Chapter 12. The “WHA WHA-WHA”
Brennan is standing in Angela’s office after having spent two hours with Wendell reviewing his findings regarding the samurai remains from the Battle of Shiroyama.
“Angela, the Satsuma Rebellion Exhibit is going to be quite fascinating this year. Wendell has identified two additional contributors within the collection of remains we’ve been reviewing. That makes five in total. Have I ever told you about the Chi’zahmi expedition I lead as part of my doctoral thesis in grad school …”
Brennan stares at Angela, attempting to ascertain whether or not she’s actually awake. She notices Angela’s eyes are open, but there is no movement. “Ange,” are you okay?”
“Sorry, Bren, all I heard was WHA WHA WHA, WHA WHA-WHA, WHA’S. WHA WHA?” replies Angela as if awaking from a sugar-induced stupor.
“Is this a common side affect of the increased volume of estrogen and hCG resulting from the pregnancy?” Brennan asks, concerned.
“What? The stupor, or the WHA WHA WHA?”
“The WHA WHA WHA, of course. The sucrose-induced stupor is not at all surprising.”
“Unfortunately the WHA WHA WHA has been going on for quite some time – about six years or so …” Angela chuckles at her own joke alone, as Brennan does not comprehend what Angela is really telling her.
“Well, Ange, you may want to have that looked at by an otolaryngologist. You may be suffering from a rare case of tinnitus. A simple audiometric test will determine the cause. I can recommend an excellent facility just outside D.C. if you are interested.”
“Sweetie, I already know the cause, and I’m not interested in a cure … why did you come to my office?”
“Ange, I find I am experiencing what I can only assume is an anxiety disorder – and you are the one person I know who can help me decipher the cause of it.”
“Doctor Montenegro, at your service,” says Angela as she attempts to get out of her desk chair. “Can you help me? Just grab hold of my hand and pull.”
Waddling across her office and lying down on the couch, Angela has an idea of what is coming. Their earlier conversation had been cut short by the arrival of Wendell and Hodgens who continued waving around beakers of maggot puree in varying colors and consistency. On any normal day, this would have been enough to make Angela hurl. Today, her reaction was magnified exponentially. It is no small wonder she is a little pale and quite dazed.
“Try some of that cake, Brennan,” offered Angela, hungry once again as a result of the maggot puree-induced evacuation of her stomach contents. “There’s one piece left.”
“Ange,” said Brennan as she flipped open the only remaining Styrofoam container of chocolate fudge cake. “This one is half eaten.”
“Baby got hungry. Sorry. Please take the rest … ”
“I don’t think I could handle even half of that cake considering the increased heart rate and gastrointestinal discomfort I am currently experiencing. That’s why I’m here to talk to you.”
“Sorry. Yes. Please. What’s up?”
“Just in case we get interrupted once again, here is a list of my concerns so you can help ensure that each is addressed. First, why didn’t Booth initiate intercourse when I got in bed with him? Second, what do I do if Hannah reemerges as a permanent fixture in our lives? Third, I think I may be experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.”
“Oh. Is that all, Sweetie?” says Angela rolling her eyes.
“Yes. Am I overreacting? Are these absurd concerns?”
“No-oh-oh! Those are exactly the concerns any normal woman would have in your shoes. Except perhaps the peri- whatever. You are decades too young for that.”
“Well, I don’t think another woman would necessarily have to put my shoes on to have these concerns. Besides, I’m a little anal retentive when it comes to other people wearing my clothes – or shoes for that matter. Do you think you could help me with your own shoes on?” Brennan asks with that semi-sad, semi-supplicant look on her face.
“Bren, I’m not even wearing my own shoes these days – look, I’m borrowing Jack’s today. They are the only ones that fit my swollen feet! But lets get down to business.”
Brennan takes a seat on a cozy chair across from her best friend, who keeps shifting her considerable girth, trying to get comfortable on the couch.
“Lets do this in an orderly fashion. Issue number one …” begins Brennan.
“Bren. Sweetie. I think this will go much more quickly if we go backwards,” interrupts Angela. “That is, if you want to address all three issues before this baby goes to kindergarten.”
“In the interest of time, I will defer to you, Angela, though my inclination would be to utilize the traditional consecutive numerical process of …”
“Before kindergarden … remember?”
“Right, Ange. I trust you. Proceed.”
“Thank you. Third concern: early signs of menopause. We have no information about when your mother started menopause – so that avenue is a bust. But as I said before, you are way too young for that. Why do you think you might be perimenopausal?”
“I’ve been displaying typical first level symptoms: bouts of excessive perspiration, shortness of breath, rapid pulse rate, difficulty sleeping …” Brennan crosses her arms as if to say she’s already convinced she’s staring straight down the double barrel of childlessness and mother nature has her finger on the trigger. “Mother Nature is a bitch,” she blurts. “Oops! Sorry, Ange. Perhaps Tourette Syndrome is another symptom of early-onset menopause?”
“Sweetie, this is crazy. Make an appointment with your OB/GYN and get this figured out with a hormone level test. In the meantime, you do realize that all those things are also indicators of emotional distress?”
“You are making sense, Ange. However, I’m experiencing these symptoms at an intensity which, if measured by a Geiger counter, would result in a very loud and rapid beeping sound,” replies Brennan, not convinced by Angela’s dismissal of the menopause theory.
“Make the appointment, dearie. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, go see Sweets.”
“Is Sweets experiencing perimenopausal symptoms as well. You know that is implausible, Angela, as he is most definitely not a human female in her waning years of fertility. No. I don’t see how Sweets can be of any assistance here.” Brennan shakes her head and bites the inside of her lower lip.
“Bren, Sweets is a psychologist. If this is caused by emotional distress – it is right up his alley. He will be thrilled. Well, that didn’t come out right. I meant that he would greatly appreciate the opportunity to counsel you about whatever might be causing you to … freak out.”
“Could I really be … freaking out … Ange? I have never … freaked out … in my entire life.”
“The ability to freak out is one of the happy benefits of becoming a less-impervious adult female human. Didn’t you say you’ve been working toward that goal?” insisted Angela.
“You mean these symptoms could be signs of success toward my goal of becoming stronger?”
Angela just smiles. The teacher proud of her progeny.
“Issue number two,” asserts Angela, “is a non-issue and not worth our time.”
“What is your reasoning?” asks Brennan a little put-off by Angela’s comment.
“The way I see it, you’ve still got your gun, right?” Angela adopts a droll expression while looking Brennan straight in the eyes. Getting no response, she continues, “It was a joke, Honey. A joke! Jesus!”
Brennan is at a loss for how to respond. She is only slightly relieved that Angela asked that question in jest rather than as a homicidal conspiracy.
“Bren, look. If he’s seeing her again, which I sincerely doubt, there’s nothing you can do about it. Le coeur veut ce que le coeur veut.” The heart wants what the heart wants – Woody Allen.” Angela lets that sink in for a moment, then continues.
“It will be sad, sweet girl, but you will move on. And I will be right here beside you while you do it … that is … if I’m not in prison for maiming an FBI agent and spray-paintingAgent Booth is an Ass Hat on the front doors of the Hoover building.”
Finally, Brennan grins, then breaks into a throaty laugh which ends with something akin to a sob. “Bone head!”
As they regain composure after a fit of tension-releasing laughter and a couple tears, Angela looks in Brennan’s eyes and says as gently and affectionately as she can, “But that will never happen. I’d bet my first born Stacatto on it.” She waits until she can tell that Brennan is taking in what she is telling her.
“You listen to me, Temperance Brennan. There is a reasonable explanation for what you saw. Give Booth time. He is a good man. An extraordinarily good man. He will tell you what it was about if it is important. Booth loves you. He’s always loved you, Sweetie. I know these things to be true.”
“I wish I had your confidence, Ange. But for now, I choose to trust you. Because that is my only option.”
Brennan heaves an enormous sigh and stares off into space, attempting to compartmentalize all she’s just taken in.
Chapter 13. The Passion in the Chemistry
“Angela, we still on for dinner and probably our last mini-babymoon before the kid makes an appearance?” Asks Hodgens, entering Angela’s office.
“Go!’ she shouts, startling him. “Yes on the dinner thing. But right now you are to leave. This. Office.”
“But … what …”
“Trust me on this and LEAVE!”
“Okay, okay!” he submits, his hands held high like he’s at gunpoint. Under his breath and out of earshot, he continues, disgruntled, “Those wacked out hormones are seriously damaging my calm. I’m married to the Incredible Hulk. Which reminds me – I gotta make a run to the comic book store…”
Brennan hops up and closes the office door, locking it. Returning to her chair across from Angela, Brennan jumps right in. “Nothing happened in bed with Booth, Ange. Why is that? Why is nothing happening? I thought we had agreed that we would be physically compatible. We are both physically fit and possess quite remarkable stamina. According to his physical attributes, Booth would qualify as a good breeder. I myself qualify as well, obviously.”
“Physically compatible, Bren? Really?” Angela asks with a sigh. Is she up to the task set before her, she wonders? Time will tell. But hopefully not too much time …
“Bren, you and Booth are not software programs created by competing developers in two different languages, nor are you a USB port and he an electronic device cord.
“But human anatomy of adult males and females are very much like USB ports and electrical cords in that … Look, it’s basic biology, Angela. What is there to discuss, really?”
“I know you are good at biology and science, Brennan, but you are NOT going to be the one to give my kid the sex talk when the time comes,” says Angela, rubbing her eyes with closed fists and shaking her head.
“Oh, I think I’d be quite good at that …” offers Brennan.
“Bren, my dear sweet wonderful girl,” she begins again with an affectionate expression on her face, “There is more … so much more, to love and romance and sex than plusses and minuses, screws and washers, USB ports and electrical cords. … And I guarantee you it is more than basic biology.”
“I know,” concedes Brennan. “It’s also chemistry.”
“It’s even more than chemistry, Bren. Though, God bless chemistry,” says Angela patting her considerable abdomen and rubbing circles around her navel.
“Angela, I find both the biology and the chemistry of sex quite satisfying. The rush of norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide and prolactin …” Brennan looks dreamily off into space. “But perhaps you are correct, and perhaps there is more to sexual intercourse than biology.
Angela pauses until Brennan notices no one has said anything for a while. She looks over to Angela, who launches into a Angelesque soliloquy on one of her favorite topics.
“Brennan, you can have sex with anyone. But we are talking about making love. With Booth. With the man you have loved … for I don’t remember how long and I’m sure you don’t even know. Between the two of you there is a chemistry – a good chemistry. A solid chemistry. With that kind of chemistry, and that kind of love, it’s never just sex. It’s vulnerable and emotional and safe and thrilling and cathartic and frightening and important and wonderful and fun and passionate. It’s passionate, Bren.”
Brennan looks back at Angela with an expression that’s difficult to read. She listens with rapt attention. She sits very still. Angela almost thinks Brennan looks a little frightened. She continues anyway.
“Passion is about being in a meeting with the team and wanting to crawl across the table and nibble on his earlobe. It’s about having to put your hand over your own mouth while he’s speaking because all you can think of is how he tastes and how his kisses melt you in places you didn’t even know could melt.”
“Sweetie, passion is about wanting to rip his clothes off every time you see him. It’s about getting hot and cold flashes at the memory of the way he kissed and touched you last night – or an hour ago in the Family bathroom at Macy’s – or yesterday in the Egyptian exhibit.”
“Passion is about being so hot for each other. Because underneath everything else is the closest and most beautiful relationship known to our species. So powerful that it was put in charge of the continuation of the human race.”
“Being hot for each other is tucking your lace panties into his coat pocket, or his brief case and calling him an hour later to see if he’s found them.”
“Being hot for each other is not remembering the last time you went to bed or woke up without making love…”
They sat in silence, each caught up in their own thoughts.
“That doesn’t last, Angela,” Brennan finally says, quietly. “Fifty per cent of marriages …”
Angela shakes her head in disagreement. “Maybe the frequency of the love making slows down. And when he’s showing off his ass crack, insisting he’ll get these pipes fixed himself instead of calling the plumber and spending $100 – maybe he may not seem so hot at the time. But this all turns into even better stuff. When you’re with the right person.” She pauses before landing the final punch.
“And Booth knows this,” she arcs an eyebrow knowingly. She slowly nods as Brennan coughs and fidgets in her chair. “Being the guy he is – the intuitive one in this relationship – he knows all of this.”
“Shit,” Brennan whispers, then swallows audibly.
“Now,” begins Angela once again, “let’s tackle concern number one …”
A/N Do you agree with Angela’s description, or do you think she’s full of warm hooey?