Disclaimer: Bones and all its lovely characters belong to someone else
What's this one about: I guess this is another extra scene for an episode... Hmm... there may be a pattern forming here... Anyway, I thought poor Booth really needed to know that someone was there for him after Man in the SUV.
Special Agent Seeley Booth's hands gripped the steering wheel tightly as he swung his car onto his driveway. He switched off the engine and watched as the headlights slowly dimmed and the front of his house became a mass of shadows. He could see a faint light through the front window, he guessed it was coming from the kitchen. He tried to picture Tessa in his kitchen, taking pans off the heat and mixing up the 'divine' sauce she had discovered while on holiday in Kyoto while at Law School. But the image wouldn't stick, her face in his head was fuzzy and indistinct. Other starker images intruded.
He screwed his eyes shut and tried to blank out the memories of the afternoon, but his mind wasn't co-operating. Eyes open or eyes closed, it was like a stop-frame nightmare replaying before him.
The moment of realisation in Farid's home as he and Temperance had worked out just who had murdered Hamid and the stomach churning horror when it became clear that there was another bomb, and one intended for Farid's real target.
Next it was an image of running through the Convention Centre full of glass and light with Temperance at his side - knowing it would be almost impossible to find their man. Knowing that all the people around him, people who were there to talk about peace, were about to be exposed to a hideous and deadly chemical bomb. He recalled feeling a spurt of fury that Temperance was there, at his side and at risk. He could vividly picture her red gold hair and every curve of her features as she'd asked him if calling Hamid 'a target' made it easier.
Then it was a jerky set of images - that seemed to run in slow motion and yet be over in a flash: a man below with a dragging walk and a heavy, heavy bag; Temperance's conviction that this was their man; his indecision - knowing that if she were wrong an innocent man would die, but if she was right and he missed then many, many more lives were at risk; then Temperance's shout, Farid's instinctive look upwards, the almost imperceptible movement toward the bag, the bomb trigger.
And then a body lying on the floor below, a neat hole right between the eyes. A hole he knew he had put there. There was Gibson's waved acknowledgement, 'you got our guy'. Then all he could see were shiny, white tiles of the floor as he leant on the handrail for support, head dropped down. Aware only that he'd killed someone, again, that he had averted a much larger disaster didn't register until he'd felt Temperance's gentle hand on his shoulder and allowed her to steer him away.
He leant back into the head-rest of the seat and started to pull his belongings together. His coat, piles of paperwork, a laptop, his FBI pager and phone. The initial debrief on the case was done, but his report to Santana and Gibson was a blur. He knew he'd spent the next couple of days writing all that had happened up in full. Recalling every moment, every detail.
Now all he wanted was to get away, have a shower, eat and relax. He didn't want company. As he opened the car door and walked towards the house, he ignored the voice in his head that told him that wasn't true, not really. He didn't want Tessa's company this evening, but he would have been happy to stay at the bar with... He stopped that line of thinking dead. He was home, everyone was safe, he was going to have a nice meal with his girlfriend and any other confusion could wait until he was ready to deal with it.
His front door was locked. He gritted his teeth in irritation as he juggled his belongings and dug out the key. Every time she came over, Tessa would lock the door. Why couldn't she just latch it? As he asked her to, every time. It was a quiet neighbourhood, it was unlikely that anyone would just push the door and walk in. He cursed as the papers toppled out of his grip. He dumped the rest of his stuff on the doorstep and gathered up the files. He unlocked the door and dumped the files on the small table, stepping over his mail. Again he felt a surge of annoyance as he swept the envelopes up - bill, junk, junk, unidentified. He chucked them on top of his files; they could wait. He grabbed his coat and laptop from where they lay and closed the door behind him.
He could hear some music on quietly in the distance and a welcoming smell of food. As he pushed the inner door into his hallway he spotted Tessa's expensive wool coat and her high heels.
"Hi Tessa, honey. I'm home," Booth called as he walked into the living room. No-one in that room, he shrugged, and guessed that she was in the kitchen. Sure enough, she stood in front of the oven, hands on hips staring pointedly at her watch.
"You're late," Tessa said, her frown putting lines into her usually perfect skin.
"I know, I'm sorry. I did ask the office to call and leave a message," Booth said as he walked towards her, moving to kiss her.
Tessa turned her head away irritably and his lips barely brushed her cheek.
"I got the call, but don't you think I'm busy too? Don't you think I had important things on today? I still got out of the office on time - despite having a $16 million dollar liability case to complete," Tessa took a sharp intake of breath as Booth turned away and walked towards the stairs, "where are you going now?"
"I need a shower," he answered as he draped the coat over the chair.
"But Seeley, the food's ready!" Tessa hated the whine she could hear in her voice, but she couldn't help it. She felt that they were starting to drift apart; there was always something else on his mind. She knew he'd had a heavy caseload lately, but somehow she knew that it wasn't the work itself that was causing his abstraction. "Damn it Seeley, this evening was supposed to be special. We're supposed to sit down together and share a nice meal and some quality time."
Booth turned to her, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm late. I'm sorry that I've spoiled the evening you had planned, but I've had a hell of a day and I need to have a shower. I'll be back down in ten." He could see her eyes were still flinty and she looked ready to argue, "Look - haven't you seen the news today?"
Tessa shook her head and shrugged, "I told you I was busy today. Meetings all day." She felt uncomfortable under his intense regard.
"Okay, well turn it on. You'll see where I've been." He turned and wearily made his way up the stairs.
Tessa's pretty face screwed up into a glare and then she grabbed the remote, the TV in the corner switched on and she jabbed the number of a news channel.
She was sitting cradling the remote, staring at the screen when he came back down, his dark hair damp from the shower. The report was showing Farid's body bundled up into a body bag. The bullet wound was visible as was the dark stain on the floor tiles.
Tessa jumped as the last step creaked and stood up, turning towards him.
"It's okay honey. I'm fine, everyone's safe." Booth moved to put his arms around her, but was surprised to see a flash of fear in her eyes. He stepped back, his arms hanging loosely by his sides, his expression questioning.
"That was you, wasn't it? Who shot him?" Tessa's query was really a statement.
Booth nodded slightly and stated quietly, "we got lucky."
Tessa swallowed and walked into the kitchen and started serving up their meal.
They ate in silence.
Tessa's mind churned over the TV report and tried to square the events it reported with the man sat next to her. She knew that his actions had saved many lives. She could see that today's bloody finale was the result of painstaking detective work over the last few days. But she couldn't understand how he could just come home after all that. In her heart she could see the pain and uncertainty that flickered in his eyes. She knew he felt conflicted, but she didn't know how to offer comfort or what to say. She felt a surge of frustration at the barrier his work created for them, but looked away quickly as Seeley looked towards her and sought understanding.
Booth hardly tasted the food, he was conscious only of the silence and Tessa's inability to offer any comfort. He looked away towards the window, the tension around his eyes lessening slightly as he remembered Temperance taking his hand at the bar as she said "You saved so many people, Booth. Don't forget that." Her eyes had held only warmth and compassion, his grip on the wine glass tightened as he saw the incomprehension in Tessa's eyes.
They didn't linger when he meal was over and made their way to bed. Booth tried once to touch Tessa's arm, but he could feel the involuntary flinch. So they both lay rigid, unable to sleep, afraid to move. Eventually Booth realised that Tessa's breathing had slowed to a regular rhythm. He eased the covers off and made his way downstairs. The cool night air bringing up goosebumps on his bare chest.
The kitchen clock read 2:30, he knew he wouldn't sleep for hours yet. Adrenalin and being treated like he was a dangerous man would make sure of that. He grabbed a carton of milk from the fridge and then leaned his forehead against the cool surface with a sigh.
Well, Tessa was going to have to learn to deal - law enforcement was his job,he thought as he slumped onto a chair, maybe they'd be better with some time apart? Booth rubbed the back of his neck with his right hand as he swigged from the carton. He couldn't deal with this now - there were other things to factor in anyway.
He pulled open the fridge again and slammed the carton away. As he turned, his eyes caught on his mobile and the flashing message symbol. He flipped the phone open and listened to the message. He hand tightening on the phone as he recognised the voice.
"Hi Seeley. Just leaving the museum now. Hey, I know it's 1:15am, but hey you know I have no life! I've identified my solider - one William Donahue."
Booth could feel the tension draining from him as he listened and walked towards his sofa, "anyway, you're probably wondering why I'm calling. Well... er.."
A ghost of smile played across his lips as he imagined his forthright Temperance unsure of what to say, "I just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you. You looked so lost this evening at the bar, but you did the right thing, you hear. I know it wasn't easy, but it was right."
Seeley pulled the throw that covered the sofa over him and settled down. "Just call okay, if you need anything. Bye." His eyes closed as he heard the hurried goodbye, a sense of peace washing through him. He imagined Temperance's blush as she ended the call and felt unbelievably touched that she had bothered. It was that blushing image he held in his mind as sleep unexpectedly overtook him, holding his phone tight over his heart.
(Fade to darkness and close.)