AN: I dedicate this epilogue to my mom. Thank you for giving me such a lovely Christmas!

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Four months after Bones was attacked, I drove to George Washington University Hospital after another phone call in the night.

That time, the caller was Bones. My girlfriend.

We officially became a couple a few weeks after the attack, much to the delight of our families and co-workers. Squints, FBI agents, and a certain puckish prosecutor all teased us about how long it had taken us to get together. Angela even drew a picture of the two of us holding each other and wrote "It's about time!" at the bottom. I got it framed and hung it in my bedroom. I'll admit that Angela and everyone else had a point. Most couples don't take over six years to admit their feelings for each other. But I told everyone who teased us that it was worth the wait, and I meant it. I'd never been happier in a relationship, and I was sure Bones would say the same.

Of course, it hadn't been entirely smooth sailing. Bones is a very independent woman, and it was initially hard for her to accept my help after her release from the hospital. Even though her doctors told her to rest, she wanted to do everything for herself. When I first brought her meals in bed, she got angry and accused me of treating her like an invalid. Eventually, however, I convinced her that accepting help didn't make her weak. She came to appreciate my efforts and would reward me with a kiss. Or two. Or three. Or more. After so many years of not being able to kiss her when I wanted, I treasured every one of them. I still do.

And then there were the nightmares about that bastard Dickinson attacking her again. The first couple weeks after the attack, I would hear her sobs from the guest room, but when I ran to her room she'd insist she was fine. Shortly after we became a couple, she told me about the dreams. She'd had no choice, really, since it's harder to hide your cries when you're sharing a bed with someone. When she woke up from a nightmare, I would hold her and rub her back until she fell asleep again. She did the same for me when I had nightmares about her being hurt.

The nightmares about Dickinson had finally stopped a month before, when we got a call saying that he'd been killed in jail by another inmate, Mitchell Palmer, while he was awaiting trial. When asked why he'd done it, Palmer said he didn't appreciate Dickinson attacking his favorite author. Palmer may be a devout Brennanite, but I wouldn't be surprised if Max had whispered in his ear.

Bones had fully recovered from the attack. She no longer needed my help to do daily chores (though I still enjoyed cooking for her), and she was back to working long hours. I felt better about her working late after Cam had additional security cameras installed in the parking garage (at my request). Cam also led the investigation that uncovered the security guard Dickinson bribed to destroy the tapes of Bones' attack. He was fired by the Jeffersonian and charged with obstruction of justice by the FBI. He was found guilty and, thanks to Caroline, received the maximum sentence.

One night a week, Bones had been leaving work early (well, early for her) to go to advanced martial arts classes because she thought she needed a refresher. After each class, she came to my apartment and practiced her skills on me. I was always happy to practice with her because a) she's the woman I love, and I wanted her to be able to defend herself in any situation, especially if I wasn't around to back her up, and b) our practice sessions always ended with one of us pinning the other to the floor. Once we were in that position, lovemaking was sure to follow. I don't want to brag, but Bones and I are as good at making love as we are at catching murderers. She would laugh at me for saying this, but sometimes I feel as if our bodies were actually made for each other. I know our souls were.

Anyway, I had been working late at the FBI building when Bones called. She'd gone to the hospital directly from the lab, so I told her I'd meet her there. When I arrived, I saw her sitting in the lobby, typing on her lap top.

"Working on a love scene for Kathy and Andy? I could offer some suggestions." I flashed her the Seeley Booth charm smile.

"I appreciate the offer, but I was just finishing a report." Smiling, she put her computer down and rose from her chair. We wrapped our arms around each other and kissed. Did I mention how much I love kissing her?

"How's Angela?" I asked.

"The last time I heard from Hodgins, he said that she had just started pushing. The baby could come at any time." She sounded as excited as I felt.

We sat side by side in the lobby, her head resting on my shoulder as we waited and waited for the arrival of the newest squint. At some point we fell asleep, because the next thing I remember is Hodgins tapping my shoulder. He was grinning from ear to ear. "Come meet your goddaughter."

Hand in hand, Bones and I followed Hodgins to Angela's room, where we found her holding a brown haired, brown eyed baby girl.

"She's beautiful," I told the beaming parents.

"Just like her mom," Hodgins said. "Every boy in school is going to try to woo her." He looked at me. "Maybe her FBI agent godfather could intimidate the undesirable candidates?"

I laughed. "I'll be sure to have a talk with every guy she dates."

"Meaning you'll show them your gun?" Bones teased.

"If I have to," I joked. To be honest, I wasn't entirely joking.

"Don't worry, sweetie," Angela told her daughter. "I promise I won't let your father and godfather ruin your social life...although I hope your teenage years won't be as crazy as mine were. Hopefully you'll be more studious than I was. Maybe you'll end up being a brilliant scientist like your dad and godmother."

"I'd be happy to teach her about anthropology," Bones offered.

"And I'll definitely be teaching her about bugs and slime," Hodgins said. His smile slowly vanished, replaced by a look of panic. "What if...oh God."

"What if what, Jack?" Angela asked.

"What if she doesn't like bugs?"

I put a hand on his shoulder. "It's okay, Hodgins. Parker doesn't like everything I like and we still get along fine. You love your kids no matter what."

"You're right," he said. "Thanks, man."

"So does the newest member of the squint squad have a name yet?" I asked.

"Olivia Temperance Montenegro Hodgins," Angela announced.

I smiled. "That's a pretty big name for such a little girl."

"Yeah, but we'll only use her full name when she's in trouble," Hodgins joked. "The rest of the time we'll call her Olivia."

"I'm honored that you gave her my name as a middle name," Bones said. "Could I hold her?"

"You're her godmother, sweetie. Of course you can hold her." Angela gently handed Olivia to Bones.

When I saw the way my girlfriend smiled at the baby in her arms, I fell in love with her all over again.

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"I loved seeing you hold Olivia," I told Bones later that night as we lay together in bed. "You looked even more beautiful than usual."

She laughed. "I don't see how my holding an infant could improve my physical appearance."

"Trust me, it did." I kissed her.

"I did enjoy holding her, and I enjoyed seeing Angela and Hodgins so happy."

"Me too." After a few moments of silence, I dared to voice the thought that had been on my mind ever since we'd left the hospital. "If someday it was us in a maternity ward, holding a little squint of our own...preferably after we'd gotten married, but I know how you feel about marriage...that could be nice, couldn't it?"

She smiled. "Yes. Very nice. And I'm not as opposed to marriage as I used to be."

"You're not?" If I could have seen my reflection just then, I'm sure I would have seen myself grinning like an idiot.

"It used to be difficult for me to imagine spending my life with anyone," she said. "But now it's difficult to imagine not spending my life with you."

I kissed her again. "I love you, Bones."

She kissed me back. "I love you too."

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We got married three months later. Ten months after our wedding day, our daughter Bridget Elizabeth was born. Hers was a difficult delivery, and for a few terrifying minutes I thought that I might lose my wife and child. Thankfully Bones is a fighter, and our little girl is too. The moment the doctor put her in Bones' arms was one of the happiest of my life.

Bridget and Olivia were great friends as they grew up, just like their mothers. Olivia never loved bugs as much as her dad, but she didn't hate them. She followed in her mother's footsteps, becoming a successful artist. At her last exhibit, she showed paintings she had done of various insects. I've never seen Hodgins look prouder.

Bridget followed in my footsteps, going into law enforcement. Having inherited my street smarts and her mother's intellect (as well as her beauty), she's got one of the highest solve rates in the Bureau. As the liaison to the Jeffersonian, she often runs into Parker- Dr. Parker Booth that is. He's one of the best anthropologists they have. Not surprising, considering he was taught by the best.

Last night, Bones and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I told her that I loved her now even more than I did thirty years ago, and she said she felt the same way about me. I knew, right from the beginning, that we'd end up here someday. Admittedly we took a few unexpected detours along the way, but everything worked out in the end. Love conquers all, they say.

Bones and I are living proof of that.

The End

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Thanks for reading! All comments are greatly appreciated.