Well here it is: the final part of the story. Thanks for sticking with me, and thanks for all the reviews!
No-one's offered to give me Bones or Booth yet, so I still don't own them and still don't make any money from this.
Booth was tired. No, scrap that; he was exhausted. Nearly a week living rough, recovering from injuries, in fear of his life; no wonder he could hardly keep his eyes open.
He was vaguely aware that Bones was driving him home. At some point in the journey he realised that she meant her own home, but he made no comment.
When they pulled up outside her house, he looked at her without speaking.
She shrugged. "You said all agents were to be extra careful," she reminded him. "It seemed a bad idea to take you back to your place. After all, we know you're on his hit list. You can get some sleep at my place, then you'll be ready to go and help find him in the morning."
He nodded, too tired to put up any protest; and he couldn't see the point in arguing anyway. What she had said was right. It would be unwise to go back to his own place, with Paul Henderson on the loose. He groped for the door handle, swung the door open, and climbed out, staggering slightly. He closed the door gently and followed Bones up her front path. He stood gazing absently into the bushes as she fumbled for the right key. Was it only around twenty-four hours ago that he had waited there for her to return?
He did not realise she had opened the door until he heard her speak – and then he came wide awake, as if someone had thrown a bucket of ice-cold water over him.
"How did you get in here, and why are you pointing a gun at me?" she demanded, in an over-loud voice.
Bones was standing looking at an angle across the room. Booth could see no sign of the intruder, and realised that the intruder could not see him either; probably did not even know he was there. He pulled the edge of the door back towards him with one hand, while reaching for his gun with the other.
"Dr Brennan." Booth recognised that voice. It was Paul Henderson, the man who had held him at gunpoint in the warehouse, a week ago. But why the hell was he here?
"And you are?" Booth gave a wry smile at the calmness in Bones' voice.
"...going to kill you," the voice finished smoothly. Booth peered carefully round the edge of the door. Bones was still standing with her back mostly to the door, and he could still see no sign of the gunman.
"Oh come on, you can't just kill me like that," Brennan scoffed, and Booth watched as she moved gingerly forward a little and shifted her angle of sight. What the hell was she playing at?
"I assure you, I can," the gunman answered.
"No, I mean, you have to tell me why first," Bones assured him. "It's the way things are done, isn't it? You can kill me, yes, but where's the satisfaction in that? Shouldn't I know exactly why I should be killed first?"
Booth frowned. He still could not see the intruder from his position, and while they were still talking he was reluctant to blow his cover. But Bones was playing a dangerous game. She was moving again, and he realised what she was doing. He could work out where Henderson was standing from the way she was facing; she was trying to make him shift position so that he was no longer facing towards the door.
"You're number one on my list, Dr Brennan," Henderson explained. "You're the one person who can bring me down."
Booth could hear the puzzlement in Bones' voice. "How do you figure that out?"
"Those bodies in your lab. From New York. Once you've figured out who killed them, I'm in serious trouble."
Booth heard Bones laugh. "You killed two FBI agents and tried to kill two others, and you're worried about me tying you in to those bodies from New York?"
"Shut up!" Henderson seemed slightly thrown by Bones' reaction. "My men killed those agents, not me."
Booth remembered Angela telling them that Paul was a little crazy. No kidding there then! And he had Bones at gunpoint. Booth tightened the grip on his gun, watching Bones closely through the gap in the door. By the way she was standing now, the gunman must have shifted position to face her. He carefully eased the door further open and moved inside.
Now he could just about see Henderson. He watched as the man lowered his gun slightly, as if unsure of himself. Then the gun came up again and pointed at Bones.
That's when Booth shot him.
"I thought you'd fallen asleep out there!" complained Bones, as Booth stood over Henderson, removing his gun to safety and checking him for other weapons.
Booth grinned. "Just waiting for the right moment," he reassured her. He could see she was trembling slightly, and he put his arm round her shoulders for a moment and squeezed. "You did very well there."
She hugged him back, then started shaking, and he was alarmed for a moment. When he realised she was laughing, he was even more concerned.
"Looks like we've found a whole new way to fight crime!" she chuckled. "Just bring a body to my lab, we'll wait for the killer to reveal himself by attacking me, then you shoot him."
Booth looked over his shoulder at the new fridge and the freshly decorated kitchen and laughed ruefully.
"You know the funniest thing?" she went on. "I don't think there's any way we could have worked out who killed those New York bodies if it weren't for your friend here confessing!"
On the floor, Paul Henderson groaned. Booth made sure he was well aware of the gun pointing at him.
"Grab the phone," he told Bones. "I've got some phone calls to make."Thursday 3.10am
The assorted teams of crime scene, medics and FBI agents had finally left. Brennan looked at Booth across the bloodstain on the floor. "That's going to be hell to get out," she complained, only half joking.
He collapsed onto the couch. "It can wait," he told her, closing his eyes.
"Are you falling asleep there?"
"I am asleep here."
She sat down beside him. "So it's all over?" she asked.
He nodded without opening his eyes. "It's all over."
She rested her head on his shoulder for a moment. "Thanks."
Brennan was tired, and the couch was comfortable. That was her excuse when she woke up and realised that she had been asleep leaning against Booth on the couch for several hours. He was still fast asleep – but she wondered curiously about the slight smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
Well that's it for now! coming soon will be my new story, The Ones You Love. All's fair in love and war - but some take the battle too personally. When an old enemy claims revenge on Booth the attacks come a little too close to home.
In pre-production as I write this note, and hopefully to start publishing within the week!
Please review if you've enjoyed my story - what worked best? What worked least? Were the cliffhangers too much, not enough?