my dad, he drank

Sniff.

Booth!

Sniff.

The first time Seeley Booth went to the hospital it was for a broken thumb. He'd fallen from a ladder and landed on it trying to brace himself. Probably shouldn't have been on the dumb thing anyway, right, Dad always says not to play on it, he was just being stupid. He was twelve.

The next time he was thirteen-and-a-half, this time for a shattered elbow, got hit by a baseball bat when he was joking around with some friends. Dad looked away for just a second, okay, he was there the whole time though, Dad would never let anything happen to him on purpose, it was just an accident. It was just an accident.

Then again at fifteen, and yeah, he got in a fist fight, okay, got in a fist fight and lost pretty big time, and yes it hurts when you put pressure there—and there—and for safety's sake why don't we just say when you put pressure anywhere? He can't see out of his swelled right eye and his lip is split and crusted so it's hard to eat and oh, right, let's not forget to mention he looked like he got steamrolled by a train. It wasn't anyone's fault, okay, just his, he just got in a fight, it doesn't matter who with, just some guy. It was probably his fault anyway, he's not sure how it started but he probably provoked it.

It was probably a sports-related injury at sixteen, he's good at football but sometimes he and his buddies like to play without pads, it wasn't a good idea and he gets that now, okay. Dad wouldn't have—Dad didn't do it, it was just some kid, he just meant that Dad wouldn't have let him play if they weren't padded right. His shoulder's cracked and he can't move his jaw for a few weeks but so what. It was an accident. Accidents happen. It wasn't anyone's fault but his own.

He wasn't hurt the next time he went in, it was his Mom, fell down the stairs or something, Dad said she fell down the stairs and Mom didn't say anything but she was going to be fine. The doctors said she was going to be fine, weird injuries for a fall but you never know with those old houses. She and Dad both smelled of liquor and you never know when alcohol is involved. But she was fine. Quieter, after, fragile maybe, but fine. Otherwise fine.

Jared only once, he caught the corner of a door when Dad was opening it, it was an accident, it could happen to anybody.

Seventeen is the last time, and he was pretty roughed up, not a healthy part on him, but it was just an accident. He just—he didn't want to talk about it, okay, he didn't want to talk about what happened. It was a fight. It was just a fight, don't worry about it, Doc, just fix him up and get him out of here. Everything's fine, he just got in a fight, he just got hit, went through a window, it's fine. He can't stand hospitals, they're cramped and the food is gross, and it's no big deal, okay. Everything's gonna be fine if he can just get into college and get out of this town, where accidents seem to find him.

Jared's big enough now, he'll be okay, Doc, really. Spent his whole life falling through windows so his little brother didn't have to but God, nobody's perfect and he can't waste the rest of his life taking punches.

Yeah, it was his Dad this time, and maybe some of the other times, but that doesn't make it any more intentional. He loved his father. His father loved him. Accidents just happen, Doc, that's just the way life goes.

It could happen to anybody.