Author's Notes: I know it's been a little while but no where near as long as some of my other works! I have a laptop now, with internet so I'm very happy. Lol!
Chapter 2: Nostalgia
His eyes snapped open and he bit back a groan of discomfort as his neck creaked in protest when he moved. Blinking the sleep from his eyes it took a moment to focus his vision on his surroundings and interpret the hazy images that were being sent to his brain.
Heaving himself to his feet Seeley ran a hand through his hair and headed for the kitchen where a series of noises indicated that his son was up already. "Morning," he said, yawning a little as he walked over to the coffee maker and flicked the switch.
Parker made a vague noise of acknowledgement, swinging his bag onto his back, a piece of toast in his hand "I gotta go," he said, leaving the room.
Seeley glanced at his watch, blinking harshly when he saw the time "hey," he followed him "you need a lift?"
Parker shook his head "I'll get the bus," he replied, taking a bite out of the piece of toast and swinging the door shut behind him.
Seeley sighed; glancing down at himself he took in his crumpled shirt and mud-hemmed pants before disappearing into the bathroom. He hadn't intended to sleep on the couch and, like two or three times before, he was promising himself he would never do so again but if something isn't planned you can hardly prevent it from happening.
Wincing as he climbed into the shower, the hot spray tattooing a staccato beat on his back and shoulders, bringing forth all the aches and pains that came with sleeping in damp clothes on an old couch as he refused to concede that maybe not all of those aches were related to sleeping in an uncomfortable position but more to do with the fact that – no way, he was not getting old.
The shower should have been quick but the gentle caress of the steam and the serenity the four glass walls provided made 'just another two minutes' turn into five, then ten, then fifteen… it was unlikely he would have moved for several hours had his cell phone not started ringing.
Cursing under his breath he shut off the water, grabbed a towel and as he was wrapping it around his waist he rummaged one-handed through his pants pockets to find his phone.
"Booth," he said into the mouth piece, running a hand down his wet face, "yeah… okay… I'm on my way," he snapped the phone shut, throwing it down onto the bed as he padded back into the bedroom.
"God," he muttered nasally, one hand coming up to cover his mouth and his other to wave uselessly at the air in front of him to try and waft the stench away, it didn't work. In eleven years it hadn't worked, there was no reason to expect it too now.
Temperance gave him an odd look, rolling her eyes as she donned a pair of latex gloves and climbed down into the small ravine, carefully brushing aside plants and shrubs as she found footing on more stable ground. Crouching by the remains she carefully pulled aside the corner of the tarp covering the body, "Male," she reported "mid to late teens... judging by the rate of decomposition I'd say he's been dead about three weeks,"
Cam gave Seeley a sympathetic look, patting his arm before following Temperance's lead and clambering down into the gully as well, leaning in close to the remains and gently peeling the tarp further back "there's very little skin tissue left," she said, her nose wrinkled in a way that Temperance was yet to decide was disgust, frustration or amusement, she pushed of her knees and straightened up, tugging the latex gloves off "he's all yours Doc,"
"What the hell is that?" Seeley asked, leaning over the edge of the bank and peering at the object in Temperance's hands.
Temperance looked at him "I have no idea," she said, tactfully avoiding looking at him and staring at the item she held.
"How's Parker?" Temperance asked, leaning over her desk and rifting through the papers and documents lying in a neat pile in one corner.
"He's fine," Seeley replied quickly, his tone of voice brooking no room for argument.
"You don't sound like you think he's fine," she observed casually.
"He's just a teenage boy, doing teenager boy things," he replied reflexively.
Temperance gave him an odd look "Booth, are you all right?"
"I'm fine Bones," he answered tensely, relaxing a little he continued "I'm fine,"
She frowned at him and looked as if she was going to continue to conversation, Seeley was therefore grateful when Cam leaned into the office "we've got an ID on those remains," she informed them before continuing to the lab.
Nodding, Seeley gestured for Temperance to go first. It was probably for the best that they had been interrupted, after all it would have only led to an argument and the simple ability to just bicker mindlessly one minute and settle back into each other's pockets the next was apparently one of the many things the marriage had destroyed.
Battles could wage for days, if not weeks with neither wanting to admit defeat and everyone from Cam to the busboy at the Royal Diner getting caught in the crossfire. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't fun, so many things that had once been entertaining were now located on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Just being anywhere near her was hard and once-upon-a-time people would have said that, that was all due to an irresistible urge to 'jump her' but now, in the harsh light of aftermath it was plain for all to see that it wasn't hard because it was lust or love or whatever Angela wanted to call it. It was hard because it was draining; talking was difficult, trying to remain professional even when something struck home, when their every waking moment for seven years had been spent together.
The FBI had wanted to split them and every so often Seeley found himself wondering why he had pushed so hard against that decision being made. It seemed kind of pointless really but the squints, as difficult as it was to imagine, were his friends too; from Cam with her neatly pressed suits and slightly obsessive desire for everything to be just so to Hodgins with his weird fixation on bugs and odd taste in hats, even Zack, the most robotic of the lot of them with his fathomless knowledge on all things aeronautical and skeletal to his endless need to prove himself to whoever he deemed to be the 'alpha male'.
Angela… Angela didn't even fit into that prognosis. Angela made sense – like a normal human being and sometimes it was nice to have someone who didn't use words that no one without a PhD could understand.
But even so they were his friends, his family, and he wouldn't give them up for the world. Working cases no one else wanted too, stuck together over Christmas and forced to make the best of what little they had, buried alive, kidnapped, tortured, lost and terrified; they'd been there for each other through it all and damn it all to hell if he wouldn't die for every one of them.
They had known the risks, accepted them as part of the equation that had been since the beginning, blossoming and flourishing until finally one too many drinks and not-so-gentle prods in the right direction had led them down a path they couldn't turn away from. A tantalising glimpse of a rocky road that was impossible to resist.
It had gone wrong, maybe he'd known it would since the beginning, maybe he hadn't, maybe that's how it had been supposed to happen, maybe they had been supposed to just sleep together and be done with it. Only he couldn't do that. He'd wanted more. And that had been their downfall.
Whiskey kisses and sex, breakfast in bed, lunch, dinner and coffee, moving in and marriage. He'd pushed her but if she hadn't have wanted to then Temperance wouldn't have said yes would she? The question had been half hearted, tossed out in the heat of the moment, chests heaving and the air thick with the unmistakably smell of sweat and sex; a heady combination that could be to blame for the whispered proposal and equally quiet reply.
They'd been in love. No doubt about it. But love can only last so long, it's not eternal and it's not indestructible; it's fragile and nine times out of ten can't handle the strain that the simple process of living puts on it. Everything in life is fragile, life itself is fragile, you just need to know how to protect it and at that they had failed. Protecting love is harder than protecting people. People are concrete, they don't move, you can see, touch and smell them. Love is abstract and can't be seen, you just have to believe, and they hadn't. Maybe they couldn't, after everything, maybe believing in love was asking too much.
"Jamie Davidson," Angela said as the holographic image of a teenage Caucasian boy flickered in the semi-darkness "age sixteen,"
Temperance squinted at the picture as it rotated slowly, the holographic head looking suitably eerie as it floated in mid air "well done Ange," she congratulated.
Angela smiled at Jack who smiled back just as brightly as his wife. Cam rolled her eyes at them, and then pretended she hadn't noticed.
"There's evidence of trauma to the occipital and the parietal bones," Zack reported, lifting the skull and gesturing meticulously "and the left maxilla shows signs of fracturing along with damage to the right zygomatic ,"
"Which means, what exactly?" Seeley prompted, giving each of them a pointed look.
Temperance sighed patiently "the injuries to the maxilla and zygomatic are consistent with being punched on the right," she demonstrated by clenching a loose fist and making a swing at his face, stopping inches away from his cheek, instead moving to cup his chin and move his head to suit her purposes "and the victim's head recoiling and hitting the left side of his face against something hard,"
"Like a wall?" Cam suggested.
"Yes," Zack confirmed.
Seeley looked at Temperance, eyes catching hers for just a minute as she seemed to hesitate to pull away, as soon as she caught herself she pulled away, taking twice the steps necessary to get out of his space and clearing her throat "is that it?"
Angela shared a look with her husband "uh… yeah sweetie, that's it,"
"Okay," she said, forcing a smile "I'll be in the lab,"
Author's Notes: End of chapter 2! Hope you liked it, review please :)