Author's note- Ok, guys, here it is, the final chapter, the end. Thank you for sticking with me for all this time, for reviewing... Thank you!
Have a very happy New Year.
4- Epilogue- London, England, August 2008
"Journeys end where lovers meet"
"Come on, Booth, I'm hungry", Brennan was cold despite the calendar saying it was August. The day was grey, wet and miserable. The case was finished and that street was giving her the chills. It was something that could only be described as a feeling of foreboding. Something about it was not quite right. She looked again at the ruin of the old St Peter's church. Odd, she thought, really odd. It was like she had seen it before, been there before. Although not exactly like herself, more like a version of herself… like déjà vu…
Booth was weird as well. He kept on staring at the ruined church, unable to take his eyes even to walk straight. He had bumped into an old lady who had, Brennan thought, very britishly, apologized as if it were her own fault. He walked on, shaking his head, swatting away strange feelings that he could not explain. They walked into a dinner that sat in the shade of St. Paul's, not so different from their habitual one.
"What's wrong, Booth?"
"Not sure… It's like I've been here before, but different… You know, not really me, but me…"
"Déjà vu", Brennan supplied.
"Yeah, I guess… like in The Matrix. Just a glitch in the system"
"Not a matrix. The Matrix", Booth highlighted the name of the film with his fingers drawing inverted commas in the air. "It's a film…" she still looked blankly at him. "Never mind that now. I guess it happens to everybody at one point or another..."
"Probably" She kept her own feelings to herself.
A waitress made her way to the table. She sounded bored when she asked them for their orders.
Booth was in the process of ordering coffee and pie when Brennan interrupted.
"You know, you go to a different country, at least try what they have to offer. You can get pie any time of the day at home. Try something local…"
"I don't want different. I want home" He knew he sounded like a petulant child. He didn't care. He was homesick, cold and in a state of general irritation. Thank God for the 4h of July.
"Fine!" Brennan looked at the menu and ordered spotted dick. At that, Booth chocked on his own tongue.
"Seriously, what's wrong with these people? Actually, never mind that. What's wrong with you, ordering something with that name?"
"It's actually a really nice desert." She sounded condescending.
Booth humphed and ordered his beloved pie. They waited silently for the food each mulling over the feelings brought on by the ruined church.
"So did you ever have déjà vu?" Booth asked Bones just as the waitress was coming in with their orders. Assuming he was addressing her, the waitress replied absently:
"I don't think we have that, sir, but if you want me to, I can ask in the kitchen if they do it" She supplied helpfully in an Eastern European accent. Booth snorted his coffee.
"Well, actually" Brennan raised her index to the girl, "he was referring to paramnesia, from Greek para or near and mnēmē, meaning memory. Also known aspromnesia, which is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously... it's actually quite common as a phenomenon." The waitress looked blankly as Brennan ploughed on. Booth just tried dismissed her with a wave of his hand. Only the girl wouldn't go.
"Oh... so, a memory of a past life..."
"Of course not. We do not retain sentience after death. That's just fiction."
"And you believe that, do you?" There was now a spark of interest in the girl's eyes.
"Well, yes, I do" Booth could see Brennan getting impatient.
"Show me your palm, then..."
"No! Why would I do that?" The challenge of the initial no had faded into a question mark
"You're right... you shouldn't... if you're afraid" Booth observed the exchange, just waiting for the moment he would have to save the waitress from one of Brennan's tongue lashings.
"Come on then, McPretty, show the lady your hand!"
"What did you just say?"
"That was not nothing. That was something...."
"It's an expression, Bones, just an expression... Why the interest?"
"I don't like nick names, pet names or any other kind of short names..."
"I call you Bones"
"And I'm still waiting to see your palm... come on, don't be shy..." The girl coaxed Brennan. Surprisingly for Booth, she did stretch her palm to the girl. There was a spitting like sound that had Brennan pulling her hand away fast as lightening only to hear the girl laugh, a laugh that did not belong to someone so young.
"My great grandmother used to do that for real... she said it cleared the vision..."
"And you believe that, do you" Brennan imitated.
"Of course not. Your hands are quite clean, I must say..." And she pulled up a chair, laughing whole heartedly and sat by their window table.
"Figuratively or literally?"
"Literally! You see", she pointed at the criss-crossing of lines of lines in Brennan's hand, "This is your life line. This one" she slid her finger around the thumb, is your heart line... and all these ones across them are the events of your life. There are quite a lot of these lines across. And you are not this old." The stare that met her was blank. Brennan, Booth thought, would be an excellent poker player.
"I don't don't know what that means."
"No, you wouldn't... I think you tried very heard to forget."
"That there was great love in your life... not this one life and not just once either... in this one you've known nothing but heartache...." and she traced a series of lines radiating from the thumb towards the centre of the palm. "You survived because you're stubborn." And Booth snorted.
"Well, she pegged that one right! You're as stubborn as they come"
"But there was great love before. And, unless you let go of the pain, you'll never know joy. You're trying too hard to run from pain. And the more you run, the more it catches up with you."
"This is all nonsense. The lines in our hands are like expression marks.... you have them because of the movements of your hands. They are also like fingerprints- in a larger scale. Also, if I had more adipose tissue in my hands, there would be less lines... none of that is metaphysical. It's all scientifically proven."
"Oh, it must be comforting to believe things like that." Brennan pulled back and crossed her arms defensively across her chest.
"Next you'll be reading my future. Do you read tea leaves as well?"
"Ah, that would cost you fifty quid! This I do for fun!"
"You mess with people's minds for fun?" Booth intervened.
"Well, some people go to the cinema, others read books... I get my stories from palms. It's cheaper and so good it beats fiction any time."
"She's not messing with my mind, Booth. And you don't need to defend me. And you" Brennan turned to the girl, staring into the black eyes "And you... OK, tell me something I don't know!" The girl thought for a fraction of a second.
"There is lot I could tell you that you don't know.."
"And that does not qualify as one" There was a sigh at the interruption.
"I was going to say that a little show and tell is in order. For instance, in a minute or so, I'll ask your..." and she turned to Booth "what is it that you say you are to her? Colleague? To show us his palm. And see this line here, the life line? It will be cut across like this- exactly like this, in the same three sections, at the exact same spot. And you'll see how those lines run to the heart line- this one here- at the exact same intervals as in yours. In fact, His palm will be the exact mirror of yours. Your lunch is on me if I'm wrong. No excuses, no taking back. Exactly the same."
"I like those odds, Bones. Come on, this is an overpriced meal anyway." Brennan held on to her silence strategy.
"Well, what have you got to loose?"
"OK... Show her your palm, Booth, let's get a free lunch out of this" But her heart jolted when Booth put down his fork and turned his hand palm up.
The three congregated to see it. The waitress silently pointed her finger at the lines, tracing the life line with its cuts across, the identical three sections, at the same spaces, running to the line of the heart. Brennan expected to see triumph in the girl's black eyes. She saw none. She had them raise their hands, and without either of them knowing how it had happened, their palms were touching, each the mirror of the other, left hand to left hand. And when they touched, skin to skin, there it was, that familiar heat, that sense of completeness, the same they remembered from the kiss under the mistletoe and, maybe even further back.
Brennan broke the contact first.
"It's just a coincidence"
"There is no such thing"
"I don't know, Bones, what are the odds of that?" Brennan sighed in defeat she wasn't ready to admit.
"What is it with you and odds today? I'm not sure. What do you want me to do with information anyway? What does it mean"
"You know what, I'm only a gypsy girl. Telling you what to do with it will cost you extra..." She said with a smile that cut the bargain down to a joke. Come on, you're smart. You'll figure it out. He has!"
"So you're telling me that everything is written in our palms, that we have no choice in the matter..."
"Wow, how did you get to that conclusion so fast- and so wrong? All I said was that deja vu is not just that Greek thing you said... Honestly... And that will be 18 Pounds fifty, please!" She said putting the bill on the table. "Enjoy your over priced meal!" and she walked away, swinging her hips to some imaginary music and silently wishing the Americans luck and strength for what she'd had seen in their palms that was coming in their not so distant future, offering a prayer for their journey together. Everything has a right time, specially, affairs of the heart.
Perhaps one final review? Yes? Thank you!