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NO! Booth's mind screamed. He could feel his heart breaking as he looked into the terrified eyes of his partner. I've come this far. I won't lose her now. "Alright. I won't come any closer. You don't have to hurt her, Sully. I know you don't want to; you love her too much for that."

Sully tightened his grip on her waist. "You're right; I do love her–and she used to love me back until you got in the way. YOU stole her from me!"

"I didn't steal--"

"Don't lie to me, Booth," Sully interrupted. "I was lonely in the Caribbean, so I came back to DC a few weeks ago. I stopped by the Jeffersonian to surprise Temperance and I saw the two of you together. You had your arm around her and you were laughing. You're not laughing now, are you?"

My god, he's completely lost it. He might be crazy enough to pull the trigger. "No, I'm not laughing. I've been living in hell since you kidnapped my partner and ruined my career. You've had your revenge, so let her go."

"No. I'd rather have her dead than in your arms."

"You can't reason with him, Booth," Brennan interjected. "You're going to have to shoot him."

"If you shoot at me, you might hit your partner," Sully said, clearly enjoying Booth's agony. "If I go down, she goes down with me."

"It's the only way," Brennan argued. "Take the shot."

"No!" He answered emphatically. "I'm not risking your life."


"I can't, Bones."

"See that, Tempe?" Sully said with a smirk. "He never listens to you."

"Do it!" Brennan cried. "It's the only logical--"

"Screw logic! I'm not going to do anything that puts you in danger."

"Because you're a coward," Sully taunted.

"Because I LOVE HER!" Booth shouted. Oh god. For two years I've wanted to tell her how I feel about her; for two years I've waited for the right moment. Screaming at her when she has a gun pointed at her head wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

Sully shook his head violently. "No, you don't get to love her. You had two years to make your move. You had your chance and you wasted it. Now she's mine, and I'm not letting you take her away again." He pulled the gun away from Temperance and pointed it at Booth.

He's going to kill Booth! I can't let that happen! As soon as Temperance felt the gun leave her forehead she sprang into action. She jabbed her elbow into the arm holding the gun, causing Sully to drop it. She spun around quickly and kicked him square in the chest. As he fell backwards he hit his head on the deck and lost consciousness.

"Damn it, Bones," Booth said as he lowered his gun.

She turned at the sound of his voice. "What?"

"I wanted to be the one to kick his ass," he whined

"Oh. Sorry."

Grinning widely, he hurried towards her and pulled her into his embrace, savoring the feel of her body against his. I almost lost her. She could have died just now, but she didn't. She's alive and in my arms. Thank you, thank you God. "It feels so good to hold you again."

She clung to him tightly. "It feels good to be held."

After a few minutes of rubbing her back and speaking words of comfort, he pulled back to face her. "Are you okay? Did he hurt you?"

"Well, he drugged me and tried to rape me--"

Booth's face darkened, his eyes flashing with fury. "That sonofabitch! I'll--"

She held up a hand to stop him. "He didn't succeed. I broke his wrist and scratched his face and kicked him in the groin."

He laughed and hugged her again. "That's my girl."

Your girl? This time she pulled back first. "Booth, when you told Sully that you loved me, did you mean it?"

He reached out his right hand to touch her cheek. "Of course I meant it. I've loved you for a long time now. I promised myself that when I found you I would tell you. Sorry I didn't say it sooner."

She smiled at him. No one had ever made her feel as loved as he did. "It's okay. I love you too."

He leaned in towards her until his lips touched hers. The meeting of their lips was light and gentle at first, but as they surrendered to their emotions it soon became the most intense kiss either had ever experienced. Both had been waiting for this moment for a long time, and neither wanted it to end. Only fear of suffocation forced them apart a couple minutes later.

"That was even better than I thought it would be," Booth said breathlessly.

She smiled. "Have long have you been thinking about kissing me?"

"Two years, four months, one week, and five days," He answered without hesitation.

Brennan paused to do some calculations. "Booth...that's how long we've known each other."

He gave her his best charm smile. "Exactly." He put his arm around her shoulders. "There's a boat waiting to take us home. Are you ready?"

She laughed. "More than ready."

He picked Sully up off the floor and handcuffed him. What the hell were you thinking, Sully? No one messes with my partner...or should I say my beautiful, intelligent, ass-kicking new girlfriend.


"Do you think that he's found her yet?" Angela asked Hodgins and Zack. The three of them appeared to be working, but they were too worried about Brennan to concentrate.

"Maybe," Zack responded. "If not, I'm sure he will soon. Booth doesn't give up."

"I still can't believe Sully would do something like this. First she goes out with a guy who killed his own brother and blamed it on a ghost, and now this? I hope the next guy she dates doesn't turn out to be a psycho too," Angela said. "She's had enough heartache to fill a couple lifetimes. I know she hates psychology, but maybe she could start having her dates fill out some sort of mental health questionnaire."

Zack seemed to consider this for a moment before answering. "Sounds reasonable to me."

"I'd hate to be in Sully's shoes now," Hodgins said with a smile. "Booth is going to kick his ass good."

"If Brennan hasn't done it already," Angela added. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a young woman running towards them. "Who's that?"

"That's Tracy," Zack answered. "She's a lab tech. She started working here last week."

"Zack, have you heard the news?" Tracy asked as she ran up to him.

"Is it about Dr. Brennan?" He asked hopefully.

"Yeah. She's fine. Agent Booth found her. I just got a call from my sister Carrie; she said they're talking about her on CNN."

Angela enveloped Hodgins and Zack in a hug. "Thanks, Tracy," Zack said as he, Hodgins and Angela sprinted to the nearest television and turned it to the correct channel.

"Dr. Temperance Brennan, the best-selling author of Bred to the Bone and other crime novels, has been found," a female reporter declared triumphantly. "Our sources tell us that the Coast Guard received a call from FBI agent Seeley Booth, Dr. Brennan's partner, informing them that they could call off their search."

The reporter paused and put a hand to her ear. "I've just received word that we have footage from a local news helicopter showing Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan on a boat returning to the DC area." The image of Booth and Brennan standing on the top deck of a boat, holding and kissing each other, filled the screen. "Wow!" The clearly surprised reporter gushed. "I guess fan speculation that Agent Booth was the inspiration for the character of Andy may be valid after all."

Angela gasped. "Are they really doing what I think they're doing?"

"If you think they're making out, then yes," Hodgins answered, smiling broadly.

"OH MY GOD!" Angela shrieked, jumping into the air. "Go Booth! Go Brennan!"

Hodgins turned expectantly to Zack. "It took less than five years, man–you owe me a hundred bucks."


At the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building, the CNN broadcast was provoking similar shouts of glee as a large group of agents surrounded a television, expressing their happiness for the new couple and collecting money from their bets.

Agent Jim Ryan was ecstatic. "Didn't I tell you they would get together soon? I knew he couldn't deny his feelings much longer. I'm so happy for you, Booth!"

"Are you all watching closely, gentlemen?" Agent Katherine Hartford yelled. "Now THAT is how a man should kiss." A few female agents shouted in agreement.

"What's going on in here?" Deputy Director Cullen demanded as he entered the crowded room. "I could hear people screaming all the way down the hall." Everyone turned in his direction and fell silent. Several agents moved so Cullen could see what they were watching. "Oh. I see. Way to go, Booth; it's about time!" Laughter filled the room as Cullen walked towards the television for a closer look.


Booth was snuggling with Brennan on the couch in her apartment when his cell phone rang. His first instinct was to ignore it, but when he saw it was Cullen he answered it.

"What did he say?" Brennan asked after the phone call ended.

"He said I have my job back," Booth answered happily. "Sully confessed to setting me up, and since I didn't actually steal evidence or break Kenton out of federal custody I've been cleared."

"That's wonderful, Booth. I wouldn't want to work with anyone but you." She threw her arms around him and rested her head on his chest. "What's going to happen to Sully?"

"He'll be charged with kidnapping, extortion, and assault at the very least. His accomplice Matthew Stern- the man you said was nice to you- will get a reduced sentence in exchange for his testimony." He kissed the top of her head. "I'm sorry it took me so long to find you. When Stern told you that I didn't deliver the ransom, you must have thought I let you down--"

"Don't punish yourself," she interrupted. "I knew that you would keep trying until you found me. You've never let me down, Booth."

He took her face in his hands and kissed her. "You know, Bones, considering how frequently you find yourself in life threatening situations, I was thinking that I should get you a personal bodyguard."

"You are my bodyguard," she said, gazing into his eyes. "Will you stay with me tonight? You can make sure I don't get kidnapped from my bedroom again."

He grinned. "Of course, Bones. I'll stay with you as long as you'd like. You know that I'll always be here for you, right?"

"I know. It's one of the many things I love about you."

He kissed her again. "Bones...Temperance...there is something I should tell you, something else that Cullen said on the phone."

"Is something wrong?"

"Well...not exactly. He congratulated us on our television appearance. You remember that helicopter that flew overhead when we were sailing back to DC? It was a news helicopter, and it took footage of us kissing on the boat. Apparently half the FBI saw it on CNN. If the squints saw it too, that would explain why Angela was giggling when I called to tell her that you were safe. Anyway, going to work tomorrow might be a little...uncomfortable."

"You're right. Let's take the day off," she suggested.

Booth thought he might have hallucinated. "Temperance Brennan taking a day off? What will you do with yourself?"

She flashed him a seductive grin. "I'm sure we can think of a few things to pass the time."

He instantly returned her smile. "You never stop surprising me, Bones. That's one of the many things I love about you."

She brought her lips to his for a long, lingering kiss. When it ended, she untangled her arms from his and stood up. "It's getting late. I should go to bed."

Booth's arms felt empty without her. He didn't want to see her go, but he told himself that he was being selfish. She's had a rough day; she deserves a good night's sleep. "Okay. Good night, Bones."

She held out her hand to him. "I'd feel safer if my bodyguard came with me."

Smiling, he took her hand. "As you wish."

They lay in bed together, his arm wrapped lovingly around her waist, until they drifted into a peaceful, nightmare-free sleep.


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