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A Hope in Place
by templemarker

For [livejournal.com profile] spuffy_girl in [info]bonesholiday 2010. Originally posted here. Seeley Booth/Temperance Brennan, futurefic of indeterminate timing. Thanks to my betas.

***

Seeley knew, from having her in his life for so long, and from being in love with her for most of that time, that Tempe had never been scared of much. But she'd tell him she was scared of the future if you could sit her down and be serious--serious about talking--for half a minute.

It was clear that she didn't really know what to do about the fear. The future was coming, whether they liked it or not, and as much as she took the inevitability of death with grace and inquisitiveness, there was something about the ongoing path of life that got to her. Seeley figured he was something of the reverse. Death kind of freaked him out, just thinking about it or whatever when it wasn't a case to solve. But life, man, he could be pretty happy thinking about life: taking Parker to baseball after school, having a late lunch at that deli he liked and putting extra hot mustard on Tempe's sandwich just to see her smile, going out for drinks with his squint squad and finding he knew what the jokes meant now. Life was pretty great, and it just came on coming.

They were talking about buying a house, something between their two apartments with a good access to downtown and room for Parker. They were talking, and Tempe got a look on her face like she'd just tripped over a rug; she stammered something out and left the diner. Seeley said wait, threw a twenty on the table and ran out after her. She was hustling back towards the Jeffersonian, moving pretty quick but Seeley was faster.

What? he asked. I thought you liked that house you saw the other day.

It's not the house, she said, her eyes a little bright. I--I don't know what it is.

C'mere, he said, pulling her close. Her fingers looped themselves into the fabric of his suit jacket, and he pressed a hand firm against her back. If it's going too fast for you, Tempe, we don't have to move in together. I can take another six months on my apartment. Nothing's set firm yet.

No, Tempe said firmly. No, I want this. I like that house. It just--it feels big. It's a big change.

Seeley pulled back slightly, and ducked down to kiss her, half because he could and the other half because it seemed important. He knew something of what she was feeling, what she couldn't work out for herself. He'd said, when they started, that he was along for the ride and wherever it took them. There were too many years between them for him not to know when to press and when to let things slide.

C'mon, he said, letting her go, squeezing her hand as they walked back towards work. I think Hodgins said he'd be done with those tests he was running by now. And tonight we can go drive a little around that neighborhood, see if there's anything else that looks interesting.

She smiled gratefully at him, and twisted her scarf around her neck. They walked a little slower than they had to, just because.
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