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The Birthday Party in the Park

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"Booth, what are we doing here?" Bones asked, following Booth into the park. A little while earlier Angela and Hodgins had come and picked up Christine, saying they were going to 'go ahead' with her and Michael Vincent. Booth had looked at what Bones had been putting on for the party and had coerced her into putting on something 'a little more casual'. She wasn't sure why at first, but then she figured maybe a body had been found and they were going to the site to check it out. But as they walked, she saw no FBI agents milling around, nor did she see anyone from the Jeffersonian, Cam, or otherwise.

Booth, a funnny, secretive smile on his face, looked over at her. "We're here for Chrstine's party, Bones." He gestured ahead and she saw Hodgins and Angela, Cam, Arastoo, and some other people she recognized as being people they worked with and were close to, or parents from Christine's daycare. She made a face when she saw the mom of the little girl that had bitten someone that Christine had taken the fall for. Booth took her arm and squeezed it gently. "I know. But we couldn't just not include..."

"Of course we could. Back in the eighteenth..." Bones started.

Booth cut her off. "Bones, that's not...listen, I wanted to show you something."

"Booth." He heard a voice call out and he turned and saw Sweets coming toward them. The psychiatrist was dressed very casually in a pair of jeans and a polo and while it was more than Booth's own old, faded band shirt, he nodded in satisfaction. "I dressed like you told me to. But can I ask why you asked me to?"

"Yes, you can, Sweets." Booth waited until the younger man was close enough and clapped him on the shoulder, smirking. He looked between Sweets and Bones. "Happy birthday."

"It's not my birthday." Sweets spoke first.

"Nor is it mine." Bones was flashing him a look like she was worrying for his mental health, or possibly worrying that his brain problems were coming back or something. He had to nip that in the bud before she insisted he go for a CT scan or something. "It is, however, Christine's birthday..."

"I know that." He said quickly, hoping to stave off any overreactions. "I just mean...I know you and Sweets both told me you never had any birthday celebrations for yourselves and that, well, that's really sad, Bones. So when I was planning this birthday party, with you, I made sure to add a few things which neither of you knew about." He wrapped his arm around Bones' waist and grabbed Sweets' arm and led them both along. There was an area cordoned off away from the regular party. A bouncy house had been set up, along with a large inflatable slide, a fun obstacle course, and other stuff older kids would like, but that he knew a kid Christine's age wouldn't give a crap about.

Sweets turned to look at him first, hesitation, yet excitement in his eyes. "Are you saying..."

"Yes, yes, your own little personal fun area." Booth beamed widely, obviously pleased with himself. "You should go play, have fun." He gestured both of them on.

"I'm not sure I understand." Bones admitted, looking over everything. "Besides, we should be there for Christine..."

"We will be." Booth promised. "For the important parts anyway. Hodgins and Angela have it handled right now, and she's just playing with her friends. We'll get told when the important part like cutting the cake and the presents comes. In the meantime, Angela is taking pictures of everything..." He gestured over to where Angela had her big professional camera out and was milling around the children, snapping pictures while Hodgins was close by Christine and Michael Vincent to keep an eye on them, but far enough that he wasn't interfering in their playing. "So we can look back on everything later."

"I don't know, Booth." Sweets said, making a face.

"I also do not know." Bones said. "I mean, I hardly know what to do with all of those things, and I don't know if, as an adult, with a certain IQ, I'll be able to enjoy it. Sweets, however, could possibly get quite the enjoyment out of the juvenile games."

"Thanks, Dr. Brennan." Sweets said a little sarcastically.

"You're very welcome, Dr. Sweets." She said, completely missing the point as usual.

Before Sweets could take anymore offense and possibly leave altogether, Booth interfered. "Look, I'm coming, too. I'll be the teacher for all of this, ok? And show you how everything works." He looked at Bones. "And I swear you'll have fun if it kills me."

"Well let's hope it doesn't come to that." Bones said. "It would be very hard for me to be to look your body over to determine the cause of death." He briefly didn't know what to make of that but when he saw the sweet smile on her face, he decided to take at as a strange declaration of love and he smiled back at her before grabbing both her and Sweets and dragging them both over to the playground set up. He led them first to the inflatable bouncy house.

"Shoes off." He announced, bending down to take his own shoes off.

"Why do we need to remove our shoes?" Bones asked, looking hesitant.

"It's a bouncy house." He gestured, trying to Bones-ize an explanation. "It's full of helium and made of like...thin plastic or rubber or something. The rough exterior of the shoes..."

"It can get a hole poked in it unless we're in our socked feet. I'd also watch my fingernails if I were you, Dr. Brennan." Sweets cut him off.

"Oh." She looked at Booth as she began taking her shoes off. "Why didn't you just say that?"

"I have no idea." He said wryly, ducking into the bouncy house. As a man of six feet one inch of height, it probably wasn't made for him, but he started bouncing around like a loon anyway, and had to admit, it was a ton of fun. He moved back as Sweets came in first, looking wary, but curious. "Come on, Sweets. Bounce around, have a little fun, expend a little energy. I'm sure you'd have some kind of explanation about how doing some high energy exercise or activity would be conducive to getting out negative feelings or something, right?"

"I would not. Actually I would say if you had negative feelings, as you said, doing something like this would just be pushing them aside for a little while and eventually you'd have to confront them..." He trailed off when he saw the look Booth was giving him. "But I get what you mean, that was a hypothetical statement."

"Hypothetical, yes." He agreed.

"Gotcha." He started bouncing around and grinned as Bones stuck her head in and looked around. "Come on, Dr. Brennan. I have to admit, this is kind of fun."

"I'm not entirely sure how, still, it can be what an adult would call any kind of fun." She said as she got in carefully. "However, I am willing to give it a shot since Booth obviously put so much time and attention into doing this." She took a few small bounces and looked intrigued.

"Come on, Bones. Not like that." He stumbled over and took her by the forearms. "Like this, do it with me." He started leading her through a few more ambitious jumps. Finally her reserved look broke and a smile came to her face, making Booth burst with happiness and pride. "See, there you go. You're having fun, right?"

"I have to admit, I can see the appeal in this." She said. "I wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis, of course, and it's not something I would often think of as fun, but for letting loose for once it is...very enjoyable."

"Yeah, see, there you go." He beamed and looked over his shoulder. "Sweets, come here." He held an arm out toward him and pulled the man toward them.

"Booth, I am finding this a lot of fun, I have to say. I can't believe you'd think of something like this though." He admitted.

Booth snorted. "Come on, what do you take me for? Huh? Of course I thought of it, I had to, it's just not right that neither of you got to have the birthday experience. So you're getting this. You're having fun, both of you, so mission accomplished."

After all of them had grown a little bored by the bouncy house, Booth led the way out of it and they took a few moments to catch their breaths and look out over the kid's party. Booth especially was feeling it, he wasn't exactly the age where you could go too wild in a bouncy house anymore, but he refused to slow down on principle alone so he nudged the both of them and gestured to the slide. "How exactly are we supposed to do that without being hurt?" Sweets asked, eyeing it.

"It's air, it's all aired up, you'll be fine. Come on, kids do this all the time." He led the way over and started climbing up, grinning when Bones gamely followed him. For all of the experiences she never got as a child, she always seemed to be up for doing stuff and seemed to trust him enough to follow him. It made a funny feeling burst in his chest. After a moment, Sweets followed them. Once they got to the top, Booth grinned at the both of them and then threw himself down the slide with a cheer and he laughed more when he heard Bones doing the same thing, as if the cheer was also an important part of it and she needed to do exactly as he was doing. Sweets followed, but he didn't cheer. He did let out a surprised sound and a quiet laugh though.

They took a break when Angela came over, taking some pictures of them as well with a grin and said they'd be doing 'cake and presents in a few minutes.' Booth walked over to the other party and picked Christine up, cuddling his daughter to him and making sure she was having a good time. She had grass all over the bottom of her dress and shoes and someone had stuck a dandelion behind her ear, she had a beaming smile on her face, though and Booth felt pretty damn good that both his girls were having a good day. He sat down with her at a picnic table as her Little Einsteins cake was brought out and everyone sang to her and Booth helped blow the candles out. He let Bones sit with her and took pictures while they opened Christine's presents, Booth secretly happy that Bones didn't make any comments that would've been taken as ungrateful or snarky. She was very good and Christine seemed pleased by the presents. After the hub bub died down, the kids all wandered over to Angela, who was doing some face painting for them. It was probably a little beneath her skills, but she seemed to be having a good time anyway and the kids were overjoyed to be painted up like butterflies or kittens or puppies.

Once it had all died down, Booth grabbed Bones and Sweets and pulled them over to where Angela was, before she could start to pack anything up. "Feel like doing a few more?"

Angela looked up, a little taken off guard, but she laughed. "Uh, yeah, sure. What am I doing?"

"Booth what are you doing?" Bones asked, making a face.

"I don't know yet. What do you think about a tiger, Ang? But like a badass...oops...badical tiger? Like maybe one with camo stripes or something." Booth said.

"That's not what I meant, Booth." Bones said. "I mean why are you wanting Angela to paint our faces? I don't see any reason why she should, I mean we aren't children..."

"It's going back to that whole experience." Booth explained, overly patient. "You know, wanting you to get the whole thing..." He waved a hand.

"Oh so that's what you're doing." Angela said, clueing in with a huge smile. "I see. Well in this case, I am fully on your side, Booth."

"See? There you go." He steered Brennan down beside Angela. "So do your best. Some kinda cute butterfly or a kitten or something."

"Now wait, it should be my choice. I think I want a skeleton." She decided.

"A skeleton?" Booth made a face. "Bones, come on..."

"Booth I got this one, don't worry. I'll do something very kid appropriate and fun." She smirked. "Besides, while I work, you should go check out what your kid wanted."

He stared at her for several seconds before whirling around. "Christine!" He called, trying not to sound upset or panicked as his eyes darted around to track his daughter down. He finally caught sight of her dress and walked around so he could peer at her face as she was playing with one of her new toys. He blurted out a laugh when he saw that she'd gotten painted up as a unicorn, with bright pinks, purples, pale blues and what not, with a little swirly horn pattern in the middle of her forehead. He knew the glitter on her cheeks would take forever to get off and get on everything in the process, but in the meantime she looked happy enough that he didn't care.

"Done." Angela announced. Booth turned back to look at what she'd done and was impressed. She'd done Bones' face up to look like a skull, but she'd done purple and light blue as the colors instead of the normal black and white. She'd also done two very colorful flowers at the temple that helped not make it too macabre looking.

"Oh Angela this is very nice." Bones said happily when Angela gave her a mirror to look into. "I see you did a take on Dia De Los Muertos." She looked up at Booth. "That's a Mexican celebration that translates to Day of the Dead where people dress up to..."

Booth zoned out at the explanation, just staring at Bones and thinking about how happy she made him and it made him smile. Once she seemed to be done he gently helped her up and pulled Sweets into the spot. "Now what are you getting, Sweets?"

"Uh, a puppy?" He looked at Angela sheepishly.

She laughed. "Oh isn't that fitting." She teased, before getting to work. "I have just the thing."

Booth zoned them out and looked back over to where Bones had walked over to Christine, smiling down at her and showing her, her own face paint. Christine seemed delighted as she beamed up at her mother and giggled, gesturing to the flowers on Bones' temples. Booth took a few pictures of it, planning on making one the background on his phone, his laptop, the computer at his office...

"Finished." Angela broke him out of his musings. He turned around to look at Sweets and blurted out a laugh. She'd turned him into what looked like a bloodhound with wrinkles all over, and ears that extended down his neck. With how bright his eye color was, it worked well with the brown paint Angela had used to make them pop. Booth was really impressed. "Hey, look at you, a literal bloodhound. Sniffing out the truth and all, getting all the answers. I like it, looking good, Sweets!"

Under the makeup, Booth knew Sweets would be blushing and it made him grin. "Well thank you, Booth. I have...always really liked bloodhounds, actually. They're very smart and get to the bottom of things."

"Kinda like you." He teased.

Sweets rolled his eyes good-naturedly and stood up. "Ok get your army tiger or whatever."

"Badical army tiger." Booth corrected as he sat down. "Badical army tiger."

"Yeah that." Sweets waved a hand and walked off to go talk to Bones.

Booth sat down and flashed Angela a grin as she started getting out her paints and deciding which ones she needed. "You know, I commend you on doing this."

"Oh it's nothing special, I just...thought they needed something, you know? My old man was an asshole and even I had birthday parties before we went to go live with Pops." Booth deflected, like he always tended to do.

"Whatever you say, Booth, but personally I think you should take the compliment...and the credit." Angela said as she started painting his face.

Booth shrugged, being careful not to move too much so he didn't mess her up. "Yeah well, I don't need it." He admitted. "As long as they're happy, I don't need it. That's all that matters."