The movie is Life without a House, one of the most unforgettable movies I've ever seen. And this scene, more than anything else, made me love Joni Mitchell, and Kirsten Scott-Thomas' acting, and the ability of a movie to make you feel something.
Names have been changed for characters, and characters have aged ten years, so slightly AU.
The wind turned the water into something ruffled, and their view of it stretched far out beyond the horizon. The sun sank slowly to a watery death and its dying rays turned everyone's silhouettes golden orange. The outline of the house was stark, animated only by those within the nonexistent walls.
"Who's up for a dance?" Her nimble fingers put a CD into the player and soft music floated through the dusky air.
"Okay, Parker, let's see if you remember this." He looked at her, the woman who had been there for his father whenever he needed. She'd been there the way Parker hadn't in the past few years, a time he regretted. And she was here now, using the hands that usually sorted bone fragments to sand and hammer and help his father in any way he needed it.
"I don't know, maybe." There were a lot of things he couldn't remember, that he wished he could. He wished he remembered his mother, or at least the way she spoke, or smelled. Some days there'd be sounds that would bring back a memory but, before he could grasp it, it would be gone, as intangible as smoke.
"It's been a long time." Booth said, leaning on a bench. Parker had noticed his father becoming older. Where he'd once been an unstoppable man, he was now more tired, more mortal than he'd ever seemed before.
"Used to rock you to sleep to this." She spoke again and Parker realised how much he'd taken her for granted. She had no link to him, other than through his father, but after his mother had died she'd been there, for both of them. He'd been six years old and suddenly thrust onto his father who had love in endless waves but who just wasn't set up for a full time child. Admittedly, Bones had been less ready but she'd offered her time and her wisdom and anything else they needed. Surprisingly enough to his father, as he was told later, Parker had taken to her in a way he'd never really experienced with everyone else. He always thought it was her awkwardness; after his mother died, he'd had that too. She was the one person who could understand what it felt like to be on the outer, looking in.
"Used to dance you to sleep." His father gave him a small smile and Parker smiled back. He'd been a difficult child, after his mother died, but his father had given him time, space, love. And he'd had Bones there, offering him a smile or, when he really needed it, a hug. As much as his father could do bear hugs, she could give him some remembrance of his mother in a simple embrace. And the feeling that he was loved by more than one person in the world.
"Who's going to dance with me?" She was usually so conservative whenever he saw her at work, outfit professional, expression sombre. He liked her better when it was her, his dad and him, when they were all together eating chinese and watching movies that Bones always needed explained to her. He liked her in times like these; when she looked like she wasn't weighed down by death and justice. Because times like these were when his dad saw her, and looked happy. And no one else made him look like that.
"Booth?" Parker had always imagined her as his new mother when he was younger, had even wished for her to move in with them so he could have her there all the time. But that was before he'd realised the complexity of her and his father's relationship, before he'd been old enough to appreciate that there was love that ran deeper than anything else, but that couldn't overcome everything.
"Oh, no thanks." He made a pretence of working on something and Parker smiled to himself. Even after all this time had passed, there was still a respect between them, a space invented by the jobs they did and the people they were.
"Me!" A smaller voice intruded and Parker looked down as Rory stood in front of Bones. He'd never directly asked his father how he'd felt when Bones had found someone else, when she'd introduced the families. They were a patchwork quilt together; her new boyfriend, James and his two children, and the ones who had been there from the start; the two Booths. And somehow, Bones had made sure no one felt left out even though Parker knew his father would try to avoid seeing her and James together. He still couldn't understand why it wasn't his dad and Bones together, but instead of making his father look sad when he asked, he was old enough to leave it unsaid and soak up the times that Bones was around.
"Oh, you." In sneakers, she stood on her toes to dance. His dad had told him once that Bones had never wanted children. Somehow, she'd ended up with three. And somehow, she'd been the next best thing to a mother than Parker had ever had. He'd told her that once, when he was ten. She'd smiled at him, her blue eyes tearing up, and then given him one of those hugs that made him feel like only the two of them existed.
"Come on, Booth. See if you can do any better." She tried again, when Rory had had enough of dancing. Even though she was ten years older than when Parker first met her, she was still beautiful in the sunlight.
"Oh, no, no. Work, work." His father was pulled reluctantly from his work as she wore down his protests. Parker had noticed she was the only one who could, other than him.
Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Well something's lost and something's gained
In living every day
Parker leant against a beam and watched them as Booth dipped Bones, her hair fluttering, her eyes laughing. They were two people who were so strong, so wonderfully familiar to him. But even he couldn't know what history kept them apart while still keeping them so close together.
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose
And still somehow its life's illusions I recall
But the history wasn't his to know; it belonged to Bones and Booth, to his father and the woman who had put bandaids on his knees and taught him the names of each of his arm bones when he was seven.
I really don't know life… at all.
And as the song faded, he walked away into the shadows, leaving the last of the sunlight for them to enjoy as long as they could.
So there we go… sigh. Please review!