Déjà vu Chapter 1
Disclaimer: "BONES" and other related entities are owned, (TM) and © by 20th CENTURY FOX TELEVISION. Some dialogue and cases will be taken from the series, but character interactions will certainly be different (to a degree)
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking," the audio system said. "We will now be descending to Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. so please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts. Thank you." Dr. Temperance Brennan started awake as the p.a. system shut off and blinked her eyes to clear the scratchy feeling.
Covering a yawn with her hand, the beautiful anthropologist checked her watch before fastening her seatbelt as instructed.
Hmm…12:45, Angela should be waiting for me by now. I wonder how she's been? It's been a long trip. Despite her positive thoughts, Temperance felt that there was something she was forgetting, and the nagging feeling only grew as she felt the plane touch down on the tarmac. Knowing it wasn't anything to do with her possessions, as she had checked her room five times and triple checked her baggage before she left, the anthropologist began pondering just what could be the cause of her unease.
When others around her began to prepare for disembarking, Brennan collected her hand luggage and continued with the tide of humanity toward the arrival lounge to retrieve her suitcase, her thoughts carefully dissecting her feelings. It wasn't the familiar surroundings of Dulles, of that she was certain; rather it felt like she had already experienced returning from Guatemala.
As soon as the thought entered her mind, an eerie sense of déjà vu washed over her, making the hair on the back of her neck and arms rise uncomfortably. Temperance shivered at the feeling and grabbed her suitcase as it drifted past on the baggage claim.
Shaking off the strange feeling, Brennan then began searching for her friend, finally locating her standing before the helpdesk holding open her shirt to expose her pink bra to the young clerk.
"Yeah, hi. The flight from Guatemala?" Angela said. Temperance felt a grin bloom on her face at her friend's actions and shook her head.
"Tell me you tried 'excuse me' first?" Temperance said jokingly, prompting a surprised gasp from Angela, who whirled in her direction and closed for a hug.
"Sweetie! Yes, I did. Welcome home! Oh, are you exhausted? Was Guatemala awful? Was it horribly backward?" Angela said, peppering her friend with rapid-fire questions as they moved toward the exit of the airport. Brennan grinned, having missed her hyper-active friend greatly.
"And yet I was never reduced to flashing my boobs for information," she teased. Angela's eyes widened at the unintentional implication.
"Flash 'em for any fun reasons?" Angela said. Brennan gave her friend an odd look as the sense of déjà vu continued to spike. Opening her mouth, she was about to retort that she had been in a mass grave when she suddenly knew that they, or more specifically she, was being followed. Her mind balked at the unscientific hunch, and Angela noticed the strange expression on her friend's face. "Sweetie? What's wrong?"
Brennan shook her head and turned, her piercing blue eyes immediately landing on a suited man a fair distance away that was approaching their direction.
"You're following us. Why?" Brennan said as he came within arms reach. As he began reaching for her arm without verbally responding, Temperance's hand flashed out, grabbing hold of the man's throat tightly. His eyes bulged and he sought to remove her grip as it began to cut off circulation.
"Oh my god!" Angela shouted. "Attack! Hello? Security? Who runs this airport?" she asked herself incredulously. Brennan did not respond, merely releasing her grip and sweeping the suited man's feet from beneath him, felling him like a ton of bricks. Her instinct was to continue to pin him, but again the overwhelming sense of déjà vu that she felt made her feel slightly queasy, causing her to wobble.
"Oh, not good," Brennan muttered to herself as airport security began to arrive, their weapons drawn warily. Though she meant it about her own condition, Angela snorted.
"Yeah, you can say that again." Brennan eyed the downed man as he coughed and levered himself to his knees, the constant buzz at the back of her mind making her irritable and snappish.
"Are you Homeland Security? Why are you harassing us? What is your problem?" she snapped, making sure to hold up her hands before the security guards decided to shoot her. "And you can put down your guns now," Brennan said to the security guards, who began lowering their weapons slowly until the Homeland Security agent spoke up angrily.
"What is she in charge now? No! I'll tell you when to lower your weapons!" At his words, Brennan felt a wave of vertigo, her stomach roiling uncomfortably, seemingly attempting to make her climb out of her own skin. Not noticing her discomfort, the agent pointed at the carry-on bag that sat by her feet. "Hand over your bag," the agent said. Not willing to argue lest she lose control of her suddenly unruly stomach, Brennan wordlessly handed it over, silently shaking her heat at Angela, who looked at her in concern having noticed something was wrong.
The agent stared at the skull in the bag and though his expression of shock and disgust was decidedly amusing, Temperance felt in no condition to capitalise on the moment.
"Can we just get on with this?" she asked, wanting nothing better than to go lay down. "Angela, don't worry, I'll be back in a bit, okay?" Lips pursed pensively, Angela nodded with clear reluctance.
"Okay, sweetie. Call if you need anything, okay?" she said. Brennan smiled faintly and nodded as the Homeland Security agent indicated she should follow.
Special Agent Seeley Booth felt horrible. Ever since waking up he had had a truly vile headache and, coupled with the newest possible homicide he would have to deal with, he felt that his day would only get worse. Sadly, his suspicions proved correct when he attempted to contact Dr. Temperance Brennan at the Jeffersonian Institute and was thoroughly stonewalled by her assistant.
"Look, can you just please give me her number?" Booth said into the phone.
"I'm sorry, but Dr. Brennan has requested that you not be able to contact her in any way," Zack said, his voice flat and even. "Given that last time you angered Dr. Brennan enough that she resorted to profanity, I see no reason not to comply with her request." Booth glowered at the wall to his office and refrained from grinding his teeth.
"I said I was sorry for that. Please?" Booth asked.
"No, Dr. Brennan's orders were explicit." Zack said again.
"I bet they were," Booth muttered to himself.
"I'm sorry?" Zack said, causing Booth to remember that he was talking to someone.
"Never mind, forget I asked," he said and hung up. booth stewed for several minutes before an evil smile crossed his face and he picked up the telephone. "Hi, Derek? Listen, can you do me a favour? I need a hold for questioning request activated immediately."
"Hi Booth, yeah I'm fine, thanks," the other man said with obvious sarcasm.
"Don't be like that, man. C'mon, I let you in on that terrorist bust last fall," Booth said. The other man sighed.
"I sense this isn't a serious life or death situation, then," he said. Booth grinned.
"Nah, just a little harmless fun, really, like a welcoming back present!" Booth said. Derek chuckled before sighing.
"Alright, fine. What's the target's name?" Derek said.
"Doctor Temperance Brennan," Booth said. Derek drew in a surprised breath.
"The author? I love that book, man," he said. Booth rolled his eyes, thankful the other man couldn't see it.
"Yeah, yeah. So does everyone else I've met," he groused. Derek laughed.
"Of course you'd say that, Agent Lister," he teased.
"Oh shut up. Will you do it?" Booth asked. Derek remained silent for several moments before he spoke.
"Alright. When does she get in?" he asked. Booth looked at his watch thoughtfully.
"About three hours, I think. Not sure. She's on the inbound flight from Guatemala, Obiateki airlines." Derek grunted in acknowledgement and the faint sound of scribbling came through the phone.
"Okay, got it. we'll notify you when she's in custody," Derek said. Booth grinned smugly to himself, imagining Brennan's reaction when she was hauled into the security rooms for questioning. Abruptly he felt a wave of déjà vu wash over him, making his hair stand on end. Booth shot to his feet and gave a full body shiver in an attempt to shake off the feeling; however the sudden feeling left him decidedly unnerved and he decided to grab his coat and arrive at the airport early.
Driving slowly through the heavy traffic, he was nearly there when he spotted a small coffee shop. On a sudden whim he pulled over and entered the coffee shop after a glance at his watch. As he stood in line, his cell buzzed in his pocket. And he answered after fishing it out.
"Booth," he said.
"Agent Booth, we have her in custody," Derek said by way of greeting.
"Great, I'll be there in about twenty minutes, okay?" Booth said.
"Yeah, no problem. There's something you should know though," Derek said, a note of concern present in his voice. Booth paused as the throbbing in his head suddenly became almost deafening. He heard his own voice sounding from a great distance as he spoke.
"What is it?" Booth said.
"She's acting strange. We observed her as she left the arrivals lounge, but she became increasingly pale and uneasy as time went by. She looks like she could faint any second." Derek said. Booth took a step forward in line, his eyes wide with surprise.
"Are we talking about the same Bones, here? I mean, Dr. Brennan? Blue eyes, real pretty, red hair? No-nonsense anthropologist?" Booth said.
"The very same. I think she might need medical attention, Agent Booth," Derek said. An eerie sense of worry sprang up in Booth's chest at the thought.
"I'll be there in four minutes," he said before turning and sprinting for his car, his cell snapping closed before the other man had a chance to respond. With each step Booth's head pounded harder and harder, the pain more intense than any headache he had previously experienced. He wondered at his irrational worry, but he was a man of gut feelings, and his gut had never before let him down, even if it was currently urging him to get to the airport as fast as was humanly possible. He could think about it later.
Within thirty seconds he was in his SUV and pealing away from the sidewalk, sirens wailing as he weaved through the traffic with expert efficiency. As he drove, his mind whirled with half-formed thoughts and emotions as he concocted and discarded theories as to his behaviour. He had worked with her before, sure, and she had been an enormous pain in his ass.
She had no respect for his authority or investigative techniques, dismissing them as mere conjecture without basis in fact, and had continually challenged him over every decision he had made about the case. In honesty, he had been glad when it was over, and had gladly fled the Jeffersonian and the heated arguments therein.
Which meant he could not understand his sudden need to be there. Sure he wanted to get her help with this new case, but this urgent, all-encompassing protective feeling was not something he would at all have previously associated with Dr. Temperance Brennan, no matter how beautiful she might be.
The SUV skidded to a stop right outside the airport with a full minute to spare, the angry honking of other drivers not even registering to his sniper-honed senses as he jumped from the car and barrelled through the crowds to the holding rooms, his badge flashing left and right when people objected to his presence.
Finally, he stood at the door to the holding room, his lungs burning and head thundering viciously. Taking the time to steady himself, and not entirely sure why, Booth took a deep breath and opened the door.
"I've said it before, I'm an anthropologist at the Jeffersonian, not a sociopath," Brennan stated tiredly, feeling her stomach flip over for no reason. For the past ten minutes the Homeland Security agent had been grilling her on why she had a human skull in her hand luggage, and all she cared about was getting home and getting rid of the monstrous headache that had started as soon as she entered the room.
Before the agent could reply, the sound of the door opening reached her ears, and something she could not identify made her turn her head toward the sound. There, looking like he had just run a marathon to reach her, was Special Agent Seeley Booth. Rather than the familiar sense of annoyance and dislike however, a sudden inexplicable sense of joy made her entire body tingle.
And suddenly, her headache and nausea disappeared like smoke before the breeze. upon seeing her sitting there, Booth also suddenly stood straighter, his eyes widening slightly and a faint smile tugging at his lips. Then his expression morphed into confusion.
"What the hell is going on?" Brennan said, a sudden, familiar sense of anger filling her. She stopped in astonishment however, when Booth mirrored her word for word, his tone matching her own.
"That's creepy," the Homeland Security agent muttered to his female companion, who nodded in agreement. Brennan glowered at him, suddenly feeling very much like her old self, and rounded on the speaker furiously.
"FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, major crime investigation, D.C. Bones identifies bodies for us," Booth interrupted before she could speak. She glowered at him, deliberately ignoring the pleased flutter she felt in her stomach at hearing his voice.
"Don't call me Bones! And I do more than identify," Brennan said, then paled as she felt the incredible déjà vu again. A glance out of the corner of her eye showed that Booth had gone white and was staring at her strangely. "What?" Brennan asked, suddenly feeling tired again.
"Say that again," Booth demanded, taking a step forward. Temperance frowned at him in confusion.
"Say what again?" she said.
"What you just said! 'Don't call me Bones!'" Booth quoted. Temperance glowered.
"Don't call me Bones!" she snapped, standing up. The resulting dual mix of bizarre familiarity, as if she had said the same thing hundreds of times before, and nauseating déjà vu made Temperance wobble and slump ungracefully back into her chair. "Ugh," she uttered, putting a hand to her head.
At the door, Booth grabbed the door handle to keep himself standing up as the room span around him, only Bones keeping still in his sight.
"I don't know what's going on," Booth said, "but I'm gonna find out. She's coming with me, okay?" The two Homeland Security agents nodded, identical expressions of puzzlement on their faces. "C'mon, Bones," Booth said, gently helping her to stand with an easy familiarity that made some distant part of his mind begin screaming in shock. Too tired to wonder about it herself, Brennan nodded and gathered her things from the table, Booth grabbing her suitcase and gently steering her toward the door with a hand on her lower back.
"Don't call me Bones," she added softly as they walked down the hall.
"Okay, Bones," Booth said. Brennan snorted and smacked him on the shoulder. "Ow! What the hell, Bones?" He paused then, seeing the extremely unnerved expression on her face as she stared at her hand. "What is it?" Booth said. Temperance licked her lips nervously.
"I don't know. This entire morning has been…bizarre, to say the least. And this? It's like we've"
"Known each other for years," Booth interrupted, a pensive frown on his face. Temperance nodded, an expression of revelation on her face.
"Yes, that's it exactly. At least since you arrived. But I've felt such an overwhelming sense of déjà vu ever since the plane touched down that I think I'm going to go insane!" Brennan said. Booth started walking again, this time wearing a thoughtful look.
"Okay, let's get your stuff in the car first, okay?" Booth said. Temperance allowed a smirk to twitch at her lips. "What?" Booth said.
"You said 'okay' twice," Temperance said. Booth eyeballed her in response.
"So?" he said.
"It's just funny, that's all," Temperance said as she walked out of the airport doors.
"How is that funny, Bones?" Booth asked as he opened his rear door and slid the suitcase onto the back seat. Looking amused, Temperance deposited her carry bag on the floor and moved to open the passenger side door.
"It just is, Booth. I find your speech patterns to be endearing." As soon as the words left her mouth she froze, her face twisted into an expression of incredulous surprise.
"Really?" Booth said, feeling his eyebrows climb for his hairline.
"Well…no, I mean…I, I don't know what I mean!" Brennan groaned in frustration. "God this is so frustrating!"
"Tell me about it," Booth consoled, sliding his keys into the ignition. At her curious glance, he elaborated. "I feel like I've known you for years, even though we only worked together for a month last year."
"We certainly didn't get on," Brennan pointed out. Booth nodded, absently pulling away from the curb and navigating his way into the traffic.
"We fought like cats and dogs, Bones," he said. Brennan frowned slightly.
"I don't…" she cut off and held her head with a wince. "Wait…I do know what that means!"
"Guess miracles do happen, eh, Bones?" Booth joked, a wide, easy smile on his face. Temperance returned the smile for a moment before a dark frown crossed her face.
"This isn't possible. We haven't spent more than half an hour in each other's company for a year. The ease which we appear to be getting along is more indicative of two people who have been around each other for substantial amounts of time and actually like each other."
"What, Bones, you don't like me?" Booth said, looking slightly hurt.
"This is what I mean! The last time we saw each other, Booth, we got into an argument and you left, saying that you were glad you wouldn't have to deal with me ever again!" Brennan said with an emphatic gesture. "We argued about everything, Booth! This sudden ability for us to…to joke and laugh is not normal!"
Booth sighed, carefully pulled over and switched off the engine of the SUV.
"Okay, I get what you mean. Let's just do a little experiment, yeah?" he suggested. Temperance nodded, now on familiar territory. Experiments to determine a hypothesis were her bread and butter. "Cool. So it feels like we've known each other for years," he said, pausing to allow Temperance to nod affirmatively. "So, despite how impossible it is, there's an easy explanation. You don't know me, I don't know you. do you agree?"
"Yes," Temperance said.
"So if we ask each other questions about ourselves, it proves this is stupid. Like Sherlock Holmes said 'when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,' right?"
"Actually it was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of Sherlock Holmes, who said that," Brennan pointed out.
"That's not the point, Bones," Booth said, obviously fighting a grin.
"Okay, so let's start. What's my favourite flower?"
"Daffodils," Booth answered immediately, and then blinked in surprise. "Are they?" Temperance looked perturbed, but nodded.
"Your turn, Booth," Temperance said.
"What's my favourite restaurant?" Booth asked.
"Wong Fu's. Where is that? I've never heard of it," Temperance said.
"It's downtown. I go there all the time, and I've never seen you there. This is disturbing," he admitted softly. "Let me ask another one: who is my favourite person?"
"Your son. You have a son?!" Temperance exclaimed, her mouth forming an 'o' of surprise. Booth had gone pale.
"Your turn," he said, deftly avoiding the question. Temperance licked her lips, suddenly realising that her heart was thumping in her chest and that her palms had gone sweaty.
"What's my favourite animal?" Temperance said, almost knowing his answer before he spoke.
"Dolphins. They were also your mother's," he added quietly. Temperance raised a hand to her mouth in shock, knowing that not even Angela knew that piece of information.
"My god, how did you know that? How do you know that!?" she demanded, suddenly feeling cornered and exposed.
"I don't know!" Booth barked. "How did you know I have a son?" he returned. Before she could answer he raised a hand to cut her off. "Don't answer, I know you can't. You don't know the answer, and neither do I. Somehow we both know things about each other that we either have never told or are limited to a very small number of people."
"But it's impossible! I've never told anyone that my mother liked dolphins!" Temperance said. Her mind span out of control as she tried to grasp a rational explanation of why he knew such intimate details about herself, but came up empty, only managing incongruous and increasingly fantastical hypothesis. "They could be lucky guesses!" she insisted, ignoring Booth's doubtful look. "Tell me something else about myself," Temperance ordered and crossed her arms expectantly.
"C'mon, Bones. What's this gonna prove?" Booth said, but only received a stubborn look. "Alright fine," he sighed. "Lets see…you find intelligence soothing, you believe marriage is an outdated social practice, you believe that god cannot exist because of all the evil things you have seen in the world. Uh…you like jazz, though I have no idea why, and have Foreigner in your CD collection." Booth wrinkled his brow as he sought for information he had no way of knowing he had. "Okay, it's easier to reel stuff off than think about it. The more I do, the harder it is. So here we go again: you have a stainless steel fridge, you don't have a TV and you find people aren't very scary when you poke them in the eye. Okay now that last one was just weird."
"It's true," Temperance said. "All of it. It's all true. I can't believe it." she stared forward blankly, her mind stuck on that since unequivocal fact. Everything he said was true, and it made her want to run as fast as she could.
"Bones," Booth said, bringing her attention to his dark eyes, "I'm as weirded out as you are, alright? It doesn't make sense. You know things, I know things. But do me a favour?" Temperance nodded. "Close your eyes and just breathe in and out for a moment. Then tell me straight, does it really, truly bother you? Ignore that it's unscientific, that it's impossible. Tell me how you feel."
Temperance licked her lips uncertainly, but the calm, insistent tone in Booth's voice made her trust him. A tiny portion of her mind railed at the feeling, but she shut it out with determination.
"Okay," she said and settled back. Several slow breaths later, she felt much calmer. Two parts of her warred for dominance at the revelation that Booth knew her and not just things about her life and past. "Does it bother me that you know things about me that I've not told anyone? Yes, it does, but it bothers me because I haven't told you, not because you know. Does that make sense?" she asked, opening her eyes.
Booth nodded, a faint grin on his face.
"Yeah, that makes sense, Bones. So are we cool?" Booth felt slightly uncomfortable asking Brennan the question, but realised that he really did want her to be okay with working with him. At that point it occurred to him that he hadn't actually told her that there was a case, she had just accepted that he had turned up to collect her and went with it. "Okay, today is just plain bizarre. We've entered the twilight zone, people."
"I don't know what that means," Brennan admitted. Booth paused; suddenly filled with a foreign nostalgia he couldn't identify, and allowed it to wash forth in a burst of laughter. "Booth! Stop laughing! Stop it, Booth! It's not funny!" But it was, and the Special Agent's contagious laughter eventually forced a smile onto her face and a slight giggle past her lips.
"So, we're cool, right?" Booth said after he recovered, absently wiping the tears that had gathered in his eyes. Her chest still heaving in small fits of laughter, Temperance nodded. "Graet. Uh, I should apologise, by the way. I set that up back at the airport."
"I know," Brennan said, "it had you all over it. It was a very transparent attempt to gain my goodwill." Booth frowned, feeling insulted.
"It was not transparent!" he retorted, but relented under her amused gaze. "not to most people," he amended sulkily. Brennan grinned.
"I'm not most people," she said. "And why did you set it up anyway? You'd better have a good reason. I haven't felt this bad in a long time. Do know how bad my headache was?"
"Yeah, I've got a pretty good idea," Booth said. "I had what felt like the entire rhino population of the world running over my head before I came in. as for why I set it up, I think I've got a case, a decomposed corpse was found in Arlington National Cemetery this morning."
"I should hope so," Brennan said, "it's full of decomposed corpses. It's a cemetery," she added sarcastically. Booth ignored the now familiar sense of déjà vu and waved away the poor joke.
"Not funny, Bones. I tried going through the proper channels, but your assistant stonewalled me." Brennan grinned, imagining her super-intelligent assistant calmly explaining over and over that he wouldn't help the FBI agent.
"He's a good assistant," she said and favoured Booth with a large smile, having decided not to make an issue of the strange camaraderie that had sprung from nowhere. It was certainly more preferable to the stressful power struggle they had had previously.
"Yeah, thanks for that," Booth said. "Anyway, I need your help."
"And why should I?" Brennan asked, an eyebrow arching up curiously. Booth spotted the twinkle of amusement in her eye.
"You're gonna make me beg!" he said.
"Don't make me beg, Bones," Booth pleaded. Temperance gave him a haughty look at the moniker. "Alright fine, what's it gonna take?" Booth said.
"Full participation," Temperance said.
"Done," Booth said, realising immediately that working with the anthropologist would be much easier this time around.
"Ah, ah!" Brennan forestalled, "not just lab work. Everything."
"We'll be Scully and Mulder," Booth said, realising a moment later that Brennan wouldn't get the reference. "I know, I know," he said, "you don't know what that means. It means we'll be partners, okay?" Brennan looked thoughtful, and had Booth not had the advantage of their sudden camaraderie, he felt he would likely have gotten annoyed. "Stop playing," he cajoled, causing her to pout slightly.
"Okay, agreed," Temperance said, "lets get off." Booth snorted and smothered a grin as he started up the big SUV again.
"It's get going, Bones. Get off is something else."
"Oh? What? Aren't we getting off?" Temperance said innocently. Booth palmed his face in one hand.
"We aren't having this discussion," he said.
"C'mon, Booth," Temperance whined, "tell me what it means!"
"Lord, give me strength," Booth prayed under his breath. It was going to be a long day.