With the hiatus making us all crazy, thought I’d send some Bones love out into the universe. This is an excerpt from my in-progress Bones romance/crime-solving Magnum Opus. I don’t own Bones or anything in its make-believe universe.
Chapter 7. Hannah apologizes and admits Booth belongs with Brennan
Seated in first class, Booth stretches his long legs. “Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!” He loosens his tie even further, kicks his shoes off and stows them under his seat pulling a pair of baby blue footies out of the briefcase laying on the unoccupied seat to his right.
As the aircraft leaves the runway, he’s got the dossier on Enrique Larinaga that Brennan prepared for him open on his lap. He knows he should be reading it, but after the first two paragraphs, his mind drifts back to the coffee shop and his conversation with Hannah earlier in the day.
“Your Dr. Sweets would probably say that meeting with you and spilling the beans on Temperance,” she began, “is an attempt to gain control over the situation … or maybe as a final effort to really prove to you have much I love you. Or,” she paused, pursing her lips and speaking as if she were talking to herself, “maybe it’s just to assuage my over developed sense of guilt over hurting you.”
He had looked at her wondering if he should stop her right there. He felt sure he had been clear about their potential future as a couple. As far as spilling the beans about Brennan, he was not interested in hearing anything against his partner.
With all he and Brennan had been through, he was certain without reservation that there were no secrets between them. He already knew all the details of her heart-breaking childhood abandonment when she was fifteen or sixteen and her years in the foster child system. He’d helped her reconnect with her only sibling, Russ. He’d captured Brennan’ father, a wanted fugitive and murder suspect, and put him in prison – all in the line of duty – only to be instrumental in getting him acquitted of the charges
Booth stood by Brennan as she faced the truth about her mother’s death. He knew about her awkward and lonely childhood, her unsuccessful romantic relationships, her commitment to the truth, and her ability to come across as intimidating or heartless in her efforts to uncover that truth.
He’d witnessed her struggle to interpret the nuances of social interaction, and been there to hold her hand or offer a shoulder when she’d been devastated by others’ less than flattering evaluations of her personality. He knew her to be a compassionate, loyal, and generous person. He treasured the countless times she had publicly and eloquently voiced her appreciation for the man he was in her eyes. More than once he’d found himself pleasantly embarrassed and short of breath as Brennan made a toast to him or shared with their friends the valuable insights she’d gained through their relationship as partners and friends.
He could comfortably disagree with her – actually appreciated spending most of his time with someone he never had to pretend with. He spoke his mind; she spoke hers. She didn’t back down just to be nice and would have been disappointed if he did. Being with Bones was as comfortable as being with a guy – but nothing like it – she was beautiful and, he couldn’t deny, powerfully attractive and fascinating – at least to him.
They had both literally saved each other’s lives several times over. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her, nothing he hadn’t already done for her. He knew she felt the same.
He’d seen her happy, disappointed, delighted, sad, heart-broken, angry, frustrated, and jubilant. The one and only time he’d seen her afraid is when he had told her he wanted to give their relationship a chance to be more than just a partnership. She had been afraid then. Afraid that she would hurt him. Other than that, she seemed to have no fear, something he rarely witnessed in any human being regardless of sex.
She liked guns, solving cases, and catching murderers. She saw the best in him. To her, he was a hero. To him, she was too. They were partners, and he’d been in love with her since the first time they met.
Reflecting on all this, he recalled the conflict within him as he sat across the table from Mis Burley this morning. Should he allow her to continue with whatever it was she had come to say? Or should he thank her for the coffee, wish her success in Afghanistan, and leave for the Jeffersonian?
Her opening was so provocative; he had been at a loss to figure out what she could possibly be about to share with him. He was wary, however. He’d known many women who would scratch their best friends eyes out in a heartbeat if they thought it would advance their chances with a mutually sought after male conquest. He had never doubted Hannah’s competitiveness. You don’t get to where she is in her profession without clever maneuvering and ruthless strategy.
There was nothing she could tell him that he did not already know about his partner. What did he have to lose? He had decided to let Hannah say what she came to say … to a point.
Booth had sat quietly while Hannah laid out her case.
“Seeley, when I moved here to be with you, I was, in a way, coming to fight for you. The whole time we were together in Afghanistan you didn’t mention the particulars of your situation, but I could see someone had hurt you. When you told me you were coming back – and that you’d be working every day with a woman who had broken your heart and sent you off to Afghanistan to lick your wounds … I intended to come here to rescue you, I guess. I came to D.C. ready to fight for you, for us.”
He almost objected at that point. Seeley Booth does not sit around licking his wounds – and no one SENDS him anywhere. He went to Afghanistan of his own accord to train soldiers in combat strategy in such a way that lives on both sides of the conflict could be spared. Hannah was making him sound like a victim. Like a boy, not a man in charge of his own destiny. However, he let her continue. There had to be a point in there somewhere…
Chapter 8. Female Mud Wrestling – and Then Booth Woke Up
Booth shifts in his first class seat and wiggles his toes inside the silky baby blue chenille footies. Do these look like girl sox? He wondered to himself. Who cares – they are awesomely warm and cozy. Too bad they don’t make these for you hands, he mused as he noticed his fingers were getting chilly from the dry, sterile, circulating cabin air. “Wait,” he actually said out loud sitting bolt upright and looking back in his briefcase. Bones gave me a whole bunch of these things, he said, this time to himself. How stupid would I look wearing a pair on my hands?
He straightened up again and peered over the back of his seat to assess the possibility of being observed wearing girl sox on his hands. Satisfied he was safe from scrutiny, he slipped the footies over his fingers all the way up to his wrists. Immediately he could tell that something wasn’t right. There was something scratchy and flimsy inside the right footie. “What the …” he said loud enough for the two ladies in the row across and behind his own to look in his direction before lapsing back into their conversation about grandchildren, he assumed, or something else equally banal. “Nothing to see here,” he tossed out as he eased back into his cushy seat.
Do these things have tags sewn into the seams, he wondered. He pulled the footie off his right hand and found that Bones had left him a little note. It reminded him of the notes his mom used to put in his Green Lantern lunch box when he was in grade school. Mom’s notes usually said something mushy or reminded him about something going on after school that day. This note was different. He read it, smiled to himself, and put it in his wallet for safe-keeping.
Snuggled back into his cozy seat, his hands and feet wrapped in silky luxuriousness, a gift from Bones, he attempted to take in a little snooze before the brief flight landed in Boston where he’d catch another flight into Philly.
Sleep eluded him, however. What Hannah had shared at the diner had ended up surprising him. He would forever be grateful for what she sacrificed in order to bring him that information. Now he fully understood the depth of her feelings for him.
Booth wanted to recall every word of her revelation so he could savor every one. “When we met in Kabul,” she started, “I could tell that you were hurting. I jumped at the change to be your Knight in Shining Armor – You men aren’t the only ones who suffer from white knight syndrome, Seeley. Why do you think I go all the way to Afghanistan, when I could easily take a less dangerous and less heroic assignment stateside?”
Booth had smiled when she shared this. He knew full well the lengths to which a person would go to protect or defend those they love. He’d seen it many times in the war. Too often he’d witnessed soldiers make unsafe choices … sometimes stupid choices … in the name of bravery or honor. This last time in Afghanistan he’d made a choice to give up combat heroism in exchange for something much more important, though not nearly as glamorous: the chance to actively participate in his son’s life. If Booth had continued in his final assignment, the likelihood of him making it home was not great. In his mind, that was unacceptable. Just when he was formulating a plan to return to D.C., he received a call from Caroline, his colleague and friend who was also the district attorney who prosecuted most of the criminal cases for the criminals Booth had captured and incarcerated.
“Well Seeley, I ended up falling for you,” Hannah had proceeded. “I didn’t expect that. When you said you were leaving, I had to follow right behind you. I wanted to find out how serious it could be between us. Of course, I also wondered about this Dr. Temperance Brennan you had finally told me all about.”
“I was ready for a catfight, Seeley, and I made the first move. Remember when you first saw me in D.C.? I came into the diner and stood there kissing you right in front of her. You don’t think that was by accident, do you? The number one rule in journalistic combat: draw first blood – put the opponent on the defensive. So that’s what I did.”
“You conniving … ” he had started to say, half irritated, half amused, and, he had to admit, more than a little flattered.
“Now just wait, Seeley. I didn’t say I was proud of what I did. Just let me continue.”
“Go ahead. By all means continue. But I sure hope it is worth it to show me the side of you I’ve always suspected but never actually seen with my own eyes,” he’d said, shaking his head and motioning to Liz for more ketchup and a fresh cup of coffee. “Maybe I should get some pop corn and a slushy for part two of this show,” he quipped. “I love a good catfight – especially when the cats are in wet tee shirts and the beer is flowing freely. Or better yet, how about mud wrestling?”
“Anyway,” she continued, rolling her eyes and grimacing at his attempt at humor and his blatant display of testosterone. “You seemed determined to get past that painful relationship, though for some reason, I wasn’t so sure that you could.”
“What I found when I met Temperance what not at all what I expected…”