I have just returned from a weekend with no internet access (and I survived). It actually was quite delightful, although I did suffer from fanfic dot net separation anxiety! Having posted stories for the Second Sunday in May (Mother's Day), the last Monday in May (Memorial Day), I had to post something for today (Father's Day). I had a delightful conversation with my own Father today, and I'm grateful to still have him (he's 92!).
Anyway . . . .
With all the changes that have happened at Fanfic dot net over the past few weeks, I have noticed that they still have not installed a hankie alert. Your experience may be different (I have been known to cry at supermarket openings. Yes. Really). I'm just suggesting you might want to have one handy.
A big thanks to the amazingly talented razztaztic for a beta read and very helpful comments and suggestions. If you have not read her stuff, what ARE you waiting for? (She's posted a Father's Day chapter to her fic "Once Upon a Summer" - you might need a hankie for that one, too ;-)
Third Sunday in June
The little ball of energy ran into the room squealing at the top of her lungs, "Daddy! Daddy! Happy Father's Day! Happy Father's Day, Daddy!" He rolled over in bed, pushed himself up against the headboard to brace himself and watched as his daughter pulled herself up onto the bed. "I love you, Daddy! Look what I made for you! Mommy wanted to help, but I did it my own big self!" The words flew from her mouth as she pushed the homemade card into his hands.
Even when she tumbled into his arms and he pulled her close against his chest, she kept right on talking a mile a minute about what Mommy was making for breakfast, and making the card, and tracing around her hand, and about the heart in the middle, and... He inhaled deeply and buried a smile in his daughter's auburn curls. He adored this little girl and the way she smelled like orange blossom shampoo and Ivory soap.
It was a brilliant Sunday morning in June. The soft breeze that blew through the open window made the temperature comfortable for early in the morning. But behind the breeze was the promise of a scorching afternoon. The thunderstorm the night before had left a clean smell to the air, and there was the hope that it might hold down the humidity.
As he held the squirming little girl in his arms, he looked up to see his son standing in the doorway with a smile on his face. "Happy Father's Day, Dad. I tried to keep her quiet so you could sleep in a little longer, but she wanted to show you the card she made for you."
"It's okay, buddy. I know what a handful she can be when she's determined to follow through on something! She's a lot like her mother that way!" He laughed, "Okay! Up and at 'em! What are our plans for the day?"
Looking up from where she was captured in his arms, his daughter answered. "'Sploring, Daddy! You said we could go 'sploring down by the river today! Arrowheads, I want to dig for some arrowheads!"
"Yes, sweetheart. I did promise that we could go exploring. We can do that after breakfast, and..." he attempted a stern look and hoped she wouldn't notice that he failed miserably. He went on, "...after you make your bed." Looking into his daughter's clear blue eyes, he knew that, like her mother, she had him wrapped around her little finger. He was overwhelmed with the love that he felt for his children. He hugged her close and sent a prayer heavenward that he would always be able to protect her. That he would never let anything hurt his little girl. That he would never leave her.
The memory of that Father's Day so many years ago washed over Max Keenan in the blink of an eye. It seemed like it was just yesterday that the woman he could see through the living room window was that little ball of energy. Although he had experience in leaving, he realized that he had only an inkling of how Booth's feelings this morning. Shaking his head to try to dispel the thoughts, he watched his daughter holding her daughter and winced as he remembered that long ago prayer.
As she looked down at her daughter nursing at her breast, Temperance Brennan sighed. It was a sigh of weariness, of sadness, of regret - but it was also a sigh of contentment for the bundle in her arms. She pulled the light flannel blanket over Christine's head, leaned her head against the back of the rocking chair and closed her eyes. She breathed in the clean air and listened to the water lapping against the dock and the light thump of the rowboat against the pilings.
She took a deep breath and inhaled the combination of clean air and damp ground, the mixture the result of last night's rain. She could smell the pine trees that bordered the property and surrounded the secluded cabin. Not for the first time that morning she felt the dampness pooling beneath her lashes.
Not usually given to tears, she thought about how much she missed Booth's strong arms around her and she succumbed to a brief moment of self-pity. But as soon as she realized what she was doing, she sat up a little straighter and hugged her daughter a little closer to her body. She was grateful for the small piece of Booth that she held in her arms.
She was exhausted. It was just over a month. They had been gone for just a little over a month. She grimaced at the thought of being away from Booth, especially on this third Sunday in June. They should be home. They should have awakened in their own beds with his comforting warmth beside her. There should be laughter. The should all be together.
With Parker in England, she had planned to make this year's Father's Day special for Booth and his daughter. She frowned as she thought of Hank, Booth's GA sponsor, and something she'd heard him tell Booth, "You plan and God laughs."
"One more reason to not believe in God," she thought, then immediately felt disloyal to Booth and his beliefs. "I'm not used to this," she chastised herself. "I'm a logical thinker." She knew that it was the situation in which they found themselves. But she also continued to believe that this was the only choice she could have made that assured her that she would be able to keep her daughter safe. She hoped that Booth understood, that he would forgive her for what she had done. Even while she hoped that he would forgive her, the thought followed quickly that she had no doubt that Booth was doing everything he could to bring the two of them home.
As her daughter nursed, Brennan rocked the chair, moved her hand over the down on her daughter's head and sang softly,
I've been thinkin' 'bout all the times you held me
I never heard you shout the flow of energy was so fine
Now I think I'll lay it on the line
And keep on tryin' to get on home to you
And I feel so satisfied when I can see you smile,
I want to confide in all that is true,
so I'll keep on tryin',
I'm through with lyin' just like the sun above
I'll come shinin', through
Yes I will, Oh yes I'll keep on tryin',
I'm tired of cryin' I got to find a way
To get on home to you
As he stepped out onto the porch, Max could hear his daughter's low sweet voice as she sang to his granddaughter. "Your Mom used to sing to you like that," he said. Brennan looked up and gave him a small sad smile. "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." Chuckling at the bewildered look on her face, he continued, "Simon and Garfunkel. Back in the stone age, when rock and roll was new!"
He sat in the other rocking chair and gave a soft smile to his daughter, "It's amazing the memories music evokes in us, isn't it?" She gave a nod "There was a song a few years ago, a country song, I think. Called 'The Song Remembers When.' I'd hear that come on the radio and I'd think of your mother, and the music we'd dance to, the memories, you and Russ and . . . . well . . ." his voice drifted off and he shook his head as he looked out at the lake. "It's going to be hot this afternoon, I think. Last night's rain helped cool things down and cleaned some of the pollen out of the air, but I think it's going to be hot by this afternoon."
Turning back to his daughter and keeping his eyes on her face, Max went on. "He'll get the card and the picture, Sweetheart. That's been taken care of." He caught a moment of fear cross her features, but as he moved forward in his chair, he saw her relax and a look of ease and a small smile turned up the corners of her mouth. As her shoulders relaxed, he went on, "I checked with my contacts. It's going to be okay. It's going to take time, but we're going to be okay. We'll find our way home, Temperance. I promise you."
"Dad . . ." she started, but he interrupted.
"I know, Temperance," shaking his head, "I know that I've not always kept my promises, but this - I promise you, Temperance, I promise you that we will find a way to crush Pelant and we will get you and Christine home to Booth. To where you belong." His eyes didn't waver from hers as he spoke.
She reached out her hand and rubbed his forearm. "Dad, I know. I know that you are doing everything you can to keep us safe. I know that Booth is doing everything he can to get us home. It's so unfair, but I understand that this is how it is, that life is not always fair. Booth's GA sponsor says that it's just one day at a time. I can do this today. Just for today. It won't always be like this. If I've learned anything from Booth, I've learned that feelings are not facts and worry is not preparation. Jack Hodgins taught me that even though I am an atheist, I can still have faith. And I do have faith, Dad. I have faith in you. I have faith in Booth. I have faith in our friends at the Jeffersonian.
"I also know that I couldn't have done this without your help, Dad. I love you. This . . ." she swept her hand at their surroundings, "I would not be here and I'm not sure my daughter would be safe if it wasn't for your help. It's not much of a Father's Day, I know. But I'm grateful that if we can't be with Booth this year, I'm glad that we can be here with you." She looked straight back at him through her tears.
"I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day."
Please note that the card in the first part of the story (traced hand and heart) is a nod to another fan fiction story - by FaithinBones and can be found in the story "The Heart in the Message." The picture mentioned in the second half of the story is a nod to Razztaztic's story Chapter 4 of "Once Upon a Summer." Both stories are worth a visit (and a review ;-)
I do not own Bones. I do not own Poco. I do not own Simon and Garfunkel. I do not own Trisha Yearwood. Ah, but wouldn't it be nice (well, at least the royalty payments)! ;-)
I know that many of us read on mobile devices these days and reviews are a bit more challenging to write. So, I consider every "favorite" or "follow" (author OR story) a positive review, and I thank you! It is still nice to get reviews, and they are always much appreciated. If you would like to leave one, it's easy to do - just click the little button right down there. That's it. Yes, that one! ;-)