Evolve or Die
Post Season Five: Brennan and Booth have gone their separate ways after a difficult goodbye. Brennan heads to the Maluku Islands with Daisy and Booth to Afghanistan.
Post Season Five: Brennan and Booth have gone their separate ways after a difficult goodbye. Brennan heads to the Maluku Islands with Daisy and Booth to Afghanistan.
Daisy: “Dr. Brennen I think we are being invaded by ants, they have completely taken over the tent site.”
Brennen: “In fact it is us that have invaded their territory and provided them with an easy resource of food. We will need to make an adjustment to the camp. Do we know where they are coming from?”
Daisy: “It appears they come from that tree with the thorns.”
Brennen: “Ahh, the Acacia species is known to have a symbiotic relationship with several species of ants.”
Daisy: “Really! Symbiotic?”
Brennen: “Yes, the Acacia tree weeps sweet syrup for the ants and often the ants build nests in the thorns of the plant. In return the ants defend the Acacia from predators or even other invasive plants.”
Daisy: “I get it; it is like a partnership between the two species. Similar to what we have discovered about the early humanoids on this island. They were both trapped here and in some way formed a relationship!”
Brennen: “I don’t know that we can make that presumption Daisy. The remains that we found indicate there was reproduction due to an interaction between the two humanoid species, but we do not know if it was the result of a partnership or sexual brutality between the species. Remember we do not postulate we find evidence that leads to the truth.”
Daisy: “But that is the only thing that will explain the flower petals then!”
Brennen: “What are you talking about Daisy?”
Daisy: “Remember the plant material we found on the remains, well Dr. Asher, the forensic botanist, looked at it and determined it was flower petals that had been put around the neck of the H. floresiensis remains. She found pollen granules and stamen still intact. Quite an amazing find really!”
Brennen (excited): “That means the remains were ceremoniously adorned before burial and that is inconsistent with the other remains that we found on the other side of the island where the H. floreisiensis had a camp and left the corpses of their dead to rot in a cave. That means there was a connection to this Homo floresiensis by this group of Homo sapiens, so the reproduction was the result of a mutual interaction!”
Daisy: “Yea, I guess so! How romantic!! Two species with nothing in common finding love on this island. It would have been like you and Booth in a way.”
Brennen (looking confused): “I don’t see the connection…”
Daisy: “…well obviously you two had nothing in common. Yet, you developed a relationship like the ants and the Acacia, symbiotic; you took care of and protected each other. Your partnership would have evolved to a relationship. Of course the next logical step would have been to reproduce, but being that we are now a more cognitively developed species and you are such a brilliant scientist, you have shown me that as a woman I can choose a career over a relationship…”
Brennen: “…I guess so, any matter Daisy we need to have the tents moved away from the tree. Can you find the site coordinator and make the arrangements.”
Brennen walks over to the dig site and looks at the almost complete remains that have been exposed and with a slight frown says to herself “I do not know how to make it work?”
Dr. Asher: “Do not know how to make what work?”
Brennen: “Sorry, I was just thinking about how two species could make that jump to reproduce with each other. They were so different.”
Dr. Asher (older graying lady): “Necessity Dr. Brennen, necessity! Sometimes nature leads us to make a jump, take a risk, and break through the flood gates. Evolve or die! We just know what we have to do and it feels right. From the evidence you have gathered, both camps were dying and they needed each other to continue to thrive and reproduce. The fractures you found on the skeleton of H. floresiensis, on his tibia, would signify that this guy had an injury and the other humanoids took care of him. One of the females may have become close with her patient and then …well that is the stuff the great romance novels are made of, isn’t it Dr. Brennen? ”
Brennan: “Even still, is that enough to have made these two species come together in this way?”
Dr. Asher: “Dr. Brennan, let me put it into a picture you can understand. This reminds me of my Harold. I meet a young fireman when I was a little younger than you, maybe about Daisy’s age. I was working on my doctorate at the time, when our building at the university had been evacuated due to an experiment that went wrong in one of the labs. I was trying to find out if we could re-enter the building, when I ran into this handsome fireman. I was not attracted to him, at first; I had nothing in common with him. But over time he continued to pursue my attentions and eventually we feel in love. It was our choice to be together. That is what makes us different from the other species of this world. Attraction is a thing of nature, Dr. Brennan – but choosing to act on that attraction or not is what makes us human!”
Brennan: “Did it work out for you two then? Was choosing Harold right for you?”
Dr. Asher: “Yes, but I regret waiting so long. I lost so much time, because I put things on hold all the time, with this dig or that research project. I miss the memories I could have been making with him so much sooner. You know we didn’t have children, because I waited so long before I put my whole heart into the relationship. Harold stuck it out and waited right along with me, because he loved me so much! Oh well, listen to me ramble on. I hope that you understand what it is Dr. Brennan that drives us to make the choices that we do.”
Brennen flashed back to Booth’s face and him saying that he just knows. She knows she must evolve or die; that she has to be the one to break through the floodgate. Booth had stuck it out to long on his own, like Harold. She did not want to waste any more time and miss making memories with Booth.
(Man in the distance): “The boat is ready to return to mainland for more supplies, any last requests?”
Brennen: “YES!! One moment please!” Brennen turns and walks briskly towards the tents.
Daisy: “Dr. Brennen? What are you doing?”
Brennen: “I have got a promise I have to keep Daisy.”
Daisy: “You’re leaving! This is just crazy Dr. Brennen you cannot leave in the middle of the dig…we are not done yet!”
Brennen (grabbing her computer): “Why not? I have everything I need from the dig and I can analyze more back home and write up my report there. Sometimes life is more than just work Daisy.”
Brennen grabs her bag and walks towards the boat dock, stopping when she gets to Dr. Asher.
Brennen: “Thank you for your insight and perspective!”
Brennen gets into the boat and takes a deep breath and looks up into the sky.
(Sky shot) Plane flies over head (pans to the ground) Booth is saluting another soldier and shakes his hand at a desert airstrip.
Soldier: “Wish we could make you stay Master Sergeant. Your training has been invaluable to our soldiers.”
Booth: “I appreciate the complement sir, but I have to focus on my family. Parker has been without a Dad for a year and my Gramps is not doing well now. So thank you, but no thank you! Anyways I have a promise to keep tomorrow and a long flight ahead of me.”
Soldier: “Do you think Dr. Brennen will be there?”
Booth: “How do you know about that?”
Soldier: “Reprimanded for sneaking off base the first week you report back to duty…it’s in your file Master Sergeant!”
Booth (smiles): “Right…She’ll be there, she’s my partner and a promise is a promise.”
Soldier: “You know sir you were closer to her in here in Afghanistan, when she was in Indonesia, than you may be if you go back and she does not feel the same about your partnership after being away.”
Booth: “I am willing to take that gamble.”
Soldier: “Good luck sir!”
The soldier gives a final salute and Booth returns it. Booth turns and runs for a carrier plane and disappears onto the tail ramp.
It was like this day would never end. It had been a grueling boat ride to Ambon and luckily she had been able to find a flight from Pattimura airport to Singapore. From Singapore there was a red-eye flight to London Heathrow. If everything worked out for Brennan, she estimated she would be in DC by late afternoon. How long would he wait?
Seeley had become accustom to the mind numbing sound of the prop engines and closed his eyes for some much needed rest. His mind kept going back to the body of the little girl in the compound outside of Kabul where they had been sent to investigate for insurgents. He could feel the cool stone and mud walls and see the dirt floor where the body lay just inside the door way. There had been reports of marauding Taliban groups in the area, invading homes and killing families.
The body of the little child was just inside the doorway in the middle of the floor. He had taken point with this patrol group, as most were young and he didn’t trust their shot. She was dead and there was nothing he could do about it. As they entered the main room, he sent the two patrolmen behind him to the adjacent kitchen area to his right to check if there were others. The quick movement from the vacant doorway straight ahead had caught him off guard and pulled him instantly away from his thoughts of Parker. In a split second the shot rang out.
Seeley’s eyes popped open and the realization that he was on his way home took a moment to sink in. He remembered that he drew and fired without hesitation and the man in the long, white, cotton robes fell to the ground. That had been too close. They would never know if it was family or foe to the little girl they had fought, but he asked forgiveness and thanked Saint Christopher for the protection he had given that day. They would be at the Army base in Heidelberg soon and then a direct flight to DC.
The last time Brennan had been at Heathrow it was awaiting a flight back home with Booth after solving her good friend Dr. Ian Wexler’s murder. A small smile lifted the corners of her mouth. Booth had hated driving in London; he practically had killed the poor Mini they had rented. She wondered what became of Inspector Kate Pritchard of the Scotland Yard. She should have learned then that what she and Booth had could not be taken for granted. Pritchard and Wexler had not denied their desires for each other, why had she.
Exhausted Brennan slept well on the flight home. It would be good to sleep in her own bed again or would she? She could not remember the feel of his arms, only his hand in hers and that look on his face the last time she had turned around. What would she say, what would she do when she saw him. She had not prepared and it had to be the right words, she had to remain rational in that moment.
German beer was good and the next flight made Seeley anxious. What to do first when he arrived in DC, go to the house, call Rebecca and Parker, or check on Gramps. His mind flew through the thoughts. All he wanted was to go directly to Brennan, but they hadn’t set a time, just a place – by the reflecting pool on the mall at the coffee stand. God it was killing him, how long would Brennan wait?
It was 4:47pm when Brennan entered her apartment. The seven and a half hour flight from London had landed early, but the line through customs had eaten up any time that she had gained. It was a race against the clock, but Brennan was desperate for a shower and to rid herself of the last jungle grim. As she quickly undressed and began the hot water, she realized that everything felt a little too quiet and still. In the jungle there was never quiet, especially if Daisy was around. The last day and a half had been full of airports and plenty of white noise. Being home was a bit unnerving, or was it just the adrenaline that was starting to pulse through her veins. She didn’t know what she had expected when she walked in that front door.
The Beltway had been a killer and Booth had finally made it to his apartment door. As he came in something white tried to blow across the floor. It was a letter that someone had shoved under his door and it simply had his name on it “Seeley Booth”. Setting his duffle bag next to the living room couch, he quickly retrieved the envelope from the entrance hall. Slowly he opened it, not recognizing the hand writing. There was an odd card inside that he suddenly recognized. Turning it over he could see the writing on the back and with a chuckle and excited relief headed straight to the bathroom for a clean-up.
Brennan dressed without worry of what to wear. Booth had seen her in everything from formal dresses to costumes, so Brennan didn’t feel the need to try and impress him. 5:30pm and the taxi was on time and she had better get going if she wanted to get to the mall before dark. The ride went quickly as she tried to organize her thoughts. Suddenly the taxi came to a screeching halt.
Brennan (to the driver): “Why are you stopping?”
Driver: “There is a peace rally going on at the Lincoln Memorial, its got traffic all backed up!”
Brennan: “How far away are we?”
Driver: “Couple of blocks.”
Brennan: “I will walk thank you, you can pull-over here.”
Brennan walked briskly along the side-walk until the Lincoln Memorial came into site. The bell on the Cathedral rang out six o’clock. Oh God, she thought, this place is teeming with people. She could walk right by Booth and miss him completely. All she could do is focus on getting to the coffee cart. By the time she had waded through the mob of people and found the cart, there was a slight moment of panic. What if he had already been here? Should I call him, go to his house? Brennan she thought, get a hold of yourself.
“Tempe?” a voice said behind her.
Brennan knew the voice, but it wasn’t the one she was expecting. She turned to face the dark hair and timid smile of Sully, not Booth.
Brennen: “What are you doing here? Last time I saw you, you were waving goodbye on your boat!”
Sully: “I know…things didn’t work out like I thought they would.”
Sully took a step towards Brennan.
Sully: “So what about you…I tried to look you up when I got home, I went to the Jeffersonian and Dr. Saroyan informed me you were in the field discovering what makes us human. “
Brennan: “Yes, I was at a dig in Indonesia…what happened, why did you come back?”
Sully: “Tropical storm swamped out the boat while I was in the Virgin Islands and it took a while to get things fixed. I thought I could live there, but a tropical paradise is nothing when you don’t have anyone to share it with.”
This was making Brennan uncomfortable; she should be looking for Booth. Instead she was with Sully and coming to realize that he obviously still harbored feelings for her.
Feeling the tension growing, Sully looked at his feet and then back at her piercing blue eyes.
Sully: “So… what brings you to the mall?”
Brennan, changing her tone slightly to be cooler: “I have a promise to keep.”
Sully: “Booth is a fool for letting you go.”
At that moment Brennan caught sight of something familiar over Sully’s left shoulder. Cocky was all she had to see. It was him and her eyes immediately locked on to his face. But it wasn’t the joy she was hoping to see. Booth’s brow was creased and he actually was taking a step away, as if he had witnessed something very wrong.
Booth could not believe it. There was Brennan, just as she had promised, but engaging her attention was Sully. It was a nightmare he had never seen coming. Had they somehow found each other in the South Asian Sea? Sully had the boat right, it could have been possible. Everything told him to walk away. Just walk away and leave her to what happiness she had found.
Brennan (looking quickly at Sully): “I have to go!”
It was so quick and Sully had Brennan by the wrist and was whipping her back towards him.
Sully: “I’m not going to let you go this time! I won’t let you slip through my hands twice Tempe!”
Brennan could see Booth walking away and she had to stop him. In a split second without thought, the base of her palm had made contact with Sully’s nose and she felt the crack. Sully released her as he clutched each side of his nostrils. The crimson fluid indicated that Brennan had broken his nose.
Sully (in obvious pain): “Jesus Brennan!!”
Brennan was free and turned on her heels as fast as she could. Booth was almost past the last bench and about to turn the corner. She needed to stop him.
Booth slowed and kept trying to tell himself not to turn around, but he couldn’t leave this way. Brennan was running toward him and almost frantic.
Brennan: “Booth please!! Just stop! ...It isn’t what you think…he was just there, it was coincidence!”
Booth: “Look Brennan, I just came to say…I hope you found what you were after in Malpoopoo, or where ever.”
Brennan (slightly out of breath and with tears starting to well up in her eyes): “Maluku…I did and it was you. I found that what makes us so unique is our ability to adapt and change; evolve or face death. You said that the pyramids changed better than I did. You were right; I was so scared to change. But I get it now! I was insane to want things to stay the same and cling to our working partnership. You said that we could try for a different outcome. I want the different outcome…with you Booth. Only you!”
Booth could not believe his ears, was she saying she wanted him. “So you are saying you love me?”
Brennan (a tear streaming down her cheek): “Yes, yes I am Seeley Booth…”
He reached out and cupped her head in his hands with his thumbs upon her cheeks. He pulled her forehead to his. The cathedral tower struck seven o’clock. Booth could not hold back his chuckle.
Brennan: “What is it? What is so funny?”
Booth (with a smile): “You don’t believe in fate though!”
Brennan: “I still don’t.”
Booth pulls away slightly and reaches into his leather jacket pocket. He was holding a card in his hand. Brennan recognized this card; it was one of the tarot cards that Avalon had turned in her reading to Brennan. She could hear the words that went with the card – Great Happiness.
Booth turned the card over. Written across the back was – She’ll be yours at 7:00pm.