Hello. *Hangs head in shame*

Yes, I know, it's been over 3 months. Life has a funny way of getting in the way. It's been a busy time for my family and I - mostly good with work, holidays and gigs, sometimes a little scary (my husband had a DVT a couple of weeks ago, found very early - but having had a full-blown embolism 10 years ago the doctors have been keeping him under close observation.) Unfortunately my muse didn't play ball after the last painfully slow chapter and it's taken me several attempts to get up what will be the last chapter.

I'd like to thank everyone who's read, favourited, followed and reviewed throughout this story. It really does make a difference to many of the writers when you do that. It's heartening to see one's story hit 40,000 views!

So, this last chapter. I've left it pretty open but closed off the catharsis I needed, which was for Sweets to finally apologise for being such a dick. I'm like a dog with a bone with certain things so this has helped me move on and love Sweets a little more on the actual show. I will also give myself a shameless plug for my (very soft) M one-shot called "In the Darkness" which is an early season 7 piece and follows on nicely from this.

I am very excited about season 9. I've been following the spoilers (though to stress, none right here) and it sounds like we have some fabulous episodes coming up!

Finally, now this is finally completed, I do have some one-shots coming up. I have a plan, but I need to be able to write some stuff that doesn't require som much continuity. It's unfair to anyone who has been reading my stories to make you wait so long (I know what I'm like with the ones I like) so this will hopefully keep me writing Bones FF in a way that it doesn't become a chore. Watch this space!

A Miles Davis CD played quietly in the background of Brennan's living room and the lights were dimmed. Two empty plates previously held vegetarian lasagne, but now just the remnants of a well-eaten meal and two wine glasses remained, one with the last drops of a strong Californian Merlot and the other, grape juice. A few inches away Booth and Brennan were busily doing nothing, bodies wedged into the sofa as the pair of sparkling blue eyes grinned at the chocolate brown eyes smiling so lovingly back down at them, their eyes locked to each other. Booth stroked her hair with his left hand as Brennan caressed his nape of his neck for a while before moving her hand to his cheek, enjoying the feel of his 9pm shadow against her fingertips, as Booth's right arm propped him up so not to entirely squash her and their precious cargo.

"You look so happy... and relaxed. What are you thinking about?" Booth asked as he ran his fingers gently through her hair.

"Nothing really. Just enjoying this." She slowed her cheek-stroking movements a little and considered him carefully. "The interns were amusing today, they didn't know what to say to me. I think they were disappointed you weren't with me and we didn't give them some sort of pornographic show as we entered the lab. " They both chuckled.

"Well, they will continue to be disappointed because I am not sharing your delicious body with anyone."

"Delicious, huh?"

"Yeah. Like strawberries and cream..." at which point Booth gave Brennan a penetrating gaze and she moaned gently as he put his mouth to hers, keen to deepen their connection further, just making out with no specific goal other than a higher level of general intimacy between them, until he was aware that parts of his own body had definitely not got the memo and had regressed to horny teenager mode.

Brennan absorbed the overwhelming feelings washing over her again. She could get very used to this set of endorphins currently rushing through her body. It was not hard at all. Unlike a part of him she was going to have to act on pretty soon, which appeared to be defeating Booth's own brief. Brennan briefly pulled away and gave him a very dirty smile, but then then curiosity got the better of her and as they came close to kiss again and her hands just began to creep over his body, she stopped at his chest and mumbled:

"Did you see Sweets?"

"Nope." He leaned in, gently nuzzling his nose against hers, feeling her muscles curve upwards before gently kissing his lips again. Booth whispered against her mouth. "He's gone to ground. I think we really freaked him out." Brennan pulled back slightly and her mouth straightened.

"Do you think we should do anything?"

This time Booth's voice was a little firmer.

"Absolutely not. Let him stew. Two weeks he left you grief-stricken and I never really realised at the time how damaging that was, and then there was the subsequent "advice" he gave me. Just for a little while, he can feel uncomfortable. Besides, the rate this news is travelling, he'll find out within the next twelve hours. If the other interns know, then Daisy knows, which means the entire metropolitan DC area will know by the end of the week." Booth's voice lowered. "Now c'mon Bones, don't spoil the mood." He cracked a smile and brought his lips to hers again to give Brennan a kiss that brought on total Sweets-related amnesia.

Sure enough, it only took Sweets a few hours to find out about his favourite clients. With the steely determination that in another life would have made Daisy Wick a formidable Canadian Mountie, she tracked down her man to tell him the good news.

"Lance! I am so glad I finally found you. Did you hear?"

"Hear what?"

"About Agent Booth and Doctor Brennan!" Daisy bounced about excitedly. As she relayed the biggest news story of the year, Sweets face showed a range of emotions:




Utterly deflated...

...as he realised what had gone down a couple of days previously. But why...? He was their friend. Why would they do this to him?

Brennan sat in her publicist's office, starting at the press release in front of her, to be issued as soon as Brennan had confirmed their twelve week scan had gone as expected and there were no complications. It was short and to the point but, as the overexcited publicist, Marsha, told her gleefully:

"This is dynamite! This is going to sell you a LOT of extra books, Temperance. The speculation around Andy and Kathy being a fictionalised version of yourself and Agent Booth- " ...but Brennan was quick to interject, slightly irritably:

"- They are not a fictionalised account. The characters are just similar."

The publicist smiled wryly before wandering over to the coffee machine to give her client a moment to herself.

"Of course they are..." Marsha uttered under her breath.

************************************************** ********
For Immediate Release:

Dr Temperance Brennan, author of the very successful series of Kathy Reichs novels, is very pleased to announce that she and her partner, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, are expecting their first child in the New Year.

All enquires via Dr Brennan's press office at Lancaster Books.

************************************************** ********

Well, that's pretty public... Brennan sighed to herself. Then she smiled. It wasn't so terrible and she could just brace herself for the likely initial rush of interest from the publishing community and her fans before the excitement died down again.

"So Temperance, what do you think?" Marsha grinned at her client as she returned with two cups, one containing Brennan's herbal tea and another with a steaming cup of black coffee.

"It's fine, thank you Marsha."

"There may be a need for a follow-up press conference. We'll have to keep a check on press interest over the next couple of months, but you may want to consider it to avoid any gossip inches."

Resignedly, Brennan sighed again.

"So, how was your visit to the publicist, Bones?" As Brennan down sat in the diner in their usual spot. Booth stirred his coffee slowly, glancing up to watch her as Brennan settled in her seat.

"I believe it went well. Marsha has prepared an appropriate press release. Although, once again she is convinced that you are Andy and I am Kathy."

"Can't hide the truth, Bones." Booth gave Brennan a thousand-watt grin and winked. Brennan rolled her eyes.

"Any new cases?" she said, trying to change the subject.

"Nope. Just some paperwork to finish up on the last one. Hacker wants additional witness statements. You know, I really like Marsha." Booth's mischievous grin reappeared. "I wonder if she'd like any publicity photos of the two of us dressed up as Andy and Kathy..."

"Booth..." Brennan gave him a warning stare. He pouted at her and they both broke into fits of giggles, only to stop suddenly as a perturbed Lance Sweets loomed over their table.

"Agent Booth? Doctor Brennan?"

"That's Special Agent Booth, thank you."

"Well I don't think you're very 'special' right now. Or you..." Sweets looked over at Brennan, who looked back a little guiltily at him.

"Oh really?" snorted Booth, dismissive in his retort.

"Yeah. What kind of friends are you? You're together, you're having a baby and I'm the last to know - congratulations by the way." Sweets broke off earnestly for a moment before reassuming his sterner demeanour. "After all the time we've spent together? And then you lied to me!" He looked thoroughly irritated.

Booth looked up at Sweets.

"Well, next time you remember give one of the two most important people in my life the details that I'm NOT dead as opposed to carrying out 'a small experiment' on her, leaving her devastated, and then don't tell me I'm not really in love with the woman I'm really in love with and lose us eighteen months of potential happiness together - then I'll think about sharing our good news with you a little quicker."

"Oh." An awkward pause. "That."

"Yes Sweets, that."

"But I apologised - for Dr Brennan."

"Yeah, but that was only because you didn't want to get your butt kicked."

"But the scans - I told you in good faith! I was trying to help!"

"But you were WRONG Sweets. We were already in love. We just didn't know it yet."

"Psychology is a soft science..." Brennan said flatly. "Plenty of room for incorrect hypotheses."

"Okay, okay. I've learned my lesson. I'm sorry, okay? Genuinely sorry! I meant no malice."

Booth and Brennan shared a glance.

"So what do you think Bones, should we let him sit?"

"Hmmmm. I don't know Booth."

"I won't get in your way again!" Sweets interjected, sounding almost desperate.

Booth smiled at Brennan who nodded back at her partner, and Booth finally ushered him to sit down.

"I think you've learned your lesson..."

...And with that, the threesome sat down and discussed the case of the day.

And *that*, ladies and gentlemen, is that.

Constructive reviews are welcomed and appreciated. Thank you in advance, grc73.