Whatever your feelings are about the season premiere, I still rolled my eyes when I heard people griping about Brennan and 'how could she be so thoughtless regarding Booth's feelings'. In my book, unless you've never had a place to call home, a place to call your own, a place that's stable, without the fear of having it ripped from you at any moment, I'm not sure you can totally identify with Brennan.
This takes place before, during and after parts of the episode. My guess is you'll pick up the when and where. And I know you read this often… but Some1tookmyname is amazing. She went back and forth with me on this until it sounded right and I can't thank her enough.
"I feel like I've never had a home, you know? I feel related to the country, to this country, and yet I don't know exactly where I fit in...
There's always this kind of nostalgia for a place, a place where you can reckon with yourself." -Sam Shepard
There was a time in her life when she could remember wishing for a million dollars.
She wasn't old enough to play the lottery or gamble in any fashion. She wasn't old enough to earn the money herself.
And, while she understood that wishing in general was illogical, she certainly was rational enough not to wish for the money to grow on a bush or flower off a tree, as some saying went.
Wishing served no purpose. She knew this.
Yet, lying awake many late nights, tucked away in bed in another strange room that didn't belong to her, in a place she knew to be temporary, she closed her eyes and thought about it anyway.
When in the foster system, it seemed like a more rational wish would be to wish for her brother to come back for her or for her parents to return and take her with them. She did wish for those things sometimes.
But as wishes went, those were highly unreliable wishes. Because those wishes relied on other people to make them come true.
She had no logical way to account for how she might come into possession of one million dollars. She considered turning to a life of crime and robbing a bank. She had no idea at the time that such a path would have been choosing the family business.
She passed a park on her two-mile walk home from school to one of her foster homes and considered the wisdom of sitting on a bench all day and night, hoping somebody simply dropped a bag of money as they were walking past her.
She had recently checked a book out of her school's library and learned about a bag of money that had been found, believed to be dropped or lost by DB Cooper when he jumped from the plane he hijacked in the 1970s. She briefly considered escaping from her latest foster home and hitchhiking to Washington State, to conduct her own search for the money.
She had watched Back to the Future many times with her Dad growing up. And she assumed, if she wished really hard and time travel did exist when she was older, her older self would recall the wish and travel back in time to bring her the money and free her from her own hell.
Time travel was never invented. Obviously.
The more she thought about it, the more outrageous her ideas became regarding how to obtain the money. If a psychologist knew of such fantasies, they'd probably say it was good that she hadn't stopped thinking of ways to come across that money. Because had she stopped believing, even with all logic working against her, that coming across such a sum of money that could free her from her current existence, she may not have survived at all. That wish equated to hope.
By the time she was officially out of the foster system, that million dollars had yet to mysteriously materialize. But scholarships did, and she was on her way to being someone that mattered. She lived in shared dormitories throughout college, right up to the day she earned her doctoral degree.
When she moved to D.C. to take a position with the Jeffersonian Institution, she barely had enough money saved up to make the trip, much less rent a place of her own. Since the city was an expensive place to live, she settled on renting a room in the house of an older woman. The woman woke early and slept early. She worked earlier and worked late, so they rarely crossed paths.
After a few months, she had enough saved to look for her own place. She settled on an older building, in a decent enough neighborhood.
On the day she turned in her deposit and the first month rent to the building's supervisor, he handed her a key.
Not a key to a foster home. Not a key to a shared dorm room. Not a key to someone else's house.
She immediately went up to her apartment. She opened a window to let some of the stale air out and fresh air in. Then she sat in the middle of the living room. In the middle of her space. Her home.
Hers. If you overlooked the fact she was merely renting the place. Simple semantics.
She stayed, sitting in the middle of her apartment so long she eventually fell asleep on the floor. In her very own apartment.
She actually spent the first several nights at her new apartment sleeping on the floor. She owned few things to move in with her.
She used the last of what she had saved to purchase a bed, a couch and some pots and pans.
Her modest apartment remained modestly decorated the entire time she lived there. She eventually bought a few decorations. Curtains. A stereo system. A coffee table and additional chair for the living room. Dressers for the bedroom. So on and so forth.
And then, one day, it happened.
She had one million dollars.
One day, she sat down and started to write… something… she wasn't really sure what. And by accident, she had shown it to her new friend Angela, who immediately insisted she make copies so they could show it to publishers. And Angela's goading had paid off, because someone had wanted to pay her for writing it.
And that they did.
She opted to buy her own apartment not long after her second book was published.
It wasn't the same as renting a place that was all hers. Because, technically, a rented apartment still belonged to someone else.
Her new apartment? It was hers. Her home. Her sanctuary. Her name on the papers that said "OWNER" in bold letters at the top and next to all of the lines requiring signatures.
When you've lived your entire life in uncertainty. When your home can be your home one day and not your home the next. When the people you share a home with can leave you or make you leave them with no notice. When you live every day in a precarious balance between wishing for the impossible and accepting hopelessness.
Having a place to call home, a place no one can take from you without your permission?
That's a very powerful thing.
She left the Mall after Booth returned to work, returning home. To her home.
There was still a case to be solved, but the day had taken an emotional as well as its usual physical toll and her presence at the lab wasn't necessary right now.
She had relented and agreed that she and Booth should raise their child together under one roof. Then she had invited him to live with her.
And he had said no.
Mostly, she had understood his reasoning. A new home. A home of 'their' own. A home to share. With each other.
Anthropologically, she understood the significance of this gesture. She really did. And she invited him to move in with her and he had said no and she had said the wrong thing and he was mad and she apologized and tried to make it better. And when all of that was said and done, an unresolved peace was made and the day continued on.
But she needed to be here, right now, as she slipped the key inside her door. Slowly, she walked room to room, analyzing her décor, her possessions, her walls and floors. She studied each room, cataloging how it had changed from her first day in the apartment until now.
Eventually, she sat on her couch to give her feet a rest, but continued to study its changes and updates since her first day here. In the past five months, there was certainly evidence of Booth's presence taking hold (for example, the atrociously large TV on the wall and the striped socks she could see peeking out from underneath the coffee table). But his presence in her life had begun years before that. And she learned the hard way that changing that, altering his presence in her life, would be more painful than parting with any tangible item she now owns.
She knows this. And yet…
Sharing a home would be giving him a power she's always wished to possess solely. She knows that building and sharing a home with Booth means that he has the power to take it away from her. Booth could choose to leave. Booth could make her want to leave their home. And then, she would be right back to where she started.
And yes, she has money now, more than a million dollars, in fact, so if it ever came to that, she could buy a new place. She could attempt to make some place else a home on her own, all over again.
But right then, at that moment, the idea of losing control of something she wished for so long and finally, finally obtained was utterly terrifying. And while she would be happy to blame those maddening fluctuations in her hormone levels again for the tears that sprung to her eyes, she's cognizant enough to know it's more than that.
There's safety in this home she has. This home can't leave her. This home can't send her away.
She awoke on her couch to a ringing phone. Cam was on the other end, letting her know a shipment of artifacts had arrived at the lab. She silently admonished herself for napping in the middle of the day and stood up to make her way to the lab.
She left her apartment, locking the door with her key.
She returned to the lab and got stuck under a fallen crate. Her first thought was to call Booth. Her only thought was to call Booth. And in her office, waiting for his arrival, she came to some conclusions.
They could have any future they wanted. New memories. New life.
They had agreed on the importance of needing a place to call their own. And while she recognized her fears for what they were, she was more resolved today for another purpose.
No matter how much she loved Booth and Booth loved her, in the end, their future wasn't predictable. There would be no magic formula or scientific assurance to assure her that they would always be okay, despite knowing she would do anything in her power to try and ensure such an outcome.
She really does love him.
She realized she could control something, as much as any one person could control anything. Because she remembered being a child herself, and moving from place to place with her family, then foster home to foster home and dorm to dorm, so on and so forth.
As the man she loves made ridiculous-sounding noises toward the region of her ever-expanding uterus, she vowed to no longer be concerned about her home or their home. Because while many things about their relationship would be just about them, this home that they had just agreed to find and share would be about their daughter having a home. Hopefully it would be a home that always included both of her parents and sometimes her brother, who also knew a few things having more than one home, though she was thankful that his situation differed greatly from her own.
Tonight, she vowed to herself that their daughter would always have a place to call "her home."
And when Booth stopped cooing at her belly and they settled into bed, she considered making a new wish, just like she had so many years ago. Because if she could believe with near certainty in her ability to ensure that her daughter always had a home, perhaps it wasn't too much to wish that she and Booth always shared that home. To wish that Parker always felt it was just as much his home as it was his sister's. And one last wish that they be happy enough in the years to come that she never felt the need to do something as irrational as wish again.
Superfluous hormones. Wishes aren't rational. She would just have to work incredibly hard to make these things she wanted a reality. She could do this… succeed at this… excel at this.
After all, Temperance Brennan had never gotten a 'B' in her life. She wasn't about to start now.
"A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams." -Anonymous
Your thoughts are always, always appreciated. Thanks for reading. ;)