Disclaimer: I don't own Bones.
"Bones? You good with Cam coming over for a few minutes to do all the measurements and stuff?"
"Uh … yes." Brennan distractedly responded to Booth's question, spellbound by watching Christine's first moments with her baby sister.
"Good. She's on her way."
Brennan motioned for Booth and Parker. "Here, both of you. Come sit." She looked down at Christine, who was still studying Juliana intently. "Christine, you should try talking to her. She's been hearing your voice for several months — I bet she'd like to hear it now."
Puzzled and still slightly sleepy, Christine glanced up, looking at Brennan and then Booth. "What do I say?"
"Tell her whatever you want," Booth instructed as he and Parker sat down on the nearby couch. "She's listening."
"Hi Juliana. I'm your sister. I'm Christine. I'm your big sister. And Parker's your big brother." Christine hesitated, looking back up at Brennan. "Her eyes are closed."
"That's OK," Brennan replied. "She's still able to hear you."
Assured of the fact that it was OK for her sister to still be asleep, Christine continued. "I wanted to see you for a really long time. I'm really glad you're here. And I love you. Lots." She looked up at her mother, who had tears pooling in her eyes. "Are you sad?"
"No, I'm very, very happy," Brennan assured Christine, kissing the top of her head. "Those were very sweet words to Juliana."
"Can I kiss her?"
"Sure — gently," Brennan reminded.
"Wait. Daddy wants a picture." Booth grabbed his phone and Christine waited patiently, placing a soft kiss on Juliana's cheek after Booth's prompting.
Brennan wiped her eyes and looked over at Parker with a smile. "Hey, you need a turn, too."
"Let Christine hold her for a while. I can wait."
Christine looked up from the baby. "Really?"
"Really. After all, I got to hold you when you were little!"
Hesitating for a moment, Christine looked over at her mother. "But Mommy said share."
Parker laughed. "I got an idea, sis. How about you sit in my lap while you hold Juliana? That way I get to hold both of you."
Christine nodded happily.
"Let Dad hold Juliana for a minute while we get you situated," Parker suggested.
"Good idea." Booth reached for Juliana, and kissed her forehead before putting her back in Christine's arms.
"Oh my goodness." Angela had a look of awe on her face as she stared at her camera screen and then at the living picture before her. "I hope you guys are OK with a painting of the kids for Christmas."
"They do look pretty perfect, don't they?" Booth sat down on the armrest and wrapped his arm around Brennan's shoulders. She nodded in agreement, leaning her head against him as they watched their three interact.
"Look, want to see her hands?" Parker asked Christine, adjusting the blanket around Juliana. "Here." He smiled as he watched Christine peer curiously and gently touch one of her sister's tiny hands.
"Five fingers," she announced.
"Just like you, huh? Let's see if we can get her to hold your finger."
By the time Cam arrived, Christine had fallen asleep, now secure in Angela's arms. Booth had taken Juliana, and held her while Brennan struggled not to doze off.
"It's OK to rest," Booth reminded Brennan as Cam unpacked a few supplies. "You did just have a baby."
"I want to wait until Cam's done with everything," came Brennan's sleepy reply.
"Hi," Cam greeted quietly, approaching the couple with a smile on her face. "How'd it go?"
"Bones is a champ."
Cam nodded her agreement. "How's the little one?"
"Perfect." Booth briefly glanced over at Parker, who was sitting next to Angela on the couch. "Bub, it's getting late. You're welcome to stay here, but you'll need to call home."
"Well, I told Uncle Jack I'd bring Christine back, and if she protested, I'd stay over there with her for the night."
Booth smiled. "That's thoughtful of you, but I guess we better not push our luck with your mother."
"I can take her home with me," Angela offered, stroking Christine's hair gently. "Unless you two need me to stay."
"Christine can stay here," Brennan began, rubbing her eyes as she slowly sat up in the loveseat.
"Nah. Let's give you and Booth a first night alone with Juliana." Angela looked over at Booth, who nodded his agreement. "Then it's settled. I'll take her home with me and bring her back in the morning."
"OK." Parker stood and stretched. "Guess I'll hit the road. Don't want to worry Mom. Oh, and she says congrats. She'd like to bring dinner over tomorrow."
"Tell her thank you and that'd be wonderful. We'd love for both of you to join us." Brennan smiled as Parker bent to give her a hug. "Thank you for being so wonderful tonight with Christine. You took great care of her."
"You're welcome." Parker went to give Booth a hug, and then grinned as Cam grabbed his shoulder. "Don't worry, Aunt Cam — I wasn't leaving without hugging you, too."
"Good." Cam wrapped both arms around Parker. "Good to see you."
"You too." He turned to place a kiss on Juliana's head. "Night, Jules. Let Bones and Dad get some sleep tonight, OK? I'll see you guys tomorrow."
As Parker let himself out of the front door, Cam held out her arms out for the baby. "Did I hear him say 'Jules?'"
"Juliana," Booth explained, somewhat reluctantly handing his daughter over to Cam. "Juliana Elyse."
"Oh, she's beautiful … good job, you two." Cam stroked Juliana's cheek. "Hope I can keep her asleep."
"It's all right if you don't," Brennan assured her, snuggling back up against Booth's shoulder.
"You want to watch everything? We can stand up." Booth questioned Brennan.
"I can see from the loveseat."
She nodded. "I'm quite certain Juliana is larger than Christine was at her birth."
"How can you …"
"You really don't want to finish that question, Seeley." Cam gently began to unwrap the blankets around the baby.
"Right." He looked over anxiously. "Need any help?"
"Sure." Cam smiled. "You can come help me weigh her."
Leaving Brennan to stretch out in the loveseat, Booth stood and walked over toward Cam. "You haven't weighed any brains or dead things on that scale, have you?"
"Nope. This is the special one that I save for live, happy things — like babies." She gently placed Juliana on the scale. "Wow, she's a champ. Didn't even faze her."
"She should be tired," Brennan commented. "She took forever."
"Speaking of which," Cam paused as she watched the scale's digital display. "Did one of you get the time of birth?"
"I'll put that on the birth certificate." Cam reached for a notepad. "Eight pounds, four ounces, Dr. Brennan. Good thing she didn't wait another week."
"Wow. Christine wasn't quite seven pounds." Brennan's eyelids drooped, and she rubbed her eyes again to keep herself awake. "How about head circumference and shoulders?"
"Give me just a minute." Cam reached for a pen and jotted down the weight, then grabbed a tape measure.
"Exactly 36 centimeters for her head, Bones." Booth watched as Cam moved the tape measure.
"That's a centimeter larger than Christine."
"Well, they both got their momma's big brain." Booth shot Brennan a grin over his shoulder.
Cam let out a low whistle. "129.8 millimeters for the shoulders."
Angela visibly winced. "Oh God, Bren. No wonder you were hurting."
"129 isn't normal?" Booth questioned.
"Average shoulder circumference is 122 millimeters," Brennan stated. "So yes, that's above normal."
"But she's fine," Cam assured Booth. "It just means she got your broad shoulders."
He shot Brennan an apologetic look. "Sorry about that."
"Twenty inches long." Cam jotted down the figure and then reached for the blanket to cover Juliana. "Booth, you can hold her while I check her ears and nose, then I'll be out of the way. Can you think of anything else, Dr. Brennan?"
"I think that's all the important things."
"She looks very healthy."
Brennan nodded. "I concur."
"Good deal. I'll put everything on the birth certificate and bring it over tomorrow for both of you to sign." Cam waited for Booth to adjust Juliana so she could check the other ear. "Yep, looks normal. You've got a healthy one."
"Thanks, Cam." Booth gave her a grateful smile. "And thanks for coming by so late."
"I need to head out, too." Angela slowly stood up, carefully managing not to wake Christine. "Call if you need anything."
"Wait." Brennan gingerly got out of the loveseat and took a few steps toward Angela. "Thank you for everything tonight. I couldn't have done it without you."
Angela smiled and accepted Brennan's hug. "Thank you for asking me. Glad to do it." She blew a kiss in Booth and Juliana's general direction. "That's for your baby girl."
"Got it." Booth nodded with a smile.
Brennan kissed Christine's head gently. "Night, sweetheart. And Ang, thank you again."
"I'll walk you both of you out," Booth offered, handing Juliana over to Brennan. "Be right back."
"Night, Dr. Brennan. Rest up, and call if you need anything." Cam waved.
When Booth returned a few minutes later, he found his wife happily mesmerized with their new little girl.
"Booth, quick — she's got her eyes open again."
He hurried over to the couch, immediately smiling at Juliana's tiny blinks. "Guess she's wondering why it got so quiet and still again."
"Maybe." Brennan laid her head against Booth's chest with a contented sigh. "Can we just sit here for a few minutes?"
"Sure." He placed a gentle kiss in her hair. "But let's get you to bed soon. You're exhausted."
"I know … but I find that I just want to stare at her all night."
"Me too, Bones. Me too."
The following day was a blur of activity and adjustment. Christine wanted to spend every minute with Juliana, and was quickly having to learn that she couldn't be a "baby hog," especially when Max showed up to visit for several hours. He left right before dinner, and the family barely had half an hour before Parker and Rebecca showed up with food in tow. Brennan found herself relieved to have Parker, who was a welcome distraction to Christine, as well as Rebecca, who immediately took over the kitchen, instructing Booth to rest on the couch with Brennan.
"So, you had her here?" Rebecca asked, unpacking the food and placing a dish in the oven.
"Never thought you'd agree to something like a homebirth, Seeley." Rebecca grinned. "And Temperance, you're quite the woman."
"Well, Bones isn't a fan of hospitals," Booth remarked.
"Me neither. God, I hated the thought of delivering Parker with all those germs."
"See, Booth? I'm not paranoid or crazy." Brennan shared a triumphant smile with Rebecca. "Thank you for agreeing with me."
"Yeah, the only reason I had Parker in one was my mom insisted on it … and the fact that I'm a total pain wimp. After nine hours of agony, that epidural was heaven."
"You made it nine hours — that doesn't sound like a wimp to me!" Booth laughed.
Rebecca shrugged. "I guess not." She dried her hands on the dishtowel and walked over to the couch. "OK, as soon as that casserole is finished reheating, we'll be good to go."
"Would you like to hold her?" Brennan offered Juliana, and Rebecca gladly accepted.
"Oh, look at her ... Parker showed me a picture when he got home last night, but that doesn't do her justice. She's beautiful."
"Thank you." Booth paused. "And Bec, thanks for letting him come over last night. It was really special to have him here."
"Well, he missed out on a lot with Christine, thanks to my crazy career move. I didn't want him to miss anything with Juliana, especially seeing her as a newborn." She gave him a regretful smile. "I'm sorry about all that."
"Water under the bridge," he assured her, quickly changing the subject. "How's Brent?"
"Good. He's at a conference in Detroit, else he'd be here tonight — but he sends his congratulations." She looked up with a grin, hearing one pair of quick heavy feet followed by a set of lighter steps coming down the stairs. "Sounds like the older two are back."At that moment, the group heard a knock at the door.
"Is someone else coming?" Booth asked Brennan.
"Not that I'm aware of …" She trailed off before raising her voice to call out, "Parker! Make sure Christine doesn't answer the door — please."
"Good call." Booth stood up and headed for the front door.
"Dad, it's Ms. Caroline," Parker announced.
"Let her in."
"Oh good. Two fine, able bodies to help me." Caroline stepped inside and placed a giant vase of flowers inside the foyer. "Booth men. Come help me get this junk out of my car."
"Well hello to you too, Caroline." Booth followed Caroline back outside with Parker behind him.
"I take it that's Caroline Julian?" Rebecca asked Brennan.
"Yes … you've never met her?"
"No, just heard Seeley talk about her over the years."
"I had no idea she was coming."
"Maybe she's just dropping things off," Rebecca suggested.
"Mommy? Want me to carry the flowers?" Christine was eying the vase on the floor.
"No, they look heavy. We'll let Daddy get them. Thank you."
The three came back inside, arms full of flowers and boxes. Caroline handed one smaller box to Christine, and managed to close the door behind them.
"Bones, where should we put all this?"
She shrugged, staring at their full arms. "What is it?"
"Um, let's try the kitchen." Booth led the crew into the kitchen and began to set down the boxes, flowers, wine bottles, and baskets.
"Are these cupcakes?" Christine asked, curiously peering into the small box Caroline had given her. "Ooh, they are!"
"Christine, don't touch them. Give those to your dad, please." Brennan sighed, and caught Rebecca hiding a smile.
"She's got Seeley's sweet tooth, huh?"
"Now …" Caroline glanced around the area. "Dr. Brennan, where's this lovely baby?"
"Right here." Brennan nodded toward Rebecca. "Caroline, this is Rebecca Stinson, Parker's mother. Rebecca, this is Caroline Julian."
"It's a pleasure, Ms. Julian." Rebecca looked up. "Um … would you like to hold her?"
The prosecutor nodded, her arms already extended for the baby.
"All right." Rebecca stood and handed Juliana to Caroline. "I need to check the casserole."
"Caroline, will you stay for dinner?" Brennan asked.
"Oh no, I just had to drop all that junk off at the house and see this little one. Oh … that reminds me. Mini Booth!"
Parker turned his head. "You mean me?"
"Yes. Bring me that folder in the basket."
Parker glanced around and finally saw a manila folder in one of the two baskets. He walked it over to Caroline, who nodded at Brennan. "Give it to Dr. Brennan, please."
"Cam needed a notary for the birth certificate. She brought it to me this morning, so I'm bringing it back."
"Oh, thank you." Brennan pulled the form out of the folder. "Part of it is blank … Booth and I didn't sign, and Cam didn't write down the baby's name."
"Easy fix. You two can sign, and I can add her name. Speaking of which, what is it?"
Brennan smiled. "Cam didn't tell you?"
"Then we're making you guess." Booth's voice boomed out from in the kitchen.
"No, it's not. Guess."
Caroline furrowed her brow. "Tell me you two didn't name this beautiful baby something dumb like Apple or Bosnia."
"No." Booth grinned. "Guess again."
Silent for a few seconds, Caroline hesitated. "You didn't name her Caroline, did you?"
"That's closer than the fruit or country guess," Booth hinted.
"Oh come on, cher. Just tell me."
"Her name is Juliana Elyse." Brennan watched as Caroline's mouth opened slightly. "And yes, she's named after you. Julian is you, Ana was a grandmother's middle name, and Elyse has similar derivatives as Elizabeth, which was another grandmother's middle name."
"I don't know what to say." Caroline stared at the bundle in her arms. "She's beautiful."
"Thank you." Brennan smiled. "Now are you going to tell us where all this stuff came from?"
"Right." Caroline glanced up. "The tulips are from me. The random arrangement is from the FBI, probably Booth's floor, but who knows. The big floral up-do is from Judge Andrews."
"I'm not finished." Caroline rolled her eyes at Booth's interruption. "That fruit basket is from … uh, Hacker, I think. It might be Hacker's boss. Just look at the card. One of those envelopes is from Andrews, and the other envelope is from Booth's office, along with the cigar and booze."
"What about that?" Parker pointed to an orchid plant with a card.
"That was delivered to my office 30 minutes ago. I'm guessing the card holds the answer there."
Parker reached for it, and walked toward Brennan. "It's got your name on it."
"Holy smokes." Booth had opened one of the other cards. "Bones."
"Uh … Andrews bought us wine and dinner — a very nice two hundred dollar dinner." He held up a gift certificate. "And he wrote you a very complementary thank you note."
"The cupcakes are from him, too," Caroline noted.
"This seems odd," Brennan mused. "Why would he be nice to us?"
"Ah." Caroline grinned happily. "Obviously you two haven't spoken to Hodgins."
"What'd he do?" Booth and Brennan asked in tandem, immediately concerned.
"Relax. The Cantilever Group owns the companies and contracts with the judge's office. It seems that Hodgins simply reminded Andrews of that, and nicely suggested that he retire next election season."
"Why do I think there's more to the story than that …" Booth muttered.
"Relax and be thankful. You got yourself a good friend, and shockingly, he didn't do anything illegal with Andrews." Caroline looked at the envelope in Brennan's hand. "How about that one?"
Brennan slipped her finger under the seal and tore, revealing another thank you card. "I'm not sure." She opened it, and out fell a photo.
"Ohhh, it's from her island of misfit toys," Caroline relayed to Booth, who was still standing too far away to see the photo.
A delighted smile began to spread across Brennan's face as she read the inside of the card.
"They passed." She was practically beaming as she turned to look over her shoulder at Booth. "Every single one of them passed math. And the four that I predicted to pass the whole thing — Rashid, Austin, JT, and Wade? They did it, Booth." She held up several sheets of paper from inside the card. "These are summaries of their scores — with the exception of Reggie, every single one of them passed at least two sections."
"Look at you." Booth walked over and planted a kiss on Brennan's lips. "All credit is due to your hard work with those guys."
"It means they'll get funding for a tutoring program. And Rashid and Austin will have the opportunity to try correspondence classes." She let out a happy sigh and leaned up to kiss Booth. "This has been a very good week."
"Uh, what's that all about?" Rebecca rejoined the group and pointed to the photo in Brennan's lap, clearly confused by the men in orange jumpsuits holding their test scores and grinning like fools.
"Bones did some, uh … community service."
"She was a teacher to adults," Christine explained simply. "They had a big test."
"I tutored for the GED," Brennan clarified to Rebecca. "They took it this morning."
"Wow, and they already sent you their results? You must have made quite the impression."
"That she did," Caroline assured Rebecca.
"Whoa!" Parker glanced at the photo, his eyes widening. "Bones, you went to jail!?"
"Hush," Caroline scolded, placing her hand near one of Juliana's ears. "We shouldn't talk about such things around my namesake. She is pure and innocent and doesn't need to hear about that."
"Park," Christine looked up at her big brother, trying to figure out why he seemed shocked. "Mommy and Daddy put people in jail."
"Right — the bad guys."
Christine nodded. "So Mommy goes there sometimes."
"Yep, you got it." Booth scooped Christine up and she giggled. "You are so smart!" He turned to Rebecca. "Please say dinner's ready."
"It is." She grinned at his almost desperate tone. "Everyone in the kitchen — let's eat!"
Y'all, it was so hard to close this — I've had the chapter written for several days, but I just couldn't think of the perfect ending. And who would have thought I'd have Rebecca (of all people!) finishing out the story? Oh well. :)
This has been a pleasure to write, and I am so grateful for all of you who have read, given me feedback and suggestions, and reviewed. I appreciate you more than you know — you have made this really fun!
I'd love to know what you thought about the story — please feel free to shoot me a message or drop me a review.
(Shout out to Gargonzola'sArchaicInstitution for catching a name typo ... it went undetected for almost 10 hours! I originally had Juliana named something different, and that slipped into one sentence in this chapter — she was the first one to shoot me a nice message and ask about it. Thank you for catching it!)
For those who have asked, I'm not finished writing — not sure when the next stuff will be up, but I've got a few things in the works, including one particular weekend mentioned in season 6 that we never got to see. Stay tuned ... and/or read the other stories I've posted. :) Thanks so much for reading!