A/N: I honestly cannot believe how long it's been since I last updated my baby.
I meant to, and I was furiously writing, but then I found this precious, incredible gem of a show called LEVERAGE and I couldn't believe how blind I've been not to catch on to it faster. I got so addicted that I couldn't stop watching and re-watching the series (unable to wait for season 5 to start this summer) and I've even started writing Leverage stories, though I didn't publish any yet…
I'm so freakin' sorry, guys. I'll try to be more vigilant.
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who read and reviewed. Please feel free to leave a line or two at the end of this chapter.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
December 1, 1991.
The day before, just as Booth had assured Temperance, was spent just between the two of them.
They had left the house shortly after waking up for the second time that morning (for Booth, at least), they had said goodbye to Pops and Jared and they'd gone out. Booth had taken her to the Sawmill for breakfast, where they'd stayed seated at a corner booth, talking to one another, until nearly two in the afternoon.
They had driven around for a while after that. He took her to the library and then they went to the football field at the school and sat on the bleachers. They'd gone for dinner at the diner then went home, gone to their separate bedrooms and slept fitfully.
Now, it was Sunday afternoon.
Booth and Temperance had gone to church with Pops and Jared earlier in the morning. They were far more subdued than they'd ever been. Mrs. Kazinsky, the old woman who had always scowled angrily at them during their 'hushed conversations' during the sermon itself gave them both approving smiles afterwards.
As tradition dictated in the family, the four of them had gone out to the diner for brunch. Too anxious to eat, they had merely sat still in their seats, stared at their food and kept their heads low. Booth and Temperance had been so quiet that Pops had asked them worriedly if something were wrong.
Now they were back at home. Jared had immediately changed out of his church clothes and ran out of the house, yelling about meeting up with friends. Pops had retired downstairs, sat in his favorite armchair and read the newspaper.
Booth and Temperance stood watching him without his knowledge, peering down the stairs from behind the wall. "We've been standing here for twenty minutes," Temperance whispered to Booth.
"Let's try and make it to thirty, huh?" he whispered back.
Temperance rolled her eyes. "I'm nervous, as well, Booth," she said soothingly. He noticed that, for the tenth time since they'd hid out at the top of the stairs, her hands smoothed down her dress as though she was smoothing out the nonexistent wrinkles on it. "But we have to tell him…"
He nodded, sighing. "I know," he muttered quietly. "I'm just…He's my Pops, you know? And I don't want him to…I just don't…" He trailed off, frustrated, unable to find the right words to describe his fear.
It appeared, however, that he didn't need to find the right words.
Giving him a knowing look, she murmured softly, "You don't want to disappoint him?"
He nodded, only mildly surprised by now by her ability to understand him so perfectly.
"I don't want to disappoint him, either, Booth," she told him, pulling back so that they were both standing straight. Booth pressed his back against the wall and wrapped his arms around Temperance's waist, pulling her into him. "But maybe the sooner we tell him, the better. We don't know how long all of this would take. You said it was better if we got married before I start showing, right?"
He nodded, remembering their conversation yesterday at breakfast. "Yeah," he agreed. "If we get married before anyone can tell you're pregnant just by looking at you, then there's a chance we might not even have to tell them that we have a baby on the way until after we're husband and wife."
She exhaled slowly, nodding in agreement. "So let's go tell him," she said, her tone more confident than she really felt.
He nodded, his heart clenching at the brave smile she wore. Reaching out, he cupped her face in the palms of his hands, leaned in and pressed their mouths together. "I love you," he mumbled into their kiss. He felt her lips curve into a smile against his.
"I love you, too," she whispered once their kiss ended, her eyes watery as she rested her forehead against his.
He smiled gently at her, his thumbs brushing at the edges of her eyes. "Come on," he said softly, once he was sure she was as ready as possible to do this. "Let's go."
Taking similar deep breaths, Booth and Temperance linked their fingers together and slowly descended the stairs.
Pops didn't look up when they entered, his attention focused on the newspaper propped open in his hands, his eyebrows furrowed as he read the article it was opened to.
Booth and Temperance halted in their steps at the entrance to the living room. Sharing a look with one another, they drew strength from each other. Their hands squeezed together, they stepped into the living room.
"Pops?" Booth called out quietly as he and Temperance sat down on the couch opposite the armchair, their hands still clasped together. "Pops, can we talk to you?"
"May," Temperance corrected automatically.
Booth shot her a look. "Bones," he murmured under his breath. "Not now."
Pops grunted, not really hearing anything the two had said. "Can you believe this?" he asked as he shook the newspaper in his hands slightly, eyes still riveted to the page open in front of him. "Some nut job broke into an old lady's house, stabbed her thirteen times and stole all her things! It's just five blocks from here. I tell ya, we need to get one of those large Dobermans."
"Pops?" Booth called out again. "Can we talk?"
Pops lifted his head, lowering the newspaper as he did so. He raised his eyebrow at the sight of the two of them seated on the couch, looking at him anxiously. Well, I wonder what this is about, he thought worriedly.
"Sure," he said, his voice tinged with wariness. He folded his newspaper haphazardly and threw it on the coffee table separating himself and the two teenagers. "What is this about?"
Booth and Temperance shared another nervous look before turning back to face Pops. "Pops…" Booth sighed, using his free hand to palm his face, feeling more tired than he'd ever been before. "I…We've got something to tell you…I just don't know where to start. But I want you to know that I'm so sorry for what's happened…We both are."
Temperance nodded in agreement at his words. Her eyes were already tearing up.
Pops felt his frown grow deeper. "I don't like the sound of that," he shook his head. "Just…Tell me from the beginning."
Booth tried, and stumbled over his words. Pops stared, eyebrows scrunched together, elbows on his thighs as he leaned forward in his seat and an amused smile on his face as he watched his grandson stutter endlessly.
After his fourth apology without actually telling Pops what the problem is, Temperance took in a deep, haggard breath and blurted out, "I'm pregnant."
Pops froze, his entire body tensing visibly. The smile on his lips slipped slowly but surely, his face completely blank of any emotion.
"Pops?" Booth called out tentatively, when a few long moments passed in total silence.
Pops blinked a few times, and shook his head almost violently as though trying to clear his head. "You're…"
"Pregnant," Temperance repeated again.
"Pregnant," Pops repeated weakly, looking for all the world like he was about to keel forward and fall off his seat.
Temperance, much to her chagrin, started to feel tears dripping down her cheeks.
Booth, feeling her grip on his hand tightening almost painfully, turned to look at her. He released her hand, reaching out to cup her cheeks and wipe at her tears. He felt torn between wanting to reassure Temperance and wanting to explain things to his shocked grandfather.
In the end, he ended up doing both. He pulled Temperance to his side with both his arms wrapped around her upper arms and, while she clung to him like a scared, lost little girl, he began a long, runaround explanation.
"We didn't mean for it to happen," he started with. "I mean, obviously…We didn't…I…It just happened."
"Just happened?" Pops asked, strength returning to his voice as his anger and frustration prevailed over his shock. "How the hell did it just happen!"
"W-we thought we were being careful," Temperance said shakily, her voice as small as she felt.
Booth nodded in agreement at her words.
"But there's really only a ninety-nine point nine percent that a condom works to prevent a pregnancy-"
Booth choked on the air he was breathing, momentarily turning his face red from the constriction in his lungs and throat. Embarrassment at her words didn't help any.
Temperance didn't pay attention to Booth's coughing, continuing with her explanation tearfully, "And I'm not on any contraceptive pills, either."
"Bones!" Booth hissed, glaring as he interrupted her.
She gave him an innocently bewildered look in return.
Pops wasn't sure if he should be appalled or slightly amused on a sick level by her literal bluntness, even at a time like this.
Shaking his head, Pops ran his hands down his face, closed his tired eyelids over eyes that felt as though they were burning and uttered a quick prayer under his breath. "Okay," he muttered, rubbing his face roughly a few times before removing his palms and clasping his hands together.
"Okay, let's…Let's talk about this," Pops encouraged, rubbing his palms against his thighs anxiously. "Let's hack out all the details."
"Details?" Temperance sniffled. Goddammit, why the hell can't I stop crying? This is so embarrassing…
Pops nodded. "What are we going to do now?" he wondered aloud.
His Catholic faith protested loudly at the mere thought of Temperance getting an abortion, but what other option was there? He dreaded to think of the problems that would arise should her pregnancy continue and word got out to her social worker. And if she and Booth decided to continue with the pregnancy, did this mean they were going to let the baby go up for adoption once it was born? What would happen to his great grandchild?
God, I'm going to be a great grandpa at sixty six, he bemoaned silently. Aren't I supposed to have a couple of decades left before that happened?
"Well…" Booth and Temperance shared another look. "There's something else."
The two lovebirds had shared the same look before they'd dropped the bomb on him, and Booth had spoken in that same somber tone when he'd babbled his way through an explanation of Temperance's pregnancy.
This can't be good, he thought grimly.
Preparing himself for the worse, he hazarded a wary guess, "You're expecting twins?"
Booth nearly had a heart attack at the mere suggestion and Temperance begun to shake her head vigorously. "No," she insisted firmly. She paused for a moment then said hesitantly, "Well, I haven't been to a doctor's yet so I haven't had an ultrasound to confirm anything…"
Pops perked up slightly. "So there's a chance you're not…?" he asked hopefully.
Temperance shook her head. "I'm so sorry," she whispered. "But I know I am."
"She took five pregnancy tests, Pops," Booth muttered quietly. "They were all positive."
Pops deflated again. "Oh," he sighed. "So…What is it? What's the 'something else'?" He cringed, awaiting the worst.
Booth took in a deep, supposedly calming breath that did nothing but turn his stomach over a few more times. "I proposed," he confessed.
Pops closed his eyes. "Oh, Shrimp," he sighed. "I'm assuming you accepted since you're even bothering to tell me about this?" he directed at Temperance.
She nodded. "I had trouble accepting it at first," she admitted. "But after reviewing the possible outcomes of accepting the proposal and not accepting it, I had to agree with Booth that it would be far more beneficial if we were to marry."
Booth jumped in this time. "We'd get in a lotta trouble, Pops," he said, his voice low and almost pleading. "I mean, you know that. She…Bones and I…They can't take her away. I love her."
Temperance smiled tearfully at Booth. "I love you, too," she whispered to him.
Booth leaned in and pressed a kiss to her fragrant hair."And what about the baby? Can we keep the baby if we do absolutely nothing?" he asked, turning back to face his grandfather.
Pops stared at his desperate grandson.
On one hand, he understood their reasoning. He'd be scared out of his mind, too, if he was in their position.
On the other…He wanted nothing more than to be able to shield Booth – and Temperance too – from this entire ordeal. He wanted to shake them awake, tell them how insane this was and assure his grandson that, just once, they'd go against their beliefs. They could confess and pray for forgiveness later but right now, they should focus on saving Booth and Temperance's futures first.
"Then there's also the stability that us getting married would offer for the baby," Temperance added. "If we're unmarried, once we go to college, we'd be in separate dorm rooms. I'm not even sure how the living situation would be, really, with a baby in my arms."
"Married couples can opt to either live at home or in an apartment off campus," Booth supplied. At Pops' raised eyebrow, Booth answered his unspoken question, "I called and asked."
Pops held up his hand and shook it left to right a few times. "Okay, wait, wait," he interrupted them. "We don't even know that this is a necessary step."
Booth scrunched up his eyebrows. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, sure, yes, you two got yourself in a shit load of trouble," Temperance's eyebrows rose at Pops' language; it was the first time she'd heard him curse. "But we don't know nothing about the laws regarding this. Let's just…Let's take a step back, call Ms. Briggs -"
His suggestion was met with a sound "NO!" from both expectant teenage parents.
He froze slightly in shock. "O…Kay," he muttered.
"Sorry," Booth apologized sincerely, trying to loosen his tensed muscles as much as possible. "It's just that we don't know what she'll have to do if she finds out about this before Bones and I do everything to make sure we're okay first and we'd rather not risk it."
Pops nodded. "I guess I can understand that," he sighed again. "How about we call your Aunt Lydia?" he suggested next.
"Why don't we just kill ourselves and get it over with?" Booth said sarcastically.
Temperance frowned. "I'm against suicide," she told him frankly. "And I'm not sure how killing ourselves would help anyone…"
He gave her a meaningful look and, without him saying anything out loud, realization dawned upon her. She nodded her head. "Ah," she said understandingly. Turning to Pops, she stage whispered, "He was being sarcastic."
Pops fought the urge to roll his eyes or burst into what he was sure would be hysterical laughter. "Yes, thank you, sweetheart," he said dryly. "Listen, I really think Lydia could help us, Shrimp. She's a lawyer. She knows things we don't."
Booth and Temperance shared another look, this one longer, and Pops was sure they were doing that 'mental conversation' thing they were so good at doing. A few long moments later, they reluctantly turned their heads away from one another and looked towards Pops once more.
Booth nodded. "Sure," he sighed.
"We should confide in Lydia," Temperance agreed.
Pops nodded, though he was far from relieved at this tiniest, barely-there breakthrough in their plans. "What if," he said suddenly. "And I'm just reaching here but what if the two of you get married?"
Temperance stared at him, confused. "What do you mean?" she wondered.
"What about when the baby comes?" Pops clarified. "What are you going to do then? I assume, from your plans of matrimony in the first place and all this talk about giving the baby stability, that you want to keep it?"
Temperance blinked. "Well, yes," she said, as though he had asked a question that shouldn't have been asked at all. "There's no other option."
"Sure there is," Pops countered immediately.
Booth's eyebrows rose to his hairline. "What?" he asked, sounding just a tad horrified. "You're not suggesting…" At Pops' guilty expression, Booth's heart thudded. "Pops! No! That's just…No," he said firmly.
"Shrimp, think about this…" Pops pleaded quietly.
"No," Booth's voice was almost tinged with harshness. Realizing this, he did his best to soften his tone. "Pops, that's out of the question."
Temperance frowned confusedly as she eyed the two of them. "Wha…I don't understand," she admitted.
Booth grimaced. "Abortion," he choked on the word.
Temperance was a little less emotional than Booth at this point, which was a stark contrast compared to how they were when they'd first told Pops ten minutes ago. "We considered it," she informed Pops.
At Booth's scowl and the disgusted noise he made at the back of his throat, Temperance amended her statement. "I considered it," she corrected herself. "Before I even told Booth, I did research on abortion. I called clinics, asked about the process…When I told Booth about the pregnancy, I suggested the same thing at first but by then, I was already starting to hesitate. Booth convinced me not to go through with it."
Pops nodded his head slowly as he listened to her words. "Okay, so there's no chance?" he asked, just to confirm it.
"No," Booth answered without hesitation. "None. It's just…It's not gonna happen."
"Okay," Pops wiped his palm down his mouth. "Okay. What about…Adoption?" he suggested instead. "You could give the baby up."
"No," again, the answer came without hesitation. This time, however, it came from Temperance.
Booth nodded as he agreed with her. "We just can't go through with that, either, Pops," he said apologetically. "It just won't be right."
Pops shook his head, sighing. "Shrimp, you've gotta think this through," he pleaded in a quiet, desperate tone. "You're only seventeen and you're only fifteen, Tempe. Raising a baby at any age is a challenge but when you're both still children yourselves? That's just…You've gotta think about this."
Temperance frowned. "Listen, I…You no doubt have very excellent points, Hank, and I know your worries and concerns are valid but I can't give this baby up," she insisted.
Without realizing it, her free hand had drifted to her stomach, her fingers rubbing gently against the tiny bump there. Pops watched, his eyes taking in the way her expression and her smile softened and her eyes grew misty as she turned to gaze at Booth.
"I'm the mother," Temperance continued. "I'm going to be carrying this baby in my womb for the next seven months, at least. They're a part of me and I'm a part of them. I just…I can't. I can't give this baby up and let somebody else raise him or her. I can't not have this baby with me. It's too much."
Booth squeezed her hand, pulling her close to press a kiss to her eyebrow. "I'm with her on this, Pops," he told his grandfather seriously. "One hundred percent. She's Bones. And this baby…It's a part of me running around out there. I can't live with myself knowing that there's a child out there that is half of me and I'm not even a part of their life. It just can't happen."
Pops still wasn't convinced. He wanted to know that both Temperance and Booth were aware how difficult it was going to be raising a baby as teenage parents.
He rattled off costs for the baby, for themselves, for their education and how much they'd need to scrimp to make sure their child would be able to grow up with what he or she needs. He told them how frustrating it would be when the baby wouldn't stop crying all night, and reminded them that from now on, their lives would revolve around their baby. If they intended on going to college, then it would be a hundred times more of a couldn't go to parties or hang out with their friends or have normal college experiences.
He also made sure Booth and Temperance knew that it wouldn't be easy to be married to one another. He told them of the struggles a married couple would have, especially if they married young. They'd fight – that was inevitable – when stress was running high due to the crying baby, the money running out, the classes they couldn't handle and how they wished for just one night off so they could have some peace of mind for a few short hours. He reminded both of them, Temperance especially, that since Booth was Catholic, divorce was out of the question if he were to remain true to his faith.
He told them of every scary thing he could think of about being parents and being married before they were even legal to vote.
When Booth and Temperance still remained determined to do this, Pops gazed at them silently, contemplatively, for the longest time. He had warned them of every possible tragedy that could turn their lives together into a train wreck but they still held firm. What else could he do? If this was something they were set about doing, then he had to be the supportive family they needed.
"Listen, Pops," Booth said in a low voice, leaning forward in his seat and fixing his grandfather with an intense stare. "I know it's crazy and I know there are a thousand different reasons not to do this, but I really do believe this will work. You know, yeah, I wanna do this for the baby and but I wanna do this because I'm in love with Bones, too."
Pausing, Booth turned to look at Temperance. Her wide, innocent eyes made him smile and he reached out to grasp her hand, bringing it to his lips for a kiss to her knuckles. "Grams told me once," Booth started, and Pops jerked at the mention of his late wife. "That when I find the person I wanna spend the rest of my life with, I'll know the moment I see her. She said that she was sure the first time she met you and she was right in wanting to spend the next fifty years being married to you. I knew when I met Bones and I know we're young, Pops, but this is right. She's right for me."
"She said I'd know," Booth insisted again. "I looked at her and I knew…I want the next thirty, forty, fifty years with her in my life. I knew. I'm gonna be the best husband I could be, Pops, and I'm damn well gonna be the best father to our baby."
Fixing Pops with a meaningful look, he added, "I have to be a better dad. I have to."
Pops understood immediately, of course.
The suspicion had already been in the back of his mind – Booth wanted to prove to himself, to Temperance, to Pops and maybe even to David even if he wasn't around anymore, that he could be, and would be, a better father to his baby that David had been to him and Jared.
Sighing, Pops nodded finally. "I'll see what I can do about getting your marriage license," he said somberly.
The relief was evident for both teenagers.
Temperance's shoulders sagged and she burst into a wide, grateful smile, tears gathering in her eyes. Booth turned to Temperance, placing his hands on each side of her cheeks and pressing a kiss to her lips.
Booth shot up off the couch and embraced Pops in a tight hug. "Thank you," he muttered tearfully. "I know you're not happy with us right now, Pops, but thank you so much for helping us. Bones and our baby mean the world to me and I promise you that I will never intentionally let them – or you – down."
Pops hugged Booth back just as tightly, feeling his own eyes start to tear up as he thought of how grown up his grandson was and as he was reminded once again of the hardships the two would face in the near future. "I know, son," he murmured, patting Booth's back soothingly. "I know."
I'm going to do everything I can to help them, Pops vowed to himself. It's partially my fault this is happening to them. If I had been more observant, if I had enforced the rules more strictly, they wouldn't have had the opportunity to allow this to happen. I'll be there, no matter what they need.
December 2, 1991.
Although they had agreed on calling Lydia for help, and though it was his idea to begin with, Pops hesitated when it came time for him to actually call her. Lydia was his only daughter and he loved her with every fiber of his being, but he knew just how critical she could be. He really didn't think that was what they needed right now.
Still, he needed someone else to confide in after such an exhausting day yesterday. He had spent all afternoon and all night after Booth and Temperance's bombshell reveal worried out of his mind for them. He couldn't bear the burden on his own.
It was why, early in the morning after the three kids had gone off to school, Pops had picked up the phone, dialed the familiar number and waited until the person on the other end had picked up.
"Deb? It's Hank…" he sighed. "I need a favor."
He didn't tell her much, just that something incredibly important had come up and he needed her to come down as soon as she could. He made her promise not to breathe a word to Lydia, saying that Lydia would only be too angry for him to deal with at the present moment.
Even though he didn't give her much to go on, Debbie could tell that whatever it was plaguing Hank's mind was big and obviously stressing him out just from the sound of his voice. She agreed to leave for Chicago right away, seeing as how she didn't have any important clients waiting for her at the moment.
She promised him to take the next flight out if it was that important, and when he assured her that it was, she told him she was hanging up to pack and book her ticket.
She packed a few articles of clothing and her essentials, wrote a quick note to Lydia to inform her that she was going to visit her family for a few days and promising to call later on, and took a cab to the airport just in time to catch her flight.
By the time Booth, Temperance and Jared returned from school, Debbie was already in the living room, caught up with everything going on in Booth and Temperance's lives thanks to Pops. Seeing the two of them walking in, Debbie shot up from the couch, dashed towards them and gave them both a big hug.
Temperance flinched as Debbie moved from her seat so swiftly and approached them at breakneck speed, as though she'd been anticipating Debbie to hit her in a fit of rage, and Debbie's caring touch surprised her so much that tears started to build up behind her eyes.
"Oh, sweetheart," Debbie cooed worriedly as she pulled away to see the tears swimming in Temperance's blue eyes. "I know this is scary, honey, but it's going to be okay. Trust me, it'll work out. I promise."
Jared stepped out from behind Booth, pushing past him into the living room. He eyed the four people in the room, all with their faces drawn, their eyes wet, looking as though someone had killed their beloved pet. "Oh, my God – who died?" he asked, horrified.
Pops stood up slowly from the armchair. "Jared, pack up a few things," he instructed firmly. "You're staying over at Danny's tonight."
Jared frowned at his grandfather. "Seriously, who died?" he repeated.
"No one," Pops assured him. "There's just something we have to deal with right now, Shortcake. Go on. Just grab a few things, take your homework with you, and I'll drop you off at Danny's, okay?"
Jared's worry seemed to diminish in the face of his annoyance at being left out of the loop. "Why won't you tell me what's wrong?" he demanded, irritated.
"Jared," Booth snapped suddenly.
His anxiety was running on an all-time high and, despite the immediate relief that had come yesterday after telling Pops and ensuring that they had one person on their side, his worries had returned since then and he was in no mood to listen to his little brother complain about how people didn't think he was grown-up enough to deal with things.
"Just go upstairs and pack, okay? There are important things the rest of us need to talk about and we don't have time for your whining!"
Jared's expression grew darker as he listened to his brother's words. Though he was scowling angrily, it was easy to spot the tears forming behind his eyes.
Temperance reached out and grasped Booth's hand. "Booth…" she whispered quietly, her blue eyes wide and pleading.
Booth sighed, closing his eyes as his annoyance receded. Her touch was like a soothing balm to his heart and his anger at his brother, however misplaced it was, disappeared into thin air. Realizing how harsh he had been with Jared, Booth opened his eyes.
"Listen, I'm sorry," he said, far calmer than he had been twenty seconds ago. "It's just that there's something going on that we really have to deal with right now, Jar."
Jared scowled at Booth, turned his head away to hide his angry tears, and folded his arms across his chest. "Pfft," he scoffed. "Whatever. I'm going to my room."
"We leave in ten minutes!" Pops called to the twelve-year-old as Jared climbed up the stairs hurriedly.
Once Jared was out of sight, Debbie turned back to the two lovebirds. Taking Temperance's hand, she led her to the couch, knowing that Booth wouldn't be far behind. She was right – as she and Temperance settled on the couch, Booth squeezed himself in between the arm of the couch and his girlfriend.
Well – fiancée now, I suppose, Deb mused to herself. God, that's gonna take some getting used to.
"How are you two holding up?" she asked them sympathetically. She knew this couldn't be easy for either one of them. Her eldest sister had been a mother at sixteen and Deb had watched, first hand, the toll that had taken on her life.
She was immensely worried for Booth and Temperance, and wished there was something she could do for them that would help them through it all.
One step at a time, Deb thought, remembering the words her mother had said to her sister when she had started spiraling down a dark road. Just take it one step at a time.
"Fine," Temperance murmured quietly, keeping her head down as she subconsciously played with a frayed thread on the sleeve of her sweater.
Deb looked to Booth next who didn't seem as though he was about to answer her anytime soon. In fact, he didn't seem to have heard her question at all.
His attention was solely focused on Temperance, his eyebrows drawn as he watched her worriedly. He must've thought she needed some comfort or support. His hands came up to rest on her shoulders and he leaned in slightly to press a kiss to her hair. She looked thankful for the comfort and leaned back into his chest. Booth wrapped his arms around her front, his arms resting just above her chest.
"Seeley?" Debbie prodded, prompting him to look up from Temperance with a confused expression. "How are you doing with all this?" she repeated.
Booth sighed heavily. "Okay," he muttered.
Deb rolled her eyes. "Oh, you're both very convincing," she said sarcastically. "Listen, it's okay to be afraid. This is a very scary thing you're dealing with here. I just want you to know that Hank and I are one hundred percent behind you, no matter what you decide, and I'm gonna do my best to help you, okay?"
Temperance sniffled, pulling away from Booth slightly to fish out a half-empty packet of Kleenex from her sweater pocket. "I'm sorry," she apologized generally as she dabbed at her wet eyes. "I have been crying over everything lately…I have read that this might be attributed to the increase level of hormones in my body right now."
Debbie smiled sadly. "Oh, honey, it's okay," she assured Temperance. "I know how it is."
Temperance lifted her head to look at her questioningly.
Deb answered her unspoken question, "My sister was a teenage mother. She cried worse than you – all the way from the moment she found out she was pregnant up until the baby was six months old, she cried if someone walked into a room and smiled at her."
Temperance blew her nose into her Kleenex before lifting her head to frown at Deb confusedly. "Why would she…?"
Booth pulled her back into his arms, pressing a kiss next to her ear before murmuring something to her quietly.
Temperance nodded, her eyes lighting up slightly in understanding. "Ah, of course," she said quietly. Smiling weakly at Deb, she said, "I'm very grateful for your help in this matter…Though I wonder why Pops called you instead of Lydia."
Deb lifted an eyebrow as she turned her attention to Pops. "Lydia?" she asked incredulously. Not that she didn't love her partner – because she did with all her heart – but she knew how critical Lydia could be.
Lydia already didn't support Booth and Temperance's relationship before. What would she say now that they were expecting a child when they were so young, and begging for help to get married so they could keep their baby?
Pops sighed, nodding. He sat up straighter in his seat, stretching his back tiredly. "I just thought she'd be able to help 'cuz she's a lawyer," Pops confessed. "But I picked up the phone and I just…Hesitated."
Deb nodded, understanding flaring in her eyes. "You're worried about what she'd say," she concluded wisely. "How she'd react."
Pops nodded, slightly sheepish. He felt foolish being afraid of a little tongue lashing by his own daughter but with all the stress he was feeling now, he really didn't need to hear her say 'I told you so'. Lydia would have no qualms going off on an angry rant despite how heavy the situation was already.
"Don't worry, I get it," Debbie assured him, reaching out to pat his leg. Turning back to Temperance and Booth, she said, "Okay. Let's make sure that everything's okay to begin with."
Booth's brows furrowed together in confusion. "What do you mean?" he asked her blankly.
"Have you gone to an OBGYN?" Deb asked Temperance.
Booth blushed instantly at having this question asked in front of Pops, but Temperance didn't seem bothered by it whatsoever. "No," she answered unblinkingly. "I haven't."
Booth frowned at his aunt. "Does she have to?" he wondered. "She took enough tests to know she's pregnant and there's the baby bump…"
Debbie nodded. "Yeah, but it's safer to go to the doctor's and make sure everything's okay with the baby," she insisted. "Plus, she needs to get her prenatal vitamins and schedule a future visit for a check-up."
Temperance nodded, agreeing with Debbie. She considered Deb's suggestion for a moment before asking, "Will it be reported if I go?"
"What do you mean?"
"Obviously they'll know I'm pregnant and they'll know that I'm a foster child," she pointed out. "Will it be reported to social services?"
Booth frowned. "If that happens, our plans will go straight to hell," he pointed out.
Debbie looked bewildered so Temperance, sheepishly, explained, "We don't want social services to know yet. I haven't informed my social worker."
Debbie stood up. "You know what? I think I've got a friend who might be able to help," she murmured thoughtfully. "Let me just…Make a few phone calls," she picked up the phone, distracted.
Booth turned his attention to Temperance.
She had suffered a bout of nausea at lunch time and it hadn't receded all the way until school was out. She'd managed not to rush out of class with the irrepressible urge to vomit – until they had been in the car on their way to pick up Jared from his school. He'd had to pull over on the side of the road and help her pull her hair back from her face as she puked on the grass, tears springing to her eyes at how unpleasant the experience was.
"Are you okay?" he asked her now, tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear.
She nodded. "Yes," she sighed. "I really need to brush my teeth, though. Is it okay if I…?" her eyes flickered between Booth and Pops.
"Go ahead," Pops nodded. Eyeing Jared climbing down the stairs with his overnight bag slung over one shoulder, he stood up. "I need to drop Jared off, anyway. We'll continue this in a little while."
Booth stayed seated in the living room while Temperance went upstairs to use the bathroom and Pops left to send Jared off. Without Temperance at his side, his worries felt heavier. If she was with him, it was easy for him to focus all his energy on her: was she okay? Was she eating enough? Did she look a little too pale? Left to his own devices, Booth could feel his own fears and anxieties caving in on him.
Deb put the phone down, effectively ending the call. She smiled, satisfied. She had just secured Temperance an appointment at her friend's private practice in a couple of hours – it was good to know she had incredible persuading abilities.
Turning back towards the living room, she was surprised to find that only her nephew remained sitting on the couch. Deb watched him for a few moments, pursing her lips sympathetically as she watched him bend his spine forward, rest his elbows on his knees and cradle his bowed head in his hands. He looked like a tortured man.
A very young man who was barely out of his childhood years, but a man nonetheless.
"Hey, kiddo," she said softly, interrupting his thoughts.
Booth's head jerked up in shock at the sound of her voice. He turned his head around to look at her and gave her a wide-eyed look. "Deb…" he sighed. "I forgot you were there."
Debbie walked into the room, giving him a mock hurt look. "Well, that just makes me feel special," she joked lightly.
Booth gave her a weak smile, "Sorry."
She waved his apology away. "So," she said, exhaling slightly as she sat down next to him. "How are you doing – really?" she asked.
He was tempted to lie and say 'fine' but her knowing gaze made him feel like she'd know the truth even without him spilling his guts to her.
"I'm…Worried," he settled for a word that wouldn't make him sound like a wuss. Were real, non-wussy men afraid when they found out they were about to become fathers?
"Worried," Deb nodded. "I'd imagine you would be. There's so much to think about right now, so much responsibility you can see coming your way."
Booth shook his head. "No, that's not what I'm worried about," he said quickly. At her quirked eyebrow, he amended, "Well…I'm not saying I'm not concerned about how I'm gonna keep up with all of that responsibility but I'm not worried about following through. You know, I'm gonna do my best. I'm not gonna flake out on Bones or our baby…"
Debbie nodded, fully believing him even if she couldn't hear the determination in his voice and the see the firm steel in his eyes. Seeley Booth was just that guy; the one you knew would do the right thing by you. She wasn't worried about him abandoning Temperance or the baby.
She was, however, worried about the toll it would take on him to keep his word.
Seeley Booth was also the kind of guy who would keep his fears and doubts to himself. She'd let it go if it were any other time – but not when there was a tiny life about to make its way into the world, fully dependent on him and Temperance.
"So what are you worried about?" she questioned him, curious.
Booth sighed, swiping his hand down his face. "Everything," he exhaled loudly.
"You couldn't be any vaguer if you tried," Debbie told him dryly.
"I'm just…" he sighed. "Right now, all I can think about is making sure that I get to stay with Temperance and the baby – the rest will come in later. I'll get a job, we'll figure out what to do about school, I've got some cash saved up…I don't have some sort of unrealisticfantasy of what's gonna happen next, Debbie, I know it's gonna be hard. But I gotta focus on just getting us through this next step first right now."
Debbie gazed at him curiously for a long moment. "Kiddo," she broke the silence. "I gotta ask…I know there's a baby on the way and you're not gonna take back your proposal…"
"I'm not," he interrupted her fiercely.
She nodded, holding a hand out to stem his defensive words. "I know," she said soothingly. "I know, and I'm okay with that, Seeley…But what I wanna know is…Are you just doing this because of the baby?"
He started, obviously having not expected that question.
She hastened to assure him, "It's okay if you are. I won't stop helping you just because you say yes to that."
She leaned in and ducked her head to meet his eyes. "I just want to know, kiddo," she prodded gently.
Booth sighed. "I love her," he said softly, the admission not at all a surprise to Deb. "I proposed to her right now because of the baby but I want to marry her because I love her – and I love the baby…" He ran his hand through his hair. "It's complicated," he said finally with a sheepish shrug.
Deb smiled at him gently. "I get it," she assured him. "You're a good kid, Seel. And I'm glad that you're not just doing this because of the baby. It never works when two people force themselves together for any other reason than love."
They were interrupted by Temperance's reentrance into the living room. Her face seemed fresher and her eyes weren't as red as they were before. "Hey," she said, her voice as shy as her smile. "What's going on?"
"Nothing, babe," Booth replied, straightening up. Debbie took in the way his dark eyes lit up and his frown turned up at the sight of Temperance. He reached out and twined his fingers with hers, pulling her to sit sideways on his lap. "You okay now?" he asked, pressing a kiss to the side of her head, his nose buried in her hair for a few long moments.
She nodded, sighing. "Yes, I'm fine," she assured him.
"You took a long time up there," he frowned, brushing the back of his finger against her cheek.
She wrapped one arm around his neck, the fingers of her other hand brushing repeatedly through his hair lovingly. "I grew a little nauseous," she admitted.
"Again?" he didn't seem happy.
She nodded. "But I'm okay now," she soothed.
Booth brushed back her hair from her face, his fingers raking gently against her scalp a few times and sending tingles down her spine. "Is this normal?" he questioned out loud. "You've been puking a lot today. I don't think there's anything left in that tummy to upchuck."
She rolled her eyes. "It's just morning sickness, Booth. I've read about it – it's perfectly normal," she said comfortingly. "And I haven't vomited a lot. I've only done it three times today. It's fine."
Booth shook his head. "Still," he insisted. "Maybe we should ask the doc about this."
Temperance lifted her head from the crook of his neck. She gave him a confused stare. "What doctor?" she asked, following his gaze to Debbie.
"I called a friend of mine," Debbie explained. "She's an OBGYN and she opened up a private practice here in Chicago a few years ago. I asked her for a favor and she agreed to see you after hours tonight."
Temperance bit her lip, frowning hesitantly. "Is that a good idea?" she wondered aloud, sharing a glance with Booth. "Will she say anything?"
Debbie shook her head. "I only told her that my nephew's girlfriend needs a check-up but Sarah's very trustworthy. You can confide in her. She won't say a word," she assured both anxious parents-to-be.
Temperance and Booth shared another look, their eyes meeting and their gazes holding as they had another one of their 'silent conversations'.
I know. Me, too. But I trust Debbie. I wanna make sure you and Baby are okay.
So we do this?
We do this.
You'll be there?
Temperance turned back to Debbie. Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly, nodding, "When do we leave?"
They ordered pizza for an early dinner after Pops returned home from dropping Jared off. Temperance had gained the appetite she'd lost during lunch time and had requested one of the cheesy chicken pasta on the menu.
Dinner was the quietest it had ever been that either Temperance or Booth could remember in the house. The TV was off, there was no music playing and no one breathed a word throughout.
When they were done eating, they moved like a well-oiled machine to clear the table. They were dressed and ready to go in ten minutes.
Debbie was, of course, going with Temperance since it was her friend they were going to. Booth wouldn't stay away if his life depended on it and Pops had to go since he was Temperance's guardian.
The clinic was a thirty minute drive from the house and the car ride, too, was spent in awkward silence.
Sarah Newman was a beautiful, statuesque woman in her late thirties. She had stunning red hair and brilliant green eyes. The most attractive quality about her, in Temperance's opinion, was the open, caring, warm smile she wore.
"You must be Temperance," Sarah said as they entered her office. Even though her voice was strong and firm, there was a gentle nuance about it. "And Seeley," she turned to shake Booth's hand next.
Booth gave her a tight smile. "Booth," he corrected her. "I never go by my first name."
Sarah laughed slightly and nodded. "Alright. So…Deb was pretty vague about what's going on here," she said, leading them out of the office and down the hallway. "Do you want to fill me in?"
Booth and Temperance exchanged an uneasy look. After a few short moments of silence, Temperance blurted out, "I'm a foster child."
"Bones," Booth hissed, glaring daggers at her.
She turned wide eyes to him. "What?" she asked, her voice a pitch higher thanks to how flustered she was. "The silence was making me very anxious."
He rolled his eyes.
Sarah stifled a smile, though the worried look on her friend's face quickly sobered her up. "So I suppose you're in a tight spot here," she prodded gently, stepping into an examination room and turning on the lights.
Booth's spine was stiff as he nodded, "Yes."
Sarah patted the exam bed in the center of the room, gesturing for Temperance to lay down on it.
Sensing that neither Booth nor Temperance felt comfortable going into further details, Sarah quickly moved on, "Well, right now we just need to make sure everything's okay with the baby so I'm just gonna put this gel on your stomach…In the meantime, I'll ask you a few questions, Temperance, and I'll need you to answer as honestly as possible."
Temperance nodded and answered Sarah's following questions. Sarah asked her questions about her menstrual cycles and any medical conditions that she was aware of.
Booth blushed beet red and looked like he would like nothing more than to bolt out the door. Pops actually did leave to stand in the hallway until Debbie called him back in, wanting to give Temperance some personal space since the questions were so personal.
Finally, after Sarah had stopped asking her questions, Debbie stepped out into the hallway to call Pops back into the room. Sarah was in the middle of checking Temperance's blood pressure when they walked back into the room.
Sarah shot a look at Booth and Pops. "Either one of you wanna step out?" she asked. "Skin's gonna be exposed in ten seconds."
Booth shook his head making his way to the unoccupied side of the bed. "I'm staying," he held Temperance's hand firmly.
Pops shot a look at Temperance. "You know, maybe it's best I wait back in the office," he stuttered slightly, blushing.
Temperance gave him a gentle smile. "You could stay," she suggested quietly as she lifted her shirt all the way to just underneath her breasts as Sarah had instructed. She had to suppress a laugh when Pops immediately averted his eyes. He reminded her of Booth being all shy before they started dating.
"I don't mind…If you want to see the baby…I mean I wouldn't take any offense if you left. You're not usually as prudish as Booth but-"
"Bones, seriously," Booth interrupted her, exasperated. "There are some things we don't say in front of company."
She sighed, rolling her eyes again. "You should make a rule book," she told him sarcastically.
"If I did, would you follow it?" he asked knowingly.
She scoffed. "Of course not," she scowled. "I'm not about to do everything you tell me to like I'm some sort of a lap dog, Booth."
He sighed, chuckling slightly at how amazingly maddening she could be sometimes. "I didn't say you were," he soothed.
"I'm my own person," she felt inclined to remind him. "I'm not going to burst into tears if you're not happy about something."
"I know," he assured her.
"Because- ooh, that's cold," she winced, looking down at her exposed stomach where the clear gel had been placed.
Booth shot a look at Sarah and mouthed 'thank you'. Sarah stifled an amused smile, turning her head away to turn on the ultrasound machine.
Sarah placed the sonogram wand on Temperance's stomach, spreading the gel around the baby bump with the wand as she did so. "Okay, so…Here we are," Sarah murmured,five sets of eyes fixed on the screen of the machine. "There it is," she smiled as she located the growing fetus and its beating heart. "There's your baby."
Booth stared, awed, at the tiny thing on the screen.
He hadn't expected it to look so much like a baby; he'd expected an unidentifiable messy blob which he supposed was what the nine months in the womb was for (for the baby to grow and resemble a tiny human when he or she came out), and the picture was certainly grainy.
It took him several tries to actually locate the baby and Sarah had to help but…There it was – the curved little body that, while still underdeveloped at only nine weeks with a head that seemed larger than its body and looking a little like a tiny little alien, was clearly a human baby. His baby.
"Wow," he whispered, genuinely awed.
Temperance felt her eyes tear up at the sight of the tiny little body wriggling and shifting slightly in her womb.
"The baby's moving," she whispered, in wonderment. "I…I can't feel it. I see it but…"
Sarah smiled at the young girl reassuringly. "It's far too early for you to be able to feel movement in the womb," she said. "That doesn't happen until the middle of the second trimester."
Temperance blinked away the tears as best as she could but more just kept forming. Clearing her throat, she asked in the steadiest voice she could muster, "How long, uh…When…?"
Sarah gave her an understanding look. "Would you like an estimate time of conception?" she asked gently.
At Temperance's nod, Sarah turned her attention back to the screen. "Okay, looks like the fingers and toes have already developed…The joints have already formed…Baby is around…0.9 inches long. I'd say, from this and what you've told me before, the baby's in its ninth week."
"Nine weeks," Temperance murmured, her eyes darting to Booth.
Though he was blushing so much he looked magenta, and though he looked terrified, there was a happy gleam in his eyes that he couldn't hide. He smiled at her feebly and leaned in to press a kiss to her forehead.
Sarah made a few other observations from the ultrasound – about the baby's brainwaves, its development so far and if everything seemed to be progressing normally – before flicking on a switch on the monitor. A very fast, kind of wet-sounding thump, thump, thump noise filled the room.
"And that would be the sound of your baby's heartbeat," she told Booth and Temperance, smiling when she saw the tears in Booth's eyes
In an attempt to hide how affected he was by the sound, Booth bent his head and buried his face in Temperance's hair. She had no qualms letting the tears run freely down her cheeks.
Sarahgave them an estimate due date and Temperance nodded her head in approval, "June 13 is a good date."
Booth shot her a half-incredulous look. "You realize this means you'll be graduating when you're nine months pregnant?" he asked her.
She nodded. "Yes, but when the baby arrives, we'd have gotten our SATs and college applications out of the way," she pointed out rationally. "I don't mind graduating in my third trimester." She eyed him carefully, chewing thoughtfully on her lower lip. "Do you?" she asked tentatively.
He had to forcefully tear his eyes away from the image of his growing child on the screen to look at her. Seeing the insecurity bubbling behind her eyes, he pulled their entwined fingers to his lips and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. "I don't," he assured her. "Baby, you know I don't care what people say. You're my love and this is our baby. I'm good with June 13."
"Really?" she sounded dubious.
"Well – terrified," he relented. "But good."
She gave him a small smile, enough to show that she believed him, and turned her head back towards the screen.
"Well, it's not like you have a choice regarding the date, anyway," Debbie pointed out, causing the two teenagers to blush.
Sarah was about to turn off the machine but, seeing the way Booth and Temperance's attention were riveted on it, gave them an understanding smile. "Do you want a picture of the baby?" she asked, nodding at the screen.
Temperance's eyes lit up. "Is that okay?" she asked.
Sarah nodded. "Sure," she replied. "Almost all expecting parents want a picture of their baby every time they go in for a sonogram."
Sarah noted silently that the two of them were acting like pretty much most first-time parents. Admittedly, she hadn't expected them to be like this considering their age.
She'd expected a lot of freak-outs, a lot of tears, maybe even questions about 'alternative options' – Temperance was certainly early enough in her pregnancy to explore that option – but instead, the two of them had gone through the entire thing calmly. Booth was holding Temperance's hand the way a loving husband would his wife, and they both seemed very touched at the sight of their developing baby and the sound of his or her heartbeat.
"I'll print one out for you," she assured them both.
Pops, who had been fairly silent since entering the exam room, spoke up suddenly, startling the other four occupants of the room. "Could you…Could I have one, too?" he asked quietly.
Sarah smiled at him knowingly. She knew it couldn't be easy for him – from what she understood, the man was the father figure for Booth and the guardian for Temperance – but she also knew from the way he tried to discreetly swipe at his wet eyes that he cared about this pregnancy and the baby, as well.
"Sure," she agreed.
"Me, too, please," Deb flashed a grin at Sarah.
Sarah laughed. "Alright, I'll print them out for you. In the meantime, you should clean that up," she nodded at the gel and handing Temperance a box of tissues. "And meet me back in my office."
Pops and Deb left the room first, heading straight for Sarah's office, while Booth took a couple of tissues from the box and tenderly wiped off the cool gel from Temperance's stomach. He kissed her cleaned baby bump and tugged her shirt back down over her stomach once he was done, offering her a loving smile and a hand to help her up and off the bed.
"Are you okay?" he murmured to her as they slowly made their way out of the room.
Temperance sighed, wrapping her arm around his waist and leaning into his side. "I'm fine," she muttered. At his disbelieving look, she relented, "I'm overwhelmed, but you don't have to worry – I haven't changed my mind about anything."
"I'm not worried about that," he assured her quickly. At her knowing half-smile, he corrected himself, a sheepish grin on his face, "Well, not much…I just, I know you've had a pretty exhausting day. I just wanted to know if you're okay."
Temperance smiled up at him. Craning her neck, she pressed a kiss to his cheek. "That's sweet," she commented on a faint blush. "And I really am fine. My mind feels like it's running a hundred miles a minute trying to work out all the details but other than that…" she trailed off.
At his nod of acceptance at her words, Temperance gave him a knowing look, "You've had a pretty exhausting day, too," she said softly. "Don't think I haven't noticed."
He exhaled loudly, the weight on his shoulders particularly noticeable at the moment. "Yeah, I've just been…Thinking over things," he admitted quietly. "It's a scary thing we're facing."
She gave him a questioning look. "Are you having second thoughts?" Her voice was merely curious and her face was carefully expressionless, but he knew her far better than that; the vulnerable glint in her eyes made his heart clench and added another layer of weight on his shoulders.
The answer to her question came quickly and sincerely, "No. I'm just worried, Bones."
Her eyebrows furrowed together. "Worried? About?"
He shook his head. "It's not important," he assured her. She didn't look even the least bit convinced. "It's just…Normal things to worry about, you know, when you're about to become a parent for the first time. I'm sure you have them, too. It's nothing I can't work through."
They reached Sarah's office at the end of the hallway.
Temperance was still looking at him concernedly as though she was worried he'd explode into a breakdown right in front of her. He sighed, breaking apart from her embrace to stand in front of her. He cupped her face tenderly and bent his head to brush his lips lovingly against hers.
"It's gonna be okay, baby," he assured her softly, his lips moving against hers as he spoke, the ticklish sensation causing her to smile.
A throat clearing behind them made them both jump and turn to face their intruder. Booth blushed at being caught by Sarah but Temperance merely returned the gentle smile Sarah gave them.
Sarah held up a small square picture, the image frozen on it bringing a smile to Booth's face – it was his jellybean baby inside Temperance's womb. "Here," Sarah held it out, smiling knowingly at the two.
Temperance's quick fingers plucked the photo out of Sarah's hand, her eyes transfixed on the image. "Thank you," she said quietly, not looking up from the sonogram picture.
Sarah didn't take it personally – it was very clear to her that the two too-young-to-be-parents teenagers were scared out of their minds over the pregnancy, but it was even clearer to see that they already loved the little baby growing inside Temperance's womb.
It was strange, to her, to see two people so young yet so in love and so…Mature about things.
When she was their age, she'd thought of nothing but cute boys and the latest fashion and going out with girlfriends. It was hard to imagine herself as a teenager, doing things the way Booth and Temperance were.
"Let's head inside, shall we?" Sarah nodded to the closed door. "I'm sure Deb and Hank are both waiting for us."
Sarah gave an ultrasound picture to Deb and to Hank before gesturing for all of them to have a seat. "So, I've done some basic examinations on Temperance," Sarah started out. "I took her weight and she seems to be progressing quite normally for a woman in her ninth week of pregnancy…She seems a little bit underweight, however, and I recommend keeping a healthy balance in your diet," she addressed Temperance directly towards the end.
Temperance nodded, not at all perturbed at having to discuss this in front of Pops and Debbie. Booth, however, flamed red. Even if they weren't discussing anything intimately revealing, to him, the pregnancy in itself was a private matter. He knew Pops and Debbie had to be there – if it weren't for Debbie, they wouldn't even be there – but it didn't make him any less uncomfortable about it.
"Since you've requested that I keep this appointment as discreet as possible, and you don't want it to be recorded in your medical file…I'm afraid that I can't do much more," Sarah continued apologetically.
Booth spoke up, frowning worriedly, "What do you mean? What else is there to do?"
His question reminded Sarah of just how inexperienced the two were, even if they seemed and acted mature for their age.
"Well, there are the basic prenatal tests to be done – a thorough examination, pelvic exam, blood tests, a pap smear, the works…Not to mention prescriptions for prenatal vitamins – which is important for you to have during a pregnancy," Sarah directed at Temperance in an almost chiding tone of voice. "All of this can be easily accessible to you if you'd go for a real appointment. You can choose whether you want to go to a public hospital or you can come here."
Pops stayed quiet in the corner, the sonogram picture gripped in his hand and his head bowed as he stared at it.
Debbie caught the hesitation in Booth and Temperance at Sarah's words, and saw the concerned glance they shared. Knowing that they wouldn't voice out their problem considering how frightened they were that their 'plans' would get ruined, Deb spoke up for them.
Clearing her throat slightly, she caught Sarah's attention. "It's just that there are…Extenuating circumstances and they don't want to visit the doctor's until everything's settled," Debbie explained.
"Oh?" Sarah said lightly.
She was beyond curious to find out about the 'situation' Booth and Temperance were in, but everyone was so secretive about it. No matter, it's not my business, Sarah decided firmly. I can't be butting in when it's not my place. At least, not unless it interferes with my duties as a doctor.
"How long do you think it'll be before either of you feel comfortable going for a check-up?" she asked the four in general.
Booth and Temperance shared another look. "A few weeks," Temperance answered. "Approximately."
Sarah pursed her lips, nodding her head. She gazed at the couple for a few moments, before making up her mind.
"Alright," she sighed. "In my medical opinion, I really think you should go sooner. I didn't catch anything wrong but I only performed an ultrasound and some basic exams. But if you feel like you can't…" she snuck a look at Debbie.
If Deb's sure, then I'll trust her judgment, Sarah decided.
She grabbed her prescription pad and started scribbling on it. "I'm writing you…a prescription for prenatal vitamins," she told Temperance. Tearing the page out of the pad, she handed it to Deb. "It's under your name," she told her friend. "And it's only going to last two weeks, at most, so whatever it is you need to do before then, you'd best hurry."
Fixing Booth and Temperance with a serious gaze, she said, "It's very important that, for the course of this pregnancy, you have regular check-ups with a doctor. Everything seems healthy and okay now but you're very young, Temperance, and this is your first pregnancy. Any number of things could happen ?"
Temperance nodded. "Okay," she agreed quietly. "Thank you."
Booth gave Sarah a faint smile. "Yeah, thanks, Dr. Newman," he added. "I know this was…Weird and troublesome, but it means a lot to know that the baby's fine."
Sarah laughed lightly. "Weird, yes. Troublesome, no," she teased.
Sarah gave Temperance a list of healthy food choices and a general list of what she could and could not consume during the course of her pregnancy, along with a few pamphlets to guide her week-by-week progress.
She also gave Debbie a recommendation for a doctor friend of hers who worked at a public hospital – with Temperance's low health care insurance and how expensive it would be to be seen by a private practitioner like Sarah, it would be far better financially-speaking for them to go to a public hospital.
She reminded Booth and Temperance once more to make a 'real' doctor's appointment in the near future as the four of them headed out of the clinic. Deb took the wheel in Pops' car, sensing that Pops needed the time to think freely instead of focusing on the road.
Halfway back to the house, Pops spoke, his voice quiet but determined. "We're calling Lydia."
Booth started to protest, unsure of how he felt about bringing his stern aunt into the picture. It was complicated enough without her criticism around. "Pops…"
Pops shook his head. "No," he interrupted firmly. "We need her help. There's no more procrastinating. We need to get started on your future right now, kids. We don't have much time."
"We have thirty weeks," Booth pointed out.
Deb chuckled slightly. "That's not as long as you might think," she told them. Glancing in the rearview mirror, Debbie took note of Booth and Temperance's drawn faces. "Now, come on, guys. I know Lydia can be tough but she's not the enemy. She's family, she loves you."
"She doesn't love me," Temperance pointed out rationally.
Deb smiled. "She will once she gives you a chance – and she will," she promised the scared teenager. "I'll call her the moment we reach home. Trust me, it'll be okay."
Booth grasped Temperance's hand tightly, their entwined fingers resting on his thigh. Temperance leaned in and rested her head on his shoulder. Booth bent his head and kissed her hair.
"Do you really believe that everything will turn out fine?" Temperance whispered to him quietly, her words only for his ears; she shifted her head on his shoulder so that she could look up at him.
Booth gazed down into her pretty blue eyes, shining with trust as she looked at him, and smiled. "I do," he nodded. Brushing her hair back from her face, he bent his head and captured her lips in a sweet kiss.
Please, God, let it all turn out okay, he prayed.
So will they get married or won't they? What's Lydia going to say? Is there a different option than marriage?
Lydia's coming in next chapter and I think we can all say with certainty that there's going to be fireworks when she arrives – she already doesn't think much of Temperance, and that was before the pregnancy.
I need your help, guys. I've already outlined the coming chapters (and written the next two, though I will space it out so that you won't have to wait so long for chapter 40 like you would if I post 38 and 39 right after this one). And though I've planned for Booth and Temperance's futures since day one, I've started to flesh out the details of what will happen in the next several years. I need to be quite accurate or it might just kill me.
What I need right now is someone who is well-versed and accurately knows a lot about A) the US military (in preparation for Booth's time in the near future as a soldier, B) the foster system and its rules, especially concerning pregnant teenagers and marriage, and C) pregnancy as a whole as I've never actually been pregnant or gone to an OBGYN prenatal visit.
You don't need to be well informed in all three. Just one will do. If you are, contact me through a PM and I'll return to you as soon as possible. Thank you SO MUCH.
Once again, I'm SO SORRY for how long it has been since the last time I updated. I cringe. Seriously.
Please feel free to leave a line or two to tell me what you think of this chapter.