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Bones fic: Come Undone (2/?)
L'ecrivez
only_more_love
Title: Come Undone (2/?)
Chapter: 2/? [WIP]
Characters: Brennan, Booth
Rating: R (rating is for some language and adult themes.)
Summary: Where does Booth go on a night when his job feels like too much? Story set in season 3. Possible spoilers through 3x6.
Warning:  This story is rated R because of some adult themes, mild profanity, and some potentially difficult emotional content. 
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 index of all fics.
Chapter 1

Author's Note: As always, thank you to to all readers, commenters, and lurkers. This story has been particularly difficult to write. If you have the time to leave a comment after reading this, I'd be much obliged. :) I...can't decide if I hate this chapter.

Does anyone know where I can find a beta? I'm considering writing something a bit darker, and I wonder if I'd benefit from bouncing some ideas, etc. off someone else.

Chapter 2: Fail with consequence, lose with eloquence.

”I don’t know." His eyes focused everywhere but on her, and the urge to grasp his chin and make him look her in the eye flashed through her with such power that her hands curled into fists.

"Don't lie to me." Temperance realized her lips were trembling and clamped her jaw shut.

"I...I don't know why I came here." He shook his head and turned away from her, shoulders bowed like Atlas. "I'm sorry I bothered you."

"Fuck you, Booth. I never took you for a coward." The words were out, and she couldn't take them back.

Booth's back stiffened and his head came up. "I'm not a coward."

"Then tell me the truth. You came here for a reason, and I want to know what it is. Please." There was a pleading note in her voice, and she hated herself for it — and Booth for putting it there.

Slowly, he turned to face her. "All right. I came here because I needed to see you. Because I thought you would understand. Because—"

“I do,” she said, unable to resist interrupting. "Or at least I'm trying," she amended.

“—I can breathe a little easier when I’m with you.”

The words trembled in the air between them, alive and nearly corporeal.

"But I know it was a mistake."

"What? Coming here tonight or kissing me back?"

"Both."

"Why?"

"Look," he said with a sigh, "I wasn't thinking clearly." Temperance knew it wasn't rational, but Booth's words turned her stomach to ice. Still, she willed herself to ignore the cold and plow forward. She would not back down.

"Oh, I understand now. You only kissed me back because you weren't thinking clearly. Stupid me for thinking that something was happening here, between us."

"But it can't happen, Bones. Don't you see that?"

"Obviously, I'm not your type," she said, continuing as if she hadn't heard him, the ice melting as her gut began to burn. "Not blond. Not as good with people as I am with bones." She swallowed the lump in her throat and forced out the next words. "Perhaps just not good enough for you."

"No." One word — a bullet. Booth began to pace, hands on his hips, holding back a phantom suit jacket — a gesture so familiar it made her ache. "No, that's not it at all. Bones, you're plenty good enough. That's the problem. You're too good."

"What does that mean?" For a moment, she wished for their easy banter, for Booth's smug smile and laughing eyes and the crackling retorts that always sprang so easily to her lips. But there was no ease in this. Nothing familiar but the man standing in front of her. She had crossed the line by kissing him, but she'd done it without a map. Now she had no idea where to go next.

"Look at me," he said, and she did. He ceased moving, arms spread wide, and laughed humorlessly. "I'm a mess. An addict. Fifty kills to atone for. You've seen my x-rays. I'm broken, Bones. You know where and you know why."

Broken? He was no more broken than anyone else.

She stared at him, and it hurt her to see the self-loathing distorting his familiar features. How could eyes that saw so much in others, ferreting out secrets and lies, be so blind?

Yes, the x-rays had shown her the ghostly evidence of the fractures in his feet and the scarring that revealed he'd been injured while trying to shield someone. That was Booth — always trying to shield someone from something. But who shielded him?

Her lips twisted and her throat felt heavy with the need to speak the right words — the ones he needed to hear in order to understand. "More often than not, fractures heal. It's a natural, if sometimes painful and imperfect process." She hesitated, silently debating whether or not to tell him. The answer presented itself when she remembered Booth's long ago declaration that partners shared things. He'd shared with her tonight, telling her about Tom Gallagher. She could certainly try to do the same. She realized with a pang then how much he already knew — about her dysfunctional family, her passwords, and even the awkward, gawky girl who'd wanted to take dance lessons.

"I traveled to El Salvador several years ago in order to perform identifications at mass graves. I was in a tent near one of the sites, working on the remains of a young girl who'd been shot in the head and then dumped in a well. A police officer, possibly a soldier, showed up. I assumed he was sent to guard me, but he told me to stop. I refused, so he called in two other men. They bound my hands and feet, put a bag over my head, and dumped me in a cell with a dirt floor and no windows—"

"God," he said, scrubbing his hands over his face. "Just...I'm sorry, Bones. I didn't know."

She held up a hand, stalling him. If she paused too long, the words would die in her throat. "Let me finish. They held me captive for three days. Three days that felt like more than a week. He told me that he would kill me and toss me in a well, so no one would ever know who I was or what had happened to me." The irony had not been lost on her. She raised her gaze to meet his, determined not to flinch. The truth was the truth was the truth — and it could not be changed. "He raped me, Booth," she said, voice steady even if her hands were not. They shook, opening and closing as if scrabbling for something to hold onto.

No one had heard those words from her before. No one, save the doctors. Not even Angela knew the details of what had happened in El Salvador.

She hadn't uttered the words before.

The writer in her understood the power of words.

It hit her then, how much motion there was in Booth, even when he appeared still. It was something he had taught her, through countless interrogations, even though she hadn't yet mastered the lesson — how to read the stories the body, the face, the breath, and the voice could tell. His inhalation sounded sharp enough to cut glass. Eyes wide, bottomless, dark, as if immune to the light in the room. Shadows limning the crescents under his eyes. Concern, scored into the lines in his forehead. Pain, carved into the parentheses around the axis of his mouth.

Pain?

"That's when I learned that sex can be used as a weapon. But I survived, Booth. So you see, things break, but they heal, too."

Booth moved closer, taking her empty, grasping hands in his. The touch completed the circuit, sending a jolt through her. Did he feel it too? His fathomless eyes traveled the contours of her face as if seeing her for the first time. Perhaps trying to read the story there.

"I'm sorry. I wish you didn't have to go through that." He squeezed her hands and held her gaze without blinking. It was so like him, to provide comfort when she should be comforting him.

It occurred to her then that maybe she shouldn't have told him. There were complex rules that governed social interaction, rules that, to her great frustration, could not be found in any text. Maybe she'd broken one of them with her revelation. She had only sought to make a point, to share something the way he had. She hadn't wanted to turn the focus to her issues, didn't want to be just one more thing for which he felt responsible. "We hadn't even met yet, Booth. There's nothing you could have done."

"I'd kill him if I could." Temperance saw the truth of it in his eyes, heard the conviction in his voice.

"I know. So would I." She searched his eyes and concentrated on the sensation of his skin against hers, feeling it in every bone, muscle, and tendon, knowing it might be all she would ever have of him. Wanting it, it and something more, even though she hadn't realized it until he appeared at her door, with rain his hair and despair in his eyes.

"You know, I have my own list. Granted, there is only one name on there right now — Gil Lappin." Her recognition that Booth was right about them all ending up a pile of bones gave her the courage to continue, even as the breath caught in her throat and her pulse pounded in her ears. "I would shoot him a hundred times if it meant saving you." The hyperbole caused heat to steal over her cheeks.

His grip tightened, and she felt the bones in his hands flex. "I don't want that for you," he said, and she knew he meant it, knew that he understood, better than all of them, what it cost to take a life.

"I know."

He dropped her hands and stepped back, shaking his head and making her want to shake him. "You know what my job is like, Bones. You know how dangerous it is. You deserve better."

"You don't get to make that decision for me. I'm a grown woman, Booth. It's not your job to protect me from you." Thanks to her martial arts training, Temperance knew just how to break Booth's nose with a palm strike. But she was beginning to realize not everything could be accomplished with force, and she couldn't force Booth to step back over that invisible yet very real line.

"You're wrong. It is my job to protect you."

The memory came to her in a flash. Bedtime... Her parents taking turns reading her the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella. In that version, the stepmother had forced her daughters to cut off pieces of their feet so they would be able to fit into the gold slipper the prince had managed to capture.

She wasn't Cinderella, and if Booth wanted her to wear the gold slipper of their old relationship, she would have to cut off a part of herself to do it.

Could she do that?

All at once she felt very tired. With the fatigue came a creeping sense of shame. Booth anchored her when circumstance threatened to buffet her every which way. Clearly it was asking too much to think she could do the same for him. He'd come to her seeking comfort; she understood that much. And she'd kissed him, further tangling things when she should have brought clarity. How could she have thought that was the right thing to do? Worse still, she'd kept him there when he wanted to leave. It had been selfish, and she had no right, she acknowledged. They were partners. That was all. Partners didn't have that kind of claim over one another.

She turned and walked toward the couch. She sank down on one end, near the armrest, and folded her legs, hugging her knees to her chest. "When our partnership began, my most meaningful relationships were with dead people. That was three years ago. I like to think that's no longer the case."

"It's not." The rough timbre of his voice made her close her eyes.

"Due in no small part to you, Booth."

He didn't respond, and his silence filled her with numbness. No more ice, no more fire. Only numbness.

She couldn't look at him. "I'm...sorry I didn't know the right thing to do. The right thing to say. If you'd like to leave now, I won't stop you. But if it's all right with you, I'd like to forget all this." The words caught in her throat, their razor edges making her bleed as she spoke them.

The floor creaked as he walked toward her, his bare feet nearly soundless. "You did the right thing, Bones." He sighed. "I don't want to leave." Though her eyes were still closed, she felt the heat emanating from his body as he came to stand next to her. "And I don't think I can forget this." His fingers whispered over her hair, drawing a shiver from her. "Don't think I want to. Is that really what you want? To forget?"

Temperance let her head tilt to the left so that it rested against Booth's hip. She opened her eyes. "No."



I recently found your fic and check daily to see updates. I think this may be the first time commenting however as I do not do that very often. You have an excellent ear for their voices and for the canon of the characters. I am amazed at the variety of fics you have going simultaneously - and yet, each one has its own flavor, its own tale. Keep it up!
As to beta needs, I would be happy to assist you if you want - I have done that often in other fandoms and enjoy helping good writers develop their skills. Your choice, but do not hesitate if you want to ry.

Thank you. I write because I need to, but I've started posting in the hope that I can entertain and possibly touch someone else. I've always loved to read; I know how much meaning a well-told tale can have. The fact that you've enjoyed my stories enough to check for updates means a lot to me. :) So thank you for delurking.

You have an excellent ear for their voices and for the canon of the characters.

Thanks. It's important to me that they sound and seem in character, even as I have them do things they're clearly not doing on the show. It's a fine line to walk, and I know not everyone will agree with my choices.

I am amazed at the variety of fics you have going simultaneously - and yet, each one has its own flavor, its own tale.

Your comment made me smile. They are kind of different from each other, aren't they? I think it's because I try to write what I want to read, and I like to read different kinds of stories.

Re: the beta issue, thank you very much for the offer. Surprisingly, a lot of people have responded to my request. I have no idea what I'm going to do yet, but I will certainly keep your offer in mind. I appreciate your willingness to help. At present, I don't have anything written that I want someone to look at. I have a vague idea for a story rolling around in my brain, but I don't know if it makes sense to write it or even if I CAN write it well. And then there are characterization and structure questions. I thought it might help to have a sounding board or boards. Not that I'm arrogant enough to believe my actual writing wouldn't benefit from another pair of eyes. If I take on this story, I know I'll want to have someone else take a look at it before I make an ass of myself.

Sorry for the long reply, but your comments made me think -- always a good thing. :) Thanks again for delurking and for offering to beta.

I NEVER go to ff.net, but did so today, and found this posted there. :-)

I've got the seatbelt buckled, and am in for the ride. :-)

I don't blame you for not visiting Fanfiction.net more often; it is sometimes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I've got the seatbelt buckled, and am in for the ride. :-)

What makes you think you'll need a seatbelt? *g*


(Deleted comment)
You owe me nothing. Comment if and when you have time and feel inclined to do so. :)

My favorite thing about your writing is the details and how you open up their minds for the reader.

Thank you!

And thanks for pointing out your favorite lines. I liked those, too. Poor Booth.

Can i tell you how amazing this fic is?!? The vulnerability you've written is so touching and the description... 'I dont want to leave' No booth of course you dont! lol! great chapter :D

Can i tell you how amazing this fic is?!?

You can tell me, and I'll accept your kind comment with many, many thanks. :)

The vulnerability you've written is so touching and the description...

Thank you, Deira. I've had some doubts about this fic, so your comments are truly encouraging.

Thanks again for taking the time to let me know what you thought of this update; I appreciate it.

You can find me, if you want a beta. I can e-mail my references. :)

Okay, I will admit to having no time at the moment -- I haven't read this chapter yet, but I'll rectify that as soon as possible.

Okay, now I'm capable of coherent feedback. And ... wow. I normally like to go through and pick out a favorite line or passage, and you've made that nearly impossible here. (Because it's all so good, in case that wasn't clear. :)

I keep going back to the paragraph where Brennan's watching Booth, right after she's told him. Her observations there - your observations there - are just beautifully written.

You did a lot with this chapter, and I think you know I'll be eagerly waiting to see what comes next.

Loved this! There isn't enough good Bones/Booth fic and you write them so well. Wonderful job!

Thanks so much. I love them both, so it makes me very happy when someone thinks I've written them well. :)

This is just so powerful. I love Brennan feeling her way her, trying to figure out how to comment with Booth, worried that she's only making matters worse. You've really caught their complicated emotions here.

Thank you. "Complicated emotions" sums it up perfectly.

Brennan may not always know how to deal with her feelings in a healthy and functional way, but I don't doubt that she has them -- especially when it comes to Booth.

wow.
unexpected reactions from both Brennan and Booth. You really surprised me with this two first chapters. for good.

i finished reading the first one and i was like "and now what?" hahaha and while i was reading the second one i should have got a camera to record all the faces i was making.

nice. very nice. :)

You really surprised me with this two first chapters.

You and me both. :)

hahaha and while i was reading the second one i should have got a camera to record all the faces i was making.

That's very funny. I wish I had seen your expressions.

As always, thanks for sharing your reactions with me.

I've been kinda/sorta beta'ing for Seralis on a huge fic she's been working on. So I guess...she'd be a reference for me?

I don't think we've interacted before. :) *waves hello*

Re: the beta issue, don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste from my reply to another comment:

Surprisingly, a lot of people have responded to my request. I have no idea what I'm going to do yet, but I will certainly keep your offer in mind. I appreciate your willingness to help. At present, I don't have anything written that I want someone to look at. I have a vague idea for a story rolling around in my brain, but I don't know if it makes sense to write it or even if I CAN write it well. And then there are characterization and structure questions. I thought it might help to have a sounding board or boards. Not that I'm arrogant enough to believe my actual writing wouldn't benefit from another pair of eyes. If I take on this story, I know I'll want to have someone else take a look at it before I make an ass of myself.

So thanks for offering; let me figure out what I do next. :)

So, so emotional. I love your writing so much. I told you I'd comment directly on your next update :)

As for a beta, I'd be happy to do it if the offer still stands. I have beta-ed for quite a few people, who I can list if you'd like, and it's usually in the Bones or Angel fandom. I love dark fics, and I think both people can benefit from bouncing off ideas :)

As always, looking forward to more updates from you!

-Katie

*hugs you* Thank you, Katie! I so appreciate your feedback, but please do not feel obligated to leave it. I gladly accept all comments. However, I understand that life gets busy sometimes or you don't know what to say or you just hate what you read, and you don't want to hurt the writer's feelings by saying so. I'm sure there are dozens of other reasons why people read but don't comment.

As for the beta issue, don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste from my reply to another comment:

Surprisingly, a lot of people have responded to my request. I have no idea what I'm going to do yet, but I will certainly keep your offer in mind. I appreciate your willingness to help. At present, I don't have anything written that I want someone to look at. I have a vague idea for a story rolling around in my brain, but I don't know if it makes sense to write it or even if I CAN write it well. And then there are characterization and structure questions. I thought it might help to have a sounding board or boards. Not that I'm arrogant enough to believe my actual writing wouldn't benefit from another pair of eyes. If I take on this story, I know I'll want to have someone else take a look at it before I make an ass of myself.

Thanks for offering; I've read your writing, and I'm sure you would be great. Just let me figure out where I go next. :)

As always, looking forward to more updates from you!

Thank you! I'm looking forward to reading more from you, too, once you have time to breathe. :)

awesome as always! i check my friends updates all the time to see if you've uploaded another chapter to ANY of your stories. you're one of my favorite authors in LJ/fanfiction. thanks for bringing BB goodness to the world (after the BB writers, of course...Support the Writers!).

Hi again. :) I knew you were reading Come Undone because you commented on the first chapter, but I had no idea you were reading any of the other stories. Thanks for letting me know you're enjoying them!

you're one of my favorite authors in LJ/fanfiction.

Oh, thank you so much! :D

thanks for bringing BB goodness to the world (after the BB writers, of course...Support the Writers!).

You're welcome, and thank you for commenting. And without the Bones writers, I wouldn't have Booth and Brennan to play with. :)



Edited at 2007-11-13 03:55 pm (UTC)

wow.really angsty.it's weird to see them like this, they're always so different on the show, never this dark...
but you've made me curious and I'm really waiting for the next chapter.

On the show, they've touched on the darker stuff (in Soldier on the Grave, for example), but I think it could be pushed further. David Boreanaz has been quoted as saying he doesn't want to go into Booth's painful experience being a sniper. Maybe he's tired of darkness after being Angel. :) Regardless, given that he's a producer now, perhaps his influence will keep them from going down that road.

But let's forget what DB wants for a second, and think about Seeley Booth, the character. My opinion is that Booth and Brennan are complicated, conflicted people doing tough jobs that exact a very high price. They laugh and they banter, but that doesn't change the fact that they deal with atrocity on a nearly daily basis. If anything, I think the laughter is often a defense mechanism.

Anyway, I'm glad you're curious and want to read more. :) Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with me.

I don't think you should hate this chapter, 'cause it's a good one. I'll be waiting for the next chapter.

Thank you for always taking the time to leave feedback. You don't know how much I appreciate it. :)

I had doubts about this story. It took me almost two months to update it because it intimidated me, and I didn't want to screw it up. Reading that you thought it was good is encouraging. So thank you!

I didn't read part one before but so far I like this...please continue soon!

Thanks! I'm really happy you enjoyed it. :)

Excellent follow-up to the first part. Although we don't often see Booth and Bones like this, raw and savage and furious at the world and each other (usually it's just one or the other!) I thought the voices, as well as the tone of the story, were spot-on. It can be a dicey decision to bring rape into a story for a character that doesn't have that in their canon-history, but you handled this very well, and very in-character. It helps that we've seen Brennan's open attitude toward sexuality, reinforcing her statement that things can heal.

Your Brennan point of view is great, too, just analytical and confused enough. *g*

Hello. :) Thanks for stopping by again. I'm glad you thought the voices and tone here worked. I ABSOLUTELY agree that "it can be a dicey decision to bring rape into a story for a character that doesn't have that in their canon-history." I debated it, and then decided it could work, especially given that rape often is used as an intimidation or interrogation technique. Plus Brennan's reaction to the Mara Muerte leader in "Woman in the Garden" just made me go "hm..."

It helps that we've seen Brennan's open attitude toward sexuality, reinforcing her statement that things can heal.

You have encapsulated preceisely what tipped me over into bringing rape into the story.

Your Brennan point of view is great, too, just analytical and confused enough. *g*

Why thank you! She's such a neat character to write.

Thank you for reading and commenting.