Disclaimer: I only own the characters not normally seen on the show…
Previously: Angela's at the hospital with Zack trying to make ids on the skin samples, while Booth, Brennan and Hodgins attempt to arrest Dr. Long who is hiding out at a shore-side warehouse complex…
A/N: I started to write this chapter and I was like "wow, I'm writing the last chapter" and it made me sad because I really like this story and I liked working on it. But I especially liked hearing all your responses to it, your complaints and your excited ramblings; I really appreciate that you have all been so supportive of this fic and of me. I want you to know; I am already planning another Bones fic that I hope to begin after I return from vacation, but let's get through this one, shall we?
"Three billion guys in this world…the key is to find the one that makes all the rest disappear."
"Did I mention how cute you were?" Angela asked stifling a tiny giggle. The male nurse smiled, slightly embarrassed as Angela traced her index finger down the center of his chest. He wasn't used to have women openly flirt with him, but this was the most forward woman he had ever met.
"I really shouldn't let you in there," he said to her, glancing sideways down the hallway, keeping his out for any doctors who would grill him for hanging around while on duty.
"I know," Angela stepped away, pouting, "and I wouldn't ask you unless it was really important," she looked up at him, throwing on her best vulnerable face, as her eyes met his. She watched as he battled his own scruples and tossed him another look; it was apparently the last he could take and Angela saw what little resolve he had to begin with break.
She felt a mite sorry for the guy. Here she was, turning on the charm, being needy and innocent, and the poor guy couldn't hold up against her charisma. Damn, she deserved an Oscar. She smiled brilliantly when the RN turned to face the door behind him and slipped his keycard in the electronic lock. The lock clicked and he opened the door for her.
"Make it quick," he said, "I could get in a lot of trouble for this."
"You have no idea," she began as she sat down at the Records Room computer, "how much I appreciate this."
"Yeah, well, you owe me one," the nurse said, he closed the door, giving her one last love-struck look before he did.
Angela shook her head, that boy needs to get laid, she thought turning on the monitor. She opened up her bag and pulled out the samples that Hodgins had found. Scurrying over to the scanner, she keyed in the data that Zack and Dr. Morgan had derived. A creak at the door made Angela's heart stop. She looked up, her eyes huge with fright as the door opened.
"Holy shit," she breathed. She was caught, she knew it. There would be no explaining this one. She'd have to get Booth down here and by that time the killer would probably have skipped town anyway. Everything would be for nothing. She closed her eyes and waited to hear a cry for security.
"Hey, Ange," Zack said smiling as he wheeled himself into the room. Angela thought she was mistaken but as she cracked an eye open, her face turned from fear-stricken to abject anger.
"Zack! What the hell are you doing here?" she asked, infuriated. The young man cowered in his wheelchair. She hurried up to him, her finger pointing at him in anger, "and what are you doing out of bed? You could hurt yourself again. And aren't you supposed to be on a plane?"
"I wanted to help Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth. Besides, the possibility of injury is about 36000 to 1, so I--."
Angela held up her hand and cut him off, "Fine, but we have to do this quickly, otherwise someone will figure out we're in here." She walked back over to the computer and seated herself in front of the monitor. After a moment, she turned to him, "how did you get in here anyway?"
"I asked the lady at the desk if I could," Zack replied. Angela stared at him in shock.
"I hate you," she said turning back to the screen. Zack just gave her smile.
"So, did you enter the data?" he asked.
"Yes," Angela snapped, "I know what I'm doing, I'm not inept, you know."
"You sound like Dr. Brennan," Zack laughed.
"She tends to rub off on you," Angela commented.
They waited as the computer scanned the database. Angela kept checking her watch periodically. She felt her head start to hurt and yet felt the littlest bit of relief on the edge of her heart. This was almost over. Just a few seconds more and they'd have the killer's name, birth date, phone record, the works. And then they could go home!
"Oh, my god," Zack said suddenly. Angela realized she'd been spacing and glanced at the screen. Her eyes went wide and her jaw hit the table.
"Call Bren," she instructed.
Temperance's lids felt heavy against her eyes. There was a painful throbbing in her head and an ache in her neck. She attempted to open her eyes but she didn't have the strength. She could feel the she was lying down, possibly on the floor from the coolness against her cheek. Her first instinct was to push herself up, you can't defend yourself if you're lying down, but one arm wouldn't move. She struggled for a moment before she cracked her eye the tiniest bit. The world was blurry for a minute but it soon cleared.
She raised her head and felt her vision swim again. Mentally she noted how familiar this seemed to be for her. She chastised herself as she used her free hand to feel around. She found her other hand and soon enough established that there was a handcuff that was impeding the movement of her limb. She felt her head clear a little and opened her eyes again.
This time she was able to see. She found that she was handcuffed to a copper pipe that was protruding from the floor and leading all the way to the ceiling. Wrapping her slim fingers around it, she used the pipe to heave herself to her feet. She gripped the metal for dear life as her body threatened to pass out once more. She took deep breaths and clung to the pipe as the blackness disappeared.
Now that she was on her feet, she took the time to inspect the room. She was glad to find that they were still in the warehouse. Her eyes traveled around the perimeter of the room but stopped when she caught sight of a hand at the bottom edge of her vision. She was surprised that she had not seen it before and her heart stopped for a second when she saw that Booth wasn't moving, but his steady breathing told her that he was unconscious.
He too was handcuffed to copper piping; however, the pipe didn't go straight from floor to ceiling. Instead, it traveled up from the floorboards then made an upside down U-shape and went back through to the lower levels. Brennan turned to her wrist and the pipe that it was attached to. She grabbed at it and shook it feverishly, trying to loosen it but the pipe only creaked.
She let out a frustrated sigh and stopped. The sound of footsteps outside the door to the room, which must have been an office of some sort, made Temperance whip around to face the entrance. She held her breath as the door opened slowly and none other than Dr. Long himself stepped through.
Brennan felt a flash of anger in her stomach and she instantly wanted to rip Long to pieces. Unfortunately she was still cuffed to the pipe and it wasn't moving. Dr. Long stopped short when he saw that she up and awake.
"Temperance," his voice sounded normal, gentle even, laced with surprise.
"Asshole," Temperance replied with a sarcastic bite. Long, apparently over his initial shock, walked further into the room and gave her a smile.
"Now, there's no need for language like that," he said.
"Get close enough, Perry, I dare you," Brennan snapped, clenching her free hand into a fist.
"You hate me," he stated calmly.
"Gee, you think?"
"Why do you hate me Temperance?"
"Maybe because you lied to me for one..."
"I never lied to you about how I felt."
"You attacked me at the morgue," Brennan continued, un-phased by Long's injection.
"Yes," he admitted, "I did do that. But I didn't want to Temperance. I love you."
"Ha!" Brennan exclaimed, "That is probably the most amusing thing I've heard all day."
"I do," he replied just as calmly as before. Brennan stared at him, her eyebrows raised in surprise, "but I know you'll never love me back. I'm a monster and you…you are the most beautiful woman in the world…you are perfect, Temperance."
"And you are crazy," she said matter-of-factly.
"True," he gave her a toothy smile that, two days ago, would've melted her, but now just gave her chills.
"What do you want with us?" she asked, hoping that her fear wasn't evident in her voice.
"I have orders," he answered vaguely, his attention concentrated out the tiny, dirt-covered window above Booth's head.
"Orders to do what?"
He glanced back at her, "Kill you."
"Oh," Brennan swallowed. She willed Booth to wake and help her get them out of this.
"I didn't kill them you know," Long said.
Brennan didn't look away from Booth's face, "I know."
"I just changed the reports."
"And you killed Dr. Morgan."
"She would've told you everything."
"She didn't know anything."
"That's what you think." Finally Brennan looked up and met Long's eyes.
"She knew who the murderer was?"
"You seem so determined that there were only two people involved in this ordeal. Me and someone else…but I was never out on those beaches…"
"There's a third person…"
"Dr. Morgan was suspicious. She told me to tell the police, but I couldn't…"
"Because they are police…"
"Who are they, Perry?" Temperance's voice was level, the edge of concern there as well.
"I can't tell you. If I tell you then they won't let you go home."
"I already have Angela making ids, I'll know in a few minutes…"
"You'll get hurt…"
"Just tell me."
The door suddenly burst in. Two armed officers appeared at in the doorway. Temperance recognized them and took the shock to slam her elbow into Dr. Long's face. He reeled back in pain, clutching at his nose. As his vision cleared he staggered back toward Temperance but froze in place as a single shot echoed through the room.
Perry fell to the ground, blood pooling around his head. There was a small hole in the window from which the bullet had entered and lodged itself just above Dr. Long's ear.
The agents in the doorway were Orville and Wilbur, both with shocked looks gracing their faces. After a moment, Orville walked over to Temperance and shot a bullet at the chain of the handcuffs, snapping it and freeing Brennan. She hurried over to Booth and began to rouse him. When he was finally awake he looked around the room in confusion.
"Ah, we got him. Good teamwork Bones," he said, as she helped him to his feet.
"Yeah, thanks so much for your assistance," she answered, letting his arm fall over her shoulder and wrapping hers around his middle.
"No problem," he replied as they slowly moved out of the office.
"You'll have a nice bruise, Agent Booth, but you should be fine otherwise," the familiar EMT said. He gave Temperance a small smile, "I assume that you'll take care of him, Dr. Brennan?"
"Of course," Brennan answered. Booth was sitting in the back of the ambulance that was parked outside the warehouse. Brennan was standing beside him as the EMTs checked him out. Hodgins was standing beside Brennan watching them patch Booth up, and making note of the fact that his hand was completely wrapped around Brennan's.
"Ow! That hurt!" Booth said as the EMT put alcohol on the cut that he'd received from the corner of the fire extinguisher.
"Oh," Brennan said, smiling, "you are such a baby."
"You know what, Bones? You are heartless," Booth answered with little conviction, "here I am. Bleeding. And all you can say is I'm a baby when the mean EMT puts stinging stuff on my head!"
Brennan just rolled her eyes, her smile not fading. Hodgins laughed but stopped and frowned when he felt something strange in his pocket. He thought for a moment before he realized that it was his cell phone vibrating. He shoved his hand into his pants and dug out the phone.
"Bren, its Ange," Hodgins handed her the phone. She released Booth's hand and accepted the mobile putting it to her ear. She stepped away from the ambulance so she could hear over Booth's dramatized moans and whimpers.
"Ange, please tell me you found something."
Booth stopped his theatrics when Brennan stepped away from him. Instead, he watched her intently as she had asked Angela if they had found anything. Angela must have said something unsettling because Booth saw Brennan suddenly tense. She closed the phone without saying goodbye to Angela and scanned the crowd.
Whoever she was looking for she found in a moment and started toward them. She was walking toward a group of agents huddled by one of the black and whites. Booth watched as Brennan strode up to them with purpose in her step. She suddenly grabbed the gun from one of the agents and pointed it directly at the man standing in the center of the group.
"Holy shit, Bones!" Booth jumped up and ran toward her, all while other agents drew their weapons and did the same. Booth stopped short and felt Hodgins collide with his shoulder.
"Bones, what the hell are you doing?" Booth questioned.
"Tell them," she said sternly, her face straight as she stared down Agent Orville.
"Tell them what? Booth what in god's name is going on?" Lt. Jacobs asked. Booth looked at him and shrugged.
"He's the killer. He murdered those girls," Brennan answered.
"What? Bones, I thought you said Hawthorne was the killer?" Booth inquired.
"When did you figure it out?" Orville asked, his voice was low, almost inaudible, but all the agents surrounding them gasped. Booth noticed out of the corner of his eye that many of them lowered their weapons slightly.
"Just now, but I had my suspicions before that," Brennan replied.
"What was it that led you to me?"
"The DNA you left under the first girl's nails."
"Oh, I told Long to take care of that."
"And the footprint at the beach."
"That wasn't mine, though." Orville smiled. A loud thud and crash caused both to turn. Agent Wilbur was lying on the ground, his face in the dirt, and Booth's foot on his back.
"Why'd you do it?" Brennan asked, turning back to Orville. The man didn't seem as cocky as he had before; in fact there was a slight bit of fear creeping into his eyes. Two large agents stepped on either side of him and took hold of his arms. He dragged his eyes away from him partner lying on his front and met those of Dr. Brennan.
"Just something to do," he answered absently as the two FBI agents forced him away. When he'd stepped out of her line of sight, Brennan lowered the gun. She felt Booth come up beside her and relief swept over her. She handed the gun to the agent she had taken it from and turned around.
"That was some pretty good FBI work, Bones," Booth said smiling.
"No, it was science and logic," Brennan replied, looking into his eyes, "and a little bit of Angela's charm."
"I think you owe them a vacation," Booth stated.
Brennan sighed in response, "Yeah, maybe DC."
"DC sounds real good," Booth answered, placing his hand on Brennan's cheek, "I hear it's nice around this time."
"Me too," Brennan agreed. She smiled, matching his own as he leaned down to kiss her. She could feel his warm breath teasing her lips, her hand coming to rest on top of his.
"Excuse me, Agent Booth," Lt. Jacobs interrupted. Booth pulled away from Brennan and turned to Jacobs.
"Sorry to impose, but I have the FBI building on hold. They're asking about Officer Hawthorne…"
"Oh! Right, one second," he turned to Bones, "I have--."
"Go, get him out," Brennan said. Booth gave her a sad smile and quick peck on the cheek before walking over to Lt. Jacobs and taking the phone from him. Brennan watched, a contented smile playing across her mouth.
She felt a breeze pick up around her. She looked up at the bright sky, patterned by fluffy, white clouds and the occasional bird. She was so wrapped up in the atmosphere that she was surprised when two hands took her face into them and she was suddenly being kissed.
Not just kissed, but really, deeply, without-reservation kind of kissed. The "melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand" kind, as Angela had once said to her. Brennan strung her arms around Booth's neck and felt the world around them disappear. After a moment, he pulled away, but still held her around the waist.
"You know I love you, right?"
"I love you too."
His smile widened to immeasurable proportions. He kissed her softly again and then dashed off, returning to his position beside Lt. Jacobs and the cell phone. Oh yeah, she thought, this is definitely what Angela was talking about. She smiled again. She had feeling that she'd be doing that a lot more from now on.
"Flight 729 to San Francisco, now boarding," the PA system switched off.
Booth, Brennan, Hodgins and Angela stood just outside the gate for Flight 729. The four of them were watching. Just watching the people walk by. All of them were glad that the case had ended but…still, they knew that they would miss the place and the people there.
They had spent the entire day packing their things and saying goodbye to Lily Hawthorne. Zack had been sent back to DC on a flight first thing that morning, and Hawthorne had still not been released from FBI custody when they had left his house.
However, as they stood there soaking up the atmosphere that they would miss, the officer in question strode up to them. He was dressed in street clothes, his hands jammed in his pockets.
"Hello," he said.
Angela stepped up to him, "I just want you to know that I never believed that it was you."
"Me too," Hodgins agreed.
"It's okay," he looked at Booth and Brennan, both looking a little embarrassed, "I wanted to stop by to thank you. Thank you for getting me out. They said that you yelled at them for an hour, citing all sorts of violations and commenting on how it was two of their own and all."
"Well, it was true," Brennan said.
"I just wanted to say I really appreciate it. And…if I had been you, I would've done the same thing."
"No, you would've trusted your friends," Brennan answered.
"Sometimes trust…gets you killed," Hawthorne replied softly, the corners of his eyes crinkling in a smile.
"Still, we are immensely sorry that we put you through that…and your wife--," Booth started.
"Loves the flowers you sent her," Hawthorne interrupted, "she says that you have to come back and visit."
"We will," Brennan stated quickly.
"Where's Zack?" Hawthorne said after a moment.
"They sent him ahead," Hodgins answered.
"Yeah, we're bringing him back a present," Angela smiled and pointed to the blonde girl standing off to the side.
"Wow, quite a present," Hawthorne jested.
"It was Tempe's idea," Angela said.
The entire party looked at her, "What? I figured the Jeffersonian could always use more secretaries, besides, she does have a degree."
"I must say, Dr. Brennan, I will miss you. I'll miss you all. Who am I going to get to help me on the next case?" Hawthorne smiled at them.
"Give us a call," Booth replied with a grin.
"Flight 729 to San Francisco, last call," the woman at the desk stated over the intercom.
"That's us," Angela said, she stepped forward and hugged Hawthorne, "we'll be seeing you." She pulled away and grabbed her bag from the floor.
"Bye man, it's been good," Hodgins shook the Hawthorne's hand and followed Angela and Lindsey through the door to the bridge.
"Thanks for all your help," Booth said, extending his hand to Hawthorne.
"I should be thanking you," Hawthorne replied, "without you, I never would've figured out who it was."
"Still, we appreciate all the assistance you offered us," Brennan smiled. She stepped toward him, embarrassed. He noticed this and offered her his hand instead. She stared at it for a moment before disregarding it and hugging him anyway.
"Bones, hate to break up the unusual show of affection but we have to go," Booth said poking Brennan in the shoulder. She stepped away from Hawthorne and smiled. As they walked through the gate, she turned and waved to him. He waved back before putting his hand back in his pocket and turning away.
The plane was refreshingly noisy. The five of them were seated in coach this time. Hodgins and Angela at one side, Booth and Brennan at the other and Lindsey squished in the middle of the five-seater center section. Thankfully, Lindsey had dozed off after only a few minutes in the air.
Brennan had her laptop out on the tray table, typing furiously. She was vaguely upset about not having worked on her new book at all. But she wasn't writing the next installment for her latest novel as she sat there next to Booth who was leafing through a magazine. No, she was actually starting something new, maybe the plot of her third novel.
"Whatcha doing Bones?" Booth asked.
"Typing," she answered curtly.
"I can see that, but what are the words making?"
"Just because you and I are dating, it doesn't mean that you get to read my books before they're out," she closed the cover of the laptop and turned to him.
"But that's not fair!"
"Oh, pout all you want to," Brennan said as she leaned in and kissed him, "it's not going to get you anywhere."
"Hey! I think I'm going to go to bathroom!" Angela said suddenly. She leapt to her feet and moved out into the aisle. To do so, however, she had to pass in front of Hodgins, to whom she gave a look.
"Actually," he said standing with her, "I have to go too." The pair walked off to the rear of the plane, mischievous looks in their eyes. Booth narrowed his eyes at them as Brennan went back to typing. She looked up when he stood.
"Where are you going?" Brennan asked.
He looked down at her, a smile playing across his lips and a glint in his eyes, "Did you know that it is a Federal offense to have sex in an airplane bathroom?"
"No, I didn't."
"Yup, and as a Federal Officer, I feel that it is my civil duty to prevent them from incriminating themselves."
"Well, have fun."
"You wanna come?"
Brennan frowned, "Why would I--," she paused when she saw Booth's eyebrows raised and the faintest traces of a smile, "oh." She glanced over at Lindsey who was still fast asleep, and unbuckled her seatbelt. She stood up and took hold of Booth's hand. He led the way, as she couldn't control a fit of giggles. She realized that everyone around probably knew what they were about to do.
Temperance Brennan was about to join the Mile High club and for once…she didn't care if everyone knew…
A/N: How'd you like? Good? Bad? Fluffy? Too easy to solve? So guess what, Dr. Long was going to be a good guy! Way back in "Missing the Spark" things were gonna go really different. At first I thought about having him attack and possibly rape Brennan but I changed my mind. My second thought was that he bowed out gracefully and let Booth have Bones. But I like the way it was anyway. Most of you were right about Hawthorne, for a while I thought about him being the one who did it. Actually, I had all four of them in on it, but I liked Hawthorne as a good guy.
When I started I only had the conversation in which they discover that the girl had her neck snapped first in my head. I built everything up from there. I wish there had been more A/H interaction but I thought perhaps subtle would be better for them.
Anyway, I appreciate everything you guys have said. I really hope that you liked this story. It's probably my favorite that I've written yet. Reviews still make me smile so you guys better not stop. I love you all!