So sorry for the lack of update, totally my fault. Thanks SO much for all the reviews and for sticking with us on this angsty little ride. Well, this part of the fic has come to a close, but the sequel will be posted under my co-author Willgurl's account tomorrow. Enjoy!
Angela sighed again, staring at the floor and running her fingers through her hair. Travis glanced sideways at her and checked his watch for the third time in five minutes.
"You don't have to stay you know." Angela gestured toward the bed where Brennan slept peacefully. At least for now she did, but she hadn't slept for more than two hours at a time without being interrupted by some horrendous dream.
Travis gave her a puzzled look.
"Well you keep checking you watch like you've got somewhere else you'd rather be." She snapped. A flicker of a smile moved across his face.
"Well, we got some leads on the shooting and I'm expected to be checking up on results of some of our tests at half twelve, but if I leave Dr. Brennan without protection, Seeley will shoot me between the eyes."
Angela gave him a worried look.
"Oh it's juss a precaution, someone did shoot at them after all. But I'm quite sure it wasn't targeted at Booth, so there's nothing to worry about."
"And yet he still thinks she needs an armed bodyguard." She grumbled, standing to move toward the bed. "Of course that's not unusual. He's very protective, that's for sure."
Travis nodded and added softly, "An' he loves her."
Angela lifted her face to meet his eyes for the first time and she scrutinized what she saw there. Beyond the cocky, self-righteous demeanor and the cool aloof mask of apathy that 'comes with the job', she saw it. The deeply feeling, kindhearted soul of a man who loved his friend very much.
"You single Travis?"
His eyes widened. "Well, yes, but I didn't think you were." He gestured toward the engagement ring on her finger.
"Oh not me silly! But I do have a friend who would love you. Her name's Lindsey and she's…"
"Angela do you have any friends you don't try to marry off?" Booth asked, appearing in the doorway with his cup of coffee from the hospital cafeteria. He'd forgotten how long it'd been since he slept, but with an endless supply of coffee and the clothes Hodgins had brought, he figured it didn't really matter.
Hodgins was beside him giving Angela a look that said he'd failed in convincing the haggard FBI agent to go home. She nodded, smiling at Booth.
"I never said anything about marriage Booth," As she lifted Brennan's left hand, "Should I?"
Booth rolled his eyes and went to sit beside Travis on the couch, aware of, but ignoring the three sets of eyes following his every movement with pity he didn't want, and concern he wasn't accustomed to.
"Oh, He went back to the lab. He doesn't really get..how to act…in these sorts of…situations." Hodgins answered, moving to stand beside Angela.
Booth merely nodded and sipped his now lukewarm drink. He was beginning to realize that Brennan and Zach were more alike than he had originally thought. Somehow that was both amusing and frightening. He almost smiled at the thought. Almost.
Hodgins reached up and lightly touched Angela's back.
"We should probably head home Baby."
Angela nodded, she was exhausted after a night with Brennan, who slept fitfully at best, and Booth, who argued with every nurse and doctor that came into the room.
She looked back at Brennan, sleeping in a morphine induced calm.
"Sleep tight Sweetie." Angela cupped her friend's pale cheeks for a moment before taking Hodgins' hand and allowing him to lead her to the door.
"Call me if she wakes up, okay FBI?"
Booth smiled, dipping his chin once to acknowledge her. "You got it Squint."
Angela smiled once more and Hodgins nodded at his friend as they disappeared.
There was a moment of silence in the hospital room before Booth broke it with his inevitable question.
"Any leads on the case?"
Travis sighed and leaned forward, his elbows on his knees.
"I'm not supposed to…"
"Travis," Booth snapped, "I don't give a…"
"Alright, I'll tell you."
Booth shut his mouth and waited with all the patience he could muster.
"We're still processing the apartment, not sure when you'll be able to get back in there. Collectin' bullet casings and…we've identified the shooters' gun as a T68 SR." He felt Booth stiffen beside him at mention of the sniper rifle, but continued smoothly.
"Besides yourself and Dr. Brennan here, there were three other casualties with no fatalities so far."
Booth noted he said 'so far' but chose not to entertain what that may or may not have meant.
"It doesn't look like the attack was directly targeting you, the couple above you were both hit as well as one of the people below. Other injuries include lacerations from shattered glass, or just minor bumps and scrapes." Travis rattled off the facts of the case with professional detachment he prided himself on.
Booth was silent for a few minutes while Travis forced himself not to shift nervously in his seat.
Booth stood suddenly, tossing his empty coffee cup in the trash, where it joined at least a dozen others. He quickly moved to Brennan's bedside and smoothed some hair off her face gently. He wanted desperately to wake her, but the doctors said the more rest she got, the better. And his best was exactly what he intended to give her.
"What about the shooter?" He asked quietly, his eyes still focused on Brennan.
Travis' face was the picture of concern as he studied his friend and readjusted the leather gun holster on his back, it was cutting straight through his dress shirt and into his flesh.
"Nothing yet. We were able to pin-point where he shot from by backtracking the trajectory of the bullets…"
"The second highest level at the parking garage across the street." Booth said in monotone.
"Yeah…how'd you know that?" Booth didn't answer and Travis quickly realized the stupidity of his question.
"Right, well, we found a small blood pool there and w'er running the DNA through the NCIC database, see if we get any hits."
Booth nodded, turning his dark gaze to the ceiling as he took a deep breath. Travis frowned, leaning forward to speak softer, more urgently.
"You got him Seeley. That's probably what scared 'em off you know, what kept 'em from hurtin' more people." Travis stood and joined Booth beside the bed.
"You really are frustratin' you know that?"
Booth looked at him, life returning to his vacant eyes. "What?"
"You." Travis grinned, tilting his head to one side. "The guy comes out of nowhere and starts shootin' at ya. Amidst all the chaos that ensues you manage to get a hold of a gun, find a defensible position, pin point the shooters location, shoot and hit him, all in the dark." He shook his head, "Damn, lad. I'm doing good to get a tie that matches me suit in the mornin'."
Booth finally let out a small laugh and Travis smiled triumphantly. Reaching over, he squeezed Booth's shoulder.
"Seeley-Boy, why don't you get some sleep 'eh?" Booth started to protest but Travis quieted him with a movement of his hand. "I'm not gonna ask ya to leave since I know that would be pointless."
"Well, good to know you're a quick learner there Travis." Booth returned the clap on the shoulder with a tired smile.
"So just take the couch yeh? I promise not to go anywhere."
After a few minutes Booth agreed. Travis stepped out into the hall to call his forensics team and tell them he wouldn't be able to stop in and get the results as soon as he'd hoped, but they could text them to him. Booth stayed inside to have a moment with Brennan.
He thought it was so stupid that the thought of closing his eyes left him with such panic burning in his belly. But when he looked down into her face, tracing her striking features with a trembling hand, he knew it was true.
He was afraid to close his eyes. Afraid that she wouldn't be there when he woke up. Or worse, when he went to sleep. Because he knew beyond a doubt that the nightmare his waking hours had become, would soon seep into his sleep as well.
Travis appeared back inside and Booth ignored his presence, leaning down and kissing Brennan gently. She stirred, but did not wake up and he sighed as he crossed the room to lay down on the couch.
"I'm probably too wired on caffeine to sleep anyway." He assured himself as he lay down.
Travis only quirked an eyebrow, knowing full well Booth had been awake for more than 24 hours straight. "You think so do you?"
"Yeah, because I'm…" He yawned, and never finished his sentence. He was sound asleep.
"Who are you?" Brennan opened her eyes and focused them on the strange man with the fire-red hair sitting in the chair beside her bed. Booth's spot.
Travis peeked over his newspaper before smiling and folding it in his lap.
"Well top o' the morning to ya'!" He said cheekily.
Brennan glanced at the clock on the wall. "It's 2 in the afternoon."
Travis paused before continuing. "Seeley said you were literal." He stood and moved closer to the bed.
"Seeley? So Booth knows you're here?" She continued to eye him suspiciously while scanning the room for Booth. Travis pointed to the couch, where Booth still lay on his back, his arm draped across his eyes, mouth parted in heavy breathing.
"I'd say he does."
Brennan relaxed slightly and sat back in bed, pleased to find movement was becoming easier.
"I'm Special Agent Travis Ferguson by the way." He extended his hand, which she shook gently. He caught her gaze falling on the water on the table and handed it to her.
"Thanks." She muttered, curious and apprehensive to whether or not she'd have been able to get it herself, and therefore annoyed and appreciative for his action.
"Special Agent, your FBI too?"
He nodded. "I've known Seeley for years. Way back before he was nice."
Brennan thought a moment about the way Booth liked to threaten serial killers without even blinking twice and engaged in fistfights on a regular basis. She decided 'nice' really wasn't the word she would have used.
"Are you in love with him Dr. Brennan?"
She blinked and nearly choked on her sip of water. "W-what?" She sputtered.
Travis kept his 'strictly business' mask firmly in place and met her gaze evenly.
"Well Seeley said you liked people to be blunt and tell the truth. So I'm being blunt, now tell the truth. Do you love him?" He asked the last part slowly, driving each word home.
She studied the bed sheet for a moment, chewing her bottom lip. Her mind raced with conflicting emotions and her gaze darted around the room before settling on Booth. Booth in his wrinkled shirt and pink and blue polka-dot socks. She smiled, turning her eyes back toward Travis, ready to answer.
But it turned out she didn't have to, for when her icy blue depths meet his jungle green ones, Travis got all the answer he needed.
---Two Weeks Later---
The small group waited anxiously in the spacious hospital room. The tension in the air was near visible. The last two weeks had been trying on all of them.
Brennan was more frustrated than ever with her limitations, and suffering from cabin fever big time…although she didn't exactly know what that meant. Booth had nearly been thrown out of the hospital several times for comments and gestures he probably should have kept to himself. Angela was caught in the middle of it all, trying to say and do the right thing in a situation she felt was growing more desperate by the day. And Travis was watching his friend slowly run himself into the ground with work and exhaustion, while his leads in the case went nowhere.
They were all sick and tired and in need of a vacation.
Or at the very least, Travis would have said, 'a stiff drink'.
The door to Brennan's hospital room opened and they all turned to watch Dr. Bandera walk in, clipboard in hand.
He pushed his glasses up on his nose and met the groups' gaze.
Wasting no time, which they were all grateful for, he gave them the verdict.
"Well, I'm happy to report that Dr. Brennan's recovery is coming along nicely. Presuming nothing else happens, she should be released tomorrow."
A collective sigh of relief escaped the small group and Booth squeezed Brennan's hand. She looked at him and felt almost naked under his intense stare. Right then she knew, and so did he, and they would have told each other. If only those three tiny words weren't so...big.
The two exchanged small, shy smiles full of hesitation, apprehension, excitement, joy and fear.
She hoped they were ready for the things to come and the long road to recovery that lay ahead.
He prayed they could make it through together, and in one piece.
Check out the Sequel, Broken Hearts are Sometimes Mended, when it goes up tomorrow!