Author's Note: Well I have to say, that the reviews for the last few chapters have been especially kind and generous. I really do appreciate all of your thoughts and encouragements. I want to extend an extra gratitude to those I recognize chapter after chapter (a special thanks to you!) This chapter is sans B and B, however there is a lot going on with the rest of the team. Angst and Drama for all.
I also would like to say, completely devoid of point, that this site has the WORST ads. Yesterday there was one asking me to cut a really heinous looking toe-nail. Today was a quiz if I think I will die young…..what is up with the marketing here?
The chaos had slowed to a steady hum of activity. Security had finally managed to evict the media. The sensationalism wasn't surprising, serial killers, best selling authors, dramatic rescues, hints of romance; everything a journalist could hope to find. Now as dawn had broken, the storm had passed and was replaced by thin streams of sunlight. It was a warm comforting glow that highlighted the small group huddled together in wait. Angela's head rested in Hodgins lap, Sweets sat on the floor with his knees to his chest and Cam sat staring blindly out the window. There will several agents posted around the hospital, standing guard, glad to be doing their part however small. Everyone was still on edge, no one knew who the gravedigger was; what happened to him or how Brennan ended up washed ashore. Everyone prayed that soon they would get answers.
Agents Carson and Devlin were assigned to watch those in the waiting area, but their focus was also on their boss. Cullen had returned a few minutes ago after checking on the agents processing the scene and was now pacing the room on his cell phone. He had established the small hospital waiting room as a sort-of command center. It was probably not the most appropriate place to organize the investigation, but everyone wanted to be near in case of news.
The entire room stopped, at the sight of the doctor emerging from the ER. He looked exhausted, never a comforting sign. They gathered around in a show of camaraderie fearing the worst.
"They are both still alive." The room collectively breathed for the first time. "Their vitals are stable, Dr. Brennan has even shown some signs of attempting to breathe on her own. We are still supporting the effort."
Cullen interrupted unable to hide his concern "and Agent Booth?" He had held back with the other agents in an attempt to keep a respectable distance from the grieving friends. He still heard every word.
The doctor's tone deepened, his face noticeably creased. "He is in critical condition. He is showing some signs of possible brain injury. He is also going to need surgery to repair a badly damaged shoulder and a lacerated liver. At this time we are recommending waiting until he is more stable, right now surgery may be dangerous." The doctor looked at all the empty faces starring back at him, it was always hard giving bleak news. "We will have to see how the next 48 hours go. It is clear that Agent Booth is a fighter. We haven't given up on him yet." The doctor's gentle smile did wonders for the morale in the room. They all trusted Booth's strength.
"Can we see them?" Angela's voice seemed shaky and small. "Just for even a minute?" Her desperation was heart-breaking. She almost disappeared as she clung to Hodgins chest, tears silently gathering on her dark lashes.
"In a few minutes. They are being prepped to go to the ICU floor. Why don't you all go to the waiting room up there? Someone will get you once they are settled." With that he turned and silently headed back through the double doors.
Gathering their things the small group headed upstairs. It was nice to have a bit more peace and quiet, somehow protected from the activity of the ER. The agents had remained in the hall outside the door. At one point Cam went out to usher Cullen inside, he had earned a place with them. They made a tight-knit, albeit strange little family, but in this moment Cullen belonged in their inner sanctum. Wandering into the hallway there were several unnamed agents but no sign of their leader. Something called to her to seek him out. Although she knew very little about the man, there was something in her gut that gave her a good indication where he may have hidden himself. With a few words to the posted guard she went on her search.
Shortly after Cam had left the room a petite steel haired woman came to tell them that the doctor had sent for them. They were to get information from the head nurse at the end of the hallway. It was a strange thing to watch how the group walked down the corridor. It was a combination of rushing to see their friends and fear preventing them from moving forward. The result was a choppy movement of false starts and punctuated pauses. Finally reaching the floor information desk, Hodgins was the first to find his voice, cautiously inquired about their friends.
The nurse never looked up from her computer, after taking the names she motioned to her left. "Ms. Brennan is third on the left number 723." She continued typing on her computer and motioned to her right. "Mr. Booth is fourth room on the right, 761." Hodgins reached out to Angela but he was too late her explosive anger was unleashed. "HER NAME IS DOCTOR BRENNAN AND HE IS AGENT BOOTH!" Her voice was piercing as she shrieked at the woman. "WHY ARE THEY SEPERATED??? THEY NEED TO BE TOGETHER! THEY NEED TO FEEL THAT THE OTHER ONE IS THERE!! THEY NEED TO BE TOGETHER!" Her resolve started to crumble once again. Hodgins went to pull her into a hug once again but she pushed him aside. "Don't hug me....do something...throw that Cantilever weight around! Make them be in a room together! They need each other!"
It was nearly impossible to understand her words as they shrieked from her lips but their meaning was more than clear. Hodgins gave a cautious nod, not only to try and appease her but honestly because she was right. He headed to the elevator; he was going directly to the Chief of Staff. He owed it to his friends to make sure that he used his influence when it mattered the most. He wondered how was he going to explain his rationale for the pair to be together. He didn't think describing his girlfriend's breakdown or their possible psychic connection was the best move. Because we are all family he finally surmised. That was the best reason of all.
Cam entered the small hospital chapel, instantly recognizing the older gentleman in the third pew. She silently crossed herself at the altar and slid beside him. She noticed in his had he held a picture of a lovely, smiling young girl. She didn't know what to say. Instead she resigned herself to a few moments of companionable silence.
He spoke first. "This is Amy she was...is my daughter. My wife, Julia, always wanted me to invite some of the kids from Hoover over for dinner. She claimed that feeding the young men home-cooked dinners would endear them to me, and make my bullish ways easier to swallow. I still claim that she just wanted to get a feel for the type of men that were hired under me. Most came, were respectful, ate, and left. Booth was different. He charmed Julia instantly and took a shine to Amy. He talked to her like she had a good head on her shoulders. Genuinely listened to her replies. Was kind and caring. When she got sick, she had cancer, he sent her a card or a small treat at least once a week. They never failed to make her smile." Cullen's voice started to fall off, looking deeply into the eyes of the girl in the picture, as if hoping for strength or answers or both.
"She died, we spent a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms toward the end." He wiped at his face, his hands shook. "That was the year before you came to the Jeffersonian. Booth and Brennan were fairly new as a team. I honestly didn't trust them….at all. But through Amy's eyes I saw a different side of them. She trusted them. She wasn't wrong. They even discovered that she had been the victim of black market bone graft, which is what was responsible for the disease that took my baby girl. Not that it mattered, despite arresting that scum my Amy still suffered, still died."
Cam placed a comforting hand on his arm. She had heard the sad story of Amy Cullen many times before; in fact a photo of her was still in Angela's office. Not that they needed a reminder about the fragility of life. "She truly was a lovely girl. I am sure you miss her very much. I understand she was quite an artist. I know for a fact that she made quite an impression on my team."
At first Cullen looked stunned that she knew of his daughter. There was a change in his face, not a smile, but a lightening all the same. Amy might be no longer with him, but she wasn't forgotten. That strange little team of misfits had included his family with theirs. He looked at Cam for the first time. "You know that they will both be fine, don't you?"
Cam looked at him. "Sir, how can you be so sure?"
He carefully put his photo back into his wallet. "Because they are both just too damn stubborn not to be."