A/N: Hi, I know I haven't been around in months. I was in an inspiration rut. Anyway, the latest episode (The Party in the Pants) pulled me out of that rut. If you've read some of my other stuff, you'll know that I have in the past been obsessed with Booth's mother/past. I have taken a few liberties, mostly with how old Booth was when his mom left. I think the only way it makes sense is that she left when Booth was really young, came back for a little bit to visit and then took off again for 24 years. In Man in the Mail, Booth said that he hadn't seen his father in 20 years and I assume the same thing happened. Otherwise it doesn't make much sense since he is now in his early 40s and 20-24 years ago he would have been 16-20. Alright, enough rambling, let me know what you think :) Enjoy. (SPOILERS FOR THE MOST RECENT EPISODE 8.22)

It is incredible. How just the sound of a voice can cause a regression back to childhood. Booth felt himself immediately transported back to his childhood living room at the sound of her voice. He was once again eight years old, standing on her feet while she danced around the room; Jared bouncing along wanting it to be his turn. He blinked and it was gone, but his mother was real, standing in front of him.

"Mom." He could barely believe that she was in front of him.

"I wasn't sure you would remember me." She said. How could he not recognize her? That voice that sang him bedtimes songs. That voice that he had imagined in some of his darkest times to calm himself down. That voice that he had imagined while singing lullabies to his own children, wishing that she was there.

"What's it been, 25 years?"

"Wow this is unbelievable." Booth set himself down, trying to take in the fact that his mother was really sitting in front of him.

"I know." She sat forward.

"And it's been 24 years Mom, not 25." Only 24 years.

"You always looked on the bright side." Booth's mind wandered to some of the times where he couldn't see any brightness at all, but he was not going to reveal that. His mom had come back to him.

"I...I guess I should start by apologizing."

"No. No need to apologize, I know what you went through. I'm just happy to see you." He didn't want to hear any apologies. It was all in the past. He didn't want to think about how he had felt when she left. She had done what she thought was best for her, and he had accepted that a long time ago. He didn't blame her for leaving his abusive father. He wasn't angry, if it had been possible, he would have left too. But he had Jared to think about. And Dad left anyway, a couple years later, so it didn't matter much.

"But I should have tried to get in touch with you." He didn't ask why she didn't. He is slightly afraid of the answer.

"It was just that so many years past. And your grandfather was your parent. And I just thought, you probably hated me." How could he hate her? Booth loved her, she was his mom. He understood why she left. It was too much for her. But he had missed her so much.

"I don't hate you mom. I missed you." Despite trying to remain strong, Booth could feel his eight year old self coming to the surface. The tears he had shed at her departure. The hope as he stole moments by the window wishing she would come back. It was almost too much, the past and present colliding. It threatened to overwhelm him.

It never crossed his mind to refuse her hug. At that moment it was what he needed the most. What he had yearned for since he was a child, his mother's hug.