I only think of stories after 10 p.m., on days when I should sleep before Midnight. I fully blame my current rewatch-a-thon of Once Upon a Time and the Bonesy girls on Twitter who also love some OUAT.
But this is a Bones story. Not a crossover.
Background: last night, I was watching "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," where the Evil Queen, feeling so betrayed by the Huntsman, crushes the heart she stole from him into dust, and I giggled at the thought "Heart-crushing!" and said to Twitter there's got to be a Bones-crossover potential in that somewhere.
And that's how I ended up here. And my lubbly beta, Some1tookmyname, who doesn't yet watch OUAT like a religion (because I really needed three television religions?), read and loved this without needing to know all of the deets I've already given you... so I believe this story is quite suitable for anyone.
This is dedicated to Brooke, Angie, Alanna and all the other dual OUAT/Bones fans out there (and to the should-be OUAT fans too… it really is quite a good show). :)
"I'm a fan of true love, dearie, and more importantly, what it creates."
- Rumplestiltskin, Once Upon a Time
The sound of a drill permeating plaster repeatedly echoed through their new home when she walked into the house with hands full of shopping bags. He equated her less than stealth movements to a cartoon character who was attempting to tiptoe into a room unseen, but actually making a ton of noise along the way.
But he smiled and kept on drilling holes for bookshelves in their living room. Because his very pregnant partner had taken on some very out-of-character …for her… traits as of late and if he acknowledged any of them, there was, of course, an anthropological explanation for them.
She assured him repeatedly that her desire to quickly piece together every room in the house was a side effect of her pregnancy. "Nesting has anthropological explanations, though the procedure has only recently been studied in humans. It likely occurs because prolactin levels rise steeply during the second half of pregnancy. And prolactin encourages milk production, breastfeeding and is believed to be the cause of a pregnant woman's desire to do, among other things in preparation for the arrival of their child, nest."
She'd tell him this repeatedly, haughtily defending her sudden need to shop and decorate and shop and store and shop again. And he just smiled at her each time she predicted he actually wanted to make a comment. Because really, he had never asked. And he actually thought it was pretty cute. But he definitely knew better than to say so.
She had adopted other traits that had him slightly more concerned.
For example, when a package from her father had arrived full of Disney-stamped books about fairy tale princesses and happy endings, Booth had thought the gesture to be sweet.
Brennan, however, put them in her car to drive them to a local library and give them as a donation to the institution the next day. (Technically, she started to pick up the box to take them to her car before Booth fought her for the box and then an argument began over her desire to get rid of the books.)
"These stories are not realistic. Do you honestly want our daughter growing up to believe that every story has a happy ending?"
"These are stories of morals, about how people are supposed to treat one another and stuff."
"They will give her unrealistic expectations about the world, and while I don't believe it's necessary to expose her to all the evil you and I have seen, I refuse to cover our daughter in flour with such stories."
"Sugar coat, Bones. You refuse to sugar coat it…"
Eventually, Booth relented and put the box of books in his SUV. But told her they were in her car.
Later that night, as she wandered around the house in another one of her sleepless nesting frenzies, she moved the books from his SUV into her car. Because she knew he would put them in his SUV.
Once she arrived at the library the next day, she asked the librarian behind the desk to help her get the box out of her car (because Brennan wasn't a good liar and she wanted to be able to tell Booth when he became angry for taking the books, that she did not lift the box herself.)
However, once the librarian was walking away with the books, she couldn't bring herself to part with them.
"I apologize for trying to donate these books to you. I cannot consciously subject my child, much less any other child, to these unrealistic stories."
The befuddled librarian put the box back in the trunk with a huff, and Brennan left with them.
"Ah-ha!" she said from her position on the couch, the remote control to the television in her hand as she waited to unpause the program whenever she heard his footsteps.
"Ah-ha!" she said again, this time with a little more gusto.
It wasn't that she didn't want Booth to sleep, which she imagined he must have been doing… and soundly too… until her fifth "Ah-HA!" finally earned her the sound of movement she was hoping to hear. She was simply comfortable where she was on the couch, and to get herself up, climb the stairs to wake Booth and bring him back downstairs was sure to exhaust her, especially since she was lacking sufficient sleep.
"Bones… what the hell are you watching?" he mumbled grouchily as he fumbled down the stairs.
"I found a program on the television that is retelling many of the Grimm brothers and even the Walt Disney Company's fairy tales with suitable compromises to ensure more realistic expectations, instead of the farfetched ideas of living happily ever after."
"What the hell are you watching?"
"Booth, I just told you!"
"And it's 3 a.m. and you're hooting and hollering like it's a nightclub down here."
"I have never gone into a nightclub yelling 'ah-ha!' before," she defended, mimicking her earlier cries.
"Ha. So you admit that you've been down here yelling at 3 a.m?" he asked as he laid out on the couch, placing his head on what existed of her lap and closing his eyes.
"My point is, the retelling of these stories is quite intriguing. And while magic most certainly does not exist," she continued over his scoffing, "much less other worldly realms, the problems that these traditional fairy tale characters face are very realistic in this portrayal."
He groaned, an annoyance in his tone she chose to disregard.
"For example, Snow White meets and marries Prince Charming, but they still regularly have battles to fight for sake of their kingdom and against the Evil Queen. And eventually, because the Queen is coming to bring about a devastating curse to all the land, they have to send their daughter away for her safety. And to think, my father wants me to read my daughter a story where Snow White and Prince Charming, whose real name is apparently James, live happily ever after, when this version of the story could someday relate to our daughter Max's thinking, however misguided, regarding his decision to abandon me as a child. Except that Snow White and James weren't thieves… Actually Snow White was a thief and stealing was how she met the Prince, who wasn't actually a prince at all, but nonetheless, her motivations for theft were more virtuous than my own parents."
She looked down to see that Booth was now wide awake and giving her a look that she couldn't quite define. Since he was tired, she figured he was mostly confused and pressed on.
"And Cinderella? In order to go to the ball where she met the prince, she had to promise to give up something precious, which is why Rumpelstiltskin's requested her first born child after she already had everything she wished for."
"Rumpelstiltskin is Cinderella's fairy godmother?"
"No, Rumpelstiltskin killed Cinderella's fairy godmother but granted Cinderella's wish so that he could demand something from her in return. It's a story about greed and how no good deed is granted altruistically. In fact, Rumpelstiltskin is quite talented in always ensuring that people owe him favors. He's very good at portraying the modern-day corruption often evident in wealthy business executives. He is, both literally and figuratively, the fairy-tale-town's 'one-percent.'"
"But… Cinderella is a good person in a bad situation who just needs a hand up in life. That's why her fairy godmother granted her a wish," Booth protests.
"That's the Cinderella in this version," she says, plopping the Disney version of the book she got from the trunk to compare and contrast with on his chest.
"Oww," he whined, flipping the book off of him, only to feel it reappear in the same spot a moment later.
"The television version is very specific to indicate that all magic, which translates into shortcuts and easy-outs in our world, have consequences."
"What's the consequence for hitting me with a book?"
"In exchange for the great amount of pain this book which weighs less than 16 ounces has caused you, a former Army Ranger, by dropping two inches at a negligible velocity on to your chest, I will birth our child from my uterus?"
"You see, the Disney story in this book just ends with 'she meets the prince and he finds her and they live happily ever after…' but life doesn't happen like that. She lied about who she was to the prince and on this television program, there were real consequences to that lie. I think that's a better lesson for any child. But especially our child."
"Why 'especially our child?'"
"Well… I think it's fair to say that neither you nor I have had good things simply handed to us. And in many cases, the good things have been outnumbered by the bad things in statistically significant proportions. However, all of the bad things that we have experienced… all of the consequences to our actions that we have had to face… they've brought us here. Made us stronger. And while I believe that we are fully capable, given the opportunity, to give our daughter a childhood that was far superior to either of our situations, she will still have to encounter hardships, and… situations that are less than pleasant… just like anyone else. This is how she will know to appreciate the good, no matter how often the good happens to her."
Booth looks up at her, really awake and paying attention to her every word, a mixture of pride and sadness and understanding and something else she's still getting used to swirling in his eyes.
"So you see," she continued, "if we tell her more realistic stories, stories that aren't as simple as making a wish and getting what you want and living happily ever after, but stories that involve hard work and failures that you recover from and examples of mistakes one makes and how to go about repairing them, she will know more about the less pleasant issues that arise in the human condition. And will therefore be able to appreciate all of the good things that I hope she will have throughout her life, things I hope we will be able to assist in giving her, even more."
Booth smiled up at her, before he turned his head to kiss her belly and grabbed her hand.
"I hope for all of that too."
Brennan beamed back at him, before they both turned their attention to the show still playing on the screen.
Neither of them spoke until a few minutes later, when Brennan shouted "Ah-ha!"
Her excitement jolted Booth from his resting position into a sitting one. "What?"
"Did you not see what the Evil Queen just did? She crushed the Huntsman's heart! Just like I've always said, hearts can't be broken, they can only be crushed!"
Booth shook his head, hiding a grin, and stood while grabbing her hands and pulling her until she relented and stood up too.
"However, crushing a heart into dust would require many years of decay before it could be possible to do so, and even then, realistically…"
"Bedtime Bones. No more TV," Booth said, cutting her off while grabbing the remote to flick off the television.
"And of course, it's ridiculous to think he could still function after she removed his heart in such a preposterous manner…"
"Here we go," he said with a tug.
"Obviously, while this story teaches more realistic endings to commonly retold stories in our culture, they have no clear grasp on any scientific principles. Our daughter will be very fortunate to be surrounded by people, namely me, who will be able to teach her that bodies don't function in these ludicrous ways."
"I agree. Very lucky…" Booth said, walking behind her as he often did now, just in case she lost her balance.
That's another one of those thoughts he opted to keep to himself.
The next day, Booth walked up to the librarian at the counter of their neighborhood library and she stared warily at the box in his hands containing the same books she had carried the day before.
"These are all yours."
Those who know me know I spend a fair amount of time working with new mommies and daddies… and I'm exposed to the rack of Disney books we keep on display. The books that short-hand the movies we all know. Now, I'm both a lover and hater of Disney movies. I love Disney movies because they have great music and great lessons and quotes contained within, but I hate them since I also think you have to be 29 (give or take) when you watch them to pick up those great lessons and leave the bad ones behind, because when you're nine and watching them, your big takeaway is anyone can be a princess and dreams can come true if you wish upon a star. Me? I've wished on alotta stars. I'm still waiting, except not really.
But I really, really hate the books. Because the books leave out the lessons you can finally realize at age 29 and the music and all you get is the "anyone can be a princess and happily ever after is real." Boo.
This longer rant is really just a notification to Jaime and Jen that your kiddos won't be getting these books from me. :)
Rant over. Your shared thoughts, beloved.