A/N: We pick up immediately after the last scene of "The Hole in the Heart."
Looking to the Future
"To Vincent Nigel-Murray." Cam raised her glass.
"To Vincent," the group echoed, clinking their glasses and bottles together. It had been a long and emotionally draining few days. The team from the Jeffersonian, along with Booth and Sweets, had adjourned to Founding Fathers for a final send-off of their beloved junior colleague.
"May he rest in peace," Booth added softly. Everyone bobbed their heads in agreement. The nightmare was over; Broadsky was locked safely away and Vincent was on his way home to his mother.
Booth took a swallow of beer and sighed in relief. Looking to his immediate right, he caressed his partner's face with his eyes. They had escaped the threat of death once more, and now it was time to look to the future. Their future.
Brennan smiled shyly at him, and Booth couldn't resist capturing her hand under the table. She jumped in surprise, but didn't pull away. He trailed a thumb over the delicate skin inside her wrist, smiling when her breath caught. She shot him an annoyed look, but the slight blush of her cheeks betrayed her pleasure. Memories of the previous night bubbled to the surface and heat pooled in his gut.
Angela watched her best friend closely, her grin sparkling in the dim light of the bar. She was amused to realize that, despite the superior powers of observation frequently claimed by those at the table, she was clearly the only one who noticed the couple's clandestine affection.
"Angie? You got quiet all of a sudden." Her husband glanced at her, eyebrow raised. "What's up?"
She turned to him. "Nothing, honey." She tilted her head, smile still in place. "Just happy, I guess. Relieved."
"Yeah," Hodgins agreed. "Thank god for Booth, right?"
They both turned to look at the hero of the day. Angela raised her glass of juice. "To the man who brought Jacob Broadsky to justice. To Booth!"
"To Booth!" the group cheered.
The man in question did not hear them, so wrapped up was he in his companion. But Brennan heard. She reached for her drink. "To you," she whispered, respect and admiration shining from her eyes.
Booth blinked, suddenly realizing that he was the focus of the table's attention. He nodded his head, accepting the toast, but then held his hand up for silence. "It's not over yet," he said seriously. "There's going to be a trial and each of us is going to have to testify. The science has to be flawless. Airtight."
No one took offense. This one was important to them all. "It is, man," Hodgins assured him. "You caught the bastard; we'll see to it that the evidence puts him away for life." The two men nodded at each other in mutual respect.
"And, lest we forget, there's always the paperwork to do," Cam added. "Piles of it." She pushed away from the table and slipped into her jacket. "I, for one, am due for a good night's sleep. We'll tackle the paperwork tomorrow morning. See you all then." The group murmured their goodbyes as Cam squeezed Booth's shoulder and made her way to the exit.
Hodgins stood and gathered his things. "Yeah, I'd better get these two home and into bed." He helped Angela to her feet and assisted her into her coat.
Angela awkwardly bent down around her protruding belly and kissed Brennan on the cheek. "Goodnight, Sweetie."
"Bye, Ange." The two women shared a secret smile before Hodgins wrapped an arm around his wife and escorted her out the door.
Which left the couple with Sweets. The young psychologist grinned at them and motioned for a waiter. "Another round?" he offered.
Booth ground his teeth as he pondered the situation. He was beyond ready to get Bones home. He had a plan, and it involved only him, her, and his bed. Tonight was not going to be mired in pain and grief, but filled with celebration and life. But how to leave together without the kid sticking his nose where it didn't belong?
Luckily, he had back-up. "No thank-you, Dr. Sweets," Brennan replied. "I am quite exhausted from recent events. I, too, would prefer to go home and go to bed." A gentle smile softened the rejection.
"Sure, I understand," Sweets said graciously. "I'm just going to have another beer. Agent Booth? One more drink for the FBI's finest?"
"Sorry, Sweets. I'm with Bones. I think it's time to call it a night." Booth threw some bills on the table and took his partner's elbow. "See you in the office tomorrow."
"See ya." Sweets settled back to finish his drink, miraculously ignoring their exit.
Booth wrapped an arm around Brennan's hip as they walked out the front entrance and hailed a cab. For the first time, he didn't have to close the door behind her and watch her ride away. He slid into the seat beside her, settled a heavy arm around her shoulders, and gave the driver his address.
"Do you think Sweets suspected anything?"
"I do not see why he would have. We often leave group functions together," Brennan pointed out.
Booth thought silently for a moment. "Yeah, you're right. Don't know why I didn't think of that." Probably because his mind had been focused elsewhere. "I guess it would be weird if we didn't leave together."
Brennan murmured her agreement and snuggled into his chest. Booth pressed his lips to her hair, and just like that, the heat was back, simmering between them. The twenty minute ride had never felt so long.
Exiting the vehicle, Brennan waited impatiently as Booth paid the cabbie. He turned to her and laced shaking fingers through her steady ones. "I'm nervous," he admitted.
"Why?" she asked, genuinely confused. "We've done this before."
"Because it's different. Last night we were sad and worried. Tonight is all about us." He smiled in anticipation. Brennan's eyes glinted in response.
They stumbled into his apartment, laughing with sheer, unfettered happiness. Brennan peeled the coat away from Booth's shoulders, smiling into his eyes. He leaned close, capturing her lips with his own. His coat fell to the floor in a tangled heap. His shirt was next. Then hers.
They backed into the bedroom, lips fused together. Fingers flew, attacking buttons and yanking at fabric. The cocky belt buckle pinged loudly as it bounced off of a side table. Together, they fell into the softness of the bed, bodies eagerly pressed against each other. The last barriers were flung into the darkness, and they came together, hearts pounding with the force of their rhythm.
The hours passed unnoticed as the couple loved each other, sometimes with frenzied passion, oftentimes with simple joy. Her high-pitched gasps intermingled with his lower moans, until the two were indistinguishable. They finally collapsed in exhaustion, savoring the sensation of falling asleep safely wrapped in each other's arms.
As the couple slept, they dreamed of their future together. Little did they know, the recent change in their relationship was the first of many to come. Happier days than they could now imagine lay ahead. Because deep inside of Brennan's body, the product of their love was beginning to take form.
Two had become one.
A/N: That's it, folks! It's been fun, but it's time for this one to end. You pushed me past a one-shot, and I can't thank you enough for your encouragement. I value any and all feedback- please review!