Title: Better Than Cyndi Lauper
Rating: Fun for all ages (as long as you can handle some angst)
Disclaimer: Not mine
Spoilers: Wannabe in the Weeds, Aliens in a Spaceship, Two Bodies in the Lab
Summary: Based on Monday's Wannabe in the Weeds. AU? Character death? Just give it a shot and I promise you'll be rewarded for your efforts.
AN: So I know everyone and their brother is doing one of these, but this story haunted me ALL FREAKING DAY. So what can you do? Its totally unbeta-ed, and I usually don't post anything the same day I write it, but I think I've got this ironed out pretty well. It's not my first fanfic, but it is my first for Bones. I feel like they are a tad OOC, but I think that's to be expected when dealing with Monday's ep. I hope I did them justice.
AN2: No offence to Cyndi Lauper. I love Cyndi Lauper :)
Anyone else would have been shocked to see Temperance Brennan up on that stage, jumping around vivaciously, singing at the top of her lungs. Her colleagues all watched on in good humored amazement as she belted out lyrics about girls and there need for fun; an idea that Dr. Brennan would have surely had an anthropological rebuttal for had they been in the lab. Even Angela, her best friend, was pleasantly surprised to see her normally stoic and controlled Bren hopping and bopping energetically to the piano accompanying her. No one could have predicted that she would have responded in this way.
No one, that is, except for Seeley Booth. Because Seeley Booth knew Temperance Brennan better than anyone else. Better than Angela, better than her father... better than she knew herself sometimes. He was well aware of what would happen once his partner decided to go through with this wacky little scheme to get her to sing in front of their friends. She would dive in head first, giving one hundred percent, just like she did with every other aspect of her life.
He recalled a night, almost three years ago, when he'd found a Foreigner CD stashed amongst her jazz collection and, of course, those Tibetan Throat Singers. He'd goaded her into letting herself go that night, if only for a few minutes, and had been pleased when she threw herself into singing Hot Blooded and dancing around her livingroom with him, just letting herself enjoy the moment. With him. That was the first time. The first time Booth had been given the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the frivolous little girl trapped inside the scientist. The fifteen year old, forced to grow up way before her time. He'd been waiting for a chance to meet her again ever since.
Sitting there in that piano bar, Booth watched as that little girl finally made an encore appearance; and she might as well have been the only one in the room. As far as he was concerned, she was. His whole world had narrowed down to the woman up on the stage and the wonderful timber of her voice; the way her shoulders shimmied back and forth; the way her lips curled and pouted as she sang. She was absolutely the most gorgeous creature he'd ever seen.
Careful there, Seeley-boy. That's your partner up there, and your thoughts are definitely wandering dangerously close to non-partner like territory.
He quickly and efficiently pushed the voice, one that sounded oddly and obnoxiously like his older brother, out of his head entirely. Right now he wasn't Special Agent Booth, and she wasn't Doctor Temperance Brennan. No, at this moment he was just a man, and she was the woman he loved. Yes, Seeley Booth was man enough to admit it, even if it was just to himself. He loved her. He'd known for a while now, the catalyst of this realization being when she'd been buried in that damnable car with Hodgins last year. He could deny his feelings to the rest of the world, but he was tired of lying to himself.
Had he been able to see the look on his own face just then, as his eyes followed her every movement, he would have laughed at how obvious those feelings were. He was absolutely enthralled with her. The way the stage lights reflected off her hair, casting a lovely glow about her face; the way her eyes sparkled as she watched him watching her. And her smile... God her smile was truly his undoing. She was beautiful on any other day, but right then she was down right breathtaking. He couldn't take his eyes off of her if he wanted to. Which, he had to wonder, why the hell would he?
Perfect. Everything was perfect. This moment, her joyful presence filling the room, their friends behind him, cheering her on, enjoying her happiness almost as much as he was; he couldn't have asked for more.
He should have known it couldn't have lasted.
He heard his name called once and ignored it. Whoever it was could wait until his Bones was done. He was there for her, had been waiting patiently for three years to see this side of her again, and he'd be damned if anyone distracted him from their moment. Then he heard it a second time. Something about the way it was yelled made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. His sniper instincts kicked in and he was reaching for his gun before he'd even turned around to examine the scene.
Everything after that happened in a blur. From the corner of his eye, he saw Cam, who'd been seated to his left, turn toward the back of the bar, her eyes immediately widening in fear. A split second later, he saw what she'd seen. Pam Noonan was standing a few feet away with a gun in her hand. A gun that was aimed at Bones.
He watched in horror as her lips moved, her eyes jumping from himself to Brennan up on the stage. He didn't hear what she said though, couldn't hear anything, in fact, but the loud buzzing that filled his ears. He was vaguely aware as he lunged up in front of his partner, swinging his gun around toward the threat, that she was still singing her heart out on the stage, innocently oblivious to the imminent danger to her life. He heard Pam's gun discharge a split second before his own, followed by the frightened screams of the squints, and he braced himself for the pain of the bullet that he was sure was about to rip through his chest.
Nothing came. No pain, no blood; only that loud, incessant buzzing filling his senses. He watched with detachment as Pam Noonan fell to the floor, his aim deadly accurate, before swinging around toward the now quiet stage.
She was standing there, a look of shocked disbelief painted across her face. One hand was still clutching the microphone, the other pressed right below her breasts, as if trying to catch her breath. Their eyes locked and he tried to smile, to let her know that it was all okay, that everyone was alright; immediately he knew that that assumption wasn't correct. Even as he bounded onto the stage, Brennan slowly started to sink to the floor, her eyes never leaving his. He slid to her side as her knees hit the ground, and slowly helped her to lay flat.
"Bones?" His voice came out rough and thick, and he chastised himself for not being stronger. She needed him to be strong. He pulled her hand away from her shirt and panic clawed at his soul when he saw the blood well up from the gun shot wound.
"Zach, call 911!" he heard Hodgins order. He also heard Angela's cry as she realized that Brennan had been hit. However, it was all background noise to him, a cacophony of screams, of glass breaking and chairs being knocked over, feet pounding the floor as the other patrons attempted to escape the carnage; all this was barely discernable above the ever present buzzing that had yet to relent.
"Booth?" It was so quiet, so soft, yet he heard it over everything else, clear as the crystal blue of her eyes. Eyes that were now wide and glassy; full of fear, confusion and pain. Oh God, she was in pain.
"Shh, Bones, no talking, okay? Just focus on me. Look at me Temperance," he demanded desperately when she seemed to loose focus. He pressed down on the gaping hole in her chest and she hissed in reply. "God, Bones, I'm sorry. I'm sorry," he felt the tears fill his eyes and made no move to stop them from falling.
"I was singing..." her voice, still soft, was full of confusion as she looked to him for an explanation.
He tried to smile through his crushing heartache. "And you really are better than Cyndi Lauper." His voice cracked as he watched her blood slip out from between his fingers. More trickled from the corner of her mouth as she suddenly gasped for breath. The ache in his chest doubled in intensity, feeling her pain as if he'd been the one shot.
He felt a presence beside him, but refused to break eye contact with his partner. "Seeley?" It was Cam. "Seeley, let me in. I'm a doctor, let me help her." He tried to comprehend what she was saying, but the buzzing was so loud... and Bones was so pale...
Then her eyes, her vibrant, kind, brilliant eyes, slipped shut. Her breath rattled in her chest one last time, then she was still. He stared for a few second, not understanding what was happening. Then he looked up a Cam, who had Brennan's wrist in her hand, checking her pulse. His face pleaded with her to help. Another couple of seconds, and the other woman's distraught expression, the tears that were beginning to fall, told him what he didn't want to hear.
"I'm sorry Seeley."
He heard Angela's gut wrenching wail behind him, but he didn't turn around. He looked back down at Brennan, at his hands, covered in her blood. "No. NO." He shook his head stubbornly, and in any other circumstance he would have laughed at how like Parker the gesture was. But he didn't laugh. He'd never laugh again if...
"NO! Cam, wake her up. Wake her up, Camille!" His hands began to shake as he gripped his partner's shoulders and shook her lightly. "Bones... Bones... BONES, PLEASE! Come on Temperance, come one, wake up!" His stained fingers ran through her hair and across her face frantically, inadvertently smearing some blood down the side of her cheek. It was a stark contrast against her sickly, greying skin. "Please please please please..." his litany was broken by the sob that welled up in his throat, but he swallowed it back. He didn't need to cry because she was going to be fine.
He heard the sirens in the distance and he leaned down close to Brennan's face. "Hear that Bones? Help is coming. They're gonna fix you right up, okay? Okay?" When he received no answer he finally let a single sob break free. "Temperance wake up and tell me it's okay!" The last sentence was uttered with such hopeless desperation, it seemed almost impossible that she could refuse him. But death was funny like that, and she remained still and cold, and Booth realized that this really was it. She was gone.
The buzzing in his ears increased ten-fold, as did the pain in his chest. He no longer heard Cam sniffing right beside him, or Angela sobbing behind them. Jack, Zach, Sweets, they all faded away. He thought someone called his name, thought he should probably answer them, but it seemed to come from the end of a very long tunnel. Then he couldn't hear anything at all, and suddenly he was too tired to care.
He stared, transfixed, at the trail of blood slowly making its way from the corner of Brennan's mouth. "This isn't happening," he stated dully as the blood dripped ominously onto the stage beneath them. "This isn't happening, this isn't happening, thisisn'thappeningthisisn'thappeningthisisn'thappening..."
When the world started to tilt and spin, he knew he was moments away from passing out. The pain in his heart reached unbearable proportions as some small part of his mind put together that this was the last time he'd see his Bones. He felt himself falling backward, but had no energy, or will, to stop his decent. His last though before darkness engulfed him was, 'I wonder if this is what it feels like to die of a broken heart...'
He slowly made his way back to consciousness, swimming through an abyss of dark, quiet nothingness. As the fog in his head cleared, he tried to remember what had happened. Why was it so hard for him to wake up? He felt as if he'd been hit with a MAC truck. Opening his eyes slowly, Booth recognized immediately that he was in a hospital. He'd been in enough to discern the smell of antiseptic and sounds of the monitors keeping track of his vitals.
Hearing a noise to his left, he slowly, carefully turned his head, surprised when he felt little pain. So, he deduced, either I'm not hurt too badly, or I'm on some serious pain meds.
Locating the source of the ruckus, he smiled slightly at the elderly nurse who was checking his IV line. "Hi," he rasped drowsily.
"Well, look who's up," she said in a hushed voice, returning his smile. "Your friends will certainly be relieved." With that statement, bits of his memory started to return in flashes. The piano bar. Pam. She had a gun. It was pointed at...
"Bones," he moaned softly. Suddenly he could feel the all encompassing pain in his chest return. Pam Noonan killed Bones.
Misunderstanding, the nurse patted his leg comfortingly. "One of your ribs was broken, honey, but you'll be fine. The doctors were able to patch you up good as new."
Rib? How'd he break a rib? Not that it mattered much to him. Nothing did. He just wanted to sink back into oblivion; to forget everything again.
Something on the opposite side of his bed caught the nurses attention and she smiled brightly. "He just woke up, so he's still a bit out of it."
Booth turned slowly toward the other side of the room. There, curled up sleepily in an uncomfortable looking pleather chair, was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. She was wearing hospital scrubs. Her hair was in a messy ponytail, wet strands falling out to frame her face, which was void of any visible make-up. Her eyes were red as if she'd been doing a great deal of crying recently. And her smile... that smile he thought he'd lost forever. It stretched across her face as his eyes drank her in.
The nurse snuck out silently as Brennan made her way to Booth's bedside and perched herself on its edge. "How are you feeling?" she asked as she pick up his hand and squeezed it. He looked from her face to their joined hands and back again, confusion warring with elation for control of his heart.
Noticing his obvious discombobulation, Brennan laid her free hand on the side of his face to focus his attention on her. "Hey, are you okay?"
"Temperance wake up and tell me it's okay!"
The pain in Booth chest throbbed in time with his pulse, which was steadily picking up speed, as his eyes pierced hers.
"Booth?" Brennan glanced at his monitors nervously. "Booth, you need to calm down. Maybe I should go get your doctor." Brennan made move to get up, pulling her hand from Booth's as she stood.
"No!" Booths hand gripped her fingers like a vice, unwilling to break the contact. "Don't leave," he pleaded softly, his eyes still locked on her face. "You left before. Don't leave again."
She sat back down slowly, readjusting her hand in his. "I didn't leave, Booth," she assured him gently. "I've been here all night. I even showered in the nurses locker room and borrowed some scrubs so that I wouldn't have to go home, in case you woke up. Angela left not long ago to get a change of clothes from my apartment. I haven't been anywhere but here, I promise."
He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. The throbbing in this chest was beginning to dissipated some, but he felt a killer headache begin to form behind his eyes. "What happened?" he finally asked. He kept his eyes closed and his hand firmly wrapped around hers, frightened beyond reason of what might happen if he let go.
"You don't remember?" She asked uncertainly. When he didn't answer, she continued. "Pam Noonan showed up at the piano bar with a gun." he nodded slightly and she went on. "She shot you. Here." Her hand lightly touched the bandage covering one side of his chest. Suddenly the pain that vibrated through his chest took on a whole new meaning. Things were starting to come together. He'd been shot, not Bones. It was him that had lain on that dirty floor, bleeding. It had been her begging him to be okay. A nightmare. He'd had a horrible, terrifying, anesthesia induced nightmare. She wasn't dead. And just like that, the ache in his heart lessened considerably.
"She was aiming at me, Booth," Brennan went on softly, looking to where her hand rested over his wound. "You shouldn't have gotten in the way. Parker... Parker needs his father. It wasn't rational... I'm not worth-"
"Stop," he demanded almost harshly, snapping his eyes open. She brought her gaze back up to meet his intense stare. "Do not finish that sentence." She nodded hesitantly and glanced back down at his bandages. He saw her eyes fill with tear, which she tried hard not to let fall. Her efforts were fruitless, however, and he watched as two slipped down her face, quickly followed by three more.
"Hey. Hey, Bones," he whispered, his voice immediately becoming gentle and cajoling. He longed to reach up and wipe the traces of sorrow from her face, but his energy was starting to wane.
"I was really scared Booth," she confessed brokenly. With his last bit of strength he tugged her hand, and she complied resting her head carefully on his uninjured side. Her head was right below his nose and he took a long, cathartic breath. He loved her smell. How would he have ever made it through the rest of his life without her?
"I know you were scared, Bones. Believe me, I do," he kissed the top of her head, "but we're both here. We're both alive. That's all that matters."
They laid there silently for many minutes, just holding one another; reaffirming their bond.
"You're mom was right. You are better than Cyndi Lauper."
"I'm going to fall asleep soon. Promise me you'll be here when I wake up."
"I promise," she replied instantly. It was obvious that something was happening between them. A definite shift in their relationship had just taken place, but neither had the energy to address it. Instead they fell asleep together, secure in the knowledge that the other would be there when they woke.
I don't beg for feedback, but it would be welcome and appreciated :)