Here's another chapter, thanks for reading =]
Booth leant back on the sofa, a smile on his face as Parker leant against his side, a bowl of popcorn nestled between them. They had finished their meal at the Steak Hut, dropped Bones off at Angela's apartment after extracting her promise that she would call him when she was getting a cab to come home, and now, they were spending quality time together at Bones' apartment watching Parker's DVD on her enormous television that it had taken him four years to convince her to buy.
"Hey, Dad?" Parker spoke as softly as a tired out seven year old could, "are you really getting a new apartment?"
Booth took his eyes off of the giant plasma screen that lined the wall in front of them, turning his full attention to his son, wondering where the conversation was going.
"Yeah, lil man." Booth watched Parker absorb the information before continuing, "I found a cool apartment for us right by your Mom's, and when I get the call from the landlord, we can go over and see what you think."
Parker nodded, his attention wavering towards the TV for a moment, "Is Bones gonna live with us?"
"What?" Booth chose his words carefully, not wanting to mislead Parker, "Why do you ask?"
"Well," Parker hesitated, "You and Bones are partners, and Mom said that Bones was your life partner, but Corben's Mom said that partners means boyfriend and girlfriend for grown-ups."
"Well partners can mean that Bub, but in the FBI it means that we work with each other. It means we have to catch the bad guys together, and that's where Corben's Mom probably just got confused," Booth explained carefully, wondering what this kid's mom was doing telling his son stupid things to confuse him. "But me and Bones, we're partners, not life-partners."
"But you and Bones are always together, and Mom said she's very important to you." Parker wasn't sure he was explaining himself right. "Mom said you love her."
"Parker, your Mom is not wrong, but; there's lots of different types of love," Booth tried to explain, "I love you differently to how I love your Mom, or how I love Bones or Uncle Jared, y'know?"
Parker looked at his father blankly,
"Ok, you know how you love your Mom?" Booth smiled, nodding towards Parker's open rucksack that lay on the floor beside the sofa, "Do you love her more than you love your toys?"
"Of course," Parker responded quickly, "but that's because I only have one Mom, I have lots of toys." He beamed at his father, proud of his answer, "I love you and Mom more than anything!"
"That's right Bub, but do you understand how you love different people, you love them because they mean a lot to you." Booth paused, watching his son fondly, "I love you the most, but I love other people too, just differently."
"So Bones isn't gonna live with you?" Parker asked, his attention back on the huge plasma screen, "You really aren't gonna live together?"
"No, we're not." Booth answered firmly, pulling the bowl of popcorn onto his lap and taking a handful, filling his mouth as Parker turned to face him once more, their matching brown eyes meeting,
"Oh," Parker couldn't help but mutter.
"Why?" Booth couldn't help the suspicion that infused his tone.
Parker smiled up at his father's face, testing his own 'charm smile' with no results. Booth had used his own version of that smile too often to fall for it, but was secretly amused that his son had perfected it so well at his age.
"I dunno," Parker shrugged, his gaze wandering wildly around Bones' living room, "Is Bones' new apartment really cool?"
"Yeah, it was really cool," Booth mimicked his son's words with a grin, "but she's probably not going to move, she likes it here."
"So do I," Parker frowned, "but, why doesn't Bones want it if it's really cool?"
"It's really big, lil man," Booth ruffled his sons hair as he pulled him in for a quick hug, "Bones lives on her own when we're not here, that apartment has lots of bedrooms that Bones doesn't need."
"Can't we live with her so she's not lonely?" Parker asked, the sincerity in his voice almost breaking his father's resolve.
"You live with your Mom most of the time Bub, and well; me and Bones are always busy catching the bad guys," Booth shrugged, unsure of what to say,
"What about Grandpa Max?"
"Grandpa Max?" Booth repeated, his brow furrowed in distaste, "He asked you to call him that?"
"No, I asked him if I could, 'cause Bones is our family you said and I've only got one Grandpa but Olyver said I should have two, so I asked really nicely and he said it was okay that I called him that."
"Hmm," Booth replied, his shoulders tense at the thought of Bones' father corrupting his son, "what about Max?"
"Can't he live with Bones?" Parker asked as if it was obvious, not noticing how distracted his Dad appeared to be,
"I don't think Bones and Max want to live together," Booth tried to be honest, "Grown-ups aren't supposed to live with their parents. When you grow up you're going to want to move out and have your own home, and Bones has lived alone for a long time, she doesn't want to live with her Dad again."
"Okay Dad," Parker agreed, his face glued to the TV as his mind cogitated on what his Dad had said, a plan forming in his mind.
Booth relaxed back into the soft red leather of the sofa, mimicking his son in every way. His body was relaxed, but his mind was whirring at top speed as he mulled things over in his mind.
He wanted that life, that perfect picture he had imagined as they viewed the apartment on 10th Street. The TV on the wall of the family room, the summer evenings spent on the rooftop terrace, watching the stars in the sky from the panoramic window of the master bedroom, the peace of mind that fingerprint security systems gave, the knowledge that Bones was right there with him every step of the way.
It was all just too perfect, too unrealistic. Bones would want her own space, no doubt she would bring home disgusting bones or crappy artefacts from far off countries, and he didn't even want to imagine what on earth he'd do if she brought home a male friend. He shuddered at the thought, trying harder to focus on the animated dinosaurs on the cinema size screen, than the inescapable feeling of dread that was currently seeping through his body.
He wanted his partner in his life; every aspect of his life, and here was his chance. He was through with watching it pass him by. He was going to get what he wanted, and he was determind that it was starting right now.