Disclaimer: I've resigned myself to the fact that I don't own 'Bones' or anything related to it. The lines of dialogue toward the end are from the episode, 'The Killer in the Concrete' and belong to HH and co.
Author's Note: A missing scene from S2's 'The Killer in the Concrete' because I really wanted to see Booth finding out that Bones had lied to the FBI in order to save him.
What Partners Do
Booth looked up when Cullen walked into the room, attempting to stand but didn't quite manage it, sinking back onto the bed with a grimace and slight hiss.
"At ease, Agent Booth," Cullen said. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine, sir."
Cullen gave him a skeptical look in which Booth could just see him mentally cataloguing all his various cuts and bruises. "You look like hell, Booth."
"Thank you, sir. I've felt better."
Cullen gave him another eloquent look before just shaking his head a little. "I don't want to harass you with paperwork so Agent Nichols is completing the case file for this in your place. I just need to know at what point you managed to contact Dr. Brennan to tell her your location."
Booth stared at Cullen, for a moment wondering if he'd been hit on the head a little harder than he'd thought. What? He'd spent the better part of a day bound in a carpet and then been tied to a chair and tortured. Call Bones? But even as he thought it, he realized what must have happened; Bones must have said that he'd called her to let her know where he was. She'd lied to the FBI for him… He was going to need to think about that a lot more but for now, he needed to give Cullen an answer. "I-uh- managed to work my hands loose and sent Dr. Brennan a text message," he explained quickly. "That was just before they upped the interrogation," he added, in an attempt to make his quick explanation more convincing.
Cullen gave him another look and Booth had the uneasy feeling that the Deputy Director knew he wasn't being entirely truthful (you didn't get to be Deputy Director of the FBI without learning when to tell when you were being lied to, apparently) but he thankfully refrained from comment. "Thank you, Agent Booth, that will be all for tonight, then."
He turned to leave and then paused, "Glad to know you're safe, Booth."
Booth managed to straighten up a little, painful as it was. "Thank you, sir."
Cullen nodded. "You put the other agents to a lot of extra work tonight, Booth; that Dr. Brennan was practically breathing down our necks every inch of the way. Does she even know the meaning of the word, procedure?"
Booth winced a little, even as he felt his heart warm at the thought of his Bones working so hard to save him. He knew she had but it still meant something to hear about it, from Cullen no less. For a fleeting moment, the various aches and pains of his body faded from his consciousness to be replaced only with warmth at the thought of what Bones had done for him. "Dr. Brennan can be very single-minded," he explained tactfully.
"That's one word for it," Cullen snorted. "Just don't go getting yourself kidnapped again, Booth."
"I'll try not to, sir."
Cullen nodded again and left.
Left alone, Booth carefully tested out his injuries, letting out a few hisses and wincing a few times but he would live. He lowered his feet until they were flat on the floor and pushed himself awkwardly up until he was standing. He hurt—all over—but he was standing and—he tested the theory—he could walk. With some pain, yes, but he could walk.
He'd just managed to reach this conclusion when the door opened and Bones rushed in. "Booth, I just talked to the doctor and he said that you're good to go, as long as you take some prescription painkillers with you and promise to stay off your feet as much as possible the next 24 hours to give your body time to heal."
He narrowed his eyes a little. She'd talked to his doctor and now he was free to go, when only an hour ago, the doctor had made some ominous noises about keeping him overnight for observation? "Bones, did you just get into an argument with the doctor?" He had to fight to hide his smile. That was his Bones, alright.
"It was not an argument; it was a reasoned discussion," she corrected before she looked away, admitting, "Okay, well, he might say it was an argument. But come on, you don't want to stay in here overnight, do you?"
"No, I don't." He gave her the best charm smile he could muster. "Thanks, Bones."
She looked a little flustered but she met his eyes with her own small smile. "For fighting with your doctor?"
He actually laughed—briefly, before he stopped with a small hiss. "That too."
She immediately frowned and almost forced him to sit down on the bed again before she left, returning with a nurse and a wheelchair.
"Bones, I can walk," he protested.
The nurse answered before Bones could. "Not to walk out of here, you can't. Hospital policy."
He suppressed a sigh but relented and let himself be helped into the wheelchair by the nurse on one side and Bones on the other.
"I'll go get the car," Bones said once they were outside of the hospital and then vanished only to return a few minutes later—in his car.
He stared at her as she got out. "You're driving my car," he stated inanely.
"It's more roomy than my car and anyway, I lent my car to my dad, remember?"
"How did you get my car?"
He supposed he was being irrational, fixating on this, but it was his car, damn it, and he was supposed to be the one driving it, to say nothing of it being an FBI car and so technically, no one except for him was supposed to drive it, except when necessary.
She gave him that look whenever he didn't understand something she said which, to her, made complete squint-like sense. "The agents retrieved your keys and even if they hadn't, you gave me the spare."
Oh yeah, there was that. He had given her the spare key to the car a few months back.
"Now, will you just let me help you into the car so you can go home?"
She sounded irritated now but he suppressed a smile, because he could see that her eyes weren't irritated, were bright, as if she was glad he was making a fuss because it meant he was feeling better, or at least, as well as could be expected.
"Fine," he agreed, trying to sound put-upon.
And he had to admit, it was easier to get into his car than it would have been to fit himself into Bones' little sports car.
He thanked the nurse as Bones came around and slid into the driver's seat.
She started the car and he glanced at her. "Don't get too used to driving this, Bones. These are extraordinary circumstances."
She threw him a look. "I'm aware of that."
"So, home then?"
He suppressed the automatic flare of warmth at Bones referring to his apartment simply as 'home', as if it were her home too, even though he knew she hadn't meant it like that. "Yeah, sure."
They drove in comfortable silence and he actually found himself drifting off until they came to a stop before his apartment.
Bones helped him out and he let himself lean on her as they made their way up to his apartment.
He sank down onto his couch with a sigh of relief, letting his head fall back and closing his eyes briefly.
"Will you be okay on your own, Booth?"
"I'm fine, Bones," he answered looking up at her. "Thanks."
She nodded. "Ok, good, then. I'll just…" She made a vague motion to signify leaving.
"Say, Bones, meet me at the diner in, oh, an hour?"
"Meet you at the diner?"
"Yeah, I'm hungry. It's not like Gallagher and Lightner fed me."
"It's not that, Booth. You are in no condition to drive anywhere. I'll just go home to change and then I'll be back and we'll go to the diner together."
He gave in. She was right, anyway—as usual. "Fine, Bones."
It wasn't until she left that he remembered he'd wanted to ask her about lying to the FBI—and thank her for it too. Oh well, he thought, as he struggled to his feet and made his painful way into his bedroom to begin the equally painful process of changing his clothes, he'd just have to bring it up later. At the diner, probably.
It was late by the time he and Bones walked into the diner but there were still a few scattered customers there, as usual.
He waited until after they'd ordered and the waitress had left before he looked at Bones. "So, I apparently managed to call you to let you know where I was being held?"
She gave him a surprised look. "You heard about that?"
"Cullen mentioned it. He wanted to know what happened."
She shrugged one shoulder, as if to say it wasn't important. As if blatantly lying to the FBI was a perfectly normal thing to do. "It was the logical thing to do. It was the quickest way to get their attention without having to explain the process we went through to figure out where they'd taken you."
He smiled a little. Of course, logic. "Right. You lied to the FBI, Bones."
Her eyes flashed up to his with sudden heat. "Should I have just let you die, then?"
He winced. That hadn't been his most tactful moment. "What I meant to say," he said gently, "was thank you. You saved my life, Bones."
"Oh." She looked a little nonplussed, her gaze falling down to the table and then wandering around the diner before returning to his face, meeting his eyes. "You're my partner; it's what partners do."
"Partners, right," he agreed. "Thanks, Bones."
Her gaze stayed locked with his for one long moment. "You'd do the same for me," she finally said quietly.
He wanted to tell her he'd do anything for her—hell, he'd already compromised a crime scene for her, gotten blown up for her—wanted to tell her that she was the most important person in his life, besides Parker, and he loved her… But he couldn't.
So, instead, he settled for saying, "Yeah, I would." He gave her words back to her. "It's what partners do."
She gave him a small, soft smile, the sort of smile he didn't see on her very often but which he treasured every time he did see it.
His gaze dropped involuntarily down to focus on her lips—and he felt the familiar tug of desire deep inside him—before he pulled his gaze back up to meet her eyes again. Tension—bright and intense—suddenly leaped to life, crackling between them, as tended to happen at these quiet moments when their eyes met. He forgot how to breathe. God, she was so lovely at times like these… Not that she was ever not-lovely to him.
These moments seemed to be happening more often these days but he always kept his head, some little part of his mind always managed to stay detached and warn him, remind him to step back, keep his distance…
Except, after the day he'd had, that little voice seemed to have been silenced. In those brief minutes today where he'd thought he was going to die, that he'd never see her again, that little voice of his reason had been silenced—at least, temporarily.
It was a long moment during which he didn't dare breathe or move or even blink before she was the first one to draw back, slightly, her eyes falling to focus on the table.
And the moment was gone. As always.
"Why didn't you just- just tell them about Kennedy?" she asked, making an almost visible effort to sound normal.
He managed a slight smile. "Well, you know, I needed to give you time to find me," he answered before looking up at her. "Ah, I've been tortured worse."
He saw the almost imperceptible wince flicker across her face and quickly changed the subject. "So, uh, you hear anything from your old man?"
The subject of Max Keenan might still be a sensitive one but it was still a step up from torture.
He suppressed a sigh.
The FBI wasn't only his job; it was his career, his calling. He believed in it as an institution, believed in its mission, and was loyal to it.
But he really hated it right now.
He knew he had to try to arrest Max Keenan whenever he saw Max but this was Bones' father and while Booth couldn't bring himself to like Max much, since he knew better than anyone just how much Max's desertion had hurt Bones over the years, he also had to feel a grudging respect for the man. And he loved Max's daughter.
It was his job and his duty to arrest Max Keenan on sight. He knew his duty and he did his duty. But he didn't think he'd ever hated his duty quite as much.
Earlier, when he'd said the words, 'You're under arrest,' to Max, he'd known, in some part of him, that he didn't really mean them, not then. For one thing, it wasn't going to happen with him incapacitated and for another, Max had just helped to save his life. But he'd said the words that were his duty—to appease his conscience, if nothing else.
And he thought—he hoped, at least—that Bones understood that he was only doing his duty, only doing what he had to do, when he tried to arrest her father. She might not like it but she understood—he hoped.
But she was talking to him now, was smiling and—he stared—singing with him…
And he pushed aside any worries over Max Keenan and just let himself enjoy the moment, feeling peace settle over him like a blanket.
He still ached, his body feeling the effects of his day when he shifted, but being with Bones, seeing her smile and laugh like this, had a way of lifting his spirits and making him happy until he didn't even care about his aches.
He was with his Bones; at that moment, he didn't need anything else.
A/N 2: Reviews make me happy!