|Initial Success or Total Failure
Author: arrowheadflyby PM
Christine Brennan-Booth has made a choice that will effect her and her family forever.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Hurt/Comfort - Christine B. & Michael H. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 22,556 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 05-04-13 - Published: 02-18-13 - id: 9024931
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Soo this was my idea for a story. I think it ended up decent, at least. Anyways, you know the drill. Bones isn't mine. I'll try to update often. Have fun!
On July Fifth, 2029, North Korea, Iran, and other affiliated nations declare war on the United States and their allies. Exactly twenty two hours later, I officially graduate from high school, second in my class, voted most likely to succeed in the school yearbook. However, when I received my diploma, while my parents where obviously focused on the accomplishment, my thoughts were elsewhere.
I'd been given a hockey scholarship at five universities, an academic scholarship at four more. By anyone's standard, I was set. No one saw how restless I was here. No one realized how much I wanted to just get out. And no one realized how much I needed to see my country safe.
Seeley Booth, my father, is a patriotic man. And when he heard the news that war had been declared, he grunted in frustration. News of the draft was coming in quickly, and I knew that Michael had been asked to put his name in. The question came up so much.
'Why don't you join me, Michael? They can't hate us if it's the two of us. And you stay out of the Army.'
'I'm happy here, Chrissy. I'm happy being a civilian. Why can't you be?' he asks, walking away. He doesn't like my decision, but he understands it. We've been discussing it for years, just as much as he's been discussing traveling to Duluth after he graduated to work as an intern at the Int. Bear or Wolf center. He'd been working on his collage studies while he was in high school, taking classes online.
He didn't have a full scholarship, but all he wanted was to study those creatures. He loved them.
The conversation comes up again as we sit across from each other at our own graduation party.
"I could join the Army, like Parker…One less slot to fill," I offer. He shrugs as though he doesn't care, and we move apart, going to our respective area's. I've been talking to Parker about this, too. My big brother, Sgt. Booth. He tells me to do what makes me happy, says that he's happy in the army. He's a combat medic. He wanted to go Special forces, but it never went that way for him.
He couldn't make it my party. He was readying for deployment.
After the party, mom comes upstairs with me and asks, not for the first time, what I want to do with my life. She encourages science, but claims that she'll be happy with anything. A shrug it off.
The next day I go to see a Navy recruiter. I can drive now, and when I make it there, I sit in the parking lot for several minutes before getting out and walking to meet him.
Petty Officer Second class Johnson, is his name. We talk for an hour before the obvious question comes up.
"Have you talked to your parents yet?"
"No, sir. No I have not."
He offers to come see them, but I decide that I need to tell them first. My ASVAB score is high, I took it last year at school, and he gives me job options.
The one thing that catchs my eyes, I know for a fact that my dad and mom won't like.
EOD. Explosive. Ordinance. Disposal. Unit.
I ask mom to invite Michael, Uncle Jack and Angela to come for dinner, and she seems to think it's a lovely idea. I confess that I have something to tell everyone, and for a moment her eyes darken.
"Honey…You aren't pregnant, are you?"
I blush deeply and shake my head.
"No, mom!" I amend quickly, stalking off.
When the crew comes, I feel afraid. I know there is no reason to. I have yet to sign paperwork. But I want to do it. I know I do.
I spend the time waiting in dads study, looking at his awards from the war. Purple heart, bronze star. All pretty things to say that he was a hero. I call Parker and tell him my decision, and he says he'll say a prayer so that maybe it'll go easier.
I remember when Parker enlisted in the Army. Mom was crying. Dad was so proud. And Rebecca…She'd hugged him tight.
We saw him graduate. I couldn't imagine that man up there being my big brother. He was too serious, too stone faced. Yet, when he came to see me, a grin spread on his face and he was just like the old Parker.
"The Army's the best thing I could have done with my life, Chrissy. Just don't let it become your life."
When he hears what job I want, however, he falters.
"That's dangerous. Especially in the middle east. You know that, right?"
"Yeah…I want to do something, though, Parker. I want to save people."
"Hooah," he says, and hangs up.
When all of them come and eat dinner, Christine fidgets beneath Michaels gaze. He knows what she's chosen to do. She can't tell if he's proud or not.
When they finish, I say, rather loudly, that I have an announcement to make. Everyone meets in the living room, and a curtain of smiles is all around.
I don't know how to break it softly, so I do so quickly and harshly.
"I'm joining the United States Navy. I'm not going to college. At least not yet,"
There was silence in the room, and for a moment all I notice is the fact that Michael is the only one that doesn't seem shocked. Just sad.
Dad's the first one to move, and he pats me on the back. His eyes are full of pride, but also an odd sense of fear. He hugs me tightly, and nods.
Michael gets up and leaves, and although Uncle Jack looks at me apologetically, he fallows his son. Angela walks up to me slowly and touchs my face, as though checking that I'm really here.
"Sweetie…" she whispers, tears in her eyes. She scampers away as well, and Booth looks between me and mom. I bite my lip, and he rubs the back of his neck.
"I, ah, better check on Angela…"
Mom has done nothing to this point. She was sitting next to me, but now its as though she's moved as far away as possible. I see the far away-ness in her eyes, and I try to touch her.
"Logically it would make sense that you would want to join the Navy…The military. Your brother did it, your father did it, and now we're at war. It's logical. It makes sense," she whispers.
"Mom…You aren't mad at me, are you?" I ask, and look at her carefully.
She shakes her head before deciding otherwise, and nods.
"Yes, I am Christine! You have nine full ride scholarships! Why would you waste your talent on something like this!"
"Mom…They'll still be there when I get back."
"What if you don't?! Or what if you come back without a leg? Or unable to think? What then, Christine?" she asks, suddenly the farness zooming in. She was very much in the present right now.
"Look, you didn't make this big a deal when Parker-"
"Parker isn't my biological son, Christine! And further more, he's my son! Not my daughter! Do you know what they do to women if they capture you? It won't be nice!"
"You don't know that! And you don't know that I'll be captured…By the time I'm done training the war might be over!"
"You're training is only months long, Christine! The war won't end that fast!"
"Not unless I get the job I want!"
Theres silence among them, and for a moment Christine regrets blowing up at her mother. Only for moments, however. Her next words catch her anger again.
"What job do you want, Christine?"
"EOD. Explosive Ordinance Disposal. It's hard. It's really hard. But if I go, if I go and I see roadside bombs, anything, I can help stop it!"
"Do you know how many people were killed by IED'S in the Iraq-Afghanistan wars, Christine? I know every detail from those wars. Do you want to know them?"
"No mom! It won't change my choice! Why can't you just be happy for me!? I'm serving my country, it's my choice! Not yours. I'm going upstairs," I retorted, going upstairs and shutting the door. I heard the sound of cars starting and leaving outside. After an hour or so, in which time I did angry push ups, sit ups, and burpees, dad came upstairs and sat on my bed.
"She's just worried, you know," he said simply.
"Why? I'm not her. I'm not putting her in any danger."
"You're her daughter, Christine. And she loves you. You know that, don't you?" he asked. I huffed, snorted and leaned back.
"She's been to war zones, Christine. She's identified bodies. Women, children. She was at 9/11, identifying bodies. And she's been kidnapped in foreign countries. When you work her line of work, you see things that most mothers don't have to. I think…She's afraid some day it will be someone she knows."
"I'm okay with dying for my country, dad! I'm fine with it!"
"I know, baby. I know. I was there too. I love this country. I'm proud to have served in its military. But Bones…You're mother's scared. And she has a right to be. But you are right. It is your decision."
"What if she hates me?" I ask suddenly, the fear coming from my veins. He sighed, rubbing my head.
"She'll never hate you. She loves you. I'll come to the recruiting office with you tomorrow, alright? And we'll talk. I know you've made up your mind. I just want you to know there are risks. Oh, and call Uncle Jared. He was in the Navy," dad said, tossing me my phone.
"Cut her some slack, Christine. " he asks of me before walking out.
MEPS. Military, Entrance, Processing, Station.
I go through this before getting my ship date. I have six months to wrap things up before I leave for the Great lakes.
I've burned through five and a half of these months. I now have two weeks to go.
I'm nervous. I know that the war is still raging strong. The United States invaded Iran, and then North Korea. Both are now fighting zones.
It's calmed down between me and mom, and she's even started to help me pack. Not much is needed. Everythings getting sent back home the instant I step foot in training. Dads running with me, doing push ups with me, pull ups. We're doing this when we come home and all the lights are out.
"You think moms already in bed? It's only five," I say.
Dad shrugs and takes out a key and tosses it to me. "I have to cool down. Go in and check on her," he states, walking back and forth in our drive way. I smirk, opening the door. The lights suddenly turn on, and about twelve people jump up with a loud, "Surprise!".
I cough in surprise, almost dropping the key in which dad had given me. I look between all of them, more then a little fearful, before I look at mom, who walks over to embrace me.
"Wha-whats this for?"
"You're leaving in two weeks, sweetie. The least we could do is make you a party." Angela retorts. Looking around, I realize exactly how many people are here. All of the squints from mom and dads work, Michael, Grandpa Hank, Jared…And then I see someone out of the corner of my eyes before he embraces me.
"Surprise, Chrissy!" he states, and I gasp in surprise.
"Parker! What are you doing here?"
"R and R, baby. The beauties of being a soldier instead of a sea boy. Don't worry, though. I give high respects to EOD's. Watch out for those SEAL boys, though," he grinned, ruffling my hair. "Ain't you gonna get that cut?"
"Yeah, day before I leave." I'd decided to cut it short instead of having to worry about putting it up.
"Go-od. Hey, it's your party, kiddo. Have fun," he pushed me away playfully as I went from person to person.
Angela hugged me the longest, as though she weren't about to see me again. She admitted that she wasn't sure if she could see me off, and I shrugged it off.
"Just…Be careful, Christine. Please," she asked of me. I played it off and nodded, grinning.
When I got to mom, I could see the obvious fear in her eyes. I smiled sadly.
"I'm not going to war yet, mom."
"No…But you will be," she said, hugging me closely. "Lets not fight anymore, alright?" she asked before pulling away.
Everyone had similar responses, with Jared stating that I'd gone the right way and Grandpa Hank hinting I should have gone intel, but it was fairly good. Until I saw Michael.
"You haven't gotten called yet," I offered hopefully. He looked up and shrugged. "When you heading to Duluth? We'll be near each other, kind of…I mean," I felt awkward, and he blinked.
"A week after you leave," he stated, shifting awkwardly.
"So you got the internship!"
"Yeah…I guess I did," he stated, licking his lips.
We stayed awkward.
"Will you write me? When I'm at training? It's really long. It's hard…Especially my job training…"
He sighed and smiled at me, though it was obviously hurting him.
"Of course, Christine. Christine, I-"
There was a quick cut off and he bit his lip.
"You know what? Never mind. It doesn't matter."
I did mind, but I didn't let it show. Two weeks later, I was boarding a plane.
Two months later, I'm officially a sailor.
70 weeks later, I am officially EOD certified.
And three months after I get to my first duty station, I receive my deployment orders.
"Initial success or total failure"