None of this belongs to me except some of the interpretations. Bones is the property of people other than me, whether it be FOX, Kathy Reichs, or Hart Hanson.

A quick explanation--I've been writing these little pieces at random, mostly reactions to specific episodes, but instead of posting them separately, I thought I'd run this series of one-shots. They will be of varying lengths, and in no particular order. But I probably won't do too many S3 until after Christmas; I've got my fingers crossed that Santa got the message!

Sweets flushed with pleasure, remembering Agent Booth's praise at his simple statement: "You'd be a lousy father if you didn't worry about it." He rarely got that kind of positive feedback from his nominal patients. But it was true, that a lousy parent wouldn't care about his or her child's welfare and future. Booth had nothing to worry about on that score.

Of course, he reminded himself, that accord probably wouldn't last even to their next meeting in just a little while. But it was still three times the cooperation and regard he was currently getting from the other half of the dynamic duo. Dr. Brennan was being especially prickly this week, and it all had to do with her father.

Max Keenan (or were they calling him Max Brennan now? Sweets wasn't sure) was working at the Jeffersonian now and his daughter was exceedingly unhappy about it. And when she was unhappy, others tended to follow suit, mostly by reacting to her, well, he supposed he could call it attitude.

It was quite plain to him the cause of it all--the simple presence of her father brought back memories she didn't want to deal with, and fears she wouldn't admit even existed. That small part of her that was endlessly 15 and freshly abandoned worried that she would be left again.

But when he had brought it up, both had scoffed at him. Clearly a deep interest in science and skill at teaching (if at different levels) were not the only thing father and daughter shared--there was also a major disregard for psychology.

But when Sweets thought about it a little further, he thought Max also had a problem. He had been gone almost 16 years according to the files; more than half of Dr. Brennan's life. She had moved on in her fashion. Autonomous at an early age, reliant on none from the time she started college to that undefined point where she began to lean on Booth, she didn't want--or need--a father to hover, and would be inclined towards outright belligerence if he tried. Witness that incredibly bumbling verbal dance in the diner about where he was going to live. Of course the only time they had actually listened to him was while he was providing verbal clarity.

She loved him, he was her father, charming and likeable sociopath or not; that was evident, especially when she put herself up as a possible suspect during his trial. But she didn't need him. Not anymore.

But Max was having a hard time with her actions and attitude. He wanted to be a father again, quite plainly loved his children greatly…and somehow expected that Dr. Brennan and her brother would fall into their old roles. Russ seems to have managed, but he was older when Max left, and their relationship would have been already verging into one between adults. From the little I know of him, he also seems to be on the dependant side, perhaps even needing his father's emotional support. I can't say for sure, however. She on the other hand was still a child then, and Max has been gone too long. Not to mention she's wickedly independent by natural inclination. For a former fugitive and con man, he's being strangely slow to adapt.

He grimaced. He could write an uncountable number of books and papers on the Brennan/Keenan family--if they would only let him! All those contradictions and complexities and dysfunctions. Not to mention the loyalty, strength, and courage they also exhibited. It was fascinating! But after the experiment that she had called him on, he wouldn't dare even ask. She didn't need to ask Booth to do anything, no matter her threat; she probably could wipe the floor with him without breaking into a sweat. And Max was just scary--Sweets really didn't want to upset him.

The door opened then, interrupting his thoughts, and Dr. Brennan, followed as usual by Agent Booth, entered the room. Sweets noticed they were in a more positive mood than they had been the last time he saw them.

"So nice to see you both, and on time," he said in a slightly acerbic tone.

"What? C'mon, Sweets. We're usually on time--unless there's a case," Booth said, dropping onto the couch after Brennan sat. She folded her hands on her lap and leveled one of those penetrating stares at him.

"Anything you wish to discuss today, Dr. Brennan?"

"Not particularly, no."

"How's your father?"

Now she tipped her head to the side--and was that amusement there? "If you wish to speak with my father, Dr. Sweets, you should go to the Jeffersonian and do so. I doubt you could get him to come here."

"The Jeffersonian? I thought you--he was fired!" Now Booth looked amused.

"He was. I did. But I was presented with a very persuasive and nearly irrefutable argument for his continued employment. He is going to stay out of the way of any cases, however, unless Cam, Jack, or I specifically ask him to assist with an experiment. He is there mostly to assist with the children's groups that occasionally come through, after all, and it wouldn't be fair to take his time from them."

Booth added, "Shame to deny the kids anything that makes science--ahem--accessible." He smirked at her briefly. "Parker went through with one of those classes and came back all excited. He'd never had much of an interest in it before. That doesn't mean you can turn him into a squint, Bones," he told her.

"That would be up to Parker, wouldn't it?" she laughed, making Sweets stare.

"I'm pleased to see that you have resolved your paternal issues, Dr. Brennan," was all he said, however.

I have no idea how accurate my foray into psychology is; I have no real fondness for it myself. All errors are mine, and I apologize if I have anything too wrong.