A/N: Well, for better or for worse, I'm fairly certain that this chapter is going to be the last chapter in this story. I'm sort of sad to see it come to an end, but am looking forward to writing the sequel very soon. For this chapter, we take a slight leap forward in time, about a month and a half after Brennan's meeting with her father.
Angela Montenegro sighed as she looked at the caller ID on her cell phone. Casting her fiancé an apologetic stare, she flipped the phone open.
"Hi sweetie," she said. "How are you feeling?"
"Ange, I'm in hell. Pure and simple. I think we ought to talk to the CIA about changing how they torture war criminals. I'm fairly certain this is much worse than anything they're currently doing," Temperance whined on the other end of the line.
"Come on sweetie, it can't be that bad," Angela said, rolling her eyes at her fiancé as he laughed while he listened to her have the same conversation she'd been having at least four times a day for the last three weeks.
"Ange, it is awful. I'm bored out of my mind, and Booth won't let me do anything!"
"Um, sweetie, that's sort of the point of bed rest. You aren't supposed to do anything! Take advantage, Bren, let that hot FBI man wait on you hand and foot," Angela laughed.
"My hands and feet are just fine, Angela, other than the fact that I am stuck in this house all day. I get that this is supposed to be better for the baby, but I'm going to go insane, and then what good will I be to Grace?"
"Seriously, Bren, you just have to go with the flow. You're only two weeks away from your due date. What's two more weeks?"
"Hell, Ange. We've been over this. Two more weeks is hell," Temperance complained.
"But you don't believe in hell, sweetie," Angela teased.
"Shut up, Ange."
"Seeley!" Temperance shouted, hearing him moving about in the kitchen. Although Booth heard her, he chose not to respond, knowing full well she'd make him pay later. He silently cursed her doctor for insisting on total bed rest after her preterm labor three weeks earlier. Boredom and hormones had combined to make his girlfriend one very difficult woman to be around. He just kept reminding himself that, in spite of everything, he loved her and soon she would be, if not back to normal, at least less hormonal.
"Seeley!" she called again, this time with just a hint of desperation in her voice. Sighing, he put down the pan he had just taken out and turned in the direction of her room. He was shocked to see her standing in the hallway, leaning heavily on the wall, one hand clasped protectively over her stomach.
"Bones, what are you doing? You know you aren't supposed to be getting up!" he scolded, rushing to her side without noticing the painful grimace on her face. As he took her arm to lead her back into the bedroom, he was surprised when she dug her fingernails into his arm, a wave of pain coursing through her body.
Shooting her a questioning look, he felt his heart stop momentarily when he heard he mutter through clenched teeth, "My water broke, Seeley. It's time."
Quickly jumping into panic mode, Booth rushed her out to the car, stopping only briefly to grab the overnight bag she'd packed several weeks ago and left by the front door.
"Okay Bones," he said, as he slid into the driver's seat of the SUV. "I just had the interior cleaned, so please no delivering the baby in the front seat, got it? Just hang on until we get to the hospital!"
"Where is she? Is she alright? Did I miss it?" Angela shouted frantically, as she rushed into the labor and delivery waiting room an hour later. She paused as she took a look at the two nervous looking men seated before her. Sully and Booth both looked as though they might jump out of their skin at any second. If she hadn't been so worried about her best friend, Angela thought she might have burst out laughing at the sight.
"She's still in there, Ange. It seems to be going pretty fast, though. They moved her to a delivery room about ten minutes ago. We don't know anything yet," Booth said, remembering how Rebecca had been in labor for nearly fourteen hours before she'd finally progressed far enough to warrant moving to a delivery room, and saying a silent prayer of thanks that hadn't been the case for Temperance.
"Well, why aren't you in there with her? Shouldn't you both be in there?"
Sully laughed. "Yeah, we should. But Temperance has banned us from the delivery room, apparently."
Angela smiled. "Well, I'll just go check on her, then."
Booth raised a hand to stop her. "Uh uh. Nope. She didn't just ban us, she banned everyone. Sully, me, you, everyone. I think she would have banned the doctor if she could have."
"But I…" Angela protested, sinking down into the chair next to Booth. "So we just wait?"
"We just wait," Booth affirmed.
"Son of a…" Temperance screamed, gripping the railings of the hospital bed. "I'm going to kill that man!"
"Temperance, stay with me now," Dr. Bryant coached from the foot of the bed. "On the next contraction, I need you to push, alright?"
Temperance nodded, sweat dripping from her forehead.
"Okay, here we go," Dr. Bryant said, as Temperance let out another scream.
"Really, could we have evolved with a more painful birthing mechanism if we tried?" Temperance ranted between pushes. "This is not exactly conducive to the propagation of the race…why the hell would anyone do this more than once?"
Laughing at her ramblings, Dr. Bryant smiled up at her. "One more big push, Temperance, and she'll be here. Ready?"
Temperance grimaced, grabbing an ever tighter hold on the railing, screaming once more until suddenly her voice was replaced by the soft wailing of the infant now in Dr. Bryant's hands.
After cutting the cord and wrapping the baby in a blanket, a nurse placed the tiny, screaming baby in Temperance's arms, smiling slightly as she commented, "She seems to have inherited your lungs, Dr. Brennan."
Running a finger over the little girl's face, Temperance smiled before moving on to her arms and legs, subconsciously counting fingers and toes, ensuring that her little girl was really there.
Sighing contentedly, she whispered softly, "Welcome to the world, baby Grace."
Outside the delivery room, Sully had taken to pacing the length of the waiting room, while Angela began to fear that Booth was going to snap his chair in half from gripping the armrests so hard. Hodgins kept trying to make himself useful by running back and forth to the coffee machine, but no one seemed to be able to relax. Everyone jumped and rushed towards the door when Dr. Bryant finally came into the room. Raising a hand to stop the questions he could see on all their lips, the doctor smiled.
"Mother and baby are both doing fine," he said, greeted by a chorus of relieved sighs. "Everything went very smoothly with the delivery, no complications at all. We'll be moving Dr. Brennan back to her room in just a few minutes, but she'll probably be fairly exhausted for the rest of the day. The baby is being taken up to the nursery. You're welcome to go see her there right now, if you'd like. We're going to let Dr. Brennan rest for a while, then we'll bring the baby down to her room."
"There she is!" Angela squealed, pointing to the pink blanket in the first row.
"Wow," Sully and Booth sighed almost simultaneously. Neither could come up with words as they stared in awe at the beautiful little baby sleeping in front of them.
Finally, Booth reached out and clapped Sully on the back. "You did good, Sul, you did good with that one."
A/N: Well, that's all I've got for now. This story has been so much fun for me to write, and I'm so happy that you all seem to have enjoyed reading it. I hope you'll take the time to leave one last review, letting me know what you think of the ending!
I realize that there are a lot of questions left unanswered in this ending. Don't worry, I didn't forget all about them – I had to leave something for the sequel, didn't I? I anticipate that I'll start posting the sequel in a few weeks, so be on the lookout for it when it comes. Whereas this story focused mostly on bringing Booth/Brennan together, the sequel will focus on family relationships and dynamics. Right now, it is tentatively titled 'Baby Steps' but that is subject to change as the story develops.