AN: So, my first year joining the Bones Secret Santa, and I draw a hell of a recipient. We're talking high pressure, high stakes poker.

You see, she's one of my favourite writers, hands down, and one of my favourite people. She's the first to cheer anyone in this fandom up with her special brand of medicine. She's the Goddess of Booth knowledge. Her own contribution to this exchange is brilliant, which only upped the stakes. Naturally, she deserves something very, very special.

The Prompt: "Established couple B&B are in a restaurant together when they run into one of their exes who didn't know they were together"

I adore you, dharmamonkey, so much so that I am blowing way, way over the minimum word count. Multiple chapters (maybe 3 or 4?) coming up, starting with this one (which sets things up to knock 'em down). I hope this lives up to your desire for awkward angst and hilarity.

Disclaimer: The only thing that's mine is my whacked-out sense of humour and enjoyment of chemically-impaired characters. We're setting this in the future and no amount of HH/Pelant nonsense will get in my way!


NOT-SO-MISSED CONNECTIONS

July 18, 2014

"What could possibly be taking so long?"

"It's Customs and Immigration, Bones, not the Express Check-out at Target," Booth replied with a sigh.

His wife grimaced, waving her one good arm furiously in the air. "Well, can't you... just... wave your badge or something? You're a Federal Agent."

Whoa boy, Booth thought anxiously. The Oxy's kicked in. He'd quickly learned over the course of the last few days that Bones and narcotics resulted in a rather strange shift to layman vocabulary and an impatience he'd never witnessed. After all, this was the woman who could spend eight full hours staring at the skeletal remains of a victim without a bathroom break!

"Does your hand hurt, Tempe?" Parker asked quietly. "I can hold your purse if you want."

Bones shook her head, flashing a smile at the young man beside her. "I'm fine, Parker. I find that the Oxycodone is especially wonderful if taken on an empty stomach, which is what I've done, being as the vegetarian meal provisions were little more than wilted lettuce. You're very sweet to offer." To Booth she added, "How long until his flight? If we need to rebook, we should call them now."

"We've got a full sixty minutes until his connection," Booth reassured her.

"Well, the way the security personnel here process travelers, I ought to buy him a secondary ticket back to London, just in case," she grumbled. "And I'm hungry!"

"Hang tight, Bones," Booth said quickly, scanning the area. "I may have a solution. Be right back."

"Booth! Where are you going?"

In search of a miracle, he thought to himself, flagging down someone who appeared to be heading back to their post, or to relieve another person - he didn't really care which. Flashing his badge, he dialed up the Booth Charm to pantydropper and blocked her exit.

"Hi there! Special Agent Seeley Booth, FBI. I was hoping you could help me."

The svelte blonde flushed crimson, shifting her hip towards him. "I can certainly try. What do you need?"

"Well, you see, my wife and son are over there," he began, gesturing to a very frustrated Bones and Parker. "We took the little man to see the World Cup in Brazil and my wife took a fall while hiking and broke her hand. She's in a great deal of pain and anxious to return home to her specialist, being as she's an anthropologist and author. Hands are important to her," Booth added, winking.

"I bet they're important to you both," the blonde replied coyly.

"You bet," Booth replied, playing along. "Anyway, little guy's flight back to London is in an hour and with the storm they're calling for, she's worried about him making it out. Is there any sort of... well, fast lane for injured travelers?" he asked.

And then, he winked. He hated himself for it - it was borderline cheating in his books, flirting this way - but it was for his wife (he never got tired of that word) and son and well, screw it.

"You come on over to the queue down the end," she whispered. "Have her fuss about her pain. It'll shut up the line," she added with a knowing look.

"Thank you!"

Booth hurried back to his family, the grin plastered on his face because he knew that Bones would know just what he did and would undoubtedly be pissed off. And yeah, she was. She was on the express jet to Someone's Sleeping On The Couch Tonight.

"What did you do?" she hissed.

"Found the disability line," he whispered. "Now look miserable and follow me," he told her, reaching for their bags.

"You flirted with that woman," she accused, adjusting her sling roughly.

"For you," Booth admitted, turning to his son. "C'mon Bub, your flight's leaving soon!"

"You... you had eye sex!" she blurted out. "That's what Angela calls it."

"Bones, can we talk about this after we clear Customs?" Booth whispered.

"Those are my eyes to have sex with!" she ranted. "I may not be able to wear my ring on my hand due to the fractures to my scaphoid and proximal phalanges, but I have it on my neck and... and we made promises before witnesses and Aldo as a proxy for your God."

Aw hell. There was only way to put an end to this, even if he was likely to get slapped for it. Much to Parker's embarrassment, Booth planted a firm kiss on her lips, taking advantage of her tirade and thrusting his tongue inside her mouth. After a brief startling and a slapped hand against his chest, she melted into him with a soft moan.

"Aw, come on!" Parker muttered. "Get a room!"

"Booth," she murmured, clearly dazed. "That was... unfair. I'm incapable of making informed decisions under the influence of opioids and... science."

"Let's just get through Customs, alright?" She nodded and Booth added, "Sound like you're in a lot of pain."

"But I'm medicated - "

"Undercover, Bones. Like that."

"I can do that," she whispered conspiratorially, following behind him as he wove across the lines towards the flirty blonde. "Ow! God, just cut the damn hand off!" she yelled.

Parker's face lit up at this. "You could have a hook for a hand, like a pirate! Or a chainsaw hand, like in Evil Dead!"

"Evil what?" Brennan asked.

"What are you doing watching Evil Dead at your age?" Booth demanded. "We're talking about this later. Hi there," he greeted his blonde friend. "Thank you for helping us out."

The blonde nodded as Booth noticed she'd unbuttoned her uniform a little. "Passports and declaration please."

"My hand hurts," Brennan whined, leaning against Booth. "Make it stop, Booth."

"Soon, baby. I promise," he murmured.

"I'm not a baby. I'm a grown-ass woman!" At this, she snickered, her eyes glazed over. "At least I injured my non-dominant hand."

"Bones!" he hissed, flushing red. "Parker's here."

"Parker learned all about sex at age ten," his son replied. "Parker is not an idiot, although he is grossed out now."

"Parker is also not royalty. Why are we talking about him in the third person?" Brennan asked.

Parker shrugged. "Dad started it."

"I was knighted. He's close enough." The Customs agent passed over their documents with a wink and he sighed in relief. "C'mon, let's catch our flights, huh? Home sweet home is a plane away."

Booth led a weaving trail through the throngs of frustrated and anxious passengers, all clearly determined to reach their flights before possible cancellation. On their flight from Rio, there had been warnings of a hurricane off the coast, possibly a serious one. The last thing Booth wanted was his son in the air over a tropical storm of any kind.

"The departures board is over there," Parker called out, pointing towards a packed crowd.

"Awesome. Let's confirm your gate."

Bones strode quickly towards the board, weaving side to side and wiggling her arm in its sling. "Excuse me! I'm temporarily disabled and need to see my flight status!"

Somehow, it was effective: several people parted, offering clear passage to a sight line. With a little nod of triumph, she stumbled back to Booth, half-falling against him.

"Terminal E, just like his ticket says. On time."

"Good job, Bones. Let's go."

With their cart of bags - Booth was increasingly grateful that the airline had redirected Parker's luggage automatically to his flight home - they made their way through a series of movators and walkways and finally located Parker's gate right as the first boarding call sounded. With a slight tremble in his lip, Parker threw his arms around Brennan's neck.

"Thanks so much for taking me to the World Cup. It was awesome!"

"You deserved it, Parker. Your grades are fantastic and you're a great child and brother," she replied softly.

"I'm sorry about your hand," he added, staring at the ground. "If I hadn't leaned so far over the waterfall - "

"Parker, we talked about this," Booth interrupted. "It was an accident."

"I still feel bad!"

Booth opened his mouth to try again, but found his partner taking the lead. "Parker, I have done many, many stupid things in the field. Some of them have nearly gotten me killed. Some have gotten your father hurt. But he protects me, because he loves me. I protected you because I love you. You could have tried to fall on purpose and I still wouldn't be mad at you, because we're family. Okay?"

"Okay, Bones," Parker agreed reluctantly. "You'll call me when the doctors check your hand at home?"

"We'll Skype. Maybe I can show you the x-rays," she replied.

"Cool."

Booth feigned a sad sigh. "Man, it's tough getting love around here."

"Aw Dad, you know I love you!" Parker rolled his eyes, hugging the elder Booth tightly. "I'll see you in August, right?"

"Flight's already booked for you pal." He rumpled his son's curls, knowing full well how he hated it. "Love you, Parker. Call me when you land and find your Mom, alright?"

"I will."

Booth walked him to the gate, handing his ticket and passport to the attendant. "Take good care of this man."

"Absolutely! Shelley will show you to your seat."

Booth stepped backwards reluctantly, rejoining his smirking wife as his son disappeared down the corridor. He jabbed her good shoulder lightly.

"What's so funny?"

Bones laughed. "Your son totally checked out that attendant's posterior."

"What? No!"

"Booth, you cannot possibly tell me that at Parker's age, you had no sexual urges of any kind. Physiologically, he's becoming a male of reproductive - "

"Nuh uh uh! Can't hear you!" Booth shouted, plugging his ears. "God, you are chatty on painkillers! I didn't think it was possible for you to be more verbal."

"Was that an insult? I think that was an insult," she insisted.

"Just an observation, my beautiful, blushing bride!" Booth replied quickly. "C'mon, our gate's a terminal over.

Brennan suddenly ground to a halt, pointing across the terminal. "There's no need to rush, Booth."

"Huh? Why?"

And then, he saw it: a steady stream of flights flashing as Delayed. Beyond the board, beyond the window frames, ominous grey clouds swallowed up what was left of a once sparkling blue sky.

"Parker?"

"He's leaving just in the pick of time," Brennan replied.

"Nick, Bones. Damn it!" Booth tugged absently at the luggage cart. "We're going to be stuck here, aren't we?"

Bones stumbled over to the board, swaying as she studied the list. "Our flight is delayed... Oh, there's another flight to Washington - oh, no, it's canceled now. Never mind."

"It's Hurricane Dolly," a businessman grumbled beside her.

"Dolly?"

"That's what they're calling her. Category 2, maybe 3? No one seems able to agree," he continued. "Nothing's flying out of here come thirty minutes from now."

Booth grimaced. "We're screwed."

"There's always a private plane," Bones suggested.

"No way."

"But I have access to - "

"No way. No." With a resolved look, he pulled her closer. "I suggest you and I make ourselves at home, maybe grab something to eat? Look, over there: Casa Bacardi. Rum! Sounds good, huh?"

"I can't drink. I'm medicated," she complained, pouting.

Well then, we'll get you a mocktail," he murmured, leaning forward to gently suck her pouted lip. "And then we'll eat and wait out the storm a bit."

"I'd rather we find a dark corner to kill time," she purred.

"Food first, and then maybe we will, alright?"

What was he saying? There was no way he would do that in an airport... would he? Those icy blues lazily fluttered open and shut and he felt his groin tighten. Okay, I would. I totally would.

"I am agreeable to your proposition." With a wink, she slipped her good arm through his. "Shall we?"

Casa Bacardi was packed, the two of them scarcely managing a table near the rear of the tiny cafe slash wannabe lounge. Their waitress looked exhausted as she took down Booth's request for a rum and coke and Brennan's virgin mojito, promising in a weary voice to return for their food orders.

"Busy day," Brennan mused. "Flight delays are creating a wave of increased patronage."

"Yeah, her feet are going to ache by the end of the night," Booth agreed. "Your hand okay?"

"The Oxycodone is still delightful in its efficacy," she replied. "This is nice, isn't it? I love spending time with Parker and Christine, but this is nice."

Booth leaned across the table, brushing a strand of hair back behind her ear. "Yeah, it really is. Will you be okay alone? I'm going to hit the bathroom."

Brennan rolled her eyes. "I'm a competent adult, Booth!"

"I know that. It's just... Never mind. Order me a steak. Medium rare."

As Booth made his way through the crowded eatery to the bathroom, he couldn't help but grin to himself. All in all, it had been a wonderful trip: the soccer games were intense, the weather hot and sunny, the scenery stunning. The pool was also very nice, he mused with a smirk, recalling several nights of sneaking away after Parker passed out. Even the hike through the Itty-whatchamacallit park had been a blast, aside from Bones hitting the rocks. Sure, the price tag had been exorbitant, even with the comped tickets from her publisher, but she'd found a way to shut down his usual arguments.

"If marriage is a partnership and what's ours is ours, then my money is ours now," she told him. "Which means I can spend it on our son as I see fit."

No, not even a hurricane could sink his joy over being married to her at last. Nothing could.

Well, until he saw the man seated across from his wife, the one that eyed her with lust.

A surge of rage carried him clear through the crowd, past the twenty-somethings babbling about Cuba and an elderly couple discussing foot powders, past the waitress attempting to juggle what was hopefully his rum and coke. His fists balled at his sides as he came to a halt behind his so-rudely-taken chair and he growled in the intruder's ear.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Sully?"


The pieces are just so on the chess board... and Sully apparently is on shore leave. This should be fun! *rubs hands together with a grin*

Please set your alerts, because we're so not done yet. Not by a long shot. And please, do let me know what you think so far.