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Chapter Seven

Congratulations. You're a Father.

"I can take her," Jack called to Booth as the FBI agent was nearly hauling Brennan out by the arm as they passed the platform.

"No can do, Bug Man. I have the gun. I'll escort the lady to your house, pick the baby and Dr. Mr. Brennan up and have them back here in no time." Booth's grip on Bone's arm was firm, and she wouldn't be surprised if there weren't finger-shaped bruises there tomorrow.

"But Jack's perfectly capable…" Brennan began.

"I said 'No'." Booth cut her off mid-argument.

"I resent being hauled around like a piece of luggage."

"Then be a little more cooperative and I won't have to haul." He steered her to the doors of the lab.

"Bren!" Angela's voice called out, "just remember, this is for Soliel." The artist's face had that pointed look again – sharp enough this time to make Brennan pull up short and some of the fight go out of her. Booth felt it when it happened. Her shoulders slightly sagged in defeat and the tension went out of her arm. Giving her friend a tiny nod, whether it was because she had lost the first round to him or she finally agreed with him, Booth wasn't sure. He just felt some of the fire in her tone down to a smolder.

"Just…just do what Booth says, Sweetie. Remember, he's always kept you safe."

Brennan numbly nodded again as Booth propelled her out the door. Angela was right. Booth had always kept her safe. But she had a feeling there was going to be more than hell to pay when he found out the particulars.


The drive to Hodgins' estate was largely a silent one, with Booth managing to steal furtive glances over at his ex-partner. So she was a wife and mother now. That would explain her new work schedule – off most days at five and working very few weekends.

It would also explain the even more womanly curves and new warmth in her eyes that he had witnessed. Funny, he had always imagined that somewhere along the way, it he might be the one that changed her mind about having children. And while he understood her thoughts about the archaic institution of marriage, Booth had hoped he would at least be able to erase that line he drew so many years ago and spend the rest of his life with her in some shape, form, or fashion.

Then on a hot summer night, in a weak moment, the line wasn't just erased, it was obliterated. Banished. Gone. Blasted out of the universe. That night when Bones had stormed into his house after he was resurrected from the "dead" and found him in the tub with his beer hat, comic book, bandage, and nothing else. He thought she had left, but when he emerged from the bathroom in a towel, he found her still pacing his living room, fuming over the fact that she hadn't been told he had to fake his death to catch a killer.

Bones didn't get mad at him often, but when she did, the anger seemed to linger like a bad case of heartburn.

Only it was more than heartburn that night. They fought. Verbal volleys were flung by both of them until in sheer desperation to shut her up, he pinned her against the wall, his weight keeping her there as his hands pinned her arms just to hold her still. Yes, it had been manhandling her. He'd be the first to admit it. And he knew, somewhere in the deep recesses of his angry mind, he knew that she could kick his ass.

But she didn't. Evidently the extent his anger had caught her off guard. So did that first kiss he planted on her lips.

And so did the second.

Then it was another war of sorts. One of lips and tongues dueling to gain control. Control that quickly slipped away from both of them as they ended up on the floor of his living room.

"You missed the turn." Her voice brought him out of his thoughts.

"What?'

"You missed the turn," she replied, patiently.

"Oh." Booth did a U-turn both with his truck and with his emotions. That was the past. It wouldn't do him a hell of a lot of good to dwell on it while Bones was married with a kid. She was even more out of reach to him now than three years ago. He would have to accept it and move on.

He chanced one more glance at Bones as the turned into Jack's driveway. Her face was a mask of tension and her shoulders mirrored the mask. Without speaking, she opened the door of the SUV, took out a key, and entered the side entrance to Hodgins' house as soon as the vehicle came to a stop. She never looked back to see if Booth followed. He guessed she just assumed he would.

FBI vehicles now ringed the estate and Booth passed a half a dozen agents on the way to Brennan's room. He struggled to keep up with her, as her strides grew longer and faster on the way to get her daughter. Finally, after taking a flight of stairs to the second level, she turned to her left down a hallway and opened a door.

It was a large, sunny room with a couch and desk and fireplace. There were baby toys scattered around and what Booth remembered as her books were on the shelves on one wall. This was evidently her living room. Booth took all of this in while Bones had moved off into another room. Booth trailed behind.

Her bedroom – all in blues and creams. Idly, he wondered if her bedroom at her apartment had been furnished similarly. Then he wondered where she had gotten off to when she emerged from a closet, lugging two suitcases.

"Any idea how long we'll be in lockdown?" she asked, an edge of apprehension still in her voice.

"I'm not sure. Long enough for me to feel sure that you, Angela, Hodgins, your daughter, and husband are safe here." He watched her begin to pull underwear, night clothes and work clothes out of the closet and dresser, folding them and putting them in the larger of the two suitcases. Then she disappeared into the bathroom.

"Have you told your husband yet?" he called after her. Damn, he wished she would at least furnish him a first name of Mr. Dr. Brennan.

"What?"

"Your husband? Have you told him?"

In the bathroom, Brennan closed her eyes and swallowed hard. Christ… "Ah, no. Not yet."

"Don't you think you should?"

Brennan leaned her hot forehead against the cold of the mirror. "Yes. I will." Did her voice sound convincing? Did he hear the wobble in it that she did? Booth was the best. He could sniff out a lie in a heartbeat.

Soliel…you have to think about Soliel…keeping her safe she thought to herself. That thought put steel back into her spine. Straightening up, she gathered her toiletries and strode back into the bedroom. "Okay. Now I just have to get the baby's things together." She grabbed the smaller of the two suitcases and disappeared across the living room into another room. Booth assumed it was the nursery. He could hear her rummaging around, opening and closing drawers and closets. In a few minutes, she emerged with the suitcase and a diaper bag.

"I've packed enough diapers, food, and milk for a few days. At some point in time, while we're at the lab, I'm going to have to send out for more."

Booth nodded. A baby's basic needs weren't lost on him. He remembered how it was when Parker was an infant. "We can do that. Don't worry about it."

"And only organic. Soliel has only had organic food and milk since she was born."

"You didn't breast feed?" Booth asked, and immediately felt his cheeks redden. It was really none of his business. He waited for Bones to put him in his place.

Only she didn't. "I did for the first eight months," she confessed. "After that, my supply couldn't keep up with her appetite. So I switched to organic formula."

"Oh." Booth remembered that Rebecca had felt a lot freer about discussing things like nursing with him once Parker was born. He imagined that all mothers, once having gone through the ordeal of birth and nursing, felt the same way. He watched as she double checked the suitcase and the diaper bag before turning aside to a closet and bringing out a car seat. With her back to him, it was easier to ask the next question.

"So why here?"

"Excuse me?" She half turned to look at him.

Booth stuck both hands in his pockets and tried to look as casual as possible. "So why here?" he repeated. "Why did you, your daughter, and Mr. Dr. Brennan end up living with Hodgins and Angela?"

Brennan turned back around and pretended to fuss with the car seat for a beat. The questions were inevitable. She knew that. Of course his upcoming reaction was also going to be inevitable and probably ugly. She sucked in a deep breath to steady her voice.

"It's a long story." Her answer came out tighter and more compressed than she wanted.

"Care to share?" His voice was too casual now. She knew he was picking her story apart.

"No." She turned to face him, arms crossed, face defying him to push the issue any further.

"Okay." Booth cleared his throat. "So can we get the baby and get the show on the road?"

"The baby has a name, Booth." Bones uncrossed her arms and went back into the last room she been in. "Her name is Soliel."

Soliel. Pretty name. I think it's French? He mused as he waited for Bones to come out with the infant. He heard the slide of a crib and the cries of the baby. Booth watched the doorway carefully, intent on seeing what kind of baby Bones and Mr. Dr. Brennan had made. If Mr. Dr. Brennan was half as smart as Bones, the baby could probably already spout off the period table before it said da-da.

"Okay. I think we're ready," Bones called. Booth watched as Brennan reappeared.

And was dumbfounded. The baby Brennan came out holding wasn't an infant. It was a toddler. A toddler with brown hair, brown eyes, and his dimples. Booth felt all the air leave the room in a rush.

Only to return in a white-hot, angry whirlwind. Soliel was his daughter. And that changed everything. Suddenly he realized Bones' panic. Yes, there was the possibility that Angela was a target of this serial killer.

But there was also the distinct possibility that his daughter was the target of terrorist kidnappers. His daughter. The child no one had bothered to tell him about.

The whirlwind kicked up a few more notches. Booth blinked his eyes in order to see straight again.

Struggling not to catch her arm in another death grip, he slung the smaller suitcase and diaper bag over his shoulder, and grabbed the other suitcase as he place one hand firmly on Bone's back as he ushered the mother and his daughter out of the room.

"We will talk," he promised, his voice angry and clipped. "As soon as we get back to the lab and get our daughter settled, we will talk."

Bones swallowed hard. It wasn't a statement. It was a threat.