Disclaimer - Bones and all its lovely characters belong to someone else.
A/N - Well, 'tis the season etc etc, so I thought I'd write a companion piece to 'The Perfect Easter Egg' (a story I wrote earlier in the year.) It'll be the same format as last time with the story moving on from different points of view, but time's moved on in Booth and Bones relationship when we meet them again...
I'm stringing Christmas lights across the window in the front room that faces onto the street.
Out of the corner of my eye I can see an overexcited seven year old jumping up and down precariously close to a box of pretty, glass baubles. I'm about to call out a warning when his father appears, sweeping him up into his arms and swinging him round, making aeroplane noises.
I smile at the sight and then, with a final stretch, I manage to tack the last pin into the woodwork before climbing down off the step ladder to admire my handiwork.
A chain of twinkling lights curl around the window frame.
I can see my reflection in the glass and there's a whimsical smile on my lips.
I can also see him approach, Parker tucked under one arm and wriggling like mad. His free arm snakes around my waist and pulls me close as he plants a kiss in my hair, the bell on the end of his Santa hat flopping in front of my eyes with a jangle.
I turn in his arms and he sets his son down on his feet, telling him he can go look at the tree in the other room.
The blue-clad ball of energy streaks out the door exclaiming and I settle my arms around Booth's neck.
His grip on my waist tightens and he pulls me in for a kiss.
I can hear the tv start up in the next room and the now familiar sound of cartoons echo around.
Parker will be glued to the set until his mother comes to pick him about in an hour or so.
I realise that I've been leaning with my head slightly to one side, listening and I turn my attention back to the other man in my life.
Booth's eyes are soft, and he's giving me a look I don't recognise, but which sends the bottom of my stomach hurtling out and the slow, heart-stopping smile that spreads across his lips as he watches me with this strange intensity, sends tingles across my scalp.
He hesitates for a moment and then flashes that all-out charming grin, "Merry Christmas, Temperance."
I can't help but grin back, but I can't help wondering if he had wanted to say something else.
I don't have time to dwell on it, because he rubs his hands together and starts ushering me towards the other room.
I ignore the trail of sawdust he's tracked across the rug and manage to look appreciative as he shows me how he's clamped the huge tree in the stand. There's a pile of branches that he's sawed off sitting to one side, I eye them suspiciously, remembering Ange's threat to get me to make a wreath for the door. I think I may even have agreed in a moment of festive madness.
I can see Booth's eyes narrow in concern as he watches me stand in silence. My heart skips another beat - he's worried that I'm dwelling on the reasons why I've avoided all things festive for so long - even now, I can scarcely believe how much he cares. Or how much it means to me knowing that he does.
I squeeze his hand reassuringly and make admiring comments about the tree.
I can see his shoulders relax.
When Parker goes home, we're going to have to have a little chat or he'll be a nervous wreck by the time Christmas day rolls round.
To distract him, I lean down and pull out another set of lights and wave them vaguely at the tree.
He folds his arms and crinkles his brow slightly.
Evidently in the Booth household putting the lights on the tree is one of his tasks. I hand them over and start sorting through strings of beads.
I'm amazed at how much Christmas paraphernalia we've acquired in a few short weeks. I know Booth only had two small boxes of decorations, but I haven't been able to help a sudden magpie instinct to buy all these lovely shiny things and all these beautiful ornaments - and he's indulged me with a smile.
Hours later, the tree is decorated and is shimmering in the corner. The house is quiet with Parker gone. We sit wrapped in each other's arms on the couch, watching the flames play in the fireplace.
I can tell by the steady rise and fall of his chest that Booth is sleeping.
As my eyes close, I know that I've never been happier in my life.