1"Okay, guys, that's it for today. Remember, essay on Collin's study of the differing social class systems in Europe and Asia for Friday. See you tomorrow." Dr. Temperance Brennan dismissed her class of first year anthropology students from the classroom at George Washington University. The all got up and left immediately, eager to soak up the spring sun. Temperance turned back to her desk, straightening some papers there and checking her planner. Her schedule had always been full, but with the addition of this one class it came close to overwhelming her. She wasn't sure she liked the feeling of not being able to cope; she had always been very capable, almost overly so. But, she smiled, the family really helps. Speaking of which, she would have to call...
"Dr. Brennan?" The voice behind her startled Temperance, making her whirl abruptly
"Yes," she questioned, trying to place the blonde young man. He wasn't in her class, that she knew of. Then again, there were always those who didn't show up. She sighed inwardly, hoping that he wasn't one of those fans looking for an autograph.
"You don't... well, you might not... um, you probably don't remember..." he ran his fingers through his hair nervously. "I'm not doing this very well."
"I'm sorry, I don't remember you. Where did we meet?"
"My name is Carter Thompson. We met thirteen years ago..." he grinned a little, seeming to go back into his memories "in an alley, behind a squat. You tackled me for a sweatshirt."
Temperance frowned, pushing her brain to try to recall and catching a flicker of memory. "I guess Carter was your first name." she finally replied, returning his smile.
He let out a whoosh of air. "I was afraid you wouldn't remember me at all. I just wanted to tell you how much you inspired me."
She lost her smile. He IS a fan. I wonder what I'll have to do this time? 'Sorry, I don't sign autographs'? Or maybe he's a 'My publisher doesn't give out free books'. He saw her expression and hastened to correct her assumption.
"This isn't about your books. Look, do you remember how you saw my list? Of foster families? And how you told me that you were in the system as well?"
"Yes..." she replied guardedly.
"You were the first person I'd ever met to make it out of foster care and become successful. All the other people I met before that were doing at thirty what I was doing at fourteen: wandering the streets, hoping to find someone who would understand. And then there was you. One of my foster family's were huge fans of yours. No one ever told me that you were also in the system. I guess I figured that you needed family to become great, so I would always be drifting, lonely, useless. But seeing you, a doctor and a writer, famous and respected, I had something to look up to. Now I'm training to be a police officer and I'm engaged to the best girl I've ever known. So I just wanted to say thanks."
Temperance could feel herself getting choked up and fought for control. "Thank you Carter. In my line of work, the people I help aren't usually around to thank me."
Carter saw the tears in her eyes and quickly changed the subject. "How's that partner of yours? He seemed like a good guy. Lots of cops look at street kids like they're all scum."
"Booth's good. Actually we're married."
"Really? For how long?"
"Ten years last June. We have two kids, Lucy and Caleb."
"That's really nice, Dr. Brennan. Well, take care, and thanks again." He started to walk out and then turned. "Oh, happy holidays."
"Happy holidays to you too." she replied, a soft smile playing at the corners of her mouth. She stood like that for a while after he had gone, until her cell phone rang.
"Yeah, Bones, where are you?" Her husband's voice drifted into her ear. "Lucy has been grumpy since she got home. Something about someone called Linda saying Parker's hot? That boy gets into more trouble with that charm smile than I ever did! And Caleb wants you to help him with his science. Apparently last time I mixed up the ulna and the radius. Bones, you there?"
"Yeah, I'll be home in ten. And Seeley? Thanks."
"You're welcome, Bones." Booth was understandably confused "Why do you sound so dazed?"
"Just a visit from an old friend." Temperance answered, shaking her head a little to clear it. "Tell the kids I'll be home soon. I love you."