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September 14th, 2017

The Hart in the words chapter 9

It was the beginning of the week after a four day weekend which Michael spent camping in the backyard with Booth and Parker for two days, he did well making it through the whole night. Friday and Monday Brennan decided not to work with Michael and let him have fun with Booth. It wasn’t often Booth was home during the week and in the few months Michael had been talking he was doing a lot better in social situations. Michael was sitting at his table in Brennan’s office twirling a crayon in his fingers instead of circling all the things on the worksheet that began with T. Brennan tipped his chin up. “You miss having daddy here don’t you?”
“Ya.”
Brennan smiled, “I miss him too. If you hurry and do your worksheets and review today’s words we can go have lunch with him if you want.”
Michael nodded.
“Okay, do you want to have lunch at the diner or take something to daddy’s office?”
“Off.” Brennan was surprised at Michael’s reply, not only was it a word they hadn’t gone over, he hated Booth’s office and going to the Hoover.
“Okay, I’m going to go make a phone call. I’ll be right back, do your worksheet.” Brennan kissed the top of Michael’s head and went to call Charlie to see if he could make sure Booth stayed in his office before lunch.
When Brennan returned Michael had found all the items that began with T. He looked up at Brennan and grinned.
“Are you finished?”
“Yeah.” Brennan was a little surprised; she’d been trying to get Michael to say ‘yeah’ for months, but it had only come out as ya.
“Good job sweetheart.” Brennan quickly scanned the sheet; it was done to her satiation. She held up the first card.
“Tie.”
“Good job Michael.” Brennan held up the next card it had a picture of a spinning top on it, Michael shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s a top, it’s a toy. I couldn’t find one to show you.”
“Top.”
“Good job. Last one then I’ll go make lunch then we’ll go see daddy,” Brennan held up the last card.
“Ree.”
“Tree.”
“Tree”
“Good job, buddy. What kind of sandwich do you want for lunch?”
“Nut…”
“Peanut butter?”
“Yeah.”
“What kind of jelly do you want on it?”
Michael got up and reached for Brennan’s hand, a sign that he wanted her to follow him. Brennan knew that they’d end up in the kitchen with Michael opening the refrigerator and pointing to what kind of jelly he wanted on his sandwich. They’d come so far, but had a long way to go. Brennan let Michael lead her to the kitchen over to the refrigerator where he opened the door and pointed to the jar of strawberry jelly. Brennan picked up the jar and knelt down, “Michael, this is the strawberry jelly. Can you say strawberry?” Michael shook his head.
“That’s okay, we’ll work on it. You did a good job today, I’m proud of you. Go play while I make our lunch.” Brennan stood up and expected Michael to run off, but he stood in the same spot. “Do you want to help me make lunch?” Michael nodded. “Go wash your hands and sit at the table.” Michael grinned and walked to the sink, pulled over his stool and climbed up. Brennan smiled and grabbed a bag of baby carrots from the refrigerator and a container and sat them in front of Michael. “Fill up the container with carrots, when you finish that I’ll give you something else to do.”
“K.”
While Michael was busy putting carrots in the container Brennan moved some other things so he could reach them and started making his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Brennan looked up a few minutes later in surprise when she heard Michael clearly say, “Done.”
“Good job, buddy. Put the lid on the container and bring it over here and put it in the cooler.”
“Okay.” Michael got up and walked to the small cooler that Brennan sat on the floor and dumped the container inside.
“Now can you get two bananas and an apple from the bowl on the counter and carefully put them in the cooler?”
“Ya.”
“You need to use your stool to reach the bowl…” Brennan glanced at Michael and began to make Booth’s ham and cheese sandwich. Once Michael had carefully placed the fruit in the cooler, she had him get the three bottles of water she’d moved to the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Brennan added the sandwiches and her salad plus a small container of vegetable dip for Booth and Michael to share. She also snuck in a few cookies. Once that was done Brennan closed the cooler and turned to Michael, “get your shoes, then we’ll go.”
“K.” A few minutes later Michael came back to the kitchen with his shoes on the wrong feet, Brennan smiled. “Michael, you did a good job, but you put your shoes on the wrong feet. It’s ok though we’ll work on it. Come here so I can help you fix them.” Michael walked slowly to Brennan she picked him up and hugged him to her. “Sweetheart, I’m so proud of you for working so hard this morning and then helping me make lunch and trying to put your shoes on.” Brennan sat Michael on the counter and put his shoes on the right feet. With that done she picked up the soft sided cooler and put it on her shoulder and picked up Michael and headed to her car. Once they got to the Hoover Michael held on to Brennan’s hand with a death grip as they made their way to Booth’s office. Once there Brennan glanced in the door and saw Booth inside working on some kind of paperwork. “Okay, Michel knock on the door and wait for daddy to say you can come in.” Michael nodded and knocked on the door. “Michael nodded and knocked “it’s open!” Brennan held the door open for Michael to walk through, Booth looked up, “hey, buddy! What are you doing here?”
“Unch!” Booth stood up and walked around his desk and scooped up Michael before looking questionably at Brennan. She held up the cooler. “Oh, you and mommy brought me lunch?” Michael nodded and started playing with Booth’s tie. Booth kissed the top of his head and walked back to his desk. “Let’s eat. This explains why Charlie brought me all the paperwork that just had to be done before lunch.” Booth stacked the files on the floor and sat down in his chair, setting Michael on his lap.
“Michael missed you not being home with us today so I told him if he did his worksheets we could come have lunch with you. He chose to come here with lunch from home. I called Charlie and asked him to make sure you stayed here.” Brennan opened the cooler and began setting the food on Booth’s desk
Booth smiled, “I miss being at home with you and mommy too, and bud.” Michael picked up one of the sandwich containers and opened it. Booth did the same with the other. “Michael, let’s trade my peanut butter and jelly for your ham and cheese?” Michael shook his head and took a big bite of Booth’s sandwich. Booth chuckled, “Enjoy the sandwich, buddy.” Brennan shrugged and laid out the rest of lunch. They had been finished with lunch for a few minutes and Michael was sitting on Booth’s lap playing with bobble head Bobby when Sweets knocked and came in, “Oh doctor Brennan, I didn’t realize that you and Michael were here. I can come back later.”
“If you’d knock instead of just barging in here…”
“We were getting ready to leave anyway, Sweets.”
“What? I have twenty more minutes on my lunch break, Bones!”
“Ail!
Brennan smiled at Michael and Booth. “That’s right, but I thought we’d play at the park for a while first before we go home and get the mail.”
“K.”
“Hang on, Sweets. I’ll be back after I walk Bones and Michael out...”
“Booth, I’m perfectly capable of walking out of here to my car with Michael and the cooler.”
“I know, I just wanna walk the two of you out.” Booth took bobble head Bobby from Michael and headed for the door. “Can you say ‘bye’ to Sweets, Michael?”
“Bye.”
“Good job, buddy.”
“Bye, Michael.”
Five minutes later after stopping in the breakroom for coffee, Booth sat across from Sweets. “What do you want, Sweets?”
“I got done looking through Nelson’s email and social media accounts, it creeped me out. He’s your guy though. Now the squints just need to prove it with evidence.” Sweets handed Booth the file, he flipped through it.
“Yeah, well Cam called before Bones got here and said they’re having a hard time finding something. He was very methodical. I might see if Bones would come back for a few days if they can’t find anything. Michael wouldn’t like the change in routine, but we’re trying to work on that with him. Like today, he usually works on his speech with Bones until lunch where he has PB&J and a banana then he takes a nap and when he wakes up they go somewhere. I was surprised he wanted to come here, six months ago Bones would’ve had to drag him literally kicking and screaming in here. He’s a completely different kid since Bones found a way to get him to talk. It’s still daily struggle for us and some days he talks better than others, but that’s still an improvement from where we were last year.”
“I was surprised when he told me ‘bye’.”
Booth smiled a little. “He learned that word last week. He’s been saying it a lot, even when we don’t go anywhere.”
“Good for him. I’m surprised Brennan is content not working.”
“If not working for the rest of her life is what it takes to help Michael learn to talk and overcome his other developmental issues Bones will do it without thinking twice. She’d do anything in her power to help Michael or Parker be successful.”
“It just seems like it would be a big adjustment for her. She worked up until 6 hours before Michael was born and was back in the lab 4 and a half weeks later…”
“This time is different, she’s teaching him and helping him become a child three doctors told us he’d never be. The behaviorist we went to suggested play therapy and trying sign language classes because in his opinion Michael is severely Autistic. I thought Bones was either going to deck the guy, cry or both when he said that…”
Sweets grinned, “I’ll let you get back to It.” he walked out of Booth’s office. Later that night Booth tucked Michael in before joining Brennan on the couch. “It took two and a half stories but he’s out.”
Brennan smiled, “remember a few months ago when he wouldn’t sit still long enough for us to even try reading to him?”
“Yeah, he’s came so far.”
“He has, but we still have a long way to go. Did you enjoy your lunch?”
“Yes, it was great to see you two. I was surprised to see Michael walk through my office door.”
“Me too. I asked if he wanted to have lunch with you at the diner or take lunch from home to your office and he chose your office. It was nice to see him do something that normally terrifies him. Sorry he stole your sandwich.”
“Ah it’s okay. PB&J is good too. I’m surprised he ate it, he’s not a fan of lunchmeat usually.”
“No. how’s the case going?”
“It’s not. Cam called just before you got there, the Squints can’t find evidence to prove Nelson is our guy even though Sweets’ profile says he is.”
“I’m sure Dr. Edison will have something for you by tomorrow…”
“Hopefully. Maybe you can go in tomorrow and check things out…”
“Booth, Clark is as good as I am, I trained him…”
“Yeah, but bones tell you things they don’t anyone else. Please, Bones, I’m desperate. Cullen has been on my back about this one for days…”
“What about Michael? Daycare isn’t an option anymore.”
“Your dad will watch him.”
“He doesn’t do well when his routine is changed a lot.”
“Max can come here and he can do his speech with him and everything else you two do every day. Michael might not like it at first, but he needs to get used to not being with you a little. Someday soon he’s going to go to kindergarten at a normal school…”
“I know, but I don’t like when he gets upset and has a meltdown.”
“Either do I, but he’s getting better. If he has a meltdown it isn’t as intense as they were a few months ago or as frequent.”
“I know. Let me go call dad….”
“Thank you.”
The next morning after Michael finished his breakfast Brennan knelt in front of his chair and took his hands. “Michael, grandpa is going to be here in a while to stay with you today while I go to work with daddy. I put your worksheets and everything else you need to work on your words today on your table. Grandpa is going to work with you like I do.” Michael started shaking his head.
“Buddy, you can do this. I need to go to work today then tomorrow we’ll do something really fun okay?” Michael shook his head harder. Just then Max rang the doorbell, Booth let him in.
“Hey Max, thanks for watching Michael today. This case is a tough one and I need Bones’ brain to help me figure it out.”
“Not a problem, Booth. I enjoy spending time with him.” Booth nodded and headed for the kitchen. Michael was still vigorously shaking his head and Brennan was trying to get him to calm down. ”Michael, grandpa is here.”
“Hey sport, are you ready to have some fun?” Michael shook his head and grabbed Brennan’s hand, she picked him up.
“Sweetheart, you can have extra playtime this morning and stay in your pajamas all day, okay?” Michael just shook his head.
“Bones, we need to go.” Brennan nodded.
“Michael, I need to go to work now. I’ll see you later, goodbye. I love you.” Brennan kissed Michael’s forehead and handed him to Max. Then she grabbed her bag and headed for the door. By the time her hand was opening the door Michael was crying. Brennan started to go back, Booth stopped her. “Bones, going back will make it worse, he’ll be okay in a few minutes.”
“Tempe, go I got it.” Brennan nodded. By the time Brennan was making her way to the platform she had a text from Max with a picture of a smiling and kiss blowing Michael. It was hours past Michael’s bedtime when Booth and Brennan made it home. Max smiled slightly at his clearly dead tired daughter. “Hey Tempe, Booth.”
“Hey dad.”
“Did you solve Booth’s case?”
“Yes. It was extremely difficult, even for me. How was Michael?”
“Michael was excellent. He stopped crying about fifteen minutes after you left. I let him play until 11. Then we worked on his words for a while, he really struggled with ‘u’ words. He got the worksheets right, but he can’t say the words. We tried umbrella for five minutes, I gave up when I started to see tears.”
“That’s okay, dad. I should have skipped his words today or gave him more T words, I had a feeling u would be really hard for him.”
“After he had lunch and his nap I got him dressed and we went to the park and grocery store to get the stuff to make lasagna for dinner. The leftovers are in the fridge if the two of you want some.”
“We had Chinese earlier. I think I’ll check on Michael and go to bed.”
“Okay. He’s asleep in your bed. When I told him it was time for bed he put his pajamas back on inside out and ran into your room and climbed into bed. I just let him be, I didn’t want to risk a meltdown.”
“That’s fine, dad. Thanks for spending the day with him.”
“Anytime, Tempe. Let me get out of here so the two of you can get some sleep, you both look exhausted.”
“We are, Max. Thanks again.” Max nodded at Booth and headed for the door. Fifteen minutes later Booth and Brennan climbed into bed on either side of Michael.

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