I was bored while substituting today and came up with this one shot. I don't think it's my best... and since I couldn't think of a decent title I named it out of character because... well... that is what it is.
There is a total of one bad word.
Read and Review! Thanks.
It was cold. That was the only thing that was registering on in her senses. Vision was blurred, smells were benign and she had a persistent ringing in her ears. She could remember when in started, but only that after it did, she could feel the pressure on her chest that made her feel like she was suffocating. She could have been like that for hours for all she knew, maybe even days; life to her was now a never ending stream of silence and numbing pain. She hadn't spoken to anyone in days, maybe even weeks; she couldn't tell the time anymore.
The ringing in her ear became louder and then abruptly came to a stop. Her vision cleared in that moment and she found herself sitting in an uncomfortable plastic chair in front of a large mahogany coffin in the Graveyard where her mother was buried. There were a number of people on either side of her adorned in various shades of black; some put together well and others were wearing a mismatched selection of black fabrics and ill fitting clothing giving the appearance that they do not prepare for such unfortunate events.
She looked down at her own wardrobe and found herself dressed in a dress that she recognized as one of Angela's. She shifted in her seat and the plastic screeched loudly interrupting the peaceful sermon of the father standing next to the coffin. Brennan shifted experimentally in her seat, recreating the sound; then a second time. She felt a hand place itself over her own, but ignored it as she slid off of her seat, knelt on the soggy morning grass and examined the rusty joint of the chair more closely.
The hand that found her own, this time found her shoulder, "Sweetie." A voice said that she recognized as Angela whispered, "Sit down!"
She shrugged, pushing Angela's arm off of her shoulder and glared into her brown eyes menacingly like a rabid dog. Angela backed off immediately and Brennan turned her attention back to the rusted joint of the chair. Putting pressure on the seat of the chair with her right hand she rocked the chair back and forth a few times; the petulant sound of the chair disturbing the peace of those in attendance at the funeral but she didn't notice.
A warm hand covered her shoulder and she didn't need to turn around to know exactly who it was. She closed her eyes and heard him crouch down next to her, "Hey Bones." He whispered to her, "Why don't you sit back down in your seat?"
She looked up into his warm eyes and exhaled, "It's insufferable." She said louder than appropriate for their surroundings, "You're here?" she asked, changing the subject suddenly.
Booth gave her a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes and rubbed her arm, "Of course I'm here." He said. Brennan nodded and turned back to look at the rusted joint again. Booth looked at the joint as well and then back at her, clearly concerned for her well being, "Hey Bones," he said softly nodding toward the chair, "Sit back down, huh?"
"It's annoying me." She said flatly.
Booth chuckled lightly, attempting to ease the tension of the situation, "I think that everyone here knows that the chair is annoying you."
She glared at him and looked back at the seat, "Who died?" she asked under her breath.
The hand that was stroking her shoulder stopped suddenly. Booth moved his hand into her hair and ran his fingers through the silky strands while coaxing her into looking at him, "You don't remember?" he asked; concern overwhelming his gaze.
Brennan shook her head lightly and racked her brain trying to think but came up empty. She looked away from him and played with the edge of the chair diligently with her fingers, "Was it you?" she asked.
Booth continued to stroke her hair gently; affectionately, "No. It wasn't me. I'm right here with you."
Brennan exhaled and nodded, "Good. That's good. I would have been very upset if it was you. Just like last time." She said, somewhat detached and childlike.
"Last time?" he asked.
She nodded again, "I was very sad last time, but then you came back."
Booth paused before responding, "Yeah. I did, didn't I? I came back." He said stroking her cheek.
Brennan nodded again, "Yeah, for me."
Booth covered his mouth with his hand and looked up at Angela who was sobbing quietly while watching the scene before her. It was like Brennan had regressed back to a young child and it scared them all. Sweets had tried to come over and console Brennan but Booth took off across the isle before he had a chance to. Sweets was now standing behind Booth, waiting for his chance to step in, but knew that the only person who could successfully handle the situation was sitting on the ground next to her right now. Professional psychologist or not; Booth knew Brennan better than Sweets did and he knew that.
Booth leaned towards her, sitting up on his knees and turned her to focus on him. Although she was resistant to change her focus away from the chair, she acquiesced and focused on her partner as he wished. He took her face in his hands and caressed her face tenderly, "Temperance, he isn't coming back." Booth said softly.
She cocked her head to the side and furrowed her brow in confusion, "Huh?" she asked.
"He's gone." Booth said gently, "He can't come back." He said softly.
Brennan shook her head and threw his hands away from her, "You came back. He can't?" she asked, becoming agitated.
"No, Temperance. He can't come back. He's dead." Booth said, hoping that the message would get through to her.
Brennan paused momentarily and tried to comprehend what Booth was saying to her. Suddenly, she remembered a phone call that she had received. Then like a flicker movie book the mental image came of a hospital waiting room with white walls and benign artwork that was meant to be soothing. Next there was an image of a funeral parlor showroom, the gravestone engraver's phone number printed on the corner of a page and ripped off; Booth standing at her doorway with a bottle of gin and another of whiskey.
She jerked away from his extending hand her eyes widened staring at him as though it were his entire fault. Booth edged closer, "Do you want to go home?" he asked, "You don't have to stay here if you don't want to." He said reaching out to her.
She didn't respond, still in shock over what had actually happened. Booth lifted himself into a crouching position and put his hands on her shoulders. He started t help her stand up but she was being resistant; attempting to writhe and wriggle out of his grasp.
Booth tried to grasp her shoulders tighter to keep her from pulling away from him and subsequently fall down. She began pulling away more violently and Dr. Sweets stepped forward to help calm her down, but before he could even get near, Brennan leaned forward suddenly, grabbing the plastic chair and hurling it over Booth's head at the Mahogany casket that housed the body of her father.
Whether it was because he was in shock or because she had violently pulled away from him, Booth relinquished his grasp on her and watched as she charged the coffin.
"You bastard!" she screamed, the tone of her voice bellowing and raw. As she approached the coffin, she retracted her arms back and pushed the wooden box firmly, "You promised me!" she yelled, "You said you wouldn't but you did. You left me, AGAIN!" She pushed the coffin again and it gently rocked on the lift. The careless motion seemed to anger her even more because it was reminiscent of her father; at least to her it was, "You're a liar!" she said striking the coffin again, "LIAR!"
Booth stepped up next to her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her away from the coffin. She struggled against him but after a few minutes of being completely unsuccessful, she leaned into him as she began to mourn the loss of her father. Her tears turned into floods and her whimpers into sobs, and Booth just held onto her, letting her cry all of her pain, anger, resentment and love out of her while comfortingly stroking her back and holding her close.
"Let's go home, huh?" he whispered into her ear. It was at that moment that he realized that he was supporting all of her weight. He gently pulled her up into his arms and swept her legs out from under her and carried her. As he walked down the isle he noticed that everyone was staring at them. The service wasn't over yet, but with all of the commotion, no one had really been paying attention anyway, despite the fact that the priest didn't stop the service.
As he made his way to his truck, with the weeping Brennan in his arms, he passed a reporter with a camera man giving brief synopsis of what was going on including Brennan's breakdown. He sidled up to his car and opened the passenger door with the tips of his fingers on his right hand and slides her into her usual seat. He brushes her hair out of her eyes and gently closes the passenger door. She has stopped crying and has turned back towards the state that she had been in for the past two weeks; reminiscent of catatonia. Booth jogs around to the other side of the SUV and gets into his seat, buckling himself up and pausing before putting the keys in the ignition.
He breathes deeply and turns to her, placing his fore finger under her chin and maneuvering her head so that she is looking at him, "I don't know what to say to you, Bones. I'm… I'm so sorry that this happened. I wish I knew what to do; how to help you. What you can't do is keep closing yourself off; that I know for certain. So, I'm going to stay with you for a while, no arguments." He said to her. The only response he received with the flicker of her eyes, "Just tell me what you want me to do."
Brennan pushed herself up into a sitting position in her seat and turned toward him. She looked worn, tired with black circles under her eyes and ragged hair. She hesitantly reached out and touched his hand that was now resting on the console between them, "I have some things that I would like you to do." She said nodding, "Can you… can you put your hand on the small of my back whenever we walk together somewhere and lean in to smell my hair when you think I'm not looking?" she said, smiling through a fresh stream of quiet tears that were rolling down her cheeks, "Can you show up at my apartment in the middle of the night with takeout and beer without calling; regardless the time? Can you introduce me as your partner but think of me as your best friend for the rest of your life and please keep calling me Bones because you think it annoys me?" she laughed and swiped a tear away from her face, "Can you please come into the lab at noon and drag me out for lunch because I haven't eaten anything all day and probably won't eat dinner unless you come back and drag me out again? Can we grow old together while still being partners and lovers and have the undefeated closed case rate in the bureau?" she said finally looking up at him and seeing both his tears and his smile that consistently haunts her dreams, "But most importantly, can you wait to die until after I've already gone, because I don't think that I could handle it." She said shaking her head and covering her mouth to prevent a sob from coming out.
Booth leaned toward her and pulled her into a tight hug and kissing her on the cheek, "I don't know if I can manage the last one, but I'll certainly try." He said, smoothing out her hair and pulling away from her and looking her in the eyes, "Okay, so. I have my flat screen and DVD player in the back seat that I am going to set up in your bedroom with a selection of particularly hilarious movies that I picked out just for you. We're going to pick up some take out; anything you want to eat while we watch the movies. I also took a trip to the liquor store and well… let's just say I could start my own distillery if I wanted to and last but not least, you have me for however long or short a time period you want. I told Cullen that I probably wouldn't be coming into work for the next day or two, so I am at your disposal." He said, lightening the mood and tossing her his infamous charm smile.
She couldn't help but laugh. She still marveled at how easily he was able to make her forget anything outside of a five foot radius from where they were. He made her feel like she was the center of the universe which only reinforced her belief that he was indeed the center of hers, "I would like that very much." She said.
If possible, his smile became even brighter, "It's a date then."
Brennan nodded and Booth started the car and drove away from the scene of the funeral, both literally and figuratively putting the past behind them.