: Everything belongs to FOX, et all. I’m simply writing for my own amusement.
Author’s Note: My FIRST Bones fic. I’m a little nervous to be sharing this with the world because it turns out that these are some of the hardest voices to get down (hence: very little dialogue)! Hope it’s up to par! -- J
They grow old together.
This is a feat in of itself, since Brennan gets kidnapped a time or two more and Booth has a few extra scars than he’d like. Together, they survive the Zack Situation and her father’s death, his real one this time. They attend Parker’s graduation and later, his wedding. Brennan writes several more novels, earns even larger signing bonuses. She’s named godmother of all
million four of Angela and Jack’s children. Booth’s sock collection grows. He becomes a grandfather.
Along the way, they solve more murders.
But mostly, they grow old together.
Some college puts on a seminar for budding writers and all the big name thriller-mystery writers are invited to speak and give their advice. Brennan accepts and Booth tags along because that’s the kind of guy he is. He leans against the wall, observing.
A college age girl, too young for him, sidles up to him. She has a coy grin on her face and he feels the usual swell of male pride that she’d be interested in him, which fades into annoyance when she speaks over Brennan’s remarks.
“So, what kind of reader are you?” she asks, batting her eyelashes.
“You know – are you a Patterstonian, a Brennanite, a Cromwellian?”
“Oh,” Booth smiles, eyes locked with Brennan’s. “Brennanite. Definite Brennanite.”
The whole group goes to karaoke on Sweets’ suggestion, something about facing fears, and Angela makes the mistake of singing Alanis Morissette’s Ironic. Brennan frowns and whispers to Booth, “This song is not about irony. The singer is simply remarking on a series of highly improbable situations.”
Booth rolls his eyes and mumbles something about being a jagged little pill.
Every Tuesday, on her lunch break, Brennan visits Zack. She brings him anthropological journals and shows him x-rays of bones and they mostly talk about work – her work now, just hers – and every time she leaves, her heart feels heavier than before. Zack will always be hers, even if he was Zackaroni and Hodgins’ roommate and Angela’s soft spot, and there are still days, lots of days, when she opens her mouth to call for him to clean the bones or find the murder weapon.
(His hands, so careful with the remains, have stabbed a living human being. He’s always been better with dead people, she says once to Booth and the statement is too true to ever be repeated.)
Booth comes with her to the prison, once. She’s frozen out of the conversation as Booth and Zack spend the entire time talking about basketball and statistics she doesn’t understand. When they leave, Zack looks lighter, happier, than he has in weeks and Brennan impulsively threads her fingers through Booth’s as a way of saying thanks.
They hold hands until they reach the car. Booth slips on his sunglasses as he gets behind the wheel of the car. Ok, he says and starts the car.
These are the things Booth fears when he is younger: something – anything – happening to Parker, ruining his relationship with his partner, turning into a Squint, dying alone, clowns, falling back into his gambling habit, something happening to Bones.
As a parent, Booth worries about Parker every minute of every day. It doesn’t always bubble to the surface but it’s there, in every cell, a constant thought in the back of his mind. But he learns you can’t protect children from everything and you have to have faith everything will be fine.
Booth has faith.
This is why he kisses Brennan in her office when there is no mistletoe present.
Brennan continues to experiment with her food, just like Carly taught her, and she fails at meatloaf but succeeds at almost everything else. Booth’s the only one who eats her creations – Booth and his bottomless appetite, his quick grin, his enthusiasm and praise – and afterwards, sometimes they discuss a case and sometimes they watch a movie. Booth tries to make her watch culturally relevant movies but she still says I don’t know what that means to 99.9% of his references.
These nights are Dates, with a capital d, but neither says anything because there’s a balance and it’s fragile until one day, there isn’t a balance, only whispers in the dark and giggles in the shower.
She gets pregnant once. Except Brennan’s the type that gets too lost in her work to count periods and so she doesn’t know she’s pregnant until she’s hunched over from pain, the miscarriage ripping through her very soul.
She stays in the hospital for a few days, under doctor’s watch. She rationalizes the whole thing, talks about extra chromosomes and risks for mothers over 35, and complains there is nothing worth watching on TV. Booth sits with her the whole time. He doesn’t say much, just flips a picture of Parker through his fingers, as if to console himself with a reminder of his living child. Brennan doesn’t cry, until Angela comes in alone, without her four babies, and hugs her too tightly with an exhale. Sweetie.
She dreams of her mother that night and how she wanted to name her baby Christine.
Booth likes to say his prayers at night before he goes to bed. It’s one of the things Brennan just seems to learn about him without really realizing. He keeps a rosary in his bedside table and his hands, hands that have been so many things to so many people – protector, aggressor, lover, savior, friend - clutch at the beads as his lips move silently to words only he knows. Brennan doesn’t understand it, this faith in something unseen and unproven, but she’s fascinated by the way Booth closes his eyes and believes in a way she’s never been able to, except for in the facts.
She asks him what he prays for once and he looks at her – looks through her – and says, “Everything.”
It’s impossible to pray for everything, Brennan knows this, but she sees the way his shoulders hunch sometimes, as if they are carrying the weight of the world, and she believes.
Somewhere along the way, Booth learns that temperance means moderation.
He’s never really felt the need for any when it comes to her.
They grow old together.
He turns 50 first and Brennan surprises him with a big party, full of familiar faces and garish party favors, and they make out in the back of the room when they think no one is looking.
“Please guys,” Angela says from behind them and Booth can practically feel her eye roll. “Get a room.”
“We have one, for later,” Brennan tells her and Hodgins smiles big.
“Think the old guy is going to be able to keep up? I’ve heard turning 50 is a mental thing. Realistically, you are only one day older than yesterday but then the big day gets here and …”
“Knock if off, Hodgins,” Booth growls, running a hand through his hair. It’s going gray now, salt and pepper really, and he’s kept it short. There are laugh lines near his eyes and worry lines on his forehead and he’s still the most handsome man in the room. “You’re next.”
“I could care less about turning 50,” he retorts but there’s a muted panic behind his eyes.
“Actually, that’s a misphrase,” Brennan says. “I could care less implies that there is some sort of caring on a level … ” They argue about the phrase and its meanings for a few minutes, even getting Cam to wander over and join in.
“All right, all right,” Booth whines. “Bad enough I married the Squint that started all this, now all of you are crowding me at my party?” But Booth’s a teddy bear and he’s smiling and later, when someone takes a picture of Booth and the Squints in over the hill party hats, he frames it and puts it on his desk, right next to Parker.
Parker marries a pretty blonde from college named Meghan. At the rehearsal dinner, Booth finds Brennan earnestly complimenting Meghan about her good gene structure and birthing hips, suggesting she and Parker are a good match that will have beautiful offspring.
Booth puts his hand on the small of her back, the pressure light but persistent. “O-kay, Bones, let’s not scare Meghan too much the night before her wedding. C’mon, leave her alone.”
“What?” Brennan shrugs at him, lets him lead her away. “Anthropologically speaking, Parker and Meghan have found a mate in each other that – ”
Booth tunes her out, winking at Meghan above Brennan’s head. Parker comes up next to his fiancée and shakes his head. “Sorry,” he crinkles his nose. “It’s just Bones, ya know? You get used to it after a while.”
Meghan smiles softly, watching Parker’s father and stepmother bicker as they sit down, focused only on each other. “I want to be that in love when we reach their age, ok?”
Parker kisses her softly on the lips. “Ok.”
The only vacation on which Brennan does not look at bones is the one Booth surprises her with: a week and a half cruise around the Eastern Caribbean for their 25th anniversary of becoming partners. That’s the anniversary that means the most to them, because it’s their foundation, their glue, their reason for being.
Booth thanks god every night that their relationship is not just coffee.
Brennan’s been to Iraq and Guatemala, she’s been threatened, shot at, and buried alive but she somehow manages to get incredibly sea sick and spends at least half the cruise in bed, loopy on Dramamine. Booth sits with her and they watch the ship’s own television channel, the amateur footage of the cruise’s version of the Newlywed Game and endless parade of drunk college students in togas, and they laugh.
They come back to work as pale as they left, Brennan’s even skinnier, and it is the best vacation they ever go on.
Cam retires first.
“It’s time, Seeley,” she tells him, packing up her desk. “I have a good pension. I’ve spent the majority of my life interacting with dead bodies and bone experts, it’s time I join the living.” There’s sadness in her eyes though, as Hodgins gives her a corpse made of spam and Angela a framed sketch of the lab. Brennan simply gives her a hug because it took a while but they’ve finally learned to work harmoniously together.
Cam absolutely refuses a party so they have one last dinner at the diner. No one is surprised when Cam finally gets married a few years later, to a former county coroner of all things.
There is one case that they don’t solve. They identify the body, inform the parents, but can’t get enough evidence to make leads concrete. There are no unique particulates, the murder weapon is generic, the boy’s life appears normal and unassuming. Even with an ID, the parents’ only have partial closure at best and it haunts Brennan for months.
Years later, it is the only case file that resides on her bedside table.
A lot of people like to ask how they fell in love. The story of how they met is sweet but lots of people meet through work. Most want more - they expect, since Brennan is an author, a story, one that ends with an aw.
Brennan always shrugs, “I don’t know.”
It’s not glamorous, their truth. Somewhere in between the bodies and the bones and the bickering, they fell in love. It takes some time for their brains to catch up to their hearts, for the “forced” kiss under the mistletoe to become the frantic kiss in her hallway or the gentle kiss in Booth’s kitchen. There’s no heartfelt declarations, no discussion of should we-shouldn’t we, there is simply Bones and Booth and one day it becomes BonesandBooth. It’s that simple because it wasn’t that simple for so long beforehand. Before, there was Jasper and Brainy Smurf and guys hugs and take out just because the lights were on. Now there are real hugs and kisses and sharing a bed at night to ward off the demons.
Now, they grow old together. And isn’t that a story right there?
(Booth has a story. Ask him – he’s the one who remembers what she was wearing and how she smelled the first time they kissed in her office. He’ll tell you about how the night he got Brennan to laugh until she cried, he asked her to marry him. How he’s still not sure who was more surprised when she said yes, him or her. He’s always been the one who handles the stories, the motives. Brennan’s about the facts – and the fact is, she married him when she was opposed to marriage and that she loves him more than she ever loved bones.)
(But if you really want Brennan’s story, you should just read her book dedications.)
Brennan dies first. It’s cancer but its quick – too quick because one holiday she is fine and the next she’s not and then she’s simply gone. You don’t get closure with a surreal experience like that and Booth’s movements are languid and confused in the days after.
He thinks of the day, years and years ago, when she felt that attending his funeral would be a waste of time. He tries to smile but his throat closes and his eyes feel moist.
She donates her body to science and even though it breaks Booth’s heart to think of medical students cutting up her body, examining her bones, he can’t imagine anything except this for her afterlife. She remained steadfast against organized religion and its principles, even after all those years with him, but Booth whispers see you soon right before her final breath and she looks him in the eye and smiles.
He dies a few weeks later because he’d never made her a promise he didn’t keep.
“Special Agent Seeley Booth and this is my partner – ”
“I can introduce myself. Doctor Temperance Brennan. Where are the remains?”
“Over here, Ms. Brennan.”
“I don’t know what that means.”
They smile, a little too long, until Bones crouches down. “Female, age 25-30…”
come down and waste away with me.
down with me –
slow how, you wanted it to be.
I'm over my head, out of her head - she sang.
and I wonder,
when I sing along with you -
if everything could ever feel this real forever?
if anything could ever be this good again?
+ everlong, foo fighters