Author's note: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Part Two of The Postcard Series! A thank you for EternalConfusion (she has recently accepted the job offer of becoming my beta) would be greatly appreciated. :-)
Disclaimer: Na-ah, don't own Bones. Wish I did but na-ah, don't own it.
- A Postcard From Her -
What on earth was I thinking? What sane person would go on vacation to Canada in the middle of February? Temperance grumbled and snuggled her nose deeper into the warm scarf and coat she was wearing. She sighed. At the time it had seemed like such a good idea. She'd leave on Thursday morning for Canada and come back two weeks later. She would spend two weeks in a fabulous country to visit historic buildings and museums, to gasp at the unbelievably beautiful natural landscapes and to drink in a bit of the local culture.
The only thing she hadn't taken into account was the weather. Some parts of Canada were known for their long and cold winters and it usually was winter in February the last time she had checked. Temperance readjusted her scarf so that it covered every bit of her neck. With a frown she studied the mittens Angela had given her. The colour of the dark red mittens didn't bother her; it was the flowers sewn to the back of each mitten that made her shake her head. Booth would have a field day if he saw me in these.
The warm air of the deep sigh she let out froze in front of her eyes, turning into a misty cloud that slowly rose up and evaporated. She had been here for only one day and already she was bored. Well, not really bored. I just miss having someone around. Mumbling something unintelligible under her breath she kicked the snow lying at her feet. I have visited countries by myself before. I do not need company.
Shoving her hands with the mittens deep into the pockets of her coat, she turned away from the statue she'd been staring at for the last ten minutes and disappeared into the streets of Quebec City.
A day later, Temperance was briskly walking along a path near the Saint Lawrence River. She needed some time alone after having visited a concert in honour of the Winter Carnival. Another thing I forgot when I booked this trip - the yearly Winter Carnival of Quebec City! Every year, during the first two weeks of February, the city organised a series of activities such as dogsled rides, special hockey games, concerts and an Ice Sculpture Festival to celebrate a feast called the Winter Carnival. She had completely forgotten about it when she had decided to go to Canada. And now she was stuck here, in the middle of all those festivities.
Alone. Without her partner.
She quickened her pace. No. Not Booth. I am not lonely without Booth. That's too ridiculous to even consider! She sped up even more, keeping her gaze fixed straight ahead instead of on the river flowing beside her. Maybe if she walked fast enough, the wind would blow all those thoughts about that cocky, stubborn piece of FBI agent out of her head.
A minute later she came to an abrupt stop. She puffed at her own stupidity. Not even a hurricane could whirl Booth out of her head. If she was completely honest with herself, she wasn't bothered anymore with him invading her mind. She had let him in because she had found him interesting. From day one she had been studying him, cataloguing all his different facial expressions and other bodily things. Like his scent.
Temperance threw back her head to stare at the sky where dark clouds were starting to pack together. Standing in the middle of Quebec City, miles away from Washington D.C., she could almost smell her partner like he was standing right next to her. Does he even know what an effect the mix of his spicy cologne and that typical Booth-scent has on women? She grunted. Correction, what effect it has on me
A shake of her head sent her hair flying over her shoulders. She could handle her partner invading her mind. She had let him because she wanted to study him like the bones that were sprawled out on her table. Special Agent Seeley Booth was a unique and very well structured specimen. One she had to examine. Even if it meant she had to fill him in on the details of her past. You give a little; you get a little - right?
And I have gotten plenty, alright …She could deal with the image of him tossing her his charm smile that haunted her every night. His scent that tickled her senses and made her more aware of her femaleness was something she could sustain. The desire to run her fingers through his hair, she could suppress - most of the time.
It was the erotic dreams that bothered her.
Or maybe it was the frustration of knowing that she couldn't cross that line with him that bothered her.
Right, enough about Booth. Let's concentrate on …Michael Stires! Yes, that's a safe topic. Right after her ex-professor, and ex-lover as a matter of fact, had betrayed her in that court room, she had decided to take two weeks off. She needed some time away to recompose herself. It was a good and logical move to bring up my past in court. If Booth hadn't given that lawyer the advice to ask me those questions, we would've lost the case. Temperance felt like smacking herself. Why did it seem that eventually everything came down to her partner?
She turned her gaze upwards again. There was nothing else except dark clouds bursting with snow to look at. Temperance frowned. I better get inside before it begins to snow. Just then, a couple of snowflakes drifted down. One of them landed right on the tip of her nose. Better hurry up. She stuck her hands in the pockets of her coat and headed off to the hotel she was staying at, all the while pondering when Booth had become such a large part of her life.
A heart. How ironic. She crossed her arms and gave the heart-shaped ice sculpture in front of her another blank stare. There were dozens of other sculptures to look at but yet she found herself standing in front of one in the shape of a heart with an arrow shot through it. Maybe it was the holiday?
From the corner of her eye she saw a young couple sigh happily at the sight of the romantic ice sculpture. She watched them whisper, giggle and ultimately share a tender kiss.
It's definitely the holiday. Temperance sighed. Valentine's Day had never been her favourite holiday.
After having thrown the sculpture one last glare, she wandered off to the next piece of art. It crossed her mind that Angela would've liked to see these things, being the artist that she was. If Angela had come with her to Canada, she wouldn't have been alone on Valentine's Day. Temperance scuffed. Since when do I find it difficult to be alone on Valentine's Day? It's a ridiculous holiday. The 14th of February is a normal day, just like the 13th and the 15th of February are.
Besides, Angela wouldn't have come with me. She has a date. The artist had been going on for days about the 'hot piece of ass' she was taking out for a Valentine's dinner at a fancy restaurant. There was no way that Temperance could've convinced her to drop the date and fly off to Canada for a couple of hours of ice sculpture watching.
Maybe I should've gotten Booth to come with me? Temperance shook her head and went over to the next sculpture. It was driving her crazy that her thoughts kept returning to her partner - her brown-eyed, broad-shouldered, good-smelling, nicely-dressed ex-sniper of a partner. She was aching to find out whether his bone structure was as firm and well-built as it looked from a distance. Yes, maybe I should've brought him with me.
Of all the people that she could've asked to join her on this trip, she had dwelled the longest on her partner. After all, he had sort of ordered her to come with him the next time he left on vacation, right? So she could've done the same.
Only she hadn't. So now she was stuck in Quebec City.
Alone. Without her partner.
Booth wouldn't be alone today. He was probably taking Tessa out on a romantic date. Or maybe not Tessa but some other cute little blonde. It had been a while now since she had heard him mention the blonde lawyer. I wonder if they've split up … But it wouldn't matter anyway. The bottom line was that Booth wouldn't be alone today. Unlike me.
As if on cue, her phone began to vibrate. She fished it out of her pocket to find out she had gotten a text message.
'You warned me not to call you while you were on vacation but you never said anything about a text. Happy Valentine's Day, Bones!'
A smile tugged at her lips. Her partner was miles away but he could still make her smile like an idiot. She pocketed her phone and continued wandering from sculpture to sculpture, silently musing that maybe she wasn't entirely alone today. She had someone in D.C. that would always be at her side, no matter the miles or time difference.
She should've dragged him along with her.
Temperance realised this as she was walking through the older parts of the city. They could've strolled side by side from building to building while she told him the history of this part of town. Not that he would've been interested but he would at least have pretended to be listening to please her. Because that's what he did. He let her ramble on, only interrupting her when she was exaggerating.
She decided to enter a cosy looking pub at the corner of the street. Realisations were best made over a nice bottle of beer.
Temperance sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. Five minutes later she was gazing at the postcard in her hand behind a bottle of beer. She had bought it on an impulse. Seeing the card had reminded her of the postcard Booth had sent her while he had been on vacation. He'd be pleased that she had taken the time to return the favour. Temperance sipped her beer, never taking her eyes off the card. Sending him a card was a nice effort and all but what was she going to write on the back? I can't just write 'Hey, I'm bored. I miss you. Wish you were here.' He'd laugh himself to death.
As Temperance sat there wondering what in heaven's name she was going to write down, an elderly man entered the pub. A broad grin appeared on his face when he noticed the auburn-haired woman sitting at the bar. He sat down next to her and ordered a beer in French. Then he turned to Temperance to throw her a smile. The anthropologist looked at him with raised eyebrows. If she hadn't been used to examining decomposing bodies, the sight of a hairy large-toothed old man would've certainly made her take two steps back. Or maybe even five. Fascinated by his appearance, she noted how his hair cascaded over his shoulders. His beard nearly reached his stomach. The hair growing out of his ears was so long that the man had put little braids in it. Once having finished with her examination of the impressive amount of facial hair of the man, Temperance returned to her card.
That was until Big Foot decided to start a conversation.
"Vous êtes jolie."
She quirked her eyebrows. "Merci." Great, a French speaking Canadian. Just what I needed.
The man kept staring at her as she kept ignoring him. Suddenly he reached out a hairy hand.
"Touche-moi et vous êtes mort." Temperance snapped. Big Foot quickly pulled his hand back. Temperance glared at him before retrieving her things, paying for her beer and heading out of the pub.
Twenty-four hours later, Temperance slammed the door of her room shut behind her. Four days. She had survived without her friends, without him, for four days. The views were breathtaking, the food was fantastic, the locals were extraordinary but nice and the hotel was great but all those things meant nothing because she didn't have someone to share them with.
Alright Booth, you've won. Going on vacation by yourself isn't as much fun as it used to be.
She grabbed the postcard she had been carrying around all day and sat down on the bed with a pen in her hand. A smile played around her mouth as she quickly wrote down her message before getting up again to leave on the search of a mailbox.
Temperance marched into the welcoming area with her duffle bag in one hand and her backpack resting on her other shoulder. Her eyes scanned the crowded area for a dark haired woman. No sight of Angela. She's probably late; she always is.
"Hey, you need a hand with that duffle bag?" a warm baritone said into her ear.
Surprised she spun around, knocking the air out of the whisperer by flinging her bag at his stomach.
"Watch where you're aiming that thing, Bones!"
"Booth?" she exclaimed. "What are you doing here? Angela is supposed to pick me up."
"I thought you wanted me to come?"
Temperance frowned. "Why?"
Flashing her his charm smile, he dug up a familiar card from his pocket. "Because you sent me this card. I'm pretty sure Angela didn't get one."
"Me sending you a postcard wasn't an attempt to get you to come and pick me up, Booth."
"Really?" He flashed her his charm smile again. "Maybe it were the words on the back then that convinced me you wanted me to be here." He cleared his throat and began reading in a loud voice. "No beach. No bones. No smart-ass agent. No fun. I'm taking the plane back on Thursday." He lifted his head to toss her another smile. "See, you wanted me to be here. Not Angela."
Temperance rolled her eyes. "Fine, so maybe I did want you here. But how did you know which flight I was taking back?"
"I didn't." he answered sheepishly. "I've been waiting here since 8 am."
Temperance glanced at her watch which read 1.15 pm. "Right …" she trailed off. A moment passed before she held out her bag. "I guess you could carry my bag, yes."
He chuckled. "You're just handing that bag to me like that? No speech about alpha male tendencies? About how independent women carry their own luggage?" He accepted her bag and shook his head in disbelief. "You really missed me, didn't you?"
Don't even get me started on that subject. "Ask me that question again and I'm flinging my backpack at your head."
Booth chuckled again. "Easy with the violence, Bones." They began making their way towards the exit. He draped his arm around her shoulder. "Good to have you back, Temperance."
She turned her head to smile at him. "Good to be back, Booth."