Okay so this one is finished. thanks to those that have read, and to those that have read and reviewed. Good day to all!

Chapter 12

Booth and Brennan remained true to their word and watched over the Paterson household. Jennifer hardly returned home, save for a few minutes each day to change her clothes and grab a thing or two, however as the week wore on and Mike's condition improved, these visits were happier and more enjoyable. On Thursday evening she returned home while Booth was giving the boys a bath and Brennan was cleaning up the remnants of dinner. She bore good news; Mike was coming home on Saturday.

Saturday morning couldn't have come any slower than it did. Brennan was playing cars with the boys in the living room while Booth was cleaning up in kitchen. When the front door opened activity ceased. Jennifer stepped in beaming, followed by an equally happy Mike who was walking very gingerly.

"Boys! Come to daddy!" Immediately the boys were clutching their father's legs. Slightly embarrassed Brennan stood up to head for the kitchen. She grabbed a dishtowel and began drying the dishes.

"You okay Bones, about everything?"

She nodded in reply. "What about your ribs? Do they still hurt?"

"Yes, but I've had worse." He finished the last of the drying and started to dry too. "So I figured we'd take the noon flight back to DC." To her, it was fairly obvious he was making conversation for the sake of conversation. She returned his comment with the perfunctory nod.

There was the sound of feet bounding up the stairs and then Mike made his way into the room.

"Guys I have no clue how to thank you for everything that you have done this week. You've made this whole mess a lot easier. How can I thank you?"

"That won't be necessary," replied Brennan. "Helping you and caring for your children has been a wonderful learning experience. I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you."

"No problem," smiled Mike in reply. "So they have been behaving?"

"Like little angels," commented Booth absently mindedly rubbing a bruise on his arm from a hockey game that turned rough.

"So what's for lunch?"

The day was spent relaxing inside and cooking a delicious goodbye/welcome home dinner for the evening. A delicious pot roast dinner was eaten and cleaned up and the boys were tired from excitement so Jennifer out them to bed. The adults sat in the living room sipping coffee.

"Hey everyone want to take a dip in the hot tub? It's very relaxing," offered Mike. Booth and Brennan looked at each other and shrugged.

"Sure," replied Brennan immediately. "I'll get changed."

"What? You packed a bathing suit?" questioned Booth incredulously.

"If you've traveled as much as I have you learn to always pack a bathing suit just in case." With a smile she turned on one heel and headed for her room to change.

"That's one special woman you got there Booth. Don't you forget that," warned Mike. "Now come on, get changed."

"I don't have a bathing suit" mumbled Booth.

"So wear your boxers, same thing."

"I don't have any clean pairs left."

"Sweet Jesus boy don't you know how to do the laundry? Follow me and I'll get you a pair." Booth followed behind Mike as he headed for the stairs. They passed Brennan's room en route and Booth couldn't help but notice that the door was ajar. He stopped walking as he saw her discarded bra and panties on the floor and a creamy leg in the relfection of a mirror.. The view seemed straight out of his wildest and cleanest dreams. He felt himself melt away, entranced by his partner. A gentle tug became more forceful and Booth found himself upstairs.

"Dude, man I knew it!" shouted Mike excitedly once he was in his bedroom. "You do have the hots for your partner!"

"What? No!"

"Seeley, please. You were drooling as you watched her leg! I can only imagine if you saw a breast! We'd have to call the coast guard before you floated away!"

Booth stood on the spot knowing full well that there was going to be no talking himself out of this one. "Yeah I suppose I have feelings for my partner."

"Suppose, man you'd be crazy not to like her. Seeley, you've been a brother, a friend, and a subordinate. You've saved my life way to many times to count so listen to me. Go after her. I understand that she is fragile and had problems in her past, but the only way to know is to make something happen. Man do you see her smile when you are around? Her world lights up. You're her sunshine on a cloudy day, her silver lining in the storm, the apple of her eye, the light—"

Booth held up a hand. "I got it Mike." He then sat on the bed and leaned back, covering his eyes and groaning. "Do you really think she likes me?"

"Haven't you been listening to a word I've been saying?" Mike launched a pair of shorts at Booth. "Do it man!" Booth mumbled something in response and shooed Mike from the room. As he changed, his thoughts were racing with thought of Brennan. Could a relationship with them work? Would she be willing to try? Would she allow him to cross the line he drew only a few months ago? He finished changing and headed downstairs. It seemed as though everyone was waiting for his arrival and upon his showing headed outside. The cold air knocked into them like a shot to the solar plexus and they quickly entered the hot water. Prior to entering the water Booth noticed that Brennan was wearing a red bikini that left not much to be desired. To him, he was a goddess.

He mentally cursed Mike for implanting these thoughts about Brennan into his mind but in reality he knew that he was just bringing them to the surface.

The hot water of the hot tub proved to be a great decision as the hot water caressed his aching muscles. Everyone enjoyed a moment of silence as they took a well-deserved moment to relax.

"So you guys are leaving tomorrow?" asked Jennifer, breaking the peaceful silence.

"Yeah we figured that we ought to head back before people think that we've gone west for a better life."

"Well man, you are welcome back whenever you want," said Mike.

"Thanks a lot." The two men reached forward and shook hands. As he settled back again, Jennifer leaned in to her husband's ear and whispered something. He nodded and then stood up.

"Jennifer's not feeling well so I am going to take her upstairs. You two are welcome to stay here." Mike smiled and gave Booth the faintest of all winks before escorting his wife back inside.

Booth looked over to Brennan. "So Bones, are you okay?"

"Yes Booth, I am fine." His face instantly became serious and he leaned forward so that he could look her in the face.

"Are you sure Bones? Because I've seen men stronger than you fall." She opened her mouth to retort, but he raised his hand to silence her. "Bones, I'm not calling you weak. I'm referring to guys that make a living by killing and then experience it over and over again. I'm not trying to preach Bones, but I had a friend that served in the Special Forces. He was close to death, placed in a similar situation as you and he made it out. But nightmares plagued him for months afterwards until the point where he took his own life. Bones, I want to make sure that you are okay. You've been through more sadness and pain than anyone as beautiful and smart as you should go through. You've been hurt in the past, but now Bones, when you hurt, I d too. And I don't want you to hurt anymore. Not as long as I am around." Booth scooted closer to Brennan and the light from the deck reflected off the tears slowly streaming down her face.

"How long do you plan on being around?" she asked quietly.

"As long as you want Bones, as long as you want." He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight, never wanting to let go. After a few minutes he looked down at her. He lifted her chin with two fingers and looked into her eyes. He saw gratitude, fear, and yet something else reminiscent of hope. He leaned in slowly, still giving her a chance to back away. His lips were centimeters from hers and he could feel her warm breath.

"Tempe and Seeley sitting in a tree, K-I-S-I-N-G!" shouted the Paterson twins from their upstairs bedroom. Booth dipped his head and smiled before looking back up at a smiling Brennan.

"Guys you spelling kissing wrong, there are two Ss!" shouted Brennan back.

"Told you!" shouted James. Both of the boys giggled before their father appeared in the window.

"Sorry about that guys," called Mike from the boys' window. "Go to bed you little mites!" He shooed the boys to bed and added, "now you guys can continue whatever it was you were doing. Go ahead, we won't judge." He shut the window and closed the curtains, leaving Booth and Brennan to themselves.

Booth looked over at Brennan nervously, but loosened when he saw her smiling. "Kids really ruin the mood," she said jokingly.

"Yeah that's why you learn to lock the doors," he chuckled. "So, um."

"Yeah…" They both laughed at the fact that they sounded like two teenagers. "Booth, you've been nothing but kind, loving, and caring towards me. Thank you." She leaned forward and gave him a small kiss on the lips. Then she backed away and quickly grabbed her towel to get out. He quickly reached out and grabbed her hand. He pressed a gentle kiss to it, making her smile; something should do more often in his own opinion.

Nothing ever went the way it should have gone when there are kids present. Every adult slept in, but not the kids. No, they were up early and decided to switch off all of the alarm clocks in order to make everyone breakfast. They worked in the kitchen, preparing eggs, cereal and toast. Only when James dropped the bowl of eggs did someone wake up.

Brennan walked into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from her face. "Guys, what are you doing?" she asked, sleep evident in her voice.

"We were trying to make breakfast for you and Seeley before you leave, but…but… I spilled the eggs and maked a mess." She could hear the tears in her voice and reached down to scoop him up.

"Aw James, it's okay. It was nice that you were trying to make breakfast. There's time to clean up before we leave it's only…oh shit ten o'clock? Why didn't the alarm go off?"

"We turned off the alarms so that you could sleep late and we could have time to make breakfast. What does shit mean?"

"Nothing important sweetie. Listen, I'll clean this mess up and you go wake up Bo…Seeley for me and then go get dressed. Okay?"

"Yes Tempe," they replied in unison. They bounded off and she turned her attention to the eggs scattered across the floor. With a sigh she got on her hands and knees and began mopping them up. She could realize Booth's presence a few minutes and smirked slightly. She knew exactly what he was doing.

"Enjoying the view Booth?" she asked seductively.

"Any view of you is absolutely beautiful Bones," he replied earnestly. She smiled and stood, the mess on the floor suddenly forgotten. He smiled and met her halfway, pulling her into his arms and placing his chin atop her head. After a few moments they let go and Booth's hands rose to cup her cheeks. He leaned in to give her a kiss, when the sound of a hurried shout and feet moving around upstairs caused them to quickly separate.

"You did what? It's ten freaking thirty. Booth! Get up!" shouted Mike as he rushed downstairs. "Oh my god, what a mess! Boys!"

"Mike, calm down," urged Booth. "We can get another flight, unless you want up the hell out of here…"

"No, no! Of course not! Sorry I didn't get much sleep last night," he replied with a wink. Booth laughed while Brennan rolled her eyes. "Well then, you guys enjoy a hot shower, together if you want, just keep it down, don't want to be corrupting my children and then the boys and I will have breakfast ready. Sound good?"

In the airport a few hours later everyone stood together waiting for the boarding call for the flight to DC. Brennan could tell that the children were antsy and James kept looking like he was going to cry. Finally the call for the flight to DC was made and Booth and Brennan turned around to say good-bye. Booth shook Mike's hand and kissed Jennifer on the cheek, as did Brennan. She then kneeled down to the boys.

"Can I tell you a secret?" she asked in an exaggerated whisper. The boys nodded. "If you ask your mommy and daddy nicely, maybe you can come to Washington DC during your winter break from school and then I can show you the museum where I work and other things. Would you like that?" They nodded vigorously in agreement. "Okay then, be good and let me know if you have any problems. Your dad will know where to get in contact with me." Both boys gave her big hugs. Mike looked over at Booth and noticed the look of love and desire on his face as Booth watched Brennan's interaction with the boys.

On the plane, Booth reclined his seat and shut his eyes, grateful that the entire ordeal was finished. He rubbed a hand over his face and sighed.

"I need a vacation," he blurted as he took a sip from the Sprite that the flight attendant had provided. "Somewhere warm and secluded. I am thinking Hawaii…"

"Then what's stopping you?" she asked nonchalantly as she flipped through a magazine.

"Em, well Parker is going to be attending a Catholic school, a very good Catholic school to be with his friends, so I have to pay some and with the house and all the other stuff, I don't have much spare cash."

"Oh." She closed the magazine. "Though I suppose package deals for two are much cheaper…"

Booth nearly choked on his drink.

"Wait, did you just say that you would go on vacation with me?"

"Well yes Booth, everyone needs one eventually. And I would rather have someone to bother while I am there. Last time I went with Angela and she spent the entire time trying to get me into be with someone. I mean not as a date, and we would have separate bedrooms, but you certainly can't go back to work in that condition."

Booth simply smiled. "Bones, I would love to go on vacation with you."