A/N: So this is a one-shot inspired by the Bones Hiatus Fic challenge issued by Thnx4theGum. It has to resolve the Hannah/Booth/Brennan issue using no spoken dialogue with at least 1500 words. This is my take on it. Enjoy!
Living in Egypt
She knew the old saying as well as anyone else.
Denial: it ain't just a river in Egypt.
She had found, however, that denial could be a very lovely place to be. Especially when it came to the history between her boyfriend of ten months, Seeley Booth, and his work partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan.
The relationship started extremely well. She finally found a man who was kind, strong, handsome, honest, and had integrity. Their connection was so instantaneous that even a war zone could not stop them from falling in love. She loved that he wasn't afraid of being affectionate and while she was definitely not a virgin when they got together, sex with Seeley was completely different than anything she had experienced before. It was so much better and so much more. It was funny to think but she actually missed being over there, in Afghanistan with him. As weird as it sounded, things were a lot less complicated over there, for one main reason.
Dr. Temperance Brennan was not in Afghanistan.
The anthropologist had not done anything overt to threaten her and Seeley's relationship, and after meeting the woman, she was convinced that Temperance did not possess the social skills necessary to be passive aggressive. Honestly, she found it hard to believe that her intuitive, people-person Seeley could ever have feelings for someone like that. Being an intelligent woman she could sense that they had some pretty significant history. But the journalist in her knew that if you didn't want the answer to a question, don't ask it. So that's exactly what she did, or more accurately, didn't do.
She rarely asked Seeley about his partner, wanting to know as little information as possible. When he would volunteer some information, she would change the subject to other things and since he didn't seem to mind or at least didn't call her on it, she didn't think it was that big of a deal. Their relationship grew and she was convinced that the problem she thought Dr. Brennan might be was something she had blown out of proportion.
Until she caught Seeley cheating on her with Temperance.
It wasn't physical cheating (although she was very thankful that she had never walked in on anything of that sort) and she knew that Seeley was unaware that he was doing it. She knew him well enough to know that it was something he would never to do her but emotional cheating is cheating nonetheless.
She had caught them in the act one evening when Seeley called her to cancel their date. Apparently, they were in the middle of a gruesome case and he had to stay late in the office in order to get caught up on some paperwork. He didn't give her any more details and she didn't ask. She knew her position as a journalistic put him in an awkward position: any details leaked to the press about any of the cases he was working and he would be the first one looked at and investigated. Turns out, being an FBI Agent and having a girlfriend in the Washington D.C. Press Corp did not win you any points in the Bureau.
So she changed into her sweats and curled up with the Penn State throw blanket that he kept in the hall closet and started doing some research for her next story on her laptop. This was not the way she enjoyed doing her work; she liked to be out in the field, chasing leads and grabbing the hottest story before anyone else did. The adrenaline rush was something that she sacrificed for Seeley and their relationship and sometimes, she had to stop herself from resenting him for it. But these grievances were quickly forgotten during their more intimate times together. After all, the man was great in bed.
After about an hour of research, she was bored and hungry. Thinking that she would be an awesome girlfriend and bring her probably starving boyfriend some dinner that did not involve a trip to the J. Edgar Hoover Building's cafeteria, she quickly threw on some jeans and his old Army sweatshirt and ran out to Wong Fu's. She loved the look Seeley got in his eyes when he saw her wearing his clothing; it was pretty much an instant turn-on for both of them. And since they already knew his office was soundproof, maybe he had some time to pull down the blinds and show her how much he enjoyed the sight…
She nodded at the guard of the Hoover building as she walked through the front door and he had her visitor badge ready to go for her. In her time with Seeley, all the guards of the building had gotten to know her well enough that she didn't even need to show her ID anymore when entering. Only when she saw her boyfriend's goofy boss, Assistant Director Hacker, did she even bother pinning the badge to her jacket. So tonight, when she was convinced he wasn't going to be there, she slipped it into her purse, not wanting to lose it if her jeans came off, which was the direction she was hoping this evening would take.
Getting out of the elevator on the fourth floor of the building, she saw Seeley's office light on but noticed that the door was closed. She frowned at that detail. When she came in to see him once, late at night like this, she commented that she was surprised to see the door open. He paled for a moment and told her quietly that after some of his past experiences, he hated being in enclosed spaces. She didn't ask about it but she figured it had a lot to do with the scars he had covering every inch of his body.
When she looked into the front of his office, she instantly knew the reason why the door was shut.
Seeley and Temperance were in the office, sitting at the chairs in front of the small, circular table he had on the left hand side, obviously deep in conversation. Cursing her horrible lip-reading skills, she settled for watching the pair, sitting at a desk in the bullpen to observe.
They were facing each other, with Seeley hunched over, resting his forearms on his thighs and looking intently at his partner, worrying his lip between his teeth. She couldn't see Temperance, whose back was turned to her, but she could see the tenseness in her posture. On first glance, there was nothing intimate or alarming about their positions. If she didn't know any better, she could be convinced that they were coworkers discussing some of the harder elements of their case after a really long, tiring day.
But, of course, she knew better. Unfortunately, that one position had shattered her little world of denial.
Because when she looked closer, she noticed the placement of their hands and the closeness of their stance first. She saw how Temperance's left hand was gripping his forearm so fiercely that she could see the strength of her grip from thirty feet away and Seeley's other hand was resting on top of hers, his thumb slightly but surely stroking her skin. And they were sitting so close together that she was pretty sure that their knees were touching.
But the most damning evidence was the look on her boyfriend's face, the emotions radiating out of his expressive brown eyes. She felt a pang of hurt and regret when she realized she had never been on the receiving end of the look of pure love and devotion he was currently giving his partner. And suddenly, she couldn't believe she hadn't seen it before. She suddenly saw so clearly the hesitancy in his touch when they were together, the carefulness in what he revealed to her, and the amount of time he actually spent with Dr. Temperance Brennan.
And in that moment, she also saw very clearly that her relationship was over. That in reality, it hadn't even been given a fair shot of working out at all.
How could it, when one of his or her hearts already belonged to someone else?
Deciding to leave before she was spotted and the awkward conversations that normally took place when Dr. Brennan was around occurred, she walked out of the bullpen and back to the elevator. Still clutching the bag of food in her hands, she dug around her purse to find the visitor badge, wanting to drop it off and get out of the building as soon as she could.
But strangely enough, as she unlocked the door to what was no longer 'their' apartment, she found she wasn't angry about the ending of her relationship. So after emailing her boss, asking to go back to the field, she sat down and calmly ate the dinner that she had planned to share with Seeley, waiting for him to return to his apartment.
Another instinct she had from her career in journalism was when to sit on information, hold it back from publication, and when to run with the story, to get it out there for the public to see. Tonight, she saw what she was sure others had recognized even before her arrival. After all, she was no longer living in Egypt, in her little world of denial. She was now in Temperance Brennan's world, where she was the third wheel to a love that had probably been in the works for the entire length of their partnership.
By trade, she was a fact finder, a truth seeker; it was what she loved to do. This was simply another fact, another truth she had discovered.
The truth was Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan were in love with each other.
And Hannah Burley did not shy away from the truth.