|Plan 'A' Redux: Return Engagement
Author: LizD PM
The Sequel to Plan 'A' Redux - How will the return of Booth's Father affect Booth and Brennan's engagement?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - S. Booth & T. Brennan - Chapters: 17 - Words: 60,755 - Reviews: 184 - Favs: 62 - Follows: 96 - Updated: 05-04-11 - Published: 03-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6847127
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: You should probably read Plan "A" Redux before this story, but if you really don't want to the salient points are at the bottom so they don't get in the way up here.
Written During the March/April Hiatus 2011
And Scene ...
Booth walked into the Hoover building that morning with a spring in his step and a song in his heart - the song was on his lips too though it was more of a whistle. He couldn't have asked for a better night, a better morning, a brighter future. He and Brennan made love - real love with all the bells and whistles - for the first time. There was no guilt, remorse or regrets - all openness and just plain fun. Since it was the first time, technically the second time, it was expected that they should have been at it all night like a couple of teenagers in heat, alas that was not the case but what they had was better than sex. Both were exhausted from getting acclimated to their baby daughter for the last six weeks, so there was that to hamper the all-night-long scenario. They had the whole night to themselves, CJ was with Angela and Jack, so there was no need to rush. The plan was to connect physically and catch up with the emotional connection they had forged pre and post birth. Around nine thirty they emerged from the bedroom ravenous. They called for takeout and grazed in the fridge while they waited. They talked about nothing and everything, laughed, practically giggled. About half way through the Phad Thai, they looked at each other and knew that they couldn't go through with it. They dressed and drove to the Hodgins' house and picked up their daughter. They wanted her home with them as a family. As it turned out it was the first night that CJ slept through the night. Out of habit Booth and Brennan woke at two, four and six o'clock. They made good use of that quiet time - whispering, laughing, caressing, and watching the life they created sleep.
"You seem happy, Agent Booth," Wilcox observed.
"And why wouldn't I be?" He turned to his onetime assistant, now fellow agent. He handed him the digital photo frame that Angela and Hodgins had given him as a baby present. It was loaded with six weeks of pictures of CJ and the entire extended Booth/Brennan family. The memory card was full. "She's a looker, sir. You're going to have a tough time on your hands when she turns sixteen."
"Don't I know it?" He took the frame back and placed it on his desk. "So what brings you down to these parts? Slumming it?"
"Someone was here looking for you last night. You didn't get my message?"
"I did, but I wasn't in a position to return the call." Honestly Booth had deleted the message as soon as he heard it was Wilcox. If it were important, Wilcox would find him. Apparently it was important. "So who was this visitor?"
"Your father," said a deep gravelly voice scarred with too many years of cigarettes and bourbon.
Booth and Wilcox both turned to the doorway. Booth's good humor popped like a balloon. There stood a tall, thin, gray man of about sixty-five. It was William "Billy" Booth – the man who walked out on him and never looked back. Booth looked at him for the first time with a man's eye. Every inch of the elder Booth was gray from his hat to his shoes including his eyes, teeth and skin. It was almost as if he had been dusted with cigarette ash. His shirt was wrinkled and his jeans were torn in a few spots but it was not a fashion statement. The first thought that struck Booth was that this was probably the best clothes the man owned and he still looked like a homeless person. Booth and Billy were never close, but now they were light years apart – the son had surpassed the father in every way.
"Hi Seeley," the man said. "Been a long time."
"Yes it has – decades in fact." Booth looked at Wilcox and nodded for him to go. He did and closed the door behind him. Booth squared his shoulders and looked back at the shadow of a man before him. "What do you what?"
"I came to see you."
"Why now? You dying or something?" Booth looked down at his desk hoping for files or other work to focus on.
"We're all dying, Seeley."
"Thanks for the insight." He kept his anger in check. "What do you want?"
"You've done pretty well for yourself." He looked at the awards, commendations and other select mementos that Booth had in his office. "Come up in the world real nice: fancy suit, private office, bet you're in charge of all those people out there too."
"What do you want?" he asked for the third time.
"Just to talk," he said putting his hands up defensively. "I just want to talk."
Booth snorted a laugh. "Did you think that you would show up here after nearly thirty years and we would just catch up over coffee?"
"You have a right to be pretty pissed at me."
"I don't need your permission," Booth dismissed snidely.
"You're right." He stepped back to the front of Booth's desk. "How's Pops?"
"Fine." Booth clenched his teeth and braced ready to resume his big brother stance. He did not want this man to interfere in Jared's life. Jared had finally gotten control of his drinking - as much as an alcoholic can. He was married with a good job. He was happy. Booth wouldn't let anyone including his father ruin that for Jared.
Billy Booth picked up the frame which currently had a picture of Brennan, Parker and CJ. "Are these kids yours? And is that your wife? I'll bet she is a handful or two." He grinned wryly.
Booth took the frame back from him and put it down on the desk. "One more time. What do you want?"
"I'm sober," the father announced.
"OK." Booth didn't care.
"Six months last Friday." He waited for a response from Booth that was not forthcoming. "I'm working the program. I want to make amends, son."
Booth bristled at the gray man calling him his son. "Should have sent a fruit basket," he mumbled. Booth's phone rang and he didn't hesitate to answer it. "Booth ... right ... right ... on my way." He ended the call and dialed another. "Yeah, we have a case. I'll be there to pick you up in five. Have the squint squad meet us there. I'll text you the location." He worked his phone for a moment, and looked back up hoping beyond hope that Billy Booth would be gone. Not to be. "I have a case. Gotta go." He stepped past him into the bull pen. "Hey Charlie, would you be sure that our guest finds his way out?" Without waiting for answer he thanked Charlie. "Let's do this again in another thirty years, huh?" Booth left.
Billy Booth stood in the doorway watching Booth retreat. Seeley was a big man now; strong, capable and carried a gun. He wasn't some twelve year old kid protecting his brother or a seven year old stepping between his parents. Billy knew a little bit about Booth's brief college basketball career, his sniper past in the first Gulf War, his recent tour in Afghanistan and his work with Temperance Brennan at the FBI, not that he knew what a forensic anthologist did. The internet was a powerful thing when used for good. Billy hadn't always known where Booth was or what he was doing, but he had a drinking buddy back in Philadelphia who was friends with Pops. Every so often he would contact his buddy and do a quick catch up on the Booth boys. He thought about calling Booth once or twice, maybe three times in the past twenty-nine years but never did. He actually never thought about it seriously. Jared he gave no thought at all.
The trip to Washington was not so much about reconnecting with Booth, though that was certainly a factor, what Billy really needed was Booth's help. He needed to use Booth and his FBI connections but he would have to ease into it. Or maybe he shouldn't. Maybe telling him about his step-granddaughter being in trouble would be the better approach. Seeley had always been the hero type; always trying to save the weak from the evil in the world. Billy saw that in Booth when he was just a kid barely out of diapers. It made him disgusted and angry - how did a kid get so sanctimonious at age five? Clearly Booth would always be about saving the little guy in spite of what it cost him personally. All Billy had to do was give Seeley another lost cause and he would bend over backwards regardless of who was asking. Some people never change. That was a lesson Billy learned long ago.
"So," Angela pressed. "How was it?"
Brennan looked up and couldn't contain her grin. "Really great."
"Finally ... I'm so happy for you Bren."
"Yeah." Her eyes flickered with concern but she quickly blinked it away.
"Don't go there, sweetie," Angela warned. "You two have wasted too much time second guessing yourselves."
"I'm not ... It's just a new feeling."
"Being satisfied," Brennan corrected her.
"Oh Ho … so Booth is that good, huh?"
"Content, Angela," she restated. "But yes satisfied too." He looked over at her daughter asleep in the crib. "I'd like to stop time - though that's impossible. But I would like to pause here for just a little while."
"There's more good stuff coming, Bren."
"I know ... but I also know with the good comes the bad, and I would just like to hold right here – not forever, just for a week or two. Like a vacation."
"You're contentment is up to you, Sweetie. You and Booth decide how much you will let in and how much it will enhance or disrupt your life."
Brennan's cell phone rang. She mumbled a few yeses and hung up. The first bad thing came up. "We have a case," she said. "Booth wants me to go with him to the crime scene."
"He misses you already," she grinned. "Is there really a crime scene or does he just need a nooner for breakfast?"
"I don't know what that means, but it is a real case." Brennan's phone beeped the incoming text. "Why did he call me?"
"That's OK isn't it? ... I mean you should take back your partnership – you should have it all. You two were always better together."
"I don't think it's that simple – in terms of work," Brennan corrected. She grabbed her bag and headed for the door. "I'm not in charge here anymore."
"I don't think Clark will stop you. Booth is pretty hard on him."
"I need to tell Cam and Clark." She walked toward Cam's office.
"You are the master of your own fate, Bren," Angela called after her.
"I don't believe in fate. And by definition fate is something I can't control," she said to no one but herself.
Booth pulled up to the Jeffersonian fully expecting Brennan to be waiting for him. She was. He didn't get out. He did say anything. He allowed her to stow her bags in the back and climb in herself. It was odd. For the past five months he doted on her to the point of being annoying. He sped away and kept his eyes on the road. This was not the man who kissed her goodbye less than an hour ago. Something had happened.
"What's going on Booth?" She asked after many minutes.
"Dead body in a shed in an alley … not much left of it ... need you to ID, give me COD ... the usual."
She reached over and touched his arm. He reflexively pulled away.
"Sorry." He said when he realized what he had done. He reached over and took her hand, pressed it quickly and then let go.
"Booth ... we aren't partners any more. I don't go to crime scenes with you. What's going on?"
His eyes flamed anger. "You don't want to help me on this case? Fine." He pulled a U-turn. "I'll take Edison with me."
"Booth ... stop. Stop the car. ... Right now ... Stop the car. ... BOOTH!"
He screeched to a stop on the side of the road. "What?" He glared at her.
"That's what I'm asking. What? Something happened in the last hour, I think you need to tell me what it is."
He looked away. He just wanted to scream, to yell, to punch something. He was about to turn his rage on her, but when he looked back he didn't see his obstinate partner sticking her nose in where it didn't belong, he saw his lover, the mother of his daughter, the woman who not sixty minutes ago he was planning a future with – the one he would share his life with - and that meant the past as well as the future. If he really believed that, if he really wanted that - then she needed to be brought into the loop with all its ugliness. She could take it or not, but it was real. His expression softened. He reached over and took her hand and brought it to his lips and kissed it tenderly. "This was such a great morning," he said remorsefully.
She pulled her hand out of his. "Tell me what happened."
He leaned back. "You will never guess who came to see me this morning."
"No, come on ... guess."
"If I will never guess, why would I want to? Why would you ask me to?"
"It's a thing, Bones. Just guess. The last person you would ever think would walk into my office."
She shrugged. "Your father."
"How the hell did you know that? You're a genius. Or Psychic. How did you know that?"
She started to explain her inductive logic about his mood, his level of anger, and his assurance that she would never guess. Since the odds were very high that Booth's father would ever walk back into his life and because of the little bit she knew about Booth's issues with his father, she could surmise anger would be his first response. Given all of that, she opted to keep her thought process to herself determining that his question was rhetorical. "What happened?"
"He just showed up."
"What did he want?"
"We didn't get that far. He said he had quit drinking - about six months sober and was working the program."
"Twelve steps ... he was up to number nine; making amends for past wrong doings."
"You know these steps?"
"They are the same for all addicts. Yes, I know them."
"Ok, so ..."
"So nothing. I got the call about the case and left."
"Oh HELL no. He didn't come all this way for a five minute chat."
"How do you know how far he came?"
Booth looked down. "I found him ... years ago ... when I got to the FBI. I probably know more about his life in the past thirty years than he does."
"We have to get to a crime scene. Will you work this one with me?"
"Of course ... but what about your father."
"We need to table that discussion for a better time ... or never." He put the car in gear, made another U-turn and was back on the road toward the crime scene.
"I suspect that he won't just go away," she observed.
"You know people Booth. What do you think he wants?"
He ground his teeth and looked out the window. "Probably money."
"He has never asked you for money before," she said. "Could there be another reason?"
"Sure, about a hundred, but it doesn't matter."
"You don't wish to reconcile with him?"
"No." Booth jaw tensed. It was amazing how just seeing his father again - a mere shadow of his former self - threw Booth back into his youth when his father was larger than life. A flood of Daddy issues came crashing down on him. Sweets would have a field day. What were the odds that Sweets wouldn't meet Daddy Dearest?
She reached over and rested her hand on his thigh. "You're not your father Booth."
Her touch brought him back to the present. He covered her hand with his. "I know. Thanks." Then he glanced at her with a sly grin. "But you can't touch me like that at work, OK?"
"Touch you like what?" She pressed her fingers into his inner thigh. "Like that?" She moved her hand up higher and pressed again. "Or that."
He grinned and lifted her hand off his thigh. "Just keep your hands and feet to yourself when we're at work, OK?"
"I'm very good with my feet … dexterous."
"I'm aware – and pretty impressed," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "Not at work."
"I'll try to control myself." She smiled back at him. "Although, I do find that I am quite distracted today. I keep imagining our -."
"Nothing ... don't imagine ... just save it for off hours."
"I can still smell you on my skin."
"BONES ... please."
"I thought you would be pleased to know that I found our encounter last night very satisfying and am anxiously looking forward to our next."
"Yeah ... that's great ... dead body?"
She looked back out the window. "Fine."
He glanced at her a couple of times. He reached over and took her hand. "I am too." She looked back a little confused. "Distracted … and looking forward to our next … encounter."
A/N: The salient points of PLAN "A" REDUX are: Hannah said yes to Booth's proposal, Booth and Brennan let their partnership dissolve as Booth was tracking down Broadsky for killing Caroline Julian. Booth brought him in and was asked to head up an organized crime task force. Brennan had gone back to doing what the Jeffersonian originally hired her for and only consulted on murder cases. Booth and Hannah's relationship was very rocky. Brennan contacted Booth in September to get his authorization to use his sperm to impregnate herself, Booth would be no part of her life (unless he wanted the kid to know her dad when the time came). He agreed and they wound up making love - sort of a onetime deal, he was still engaged to Hannah. She naturally got pregnant the old fashioned way but didn't disclose that to Booth. The whole Jeffersonian team hooked back up at Thanksgiving and then in a subsequent case. The news of Brennan's pregnancy was announced, Sweets had a feeling it was Booth's but Brennan hadn't told him. Booth broke up with Hannah after struggling for ten months to make their relationship work it was both their fault. Both transferred back to major crimes. Booth and Brennan grew closer until he finally demanded to be part of the pregnancy and the child's life. Booth moved in to help her with the last weeks before the birth. They grew very close during that time but had yet to verbalize their feelings or their intention of having a future together after the baby was born other than co-parents. It was during the labor that Booth figured out that the baby was conceived naturally. They admitted their feelings - at least the love part. In the epilogue, Booth suggested that they get married. He made a logical argument and Brennan agreed. Also in the epilogue, B&B hadn't had sex yet. They had only really gotten together when Brennan was eight months pregnant, and the story ended six weeks after the baby was born. This story picks up the morning after they corrected that point in their relationship. It was that night that Booth's father chose to show up at the FBI looking for him. And Scene ...