Rating: PG-13 If you can watch the show, you can read it. : )

Pairing: B Squared, Baby! (Booth/Brennan)

Spoilers: Assume everything? lol

Summary: Booth's and Brennan's pasts come back to haunt them.

Disclaimer: Bones and characters belong to Kathy Reichs, Hart Hanson, FOX, etc. I'm just playing with them for awhile. ; )

Distribution: Just tell me where its going!

Feedback: Pretty please? With Haagen Dazs ice cream on top?

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FBI Headquarters

9 pm

Seeley Booth sat at his desk, case file in hand, apparently staring across the office at an extremely interesting stain on the wall. Of course, anyone who knew him at all would recognize that as his patented 'brooding' face. He'd been sitting there in very much the same manner ever since Deputy Director Cullen had stopped in and threw the manila file folder on his desk.

"New case. Definitely gonna need the squints on this one," he had said. He began to turn to leave, and then stopped. "Oh, and try to keep your anthropologist from beating up all the suspects - I've got enough to deal with as it is without having to worry about harassment suits." Without giving Booth a chance to reply, Cullen turned on his heel and walked briskly back the way he had come.

Now, Booth wondered whether Brennan beating up the suspects was the least of his worries. He set the case file back on the desk and began flipping through it again, trying to see if there was some bit of information he had missed the last three times he had read it. Cullen was right, it was exactly the kind of case he'd need the squints for.

Two weeks ago, a 16-year-old girl had reported her parents missing after they had gone out one night to a party and never returned home. The local police had searched the home and the outlying area, as well as the the residence where the party had taken place. So far, they had not been able to locate the parents' bodies or the car they had been driving in, nor had a ransom note been left behind. In fact, the only clue seemed to be the utter lack of clues. Unless the parents had disappeared of their own accord, whoever had done this had done it clean. They weren't dealing with an every day kidnapping or murder; this

case would be much harder to solve.

What worried Booth most however, was how Brennan would react to the case, considering the similarities it had to her own parents' disappearance. The courts were already pushing to put the girl in foster care if they didn't wrap the case soon. Worse, she didn't have an older brother, or a grandfather to get her back out of the system again like Brennan had. So far, they hadn't been able to locate any of her relatives.

Booth didn't want to force Brennan to relive any difficult memories, but he really did need her on this case. He debated whether he should tell her all the facts of the case, or just tell her what she needed to know when he needed her to know it. Figuring that wouldn't go over well at all, he decided he'd just hand her the file and let her read it for herself, then judge her reaction.

Booth glanced at the clock - 9:20. Having made his decision, he got up, threw on his long navy-blue jacket, and headed out to the parking lot. Normally, he wouldn't have bothered going to the Jeffersonian this late, as most of the squints would have already gone home. Of course, he knew Brennan would be there, working late, as usual- which tonight worked quite nicely. He thought it would be better to have fewer people around until he knew better how Brennan would handle the case.

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Medico-Legal Lab

Jeffersonian Institute

9:30 pm

Temperance Brennan sat her desk, finishing up the paperwork for the remains of a Civil War soldier she had just finished identifying. Despite how often her co-workers suggested that she go home and get some rest, she really did enjoy working alone after everyone had left. Working with the bones, looking meticulously at the details and piecing everything together gave her a calm, peaceful feeling. Everything else she might have been feeling just drifted away. She always felt extremely satisfied after finishing an identification.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the side of her office door, causing her to jump. She looked up to see Booth standing there, a small half smile on his lips. "Hey, Bones," he said, not moving from his place in the doorway.

"Booth! What are you doing here?" She asked, only slightly recovering from the adrenaline rush moments before.

Booth's face became more serious as he stepped into the office. "New case," he said, holding up the file, "figured I'd catch you on your own." He handed her the folder and sat down in a chair near the desk.

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Booth watched as Brennan read the file, her face shifting from a somewhat pained expression to a darker one, which only grew darker by the second. She finished reading and slowly closed the folder, setting it down on the desk. She looked up with resolve etched on her features. "Where do we start?" she asked.

Booth didn't know what he had expected - Sadness? A refusal to be involved in the case? However, he figured this was a good sign and went from there. "I figured we'd check out the house and question the girl, Serena. Maybe have Zack and Hodgins come along to find anything the local police missed in their investigation."

"Good," Brennan replied, glancing at the clock on the wall, "I'll get everyone on it first thing tomorrow." She smiled hesitantly and then looked down at her desk.

Taking that as his cue to go, Booth stood up to leave and gave her another half smile. "Thanks, Bones. You sure you're okay with taking this case?"

Brennan looked up, a hint of indignation in her eyes. "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"

Booth studied her closely for a few seconds and then shrugged. "I'll see you tomorrow. Good night, Bones." He walked out and stopped to look in the window next to the door. Brennan had crossed the room and was apparently retrieving another box of bones to identify. Booth lingered for few moments, watching as she lifted out a few of the bones and examined them carefully. Smiling slightly, Booth walked out to his car and headed home.