Disclaimer -I don't own Bones, Fox, or any of their affiliates. Sadly, I don't own David Boreanaz, either.
Summary -Although this story is technically completed, I found that I couldn't let it go. Because of that, I'm going to be adding a series of 'firsts' in Bones and Booth's relationship; this chapter is about telling Parker that they're romantically involved. I hope you like it, and there's definitely going to be more to come!
"Bones, he's a seven year old boy. He's not going to care about the information you 'present' him!"
Brennan looked up, exasperation in her eyes as she glared at Booth. They'd been discussing how to tell Parker about their relationship for nearly twenty minutes, but neither she, nor Booth, had moved any closer towards a decision.
"Parker deserves to have all of the facts," Brennan stated. "Especially considering the negative stigma stepmothers, and their like, have in the media; I don't want him taking any preconceived notions and applying them directly to- what?" Brennan found herself glaring at the smirk spreading across Booth's face. "What's so funny?"
"Stepmother?" Booth took a step towards her, the smirk turning into a grin. "Bones, in order to be Parker's stepmother, you'd have to be married to me.... be my wife." Another step, until Booth was scant inches away, the heat of his body a near physical touch. A dramatic pause, then, "Is that a proposal, Dr. Temperance Brennan?"
"Of course not!" Brennan shot back, her tone a tad too sharp, a tad too defensive. "I was using the term stepmother as a general example of what I would become to Parker. My views on the archaic tradition of marriage may have altered since meeting you, but that doesn't mean-"
"Relax Bones, it was just a joke." Booth raised a hand and skirted it down her cheek, amusement draining away as he stared at her. Sometimes, he found it hard to believe that he was finally able to touch her without fearing backlash; that he could kiss her, linger against her lips, hold her in his arms… bewith her, in every sense of the word, without the fear of waking up.
"Booth?" The questioning tone in Brennan's voice yanked Booth back into the conversation. She was staring at him, confusion in those light blue eyes, concern pursing the corners of her mouth.
"Sorry Bones, I went somewhere." Booth shrugged in explanation before leaning down, dramatically pouting when Brennan pushed him back with a hand on his chest.
"No you didn't," she stated slowly, as if talking to a small child. "You were right in front of me! You couldn't have gone anywhere while being here; that would defy the most basic laws of physics."
"Not physically, Bones, mentally. Look, it was a metaphor." Booth leaned forwards, pressing a kiss to her lips when she made to argue. He'd quickly learned that kissing her was one of the easiest ways to end an argument, although she was just as quick to use physical intimacy in her favor.
"We've gotten totally off topic," Brennan muttered, pushing Booth another step back. He frowned, but moved willingly. "What are we going to say to Parker?"
"We're going to say that you're going to be around a lot more. He's going to ask if you're my girlfriend. I'll say yes, you are. You'll agree, even though you hate the term, and that will be that."
"Are you sure?" Brennan asked, catching her lower lip between her teeth, worrying it. The action, combined with her softened tone, clued Booth in. She's worried about this.
Booth smiled, reaching down to catch Brennan's hand between his own. "I'm sure, Bones; he already loves you." He paused, watching Brennan process the words, analyzing his statement and creating her own conclusion.
"Okay," she said slowly, seconds later. "It's just… I want him to like me, Booth. Parker's important to you, and although I realize I have no influence on your son's opinion of me… I want him to approve of me. Which, of course, is completely illogical, considering that he's a seven year old child, and his psyche is still developing."
Without warning, Booth pulled her into a hug, smiling against her hair when she relaxed into his embrace. Not for the first time, he marveled at how small and delicate she felt in his arms, all while being so solid and real. He tightened his grip minutely, feeling a fierce protectiveness flood through him when her head nestled into his shoulder.
A minute passed, then two, but neither was willing to move. Brennan tried, but Booth just pulled her closer; it was oddly reminiscent of their 'guy hug' from years before. Except this time, there was no need to hide behind a label of partners, or make excuses for what they felt.
"We need to head back to your apartment," Brennan managed eventually, her head still resting on his shoulder. "Parker will be there within the next two hours, and besides, we can't be physically intimate at the lab. Someone might walk in, and then…"
"And then everyone would know," Booth sighed, releasing her and stepping back, ignoring how cold air flooded the space where she'd been. "I was thinking, and Bones… would that be such a bad thing?"
Brennan looked at him, eyes wide, and Booth had his answer. Not yet.She was still adjusting to them being a couple, still trying to trust in them, and Booth loved her for that. He wasn't going to push her, not when she was already giving him every bit of faith she had.
He cleared his throat, changing the topic abruptly. "Want to head back to my place? Like you said, Parker will be there soon, and Rebecca will flip out if we're not there to meet him." Booth flashed his charm smile, hoping to wipe the saddened expression off of her face.
"I'm sorry, Booth." Brennan's voice caught on the words. "I know you don't like this... this sneaking around, but I'm just not- I'm not ready yet. I want to be, but…"
"Hey Bones, I know. When you're ready, you'll know- we have all the time in the world." Booth's smile softened, but was no less sincere. "You're with me, right now. That's all that matters."
"Booth… thank you," Brennan whispered in reply, awe evident in her voice.
"There's nothing to thank me for, Bones." Booth slung an arm around her shoulders, casual, and led her to her office doors. "Now, you ready?"
"Always." Turning sideways and leaning forwards, Brennan pressed a kiss to Booth's cheek, unaware of how Booth's heart stuttered in reaction. He pulled her the slightest bit closer to him, softness and warmth pressed against his side, before letting her go. If Angela caught one glimpse of them like that, Booth knew she'd scream loud enough to alert the entire lab.
Placing a hand on the small of her back, Booth urged her out the door, not noticing as Angela watched them from across the lab, the end of her pen tapping against her lips, a small smirk unfolding.
"Are you dating Dr. Bones?" Parker asked, his face lighting up at the idea. Booth glanced from Parker's face to see Brennan, lips parted, the closest to speechless he'd ever seen.
On the drive from the lab to his apartment, Brennan had designed a plan. Booth, of course, had informed her that plans were useless around seven year old boys. Brennan, of course, had refused to listen. She'd insisted on preparing, quoting some old, dead guy on the use of being ready.
Her plan of dinner, talking, and then dessert had blown up in her face the moment Rebecca dropped the youngest Booth off. Parker had practically jumped his father, and they'd rolled around on the floor, mock wrestling. When Parker finally 'pinned' Booth, Booth had looked up to see Brennan smiling down at him, something open in her face, something vulnerable.
Parker was still bouncing on his chest, but Booth felt himself freeze, drinking her in. It was the expression he'd imagined waking up to, every morning for the rest of his life. Brennan had stared right back, and Parker had noticed the tension.
Which, of course, led them to where they were now.
"Are you, daddy?" Parker asked again, his little fists pounding against Booth's chest when he didn't answer. Booth sat up, tucking Parker on his lap, trying to buy Brennan time to relax and regroup.
"Why do you say that, buddy?" he asked in a light tone, genuinely curious. After all, Parker had barely been with them for five minutes, hardly enough time to think, let alone make such an accurate guess.
"You guys looked all mushy and stuff, like the couples in mommy's movies do," Parker answered, rolling his eyes as if it was obvious. "Was the artist lady right?"
Booth started in surprise, gaze shifting to Brennan when she asked, "The artist lady... do you mean Angela? What did she say?"
"She told me that you and my daddy were going to get together, once you pulled your heads out of your butts," Parker recited proudly, missing the mildly horrified expression on Booth's face.
"Angela… she said that?" Booth choked out. Parker looked up in surprise; then, worry clouded his features.
"Oh no! She told me not to say anything. She made me promise!" Booth glanced at Brennan, who had moved to crouch by them, before returning his attention to his son. "Promise not to tell her I told? I don't want her to not like me anymore."
"I won't say anything, Parker," Booth answered instantly. "You can tell me anything, you know that." He stroked a hand over his son's hair in an absent caress.
"Was she right?" Parker asked suddenly, changing the subject in a way only a child can. "Are you and Dr. Bones dating?"
"Yes," Booth answered, his voice in sync with Brennan's. He turned back to see her smiling at him, that same vulnerability floating around her, vulnerability that, in Booth's eyes, only made her stronger.
"Is she going to live here?" Parker asked, practically bouncing with excitement in Booth's lap. "Can we live with her, dad? She has a pool! Are you going to get married?" The questions came rapid-fire, and Booth was unable to help the laughter that escaped him.
"Whoa! Slow down there, Parker!" Booth teased. "Dr. Bones and I, well… see, the thing is…"
"Your father and I haven't made arrangements as to where we'll be staying," Brennan jumped in, saving Booth from questions he didn't know the answer to. "You're welcome to use the key I gave you and come over anytime you like, though," she added, watching as Parker's face lit up, yet again.
"Wow, thanks Dr. Bones!" Parker threw himself off of Booth's lap and into Brennan's, his arms wrapping around her neck. "You're the best!" Booth watched as Brennan paused before returned the hug, her eyes connecting with Booth's over Parker's head.
Seeing his son hugging his Bones loosened something inside of him. Some small part of him had imagined this day, creating countless scenarios, all with the same outcome; him, Bones, and Parker, all forming a family. His throat tightened, and Booth found himself swallowing a lump in his throat.
Abruptly, Parker jumped off of Brennan's lap, yelling something about a toy he wanted to show her, running towards his room to retrieve it. Brennan stood up and turned towards Booth, smile fading from her face after one look at him.
"Are you okay?" she asked, taking a tentative step towards him. She reached out a gentle hand, relief shining in her eyes when Booth caught her hand between his own, squeezing gently.
"I couldn't be better, Bones," Booth answered, watching as Parker ran back towards them, waving his Spiderman action figure around in excitement. "I couldn't be better."
If you have any ideas for a 'first' that you'd like to see me write, please let me know! Also, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated :)
Next up: Angela's reaction .