I'm intrigued by HH's idea that "fast forwarding" a few months will thereby skip the dreaded "Moonlighting Curse." I hope he's right. I've got faith in him. He hasn't let me down in six years, I don't think he's gonna start now.

I am a true BnB shipper… and while I'm very glad they're together, I am bummed about some of the things we'll miss.

This is a series of one-shots that will address the things left unsaid. I've never attempted a collection of OS before, but I think that this is the best way to address the thoughts that have been floating around my head, LOL. Big thanks to jenlovesbones for sharing her timeline theory! It's fascinating and gave me the throughline for the first OS.

I hope you enjoy… let me know what you think.

The Upshot in the Ultimatum

#1

Seven Months

She wrapped her sweater around her ever-expanding midsection, pulling it a little tighter to ward off the chill of early spring. Smiling as she thought about spring and the wonder the season brought with it, she set down the bouquet of wildflowers she'd hastily picked up when she realized she was driving past a florist on the way here.

"I don't know why I'm even here," she muttered to herself, stopping and turning back to the spot that had been her original destination.

"Hi, Mom," she said in a much clearer voice. "It's me, Temperance."

She stopped and rubbed her hands over her well-defined baby bump, a habit she'd taken to more frequently in the past month or so.

"This is silly," she said. "I know you can't hear me. But Booth says you can and… well, he's been right about this kind of thing before… I don't know…"

Pausing again to let out a long sigh, she looked down at the name etched in the stone. Christine Brennan. She'd buried her mother under the name she'd know her by… and now she wondered if that is what her mother would have wanted. After all, her father was back in her life and he wasn't Matthew Brennan, he was Max Keenan.

"I'm pregnant," she said in the abrupt way she had. "Nearly seven months. It's more difficult than I imagined… I… I… I find myself wishing you were here, frequently. Booth says its normal to want to share this with you… to seek your advice…"

She stood quietly for several long moments.

"I'm scared, Mom," she said, her voice softer than it was only a few minutes before. "Not about the baby. Everything is going well and women have been having babies for centuries… our bodies are designed for just that purpose…"

Another long pause was accompanied by a sigh.

"It's Booth," she said quietly. "I'm afraid to trust him… I know that sounds bad. We've been together, romantically, now for…well, for about seven months. But we've known each other for years. He's my best friend. He knows me better than anyone. Or, at least I thought he did… But something happened… something that changed everything… and thinking about it makes me question if Booth and I can really make this work…"

She stopped speaking again, gathering her thoughts and unconsciously rubbing her hands over her baby.

"Booth is very impetuous," she said, going on. "I am not. One night that was so long ago now, but often feels like yesterday… Booth came to me and he told me that he wanted to give us a shot…

At first, I didn't even know what he meant. Give what a shot? And I realized then that he meant he wanted us to embark upon a romantic relationship. This is something that I had thought of in the past, but I had no idea that he had, as well. This suggestion seemed to come out of nowhere… I couldn't breathe… I felt trapped…

For a moment, I even thought about being trapped underground in that car with Hodgins.

I couldn't think. I couldn't concentrate on what Booth was saying. He said he knew… like the concept of fate actually existed and we were meant to be together. He said he wanted thirty or forty…or fifty years and my mind went blank.

I had to get away. I had to think. I couldn't think. I told him I couldn't change…

And then he said he had to move on… just like that. No more discussion. No time to think. That was it. All or nothing.

In less than fifteen minutes, we'd gone from fifty years to moving on.

He was supposed to know me. If he really knew me… if he'd thought about me at all he would have realized that I can't make a decision that quickly. Not about something like that. I need time. I have to think… to analyze… to mull…

But he couldn't give me that.

The next thing I knew, I was leaving for Indonesia and he for Afghanistan. Seven months. Ironic, isn't it? But those seven months gave me the time I needed to think… to regroup… to learn to understand my feelings…

When we got back to DC, I was ready. I wanted to tell him that he was right, that I wanted to give us a shot. But before I could say anything, he was showing me a picture… of his girlfriend, Hannah. He truly had moved on. He said they were as serious as a heart attack, and I felt as if I was having one.

Once again, I was left on my own… to deal with feelings that I didn't really understand…"

She stopped talking, pausing to once again gather her thoughts.

"Seven months later, Hannah was gone and Booth and I were on our way back. It wasn't an easy road. He was angry. I was isolated. We began to pick up the pieces of our partnership, of our friendship…

And we did it," she added, smiling. "We did it. We made it back… stronger than we were before in many ways.

It was just about seven months after Hannah left that I discovered I was pregnant. Booth was so happy when I told him. He's always wanted another child… We finally began to embark upon that romantic relationship that had been alluded to so long ago. And things are going really well. I am happy. And I believe that Booth is, as well…

So what am I so afraid of?

Booth is always talking about how true love never goes away…and how he's always known that I was his one. But if that were really true… then what about those seven months he spent falling for Hannah in Afghanistan? Or the seven months that he lived with her here in DC? Where was his great love for me then?

What happens the next time he wants something that I can't give on the spot? What happens the next time I'm not enough and he decides he has to move on?"

She stopped and thought for a minute about what she was saying. She knew without a doubt that Booth loved her, and she knew that he believed that he always had. But she just couldn't get past the fact that he didn't even give her five minutes to think about it before he just announced that he was moving on. Part of her believed that if he really knew her, if he really loved her… that never would have happened. And now, she didn't only have herself to think about… she and Booth were bringing another life into this insane world that they lived in.

She remembered sitting on the couch in their house in Ohio… it was late and it was a school night. She remembered the excitement of feeling naughty sitting up with her mom and watching the late show movie on TV.

"Life isn't a fairy tale, Little One," her mother had told her. "But someday you will find your very own prince. He won't be perfect… but he will love you. He will understand you. He won't always get everything right, but he will try very hard. Be patient with him, he probably won't be as smart as you are," her mother added with a laugh as she leaned in and kissed her daughter on the tip of her nose. "But he will be worth every minute of heartache that loving him will bring you."

Her mother had been right all those years ago. He was worth it. And she was, too. Someday, she'd have the courage to talk to Booth about all of this. She'd present her question to him. But for now, she was going to go home and have dinner with her prince.

She kissed the tips of her fingers and pressed them to the top of the tombstone.

"Thanks, Mom," she said quietly before she turned and walked back to her car.