A/N – The wait wasn't quite as long this time but sorry I made you wait. I am much less busy right now and my muse seems to be cooperating – this week at least. I'm working toward wrapping this story up in 8 more chapters or so. Hopefully, I'll be able to update consistently and get this one completely in the next month or so.
Thanks so much for letting me know what you think. I'm really thankful I still have readers out there. Please continue to let me know if you liked it, loved it, or hated it.
Thanks to MickeyBoggs, Sirenizzed, GCatsPJs, Junkiecat, and Thnx4theGum for helping me out on this story.
Disclaimer – I don't own Bones!
"You ready for this, Bones?" Booth asked. He was currently seated, once again, in a harsh, plastic chair beside a hospital bed. His knee was jumping like it always did when he was nervous.
Brennan, however, wasn't nervous. The fact that this day had finally come was a relief to her. "I'm ready. The MRI showed that all my ligaments and tendons appear to have healed properly and that it's even possible that some of my osteoclasts actually adhered to the titanium plate and could result in a complicated removal of the plate."
Booth chuckled and rolled his eyes. "I know, I know," he said with sarcasm in his words. "You always have to be the best at everything. Are you sure you aren't genetically engineered to be perfect?" he teased.
"That's highly unlikely considering scientists in the 1970s were still identifying the exact structure of DNA. They wouldn't have been able to. . ." she was going to continue explaining but saw the smirk on his face. "You were picking on me again, weren't you?"
"Me? Pick on you? Never," Booth claimed and was quickly met with her pouty face. "You know you are cute when you pout," he said.
Just as she was about to protest, a knock at the door stopped the banter. "Dr. Brennan?" Dr. Jamison said as he poked his head through the door.
"Hey, Doc!" Booth said first before Brennan even had a chance to speak. He stood to shake the orthopedist's hand.
"You two ready to get this show on the road?" he asked as he pulled the rolling stool up by the gurney upon which Brennan was seated.
"I'm ready to return to some normalcy. This injury has certainly impeded my work," she said clinically.
"She's got to dance with me in a few weeks at the Christmas Gala," Booth chimed in while sporting his best grin.
Jamison just nodded and laughed. "I'll see what I can do to get you in stilettos for a few minutes in a few weeks." He then pulled the blanket off his patient's leg. "Let me just check a couple of things and we'll get you in the OR," he said and immediately began manipulating her ankle.
Booth looked on nervously. He recalled the night almost three months ago when an ER doctor examined her mangled ankle for the first time. She had put up her best fight against the pain and she was very strong. The pain still gripped her. He studied her face looking for the signs of pain. This time, he caught a few winces and saw a few creases on her forehead but her strength overpowered any pain she felt. She was definitely strong, definitely his Bones. He loved her for her strength and persistence.
It was only a few short minutes later when Jamison finished up. "The nurse will be in soon. We'll get you prepped and hopefully have you home in time to catch a Christmas special on TV," he joked.
Brennan just smiled. It was hard to believe that Thanksgiving had come and gone and now it was time to think about Christmas. She couldn't help it; she became sentimental for a few minutes. Thanksgiving, which had only been a week and a half earlier, had been wonderful. It was the first Thanksgiving in over 15 years that she had been a part of a family. She had turned down three invitations to digs in order to spend the holiday with her family. The funny thing was that she turned down the dig invitations before she even considered her ankle. She wanted to stay in DC. No skeleton or mummy or subspecies could pull her away from that.
She knew that it was out of character for her but she considered the holiday magical. They had a quiet meal at her apartment. It was Booth, Parker, Max, Russ, Amy, Emma, and Haley. She had cooked most of the meal with Booth's help. It was a comfortable time that wasn't strained by memories of the past. Things were different now for all of them. They might not trust each other fully when it came to trivial matters but she knew that her family had her back and that was something she had missed. She decided that Booth had taught her to let people have her back.
"Dad?" a very bored, very antsy Parker Booth said as he was sitting on the couch dangling his feet. "When are we going to get to do something?"
Booth huffed, "Parker, you just got here and Bones is still sleeping. Why don't you turn on the television?"
"Uggghh," was the sigh that a normally content Parker let out.
At that moment, the elder of the duo knew something was up. "What is it, Parker? This is about more than being bored?"
The little boy sniffled a little bit. "It's nothing, really, Dad," he minimized but didn't stop talking. "I just really want to spend Christmas with you and Bones," he explained. "Mom wants to take me on some stupid trip to her family out in Idaho or Iowa or somewhere where there's nothing but a bunch of fields. It's not like I can even play baseball in those fields 'cause there's snow everywhere right now."
"Parker," Booth said with a sigh. "We don't always get what we want. I want to spend Christmas and every other day of the year with you but we gotta respect your mom." He said these things out of respect for his ex-lover but didn't believe his own words. Truth be told, he was tired of Rebecca playing games with holidays. He'd figure something out to make sure Parker had a great Christmas. He already knew his Christmas would be great this year because he had Bones but he hated to think of his son bored on Christmas day.
Booth thought for a second more. "Listen, bub, I'll talk to Bones and we'll work something out, okay?"
Parker just nodded in response and started flipping channels. It was only a few seconds later that Brennan emerged from her bedroom. To Booth's surprise, she was dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She looked completely worn out but better than anyone he had ever seen who had undergone surgery just 6 hours earlier.
"Bones!" Parker chirped. "You're wearing a shoe!"
Brennan just smiled a little bit and made her way to a chair before speaking. She put her shoe clad foot up on the coffee table. She felt fairly well considering she was still moderately medicated. She still felt extremely tired, though, and didn't want to stand any longer than necessary.
"You okay, Bones?" Booth asked as he got up for the couch and made his way to her.
"I'm fine," she said. It wasn't a lie. She really was fine considering the circumstances. "I figured you and Parker wanted to go to dinner."
As she was talking, Parker got up and gently sat on the coffee table beside her propped up leg. Before Brennan and Booth even noticed, he was looking intently at the tennis shoe that was loosely laced on Brennan's left foot.
After a couple of seconds, his curiosity got the best of him. "Where'd the space boot go, Bones?" he asked as he pulled at the tongue of her shoe a little.
"Parker!" Booth said sharply to his eight-year-old. "Be careful!" he was a little more stern than needed but he couldn't stand the thought of Parker hurting her, even in the least.
"I'm fine, Booth," she said. "It wasn't a space boot, Parker," she explained. "I don't have to wear it anymore since the plate and screws were extracted from my lateral malleolus this morning. I have this smaller brace that I have to wear." She pulled her pants leg up a little bit to reveal a black, firm brace. "Most likely, I'll have several braces to wear before I achieve full range of motion and can walk without a limp."
"Can I see your scar?" Parker asked with a little more enthusiasm than Booth would like.
"PARKER!" Booth protested but Brennan beat him to the punch.
"Parker," Brennan explained more gently. "Under the brace I just showed you, I have a couple of layers of gauze and some stitches. I have to keep that on for a couple of days. Also, if I take the brace off, my ankle may swell up more and I won't be able to try and walk on it Sunday morning. What if," she offered, "I show you my X-rays now and then next time you are here, I'll let you see my scar?"
Parker nodded with a smile on his face.
"Booth," Brennan asked, "Can you hand me the envelope from the table by the door?
He did as requested and smiled at his two favorite people in the world happily geeking out of X-rays.
"I didn't tell you the other day, Bones," Booth said quietly in the waiting room, "But you were great with Parker when he was pestering about seeing your scar."
Brennan smiled through her apprehension. She knew Booth was trying to distract her from the task ahead. "I see no reason to deny him the opportunity to learn about the skeletal and muscular systems."
"Always the scientist," Booth said. "Are you nervous?" he cut to the chase and slid a little closer to her.
"I find, while irrational, that the thought of placing weight on my left foot is quite distressing," she said honestly. She wasn't going to hide her fears from him anymore.
He pulled her close to him and placed a kiss in her hair. "It's been almost three months since you've been able to walk, Bones. Those fears are anything but irrational," he said lovingly. "Tell you what," he said with his best grin. "Work hard and I'll take you out for ice cream later."
She rolled her eyes and he just laughed at her. "Hey! That works on Parker."
"I'm not a child, Booth," she protested with a laugh.
"I'm very well aware of that, Dr. Brennan," he teased back. "But, I'm also aware that my childish offer just distracted you from your fears and Mr. Feelgood just stepped out of his office." Booth had nicknamed Marc a few weeks earlier when he learned that calf and foot massages were part of his role in Brennan's therapy. Was he jealous? Absoultely. He should be the one massaging his girlfriend when she hurt.
"His name is Marc and you know I don't like psychology. It's a…" she said as she gathered her crutches.
"Soft science," Booth interrupted. "I've never heard that one before," he said, teasingly. "Let's go, Bones. Soon you'll be a biped again." He had listened to her scientific explanations so many times that he found it amusing to use her terms against her.
"How do you even know what that means?" she bickered as they walked down the hall.
Booth just laughed. "I am a constant surprise," he said and smacked her rear end. He definitely liked their relationship.
Brennan was glad that Booth was a step behind her. She didn't want him to see the huge grin that grew on her face as he picked on her. She was definitely learning that the concept of monogamy could be very, very appealing.
Hopefully I'll get more up for you guys soon. Let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading!