AN: This is my story for Megan, aka 2bbornot2bb for Biba79's Bones Fanfic Secret Santa. Hope you enjoy!
The Gifts in the Holiday
"So, Bones, what are you going to get me for Christmas?"
"What? C'mon, Babe, I'm going to get you something."
"That's very nice of you, although I don't see why. Since I do not believe in the holiday, why should I receive a Christmas present? And why should any of us receive presents if this is supposed to be 'Jesus' Birthday'," she said using air quotes that she knew would drive Booth crazy. "I don't give you a gift when it is Hodgins' birthday."
"Because, Bones, this time of year, remembering Jesus' birth, is a time to give thanks for the people around you and show them how much you appreciate them."
"I understand the seasonal gift-giving and the importance it can have on interpersonal relationships. But I don't think it should be a Christmas present. I will give you a seasonal gift and if you choose to open it on December 25th, then that is up to you. Fair?"
"Keep saying Babe and I may be inclined to change my mind."
"Got it. Shutting up."
And so Brennan and Booth decided to get each other gifts, even if they were not to be symbols to commemorate the birth of the Lord.
Brennan, never one to procrastinate, began the next day in the search for the perfect gift for Booth. As she sat in her office, escaping the idiocy of her intern and taking a break from signing off on files, she logged onto the ever-popular . She had found the website to be of great help over the years as she very rarely had time to go to a shopping plaza. She found Amazon to be much better than eBay, even though Angela insisted that one could find better 'deals'. eBay seemed to bring out a distracted and competitive side of her personality that she did not particularly enjoy.
After hours of clicking through the website she did not find anything that seemed quite right. That is until she came across a jersey of Luc Robutaille. Although she did not often like to recall the events surrounding his brain surgery and subsequent coma, she knew that he would appreciate the jersey.
That led her into the world of hockey gifts. There were very many apparel options sporting NHL hockey logos. And there were hockey sticks and equipment sponsored by certain teams or players. Some were even signed. So along with the jersey in her shopping cart, she added a hockey stick that had something to do with the Flyers.
To go along with all of this hockey stuff, she thought it would be nice to get tickets to a hockey event. As she perused the Capitals website she found a link for season tickets. Although the season had already started, or at least she assumed it had judging from the amount of hockey she saw him watching, she could get tickets for next year. She did not quite know how to go about that, but she was sure a quick phone call to her publicist would get her excellent seats.
Just as she was about to submit her credit card information, the phone rang.
"Hi, Booth," she answered.
"How did you know it was me?"
"I have caller ID."
"Right. Anyway, wanna meet for lunch?"
"Yes, I need a break."
"Why? What are you doing?"
"Right now I am about to buy your December 25th gift. But I need the break from my interns."
"So… what did you get me?"
"I got you…"
"You're not supposed to tell me."
"Then why would you ask?"
"Because it's a thing. I ask, you tease me about it. It's part of Christmas."
"That seems quite silly to me."
"Alright, but I really do need your help with part of the gift."
"Alright, as long as it is only part."
"Well I was going to contact my publicist to help, but it would probably be a lot easier if you help, then I won't get sucked into doing some holiday book signing. I was looking at season tickets…"
"Hold on, season tickets?"
"Yes, that is what I said. Anyway, I was wondering what were considered good seats…"
"Why? I thought you said I could ask for help?"
"Bones, don't get the season tickets."
"Why not, don't you want to know what they are for before you say no?"
"No, because I don't think I will be strong enough to say no a second time."
"I thought you would really like them."
"I would love season tickets, well as long as they aren't to the opera. But I can't afford anything like season tickets. I don't want you to get me a huge expensive gift if I can't get you one."
"Well, that does make sense. It would be quite embarrassing for you if I spent more money."
"Yeah, Bones. Hey, listen, why don't we have like a spending cap?"
"Sounds reasonable, what do you suggest? I have a considerable amount I could spend, so you tell me what you can afford."
Getting frustrated with the talk of money, Booth sighed. He did not want to make it sound like he didn't care enough to spend money on her, but he had other obligations, like his son and grandfather, and a much more limited income than she did. Then a plan began to form. He didn't just want her to throw money at a gift, even if he knew it would be awesome. He wanted to make her think.
"Okay, 10 dollars."
"Yeah, Bones, let's be creative. 10 dollar cap. It'll be fun!"
"If you say so."
"Alright, well I will meet you at the diner at 1?"
"Sure," she said as she uneasily closed out the Amazon window and deleted the email to her publicist.
When Booth hung up, Brennan sat there trying to think of something she could possibly get for Booth for $10. And as Booth sat back in his desk chair he had one thought running through his mind: what did I get myself into?
Brennan had been trying to come up with something sentimental enough to give Booth for Christmas. She knew that the price restriction was mostly due to their disparate income. However, she felt as if the playing field wasn't exactly even.
Although she had grown over the years and knew she loved Booth, showing him was something she was not adept at yet. Well besides the sex, she knew she was good at that.
So, wanting to get Booth a sufficiently sappy gift for under $10, she turned to her relationship guru: Angela.
Brennan had assumed that Angela would rattle off some suggestions and she could run back to her computer and order away. She should have known better than to assume when it came to the artist.
"Angela, please, I need suggestions."
"I'm trying, Sweetie, but you don't like any of my ideas."
"Your ideas are too emotional."
"Isn't that why you came to me in the first place? For a good dose of sap?"
"I suppose, but I don't feel comfortable with writing poems or drawing pictures. Are those the type of things you are getting Dr. Hodgins?"
Angela chuckled, "No. I see your point. My gifts to Jack are usually a little less middle school and a little more….well, adult."
"Adult as in sexual?"
"Yes, you can never go wrong with sex."
"I don't know how much more we can have sex, but I suppose I could surprise him at work or…"
"Sweetie, I know I kid you about details, but I didn't need to know that."
Now that her mind is running with adult-themed ideas she began muttering more to herself than to Angela. "I know that La Perla doesn't have anything for under $10, but maybe I have something hidden away Booth hasn't seen. That rules out any props too. And I do find that I am uncomfortable buying pornography, I don't appreciate him watching other women now that we are in a monogamous relationship. But if it were a homemade video…"
"Stop! Bren, listen. I am glad you have some ideas. But trust me, the sex tape thing is a dangerous road to go down," Angela cringed as she remembered Cam finding the tape of her and Hodgins.
Seeing Brennan deflate a little, she added, "Whatever you give him he will love. And fun sexy ideas are always great. But remember to add a bit of yourself into the gift too. That's the part he will love."
With that, Angela and all of her wisdom, exited Brennan's office.
While Brennan had spent weeks trying to come up with the perfect gift, Booth, in his usual fashion, waited until the last minute. As he was fighting his way through the mall he remembered Sweets' VN-M factoid and cursed again; it was indeed between 3 and 4pm on Christmas Eve.
As he passed the zoo of a toy store, he reminded himself that it wasn't as bad as it usually is. He and Rebecca had decided in a moment of truce to get Parker the newest gaming system. He happily forked over the money and told her to get whatever she thought was best. He did have a few things for Parker at his apartment as well, but nothing that he needed to tackle the toy store for.
He walked by countless jewelry stores cursing him for the spending limit. They would laugh if he asked if they carried anything for under $10. He passed by the lingerie store and considered going in. But he knew that anything he got in there would be more of a present for him than her.
Shopping for Temperance Brennan was never easy. If she wanted something, she just went out and ordered it. She was literally the girl who had everything. So whatever he gave her had to be something that she would never get herself.
Over the years of perfume and sweaters for Christmas and birthdays, he realized that the gifts she still hung onto, the ones that weren't shoved on a back shelf somewhere were Jasper and Brainy Smurf. Both of which were under $10.
With that inkling of an idea forming in his head, he turned around. This was something he would only brave for her. The toy store it is.
The next morning, Booth stopped over Rebecca's to watch Parker open gifts and then met Bones at her apartment for Christmas Brunch (yes, the Diner closes one day a year).
This year it seemed all of their friends and family had plans elsewhere, so they were going to make their own Christmas: huge breakfast, presents, and Booth introducing Brennan to some Christmas movies. OK, maybe he was using the movie as a ploy to make out with his girlfriend, but hey, could you blame him?
As the time for gifts came closer and closer, they were both nervous. Brennan didn't know if her gift was sentimental enough and Booth didn't know if his gift would flop with the endless explanations she would probably need.
"You go first, Bones."
"Alright, where is my present?"
"Right here," he said as he handed over a stocking. The classic red felt stocking had her name written at the top in paint marker. Watching her run her fingers over the top of her name, Booth wasn't sure if she liked it and started explaining. "I know that Christmas hasn't been a special holiday for you over the years and I know you don't have anything left from before, well, you know, so I thought I would get you your own stocking. Sorry it isn't nice, but I had to make it because of the limit and…"
Brennan leaned in and gave him a kiss to stop him. Before he realized she had pulled away, he saw her reach into the stocking. It was filled with little things he thought she probably was too smart to play with as a kid. She pulled out a mini slinky and some silly putty, a key chain sized Nerf gun and similar Mr. Potato Head. Then at the bottom she felt something wrapped in tissue paper. She pulled it out and unwrapped an ornament that said "joy".
She turned to Booth and he started stammering again, "that is actually an ornament that my mom always hung on the tree. It was one of the delicate ones and us boys had to stay away from it. When she was gone and we moved in with Pops, I took it with me."
"Booth, you should keep it."
"No, besides the obvious, you know that being your name, I want you to hang it on your tree and remember the good things about the season and that you make me happy."
"Awww, that was so schmaltzy."
"I once stayed with a family who's grandmother spoke Yiddish."
"Thank you for my gift, Booth. I love the toys too. I never spent too much time playing with them like a normal child."
"Eh, normal is overrated. Can I open mine yet?"
"Sure. But I do have to warn you I didn't spend any money. Angela kind of gave me the idea. Well at first she suggested I write you a poem or something. Then she suggested sex," seeing his eyes light up she chuckled, "but we don't need a special occasion for that. And she shot down my idea of a sex tape," she heard him murmur thank God, "but I thought this would be the best of both."
Now afraid to open the gift and find something that he would have to lock away with his guns, he lifted the lid off the box. Inside was what looked to be a stack of paper. He took out the pages and removed the rubber band to turn to the first page.
Seeing his confusion, Temperance said, "Now it's not finished and it doesn't contain any of the case plot, but this is the draft for my next book. All of the parts with Andy in it."
"I get to read your book before it's published?"
From the smile on his face she knew that this was the perfect gift. "Yes, you get to read it. And I know that these are the parts you skip to anyway."
In thanks, Booth leaned over and captured her lips. As his tongue searched her mouth he picked her up and began to carry her into the bedroom.
"Booth what about the movies?" she asked as she groaned in appreciation for the kisses on her neck.
"Later. Right now, it's you, me, and your bed." As he laid her down on the bed he stood up quickly with a smirk and said he would be right back. When he came back in the room with the stocking, Brennan was worried that he had some toy fetish she didn't know about, and not the good kind of toy either.
"Dig down to the bottom, you missed one last present." She stuck her arm in and down in the toe she found a foil package. She laughed as she held it up to him. "What, Angela may have suggested sex to me too. It was my fall back."
"Booth? You may want to go grab page 135 and page 247 then."
As Booth ran out to get the book, Temperance stripped and sat on the bed waiting for him. Maybe Angela had the right idea after all.