Title: Basically Insane
Author: Sophie McCrory
Spoilers: 5x16 Parts in the Sum of the Whole, and basically every unaired episode after.
Summary: He said the definition of insanity was going the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. She said that love was a delusion. When their ideas come together, they're both basically insane. Finale!Fic, tag to 100th Ep.
Author's Notes: I wrote this today, so any errors are mine. Because that episode was… amazing. Dude. If they aren't together by the end of the season, Hart Hanson may have to sleep with one eye open.
And really? Carl Sandburg? My place of work is named after Carl Sandburg, and that just makes me grumble. Even if it's a total tag back to the End in the Beginning.
I would write more about my feelings on the episode, with a moment by moment breakdown, but that's not what you're here for now is it? :D
Booth stood in the doorway of his apartment, bags packed at his feet. He looked about at the trinkets of his life—the things he thought had meaning. He hung his head, holding his Cocky belt buckle in his hand, running his fingers over the smooth red surface. It was ironic; he thought, that he'd started buying belt buckles because an obnoxious forensic anthropologist told him it that it was a sign of leadership and rebellion, and that very buckle, his trademark, was given to him by her. She'd placed it in his hand both figuratively and literally.
He'd thought about calling her many times in the last twenty-four hours. He'd told her, not long ago at all, that he had to move on… like that was possible. Like the love of his life could walk into his life and somebody else could just casually take her place. It was funny, he'd never been a strong believer in the idea of one love or love at all until the day he'd felt the ache in his heart that said he not only believed it but he needed to make her believe it, too.
He glanced down at the buckle and sighed. This was the perfect opportunity for him. Okay, not perfect, exactly. He'd spent years trying to put the rangers behind him and now he was going to go train more. But maybe he could make them better that him. More than just a good shot. Good men. Good men with the ability to make sure no one who didn't deserve it died. If there was such a thing as someone deserving to die. He wasn't sure.
But more importantly, it was the perfect chance for him to absolve himself of Bones. He almost laughed at that thought. She'd effectively absolved him of his sins from his first life as a ranger, so his solution involved creating more of those sins. All well, then his mission could go on forever and he'd always have an excuse to work with her. He liked to torture himself, apparently.
He put the buckle on the side table, and went to gather his bags, leaving it behind.
Brennan sat at her desk, staring straight ahead. Waiting, but for what, she didn't know.
A force greater than herself appeared in her doorway, tall, dark, panting and sweaty, one hand braced on the doorframe like just getting there had taken all the effort a human being could muster. Angela brushed her bangs from her face before she took a moment to collect herself, and pointed at her dear friend, "You're not going?" she asked.
Brennan paused, staring at her, then said simply, "No."
"Why?" Angela asked, straightening as she moved closer to her, "Why aren't you going?"
"There will be plenty of other opportunities for me to go, Ange. My interest over the last several days has waned considerably and I see no point in going now when it would mean so much more to Ms. Wick—"
"Horse shit," Angela said, moving behind the desk and grabbing Brennan by the wrist. She dragged the other woman with her to the couch, and pushed her down to a seat, which Brennan failed to fight her on every step of the way. "Why aren't you going?"
"I told you, I—"
"I know what you told me, and it isn't true. Normally, Sweetie, I would be all about sitting here and listening to you tell me all of your technically true, but not really why reasons and await your own reality to come to you. But I have a plane to catch, and I think I've allowed this insanity to go on long enough," she said, pointing at Brennan, "Now, give me the real, irrational, ridiculous reason why."
Brennan pouted, "But it's stupid."
"I don't care," Angela stated steadfastly.
"If you already know, why do I have to say it?"
Angela softened, and carefully sat down next to Brennan and placed a soft hand on her shoulder, "Because you need to say it. Out loud. I can't help you if you don't."
Brennan took a deep breath, letting the air fill her lungs while she prepared her thoughts and pushed it all out before she said what she needed to say, "For the first time in my adult life, matters of…a personal nature seem so much more important than going on a once-in-a-lifetime dig somewhere."
Angela smiled, "See? That wasn't so hard. How do you feel, Sweetie?"
"For future reference, the word you're looking for is, 'exposed,'" Angela said, giving Brennan's knee a careful squeeze, "But it's—"
"I'm fairly certain embarrassed is much more appropriate. I've never allowed myself to engage in anything so pointless in my life, before. It's unnerving," Brennan argued.
Angela, for her part, elected to ignore her, "You're in love with Booth, and you're depressed that he's about to get on a big, bad jet plane and be gone for months."
"I would…be willing to concede to your second point. But your first… I can't," Brennan said, closing her eyes and hanging her head solemnly. "I'm not the kind of person who is capable of love. I don't have the kind of unwavering faith in it that you and Booth do. I have no proof that it exists, that I even believe in it. I would not be any good at it."
"Sweetie, let me explain some things to you. First," Angela held up a finger as a place holder in her list of points, "You are so capable of love. Everyone loves, it's a physiological fact. It happens whether we want it to or not. It requires no effort, no conscious knowledge that it's happening, and no earth moving moments for it to be…it just is."
"That's scientifically impossible," Brennan mumbled.
"Second," she said, indicating so with her fingers, "you love your father, and you love your brother. You even love your mother, despite the fact that you think it's pointless to possess emotion over a person who is no longer alive," Angela said, rolling her eyes. "You love me, and Hodgins, and Cam, and Zack. We all know it, even if you don't. Even Zack, though he's too empirical to understand what he knows."
Angela turned her upper body more toward her friend, "Most importantly, you love Booth. And no matter what you say to him; no matter how many times you push him away, he knows the truth. He has faith enough for both of you."
"If love is so effortless, Angela, why doesn't it ever work out?" Brennan asked, one eyebrow raised.
"Finding it in yourself to love someone isn't the hard part, it's all the verbal and nonverbal negotiation of the relationship crap that throws weaker beings off," Angela said, shrugging her shoulders. "You once listed for me all of the relationships you could think of that didn't work out as a reason to avoid them. Aside from that blatantly obvious fact that you were wrong to use Hodgins and I as an excuse, the failures shouldn't deter you from trying. Because when you find the right person, all the trying in the world will be worth it. There's no stupid mistake or miscommunication you can't overcome."
"People fall out of love all the time, Angela."
"True," Angela said, nodding, "but you've loved Booth for almost six years, Sweetie, and he's loved you longer, if it's possible. You've never even messed with the relationship stuff seriously before. That's a pretty good indicator that you're not on the road to falling out of anything, except perhaps your touch with reality."
"He's leaving," Brennan said hoarsely, as if the thought was enough to choke her up, "He's leaving, and I can't stop him. Even if I could, it would be unfair of me to try."
"You need to tell him, Bren," Angela said, "with words, tell him that you love him."
"But he won't be here," she said, "How can I--?"
"You will love him even if he's gone," Angela said, standing up, "and while he's gone, you will wait for him."
Brennan nodded a little to herself. Angela started her retreat from the room, "Ange," she said, causing her friend to still and turn back around, "How did you know…?"
Angela smiled softly, "Your book. The one you wrote while Booth was in the hospital," she picked up the purse Brennan had just noticed she'd dropped in the doorway, "You may have deleted it, but Booth dreamed what you were saying to him. You were married, but still worked as a team. You were starting a family. When it comes to your usual works, you leave all of that mushy stuff for me to fill in. You've always known how a love story was supposed to work out, hun, you were just too unsure to try it for yourself," she continued walking out, "You're a smart woman, Temperance Brennan. People just underestimate you sometimes. Not me." She laughed, and then she was gone.
Brennan smiled, "Thanks, Ange."
Booth started his car, and started to drive away from his place and in the direction of Dulles. He flipped on the radio as he went, trying to block out the pain in his heart with some music to groove to along the way.
…Until he caught the tail end of Hot Blooded, and his spirits sank. He was there, dancing in her apartment before her refrigerator blew him up. An obnoxious performance they did at a rock fantasy camp that ended with his tie wrapped around his head. He shook his head. Did the universe hate him?
Then the radio began playing some Miley Cyrus rendition of Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and he couldn't breathe. The pain in his heart was real, because he remembered her kneeling over him, her hand pressed into his chest to stop the bleeding from the bullet he'd taken for her. Her crying and begging him to hold on, all the while his vision going in and out. He remembered her anger at him, her way of dealing with the idea of him being gone. Angela told him later, of her screams when they'd told her he was dead, how she'd been inconsolable.
And a thought came to him. That night, after their session with Sweets, when he'd taken the gamble and he'd lost, she'd said a lot of things. Things about how she couldn't change, and reasons why not, and how he needed to be protected from her. What she'd never said was that she didn't love him.
Never, ever had she said that she didn't love him.
He slammed on his brakes and turned at the next light, and sped back to his apartment. She may not be ready. She may not ever be ready. But that didn't change what they were, or what they had. He loved her, and deep down, inside the little girl who was abandoned by her whole family at fifteen, she loved him. If he had to wait for her, that was fine. He would go today and do what he had to for the army, and come back and honor her request that they still work together.
He was just going to go home and get that belt buckle first.
Brennan got to the airport, and began searching for the gate that Rebecca had given her. She noted signs indicating army personnel, and she walked briskly through Dulles to find where she had been told her partner would be heading.
She approached the gate, and took a moment to double check the slip of paper she held in her hand. Then she glanced at the guards. It hadn't occurred to her before getting there that she might face trouble trying to get through, seeing as she didn't have a ticket or boarding pass or anything that would get her through to do what she needed to do. She crossed her arms, chewing on her lip and she formulated a plan, attempting to decide what she thought Booth might do if their situations were reversed.
Plan in hand, she opened the bag she'd slung over her shoulder and dug for the one item she would require. Holding it in her hand, she took one more look at the terminal number, knowing that after doing what she was about to do, she wouldn't have the chance to check it again.
She walked confidently up to the carry-on check, noting the security personnel that was accepting boarding passes and the man on the other side of the machine, so the only person she would need to get past was the first one. She attempted to match Booth's swagger as she walked up to the pass checker and confidently flashed her FBI Visitor's Pass, and said, "Official FBI business, I'm going through."
And then she ran like the dickens.
Booth was several halls away, depressed and solemn as he sat outside his terminal waiting for seating to begin, when he heard the alarms sound. He sat up straighter, and then rose from his seat, letting his cop instincts get the better of him as he walked out into the hall to see what was going on. He fingered his FBI badge and ID in his pocket as he walked, completely unprepared for what he would see.
There she was, his beautiful, composed, classy Bones, sprinting down the hall like some kind of Olympic athlete. Before she even saw him, she pulled her bag off of her shoulders and tossed it right into the knees of the nearest security guard, causing them to trip and take down at least two others with him. Bones didn't stop to check to see if her maneuver had worked though, she just kept running.
He stood there, shell shocked as he watched the scene unfold before him, until she must have finally seen him, because he heard her yell his name, "Booth!" she yelled, "Booth!"
He pulled himself into the moment and started walking in her direction, "Bones?"
"Oh God," she said, getting close enough to him that she could unceremoniously leap into his arms, "Booth!" She wrapped her arms and legs around his body, burying her face in the crook of his neck, leaving him to deal with the herd of angry Homeland Security employees that had followed her through the airport until this point. He quickly wrapped one arm around her, holding her tight to him, and used his other to pull his badge from his pocket, "FBI, official business. Sorry for any inconvenience."
The guard who had taken the rucksack to the knees yanked the identification from his fingers, eyeing it carefully, and then shoved it back into his hands and walked away, leading the others, mumbling something about the Bureau gone awry.
"Bones?" Booth asked, once the commotion had died down, noting that she was still clinging to him tightly, like some kind of child, "Bones, what's going on?"
She pulled her face from his neck and looked him in the eye for a beat, and then with pure seriousness, said, "I love you."
He looked at her with disbelief, then around the hallway, searching for purple dancing bears, before he looked at her again, "Oh God, the tumor's back, isn't it? I'm hallucinating, right?"
"No," she said, slowly, "this is real," leaning back in his embrace for a moment, she seemed to debate something, before she moved forward suddenly and kissed him, right on the lips. He thought his eyes may have popped open wide enough that he may lose them, but instead he dropped his badge on the ground and used that hand to plunge his fingers into her hair, as he responded to her kiss in kind, and a little more thoroughly.
Eventually she pulled back again, "I'm so, so sorry, Booth. I should've—"
"It doesn't matter," he said, and he kissed her again.
She laughed against his lips, and pulled away so she could pepper his face and neck with kisses, alternating saying, "I'm sorry," and "I love you," between them. He held her close to him, not wanting to ever let go, but knowing that their time was so much shorter than he wished, "Bones?" he asked, and she kissed him, sweeping her tongue between his lips again.
"I don't know how to change," she said, unwrapping her legs from him and he let her down on her own two feet, "I don't know how, but I think I can. I want to. I was wrong, I'm almost never wrong but I was." She saw him smile sadly, "And most importantly, I don't think I have to. I think—no, I know, that you would love me anyway."
"I do," he whispered hoarsely, "I do, Bones. Even if you never changed, I will, always." He paused, and brushed some hair from her face, "But you're wrong, Bones. You've changed, your heart is open. There are just a few fences that require jumping, and frankly, I've always been good at jumping fences."
They laughed together, and he wet his lips before he went on, "I love you, Bones. God, I love you, so much. To an extent that before I met you, I didn't think was possible, but…" he glanced at his terminal, to see people standing and collecting their bags, "I got to go… I committed to training snipers and I can't back out."
She stared at him a moment, and fine tuned a skill she'd wanted for years, and had recently discovered that she may never develop with the general population but she was a master at with Booth: reading his body language. His tense shoulders, his furrowed brows… he was afraid she would freak out; that she would regress. She reached out and took his hand, and squeezed it in her own, smiling weakly, "I know," she said, "I just didn't want you to leave without knowing."
He blinked, "Okay, should I be seeing a doctor? I really worried about my head."
She smiled and pecked his lips quickly, then said, "I have weighed the options, in a pro and con list, and decided that both of us would be happy if the feelings—as immeasurable and intangible as they are—are better out on the table. I know that you have waited for me, without wavering, for years. I am prepared to take my turn. I'm…prepared to wait."
He laughed, and pulled her in to kiss him one more time, before he turned to her ear and whispered, "I thought you said that me being in a relationship with you was the definition of insanity."
She grinned, "I also said that love is essentially a delusion. So, we're both basically insane."
He laughed, and hugged her close, even when he heard the woman from the terminal call his name. He held her tighter and sucked in a breath, then let her go, "I have to leave, Bones."
She stepped back, holding his hand and walking him back to his bags, which he carefully picked up. They moved toward the terminal and squeezed hands one last time, "I'll be back in a few months."
She smiled lightly and nodded, "I'll be waiting."
He tucked one thumb behind his Cocky belt buckle, attached securely to the front of his pants, and headed down the terminal.
Author's Note: Love you all. I think you know how to love me back. :) Enjoy the rest of the season, all!
P.S. In the Brennan/Angela scene, when Ange calls Brennan dancing around the issue insane… I totally wrote that this afternoon, before I'd seen the episode. Damn, me, you're good. :P