A.N.: After S6´s "The Daredevil in the Mold". Booth's POV. More angsty than the previous one-shot.

The Illusion in the Ring

The numbness was still there. The burn of alcohol making my brain go through dangerous paths.

Instead of making me forget, I was feeling. Feeling everything that happened in the last few months.

It was all crashing down without warning.

The pain of the rejection because, in the end, I really had not given her any warning. It was like I knocked down her front door and didn't even give her the chance to open it.

The need to forget. I just wanted to forget. To let go. To feel anything besides the craving of being with her. So I moved on. To me, I had moved on. I found someone who made me laugh, live and go through the day as I once did. Without heartbreak.

To have a relationship. This deep-rooted basic instinct to have someone there when you wake up. Someone to laugh at your jokes. Someone who understood you.

I should have let it be. I built this world in my head where I saw what I wanted to see. I did what I wanted to do but never really saw besides the illusion of happiness.

I was having fun. She is an amazing woman. So what to do next? I went through the path that would supposedly give me the stability I so desperately craved. I did the right thing: bought the ring for the woman with whom I wanted to share this happiness.

Just forgot one detail. The woman itself. What she wanted. The independent feeling she cherished. Her beliefs.

When rejection came again, what more was there to do but to feel sorry for myself.

So it all came full circle, because the trouble with all of this is: she isn't her. No one is.

No matter how hard I tried, I never did let go and despite everything we went through…

She's still standing beside me, sharing the numbness.