Characters: Booth, Brennan
Spoilers: Through The Soldier on the Grave.
Timeline: Takes place after Thanksgiving
Summary: Recent events in Mumbai hit Booth.
Word Count: 602
Disclaimer: Bones and its characters belong to FOX, not me. This story is purely meant to entertain. No copyright infringement is intended.
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His hands shake, the newspaper clutched between his damp fingers fluttering too. Suddenly it's too hot, and the air in his parents' house bears down on him. The chair he's sitting on scrapes along the kitchen floor as he shoves it back and stands, ignoring the worried look his mother shoots him as he does so.
"Seeley! At least put your jacket on," she says, her words following him as he steps out onto the porch, making sure to close the front door quietly instead of letting it slam shut like Jared would.
The late November chill sneaks through his long-sleeved tee and dances along his body. He doesn't mind. Cold in his lungs with every breath; cold against his skin. It feels...not good exactly, but like a tiny bit of relief.
He'll take what he can get.
Even without the newspaper, he easily pictures the tiny round face and gold curls. Moshe Holtzberg just turned two this week. Already, this small orphan knows more about loss than anyone should ever know. The story of his nanny hearing his cries and finding him lying next to his murdered parents in a Jewish center in Mumbai, steeped in their blood, conjures other images -- of another boy, several years older, celebrating his birthday wearing his father's blood.
Then up rises Parker's face, until the three images blur and merge into one another.
Until all he can see is little boys covered in blood.
He grits his teeth and grinds the heels of his hands into his eyes. Fuck. It's been years, but he desperately wants a cigarette.
Instead, he reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his cell.
She answers on the second ring. "Brennan." One word, that's all, but it's matter-of-fact and brusque and so filled with everything that makes her her, that he finds himself closing his eyes.
"Is that any way to greet your partner?" he says, trying to chide her. His voice sounds funny. He hears it and hopes she doesn't.
"Booth. Where are you?" she says, some of the impatience bleeding out of her tone.
"Still in Philly."
"Oh." She breathes in and out in a silence that hovers between them for a few seconds too long. "Booth, is everything OK?" she finally asks.
They aren't sitting side by side, and her hand isn't resting on his arm, but he'll take what he can get. "Yeah." He shrugs, as if she can see him. "Yeah, of course," he says, his voice stronger this time. He clears his throat. "I just, you know, wanted to see how your Thanksgiving was."
"While I don't believe the genocide of the Native Americans is a reason to celebrate, my father was very insistent. Russ, Amy, and the girls came, too. We ate too much and laughed a lot." She pauses. "I admit I enjoyed myself."
"Good. That's what you're supposed to do."
"What happened in India, though -- it's rather unfortunate."
"Yeah, it is. Listen, I've gotta go now, but I'm back in town tomorrow, and I thought maybe we could grab breakfast on Sunday."
"Well, I had planned to go into the lab..."
"You can do that after we eat, Bones. So what do you say?"
"Great. See you Sunday."
After they hang up, he stares down at his phone. Military snipers and terrorists aren't the same, he knows. Or at least that's what he tries to tell himself. But what Moshe Holtzberg and General Raddick's son had felt, could it have been so different? Could it have been anything but identical -- terror?
A/N: I debated writing an explanatory author's note but decided to just let this speak for itself. However, if anything seems unclear, or you have questions, please let me know.