Temperance woke up to the feel of Booth's hand gently caressing her abdomen, his fingers sliding back and forth before circling the scar she had there. When she opened her eyes, he smiled and leaned in to kiss her.
"Good morning. What are you doing?"
"I'm bonding with the baby. I haven't really had time to think about the fact that I'm going to be a dad again." He scooted down the bed and pressed a kiss onto her abdomen. "I feel like I'm getting a reward for something, you know?"
"Well, I couldn't ask for a better partner," she answered with a smile as he kissed her stomach again. "I wouldn't want to go through this if I were with anyone else."
"What time are we heading back to New Jersey?"
"I think we'll go after breakfast. Mom, dad and Jared are going to drive back to Pittsburgh today, so I was thinking that we'd meet them before they leave."
"Do we have to? No offense, but your mother isn't exactly the most understanding of people."
"I know, but she is still family. Anyway, look at it as an opportunity to lay down some ground rules for our marriage."
"Are you sure you want me to do that?"
"After the way she talked about you and Rebecca? I love my mother, but that was out of line. Whatever your stance, I'll support it."
"You, Agent Booth are too good to me."
"Don't I know it? Come on; let's get you out of bed and into the shower so we can be nice and presentable for my family." He slid off of the bed and held his hand out to her. When she took it, he pulled her to a sitting position and then to standing. Booth circled his arms around her waist and kissed her on the lips.
"Can I at least have my dad and Russ there so I have some backup if needed?" Booth laughed and kissed her one more time.
"What, are you afraid that my parents will do something to hurt you?"
"Not exactly. I was thinking more on the line of keeping me from doing something I might regret later on."
"You regret something you've done? Never. Come on Bones, there's a nice warm shower waiting just for the two of us."
"Just so long as you don't try to seduce me Seeley Booth. I'm on doctor's orders to not have sex." Brennan pulled away from him and headed into the bathroom to start the shower. Booth just looked at her and shook his head.
"That doesn't mean I can't have a happy ending, right?"
"So Temperance, when are you due," Stella asked as she took a sip of her coffee and eyed Brennan's oatmeal and fruit with a small frown.
"I'm due at the beginning of December assuming of course that I go the full forty weeks." Temperance took a bite from the fruit plate, savoring the sweet berries that were just coming into season.
"That will be a hectic time between holidays. You'll probably need some help, won't you? And shouldn't you be eating something more substantial? If you keep picking at light food like that you'll never put on enough weight to stay healthy."
"While I appreciate the concern Mrs. Booth, I assure you that I'll have all the support that I need. My father lives nearby and Booth already has experience as a father, so I'm sure that if I have any questions both of them will be more than willing to help. As for my eating habits, it's much healthier to have several small meals than three large ones, especially now." Booth smiled at Brennan before taking a sip of his own coffee. He loved it when she was able to calmly lay everything out for whomever it was she was speaking to.
"Well, so long as you eat enough meat dear. You need that protein and iron."
"Bones is a vegetarian, mom. She knows how to keep herself healthy."
"I just want to make sure that my next grandchild is better taken care of, that's all." Temperance bristled at the hinted accusation that Rebecca wasn't raising Parker properly, and she could tell that Booth took offense to it as well. Before either of them could open their mouths to say something, Russ cleared his throat and drew the attention to himself.
"Booth, Tempe told me that Parker just won a science fair before the move to New Jersey. Did my sister help with that, or was it his mother?"
"Rebecca helped build the volcano model he wanted to make," Booth said as a smile slid across his face. So this was the back up that Temperance wanted. "She even took off of work for a couple of days to make sure that the thing worked properly, and cheered him on when it exploded all over the judges. I wish I could have been there, but I was in the middle of an investigation."
"Yeah, it's tough to miss out on stuff like that. Parker's lucky to have her as a parent. Our mom was supportive the same way. Dad you remember when Tempe got into that spelling bee?" Max laughed and nodded his head as Temperance groaned and covered her face.
"Christine spent weeks going over words with her again and again until she could spell them in her sleep. If there was a word over four syllables long that she couldn't spell, I'd be shocked. So there she was, on the stage and waiting for her word. What does she get? Nitwit."
"Okay, so what's so special about that?"
"Christine knew the instant she heard it that Temperance would spell it wrong, and boy did she ever. Kay en eye tee tee, double you eye tee tee. Knittwitt."
"Dad, you would find the one story involving me failing miserably at something."
"Look honey, all I'm saying is that Rebecca reminds me so much of your mother because she's such a kind, caring and supportive parent." Max looked from his daughter, over to Stella and back again before offering Temperance a wink and returning his attention to the plate in front of him.
"Thanks dad, I'm sure that Rebecca will really appreciate knowing that she has such an extended support base."
"Well we are sort of family right? Parker's your step son and that means that Rebecca is also a part of that life. She deserves our love and support just as much as he does, and I think it would be a shame if others feel differently on the subject because she is a wonderful parent."
Brennan held up her glass of orange juice and looked at her father. "To family," she said before taking a sip. The others at the table followed, and breakfast continued with no more being said on the subject.
"Seeley, what did you say to your mother at breakfast today," Rebecca asked as they drove back toward New Jersey. She and Parker sat in the back of the SUV, the little boy staring out the window as they went. Booth looked back at Rebecca in the rear view mirror as Temperance finished up a phone call.
"I didn't say anything to my mom, why?"
"She came up to me before we left and apologized for her comments yesterday. Something about family needing to support each other."
"You can thank Max Keenan for that one. He just laid out how we all need to support each other because we're all Parker's family and my mom couldn't say anything contrary to that."
"Remind me to send him a thank you card then. That's the first truly civil conversation I've ever had with your mother."
"The way to my father's heart is through his stomach, make him dinner instead," said Temperance as she hung up her cell phone. "I just got off the phone with my publisher and she said she can get us on a satellite feed to 'Celebrity Confidential' this evening if we'd like. There are still several things that need to be cleared up from that show they did on us. If you're up for it, you might want to join us Rebecca since you're in the middle of this whole mess."
"I'll think about it. I'll just be glad to move back into my house."
"I hope neither of you will mind, but I think I should stick around long enough to get that basement fixed up. There is a huge hole down there now," Booth said as he again glanced back in the rearview mirror.
"Does that mean you'll fix the whole thing up for me?" Rebecca sounded hopeful.
"Might as well do a thorough job of it if I'm going to do it. What do you think Bones?"
"I don't think you've ever done anything by halves. We have some housing arrangements of our own to consider, and I can take care of that while you're gone. We can't keep both of our places; it just doesn't make sense, and neither one will be large enough in a few months." She smiled at the goofy grin spreading across Booth's face.
"Can't that wait until I get back? I mean we're talking about our home."
"Booth, if you're worried I won't find a place that would allow you to have a, what do you call it, a man room?"
"Man cave Bones. Man cave." Rebecca shook her head and looked over at Parker.
"Are they always like this bub?"
"Nope, not always. It's usually worse." Booth turned for a moment to look at his son.
"Thanks for the support there buddy." Parker smiled at his dad.
"Seriously though, Rebecca don't you agree that I should have a role in choosing where I'm going to live?" Brennan looked over at Booth before Rebecca could respond to the question.
"I'm not saying that you won't have a role. I can send information on the various choices along with photos and you can give me your opinion."
"Oh that won't do Dr. Brennan. Seeley here has to investigate every nook and cranny of a place before he'll commit to it. I've been through this with him before. It wasn't fun. Almost ruined our relationship."
"Yeah, you know, that just helped the process along. The proposal refusal was the clincher."
"Excuse me Seeley, but I believe we got past that point when I gave you a chance to propose again and you didn't." Brennan glanced from one to the other, completely confused.
"When was that," Temperance asked as her gaze settled on her partner. He'd never mentioned that before.
"Two years ago. I believe it was about the time you wanted to know why I turned down his proposal."
"Oh, that was when the two of you…"
"Bones can we not mention that with Parker in the car?"
"Mention what daddy?" The little boy's attention was now completely riveted on the conversation at hand.
"Nothing bubs. It's adult stuff."
"Everything's always adult stuff. I know you're talking about sex." Booth slammed on the brakes in reaction, almost causing an accident as the car behind him swerved to avoid hitting him. Brennan hit him on the arm.
"Booth, watch what you're doing! Are you trying to get us killed?" Seeley hit the gas and the vehicle lurched forward before accelerating again. He glanced back at his ex through the mirror again.
"Rebecca, what did you tell him about sex?"
"Me? Don't you throw this on me like you did the discussion about how babies are conceived." Parker shifted his gaze from one parent to the other.
"What do babies have to do with sex?"
"Parker, why do you think we're talking about sex, and what exactly do you know about it?" The little boy looked at his father as though his patience was wearing thin.
"Any time an adult says they're talking about 'adult stuff' they always mean sex, duh."
"Parks, don't use that tone with your father." Rebecca kept a stern gaze on her son. "And what exactly do you know about it?"
"Tommy Johnson said that sex is when a man and a lady kiss then he puts his…"
"Okay, heh, I think we need to have a little chat with Tommy Johnson's parents." Booth reddened a bit and tried desperately to steer the conversation away from the current subject matter. "Right, so this press interview… What exactly did they want to talk about?"
Angela sat on her couch as she watched television and sipped on a glass of wine. After she'd heard from Brennan that Parker was okay, she and the rest of the team at the Jeffersonian breathed a sigh of relief. Hopefully everything would be able to return to normal…well as normal as things could get at work.
She flipped through the television looking for something to watch and finally settled on 'Celebrity Confidential'. Angela choked on her wine as she saw Booth, Brennan and Max on the show via a satellite link.
"As for inviting Mrs. Patterson on the show, it was an egregious error on your part for not collecting the facts before airing her interview. If you'd spoken to anyone else who'd had contact with me at that time in my life you would have learned that I was shy, and hardly talked to anyone. I didn't even have sex for the first time until I was in college."
"Bones, I really don't think that's appropriate to tell the interviewer."
"Booth, if everyone thinks that I slept with someone's husband when I was fifteen like that one girl…Amy Fister…"
"You mean Amy Fischer."
"Yes, thank you Booth. I'd just lost my family and Mr. Patterson was a nice man who listened when I chose to talk. That's as far as the relationship went. I expect in future that you'll get your facts right before you air them." Angela smiled and clicked off the television. You tell them Bren, she thought as she finished off her wine. She took her glass to the kitchen and rinsed out the glass. Hopefully this interview would hold off the press for a while. Brennan and Booth needed time to adjust to their happily ever after.
"Who'd have thought," she said aloud as she made her way to her bedroom. Her best friend, a woman staunchly against marriage and having children was now embracing both whole-heartedly. Well good for you Bren, you deserve to be happy. With that thought, Angela changed into her pajamas and climbed into bed. The interview on 'Celebrity Confidential' had to straighten out everything. Now the press could stay out of their lives and they could just enjoy being together with no more controversy or stress on their jobs or reputations. That was all they could really ask for anyway.
AN:…or is it? How many of you out there think that I'm done with the paparazzi? Oh, what's that you say? I couldn't possibly come up with another way for the press to be intrusive in their life? Well I'll tell you what…if you can possibly think up what other celebrity oops I can throw at Booth and Brennan, and then I'll send some chocolate covered Booths your way. And since it's so hot out here in California, the chocolate will be all melty, just perfect for licking. Mmmmmm.
Anyhoo, this concludes the story Mordecai. Up next is the fourth and final story in the 'Butterfly Effect' series, and as a warning, the story will be rated M. For those of you that are underage and would like to still continue with this series, I will post a warning at the beginning of any chapter that has questionable material.
With that in mind, I hope to see all of you at the conclusion of this series with 'Porn Star on the Tape'.