This one's for FaithinBones, because her Hannah stories always warm my heart. It's also a little break for me from all the angst of Time Out.
Hannah couldn't help the big smile that came to her while she was putting on her lip gloss. Another hot date with her super hot guy, one that she was sure would end in the same way all the others had-sex, sex, and more sex. Good, sweaty, wild sex that left them pleasantly buzzed for hours afterwards.
She supposed it was kind of goofy to keep thinking of them as 'dates' since they were living under the same roof, but whenever she went out with Seeley it still felt a little like that. Maybe because he was such an old-fashioned gentleman, always opening car doors and pulling out chairs for her-you didn't see much chivalry in men these days. Or more to the point, maybe because there was still so much that they needed to learn about one another, irrespective of the fact that they'd been sharing the same place for more than three months now. This element of mystery helped to keep things interesting and fresh, and probably explained why their relationship continued to be so inebriating, even to this day. They laughed a lot and they bantered and kissed-and then some-whenever they were together, and the conversations were light and breezy. Just the way she liked things.
Occasionally, though, she got the funny feeling that deep down maybe her boyfriend was looking for something different, and whenever that happened, it brought on an uncomfortable case of restlessness in her that was hard to dispel. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but sometimes he came at her with such fervor in those sweet brown eyes of his, it was almost like he was pushing for them to head in a different direction than the one they were going. If she didn't know him any better, she would almost think he was being emotionally needy, which was ridiculous. Seeley Booth, macho army guy, strong and confident, who could have anyone and anything he wanted, being needy. As if.
He'd never put anything into words, so maybe it was just her overactive imagination playing tricks on her. What more could either of them possibly want? What they had was exciting and comfortable, all at the same time, and they were in love.
She still remembered Temperance's veiled warning though, when they were discussing the move into his apartment. Why did his partner even feel the need to bring that subject up? Of course she knew what she was doing by moving in; she wasn't just stringing Seeley along, or doing it because she couldn't afford a place of her own. And if he was capable of giving himself completely to the person he loved, whatever that even meant, so was she. They were together, they spent as much time connecting as their busy professional lives allowed, and they thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. There wasn't much else left to 'give.'
It had been a weird conversation, but then Hannah had finally figured out just what had prompted the enigmatic girl talk. Temperance had apparently been interested in Seeley all along. He had guiltily confessed as much to her not too long ago, because he said it was important for him to be honest with her about what had come before. Maybe "interested all along" wasn't the exact expression he'd used, but she could put the pieces of the puzzle together, especially if you threw in Temperance's earlier words of caution to her. He also happened to mention that he'd been interested in his partner before leaving for Afghanistan, but that the feelings hadn't been returned at that time. Well, Seeley had chosen to move on, while Temperance had apparently experienced a change of heart; perhaps even secretly harboring some hope that he would come back to her if things between him and his new girlfriend didn't work out. All she could say to that was, don't hold your breath, Dr. Brennan.
Bottom line, the advice that got handed to her on that day by the forensic anthropologist was pretty self-serving, then.
She didn't hold Temperance's feelings against her, nor did she feel even remotely threatened by them. She respected Seeley's partner; in many ways, despite all the glaring differences, they shared many of the same personality traits. They were both fiercely independent go-getters whose professional lives always took precedence over anything personal. That's why they were both so highly thought of in their respective lines of work, so successful. And it sure as hell felt good to be 'top dog.'
Poor Temperance, though; she was such an odd duck, really. Deep down, Hannah was still mortified about having taken the woman's sunglasses from her during that one hospital visit way back. It was just meant as a little joke, nothing more; she was just messing with her to see what would happen, in part because she was feeling silly from the pain medication and in part because she thought that Temperance would eventually get the humor of it and just play along. She never dreamt that Seeley's co-worker would actually take the pair of expensive glasses off her head and hand them over, remarking in all seriousness how she understood the anthropological reasons behind Hannah's request. God, she had felt so guilty about that later, and so embarrassed for Temperance, she didn't have the nerve to tell her it was all just some juvenile b.s.; maybe one day she'd come up with some carefully-worded, official sounding reason for giving them back. It would have actually been a really funny incident, except for the fact that it was also kind of sad.
She could never imagine Temperance with Seeley, not in a million years-especially not in the bedroom. What would that even look like? They were so different; worlds apart. She with her awkward social skills, taking everything literally, icily efficient, and brainy to the point of sin. And he so charming, so passionate and carefree, and as unbookish as they came. The rough and tumble jock and the lab coat nerd-a pretty unlikely combination, and one that could never possibly work long term. It would be a miracle if Temperance ever even found someone-maybe a professor or a scientist or something would come along for her one day, if she was lucky. But Seeley? Come on.
And as to Seeley's disclosure about his past feelings for his partner, he might have been interested in her despite her social shortcomings because she was undeniably attractive-credit where credit was due-and they had worked together so closely for so many years. She herself wasn't all that immune to the allure of falling for a colleague, although she would be the first to confirm that this sort of office romance never stuck for long.
Seeley may have also been attracted to Temperance's highly individualistic-if quirky-streak, as well as her undying devotion to what she did. He seemed to like that fiery spark in a woman-look at whom he was dating now. She was definitely like Temperance in that regard: her job always came first. It had to; it still kind of did, even when she'd been willing to put some of the moving around on hold for a while until she could figure out how to arrange it so she could have both: her international reporting career and Seeley. When they had more stability as a couple, when they had some more months together under their belt, she would bring up the fact that she wanted to start travelling again. He might feel secure enough in their relationship by then to let her pick up her bags and roam the globe freely, without worrying about her absence. She'd heard of long-distance relationships that worked; maybe she and Seeley would be in one of those, if the incentives were kept right for him. And hot, sweaty sex right after a long trip was the perfect incentive for most guys, especially when it came gift-wrapped in the appropriately slutty lingerie. Hannah was almost positive that with a little sweet-talking, she could get Seeley on board with this particular arrangement. He'd already happily gotten a taste of her of amazing sexting and phone-porn skills, and she also new for a fact that she photographed extremely well, especially in filmy nighties.
She definitely wanted to keep Seeley in her life though, and she would have to play her cards correctly just in case there was a chance that Temperance was right about him getting too invested. He was fantastic; always treated her like a queen, was so thoughtful and considerate, and more importantly, he made her laugh. It didn't hurt that he was great eye-candy too, with and especially without his clothes on. The whole sh'bang, there, she had.
Why worry about it then, that he might be thinking of taking things between them too far? They had never even discussed the future, but she had always made it clear to him that her international journalism career was still important to her and that she was not the stay-at-home mom kind. She didn't even like kids, for crying out loud, and he knew that, although she always made an effort with Parker because he was Seeley's, and Parker truly was a cute kid. But kids for her-no way; she had already stated that in no uncertain terms. This was exactly the kind of baggage she didn't need in her life. Besides, they were so far from discussing anything close to marriage with their busy schedules and their steamy nights, it was unimaginable to think that the subject would be coming up anytime soon. She hadn't explicitly ruled that option out for them to him in so many words, but she was pretty sure she had given more than enough hints that this was something she wasn't interested in. He was a smart FBI guy; he had to have picked that up.
Her independence had been hard-won and her standing in the news world fought for tooth and nail-she couldn't give those up, not for anything or anyone. Beautiful female reporters were a dime a dozen theses days, but ones that were actually taken seriously by their colleagues in the news room, earning their stripes the hard way, were not. Hannah was sure Seeley understood that. Still, sometimes she did wonder about him, mulled over the possibility that he might be tempted at some point to get a little too serious about what they had; that he might end up expecting something from her that she would never be willing to give him.
Again, it wasn't so much anything that he'd said or done so far that was giving her cause for concern; that wasn't the problem. It was really more about how other people around them reacted to their pairing. Perhaps that was really what was making her more nervous than anything else.
Just a few days ago, when tagging along with Seeley to the lab with Parker in hand, Temperance's friend Angela had made a big deal about the three of them hanging out. Angela had winked in her direction, telling her in a confidential tone: "Booth doesn't let just anybody get close to Parker, you know. You guys are really progressing here; you must mean a lot to him." And then there was Camille Saroyan, going on about how pleased she was for Seeley, that he was finally in a solid relationship. "Having a family has always been so important for him, you know. It's just great seeing that he's finally getting that. That big hulking guy of yours is really a vulnerable little boy inside, Hannah-don't be fooled by the cocky belt buckle." And on and on the subtle comments came and went. They seemed innocent enough, but she felt an undercurrent of seriousness running through them that made her uneasy. And who could miss Caroline Julian's evil eye, which always seemed to be pointed her way? Maybe the woman was just an old sourpuss, but she got the feeling that there was more to it than that.
She shook her head to make her hair a little looser while making a determined effort to dismiss her fears as sheer paranoia. She wasn't going to let these foolish worries put a damper on her evening. Most likely, this gaggle of mother hens in Seeley's life all had varying degrees of crushes on him, and maybe that's why they were so territorial when it came to his dating anyone. She didn't blame them for that-what woman with eyes on her head wouldn't? It actually was kind of cute if you thought about it, all this concern for him, and it didn't feel even slightly mean-spirited, so why let it bother her?
They obviously hadn't seen their "little boy" in action in Afghanistan dressed in full combat gear, wielding a rifle she could barely carry, running door to door as insurgents were taking pot-shots at him and his unit. Shooting back without hesitation and with incredible accuracy, taking his life into his own hands time and time again, defending the men and women under his command. And barely a scratch to show for it. No, no boy there at all; one hundred percent grown-up male, as far as she could tell. And the way he had risked his life for her without batting an eye… wow; the memory still made her shiver.
They didn't need to worry about him, all these women, not one bit. Seeley could definitely fend for himself. Maybe they just didn't know him as well as she did.
She put on her nice, white coat over that little black dress he had taken a shine to before, and looked in the mirror one more time as she grabbed her keys. Looking foxy for your guy, she thought confidently.
She wasn't sure what kind of evening Seeley had planned for them; only that he mentioned it was a going to be a big night for them and that he was taking her somewhere really nice. When she had jokingly asked what sort of milestone it was that they were celebrating, he had cryptically replied "us. We're celebrating us." Whatever the celebration involved, she was certain of one thing-it would end up being very gratifying for them both. She couldn't wait to catch up with him by the reflecting pool, more than ready, willing and able to be whisked away to whatever romantic place he had picked out for them. And afterwards? All lacey lingerie spread out on the floor and crumpled linens on the bed, their by now trademarked date-ender.
That was the one thing she knew she could unerringly depend on: fun and good times with Seeley, always.