A/N: This is a short one shot set a few days after The Body in the Bounty (great episode!). There are spoilers through that episode but not beyond. Depending on the response, I might consider expanding this into a two or three shot.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.
Seeley Booth sat at his desk absently flipping through a file when someone burst into his office.
"Cam," he said with surprise, "Did Angela get an ID?"
"No, she's still working on the facial reconstruction."
Slightly perplexed Booth said, "Okay, so are you just visiting then?"
Cam paced for a moment before taking the seat facing Booth's desk, "Yes. No, I – what is this thing with Hannah?"
Booth looked at her wide-eyed. He suspected the direction this conversation might take, and frankly, he wasn't interested.
"What do you mean this "thing" with Hannah? She's my girlfriend, my live in girlfriend."
"Yeah, Seeley, I kind of got that when I helped her move in. I mean, when is this "make Brennan jealous" charade going to end?"
Booth stood up abruptly and growled, "There is no charade, Camille."
"Yeah, well, you could have fooled me, Booth. Since the day you got back, you've been rubbing Brennan's nose in it. I presume you are trying to show her what you and she could have had."
"Bones is my friend, that's all. Whatever might have been is in the past - that ship sailed," Booth said plopping down in his desk chair.
"Then why did you look like a lovesick puppy when she gave you a thumbs up with those ridiculous cartoon hands?"
Booth opened his mouth to speak then closed it again.
"I know you aren't the type to be careless with people's hearts, Seeley. But what you are doing to Hannah and Brennan, it isn't fair."
"It isn't fair to Bones that I love Hannah?" Booth scoffed.
"You don't love Hannah," Cam asserted, putting up a hand to stop Booth's protest, "I don't doubt that you care about her and enjoy spending time with her, but you don't love her. No one gets over someone they've been in love with for seven years in seven months, especially not you, Booth."
When Booth didn't respond, Cam continued, "I don't know what happened between you and Dr. Brennan before you went your separate ways in the spring. But we all saw the two of you that day at the airport; I've never seen two people trying so hard to keep themselves from one another."
"She said 'no'," Booth said quietly, "I asked her to give us a shot, and Bones said 'no'."
Cam looked at his sympathetically, "Did she really say no? Or did she give you a litany of excuses?"
"She said that she didn't have an open heart; that I needed protecting from her"
"Which you know isn't true," Cam stated, "What did you say?"
Booth look down at his desk, and Cam thought she saw tears welling in his eyes. The pain in her friend's eyes broke her heart. She considered turning around and pretending she'd never begun this conversation, but there was no turning back now.
"I told I her I knew, always knew from the very beginning."
"Knew what?" Cam prodded.
Booth lifted his eyes up to his friend, "That I love her!"
He pounded his fist against his desk blotter.
"That's she the one," Booth said, his voice escalating, "even though we seem all wrong for each other, she's the only goddamn one for me. That she ruined me for other women."
Booth dropped his head, and Cam approached where he stood. She her placed hand on his back.
Softly, soothingly, Cam asked, "Did you tell her that? Did you tell her you love her?"
Booth's eyes widened. He had gone over the conversation a thousand times in his head, yet he'd never realized. He hadn't told Bones he loves her.
"No, I didn't."
"She needs to hear it, Seeley."
Booth shook his head, "Does it really matter? Bones already said she doesn't want to be with me."
"But she was with you, Booth. All the time for six years. You and Brennan spent more time together than most married couples."
"I know that, Cam, but Bones doesn't want to be with me the way Hannah is with me."
Cam shook her head dismissively, "Did you really expect Dr. Brennan to jump at the chance for a romantic relationship with one of the few people in her life that she couldn't imagine losing?"
Booth raked his hand through his hard. He knew Cam had a point, a good point.
"She came back for you," Cam stated.
Booth laughed wryly, "No, she didn't, Cam. As a matter of fact, she came back for you."
"Bones didn't even bother to call me for seven months," Booth added sadly.
"Well, I am not condoning that. But, my, um, predicament only brought her back to the States. Dr. Brennan chose to stay, to go back to the life she'd run away to Indonesia to escape from, for you, Booth."
"No, she didn't. Bones decided that this was 'the best way to allocate her considerable talent' or something like that."
Cam chuckled. Yeah, that sounded like Dr. Brennan. At first, that was all she'd seen her as – an egotistical, socially awkward lab rat. Now, four years later, she counted Brennan among her closest friends.
"When I first came to the Jeffersonian, I asked you why Dr. Brennan hadn't confronted me about getting the job. Do you remember what you told me?"
"Could we reminisce some other time, Cam?" Booth asked with a heavy sigh.
Ignoring his remark, Cam recited, "You said, 'Have you seen how she stares at human remains before she makes a decision? You're human remains, and she hasn't made a decision yet."
Booth smiled, "Yeah, I remember."
"Yeah, well, this time you were the human remains, Seeley. Doctor Brennan spent seven months making a decision about you."
Booth furrowed his brow, his interest piqued.
Cam looked him directly in the eyes and said, "It's like that saying, 'If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were.'."
"Brennan returned to you. Now, she is waiting to see if you do the same."