A/N: This is not my first fic, but the first one that I've written in a timely enough manner to post. (This is post-The Daredevil in the Mold)

As you'll see in a second, I'm more of a "form not plot in the short story" person. Sorry if this bothers anyone.

I hope that someone finds something to like in this.


Sweets, by no means, is dumb.

He knows exactly what he's doing when he tells Booth that he wants to marry Daisy because he doesn't want to be 40 and unmarried.

He really shouldn't toy with people's emotions like that.

But he does, and Booth is still relatively drunk, so he accepts the unspoken challenge and gambles again.


"I can hear you. You're right here."


Now that Booth is sober, he pushes Sweets back.

His face wrinkles in amusement at Sweets's "Holy sh-moke." He's got the twelve-year-old on the run now.

Sweets backpedals rather admirably, all things considered.

Regardless, Booth decides that this is a good idea and places his bet.


He loses.

Again.


Hannah tells him that he didn't hear her.

Maybe that's true. Maybe he sabotaged the whole relationship. Maybe he's reading too much into things.

Maybe he just needs a break.


Maybe he just needs a drink.

He's not a drunk. Oh no. He learned that lesson a long time ago.

It's just easier to stare at his poker chip when alcohol is swimming through his veins.

He needs something easy.

He needs someone else to make a decision.


He can tell she wants to say the right thing.

And right now, he thinks that she could.

Unfortunately, the right thing would crush his heart.

He gives her an ultimatum: drink or leave.


Brennan does not like ultimatums, lacking control, or psychology.

But in this moment, she understands the necessity.

She'd rather go with the third option, but he's not ready for that right now.

Oh, if only she'd been ready when he was.


It's too late for regrets or changes, of course.

Maybe every choice they've made has brought them here. Maybe she should pause to take stock of each moment before it passes. Maybe she's overanalyzing this.

Maybe she needs a drink.


She drinks.

Decision made.