Author's Note: I hadn't forgotten about this story and I apologize profusely for the delay in posting this final chapter. My new job has me at a computer all day, so when I get home the last thing I want to do is look at a screen again. Had to wait until the weekend to finally get to this, but now its done and I hope everyone likes it. I tried to keep Brennan true to her character, especially based on what we heard from Cam and Sweets in the season premiere, which was awesome! Thanks again for all the lovely reviews! So now I present to you the last chapter and as always, enjoy!
The pain killers had allowed her to sleep; if they hadn't been administered she knew she would have been restless, unable to doze after what Dr. Bailey had told her. Yet even as she woke from the drug induced sleep, she could sense him in the doorway. He leaned against the frame, watching her like he had so many times before in her office doorway. Their eyes met and she kept silent, giving him the opportunity to speak.
"I missed you so much," he began, still propped against the door, "Every night I would look at your picture, I kept it in my pocket, here," he placed his hand over his heart.
"Seeing your face, it kept me going, gave me a reason to move forward every day because I knew that each day brought me one step closer to coming home to you. That's all I ever wanted to do was come home, I honestly thought our mission would only last a week, maybe three at the most. I hated that it dragged on because it was keeping me from you."
He moved further into the room now, holding her gaze the entire time, "I never wanted to hurt you Bones, it killed me to do this, and I tried to get out of it. If I had known you were pregnant I would have come home no matter what the consequences," he had reached the chair beside her bed and lowered himself onto it.
"This will be one of the biggest regrets in my life now, not being there when you needed me the most. But you have to believe me when I say I'll never leave you or that baby ever again, that I'm going to be there for both of you from now on."
Her eyes dropped to her hands, her voice quiet, "Did you know what you had to do before you left?"
Wincing at the memory he nodded slowly, "Yes."
Tears spilled down her cheeks as she turned to him, "Then how could you make that promise to me? How could you tell me you were coming home when you knew what you had to do?" She was angry now, her tone got harsher, "You promised me Booth, you promised me that you would inform me next time you had to die," she air quoted the word, "You promised you'd never betray me, that you'd come home to me. How can I ever believe anything you promise me again?"
Each word felt like a knife to his heart, "Bones," he exhaled, trying to find the right thing to say.
"You want me to trust you Booth, but you've broken every vow you've made me!"
Harsh brown eyes met blue, "I was forced to betray you but I never broke my promises to you," it was his turn for his voice to be low, angered.
She gaped at him but he forged on.
"I couldn't tell you that they were going to fake my death, it would have put you, Parker and everyone else I know and love in danger. Bones, if I had told you and any of the enemies found out who I was, that I was alive, they could have contacted their informants here and done something horrible. I was not about to put anyone, especially you into that kind of danger. I had to lie to keep you safe."
He took a breath and then reached for her hand. This time she did not pull away.
"Bones, do you remember that last night I spoke to you on the phone?"
"Do you remember what I told you? That I wouldn't be able to talk to you for awhile, that I wanted you to remember what I promised you?"
"I wanted to tell you
so badly, but that's all I could say. I tried to warn you the best
He squeezed her hand, "Temperance," he used her first name for emphasis, "I never broke my promise to you. I knew I was coming home no matter how long it took and I wanted you to know that. You can always trust me because I will never break any promise I make to you."
Booth reached out and gently wiped the tears from her cheeks but she moved her head, her red eyes meeting his.
"But you left me Booth and it nearly broke me. I never want to feel that way again. If we had never done what we did before you left, if we had stayed just partners, I would have been okay. I would have been able to live without you, to move on, but I couldn't, not for awhile. The only thing that kept me going was the baby, if it wasn't for her…" she shook her head, "I don't know if I can do this Booth, get close to you all over again because when you died," she swiped at the fresh tears in her eyes, "The pain was unbearable and I'm afraid that if you leave me again I won't be able to handle it."
His mouth gaped open; the words came slowly, "Are you saying you regret what we did before I left?"
She swiped at the tears on her face, "Yes," his heart sank, it showed on his face, "No," she quickly added, "Booth, I…I regret letting you get so close knowing that you were leaving. I regret that I wasn't able to emotionally distance myself from your death because of that night. Do you understand?"
Her eyebrow rose and she opened her mouth to protest but he forged on.
"I don't understand why you would regret emotionally bonding with someone Bones. You can't go through life cut off from the rest of humanity, it's not right. You can't emotionally distance yourself; it's not healthy, being human means having emotions, even if you can't always control them. I know your parents left you, but your father came back and look at the relationship you have with him now. You need these connections Bones and I know you are afraid of what you felt after I left but I won't let that happen again for a long time. I want that bond we had, that we still have. If I use your logic it means that you shouldn't get close to anyone because there is always a chance you may lose them. Is that what you're going to teach your daughter? Are you going to teach her that she shouldn't have close friends or family because they might leave her? Does that mean that you won't bond with her either, because God forbid, you might lose her too? Tragic events happen Bones, people die, people leave us, but you have to cherish the time you have with them, not count the days till they're gone. Your little girl needs to know that Bones, whether or not you believe it, and I sure as hell will teach her that by being there for her, even if I'm not her father."
He stared at her wanting his words to sink in and she gazed back with glossy eyes.
Finally she whispered, "You are her father Booth and I want you to be there for her. She deserves you."
A ghost of a smile graced his mouth as she acknowledged his paternity.
"You deserve to be loved and cherished as well Bones. I don't know what it will take to earn back your trust but I will do anything to get it back. You and the baby, you mean the world to me and I never want to leave either of you again."
Gingerly she took his hand and ran her thumb along his knuckles, "I could never distance myself from her Booth and therefore I can never fully distance myself from you because you are a part of her and she is a part of me. Despite what I think we will always be connected and I want that. You were never really gone because when she was in me, you were still with me. If you ever leave me again I will fall apart and I don't know how I'll make it back again, but for now I want you to stay. It will take time but I want to trust you again because I need you in my life. Maybe that's why I'm scared, because I need you and I'm not used to needing anyone but myself."
He closed his fingers over hers, "It's okay to need someone Bones, everyone does. I need you."
Raising her small hand he kissed it, "More than anything in the world," he drew delicate circles in the palm of her hand as he gazed at her, "And if you will try to trust me again, then that's all I'll ask of you."
Booth angled Brennan's wheelchair so she had a clear view of her newborn baby girl. He watched her blue eyes sparkle as she placed her hand in the same spot he had, over the glass separating her from the infant. The same nurse came by with a pink blanket and gently placed the baby into its mother's arms.
Brennan wrapped her arms around their daughter and to him, they looked like two angels.
"She's beautiful," his partner whispered, while rocking the baby slowly.
"Did you pick a name?"
She gazed at the baby and then brought her eyes to his, "I want to call her Christine, after my mother."
"That's perfect," he agreed as he knelt down beside the rocking chair, "Christine Brennan," he repeated.
Her hand that had been stroking the baby's cheek found his, "No, Christine Brennan-Booth, for both of us."
Brown eyes misted over at her words as he squeezed her hand. This was truly heaven, even if they had gone through hell to find it.