A/N: This is a kind of fill-in-the blanks piece for 7.02, and is pretty much a very valiant attempt at fanwanking the events of the most recent ep until they sit all nicely in my head. Hopefully this ties a few more things together.
Thanks, as always, to my hawk-eyed beta Em (Tapole24) and to some1tookmyname for an extra mother's perpective - they both put up with my neuroses in an admirable fashion. I appreciate all the love from so very many awesome twitter people, I just hope that you all enjoy!
Be Good To Your Daughters
In hindsight, it doesn't go quite as she'd planned. Or more to the point, it all doesn't happen quite the way it looks.
After all, Booth has missed appointments and the occasional ultrasound before; while her pregnancy is interesting, exciting for him even, the routine medical stuff and the clinical banter between doctors (M.D. and PhD.) is not.
("I just want to know that everything is okay, y'know, with the baby."
"It is. That's what the doctor said."
A scoff, "Not in English! As soon as you started asking him all your questions, we were firmly in squint speak territory."
She sends him a sideways glance, puzzled for a moment, "Squint speak is not a real language."
"That's not the point. You guys were talking about whatever it was you were talking about and I was just there... y'know, on the outside. Listening."
"I didn't intend to exclude you, I merely had a number of questions about the health of the fetus-"
She falters when he gets that same sullen sort of look at her use of the term. But they're not going to argue about that now.
"And I took the opportunity to discuss them with Dr Adler."
His tone is still a little flat, "Yeah, I know."
When she responds, she is careful. The last few months have been an exercise in give and take; she knows better still how to talk about these things, how to be just a little more... delicate.
(But only a little.
Some things never change.)
"I understand that you feel the need to be involved with this pregnancy, but I hope that you don't feel compelled to attend each of these appointments. We are both very busy people and the purpose of these appointments is purely medical."
He looks suspicious, "What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that perhaps your free time would be best served preparing for the baby in other ways – ways that you derive more satisfaction from. You don't need to be at everyappointment; most of them will be about me anyway, not the baby."
"But I want to be there for you. This stuff is a big deal."
"Not medically. Medically, this is a very normal pregnancy." For a moment, the part that comes next eludes her and she struggles but as she's come to learn, these sorts of conversations are such a big part of her life now and like always, she eventually finds the words she needs, "You are there for me in other ways. I appreciate that."
"Really?" His words lean towards an insecurity that even Brennan can hear.
"Of course. So I would understand if you chose not to attend some of these appointments – advise it, even."
"Uh, are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
Then they smile that way they sometimes smile at each other. He's there for her and she understands him and they are happy.
And it feels like a Moment.)
By the time her third trimester and another appointment rolls around, there seems to be this clearly established precedent of Booth not being compelled to attend each and every session. (There's also a precedent for her not using the word 'fetus' anymore, but that's a whole other story.) He's not a bad partner and she's not a cold-hearted mom – it's just the arrangement that has worked best for them up until this point.
And this appointment is just another appointment.
She hadn't mentioned it to him, but that's just because it's more of that medical stuff that Booth has never cared for.
She is, of course, peripherally aware given the late stage of her pregnancy that the previously unknown gender of her child is likely to now be revealed, but this is not something she's spent a particularly large amount of time dwelling upon.
Or really, any time at all.
While sometimes she wonders if it makes her deficient as an expectant mother, learning the gender of her child is something that makes her... inexplicably nervous. Almost uncomfortable. She is very excited to have her baby, but facing the reality of being a mom to a little boy or girl (but, for some reason, especially a girl) makes her feel an assortment of very confusing and jumbled feelings that she doesn't yet have the will to confront.
As the cool gel is spread across her well-rounded midsection, the doctor asks if she (if they) wish to know the sex of their child. It strikes her as a little silly really, because of course she knows how to read an ultrasound and provided her growing daughter (or son) isn't in some uncooperative position, it's almost unavoidable that she'll know one way or the other by the time her appointment is over.
(This is one of the things she'd tried not to think too much about.
And why, perhaps, she thought better of mentioning it to Booth.)
But then, before she has time for much self-preparation, the doctor presses a few buttons and the ultrasound monitor lights up. Before her, a grainy little picture handed baby appears and her heart leaps and the doctor moves the wand just so...
...And her baby is a girl.
She can hear her heartbeat rattling between her ears, as a strange kind of emotion overcomes her.
It's what she'd hoped and what she'd feared.
She hadn't expected to feel quite so emotional.
"Are you okay Doctor Brennan?"
"Yes. Yes of course, please continue."
She takes a few minutes to compose herself after the doctor leaves. She paces up and down the length of the room, trying to tamp down on the various feelings that seem to have bubbled their way to the surface
And then it sort of overcomes her. It's chocolate cake on the beach, it's Keep On Tryin' and it's that soft, safe smell when she was tucked up away from the world.
She's going to have a little girl.
She's going to be a mom to this vulnerable little girl (just as she was once) and all of a sudden she misses her own mother with a fierceness so much more than she had ever felt before.
It's different, once they have a daughter.
Sure, things changed when Kyle was born, but Joy is different. Joy is this stoic, measured little thing from the day she's born and all of a sudden, Ruth feels a sense of responsibility like she never has before.
For so long they've lived a life of crime and of complete irresponsibility. They might've had a kid but they needed the money – out of fear and necessity they'd kept in with the same crowd, left Kyle with Anna's pimply teenage daughter and continued to ransack bank after bank.
But things are a little different now. Now they feel even more like this little family, a boy and a girl, a mom and a dad.
When she'd missed her period that first time and she and Max had had to face down this life together as a family, they'd agreed that eventually, they'd have to leave this world – this bleak and dangerous career – behind. Max had wanted to be a teacher, he'd gone back to school and surprised her with his determination to get through his training despite their constant upheaval and their unpredictable life. She had been more limited in her choices, but she'd taken a few classes in bookkeeping and she knew enough to hold her own.
They had options now; real legitimate careers that meant a more honest life and a little more control over their own fate. A future and a family and a perfect baby girl with wide eyes.
And so they fight and they struggle and they plan until one day, Max and Ruth are Matt and Christine and Kyle and Joy are Russ and Temperance.
She's not going to fail them, not the husband that she loves, the son she cherishes or the little girl she adores.
Yes, things are different once they have a daughter.
By the time she leaves the doctor's office, her emotions are, for the most part, very safely stowed away into boxes, leaving a practiced logic in their place.
There is a comfort to this rational way of thinking, an impenetrable feeling of much-needed security that she can hold on to now, just as long as she doesn't let the mindset falter.
This is very manageable.
She is going to be fine.
Before goes to her car, she finds herself hovering on the street to make a call. As she'd adopted this carefully rational state of mind, and with the new knowledge that she has a daughter to provide for, it had become immediately clear that financial arrangement should be made.
Numbers. Money. Finite sums that measure future security. This she can deal with.
The appointment is easily made, a one and a half minute call that leaves her feeling a little lighter (metaphorically, of course). As she turns back towards her vehicle, she hears a familiar voice calling her name.
Momentarily, before she has the opportunity to carefully override this initial reaction, her stomach tenses.
She'd chosen this particular OB based both on her excellent reputation and the proximity of her office to both the Jeffersonian and the Hoover building. She should have expected something like this to happen.
Turning on her heels, she smiles and greets him, "Doctor Sweets."
"Were you...?" Sweets points to the clinic to one side.
"Yes. I had a prenatal appointment this morning. It just finished and I was about to attend a crime scene."
"Everything in there okay?" He gestures a little clumsily towards her midsection.
"It's a girl."
She'd just wanted to try it out. After all, logically, this should not be very important news to someone like Sweets. And logically, she needs to get used to this idea.
She's going to be a mom to this little girl.
"Oh, wow, congratulations! That's excellent news, I'm sure Agent Booth is very excited."
Except, in all this notthinkingaboutit, she hadn't really thought of that.
Swallowing a mouthful of air and tipping her head to one side, she easily centers herself with the same familiar rationality as before. Genitals are not particularly important news. It's her uterus. Booth doesn't even like black and white movies.
"Yes, well, as I mentioned, Cam has messaged to say that I'm needed at a crime scene." She steps back towards her car.
Luckily, Sweets takes the hint and offers his congratulations one last time before allowing her to return to the car.
She's going to be fine.
By the time she gets to the crime scene, there is a comfortable distance between her state of mind and the events of that morning. This is what she does.
(Still, she reminds herself: genitals are not particularly important news. It's her uterus. Booth doesn't even like black and white movies.)
She focuses her attention on the case at hand and finds herself having to dodge the occasional rat in order to satisfactorily inspect the remains. Booth hovers around and Hodgins offers the occasional helpful remark. And then the opportunity to put out there this latest turn of events (the ones she's not been worrying over all this time) just presents itself.
And it all kind of jumbles out.
"Doctor Brennan, are you sure you don't want a chair? They way you're squatting I'm worried that little guy'll drop right out."
"Thank you, but my uterus and cervical plug are quite healthy. Also, I'm not having a boy, it's a girl."
There. She said it.
And it wasn't so bad.
She had and hadn't counted on Booth's reaction. After all, he'd been very attentive throughout her pregnancy and she had at least made the point of mentioning these appointments before; doing so this time amidst her own uneven anticipation is an oversight she is willing to admit to.
And while she knows – knows – that this ought to be hurting him, she's far too wary of that overwhelming longing that had shaken her this morning to allow this to affect her decisions. She has to remain composed at a crime scene. She has to be able to do this.
(Genitals are not particularly important news. It's her uterus. Booth doesn't even like black and white movies.
She even goes so far as to tell him so.)
But despite his objections and despite his surprisingly patient tone, the case seems to unfold around them – there's a snake on the loose and Booth looks worried and she's not feeling particularly inclined to jump on him this time around (both her size and her current frame of mind see to it that she's not feeling suitably... frivolous).
Instead, Booth leaves and she continues with her work.
And for now at least, she chooses not to dwell on this matter any longer.
Tempe always was a precocious little thing. Quick witted, stubborn, just different enough that she always seemed at odds with the world.
Even now, Christine feels that there is this part of her that still seems so young; she may be fifteen and she may have a mind to be envied by most fully grown adults, but there is also an innocence to her that both inspires her deepest affections as a mother and worries her unlike anything else.
Especially now, staring down this impossible choice.
While Tempe has always had a very strong relationship with her father – the two of them always experimenting, enquiring and much to her horror, blowing things up – Christine knows that as her mother, she is the only one who gets share in this softer side. They all see it – Matt does his best to surround her with those things that she is great at, those things that make her feel stronger and even Russ does his best to stand up for her, warning off all the kids at school with his Marco Polo-shaped reassurances – but Christine is the only who gets to share in it.
There are those nights when the world seems just a too much for Tempe and it is her mother that she goes to, tucking herself away in her arms, sometimes struggling to put her too-heavy worries into words. Christine is the only one who gets to see this and though she has always tried to be the best mother she can be – offer the best advice, find the right way to support such a unique little girl – it is something that she struggles with. Growing up, she never had much of a mother of her own, her deadbeat parents had left her alone in the world and she had been so young when she fell into a dishonest life and met a dishonest man who made all these strange feelings bubble through her insides.
She has never had that kind role model, no one to go to for advice whenever she has wanted to be a better mother and too often she worries what this means for her own children. What this means for someone as brilliant and as gentle as Tempe.
And now she faces the most horrible decision. What on earth do you do when the world becomes a safer place for your children only once you are gone?
What do you do when you know that whatever you decide, you will hurt those that you love most in the world?
Max (Matthew) struggles with this choice. Like Tempe, he has an ability to be firm and logical, and while he has learned to control it and use it to his advantage in a way that his daughter is only now discovering, this is still enough to shake him.
They have to go. They have to leave their kids behind or risk McVicar finding them and killing them too. Their life of crime has found them once again, and once again they need to run.
Though she loves her children more than she ever though she could, for her it is as simple as that.
Their safety is as important as that.
But in that split second, as his plan comes together and as he rattles off instructions with a practiced confidence that she does not share, Christine aches for her children. For the little girl who hides her most vulnerable side from everyone in the world, save for her mother who loves her so fiercely and so deeply.
She wonders, by doing this, if Tempe will ever show that side to anyone ever again. The thought pains her.
It takes a long moment, but eventually Matt's logic and his hard words finally pierce this seemingly emotional resistance and she is resolved. She has to be resolved.
They will leave, if only for her children.
Always for her children
And especially for her little girl, who she can only hope will one day understand.
It's Finn that surprises her.
Though she is not the kind of teacher to give second chances to those who so grievously disappoint her, he catches her in a rare moment of peace and all of a sudden she understands.
In all of this mess, and through all of the tumultuous emotions that she'd done her best to lock away, she hadn't given enough thought to her baby. To this actual, growing baby that she carries around with her – to this real, tangible being that exists as she is now, instead of some hypothetical daughter and her own hypothetical mistakes. Though she is far from negligent, she had all too easily lost sight of the much more simple facts at hand.
Given her affinity for music (good music, with a beat and powerful lyrics and meaning) she'd invested in a means to share this appreciation with her baby not so long before. She'd been surprised to find, however, that her favorite feature was not the shared experience of artists whose tonal quality and mastery of performance she often enjoys, but the fact that it also allows her a rather convenient way to listen to her child – to its heartbeat and to the soft rush of her moving within her womb – at times she finds herself unexpectedly taken with such otherwise ordinary sounds.
And though she'd planned to use music to focus herself and to hone her attention to the bones before her, when Finn finds her in the Bone Room she is enjoying this moment of... peace. Just peace, just finally feeling a little more connected to this little person inside of her whose heartbeat she can hear thumping away.
This baby, who is not just her but is Booth as well. Who is going to be just fine with two not-perfect but very devoted parents who each have the capabilities to enrich the life of a little girl.
She feels strangely motherly when she chides her intern for his absence. And when he admits to his mistakes she feels an odd sense of camaraderie; she remembers how that felt – how it was to be teenager a little bit lost and at odds with the world.
"Did your interest in forensics stem from a plan to murder your stepfather?"
She knows that feeling. She knows the longing and the fear and the isolation.
And so she asks, "So, did you murder your stepfather, Mr Abernathy?"
"No ma'am, I did not."
It is enough.
He deserves his second chance. She's never known how to extend one like this before – not to an intern, and not like this – but it is in that moment where she finds her frivolity once more and the matter is put to rest.
(She really does love John Wayne movies.)
There's a clarity to it all – to finally feeling centered and connected to this child once again, to having her first maternal kind of moment (and getting it right!), to have had the benefit of Booth's remarkable patience for the entirety of the case and to have walked in his shoes because she knows him well enough to do that – and suddenly she just wants to make it all right.
Booth deserves that much.
Her family deserves that much.
Once their case is mostly put to rest, she finds her chance.
It kind of surprises her how well she knows what to do and how easily she can make him smile that smile that lights up his whole face. Though it's just a DVD of her ultrasound that had been thrust into her bag somewhere amidst a jumble of emotions, it's as though it's exactly what he needed now to feel a little better about the last few days.
Something almost fizzes up inside her because she can seeit, "You're happy."
"Of course I'm happy! Look at that, she kicked!"
And as they banter back and forth about their daughter's (theirdaughter's) prominent mental protuberance, she knows that one day she will tell him. One day she'll surround herself with that familiar security that he provides and tell him about her mother and about her fears of inadequacy – but for now this is more than enough.
Instead she offers, "I had to reschedule the appointment with my financial planner while Finn was-" Brennan falters for a moment before continuing, "-otherwise unavailable and I had to assume his workload. I was hoping you would come with me when I go next week."
He seems wary and his voice is a little flat, "But that's your thing. It's your money Bones, you're right, I don't have anything to offer there."
"But you offer other things – things that are more important than just money. This appointment is about securing our daughter's future and making sure that she'll never... struggle on her own that way, no matter what happens." She feels the emotion bubbling there – she feels the beginning of that fear she felt knowing her parents were gone, she feels that same longing for her mother – but with Booth here, mostly she feels sure. "I think that you should be a part of that."
"Yeah? You think that?" His tone lifts and his chest puffs out.
"Yes Booth, I do."
And with his hand on her stomach and his lips pressed against her forehead, finally she feels safe.
A/N: I dropped the ball spectacularly with review replies on the last fic but life has finally slowed down a little and I'll be super dilligent this time - I promise! I do hope you all enjoyed.