I know this is a little late, but this has been a horribly busy two weeks, and I had a bit of trouble with the ending to this. However, many of you would agree that this episode was just begging for Fanfiction to be written about it, so better late than never, right? Anyway, this story is in the third person, but it's from Max's point of view, which is why I call her Tempe instead of Brennan. Please leave a review if you've got some time, and as always, Bones isn't mine.
Max Keenan remembers every moment of the time in his life spent with his daughter. He remembers the first time he held her, the first time she fell asleep on his chest, the first time she smiled at him, the first time she laughed for him, and the first time he called her Tempe instead of Joy. His most vivid memory of her childhood, however, was the first time she met him at the front door after work and kissed him hello.
She had been two years old at the time. She had kissed him before, of course. Every night as he tucked her into bed, he would tell her to give Daddy a kiss, and she would always oblige and tell him she loved him as she drifted off to sleep. This time, this kiss, had been different, though. It was the first time she had ever kissed him because she was happy to have him home.
He'll never forget the sound of her little feet running to meet him or the sound of her high-pitched voice shrieking, "Daddy's home!" as he walked in the door. He had immediately set his briefcase down and bent down to the floor to reach her level.
"There's my beautiful Tempe," he said, scooping her up into his arms. She hadn't been Tempe for long, and the name, even though he had picked it, still sounded foreign to his ears. He still saw her as his little Joy and realized that he would probably never let that former identity go.
"You're late!" little Tempe had told him. Max had stood up, keeping her in his arms, and she had held on tight.
"I'm here now," he told her.
That's the moment his daughter had leaned in and smacked her small, wet lips against his cheek. She had then curled her arms around his neck and rested her head in the space between his neck and his shoulder, telling her father that she wanted to be held. Max held onto her tighter and hugged her close. It was a moment that would always be with him, a moment he cherished.
Twenty-nine years later, another such moment was forming. Max was holding his daughter in his arms, only this time, her feet could reach the floor and she didn't need him to support her. He was standing in her guest bedroom only hours after being acquitted, and Tempe hadn't seemed to want to let him go since. Her head rested on his shoulder, just as it had outside of the courthouse, and she held on tightly as he softly rubbed her back, trying to soothe the restlessness out of her. Everyone had been on edge throughout the trial, and even though it was over, Tempe hadn't seemed to fully recover from the overload of emotions yet.
"Sweetheart," Max said, not really wanting to let her go. "I'm not going anywhere, you know."
She pulled back but still held onto his arms. "I know," she replied.
"Though I will get my own place soon and get out of your way. I promise," he said. She shook her head.
"Dad, you just got out of jail. Stay as long as you like," Tempe said.
Max smiled at her for a moment before cupping her face into the palms of his hands. She looked at him with a bit of concern in her eyes.
"Tempe, I should kick your ass," he said.
"Why?" she asked, genuinely confused.
"They could charge you, Tempe!"
"They won't," she said confidently.
"Still, don't you ever, even for a second, think that your deadbeat dad is more important than your life," he told her.
"You went on trial for me. I pretended to be guilty for you. We're even," she said, in her normal, rational tone. She may look like her mother, but that personality was all Tempe, with a little bit of him thrown in. "And you're not a deadbeat dad."
"I left you," Max said.
"Yes," Tempe agreed. "But you came back."
"Temperance," Max said, seriously.
"What?" she asked.
"Thank you," he said, embracing her again.
"You're welcome," Tempe said and turned her head to kiss his cheek. "Do you need anything before you go to bed?"
"I'm all set up, sweetheart," Max told her.
"Okay. Goodnight," she said.
"Tempe," I said as she began to leave the room. She stopped and turned around. "You might want to call Booth."
"Why?" she asked.
"I think you really spooked him today in court," he said.
She pursed her lips together. "Yeah, I, uh, I noticed that."
"Give him a call," Max said. She nodded. "I love you, kiddo."
"I love you, too," she said, shutting the door behind her.
Before Max could even settle into bed, he heard a hard pounding at the front door of Tempe's apartment. Curiosity got the better of him, and he cracked his door open to listen to what was going on. When he heard his daughter greet Booth, he quietly snuck down her hall and used the wall to conceal his presence.
He realized that his daughter was not a teenager anymore and could have a boy over at night if she chose to, but Max had missed this part of her life. He left before she had received her first kiss. He never got to help her get ready for her first date. He didn't even know when those two milestones had occurred, so even though he knew he was assaulting her privacy and his grown daughter did not need a chaperone, he couldn't help but listen in.
"Booth, it's late. What are you doing here?" Tempe asked, flipping on a lamp in her living room.
"I need to talk to you," Booth said sternly.
"What about?" she asked.
"Your father's trial," he replied.
Max felt his ears perk up. He had worried about how this acquittal would affect them and their relationship. Booth was an FBI agent, driven by justice, and today, the justice system had failed. Max knew that Booth believed in the justice system and was driven by the desire to see guilty murders put away for life or even put to death for the crimes they committed. Then again, that description fit Tempe pretty well, too.
"What about my father's trial?" Tempe asked.
"Well, I'm having several issues with it at the moment, and I can't decide which one is more prevalent, so we may be here a while," he said.
Booth was speaking quickly and firmly, pacing around her living room. Brennan stood stationary by the couch, following her partner with her eyes.
"What's wrong, Booth?" she asked.
"I'm an FBI agent. I let a guilty murderer be acquitted today," he said. "Yes, the agent he killed was corrupt, and yes, it was in the defense of his family, but still, a murder is a murder. You were right. He's guilty, we know he's guilty, and yet, I sat there and let the jury believe that there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit him."
"I don't…really know what to say," Tempe replied.
"The worst part is I don't care. I don't care that I let a guilty man go free," Booth said. "I think that's the part I'm struggling with."
"You don't care?" she asked.
"No, because I know you've always wanted your family back, and now you've got them. That's a good thing, and I'm happy you've got your family with you now. I don't think that's the part that's really bothering me," he revealed.
"What's really bothering you?" she asked.
"You made me betray you," Booth said, lowering his voice. "I promised you I would never betray you, and you made me admit to that jury that you were just as much a murder suspect as your father."
"That wasn't betraying me," Tempe said.
"It was, Bones. It was because not only did it make me condemn you in a court of law, it made me question it. Question you."
"Booth," she began. He cut her off.
"We know Max did it. Everything pointed to that, but then the defense lawyer presented his little fantasy story, and in my heart, I know that you are not a killer, but your logical way of thinking has apparently rubbed off on me, and logically…you could've done it," Booth said.
"That was sort of the point, Booth," Tempe replied.
"That one moment where I actually questioned whether you, my good, amazing, honest partner, could've been responsible for something so horrible, that was betrayal, Bones. You made me betray you. I had no idea you were taking about condemning yourself when we had that conversation in the diner."
"Well, I couldn't tell you. You never would've let me do it," Tempe said.
"You're damn right I wouldn't have wanted you to do it. Do you realize that if the prosecutor had been anyone other than Caroline, you could've very well been spending tonight in a jail cell?" Booth asked.
"It was a means to an end, Booth. I had to create reasonable doubt. I couldn't place the blame on you. I was the only logical alternative," she reasoned.
"I understand that you wanted to win and that was your last resort, but you don't understand how hard that was for me."
"About as hard as when you made me discuss my family in court during the Maggie Schillings case?" she countered.
Booth froze. "I hated doing that."
"Then why did you do it? If you knew that I didn't like discussing that with people, and if you knew that was going to be incredibly difficult for me to talk about in front of that entire room of people, why did you tell the prosecutor about it?" she asked.
"Because it was the only way to win," he said.
"Do you really think I enjoyed watching you have to admit that I could have killed Kirby?" she asked.
"Probably not," he admitted.
"I saw your face on the stand, Booth. I know how hard it was for you, but it was the only way. It was the only thing I could do to keep my father with me. You would've done the same thing."
"No," he said instantly.
"Booth," she said, knowing better.
"Okay, probably," he admitted. He still seemed angry.
"Are we okay?" she asked nervously.
He sighed and his face softened. "Bones, we're fine."
Booth stepped towards her and enveloped her into a hug. She wrapped her arms around his chest and sunk into his embrace.
"I'm sorry, Booth. I'm sorry I made you question me. I'm sorry you're questioning yourself. I'm sorry that it came to that," Tempe said honestly.
"I know that, and I understand. I just feel like I betrayed you, and that's killing me," he said.
"You didn't, but if it helps, I forgive you," she said, pulling out of the hug. "Thank you."
"For what?" he asked.
"For doing that for me, for trying to be objective during the case, and also, for pushing the FBI side of you away and allowing my father to come home with me," she said. "Thank you for betraying me."
"I don't ever want to do it again," he said, looking directly into her eyes.
"I don't want you to ever do it again," she said softly.
"Then you're welcome," he replied.
"Do you feel better?" she asked.
"No," he answered.
"No?" she asked.
"I just hated this whole thing, Bones. I hated being on opposing sides. You and I…we're a team. We're together, always," he said.
"We will be from now on," Tempe said sincerely. "You and me."
"Good, because I can't imagine doing this without you. I know that's kind of clichéd, but it's the truth."
"Likewise," she said with a smile. "Anything else you want to talk about?"
"No," he said. His body language told her that he still wasn't feeling better.
"Something is still bothering you," she said.
"Maybe I just hate to lose," he said.
"I'm sorry I beat you," she taunted with a playful tone of voice.
"I'm so glad you won," he said in a hushed voice so Max could just barely hear him from his position behind the wall.
The talking ceased, and after a few seconds of waiting for the conversation to start back up again, Max peeked his head around the corner to see what was going on. His lips curved into a smile at the sight before him.
Booth and Tempe were kissing, their arms wrapped around each other in another tight hug. From what Max could see, their first kiss seemed gentle, a simple touching of lips. Their second and third kisses that night were exactly the same. It wasn't until the fourth time their lips met that they really sunk into it, mouths open, heads tilted, tongues no doubt dancing together.
Their hands began to wander as they kissed. Tempe tangled her fingers into his hair. When Booth slipped his hands underneath her shirt to caress her bare skin, Max finally turned away, knowing he was definitely invading her privacy now. Max heard a deep sigh escape Tempe's throat as he headed back to his bedroom, and he shut the door behind him, leaving his daughter with her new lover.
Max Keenan had made a lot of new memories that day. He'd never forget the day his daughter risked everything to set him free. He'd never forget the day he became free to try to begin making up for the sixteen years of lost time, the sixteen years his little girl had to live without a father. He'd never forget the first time he saw her in the arms of her partner or the first time he saw his baby girl kissing another man. Most importantly, out of everything that had happened on that fateful day, Max Keenan would always value two particular moments above any of the rest. He'd always treasure the moment he realized that a man had fallen hopelessly in love with his beautiful Tempe, and he'd never forget the moment he realized that his little girl loved this man just as deeply as he loved her, whether she was aware of it at the time or not.
Thanks for reading, and please leave a review! I try really hard to respond to all of them because I love hearing what you guys think.