A/N *waves sheepishly*
Hi folks, long time no see!
I appreciate the reviews and PMs asking about some of my open fics, and I haven't forgotten them. (Well...I haven't forgotten most of them!) But my twitter friend, Frankie, gave me a prompt that actually made me want to write so I had to go with it.
Now, if you didn't like Hannah and STILL don't like Hannah then you probably won't like this so feel free to skip it...for both our sakes :)
Frankie, I hope this is what you had in mind.
And J, thank you for the beta and the title :)
This is also for my PIC, BlindAssassinUK, as she's had one hell of a week :D
"Ah come on Bones! Just once, come with us, you'll see how much fun she has!"
Booth aimed his best smile in his partner's direction, pleased when her own lips twitched reluctantly.
Last weekend, Brennan had finally agreed to Booth taking Christine to the zoo but no amount of cajoling on Booth's part could get her to accompany them. While Booth had enjoyed the trip, and there could be no doubt that Christine had loved it, he had missed his partner. The following week had been spent doing anything he could to convince her to join them, so far with little success. However, he couldn't deny that he had enjoyed some of his more…inventive ways, to convince her.
Booth lips curved at the thought, and he almost missed her response.
"No amount of begging on your part will make me change my mind, Booth. You know how I feel about this subject…I let you take Christine by yourself, you should be grateful."
"And I am," Booth wrapped one arm around Brennan, using the other to continue to push Christine in her stroller, "but that doesn't mean I don't want you with us."
Booth stopped moving, forcing Brennan to stop with him. He glanced down at her, wondering if she could really be that clueless or if she was just fishing for compliments. One look into her guileless blue eyes told him all he needed to know, and he kicked himself for not remembering that his partner didn't do…that.
"Because everything's better with you there."
He used the arm already draped around to pull her closer, laying a soft kiss on her lips. He pulled back slowly, revelling in the smile alighting her face. He laid another brief kiss on her head, sliding his arm from around her. He moved his hand to grip hers before he began to walk again, pulling a still smiling Brennan with him.
"That was a very," Brennan struggled for the right word, "sweet answer." She winced at the banality of her choice in words.
"That's because I'm a sweet kinda guy, Bones. It's why you love me," he grinned at her, "well, that and my irresistible good looks."
A playful slap to his arm was her only response, and he squeezed her hand once in retaliation but said no more. A companionable silence fell between them, broken only when they reached their destination.
"The usual?" Booth asked with a nod toward the coffee cart. At her nod of agreement he reluctantly let go of her hand, signalling for her to take a seat while he got their drinks.
Brennan moved herself and Christine to the nearby bench, seating herself and moving the stroller so Christine could see her. She watched Booth for a moment, smirking slightly as she watched him queuing restlessly. It never failed to amuse her; someone whose career depended on patience could be so impatient in his everyday life.
She dragged her eyes away from her partner, and it was only then that she noticed a figure not too far away watching her. She squinted slightly, and her mouth formed a small 'oh' in surprise as the figure moved closer and recognition dawned. She stood, one hand on the stroller and the other held out in greeting.
"Hannah," she shook the other woman's hand firmly, a small smile on her face.
"Hello Temperance," Hannah smiled softly in return, "you look wonderful."
"Thank you," Brennan nodded, no trace of modesty in her tone causing Hannah's smile to widen. Same old Temperance. "You are looking very well yourself."
Silence fell between the two woman, a silence Hannah felt obligated to fill.
"I'm meeting a colleague." She blurted out. "Just home from Iraq and I just have this one meeting. Just the one and then I'm…back out there. Again." She winced internally, cursing her inability to stop rambling. Her gaze fell to the stroller Brennan was still holding on to, and her gaze softened as she took in the sleeping occupant. "This must be Christine?"
"Yes," Brennan said, unable to completely mask her surprise at the other woman's knowledge.
"When the famous author Doctor Temperance Brennan has a child, it kind of makes the rounds." Hannah said with a wry smile. "Especially when it's with the real life Andy Lister."
Brennan stared at her, unsure quite how to respond to her comment.
"I'm happy for you both." She said simply. At Brennan's doubtful look she reached out to grip her free hand, leaning forward earnestly. "Really, Temperance. I am happy for you both." Hannah couldn't have explained why, but it was important for the other woman to believe her. "And she is beautiful. She's the spitting image of you."
Brennan accepted the compliment with a small nod of her head.
"She has Booth's eyes."
"That must make for one hell of a combo."
Another silence fell, this one more comfortable, as they both watched Christine as she slept.
"Hey Bones, I got your drink and one of those weird cookie things that you love so much."
Booth's voice broke the silence, and both women turned to look his way. His steps faltered slightly as he recognised the woman standing with his partner, before he came to a stop next to her.
"Hannah," he said in greeting, as he passed the drink and cookie to Brennan. He raised one questioning brow to Brennan before he turned back to face Hannah.
"Seeley. It's . . ." she searched for the right words, before giving in and falling back on the usual, "good to see you."
Booth accepted that with a nod of his head, before glancing at Brennan again, finding his partner unusually quiet. The contemplative look on her face wasn't particularly comforting.
When he looked back at Hannah he could see she was waiting expectantly, and it was only then that he realised he had yet to verbalise any response.
"It's…good to see you too." He winced at the forced words. It wasn't that they weren't true it's just that…they weren't completely accurate either. He was desperately hoping for his partner to come to rescue and she did…just not in the way he had envisioned.
At the quiet call of his name he sighed with relief, grateful that she was going to extract them both from this situation.
"I'm going to take Christine for a short walk. I'll be back in approximately 10 minutes, okay?" She didn't wait for his response, pausing only to give him a brief kiss on the cheek before departing with their daughter.
Booth stared after her longingly, wanting nothing more than to follow her and get back to enjoying the weekend with his family.
"Do you mind if we sit?"
The soft words shook him out of his reverie, and he dragged his eyes away from his family.
They settled on the bench that Brennan had previously occupied, and silence descended on them. They both looked forward, watching the movement around them as they became lost in their own thoughts. Minutes passed and the silence remained until…
They both broke into speech at once, and Booth laughed briefly before waving one hand to indicate she should continue.
"I'm sorry. For hurting you the way I did. It's not one of my proudest moments and…well, I'm just sorry." Hannah watched him carefully for his response.
"We both made mistakes." Booth said simply. "I blamed you back then, and I even thought I hated you but in the end I was…well, I was relieved." Hannah couldn't prevent a small wince at his words, and Booth sent her an apologetic glance. "I proposed for all the wrong reasons and for that I am sorry. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be happy without…" He paused, unsure quite how much it would be fair to reveal.
"Without Temperance." At his small nod Hannah smiled softly. "I understand. I knew how you felt about her." At his surprised look she laughed. "I'm a woman and a journalist. I knew. Everything you told me, and the things I found out on my own…I knew." She sobered slightly. "I was just waiting for it all to end."
Booth cast his mind back to that night. I thought we would have more time before we got to this. Her words reverberated in his mind, and a new understanding hit him.
"I realise that wasn't fair to you, and I'm sure a less selfish woman would have ended things as soon as they realised it wasn't going to end well but…well, I've never been good at being selfless." Hannah finished with a self deprecating smile. The smile faded, however, as Booth remained silent and she waited anxiously for him to continue.
"What I said before? Thank you?" Booth glanced back at her. "I meant it. You helped heal me when I needed it, and for that I will always be grateful." He smiled once, before sobering quickly. "And thank you for turning me down that night. It would have been a mistake, for both of us," Hannah nodded in agreement, knowing he was right even as her heart ached with an old pain.
Booth glanced away from Hannah and looked up, recognising the figure in the distance approaching them. The smile on his face was instantaneous, and Hannah couldn't stop a small smidgen of jealously creeping in. Not because of Booth; he was very much her past and nothing more than a very pleasant memory. But for the desire for someone to look at her the way he was looking at his partner; as if she was everything he had ever wanted.
"I like to think that this is where my life would have always ended up."
Hannah started at his low words, forcing herself back into the present as she looked at him.
"But without you it may have taken a lot longer." He dragged his eyes away from his nearing partner and daughter, and looked back at Hannah. "So thank you."
They shared a final smile before Brennan arrived, and Booth jumped up to greet her. Hannah stood to join them, and she looked at Brennan as Booth fussed over Christine.
"Thank you" she mouthed silently before continuing, "I'm late for my meeting, so I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of your day. It really was good to see you again, Temperance." Before she could think it through she leant forward, impulsively hugging the anthropologist.
Brennan froze for a moment before returning the embrace.
"You too, Hannah."
When she pulled back she nodded to Booth.
"Look after yourself." Booth returned with a smile, wrapping one arm around Brennan as he did so.
"Always do," she returned with a smile before turning on her heal and leaving the two partners alone once more.
Booth returned to his seat on the bench, before patting the space next to him.
"Care to join me Bones?"
Brennan rolled her eyes at his turn of phrase but moved to sit next to him, taking the time to ensure Christine was settled next to them. Booth wrapped one arm around her and pulled her close, until her head was resting on his shoulder.
"Thank you." She glanced up at him but said nothing, knowing him well enough to know when to let him speak. "I wasn't sure what to think when you left us alone but…I guess we needed to talk, so thank you for giving us that time."
"I believe Sweets calls it closure."
"Psychology, Bones? Really?" His eyes twinkled down at her, and Brennan felt the smile tugging at her lips.
"I have come to find that sometimes, in extreme circumstances, psychology has its merits."
Booth couldn't prevent the laugh that escaped him, resulting in Brennan pulling away to glare at him.
"Hey!" Booth rubbed the arm that she had decided to punish with one solid thwack.
"No telling Sweets. He'd be unbearable." Brennan shuddered just thinking about the reaction the young psychologist would have.
"If I promise not to tell Sweets do you promise not to hit me again?" He asked with a grin. At her nod of assent he pulled her back to him, kissing her hard on the mouth once before settling her back against him. "Then I promise."
Brennan shifted against Booth, making herself comfortable as they fell into a comforting silence. Brennan could feel her eyes drifting shut, helpless to prevent it as she relaxed into the comfort only her partner could offer.
"Bones," Booth said after a few minutes quiet.
"Hmmmmm," Brennan responded sleepily.
"I love you."
Brennan smiled softly, shifting closer to him.
"Love you too."
Booth smiled at the yawn that quickly followed her words, and the arm around her tightened.
"This. You. Christine." He kissed her head softly. "It's all I've ever wanted."
Silence followed his words, and he wasn't expecting a response from his soon to be sleeping partner until…
"You're all I've ever wanted too, Booth."
Booth smiled, the words warming his heart as he held his partner close. He made himself comfortable, and prepared to spend the next few hours keeping watch as his girls slept.
A/N I know, I know...I'm a soppy bitch. My reputation is going down in flames people! LOL