A/N: Here it is! The last section of the epic that started long ago… I hope you've enjoyed all this!
"You know, you were kind of mean to Hodgins and Sweets during this case, Booth," Brennan said as she ate a spoonful of her vegetable soup. She sipped her water, looking over her glass at Booth, who was toying with his meatloaf. He chopped at his food with his fork, refusing to look at her.
"Aww, they know I'm just kidding around, Bones," he said, spearing a green bean and eating it before looking at his partner.
"I doubt it," she stated, blowing lightly on her soup to cool it. Booth tapped his fork on his plate in agitation.
"I mean, it's all in good fun, and Sweets and Hodgins get that, and your squinterns get that, too. It's just guy to guy humor, you know?" Booth defended. Brennan shrugged and fished a carrot out of her soup to eat. "I mean, we can't be like girls and be all buddy-buddy all the time."
She didn't say anything, just looked at him as he stabbed angrily at his food. He took his ketchup bottle and shook it hard. Red sauce plopped onto his meatloaf, drenching it completely. "Ack!" he squawked, trying to scrape the ketchup off with his fork. He gave up after a little while and dropped his fork, putting his elbows on the table in agitation.
"So what do you think I should do?" he asked. She calmly swallowed her soup, thoughtfully looking at him. She pursed her lips as she studied his face.
"You should apologize," she said in the same tone she used when she told Booth the way to find the killer in a case. She wasn't used to being doubted when she knew that she was right.
"Bones!" he whined. "I didn't hurt their feelings or anything. It's just guy stuff. They understand."
"I believe I've become quite adept at reading the facial expressions and physiological cues of my colleagues, Booth, and I think they were hurt because of your constant mocking and teasing," she said seriously.
"Come on, Bones," he continued to moan, a painful look on his face. "These guys know it's just for fun."
"Even if it's just for fun, it often hurts to be teased by someone that you admire," she replied softly without meeting his eyes. Booth's whiny attitude evaporated as he watched her admit that to him. Because it was an admission, rather than a plea for sympathy on behalf of the squints. He knew that she was speaking from experience.
"Bones, you know that I don't ever want to hurt you," he said to her quietly. He reached over and lightly placed his hand over hers, stilling her fiddling. Her hand twitched under his and she lifted her eyes to his face, reading the sincerity in his eyes. She gave him a small smile.
"I know, Booth, and I know that you love me," she answered his unspoken question with compassion and understanding. "But it still hurts sometimes."
"I'm sorry that I've teased you, Bones," he whispered in her ear over the table. She cupped his jaw as he turned to kiss her cheek.
"I forgive you," Brennan said simply, factually. He smiled at her tone, knowing that she always spoke the truth to him.
"You keep me honest. That's another thing I love about you," he told her softly, a small smile on his face. She looked shy at his admission, but also very pleased. He admired the pale pink blush on her cheekbones and silently listed it as another reason he thought that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. He caught himself staring deeply into her eyes and habit made him break eye contact before he did something that he would regret. "I guess I need to find Sweets and the Squints," he said as he stood up. She smiled encouragingly at him, then looked down at their food.
"I'll get you some meatloaf to go," she said. He glanced ruefully at his ketchup covered meatloaf.
"That would be nice, Bones," he said.
"You can finish your meal at my place."
"Sounds good," he said with a big grin. She saw his grin and answered with one of her own.
"Because we're a couple now, and couples share meals together," she said as if she had just realized something important.
"Yeah. Because we're a couple," he repeated. He bent, cupping the back of her head in one hand as the other steadied him on the table. They shared a sweet kiss, full of promise and passion, and each broke away with a sparkle to their eyes and a new sense of purpose and belonging.
"But first you have to apologize to Sweets and Hodgins. And Mr. Nigel-Murray, too, because you were rude to him as well."
"Geez, Bones. So bossy," he said teasingly. She glared at him, but melted as he kissed her again. "I wouldn't have you any other way, you know. You're perfect," he whispered into her mouth as he pulled away. He felt her sweet smile and the blush that came with the compliment.
"Go get 'em, Tiger," she said, pushing him away. He grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair and spun it until he had it straight enough to slide his arms in.
"I'll see ya' later, Roxie," he drawled, settling an imaginary hat on his head. His eyes caressed her as he turned to walk away, and he felt her eyes on him until he was out of sight.
He drove to the Jeffersonian, knowing that the squints would still be there wrapping up the Evans case. He parked and strode into the Medico-Legal lab. The place had calmed down since the quarantine had taken effect and only a few strains of music could be heard over the rumble of the ventilation system. He heard noises coming from the lounge on the balcony and climbed the stairs to see who was up there.
"Oh, hey, Booth," Sweets said as Booth came in view. Sweets and Vincent sat on opposite ends of one couch, holding coffee mugs, and Hodgins sat across from them, drinking clear liquid from a beaker. Booth looked at the beaker in disgust.
"I saw eyeballs in a glass just like that once," Booth commented, scrunching up his nose in an expression he borrowed from Bones.
"Relax, I keep eyeballs out of my still," Hodgins said smugly, taking a sip.
"Bootlegging is illegal," Booth said flatly, remembering when Zach and Hodgins tried to sneak pure alcohol into the punch at Christmas one year. Hodgins held up his free hand.
"Kidding, Booth. It's just water. You can smell it if you'd like," he reassured the federal agent. Booth smirked to acknowledge the joke, but the smile quickly faded and he looked faintly embarrassed. He rubbed the back of his neck and stared up into the skylights.
"So what brings you here, Agent Booth," Vincent said in his British accent as he nursed his coffee. Booth squared his shoulders and turned to face them completely.
"You and Dr. Brennan aren't fighting, are you?" Sweets asked unsurely. He had vague visions of having to do a real couple's counseling session with Booth and Brennan arguing about leaving the toilet seat up.
"No, Sweets. Bones and I are good. But I'd stay out of our business if I were you," he growled menacingly. Sweets gulped and looked down into his coffee. Booth sighed and stuck his hands in his pockets, searching for his poker chip.
"Listen, Sweets," he said in a softer voice, "Thank you for taking an interest, but right now Bones and I…we've never been better." His smile had turned into a goofy grin as he thought about Brennan waiting on him at her place with meatloaf.
"Ain't that the truth," Hodgins drawled. "I've never seen Dr. B as happy as today." He suddenly turned serious, setting his beaker down on the table beside the couch and standing up to meet Booth's eyes. The height difference made his stance seem ridiculous, but his expression was too stern to ignore. "And though I doubt it will make much of an impression on you, I will say that Dr. Brennan is my friend, and if you break her heart, I know exactly how to make you disappear completely with no evidence."
"Chill, Hodgins," Booth said, shifting nervously on his feet. "I hope that I can make her happy. But, uh…thanks. For looking out for Bones, I mean."
"Did you come here for a reason, Agent Booth?" Vincent asked, finishing his coffee and standing. Hodgins glared at him for ruining his moment when he could intimidate Booth. Booth just looked sheepish.
"Yeah, I just wanted to…uh…I've been a bit of a jerk to you during this case, and I just wanted to…" Booth stumbled to a stop, almost choking on the apology. Hodgins came to his rescue.
"You know, forget about it," Hodgins said, bumping Booth's arm with his fist. "We're guys, for crying out loud. We're not going to go crying just because you weren't as nice as you could be."
"Yeah," Sweets chimed in, "What are we, girls?"
"It looks like the boys are back," Vincent said. As the words left his mouth, music started playing. Booth watched in horror as Hodgins, Sweets and Vincent all got up and stood beside him in a line. Then Booth shrugged and smiled, then put his sunglasses on in synchronization with Sweets, just as Hodgins and Vincent put their safety glasses on. In the back of his mind, Booth thought they looked a little like a cheesy boy band, but he didn't follow that line of thought as Hodgins began singing:
Take it back to the lab where you know it all comes down.
Taking strides in front of Booth to get to the other side of him, Sweets stepped up to the other side of Booth as he hit his chest once and sang:
We can be anything we wanna be!
Vincent strolled in front of the trio with a frozen pig on his shoulder, carrying it as if it were a boom box and sang:
You can tell by the noise that the boys are back again.
Hodgins then threw a smoke bomb down. As the smoke began to rise all three stepped through the curtain, with Hodgins spinning a tray as if it were a basketball, Booth twirling his pen though his fingers and flipping his badge up, and Sweets weaving a folder around his head and back. They all sang:
Together solving mysteries.
Booth sang as he put his hand on his waist, pulling back his jacket to reveal his gun in the holster, as he flicked his mirrored aviators making it sparkle in the light:
It's time to show how
Hodgins and Sweets danced in front of Booth with their arms outstretched like they were flying. Hodgins finished the lyric with:
To be a super-solver
Booth continued taking a step and then leaned in with his knees bent, with his arms spread wide, his hands open, and his fingers motioning towards himself:
Just like a showdown
Sweets thrust his fist into the air as he sprinted towards Hodgins. Hodgins cupped his hands and launched Sweets in the air, sending Sweets flying across the group as Sweets shouted:
Squints and FBI now!
Booth strutted in front of Sweets and Hodgins as Vincent threw him a straight brimmed hat that he wore in Vegas. He spun as he put on the hat and then stopped with a sideways glance and then began to do the moonwalk as he sang:
We're the best, no doubt,
Everyone stepped forward to join Booth. They all put a fist in the air pumping their arms as they did a single spin as they sang:
Solve it like we always do.
Hodgins then ran to the nearest table and quickly jumped on the top with his lab coat swirling around his body. He then did a double back flip and landed on his feet as he sang:
This is our lab.
And then did a short sprint and slid on his knees to the railing directly in front of Booth and Sweets as he sang:
And we're telling you all…
Together they sang as Hodgins and Sweets twirled over Booth's back and landed on their knees, shaping their hands like a gun, with Booth pulling his real gun in the air.
The boys are back. The boys are back!
The boys are back, gonna solve it again,
Hodgins and Vincent sang together as they dragged a cannon across the lounge to point it over the balcony:
Gonna blow up the laboratory!
Together they sang with Sweets and Hodgins doing two back flips at the side of Booth, as Booth strutted up with them:
The boys are back. The boys are back!
Vincent brought out a target as Booth spun and then aimed his gun and shot it twice in the head as he sang:
Fighting crime anytime we want.
Together they sang the chorus as Hodgins and Sweets twirled over Booth's back and landed on their knees, shaping their hands like a gun, with Booth pulling his real gun in the air.
The word is out the boys are back!
The boys are back. Gonna save the day.
As the song ended, Vincent took the frozen pig and stuffed it in the cannon. Hodgins lit the fuse and the cannon shot the frozen pig over the lab. After the crash of the explosion, there was a moment of silence where the four guys realized what they had just done. They were triumphant, but Booth looked rather embarrassed to have been caught singing and dancing. He looked around to see if anyone had seen them and spotted Brennan looking in horrified fascination at the globs of frozen pig scattered over the lab.
"Impossible!" she exclaimed as she looked at the mess. She looked back at Booth, who ran down the steps to meet her. "If you had a part in this…" she began threateningly.
"I swear that I didn't know they were going to do this," he promised. She looked up at the mess again in dismay. He nudged her to get her to look at him instead of the pig pieces. "So, did you like my dance?" he asked hopefully.
"It was very interesting. Especially how vigorously Hodgins and Sweets danced. They were very energetic and I really enjoyed the more dramatic and gymnastic aspects of the dance."
"But how did you like the way I danced?" he asked, disappointed that she liked Sweets' and Hodgins' part of the dance better.
"You were good, too," she said dismissively. Booth looked hurt.
"Did you see my moonwalk? I rock at the moonwalk," he defended himself.
"I don't know what that means," she stated, crinkling her face at his phrasing, "But I did enjoy your mastery of the classic dance that was made famous by Michael Jackson."
They turned to walk out, Booth reaching for her hand and twining his fingers with hers. She smiled at him lovingly as they bumped shoulders. "I'm surprised you know Michael Jackson," Booth said.
"He was quite a public icon during my teenage years," Brennan told him as they left the mess behind them. Booth smiled down at her gleefully, glad that he didn't have to suppress the urge to kiss her forehead.
"You always surprise me," he commented happily as they walked out of the lab. "Come on, Bones, I have a meal to finish."
"And I took the liberty of ordering you a piece of pie."
"Pie? You must really love me!" he yelled happily. Just as Booth hurried her eagerly out of the Jeffersonian, Cam strode out of her office, stalking up the stairs with a vengeance.
"Uh, oh," Hodgins said when he saw her come up to the lounge.
"What do you think you are doing?" she shouted menacingly. Cam gestured to the gruesome sight in the lab below, pointing to stainless steel equipment covered with pig goo. "You're all grounded until the day you retire!" Hodgins and Vincent Nigel-Murray cringed while Sweets tried to sneak away. "Even you, Dr. Sweets. So help me, all of you are going to be cleaning this place until it is spotless!"
Hodgins looked around at his coconspirators sheepishly and said, "I guess I should have seen this end in the beginning."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I've loved writing it! It's been so much fun on my part and I'm kinda sad to see this end. Please tell me what you thought! Check out my other stories if you start missing my writing.