Dr. Brennan meet Dr. Brennan
A/N: I saw an interview were Kathy Reichs discussed the differences between Book Tempe and TV Brennan. Her impression was that TV Brennan was a younger version of Book Tempe - not really as there were so many background and idiosyncratic differences, but something like that. Having just devoured the books in the space of a couple of months and of course been a long time watcher of the show and a fanfix writer, I wondered what would happen if they actually met. In this six season of TV Brennan of upset (for good or bad, we won't know until the story is told), I thought it might be good for Brennan (TV) to meet Tempe (Book). Not sure how this story will end, not sure if there will be any interest in such a story. There is only one way to find out. Float this balloon and wait for the comments. The readers will tell me if this is worth pursuing. Please let me know.
As always with love and respect to the creator of Temperance Brennan, Kathy Reichs and to Hart Hanson et al for their interpretation of Ms. Reichs' creation. This is for fun and not profit.
Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Brennan) was working in her office late one night finishing up the reports on a case they just closed. Actually it was the Squint Squad who had closed the case: Brennan, Hodgins, Angela, Cam and Clark Edison. They were the real detectives. They were the ones who were asking a thousand questions, a thousand times, catching people telling lies. They were the cops. They were also the scientists; the ones finding irrefutable proof, the kind of proof that stood up in court. It was a truly collaborative effort – well except for the gaping hole left by Booth's absence. Booth was … well, Booth was MIA, as per usual. He of course made the actual arrest; they all but handed him the murderer on a silver platter. Booth's name was quickly turning to MUD with the squints. Brennan said nothing.
Why? Booth hadn't been to the lab in months; the only time any of them saw him was at a crime scene and then he was usually heading off to get coffee. He rarely called Brennan to work the case with him (interview suspects or witnesses); instead they would meet at the diner and exchange notes. He was usually done eating before she arrived having just finished whatever meal with Hannah and was on his way back to the office. More than twice he stuck her with the check. It probably wasn't on purpose, he was just in such a hurry to get out of there, he forgot. At least that was how Brennan chose to view it.
Since coming back from Afghanistan and Maluku, respectively, Booth and Brennan spent very little time in each other's company. It was actually OK with Brennan. Booth was becoming increasingly more distracted. His work, his job, his career didn't hold his interest any more. She assumed it was Hannah's influence and Booth did nothing to dissuade her. Brennan tried to discuss it with him, but he received her inquiry as a confrontation and a condemnation of the choices he was making. Booth reacted badly – very badly. They had actually gotten into a real fight over it in which Booth told her – in no uncertain and less than friendly terms - that she didn't have the right to discuss his private life. When she questioned the status of their partnership, he mumbled something under his breath and walk away. Brennan took that to mean that the partnership was in peril, if there was anything left to salvage at all. The friendship was clearly already gone. Brennan shouldered the responsibility for that as well. The only upside was that Hannah had stopped making friendly overtures to Brennan and the rest of the Jeffersonian gang.
Brennan was naturally disconcerted and found it difficult to conceal when she had to field questions about Booth from her coworkers. She handled it badly as well, but always apologized quickly. Angela tried to talk to her about it one night, but Brennan still couldn't say anything negative about Booth and dismissed the subject. But Brennan knew. Angela knew. The entire Jeffersonian Medico-Legal lab knew. Booth and Brennan were no longer partners. There would be no formal severing of the relationship; it would just fade away. Brennan lost more than a partner, she lost her friend, the only man she had ever trusted and she blamed herself. It seemed that Booth blamed her too. Work was the only thing that would distract her enough to push through the development.
"Dr. Brennan?" A female voice called to her from her doorway. Brennan looked up to see a woman about twelve to fifteen years her senior (maybe a little older), blonde, blue eyed, thin, very thin. "Dr. Temperance Brennan?"
Brennan stood up. Typically her response would be annoyance that a stranger was allowed into the lab and up to her office, but something about this woman told Brennan that all would be OK. "Yes, may I help you?"
The woman smiled like she had a secret. "I'm not sure how to say this so I am just going to spit it out. I am Dr. Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist."
Dr. Temperance "Tempe" Brennan made her way through the throng of travelers at Dulles International Airport on a layover from Charlotte to Montreal. She didn't want to think about how many times she had flown that route. Working in two locations, indeed two countries and in two languages, had its upsides but the downsides were weighing on her at the moment: two homes, two sets of friends, two date books, and one hell of a commute. Well she actually only had one date book, but it was very hard to follow at times (she had to color code for location). She had been holding down two jobs for over a decade and a half. She started out as a professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and did consulting with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina. Shortly before (or was it after or because of) her marriage broke up she took a job north of the border. So now she split her time between Charlotte and Montreal working for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She found her work in Canada very exhilarating. There was a lot to learn about the culture and the way the city and province worked, but she had mastered it pretty well. Mastered might be too strong a word for it. She had made friends, colleagues and enemies; for the most part her co-workers respected her and the cops accepted her - for the most part. It was hard traveling back and forth, but it kept her from dwelling on the fact that she was well past forty and living alone with a cat who she dragged back and forth like a rag doll too – of course that was her choice (not the cat's).
She checked the reader board; her plane was delayed. She placed a call to Ryan to tell him not to wait up, in fact he should go home. She would be in no mood when she arrived and he was the Eveready Bunny. Ryan was Lieutenant-détective Andrew Ryan, Section des crimes contre la personne, Sûreté du Québec, a man she had known for too many years. At first they had just known of each other, then they worked together, and then he started asking her out (which she refused owning to not dating within her work pool and his reputation for being the office stud). He was more than persistent so she agreed a couple years. It wasn't a smooth. At the moment, they were in the next round of their ON-AGAIN/OFF AGAIN relationship – this round was on, very on, excessively ON. It was nice, it was good but still Tempe was leery. It was hard to deny that it was nice to have him around: tall, blondish (in the right light), hard body, blue eyed and sexy as hell. He knew it too. He always made her feel better (except of course when he didn't). This time he was pushing again for them to live together during her time in Montreal. He tried to convince her it would be good for Charlie (the bird they shared - a story for another time) but Tempe felt that it would not be good for Lily (his recovering addict, estranged daughter - a longer story for another time) who stayed with him two weekends a month; nor would not be good for Ryan (and whatever his activities were while she was out of town), and it wouldn't be good for Tempe either. Twenty years of marriage and repeated infidelity will turn anyone off cohabitation even on a part time basis. For the moment, Ryan was good for her ego and other parts of her anatomy. They often worked together and seemed to have come to some sort of working cohesiveness that worked for them. Oh yes, he had saved her life a time or two, so there was that.
She was sitting in the bar sipping her Perrier with lime LONGING for a big glass of Merlot (gave that up years ago too). Something on the TV caught her eye. There was a pretty young, youngish brunette being interviewed. Of course the sound was down even if she could hear over the din of the airport bar. What caught her attention was the name under the woman's image: Dr. Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist for the Jeffersonian Institution and consultant to the FBI's major crimes unit. Tempe nearly dropped her teeth. She repeated the name out loud as if hearing it in her own ears would somehow make it make sense. The bartender over heard her and chimed in with the little tidbit that Temperance Brennan was also a bestselling authoress. He of course had her latest book behind the bar and produced it as evidence.
Suddenly things started to make sense. Tempe would often be asked questions about cases she had never worked. People would assume that she was a novelist. She was occasionally accused of being affiliated with the FBI and the Jeffersonian. But how odd. The forensic anthropology community was not large. Less than one hundred scientists had been board certified. What were the odds that two would have the same name. It was just too coincidental. Why hadn't they ever met? Tempe decided to correct that little oversight immediately. She changed her plane, left a message for Ryan and hailed a cab to the Jeffersonian Medico-Legal Lab dragging Birdie (the cat) along with her.
"I'm not sure how to say this so I am just going to spit it out. I am Dr. Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist."
"Ah yes," said Brennan stepping forward extending her hand. "You are based in Montreal, I have heard of you."
"You have?" The hand shake was returned.
"Yes, there are not many in our community and certainly not our caliber."
"Why haven't I heard of you? Why haven't we met?"
"I can't speak to what you have heard or not heard, and as for us meeting, I suppose we were never in the same place at the same time."
Tempe almost laughed until the expression on Brennan's face showed that she was deadly serious. "Well I think it is high time we did meet, don't you?"
Brennan looked down at her desk. The timing was good. She had nothing pressing. "May I show you around the facilities, Dr. Brennan?"
"Please … call me Tempe," she smiled. "Is that what you go by?"
Brennan looked nervous. "My real name … my birth name was not Temperance Brennan. It was changed when I was very young."
"I'm sure there is a story there."
"Yes." Brennan didn't elaborate. "My mother, father and brother would call me Tempe. Closer friends called me Temperance. Colleagues called me Dr. Brennan. My best friend calls me Bren and my partner ..." She swallowed hard and averted her eyes for a moment. "He calls me Bones."
"Bones," Tempe laughed. "I have been called the Bone Lady, but never Bones."
"A name is not really important," Brennan said uncomfortably. She really didn't care what people called her.
"You don't believe that. Without agreed upon naming conventions how would people communicate?"
Brennan could not argue with her logic. "You may call me Brennan, then I suppose."
"Fine." Tempe stepped back. "Please I would love to see your facility. I can already tell that your funding is better than anything we have in Montreal or at UNCC."
They returned to Brennan's office about an hour and a half later. They talked like colleagues, sharing experiences, information they learned, resources they used. It was as if they had known each other for years. Brennan wouldn't normally be so forth coming but Tempe's direct poignant questions were a welcome change. They had many similar experiences in Guatemala, with the law enforcement community and putting their back up against the science when people didn't believe them. Tempe had shared a few of her cases that were near death experiences. Brennan was impressed and felt grateful that her field work had been with Booth. Tempe didn't have the luxury of a partner (at least not a consistent partner) to rely on. When Brennan voiced that interpretation, Tempe was the first to disregard it.
"I rarely do field work. Of course there is the crime scene, but typically I am a lab rat. At times I know something, or think I know something or feel that something is being overlooked by the police. It is then when I head out of my lab and start doing more detective work. It is typically not met with acceptance, but I've worked with some very fine law enforcement professionals and that includes the ones who didn't trust my interpretation of the evidence. It's true that I don't have a partner perse, but I am usually treated as part of the investigation and eventually they have to see that evidence is evidence. And of course - I'm not sure how this happens, but my toughest cases always have some personal connection that colors my thinking - a friend, a relative, someone out to kill me or just discredit me." Tempe smiled nervously.
Brennan just nodded remaining silent on her feeling about personal relationships effecting the work.
"So you have never been married? No children?" Tempe asked.
"No and no. I contemplated having a child a little more than a year ago, but the situation became complicated and it was dropped."
"I had asked my partner if he would supply the sperm for in vitro fertilization."
"Your partner, huh?" Tempe assumed a relationship and suspected that the request for the sperm was less pragmatic.
"He has some very fine traits both physically and characteristically, but as I said the situation became complicated. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and needed surgery. He is fine now, but there was some anxiety on his part about the process that I determined would undermine the partnership." Brennan was done talking about herself. "Do you have children?"
"A daughter who is now fully grown and FINALLY out of college. She is following her father's footsteps into the law profession." Tempe smiled warmly at her young namesake. "I went the traditional route: fell in love in college, married, daughter, midlife crisis affairs (his), separation and finally divorce." Tempe shook her head. She didn't know why, but she felt that she must be completely honest with the stranger who had her name. "I'm sure my issue with alcohol and working in two locations had an effect on the marriage. His need to find comfort in the arms of nubile young women was to be expected"
"Anthropologically speaking in this society it is very consistent: men in their forties or fifties feeling age setting in and finding the attentions of younger females hard to resist." Brennan wasn't just referring to Tempe's husband.
"He is getting married again and I have been sober for … well a long time." She didn't feel she needed to point out that she had fallen off the wagon a little over a year ago. It was only one night or two. She was back totaling the tea and doing fine give or take a YEARNING to three several times a day. "And I am in a sort of relationship with a detective in Montreal." She smiled again thinking Ryan would just love to meet this young Dr. Brennan. "Still hurts," Tempe said more to herself wondering if she would ever get over that.
Brennan looked down and then back up quickly. "I imagine it does." Brennan was keenly aware of how painful it was to see a man turn his affections on another.
"So you just finished a case," Tempe said brightly trying to change the mood of the conversation.
"We did. I am sorry you can't meet the rest of my team. We are quick an efficient unit."
"I would like that very much."
As if on cue, Cam walked in. "Dr. Brennan," she said thinking that Brennan was alone.
Both women turned toward her and said "Yes."
Cam was startled. "I'm sorry I didn't know there was someone with you."
Brennan and Tempe stood up. Brennan spoke. "Dr. Camille Sayoran, please allow me to introduce you to Dr. Temperance Brennan."
Cam expression was completely puzzled.
"She is a forensic anthropologist who works in Montreal and Charlotte."
Cam was still speechless.
Tempe stepped over to her and extended her hand. "Don't think about it too much," she said warmly.
Cam extended her hand and shook it warily. "This is quite a coincidence."
"There are no coincidences," Brennan and Tempe said at the same time.
Cam was confused but didn't want to pursue it. "Right, well ... I am going to leave this for you, Dr. Brennan ... uh, my Dr. Brennan and let you know that your vacation time has been approved."
"Thank you, Dr. Sayoran."
Cam turned her attention back to Tempe. "It was nice meeting you." She cocked her head. "I wonder if you were why the name Temperance Brennan kept coming up on my searches when I was looking to replace my Dr. Brennan when she went to Maluku."
"Could be. I'm sorry we didn't connect. I would very much like to work in a facility as fine as this one."
Cam smiled. "Open invitation, Dr. Brennan. Please join us whenever you have time. If you are anything like our Dr. Brennan we would be lucky to have you."
"Thank you, Dr. Saroyan, I may take you up on that."
Cam left. But Tempe had an idea. "Where are you going on vacation?"
"I was going to Chile."
"The dig there? I have heard that they are near the end of that. Why don't you come to Montreal with me. I'm being called back early for a serial murder case. Nine sets of remains were discovered. I could certainly use your help. You could stay with me. We'd be a force to be reckoned with."
Brennan thought for a moment. "Yes, I would find that most interesting."
"Where the hell is Bones?" Booth barked at Cam.
"What's she doing up there?"
"She's on vacation."
"Yes. Working with ... well ... um ... she is working with the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec.
"Why didn't she tell me?"
"Can't answer that for you, Booth." Cam had a lot of answers for him but none that he probably wanted to her.
"Well I have a dead body, what am I supposed to do?"
"Guess we'll have to send in the second string, huh?" Cam was annoyed.
"No flesh on this one Cam ... skeletal remains found in the basement of a Pet Shop in Georgetown."
"I'm sure we'll manage until she gets back."
Booth hung up after giving Cam the location. He was confused. Vacation? Montreal? And she didn't tell him. Bones would never do that. He tried her cell again. No answer. Why would she go out of town, hell why would she take vacation and not tell him. They were partners for Pete's sake.
"Seeley?" Hannah called to him. "What's wrong. You look ... I don't know ... worried."
"Yeah, Bones is in Montreal."
"It's beautiful up there."
"But she didn't tell me she was going."
"She's a big girl, Seeley."
"Yeah, ... yeah right." Booth sloughed into his jacket and grabbed his keys. He was almost out the door when Hannah stopped him.
"No kiss good-bye? Have a nice day? See you tonight? Love you?"
He flashed her a smile, repeated all her suggested sentiments with very little affect and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. His mind was on Montreal and why his partner would leave so secretly.
A/N: Anyone interested in seeing this play out?