Sacred Fire


Epilogue

At the Jeffersonian Institute, Dr Goodman declared with pride, "The remains were laid to rest with thought and care." Hodgins rolled his eyes to heaven, and Zack attended with curiosity. "The pollen Dr. Hodgins found indicates that they were buried with flowers. These two were loved and mourned by those they left behind."

Dr. Goodman began to pace, his deep soothing voice reverberated, "Dr. Brennan thinks that she was one of the vestals, a holy priestess who tended the sacred fire of Vesta. He, on the other hand, may have been a gladiator, a fierce and celebrated warrior who was also her lover. They were two public figures who had to follow conflicting sets of rules; their union was a forbidden affair bound by society's notion of goodness. Two different worlds, but one common thread; these two took great risks to follow their hearts." He looked at the two younger men, "And they were punished for it."

Dr. Goodman thought of his wife and twin daughters, and imagined life without their presence; he couldn't. "My heart goes out to them."

Hodgins snapped the rubber band around his wrist for the fifth time before speaking out, "No, I won't stand here and listen to this storytelling anymore. I'm sorry Dr. Goodman, but they're dead and I hope they found their peace, but there's more real-life going on around here." Hodgins squared off his shoulders in challenge.

Dr. Goodman, who would normally take offense, indulged Hodgins, "Good grief, Dr. Hodgins, go ahead and tell us your story. I think Dr. Addy and I are the only two people around here who haven't heard it yet."

Without needing further encouragement, Hodgins began, "So these two black SUVs pulled up at the Jeffersonian yesterday. Dude, they put me in handcuffs and blindfold. I was pretty sure they took me underground because I heard and felt the subway trains passing by."

Both Dr. Goodman and Zach crossed their arms, and faced Hodgins with mildly disguised interest.

Hodgins, nonetheless, continued, "It was the real-deal-undercover-black-ops. They took off my blindfolds when we finally get to this room with high tech surveillance stuff. I'm talking about access to all satellites with resolution that can see the little ants in your mother's garden go up and down the hill." Proudly, he added, "I told them where to find their terrorists, who just happened to be sipping bahama mamas off the coast of Paradise Island."

Despite themselves, Dr. Goodman and Zach were unable to resist Hodgins' excitement. Dr. Goodman said with an indulgent acknowledgement, "You must have had a good day, Dr. Hodgins. Now let's get back to work."

Hodgins humor easily deflated with the sound of his rubberband hitting his wrist for the sixth time that day.

In another room, Angela finished the reconstruction of the two remains. With awe, she observed their faces on the Angelator.

Dr. Camille Saroyan walked in, stacks of paper in her arms. Amused, she observed, "Angela, do you miss Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan so much, you've put their images up on the Angelator?"

Angela turned around and smiled, nodding her head.

Sometimes, secrets were best kept as such: secrets. They protected those whose lives were lead by choice and not dictated by fates that were so long ago written for them.


A thousand miles away, at Piazza Novona, painters who drew artwork from caricatures to landscapes had taken their respective places around Bernini's fountains. Stylish restaurants lined the square, all with linen, china and white candles twinkling at the centre of the tables. Locals and visitors alike enjoyed the bustling nightlife of modern Rome in a square much older than most civilizations of the western world. It was past and present interwoven with time; unnoticed by the present and unanticipated by the past.

An eight year old girl, sitting by a fountain, was drawn by laughter coming from one of the restaurants. With her first digital camera, a gift for her trip to Rome, she took a picture of a sight that interested her. The darkness blurred the image, but a silhouette of a couple in the middle of a dance was captured for eternity. The little girl smiled and with her fingertip, she traced the heart-shaped figure the silhouette formed.

THE END


Author's Notes: Hello : ) I posted this story at the Boneyard, but I'm glad it found a new audience here too. Thanks to all who reviewed, they're such a treat!