Hello. It's been a few months since my first one. I'm having a go at another. I think this will be a two parter. I'm rather excited that Ralph Waite (who played John Walton in the Waltons) will be playing Booth's grandather, Hank.
BTW, I've had a bit of a tidy-up of ch1 so it flows a little better but the story remains the same.
Disclaimer: This is just kinda how I might like it to play out, if I owned Bones, which I don't.
"Pops – this is Dr Temperance Brennan, my partner."
"Mr Booth?" Brennan held out her hand. "Booth-" she paused, "...I mean Seeley, has spoken about you fondly." Brennan noted that from his demeanour he seemed like a decent man. A man who had experienced many things in his life. A man more than a little like Booth.
"Please, call me Hank; and Seeley talks about you all the time. Seems like you're quite the pair!" He raised his eyebrow and his eyes flicked between the two partners. Booth blushed slightly as Brennan glanced across at him, a slight smirk on her face. The grandfather glanced across them both, noting the reaction to himself.
"Pops, can I get you a drink?" Booth asked eagerly. It didn't matter how old Seeley Booth became, his grandfather reduced him to feeling like an over-excited eight year-old, and he loved it.
"Oooh, I think I can be persuaded to have a splash of Scotch." Booth Senior smiled and broke into a gentle chuckle.
They chatted for a few minutes, during which time the partners explained their most recent case, what the squints had been up to and how Booth had recently re-learned the art of plumbing by teaching Brennan. Hank watched the interplay between the two younger adults - the bickering, the closeness - and boy, was there some sexual tension between these two! There was clearly a chuge hemistry between them, it so reminded him of the spark he had had with his wife, all those years ago. Though they had grown old together, the spark never faltered until the day she died. After a momentary feeling of deep loss which he didn't let on to the partners, he regained his inner composure with a the slightest of sighs. He still missed his wife so much.
As the conversation continued Brennan became away of just how decent a man Hank Booth was. His compassion for Booth was subtle but even she could see the love for his grandson. She felt herself warming to the older man.
Brennan excused herself to the kitchen to prepare some Mac'n'Cheese, which Booth had requested for the evening's meal. Booth loved her Mac'n'Cheese and Booth knew that his Pops would find it just as delicious. Brennan could hear Booth and Hank chatting and occasionally the conversation was punctuated by some laughter. Though she couldn't hear exactly what they were saying, they sounded very relaxed. Brennan was warmed by the thought that this was someone that made Booth happy. That made her happy. Because she cared for Booth. In an "attaboy" kind of a way.
Only when we she thought about it more deeply Brennan knew it wasn't "atta" anything. It was plain, simple but deep love. She tried to put it out of her mind, compartmentalise it as she'd grown to do with everything that might just come back to hurt her later, and tried to just focus on the situation at hand. But this situation was, in its own way, something she was falling into loving as much as everything she loved about Seeley Booth. More than she would allow herself to admit openly.
At that thought, Booth wandered into the kitchen. By this time, Brennan was stirring in the two main ingredients into the saucepan, along with some milk and a little seasoning. Booth walked up behind her and peered over her shoulder. She felt his breath on the back of her neck, which had the effect of completely arousing her. If only he knew the effect he was having, she was going to burn dinner if he didn't stop that. She closed her eyes and tried not to think of Booth's breath creeping over her entire body. To make this worse - or better? thought Brennan, he placed his hand on the small of her back.
"How's it going, Bones?
"Fine. It's nearly ready. Would you lay the table please?" She dared not look at him at that moment.
"Sure." Booth's hand left Brennan's back as he walked across to the cutlery drawer. She still felt the warm tingle on her spine. He didn't look up at her as he collected up the knives and forks. His hand was still shaking from touching her. "Thanks for doing this, Bones."
"It's no problem. I think your grandfather appears to be a kind and caring man and I know how much he's done for you." They made eye contact and at this point shared a smile that broke them both inside, but neither knew of the other's desperation for the other.
At the end of the meal, Booth stood up and stretched broadly. Brennan couldn't help but have a good look. She took in Booth's muscles, from his deltoids down to his abdominals, as he stretched. Her mind wandered to a place it shouldn't and as her eyes involuntarily began to drift further south she was disturbed by Booth yawning and Hank clearing his throat.
"I'll collect the plates."
After Booth left the room, Hank looked over at Brennan and spoke softly to her.
"Temperance, you know my grandson is in love with you; only he's driven by some misguided sense of honour where he feels he would be being inappropriate by pursuing your relationship further. But mark my words, he's in love with you, just as plain as night follows day."
He smiled at her with a glimpse of the Booth charm smile she had grown to love. Brennan felt her heart leap out of her chest for a split second, after which time her stomach turned several somersaults. It couldn't be possible, could it? Hank watched her expression carefully. The poor girl looked genuinely confused. On their phone calls over the previous few years Booth told his grandfather all about his partner and the difficulties she'd faced. The older man already had a lot of respect for the girl and her achievements before he'd met her and now he had, he was even more determined to ensure both his grandson's and Brennan's happiness.
"Seeley explained a little about your life." Brennan felt her defences rising and a knot growing in the pit of her stomach.
"He shouldn't have." Brennan looked away.
"I'm sorry you've had those things happen in your life Temperance, but you have a chance to experience something wonderful with my grandson. He's a good man and his feelings for you are absolutely genuine. More to the point, I am absolutely sure you love him too, but quite frankly you're so scared that he will abandon you that you that you refuse to entertain the possibility. Am I right?"
Brennan tried to process this new data. Whilst Ange had been bothering her and Booth to get together for years, her loyalty was absolutely to the anthropologist. But this, this came from a man who truly loved his grandson. Whose loyalty was to his grandson. Yet, he was still asking her to have a relationship with Booth. That meant something. But it wasn't coming from Booth himself and was therefore, just conjecture. She sighed and gave Hank a weak smile. The older man had her completely sussed. She hated psychology, but he was really good.
At that moment, Booth walked back in the room, a tea towel slung over his shoulder.
"The washing up is all done." he grinned. "Who's for another scotch?"
Brennan stood, swaying slightly awkwardly with her hands shoved in the back pockets of her jeans. "I should go. It's been really nice to meet you at last." She turned to leave.
"Bones, you won't stay a little longer?" Booth tried not to sound disappointed at her departure.
"Booth, I really shouldn't, I have a whole stack of remains to examine in limbo in the morning and I need to make an early start." Hank gave her a knowing look and his eyes, though still kindly, bored into her. After what seemed like a little too long, Hank broke the silence.
"It's been a delight to meet you, Temperance. I really hope we meet again soon."
"And you, Hank." She kissed him on the cheek. The older man broke into another Booth charm smile.
"Hey! Steady, Pops!" Booth joked, although if he was really honest, he felt a tiny flash of jealousy. Booth placed his hand on Brennan's lower back very gently and guided her to the door. He just brushed his hand up her back slightly, the feeling left him with goosebumps. As Brennan walked out the door she got about ten feet before she slammed herself against the wall in frustration.
After seeing Brennan out, Hank sat back on the couch. Booth Senior swirled the scotch around in his glass, making the ice clink as he did so. Booth stayed on his feet, stretching again.
"She's a wonderful girl, Seeley, but she's very vulnerable."
"Pops..." Booth could feel himself stiffening slightly. He truly respected his grandfather but this was a conversation he didn't want to have.
"Do you really love her, Son?" Hank looked up deeply into his grandson's eyes. Booth averted his grandfather's gaze and shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. "Seeley?" Another long pause. Booth shifted on the balls of his feet again like the guilty alterboy he had once been.
"Yessir." He looked down, ashamed. He knew what was probably coming next. He was right.
"Then you need to stop trying to do what is 'right and proper' and start the rest of your life with the woman you love. Now." The last word was emphasised.
A few seconds passed. Booth stood frozen, his eyes still not making contact with his grandfather's.
"What are you waiting for, Son?"