This is it, the final chapter! Thank you all who reviewed and stuck with the story, and to Melissa, thanks for beta-ing for me. It's been totally enjoyable writing this story, and I'm glad for so many reviews. And before anyone asks, yes I'm working on a sequel to this, but in the meantime checkout my other fics.
I'm beginning to panic when my cellphone rings.
"Right but not the Booth you're looking for."
"Seeley's gone." I try to hide the desperation in my voice.
"Relax. He's here."
"Where is here?"
"You guys had a rough night huh?"
I'm getting annoyed at Jared for evading my question. I've yet to blow my top at him for putting ideas into Booth's head about Hank and me. I toy with the idea of going over and punching him in the face.
When I do not answer his question, Jared sighs and continues. "Relax. Seeley's fine. He's with me. He called me this morning to take him to his doctor's appointment."
"Is everything ok?"
"Yes. They removed the cast from his hand, but his leg's not completely healed yet."
"But it will be."
"Yeah that's what they say, with lots more therapy. That's where we are now. Therapy."
"Why didn't he call?"
"You know Temperance, war veterans, sometimes they have trouble adjusting to being back home."
"I know, but last night…."
I don't really want to go into details with Jared.
"Whatever happened, it's between you and Seeley. He just wanted me to call to tell you he's sorry and he's ok, and he'll be home, if you'll still have him."
"Of course, I would, why wouldn't I? Tell him…" I stop. I can do better. Booth needs me. I just know. "Jared, I need a favor."
Three hours later I'm waiting for Booth at a park downtown. It's a Tuesday morning, so most people are at work or school. Just the peace and quiet I need. I watch Jared pull up. He unloads Booth's wheelchair then opens the passenger side door, waiting for his brother to get out. I see confusion on Booth's face, then realization as Jared points towards where I'm standing. For a moment our eyes meet, then Booth drops his gaze to the ground.
Jared says something to him and after a couple of minutes I watch as Booth struggles out of the car into his wheelchair, all the while refusing Jared's help. Booth wheels himself towards me, still refusing to meet my gaze. Jared watches from a distance until I'm a few feet from Booth, then he gets back into the car and drives away.
Once he finally looks up at me, we stare into each other's eyes for a long time. I sense Booth wanting me to make the first move, so I do. Wordlessly I push him to a nearby park bench, then sit so that I can talk to him eye-to-eye.
"I've been up all night thinking…." Booth begins. "I'm so, so sorry Bones."
"You scared me."
"I know. I don't know what happened I just… I snapped. Last night I became my old man."
I remember Booth telling me how his father used to hit his mother, Jared and himself. "You're nothing like him Booth."
"I almost…. "
"Almost, but you didn't. No matter what you think, you're not like your father."
I put my hand on his, much like that day at Arlington years ago. I feel his tears fall on my hand.
"I took those lives…"
"We'll make it right, I'll help you put more people away, just like old times"
Booth looks up at me, his tear-stained face filled with sadness.
"You know Bones, when I woke up in the hospital and realized I was the only one who survived, I told myself I would come home and treasure every moment I have with you. I know you would never cheat on me, not with Hank or anyone else, I always known. Last night… I just… I don't know what happened. I don't know what I ever did to deserve you, I'm just a broken man stuck in a wheelchair. I'm no good to you."
I don't know how to reply him, I remember Angela telling me that sometimes all one needs is a touch. I move to hug him. We hold each other for a long time.
"I love you Booth."
Booth breaks the hug looking up at me with a look of amazement.
"I've always known you do. I just never expected you to say it."
I offer him a smile.
"I love you too Bones." He smiles back at me, and I get a glimpse of the old Seeley Booth.
"What you said about being of no good to me is not true. You're a good man Seeley, just a little derailed at the moment, but you'll get back on track."
He reaches for his ring that still dangles from the necklace I wear.
"I'd like to have that back now."
I smile as I remove the necklace, then slip his ring from the chain onto his finger. It slips on easily.
He leans in to me and we kiss, a sweet tender kiss.
"Forgive me Bones?"
I nod and he flashes me his familiar grin that always tugs at my heart.
"I'm gonna need a little work but we'll get through this. I'm never leaving you again Bones. I promise."
We'll get through this, I'm confident. Booth promised. We'll be ok. Booth never breaks his promises.
I get up and grip the handles of his wheelchair.
"Let's go home Booth."
************************ END *************************
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