CHAPTER 24: Social Stuff
"What do you mean, 'let's do it now?'"
Booth raised an eyebrow. "I would've thought that was pretty self-explanatory." He propped himself up on his elbow, lying sideways across their bed.
Tempe sighed and cocked her head, looking at him in the mirror of her dresser... their dresser. Her things had been moved over to his place incrementally every day, until now, when she was almost completely settled in. "Booth, we can't just up and get married today. We have to work."
Booth's eyes wandered his fiancee's form, pregnant and sheathed in a cream-colored satin robe. He never would've pegged Bones as someone to buy something so girly-looking, but it definitely suited her. The sheen off the satin enhanced her natural glow. And Booth was never a fan of cliches, but in that moment, with the morning light seeping through the windows, she looked like an angel. How could he not want to marry her today?
"Come on, Bones, you've never taken a sick day in your life."
"So why should I start now?"
"Because we're getting married. Come on, we'll go down to City Hall."
He sighed. "You can't tell me you honestly are like every other girl who dreams of the giant, expensive wedding."
Tempe made a face into the mirror and picked up her brush, smoothing it through her shower-dampened cinnamon locks. "Of course not. I just don't see what the rush is."
"There's no rush, Temperance, except for the fact that I am dying to be married to you." Booth slithered and scooted down the bed until he was lying across the foot of it, close enough to reach out and just barely swipe the small of her back. "Come on. Think how great it'll be."
"Booth, I'm still not entirely sure I'm cut out for married life."
She turned around and Booth saw the vulnerability flash in her eyes, though it was there for a mere second. When she was close enough, he reached for her hand. "Look, I know you've still got some reservations because of your past, but... Bones, I don't know how many times I can say this to you before you'll listen -- I'm not going anywhere. Not now, not ever. Okay? This is it for me. You're it. If you still want some more time I'll give it to you, but..." He shook his head and tugged on her hand, pulling her gently down onto the bed with him. His palm cupped her cheek as he delved into her bottomless blue eyes, voice emerging as nothing more than a whisper. "God, I wanna be married to you."
Tempe swallowed hard and blinked several times in succession... trying to swallow and blink away her emotion. She chuckled tearfully. "As cheesy as that was -- and maybe this is just the hormones talking, but -- when you put it like that, it's so hard to say anything but yes."
Booth grinned hopefully, boyishly. "Is that a yes?"
She exhaled on a chuckle and laid her hands against his face, his stubble prickly against her palms as she leaned in for a kiss. When she pulled away, their foreheads kissed briefly. "This weekend," she whispered. Leaning back, she searched his eyes. "Okay? We'll do it this weekend."
He pecked her lips. "Okay." As he watched her get up again and this time move toward the closet, his eyes roamed her curves, and he cleared his throat. "Bones, um... speaking of doing it..."
"Yeah?" She whirled around with a shirt in hand to see him patting the mattress suggestively and waggling his eyebrows.
"Do we have time for uh... y'know..."
Tempe rolled her eyes, but smirked. "I'm already fifteen minutes late, Booth. And so are you. Get up and get dressed."
As she went into the bathroom, Booth groaned and flopped back against the mattress. "You're mean!" he called after her.
"So obviously I'll need your help picking out a dress, and... Booth said something about you and Hodgins needing to witness... something..."
"Yeah." Dark eyes slowly rose from staring at the coffee table, things swimming into focus once more for the previously-distracted Angela Montenegro.
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Why?"
"I just... thought you'd be more enthusiastic about this. I mean... this is the kind of stuff you enjoy, isn't it? Weddings, and... happiness and stuff?"
"I'm sorry, Sweetie, I'm just kinda..." Angela trailed off, then huffed suddenly. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." Tempe busied herself sorting the mail on her desk, tossing the appropriate items into her outbox before reaching for her letter opener. She grabbed the first letter out of her inbox and tore it open. "What is it?"
"What do you think of me and Hodgins?"
Automatically, she responded, "I think you're both extremely brilliant and an invaluable asset to the Jeffersonian. I mean, you're an unbelievably talented artist and I'm sure you could have your own gallery by now, and... Hodgins has three doctorates and a limitless capacity for knowledge, he could easily do whatever he wanted, so--"
"No. I mean... me and Hodgins as people. Together."
This drew the anthropologist's attention away from her mail, and a vertical crease appeared between her eyebrows while she contemplated her friend. "Together? What does that mean?"
Angela decided to waste no more time beating around the bush. "He kissed me lastnight."
Tempe's eyes widened, her tone a mix of incredulous, and taken aback. "Why?"
Angela rolled her eyes. "Gee, honey, way to make it sound like I'm the elephant man."
"I don't know what--"
"I know, I know."
Tempe took in the stress hugging Angela's normally-jovial features and for once was nearly desperate to know what was going through her friend's mind. "So he kissed you."
"Yeah. And then he broke away, stuttered an apology, and was out the door before I could even recover from the initial shock."
"What did you do when you recovered, then?"
Angela shrugged. "By the time I had, he was gone. I left him a couple messages, but I haven't heard anything back yet."
"Hey Brennan, did you--" Hodgins froze in the doorway when he spotted Angela. "Uh..."
He and Angela just stared at each other while Tempe's brow slowly arched. She was oddly amused by the interaction she saw taking place. "Jack?"
His clear blue gaze snapped back to her. "Sorry. Did you get the file I left for you?"
She nodded. "It's the one of many I have to find time to go over before this weekend."
"Why? What's going on this weekend?"
Tempe shrugged, discarding old envelopes in her recycling bin. "Not that much. Booth and I are getting married."
The surprised shriek in unison widened Tempe's eyes. "What?" She gestured to her best friend. "I already told you this ten minutes ago."
"Yes. I believe that's when you were upset about Hodgins kissing you."
Awkwardness returned instantaneously. Hodgins and Angela exchanged a look... Angela apologetic, Hodgins confused.
"You were upset?"
Angela shook her head. "Jack... she didn't mean it like that, she meant--"
"No that's alright, I got it. Thanks." Hurt clouded his eyes, and he tossed a glance at Brennan. "Congratulations. I'll, uh... catch up with you later." With that, he turned tail and made haste toward his office.
When he was gone, Angela looked to her friend wearing an incredulous expression. "Sweetie..."
"I'm sorry," came Tempe's immediate apology. "That was the wrong word, I know. Should I go talk to him?"
Angela's eyes grew wide for a split-second, and she leapt off the couch almost in desperation. "No! Sweetie, really. That's okay. You're uh..." She exhaled a smile and placed her hands on her friend's shoulders. "Look, I love you, but... you suck at the social stuff. You know, talking, and..."
Tempe rolled her eyes. "I know. That's why I was hoping to talk to Hodgins for you." She shrugged one shoulder. "I mean, I should learn how to do this sometime, right? Besides, you've spoken to Booth on my behalf before. The least I could do is return the favor."
Angela noted the sincerity in her friend's blue eyes, and she conceded. "Okay. Fine. But honey..."
Already on her way out the door, Tempe called over her shoulder, "I won't mess it up, I promise."
When Angela was alone in her best friend's office, she blew a forceful puff of air through pursed lips, and glanced longingly at the chocolate bar resting on the desk. After a moment, she sighed, "Oh screw it," and tore it open, rationalizing to herself aloud, "I'm gonna need this today."
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Told you I didn't forget about this one ;) And this is dedicated to all those who inspire me continually, FanficAddiction in particular. Also Andi, Gayle, Mariah, Anne, and of course Gomey :D