A/N: Thanks to everyone who stuck with me and I apologize profusely for it taking so long. This is it. The last chapter. I have ideas rolling around in my head, but I don't want to start anything if I can not make a real commitment to it. Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: I still do not own Bones.

Chapter 19: Release

Booth woke up the next morning with a crick in his neck again. He turned his head in an attempt to get rid of it. First to the right. Then to the left and he saw Brennan staring at him.

"Bones! How long have you been awake?" asked Booth surprised. He looked at his watch. 8:37. He slept in.

"I was awake a 7:30. What are you doing in my room?" asked Brennan. She had a dull ache in her shoulder and movement was difficult. She had just sat there and thought about what all this meant. The Gravedigger was gone. She was also having problems grasping that concept.

Booth sat up and said, "I was worried about you Bones. I stayed here to make sure you were okay."

"Didn't the doctor tell you I'd be fine?"

"Yeah, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes. You know seeing is believing." Booth ended lightheartedly hoping to avoid any more of Brennan's questions. Unfortunately his plan backfired.

"What about faith?"

"Bones, let's not get into this now," said Booth tiredly. He changed the subject, "So has the doctor been in yet?"

"Yeah, she just left five minutes ago."

"And?" Booth prompted.

"And what?"

"Have you been released?"

"Yeah, I was just about to wake you so you could take me home."

"Okay, let's go – oh, I don't have my car."

"Why not?"

"It was blocked in yesterday. I'll call Angela."

Booth pulled out his cell phone and walked out of the room. He walked down the hall and paused to make his call. Brennan sat back down on the bed. She was just sitting there when there was a knock on her door.

"Come in."

She expected it to be the doctor or maybe Booth. Although why Booth would knock instead of just letting himself in Brennan did not know. Instead it was Thomas Vega. He walked in the room and cleared his throat. "How are you, Dr. Brennan?"

"I'm doing okay."

"How's the wound?"

"Superficial."

There was a pause. Vega looked nervous and Brenna felt as if Booth should be here. Finally Vega spoke again. "I just came by to make sure that you were okay and to congratulate you on solving the Gravedigger case."

"Thank you."

"And, I wanted to ask you again to grant me an interview for an addition to my book."

"Again, I'm going to have to decline."

"May I ask why?"

"Because it was a difficult experience that I don't feel comfortable sharing with the entire world."

"Well, thank you for your time."

"You're welcome."

And Vega left. She leaned back on the bed and thought about how strangely easy that was. Vega came in, asked his question and then left. Then she moved on to thinking about work and wondered what she would do for the two weeks she had to wear a sling.

Vega walked out the door and ran into Booth. "What are you doing here?" Booth asked nastily.

"I wanted to talk to Dr. Brennan."

"Well, you can't."

"I already did."

Booth just glared at him. Vega stared him down for a moment before saying, "Well, I should be leaving now. It was nice working with you Agent Booth."

Booth suddenly realized that there was a good possibility that he would never see Vega again. He did not feel sorry, just a little strange. "Good luck," he said, and surprisingly he meant it.

Vega walked out of the hospital. Booth watched him a minute before turning back to enter Brennan's room. He sat down next to her on the bed. "Angela is leaving right now to pick us up. She'll take us to my car and I'll take you home."

Brennan nodded. That sounded good to her. Booth filled out all the paperwork and then they went outside to wait for Angela. Brennan was reading the instructions the doctor gave her on changing the bandages and then her prescription for antibiotics.

Angela pulled up. Hodgins was in the passenger seat. Angela fussed over Brennan for a couple minutes asking about her new and old injuries before taking them to Booth's car.

Brennan got out of the car and walked over to Booth's car. Angela was on the phone talking to her dad who had called after hearing about what had happened. He wanted to check up on her. Booth was also on the phone with someone from the office. Hodgins walked over to Brennan. They stood silently for a couple of minutes before Hodgins said, "It feels weird."

Brennan nodded.

"Almost like something is missing."

"It's over now. We don't have to worry anymore."

Hodgins nodded. They were silent again for a moment. Again it was Hodgins who broke the silence. "I'm really sorry you got shot."

"It wasn't your fault."

"I feel kind of responsible."

"Don't you had nothing to do with it. Now we don't have to be afraid. We're in good shape." Brennan smiled at Hodgins and he smiled back. Angela walked over quickly followed by Booth.

Brennan promised Angela that she would be fine and Angela said that she would call. Booth and Brennan got into Booth's car and Angela drove off with Hodgins.

They did not leave right away. They observed the crime scene. The tape was still up and there was a cop standing guard and watching a tech go over every inch of pavement. For what Booth did not know.

"Why did Thompson start shooting?"

"Because I said something."

"What?"

Brennan sighed. "He was talking about what he did and how Hodgins and I should have died. He said he would have succeeded too if Hodgins hadn't been there and if you hadn't been so good. Then he said something about killing you two after killing me and I told him that you guys had nothing to do with it. Then he accused me of calling him a liar or something. I disagreed and next thing I know, you are asking me where I was hit."

"You were shot trying to protect me and Hodgins. I should have known."

"Why?"

"That's just who you are."

They sat another moment in the car before Booth turned the key and said, "I need to stop by my apartment real fast, if that's okay."

"Sure."

The drive was silent and when they got to Booth's apartment, Booth led the way saying, "Make yourself at home. I'm going to take a quick shower and change my clothes."

Brennan nodded. Booth opened the door and Brennan made a beeline to the couch and sat down. Booth ran to take a shower. Ten minutes later they were walking back out the door.

"Are you hungry?" asked Booth.

Brennan nodded. "Let's go to the diner."

"Okay," said Booth. He decided that they would discuss the letter there. Booth would make her talk to him.

They sat down and ordered before Booth brought it up.

"Listen, Bones, I know that you don't want to talk about the note that you wrote me, but –"

Brennan cut him off, "Booth –"

Booth shook his head. "I want you to –"

This time he was interrupted by Brennan's cell phone. The conversation was short. When she hung up Booth looked at her questioning.

"Russ finally got a flight back. I tried to tell him I was fine but he insisted on coming. His flight lands in a couple hours."

Booth nodded and then continued on his original thought. "Bones, I really need you to hear me on this one."

Brennan opened her mouth but then closed it and nodded.

Booth took a deep breath and then said, "The note means a lot to me. That you would think of me and I appreciate it."

"Booth really, I –"

"Ah, ah. Let me finish. I just want you to know that I'm always here for you and that I'm really glad that you trust me. I don't want to let you down."

Booth paused and looked at Brennan. She was looking at him, giving him her full attention. He finished up with, "I know that we are partners but I hope that you also think that we are friends and I want you to know that I'd never let anything happen to you."

"Booth, I can take care of myself."

"I know, but I'll be there if you need me."

"Thanks Booth, that means a lot to me."

They smiled at each other and then their food arrived. They laughed and talked for two hours while waiting for Russ. Brennan had called him back and told him to meet them at the diner. When Russ arrived he asked Brennan how she was before the three of them ordered dessert and laughed and talked together like old friends. Things were getting back to normal. Or as normal as it ever got with them.

FINIS

A/N: Again, I thank everyone who stuck with me. Please review and tell me what you think about my story! Happy Reading!!