Hello, readers! Hope you're all doing well :)
I feel like this story needs a bit of an introduction, so here we go: The inspiration from this come from a lot of news articles I've been reading lately about the controversial new screening procedures for security checkpoints at US airports, and, in reading the comments of these articles, many of the opponents used a Benjamin Franklin quote to state their case. This, of course, reminded me of Zooey Deschanel's character from Bones and, since I don't have much of a desire to write anything Booth & Brennan right now, I thought it'd be fun to do a story about Brennan and her cousin.
As always, Bones and all the Benjamin Franklin quotes aren't mine, and please review!
Temperance Brennan stood in the open doorway to her building's parking garage as her cousin's little silver car pulled into one of the guest parking spaces. The cousins hadn't spoken much since their shared Christmas over a year ago, but they had maintained a bit of a relationship, emailing back and forth a few times a month. Despite their electronic communication, Brennan had been surprised when Margaret had called her the week before to ask if she could stop by on Saturday afternoon. She was in town on business and thought she'd pay a visit to her cousin before she left. Brennan, having nothing better to do with her Saturday, agreed and had come down to the parking garage to let her into the building.
Margaret climbed out of her car, bringing her overly large purse with her, and shot Brennan a small, awkward wave. She wore black tights and a black skirt with a white button-down shirt, a gray vest, and a red scarf. Red ballet flats completed her look. She stopped about a foot in front of Brennan once she reached the door.
"Hello," Brennan said. "It's good to see you."
Margaret smiled. "Yeah," she agreed. "So should we hug?"
"Oh," Brennan said, scrunching up her face in thought. "Well, I guess it is traditional for family members to hug upon arrival or prior to departure, so since we are cousins, I surmise that a hug would be the appropriate greeting."
"So…yes?" Margaret asked, drawing out the 'so.'
"Yes," Brennan said, wrapping her arms around the smaller woman. They pulled away after only a few seconds. "Come on up."
"Thank you," Margaret said as she stepped into the building.
Brennan glanced at Margaret's car before she shut the door. As they walked up the stairs to Brennan's apartment, she said, "I noticed the Minnesota plates on your car. You drove here?"
Margaret looked confused. "You saw me pull in."
"No," Brennan laughed. "I meant to DC. You drove to DC?"
"Oh," Margaret said. "Yes."
"Isn't that a very long drive from Minnesota?" Brennan said.
"About 21 hours," Margaret shrugged.
"You don't like flying?" Brennan asked.
"I like it fine," she said. "I just don't do it anymore. I don't like all of those invasive so-called security measures. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"Ben Franklin?" Brennan asked. Margaret nodded.
"He's very wise," Margaret said seriously. "It's incredible how many of his insights can still be applied to modern-day life."
Brennan tensely smiled and unlocked her door. "Well, here we are."
Margaret walked in and looked around. "I see your place hasn't changed much."
Brennan shut the door behind them. "I've been away for quite a while. I've only been back a few months."
Margaret nodded and spoke in the same monotone voice that she usually spoke in. "Oh, right. Uncle Max told me about that. Indonesia, huh? What's that like?"
"It was fine," Brennan said. "Not quite what I'd hoped, but…fine."
Margaret took a seat on Brennan's couch while Brennan poured a mug of coffee for each of them and passed one to Margaret before taking a seat in the chair to the side of the couch.
"So tell me about your life," Brennan said. "Anything new?"
"Not really," Margaret sighed, taking a sip from her mug. "I was seeing this guy for a little while, but it didn't last long. It was basically doomed from the beginning."
"Why's that?" Brennan asked.
"He was a big John Adams fan," Margaret said seriously.
"John Adams as in the second president of our country?" Brennan asked.
"Yes," Margaret nodded.
"Why is that a bad thing? You are both big fans of a prominent historical figure. That sounds like something you have in common," Brennan said.
"If it were anyone else, it might've been," Margaret sighed. "But John Adams hated Benjamin Franklin. He was jealous of Ben's popularity and celebrity."
"And you felt that was worth ending a relationship over?" Brennan asked.
"Well, it wasn't really a relationship since we only went on a few dates, but would you date someone who loved the enemy of…well…who's your favorite forensic anthropologist?" Margaret asked.
"Me," Brennan replied.
"You?" Margaret asked.
"I'm the best," Brennan said. "In the country, definitely, but probably also in the world, as well."
Margaret pursed her lips and nodded. "Of course."
"I thought you were trying to decrease the control Benjamin Franklin seems to have over your life and your decisions."
Margaret shrugged. "Old habits die hard when you've got a sentimental heart."
Brennan nodded and replied, "I see."
"So what about you? Are you seeing the man with the small eyes yet?"
"You know, the one who interrupted your speech last Christmas," she clarified.
"Booth? No, I'm not…I'm…why would you ask me that?" Brennan stuttered.
"Uncle Max says you two are in love," Margaret responded, raising her voice and octave and putting on a whimsy voice as she said the words 'in love.'
"Booth and I are not together," Brennan said.
"That's just as well," Margaret said. "He seemed kind of rude when I met him. Uncle Max seems convinced you two are meant to be, but I don't know what you'd see in him."
"Booth is a good man, Margaret," Brennan said.
Margaret grinned slyly and said, "So that's why you're not dating him, right?"
Brennan shot her a look. "Did my father put you up to this?" Margaret said nothing but simply looked up towards the ceiling and cutely shrugged. Brennan continued, "Booth is in love with someone else. Her name is Hannah."
"Oh," Margaret said. "Uncle Max did not...tell me that...part."
"They met in Afghanistan," Brennan continued.
"Afghanistan?" Margaret laughed. "What were they doing there?"
"Booth is a former soldier. He went back to the Army shortly before I left for Indonesia," Brennan explained.
"All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones," Margaret said, quoting Ben Franklin again. "It stands to reason that his war-induced relationship is just a folly as well."
Brennan pondered that for a moment, and Margaret grinned as she watched her cousin desperately try to fight the small smile that was quickly creeping across her face. Brennan wiped the smile off her face just as quickly as it had arrived and looked up at Margaret.
"You hungry?" she asked.
A little while later, Brennan and Margaret were sitting across from one another in the Royal Diner, snacking on fruit plates and French fries, each with another steaming mug of coffee by their sides. Margaret was in the middle of telling Brennan a story about one of the aunts Brennan never got to know when Booth and Hannah stumbled through the front door. Booth walked up to the counter and began placing their order, while Hannah looked around the small restaurant. She spotted Brennan and snuck away from Booth's side.
"Hi, Temperance," Hannah smiled, taking a seat next to her. "Is this your sister?"
"Uh, no, I don't have a sister," Brennan said. "This is my cousin Margaret."
"Hey," Hannah said, reaching her hand across the table for a handshake.
"Hello," Margaret said stoically. "You must be…Hannah, right?"
"That's right," Hannah smiled. "So what kind of lies has Temperance been telling you about me?"
"Nothing really," Margaret said. "She just mentioned that you were dating her partner."
As if on cue, Booth chose that moment to make his way over to the table. Hannah stood up to join him.
"Hey, Bones," he said. He then noticed the quiet brunette sitting across from her. He shot Brennan a look of encouragement, one that said he was proud of her for visiting with family. "Hey, Maggie! How have you been?"
"Don't call me Maggie," she said in the exact same tone that Brennan had always used when telling him not to call her Bones. "My name is Margaret."
"You're right, Bones. There's absolutely no resemblance at all," he said sarcastically. The employee at the counter called Booth's name, so he turned to Hannah and said, "Let's go."
"It was nice meeting you," Hannah said to Margaret. "Bye, Temperance."
The cousins were silent as Booth and Hannah grabbed their food and headed out of the diner. When they were about halfway across, the street, Margaret finally spoke.
"So that's the one he met at war?" she asked.
"Yes," Brennan said. "What do you think?"
"She's quite beautiful," Margaret said. "In a…blonde sort of way."
"Objectively, I would agree," Brennan said.
"I know you don't approve of this, but in this case, I think it's necessary."
"You're about to quote Benjamin Franklin at me, aren't you?" Brennan said.
"Yes, but only because he always said that beauty and folly are true companions."
"So, what you're saying is that Booth's relationship with Hannah…" Brennan started.
Margaret shook her head slightly and picked up her coffee mug. She held the mug at her mouth and, before taking a sip, mumbled, "Total folly."
Thanks for reading! Does anyone else want to see Zooey back on the show as badly as I do? Emily and Zooey's characters are just so delightfully awkward together, and they didn't get enough screen time in last season's episode. Now how about a review?