It seems like it had been fifty years since she trekked through Nepal. Looking down at her veiny, too-smooth hands, Temperance remembers that it's actually been fifty-six.
She is awake at six, as she is every day, doing the Times crossword online. Since she was forced into retirement, she's completed one every morning. It distracts from the fact that this used to be the time she would drive to the lab. She kept her coffee maker set for 5:40. Every morning, she showers, grabs a cup of coffee and sits in bed with her laptop. She answers 42 down ("Must-__" (NBC slogan)) then pauses the clock on her crossword and turns to the man beside her. She nudges him awake.
"Do you think I'm boring?"
"Geez, Bones, that's not really a "you" question." Booth rolls over, squinting in the morning light. Over the past thirty years, he's learned to sleep through her typing, but he still knows when to wake up.
"I'm just asking if we've fallen into a routine." She feels only slightly defensive. After all, it's Booth. She's known him for thirty-five years, she's been sleeping with him for nearly that. It took her a long time to believe it, but he loves her. He's not making fun of her and he's stopped trying to understand her. In public, he might be the big, tough former FBI sniper guy, but when it's just them, he relaxes.
"We're old, Bones. We're supposed to have a routine. You know, drag ourselves down to the drugstore for diapers and medication, have some watery oatmeal with raisins to keep us regular..."
She laughs a little bit at that. He looks up at her, grinning a little bit. He sits up beside her and leans against the headboard. She scoots over so they're touching leg to leg. The first thing she sees when she looks at their chest of drawers (Booth's clothes are in the right three; hers are in the left) across the bedroom is all the photos they have up there. Booth put the first one there, she remembers, one of Parker in a soccer uniform. It was the first thing either of them had done to acknowledge that they were possibly more than just two people sleeping together. Booth had always been the one to take the first step.
"Seeley?" Her voice wavers slightly. He looks towards her out of the corner of his eye, not pressuring her to speak when he knows that whatever she is about to say will be tough for her. "Do you ever regret anything?"
"What would I regret?"
"Booth..." Her voice is so familiar to him, that soft edge that has been gently reprimanding him for decades when he's being obtuse. "You're Catholic. We're not married. Don't you regret that?"
"Nope." His voice is level. He is not lying.
"We have a child out of wedlock. Isn't that a sin?"
"Jesus was born out of wedlock."
She jumps on that too. "You're comparing Lucy to Jesus?"
"Bones," he says gently, brushing her white hair behind her shoulder. "Look at me." After a moment she does. His eyes are direct on hers. "What brought this on?"
"Your mother used to give me looks, you know." She stops, covering her face for a minute. "I'm sorry. She was your mother. It's just...I feel like we're past our prime. We never do anything anymore."
"Miss the jetsetting life, huh?" He slides down again, alternating between looking at the ceiling and looking at her. He doesn't mention that this low self-esteem isn't like her.
"No, Booth." She takes a breath, scrunching her face. She speaks suddenly. "When Mel was over yesterday, she asked me what grandmas did all day and I didn't have an answer. My life used to be so defined by work and writing and our case and traveling. I haven't published a book in fifteen years and the only thing that defines my life is crossword puzzles." She gestures angrily at her laptop before deflating, collapsing against the headboard.
"We had a thirtieth anniversary." She whispers her confession. "And I still don't know what to call you."
He lever himself up using his elbows and tucks an arm around her. "We're partners, Bones."
The words calm her. She leans into him. "Yeah. Partners."
A/N: Written for the zerodetorres over on livejournal. Prompt was B/B, regrets.