She'd never really been one for make believe, preferring to live by the code that if life wasn't to your liking, you should seek to change your situation, rather than fantasizing pointlessly.
But on those nights, she allowed herself to indulge in a little pretending.
She would leave work by 5ish, dropped home by Booth because her car didn't have the facilities to hold a car seat – while she had Andy, Booth was her taxi.
Because he rarely just dropped the two of them off. On those four nights that Andy slept in the temporary cot in her bedroom, Booth would make sure she got upstairs OK, then go and get them some take-out. He would stay until Andy fell asleep, making Brennan promise that if she needed anything in the night, to call him.
But the last night with Andy was different. After Booth's slip, calling Andy 'our little guy', the agent seemed almost unable to let them out of his sight. Brennan felt a thousand logical explanations fly through her head. He was following the male role of protector to the young. He was fulfilling his duty. He felt obliged to take care of them.
But the explanation she stuck with was simply that he was going to miss Andy, miss playing make-believe, just as much as she would.
they were going to leave the building that night, Angela stopped them
with her latest toy – an old-fashioned Polaroid camera that Hodgins
forked out a fortune for. "Wait, wait!" She said, rushing to them
with the camera outstretched. "Family portrait."
They both glanced up briefly before returning to Andy, Brennan preoccupied with returning Andy's dummy to his mouth. Booth had one hand on Brennan's back, the other on Andy's as he leant over to watch what Brennan was doing. The carrier was slung over Booth's arm, resting in the crook of his elbow. Angela pressed the shutter, capturing the moment of domestic bliss.
Both looked up, first at Angela then at one another, and Angela snapped another shot without really aiming. She passed them the still developing shots, knowing that those pictures weren't meant for her. "Here." Booth took the photos and moved out of the way to allow Angela to press a kiss to Andy's forehead. "Bye, baby," she whispered.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Ange," Brennan said hurriedly, turning back to Booth. "Come on." She said to him quietly.
smiled obligingly, touching Andy's face briefly as he did. "Let's
get you home, huh little big man?"
He didn't miss the flash of pain on Brennan's face at the mention of home.
Booth got them both upstairs and into Brennan's house, as usual, before things took a different turn. "Why don't I call for pizza, huh?"
looked up in surprise. "You're not going to get Chinese?"
Booth sighed. "Nah. Something different."
bit her lip as she rocked Andy in her arms. "OK. I want -
"Vegetarian, I know," Booth said with a smirk as he scooped her phone off the cradle.
When he was done ordering, Booth moved to Brennan's stereo, operating the sophisticated machinery with ease of practise. Within moments, an old Guns and Roses album was playing quietly.
Brennan rolled her eyes but refrained from comment, merely watching as the tired baby drifted off to sleep in her arms. Booth came to sit beside her, delicately touching Andy's face and humming along with the music.
Brennan felt some powerful emotion build within her, the kind that always made her scared because she never knew exactly how it was going to manifest itself.
But, as per usual when Booth was around, she averted a crisis by turning her head and resting it on his shoulder.
Momentarily surprised, Booth took a few seconds to scoot closer to his partner and drape an arm over her shoulders, pulling her close while his other hand remained in contact with Andy.
Neither spoke. What was there to say? Neither was ready to say farewell to their little slice of domestic life.
But later that night, after Andy was tucked into bed and the pizza was devoured and Brennan was arguing with him over what to name the bridge she was building, Booth allowed his eyes to fall on the two developed Polaroids on her coffee table.
Seeing the way she smiled at Andy, the way she smiled at him, Booth just knew that this wouldn't be their last taste of family life together.
No, Booth thought as he scooted closer to Brennan and shushed her for talking too loud. And next time, it wouldn't be make-believe.