AN: I know I told you guys that this story was complete, but I got the urge to write a (mostly) fluffy epilogue. Hope you'll forgive me.
"Daaaaaaaad!" Parker Booth whispered into his sleeping father's ear. "Are you awake?"
Reluctantly leaving behind yet another inappropriate dream about his 'just partner', Booth opened his eyes to find his son standing over him. "I am now. What's up, buddy?"
"Why is Dr. Bones in your bed?"
Booth chuckled. Parker was at the age where he asked a lot of questions, but that wasn't a question he had ever imagined would come out of his son's mouth…or anyone else's mouth for that matter. He sat up slowly, groaning at the familiar twinge in his back. He would have to ask Bones to fix it later. "Because she needed a place to sleep."
He and Bones had fallen asleep on the couch the night before, and Booth had woken up sometime later to find his partner sprawled on top of him. His initial reaction was one of surprise, but that surprise was quickly replaced by a less innocent emotion, one Booth was loath to name. The logical part of his brain (the part that sounded a lot like Bones) had told him that his feelings were natural. After all, it had been a long, long time since he had been in such an intimate position with a woman. But this isn't any woman, his conscience had reminded him. This is your partner. Your best friend. The one woman you can't risk losing. So calm down. Now. Right now! He had tried reciting Flyers' stats in his mind, but he couldn't stop his body from responding to her. Embarrassed by his lack of control, he had carried her to his bed, tucked her in under the covers, and returned to the couch, where his conscience yelled at him for several minutes before he fell asleep again.
"But why did you give her your bed?" Parker asked. "You hate sleeping on the couch!"
"Yeah, but it wouldn't be right for me to sleep in my room while Bones was on the couch."
Parker considered his father's words for a minute. "Because she's a girl?"
"And a guest in our house," Booth added. "Sometimes you need to make sacrifices for the people you lo--" Booth coughed to cover his slip. "The people you care about. Understand?"
Parker nodded thoughtfully. "Like the time you were really excited about taking me to a hockey game but I got sick and threw up so we had to stay home."
Grateful for the change of topic, Booth smiled as he ran a hand through his son's curls. "Exactly."
"But why couldn't you both sleep in the bed? Mom and Drew sleep in the same bed."
That was a mental image Booth could have lived without. "Your mom and Drew are dating. Bones and I are just friends." Sure you are, his conscience mocked him. The feelings you had for her last night were oh so friendly.
"I've had friends sleep over in my bed," Parker pointed out.
"It's more complicated when you're older." Booth had shared an obscenely small bed with his partner while they were undercover as Buck and Wanda Moosejaw. But sharing a bed as Booth and Bones? That would be infinitely more dangerous.
"What's more complicated when you're older?"
Both Booths turned and smiled at the sound of Brennan's voice. "Hi, Dr. Bones!" Parker shouted as he ran to give her a hug. Booth wished he could do the same; it had been far too long since their last 'guy hug'.
Brennan grinned at the boy who'd managed to slip past her heart's formidable defenses, just like his father had. "Good morning, Parker. How are you doing?"
"I'm good. Dad was just telling me why you guys can't sleep together."
Booth forced himself to laugh. "So who wants waffles for breakfast?"
"I do! I do!" Parker cried eagerly.
His son's enthusiasm brought forth a genuine laugh. "Can I make some for you too, Bones?"
Her stomach voted yes, but was overruled by her brain. "You don't need to do that. I wouldn't want to impose on your limited father/son time."
"You wouldn't be imposing," Booth assured her. "Right, Parker?"
Parker frowned. "What does 'imposing' mean?"
"In this context, it means 'to inconvenience someone with unreasonable demands,'" Brennan answered. Seeing Parker's confused expression, Brennan reconsidered her choice of vocabulary. "To be a bother to someone."
"Oh," Parker said. "You're not a bother. I like having you around, and I know my dad does too. He likes you a whole lot. Right, Dad?"
"Right." Booth's face reddened. "So…will you have breakfast with us?" He flashed her the charm smile to seal the deal. Parker saw it and did the same.
Brennan couldn't resist the Booth boys' identical smiles. "I'd love to."
Booth grinned and offered her his arm. "May I escort you to the kitchen table, Lady Temperance?"
Brennan laughed as she folded her arm around his. "Very well, Sir Seeley."
"Can I be a knight too?" Parker asked, not wanting to be left out.
"Of course you can," Booth said. "Lead the way, Sir Parker!"
"Can I do anything to help?" Brennan asked, watching Booth take out a Belgian waffle iron and batter from a cabinet while she and Parker sat at the kitchen table.
"Nope," Booth answered as he plugged the iron into the wall. "You're our guest, Bones. The only thing you need to do is sit, relax and admire the chef in action." He winked at her. "Sir Parker, can you show Bones--"
"Lady Temperance," Parker corrected.
Booth laughed. "Can you show Lady Temperance how well you set the table?"
"Okay!" Parker dutifully set out glasses and silverware for the three of them. When he reached for his father's plates, the top one slipped out of his grasp and fell to the floor, shattering on impact. Parker turned to his father with tears in his eyes. "I'm sorry!"
Booth instantly wrapped his arms around his son. "It's alright, buddy. It was an accident. It could have happened to anybody."
"It wouldn't have happened to you," Parker said between sobs.
"It could have. I have accidents too," Booth assured him. "I broke a coffee cup at work last month."
Parker couldn't believe his dad could be that clumsy. "Really?"
"Yup." Booth really had broken his "World's Greatest FBI Agent" coffee cup the month before…by throwing it against one of his office walls at the end of a really bad day. "Everyone makes mistakes. Even Bones messes up sometimes, and she's the smartest person on the planet." Booth looked to Brennan to see her reaction to his praise, but she seemed to be lost in thought. He wanted to ask her what she was thinking, but decided the question could wait; he should clean up before he or Parker stepped on a piece of plate. He gathered up the broken plate pieces and threw them in the trash, then took out three plates from the cabinet and held them out to Parker. "You did a great job with the glasses and utensils. Can you finish?" Wiping away his last tears, Parker nodded and took the plates.
As Parker finished setting the table, Booth turned his attention to his partner, who was looking slightly paler than normal. "Do you want something to drink, Bones? We've got coffee, juice--" He broke off when the memory of Bones' tearful confession hit him like a bullet to the heart. My foster parents locked me in the trunk of a car for two days when I broke a dish. I was a very clumsy child. They warned me it would happen, but the water was so hot and the soap was so slippery. I still don't think it was fair, even though they gave me fair warning. Feeling guilty he hadn't thought of it sooner, he hurried to her side and reached for her hand. "What you told Sweets in his office…I should have remembered. Are you okay?"
"What's wrong with Bones?" Parker whispered to his father, wondering why he and Bones were holding hands.
"Something bad happened to me once when I broke a plate," Brennan told Parker before turning back to Booth. "Seeing the plate break brought that memory back, but I'm fine now." She fell silent for a few seconds while allowing herself to draw comfort from his warm eyes and the feel of his hand in hers. "You really are an excellent father, Booth."
"Thanks, Bones." He felt the familiar urge to kiss her senseless and repressed it once again. "I'm an excellent cook too, you know. Just wait and see." He squeezed her hand and flashed her another charm smile before returning to the kitchen.
Brennan didn't have to wait long before the three of them had stacks of waffles doused in butter and syrup beside tall glasses of orange juice. "These are amazing," Brennan gushed after she took her first bite. "I should eat with you two more often."
"Consider yourself welcome anytime, Bones." Booth smiled at his partner across the table. "Remember in Roswell, you told me a MRI was 'the good stuff'? I'd say this right here--having breakfast with my two favorite people--this is the good stuff."
Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.