A/N: There was a challenge posted on Twitter today by the fabulous Thanx4theGum to write a fic, with no spoken dialogue that was at least 1500 words, to resolve the whole Hannah thing. And well, this is what came out of my over-worked Friday afternoon brain. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks to Effie, who read took the time to read through this and corrected all the little mistakes that escaped me. You're the best!
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones or the characters. But I enjoy playing puppet master with them for a while.
There was no doubt that returning from the war zone of Afghanistan was the right thing to do. He had turned his life upside down in an attempt to run away from rejection, he couldn't seem to handle, and he knew it was time for him to stop running. He missed Parker, his brother and grandfather and so, when the excuse to return home came, he jumped at the opportunity. His one and only regret was leaving Hannah behind.
Their relationship was, by definition, a whirlwind and he had fallen fast and hard for her. From the moment he had seen Hannah from across the crowded square, where she wasn't supposed to be, he knew that she had something special about her. When she thanked him, again and again, under the little fig tree, he convinced himself that she was exactly what he needed. He knew the thread that held them together was the passion their intimate relationship held, but Booth told himself that being that explosive together could only mean good things.
He could remember the pained look on her face as they said goodbye. It'd been a mix of her confident self, telling him it didn't matter, that she had a good time with him and wouldn't forget him and the insecure, girlish side of her that knew this could very well be goodbye forever. Hannah's girlish side was usually well hidden and had typically only come out in times they spent cuddling in his bed in the early mornings, but he knew he was going to miss it.
Stepping off the plane in DC had overwhelmed him and after he swung his canvas bag over his shoulder he went to the only place he could think of. When his cell phone chirped in his pocket he assumed it would be the brash district prosecutor who was responsible for his return, so when a pair of ice blue eyes stared back at him he felt his heart skip.
It had been seven months, four days, and thirteen hours since he'd seen or spoken to her. It was a figure that popped into his mind without much thought from him and he hung his head in defeat. Her text was simple, straightforward, and with the information, he knocked on the partition of his cab and changed his stop.
The first month in the desert he had hoped for communication from her. The army he had stepped back into was a far cry from the army he'd left years before and technology was much more easily accessed in his corner of the Earth. He had lost count of the number of times, he had opened his email and started typing anything directed to her, or the times he'd started dialing her cell phone number. When the first month passed and he hadn't received anything from her he pushed her into the farthest part of his mind.
She had told him she was leaving to gain perspective. That she needed time and space to figure things out and that the death and mayhem that consistently surrounded them weighed on her and she needed a break. He hadn't thought that meant she would be taking a break from them.
He climbed out of the cab and looked up at the building in front of him with a long sigh. He was now truly home and it felt better and better with each passing minute. When his eyes finally rested on the form of his partner his heart skipped again and he walked forward fully knowing that the feelings he'd buried deep inside his heart weren't as fully gone as he wanted.
Her hair was different, shorter with bangs, and she looked tired and thinner than when they had parted. Her pace quickened when she saw him and suddenly her arms were around his neck. He took a deep breath and inhaled the scent he'd had missed so dearly and then met her eyes with a smile.
The decision he made on the plane home, to be open and honest with Bones about his relationship, was tested right away as they sat on the steps, that the year before had been a turning point in their relationship. The picture of Hannah on his phone was shown and expressions of the seriousness of his relationship with the journalist were given and he thought for a brief moment her eyes flashed with regret, but it was gone nearly as fast and he assured himself he had imagined the look.
The week after his return seemed to pass in a blur as they fell back into the comfortable partnership the years together had developed. When a new case was handed off to them he took the opportunity to make sure Bones was okay with the reinstatement of the partnership and work. She quickly and easily comforted with the information that she was indeed 'down with it' and then another wave rocked the boat of their normal exchanges.
Hannah Burley reappeared in his life with the announcement of a job, all because she didn't want to keep waking up alone.
The introduction of his partner and his girlfriend was awkward, at least to him and he found himself walking the thin line of balance between home life and work life. As the weeks continued to pass the line became easier and harder to walk all at the same time. Hannah's introduction to his everyday life and home was met by a regret-fullness he didn't know how to deal with, especially as he became more aware of the change in his partner.
This change was never clearer than when she donned a ridiculous tutu and big white gloves for the popular children's science show and his heart had nearly burst with feeling as he watched her on stage. When he had closed his eyes that night his dreams were filled with a future that he had long since been convinced would never happen. When he woke a wave of guilt washed over him as he saw long blonde hair across his chest and not the brown hair that had been in his dreams.
The guilt continued to crash over him as the months continued and he spent his evenings with one woman and dreamt about another. Their tenuous friendship was another cause of concern to him as he watched them meet for lunch or drinks or just general girl time. He knew that a friendship between them was something he should have been thrilled with, but he just couldn't get his heart to agree.
As the tepid temperatures of fall faded in DC and were replaced with the icy ones of winter, the dreams that plagued Booth's nights made it more difficult to ignore the emotions he had masked. He didn't want to admit it but his relationship with Hannah became more strained with each passing day. Hannah was unhappy with her posting at the press corps and Booth knew she was itching for more action.
It wasn't until he returned home after a long day in interrogation with a suspect two weeks before Christmas however that he realized just how unhappy she was.
Her bags, all four of them, were unmistakably piled carefully near the door when he walked into his, no their, apartment and his eyes asked the questions his lips couldn't form. Her hands wrung together in nervousness he wasn't used to seeing in her, as she explained how hard she had tried to make this life that he wanted work for her. Tears were shed from both of them as she calmly told him that no matter what she did it hadn't worked. She stood and walked towards him, linking her fingers with his as she stood in front of him and placed a gentle kiss against his stubble-covered cheek. Her whispered apology and goodbye rang loudly in his ears and she gathered her belongings and headed to the door of their…his apartment.
He felt paralyzed as he watched her move farther and farther away from him in the short hallway. She turned to look at him one last time and the words that fell from her lips were enough to jolt his mind from its numb state. Hannah smiled sadly as he felt the recognition register on his face and he knew denying it would be fruitless. She warned him against waiting too long and assured him that she always had a feeling they were more than just partners. She told him that, no matter what, the love he had for his partner was returned.
He opened his mouth to dispute her but she was out the door with a resounding thud before he could make his argument. In the moments that passed he allowed his brain and heart to catch up to everything that had happened around him and he fell onto his couch and pulled off his tie abstinent mindedly. He allowed his mind to run through the conversations, with both Bones and Hannah, over the months since their unscheduled return to the states and before he realized what he was doing, he found himself back in his truck driving the familiar route to her apartment.
When he finally parked in front of her building he questioned his actions only briefly before taking the stairs to her third floor apartment. Her building, always quiet, seemed doubly so as his heart thudded hard in his chest and his hand made quick contact with her door.
He heard her footsteps inside her apartment, the pause he knew meant she had reached the door and was peeking through the peephole and the click of the deadbolt being retracted. He slipped his hands into his pockets nervously. He would have sworn that it took her hours to open the door and he reacted by shifting his weight between the balls of his feet and his heels.
Her blue eyes were filled with questions when they finally met his and he offered her a small half smile and a shrug of his shoulders. Brennan bit down on her bottom lip as her mind started to understand why he was there and he held his breath as he waited for her to decide what it meant. She offered him a small smile after only a few moments of silence and extended her hand to him in invitation.
Booth felt the smile grow on his face as he accepted her hand and stepped over the threshold and into her apartment. He squeezed his fingers around hers and knew that they were still holding tightly together and always would be.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! If you can take a minute to leave a review and let me know what you think.