RE-POSTING AFTER THE CRACK-DOWN BY FF ON REAL PEOPLE BEING USED IN FICS.
A/N I wrote what you will read below as the middle section to a conversation I was having in my back yard one day with the actor who plays Booth on Bones. I've since learned that non-fictitious people written into the story are a no-no here on FF. My research shows that writing a real person into a fiction is not illegal out in the world, but that doesn't mean you can't get sued for it. I am sure FF wants to avoid any possibility of that. Besides, this is FanFiction's sandbox ... and I, we, are beneficiaries of what they provide. So - we play by the rules, folks, and everybody's happy.
So - here's the abbreviated version. I hope you enjoy it!
Thank you, again, for the advance readings of Diko (as always!) DWBBFAN, and BostonLegalGirl, my girls who talk me off ledges when necessary. Bless you all, yes, I mean you, too, gentle reader, for reading a MoxieGirl fiction!
~MoxieGirl44 on Twitter
P.S. In case there is any question, this and every chapter, is complete fiction. The Bones characters don't belong to me and neither does Mr. David Boreanaz. Those fine properties belong to Hart Hansen and Jamie Bergman, respectively. Lucky ducks.
Parker's Crime and Punishment
Set to immediately follow Season 7, Episode 10, The Warrior in the Wuss
The Meaning in the Episode: Parker's Crime and Punishment
Booth and Parker sit around a corner of the kitchen table eating ice cream while Brennan nurses Christine and puts her down for her first night time nap.
"Dad, why aren't you eating? Don't tell me you don't like chocolate ice cream any more?"
"No, it's not that, Parker. Somethin's buggin' me."
Booth shrugs with one shoulder and a sideways tip of his head as he lazily makes gullies across a scoop of ice cream melting in his bowl. Sucking the chocolate off his spoon, he shoves it into the larger of two scoops as if planting a flagpole. He slowly pushes the bowl away and sits back, crossing his arms.
Parker continues to suck spoonfuls of ice cream off his own spoon and studies his father's demeanor. Uh oh. This is the look Dad gets before he's about to make a speech, he thinks. "Come on, Dad. I've never seen you push away a bowl of ice cream. Chocolate chocolate chip, no less. Do you have your period?" Once it's out of his mouth, Parker's face goes blank. It's almost as if he'd just said a four-letter fence word for the first time in front of an adult. Dangit, dangit, dangit, he curses himself. I'muna get it now! He tells himself.
"What?" Booth starts at the period comment, his eyes flying open wide. He stares at Parker as if he were looking at an alien that just flew out of the sky and sat down next to him.
"Come on, Dad. I'm not a kid anymore," Parker chuckles half-heartedly, trying to make light of it, still assessing the degree of damage he may have inflicted on his dad's respect for him. "We got the movie in health class this year. I know all about periods and ovalries, and bleeding and stuff," he begins his explanation. He feels like he's in a canoe trying to paddle away from a waterfall. "Since we had the movie, Mom's been really talking about stuff a lot. When she's ministrating, she can't stand cold things. She wants them, but can't stand them. There's been a lot of really good wasted ice cream at our house this week," he chuffs, looking down at the ice cream beginning to pool around his own abandoned spoon.
"Parker, boys don't have those things. Men, especially, don't have those things!"
"I know that! I was teasing you, geez!" He rolls his eyes and giggles.
Booth looks at his son, one eyebrow shadowing his eye, the other trying to join his hairline, and several serious vertical lines creasing the skin between his eyes. "Parker –"
"At school? Ever since we saw that movie about maturity? 'Welcome to the New You', it was called and it shows a hairy armpit when it starts. it's kinda gross," he says wrinkling his nose. "Well, the girls? They saw a different movie than the boys did. Apparently theirs was more interesting. Cody Digger? He has a twin sister and she saw the other movie, so we all paid him a quarter to ask his sister what it was about. He totally hit pay dirt. Though it still doesn't make much sense to me, honestly, Dad," he says, bewildered.
Booth can only imagine where this might be headed and suppresses a nervous smirk. He recalls Rebecca mentioning the letter all the parents were sent in advance about the health education section covering sexual maturity. Covering his mouth with his hand and leaning his elbows on the table, he nods at Parker. "And-?"
"Well, now whenever a guy's being a jerk, or even if he's not, he's totally in danger of another guy sayin', 'Hey idiot, you got your period, or what?'" Parker pauses for a moment. "It's a total slam, Dad. Everyone else laughs. It's like the worst slam you can imagine. Even worse than being called 'cool'," he says, semi-seriously, unsure if he should let his dad know that he's been on both side of this particular brand of teasing.
Booth stares blankly at his son, the corners of his eyes curving up just a bit. Before he can say anything, Parker jumps in again.
"And there's really no good comeback. You can't even accuse the guy who's teasing you if he's got his training bra yet! Cuz then, the other guys will say you're havin' a bromance with that guy and looking at him in the locker room at gym class." Parker shudders.
"What's wrong with being called cool?" Booth asks.
"Dad," says Parker, leveling a narrow stare at Booth. "C-o-o-l stands for Constipated Over-weighted Old Lady! Would you want to be called that?"
Booth chuckles. "Nope. But I would never be called that."
"You're not one of my classmates. Most of them are idiots, at least the guys are."
"Oh …. to be young again," muses Booth in exaggerated wistfulness. He sighs and lifts the spoon from his melting mound of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream. He scrapes off the top layer of soup to get to some of the still slightly congealed dessert underneath. "Parker?"
"Yeah?" Parker has gone back to polishing off his bowl before he'll have to use a straw to get at it all.
"What's buggin' me here, is that there's something not right about what happened today."
Parker looks up at his dad, a sloppy spoon halfway to his mouth. He lowers the spoon and begins to slowly stir his ice cream, scraping the spoon along the bottom of the stoneware bowl. He waits, looking down.
"Parker," starts Booth, pressing his lips together in thought. He presses his hands together, overlapping only his thumbs as if in prayer. He's looking at his thumbnails. "You know I am proud of you, right?" He looks sideways at Parker.
Parker nods, already feeling guilty, though he's not sure what for.
"You're one of the best kids I know. You've earned my trust, buddy."
"I know, dad," he says, recognizing this as the build-up to God knows what.
"Now, it takes a lot to earn someone's trust, right?"
"Is it safe to assume that my trust is important to you?"
"Yeah, Dad! Totally! Some of my friends—their parents don't trust them at all because of something stupid—at least that's what they say—but their dad's don't have guns—though I've told them—"
"Parker!" Booth gives him the 'what the hell?' stare, then shakes his head. "What does my gun have to do with it?" He looks at his son with a disturbed, queer expression on his face. "Never mind. What you did today, for your sister?" Booth chuffs. "Well, that was very creative—"
"I knew you'd like it, Dad, but I'm hearing a 'but' coming at me."
Booth pressed his lips together again and mused at how much Parker is like he himself was at his age.
"Okay. Listen. I want you to think about how you went about it—"
"You mean how I put it together?"
"No, not exactly," Booth said, dropping his chin to his chest, then looking over at his son. "About how the way you did it looked to Bones and me." He let that drop, and watched his son. "And what we may have thought because we didn't know what you were doing."
"Oh," said Parker, feeling a twinge of oncoming panic at the back of his neck.
"There are a couple of things wrong with this picture, Parker. First of all, we do trust you, but there's been a whole lot of shake-up around here lately, okay? The move to this house, your … ha … really long stay over seas, Christine being born, right?"
"Yeah?" Parker's ice cream has been forgotten as he listens to Booth with rapt attention.
"No matter how close a family can be, drastic changes can affect its members in unpredictable ways. We gotta look out for each other—"
"I know that, Dad," says Parker, his shoulders slumping.
"Here's the thing, though. When one of the family members starts to act funny, to do things they normally wouldn't do, sometimes it's a clue that there's something wrong, that maybe they aren't adjusting to changes very well. Sometimes it means they are angry or hurt or just plain feeling crazy."
"I'm not feeling crazy, Dad."
"I know. I know, Parker. But you haven't been telling us much. You've been keeping to yourself, going out without telling the sitter—and then you lied to me, son. We have promised never to lie to each other, right?"
"I didn't really go out, Dad, I was just down the hall. I didn't want you to suspect anything—"
"Do you think it matters whether or not you actually did what you told me in a lie that you had done?"
"No," says Parker, hanging his head.
"A lie is a lie—"
"I know. I'm really sorry, Dad—"
"Well, when we see all these things, it leads us to suspect something else is going on."
"Uh, like what?" He feels a bit nervous now. Nervous and confused.
"Well, these parenting books tell us that sometimes a kid can get jealous when a baby comes into the family," says Booth, shrugging.
"I told you, I'm not jealous," insists Parker.
"I understand that, Parker, but look at this from our point of view. Bones finds family photos cut to bits and hidden in the floor in your closet. Along with the cut up photos, she finds her own clothing, ripped apart as well—"
"I didn't mean to rip it—"
"Parker, you took off her Jeffersonian patch! What do you think that made Bones feel like? And when did you start calling her Temperance, anyway? You can still call her Bones."
"But she's not my mom—"
"What does that have to do with anything, Parker? I never said you have to call her 'Mom', Parker. And I guess Temperance is fine … it just surprised me. Then there's my gym bag. You didn't ask me if you could take that apart either. That was not your property. It wasn't yours to deface."
Parker's eyes grow large with guilty realization of how this must have looked to Bones and to his father. He hissed in a lungful of air as worry creased his brow.
"In legal terms, Parker, that's vandalism," says Booth, matter-of-factly, cocking his head to the side and tossing his hands up in the air.
"But I knew it was one of her old work coats, and you don't even use that bag anymore, Dad."
Booth shakes his head, grimacing. "No go, buddy. That wouldn't hold a teaspoon of Kool-Aid in court." Booth lets that sink in for a moment while little beads of perspiration bead on Parker's young brow.
"The photo—that was one of my favorites, but I'd given it to you. You can do anything you want with it. But if I found a family photo cut up at a crime scene, I would assume that someone was very angry at the people on the photo, and I'd be right."
"Yeah. And the RC truck? It looked like you'd destroyed it, Parker. You and I have had lots of fun with that thing. We put it together the day you got it, remember. I was so excited to show you I got it working again … and here Bones finds it in pieces…" Booth smirks at his son, not without compassion.
Parker pales and looks like he might barf.
"Now. How do you think that looked to Bones and me? Oh, and pile on top of that the fact that she's a brand new mom and that's making her unpredictably emotional—and she thought maybe her baby was in danger. Which frightened her and confused her, because the Parker she's always known and loved would never, ever do anything like that. Ever."
"And I never would, Dad! You've gotta believe me!"
"I do believe you, son. I do. But even I was shocked and worried. And concerned, little man. I was really, really worried about you. I've missed you so much and I thought maybe I should have gone out to see you, or called more, or maybe I'd screwed up somehow—"
"Dad, it had nothing to do with that. I just wanted to surprise you."
"I know that now, but I didn't two hours ago. You could have still surprised us, but asked to use our things."
"But you would have figured it out, Dad!"
"No. Not in a million years would I have figured out what you were doing, I swear," insists Booth. "You could have come to me and said, 'Dad, can I have this patch off your old gym bag, or, Bones, do you mind if I use this old coat of yours and do you mind if I take the patch off for a project I'm doing?'"
"Right, and you wouldn't have figured it out?" He says dubiously.
"Nope—and if you didn't want me and Bones comparing notes, you could have asked each of us not to mention it to the other. We would have agreed, as long as we knew you weren't making a voodoo doll or something. You could have just said it was a surprise. We'd have left it at that."
"Yeah. Oh. Now, the sitter? You could have let her in on this. You are never, NEVER, to disappear without letting her know where you are. You got that? You scared her half to death, Parker. She is responsible for your life while she is here. Imagine how awful she must have felt, thinking she'd lost you. Especially after what we've been through with the gravedigger. Remember that?"
"I really screwed up, didn't I, Dad?" Chagrins Parker.
"Your heart was in the right place, little man, but your method left a lot to be desired."
"I'm really sorry," he says, scooting back his chair and coming over to hug his father.
"Thanks, Buddy. You know what you have to do now?"
"Take the mobile apart and fix all the stuff I destroyed?"
"No—not at all! You need to apologize to Bones. She's trying really hard to be a good mom, and step mom, and I think she might feel bad for thinking you had done something mean. But she had every right to feel that way. Do you understand?"
"I do now, Dad," says Parker, sitting back down. "Do you have a straw? I'd like to drink my ice cream now," he says, dejectedly.
"Don't get down on yourself for this, okay? You're learning. We're all learning. That's what families do, right? They help each other learn. That's out job." Booth tousles Parker's hair as he gets up to find two straws.
"Is there going to be a punishment?"
"I don't know. Let's talk to Bones about it. See what she says."
"When will she be done with Christine?"
"Here she comes now," says Booth, standing up and smiling at Brennan. "Ice cream?"
"Oh, yes, please," she says, winking down at Parker who's noisily slurping up the last of his ice cream through a twisty straw.
As he gets out the ice cream and starts to scoop it over at the kitchen island, Booth nods at Brennan, letting her know he and Parker have had their talk. Brennan nods back almost imperceptibly at Booth, then sits down across from Booth's bowl, diagonally from Parker. She rests her forearms on the table.
"Can I have a glass of water as well, Booth?"
"Certainly," he says, giving her an expectant nod and tilting his head toward Parker who isn't paying any attention to his father at all.
"So, how's it going, Parker?"
Parker looks down at his messy bowl and wipes his chin with a napkin Brennan hands him from the center of the table. He swallows, and pinches his lips together. Brennan can't help thinking that he looks a lot like Booth when he does that.
"Bones, I'm really—really—sorry," he says, looking repentant.
"Parker," she begins. "I was very worried about you," she says, looking over at Booth who is making himself busier than is required for getting out just two scoops of ice cream. "We both were worried about you. And, I have to admit, I was frightened by what I saw."
"I promise I would never do anything to hurt Christine. I already love her, Temperance, I mean, Bones," he says pleadingly. "Can you forgive me? I promise I will never do that again, and never take your stuff—or, or destroy it—without asking first. I just didn't think."
"It's okay, Parker," says Booth from across the kitchen.
"It most certainly is not okay," says Bones adroitly. "But it's not an insurmountable challenge we have before us. Your father has detailed every one of our concerns? The accused is always read the charges brought against him in a court of law, Parker. You know what you did that was wrong?"
Parker sighed. "I took things that didn't belong to me. I vandalized the things I took. I cut up several photos and left a mess in my closet. I disassembled a toy without asking Dad. I didn't tell the sitter where I was one time; it was only one time, I swear," he says, looking between Booth and Brennan. "And—I lied to Dad."
"Wow. Is there evidence supporting these crimes? Are there witnesses?" Brennan stares at Parker expectantly.
"There's lots of evidence," he mumbles back, his head lolling to the side, his lips bunching up on one side of his mouth so his dimple is pronounced and looking very apologetic. "And three witnesses, excluding me."
"So, what do you plead, sir?" Asks Brennan, accepting her bowl of ice cream from Booth.
"Guilty," admits Parker.
"Guilty as charged!" Announces Brennan, knocking her spoon against her bowl. "What shall the sentence be?" Brennan looks across the table at Booth.
"Well, why don't we let the accused—"
"The accused who readily admits his guilt—"
"What do you think should be your punishment, little man?"
Parker looks from Brennan to his dad, and back to Brennan.
"Diaper duty?" He says, anxiously as his face crinkles into a frown.
Brennan and Booth smile across the table at each other. "Diaper duty!" The shout in unison.
"Not—changing diapers—just emptying the diaper pail every day."
"For as long as you are here—" adds Booth.
"For as long as I am here," mumbles Parker, then smiles sheepishly at both adults. "Can I have more ice cream, Dad?"
"Get the prisoner more ice cream, Booth!" Brennan laughs with a mouthful of chocolate cream.
"See, I told you this would all work out, Bones!"
"I was the one who said it would work out!" She insists.
"You did not, you thought I was being too harsh on this first time offense!"
"Ugh! You never remember things right!"
"I never remember—? Me? You're the one—"
"Just, get me my ice cream, please!"
Thank you to my peeps who take the time and give back a little bit everytime they read a MoxieGirl work!
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Folks, I wrote this one for me, really. Hopefully, I won't get any more visits and I can continue focusing on TWATH.
Do you hear that, Mr. B? Just keep your twinkly smiles and your, well, just, you stay where you're supposed to be ~
I got work to do! Huge S.W.A.K.