I'm back! I lost my notebook, so I had to recreate this. Oh well!
She's been quiet since the Johnson's. I watch her toy with her tofu and broccoli as I chow down on my Kung Chow Chicken. We've never eaten here before. Usually we'd be at Wong Foo's, but this was close by and we were both starving.
"Penny for your thoughts, Bones"
Immediately, her head snaps up.
"My thoughts are worth far more than a penny, Booth."
I bite back a smile. Sometimes it's good that she's so predictable.
At least I know what can get her attention when I want it.
"It's just an expression. It means I'd like to know what you're thinking about."
"Well, why didn't you just as - "
"- What are you thinking about, Bones?"
She pauses, and looks down a moment.
"The Johnson case."
"What about it?"
"Mr. Johnson was sad, but -"
"Well, he did just find out -"
"Will you let me finish my damn sentence!"
I think both of us are surprised at her outburst. She's wide-eyed, as if she can't believe what came out of her mouth.
"I'm sorry, Booth! I didn't mean -"
"It's okay, Bones."
After the initial shock, little blips of memory flash through my mind. Times of cutting her off, rolling my eyes at her squint speak. She usually would keep talking. I never thought she even noticed those things. Of course, I hadn't thought she'd been sad about Hannanh either. I reach across the table to touch her hand.
"I should have let you finish.
We both know my apology isn't just about now. The memories continue to flash and I feel my face turn hot with shame. I hadn't been just impatient, I'd been mean, trying to make her seem less necessary. No wonder she doubts that I love her. Jesus, how is she even sitting across from me?
â€śI should always let you finish, I mean, you're the genius, Bones, and, more important, my partner, and best friend. You, of all people, you are more than worth listening to. I'm sorry I cut you off."
I'm falling into the blue of her eyes as they mist over.
"I know I'm worth listening to, Booth. It's just that, well sometimes I know I can't seem to find the language that 99% of the population understands - which can definitely be a handicap."
Handicap? Sure, she can be difficult to follow sometimes, but a handicap. My Bones is NOT handicap and if I've made her feel -
Her quiet voice breaks through my frantic thoughts and I look up ready to explain how I never want her to feel that way. However, I notice a sparkle in her eyes, and a tiny smile on her lips...no way.
"Temperance Brennan, was that a joke"
Her smiles blooms wider as she gives a small nod.
"I got you."
I can't help it - I laugh aloud - as much from her forgiveness as the joke itself.
â€śThat was very funny!â€ť
Bones giggles. Bones giggles and I am grinning.
â€śOK, Ms. Comedian, you gonna finish telling me about Mr. Johnson?â€ť
I watch her face go from relaxed to pensive. Then she sighs.
â€śHe was sad, but he was scared - his face lost color. I thought it was odd, but then I realized he was looking at his wife. He was scared for her.... He let her hit him, Booth. He put aside his own grief to take on hers.â€ť
She stops talking and looks at me expectantly, after everything, she still thinks I have all the answers when it comes to people... I donâ€™t, but I can answer this one.
â€śHe loves her, Bones.â€ť
â€śBut...itâ€™s his son, Booth, his only son, an Alpha Male's pride and heritage. You would -â€ť
â€ś - Donâ€™t go there, Bones. Donâ€™t even say it.â€ť
â€śI wonâ€™t. I just...how can he love his wife more than his son?â€ť
â€śThey arenâ€™t the same kind of love, Bones.â€ť
â€śHis son is dead, Booth. He will never see him again, hear his voice, watch him play baseball, or hold his first child. His wife is alive and here. How is her grief so much more important that his loss? I donâ€™t understand!â€ť
Okay, Iâ€™m stunned. Bones is seriously upset and frustrated about this. I need to give it some deeper thought. If something did - God forbid - happen to Parker - would I be comforting Rebecca? We certainly arenâ€™t anywhere near being in love, but Parker is from when we were. How would I feel? Devastated, certainly. I couldnâ€™t hide that.
Iâ€™ve seen the death of child tear long-standing couples apart, as well as draw them closer...but Rebecca and I arenâ€™t a couple. I try imagining if Bones and I...
â€śIâ€™m sorry, Booth. I didnâ€™t mean to make you sad.â€ť
â€śYou arenâ€™t. Iâ€™m just trying to think of how to answer this.â€ť
I glance up at her serious baby-blues. Amazing that for things like this she still trusts me for the answers. Maybe she shouldnâ€™t.
â€śI think every situation is different, Bones. A child, is a usually a symbol of the love youâ€™ve shared with someone else.â€ť
â€śHey, I get to finish my sentences, too.â€ť
I hide my grin as she looks properly chastened. No need to let her know itâ€™s not that big a deal.
â€śIâ€™m sorry, Booth. Youâ€™re right. Please continue.â€ť
â€śWhen it is a situation where loveâ€™s involved, thereâ€™s no escaping the fact that when you look at that child, you remember that love. Even if it no longer exists. Maybe, he holds her to remember that the love is still here, even though the symbol is gone.â€ť
In can see she is trying to process this, but then she stops and looks up at me.
â€śI love Parker because heâ€™s your son. However, even if he was not, I love him for his charm and intelligence, his big metaphorical heart, which I believe heâ€™s inherited from you - by nature or nurture. I love him for his trust in me, and the times weâ€™ve spent together - with or without you.â€ť
Whoa. Was not expecting that. Sometimes gifts from Heaven come very unexpectedly. I mean, I had to coax Hannah into meeting Parker. Just another sign of the kind of idiot Iâ€™ve been.
â€śParks loves you, too, Bones.â€ť
I can barely get the words out, Iâ€™m choking on emotions I am not ready to process yet. Itâ€™s been a heavily emotional day already.
There's no smugness in her reply, none of her usual bravado. She's got this soft smile on her face and she is, for a moment, lost in her own thoughts. My Bones is getting more intuitive about emotions.
"How do you know?"
She blinks and hits me with that, "isn't that obvious" look of hers.
"He told me."
More unexpected information. My son, unlike his father, is apparently smart enough to know that you have to be direct with Bones. I nod.
"Yeah, well, just in case you'd forgotten."
She gives me another patented Bones look. It's the coy and amused one that's always made me hot and bothered. I wonder if she knows how it makes me want to grab her from across the table and kiss her so deeply it's like making love with our mouths.
I take a deep breath. I know I won't be kissing her again for a while, weeks, maybe months. Not until she can really trust us. Not until she can really believe that the love I feel and have felt isn't ephemeral. It didn't disappear in less than a year, or transfer to someone else. I need for her to understand what I've only just figured out today; great sex doesn't mean love. I can't believe how long I've thought otherwise. Me, the guy who's scorned sex for making love, has probably been calling straight up sex "making love" for large chunks of my life. Must be my Catholic upbringing. I need to have a talk with Father O'Malley about this.
"Do you think she knows?"
"Mrs. Johnson? Knows what?"
"That he is ignoring his own grief to deal with hers?"
Where is this coming from?
"She's in her own grief, Bones. Probably not."
She looks down for a moment and then looks up with me with suddenly fierce eyes.
"Don't ever do that for me...I know I am not the best at gauging others emotional responses. Although I am more adept at it with you, my skill is mediocre at best."
"- I would not want you to hide your sadness or grief from me, even if I were sad myself. I want to know what you feel when you feel it, but sometimes the only way I can know is if you tell me. It would make me very sad to know you were in emotional pain and not sharing it with me. It hurts to think of you being sad and alone....Although seeing you with Hannah has been painful for me, I was happy that you had someone in Afghanistan. I was glad to know you did not have to go through that by yourself."
I am speechless as she blurts all this out. I don't think I can take much more of these revelations tonight. As for Hannah, I hate the very sound of her name.
"I don't want to talk about her, Bones. She was a mistake."
"No, Booth, she -"
Shit, I didn't mean to be so sharp. However, Bones isn't about to back down.
"She's what you needed under the circumstances, Booth!"
Fuck. She's right. Of course.
"I didn't mean to snap at you, Bones."
"I didnâ€™t see you snap?"
With just that one look of utter confusion on her face, the tension drains out of me. God, I love her.
"It means I didn't mean to get angry."
"Well, yes, no one does. It just happens. Emotions are an unpredictable variable."
"I don't want to talk about Hannah."
"I see that. It makes you angry. I don't understand why, but, I am glad you expressed that it does.... I don't want to hurt you Booth, so I need you to tell me if I am. Or if something makes you sad, or if something I'm doing is something you would rather I didn't...I need the words, Booth. I wish I were more like you or Angela in that regard. You understand feelings without being told. I, I'm not like that."
"I love you."
She blinks, clearly not understanding why I am saying that.
"You said you needed the words to understand my feelings. I love you."
I laugh. Her cheeks are turning pink and she is completely exasperated with me."
"I just - don't ever treat me the way he's treating her or I will kick your ass!"
I nod, trying to keep a straight face.
"I promise, Bones.â€ť
She is staring me down. We grin at the same time. She looks down at her plate to spear a piece of tofu before looking up beneath her lashes,and that coy little smile is on her face again.
I smile back, because right now, everything is just that.