A/N: This is it. This story is finally complete. I can't believe it's over. It has been such an amazing ride. Thank you guys. You have all been so amazing.
Epilogue Part 2
Brennan and Booth were quiet for a few minutes, then Brennan shifted her eyes to his, "I'm so sorry, Booth. I'm just so scared. I can't go through this again…" Brennan cried. Her words barely made sense through her sobs.
"Shhhh Bones…" He stroked her hair softly. "It's okay. Don't say anything else." He ordered. "Dr. Warren just gave us some pretty specific instructions and I suggest we follow them to the letter."
"No." Booth put a finger to her lips. "I'm serious, Bones. We are not going to talk about anything stressful." He laid down the rules. "Understood?"
Brennan nodded slowly.
"Good." He kissed her cheek gently. "I'm going to give you some ice chips and you can take your time with them." He placed another ice chip on Brennan's lips. "I'll do all the entertaining right now."
Brennan crunched the ice chip and her eyes never left his face.
"Hey! No talking, remember?" He warned her. "I know this is hard. You've done this a million times before. I know you, Bones. You can do it again. You can compartmentalize all of this if you want to. Just set your mind to it."
Brennan nodded, finally giving in and obeying him.
Booth gave her a gentle kiss on her lips. "Your lips are cold." He teased her. He reached for another ice chip when she was done with her second one.
Brennan started to mumble through the ice again, but this time Booth put his fingers gently over her mouth. "I think, Bones, that I have you at my mercy right now. No talking. No responses. In fact honey, feel free to nod in agreement with everything I say." He ordered cheerfully.
Brennan wrinkled her cute nose at him. Booth reached over and began to stroke the side of her face with the back of his hand. "There is nothing that will ever compare to these moments when I truly see you. You are a great person, a great wife, a perfect mother. I look at you, and all I see is love in your eyes, I see your soul and your heart. With you, there are always no worries, or defenses, or insecurities, you know exactly what you are doing in life. You open up worlds to me that I never thought possible Bones…" He softly kissed the top of her head. "With you I have to climb mountains, swim oceans, and I still love every moment of it, and I will never regret meeting you and risking my life for you every time I have to save you. I would do it all over again if I had to, or if you just asked me to. You have given me the most beautiful children ever. I can feel joy when I'm with you: intoxicating joy, exhilarating joy, Bones." Booth brushed her hair behind her ear and placed a kiss on her forehead.
Booth pushed another ice chip between her lips, "Every minute that I'm with you, I'm scared that I'm not good enough for you, I'm scared that I'm not the perfect husband you deserve, but none of that matters because you touch my soul, you show me what love is all about, you teach me how to be a better father every day and you make me want to be a better man, someone deserving of your love." Booth brushed the tears that were falling from her face with his fingers.
Her eyes were wide and intent on his every word, even if she wanted to speak right now, she was out of words, speechless.
"I spent almost a year miserable when we were apart, knowing how much I love you and not being able to touch you, kiss you and make love to you. I couldn't seem to get through my day without waking up next to you or falling sleep with you. It hurt me when I woke up every morning and I would remember that you were not there with me. I don't deserve you or your love. Please don't ever question my love for you. It lives inside me as if a part of my flesh, blood and bones. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, Bones. We will always be incomplete without Liz, but I'm glad that things are better, because you make me so happy."
Every word that came out of his mouth brought one more tear to Brennan's eyes.
Booth gave her the last ice chip.
He stood up and put one of his hands under her neck, and the other hand under the small of her back. Slowly he turned her, until she was lying on her side. He untied her hospital gown and opened the back to him. Then he slowly slid onto the bed beside her. He draped one arm over her belly, and he used the other one to massage the tight spots on her back. Brennan groaned, and Booth wondered if she was having another contraction. She stayed relaxed, urging him to continue with the massage and he move lower on her back.
Booth took his time; he massaged all of her back, from her shoulder blades and down her spine. She relaxed even more when he found a big knot in her lower back. While he massaged her back, he softly whispered possible names for their baby. Brennan laughed at his picks. She made it clear to him that he wasn't going to name their child after some hockey player. He also tried popular and common names like John, Anne, Matthew, Emily, James, Ashley, and she brushed those off too. Every name he chose, Brennan either shook her head in denial or laughed at it.
"I already have a name for our baby." Brennan spoke for the first time in a long time.
Booth let it slip since Brennan was relaxed and calm. "Oh, you do, do you?" He challenged. "But we don't even know what we are having yet."
"So? I picked two names: one for a girl, and one for a boy."
"Are you going to tell me?" He leaned over and he started to massage her belly. Brennan closed her eyes, and let him take over her back. She felt hypnotized by his small movements around her belly.
"No. I want to wait until our baby is born. I want to see if the name fits him or her." She explained.
"No previews at all?" He continued to massage her belly gently, feeling a few kicks from their baby.
"I don't know if I'm ready. Our baby is not ready yet." She said firmly.
Booth let silence take both of them for a few minutes. He rested his chest against her back as he massaged her belly back and forth and tried to help her relax as best he could.
Brennan slowly turned her head and whispered both names into his ears; even though there was no one else in the room, she felt like this was their little secret for now.
He smiled at her, and sighed deeply with joy. "I like them. Now if only we were having twins, a boy and a girl, we could use both of the names." He joked.
Brennan shook her head, "I don't think I could ever handle twins at once. Don't even joke about it."
"You used to tell me you could handle anything." Booth teased her and out of the corner of his eyes, he watched the clock closely, aware of every minute that ticked by without a contraction.
"Yeah, that was when I was still young." She defended herself. "Now I'm a mother. It's the toughest job I ever had, but also the best." She explained.
"You excelled at being a mother and a wife, you know." Booth said proudly. "You make it seem so easy."
Before Brennan could reply to him, the door opened and Dr. Warren walked in. "How are you doing?" She asked as she walked towards the bed.
Booth got up from the bed slowly and closed her hospital gown. And he gently helped her lay on her back again.
"I'm okay." Brennan answered tiredly.
"When was your last contraction?" Dr. Warren asked afraid of the answer.
"I don't know, I wasn't paying attention." Brennan said trying to remember her last contraction; she was so focused on Booth's voice that she completely forgot to pay attention.
"Forty minutes ago." Booth filled in for her.
Dr. Warren started to examine Brennan, taking Brennan's wrist to take her pulse first. "That's a very good sign, Temperance."
Brennan breathed in relief.
"We are not out of the woods yet," Dr. Warren reminded them.
"Bu they seemed to have stopped." Brennan argued placing a hand on her belly.
"Yes, they seemed to have stopped, but they can come back at any minute." Dr. Warren informed. "I would like to keep you at the hospital for a few days for observation."
The worried lines resurfaced on Booth's face. "But Bones and the baby are going to be okay, right?"
"I can't guarantee anything, Mr. Booth." Dr. Warren said. "If you are under our watch for a few days, we are going to make sure that everything runs smoothly, but there will be a few things you will need to do once you go home."
"A few days can't be that bad, Bones." Booth encouraged.
"I know." Brennan agreed. "I will do anything to keep our baby safe."
"Since your pregnancy is high risk, and you just went into preterm labor, I'm demanding bed rest for one month." Dr. Warren said seriously.
"What?" Brennan asked surprised. "I can't just sit in bed all day when I have a son to take care of. He needs me. And I have work too."
"Your baby needs you more right now, Temperance. It is imperative that you follow that to the letter. If you do that, then you will have a higher chance of delivering this baby full term." Dr. Warren explained the serious of their situation.
"She'll do it." Booth sat down next to Brennan and took her hand into his. "I will take a leave of absence from work right now, and our friends will help. She won't need to worry about anything." Booth said confidently, already planning in his mind what he needed to do to make sure Brennan wouldn't have a reason to get out of bed.
Brennan sighed. She knew he was right. If this was best for their baby, she would do anything. "Okay, I guess I can spare a month for our baby." Brennan agreed easily.
"Good." Dr. Warren smiled.
Nurse Amy walked in the room rolling an ultrasound machine, placing it next to the bed.
"I would like to do an ultrasound before I leave to make sure everything is okay with the baby." Dr. Warren said and lifted Brennan's gown and removed the fetus monitor.
Brennan felt the cold gel make contact with her belly, and she squeezed Booth's hand.
As soon as the prong touched her belly, the image of their baby appeared on the monitor of the ultrasound.
"Still want to know the sex of your baby?" Dr. Warren asked as she moved the prong around Brennan's belly.
Brennan looked at Booth and nodded, "Yes, we would love to know."
Dr. Warren pressed the prong a little harder and stopped at a certain spot on her belly. "Looks like she's not hiding anymore."
"It's a girl?" Booth asked surprised. He was sure they were having a boy this time.
Brennan's eyes filled with tears, even though they had done before, this baby was just as important to them as Cooper and Liz.
"Yes. It's a baby girl." Dr. Warren announced. "Everything looks good." Dr. Warren announced and picked up a piece of paper to clean the gel out of Brennan's belly. She placed the fetus monitor back into position.
Brennan and Booth smiled at each other; the tension in the room of the last four hours was definitely gone. They knew they still had a long road ahead of them, but at least things turned out to be okay for now.
"It's almost eleven in the morning, I will ask them to send you a light meal, in case you are hungry. I have to see a few more patients, but if you need anything, just ask one of the nurses to page me." Dr. Warren said.
"Thank you Dr. Warren." Booth said.
"I should be back around four o'clock to check on you again before I leave." Dr. Warren said and stepped out of the room.
Booth turned his attention to Brennan, "Are you comfortable?" Even though the contractions had stopped, Booth was still concern about his wife and daughter.
"As comfortable as I can be."
Booth cupped her chin, "Bones, I know this is hard, but everything is going to work out. We just have to re-arrange our lives a little bit."
"That's what I'm afraid of." Brennan said avoiding his eyes. "Everyone will have to step up and change their lives to accommodate me, to take care of me. While all I can do is sit around and do nothing. How is that fair?" Brennan started crying again. She had lost track of how many tears she cried today. Her eyes already looked puffy and red from all the crying.
Booth sighed deeply. He understood her frustration, but he didn't want her to feel like she was a burden to take care of. Booth wiped her tears away with his fingers. "Remember our vows?"
Brennan nodded tearfully.
"For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health." Booth reminded her.
"I was there, I remember them." Brennan said frustrated.
"Remember when I had the brain tumor?" Booth asked firmly.
"Of course I remember. You were in the hospital and you almost died Booth." Brennan's voice trembled. Remembering how she almost lost him was always painful for her and she began to tense in her bed again.
"And after I left the hospital, you took care of me before you left for your dig. You never complained. You did it because you wanted to, because you loved me…"
"Booth…" Brennan glared at him with her arms crossed defiantly.
"No, let me finish." Booth put a finger to her lips. "When Cooper got sick for the first time, you wouldn't leave his side for a week. You hardly slept, and you took care of him because it was your job. You didn't even think twice." Booth massaged his temple. "It's about sharing. Give and take Bones. You have to let us take care of you now." Booth argued strongly.
Brennan closed her eyes and nodded in agreement. She buried her face in his neck and continued to cry. Booth held her tight in his arms. "Shhh, it's not that bad you know." He whispered softly in her ear. "I get to spoil you rotten."
Brennan laughed through her tears and her cries began to subside. "It's going to be okay, right?" She asked looking at him again.
"Everything is going to be okay, Bones." Booth was still unsure how everything was going to be work out. Taking a leave of absence from work was going to be easy. Taking care of Brennan and running after Cooper wasn't going to be easy. Keeping Brennan in bed was also going to be a challenge, along with making sure she was stress free and calm throughout the rest of her pregnancy. He sure had a big task ahead of him.
"We are having another girl." Booth said trying to lighten the mood.
Brennan smiled and placed a hand at her belly, feeling a kick at her lower abdomen. "I know."
Brennan gave him a lazy smile. Not having a good night of sleep, waking up during the night in labor and the last four hours having painful contractions definitely made Brennan exhausted. She yawned and put a hand to her mouth.
"Maybe you should try to sleep a little bit."
"I'm fine." Brennan protested.
"Maybe we should call Angela and she could bring Cooper in later to see you." Booth suggested. "I'm sure he misses you."
"I would like that."
"Go to sleep." He demanded. "While you are sleeping, I can make some phone calls and talk to Angela. Cooper will be here by the time you wake up."
"Okay." Brennan moved to get more comfortable. "Will you stay until I fall asleep?" Brennan asked with her pleading eyes.
"I will." Booth said.
Brennan moved over and turned on her side, and Booth joined her. He draped one arm over her belly, feeling the kicks of his soon-to-be daughter. "I love you, Bones."
"I love you too Booth." Brennan said and minutes later she was sound asleep.
After a month in bed rest, she was much better and could do anything she wanted. The big scare had passed. She was back to the old busy Temperance Brennan, seemed like the worst had come and gone.
Brennan gave birth to Sophia Rose Booth on August 11th 2020. She went into labor during Booth's Best Man Toast at Paul and Cam's wedding. Brennan hadn't been due for another three weeks. Since Cooper and Liz had both been late deliveries, they hadn't been concerned. They always joked that Sophie had known there was a party going on, and she wanted to be a part of it too.
Brennan had been the best-dressed mother in the maternity ward that night. Although her bridesmaid dress had been replaced with a hospital dressing gown, her hair was still swept up with flowers. The picture of Booth, Brennan and Sophie right after she was born was always one of Booth's favorites - Brennan with her hair up, and Booth in his tux.
Brennan awoke feeling strangely relaxed.
She made her way to the kitchen, and on her way she noticed that Cooper and Sophie were already awake and busy watching cartoons. "Are you guys hungry?" She asked.
"No." Three-year-old Sophie answered. "Daddy made us breakfast before he left." She continued on to the kitchen to fix herself breakfast. She decided on some cinnamon toast and milk. Last time she had had cinnamon toast was with Liz, but it sounded really good this morning. Reaching in the fridge, she saw a note from Booth.
I had some things to take care of today at work, but I will be back in time for dinner.
I love you,
She finished making breakfast and joined Cooper and Sophie, who were watching cartoons as she ate. After breakfast, she took a shower and got dressed. Returning downstairs she saw that Cooper and Sophie hadn't moved from their place in front of the TV.
Brennan crossed the room and turned off the TV. "I won't let you two spend your vacation in front of the TV." She told them.
"But Mom!" They started to protest.
"Don't do that." She said. "Get dressed and we'll go to the beach." Defeated, Cooper and Sophie trudged up the stairs to their rooms. By the time they emerged twenty minutes later, the TV had been forgotten and they were excited to be going to the beach.
Brennan carried a bag full of sandwiches, towels and other supplies for their time at the beach. The trio piled into the car and pulled out of the driveway. They arrived at the beach about one hour later, Brennan put down a large blanket for them to sit on and a set of shovels and buckets for the kids to build a sandcastle with. Sophie was the first to go for the toys with Cooper close behind. Brennan grabbed a shovel and joined them.
Sophie dug the moat, complete with water from the ocean. Cooper built the tower. Brennan worked on the castle walls. When they finished an hour later, the structure was impressive. Brennan retrieved a camera from the bag and had the kids pose next to the castle.
Satisfied that they couldn't improve on the castle any more, they headed back to the blanket. They ate a lunch of sandwiches and juice. After lunch, Brennan took a book from her bag and started to read. Cooper had a book report due after the vacation was over and pulled out a copy of The Catcher in the Rye that he had selected.
"Did you bring a book for me?" Sophie asked when she saw that everyone had a book but her.
"Of course, Sophie," Brennan said. She reached in her bag and pulled out a coloring book and some crayons. Sophie was extremely pleased and began choosing a page to color immediately.
Brennan was able to get through a few chapters before she saw that the kids were getting restless. She marked the page she had been reading and asked if they were ready to head home. Brennan called Booth on his cell phone before leaving to let him know they were headed home.
It was Sophie's fourth birthday; Brennan had prepared a special little party for her daughter. It was an intimate party - only close friends and family. Sophie was the one who choose the theme for her party; everything was pink. Pink balloons. Pink tablecloth. Pink cake with a pink Barbie on top. And of course Sophie was in a cute little pink dress, and in a ponytail with a pretty pink bow. Everyone was there, Angela and Hodgins, with their kids, Grace and little Jack. Paul and Cam with Michelle and their one-year-old son Christopher. Sweets and Daisy, and even Russ and Amy with their daughters.
Sophie was extra hyper; she was running around and playing with everyone. The one person she wanted to see most of all hadn't arrived yet.
She ran to her mom and sat at her lap. "Mommy?"
"Yes little one?" Brennan asked with a huge proud smile on her face.
"He is not here yet." Little Sophie said with a sad smile on her face.
"Who?" Brennan knew whom Sophie was talking about, but she asked just to make sure.
"Grandpa Max." Sophie said as Brennan tied the bow on her hair tighter.
"Oh." Brennan said as Sophie confirmed her suspicion.
"Where is he?" Sophie repeated again.
Sophie was the closest granddaughter to Max. Sophie adored him, and Max felt the same way. When they were together, they were inseparable.
"He is coming." Brennan said.
"Really?" Sophie asked with a big smile on her face.
"Yes, really. He just called and said that he is in his way. He should be here in about ten minutes." She answered and noticed that Sophie only got happier.
Sophie jumped down from Brennan's lap giggling. "Where are you going little one?" Brennan asked as she grabbed her hand stopping her from going anywhere.
"I'm going to wait for him in the drive way." Sophie said very excited.
"Can I come too?" Brennan asked.
"Of course Mommy. He is your daddy." Sophie said as she started walking and pulling Brennan along with her.
Meanwhile everyone else was enjoying themselves. The adults were talking about important stuff the kids had no idea what it meant. The kids were playing games with each other.
Outside Brennan and Sophie were just hanging out waiting for Max to arrive. When Sophie saw Max's car at the corner of the street, she recognized it instantly. She started jumping up and down of happiness. Brennan had to hold her hand to avoid from Sophie running into the street. "He is here. Grandpa is here." She yelled. "Let go Mommy." She said as she tried to break free, but Brennan's hold of her hand was stronger than Sophie's struggle to be free.
Max parked the car and got out and it was then that Brennan let go of Sophie's hand. It took Sophie a second before she threw herself at Max's arms. "Grandpa." She yelled as she received many kisses from her dear Grandpa Max.
"Hi little one." Max said as he put her back down again but Sophie didn't dare to let go of his hand.
"Today is the birthday of a very beautiful princess." Max said.
"It's my birthday Grandpa Max." Sophie announced. They walked hand in hand into the living room where everyone was.
"Yes, I know. And I got a present for you." Max said as he kneeled down to be at the same height as her.
"You did? Really?" Sophie asked in surprise.
"Of course." Max said and handed her a medium size present box. She took it from his hand slowly; unsure of what was inside. "Open it." Max said as he helped her rip apart the paper and open the box.
"It's a bear." Sophie exclaimed. Brennan was watching her closely. She saw the expression on her daughter's face and it made her smile.
"What do you say Sophie?" Brennan asked.
"Thank you Grandpa." Sophie said as she hugged his neck with her tiny arms and gently kissed his face.
"Daddy," Four-year-old Sophie called from her bed. Booth was with the kids for the night while Brennan was at a lecture overnight.
"Yes, Sophie Bear?" Booth asked her.
"Can you please tell me a story?" She begged him; this was her favorite part of the day, when Daddy told her bedtime stories.
Booth walked over to her bed and sat on the corner of it. Sophie moved over a little bit to the side of the bed so he could be more comfortable. Sophie held the teddy bear that Max had given her a year ago. The teddy bear had been her best friend ever since.
Booth looked at her, he saw how excited she was and then he started telling her a story. "There was this beautiful Princess named Sophia." He said, as her eyes grew wider.
"Daddy, that's my name too." She said in surprise, not realizing that Booth was telling a story about her.
"What a coincidence." Booth whispered sarcastically, but loud enough for Sophie to hear and it backfired on him.
"What is coincidence Daddy?" Sophie asked curiously, not understanding what he was saying.
Booth regretted saying it, now he would have to explain it as well. He was going to try the simple approach. "Coincidence means when things are the same on accident, like your name is the same as the pretty Princess."
"Oh!" She exclaimed, satisfied with his explanation. Booth was happy because he didn't know any other way to explain what coincidence meant to a five-year-old.
"Now back to the story. Princess Sophia lived in a very charming country house, with two loving parents and her two big brothers." He said with a soft voice, which it made her pay more attention to him.
"I have big brothers too!" Sophie exclaimed again. "Is that coincidence too?" She asked proudly that she understood the use of the word.
"Yes it is. Very good," he said. He knew that Sophie had gotten the brains from Brennan; she was very intelligent just like her mother. She continuously surprised her parents with how quickly she was able to grasp what they expected to be difficult.
Returning to the story, Booth continued. "And then one day, an Evil Sorcerer came to take Princess Sophia away." He said with suspense in his voice. "The princess was so beautiful, that he wanted to lock her in a tower and keep her all to himself." Sophie frowned at the story's turn of events. She clutched her teddy bear closer to her, and waited for Booth to continue.
"Princess Sophia was taken away from her family, to a far away land," he paused again to let the suspense sink in. "The Evil Sorcerer locked her in his castle where no one would find her." Booth saw that Sophie was starting to be scared. "Don't worry sweetheart. The best part is coming up." Sophie relaxed a little. "Just when Princess Sophia thought she would never see her family again, Prince Charming came to the Evil Sorcerer's castle to rescue the Princess. Prince Charming bravely fought the Evil Sorcerer and won." Sophie smiled as Booth spoke of the heroic rescue. "Prince Charming freed Princess Sophia from the tower and took her back to her family who were very worried. Princess Sophia married Prince Charming and they lived happily ever after." Booth finished the story and he saw a huge smile on Sophie's face.
"Is that going to happen to me too?" Sophie asked. She wondered if the rest of the story was a coincidence too.
"What part?" Booth asked curiously, not sure what she was referring to.
"Will a bad man take me away too?" She asked, worried.
"Of course not, Sophie." Booth tried to convince her, but the worry in her face didn't disappear.
"But what about the coincidence?" She asked him. "I don't know any prince to rescue me."
"If something like that ever happened to you, you know I would come and rescue you. I would be your Prince." He said as he pulled the covers over her, tucking her in. Still her expression didn't change.
"I promise," he finally said, and her face changed from a frown to a smile.
"Does that mean that I will have to marry you too?" Sophie asked confused.
"No, Sophie." Booth laughed at the question. "You will find another Prince Charming someday. Just like I found your mommy." He smiled at her.
"Good, because I didn't want to marry you Daddy!" She meant every word of it too.
"Oh really?" Booth asked. "Why is that?"
"Cause you're my Daddy!" She sheepishly shouted, as if he had forgotten.
"I'm glad that's settled then." He smiled and kissed his daughter's forehead. "I think it's time for bed now, pumpkin."
"Okay, thank you for the story. Goodnight Daddy. I love you." She said as she turned on her side and hugged her teddy bear tighter.
"Goodnight." Booth said as he got up from the bed, "I love you too." He turned off the light, and left the door slightly open. He then made his way to Cooper's room to tuck her in as well.
Booth sat on the living room couch watching his weekly Flyers game. Sophie sat quietly beside him. She had asked to stay and watch the game with Booth while Brennan and Cooper went to Angela's house.
Five-year-old Sophie sat quietly, watching Booth watch the game. She silently watched his every move. She didn't dare speak while the game was on; he was much too excited. She wanted to understand what was happening in the game, but didn't want to interrupt Booth's concentration in the game to ask. She had watched Booth watch hockey every week now for as long as she remembered, and she longed to be part of it.
Sophie sat, with one hand in her lap and another holding her orange juice. She watched as her father's mood would change from angry to happy within seconds, and she wondered what was happening in the game to cause the change. There would be times he would be sitting on the edge of his seat. The anticipation she felt while wondering if he would stand up and start cheering or fall backwards into the couch with frustration was as intense for her as the game was for Booth.
After a few moments of tension, Booth relaxed into his seat. It was halftime. Booth turned to Sophie and noticed how quiet she was. "Are you enjoying it, pumpkin?"
Sophie nodded enthusiastically. "Yes," Although she was enjoying watching him more than the game itself. "Daddy?"
He tucked her hair behind her ear and then turned down the volume of the TV to give her his full attention. "What pumpkin?"
"You really like hockey?" Sophie asked shyly. She looked intensively into his eyes, waiting for an answer.
"I love hockey," he smiled at her. It was obvious to everyone.
Booth took her now empty orange juice from her hand and put it on the coffee table. Then he pulled her into his lap, so she could be closer to him.
"Why?" She asked curiously.
"Well, Pops thought me how to play and how to enjoy the game when I was little boy, I was about your age." He said and then he got a napkin and cleaned the orange juice on the side of her mouth.
She looked at him intensively, thinking of another questions to ask him. "Can girls play hockey Daddy?"
"Of course they can." Booth laughed. He quickly checked the TV to see if the game was back on. "Mommy plays hockey too sometimes," Booth paused and leaned in close to Sophie's ear like he was about to tell her a secret. "But she is not that good," he added in a whisper with a huge smile.
"Mommy is not good?" She asked in surprise.
"No, but you can't tell her I said that, okay. Promise?" Booth knew Sophie wouldn't say anything. She would probably forget in the next ten minutes anyway, but he liked that she was so interested in hockey.
"Can I play hockey Daddy?" She asked, expecting him to say no.
"You want to play hockey?" Booth was taken aback by her question; he never thought that his daughter would ever be interested in his favorite sport.
"Yes," She said, confirming his doubt.
"Of course you can, pumpkin." He answered happily. He just hoped that Brennan wouldn't mind having her daughter playing hockey; it tended to be a rough sport.
The smile on Sophie's face told him that she was excited, "Thank you," She hugged him.
"But first you need to learn how to skate," Booth grew more and more excited at the prospect of teaching his daughter how to skate. He was going to have fun teaching her everything about hockey. "Then I will teach you about the game, okay?"
She nodded in agreement.
"Why are you so interested in hockey all of a sudden?" Booth asked curiously.
Her hands were resting on his arms that were holding her. She looked from her hands to him unsure of what to answer him, "Because I want to be like you Daddy."
Booth smiled, kissed her in the forehead, and lifted her up off of his lap so he could stand. After sitting her back down on the couch, he stood facing her with his arm outstretched. "Let's go get you some skates!" He announced enthusiastically.
She smiled back at him and nodded, "Okay."
Booth turned off the TV and grabbed her hand. "What about the game?" She knew that the game was not over yet, and he had never missed one game before.
"It's not important," He said as they went on their way to get her started on her life of hockey.
They would go to the skating rink together once a week after school to work on her skating. Sophie was happy to be able to spend some time alone with her father and Booth loved that he was able to share his favorite pastime with his daughter.
Sophie learned to skate very quickly. She moved easily on the ice – much more easily than Booth remembered himself at that age. Sophie became a regular fixture at his side during every hockey game. He would explain the rules as the game went along, and Sophie would eagerly ask question after question.
As Sophie's sixth birthday approached, Booth prepared a special surprise for Sophie – tickets to a Flyers game. Until that point, she'd only seen games on TV. She'd become as big of a fan as him. They set off for the game together, both wearing Flyers jerseys.
The game was close. Both teams were still scoreless heading into halftime. Booth shouted to the nearest vendor for two hot dogs when he felt Sophie tugging at his jersey for his attention.
"What's that?" She asked, pointing out to the ice. Booth shifted his attention to the rink and couldn't help but laugh out loud.
"That's a zamboni pumpkin. It cleans the ice."
Sophie sat back down and watched in wonder. After paying for the two hot dogs, Booth resumed to his seat next to her. He handed Sophie a hot dog, which she accepted without taking her eyes off of the zamboni.
"You know, that's your Mom's favorite part of hockey," Booth informed her as they ate.
"Really?" Sophie scrunched her nose in disbelief. "I still like the skating best," Sophie announced.
"Me too," Booth told her. They shared a smile and returned to eating their hot dogs and discussing the game. The second half was as exciting as the first, but the Flyers were finally able to score in the final minutes and came away with a victory. Sophie had bugged him to go to another game for weeks afterwards. Since that day she'd been hooked.
"How are the kids doing?" Brennan asked, suppressing a giggle. It was Cooper's fifteenth birthday, and the house was full of guests.
"Good." Max smiled. "Sophie was asking about the cake."
"It's cooling now. Have her come to the kitchen in a half hour." Brennan responded still smiling. Max nodded approvingly, and then exited the room, heading into the backyard. Brennan's smile grew as she thought about her father babysitting all ten children running around outside.
She felt a pair of eyes watching her and raised her head. Her eyes connected with Booth's. She held his gaze and continued to smile.
She had to admit. The past few years had been nothing like she had expected.
Booth turned and looked out the window where the group of children could be seen playing hide and seek. Sophie was seated on Max's lap, having already been tagged out. She cheered the others on as they ran away from Cooper.
The laughter continued outside, and soon the kitchen erupted in laughter too. When Sophie and Max appeared at the doorway to the kitchen 30 minutes later, the muscles in Brennan's face ached from overuse. It felt as if she hadn't smiled so much in years. And she probably hadn't.
Sophie positioned a chair next to the counter and climbed on it to match the height of the cake. Brennan handed her a spatula and a bowl of frosting. Feeling the urge to be with their children, the other parents dispersed and made their way outside.
Max took a seat at the table. Max nodded a hello to Booth who stood watching his wife and child side by side at the counter. Booth acknowledged Max's presence, but remained focused on the scene in front of him.
Brennan guided Sophie's hand over the still warm cake, showing Sophie how to spread the frosting without destroying the cake. After a few strokes, she removed her hand and allowed Sophie full control. Sophie's face contracted. Brennan noticed that she would bite her lips whenever she concentrated.
Brennan watched proudly until the entire cake was covered with the creamy white frosting.
"Done!" Sophie announced after inspecting her work.
Brennan smiled widely. She reached for the bag of pink frosting at her side, and handed it to Sophie. "Now you hold the bag like this," Brennan moved her daughter's hands into position, holding the bag of frosting gently and pointing the tip down at the cake.
Sophie concentrated on the cake, intent on making it perfect. Brennan showed her how to gently squeeze the bag, allowing the pink frosting the exit through the tip. She guided Sophie, spelling out each letter slowly, and asking Sophie to help her spell out the words.
"Do you know how to spell birthday?" Brennan asked.
Sophie nodded eagerly.
"What's the first letter?" Brennan smiled.
"B!" Sophie moved the bag into position to show Brennan she knew how to form the letter B as well, but her hand slipped, sending pink frosting across the counter, and covering Brennan's blouse.
Brennan's face went wide with surprise.
Sophie looked frightened.
Booth and Max looked up from the table and were shocked at the mess of pink they saw before them.
And then, Brennan laughed.
The small chuckled grew slowly. Max stood from his chair and walked over to investigate. Brennan hunched forward, overcome with giggles. Feeling a hand on her back, she turned quickly and ran straight into Max, covering him in the same pink frosting that coated her clothes.
Seeing the astonishment on Max's face, Brennan attempted to suppress further laughter. But she couldn't help herself. She looked at her father, his face like stone, and his suit covered in pink frosting, and erupted into even more laughter.
A small giggle reached her ears. Brennan turned to see Sophie attempting to hold back a smile.
"You think that's funny?" Max asked seriously. Sophie nodded. She was probably the only person who could have remained unintimidated by Max's cool voice.
"Really?" Max rushed forward, picking Sophie up off the chair, and pressed her against his frosting covered suit. Sophie squirmed with giggles in his arms as he spun her in circles tickling her sides.
Booth stood laughing at the table. Brennan, noticing his cleanliness, discreetly palmed the bag of frosting from the counter. "What's so funny, Agent Booth?" Brennan asked.
"The three of you," Booth teased.
"Oh, you think it's funny that the three of us are covered in frosting?" She asked.
"Very funny," Booth agreed. Brennan slowly approached the table.
"Umhmmm…." Brennan continued walking forward, hands behind her back.
"What do you think you're up to, Bones?" Booth asked, backing away.
"Nothing…" Brennan responded, not too convincingly.
"And why don't' I believe you?" Booth's smile reached ear to ear.
"You shouldn't." Brennan pulled the erupted bag of frosting out from behind her back and made a leap forward.
Booth attempted to dodge, but Brennan anticipated and he received a face full of frosting.
"I win!" Brennan announced softly. Booth's arms surrounded Brennan as she had lunged and he now held her squarely against him.
"So it would seem." Booth's eyes locked with Brennan's. He embraced her. He held her in his arms, and he kissed her. She kissed him back. "Seems like I won too." Booth said and kissed her again.
After two hours of peace, Booth and Sophie returned. Sophie was limping and using Booth for support.
"What happened?" Brennan gasped when she saw them.
"It's nothing, Mommy." Sophie insisted. Booth helped her to the couch and put a pillow under her foot.
"I knew she was too young to play hockey." Brennan scolded. "You were too rough with her."
"Actually she was amazing on the ice." Booth admitted. "You should have seen her skate circles around guys twice her age." Booth was beaming with pride. "The ankle happened after we were done. She was just skating around and twisted her ankle in the fall all by herself."
"What?" Brennan asked nervously. She walked next to Sophie to check her out more properly, making sure only her ankle was hurt.
"I'm fine, Mommy. It wasn't a bad fall." Sophie informed her. "Dad was by my side instantly." Brennan was continuously impressed by the strength of her youngest child.
"I still don't like it. Maybe we should schedule an appointment to make sure everything is ok." Brennan glanced at Booth at the same time she took Sophie's ankle in her arms delicately and checked it herself. There wasn't any bones broken, that she was sure of, but she was still very concern about it, because it was startling to swell and bruise.
"She's one tough cookie, Bones." Booth said on his way to get some ice and an ace bandage. Booth put the ice on Sophie's raised ankle and beamed with pride. "You shouldn't worry. She's going to be fine." Booth looked at his wife. "But if you want to take her to a doctor, maybe you should make the appointment." Booth turned back to Sophie and worked on bandaging her swollen ankle.
Brennan stared in awe at the interaction. It was obvious how much Sophie adored her father. Brennan sat down, reassured that Booth could handle tending to Sophie's ankle. She decided to make an appointment anyway. 'Better safe than sorry' She said to herself. After Liz, she hardly took any risks with the health of their kids.
While Booth worked on bandaging her ankle, Sophie gave Brennan details about the morning. Most of the morning was spent playing one on one against each other, which Brennan was surprised to learn that Sophie was able to win a few games of. Booth insisted that he didn't even let her win.
Later in the morning, a few others had joined them on the ice and they were able to get a pickup game with some of the other parents with their kids. The teams were evenly matched. Sophie loved playing on the same team as Booth. Their team ended up winning 2-1. Neither Sophie nor Booth made any goals, but they both had a blast.
When Sophie had finished retelling the events of the day, Brennan left to get her something to drink. Booth had finished bandaging Sophie's ankle and started putting the hockey equipment away.
Brennan brought Sophie a glass of water and asked if there was anything she could do. Sophie asked for her book, and Brennan went upstairs to get it.
After giving Sophie her book, Brennan saw that Booth had finished putting the equipment away and was getting himself some water in the kitchen.
Today was Liz's birthday or would have been her birthday if she was still alive. She would have been fourteen years old. Booth and Brennan visited her grave every year on her birthday with the whole family. It started out just accidentally, but then it became a tradition for them, and they never missed it. If someone is away, they went back to DC just to spend the day together celebrating Liz's life.
Parker was 24 year old. He was almost done with medical school at Duke University. He had taken the day off to spend it with his family on this special day. Cooper was 16 years old and almost a senior in high school already.
They parked the car at the cemetery. Everyone was quietly missing Liz.
"Come on, Sophie. Let's go see your sister." Brennan said as she helped her six-year-old daughter from her car seat.
"We are going to see Lizzie?" Sophia asked as her mother held her hand as they walked.
"We are going to say hi to her Sophie." Parker said as they all walked towards her grave together.
"Like last year, remember pumpkin?" Booth asked taking her other hand.
"No, Daddy." Sophia shook her head. She knew about Liz, and what had happened. Her parents would always tell stories about her sister.
"It's okay Sophie; we will say hi to her and tell her how much we miss her." Cooper said as they kept on walking.
They arrived at her gravestone and they were all silent for a while as they started at it. Brennan bent down to touch the top of the gravestone. When she had told Booth that she didn't believe in talking to the dead all those years ago, she would never have believed that she would change her mind and be here talking to her dead daughter.
They put down the flowers they brought, lilies, Liz's favorite.
"What was she liked Mommy?" Sophia asked. She loved hearing stories about the sister she never met.
Being here, and thinking about her baby, broke her heart, like always. Tears pooled in her eyes just thinking about it.
"She was sweet and cuddly like you, Sophie." Brennan took a deep breath to compose herself. "She liked butterflies and she liked to dance and sing. She laughed all the time. She looked a lot like you."
"I like to dance and cuddle too."
They stayed there talking about her and how happy they had made them for another hour.
Booth picked Sophia up. "Come on; let's give mommy some time alone with Liz."
"But I didn't say good bye yet." She whined and Booth put her back down.
"Okay, say good bye and then we will wait for Mommy in the car."
Sophia walked to the gravestone and put her hand on top of it carefully. "I will come back Lizzie to visit you soon, and I will take very good care of your Barbie's. I promise to take care of Mommy, Daddy, Coop and Park. I love you." She turned around and took Booth's hand. "Okay, now I'm ready Daddy."
"Take your time, Bones. We will be over there waiting for you." Booth said and they walked away leaving Brennan alone.
Brennan turned back to Liz's gravestone. She just looked at it for a few minutes, letting the tears spill from her eyes. Every day it got easier, but she still missed her so much and she knew that would never change.
"Hi baby. I'm sorry I haven't been here in a while, I always tell myself I will come visit you more often, but it just hurts too much to come." She wiped the tears from her face. "You would have been fourteen years old today, and I know you would have been such a beautiful girl and smart. I remember when you were born, it was the happiest day of my life. You were so little and so fragile, I was afraid you would break in half." Every time she talked about it she couldn't help but cry through it.
"I never told you this, but for the first year you were gone, I was so devastated that I wanted to die. And now I'm ashamed of it. I was lost and not even your father was able to help me through it. It took me a long time to let him in again, but he never gave up on me. Things are good again, but I still miss you every day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about you."
She took a deep breath and tried to control herself.
"Your sister is so much like you, you would have been so proud to have been her big sister. She's always asking about you, and even though she has never met you, she wants to be exactly like you. You would have liked her."
Brennan was silent for a few minutes, just letting her tears fall and feeling the pain tug at her heart.
"I miss you, Liz. So much sometimes it's hard to breathe. I love you and I will never forget you. I promise to come back and visit you again."
She composed herself and turned around and walked towards her family.
"Are you okay, Bones?" Booth asked her when she reached them.
"Yes. I'm good. Thank you for giving me sometime alone with her." Brennan kissed him softly on the lips.
"You're welcome. Are you ready to go home?" Booth asked as they started to walk towards the car.
"Yes." Brennan took Sophia's hand in hers. "Are you ready Sophie?"
"I was waiting for you Mommy." Sophia turned to Parker. "Are you leaving again today Park?"
"No, I'm staying until tomorrow morning, but then I have to get back Soph."
"Good, then we can play tonight."
They put Sophia in her car seat and made their way home.
Brennan looked at her family. She was definitely in a better place now.