A/N: Well, here it is, the follow-up to 'What Happens in Vegas…" I hope you enjoy. It'll have a little of everything in it I think.
Seeley Booth had never been so glad to get home from a case. He'd been out of town for a month, which in his opinion was far too long to be away from his new wife. They'd been married for nine months now, and it had been a bit rocky, but they were adjusting. After returning from Las Vegas, they had begun to look for a house, which caused a lot of headaches and quite a few fights as they had differing ideas about the environment in which they wanted to live. Both he and Temperance finally agreed on a four bedroom colonial about half an hour outside of DC.
Temperance also had to learn how to be a parent, which was interesting. She was good with kids, he'd always known that, but the adjustment was hard. Poor Parker was having a bad year as far as illness went, and had managed to give everything to Temperance. The worst of it was a month and a half ago when she'd picked up his strep throat. She'd been miserable and was forced by her doctor to not go into work. Booth shook his head with a slight smile on his lips. The poor girl had a lot of adjustments to get used to. Hell, they both did, but so far, they'd managed.
Booth stepped into the foyer and hung up his coat. Winter was great, but it was getting far too cold outside. He walked through the family room, pausing when he realized that Temperance was curled up on the couch with his son, Parker. Booth looked at the pair for a moment before noticing the large metal bowl at the base of the couch.
"Bones, hey, wakey wakey, sweetheart," Booth said as he gently shook his wife awake. Temperance slowly opened her eyes, letting them focus before she brought her gaze up to Booth. A smile spread across her face when she saw him.
"You're back! How was Milwaukee?" Brennan rubbed her eyes before glancing at the clock. It was four thirty in the morning.
"Awful, cold, and I couldn't wait to get home. What's Parker doing here? I thought we had him next weekend." Booth gently scooped up the little boy so Tempe could sit up on the couch. She looked exhausted.
"Rebecca had a last minute conference and couldn't find a babysitter. I told her I could watch him, but after he got here, he started throwing up. I took him to the doctor today, and they said he has a pretty bad bout of the stomach flu."
"How long have you had him here?"
"Since Friday evening. He wanted to put up the holiday decorations, but he was too sick, so he just directed while I put them up." Booth looked around the room, noticing the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree, some garlands, and three stockings hung over the fireplace. Booth leaned down slightly and kissed Tempe, glad that she had made the effort with Parker.
"Let me put him to bed, then we can talk, or go to sleep, or whatever." Booth turned to leave the room, Temperance right on his heels. He laid Parker down in his room and pulled the covers over the small boy.
"He only fell asleep about a half hour ago. He hasn't stopped vomiting in three days, so I've been trying to keep fluids in him like the doctor said."
"Yeah, it can get a bit hard. You haven't given him apple juice, have you?"
"I did. I thought it would be easier on his stomach than orange juice."
"Well, usually you'd be right. For whatever reason, apple juice makes him throw up when he's sick."
"Then I made him worse?" Her worried expression was cute on her. Booth pulled her close to him and kissed her temple.
"Hey, you didn't know. The important thing is that he's asleep now, so let's let him rest, okay?" She nodded and followed Booth from Parker's room. "And all the better he's finally asleep. We have to be in court in the morning, remember?"
"Ugh, I completely forgot about that."
"Well, try to get a couple hours of sleep. Is Rose stopping by tomorrow?"
"Yeah, she said she'd be here at eight." Temperance collapsed onto her bed, and closed her eyes even before slipping under the covers. Booth pulled the blankets over her before changing for bed. It had obviously been a long night for both of them, and at the current point, any amount of sleep would be a welcome thing.
The state of sleep didn't last very long for Booth. Within half an hour of his collapse into bed, he heard crying from the other room.
"Tempe," came the cry of the small boy. Temperance sat up with a start, but Booth waved her back down.
"I'll go get him," he said as he crawled out of bed. Booth made his way down the hallway and into his son's room. Parker looked up at his father and held out his arms. The FBI agent sat on the bed and pulled the little boy up to him. "What's wrong, bub?"
"My tummy hurts."
"Why don't we go get you some orange juice and see if that helps?" Parker nodded and cuddled in closer to his father. Booth held the little boy close and went in the other room in search of something that would settle his stomach.
Temperance sat up sharply at the sound of a doorbell. She rubbed her eyes wearily, having only received a few hours of sleep. With a wide yawn, she padded down to the front door and opened it, surprised to see Rose Alipoli, Parker's nanny there.
"Rose, what're you doing here so early?" Temperance stepped aside to let the nanny into the house.
"Early? I'm on time. It's eight o'clock."
"Eight? Oh no." Temperance rushed into the family room where Booth was asleep with Parker. She shook her husband awake in a panic. "Seeley, we forgot to set the alarm. Come on, get up." Booth opened his eyes, and then shut them tight against the morning glare.
"Alarm? What are you talking about?"
"Rose is here." Booth sat up, barely catching Parker before the little boy slipped off of his father's chest. Rose came into the room and extracted the little boy from his father's grip.
"I'll take Parker; you two get ready to go. I imagine you'll be late for work."
"Worse, we're late for court."
"Would you please state your name and occupation for the court?" The prosecuting attorney paced in front of the witness stand as Temperance sat calmly for questioning.
"My name is Dr. Temperance Brennan. I'm a forensic anthropologist for the Jeffersonian Institute."
"And what exactly is it that a forensic anthropologist does?"
"When a body is found that is too decomposed or otherwise destroyed, and cannot be identified by conventional means, I'm called in to assist with the identification."
"What goes into that process?"
"I can look at bones and determine whether or not the victim was male or female, I can determine an approximate age, their height, and what if any injuries they've had to their skeletal structure in the past. I can also look over the remains to determine the cause of death based on bone damage."
"And how do you do that?"
"Certain injuries leave markers on the bone. For instance, blunt force trauma often leaves evidence of damage not only to the outside of the skull, but the intracranial bleeding will then stain the underside of the bone confirming the fatal blow."
"And what did you discover about the remains of Susan Walker?"
"Susan was initially struck from behind, and the blow likely knocked her to the ground."
"It didn't kill her, though."
"No, it didn't kill her. Her hands and arms show defensive wounds indicating that she fought back. There are a series of cut marks on her ribs, indicating that she was stabbed multiple times, the last and fatal wound being to her throat."
"And how can you tell that was the fatal wound?"
"From the angle of the blow, the knife would have struck her across the corroted artery, causing her to bleed out. In all, she received twenty one stab wounds." The jury winced at the words. The prosecuting attorney nodded and faced the defense.
"Your witness." He sat down as the female lawyer of the suspected murderer stood. Temperance recognized her immediately as Howard Epps' former lawyer, Amy Morton.
"Dr. Brennan, are you married?"
"Are you married?"
"I hardly see how this is relevant to the trial."
"You didn't answer the question, Dr. Brennan." Temperance looked over at the judge, who only nodded, indicating that she'd like her to proceed.
"Yes, I am married."
"That's really not any concern of yours."
"It is when you're married to the agent assigned to the case."
"Objection, badgering the witness." The prosecuting attorney stood up, glaring at Amy. The judge looked down at her as well.
"Objection sustained. Miss Morton, please watch yourself."
"I apologize your Honor: I'm merely stating a fact."
"Is that true, Dr. Brennan?" The judge turned her gaze onto Temperance. The forensic anthropologist sighed before answering.
"I am married to Special Agent Seeley Booth."
"For how long," asked Amy as the questioning continued. Temperance let her gaze settle onto Booth for a split second before answering.
"So this was your first case working with your husband?"
"This is the first case I assisted on after we were married, yes. We successfully closed one hundred cases prior to this one."
"Isn't it safe to say that because of your close association with the agent in question that you might be willing to make a few allowances with the evidence to help him along?"
"Are you suggesting that I might falsify information to get a conviction?"
"I'm only asking if it's a possibility. Have you ever falsified information?"
"No. Even if I were to attempt it, which I never would, I have an entire team that has to confirm the findings. Any error would be caught in the process."
"Why do you suppose that the FBI has a policy stating that partners are not to be married?"
"I would assume that the policy is in place to protect the objectivity of both members. I'm sure that the bureau wouldn't want any of their agents taking unnecessary risks because their spouse was being threatened."
"Then why is it okay for the two of you to work together?"
"I'm not with the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
"So you're saying that makes it okay?"
"According to Agent Booth's superiors, yes. We have never shown any reason why we shouldn't be allowed to continue working together. Agent Booth and I work well together because our strengths balance out the others. He can read people better than anyone I've met, and my ability to read bones just backs up his suspicions. On the times when he feels very strongly about a certain suspect, he's learned to wait until my evidence can back up the claim."
"So you would twist the evidence to fit."
"But that's what you just said. You said that he waits for your evidence to back up his suspicion. That sounds like evidence tampering to me."
"Objection, leading the witness."
"Objection sustained. Miss Morton, I will not warn you again."
"I apologize, your honor. I have nothing further." She went to sit as Temperance left the stand. The anthropologist set her mouth into a grim line as she left the courtroom. Booth stepped outside with her, closing the doors behind them.
"How could she do that, Booth? How could she do it after the favor we did for her?"
"It's her job, Temperance. You know that as well as I do."
"But she's trying to make us sound dishonest."
"She's only doing it because she has a weak case. If we didn't have overwhelming evidence to the contrary, then she wouldn't be resorting to personal attacks. Now, let's get back inside and finish up with the testimony, okay" Temperance nodded and followed Booth back into the courtroom, sure that things couldn't possibly get any worse than they already sounded. She was wrong.
"Agent Booth," Amy began after Booth took the stand, "Can you explain to the court why you're currently in therapy?"
"That's actually a confidential issue."
"Do you feel you have something to hide?"
"Not at all, I just don't see it having any bearing on the case being heard here."
"You could be right, but I feel it has a great deal to do with this case because if you have a diminished mental capacity, then errors could have been made during the investigation."
"I do not have a diminished mental capacity."
"Then why would an FBI agent such as yourself be in therapy? Surely the therapy indicates that you have some sort of problem that affects your ability to do your job."
"If there were any concern about my ability to perform my duties, then I would not be allowed to perform them."
"So dropping a suspect off the edge of a roof and shooting at an ice cream truck doesn't indicate that you might have a problem with your job?"
"Objection, badgering the witness."
"Objection sustained. Miss Morton, don't make me tell you to stop the personal attacks again."
"Of course, your honor. I apologize. I have nothing further." Amy went back to her seat and Booth left the stand to return to his seat by Temperance. She offered him a small squeeze of the hand in reassurance, though she herself was furious that Amy was taking such a low course in this trial. Booth offered her a squeeze back before pulling his hand away. They both knew at this point the worst thing they could do was show too much affection, even if it was in a discreet fashion.
"How could they find him not guilty? His dna was found at the crime scene," Temperance muttered as they sat at the Royal Diner that evening. She was picking at her food, not really hungry. The events of the day had completely stolen her appetite.
"It happens. You can't win them all," Booth said as he stabbed into a piece of pie. Neither was happy with the outcome, and both knew it had to do with Amy's ability to make them seem incompetent.
"He should be in jail, Booth. How is Susan going to see justice now?" Tempe's eyes watered a little. Booth looked at her in surprise. She never cried, or at least she hardly ever cried.
"Hey, are you all right?"
"I'm tired, and I'm mad. He shouldn't have been set free, Seeley. The man killed that little girl, and we proved it, and they let him go."
"It's unfair, I know. Sometimes, those things happen. Once we state our case, it's up to the jury. You know that."
"It doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Of course it doesn't. Now, if you're done, what do you say we get home? I'm sure Rose needs to head home for the evening." Temperance nodded as Booth threw some money down onto the table. As they left, he placed his hand on the small of her back, the move feeling much more supportive to her than its usually unnoticed presence. She offered her husband a tired smile as he held open the door.
Booth was concerned. She usually wasn't so complacent about his chivalry. It was probably because she was so tired. He decided not to question it. She had a long night the evening before, and the events of the day certainly weren't helping. Hopefully the next day would bring a better feel.
They came home to find a note left from Rose stating that Rebecca had shown up to collect Parker, and that she would be in touch regarding his next visit. Temperance was glad the house was quiet and went straight to the bedroom to get some much needed rest. Booth followed her up, and after they changed and got into bed, he pulled her close and kissed her hair.
"Everything's gonna be fine, you know that, right?" She nodded against him, burying her head against his chest. "Tomorrow will feel much better to you." He closed his eyes, and gently caressed her hair. He relaxed as he heard her breathing even into that of sleep.
"Did Cullen say why he wanted to see us?" Temperance asked as they walked down the hallway to the deputy director's office.
"No, he didn't." Booth shrugged as they entered the room. Cullen motioned for the pair to sit down as he finished some last bits of paperwork.
"I heard what happened at the trial yesterday."
"Is that why we're here," Booth asked once Cullen looked up at the pair.
"I made it very clear that any sign of your personal life intruding into your professional one would be grounds for the termination of your partnership."
"You're breaking us up?" Temperance was indignant. They had in no way let their marriage get in the way of work, and now they were being punished for something they couldn't help.
"It's a temporary move. Someone else will be assigned to the Jeffersonian until my superiors feel that your relationship does not interfere with case work. I don't want to split you up, but I have been ordered to do so. I'm sorry."
"Who's going to be assigned?"
"It hasn't been determined yet, but as soon as I know, I'll let the two of you know as well. Unless you have anything you want to add, that's all." Booth and Brennan stood and exited the building. Neither knew what to say, and for once, Booth couldn't think of anything that would be able to calm his wife.