Disclaimer: I do not own Bones and never will, but I am obsessed!
Author's note: I couldn't stay away! I came up with the idea for this fic at work today. I never thought that I would come up with something from Hannah's point of view, but my muse showed up this morning. Since my job requires little interaction with people and a lot of menial labor this week, I pretty much wrote this in my head during the day and typed it up during my road trip to Michigan. This entire story was typed and edited on an iPod Touch and I impressed myself with my patience. I guess five hours in a car gives you patience.f
This fic was envisioned as a one-shot but as I was writing I came up with rough ideas of Brennan and Booth's points of view. Let me know if there is any interest in more chapters.
Reviews would be greatly appreciated as this fic is a little darker than what I normally write. I also played around with my writing style, so I'm proud, but a bit nervous about this one. I hope you like it.
It's OK to Love Her
It's so easy at first. Hannah and Seeley barely leave his bed and she thinks that it is wonderful. She is in a haze for weeks, so happy to be with him again. She is less pleased with her job which lacks the excitement of the Middle East but she is able to push away those feelings in favor of the euphoria of being with him. He is perfect for her and she thinks they are perfect together. She makes friends with his friends and spends much of her time with Temperance, genuinely interested in her boyfriend's best friend. And Temperance seems pleased to bond with someone so important to Seeley.
The two women bond over Seeley's many attributes and many faults. They are able to laugh together and drink together and the two form a formidable duo when they band together. Hannah even attends Angela's baby shower; a surprise for the expectant mother because even though Angela has only told Hodgins and Temperance about the pregnancy, everyone in the lab has already figured it out. Hannah brings the cake because she is the only one who has ever learned how to bake. She lets Temperance win the mandatory insipid games because Temperance likes to win and Hannah doesn't need the door prize. She knows that Seeley is pleased that she threw Temperance a bone. And she likes it when Seeley is pleased. She relishes every smile he sends her way and wonders what the future could hold.
Hannah remains in this honeymoon phase for a long time, much longer than she thinks is even possible, but eventually the haze begins to clear. All is not right in DC. It's still amazing but it's no longer perfect. The change starts when she wakes in the middle of the night, nudged by some sort of sixth sense. Her eyes adjust to the darkness and she sees that Seeley is awake. He is staring at the ceiling and she watches him stare. Suddenly, he turns towards her and kisses her deeply, but desperately like he is trying to prove something to her or maybe even himself. She brushes away her confusion and uneasiness the first time this happens, but it becomes a pattern that repeats many times over the next few months. She never confronts him as she tries to keep up the facade of being a perfect couple. She just continues to support and love him, all of his attributes and faults included.
She is an excellent journalist with great instincts. Seeley's midnight kisses do put her on alert. She begins to notice the flickers of deep emotions that pass between the two work partners. She notices Temperance's loneliness underneath the confidence and social awkwardness. She makes plans for the three of them to have dinner together once a week and it helps for a little while. However, Hannah begins to feel a twinge of uneasiness that the two of them have nearly every lunch as their own dynamic duo. The happy couple never discusses the issue, but Seeley perceives the potential threat and quickly the lunches almost always include at the least a third member. Sweets is a surprisingly popular choice of lunch companion. The unaddressed tension resolves itself some more. Somehow, Sweets also is frequently found in the backseat of the SUV helping chase down a lead. The entire lab is in shock when they find out that it was Temperance's idea to bring him along more often and that Seeley has never objected to letting him tag along.
Over time, Hannah notices a difference in their lovemaking. She can't pin what is different exactly, it is less joyful and less spontaneous for one, but there was something else that she is unable to put her finger on. More troubling to her is the fact that whenever she touches the prominent scar near his right clavicle, he flinches. He has never had this reaction before and neither of them ever mentions it, Hannah just trains herself to avoid that sensitive area of skin. She just finds other spots to love.
She learns about the origins of the scar from a sympathetic Angela. Wheels begin turning in Hannah's head and Angela kindly refrains from pressing the issue, it seems that she is used to such discussions.
Hannah realizes that she is being selfish but she cannot help it. She has neglected to consider his feelings and his past and avoids discussing any sort of conflict instead choosing the 'Ignorance is Bliss' mentality. She is too in love with him and he does love her back giving her all that is available of his heart. It has always been a generous heart but she begins to wonder exactly how large of a piece actually belongs to her.
She tries to make up for whatever is changing between them by setting Temperance up with a colleague who spent many years as a book reviewer and is honored to meet the Temperance Brennan. Things go well at first as Temperance and Anthony seem to hit it off. All problems appear to be solved until Anthony suggests joining them for the trio's now traditional Wednesday night dinner. He calls it a double date. It is slightly awkward the first time the four are together, Anthony's presence disturbing the equilibrium. Unfortunately, it doesn't get better the next two attempts and Hannah feels sick at the idea of another double date. She ends up faking a deadline and having to cancel the plans. She realizes that her anxiety is because she can no longer handle the look of torture on Seeley's face when he sees Temperance with another man. She wonders when she became so familiar with these types of expressions on her boyfriend's face and why she has put up with it for so long.
It is in this moment that she finally admits to herself that Seeley is in love with two women and if she wants to keep him with her, there is nothing she can do about it. She doesn't ask him to choose between the two of them mostly because she is afraid of the decision he would ultimately make. So once again, she puts on a happy face and continues to try to make him happy because in spite of all the baggage, issues, and tension he continues to make her happy. But she stops wondering what the future might bring and becomes preoccupied with holding on to Seeley in the present.
No one notices when Anthony is dumped and no one seems to realize that Seeley becomes more relaxed during this time, perhaps because the elevated mood doesn't last long.
Hannah knows something is broken and irreparable when he comes home completely drunk one night seven months into their relationship. He falls onto the couch and remains there all night except for three trips to the bathroom in order to retch. Each time she hears him in the bathroom she brings him a cool washcloth and he smiles his gratitude but the smile doesn't reach into his eyes like it usually does. He attempts to tell her something many times but the only thing that comes out is "I love you" after he vomits the first time, "I love you" after the second, and "I love you" after the third. She is suspicious but she knows he would never physically cheat on her, his own moral code precluding that possibility. But, she knows that there is more than one way to have an affair, if that is what happened. She never does finds out exactly what happened that night. Years later she will still wonder about it.
Things change rapidly after that night. He begins to go to Gamblers Anonymous meetings at least three times a week when he hadn't needed to attend one in years. Hannah's carefully planned Wednesday evenings with Seeley and Temperance never happen again. Temperance only replies to Hannah's now desperate overtures of friendship via curt text messages that only ever apologize for canceling plans and regrets that she is too busy to attend whatever event Hannah had invited her to. The rest of the squints remain friendly, but the point is moot because she never is invited to the Jeffersonian again. She only sees them a few times at the Founding Fathers after a case clears. Temperance and Sweets become conspicuously absent and Angela and Hodgins look at Hannah with what appears to be pity and excuse themselves early, the baby a convenient excuse.
Hannah notices food wrappers in Seeley's car. He admits to Hannah that all lunches are eaten alone in his car or his office whenever he doesn't meet Hannah for lunch. They eat lunch together frequently now but they no longer go to the diner and he no longer orders fries no matter where they go.
She tries to approach him about whatever has happened to him but chickens out. Instead she makes herself content with the constant, almost frantic professions of his love and his warm body next to hers at night. She wakes up frequently in the middle of the night and always he is awake and staring at the ceiling. She decides that she is both selfish and a coward. He is no longer happy, but she doesn't know how to give him up because she still loves him and how he used to make her feel.
It's so easy at the end. It is a relief for Hannah when an international incident causes a media frenzy and the powers that be beg her to report on location. She can bow out gracefully; no fighting, threats, ultimatums or tears are necessary. It is time to let go and she begins to pack, suppressing her tears the entire time.
He notices her bags by the door upon returning home that night. She is silent as he takes her hand and meets her gaze with tear-filled eyes. His eyes question and plead but she isn't sure what the questions are or whose case he is pleading. She lets go of his hand in order to place a hand on his cheek.
The silence is broken.
"It's OK to love her, Seeley." She drops her hand and gives him a weak smile. He hugs her goodbye unable to form words but the tender embrace somehow clearly says both "I'm sorry" and "thank you." She picks up her bags and waves off his attempt to help her and closes the door softly behind her. She no longer feels selfish, the only feeling is one of mild surprise at feeling nothing at all as she walks away.