The Best Laid Plans of Agents and Anthropologists
A/N: Struggled with this epilogue. Wasn't going to post anything at all. But the spoilers and clips I have seen made me believe that it is going to be a hard first half of the season and thought we could all use something to make us smile until then. Enjoy the season, y'all.
It had been a very long four months for Booth. It was actually 18 weeks, almost to the moment – eighteen weeks exactly (give or take an hour). Originally he was set to be released late Friday night after four back to back debriefing sessions, but he had pulled a few strings and was able to secure Thursday afternoon. Brennan was supposed to pick him up, but he thought he would surprise Brennan and got a ride directly to the lab. He should have gone home, showered, changed into a nice suit and showed up at the lab like he never left, but his desire to see her took over and all that other stuff seemed unimportant.
During his time away their communications had been limited to emails and an occasional phone call. Twice he was able to do a Web-call with her claiming that he needed some Squint work done. It was nice to see her face and look into her eyes even across the ether. She was very prolific at the emails this time sending him at least one a day sometimes two or three. They weren't overly long, and God knows they weren't gushy, girly, or overly sentimental. Typically they were just newsy, but the fact that she took time to write them as often as she did was enough to let him know that she was thinking about him. He would have liked a little less news and little more personal but that would not have been Brennan. If she had just signed off occasionally with an 'I love you' or 'I miss you', but Booth learned to read between the lines.
From what he gathered life at home had gone on without him but with a few return engagements of old players. Sully had stayed in Washington at the director of the FBI's request ostensively to work on the Rachel Dawes case. Agent Margaret Walker of the DCIS became Special Agent Walker of the FBI. She must have pulled a few strings and blackmailed someone. Brennan was very quiet on Sully's involvement with the Jeffersonian, but very vocal about Walker's presence. Booth felt like he needed to apologize each time Walker was mentioned in an email and sometimes he did. Other times he was waiting for a response to a direct inquiry about Sully, which she didn't answer. Booth was jealous – no doubt about that, but then remembered who 'the girl' was. If Brennan didn't answer it was because she didn't feel that it was important, and if she didn't think it was important; then it didn't affect them. It was nice to have so much trust. That came with years of their partnership. This was the first time that Booth had ever been so sure of a woman before they started sleeping together.
There was still the question as to how they would proceed with their new relationship status. What would the FBI do? Would they care as long as they could keep closing cases? What about that whole 'working in high risk situations with someone he was romantically involved'. It was not very good idea, but he was sure that he and Bones were special that way. He was sure that they could keep the line between work and pleasure clear - not mixing the two ... much.
When he walked in the lab was nearly empty even though it was not yet 17:00. He looked toward Brennan's office. The door was open so he dropped his duffle and headed up the stairs. They nearly bowled each other over as they met in the doorway, he rushing in and she rushing out.
"Hi," she kissed him quickly on the side of his mouth and moved to continue on her path. "What are you doing here?"
"Hoping for a better home coming," he turned to watch her leave but didn't move closer.
"I'm sorry ... I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow."
"Surprise!" He smiled.
"I'm not fond of surprises," she said over her shoulder. "But it has been a day for surprises." She added under her breath, "actually it has been several weeks of surprises."
She motioned for him to follow her. He did reluctantly still waiting for his grand welcome back. "Angela has gone into labor; we need to get to the hospital right away."
"Figured she was earth mother and would have done some weird under water birth at home with candles and a midwife."
"There were complications," she said still leading him out of the lab.
"Bones!" He stopped in his tracks and waited for her to turn around. "I'm back."
"Yes, I see that." She shrugged. "I am very happy to see you, now please ... can we get to the hospital?" She turned again to continue her departure.
"Happy to see me ... that's it ... that's all I get?"
"Booth!" She stopped and looked at him: handsome as ever, all in one piece, no visible signs of injury and making those baggy fatigues sexy as hell. She took a step toward him and he toward her - one more and they were within each other's personal space. "You look good," she smiled seductively. "It's really good to have you back." She slid her hands up is chest and around his neck. He let his hands rest on her hips, his thumbs rubbing her ribs not able to tear his eyes away from hers. She pulled him down to meet her lips and kissed him the way he was hoping to be kissed upon returning home from war. "I missed you," she said easily something she almost never wrote in an email.
"I missed you too ... don't suppose we could slip home before going to the hospital." She shook her head no. "Fine, I'll drive." He was back and nothing had changed – or so it seemed.
At the hospital Cam, Daisy, Wendell, Vincent, Arastoo, Sweets and Sully were all waiting. They looked worried not like they were about to hear the about the miracle of life. Booth was warmly welcomed by all but his return wasn't enough to shake the general feeling of anxiety.
"What is going on?" he whispered to Brennan.
"I told you there were complications," she whispered back. "She is pregnant with twins, has suffered from preeclampsia and the labor … the birth … is at least two weeks early."
"Will she be alright? What about the babies?"
"We don't know, Booth." She reached down and laced her fingers through his. "Not the welcome home I had planned," she whispered.
"So you did have something planned?"
"Of course." She smiled slightly as he squeezed her hand.
The conversation in the group took a safer turn. Everyone was trying to pretend like it would all be OK. A nurse entered the waiting room. "Is there a Brennan?"
Bones shot up out of her seat. "I am Temperance Brennan." Everyone else stood as well.
"Follow me," she said gruffly.
Brennan followed not making eye contact with anyone in the group. They all sunk down into their seats again.
Brennan was led to the neonatal intensive care unit. Hodgins was still masked, gowned and gloved. He was standing between two incubators. The only thing she could see was his eyes. They looked worried, stressed, nervous. The nurse directed her to put on a gown etc. When she entered Hodgins looked up and she saw visible relief in his eyes. "OK … everyone is going to be OK … just precaution," he said repeating the doctor's words and almost believing them himself.
"Angela?" Brennan asked.
"Post op," he said. "They did a C Section. She will be awake shortly. Will you go sit with her in case she wakes up?"
"Of course." Brennan hesitated looking at the babies.
"Girls," he said. "We got ourselves two beautiful daughters."
Brennan threw her arms around him and hugged him hard. The tears he had been holding back nearly spilled over. "Congratulations."
"Thank you." He pushed her back. He was still very close to breaking down and he was clearly torn about staying with his daughters or going to Angela.
"I'll go sit with Angela." She hesitated again. "Everyone is waiting to hear."
She nodded. "Booth is back too."
"Please tell them that the Hodgins clan will be OK, but they should come back tomorrow."
"And you should go too … go be with Booth. There is nothing I can do here." He looked down at his daughters who were both sleeping peacefully. "I'll go sit with Angela."
Brennan looked at the nurse whose gruffness had worn off. "Mrs. Hodgins will be sleeping for at least an hour," she said. "And I can stay with her until then."
"May I see her?" Brennan asked.
"She is still sleeping."
"I understand." The nurse frowned again but gestured Brennan to follow her. Brennan pressed Hodgins hand once more before following after the nurse.
Brennan was back in the waiting room about twenty minutes later. She told everyone the good news and there was a collective sigh of relief. Shortly afterward Jack made a brief appearance. Angela was awake in spite of what the nurse had professed, so he didn't want to stay long, but he wanted to thank everyone for coming. He was slowly evolving into the proud papa. His wife was going to be fine and his daughters would only have to stay a day or two in the NICU just to be sure that they were OK. With any luck the Family Hodgins would be going home on Sunday or Monday.
After Jack had gone and that crisis averted, attention shifted to Booth and his triumphant and timely return. They were a little loud for the waiting room at a hospital and were asked to take the celebration elsewhere. People were in the mood to celebrate, but Booth suggested another time. He had just gotten in from Afghanistan and was feeling a little jet lagged.
Brennan had been very quiet throughout the entire exchange. She was still a little worried about Angela and more than a little anxious about what was next with Booth.
"So," he said as he slipped into the passenger seat after she insisted on driving. "My apartment is closer." He leaned over to steal a quick kiss.
"As I said I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow."
"So there is ... nothing ... I mean ... I have ... let's go to my apartment." Booth knew she was hiding something but really didn't care at the moment. "I have some ... food … some food … I was going to go shopping tomorrow. And beer … I have beer. And a really nice bottle of scotch."
"Alright, alright … sold. Let's go to your place." He stole another kiss this time on the cheek as she was driving. "But I really wasn't thinking about food or beer."
"You have been away for a long time." She looked at him quickly still with some trepidation. "I mean it felt like a long time ... longer than four months."
"You want to tell me what is going on?" He leaned back and looked at her.
"I know you Bones." He placed his hand on her thigh. "I know you better than you know yourself ... always have, always will ... so, you gonna tell me?" She hesitated. "Then just tell me if it is going to change anything about then next twelve to twenty-four hours."
She smiled broadly and dropped her hand down to cover his. "I thought you were jetlagged?"
"I have revived." He massaged her inner thigh eliciting a moan from her.
"Long time ... Four months -."
"One hundred and twenty-six nights," he cut her off. "One hundred and twenty-six very long, very lonely nights with some pretty intense, pretty vivid dreams ... funny there were only two people in the dreams and one of them was you. Of course I was the star."
"You want to tell me about your dreams?"
He smiled at her 'cluelessness'. "Yeah, Bones ... I want to discuss my ... dreams ... maybe you can help me understand them." He grinned. "Or at least reenact them."
"I assumed we would be having sex," she stated flatly.
"I am sure that sex will definitely be on the agenda." He squeezed her thigh which actually pushed the gas pedal down more than he had planned.
"Oh ... I see ... you were dreaming about having sex with me." She smiled. "For my part ... I will say that you - more specifically your body … in particular your hands, arms and back - figured prominently in the one hundred and twenty-six nights and mornings that I spent alone in bed. So much so that I was often compelled to ..."
"Drive, Bones." He groaned. "Don't talk ... just drive." Her eyes twinkled when she glanced at him. "Really? My hands? My Arms? Back? Nothing else figured prominently? You really know how to hurt a guy, Bones."
The reunion started in the elevator. Booth couldn't wait any more. Truth be told it was Brennan who couldn't wait, but Booth was more than happy to brave the PDA on the camera in the elevator and halls. Once inside, there was nothing and no one in their way. The duffel and Brennan's bag were dropped by the front door and clothing littered the hallway down to Brennan's bedroom. There was no thought of food, drink or conversation until well after midnight.
At 12:45, the door to Brennan's room opened. Booth slipped out dressed only in boxers (there was much joking about the camouflage boxers). He slipped by the guest bedroom and into the kitchen to forage for much needed water or something that would hydrate and sustenance. The fridge was full alright with fruits and vegetables enough to fill the produce section at Whole Foods and some cheeses that Booth was sure didn't come from a cow. He settled on water, beer and carrots ... they would call for take-out. Now that he was back in the big city, he was sure they could take-out after midnight.
He hurried down the hall with his booty in his arms and a carrot sticking out of his mouth. He dropped a beer by the door to the guest room and was very grateful he had not opened it. Something caught his eye.
"Bones?" he called as he walked into the guest room. "Hey, Bones."
She came out with a robe loosely tied around her, hair completely mussed and saw that he was in the guest room. She would have closed the door if she thought about it. She should have told him but was enjoying the reunion too much. Now it was too late. He knew something was not right. She was caught.
"What the hell, Bones?" He was standing amidst a piled of his stuff; stuff that he had left safe and secure at his apartment. Not just some of his stuff; it looked like all of his stuff with some obvious omissions namely his furniture, but he hadn't had a chance to do a full inventory.
"Yeah," she hedged. "I was going to tell you ... but we were … busy."
"This stuff didn't get here in the last five hours, Bones," he stated. "So … When? What? Why? And How?"
"It has been her for about three weeks."
"What? Three weeks ... you just decided that we were going to live together?"
"No!" she protested a little too vehemently even for Brennan. "That concept didn't cross my mind." She paused. "But I expect that we would be spending a great deal of time in each other's company now that you are back. We will often be sharing a bed, a bathroom, having meals together – more than we have in the past. There is some financial benefit to sharing a home. And there is more than enough room here -"
"There was a fire," she blurted out.
"Yes ... the apartment below yours ... your neighbor, a Mrs. Henderson. She died."
"I'm sorry for Mrs. Henderson and her family."
"She was alone in the world ... no family, no friends ... she died in the hospital three days after the fire."
"A very sad story, Bones. Why is my stuff here?" He was looking through it.
"The apartment had to be ... to be completely renovated. Actually the building was condemned and needed to be torn down. So, your effects needed to be removed. It was either here or in a storage facility. There was a lot of smoke and water damage."
He noticed the conspicuous absence of the cabinet that held his pride and joy. "Where is my record collection?"
"And some other damage … from heat … fire. Some items needed to be discarded. Though I hear most of those recordings are now on CD or available to download from something called iTunes."
"NOT THE SAME THING, BONES," he barked. "Not the same thing at all." He exhaled forcefully and tried to control his frustration. "Bones," he said very softly. "How did you get this stuff?"
"Rebecca called me."
Biting his frustration back. "Why did Rebecca call you?"
"You had her listed as your emergency contact on your lease."
"I signed that least like seven years ago."
"You never changed it apparently."
"So how did it get from Rebecca to you?"
"She was unable to come back -." Brennan stopped. She hadn't wanted to be the one to give him the next piece of news.
"Rebecca got married?"
"She wanted to tell you, but I suggested that she not add any additional stress to your time away from home."
"Very considerate." Clearly he didn't think it was considerate at all.
"Booth, you weren't supposed to come home a day early."
"How would coming back tomorrow make any difference at all?"
"I would have met you at the base and we would have … you know … talked. I could have eased you back into it."
"Yeah, I know that joke … the cat went out onto the roof."
"Cat? I didn't know you had a cat. There was no sign of a cat when we cleaned out the apartment."
"Bones, forget the cat. What about Rebecca?"
"Rebecca was going to meet us and tell you about it herself. Apparently it was rather sudden."
"Right," he noticed a box behind the bed. "That is not from my apartment … that is stuff that I left in my office."
She looked a little sheepish. "They needed your office. They promised to find you another one when you got back."
"So … in the past four months the mother of my son got married, my apartment burned down nearly destroying everything I own in the world, I am out on the street from both my home and my office and my … what ... girlfriend(?) and everyone else thought it was best to keep this from me until I got back." Brennan was speechless. "And I thought you hated surprises."
"Well, I wouldn't say that."
"What would you say?"
"I would say that we are still partners … better partners … partners with benefits. Girlfriend is an expression typically limited to teenagers and implies a sexually exclusive yet casual relationship."
"You know I am not good with the psychology stuff," she protested. "What should I have done? You weren't here to ask?"
"Did you discuss this with Sweets or Angela?"
"Sweets agreed with me."
"Sweets is an idiot."
"I'm sorry, Booth. But there was really nothing you could have done from 5000 miles away. I did what I thought was best. I have a list of apartments you can look at … I hired a realtor. The FBI knows you will be back in two weeks and will have an office and a car for you then. I don't see how Rebecca getting married should affect you, except that she will probably move to Montreal next year taking Parker with her."
"WHAT?" He sunk down onto the bed, opened the beer and nearly drained it.
"Parker thinks you ought to buy a house so he can have a room of his own -."
"Parker thinks … how do you know what Parker thinks?"
"Parker and I have spent a great deal of time in each other's company. He was staying with me for the weekend when Rebecca got married."
"My God Bones … I don't think I can take any more surprises … why don't you just tell me everything."
She hesitated. "I am not sure there is much more to tell." She thought for a moment. "Parker is very much looking forward to a little sister or brother."
At that Booth stood up. "WHAT!" She realized that she shouldn't have said that. "You are telling me that Rebecca is pregnant?"
"I thought you would be happy for her," Brennan protested.
"I am," he claimed. "I will be … I guess … I was only gone for four months."
"A lot can happen in four months."
"Apparently." He scanned her up and down. "Anything else I should know about? Any other rabbit's die while I was away?"
She looked confused. "How would I know about rabbit mortality rates?" He gave her a face. "OH, you are not asking about actual rabbits?"
"You're a genius, Bones." He smiled and stepped toward her.
"OH!" She gasped. "You are referring to the ancient method of testing on rabbits to determine if a woman was pregnant. Do you know that all rabbits used in the testing died; that it didn't matter whether the woman was indeed pregnant or not? So the expression 'the rabbit died' to imply that a woman was pregnant was erroneous."
"Bones?" he cajoled.
"What? No, Booth. If you are asking if I am pregnant, the answer is no. I am a very responsible sexual partner and would never allow myself to become pregnant accidentally. Additionally, with the change of our relationship status, I assume that you would want to be part of the process and therefore you would be consulted and have an opinion that must been taken into consideration. Further, I believe we are not ready to make that kind of change to our relationship."
He could barely hide his disappointment, but it was a relief. "So is there anything else that is happening at home that you failed to mention in your emails … emails that I got often twice a day keeping me apprised of all the events on the home front." She shifted her weight back and forth. "Though is seems some of the IMPORTANT events were sort of … ignored."
"There has been no break on the Rachel Dawes case." She offered.
"You said that."
"I now believe that Sully has stayed in Washington and the FBI to reconcile our relationship."
"When were you going to tell me that little tidbit?"
"I hoped I wasn't going to have to say anything, but you seem upset about the other things I didn't tell you, I thought I should go with full disclosure."
Sounded reasonable to Booth. "So … disclose."
"My editor refused to publish my book. The one I wrote on the island. She said that my readers have come to expect something else from me. More death, more vivid descriptions of decaying bodies. Apparently my readers want sex and death and not romance."
"I'm sorry, Bones." She shrugged her dismissal. "l'm sorry," he repeated. "Will you let me read it?" Brennan shook a nod. Not really a resounding yes, but not a no either. "What else?"
Brennan hesitated. "Sully has been taking many cases that do not involve Rachel Dawes and has on many occasions asked me to join him in the field, or to question witnesses or suspects. And he has requested my company at meal times on a regular basis."
"Did you go?"
"Not out into the field? Not out for … pie?"
"No and I don't like pie."
"So … even as a FRIEND, you two didn't go to lunch, grab some coffee, take in a movie, get caught in the copy room."
She shook her head. "We did not have lunch, he might have had coffee in the lounge at the lab while he was waiting for me to give him my findings about a case, but I certainly didn't go out for coffee with him. I haven't seen a movie and we don't have a copy room."
"Booth, I have maintained a very professional relationship with Sully that does not have any friend aspects to it. He is not my partner. I did lab work for him … and it wasn't just me. The whole crew did lab work."
"He seemed pretty chummy at the hospital today."
"I believe that Sweets, Hodgins, Mr. Bray, Dr. Edison and Sully have formed a bond. They play basketball, or go hiking, other events that they have limited to males only."
"I thought you and Sully were friends."
"We were," she protested. "However I felt that Sully wanted more than my friendship."
"What made you think that?"
"Because he said as much."
"Well, I guess you have to give him honesty points."
"No, I don't." She stepped toward him. "I made it very clear that his pursuing a more personal relationship with me would end our friendship. He did not respect that." The sadness was evident on her face. "I lost a friend."
"Do I need to have a conversation with him?"
"No, I would prefer you didn't, though I imagine he will attempt to talk to you about me and I would hope that you would trust me enough to not engage in some alpha male urinating event with him."
"Pissing contest," he corrected. "I won't. I promise." He looked around the room and sunk down onto the bed. "Oh Bones."
She came over and sat down with him. "I am sorry I didn't tell you, Booth. I really thought it was for the best."
He shook his head. "Doesn't matter." He took her hand. "You were probably right anyway. There wasn't anything I could have done about any of it. Would have just given me something else to worry about."
"Other than the obvious, what were you worried about?"
"What is obvious to you?"
"You were in a war zone, Booth. I imagine staying alive and keeping the person next to you alive was enough to hold your attention."
"Yes, there was a lot of that." He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I was worried about Parker"
"Expected from a father who is separated from his son."
"Why were you worried about me?"
"Four months is a long time Bones … a lot of time to think."
"You expected that I might have changed my mind?"
"It has been known to happen." He pressed her hand. "And it wasn't like your emails were full of hearts and flowers."
"While I find that I can be very … very articulate in written form, more so than orally."
He interrupted her with a kiss. "You have many talents … orally."
She smiled and leaned into him and tucked herself into his embrace. It was to be close, but also it meant she didn't have to look into his eyes as she spoke. She felt her heart start racing and it was difficult to stop her voice from cracking. "Due to the distance and the inability to know in what state of mind you would be in as you read my emails, I found it best to … to stay on safer topics."
"What would you have said that you didn't?" Tears were welling up in her eyes again and her breathing quickened. He pushed her back so he could look into her eyes. "Bones? Temperance?"
"I found it very disturbing to be separated from you … not just these last four month, for this whole year. It was worse these last four months for no rational explanation other than that I was able to think about you and me and what a future might hold for us in more realistic terms."
"I'm back. It's Ok. I'm home safe and sound." She nodded. "Bones?"
"I have been alone my whole life. I expected to be alone for the rest of my life. I was never lonely until I met you. Never lonely until you weren't around."
He shook his head. He didn't know how to respond. Was that good or bad?
"I was terrified that you would be killed, or injured, or that you might meet someone else."
"I understand the first two, but you have nothing to worry about on that last one. I told you Bones, you are the end of the line for me. If we can't make it work … " His words dropped off. He didn't know how to finish that comment.
"I have been doing a lot of reading – mostly fiction – which you know is rare for me. What I have discovered is that there is rarely a reference to what happens after."
"Most love stories are about the male and female meeting, there is a struggle with lots of misunderstandings to their inevitable declaration of love for each other and then nothing. It ends with that. There are references to 'happily ever after' or 'walking into the sunset' scenario. But nothing tangible. "
"I suppose that is true – in books and fairy tales and movies."
"Even in my own book, the hero and heroine ride out of town at dawn to find their adventure. I need to know what happens in ever after … when the sun comes up the next day."
He shook his head. "Then we need to create that part … write the rest of the story."
She didn't like that answer. "I don't know how I would proceed without you in my life. I suspect that I would find away, but the thought of it … well … I find it paralyzing. So much so, that I am concerned that I will focus too much on that outcome thus making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. And you know I don't believe in that either."
"No, you are an all facts kind of woman." He turned to her. "I have never been here before either, Bones. And I am scared to death that I will screw it up … that is my M.O. But I don't want to. I want to make it work. I want to … spend the rest of my life with you."
"Don't say that," she protested.
"Because you could die tomorrow or next week or next month … there is nothing that says you will live to be an old man. So if you say 'scared to death' or 'rest of my life' you are jinxing it."
"When did you get so superstitious? What have you done with my Bones?" He laughed and tried to pull her close but she resisted. "Bones … we will make our own future. OK? I don't know what will happen from one day to the next, from one moment to the next … but I know that we can do it together … if that is what we want to do … we can do it together."
"So you are saying this isn't the end … this isn't the happily ever after, the sunset?"
"NO!" He smiled. "Not at all … this is the beginning. The beginning to a wonderful, crazy, involved story that will have ups and downs and ins and outs. There will be happy times and sad times and times that just are. People will come in and out of our lives … but we are the center."
"And the center will hold," she repeated.
"Ok," she stood up and stepped away from him.
"Where are you going?"
"Back to bed … want to be rested when the sun comes up and we see what is next for us." He gave her a confused look. "Join me?" She reached her hand out to him.
He took her hand, stood up and swept her into his arms. "I'm all for sunrise and what's next … but you won't be getting much rest tonight." He kissed her and stepped into the hall and turned toward the bedroom, but stopped. "There is just one thing."
"I'm starving," they both said at the same time. She stepped out of his arms and led him toward the kitchen. Life held many pleasures. One was foraging for food with your lover, they would find many more pleasures as the days, weeks, months and years wore on for Booth and Brennan.
A/N: Not so much an epilogue as it is a good place to start. Here's to season 6. May that Booth and Brennan find more ups than downs in the coming episodes. Thanks for playing along.