Happy New Year!

My sincere apologies for the delay in posting this last chapter. We hit Christmas/NY week, then back to work. Between a lot going and my creative energies up and down like a yo-yo, was a bit of a trawl to get the darn thing finished. But I'm happy with this last chapter, and I hope you like it too.

Edit: Also to note that it's not been beta'd - Jen's not been well (get well soon, Lovely) so my apologies for any grammatical, spelling errors. I admit to making some sneaky edits having re-read the published version.

I don't own Bones, etc.

Christmas Eve passed into Christmas morning. Booth woke first with the dawn, as he often did, but this morning he was aware of something new, a dreamy smile emerging on his face as he realised he had an entirely naked anthropologist draped across him, her dark silky hair fanning out over his chest like a blanket, their lower halves covered by the thick comforter on the bed. She was nuzzled into the crook of his neck, occasionally making tiny sounds in her sleep, whilst his arms wrapped around her protectively. He took the opportunity to revel in this moment he'd fantasised about for so long, stroking her spine gently, each vertebra like a piano key against his fingers. His new lover stirred awake a few minutes later, stretching her body out languidly before lifting her head enough to give him a lazy smile of contentment. Any concerns that she had regrets were immediately dispelled with that one look.

"Merry Christmas, Bones", said Booth, gently pecking her on the nose.

"Merry Christmas, Booth", she responded, leaning across to kiss him on the lips. The kiss soon became more passionate and that was all it took to release another wave of their activities of the night before, but at a gentler pace than some of the more frenetic elements they'd enjoyed through the night. There was no urgency to anything today, the cabin was theirs for pretty much as long as they wanted it, that had been made clear; and from the depth of the snow outside, it was going to be another day or so before the roads would be cleared in any case.

When they were done again, they snuggled for a while, dozing thoughtlessly, until Brennan felt the call of nature building to an uncomfortable level and eventually summoned up enough energy to sit up and grab one of the bathrobes lying on the end of the bed. She put it on and rose. Upon her return from the bathroom, walking to the window, noticing that whilst the sky had cleared for the moment at least, the snow was now up to what looked like a foot deep.

"I don't think we're going to be going anywhere much today."

"No?" Booth came out behind her dressed in the second robe, wrapping his arms around her and reaching down slightly to kiss her neck.

"No." She breathed heavily at his ministrations and moved slightly to give him better access. "And for the record, I am very glad about that." He beamed at her statement.

"Me too." His touches and kisses continued as he readily agreed with her, reaching into into her robe as he did. She didn't try and move his hand, enjoying the way the rough skin of his fingers slid down her shoulders under the towelling fabric.

"I think I'd like to try out that hot tub later, maybe after a walk in the snow? We should also probably pick up some more fresh food from the supermarket."

"Yeah. But first," he nuzzled into her hair, "You wanna take a shower? I mean, technically, you're all dirty…" he smirked.

"I wonder how that happened?" Brennan turned in Booth's arms and gave him a mock glare as she clocked his expression, noting that he looked very pleased with himself. "And I suppose you want to clean me up," her glare morphed into an equally cocky smirk of her own.

"Well, it was at least, in part, my fault. It would be my pleasure, no, my duty, to clean you up, Doctor Brennan…" She rolled her eyes before taking him by the hand and leading him purposefully towards the bathroom.

One hour, and a terribly convoluted shower later, during which the partners proceeded to get clean, quite dirty and finally clean again, they were dressed in outdoor clothes reasonably suitable for the conditions and took a gentle stroll through the resort, although at points, it was less of a stroll and more of a wade through the heavy fall of the last eighteen hours. The trees and bushes were laden with white powdery lines of snow on every surface, the icy rock outcrops of the Appalachians in the distance forming a white silhouette against the deep blue sky. The partners, always fond of a good hike, looked at the mountain range admiringly.

"Some day, Bones, we should come back here, maybe in the late spring, or early summer. Take some of the hiking trails." Brennan nodded in agreement.

"That sounds a lovely idea. Maybe we could make a weekend of it? Bring Parker?"

"He'd love that. You know he loves you a lot, Bones." She blushed a little.

"Thanks, I am very fond of him too."

"He'd love to be out here in all this snow. Snowmen…snow angels… Hey, have you ever made a snow angel, Bones?"

"No. What's a snow angel? I assume it's some sort of construction similar to that of a snowman."

"No, kinda different. You really haven't made one before?" Booth was somewhat surprised at Brennan. Surely this was something that surely even she would know about. However, for whatever reason, this was not the case, so Booth continued. "Then let me show you."

Booth pulled Brennan to a clear area of fresh snow on what he guessed should be grassy underneath. "OK, Bones, you need to find a clear spot, pretty deep looking… that looks like there are no rocks underneath. Then, let yourself fall back, like this…" Booth did exactly that, falling backwards into the snow, "…And then wave your arms and legs around like this…" and again, Booth completed the move, waving his arms and legs up and down and side to side respectively.

"Are you being Mr Spaghetti Hands again, Booth? Or are you having some sort of seizure?"

"No Bones," he called out from the ground, "This is how you make a snow angel!"

"Really?" He stopped his flailing and sat up.

"Yeah. Now you try," Brennan took a deep breath, fell backwards into the snow, and lay there.

"Is this right? I don't feel like an angel." Booth, by now sitting up again, looked across at her in awe, her face a picture of confusion, her nose a little red from the cold, her hat almost covering her eyes. She looked so cute, yet he was more reminded of the last time she'd been lying back like that, it had been in their cabin bed, spread out for him like an "all-you-can-eat" buffet. She'd looked far from confused then.

"You sure are an angel, Baby", he couldn't help but exclaim, before remembering that they were supposed to be having a break from the purely sexy stuff for at least a little while, and coming to his senses. "You have to move now, Bones."

"Like Mr Spaghetti Hands?"

"Yes, like Mr Spaghetti Hands..." Brennan took a tentative swipe up and down with her arms. "That's it Bones, and the legs – side to side!"

"I'm freezing Booth! This is very impractical without the appropriately water resistant trousers", called out Brennan, still lying prone in the snow, reluctantly moving her limbs much in the way of a baby mammal finding their way in the new world.

"OK, hang on, Bones, I'm coming to get you." Booth traversed the few feet over to her and offered her his hand. Brennan gladly accepted, and he pulled her up briefly into his arms before taking half a step back to brush the snow off her. "Hey, you know that's not a bad first attempt!" he observed as he took in her effort.

"You think?"

"Yeah, you can see the wings quite clearly. Good job, Bones", at which point he gave her an affectionate peck on the cheek. She was quite taken with the praise.

"I will have to perfect my technique", she declared as she looked at her angel, and then at Booth's, the latter of which was a perfect example.

"I know you will." Booth smiled brightly at Brennan. "Are you still cold?" He reached over again to dust off her shoulders some more.

"Not now I'm standing up again, thank you." He took her hand. They contemplated their creations again for a moment. Booth clapped his gloved hands together.

"So, whilst we're out, shall we get some more food?" She nodded at him.

"I think that's a good idea."

Booth and Brennan trudged through the snow back towards the main resort, where they made their way to the resort shop that Dave, the genial man from the night before, had informed them would be open, even on Christmas Day. The partners stomped their feet on the porch to remove the excess snow from their boots, and found themselves in a quite bustling store considering the day. Dave looked up from his current customer and greeted them.

"Ah, morning folks! How did you both sleep?" The partners exchanged a brief and slightly sheepish smile before Booth answered for them both.

"Fine, thank you." Dave sensed something intimate between them and grinned.

"I told you, it's perfect for sweethearts like you two! Have you tried the tub yet?" He gave a wink. Brennan found herself compelled to chime in.

"No, but we're going to bathe together in it as soon as we get back", she stated, matter-a-factly, no sense of irony on her happy face. Booth looked his usual somewhat mortified self at discussing anything remotely sexual.

"Bones!" He whispered, horrified, in her ear. She was relieved and amused at his reaction; some things didn't change, whatever was to become of their relationship. Bemusedly, she shrugged her shoulders very lightly.

"Well, there you go. Enjoy!" Dave chuckled. "Now, what can I get you folks?"

Stocked up on enough supplies for the rest of the day, they headed back to their cabin. Brennan brewed up some coffee for them both and went to run the tub, whilst Booth stripped out of his cold and slightly damp clothes until he was left in just his underwear.

"Ready for a soak?" She asked as she returned, picking up her cup and taking a long sip, before putting it down and doing the same, leaving herself just in her underwear, too. Booth eyed her up and down, taking in her shapely form with absolutely no pretence that he wasn't ogling her.

"You know, Bones, just because I don't like discussing sex with strangers..."

"Or anyone!" interjected Brennan, brightly and somewhat obtusely.

"…The fact is," he took her hand in his and bought it up to kiss it, "that what goes on between us, is ours. Some stuff Bones, I just want it to be between you and me. Our stuff. Special stuff."

"That is true", admitted Brennan as she followed Booth's movements. "I admit, I like some things to be just ours too." She ran a finger down his chest. "Does that include trying out the tub?" she said, conspiratorially.

"I won't tell if you won't…" whispered Booth into her ear.

They languished in the heart-shaped pool, jets massaging their tangled bodies as they snuggled in one of the two bulbous chambers, her back pressed to his chest snugly and his arms resting on her stomach.

"You were right, Booth, this is really very relaxing." Brennan took the opportunity to stretch out her legs a little. The whole situation felt so incredibly nice, intimate even, and yet, she felt none of the usual need to back away from it at speed. That, in itself, felt quite odd, but she didn't want to fight it. She reflected in the womb-like liquid warmth of that tub and her partner literally wrapped around her. After nearly a hundred cases, her father's return, his tumour, their shared dream, helping him fix his plumbing… all these things had led her to surmise that her world had changed for the better. Booth had done that. He'd cared about her for so long, it had crept up on her without her even realising. Here they now were, finally consummating their relationship somewhere with no distractions, no people to get in the way. Yet, she was wracked with concern. Now she was happy, now she had what she really wanted… What about when they got back to DC? How would it work? She wasn't even sure and she dare not ask. This was entirely uncharted territory.

"Yeah" was all Booth could manage, his eyes closed as he let the jets soothe his feet and feeling Brennan all over him. He was somewhere in the vicinity of Heaven, or Nirvana, or some other really nice afterlife-y place. Feeling her tense slightly in his arms, but having no idea why, he reached up and started massaging her shoulders. "Mmmm Bones, just relax…" The pressure of his fingers nimbly prodding and poking her scapulae and acromia allowed her to lose focus again (he was so very good) so that she temporarily forgot about what had been bothering her, and allowed the pleasant feelings to wash over her.

When the water started to cool down to unpleasantly tepid, they climbed out and drained the tub, giggling at the difficulty they both had as they towelled each other off in not allowing their mutual actions to turn sexual once again. Somehow, they managed to put on their bathrobes, and watching more cable TV, snuggled on the couch for the rest of the day. At one point Brennan, unable to entirely change the habit of a lifetime, did attempt to mount a case review of the information they had so far, but Booth was having none of it – "It's not going anywhere Bones, just put it away. It's Christmas…" and scooped her up to kiss her.

The second night passed, and the partners remained happily cocooned in their temporary love nest. They made love again passionately before they slept, and it was, as had been their previous endeavours, everything either could have wished for. However, afterwards, as their heart rates slowed and they settled into an comfortable embrace by which to drift off to sleep, Brennan became somewhat restless. Booth gave her a few moments to settle herself, but she continued to wriggle impassively.

"What is it, Sweetheart?" he whispered.

"Nothing." She dismissed him before correcting herself for being so short with him. "Sorry, really, it's nothing. Go to sleep, Booth." She gently kissed his neck, about the closest point she could reach from her current position.

"It doesn't seem like nothing, Bones." He stroked her hair tenderly. "Tell me Baby, what's wrong?" She sighed and sat up in the bed.

"It's just… what happens when we get back to DC?" Booth sat up next to her.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, if we decide to pursue a sexual relationship, what happens to our work?"

"If?" he looked at her with a mock frown before kissing her very deliberately on the lips to make the 'if' look a very silly proposition, and pulling back to hold her gaze. "You're really worried about this, aren't you?"

"Yes." She paused to find the words and breathe again. "I find that I am deeply torn between the work we do and the quite appalling fact that right now, my control of my own feelings is entirely compromised. The last twenty-four hours have been unlike anything I've ever experienced and to be perfectly frank, I don't believe I would be willing to give you up when we return to DC."

"Well…" Booth thought for a moment, realising the magnitude of the statement she had just made. He took his hand to her cheek so he could stroke it affectionately, enjoying the smoothness of her skin as he did so, and gazed at her intently. "You know how I feel about you, right? I mean, I've said it several times. I said it not ten minutes ago, I'm gonna say it to you again. Temperance, I love you. Very, very much." He took the opportunity to lean in and kiss her again briefly, just because he could. With a broad smile, he said: "And not the FBI, or the Jeffersonian, or anyone else is gonna change that fact. I have no doubt in my mind that with our track record, and with some possible minor modifications, we'll still be able to work together. I think we are the last people waiting for this to happen."

"You think?" Brennan was not entirely convinced by his short speech.

"No doubt. You know there've been rumours about us for years. Now come 'ere," he said, moving himself back to a horizontal position and taking her with him. "Do you trust me, Bones?'

"Yes." She really did, even with the uncertainty she felt.

"Then I need you to trust me on this. We are going to be just fine, and so is our work. It's not in their interests to separate us."

"OK." She still sounded a little unsure.

"OK", he spoke confidently. "Now, I'm going to hold you in my arms and kiss you for a while just because it feels really good, and probably satisfies some anthropological need and some chemical production-"

"Very good, Booth! Acetylcholine, dopamine and oxytocin…" interjected Brennan.

"…And then we're going to fall asleep until early in the morning, when we wake up in each other's arms and I make love to you again. We'll sort out the rest back in DC. Can you help me with that?"

"OK" replied Brennan, slightly happier. She still wasn't entirely confident in Booth's optimism, but she was willing to trust him. He'd not let her down yet.

The next morning, Booth taking some pride in having kept all his overnight promises to Brennan, made a check on the traffic and weather for the route back. The roads were now clear enough to return home. Back to the case, back to real life. Brennan and Booth found themselves packing their bags for the journey back to DC.

As they locked the cabin door for the final time, Brennan reflected on the last thirty-six hours. What had shifted, what it meant, and what was going to happen next. Her face was a picture of concentration on something far, far away.

"Bones?" She snapped out of her thoughts and smiled at him lovingly.

"I was just thinking about what's changed."

"Good things, Bones, good things. It's going to be a wonderful new year."

"When I think about what I had upon our arrival here in Smoke Hole, and what I have now, I realised that you gave me the best Christmas present, Booth."

"We gave each other the best Christmas present, Bones. We gave each other ourselves."

That's it, managed to squeeze in the last wish, I hope that was OK. Now I can finally go off and read my own Secret Santa present!

Edit: For anyone else wondering (see reviews section) - "Mr Spaghetti hands" didn't come from any particular reference when I wrote it, my husband has been prone to do such things. That said, there is a scene in "Dirty Dancing" where Baby Haussmann calls Johnny "Spaghetti arms" or something similar, so probably some sub-conscious reference in my brain to that. :)