This is going to be series of fluffy one shots all centred around Brennan's offer to Booth and Parker to use the pool in her building as her guests at any time, and along the way how she learns to be Booth's 'village'. Starting off slow, they'll get steamier as we go along. And yes, there will be a LOT of ripples in this little pool! Hope you enjoy.
With thanks to my unfailingly generous and supportive beta and friend paxmundi, who absotively posilutely RAWKS!
Disclaimer: The only thing I own is my soul, and I even lend that out on occasion, but only if you ask nice. Anything that even looks familiar in this story probably belongs to someone else (except the actual story - that's all mine, Mine, MINE [*maniacal laughter*]!)
That's my standard disclaimer, but this time I'd better give credit to Fox et al for the dialogue in the Prologue (just borrowed it to give context, Hart. And because it was adorable.) No financial institutions were harmed in the production of this fanfic.
Chapter One: Which part of 'you're awesome' don't you get?
"It takes a village, Bones."
"Wha – er - I beg your pardon?"
"A village. To raise a kid properly it takes a village."
"But metaphorically. It doesn't mean we all must grow up in hamlets of eight hundred people or less."
"Um. Will you be my village?"
"I need Parker to know that I lead a full and rewarding life."
"But you don't."
"What? Yes I do."
"No you don't. You work too much, you don't socialise - all of which prevents you from having a full sex life."
"Okay. Please let's just take a hint from, you know, the suburbs and just make it look good."
"You want to know if I'll help you fool your son into thinking your life is gratifying?"
"Yeah. Will you do it?"
"Well – ah – how?"
"Come to dinner with us, have fun, laugh at my jokes."
"Wh- that might actually turn out to be fun thus becoming a self fulfilling desire."
"Right. So will you do it?"
"Yes. I will be your hamlet of eight hundred people or less."
"I was being amusing. You should laugh at my jokes too."
"I'm laughing. On the inside."
The First Phone Call.
"Brennan." Temperance Brennan didn't glance at the caller ID when she answered her home phone. She answered her home phone the same way she answered her office phone and her cell; every call was a business call as far as she was concerned; whoever was calling usually required her expertise on some level.
"Hey, Bones. How ya doin'?" The voice at other end was warm and friendly, just like the man.
"Hi Booth. I'm doing fine thanks." She waited for him to go on but the line was silent. "Booth, are you still there?"
"Uh - yeah."
"Do we have a case?" Uncertainty tinged her voice. They'd only just wound up their last case the day before and had spent a large part of today doing paperwork and tidying loose ends.
"Uh – nup. Nothing like that." He was hedging, not sure if the request he was about to make was still welcome.
"Booth, you must have called me for some reason. We only saw each other about an hour ago and we spoke quite a lot during the day. Has something happened since then?"
"You okay with Parker and me coming to use your pool tomorrow?" Booth's voice was almost tentative, although he couched his request in his usual relaxed way. They inevitably spent a lot of hours together with work, and lately the amount of time they spent together outside work had increased more and more as well. This thought brought a pleased smile to his face; the tendrils of their lives were becoming strongly intertwined, and he loved that this was happening. He just wanted to make sure that she was still okay with upping the ante.
Although Brennan frowned at the hesitation in his tone, she answered immediately "Of course. You're coming tomorrow?" He couldn't read her voice over the phone on this, if anything she seemed a bit impatient, preoccupied, although it was hard to tell on her brief reply.
"Are you sure you're alright with it?" He sounded almost apologetic.
Her frown deepened at his apparent need for reassurance, and she unconsciously let her head tilt to one side, attempting to recognise a possible subtext. Regrettably she had only just been introduced to the term, but hadn't yet grasped the concept. "Booth, that's why I gave you the key. I'm surprised you haven't been sooner."
Booth was silent for a moment. "You now how it is with kids, Chuck E Cheese party one weekend, chest cold the next." Despite his indecision, in the end it was Parker's insistent pleading that forced his hand. As far as his young son was concerned, it was simple: go to the pool, see Dr Bones. Now.
"Who's Chucky Cheese?" Brennan's question brought him back to the conversation, "One of Parker's friends?"
"It's Chuck E Cheese. E. The kids restaurant place."
"What's the "E" stand for?"
"What? Um, I don't know, nothing – it's a made up name. But listen, never mind about that. Will tomorrow be okay? It's hard to plan things with an eight year old. But he's been asking me about it since that day at the diner, and tomorrow works for us."
"Booth, any time is okay." There was a thumping noise, "Ow!"
"Bones – are you okay? What are you doing?" There was another muffled thump before she came back on the line.
"Trying to get dressed and talk to you on the phone at the same time and it seems I'm not as co-ordinated as I thought I was." Booth waited but she didn't elaborate. Did 'getting dressed' mean she was undressed? What was she doing, answering the phone in her underwear? Naked? His eyes rolled back in his head and he groaned softly, his imagination spiralling out of control.
"Um, so, do you want to get some dinner later?" He asked hastily. Something was up and he wanted to know what.
"Can't. Got a date." She huffed, clearly struggling with whatever item of clothing she was up to. His adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed convulsively, his throat suddenly dry. He was grateful they weren't having this conversation face to face. Then again …. he sighed, shelving the thought of that tantalising prospect.
"Oh. Okay." He knew he should finish the call, but he couldn't help himself, anything to prolong the conversation; he just wanted to talk to her. "Anyone I know?"
"No, not as far as I'm aware." Booth was silent. "I've got to go, Booth, or I'll be late. Was there something else you wanted?" Only you. Where had that come from? Who as he kidding; he didn't have any doubt about the point of origin of that particular thought.
"Ooo-kaay. You have fun on your date, Bones. What is he this time? Parkouring microbiologist? Base jumping oceanographer? Cliff diving astrophysicist?" Navel gazing space cadet?
"Brian is an orthodontist and this is our first date. I don't really know what he does in his spare time. Apart from one thing, of course." Booth felt his blood pressure pop at her offhand qualifier.
"You're kidding me? Brian, the orthodontist?" He couldn't keep the sarcasm out of his voice and he forced a laugh to hide it. "Slumming it, Bones?"
"I don't know what that means. We're going to see the NSO. There's a guest conductor and they're performing Dvorjak and Elgar. As far as I'm aware it's in a very affluent part of town. I don't believe there are any slums in the immediate locality." She was starting to get exasperated, and a thought occurred to her. "Wait, are you being condescending?" she asked warily.
He tried to sidestep the question but ended up in the same place, "Jeez, Bones, where do you find these guys?" He also tried to keep his voice even, but his irritation broke through and he thought he may have slipped accidentally into a whine. He tried forcing a grin instead, but that only made his face ache.
She chose to take his question at face value and answered him ingenuously. "I met him at yoga class."
"So yoga is the thing he does in his spare time?"
"Yes, he's very … supple. Although he undoubtedly has other interests." She was using that self-satisfied tone that really drove him nuts and the grin was abruptly wiped from his face.
Before he could think of anything to say to that, Brennan went on, "Booth, I've got to go. That's the door. Have fun tomorrow in the pool." She severed the connection, leaving him scowling at his handset.
"So how did the big date with Brian the Orthodontist go last night?" Booth and Parker were at the door of her apartment, hair still wet from their swim. Brennan didn't answer him straight away, opening her door wider so that they could come in. She looked crabby.
"You're always lecturing me about the observing the social niceties, yet you often forget them yourself." She gave him an arch look and followed it with a grumpy observation. "Hardly a good example for your progeny." Parker himself was oblivious to the adults' conversation; he was too busy looking around her apartment, enthralled by the weird bits and pieces she had on display in her hall. He couldn't wait to explore. Everywhere.
Brennan headed towards the kitchen without waiting for an answer, expecting that they'd follow her, which they did. Booth smiled slightly when he took in the dejected set of her shoulders. Another disappointing date? His smile widened into a cocky grin, and he swaggered a little as he followed her through the apartment.
"So, what was wrong with this one?" He was flying blind on that assumption, but his Bradar usually kept him safe. Of course, her batting average on the dating front was pretty low and her body language wasn't exactly exuding bliss, so it wasn't really a huge leap.
"He snores." She said quietly over her shoulder, for once comprehending his meaning easily.
"What?" Booth pulled up abruptly and quickly scanned the apartment for signs that she had a visitor. His heart rate immediately increased and he stood on the balls of his feet; the Ranger was never really very far away. Parker barrelled into him, protesting "Dad!" at the sudden stop. Booth quickly placed both hands on Parker's shoulders, not sure whether he was steadying his son or himself. He dropped his voice to a strained whisper. "Is he still here?"
Brennan screwed up her face in confusion, "What? No." Booth relaxed a bit, although he still cast a wary eye around the apartment.
Brennan took down mugs and a tall glass from her cupboard, not bothering to ask if Booth would like coffee. There was no need, she knew what his answer would be; he could be fanatical about his coffee. She held the glass up, "Would you like some juice, Parker?" She received an emphatic nod and returned the boy's smile warmly as she passed a brimming glass to him. "How was your swim?"
"It was awesome." The little boy's face shone back at her with happiness and just a touch of hero worship. "Can we come again tomorrow?"
"Hey, sport, settle down. Bones doesn't want us here every five minutes." His brows came together as he looked at his son. Parker had wriggled off his stool and was trying to take the lid off an old pot that had been sitting on a side table, "Parker please put that down. It's not polite to play with things if you don't have permission."
"Sorry Dad." He looked up at Brennan. "Can I look at this please Dr Bones?"
"Wait, Parker, it might be valuable." Booth turned to Brennan. "Is it valuable?"
"It's a Moche sacrificial rite vessel, Peruvian, about 500AD."
"Well, at least it isn't brand new." He missed Brennan's eye roll in his impatience to find out more about her date.
She stepped over and placed the red and cream coloured ceramic piece gently in Parker's hands, making sure he had a good hold of it and was supporting the base. "Parker, you're welcome to examine it as long as you handle it very carefully." She smiled indulgently at him. "And you're also welcome to come and use the pool whenever your Dad can bring you." The little boy's face lit up and he looked at his dad questioningly.
"We'll talk about it when we get home, buddy. And you can look at the pot for a count of ten, then I want you to put it back where you found it. Carefully." He turned to Brennan, "So …" but Parker cut in,
"You're awesome Dr Bones. I'm really glad that you let us use your pool. And you've got great stuff in your house."
Brennan chuckled and acknowledged Parker's remarks solemnly, complimenting him on his manners. Booth brought the conversation back on topic as soon as he could.
"Yeah, thanks Bones." He was sincere, but still very distracted. "So, Brian snores, eh?"
The smile disappeared as she nodded and he instantly regretted that particular opening salvo.
She grimaced, crossing her arms in front of her defensively. "And I found his behaviour completely inappropriate."
"Bones, ixnay." His eyes darted to Parker who had carefully replaced the sacrificial vessel where he'd found it and was looking at each of them in turn. Booth took her by the arm and pulled her to one side. His voice dropped to a whisper in deference to his son's presence, but the planes of his face had hardened and his hands had balled into fists.
"Why, what did he do? If he hurt you - " He spat the words out through clenched teeth.
"He fell asleep in the middle of the first movement." She paused, disgust etched on her face.
"What?" Booth's voice had risen to a squeak, and he didn't know where to look, outrage and embarrassment fighting for dominance on his handsome face. "Wait, are you telling me -"
"And when the pastorale finished and the second movement started – the timpani section is very forceful at that point -"
"His timpani? Where's that?" Booth was really confused now. He'd never heard it called that before.
"Kettledrums. They're really loud in the second movement of that piece of music. Anyway, he woke up and made this obscene snorting sound -"
Booth held his hand up, the pieces suddenly falling into place. "Wait, you're telling me Brian the Orthodontist fell asleep at the concert you went to?"
Brennan frowned, "That's exactly what I've been saying." She got annoyed when he started laughing. It really wasn't all that hilarious. "I've decided that I won't be seeing him again."
"Except at yoga class." Booth's Cheshire cat grin was back in place and his spirits soared.
"Except at yoga class." Brennan couldn't resist his ebullient mood, and a matching smile spread across her face.
"Bones, you really are awesome you know."
Hope you enjoyed this little piece of silliness … I'll be adding more of the same every so often and I hope you'll let me know what you think. Cheers!