AN: This story was inspired by an article on the website cracked (dot) com titled "The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Coincidences of All Time". Hope you enjoy!
"Something is bothering you," Brennan announced as she and Booth drove to their latest crime scene. She wouldn't normally make assumptions about the emotions of other people, but Booth was different. After six years of studying the expressions that crossed his aesthetically pleasing face, she had great confidence in her ability to tell when something was wrong with him.
Booth considered denying it, but knew his partner wouldn't be fooled. "Yeah, but I'd rather not talk about it right now."
"Oh. I understand." Trying and failing to hide the disappointment in her voice, she turned her head to the passenger side window and pretended to be interested in the scenery.
After seconds of uncomfortable silence turned into minutes, Booth reached his breaking point. "I talked to Parker on the phone yesterday, and he asked me about something that I wasn't ready to discuss with him."
"He wanted to know about sex?" Brennan guessed, knowing how embarrassed the subject made him. "I could talk to him for you."
Booth had to smile as he imagined her explaining sex in super squinty terms while using models of the male and female reproductive systems. "Thanks for the offer, Bones, but he didn't ask about sex."
Brennan waited a few moments for him to offer additional information, but he didn't. She decided that she would have to continue speculating until she got it right, or until he told her. "Did he ask about your past as a sniper? Or about your time in Afghanistan?"
"No, he knows that stuff is off limits until he's older. Much older."
"Did he question the existence of your benevolent creator deity?"
"You mean God? He believes in God. Don't say things like that! You know how I feel about getting struck by lightning."
"You'd prefer not to," Brennan said in earnest.
Booth laughed. "Exactly."
"Did he find out that you lied to him about Santa Claus?"
"No, he still believes in Santa."
"Did he want to know why you wear your sexually suggestive 'Cocky' belt buckle?"
"You're going to keep asking me until I tell you, aren't you?"
"That was my plan, yes."
"Alright," he said with a heavy sigh. "He's learning about Abraham Lincoln in school, so he asked me if we were related to John Wilkes Booth."
Knowing how Booth felt about his infamous ancestor, Brennan gave him a sympathetic look. "What did you tell him?"
"I said that it was just a coincidence that we had the same last name. It's bad enough that Parker has a father who's killed over fifty people. He doesn't need to know that he also has a famous assassin in his family tree!" The words came out louder and angrier than he'd intended.
She put a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Booth."
Her gentle touch and voice helped him calm down. "You don't need to be sorry, Bones," he said softly. "My screwed up family isn't your fault."
"You're not the only one with a 'screwed-up family'. My brother used to run a chop shop processing stolen cars for parts, my parents robbed banks, and my father killed people and set them on fire. I'm the daughter of a murderer."
Booth shook his head. "Your dad isn't a bad guy; he only killed people who would have killed you or Russ. My ancestor assassinated the President of the United States. I've got evil in my DNA."
"There's no such thing as evil DNA."
"I'm not so sure of that."
Brennan didn't know what else she could say. "Perhaps we should discuss this with Sweets."
"No, no, no. Promise me you won't tell him about this. Please."
Her heart ached at the pain she saw in his eyes. "I promise."
Neither partner spoke again until they reached their crime scene a few minutes later.
"No more talk about my family's past, alright?" Booth said as he parked the car. "Let's go catch a murderer."
While at the crime scene, and later at the lab, Brennan had been too focused on analyzing their victim to think of anything else. Yet as she drove home from the Jeffersonian, she found herself thinking about Booth's family history again. She hated that a man as noble as Booth should have to bear the shame of association with one of history's most famous assassins. She wanted to make him feel better, but wasn't sure how.
She was almost home when inspiration struck. While she couldn't change the fact that the most famous Booth was a killer, there had to be other Booths who had accomplished things that her Booth would be proud of. As soon as she entered her apartment, she turned on her computer and began her research.
Two hours later, she found what she was looking for.
"I have something very interesting to tell you," Brennan said the next night as they ate dinner at the diner. "I was doing research on your family's past and-"
"Whoa, hold on a minute there, Bones," Booth said with a mouth full of hamburger. He was silent for a few moments as he finished chewing. "Why were you doing research on my family? I told you that I didn't want to talk about that anymore."
"I know, but I wanted to find something that would make you feel better. Just listen. I discovered a rather fascinating story about Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth's older brother. Like his father, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin was a famous Shakespearean actor. Some sources called him the 'greatest actor in American history.' There's even a statue of him in Gramercy Park in Manhattan."
Booth's eyes widened. "One of my relatives has his own statue? That is fascinating. If we ever get a case in Manhattan, we'll have to check it out."
"I'd like that. I saw pictures of it online, and it appears that you two have similarly symmetrical facial features. But the statue wasn't the fascinating part. Some time before President Lincoln was assassinated, Edwin Booth rescued a young man who had fallen off a train platform. The young man recognized Edwin since he was a well known actor. But Edwin didn't know who he'd saved until he received a letter of commendation from Colonel Adam Badeau, a friend who'd heard about the rescue from the young man himself while the two served together in the Union Army. Would you like to know who your ancestor saved?"
Booth was hanging on her every word. "Who?"
"Robert Todd Lincoln."
"Lincoln? Any relation to President Lincoln?"
"Yes. He was the president's son."
Booth dropped his hamburger. "You're serious?"
"Serious as a heart attack."
"Wow. The odds of something like that happening have got to be…"
"Infinitesimal. Yet it happened. Edwin was a hero, Booth. Just like you."
His chest puffed out with pride. "You think I'm a hero?"
"Yes, I do. You've saved my life on several occasions, and I've seen you save many others. Even if you did have 'evil DNA'-which you don't, because it doesn't exist-you're still the most heroic person I know."
He reached across the table and gave her hand a squeeze. "Thank you, Bones."
"So I've made you feel better?" She asked with a smile.
"Yeah." He smiled back. "You always do."
Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.