TITLE: In Her Arms
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a companion piece to both "What Hodgins Saw" and "In His Arms." This story is in Booth's POV, and is the final vignette in the series.

I have to find her. I have to save her. It's got nothing to do with my hero complex that my ex, Tessa, used to insist that I had. It's got nothing to do with the fact that it's my fault I handed her to Kenton and should have kept my eye on her. It doesn't even have anything to do with the fact that I needed a reason to get the hell out of that hospital bed.

I have to find her because I love her. I'm in love with her, and I have no idea what I would do without her.

I'm pretty sure Hodgins can tell, but I don't dare say anything. Who knows who he'd shoot his mouth off to. He'd probably speed-dial one of the squints immediately, Angela most likely. But I can tell in the way he keeps looking at me in this damned toy car of his. It takes every ounce of me to not yell at him to keep his eyes on the road. Who knows how quickly this car will crumple like a piece of paper. After what feels like years, we reach the warehouse and I -- very carefully -- jump out. The other agents give me flack for wanting to go inside, but they don't understand. They never would.

I insist that I go inside, and they get me a Kevlar vest. Unfortunately I'm in way too much pain to pull it on. So what do I do? Something I never thought I would do while I was alive. I toss the vest to Jack Hodgins and tell him he's coming in with me. He's about as eager as a thirteen-year-old girl at a boy band concert, and puts it on at lightning speed. We're inside in seconds and my gun (well, one of the other agents' guns) is drawn. I make Hodgins stay behind me, and I'm not afraid to threaten him with a bullet to the shoulder if he doesn't listen.

But surprisingly, he stays back, he stays alert, and follows me through the warehouse. My heart almost stops as I look down and find Bones' keys -- the ones she'd shown me yesterday before we went to her place -- and I nudge them with my foot to get Hodgins' attention. Knowing that I can't bend down, he leans down to pick them up and hangs on to them, staring down at them and then giving me a slight nod as if confirming -- those really are Bones' keys. Now I really rush, and before I know it, she's in sight -- and so is that bastard Kenton, who's raising his gun at her head.

Without thinking, I shoot and he falls back. I could really give a shit if he's dead or alive. All I can see is Bones -- Temperance -- 'my girl.' I run over to her and take that gag out of her mouth. My God, her eyes. I could drown in those eyes... and, according to those blue eyes, she's just as happy to see me. I never thought I'd see that look in her eyes.

I try to unhook her hands, which are bound with white rope, but I can't. My ribs are killing me, and frankly so are my arms. So, somewhat selfishly, I stick my head between her forearms and wrap my arms around her, lifting her up and unhooking her. I hold tight for what I assume will only be a split-second, but surprisingly, she doesn't remove her arms from me.

She collapses against me, and actually lets me hold her.

God, I can die happy now. I'm holding Temperance Brennan. I'm holding my life in my arms. "How did you get out of the hospital?" I hear her ask, and she pulls away.

Aand, there's the pain in my ribs again. It almost went away when I was holding her. "Hodgins gave me a ride," I explain, and I really hope she won't ream me for checking myself out early. Doesn't she understand that I had to save her life? That I love her? "But maybe you can give me a ride back there?"

I'm in for another surprise as she laughs, really and truly for the first time, and it's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. I close my eyes and lean my head against her collarbone, and then I'm in her arms again.

In her arms. Finally. I hold on tight and hope she'll understand when I tell her I'm never letting go again.