A/N: Just to explain the genre one more time: Friendship between Cam and Booth, Romance between BB. This is going to be a two shot, unless I don't get any reviews, then it will just stand alone, but right now it is planned as a two shot. I personally love the Cam/Booth friendship and think that it has been conspicuously missing this season and that there needs to be a scene between them that will help Booth open his eyes. That said, this started out as something that could have been placed in scene but every edit only made it longer. Anyway I hope you enjoy! And let me know what you think.
Cam is the first to notice the signs. Actually she is the only one to notice them, being the only one who knew him back then. She doesn't say anything at first, lets it slide for two weeks thinking that maybe, just maybe it was a one time thing. But all the signs still there two weeks later and she knows.
Hannah only confirms it when she tells her that that every Tuesday night he goes out for about an hour and a half. He doesn't tell her where he is going, ever talks about where he went when he gets home. Hannah says she knows that it's not another woman, she knows in her gut that it's not. Besides, there is only one who that she thinks would even come up as a possibility, but Temperance was with them once when he left, so she knows it's not another woman. And Seeley would never cheat on someone he was with.
Cam usually doesn't have a problem talking to Seeley, being friends for almost twenty years, there isn't much that they don't know or understand about each other. Which is why she is so hesitant now; if this was about Jared again she would have no problem. Even if it was just about the problem, she has already done it before, she knows what to say. But it is different this time, there are so many other factors, and bringing up the reasons for his problem is going to be a lot harder now.
He is at the lab un-expectantly that Tuesday. She is surprised but feels like God is giving her a sign that she needs to take this opportunity. Twenty to eight he announces that he has to leave; Dr. Brennan and the rest of the team think he just wants to go home to Hannah. He's been leaving a lot lately to go be with Hannah. Or so they think. Cam strips off her gloves and tells him that she just needs one signature before he goes. He nods and follows her into her office.
"There is no paperwork." Cam says.
"Okay, so why am I here?" Booth asks fidgeting.
"I need to talk to you."
"Does it have to be right this second? I kinda have someplace to be." Booth says. Cam folds her arms across her chest.
"I'll leave it for tomorrow only if you tell me honestly where you're going." They lock eyes for a moment; Booth can tell how serious she is. He sighs, he should have known that she would pick up on it. She was there for the worst of it.
"GA meeting." He admits quietly. Cam clenches her jaw, she knew, but the confirmation makes her both incredibly angry and incredibly sad.
"But I've got it under control Camille. I'm not gambling, but the urge to is there so I'm trying to prevent myself from doing anything." Booth explains.
"How long?" Cam asks. "And how come you won't tell Hannah the truth?"
"So almost since you've been back."
"At least you're not gambling." Cam says before sighing. She waits a moment before asking again, "And why don't you just tell Hannah the truth?" Booth doesn't say anything for a few moments. His silence answers her question effectively. And he knows this, but doesn't acknowledge it.
"The squints are probably going to be wondering why it's taking me so long to sign a paper." He says before turning around and leaving Cam standing in her office.
Another two weeks go by before Cam broaches the subject again. She knows from such a long time ago where his GA meetings are and waits for him. He never takes his car there; he doesn't want anyone to see the government plates. He spots her immediately when he walks out the door.
"Need a ride?" She asks, he doesn't say anything but gets into the car.
"Shouldn't you be home with Michelle?" He asks.
"Guilt trips aren't going to work on me Seeley. Michelle is almost eighteen and used to me working late."
"I'm parked at the Laundromat down the street." He says. Cam nods and they drive in silence to the Laundromat. He doesn't get out however and she is thankful that he is willing to at least listen to her.
"Hannah is a part of your life, a big part of your life, you guys live together. She has the right to know."
"She doesn't need to know."
"Why not?" Cam asks and again Booth is silent.
"That part of my life is in the past." Booth says finally.
"And Hannah is your present. The past always affects the present." Cam replies.
"Hannah is the present, Bones is the past. I am not going to make the same mistakes. I can't afford to make the same mistakes." Booth tries to explain. To Cam it sounds like a sad justification.
"You can't afford to make a mistake with gambling or with your heart?" She asks already knowing the truth. It would be impossible not to see the changes in him since his return. He doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve anymore, when it comes to Dr. Brennan and the team is doesn't seem like he has much heart left.
"Both. I gambled with my heart and I lost. I can't make that mistake again." Booth says, he turns to look out the window, hoping that he can blink back the sudden tears before Cam sees them. But she does.
"You took a chance on Dr. Brennan." Cam says with understanding. It definitely explains a lot. Booth nods his head.
"I took the chance because I thought it was a sure thing. I never played my hand unless I knew it was a sure thing." He sighs.
"Hannah deserves to have you really love her. I know you do, but you have so much more love that you can offer. If she really as important to you as you are trying to convince everyone that she is, then she deserves that."
"I can't. I can't. Because when I make a mistake and ruin this relationship too it won't hurt as much if I don't love her like that, if I don't trust her with everything." He looks so sad that Cam is tempted to end the conversation, buy him a drink and let him go home. Instead she perseveres.
"So you're punishing Hannah for Dr. Brennan breaking your heart?"
"No. I'm protecting myself from getting hurt like that again." He says immediately. It pains him to say it. It pains him to think it. It pains him to act in accordance with it. Cam knows this because he has spent his entire life protecting other people, making sure others never got hurt; usually ignoring his own safety. It was who he was: the White Knight in shining armor. Now he was fighting who he was to protect himself.
"You realize you sound like Dr. Brennan right." She says.
"Well Bones obviously had the right idea." Booth says miserably.
"I miss you Seeley. I miss the person you were, this person that you've become isn't the same person who's been my close friend for twenty years. And I know that everyone at the lab misses the real you too."
"I can't be that person anymore. I don't know how."
"Yes you do. It must be killing you not be too protective towards Dr. Brennan or to skip out on going to the Founding Fathers. You made it possible for us to become a family Seeley."
"You're giving me too much credit."
"I know you Seeley. This isn't you. And this isn't who you want to be."
"It's who I have to be. Survival right – you have to adapt. I'm adapting."
"I don't hide."
"Usually you don't."
"What do you want from me Camille?"
"I want you to go back to being yourself. Whether Hannah stays in the picture or not."
"I can't go back Camille. Who I was before, that person was in love with Bones. I can't be in love with Bones. It hurts too much." Booth says vehemently. Cam sighs sadly.
"Seeley, if you didn't have any feelings towards Dr. Brennan, you wouldn't still be calling her Bones." The car is eerily silent. Booth unlocks his door and jumps out without another word. Cam stays where she is parked and watches him leave. She's done all she can, now she just has to wait and see if his brain will help his battered heart catch up to reality.