Update 41- Baby Steps

Angela and Hodgins stepped into the diner together and walked toward the table in the back. Angela could see the little girl talking animatedly with her grandfather as she sipped on a cup of chocolate milk, and she slammed the cup down and waved wildly toward Angela. "Big A!" She said happily. Angela scooped the little girl up and deposited her in her lap, sitting across from Max.

"Hey, Max." Hodgins said with a smile as Angela gave him an irritated glare. "They're not here yet?"

"I haven't seen them." He said with a chuckle at Angela's eye roll. "They should have been here about a half hour ago, right?" He asked.

"Yes." Angela sighed.

"Well, I didn't tell… you know who about anything." Max replied, nodding toward the little girl. "I thought we would just let her be surprised."

"You know who, what?" Antonia asked, looking out the window again. "Where is mama? You said Mama was coming, Oompa."

"She'll be here soon, baby…" Max said as she shifted on Angela's lap and moved to Hodgins, she sat with her head tipped back, tickling his beard as he laughed. "Did you see them?"

"Oh, I saw them." Angela nodded, her voice starting off as accusatory as a smile made its way to her lips. "They looked happy."

"I bet." Hodgins said with a smirk that was returned with a glare. He gave her a humored look and shook his head. "What? They haven't been alone in four years… you don't think that they're going to be able to keep their hands off one another, do you?"

"Well, I told Brennan that they needed to talk first." Angela said as the bell rang on the door, and Temperance walked in. The woman was positively glowing with happiness, and you would have to be blind not to notice the happiness in every step she took. Immediately Angela scowled. "Which… obviously she didn't listen to me about." Angela said, straightening up as everyone looked in her direction.

"Mommy!" Antonia squealed loudly, scrambling from Hodgin's grip, she slipped to the floor and ran at her mother as fast as she could. Temperance lifted her into the air and listened to her giggle as she pulled her to her in a mighty hug, full of kisses and squeezes. "I missed you…" She mumbled into her mother's shoulder.

"I missed you, baby." Temperance said, pulling from the hug, their eyes met and Antonia leaned in to kiss her mother's cheek. "Were you good for Big A and Uncle Bugs?" She asked as Antonia nodded her head and glanced to the table as she held her mother as she squeezed her into another hug. "And you were good for Oompa?" She asked.

"She's always good for me." Max said, watching his daughter's smile as she held her daughter in her arms, he could see that she looked genuinely happy for the first time in a very, long time.

"Your smile is pretty, Mama." Ant said, watching her mother's eyebrows go up as she watched Max slide over.

"Thank you, my sweet princess." Temperance said, sitting down, she watched Angela's playful glare as she just smiled.

"Can we go see daddy now?" Antonia asked immediately, watching her mother raise her eyebrows, she just shrugged and settled on her lap. "Mama? Mama, can we go see daddy now?" She asked, and Temperance didn't answer, so the little girl kept jabbering away.

"So where is he?" Hodgins asked, looking out the window, Temperance looked up at them.

"Parking the car… he'll be here in just a…"

"DADDY!" Antonia squealed so loudly that everyone in the diner turned to see the man walking in through the door. "Oh my goodness, Daddy!" Antonia's voice squealed loudly. "Mama, that's Daddy…" She said as she nearly jumped over her mother's shoulder to get to him. "Daddy!" She exclaimed.

Booth walked quickly through the diner, and Temperance turned to let him take the shouting girl before she tumbled to the floor, her arms moved instantly around his neck, and her face buried itself in his skin. Hodgins immediately stood up and held his hand out to the man, and Angela remained sitting, her arms crossed across her chest. If Booth didn't know better, he'd say she was pouting.

"I know you're mad, Angela." Booth said as he reached around and grabbed a chair from the next table over. "But I really don't care." He said, watching the woman's jaw drop as he rubbed his daughter's back and rocked her gently in his arms.

"Feels good to be breathing fresh air again, huh Booth?" Max asked as Booth shook his head and laughed.

"I don't know, Max… Where I was, it wasn't as restrictive as where you were… but it does feel nice to have these arms around me." He said, rocking the little girl, he put his arm around Temperance and pulled her closer, kissing her temple. "It feels good to have my family back." He said sincerely as he settled in his chair and smiled happily. "It feels very good to have them back."

"Speaking… of family." Hodgins said with a smile as he watched Angela nudge her husband and give him a slight glare. "What? They're here… we may as well tell them."

"Tell us what?" Temperance asked, watching between the two of them for a moment as Booth gave her a tender squeeze.

"I thought we were going to wait." Angela whispered.

"We already waited." Hodgins whispered back.

"No, I thought we were going to wait until the…"

"What is it?" Temperance asked, her voice sounding a bit more impatient as she felt Booth kiss her temple again.

"Angela is pregnant." Hodgins said, the excitement in his voice sent it up nearly an octave as Angela beamed across the table.

"Really?" Temperance asked as she nearly leapt from her seat and around Booth's chair to embrace her friend who was nodding happily as she began to cry in Temperance's shoulder. "I am so happy for you guys! So happy!" She said as she leaned back and looked Angela in the eyes. "You have been waiting so long for this!"

"I know!" Angela said excitedly as Hodgins stood up and embraced Temperance in a tight hug, his blue eyes were filled with tears as Booth stood up and shook his hand, his other arm still around Antonia as she turned in his arms and looked to Hodgins.

"Congratulations." He said with a smile as Max stood up and shook Hodgin's hand as well, as they all sat down and started talking excitedly. Temperance walked back to her seat and sat down next to Booth, and watched her daughter for a moment as Booth glanced out of the corner of his eye to her and gave her a smile, his hand instantly in hers while the conversation centered on Angela and her news.

"We didn't want to say anything until Booth's party."

"You're throwing me a party?" Booth let out a laugh and Angela nodded.

"Yes… we are throwing you a party for your return into the living world…" She teased. "And we thought we'd rain on your parade with our own news." She teased.

"This is not rain." Booth replied. "This is most definitely not rain." He smiled. "Did you hear that, Toni? Your Aunt Angela is going to have a baby."

"No she's not." Antonia replied, having listened to the excitement, she had heard enough.

"What do you mean, sweetheart?" Max asked, his eyes flashing to Temperance and back to the little girl.

"I am the only baby around here." She replied, her voice was certain and serious, and her eyes flashed onto Angela as she watched her give her a sympathetic smile. "I'm the only baby." She mumbled. "Just me."

Booth and Brennan exchanged a glance, and Temperance looked to Angela and gave her an apologetic smile. She seemed a bit concerned, but Angela just flashed a smile to the little girl.

"You don't want a little baby around to play with? You'll practically be cousins. You will get to be the big girl." Angela replied.

"I don't know what that means."

"Well, if I have a baby, I'm going to need the help of a big girl… not a baby…"

"Angela, I don't think that Antonia will be capable of…" Temperance began to protest as Booth gave her hand a gentle squeeze as Antonia watched her friend across the table, and Brennan paused.

"You think I'm a big girl?" She asked Angela incredulously, her dark eyes wide with surprise as she smiled.

"I do…" Angela said, watching Antonia think things through as she watched her. "And I think you would be the best helper ever."

"Mmm…" Antonia said, obvious that she was thinking through what Angela had said. "Maybe." She shrugged, still unsure of this new arrangement. "You can have a baby if I can be a big girl."

"Sounds like a plan." Angela said happily as she watched the little girl eye her mother for a moment.

"Mama, you should have a baby too." Antonia said to her mother, watching Temperance's eyes meet hers as everyone watched her for her reaction.

"Why don't we get some pie?" Booth interrupted, noticing the look of relief that crossed Temperance's face. "First pie… then we'll get into the complicated stuff." He said as he turned the little girl around in his arms and lifted her above his head, she let out a squeal of happiness. "How does that sound, my little princess?" He asked as she kicked her legs in the air as everyone at the table laughed. "How does that sound?"

"Big girl, Daddy! I am a big girl!" She exclaimed with a giggle as he scooped her back onto his lap and grasped Temperance's hand tightly, as they started with pie, with the promise to deal with the complicated stuff later.

-The end-

Alright readers... I know how traumatic it was to read those two words at the end of this update, but never fear... the story of Booth/Bones/Antonia is not over. Following the Memorial Day weekend holiday, I will begin the third of this series... The title is "Shades of Grace" ... Please stay tuned and comment! I need to know you all are still out there! :)