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13 May 2011 @ 07:37 pm
Bones Ficlet: Circular (Reasoning)  

It’s been a very long time since I’ve attempted to write Bones fic. But I cannot stop thinking about last night’s episode – which doesn’t happen often, lately. Thus follows an attempt to get inside Brennan’s head and get Bones out of mine.
 

Title: Circular (Reasoning)
Author: pharmduh 
Characters: Brennan (implied B/B)
Rating: T (to be safe)
Spoilers: Up to and including 6x22, The Hole in the Heart
Summary: What’s past is prologue. – William Shakespeare

She is lying there in the dark, Booth’s oversized sweatshirt wrapped around her. In it she feels smaller than she actually is, as if she could disappear within its folds so that come morning Booth would find a lump of cotton and a pillow on his couch instead of her.

But people do not disappear into thin air. They leave, they die, they decay, but there is always something left behind, albeit in a different form (the law of conservation of mass and energy). The thought seems like one Booth would agree with, for different reasons, and for a moment Brennan feels closer to him than the eight steps it would take her to reach his door.

She must be getting better at this, she muses. After Zack she was a mess (they all were). Heartbroken. Betrayed. Above all, guilty. He was her intern (the others laid claim to him as well, but it wasn’t the same, not the same at all — )

It was exactly the same.

Vincent and Zack. Two brilliant students who had placed their trust in her. To teach them to see what she did. To challenge and to guide them. And she had failed. She had let the cruelties of life beyond the lab seep into the Jeffersonian and destroy them. One fell to the seductive allure of a killer’s cold logic; the other to an executioner’s hand-crafted bullet. Semantics, she thinks.

Please, don’t make me leave, he had begged. I love being here…

Dear Mr. Addy: (she had written)

It is my pleasure to offer you the post of my intern in Forensic Anthropology. I chose you from hundreds of applicants because of your knowledge, your desire to learn, and because I feel you will find a home here.

After Zack, Brennan had struck the last segment from her acceptance letters.

It wasn’t supposed to happen again.

Suddenly the darkness she had wanted to hide in is swallowing her, and an irrational fear of vanishing (sweatshirt and all) before daylight leaves her weak. She clutches Booth’s sleeve, his scent permeating the fabric. It is not enough. Not when Booth is on the other side of that door, not when he is as solid and warm as his reassurances.

She knows there are really more than eight steps separating them. There is Hannah and rejection and bad timing and old scars, all pushing them further apart on the continuum.

But maybe neither of them is moving in a straight line, she thinks.

Maybe they’re all traveling in circles.

End

A/N: Brennan's usually sound logic is rather shoddy in blaming herself for VNM's death, I know. In my head, it's not a stretch that she may feel that way - hence the title.

 
 
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent
Current Music: Keane - Try Again
 
 
 
AudreyPuppy: Bones: Happyaudreypuppy on May 14th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Oooh, I love this. A great peek into Brennan's head and what propelled her into Booth's room that night. In my head, it's not much of a stretch that she would blame herself for VNM's death either. Great job on this! <3
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it didn't seem like a huge jump for her to feel guilty about this.

Thanks for reading and for commenting :)
delightedlydelightedly on May 14th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
oh goodness this is so pitch-perfect. I was going to paste in and italicize some of my favourite lines but I realized that I'd be reproducing the entire thing because it's all just so Brennan. Beautiful.
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
Aww thank you for this lovely feedback. Brennan is one tough cookie to write so I'm very glad it rang true.

Thanks for reading! :)
kew121kew121 on May 14th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Oh, lovely. I would never have jumped from VNM to Zack; thanks for making that leap for me.
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
Zack is pretty much the first place my thoughts went (I think I'm still traumatized from it). I do appreciate your keeping an open mind with the leap. Thank you very much for reading and for the feedback. :)
your favorite everythingbantam_shine on May 14th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
anguished & perfect. i can hear brennan's voice so clearly in this story.
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I was afraid maybe she sounded a bit too irrational (though we all know she has more feelings than Sweets gives her credit for).

Thanks for reading, it's much appreciated :)
zinnia_rosezinnia_rose on May 14th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
Wonderful fic. I can definitely hear Brennan trying to rationalize her feelings away but failing miserably.

This:

"Dear Mr. Addy: (she had written)

It is my pleasure to offer you the post of my intern in Forensic Anthropology. I chose you from hundreds of applicants because of your knowledge, your desire to learn, and because I feel you will find a home here.

After Zack, Brennan had struck the last segment from her acceptance letters.

It wasn’t supposed to happen again."

was perfect. *sob*

pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I definitely got choked up again just READING the transcript of the Pain in the Heart...that episode has scarred me for life.

But thank you again for reading and for the lovely feedback. :)
nofrontiers100: [Josh Groban] You Raise Me Upnofrontiers100 on May 14th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Love this!
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Appreciate the feedback :)
doc_3doc_3 on May 14th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Hey, glad to see you back :)

And this was pitch perfect, because it explained why Brennan's logic wasn't enough to hold onto in the dark, and why she needed to go to Booth.

Excellent!
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
Hey,

I'm glad to be back (for now haha). I am also very happy because you thought this fit well with Bren and the episode (although really would any of us need all that much motivation to go to Booth?)

Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot to me :)
pearlseedpearlseed on May 14th, 2011 08:22 am (UTC)
Just a lovely experiment--really sounded like her thinking.
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I was pretty unsure of how much would actually sound like Brennan.

Thanks for reading and for the feedback :)
the sun comes up because the world turnstempertemper on May 14th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
This is wonderful - she had to have been thinking of Zack.

I love these lines:

It is not enough. Not when Booth is on the other side of that door, not when he is as solid and warm as his reassurances.
pharmduh: coffeepharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Right? I mean that's two interns she's lost to...extenuating circumstances.

Thank you for picking out that line...it was inspired by Booth in in his black tshirt. :)

And also thank you for reading and leaving lovely feedback of course!
Katherine Joy Summersstars_inthe_sky on May 14th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU. I waited in vain for the whole episode for someone to make a comment about Zack. And here you've tied him in so beautifully.
pharmduh: zackaronipharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU...I'm glad you thought of Zack as well because I definitely flashed back to the Pain in the Heart (hmm...pain in the heart, hole in the heart) during the episode. Though part of me thinks losing Zack was still more painful for them than losing VNM, even though Zack is still alive somewhere.

It's all too much, really. Thanks for reading. :)

dianeb_047dianeb_047 on May 14th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
Very nicely done.
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 14th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks...I appreciate the feedback :)
dianeb_047dianeb_047 on May 14th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
Ah, geez, it wasn't *much* feedback, was it? It's just that I was stunned by the intensity of this episode. Television doesn't do that to me very often, so I found myself at a loss for words when I went to comment on this fic. I should have said more. In fact, I applaud you and all other fanfic writers who attempt to try to process VNM's death, especially those who write from Brennan's point of view. I'm just happy Bones doesn't have this level of emotional upheavel every episode. We'd be mush by now if it did.
pharmduh: dorkypharmduh on May 17th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Hey,

I certainly didn't mean to imply your feedback was lacking in any way. As long as it was an honest reaction, I really do appreciate those words and that you took the time to let me know. I know it's pretty easy to read something online and click on to the next thing. Comments like yours are part of why I post. :)

That being said, thank you again for your follow-up thoughts. The episode was very intense and I totally understand your gut reaction - I definitely wasn't expecting the stakes to be THAT high.

I am glad, however, that you enjoyed the fic as one possible take on VNM's death. Hopefully this week will have a much lighter episode. Booth with a mullet? I can see the icons now!

Thanks for reading. :)
emlockeemlocke12 on May 17th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
a) Totally brilliant and apt and sweet to quote Brennan's offer letter to Zack. I'd forgotten about that surprising last line—it must have been sort of a risk for her to put that idea of a metaphorical home at the Jeffersonian and alongside her into words, especially in that professional context. It makes me wonder if Zack was her first intern or if she'd extended a similar offer to another student (or another gaggle of students like the one she has now) before. What if Zack was the first, and she took the liberty of extending that extra facet of the internship—that feeling of home—as though it were a hope for herself, too? And then, if she deliberately witheld that same offer from Vincent, only to learn how badly he wanted that part, of course it would confuse her—What is the right thing to do? What do I owe my students? What can I offer my students? "What kind of person am I?"—and compound her guilt.

b) I love seeing Brennan grasp the concept that much more than measurable distances can come between two people. That line reminded me of her sweet, "do you need time AND space?" from S4.
pharmduh: bonespharmduh on May 22nd, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you so much for your kind words!

a) I think at the time she wrote the letter, before Booth, and before her growth as a person, the Jeffersonian was her home, and perhaps she identified with Zack and hoped to offer the same refuge to him.

But after he betrayed them, I feel as though she would have wanted to distance herself from the interns (part of why I think she has them rotate, no matter what Hart Hanson says haha). One of the lines I still remember from the Pain in the Heart was Cam angry and hurt going, I knew Zack would cause me pain (I think Tamara Taylor killed that scene and frankly the whole episode).

And yeah you make a great point that if this did play out as above she would have been conflicted as to whether distancing herself was the right thing to do - they ALL have a soft spot for the interns I think, despite their efforts to perhaps protect themselves after Zack.

b) Our Bren understands more than the squinterns give her credit for - partly due to her heartbreak over Booth and Hannah I think, and partly because she is one smart cookie :)

Thank you for your insightful feedback, it was a pleasure to read!