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Negotiation (Double Drabble #35)
Booth Serious
only_more_love
Title: Negotiation (Double Drabble #35)
Characters:  Booth, Brennan
Series:  All That Lies Between Us
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None
Timeline:  Future
Prompt Table:  Romance
Written for:  drabble123
Prompt: #19 (Surprise)
Word Count: 200
Disclaimer:  Bones and its characters belong to FOX, not me.  This story is purely meant to entertain.  No copyright infringement is intended.

Click here for fic index.
Click here to read the other drabbles in this series.

Please note that this is a companion to Stalemate (Chapter 17).  This won't make much sense if you don't read that first.

As Booth gets ready for bed, he brushes his teeth and tries not to see the pieces of her that are scattered around his place--like the mousse sitting next to his gel. 

Though the sheets are icy when he climbs into bed, he forces his eyes closed.  He sleeps for only a few minutes at a time, and that feels worse than not sleeping at all.

When a shadow melts out of the blackness, he doesn't reach for his gun.  Three breaths later, the bed dips.  He remains still; it's her move. 

The silence nearly breaks under the weight of their words.

"I don't want to hurt you--" she finally says.

"Too late."

"--But I can't give you up either."

The words fill him with hollow satisfaction.  Why should he be the only one to want what he can't have?

"What do you want, Bones?" he asks, his voice unrecognizable.

"You."  Her answer surprises him.

"What if you can't have that?"

"Is that the case?"

Though not doing so still might cost him everything, he isn't ready to call her bluff yet.  "No."

She exhales.  "I'm...sorry."

Nothing's resolved, but he believes her.  "I know. Come here."  He opens his arms.

Author's Note: Does this seem like a copout, or can you feel the ambiguity?


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(Deleted comment)
I totally agree with highvoltage11.

I think a lot of people are quick to put their favorite ships together and have them live this happy life together, but that isn't always how life is.

As is the case with Booth and Brennan. He wants more, be that with Brennan or someone else, but he'd settle for having part of his dream, and that's Brennan.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts--and for reading this.

Beautiful reconciliation.
I think that Booth could give up part of his dreams by Brennan. Because she is his main dream, isn't she?

Besos

Life is full of compromise, isn't it? *sigh*

Thank you for reading and commenting on this, my friend.

I'll second what highvoltage11 and simplyndeep have said.

I've never liked the idea of them having a perfect relationship or a smooth time getting to that point. I'd like to think that there would be a bit of give and take on either side, but mostly I think it's Booth would would have to make the personal sacrifices to have Brennan, not the other way round. I don't think she would ever be able to give in fully to the conventional life of husband and wife, kids, the dog and the pitched fence. But Booth needs her enough to let go of those things.

I agree that they wouldn't have a smooth time of it, and there would have to be compromise between them in order for a romantic relationship to work. People change each other, too, after being together a while--sometimes in ways neither party could ever have predicted... But I think you're right that she wouldn't be happy with "the conventional life of husband and wife, kids, the dog and the pitched fence." Which doesn't mean that she couldn't be happy with something slightly different than what she believes she wants right now.

I'm sure this is going to sound awfully shallow compared to the excellent mini-essay comments everyone else has made, but I would prefer(rather paradoxically, because I am inclined towards B/B) not to see Brennan and Booth "get together" on the show, solely because what they have now(in my opinion) is their special relationship and it cannot be sustained in romantic involvement.

Then again, you should ignore that. Ships are a hope for the future, anyway. :-) This is a wonderful companion to Stalemate, though I enjoyed the first one more.

Thanks for sharing!

Your comments aren't shallow, and I appreciate your sharing them with me. :) I think they could work romantically, but there's no doubt in my mind that it would change their relationship in certain ways. As for getting together on the show, I think they could do it and still keep the show interesting, but I don't know if the writers believe that. If they don't believe it, it's likely the writing wouldn't be believable either, in which case I'd rather they NOT get together on the show.

No idea if any of that made an ounce of sense. *g*

Thanks for reading and commenting.

No, this doesn't seem like a copout - I think with the differences between them, this kind of situation is inevitable, though I prefer to think that it's not that Brennan doesn't love him, it's that she can't admit it to herself or him (because I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic).

Compromise is a part of any relationship, whether it's about minor or major things, and that's what this story suggests to me.

Oh, I agree; she loves him. But loving him and a) being aware of it and b) being able/willing/ready to verbalize and trust in that love are separate issues. ;)

Compromise is a part of any relationship, whether it's about minor or major things, and that's what this story suggests to me.

Then you have taken away exactly what I hoped people would see, Elena.

As always, thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, wore it out and gave it away to Goodwill. So yeah, completely believable.

I think these two exist in ambiguity so there is no cop out: it's one of their moments of complicity. I can't see the relationship being any more than moments. That's probably your fault; they come together in a case or an ending, but there can be no settling into routine. That would reduce them somehow into ordinary people, which neither of them is. Hope that's not to thinky for a Friday but your question prompted it. Stalemate did feel more satisfying, though I'm pleased she came back. Booth would settle for that.

Edited at 2008-02-15 08:07 pm (UTC)

Interesting that you see them that way. I don't think they're ordinary, but I also don't think they're extraordinary, if that makes sense. I think they could make a relationship work, but I don't think it would come effortlessly. Then again, I don't know of a single real relationship that does.

You know, your comment makes me want to write a really long story novel about Booth and Brennan and what happens over the course of their (hopefully) long life together--the ups and downs, the compromises, the fights, the sorrows, etc. But I don't know that I have the guts to do that.

Thanks for posting your thoughts, Sara.

Edited at 2008-03-03 05:57 pm (UTC)

nice, as always :) I like that you write so much.

Booth and Brennan have such a rocky future ahead. The balance between partners and friends is so tenuous...and romance changes that dynamic. And Booth and Brennan are so different as individuals. Blending those two lives together would be very difficult.

I agree that blending their lives would be difficult. Still, I don't think it would be impossible. But it would require a great deal of patience, compromise, and yes, love.

(Deleted comment)
I would love to see them air a similar scene, but I really, really doubt that will happen.

Totally agree with highvoltage.
Completely true ;)

And the reconciliation? It could happen :D

If they can compromise and adjust, they might have a shot at making it. If not...

Not a copout, no! Ambiguity roams free like a bunny in a meadow. The tension is so thick between them I couldn't cut it with a knife.

Ambiguity roams free like a bunny in a meadow.

*g* Great way of phrasing that sentiment.

I don't think it's necessarily a cop out. When it all comes down to it, we love the people we love whether we're married to them or not. Booth may dream of marriage and a white picket fence and all that jazz, but just because you dream of having a million bucks doesn't mean it's a cop out if you never get it. I think at the end of the day it has to be more important who you're with than what you're doing, that if you love someone and they love you back and yall are together and happy that's got to be more important than having a ring on your left hand. This life will never be perfect, not every dream will be fulfilled, but that doesn't mean it's settling if you're content with your life as it is.

Nice piece, btw. Thought-provoking. I liked it :)

Well said, Avery. Well said.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments; I enjoyed reading them.

Definitely can feel the ambiguity and tension. Nice.

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