AN: This story is dedicated to my mom, who celebrates her birthday tomorrow (6/11)!
AN2: Thanks to Tracy for her always thoughtful suggestions.
"Daddy, is Mommy weird?" Five year old Bridget Elizabeth Booth asked after she climbed into the back of her father's SUV, put her pink and purple backpack on the seat beside her, and buckled her seatbelt.
As he pulled out of the school parking lot, Seeley Booth chuckled when he saw his daughter's narrowed eyes and furrowed brow in the rearview mirror. She looked exactly like her mother did when she was thinking about something. "What makes you think that Mommy's weird?"
"Shannon Davis said that her mom said that Mommy's weird because she works with dead people and has no social skills."
Booth started to say that Shannon Davis' mom was an idiot, but stopped himself just in time. "Shannon's mom was half right. Your mom does work with dead people. That kind of job seems disgusting to a lot of people, but it's an important job. Her work helps Daddy put bad guys in jail. As for the 'no social skills' part, Shannon's mom just doesn't know your mom all that well. Your mom can be a little…" He searched his brain for an appropriate word. "…awkward around new people, so sometimes they assume that she's not very nice. But we know the truth. We know that your mom is an amazing, caring person who loves us very much. Right?"
"Right!" Bridget agreed, her little lips curling up in a smile. "Mommy told me that the day I was born was one of the happiest days of her life."
Booth grinned at the memory. "It was one of the happiest days of both our lives. Your mom and I thought that you were the most beautiful baby we'd ever seen, and we were so excited to finally meet you."
"Uncle Hodgins and Aunt Angela were excited to meet me too," Bridget said, recalling what her mother had told her. "Michael would have been excited too, but he was just a baby."
Booth laughed. "Dr. Sweets, Cam, Caroline, Grandpa Max and all of your mom's squinterns were there too. They spent hours and hours in the waiting room just to get a glimpse of you."
"And my picture was in the newspaper!" The black and white picture of Booth and Brennan holding her hours after she was born was framed in her room.
"It was in a lot of newspapers. A ton of websites too. Since your mom is a famous author, your birth was big news. Fans from all over the world sent us cards and presents for you."
"You and Mommy got me a present too. You got me my purple bunny." That bunny was her favorite stuffed animal and the only one that absolutely had to sleep with her every night.
"Your mom was against that bunny at first; she argued that bunnies weren't really purple. But I told her I thought you'd like it."
"I do like it, Daddy. I like it a whole lot!"
Booth beamed with pride. "I know."
"Can we go visit Mommy at the lab?"
"Sure." He hadn't seen his wife all day and had already been planning to take Bridget to the Jeffersonian. "But if she's busy working with some bones, we'll have to wait in her office for a little while. Okay?"
"Okay. I can read my new book while we wait!"
Booth laughed at the enthusiasm in his daughter's voice. "Sometimes you sound so much like your mom."
"Will I be a scientist like Mommy when I get big?"
"Maybe. You can be whatever you want to be, honey, and your mom and I will love you no matter what."
"I love you too, Daddy."
Booth's heart melted. There were times when he thought he didn't deserve to be a part of such a wonderful family, but he still thanked God every night.
Twenty minutes later, Booth held Bridget's hand as they entered the Jeffersonian. Security guards and squints waved at her and smiled, and she flashed the Booth charm smile in return.
But her biggest smile was reserved for her mother, who she could see working on top of the forensic platform. "Hi Mommy!"
Turning at the sound of Bridget's voice, Brennan put down the mandible she'd been holding and jogged down the platform to envelop her daughter in a hug. "Hi, honey! How was school? What did you learn today?"
"Daddy told me that Shannon Davis' mom was wrong. You're not weird."
Brennan shot Booth a confused look. "I'll explain later," Booth said.
"Are you busy with bones, Mommy?"
"Yes, I have to do some more work before I can play with you and your dad."
"That's okay, Bones. Bridget and I can hang out in your office until you're done and then we'll take you to the diner."
"We could go to the diner…" Brennan said, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "Or we could go home and I'll make macaroni and cheese and snickerdoodles."
"Mac and cheese, please! Mac and cheese!" Bridget's brown pigtails bounced as she jumped up and down.
Hodgins had been walking toward the platform when he heard Bridget. "Are you making mac and cheese, sweetie? Can I have some?"
"I'm not making mac and cheese!" Bridget said with a laugh. "Mommy's making mac and cheese! And you can't have any because Mommy said she only makes mac and cheese for people she loves, and she doesn't love you, Hodgins. She loves me and Daddy!"
The adults laughed. "It's okay, Bridget," Hodgins said. "I'll make my own mac and cheese for Angela and the kids tonight." He bent down to her level. "I was just about to look at some really cool bugs under the microscope. Do you want to see?"
"Can I, Mommy?"
"Of course you can."
As Bridget followed Hodgins to his microscope, Brennan led Booth to her office so they could talk in private. Once they were settled on her couch, she asked: "Who is Shannon Davis' mom?"
"We met her at Parent/Teacher night. She asked you what you did for a living and you told her about the case we were working on in somewhat graphic detail."
"Oh." She lowered her eyes. "So that's why she told Bridget that I was weird."
Hating to see his wife look unhappy, Booth wrapped his arms around her. "It doesn't matter what someone who met you for five minutes thinks. Your husband and your daughter think you're perfect."
"Perfection requires a total absence of flaws. No human being is truly perfect."
"You're right. Still, I know that being with you was, is, and always will be the perfect choice for me."
Brennan threw her arms around Booth's neck and kissed him. "I love you, Booth."
"I love you too, Bones."
Her lips moved to his ear. "Are you up for breaking the laws of physics tonight?" She whispered.
"Have I ever been able to say no to you?"
"Yes," she said in her normal voice.
"In the early days of our partnership, you denied my application to carry a concealed weapon."
Booth laughed. They had come so far since then, farther than he ever could have hoped. "Okay, aside from that, have I ever denied you anything you wanted?"
Brennan pretended to think about it for a few seconds. "No, you never have."
"And I never will." They started to kiss again when Bridget's voice rang out across the lab.
"Mommy! Daddy! Come see the bugs! They're really cool!"
Brennan looked in her daughter's direction and smiled. "Perhaps she'll be an entomologist one day."
"Perhaps," Booth echoed. "I told her that she could be anything she wanted to be and we would love her no matter what."
Brennan turned loving eyes back to Booth. "You're an excellent father."
"And you're an excellent mother. Bridget wouldn't be the awesome kid she is without your influence. We should do the world a favor and have a dozen more just like her."
"A dozen seems highly unlikely, but…" A big grin crept over her face. "We'll be having at least one more."
Booth's face lit up instantly. "Bones, are you…" He mouthed the word 'pregnant', as if saying it out loud might make it untrue.
Brennan nodded. "I was going to tell you tonight, but since you brought up the subject of more children, I-"
He cut her off with a kiss. "That's wonderful news, baby. I'm so happy."
Brennan's eyes sparkled with joyful tears. "I am too."
"MOMMY! DADDY! Are you coming?"
"We're coming, sweetie," Brennan answered. As she and Booth went to join Bridget, Booth's hand found its way to the small of her back, just as it had since the beginning of their partnership, and just as it would for the next 30, 40, and 50 years.
Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.
Bonus points to anyone who wishes my mom ("Mare") a happy birthday!