Getting over someone is really hard.
There are no two ways around that statement. Getting over a lost love is extremely hard, especially when you really, really love them and even more especially when you still see them every day. That's why getting involved with someone at work is never a good idea. Unless one of you quits, it's bound to get weird. How can it not, when you see each other day after day? Neither of you can ever truly step away from it, then.
It hurts even worse when one of you finally does move on.
Like Angela did with Wendal.
Hodgins promised himself it wouldn't get in the way of anything, not with work relationship with the young intern and certainly not whatever remained of his friendship with Angela. But he still loved her. He probably always would. Seeing them together, knowing they were together, hurt like a knife in the back. He'd never admit it to anyone, not even to Sweets, but a part of him had held out the hope that after Angela's self-imposed celibacy was over, she would realize they were meant for each other.
Instead, she broke it off early, took up with Wendal on the sly... and he was sent to the showers for good.
After everything they'd gone through together, after the ultimate declaration of his devotion to her, he still lost out in the end.
It was something he'd grown used to in his lifetime. The nerd, the science geek... rich or otherwise... he still lost out when it came to women. He'd thought Angela was different. They shared a passion for what they did -- and she didn't care about his family's money. He'd assumed they were soul mates.
He'd apparently assumed wrong.
"What you ought to do," Zach had written in his last letter from prison, "is get back out there. Date someone else." What's funny is that Sweets had said the exact same thing just a couple of days ago. Hodgins would call it a coincidence, except he didn't believe in coincidences, and the fact that both of them had triangulated on the same thing was pretty much killing him in irony.
He started dating again, anyway. Sort of. It was more like, sitting in bars looking pathetic, while other people at the end of the bar or over in the corner booth flirted over drinks. He wasn't good at this. Never had been. Which was probably why he'd missed the look the blond at the bar had been giving him for... the last three times he'd been in this dump... until she approached him of her own accord and sat down next to him.
"Mind if I join you?" she asked, the soft lilt of voice causing him to turn his head in her direction.
"I-I guess so?" he stammered, looking her over. She wasn't a hooker, he randomly thought as his trained eyes assessed what he saw. A professional, yes, but this was 'business casual' he saw before him, not 'street walker in fuck me shoes.' It was more like she had stopped in after work instead of going home.
"You don't sound so sure of that," she replied with a slight laugh, and Hodgins laughed with her. It felt good to laugh.
"No, I'm sure," he recovered. "Please, join me. Jack Hodgins, by the way."
She nodded her head, admitting, "I know. I asked about you the last time I saw you here. I'm Shannon Patterson."
"The one from the newspaper?" A reporter, Hodgins added mentally.
"One and the same. Is that okay?" she asked, placing her hand atop his. It was warm and soft, and only slightly flirty. Only half a come on, really. Like she was waiting for him to make a reciprocating move of some kind.
Hodgins didn't usually date reporters. They either asked too many of the wrong questions or laughed at his conspiracy theories behind his back. And sometimes to his face. Shannon Patterson didn't seem like that kind of woman, reporter or no. She seemed... to genuinely want it to be okay with him. "Yeah," he said, a little bit forcefully. "Yeah, it is okay." He shifted on his bar stool to face her more fully and noted that she wasn't a 'bottled blond' either. There were no roots showing. And her eyes were green, like two shining emeralds. Looking into them, it really was okay for some reason. His face split into as easy smile, one which she mirrored in return, and they started a chatty version of 'twenty questions.'
Two hours later, they had moved their conversation from the bar to a little diner down the street from Shannon's apartment. It was your usual greasy spoon, but Hodgins thought he remembered Booth mentioning that they had good pie. Which, as it turned out, they did. He now knew that Ms. Shannon Patterson lived alone since her roommate slash best friend, Jenny, had gotten married last year and that she'd started to going to the bar after work a couple of times a week because unless she was 'working on something' the apartment was too empty without her friend. She liked the colors green, brown and orange, and her birthstone was peridot. She didn't have any pets, but did have several house plants and a herb garden on her kitchen window sill. He also learned that she knew he was 'one of those Hodgins' but didn't hold it against him.
By the time Hodgins had finished his pie, he had her phone number written in blue ink on his napkin and a date with her for Friday night. He didn't usually work with this quickly and he got the impression that she didn't work that way, either. But it worked on some crazy insane level.
Maybe it would be okay, after all. Maybe he would be okay.