Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: Chapter Fourteen will be up in two weeks. It's going to be really freaking long, too - think Season Two with Goodman, no Cam, and a secret B/B relationship. Enjoy.
Chapter Thirteen: A Kiss to Build a Dream On
"Hey, sweetie," Angela whispered, poking her head around the door and smiling. Tempe gave her a weary smile in return.
Angela came through the doorway into Abby's hospital room, her arms occupied with a large vase of yellow roses. "From Jack, Zack and I," she said, finding a spot and setting them down. "Where are Jordan and Booth?"
Tempe stretched, raising her arms above her head and yawning. "Booth took Jordan back to my place to change her clothes and get some entertainment … stuff. Abby's been a little bored, and they don't want her doing anything too physical, so they're getting books and markers and who knows what else. And they're picking up Parker after."
"Ah. Well, I brought some of my art supplies, so I can help keep them all entertained."
"Thanks," Tempe said gratefully.
"No problem, sweetie. And how are you doing?"
Tempe sighed. "It's been very interesting, Ange. I understand the biological need to protect a society's young, but to actually feel it to such a degree … it was intense."
"Meaning you were scared?" Angela asked sympathetically.
"Terrified," Tempe replied.
"Well, like you said, sweetie, that's normal. And now you have no need to worry – you did everything right and Abby's just fine."
"I know. And Russ said the same thing last night."
Angela settled into the room's other chair. "Speaking of Russ – when are he and Sarah getting here?"
Tempe checked the time. "He called around six this morning to say that they were leaving, and it's about a ten hour drive, so they should be here in around four hours or so."
"Oh, good," Angela said, smiling. "That leaves you with plenty of time to take my car, run home, eat lunch, shower, and come back. More than enough time, really."
"What? No, Ange, I can't leave Abby. She'll freak out when she wakes up –"
"I'll be here, and she knows me. Seriously, Bren, you need the break and the time to yourself. I know you, and while I know you adore those girls, I know you also need a chance to think everything through."
Tempe sighed. Angela's right. And a shower would be nice …
"Okay," she finally said. "Just let Abby know where everyone is when she wakes up. And tell Booth when he gets back."
Angela grinned. "I'm so glad you two made up." She gave a happy sigh, and Tempe grinned.
"Yeah. I still can't believe some of the things he said, but we talked, and things are better."
"Good. Well, here are my keys. Have fun, don't worry, and try not to hurry back."
Tempe stood up and took the keys, giving her friend a smile. "Thanks, Ange."
"Shoo, sweetie," the artist replied, already taking out her sketchbook.
A party was going by the time she returned two hours later. Booth had somehow managed to convince the nurses to let him hook his PlayStation2 to the TV in the corner, and he, Angela, and the three kids were taking turns playing Katamari Damacy. Three more chairs had also been brought in, and Tempe had a feeling that Booth's charming smile had something to do with both.
She leaned over and kissed Abby's forehead, then asked how she was feeling.
The little girl made a face. "My tummy hurts when I laugh," she said, "and the food is yucky. But I felt yuckier yesterday."
"That's good, sweetheart," Tempe replied, kissing her forehead again before taking a seat between Abby and Angela.
The latter turned to her with a smile. "Jack said he'd be by in a little bit. He had something to check on in the lab, and then he was heading over here. Zack won't be in though; Hodgins is making him work on his thesis."
"Good," Tempe said. Zack had put off his thesis for far too long. If he didn't finish it soon, Goodman would have to ask him to leave the Jeffersonian. He couldn't be a grad student assistant forever.
She spent the afternoon watching Booth and the kids play video games, talking with Angela, and making sure Abby was still feeling okay.
Hodgins showed up a little after three, bearing more video games (including something called Karaoke Revolution, which Tempe flat out refused to play), several board games, and an offer to get pizza when dinnertime rolled around.
Conveniently, Russ and Sarah arrived at five, when the doctor was checking Abby. Booth, Parker, and Hodgins had left to get the promised pizza, and Angela had disappeared into the woman's restroom, leaving Abby, Jordan and Tempe.
Sarah spent the first ten minutes alternating between crying, hugging Abby and Jordan, and questioning the doctor. Judging by the weary look on Russ' face, Tempe guessed that the car ride had been filled with much of the same, with maybe more crying.
Sarah finally let the doctor leave, satisfied that she had good answers to all her questions, and turned to Tempe. She drew her into a hug, squeezing hard, and whispered, "thank you."
The pizza boxes had been discarded, a fight between Abby and Parker had been broken up, and Sarah had soundly beaten Angela and Hodgins at the karaoke game. Sitting on Russ' lap in the chair beside her, Sarah gave Tempe a gentle poke and murmured, "Will you show me where the bathroom is?" Tempe nodded, and as they left the room, she noticed Russ moving over to Abby's bed.
In the restroom, Sarah disappeared into a stall while Tempe lingered in front of the mirror, glaring at an odd kink in her hair and trying futilely to smooth it out.
"So," came Sarah's slightly disembodied voice, "how scared were you?"
Tempe let out a small laugh. "Very."
The toilet flushed and Sarah came out, grinning. "Boy, do I know that feeling," she said, washing her hands. "It's not easy, raising kids. It's never easy. But God, it is so worth it."
Tempe didn't reply as Sarah grabbed a paper towel and turned to her, studying her face.
"You don't want kids, do you." It wasn't really a question, and Tempe was surprised to hear none of the disbelief she usually heard from others.
"No," she finally said, "I don't."
Sarah nodded. "Because you were a foster child?"
Tempe shrugged. "That's one of the reasons. I'd never want a child of mine to go through what I did. And there's so much violence in this world – I'd hate to bring a kid into that, into my job." She paused and looked away. "And I don't really think I'd be a good mother."
She could feel Sarah studying her, but the other woman didn't say anything. Finally, Sarah threw the paper towel away.
"Ready to go back?"
Tempe nodded, and turned to leave, but Sarah's hand stopped her at the door.
"For the record, Temperance, I think you'd be an excellent mother."
For once, she recognized the compliment for what it was.
One of the night nurses was leaving the room as they walked up, and she stopped them with a quick smile.
"Visiting hours are over in thirty minutes. You can stay, of course," she nodded at Sarah, "but everyone else is going to have to leave."
Sarah nodded in agreement and asked about Abby's condition, and Tempe headed into the room. Parker and Booth were now engaged in Candy Land, and Hodgins, Angela and the girls were watching a movie about a mouse in a cowboy hat.
"I think I'm going to leave soon," Hodgins said as Sarah came in behind her. "I have a whole lot of nothing planned for tomorrow, and I need my beauty sleep."
Angela rolled her eyes as Tempe sat beside her. "I need to leave soon too, but at least I have plans for tomorrow."
"Oh yeah? Like what?" Hodgins countered.
"Laundry. I'm getting down to my granny panties, and that's always a sure sign," Angela said primly.
Sarah snorted as she settled in at the head of the bed, Abby in her lap, Jordan cuddled next to them. "I remember those days. Seems that all I wear now are granny panties." She shot a sultry look towards Russ, and Tempe fought a small shudder.
They were watching Parker beat Booth when Jordan said, "hey, Mommy?"
Sarah turned to look at her. "Yes, sweetie?"
"Will you marry Russ?"
Abby, still in her lap, held out a small, black velvet box. "Please, Mommy?"
Sarah stared at her daughters, then at Russ. "That was what this weekend was about?"
He shrugged. "Well, that and your birthday." But he looked nervous, and Tempe knew he was scared she'd say no. He didn't have to worry.
"Oh my God, yes! Yes!"
And suddenly Sarah was in his arms, kissing him, and everyone was cheering, and a nurse was bringing in a cake. Booth pulled a bag from beneath the bed and took out plastic plates, cups, napkins and forks, while Hodgins reached into his bag and took out a bottle of champagne.
And Tempe suddenly knew that Booth and Hodgins had know this was going to happen, had been prepared for this moment and hadn't told her, and she was about to smack one or the both of them when Russ pulled her into his arms.
"She said yes, Tempe," he whispered into her ear. "I'm getting married!"
And Tempe knew that this was one of the happiest moments of her life.
She was getting her family back.
Pease remember to read and review. Comments and criticisms are appreciated; flames will be used to destroy the pimple taking over my face.