Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Quote at beginning of the chapter is from lyrics to Tegan and Sara's song "Walking With A Ghost".
Author's Note: Five years, four months and a few days later, this story is FINALLY COMPLETE. THANK YOU to everyone who has read, reviewed and overall enjoyed this Halloween Bones Team/B&B story. Much thanks to all those who encouraged me to continue over the years, especially when it seemed the story would never find its conclusion.
Reviews, feedback and constructive criticism are greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading! Enjoy the epilogue! :D
Epilogue: We Are Both Common People, Sharing The Same Combination, It's Lethal
"No matter which way you go
No matter which way you stay
You're out of my mind
Out of my mind
Out of my mind
I was walking with a ghost."
—Tegan and Sara, "Walking With A Ghost"
# # # # #
In the dark hours between the end of October and the beginning of November, following Booth's arrival and treatment at the hospital, and after Rebecca and Parker showed up to check on him, Brennan, unable to stay by Booth's bedside, found her way back to the Jeffersonian. Even there, she was restless, just as restless as she would have been sitting in a chair next to her incoherent, dehydrated, beaten, bruised, but rescued and still living partner.
The building had been darker and more quiet than she'd expected; but then, maybe the others had just wanted to go home, or wait their turns to look in on Booth.
Brennan went to her office and turned on the desk light. Before sliding into the chair, she ripped the cape from her neck, watching it flutter to floor. She knew so little about Halloween customs, but wondered if the holiday was supposed to feel this surreal at the end of the night. It did feel good, to know she had "won", in a way, that after finding the taunting "ransom" note here at her desk less than a week ago, it was finally finished.
Finished or not, she was still on edge. Jittery, Brennan stood up and began to pace. She knew she shouldn't be alone here, that she should make herself go home, but she was still replaying the conversations she and Daisy Wick had had that night—well, on Halloween. Yesterday. About an hour ago.
Brennan's cell phone rang. She pulled it out insistently, expecting bad news. "Hello?"
"Dr. Brennan? This is Special Agent Perotta."
"Agent Perotta? What's happened?" Brennan asked worriedly. A million possibilities streamed through her mind in the seconds it took Agent Perotta to respond. "Is it Booth?"
"Nothing, Dr. Brennan. No, Agent Booth is fine. I'm calling because I need your help."
"Mine?" Brennan rocked back on her heels.
"I'm interrogating Ms. Wick, but I've hit a wall. She's demanding she speak with you."
"Or what?" Brennan wrinkled her nose. She hadn't lost her urge for violence towards the young intern-turned-criminal. "She's going to press charges against me?"
Agent Perotta chuckled. "Believe me, I don't think that's crossed her mind. She wants one last hurrah with you—or she won't confess. Now, in this case we hardly need her confession—since we have recorded evidence from the 911 operator you called when you were waiting for help in the haunted house. Ms. Wick already admitted to enough on tape to keep her in jail for years, but I would honestly like to take something more solid to court. Her words, on paper, forever binding."
Brennan opened her mouth to contest the use of "forever", but she stopped herself, knowing the context Perotta meant. Forever was long enough, forever could mean life or death. Either way, Perotta wanted Daisy to never, ever get out. Brennan sighed with relief. "I'll be right there."
After hanging up, Brennan opened her desk drawers, thinking that she could take Daisy's gruesome verse of what was going to happen to Booth if she couldn't find him in time, but remembered only after she had looked through two that she had handed over the note to her team. Shuffling papers, Brennan pushed them back into their respective drawers, and turned off her light. This one's for you, Booth, she thought.
# # # # #
Daisy's chin rested on her propped up hands, her eyes round. She looked up at Dr. Brennan, impressed by the war of emotion she had brought to Dr. Brennan's face. Dr. Brennan was struggling for her composure, trying to keep this interrogation professional, when she shouldn't be in the same room with no restraints on her own behavior with the mastermind behind the crimes which targeted her and her people. Yet here she was. Daisy worked to hide her glow of pride, drinking in Dr. Brennan's undivided attention.
This was the moment she had been waiting for: one on one time with her hero, her mentor, the one person she strove to be just like. It took everything in her not to grin. This is so perfect, Daisy thought dreamily. So perfect.
Brennan gritted her teeth; she had already done five minutes of silence in the FBI's interrogation room with Daisy Wick, with Agent Perotta monitoring from the observation room. She had let the young intern look her over while she focused on the nasty bruise covering half Ms. Wick's face—EMTs had cleared her straight into custody; it was sort of a shame she didn't have an concussion, Brennan thought. When she'd first arrived, she had started asking questions, then making statements, quoting word for word what Daisy had said to her in the bowels of the haunted house, but Daisy hadn't said a word to confirm or deny a thing.
"If you have nothing to say," Temperance said finally, "I'd like to be going." She got to her feet.
"Oh," Daisy squeaked, as if on cue, her eyes following Brennan. "I may be quiet now, but my hearing is perfect. Sometimes, I'm so full of rage I can hardly speak."
"Why did you do this?" Brennan demanded, resisting an urge to smack the metal table in front of her.
Daisy looked back smugly. "It's because I admire you, Dr. Brennan." Daisy examined her nails, still caked with Quinn's blood, and then continued. "And because I loathe you."
"How can you both admire and loathe me?" she asked, still standing, peering down at the young woman in the chair.
"You are my idol, you see," Daisy said dreamily, looking up at Brennan with a shine in her eyes. But then she frowned, creases appearing on her small face. For a moment she seemed like she might cry, but it passed. "All I wanted was to be your right hand, your follower and needful assistant." She sat forward, propping her head up on her hands again. "I was certain my day had come when Dr. Addy chose to leave to be a forensic consultant in Iraq. I knew you were going to pick me to be your new assistant." Daisy was thoughtful, staring off into space.
"I didn't choose you as Zach's replacement," Dr. Brennan countered.
Daisy threw back her chair. "That's exactly right!" Tears had come into her voice and she wiped at her eyes with fists like a child. "You didn't choose me! I was supposed to be the forensic student your mind went right to, but you didn't even consider me! Instead, you picked up that drab Clark Edison, not that I have a thing against him—"
"That's not true, I did consider you," Dr. Brennan began, her brow furrowed, but Daisy interrupted her.
"No! You didn't even think of me! We're supposed to be together, Dr. Brennan!" She jumped to her feet but didn't make to approach.
"Sit down, Ms. Wick," Agent Perotta's voice boomed over the speaker.
Without protest, Daisy sank back into her chair.
"Why go after anyone else if your concerns were only for the way I handled you?" Brennan asked. She was a little annoyed to hear Daisy sobbing the same things she had while they were in the haunted house together, but these were the things that Agent Perotta needed to hear.
"Because . . . hic . . . I . . . hic hic . . . I . . . sniff . . ." Daisy dropped her hands, her face red. She looked Brennan in the eyes and said, point blank, "I wanted you to hurt. I didn't want to actually hurt you—Not physically—"
"Is that why the 'prank' you chose for me was so minor?" Brennan interrupted.
Daisy nodded, and then smiled brightly, but her tears were real enough, still dripping. Her moods changed so fast, Brennan noted with distaste. "My favorite part was when I sent my crew after your partner. Billy was the one who carried him out of Stan's house like a baby." Her eyes bore into Brennan's. "They all listen to me, whatever I say. Quinn even listened when I—" She scowled. "He did listen to me. He used to. He stopped Stan like I said."
"You instructed Quinn Masters to kill Stan Carlson?" Brennan asked quietly, wondering if Daisy was lying, trying to get attention. Still . . . if she had gotten one of them to abduct her partner, as well as go along with all the pranks and hold an FBI agent hostage, couldn't it more than possible her influence could have enticed Quinn Masters into murder? She sat down in her chair again, wondering over her morbid curiosity—could she get Daisy to confess to more?
"I told him to take care of Stan, whatever it took. Stan wasn't that savvy but he was about to find out where his missing spider went. And he'd find out it had been injected with poison, and that it had almost killed Zach Addy." Daisy blew out a breath. "Of course, Stan didn't know who Zach Addy was. The significance of the whole act would have been lost on him. But after it was done, I had Quinn. He couldn't do anything without condemning himself to death."
Brennan stared at her, amazed by how casual she had stated this, as if committing crimes of any kind meant absolutely nothing to her, from misdemeanors to murder. She felt ill learning the spider was sent to Zach with the intent to kill him.
Apparently, her blackmail had done little to deter Quinn Masters from developing a conscience. "He still turned on you," Brennan told her with measured speech. "Do you know he told us about your haunted house?" She watched Daisy clench her fists and leaned forward. "Do you know he led me to finding Booth down there in the dark?" She paused. "Do you know that Booth told me someone in an alien mask gave him water—"
Daisy shrieked, pounding her fists on the table. She was furious Dr. Brennan had stolen her thunder and was determined to get back in control, even as her voice rose to an erratic pitch. "Do you know why I did it? Do you really know why? He gets to spend so much time with you. He gets to appreciate all your wisdom. He gets to enjoy your smile." Her frown deepened. "I also hate it that he makes you laugh—you shouldn't be happy while I'm sad."
Brennan gritted her teeth again, her voice no more than a hiss. "How dare you."
"I loved watching you all frantic," Daisy went on, smiling and dreamy again, "running about, having no idea what was happening. Priceless, really. I wanted to help you—I was always there, you know." Her eyes shone. "But you never noticed me."
Brennan's mouth was set in line; she glanced at the mirror out of the corner of her eye.
"Billy said he put up quite a fight," Daisy said with awe. She sighed. "Did you know, if you hadn't been smart enough to break my little code, I wasn't going to kill him. No. I was going to keep him."
"What?" Brennan growled, jerking her head towards the intern.
"Your partner," Daisy said, as if she needed to clarify it. "Booth." She spoke his name slowly as if puckering a kiss. Then she cackled. "It would have been so delicious! We could have kept playing and—"
"You had Booth abducted just so you could prove, to yourself, how intelligent you considered me?" Brennan said incredulously, her voice rising. "That was very stupid! Not intelligent!"
Daisy smiled big again, pretending she hadn't heard the last scolding. "No, no, the proof was not just for me! It was for everyone! Especially my friends, who almost didn't go ahead with all my plans. And especially for your friends, who hold you in such high esteem! I had to do something that would make you into the big hero. And then everyone would appreciate you the way I do. But first, I wanted to hurt you, and to do that best, I had to have my friends terrify yours. And your Seeley, well, wasn't that a nice surprise? What would you have done if I did keep him?"
Brennan leaned across the table and slapped Daisy's face. She couldn't help herself; her anger had completely taken over. She felt suddenly and irrationally protective of her friends, including Booth, and she despised this young woman for what she did. "You're not above the law," Brennan sputtered. "You can't just come into peoples' lives, take whatever you want!" She had started to yell. She didn't even hear the door to the room open, or see Perrotta standing there until after Daisy smiled, holding her cheek, whispered, "Scared you, didn't I?"
"Dr. Brennan, I can take it from here," Perotta encouraged, making a small gesture towards the door.
Perotta watched the forensic anthropologist stare with hostility at her former, fallen intern. Daisy Wick grinned boldly, as if she'd received the right rise out of Dr. Brennan that she had been hoping for.
"I'm done with her," Temperance said. She stood and turned her back on Daisy, nodding once at Agent Perotta. She didn't see the smile break off Daisy's face.
"Where are you going?" Daisy shrieked suddenly, standing up so fast her chair tipped over.
"Ms. Wick, sit down!" Perrotta warned, slapping the table.
"Dr. Brennan, we're not done! We can't be done!"
Temperance noted that Daisy sounded horrified, but made no further comment or acknowledgment. It was a relief to leave the room, leave Daisy and her mad logic and creepy adoration.
"Sit down, NOW!" Perrotta nearly yelled. "Dr. Brennan may be done with you, but I am not even close."
Outside, Brennan smiled to herself. Daisy was in good hands.
# # # # #
It wasn't too long after, just a handful of days into November, that Brennan discovered Daisy Wick's letter in one of her desk drawers. Written as personal and intimate as it was, she almost considered keeping it private, unknown, because doing so would make the young intern-turned-psychopath suffer all the more. But it was evidence—more damning evidence for the prosecution to take to trial.
Temperance made a copy of the letter before really weighing the pros and cons of keeping such a piece of paper around—practically a devotion, or a love letter, exalting her as some high infinite being, a god, the true Queen of Death. She hadn't wanted to ever see the hastily scribed verse or the individual notes given to each of them again, but this . . . this was different.
It was a reminder that someone dangerous loved her genius even more than she did. And because of this, her friends had been made to suffer. Only out of rational thought, scientific deduction and simple detective skills had everyone come through this. Booth had said it was out of grace—grace of God, his exact words, but Tempe didn't agree.
She was almost relieved she hadn't found it before going to talk to Daisy the night Perotta had called—what a terrible ego trip she might have sent the intern on. But it was a comfort to have a written "confession" of sorts, one that nearly predicted the outcome of events. A perfect confession, though Ms. Wick hadn't signed her full name.
She read the letter again.
Dearest Dr. Brennan,
This is a little note from me, for later, when this is all over, when I've been caught. I just want you to know how angry I was . . . well, I suspect you already know this, from all that has been done. All I wanted, Dr. Brennan, was to be at your side, working diligently, solving cases and putting faces to the victims, those skeletons in pieces, as broken in death as in life. I just wanted to please you; but first, I needed to cool my anger. I tried, believe me, but it burned and before I knew it my insides were charcoal and ash. Death. Red hot, I reached out, smoke wafting from my hands. But you still wouldn't see me. I had to make you pay; I had to watch you suffer, and laugh at all your tears and pain. Then, I knew when it was over and you had seen what I had done, all for you, you would respect me. You will admit aloud that you made a mistake when you picked others over me. I enjoyed myself, you should know that. I smiled during your periods of pain. I loved watching each of you burn in your own ways. I loved lurking about, essentially invisible, as you all ran about like children, in terror of some unknown specter with deadly intentions slanting in the shadows in some haunted house.
And its grotesque post script:
No matter how hard I tried
A thin veil remained between
myself and The Infinite
At first, she wondered over what it was supposed to mean, if anything. She'd shown it Angela, after handing the original over to the FBI. Angela read the letter and paused, quirking an eyebrow at the letter, then at her best friend. "Brennan, why do you want keep this?" She hesitated. "I think I—No. You need to put this behind you."
"No, what?" Brennan prompted her.
Angela held the copy by her side. "Sweetie, please, you should throw this away."
Brennan took the paper from her. "Fine," she said curtly, "you don't know what it means either."
Angela sighed and took a deep breath. "I think it means that no matter what Daisy could do to get your attention, she knew she could never truly get your love. Your appreciation, your respect. All of the things she so desperately craved from you. It seemed like she wanted you to see her as your equal, and have your friendship. Or if not friendship, the thing most equivalent in a professional relationship. Maybe . . . what you have with Booth."
It took a few seconds to sink in. "Oh," Temperance breathed, letting the paper slip from her fingers.
"Are you okay?" Angela touched her arm lightly.
"I . . . believe I will be," Brennan said after another few seconds. "Thanks, Ang."
Angela smiled. "That's what I'm here for."
# # # # #
It was too early to state with accuracy that things were getting back to normal. But things were settling down after all of the late October drama, now that the case was closed, Booth was safe and mending, and all the pranksters had been locked up with the keys thrown away.
"Vincent invited all of us to tour haunted houses next season," Zach told them a week later. "Since his favorite has been closed down indefinitely." A fact confirmed the previous day by the FBI.
"That sounds . . . awesome!" Hodgins said, his mouth splitting into a wide grin.
"I am supposing I will take him up on the offer," Zach continued, shrugging as Angela's jaw dropped. "It could breed fun."
"I'm in, man," Hodgins said, clapping Zach on the shoulder as he went in the direction of his lab. "What about you, Ang?"
"If it's all the same to you, I'd rather steer clear of haunted houses next year," Angela said, patting Hodgins on the arm. It bewildered her that he could be excited—and not pissed—about returning to any haunted house or Halloween attraction that promised to be scary good. Not that she wanted to swear off all the revelries of Halloween forever; maybe just let the next one pass by with as little event as possible. "I'm all for staying in, watching a movie and passing out candy," she continued, adding after a brief pause, "unless we have to work."
The gleam was still in Jack's bright blue eyes. "But Ang, you're not afraid of the dark! Especially when you're carrying a stun gun—" He was grinning, still gleeful over what he had witnessed after escaping from his captor.
Angela sighed and crossed her arms. "It wasn't the way you make it sound, a big deal. You were yelling for me, and I was scared because you sounded scared!" She remembered herself leaving the wall and chasing Hodgins' voice, which was too far away from her. And then the monster appeared out of the dark—the monster from behind the bars that had taken a swipe at her earlier—blocking her way to Jack. With a growl, she lunged at him, not thinking about anything but finding Jack. Stun gun already in her hands, she charged it in motion and pushed it into the monster's burly chest.
When he fell, Angela saw Hodgins behind him, maskless, his eyes wild. "That was so cool!" he'd exclaimed, though she noticed his voice sounded wobbly.
"Jack? Where were you?" she asked as the two of them made their way to each other and quickly hugged. Hodgins held onto her tightly.
"One of them grabbed me," he'd murmured into her fake doll hair.
Startled, Angela pulled back. "What?" She looked for signs that he was making it up to cover for disappearing, but his face was tight with fear—a look she remembered seeing at a distance when she'd watched him nearly get run over. "Are you okay?"
He gave her a half smile. "I'm much better now."
They'd started making their way back, suddenly aware they had left Zach alone, not to mention Brennan and Booth, who were still somewhere close by but as yet unfound.
"What happened? How did you get away?" She took his hand and squeezed it hard, just to be assured she wouldn't lose him again.
"I—I'm not sure," Hodgins admitted, flustered. "I fought back but he had a good hold on me. But then, I don't know, he just let go."
"There you two are," Zach accused, standing at the wall where they'd left him. He was still wearing his mask, but from his tone the two of them guessed his expression was anything but inscrutible.
Before he could continue, Hodgins held up his hands. "Excuse us, I was just taken hostage."
"Briefly," Angela added. "And I was taking out a monster."
"Come on," Hodgins said now, "the look on Zach's face was priceless. I mean, after we got him to take off the mask."
"He'd probably say the same about us when he told us he'd found Brennan and Booth. Maybe he should have been leading us through that place instead."
"My Angie took out Booth's kidnapper with a single blow," Hodgins said, smiling.
"Sweetie, it was 20,000 volts." She smiled anyway and shook her head.
# # # # #
A few days before Halloween, one year later.
Brennan rapped on Booth's doorframe, her purse laden with DVDs—a few recent releases, as well as a few classics—all suggestions from her friends and some very helpful, knowledgable employees at the video rental. Also in her purse, candy, two bags of microwave popcorn, plastic wine glasses and a couple fifths of Booth's favorite scotch. There was more variety—of both candy and liquor—at her apartment, but she wasn't positive he'd want to go. In fact, she wasn't positive he'd want to stay here, holed up in comfortable chairs in a conference room at the Jeffersonian.
Halloween was fast approaching, but Brennan—nor anyone else—had brought it up. But Brennan remembered that, a few days before last Halloween—only a day or two before Booth's kidnapping—Booth had suggested playfully that he needed to treat Brennan to a night of Halloween movies. Her own selection had almost been censored, because it seemed most of the movies about Halloween involved inhuman serial killers who murdered entire neighborhoods before being felled by an enterprising heroine. Until the sequel, that was.
Temperance did suppose that, since they had all lived their own Halloween "horror movie plot" last year, Booth would be even less willing to sit still for a few hours, numbly sipping scotch and feeding overly buttered popcorn balls into his mouth.
The truth was, though she would hardly ever admit it, was that she didn't want him out of her sight tonight unless he needed to use the men's room.
He waved her in, setting the phone back on its cradle. "Listen," he began, his low voice causing her to come closer to his desk. He pressed his lips together and looked away.
"Booth, what is it?" Brennan tried to wait patiently, but it was tough. Even though Booth had turned his eyes to the window, she could still see a tightness along his jaw line.
"I need to ask a favor of you, Bones," Booth hissed, still looking out the window. "I realize . . . last year . . ."
"Oh," Brennan interrupted, "you don't have to—"
Booth shook his head, bringing his face level with hers as he stood up. He hoped she wouldn't see him fidgeting. "No, no, it's not what you—please, just let me—"
Brennan nodded in silent apology.
"Last year, in the hospital, I know that I was yelling at you about . . . I didn't mean it. I wanted to tell you thank you, and instead I was—"
Brennan opened her mouth to speak, but then remembered she wasn't supposed to interrupt. She had only meant to remind him that when she'd thrown her arms around him and he leaned against her that he'd whispered "Thanks, Bones," in her ear.
"What I'm trying to ask is—will you come with me and Parker trick-or-treating this year?"
"This year?" Brennan gasped. "Trick-or-treating?" It wasn't what she'd been expecting.
"Yeah." Booth smiled. "Rebecca's fine with it; I guess she's got some party to go to. And I . . . I don't want to go alone."
"But you wouldn't be alone," Brennan pointed out. "You'd be with Parker."
Booth gave her a withering look. "Please don't make me beg, Bones. Unless you have big plans too?"
There was the annual charity ball, but she couldn't say, if she were to be metaphorical, that her heart was in it this year. And she could hardly imagine asking Booth to make an appearance at the ball; he might do it, but she decided not to bring it up. "No," she said, smiling. "I'm all yours."
Booth nodded, relieved. "Thanks, Bones."
Taking a breath, she decided to ask. "Booth? Will you do something for me?"
He raised an eyebrow. "What's that, Bones?"
"Come home with me. Right now."
Booth grinned, looking boyish. "What?"
"Come on, come home with me. I'm serious," Brennan said. She walked around the desk and tugged on his sleeve.
Booth laughed. "Okay, okay, yes!"
A short time later, they were comfortable in Brennan's warm, surprisingly cozy apartment.
Booth's eyes went to her overflowing purse. "What's that you've got there, Bones? You rob a video store on the way over here? And a liquor store?" He chuckled.
Brennan sighed. "No, I did not rob a video or a liquor store! I paid with a Visa." She dropped her purse on the counter and started unloading it.
"Did you get anything good? Please don't tell me you brought the original Mummy?"
Brennan stopped, a frown creasing her forehead. "No, but I did think about it. That is a classic. And it's movie I loved as a child. I was talked out of it by a clerk who said an old black and white would hardly be scary enough, what with today's horror culture."
Booth grinned. "Get it all out, I want to see what you got!"
Brennan laughed. Booth got up and stood with her at the kitchen's island, looking over her choices, or rather other people's suggestions. "This is sweet! We're going to watch all of these? Will you protect me from the dark, Bones? What goes bump in the night and all that?"
Brennan nodded, looking over Booth's face. His eyes were twinkling but there was a touch of sadness or fear on his lips. She leaned over and kissed that corner of his jaw that still twitched occasionally with sensitivity from where he'd be punched too hard. After a year, all his physical wounds were healed but he still possessed the nervous twitches, the shakes, and he could be jumpy. Ignoring his wince, she placed a soft kiss on his lips. Brennan knew that he was still more than capable of taking care of himself and that he knew it as well as she did, but she said anyway gently, "Of course I will. I always will."
Booth closed his eyes. Her gesture and sentiment relaxed him. Horror movies had never been scary, haunted houses or hayrides or funhouses all child's play. They all still were, he reflected, even more so since he had lived and survived real horrors, not just on Halloween, either. And when he opened his eyes, Bones was still here, watching him intently with her beautiful, serious eyes. He took her hand and grabbed a DVD at random. "Come on, let's pop this in. You take a seat on the couch and I'm make the popcorn. What do you want to drink?"
"Booth," Brennan said softly, freezing him to the spot.
He didn't want her to do this, stir up the past. He had survived last Halloween because she and the squints had not given up. Booth knew that Bones would never give up on him. She had even dragged him here to cheer him up so he wouldn't have to spend the anniversary alone. Brennan surprised him when she squeezed his hand.
"Seeley, you're never alone," Brennan said, still fixing him with her serious blue gaze. "I meant what I said—I will always—"
Booth smiled and squeezed her hand back. "Let's start a new tradition, Bones. Make every Halloween from here on out a better one. What do you say? I mean, it's already better so far."
Brennan nodded. She refrained from pointing out that it was not Halloween yet, and thus, anything could still happen.
Not that she would let it.
They settled in, sharing popcorn and beer, watching the opening scenes of one of last year's scariest movies, or so the box advertised. And in a few days, they would go out into the dark, watching over Parker as he eagerly went house to house, adding to his candy collection. Brennan sighed and leaned her head against Booth's shoulder. Last year she had almost said no to a night of this, but she hadn't because she wasn't given the chance. This year she didn't want to be anywhere but here, with Booth, both hunkering down against the cold, enjoying frivolity like kids donning costumes. Enjoying each other's company. They'd earned this.