A/N: Major angst coming up! I thought of this after watching the last scene of Killer in the concrete. Hope you like it and I hope it's not too OOC.
She double-checked every lock, made sure every window was closed and searched her entire apartment in case her father had decided to pay her another surprise visit. Finding nothing, she collapsed on her couch and sighed. The clock behind ticked the seconds away, the only sound in the deep silence of her apartment. It was late... past eleven. She had left Booth at the Diner, after making sure he was alright. He had assured her that he had survived worst, that he would be fine, that she could go home and sleep and that he would see her on Monday. One glance at his injuries had told Temperance he wouldn't be back for at least a week but, too tired to argue, she simply nodded.
Tears began to form in her eyes as she thought of earlier that day when she had learned the tooth found had been her partner's. The only thing she had wanted to do was to find him, to save him before it was too late. Mixed emotions had run through her, tears had threatened to spill and it hadn't really mattered that her friends had told her they were all behind her. Her partner was missing and friends or not, she was going to find him.
Never in her entire life had she felt as helpless as she had felt that second. Thankfully, her dad was already doing everything that he could (though she did disagree with the things he did) to help her. Immediately, despite her huge fear of not finding her partner in time, she had felt appeased and confident. She wasn't alone. She'd have someone else to think rationally for her when she didn't know if she would be able to think properly.
The clock kept on ticking. Somewhere down in the parking lot, a car door slammed. Her eyes slowly closed and she took a deep breath. She didn't feel tired. Maybe she could go down to the gym. One look at the time told her the gym was probably closed at that hour. Sitting up, she rubbed her face with both hands. Her neck was stiff, her limbs ached and a headache was slowly forming at the back of her head.
She wondered what her dad was currently doing. She had no idea how he had left since he had parked her car in the garage and left the keys on her kitchen table. As surprised and torn as she had felt when he had shown up, she now found herself missing his company. She had felt as though nothing had changed, despite his "original" questioning methods. She had felt like she was a teenager again and that her father had never taken off. They hadn't talked much about Russ even though she knew they had kept in touch after the escape.
Reaching over to the end table, she grabbed the phone. She looked at the time: 11:45. She wondered if it was too late to call him. Slowly, she began to dial and pressing the phone to her ear, she listened to the ringing tone.
His answering machine picked up after the sixth ring. As she listened to her brother telling her they were currently unavailable, Temperance wondered if she should leave a message.
"Hey Russ, it's me. I was just wondering if maybe you would like to get together sometime. It's been a while since I've seen you and I miss you. Give me a call when you get this message."
Hanging up, she looked down at the phone and sighed.
A knock at the door broke the silence and startled her. Frowning, she got up and walked to the door. She unlocked the door before slowly pulling it open. Her confusion turned into surprise as she was greeting by a familiar face.
"It's almost midnight." She said as a greeting, opening the door wider.
"Is this always how you're going to greet me whenever I come over?"
"Not if you don't make it a habit."
"What are you doing here?"
"Can I come in?"
Temperance nodded before stepping aside. Booth shot her a tiny smile before walking inside. She closed the door behind him.
"I thought you were going home." She told him, confused as to what he was doing in her apartment.
"I did." He replied, turning around to face her. "I couldn't fall asleep. So I got up and came here. I hope you don't mind."
"No, not at all. I'm just... surprised, that's all. Would you like something to drink?"
Booth shook his head.
"No, thanks. I'm fine. I just... can we sit down?"
Grabbing her hand, Booth led her to the couch and they both sat down. He let go of her hand before turning around to face her. Silence fell between them as neither of them knew what to say. Booth's eyes wandered around the apartment, as though taking in the scenery, while Temperance examined him. He didn't look as beaten up now that he had been cleaned up and his injuries had been attended to. Still, she could tell by the look in his eyes that something was wrong.
Their eyes eventually met and Booth forced a smile.
"Your place looks really nice."
Booth licked his lips. Suddenly, his throat felt really dry and he wondered if maybe he should ask his partner for a glass of water.
He wasn't quite sure what had driven him to her apartment. He had jumped in the SUV, turned on the ignition and had let his subconscious drive him around. He had ended up in front of her building and had looked to her window to find light coming from inside the apartment. Suddenly, he had felt the need to see her. Before he even knew what he was doing, his fist was knocking against her door.
He had felt edgy the whole drive to her apartment but now that he was sitting in front of her, he felt appeased. There was something about the blue of her eyes that could was away his worries, calm the beating of his heart, and soothe the pain he felt. Just being with her made him feel better about everything that had happened over the last hours, was almost making the torture he had been forced to suffer all worth while.
"I've been tortured before, Temperance, worst than what I had to go through today. Punches in the face, kicks in the stomach, burns with burning iron was nothing. I spent days in prison back when I was in the army, sometimes weeks. This was nothing."
Temperance swallowed the lump that was painfully forming in her throat. She held back the tears that threatened to fall.
"I thought of you while they were hurting me."
Temperance unconsciously shifted further from him. Neither of them seemed to notice.
"I refused to let go until you found me."
"I know." Temperance said in a small voice. "You told me."
"I knew you would. I have faith in you and I have faith in what we have. I knew you wouldn't give up until you found me, just like how I didn't give up when I had to find you."
"Everybody helped, Booth. It wasn't only me."
Booth ignored her comment.
"It's ironic how, after all these times when I had to save you, you now had the chance to return the favor."
"They left me alone for a few minutes just before you and your father arrived. They went to get the screwdriver. I remember thinking I wasn't going to last much longer and I prayed that you would come in the door and rescue me. They came back and you still weren't there."
Booth stopped and wiped a single tear that had managed to fall from his eyes. Temperance shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
"I tried to remain strong, I tried to not let go but it was getting harder. When the screwdriver burned through my pants and touched my skin, I wanted to scream out in pain. I didn't. I didn't want to give them the satisfaction of getting what they wanted.
I'm brave, Bones, but everyone has his or her limits. I had almost reached mine. For a split second, while the screwdriver burned what I thought was a large hole through my skin, I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop fighting, to just finally let go and get it over with. But then you burst in through the door and I knew everything was going to be alright."
A few more tears slid down his cheeks. Temperance remained frozen, too shocked to say or do anything.
"I'm scared, Temperance. I lay down in my bed, I close my eyes and I'm in that room again. I thought I was strong enough, Bones, I really did. I thought I was strong enough to get past this but I'm not. How do you do it, Bones? How can you be so strong all the time?"
"Parker sees me as his hero. Did I tell you that? Last week, he had to do an oral presentation on his hero and he chose me. Me, Bones. Not Batman, not Spiderman. He picked me."
Temperance forced a smile.
"I'm no hero. You never saw Spiderman get himself kidnapped, duct-taped to a chair and tortured for hours at a time."
Wiping violently more tears, Booth chuckled sarcastically.
"Some hero I am."
Silence fell over the room and Temperance let out a quiet sigh of relief. Gathering enough strength, she slowly covered his hand with her own. Their eyes met and she felt his hand relaxed under hers. His thumb made its way on the top of her hand and the roughness of his skin sent stranger shivers up her spine.
"You should go home and sleep."
"I can't." Booth replied in a shaky voice.
"You need to rest, Booth. You're hurt."
"I know but I just can't."
She watched, momentarily stunned, as he shifted closer to her and slowly laid down, grunting in pain as he did so. Her heart began to beat wildly in her chest as she felt the weight of his head on her lap. Her hand, still trapped inside his bigger one, was now tucked under his chin.
"Sing me that song, Bones."
"The one we sang at the Diner. Sing it to me."
Quietly, in that same soft tone she had used in the restaurant, she began to sang the song she had managed to forget over the years. The words instinctively came back to her as though they had been waiting all these years to finally come out. Tears began to fall freely for her eyes but she didn't stop them. Under her, Booth held on to her hand strongly as though she would leave if he ever let go for a split second.
She stopped at the end of the chorus. Looking down at her partner, she found that his eyes were closed and his breathing had steadied. She smiled sympathetically at him before slowly untangling her hand from his and standing up.
Fetching a blanket from her pantry, she went back to the couch and gently wrapped it over him. She stood for a moment in front of him, examining his features as he slept. Finally, if only for a few hours, he had found solace from the pain he was feeling. Tomorrow would be another day but until then she would let him sleep.
Turning off the lamp beside the couch, she slowly made her way to her room. She stopped in the threshold and turned around. Leaning against the door frame, she stared at the contour of the couch, only visible by the moonlight shining in from the window. She rested the side of her head on the frame and sighed.
She felt weird inside. Something she had never felt before was plaguing her, was causing her bizarre emotional pain. She felt troubled by what she had witnessed tonight. Booth had shown her a part of him she had not even suspected he had and that part of him shook her up deeply.
Pushing herself off from against the door frame, she turned around and, not bothering to change into something more comfortable to sleep, she climbed into bed. Curling into a fetal position, she pulled the blankets up to her chin and closed her eyes.
In the living room, the clock ticked.