CHAPTER 1. Pictures & Pancakes.

Disclaimer: All rights belong to FOX. A few characters are my own invention. The others; I wish.

If you have love in your life it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you don't have it, no matter what else there is, it's not enough.

- Ann Landers

Brennan was woken by a loud knocking sound. She squinted at her watch; it was four in the afternoon. She must have fallen asleep reading the case files again.

She quickly realised that the noise was that of someone rapping incessantly at her front door. She walked towards it, glancing through the peep hole. What she saw brought a smile to her lips and she opened the door beaming.

"Hi guys. Come on in," she said, confronted by an apologetic faced Booth and an eager looking Parker.

"Hey, Bones, Rebecca is working late so I had to pick him up after school. He insisted on coming to see you, hope that's okay. You could probably tell by the way he tried to bang the door down," Booth cringed. He gave her the charm smile and she opened the door wider, allowing them both to enter her apartment.

"It's no problem," she beamed, as Parker rushed over to her and wrapped his little arms around her waist. She pulled him off gently, bending down to give him a proper hug.

"I missed you, Dr. Bones," he giggled. "I have drawed something for you at school," he added proudly.

Booth glanced at Brennan cautiously as Parker rummaged in his rucksack, impressed that she had not corrected the child's grammar. Parker pulled out a picture, a crayon drawing of three people smiling happily and holding hands. It had a small frame around it, made of glued on pieces of macaroni, sprayed with silver paint.

"It's lovely, Parker," Brennan smiled, as she ruffled his hair playfully, "I'll put it on the wall later. Thank you." She was touched that he had been thinking of her in his art class.

"This one's me," he said, pointing to the little figure in the far left of the picture, "and this one here in the middle is my daddy." Booth looked over at Brennan and grinned at her.

"And this one on the end here is you, Dr. Bones. I drew a dinosaur in you pocket," he said, pointing out a little green blob on the picture, "daddy told me you work in a museum." Brennan kissed Parker on the cheek and thanked him again, sending him off to the living room to watch some cartoons.

"Are you sure this is okay, Bones?" questioned Booth, "I told Parker you might be busy but he can be very persistent." He looked at her and gave her a sheepish smile, feeling a little awkward that they had barged in on her. She smiled warmly.

"I like having you guys over, honestly," she grinned. She suggested that they all have something to eat and Booth offered to whip something up in the kitchen. Parker insisted that he wanted to help out so they all worked together, mixing the eggs and other ingredients in the giant bowl that Parker had found in the cupboard.

Parker and Booth started to laugh, causing a series of quizzical looks to appear on Brennan's face. "What? What? Why are you guys laughing at me?" she whined. Booth could see that she was getting worked up and this only made him laugh harder.

Parker giggled. "You have something on your face, Dr. Bones," Parker chuckled.

She started rubbing at her cheeks, trying to remove the flour that she had somehow gotten onto her face. Still laughing, Booth moved his hand up and gently dusted off the flour that had found its way onto the tip of her nose. She flinched slightly at his touch as it sent a faint shiver down her spine.

"There you go, Bones, all cleaned up," he said with a smirk. She hit him lightly on the arm, annoyed at being teased but she wasn't really fazed by it and a warm smile crept onto her face.

After they had finished the pancakes, Booth asked if he could use the shower, explaining that his own was currently being repaired. Brennan said that that was fine, settling down in front of the television with Parker.

As they watched 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,' Brennan had to resist her overwhelming urge to point out the scientific faults with the storyline. Parker rested his head on her shoulder and she relaxed slightly, reminding herself that the show was created purely for entertainment. Suddenly Parker started to speak.

"Dr. Bones, are you daddy's girlfriend?" he frowned, looking up at her with his big brown eyes, mirroring an expression that his father had shown earlier during one of their bickering sessions.

"No, Parker, your daddy and I are just friends," she explained, hoping that he didn't ask any further questions, worried she would not be able to discuss such a complex topic with him.

"But why not? Don't you like him, Dr. Bones? I know he likes you. A lot. He told me so," Parker stated, looking at her with his face full of confusion.

"Of course we like each other, Parker, but just not in a boyfriend girlfriend kind of way," she explained. She smiled down at his puzzled face, trying to reassure him that she really did care about his father.

"But he likes you in that way, Dr. Bones. He told me..." he whispered.

She looked at him open mouthed, but before he could finish his sentence Booth returned from his shower. Parker raised a finger to his lips and Bones giggled, causing butterflies to form in the bottom of Booth's stomach. Nothing was more adorable to him than the sound of her laughter.

"I hope you guys didn't miss me too much," he teased, tickling Parker and making him squirm on the sofa. Brennan chuckled.

"What do you want to do now, kiddo?" he asked, as Parker wrinkled up his nose, causing another titter to slip out from Brennan's mouth.

"Let's go for a walk, daddy," he exclaimed, grabbing his coat and running to retrieve his sneakers from next to the front door. Brennan straightened out his coat and zipped it up for him.

"It was nice seeing you, Parker," she beamed, kissing him gently on the cheek.

"No, Dr. Bones, you are coming with us," he exclaimed, grabbing her hand and clinging onto it, "please." He smiled up at her, giving her the trademark Booth grin that melted her heart.

"Okay sure, let me just get a jacket," she laughed, letting go of his hand momentarily as she went to her closet to grab one.

As they reached the park, Parker slipped his hand inside Booth's. Brennan reached down to hold Parker's other hand, but he snatched his hand away and put it into his pocket. Brennan looked desperately hurt by this and Booth glanced down at him, giving him a warning look.

"Parker, that was very rude," Booth remarked. Sensing the tone of his voice, Parker stopped walking and turned to face Brennan. She fixed her eyes on a spot on the floor so that he would not see how this action had affected her.

Parker realised what she had thought and he let go of his father's hand briefly, launching himself at Brennan and wrapping his arms tightly around her waist. "Don't be sad, Dr. Bones," he smiled up at her guiltily, "I just wanted it to be like my picture."

She suddenly realised what Parker had been trying to do. "Okay, Parker," she said, breaking free of his embrace softly, "we'll walk like we did in your picture."

She smiled at him, and walked over to stand next to Booth, lacing her fingers through his. She shuddered at his touch, nervous about his reaction to her hand, but he tightened his grip around it gently, letting her know that he welcomed her contact.

They continued their walk through the park for what seemed like hours, but eventually it started to rain and they were forced to return to Brennan's apartment.

The knock at the door signalled that Rebecca had arrived ready to pick Parker up. Brennan greeted Rebecca while Parker grabbed his rucksack and said his goodbyes to Booth.

"Thank you for having me, Dr. Bones," Parker smiled, leaping into her arms and looping his hands around her neck. He kissed her on the cheek and nuzzled her face with his nose.

"No problem, Parker," she laughed, giving him a kiss on the top of his head in return. He leant up close to her ear.

"I love you, Dr. Bones, and I'll miss you," he whispered. She beamed and set him down on the floor softly, bending down to his level.

"I love you too, sweetie. I'll see you soon I promise," she murmured into his ear, causing a broad grin to appear on his face. They all exchanged their goodbyes and Rebecca and Parker headed off, leaving Booth and Brennan alone in the apartment.

This chapter is dedicated to: Lanfru

Kisses for everyone. :D

A review would be spectacular.