Characters, Pairings: Bones, Booth/Bones
Warnings: So it's been about a year and a half since I was really a part of the Bones fandom. I've barely even been watching the show this season. I used to be absolutely obsessed with it--like, as obsessed or possibly even more obsessed than I am with Doctor Who right now--but I only ever dipped my toe into fic-writing. I apologize if what I've written isn't totally relevant to what's going on in the show right now!
Notes: Written for tasty_kate, who suggested "...Bone's POV rationalizing how she is not attracted to Booth, but then talks her self round in a circle (maybe unconsciously using reverse psychology) and ends up at the end with the conclusion that she has no other choice other than to love Booth because of reasons X, Y, and Z." I didn't expect to love this idea so much but as soon as I sat down to write it the words just really came to me so I hope it's okay that it got much longer than a drabble!
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"I think maybe you should stick to your strong suits," the English teachers alway said. And by "strong suits," they meant Math and Science.
She'd never been good at poems. She always got them back with notes in the margins like, "You sound like you're solving an equation;" "Yes, but how did it feel?" and "Perhaps you'd best leave the quantum physics to your fifth period. Science does not belong in poetry."
(Well...there'd been one teacher--Mrs. Hannigan, her name was--in ninth grade, who'd pulled Temperance aside after class and said, "You're drawn to science, aren't you?" That much was obvious. "Why don't you take something like string theory," said Mrs. Hannigan slowly, patronizingly, "and turn it into philosophy? What if we're all made of tiny strings, held up by them, like puppets, almost? What can you take from that?" Temperance blinked at her, and answered, "I take from it that you do not know much about string theory at all." She got a D in the class, and dropped all English courses as soon as she reached college.)
But essays. Essays she could do. (Especially the heavily structural kind. Structure was kind of her thing.)
They were simple, really, when you came down to it. Formulaic. Like science, only instead of v=d/t, it was:
¶1: Introduction and thesis statement
¶2: First topic sentence and supporting evidence
¶3: Second topic sentence and supporting evidence
¶4: Third topic sentence and supporting evidence
And that's how she's found herself here, despite all the C's and D's and F's and "Please explain what x = 1/(a-b) *[±arcsec(k-1) + 2n has to do with the nature of human jealousy" scattered across the whole of her English career, writing an essay.
The title was "Why I Cannot Love Seeley Joseph Booth." (She was never one to beat around the bush.)
Her thesis may not have been eloquent, but it was simple enough: "I cannot, will not, and must not love Special Agent Seeley Booth for the following three reasons." The three reasons were, naturally, the topic sentences of her three body paragraphs, and they went as follows:
1) It would wholly and completely tear apart our relationship, leaving us the vast responsibility of rebuilding it brick by brick.
Obviously this would not do. Theirs was a friendship years in the making, built on a basis of trust and mutual dependence. (A dependence Sweets deemed unhealthy for two people in their respective positions, but never mind him. He wasn't even a psychiatrist!) Their dependence on each other was so overwhelmingly strong for a reason. Each was the only one the other could count on not to get hurt by. They cared for each other quietly, unobtrusively, platonically, so as not to cause a fuss and/or stir up thoughts and emotions and other things that led to trouble. It had always been that way. That was the rule. Temperance liked rules.
But this--this--would entirely sacrifice everything they'd worked up to, every facet of trustworthiness, of dependability, of friendship. Where would she be then? It'd been so long since she'd gone without it, that friendship, and she'd been so different then--how was she supposed to live without that constant in her life: that Booth was her friend? How was she supposed to step out into the open, totally naked, and start again?
(Temperance knows that in a persuasive essay one is supposed to present an opposing viewpoint with which to argue against. She tries to skip this step, but she's never been very good at breaking rules.)
So, on the other hand--(That phrase. That damn indecisive phrase. Temperance hated indecision. Fuck, that was why she was writing this essay!)--on the other hand, "start again." Start again. Those two words didn't always have negative connotations, did they? Well, yes, sure, there was "My computer crashed and I lost my entire thesis paper so now I've got to start again." That was negative. But there was also...the other meaning. "We're moving to New York as a family to start again." "I'm starting again by opening a new restaurant on Fifth." "After I got over my whole gambling thing, I felt...fresh and--and new. I remember it was just the best feeling, like I was a brand new man, like...like I could start again." (Oh. Well. That one she'd ripped off Booth, she supposed.) Temperance could begin to see the positive allusions in the phrase, the phoenix rising and what not. (Although...she'd never fully understood the wide appeal of that metaphor, what with it being biologically impossible and all.) Starting again. A blank slate. A new beginning. Rebuilding something a different [a better] way. Hm.
Anyways, moving on to
2) He is my partner.
Although she'd already addressed the harmful effects of tearing down their friendship, Temperance was now going to consider the ramifications her hypothetical situation would impose on their professional relationship. First off, they were FBI partners of sorts, and she was pretty sure there was a rule against that somewhere. (A rule that was, admittedly, unenforced and followed by no one, but a rule nonetheless, and thus meant to be kept by Temperance Brennan.) Secondly, any sort of...romantic entanglement between the two of them would greatly impede their work. They had to maintain the level of professionalism and focus they kept so well. They shouldn't be talking about their double date friends' impeding parenthood while hovering over a dead body! What kind of shoddy workmanship would that be? Surely a...romantic entanglement would ensure such frivolous and unacceptable exchanges while on the job (at least those that weren't being had already).
And apart from that, how would this affect their friends at work? They all worked in the same facility, more or less. Distance and objectiveness were required in the workplace, especially one such as the Jeffersonian. What sort of nonsense would come about were there to be introduced a couple into the work dynamic? A couple would change everything, surely! Angela and Hodgins would never approve.
And yet...on the other hand...(There she goes, using that damn phrase again)
He is her partner. Her partner. Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan did not exactly have the easiest job. They had seen death, and torture, and tragedy, darkness beyond measure, and they'd seen it every day. Every morning they each woke knowing they would see the unspeakable as surely as they knew the sun would rise or the stars would fall eventually. And they did. They saw it.
And they saw it together.
No one on earth would ever be able to know of the great and the terrible as Temperance Brennan did, and no one would be there when all the faces of the dead finally bled through the boxes in her brain, and no one would know what was wrong when she woke with a start some nights, dreaming she was locked in a car buried far beneath the ground like a pre-mortem grave, gravel seeping in through the windows. No one.
Except one person. And that person's title was nothing less fit than her partner.
The third and final reason was the one she feared most. Because of all the great and terrible things on earth, of all the death and sorrow and torture and pain, what frightened Temperance Brennan the most was that which she did not understand.
3) I do not know how [to love].
Maybe she hadn't been trying hard enough. Maybe that was why she'd failed at every attempt. Maybe she'd been given the wrong idea, and had unwittingly been doing it wrong from the first. Maybe she was afraid. (Now that one Sweets would have a field day with.) But the most probable answer to her was that she was confused. She was lost. She did not understand how to love, which led her to no other conclusion than that there was something wrong with her. She couldn't do it. She didn't know the rules. How was she supposed to love him if she didn't know the rules?
And Dr. Brennan knows that in situations wherein one is not satisfactorily educated, one must be taught. By a teacher. Preferably not Mrs. Hannigan.
Temperance thinks she knows a good one.
* * *
All this essay-writing has left her tired. But at least it's gotten her to her desired destination: a conclusion. A solid, trustworthy, dependable conclusion.
In conclusion, she wrote, her fingers flying at the speed of light over her laptop keys (That, of course, was hyperbole. See? She was already getting better at this writing thing!), it is my inevitable duty to love FBI Special Agent Seeley J. Booth for the following three reasons:
1) Because it will tear apart our relationship, leaving us the vast responsibility of rebuilding it brick by brick.
2) Because he is my partner.
3) Because I do not know how.
Essays. Essays she could do.