This one's for Tracy (some1tookmyname) who asked me to write something about Verdict in the Story. I'm pretty sure she doesn't mind that I'm using this beautiful episode as an opener to deal with the season seven finale.
One thing: I do not write case fics, and the key to Brennan and Christine coming home safe and sound is outsmarting Pelant. Don't expect me to solve that riddle. This one's just about the heart.
But a lotta heart.
A LOTTA HEART
The First Chapter in the Story.
Dr. Brennan is hyper-rational. She's capable of rationalizing almost anything.
It is the danger of the totally rational human being.
But did she have a motive?
Yes, she had motive. Kirby tried to kill her brother.
It's a lotta heart, Bones.
A lotta heart...
He had been the one to tell her to switch off her brain, not to rationalize this one. What had he said to her? Ah, yes, "pop your heart into overdrive". And she had been watching him, regarding him with her big blue eyes, her lips twisted somewhere between a smile and a sob. Looked at him as if he had just disembarked a spaceship, had come from another sphere straight into her living room. Her home. Her inner circle.
She had looked as if she might need a hug, and he had already been able to see her in his arms, her auburn hair buried in the crook of his neck, the evening sun reflected in the silky tresses. Her father's murder trial, this obvious – obvious to everyone but her – conflict of interest could not come between them, not separate them for real. Except that it could, as Booth couldn't help thinking with a tug somewhere in his heart region, when Zack had announced the discovery of the murder weapon. Awkward and brilliant and stupid Zack.
A lotta heart. He should have known what she was up to as she presented her idea of an alternate story to him, but then again, how could he? This was so unlike her. Like Sweets had said in the stand, Brennan was hyper-rational, capable of rationalizing almost anything.
In the end, it seemed as if Angela had been right. The only one unconfused.
Because, for once, Brennan went with her heart, regardless of the consequences.
A lotta heart...
He hurt for her, as Max' lawyer tried to present her as a possible suspect, was mad, really, really mad at her for sacrificing herself like that. For letting people think that she was less than warm-hearted, less than the beautiful and caring woman he knew. And, even though he couldn't admit it, at least not yet, he was proud, a little bit proud as well.
The woman he had met over three years ago had put her career, her professional reputation over everything else. Granted, there had been a few bonds of loyalty, tentative friendship even, but when it came to the bottom of things, she didn't rely on people, she relied on science.
The woman he had met over three years ago wasn't the one who was standing on those steps right now, looking so fragile in her dark blue coat, a myriad of emotions twisting her beautiful face. He could read them, though, could read them all.
I'm so sorry, I had to do it.
I know, I understand.
What have I done?
Following your heart?
Is it worth it?
It always is, Bones.
A whole conversation took place in one gaze, and there was no reason to hide anymore. She was open to him, so open, and, finally, he got his chance to take her in his arms. Reassuring her as much as reassuring himself.
She had done the most stupid thing today. Risking her heart. Risking so much more. And he was mad and glad, so glad.
His hands rubbed her back in a soothing rhythm, as she clung to him, proving him, herself and the world that they were on the same side. Would always be.
And it had been worth it. Against all odds, she had changed the outcome. Had thrown herself in front of her father. Had altered the story. Booth couldn't tear his eyes away from her, as she was so happily locked in Max' fierce embrace, couldn't stop looking at her, into her. He wanted to hold her again, but this wasn't his victory. He was just a bystander, a witness of how she had done the most amazing thing.
Brain versus heart.
One for the heart.
A lotta heart.
They ended up in a bar, all of them. Nobody but Zack found this confusing, and beer softened the edges, Scotch calmed the emotions. The past days had taken a toll on them, and everything felt raw somehow, like a wound that had just begun to heal and would be sore for a little bit longer.
Exhaustion came soon, lowering defenses, and when the piano man started to hit the one or other heart with his tunes, the group split apart on mutual agreement. After all, it wasn't an end. For some of them it was just a bump in the road, for others a beginning. As for Booth... it had been a glimpse. A glimpse of a side of her he hadn't known so far. He knew that she cared, knew about the passion simmering underneath her strong shell.
But he had never seen her bending the truth before and in doing so, still staying true to herself. She had evolved, outgrown the parameters of her self-built world of reason, and when he poured himself another Whiskey, later at home, he couldn't help but wonder what it would do to her.
Where they would go from here.
He didn't have to wonder that long because there was a knock on the door and he knew only one person who would come to him in the last hour of the day. It was the one he wanted to see.
To be continued...