Disclaimer: I haven't written in so long I've forgotten what one of these is…Just kidding, you can see Chapter 1 for mine.
Spoilers: Through Season 5 ep. 7, The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken, just to be safe
A/N: I can't tell you how sorry I am for the utter lack of updates. I mean, seriously, one of my pet peeves is authors who never update! And here I am one of them. Go figure. Anyway, my only excuse is real life, which I think is a pretty good excuse overall. Thanks to all of you who've stuck with me on this one. Here's the next installment for your reading pleasure.
And because you've probably all forgotten the whole premise of the story by now…Previously in The Ex:
Bones went to Vermont to speak at a university, ran into an ex-boyfriend who continued to pursue her despite her protests, called Angela for advice, and got our favorite knight in FBI issued body armor as a solution. Booth showed up, moved into her hotel room, posed as her boyfriend, and took her out on the town a bit. Enter creepy stalker. A bunch of creepy, threatening photos showed up at the hotel, ex-boy kept pursuing, there was some "practicing" between Booth and Bones, and more photos showed up. There was a book signing, ex-boy said he had something important to tell Bones, Booth's SUV went 'boom', and he got a bad knock on the head. Booth survived (of course), called in the FBI, found out Bones's car was sabotaged, and discovered a dead body (ex-boy). Agents Perotta and Callaway showed up…
Oh yeah, and the damn line disappeared.
And then…there was some clashing between Perotta and Bones (of course), Booth told Bones she was jealous (of course), there was a big smooch (of course), he explained about the line, he decided he wouldn't accept "any less than all of her", Booth took a shower (cold), Bones called Ange for advice, and she got this:
"Just go for it, sweetie. You'll thank me sooner or later. I'll check out those photos and let you know what I find. Be careful up there. I'd wish you luck, but you don't need it." And with that, Angela hung up, leaving Temperance to contemplate the impossibility of being in love with Agent Seeley Booth.
Bones was in the bedroom with the door closed when Booth finally came out of the bathroom. Booth let out a sigh as he made his way to the sofa. It was going to take awhile for Bones to adjust to the whole "I need all of you" thing. She'd been in so many relationships where it was only either physical or intellectual stimulation that was given and received, never both. And there wasn't ever much emotion involved…at least, he'd never thought so. But now there would be. Or else there would be none of the other things. He couldn't have a physical relationship with Dr. Temperance Brennan without the knowledge that she was just as emotionally involved as he was. He just couldn't do it.
But Bones had some real soul-searching to do before she could hand herself over to him, he understood that. She had been hurt and abandoned too many times in her life to do such things lightly. Time, he could give her. Lord knew, he'd given himself enough of the commodity. It was the distance that was going to be a problem. Because until this case was solved, Booth did not plan on venturing more than thirty feet from the woman. He supposed that the closed bedroom door between them would just have to do for now.
Booth glanced at his watch. Eleven o'clock. It would only be eight in Nevada. He flipped open his phone and speed-dialed Rebecca's cell.
"Hi, Rebecca, it's me. Is Parker there?"
"Yeah, Seeley, he's been hoping you'd call. Let me get…"
There was a short tussle on the other end of the line and then Parker's voice came through, "Dad?"
"Yeah, Park. How're things going over there in Nevada?"
"Booooring," the little boy whined. "Grandma and Grandpop don't have any video games and their TV only gets five channels and they don't even have a dvd player. Can you believe that?"
"Wow, buddy, sounds like you're really roughing it," Booth chuckled, thinking how times had really changed since he'd been a kid. He'd been satisfied with a couple of G.I. Joes and a big backyard. It was like kids today couldn't survive without laptops and digital cable and Wii.
"Yeah, I know, right?"
"So what have you been doing to keep from dying of boredom out there?"
"Well, I went swimming with some neighbor kids, and mom and Jackson took me to the park to toss the ball around. Dad, did you know that mom and Jackson both throw like girls?"
Booth laughed in spite of himself. "Well, you know, Park, your mom is a girl."
"I wish I could come home and stay with you," Parker said, ignoring his father's remark.
"Well, that would be awesome, buddy, but I'm not at home."
"Where are you? Are you on a case? Did Bones start checking out the dead guy yet?"
Booth closed his eyes and shook his head. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't keep his kid completely out of this aspect of his job.
"What's the rule, Park?"
Parker groaned and Booth was sure that the little boy was rolling his eyes.
"No talking about the dead bodies and stuff until I have armpit hair."
"Exactly. Now, in answer to your questions, I'm in Vermont, and no, I'm not on a case."
"What are you doing in Vermont, then?"
"Bones is here for a conference at a local college and I came to hang out with her." There was no reason for Parker to know what danger he and his partner were currently in. Or the fact that he was doing more than hanging out with his forensic anthropologist.
"Good thing you're there, dad. She probably would have been bored to death without you. Who goes to school during the summer?"
Booth chuckled. "Bones does."
"Yeah, bud, ewww."
"So, dad, when I get home, can I…"
The rest of his son's sentence was cut off by a loud pop from somewhere outside followed swiftly by the sound of breaking glass. Years in the army and in the FBI shooting range hearing that unmistakable sound had Booth on his feet and headed for the bedroom door before he remembered that he was still on the phone with his son.
"Gotta go, bub." He flipped the phone closed, pulled out his gun, and busted through the door all in one swift move.
"Bones, get down."
Her answer came from somewhere near the foot of the bed, "I am down. You get down."
He ignored her and moved quickly to the left of the broken window.
"Are you hit?" He asked without looking back at her. His eyes roved the street below which was even now crawling with the patrolmen who had been posted outside the building.
"No, I'm fine. Booth, get away from the window."
Booth shook his head and holstered his gun. "He's gone," he said, turning to face her. She was now seated on the floor at the foot of the bed, farthest from the window. Her hair was tousled and she was biting her lip, but otherwise she appeared unharmed.
"You okay?" He asked, covering the distance between them and reaching down to pull her up.
"I just said that I was, didn't I?" She replied, smoothing out her clothes. "Are you?"
He watched her for a few more moments before nodding. "Yeah, yeah I just heard the shot and…"
His cell phone buzzed in his hand. He looked down at it, just now realizing that he'd never put it down. He flipped it open and put it to his ear. "Booth."
"Seeley? Are you alright? Parker said he heard a loud noise and then you said you had to go and hung up."
Booth let out a long breath. "I'm fine, Rebecca. Tell Parker I'm fine. Tell him I'll try and call him soon."
"Seeley, is everything alright? Park said you were on vacation with Dr. Brennan. Was that…did he hear a gun shot? Seeley, he said he heard a gun shot."
Booth stared at Bones as he answered. She was watching him curiously. He held up a finger to tell her that he'd explain in a minute.
"Yeah, Rebecca, it was. Listen, something came up out here and I'm investigating a case. I don't want Park to worry, though. Make something up, okay? I'll call when I can."
"Of course. But, Seeley…"
"Be careful, okay?"
He smiled slightly. "Always. Tell Parker I love him."
He had no sooner flipped the phone closed than it was buzzing again.
Bones made to head towards the broken window, probably to appease her infinite curiosity, but he snagged her by her shirt and pulled her back towards him.
"Agent Booth? This is Deputy Trevaine. Are you and Dr. Brennan alright?"
"Yeah, we're fine. What can you tell me?"
"We've apprehended the man who just shot out your window. We have him in custody and are now transporting him to the station. I'm sending up a couple of uniforms to escort yourself and Dr. Brennan."
"You caught him?" Booth asked. He sounded amazed, even to his own ears.
"Yes, sir. We've informed the other two FBI agents and they're on their way to the station as well."
Booth glanced down at Bones, now glaring up at him from the crook of his arm. They both knew that if she really wanted to be free, she would have been by now.
They caught him, he mouthed, giving her a wide-eyed, can-you-believe-it stare.
"Yeah," she said out loud, "I heard."
He rolled his eyes at her and focused back on his phone conversation.
"Thank you, deputy Trevain, and good job tonight."
Booth disconnected and glanced down at Bones.
"You know, that kid's not completely useless. Now his boss…"
A knock at the door interrupted what he'd been going to say about Captain Westin. "Agent Booth? It's Officer Perry. We're here to escort you to the station."
He tightened his hold on Bones for a moment and grinned down at her.
"Get dressed, Bones. It looks like we've got a suspect to interrogate. I know how you love that."
"What do you mean his alibi checks out?" Booth asked, as they both glared through the two way glass at Nathan Waltham, the grad student who had wanted to put Zach's life down on paper for the whole world to dissect. "He shot at Bones' window tonight, of course he's our guy."
Agent Perotta shook her head mournfully. "He might have shot at Dr. Brennan's window, but he didn't take the pictures of the two of you at the Teddy Bear Factory."
Temperance watched as Booth ran a hand back through his already messy hair.
"What about the second set of pictures?"
"Well, that's harder to determine as they were all taken at different times. We do know that he couldn't have killed Logan Hart."
"How do we know that?" Temperance asked.
Perotta turned her attention from the FBI agent to the forensic anthropologist.
"Well aside from the fact that the gun he used tonight was not even the same caliber as the one used to kill Hart…"
Temperance began to interrupt with the intention of informing the agent that that didn't prove anything, but the other woman quickly forged on.
"And no other gun was found either in his possession, in his vehicle, or at his residence…"
She opened her mouth again, this time to tell Perotta that a gun was easily ditched, but the blonde raised a hand and talked right over her.
"But he also has an airtight alibi for that morning."
Temperance felt her eyes narrow and she opened her mouth to reprimand the female agent for being rude and interrupting her, but Booth placed a hand on her shoulder effectively silencing her long enough for him to cut in.
"And what is his alibi?"
"Well, the coroner determined that time of death was sometime between 6 a.m and 8 a.m. the morning after the car explosion at the book store."
"The one in which my car was exploded," Booth clarified.
"Yes, that one. Anyway, Waltham was with a Dr…" she glanced down at a small notepad, "Sarah Thompson. He was helping her set up for a seminar which took place later in the day."
"Can anyone else vouch for his whereabouts? This Thompson could be covering for him," Booth said.
"Two other grad students and one faculty member."
Booth's head fell forward to rest gently on the glass. Temperance heard him mumble something about 'square one'.
She turned back to Perotta.
"What about the bomb? Or my car failure?"
"Car failure? I didn't know that was related." She turned to Booth for confirmation.
He nodded. "My gut tells me it is."
"We listen to his gut," Temperance told the female agent.
She nodded slowly. "Of course we do."
Booth turned back to face them and scrubbed his hands over his face a few times before speaking.
"See if he has an alibi for either of those incidents, and then get back to me."
"And if he doesn't?"
Temperance could see him gritting his teeth as he answered the other agent. "Find a connection. Something that links him to any other aspect of this crime."
Perotta nodded. "Okay, okay, no need to get testy."
Booth ignored her as he moved past them both and left the room.
Temperance turned back to the other woman. "You probably want to be careful what you say to him right now," she told her. "He doesn't like it when I get shot at."
And with that, she followed her partner out of the room.
"I'm taking you back to the hotel," Booth told Bones an hour later as he led her towards the front door of the cop shop.
"But we haven't solved the crime yet, we still don't know if he did any of it or not."
He stopped midstride and turned to face her. With a hand on either side of her face, he tipped her head up. "Bones, we're both dead on our feet. We need some sleep. There's nothing left for us to do here. We'll let the lab techs and the plainclothes do some legwork and we'll pick it up fresh in the morning."
"Booth, it is morning."
He shook his head and pulled her into his side to continue their walk to the door.
"At a less ungodly hour of the morning."
"But, Booth, you believe that God…"
"Figure of speech, Bones. Just…forget it, okay?"
He could feel her watching him for a few seconds before she finally agreed.
He helped her into the passenger's seat once they'd reached the rental car, then ran around to the other side and slid in behind the wheel. He peered over at her in the darkness. "Everything will make more sense in the morning," he told her.
"You mean later in the morning."
"Yes," he said with a nod as he started the car and pulled out of the lot, "that's exactly what I mean."
They were silent for several moments as Booth maneuvered the car through the mostly-empty, dark streets.
"Do you think he did it?" Bones finally asked.
He didn't really have to think about it. Just the look on that kid's face in the interrogation room when Callaway had mentioned Bones' name…
"Yeah, Bones, I do."
"Then how do you explain the fact that he has an alibi?"
He shrugged. "Dunno, Bones. We've had stranger cases, though. Like I said, things will make more sense in the morning."
They were silent again until they'd reached the hotel.
"Booth, where are we sleeping? They'll have our room closed off as a crime scene, won't they?"
Booth nodded as he helped her from the car and led her to the elevator. "The manager found us a vacant room. I had a couple of the uniforms move our stuff."
"You let them touch my stuff?"
He pulled her into the elevator and into his arms. "Yeah, Bones, and I'm sure everything is fine, okay?"
He nuzzled his face into the top of her hair and breathed in. God, she smelled good. Like some herbal shampoo that he equated solely with her.
He felt her slowly relax back into him and then a sigh escaped from between her lips. "Okay," she said.
The new room wasn't far from their old one and it was the same set-up. They took turns using the bathroom and brushing their teeth, and then Booth took Bones by the hand and led her to the bedroom. He pulled back the covers and fell back into bed, pulling her with him.
"Booth?" She queried quietly.
"You know I'm not leaving you, Temperance, not after what happened tonight. So just relax and go to sleep, okay? I'm right here."
He thought she might want to argue, but instead she simply flipped off the bedside lamp and lay down beside him.
"Goodnight, Seeley," she said quietly.
In that moment he couldn't resist the urge to reach over and pull her into his arms. Once she was safe against his chest, he leaned down and whispered into her ear, "Sleep tight, Temperance."
They slept without dreams.
A/N: Can anyone sense a conclusion coming? Well, one is. Probably only a couple more chapters to go on this one. Please, please, please let me know what you thought.