AN: Dedicated to LadyAkina, who requested a story on this theme. Hope you enjoy!
AN2: A thousand thanks to my beta Tracy for her invaluable feedback.
"Wow! Looking good, son," Jack Hodgins said when he saw sixteen year old Michael emerge from his bedroom wearing a black suit and tie. "You got a date?" He teased, knowing that his son was more comfortable doing science experiments than he was talking to girls his age.
"Actually I do," Michael said earnestly, adjusting his tie for the hundredth time.
"You do? Really? You're taking time off from your studies to hang out with a girl?"
"I know it seems strange, but yes."
"That's great!" Hodgins patted him on the back. "What's the lucky girl's name?"
A smile lit up Michael's face. "I'm the lucky one, Dad. It's Bridget." He laughed at his father's shocked expression. "Is it so hard to believe that a girl as beautiful and smart and sweet as Bridget Booth would want to date me?"
"No, I believe that Bridget would be interested in such a handsome, intelligent, and respectful guy. I was just surprised that you asked her."
"Well…" Michael's face reddened. "I didn't. She asked me."
"Does your mom know about this?" Hodgins imagined his wife screaming and jumping up and down when she heard the news.
"I told her before she left for her girls' night out with Dr. Brennan. She seemed really excited about it."
"I bet she was," Hodgins said with a laugh. "She's been imagining your wedding since the day Bridget was born. So where are you two going to go?"
"I figured we'd go to Potenza for dinner, because I know she loves Italian, and then we'd head over to The Avalon to see this French film she was talking about last week."
"Dinner and a movie." Hodgins nodded his approval. "Can't go wrong with that."
"Is that too boring?" Michael asked, his anxiety evident in his voice.
"No, not at all. You've obviously given this some thought, but where you go doesn't really matter in the end. The important thing is that you show her that you enjoy spending time with her."
"I do enjoy spending time with her, Dad."
"And she enjoys spending time with you. I'm sure you'll both have a great evening."
Michael wished he shared his father's confidence. "What if we run out of things to talk about?"
"You guys have known each other your whole lives. Have you ever run out of things to talk about?"
"No, but we've never been on a date before. Going to dinner and a movie isn't the same as hanging out at the lab together while our parents solve murders."
"True. So if you get stuck on conversation topics, you can reminisce about your shared childhood at the Jeffersonian. You can talk about the time I almost blew up the whole lab."
"Which time would that be, Dad?"
"Touché, son. Which car do you want to take to pick Bridget up?"
"Maybe the Mercedes. Or the Ferrari. No, I'll take the Aston Martin because it's red. That's Bridget's favorite color."
"Good choice. What time do you think you'll be home?"
"About ten thirty, I think. The movie ends at ten, and it should take us about a half hour to get home from the theater."
"Okay. Call if you're going to be later than that."
"I will. Thanks, Dad. For everything."
"Wow! I've never seen you dressed up so nicely for a study group," Seeley Booth said when he saw his sixteen year old daughter emerge from her bedroom wearing a lavender dress and matching heels. She had on more make-up than he'd ever seen her wear before.
"My study group was last night," Bridget said, mentally preparing herself for her father's reaction to her next words. "Tonight I'm going on a date."
Booth's mouth opened and closed several times, but no words came out. Eventually he managed to say, "A date?"
"Yes, a date." Channeling her mother, she added: "It's a social custom in which two people get to know each other and evaluate their potential as mates."
"Don't try to distract me with squint speak. You're too young to be dating."
Bridget gave him the same look her mother used when she knew he was wrong about something. "Parker was dating at sixteen. You're not suggesting that I should be treated differently because I'm a girl, are you?"
"Teenage boys are different, honey. I used to be one; I remember how they think. They may seem nice, but, once they get you alone, they can be completely different. They can try to charm you in to…in to doing things that could have serious consequences."
"Are you talking about sex?" She said, making her father blush. "You don't have to worry about that, Dad. I'm not planning on becoming sexually active tonight or any night in the near future. When I do decide that I'm ready for a physical relationship, Mom's promised to help me get birth control."
"That's…that's good to know. Still, boys can try to force you…"
"Two things, Dad. One: did you forget that Mom taught me three kinds of martial arts when I was growing up?" Bridget put one hand on her father's shoulder. "If any guy tried to force me to do anything I didn't want to do, I'd kick his ass."
Booth laughed. "You are your mother's daughter, that's for sure. What's the second thing?"
"My date is Michael."
Booth was silent for a few seconds as his mind processed this new information. "Michael Hodgins?"
"Yes. You've known him since the day he was born. Can you imagine him ever doing anything to hurt me?"
"No," Booth admitted. "But even with a nice kid like Michael, dating can be rough stuff." He wrapped his arms around his daughter. "I don't want to see my little girl get her heart broken."
"I'm not a little girl anymore, Dad. In some societies, I would be considered an adult at my age. It would be expected that I'd be married and having children."
Booth pulled away from her, a look of horror on his face. "But not in this society."
"No," she said with a smile. "In this society, I won't be considered an adult for another two years. For now I'm merely a 'young woman.' A plain young woman who needs a ton of make-up to look pretty."
Booth shook his head. "You're a beautiful young woman, honey, inside and out. I always knew that someday guys would be lining up to date you, but I didn't realize that day was already here. I wasn't ready for this."
"I suspect that if I waited to date until you were ready, I'd be waiting at least ten years."
"Not that long," Booth said, chuckling. "Five to seven tops."
Bridget opened her mouth to reply when she heard the sound of a car pulling into their driveway. "Looks like your time is up, Dad. I love you!" She gave him a kiss and raced out the door as fast as her heels would allow.
Less than twenty minutes later, Michael and Bridget were sitting in a booth in Potenza, looking at their menus. On the other side of the restaurant, in a secluded corner, sat two women who knew the young couple intimately.
"Look at our kids, sweetie!" Angela gushed. "Aren't they adorable? Michael is so cute in that suit…I helped him pick it out…and your little girl is just gorgeous."
"They are very well dressed." Brennan couldn't keep herself from smiling. "But I still think it's wrong for us to spy on them."
"We're not spying on them," Angela argued. "We're only…checking in on them to make sure they're okay."
Brennan's phone chirped seconds later and she looked down at the display. "I have a text from Booth."
Sorry to interrupt your girls' night, but I have to ask: Did you know our daughter was going on a date with Michael?
Yes, Brennan wrote back.
How long have you known?
I found out this morning. She told me as I drove her to school.
Why didn't you tell me?
Bridget said she wanted to tell you herself. Are you mad?
Not mad. Just anxious. I swore to myself that I would always protect her, but I can't protect her from the kind of pain dating can bring.
I understand. If it makes you feel better, she and Michael seem to be doing well so far.
How do you know that? Are you spying on them?
Not 'spying'. Just checking in on them to make sure they're okay.
Ha! You're totally spying on them!
Yes, but it was Angela's idea. I only went along with it to make her happy.
I love you, Bones.
I love you too.
"Brennan," Angela whispered.
Brennan looked up from her phone in time to see Angela's panicked expression. "What's wrong?"
Angela pointed to Michael, who was looking in their direction. "I think we've been spotted."
Our cover's blown.
That's okay. Tell me where you are and I can get an undercover agent there in 15 minutes.
You're joking, right?
Maybe. Where are you?
Hold on. Michael's here.
Michael had walked up to the edge of their table and was facing his mother. He looked more amused than angry. "Are you going to tell me that it's just a coincidence that you and Dr. Brennan are at the restaurant I told you I was taking Bridget to?"
"Would you believe that?" Angela asked.
"Not at all," Michael answered. "Mom, I love you, but if you ever want Bridget and me to have the wedding you've been imagining since the day she was born, you're going to have to give us some space. Okay?"
Angela stood up and grabbed her purse, taking out some money to pay for their bill. "You're right, sweetie. I'm sorry. Come on, Bren. We'll go have a drink at The Founding Fathers."
While Michael walked back to his table, Angela and Brennan left theirs. "I know we were supposed to have a girls' night," Brennan said as they walked out of the restaurant. "But would you mind if I invited Booth to join us? He sounds like he needs a drink."
"Go ahead. I'll invite Hodgins too. He might want a drink to celebrate Michael leaving the house for something other than school."
"Mom apologized for spying. Now both our moms are going to The Founding Fathers," Michael reported when he sat back down at the table.
Bridget laughed. "I can't believe our moms were spying on us. That's something I would expect from my dad. Then again, he wouldn't risk being seen by us. He'd send an undercover agent."
"That does sound like your dad." Michael laughed along with her. "Our families are weird."
"You're just figuring this out now?" She teased.
"No, I've suspected it for some time," he joked. "Moments like this just confirm my hypothesis."
"I love that you use words like 'hypothesis' in daily conversation. Sometimes it seems like most of our classmates speak only in monosyllabic words."
Michael grinned. "I know what you mean. But we had an advantage they didn't. We got to grow up hearing the scientific language of the Jeffersonian."
"That's true. You know, I'm really grateful that we had each other growing up. No one else at school understands me or my family the way you do."
"I could say the same about you. I know this is going to sound cheesy, but when you asked me to go on a date with you, I felt like I'd won the lottery. I know we've always been friends, but I had never dared to hope that you would ever want more than friendship from me. "
"Really? I had always assumed that we were destined to be together at some point."
Michael's eyebrows jumped. "You did?"
"Of course. Do you believe in destiny?"
"Not usually, but I might be willing to make an exception in this case."
As Michael and Bridget were eating their meal, their parents were drinking together at The Founding Fathers. "They were so cute together," Angela told Hodgins and Booth. "I just know that someday they're going to get married and give us beautiful grandchildren."
Hodgins nearly choked on his drink. "They're on their first date! It could end up being their only date! Don't get your hopes up, Angie."
"I have to agree with Hodgins," Brennan said. "They're both so young, Ange. It's highly likely they'll each have several relationships before they even start to think about marriage and children."
"I know we all went through a lot of relationships before we got married, but I have a gut feeling about those two. You're a feeling guy, Booth. Back me up here."
"Sorry, Angela," Booth said. "I'm going to have to go with Bones on this one." He put one arm around his wife's shoulders. "I guess it could happen, but I don't know anyone who can say they met their future spouse as an infant."
"Just you wait, guys. Someday the four of us are going to be at our kids' wedding. And when that day comes, I'll try not to say 'I told you so.'"
Hodgins smiled. "Tell you what, babe. If Michael and Bridget get married, I'll buy you an art gallery in Paris."
Angela clinked wine glasses with her husband. "Deal."
Seven years later, both families were overjoyed when 'someday' arrived. Although Booth and Brennan had offered to pay for an extravagant wedding, the young couple decided to keep things simple, inviting only their closest family and friends to a ceremony amid the Jeffersonian's gardens.
While the newlyweds honeymooned in Rome, the parents of the bride and groom traveled to Paris to visit Angela's new art gallery.
When Michael and Bridget returned from Rome, they discovered that their parents had bought them a house in D.C, where they both enjoyed long careers at the Jeffersonian while raising the next generation of squints.
Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.