AN- Hey everyone… thanks for being so patient with me. I never meant to leave this one hanging so long, but our move took longer than I anticipated and then I was without Internet service for almost three weeks. I hope you're still interested in this story, LOL… but here it is, your epilogue. Please let me know what you think. You know how I love reviews!
Chapter 3- Epilogue
"Wow," Cam said. "Angela, you look fantastic. Pregnancy definitely suits you."
"Thanks, Cam," the artist replied. "You look great, too. Are we ready to go?"
"Aren't we waiting for Dr. Brennan?" Cam asked.
"She's meeting us there," Angela said. "So are Daisy and Sweets."
"Damn, I was hoping for a preview of her mystery date," Cam said, looking back and Paul and missing the knowing look exchanged by Angela and Hodgins. "She seemed so happy about us all getting together tonight. And she hates these things."
"Don't we all," Hodgins said, earning himself an elbow from his wife. "What?" he asked. "Jeffersonian galas are the bane of our existence. We all hate them."
"True," Angela said with a smile. "But it's Christmas. They're throwing us a ball at a swanky hotel instead of having a party here… and my best friend is finally happy. I, for one, am planning on having a good time. Now, let's go."
Brennan smiled as she heard a knock at the door. She continued putting on her makeup, knowing that her visitor would let himself in.
"Hi," she said, turning to face the handsome man leaning against the bathroom door frame.
"Hi," he answered, leaning in for a quick kiss. "You look gorgeous."
"Thank you," she answered.
"Ready for our big night?"
"It's just a Christmas party, Booth," she said, with a knowing smile as she looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror.
"Just a Christmas party?" he said, walking up behind her and resting his chin on her shoulder as their eyes met in the mirror. "This is our coming out party, baby," he whispered in her ear. "That is definitely a big deal."
"I know," she said, looking up at him with the sweetest smile he had ever seen. "And yes, I'm ready. I'm very excited. I'm amazed we've been able to keep it from them this long."
"I'll bet Angela is busting at the seams," he said, chuckling.
"You're right," she said. "We should probably be going."
"So, do you know anything about Dr. Brennan's date?" Daisy asked as she and Sweets sat down to join Cam, Paul and the Hodgins at the table.
All eyes were on Angela. She flashed them a bright smile before making the "zipped lips" motion.
"You do know!" Cam exclaimed.
"All I'm going to say is that Bren is really happy," Angela said.
"She's seemed different lately," Cam said.
"I was so sad for her when Agent Booth came home with Hannah," Daisy said casually.
Five heads turned her way.
"What?" she said. "We spent seven months together in Indonesia," she said. "We talked a little… not much. Dr. Brennan is very private… but I think while we were away, she realized that she was in love with Agent Booth."
"I think Daisy's right," Cam agreed. "I was sure they'd come back home as a couple. But I'm glad that they're both happy."
"Has anyone seen Hannah lately?" Sweets asked.
Angela kicked her husband under the table.
"I think she's been traveling a lot with the President," Hodgins offered.
"So, Angela," Daisy said. "What can we expect from Dr. Brennan's new guy?"
"Is it new?" Cam asked, taking a sip from her champagne glass.
"Actually," Angela said. "They've been together since October."
"Two months and none of us have seen him?" Cam said.
Paul sat back watching the exchange. In the year he'd been dating Cam, he hadn't spent much time with the whole Squint Squad. He found their dynamic fascinating, and more often than not when they were all together, he'd sit back and take it all in.
Booth pulled his SUV up to the valet stand. He took the ticket and slipped a bill to the attendant before walking around to join Brennan on the other side of the vehicle.
"Nervous?" he asked quietly, taking her in his arms.
"A little," she admitted.
"It's gonna be okay," he answered. "Better than okay. It's gonna be great."
"But?" he asked, placing a soft kiss in her hair.
"But now it's going to be real," she said quietly.
"You mean it hasn't been real for the past two months?" he asked, smiling.
"Well, yes," she said, pulling back from their embrace to look into his face. "Of course it's been real, but it's been just us… and now everyone is going to know."
"I'm ready to shout it from the rooftops, Bones," he said.
"Are you sure we're ready?" she asked.
"I am," he answered confidently. "We've spent the past couple of months really focusing on each other and working on our issues. We're comfortable, and we're us again. Us," he said, "but better… but if you're not ready to tell everyone, we don't have to do this tonight."
"No," she said. "I want to."
"Okay," he said. "Then let's do it. You go on and I'll see you in five minutes."
He leaned in and kissed her soundly, and then they continued to hold hands as she walked away until they had to let go. She continued toward the door as he stood there. As she approached the entrance to the hotel, she stopped and turned back to him.
"Booth?" she said,
"I love you."
He smiled through glistening eyes and swallowed the lump that formed in his throat.
"I love you, too, Bones."
"Here she comes!" Daisy exclaimed, claiming the attention of everyone at the table and directing it to the door.
All eyes were on Brennan as she walked in to the room. Her dress was a deep cobalt blue, hugged her curves and brought out the sparkle in her eyes.
"Is she alone?" Cam asked.
"Hello, everyone," Brennan said as she approached the table.
"Hi, sweetie!" Angela said, standing up to hug her friend.
"Where's your date, Dr. Brennan?" Sweets asked.
"He's just parking the car," Brennan replied. "He'll be along in a few minutes."
Just then, Daisy gasped and everyone turned toward the door.
"What's Booth doing here?" Sweets asked.
"Oh, crap," Cam said.
"Wonder if he's met Brennan's new guy," Paul said.
"I think we're about to find out," Sweets answered. "I wonder if Hannah is with him."
Everyone watched in awe as Booth approached the table. He walked up to where Brennan was standing and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"I'm heading over to the bar," he said, placing a quick kiss on her cheek. "I'll be right back."
"Okay," she said with a smile. "I'll be right here."
Four mouths gaped and Angela giggled as Brennan sat down next to her.
"You knew about this?" Cam said, glaring at Angela.
Angela nodded, biting her bottom lip. She glanced at Brennan, who gave her an almost imperceptible nod, before letting out the mother of all giddy squeals.
"I'm sorry guys," she said, her cheeks showing the faintest hint of blush. "But I've been holding that in for a really long time."
Everyone at the table laughed and it seemed to be just the tension breaker they all needed. They were still laughing as Booth walked up and sat down next to his partner.
"What did I miss?" he asked, his smile saying he already knew the answer.
"I can't believe you didn't tell us," Cam said, her eyes just the slightest bit misty as she watched Booth take Brennan's hand.
"I can't believe you didn't notice," Booth retorted. "And you call yourselves geniuses."
"Actually, Booth," Brennan interrupted. "Only Hodgins and I…"
Everyone applauded when Booth stopped her with a kiss.
"All right, man," Hodgins said, his blue eyes sparkling. "I've been waiting for you to do that for years."
"Seriously, Seeley," Camille said as she reached out to take Paul's hand. "I'm really happy for you… for both of you."
"Thanks, Camille," he replied. "I'm pretty happy, too."
"Only pretty happy?" Brennan queried with a smile.
"The happiest I've ever been, Bones. The happiest I've ever been."
Booth stood at the balcony railing, overlooking the party going on below. So lost in his thoughts was he that he didn't notice the woman walking up behind him.
"Are you really okay?" she asked.
"Yeah," he said, turning to face her with a smile. "I meant what I said, I've never been happier."
"I won't take offense at that," she said with a smile.
"Sorry," he answered slightly sheepishly.
"No, seriously," she answered. "I'm not offended. I've known that Dr. Brennan was the woman for you for a very long time, and I've known you were in love with her even longer."
"Yeah," Cam answered, bumping shoulders with her friend. "Pretty much since you put me in my place by telling me you were with her all the way."
He didn't answer, but leaned in against her shoulder as he looked back down at the party. Cam followed his line of sight and saw Angela and Brennan with their heads together at the end of the bar.
"She looks happy, too," she said.
"I think she is."
"Two months, huh?" she asked.
"Yep," he said, smiling. "We've had a lot of work to do. I really screwed things up between us by coming home with Hannah…"
He paused as she looked at him with an unspoken question in her eyes.
"She's been gone since that case with the doctor in the tree," he offered. "She realized about the same time I did that I was in love with Bones. And when I told her it wasn't new, that I'd loved her since the day we met… that was pretty much it. She left and I went to Bones to try to make things right. We've kind of been stumbling our way through it ever since."
"That's why you didn't tell us."
"Yeah," he admitted. "We had a lot of work to do. We still have a lot of work to do, but what we have together is amazing and we didn't want it to be a secret anymore."
"This is it?"
"Yeah," he answered, smiling. "This is forever."
"I'm happy for you, Big Man."
"Thanks, Camille," he said, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her into a hug.
"You're welcome, Seeley," she said. "And don't call me Camille."
He leaned back against the headboard, eyes closed and reminiscing about their evening. He opened one eye when he heard the bathroom door open. He smiled and opened the other eye. Every time he saw her, she took his breath away.
"You were gorgeous tonight," he said. "That dress was amazing, but I think you're even more beautiful now… if that's possible."
"Booth," she said, feeling a hint of warmth in her face. "I'm not any more beautiful now than I was earlier. My looks haven't changed."
"No," he said. "They haven't. You're still as beautiful as you were the day I met you, and you'll be just as beautiful many years from now when they put me in the ground."
"Many, many years from now," she said, climbing in to bed next to him. "And I'm looking forward to sharing each and every one of those years with you."
Not for the first time tonight, he felt his throat constrict and his eyes well up with tears.
"God, Bones… I think that may be the sexiest thing I've ever heard. Come here."
She snuggled up next to him, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her head against his firm chest.
"I'm not scared anymore," she said quietly. "Booth, I want this. I want you… I want us."
"Me too, baby," he said, kissing her hair. "Me, too."
Everything happens…. Eventually.
The End… but it's really just the beginning.