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29 June 2008 @ 08:56 pm
A Place in the Sun (4/?)  
Title: A Place in the Sun
Author: michellemtsu
Pairing: Booth/Brennan
Rating: PG-13
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: This chapter's from Booth's POV, hence the constant reference to Brennan as Bones.
Disclaimer: Me? Own Bones? Not so much.

Chapter Four

Seeley Booth was distracted. The reason for his distraction was easy enough to discern. It was his partner. Again. Only this time his distraction had less to do with her analytical turn of mind and more to do with the way her slightly damp clothes clung to her curves.

The day had started innocently enough. After the kids had ridden the carousel he, Russ and Amy had taken them on the Comet. Bones and Max had opted for the Superdooperlooper instead. At least that’s what she’d said before everyone had split up. Booth suspected that she’d fibbed just a little. Why he had no idea. But the important thing was that she was spending time with her dad. If anyone needed father/daughter quality time it was Bones.

The group reunited next to the river. Together they headed off for the section of the park called Minetown. That’s where the trouble started.

Booth was carrying Parker up on his shoulders. The boy was really getting too big for that, but at that point in time, Booth really didn’t care. He liked the idea of having Parker close. As they made their way through the crowd, Parker tapped his father excitedly on the head.

“Look, Dad! I want to get on that!”

“Get on what, buddy?”

Before Parker could explain, Bones pointed. “Booth, there.”

Booth followed her finger. The Flying Falcon. Of course. Booth grinned. It had been one of his favorites as a teenager. Gently he lifted Parker down and took the boy’s hand. Booth turned to the group. “Anyone else? Bones?”

Russ and Emma were game. Bones hesitated. Booth prodded her arm encouragingly. “Come on, Bones. It’ll be fun.”

Bones smiled hesitantly. “OK.”

The five of them – Russ, Emma, Bones, Parker and Booth – got in the line while Max, Amy and Hailey waited. Bones watched the ride with fascination as it took its riders up and spun them every which way. The ride went through two cycles before it was their turn. Emma and Russ got in one car while Bones, Booth and Parker got in another.

Once everyone was strapped in, the operator threw the switch and the ride lurched into motion. The cars began to spin as they rose, slowly at first and then with increasing speed. The centrifugal forces kept them glued to their seats. Booth looked down at Parker, who had his eyes squeezed shut. With a smile curving his lips, Booth looked over at Bones, who was staring at him intently. The intensity of her stare made him shiver in spite of the warmth of the day. Bones had never looked at him like that before. It was almost as if she was seeing him – truly seeing him – for the first time. Booth wanted to look away but couldn’t. The spark he saw in her blue eyes was both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. They maintained eye contact until the ride abruptly came to a halt. When the connection was broken, Booth sucked in a ragged breath. What the hell was that?

Quietly, Booth, Parker and Bones exited the car and headed back to the others. Both Booth and Bones were unnaturally quiet. This was clearly not the place to examine whatever had just passed between them.

“Booth?” Max asked. “You alright?”

Booth snapped his gaze to Max. “Yeah. I’m fine.” He was too preoccupied to notice the look that passed between Max and Russ. Booth tried to look anywhere but at Bones. His eyes fell on the Coal Cracker.

“Come on everybody.” Booth said as he marched determinedly in the direction of the water ride.

“Isn’t it a little early for water rides?” Amy asked as they all followed him.

Booth shrugged. “They don’t seem to think so,” he said indicating the people already in line.

“It’s after noon, Amy,” Russ reminded her.

“Really? It seems like we just got here.”

“Come on, Mom! Let’s go,” Hailey said tugging on her mother’s arm.

The seven of them – minus Max, who said he’d wait – got in line. Booth was careful to keep some distance between himself and Bones. His brain was frantically trying to make heads or tails of what had just happened. What had come over her? Was he imagining things? Dammit, Seeley, there’s a line. Don’t go there. He glanced at Bones, who was fussing over Emma’s hair. Suddenly she looked up at him and smiled that look still in her eyes. Booth returned her smile painfully trying to pretend to be unfazed by their earlier moment. Judging by the twinkle in her eye, Booth wasn’t sure he succeeded.

When it was their turn, Booth, Parker, Bones and Emma climbed into one waterborne car. Russ, Amy and Hailey got into another. As they floated along the tracks, Booth tried not to think about Bones sitting behind him. The cramped nature of the car caused her legs to press into his back. Water sluiced against the car occasionally lapping up over the edge. Booth was surprised at how little water there was when the car abruptly sliced down the hill. With his stomach now in his throat, Booth was unprepared for the huge splash that greeted then at the bottom of the hill. He and Parker were soaked. Booth’s already snug shirt clung to his chest and back. Parker seemed to relish being soaked from head to toe. The boy’s feet squished in his sneakers as he climbed out.

They found Max waiting by the exit. “Got a good soaking, I see,” he commented.

“We sure did,” Parker exclaimed as Booth ruffled his son’s wet hair.

Booth kneeled down to wring out Parker’s clothes while they waited for the others. Satisfied that his son was as dry as could be expected, Booth stood and saw Bones staring at him again. More precisely, she was staring at his chest. Booth unwillingly allowed his own gaze to wander down her body. Her clothes weren’t as wet as his. Sitting in the front of the car, Booth had taken the brunt of the water. Still, her clothes were damp. They emphasized her curves in all the best ways. Booth wasn’t blind. He knew his partner was an exceptionally beautiful woman. Normally, she was dressed tastefully and professionally in pants suits. At crime scenes she wore her jumpsuit and was often knee deep in muck. In those situations, Booth could concentrate on other things besides how beautiful she was. But now in her damp tank top and shorts her beauty was all he could think about.

Somehow Booth managed to get through lunch despite the storm raging in his head. Having Parker around helped. The kids wished their dads a happy Father’s Day. Then the adults shared their favorite memories of their own dads. Booth’s heart ached as he watched Bones and Max reminisce with Russ throwing in the embarrassing story. She deserves so much more than this world can give her, he thought. He silently prayed that God would give him the opportunity to show her how much she meant to him.

Lunch broke up a short while later. The group gradually crossed the Pioneer Frontier section of the park. They stopped occasionally to let the children ride a few of the kiddie rides. Parker asked to ride the Sidewinder but he wasn’t tall enough. Booth kneeled down and promised to bring him back next year. That seemed to cheer him up because the next thing Booth knew his son was running after Emma and Hailey to ride the mini Scrambler. Unfortunately, the little boy came back from the ride complaining of a tummy ache. There is such a thing as too much fun. Booth took his hand and looked around. Spotting a bench across they way, Booth turned to the others and said, “You guys go on ahead. We’ll catch up.”

“Are you sure?” Bones asked, concern crossing her features.

Booth didn’t trust himself to look her in the eye. “Yeah, Bones. We’ll find you.”

Booth guided Parker to the empty bench. “Here ya go, buddy. Let’s just sit for a minute.”

Parker curled up to his father’s side and closed his eyes. Father and son sat there quietly. They sat there so long that Booth thought Parker had fallen asleep. Then the little boy spoke.

“Are you mad at Bones, Dad?”

Booth looked down at Parker, startled. “No, I’m not made at her. Why would you think I was mad at her?”

“Because you haven’t been talking to her,” Parker said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Booth moved Parker to the bench. “Parker, I was just talking to her earlier, remember? While you, Hailey and Emma were on the rides over there.” Booth wasn’t telling Parker the complete truth however. He’d mostly talked to Russ. It was a lot safer than talking to Bones at the moment.

Parker didn’t appear convinced. “I don’t want you to be mad at her. I like her.”

Booth smiled. “Me too, Parker, me too.”

To be continued…

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