A.N. Because this is an epilogue, it jumps around a little, showing moments that follow the last chapter. Timing will be identified at the start of each section, except for the first two sections, which take place at the same time, being during season seven of Bones and is AU season six of Buffy.
Willow glanced sideways at Parker before returning her focus to the road in front of her. Both she and her younger brother had identical grins drawn across their faces. Parker was almost bouncing in his seat in excitement and it was only because she was driving that Willow was keeping a lid on her excitement. If something happened and she crashed the car, Willow knew she would never forgive herself.
Willow's thoughts drifted to the reason why she and Parker were driving through D.C. Willow's flight from Boston had landed an hour ago and she had picked Parker up from his home and now they were heading towards their father's new home. The home he shared with Dr. Brennan.
And, as of now, their little sister.
"Do you think that Dad and Dr. Bones are going to get married now?" Parker asked. Willow glanced at Parker. It was hard to believe that her little brother was ten years old now. He'd always seemed so young but he had grown so much since they had first met... Willow was certain that within the next five years Parker was going to be taller than her.
The irony of the situation had not been lost on Willow and the Jeffersonian team. It had been Zach who had first commented on the fact there was a ten-year age gap between Willow and Parker and now a ten-year age gap between Parker and the newest member of the Booth family. Willow put it down to an amusing coincidence.
"I don't know, Parker," Willow said, remembering to answer her brother's question. "Maybe not right away... I don't think Dr. Brennan likes the whole idea of getting married but maybe, one day, they'll get married."
Parker nodded, satisfied with Willow's answer. They fell into a comfortable silence as Willow drove, both of them thinking about their new sister. Willow let out a sigh of relief when she parked her car outside her father's new home. She hadn't been there before, so she had been going of the scrap of paper she'd written the address on and Dr. Hodgins directions. She cut the power to the engine and undid her seatbelt. Parker, however, sat motionless.
"Do you think she'll like me?' he said in a small voice.
Willow froze. "Huh?" she asked.
"The baby... do you think she'll like me?"
"Parker," Willow smiled, reaching out and putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder, "the day I met you I was asking myself the exact same question. I had no idea how to be a sister and I was scared that you would hate me for somehow taking dad away from you. And then I met you and everything was perfect. You are the sweetest, kindest, friendliest little boy I know. You're clever and you can kick my butt at soccer any day you want. And you... you showed me that you didn't care that I might have been making you share Dad or whatever, you took one look at me, and you liked me... and that remains to be one of the best moments of my life."
"Really?" Parker asked. Willow just nodded and Parker impulsively leaned across the car and hugged her.
"You're going to be the best big brother ever, Parker, and I know that the baby is going to love you just as much as I do."
Parker smiled before leaning back, running his fingers through his hair.
"Come on," she said, giving his arm a gentle prod, "before the surprise gets blown."
Willow and Parker got out of the car quietly, taking care to close the car doors quietly. Booth didn't know that they were coming to the baby's Welcome Home party. They'd both been invited, of course, but it had been Angela's idea to surprise Booth and Brennan. A few quick emails later, Willow had told Booth that she was busy with college papers and was pulling all-nighters and Rebecca had told Booth that Parker was away on soccer camp (which was actually the following week).
Willow and Parker crept up to the front door and Parker looked questioningly up at Willow, who nodded encouragingly before he knocked on the door.
Booth looked up in surprise when he heard the knocking at the front door. He looked over at Brennan, who was holding their daughter, who in turn was being fussed over by Angela and Cam. Booth himself was surrounded by Sweets, Hodgins and Zach. Sweets and Zach were talking about their favorite memories of their dad's from their own childhood and Jack was chipping in with his own favorite moments with his own son.
"Were we expecting anyone else?" Sweets asked. Hodgins and Angela looked at one another.
"Not that I'm aware of," Brennan said. Booth crossed the room, retrieving his gun from its locked storage container before he approached the door.
"Er... Booth, I don't think they would have knocked if they were out to cause trouble," Angela said in a soft voice.
"That's just what they want you to think," Booth replied, not wanting to take any chances with Bones and their daughter in the house. He knew it was overprotective but who could blame him, given the field of work he was in? Angela looked at Hodgins, biting her lip anxiously.
Booth looked through the peephole in the door, frowning when he could not see anyone, before he pulled open the door, his gun held low with the safety on but at the same time his hand tensed and ready to shoot. There was, however, no one there and Booth stepped out onto the front porch, frowning. The he heard it... a giggle... a very familiar-sounding giggle.
"What?" he said, his voice thick with confusion. From where she crouched beside the steps leading up to the porch hidden by a large bush, Willow grinned and signaled Parker. Then tightening her grip on her weapons of choice, she leaped up at the exact same time as Parker.
"Surprise," they yelled, throwing the pink streamers at Booth. Booth just stood there, a wide grin spreading across his face at the sight of Parker and Willow, standing in his front garden, beaming up at him. Booth tucked his gun into his pants as Parker climbed back up onto the porch, Willow close behind him, before the ten-year-old hugged him.
"Hi, Dad... did we surprise you?"
"Yeah, buddy... I thought you had camp?"
'That's next week. Angela came up with the idea and Willow talked Mom into going along with it."
"She did, did she?" Booth asked, letting go of Parker so he could hug Willow.
"Yeah, it was totally her idea."
"Hey, Hodgins was involved too!" Angela called from inside.
"No... no, I wasn't," Hodgins answered. "It was all Angela and Willow."
"So... you got room for two more at the party?" Willow asked and Booth put his arm around Willow's shoulder with the other arm going around Parker's before he led them both into the house, still draped with pink streamers. Sweets and Hodgins were already laughing and Cam was fighting the urge to laugh. Willow's gaze caught Zach's and she smiled at her friend... they had emailed almost every week ever since she had started at MIT but then she caught sight of Brennan and the tiny pink wrapped bundle in her arms and everyone else the room, aside from her dad and Parker, seemed to fade out. Parker let out a small sigh.
"Is that her?' he asked in a soft, voice. Booth nodded, tightening his grip on the shoulders of his two eldest children. Brennan smiled, carrying the baby towards her older siblings. Willow caught Brennan's eye and shot a sideways glance at Parker and Brennan nodded in understanding. Booth knelt down, ready to help his son hold his little sister for the first time. Brennan knelt down slowly and carefully passed the sleeping baby into her big brother's arms. Willow felt her heart melt as she too knelt, looking down at her baby sister.
"Wow," Parker whispered in a soft voice. Willow put her arm around him.
"She's so gorgeous," she whispered, "and small and perfect and beautiful... not to mention the cutest thing I have ever seen."
In Parker's arms, the baby stirred, opening her eyes to look up at her two older siblings. Willow knew that the baby was far too young to be able to see anything clearly yet but it still felt like she and Parker were being studied. Obviously they passed the inspection because the baby simply nestled further into Parker's arms and fell back to sleep. Willow shifted so that she could whisper into her brother's ear.
"I told you that she'd love you, Parker. You're going to be the best big brother ever... even better than Dad."
"Really?' Parker asked her and Willow nodded. Parker puffed his chest up proudly before looking down at the baby. "You hear that... I'm gonna look after you... like Willow looks after me. She'll look after you too... she's good at it. When you're bigger you'll get to hear all about it... but it's too scary for you to hear about now."
"Parker... do you want to let Willow have a hold?" Booth asked gently and Parker nodded. Booth carefully took the baby out of her brother's arms before sliding her into Willow's. Willow gazed down at the little baby... her little sister... she had a little sister.
"Parker's right, you know... I'm never going to let anything happen to you... and if someone hurts you, then I'm going to be there to make sure they stop... right behind your mommy and daddy though... 'cause they're pretty good at looking after everyone," she told the baby in a soft voice. "And when you're bigger Parker and I... we're going to teach you all the things we Booth kids need to know about."
"What's her name going to be?" Parker asked from beside Willow, his gaze still fixed on the baby in his older sister's arms.
"Well," Brennan said, "we decided that we're going to name her Christine... after my mom."
Willow smiled. Christine... it suited the little baby in her arms.
"And for her middle name... we decided that Christine's middle name is going to be Angela."
Willow looked up at the artist, who had tears running down her face... so did Sweets now that Willow noticed it.
"What... after me? Aww, Bren, sweetie." Brennan got up and Angela hugged her tightly. "I'm so honored... really, thank you."
Willow smiled as she watched the two best friend's embrace before she dropped her gaze to the baby in her arms.
"Oh, you better watch out, Booth... Willow's getting broody," Hodgins said teasingly and Willow felt her cheeks go the same color as her hair.
"Hey... I am not old enough to be a grandfather yet," Booth defended.
"Actually, in many cultural settings, Willow would already be old enough to have several children," Bones remarked before she noticed the very pointed glare Booth was sending towards her.
"Don't go getting any ideas... please?" Booth asked Willow, who gave him a sheepish grin.
"Um, don't worry, I don't have any plans at the moment," she told him reassuringly.
"God... good to hear," Booth said, although he sent a very pointed look at Zach that sent the youngest squint hiding behind Hodgins. Willow rolled her eyes at her father's actions before returning her attention to Christine.
"Let this be a lesson to you, Christine... Daddy is very overprotective... and he'll never stop being overprotective... so I'm afraid we're just going to have to deal with it."
At Willow's words everyone, except Booth, who was looking disgruntled, started to laugh before the FBI agent caved and began to laugh too. Willow smiled and kissed the top of Christine's head, relishing the warm feeling of belonging to a family that seeped into every bone of her body. It felt good and Willow only hoped it lasted.
The following takes place shortly after the events of Chosen, Season 7 Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is late season eight of Bones.
Willow took a deep steadying breath as she approached the door to the lab. She hadn't initially planned on visiting the lab but the reaction of her dad and the team at the Jeffersonian to what had happened in Sunnydale, when the Hellmouth had swallowed the town leaving behind a giant crater as the Hellmouth of Sunnydale had been closed forever dictated that she should. Already demonic activity in Cleveland, and in a couple of other places across the world, had increased and Willow knew that she was going to be very busy helping Giles and the others organize the army of Slayers they now had... thanks to that rather nifty spell Willow had figured out.
Still, Willow thought as her security escort scanned his key card to let them into the lab, it was great to see the team up on the lab... Angela, Hodgins, Brennan, Zach... her dad. Sweets, Willow knew, wasn't far away... since she'd called him ten minutes before from the Jeffersonian carpark to see what mood her dad had been in since Sunnydale had disappeared into a giant sinkhole.
Sweets had replied with "Volatile at best... Please tell me that you're in town."
The psychologist had sounded rather desperate.
"Someone to see you guys," the security guard announced, getting the team's attention. Willow had never seen her father move as quickly as he did, down the stairs and engulfing her into his arms.
"You're alright... you're safe," he said, clutching onto her. Willow leaned into the embrace. Enjoying the moment. There was still something about being hugged by her biological father that made her feel safe... Willow didn't know how to explain it.
"I'm okay," Willow replied. She knew that she was still obvious injured... there was a cut to her forehead that was only half-healed that she had received from a falling roof tile when they'd been fleeing the school.
"You sure?" Booth asked. Willow simply nodded in reply.
"I think this calls for a meeting in Angela's office," Cam suggested and they all nodded, following her there. Angela shut and locked the doors, ensuring that their conversation could not be heard by anyone else. Cam logged onto Angela's computer and disabled the security camera in the room.
"So... what happened? Last time we saw you, you were running back towards the Hellmouth to get away from trouble... you had those two girls with you," Hodgins began. Willow nodded.
"Someone was killing Potentials and the Watcher's Council Headquarters in London was bombed."
"Potentials?" Booth asked.
"Girls who could become the next Slayer. They could be any age, although most of them are between ten and twenty. The one who was after the Potentials came after the Cambridge group. Our house was attacked. The Watcher in charge... Wendy... she was killed. I was able to fend off the attackers and I fled with Emma and Layla, the two Potentials we had staying with us. As you remember, I stopped here before we went to Sunnydale, where all the surviving Potentials were meeting. It was a case of safety in numbers. We did some investigating and it turned out that it was the First Evil we were up against. We managed to shut the Hellmouth... permanently and the Potentials were activated... making them actual Slayers with the strength and the speed and the healing powers to match. It was our only option... we would have been crushed if we hadn't done it. We gave the girls the best chance they could. As it was... as it was we still had losses, despite the victory."
Willow's eyes became distant and Brennan was reminded of how Booth looked when he was remembering his time at war or if he was thinking about losses of friends and colleagues.
"So what happens now?" Zach asked.
Willow shrugged. "We rebuild, I guess. We're going to set up schools for the girls to go to... so they still get an education and yet they learn about their powers and how to use them." Willow looked at Zach, their eyes meeting. Willow felt her mouth go dry. She hadn't told them about how, the last time she'd been in D.C, it had been her way of saying goodbye... in case she didn't make it out.
"Are... are you a Potential?"
"No, we all got tested and I wasn't one. I... I was really scared about Christine, though... My worst nightmare was that she was going to get dragged into this."
Brennan's face fell as worry took hold of her features. Willow saw the tension in her father building, so she quickly moved on with her story. "I got a mouth swab of her DNA the last time I was here and I got it tested... it was clean... she's not a potential either."
"And... it's not something she might develop when she's older?" Brennan asked, her voice anxious, seeking reassurance.
Willow shook her head. "No... It's there in DNA from conception... Christine will never be a Potential and she will never be a Slayer."
"Oh, thank God," Booth whispered. He held nothing against the Slayers... but he didn't want either of his daughters to be one... it sounded far too dangerous... what Willow did was bad enough.
"Yeah... I cried when I found out, i was so relieved... Xander thought I'd lost it when he walked into the kitchen and found me a sobbing heap in the floor."
Hodgins snorted at the mental picture, but Zach kept his gaze on Willow, on the way her eyes shifted from one member of the team to another. Willow had kept him up to date what was happening on the Hellmouth... he'd even spoken to her few of her friends... the tips of Zach's ears went red as he remembered the time he had spoken to Faith.
Everything that had happened in the last few months... heck, ever since Willow had first met Buffy... everything he had learned about Willow had made him admire her... care about her, even more. He knew that if Booth knew how he felt, Zach would be killed. Even after Christine's birth, Booth was still as overprotective as ever of Willow but Zach couldn't bring himself to care. Willow made him feel good about himself. She saw through his social inadequacies and focused on the man beneath... a man few managed to see, Hodgins, Angela, Sweets, Cam and Dr. Brennan being among them. As much as he admired his colleagues, however, Zach didn't feel about them the same way he felt about Willow. He wanted to reach out and touch her pale skin... he wanted to run his fingers through her red hair... he wanted to gaze into her green eyes for an eternity. He wanted to brush his lips against hers so he could taste what they felt like.
Zach wanted to be the one to hold her after a fight like the one she had just survived and to be the one to remind her that the normal world existed too and that it was okay to relax and enjoy life... take a few deep breaths and have a personal moment before going back to saving the world.
For years Zach had kept his distance, knowing that Willow was too young to really consider entering into a serious relationship. Zach was almost eight years older than Willow, after all, and the overbearing presence of Special Agent Booth had been enough to dissuade Zach from acting on his feelings.
"I hate to say this but we've got a case to solve," Cam announced and the rest of the team nodded. Angela and Cam got the camera back online and unlocked the door and they headed their own ways. Willow leaned against the doorway of the office, watching Brennan and Cam up on the platform.
"Are you okay?" Zach asked quietly from beside her. Willow jumped, having not heard him approach.
"Sorry, you startled me. Yeah, given a few days I'll be fine...it just takes me a few days to wind down after something like this."
"If you need any help, you know where to find me," Zach said and turned to go back to work, stopping when he felt Willow grab his wrist.
"Zach... I just want to thank you for everything you've done for me... listening to all my phone calls and replying to all my emails and everything. I know you're busy with your job and everything and I just really... really appreciate it." Willow smiled shyly.
"It's okay... you do the same for me. I found our interactions both encouraging and provoking and I very much appreciated the guidance it has offered me over the years."
Willow smiled and stepped closer to Zach, getting lost in his deep eyes. She hadn't realized how close they were until their noses touched. All it would take for one kiss was to move forward.
Impulsively, Willow took the initiative, leaning in and gently kissing Zach's lips. Zach was too stunned to move for a few moments until his brain caught up with the rest of him and he cautiously began to kiss her back.
"Er... excuse me, you two... don't you have something else to be doing?" Booth voice cut in and the two pulled apart like teenagers that had been caught doing something they shouldn't be doing.
"Er… right," Zach mumbled, running back to the safety of the platform. Willow blushed but she met her father's gaze with a shrug before she followed him from the lab.
Somehow Willow was going to have to convince Buffy that D.C. needed a Slayer school.
The following takes place when Willow is 26 years old.
Willow yawned and rolled over, smiling when she saw Zach sleeping soundly beside her. It was hard to believe that, ten years ago today, she had met her father for the first time. It felt like a lifetime ago and yet at the same time it felt like it had been only yesterday.
She wasn't the same shy, mousy teenage girl that she had been back then. She was one of the most powerful Wiccans on the planet... She was a fully qualified Watcher... She was the official Watcher's Council liaison with the American government... She had the President of the United State's phone number on her speed dial (thankfully Hodgins didn't know about it)... she had a real, biological family... a father that loved her... younger siblings that thought that she was the coolest big sister in the world, a undead great-great-grandfather who despite everything that had happened over the years insisted on keeping a picture of Willow and her siblings in his office to remind him of his human family.
And she had Zach... the sweetest and kindest man she had ever had the pleasure to meet. Sure, it had taken her dad awhile to get used to the idea of the youngest squint and his eldest daughter being together but eventually he had come around to the idea.
Beside her, Zach stirred in his sleep, obviously having been disturbed by her movement, before his eyes opened blearily. Willow smiled at him.
"Hey," she whispered. Zach smiled before leaning over and kissing her on the nose.
"Good morning," he greeted. Willow snuggled into Zach's arms, relishing the way his arms felt around her.
Yes, things had changed a lot in over the past ten years, but Willow wouldn't have it any other way. She had a destiny, she had a family, and she had someone who would love her until the day he last drew breath.
And it had all started with the day Willow had discovered her birth certificate in the attic of the Rosenbergs' house in Sunnydale.
Whew... that was epic... easily the longest thing I have ever written. It's taken awhile but there you are, Discovery is finished.
Thank you to Darkened Shadows for being my beta reader throughout most of the story... I really appreciate it. I want to thank her for all the time and effort she put in to help make this story flow as well as it does.
Also, a big thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed Discovery. Your feedback has been so important to me over the course of the story and I really appreciate all those people who took the time to comment on my writing.
I started this story early in 2010 and it was finished on the 21st of October, 2012, so it's been quite a long journey. I never imagined that this story would continue on for as long as it has, but it just kept going... and going.
This is it for the Buffy and Bones Gangs for awhile... but keep an eye on my profile... more fics are just around the corner.