Disclaimer: I own nothing... Obviously. Just playing in someone else's sandbox for a bit.
Summary: Every time Christmas rolled around, one of them found out they'd ended up facing the truth of some type of confession. And, each year, after said revelation, things never went as Booth and Brennan had planned.
A/N: Obviously, since this piece brings this story up-to-date with the current season 7, it contains very slight spoilers for the first five episodes…honestly, not anything huge, but in the interests of fair warning, well—there we are, just to be on the safe side.
Year 8: Booth's Fourth Confession
She was giving me that look again. It was the look that said: 'Be really careful what you do, Booth, because if you make the wrong move, you could end up in really deep shit.' Now, over the past seven and a half months, she's been giving me that look a lot, but in the past few weeks, it seems as if I've been getting it a lot. After a particularly hellacious trial and error period in the first month after she told me she was pregnant, I now know that when I get that look, it's better in the long run if I just stop what I'm doing and ask.
"What am I doing that's wrong?" I blinked at her as looked up from the ornament box where I'd been rummaging through my less-than-carefully wrapped packing from last year.
Frowning from where she sat on the couch with her feet propped up on the coffee table in an attempt to alleviate some of the third trimester swelling, I swear I could feel her scowl all the way on the other side of the room. Pointing her finger in the vague direction of the tree, she said, "The tree is still somewhat crooked. I believe you need to adjust it approximately five degrees in the direction of the window so that it's straight."
Setting aside the fact that I'd already adjusted the tree three separate times in various directions and by various degrees, I merely pasted a smile on my face, set down the ornament I was holding, and nodded at her . "Sure, Bones. Just one sec."
Walking over to the tree, I shifted it as she asked. Once more, I could tell she was staring at me intently. Glancing over at her, all of a sudden, I knew something was wrong when I saw her face scrunch up into this contorted mess of angst. If the change in her facial expression wasn't enough, when it was followed by a quick series of several rapid sniffles, I quickly knew what was going to happen even as she did. Thoughts of the tree quickly pushed out of my head, I walked over to the couch and sat down next to her.
"What is it, Bones?" I said as I pulled her into a hug.
Flushing red, she quickly brushed away the tears that had escaped despite her hardest attempts to keep them from falling. Shaking her head, she tried to stop herself from sniffling again as she said, "Nothing. It's nothing."
"I'm fine," she insisted. "I'm fine. It's just the hormones."
"Tell me," I said as I reached out to her and pulled her into a hug.
As soon as my arms were wrapped around her, she gave up all pretenses that she was okay as she began to sob again. Over the past few months, I'd become somewhat used to her hormonal emotional outbursts, and I'd long ago determined the only thing I could do was wait it out. And, so, I sat there holding her in my arms, stroking her hair, and letting her cry into my sweatshirt. After several moments of crying, the sobs subsided to the occasional sniffle.
When I thought that the worst was over, I smiled at her as I gently said, "Better?"
Her eyes red and puffy and her cheeks tear-stained, she slowly nodded her head. "Yes."
"You sure?" I asked, giving her a look.
Nodding, she said, "Yes, I'm certain."
"Positive?" I pressed. "Because, if I have to start singing to get you to smile, we both know that it's gonna hurt both our ears."
"I'm serious, Bones," I told her. "I'm not above belting out some of Mariah Carey's best of Christmas songs—"
"Oh, please, don't," she said as she blinked at me. "It hurts my ears when you do that—and the baby's, too."
I didn't particularly want to, but I knew she needed to smile and so I took a breath as I began to sing in quite an off-key tone of voice:
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
underneath the Christmas tree
I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas day
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
Snickering to herself, and finally smiling that smile that I love so much, she sniffled once as she reached over and placed a finger on my lips.
"Please, Booth, no more—" she pleaded. "I'm okay."
Cracking a toothy grin at her, I nodded as I asked, "You sure."
This time, her smile widened as she nodded. "Yes, just please—please, stop singing."
"Sheesh," I said as I shook my head in feigned offense. "Tough crowd, Bones."
She gave me that look again, and I returned it with one of my own—the standard Booth grin o'charm that's gotten me out of deeper predicaments with her than this one over the years.
Sighing, she repeated, "I'm okay."
"Good," I nodded. "I believe you."
"But?" she asked, knowing what was coming next.
"But," I nodded. "Now you've gotta tell me what it was this time. Was it because I could only find short ornament hooks at the store instead of the short and long combo packs?"
She playfully punched me in the arm as she slowly shook her head.
"No," she responded. "I was just thinking that this time last year—"
"Nope," I said, quickly shaking my head. "No, Bones. We talked about this already. No more looking back. It's a waste of time."
"I can't help it, Booth," she said. "I'm sorry. But, I can't help but thinking back to how horrible things were last year. I was all alone and feeling miserable, but now things are so radically different they are this year. In the metaphorical span of a million year-period, I don't think I could ever have predicted that this is where I would be this Christmas."
"Fine," I nodded at her. "You've thought about it. Fine. Now, if you don't want to just think about where we are in the here and now, why don't you think about next year?" I reached out and placed a light hand over her extended belly. Almost as if she knew I needed some support, our daughter kicked as I covered her mother's stomach to emphasize my point. "By this time next year, our baby will be here, Bones. It'll be her first Christmas."
"Even though technically, this is her first Christmas," she replied. "She is alive at this current point in time even if she is still in utereo, Booth."
"Yeah, but next year we're going to get to dress her in all those cute little holiday dresses and the little itty bitty white socks with the lace edging, and take her to see Santa, and buy her presents that Parker will have to help her open on Christmas morning after Santa came," I continued to paint the picture, and found myself feeling an expectantly calm happiness as I thought of what was to come for us. "If you want to think about something, think about that, Bones. Think about our family, and all the stuff we're gonna get to do now. Remember, we're making new memories, right? Whatever we want?"
Slowly, she took a deep breath and nodded. "I'm trying, Booth."
"I know you are," I said with a smile. "Just…it doesn't do to dwell on the past, Bones. It's what's brought us where we are right now, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"There is one thing that I still wish I could change no matter what you say," she suddenly said with a grumble.
Arching an eyebrow at her, I replied, "Oh?"
Nodding, she said, "On Christmas Eve, I can't have any Kahlua in my hot chocolate."
"I'll have yours," I smiled.
"Booth—" she said with a sigh.
"Don't worry about it," I told her with a grin. "By this time next year, you'll be able to get sloshed in honor of the holiday if that's what you want, Bones."
"Because I won't be pregnant anymore," she said slowly. "Because our daughter will be here."
"Bingo, baby," I grinned. "And, with that in mind, I have something I've been wanting to show you for a while."
Standing up, I went over to one of the bookshelves and quickly grabbed something I'd been waiting to give her for a long time…seven months or so. Handing two small packages wrapped in white tissue paper, she looked at me curiously as she asked, "What is it, Booth?"
"Well," I said, as I sat down next to her. "Since all our Christmas trees from here are on out are going to be ours, I thought it would be a good idea to start a new tradition. When I was a little kid, my parents bought each one of us a special ornament the year we were born. I still have my old one, but when Parks was born, I got a new one to signify that we were a family."
"Which one is yours?" she asked.
I pointed at the lonely Santa Claus that hung on the fairly bare tree since I hadn't gotten much decorating done yet in between her anal retentiveness and emotional cryfests.
"That one," I said pointing. "And, the little green elf is Parker's."
As I spoke, she slowly unwrapped the two packages. I didn't know if she would be happy or angry when she saw what I'd bought. Moving the tissue paper aside, she quickly unwrapped a Mrs. Claus ornament and a delicate angel in a blue dress. Holding the two ornaments in the palm of her hand reverently, she stared at them for several seconds.
When I looked at her, and saw an unreadable look in her eyes, I began to think she might be angry, so I quickly said, "I know how you feel about the religious stuff, Bones. But, I saw this in the store, and I thought it was really pretty, and I thought of the baby. When I saw the Mrs. Claus ornament next to it on the tree in the shop, I kinda took it as a sign."
Her eyes darted back and forth from the ornaments to me and back again. At last, she looked up at me, and she tilted her head as her blue eyes watered once more. "You bought this for me…and our daughter?"
I slowly nodded my head. "Yeah. Is that okay?"
"A new tradition?" she asked, her voice barely more than a whisper since it was so thick with emotion.
"Yeah," I said again. "Are you okay with that?"
Reaching over, despite the awkwardness the advanced stage of her body had made it to move some times, she pulled me into a tight hug. She was crying again, this time the tears merely falling as she nodded and clung to me tightly.
"Bones?" I whispered.
After a minute or two of crying again, she finally answered, "Yes, Booth?"
"If you don't like them, I can take them back, and we can find something else—"
Slowly pulling apart, she shook her head and said, "No. No, don't do that. They're perfect."
"Perfect?" I asked, still unconvinced.
She nodded again as she leaned back into kiss me. "Perfect. Thank you so much for getting them for us."
"Of course, Bones. You know nothing's too good for my girls," I couldn't help myself even as she rolled her eyes at my words. Giving her the grin again before I leaned in to kiss her, I whispered, "I love you—Merry Christmas, Bones."
And, before her lips met mine in a perfect kiss, she whispered some of my favorite words that I would ever hear. "Merry Christmas, Booth. I love you, too."
A/N2: So, there we have it. Thus ends my little B&B inspired Christmas series. Thanks to everyone who's already left reviews—and, hopefully, to those who will chime in with their thoughts as to what they thought of how things wrapped up. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed it. We will be returning to your regularly scheduled updates shortly. Thanks for reading!