Disclaimer: I don't own Bones

Another of my what if stories, stemming from my overactive imagination and love for the show. At the end of season 7, Brennan went on the run as a fugitive with Christine. What if Booth went along too?

The decision was made shortly before they left for the church where Christine would be baptised. The fact that the evidence was overwhelmingly against Brennan, plus the impending arrest warrant made the realisation that she would be arrested soon force their hand. Nobody else would be in the know, only the family of three and Max. The seasoned conman's years of experience at evading the law would come in handy at this time.

Caroline had bought them the time they needed. Providing the judge with the wrong address on the warrant gave Booth and Brennan a small semblance of normalcy before their lives were to be turned upside down.

Booth didn't like the initial plan but he knew he had to go along with it. He knew he had no choice but to trust Max. Although it had all been planned, it was still painful to watch Brennan drive off with their baby girl. He couldn't help the feeling of unease as she drove off, knowing that he could no longer be there to protect them. He knew their separation was necessary to throw suspicion off himself.

As Booth sat in their now empty house, an hour after getting home from Christine's baptism, his anger at Pelant grew. He swore he would one day make the serial killer pay for what he did to them. No matter what, he would never allow Pelant to tear them apart, hence the plan to join Brennan when the time was right. For now, he had no choice but to trust that Max would be able to keep them from the law and Pelant. The ringing of the doorbell jarred him out of his thoughts. Time to put on a good show. Booth put his poker face on, for once grateful for his past years of addiction to gambling.

Answering the door, Booth wasn't surprised to find Special Agent Hayes Flynn standing there, a situation similar to that from earlier in the morning.

"Got the right address this time Seeley," Flynn thrust the warrant into Booth's chest. "Where is she?"

"She isn't here."

"C'mon man."

"She isn't here." Booth opened the door wider, stepping back to allow Flynn in. "You're free to search the house. Oh and Pelant was here just now while we were out. I saw him on my security tapes."

Flynn shook his head, pushing past Booth. Booth sighed, hoping Flynn wouldn't make too much of a mess of his house. Flynn and he had been good friends, even went to Quantico together. They had worked numerous cases together and risen the ranks in the FBI, both excellent agents. But now circumstances had pit them against each other. He knew Flynn was just doing his job, he knew he would have done the same if their roles were reversed.

Flynn searched the house before returning to Booth who was waiting in the family room. "Dr Brennan isn't here."

"Told you."

"Well where the hell is she?"

"I don't know." The truth.

Flynn sighed. "Don't make this any more difficult than it already is."

"Difficult? Do you have any idea how hard this is for me?" Again heartfelt words. Max's plans had ensured that Booth did not know much at all. The less he knew about where Brennan and Christine were headed, the better.

"All right you're coming with me."

Booth knew this had to be done. "Fine."

An hour later, sitting in the interrogation room of the Hoover Building, Booth crossed his arms defiantly over his chest, starring Flynn in the eyes.

"So let me get this straight, you knew there was a warrant out for Dr Brennan's arrest and you guys just went ahead with your daughter's baptism?"

"Bones didn't want Pelant to interfere with our lives."

"And you let her just take off with your daughter like that?"

"I didn't just let her. Look, like I already told you before, I had no idea she was gonna run." This time it was a flat out lie.

Flynn looked sceptical.

"You checked my phone and you've searched my house. I had no idea. Did you review the security tapes?"

"Pelant wasn't there."

"I wasn't hallucinating all right? I saw him, in my house!"

"Our tech guys checked the tapes."

Booth banged his fists onto the interrogation room table in frustration. "It's Pelant's thing. This cyber crap. He knows how to cover his tracks. He must've written some code to make the images disappear once I viewed them."


"How the hell would I know?! If I knew how, there wouldn't have been a warrant out for Bones' arrest! If I knew how, you'd be out there hunting down Pelant instead of Bones for the murder of Ethan Sawyer!"

"And you really don't know where she is?"

"I swear Flynn I don't." Booth sighed defeatedly, a stark contrast from his outburst seconds before. "You wanna arrest me, go ahead but it's not gonna help you find Bones."

"I'm not gonna arrest you Seeley. But you know you have to be suspended."

"I know." Booth held up his hands, palms up in surrender. "Can I go now?"

"Yeah but stay close, I might need to talk to you again. Dr Brennan will try to contact you soon."

Booth placed his hands on the table, pushing himself up off his seat. "She won't."

As Booth got home to an empty house that night a sudden pang of loneliness overcame him. Christine's toys were still strewn over the floor but her happy gurgles no longer filled the house. He made his way to the bathroom, turning on the shower, hoping to wash away his reality that had been so drastically altered by Pelant.

As he got ready for bed he peeked outside his bedroom window. There was an unmarked car parked down the street. Flynn was predictable. He was, as expected under surveillance. He climbed into bed, Brennan's place beside him now empty. He sent a prayer heavenward, praying for the safety of the woman he loved and their daughter.

Miles away, in a stolen car, Brennan pressed on. The hour was late and she was tired but she knew she had to push herself. She had remembered her father's instructions and knew she had to keep going. The more distance she put between herself and home, the better. The knowledge of that fact provided her with the motivation to keep going, stopping only to feed a cranky Christine and change dirty diapers. Fuelled by the knowledge that she could not afford to get arrested and that Booth would eventually join them, she pressed her foot harder on the gas pedal, yet careful not to exceed the speed limit. The last thing she needed was to get pulled over for speeding. This is for the best, a mantra she repeated to herself in her head.

She had kept to the small roads as far as possible, roads less travelled, literally. She had been driving for hours and her eyelids had started to grow heavy. Finally her destination was in sight. She pulled up to the small non-descript building. Trust Max to know where to find a motel out in the woods, so remote, Brennan questioned the owner's sanity to run a business there. Who would think to spend a night out here? People like her, she surmised. People who simply wanted to vanish.

She removed the car seat that sleeping Christine was in, and slung the diaper bag over her shoulder. Knowing that they were going to run right after Christine's baptism, she had packed sufficient diapers, clothes and baby food to last them a day or two. Afterall, Max had assured her that he would obtain more supplies. Brennan looked around. The motel had only a few rooms and it seemed to be that hers was the only car there.

She found the room number her father had told her to go to. Cautiously she knocked on the door, and after a few anxious moments, the door opened.

"Dad." Brennan sighed in relief.

"Come in Honey."

Max took the diaper bag from Brennan as they entered.

"Anyone followed you?"

"I don't think so. I checked frequently like you told me to."

"Good. We should be safe here for a day or two. I've got baby food, and there's a play pen Christine can sleep and play in when she's awake."

"How did you get here before us? And how did you arrange all this?"

"I had been preparing, even before you and Booth agreed to go along with my plan."

Brennan nodded, suddenly feeling exhausted.

"Here, let me put Christine to bed. You should rest while you can. You've been on the road for a long time."

"When would Booth get here?"

Max shook his head. "Not yet. Not here. The FBI would be watching him now. Be patient. When the time is right, he'll join us."

"I hate that we're separated like this. Christine shouldn't be away from her father."

"It's for the best. For now."

Like it was for the best when you left Russ and me? Brennan wanted to vocalise the retort in her head, but she bit her tongue. She was too tired to argue. For now, she would take Max's advice. She knew her body needed rest for her mind to be clear. She was a fugitive on the run now, from the law and also from Pelant. Her brain had reminded her of that fact repeatedly throughout the day. As she got ready for bed, she repeated the words in her head, as if repeating them would make them true. This is for the best.

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