The last two days had been a whirlwind of flights and deep emotions, both Brennan and Booth were exhausted. Brennan lay in the bed next to Booth reviewing the sequence of every detail in her mind and committing each to memory. She would not forget their first kiss after revealing her love for Booth.
It had been in the shadow of the Washington Monument as the sunset on the reflecting pool. Booth had shown her the tarot card from Avalon that detailed the exact time she would surrender her heart to the man that she had come to trust undoubtedly. It had been slow and deliberate, as he brought her close enough she could feel the heat of his body and his hot breath against her cheek. She had placed her hands on the nape of his neck and stretched her fingers gently in to his hair, while his hands had slid to her hips. He gently nuzzled her nose and she was entranced by his scent. She was becoming drunk on the seduction and could no longer hear the traffic or sounds of the city. She could only feel her heart beating so quickly in her chest. Booth gently brushed his lips against hers and without hesitation she responded and pressed deeply in to the kiss. It was all she could do to keep her strength and remain standing.
Even now the thought of it brought excitement to her heart. She turned over to Booth who lay on the right side of the bed on his back, gently snoring, and ran her arm across his chest and placed her head on his shoulder. Her touch had roused him from the dream he was weaving in his mind. It had all been true this time and he pulled her close until he could feel her body against his.
How was this going to work she thought to herself? Would they ever work on cases again with each other or would their careers go down different paths now. Brennan knew that they would have to figure some of the details out as to how this new development in their relationship was going to proceed.
Booth could feel Brennan’s tension in her body even with his eyes closed. She was already trying to process what had happened and plan the next steps from here. In a whisper he said, “Temperance… sleep and we’ll discuss it in the morning. For now let things happen as they may.”
It was all so much change in so few hours and when she did resolve to let her mind disengage for the night, morning seemed to come too soon. The smell of coffee had drawn her from her cocoon within the sheets and pillows. She turned over and stretched, trying to open her eyes to the light penetrating the bedroom window. She sat up when she heard the sounds of shuffling approaching the bedroom door that peaked out towards the living area.
Booth had thought that coffee would be a good start to a new day and a new beginning with Brennan. He slowly approached the bedroom with two mugs and hoped that she had awoken without regrets. As he rounded the doorway he could see where she sat upright in the bed with the sheet across her and pillow behind her tousle of brown hair.
Booth was a sight to behold in the morning. The muscles on his chest flexed slightly and he wore a pair of Superman pajama bottoms. Brennan could see the scar that lay to the left of his heart, where he had taken a bullet for her at the Checker Box. Afterwards, Booth had then been under orders to fake his death and Brennan had not been informed about the devious plan to flush out a foe of Booth’s and the FBI. The thought of what would happen to her if she ever lost Booth still lingered in the back of her mind. This morning sight made Brennan smile though at his obvious display of a hero complex. Sweets had been right about that feature of Booth’s personality, he was every bit of a knight in shining armor.
Booth had to crack a smile at Brennan’s look. She had inspected him as he walked through the doorway. In a slightly joking tone he attempted to defend his pajama bottoms. “Okay, Parker gave these to me last Christmas, this is the first time I have actually worn them…really!”
This made Brennan chuckle slightly. God she looked beautiful in his bed and he knew that was where she should have been every morning from the first time they meet. It was hard to fight back the feeling of pure desire at this moment, but he knew he had better prepare for the on-slot of questions that he was about to face, like being in front of a firing squad.
“Good morning!” Booth said handing Brennan a cup of coffee.
“Good Morning,” Brennan replied with a sheepish smile.
Booth sat down on the edge of the bed next to her, taking a sip of the caffeinated elixir. He would need a clear head as quick as he could for the possible discussion that he knew would be coming. Brennan sipped the coffee with a look of satisfaction. However, Brennan’s look changed to one of concern quickly and all Booth could think was Please, God help me!
“I think your back problems are the result of this mattress Booth," Brennan said adjusting herself and with a serious crease in her brow. "Seriously there are some stiff spots that could cause pressure points!”
He released a relieved laugh; this had not been what he expected their first conversation would be following the events of last night.
“What?” Brennan responded surprised by Booth's laugh.
“Sometimes you still surprise me Temperance, that’s all!”
Brennan smiled and added, “Your expectations were that I would want to discuss the development in our relationship right away. Which I can understand, but I have made a decision Booth and I am going forward with finding a different outcome. I am committed to this, as I hope you are too.”
“You know I am! So where do we go from here?” Booth inquired.
“First I go home and get some fresh clothes, whereas you will do… whatever it is…that you need to do since coming home." Brennan knew that there were things they both needed to address since returning to DC. "I’m sure you should see Parker and your grandfather. There are other things we need to figure out too, as neither of us really have jobs at this moment.”
Booth sat quiet for a moment, trying to digest where things were headed before replying, “That’s my Bones, life goes on as normal!”
Brennan leaned forward to where Booth was sitting with her head tilted slightly so she could read his expression, “Booth this isn’t some dream where we never have to leave this room. Life does continue on and we will be living it together from here on out.”
Booth could not resist this and reached out with one hand, pulling her head to his and planting a kiss on those delicious lips. She was right and he had better be ready for the ride. It was reassuring for Booth, knowing Brennan would be right there with him. She stuck to her choices and she had made it clear what her choice was.
“I will be ready in a little while and then we can get something to eat. I know that you don’t have much in the kitchen since just getting back and I am starving!” Brennan said as she slid from the bed towards the bathroom.
Booth pulled away and sipped his coffee again with a grin.
After Brennan had dressed, Booth agreed to drive Brennan back to her apartment after they stopped for a good breakfast at the Royal Diner, which had been their favorite when they worked cases together. It had been a fairly quiet breakfast and Booth didn’t want the car ride to be the same.
Booth breeched the silence, “Have you given Ange and Hodgins a call yet, or let Cam know that you were back yet?”
“No not yet, but I should see if the Jeffersonian would be interested in me coming back to continue the identification of war causalities," Brennan said looking out the passenger door window. "There is also my current research from the Maluku dig, which I need to submit my findings on and which may also prove important to the Jeffersonian." Brennan reflected a moment and then continued, "As far as Ange and Hodgins, I had an email from them in Paris saying they would not be back to DC until next week. The Cantilever Group is making some important contributions and they want Hodgins and Ange there. How about you? Do you think you will go back to the FBI?”
Booth shifted in his seat, he had not thought that far ahead and had only concentrated on getting back to Brennan. He thought quickly, “Caroline said to give her a call if I made it back alive and she would see what could be done. So I don’t know what I will be doing until then. I will let Rebecca and Parker know that I am back, maybe go to the park with Parker next weekend. “
Brennan, looking a little hesitant before asking, “Are you going to tell them about what has happened? Between us I mean.”
Booth looked straight ahead down the road as he responded, “At some point I will have to let Rebecca know that things have changed between you and me and then we will have to talk about how it might affect Parker.”
Booth knew Parker would be happy with the change, he would ask if that meant more time at Brennan’s pool, but he wasn’t sure how Rebecca would respond. He had received a letter, while in Afghanistan, from her informing him that she and Drew were now engaged and planning an informal wedding in September on the island of Assateague. It had become their favorite family vacation spot. Parker had loved the Fireman’s round-up of the Chincoteague ponies and the beach. With his relationship to Brennan changing and the year he was away, this could make Rebecca change her feelings towards how much time he would spend with Parker and it could be negative. He secretly hoped that this September he could convince Rebecca to let Parker stay with him while the happy couple went on their honeymoon.
Brennan knew things with Rebecca could be delicate. “Are you afraid she might not like the situation?”
Booth glanced at Brennan quickly, “Yeah… but she will be happy that I have found someone for myself. She and Drew are getting married, did I tell you that?”
Brennan was shocked to hear the news, “No you didn’t. Are you happy for her?”
“I am glad she has finally found someone to make her happy and that takes good care of Parker too,” Booth answered honestly.
“Then it’s Parker you are worried about... I didn’t think about that!” Brennan had known that Parker had hoped his mom and dad would reconcile, but Rebecca and Booth knew it would never happen.
Booth looked across at Brennan and noted the concern on her face. “Yeah…Hey I will take care of it Temperance. Look the important thing is, how am I going to introduce you to him now? I mean I don’t want him calling you Auntie Bones, now do I?”
Brennan had to laugh at that. Parker had always called her Bones, just like his dad had and now what was she suppose to be. It was a little odd for Brennan to consider having a child suddenly in her life too. She had spent a little time with Parker and so had her father, Max. She would have to do more research and find out what he liked to do. She knew Parker liked baseball, he was a rather well behaved child, dead things didn’t bother him, and he seemed to have an interest in science. This would have to be her connecting point with Parker she decided.
Booth slowed as he pulled up in front of her apartment. It felt odd to be here in the middle of the day and good at the same time to Brennan.
Booth acknowledged their arrival as he looked up out the front windshield, “Well here we are. Do you want to have dinner out later tonight? Or do you want me to come by and we could eat in?” The last question had been asked with Booth’s typical sly smile.
“How about meeting up at 7:30pm at the Founding Fathers?” Brennan suggested.
Brennan was about to get out as usual and had started to open her door, when she realized this wasn’t a typical day with Booth doing an investigation. This was the end of their first night together and with a whole new meaning to every action. She stopped and leaned over towards the driver’s seat. She kissed Booth softly and said with a sly smile of her own, “I’ll see you later partner!”
Brennan entered her apartment and gently closed the door. As she lean there against it, she realized that her life had just taken a huge turn and she hadn’t felt this unsure about how things would go since graduating college. She had to get some order to her life again and needed to get some things taken care of. She thought it best to make a list and work her way through it, right after showering and getting some fresh clothes on. Maybe she would call Russ and check-up on Max. Who knows what trouble he had gotten into while she was away.
Booth watched as Brennan entered her building and then dialed Caroline’s number at the FBI. He hoped the FBI would be able to take him back again. He had been a great agent with them, but part of that had been Bone’s doing. Their teamwork had solved so many of the really tough cases. The phone rang twice and when Caroline answered it was that familiar southern draw and no nonsense sound that put Booth at ease, “Caroline Julian, what can I do for you?”
“Hey, Caroline it's Seeley Booth. I just got back into town and was wondering if I could stop by and check-in with you?”
Caroline sounded surprised, “Ooh Cherie, it is good to hear from you. We have been trying to track you down. Can you be in my office in the next 40 minutes?”
Booth caught the urgency in Caroline's voice, “Yeah, what’s happened that’s so important you need to see me right away?”
“I think it best that we wait till you get here and then we’ll discuss details,” Caroline finished on a quiet note.
Booth was intrigued as to what was up, “I’ll be in ASAP Caroline.”
It was a bit unnerving to Booth that Caroline was unwilling to discuss what was happening with him on the phone. He hoped it didn’t involve Parker or Rebecca. He decided to give them a quick call and let them know he was back as well. The phone rang a couple of times, as he drove onwards to the FBI headquarters.
A familiar female voice finally answered, "Hello?"
“Hey, Rebecca its Seeley.”
“Oh my God, when did you get in?” Rebecca said quickly.
“Yesterday, late.” Booth's mind flashed through the incredible journey he had made.
“Parker isn’t here he is with Drew on his way to school,” Rebecca tried hard to keep the conversation brief.
“I just wanted to let you know that I am back and I wanted to find out if everything was alright with your guys?” Booth knew Rebecca was trying to cut things short.
The question caught Rebecca off guard. “You mean Drew and me?”
“You and Drew still planning to get married this September?”
Rebecca realized that her letter had made it to Booth overseas. “Yeah, we will need to find a time to talk about that…I mean with regards to Parker and how things will work out.” There was uneasiness to her tone.
Booth didn't want to stir the pot, so he backed off, “I figured so. Hey have Parker give me a call when he gets home from school, okay? I have a meeting to get to, take care.”
Rebecca shook her head a little while she listened, as if acknowledging Booth's attempt to have a civil conversation. “I’ll have him do that, bye!”
Booth was truly relieved. Parker and Rebecca were okay, Brennan was home, so Booth was intrigued as to what Caroline could have in store for him. When he arrived at the J Edgar Hoover Building the front desk staff directed him to the conference room on the fifth floor. Caroline, Sweets, and another staff member were in the room with the television on to CNN. Caroline turned immediately as Booth entered.
Caroline (with an anxious look on her face): “What took you so long to get here Cherie?”
Booth: “What is it? What’s going on?”
He could see that Sweets had a tight distressed look on his face and had only glanced as Booth entered the room. The aide was focused on the TV with his arms folded and one hand on his mouth.
Caroline (looking surprised at Booth): “Then you haven’t heard what has happened on Maluku?”
Booth (looking stunned): “That is the dig site that Brennan was at, right? What happened on Maluku?”
Caroline: “The Indonesian government has released a statement that they believe it was pirates that attacked the area. A united team of Indonesian and U.S Navy Seals have secured the island and found the archeological site destroyed. They have also found remains, but no identities have been discovered yet. “
Booth’s heart hit his stomach. Daisy was still there and other members of the research team.
Caroline: “They have not been able to confirm whether Dr. Brennan’s remains have been found.” She added rather solemnly, “I am sorry Booth.”
Booth: “They won’t find them there. She has been with me the last 12 hours. She is at her apartment as we speak.”
Booth looked at Sweets. He could tell how hard Sweets was trying to hold it together. Daisy and Sweets had broken up before Daisy had left for Maluku, but he could tell that Sweets still had feelings for her.
Booth: “Were there any survivors that escaped?”
Caroline looked at Sweets and then silently shook her head no. Booth took a deep breath and looked at the ceiling quickly. Refocusing and standing now with his hands on his hips, Booth thought of anything that he could do.
Booth: “Are they sending the remains back to the States soon?”
Caroline: “Yes. Why?”
Booth: “Let me call Dr. Saroyan at the Jeffersonian and see if she can pull some strings to do the autopsies. This type of incident should involve the best forensics lab in the nation. Let me contact Dr. Brennan as well and see she what information or details she can provide.”
Caroline: “Look at you right back in the swing of things, even before the pen is on paper! I wish it had been under better conditions though Cherie.”
Booth (walking over to where Sweets is sitting): “I am so sorry Sweets. I know how you felt about Daisy and I only hope that they are wrong about survivors.” Booth put his hand on Sweets left shoulder. Dr. Sweets could not talk and only nodded that he comprehended. Booth turned and looked at Caroline.
Booth: “I’ll get started right away. I’ll go back to Brennan’s apartment and let her know what has happened and then probably stop at the Jeffersonian. I know I am not official FBI yet, but how quickly can you get my paperwork processed?”
Caroline: “Ted just needs to pull your most recent military record and for you to sign on the dotted line for now. The rest we will handle in the next few days. For now we will treat you like a consultant on this matter. That okay with you Booth!”
Booth: “Yeah, I’ll be in contact as we go. Thanks Caroline!”
Booth left the conference room and knew he had to break the news to Brennan. She wouldn’t have turned on the TV like every other American in the nation as she had never thought it a valid source of information and never bothered to buy one. This was not going to be an easy day.
Booth hung up after calling Cam at the Jeffersonian and continued to make his way back to Brennan’s apartment.
Dr. Saroyan had heard the reports early this morning and was hoping for the best when it came to news about Dr. Brennan and Daisy. Booth’s call was unexpected and had left her with mixed emotions. Dr. Brennan was safe, but Daisy, was another thing. No matter how boisterous she could be, Daisy did not deserve this type of thing to happen to her. Cam agreed to see what she could do to get the remains sent to the Jeffersonian. It was only right for Daisy to come home, where she would receive the respect her remains deserved.
How do I say this, Booth thought to himself, how do I tell her that the research team including Daisy were dead? He knew Bones would go into scientist mode and correct him by saying that they did not know for sure who was dead until they could identify the remains positively. Something this tragic was not a good way to start being home, especially when Brennan came to realize that she would be the only survivor of the research party. She knew these people and they were, in a way, her kin folk. Booth knew what it was like when a single soldier died or a comrade in the FBI was killed. To Brennan these were the top dogs of her field, all that had been discovered was now gone. He knew she would morn the lost of that knowledge deeply.
The phone in her apartment rang just as Brennan had finished getting dressed and as she was about to start blow-drying her hair. She quickly put up her hair with a clip and went to the living room to grab the phone.
Angela: “Oh thank God sweetie! Your there…your back in DC!” There was a great deal of concern in Ange’s voice and you could hear her relate the information to whom Brennan assumed was Hodgins. “You are okay and that is what matters!”
Brennan: “What are you talking about Ange? Oh… I know you remembered the promise I had to keep with Booth and you thought I wouldn’t make it back, didn’t you? Well I made it and everything is fine Ange.”
At that moment there was a knock at the door.
Brennan: “Hold on Ange, there is someone here. I have to grab the door!”
Brennan pressed the phone to her shoulder and she could hear Ange continue to talk in protest. When she opened the door it was Booth and he was standing with a solemn look on his face. She placed the phone back to her ear and interrupted Angela’s one way conversation she was engaged in.
Brennan: “Hey Ange, it’s Booth, can you hold on.”
Booth: “Hey…I uh…I have some important news for you Temperance. You might want to sit down.”
Brennan knew this look. It was something serious she could tell by his demeanor.
Booth: “Who are you talking to?”
Brennan: “It’s Angela, calling from Paris I think.”
Booth: “Can you tell Angela you’ll call her back in a little while.”
Brennan did as he asked and told Angela she would call her back and hung up the phone quickly. Booth led the way to the couch and waited as Brennan took a seat.
Booth: “Apparently there has been an international incident that took place within the last couple of days. It has made the news and it involves you and the research team.”
Booth paused trying to gather strength for what he was about to tell her.
Booth (with a softness to his voice): “There was an attack that took place on Maluku. The officials involved in doing the investigation are fairly certain that it was pirates in the area after technology and supplies. The dig site was destroyed and they have not found any of the researchers alive.”
He hesitated a moment hoping everything was sinking in to Brennan. “There were several sets of remains found near and around the campsite and some on the beach as well. They will be sending the remains back to the States to be identified soon. There will also be people wanting to talk with you, as it appears you are the only survivor from the island. You might be able to help in some way.”
All he could do now is wait for Brennan’s reaction and try to comfort her when she realized what exactly had happened to the research team.
Brennan: “That’s...that’s why Angela called! She was checking to see if I was alive! Oh my god Booth! You said only survivor…but we can’t know that until all the remains are processed and identified!”
Booth had been right, the scientist was taking over and Brennan was compartmentalizing what had happened.
Booth: “You should also know that I have spoken to Caroline at the FBI and they are willing to take me back and allow me to work as a consultant on this until everything is through the system.”
Brennan (still a little in shock): “Were they able to identify everyone?”
Booth: “From my understanding the bodies had not been identified and they were in pretty bad shape. Some had been thrown in the open pit where you had been digging”
Brennan (she was now standing and moving towards the dining room): “Where are they sending the bodies for identification?”
Booth (with a small smile and moving towards Brennen): “I am one step ahead of you and I have already put a call into Cam. She agrees the Jeffersonian should be involved in the identification. She would like to talk with you as soon as possible.”
Brennan: “Then we should go right away! I have pictures of each team member and pictures of the dig remains. There is a good chance that the most recent remains will be intermingled with the fossilized remains.”
Booth (standing close and looking Brennan in the eye): “Are you sure you are ready for this? I mean… this is a chance for both of us to get our jobs back, but it also means that we’ll be working together and dating at the same time. We need to agree that we leave work at work and that WE make time for each other for our relationship. Agreed?”
Brennan: “Agreed.” Booth had surprised her with how serious he was about this. “Wow Booth that is the most rational thing I have heard you say since being back. I think that setting the ground rules to our relationship and work is…an important first step.”
Booth (nodding his head in agreement): “Good…”
Brennan: “Good…Can we go now?”
Booth: “Yes…I’m driving!”