This takes place a little in the future. No spoilers, unless you somehow missed that Brennan is having Booth's baby. Oops. Did I ruin that for you?
Special thanks to Sunsetdreamer for her encouraging words. Go read her stuff. It's awesome
"Do you love me?"
"Yeah. Do you want me to prove it to you?"
This is how it went, not all the time, but every now and then. It was telling to him when she would drape herself over him in bed and ask him that. It meant something was wrong in her world. It meant that science couldn't fix it. Rationale had failed her or something had scared her, upset her in some way and so she had to know if her one other truth still held.
Did he love her?
Yes, he did. It was never going to change. This was something he knew to be true. Over time, she had come to accept that truth as well.
So when her vulnerability shined through with a "Do you love me" he felt the need to say "Yeah. Do you want me to prove it to you?"
She always did, but it wasn't always sex.
He would wait for her to show him what she needed. Sometimes she would just snuggle into him and talk about what was bothering her; let him utter reassurances, help her see all sides, until she felt better. Sometimes she'd just smile and ask him about his day or what the daycare had said at pick up, grounding herself in who they were. Once she just laid her head down on his chest and said "Oh, Booth" and then cried and cried so much he'd been terrified.
That was the night her father died. He would forever curse the fact that he hadn't been with her when she'd gotten that call. That she had had to drive all the way home from the lab to find comfort absolutely killed him.
But sometimes she just wanted him to show her. And then she would say "Only if you're not too sleepy."
He never was.
On those occasions he would worship her body with every ounce of love he had for her. He would spend all his time making her feel treasured and adored and safe and loved. Because she was all those things and so much more.
He would make love to her, not with her, because it wasn't about him, but about her and he would be sure that she knew that. Her pleasure was paramount, and he knew just how to sweetly bring her over the edge time and time again in a way that only the most intimate of lovers can know.
But they were equal partners, the two of them, and she was as tuned in to what he needed as he was to her.
So when he slid into bed late one Thursday night, well after she'd first fallen asleep, moulded himself into her back and for the first time ever whispered "Do you love me," she had known something was terribly wrong.
"Yes." She turned her body to face him, to look at him as best she could in the dark and he buried his face in her neck. "Do you want me to prove it to you?"
He blew out a deep, shaky breath, and, as Brennan felt his tears fall onto her skin, she had to try to tramp down the panic that was threatening to spill out of her mouth in the form of a thousand questions. Reflexively, she brought one hand to his nape and stroked his hair there to comfort while the other hand held on to him tightly.
"It's bad." He confessed quietly. "I'm...I'm not so good, here, Bones."
"Tell me," she urged her heart beating wildly.
"I shot someone today."
She waited. While he hated shooting someone, this wasn't about that. Of that she was certain.
"He was a kid." He kind of sucked his breath in at the end, as if pulling the words back into his mouth would make it less true.
"Was he armed?" Logic. Logic would fix this. Fix Booth.
"Yeah. But he was a kid, Bones. Fifteen." He laid back onto his own pillow, one hand tucked under his head, staring at the ceiling, not meeting her eyes.
A jolt of realization raced through Brennan. Fifteen was Parker's age. He'd shot a child the same age as his own son.
"What happened?" Time to sort the facts. She had to have them all if she was going to understand.
"We've been working that string of bank robberies, you know? And based on the pattern and Sweets' profile, we had three possible future targets. Haverty and I were sitting in front of the Union Capitol Bank on 3rd when the silent alarm went off."
She took his hand and waited.
"We called for back-up. I took the back, Haverty took the front. We couldn't wait. We didn't want to lose the suspects."
"He ran. Bolted out the door right in front of me. Maybe…maybe forty feet. I could see the gun…" He trailed off and she knew he was replaying it like a movie in his brain. "I identified myself, told him to freeze, drop the weapon."
She moved closer to him.
"He just turned. I thought…I thought he was going to shoot. I really did."
"So you shot first."
"Yeah." He screwed his eyes shut. "God, Bones. I killed a kid."
"Who would have killed you if given the chance."
"I went over to him, you know? I needed to move the gun, check his pulse. I didn't realize until I got closer…"
"There was nothing you could have done differently. You warned him. You had to protect yourself."
"He was a kid! Someone's son."
"Would it have made a difference if you'd known?"
"No." She shook her head vehemently. "It couldn't. That kid may have been someone's son, but you are someone's father. Two someones, in fact. If you had hesitated, they'd be fatherless."
"He wasn't dead when I got to him."
She froze, the thumb that had been caressing his knuckles stilled.
"He just, he stared through me, you know? I mean, I've seen it before. It's death. People think it's instant, but that's not true. It's like…it seeps in while life seeps out. His life seeped out and…" he choked back tears, "…he called for his mother."
"Booth…" Tears pricked at her eyes, mostly for Booth, but some for the boy who had died looking for his mother.
"He just wanted his mom, Bones." His voice cracked now, new tears slip sliding down his cheeks.
She nodded. This wasn't her area. Booth was the one who always knew the right words to say to make things hurt less. There was only one thing she could think to do.
She stood, circled to his side of the bed and extended her hand. "Come with me."
He took her hand numbly as she led him out of their room and down the hall. Cracking open the door to Parker's room she whispered "There's no school tomorrow and Nathan was all over Parker the entire evening. He was ecstatic when Parker said he could sleep in his room." They both looked in at their sleeping sons sharing a bed. "This is why you do what you do, Booth. For them. That kid today, he made terrible choices and he forced you to make one, too. But I'm glad your reflexes are fast because I cannot imagine having to tell these boys that you aren't coming home." She put her hand to his cheek. "Had you not acted upon instinct that is very well what might have happened. That boy today may have wanted his mother in that moment, but these boys, our boys, would have wanted their father for the rest of their lives."
She didn't know if that was right or not, but it was true. Brennan always spoke the truth.
He closed his eyes and leaned into her hand. "Yeah." She was right, he knew, but still he was churning with turmoil.
She circled his waist with her arms, laid her head against his chest. "Come to bed. Sleep. Maybe tomorrow you can speak with Sweets."
"It's mandated. I have to."
"It might be a good thing."
"Maybe." He breathed in, taking comfort in the smell of her, this woman he loved.
She leaned back to look at him. She studied him for a moment, then flexed up onto her toes and placed a soft kiss on his lips. "Go ahead. You'll sleep best that way."
"I'm not what you need right now."
"You are always what I need."
"Not this time." She smiled softly, not at all hurt that he needed his comfort from elsewhere now. "Go."
"I love you, Bones." He buried his nose in her hair.
"I know. And I love you." She kissed him again and then let go of him. "Goodnight."
An hour later she slipped out of her large, lonely, bed and peeked into Parker's room. All three of her boys were sound asleep in Parker's queen bed, three year old Nathan wrapped protectively in the crook of his father's arm, while Booth's other hand rested on Parker's elbow. A father sandwiched in between his two boys.
With a smile of thankfulness, she closed the door and went back to bed.
Thank you for reading. Reviews are appreciated.