Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure I'm not Kathy Reichs, Hart Hanson, Stephen Nathan... or any combination thereof. Er, but I'll go check the mirror again just in case!
"On Instinct Alone"
by AngelMoon Girl
There were a great many things Seeley Booth was not, and panicky was one of them.
Lose his cool? The very notion was risible; it belonged in the category of behavior befitting a rookie, not a seasoned FBI agent like himself. Surely he should know how to take control of an unexpected situation, right? He should know what to do like he knew the back of his hand. That much had been drilled into him from the very earliest of his training days.
And yet, here Booth was, shaky, sweaty palms and all. Because he had no clue- no frigging clue- what to do when your partner of seven years suddenly went into labor in what was perhaps the most inconvenient of places to labor over a baby in.
His baby, to be exact. Who, apparently, had just as much respect for social mores as its mother did. A stalled elevator, in the middle of a raging blizzard? ...Really? Fate had a twisted sense of humor, Booth decided. Then again, he supposed he shouldn't have expected any less. If any couple were as far from normal as he and the world-reknowned anthropologist Temperance Brennan were, Booth sorely wanted to meet them. Any person who had endured the same sort of chaos they made a daily life out of deserved a medal or something.
Booth took a deep breath.
Whatever happened, he had to be ready. Whatever happened, he had to be there for Brennan. For their baby. A delicious thrill of pleasure and fear spiked through Booth. He was about to become a father, again.
Brennan gave a loud moan, clutching the elevator railing for dear life as a contraction licked its way down her back and brought fire to her midsection. "Booth..."
Booth hovered uncertainly, wanting to touch- to reassure- but unsure how to go about it without risking his head or other precious limbs. "Maybe you should sit down."
Brennan bit her lip, eyes squeezed shut as she gave a timid little nod and sank to the floor. Her voice came out gasped and pained as she asked in what was almost a whimper, "The power hasn't come back online yet?"
Booth couldn't help but worry when she sounded like that. In all the years he had worked with Brennan, he'd rarely seen her so on the verge of breakdown. She was usually as calm and collected as he, but then again, this was new to them both. When Parker was born, Booth had still been overseas, and finally was forced to go AWOL when it became clear no one was kind enough to allow him to see his son. Of course, Walter the Finder had ruined whatever special moment he'd been able to snatch, but that was a griping more suitable for another day. "No, but I promise you, it will soon. The technicians are doing the best they can, given the circumstances. I'd call them again but there's really nothing new to share. They're already aware this is an emergency situation."
"It is also prudent that we conserve as much battery power as we can, between our cell phones," Brennan agreed, rational side kicking in now that her latest bout of abdominal tightening was beginning to ease. Her vivid blue-grey eyes sought out Booth's deep brown. "I'm so sorry. I should have waited at the lab for you like you said. I should've realized sooner what was happening, I mean I've been feeling funny all day, but I guess I just got too wrapped up in the case-"
"What's done is done, Bones. You couldn't have known we were going to get trapped in here. We'll just have to make do," Booth cut her off, a soothing hand in the air. "All that matters is I'm here and I'm going to do whatever I can to help you, even if it means delivering our baby myself."
Brennan smiled, but there was a certain wanness behind her affected expression. "I hope it does not come to that."
Booth laughed. "You've no idea how much I hope it doesn't, either."
Unfortunately for the two confined, it seemed more and more likely Booth would have to deliver quite literally on his promise when, after an hour, Brennan's contractions had progressed to barely a minute apart. As the brunette struggled to keep from yelling, Booth eyed her mauve skirt nervously. According to the pregnancy books he'd all but devoured these last few months, Brennan was advancing rather quickly into the transitional stage of labor. And that meant-
"Booth. Booth..." Brennan choked out through gritted teeth. Booth looked up at her with dawning realization and even though explanation was at this point unnecessary, the meaning paralyzed him all the same. "I'm feeling... an overwhelming urge... to push..."
Brennan grunted, arching cat-like as she gripped the walls for support.
"Oh... God. Oh my God. Okay. Okay. It's okay, Bones. We'll just, ah... can you maybe take your skirt off? Or- God-" Booth raked a quivering hand through his close-cut hair. He could do this. He could do this.
Why was he suddenly feeling weak and lightheaded?
Oh. Right. Air. Air was good. In, out.
Booth yanked himself from self-imposed reverie when Brennan wrapped her small fingers around his wrist. "A-anthropologically speaking, males do not generally partake this wholly in the birth of their children, as it is viewed to be the female's prerogative-"
Booth saw the apprehension practically smothering his partner's features and he wondered if his countenance was as much of a wreck. It certainly felt like it. He reached out to cup Brennan's cheek as she whispered, "It's perfectly logical to be uncomfortable with the prospect of bringing our child into the world, alone and unaided by common medical professionals."
The corner of Booth's mouth twitched, the irony not lost on him as he took in the brave woman's glistening eyes and deadset jaw. "I think you and I both know the emotion isn't so much discomfort as it is blind terror."
"And a little bit of pain," Brennan amended, surprising Booth with an honest-to-God joke before she curled in on herself, riding the next wave of agony.
"And a little bit of pain," Booth concurred softly, the merest suggestion of pride lacing his response. He hated having to watch, helplessly, as Brennan soldiered through each contraction. He wished for perhaps the umpteenth time that he could somehow share in her experience; could somehow lighten the load. But this was something Booth could not protect his beloved scientist from. This was something only she could do.
"Oh! Oh! Oh! Booth, it hurts," Brennan panted, one tear slipping past her defenses as she bore down. Her face was a myriad of colors and emotions but eclipsing them all, exhaustion reigned supreme. "Booooth!"
"Keep going, Bones, I know it hurts but you have to keep pushing!" Booth exclaimed, tearing off his suit jacket before crouching down in front of Brennan's raised legs once more. The flash of dark hair on a pink skull encouraged Booth that the end was near. His heart fluttered in anticipation.
Brennan wailed aloud, having given up a while ago on maintaining command of her vocal cords. What may have felt like a weakness earlier now became a compulsive reaction to the havoc her inner muscles were wreaking. She collapsed out of the contraction with a sob, feeling so powerless. "I can't do this anymore," the forensic anthropologist keened. "I can't, I can't be a mother, what was I thinking, I'm not ready, oh it hurts so much-"
"Don't say that, you're doing great," Booth pleaded, wiping moisture from Brennan's forehead with the only sleeve that was still unstained. "Let your body guide you. Listen to your maternal intuition."
"I don't believe in intuition," Brennan resisted, but her protesting was futile and she knew it. Science, the one constant that had never failed her, now could only go so far. At the moment, all either of them was going off of was instinct and what little knowledge the two had accrued in preparing for a possible scenario such as this. It was with regret that Booth and Brennan admitted to themselves that they probably should have entertained the likelihood more- the odds may have been against them, but when had that ever stopped fate?
She couldn't help it. It was unbearable; unimaginable- the worst pain she'd ever encountered in her entire life. The scream that ripped from Brennan's throat was awful, it truly was, echoing off the reflective elevator walls with an ear-shattering vengeance.
But then, suddenly- mercifully- there was release. Everything came back into focus and Brennan remembered what it was to breathe; to relax; to feel joy. Booth, eyes shining as brilliantly as the night she'd told him she was carrying their accidental offspring, held up a messy, squalling infant wrapped in his dark jacket.
"Temperance, meet our daughter."
Brennan could only stare at the little human being cradled delicately in her father's arms, fists and feet beating the air with all the fire and stubbornness of her two parents combined. Whatever doubt that had inhabited her heart melted away into a feeling so warm, Brennan was unable to define it. The baby was... perfect. There was no other way to describe her.
"We have a daughter. Bones, we have a daughter!" Booth couldn't seem to stop saying, and strangely- Brennan was not bothered by his continual stating of the obvious. It was taking her time for that fact to sink in as well. "We're a family," Booth whispered in awe. Brennan smiled back, and the gentle affection rising in her chest reached an all-consuming crescendo as Booth carefully laid the girl that was still attached to her mother by the umbilical cord onto Brennan's chest. And as the woman wrapped her arms around the tiny infant- this beautiful melding of her and Booth and something that was uniquely the child's own- she knew: this was what it meant to be complete. Booth gazed adoringly at Brennan, laughing and crying and crying and laughing; lathering all manner of kisses across her sweaty face and the baby's until Brennan recognized with shock that this... this was what it meant to be unconditionally and irrevocably in love.
For the first time in as long as Brennan could remember, she joined Booth and wept tears of pure happiness.
And that was how it happened to be, that Christina Katherine-Joy Booth was born on the Christmas Eve Blizzard of '11, in a cramped FBI elevator to elated parents Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan.