AN: Writing my first Bones fanfic has been such a positive experience. Thanks to all my readers and my very loyal reviewers! One more special shout-out to EmmyMayyy for her encouragement and support!
The Moments in the Memories
Ali anxiously fussed with the billowing folds of her gown. "Mom, can you help me with this?"
"Of course, Ali." Temperance Brennan put down the mascara she had just finished applying and moved to stand behind her daughter. "What would you like me to do?"
"Just hold this-" Ali shoved a handful of satin into her mother's hands. "-and then I can twist this-" She adjusted some material, "-and then-" She pulled the tail of her dress back from her mother and let it cascade down over her long legs. "Perfect," she declared.
"I really don't know why you insisted on such an impractical dress. When your father and I got married I wore-"
"I know, Mom. You've told me the story a million times," Ali interrupted, rolling her eyes good-naturedly.
"One million is not an accurate number," Brennan replied swiftly.
Ali raised her eyebrow in a pointed expression. In the 26 years since her birth, her mother had made leaps and bounds in her interpersonal communication skills, but the excitement and stress of the day had her lapsing into old habits.
Brennan blinked and nodded her head in understanding. "I comprehend the meaning of your hyperbole. It is true that I have told you about my own wedding several times, and I acknowledge that you do not need to hear a description of my dress again in order to recall it."
Ali smiled and let out a tiny laugh. "Thanks, Mom." She turned to face the mirror. "So, what do you think?"
"Well, despite your very traditional attire…"
"Mom." Ali drew the single syllable out in warning.
"…I think you look exquisitely beautiful," Brennan finished with pride.
Ali's eyes welled up. Despite her mom's perpetual awkwardness, she always managed to say just the right thing. Ali turned around and pulled her into a hug. "I love you, Mom."
"I love you too," her mother whispered softly. Brennan squeezed her daughter gently. "I am so very happy that I am able to be here with you." She pulled back and took her girl's face in her hands. "There were times I thought I'd never live to see a day like today."
It certainly hadn't been a sure thing. For years of Ali's childhood, her mother had battled an enfeebled body and a damaged brain. After a long stint in a rehabilitation facility, Brennan had finally come home to live with her family, but had been unable to resume her career at the Jeffersonian until Ali was in middle school. Years of physical therapy had helped to rebuild her musculature, but a weakened immune system had resulted in numerous visits to the emergency room. It hadn't been unusual to find a young Ali skipping down a hospital corridor on the way to visit her mom.
In spite of, or perhaps because of their shared ordeal, the Booth/Brennan clan had become the type of family that other families envied. The bonds of love had woven an impenetrable shield around them, and few outsiders were ever admitted into their circle. It had come as a real surprise the night Ali had announced her engagement to a fellow doctoral candidate from Georgetown.
A knock sounded on the heavy wooden door.
"Hey, Squirt. You ready yet?" Parker Booth poked his head into the room. "Dad's practically having a panic attack out here."
Ali beamed at her beloved big brother. "All ready," she replied.
Parker held out an arm to his step-mother and escorted her past her nervous husband and into the small church.
"Dad?" Ali called.
"Yeah, baby. I'm right here." A tuxedo-clad Booth stepped into the room. He could only stare as his beautiful little girl floated toward him and took his arm. Wasn't it just last month that he was changing diapers and rocking her to sleep? How could she already be getting married?
"You know, honey, you don't have to go through with this. We can walk straight out those doors to the car if you want to," he offered, completely serious.
Ali shook her head and laughed. She stood on tip toe to plant a soft kiss on her father's cheek. An organ began to play a wedding march. "Time to go, Dad."
As Ali walked up the aisle with her father, she soaked in every detail she could absorb. The flowers spilling over their vases. The feel of her gown as it swished over her toes. The look on her groom's face as she approached him at the altar. She was going to remember this day for the rest of her life.
Because these were the moments memories were made of.