This is my first Bones fanfic! It's Max/Christine, cause I never see any on here, but it's also got B/B mentioned. I wasn't sure about the baby's name, but when two people with names like Temperance and Seeley reproduce, you gotta have an uncommon name! Plus there's a little boy I know who has the same name, and he's just the cutest thing ever. This is a VERY different pairing and an entirely different kind of story to me, so reviews would be much appreciated!
It's probably every few months or so that he visits. He knows he could visit more, but at least he's not a fugitive anymore, leaving him free to come. Unlike his daughter, he likes to go there. He likes to talk to her. It makes him feel closer to her, in some strange, spiritual way. After living with the injustice of not being able to give his wife a proper place to rest for so long, he likes having a beautiful place for his wife to rest. He smirks ruefully. Tempe again. For one who so insists that talking to a rock was pointless and irrational, and someone with no living functions could not possibly care where her bones were laid, she did make sure her mother had a lovely final resting place.
Right by Christine's grave, there's three trees and a bench between them. On summer days, the breeze blows through the trees and Max thinks Christine would have liked that. She would have liked to sit on the bench and watch the breeze blow the flowers, letting their scent flow around her. This is how he likes to remember her most days.
He toes the dirt around his feet and glances at the tombstone. "Christine Brennan", it reads in simple lettering. Max has debated about changing it to her real name. To the name she wore with such pride when he met her, when Russ was born, when Tempe was born, but he discovered long ago that something as trivial as what she was called does no justice to who she was. Ruth, Christine, she was still his, and this is all that matters to him. Just as Kyle is his Russ and Joy is his Temperance.
And so he comes here, once every month, once every few months, once a year. He comes here and he talks to his wife, his Christine. He tells her about what he wishes she were here to know, about Russ, about Temperance, and about him.
And then, just before he leaves, he tells her that he loves her.
"....and Hayley's going third grade now. God, Christine, you should see the look on his face when those kids call him 'Daddy'. Last year he went to Parent's Night with Emma, and when it was his turn, Emma grabbed his hand, marched him up to the front of the class, and called out, clear as day, 'This is my daddy. Only, mommy calls him Russ. Or sometimes, honey or love or some other gross names. He used to be in jail, but now he's out, 'cause they put him in there when they weren't supposed to. I thought that was mean, but Daddy says they just made a mistake. He fixes things now, like Ferris Wheels and cars, and sometimes he takes me to help. So anyway, that's my daddy.' Oh, Christine, Russ's face still burns when he tells the story, but you can just see the pride shining on his face."
Max reaches into his pocket and pulls out a ceramic dolphin. He holds it and rubs it in his hands while simultaneously caressing the tombstone.
"And Tempe...her and that partner of her finally got it together. He's a good man, Christine. I know you wanted that for Tempe. You know....sometimes....I'm glad you're not here, Christine. I'm glad you couldn't see what us not being here did to Tempe. It's shocking, at first, to see what she's like now. She's brilliant, and strong. Just like you. She's so good, Christine. She gives people closure, what she gives them to let their families heal."
Max looks down briefly, digging a hole in the dirt with the toe of his boot. He takes a deep breath to steady himself.
"But she's guarded. It's as if she assumes everyone will leave eventually. Our fault, honey. I know from firsthand experience how long it takes to break that shell. But Booth did. And the smile on her face when she's around him..."
Max clears his throat in an effort to clear the lump from his throat, and passes his hand over his face.
"So don't be surprised if we get a little grandbaby in the near future," he smiles. "Although speaking in the near future, it'll probably be Russ's."
He sets the dolphin down on her grave, and he tells her he loves her. And then he walks away.
"Christine Brennan, meet Gregory Adam Brennan," Max says, shifting the three-week-old infant in his arms so his little face faces the gravestone. The wind shifts through the trees, making the sunlight dance on the stone. The baby's eyes open wide and his arms wave. Max laughs and bounces the newborn gently in his arms.
"Took quite a while to wrestle this little guy away from Russ and Amy, I'll tell ya. Russ can't stop staring at him, and the girls run home from school every day, fighting over who gets to hold him first. Even Tempe and Booth are over all the time. Who are, by the way, married in all respects of the word. Even now, you always see them fighting in the corner, Tempe arguing that Booth should be happy that if they keep living together, many states would consider them common-law husband and wife and that should be enough for Booth. Then Booth comes back with something like 'oh, that's great. When I introduce you to other people, I can say this is my in-several-states-in-several-years-common-law-wife. That's just great.' Then they get into 'does he consider Tempe property' and the whole normal thing."
Max chuckles and rocks the baby in his arms.
"I'll keep you updated. Oh, and Emma made this for you," he says, producing a crude ceramic dolphin from his pocket.
He sets the dolphin on her grave, and he tells her he loves her. And then he walks away.
"It's finally happened, Christine. Well, not the marriage thing. I'll tell you, our daughter is nothing if not stubborn. But she's given up on the issue of kids. They just found out. I was there at the ultrasound. The smile on Tempe's face...she's still calling it a fetus, which I suppose is an improvement on zygote, but she was so mad when they told her that they had to turn the monitor off for closing. She actually verbally berated them. She already loves that baby, Christine, zygote, fetus or baby. She and Booth are hashing out names. Booth likes Grant, Tempe refuses to name their child after a sum of money, Tempe likes Charity, Booth says they already have one in the family named after a virtue."
Max laughs, shaking his head ruefully.
"Those two. If they weren't so perfect together.....you'd be so glad to see your daughter so happy. She's even stopped snapping at people who are telling her how much more she's smile, and stopped telling them that it's only a rush of dopamine and norepinephrine. She's actually happy. I know we both wanted that for her."
Max takes a fuzzy black ultrasound picture in a frame adorned with a dolphin suspended in midair. He chuckles as he runs his fingers over it.
"Hope you aren't getting too tired of dolphins."
He sets the dolphin on her grave and he tells her he loves her. And then he walks away.
"It's a boy, Christine. Tempe and Booth have a son. We have a new grandson."
Max runs his hand over his face and exhales happily.
"They named him Sebastian Cameron Brennan Booth."
Max lets out a light chuckle.
"Booth always chuckles when someone says his full name out loud. Sometimes I hear him mumbling something like 'Teddy's gonna hurt me when I get up there', but nobody ever knows what he means."
Max drops to his knees by the grave and traces his fingers over his wife's name.
"He looks like you, Christine. Lots of dark hair already and you can...just see you in his face. I'll bring him next time, but right now Tempe doesn't let him out of her sight. Even when he's asleep, she just...sits by his bassinette and watches him. Actually, she'll probably bring him by herself."
Max rubs his fingers reverently over the warm stone. Then he takes an old belt buckle out of his pocket. Most of the leather has long since fallen away, and the dolphin in the center is scratched and dirty. Max slowly caresses it with one hand, the other still on the gravestone. He looks heavenward just as a breeze lightly touches his cheek. He smiles, and it's a real smile. Gently, he set the buckle on her grave, kissing his fingers and touching them to the stone.
"Love you always, Christine."
He rises slowly, turns and walks away.
I thought you disappeared.
It rains a lot this time of year, and we both go together if one falls down.
I still talk out loud like you're still around.
Jason Schwartzman, The West Coast