A/N: This was inspired by the beautiful song of the same name by Adele. Please review! Thanks!
Someone Like You
I heard that you're settled down.
That you found a girl,
And you're married now.
Dr. Temperance Brennan tentatively entered "Seeley Booth" into the search box of the online white pages. Her search returned one result.
"Booth, Seeley and Hannah," the screen read, "3150 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007."
She swallowed hard at the names emblazoned on the screen.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you
She knew Booth was married. She'd been there at the wedding. She'd sat in the third row and watched as her partner smiled as his bride approached. After the ceremony, she'd hugged the bride, kissed the groom on the cheek, and congratulated them both.
In the parking lot, Brennan slid a card into her best friend's hand. Only Angela knew of her plan. Through tearful conversations, Angela attempted to change her mind, but, in the end, the deep sadness in her best friend's eyes became impossible to endure.
Brennan took a position teaching a university in another state. She kept in touch with only Angela, and by extension, Hodgins and Michael. Booth respected the wishes she'd stated in the wedding card and left her alone. For the first year, Booth wore an expression of bitterness and sadness whenever he entered the Jeffersonian. But time passed, he was a married man, and life went on.
You know how the time flies.
Only yesterday, it was the time of our lives
We were born and raised in a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days
The evening Brennan showed up at his doorstep was cold and rainy. She sat in her car for ten minutes before approaching the brownstone. The knot in her stomach almost prevented her from pressing her finger to the doorbell. But, she'd driven eight hours to get there. There was no turning back now.
I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it.
I had hoped you'd see my face
And that you'd be reminded that for me, it isn't over.
A familiar face appeared at the door. Hannah took a step back at the sight of the woman standing before her. Brennan was thinner than when she'd last seen her, her face sallow, and the hair on the crown of her head was flecked with gray.
"Hannah, I," Brennan began.
She'd rehearsed what she might say if Hannah, not Booth, answered the door, but her well crafted words escaped her. The awkward silence was filled with a high pitched voice calling, "Mommy!"
The owner of the voice scampered up beside her mother. She had ringlets of blonde curls and her mother's coloring, but her chocolate brown eyes were all Booth. Brennan faltered, startled to see the little girl with her father's eyes, who resembled her half brother. Brennan, with a pang, thought of Parker. A child. She hadn't expected a child. Hannah didn't want children. She'd said that if she were to become a parent, she'd adopt.
The little girl stared at the unexpected guest, "Are you mommy's friend?"
Brennan squatted to the little girl's height, "I knew your mommy and daddy a long time ago. I was hoping to speak to your daddy."
Hannah didn't look pleased at her request. She'd invite Brennan to come into her home.
Instead, she shouted, "Seeley! Someone's here to see you."
Seeley. Booth was never Seeley to Brennan. She'd introduced him as Seeley Booth a handful of times, but he was never 'Seeley'. Always 'Booth".
Hannah took her daughter's hand, nodded to Brennan, and silently passed her husband as he walked towards the door.
Booth halted abruptly when he saw her form in the doorway.
"Bones?" he said with a catch in his voice.
"Booth," she replied, immediately wrapping her arms around him in a tight embrace.
He, in turn, did the same.
Booth heard the chatter of his wife and daughter and released his former partner and best friend.
"What are you doing here?"
"I saw you in the paper," Bones lied, "You were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That's a great honor, Booth. I am sure you've erased any cosmic debt you felt you had when we began our partnership."
Booth smiled a smile that quickly dissolved into a frown.
"It's been five years, Bones. You had Angela slip me a note at my wedding reception saying that you were leaving the Jeffersonian and moved to Boston."
Bones swallowed. Of course he knew where she'd gone. If no one at the Jeffersonian had let him in on the secret, any google search would reveal that she'd taken a position at Harvard University. Although she'd asked Booth not to seek her out, the knowledge that he'd known where she was all these years made tears spring to her eyes.
"I know. I'm sorry. I've thought of you often. I've missed you."
"I missed you too, Bones," Booth said, his resolve weakening at the sight of her tears, "but I have new life now."
"I know," Bones said, furiously wiping away tears, "your daughter is very cute."
"Thank you," Booth said then put his hand gently on her shoulder and asked softly, "Why are you really here, Bones?"
"I – I told you," Bones said, although the real reason was concealed beneath her many layers of clothing, "I just wanted to congratulate you."
"A card would have sufficed," Booth quipped.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have disturbed your evening," Bones said looking down at her shoes as if fascinated by them.
Booth glanced back into the house.
"Do – do you want to come in?" he asked Bones, although he suspected his wife would not welcome her.
Bones shook her head, "No. I – do you remember that night during the Eames case?"
"Of course. I've replayed it in my mind many times," Booth confessed.
"I said I didn't want to have any regrets. I want you to know that it wasn't that I saw what you had with Hannah – what I could have had - and changed my mind. I love you. I have for a long time."
If Booth hadn't been watching the tears roll down her cheeks, he might have noticed that she'd used the present tense.
"I loved you too," Booth said, not meeting Bones' eye.
Booth's use of the past tense didn't escape Brennan's notice. She'd been foolish enough to think that love might last forever. Even a love that was starved of attention like a plant not watered for weeks.
Bones turned on her heels, "This was a mistake."
"Bones -," Booth said grabbing her arm, "don't leave."
Booth looked into her tear stained eyes, "I'm sorry that things turned about the way they did between us. I think we could have had something – something amazing. I wish we'd had a chance to find out. Back then."
Back then. The words were so definitive. Her Booth was honorable. He had a family now. She'd missed her chance long ago.
"Me too," Bones admitted.
"I am glad you found happiness with Hannah, Booth."
She was glad he'd found happiness. She only wished she allowed it to be with her.
Bones kissed Booth on the cheek and turned to leave. Quickly, she turned back.
"Why Hannah? If I hadn't left for Maluku, would it have been different?" she asked, swallowing the lump in her throat.
Booth chuckled wryly, raking his hands through his hair "I don't know, Bones. Yeah, probably. Why Hannah? She was open and interested in being with me. She's smart, beautiful, and independent."
Bones nodded. It was a stupid question. Any man would be pleased to have Hannah for a lover, girlfriend, or wife.
"She's someone like you," he added softly.
"She's not a consolation prize. I love her," a voice echoed in Brennan's mind.
Bones nodded once again, trying to stem the tide of tears threatening to fall.
"Goodbye, Booth. Don't forget me."
"I could never forget you, Bones," Booth said, touching his palm to her cheek.
She turned, and, this time, finally left for her car. Booth stood at the door until her car was miles away before returning to his family.
Never mind, I'll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you, too
Don't forget me, I begged.
I remember, you said,
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead.
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead.
Nearly two months to the day of her visit, Booth stood at the counter sipping his coffee. He reached for the paper, folding it back to the see the headlines on the bottom of page.
"Oh my God, Bones," Booth cried dropping the paper and his coffee mug.
The mug shattered on the kitchen floor, but Booth stood still as a statue, feeling bile rise in his throat.
Hannah said emerging from the bathroom at the sound of the mug shattering.
"Are you going to clean that -."
She stopped abruptly at the sight of her husband's ashen face.
"Seeley, what it is?"
Booth couldn't speak. Hannah retrieved the fallen paper drenched with coffee and read the startling headline aloud.
"Scientist and author, Temperance Brennan, found dead in her apartment at age 39."
"Oh God," Hannah exclaimed.
A still speechless Booth leaned over the sink.
"It was breast cancer," Hannah stated after skimming the article.
Somberly, she added, "She must have known that she was dying when she showed up here in November."
Hannah's speculation was met with silence.
"Seeley? Are you okay?"
The rest of her words were drowned out by the sound of Booth retching in the sink.
"Bones! Bones, wake up!" Booth said shaking his girlfriend.
"Booth! Booth?" she said startled at the sight of his concerned expression.
"You were having another nightmare," Booth stated, "You were moaning and muttering in your sleep."
He pulled the chain to turn on his light and studied her more closely, "Bones, were you crying?"
Bones' only reply was biting her lower lip. She'd been plagued by nightmares during her pregnancy. Occasionally, she shared the content of these dreams with Booth.
Booth gently rubbed Brennan's back, "What was your dream about, baby?" he asked soothingly.
Her eyes down casted, in a quavering voice, she uttered, "I dreamt you and Hannah were married."
After the last word escaped her lips, she burst into tears. Booth pulled her close, so her head rest on his shoulder, her body flush against his. After other nightmares, she'd seemed unsettled, but this was clearly different. This dream had shaken her to her very core. He'd only seen Bones this upset once before; when she'd told him that she'd made a mistake. If he lived to be a hundred, Booth would never forgot how she looked that night, her wet hair clinging to her head, her blue eyes hopeful that she'd get a second chance. The sound of her sobs haunted him for weeks. Tonight, Booth held her while she sobbed, as he wished he could have done that night.
"It seemed so real," she muttered into his shoulder.
Booth brushed her hair from her face, "It wasn't real."
Bones nodded, basking in the comfort Booth's embrace provided.
"Was there something else…in your dream?" Booth asked hesitantly.
Bones nodded again, "After your wedding, I…we lost touch."
"You left," Booth said softly.
"Yes. Several years passed. I'd become very ill and came to see you. You had a child."
Booth suddenly felt queasy. He knew Bones enough to read between the lines of "very ill". In this dream, Bones had come to him as she approached death.
"You were pleased to see me but made it clear that you had a different life now," more softly, Brennan added, "a life in which I had no place."
Booth framed her face with his hands and pressed a kiss to her forehead, "Oh Bones, that could never have happened."
"Even if Hannah had said 'yes', I couldn't have gone through with it. Not with how I still felt about you, no, I couldn't have done it," Booth admitted aloud for the first time.
Bones buried her head in his shoulder. They had discussed some of the events of the past year early in their relationship, but had decided that the both bore blame.
Booth ran his fingers through her hair, adding, "If you left, I'd find you. I go to the ends of the earth to find you."
Bones looked up at him with a slight smile but sadness in her eyes.
"Was there something else?" Booth prodded.
Bones didn't answer immediately. The dream Booth's words were unimportant, but yet…
"I asked why you'd chosen Hannah. You said she was 'open and interested', that she was intelligent and beautiful, and that she was "Someone like me"
Booth swallowed hard at this dream version of himself's careless words. He leaned his forehead against hers.
"There's no one like you, Bones. No one could ever replace you, Booth said vehemently.
His expression softened, and he placed his hand on her swollen belly, "I hope she will be, though."
Bones smiled a genuine smile, "I'd rather she took after her father."
"She'll be the best of both of us," Booth said definitively.
"Yes, that would be preferable," Bones replied with a yawn.
"Try to get some more sleep," Booth said before he pressed a kiss to her lips, "I love you."
"I love you too," she said.
It wasn't too late. They would get their chance.