I am just adding a note of warning. I have noticed that fan fiction has developed a problem where words have disappeared from stories when they were there before. I am going to check my stories for this error but its going to take a while. If you notice any missing words, I would appreciate it if you could mail me as it would save a lot of time. Also I hope they don't affect your enjoyment, I can assure you the work was checked so I'm not sure why it's happened. It may have something to do with when they changed features of the site, I don't know.
Hope you enjoy the story, review if you do.
Jake spent a few days in a hospital close to home, he had surgery on his eye and he had to wear a dressing.
''I look like a pirate,'' he said happily. Booth had been right about the scar. Jake thought it would make him look tough.
During the day, Jake seemed fine, fairly quiet but coping.
At night, he suffered, waking up thrashing around and yelling. His dad stayed with him and when he opened his eyes from the dreadful images, he would feel comforting arms and whispered words of reassurance. It was taking a toll on both of them and Jake just wanted one night of proper sleep, free from the feelings of suffocation and gasping to breathe that haunted him.
Jake had a lot of visitors, all bearing gifts which made him happy.
His reaction to Parker surprised Booth, he hugged and kissed him. If this disturbed Parker, he didn't show it. He bounced around on the bed.
''How did you get away from the bad guys, Jake?''
Parker had known that his brother was missing. Rebecca had tried to keep it from him but that had been impossible. Rebecca and Drew sat him down and told him gently what had happened. Parker had been firm and completely unequivocal with his response.
''Daddy will find him,'' he had declared and walked away to play.
Jake was unsure how to respond to Parker's question, he didn't feel like a hero. He didn't think he'd done much at all apart from not dying.
''I , I….'' he looked at his dad for help.
Booth thought that Jake had been very brave and had listened as he told the investigating agents all the details with amazement and a lot of pride. Booth knew Jake didn't see it that way. Jake felt overwhelmed by the experience and frustrated that he continued to be haunted by pictures, he wanted to feel normal didn't want to talk about it apart from the initial interview. Jake had accepted that as he knew it was part of the investigation but he just clammed up with everyone else, even Booth.
''He was very brave and hung in there, bub.''
Booth picked Parker up from the bed and kissed him.
''Do you want to play with the Play Station?'' Jake suggested to Parker.
Jake wanted to change the subject, when he thought about hiding under the bush in the woods, he hadn't felt brave just scared. He pushed the image away, it was too frightening.
As Jake and Parker began a game, Rebecca spoke quietly to Booth outside.
''How is he, Seeley?''
Rebecca was anxious. She had felt terror when Jake had been missing. He was Parker's brother and she had known that if he had died, it would have destroyed the extended family unit that they had created for the boys. Parker was thriving and he would have been damaged by that scenario.
Despite her relief, Rebecca knew they had a long way to go. Jake was not necessarily the same child now and that had ramifications for all of them. Booth considered his answer as he was not really sure. Physically, Jake was fit and healthy. However, Booth could see in his eyes that he was struggling and he didn't know how to help him. The nightmares were alarming. Jake woke up screaming and clinging to him, gasping for air. Booth tried to calm him but they were overwhelming. Booth felt a failure, he couldn't take the hurt away and no amount of kissing it better was going to take this hurt away. Even sedation didn't stop them, they were too strong.
Gordon was coming in later. Jake had refused to speak to the psychiatrist from the hospital. He had glared at her, answering in monosyllables and finally saying,
''I'm not bloody mad you know.''
He had then turned over and stared at the wall.
Booth had apologised but she had reassured him that Jake's reaction was normal. Booth was reminded of Gordon's word that day in the garden.
''Emotions terrify children you know, they engulf them, running is a very basic survival instinct'' he had said.
Booth knew that Jake was running now and it was his job to stop that. He had to get Jake to turn and face what had happened to him. At night, he couldn't run and that was when the damage to his child was clear. Booth looked at Rebecca and answered her honestly.
''He's coping but I'm not that sure how well. The nightmares are bad, '' he said wearily.
Rebecca nodded, she was pleased that he answered. It was from the heart and he was not shutting her out.
''You look tired, let us help. We'll all help, you know. You're not alone with Jake, we all want to get him better.''
She touched Booth's arm and he looked up in surprise at her words. He wanted to accept help but something was holding him back. He felt like he needed to make up to Jake for his failings.
He realised that he needed to tell Rebecca something.
''I asked Bones to marry me.''
His words were rushed and he wasn't sure if this was the right thing to do but it felt smiled, she knew that this was coming. She had seen them together with Jake, their closeness and intimacy obvious.
''Congratulations Booth, you deserve it. Jake will be fine, he has so many people that love him and that news is probably the best thing to help him.''
She was sincere and felt happy for them had come a long way. Booth had smiled with relief and they embraced, their bitterness from the past finally laid to rest.
Later that day, Josie and Phil came to visit and Booth was able to spend some time with Bones at a diner across the street. Jake didn't like to be away from his father, he looked constantly for his help when dealing with all these people. Booth didn't like leaving him either, needing the physical reassurance that he had been returned to them. However, the psychiatrist suggested that Booth needed to be away from the hospital for short periods so Jake could start to adjust back to normal life, so that was what they were trying to do.
They sat at a table by the window holding hands and not speaking for a while.
''How are you doing?''
Bones broke the silence and Booth shook his head to clear his thoughts.
''OK Bones, just OK. We need some sleep, both of us. These damn nightmares.''
He leant over and kissed her, he felt a burst of desire. He needed to make love to this woman and he had to control himself from just throwing her over the table. Bones saw the flame in his eyes, she felt the same longing. They needed it to help them heal, something normal and real.
She stood up and pulled his hand.
''Come on, there's a hotel only five minutes away.''
He grinned and they left in a hurry.
They lay in bed staring into the dark, both feeling satisfied and a hundred times better.
''I told Rebecca that we're getting married.''
Booth was concerned for a moment, he should really have asked Bones before he'd done that.
Booth was surprised to hear Bones giggle,
''I told Angela, I couldn't help it.''
''We are so bad at keeping secrets,'' he said.
''Not great when you consider, we work for the government.''
Bones was chuckling now and Booth joined her. It felt good, really good.
At the hospital, Jake was glaring at his grandfather who was glaring back at him.
''This is all her bloody fault,'' Jake was annoyed.
''Don't swear, Jake,'' Josie was trying to keep the peace.
''Right, because that is the issue here, that is the f------g issue, my f------g language.''
Booth and Bones had heard the shouting from down the hall and come running. It was Bones telling Jake off not Booth.
''Apologise to your grandparents. You don't ever speak to your family like that, ever.'' She said.
Bones had her hands on her hips and looked furious. Booth had to stop himself from laughing as she looked very hot, he felt the fire again. Booth gave himself a mental shake and then he frowned.
''No, I won't. Tell them to go away. I don't want them here.'' Jake was being very hostile and didn't care how hurtful his words were.
Jake turned over and stared at the wall. The conversation was over as far as he was concerned. Booth looked at Josie who was crying and Phil who was very embarrassed, what had happened?
Booth knew he couldn't let Jake get away with speaking to his grandparents that way but he felt very reluctant to say anything. Jake had been through enough, he didn't need Booth yelling at him. Bones stood looking at Booth, waiting for him to scold Jake but he just couldn't.
''I think that maybe everyone's tired and we should all calm down.'' Booth tried to be conciliatory.
Booth gently guided Josie and Phil out of the room whilst trying to ignore Bones, who was looking at him with disbelief and then she followed them.
The adults stood in the hall silently for a moment. Booth ran his hands over his face.
''What happened?'' He asked quietly.
Phil looked embarrassed as Josie waited for him to explain. Josie sighed and then said,
''Phil just said that Alison had been in touch and that she sent Jake her love. Then Jake just started shouting.''
Booth was shocked by the mention of Alison's name, he understood Jake's anger now. Booth knew that Jake had been conflicted about his feelings concerning his mother before and this had obviously made it worse.
''Seeley, he wants to act like she doesn't exist and we just can't do that.''
Phil tried to explain.
''I know Phil but it's hard for him. He hadn't resolved how he felt before and now this. He blames her.''
Booth had said it, he knew it would hurt Alison's parents but it had to come out into the open. Phil and Josie looked stricken, caught between loyalty to their daughter and consideration of their grandson's feelings.
''Look, Doctor Gordon will be here soon. I'll talk to him about it and I'll also talk to Jake, OK?''
Booth tried to keep the anger from his voice but the re-emergence of Jake's mother's influence had evoked a maelstrom of emotions within him. This could mean a lot of things that Booth didn't want to consider.
''You go home and I'll call you later.''
Booth was gentle but he wanted them to go away just like Jake had. They nodded and walked slowly down the hall.
Booth took a deep breath and looked at Bones who was obviously annoyed with him.
''I know that Alison is a problem but you cannot just ignore what Jake did.''
Bones was determined.
''You can't treat him like he's china and damaged by this experience, it's not how it has to be. If Jake had spoken to his grandparents like that before, he would have been in big trouble. You need to be the same person to him, if you are different you'll frighten him.''
Bones looked at Booth waiting for a response.
''I know, Bones, I know. I just don't want to yell at him. It doesn't seem right.''
Booth tried to explain himself.
Bones sighed and put her hand on his arm.
''Look, we need things to go back to normal and for Jake to feel like he is still the same kid he was before. Yes, something horrible happened but it doesn't have to define us and it doesn't have to change Jake. You need to go in that room and scold him. Then you need to take his Play Station away just as you would any other time.''
Booth nodded, he knew she was right but he just felt so damn guilty. He had failed Jake, he had not protected him and he could not forgive himself.
Booth needed Gordon, he looked around and felt so relieved when he saw him ambling towards them.
''Greetings, Agent Booth,'' he shook Booth's hand and kissed Bones' cheek.
''Temperance, how lovely to see you. Not the best of circumstances but we will forge on.''
Gordon's presence was instantly reassuring. He looked at them and clapped his hands.
''I am so sorry that I could not be here sooner but I'm here now so how can I help?''
Gordon had been in Britain when Jake had been kidnapped and they had missed him but as he said, he was here now and they both felt better.
''Is there a problem?''
Gordon felt the tension. Bones explained briefly what had happened and Gordon turned to Booth.
''Temperance is absolutely right, Agent Booth. Jake looks to you to set the tone and if he sees you treating him differently, it will make him insecure. Even more insecure that he already feels.''
Booth stood for a moment, thinking about what Gordon had said.
''OK. OK, Stop bullying me, I know.''
Booth took a deep breath and went back into Jake's room.
Jake had been staring at the wall for ages, he knew they were all outside talking about him. He was broken, those men had broken him and everyone was being funny with him. Jake wanted it to be over, for it all to be over. He wanted to be at home playing in the pool with his brother. He wanted his dad to yell at him about the swearing, just as he would any other time. This all felt wrong, like he was in charge and Jake didn't want to be in charge. He didn't want his mum either. She would ruin everything, he liked his life now. He screwed his eyes up, trying to stop the tears but he couldn't. He just laid there looking at the wall and crying quietly.
Booth tried to make his tone stern as he stared at his son's back. There was no response.
He raised his voice slightly and he saw Jake shift position.
''What?'' Jake's tone was sullen.
''Turn round and look at me.''
Booth tried to take control, Bones and Gordon were right. This was what parents did and kids certainly didn't shout four letter words at their grandparents. He realised that he had allowed his own irrational guilt to get in the way of what Jake needed, he needed his father.
Jake blinked, he knew that tone of voice, and he was in trouble. Jake thought about just staying as he was and ignoring Booth. Jake wasn't stupid, his dad wasn't going to just walk away if he did, so he turned over. He glared at Booth belligerently, he wanted his dad back but he wasn't sorry about his grandparents.
''What?'' Jake lifted his chin, he wasn't apologising anytime soon.
Booth realised that he was quite angry about Jake's outburst, he didn't like his kid behaving like that and he needed to tell him off.
''You cannot speak to your grandparents like that. You don't use that language to anyone, you know that.''
''They were talking about her.''
Jake spat the words out and he saw the uncertainty in his dad's eyes.
''Your mother is an issue that we need to address. But the issue at the moment is you and your language. You don't say that word, no arguments, you are twelve years old and you are not allowed to speak like that. Understand?''
Booth was on a roll, he actually felt better, this was as if the last few days had not happened, this was normal stuff. Jake stared at him with a rebellious look but Booth met his eye. Jake blinked first and looked down.
''Alright, I'm sorry.''
Booth felt relieved, this was his kid. He realised that he had been treating Jake as if he had somehow changed. He knew then, that Jake was still his kid. The kid he understood. The kid he loved. The kid he could handle. They were going to be fine.
Jake didn't want to apologise but he was glad that he had. He was also relieved to butt heads with his normal dad he understood. The dad he loved. The dad he could handle. They were going to be fine.
''No Playstation and you apologise to Bones and your grandparents, OK?'' Booth said firmly.
Jake was abit taken aback at that, no Playstation felt a bit harsh, he was in hospital after all. Jake opened his mouth to argue but closed it again as he saw his dad's eyes narrow. Jake felt grumpy and folded his arms with a sulky look on his face. Booth tried not to laugh, he had been here before and it didn't bother him. This was the right reaction from Jake, it was a normal reaction.
Jake was not speaking to anyone, this was all so unfair. Bones and Gordon came quietly in.
''Doc!'' Jake couldn't help himself, he liked Gordon and was pleased to see him.
''Jake, how are you? You have been in the wars, young man. Very exciting from what I've heard.''
Gordon sat on the edge of Jake's bed and handed him a bag.
''Thanks.'' Jake ripped it open, the presents were definitely an advantage in this situation. He would not be happy if it was a Play Station game though. It was a couple of Top Trumps card games, a present from England and it included a Chelsea Football Club set. Jake held them up.
''Do you want to play?'' He asked with a grin.
''Of course, deal the cards although I must warn you. I'm very good.''
Bones and Booth left them to it.
They played for a while and then Jake said abruptly.
''Can I talk to you?''
Gordon was pleased, the signs were good.
''Of course, Jake. What do you want to talk about?''
''I was thinking the weather, you know with us both being English and all.''
''Come, dear boy. Surely there's something more exciting than that we can talk about.''
''Well, I don't know if you heard but I got kidnapped.''
Once, Jake started talking, he just couldn't stop.
He spoke about the fear and the loneliness. How at times he thought he might die but how the cast iron conviction he had that his dad would find him, kept him going. He talked about the pain and the desperation. He talked about the angry thoughts towards his mother who put him there in the first place. He talked about his relief when he saw his father at the edge of those woods. He opened himself up and it all spilt out. He felt the weight lifting as he spoke and he felt the beginning of the hurt healing.
When he had finished, his head was throbbing and he felt exhausted. Jake looked at Gordon and felt suddenly embarrassed that he had allowed himself to reveal so much. Jake had almost forgotten Gordon was there and had allowed things to come out that he thought he would never tell anyone.
Gordon had watched this child unburden himself and he felt honoured that Jake trusted him so much. Gordon had expected it to be much more difficult but he realised that Jake didn't want to carry this with him. Jake wanted to expel it and it was very, very healthy.
''Well, Jake. That was very insightful and articulate. You should be proud of yourself. We have lots to work on but I know that we are going to sort this all out. Splendid, absolutely splendid. Well done.''
Gordon patted Jake on the back.
''Well, you look done in. Enough for tonight, you need some rest. Onwards and upwards. I will see you at home tomorrow.''
Gordon patted Jake on the shoulder one more time and left.
Jake was glad to be alone and he lay back on the bed. He closed his eyes and fell for the first time in days into a nightmare free sleep.
Gordon found Bones and Booth sitting in the hospital coffee shop. Booth looked up anxiously when he approached them.
''How did it go, Doc?''
Booth wasn't sure he wanted to know. Gordon sat down with his tea and took a sip, he needed it.
''Absolutely splendid. Your son is a very strong boy, you know. He has the words to express himself. He's old enough and has the intelligence to say what he needs to. He will be fine, yes he will be fine.''
Gordon was pleased.
''You Agent Booth however, I'm not so sure. You appear to be carrying a degree of guilt about this situation that is disproportionate.''
Bones raised her eyebrows, waiting for Booth's reaction.
There was a lengthy silence as Booth gazed into his coffee cup.
''I'm his father and I am supposed to protect him.'' Booth finally shared his feelings.
''Indeed, that is true but it is impossible for you to be there twenty four hours a day. Unhealthy, even?'' Gordon was quick with his response.
''I know but….'' Booth trailed off, he just couldn't help it, that's how he felt.
''We have discussed your control issues before, I believe. This is another a manifestation of that you know.''
Gordon was not done pushing, they had no time to let these feelings evolve. Jake needed Booth now and as he was at the moment, crippled with guilt, he was no good.
Booth had a moment of clarity, he was wallowing and it had to stop.
''You're right Doc. I need to step up and help my family get through this in one piece.''
Gordon was pleased with Booth now.
''Splendid, splendid, just the ticket. My work here tonight is done.''
Gordon stood up and with a contented sigh took his leave.
Booth smiled shyly at Bones.
''Sorry,'' he said quietly.
Bones took his hand and kissed it,
''We are going to fine, just fine,'' she said simply.