Spoilers for "The Wannabe in the Weeds."

This is the first Bones fic I've posted. It's a post-ep for "The Wannabe in the Weeds," and I wanted to get it posted before the season finale. I barely made it!

Please read and review. I'd love to know what works and what doesn't work. Thanks!

--

Temperance Brennan sat forward in her chair, elbows resting on her thighs, her chin supported by her clasped hands. She stared at Booth, her eyes unblinking for extended amounts of time. The scene kept replaying in her head. She was on stage singing and having a great time. She was a girl who just wanted to have fun.

Then her world crumbled.

Booth stood, his back to her. She heard the shot over the music, then Booth stumbled backward absorbing the impact of the bullet meant for her. She rushed from the stage, waves of nausea immediately rolling through her body. She reached for him as he collapsed and then sank to the floor beside him. She looked from her fallen partner to the crazed stalker with the gun. Then, before Pam could fire again, Brennan grabbed Booth's gun and shot Pam in the throat. Her attention returned to Booth, who grasped one of her hands in his, and she covered the bullet wound with her bare hand, trying to slow the bleeding. His warm blood ran between her fingers, but she kept talking to him, encouraging him to stay conscious.

--

"Bren…" Angela gently touched her friend's shoulder.

Brennan jumped slightly at the contact, but her eyes remained focused on Booth.

"How are you doing?" Angela asked quietly.

"How do you think I am? My partner almost died!" Her voice cracked with the last word, and a lump formed in her throat. She slumped forward and closed her eyes. "I'm sorry, Ange. I didn't mean to snap at you."

"You're stressed and scared. I know it wasn't directed at me. Sweetie, when was the last time you ate?"

"I'm not hungry."

"But you need to eat something."

Brennan's blue eyes flicked to Angela's brown ones. "I'm not leaving Booth."

"He's sleeping right now, Sweetie. He's going to be fine."

"Doesn't matter. I…need to be here."

Angela finally nodded, accepting her friend's stubbornness and loyalty. She leaned down and hugged Brennan. "Just take care of yourself so you can take care of Booth when he goes home."

Brennan chuckled despite the situation. "Thanks."

--

One of the nurses had found a reclining chair for Brennan, and she made herself comfortable—as much as was possible—beside Booth's bed. Sleep eluded her, however, and she was still awake when the sun arose. She sighed as she watched the dim light play across his face. Even badly injured and hospitalized, he looked peaceful as he slept. The peacefulness was all due to the sedatives and pain medicine, of course, but Brennan still took comfort in knowing that Booth wasn't feeling much pain. She reached forward and gently touched his cheek. She could feel the stubble beneath her fingertips, and she fought back tears of joy. He was alive.

Booth's eyelids fluttered open, and Brennan quickly jerked her hand away.

"I'm not gonna bite, Bones," Booth whispered.

Brennan let out a half-sob, half-laugh. "You have no idea how glad I am to hear you say that."

"You've worried that I bite?" Booth smiled as much as he could. The medication was wearing off.

"No, you called me Bones."

"Mmm…"

"How did you know it was me?"

"Always know when you're in the room," he mumbled.

"How do you feel?"

"Like I was shot."

"That's not funny, Booth," Brennan chided.

"But it's the truth. And I figured you would appreciate a moment of logic."

"You're right," Brennan concluded.

They were silent for a few moments, then Booth pressed a button on the side of the bed and raised himself into a sitting position. "Did you stay all night?"

"Yes."

"You didn't have to do that, Bones."

"Of course I did, Booth. You're my partner. Besides, you took a bullet meant for me. It was the least I could do to sit with you."

He reached for her hand. "I'm sorry for making you a target. If I hadn't involved Pam, this wouldn't have happened. Although, I'd do it all over to hear you sing again."

Brennan inhaled quickly and pulled her hand away from his grasp. "No more singing, Booth. No more dancing. No more music. Not with you."

Booth's brow furrowed. "What are you talking about, Bones? You're not making sense."

"Think about it, Booth," she said as the lump returned to her throat. "Every time I let my guard down, every time I loosen up, something happens and you almost die. The bomb at my place, the bullet. They were both meant for me. It should have been me!" A single tear escaped and ran down her face.

Booth tried to scoot closer to her, searing pain shooting through his body. He grasped her hand again and held it tightly when she tried to pull away. "Look at me, Bones. This was not your fault. You wouldn't have this bullseye on your back if we didn't work together. You wouldn't be involved in these cases…"

"Are you saying you don't want to work together anymore?"

"No! That's definitely not what I want. I just don't want you thinking this was your fault. It's not. Those people were after me, and they knew they could get to me through you. It's the ultimate psychological revenge. Eliminating you would have been a victory for them—the ultimate devastation for me." He paused and both let the words sink in. Then he cleared his throat and the moment was gone. The serious tone was replaced by a more relaxed one. "I'm just glad I was there to protect you." A smile tugged at a corner of his mouth.

Brennan rolled her eyes and let out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. "I hate psychology. Besides, I don't need protection. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself."

He sighed. "You're not invincible, though, and while I know you'd kick ass in most situations, sometimes it takes more than one person. A team. We are a team, Bones, and there's no shame in needing help."

"Sweets would agree with that assessment. You know he's going to request that we have another round of therapy."

"You're probably right. It's not like we could hide that I got shot…"

"Or that I shot someone. He was there. He saw it all. So did everyone from the lab."

"Aw, crap!"

"What?"

"You don't think Sweets will insist on group therapy with you, me, and the Squints, do you?" Booth's head flopped back against the pillow. "I'd really hate to be a part of that. No offense. Hodgins would think it was all a conspiracy, and Angela and Sweets would be a matchmaking tag-team. We'd never get anything settled."

"So we tell him it's just the two of us or no one at all?"

Booth nodded. "Yeah, but only if he brings it up."

The conversation stopped as Booth's breakfast tray arrived. Booth took a bite of what he assumed was egg and looked at Brennan.

"Bones, go home and get some sleep. You look exhausted."

"I'm fine."

"You know, I can tell when you're lying, too. I'm going to be okay. In a little pain, but I will survive. Go home and take care of yourself so you can take care of me when I go home."

Brennan laughed. "Angela said the same thing." She stood and walked to the door.

"Bones?"

"Yeah, Booth?"

He held up a small carton. "Would you open my juice?"

"Sure. That's what a team does—they help each other."

Booth smiled. "I'm going to remind you of that next time you need help."

"You've already helped me more than you'll ever know." She took his free hand and gently squeezed it. "Thank you, Booth, for being everywhere I need you to be."

"Anytime, Bones. Anytime. If you really want to thank me, though, I'd love to hear you sing again."

"Don't push it, Booth!" she called over her shoulder as the door closed.