A/N: This is in response for Cullen's bullpen challenge… which is a fantastic idea! I've enjoyed reading all the wonderful responses for this challenge.
You know i'd die for you, only sometimes, it's so hard living with you
Come back in an hour. I'll be crazy by then
I couldn't help overhearing. I had my ear pressed to the door.
"Come on, Bones! Please?"
Brennan turned sharply towards him, "No, Booth! I told you I'm not good with children. Why would I want to be responsible for one?"
Booth rolled his eyes, "It's called babysitting, Bones. I'm not asking you to keep Parker for the rest of you life, just a few hours so I can go to this meeting."
"I have a lot to do today, besides I didn't think the FBI had meetings on Saturdays." She countered.
"Yeah well, usually they don't, but in order for us to go ahead with the sting they need all parties involved to be ready Monday morning."
"Can't Sid do it?" Brennan asked as a last resort. She could feel herself weakening under Booth's pleading gaze. If she had known he was going to ask her to baby-sit Parker today she would have never let him into her apartment.
"Nope, Sid's outta town. Don't make me beg, Bones" Booth said smiling his 'charm smile' as she called it. He suddenly dropped to his knees and crawled towards her.
"Pretty please?" Booth grinned up at her, tugging lightly on the loose brown slacks she wore.
Brennan fought a smile, "Stop," she said swatting his hand away. "I'd have to be crazy to agree to this." Booth sighed and stood up. It was time to pull out the big guns.
"You know, Parker was asking about you. He wanted to visit the museum."
Brennan heaved a big sigh, "Come back in an hour. I'll be crazy by then."
"Is that a yes?" Booth asked. She nodded reluctantly. "Alright! Thanks, Bones. You're a lifesaver you know.
He began to turn towards the door, "Okay, so I'll bring Parker by in about an hour."
Brennan scrambled towards him, "Wait! What am I supposed to do? I mean don't you have a list of things prepared? You're just going to leave him here with me without any instructions?"
Booth sighed, "You know I'd die for you, only sometimes, it's so hard living with you."
She looked at him oddly, "What? We don't live together Booth, we reside in two separate apartments."
He threw up his hands, "Never mind, it's just an expression. Look all I'm saying is, I trust you. I don't need to make a list for you, Bones. You're perfectly capable of safely entertaining a five-year-old for a couple of hours."
"You said he wanted to go to the Jeffersonian?" She asked hesitantly.
Booth stepped closer to her, resting his hand on her shoulder. "You'll be fine. I wouldn't have asked you otherwise. Now, I've gotta go pick up Parker before Rebecca changes her mind."
Brennan nodded, "Okay." She said with resolve, more for herself than Booth.
He threw her one last smile before turning out the door of her apartment. Brennan sat down wearily on her couch, a million thoughts running through her mind. How was she supposed to keep Parker entertained? While she certainly appreciated the Jeffersonian, would a child? Especially one as young as Parker?
Brennan was nervously pacing her apartment when she heard a knock. She gulped. Booth was here.
She opened the door with a smile, "Hey." She directed at Booth.
Booth nodded, "Bones."
Her attention turned towards the little boy. "Hi, Parker."
Parker grinned, "Hi, Dr. Brennan. Daddy said you were going to play with me today."
Brennan's eyes flicked toward Booth's, "Yes, that's right. I thought you might enjoy a trip to the museum where I work. Would that be okay with you?"
Parker gasped dramatically, "Could we see the dinosaurs?"
His enthusiasm quickly relieved Brennan's anxiety. "Of course we can."
Booth watched their exchange with amusement. He could tell Brennan was worried about Parker's acceptance of her. For someone who protested her ability with children, she was doing a fine job. He knelt down to face his son.
"Now Parker, Dr. Brennan is going to stay with you until I get back okay?" At his son's nod he continued, "Remember what we talked about, and I want you to be good for Dr. Brennan, okay?"
"Okay daddy." Parker replied solemnly.
Booth stood and looked at his partner, "Thanks. I really appreciate this." He passed her a small duffle bag and spoke at her quizzical brow.
"I packed some snacks, books…you know stuff like that. I didn't know if you had anything kid friendly, so…" he trailed off.
Brennan smirked, "Having second thoughts, Booth?"
He laughed, "No, no, no. Just wanted to make you two comfortable."
"I think we'll be just fine. Won't we, Parker?" she said looking down at the boy.
"and that's what happened to the dinosaurs." Brennan finished.
"Wow." Parker whispered as he looked back toward the fully assembled dinosaur skeleton that stood tall at the center of the Jeffersonian. "Dr. Brennan?"
"You're really smart."
Brennan looked him and chuckled, "Thank you."
Happy at making her laugh he asked, "Do you know everything?"
"Although I do have a very high IQ, I actually don't know everything." She said seriously.
"But my daddy said that you knew everything." He said, his small face scrunched in confusion, his dad was never wrong.
"Booth…I mean your dad said that I knew everything?" Brennan said, willing herself not to blush at Booth's apparent praise.
Parker nodded vigorously, "Yep, he said you were a know-it-all, and that you knew everything."
Brennan's eyes narrowed, "Oh, he said that did he?"
"Well I'll be speaking to him later, but for know…I do happen to know where we can get some ice cream."
At the mention of ice cream Parker flashed a goofy grin, one that was very familiar to Brennan. "Dr. Brennan," he said, grabbing her hand as they walked toward the food court apart from the museum, "you're so cool."
Brennan gently squeezed his tiny hand, feeling a wave of pride at his comment, "Well I think you're pretty cool yourself, Parker."
Booth stood at Brennan's door. He could hear laughter coming from within. Curious he leaned closer to the door, straining to hear.
"No Tempe, you have to read it with a funny voice."
Brennan laughed, "Alright, you win." She continued to read, her voice alternating between a high pitch and a low gruff sound, "What big eyes you have…the better to see you with my dear."
Booth stifled his laughter, shaking his head in disbelief at the image of his partner in his mind. Never in a million years would he picture his pop-cultureless partner, one who insisted she was bad with children, reading to his son. Wanting to surprise them he used the spare key Brennan had given him in case of emergencies.
Parker bounded towards his father, jumping into his arms. He hugged him tightly, before pulling back, "Tempe took me to the museum and we saw the dinosaurs and the mummies, and then she took me for superman ice cream!"
"Wow!" Booth said, slightly exaggerating his facial expressions, "Tempe did all that did she?"
Brennan grinned at the nickname Parker had grown attached to. She decided that Dr. Brennan was too formal for the child, but Temperance proved to be a mouthful for a five year old.
Booth looked past his son to Brennan. He took notice of the absence of the worried woman he had seen only hours before, in place stood a beaming, beautiful woman who stared wistfully at his son.
"So I take it you had fun today kiddo?" Booth asked.
"I had lots of fun, daddy. Can I play with Tempe again when I come over…and you could play too?"
"Well I'm sure playing with Tempe would be lots of fun." Booth said while shooting his partner a cheeky grin.
Brennan glared at him, despite the pink twinge on her cheeks. "Booth."
Booth ignored her, instead sitting his son down. "Why don't you go gather your things while I thank Bones." he noticed Parker frown, "I mean Tempe."
Satisfied he ran toward the couch, stuffing his books into the duffle bag. Brennan watched him struggling to fit the new dinosaur she had bought him into the bag.
"So, Tempe," Booth said drawing her attentions back, "you're a fan of little red riding hood?
"You heard?" she questioned, her features full of embarrassment.
"I couldn't help overhearing. I had my ear pressed to the door."
She punched him lightly on the arm, "It's not polite to snoob, Booth."
He laughed, "I think you mean 'snoop' Bones. You know for someone so smart I wonder about you sometimes."
Her eyes flashed with amusement and Booth noted the satisfied grin that grew, "You know Parker said something to me today. He told me that you said I knew everything…"
Booth bit his lower lip, and cocked his head, "I might have mentioned it…"
"and that I was a know-it-all."
His mouth formed an 'o' and he looked at her with a guilty expression. "When I said know-it-all I didn't mean…" he started backing away.
Brennan waved her hands dismissively, "I know, I know, you were joking. I know-it-all remember."
"I'm ready daddy!" Parker exclaimed from their feet.
Booth looked down at his son, "Okay, bud. Did you thank Tempe for taking you to the museum?"
"Thank you Tempe!"
Brennan ruffled the boy's hair, "You're welcome, Parker."
She felt a small flutter as the boy launched himself at her, squeezing her legs in a hug. She looked at Booth and shrugged at his 'told you so' gaze.
"Hey Bones, how about we take you to dinner, someplace nice…you know as a thank you."
Brennan shifted uncomfortably, "Booth, you don't have to…it was fun."
"Come on, I want to…" he said looking at her, "uh, I mean we want to."
"Are you sure? I don't want to intrude on your time."
Parker jumped in excitement, "Please Tempe?"
"Alright." She chuckled.
Booth clapped his hands together, "Okay, so is seven good for you?"
"Great, it's a date."
Brennan's blue eyes locked on his, startled at his remark. She could tell by his befuddled expression that he hadn't realized when he said it. Meanwhile, Parker looked between the two, knowing something had happened, but not understanding what.
"A date?" Brennan repeated.
Booth swallowed hard and lifted his chin with resolve, "Yes, if…I mean if you'd want to." He said glancing around awkwardly. This wasn't exactly how he envisioned this moment.
Brennan looked to Parker's innocent face and back toward her partner. Ignoring the rational voice in the back of her mind begging to say no, she said, "Sure. I think I'd like that."
"Good." Booth said smiling at her, "Well…we should get going. I guess we'll see you tonight."
Brennan waved goodbye again, closing the door behind them. Maybe babysitting wasn't so bad after all.