BONES—"I Missed You" Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or anything else associated with the show.

Author's note: For this fanfic, Booth is a little out of character…you'll see what I mean. Hope you enjoy. This takes place after "The Man on the Fairway".

Jeffersonian Medico-Legal Lab, 9 pm

Dr. Temperance Brennan sighed heavily as she finished the last keystroke of her report for the latest FBI case she had worked with Special Agent Seely Booth. She leaned back in her chair, surveyed her surroundings and began to massage her temples. Her head had begun a slow dull ache a few hours ago, mostly due to lack of sleep and no food. Brennan's stomach let out a low rumble as a reminder that it had been almost 24 hours since her last meal. Brennan glanced at the clock on her desk and noted the time. 'I better get over to Wong Foos before Angela calls,' she thought.

This last case had taken its toll on everyone involved. The skeletal remains of a five-year-old boy had been uncovered as a crew had begun working to demolish an old abandoned house. The problem was that those remains were just the tip of the iceberg, or rather graveyard. The remains of 15 more children were uncovered on the half acre lot—15 children who had been missing for years. Booth had discovered that two of the 15 had been missing for as long as 30 years.

Brennan, Angela, Hodgins and Zack had worked almost non-stop for a week and a half to identify the remains and the killer. All of the young victims, ranging in age from three to seven, had been reported missing from the same small suburban area over the years—the same area where their killer had resided until the day he had died of natural causes. Booth had located most of the family members, many of whom still resided in the area. Brennan had tagged along and watched him as he had informed each family of their loss. She recalled the emotion Booth had shown at each residence, his grief fresh and genuine every time. She instinctively knew that Parker had been weighing heavily on his mind during the case.

Brennan switched off her computer, stood behind her desk and stretched her tired, stiff muscles. Her cell phone began to ring and she smiled as Angela's name appeared on her caller I.D.

"I'm on my way, Angela, I promise," Brennan answered as she picked up her jacket and switched off the lights to her office.

"Yeah, you'd better be, sweetie! We're not the only one who've worked hard this week," Angela reprimanded her friend.

"I'm leaving the office now." Brennan had quickly made her way to her car.

"Well, get over here fast…I can't take much more of drunk, surly, sulky Booth." Angela sighed. "I mean drunk and surly I could possibly work with, but sulky…unh-uh."

Brennan paused for a moment. "What do you mean 'drunk'? Booth's drunk?"

"Oh yeah, sweetie. That last time I saw someone this messed up was…well, when you breathed in all that meth at the club." Angela chuckled slightly. "You know, you two are kinda cute when you're under the influence."

Brennan rolled her eyes at her friend's comment. "Ange, make sure he doesn't try to leave before I get there."

Angela tossed Booth's car keys up in the air and caught them as they fell. "One step ahead of you."

Wong Foos, 9:30 pm

Brennan stepped into the restaurant and noticed Booth at his usual spot at the bar, drinking another beer. Angela quickly made her way over to her friend. "He's not real happy with us," she remarked as she studied Brennan's concerned face. "It took all three of us to wrestle his keys from him."

Brennan watched Booth for a few moments before replying. "Just leave his keys with Sid."

"Uh, sweetie, what're you going to do?"

"I don't know…I…I'll figure it out in a moment. I need to talk to him."

She approached her partner, with Angela on her heels. She noticed that his jacket was hanging haphazardly on the back of the bar stool. He had rolled up the sleeves of his shirt, exposing his strong forearms, and his normally well kept hair was mussed, as though he'd been running his fingers through it.

"Booth?" she asked tentatively, unsure what to expect since she'd never seen Booth inebriated before. His bloodshot chocolate eyes looked up and connected with her bright blue gaze.

"Bones! My Bones! Hey," he replied with a sloppy grin and slightly slurred speech. "Wha'sup? Wanna drink?"

Brennan glanced at Angela who was smiling at the scene in front of her. "Well, he seems better now that he's got his Bones," she laughed.

"Angela…"

"Okay, okay. Here Sid, Booth's Bones wants you to keep up with these," she said as she tossed the keys on the bar. She retreated to the designated squint table as Brennan glared at her.

Brennan took a seat beside her partner and eyed him cautiously. "Booth, are you okay?"

Booth chuckled mirthlessly as he picked up a handful of peanuts from the small bowl sitting in front of him. "Okay? Bones, those kids…Parker is four-years-old, defenseless, vulnerable…like those kids. Someone these people knew…trusted…took kids from that neighborhood for over 30 years!"

The volume of Booth's voice had increased as he had begun speaking. Angela, Hodgins and Zack watched the twosome at the bar in complete silence. They had never see Booth out of control. Sarcastic, yes. Irritated, yes. Awed by Brennan, always, although he would never admit that one.

"And we can't even bring the families justice because the son of bitch is dead! He molested and killed those kids and then he gets lucky and dies of a heart attack," Booth continued his tirade. "He died before anyone could learn the truth about him!"

He stopped to catch his breath and take another gulp of beer. Brennan was unsure what to say or do for her friend, her partner. "Booth…," she whispered as she placed her hand on his shoulder.

"I just keep thinking about Parker. I'm not always there to protect him," he let out an unsteady breath. "I don't know what I would do if he disappeared or got hurt or…I don't know how you've lived with it all these years…not knowing about your parents."

Brennan tensed slightly at the mention of her parents. She'd given the file she had on her parents to Booth. She trusted him to help her, but discussing them was still difficult for her.

"Booth, your son is fine. He's safe at home with his mother," she stated firmly but gently. "You've have too much to drink, let me drive you home."

Booth rubbed his eyes and looked at her. "You look beat Bones."

Brennan smiled slightly. "I still look better than you." She stood and grabbed his jacket. "Can you stand?"

Booth used the bar to steady himself. "Of course I can stand," he replied as he stumbled around the bar stool. Brennan grabbed his arm to steady him as Angela, Hodgins and Zack approached them.

"Here Booth, put your arm around me," Brennan said as she placed his left arm around her neck.

"Oohh, Bones, I knew you wanted me," he smirked.

Angela laughed. "You got him, sweetie?"

"Yeah…I'm worried about alcohol poisoning though."

"I'd be more worried about him blowing chunks in that sweet ride of yours," Hodgins piped in.

"I don't know what that…," Brennan began as Hodgins pretended to wretch. "Oh, that. I guess I'll drive fast."

"Yeah, cause that'll help," Angela said as she rolled her eyes. "Call me if you need anything."