A/N: This is the last chapter. I didn't intend for it to be, but when I started writing, it just happened! And I had other stuff written! Lol. Oh well. Thank you to all of you for reading. This one has been the most enjoyable one to write. I dedicate this one to my TwitterPals, but most importantly to Sunsetdreamer, who wrote me the most beautiful fanfiction story I have ever read. The least I can do is incorporate a teeny bit of HockeySmut just for her!
Brennan smelled the delicious food cooking before she woke up. The scent of pancakes and maple syrup drifted into her nasal passages and up to her brain, waking her from her deep sleep. She didn't need to open her eyes to know that Booth wasn't in bed anymore. The cool space next to her told her he had been gone for some time. She opened her eyes and wondered if he was planning on waking her up or if she was just supposed to stay in bed. Never one to care what someone else had planned, she pulled a sweatshirt and yoga pants out of her closet and threw them on before padding out into the kitchen. Booth was standing in his underwear, busy cooking at the stove, his back to her.
"Good morning." He said as he heard her approach, but when he didn't get a response, he turned around to glance at her. "What's wrong?" He asked. She walked over to him and placed her hand on his back.
"Your back." She said as she touched the scratches lightly.
"Oh, my battle scars?" He smiled. "Don't worry, they'll be gone in a couple of days." He waved her concern off with his spatula before he flipped another pancake.
"I'm sorry." She said. "I hadn't realized that I…"
"Bones." She paused as Booth thrust a cup of coffee into her hands. "I promise you, I'm not complaining. Now sit down. I'm making us breakfast." She was too groggy to argue so she followed his command and sat down.
"What's the occasion?" She asked.
"No occasion, just thought I would do something nice." He said as he handed her the first stack of finished pancakes. "Plus, I'm still on East Coast time so I woke up an hour earlier than normal." She smiled at his real reason but accepted the pancakes gratefully.
"Thank you." Despite his nice surprise, she couldn't concentrate on her meal. She watched in interest as he made himself at home in her kitchen. He poured himself some more coffee, finished cooking his own stack of pancakes, all the while humming to himself. He looked so natural. Once again, she was caught off-guard by the intense feeling of harmony that accompanied his presence in her life. She had convinced herself for years that she was fine on her own, and she had been, for the most part. But there was something about him that just fit, no matter where he was. He projected an innate ease that she envied. He was always at home and that, in return, made her feel like she was at home too. He was her home.
"Aren't you hungry?" He asked, wondering why she hadn't touched her food yet. His question jolted her from her thoughts.
"I was waiting for you." She replied, wondering if he would catch the double meaning.
"Well, I'm here now, so eat up." He said as he dug into his own pancakes. She smiled. Despite his obliviousness to what she was really saying, he gave the perfect answer. The simple statement embodied so much of the relationship between them that she couldn't help but smile. As she happily cut into her pancakes, it finally hit home that this was what she had been missing. This was the final piece of the puzzle and once it had been put in its place, she knew.
"Look what just arrived." Brennan said as she brought a box into the living room.
"What is it?" He asked.
"Uniforms?" He said, completely confused as she pulled the first Blackhawks jersey out of the box and handed it to him. "Oh, you mean jerseys. Our jerseys." He corrected her with a smile as he held it up.
"Yes, do you like it? Everyone insisted that they were important to the experience."
"Always the anthropologist, huh?" He smiled as he looked up at her. "They're great, Bones. Really." He thanked her with a kiss.
"This looks rather large. I'm going to go try it on." She said as she made her way into the bedroom. A few minutes later, a muffled "It's too big!" came from the bedroom.
"You know, they're supposed to be big, Bones. It's the look." He called back as he folded his jersey back up and set it down on the couch next to him.
"But this big?" She asked as she came out of the bedroom again. Booth turned his attention from the couch to her. Sure enough, the jersey was large, the bottom hem coming down to her upper thigh. Booth paused at the sight of her mile long bare legs. Almost instantly, his mouth went dry and he felt his erection pressing into his jeans. He shut his gaping mouth and gathered his self-control. She walked closer to him, arms outstretched to the sides. "I think I look ridiculous, it's practically a dress." She clearly knew what she was doing. He knew her well enough to recognize the half-hidden smirk on her face. "What do you think?" She asked as she pressed him into the back of the couch and straddled his lap. Her arms snaked around his neck. "Too much?" Booth closed his eyes at her blatant attempts to drive him crazy.
"You're always too much." He muttered as he opened his eyes again, forcing him to believe that this was actually happening. He slid his hands up the back of her thighs, keeping her in place.
"You love me." She smirked, knowing it was true. She bent down to kiss him slowly and Booth thought he had died and gone to heaven. As the kiss's effects roared through his veins, he let his mischievous hands wander under the hem of the jersey and slide up the rest of her body. He groaned against her mouth as he realized that he had never hit fabric. She was completely naked under there. She smirked in delight against his skin as she kissed her way up his jaw to his ear.
"I believe that it's my turn to take the lead." She whispered as she stroked him firmly through his jeans and sucked his earlobe into her mouth. He hissed in pleasure at her actions, willing to give into anything she requested in that moment. Her dexterous fingers made quick work of his fly as she undressed him and he watched in amazement as he was quickly disrobed. He couldn't resist as he reached up under the jersey once again to feel her smooth skin of her hip. His thumb strayed until it found her clit and she let out a soft mewl of contentment.
"Oh God, I love it when you make that noise." He murmured as she widened her knees and sank lower into his fingers. She allowed him to toy with her for a moment until she realized that she was supposed to be pleasing him. She shoved his hand away and lowered herself onto him slowly, reveling in the sensation of taking him within her. Her hips set the pace, but he met her with every move, taking just as much pleasure in giving as receiving. At the sight of his tight, twitching jaw, she sped up. Booth gave her a knowing look.
"Come for me." She commanded, squeezing him tighter. He shook his head once, wanting her to come first. "Booth." She groaned, fighting her own impending orgasm until he reached his.
"Ladies…first…" He managed to get out before reaching up her jersey and tweaking her breast. She let out an impassioned cry.
"Booth..." She was getting close, he could feel her losing control.
"Bones..." He echoed back, not knowing how much longer he could last. But at the sound of her name, she lost control and her muscles fluttered through her orgasm, milking him along the way and sending him hurtling through his own release. She collapsed into his arms as he slipped from her.
"Damn it." She whispered, knowing she had lost.
"Better luck next time, Bones." She could practically hear his tired but triumphant grin and she giggled as she hid in the curve of his neck, not wanting to see the physical reminder of her loss. He just wrapped his fingers in her hair and held her closer, not minding in the least.
Brennan was fairly certain that she would never enjoy a hockey game as much as she did with Booth. His love for the game was infectious. He had cheered, smiled, and patiently (and sometimes, not so patiently) explained what was going on to her. Watching him watch the game was a better experience than the game itself.
As they walked out of the arena, she slid her arm around his and she was suddenly reminded of that night out in front of the Hoover when he walked her home. Despite the similar closeness, they had been so sad that night, both lost in their own thoughts on the silent walk home. She couldn't believe that so much had changed from that moment to now.
"Did you have fun?" Booth asked, wrapping his arm around her shoulder and welcoming her into his space.
"I did." She said. "But my favorite part was watching you." She admitted.
"You love this game. I can tell." She smiled. Booth looked surprised by her observation but smiled.
"I do." He confirmed. "You know, when I was really little there was this rink, just down the road from my school? And I would go there every day and just skate and skate. Mom would sit in the bleachers with Jared, he was just a toddler." He smiled at the memory. "I would have stayed out there until I caught hypothermia if it meant time with just the three of us." He said. "I hated going home, even before..." He stopped.
"Before?" Brennan asked, wanting him to open up.
"Before the drinking devolved into abuse." He finished. Brennan kissed his shoulder tenderly through his jacket, wanting to give him some sort of comfort in return for his confession. His heart filled at the gesture and they walked the rest of the way in silence.
As they got ready for bed that evening, Booth watched Brennan go through her nightly routine. Used to being the observer, she felt slightly disconcerted by his observing. Then again, there was something protective in the knowledge that he cared enough to watch her so closely. As she reached into her drawer, she remembered that he never got his explanation from the night before.
"What's in the drawer, Bones?" He asked, reading her mind. She smiled at the question and she turned to look at him.
"I was just about to tell you." She turned and pulled a jewelry box out of the drawer and set it on top of the dresser. "This was my mother's." She said as she shut the drawer and brought the box over for him to see. "My dad gave it to me right after he was released from prison." She sat down next to him and set the box in between. It was a mahogany box, simple, but beautifully designed. She lifted the lid and Booth recognized some of her rings as well as what he assumed was her mother's jewelry. He had yet to see what this had to do with him, until the shelf slid away to reveal the rest of the box. In a space that he assumed was meant for larger pieces, there was a collection of items that he recognized almost immediately. He chuckled as he reached in for the first item he saw.
"Jasper." He greeted the pig as he examined him.
"And Brainy Smurf." She added as she handed him the toy.
"You have a Booth box." He smiled. Brennan blushed slightly at the term.
"I suppose that is an accurate title."
"When we get back to D.C., I'll show you my Brennan box." He promised. This statement gave her pause. "Oh yeah, I've got one." He assured her. He turned his attention back to the contents in front of him. "What's this?" He asked as he pulled out an old boarding pass.
"It's from my flight to Guatemala." She said as she pointed to the year on the stub: 2005. "I had been using it as a bookmark in the book I had been reading on the plane and I found it when I moved out of my apartment."
"After I blew the last one up?" He commented with a shake of his head. "You know, it really is a miracle that we are still alive. Honestly."
"Speaking of being alive," She pulled out the bloodstained, folded page from her book that Booth had already seen once in her manuscript. "You've already seen this." She said as she handed it to him. Seeing the real life version of the stained paper and scrawled handwriting was almost too much for him. He opened it briefly, unable to resist the pain of seeing it up close, before handing it back to her. "I remember thinking that I never thought that I would be put in a situation where I had to write a goodbye note." She said.
"No one ever thinks that they will be put in that situation." Booth said.
"That's not why." She said. "I never thought that I would have someone that I needed to say goodbye to." She confessed. Booth was certain his heart was breaking, right there in his chest. "From ninth grade on, I had been on my own. And as soon as I turned eighteen, I was completely reliant on myself. I applied and paid for college myself, I found my own apartments, my own jobs. I had absolutely no one who I could truly depend on. And then, one night at a party, I met Angela." She smiled. "And just a few weeks later, you walked into my classroom." Booth smiled as she nudged him with her shoulder. 'Two years later, I had an entire team working to save my life."
"A family." He corrected her. She nodded and reached into the box for the next item. It was a newspaper clipping. "What's this?" Booth asked as he took it from her. He stilled as he realized it was his obituary. Just the sight of it, despite knowing that it was a fake planted to bring out a murderer, made his nerves raw. He began to read.
Special Agent Seeley Joseph Booth 1972-2007
FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth was killed in the line of duty last evening at the Checkerbox night club in Arlington after taking a bullet originally meant for his partner Dr. Temperance Brennan. Dr. Brennan, known worldwide for her series of books involving forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, was fired upon by a suspect in an ongoing murder investigation. Special Agent Booth jumped in front of the bullet to protect his partner, and the bullet struck him in his chest. Dr. Brennan eliminated the threat to the rest of the night club by taking out the shooter before she could attempt to harm anyone else. Despite multiple attempts by his partner to revive him at the scene, Special Agent Booth was declared dead at a local hospital.
SA Booth joined the FBI after serving his country as a highly decorated Master Sergeant. He served as a sniper in the 75thRanger Regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star and a National Defense Service Medal amongst other commendations. At the FBI, he worked hand in hand with the Jeffersonian Institution's Medico-Legal Lab in solving homicide cases. Along with his partner, he had one of the highest success rates in his field. He is survived by his son, Parker Matthew Booth, age 7, his brother Jared Booth and his grandfather Hank Booth. He will be dearly missed by all those who knew him.
Booth set the article down and sighed.
"What?" She asked, wanting to know why he had that look on his face.
"It's weird seeing your life just laid out like that in a paper, reduced to two paragraphs in the Post."
"That's not your life." She said as she took the article back. "And you know it."
"It's what people will remember."
"No, it's not." She said. "When I thought about our time together, do you think I remembered the fact that you were in the army or that you had a high success rate?" She asked him. "I remembered the man that brought me Chinese food in the middle of the night and danced in my living room and helped me convince a jury that I could have committed murder. I remembered the man who shot through a glass door just to be in the same room with his people." She smiled. "You are so much more than this." She said as she tossed it aside. "You're a father, a friend, and a good man and those traits cannot be conveyed in print." He smiled at her attempts to persuade him of his own virtues.
"Thanks, Bones." He said. "I'm sorry that this has to be included in your box." He said as he put the article back in the bottom of the jewelry box. She didn't have time to comment before he reached for the most important item.
"A cork?" Booth asked.
"From last night." She smiled. "To remember the time that you flew all the way to Chicago to surprise me and to commemorate the weekend when I finally caught up to you." Booth frowned.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"This weekend, I realized that I knew. You and I are supposed to be together, Booth. I've known for a long time that we love each other but for the first time, I believe that we can actually make it work." His eyes searched her own, wanting to confirm what she had said was true. He saw the gleam of quiet confidence, the sure smile on her lips. He also knew that when she made up her mind, that was it. There was no talking her out of it again. He let the smile that was bubbling out of him reveal itself on his face before kissing her firmly on the lips.
"If you're saying what I think you're saying, I just want you to know that I'm not going to let you get away ever again." He promised.
"Getting away isn't all that it's cracked up to be." She replied honestly. Booth's heart overflowed in his chest as he kissed her again. They had taken several paths to this moment: the path of ignorance, denial and even stubborn anger, but somehow, they had still ended up in each other's arms. He knew that if they could survive the last ten years, they could survive anything and that was a heady but reassuring feeling. She pulled away, desperate for oxygen and Booth couldn't resist being impulsive as he reached up and touched her face.
"Move in with me." He said. "When you get to DC, we'll buy a new place, start from scratch and build a real life together, what do you think?" He asked. She considered his statement.
"I would like that very much." She confessed.
"Really?" He said, happily surprised at her approval. "You're not even going to think about it?"
"I find that no matter where I live, as long as I'm with you, it will feel like home." Booth shook his head in wonder at the woman in front of him. He kissed her forehead, silently thanking God for that genius brain of hers before pulling her back into his arms. Because just like always, she was right. All he needed was her and that was enough.