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|Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist affiliated with the Jeffersonian institution. She determines identity and cause of death when there is nothing but bones left of the victim. She is the foremost expert in her field and sees herself as extremely rational. She does not get emotionally attached to the cases she words. She is a very reserved person. She holds her own against people who try and push her around. I tried to stick to Temperance Brennan as she would have been a year before the start of the series.||Hannah Burley is a reporter and journalist. In the canon of Bones she starts off as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. She values her own independence above all things. She is feisty, rash, determined and a wanderer of sorts. Or as she puts it, a nomad. Like Brennan, she likes being the one in control. She's basically amazing. With Hannah however, since the canon has given us only seven episodes six seasons into the series to work with, I had a little more leeway. I tried to imagine where she could have been seven years prior to us meeting her. What would have been different? What would have been the same?|
How would life have been different for these two women had they met before the series, before Brennan ever met Booth. How would they interact? I love their interactions in Hannah's season six episodes and I loved the friendship they had. I think that without the influence of Booth (and let's face it, some increasingly bad writing), they could have been something. Hannah's still a war correspondent and Temperance is the foremost forensic anthropologist in the country. They meet on a case and things go from there.
THE ROCK AND THE TIDE - PROLOGUE
Temperance Brennan stood at the entrance to the U.S army base outside Baghdad. Her brown hair blowing in the breeze, she waited, poised behind a particularly enigmatic reporter who seemed to have been trying to arrange a meeting she didn’t have the clearance for. The feisty blonde, who’s bright features never seemed to tire was determined, Temperance would give her that; only when it was absolutely clear that pushing the matter was going to move her away from her objective did she concede. One could only assume the story she was looking for was the one Temperance had been called in on. She agreed to her scheduled interview with public relations and proceeded onwards.
Slightly irritated that the journalist’s persistence had cost her valuable minutes and she was bordering on late, Temperance walked up to security and flashed her credentials: “Dr. Brennan, forensic anthropologist. I’ve been called in to consult”. The guard gave her badge a purposeful scan, handed it back to her and waved her through the gates.
As she entered the base, she was relieved to be removed from the heat, temporary as it was. The Iraqi weather was a double-edged sword. On one hand, it was hot enough to demand short sleeves and shorts, yet its wind and frequent sandstorms made these clothing choices undesirable. She’d been prepared regardless; as a recognized and trusted forensic anthropologist, it was not the first time she’d examined human remains in a Middle-Eastern country. She’d received a call from General Richards requiring her skills to solve a particularly delicate case. From what they told her, the body had been found inside the grounds of the base, but only just. They needed to know both who the body was and how it got there in order to plan their next move.
She walked through the doors and a soldier led her down the hall towards the back of the base. It soon became clear, however, that the air-conditioned interior of the base would provide only a brief reprise from the sweltering heat outside. She was led out the rear entrance to a convergence of personnel a few meters away from the door. The army physician waved her over. Temperance took a breath and joined those circling the remains: a partially exposed skeleton, buried in the dry desert sand.
“Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist”, she flashed her badge as formality; these people invited her into their territory, they knew who she was. Still, protocol existed for a reason. She did her initial inspection of the body, checking for age, sex and any other visible identity markers. After a few minutes she concluded, “Victim appears to be male, in his mid-twenties. Body’s been exposed to extreme temperatures for at least a year, most likely more. Judging by the sophisticated dental work, most likely of North American origins. Regardless, dental records should speed up the process of identifying the body,” she stated while one of the individuals surrounding the body jotted it down.
“Are you sure about that?” the General seemed unsure of her conclusion. Temperance was never amused with people who assumed she’d come to her doctorate by chance instead of study and drive.
“We’ve only been here six months, there’s no way it could be any of our men.” He seemed worried in the way one does when they are trying really hard not to appear so.
Temperance added, in the hopes of reassuring him “I haven’t concluded positively that it’s an American or a even soldier for that matter. I’d need further examination and dental records to verify identity without error,” her retort came out a bit brasher than it should have, and it was obvious.
“There is another addendum to this body, Dr. Brennan,” he explained apologetically. “Just prior to your arrival, we found these in the vicinity of the body,” he pulled out a baggie containing a set of army dog tags. Richards clarified “They were picked up to make a quick I.D, although with skeletonized remains we can never be too sure, which is why we called for a consult.”
“Which means you are now trying to solve a murder and a disappearance,” the anthropologist clarified.
General Richards gestured for her to follow him as he walked towards his office, “It also means we have to handle this with the utmost discretion. I don’t know who this body we have was, but I’d rather be sure before we alert any media or authorities.”
- - - - -
Hannah Burley was used to dry heat. This was just another of many days in the sweltering Iraqi sun. After getting into a heated debate with the security officer at the entrance to the base she had been assigned, she finally went inside to wait for her scheduled meeting with their “this is what we want you to know” guy. Where she was, in fact, still waiting. Her afternoon was becoming a tad more interesting than usual. She’d known something was different when she’d arrived at the base: she could make out personnel scurrying to attend to some commotion happening just outside her line of vision. She thought it was just one of those army experiences she could add to her correspondence to give it some reality. Something that wasn’t planned and given to her in direct, policed, statements.
She gauged by the fact that she’d just seen a woman walk towards the supposed commotion, regal and most definitely not dressed for the army, this was a lot more than just some occasional staple of life in the war. From what she could pick up with her handy eavesdropping skills: there was a body somewhere in the vicinity, and she was pretty sure she wasn’t supposed to know about it.
Sitting still when there was a story waiting to be discovered was never her forte. Hannah was built for journalism. She was a stubborn individual; she’d persist through sweat and tears to find the truth. Despite knowing what she should do and was allowed to do, she’d purse it regardless of “classified”.
The consultant, who Hannah assumed was a medical examiner, exited the general’s office.
“I will be back tomorrow. I’ll need a suitable place to work in and a way to contact the Jeffersonian,” she said as she turned towards the exit. The reporter smiled, she respected a woman who could hold her own in the world of men. Heck, it was one of the reasons she chose this assignment. To prove to the world she could do the same.
Hannah made a split second decision and jumped up to follow the woman. The PR guy was busy, she had no idea when her meeting was going to happen and she wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to find out more.
“Excuse me,” Hannah paused, unsure of how to address the person in front of her.
“Dr. Temperance Brennan” the woman corrected her.
“Dr. Brennan, why does the army need to consult with a medical examiner? Isn’t the army equipped with a physician that can work in that capacity,” she questioned.
Temperance Brennan, as the reporter had guessed wasn’t one for modesty and revealed more than she had probably intended “I’m a forensic anthropologist, what I do is much more specialized than the duties of an army physician or even a regular medical examiner.”
So the body was more of a skeleton. Hannah had previously worked on a story involving the identification of unknown remains and was familiar with what the profession’s object of study. The question now was why Brennan needed a thirty-minute meeting with the General.
“What did General Richards have to tell you?” Hannah asked feigning innocence, hoping to get a bit more out of the doctor.
“That’s a confidential matter, Ms.?” Now it was Dr. Brennan’s turn to ask something of her.
She smiled with a twinkle in her eye “Hannah Burley. Pleasure to meet you. That’s fine. I was just wondering if I could aid in any capacity, I’ve been covering this general area since the war started.” She took her notepad out of her bag and scribbled down her name and contact information. “This is where you can reach me if you need help at all,” Hannah handed over the piece paper and started walking away.
“I doubt I will” Brennan replied pocketing the paper.
“I’ll see you around” Hannah answered smugly.
Stay and Defend ♦ Wolf Gang
Everybody always seems to talk about
the night of the hills on fire.
Create a hype and then turn it around,
you've turned me to conspire.
Temperance knocked on the door of the reporter’s residence. She was going to regret having called on Hannah Burley’s connections, but if anyone was going to know more about Lt. Mackenzie Field, it’d be her.
”I told you so.” Hannah greeted her with a smirk.
“Let’s make this quick. What do you know about Lt. Mackenzie Field?” Temperance asked pointedly. She was hoping to avoid any irritating questions from a reporter starved for a story.
“Straight to it, I like that. Well, I do know him. He’s a fine soldier. Was in the first set of troops sent out. It was the first coverage I did out here; a picture of what life is like while serving our county,” she volunteered freely. “Why do you need to know about him?”
“He’s part of a current investigation, and that’s all I can tell you.” Brennan fed her the usual line.
“Hold on a minute, I saw him about a month ago. There’s no way he could be a skeleton by now” the reporter exclaimed, unaware she had revealed familiarity with a case she was supposed to know nothing about.
“No. Field is not the body. How do you know it’s skeletonized remains? No one but myself and those at the scene should be aware of that.” Temperance asked cautiously.
“If Mackenzie isn’t the skeleton than why are you asking about him? Was there another body found? Is he a suspect? He’s a pretty great guy, I don’t think he’d be involved in anything like that.” Hannah clearly liked the soldier well enough.
Temperance, trying to avoid any hysterics, conceded, “No, he is not a suspect, and there was only one body.”
“Then you need to tell me why you’re asking about him. You can’t just tell me this and expect me to go along without questioning it like some drone. I need to know what’s going on,” Hannah demanded fiercely.
She was staring Temperance down defiantly, unwilling to budge on her request. She figured it was best to give her as little as was needed for her continued help.
She replied quietly, “His dog tags were found at the scene, and no one seems to be able to find him.”
- - -
Lève les voiles ♦ Coeur de pirate
Lève les voiles, ô voilier blanc
Mais lève au vent qui tourne
Set sail, oh white sailboat
Sail in front of changing winds
|Hannah waited for the plane back to the States. After a few weeks of digging and managing to get more than she probably should have out of Temperance Brennan, she was being sent home. Her correspondent gig was almost up anyway, but when the army got wind of how much she knew about a highly classified case, they asked for a different correspondent, and she was sent back home early.
She suspected they were trying to cover something up before this coup of theirs, and it only made her the more suspicious. She still could pester the forensic anthropologist for as much information as possible, but without real life interaction, she doubted she’d get anywhere.
She spotted a familiar ponytail of reddish auburn hair and stood up to verify that it was in fact that very forensic expert walking towards her. Confused, she got up and walked towards her, questions bubbling to mind.
“I thought you weren’t finish working the case. You said you were sticking around for a long time with this one.” Hannah had been relying on Brennan being here to get information at all.
Temperance replied, “We identified the body. It was a civilian by the name of Matthew Cartier. I told them and they informed me they didn’t need me anymore. I haven’t even positively concluded cause of death, but they said they could deal with it. I’m off the case too. They cut me out completely. They’re covering something up.”
“No arguments from me.” Hannah was glad she wasn’t the only one to come to the conclusion. “How can we keep digging into this? I love a cover-up. If you dig hard enough everything eventually unravels. We’re going to get to the bottom of this.”
“All right. On lève les voiles,” her partner in crime muttered. When Hannah gave her a quizzical look, she clarified, “it means ‘set sail’. There's metaphor where the truth is an ocean, and that you need something or someone to ground you, or it’ll bring you down.
With an adventurous look in her eye and a smile, Hannah agreed, “I like it.”
- - -
Iridescent ♦ Linkin Park
Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go. Let it go.
|“Do you want to go for a drink? I could use the company.”
The request, from someone she now considered a friend, caught her off guard. Devastation, setbacks, and failures: Temperance usually dealt with those alone. It wasn’t that she didn’t have people to talk to about them; it was more that she was better at learning from it without the help of others. Her and Hannah had not experienced the best of days. It turned out that the missing Lt. Mackenzie Field was in fact dead. In the past few weeks, they had not made much headway on the ‘big army conspiracy’, as the amiable blonde often referred to it.
What they had discovered amounted to the identity and partial history of the skeleton, which the Jeffersonian team managed to discern conclusively before the army took the body back and the knowledge that Lt. Field returned to his home in Wichita prior to his dog tags being discovered next to her bony friend.
The initial victim, Matthew Cartier was a Canadian civilian. He had visited Iraq in early 1998 as a volunteer relief worker and had been presumed dead after he went missing just over a year after living there. They were waiting on paperwork from the organization to know more. These answers had only given them more questions.
Temperance sighed. She couldn’t help being hard on herself. You weren’t the best without it.
“Maybe some other time. I think I just need to sleep.” She waved her friend goodbye.
She was halfway home when she considered that maybe letting go of the frustration over the case wasn’t the worst idea in the world.
Sins of My Youth ♦ Neon Trees
Call me crazy, I was born to make a mess
Would you love me still if I were to confess
That I had a little too much fun
Back when I was young
I've got these habits that I cannot break.
Hannah Burley hated drinking alone. It made her feel alcoholic. She didn’t like the possibility of not being in full control of her own self. She’d done that for a while and it wasn’t who she was anymore. There were things she was glad she’d kept, like her stubbornness and sense of humor, and some she was glad she’d grown out of.
“I’m glad you showed up,” she told the woman who’d just sat down to her right.
Temperance smiled back at her. “I figured a few drinks wouldn’t hurt.”
Raise Today ♦ Peasant
What is there missing from me, that I see in you?
What can I say? what can I do for you?
I find myself trying each day, I want to grow up
What do I know? It seems that I can't force feeling.
There was something about Hannah, Temperance decided one day as they were out for an early coffee. They’d made a habit of this, somewhere in the middle of their conspiracy theories and bartering of information, and they had just kept it going. The two women were similar, yet where their personality differed was where they really fit together.
She wasn’t one to admit to feelings. Too often they eroded you, ate at your bones. They set you up for disappointment. The anthropologist was comfortable with friendship, but that was it. She didn’t put herself out there for more. She wouldn’t let herself become emotionally vulnerable.
Amidst the smiles and colloquial jabs, she admitted it was more. She had a soft spot for her bright-eyed friend. Rationally it made no sense to her; but try as she might to deny it, she couldn’t force feeling. It wasn’t going to go away.
Masochist ♦ Ingrid Michaelson
She says you're a masochist for falling for me,
So roll up your sleeves.
And I think that I like her, 'cuz she tells me things I don't want to hear,
Medicinal tongue in my ear.
When will it stop? When will it stop?
When will I feel all soft on the inside?
In the time she had known Temperance Brennan, Hannah couldn’t think of a time she wasn’t amazed by the integrity and drive the woman possessed. It was a silly contest, and she was pretty sure Brennan only showed up to help her out. They were at a scavenger hunt organized by one of the local charities. Of course she’d been given a mundane charity story, whatever the army had told her boss had cleared her away from anything remotely related to war for the foreseeable future.
Participating was the best way to cover an event like this. Hannah could have swept the floor with her competition alone, but the rules required a minimum of two per team. And Brennan was fiercely into it, as exited to take the title as she was.
“You’re amazing, you know that?” She looked at her friend with wonder. “I really don’t know what I’d do without you”
“I have no doubt you would have found someone to fill the requirements even if you had to threaten them.” Temperance responded, a little too pointedly.
“I mean in general,” Hannah clarified. “I kind of love you.” She was taken aback by how much she meant it.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” her friend warned with an all too unconvincing smile.
Sing ♦ The Classic Crime
We sing the same song you and I
With lead feet in deep water we cry out to live or die
Instead we tread in waves to stay alive
Our heads above the grave but
There's no one to save us this time.
They wanted the same thing out of a relationship, which is why both of them would scarcely allow themselves to be in one. Hannah hated releasing an ounce of her independence, and Temperance didn’t like people telling her what to do.
Hannah was stubborn; Brennan was forceful. They both strove to stand tall in a world that kept pushing them down. Somewhere along the line they stopped resisting. Caring about the other too much could be a weakness, but it was also very much a strength.
Valium ♦ Lisa Mitchell
Sometimes your love
It's so pretty I just wanna sink in
Well, I wish I could bottle it up
And breathe it back like Valium
And sometimes your heart it's so pretty
I just wanna live there.
She stood next to Temperance, her windswept hair shining like gold in the afternoon sun. Hannah closed her eyes and breathed in. She wanted to remember this moment forever. She wished she could bottle up her happiness and save it for when she’d need some.
The visit to the beach had been Temperance’s idea, surprisingly. Threatening clouds earlier in the morning had given them pause on whether to give up and turn around, but thankfully they had stuck it out and it had evolved into the perfect summer weather. Warm, with just the right amount of wind, it made Hannah feel free.
She turned and smiled at her girlfriend.
“What?” Temperance looked confused.
“Nothing,” Hannah assured as she leaned in and kissed Temperance, soft, sweet and warm like the breeze caressing their bodies.
Happiness ♦ The Fray
Happiness is a firecracker sitting on my headboard
Happiness was never mine to hold
Careful child, light the fuse and get away
‘Cause happiness throws a shower of sparks.
|Hannah was sitting at the headboard, fire in her eyes and wrapped in Temperance’s navy sheets. She looked wilder than usual, if that was even possible.
Brennan had spent so long trying to be happy. She was, but this wave hit her and almost knocked her of her feet. Since her parents had disappeared, she’d been striving so hard to make a good life for herself that the lines between sorrow and happiness had blurred.
Hannah made her unbelievably happy. It didn’t even matter what they did together. Just being around her lit a fuse. Temperance was afraid they’d eventually burn out. She wondered if it’d still be worth it if they did.
Your Biggest Mistake ♦ Ellie Goulding
It's a shame you don't know
What you're running from
Would your bones have to break
And your lights turn off
Would it take the end of time
To hear your heart's false start?
“You took the assignment without discussing it with me at all?” Temperance looked hurt. Hannah had perhaps underestimated the toll her leaving would have on her partner.
“It’s who I am. I thought you understood that.” Hannah reacted to things respectively. She was defensive because the comment had been on the offensive.
Temperance, stunned, replied, “That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be told in advance that you’re going all the way to Africa. I thought I deserved at least a warning,” she spat, clearly hurt by Hannah’s oversight.
Why didn’t she let the woman who’d become a staple in her life know? What was she running from? The questions briefly occupied her thoughts. Hannah wasn’t one to dwell on things. She just needed to leave. She’d become restless in D.C for so long; she needed adventure again. She needed the challenge of covering peacekeeper activities in the Ethiopian sun. When she was offered an opportunity and she took it.
Act first, think later; it’s how she reacted to the world around her.
Atlas Hands ♦ Benjamin Francis Leftwich
I've got a plan
I've got an atlas in my hands
I'm gonna turn when I listen
to the lessons that I've learned.
Temperance Brennan was fine. She was back to being Dr. Brennan, full time. She ate, slept and breathed her work. Christmas rolled around and she did what she always did. She took out an atlas, and found a place for a dig.
It was how she always spent her holidays. She’d done it before Hannah and she’d do it after. Temperance thought briefly of trying to reach her to wish her a Merry Christmas, but swept the idea aside. If her friend wanted to reach her she would have.
She opened the atlas blindly and laid her finger on the page.
All on You ♦ honeyhoney
Your junked out beat up car
Won't get you very far
When it's raining this hard.
You miss near and you miss far
You miss drinking at the bar
And I won't be the last one making your life hard.
It was pouring so hard she could hardly see the road in front of her. The New York traffic was terrible and this was shaping up to be a fantastic afternoon. Hannah sighed bitterly. She wasn’t looking forward to walking the distance from her car to her apartment.
She’d been back in the U.S for a couple months. Mostly, she’d summed up her story for Global Voice, a social justice publication, they’d paid her and she’d settled here, picking up unique stories here and there.
The sound of the rain mixed with the radio triggered flashbacks of better times, of passionate kisses and of easy silences. It was the little things you missed the most, she thought, smiling at the thought of what she now admitted, were better times.
She had put too much on Temperance. She ran without notice because she didn’t like dependency. Not on others, not on routine, not on feelings. Maybe if she were true to herself, she’d realize that was okay. She didn’t have to alienate the woman she loved to be the person she wanted to be.
Shoutalong ♦ Man & Ghost
I'll tell you if it's true,
I don't smile anymore
been fighting the feeling
my love, it's been torment.
Something I wanted was taken from me
and I'm fighting the urge to hurt somebody.
'Cause I'm tired of missing you.
Shoutalong, shoutalong, shoutalong.
Would it kill you to tell the truth?
Shoutalong, shoutalong, shoutalong.
Temperance was just sitting down to eat a late supper when she heard a knock on her door. She had no idea who’d be showing up at this time, but she hoped that they’d at least have a good reason for interrupting her night.
When she saw who was at the door, Temperance almost slammed it shut out of instinct.
“I know I have no right to ask anything of you, but hear me out.” Hannah Burley was at her door, frayed and tired. “I don’t think things through-“
“No. You don’t,” Brennan interrupted. Hannah shot her a half-hearted look of annoyance for disregarding what she’d asked.
“I don’t, and I’m sorry. I think things through when it’s too late. I get so caught up in being my own person that I forget the people around me. Especially when they matter. I get scared, I get worried that I depend on others too much and it bothers me.” She was now frantically spitting out her words. “But I’ve realized. Even though that’s who I am, that doesn’t mean that I always have to be alone. I don’t have alienated you because you matter too much to me. I can’t say I won’t leave you for an assignment again, I can’t guarantee that. I will say that I’ll always let you know. I’ll keep in touch.” Hannah finished with a vaguely hopeful look on her face.
“So can you forgive me? Because I do love you; I love you so much it scares me. And I’m tired of missing you. I know it’s cliché and unoriginal, but it’s the truth.”
Temperance pondered her confession for a second. She opened the door further and waved her in. Hannah stumbled into her lover's arms, holding on for dear life. They stood there, embraced in silence for what seemed like hours. A hug wouldn’t fix everything, but it was a start.
For once, Temperance had hope that they’d get through this.
My Father's Father ♦ The Civil Wars
The leaves have changed a time or two
Since the last time the train came through.
I got my ticket and I'm going to go home.
In the distance, multicolored trees in their autumn brilliance swayed with the breeze. Stray leaves fluttered down and Hannah watched as they made their way towards the pavement.
She was going home. She’d been in England over a year, and he story was finally done. Waiting for the train she was surprisingly peaceful. Maybe all she needed was a balance.
She’d talked to Temperance on the phone a couple weeks ago, but she was excited to see her companion. It was nice to feel like you had a home. Even for a nomad like her, having somewhere to come back to was a nice feeling.
The Rock and the Tide ♦ Joshua Radin
See a mountain, see an ocean, see the years that bring
Rock and tide close together
Settle down I said to myself, things that come with time
Will always be better
Everyone gets what they want too fast these days
No one knows the way to make things last.
This is who they were. They both knew trying to change the other was futile. Temperance, the rock, was grounded. She had a solid foundation, friends and a place to work here in D.C. She was strong, immovable. Hannah was the tide. Wild and a force to be reckoned with, she never stayed in one place too long. She wandered, but always came back home when it was time.
Together, they somehow worked.
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