A/N: This was sort of based on a couple of horrible one-shots that I wrote a couple years ago. Hopefully this is better than that crap. I would like to thank the beautiful and amazing VegasGoddess for reading this and quelling all of my insecure fears. Please be kind, I haven't written anything in quite a while. I now present to you, Push. Thank you.


When she opened the door, she was greeted by his strong and sturdy 6"1 frame leaning against her door frame. Upon hearing the door, he looked and their eyes met. It was a long moment of silence, and a silent look of understanding. Temperance took a step to the left to allow him entrance into her home. She shut the door behind him and walked to the kitchen, where she found two glasses and a bottle of scotch. He found a chair, his favorite chair, and took a seat. She sat kitty cornered to him and poured three fingers in each glass. Grabbing hers, she lifts it towards him and says quietly, "Na zdorovje," and easily drained her glass. This small remembrance of drinks past was almost a whisper, but it was a sentiment seconded by the man sitting across from her. A small spark in his eyes told her that he remembered, and showed that he cared. Or at least that's what she read in his gaze. Picking up the bottle, she poured again, three fingers in each glass. This time she lifted the glass to her lips without raising it. She was drinking fast, almost too fast, and she knew that she should slow down. He watched her drink, watched her savor the slow burn as the liquid made its way down her throat. She sighed and closed her eyes, aggravated by the day, angry with herself, frustrated by the man sitting across from her, and just plain tired. It was a general tiredness that seemed never ending. Sitting up in her chair, she poured herself another drink, looked at him, and sipped slowly this time. Looking up at him, he sees just how tired she is. The weariness in her eyes was unmistakable, and she looks older than her mere 35 years. He put his glass down, sat forward and grabbed her hands. He looked at her and after a few long moments, he spoke.

"You know you don't have to be the strong one all the time, you've been doing that for twenty years. Every now and then you can let someone else take the lead, let them get close to you. You don't have to push people away anymore. I think you should know that we're all here. We're a family, slightly dysfunctional sure, but we're your family. I know I've done things, so many things, which have given you every right to hate me, or I've done things that have made you want to run, but I am so sorry." She looked up at him with tear filled eyes, trying so hard not to cry. She really hated crying. Sniffling back tears and swallowing the lump that had grown so large in her throat, she said,

"I don't know how. Before I met you, I didn't need anyone. I never wanted help, and I didn't think I needed it. Then you popped up, and in all your stupid alpha male glory, you showed what it felt like to be taken care of. Then as soon as I start to get used to having you around, you go and you just ruin it. I always knew that having someone around would just hurt, and you proved my hypothesis right. This is killing me. I hurt, for no reason, and I don't know what it means. There are days when I just hate you, and all I want is to see you hurting as much as I do. I know it's a horrible thing to say, and I don't know why I feel this way but I do." This last part came in a rapid fire succession, and it stunned him. The damn had broken, and she was falling apart. He moved quickly to hold her, but she pushed away just as swiftly. "NO! You do not get to do that. You hurt me Booth, and I don't know if I can just forget that. Right now I want you to hold me, to tell me that everything will be okay, even if I know it won't, but I just can't do that." She choked down a sob, turned to him and said, "I think you should leave. Right now." He looked at her, stunned by this confession and her rejection of his affection.

"I'm not going to leave. I'm here now Temperance, and I'm not leaving." He moved to her now, more quickly than last time, and grabbed her, despite her objections. He held her close and tightly, not daring to let her go, in case he never got her back. After a while, he felt her stop struggling, and he looked down at her. "I love you Temperance, and I will not leave you. Not again. It hurts me to see you like this, and it kills me to know that I caused this pain. I am so sorry that I hurt, but if I can promise you one thing, I promise that this will never happen again, never. I love you, and I will always love you. Please just let me show you." She looked at him with wide, wet eyes. He could see the pain her eyes, and the hurt etched on her face. She sat back in her chair and finally spoke.

"I love you too, so much that it hurts. It is literally painful for me to see you every day, knowing that you don't want a relationship, at least not with me. You "drew the line in the sand" and I knew that nothing would happen. You being here and telling me that you want this, and that scares me more than anything. If you hurt me again, I don't think could ever forgive you. I need you promise me, like you would promise Parker, that you won't hurt me like this again. If you do, I don't know. I really don't." Booth looked at her, and he saw how deadly serious she was. As a tear came to his eye he told her, "I will never hurt you again. I'm sorry that I was so stupid. That whole line bit was just ridiculous. I've loved you for so long, and I can't stand to be away from you. I love you Temperance, and I will for as long as I live. That is one thing I can promise you, no matter what." She sat, stunned for a moment, then got up and moved towards him. Stepping into him, and feeling his arms wrap around her, she leaned up and whispered, with a smile, "My father is a criminal, and he will hurt you."

FIN