AN: Once again I would like to express my eternal gratitude to my beta, CalleighAryn, and to all of my fantastic readers, whose kind words inspire me to keep writing long after my bedtime.
"You're Dr. Brennan?" The silver haired man sitting across from Brennan's desk said when she walked into her office. He flashed her a toothy grin. "I would have never guessed that a woman as pretty as you would be a doctor."
Brennan stared at her strange visitor for a few moments. She was positive that she had never seen this man before, yet his smile and symmetrical facial features seemed familiar somehow. "You shouldn't make assumptions about people based solely on physical characteristics. Who are you?"
"George Booth." He held out his hand and she shook it. "I'm Seeley's father."
Brennan immediately yanked her hand back. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to see Seeley, of course. I tried to surprise him at his FBI office, but he wasn't there. One of his co-workers told me he might be here with you."
"He's not. You can go now." She waited for him to leave, but he remained seated.
"I haven't seen him in a long time…much too long. Do you know where he might be?" He asked with a charm smile similar to his son's.
"No, I don't, and if you refuse to leave on your own, I can have security escort you out of the lab." She picked up her office phone and dialed the code for security.
George's smile vanished and his eyes darkened. "Why are you being so rude, young lady? You don't even know me."
"I know that you were an alcoholic who abused Booth and his brother."
He let out a loud laugh. "Is that what he told you? I drank a little when they were growing up, but no more than any other working man. And I never abused my boys…I only did what I had to do to discipline them, and they turned out better because of it. I bet Seeley gave you some sob story about a terrible childhood just to get you into bed." His eyes shamelessly traveled the length of her body. "Not that I can blame him."
"You don't know anything about him!" She seethed. "Your son is a good man who risks his life to catch murderers. As a sniper and FBI agent, he's saved countless lives. He's saved my own life multiple times: he took a bullet for me…he pulled me to the surface after I'd been buried alive…he even left a hospital after being injured in an explosion to stop one of his colleagues from murdering me. He's a hero. Did you know that he was offered a medal for stopping a suicide bomber in a conference center? Have you ever received a medal for valor above and beyond the call of duty?"
"Well, no, but--"
"And he's an excellent father, which is all the more remarkable considering that he had you as a role model."
George quickly stood up. "Now listen here, you little--" He was cut off by the sound of someone loudly clearly his throat.
When George and Brennan turned to see who had made the sound, they discovered the object of their conversation standing in the doorway. Both wondered just how long he had been standing there.
"Seeley!" George pasted on a smile as he approached him. "How are you, son?"
"What do you want?" Booth growled, his eyes clouded with barely repressed rage.
"Just to see my favorite son. How about we go get a drink?"
George put an arm around his son's shoulders, but Booth shrugged it off and walked towards Brennan. "No thanks."
"It's only two o'clock in the afternoon," Brennan told George. "Clearly you're still an alcoholic."
"Wanting a drink after a long trip doesn't make me an alcoholic," he said angrily. His voice softened as he addressed his son. "Come on, Seeley! You can pick any place you want; it's on me."
Booth stood firmly at Brennan's side. "My partner and I have a lot of work to do."
"What's so important that it can't wait an hour or two? I'm an old man, son. I don't know how many years I've got left; I may not even have years. Won't you spend a little time with me?"
"I'd rather spend time with her." Beside him Brennan grinned at the compliment.
"You're choosing some skirt over your own flesh and blood? I'm sure she's a good roll in the hay, but--"
"HEY!" Booth shouted as the fury within threatened to consume him. "You can say anything you want about me, but DON'T disrespect my partner."
"Why was he talking about hay?" Brennan asked Booth.
"He wasn't, Bones," Booth answered through gritted teeth. "He was saying that you're good in bed."
"I'm very good," she told his father. "But Booth and I are just partners."
"Uh huh." George may not have been a world class scientist like Brennan, but it didn't take a genius to see that these two had it bad for each other. "I'm sure she's a good partner, son, but she's not family. I'm your family."
"She's more family to me than you ever were," Booth retorted as his hand unconsciously moved to the small of her back. "Goodbye, Dad."
"You ungrateful brat," George spat. "I don't know why I wasted my time coming here. I'll go see Jared. He was always my favorite son anyway."
"I highly doubt Jared will be any more willing to see you," Brennan said. "You may as well go home and resume your miserable, insignificant life."
"You bitch!" George hurled himself at her, but she instinctively pushed him away. He fell backwards, landing ass first on the floor.
Booth chuckled at his father's shocked expression. "I warned you not to disrespect her."
"Um…Dr. Brennan?" A security guard said tentatively as he and another guard entered the office and saw Mr. Booth on the floor. "Is this guy bothering you?"
"Very much so," she answered. "You can take him away now."
"Yes, ma'am." The guards picked him up off the floor and escorted him out of her office.
"They never should have let him in to begin with," Booth muttered. "I'm so sorry, Bones. You shouldn't have been in the middle of all that."
"It's okay, Booth," she assured him. "I'm fine. Are you?"
"I'll be alright," he said with more conviction than he felt. He gave her a heartfelt smile. "I appreciated you telling my dad that I'm a good man."
She smiled back at him. "I was only telling him the truth. I appreciated you saying that you consider me to be family."
"Like you said, Bones, I was only telling the truth."
They gazed at each other for several seconds before Brennan spoke again. "Do you want a guy hug?"
He took her into his arms instantly, savoring the feel of her warm body against his until his mind forgot all else.
As always, their embrace lasted much, much longer than one would expect for two people who were 'just' friends and partners.
As always, neither one minded.
Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.