Ally's Note: I used to update Hiatus every day, which is something I can't manage anymore, but I'll do my best to stick around as much as I can here. I'm very excited to write this second trimester, as I really enjoyed writing Hiatus. I'm currently modeling in Greece and Italy, so my schedule is rather hectic and unpredictable, and I'm a little preoccupied with my Diabetes that got out of control the minute I set foot in Greece, but via Twitter I will always keep you posted on any updates. I'm AllysonHale, easy as pie, right?
This is an M-rated story, because I was really pushing and stretching the T-rating with my last story and I just really want to write what I want because I'm stubborn and wrong and not willing to censor to fit into a teen-category.
Those who have not read Hiatus, I encourage you to give this a try. I'm all open for critiques, flames and suggestions (praise too, naturally). I try to reply as much as I can to everyone. Now that I have more time in between chapters, I should actually manage that. So, if you think it's obvious my beta-reader died (actually, I never had one) or that I wrote terribly because the battery of my laptop died and I forgot to pay the electricity bill again (that's why my whole life is charged by automatic collection), you may tell me.
Week 13, day 0
~To my Twitter friend Courtney_Mae, for being persistent, kicking my butt from time to time and not letting me forget that I signed up to be a devoted fanfic writer~
Brennan ticked her fingertips on the table impatiently as she studied the menu of the diner. Truth be told, she knew it so well that she really did not need this plastic to tell her the diner availabilities, but today was different. She was sitting alone at a table and she was thinking about breaking the rules. She had been craving a cup of coffee so bad, which she has been refusing herself ever since finding out she was pregnant and now that Booth had not arrived yet, she actually had an opportunity to do it. She traced the letters with her pinky finger. 'Coffee (black) - $1,90'. Brennan looked around the area conspiratorially. If she wanted to do it, she had to order it now. Anyone could step in here any minute and reprimand her.
The waitress of the diner approached her slowly. She had a friendly face and gave Brennan a kind smile when she stopped to stand in front of her table. "Is there anything I can get you already?" Now, was her time! Brennan swallowed and looked back down at her menu.
"I'd like a coffee..." She replied, overwhelmed by the irrational surge of adrenaline that suddenly ripped through her. "Decaf, please." She mentally kicked herself. The waitress nodded while Brennan stared ahead of herself in frustration. She just could not do it. Half a year ago, she did not care if she defied Booth. Now, she could not bring herself to do it anymore. Maybe it was everything he did to please her and to keep her and the baby healthy, but she felt that she could not scheme him like this. After all, she wanted her baby to turn out well too and 'not potentially scar or dehydrate the brain prematurely for a shot of caffeine'? No Booth, she did not want to scar or dehydrate a brain.
"Would you like something to eat as well?" Brennan thought for a while.
"A piece of apple pie with whipped cream, please." For Booth, not for herself. She was not hungry; she was only craving a certain liquid at this time around. When the waitress walked away again, Brennan turned her head to look outside again, watching all the cars passing by and couples strolling down the sidewalk while holding hands. "He can order his own damned coffee."
Fifteen minutes passed and Booth still had not arrived. Brennan was staring outside the window, looking at someone bending down to place a bouquet of flowers near a lamppost. The woman had a melancholy look on her face as she stood back up and stared at the other items surrounding the post. A kid had died here two months ago, Brennan knew. She had often watched youngsters on their scooters stop there to place a beer bottle on their nights out. Sometimes, when she drove by, she saw candles that were lit. People had made a memorial in the middle of the street, a shrine for someone who had failed to look around before crossing a road. Brennan felt her heart sink in her chest. She understood their need for it now. Someone who was so suddenly torn away from everybody's lives left an empty spot and people wanted to feel better by getting as close to the deceased as they possibly could.
Brennan bit her lip. She had to be grateful for everything she had. She was going to have a baby in a little over six months. Booth was as involved as he possibly could and in fact, she felt quite content with her life right now. Work was quite okay as she did not have to keep her pregnancy a secret anymore and she felt quite at ease in her relationship with Booth. They were going to live together, they had decided, and her whole life was going to change, but she looked forward to that. The woman outside raised her head and slowly walked away as the wind carefully tugged at the petals of the flowers that she left. Her life had probably changed too, but rather with the loss of a person… Brennan shook her head to rid herself of the sad thoughts that were starting to pop up in her head.
Booth was going to be here any second. She checked her cellphone again, but he had not texted her. No news was good news, right? Just because they were together now, did not mean that she had to know what he did or where he was every waking minute. Brennan started poking at the apple pie which she had ordered for Booth, with the tiny silver fork that the waitress had brought over. Despite all her cravings, pie was still not appetizing to her. Maybe it would be if it was covered in peanut butter. The corner of Brennan's mouth tugged up into a small smile.
"Temperance Brennan, I thought I'd find you here!" The familiar voice made Brennan drop the fork instantly and she hesitantly trailed her eyes up to look up to its owner. He stood as confident as ever, with one hand placed casually on his hip and the other one placed on the chair on the opposite side of her table. Brennan opened her mouth to say something, but no words came out. His skin looked slightly tanned and his hair was a little shorter than the last time she had seen him, but it was unmistakably him. In a Booth-like FBI suit. Brennan was too flabbergasted to do or say much of anything. "Mind if I sit down?" He did not await an answer as he pulled the chair back and flopped himself down on it.
When Brennan finally got over the first initial shock, the first thing she did was narrow his eyes at him suspiciously. "What are you doing here?"
He did not even flinch as he put both his hands on the table, palms facing upwards. "I came back for you, like I had promised I would." Brennan cocked her head to the side. For her? After all these years? Now? "I want to ask you to marry me."
"Get out, Sully."
A silence passed between them that was uncomfortable for both parties and Brennan hoped Booth would stay away for another couple of minutes, so she could get him to leave in time. Former FBI Agent Tim Sullivan furrowed his brow together, obviously not understanding her response. "I only said that I wanted to propose to you. I'm not insulting you!" Brennan felt her hands started to shake and she hid them in her lap, under the table. He did insult her. Who did he think he was? What made him believe that she had spent the time that he had gone out sailing missing him, waiting for him like a dog waited for his master to come home?
"You left four years ago! I have moved on with my life. You can't expect me to just welcome you back after all this time and be thrilled to see you." Brennan fought her hardest to keep her voice under control. She was not a sad little puppy and just ten minutes ago she had made up her mind that her life was great…without his interference. "I have some things to do and some things to discuss with someone. I'm—" She was about to enlighten him on the fact that she was pregnant, before she realized that it was none of his business. "You should leave."
Sully said nothing and his gaze dropped to the piece of pie resting on the table between them. "You've changed."
Brennan could not do anything but shrug her shoulders in defeat. He was right about that, after all. "I have," she agreed. "I'm more happy now."
"I'm glad." Sully reached out with his hand for her across the table, but Brennan did not take it. She just looked at it while a whirlwind of emotions surged through her. Why him? Why now? Why could he not have stayed away with his boat and built a hut in some faraway place that meant nothing to her. "I just want you to know, you should realize that I never forgot about you. I've missed you while we were apart. All these years. I did not come back sooner because I was a coward. I was scared you might hate me—"
Brennan raised both of her eyebrows. "Oh, I never hated you." She saw a relief wash over him and his body relaxed back in his chair. "I just don't like you anymore."
"I've never stopped liking you," Sully admitted, trying to look deep into her eyes, but she kept blinking defiantly. A strong wind came up outside and it blew a piece of paper against the window. Brennan flinched away from it. The paper was a black-and-white photo of the young man that had been killed outside on the road: James Thomas; 1984-2011. His smiling eyes on the photo seemed to want to penetrate her soul and warn her: 'I was caught in an accident. So could you. Beware of your every step.'
Brennan forced herself to look back to Sully when the paper blew away again, racing along through the street. "I just don't understand what it is that you want from me." She suddenly felt exasperated and her patience was quickly running out. If Booth came in now, he would be able to tell from her face that she was tired and he would spent the rest of the time trying to talk her into going to bed. Alone.
Sully leaned in a little closer over the table and Brennan fought the urge to shove her chair back. "I think I've been very clear on that. I want you to give us another try."
"You think marriage is 'giving it another try'?" Brennan shook her head. What he wanted was to hear that she had waited for him, but he was too clueless to understand that life did not work that way. People only waited for each other during war or in novels, movies and fairytales. Not when one of them took a sabbatical and the other was left to herself working her metaphorical butt off. "Look, I feel like you've made me a pion in your half-life crisis and it's making me very uncomfortable. Like I said, I'm very busy at the moment."
Sully smiled. "What I think you mean to say is midlife-crisis, Temperance. Half-life is a term used in science, but midlife refers to—" He trailed off when he saw her frustrated expression on her face.
"I don't have time for—"
"Love?" He questioned. Brennan gasped involuntarily and glared at him. He did not even seem to want to listen to her. He had hurt her when he announced that he would be leaving. She could recall the painful stab at her heart which she had felt at that time when she waved him off at the harbor. How could he be so delusional to think that she would forget about all that and that the feelings of resentment would convert themselves back into fondness?
"Sully, my man!" Brennan looked up towards the entrance of the diner, while Sully turned himself around. She sighed when finally there was Booth in the same room with her, however she was less thrilled that he himself did seem very happy to see his old colleague again. Sully got up from his chair and opened his arms so he could give Booth a friendly pat on the back as he approached them. "I heard you were back in town!"
Brennan suddenly felt her blood run cold and her heart skip a beat. He was back, for good? She had hoped he would just go back to his boat after she had managed to usher him out of here.
Sully smiled amicably at Booth, who winked quickly at Brennan before placing both of his hands on his hips and listening to Sully talking to him. "I am, Booth. I am. Three days in, and today I spoke to the FBI to ask if maybe I could get my old job back."
"Good for you! What did they say?" Brennan looked at the two suited men in front of her incredulously. Booth knew all about her previous relationship with Sully, so why was he standing there like Sully was his best buddy when he should be wary of the advances he was making on his girlfriend behind his back?
Sully laughed lightly. "They said they would be in touch. I know. Cliché, right?" Both men grinned at each other.
Although Brennan was relieved to find out that he had not received a permanent position with the FBI – not yet, anyway – she did feel the need to rid herself of his presence for the moment. She wanted to be alone with Booth, who she really did love and really did want to spent her life with. She cleared her throat, catching their attention at once. "Booth, Sully was just leaving." Brennan narrowed her eyes at Sully again, conveying the message that if he so much as dared to deny that, she would make his extended time here extremely unpleasant.
He did pick up on her signal, but so did Booth who raised a questioning eyebrow at her. Sully took a deep breath. "She's right, you know. I still have some stuff to do to settle back down here." His voice trailed off slightly and Booth could instantly tell that Brennan had something to do with this sudden change in atmosphere. "But it was good seeing you again, Booth, Temperance." He nodded his head slightly in Brennan's direction.
"I guess we'll be seeing you around , huh?" Booth asked, feeling a bit unsure about what to say. He liked Sully, Booth thought he was a nice man, but Brennan obviously disagreed with him. Truth be told, he could not really blame her. He was the one who got to cheer her up after his immediate departure.
Sully flashed them one last smile. "You definitely will." He straightened his jacket and stepped besides Booth. "Enjoy the rest of your evening. Goodnight!"
"Yeah, 'bye." Booth greeted him as Sully turned around and walked off. Brennan watched his every step until he closed the door of the diner behind himself, before she got up from her chair and stepped closer to Booth. "Hey, Bones," he spoke softly as she placed both of her hands against his chest. She swallowed nervously.
"Booth…" was all she managed to say before she leaned into him and pressed her lips against his roughly. She fisted his dress shirt to pull him closer towards her possessively. The waitress that had served Brennan her decaf coffee paused in her stride to look at them with a knowing smile. She had watched them dance around each other for God-only-knows-how-long-exactly. It was about time.
Booth let out a muffled groan as Brennan attempted to force his lips apart with her own and deepen the kiss. Even though he was all for public displays of affection, he knew this was spiraling out of control and they also had to be careful that members of the FBI would not pick up on them. He reached up to cradle the sides of her face in his hands and gently pull himself away from her. "Bones, don't get me wrong. I love it when you kiss me like that, but what's wrong?"
Brennan's lips parted and she looked away from Booth's face. Oh, where would she start? Thirteen weeks into her pregnancy she still felt like she was constantly battling caffeine withdrawal. She was still spotting and even though she read on many pregnancy websites that it was normal up until her twentieth week, it still bothered her. Not to mention that she felt really upset about Sully waltzing back into her life like he had not missed a thing and actually expecting her to feel grateful for his return too. Yet, she had to think about that kid that died too, the grieving people that passed by every day and the content feeling that she had had earlier on. "Not so much, but enough for me anyway."
Booth slid his hands down her shoulders to rest them on her upper arms. "Come on, let's sit you down first, alright?" Brennan let Booth direct her back to her chair and she sat down, while Booth took Sully's former seat. "What did Sully say?"
Brennan took a deep breath. "He wanted me back." Much to her surprise, she saw Booth's lips curve up into a smile and that did not sit well with her. "Why does that appear to be so amusing to you?" She exclaimed to him, meanwhile shoving the plate with pie out towards him.
"Because I know that he doesn't stand a chance and therefore his efforts are useless," Booth answered, gratefully taking a forkful of apple pie and bringing it to his mouth. "Did you tell him about us?"
Brennan shook her head. "I couldn't. He was wearing a suit, like you. If he worked for the FBI again, he would have passed the information on to your boss and they would not let us work together anymore." That ' no-fraternizing-with-consultants-rule' was surely going to cause more problems as soon as Brennan would be more visibly pregnant and people would start asking questions. "And I just wanted him to go away."
Booth saw how tense her shoulders were and how she tightened her jaw. He could read her like a book almost, even when she was trying so hard not act vulnerable around him. "So why are you so angry now?"
Brennan was glad when the waitress returned to ask them if they would like to order another drink, so that she had some time to gather her thoughts. "Because he spoke to me about marriage." Booth snorted and Brennan started to feel slightly irritated with him. "He left me behind years ago and now he suddenly decides he wants me to be his wife? You don't leave your spouse! That's wrong!" Brennan exhaled slowly, trying to keep herself under control. "And I only want to get married to you..." She then realized what she had just said and quickly added "…eventually."
"Bones…" Booth started. "None of that matters. Sully doesn't even matter."
"Yes, he does!"
"No, he doesn't. You know why? Because we are still the center, okay? We slept together, you got pregnant right after and whether or not that is a sign of the universe is not even the point. We held. We got together because of it and now we are couple who are looking for a place together. We're still holding. Your team misread all the pregnancy signs and thought you were sick and we had to come clean about us in Sweets' office. We got through that too." Brennan was frowning, even when she received her cup of tea and the smell of Booth's coffee enticed her from across the table. "I can tell you the easy difference between now and all these years ago, alright? Are you ready for it?"
Booth actually paused to make her look up into his eyes when he was going to speak the next couple of words. Brennan nodded when she did. "It's because you're no longer an impervious substance, but we are an impervious substance together."
Brennan gave his words some thought, all the while never taking his eyes off of him. "You're right," she said truthfully. "We are."
Booth held up his fork in the air as if it was the item that held all the answers for them. "So, whether there's a Sully, Jason the botanist or a Hannah really doesn't matter. None of them can damage what we have." As soon as he spoke these words, he diverted his attention back to his pie. Somehow, he had hoped she would start craving that too, but that was apparently only going to happen if it was covered in peanut butter. She even dipped her pickles in it.
Brennan stared into her cup of tea. "I've noticed… you no longer cringe when you say her name."
Booth looked up at his pregnant girlfriend and his face broke out into a small smile. "I no longer need to. She doesn't matter now either." Booth felt underneath the table with his hand, so he could cup her knee in a loving gesture. "But you and our little lime do."
Ally's Note: So I know how I promised blood and gore, but I think this is a more eh… gentler approach when starting a new story. See, I do have empathy for my characters! I have saved the chapter's draft though, so expect to encounter sometime in the not too distant future...
I don't know when I'll update again exactly, because I won't be home until Saturday and still have some work cut out for me in Italy. Let's hope my bloodsugar will stop playing tricks on my health and my mood and along with your fantastic encouragement, I'm sure you won't have to wait too long.
So, anyway, here's a preview to the next chapter: Rebecca has asked Booth to meet up with her because she has something she wants to discuss with him. I would spoil all the fun if I defined 'something', so you are free to speculate away, rattle me in reviews or nag me on Twitter (AllysonHale). I'm ready!