How quickly people around him forget about his job and his past training. Yes, he is protective – and, he begrudgingly acknowledges – sometimes overprotective of Brennan to the extent that it looks like he is panicking.

His heart is racing when it is time to take Brennan to the hospital and this comes through in his words. He talks a little too fast and tries to move her along just quickly enough that she gives him that perfect annoyed expression that he knows just a little too well.

But it's "go time" and Booth knows how to handle situations like these. He is calm and assured.

He knows, though would never admit it to anyone, that he has earned that annoyed expression from Brennan even more than usual during this pregnancy. They had traveled such a long road to get to where they were now, together and confidently content, that he has done things that counted as hovering and overstepping his bounds in a misguided attempt to "make things right".

But in these attempts, he has actually done things right, too.

And now, as she attempts her third position in as many minutes, he leans in close, as he loves to do, and smiles into her eyes. He waits, but his patience is pretty much only limited to sniper situations and nothing else, so he kisses her, although he is thinking that one of these days when he leans in, she will kiss him first.

Giving birth does not frighten her; in fact, she has made it abundantly clear to him along the way how natural it all is, which is where some of the annoyed looks have originated when he has argued the natural tendencies fathers have to look out for the mother of their children. As she weathers the contractions that have increased in frequency and intensity, he admires how calm and focused she is. He considers himself luckier than most fathers-to-be in that Brennan can tell him exactly where he should apply counter pressure on her back, even if it does not offer much relief overall.

The contractions come right on top of each other and before his own brain can recall it, Brennan is already reminding him in gasping breaths that she is in transition; she will be ready to push soon. He strokes her head, gets a quick shake of her head to stop, then moves his hand to wrap around the other one that is already grasping hers. He gives a gentle squeeze and tells her to look into his eyes and helps her regain the measured inhale and exhale that she needs to get through this stage that seems uncontrollable.

And then the contractions shift, and even he can tell that they have changed. He feels a giddy excitement at what is to come; they will see their baby soon. But he sees her eyes suddenly become fearful. At first he worries that the pain has taken her by surprise, but then he recognizes that her fear is not physical, but emotional. In the moments they have before she must push with the contractions and in between, she shares her fears that the baby will not feel and understand how much she will love it. She says the wrong thing all of the time, what if others misunderstand this and think that she does not love the baby the way she should? What if she can't give the baby what it needs? It took her so long to trust her heart with him, what if it takes too long to do the same with the baby?

If he is honest, a small part of him wants to laugh at these sudden fears that to him are so ridiculously off the mark with what he knows to be true about her. But as he has done so many times before, he looks at her seriously and earnestly and tells her that just as she taught him that the baby could hear them already, the baby has also heard the love in her voice and in her words.

He tells her that the only opinions that matter are from those who already know how much she loves their child, no matter what words come from her mouth.

As for trust? She has clearly already crossed that threshold. He reminds her that he trusts her with all of his heart that she will be an amazing mom. And his voice catches as he says this. She gives him a tearful smile and they agree to breathe together as the next wave of contractions arrive. It is the final wave, the one that will finally bring their child into the world and give the final seal to their joined hearts.

There is no panic. They are ready.