Chapter 9. Bones Doesn’t Play Games
Booth grins as he recalls making Hannah uncomfortable with his chauvinistic comments about mud wrestling while she was so serious. He realized now, that he must have been more relaxed by that time in their conversation or else he wouldn’t have been so flip. Anyway, he was glad that conversation was over and he was on his way out of state for some time to himself to do a little thinking.
“Instead of getting a catfight or a competition,” Hannah had explained, “I found that I liked Temperance. I began to see some of the reasons why she had been so important to you and still is.”
“Right away when you introduced us, Temperance was welcoming. She seemed genuinely happy to meet me and happy to see you happy.”
“She was, Hannah. That’s how Bones is. She doesn’t wish ill for anyone,” he had commented to Hannah.
“Well, Seeley, I wasn’t so sure she wasn’t just putting on an act so I stopped by her office not long after we first met to see if I could detect any kind of … I don’t know … animosity … or jealousy … or whatever one feels when someone else is dating a person you love.”
“You stopped by the Jeffersonian?” Booth had asked.
“Yes, I did. It’s not like I needed your permission, Seeley.”
Booth’s eyelids had shot up at this comment. No, she didn’t need his permission … that is true … but for the first time in his life he was realizing how much more goes on behind the scenes than men are aware of. There were things that women share with each other that men are rarely privy to. This was the first he had heard of Hannah’s visit to the Jeffersonian. Brennan hadn’t said anything to him about it then. Neither had Hannah. How strange.
He realized how oblivious he had been to Hannah’s concerns during those first months here. How could he live with someone and not know what she was thinking? Dr. Sweets would have some brilliant insight about all this – but Booth was at a loss … And more than a little concerned that what he was hearing about today was just the tip of the ice burg.
“Hannah, why do I get the feeling that what you just told me is just the tip of the ice burg?” he asked.
“Because you are a freakishly perceptive man, Seeley Booth,” she answered.
“Well apparently not THAT perceptive, because I was clueless about all this going on. We lived together, for Christ’s sake … and when I wasn’t with you – I was with her almost every moment of the day!” He was getting a bit agitated.
“Simmer down, Seeley!” she chided him, using one of his own catch phrases intended to command order in a commotion or interrupt a heated discussion that was about to get out of control. “I haven’t even told you what happened that day at the Jeffersonian.”
“Something HAPPENED?” he sounded alarmed.
“Seeley,” she said, reaching across the table. “You’re acting like Temperance and I are teenagers who stole a car and got caught speeding the wrong way down the highway with a back seat full of pot and Jack Daniels. If you just stop being a little girl about this, I can continue. Don’t you have a plane to catch?”
“You’re right,” he said, breathing in deeply through his nose and exhaling. “Hannah, this is taking too long. Whatever you have to tell me, you better just rip it off like a Band Aid. I have a feeling some of what you have to tell me is going to be painful?”
She had looked at him, considering if he was ready for this information. Considering if she really wanted to go through with this. What the hell, she thought. I have nothing to lose.
“Seeley, when I went to the Jeffersonian that day, I went to get a reading on her. This was right before I moved into your apartment. Temperance greeted me without rancor and invited me to sit down. My pretense for being at the Jeffersonian was that I wanted an idea of what I should get you as a gift to celebrate our new living arrangement.”
“Ahhhh … the antique phone.” Seeley had guessed.
“You are correct,” confirmed Hannah. “Temperance knew that you had been looking for a heavy, black, antique telephone for quite some time. Instead of keeping that information to herself, she told me about it. Without hesitation.”
“So?” Booth had given her a blank stare.
“So,” Hannah explained, “She didn’t have to make that suggestion. She could have suggested something ordinary and meaningless like – he loves Froot Loops, or he needs a new microwave. She knew the phone would be a wonderful, thoughtful and surprising gift … and that it would make you happy – so she told me about it. Don’t you see? She let me be the hero. Most women in her situation would not have done that.” Hannah paused, looking for the right words. “Temperance … doesn’t play the games that most other people play.”
“No. Bones doesn’t play games. What you see is what you get. More than with anyone else I’ve ever seen, anyway.” Booth was beginning to understand. He was suddenly quiet. Pensive. He looked at his coffee cup and tipped it back and forward, watching about a tablespoon of amber liquid roll back and forth.
“Before I left her office, she stopped me asked me and made an odd request. Well, I thought it was odd anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Booth asked.
“She said I should consider how serious I was about you before moving in with you. And I thought she was finally about to show her true colors. But what she said next proved me wrong. Her colors had been true from the start, and they never wavered.”
“What did she say?” asked Booth, placing the coffee cup flat on the table and scrunching up his eyebrows. Several vertical wrinkles appeared at the base of his nose like a pair of quotation marks.
“She told me to be sure about how I felt about you – because you would give me your whole heart.” The irony of the situation was not lost on either of them as they sat in silence for a moment. “Seeley, she didn’t want you to get hurt again.”
When Booth didn’t say anything, Hannah went on. “A person who was competing for your affections wouldn’t have done that, Seeley. I mean, she put your happiness above her own, even if she didn’t know that that was what was at stake.”
“I disagree, Hannah. My money says she knew exactly what was at stake,” said Booth.
Booth was awakened from his reveries by a petite blond flight attendant letting him know they would be arriving at Boston Logan in 10 minutes. Booth sat upright and looked out the window. The Eastern evening sky was winding down into shades of orange and pink. He reached into his back pocket and removed his wallet. Once more he opened the “footie note” Brennan had left for him. He smiled to himself, smelled the paper the note was written on, refolded it, and slid it back into the wallet.
Taking the footies off his hands and dropping them into his briefcase, he reached below his seat and pulled out his shoes. One at a time he pulled the baby blue chenille footies off by the toes and put his shoes back on. Such a small gesture on Brennan’s part had moved him. He realized for the first time that the scent of the footies, the same pleasant scent now left on his hands by the footies, was the same scent that tickled his senses whenever Brennan walked past him or stood near him. With a pang, he wished that she was on this trip with him.