A/N The people over at Fox Broadcasting can only fit so much story into the 42 minutes of airtime between commercials. As the readers of my first fan fiction, The When and the How: A Bone to Pick, are well aware, I have my own ideas about what happens in Booth and Brennan's world when the cameras have stopped rolling. We know they continue to live their lives even though we don't get to watch. However, if you're like this diehard Bones Shipper, you'd sure LIKE to see how their relationship is developing, and how they are working through those things that all new couples and expectant parents have to work through. The Meaning in the Episode is a series of one-shots that intends to do just that. I hope you enjoy them! ~ MoxieGirl (~MoxieGirl44 on Twitter)
Chapter 1 Conceived from Overflowing Love
Season 7, Episode 2
Ever since they'd headed for home from the Jeffersonian this evening, Booth had been weaving together an idea. After he'd accepted Brennan's apology and told her it was enough for him that she had made one, she'd said she had 'more'. He grinned and moved in closer to her on the couch, close enough to be within kissing distance.
“I'll always take more, what do you have in mind?” He had been expecting she was referring to something involving some serious physical contact, but what she had for him was probably the only thing that could top that today. That was when she surprised him with the video of this morning's ultrasound.
"So you found the boy?" asks Booth, referring to her newest squint, as he fiddles with the audio settings on his speaker system. There's a black cord now running from his tuner up to the bed where Brennan sits waiting for him.
"I didn't find him, Booth. He came back," she says, scooting over to Booth's side of the bed. "He said he realized quitting was a coward's way out." After a pause and several adjustments of the pillows behind her, Brennan continues. "You know I prefer to sleep and to sit on my side of the bed, Booth. Being on your side disorients me and is uncomfortable."
"I know it does, but just stick with me on this, Bones. I'm setting up an experience for us, okay?" Booth sits back on his haunches, surveying his electronic equipment. Satisfied that this will give him the desired result, he grabs two long slim remote controls and heads over to Brennan's side of the bed, flicking off the lamp on her bedside table. "We can switch back when we're finished here, but I think you're gonna like this," he says, sliding under the covers, the sheets still warm from her having been there a moment ago. "So you said he'd read one of your papers before?"
"Oh, yes. Postmortem Dismemberment Recovery and Analysis. It was a case report I wrote for the Journal of Forensic Sciences over Thanksgiving break the year I presented my dissertation."
"You wrote a paper over Thanksgiving weekend?" He looks at her in disbelief. For many years she hadn't had any family to spend holidays with, and he knows this. He still can't get over the fact that she usually takes holidays to travel for research.
"Why are you looking at me like that, Booth?" She stares at him from his side of the bed, rocking back and forth trying to get comfortable. "How long do you think this is going to take? I'm just not used to the mattress on your side. What's your sleep number, anyway?" She reaches for the remote laying in the middle of the bed.
"Don't touch my sleep number!" Booth grabs the white slim remote from her. “Never mess with a man's sleep number,” he says, holding the remote up to his lips as if speaking into a microphone. He puts the remote over on the bedside table where she can't reach it. "I hate it when you mess with my settings. Just have a little patience. You are gonna love this." Booth nods, giving her one of his proud grins.
Brennan smirks, wiggles around again, and sighs, resigned to the fact that she's just going to be uncomfortable for a while. "It was a fascinating case," she continues excitedly now, pausing to smile at him, pleased at his interest in what she loves to talk about more than almost anything. "There were three sets of disarticulated and incomplete human remains."
"What? Like in a burial mound or something? Where was this?" Booth furrows his brow. He's used to her sharing the gory details of her work. It helps that her anecdotes focus mainly on cleaned bones. She doesn't enjoy the wet work any more than he enjoys looking at it or hearing about it. Somehow, once the bones are cleared of everything else, they don't seem as much like a human being.
"Yunling mountains. In Lanping, Nujiang," she tosses off as if he knows where that is.
"What? Is that a country?" Booth raises one eyebrow as he scoots close enough to her that they are thigh to warm thigh.
When he raises his left arm and drapes it over her shoulders, she scoots over and nestles in closer to him, fitting perfectly in the space under his arm. She leans her back against his chest and turns to face the entertainment center on the wall to their left. Turning back to face him for a moment, she smiles at him, leans close, and kisses him quickly, sighing a happy and contented sigh.
Adjusting the sheets and the chenille blanket so they cover both of them, she turns back to the television, ready for this evening's entertainment. This is an aspect of being in a committed relationship that she never imagined she'd enjoy as much as she does: watching television together. They take turns choosing the show, and one of them usually ends up passing out in the process, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. Tonight, it's Booth's turn to choose the movie or show.
Booth reaches over and turns her face back toward himself, kissing her again, sweetly, on the lips, then the nose. "I love you like crazy, you know," he says, grinning ear to ear, still holding her by the chin.
"There is substantial irrefutable evidence to suggest that what you are saying is accurate," she chuckles, nodding, "In regard to the loving me part, at least. To what degree one must love another to the extent that they become certifiably non compos mentis, has yet to be determined," she says, raising her eyebrows and smiling into his eyes. "However, I am fairly confident that I understand what you are saying. And … I return that love with all my metaphorical heart," she says, sighing audibly as he plants adoring kisses and nibbles her soft skin from behind her ear all the way up to her jaw, then finally her lips, as she's finishing her sentence.
"A Provence. In China," she says, after he kisses her the last time. “That's what Nujiang is," she says, continuing their previous discussion as she turns back to face the entertainment center. "The remains exhibited the markings of having sustained extensive blunt force trauma. We were able to prove, using pig bones -"
"Maybe we could return to the original point? The kid," he says, interrupting, and gently bringing her back to the topic of the new intern.
"Oh, yes. The new intern, Mr. Abernathy," she recalls, nodding. "He's is quite a remarkable individual and will make a brilliant forensic anthropologist, if he continues along the same academic trajectory he has been on to date. Did I tell you he completed his undergraduate degree in under two years, then graduated at the top of his class when he was sixteen years old?" She looks back at him, askance.
"Yes, you did. Twice. And also that he says he has a 'knack for thinking',”Booth makes air quotation marks with his one free hand. "He read you paper." Booth reminds her. "About dismemberment?"
"Yes!” she says, a smile creeping across her lips. “He said he attributes his choice to abandon his disruptive antisocial behaviors to an understanding he gained from reading that paper."
"Cam said he had problems with the law as a juvenille and his record is now sealed.”
"That is correct. He suffered a troubled and abusive childhood at the hands of his step-father, Booth," she says, her voice getting quieter. She's speaking toward the chenille blanket now, recalling her conversation with the southern eighteen year old now assigned to her lab. "He said he realized while reading my case study that there was no way he could get away with murdering his step-father as long as there were people like us at the Jeffersonian solving homicide cases," she says, looking up at Booth to find his eyes glued to her face.
"Wow, Bones," he says, chuffing, then shaking his head. "That right there should make you feel … proud, like it's all worth it. You probably saved that kids life."
"I feel humbled, Booth," she says quietly, grimacing. He reaches over to take her hand and gives it a squeeze. She nods at him, holding his gaze with her own for a moment.
Booth nods, then squeezes her, kissing her on the temple. She chuckles, sheepishly.
"So, what is the entertainment of choice and why am I hooked up to this thing?" She lifts the sheets for a moment, peering down at the fetal heart beat girdle strapped around her and across her ever-widening belly. She looks up at Booth expectantly.
With one remote control, Booth points toward the entertainment center and clicks on the television screen, then queues the dvd player. Setting the first remote on the bed, he picks up the other and hits the play button. Over the speaker system, which is connected to Brennan's fetal heart monitor, they hear the swish-swish, swish-swish, swish-swish of their daughter's heartbeat. Then, as if prompted by the heart-song, the television screen lights up with the gray and white mottled moving image of their yet-to-be born daughter.
"Ohhhhh," sighs Brennan, almost unable to pull her eyes from the screen. She closes her eyes and listens to the heartbeat, placing both of her hands on her abdomen. Taking Booth's right hand, she moves it to a location where she's recently felt activity. Pressing his hand firmly into her side toward the front of her belly, she watches his face as he shakes his head in awe and wonder. On the screen, her unborn child with the prominent, Booth-shaped mental protuberance sucks her thumb and kicks her legs. Brennan sniffs as a tear slides down her cheek and drops onto her lap.
"Hormones taking over again?" Booth asks her when he notices the teardrop as it falls, followed by another one.
"No," she says, turning to look at him. "These are the happy, appreciative tears of my non compos mentis love for the father of my child … and, for that child herself, whom we made together," she says as if in a dream state. "You once told me … that babies are conceived from the overflowing love between the parents," she says, shrugging with one shoulder and raising an eyebrow as she looks up into his face.
"Despite the fact that conception is a well-documented biological event, rather than a phenomenon created through the manifestation of hormonally-induced affinity, I find that I enjoy believing that your explanation is equally possible," she says, smiling sheepishly.
"Ha," grunts Booth, his mouth hanging open, his eyes wide. His expression as she says this is one of wonder and awe. He's about ready to shed a couple tears himself. He leans down toward her, kissing her twice energetically. "This is going to be the luckiest kid in the universe, Bones. You know that? You are going to make an awesome mom!"
"Oh, that's sweet," she says, smiling back at him, squeezing his thigh, then turning back to watch their daughter's movements on the screen. "Oh - did I tell you what my financial advisor said today?"
"Uh, no. How'd that go?" He asks, encouragingly, noticing that she is making an effort to include him. They've been working on this for a while now. Having been exclusively on her own for the last twenty years, including another person in private matters still doesn't come naturally for her. It's okay, though. They've found that some things don't come naturally to him either, like checking with her before he accepts an invitation for the two of them. Even though they've been together for over five months, they are both still getting used to being a couple. Their work and talk about their pregnancy seem to consume the majority of their time.
"It went great, although it was a very short meeting," she says, shrugging.
"Why's that?" Booth puckers his lips and furrows his brow in anticipation of some bad news.
"Well, my advisor strongly urged me to reschedule for a time when we could meet with him together," she says, sheepishly.
"Heh. Really?" Both chuckles, surprised.
"Yes," she nods. "He says the leading cause of 'marital discord,' or 'relationship discord,' in our case," she says, making air quotes to emphasize the types of discord. "The leading cause of discord among couples centers around financial issues." Brennan bites her lips together, waiting to see Booth's response.
Booth nods. "Smart man," he says, turning his head to the side, nodding. "I have heard that before. This guy is top notch, Bones. How do you feel about what he said?"
"He assured me that his comments are not reflective of a belief that only the man should make all the financial decisions in a family … quite the opposite. He said a disproportionate number of wives run the finances of the couples he advises," she says, matter-of-factly.
"Really?" says Booth, in an 'I told you so' tone of voice. "Hm," he grunts, scratching his chin in contemplation.
"Yes, it is true," she says, nodding, a serious expression on her face. "Anthropologically speaking, it makes perfect sense that the partner managing the household should also manage the finances that support that household," she says.
Booth smile-grimaces at her, amused that it took an outsider to provide an acceptable explanation for her.
"Homicidally speaking," Booth begins with a haughty tone, "money is one of the two leading motivations for murder ..."
"So, in essence, our meeting together with the financial advisor to an extent provides us with insurance against us murdering each other," she says, as if making a scientific deduction. "Which reminds me, we should talk to someone about life insurance."
"Wow," says Booth in mock surprise. "Should it worry me that you just mentioned killing me and getting life insurance in the same sentence?" He asks, mock concern all over his face.
"Oh hoh, you are correct," she says, eyes wide in appreciation for this connection he's noticed. “I hadn't thought of that, but you are correct. Don't worry though. If I murdered you, I would most definitely receive the full benefit of any insurance policy we have on your life. They'd never be able to prove it I killed you," she says, confidently.
"Really? You'd be that good at hiding the evidence?"
"Oh hoh. There'd be no evidence, Booth, I can assure you," she says, laughing and turning back toward the screen. “Remember, I have the perfect murder planned.”
“Oh, that's right. Are you ever going to tell me what that is?”
“You'll have to read it in my next Kathy Reich novel, 'Dismemberment, She Wrote'."
"I'll keep that in mind," he says, laughing, then leaning over to smooch her on the jaw before settling in to watch and listen to his daughter for a couple of more minutes.
"Booth," says Brennan sweetly, "this is wonderful, but can we switch sides? I really need to be on my own side of the bed to be completely comfortable ..."
"Anything for the mother of my daughter," he says, putting both arms around her, pulling her close, and planting a sweet kiss on her forehead before jumping out of bed and coming around to the side where she now sits, while she slides her increasing girth back over to the warm spot he so recently vacated.