Déjà Vu Chapter 11
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!
Author's note: Sorry for the wait! Had to wait ages for the fourth season to catch up due to retarded mid-season breaks! Plus I'm a lazy SOB. Let me know what you think, if you would! I've also activated anonymous reviews, so feel free to review if you've not done so because of that before! I'll stop with the slightly hyper exclamation marks now.
"So," Seeley muttered, "four in a row eh, Bones?" The rumpled looking anthropologist glowered, her eyes shadowed from lack of sleep.
"Yes, Booth," she replied, "four in a row. And two months of near sleepless nights!" she added, snarling viciously. Seeley wet his lips slowly, easily recognising the signs of a frustration-fuelled tantrum of epic proportions on the horizon.
"I'm not faring any better," he pointed out, his eyes dropping to her lip as it curled upwards in an unattractive sneer. Oh dear, he thought to himself, better head this off quick. "Don't start on me, Bones," he said. "You think my life's been peachy keen these past two months?"
"Easier than mine! I've gone crazy!" she said.
"Crazy is killing your neighbour's cats for kicks, Bones," Seeley said. "We've just gone completely crackers from the pressure."
"Oh and what do you suggest we do, then?" Temperance sniped from her position on his lounger.
"We take a vacation?" he suggested.
"And go where?" she replied. "Do what? What guarantee do we have that we've not done it all before!? It doesn't even work the same any more!" she yelled, her voice rising to a shrill howl at the end. "We used to see or hear something that would trigger it. Now it's a smell, a place, a call, a time, a piece of clothing! I can't do this! It's not rational!"
"I know!" Seeley finally snapped, slamming his empty coffee cup onto his table angrily. "I. Know!" he repeated heatedly. "but what do you want me to do, Bones? Huh? You don't think I'm going to pieces too?" God, he thought to himself, did we really think we could handle this? They stared at each other furiously for several moments before both sagged, once again drained of whatever energy they could work up to begin arguing.
"This isn't working," Temperance whispered. Seeley dropped his head onto the back of his couch wearily.
"No," he agreed, "it's not. But what can we do?" Getting completely drunk had worked the first few times they had tried, but then the dreams had begun. Slowly at first, then more and more often until every time one of them rested their eyes they were once again replaying their terrifying endless fall or last moments.
And they weren't the same last moments either. "How many times d'you figure we've died? In our dreams, I mean," Seeley idly asked after the silence stretched out. Temperance gave an unladylike snort and fixed him with a ghoulish glare, enhanced by her drawn, exhausted complexion.
"I'm not sure. There was the fridge," she started.
"Shot five different times," Seeley said. Temperance nodded in agreement, ticking them off on her fingers.
"Buried alive," she said, holding up another finger. Seeley grimaced and scrubbed at his face.
"Blown up," he added.
"Twice," Temperance stated.
"Yup. Hit by a car," Temperance said.
"Shot some more," Seeley muttered. "God. How many of them do you think are real? Just one? Or do you think they all happened?" Temperance looked sick at the idea and raked a hand through her hair.
"I don't know, Booth," she said, "I just don't know. Not a lot makes sense any more. Except the science," she amended. Seeley grinned slightly in her direction with a listless loll of his head.
"I don't think that'll ever change," he pointed out. She sighed and essayed a weak smile.
"I hope not," she said. The duo paused for a few minutes, gathering their energy once more. "So when do you have Parker next?" she asked.
"Next weekend, " Seeley said, his lips curling into a fond smile at the thought of the energetic boy. "We're going to the baseball cages," he confided.
"I thought you liked football more?" Temperance said.
"Well," Seeley waffled, "I kinda like 'em all, Bones, remember?" he prodded, reminding her of her five minute rant earlier in the day about alpha male tendencies, sport and her general low opinion of men in general. To his delight, she flushed guiltily and hid her eyes with one hand.
"I've been as bad as a fishwife, haven't I?" she admitted, sounding horribly embarrassed. Seeley allowed an amused grin to blossom on his stubbled face.
"Yeah, pretty much. I gotta say, Bones, I never pictured you as the totally bitchy type, but you can be real good at it." An evil glare and a high velocity coaster were his rewards, but they gave a much needed reprieve from the angst they were so successfully wallowing in.
"You were bitchier," Temperance muttered, levering herself out of the lounger and sashaying over to the window. Seeley felt his eyebrows rise incredulously.
"Really?" he drawled. "So who was it again who bawled me out in front of the on-site team and questioned me on whether my family had inter-bred with Himalayan llamas?" The slow pink flush that crept up the back of her neck in response was all the answer he needed. "Mmm," he mused smugly, "thought so."
"I was having a bad day," she answered, though the excuse was a weak one. Knowing that pushing it any more would re-ignite her wonderfully volatile temper, Seeley nodded without a word. Temperance flashed him a swift and grateful smile as she settled once again in the lounger.
"You love that chair," he said, marvelling at how her bright blue eyes seemed to darken with affection as she gazed fondly at the armrest.
"It's comfortable," she explained.
"That's why I bought it, Bones," Seeley returned. "Not that I ever get to sit in it anymore."
"Oh shut up," Temperance said, "and get to why you called me here at," she glanced at her watch, "three in the afternoon on a Sunday."
"Alright, fine," Seeley said, "spoil my fun. I wanted to see if you wanted to meet Parker next weekend," he said in a rush, leaving his partner blinking owlishly at him.
"Me? Meet Parker?" Temperance said.
"Yes, Bones. You meet Parker. Next weekend." Booth said, slowly. "What, you don't want to?" he asked.
"No! I mean, no, that's not it. But I, I mean, I don't know how to deal with children," she finished lamely. Seeley propped a cheek on his left hand and stared at her, amused.
"Bones, you're happy to confront killers in their own home and fight against dictatorships by uncovering war crimes, but you're afraid of a six year old?" Ah, the glower is back, he mused.
"I look terrible," Temperance excused.
"So do I, Bones," Seeley reminded.
"I could accidentally say something offensive about your religion," she said.
"Still not gettin' out of it, Bones," he said, smirking smugly when her head dropped in defeat.
"Damn," she muttered. "Do you really think that it's a good idea? We've still come no closer to finding out why on earth this is happening," she said. Seeley grunted.
"I know, Bones. We've just gotta find the common thread here, that's all. Once we find that, then we have something to go on. And you know what we're like when we've got something to go on, right?" Grunting in reply, the curtain of her hair that obscured her face parted to show a fond grin.
"Yeah," she admitted. Though she looked as if she hadn't bothered to look after herself for weeks and could have passed for a corpse in a morgue considering how pale she was, Seeley still felt his heart thud in his chest at the raw affection he briefly saw gazing back at him before her hair veiled her eyes and she lurched to her feet.
"I guess we'd better get started then," she grumbled, marching down the hallway toward his bathroom.
"Bones? Where're you going?" he called. Her voice drifted back lazily down the hall.
"Taking a shower," she said. He rolled his eyes.
"Yes, Bones, I have no problem with you using my shower!" he called, "thanks for asking!"
"You would've said yes anyway," she said.
"Its called 'being polite,' Bones!"
"Sorry," she replied, her voice muffled by the distance and her clothing. In the ensuing silence he strained his ears and faintly heard the sound of her clothes hitting the floor, reminding him that she was naked as the day she was born only a few metres away.
"Jesus Christ, you punish me so," he muttered, eyeballing the wooden crucifix attached to one wall. He contemplated the fact that he was both happy and disappointed that he hadn't managed to see his partner naked again and for the umpteenth time wondered just what they were supposed to be doing if they really were sent back in time from their deaths. "This is useless," he muttered, pulling the plug on his pointless conjecture.
Meanwhile, down the hall, Temperance leant against the doorjamb of her partner's bedroom. The last of her clothing piled neatly at the foot of his bed. She chewed her lip for a moment, warring silently over her conflicting impulses. She had contemplated becoming intimate with Booth before, of course, but never had it held such a recipe for possible disaster.
If it didn't work, then not only could she possibly alienate a good friend and partner, but she could lose the only person who understood exactly what it was she was going through. She sighed and pushed off of the wall to walk toward her partner's bathroom, idly enjoying the feel of the warm air flowing over her body. It was for that reason that she occasionally walked naked around her own home, though she had not done it now for nearly eight months due to trip to Guatemala and the high likelihood of Booth coming into her apartment at an inopportune moment.
Temperance felt her lips quirk in an amused smile as she pictured the astonished look on his face whilst she began to run the shower, her nipples puckering in excitement as she imagined the shocked look fading to rampant appreciation.
"Damn," she muttered aloud, realising that her idle thoughts had strayed into fantasy. Though a pleasant past time, it was a distraction they could not afford at the moment.
She stepped into the shower, humming softly in her throat as the pressurised hot water feverishly worked to soothe her aching muscles and bone deep weariness. She knew, through much practice, that the second would only be cured with a night of uninterrupted sleep.
"If wishes were fishes," she mumbled, dropping her chin and revelling in the feel of the water on her body. She made a wordless sound of frustration as she realised another reason for her ire. She had never gone so long without sex. The sound stuck in her throat and mutated into a snarl as she felt her hands tighten into fists for several heartbeats until she relaxed. "Once this is over," she promised herself, "I'm going to have an epic-"
A knock on the door made her jump.
"Hey, Bones? You okay?" her partner's voice drifted through. Her mind made the connection far faster than she would have liked, considering her previous fantasies.
"Fine!" she squeaked, staring at the door with wide eyes. There was a pause, long enough that she wondered if he had withdrawn before he spoke again.
"Oh, uh, sorry, Bones," he said. Temperance blinked, registering the heavy embarrassment that saturated his tone. "I didn't mean to disturb you. Ah, carry on!" the beginnings of an incredulous smile crept across her face as she realised that he thought she had been busy pleasuring herself to relieve her tension. She admitted it wasn't a bad idea, but she needed to at least get clean first. It couldn't have been more than five minutes at the most. Did he think she was some kind of sex addict?
Though the thought was irritating, the amused smile remained in place for the rest of her shower as she scrubbed away the accumulated grime and sweat. She couldn't blame him, really, especially after their blatant sexual rapport at the beginning of the whole misadventure, something that had rapidly fallen to the wayside as they struggled to cope with their situation.
Temperance sighed mournfully as she scrubbed at her hair with Booth's luxuriously thick towel, realising that by now Angela and the others were in the midst of a worried conference over their well-being. That meant Monday would be a true nightmare of epic proportions as her best friend hovered fretfully nearby. 'just in case.'
Running the towel over her body, Temperance paused and glanced at the deep maroon pile in her hands. She was using Booth's favourite towel. Oh dear. After a moment she shrugged and continued on as she was. He would be fine with it, she knew. Besides, though he had set aside a towel for her should she wish to indulge, he could still use it himself, couldn't he? Nodding to herself, she grabbed the secondary towel he had thoughtfully given her for her hair and settled it around her head, twisting and folding it until she stood upright and caught her reflection in the mirror.
I look like some sort of Amazonian queen, she thought in amusement as she turned this way and that, admiring the perkiness of her breasts and imagining that the towel that rose like some form of fabric tower from her head was a crown. Briefly she fought the wicked impulse to go out as she was, but caution won out and she secured Booth's towel around her body snugly, creating a significant valley between the swell of her breasts.
That done, she glanced one last time around her partner's bathroom before opening the door and darting out toward his bedroom. A few moments later she realised her error.
"Booth?" she called down the hall.
"Yeah?" his voice drifted back a moment later. Temperance sighed, cursing her own exhaustion that made her make such silly mistakes.
"I have no clean underwear," she explained. "Can I borrow some?" she felt silly asking, but the alternative was not to wear any, and that definitely was not an option.
"Why the hell would I have women's underwear?" his voice demanded indignantly. Temperance fought a smile.
"I wasn't asking for women's underwear, Booth. It would be Tessa's. Do you have any idea how disgusting that is?"
"I don't have it anyway! So, uh, what do you want me to do?" he asked after a significant pause.
"Do you have any briefs?" she asked.
"No," he replied. Temperance chewed her lip again.
"What about, um, what about boxers?" she called.
"Yeah I have some. Second drawer down by the bedside," Booth's voice came back. Temperance dropped the towel and rummaged through the designated drawer, absently cataloguing just what type of underwear her partner normally wore.
"Black, black, navy, red, white, white, striped, oh here we go," she muttered, holding up a pair victoriously that showed a stylised cartoon man with a fig leaf over his groin. Underneath, words proclaimed the wearer a 'Sex God.' Sniggering to herself, she stepped into them and settled them around her hips, noting that due to his size, they were much too large for her and rode dangerously low on her hips.
Glancing at her dirty laundry, Temperance lifted out her bra and eyed it critically. While she was no snob, having worn the same clothes for weeks at a time in mass grave excavations in the past, she certainly was not one to do so without a reason. That decided, she dropped the offending article back into the pile and shrugged on her shirt, buttoning it with care and checking herself over before peeking out the door, her hair still up in its cloth prison.
"It's only for a moment," she encouraged herself, rationalising that it wouldn't have been anything he hadn't seen before and that she was wearing clothes anyway. Or some, at least. "Right," she said, striding confidently down the hall toward her bag that contained a fresh bra, part of her field kit she took in case a scene got messy and ruined whatever she had on at the time.
Her determination evaporated when she entered the lounge to find him staring at her with something akin to shock, his eyes firmly below her eye line.
"Those're my…uh!" he snapped out of his surprise and swiftly presented his back to her. "God, Bones! Put on a bra for crying out loud!" he demanded. Temperance blinked and glanced down at herself, feeling chagrined when she realised the cooler air of the hall had made her lack of a bra very apparent.
"Damn," she muttered. "You weren't supposed to see," she apologised as she gathered up her bag and rooted around in it until she found the plain white bra. He spluttered in the background, eyeing her incredulously from the corner of his eye.
"Weren't supposed to…!? Bones, when a girl-"
"Woman," she interrupted firmly.
"Jesus, Bones! Fine! When a woman doesn't wear a bra guy's notice! Especially if it's white!" Silently Temperance admitted he was right.
"Well, never mind," she said. "I have it now. Besides," she added, "you've seen me naked." With those parting words, Seeley heard her retreat down the corridor.
"You've gotta be kidding me!"
After a slightly awkward lunch prepared in Booth's small kitchen, the duo eyed each other warily over the small collection of files and the small laptop perched atop the coffee table.
"So, Bones, what do we know?" Seeley started. Temperance frowned in deep thought and picked up a nearby notepad.
"The dreams all have a common thread, except the falling dream," she said.
"Right, us dying," Seeley supplied. Temperance nodded and pointed the pen in her hand toward him.
"Yes, but were those deaths linked?" she asked.
"What, like a connecting reason for us to buy the farm?" he said. Temperance gave him a quizzical look.
"What does buying land have to do with anything?" she asked. Seeley rolled his eyes.
"It's a term that means 'to die,' Bones," he explained, seeing the understanding dawn in her eyes.
"Oh! I see. Uh, yes, that was what I was asking," she said. Seeley leant back into his couch and idly rubbed at his stubble thoughtfully for several moments.
"Nah, I can't think of anything that would connect them," he admitted. "Can you?" Temperance shook her head.
"No, each seems to be directly confined to the cases we were working on at the time," she said.
"Back to square one," Seeley murmured. "What about if we list off all of the deaths and corresponding investigations? That way we'll at least be able to look at something, like at the office with the boards," he added. "You've seen them, right?" Temperance felt justified in allowing her face to convey her disparagement. "Yeah, of course you've seen them," she heard Booth mutter to himself. "Stupid."
"It's not stupid, Booth," she said. "We're exhausted from lack of sleep and the pervading paranoia that we will experience déjà vu at any moment that will bring us to our knees from nausea. Double checking is just prudent investigation," she added. His brown eyes glinted with gratitude for a moment before he cast around for a reasonable facsimile.
"We really need that board," he said.
"I agree. I have one at the lab in my office. I just don't tend to use it much," she explained.
"Awesome. Shall we?" he asked, flamboyantly gesturing to the front door. Temperance chuckled softly as she gathered her bags and coat.
"Oh, let me get my toothbrush," she said, moving to replace her bag and fetch the item from down the hall.
"Forget it, Bones. You're here most of the time anyway, right? Or vice versa. Reckon I should leave one at yours?" he asked, squinting at her thoughtfully. She shrugged.
"Don't see why not. It makes sense, after all," she said.
"Right. Buy a spare toothbrush. Better put that on the list," Seeley said.
"There's a list? What list?" Temperance asked as they made their way out the door.
"Never mind, Bones. It's just a thing," Seeley replied.
"What thing? Booth? I don't know what that means!"
"Are we allowed to take this back to your place?" Seeley asked as he glanced at the large white board awkwardly lodged in the back of his Tahoe.
"There's no reason why we should not be allowed to take it," Temperance returned, deftly avoiding the legality of the issue.
"Sure, Bones, as if that'll fly. And won't Angela be furious that we snuck in and out again without talking to her?" he said.
"She'll be fine. She won't stay angry for long," Temperance soothed.
"At you," Seeley muttered, missing the faint grin that hovered at the edges of his partner's mouth. "And how come we do this at yours again?" he asked.
"Because my apartment is bigger," she replied. "I find that room to pace makes things a lot less stressful when pondering a conundrum." Seeley made an agreeing face.
"Okay, fine. But we're stopping to get takeout. None of that pansy food you have at your place. And we're getting Captain Crunch!" he said.
"Planning on staying over?" she lilted, glancing at him sideways. The way her eyes lidded meaningfully at him made him pause.
"Uh, no, not planning to," he demurred, "just, you know, in case. Or for future occasions and stuff."
"I see," she said, her face telling him that she had drawn her own private conclusions.
"You see what, Bones?" he asked, glancing at her as he drove. "You see what? Oh come on! Don't do that, Bones!" he whined, spotting the smug curling of her lips.
"Don't forget the toothbrush," she reminded him airily.
"Fine," he huffed. "I won't."
"You forgot the toothbrush," Temperance pointed out as they settled the bag of shopping on her counter. Booth glared, annoyed at having done so because of his insistence on buying proper food.
"Thanks for letting me know when we were at the supermarket, Bones," he groused.
"I was paying," she reminded him. "You were packing." Seeley just grunted and went to set up the whiteboard near her stereo. He eyed it for a moment before shaking his head and dismissing it as a distraction. "You want a drink?" he heard his partner ask.
"You got a cold beer?" he asked.
"Yeah, give me a sec." She arrived a few moments later carrying two bottles and handed one over.
"You're a life saver," he stated, taking a long pull and savouring the cool taste as it trickled down his throat.
"Not when you count the number of times we die each night," she said dully. He glanced at her to find her staring at the new bright red refrigerator they had purchased the month before. He gently grasped her elbow and gave it a squeeze to draw her attention.
"We've got another chance," he said softly. "We're fine. We have an idea of what's coming and we just need to work out why we're here. It can't be just to solve the cases and not die. That doesn't make sense. God doesn't make exceptions for just two people, no matter how great they are. You know that and I know that. Good people die all the time. We just gotta stay focused, Bones, okay?" She took a deep breath and gave him a firm smile.
"Okay," she echoed. "So, do you want to go first? I'm not that good at conjecture," she said. Seeley grinned and picked up two pens.
"Black one is me, red one is you, okay?" he said. Temperance made an agreeing noise and took the red pen from his hand. "Good. So, we write down what we can remember from the case and who died. If it was both of us then we write it in green. Agreed?"
"Agreed," Temperance said.
"Cool. Okay, so the first one I can remember is…uh."
"Burned to death," Temperance murmured, "on the Eller case. That was me."
"What? You never told me that!" he said in outrage. Temperance shifted uncomfortably.
"I'm telling you now, aren't I? Besides, I'm almost positive there are ways you've died that I don't know about." Her eyes bore into his own until he looked away, feeling guilty. "See?" she said. "So let's just write them down, okay?" Seeley nodded.
"Alright, fine. But we're gonna talk about this, Bones. Both of us."
Three quarters of an hour later found them staring at a long list.
"That's a lotta deaths, Bones," Seeley murmured, feeling chills crawling along his spine and seeping into his heart. A glance to his left showed his partner morbidly staring also, her face wan.
"Yeah," she quietly affirmed.
"I don't think that we want to talk about it," he said.
"No," she agreed. They continued to stare for several more minutes before things began to jump out and clamour for his attention.
"Hey, Bones," he murmured.
"Mmm?" she replied distractedly.
"See these two here?" he pointed at two lines written in green and waited for her answering nod. "Neither deaths were related to the case. One implicated a senator in a prostitution ring, another a pretty big pharmaceutical company, but we died in 'accidents.'" He quoted.
"You don't think they were accidents," Temperance said as she connected the dots.
"No, not even close. I mean, a car accident? Seriously? During an on-going investigation? Please," he mocked. "Anyone with half a brain would figure it out."
"But on both of those cases, it was only our combined expertise that allowed us to succeed in catching suspects," Temperance pointed out. "The nearest forensic anthropologist is in Montreal, remember?" Seeley licked his lips and flicked his eyes over the list again.
"Yeah. And these two as well," he said, pointing to another pair written in green. "All of them somehow tie to suspects who work for, or are somehow connected to the United States government."
"That's…worrying," Temperance admitted. Seeley finished his bottle to clear the dry sensation in his mouth.
"Yeah. Now we've just got to work out how it all ties together," he said.
"I think we already have," Temperance murmured.