The Beginning of the End


Cleveland, Ohio USA

December 18th 2010

18 months later…

Connor sat on a hard plastic chair that lined the length of the hospital's white hallway. It was empty except for himself and Parker, who was sitting on the seat next to him swinging his legs in the air. The door at the other end of the hallway swung open and his friends and family headed towards him.

"Uncle Jared!" Parker yelled excitedly, jumping of the chair and running towards him. Jared smiled and bent down to give the boy a hug. Connor smiled, he had met the other man a few times and they got along well. Jared didn't know he was Booth's son though, he just thought he was Buffy's brother in law, and that was how it was going to stay.

"Any word?" Giles asked Connor nervously as he sat down in the chair next to him.

Connor shook his head. "Not yet," he said with a sigh.

"Do you think everything is ok?" asked Willow nervously.

"Its fine, Willow, stop worrying," Faith tried to reassure the redhead. "If it wasn't, someone would have told us by now."

Dawn sat down on his other side and wrapped her arms around him, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "You okay?" she whispered quietly.

He nodded. "Yeah, I'm ok," he muttered, keeping his voice low. "I just hate waiting."

Faith snorted in amusement, her Slayer hearing letting her in on their private conversation. Connor and Dawn both looked up at her as she crossed her arms. "This is nothing," she said with a shrug, "I was in labour for 20 hours."

Dawn's face whitened in shock. "20 hours?" she breathed out in disbelief. Faith nodded.

"Wow," Dawn muttered slowly. Knowing what she was thinking, Connor took her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. Dawn looked at her husband and smiled gratefully.

Faith raised an eyebrow and opened her mouth to comment when the sound of running footsteps distracted her. Everyone turned and watched as Bones raced quickly down the hall, her suitcase in one hand a blue teddy bear in the other.

"I boarded the first flight, am I late. How is Buffy doing?" she asked in a rush, stopping next to Willow and taking a deep breath, pushing her long hair out of her face.

"We don't know yet," Willow said as the others all greeted the anthropologist.

Bones smiled, "Sorry, hello everyone!"

"How ya doing Temperance," Jared asked, giving her a quick hug.

"I'm fine, I came straight from the lab, we just found a body in a dump truck, and it was all-"she cut herself off as everyone stared at her with various looks of disgust and horror.

At that moment the double doors on the other side of the hallway opened and a female patient on a hospital bed was wheeled out by two porters and taken down the hall.

A nurse followed them out and when she saw them standing around waiting she came over with a smile. "Are you here to see Buffy?" she asked.

They all nodded. The nurse looked around at all the expectant faces. "Mom and baby are doing fine, I'll ask if only family can go in first, please."

Connor got up, and took Parker's hand as Dawn and Jared both headed towards the nurse as well. The others held back. The balloon in Willow's hand bobbed against his head as he walked past.

The four of them followed the nurse through the double doors and down the hall of the maternity wing. The nurse showed them the right room and left them to talk in private as she headed towards the nurses station. Connor cleared his throat and walked into the room. "Hello?" he called as he slowly pulled back the screen.

Buffy was sitting up in bed, Booth on the seat next to her, the baby in his arms. They had been talking quietly and turned their heads around as Connor and the others walked into the room. Both of them smiled.

Dawn squeaked in happiness and rushed past Connor, going straight to Buffy and throwing her arms around her sister. Buffy laughed as she returned the hug.

"How are you?" Dawn asked as she sat down on the edge of the bed.

Buffy managed a smile. "Tired and a bit sore," she admitted, "but the pain killers are nice." Booth smiled and leaned forward, kissing her cheek. The baby in his arms stirred and gave a small whimper of displeasure. Booth looked down and adjusted the small bundle into a more comfortable position. Parker walked around the bed and rested his hands on Booth's arm, looking down at the little baby is awe.

"Say 'hi' to your little sister Parker," Booth said quietly. Parker smiled and mouthed 'Hi' in a voice so soft that Booth didn't even hear him.

"What's her name?" Dawn asked.

"Ava Joyce Booth," Buffy said. She looked at Jared who was standing at the end of her bed. "After my mom."

Jared nodded. "It's a nice name," he said with a grin. "I think it suit's her."

Dawn wiped at her eyes, "She would have liked that." Dawn said when she got her emotions back under control. She turned her head and looked down at Booth in the chair. "Can I hold her?" she asked. Booth smiled and nodded and slowly got up out of the chair. He walked round the bed and carefully handed Dawn the baby.

Dawn held her breath and kept still as Booth put Ava in her arms. The baby didn't even open her eye's just screwed her nose up a little and moved her hands around. Dawn smiled as she whispered in awe, "She's beautiful."

Booth sat back down and Parker crawled into his lap, giving Booth a hug before settling down onto the chair next to him.

"How does it feel to be a father again, Booth?" Jared asked.

Booth quickly glanced at Connor before he smiled and looked down at Parker. "Feel's great," he said.

They fell silent, watching the baby for a moment until Booth asked Jared what had been happening back in DC and the two brothers started chatting quietly. Connor sat down in the remaining chair and joined in the conversation.

A little while later Ava started getting restless; Dawn handed the baby back, and stood up. "Well I guess we better go and let the others come say 'hi'. I'll come round tomorrow," she said kissing Buffy's cheek and walking out the door. The others said goodbye and Jared helped Parker off the chair.

Buffy and Booth had a few blessed moments of silence before the rest of the gang walked in bearing gifts. They talked and laughed as Lorne, Willow and Faith gushed over the baby, Giles retained his normal dignified manner and Spike pretended that he wasn't as awed as the others. Bones smiled at the little baby and even got to hold her, staring down at the tiny human with fascination. Eventually they left as well and Booth and Buffy were left alone with Ava Joyce.

Buffy fed the baby then laid her down in her cot. She smiled and beckoned to Booth. He laughed and got up off the chair, sitting down on the bed and leaned down to kiss her. They kissed slowly before pulling away and Buffy leaned back against the pillows as Booth wrapped his arms around her and lay down beside her on the bed.

He smiled and glanced over at the sleeping baby. Buffy leaned her head against his and smiled.

"Buffy," Booth began quietly.


"I love you,"

"I love you too, Booth."

The End

A/N: Thank you to everyone who has followed, read and reviewed this story over the past couple of years it's taken me to finish this story. I hope you've all enjoyed it. This is the last time you have a chance to review!

Thanks everyone,