Author: Jen - tinylegacies
Characters: Dr. Temperance Brennan and Dr. Camille Saroyan
Pairing: Implied Brennan/Booth with mentions of Cam/Seeley
Prompt: Friendships grow in odd places.
Spoilers: Through 3x9 - Santa in the Slush
Summary: Temperance gets unexpected advice.
Author's Notes: Thanks to koshkaphoenix and kajivar for the beta & support!
"He's going to be okay, you know."
The soft voice startled Temperance out of the reverie she had been lost in. She turned and saw her boss standing behind her. "I know," she replied, turning back to watch the rise and fall of her partner's chest through the bullet proof plate glass window. There was a magnetic pull keeping her eyes locked on him, almost as if she feared that looking away would have negative repercussions for his recovery.
Camille rested her hand on Temperance's shoulder. "You should go home and get some rest, Dr. Brennan. You've had a very long day."
"I'm fine," Temperance replied curtly. "Thanks to Booth. That bullet was meant for me and I'm going to stay here until he wakes up and I can thank him."
With a resigned sigh, Camille took the seat next to Temperance, garnering her a look of confusion and surprise. "I'm not going to let you stay here alone. Besides, I'm just as worried about Seeley as you are."
Temperance nodded and returned her focus to watching an unconscious Booth, trying to put aside the pang of jealousy she felt by Cam's casual use of his first name. In all the years they had been partners and everything they had gone through, Temperance had never called her partner by his given name. And he only called her by hers on a few rare (yet memorable) occasions.
Ever since Christmas and the kiss that Caroline forced her to share with Booth, she had found her thoughts straying back to it much more frequently than made her comfortable; remembering how soft Booth's lips had been and how tentative the kiss had started. And, if she were honest with herself, Caroline didn't have a whole lot of forcing to do. There had been numerous occasions over the course of their relationship when she had wondered what it would be like to kiss Booth. But she had been unable and unwilling to open herself up to that, especially knowing his stance on relationships that involved constant high-pressure situations, and now he was lying unconscious in a hospital bed, having taken a bullet that was meant for her.
"He'd be upset if he knew you were blaming yourself, you know." Once again, Camille's voice startled Temperance out of her thoughts. She had forgotten that the other woman had joined her vigil.
"I'm aware that Booth feels it is his duty to protect me," Temperance replied.
Camille chuckled softly, causing Temperance to frown. "I'm sorry," she apologized. "I know this might be an inappropriate situation to bring this up, but you have to know that Seeley's feelings for you go far beyond a sense of duty."
Temperance stiffened. "We're partners," she replied. "And friends."
"And you could be so much more if you would both get your heads out of your asses."
That declaration left Temperance speechless; her mouth opening and closing several times, but not producing any sounds. She would have never expected such a blunt statement from a woman who used to date the man in question. Especially not when said woman was her superior.
"Dr. Brennan, may I speak to you woman to woman, not boss to employee?" Camille asked.
Temperance nodded blankly, still shocked over the blunt vulgarity of her previous statement.
"Seeley is so in love with you that I'm surprised he hasn't shot another ice cream truck in the frustration of keeping those feelings in," Camille said. "And it's pretty clear that you care just as much about him. The tension between you two is so thick that there are days when I wonder if I'm going to walk into your office and find you two going at it on your desk."
"I... " Temperance was at a total loss for words.
Camille chuckled again. "A word of advice? You will definitely need to make the first move. Seeley has those chivalrous, old-fashioned values and given your work relationship, he would be way too hesitant to broach the subject."
That made sense to Temperance. She shifted in her seat, uncomfortable with the concept of letting her guard down, but she realized that she needed to talk to someone about what was going on in her head and much as she adored her best friend, Angela just didn't get where Temperance was coming from. "Do you really think it would be possible for us to make something work? I don't want to lose Booth as a partner."
"I think that you owe it to yourselves to try," Camille said. "It's clear that there is something between you. It's been clear for a long time."
Temperance tilted her head and wondered if she was imagining that tinge of bitterness in Cam's words. "How long?" she asked.
Camille gave her a rueful smile. "I realized it when he and I were still together," she said. "I always felt like there was something there, but watching him when you and Hodgins were... well, during the Gravedigger thing, that's when I knew."
A shudder ran up Temperance's spine at the recollection of being buried alive. And then she remembered the look on Booth's face when he pulled her out of the ground. "I knew he would save me," she admitted, her voice barely above a whisper, recalling Hodgins's insistence that she had faith in Booth.
"I've never seen Seeley so determined," Camille admitted. "Aside from dealing with Eppes, it's the only case where I've ever seen him come close to losing his cool."
"So, what should I do?" Temperance asked.
Camille smiled. "Seeley's a man of action, Dr. Brennan. I'd recommend doing something that will make him know unequivocally that you return his feelings. A dramatic gesture will speak volumes."
Temperance nodded and was about to ask another question when the doctor came out. "Dr. Brennan. Dr. Saroyan. Agent Booth is awake. He's still rather groggy and in a good deal of pain, but if one of you would like to go in and speak with him for a few moments, I think he would benefit from the visit."
The women exchanged a glance and Camille nodded slightly. Temperance stood up. "Thank you, Doctor. I'd like to speak with him."
"Just a few minutes," the doctor cautioned.
"I understand," Temperance said. She paused and gave Camille a tentative smile before entering the hospital room.