A/N: Greetings fandom. I've been MIA for a while, but I'm back now. I'm literally days away from finishing high school and things have been pretty hectic. I've had no time at all to write, but now that things are slowing down, I have more free time. Sorry about my unfinished stories. I have no excuse other then I lost interest. Hopefully one day I'll finish, but I can't make promises.
This story has been in the works for months. Don't worry about me not finishing it. I know exactly how it will end. I have so many different parts written. All I have to do is edit it all together and connect the ideas. There will be fluff, angst, and maybe even a little smut down the road, so I think I'll give everyone something they like! This chapter is just a tester. If I get any interest, I'll continue updating. So PLEASE, if you want to see this continued, drop me a review/alert/message. I love hearing your feedback!
It might be a little OOC and Au-ish. The storyline isn't the most unique, but I swear, I'll make it different!
The steady clicks of swift fingers moving across a keyboard echoed through the living room. The corner lamp cast a dim light in the apartment. Imaginative thoughts were converted into detailed sentences across the laptop screen as Brennan let the creative juices flow. It was late, almost ten o'clock on Friday night. The doctor had spent a grueling nine hours at the lab. When there weren't a set of remains to identify, there were grad students to teach. When there weren't any experiments to approve, there were endless sheets of paperwork in need of her signature. Her day had ended at a reasonable time in all honesty, but the rest of her night hadn't been relaxing in the slightest. She should be taking advantage of the silence and curl up in bed. At that moment, however, she was nowhere near her bedroom and currently seated in the middle of her partner's home.
Brennan flexed the muscles in her back against the soft couch. She was still extremely grateful she was able to talk to Booth into getting a new one a few months ago. The lumps in the old seat wreaked havoc on his back and this gray, stationary sofa was the perfect solution. Shifting her focus back to Kathy and Andy's latest case, she once again let her muse take control.
Thirty minutes later, she had completed the third page since she began working. A grin tugged at her lips as she increased the angst in her writing. An angry love scene was just around the corner for the fictional couple. Her publisher would be pleased. It baffled her; there was something about writing in Booth's apartment that just got her mind reeling with ideas for her book. Just as she was beginning the fourth page, a door creak from the back of the apartment caught her ear.
The doctor's fingers stilled over the keys as her head turned in the direction of the hallway. She knew a door had oepened when she saw a small stream of light appeared and then disappeared on the wall. Her hands automatically moved to close the laptop lid, knowing that the person heading her way was about to demand her attention.
"Bones?" The voice called.
She smiled at the sight of the five year old boy clad in racecar pajamas, lazily stepping down the hallway towards her. Sleep was still visible in the corner of Parker's eyes. Bed head had taken his dirty blonde locks prisoner. He was so incredibly innocent. Brennan couldn't understand how anyone in their right mind could…
No, now wasn't the time. In the past six months since the decision was made, she had exhausted the issue with herself. Questioning it now wouldn't bring any new answers.
Parker walked forward, ending up in the place between the couch and coffee table, directly in front of her. Brennan sat upright and held her arms out to him. Without words, he crawled into her embrace, setting himself comfortably in her lap. "What's wrong sleepyhead? Bad dream?" She asked quietly.
He nodded and rested his head against her chest. His thumb found solace in his mouth. Booth didn't like that fact that he still sucked his thumb, but after a little research she assured him that it was completely normal for children his age. He only did it when he was tired or upset so there was no reason to force the habit to break. "Want to tell me about it?" She continued.
"Those mummies from the museum yesterday came alive and they were chasing me." He admitted, slightly shuddering against her.
Brennan rubbed her hand up and down his back. She rested her cheek on the top of his head. This wasn't the first nightmare she'd calmed him after. In all honesty, she was happy the dream consisted of something so normal. His usual night terrors were caused by something far more profound. "Maybe we shouldn't have gone to that exhibit." A small inner voice had told her that he might not be old enough to separate Halloween horror stories from the real life Egyptian treasures. She should have listened.
"But they were cool then." He replied, remembeirng how amazed he was at display.
"Well I promise that mummies can't come back to life."
Parker hesitated with fear. "Are you sure?"
"Hey, what happened to the little boy who thought I knew everything?" She questioned in a teasing voice.
He looked up at her with a smile that reached his brown eyes. "I'm right here."
"Then no more bad dreams, okay?" His hair bounced when he shook his head in agreement. "Let's get you back to bed." The boy grunted in protest and fell limp against her, hindering any chance of them moving from the couch. "Parker…" Brennan spoke in a firm tone. Six months ago she thought identifying ancient remains was one of the biggest challenges in the world, but up to that point in her life, she'd never tried to put a five year old to bed.
"Can I stay here with you, Bones?."
Brennan could feel herself want to give in. It was ridiculously hard to tell the boy no. It was a trait he had definitely inherited. "You have school in the morning and no, you can't just sleep on the couch."
"Just til daddy gets home? Pleeeease?" He begged, wrapping his arms tight around her.
"Daddy might not get home for a long time. Remember what he told you?" Brennan certainly remembered what the father had told her. Don't give in, Bones. No matter how cute he gets.
"Bad guys don't have bedtimes." Parker huffed in disappointment. He really wanted to stay with Bones. Whenever he snuggled next to her she'd always rub his hair until he fell asleep. He'd never have nightmares after that. "Will you tuck me in?"
"Now that I can do." Brennan kissed his forehead and stood up from the couch with Parker still wrapped in her arms. She had gotten increasingly better at that move as time's moved on. A few strides deeper into the apartment and she reached his jungle themed bedroom. She let him gently fall from her arms onto the twin sized mattress. She pulled the comforter that was covered in animals over him.
"Are you gunna be here when I wake up?" His small, venerable voice asked.
Brenna sighed. She hated that Parker's would never understand this part of the arrangement. She had to leave at night. "I don't think so, but I'll see you after school tomorrow, okay?"
Even in a room only lit by a small monkey nightlight, she could see the discontent written all over his little face. "Okay." Parker agreed. "Goodnight Bones, love you."
"Love you too, sleep tight." Brennan gave him one more kiss and tucked him securely under the sheets before silently walking out of the room. She pulled his door towards the frame, leaving a little space between the two. She paused before returning to her work, remembering the event that resulted in her taking on half the responsibility of caring for the junior Booth.
SIX MONTHS EARLIER
Brennan thought that she was the last one left in the Jeffersonian Medico-Legal lab. It was well past the time a normal adult of her age would be enjoying the weekend. Temperance, on the other hand sat at her desk, skillfully examining a skull from limbo. She'd already determined that the person was a male in his mid thirties. The fatal injury, a gunshot wound on the parietal, resembled those from World War Two veterans she'd previously seen. If only she could match an identity with the bones, she could give the family closure and rest easily for the night.
A knock sounding from her door frame was the last thing she expected. Her blue eyes glanced upward to find her partner, standing in the entry with his sleeping child clinging to his torso. "Booth." She greeted in a hushed tone, trying not to stir Parker. "What are you doing here?" She wasn't disappointed to see him but Brennan never expected on of Booth's spur of the moment visits on the night he had his little boy. When the father didn't respond, she continued, "When you left you couldn't stop talking about that film you were taking Parker to see." The five year old had been pestering him for weeks to see the new children's comedy about a talking canine. Brennan didn't understand the attraction to such impossibility.
"Yeah, well…plans changed." Booth answered while taking small steps into her office. His tone was a tone lower than normal. Once she focused on his face, clear signs of distress became apparent. "Could I put him down here?" He requested, motioning to the couch.
"Of course." Brennan placed the skull back into its designated container. She could sense something was very wrong with the man in front of her. John Doe 131203's real identity would have to wait another day to be discovered.
Booth laid Parker down on the lounge and draped the cable-knit throw over him. After placing a kiss on his son's hair, he approached Brennan. The father collapsed in the chair across from her. He dropped his head into his hands. With a sigh, he started to massage his temples with his index and middle fingers.
"Booth, what's wrong?" She questioned with concern. He hardly ever passed up time to spend with Parker. There couldn't be a good reason for him to be wasting their quality time at the Jeffersonian.
A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips. She always knew when something was bothering him. Understanding people's emotions wasn't something she excelled at, but with him it was completely the opposite. Although his feelings weren't exactly hidden this particular night, she could still read him like an open book when he was much more closed off. The grin disappeared from his face as he started to speak. "When I picked up Parker from his house, the nanny gave me this." Booth reached into his coat pocket. A white envelope, with Seeley written in neat cursive on the front, appeared in his hand. Without further explanation, he passed it off to her.
Brennan unfolded the top flap and pulled out a letter. He wasn't showing any signs of reluctance, so she began to read.
Seeley, I'm sorry to do this in a letter, but I have no choice. I know if I see you in person you'll stop me and I've been putting my life on hold long enough. Bret's job has asked him to re-locate and I've decided to go with him. I purposefully didn't disclose where we'll be. I know you'd show up and demand I come back. I can't let that happen. It will be at least a year before I come back, possibly more. I love Parker with all my heart, but I couldn't keep him from you for that long. His life shouldn't be turned upside down, so I'm leaving him with you. Neither of us expected to become parents, but when we did we put our dreams aside to raise Parker right. I've sacrificed the last six years for him, from the time I discovered I was pregnant to now, and I don't regret that decision, but it's time that I do what's best for me. I'm sorry to say goodbye this way. I'm sure you're very angry and confused and again, I'm sorry for that. You're an amazing father. I know you'll take care of him. Tell him I love him very much and I'll be back one day. Be good to him, Rebecca.
Love? Hate? More? Go away and never come back? Let me know!