AN: This story came to me from a clip I saw on 'America's Funniest Videos'. Not as funny as I would have liked, but it's passable. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did coming up with it.
As Seeley Booth tumbled end over end and onto the floor of Temperance Brennan's apartment, his feet crashing into the wall and knocking down a picture, he couldn't help but think for a moment what had gotten him into that predicament. Oh that's right, he thought, I got myself here. As he sat up and alternately rubbed his jaw and the back of his head, he heard Brennan gasp.
"Oh god, Booth! I'm so sorry." Booth shook the daze that had situated itself on his brain from the sudden contact with the floor and looked up at Temperance. She reached down to help him stand up then hit him hard on the arm.
"Ow, what the hell Bones?" Booth rubbed his arm and looked at her petulantly. "What did I do to deserve that?"
"You scared the hell out of me. What were you thinking?" Her heart was still pounding from his sudden appearance from inside of a brightly wrapped box sitting in the middle of her living room.
"I was thinking I'd surprise you. I'm guessing by the violence of your reaction that you were surprised."
"I'd say that's a pretty good summation. If you wanted to surprise me by coming home early, that's fine, but you didn't need to pop out of a giant box to do it." Brennan put a hand to her chest and took in a deep breath. Once she had the rapid tattoo of her heart back to normal, she looked at Booth, a frown firmly in place.
"Well I…I thought it would be cute, you know? I'm your gift and all that."
"That was not funny Booth."
"Oh, I don't know, the look on your face right before your fist collided with mine… yeah, that's probably not helping, huh?" A shake of Brennan's head confirmed that. He looked at her for a moment and ran his fingers through his hair, the stiffness of the gel making it crackle under his touch. Okay, so maybe he could have rethought this whole thing.
"Seriously Booth, what possessed you to pop out of a large wrapped box as soon as I walked into my apartment?" Temperance looked at him sternly, her arms crossed in front of her chest. Shame he wasn't naked in that box, although it could have proved embarrassing if Angela had come home with her like she'd been planning to.
Booth took in a deep breath and reached into his jacket pocket. This was it; he was finally going to do it. As his fingers grasped around, searching the depths of his pocket, he began to frown. Where was it? Oh god, what did he do with it? Seeley looked up at Temperance and opened his mouth only to close it immediately.
"Well? I'm waiting."
"I… damn it, where is it?" Booth looked around the room frantically, his eyes settling on the overturned box. It had to be in there.
"Booth?" She watched him as he dove into the box and began tossing tissue paper out of it, small bits of glitter flying into the air and settling as if inside of a snow globe. "Is there any reason why you put tissue paper in that box?" He popped his head from the box to look at Temperance.
"It made it more comfortable." He ducked back into the box and began throwing paper out of it again. Brennan let out a small snort as she tried not to laugh at the frantic looking Booth in the box. As he half fell out of the box and began to look under her couch, his rear in the air, she noticed a small glint on the floor by her fireplace. Curiously, she reached down to pick it up as Booth crawled across the floor to look under a nearby chair. "Oh god, oh god, oh god, where is it?"
"What are you looking for Booth?" Brennan looked at the object in her hand, turning it over carefully. The light in the room glinted off the diamonds, sending small rainbows of light flickering around the room. She scrutinized the piece of jewelry, turning it over and looking at the gold band. Where on earth had the ring come from?
"It's… I can't ask you with out it." He stood and went back over to the box, kicking around the glittery tissue paper again. Suspicion filled her as she looked from the ring and back to Booth crawling all over her floor.
"Ask me what?"
"To marry me." He muttered under his breath and did a sweep of the room again, tossing pillows and colorful throws from the couch, a rainbow of orange and red tumbling to the floor. Brennan looked at him with wide eyes, clutching the ring in her hand. He wanted to marry her? He wanted to make her his wife and possibly move to the suburbs and have 1.5 kids? Is that what he expected from her?
"That's why you hid in a box in my apartment after coming home early to surprise me by nearly giving me a heart attack?" Booth looked at her in confusion, his hands on his hips.
"You set all of this up so you could… what on earth possessed you?"
"What are you talking about?"
"What am I talking about? You know damn well what I'm talking about. Your surprise."
"What about the surprise?" Brennan looked at him in shock. Did he not just ask her to marry him? Well from the look of confusion on his face he didn't realize it. Brennan looked at the object in her hand and contemplated the proposal. She'd always said she didn't want to get married, that it was an antiquated ritual in which the woman was asked to obey her husband, thereby hindering her own personal freedom. It had never been something she considered before, and she opened her mouth to express just that. Before she did however, another thought came to her unbidden.
"I said no because I was afraid that marriage would change who I was, and by the time I realized that it wouldn't, it was too late." Those had been Rebecca's words. Booth never sought to change Rebecca or herself for that matter. He loved her for the person she was, not the person he thought she should be. He knew how she felt about marriage, and yet he was still asking her. As he stood there, slightly confused over the conversation, she knew what her answer was going to be.
"Yes, I will."
"Will what?" Brennan opened up her hand, the ring once again glinting in the light. It was Booth's turn to be stunned.
"Marry you. That is what you asked right?"
"What? Yes! Wait, really?"
"Yes, really." He stared at her in awe for a moment before pulling her to him and kissing her hard on the lips. When he pulled away from her, he took the ring from her hand and turned it over in his own. Brennan watched him and arched a brow at his behavior. "You didn't think I was going to say yes, did you?"
"Well obviously I hoped you would, but I was prepared for a no."
"And what would you have done if I turned you down?"
"Probably hide in the box and lick my wounds for a few days, although that might prove hard as they're currently located over my eye and the back of my head." Temperance shook her head and watched as he slipped the ring on the third finger of her hand.
"It's a good thing I like you then." As Booth leaned in to kiss her once more, she pulled away from him and looked him in the eye. "Just promise me one thing."
"Yeah, what's that?"
"No more popping out of boxes. The next time you do it, I can't be responsible for any harm that comes to you." Booth gave her a slow, sexy grin that always made her a little warm.
"I love you." She smiled at him and kissed the tip of his nose.