A/N: Sorry I didn't post this earlier as I'd promised, but it's been years, so what's a few more days. Enjoy, although it's the last full one.
The man sat in his car and wished he'd bought one with more leg room. Of course, when he had purchased it comfort during a stakeout had not been a criterion. Neither was inconspicuousness during said stakeout. Instead of the cliché black car or even a dark green or navy one, he had picked bright red. His girlfriend called it the 'early midlife crisis vehicle'.
In addition to being uncomfortable, he was also bored out of his skull. The apartment he was supposed to be watching was so dark and silent that he checked the address again to make sure he was in the right place. It still said the same thing:
Dr. Temperance Brennan
415 Elmsworth NW
He took a swig of his coffee, grimacing as he realized that it had become cold and clotted. He dropped it back into the cupholder, splashing a few droplets over the sides, and reclined his seat. He might as well be comfortable while he spied on this completely empty apartment.
Or maybe not so empty. The lights had turned on and he could see four figures, all women, through the glass. Maybe now something would actually begin to happen.
Temperance Brennan loved her best friend, she really did. But there was only so much bothering she could take.
"Angela, I'll make it up to you later."
"Brennan, please?" Angela's voice became cajoling as she flopped down in front of her friend's desk. "You skipped out on our girls' day, so now we have to have a girls' night."
"I'm not in the mood to go out and get drunk tonight."
"You just don't want me to designate Booth as our driver like I did last time," Angela said with a grin that suggested that perhaps she already needed a designated driver herself. "But fine, we'll stay in. We'll go to your place and eat ice cream and watch romantic movies."
Brennan glanced at the pile of reports that she really should be doing. Then she looked up at Angela's pleading face...and her sharp grinning teeth.
"Alright," she acquiesced.
"Great!" Angela bounded toward the the door, calling over her shoulder, "Meet by the lab entrance at 5 o'clock and not a second later. I mean it, Bren. Don't make me come up here to get you. I'm going to go invite Buffy and Willow so it will be a real party. Get ready to play Truth or Dare!"
"Wait, you just said romantic movies!" Brennan yelled after her. She leaned back in her chair and pinched the bridge of her nose. She just hoped that the dares wouldn't involve anything that would get her kicked out of her apartment building. It never occurred to her to worry about what truths she might be asked to tell.
Booth arrived an hour and a half before Angela's dictated meeting time.
"Hey, Bones," he mumbled through a mouthful of Snicker's bar, before swallowing. "Here's the file on the Phillip's case. Give it a quick look-through, we're going to trial next week on Wednesday." He turned to walk out of the office, tossing a "see you later" over his shoulder.
"Booth, wait." She strode after him. "Are you sure we shouldn't go over the file together? Now?"
"Nope," he managed while chewing, "You know this one backwards and forwards."
"Well, feel free to call me tonight. Any time. For paperwork or a case or-or anything, really."
Booth couldn't contain his smile any longer. "You're trying to get out of plans with Angela," he stated.
"Yes," she admitted defeatedly.
"She's your best friend," he reminded her, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, and even I can't control her." She leaned back against a wall, letting her head fall back with a slight thud. She pulled a deep sigh into her lungs. "We're having a slumber party at my apartment. With Buffy and Willow."
Booth snorted. "No way in hell you own a copy of Sleepless in Seattle."
"Why would I? I live in Washington." She looked up at him in confusion that turned to concern as she noticed the shadows under his eyes for the first time.
"Are you okay, Booth?"
He chewed up the last bite of his candy bar and turned away from her, tossing out the wrapper. "Okay? Yeah, sure, I'm fine."
Brennan almost pushed, almost asked him if he was positive that he was alright. But then she thought about the balance of their relationship: he was on the feelings side and she was the rational one. She knew nothing about other people's emotions, while he was always gauging them, investigating them. "If you're sure," she said.
"Yeah. Listen, have a good time tonight.
Brennan was the last to reach the meeting place. Luckily, the other women were chatting quite amicably.
"Ready to go?" Angela seemed positively giddy.
The women walked out to the parking lot. Realizing that they couldn't just leave their cars in the parking lot overnight, they all drove to Brennan's apartment together. They met again in the lobby of the building and took the stairs up to the fourth floor. Brennan unlocked her door and turned on the lights.
"Nice place," Buffy commented politely.
"Thanks." Brennan wiped her hands nervously on her jeans. "Um, there's a guest room, but it only sleeps two, so I guess we can set up some air mattresses in the living room."
Twenty minutes later, the previously immaculate apartment was a true slumber party zone. All four women were laid out in their pajamas on air mattresses. How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days was playing in the background (courtesy of Angela's DVD and portable DVD player) but none of them were watching.
"Definitely burgundy," Angela pronounced, uncapping the bottle of nail polish and beginning to paint Buffy's toes.
"Is it time for truth or dare?" Willow asked, bouncing a little and reminding her best friend of their teenage years.
"Yes!" Angela's grin was huge. "You can go first."
Willow looked to the person to her right. "Truth or dare, um..." She trailed off, not knowing what to call the uncomfortable looking doctor.
"Temperance, or Tempe," Brennan provided. "And I pick dare."
"Ok, Tempe," Willow nodded. "I dare you to do the "is your refrigerator running" joke on your grumpiest neighbor."
"I don't know what that means."
A few minutes later, she did and Mr. Jenkins in 14G was getting a rude call from a woman with a very strange accent. The other women sat by, giggling helplessly, as Brennan hung up and looked at them furiously.
"That was humiliating. I think he knew it was me. He will definitely mention it the next time we're picking up mail at the same time."
"Sorry, sorry," Willow gasped. "It's your turn."
To Brennan's right was Buffy. She anticipated the question and blurted out truth before she was asked.
Brennan's brow furrowed. "What is the most interesting demon you've ever had to face."
Buffy considered. She had thought it would be something related to her supernatural life, but interesting was such a broad term. "I suppose..." She answered slowly, "I'd have to say Sweets, the demon that made everyone sing. And we weren't half bad."
Brennan tilted her head. "Interesting," was her only response, although it was obvious that her brain was working furiously.
"Ok, Angela, truth or dare?"
Angela paused in her toenail painting to think. "I'm feeling adventurous. Let's try a dare."
"Ok," Buffy looked downright dangerous with that smirk on her face. "Go out into the hall. You have to ask the first person you see if they'll mind rubbing lotion on your back."
Angela made a face and stood. At the door, she turned to Brennan. "You'd tell me if any of your neighbors were sleazy old people, right?"
Brennan looked speculative. "Depends. How old is old?"
Angela looked faintly ill. "Here goes..." She opened the door.
A small iron-colored spherical object landed at her feet. It started emitting gray smoke into the apartment. The next second, two figures covered fully in black slipped through the door. They knocked Angela out immediately upon entry. Brennan tried to move to help her friend, but the smoke seemed to be some sort of chemical and she found herself falling numbly to the ground as well.
"There's no sweet smell. It can't be chloroform..." she thought before she lay unconscious next to Buffy and Willow.
Seeley Booth was pretty sure he deserved a medal. He was going to rescue his Bones, even if it meant facing a fate scarier than death: the wrath of Angela Montenegro upon being cheated out of girl time with her best friend.
A fate scarier than that occurred to him as he approached Bones' door only to see it ajar with a faint hint of smoke curling out. He picked up the pace and covered his face with his jacket sleeve as he crashed shoulder-first into the door. With his momentum, he nearly tripped over Angela. She stirred as he went around opening windows. The smoke dissipated quickly, leaving the two (two! Why the hell are there only two? Where's Bones?) women to groan themselves awake. When they were seated comfortably on the couch with mugs of cocoa, Booth started shooting the questions that he desperately needed answers to. Unfortunately, neither Willow nor Angela could provide very useful information.
"They took Bones. Angela, has she been working on any cases lately? Anything weird or potentially dangerous?"
"No," Angela shook her fogged up head, her voice teary. "The weirdest case she worked on lately was..." Her eyes met Willow's.
"Angel's case." Booth's voice seemed not to be coming from his body.
"It must have something to do with Angel's case," Willow said from his other side. "They took Buffy also."
"We need to call him," Booth admitted hollowly and drew out his cell phone to call a man he never wanted to speak to.
A/N: So, it leaves off at a little bit of a cliffhanger. Sorry about that. You can request an outline of the planned final three chapters by PMing me. I hope you enjoyed it anyway.