Words have never been Angela's medium of choice. She's written for school, of course, and a line or two of poetry in her teenage years, even helped Brennan with the salty sex scenes of her books. But she's never been a girl of words, of long flowery sentences – she'd rather sketch the moment, paint it, recreate it with a computer. She is a woman of vibrant colors and passions, finds her soul in images rather than syllables.

But her guy is a guy of words, and he's taught her to appreciate them too. Before they started dating, she thought he was simply a man of hard, cold science. Facts and microscopes, bugs, slime, dirt. And she's never been more wrong in her life, because he's so much more than that. He starts writing her notes before they even start to date seriously – sweet words that make her smile and feel appreciated, and when there's a hard case for her, a joke to make her laugh. He quotes the famous poets and puts it all in codes for her to crack. She's kept every single note, tucked them away in her favorite book – because he's her favorite author now.

But the best words he's ever given her are not the long quotes written in ink. They are the ones in her memories, that are simple and short and hauntingly beautiful. All their most important truths, she thinks, have always come in three little words.

Be my love.

I'm your guy.

We're a family.

She wishes sometimes that she would have those perfect words for him, that she could say so much with so little, that she could give him everything he's given her a thousand times over. Someday maybe she will have those perfect words, but for now, she'll give him her greatest truth, give back what his words have always meant.

She whispers it to him after a night of making love, she'll say it to him after she's watched him put their beautiful son to bed with his voice of hot tea and honey, she'll press a hand to his face and his heart and feel his life vibrating with hers. She'll tell him every day, every hour if she needs to, so that he can know without a doubt. Someday when they're old and gray and there are grandkids bouncing on his knee, she'll talk about all those memories and take his hand and say them again.

I love you, she says.

Three little words.