After rewatching episode and Emily's interview on Bonnie Hunt, I've decided that the ending of the episode wasn't as bad as I originally thought. We got a glimpse of just how right they are for each other, yet the tension will remain in future seasons. Thanks for the wonderful feedback for "Booth, Brennan, and the Wall." I'll be replying to the reviews within a few days. Enjoy!
Confusion clouded her features, and she stepped away from his bed. "You don't know who I am?" she whispered, trying to swallow the lump in her throat.
She had been on an emotional roller coaster over the past four days, but the last few minutes were the most intense, and she desperately fought to hold back the tears brimming her eyes. Guilt, anger, concern, elation, relief, sadness, and horror flooded her system in rapid succession. Guilt because she insisted he go to the hospital in first place--even though she was equally glad he had the surgery,--anger and concern because he was in a coma for so long, elation and relief when he finally awoke, and sadness and horror because he didn't recognize her.
"No, should I?" he asked.
A knock on the door kept her from replying, and a nurse stepped into the room. Immediately noticing Booth was awake, the nurse, Monica, rushed to his bedside. "Welcome back to the land of the living, Mr. Booth! How does it feel to be awake?"
"He doesn't know who I am," Brennan informed Monica.
Monica glanced briefly over her shoulder at Brennan, then back to Booth. She offered him a smile as she moved to check his vitals. When she finished she turned to Brennan. "Amnesia is fairly common after brain surgery, especially given that he had so much trouble with the anesthesia. I'll send the doctor in shortly."
Brennan nodded and turned to watch Monica leave. Suddenly aware of the tears that somehow managed to escape her eyes, she wiped her face furiously with both hands and sighed in frustration.
"Um, excuse me…" Booth said from behind her.
She whirled to face him.
"Sorry," he said and offered a sheepish smile. "What do I call you?"
A new wave of frustrated tears threatened to cut loose. "Bones."
"Why?" he asked as he made a face.
Brennan couldn't help but laugh. "It's a long story. You can call me Brennan if you want."
"Okay," Booth agreed. He swallowed and tried to clear his throat. "I'm thirsty. Could you pour me some water?"
She walked to the table at the end of his bed and poured water from the plastic pitcher into a small cup. She put a straw in the cup and moved around to the side of the bed. She held the cup while he took a few small sips.
"Thanks," he said as he leaned back against the bed.
Brennan pulled the table to the side of the bed and placed the cup on it in case he wanted more water.
"So, about before…" he started. "It's obvious that my not knowing you upset you."
"That assumption is correct. However, I realize that you had brain surgery and were in a coma for four days, and it was illogical of me to think that you would be unaffected."
Booth stared blankly at her. "Maybe it's the surgery, but I don't know what that means."
A wry laugh escaped her lips, and her eyes dropped to study her fidgeting hands.
"Nothing. You should probably rest," she told him.
He didn't protest, and she stood at his bedside until she was sure he was asleep. Then she sat back down in the chair she'd occupied for the better part of four days and pulled out her laptop.
Twenty minutes later, the cursor blinked on the still-blank document. Brennan sighed and turned off her laptop, deciding it was past time she find Booth's doctor. She glanced at Booth, then quietly exited his room.
"Dr. Brennan, I was just coming in to talk to you," Dr. Miles Anderson greeted her just outside Booth's room. "Monica tells me that Seeley came out of the coma. That's certainly good news."
"But he doesn't know who I am." She still hated the way that sounded.
"It's common for head trauma patients to experience some amnesia, especially those who spend an extended period of time in a coma."
"Right. Monica said that. Is there a cure?"
"Medicinally, no," he told her bluntly. He learned through their earlier conversations that Brennan liked things cut-and-dried with no sugar coating. "Each case of amnesia is different, so there's no standard procedure or course of treatment."
"So, you just send the patients out of here with little or no memory function?"
"No," Dr. Anderson replied patiently. "We'll run some tests, request some rehab. We'll keep him as long as we feel is necessary. You know, if you need someone to talk to, I can ask the hospital psychologist to stop by."
"I'm fine. It's Booth who has the problem."
"Often times, hospitalization is more harrowing on the loved ones than on the patients themselves. The offer is here if you need it."
"Right now, all I need to know is what will be best for Booth."
"I understand, Dr. Brennan. While some of the research on amnesia suggests that it's best for families to not divulge any information pertaining to the patient's life prior to the injury and coma, I'm of the school that believes love conquers all, or at least, most." He paused at her confused look before he continued. "Sit with him and tell him about his life. Encourage him to ask questions, and then you answer them truthfully. It would also help for him to have visitors--for a short amount of time, of course. The only one I would suggest not bringing is his son. There's a chance that Seeley would remember him, but there's also the chance that he wouldn't.
"I'd like to examine and assess him for myself," Dr. Anderson continued. "But that's my preliminary advice."
"What are his chances of recovery?"
"As I said, each case of amnesia is different, so it's difficult to attach a percentage to." He knew she would be irritated by his indirect answer, but it was honest and the best he could give. "I know that's not the answer you wanted, but the truth is that the brain is a complicated thing to understand. Yes, we can cut it open and study it, but that's just part of it. We can't objectively study memories--or non-memories--so we can't get the complete picture of what's going on when a person suffers from amnesia."
Brennan sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. "That's why I prefer the solid objectivity of bones."
Dr. Anderson offered a small smile. "We always dislike what we don't understand."
At that moment, Dr. Anderson was paged over the hospital's loudspeaker.
"Please excuse me, Dr. Brennan," he said. "I've got to get that, but I'll stop back by later."
"I'd appreciate that."
Dr. Anderson left to answer his page, and just as Brennan turned to go back into Booth's room, she noticed a familiar figure walking toward her.
"Hey, Bren. How's the patient?"
"He woke up, but he doesn't know who I am, Ange."
"Oh, God, Sweetie," Angela said as she pulled Brennan into a hug. Stunned by the news, Angela was unsure where she found the ability to console her friend. "I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can do?"
"No," Brennan said as she pulled away. "Apparently there's little, if anything, anyone can do. He's asleep now, but you can go in if you want."
"How about we go to the cafeteria and get some coffee? You look like you could use some."
"Let me get my wallet."
"Sweetie, the coffee's on me," Angela said as she linked her arm with Brennan's.
In the cafeteria, they each got a coffee, and Angela chose a small table in the corner of the dining area.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Angela deciding to let Brennan talk when she was ready.
"This is worse than his fake death last year, Ange," Brennan finally said. "I mean, he's here physically, but…"
"That can't be all bad," Angela said lightly.
Brennan rolled her eyes and shot Angela a look.
"Sorry, Sweetie. That was totally inappropriate."
"It's just so frustrating. I've sat in that room for four days planning what I would say to him when he woke up. It never occurred to me that he wouldn't know me."
"Does he know anyone else?"
"I don't know. I'm the only one who's been here that he should know." Brennan took a sip of coffee and absently swirled the remaining liquid in the cup.
"Then maybe it's just you that he doesn't know."
Brennan shot her another look.
"Sorry. That wasn't much help, was it?" Angela shifted in her seat. "There's no treatment for amnesia?"
Brennan shook her head. "According to Booth's doctor, every case of amnesia is different, so there's no standard treatment. He said that the best thing for Booth would be to tell him about his past and hope that something will jog his memory. But there's no guarantee."
"So if he doesn't regain his memory, they just send him out of here and hope he does the best he can?"
"I asked the same question. Dr. Anderson said they'd keep Booth as long as they thought necessary." She filled Angela in on the rest of her conversation with Dr. Anderson and sighed. "What's going to happen, Ange?"
"I don't know, Sweetie," Angela said as she reached across the table and squeezed Brennan's hand. "What would Booth do if the situation was reversed?"
"You mean if I woke up from a coma and didn't know him? He would insist on being by my side until I remembered him."
Angela smiled. "Exactly. He wouldn't give up on you."
"Because we're partners."
"Because he loves you. And even though you're going to deny it, you love him, too. That's why you were here at the beginning, and that's why you'll be here in the end."
"You're right, Ange," Brennan said, surprising them both. "I don't know that I would call it love, but I do care for Booth, and I can't imagine my life without him." A tiny smile pulled at the corners of her lips, and she shook her head at the irony of her inability to compartmentalize as she'd been so expertly able to do at any previous time in her life.
Brennan's cell phone vibrated in her pocket, and she removed and answered it.
As Brennan listened intently, Angela watched her friend's body language change.
"I'll be right there," Brennan said before she ended the call. "He's asking for me."
"Sweetie, that's wonderful!"
"Are you going back up with me?" Brennan asked as they stood and made their way out of the cafeteria.
"No, not this time," Angela smiled. "You get back up there and start making him remember who you are."
Brennan returned the smile. "I will."
They parted ways as Brennan's elevator arrived. Suddenly nervous, but filled with a new sense of hope, Brennan paced the small quarters of the elevator until its doors opened. She hurried down the hall toward Booth's room and took a deep breath before pushing open the door.
As Angela reminded her, Booth was her partner, and they had never given up on each other. She wasn't about to start now.
Thanks for reading! I've come to the conclusion that the episode title, "The End in the Beginning," could stand for two things: first, that the first four seasons represent the beginning of Booth and Brennan's relationship, and that this was the end of the beginning, meaning that it's the close of a chapter, and the start of a new one. Secondly, the title could mean that the end of the series (not that I'm thinking about that) is represented by the beginning of this episode (ah, that wonderful scene). Yeah, I'm probably reading too much into the title, but hey, it could happen!