Thanks to tantemary for the prompt.
If I was a spider princess, she said, I would spin webs the color of sky & catch drops of sunlight to give to children who watch too much TV & then everyone would remember to come outside to play. If I was a spider princess, she said, things would be different.
"I'm gonna get you!" Booth's knees were not quite what he wanted them to be for a crawling chase with Christine, but the giggles were worth it. Man, she was fast, he couldn't help thinking as he finally got her cornered. She pulled herself up at the table. "Got you!" She shrieked and pattered her feet up and down in unrestrained excitement. He scooped her into his hands and let her fly in them as he rolled to his back on the floor.
He heard the door open and lowered Christine to sit on his stomach. "I think I hear your mommy!" She bounced up and down on him excitedly before rolling off of him to greet her.
"You two looked to have been quite busy in the short time I was gone," Brennan noted, observing the living room disarray while picking up Christine and rubbing noses with her.
He smiled. "She woke up from her nap full of energy. I'll take care of it later. Promise."
Her expression clearly conveyed doubt, but Game 4 of the ALCS was about to start, so whether or not she believed him, it certainly wouldn't do any good to argue with him about it now.
He'd invited Brennan to watch with him, but she'd merely told him she'd rather watch him get all riled upon on the hockey rink than in front of the TV screen. He pocketed that information for later and thanked her for bringing home beer and chips for him.
"Enjoy your stickball game," she said, and he saw the glint in her eye that proved she knew she had surprised him with the street comparison. He grinned appreciatively, gave her and Christine a kiss each, and headed down to watch what he hoped would be the game that would clinch the title for the Tigers.
The game did not disappoint. By the end of the third inning, Detroit was up by three runs.
"Booth?" Brennan called down to him. "We'll be outside."
"What? Yeah, yeah… okay." He gave a distracted wave as he focused on the screen. He really wanted to watch Scherzer throw another strike. He was no big fan of the Tigers, but to see them sweep the Yankees in the ALCS pennant? There was no way he was missing that.
But then a commercial came on for "Pure Michigan" – one of those visitor ads. A montage of families on the slopes, on the lake, and on amusement park rides traveled across the screen. He watched a little boy race across an expanse of green, probably some state park or something, and thought of Parker. He loved hanging out with him in those wide expanses, throwing the football, trying to fly a kite, or just racing. Then he thought of Christine's giggles as he chased her earlier. Brennan jokingly noted the mess, but all Booth saw was happiness.
He turned off the TV, jogged back upstairs and out the door. Brennan was pulling Christine back up to her feet, and then gave her a finger to hold onto as she toddled a bit unsteadily at first, but later with increased determination. Booth watched Brennan's hair lift with the gentle breeze and listened to her low tones of encouragement to Christine. As though they felt his gaze, they both looked up to him.
It was no final out pop fly catch, but rather so much more as Christine released her grip on her mother's finger and took two steps on her own before falling forward and continuing her crawl.
"Did you see that?" Booth asked, joy filling him as he hurried to close the distance between him and his daughter.
"I did!" Brennan laughed with him.
"Her first steps!" He picked up Christine and pulled Brennan into him as they laughed and praised their daughter for her accomplishment. They put her down to try to get her to do it again and again before finally letting her crawl off to chase down a butterfly on her own.
Brennan leaned into Booth and asked who won the game. His answer came in the form of one arm dropping around her waist and the other hand caressing her face and neck as he kissed her. I did, he thought to himself.