Disclaimer - For the last time, I do not own Bones :(
So, here we are, my lovely readers... the end. I'm so thankful for everyone who has helped me with this journey, most importantly, my readers, reviewers, and especially my beta (NerdyGerl). All of you have been so wonderful and patient with me. Especially waiting for this last chapter. I had so much trouble writing it and I was torn between the relief that I could take a break and the sadness that the story is over. I am sorry it took me so long. There is is still a possobility of a sequel... it would most likely be a series of oneshots, rather than an actual chronological story. If that ever does happen though, updating will mostly be sporatic and more than likely, somewhat into the school year.
With that said, I am going to say, adieu and happy reading!
Booth opened the door to his home, arms laden with bags with Angela and Elsie in tow. He called out, "Parks, Sid! Come help decorate now, please!"
The telltale signs that the boys were on their way downstairs could be heard from the kitchen.
"So..." Angela said, letting Elsie free to roam, "I bet you're excited that Bren and my Goddaughter are finally coming home today."
It wasn't really a question but the agent nodded in agreement anyway and replied with a smirk, "Definitely. I am living the dream, Ange. I've got two daughters, two sons, Bones, and a family full of squints that I never realized I even needed to be happy. I am all set."
"I'm glad," she told him, her voice full of sincerity.
Parker and Sidney arrived in the kitchen, awaiting directions from their father.
Booth smirked as he grabbed the pink, purple, white, and green streamers he'd purchased at the party store. With the green there was no way Brennan could say he was playing to the gender stereotype. Booth handed each boy two rolls, some push pins, and tape. "Drape these things everywhere in the living room and here in the kitchen, alright? You know how to twist two colors together to make it look cool?" he asked.
Parker nodded but Sidney shook his head and said, "Nope."
"That's okay, Sid. Parker, you help him with that, it's easier as a team anyway. And try not to take too long either - we've only got a couple of hours to get ready."
Leaving the boys to their task, Booth took the rest of the items out of the bags, surveying all of it and more to be sure he had not forgotten anything. The banner, a couple of balloon bunches, and other stray decorations were all accounted for, along with the essentials for a premature baby. Without noticing it, Booth had started acting very much like Brennan in her absence. In his head he went over the things the team was bringing. Food was the main concern, you couldn't have a welcome home party without some snacks and they were also kindly bringing meals for the days to come. Presents were the second main thing – Unknowingly, Angela had been making arrangements for a surprise baby shower for the partners the weekend after next. They were now turning the surprise welcome home party into a makeshift baby shower.
"Sweetie," said Angela, interrupting Booth's thought process. "I think you need to take a chill pill - the expression on your face is looking suspiciously like Brennan's."
Shaking himself out of it he replied, "Sorry, yeah... I was just going over everything. You want to help me hang up this banner?"
-It was a couple of hours later and Booth, Brennan, and Baby Christine were finally driving home. The decorating and house-readying had taken longer than anticipated and he'd ended up being about ten minutes late to the hospital. Unable to tell his partner his reasons for being late or risk spoiling the surprise, he'd omitted the truth. Brennan was having trouble accepting his lack of response, and the bickering session that ensued, strangely seemed to comfort Christine.
"I just don't understand why you won't tell me what made you late. I won't be mad... I don't think. But we won't know for sure unless you just tell me!" She said hopefully.
"Uh uh, Bones. There's nothing really to tell anyways, I just lost track of time with the kids."
"Well, what were you so involved in that caused you to lose track of time?"
"Nothing worth mentioning," Booth said, brushing the question off. Turning onto their street, and approaching their home, he was thankful that in that moment she turned her attention to Christine, missing the familiar cars parked strategically on the street. He pulled into the driveway and then further into the open garage, and then shut off the engine.
Coming around the car, he opened Brennan's door for her, letting her out, and then grabbing Christine's carrier before his partner could even try. He opened the door to the house for her as well, letting her walk in before him.
"Booth!" he heard her gasp before he'd even gotten inside. It was no doubt, he figured, at the decorations.
All of a sudden their closest friends and family - Angela and Hodgins with Michael, Cam and Michele, Sweets and Daisy, Max, and Hank, as well as Parker and Sidney with Elsie all jumped out from hiding shouting, "Surprise!"
Stopping in her tracks, as Booth came up behind her, Brennan's grin widened as she asked curiously, "What is this? And what are those?" She jotted her head toward the foot stool piled with gifts.
Angela rushed forward and embraced her friend saying, "It's yours and Christine's welcome-home-party-slash-baby-shower, of course. And those presents are from the surprise baby shower we had planned that never got to happen."
"Wow," Brennan breathed out, stunned. "Thank you all," she told her family, voice laden with emotion. "I don't... I don't know what to say. Just... thank you..." After a moment of trying to convey her gratitude she turned around to face Booth. "This was why you were late?"
He merely shrugged and smiled at her bit before walking further into the house with the baby. Almost everyone had already visited at the hospital, but Hank was one of the few that hadn't been able to. "C'mere, Pops," said Booth, setting the carrier on the counter and lifting Christine from it.
The old man ambled over slowly but surely, to get a look at his new great-granddaughter.
"You want to hold her?" Booth asked.
"Of course I do, Shrimp," he told him, holding his arms out. Booth handed the tiny baby over ever so gently, and then stood back to watch his grandfather with his daughter. It was beautiful, really, the way he cradled her tiny form in his frail arms. An old life and a brand-new one brought together.
The agent noticed that everyone else had slowly halted in their conversations to watch as well. Though, before Hank noticed and became self-conscious, the room turned back to their own conversations, small smiles lingering on their lips.
"She's a beauty," Hank said gruffly, trying to reign in his emotions.
"Yeah," said Booth and as Brennan walked over carrying Elsie, he put his arm around her, her head coming to rest on his shoulder, gazing at their daughter who was so at peace in her great-grandfather's arms.
Around the partners, the family gathering continued. Low-key and immensely enjoyable, not a single one of the guests could say they had not had a good time simply hanging around one another in familiar conversation. The cake was eaten, the baby passed around, and then hogged by Booth for the majority of the time. Watching the gifts being opened was a highlight of the night along with a highly amusing Boo Radley, who seemed to have taken up the job of guarding the new baby just as intensely as he guarded Elsie.
Eventually and all at once it seemed as if the group had decided it was time to go, telling them to get some sleep while they could.
Though, when everyone had departed, instead of heading straight to bed themselves they put Sidney, Parker, and Elsie all to bed, leaving Christine fast asleep in her mother's arms while Booth cleaned up a bit. It wasn't much later that he collapsed next to Brennan on the couch, heaving a big sigh.
Silently, Brennan settled herself closer to her partner. They went several moments without speaking; instead gazing together at the life they had created before them. Booth, who had already briefly experienced the wonders of fatherhood this early in Parker's life, was once again surprised by the feeling that he had helped in creating a miracle, but Brennan... she was more than surprised. She was in absolute awe that, despite the fact that she knew the exact biology and process it took to make a baby, for the first time in her life, she simply didn't care about any of it. Because the baby in her arms, Christine Angela Booth, was nothing short of a miracle.
It also made her sad that she'd never been given the chance to experience the same with her other children. She loved them just as much, but she had a hidden jealous streak in her too, and uncharacteristically, she wished she'd been present at that time in their lives.
Finally, she broke the silence. "Hey, Booth?"
"Hmm?" he asked, looking away from Christine to her.
Brennan, still focused on the baby, said, "I think I'd like to marry you."
She'd said it like it was such an ordinary thing, like telling him they were out of eggs or something, that at first he thought he must have misheard. "W-What did you say?"
"I said I would like to marry you."
She looked up at him finally, a small, intimate smile gracing her lips. But before Brennan could say anything more, Booth had stood and disappeared up the stairs.
For a moment, she wondered if now had not been the right time to say such a thing, but before her thoughts could progress further, Booth reappeared jogging down the stairs, and standing before her, shuffling nervously on his feet.
Once again, before Brennan had the chance to form a response, Booth had gotten down on one knee, holding a small, worn box in front of him, his hands shaking ever so slightly.
"Bones, I... I have been waiting so long for you to say those words to me, for you to tell me that you're ready." He looked down at the ring, a small grin coming to his lips. "I've had this ring for..." a laugh escaped when he thought about how long. "A really long time... years - since the first year we became official partners, actually. I told Pops one day about you - about how you knew exactly how to push my buttons and how you drove me absolutely crazy. But he must have heard something in my voice that gave me away though, because the next time I saw him he gave me this ring. It was the ring he gave his wife, my Grams, and he didn't say why he chose that moment to do it, maybe he thought up until then I wouldn't have been trustworthy enough not to gamble it away, but thinking back, I'm pretty sure it was because of you and what he heard in my voice when I spoke about you.
"Pops and Grams were married nearly forty beautiful years. And I want that Bones, I really want that, but more than anything... I just want you and the family we've made together. I was willing to give up that dream of marriage in a heartbeat for you, I need to you know that, okay? And if you're not sure about this and you want to change your mind about what you said earlier, than that's okay. Nothing will change between us if you do. Nothing."
Brennan tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her smile at Booth's ramblings. He caught her smirk and laughed a bit at himself before continuing.
"So, with that in mind," he said, his eyes watery, "Will you marry me, Bones?" And with that he finally opened the box revealing the beautiful white gold, vintage engagement ring. It had one larger, round diamond set in the middle surrounded by smaller diamonds and sapphires in a beautiful latticework of jewels.
Biting her lips, Brennan nodded, a tear finally falling from her eye. "I haven't changed my mind... yes - I want to marry you."
Slowly she stuck her hand out, allowing Booth to shakily slip the ring onto her finger. And then, mindful of the baby on her lap, Booth took his fiancé in his arms, and kissed her, the smile never fully leaving his face.
He finally had everything that he'd ever dreamed of.
It's very sad seeing those last words up there. And I know that it won't help me to write more chapters and I can't exactly blackmail you to review for faster chapters... but do you think you could do it anyway? As a sort of farewell gift to me? All of you trolls out there that don't usually review, yes I know you're out there, just leave a quick anonymous note? Please?