AN: Thanks so much to bb-4ever, x-naomi-x, brennanmars, lisajones17, xoSnickersxo, Howdylynn, Serienjunkie91, 9ud9ir190ne6ad, Caramelchan, emeraldangel999, Mahine, sqauddleduck, seeley's sweetheart, Bellabun, jadefrye's freedom sahara gold, warmfuzzys, sidleidol03 and SquirtandMilo for your reviews of Chapter 14. I have truly appreciated all your kind words and support.
Sorry for the delay in posting this chapter. Since it's the last one, I wanted to take extra time to make sure I didn't disappoint you, my loyal readers. Hope you enjoy!
SIX MONTHS LATER...
The early morning sunlight crept into the bedroom, urging Booth to open his eyes and begin the new day. He refused. Go away, stupid sun. It's Saturday; I don't have to get up early. Saturday had become Booth's favorite day of the week; it was a day for him and Temperance to spend time together away from work. They would stay in bed past noon, making love and snuggling and sharing whatever was on their minds. He felt like he could say anything to her. Over the past few months, he had told her stories about his time in the service, things he had never shared with another person. She had listened without judgment, and in turn had started telling him about her time in foster care, how she had been shuffled from one home to the next like a piece of unwanted furniture. No one loved me enough to want to keep me, she had said last week. I want to keep you, he had answered, folding his arms around her. Thank you, she whispered, clinging to him tightly.
Wanting to hold her again, he reached out to her side of the bed, but his arm found only air. He opened his eyes for the first time and saw that he was alone. "Temperance?" He called out. There was no answer. She's probably in the bathroom. He got out of bed and walked towards the bathroom, but the door was open and no one was inside. "Temperance?" He called again. He walked around the rest of their apartment–they had moved in together a few weeks ago, and it still made him smile to think of 'their' apartment–but she was nowhere to be found. He returned to their bedroom and sat on the bed. She wouldn't just leave without telling me, he thought. What if something's happened to her? In the old days, before he and Brennan had started dating, he would have let himself imagine the worst. He would have looked around for something-or someone- to attack. Yet spending time with her had strengthened his logical side, just as spending time with him had strengthened her emotional side. Don't panic yet, his logical side intervened. Try calling her on her cell first. As he turned to the night stand to grab his cellphone, he saw a stack of papers.
The top page read: Let Sleeping Bones Lie by Temperance Brennan. It's her manuscript! She had been working on it for months but hadn't let him see it. Every time he asked, she gave him the same answer: "You can read it when it's done." Below the title was a post-it note. It read: "My Booth, I think it's done now. Please read it and let me know what you think. I'm at the lab. Love, your Bones"She's at the lab? On a Saturday morning? We don't even have a case right now; why would she need to go to the lab? He thought about it for a minute before coming up with an answer. The book must have some pretty personal stuff in it; it would make her self-conscious to sit around here while I read it.
Putting the title page to the side, he read the dedication on the second page. "This book is dedicated to Seeley Booth, my partner, my best friend, and my inspiration. Thank you for showing me what it means to be loved." Booth's mouth dropped open. Six months ago, she had yelled at him for saying that he loved her. Now she was telling the world about their relationship. Grinning from ear to ear, he turned the page and started reading, not stopping until he had finished.
Temperance sat in her office at the Jeffersonian, catching up on her identifications of World War II soldiers. They had been waiting in bone storage for sixty years; arguably they could have waited until Monday. Yet she couldn't stay in their apartment while he read the book--it would have made her too uncomfortable–so she decided to come in and get some work done. Spending time with Booth had helped her control her workaholic habits, but they were still there, just below the surface. She checked her watch; it was only 6:28 A.M. He was probably still sleeping. She had watched him sleep earlier that morning, admiring his features and giving thanks that she was sharing her bed with such a wonderful man. Angela was right; letting him into her life had been the best decision she had ever made.
She had thought about waking him up so they could make love, but decided that she was being selfish and let him sleep. She quietly got out of bed and got dressed, then gently placed her manuscript on the bedside table. He had been asking her to read it for months, and she was finally ready to show it to him. On her way out the door a thought came to her suddenly, making her pause. If I'm not here when he wakes up, he'll think that something happened to me. I should leave him a note. She scribbled a note on a post-it and stuck it to the first page. She gave her sleeping lover one more appreciate glance and slipped out the door.
As the morning faded into afternoon, she wondered if he had started reading it. What if he doesn't like it? Andy has always been based on Booth, but never more so than in this book; what if he doesn't like the way I portrayed him? What if he's offended? If he doesn't like the book I'll tear it up. I won't ruin our relationship over this. The afternoon gave way to evening, and her anxiety increased exponentially. He hates it, she decided. He's not here because he's trying to think of the best way to tell me. Or maybe he won't tell me at all. Maybe he's so mad that he'll never speak to me again.
She was on the verge of tears when Booth walked into her office. "You came!" She threw herself into his arms.
"Of course I came," he said, surprised but happy to be holding her.
"I was starting to get worried," she admitted as she pulled back to face him. "I didn't think it would take you more than a few hours to read it."
"Sorry to keep you waiting," he said. "I'm not a fast reader, and there were parts I loved so much that I had to read them again and again."
"The chapter where Andy and Kathy are on the stakeout and they're having a hard time keeping their hands off each other. The scene in the hospital after Andy's been shot, when Kathy tells him how much he means to her. The part where the two women are insulting Andy and Kathy beats them up--"
"That scene was based on something that happened when you were in the hospital," she interrupted. "I overheard two nurses talking about you. They were wishing that you would get injured again so you would have to come back there. One of them said she wanted to screw you."
"And you beat them up?" He asked, wishing he had seen it. That's my girl!
"No, I didn't attack them physically, only verbally."
"What did you say?"
"I said that they were stupid for wanting something bad to happen to you, because you were the best man I'd ever known."
"Thanks, Bones. That means a lot."
"You're welcome. So... you really liked the book?"
"I loved it. I think it's the best book you've written so far."
"Really?" Her face lit up like a little kid at Christmas, but the light went out as quickly as it came. "But you have to say that because we're sleeping together."
He laughed. "I didn't have to say that it was the best. I could have just said that I liked it, or that it was good. Honestly, even if you weren't my girlfriend, I would still tell you that it was the best. The case was fascinating; it kept me guessing until the end. I finally figured it out a couple pages before Andy did. What I loved even more, though, was the interaction between Kathy and Andy; you've captured us perfectly. Their dialogue was funny and sexy at the same time, and the sex scenes were so hot I almost came in my pants."
"They should be hot; I was thinking of us when I wrote them." She leaned in, intending to give him a quick kiss. Booth, however, had other plans. He pulled her against his body and feasted upon her lips. She hoped he would never stop. When he started unbuttoning her shirt, however, she slipped out of his embrace. "Wait," she said breathlessly. "We agreed not to have sex in the lab."
The sight of her, face flushed, her half open shirt exposing her bra, inflamed his passion even more. "Technically, we're not in the lab; we're in your office. Plus, it's a Saturday night. We're not working on a case and no one else is in the building; it won't be unprofessional."
Temperance thought about arguing with him, but decided this was one argument she didn't want to win. "Alright." She finished unbuttoning her shirt and removed the rest of her clothes. Her heart was beating rapidly, both from anticipation and excitement. Booth was right: there was no one in the building who would interrupt or scold them, but she still felt as if she were doing something naughty. He watched her undress as if in a trance. She lay down on the couch and motioned for him to join her. He didn't need to be told twice. If stripping quickly were an Olympic event, he would have won the gold. In no time at all he was naked and on top of her.
"Angela will be thrilled," she said after they made love. They were now sitting together on the couch. "She said that she always wanted us to have sex in my office."
"She's not the only one. I can't tell you how many dreams I've had about throwing you on this couch and having my way with you."
"Was it as good as in your dreams?"
"No. This was much better. You know, I've read the sex scenes in your earlier books so many times I've almost memorized them. I would always substitute our names for Kathy and Andy. I hoped that one day we would have the relationship they have, and now we do. This time around I didn't have to pretend that we were them; I knew they were pretending to be us. You're an excellent writer, Temperance. Thank you so much for letting me read your book."
"Thank you for inspiring me," she answered. "I couldn't have done it without you."
"Glad to help, Bones. So... have you thought about what you might do in your next book?"
"The next book? This one hasn't even been published yet!"
"I know, but I've been thinking about where Kathy and Andy go from here. They love each other very much, and in this book they moved in together. In the next book, Andy could start talking to Kathy about marriage."
She shook her head. "Kathy's not the marrying type. She's too dedicated to her career."
"Getting married doesn't mean she has to give up her career. Angela's married now, and she's still an artist," Booth argued.
"True, but Angela's not Kathy. Angela's a people person, while Kathy is used to being on her own. She's too independent to get married."
"She doesn't have to lose her independence. She can still be the strong woman Andy fell in love with."
"I don't know, Booth. I can't see her being the traditional wife. She's not going to stay home and clean the house while Andy's out solving crimes."
"She doesn't have to be a traditional wife. They're not a traditional couple anyway."
"So why bother to get married at all?"
"Because it's what people do when they really love each other, Bones. They stand in front of their family and friends and before God and swear their commitment to each other."
"You want us to get married, don't you?" Brennan said, suddenly realizing what Booth had in mind.
Of course I do, but I'm not going to ask you outright until I'm sure you'll say yes. "I wasn't talking about us. I was talking about Andy and Kathy."
"But you said Andy and Kathy were pretending to be us, so if you think they should get married, it means you want us to get married." Temperance's mind was spinning. She did love Booth. He had taught her how to love and, as she wrote in her dedication, he had shown her what it was like to be loved. But marriage? She had never thought that marriage would be a part of her future.
Booth saw the look of panic on her face. "Don't be scared, Bones. I'm not saying that Kathy and Andy should get married right away. Andy's an understanding guy; he'll wait until Kathy's ready."
"But I...but Kathy doesn't know anything about being a wife. What if she's worried that she'll screw it up and drive Andy away?"
"Bones, you should know by now that nothing Kathy does could ever drive Andy away. He loves her too much. And I...and he's never been a husband either. They'll figure it out together."
She was silent for a few minutes as she thought about what he was saying. I never thought I would get married, but then again I never thought I would meet someone like Booth. I do want to spend the rest of my life with him. "You're right. Kathy and Andy should get married. Maybe you could be my inspiration again... Maybe you could show me what it's like to be a wife and have a husband."
"Temperance, are you asking me to marry you?" Figures. For weeks I've been thinking about how I should propose, and she beat me to it!
He kissed her tenderly. "Yes. My answer is yes. I want to be your husband; I want you to be my wife. It's what I've wanted since the day I met you. I love you, Temperance Brennan. I love you with all my heart."
"And I love you, Seeley Booth. I love you more than I thought it was possible to love another person." She put her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. "Don't expect me to change my name, though. I'm still going to be Temperance Brennan."
"You don't have to change anything, Bones. I love you exactly the way you are."
She smiled into his chest. "Will you still hold me like this when we're married?"
"Of course. I'll hold you anytime you like. I'll hold you for the rest of our lives."
She believed him. I may not know anything about being a wife, but I do know that Booth will always be there for me. I'm so lucky to have him in my life.
I'm so lucky to have her in my life, Booth thought. It's finally going to happen; Temperance and I are going to get married. I once told her that "Everything happens eventually" and I was right. It may have taken us a few years to get to this point, but it was definitely worth the wait.
Thanks for reading! If you liked it (or if you didn't), please let me know. :)