Booth stayed frozen, leaning against the desk in his office, attempting to comprehend the information his grandfather had just given him. His father was dead. The bastard was dead – gone – no longer able to haunt him. He didn't have to fear he'd return and wreck his life. But there was a part of him that was saddened. There had been good times even though they were outweighed by the bad. He wasn't exactly sure how he should really feel.
Brennan entered his office and he didn't even notice her until she spoke.
"The results are in on the weapon that was used . . ." she trailed off when recognizing he didn't seem himself. "Booth? Is something wrong?"
He quickly composed himself, not wanting to talk about it at the moment.
"I'm fine. Everything's fine," he insisted, hiding the paper and sitting behind his desk.
She gave him a strange look, but didn't question him.
"If you pull up the image on the computer-" she prompted, standing behind him.
Booth attempted to open the file, but the mouse refused to work. Frustrated, he stood up and threw it across the room, cracking the window of his office.
Brennan flinched with shock.
"Booth, you are clearly not fine. Something is bothering you. Did I do anything to upset you?" she asked. "Perhaps I should call Dr. Sweets?"
"No, Bones. You didn't do anything wrong," he assured her. "And no Sweets – I get enough of him tryin' to psychoanalyze me in the field. Look, I'm sorry if I scared you, but don't worry about me, okay?"
"Booth, you taught me that if you care about someone, there is an instinctive need to be concerned about them. I am experiencing that need at the moment," she told him and paused, seeing the folded paper in his back pocket. She immediately removed it.
"Bones! What are ya doin'!" he protested, attempting to reclaim the paper.
"I observed you were hiding something that could be relevant to your abnormal behavior and my assumptions were correct," she defended and continued to read. "Your father is deceased and left you and Jared a substantial monetary inheritance . . . I don't understand why you are upset? He was abusive . . . I do not comprehend the state of your emotions?"
"Because he was my dad and . . . it's complicated. Let's just leave it at that, alright?" Booth said, begging her with his eyes not to make him get into it.
Brennan proceeded with the conversation anyway.
"Because he was your father, you are upset he died . . . even though he did horrible things to you . . . I can relate to that," she said. "My father was never physically abusive to me . . . but he did abandon me and do things to other people . . . and my foster parents . . . I can be empathetic to your experience."
"I know ya can, Bones. But I'm fine . . . I just needed . . . I don't wanna be . . . him . . . I . . ." his voice cracked, uncontrollably, as tears of anger and sadness fell from his face.
Brennan immediately took him in her arms as he broke down.
"You are not your father," she insisted, soothingly rubbing his back and kissing his cheek. "You will never be you father, Booth. You are a good man and a good father."
After a few minutes, he slightly pulled away and caressed Brennan's swollen stomach, then looked back up at her, unsurely.
As if she knew the question he was thinking, she answered it for him.
"You are kind, compassionate, noble, and strong . . . You will be a good father to our daughter – I wouldn't be cohabitating with you if I believed otherwise," she assured him.
"Thanks, Bones . . . It's just my dad . . . you know how he left us . . . The drunken bastard beat me one last time and then the next day he was gone. He abandoned me . . . and Jared . . ." he recalled, swallowing back the tears. "I had gone to bed – it was a school night – and he dragged me out of my room and into the living room, started hitting me . . . Said something about me leaving my bike out. I kept telling him I had put it away, and I had, but the more I said . . . the more I cried, the harder he beat me. He threw me against the closet door and reached for the fire poker. The hot metal burned so bad . . . I didn't know how much longer I could take it. Then Pops came in and told me to go back to bed . . . I was glad he was gone, you know? The things he did – sometimes I thought I'd be better off if I didn't exist . . . But I always wondered what I'd done wrong . . . what made him do that to us . . . why he left . . ."
Hearing what Booth had gone through made Brennan's eyes puddle with tears, feeling an overpowering ache to erase his pain.
"Booth, you did nothing wrong. Your father was an alcoholic. It wasn't your fault," she maintained, taking his hand and leading him to the chairs.
"I know that now, Bones. But as a kid, I always thought there was something I could've done. There were times when we were happy – normal. I didn't get why it couldn't always be like that . . . that maybe if we were really good all the time, Dad wouldn't have been like that . . . he wouldn't have left us," he admitted.
Brennan squeezed his hand, sympathetically.
"I have something . . . some information about your father that you need to know," she said.
"You know something about my father?" he questioned, puzzled.
"Hank . . . your grandfather told me something in confidence a few years ago . . . He told me only to tell you when the time was right . . . I think that time is now," she revealed.
"What is it?" Booth wondered.
Brennan hesitated, nervously turning toward him.
"Your father didn't leave you and your brother. Hank made him - he threatened him never to come near you or Jared again," she confessed.
Booth gave a bittersweet smile.
"Gotta love Pops – always lookin' out for us . . ." he said, getting up and absently pacing the floor.
"Yes, he was," Brennan agreed and followed. "Booth . . . I think your father was, too."
"What? You're not turning into Sweets, are ya?" Booth questioned her insight.
"No, Booth, I am not a male psychologist in my mid-twenties. But my dad left me and Russ because he felt we needed protection from the things he had done . . . Perhaps there is a parallel to be drawn between our fathers?" she suggested.
Booth gave her a loving look as he moved in closer to her.
"Thanks, Bones . . . I know emotions aren't your thing," he said.
"When you love someone . . . you try," she replied, gently cradling his face in her hands.
He leaned in and kissed her tenderly.
"I love you, too, baby . . . more than you know," he confessed, resting his forehead against hers.
"I'm sorry, Booth," she told him.
"I'll be okay, Bones . . . As long as I have you, I'll be okay," he said and held her close.