A/N - This is admittedly OOC for Brennan - but you knew that going in. I'm still not really comfortable writing from her POV, so any tips or things I could do to improve for next time would be much appreciated.
Again, not betaed. All mistakes are mine. Thank you to Gemlily5 for pointing out my typo in the last chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.
Unexpected - Part II
We sit at my dining room table eating dinner. I crunch on the crisp leaves of a salad in a tart Asian dressing I brought back from my last trip and sip a glass of Chilean red. I watch as he slices into his steak.
Reaching across the table, I take a fry from his plate. I've done it many times, but this time it's to get his attention. "Everything okay there, Bones?" he asks as he drinks from the beer at his right hand.
"I'm the scientist," I say quietly as I toy with the edge of my napkin.
He looks down at his plate. I wonder what he's thinking as he absently pushes a piece of meat around with his fork. "Uh-huh," he mumbles.
"We're happy, aren't we?" I try to keep my voice light. He knows me better than I know myself and I wonder if he senses I'm nervous.
His eyes meet mine and he takes a deep breath. "I like to think so," he tells me with a smile. He sets the fork down and takes another sip of his drink.
I slide my chair back and go to him. I wait for him to push away from the table and sit in his lap. I wrap arms around his neck and sighs when he places his around my waist.
He looks into my eyes and reaches up to tuck a lock of hair behind my ear. Unable to resist the gravitational pull of each others lips, we meet in a sweet kiss.
I'll never get over how tender his touch is. I've seen him make kills and be rough with suspects, the alpha in him dominating at so many things. But then I've also seen him holding Jack and Angela's son and I imagine what he must have been like when Parker was a baby. It makes me ache with the desire to give him another child. One he can be with all the time and watch grow. I find I'm now sickened by the thought that I could have deprived him of that - that I could have done it without him.
I pull back. Looking into the depths of his brown eyes, I search for the right words. I silently curse myself and wish that I had his heart. That, like him, I knew exactly what to say. "You've given me a decade of empirical evidence," I state plainly. "I haven't made things easy for you. I've fought against you when I should have been fighting for you - for us."
"Bones, Baby..." It's so incredibly Booth - attempting to comfort me even when I know I'm making him anxious.
I shake my head. "No, Booth," I say to him. "I have to get this out."
His hands stroke up my back, his fingertips burning my skin through my light-weight blouse. "You know you can tell me anything," he says in almost a whisper.
"It's not what I have to tell you," I explain. "It's what I want - no, need - to ask you."
"You know I'll do anything for you, Baby," he replies.
I smile. He would. I know that. That may be the one fact I can't claim I had a steep learning curve in figuring out. "I just never thought I would get here," I say. "That I would feel this way."
"I know what you mean." He smiles broadly and runs the roughened tips of his fingers along my jaw.
"I love you," I say as I lean into his touch.
"I know you do," he say softly. "And I love you."
I know what he's said to me - that just being with me is enough - but I know him. Perhaps not as well as he knows me, but I know him. I know he wouldn't be completely happy with just that. I know it's my turn to take the jump of faith. To be the one to take the chance. "Marry me?" There. I said it. And it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
Booth shakes his head. He's surprised. "Come again?"
"Marry me." I feel bold - this time it's a statement rather than a question.
"But I thought you didn't..." he stammers.
I should have expected this reaction after years of telling him what I thought about the institution. I do the only thing I can think of - I start explaining. "While I do believe that marriage is an antiquated ritual, I find that there are benefits to such a union as well. More importantly, I know that it's important to you and..."
"I know you won't..." I continue wanting him to know what I've figured out. What I've learned about him. About us.
"Leave - oof..."
He pulls me against his chest and his mouth takes control of mine. Kissing has become his way of shutting me up or ending arguments. I let him think he's pulling the fur over my eyes, but the truth is I love it. I could never get tired of feeling his lips against mine. My tongue touches his and my fingers tug at his hair.
His forehead rests against mine when we come up for air and for moment he just holds me. "Wait here," he says leaving me at the table.
When he comes back, he drops to a knee in front of me. I can't stop my eyes from widening. "Just indulge me, okay?" he asks.
I nod, feeling moisture flood my eyes. How could I say no? Years from now when we're telling our children this story, I will remind him that I asked him first. The box opens with a creak. I gasp when I see it. It's simple and perfect. My eyes flutter to his.
"This ring," he says as he pulls it from the casing, "belonged to my grandmother. Pops said..."
I take his hand and catch the tear that slides over his cheek. I want to comfort him the way he has comforted me so many times. I know I still have a lot to learn, but some day we'll get there. Someday I will learn how to be all of the things he is to me for him.
"That last night, Pops said one day you would wear this," he tells me. What he doesn't know is that Hank and I had a similar conversation that night - one where he told me Booth would never leave me whether I married him or not. "I thought I was the one who knew, but Pops really believed in us." he slips the etched silver circle around my first knuckle. "Bones -Temperance - will you marry me?"
Without a moment's hesitation, I give him my answer - "I thought you'd never ask..."