Author's Note: Here it is, the final chapter of this three-shot. Go me for getting it up sooner this time around! Thanks to all who have read and reviewed this.
Setting: Depending on if you want these to be standalone one-shots or connected to each other, this either happens 1+ years after the 2nd chapter, or whenever you want it to.
The Love in the Tale
He is "that heart guy," always has been. It was him who said he knew, even in the very beginning before anything progressed. He had a feeling, a gut feeling, that whatever they were about to begin would end up going somewhere serious.
When it didn't, he felt foolish. All he could think was how wrong he had been. His mind reeling from her abrupt change, he wasn't certain anything would ever come of their night.
He believed in fate and he believed they had missed the moment it had provided them. He was bitter with fate and took it out on her. For a long while he didn't want anything to do with her. It was only when he was desperate, when he knew nobody else would be able to solve the case, that he went back to her; she was his last resort.
That time he didn't "feel" anything. He never thought his feelings would come back, that they would ever go anywhere. They faced challenges together and relied on each other. He rescued her from death and convinced her of love. They made more than their fair share of mistakes, missed their many chances, but somehow everything fell into place and brought them together.
She barely believes she has a deserving heart, didn't even believe she had a heart willing to give for the longest time. She couldn't explain what she was feeling, but when they kissed, especially after his admissions, something spooked her. She claimed it was the tequila, but it wasn't drunken sex she would regret.
She didn't believe in fate, and expressively told him that, so it was not some missed cosmic moment that angered her. He made her look like a fool, used her on multiple unacceptable and unprofessional levels, and that peeved her.
When he asked her to help him out, she was still angry. When she gave him her conditions, a partnership with full access to the case, she never thought they would end up becoming friends, let alone as close as they became. Somehow, amidst being rescued and rescuing him from death, and messing everything up between them, she found love.
It took some courage on his part, and some convincing on hers, but they made it, finally embraced the moment given to hem. Max Keenan had done many things to his daughter, but finally he did something right. Angela had always been on their side and really helped her find her way. But, in the end, it was each other that made it work. They are different, and often butt heads, but somehow they manage to balance each other out and share something neither of them could have, or in her case, would have, imagined.
She hadn't been able to sleep. For what seemed like an eternity, she tossed and turned under her sheets. Her pillows were thrown all over the bed, her comforter in a heap on the floor. Her tangled hair was sprawled across her mattress, messed up from her violent shifts and turns.
She hadn't wanted to go to bed and this state of unease only made it worse. Her lips parted in a small sigh before she swung her legs off of the bed and slid down.
With her favorite blanket wrapped around her arms, the rest of it trailing behind her, her bare feet padded across the cold, wood floors.
She found him washing dishes. To get his attention, she tried to tug on his arm.
He looked down and briefly smiled before replacing his expression with a more reserved and composed one. "You should be in bed," he stated, his tone refuting the role he was attempting to convey.
She used her irresistible pout to win her father over. Unable to remain firm about her returning to her room, and unable to refuse her utter innocence, he gave in. He finished scrubbing the last dish before running the slippery ceramic under hot water and setting it on the drying rack. With the quick flick of the towel off his shoulder, he dried his hands and placed her smaller palm in his.
The young girl immediately felt better with her daddy in the room. Somehow his presence made all of the monsters and scary things go away.
He settled her into his protective arms and pulled her covers over their bodies. After taking a deep breath in preparation, he started retelling the story she had heard countless times before. "There once was a knight who fell in love with the fairest maiden in the Kingdom."
Before he could continue, she interrupted. Booth wasn't at all surprised. Tilting her head backwards to look at him, she asked, "Did the knight have a pony?"
Booth chuckled. Even thought he was there to teach her from the very beginning, she was so similar to Brennan it was often funny. He shook his head, tilting his chin down to look at his four year old daughter. "No, the gallant, brave knight had a dark and strong stallion. The fair maiden had a shiny pony."
Accepting his answer, she snuggled her head back into his chest. With her arm wrapped around her father's firm torso as much as her small arm would allow, she fell asleep with a smile on her lips.
Finished with his duties, he made his way to his own bed. Like clockwork, the other occupant wrapped her arm around his waist and furrowed her head underneath his chin. Her eyes closed, she whispered, "What story did you tell her tonight?"
He sighed, wholly content, and replied, "Ours."
As he pulled the blanket higher up her back, he heard her say, "I love you, too."