That's Beautiful to Me

He can't even begin to count his lucky stars. He wouldn't know where to start.

Each day he wakes up beside her he counts as a blessing, a miracle, a freaking Godsend. It took him forever to get used to it. It stunned him to wake up each morning and reach to the other side of the bed to feel her warm skin. And she still finds it funny that he's so shell-shocked. And truthfully, it scares her, but she's learning. He's always known how steep her learning curve is. He's not worried that she'll run. Not anymore, at least.

But what he still can't believe is how much he's still finding out about her. He thought he knew everything there was to know about her. They'd been together for months now, partners and friends for years before that. But these things about her that he's learning are the best things, things he wonders if anyone else knows. There's no way anyone else could know this, could see this in her. She's private. She keeps things from others but he's different. He's always been different.

And these things he's noticing, learning, realizing about her are things she's not even purposely sharing with him, things that make her who she is, things that make her even more beautiful. It's the small things she does that make him realize how far she's come, how far they've come, in both their personal and professional relationships.

The way she laughs at that pathetic thing she calls a garden they're attempting to grow on her balcony. The tiny tomato plant won't even bloom and those pots that are supposed to house herbs look like they're only a storage space for extra potting soil and cobwebs. The way she laughs at it is different to him. He knows she's all business when it comes to eating healthy, buying local, saving the planet and all that other good stuff. But she knows it's a more of a disaster recovery now when she plucks the small cherry tomato from the plant. She laughs and it shakes her whole being. Not the way she would laugh at one of Hodgins' lame science jokes, not the way she would laugh at one of Parker's knock-knock jokes, but the way she laughs when her goddaughter first walked to Angela. It's a laugh that he suspects was in hiding for a very long time. And now that she's happy, it's made its way back into the world.

The way she drinks her coffee mesmerizes him. Before the 'them', before she recognized the love was mutual, he'd bring her coffee. He knew how she liked it: the number of creamers or sugar cubes, the soy milk and the rare chocolate sprinkles when she was feeling like them. But seeing her trudge from the bedroom, heading straight for the coffee maker to grab a cup of her favorite blend is something completely different. Morning after miraculous morning, she stumbles down the hall and snatches the coffee mug she set out the night before. She drinks this stuff black, like she needs the bitterness to completely wake her up. Her hair is always rumpled and messy, evidence of a night full of peaceful sleep. She begs him not to look at her, but he can't look away. Moments like these halt him in his tracks and he sends up a little prayer, thankful that she doesn't shoot him with his own gun for making a joke about her bed head.

It's moments like those where he wants to go find Sully and kick his ass. Who could leave someone like her? She let him go, that much was true. She had the choice to sail off with him. But Agent Sullivan had the choice to stay. He could've stayed and made some sort of life with her, not that she would've let him right away, but a good life nonetheless. Any life with her was amazing.

Moments like when she purposely sings the wrong words to Hot Blooded just to get under his skin. He makes a big deal about her singing the right words. It is their song after all, and he knows she knows the words. But she loves it when he gets all flustered and attempts to sing over her just to hear the right lyrics. She dances around him and tries to cover his mouth with her hand. Moments like these, when she's carefree and doesn't dwell on the death and crime they're surrounded by on a daily basis, are what make him love her just a little more.

Moments like when they're watching a movie she doesn't understand and she falls asleep. He wakes her up so she can go to bed, because she'd kill him if he picked her up and threw out his back. When she sits up, the seams and creases of his shirt leave imprints on her face. He wants to laugh, because she looks so tired yet so determined to finish the movie she won't be able to follow. And, like he predicted, she lies back down on his lap and begins to snore lightly. When the movie's over and he shuts everything down, he takes that risk and carries her to their bed. She hardly stirs and the lines on her face are new and fresh. He laughs a little before kissing her cheek and turning off the lights. It happens every time. And every time, he can't get out of his mind how his former colleague could just take off on her like that.

He knows her well enough to know her favorite flowers. But the time he springs for something other than daffodils and daisies, she only smiles at him and tells him, give me roses, but don't buy red. So he leaves again for the florist, ditching the bouquet of red roses by the door. And when he comes back, she beams at him when he hands her the yellow roses. Its quirky preferences like that that surprise him on a daily basis. He loves finding these things out about her that no one else knows. Knowing he's breaking down those walls is incredible to him. And she knows he's breaking them down. That, alone, shocks him. He used to be afraid she'd run. But he knows now that she's letting him tear down the barriers and he can't take them down fast enough to get to her real beauty.

She guesses the punch line to his jokes and, like singing the wrong lyrics to their song, he sees a little more of the woman she is when her mind isn't concentrated on morbid topics. She lets Parker complete his jokes, but the moment he opens his mouth to say his own joke, she immediately tries to predict the answer. It's the happy-go-lucky person he wishes she'd be more often. But he'll take the spontaneous moments. It's something they share, something only he has the privilege to witness. And what happens between them is theirs.

And at this moment, as she and Parker come in with three of everything, three leashes, water bowls, collars and puppies, he can't believe she's his. Not in the personal belonging sense, because he knows she'd never allow him to 'own' her in way, but in the way that they belong to each other, the way his heart hasn't been his in a long time. It's always been her's. He can't believe what's happening. Never mind that she and his son left to pick out a puppy and came home with three, but he can't believe they're a 'them' in the sense that she's in this for the long haul. When he asks why there are three German shepherd puppies sitting with Parker on the couch, she says she couldn't stand for them to be separated from their siblings despite the fact that they are not as capable to have emotions as humans are. He looks at his son, who is in puppy heaven surrounded by the wet, cold noses and scratchy tongues. Did he talk you into this, he wanted to know. No, she told him, it was her decision.

It's moments like those that make her beautiful. Not just skin deep, but down to her heart. And though she insists that hearts can't think or feel, he knows that isn't true. Her big heart is what makes her who she is. He can't believe she's sharing that with him, but he's not going to complain. She's beautiful, and that's beautiful to him.