A/N: By now, most of you know that I like patriotic fictions. I debated on whether or not to write this piece because it deals with 'a war' although we all know what war. I didn't write this to cause any kind of debate, nor do I care to receive flames. I simply love the song and thought it would make a good subject. I don't really care if you support the war or not, but please be respectful. I do want to say, that no matter what, I support our troops. All the men and women who have served, are serving and will ever serve. I hold you all in my heart, and I'm proud of what you all do and give up to keep us free. God Bless!

Thanks to BonesDBchippie for beta'ing this for me. You the girl!

Title: Just Came Back

Summary: Booth has just come back from an 18 - month deployment. How does he deal with coming home?

Rating: T (just because I have a scene in a bar)

Disclaimer: I don't own BONES or the song 'I just came back (from a war)' by Darryl Worley. The plotline is © WolfMyjic 2007


Seeley Booth couldn't remember when he had been so excited… nervous… scared, he corrected. After eighteen months away from home, he was about to land on American soil. He blew out a loud sigh, happy that it couldn't be heard over the roar of the engines. Booth glanced around at the other men, boys and women who shared the barren belly of the airplane with him. All people who had served their country without questioned. Booth let his mind drift back to the day when he had gotten a very recognizable enveloped—return address, the US Army. His heart had dropped and shattered into tiny pieces. He had served his time, done his part, given to his country, but that wasn't enough. The letter had politely asked for his expertise as an Army Ranger--calling him a hero, the best of the best. Again, Booth sighed, and dropped his head back against the hard metal. He had tried to talk his way out of the service, not because he wasn't proud to don the uniform, but because he had spent years living with what he had done, what he had been through. The last thing he wanted to do was relive it in real life. But in the end, he went. He took his orders into Cullen, who had wished him a speedy return. Next, he called Rebecca and told her the latest news. Booth closed his eyes as he remembered telling his son what was going on. That it would be over a year before he saw him again. Booth had called him every third or so week--whenever time had allowed. He told Sid next-- who had gave him a beer on the house and sent him off with God's speed. The hardest person to tell, after Parker, was his partner, Doctor Temperance Brennan. Bones. A smile tugged at his lips as her image flashed into his mind. Brennan had simply stood there, looking at him, her lips slightly parted in surprise. Finally, she had regained her composure and told him to be careful. He had agreed, even though they both knew what was in store for him. Booth had called her as well, many times over his eighteen-month deployment--each time he got to hear her voice was a blessing. Suddenly, the plane began its descent and Booth was jolted but into the present. This was it--Seeley Booth was home.

Booth heard, and felt, the wheels touch the ground once, twice, three times before becoming glued to the runway. The whine of the engines changed pitch and everyman aboard knew they were home. The plane slowed to a taxi, and the finally stopped. The back hatch door came to life with a loud moan, slowly opening into the cool night air. Outside there was no fanfare, no loved ones, just a few officers. The returned of this unit was done in secret, no man allowed to tell anyone when they would be returning. A three-day debriefing was in store for all sixteen men and three women, before they would be allowed to leave the base, but Booth didn't care. He shouldered his duffle bag, stood and waited his turn to exit the cargo plane.

The first thing I did when that plane finally landed

was kiss the ground

The air wrapped around him as soon as he stepped onto the ramp. The stars blared overhead, and Booth felt his heart began to sing. He had survived. He had been drawn back into Hell and had once again lived to tell about it. His feet couldn't carry him fast enough to the solidness of the ground. As soon as he was two steps off the ramp, Booth fell to his knees and kissed the cold surface.

Debriefing had never lasted so long. Booth was beginning to think that they had changed off the calendars just so they could keep them longer. However, finally that forth day came and Booth was told that he could go. He was thanked for his duty, given some medal that didn't mean much to him and sent on his way. Booth couldn't have been happier. His first stop was his parents' house, since he was closest to them. His mother had wrapped her arms around him and cried. Booth was sure that a few of the tears where his own.

The next thing I did was to go find my friends

down at the old hangout

Next, he went down to his old hang out. He needed to see people he knew, albeit guys from his pre-FBI past. His life in DC would have to wait, at least a few more days. Booth strolled into the local bar and was assaulted by smoke and rock music. He took a deep breath and smiled. It's not Sid's, he thought, but it'll do. He made his way to the bar, ordered a beer, and then noticed a few faces he recognized. "I'll be damned," one of the men called out as Booth approached. "If it ain't Seeley Booth." Booth shook the man's hand with a smile.

"Sammy, good to see you. Haven't changed a bit. Larry, Bob, Steve," he said to the other men. He pulled up a chair, and the story swapping began. The five sat drinking and talking about their younger years.

Finally, Sammy looked over at Booth with a slight frown, and said, "You seem different to me."

Drank some beer and talked a lot about old times

But when the booze finally hit Billy Joe Grimes

He said I don't know what it is

but you seem different to me

Booth took the last drink of his beer and sat the empty bottle down on the table. He looked slowly around the small group of men, meeting each gaze as he did. With a deep sigh, he nodded. "I am," he told them.

I said I just came back from a place

where they hated me

and everything I stand for

A land where our brothers are dying

for others who don't even care anymore

If I'm not exactly the same good old boy

that you ran around with before

I just came back from a war

The sun rose bright the next morning, streaming into Booth's bedroom at his childhood home. His tossed an arm over his eyes to block out the light, but sleep wouldn't come again. Finally, he threw back the covers, sat up and stretched his arms high over his head. With a yawn, he stood from his bed, grabbed some clean clothes and headed off to the shower. The coolness of the water felt good and instantly woke him completely up. As the wetness cascaded down his head and back, Booth let his mind wonder. This time tomorrow he would be home, my new home, DC--and Parker would be wrapped in his arms. God how I've missed him, he thought as he scrubbed his hands over his face. Booth reached out, turned off the water and then pulled back the curtain. He quickly dried off, dressed and then went downstairs for breakfast.

The very next morning

I took a walk through the neighborhood

After a small meal, Booth excused himself, and left the house, eager for fresh air and to see his old neighborhood. He strolled through the streets, taking the time to stop and talk to a few people who called out to him. It wasn't long before he approached a small park. Booth stopped, his arms crossed over the top of the low fence and his eyes scanning the happy faces of the children.

I thought it's been so long

since I've been in a place where everything is good

People laughing and children were playing

And as I watched em

I found myself praying

Lord keep em safe here at home

in the land of the free

Booth bowed his head, as his silent prayer floated up toward Heaven. In his time over seas, he had found his faith wavering, but his own young son had kept him strong, praying with him each time they talked. Even Brennan had kept him strong, although she didn't know that. Just hearing her talk about everyday things kept him sane. Booth knew that he had changed, could feel it in his soul. He only hoped that when he saw his son and his partner again, that they would forgive his differences.

Cause I just came back from a place

where they hated me

And everything I stand for

A land where our brothers are dying

for others who don't even care anymore

If I'm not the same little freckled face boy

That grew up in that house next door

I just came back from a war

"Daddy, daddy!" Booth knelt down as his son ran to him. The impact of Parkers small body hitting him squarely in the chest sent him backwards, and he landed on his bottom, his son tight in his embrace. "Daddy, I missed you."

"I missed you too, bub," he said into his son's blond hair. Booth kissed him on the top of the head. "God, how I've missed you." They stilled like they were, wrapped in each other's hold. Finally, Booth opened his eyes and smiled up at Rebecca. He stood, Parker in his arms, and gave her a friendly hug.

"Welcome home, Seeley," she said softly.

"Thank you," he answered and then held his hand out to her boyfriend, Drew.

"Good to see you again," the other man said. Booth nodded and turned his attention back to his son. The next two days was spent with Parker. Playing, laughing, being family. Rebecca had agreed to let Parker stay the weekend, even though it wasn't Booth's turn, and neither father nor son could contain their excitement.

I hope you cherish this sweet way of life

And I hope you know that it comes with a price

By the time Booth returned Sunday night, Parker was asleep. He laid his son down in his bed, kissed his forehead and then walked out to the living room. "Thank you," he said to Rebecca. "For, ya know, letting me have him this weekend."

Rebecca smiled. "Of course, Seeley. We're all glad you made it home safe."

"Yeah, man," Drew said. "We should be thanking you. For what you did over there. I can't image what it's like." Booth bit back the insult that sprung to his lips. He knew the other man was just trying to be nice, so he nodded.

"That means a lot," he told them. "Just don't forget a lot of men and women are still over there." Booth looked around the well-decorated apartment and then back at them. "All this," he said with a wave of his hand. "All this comes with a price."

Booth swallowed down his excitement. This was it, his first day back on the job, and his first day seeing Brennan. He slowly ascended the steps of the Jeffersonian and pushed through the double doors. He had forgotten how much he had missed the smell. God, that sounds so squinty, he laughed at himself. Booth walked the corridor counting each clap of his shoes on the floor. As he approached the doors to the Medico-Legal Labs, he felt his heart begin to beat faster. With one deep breath, he stepped up and the sliding doors opened. Inside, nothing had changed. Hodgins was beat over a microscope, Zack was studying a skeleton and Angela was chatting with Cam on the center platform. For a moment, he just stood and watched the scene before him, and smiled. This was where he was supposed to be. Suddenly Angela stopped in mid-sentence, her face breaking into a smile. Without a word, she flew down the steps, across the lab and into Booth's arms. "Welcome home," she said, pulling back. By now, the other members of the labs were making their way to him. Cam was next to hug him, followed by Hodgins. Zack opted for a handshake. "She's in her office," Angela told him, and the group parted, allowing Booth to walk through them. They all knew that before Booth had left, things were said between him and Brennan. Each one was eager to see the reunion. Booth smiled at each one, then started off toward the closed door of his partner's office. He stopped before it and looked in. Brennan was bent over an open file, her brow drawn together in thought. Booth smiled and then quietly opened the door.

"Kinda busy, Ange," Brennan said, without looking up from her paperwork.

"Not even for an old friend?" Booth questioned. Brennan's head snapped up and she starred in disbelief.

"Booth?"

"The one and only," he said, stepping further into her office. Brennan stood from her chair and came around her desk.

"I didn't know…" she began and then let the sentence drop.

"I didn't either," he answered. "Not until the morning they gave us the order." Booth waited. He wanted to take her in his arms and hold her, kiss her, but he didn't. He had told her a lot of things before he left. They both choose not to discuss it over the phone, but now, face-to-face, reality came crashing down. "I need to know," he finally said. Booth held his breath and when Brennan dropped her eyes, his heart broke. That was her answer. With a nod to nobody, he turned to leave.

"Booth," she called out and he stopped, his eyes closing against the pain. "Don't go." Slowly, he turned back to her.

"I can't handle this, Bones," he said. "I don't want to play games."

"Neither do I," she answered and took a step toward him. "Seeley," she began, his first name sounding foreign on her lips. "I want this. What's between us." Booth stepped closer to her, his heart barely believing what his ears were hearing. "I want…you." A smile spread across his lips as she took the last step. "Welcome home." Brennan reached up, placed a hand on the back of his head, and pulled him down into a kiss.

I just came back from a place where they hated me

And everything I stand for

A land where our brothers are dying for others

who don't even care anymore

Chances are I never will be the same

I really don't know anymore

I just came back from a war

I just came back from a war

Booth struggled to remember a time when he had ever been so happy. He glanced over at Brennan who sat beside him, his arm draped over her shoulders, and she smiled at him. Across from them were Angela and Hodgins, looking equally as happy and contented. Zack and Cam had chairs pulled up to the end of the table and everybody was laughing. A smile spread across his lips. Yes, he thought. I might not be the same Seeley that shipped out eighteen months ago. But this Seeley is going to be just fine. He lent over and placed a kiss on Brennan's cheek--thankful that he had someone to help him adjust to being back, but mostly, thankful that Brennan had decided that they were worth the chance. Because if Booth had learned anything from his time in Hell, it was, you only have today, make the most of every moment. After all, tomorrow you're a different person than you are today, and it doesn't just take a war to change you. Booth smiled. Things were going to be fine.

I just came back from a war


Thanks for reading.