Hello my lurvlies! I know that I am not alone in my need to explore what was going on with Brennan at the end of this episode, so here is my take on it. A wonderful , WONDERFUL thank you to the amazing hpaich for her fantastic beta work. (I removed the preposition just for you! ;-) I am truly hoping that we keep getting these little gems in Brennan's growth DESPITE all of the CRAAAAZY spoilers out there. I believe in the writers. (Can't you hear hodgins now? "That's faith baby.")

A Good Man

In the end, she had to do it. She had to validate her instincts with her eyes. After all, instinct had often let her down. She had remained at the bar for about fifteen minutes after Booth had left. Fifteen minutes that she had spent contemplating the irrational response she was having to her partner's recent actions. His desire to encourage Clinton to grow up into a responsible man had left her reeling with unfamiliar emotions. When Booth had made the call to the kid and then promptly stood to leave, she had not felt dismissed or unimportant. She hadn't been confused or irritated. She hadn't even considered his behavior irrational or arrogant in it's assumption.

Instead, she had felt…pride.


And something else that she really couldn't name, and maybe was afraid to.

And so she had sat there, swirling the wine in her glass and thinking about what it meant to be a good man. In Temperance Brennan's experience, men were not creatures to be counted on. Yes, her own father had proven to be a poor example of the gender, but it was more then that. In modern American society – in many modern societies in fact – the social ideas of gender roles and responsibilities were shifting in a remarkable new direction. What she had said to Booth about girls being raised to believe that a man could not be counted on was absolutely true. And as for men, they were changing their concept of what a woman had the right to expect from them. It made sense really, it was simple social evolution. Whether it was a good change or a bad one really didn't matter all that much to her. Things were what they were, and the facts were what had always interested her.

Certainly, she wasn't irrational either. Irrational behavior is not something many would ever accuse her of exhibiting. She recognized that there were obvious exceptions to the rule. To say that there were no truly good men out there anymore would be a grandiose statement grounded in emotion and limited, biased observation. Of course they were out there – few and far between and also subject to every individual's opinion of what made a man good at all. She simply believed that a woman could not spend her life waiting and watching for him. She couldn't devote all of her efforts to looking for and finding him. Chances were strong that he was never going to come around.

She knew that the need – often the compulsion – to procreate was written into the very fabric of human DNA. While not all people desired to mate and have children, most people were driven by this fundamental biological need. Knowing that, she could see how what the girls had decided made an odd sort of sense, anthropologically speaking. Of course, waiting until they were older would have been wiser and more responsible while lending an air of credibility to their decisions.

No, a woman who felt the very human drive to procreate shouldn't spend her life looking for Mister Right. She needed to take control of her own future and achieve for herself the things that mattered most to her. A good man would most likely not be in the picture, nor would he need to be.

For her, this was reality, and she a self-described realist. Men provided a small measure of companionship and a relief for the biologic desire to mate. Above and beyond that, she had convinced herself a long time ago that she would never need anything else from a man.

But then Seeley Booth had come along, with his charm smiles and his insistent notions of chivalry and loyalty; a gentleman and protector. Consistently and patiently teaching her that good men still existed in this world. And when he had stood up to go and meet a young sixteen year old boy in order to impart a little knowledge about manhood, she had felt a very primal part of herself react in response. There she had been, talking about how a woman really couldn't count on a man, and his eyes had darkened and his face had taken on a serious countenance. If she had been prone to making leaps based off of her gut reactions, she would have thought that he had wanted to prove her wrong. That he had wanted to show her just what kind of man he could be.

So she had stayed there for fifteen minutes, wondering if maybe she had been wrong about Booth's intentions. Her instincts were usually off, to the point that she had even had to admit that Booth was much better than she was when it came to understanding people. Still…she knew him. And he was determined in his quest to make men out of boys in this world.

After fifteen minutes, she had realized that she needed to see it with her own eyes. She couldn't contemplate why she had felt such an intense sense of pride for a man who was supposedly just a friend and partner, if she couldn't be sure that he was doing what she thought he was doing. Furthermore, she felt an overwhelming urge to simply watch him in his element, interacting with other people in way that often left her feeling inadequate. To observe him play his part of role model, father, and man.

Because Seeley Booth was a very good man.

So she had walked the few blocks to the Royal Diner was, and had stopped across the street to watch him interact with Clinton, the sixteen year old father of three. She stood there now, unable to tear her eyes away from the scene. Despite the cold, she was compelled to observe. And even as she rejoiced in the knowledge that her instincts about Booth were proving correct, she was shocked at the thoughts and emotions that were creeping in unbidden.

And so she clung tighter to her jacket, continuing her silent vigil of the boy and the man within the diner. Her mind was swirling with new possibilities that she wasn't ready to fully embrace just yet. Booth was leaning closer, imparting his wisdom to the youth across the table.

She still believed that a woman should never wait around for a good man to show up on the scene - but what should she do if one was right there in front of her?

And suddenly, she knew without a doubt that he would be everything for her that she had always told herself she didn't need, if she would only ask. He wouldn't just be a good man; he would be her good man. And the somehow soothing, yet frightening thought came that he already was hers. She had felt it when he left. The pride, the sense of possessiveness was because he had somehow become more.

And she was left wanting…something. Something that she was suspected could only be provided by a good man.