Brennan woke up to the sound of knocking on her front door. She'd gotten home late after helping decorate Sarah's home and hadn't gone to bed until after two in the morning. She glanced at the clock on her bedside table and sighed. Who would be here at six in the morning? She was fairly certain that Booth was still at home asleep, and even if he wasn't he wouldn't be here this early to pick her up.
Grumbling, she climbed out of bed and padded to the front door, running a hand down her face to try and wake up just a little bit. Yawning, she opened the door and gasped at what she saw there.
"Merry Christmas Tempe!" Russ, Amy and her two girls stood at the front door loaded up with all sorts of bags and gifts for Christmas Day. For a moment, Brennan was completely speechless as she stared at the group. "What's the matter? Aren't you happy to see us?"
"What? Yes of course I am. I was under the impression that you were having Christmas in Morehead." Brennan moved out of the way as everyone came into the apartment. She was still somewhat stunned by her brother's surprise.
"Amy and I talked and agreed that it just wasn't right to have you spend Christmas by yourself. We decided to come up so you'd have your family with you." Brennan wrapped her arms around her brother's neck and gave him a hug.
"Thank you Russ, really. This means the world to me." Russ gave his sister a little squeeze and pulled away. He led her to her couch and forced her to sit down.
"You stay here and we'll take care of everything else."
"You don't have to do that."
"I know I don't have to, but we want to, okay?" He gave his sister's arm a squeeze and began to unload the boxes and bags while Amy went to the kitchen to fix breakfast. Her two daughters, Haley and Emma sat with Brennan on the couch, practically bouncing in anticipation to open their gifts.
"Aunt Tempe, why don't you have any decorations up?" Emma looked around the apartment and blushed slightly at the look Russ shot her way for the question.
"I wasn't expecting to have anyone here for Christmas, so I didn't put up any decorations."
"But don't you want your home pretty for the holiday?" Brennan smirked at the question. If only they'd seen what she'd done last night for Sarah and her two children.
"I'm sure I'll take that into consideration for next year. Right now though, why don't you tell me what you asked Santa Claus for?" As both the girls began to chatter about their lists to Santa Claus, Russ looked up at his sister and smiled. Something good had changed in her life recently and he was pretty sure it was all the doing of Seeley Booth.
"Daddy, wake up! It's time to open gifts!" Parker jumped up and down on Booth's bed, a grin plastered across his face as he tried to wake up his father. Booth grumbled and pulled his quilt over his head.
"It's too early Parker."
"But you said that when we got up we could go get Dr. Bones and then we can open our presents." Parker jumped up and down some more, finally flopping onto his father's stomach, making Booth groan.
"Okay, okay fine. I'm up. Go wait in the other room so I can get dressed." Booth pulled the covers away from his head and looked at the clock. It was only seven in the morning, and he was sure that Brennan had a later evening than he had. He really didn't want to call her until a little later, but his enthusiastic son was demanding. As Parker bounced off into the other room, Booth grabbed his phone from the nightstand and dialed Brennan's number. After a few rings, she picked up the line.
"Merry Christmas Booth." Booth smiled on his end of the line and laid back against the pillows as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
"Good morning beautiful and Merry Christmas to you. What is all that noise?" He could hear something in the background but wasn't sure what it was.
"Oh, Russ and Amy showed up to surprise me. They're here right now with Amy's girls."
"Oh, I guess you'll be spending Christmas with them then." Brennan could hear the disappointment in Booth's voice, though he tried to mask it.
"I did promise to join you and Parker you know. I don't break my promises."
"But I'm not going to pull you away from your family."
"Of course you aren't. Why don't you bring over Parker's gifts and you can join us over here? I'm sure Russ would be happy to see you again."
"Come on Bones, I don't want to intrude on your family time. You don't get to see your brother that often."
"And why do you assume that you're not my family? As I recall, we are in a relationship now." Booth chuckled at her response, and laughed more when he heard Russ ask when that had happened.
"Okay, okay. We'll be over in about half an hour, but we have to open the gifts then because I don't have Parker for too much longer today."
"I understand. I'll see you then Booth."
"See you in a few Bones." Booth flipped shut his phone and smiled as he climbed out of bed. It looked like Christmas was working out for Brennan more than she ever could have dreamed. He quickly threw on his clothes and went in search of his son so they could pack up and get to Temperance's apartment.
"Merry Christmas Dr. Bones," Parker said when Temperance answered the door. The little boy was practically wiggling in anticipation for gifts. Brennan smiled at him and stepped aside to let him run into the apartment while she shared a brief kiss with Booth.
"Merry Christmas to you Booth," she said when he kissed her once again.
"Same to you Bones." Brennan took some of the bags he was carrying from him and led the way into her apartment with Booth at her heels. The FBI agent nodded at Russ before heading to the tree to deposit the gifts there. Russ watched the interaction between his sister and the FBI agent, not quite sure what to think. When Booth brought him onboard during the investigation into his mother's death, Russ was sure that there was something going on between Booth and his sister. The FBI agent just seemed to care too much about Temperance to just be her partner.
When she'd visited him over the summer, Russ asked her about her relationship with Booth, but hadn't said much more than that they were just partners. Obviously something had changed between the pair and it was totally apparent that they were a couple, he was just wondering what the catalyst was for the change.
"Booth, have you eaten yet?" Booth looked over at Russ and shook his head in the negative. Russ brought over a plate of food for both Booth and Parker while Amy settled her girls down to eat as well. "You mind if I ask you something?"
"How long have you and Tempe been together?"
"About a week and a half, why?" Russ smiled and shook his head.
"She's just different, that's all, but different in a good way." Booth glanced over at Temperance as she talked with Amy and the girls over breakfast. She caught his eye and smiled at him before she turned back to her conversation.
"Yeah, but that comes of imparting a little holiday cheer."
"What do you mean?" Booth looked at Brennan once more and launched into the story of her playing secret Santa to the nurse and her two kids. She had changed so much over the past year, opening herself up to people and allowing them to truly care about her without questioning their motives. Her generous heart finally had an outlet and he had to admit that when she put her mind toward helping others, the results were breathtaking.
As he finished his tale, Russ just shook his head, amazed. "I'm sure you had something to do with the idea."
"No, she came up with the idea on her own. That woman is special Russ."
"Yeah, but she wouldn't be that way if it weren't for your influence."
"Bones is that way despite my influence. She's just opened herself up a little more is all."
"Well whatever it is, it's great to see her like this, so thanks man." Russ clapped the agent on the shoulder and turned back to his meal. Booth took a moment to look around the apartment and the obvious joy filling the space. It felt more like home than he could ever imagine, and he only hoped that every year would get better as she gained more family. Brennan looked over at him once more, smiling as their gazes locked. No matter what, he thought as he looked at her, he would try to bring her as much happiness as he could. That was his Christmas gift to her…make sure she could have some cheer all year long.
"Is everyone done eating yet? I think it's time for some presents," Brennan said as the three kids chorused their enthusiasm. As everyone gathered by her fireplace where the presents had been stacked, she took a seat next to Booth and gave his hand a squeeze. He'd given her more than he ever thought possible. He'd given her a family again. As he called out for Parker to hand round the gifts, he wrapped his arm around Brennan. She smiled and leaned into his side. Though she worried about her ability to maintain long term relationships, she knew one thing with certainty. Booth was more than a relationship, he was her family, and after all, that's what the season was about. Family.