she kept finding herself comparing him to a man who wasn't there, a man thousands of miles away in a desert, a man she loved too much to even consider sleeping with someone else. And she'd smiled and ignored the casual flirting over camp dinners, worked closely primarily with female scientists.
But Booth? He'd managed to find a gorgeous blonde, just his type, in the middle of a war zone. And he seemed happy. That took a little of the sting out of it all, she supposed. He was happy, and that had to be enough for her. Funnily enough, she didn't begrudge him his happiness. It was good that he'd found someone willing to indulge his fantasy of thirty, forty, fifty years. Someone to accept all the little lies and take the relationship as far as it would go. Brennan didn't hate this woman; she couldn't hate anyone who made him smile. She just wished for once, that she hadn't been right.