The Progeny in the Parting
Chapter 40 - Epilogue
Disclaimer: I do not own BONES. No infringement is intended...just having fun!
October 31st 2011 - Washington D.C. 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Temperance Brennan was putting the final touches to her outfit; she glanced critically at her reflection in the mirror and dabbed a little more concealing powder under her eyes for good measure. Hearing whooshing airplane noises from the main living area, it was evident that Joey and his father had finished up in the main bathroom and was ready for bed...which included a brief play interlude with Booth. She surmised from the flying noises, that her son would be dressed in superhero pyjamas. His high pitched giggles were interspersed with rapid babbling and infantile attempts to imitate the whooshing noises.
"Don't get Joey too excited Booth, otherwise he won't settle for Max," she hollered from the bathroom.
The whooshing noises ceased and she heard the sounds of Booth commiserating with Joey about the end of their fun game. Smiling to herself, she gave her bodice a final adjustment, assessed her reflection in the full length mirror on the back of the ensuite bathroom door and struck a pose. Her curves were back to normal...a lot of things were back to normal after five months back at home; working as a Forensic Anthropologist again, working with Booth, writing again, being a Mom..., albeit with some help from a Housekeeper and a Nanny to strike the right balance. Their Nanny, Amelia, was an amazing woman who had taught Joey baby sign language and was passionate about infant nutrition. Amelia had been recommended to them by Cam, she had been Michelle's Nanny until she'd turned twelve.
The bodice of her outfit was slightly uncomfortable on her still sensitive breasts. Seeing her reflection pout in the mirror, the tears started again; she sniffled and huffed at herself in frustration, stepping back to the vanity to grab tissues to prevent her make-up being ruined.
"Get a grip, Temperance!" she told her reflection in the vanity mirror, employing some of her newfound vernacular; an inevitable side effect of living with Seeley Booth. Taking a calming breath and straightening her posture, she assumed the confident poise of her character, hooked her golden Lasso on her hip and spun on her heel. After all, Wonder Woman wouldn't let a bad week get to her, right?
She found Booth carrying a more settled Joey in his arms, standing next to one of the many shelves containing artefacts from her travels. The lower shelves had become a child-proofed zone, where only the safe and non-breakable items from her collection lived now. They were already house-hunting with a view to moving in the New Year.
Joey was listening, rapt in the tall tale that his father was telling. Booth tried hard to get the details of the origin of the artefacts right in his stories, but inevitably, in the name of entertainment, his propensity for hyperbole and confabulation won out.
"So, Superman flew to the secret layer where the ugliest fertility thingamabob in the entire world, called Poochiemomma was hidden. He froze the bad guys with his super-minty-fresh breath and grabbed the statue, but, oh no!...Poochiemomma attacked," he said grabbing the statue and making 'nom nom' noises that suggested that the brown stone statue was trying to devour Joey, eliciting gales of baby laughter. "Then Superman subdued it with his super-strength, and with his Superbaby side-kick, flew all the way home and put the statue 'back' where it belonged..." he turned with the fertility statue in one hand and Joey in Superman jammies, poised to fly, and froze.
"Before Mommy catches you?" said Brennan archly with a hand on her hip. "We should put 'Pachamama' back on the shelf now." She held out her hand and the statue was placed in her hand.
"Aww, all gone, Joey," said Booth with a grin at their son.
"Awwww..." mimicked Joey, his baby voice pitched perfectly, his blue eyes wide, with a mirrored grin. Brennan smiled and shook her head, knowing that resistance was futile against those charming grins combined.
She stepped over the toys scattered on the floor to the shelving unit and put the Pachamama statue back onto the top shelf. Her fingers trailed over the swollen belly of the fertility statue and she braced herself against the shelf as a sob escaped.
"Bones?" said Booth coming up behind her and putting a hand on her shoulder. Joey made an opportunistic grab for Wonder Woman's coronet. "Nuh-Uh, little buddy...Superman says, nobody messes with Wonder Woman," he said, removing his baby grasp from the head gear.
"I'm fine," she said, holding up a hand.
"Sorry, not buying it...you've been edgy for a week...longer than PMS or any other normal girly stuff can account for," he took her gently by the arm and steered her to the couch, indicating she should sit.
Joey started babbling 'mamma' sounds and leaned out of his father's arms with his hands flailing. She smiled at her son and took a slightly pre-loved tissue from her cleavage and dabbed at her watery eyes, before reaching out for Joey. He managed to plant a sloppy baby kiss on her cheek before snuggling in against her chest and making 'nigh-nigh' sounds and hand signs, rubbing his eyes.
"That's right..." she soothed. "Almost bed time. Grandpa Max can read you a story if you're still awake when he arrives."
Booth swept his Superman cape to one side before taking a seat in the couch next to her. She leaned into him, and his Lycra clad arm slipped around her shoulders. "C'mon, tell me what's eating at you...surely you're not getting cold feet now...Only six weeks 'til we get married...getting scared?"
"No. Don't be ridiculous," she scoffed with a soft smile and a sideways glance at Booth, trying to deflect his queries.
He gave a weary sigh. "Temperance, this is about more than just a visit from the Period Fairy...I know you...I live with you...you had a pint of that god-awful Choc-mint Tofu ice-cream last Wednesday and used me as a human hot-pack...like you usually do. So give it up, or I'm gonna have to get you drunk enough to spill tonight, and you'll be pissed off when you wake up tomorrow and have to head into the Lab with a hangover and puffy eyes."
"Today is the last day of the month," she said. "Joey is almost asleep..." she mused, cuddling the baby.
"Yeah, Halloween, October 31st, your favourite night of the year," he said. "But I've never seen you cry in that Wonder Woman costume before."
"I check my IUD on the last day of the month...this morning, it was gone," she admitted after a couple of minutes of silence, her fingers tangling absently through Joey's dark curls.
"Whoa! Where'd it go?" he asked, with brows raised.
"It probably dislodged and flushed away some time during the last month...it happens...it's not worth putting a BOLO out on it..." she quipped and then sighed in exasperation. "I suppose I'll have to get another one, or commence oral contraceptives...I find this extremely annoying, I planned on addressing this issue after we got married," she said in a voice heavy with frustration. Tears began running down her cheeks and she turned her face into his neck.
"You don't want to do any of that, huh?" asked Booth. She simply shook her head. "So don't do it," he suggested.
"I don't know if I'm ready yet..." she mumbled against his skin.
He gave a wry chuckle and kissed the top of her head. "Oh you're ready...you wouldn't be so upset if you weren't; I know why, 'cause I know how you work through this kind of thing, Bones."
She sat forward and pushed herself off the couch, walking off toward the Nursery, carrying the now sleeping Joey. "Well, I'd appreciate it if you'd you tell me why, Booth, because I fail to see how my current frustration translates to an assessment of my readiness to conceive."
Booth followed her into the Nursery, where she placed Joey in the cot. Dancing Jelly-Babies were being catapulted across the evening sky, projected over the ceiling, landing in a large fluffy cloud over the cot.
He stepped up behind her and wrapped his Superman cloak around her. "It's been a tough week, Bones...breaking that case...the victim was pregnant...even I choked up over the bones of that baby...Angela was so hysterical she had to go home."
"Fetal bones, particularly of a viable gestational age, are always distressing. I regret allowing Angela anywhere near them considering that her pregnancy is at the same stage of that of the victim when she was murdered," said Brennan flatly, emotionally stomping down on her empathetic response. "I myself, have a superior ability to detach from the distress."
"Yeah, I know," he replied. "But you still feel it before you detach from it, don't you?...just a little."
"Of course I do, I'm human...I'm a mother..." she said turning to face him. "But my 'feelings' are insignificant in the face of the need to identity remains...to help you detain the perpetrators."
He muzzled at her neck affectionately. "Look, even with the stress of our work aside, we've been talking about our plans a lot lately," he said, making a minor adjustment to her coronet. "The whole wedding, buying a house, trying for a brother or sister for Joey...you've been a little tired, a little grumpy, working too hard...not getting any lovin' for a few days...then you check and find your IED..."
"IUD...Booth, there is nothing 'improvised' or 'explosive' about it," she said with a smirk.
"Yeah, yeah, just trying not to think about it...icky, lady stuff...the thing is gone, could have been gone for a month...you could have gotten pregnant again, ready or not," he suggested.
She shrugged in nonchalance. "Those variables are unknown, but I accept that the scenario could have resulted in that outcome...but there is no point in discussing what might have been, when it never happened."
"D'you think you would have fainted again, finding out you were having another baby?" he asked with a grin.
She gave him a suspicious look and smiled. "I was in shock...and I never told you about that..."
"Eileen might have mentioned it," hedged Booth with a chuckle.
"Well, that is highly likely, seeing as she is the one who caught me when I passed out," she confirmed. "I have no idea why it actually happened."
"Next time, I'll catch you, okay?" said Booth, flexing his upper body in his Superman costume.
"Are you expecting me to swoon at that Alpha Male display?" she asked, putting a hand on her hip and pushing out her chest defiantly.
He looked down at the cleavage on display in the Wonder Woman bustier. "No, but if you wanted to try for another baby, you should know that I'm happy to start now; to be completely honest, right this minute would be fine with me."
"We are required to go to the Jeffersonian Halloween Ball, Booth...and my father will be here any moment," she reasoned running her hands over his acromia.
He shook his head regretfully as she took his hand and led him out of the Nursery. They wandered hand in hand out to the main living area, making their way over to the couch, but only made it half-way across the room. Booth stopped mid-stride, turned and pulled her into an embrace.
"I've got an idea..." he murmured low and gravelly against her ear.
"This I have to hear..." she said, attempting to capture his ear between her teeth.
He backed her up against the brickwork next to the long shelving unit and began an exploration of her body with his hands that would have gotten Superman expelled from the Justice League. "How about we call Max and tell him to stay home..."
"Too late for that, G-man!" said Max, sat casually in an armchair in a darkened corner of the room.
"What the...?" exclaimed Booth.
"Hey, I knocked, there was no answer, so I let myself in, seeing as I was expected," said Max, completely unperturbed. "The two of you should get going. Dr. Saroyan was looking mighty fine in her Catwoman suit when I left the Jeffersonian an hour ago, she mentioned some sort of rivalry for the best female superhero."
"Eh, everybody knows that Wonder Woman is the best," said Booth.
"That is correct, and if by 'everybody' you mean my colleagues; the consensus at the Lab is almost unanimous in this opinion," added Brennan.
Max gave a chuckle. "No argument from me Tempe, but we're all pretty biased when it comes to you, and Wonder Woman,...especially Booth, who is being seriously brave wearing that skin tight Lycra suit."
Brennan looked down and gave a snort of laughter. "I agree. From where I'm standing, the Lycra leaves very little to the imagination."
"If the two of you don't leave soon, I'll be forced to rip my imagination out with my bare hands and jump up and down on it until I get that image out of my mind," said Max with a grimace.
"Then we should go," suggested Booth, modestly pulling his Superman cape around himself to spare the life of Max Keenan's imagination.
Striding over to place a kiss on her father's cheek, she grabbed her keys and cape. "We'll be back by eleven...Joey should be down for the night...you know where everything is. Call if you need us," she said.
Watching his daughter leave with her partner, in every sense of the word, Max Keenan smiled to himself. As the front door closed, he went into the kitchen and began to make himself a cup of tea. Knowing that the doorman wouldn't allow any 'trick or treaters' past the foyer of the building, the old badass decided that he would go and sit in the Nursery rocking chair and watch his grandson sleep. Life didn't get much better than this.
Firstly, I just want to thank everyone for reading, what has been to date, the largest creative undertaking that I have ever attempted. The support and feedback and encouragement has been awesome, the friends that I have made along the way are brilliant, the BONES communities that I have been involved with, are just… something else.
This story really started out as a reactive 'what the Hell?' piece that emerged as Chapter One 'The Australian Guy'...when I wrote it, TPTB had already blurted that Booth would be coming back from Afghanistan with a woman, so I completely dissociated from that and proposed a trip down 'Progeny Road'. The fact that so many readers were on board for the ride when I asked who wanted the back-story was quite a thrill, and also very therapeutic, because I knew that the true return to Season 6 would be nothing like the tale I had in mind. The year separation was truncated to seven months in the BONES Universe as the summer hiatus wore on...but my story committed to a year, thus it stayed that way. It is also interesting to note that I am posting this final installment on another reactive 'what the Hell?' day...following the screening of 'The Daredevil in the Mold'...my reaction to that? Well, that's another story...*insert evil chuckling here*
Progeny was never intended to be a gooey pile of fluffiness, but it sure did have its moments...the main aim was to attempt to keep the characters that we know and love in character, even thought the scenario and plot lines were completely AU. Indonesia is a few short hours away from my home, I've never been there & after Bali in 2002, I've never had any inclination to do so. As our closest neighbour, I've been involved in plenty of medivacs and humanitarian responses in the region, so I know enough about the place itself.
Obviously, Perth is my home, on the West Coast of Oz, Monkey Mia is as described in this story...an isolated, achingly beautiful, and relatively unspoiled part of the world, which is 865 kilometers, or 537 miles from where I live. It takes around ten hours to drive there, or three hours to fly. Our state is three and a half times bigger than Texas, with only ten percent of their population - Yup! We're isolated. Our one 'big' city is beautiful, has wonderful weather and a laid back atmosphere, so it made sense to me to have some of the story set here, and in Monkey Mia, as a place where a baby could come into the world.
I was quite disappointed about the lack of communication between our favourite characters in Season 6 - it made very little sense to me, because these people are not Luddites...which is why I was pleased to be able to write something where the technology used to communicate on cases etc., could be used to keep in touch. Long distance relationships are desperately difficult, being pregnant can be difficult too, and being in love is never, ever, easy.
The medical and physical side of the story is purposely as factual as possible, I don't like to gloss over the scientific realities of the human body...but this is tempered by awareness that there is no need to make things too graphic. I know that I put a couple of younger readers off childbirth...take heart; it's just a day in your life, with a pay-off beyond measure. Yes, I'm a parent; but my own personal experience has no bearing on this story; far from it.
So now, I bid this tale 'adieu' and will ask that if you are reading this story in its completed state, or you've been patiently following from the start, drop me a line...hit that review button...let me know that this story perhaps meant to you, a little of what it meant to me.
My profound thanks,