|Dr. Temperance Brennan sat in her office. Her laptop screen blinked off as her screen saver came on. She let out a heavy sigh, her cheeks puffing out like a blowfish. Brennan scrubbed her hands over her face and then dropped her head back against her chair. She turned her head to the left and rubbed the back of her tired neck. A quick look out of her office door told her that the last of the lab techs had already left for the evening. Brennan closed her eyes and focused herself to think about the up coming scene in her book. A light rap of knuckles across glass made her fully aware of the presence of her partner, Special Agent Seeley Booth. “I figured you would still be here,” he said. Brennan didn’t open her eyes as she answered.
“I want to finish this scene up before I leave.” Booth stepped across the threshold and walked causally to a chair opposite her desk.
“And how much do you have so far?” Brennan opened one eye and looked at her friend.
“I see.” Booth sat back on the couch and stretched his legs out in front of him. “Care to talk about it?”
“You know I don’t like talking about my stuff before it’s published,” Brennan pointed out as she sat up in her chair, her full attention on the FBI agent.
“Just a friendly offer,” he answered with a shrug. Booth folded his hands behind his head and watched the anthropologist chew on her lower lip.
“Fine, if you’re going to be all pushy about it,” she finally said with a sigh. “I’m trying to write a conversation between Kathy and Andy about children.”
“What’s so hard about that?” Booth asked.
“The problem is that I’m not sure what Kathy’s view point is on the subject.”
“Ah, so where as you don’t want children, you’re not sure if you want Kathy to not want children?” Brennan drew her brows together as she replayed Booth’s statement.
“I thought writers put their own thoughts into their characters?”
“They do,” Brennan asked. “It’s just, well, the idea of women having children is so engrained into our thoughts, that when someone says she doesn’t want children, people go all…what’s the word?”
“Defensive?” Booth offered.
“Right. Take you, for example.”
“What about me?” Brennan stood and walked around her desk. She leaned her butt against the front edge and crossed her arms.
“Well, you’re a prime example of what I’m talking about. You feel that women should have children- should want to have children. When you found out my view about not wanting any, you became defensive. Pointing out all the reasons why I should want them. And it’s not just you. Everybody gives me the same arguments. Do I want to address that in my books? Do I want Kathy to have to answer the same questions?”
“First off, I don’t think all women should have kids,” Booth pointed out. “I know that some just aren’t cut out for the job. I mean, look at Oprah.”
“Just the most famous talk show host ever, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she’s an important person in our culture, and she’s made it perfectly known that she doesn’t want children.”
“And I bet she gets all kinds of people asking her why. Telling her that she should want kids.”
“I can’t answer that,” Booth said.
“Then answer me this. Why do you give me such a hard time about not wanting children?” Booth sat forward, his elbows on his knees.
“Because, Bones, you would be a great mother.” Brennan snorted.
“Me? And just how did you arrive at that?”
“Because I know you. I see how you are with Parker.”
“Just because I’m good with kids, no, correction. Just because I’m good with your child, doesn’t mean I should want one.”
“I thought we were talking about Kathy and Andy?”
“Okay, then you have to ask another question.”
“And what would that be?”
“Well, Kathy and Andy are in a relationship. Would you being in a serious relationship change how you feel?” Brennan drew her face up in thought.
“No,” she finally said. “I still wouldn’t want to have children.”
“Seems like you have your answer then,” Booth said. “Have Kathy not want children. You have more experience arguing that point then any other.”
“Do you think Andy would want children?” The question surprised him.
“Yeah,” he said. “I think he would.” Booth stood so that he was looking Brennan in the eyes. “But I also think that it’s something that he could get past, I really do. He may want children, but he wants Kathy more.”
“And you think a man would give up his own dream like that?”
“I don’t think of it as giving up my dream,” Booth answered. “I think of it as rearranging my priorities.”
“I still don’t want to have children,” she said, somehow fully aware that they weren’t talking about Kathy and Andy anymore.
“I know,” he said. “And I’ll never want you to do anything that major that you weren’t comfortable with.” Booth reached out and brushed some stray hair from her face, however, he didn’t let his fingers linger. “Night.” He gave her a curt nod, turned and walked toward the door.
“Seeley.” She waited for him to turn back around. “Thanks for talking that through with me.”
“Anytime, Temperance. That’s what friends do.” Brennan gave him a smile and watched him leave.
“Booth,” she called from her door. Booth stopped where he was in the middle of the lab. “Kathy don’t have anything against step-children.” She smiled at the look that she knew was on his face.
“That’s good, Bones,” he tossed over his shoulder. “Cause Parker really likes you.” With that, he left the labs and Brennan sat down to finally write her scene.