This is the end... beautiful friend the end...

XXI. An Epilogue

It was raining, as the plane landed in Washington D.C. After one week under the bright sun of Martinique – sand underneath her feet, the ocean wind tousling her hair – Temperance Brennan's usually very white skin had gained a light caramel shade.

Tiny freckles decorated her cute nose, and her husband had spent the better part of the last week kissing every single one of them. Seeley Booth himself sported an enviably healthy tan, and a bright grin was plastered on his handsome face, as he grabbed their suitcase in one swift move.

Tomorrow it would be business as usual, victims, suspects, arrests for him; bones, science and writing for her, but as they walked through the busy airport hall, he allowed himself one last moment full of honeymoon bliss.

A wonderful week had come to an end. Sunbathing, lovemaking, excellent food, lovemaking, swimming in the ocean and... even more lovemaking. 'I guess it ain't called honeymoon for nothing,' he thought.

He took her hand with his free one, as they walked towards the arrival area, and Brennan couldn't really make up her mind what was the best – the past week, the immediate future with their family waiting behind the next door or just this very moment full of him, gleeful anticipation and lovely memories.

They didn't talk because sometimes words are just overrated, but she squeezed his hand harder and could feel him squeezing hers in return. Temperance Brennan had never been the hand-holding kind of woman... but then again, she had neither been the marrying nor family kind of woman either. Maybe she was just a Seeley Booth kind of woman.

Her own sentimental track of thoughts made her laugh, and he turned his head to her with a questioning glance.

"Nothing," she reassured him.

Then they were past the doors, and both of them spotted the tall, brunette woman with the toddler on her hip immediately. The little girl's face lit up like the sun itself, and she squirmed in her godmother's arms. Angela let her down, and, ignoring the sea of people around her, Lilly stumbled on wobbly legs in the direction of her parents.

Booth and Brennan watched their daughter with pride eyes.

"Isn't she adorable?"

"I believe she has grown in the past week."

"I'm torn between the desire to run towards her and the wish to observe her rather graceful approaching."

Lilly chose that moment to tumble and landed on her bottom with that frown of disapproval on her face which reminded Booth so much of her mother. Setting herself in motion, Brennan closed the distance to her child and picked her up in one swift move. Lilly squealed and slapped her mother's cheeks with her paddies while sweet kisses were plastered on her baby face.

"I've missed you so much," Brennan murmured into feathery dark hair, inhaling the oh-so familiar scent of her daughter.

Then Booth was by their side, and Lilly outstretched her arms. Booth plucked her out of her mother's embrace and threw her into the air.

"Lilly doll. Look at you."

"Daddy," the girl squealed between giggles.

"Yeah. Daddy's back."

"Mommy," Lilly added, pointing towards Brennan.

"Mommy's back as well."

Angela watched the reunion with a benevolent smile, and if she hadn't had her own wonderful husband, her own perfect children at home, she might have turned green with envy and longing. They were so beautiful together, and after all those years of suppressed feelings, yearnings and pain, it was still such a relief to see them as a family. It was like spring after a very long and cold winter. Like a piece of art which brushstrokes and dashes finally made sense. Just… better somehow.

Brennan turned towards her with a warm shimmer in her eyes, and Angela closed the distance to her best friend, pulling her into a girl hug.

"It's good to see you, Brenn."

"Ange... Thanks for taking care of her."

"Always. You know that we love her."

Lilly swapped arms once again, and then it was Booth hugging Angela.

"Hello Mr. Honeymoon. You look quite relaxed. I hope you got a lot of... rest."

Booth chuckled.

"Believe me, we did."

"I have Lilly's stuff in the car and can drive you straight home if you like."

Brennan nodded while little fingers played with her necklace.

"Home sounds nice."

Lifting her head, Lilly looked at her parents with big blue eyes.

"Home," she repeated, and even though it sounded more like "oam", Booth and Brennan looked at their girl in delight.

"A new word," she smiled.

"A good one," he added.

His lips curved up in a big, fat grin, and he wrapped his arm around his wife's neck to pull her close for a quick kiss. The baby between them was crushed a little bit, but she didn't even protest.

Lilly Brennan-Booth was used to the sight of her parents kissing.

She didn't know it any other way.

The End.

I've done it. You've done it. We've done it. And even though finishing a story is kind of sad somehow, I'm so full of love right now. Just saw the first s07 clip. Jeffersonian maternity coveralls are not flattering, but Booth and Brennan were so them. I have flowers on my table. My man is sitting next to me with a cute face. And tomorrow is my birthday. Life is good. What now? This has been my hiatus story, the big one, the one I believe in. Nonetheless, we still have some more weeks to survive. There are a few more ideas in my head, and I will keep on writing. I just have to. Love you all :-)