The next morning Booth and Brennan quietly went about their morning routine so not to wake Erin. They were getting breakfast when Erin walked in, "Morning."
Brennan looked up. "Good morning Erin, did we wake you?"
"No, I'd be up for class by now anyway."Erin sat in her chair; Booth sat a bagel with a half inch of peanut butter and a smattering of raspberry jelly on it in front of her a few minutes later with a glass of chocolate milk."Thanks, daddy."
"You're welcome Pumpkin." Erin took a bite of her bagel."Mom, Can I go to the lab with you today?"
"Sure, why do you want to go?"
Erin smiled, "remember when I was little and didn't have school, I'd go to your office and do homework and hang out with you? That's what I want to do today."
Brennan smiled and got up," finish your breakfast and get your stuff, we're leaving in 15 minutes."
Brennan went to her bedroom; Booth caught her wrapping an arm around her waist."You're happy aren't you? Your little munchkin at the lab with you all day."
"I admit I am happy, Erin hasn't spent the day at the lab since she was in middle school."
"Yeah, after 8th grade most half days and breaks were spent with Sarah and Maddie or Parker if he wasn't busy."
"Yeah, I'm surprised she's not with Sarah and Maddie today, Georgetown is close enough."
"Their break is next week; they'll see each other at Thanksgiving or Christmas."
Forty minutes later Brennan and Erin were in the her office, Erin was on the floor back against the couch with her legs under the coffee table unloading the pile of textbooks she brought with her and her laptop. Mother and daughter typed silently until Erin broke the silence, "Mom, do you think 'uncle' Jack has a copy of World of Microbiology and Immunology I could borrow? I forgot mine."
"He probably does or knows where you can find the information you need."
"Do I need access to ask him?"
"No just go up to the back stairs he should see you."
"Okay." A few minutes later Erin came back with the book and took her spot on the floor and began working. A while later Brennan had finished her morning paperwork she moved to the couch."Erin, you can use the printer, there's more paper in the credenza, the stapler along with pens, highlighters, and post-its are in my middle drawer. I have some of those granola bars you like in the bottom left drawer and there's water in the min fridge."
"You're welcome don't work too hard. I'll be in limbo if you need me."
"Okay, I won't."
Brennan leaned over to kiss the top of Erin's head,"you spelled 'chemoautotrophic' wrong."Erin grunted in frustrating and corrected the spelling.
Hours later Booth found Erin still working, a granola bar wrapper and a bottle of water on the edge of the table, he knelt down beside her, "Erin, time for a break let's go get mom and go to the diner."
"Five more minutes?"
'I'll give you until I get your mom, no more."
Fifteen minutes later the family was seated at the diner eating and taking. After lunch Erin headed for limbo to watch Brennan work her 'magic', at 5 Booth rounded everyone up and they went home. That night after dinner Booth was in the den watching TV and Brennan and Erin were curled up on the couch with popcorn and coco talking."Mom what was Dr. Stires like when you were his grad student?"
Brennan nearly choked on her popcorn, "Erin Renée, what makes you ask that?"
"Well, he was telling us about some of your digs and discoveries you made back in the day."
"Firstly, it wasn't that long ago. Secondly why was Michael telling you about our digs?"
"Erin, just answer my question."
"Okay, Dr. Millhouse got in an accident and Dr. Stires is replacing him for the semester."
"Oh. Dr. Stires is a gifted professor, you'll learn a lot from him, but you'll also see that Dr. Stires doesn't care as much as he should about the victims that he identifies. Caring about the person you identify is almost as important as the identification itself. You'll also see that Dr. Stires is an egotistical jerk."
Erin laughed, Brennan smiled slowly quickly sobering. "Erin there's something you should know in case it comes out in one of Dr. Stires stories, Michael and I had a relationship when I was his grad student. He has a thing for young brilliant accretive female students."
"Ew, does dad?"
"Yes your father knows, early in our partnership Michael came to D.C. for an interview and stopped by the lab for a visit. Your dad walked in with a case then, Michael and I went to my place that night and got caught up. Then two days later your dad tells me that the defense hired Michael to basically dumb down my testimony, that's the last time I saw Michael."
"Why did you have a relationship with him? Dr. Stires is an azzhat."
Brennan laughed, "I saw that when he came back, but at the time I loved him and I thought he loved me."
"Mom, what should I do if Dr. Stires finds out you're my mother and wants-"
"Call your father, I'm serious Erin."
"Okay, I'll call him after I deck him."
"Mom, what were the digs like?"
Brennan smiled," go get some refills and I'll get the photo albums and tell you about them. There are some M&M's in the cabinet over the fridge. "
Erin went off to the kitchen and Brennan went to the bookcase and grabbed six photo albums.
Hours later Booth found Erin and Brennan asleep on the couch, he smiled and placed Erin on the other couch and covered her up. Turning his attention to Brennan he saw the albums and knew that she'd told Erin about Michael, something she dreaded doing but knew she couldn't avoid it. Booth gently got Brennan into a more comfortable position and covered her up, then took their dishes to the kitchen.
The rest of Erin's time home passed too quickly for anyone liking. Thursday Erin hung out at home by herself, Friday Booth and Brennan took the day off. Saturday Parker came over for dinner; Sunday Booth fixed one of his 'famous' breakfasts before he and Brennan drove Erin to the airport. Brennan took Erin leaving better this time and quietly and quietly reminded Erin about what she should do if Michael wanted to be more than her interim professor.