I'm a little nervous about this one, I didn't have time to run it by my reassure-er/ encourager Sull Rafter, so we'll see how it goes!
Oh, and I know I promised we get the next task in this chaper, but I kinda got carried away, and so well, you have this. I SWEAR the next chapter is truely the final task!
I just wanted to give you guys something now while I finish up chapter 30.
Disclaimer: Not mine!
The usually empty lounge was now crowded with people, the glass of the coffee table covered with bowls of chips, dip, pots of coffee, and tea, a tray of snikerdoodles, and a plate of brownies. The chatter colored the air, as the occupants of the catwalk lounge sat comfortable munching and sipping on the treats.
The sound of a throat clearing slowly grabbed the attention of all present. Everyone turned to look at Angela where she stood with a pointer and a large idea board. The sheet paper had a large to do list written out, along with some suggestions, and what looked like designs.
Angela paused taking time to survey everyone in the room. Max had just arrived, Hodgin's and Cam had stayed late to help her set up, Clark was this weeks lad assistant and had non to willingly joined them. All the other grad students had slowly made their way into the lab. Everyone sat excitedly; the email Angela had sent out had captured their immediate attention. Everyone wanted to be a part of getting Booth and Brennan together.
Even Clark had finally submitted saying that having them together might just relieve some of the tension surrounding them, allowing for everyone to focus on their work. Angela did dare correct him, she was sure that the tension between the two would remain long past death, but she needed his help if they were to pull of the plan she had formed.
"Okay, is everyone up to date on the current status on Booth and Brennan?"
There were some shrugged and a few denials so Angela started to explain.
"Well, for those of us who have been around longer, we are all aware that there has been something off between the two of them. Now, the other day Brennan called from her retreat. She said that she and Booth were winning, but there was something off about her. Before I could anything out of her though, she hung up." Angela took a second to push her annoyance at the memory away.
"She had mentioned that Booth needed time to talk to Parker, so you can imagine my surprise when minutes later, I got another phone call from Booth. He was panicking because Brennan is apparently playing mind games with him." Angela smiled grimly as they all raised their eyebrows at the thought of Brennan playing mind games the woman was scary enough as it was. After a collective shutter had passed through the group Angela continued.
"What we don't know is what end she is trying to achieve. Though we have a guess, as she has attempted to accept a dig offer in Africa- and before you all ask any questions, I cannot tell you more than that as it is confidential." Angela looked back at Cam who nodded in conformation.
"Brennan might just be trying to push Booth away, or she might be trying save their partnership. We don't know, but because they are the two most obtuse, hardheaded, tragic, stubborn people we know, I think we can assume that they have screwed things up, or missed yet another opportunity."
"We also needed to take into account the fact that we have no idea whether or not Booth has decided to let himself have something he truly wants, or if he has opted yet again to punish himself by denying himself true happiness."
"You know, I think I should be insulted." Cam mumbled from her spot on Angela's right.
"Cam, as much as we now accept you as the big curvy part of the loop, you know it's true." Hodgin's replied with his usual grin.
Cam grinned in response shaking her head in defeat, "I saw it then, and I know it now too."
"Now, as I was saying," Angela cut in, not wanting this to become a trip down memory lane, "I have an entire evening planned out that will guarantee that we finally push them together. I have some ideas for themes, but I think I want to go with Shakespeare. There was a psychiatrist Dr. Gordon Wyatt who worked with Booth and Brennan a while back, and he and I debated their relationship over Shakespeare, I would like involve that in our scheme. That being said, I welcome you all into Project Bard, as we will refer to our scheme from her on in."
Angela looked at the gathering, they'd been relatively quite, more so than she had expected, so she felt it was time to open the floor. "Does anyone have any thoughts what play, or passage we should use as a theme?"
"Romeo and Juliet!" The squeal cam from the sofa in the form of one Daisy Wick, Angela froze for a moment not aware that she had sent out an email to Daisy, and unsure of what to do about, but deciding to let it be. "'Too early seen unknown, and known too late!'"
Angela was surprised to find that she did indeed like it. She didn't have time to say so however. It seemed now that the floor was open everyone had something to say.
"Macbeth?" Fisher cast out without enthusiasm. "'It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" Hodgin's took care of that with a particularly irate glare.
" 'A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.' The Second Part of Henry the Fourth." Clark offered still looking uncomfortable. Angela simply shook her head, not knowing where to start with how wrong that quote was for Brennan and Booth.
There was a whole bunch of commotion, Hodgins disliking Fisher's suggestion, Cam actually debating with Max whether or not Daisy's suggestion was valid, the noise continued to rise. Angela wasn't sure whether she should let it continue or not.
A quite voice came from the couch, coming from between Daisy and Clark. His voice was clear and strong, and soon everyone had stopped their debating to simply listen, and even Angela found herself drawn into the cadence of his voice.
" 'It is thyself, mine own self's better part; mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart; my food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim; my sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.' "
Everyone was silent for a moment as Mr. Nigel-Murray finished. There was no doubt it was a beautiful quote, but still, it seemed too lovey-dovey for Booth and Brennan. Beside Angela was pretty sure that the intensity of it had to do more with his accent than the quote.
"'Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile; so ere you find where light in darkness lies, your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.'" Everyone turned to see Wendell spoke up from the chair that had been pushed back into the corner by the tree. "Love's Labor's Lost."
Angela had to admit that she had a soft spot for the kid, and his choice had the most potential. The concept of light could easily be converted into a theme….
"That was some really good input, everybody. I think the best bet may be to incorporate several of the quotes we've heard tonight, as well as some others. Perhaps some of you can look into finding more quotes and coming up with a creative way of displaying the quotes." Angela suggested to the interns. Turning from them Angels addressed Max. "Max, did you get a hold of the CD you mentioned?"
"I did." Max answered pulling it from his jacket and handing it over, Angela looked down at the cover and smiled in delight. They were making progress.
"I'm working on the computer so that there will be surround sound." Angela informed them. "Hodgins, do have the materials we were talking about?"
"The magnesium came in today, and the dry ice should be here tomorrow, I already have storage prepared. I could use some help rigging a trigger to set all the blocks off." Hodgins said looking hopefully at Max.
"I'm in." Max said gamely.
"Great, now where are we on the flowers Cam?" Angela asked turning to her boss.
"I'm to pick them up a few hours before hand so I can set up."
"Perfect, I have song list already prepared." Looking around at the gathered group Angela had to smile, was there anyone who didn't want Booth and Brennan win the good by braving the attempt?
"I know ya'll didn't start this without me, now?" They all turned to see Caroline Julian strutting into the lab, "Did ya'll honestly think you could pull this off without me? Exactly how many of you have gotten them to kiss?" She stopped as she reached the top of the stair. "That's right. Not a damn one of you!"
Angela wasn't sure what to say, as Caroline glared Wendell out of his seat, and the proceeded to glare him into dragging it over to where she would be able to see the entire group before sitting.
"I made a few calls, and you now have some special catering." Caroline said as she sat down, setting her brief case before her.
"Really?" Angela asked surprised and impressed. "Who?"
"I believe you'll all recall a man named Sid, who knows exactly what the occasion calls for."
There was stunned silence for a moment. The interns sat confused, Max was the first to recover. "You know Sid?"
"You know Sid?" Hodgins gapped at Max.
"Of course I know Sid!" Max and Caroline replied at the same time.
"Whose Sid?" The interns asked almost in unison.
"I'll explain later." Angela cut in. "Cam can send everyone a copy of the color scheme, it's based off of the colors I'm using for my own contribution to Project Bard. I'm working on a piece that we'll hang on the platform for the occasion; it's based off of my quote for Booth and Brennan. It's from Measure for Measure. I mean the title of the play itself is a testament to Booth and Brennan's relationship. They have met every challenge they have ever set for each other, matching the other step for step, never was one held to a standard the other was not expected to uphold also. However despite their professional genius, they have denied themselves this opportunity because of the doubt they feel, not doubt for the other, but for themselves."
Angela glanced at the room at large, and back at her to do list. She was thrilled to see that everything was moving along swiftly and successfully, the unexpected help from Caroline would make everything absolutely perfect. She wasn't sure how Booth and Brennan were going to take it, but it was her right- no her obligation- as best friend to say enough was enough, and ensure that her best friend was finally happy.
"Okay people, that's all for tonight, we'll met again tomorrow. Remember tomorrow is their last day at United We Stand. We don't know what kind of mood or state of mind they'll be in, so make sure to stay out of their way when they get back on Saturday afternoon. I'll have both of them here by seven, so it should be nice and dark, perfect for the reconstruction module. Does everyone know what they're doing?" Angela asked looking around to make sure they all understood.
"Al right then, lets get this show on the road! Does everyone remember the most important rule?" Angela asked fixing them all once again with the Brennan ice stare, it wasn't as effective, but it was enough.
They all answered in exasperated unison, "If we screw this up, you'll see to it that our deaths are slow and painful."
"I think we'll be just fine." Angela replied with a grin. She couldn't wait for Saturday night!
Four years of waiting, four long years of insecurity, four unbearable years of outing off the inevitable, and for what?
Honestly, Brennan wasn't sure what she had expected. The sky falling was on the list, as had her turning into an emotionally and psychologically driven entity who lost all objectivity not only in regards to her personal life, but her job too. Of course Hell freezing over had made her list to. Her list was comprised of illogical things that she'd expected to occur once she and Booth crossed the line.
Curled up in her sleeping bag, clutching a tiny figurine of a dolphin, Brennan found that not one of the things on her list where true. She was still Dr. Temperance Brennan. The sky was in place, and hell was only as metaphorical place to describe a host of human pain and suffering. Booth was still Booth.
Still, however irrational, she had expected something to occur.
Aaron had taken half of their FBI group with them to a new location. Everyone grumbled because they had to walk so far in the middle of the night after such a physically demanding day. Brennan stayed to the back of the group wanting time to try and think over thing, wanting a chance to examine the tiny missile that had been sent flying into her camp interrupting she and Booth.
Unfortunately, it seemed that the others were in the mood for chatter. Ken and Hannah felt it necessary to tell everyone of Brennan's mishap with Aaron. The entire situation turned humor at her expense as the others brought up rumors and stories they'd heard about stuff she had possibly done. It seemed as though this past week in the woods had made them comfortable enough around her to ask her about the rumors, asking her to elaborate. They didn't seem to realize that she was overwhelmed, and uncomfortable.
Brennan was greatly relieved when after the hour and a half hike they stopped at yet another clearing were Aaron told them to make themselves comfortable, and to get to sleep as they would be waking up shortly before dawn to start the day.
It was after eleven when they got there, and half past twelve by the time everyone had settled down.
Brennan waited quietly, off to the side of the other campers, listening for the last of the small group to fall asleep. Feeling sure that the others were indeed out Brennan turned back to face the small fire they had erected. With the light of the fire Brennan was able to finally study the small wooded figure.
She immediately knew the markings, the style of the design, the cut of the wood. It was Booth's. This small dolphin, looking very much like the ones her father had left both on her mother's grave and with the letter he'd left her. Turning it over in her hand was awed at the smooth lines. She had seen Booth's work before, he whittled sometimes during stakeouts always working on something for Parker. To her knowledge he'd never made one for anyone but his son.
It was amazingly detailed for its size, no more than two inches long. It wasn't posed in some silly stance, it was natural, and it looked like it was swimming. Happy.
He'd even carved tiny eyes. It was the eyes that transfixed her now. Playful, wise, and happy all at once, Brennan couldn't look away.
Dolphins were the most playful creatures on the Earth. That's why her mother had loved them, because they were extremely intelligent yet they didn't let their intelligence stop them from being happy. Brennan had been determined to be like that. She had always struggled with interaction amongst her peers due to her superior intellect, but she had taken hope from the dolphins her mother loved so much. Brennan laughed without humor as she stroked the tiny dolphin; she had forgotten her desire to be like the dolphins, to use her intelligence like they used theirs, to be happy.
Of course the intelligence of dolphins was debated these days. Though Brennan felt it was more an argument over what intelligence was more than if dolphins had it. Brennan felt that anyone with half a brain could see that dolphins were intelligent, by any definition. Some scientists argued Darwin's theory, basing intelligence on the ability of a species to recognize what it needs to survive. Others argued that intelligence was the size and architecture of the brain, the ability to communicate, or the ability to exhibit playfulness.
Brennan felt that with either definition dolphins could be considered intelligent. She felt a pang as she realized that according to those definitions she would only be found passing in regard to Darwin's definition. Stroking the smooth curve of the dolphin's head, Brennan wondered if Booth knew that while dolphins had two-brain hemispheres like humans, dolphins had four lobes instead of three like humans. The fourth lobe was purely to host the senses unlike in humans where the senses where split between the lobes.
Brennan had read an article theorizing that having all the senses in one lobe allowed dolphins to make the immediate and complex decisions that are beyond the scope pf human capability. It also supported the claim that dolphins were able to shut down separate lobes of their brain at a time as a means for sleep.
Brennan had felt a pang of envy at the though. Being able to turn off parts of her mind seemed like a relief that would have benefited her. Perhaps it would have allowed her to see that allowing herself to be with Booth wouldn't have been such a horrible thing. That nothing cosmic and catastrophic would happen because of it.
The fire cast a soft glow in the dark wooden body she held in her hand. Brennan thought the eyes now looked teasing, as though it could hear her thoughts.
Still Brennan studied the figure closer; wondering what turn of event had brought it to her. Had Boot given it to Sweets? If so why had Sweets thrown it into the woods? Had he meant her to find it? Had he thrown it at her in an attempt to get her to realize her feeling after his outburst during their session? After all Sweets hadn't known that Booth was there with her doing just that.
But why had Booth given it to Sweets? Booth rarely shared anything with Sweets, why would he give this to him when Sweets might make the connection to Brennan and her mother as he had read the reports before her father's trial. He knew about the glass dolphin Max had left her mother. Booth definitely wouldn't want Sweets to have this.
When would he have given it to Sweets anyway? The last time she had seen him carving had been the other night when he had offered to tell her of his past. He'd taken it with him, though it hadn't much look like a dolphin then. She hadn't seen him work on anything since then. It followed that he had finished it that night, because they really hadn't been apart since.
Still it left the question as to how the little guy had come to be in their campsite. She had no evidence to study, not facts or figures to look at that would support any theory that she could come up with. Brennan knew she could just ask when she saw him the next day, but she didn't want to. She felt oddly protective of the little wooden piece. Booth had taught her their first year together just how valuable objects could be when he'd given her back her mother's earring. And now, even after having told him that she loved him, and having the words given back to her, she still didn't want to share this just yet.
It meant something to her, she just didn't know what yet.
The dolphin seemed to glow in the light of the dying fire, it's eyes dancing in the shadows cast by the flames. It struck her again how happy the dolphin looked.
Brennan let out a soft, if somewhat choked laugh, turning from the fire and looking up into the star filled night, clutching the little dolphin to her chest. Suddenly she felt lighter than she ever had. Booth was always saying that there a was in the world than what could ever be found in her science. It would seem that he was correct.
She had known that there would be something cosmic about admitting the truth with Booth, and facing their feelings. Something defied science. The proof, it seemed, was right in her hand. No the sky had not fallen, no hell hadn't frozen over, and no she wasn't dropping her career to become a housewife.
But somehow a small wooden dolphin had been led by a series of unrelated events to be there when Sweets had tripped, presumably, and somehow this small dolphin had landed in her new campsite. The odds were incalculable. Yet it had happened.
She had been given this small dolphin against all odds. Just as she had been given Booth. Well not given Booth, people couldn't be owned, but the sentiment stood.
Brennan wasn't going to ignore a lesson twice. Turning off the analytical part of her brain, much like the dolphin did, she decided simply to accept it.
As she fell asleep she realized that the dolphin coming into her possession wasn't even really the true cosmic occurrence that she had expected. It fact that she was indeed accepting another lesson from the dolphin, the one she had forgotten, the one she had failed to learn all those years ago.
Brennan closed her eyes recalling the fathomless look in Booth's eyes as he told her he loved her. She had that knowledge know, and for once in her life she would do the right thing with her knowledge. She doubted that her it counted as a cosmic event, and knew intellectually that it was not, but still under the vast still sky, curled up with a tiny dolphin curled in her fist, with the knowledge she had gained from her conversation with Booth, she truly was happy.
And however illogical the feeling, it felt like a cosmic, earth shattering, sky falling, hell freezing event to her.