Disclaimer: I own nothing…
Summary: When their daughter is taken from them, Temperance shuts down and Seeley walks away… Only to discover that it may have been the biggest mistake of his life… (AU, Futurefic)
Author's Notes: Apparently, all I needed to feel comfortable with this one was the right song. This morning I discovered Secondhand Serenade. Amazing. The song's called "It's Not Over" and the entire album is incredible...
But anyway, I sincerely apologize for the wait on this one. I know it's been forever, and I can make no promises on when the next one will be up, but I do promise to work on it every chance I get… But I won't lie, it probably won't be up until at least the end of May because I've got a whole bunch of big papers and finals coming up and my free time will be limited… But I'll try my best.
And to everyone who has reviewed this story, I want to say thank you. I truly appreciate the feedback, and I hope you continue to enjoy it…
But now it's over, It's over, Why is it over
We had the chance to make it
Now it's over, it's over, it can't be over
I wish that I could take it back
But it's over
When Tempe heard the faint sounds of someone trying their hardest to be quiet coming from the doorway to her left, she looked up to find Jack and Angela's eldest daughter, Kaitlyn, watching her carefully, unsure of whether or not she should approach. With a little smile, Tempe reached out her arms for the little girl, and Kaitlyn immediately rushed into them, giving Tempe a tight hug before looking at her curiously. "Aunt Tempe? How come you're staying with us?"
Tempe sighed just a little as she reached out to pull the little girl into her lap, wrapping her arms around her middle to hold her in place as Kaitlyn watched her, awaiting an answer. "Because… Aunt Tempe needed a little bit of time away from home."
"Like a vacation?" Katie inquired, her eyes shining with question as she tried to understand the statement. Tempe smiled, nodding a little bit in answer… It seemed that her confirmation wasn't enough for the little girl, however, and she continued, her voice even more confused, "But then how come Uncle Seeley's not here?"
Temperance sighed at that, closing her eyes briefly against the pain of all the memories the simple mention of his name brought about. At five years old, Katie was nothing if not persistent… And a little too observant for her own good. Apparently, she had her mother's eye. "Uncle Seeley had to go away for a little while… Because we needed some time apart."
Though she didn't appear to understand completely, Katie's eyes fell, and she suddenly seemed very sad. "Is it 'cause Hanna's never coming back?"
The tears built quickly in Tempe's eyes, and she couldn't help but let a couple slip as she turned her head away from Katie and took a deep breath to calm herself. "Yeah… Some of it." She agreed quietly when she finally found her voice.
Katie nodded sadly before reaching around for another hug, whispering a soft "I'm sorry… I didn't mean to make you cry," and holding tight to Tempe for a moment before placing a little kiss on her cheek.
My tears run down like razorblades,
and no, I'm not the one to blame,
It's you... Or is it me?
And all the words we never say
come out, and now we're all ashamed,
And there's no sense in playing games
when you've done all you can do.
The soft voice from the doorway had her sighing in frustration as Katie immediately scrambled down off her lap and flung herself into the arms of Tempe's husband, an excited squeal of "Uncle Seeley!" breaking the quiet of the moments before. Tempe refused to meet his eyes, or even look his way as he kissed Katie on the cheek and the set her down, requesting a few moments alone with her aunt.
When she heard Kaitlyn agree and hurry off to her room, Tempe finally let her gaze wander toward her husband, though she continued to avoid his eyes. "How did you get in here?"
"Hodgins gave me a key…"
She shook her head, letting out an angry laugh as her eyes rolled toward the ceiling. "I'm gonna kill him."
He took a step closer to her then, silently wishing she would really look at him. "Look, Bones, he was just--"
"Don't call me that!" She cut him off, her voice full of turmoil. "You can't just walk in here and pretend like everything's normal, Booth! You can't walk in here and pretend like none of this happened! Hanna's gone, I screwed up, you walked away… You haven't called me that since before Hanna got sick; I do not want to hear it from you now."
"Temperance, we need to talk about this." His voice was gentle, pleading, as he moved to her side and sank onto the couch beside her, his fingers reaching for hers and his face falling when she flinched away, too afraid to let him near. "We both made some very serious mistakes in all of this, and we can't take them back, but we can put them behind us. We need each other right now, Temperance. It's the only way we're going to be able to make it…"
"What if I don't want to make it?" She stood then, turning her back to him and crossing her arms over her chest in defense.
He sighed, pushing himself up to stand behind her and resting his hands on her arms, his fingers tickling as he stroked gently up and down. "Tempe, we can get through this…"
Her voice was rough with the pain that caught in her throat and she couldn't quite keep the tears from slipping through. "You don't know that. Seeley, I don't think we can. I don't know how to be a wife, or a mother, for that matter… I've certainly proven as much in the past week…"
"Tempe, you have been a mother, a wonderful mother, from the moment we started seeing one another, with Parker… He has always adored you. And you have been a wonderful wife…"
She cut him off with an incredulous laugh, disbelief dripping from her tone. "How has he always adored me, Booth? When we first got together, I had no idea what the hell I was doing, caring for a child…"
"But you were willing to learn, for his sake. He understood that. Your intentions were good, and that's why he liked you… He liked being able to teach you. He liked knowing that, even though you didn't always know what to do, you did your best, because you cared about him. Children have good instincts. All you had to do was try, and he knew you were worth trusting." She stayed silent at that, unsure of exactly how she ought to respond, and so he continued, his voice gentle. "But, honey, being married, it hasn't changed you; you are still the beautiful, intelligent woman I fell in love with all those years ago."
"But shouldn't it have changed me, Seeley? Shouldn't I be different, somehow?" Her question was forceful as she broke away, turning to look him in the eye while putting just a little bit of distance between them. "Because I'm not. The only difference is, I have a ring on my finger and I gave birth to a child. And now this… It's only proven how little I've changed… I hurt you, Seeley; that's why you walked away… So how long will it be until I hurt you again? How long until I do something that you just can't handle, again? I never wanted this, Seeley. I never wanted this life… Never wanted to be a wife, or a mother…"
"Before, no, you didn't, Tempe, but I know you, and I know how much you loved Hanna; I know how much you loved this life…" He paused for a moment, shaking his head as his eyes wandered, and he searched for the words to make her understand that she was different. She was still Temperance Brennan, but a little piece of her, just a tiny one, had opened up to let in love, and he wasn't sure how to convince her that what they had shared had been worth every moment. "Look at Jack and Angela, Tempe." He finally settled, his eyes having caught the photograph of the happy little family that hung on the wall by the stairs. "Neither of them wanted children before, Temperance, but then, with time, they realized that this was the life that they wanted…"
She cut him off, anger suddenly dripping from her tone. "But I didn't realize anything, Seeley! Less than a year after we started seeing one another, I got pregnant, because my birth control had stopped working and the condom broke! I didn't realize that I wanted to be a mother; I was forced to be a mother!"
"That's not true, Temperance, and you know it." His voice was soft and gentle, a soothing tone playing through his words as he shook his head slowly, the sadness in his eyes softening hers just a bit as he continued, "You chose to be a mother… When all that happened, Tempe; when you told me you were pregnant, I gave you a choice. I told you that I would take her… That I would raise her, and you would never have to be any part of that if you didn't want to be, and you told me you couldn't do that, because you were in love with me, and you already loved our little baby, and you wanted to make it all work; you wanted our little girl to have a real family… The type of family you had taken from you all those years ago."
She flinched away when he reached out to her. There were some things that simply couldn't be fixed, and she was beginning to believe that she was among them. She had loved him, still loved him, but that didn't change her need to get away... To let it all go. She felt like she was drowning, slowly, painfully drowning in this place where happiness was essentially nonexistent, because she had never been allowed to keep anything she had ever truly loved for more than a few moments in time. And this time her whole life was crumbling around her and she was just too weak to put it back together…
"I just don't think I can." She crossed her arms over her chest gingerly as she carefully lowered herself back to the couch, suddenly looking to all the world as though she were frail and broken… Something he was almost certain he had never seen in her before that moment…
"So you're telling me that this, us… our entire life together, has been a lie? Tempe, how can you say that? You had a choice, baby, and I never pressured you into anything…" His voice was soft and desperate as he once again took up the spot beside her, tears shining in his eyes as he gazed at her, a sudden hopelessness that broke her heart occupying that space as he pleaded with her to open up and let him through. "I understand that you may have felt obligated with Hanna, and I thank God every day that you did, because you were everything to that little girl, but I never, ever tried to pressure you into marriage. I told you I would wait forever, and then I never brought it up again… You didn't have to marry me, Tempe. You wanted to. You told me so yourself… Said that, even though you didn't need that piece of paper, you wanted it…"
The gentle brush of his hand at that moment brought all those memories flooding back, and she squeezed her eyes shut tight at the overload of emotion that swept her.
I lose myself in all these fights
I lose my sense of wrong and right
I cry, I cry
Shaking from the pain that's in my head
I just wanna crawl into my bed
And throw away the life I lead
But I won't let it die, But I won't let it die
"Tempe, honey?!" When he opened the door, he was met with a dim, romantic glow. Something he was completely unaccustomed to with two children and a workaholic like Tempe. It wasn't often that they had time for romance, much less when she was the one initiating it, and he was confused, though pleased with the surprise that greeted him. "Bones?! You home?!"
It was then that his eyes caught her. She was standing there, in the doorway to the foyer, the black dress she wore hugging her curves perfectly.
"You dressed up for me?" He questioned, a little smirk touching his lips as he stepped closer to her, slipping his arms around her waist as her own wandered up to loop around his neck and she returned the smile he wore before catching his lips for a quick kiss. "Where're Hanna and Parker?" He questioned curiously, silently hoping they were either fast asleep or out with Angela for the evening.
She laughed a little at that, smiling brightly and tilting her head up to look at him. "Rebecca called." She informed him, her hands trailing down his chest as her fingers found his tie and tugged at it playfully, her eyes swooping down to focus on her hands as she continued, "She wanted to pick up Parker a little early today… And I convinced her to take Hanna for the night." Her eyes moved back to his then as he watched her curiously, confusion settling itself over his features, and in response, she kissed him again, her smile growing just a little bit more. "Because I've got something special planned for tonight."
"Oh really?" He questioned, mischief dancing in his eyes as he pulled her to him, kissing the corner of her mouth sweetly. "'Cause, you know, we really ought to get started on that then…"
"Not that kind of special!" She scolded with a laugh, before pausing for a moment to rethink her claim. "Well, yeah, that kind of special… But I was hoping there would be a little more to it than that."
The soft tone of her voice and the gentle sparkle in her eye had his breath catching in his throat as his eyes moved to the hands that still rested against his chest, and the diamond ring that sparkled on her left hand had his eyes filling with tears. "You're serious?" He questioned gently, taking her hand in his and twining their fingers. "Because if you're playing with me, Temperance, I don't know if I'll be able to handle it."
Her own eyes brimmed with tears at the astonishment that floated in his eyes, and a happy smile found its way to her lips as her eyes met his. "I realized something this morning… I was holding Hanna, and she was smiling and laughing, because Parker was there and he was playing with her, and they were both so happy…" She shook her head then, a single tear slipping down her cheek, but her smile never faltering as Booth reached up to cradle her cheek in his palm, wiping away the tear with his thumb as he smiled back at her. "Seeley, I don't need a piece of paper to prove my commitment to you… But I want it. More than anything…"
"I love you." He murmured, his voice full of awe as he pulled her lips to his, wrapping her up in his arms and holding on tight as he rocked her gently.
"I love you, too, Seeley." She insisted with a smile as another tear slipped from the corner of her eye and she held him tight for another moment before pulling back just a bit, kissing his lips gently and then resting her forehead against his, her fingers lingering at his cheek. "Just one condition…" she began carefully, her eyes finding his to reassure him. He nodded carefully, waiting for her to continue. "I want to wait… For a year or two… Just until Hanna's old enough to really be a part of it. I want us all there, together… I want it to be for our whole family, Seeley. You, me, Parker, Hanna… All of us."
He smiled softly at her, his eyes full of love. "I think that's a beautiful idea."
I'm falling apart, I'm falling apart.
Don't say this won't last forever.
You're breaking my heart, You're breaking my heart.
Don't tell me that we will never be together.
We could be over and over
We could be forever.
"That doesn't mean it wasn't a mistake."
Her words cut deep and he couldn't keep the pain from echoing in his voice as his sad eyes caught hers. "You're scared, Tempe… You're scared because we've never done this without her… We were in love, sure, but we didn't get married until Hanna was three, and so you've never known this life, without our daughter, and that terrifies you… And I understand that, Temperance, but nothing will ever make me stop loving you, and I need you in my life. I need you more than anything right now, and I know you're scared, but we can do this, Tempe… We can make it through this…"
"I don't know if I believe that." she told him softly, her voice weak and her eyes full of pain as she watched his features crumble… But she couldn't back down. Not on this. Not this time. Because as much as she wanted to lie to herself and pretend that everything could be okay again, she knew it was something she simply couldn't do. "I need to figure this all out, Seeley… And I can't do that with you. I need time… To figure out who I am…"
It's not over, it's not over, it's never over
Unless you let it take you
It's not over, it's not over, it's not over
Unless you let it break you
It's not over
It can't be over.