Christmases on Bones - I was inspired after watching "The Man in the Fallout Shelter". Obviously there are spoilers for all the seasons. I hope I managed to avoid season 7 spoilers but I am not 100% sure. Nothing big if there is anything there but you are warned. Thanks to Bones35 for helping with present ideas. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!

She hated Christmas. She had hated Christmas for years, ever since her parents disappeared. Ever since her brother tried to have Christmas without them. It wasn't right, as good as his intentions were, he shouldn't have tried to make Christmas for them when their parents weren't there. Christmas did not evoke feelings of merriment or spirituality. Instead it made her angry, it augmented her feelings of loneliness, her bitterness towards her parents and brother for leaving her.

And so she takes it out on everyone else, her friends who were trying to enjoy the holiday. People who loved and were loved. She wants that, not that she would ever admit it. No, Dr. Temperance Brennan could never admit to wanting a family, wanting to be fifteen again and rushing down the stairs to open presents with her brother while her parents watched with steaming cups of coffee.

Hodgins called her a Grinch. She put up her usual defense, "I don't know what that means" when in fact she knows perfectly well. She remembers her father reading that story to her as a child. Another thing she will never admit. She doesn't want to be the bad guy, but she can't help it. Christmas for all intents and purposes was, stupid. There was no logic to it and therefore she would not allow herself to take part in any of the festivities or traditions.

People, Angela in particular, tried over the years to get her to open up and participate in the holiday. She always refused. She would run away to some dig in some third world country in order to avoid the whole thing. But this year Dr. Goodman didn't grant her leave. And she was quarantined in the lab with her friends and colleagues.

Booth is so enthusiastic about the holiday. As illogical as it is, it is as if there is a part of him that is still a little boy who can't wait for Christmas morning. But he is stuck here too, without his son, bearing the brunt of her brute affront on the holiday. He takes it. He helps with the case as much as he and gives her offerings of peace, nuggets of what he considers valuable insight on Christmas.

And so she starts to wonder, would it really be so bad? Celebrating Christmas, it has been almost fifteen years after all since her parents disappeared. She stays in her place on the steps as everyone rushes out to be with their family and friends. But Booth stops in his tracks and looks back at her. He seems so unsure if he should go or stay. "Go, go be with your little boy on Christmas. Say Merry Christmas for me" she says. And she feels slightly less alone. Because he cared enough to stop and make sure she would be alright for Christmas. So she takes him up on his offer and meets him at Wong Foo's after giving Ivy a special Christmas gift. He is smiling, and he seems to just know what happened. There is a spark of happiness that ignites within her as she sits with him, drinking eggnog. A spark that gets fanned into a flame when a small boy rushes in to see his, "DADDY!"

Booth gives her a goodbye smile and tells his little boy to say Merry Christmas. She can't help but smile and wave back. She watches them leave and the little boy looks back, just as his father had done just a few hours previously. This boy she knows only from watching him interact with his father through lab doors and a "Merry Christmas."

She is not sure if it really is Booth and his son who compels her to pick up the presents her parents left her all those years ago. She doesn't even know why she kept them in the first place. But she picks them up from the back of her closet in her apartment and arrives at the Jeffersonian as the clocks strike midnight and it is officially the day after Christmas day. She sits on the couch in Angela's office, because that is where she told Angela (and Booth because she knows he was listening at the door) the story of those presents. She finally feels brave enough to actually open them. Because she doesn't feel as alone as she has since the day her parents abandoned her.