A/N: Just to be different, let's start with the disclaimer. I do not own Bones or any of its characters. No infringement of copyright intended.
Thanks again to my PM buddies 206 and tansypool for just being them. For those following CFF, thanks for joining me on this latest adventure and I hope that you like this as well. To those new to the series, hope you enjoy.
I'm back again with another story, of Lady Fate in her mischievous glory. Even with the JustUs league to aide in her every quest, for this scheming mastermind there can be no rest. Her plate is full with plots and plans, for a B&B baby and to get her very own man. Alas a request from a distraught little boy has thrown a wrench in her plans for holiday joy. She accepted a new mission, there's nothing else she could do, but has Lady Fate bitten off more than she can chew? With mishaps, mistakes, and misunderstandings galore, read on to see what Fate has in store....
Jingling the Bells - a JustUs League Christmas Tale
Angela had just put the finishing touches on the tree in her office as she waited for her computer to finish its search. She hummed distractedly as she thought of her Christmas plans. Her dad was in Tokyo on his latest tour and invited her to join him-but she had other ideas on how to spend the holidays. She had managed to convince Jack to open up the Adirondack cabin and invite the others over for Christmas. It was the perfect place to hatch her latest plots.
Yes that's right - plots. Plural. This Christmas was going to be epic.
She reflected on how her and the JustUs leagues schemes have come to fruition. Thanks to them, Brennan and Booth - arguably the most stubborn duo on the planet - have finally become a couple, and are now sharing a home. She's seen them with Parker acting like the perfect little family so many times now that the next JustUs league mission is obvious: give Parker a sibling.
At first, she thought it would be a cinch. She got Max to persuade Russ and Amy to give Bren more time with her nieces - especially the latest edition to their family - little Christine Anne Brennan, named after her grandmothers. It seemed to be working to - Bren would get a dreamy look on her face whenever she talked about the baby. And of course, she was awesome with Parker. Booth once marveled that Bren was the only person who could get Parker to willingly eat his veggies, and she got him excited about school and learning.
Then about 2 months ago, things seemed to change. She was still willing to look after Russ and Amy's girls, she just wasn't as willing to talk about it. She would either abruptly change the subject or declare that the subject was off limits. She was still awesome with Parker and she and Booth still seemed to be going strong. She couldnt understand what was going on with Bren's change of heart. She tried asking Booth, but he told her that when Bren was ready to tell her what was going on she would, and he asked her to leave it alone for now.
Fat chance of that happening. She and the other leaguers put too much time and effort into helping them with their relationship. Too late not to get involved. Besides - Bren and Booth are incredible parents, they had to have a child of their own. Whatever it was that made Bren change her mind, they were going to fix.
Unbeknownst to the others, Angela had a non-league mission of her own to take care of. She had been celibate for nearly a year - a fact that still astounds her. It was kind of like fasting - in the beginning all you can think about is your hunger and all of the food you want to eat but can't. The look of food, the smell of it, having it all around you and you can't take a single little bite. Then after awhile there's just a dull sort of emptiness, followed by a well earned clarity. That's where she was right now, her mind was clear and without the distraction of sex she finally knew what she wanted. Of course, seeing her best friend take the leap into love and coming out of it happier than she ever would have believed gave Ange courage as well. If Brennan can be happy, brave and in love, then by God so could Angela.
All she needed was a chance, a way to show him that her feelings for him were real. She believed that she had the perfect solution, and this little holiday trip was the perfect opportunity to put her little plan into action. If all went according to plan, by New Year's Eve Bren and Booth will have a mini squint on the way, and Angela will have the man she loves to kiss at midnight.
She sighed happily at the thought when she heard someone clear their throat by her doorway.
"Sorry about that Pete," laughed Ange, turning to one of her favorite security guards. "I was kinda lost in my thoughts for a minute there. What's up?"
"Nothing to be sorry about Ms. Montenagro," smiled Pete. "I just wanted to make sure you were up for a visitor."
From behind the big guy emerged a forlorn looking Parker.
"Park!" exclaimed Ange. She was always happy to see Baby Booth, but she knew how easy it was to get lost in the Jeffersonian complex and how worried Max must be about Parker, who should have been in Max's science class right now. "What are you doing here? How did you get here? Does Max know where you are?"
"Is it okay to leave him with you?" asked Pete as Parker ran to Ange to give her a hug.
"Yeah, I can take it from here Pete," grinned Ange. "Thanks for bringing him to me."
"We stopped by Dr. Brennan's office, but she was out," Pete explained. "I was going to take him back to the science wing, but he asked to see you."
"You shouldn't be wandering the museum on your own little man," Pete gently admonished him. "Just because your parents work here doesn't mean you should be running around the place. You could have gotten lost, or hurt. Next time, ask Max or me or one of the other guards to take you up here if you need to get to the lab, okay?"
"Yes Mr. Townsend." promised Parker.
"Alright," Pete smiled, giving Parker a pat on the shoulder. "Well, take care. If I don't see you later, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That applies to you too Ms. Montenagro."
"Merry Christmas Pete, and Happy New Year," smiled Angela. "Say hi to Deb and the kids for me."
"I will!" Pete called out as he headed for the lab's main doors.
With a sigh, Angela made Parker sit down on her couch as she called Max's cell phone to let him know that Parker was with her and that he was alright. She teased him about letting Baby Booth escape.
"Hey, that kid is crafty," Max half joked. "He had a couple of the kids in his class create a diversion so that he could sneak out."
"Really Max, is that what you're going to tell Booth?" Angela taunted.
"Does Booth really have to know?" Max laughed. "Seriously Ange, is Parker ok? Has he told you why he ran off?"
"He's fine Max," Ange reassured him, knowing that Max had become rather fond of the boy he affectionately referred to as his 'almost step-grandson.' "We haven't talked yet, I wanted to make sure that you knew he was okay before I asked him why he was here and not where he's supposed to be."
She shot a questioning glare at Parker, who was staring at the floor.
Angela assured Max that she was going to tell him what was up with Parker before finally hanging up. She then made her way to her couch, sat beside Parker, tucked a finger under his chin and tilted it so that he was looking into her eyes.
"Is Max mad at me?" asked Parker sadly.
"He was just worried Parker," Ange informed him. "He was glad to hear that you're alright. You gave him a good scare. You shouldn't have done that Parker."
Once again, Parker became quiet and seemed rather troubled. He was so unlike his usual ebullient self that Ange was becoming rather concerned for him.
"Park, sweetie - I know that you're a smart enough kid to know that you shouldn't be wandering around the Jeff alone. I also know that you love Max's class, and for you to pull a stunt like that, for you to have a diversion created so that you can get here must mean that there's something bothering you. Something big. You want to tell me what it is?"
"I need your help Lady Fate," He exclaimed, tears brimming his eyes. "Brent just got a promotion and now my mom says we have to move to Seattle. I don't want to move to Seattle, I want to stay here with Bones and my dad but my mom won't let me! You and the JustUs league have to help me convince my mom to let me stay."
"Are you sure about this Park?" asked Ange, reeling from the news. "When did you find out about this? And when are you guys supposed to leave?"
"I heard Mom and Brent talking about it last night," he sniffled. "They were talking about dad trying to fight for custody of me. That means dad wants me to live with him and Bones. But mom says that's not going to happen. That the court is going to rule in her favor. That means that whoever 'court' is, they get to decide where I live and who I live with and they won't let me live with my dad and Bones. I'm not going to Seattle. If court tries to make me go with Mom and Brent I'll run away."
"Don't do that Park. That would be very dangerous and we'd all be worried sick about you," said Angela, giving the distraught child a warm hug. "We'll figure this out, don't worry."
She let Parker settle down before asking a question that had been on her mind since Parker delivered the news.
"Parker, do your dad and Bren know?" she asked. "Have they been acting weird around you lately, been taking you out to more places, asked if you wanted to stay with them?"
"They took me shopping to get more stuff for my room," mused Parker. "And we were talking about getting a dog. And they asked if I wanted to live with them from now on. I said that would be cool, as long as it was ok with Mom."
"How long have they been talking about this stuff with you?" Ange pressed.
"I don't know," shrugged Parker. "I guess, maybe a month?"
That explains a lot, Ange thought to herself.
"Don't worry Parker, we'll fix this," Ange reassured him, giving him another hug. "I think that I may have an idea how. I just have to make some adjustments to my holiday plans."
"Do you think you can get my Mom to let me live with Dad and Bones?" asked Parker hopefully.
"Don't you worry Parker," nodded Angela, her mind whirring as she formulated a plan. "Just leave everything to Fate."