Hi everyone! I hope you all have a great holiday!
In a rush to get this up before Christmas, I didn't yet have time to edit the story. I hope there aren't any huge errors, and I apologize in advance if there are.
As always, Bones isn't mine, though the character of Addison in this story is.
Temperance Brennan was sleeping peacefully until the man who shared her bed heavily rolled over and wrapped his arms around her waist. She sadly groaned as his rough fingertips tickled her stomach and danced over the bare skin between her sweatshirt and pajama pants. She tried to ignore him and return to her dream about single-handedly excavating a long-forgotten ancient Indian burial ground, but she soon felt his wet lips press against the soft skin behind her ear. She groaned again.
"Leave me alone," she sleepily mumbled.
"Bones," he said, kissing her skin again. "Rise and shine, babe."
"What time is it?" she mumbled, slurring her words together.
Seeley Booth smiled at her lack of protest against the pet name 'babe' and leaned in to kiss her cheek.
"It's six, honey. Wake up."
"Why in the universe are you getting me up at six on a day off?" she whined.
"The expression is why in the world," he corrected. "And if we don't get up soon, Parker and Addison will be doing the waking."
"Why?" she mumbled, keeping her eyes closed.
"Christmas, Bones. Remember?" he asked, excitement in his voice.
"Mm-hmm," she mumbled, turning over in bed to bury her face in his sweatshirt-covered chest.
"Brennan," he warned, kissing her forehead.
"Ten more minutes," she begged.
"You normally get up at six," he said. He lowered his voice to a whisper. "Why are you so sleepy?" He continued to place gentle kisses on her face and neck.
"Someone kept me up until one!" she said, accusingly poking his chest.
"Wasn't me!" he claimed.
"It was you!" she said, finally perking up a bit. "I know I don't know much 'bout Christmas or holiday traditions, but I'm fairly certain you made up that sex on Christmas Eve thing."
"I didn't hear you complaining a few hours ago," he grinned, cupping one of her breasts in his hand.
Brennan let out a sigh and instinctively leaned into his touch. He slipped his hand beneath her shirt, but she yelped as his cool hands touched her warm, sensitive skin. He chuckled and kissed her hair as he withdrew his hand and held her. She snuggled into his body and became sleepy again as soon as she felt Booth begin to caress her back.
"You feel good," she muttered, quickly drifting back to sleep. Booth recognized that tone of voice and shook her gently.
"Hey, wake up. You're the one who wanted Addie's first Christmas to be perfect!" he reminded her.
"I think you're exaggerating," she replied.
"I am not! You were obsessed," he said.
One Week Earlier…
"Why do they have so many options?" Brennan asked. She and Booth were standing in the middle of a Wal-mart store, staring at an aisle full of stockings.
"I don't know, Bones, but we told Angela we'd be back in an hour, and we passed that a long time ago," Booth said. "Just pick one."
"What kind of stocking does Parker have?" Brennan asked as she took another trip down the aisle.
"A traditional red and white one at our house and a blue snowman one at Becca's," he replied.
"Do you think she'd like this one?" she asked, pointing to a purple stocking with a white snowflake design and silver trimming.
"It looks great, Bones," he said.
"Maybe I should go traditional, though," she debated. Booth sighed.
"Temperance, she's four. She's gonna care about what is in the stocking, not the stocking itself."
"You don't know that," Brennan immediately said.
"Bones, you've been looking at stockings for twenty minutes," he reminded her.
"Booth, did you see her face when Parker told her about Christmas morning with us? It's Addison's first real Christmas, and we will stay here as long as it takes to get it right, so either help or go away," she argued, her voice firm.
"Okay," he said, his tone softening. He pulled her into a hug, not caring that they were in the middle of a store. "Okay, you're right, and I think the purple stocking would be perfect for her."
"Thank you," she said, tossing it into their cart. "Now should I get her the brown Christmas bear with green clothes or the white one with red clothes?"
"You weren't this obsessed over her first real Thanksgiving," Booth muttered as he pushed the cart and followed her to the next aisle.
Seven months previous, Booth and Brennan had worked on a case involving a murdered couple. Three-year-old Addison had been the couple's foster child. Brennan had an instant connection with the young girl, much like she had had with baby Andy, and Addison had taken a liking to the anthropologist as well, so with a little bit of formal paperwork, Brennan became her new foster mother. One month previous, on Addison's fourth birthday, she officially became Addison Brennan. Her first four Christmases had been spent in group homes or with families who didn't celebrate the holiday, making her first holiday season with Brennan her first opportunity for a real family Christmas celebration, so Brennan was determined that everything be perfect.
After the couple made their way out of the Christmas accessories, Brennan began debating over what kind of treats to purchase.
"Trees or Rudolphs?" she asked, holding up two boxes of slice-and-bake cookie dough. She looked at the boxes, genuinely confused over which to choose.
"It doesn't matter. They'll taste the same," Booth told her, checking his watch.
"But if you were a four-year-old girl, which would you prefer?" she asked.
"Bones, you have a lot more experience being a four-year-old girl than I do."
"You love Christmas. Why are you being difficult?" she said. "I knew I should've brought Russ instead."
"Yes, I love Christmas, but I also know that there's a good chance Addie won't even remember this in a few years," he said.
"But all the books say early experiences are important!" she claimed.
"That's psychology, you know," Booth joked. Brennan glared at him, showing that she was not amused. "Okay, honestly, when I was a kid, I always wanted both."
"Both it is," she said simply, dropping them into the cart.
Brennan headed off towards the Christmas candy as Booth's phone rang. He followed her down the candy aisle.
"Yeah, I'm really sorry, Angela," Booth said. "No, I don't know how much longer we'll be. You know how it is when Brennan puts her mind to something."
Brennan started to place a box of peppermint candy canes into the cart when Booth intercepted them.
"Hey!" she squeaked. "What's wrong?"
"These are the traditional candy canes, but, in my experience, a lot of kids don't like the minty flavor of them. Get something familiar, like these Sweet Tarts ones," he said, handing her a box.
"Thanks," she smiled. "Keep the peppermint ones for me, though."
"Okay, so are we done?" he asked.
Brennan took a moment to look through the shopping cart. "Yes, I think so."
After a very long checkout line and several minutes to load all the stuff in the back of Booth's SUV, Booth and Brennan were on their way back to their house.
"Two hundred dollars on Christmas accessories," Booth said as he drove home.
"So?" she shrugged.
"That's just…a lot of money considering we didn't even buy any gifts today."
"I can afford it," Brennan said. "And I want to do this right, for Addison and myself. Don't worry about the cost."
"Maybe instead of being concerned about the holiday, you should be more worried about how she talks to you," Booth said, deciding to bring up something that had been bothering him.
"Addie? She's one of the best-behaved kids I've ever seen," Brennan said.
"She still calls you Temperance," he pointed out.
"So?" Brennan asked.
"So…she has your last name. You adopted her. She's been living with us for seven months. It doesn't bother you that she doesn't call you mom?" Booth asked.
"Not at all," Brennan instantly replied.
"You're going to let her call you Temperance forever?" he asked.
"If she needs to," Brennan said.
"What do you mean?" Booth asked.
"I love her, of course, but mom isn't a title you're given. It's one you earn. Some women earn the right to be called mom by pushing a child out of their vagina. I'll have to earn it in another way," she explained.
"That's…delightful, Bones," he replied as he tried to get the mental images her words evoked out of his mind.
"It's true," Brennan said.
"Yeah, let's go back to talking about Christmas. That seems like a safer and, frankly, less gross topic," he said.
"Okay, so maybe I was a tad obsessed," Brennan said, still lying in bed in Booth's arms. "I got over it."
"You did not! It took hours to set up the living room last night after the kids went to sleep!" Booth replied.
"As I recall, Seeley Booth, that was not all my fault."
Christmas Eve, 10 PM
"Ow!" Brennan cried as she ran into the coffee table.
"Shh!" Booth reminded her.
"Well if you would let me turn a light on…" Brennan started.
"We can't. Not after what happened last year," Booth said.
"Booth, Parker caught us. The Santa myth is effectively shattered," Brennan said. "It's not our fault he was upstairs waiting for a light to come on so he could race down the stairs to share cookies with Santa!"
"No, but I still don't wanna ruin the fun and surprise of Christmas morning, so he doesn't need to know we're down here," Booth said.
"Fair enough, but I can't see!" she complained.
"Okay, hang on," Booth said.
Brennan sat on the couch as he slowly and quietly crept back up the stairs. He returned with candles and a match to light them.
"How's this?" Booth asked once they all had been lit.
"How very primitive of you," Brennan teased.
"So pretend you're camping," he replied.
"Okay," she chuckled.
"Come on, let's start with the stockings."
Booth finished fixing Parker's stocking up quickly, and, after noticing that Brennan was still working on Addison's, he moved on to adding some new decorations to the fireplace and windows. Once he was through with that, he glanced at Brennan, who, after forty minutes, was still working on the stocking.
"Bones, what's wrong?" he asked, sitting down on the floor next to her.
"I bought too much. It won't fit!" she sighed.
"Yes, it will. Parker's fit, and the stockings are about the same size," Booth said.
"Then I'm doing it wrong!" she exclaimed, clearly frustrated.
"I don't think there's a wrong way to do this, honey," he said, kissing her lips softly. "Just shake it all down to the bottom. It'll give you more room at the top."
Brennan did as he said and quickly finished adding Addison's gifts. Booth shifted so he was behind her and began massaging her shoulders. She closed her eyes and leaned into him.
"You're trying to distract me," she said. He chuckled.
"Maybe a little. You're too stressed about this," he said.
"That's because I lied to you earlier," she admitted.
"About what?" he asked.
Brennan hesitated for a long time as Booth rubbed her shoulders. "I really want her to call me Mommy," she finally admitted, sounding defeated. "I mean…am I not doing something right? Is that why I haven't earned that title yet?"
"Oh, Bones," he sighed, giving her another gentle comfort kiss. "You are great with that little girl, and Parker's called you Mom before. Addie just needs more time to realize that you're going to stick with her and not send her off to another foster family."
"You think so?" Brennan asked.
"I know so," Booth said. "And before you protest that I couldn't possibly know what's in Addison's mind, just trust me."
"Okay," she nodded. "I am too stressed about this. I should be enjoying this."
"I think I know a way to help you relax," Booth mumbled, pressing hot kisses to her neck.
"We're not done decorating yet," she protested.
"It's okay. We've got a Christmas Eve tradition to fill."
"What?" she asked.
He turned the Christmas tree lights on. "Making love in the glow of the lights from the Christmas tree," he said. "It's tradition."
"Oh, it is?" she asked with skepticism.
"And why have I not heard of this tradition before?"
"You've never been interested in holiday traditions before, so I never shared it with you," he said, carrying her to the couch. "But now…"
"Booth, I have a doctorate!" she exclaimed as he climbed on top of her. "Do you honestly expect me to believe any of that?"
He chuckled. "Not really," he admitted, tugging the drawstring on her pajama pants loose. "But what do you think?"
He kissed her deeply and pressed his thigh between her legs, hoping to sway her response in his favor. She moaned softly. "I think," she said, leaning her hips into his leg. "I want you to make love to me."
Some time later, they lay naked on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket together. They shared a deep, romantic kiss and a big smile, and he ran his fingers through her hair.
"We could always make that a tradition, you know," Brennan proposed.
"Have I told you lately how much I love that brain of yours?" he replied.
She chuckled and kissed him again. "Okay, we have to get up. We still have a lot to get done before morning."
He groaned in disapproval. "I think I wanna go back to an hour or so ago and choose the 'you bought too much' option."
"Booth!" she exclaimed.
"Look, it's after midnight," he said, pointing to a clock. "Merry Christmas, Bones!"
"Merry Christmas, Booth," she sighed, letting him kiss her again. "Now quit stalling!"
The couple untangled themselves from each other and got dressed. They finished setting up the living room for Christmas morning and walked upstairs to bed, where they instantly fell under the covers and into each other's arms.
"Okay, so maybe that one was mostly my fault," Booth said.
"I concur," she said, nodding her approval.
"Let's go have Christmas with our kids," he said.
"Okay," she smiled.
She climbed out of bed, threw on a pair of slippers, and headed out the door. When she reached the doorway, he stopped her by grabbing her arm.
"What?" she asked.
"Did you forget?" he asked, pointing up. She followed his finger and found a big piece of mistletoe hanging from the doorway.
"Oh, right, the annual mistletoe kiss," Brennan said. "Caroline would be so proud if she knew she had such an influence on us."
"Yeah," he chuckled, pulling Brennan to him.
Their mouths met in a warm, open-mouthed kiss. Her hand slid from his chest to his neck to his hair as he tenderly held her face with one hand and embraced her with the other. Their tongues slowly began to slide against one another when the sounds of footsteps filled the hallway.
"Stop kissing!" Parker called. "It's present time!"
Booth and Brennan broke their kiss to find Parker at the end of the hallway, dressed in Christmas pajamas, holding the hand of a little girl with blonde hair and deep chocolate brown eyes.
"Really?" Addison asked, pulling on Parker's hand.
"Yeah," Parker assured her.
"Yay!" Addison squealed as she and Parker ran off down the stairs.
"Wait for us!" Booth called as he and Brennan ran after them, afraid of missing their expressions when they saw the living room.
Parker flipped on the light switch, and the room was instantly illuminated by hundreds of Christmas lights and decorations. At the base of the tree sat two stockings, both overflowing with little gifts, one leaning on a new remote-controlled airplane, while the other rested on a large stuffed Christmas teddy bear.
"Wow," Parker exclaimed. "This is awesome!"
He dropped Addison's hand and nearly threw himself down to the floor, getting ready to dump his stocking. Booth and Brennan sat down on the couch. Brennan leaned forward, wrapped her arms around Addison, and gently pulled her into a backwards hug.
"What do you think, sweetheart?" Brennan asked.
"I love it!" Addison said with excitement. "Thanks, Mommy!"
Brennan immediately glanced at Booth, and he shot her a huge smile.
"What did you just call me?" Brennan asked.
"Mommy," Addison repeated.
"No more Temperance?" she asked.
Addison shook her head no. "Is that okay?"
"Addie, it's more than okay," Brennan said, kissing her cheek.
"Addie, come open your stocking!" Parker called.
"Merry Christmas, Mommy," Addison said, kissing Brennan's cheek.
Addison sat down in the floor next to Parker, and Brennan looked to Booth again.
"She called me Mommy," Brennan said, beaming.
"I heard," Booth said, wrapping his arm around her back. "You earned it."
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all next year!
P.S. Reviews make great Christmas gifts