Sorry it has taken so very long to get this chapter up. I've had a rough time the last few month with people not coming in to work and a lot of people quitting, which has led to the last 3-4 months me working 7 days a week and 12 hour shifts, so not much time for writing. While it was a slow process to get even this much written, I hope you enjoy what it is and hopefully with a couple of new hires starting soon I'll be able to continue a lot fast that this update was. I will say your reviews do encourage me to keep going, so please feel free to leave comments, questions, suggestions, whatever. I enjoy it all. I know it's not as long as I would usually like, but I figured getting somewhere is better than nothing at all. Thank you for your patience waiting for this update! You guys are awesome!
She rushed to get ready, not wanting Booth to wait for too long. Her nerves were threatening to take over, as they had every time the thought of telling any of her friends about Anastasia. She wasn't immediately sure what any of their reactions would be to the news, and was concerned that if the wrong reaction took place in the girls' presence it would cause her discomfiture, or worse repentance. She wouldn't allow her mistakes in the past, nor her negligence in telling any of her current friends about her at all, to affect her in a negative manner. She remembered full well how it felt being thrust into a stranger's care, that alone was bad enough without the expectations she was desperate to Keep Ana from feeling. She may not have been a mother to her in the past, due to far too many circumstances, but she was committed to protecting her from the moment she had come into her care.
Stealing her resolve she waved to Angela with a nod as she made her way out the door. As she traversed the steps she vowed to herself not to show the weakness and insecurity she was feeling about the situation when telling Booth about Ana. She didn't need his pity or concern for the events of the past. Her reticence firmly in place as she made her way to the SUV made her feel more like herself than she had since she received the phone call that had launched this situation into being.
She smiled kindly at Booth as she moved to enter the SUV, "Okay, I'm ready, but I can't be gone too long."
"No problem Bones," Booth Grinned curiously as he pulled onto the street, "We'll just swing by the diner, they are usually pretty quick getting food out. Should we bring anything back for Angela?" He asked slyly, hoping to get her to tell him herself about her other visitor Hodgins had mentioned.
"I didn't even ask her if she wanted anything, but perhaps I'll surprise her with something, that was a good suggestion Booth." Was her only response, Booth was somewhat disappointed that it was seeming like she wasn't going to immediately volunteer the information he longed to know about her trip, more importantly who might have come back with her. She seemed almost nervous about something and that was worrying him.
As he saw her worrying her bottom lip between her teeth, obviously thinking very seriously about something. He knew if he just waited patiently at some point she would blurt out what was bothering her, which he had already concluded had something to do with her trip. He just kept driving in silence for the few minutes it took to get to the diner.
They sat in their usual spot across from one another, Brennen still not looking him in the eye, fidgeting and looking at the menu even though they always ordered the same thing for breakfast. Just as he was about to break the silence the loud ring of her cell phone did it for him. Brennan gave a small apologetic smile as she glanced at the phone, her anxiety obviously rising when she saw the caller, "Sorry Booth, I really have to take this."
Hitting the answer button she brought the phone to her ear, worry noticeable in her tone, "Angela? Is everything okay?"
Booth watched curiously as Brennan turned slightly to the side, trying to keep her facial expression neutral as she listened to Angela, though from her profile he could see her eyes widen as Angela spoke. "I see," She said with a sideways glance toward Booth, "I don't understand why she would think that… Can you put her on the phone Angela?"
"Sweetie," Brennan spoke in a soft tone, he tried to discern what her tone engendered and could only tell there was a lot of emotion wrapped up in it. "Calm down honey…." She paused and glanced sideways at Booth, who tried to look away quickly to give her at least the illusion of privacy, "Breathe honey, calm down and tell me what's wrong."
He could see from the sidelong view of her face that her eyes grew dim with sadness and concern. Wishing he could help whatever the situation was he had to stop himself from reaching out to her as she began to speak again. "Oh, sweetie, no, I would never. I promise you, I'm not going anywhere. I'm coming back now okay?"
Then she flashed him an apologetic smile and listened intently, "Okay sweetie, I'll be there soon. Angela won't leave you I promise, and I'll be back before you know it. I'll just grab a cab and it shouldn't take more than ten or fifteen minutes."
When she hung up from the call she was immediately flying through her contacts on her phone, he assumed looking for the cab company number she likely had saved in her contacts when he finally reached out to her, putting his hand on her arm gently, "Bones, you don't need a cab, come on." He motioned as he rose from his seat.
She gave him a saddened glance as she too rose from her seat, "Booth you don't have to. You'll miss breakfast. We both know you won't have time to stop if you take me back now."
"Well Bones, it seems someone wants you back pretty quickly, and judging from your reaction, you're in a hurry to get there. Just let me drive you back, I don't mind, really." He then guided her towards the diner's exit after throwing a twenty on the table, more than enough to cover the cost of their coffees that had arrived while she was on her phone call. If Brennan was planning on objecting further it died on her lips as she looked into his eyes and saw the serious concern in them.
"Thank you Booth," She said on their way out, "I suppose you'd like to know who it is causing all this fuss, huh?"
As she gazed up at him through her lashes that frightened little girl look on her face for a split second before stealing over. "Bones, as curious as I am if you don't want to share…"
"No Booth, it's not that, I was going to tell you all about it over breakfast," She shook her head lightly clearing her throat, "So… I brought someone back from Oregon with me." She hesitated there, trying to figure out exactly how to drop this bit of information on him. Part of her feared he might take her omission as a betrayal.
"I gathered that much Bones," He said with a laugh, trying to lighten the mood as best he could, while holding his curiosity and nervousness at bay.
"Well you see, When I was in Grad school, I conceived a progeny," She spoke the entire explanation quickly and in a single breath. "I received a phone call that her father was on life support and she needed me, so I brought her back to DC to stay with me for the foreseeable future." She inhaled and peeked over at him as he drove.
"Wow," Booth couldn't think of anything really to say as he processed the information. "You what?"
As they pulled in front of her building she almost jumped out of the passenger side after answering, "I have a daughter." Then running full speed toward her building, then up the stairs to her apartment, not even looking back at Booth while he processed her news. She figured she may receive a call or something from him later but that wasn't her biggest concern right now. At the very least however he wouldn't act as shocked when he meets Ana in person. Booth has a son, he knows how to interact with children, perhaps once the shock wore off he could give her some points, get her moving in the right direction.
She let out a breath as she got to her door, deciding to deal with what was most important right now, and whatever Booth was thinking later. While she had respect for the man as both a partner and a friend, he just wasn't her priority right now.