That finale? The best thing to come out of Bones since the Proof and the Pudding. Pending they don't come back in the Fall and six years have passed or Christine, age 18, gets an internship at the Jeffersonian and there's a magical reunion with an FBI agent.
Yeah… so there are conditions. But let's just assume things are going to go well and enjoy the summer.
It's still RositaLG's birthday and why not give her another fic (technically, she asked me for a Bones fic. Technically, this isn't exactly what she requested. However, she did say the thing that prompted it and I have hope she'll cry like a baby reading it and that will remind her of what being a baby was actually like and that's a gift in itself.)
This is a post-Past in the Present fic. With things you should recognize from Stargazer in a Puddle.
P.S. Thanks jaded_repartee for the betaing.
*serious face now*
This is different.
Their situations are not the same.
"This is a hard, hard world. Your father and I left you and Russ to save your lives."
No. Their situations are not the same.
"People would have killed you to get us."
She almost stops. She almost pulls off to the side of the road.
But she knows if she does, she'll turn around. She'll turn around and she'll go back and that will be it.
"That's not what this is about. Today is your sixteenth birthday. I'm so sorry not to be there to tell you all the things a mother should tell her daughter when she turns sixteen and sorry not to give you this. It's an heirloom. And starting today, it's yours."
She toys with her mother's ring on her finger, the motion, the action helping to keep her awake. She's not far enough away. She has to keep going. It's not time to stop yet.
Maybe tomorrow. In the daylight. In a small town. Hidden from view behind trucks at a truck stop as she sleeps for an hour.
She thinks over every tip her father gave her to stay hidden.
And she hears Christine gurgle from her car seat.
She knows that babies are safest when they are facing backwards in the car. But she'd give anything right now to be able to see her daughter's face.
But she can't see her yet. She has more driving to do.
"I don't know how long it will take me to get it to you, but I promise you I will."
She wipes the tears falling as she thinks about Booth. She chokes back a sob as she considers what his night has been like.
But this is different and their situations are NOT the same.
She left him as an adult, whole and intact. He is an FBI agent who lives by the words Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity. She's never known anyone who fits the descriptions of those words more than Booth.
And he's not harboring a fugitive, nor did he become an accomplice to helping one escape. He wasn't forced to arrest her because he knew of her plan. Or worse yet, unwilling to do his job because the stakes were her and him and their life.
But she can't help but wonder how angry he is with her for leaving. For taking their daughter with her. For leaving him behind. For leaving her mess in his wake. For forcing him to have to deal with the fallout of this mess.
While she still believes that marriage is a mostly antiquated ritual, she couldn't be more grateful to not be married to him this day. For better. For worse. For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, or in jail for a crime she didn't commit… if she had already made him these promises, she wouldn't have been able to leave today.
And she had to leave. She did.
But this is different, she reminds herself. And their situations are NOT the same.
On another level, however, she knows him better than she knows herself. She knows he understands. Present tense. Even though he's hurting.
And it IS different. Because when her mother left her, she was just a young girl. Booth is more than capable of fighting for himself. And more than that, he's capable of fighting for them. For their family.
Because Booth has faith in the justice system. Booth has faith in his God. But she doesn't have any faith. She knows him. And she knows he won't stop until he brings them both home. There isn't a definition of faith audacious enough describe how she believes in Booth.
And belief? That's why she left. She left with her daughter so Christine would never have reason to believe that there wasn't anything her mother wouldn't do for her. To protect her. To be with her.
This IS different and their situations are NOT the same.
She is NOT her mother's daughter. She IS, however, Christine Booth's mother. And when faced with the same situation her own mother was more than 20 years ago, she chose differently.
She chose better.
What might seem selfish to some is the most selfless thing she could ever choose to do. She chose her daughter. Over the Justice System. Over her friends and her family and her job. Over Booth. She chose her daughter when she left Booth at that church and she will choose her baby girl again and again, for every mile she's already driven and every mile to come.
Christine will never have to learn, sometime down the line, that her mother loved her. Past tense. She will prove it to Christine, every single day, by being there. Every. Single. Day. She will fight to be Christine's mother, the best mother she can be, with every breath she takes. With every bone in her body.
So she presses her foot a little harder against the pedal as she speeds away from the daylight that is beginning to chase her.
"It was my insistence to leave you kids. Max would have kept us together, fought until the end, I'm not sure he'll ever forgive me for that."
She is NOT her mother's daughter. Her mother took flight when she left her behind. She knows her mother had her reasons but years of trying to understand them were washed away when her daughter was born. There is no reason good enough.
And while some might see what Brennan has done as her own version of flight, going on the run, it's the opposite. She is fighting. Fighting for her daughter. Fighting for Booth. Fighting for her life and his life and their life together.
And she can't fight if she's playing by Pelant's rules behind bars. So she presses her foot a little harder against the pedal.
Christine starts to cry for attention from her car seat as the speed increases and Brennan speaks for the first time in hours.
"It's okay Christine. Mommy's here."
She takes a deep breath to steady her voice before she continues talking in an effort to comfort her child.
"You are loved, Christine. Your father and I, we love you. And you are cherished. And I promise you, I will ensure you know this every day," she insisted.
"We will make it back to Daddy, little one. And I hope he forgives me for what I've done. This is what made sense. This is what made the most sense," she continued, nodding to herself tiredly.
This IS different.
And their situations are NOT the same.
"This is not the same… I am not my mother's daughter…" she whispered emphatically, as she, with her daughter gurgling in the backseat, crossed yet another state line.
Did you cry? Too much to hope for?
P.P.S. See T & R? I'm right here. I haven't gone ANYWHERE. Pretty. White. Jackets. :p