Sorry, guys, for getting this up later than I had wanted to! The weekend was KA-RAY-ZEE busy, and of course I had school Monday, Tuesday and today… plus… do you know how hard it is to name babies? LOL.
So this is it, for the Halloween portion of the fic. Halloween 2014. I'm kind of sad that it's over, of course, but I hope that you love this chapter. Because I really LOVED writing it for you guys! By all means, please let me know what you think because this was for you!
Thank you a million times over for being so awesome, and another million or so thanks to Katie for inspiring me to write this. *rolls eyes*
Anyways… here it is:
DISCLAIMER: I stilllll don't own Bones. :-)
Temperance's eyes fluttered open on a late Friday morning; it was Halloween, and as had become their custom, both she and her husband had the day off. She yawned as she stretched, pulling her arms over her head. She rolled onto her right side, focusing her eyes on the digital alarm clock on the nightstand beside her husband's side of the bed.
"11:03?" she mumbled, another yawn escaping her lips as her voice cracked. She reached her left arm over, pressing her palm to Booth's pillow – it was cool. She smiled as she rolled back over.
It was unusually quiet in the house, especially for this time of day. She sat up slowly, turning and placing her bare feet on the plush taupe carpet. Another smile unfolded her lips as she heard the baby's gentle coos and gurgles coming over the baby monitor. She couldn't believe that he was already almost five months old; he was born right on schedule, in early June, after an ultrasound last November revealed that she was further along in her pregnancy than she originally estimated.
Temperance stretched again as she stood; she picked the robe up off of the abandoned rocking chair in the corner of the room, slipping it over her shoulders. She quickly crossed the room and stepped into the hallway, pulling the bedroom door shut behind her.
She padded down the hallway, her feet dragging slightly, noticing how quiet the house truly was. Usually, there was always some sort of noise – television, radio, baby toys, video games – but it was virtually silent, save for the baby and the sound of the furnace as it switched on, on this cool autumn morning.
She paused as she reached the doorway of the nursery, leaning against the doorjamb. Her eyes scanned the nursery; a year ago, the walls had been a cold, uninviting white. Now, a pale baby blue paint covered the walls – white clouds and pale yellow stars were painted on the ceiling. She sighed happily as she spotted her boys.
Booth sat, asleep, in the rocking chair, their infant son curled against his chest. A soft snore escaped Seeley's lips as the baby cooed and babbled, awake in his father's arms.
Temperance was amazed by how much their son resembled her husband; the baby was almost a carbon copy of Booth, except for his brilliant, sparkly blue eyes, which were all hers. Her heart melted a little bit as Booth subconsciously hugged the baby closer to his chest. She stepped into the room, reaching for the monogrammed baby blanket that lay over the railing of the crib. She traced her fingertips over the silky blue threads that spelled out her son's name and birth date.
June 5, 2014
Dozens of balloons and several bouquets of flowers decorated the otherwise empty hospital room. A "Congratulations! It's a Boy!" banner hung above the door. Temperance slowly opened her eyes, taking a moment to take in her surroundings; she stretched.
"Hey," Booth said softly as he stood from his spot on the chair beside her bed. He kissed her forehead, running his hand protectively over her matted hair. "How are you feeling?"
A yawn escaped her lips. "I am… exhausted," she confessed, her cheeks reddening slightly. "I feel so weak."
"You are anything but weak," Booth reassured her, sitting down on the edge of her bed. "You did that all naturally… I am very proud of you, Temperance. You did a great job."
"Thanks… you weren't bad yourself," she said with a smile. "How is the baby? Where is he?"
"He's perfect, Bones," he gushed. "Ten tiny toes, ten fingers, perfect ears and nose… his lungs sound great. He weighs almost nine pounds. He's got your eyes, Temperance," he added proudly as a tear trickled down her cheek. "I can ask a nurse to bring him in."
"Thank you," she whispered softly. She yawned again, quickly covering her mouth with her hand. "Sorry," she added with a sleepy smile, her eyes sparkling. Booth shook his head and playfully placed his finger on his lips. "Is Parker…?"
"Angela is picking him up from school," Booth interrupted, squeezing her hand. "She'll bring him here for us. And if it's okay with you," he said softly, locking his eyes on hers, "I asked that we have no more visitors tonight. I sent everyone home, they all seemed okay with it," he added with a shrug. She nodded in agreement, so he continued, "I want it to be just the four of us."
"Just the four of us," Temperance repeated, sitting up slightly in her bed.
Booth grinned. "I'll be right back, Bones," he said, standing up from the bed. "Don't go anywhere," he teased as he crossed the room.
"I'll try not to," she replied, rolling her eyes and laughing a little as he stepped out of the room and pulled the door closed behind him.
Within a few moments, the door opened and then shut again. Booth pushed the isolette into the room. "Hi," he whispered, a proud smile spreading across his face as he pushed the cart toward the bed. He carefully picked the swaddled infant up, cradling him close to his chest.
Fresh tears welled in Temperance's eyes, her jaw dropping slightly. "He's so…," she said softly, words failing her as her voice cracked. She held her arms out to take the baby.
Booth sat down beside her on the bed before handing the tiny bundle to his wife. "It really is amazing, isn't it?" he asked as she traced her finger over the baby's tiny, pudgy cheek.
Temperance nodded her head as a few tears trickled down her cheeks. "He needs a name."
"He does," Booth confirmed. He wrapped his arm around Temperance's shoulder, pulling her in for a sideways hug. She shifted the baby so he lay in her lap, his blue eyes wide open and searching as they stared down at him. A yawn escaped the baby's lips. Booth smiled. "Logan?"
Temperance wrinkled her nose.
"Okay, I'll take that as a no," he said with a laugh. "Schuyler?"
She chewed on the inside of her lower lip before shaking her head again. "I think his name should be… something strong. It should have meaning," she said with a slight shrug. Booth nodded in agreement. "How did you and Rebecca choose Parker's name?"
Booth took a deep breath. "I named him after a buddy of mine from the Army, Corporal Parker… remember, Bones? I told you about him," he said softly, gently tracing his fingers over the baby's belly. She nodded, returning her attention to the baby in her lap. "He was a good guy, my friend. It was a way to honor him."
Silence surrounded them as they watched the baby wriggle around in Temperance's lap. "What about Zachary?" Booth asked in a hushed tone, carefully watching her face for her reaction.
She turned to look at him. "After Zack?"
"Yeah," he offered with a sincere smile. "It means 'God has remembered'," he added. "Zack was… is… a brilliant man, a logical man. And, in his own way, he's a good guy, too. But most importantly, Bones," Booth said carefully, watching as a fresh set of tears lined her eyes. "He was your friend."
Temperance smiled sadly. "Booth," she said softly.
"Bones," he countered.
"You would agree to that?" her voice cracked as the question rolled off of her tongue.
"I suggested it," he replied, shrugging his shoulders slightly, pulling her closer to his body. "Zack and I… we didn't always see eye to eye, Bones, but I respected him. He's important to you, he's a good friend."
She wiped a tear off of her cheek with her right hand. "Zachary Booth," she whispered. "Zachary Liam Booth," she repeated, adding a 'trial' middle name for emphasis. The baby gurgled and stretched, his little arm popping out of the blanket. "I think he likes it," Temperance cooed, her eyes shimmering as she offered Seeley a goofy smile.
"I think so, too," Booth confirmed, leaning over to place a gentle kiss on her lips.
A knock on the door seconds later interrupted their kiss. "Dad? Temperance?" Parker whispered as he opened the door a crack. "Can I come in?"
"Of course," Temperance replied, and Parker stepped into the room.
His face lit up as he crossed the room. He flopped down on the chair, scooting it closer to the bed, leaning over to get a better look at the infant in his stepmother's lap. "Is that my brother?"
"Yeah, buddy," Booth replied, scoping the newly-named baby back up, cradling him close to his chest. "This is your brother… Zachary." Booth motioned for Parker to hold his arms out like a cradle, so he did and sat back in the chair; Booth placed the tiny bundle in his arms.
"Cool," Parker said, staring in awe at his baby brother. The baby wrapped his chubby fingers around Parker's pointer finger, gripping it tightly. "I think he likes me," Parker said, his voice barely above a whisper, his eyes sparkling as he looked to Temperance and Seeley. They both nodded, watching Parker interact with the newborn, and the new family bonded together… just like that.
A tiny cry from the baby filtered through the air, pulling Temperance out of her thoughts. She quickly crossed the room, scooping him up before he could fuss too much. "Shh," she cooed, peppering his chubby cheeks with kisses. He reached out and pulled at her hair. She pulled her hair from Zachary's grip; he let out a laugh. "Shh," she said again, laughing a little this time. "You are going to wake your daddy up!" Temperance added in an exaggerated tone.
"I'm not sleeping," Booth mumbled, his eyes opening slightly. He stretched and stood from the rocking chair as Temperance laid the baby on the changing table.
Temperance rolled her eyes. "There I disagree," she teased. "You were snoring." She unfastened the diaper, pulling it down quickly, and putting a fresh one in its place. "Will you hand me the…?"
Booth handed her the baby powder, interrupting her question.
"Thanks," she replied with a smile. She finished changing the diaper, in what must have been record time, and dressed the baby in a plain white onesie. She tickled his stomach and blew raspberries on his cheek, eliciting a loud laugh from Zachary. "I love that laugh," she whispered as she scooped her laughing son up, hugging him close to her chest.
"I do, too," Booth said softly, making a face at the baby.
"Thank you for letting me sleep in," Temperance said. Booth nodded, so she continued, "I hadn't realized I was that tired."
"Hey, it's hard work being super scientist and super mom," Booth teased, wrapping his arm around her and hugging her close. "Angela called and said they'd be here around 12:30."
"Have you heard from my dad?"
Seeley shook his head 'no'. "Not today. I know Russ and Amy were picking him up, and that they'll be here at around two o' clock. Sweets and Daisy are coming a little later, too, probably at around five with Cam and Michelle," he said, shrugging his shoulders slightly. "And Rebecca is dropping Parker off when he gets out of school."
"Full house," Temperance murmured, carefully eyeing Booth. "We should have let Jack and Ange have the party," she teased.
Booth laughed. "Would have been easier, yes, but not nearly this much fun," he replied, rolling his eyes slightly. "Go get dressed… Zack and I will meet you downstairs… then we can get him dressed in his costume. Okay?"
"Okay," Temperance replied with a nod, handing the tiny bundle of energy to her husband. Seeley placed a kiss on her cheek as she turned to leave the nursery to get ready for their busy Halloween day.
She was downstairs within the half hour – if motherhood had taught her anything, it was to move more quickly to get everything done – feeling refreshed and fully awake. She padded into the kitchen, where Seeley sat at the kitchen table, spooning some sort of mushy fruit into the baby's mouth. "Hey," she greeted them, sitting down in the chair beside her husband.
"Hey," he replied, raising another spoonful of mashed bananas to Zachary's lips. The baby turned his head and shoved the spoon away with his hand, causing the food to slide off of the spoon. "I guess he's done," Booth said with a laugh, wiping the banana off of his son's cheek with his thumb.
"I would assume so," she teased, reaching to grab a napkin from the holder on the table. She handed it to Booth, who wiped the baby's mouth with the napkin. "We should get him cleaned up and dressed… the costume is still in the hall closet?"
"Right," Booth confirmed, standing up and pulling the tray off of the high chair so he could pick the baby up.
They walked to the living room together; Temperance paused at the closet, pulling the bag that held the costume in it from the shelf, along with a fresh diaper and wipes, so they could change the baby.
Booth laid Zachary on the floor, and within seconds, the baby rolled over and used his hands to hold himself up. He rocked slightly, as if he were about to get up on all fours, bouncing up and down as he looked expectantly at his parents.
"Where do you think you're going, mister?" Temperance asked with a laugh as she sat down on the floor, leaning against the couch.
She handed the diaper to Booth, who changed the soiled diaper quickly before sitting the baby up to dress him in the lion costume. Zachary wiggled around, resisting the bodysuit. "A little help here, Bones?" Booth teased.
Temperance scooped him up and turned him to face her. "Let me do it," she said in a singsong voice, steadying the baby in her lap. Booth handed her the outfit; she stuck the baby's pudgy legs into the holes before pulling the rest of the onesie up. She fastened the Velcro flap on the back and pulled the lion's mane hood up on her son's head. "That wasn't so bad," she teased, playfully sticking her tongue out at Booth.
"Whatever," he replied, reaching out and tickling the baby.
There was a knock on the door and without a moment's pause, the front door opened. "Hello?" came Angela's voice.
"In here, Ange," Temperance replied, and within seconds, Angela appeared in the living room.
"Sweetie!" she gasped, tossing a diaper bag onto the loveseat. "Z looks adorable!" she cooed, dropping to her knees. "I know just what he needs," she added excitedly, reaching for the diaper bag. Angela pulled a palette of face paint out of the bag.
"Keep that away from my kid," Booth warned, a teasing tone playing in his voice. "Hi, Ange."
"Hey," she cooed, reaching for the box of Kleenex on the end table. "Relax, Booth… just some whiskers and a little pink nose… he'll look so cute," she added in a reassuring tone.
"It's fine, Angela," Temperance replied, rolling her eyes at Booth. "Where are Jack and Ryan?"
"Oh," she replied with a laugh, pulling Zachary into her lap. "Mr. Big Shot doesn't wanna get out of his big boy booster seat."
"Hodgins?" Booth quipped as Angela swiped some dark brown paint onto Zack's cheek.
"I heard that!" Jack said with a laugh, struggling to carry a kicking and screaming toddler into the room.
"Down! Down! Down!" Ryan protested, kicking against his father. "Please!" he added, his cheeks burning bright red, his voice cracking as he screamed just a little bit louder. Jack set him down and he immediately ran over to Temperance, snaking his arms around her neck and burying his head into her chest. "Auntie T!" he sobbed.
She wrapped her arms around the little boy. "Oh my goodness, what is all of this about?"
Angela rolled her eyes, adding the finishing touches to Zachary's whiskers. "Somebody fed the little guy too much sugar for breakfast," she said, motioning toward Jack, who shrugged sheepishly, "and he didn't get a nap before we came over. Sorry," she added over the wails of her son. "There," Angela said a moment later, turning Zachary around to face Temperance and Seeley. "Perfect!"
The group laughed as Zachary let out a delighted squeal. They talked for a few minutes as Ryan calmed down a little, and then began to finish the preparations for the big Halloween party.
At promptly three P.M., the doorbell rang. Two not-so-little-anymore girls stood on the front porch with their parents and grandfather.
"Are they home, Russ?" Hayley, who was dressed as a witch, asked. "They usually don't take this long to answer the door," she said impatiently.
"Ring the doorbell again," Max suggested, slightly shrugging his shoulders.
Emma, who was dressed as a cheerleader, reached out and pressed the button.
Not a second later, the door was pulled open and Booth jumped out onto the porch. "Boo!" he yelled, eliciting matching screams from the girls. He laughed as he pulled his mask off of his face. "Hi, guys!"
"Uncle Seeley!" Hayley gasped, dramatically placing her hand over her heart. "You gave me a fright!"
"I gave you a fright? I gave you a fright?" he asked, scooping her up and tickling her, forcing her to laugh. He let her catch her breath as he placed a kiss on her cheek. "Come on in, everyone… we're all out back," Booth offered as he stepped into the house, holding the door open for the rest of his guests before leading them through the house, Hayley still in his arms, and out the back doors to the backyard.
They had rented a moon bounce, which was shaped like a pumpkin and took up a good chunk of their backyard. A tent for food was set up, along with enough tables and chairs for everyone. Booth set Hayley down, and within an instant, the girls were at Temperance's side, grabbing for their tiny cousin. Max made small talk with Jack, while Angela jumped on the moon bounce with Ryan, and Russ and Amy joined the girls in greeting Temperance.
Booth took a deep breath as he watched the people who had become his family interact in the yard; he almost couldn't believe it. Just a few years ago, they had only been partners, colleagues, scared of blurring the line between professionalism and falling in love. But somehow, through a dance at a charity ball, the line was indeed blurred, and they somehow were able to find a balance and reach this point in their lives.
"Hey, Dad," Parker greeted Booth, nudging his father with his shoulder as he stood beside him, bringing Booth out of his thoughts.
"Hey, bud," Booth replied, bumping Parker's shoulder back. "How was school?"
"Lame," he replied absentmindedly. "So what are the plans for the party?" he asked, rolling his eyes slightly.
"I'm not exactly sure," Booth replied. "I guess just hangin' out, then the trick or treating thing with the kids later," he added with a shrug.
"I have an idea," Parker whispered, motioning for his father to lean down to his ear level. So he did, and Parker whispered the plan into his father's ear.
Booth smirked. "You're gonna get into so much trouble," he replied with a laugh, watching as his son's eyes lit up.
"Yeah," Parker agreed, "but it will be so worth it."
Within ten minutes, Parker had disappeared and reappeared; Seeley knew that he had gone to grab the bags of already-raked leaves from the garage. So before Parker could strike – his target was Max, of course, but they both knew everyone would join in – Booth found Temperance.
"Put Zack in the playpen," he whispered, his voice lowering to a whisper as he motioned toward the playpen they had set up in the backyard.
Temperance bounced the baby on her hip. "What? Why?"
"My son," Booth explained, narrowing his eyes at the thirteen-year-old boy, "is about to start an all out leaves throwing war. Put the baby in the playpen," he said as Parker jumped out at Max from behind a tree, throwing a bunch of leaves in his face.
Temperance's eyes widened as Max reacted and everyone else joined in on the fun, too. She put the laughing baby in his pack-n-play as Ryan let out a squeal and slid out of the moon bounce.
"Oh, thank God," Angela said breathlessly, sliding out behind him, raising her eyebrow at her friends. "He's like the Energizer Bunny!" she added with a laugh. She placed her hands on her hips, watching the scene before her unfold.
"Look out!" Emma squealed, careening through the backyard, narrowly escaping Russ, who had quickly caught on and had bunches of leaves in each of his hands. She dove into the moon bounce, her laugh echoing through the air as she jumped.
Jack came out of nowhere from behind, shoving a pile of leaves into Angela's face. "You did NOT just do that!" she said with a laugh, bending down to scoop up some fallen leaves.
"Oh… but I did," Jack replied, a sheepish grin on his lips.
Without warning – and Booth's noticing – Temperance threw a pile of leaves at him. His jaw dropped in surprise, but he didn't say anything. As she ran away to grab another pile of leaves, he let her get a bit of a head start before catching up to her and tackling her to the ground.
She rolled so she lay on her back, her eyes sparkling with mischief, her breath swirling in the air between them as they came face to face. "Booth," she said breathlessly, laughing, her cheeks bright red. He used his arms to prop himself up over her, waiting a few seconds as she laughed and caught her breath. Booth then lowered himself down and placed a kiss on her lips; she leaned up and deepened the kiss, snaking her arms around his neck.
"Okay, okay, you two," Angela interrupted, mock-disapproval playing in her voice as she stared down at her friends. Temperance's cheeks burned as Seeley rolled his eyes. "Get a room," Angela teased as she picked Zachary up out of the playpen. "Sweetie, did you still want to take that Christmas card picture? We should do it now before we forget later, and it gets too dark…"
"Oh, yeah…," Temperance replied as Seeley rolled off of her. "Good idea," she added as she sat up.
Angela laughed, tickling Zachary's belly. "Hodgins… can you grab the camera out of the bag on the table?" she asked as Booth stood, holding his hand out to help Temperance up. Her eyes scanned the backyard, looking for a perfect place to set their family portrait up. She clicked her tongue. "I guess I'll set you guys up by the tree," she said a moment later, taking a few steps toward a large maple tree near the back edge of the yard.
Temperance and Seeley walked hand in hand through the yard, following Angela's lead.
"Parker," Booth said to his son, calling him away from Max, who had somehow tag-teamed the teenage boy and had him in a headlock. He ran toward his family, his cheeks bright red and eyes shining.
"Okay," Angela said, shifting Zachary's weight on her hip. "P, you sit here, Indian style… and I'll put Z-man in your lap," she instructed, pointing to an area in front of the tree. She handed the baby over to Parker, who bounced his little brother in his lap a little, making the baby laugh again. "You two," she added, motioning to Temperance and Seeley. "Sit down behind them… back to back maybe," she nodded, furrowing her brow.
Temperance rolled her eyes and smirked at Booth, who shrugged as he sat down. They sat back to back.
Angela wrinkled her nose. "No… okay. Rotate a little toward me. Bren, curl your legs underneath you a little… Booth, raise your left knee, keep your foot flat on the ground," she instructed, nodding this time as they moved to their new positions. "That's better," Angela cooed as Jack handed her the camera. Angela stepped over to Booth and adjusted his arm before leaning down and brushing Parker's hair out of his eyes. "You need a haircut, kid," she teased.
She stepped back and moved the camera to her face, looking through the viewfinder. "Oh, this looks perfect," she said, causing Booth to roll his eyes. Temperance squeezed his hand. "No one move!" she added, and Seeley squeezed Temperance's hand back. "On the count of three… say… 'Happy Halloween!' … Okay?"
Temperance nudged Booth's shoulder as Angela began the count. "One… two… three!"
"Happy Halloween!" Temperance, Seeley and Parker echoed as Angela pressed the button on the shutter, forever capturing the family of four on this perfect Halloween afternoon.
Parker tickled his little brother again, and the baby laughed harder; Angela pressed the shutter on the camera quickly, capturing each of these moments between the brothers. Temperance looked to Seeley, resting her head on his shoulder; he kissed her head, breathing in the scent of her hair, pulling her closer to him. His heart fluttered – this was them, their family – who they had become, and nothing else mattered.
He smiled. "Happy Halloween, Bones."
So, again, thanks for reading and for the awesome comments…
Also… sometime in December, I will be posting a Christmas oneshot that picks up a few years after this… and the idea has been taking over my brain like crazy! I don't know what it will be called yet, but I reallllllllly think you'll love it! ;-)
You're the best!
Keep on ficcin' on,