AN- How many ways can I write out Hannah? :-) Review, please.
The Revelation in the Chick Flick
This was the way to spend a Friday night. Seeley Booth sat on his sofa, his arm wrapped protectively around the shoulders of his girlfriend as they watched the latest romantic comedy on his new Blu-Ray player.
"These things are so unrealistic," she said. "I mean, how are we supposed to believe that this is true love? The guy promises forever and then turns around and tells her he's moving on? Give me a break. He never really loved her."
"How can you say that?" he countered. "He offered himself to her time and time again. How long is a guy supposed to wait?"
"If she's really the one?" she asked. "As long as it takes."
"I never knew you were such a romantic," he said, leaning in to gently kiss her lips.
"Truthfully," she answered. "Neither did I."
She sat quietly for a moment, thinking again about the movie.
"Do you really think he loved her?" she asked.
"Yeah," he answered. "I do."
"Then why didn't he fight for her?"
"I don't know," he said, leaning back against the sofa. "I honestly don't know."
"I'm glad real life isn't like the movies," Hannah said with a smile.
"Why's that?" he asked.
"Because I know you'd never do anything like that," she replied. "I know that when you say something, you mean it."
Her words hit him like a punch to his gut. She didn't know… did she? How could she know that he had done something like that… something exactly like that. How could he have been such an idiot? He spent years… literally years… trying to convince Bones that love was real and tangible. He tried to make her understand that when it was real, it was not ephemeral… it could be eternal. He promised her forever in one breath and took it back in the next. He was that guy… the guy in the movie-the schmuck who threw away the best thing that ever happened to him.
No wonder she didn't believe in love. Everyone she'd ever loved had let her down. And now, he could add his name to that ever-growing list.
Across town, a similar discussion was taking place.
"I still don't know why you insisted that we watch this movie, Angela," Brennan said, sitting down on the plush leather sofa in Hodgins' media room. "It has no basis in reality."
"Sure it does," her friend replied.
"I don't see how you can say that," Brennan said. "If she was truly the love of his life as he said, then how could he fall in love with someone else so quickly? If she really meant as much to him as he said, wouldn't he fight for her? Or at least wait for her to figure things out for herself?"
If this had been an animated movie, a lightbulb would have appeared instantly over Angela's head.
"Do you think she would have figured it out?" she asked tentatively.
"Yes," Brennan said, almost in a whisper. "What if she just needed time, Angela? What if she figured it out only to find out that he didn't really mean it? If he loved her as much as he said he did… if he'd really love her for thirty, or forty, or fifty years… then how could he just move on so quickly? How could he come back in love with someone else?"
Angela knew that they were no longer talking about the movie as she watched the tears fill her friend's eyes. She knew Brennan well enough to know that she had to hold on to the façade of talking about the film in order to keep her talking.
"What if he was only taking what she said at face value?" Angela asked. "She told him she couldn't be what he needed, so he tried to find someone who could."
"Did he just stop loving her, then?" Brennan asked, sounding so childlike and vulnerable that Angela could hardly stand it.
"No, sweetie," Angela said. "He didn't stop loving her. He couldn't… ever."
"How can you be so sure?" she asked.
"I've seen this movie before," her friend replied. "I know how it ends."
She glanced at the clock on her bedside table, it was nearly three in the morning. She had been tossing and turning for hours, unable to get the movie and the feelings it had stirred within her out of her head. The banging on her front door was actually a welcome relief. Slowly, she climbed out of bed and grabbed her robe from the chair near her bedroom door, pulling it on as she made her way down the hallway to the front door.
She checked the peephole out of habit, but there was only one person who showed up at her door in the middle of the night. Admittedly, it had been a long while since that had happened, however.
"Booth," she said, opening the door to him. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm sorry," he said, simply.
"It's okay," she said, "I wasn't really sleeping."
"No," he said, moving past her and into her living room. "Bones," he said. "I'm sorry."
"You already said that," she replied. Confused, she walked over and sat next to him on her sofa.
"Not for waking you up," he said, a shy smile gracing his features, "well, I guess for that, too. But I mean, for everything. Bones, I was wrong. I was wrong to think I could move on… I was wrong to try. I told you that I'd love you forever and I meant that. I should have waited for you to believe it."
"What does that mean, Booth?" she asked, her voice soft.
"It means that I love you," he said, reaching out to take her hands in his. "I have always loved you and I will always love you."
His words were like a balm to soothe the ache in her soul… but that ache was quickly replaced by another.
"But what about Hannah?" she asked as another searing pain ripped through her metaphorical heart. Was he now offering her his heart at Hannah's expense? As much as she'd tried to avoid it, she knew the pain of loving Booth and not being able to have him. She couldn't knowingly put the other woman through that kind of pain.
"I love her, too," he said honestly.
He reached out to take her hand as she looked away from him.
"But I know now that I can never love her, or anyone else, the way that I love you," he said. "She was there when I was hurt and lonely. She filled a space that I really needed to fill at that time. And what I feel for her is real, but it's not enough."
"It has to be," she said, pulling away from him. "You made your choice, Booth. As much as it hurts, we both… no, we all need to live with it." She would have said more, but stopped as tears began to fall down her cheeks.
"Oh, Bones," he said, tears filling his own eyes, "And you said you didn't have an open heart. We can't just go on the way we have been. I know that you don't want to see Hannah get hurt, and if it's possible I love you even more for that… but it's not fair to her for us to go on when I know that I can't give her my whole heart."
"I'm sorry, Booth," she said, wiping the tears from her cheek with the back of her hand. "It's too late. We missed our moment."
"No," he said. "It's not too late."
"Go home, Booth," she said, her sad voice filled with resignation. "Go home to Hannah. I'll see you at work on Monday."
He relied on all the stealth he'd acquired in his years with the military and the FBI to make his way silently into the apartment and down the hall to the bedroom. He quietly opened the door and was startled by the sound of a sleepy voice coming from the bed.
"I didn't expect you to come back so soon," she said.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to wake you. I just needed to get out and try to clear my head."
"How is Temperance?" she asked.
This was his punishment for falling for beautiful, intelligent women. Seeley Booth had never cheated on a woman in his life, and he didn't intend to start now. He had never felt the kind of guilt that he was experiencing at this moment.
"You've been distracted ever since we watched that movie tonight," she said. "Then you disappeared in the middle of the night… I assumed you'd gone to see Temperance. I've noticed that it's usually she who helps you make sense of things."
He let out a long sigh. Why did he have to be such an ass?
"She is," he said, sitting down on the edge of the bed. "Hannah," he said. "There's something I need to talk to you about."
"Nothing good comes after that sentence," she said, rolling over to look at the bedside clock. "Especially not at four-thirty in the morning. What's going on, Seeley?"
"Hannah," he said again, "I've never lied to you about my feelings…"
"Oh god," she replied, sitting up and pulling the covers up around her.
"I love you," he said, and then took in a long breath. "But I'm in love with someone else."
"Oh god," she repeated. "It's Temperance, isn't it?"
"Before I left for Afghanistan," he told her, "I went to her and I asked her to give us a chance. I wanted us to be more than partners… we already were more than partners, but we never acknowledged it. She turned me down. She basically told me that she couldn't love me the way I loved her. I told her that I had to move on, and she asked me if we could still work together and we both tried to pretend like nothing ever happened…"
"Just like the movie," Hannah said, quietly.
"Eventually, we just couldn't do it anymore. She took the position with the project in Indonesia and I went to Afghanistan…"
"Where you met me," she said.
"Yeah," he said, smiling as he reached out to touch her cheek. "And it was amazing. You are amazing. You helped mend my broken heart and proved to me that I can sustain a real relationship. But you were right when we were watching that movie tonight… if he really loved her, he couldn't have moved on. I really love her."
"And you went to her tonight?"
"And what did she say?" she asked, although she wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answer.
"She told me to come back to you," he said. "That she and I have missed our moment."
"And what do you think?"
"I don't know," he said honestly. "I don't know if I'll ever have my chance with her or not… but I know it's not fair to you to keep going on when I know I'm in love with her."
She nodded, resignation all over her face.
"It's not like I didn't see this coming," she said, not missing the surprise on his face. "I'm a reporter Seeley," she said. "And a damned good one. I know when I'm not getting the whole story. I thought I'd figured it out a long time ago, but things seemed to be pretty good with us, so I ignored it."
"God, Hannah," he said. "I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you… or her… I don't even know what I'm doing anymore."
"Fight for her this time," she said. "Don't let her push you away with that bull about missing your moment. You didn't fight for her the first time, you have to do it now. Prove to her she's wrong, Seeley. Prove to her that forever love does exist. Don't give up."
"Booth," she said, sadly. "What are you doing here?"
It was Sunday night, and she hadn't seen or heard from him since he'd left her apartment in the still of Saturday morning.
"I told you I'd see you at work on Monday."
"I know what you said," he replied.
"Then why are you here?"
"I just wanted to tell you that I'm not going to give up this time," he said.
"No," he said, moving past her and into her kitchen. He set down the bag of take out and six-pack on the counter. "Hear me out," he told her. "I know I screwed up. I know I've got a lot of making up to do. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to make you see that when I told you I was 'that guy,' I meant it. When I told you I'd still love you in fifty years, I meant it. And now, when I tell you I'm not giving up, I mean it…"
He shook his head.
"Hannah's gone," he told her. "I told her everything," he said. "And she left with one caveat… she told me to fight for you, to prove to you that love can last forever. And that's exactly what I intend to do."