Booth sat awake as he looked down at Brennan as she slept. Sunlight filtered into the room, its early morning rays caressing her skin making her glow. He reached down and gently ran his fingers along her back, craving the feel of her. She shifted slightly and opened her eyes to look at him. A smile broke out when she looked up into his eyes.
"Good morning. Have you been up long?" Booth shook his head before leaning down to capture her lips with his.
"You are so perfect, Temperance."
"I'm anything but."
"How about this then, you're perfect for me. What we have is amazing." As Brennan rolled onto her back, Booth moved in over her and kissed her again, savoring the feel of her bare skin against his own. Brennan wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him closer as their tongues met, rubbing sensually against each other. Booth trailed kisses down her jaw line to her throat, sucking gently at the cord there. As Brennan moved her head to the side to give him better access, her cell phone rang. "Don't answer it," Booth gasped, pulling himself from her for a moment.
"I have to, it's my agent."
"Can't she just leave a message?"
"Okay, fine. I'll be in the shower if you want to join me," he grumbled as he rolled away from her and headed for the bathroom. She sighed as she reached for her phone.
"Temperance, it's Rosemarie. Listen, I know that I only had some book signings scheduled, but something fabulous has come up for you to do before you head home."
"And what would that be?"
"A television interview with Good Morning Pittsburgh. You're scheduled on at ten thirty. Can you make it?"
"I suppose. I just have to make a stop at the bank before hand."
"Wonderful. I'll call and confirm. See you there."
"Sure, I'll see you there." Brennan closed her phone and sighed. This was not how she'd planned to spend the rest of her time in Pittsburgh. She'd intended on being with Booth, stopping by his parent's house once more and then head home. Now that was obviously changed. With a sigh, she set down the phone and made her way to the bathroom. She could hear Booth grumbling in the shower and gave a little chuckle. She didn't blame him for being upset about the interruption, after the last minute interview she wished she hadn't answered as well.
"You coming in or not," Booth asked over the spray of the water. Brennan grinned a bit and climbed in with him. She watched the water stream over his body, forming little rivulets down his muscular body, caressing his skin on its track to the ground. With a brief smile, she ran her hands over his muscular chest, admiring the way his muscles jumped at the contact.
"Sorry about that," she murmured as he brought his arms around her. For a moment, she wanted nothing more than to stand in his embrace like this.
"What did your agent want," he whispered against her, the vibrations sending a thrill through her body. With that, she pulled away from him, grabbing soap and a wash cloth. She soaped up the piece of cloth before speaking again and ran it over his chest in small circles.
"She set up a television interview for me this morning. I couldn't say no. The publicity is why I'm here in the first place."
"I understand. I'd just hoped we could have had the morning to ourselves."
"Well look at it this way, you'll have the chance to visit with your parents, just the three of you. That's something you haven't done in a while."
"No, I know, it's just…I wanted to spend the time with you." Brennan looked up at him and had to laugh at the pouty look on his face. She shook her head and leaned up to kiss him on the tip of his nose.
"We'll have plenty of time for that. Now, we have to hurry because we still need to get to the bank before I go to that interview."
Booth walked into his parent's house, fiddling nervously with an envelope. His mother poked her head from the kitchen to see who was there, and beamed when she saw her son.
"Seeley is it just you? Where's Temperance?" She came out and hugged him before leading him to the kitchen table.
"She had an interview to do. She'll be by later. Hey mom, is dad here?"
"He's in the garage working on a car I think. Did you need to talk to him?"
"Yeah I have something for him." He held up the envelope and waved it slightly before putting it on the table.
"What is that dear?"
"Just some…unfinished business. So, what do you think of Temperance?"
"I think she's wonderful. I can see how much she loves you." Isabella brought him a glass of milk and sat down with him. "She's done so much good for you, I can tell."
"She's pretty great," he answered with a smile. "I don't know what I'd do without her."
"Are you two planning to…?" Isabella let the sentence hang there. She didn't want to pry, but was curious at the level of commitment the two had.
"Planning to what, get married? Have children? No. Temperance doesn't want either of those things. Plus this is still pretty new."
"Haven't you always wanted those things?"
"Yes, but I want her more." He offered a small smile before picking up the envelope and fiddling with it. "You said dad was in the garage?"
"Yes." Booth finished off his glass of milk and stood, taking the envelope with him. He gave his mother a quick kiss on the cheek. He walked through the house to the garage and opened the door hesitantly. He really didn't want to talk with his father, but this was something he had to do.
Thomas was under a vintage caddy, working on something. When he heard the door to the garage open, he slid out from underneath and wiped his hands off on an old rag. He looked up, surprised to see his youngest son standing there. He looked over his son, taking in his casual appearance.
"You here to get your hands dirty?"
"Among other things."
"Good, you can hand me that wrench." Thomas pointed to the tool he wanted before starting to slide back under the car.
"Wait, before you do that, I have something for you." Booth held out the envelope, waiting for his father to take the envelope.
"Just take it, please?" Thomas stood up, body creaking before taking the envelope and looking inside. "It's the ten thousand I owe you."
"Seeley, I can't take this." He tried to hand back the envelope, but Booth wouldn't take it.
"You and mom put up with a lot when it came to me, and I have to pay you back for that. It was wrong of me to have you bail me out all those years ago."
"Son, it was never about the money. I would always have helped you out. It was how you went about getting the money that I'm so disappointed in." Again, Thomas tried to hand the money back. Booth stood his ground, refusing to take it back.
"Dad, this is part of my recovery. I've been saving for years to get this money together. I need you to take it. Please." Booth locked eyes with his father, neither wanting to back down. Thomas searched his son's expression and was impressed with what he saw. Seeley was completely serious about this. It wasn't to appease his parents; it was to part of his redemption. Thomas folded the envelope in half, put it in his back pocket, and slid back under the car.
"Hand me that wrench, would you?" Thomas held out his hand for the wrench he pointed out earlier, and smiled when Booth placed it in his hand. The pair worked together virtually in silence, though neither needed to speak even when they moved to under the hood.
"Hey dad, when you left Vietnam, did you, uh, have problems adjusting?" Booth fidgeted with a tool as the pair continued working on the old car. Thomas paused in his work as he contemplated his son's words.
"I guess I was lucky being a pilot. I didn't see a lot of damage up close. I knew that I was doing what Uncle Sam told me to, but it didn't really sink in."
"It's strange, you know? I saw a lot of things…experienced a lot when I was out there." Booth shifted his weight on his feet, remembering the beatings he'd received in the Middle East.
"You seem to have adjusted well."
"That's just it, dad. I don't talk about it. I don't…it's all still there, in the background." Booth ran a hand through his hair and sighed. This talk was hard, and he wished that his Bones was with him for it. "The gambling was a way of…I missed the adrenaline rush of battle, the chaos."
"I don't understand." Thomas stopped his work to look at his son. He could see that whatever he had to say was important, and gave him his undivided attention.
"When I used to listen to you and Grandpa Booth talk about your time in the army, I used to want that experience and that glory for myself. I knew I wasn't going to be some big, important doctor like Jared, but I needed to find something I was good at."
"You never needed to be like Jared, or anyone for that matter."
"I know that, but I couldn't help but feel that way. I wanted to make you proud of me."
"Son, we've always been proud of you. How could you think we weren't?"
"It's just…I just…I joined the army and to prove that I could be the best, went into the Rangers."
"No, please let me finish dad. I need to say this. I need for you to understand what happened." Booth began to pace the garage while his dad watched him. "At first, I got a high from the action, but that was what happened at a distance. It was the targets that did me in. Before you didn't know if it was your bullet that brought someone down, but a target…you knew that person died by your hands. It's tough to swallow, you know? I mean I'm doing what the government tells me to, but I'm killing people. How do I reconcile that? Those deaths will always be on my hands." Booth ran his hands over the tattoos on his wrists, and he looked up at his father.
"You know the Bible reconciles murder in the service of your government. Yes, it's a commandment to not kill, but to do so in the service of your country is allowed."
"Well it doesn't make it any easier. When I got back, I just couldn't handle it, you know? I needed that rush again. Gambling gave me that, especially when I won. You start to lose and panic sets in. I never meant to get so out of control, but I knew that if I kept it up, I'd win that money back."
"But you didn't."
"No, I didn't. I can't tell you how sorry I am for what I put you and mom through." Booth looked at his father, his eyes pleading with the older man to understand. Thomas looked at his son for a long time, contemplating everything he'd just heard. He knew his son was stubborn and didn't ever ask for help. In that way, more than anything else, he was different from Jared. Their problems developed about ten years earlier, and he'd never tried to get understanding, or help, or forgiveness. This change could only be attributed to one source. That source was Temperance Brennan.
Booth shifted uncomfortably, waiting for his father to respond. Finally, after what seemed a lifetime, Thomas nodded.
"I know it may not seem like it, but you've always had my forgiveness. You're my son. If you need help, I want to give it. Like I said before, it wasn't the money. You could have been a man about it and come to me instead of forcing that burden on your mother. This was never about money." Booth nodded, but was surprised when his father stood and pulled him into an embrace. "Your mother and I have always been proud of you son. Don't doubt that for a second. Now, you ready to get back to work on this car?" Booth smiled and moved from his father.
Temperance showed up a few hours later, glad to be done with her interview. She hesitated at the front door, unsure if she should knock or just walk in, but was saved the indecision when Isabella opened the door.
"Temperance, how did your interview go?"
"Good I suppose. Where is he?"
"In the garage with his father." Temperance smiled at the older woman and made her way to the garage. She stood in the doorway for a long while, enjoying the sight before her. Booth and his father were dirty, but they were both smiling and laughing with each other. After the encounter at the bookstore, this was something she didn't think she would see.
"Enjoying yourself?" Temperance smiled as Booth turned to look at her. If possible, his face lit up even more than it did before. She walked in to the garage, laughing slightly as Booth wrapped his arms around her and kissed her soundly on the lips. "You are getting me all dirty."
"It comes with the territory."
"You ready to go home?"
"Right now, I'm already home." He grinned at her again and kissed her. It was true. Home is where the heart is, and right now, she had his heart.
AN: Okay so I'm not thrilled with this ending, but there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed the story and maybe, just maybe if anyone is interested, I might have a sequel to this…if anyone is interested that is. Let me know.