Title: The Object of my Affection
Author: Shannon - shannyfish
Disclaimer: I do not own "Bones" or its characters, Fox does. This is merely for entertainment purposes only.
Summary: Booth and Brennan must struggle with not only the Grad Students trying to take Zack's old position, but also help get through a tragic end.
Warning: Post Season Three - "Pain in the Heart". Would take place during Season Four, probably mid to late. Warning! Do not start reading this unless you plan on reading all…like…one hundred chapters (it might be that many…might not…). This will be an epic/saga-type fic and shall include all kinds of fun plot twists. The rating of this story will most likely fluctuate, FYI.
Chapter 67 – "Settling…but not for long…"
Author's Note: Okay, so I promised to finish this and I am going to! I actually was ready to sit down and finish this a while ago and then someone flamed one of my stories and pretty much killed my muse. My writing style has changed since I last updated this one, but hopefully I can continue the style I was using so it will have the same flow.
I had thought about tweaking this finishing storyline a bit because I had originally thought of it with the sniper storyline, but had thought that it was a better idea to use it to wrap this up because of how things are already set up in "The Object of My Affection". Hope you enjoy!
Trailer #1: h t t p : / www . mediafire . com / ?20w12iod0dd
Hopefully this all shows us, just remove the spaces : )
It had been a couple of weeks since their last case. Things had quieted down and Booth knew that things were settling into place. They'd bought their house together. Brennan had chosen an intern, Miss Kensington Hart. He actually didn't mind the quiet. Sure, this wasn't helping them to solve any of the open cases. The cases with the mummies was coming up empty. The gravedigger had gone silent. How could he really complain about a lack of murders?
So, they'd taken the time to focus on their lives and their new residence. This had been a long time coming as far as Booth was concerned, it was nice though. He still wasn't too keen on the price tag, but Brennan had been right…about it all. The team had helped them with the move and now it was all about unpacking and painting. They'd thought about painting beforehand, but as far as he and Brennan were concerned with the paint, it was all fine. They'd promised Parker that he could have his room painted light blue, and had figured that that was reasonable. Right now, he and Brennan were out there with Angela shopping for new bedding and other new fun things for his room.
He went through and started to make sure that all the boxes were in the right rooms. The gang had tried to make it easier by doing that, but he'd found some in the wrong places. He'd figured he'd get a start on unpacking, but at the same time he wanted to set up furniture that had been broken down, namely beds. He really wanted to sleep in a bed later that night.
Booth smiled to himself. He wouldn't be sleeping alone and he really suddenly realized that he was really looking forward to that. He left the boxes and headed to the master bedroom in order to do a few things. The first order of business was to install a lock on their door (maybe two or three to be safe) and the second was to get their bed set up. He knew he could definitely get it done before Brennan returned with Parker and Angela.
He fished out the new doorknob lock set from a bag that he'd dropped in the room earlier. Their room was painted a nice color, muted and subtle, but it was something that helped to brighten it and keep it from seeming sterile. He pulled out the new nickel colored lock set and broke it out of the plastic packaging. Leaving it strewn on the floor, he went to work removing the other doorknob set. It only took him a few minutes to switch the out. Luckily he didn't have to use more than a screwdriver. He'd been a tad worried that he'd need a drill or something. It was a small thing, but it was a small thing that was done. He took a moment to marvel at his work before collecting the pieces to the old set and placing them into the bag.
Moving on, Booth took his time assembling the bed frame. This had at first been the hard part, whose furniture to use, but then Brennan had pointed out that it could go in the guest room and that had been that. Everything had been solved in that second. Since Brennan's furniture was nicer, they had decided to have it in the master bedroom. He hadn't argued. After all, Booth had been the one to point out just that fact.
Nearly an hour later, he had the bed frame put together, the box spring and mattress in place, and the bed made. He'd even taken the time to adjust the other furniture units in the bedroom around and into place. The boxes had all been shifted around as well, so when they were unpacked it would be quick and if they didn't get to it right away, then they weren't in their way. He thought it was a good plan.
He hoped that Brennan would be surprised when they got home. He moved on to work on Parker's bed. Booth knew that they were getting some new stuff for Parker's bedroom, but he figured that the bed frame he had and such could be set up and he'd let them all go to town on decorating. He thought about painting the room, but he sort of wanted Parker to help with that. He figured that Parker would have a ball picking out the exact color and then helping to paint a bit.
Time passed and Booth had managed to not only set up the master bedroom furniture and Parker's room, but also the master bedroom and had started to unpack things in the kitchen. He realized that it was starting to get dark and although he was certain that Angela could shop all day long, he doubted that Parker or Brennan could deal with it. He checked his phone. No messages. No voicemails. No missed calls. He frowned and dialed Brennan's phone. It just rang…and went to voicemail. Sure, that had happened before, but not often and especially never when she was out with Parker.
Worry overtook him for a moment and then he thought of about fifty reasons to why Brennan may not be picking up her phone. He texted her, figuring that if she was somewhere she couldn't talk that maybe she could just text him back quickly. He left his phone the counter. He tried to distract himself by continuing to unpack the kitchen boxes. It only lasted barely five minutes before he picked up the phone and tried Brennan again. Nothing. It rang once and then went to voicemail. That was never a good sign. That usually meant one of two things: either she'd hit 'end' on the first ring and routed the call directly to voicemail or her phone was off. He immediately dialed Angela.
Angela's bright voice answered and he sighed in relief. "Hey Angela, I was just wondering when you three were going to be home…"
((I left Brennan and Parker nearly two hours ago. They haven't shown up yet?))
He felt like he'd been kicked in the chest. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't see, the world blurred around him. Panic flooded his mind.
((Booth? They haven't come home yet?))
"No," he barely got out and as swallowed heavily and closed his eyes for a moment.
((Brennan said that they were going to go right home.))
"I'm—I'm going to try to locate her car… I'll—I'll call you back," he mumbled before quickly hanging up. He immediately called the FBI. He'd put out an APB on her car and he'd also see if the vehicle's GPS was active. He tried to focus; he couldn't give in to the panic that had settled into him. That wouldn't do them any good. He tried to tell himself that perhaps there was a good reason why they were home…why Brennan wasn't picking up.
If he found that her car was parked at the mall still, then he'd feel silly and chalk it up to them seeing a movie. He could deal with being thought of as a panic-er or silly. Just as long as those he loved were safe.
. . .
It hadn't taken long to find Brennan's car. The GPS was still working and a local police officer had checked on it. It was abandoned and had just been left on the side of the road. It wasn't what Booth had hoped to hear. Actually, it was the last thing he wanted to hear. The officer had reported no signs of distress, but Booth had to check it out himself.
The car looked normal to him. There were no signs of struggle within or damage to the vehicle. Booth didn't know what to make of it.
The officer and Booth had even started up the car to ensure that it hadn't broken down. Sure enough, the engine turned over. The gas tank was nearly full. There were no service lights on the dash. It was a mystery.
"I'm afraid that there are no traffic cameras here, Agent Booth," the officer said.
"There has to be cameras between here and the mall they were at," Booth insisted. "The mall has to have cameras at the very least."
The officer nodded. "You said that someone knew that they'd left the mall?" He paused. "We can go from the mall cameras and then hope that she took streets that were equipped with traffic cameras."
"Let's do it," Booth said.
"The FBI I'm sure has better equipment to process the video, Sir."
"Yeah…" Booth said slowly. "You're right. Just get me the video and we'll track Doctor Brennan from that."
The officer nodded. "I'll have the car towed to evidence for now." He was quiet for a moment, examining the vehicle. "I hope you find them, Sir."
"I hope so too…" Booth said quietly as he headed back towards his vehicle.
. . .
Brennan awoke with a groan. She hurt all over. Memories rushed back and she immediately started to search the room with her eyes for Parker. He wasn't more than three feet away from her. From the looks of it he was unconscious. She scooted and reached out to check for a pulse. It was steady and she immediately noticed his breathing. She let out a breath and then allowed herself to lie back on the floor once again.
What had happened? Where were they?
Those were the biggest questions and Brennan had no answers. She struggled to think back. She remembered clearly that Angela had helped her load the shopping bags into the back of her car. Parker had buckled into his seat, she'd made sure of that. Brennan had turned on a CD that Parker had requested and she clearly remembered leaving the parking lot. Other than that, all she remembered was heading for home…their new home.
Did she blackout? Was she in an accident?
Fear rose in her as she realized that there were other possibilities. If she'd blacked out for some reason then she'd either be on the side of the road, most likely crashed into something, or be in the hospital. If she'd been in an accident, then she'd be in the hospital. Either way, Booth would be there. Booth wasn't there. Only her and Parker.
Had they been taken? Who would take them?
Brennan knew that there was probably a list of people who would try to cause her harm because of all the cases she'd worked, but why take Parker? Did they not know that Parker wasn't her child? She would think that someone coming after her would do their homework.
Carefully, she tested her limbs. They ached, but they all moved. Slowly, she was able to sit up, though her head ached. It thudded and wished for painkillers and a long nap. That wasn't going to happen right now though. Right now she needed to figure out where they were and what was going on…and if possible, figure out a plan to get out. Booth would be worried for them. Booth… She knew that if he called Angela then he'd know…and he'd worry. She hadn't wanted to worry or stress him. The last couple of weeks had been nice like that. No stress. No worries. But this… What was this?
"Doctor Brennan, it's good to see you awake finally."
The voice startled her and she looked around quickly. Where had it come from? She instinctively moved closer to Parker. She'd protect him. Though Parker wasn't her child, he was Booth's, and she'd protect him with her life. "Who are you? Why did you bring us here?" she asked quickly. There was a bit of silence and then laughter. She just waited and hoped for answers.
"Who I am isn't important… Though, I suppose why you're here is more important."
"Why?" she pressed.
"People want you, Doctor Brennan. Dangerous people."
"Am I a hostage? Please let the boy go," she said. "He has nothing to do with this… He's just a child…" Brennan hoped that they just wanted her. She hoped that perhaps the voice, the man behind it, would take the logic in it. After all, an unconscious child couldn't do him any harm.
"A hostage…I don't think that's the right word. Let's just say that right now I'm going to hold onto you… The time is coming when you will be needed in order to negotiate… As for the boy, he may not be your child but he is your partner's. With you and the boy, I think we can get Agent Booth to do anything that we ask in return for your safe return."
Her heart dropped. They were hostages…and worse they were going to be used as pawns in his game in order to manipulate Booth. She really didn't like that. It was one thing to come after her. It was quite another to use a child in his games. That wasn't fair. "Please, let him go…"
"I don't intend to hurt either of you."
Brennan looked around the room. It looked almost like a hotel room. There was a large bed complete with bedding, what looked like a closet, and what looked like a bathroom. There were other things as well…a small bookshelf filled with books and a television with a DVD player and DVDs nearby. The basics to keep them there long term were all there. She instantly wondered when she noticed children's books and children's movies if they had been the intended targets, her and Parker both. It was scary. She and Booth had taken a big leap…moving in together…to be a family.
"If you cooperate, Doctor Brennan, then I can assure you that the child will not be harmed."
"I'll do what you ask," she found herself saying. She wouldn't allow Parker to be harmed. She'd take care of him and protect him until they got out… Booth would find them. She had faith in him.
"Good. That's what I was hoping you'd say. I'll be back to speak with you later."
Brennan carefully scooped up Parker's lifeless body and carried him to the bed. She removed his shoes and jacket and then tucked him in. She sat on the edge of the bed, just staring at him. She couldn't imagine what Booth was thinking…what he was going through. She knew that he had to be in pain. There was no way that Booth could not be in pain. This was a parents' worst nightmare, to have their child taken.
"I'm sorry, Booth," she whispered as a tear fell down her face. She hated to be used in the plot. Though Brennan loved Booth fiercely, she hated to be his weakness. He may word it differently, but that's what she felt like. She was a weakness for him; she could be used as leverage in order to make Booth do whatever the mysterious voice wanted. That wasn't fair. Not to her, not to Parker, and not to Booth.
. . .
Booth had had the video footage forwarded to the Jeffersonian. He figured that if anyone could reconstruct Brennan's path home, it would be Angela. Angela also had a knack for thinking outside of the box and he'd found over the years that she could do amazing things with the video and audio from footage. He was hoping for that here.
"I walked her to her car," Angela said as she played the video. The mall that they'd gone to was pretty high end, so there was a lot of security cameras…at least that was good for them. It creeped her out a little bit, but at the same time it eased her mind. She sped up the video of her and Brennan talking as they put the bags in the back of Brennan's car. "Parker already got in. Brennan and I are saying bye now," she narrated.
Booth watched, his eyes never leaving the screen.
"See, she got into her car. I knew I'd seen her get in before I left her. I parked a few rows away. We'd taken separate vehicles…and we hadn't been able to find reasonable parking together," Angela said. She sighed. "I should have sucked it up and just walked it."
"It's not your fault, Ang," Booth said as he broke his eyes from the screen to briefly look at Angela.
"I could get the cameras to follow her out. She went in the same direction I did, except she left before me. From there, it took me a while to find another camera," she said as she brought up the traffic cameras. "I found Brennan heading home…the same way I would have driven to McLean. I'm afraid I'm still weeding through footage. I only have her followed about halfway to where her car was found."
"We have to see what happened, Ang."
"Can you try to skip ahead? To the spot we found her car?"
"There's no camera there," Angela told him. "But I think one of the local businesses may have had a camera, so I'm waiting for them to call me back with that information. There's a gas station across from where her car was found. A lot of stations have cameras outside now, just to keep an eye on everything."
"Keep me updated," Booth said. He had to force himself to say that. He wanted so badly to tell Angela that she needed to find it now. He couldn't push too much though, he knew that. The squints never worked well when put under immense pressure. They needed to go over the details. They needed to really dig deep. He needed to allow that to happen here. He needed to trust in Angela…trust in the squints…
That was one thing he knew worked in their favor. They were a family. All of them. They would work hard to find Brennan and Parker because really, they were all one big family. Booth turned to look at Angela. He could see the worry and fear in her eyes and he was sure that he saw some guilt. He knew that no matter how many times he told Angela that it wasn't her fault that they'd be some kind of guilt floating around in her head until they found them. They would find them. Booth knew they would. They had to.
"Booth, we're going to find them," Angela said, though her voice didn't portray total confidence. It was true, she had her doubts, but that was mainly connected to the intense worry that she felt. She knew the evil that was out in that world. Angela worried that the gravedigger had them. She didn't want to say it though.
"I'll be back in a little bit."
Angela nodded for a moment and then spoke up quietly. "Booth?" She waited a moment and then stepped forward to embrace him in a hug. She stayed that way for a minute before pulling back and nodding. "I just needed that…"
"We'll find them."
"I know we will…"
"Hodgins probably already has about a billion clues just from a tiny sample," Angela said, trying to sound hopeful.
"I'm going to check with him next." Though he knew that the squints sometimes found a whole life story in a bit of forensics, he wasn't holding his breath here. This was different. Nothing had seemed disturbed. He just hoped for a clue. Anything. Booth would honestly take anything right now.
His cell phone pulled him from his reverie. He looked at the caller ID and about screamed when Brennan's name came up on his caller ID. "Bones? Where are you? Are you okay?" he asked quickly once the phone was up to his ear.
((I'm okay, Booth. We're both okay. We're being held… I don't know where… All I know is that he says that if you cooperate that he'll release us.))
"What does he want? Who is he?"
((I don't know.))
"You and Parker are okay? You're really okay?"
((I hurt a little…but we're okay…))
He could hear almost like a cut in the audio and then there were heavy locking sounds. His heart skipped a beat. Brennan wasn't speaking anymore. "Bones? Bones? Temperance…"
((She can't talk anymore, Agent Booth.))
The voice was male. Brennan had said that much, but this confirmed it. It didn't sound familiar, but that didn't mean anything. He stumbled to hit the record button on his cell phone. He was pretty sure he'd hit it. He hoped that maybe Angela could run the audio once she was finished. Perhaps it was something if nothing panned out. "Who is this? What do you want?"
((Who I am isn't important, Agent Booth.))
"What do you want? She said you'd return them if I did what you want."
((In time, I will contact you again and let you know.))
"In time…" he practically choked out. "Please! Tell me what you want!"
((Soon, Agent Booth. Just know that right now they're in my care. They're safe and being taken care of.))
The words didn't bring him any comfort. Actually, they scared him more. How long did this guy intend to keep them? Would he actually do as he promised? Yes, Brennan's voice was proof of life, she responded to him…but how long would he really keep them alive? He didn't even know whom he was dealing with…
((I know this is going to be hard, but you're going to have to trust me. I will be in contact soon.))
Before Booth could speak again, the phone line went silent and then the phone's tone came up. Oh God, who had them? What were his plans? How was he supposed to find them? How was he supposed to save them? He had no information. Nothing that led him in a direction.
Looking down at the phone in his hands, he redialed Brennan and hoped. Nothing. One ring and then voicemail. Again. The guy was shutting off her phone. Keeping the phone, though, Booth knew that Brennan's ID would catch his attention in this case especially and that's probably what the mysterious kidnapper thought as well. Next time, he'd have the sense to have the call traced. Next time…how long until then?
. . .