Author's Note: Okay, so I know that I should be working on the other story that I started and just kind of left hanging. But this idea would NOT leave me alone. And since I'm new to this, I'm not used to that. So I finally wrote it out. I hope you enjoy it -- Please review :). Oh, and I don't own Bones.
It had been a hard week for the Jeffersonian family. On Monday, Hodgins and Wendell accidentally let an entire terrarium of lady bugs loose in the lab during some sort of experiment. On Tuesday, Booth had been on his way to the Jeffersonian from the Hoover when he got into a fender bender in his FBI-issued SUV. On Wednesday, the body of a kidnapped and brutalized child had been discovered, opening Pandora's Box of emotions for the scientists. On Thursday, five of the children in Max's science enrichment class came down with a stomach bug. During class. When Friday finally arrived, the squints and Booth were figuratively tiptoeing around the lab, holding their breath, and waiting for another small tragedy to strike.
To say it had been a difficult week was an understatement. Seeley Booth was just happy to have made it through the week in one piece. He was looking forward to having Parker for the weekend, relaxing, taking him to the park, and enjoying some serious father-son time. He strode into the lab, relieved when no alarms or other signs of emergency greeted him. Everything appeared to be calm on the platform where Wendell and Brennan were bent over the bones of the child discovered on Wednesday.
"Hiya, Bones! How's it hangin'?"
"Hanging? Nothing is hanging Booth – do you see a noose here? Or is that some thinly veiled reference to male genitals? Which, by the way, I do not have, making your statement inane at best."
"Whoa, Bones. Just trying to see what's going on. Anything new with the evidence?"
"There is a greenstick fracture of the left clavicle, as well as some powdering of the manubrium. Mr. Bray, I want your main priority to be identifying the weapon that could've caused this pattern of injuries."
"Yes, Dr. Brennan. I'll get the particulate information from Dr. Hodgins and start analysis immediately."
"Mr. Bray? Make sure you are only getting information from Hodgins this time. I don't think Dr. Saroyan will be as friendly about any experimental mishaps for the second time this week."
"Yes, Dr. Brennan."
"Come on Bones, let's go see if Angela has anything new for us."
The partners made their way off the platform and towards Angela's office.
"How's your neck, Booth? I know sometimes anterior longitudinal ligament damage can be quite painful and lasting."
"It's fine Bones. I heal up quickly. I'm a stallion."
"Comparison to strong animals is yet another way to assert your alpha-male status. Do you really think it necessary to re-assert your status to me?"
"Bones, Bones.. I was just saying I'm a quick healer. Hey, Angela."
"Ah, I see the stress of this week has done nothing to the level of your bickering."
"Booth just felt the need to describe yet another way—"
"It's nothing, Angela. Got anything new for us?"
"Yeah, I ran the cellulose found with the body through the restoration program. It's actually a photograph. It appears to be a family photograph, but from the dress and hairstyles, I would estimate that it's from the decade of disco."
"The seventies? Why would our seven year old victim, who has only lived in this decade, be carrying around a family photo from the 1970s?"
"I'm not sure Booth, but once the rendering program is complete I'll run the faces in the picture through any databases I can think of."
"No problem guys."
Brennan and Booth made their way to Brennan's office in silence. They were both lost in their own thoughts, thinking of their victim, and any reason why the victim would have such a photo in their possession.
"So Bones, what are you up to tonight?"
"I was planning on working on my book. Although it's not scientifically possible for weeks to be different lengths from one another, it seems like this week has dragged on for a month. I'm looking forward to some relaxation."
"Oh, were those plans set in stone? I have Parker tonight, and we were planning on a pizza and movie night – it's gonna be low key, but I understand if you already have plans.."
"Oh. Thanks, Booth. I think that a night with you and Parker could be just as relaxing as working on my book—"
"Well, it'll certainly be less work."
"I enjoy writing my books Booth—"
"I know you do, Bones. I was just teasing. Pick you up here at five thirty? After I get Parker?"
"Sure. I will see you then."
"See ya then, Bones."
Brennan watched her partner walk out of the lab. He was dressed casually today, in jeans that fit his well-sculpted form well. Focus, Brennan. Well, at least her plans for this evening seemed more promising than working alone on her book – not that she minded being alone, but it had truly been a horrendous week, and a night with the Booth boys could be exactly what she needed.
Four years ago, Temperance Brennan would have never admitted to needing or craving human contact. She probably still would not admit it out loud to another individual. But knowing that she had plans with Booth made her feel safe and wanted. And to know that Booth wanted her to spend time with his son…Anthropologically speaking, it was a great honor and showed Booth's trust in her that he wanted her to spend time with his progeny. Smiling inwardly, Brennan opened up a case file and buried herself in work, looking forward to her Friday night.
"Bones!! Dr. Booooonessssss!!!!" a high-pitched little boy's voice echoed across the lab. Parker bounced into the lab with the exuberance of a puppy.
"Parker, remember what we talked about!" Booth's voice echoed sternly behind him. At the sound of his father's voice, Parker slowed his exuberant running and came to a stop at the bottom of the stairs of the forensic platform.
Brennan was spending some more time with the child's bones. At the first sound of Parker's voice, she had begun to prepare to leave.
"Hello, Parker. Did you have a nice day at school today?" Brennan pulled her gloves off with a snap and started down the stairs to join the Booth boys.
"It was okay. In science today the teacher did an experiment that Mr. Max already showed us. I got all the questions right that my teacher asked."
"Wow, Parker. That's great. Let me get my belongings and we can leave."
Booth just sat back and watched the exchange between the two most important people in his life. He was truly proud of both of them – Parker, who was growing up to be a fine young man, and Brennan, who had overcome so much of her social awkwardness in the past four years. Previously, Bones wouldn't have been as comfortable talking with Parker. Now, she did it with ease.
Booth was startled out of his thoughts as he noticed Bones and Parker heading back towards him.
"Are you two ready to go?"
"Yup Daddy, I told Bones all about the movie we're gonna watch."
"Which one, Bub?"
"The Race to Witch Mountain. Jake said he watched it last weekend with his family and it was really, really good Dad."
"The possibility of aliens has been something that has mystified humans for years, Booth. It'll be interesting to see Disney's take on the alien concept."
"Whatever you say, Bones. We better order the pizza now, so we can pick it up on the way. What do you want on your pizza?"
"I'll get you a small veggie pizza, Bones. Wouldn't want yours to get tainted by any meat." Booth said with a wink, and his charm smile. Brennan just smiled back at him. Sometimes, her partner was so thoughtful that she could swear he was going out of his way to make her feel comfortable. And sometimes, she just thought that was the kind of person he was – going out of his way to make others' lives better. What a good man.
The three arrived back at Booth's after an uneventful ride. Parker had chattered from the back seat, and Booth and Brennan had engaged in the conversation with him whenever possible. Booth thought that it was nice, the drive. It felt good, normal, domestic even. Like they were a family. And they could be, if his partner ever realized his feelings for her…or if there was no line. They were already in a surrogate relationship—
"Booth? Where are your paper plates? I figured since we're eating in the living room that it will be a fairly informal night and paper would be adequate."
"Oh – here they are Bones. Why don't you take these and a stack of napkins in there and I'll be in with our drinks."
Parker was loading the DVD into the player when Booth got into the living room. Both he and Brennan were sitting on the floor. Booth joined them, leaning his back against the couch. They dug into the pizza and began to watch the movie.
Brennan was surprised that she actually enjoyed the movie. Though the concept was contrived, and the movie was obviously created for an audience of children, there was something about getting lost in a movie that she enjoyed from time to time.
Booth was surprised Brennan was keeping so silent about the movie. However, he understood that she liked to ensure Parker had a good time, and questioning the movie would have likely made everyone cranky. Booth was thrilled that the night went so successfully, and was reveling in the glory of this simple night. No complicated plans, no huge amount of money spent, just him and the two loves of his life. Perfect.
Unfortunately, deeming something perfect has a funny way of ruining it.
"I don't feel good. My tummy really hurts and its so hot in here. And my head hurts."
"How does your tummy hurt? Do you have to go to the bathroom? Do you think you might get sick?"
Parker nodded his head. Booth had to admit, he looked pretty green. And his chattering had decreased greatly since they had gotten back to the apartment.
"Okay Bub, why don't we go to the bathroom?"
Suddenly, Parker got up and dashed towards the bathroom. Booth jumped up just as quickly and followed his son. He arrived to the bathroom just in time to see his son vomit all of the pizza he had just eaten, along with what was probably lunch, all over the bathroom floor. Including the rugs.
Booth sighed. He gingerly walked into the bathroom and helped his son to the toilet to finish. He rubbed circles on his back. When Parker finished throwing up, he was shaking like a leaf.
"Come on buddy, let's get you outta those clothes. Is that okay?" Parker nodded his head. He was a shadow of his former self, both in skin tone and temperament. Booth got the thermometer out of the medicine cabinet, and found that Parker had a slight fever. He ran a cool bath, and helped his son out of his clothes.
Brennan busied herself with cleaning up the living room. Scattered paper plates, napkins and cups lay on the floor, the wreckage of their evening. Poor Parker. He had been quieter since they had returned to the apartment. It was never fun to have a stomach bug. Her father had come down with the bug yesterday, after a third of his class had come down with it.
"Yeah, Booth?" Brennan made her way towards Booth's bathroom, nose wrinkling slightly in response to the smell.
"Do you think you can bring in some of the cleaning supplies from the kitchen? I seem to be running low in here and I can't leave Parker when he's in the tub."
"Where are they?"
"Cupboard under the sink." Brennan hurried quickly to grab the supplies for Booth.
"Thanks Bones. I'm going to be in here with him for awhile. I think you left a copy of last month's Journal of Forensic Anthropology here, it might be in the living room. Or you can figure out how to work the TV."
"No problem Booth. Let me know if you need anything else.."
"Oh Bones, can you do me a favor? Do you think you can grab Park some saltines and ginger ale? I mean, not for now but maybe in a few minutes. And – last favor, I promise, do you think you can grab a pair of his pajamas from his dresser drawer?"
"Sure, I'll get Parker's stuff."
Brennan walked into Parker's bedroom, smiling at the toys strewn in one corner, and the brightly colored comforter. A pair of Transformers pajamas was on the top of the pajamas in the dresser drawer, and she grabbed them and a pair of underwear for the little boy. She went into the kitchen and got the ginger ale and saltines, while thinking about her mother. Her mother, who always took excellent care of her when she was sick. Her mother, who she missed every single day, but even more when she was ill. Temperance recalled the first time she was ill while she was in foster care. It had been an awful experience, a stomach bug spent alone by a cold porcelain toilet, with no foster parents checking on her.
Brennan shook her thoughts off and headed back to Booth's bathroom. The floor had been cleaned and Booth was drying Parker off with a towel.
"Here Park, Bones brought your PJs. Can you help me put them on him, Bones?"
Brennan nodded. She wasn't good with kids, as a general rule, but she had been doing fine with Parker so far. She helped Booth maneuver Parker's arms and legs into the pajamas. When the little boy was dressed, he collapsed into her lap.
"Thanks Bones." he mumbled sleepily.
Booth looked carefully at Brennan's expression. She appeared surprised, but pleased that Parker was so comfortable in her arms.
"Why don't we move him to his bedroom? I can put a garbage can next to his bed. Do you think you can carry him?"
"Of course, Booth."
Brennan carried Parker's tiny frame down the hallway and moved into his bedroom. Booth pulled the covers back on his bed, and Brennan laid him gently down. Booth covered him up, and went to get a garbage can to place next to his bed. Brennan couldn't resist, and placed a quick kiss on the child's head.
"Okay buddy, if you feel like you have to get sick, you can do it in the can, okay?"
Parker was mostly asleep, but managed to nod some agreement. Booth left his door cracked, and returned to the living room with his partner.
"I'm sorry that happened tonight, Bones. I know having a seven year old vomit isn't exactly your idea of a fun, relaxing night."
"It's fine. And up until the point that Parker upchucked all of the food in his stomach, I had a lovely evening. And it's not ruined Booth, really."
"Thanks Bones. You don't have to be so nice about this."
"Booth, you're a great father, and tonight, I got to see that in action. That was interesting, from an anthropological standpoint."
"Ah, it's always anthropology with you. So I'm sorry, but I can't drive you home now – I can't leave Parker."
"That's fine Booth, I can spend the night on the couch."
"No Bones, you can sleep in my bed."
"Absolutely not Booth, you will re-injure your back if you sleep on the couch, and what if Parker needs you in the night? Let me sleep on the couch."
Booth conceded. He couldn't remember the last time he won a logical argument against Temperance Brennan, anyway. He brought out sheets, pillows, and blankets and gave her an old t-shirt that said FBI along with some sweatpants to sleep in.
"Well, goodnight Bones." Booth said from the doorway, not daring to get closer to his partner.
"Night Booth. It was a good night. Aside from the vomiting."
Booth smiled, and walked down the hallway to his bedroom.
At three AM, Brennan woke with a start. Her mouth filled with saliva and she could feel wave after wave of nausea. She fought back the bile in her throat as she sat up and pushed the blankets off her. She dashed to the bathroom, and made it to the toilet just in time.
All of a sudden, there was someone behind her. Booth was holding her hair back, and rubbing circles on her back. Brennan purged her stomach after wave after wave of nausea hit her. When there was nothing left, she sat back. Booth was quick to provide her with a glass of water and a cool wash cloth. He then sat behind her, and allowed her to lean on him.
"That damn stomach bug." Brennan said softly.
"It's the time of year, Bones. Are you feeling better?"
"Just exhausted. And a little nauseous, still."
At that moment a tiny body hurtled itself into the bathroom, headed right for the toilet. Booth completed the same routine with Parker as he had with Brennan. When Parker was finished getting sick, he laid down on the cool bathroom floor.
"Need anything, you two?"
"My mother always used to give me Coke with the carbonation stirred out. It is supposed to settle the stomach. It has a lot of a sugar, but it used to make my stomach feel better. When I was a child, that is."
"Do you think you can keep an eye on Parker? Do you have enough strength? I can get you your drink then."
"Okay." Brennan said weakly.
Booth dashed into the kitchen, determined to take good care of the people he loved most in the world. Sometimes he felt like he was born to take care of, and protect Temperance and Parker. It was a job that suited him well. He finished stirring the carbonation out of the soft drink, and walked back into the bathroom.
At the doorframe, he stopped with a start. Bones had stretched out on the cool tile, following Parker's lead. Parker had moved his head from the floor, laying it on Brennan's stomach. Even though they were sick, it was one of the most beautiful sights in the world. His flesh and blood, and his Bones. Booth relished in the view for another moment, then gently picked up his son and carried him to his own bed. Then, he gently picked up Brennan, and placed her in his bed next to Parker. He placed garbage cans on either side of the bed. Then he grabbed a blanket and pillow, and curled up on the floor at the end of the bed.
His back may hurt tomorrow, and he would probably come down with the damn bug as well. But all Booth could think about as he dozed off was how lucky he was to have Parker and Bones in his life. He was truly lucky, bad week or not.
Author's Note: So there you have it. The one part of the story that wouldn't let me go was Brennan and Parker sleeping together on the bathroom floor. So that's what the entire story was centered around. Also, you should know that I am RIDICULOUSLY phobic of vomit. As in, terrified. So I thought this may be a little therapeutic. I hope you enjoyed it!! Please review if you did :) It makes my day.