[A/N: I swore to myself that I was not ever going to write or post Bones fanfiction. But that 100th episode was too good, too much, too inspiring. I needed to do more than think about it. So I caved. Thanks for stopping here and for taking the time to read this story. It's not long and I want to go on record as saying that it starts a bit slowly. I think I needed the time to explore Booth's mind slowly to see if I could really write Bones fanfic.
Still really nervous about this, but I'm just going to take a deep breath and click the button to post this. I don't think I'll ever truly be "ready" for this step. Bones fanfiction is entirely out of my comfort zone. This is harder than posting the first chapter of the first fanfic I ever wrote.
I am not in any way affiliated with Bones, its characters, or Fox Network, and I would not ever intend to infringe upon their ownership rights or to do anything more than honor my affection for the TV show by sharing my thoughts about it here with you.]
Translation (as defined by Merriam-Webster online):
(1) an act, process, or instance of translating as: (a) a rendering from one language into another; also : the product of such a rendering; (b) a change to a different substance, form, or appearance; (c) a transformation of coordinates in which the new axes are parallel to the old ones OR the uniform motion of a body in a straight line; or
(2) the process of forming a protein molecule at a ribosomal site of protein synthesis from information contained in messenger RNA.
Additional usage of the word "translation" as defined by the television show Bones in Double Death of the Dearly Departed: translation = code word for murder.
I found these definitions both informative and captivating. This simple word has the potential to be far more expressive than I realized before looking up its formal definition. May readers here find a number of ways this term has the potential to illuminate the intricacy of the relationship between Bones and Booth.
Chapter One: Weary Down Deep in His Own bones
As he unlocked his office door and flipped the light switch on, Special Agent Seeley Booth took a deep breath. Pausing for a moment to roll his head around on his shoulders, he tried in vain to alleviate a bit of the tension centered in there and lodged deep within his muscular neck. Shrugging with the futility of the attempt, he strode across the room quickly and circled the desk, flopping down into the chair out of habit but then wincing as his strong body made contact with the well-worn leather.
Bones made sure that I got this chair, his mind screamed into his weary body. He winced—any thought of his partner at the present time was difficult. The fact that nearly every thought brought her to mind was unbearable. Thoughts of her were making him nuts. But he'd long since lost the ability to stop thinking about her.
Agent Booth was a strong man in every sense of the word—in body as well as in mind and in spirit. As such, he had never been one to languish in self-pity. As a young man, he'd learned how to deal with his problems by keeping busy—planning ahead, thinking of ways to escape his father's drunken rage, comforting his mother, immersing himself in athletics requiring physical prowess, and making life more bearable for his damaged little brother. Later, as a soldier, he had buried his own pain and grief over losing comrades in arms by training harder, spending hours on the shooting range or planning strategies for extracting people from inescapable situations, or taking fellow soldiers' money at the poker table when they weren't on duty. He made a habit of preparing for everything and of lining his pockets with his successes to mask the fact that his heart was worn thin and too vulnerable for him to handle. The habit later became a crutch so often used that it qualified as an addiction. But even that didn't stop him from enduring and moving forward. As a father, he'd dealt with the frustration that the mother of his beloved child would not marry him and let him create his own functional, love-filled family. He ached to give Parker the kind of home he never had, but he was only able to give him a makeshift version every other weekend. Still, he persevered by throwing himself into his work, by calling Parker often and by being the best noncustodial parent he knew how to be. In his own little corner of the world, Special Agent Seeley Booth was strong, dependable, loyal—a good soldier and an even better man.
His childhood, his time as a soldier, his time being a parent, his career with the Bureau and even his faith had given him substantial experience and taught him how to deal with all manner of catastrophes. Perhaps that was the crux of the matter. Given his risky job and his service to his country, Booth had lost many friends and coworkers—more than most people would in a lifetime. He'd sold parts of his soul to do work too horrible to talk about, and he'd made mistakes that cost people their lives. He was accustomed to dealing with a highly volatile, completely unpredictable, extremely stressful job. He was certain that there were parts of the job that he could do better, but he considered that he handled it pretty damn well most of the time.
What was troubling him at this moment was that nothing in his experience—not enduring his abusive father, not remembering all of the lives he had taken, not missing important milestones his son achieved, not beating himself up for each of the victims he hadn't been able to save—nothing had prepared Seeley Booth for dealing with his current situation. Unaccustomed to being unprepared for anything, he now sat dealing with an emotion he usually avoided or pushed through quickly. He had no idea how in the hell he was going to deal with this. He had no idea how to be his partner's partner anymore. And he no longer knew how to function in a world in which they couldn't be partners.
Booth relished the fact that the office was still empty. He'd come in early, unable to stare at the walls of his apartment any longer. Sleeping had become even more difficult than usual lately. He figured that he'd stared actual patterns into the ceiling above his bed and his sofa as he had lain there trying to decide what to do next. After an exhausting weekend of frustrated inactivity, he needed to get to work and do something. He could always ground himself in doing something helpful or constructive or productive. Nothing else had helped, so he had chosen to focus on his work at the FBI.
As he shuffled slowly but methodically through paperwork that had been overdue for weeks, Booth pulled out a file and opened it thoughtfully. As he stared down at the contents of the folder, his blood pressure inched up a bit. This had been a tough one. Blinking twice as if that simple action might clear his mind, Booth reviewed the paperwork carefully. He glanced at the mug shots of the serial killer. The eyes said it all—the man had no soul. Never mind his crappy childhood and his even crappier adult life; both he and his partner were living proof that one could overcome a crappy childhood. And as one who had survived a generally crappy childhood, Booth found it hard to have any sympathy for someone who used such an experience as an excuse for stalking, kidnapping, torturing, and then killing teenagers for sport. Booth bristled remembering the anguish of worrying about where and when this monster would strike next during the case. After reminding himself that they'd caught him and that this was the paperwork he'd be sending to Caroline so that she could prosecute this worm so that they could bury him under the prison, he moved on. Not missing a detail, Booth carefully checked for fingerprints, reviewed the Record of Arrest and Prosecution sheet, counted the crime scene photos, checked for a signature on the lab report, re-read the arresting officer's report he'd written himself, and finally, scanned the folder of evidence assembled by his partner and her team from the Jeffersonian. Convinced that everything was in order, he closed the file, signed off on the form on the top, and slipped the entire thing into a large expandable file. After adding a routing slip with Caroline's name on top, he placed the folder on the edge of his desk.
Booth hated paperwork. He rarely, if ever, invested enough time to be truly caught up on the mundane task. He wasn't sloppy—his files were among the most organized and complete in his division, but he only got a thrill--a charge--out of that final act--placing the file in the folder so that he could let the Justice Department convict the jerks. This time, though, the rush just wasn't there. Booth was distracted from enjoying the fact that they'd assembled enough evidence to put this particular bad guy away. The case fit the bill for making him feeling triumphant, but Booth wasn't sure that he did—not anymore. Normally after a case like this, he'd have called Bones and told her that the file was ready and asked her to go to the diner for a celebratory piece of pie. But this time he didn't feel much like celebrating and calling Bones wasn't an option. As he surveyed his desk taking in its contents, he was struck with the knowledge that there were no other active cases there requiring his attention. For the first time in months, he was left with the mundane internal reports—plans for the requisite time at the firing range, his annual training plan for courses at the Academy, overdue expense reports, stacks of purchase orders for supplies the Jeffersonian used to support the FBI in investigating cases, etc.
Since he hated paperwork, Booth knew that he should be eager to wrap up these details and clear his desk of the last vestiges of the bureaucratic paperwork that stole too much of the fun from the job he wholeheartedly loved when he was busy doing it. Instead, he paused for a moment, scrubbed his hands harshly over his clean-shaven face to clear his mind, and leaned back in the chair, reminded with every inch of his always achy back that found support there of his partner, his friend, his soul mate. He hated the fact that thoughts of Bones now brought such sadness and unease. Without even realizing it, she had brought him so much comfort and happiness for years. She'd been his rock for so long that he felt truly windblown and unsteady without her at his side.
As he indulged his weary heart and let thoughts of her wash over him for a long moment, he realized what was wrong. Despite his pain and the fact that he wasn't sure how he'd handle working with her, he realized all too clearly what was troubling him most. He was dreading the thought of being reassigned to a regular FBI case. He didn't want to track interstate bank robbers with his pals or to spy on suspected terrorists or to review the paper trail of money laundering by the latest mobster. Ironically enough, what he wanted—no, what he needed was a call about a murder. What he wanted more than anything else at that very moment was to work to find the identity of another murder victim. What he needed—whether spending time with her working the case would crush him or not—was to work with his partner, his Bones. What Booth was waiting for was a chance to do what had become normal—to do what they did best. He wanted to help his partner assemble facts and evidence so that they could tell another family what had happened to their loved one. What Booth ached for in that moment was to immerse himself in a case with her so that he could forget how empty his life and his job now seemed when they weren't working together.
This reality was even more painful now that it appeared that they'd only be working together. His hopes of more than friendship and work had been dashed in a way that from anyone else only would have been cruel--but from the partner he knew so well, he realized it was just her way of dealing with her fears and brokenness the only way she knew how. Despite his uncertainty and the constant ache in his very large heart, despite the substantial pain he knew it might bring him, what Booth wanted most was to lose himself—he wanted to be carried away…. caught up… distracted…. He wanted to lose himself in the best part of his work. He wanted to lose himself in what he loved most about his work. He couldn't even bring himself to think her name without wincing even though she was on his mind constantly. He sighed and avoided thinking the truth—even to himself. For if he had, he'd have rushed straight across town and demanded that she reconsider, and he didn't know if either of them would be strong enough to deal with the fallout from such a drastic step.
Booth flipped his poker chip in the air a few times and sighed again before smiling a bitter half-smile as he found the right word to describe his longings. Of course the word brought to mind memories of a past case with her—the one after which she'd promised to visit his gravesite—no, he chided himself, reminding himself that he had to start remembering cases based on the facts instead of relating them some way to his partner—the case had involved the poisoning of Hank Reilly, a Jeffersonian staff member, by his own mother. Shaking his head in order to regain his focus, he realized that he wanted nothing more than to be immersed in a case that would remind him about the good and productive work he and his partner did so naturally and of the way that their friendship was strong enough to hold no matter the argument or the challenge or… he thought sadly, the heartbreak. What he wanted more than anything was to be lost in translation. He wanted to be lost in translation with Bones.