This is takes place at the reception we didn't see after The Woman in White. Such a great wedding, right?!
By the end of the night, Booth's tie was hanging loose around his neck, his sleeves were rolled up, and several buttons were undone. He'd done a lot of dancing, a lot of toasting, a lot of hugging and he'd kissed his wife at every single opportunity that presented itself.
Even now, as he leaned against the bar, watching the reception die down, he was still awed by the fact that he was now Temperance Brennan's husband.
He had someone to thank for helping with that.
He scanned the room, but before he could find his wife's best friend, she zeroed in on him to give what was probably her fifth congratulatory hug.
"I'm just so happy for you guys," Angela breathed into his ear, squeezing him tightly. When she pulled back, he could see the tears forming and he figured she was pretty tipsy. "And, I have something I need to say to you."
He knew what was coming. "Listen, Angela, don't say anything. You were…exactly the best friend you should have been all along. I hurt her and you love her." He swallowed hard at the memory. "You should have been mad at me. You didn't know what I was doing or why I was doing it. You were pissed and you lashed out. That's what best friends do. No hard feelings, okay?"
She shook her head. "No…I mean, yes. I am sorry for that, but to be honest, I'd do it again if you hurt her."
"I won't," he swore.
"I know," she soothed.
He motioned to the room. "Thank you. For all of this. The ceremony, too. I don't know how you pulled it off, but you did and I can't thank you enough."
"Well, that's kind of what I have to say. I didn't just do it for Brennan. Or for you and Brennan. I also did it just for you."
"You're a little drunk, because that made no sense," he teased, but he sobered quickly when he saw she was incredibly serious.
"Booth…I didn't know Brennan that long before you did. In that year where you guys didn't speak to each other? I spent a lot of time trying to get her out of her shell. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved her, just as she is, but I knew, I knew she could have so much more if she'd just…come out of that cave she was hiding in."
Booth nodded as she continued. "I stood outside that cave and I tried to talk her into coming out, you know? Even after you were partners, I was always trying to convince her to come out with me, to glug-glug woo-hoo, to…to live wide. I even told her she should sail off with Sully," she let out a half-hearted chuckle. "But she rarely listened, Booth. I tried. I stood outside that cave and I called to her and I tried. But you tried, too, and you were successful. Do you know why?"
He shook his head.
"Because you didn't stand on the outside and yell. You didn't stand at the entrance of the cave and try to convince that she needed to come out. You went into the cave, Booth. You went in there and walked out beside her, every time she was ready to take a step. And for that, I wanted to say…thank you. Thank you for giving her this life. And for giving her to me. The real her. This beautiful , more open person that you brought out of the cave. She'd never have come out for me or her dad or anyone else. We were all standing on the outside, waiting. You didn't wait with us. You waited with her. You are the best thing that ever happened to her and I'm thankful for that, every day."
Angela wasn't the only one getting misty.
"Thanks, Angela. She's so lucky to have you. We both are."
"That works both ways." She smiled, swiping the tears away with her fingers. "So…are you gonna buy me a drink?"
"It's an open bar, Angela."
"So you are buying," she joked as she signaled for the bartender to refill her empty champagne flute.
Booth held up his bottle of beer as the bartender finished pouring. "To friends."
Angela smiled and raised her glass, too. "And happiness."
"And happiness. Definitely, happiness." He took his celebratory swig and pushed off from the bar. "Now, if you'll excuse me, Angela, I need to go kiss my wife."