A/N Howdy hey, guys and girls! How are we all? This would have been up a lot sooner if I didn't have to make 60 cupcakes for my sister's dance troupe at the weekend (I offered, I'm clearly crazy, and if I never see another orange cake again it will be too soon). But enough about that. I wrote my first story with a birth in it when I was 16, and I prefaced it with the warning that I had never had a child and therefore had no idea what it was like to give birth – I am now 18, and that warning still stands. Someone actually said to me 'never apologize for not being pregnant at 16', which I always found kind of funny. So yeah, I usually find a way to write around it, but today I am facing the challenge head-on. For those keeping score, these past three chapters pretty much have all taken place over the same day, so don't get confused. Also: I just completely left out all of the legal side of surrogacy, partly because it's boring, and partly because I barely understand it. So don't tell me that I don't know what I'm doing, OK? [A/N This chapter was reuploaded on May 23rd 2010 due to page break errors]
May 28th 2009
When Angela and Hodgins still hadn't arrived almost three hours after they had got to the hospital, Temperance and Booth were starting to think they would never show up. She couldn't imagine how they would all feel if the baby was born before everyone was where they were meant to be. This just seemed like one more thing that was preventing Angela and Hodgins from being a happy family. She could just picture herself giving birth alone, terrified and going out of her mind, wondering when they would get the baby they wanted so badly. Leaning over in the bed as much as she could to where he had falling asleep, she poked Booth in the shoulder. She needed someone to talk to, and he was all she had.
"Booth, I need to ask you a favour."
"Sure, anything." He straightened up and rubbed his eyes, trying not to look like he was as sound asleep as he was, knowing that she was uncomfortable and exhausted already herself.
"If Angela and Hodgins don't make it…"
"They will," he interrupted. "They'll be here."
"But if they aren't. You have to promise you'll stay with me. I can't do this alone."
"Of course I will. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. I'll always be here, Temperance."
She blushed at the intimacy of what he was saying to her. "Thank you."
May 29th 2009
Angela and Hodgins had learnt quickly that the door Larry was trying to cut through wasn't just your average door – it was the kind that was heavily secured (although why anyone would want to steal a bunch of bones was a complete mystery to her) and simply removing it from its hinges wasn't a viable option. And they would have been out a lot sooner if Larry had come prepared with something more substantial than a hacksaw.
"OK, guys, I'm almost through," Larry shouted through the door. "Stand back!"
Without much warning, the door to Limbo collapsed inwards, and the two captives were ushered out into the hallway. They were finally free, and neither had ever been so glad to see Cam before. After breathing a quick sigh of relief and thanking whatever force that was out there, they sped off past the crowd of people that had gathered to see them emerge.
"Coming through, we're gonna go have a baby! Oh, and thanks, Larry!" Angela shouted over her shoulder as they rounded the corner. Then they were alone together, hurrying out of the building and towards the parking structure. Once they were at their car, they climbed in and before either had had chance to fasten their seatbelts, Hodgins had pealed out of the parking space and was driving away.
All Angela could do was sigh deeply, and try to get her head around what had just happened to them. She was convinced that she had missed the birth of her baby already. It was half past one in the morning, and Temperance had called her almost five hours ago. She knew that labour could take a while before anything started happening, but her friend always had been an overachiever.
This was a pain like nothing she had ever felt before. Of course, she had felt pain in the past, but it paled in comparison. All those horror stories that she had heard about labour were true. She held her eyes tightly closed, all she could see were tiny pinpricks of light flashing before her, and her body felt like it was on fire.
'OK, Temperance, focus. Don't think about the pain; concentrate on what you have to do'. Her internal pep talk worked for a little while, but she was finding it hard to focus completely on pushing. She had tried to block everything out that was going on in the delivery room, but she could hear the midwife telling her to take a break, and that it would all be over soon. She just had to push for a little longer. But she felt like she couldn't take anymore. 'Focus, Tempe, you have to try. Just think.' Suddenly it came to her. She had a renewed energy, and she was ready to go again.
"Push for me again, Temperance, you're nearly there," the midwife was saying, but her voice seemed far away.
"Come on, Sweetie, you can do it!" Angela's voice this time. Then she left Temperance's side for a moment, and she could hear her calling Jack in from the hallway, where he sat with Booth trying to wrap his head around his impending fatherhood.
She pushed with all her might, and to keep her mind on the task, but off the pain, she recited all the bones in the human skeleton to herself. She found comfort in their familiar names, the facts, her own knowledge. 'Start at the top, and work your way down: frontal bone, parietal, temporal, occipital, sphenoid, ethmoid…' The midwife stopped her, and Temperance felt herself gasping for breath. She was tired, but she had to keep going. 'Zygoma, nasal bone, mandible, maxilla…'
"It's a boy!"
She wasn't looking, wasn't listening and was barely feeling anything when she sensed the atmosphere in the room change. It was over, and as she opened her eyes, she looked up to see both Angela and Jack crying, the midwives smiling and flashes that she assumed was someone taking pictures. She couldn't see the baby, but she could definitely hear him.
It was over.
After Temperance and the baby were checked over, Angela and Jack fawned over him while she rested, leaning back against her pillow and serenely watching what was going on around her.
Catching her looking out of the corner of her eye, Angela came over to stand beside her and asked, "Do you want a minute alone with the baby?"
"Do you mind?"
"Of course not, Sweetie. Take as long as you need."
She waited for everyone to leave and for the last person out to shut the door behind them, then leaned over to the small Perspex crib next to her. She didn't want to hold him, not yet, but she traced her index finger lightly over his tiny nose, his delicate cheeks and his ears. She touched his wispy hair and his little toes. He was easily what others would describe as cute, and the perfect mix of Angela and Jack – dark curls and striking eyes. She was glad that it was all over, and that she could go back to how she was before, but part of her was almost sad – how would she feel now that no one would be kicking her in the ribs of the middle of the night, or with no one around to force her to take care of herself? More than anything, she felt very alone. She watched him sleep for a few more minutes, before a knock at the door made her look up to see Booth poke his head round the door. She had supposed he had come to look at the infant, although why people were so obsessed with looking at them she hadn't quite understood (though she understood why she was so fascinated by it, the baby had grown inside her). The last time she had seen him was what must have been a few hours ago, when he was being ushered out by the midwife.
"Hey, how are you feeling?"
"Hi. I'm OK. Tired. But otherwise fine."
His eyes settled on the sleeping form in the crib, and he went over to get a glimpse of the new baby. "Is this him? He's gorgeous."
"No, that's some other baby that they put in here."
"Glad to see you're up to being sarcastic. Are you alright?"
"Yes, I think so. This is all very strange." And it was – she generally felt strange, and the only word she could think of to describe it was empty. Since she hadn't had a drink in a while (her sense of time was completely skewed), all of this talking in hushed tones that she and Booth were doing was making her throat hurt. All in all, Temperance was uncomfortable, to say the least. But underneath all that, she had a strange feeling of being relaxed at the same time – she put it down to the fact that everyone around her, especially Angela and Hodgins, were so happy, and she was happy about finally not being pregnant any more.
Booth squeezed her shoulder and smiled at her. "I'm proud of you."
"Of course. You did good."
"I think you mean 'well'. But thank you."
"You're wel-come. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Just one thing." She stroked her palm against his cheek and pulled him closer to her, gently touching her lips to his.
June 1st 2009
Temperance, Angela and Booth were holding their own 'welcome home' party for the new baby. They were currently sitting in Angela's living room, enjoying a glass of wine and take out pizza, mostly talking about all things baby-related. They had come home from the hospital the night before, and Temperance (who was preparing to move out of the apartment over the garage) had heard about how the new parents had barely got any sleep when she came over to spend the day with them. Nevertheless, they were both lively, probably because they were so happy to finally be a family.
Booth drained his wine glass and set it down on the table before turning to Angela. "So did you finally settle on a name?"
"Booth, this is not the kind of decision one takes lightly! Although it took a long time and a lot of soul-searching, but I think we came up with a good one in the end."
"Well…" She took a deep breath and stroked her son's cheek, gazing down at him adoringly. "We wanted a classic first name, which was unusual enough that when he went to school he wouldn't have the same name as every other boy in his class at school. And we wanted him to have Jack's family middle name. And the names we wanted couldn't jar with the double-barreled surname."
"So what are the names?" Booth probed, no longer being able to take the suspense. How was he meant to teach this kid to pick up women if he didn't know his name?
"I swear to God, Booth, if you say anything about it being a late April Fools joke, I'll kill you." Angela looked over at Temperance and smiled. "Gabriel Brennan Stanley Montenegro-Hodgins. But I think Gabe will suffice."
Temperance looked up. "You named him after me?"
"We want him to know where he came from, and be proud of what his aunt did for him. We're all proud of you."
Temperance didn't quite know what to make of that, but she was pretty certain that, from a modern standpoint, it was fairly significant. Certainly from an anthropological point of view, giving a child the name of someone close to you, albeit usually a dead relative, was an ancient tradition that served the purpose of facilitating the recognition of family groups. She presumed Angela and Hodgins thought of her as family if they were willing to name their child after her, which thrilled her more than she would ever tell them, especially since her experience of family was different to most peoples'. She suddenly felt a rush of love for this child that she had no biological connection to, and was compelled to do everything she could to be a good aunt to him, as good as she could possibly be. Apparently, this was her maternal instinct kicking in.
"Ange, can I hold him?"
"Of course you can! Come on, Gabe, your aunty Bren wants to give you a cuddle." Angela picked up Gabe from the Moses basket where he was sleeping and carried him over to where Temperance was sitting. "I'm just going to go get more wine, I'll be back in a second."
She went out of the room, but not before giving Booth a subtle 'keep an eye on them' look, leaving him and Temperance were alone with the baby. "So, Bones, how does it feel?"
"What, the baby? A bit damp, is that normal?" This was the first time she had held him, after a few days of not feeling ready yet, but now that she was, she thought about how abstract the concept of him growing inside of her felt now.
"Very. What I meant was, does holding Gabe make you wish you hadn't given him up? Or are you glad you did?"
"I must admit, I was worried that I was becoming too attached to him, but when hewas born I was just so happy that Jack and Angela had their baby that I forgot all about how I felt. Now, I assume this is what aunts and uncles feel like – I love Gabe, but I like knowing that I can go home in a little while and do whatever I want without having the needs of an infant to hold me back."
"You mean you can get drunk."
"No I don't. I mean that I value my freedom too much to have a child."
He shook his head and smiled. "You'll change your mind, you know."
"Maybe one day. But for the foreseeable future, definitely not."
Later that night, before she went back to her apartment to go to bed, Temperance went to find Angela. She had something she needed to say, and she didn't think it could wait until the morning. Eventually, she found her friend putting yet another load of laundry into the washing machine in the basement.
"What's up, Sweetie?" Angela asked, programming the machine and leaning back against it.
"Ange, I know I complained about all the favours you were asking of me, but I would just like to thank you."
"You… want to thank me?"
"Yes. If you had never asked me to be your surrogate, then I would have never been with Booth when the baby kicked, and I would have never spent so much time with him, and he would have never kissed me. Et cetera."
"Well, you're welcome, Sweetie. But do you have any idea how difficult it was for Jack and I to come up with something to even begin to convey how grateful we are to you? Words can only do so much, you know?"
"I told you, you don't have to thank me."
"We both know that's not true. Now, we know you wouldn't take our money. Besides, if we're being totally honest, you can't take our money since its illegal and you work so… closely… with the FBI. And you're not the kind of person who would accept any kind of lavish gift, like a car. And anything less would just be an insult. So…"
The baby monitor she had clipped to her belt alerted her that Gabe was crying in the nursery, and Angela began to walk away, but not before calling back to Temperance. "So, it's a surprise. But I can tell you that you and Booth will need to pack a bag. A big one."
A/N2 OK, so that's the end. Shed a tear with me! The name of the baby was an amalgam of all of the bazillion suggestions that I received (I wanted Brennan as the middle name anyway, and thankfully was assured that it is an actual name) and, bonus fact, every time I went to write Gabriel I always wrote 'Bagriel'. Which is not a real name, although maybe it should be – it's like bagel. Now, don't get all excited and grabby, but I may be writing more of this story – I haven't decided yet, but I think there is probably more that could be said. I just don't want to get your hopes up and then not be able to deliver the goods. If you have any ideas, feel free to drop me a line, and I'll see what I can do. In the mean time, I will be working on my next story, involving going undercover, dancing, and all kinds of other fun stuff.
Thank you so much to everyone who read, favourited, subscribed and reviewed, I love you all! In no particular order, special thanks to:
U Colour My World
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If your name is in bold, congratulations, you are my most loyal reviewers! And yes, you do get a shout out, even if you only reviewed once to tell me I was writing Angela all wrong (you know who you are…). I share the love regardless. And I do love each and every one of you. No jokes. Hannah xx