Temperance blinked once, twice, three times but the sight of the ceiling stayed and when she turned her head, expecting to see the warm, brown eyes of the man she loved, she was met with a different of brown eyes; those of her best friend.
"Angela?" she croaked, coughing a bit, as if she had not had a drink for days. "Y-you're a...you're human again?"
Angela furrowed her brows at her best friend. "Um...yeah, Sweetie. Of course I'm human. I have been since the day I was born. Did you hit your head harder than we thought, or something?"
It was Temperance's turn to furrow her brows but the mere movement caused a shock of pain in her temporal lobe. "Hit my head? Y-you mean...?" Her eyes widened. "Angela, was I in a car crash?"
Angela shrugged. "Well, you could barely call it a crash. I mean it was barely a scratch, but with those lousy airbags...They really banged you up. I told you to have them checked, but nooo. You have to start listening to me, Sweetie."
"A sc-scratch. You mean the people in the truck are alright?" Temperance asked, relief washing through her.
Angela gave her a strange look. "Truck? What truck? You hit some beat-up caddy, Sweetie. And yeah, they're both fine. Thank God. The guy driving the other car has a little girl and thankfully, she was wearing her seat belt. Not that much harm would come if she didn't. Like I said, it was just a little bump."
"You said it was a scratch." Temperance groaned.
"Well, for them it was, but there's a slight dent in your passenger door, but I'm sure it won't cost too much to fix. I'm actually more concerned about your face."
Temperance's eyes widened in panic. "What?" she exclaimed, catching sight of a mirror on the other end of the room and jumping out of her bed and running towards it. "I thought you said it wasn't that bad."
"It wasn't!" Angela insisted. "It's just that when that damn airbag went off in your face, it left a couple of scars, but those can be removed, too, Sweetie. It's no big deal."
Temperance reached the mirror in record speed, catching her breath and closing her eyes to keep from getting dizzy. When she opened her eyes, she was both relieved and somewhat saddened to see the once so familiar scars that ran over her every feature were gone, except for two. One that ran over her eyebrow, and another that was barely the size of a cut on her lip. Both were stitched closed and both seemed obscene on the otherwise flawless face. Temperance barely recognized herself, especially since for the first time in what seemed like so long, her hair was it's original length and style.
Temperance must've stood there for much longer than she thought because suddenly Angela was standing beside her, with her arm on her shoulder, making her jump. "Sweetie?" she asked. "Are you okay?"
Temperance took a deep breath and nodded. "Yes." she said. "Of course. I just...I guess I thought there would be more damage."
"Does that make you...sad? Or something?" Angela asked, chuckling.
Temperance smiled and gave a short, weak chuckle. "Of course not." she said. But, truthfully, she was.
She missed her scars. She missed her horrible, short hair. She missed her large home, filled with magical items that could walk and talk. Even though she knew they were just made from her friends and servants that she still had, she was going to miss how things had been for the last twenty years. Or, how they were in her dream, anyway.
But what she missed most was Seeley and Parker. The man that, in her dreams, she had grown to love and he'd loved her back, and the little girl that made her see what true beauty was.
"Dr. Brennan?" a voice said from the doorway, startling Temperance from her thoughts. Temperance turned to the voice and gasped.
It was the old woman from her office, looking absolutely stunning and as healthy as she should be, wearing a white lab coat. "You." Temperance breathed, in astonishment. "What are you doing here?"
The woman cocked her head with a sly smile. "I'm your doctor, dear." she said. "And it looks like, according to this, you are perfectly fine, despite the force to your skull and face. Are your cuts bothering you at all?" Temperance shook her head, still dazed. "Good. But you are feeling a slight headache, are you not?"
"Only a bit of pressure in my temporal lobe, but that should be normal, right?" Temperance asked.
The woman nodded. "Of course. With some aspirin and a little rest, you should be fine. In fact, you can leave in the morning since it's much too late to release you now." She eyed the clock, which read one in the morning.
Temperance nodded. "That sounds acceptable." she conceded, returning to her bed.
"Also, would you be open to the idea of corrective surgery for your scars?"
"No!" Temperance exclaimed. "Uh, I mean, no," she said, more calmly, a blush rising on her face at her outburst. "That's okay. They're not that bad. Compared to..." she took a deep breath. "Compared to how bad they could be."
The doctor nodded. "Of course." she agreed, smiling slyly. "Of course. Well, I'll just leave you to rest now, then." she said. "Good night."
Temperance nodded and walked back to her bed. When she was all settled in, she turned to Angela. "Are you staying?" she asked.
Angela shook her head. "Sorry, Sweetie, but I can't. I left Jack with Michael and I've already gotten ten texts asking me to come home and 'save him'." she rolled her eyes. "Such a baby."
Temperance chuckled. "Okay, well can you come pick me up tomorrow morning?"
Angela nodded. "Of course. Just give me a bit of heads up on when you're gonna be discharged. Kay?" Temperance nodded and Angela leaned over to kiss her cheek. "See ya later, Sweetie. Get some rest."
"Okay." Temperance said, kissing her cheek in return and laying back in her bed. "I'll see you tomorrow."
The next morning Temperance was up and dressed by seven and had just been discharged when she got a call from Angela.
"Hey, Sweetie." Angela said when Temperance answered. "I'm running a little late and traffic is horrible. Do you mind getting a head start and just meeting me at this little diner around the block from the hospital? It's not far and I'm starving! So is Michael, apparently." Angela said over the very loud, very apparent crying of her young son.
Temperance chuckled. "Okay, Ange." she said. "That's fine. I could use a little nourishment, as well. Would you like me to order you a coffee?"
"Please?" Angela asked. "And get Michael some warm milk. It might mellow him out a bit."
Temperance chuckled. "Okay." she said. "I'll see you soon, Ange." she said, before hanging up and continuing on her way.
By the time she made it to the Diner, it was nearly eight and her stomach was growling like a lion. She asked for a table for three and ordered her and Angela's coffee and Michael's milk, before texting Angela that she'd found the Diner.
Looking around, Temperance wondered why she'd never been there before, especially since she worked just around the corner most days. Placing her chin in her palm and her elbow on the table, Temperance just watched as people came in and out, and conversed as if they did this every single day, as if it was so familiar when she felt as if she hadn't had any real contact with people like this in well over twenty years, before her dream accident.
The thought made Temperance want to cry, but instead she took a deep breath and focused on her coffee. When she looked up again, her eyes widened as a mop of curly blonde hair ran through the door, twirling around to smile at a taller figure with dark, brown hair and identical brown eyes.
"Come on, Daddy!" Parker whined. "I'm starving! And we're gonna be late for school!"
Seeley chuckled as he stepped in after her. "Okay, okay," he laughed. "I'm coming. And your school is right across the street, Parks. You're not going to be late. We still have twenty minutes."
Parker rolled her eyes. "Yeah, but how long do you think it's gonna take for them to make chocolate chip pancakes and then for me to eat them?"
Seeley shrugged. "You better learn to inhale them, like your old man, then, huh?"
Parker giggled, and turned to the breakfast bar, taking her seat. Seeley smiled down lovingly at his daughter as she ordered there breakfast, before glancing around the room, pausing as he caught the gaze of a young, familiar-looking woman, who immediately turned away.
Seeley furrowed his brow at the strange behavior and turned to Parker. "Hey, Parks? I'll be right back. Okay, Sweetie?"
Parker nodded, already focusing on the sugar packet holder in front of her. "Okay." she mumbled, not really even paying attention.
Seeley ruffled her hair a bit before turning and walking towards the woman. The closer he got to her, the more familiar she seemed. Finally, he was standing right in front of her. "Excuse me?" he said, getting her attention, his breath catching in his throat as he was met with a pair of gorgeous, crystal blue-gray eyes. He lost his train of thought for a second, not even noticing Temperance's look of longing as she spoke first.
"Yes?" she asked, acting as if this were the first time she was meeting him. "Can I help you?"
Seeley swallowed and nodded. "Uh...I was just wondering...d-do I know you from somewhere?"
Temperance fought back a smile and shrugged. "I-I don't know she said. I-I mean, you do look quite familiar, but I'm not sure if we've ever been acquainted."
"Oh." Seeley said, blushing. "Well, my name is Seeley. Seeley Booth." He put out his hand.
Temperance smiled, cordially, at him. "Temperance Brennan." she said.
Seeley's eyes widened. "You mean like the doctor?"
Temperance nodded. "Exactly." she said. "Very nice to meet you, Mr. Booth."
Seeley smiled now. "Oh, please, call me Seeley." he insisted. "My kid is a big fan of yours. She's a little braniac, that one. He turned to his daughter, still sitting at the breakfast bar. "Hey, Parks. Com'ere!"
Parker turned around and jumped off her stool, before scrambling over to her father. "What?" she asked.
Seeley smiled down at her. "Meet Dr. Temperance Brennan."
Parker's eyes widened. "Brennan?" she asked, as if the simple word was magic.
Seeley nodded. "That's right."
Parker turned to Temperance with a large smile. "Ohmygodyou'resoawesomeIcan'.OhmyGod!"
Temperance chuckled. "I take it you're quite excited." she deducted.
Parker nodded, vigorously. "Totally! I did a report on you in school and I got an A!"
Temperance cocked her head. "What grade are you in?" she asked.
"Second. Well, I should be in first, but I'm in the accelerated program at school and we had to do stuff on the skeletal system and we learned about how you cured cancer!"
Temperance chuckled. "That's true, but only bone cancer."
"And other stuff, too!" Parker added.
Temperance nodded. "That's true. You're very bright for your age." she commented.
Parker nodded. "Thanks!"
Seeley watched their interactions with mildly contained amusement, before being called by a waitress at the breakfast bar with their food. "Oh, there's our food." he said. "We gotta go eat." he explained and Temperance, not wanting them to leave just yet, stopped him.
"You can bring your food over here if you want." she offered.
Seeley smiled. "That would be great, but are you waiting for someone?"
Temperance nodded. "Yes. My friend Angela will be here soon with her son, Michael."
Seeley nodded. "Okay, then." he said. "Parks, go ahead and sit. I'll get our food."
Parker nodded and sat down across from Temperance, barely taking a breath before bombarding her with question after question, causing Temperance to chuckle at the young girl's enthusiasm.
When Seeley returned and set down their food, she was almost overjoyed when he took the seat next to hers and smiled at her, while listening to Parker talk on and on as she ate her food.
By the time they were finished eating and had to leave in order to get Parker to school on time, Temperance had already fallen head over heels in love with him for the second time, and was saddened that he had to leave so soon. Seeley and Parker seemed to feel the same way, because as he stood up, Parker pulled him down so she could whisper something in her ear, that made a blush bloom up on his face. He turned to Parker. "You sure?" he asked, amazed at the request she just made. Parker nodded, with a big smile on her face, before pushing her father towards Temperance, whose eyes widened.
"Did you need something?" she asked.
Seeley nodded and cleared his throat. "Um, yeah. P-Parker and I were just wondering i-if you wanted to c-come over for dinner sometime this week. But, if you're too busy, th-that's okay."
Temperance smiled up at him. "That sounds very nice, Seeley." she said. "When were you thinking?"
Seeley smiled widely at the acceptance. "I-is tomorrow too soon?" he asked.
Temperance smiled. "Not at all." she said, her smile growing brighter.
Seeley's smile bloomed to match hers. "Okay, then." he said. "I-I'll see you tomorrow. Say 6 pm?"
Temperance chuckled. "I'll have to get your address first." she said.
Seeley blushed again. "Oh, of course." he said, pulling out a pen and scribbling his address down on a napkin, and handing it to her.
"I'll see you tomorrow, then." Temperance said, taking the napkin and tucking it into her pocket. "Bye, Parker." she said, smiling at the little girl who gave her a little wave. "Bye, Seeley." she said, a bit softer, smiling up at him.
Seeley gave her that irresistible charm smile that she loved so much, that made her heart soar. "See you soon, Temperance." he said, brightly, being pulled out, backwards, by his daughter.
Temperance watched him leave, pure love and adoration in her eyes as she thought about seeing him for dinner the next night.
As he disappeared from sight, Angela appeared at her side, Michael hanging off her hip. "Hey, Sweetie." she said, kissing her friend hello. "Who was that?" she asked, having noticed the man who just left her friend sitting at the table herself.
Temperance just smiled as she stared off in the direction Seeley had walked, towards her future, which seemed brighter than it ever had.
What should my next story be? You decide. The most write-ins for one story by the twentieth review gets the choice! So, REVIEW!