Life After You…lyrics by Daughtry
*I know that I owe BOAB Constant Readers a chapter, but I needed to get this out of my head. It's a Song Story one shot based on B&B and if the 100th episode and the finale were combined…*
Brennan drove away from the diner, dried tear streaks on her face and the beginnings of new ones forming in the corner of her eyes. Brennan didn't approve of conjecture, facts were facts; they either fit or they didn't. Guessing wasn't even in her personality, so she would never have guessed that being honest with Sweets would have put her and Booth in the position that they were in.
"I'm the gambler. I believe in giving this a chance. Look, I want to give this a shot."
"You mean us? No. The FBI won't let us work together."
"Don't do that! That's no reason"
Booth leaned over and kissed her, she started to respond her body for once reacting quicker than her brain, but she stopped him. Stopped his warm, firm lips from pressing against hers and stopped her from parting his lips with her tongue.
"You thought you were protecting me. But, you're the one who needs protecting."
"Protection from what?"
"From me, I don't have your kind of open heart. I'm not a gambler. I'm a scientist. I can't change. I don't know how…I don't know how."
Booth looked at her, the tears in her eyes tempered by the fear in them as well. He could feel her resistance and for once just wanted to shake her until she let herself love him.
"Can we still work together?"
"I don't think so Bones."
"I gotta move on, the Army has asked me to come back and train snipers. I have to do this, its important work. I'll be saving lives and I know that finding killers is saving lives too, and what we do here is important as well, but I can't stay here. I'd never give you an ultimatum, 'choose me or I leave', and I'm sure that this is what it seems like, it's not, I just can't be here feeling the way I do about you and seeing you every day, it's been getting harder and harder to hold back from taking you in my arms and I'm broken Bones, I just can't do it anymore."
Booth was heartbroken telling the woman that he loved that he wasn't willing to wait anymore. He'd taken too long to tell her, he knew that now, but he'd been cautioned on 'hope and patience', and now he'd told her and she told him it couldn't happen. He'd wanted to wait to tell her about the Army, because he actually hadn't accepted their offer yet. If she'd thrown rationale and caution to the wind and told him she loved him too, then he would have stayed, he would have made it work, but he couldn't. Not now.
Brennan felt the color drain from the world; her breath escaped her body in a heart wrenching rush at his words. He was leaving. Her best friend, her closest ally, the one that understood her better than anything was leaving. It had happened again. She felt all the same old emotions and resentments and fears rise inside her and had to fight them back into the part of her heart she kept locked and away from all others. She reached up to wipe the tears from his cheek and he caught both of her wrists, pulling her close he rested his forehead on hers and they both closed their eyes. The light traffic sounds, the normal night noises disappeared. They didn't notice the wind teasing their hair, blowing flower blossoms around their feet. They simply absorbed the pain each one of them was projecting. Too soon for either of them, Booth lifted his head and looked into her grey-blue eyes. "I've got to go Bones, I'll call you before I leave." He held her hand briefly, then tucking his head into the collar of his trench coat; he put his hands in his pockets, turned and walked away.
She watched him walk away and didn't say anything. Once he disappeared down the stairs to the underground parking garage, she turned and made her way to her own car. She started it and drove to the diner on auto pilot. She looked at her watch and couldn't believe that less than thirty minutes ago, they'd talked about coming here for a cup of coffee, his slice of pie, to simply be together. No open cases to discuss, they were free to just…be. Yet, now, she was here alone and had no idea how she'd gotten here. She went inside, the tears welling up and spilling over her bottom lashes. She went straight to their table and the waitress, taking in the sadness on her beautiful face instinctually brought her coffee. Brennan acknowledged her gesture with a wan smile and simply held the hot cup between her hands, looking through the window to the world outside.
Couples walked by the window, oblivious to the woman sitting alone watching them. Hands held, smiles shared, conversation and laughter floating on the breeze. Brennan watched them all. She had never wanted that, she was happy with her life. She had her job, she had Angela and her friends, she was making an effort with her dad and she had Booth. Now though, she didn't have him anymore, what would that do to the rest of her life? Would her job seem as important, she loved Anthropology; she loved studying humans and cultures and couldn't see losing that love. Brennan drank the lukewarm coffee and left some money on the table. She got up and left the diner, it had started to sprinkle outside and she felt that the rain was just perfect for her current mood. She didn't know where to go, home was out, he was there too; the lab was out, it was closed for the night while they installed the new alarms. Jack and Angela were busy with their renewed love and although she was tentatively trying to restore a relationship with Max, she didn't want to be reminded of his abandonment as well. Instead, she got in her car and just started to drive. Her mind wandering over the past five years, since he'd first walked through the doors of the lecture hall.
Ten miles from town
And I just broke down
Spitting out smoke on the side of the road
I'm out here alone
Just trying to get home
To tell you I was wrong, but you already know
Believe me; I won't stop at nothing to see you
So I've started running
She drove through the city, outside the city limits where the congested road soon opened up with wide spots in the road, punctuated with farms or large sprawling grounds. Her car began to buck and snort and she realized that in all the turmoil of the past couple of hours, she'd completely forgotten to get gas and although it was also electric, that required charging. She turned on her phone and was dismayed to see not only that the car had apparently decided to fail in the one part of the nation where she had little service, but that the battery was losing strength as well. Brennan put her head down on the steering wheel, her hand clutching the mostly useless phone and listened to the rain begin to pound harder and harder on the car.
Never one to believe in karma, or fate or 'divine intervention', she sat in her car unbelievingly, reliving the conversation. Looking up through tear clouded eyes, through the rain streaked windshield, she did something she'd never done before in her life. She asked for help. "What should I do?" she whispered out loud. There was no response; no burst of lightening bringing forth an answer on the wings of angels, not that she'd expected anything like that. Deciding that she was right to scoff at 'cosmic oneness' in the universe having any effect on the world, she almost missed the sign. A large panel truck, slowed by the driving rain passed her cold, dark car on the opposite side of the road. A simple slogan, painted in black letters three feet high, was on the side of the truck. Normally, the truck would have just blended into the scenery for her, but for some reason, her eyes were drawn to it, and its message.
"Just do it"
She recognized that there was some sort of brand logo underneath the wording, a swoosh of some sort, and she knew that she should know what it was, but couldn't think of it. Right now the only thing standing out was the words. "Just do it." Brennan realized that for all of her non belief and practical rationale of science versus heart, those three words had done what thousands of others had failed to do. They'd made her believe.
All that I'm after is a life full of laughter
As long as I'm laughing with you
And I think that all that still matter is love ever after
After all we've been through
'Cause I know there's no life after you
Brennan got out of her car and locked the doors, pulling her coat close around her; she was prepared to walk back to where she'd last seen an open establishment. It was only a few miles. She started walking, her heels clicking dully on the asphalt, when it dawned on her, that he could be packing right now, he could be gone before she could talk to him, she had to get to him, and she had to tell him. She slipped the heels off her feet and left them there on the side of the road, like lost toys in a child's room. She began to jog. Her bare feet slapping the wet asphalt in a syncopated rhythm, she jogged with purpose, with one goal, she needed a phone and she needed to talk to him. Eventually, tired, cold and wet she came to a convenience store and walked in, breathing hard from her run, her bare feet cut and raw from the asphalt, she ignored it all to walk to the pay phone tucked in the corner. She deposited the coins she had and dialed his number, it went straight to voicemail, "You've reached Special Agent Seeley Booth. Your call is important to me, please leave me a message and I will return your call immediately. Thank you."
Last time we talked
The night that I walked
Burns like an iron in the back
Of my mind
I must have been high
To say you and I weren't meant to be
And just wasting my time
Oh why did I ever doubt you?
You know I would die here without you
"Booth, I love you. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you sooner, I'm sorry that I hurt you. In the time since you and I've parted tonight I've realized I need you in my life, I need you Booth and all that I'm after is a life full of laughter, as long as I'm laughing with you and I think…I think all that matters is a love ever after and after all that we've been through, I know that there's no life after you. Booth, please I need to talk to you, my phone is dead and so is my car, but I'm coming there, so please, just…please Booth, I need to talk to you." She hung up and started to dig through her purse to find the number for triple A. She and everyone else were so dependent on their cell phones holding all of their data that it was a struggle to find the card that had her account information on it. Standing beside the pay phone, completely soaked, make up having run down her face, her hair in disarray she made the call and was told that they'd be there in an hour. Sighing, but understanding that she couldn't possibly be the only stranded motorist, she got a cup of coffee from the store and sat at a table set up by the front window to watch the rain fall and wait for her ride. She only hoped that he got the message.
An hour crawled by, Brennan had gotten up and gone to the ladies room, and while in there, she'd cleaned her face of tears, wiped the makeup off and tried to fix her hair, feeling somewhat better, she reentered the main store, and was heading back to the front of the store and the little table when she was the blue and red flashing lights racing towards the store, the water on the windows made the colors dance and splash across the wet roadway like a Jackson Pollack painting. The siren cut off abruptly as the dark blue SUV charged across the parking lot to the entrance of the building. She paused for an instant, an instant that lasted years as she watched him launch out of the truck, now in street clothes, his hair corkscrewed slightly, his eyes wild and wide he leapt from the truck and raced to the entrance, his car door open the lights still swirling, a tango of blue and red swirls.
The spell was broken and she raced towards him too. They met just outside the door, he took her in his arms and held her, the rain falling softer now, washing away her fear and confusion as it cascaded down their bodies. The sales clerk and gas station attendant were both behind the counter, ogling the couple as they tried to figure out just what was going on.
They pulled apart slightly, he looking down at her, much smaller now without the added height of her heels and looking prettier than he'd ever seen her, "You and I, right or wrong, there's no other one, after this time spent alone, it's hard to believe that a woman could be so blind, thinking of better times, must've been out of my mind, so I came running back to tell you…"She started to speak, her eyes and his filling again when he stopped her with a finger on her lips.
"Bones, all that I'm after is a life full of laughter as long as I'm laughing with you, without you…without you God knows what I'd do…and I think that all that still matters is love ever after, after all we've been through, cause I know there is no life after you." He bent down and captured her lips with his, softly they kissed away the doubt and uncertainty that she'd had, that he'd known was there all along. The two clerks watched them and smiled, they knew they were witnessing one of those moments that songs were written about, that movies of the week capitalized on and they were only too glad to see it.
Stopping the kiss Booth pulled her into his arms again and then wiped his thumbs softly across her face as he simply gazed at her. Their look of intimacy was interrupted by headlights splashing across them and the parked SUV. A man got out of the tow truck that had pulled up and grabbing his clipboard, oblivious to the moment, he walked over, "You Brennan?" he asked gruffly.
Shaken from the moment, she held fast to Booth's hand and said, "Yes, I'm Dr. Brennan, thank you for coming to get me…"
Booth interrupted them, "Yes, thank you, but I've got her from here, sorry you had to come out in the weather, here's something for your time, bill the rest to her account, but I've got her." He handed the man a few folded bills and didn't stop to listen to his blustery protest, instead, he lifted her into his arms, and took her to his truck, setting her down to open the door, he picked her back up and sat her inside, saying, "I don't want to waste another minute Bones." He kissed her cheek, closed the door and got inside himself, turning off the rotating police lights he started the truck and backed up, and turned to head back to his apartment. She leaned back in the seat and looked over at him, the one that she truly loved above all others and said, "What about my car?"
"We'll get it tomorrow Bones, for tonight, I just want to be with you, no distractions no illusions no denial, all that matters now is love ever after." She smiled at him and entwined her hand with his. They rode back towards his place in silence, each of them content to be there, words were unnecessary. Suddenly, Brennan sat up and cocking her head as she looked at him said, "Booth?"
"How did you know I was there at that store?"
He looked over at her. She was beautiful. So breathtakingly beautiful and the smartest person he'd ever met. She was kind; she was thoughtful and brave, so very brave. She was as unsure about some things as a new born fawn, and as confident about others as a military sniper was about a sure shot. He smiled and tapping his phone said, "GPS Bones, that's why I'm Special Agent Seeley Booth."
I hope it was worth it, and did justice to the song. I think it's a perfect song to represent the dance that B&B are currently entwined with. As always, be kind in your reviews, and if you can't be kind, at least be honest…MKAngelus