|The Secret in the Picture
Author: angelena76 PM
A picture of little Temperance reveals a surprise and helps Brennan come to terms with her past and with why love is worth it despite the potential for the pain of loss of a loved one.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Family - T. Brennan & S. Booth - Words: 13,491 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 4 - Published: 10-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7479000
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Secret in the Picture
Ch. 1: Friday
Booth arrived home to find Bones sitting on the floor leaning against the sofa leafing through pictures.
"You're home early," she noted.
"Things were slow, and I missed you, so I figured I'd slip out early. Whatcha doing, Babe?"
"Dad gave me a packet of pictures earlier this week, and this is the first chance I've had to look at them."
Booth sat down beside her, pulled her to him and kissed her. She purred.
"Pictures from your life BB, before Booth," he grinned at her.
"I did have a life before I met you, you know."
"Yeah, I know, but it's much better now, isn't it?" He gave her one of his charm smiles.
She punched him in the arm. "You really think you're something, don't you, Seeley Booth?"
"Yeah, I am something," he said proudly. "I'm not sure what, but I'm something."
He leaned against her and looked at the pictures with her. They were pictures of her as a very little girl. Some brought back memories, which she told him about, but many were from a time before she could remember anything.
Most of the pictures showed a regular American childhood. A smiling, chubby baby Bones lying naked on a blanket. Toddler Bones crying at her first birthday party. Russ and Tempe in front of the Christmas tree surrounded by mounds of paper and toys. Russ and Tempe in Halloween costumes. Russ, Tempe and their mom in their Sunday best, obviously dressed for a big event that Bones couldn't remember.
Bones noticed that Booth seemed to be enjoying looking at the pictures of her when she was a little girl, but she couldn't understand why pictures from her childhood would interest him.
"You seem to be enjoying the pictures. Why?"
"Why am I enjoying pictures of your childhood?" Booth laid his head on her shoulder and told her, "You were just the cutest little thing, Bones."
Then he looked directly into her eyes and continued, "And … because I love you I want to know everything about you, everything that made you who you are today. I didn't know you then, and those pictures help me to understand all that."
He picked up a picture of Tempe and Russ eating ice cream. Most of her ice cream seemed to be on her yellow summer dress, but she was still smiling happily.
"Look at you, Bones, you're covered with ice cream and you seem to be perfectly happy. How could a person not love that picture and that little girl?"
He added, "You're looking off to the right and smiling. Was something over there making you smile or was it just the ice cream?"
"I have absolutely no idea. I remember that dress. I must have worn it every day the summer I was six, but I have no memory of this particular situation. Is that a carousel in the background?"
"Could be," he replied.
"If it is, then we'd obviously come to this place for the carousel and to have some ice cream, but I don't remember anything except the dress. Maybe Dad or Russ remembers."
"It's ok. You were very young, and you were very cute. If you were six, then I'd have been 11. I bet you'd have had me wrapped around your little 6 year old finger."
"And, you'd have been the alpha 11 year old, protecting me and making sure I had lunch."
They laughed at the image of their younger selves together acting like their grown up selves. Then they leaned into each other and shared a gentle kiss.
He really was enjoying the pictures of her little self, especially the ones of her as a baby. He seemed enchanted by her baby pictures. She wondered if a fascination with baby pictures indicated that a man might be open to the idea of having a child. Was this the moment to reopen their discussion of her having his baby? But, before she could say anything, Booth interrupted her thoughts.
"Bones, you really were a beautiful baby, and you're even more beautiful today. I am a very lucky man."
"I don't understand."
"I am a very lucky man to have you in my life. You are beautiful and brilliant, honest and fearless, and, you may not know it, but you have the biggest heart I have ever seen."
"And, I am very lucky that you were still willing to take me into your life and love me after all the pain I caused you. It took a while, but I finally realized that you were the only man to whom I could entrust my life and my heart.
They kissed again. This time with more passion. They kept their arms around each other when the kiss ended.
Bones started to comment on how much Booth had enjoyed her baby pictures. She had hoped that that would be a good place from which to reopen the discussion about having their own little Bones or Booth, but Booth interrupted her.
"You're right I love your baby pictures. I'm thinking it might be fun to see if we can make our own little Bones."
She looked astonished as she demanded, "How…how…how do you do that?"
"How do you know exactly what I'm thinking?
"What do you mean, Bones?"
"I figured that since you seemed to be so thrilled with my baby pictures, I might be able to steer the conversation around to would you like to have our own Little Bones? But you beat me to it."
"So you'd like to make a little Bones too?"
"Yes, yes, but I'd rather have a little Booth."
They looked at each other and laughed.
"What about marriage?"
"I didn't think you wanted to get married, Bones."
"You know how I feel about it, but I know how you feel about it. And, whether we do or do not, we should be clear about it."
"Temperance, I know how you feel about marriage, and I can live with it – or without it." He chuckled. "I would love to marry you, but I'll take you any way I can get you. If you ever change your mind, be sure to let me know."
"You'll be the first one I tell, but don't hold your breath."
Booth continued, "Anyway, my real concern is that I don't want to be a part-time dad again. I don't want to miss the things I missed with Parker. I want to be a full time dad."
"I want that too," Bones replied.
"Do you understand what that means for you and me? We have to be totally committed to each other and to the kid. We need to be physically and emotionally together. Living together and emotionally open and communicating openly. Marriage puts that in the public record, but it isn't necessary for that kind of commitment. I think we are totally committed. Do you?"
"You know how hard that is for me. Not that I am not totally committed, but that I have my doubts about a human being's ability to stay totally committed over decades to one other person. But, I no longer have any doubts about your ability to stay totally committed. I'm still not entirely sure about myself, but I'll have you to help me."
"So we're good?"
"We're very good," she agreed, and continued, "can we start now?"
"Now. I'm ovulating."
"Ovulating. You know, the ovaries release eggs down the …."
Booth cut her off, "How do you even know that?"
"I've got a kit for measuring my hormone levels and I …."
Booth cut her off again, "Too much information, Bones. Only you would voluntarily bring scientific methods into the bedroom."
"This is very important, and I want to get it right from the beginning, so I want to be completely prepared."
"Temperance, my love, there is no clear 'right' here. Healthy baby, healthy mother, but that's a rather narrow definition of 'right.' This is also something that you can never be completely prepared for. There are always surprises. Some good, some bad, but they are always there. What's that book everyone reads? What's Expected?"
"'What to Expect When You're Expecting.' I've already read it."
He patted her head. "Good girl, Bones. You completed your homework." He hoped the irony wasn't lost on her."
"Yes, Mr. Booth, I did finish my homework. Should I write a book report now?"
"Excellent! Irony recognized and responded to perfectly. You are becoming quite amusing, Bones." He took her face in his hands and kissed her."
"Now, Mr. Booth? Now?"
"Yes, Miss Brennan, now!"
She jumped up, grabbed his hand and attempted to drag him up. In the race to the bedroom, clothes went flying.
Their lovemaking that afternoon had a new sense of urgency. Perhaps it was that now they had a clear goal they were both anxious to accomplish: make a baby. Perhaps, they'd just had too much coffee that day.
When they were done, they laid in bed, Bones in Booth's arms. He twirled a finger in her hair.
After her heart stopped racing and she could breathe deeply, she looked at Booth and asked him if he thought they'd made a baby.
"You know it doesn't usually happen so fast. It may take weeks or months, but you never know, Bones.
"Booth, when you say, oh god, is it just an expression like it is for me, or are you really trying to tell god something? It seemed different just now. "
"When you said 'oh, god' just now, there was something different about it. I always assumed it was just an expression for you like it is for me. Were you trying to tell god something today?"
"Usually, it is just an expression, but today, I wanted to be sure that god knows how much I love you and how much we both want to have a baby."
"I don't think I will ever understand about god and faith in any way beyond the anthropological. But, I do understand that and I can see that it may serve some evolutionary purpose. But, I also see all the terror perpetrated and blood shed in god's name. Mostly I see what it does for you and I have to admit that it seems to be good for you. Sometimes the change in your demeanor when you come home from church is remarkable. I can see when your tension and stress levels drop, or when your grief or worry have dissipated. I'm glad you have that comfort."
"That means a lot to me, Temperance. Thank you."
"Any time, Booth. Maybe I can go to church with you occasionally so I can better understand what it means for you."
"That would be wonderful, but only if you agree to behave."
"What do you mean? I always behave."
"Let's see: no asking priests if they really believe all the mumbo jumbo. No calling monsignors 'Steve.' "
She frowned and grudgingly agreed, "I'll try."
"That's all I can ask, Bones."
"You know what?" she asked.
"I'm starving. You?"
"I'll call," and Brennan grabbed her phone off the nightstand and hit the speed dial key for their favorite Thai restaurant.
An hour later they were back on the living room floor eating pad Thai and drinking beer. Booth had found a Flyers hockey game on TV to provide the backdrop for a quiet dinner. They chatted a little, but the afternoon's events left them each with a lot to think about. Having a baby was a big deal – always. Neither of them had any doubts, but the implications were enormous. Their lives would change dramatically and for a long time to come.
When she finished eating Bones went back to sorting through the new pictures. She kept glancing at the picture with the ice cream and the carousel. She just couldn't remember anything about that day, and a little voice inside her kept telling her there was something important to remember.
Later, Booth watched her take each little pack of pictures and slip it in a carefully labeled envelope and then place the envelopes in a carefully labeled box. It was just like in the lab. Identify, categorize and safely store. Then he had a vision: a vision of a miniature Bones identifying, categorizing and storing doll body parts. He laughed quietly. It was just the right amount of gruesome for a little girl who wanted to be like her mom. That's what he wanted: a miniature Bones who would be daddy's girl.
Bones looked up when he laughed. "What's funny?"
"Well, I realized that you are doing with the pictures what you do in the lab with bones. Identify, categorize and safely store. Then I had a vision of a miniature you identifying, categorizing and storing doll body parts. The kindergarten version of the blood and guts you see in the lab."
"A miniature me? I don't understand."
"A miniature of you. A small child who looks just like you."
"Oh, you mean a daughter?"
"Yes, a little girl just like you."
Looking at Bones, Booth saw that she was fading fast. She was past ready for sleep.
The pictures were all put away, and Bones got up to go to bed, but found that she barely had the strength to stand. Booth immediately scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom. Normally, she would have protested such alpha male behavior, but she was too exhausted to argue.
Booth sat down on the bed and Bones curled up in his lap.
"What do you need me to do, baby?"
"Would you stay right here and watch the game?"
"Of course. Are you sure the TV won't bother you?"
"No way. I'm so tired I don't see it being any problem at all."
"You want me to put you down on your side of the bed?"
"Not yet. Can we stay like this for a while?"
"Of course, baby."
She seemed to curl up tighter and crawl deeper into his arms. He wasn't sure what was going on, but whatever was bothering her, he was glad that she wasn't running. And, he was happy that she turned to him for comfort. He knew very well that she didn't like to let anyone, even him, see her so vulnerable.
He held her tightly and gently rocked like he had done when Parker was a baby. As she drifted off to sleep, he could feel the tension draining from her body. When he was sure she was fully asleep and unlikely to be awakened by the movement, he stood up and put her in her side of their bed. She stirred briefly, but never woke up.
Once she was safely tucked into her side of the bed, he climbed in on his side and lay down next to her. He draped himself around her like a shield. He put one arm around her waist and gently pulled her in close. She curled up tightly against him.
Ch. 2: Saturday
Booth woke at dawn with an odd, but vivid dream. Bones was still snuggled in tightly to him. For what seemed like a long while, he watched her sleep. There were no signs of tension in her face. She looked serene and very young. As she slept he went over the dream in his head.
He was in the picture with Little Bones with the ice cream all over her. He was off camera and he saw Little Bones smiling at him. When he looked more closely, he saw the tracks of tears on her cheeks. He noticed a smashed ice cream cone on the sidewalk by Little Bones. It really felt like he was there. He heard the carousel music. Off camera, he saw kids playing on a wide green lawn. Then he spotted Pops and Jared. The third man looked like he could be Uncle Lenny. They signaled him to come over. Pops held out an ice cream cone. He was trying to get the cone, but it was so crowded, he couldn't get through all the people to Pops.
What was going on? Was his brain making up the stuff off camera? Was it possible he had been there? That seemed an impossible coincidence. He'd only been to Chicago that one time, when Pops and Jared and he drove out to Chicago to visit Uncle Lenny. Which summer was that? Eleven? Twelve? Ten? He would have to call Pops and see what he remembered.
Bones began to stir, but she stayed close to him. She woke slowly and smiled at him when she finally opened her deep blue eyes.
"Good morning, beautiful. How are you feeling this morning?" He touched her cheek.
"Well-rested. I was so exhausted last night I could barely stand up." She rolled onto her back and stretched her arms over her head.
"I know. You were kind of wobbly, so I scooped you up and carried you to the bedroom. I knew you were really exhausted because you didn't complain about my alpha male behavior. " Booth chuckled.
"I remember you scooping me up. I liked the way that felt, being swept off my feet." She touched his chest. He grasped that hand and kissed the palm.
"So sometimes you do like my alpha male behavior, Dr. Brennan. Can you give me a list of what's acceptable and what's not?" He grinned at her.
"I wrote a paper on that for the Journal of Anthropology. I'll get you a copy." She grinned back.
Booth laughed, "Be careful Dr. Brennan. When you go all squinty like that, I can't contain my inner alpha male." He rolled over her and kissed her.
"Does your inner alpha male have any other tricks besides that scoopy thing?" She pulled his face back to her and kissed him.
"Why don't we get you out of all these clothes and find out?"
They pulled off her shirt, and he looked her over.
He grunted, "Alpha male like what he see. Want doctor woman be mate, have baby."
Bones giggled. Her giggle made him laugh. "Alpha male like when doctor woman giggle. Hope doctor woman like this."
He kissed her lips, hard. He moved his lips and started planting kisses down her body. He moved slowly. He didn't feel the urgency he had yesterday. He had a profound sense of gratitude and awe: for her, for her body where their child would grow. What they were about to do was a sacred act, not to be rushed, requiring the full attention of his mind, heart and soul.
Booth turned all his senses on Temperance. He gazed at her face. There he saw everything that she was feeling. His lips felt the soft, fullness of her breast. He tasted the saltiness of her skin. Her scent tantalized him. He heard her moan. He felt her move under him trying to make more contact. He was lost in sensation. The only sensations were of her. The boundary between their bodies was blurring.
He was losing himself in her, in the sensations of her. She was in his head and calling to him, drawing him in. It was as if their bodies were communicating directly with each other. His did what hers demanded. His senses were overwhelmed.
Her mind whirled. She tried, but she couldn't think. She couldn't tell where her body ended and his began. All her senses sensed only him. She was losing herself in these sensations. Everything he did drew her in deeper. The little voice that always told her to hold on, to maintain control, was growing fainter. Another voice was growing louder, telling her to let go, to lose herself in him.
It was Booth's voice saying he loved her, he adored her. Telling her she was safe. Telling her to let go, to let herself feel the depth of his love. Telling her, "just feel Temperance, just feel."
Her face captured his eyes. The battle was there on her face; the battle between letting go and feeling and maintaining control. Then, there in her face, he saw the struggle end. She gave in to sensation, to feeling. Her face grew more beautiful as tension yielded to serenity and joy.
She moaned, "Oh god. Booth."
He moaned, "God, please."
Overwhelmed by sensation, they clung to each other until the pounding of their hearts had ceased, until they were no longer gasping for air. Wrapped in each others' arms, they fell asleep.
They dozed off, exhausted again from the urgency and intensity of making love. Again, Booth woke before Bones. He found her curled up against him. Again, he watched her sleep. When he tried to take his hand from around her waist, she seemed to clamp her hands on more tightly. She didn't wake, but she would not let him go.
Something was going on in that big brain. He wasn't sure what, but it was clear that even unconsciously she wanted him to stay close, to keep holding her. He wasn't going to argue with that, even if she was asleep. It was also clear that she needed to sleep.
He put his head back down on the pillow and wrapped himself around her again. She snuggled back into him and a serene smile crossed her face. He fell back to sleep.
The next thing Booth felt was Bones wriggling around in his arms. He opened his eyes and she was looking right at him.
"I was trying not to wake you."
"It's ok, baby, I've had plenty of sleep. How about you?"
"I don't think I've ever slept this late, except when I've been sick. It's already noon."
"You were awfully tired."
"I know. I've never felt like that. Thank you for … for … taking such good care of me. No one ever has."
"I love you, baby. Taking care of you is why I'm here."
As she started to get up, Booth took her hand and pulled her to him. He kissed her, and said, "Since it's already afternoon and we're still in bed, I think we should just spend the rest of the day right here, " and he pointed to the bed.
Bones gave him a puzzled look and asked, "What does that mean?"
"You mean you've never spent the day in bed with someone you love?"
She looked sad as she replied, "I guess I never loved anyone enough to want to waste a day in bed with him."
"I'm sorry, Bones. I didn't mean to bring up…."
"It's ok. I …."
Booth cut in, "Do you love me enough? You know I love you enough."
"Well, I, uh, I … what do you do all day in bed?"
"Cute evasion, Bones. You didn't answer my question, but I'll answer yours. You read, you do the crossword, you eat ice cream and cookies and pizza, you nap together, you watch TV, and, of course, you make love again and again and again. Basically you just enjoy being together and doing whatever you'd like as long as you do it together and in bed," Booth replied with a grin.
"Interesting," Bones thought out loud. "It's totally decadent."
"That's the point, babe."
"Can I get washed up and brush my teeth?"
"Anything you want. That's the point. But, I have a better idea."
"How about a bath or shower à deux?"
"How about both?" retorted Bones.
"Hmm? How about breakfast first?"
"You know I am pretty hungry."
Off they went to the kitchen in search of breakfast in bed. They returned with bananas, milk and cookies. Then they took a bath.
And, so began their lazy day in bed. It took a while for Bones to get the hang of it; she kept wanting to decide everything they would do for the rest of the day. Eventually, she figured it out and then threw herself into deciding in the moment like she threw herself into everything. Booth couldn't help laughing at Bones' unique take on the lazy day in bed.
In the end, Bones came to understand that it was about just being with the person you love; that what you did didn't really matter as long as you were together and the world was kept at bay. She realized this meant she could stay close to Booth all day. And, she did, which Booth duly noted. It was amazing how many things you could do wrapped in each other's arms. He liked that. He knew where she was and how she was, and he could be sure she was safe.
Late that night when they were finally going to sleep, she snuggled up against him and in a tiny voice said, "I liked that."
"Spending the day in bed."
"I hoped you would. I wasn't sure you'd be able to not do anything for a whole day."
"I wasn't sure myself."
"We'll do this again, so you can practice doing nothing," Booth chuckled and kissed the top of her head. "Go to sleep, baby."
"You're welcome, but for what?"
"Just holding me all that time."
"Anytime, baby, anytime. I like holding you all the time."
"Because I love you and I like taking care of you and knowing that you're safe. But, we can discuss that tomorrow. You need to sleep."
"You're right. G'night, Booth."
"Sleep tight, Bones. I've got you."
Ch. 3: Sunday – Part 1
Booth again awoke at dawn with Bones snuggled tightly to him. He'd had that same crazy dream.
"I really need to talk to Pops today," he thought.
Again he tried to take his arm from Bones' waist, and again a sleeping Bones made clear that she wasn't giving that arm up. Again he watched her sleep until he dozed off.
The next thing Booth felt was Bones' lips on his chest. She kept planting delicate, barely there kisses. "What a wonderful wake up call," he thought.
He took her face in his hands and tipped it up and kissed her lips gently. Then he looked into her deep blue eyes and said, "You can wake me up like that any time, Temperance. Any time."
Bones grinned, "That was the idea."
He kissed her again, harder, deeper. Then gentle kisses on her eyes and nose, behind her ear and down her long pale neck. For a long time all they did was kiss, still sleepy and enjoying just being together, a continuation of their lazy day in bed. Eventually, of course, the tension grew to a point where their bodies demanded more. They obeyed, moving together, losing themselves in each other until they reached that sweet release.
Again, they slept, entangled together.
When Booth woke again, he checked the time. There was still time to get to church and make Bones a nice breakfast. He had a lot to talk with God about today.
He managed to disentangle himself from Bones without waking her, went to the kitchen and put the coffee on. Then he headed for the shower.
Hands on the wall, he stood under the streaming water. He heard the bathroom door open and froze. Then she was there. She ducked and came up between his arms. The water cascaded over her head and down her pale body. He clasped his arms around her, pulled her to him, looked into her eyes, and said, "Good morning, sleepy head."
"Good morning to you," she replied. "I guess the coffee smell finally woke me up."
"How are you this morning?" he asked.
"Well rested and very satisfied," she said with a grin. "And, hungry."
"Good," Booth smiled back. "I'm going to make you breakfast and then I'm going to head to church."
He saw the briefest look of disappointment flash across her face.
"I'm sorry, baby. I have a lot I need to discuss with God today."
He cut her off, "I know you think that's pointless, but …."
She cut him off, "I was trying to say that that's ok. I know it's important for you to go. After yesterday, I have plenty to do."
"Temperance, thank you. You never cease to amaze me."
"I gather from flipping through women's magazines that keeping you amazed is a good thing."
"You flipped through a women's magazine?"
"Yeah, they distract me when I'm waiting at the doctor's office or in line at the supermarket."
"I cannot believe it."
"What will you think if I flip through SportsIllustrated?" she grinned mischievously.
"I'll have a heart attack."
"Well, I wouldn't want that."
"Temperance, you will never, ever have to worry about keeping me wondering what's coming next. I've been wondering that since the day I met you. It's just you, and I love you," he smiled at her.
"I love you too, Booth. Now go, I want my breakfast and god is waiting for you."
Booth stepped out of the shower.
On the way home from church, Booth finally called his grandfather.
"Hey, Pops, how are you?"
"Good, Shrimp, how are you? Did you get to church today?"
"Just coming from there, Pops, and I'm good. Temperance is good too. We're thinking about making you a great grandfather again."
"That would be wonderful, Seeley. When's the wedding?"
"Aw, Pops, you know Temperance. She still thinks that marriage is an antiquated ritual. She actually brought it up when we were discussing the baby. I told her I want very much to marry her, but I'll take her any way I can get her. What I am far more concerned about is being able to be a full-time dad for this child. Not like it has been with Parker."
"Do you love her?"
"Of course, Pops. In all the craziness last year, I finally realized that without her in my life, I don't have much of a life. I am missing half of myself when I'm not with her. So, if she's happier not being married, then I won't be married."
"She's a special lady, Shrimp. She deserves your best. She deserves forever."
"I know, Pops, really I do, but she doesn't believe in forever. She's admitted that she thinks maybe I do, but she isn't sure for herself yet. She figures I'll be there to help her."
"I know she's tough to argue with. As long as you're totally committed, when she's ready, you make an honest woman of her."
"Pops, you know only you and Parker mean as much to me as Temperance."
"I know, Seeley. I'm proud of you. I know you'll do the right thing for Temperance and yourself and a child."
"Thanks, Pops. Now, I have a question for you."
"Do you remember that summer we drove to Chicago to see Uncle Lenny?"
"I'm not senile, of course, I do."
"Pops, I didn't mean…."
"I know, Shrimp, I know.'
"What year was that? Was it the summer I was eleven or was I twelve?"
"Hmm. Let's see. Why the concern with the date?"
"Depending on your answer, it may be nothing."
"Let's see. I've got it: you had just had Mrs. Cole for the year. I can't forget that. You had such a crush on her."
"Pops! Stop! I was just a kid."
"I know, but you kept bringing her flowers and apples. I was worried Mr. Cole would get jealous, and he was a cop. Could've made a lot of trouble for you Shrimp."
Pops laughed. "You were a good kid. Do you know what grade that was?"
"Fifth grade. 1982." Booth let out a low whistle.
"Does that mean something, Shrimp?"
"Yeah, I think so. Do you remember you and Lenny taking Jared and me to a big park with a carousel and lots of playing fields and an ice cream stand?"
"Can you give me some more details? It was a long time ago."
"I think that we'd been there for about a week and Lenny junior had gone off to camp. That left Jared and me without someone to take us around the neighborhood to play. You and Lenny were sitting around with his buddies talking and drinking beers and we got pretty bored – and antsy. Finally, you realized we needed to blow off some steam and you took us to this park to play some hoops."
"Now I remember. You were bouncing that basketball in the living room and nearly put it through Lenny's brand new color TV in the middle of a Cubs game."
"Yeah, that's when you guys decided you better get Jared and me some running around time and space."
"So, what made you think of that day, Shrimp?"
"Pops, you're not gonna believe this, but I think I met Temperance that day."
"I don't think so."
"I know it sounds ridiculous, but do you remember the little girl in the yellow dress. I knocked the ice cream cone out of her hand. It was an accident, but I did that."
"Hmm. You and Jared had gone to get ice cream near the carousel?"
"That's it, Pops."
"Jared and I were horsing around and I accidentally bumped into this little girl and knocked the ice cream cone right out of her hand. She was the cutest little thing I'd ever seen. She started crying, so I gave her mine. I just hated seeing her cry because of me. She gave me the biggest smile, and she kept smiling at me as I walked away. I don't think I ever thought of Mrs. Cole again."
"You were a good boy, Seeley. You always did the right thing, especially for the little kids. You took good care of Jared."
"I tried, Pops."
"You did good. But, what makes you think that little girl was Temperance?"
"Max gave her some pictures this week from when she was very, very young. There's a picture of her in a yellow summer dress eating ice cream in front of a carousel. The ice cream is all over her dress and she has a huge smile on her face. She's looking at something or someone off camera to the right."
"What does Temperance remember?"
"All she remembers is that she wore that dress every day the summer she was six. That would have been the summer I was eleven."
"The whole thing seems very unlikely."
"It might explain why I … why I had such strong feelings for her that first time I met her. Maybe I was already in love with her. Maybe something deep inside me made the connection back to that day. I know it sounds crazy…."
"Seeley, what's in your heart?"
"For a long time, I thought about that little girl constantly. The tears followed by that smile did something to me. I never felt that again until Parker was born. But, I think that day made me a better man, a better father. It made me pay attention to what was around me, watching out for the smaller kids."
"You did start watching out more for Jared on that trip. I always thought it was just that you were growing up."
"It makes me feel that somehow, I was put here to take care of her. That we were destined to meet again, so I can. But, it also makes me sad that I couldn't do anything for her when her parents left her. "
"Seeley," Pops almost shouted, "you are a good, caring man. No man I have ever known does more to care for those he loves than you do. But, you were a kid. You were barely equipped to take care of yourself, let alone a lonely, frightened 15-year-old girl. And, you had no idea who she was. How could you possibly have done anything then? What matters is what you do for her now. And, you are doing your very best to make her feel loved and cared for."
"I know you're right, Pops, but sometimes I see the pain and fear she still carries. I see how it keeps her from believing that I love her and always will. And, how it keeps her from letting herself be happy."
"She knows you love her, Shrimp, she does. And, she does love you. I am certain of that. Be patient and tell her every day how much you love her."
"So, you think it was Temperance that day, Pops? Crazy as that sounds."
"Yeah, Shrimp, I think it was Temperance. You've got good instincts."
"Thanks, Pops. Take care of yourself. I'll call you next week."
"Thanks for calling, Seeley. I love you."
"I love you too, Pops. Bye."
When Booth got home, he found Bones on the bed with her computer in her lap and books all around her. She had dozed off again while working. Booth moved the computer and tried to cover her with a quilt without waking her up, but that didn't work. Bones wriggled and stretched and opened her eyes.
Booth sat on the bed next to her and replied, "Yeah, I'm back. You fell asleep again. Are you sure you're ok? You seem to be needing an awful lot of sleep lately."
Bones patted the bed as she said, "Will you lie down with me and hold me?"
"Of course, baby." And, he did.
When Bones was snuggled up tight to Booth, she started in, "I'm fine really. I guess I was probably somewhat sleep deprived from the work week, but I think part of it may be that sleeping means I don't have to think about some things."
"What things, Temperance?"
"Why don't you want to think about the pictures?"
Bones lay quietly for a few moments. Booth could see her struggling with whether to say what was on her mind or not. He could see her working up the courage to continue. To expose herself emotionally. He waited and pulled her in tight. He said very quietly, "Whatever it is, you can tell me. I want to know what's in that big brain of yours that you don't want to think about."
Bones began, hesitantly and so low, Booth had to strain to hear her even lying right beside her, "Those pictures ... when I was so little ... who is that little girl ..."
Booth cut in, "She's you ..."
"No, Booth, she's not or ... I don't know who she is or who I am." Tears welled in her eyes.
Booth could barely stand seeing her this way. "Explain it to me, Bones. I don't understand."
Bones heard the anguish in his voice, and continued in a whisper, "Is she Joy Keenan or Temperance Brennan? Who am I? Joy or Temperance? If she's Joy and I'm Temperance, how can we be the same person? How could ... " The tears came down her cheeks, too many for Booth to brush away.
She picked up the picture of her little self in the yellow dress from the nightstand. Through the tears, she tried to continue. "She ... looks ... so ... happy. Is it Joy who is happy ..." she sobbed, "or Temperance? What was my name that day?" "Who was I?"
Booth held her tightly and kissed her head. "The name isn't what matters, Bones. It's still you."
Bones hiccuped. Booth tilted her chin up and smiled at her. "What were you drinking while I was at church?"
A tiny smile flickered across her face. The tears slowed. Booth reached for a tissue and gently wiped her face.
Still in a whisper, she continued, "Even if that's true, I can't connect this happy girl who must have felt loved ... who must have had ... loving parents who were concerned about her every moment. I can't ... understand how they could ... abandon ... her, if they lo ... if they loved her."
Bones sobbed, trying to catch her breath. Booth lay quiet and still. He didn't want to interrupt and give her the chance to close back up.
"How could they just leave me alone like that? How, Booth, how?" she choked out as tears came streaming down her cheeks again. She looked into his warm brown eyes, and she saw his sorrow, his anguish for her. She buried her face in his chest.
What could he say? They both knew why her parents had left her. I was the loving thing to do, to protect her. But, this wasn't about the logic of that situation so long ago, it was about the emotions it left her with. He realized how truly disturbing this must be for her: finding logic so useless. The one thing that she had always relied on to get her through everything was failing her. And, after so many years of avoiding facing this truth.
He rubbed her back. It seemed such a pointless gesture. It had soothed Parker as a toddler frightened by a storm, but was it enough to comfort an adult consumed with pain and fear?
Slowly her sobbing eased. She seemed to burrow more deeply into the warmth and safety of his arms. Then he felt her relax and her breathing become shallow. Once again, she had fallen asleep. He wasn't surprised; he was exhausted too. Still holding her tight, Booth slept too.
Booth woke up first. 'Wha ist, Bones?" He was groggy and it appeared that Bones had been talking in her sleep. That had been enough to rouse a trained sniper and put him immediately into protection mode. A quick glance around the room confirmed that nothing had happened in there.
Now that he knew why she had been sleeping so much, he really didn't want to wake her, so he lay there watching her sleep and thinking. He was thinking about what to tell her about his discovery of their childhood meeting. He was pretty sure she hadn't talked to Max, so he decided to talk to Max himself.
Once Booth decided to talk directly to Max he realized he would have to disentangle himself from Bones, which would be quite likely to wake her. He thought it would be better if she didn't hear even his half of this conversation. She would be skeptical, so he wanted to muster all the possible facts when he told her about this discovery.
By moving very, very, very slowly, and contorting his body in painful ways, he did manage to extricate himself without waking Bones. He took her phone and went into the living room and called Max.
Max's immediate reaction when he realized it was Booth was one of concern. What could Booth be calling him about other than something bad having to do with his daughter?
"Booth, is Temperance ok?"
"Yes, Max, she's fine. Maybe kind of tired, but fine. Sorry to scare you."
"That's ok, son. Maybe this is a sign we should talk more, so I won't panic every time I hear from you."
"We'll have to see about that," replied Booth. "I need to ask you some questions."
Max retorted, "Do I need a lawyer?"
"No, Max, not that kind of question." Booth chuckled. "I need to know some things about Temperance's childhood, especially in some of those pictures you gave her."
"I'll try my best, but those are old pictures and I'm old man. I'm not sure I'll be able to remember much. You may want to check with Russ too."
"I'm thinking about that, but I thought I'd start with you."
"Fine. Go ahead Agent Booth, take your best shot." The men laughed together remembering the time they had taken their best shots at each other in a parking lot.
"Max, there's a picture in there where Bones is wearing a yellow dress with ice cream all over it. She's standing next to Russ and there appears to be a carousel in the background. The only thing Temperance can remember is that she wore that dress every day the summer she was six. I figure that'd be 1982. Do you remember anything about that day?"
"Gee, kid, nothing too tough. One specific day nearly 30 years ago. Hmm. Anything else in the picture that might help me."
"Well, in spite of the ice cream all over her, she is positively beaming ... at something off camera to her right."
"Hmm," Max pondered. "Got anything else."
Booth was about to say no, when he thought about putting in some of the details from his dream. "I'd say it was some kind of park with the carousel and the ice cream stand. It's summer. Lots of kids. Playing fields."
"Hmm, keep going, Booth."
"Bigger kids horsing around and bumping into littler kids? Temperance crying?"
"Wait, Booth, you're ringing some bells. But, none of that's in the picture."
"Just building a possible scenario, Max."
"Why do I think there's more going on here?"
"I'll tell you, but one more question. You were living in the Chicago area in 1982?"
Before Booth could respond, Max blurted out, "Oh my god. That's impossible."
"What's impossible, Max?"
"You were the kid who knocked the ice cream cone out of Tempe's hand. When I offered you some money to get a new cone, you said, 'No thank you, sir, I should have been more careful with so many little kids around.' I told you were a good boy who was going to be a good man. When I shook your hand, I asked you your name and you said, 'Seeley, sir, and I'm very sorry for upsetting your little girl. She's very cute.' Then you asked if I would tell you her name. When I said Temperance, you said that was a pretty name, but it was kind of big for such a little girl. I told you that that was why we called her Tempe. You called ''Good bye, Tempe,' and waved at her. You had a very happy smile on your face at that moment."
"I know, Max. I think I fell in love with her that day. Eleven-year-old boy love, but she got to me right away. When she started crying and I realized what I had done, it was like a knife in my 11-year-old heart. That sweet little girl shouldn't be crying because of something I did."
"You were a good kid, and you're a very good man, Booth. Maybe I made some unconscious connection, and that's how I knew that I could trust you to take care of Temperance."
"And I think I must have had some kind of unconscious connection that time at American U when I thought it was the first time we'd met, but I felt like I'd been destined to meet her."
"You were destined to meet her - again. Maybe that's how I knew that day at the monastery that I could entrust Tempe to you and you would see that she was safe and loved. Even during the nonsense last year, I knew you would eventually come to your senses."
"Thanks, Max. I kick myself every day for all the pain and fear that caused her. And, I wish sometimes that I could have been there for her when she was 15."
"That's ridiculous, son. You were a kid yourself. I kick myself everyday for the pain and fear her mother and I caused her by leaving. And, for the pain it still causes her. I know full well that has been the stumbling block for the two of you. She is so afraid of the pain of losing someone she loves, that she refused to love anyone - until you came along and pushed her. Even then her fear kept you apart for years. I am very grateful that you had the patience and deep enough love not to give up on her completely."
Booth had tears in his eyes, thinking about how close they'd come to losing everything and he was also a bit uncomfortable with the high intensity emotions this conversation had come to.
"Uh, no problem, Max. Uh, she really does mean the world to me. I need to get moving if I'm going to figure out how to tell her all this while we're still young."
"You're a good man, Booth. Tell her to call me if she needs anything. Bye." Max chuckled thinking he'd just had his first real heart-to-heart talk with his son-in-law. "A man can dream, can't he," and he laughed out loud.
Booth was thinking, "why are Max and I acting like a couple of girls?" Then he laughed to himself as he walked into the bedroom and saw the girl who was the cause of all this angst. She was still asleep and her face looked almost child-like in its peacefulness.
Booth debated: watch the ball game without sound in here, so he could be right there if she needed him or watch with sound in the living room? He opted for a book in the bed next to her.
Bones finally began to stir and he looked over to see her deep blue eyes looking at him with amazement.
"Hey there, sleeping beauty, feel better?"
"Yes, I do," she sounded kind of surprised.
"Good. I've been worried about all the sleeping and about ... our ... uh ... conversation earlier. I wasn't sure whether it would help you deal or, well, uh, make you even more tired."
Bones thought for a minute. He could see her mentally examining herself for any effects of their conversation, then she said, "I think it was cathartic. Is that the right word?"
"Yes, Bones, that's very psychological, you know?"
"I still hate psychology, but I do feel like I just let go of all kinds of awful thoughts. Like a weight has been lifted off my head."
"Shoulders, Bones, shoulders."
"Whatever. But, thank you."
"All I did was give you a very big, extra long hug."
"No, Booth, you did much, much more than that. You do much, much more than that for me every day. I know I don't thank you enough for all you do for me. And, I hope someday I'll be able to be there like that for you." She gave him a shy smile.
"Temperance, I can't begin to tell you how much you do for me, just how much I love you. I hope that one day you will feel that and trust it deep inside your heart."
"But, the heart ..."
"I know, Bones, I know. I just hope I can help you get to that place of belief and trust that you are lovable and loved and loving."
"You are very welcome, Temperance. Now I'll bet your starving."
"You're right. I am."
"What's your preference, my love? In, out, Chinese, Thai, Diner. Whatever you want?"
"What time is it?
"We've been eating in a lot and we're at the diner all the time during the week."
"And ..." Booth questioned.
"What do you think about a nice dinner at a nice restaurant? I'll put on something … sexy. You'll put on something that makes you look even more handsome."
"Thanks, Bones," Booth said with a surprised look on his face. "Sounds like you want me to take you out on a date." She never ceased to amaze him.
"You're my boy friend and I'm your girlfriend, right?"
"Well, isn't that what boyfriends and girlfriends do? I mean, go out on dates."
"I assume that's from an anthropological perspective?" Booth grinned at her.
"Of course. What else could it be?" and she laughed.
Booth added, laughing, "I thought it was psychological."
Bones punched him in the arm, and commanded, "Follow the evolutionary imperative! Woo me!"
"Woo me! Show me a good time tonight, and I'll show you a better one later." Bones gave him a suggestive grin, jumped out of bed and headed for the shower, scattering clothes as she went.
Booth sat there with a delighted, if stunned, expression, enjoying the view more with her every step.
As she closed the bathroom door, she winked at him and said, "Think: how will I propose to Bones? I'd like a to see a preview, so I'll know what to expect when the time comes."
With that she closed the door.
Booth nearly fell off the bed from shock.
Two quick calls, one to a limo company and one to Gordon Gordon, and Booth had made all the arrangements. When Booth heard the water stop running, he went to the bathroom door and told Bones, "I'm going to the other bathroom to get ready, so I won't see you getting ready."
"Booth, why don't you want to watch me get ready? You usually like to do that."
"Think about it, Bones. Do you want to watch me get ready tonight?"
"I always like to do that. Help you with your tie and all."
"You can still do that."
"Then I don't understand."
"If this were a real date, Bones, I'd be picking you up at your home. You'd be all ready when I got there. Or shortly after I got there," Booth laughed.
"I see, Booth, you want to enhance the illusion that we are just getting to know each other and not co-habiting yet. More like a couple in the preliminary stages of a romantic relationship, when more formality and ceremony are required by social norms."
"Bones, I love it when you go all squinty on me."
"How was that …."
Booth cut her off with a laugh, and said, "I'll pick you up in the living room at 6."
As Bones began her beauty regimen, she heard the shower in the guest bath come on. Her thoughts went immediately to Booth naked in the shower with water streaming down his handsome face and well-muscled body. She felt a little tingle of desire and smiled.
"Ah," thought Bones, "mystery can be exciting. I can't wait to see how handsome he'll look." Then she thought, "Now what would Booth like to see me in?" She chuckled to herself as she realized, "Nothing."
Booth turned when he heard her step into the living room. He gasped and stammered, "Bones … Temp … Roxie. Wow!"
She was wearing the black dress he'd bought her in Las Vegas. It was tight and short showing off every curve and her long legs. He wasn't sure he'd be able to get through the evening without …. He fell back on his sniper training, taking deep breaths to calm himself and thinking, "Control yourself, man, you're a big boy, control yourself."
Bones noted Booth's reaction and smiled triumphantly. She knew the effect the Roxie dress would have: exactly that one. She walked up close to Booth and tightened his tie. She let her hands slide down his chest. She could feel him tremble almost imperceptibly.
He placed his hands on her hips, touched his forehead to hers and in a husky whisper said, "Thanks, Bones. You look amazing. I'll be the envy of every man in the place. I'm just afraid I won't be able to keep my hands off you"
Bones grinned, "I've been assuming that you couldn't."
"You're such a tease."
She laughed and he drew her close for one brief kiss.
Ch. 4: Sunday, Part 2
Gordon Gordon himself greeted them warmly, kissing Bones on each cheek in the European manner and shaking hands vigorously with Booth. Then he showed them to their table. Every eye in the place seemed to follow them. The men admired the woman, and the women admired the man, and they all wondered who these people were that they warranted such attention from Washington's hottest new chef.
As they walked, Wyatt explained, "I thought you two would prefer a quiet booth to the chef's table tonight, and I've taken the liberty of planning your meal and your wine service."
When they were seated, Wyatt opened the champagne chilling in a bucket by the table and poured three glasses, handing one each to Bones and Booth and keeping the third for himself.
Wyatt raised his glass to toast them, "Dr. Brennan, Agent Booth, you have solved every case you have faced as professional partners. Temperance, Seeley may you have even more success as life partners in the most important case of all, solving the mystery of love."
As the three tapped glasses, Temperance and Seeley echoed Wyatt's, "to love."
"Now I will leave you two to enjoy your dinner."
Bones said how lovely everything was and thanked Wyatt. Booth rose and shook Wyatt's hand with a grateful smile on his face.
When Booth sat back down, he raised his glass to Bones, saying simply, "To you, my love."
She quietly replied, "To us," and slid closer to kiss him.
The meal was exquisite. Each course was carefully crafted with a core element they could share, but supported with elements to their individual taste: meat for him and vegetarian for her. The wines matched the food perfectly. The service seemed perfectly tuned to the rhythm of their thoughts and conversation.
At first they said little, just enjoying being together and being well cared for. They discussed the food. Slowly the conversation moved to the events of the weekend and their plans for the week.
As they finished their entrees, Booth looked at Bones and said, "Temperance, I have something important to tell you."
Bones looked at him apprehensively and stammered, "This … this is just supposed to be a … a preview, Booth. I didn't wan … expect you to actually prop …."
"Relax, Bones. I'm not going to propose. It's something pretty surprising, but it's good.
"Uh, OK." Bones still looked uncertain.
Booth took the picture of little Bones in the yellow dress out of his jacket and handed it to Bones.
"Why do you have this picture, Booth?
"Well, Bones, I did a little investigating, and I think I've uncovered the story behind that picture."
"You said you didn't really remember anything about the picture, except that you wore that dress nearly every day the summer you were six."
"Yes, that's true."
"Well, I called Max earlier today, when you were sleeping, and I asked him about the day that picture was taken."
Still looking baffled, she asked, "Well, what did he say?"
"It took some discussion before he could recall that specific day, but he did eventually, and he told me why you were so happy and why you were covered in ice cream."
Booth paused for a moment, before continuing. "I'm going to tell you part of the story and let's see if it triggers any memories in you. Okay?"
Bones nodded her agreement.
"Apparently, you and Russ had gotten ice cream cones. I guess they'd let Russ take you over to the ice cream stand and do the big brother thing. Your folks were taking pictures from a few steps away. Anything coming back yet?"
"That's ok. You spilled the ice cream on yourself when your cone was knocked out of your hand." Booth paused and looked at Bones.
She shook her head.
"Do you remember how the cone got knocked out of your hand?"
"I think maybe someone bumped into me."
"Do you remember anything about that person?"
"Obviously someone bigger than I was."
"That would be true. Do you remember how you felt when you dropped the cone?"
"I guess I would have been very upset. I might have cried."
"You have a cone in your hand in the picture. Do you know where that cone came from?"
As Bones pondered the question, she was also admiring Booth's skill as an interrogator. Between the picture and talking to Max, he'd managed to construct enough of that day in his mind to know precisely what questions to ask her to help her remember.
Booth saw the light of recognition go on. "What have you remembered, baby?"
"A big kid, a boy, bumped into me and almost knocked me over. That made me drop the ice cream cone. I started crying, and he turned to me and gave me his cone."
"Do you remember anything about the boy? Can you describe him at all?
Bones closed her eyes to help her visualize the boy. Booth saw a puzzled look cross her face.
"You know, now that I'm thinking about it, he kind of looked like Parker," replied Bones. "That's very odd."
Booth was grinning from ear to ear. Bones noticed and asked him, "Why does this make you so happy?"
"We'll get there. Just a couple more things to review. You were six then, right?"
"So that would have been 1982?"
"In 1982, I was eleven, and Pops took me and Jared on a cross-country trip that summer to visit my dad's brother, Lenny and his family. Uncle Lenny had a son, Lenny Jr., who was a year or so older than me. He went off to Boy Scout Camp or something shortly after we got there. That meant that we didn't have any one to take us to play with the other neighborhood kids. When Jared and me nearly threw a basketball through the new color TV, they decided to take us to a park to shoot some hoops and get some ice cream. Turned out there was a carousel at that park."
Bones was listening attentively, but didn't seem to be making any connections between their two stories.
Booth continued, "Do you know where Lenny lived?"
"How would I know? I didn't even know you had an Uncle Lenny."
Booth took another tack, "If you were writing a story based on what we've just been talking about, where would be the most interesting place for Lenny to live?"
Bones still looked baffled, "I don't understand. What story would that be?"
Booth smiled at her, thinking, "She's a genius, but she just can't make this kind of leap. It wouldn't be logical. Guess I'll have to take her by the hand."
"Well, let's see, Bones. You told me a little story about you in 1982, and I've told you a little story about me in 1982. Do you see any similarities?"
"We were both in a park with a carousel and ice cream."
"Yes. Does that suggest anything to you – say about where Lenny was living?"
Booth saw it happen: she made the leap in her mind, but it left her with an even more confused expression on her face. Quietly and slowly, as if still trying to get it all straight, Bones asked, "Did Lenny live in the Chicago area?"
"What are you implying? That you went to the same park?"
"Yes." Booth let her think some more. He could almost see the "wheels" turning in her head.
"When were you there?"
"When were you?"
"Booth, you can't mean we were there at the same time. That would be an extraordinary coincidence, a one in many millions chance."
"I do, Bones. And, I'm the kid who bumped into you and made you drop your ice cream cone. And, I'm the kid who gave you his cone because your tears broke my heart."
"That can't be. If this were in a book or movie, everyone would think it was completely contrived – and highly improbable."
"That's true. It seems ridiculously unlikely. Tens of millions to one odds. But, Pops confirmed when we were in Chicago and that we went to a park with a carousel and ice cream stand. And, Max remembers the details including me introducing myself as Seeley. You know what else he told me?"
"I can't imagine." Booth heard a sharpness in her tone, so he continued, "Ok, Bones, you don't need to guess. Max gave me the answer to your question."
Bones cut in, "Which question?"
"Who you were that day?
Fear flickered across Bones' face. She wasn't sure which answer she wanted.
"I asked Max if he would tell me your name. He told me it was Temperance, and I said that that seemed like a lot of name for such a little girl. Then, he told me that that's why they called you Tempe."
Booth studied Bones, trying to gauge her reaction: was this good or bad news?
He sat quietly, while Bones considered the meaning of being Temperance that day.
Very quietly, she said, "So, Temperance was there that day. She was happy that day. So, I was there that day, and I was happy. And, you were there that day. And, you made Tempe cry and then you made Tempe smile.
Booth realized she wasn't talking to him, but to herself. Trying to work out logically, something that had no logic to it; trying to use her head to understand their hearts.
Bones continued, "I was a happy little girl with loving parents."
Looking at Booth, she asked, "You saw that?"
"Yes, Bones, it was clear that day that your dad loved you very much. The minute he thought you were in danger, he was there making sure you were ok. We might have had our first fist fight that day, if I hadn't given you my cone," Booth chuckled.
Bones nodded in agreement and added, "You were pretty small yourself then?"
"Yeah, I guess I was lucky that Max isn't the kind of guy to beat up someone who can't really fight back. Although I was a pretty tough kid," Booth grinned.
Bones continued, more to herself, "You saw that people loved me."
Booth wanted to say something, but held his tongue. He was hearing her mind at work. Was this something she could reason out? He didn't think so, but maybe that was what was happening. She had to try.
"I had no idea then about not being loved … about being abandoned. People just loved me and that was the way it was supposed to be as I far as I knew then."
Booth reached over and put his hand on hers and quietly said, "Happy six year olds don't know that there is any other way to be."
Bones continued, "Fifteen year olds can discover that there is another way to be."
Tears welled up as she looked at Booth, "Eleven year olds being raised by their grandfathers know this too. Don't they, Booth?"
Bones saw sadness in his eyes as he replied, "At least I had Pops. And Jared. You had no one, not even Russ."
"You may have felt loved, but you didn't feel safe before you lived with Pops? At least I had felt safe … until they left."
"No I didn't. Even if I could keep myself safe, there was still Jared who wasn't. I felt responsible for him."
"And, your mom?"
"Even though you were so little yourself?" She put her arms around him.
"Yes." He put his head on her shoulder.
"It's kind of like we're mirror images. I felt loved and safe until my folks left. Then I was all alone. You never felt safe until your dad left, but then you had Hank to love you and protect you."
Booth nodded sadly and started to say, "Maybe that's …."
But, Bones cut him off, "Maybe that's why we fit together. You have the emotional experiences I don't and I have the ones you don't. Put us together and we fill the holes in each other's heart."
They looked into each other's eyes. They both understood too well the sadness in her words. But Booth also heard the wisdom. He wasn't sure she realized the full meaning of what she'd just said.
He smiled and said, "You know, Bones, that was some amazing psychological insight?"
She looked a bit perplexed. "Yeah, I guess it was, but …."
Booth laughed, "But you still hate psychology."
Bones laughed too and they hugged each other tightly.
Ch. 5: Epilogue
Bones took the next couple of days off from work to try to sort through all the emotions the weekend had brought up. Since Bones never took time off unless she was going to dig up a mass grave or was deathly ill, the squints were in quite a tizzy. Everyone thought Angela would burst from curiosity.
When Bones went back to work later that week, she told Angela and Cam about the pictures and how it turned out that she and Booth had met as children. She wasn't sure whether to tell them so soon about the decision to have a baby, but decided to gamble. They thought it was a wonderful idea – even without a wedding.
Over the next couple of weeks, Booth was relieved that while Bones remained quiet and somewhat tired, she didn't run. In fact, she seemed almost clingy. Booth had no objections to her sudden need to be in physical contact with him as much as possible. Somehow it calmed her. Even at work, if she could discreetly take his hand or otherwise touch him, she would. He could see the tension leaving her face when she did.
Booth began to grow more concerned, when, on top of the continued fatigue, Bones complained that her stomach wasn't right. No matter what he did, he couldn't get her to eat more. He tried getting her to go see the doctor. He wasn't surprised when she tried to brush it off as the latest flu bug. Finally, he made the appointment and took her there under the guise of taking her to an early lunch.
In the end, Booth – and Bones – were very glad he had dragged her to the doctor. It turned out the fatigue and nausea would be going away on their own soon. There was nothing wrong with Bones: she was just pregnant.
For a moment, Bones just looked stunned. Then she looked at Booth. She had never seen such a look of pure joy on his face before. She reached for his hand.
Booth could see that something was going on in that big brain of hers. Her smile, the smile that lit up his world, was growing. Then he saw it: her "aha" moment. He wasn't sure what it was about, but he could see that she was bursting to tell him something.
Neither of them heard what the doctor was saying. They just looked at each other, each basking in the other's joy.
As they left the doctor's office, Booth put an arm around Bones and pulled her close. He whispered in her ear, "I love you, Bones."
Bones smiled back, her eyes glistening with happy tears. She replied quietly, "I love you too."
Back at the car, Booth took Bones in his arms and kissed her, telling her again that he loved her and adding that she'd made him happier than he had ever believed possible. Bones gave him a teary smile.
After seeing Bones safely into her seat, Booth went around and got in. Then, he pulled out his phone and hit a speed dial key.
After a moment, Booth said, "Hey, Cam, anything urgent for me and Bones?"
After hearing Cam's response, Booth continued, "Then Bones is going to take the rest of the day off."
Startled, Bones started to object, but Booth put a finger to her lips. Then he said, "She's fine, Cam. We just need some time to talk. We'll see you tomorrow. And, thanks."
Then he checked in with his own office and told them he wouldn't be back until tomorrow morning. Then he put the car in gear, and Bones asked what they needed to talk about.
Booth replied, "You'll see in a few minutes."
He drove them to the National Mall where they got out and started walking by the reflecting pool. Bones slipped her arm into his. For a while they walked silently, each thinking their own thoughts about the day's news. Booth knew that if he was quiet long enough, she would finally share whatever it was that had sent that look of discovery across her face.
It took a while, but Bones finally asked, "You're very happy about the baby, aren't you?"
"I'm ecstatic, Bones. As happy as I was when Parker was born, this is even better because I won't have to be a part-time dad."
Bones giggled as she said, "You better not be," and punched him gently in the arm.
"I'll be so full-time that you and the kid are going to get sick of me," he laughed.
"Never, Booth," Bones nearly shouted.
"It's ok, Bones. It's a joke."
"That's not funny."
Booth gave her a chastened smile, but Bones still had a worried look.
She sounded almost fearful as she asked him, "Will you get sick of me?"
His heart seemed to grow cold, and he immediately protested, "Oh, God, Temperance, no. Never. I promise. I will never, ever get sick of you."
He saw her beautiful smile return and it warmed his heart back up.
"Temperance, the only thing that will ever make me sick about you is being heartsick when I am apart from you."
"That's good. And, I will never ever get sick of you either." Then Bones grew quiet again.
By this time they had made it to the Lincoln Memorial. They climbed the steps and sat down as they had before. Booth took her small hand and held it between his two big hands. They looked into each other's eyes.
Finally Bones began, "I love you so much, Seeley."
They were both a bit surprised to hear her use his given name. She so rarely did.
She continued, "All I ever wanted was for you to be happy. I never thought I could give you that. I always thought I would end up hurting you – which I did – and I'm deeply sorry for that."
"Oh, Bones, I'm sorry for trying to push you too far, too fast. You have always given me happiness. From that very first day in the park. When you stopped crying and smiled at me, you stole my eleven year old heart."
"I could not believe that I could ever do anything that would make someone … especially you … that happy. Then I saw your face after the doctor told us that I'm pregnant. And, I realized that just maybe that was what I'd done. Then you said I'd made you so happy at the car and I began to believe that I had."
He took her face in his hands and stared into her deep blue eyes, and stammered "I am … you … you, Temperance Brennan, have given me so much to be happy and grateful for, and we've barely begun."
He kissed her lips, her eyes, her nose.
"I love you, Temperance, Bones. I just love you."
Bones cut in with a laugh, "Since you were eleven?"
Booth smiled, "Well, you were a six year old heart crusher, but, at least since that day at American U."
He started kissing her again, staying on her lips, the kiss growing deeper.
When they needed air, he touched his forehead to hers and looked deep into her eyes. Quietly he said, "Thank you, Bones. I know how hard this has been for you, but please believe me, no one will ever, no other woman could ever make me as happy as I am today. And, there is no one else who I will grow happier and happier with as our time together grows. I just pray I can do the same for you."
Bones beamed at him. Once again, he saw something going on in that big brain of hers. A look of recognition and surprise crossed her face.
"What is it?"
"You were right. You are right."
Booth laughed, "Well, that's a new one."
Bones gently punched his arm. "You are often right."
"Thanks, Bones, I think."
She looked up at him, almost shyly. "Booth, seeing you … seeing you so hap …."
"Go ahead, baby, it's ok," Booth barely whispered.
"Seeing you so happy, made me feel … so … hap … beyond happy. Ecstatic. I've never felt like that before …. Well, maybe, when we make …."
Booth blushed, "I get it. Go on."
"That feeling … I will never forget that feeling. That I can give happiness to someone I love. I will always have that memory. That memory, your joy and how that made me feel. That memory will be there ,,, even if … even when …."
Bones had to take a deep breath before she could continue. Booth pulled her into his arms as she did.
"Booth, I don't want to give even the tiniest thought to if and when …."
"I know, Bones, you don't want to put even a hint of it out there. Because, that might make it happen. Draw the eyes of God or the fates to what you cherish."
Bones pulled his arms tighter around her, and said, "You know, my first thought is to remind you that I don't believe in god or fate or that saying something can make it happen, but I understand how you feel about it. And, I think I understand now what you've been trying to tell me all these years about love being worth the risk, no matter what the fates bring us."
Booth could barely believe what he was hearing. Bones saw another joyous smile grace his beautiful face.
"I didn't think it was possible, Bones, but I'm even happier now than I was a few minutes ago. This is all I ever wanted you to understand."
They sat there on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial just holding each other. They might not have been very surprised to know they were both thinking the same thing: what have I done to deserve someone this amazing to love me so much, to build a life, a family with?
When Booth realized that the sun was no longer directly overhead, he said quietly into Bones' ear, "I'd like to sit here holding you forever, but we should probably be going."
"You're right again, Booth."
With a laugh, he declared, "Right twice in one day and a baby on the way. Be careful, Bones, I don't know if I can survive so much happiness." He gave her the smile that lit up her world.
She put an arm around his shoulders and put her nose nearly up to his. Beaming at him, she laughed, "No need to worry, Booth. Today was highly unusual. I rarely find you to be right more than once a week."
He laughed, rising, taking her hand to help her up. He pulled her close, kissed her, then taking her hand again, he led her down the steps.