Often Quoted Quotes Quoted One More Time
Disclaimer: I own nothing... Obviously. Just playing in someone else's sandbox for a bit.
Summary: A series of linked but very AU glimpses of Booth and Brennan's relationship from perspectives inspired by famous BB quotes. Begins after Brennan has a 'hallucination' the night before she left for the Maluku Islands.
Epilogue – "No Unique Event"
Quote: "You will get a second chance. Because nothing in this universe happens just once, Angela. Nothing. Infinity goes in both directions. There's no unique event, no singular moment."
-OPEN WORD DOCUMENT-
Three and a half months later, I sat in a rocking chair by an open window in what would be the baby's nursery. It was early November, and the weather had started to turn brisk. A crisp breeze blew through the open window and was refreshing to me. It hadn't been all that long, but how I was craving to be outside. The final remnants of fall had chosen to make their appearance only after I could no longer venture outside. Of course... that was my luck. As it was, I knew if Booth saw me in the rocking chair, I would never hear the end of it. However, I enjoyed the rhythmic rocking as I stared off out the window and enjoyed what I could of the fall weather.
A little while later, I was still rocking and my hands were absentmindedly resting on my expanding stomach when I saw her leaning against the far wall.
"So… hallucination or dream this time?" she asked with a nod.
I arched an eyebrow at her and shrugged. "Not sure… the rhythmic rocking motion is enough to have lulled me into a doze, but, after the year I've had… I'm willing to take a few things on faith."
My mother laughed at this. "Faith? You don't believe in such irrational and unscientific things."
I laughed. "I didn't say I did... I'm just open to the possibility."
My mother chuckled at this with a mock frown of concern. "Oh, what's happened to my rational Temperance?"
I shrugged. "She fell in love and found out she's having a baby."
"Touché," my mother replied. Nodding at the wall, she said, "Purple?"
I shrugged again. "We're not finding out the sex of the baby, so it was either purple, green, or yellow… I liked this best. It seemed the most cheerful."
She laughed again. "You aren't very fair to Booth, you know."
"Why?" I said, narrowing my eyes a bit in suspicion. "He volunteered to paint while he made me promise to sit here and just watch. I didn't ask... he offered."
My mother waved it off. "No, not that."
"You getting to know and him not finding out for certain until the baby's born... that's not really fair."
"Hey," I said. "I don't know anything for certain."
"And yet, after that last conversation with your father, there's a reason that Max started calling the baby Chrissy, isn't there…." she said.
"If anyone knows that my father does what he wants to do, it should be you, Mom," I countered.
"He never called me 'Chrissy', just so you know. 'Chris' on occasion… but…usually it was just Christine."
"He knew you hated nicknames," I finished.
"And I don't know for certain… I just have a feeling," I added with a frown.
"A feeling you haven't shared with Booth yet."
"He didn't ask, Dad did," I shrugged. She frowned at this, but remained quiet. At last, I looked up at her and nodded, "Can I ask you a question?"
"When this whole thing started… the night before I was supposed to leave for Maluku..."
"You only told me what happened up to Booth proposing to Hannah," I said softly.
"You knew he didn't marry her," she said evenly.
"But the last thing you told me was that he gave me an ultimatum," I said. Pausing for a moment… "All you said after that is that he and I would get to where we needed to be eventually."
"And you would have."
"But," I said. "I need to know…" I glanced down at my hands that still rested on my stomach. "Would I still have ended up with her? If I hadn't done anything... hadn't changed anything... would she still exist?"
My mother sighed, but then looked at me and asked, "Does it really matter to you?"
I nodded. "After what's happened in the past couple of weeks especially, yes."
At that, my mother frowned again. "That was a fairly stupid thing to do, you know, Temperance."
I sighed. "Please, Mom, I've already heard it from everyone… Booth… Dad… Jared... Rebecca... hell, even Parker read me the riot act."
"Well, it wasn't the smartest thing to be going to a neighborhood like Woodland in the middle of the night, by yourself, when it was raining and you happened to be just entering your third trimester... and you aren't even officially on duty at the lab since you're supposed to be teaching the exchange course in Chicago," my mother said.
"It is just a distance learning course, Mom... internet and all you know," I sighed. "It's not like I'm actually in Chicago teaching."
"Even still... it was a stupid thing to do, Temperance."
I shrugged, once again explaining what I had tried to explain to everyone else. "I didn't really have a choice... I had to go, Mom. That case… the doctor… Lauren Eames… I had to know…"
"If… if she and I had lives that seemed to be as similar as they were," I said softly.
My mother shook her head. "Nope."
"Nope?" I responded. "How can you say that? We're both the best in our fields, hold advanced degrees, are dedicated to our work, had men who wanted to love us—"
"Stop," my mother said. "Stop right there."
"That's where the crucial difference is, Temperance. Yes, you and that doctor both had similar lives… but yours stopped being similar to hers when you let the man who wanted to love you do so and you both chose to give up enough control to one another to actually *be* together," my mother said.
I sighed in frustration, "Even so… maybe you're right and my life isn't like Lauren Eames' right now… but it could be, again... sometime in the future… and, I'm terrified... of losing all that I have now... and what if I go back to who I was before that happened? I don't know how I would be able to deal with that..."
"You won't go back," my mother said simply. Pointing to my stomach, she said, "The type of changes you've made, baby girl... well, that one there won't let you revert back to type."
I bit my lip and nodded. "It was stupid… going to Woodland… if Booth hadn't followed me… I don't really want to think what might have happened to us."
Gesturing around the room, "This isn't so bad, you know... you get to rest, relax... have Booth as your personal slave. Why not enjoy while you have the opportunity?"
"Complete bed rest for the next twelve weeks isn't all it's cracked up to be, Mom," I grumbled.
Smiling, she countered, "20% placental abruption, Temperance."
"Because Booth tackled me to the ground!" I countered.
"Because you were in the middle of the street in a dangerous neighborhood in the middle of a rain storm about to be run over by a car," she reminded me… again.
I sighed. "Like I said, I know, Mom, it was stupid. And I am trying to make up for it by letting Booth be as overprotective and controlling of me as he has been since the hospital released me. That's not an easy thing to do... it only encourages his alpha-male tendencies... which are bad enough without any help from me."
"Even still... from what the doctors said, you really shouldn't be out of bed."
"The bed is ten feet that way," I gestured behind me. "I doubt very seriously that ten feet makes all the difference... especially when all I am doing is sitting here... just like I would be doing if I were moved ten feet in the direction of the bed."
"If Booth saw it, he wouldn't be pleased," my mother reminded me.
"I do a lot of things that don't please Booth," I said, matter-of-factly. "It helps keep him on his toes, anyway."
"The secret to a long lasting and happy relationship," my mother laughed.
I nodded. Then I stopped and looked up at her again and said, "So… are you going to answer my question?"
"About my baby girl's baby girl?"
"Yes," she said eventually. "You would have ended up with your own baby girl, one way or another, yes. A different route, different details, different cause of pain, a bit later in the timing of things... but, definitely, yes."
"Then why?" I asked. "Why change things?"
Looking at me, she shrugged. "I didn't make any changes, Temperance. You did. Remember… I'm just a hallucination, right?"
I narrowed my gaze and said, "Or a dream."
"Or a dream," she agreed. She pointed at my stomach again and said, "That one there would have gotten here eventually… the road just shifted a bit… that's all. The details… the reasons why… I can't really explain those, Temperance. All I can say is that things *do* happen for a reason… and that you always will end up going where you need to get to eventually."
"Do you like the idea of us naming her Christine?" I asked, abruptly changing the subject. "I'm not sure… I know a lot of people might think it's trite… but you are my mother, and I'd like for her name to have meaning… and Booth says it's logical and makes sense… but I still don't know…."
She smiled, nodded slightly, and then sighed. "Sure... but, do me a favor and chose a middle name for her that only has one syllable. It will drive Max nuts."
"Booth wants to name the baby Christine Joy if it's a girl."
"No surprise there," she said.
"No, no surprise there… and I still don't know… it's not like the name Joy has any significance for me… but, Booth is Booth. He and Dad had this talk not long after I was pregnant... I think he told him something about why you both named me 'Joy' originally... and neither one of them will tell me what it is... but Booth just won't let go of it."
I sighed, paused, and then looked up at her and nodded."You know… I never told him… never told anyone about these… visits we have."
She smiled at that and nodded at me again. "And there's no reason you have to either, baby girl." She paused, quirked her head at me and said, "Although, maybe one day you can tell your baby girl the story."
"I'm still going to get that MRI scheduled one of these days…" I murmured. "There's a part of me that has questioned the stability of my mind given the fact I'm not sure what you are..."
"So if you don't tell anyone... either Booth or your father... that doesn't make it real?"
"Something like that... I still have culpable deniability."
My mother laughed.
I nodded with a smile in return. Then, a loud screech of tires from the street below drew my attention to the window. I looked, out of instinct, in the direction of the loud noise. When I turned my gaze back to where my mother had been standing, she was gone.
I smiled sadly, began to rub my stomach as the baby started a particularly rigorous round of kicking and continued rocking, eventually dozing off for a while. The next thing I remembered were warm lips reaching the top of my forehead.
"You are supposed to be in *bed*," Booth murmured.
"Yeah," I said. "I keep getting told that."
He came around from where he had been kneeling down on the side of the rocking chair and gave me a real kiss. "How are things?"
I shrugged. "Same."
I shook my head. "Nope. A bit of kicking, that's all. She's restless today, I think,"
"You probably aren't helping things. Babies pick up on the mood of the mother, you know. She's probably just restless because you are," he said.
I shrugged. "Complete bed rest, twelve weeks, Booth. That equals a lot of restlessness in my book."
"Woodland, raining, 20% placental abruption, Bones," Booth said with a frown.
I sighed again. "I said I was sorry."
"I know, Bones," Booth said. He then nodded and said, "Let me carry you?"
I frowned. "But your back-"
"Is fine," Booth said. He then nodded again. Getting me to willing agree to be carried was something that particularly pleased Booth. He took it as the ultimate sign of resignation, submission, and femininity on my part. Reluctantly I nodded and said, "But only if I get to use you as a bolster in bed."
Booth frowned. "Hmmm... give me a minute then. Let me change."
He moved in the direction of our bedroom, loosening his tied as he moved. I couldn't help but smile as I called after him, "You don't have to change on my account, Booth... feel free to just get undressed."
His head then popped back into the nursery, and he was smiling that smile at me... *my* smile... the one I thought I had lost until the night I had kicked Hannah out of his apartment. He then said, "How can you possibly go from feeling restless to frisky in less than thirty seconds, Bones?"
I narrowed my eyes as I said, "It's not as big a jump as you might think since restlessness implies an excess of energy, Booth - and, as you well know, I have a *very* steep learning curve."
"Mmm hmmm," Booth said with a grin. He then disappeared back in the direction of our bedroom. A couple of minutes later, he came back in dressed in an old grey FBI tshirt and his boxers. He smiled, gestured down at himself and said, "Best I can do under the current circumstances, Bones."
I frowned. "Tease."
He grinned again, but said nothing. Coming forward, he extended his arms to gather me to him. With a small grunt, he opened his mouth to speak as he lifted me up.
I cut him off.
"In case you don't know this already, Booth, it's a really bad idea to crack weight jokes about the woman who is in her third trimester of carrying your child," I said a bit testily.
He shook his head with a small chuckle. As he carried me into our bedroom, he leaned in near my neck. I could feel the warm moisture of his breath near my ear as he said, "Bones, you know I think there's nothing more sexy than you... whether you're throwing me down on my own couch and trying to have your way with me... or glowering at me from a rocking chair when you're seven-months pregnant with my child. You're beautiful."
"Beautiful for a swollen and bloated helpless gestating invalid," I muttered. I was already so tired of being pregnant... I wanted my body back... I wanted the baby here... and I wanted to be able to do what I wanted to be able to do when I wanted to do it... particularly with Booth... but I couldn't... because of the baby. Who would have thought, in the end, it was the baby that would have taught me the ultimate lesson about the illusion of the reality of control?
Laying me gently down on the bed, Booth walked over and got in on the opposite side. He sat with his back against the headboard, and reached out for me. "Hey, gestating is an important job."
"I'm tired of being pregnant, Booth," I was whining, and I knew it. I was sounding like Parker again. In my normal frame of mind, I knew I would want to hit myself in annoyance, but I couldn't help it.
To his credit, Booth, as usual, was wonderful "Come here," he gestured again.
I continued pouting, but scooted towards him, sitting in-between his open legs as he pulled me back so that I could use him as a bolster. I leaned back and closed my eyes. This position, just sitting with him as he pulled the down comforter up around us given the coolness of the apartment, due to the windows I had opened, had become my favorite once I started to swell... his too, I think.
"You know, Bones... you're many things... but I would never call you helpless," he said.
"If this is just your way of margerining me up so you can turn on the TV to watch some game, the remote is about fourteen inches to your left, Booth."
"'Buttering', Bones... buttering up, not margerining," Booth laughed. I didn't say anything when I felt his arm snake over for the remote. He grabbed it, but to his credit, didn't flip on the TV yet.
"What's going through that brilliant mind of yours?" he asked after a moment, his chin coming to rest on my shoulder.
"I... I'm just thinking."
"Yeah, I know, I can hear the hamster running on it's wheel all the way over here, Bones."
Booth waved it off. "Is anything bothering you?"
And there is was... the man knew me so well. He's home fifteen minutes, I'm in his arms for five, and he already knows something is off with me.
I sighed. Deflecting would only buy me a little time. I decided it was best to just bypass that intermediary step and just say what was on my mind.
"Do you remember the time I asked you the ten questions?"
Booth was silent for a moment. He eventually said, "Under the fig tree?"
"Yeah, I remember."
"I-I-I, find myself in need of having to ask some more questions in the hopes of obtaining an honest answer from you... but I don't really have ten whole questions to ask... just one."
He pulled me tighter to him and said, "Sure, Bones. You know you can always ask me anything you want."
"Do you think I'm going to be a bad mother... *am* I... a... a bad mother already?"
Whatever question Booth was expecting, it obviously wasn't the one I asked. I could tell by the way tension immediately flooded out of his tense form, and he began to breathe regularly in normal intervals. He immediately said, "Bones... why would you ever think you could ever be a bad mother?"
"Because-" I said... "Because... I... I could have lost her last week if you hadn't been there, Booth. If you hadn't followed me... hadn't followed me to Woodland instead of going for drinks with everyone at the Founding Fathers... I could have been hit by that car, and I could have lost our baby. What kind of good mother would take that risk with her child?"
"Bones..." Booth said. He hugged me even tighter and said. "She's fine... you're fine... the baby's fine. The doctor said that. You... you need to give her as much time as possible to let the lungs develop, but she wasn't hurt when I pushed you out of the way. The ultrasound showed that."
"I know, but if you hadn't been there-"
"But, I was."
"What... what kind of person am I to have taken that risk when I was seven-months pregnant... alone... at night... in the rain, Booth? It's not logical... I...I never should have gone. I made another mistake," I whispered.
"You haven't worked in the field in weeks, Bones... and, so I can see where you'd be off on this one... and it's understandable that you'd be drawn to the Eames case... she.. when you explained it to me the night in the hospital... I can see why you'd think you have a lot in common with her... the dolphin ring... her coloring... her life... but... I never should have brought those files home for you to look at..."
"I was bored," I defended myself. "And I asked you to bring them to me. Besides, it's not like I didn't have most of what you had brought home already from when Cam sent the digital x-rays of the bone scans. It... it's been a case that you guys haven't... wouldn't have been able to solve without me."
"But... you're still too close to it... Even now, Bones... it was a bad idea to involve you with it... if it bothers you this much... but... that's all it was. A case. You're not Lauren Eames. You don't have the same life. You will never have the same life as she had... or the one you had before," Booth said.
"I hope so," I admitted, feeling Booth get just a bit too close to something that was still raw... still... still too much for me to talk about yet... even to him. Trying to distract him, I laughed as I said, "You're right... I was bored... academic teaching is not all it's cracked up to be."
"Yeah, well... you did a pretty good job of convincing me anyway... but even still, you're not perfect, Bones. So you *are* going to make mistakes from time to time, Bones. It doesn't mean that you are going to be... aren't *already* a fabulous mother," Booth said reassuringly.
"But, if I keep making mistakes-"
"You're learning curve is still adjusting," Booth said. "Your first trimester was over before you even knew you were pregnant. You spent the second trimester without having any real time to get used to the reality of the idea that you are going to be our baby's mother. Between everything we spent time working out... three months went by fast, Bones. The past week has been the first real chance that you've had the opportunity to deal with the implicit ramifications of the fact that you're going to be bringing our child into the world. That's a lot to deal with... especially for a control freak like you."
"Isn't that a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, Booth?" I couldn't help but tease him.
He shrugged. "Yeah, but I've been through this once before. I'm not saying I'm not still grappling with the changes in our lives over the past few months... but once you get used to the idea of being someone's father the first time... it doesn't have quite the same overwhelming paradigm shift the second time as it did that first time."
"I... I find that I am having to spend a lot of time grappling with this, as you said," I told him. "And, when you're gone during the day, and I'm here by myself, I find it can get even more overwhelming."
"Well... you *do* think too much... always have."
Booth nodded. "And I have been thinking about that, too... and I still am gonna have to be careful in how much time I shift away from spending with Sully and Payton and the squint squad, would it help if I came home for lunch a couple of times a week? Break up some of the monotony and alone-time?"
I nodded. God... when did I become this trite? I love being alone. This pregnancy... what... what *has* it done to me?
Damn pregnancy hormones.
"Okay," Booth had already said in response to my nod. "Then I will."
I smiled a smile of thanks at him, but it didn't last long as I said, feeling sad again, "I miss my dad, Booth."
"Well, then why don't you call him? It's not like there are a plethora of people that know about the baby, Bones. I'm sure that Max would love being able to take advantage of spending time alone with you," Booth said.
"I'm still not certain if he thinks he can be around you without wanting to hurt you, Booth," I said.
"Then I guess you'll have to text me to let me know if the coast is clear before I get home."
"You're very good to me," I murmured into his shoulder.
"I... I didn't necessarily agree with hiding this from all our friends and co-workers, Bones... but... having both of us gone over the pros and cons of the situation... *together*... especially with Jacob Broadsky on the loose... until he's caught... I'm not going to lie and say I don't feel better with everyone being in the dark about our relationship and the baby... everyone thinks you're safe and sound and doing your own thing in Chicago... and until he's caught... that's one less thing he can use against me."
"It's still more lies," I murmured.
"Yeah," Booth said. "But, not to reiterate an often spoken phrase... I've always liked that what's between us has always stayed ours, Bones."
I shrugged. "Everyone will be pissed when they find out..."
Booth shrugged. "Everyone knows that you love to keep your secrets, Bones. I think they're sort of disappointed if you don't."
"All but from you," I said as I snuggled into him again.
"Smart idea," Booth said, as he leaned down to kiss me again. "Especially since you haven't been that smart lately, Bones. I mean... Woodland... middle of the night... placental abruption."
I swatted him. "I really wish people would stop bringing that up."
Although I knew he was initially teasing me, I felt his density shift. His hand reached around and he began to caress my expanding stomach. The baby, sensing a pleasing touch, and Booth liked to think, the proximity of her father, began to kick me a bit. He kissed me on the cheek, still rubbing my abdomen as he said, "I'm sorry. I can't help it. We were… we were just really lucky, Bones."
"I know," I breathed. "I know."
And, in more ways than he probably ever would realize, we really were.
A/N: And, so that's, as they say, that. I hope you enjoyed the story... or at least, I hope it provided a suitable distraction for you at various points. If you've read this entire story than you know I don't really do author's notes... but I did have a couple or four things I wanted to say here at the end.
First, I wrote the first draft of this entire story in a little over eight or nine consecutive days. So, I had a good idea of where the story was going well in advance, even as each kind reviewer shared their thoughts with me. There are one or two of you, however, who do deserve special thanks for your thoughtful suggestions (I worked them in where I could if they didn't directly conflict with where the plot was already headed) and constant reviews because I think they did help improve the quality story.
Second, to those who did review... you have no idea if you aren't writing a story how much the simple act of reviewing can mean to a writer. It lets us know we aren't just doing this for ourselves and people are out there reading because they're interested in the story. It made my day more than I can say when I posted a new chapter and then saw my faithful readers sharing their thoughts... it really did. So, again, thank you. Third, this story turned out much more like an alternative season 6 than I ever thought it would be when I started. Some of you caught, here and there, where I worked in bits of dialog from various episodes. Obviously, I did not write that stuff... nor, am I taking credit for it. Just FYI... It was quite amusing to me that the story's time frame, coincidentally, did end up sort of being parallel to season 6's... with a lot of similarities dropped in particularly on purpose towards the later chapters. What can I say... I love symmetry.
Last, in case anyone is wondering, a sort of sequel is already in progress... go check it out... it's listed under my author profile as the title "Twenty-one Weeks at Quantico." It takes place about a year after the events in this story (minus the epilogue... or a year from the point where they start their romantic relationship in July as marked by her tossing Hannah out)... and I am happy to report multiple chapters have already been posted. For those who haven't been reading that story, if you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear your thoughts. A lot of the issues raised towards the end of the story, particularly for Brennan in the epilogue, aren't going away. In case some are curious... I do plot my stories with deliberate action... I know it can be frustrating when something doesn't come up when people want it to... but hints are there, promise. I am a big fan of foreshadowing.
Also, in the not too distant future, I'll be posting a slight companion piece one-shot to this story called "Minute Musings Mused by Seeley J. Booth" to fill out Booth's point of view after the events in the final chapter of this story, but before the events in the epilogue, to appease the people who asked... who found out what and how did they react? I've always been more comfortable letting Brennan's voice dominate in the story, hence my preferred narration style. I personally think I'm on more shaky footing with Booth's character, so I am a little uncertain if it's worth sharing, but yeah... be on the look out for it.
Again, thanks to all... it's been a blast.~