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19 June 2008 @ 11:49 pm
A Place in the Sun (2/?)  
Title: A Place in the Sun
Author: michellemtsu
Pairing: Booth/Brennan
Rating: PG-13, for now
Spoilers: Everything through Pain in the Heart
Summary: How does Brennan handle her first Father's Day with Max? And how does Booth figure in?
Author's note: Thanks to everyone who's commented on this story! I'm thankful that this isn't completely out of left field!
Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own 'em. I just borrow them!

Chapter Two

Brennan stared out the window watching the countryside of south central Pennsylvania speed by. She’d spent the first hour of the trip trying to convince Booth to tell her where they were going. Nothing worked. Booth just grinned at her indulgently and turned his attention back to the road. He truly was one of the most infuriating men she’d ever known, yet she couldn’t imagine her life without him. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Not that long ago, she’d actually had to live in a world where Booth was gone. She involuntarily shivered. Those two weeks that she’d believed he was dead were not anything that she wanted to relive anytime soon.

Brennan had dove headfirst into work insisting to everyone that she was fine. Looking back at it now, Brennan knew she had been far from fine. She hadn’t even cried. She’s lost the most important person in her life and she didn’t even cry. What did that make her? A survivor. Booth wasn’t the first person she’d lost, nor would he be the last. So she’d done what she always did: push the pain into a dark corner of her mind and concentrate on something, anything else. The alternative was unacceptable.

A yelp from behind her brought Brennan back to the present. Brennan turned in her seat and saw Parker and Hailey wrestling over Parker’s portable DVD player.

“Everything alright back there?” Booth asked, peering at his son in the rearview mirror.

Parker abruptly dropped the DVD player. “Yes, Dad.”

“How’re you doing there, Hailey?” Brennan asked.

The little girl looked slightly bashful at being caught. “Fine.” Hailey turned back to Parker. “Sorry, Parker. I didn’t mean it. Friends?”

Parker grinned. “Yep.” He’s so much like his father, Brennan thought as she faced front again.

“They seem to be getting along,” Booth observed.

“Yes, it appears they have resolved their differences.”

“Bones, they’re seven. They just stopped fighting. They didn’t find the secret to world peace.”

“I don’t know what that means.”

Booth sighed. “It means…nevermind.” He glanced into his rearview mirror. “Looks like Russ is keeping up. He’s never been in this part of the country, right?”

“Not as far as I know. Why?” Brennan asked.

 “No reason.”

“Booth, where are we going?”

“For the twenty-ninth time, I’m not telling.”

“But what if –“

Booth reached across the console and laid his hand on her knee. “What if nothing. We’re going to have fun today. All of us. No bones, no murders, no…issues. I promise.”

Brennan’s eyes shot from his face to his hand on her knee. He’d done it again. Ever since coming back from the dead, Booth had been…more demonstrative. It was as if he was trying to reassure her that he was tangible, real. Brennan suspected it was more for Booth’s benefit than her own, but she appreciated it nonetheless.

Booth withdrew his hand and turned his eyes back to the road. As the countryside grew less rural, Brennan contemplated the reason for this excursion: her family’s first celebration of Father’s Day in over fifteen years. Having her family back in her life was a gift. She knew that. But in many ways both Russ and Max were strangers to her. None of them were the same. Max had done horrific things to protect those he loved. Booth said that Max was an honorable man in his way. Yet there was no honor in taking a life. She knew that first hand. Still, the lonely fifteen year old girl rejoiced at Max’s return. Her dad was back and it was the most wonderful thing in the world.

Once again, Parker interrupted her thoughts. He had his face pressed against the glass as he yelled to his dad excitedly. “Dad, did you see the fishing boat out there?”

Booth grinned. “Yeah, I saw it, buddy.”

“Is it Granpa’s?”

“Nope. He fishes in the Ohio, remember? This is the Susquehanna.”

“Oh.” Parker sounded disappointed.

“Hey, cheer up, big guy. We’re almost there.”

The little boy’s ears perked up at that. He and Hailey ignored their movie and began staring avidly out the window.

“We’re almost where?” Brennan asked plaintively.

This time Booth actually gave her an answer. “There.” He pointed at the exit sign. It read “Hershey.”

Brennan looked at him quizzically. “Is that supposed to mean something to me?”

“It’s the land of chocolate, Bones.” When this garnered no response, Booth continued. “You’re telling me you’ve never heard of Hershey’s chocolate? That’s just sad, Bones.”

“I fail to see what chocolate has to do with a celebration of Father’s Day.”

It was Parker, not Booth, who answered her. “There it is!”

Brennan looked on the direction Parker was pointing. The skyline was dominated by a ferris wheel, several roller coasters and a few other contraptions Brennan couldn’t identify. She was momentarily transported back to her family’s trip to Disneyworld when she was a child. I wonder what Dad’s thinking right now?

Booth joined the long line of cars headed for the parking lot. Brennan was surprised at how busy the place was at this time of day. She glanced at her watch: 9:45. As they drove around searching for a couple of parking spaces, Brennan glanced at the multitude of different license plates: Nebraska, California, Tennessee, Minnesota, Vermont, Pennsylvania. It appeared that nearly every state was represented. She thought again of Disneyworld and chuckled. This was going to be an interesting day.

Booth managed to find a couple of adjoining parking spaces and pulled the Tahoe into one. He killed the engine. “OK, everybody out!” Brennan realized he sounded just as excited as Parker and Hailey. It made her smile.

The four of them joined Russ, Amy, Emma and Max behind the FBI-issued SUV. “Hersheypark, huh?” Russ asked, winking at his sister.

Booth saw the look pass between the two Brennan siblings. “What? I thought it would be fun.”

“And I’m sure it will be,” Russ replied. “Actually, I’ve been meaning to bring the girls here for a long time.”

“Really?’ Hailey squealed.

Amy nodded. “Yep, Russ and I were talking about it just last week.”

“Well, in that case, let’s get this show on the road,” Max said as he linked arms with his daughter.

Parker, Emma and Hailey took off running. “Hey, slow down you three!” Booth said as he tore off after them, quickly followed by Amy and Russ. As Brennan and Max followed at a more leisurely rate Brennan thought, this is definitely going to be an interesting day.

To be continued…

Current Location: my Bones happy place
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: One Republic
how_udoinhow_udoin on June 22nd, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
this put a smile on my face : )
michellemtsumichellemtsu on June 22nd, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yay for smiles!