Thanks for the feedback/alerts/favorites for my last fic. I'll be replying to those reviews shortly. Yay for the return of the Bones muse! The following takes place after 'The Conman in the Meth Lab.' Enjoy!


"My dad drank."

Brennan knew that already because of the 'intervention' with Cam and Sweets, but she didn't have to tell Booth. She eyed Booth carefully, wondering if she should say something. She still wasn't too good at reading people--the live ones, anyway--but somehow she knew that Booth just needed to talk.

"It wasn't pretty, Bones," he said softly, drawing her back into the moment. "He drank himself into oblivion on a daily basis. Mom and I begged him to stop, but all the begging just made him angrier." Booth sighed heavily. "I asked him once if I was his son or just a punching bag. It was one of the worst beatings I ever got."

Even with her arm in the sling from being shot, Brennan wanted him to know she was there for him, and she put the plate on the bench beside her and scooted closer to Booth until their thighs touched. "I'm sorry you had to go through that."

He tilted his head to look at her and offered a sad smile. "Yeah. And Jared always did stuff that I took the blame for."

"And the punishment."

"Oh yeah," Booth sighed, his gaze once again shifting downward. "But as the protective older brother, I felt it was my place to stand up for Jared, no matter how much of a dumb-ass he was."

"You're a brave man, Booth."

"I don't feel very brave, Bones. I just told Jared that he should stop drinking and that I'm not going to step in for him anymore. He basically told me to piss off."

"And it was very brave of you to stand up to him."

Booth huffed in mild disagreement.

"It's one thing to stand up for someone, but it's another, much braver, thing to stand up to that same person. Jared's looked up to you his whole life, but he's repeatedly taken advantage of your overprotective nature and your willingness to--what did you call it?--bail him out."

"I think you've had too many one-on-one sessions with Sweets, Bones."

"I don't have one-on-one sessions with Sweets."

Booth chuckled.

"You were joking," Brennan said as Booth nodded. "What I meant was that you're the bravest person I know, Booth. And the reason this thing with Jared bothers you so much is because you care."

"Thanks, Bones," Booth said, his mood already improving. "You're right. I do care."

Brennan nodded. "I appreciate you sharing that with me, Booth."

"I'm guessing you weren't talking about the cake," Booth said, a grin pulling at his lips.

Brennan chuckled. "No, but I'm glad we're sharing that, too."

Booth's grin widened. "Me too."

There was no one in the world he'd rather share anything with than Temperance Brennan.


Thanks for reading!