Title: All the King's Horses

Author: cardiogod

Rating: PG-13

Word Count: About 1000

Pairing: Booth/Brennan

Spoilers: Wannabe in the Weeds and Pain in the Heart

Disclaimer: All things "Bones" belong to FOX, Hart Hanson, and Kathy Reichs. I'm just having fun.

Summary: What if Booth hadn't stepped in front of Brennan in time to catch Pam Nunan's bullet? What if Pam had hit her target?

Author's Note: This is my first attempt at a multi-chapter fic; I've never written anything this large-scale before and I'm slightly terrified of such a big departure from the little one-shots that I'm used to. I have the second part written, awaiting beta, and the third is in-progress. I'm estimating five parts in total. I have a direction, I know where I'm taking this story, so there is very little danger of this one dropping off before it's completed. Hopefully.

Longest author's note ever. I'm chatty when I'm nervous. A shout out and many thanks to my lovely beta, obrien_blue, who told me that this was worth pursuing and who pointed out all the parts that sounded wonky.

That said, I give you "All the King's Horses."


He is watching her and she is mesmerizing.

It's like nothing he's ever seen before, not from her, such unadulterated joy. There are no bodies, no murders, no broken hyoids or defense-wound phalanges. There are no killers, no psychopaths, no suspects, no witnesses. And still, in the absence of her favorite things (she really does like defense-wound phalanges), she seems happy.

The room is loud and boisterous and it suits his mood, and while he will never admit it out loud, especially with Sweets standing right there, just itching to psychoanalyze something, he loved Cyndi Lauper when he was a kid too. Hey, it's not like he chose to listen to her, his mom just played that stuff a lot when she was doing dishes in the kitchen and avoiding his dad. It doesn't mean anything. You're surrounded by something that often, it grows on you.

Kind of like Bones.

She's gonna be good at this, he knows she is. She's Bones; she's good at everything. Except, he thinks with a wry grin, pop culture references and throwing a bowling ball. Man, she was bad at that. She rationalized her gutterballs, saying something about angles and centrifugal force that went right over his head; he just thought she sucked and was happy that he was finally better than her at something.

But the singing thing, that she could probably do. She opens her mouth enough to nag at him, he imagines she could probably use it for other things as well. (Mind out of the gutter, Seeley.)

She looks for a minute like she's either going to kill him or kiss him (he hopes for the latter) before she shimmies out of her jacket, grabs the microphone, and proceeds to prove to him why her mother said that she could beat out an 80s pop star in a vocal battle to the death.

God he loves this, loves her, loves seeing her like this.

The beat is infectious, she is beautiful, and he is moving along with her, raising his lighter to the sky like a toast to her, to all of the parts of her that he knows and all of the parts, like her newfound Cyndi Lauper mode, that he is just discovering.

He senses more than hears Cam and the squints laughing, but he watches her, unable to tear his eyes from the laughing, singing, bouncing figure in front of him. Making her grin like this is quickly becoming his new life-goal. Putting away murderers to atone for his violent past was great, fulfilling, validating, but it had nothing on Bones' smile.

He is watching her and she is mesmerizing.

He doesn't see Pam Nunan enter the bar.

He doesn't hear Pam Nunan call his name.

He doesn't hear her impassioned pleas to turn around, to stop watching, to see her. Not Bones, but her.

Her last "Seeley" registers in his brain and he wonders what that noise is. Bones doesn't call him by his first name.

He tears his eyes from his partner and sees the gun, sees the bang in a flash of red, sees the bullet flying out of the chamber, menacing and alive.




He stands. He is not quick enough.

The last slurred note of "fun" is punctuated by the breath leaving her lungs as she stumbles backwards into the piano, the keys crashing a loud dissonant chord that echoes through the pandemonium.



This is not happening. This can't be happening.


He is beside her before he knows that he's moved.

Pressure on the wound. Compress. Stop the bleeding. Prevent shock. GSW. Gun shot wound to the chest. Call for backup. Whatever you do, don't let up pressure on the wound, Sergeant.

He'd seen plenty of his buddies get shot in Kosovo.

This is different.

Pressure. Keep the pressure.

There is so much blood. Blood slipping from her into him, through his fingers, through his shirtsleeves, through the pain that threatens to overwhelm him, as though he were the one shot rather than her.

"Seeley!" Another cry of his name and he finally understands the desire to kill because Pam Nunan is looking at him and Bones is mouthing at him like a fish, trying to talk but unable phonate anything other than gasping breaths.

He never thought he'd see the day when she could be rendered speechless.

Gun out of holster. Pam Nunan. Remove safety. Pull trigger.

He doesn't watch her go down because Bones is still bleeding.

So much blood.

"Come on Bones, come on. I'm right here."

This can't be happening.

"Come on, Bones. You can do this. You're gonna be fine."

She is mouthing his name, God, his name, and he presses harder on her wound. He's not going to let her die.

"Come on Bones. Come on."

He's not going to cry because she is going to be fine. She's going to be fine.

"You're gonna be fine, I promise. You're gonna make this. Come on."

He pulls her to him, pressing his face into her neck in a fervent prayer.

He'll say Our Fathers and Hail Marys and go to church every day for the rest of his life if he can keep her with him.

"Come on, Bones. Stay with me, come on."

"Stay with me, Bones."

"Stay with me."

Don't leave me.

He sees the moment when the life leaves her eyes.