So… I wasn't going to jump on to the hiatus-fic bandwagon but yesterday at work an idea came to me and I had to see where it took me. This is a long (for me) one-shot, dealing with what happened in the wake of VNM's death. It's fluffy and maybe a little cliché at times, but I think it's also a realistic look at what we might have missed between "The Hole in the Heart" and "The Change in the Game."
Review and let me know what you think! :- )
The Weeks in the Wake
The sun streamed in through the window behind the bed and bathed her in warm morning light. At first, she was disoriented… waking up in an unfamiliar place. She closed her eyes as she lay back against the pillow. Although she was just waking up, she felt exhausted. She had a headache, and her body hurt. She realized where she was as she began thinking back over the previous night.
She was in Booth's bed.
She sat up and grabbed the first piece of clothing she came across. It was the t-shirt Booth had been wearing the night before. She pulled it over her head and found her panties on the floor. She put them on and made her way toward the bathroom. Rather than stopping at her intended destination, she followed the sounds of her partner stirring around the apartment and ended up in the kitchen.
"Good morning," he said when he noticed her standing in the doorway. "Coffee?"
She nodded and he handed her a mug of the dark, steaming liquid.
He leaned against the counter and watched her sipping the coffee. He couldn't think of anything sexier than a sleep-tousled Temperance Brennan standing barefoot in his kitchen wearing nothing but his shirt.
There were so many things he wanted to say to her, but it was obvious that she was struggling with her own thoughts. He knew that this morning would be awkward, and he didn't want to do anything that might push her into running.
This might not have been the way he'd imagined things happening, but happened they had… things had been said, lines had been crossed, and he had no intention of ever going back to the way things were before.
As much as he wanted to stay here with Bones and talk through this new dynamic in their relationship, he knew that he couldn't do it. That would be the irresponsible thing to do. Broadsky was still out there, and Booth was the only person who could stop him. He owed that much to Vincent.
He'd made his decision. For now, they would get to work. Once they stopped Broadsky, there would be plenty of time to sit down with Bones and figure out where they would go from here.
"Bones," he said.
"We should get to work," she said, stopping him from whatever declaration he was about to make. She very much wanted to talk to him about all the things that were confusing her at the moment, but she needed some time to think them through herself first. "You have to kill Broadsky today."
That was the second time she'd said that. He knew it was a possibility, but he hoped that the situation would be handled with a different outcome. Too much blood had been shed already.
"Right," he said quietly.
"I need to go home before I go to the lab," she said. "I can call a cab…"
"No way," he said, reaching out to take her hand. "I'll drive you. I'm not letting you out of my sight, at least not until I know you're safe at the lab…"
They both paused at the comment.
The lab had always been a safe haven. Watching the life literally drain from Vincent Nigel-Murray as he lay there on the platform had changed all that forever.
As she had when he'd informed her she was staying with him the night before, Brennan simply nodded her acquiescence.
"Just let me get dressed," she said.
It was after midnight and the team was sitting around the loft in the lab. They had all gathered to say goodbye to Vincent as his remains were sent back to his family in England.
They had spent the rest of the evening just being together. They all needed to be a family… to feel that closeness somehow. They sat together and reminisced about the brilliant young man who was taken from them all-too-soon.
If the others noticed that Brennan was sitting just a bit closer to Booth than usual, no one said anything.
"Man," Hodgins said. "It's late."
"We should be getting home, babe," Angela replied, sitting up from where she had been resting against her husband's shoulder.
"We should probably all be going," Cam said authoritatively. It would take an order to get everyone moving.
Goodbyes were exchanged, and eventually the team went their separate ways. Booth and Brennan walked silently out to his SUV, his hand firmly against the small of her back.
No words were needed as they made the drive to Brennan's apartment. Booth parked the SUV and got out to walk her up.
Together they made their way to her floor and stopped outside her front door. She reached out to place her key in the lock and felt Booth's larger hand cover hers. She looked up into his eyes, feeling some of the awkwardness of the morning return. It was awkward, but not uncomfortable. Her talk with Angela had helped her to clarify things, and she knew what she wanted. She only hoped that Booth felt the same.
She opened the door and he walked in behind her.
"Do you want something to drink?" she asked as she locked the door.
"I should probably be getting home," he replied.
"Stay," she said.
"It's late," she went on. "We have a lot to talk about," she said, pausing as she worried her bottom lip between her teeth. "We can just sleep tonight and sit down to talk in the morning. I would really like for you to stay."
He looked into her eyes, reading the amazing mixture of vulnerability and strength, of fear and love. He knew he would never deny her anything, especially when she asked with such sincerity.
"All right, Bones," he said, reaching out to take her hand. "I'll stay."
She held his hand loosely in hers as she led him down the hallway to her bedroom.
The next morning, it was Booth who found himself waking alone in an unfamiliar bed. He was disappointed that Bones was no longer lying in his arms, but in a way he was happy that she'd gotten up before him.
It wasn't that he wasn't looking forward to waking up with his partner… in fact, that was something he'd been dreaming about for years… but he wanted to be able to relish the moment when that happened for the first time. He knew they had to clear the air and figure out exactly where they stood and where they were going before that could happen.
He got up and made his way out to the living room. Brennan was sitting on the sofa, Indian-style, with her MacBook on her lap.
"Hi," she said, looking up as he entered the room.
"Hi," he answered, sitting down next to her. "Whatcha doin?" He leaned over to peek at her computer screen.
"Writing," she answered, snatching the screen away from his view.
"Aw, c'mon Bones," he said with an exaggerated whine. "Are you ever gonna let me read your manuscripts before everyone else?"
"Probably not," she said with a smile, and he knew she was teasing him. She tapped a key to save her work. "Do you want to go and get breakfast?" she asked. "I'm afraid I don't have anything here that you would want to eat…"
He sat back, amazed at how she seemed so at ease with the situation.
"It's up to you," he said. "Do you want to go out?"
"I thought maybe we could go to the Mall," she offered. "There's a stand where they make really great breakfast burritos… I thought you might enjoy them… and then maybe we could take a walk…"
"…and talk?" he asked.
"Yes," she nodded. "And talk."
"That sounds like a plan," he replied. "Can we run by my place first so I can get a change of clothes?"
"Sure," she agreed.
Booth spread out the blanket they'd brought from the truck and they sat down on the small island overlooking the pond at Constitution Gardens.
"This is a great place," he said.
"I love it here," she replied. "Especially in the mornings… it's very peaceful here."
They sat quietly for a few minutes, eating their breakfast.
"So…" he said finally, breaking the silence.
"So," she repeated.
"Where do we go from here?" he asked.
"I don't know," she answered honestly. "I suppose that depends on you."
"Why on me?" he asked.
"Are you still angry?" she asked, and he couldn't resist the lost little girl look of innocence on her face. He leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on her lips.
"No, Bones," he answered. "I'm not. What about you? Are you still impervious?"
She shook her head.
"What happened the other night," he said, "that meant something…"
"I know," she replied softly.
"It wasn't just grief, or comfort," he went on. "And it wasn't a one-time thing…"
"No," she agreed. "It wasn't."
"So," he said again, taking her hand. "We're really gonna do this?"
"Yes," she answered. "I never thought that I would feel this way, Booth," she said. "But I realized a long time ago that my life doesn't feel complete without you in it. If you ask our friends, we've been in a relationship for a very long time… without the benefits," she said, pausing to look up at him with a coy smile. "I would very much like to continue indulging in the benefits…"
He was amazed at the weight that was lifted with her words, and he couldn't help but laugh as he pulled her into his arms.
"Me too, Bones," he said. "Me too."
They both laughed as they enjoyed the moment, and the embrace.
"I want to take you out tonight," he said.
"You mean, like a date?" she asked.
"Yes, Bones. A real date. You, me… fancy dress, an expensive dinner… a nice bottle of wine… maybe some dancing…"
"Will there be kissing?" she asked as a grin spread slowly across her face.
"Oh yes," he answered. "There will definitely be kissing."
The couple enjoyed a relaxing dinner at the Bombay Club. Seated on the patio overlooking Lafayette Park, they listened to the live music, made small talk, held hands, and just generally enjoyed each other.
They both specifically chose to keep the conversation light. They would talk more about the new facets of their relationship when they were alone.
After dinner, Booth helped Brennan with her light wrap and led her out of the restaurant. Instead of going directly to the car, they decided to take a walk along Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Thank you, Booth," she said as they walked. "Dinner was lovely."
"You're welcome," he replied. "Thank you for coming with me."
"Of course," she said.
They walked along quietly for a while, holding hands and enjoying the cherry blossoms.
"I told Angela," Brennan said, breaking the silence.
"Us," she answered and he smiled, loving the ease with which she thought of them as a couple.
He hesitated to say much, preferring instead to let her go on and say what was on her mind.
"Yesterday," she said. "When we were at the lab. I told her that we'd spent the night together. I hope you don't mind…"
"She's your best friend," he offered, not willing to let her see that he was a little uncomfortable with the idea.
"One of them," she corrected. "I know what's between us is ours, and I know that you're uncomfortable sharing intimate details. I was careful to protect your… our… privacy. But I needed to talk to someone. I was happy… and confused… and guilty for finding such happiness in the wake of Vincent's death… These are the kinds of things I would normally talk to you about, but I wanted to try and sort things out for myself before I came to you…"
"I understand, Bones," he said, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her to him. "I'm glad that you had Angela to talk to. Did it help?"
"We're here," she answered, her eyes shining. "What do you think?"
"I think I'm the luckiest man in the world," he replied, leaning in to kiss her gently.
After the kiss ended, they continued to walk.
"So, you're not upset that I told Angela?" she asked, leaning her head against his shoulder as they walked.
"What? No, of course not. Why would I be? The fact that you're here with me… I mean really with me… that we're really doing this… that we're finally a couple in every sense of the word? Bones, I want to shout it from the rooftops. I'm not upset that you told your best friend. I want everyone to know."
"Should we tell them?"
He thought for a minute and then shook his head.
"Nah," he said. "Let's let 'em figure it out for themselves. That will give us more time for just us before everyone starts hounding us…"
"I agree," she said. "I like the idea of keeping it to ourselves, at least for a little while. It's kind of romantic," she went on, "having our own little secret."
He smiled as she spoke. He couldn't get enough of this side of her that had so rarely been seen.
"What about Parker?" she asked.
"I want to tell him," Booth answered. "As long as we know for sure, then I think he needs to know. But we've got time. He's away at summer camp. He actually won't be back for another four weeks. I am going up to Vermont to see him next weekend, though…" he said, pausing as if he'd become unsure of what he was going to say. "Maybe you could come with me…
"We'll see," she replied.
She shivered as the chill of the night air blew over her.
"Come on," he said. "Let's head back. We should get you home."
"Wait," she said. "Not yet."
She shook her head.
"No," she replied. "I'm not ready to go home yet. Besides, you promised me kissing…"
"Yes, I believe I did," he answered, taking her in his arms and kissing her thoroughly… right there in front of the White House.
The next week went by in a blur of love, laughter and new romance.
The lab was closed down for the week to allow the team to grieve and to re-group from the loss of Vincent. After the paperwork was done on Broadsky, Booth found himself with little to do. He wasn't officially on leave, but he wasn't being punted any cases either.
At first, Booth had thought they should take their first steps into a romantic relationship slowly, but Brennan's rational mind reminded him that the only thing that was really different was that they were admitting their feelings. She didn't need a courtship, in her mind they'd already had it. They were now progressing to the next logical step.
They spent their days together hiking in Rock Creek Park, jogging through her favorite park in Adams-Morgan, strolling through the National Zoo … he'd even talked her into going to the movies. While she'd never admit that she actually enjoyed "Bad Teacher," spending time with Booth certainly had its appeal.
Their evenings were just as comfortable. They hadn't spent every night together, and the nights that they had were easily alternated between their apartments.
It was Thursday night, and the couple was sitting together on the couch in Booth's apartment.
"So," he said. "I was planning to get up and leave around four in the morning. That would get us to Parker's camp around dinner time."
"About that," she said, hesitating.
"I don't think I'm going to go with you," she answered.
She felt a sting in her heart when she saw the flash of hurt in his eyes.
"Why not?" he asked.
"It's not that I don't want to," she said, reaching out to take his hand. "I do. But I think you need to spend this weekend with Parker on your own. Maybe talk to him about the possibility of us before he's confronted with the reality of it…"
"Bones," he said, rubbing his thumb over her hand. "He loves you…"
"And I love him," she responded easily, "but while this has been an easy transition for us, it might not be for him. It's important that he has time to adjust."
He sat back and looked at her, a look of adoration spreading over his face.
"What?" she asked self-consciously.
"Nothing," he answered, shaking his head. "You're incredible. I don't ever want you to say things like you don't have an open heart again, Bones. You have an amazing heart… and I just love the way you love my son. You're going to be a great mom, you know?"
"Someday, maybe," she agreed, leaning her head against his shoulder.
On Saturday morning, Brennan met Angela for brunch at her favorite patisserie. She walked up to the table where Angela was seated on the patio.
"Good morning," she said as she sat down.
"Good morning," Angela said. "Thanks for meeting me. I was afraid you might have plans with Special Agent Studmuffin."
"He's in Vermont," Brennan replied.
"Vermont? Why in the world is he in Vermont?"
"He's visiting Parker at summer camp," she answered. "He'll be up there for three more weeks, so Booth went up to spend the weekend."
"And you didn't go with him?" Angela asked, sipping on her herbal tea as she waived the waiter over to take Brennan's order.
"He invited me," Brennan told her friend. The waiter came over and Brennan ordered a latte as both women placed their meal orders.
The waiter walked away and Angela waited for her friend to continue where she'd left off. Apparently she was going to have to keep waiting.
"And what?" Brennan asked.
"He invited you to go to Vermont, and…"
"And I said 'no.'"
"Don't tell me there's trouble in paradise already."
"We're fine, Angela. We're good, actually," Brennan said with a wistful smile. "I just thought that he needed to spend some time with Parker alone. They haven't really had much time like that lately. And I wanted Booth to have a chance to talk to Parker about our relationship without me being there… that way he could feel free to talk about any misgivings he might have."
"Misgivings? He's like, ten, how could he have misgivings?"
"He wasn't exactly happy about Booth's relationship with Hannah," Brennan offered.
"Join the club," Angela muttered into her teacup.
Brennan rolled her eyes and continued.
"Booth told Parker about Hannah and introduced them at the same time," she said. "Parker didn't really get a chance to consider his own feelings. He was forced to be happy for his father because Booth was happy… and she was just… there."
"But this is a totally different situation, Bren," Angela said. "The little guy already adores you."
"As his father's work partner," Brennan replied. "And his friend. I just want him to have a chance to adjust to the change on his own terms. Booth and I are in this for the long haul."
Angela smiled and shook her head.
"Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?"
"I'm still me, Ang," Brennan replied, smiling. "Just a happier me."
"Happy looks good on you. So, when are you going to tell everyone?"
"We're not," she answered.
"No," Brennan said, sipping the coffee that the waiter had brought for her.
"Why the secrecy?"
"It's not a secret," Brennan replied. "We just decided not to make an announcement. Everyone will figure it out in their own time. We are going to have to tell Cam and Cullen when we go back to work, though."
"Are they still going to let you work together?" Angela asked warily.
"There's no policy in place at the Jeffersonian as far as personal relationships with consultants," Brennan replied. "The FBI has an unspoken no-fraternization policy. It's frowned upon, but there's no actual policy forbidding it. And there is nothing extending that unwritten rule to consultants."
"Glad to see you've thought about it," Angela said with a smile.
"Our work is very important," Brennan replied.
Booth got home in the wee hours of Monday morning and didn't see Brennan until lunch later that day. He was thrilled to confirm for her in person the things he'd told her on the phone.
Parker was thrilled with the idea of Brennan becoming his dad's girlfriend. He'd told Booth that he'd been hoping for that for a long time. The boy even admitted that even though he liked Hannah, he had been hesitant to accept their relationship because he was still hoping his dad would get together with Brennan.
She was happy with the news, and was touched when Booth gave her the picture frame that Parker had made in arts and crafts. He'd specifically told his dad that the frame was for Bones.
The next few weeks went by much the same as the last had. The only difference had been that they were working. Both Cam and Cullen had taken the news of their relationship well. Both of the supervisors cautioned them about professionalism, though neither really thought that was necessary.
They had told their bosses how they hadn't planned to make any announcements regarding their relationship, but they didn't intend to keep it a secret, either.
As the weeks went on, they did however, want to let their families know about the change in their relationship. Max had been out of town, and they decided to go and visit Hank after Parker came home so that they could take him with them.
On a Sunday afternoon, approximately a month after Vincent Nigel-Murray's death, Brennan was alone in her apartment. Booth was playing basketball with some of the other agents and he would be coming over later.
She was sitting on the sofa with her laptop, working on her latest novel. She and Booth had closed their last case on Thursday and the paperwork was complete, so she was taking this time by herself to catch up with her writing.
Booth had asked her to come along and watch him play, but she declined as she hadn't been feeling well and thought it would be nice to just spend a relaxing morning at home. She felt that had been a good decision, as she was feeling better.
She was deeply engrossed in her writing and oblivious to her surroundings, when suddenly she felt the now familiar pang in her stomach. She jumped up and ran to the bathroom.
After once again emptying the contents of her stomach, Brennan went to lay down on her bed. She reached over and picked up her phone from the nightstand. Noticing the date, she sat straight up in the bed.
"Oh my god," she said out loud.
Checking the time to see when to expect Booth back, she knew she'd have enough time to run out to the drugstore.
She went out and ran her errand. Once home, she couldn't bring herself to actually take the test. Convincing herself that she'd get a more accurate result first thing in the morning, she took the bag from the drugstore and tucked it away in the back of the bathroom drawer.
Booth came over after his basketball game and they spent a relaxing afternoon before she prepared dinner for them.
He asked how she was feeling and she told him that she felt much better. She didn't tell him her suspicions, deciding it was better to wait until she knew for sure.
It was late in the evening when Booth went home, he chose not to stay because he didn't have clothes for work with him and he had to be at the office for an early meeting.
The test was positive.
She took another and received the same result.
She knew it was a waste of time to take the third one, but she had already purchased it so she took it anyway.
Three out of three.
It was real… she was pregnant.
She was sure that Booth would be happy, but she wasn't ready to tell him. She needed to wrap her head around the idea herself first.
She was sitting at her desk when Angela came in to the office.
She sat down in the chair across from the desk and informed her friend that she would be delivering the baby today. No doubt about it, Baby Hodgins was making his or her debut today. No more messing around.
Angela was miserable, but Brennan had so many questions she wanted to ask her. Angela was her very own expert on first time pregnancy. But she couldn't ask. Angela had always been intuitive, especially when it came to Brennan… but it seemed that pregnancy had increased her intuition ten-fold. If she started asking her about pregnancy Angela would figure it out in no time, and she had to be sure that Booth would be the first to know.
So she avoided asking questions and just sat back while Angela lamented the pains of the last trimester.
"It's almost lunch time," Angela said. "Do you and Booth have plans?"
"No," Brennan answered. "He's in meetings at the Hoover all day."
"You should come with Hodgins and me to the diner," she offered.
Brennan was about to answer when her telephone rang.
"Brennan," she answered.
"Grab your gear, Bones. We've got a case."
"I thought you were in meetings," she said.
"I was, but apparently human bowling pins take precedence over annual human resources seminars. Pack up your squint stuff and meet me outside. I'll be rolling up in front of the lab in seven minutes."
"I'll be there,: she said and hung up the phone. She turned to Angela. "I'm sorry, but we'll have to do lunch another time. Looks like we've got a case."
"Max knows something," Booth said as they dressed into their undercover gear.
"About the murder?" Brennan asked in reply, straightening her wig.
"No, Bones," he replied. "About us."
"How could he possibly?"
"Because we were totally acting weird at the diner."
"No we weren't," she said in protest.
"Yes, we were," he told her. "Come on. We didn't bicker, we didn't argue and you didn't even balk about being my girlfriend."
"That's because I am your girlfriend," she said.
"I know that," Booth said. "And you know that, but Max doesn't know that."
"Oh…" she said, realizing what Booth was saying was true.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Of course," she replied. "I'm fine. Why do you ask?"
"I don't know. Something just seems off… like you've got something on your mind."
"I'm just thinking about the case," she lied. She didn't like keeping things from him. She knew she needed to tell him about the pregnancy sooner rather than later, but right now they had a murder to solve. They had to focus on the case first. She'd find a way to tell him about the baby later.
Brennan had enjoyed playing Buck and Wanda at the bowling alley. She had always loved going undercover, probably because their cover always meant playing a couple. She enjoyed being able to be affectionate with Booth in public with no fear of being questioned.
She'd spent most of the day thinking about the future with Booth and their child. The more time she spent around Amber, the more she realized how much she wanted her baby and the chance to raise him or her. Her child would not be so disrespectful, that was certain.
They'd solved the case in record time, and were just finishing up the paperwork when they got the call that Angela was in labor.
She sat in the hospital waiting room, hugging the stuffed rabbit that she and Booth had brought for the baby. She was nervous for her friend and looking forward to meeting the baby. She couldn't help but think of the tiny life growing inside her. Angela was giving birth at this very moment to a small human and the baby growing in her own womb was an embryo the size of a sesame seed. The miracle of life was truly that, miraculous.
She had loved seeing Angela. Her friend was so serene and so in love with her baby. She'd talked about having the baby like it was the best thing she'd ever done. And Brennan knew that it was.
Soon everyone had said their goodbyes and left the hospital, leaving the new family to enjoy their first night together.
Brennan walked down the street at Booth's side. She knew he was watching her and that he was sure she had something on her mind. He was right, she was thinking about a baby… but that baby wasn't Michael Staccato Vincent Hodgins.
They stopped and she listened as he talked about Hodgins and Angela and the baby. He was so sure about their happiness, so sure that no matter what happened a baby was a good thing.
She knew now was the time to tell him.
"I'm… I'm pregnant," she said.
She felt a strange flutter in her lower abdomen… a nervousness like she'd never known… as she watched his face. He stood there without expression an she didn't know what to do.
"You're the father," she added, though it was hardly necessary. Of course he was the father. But that was enough to break him from his reverie and she was pleased to see him reacting.
It felt as if a weight lifted off her shoulders as a bright smile spread over his face.
She smiled back at him.
"A baby?" he said, his voice soft and full of wonder.
She bit her bottom lip, still smiling as she nodded her answer.
"Yes," she answered. "I took the home test yesterday. Three of them, actually. I made an appointment with my OB-GYN next week…"
"A baby," he said again. "Oh my god, Bones… we're having a baby."
He reached out to take her in his arms, and held her close. He leaned and kissed her.
"This is incredible," he said.
"So, you're happy then?" she asked with just the slightest hesitation.
"Are you kidding?" he asked, laughing as he looked at her with sparkling eyes. "This is the best news ever. God, Bones… a baby… I love you so much."
"I love you, too," she said, not even concerned with how easily the words came to her or how much she truly meant the sentiment.
"I told you that you were gonna be a great mom," he said, leaning in to kiss her again.
"But we didn't expect it to be this soon," she said.
"No," he said. "That's true. What about you?" he asked. "Are you happy?"
"Happier than I've ever been."
"Let's go home, Bones," he said. "I think we need to celebrate."
~ The End
Though it's really just the beginning. :- )