A/N: Hello everyone! Just a short little follow-up to the episode. Hope you enjoy it!
They are sitting at Royal Diner after closing a case and as the discussion of the case trails off Booth swivels on the bar stool toward her and says, "Hey, I've been meaning to tell you thanks for being so nice to Hannah. It means a lot to me that you've made an effort to talk to her and stuff."
"She is a very nice person," Brennan supplies as the justification for her behavior. "There is no reason for me not to be similarly nice toward her."
Booth smiles at her characteristic directness and says, "Yeah, but a lot of other people in your situation might not have acted so nicely."
She looks at him quizzically. "Why not?"
"Well, Bones, you know…"
"Considering our past, you know?"
She purses her lips into a frown and asks, "What about our past? We were partners, I don't understand-"
"We were close, Bones," he interjects and she nods her head and adds, "We still are."
"Exactly, I'm just saying that another woman might not be as graceful with having to share."
"Share you, you mean?" she asks for clarification, thinking that her thoughts on this subject were not exactly graceful. As much as she wanted Booth to be happy, her initial reaction to no longer being the primary woman in his life had surprised her.
"Yeah. You know what I mean, Bones."
And she does, all too well. She knows about their coffee meetings dotted with texts from Hannah. She knows about their dinners after cases cut short by a phone call and sheepish grin. She knows exactly what he means.
"But you're happy, right?" she asks, because in the end that is all she really wants for him. He nods and while his lips pull into a grin and a soft dimple presses into his left cheek, his eyes do not change. She sees then that they are both pretending now. He is pretending to have found revelation in the arms of his blonde journalist while she is pretending that she hasn't fallen completely for the man with the clever socks and ironic belt buckles. She frowns to herself as she thinks that this is a dance they know all too well. A fool's dance.
"How are you enjoying the phone?" she asks after a moment.
Finally his eyes light up as he says, "I love it. I can't believe you remembered that, Bones."
"I remember everything," she says. "I have a remarkable memory."
He chuckles. "Yeah, Bones, that you do."
He smiles at her but she cannot return it. She does have a remarkable memory and it is her curse because she remembers everything they had. The touches. The looks. Everything and as his smile dims she knows that he remembers it, too. There is a moment of uncomfortable silence until he goes, "Well, I better get back. It's not a bachelor pad I'm returning to anymore."
She gets the reference. There is someone he is going home to-someone who is waiting for him. For once, she wishes that she did, too. From the floor she grabs her purse and pulls it over her shoulder. He puts a twenty down on the counter and as she goes to protest he tells her, "I've got it Bones."
Normally she would have put up more of a fight but tonight she just nods and follows him out of the diner. He waits with her as she hails a cab and neither of them talk. She knows that it is out of character for him not to talk, just as he knows it is the same for her. As a yellow cab pulls up to the curb both of them go to speak at once, chuckling uncomfortably at their inopportune timing.
"You first," she says.
"No, you Bones." He flashes her a grin. "Ladies first, right?"
She thinks of all the things she can say. All the things she wants to say. There is so much left unsaid between them but she knows the time to speak is not standing outside, beside a taxi. Even Brennan, who has never believed in timing and therefore has never been good at it, knew this was wrong. She exhales softly and says, "Good night, Booth."
Booth feels the missed moment as acutely as she does and his smile reflects this as he returns, "Good night, Bones."
A/N: Please leave feedback. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!