I know, I know, it's horribly short. But hey, it's an update! We're getting closer to some actual action, and eventually, the END. *gasp* Yeah, it has to come some time. It's weird to think about, since WSBT was the first multi-chapter fanfic I ever wrote, and this is technically still the same story continued into a sequel. It's just strange to think about it actually closing up for good.
But, for now, you can expect another nine chapters.
And after that, if you actually like me and my writing (and I have no idea why you would what with how drawn out and weird this story's plotline has gotten, not to mention my slow updating...) perhaps you'll check out the story that I'm doing on the side right now. No, it's not up on the site yet. It's a work in progress that is taking up most of my attention, and it's all angsty and mysterious and such. So if you're wondering why it takes me so long to update this story, it's because I get home from school and crank out chapters of that instead XD
That doesn't mean I don't love this story. So for goodness sake, stop reading this totally unnecessary and rant-like author's note and read the chapter! And then maybe leave a nice review to remind me that people actually read this, and do want me to finish writing it. No matter how long that might take...
"Hello?" her voice was groggy into the phone, and she could barely make out what the person on the other line was saying in her sleep-deprived state, let alone recognize who it was.
Finally it occurred to her that it was Cam, and she made the effort to roll over and check the clock. At once, she sat bolt upright, feeling alarmingly awake all of a sudden. She opened her mouth and simultaneously reached to the other side of the bed to shake Booth awake, but found that he wasn't there. Her mouth snapped shut and she stared blankly for a long moment, too tired to think about what that might mean.
"Dr. Brennan, are you there?"
"I... Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Cam. What were you..?"
The voice on the other end sighed. "Well, from that, it's clear why you aren't here, but beyond that, I have some important information that I thought would be best heard from me before you arrived."
"What is it? Has there been a break in the case?"
"Yes and no," Cam said, suddenly hesitating. By now, Brennan was on her feet, stepping around a pile of laundry that she really needed to do and making her way across the darkened bedroom towards the light creeping up the hallway and through the cracks in the door.
"Well which one is it?" she questioned impatiently.
"You requested that a sweep be run through the Jeffersonian for bugs or cameras."
She froze in place, standing in the opening between the bedroom and the hallways, still holding the doorknob of the now open door.
"...And?" she dared to ask.
"Dr. Brennan, the FBI technicians found a series of wires that were used to tap into the security system. They would have... had access to any feed."
"Including my office," she whispered, the blood draining from her face. "Were they... was the feed still active?"
There was a long pause, and then, "We have no way of knowing whether or not it was in use at this point... but yes, it was still accessible to whoever first installed it."
"Bones?" At last, the only voice she really wanted to hear at that moment graced her ears, and she felt herself relax slightly into the doorframe, holding herself up as her eyes raised to find him standing by the entrance to the kitchen at the end of the hall. "Who's that? What's wrong?"
"We'll be over as soon as we can," she said into the phone, and then hung up without waiting for a response. At Booth's continuingly questioning look as she moved up the hallway towards him, she explained simply, "Cam."
He nodded, looking unconvinced and clearly having noticed that she had failed to answer the second part of his question. Right at that moment, though, she didn't feel much like talking. He barely had the chance to open his arms before she wrapped hers firmly around him and pressed her face into his chest.
"Whoa," he said in surprise, the air rushing out of him in a sudden gust. "Bones?" he repeated after he'd wrapped his arms securely around her and began to rub a hand reassuringly up and down her back.
She closed her eyes and just breathed in and out a few times, taking in his warm and familiar scent.
"They swept the lab," she said at last, when she felt her body calmed enough in his grasp.
"They found something?" he surmised at once, his shock palpable.
She simply nodded against him, and he sucked in a sharp breath, holding her closer and reaching up to cradle her head into him.
"It's going to be okay," he murmured into her hair, nuzzling his face closer to her ear to whisper directly into it. "I promise, Bones, I promise I'm not going to let anything happen to you..."
She felt her cell phone buzz in her pocket, and carefully slid an arm back around to pull it out, groaning as she read the name on the display.
"Can you protect me from this?" she asked, pulling away enough to show it to him as it vibrated again.
"We really should have just gone to the lab," she muttered, tapping a foot impatiently on the carpet under their couch.
"If he keep us waiting one more minute, we're going to, believe me."
As though he'd been listening in, Sweets' head suddenly popped around the corner. "Come on in, guys."
"You had better have coffee for us," Booth warned as they stepped through the doorway and found their regular seats. Sweets pointed to the two cups on the coffee table, and then dropped into his usual chair and picked up his own mug, which read '#1 Shrink' on the side. It was the sort of thing she'd have expected Booth to give him, but seeing as she hadn't heard her partner bragging about such a thing, she was going to have to assume it was someone else in the office.
She gratefully picked up her white Styrofoam cup and tested the warmth before taking a long sip and sighing in gratification as the hot liquid shot down her throat and instantly set her at an ease that she hadn't been expecting, but was quite happy with nonetheless.
Never had she realized just how much she enjoyed a daily cup of this perfect concoction. God, she was going to enjoy having as much of it as she wanted when these forty weeks were finally over. At the same time, though, looking forward to the end meant rushing towards a whole new world of responsibility and a completely different stage of her and Booth's relationship.
"I'm very gladly the two of you could make it today," Sweets said, smiling warmly at the both of them and looking back and forth as if he was expecting an equally joyful response from one of them. When they continued to stare back stonily, his face dropped its mask and he sighed. "Alright, you clearly don't want to be here. Heck, when have you ever wanted to be in my office. If you could just try to show some interest in the fact that I'm trying to help you, though, that would be great."
"Fine, whatever. Just... ask us whatever it is you think you need to know, and we'll be all 'truth-zone' induced with you. Good enough?"
Sweets stared back at him for a few moments, and then nodded stiffly, resigning himself to the fact that this was as good as he was going to get. Brennan crossed her arms and waited for him to get started with the barrage of questions.
"I visited the Jeffersonian this morning," he said, watching them for reactions. When he got no response, either physical or audio, he sighed. "Come on guys, work with me here."
"That wasn't a question," she pointed out with raised eyebrows, staring him down with undisguised annoyance.
His eyes rolled upwards to stare at the ceiling for guidance.
"I'm not sure why I'm even going to try... but here we go. Dr. Brennan, could you please tell me how you feel about the camera's being tapped into at your lab? I know that you know. Cam told me she was calling you."
She wanted to just shrug it off, but something told her that the sooner she just answered the question, the sooner they would both get out of here.
"How would you feel if you found out someone could potentially have been watching every move you made for... who knows how long? I feel... invaded. I feel like nothing in my life was really private. First the apartment, then this... to be honest, this on top of everything else is really just goddamn frustrating."
Neither of the men spoke a word. Booth's mouth opened—she could see it out of the corner of her eye—but it slowly closed again when he couldn't find anything to say.
"That's... thank you," Sweets said with a surprised nod of his head. "Thank you for... being so honest. Booth, how about you?"
He looked far more hesitant, and he turned to her. She watched as he read her face, and then set his jaw, turned back to Sweets, and said, "Fine. I feel like... I don't know, I failed. I do everything I can to... protect the people I care about. And to find out that something has been going on that I've had no control over, and that it's... hurting Bones..." He shook his head, running an angry hand through his hair.
"This is good... very good. Well, not good, but... alright, you get what I mean. I appreciate that both of you decided to share. Now, you have to understand why these things are a concern, correct?"
"Sweets, if you take us off this case because we did what you wanted for once, I promise you will regret it."
The shrink nodded in full understanding. "I get it, Booth. And I promise that I have no intention of taking you off this case. I think that what you need right now is to be able to work on it, actually. My goal, right now, is to make sure that you are fully able to do that with as few obstacles in your way as possible, unless I truly believe that the danger outweighs everything else. With all the security measures Cam has assured me are being doubled, and with neither of you being apart from each other out in public... I'm not panicked about the situation. There's always the chance that things might escalate, however. For example, our stalker has yet to make actual contact. If and when that happens, I want you to be prepared."
"If and when he shows his face, Sweets, he's not going to stand a chance."
"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that," Sweets muttered, rubbing his forehead. "If you really want to stay on this case, then you really need to censor any violent comments."
Booth raised his hands in mock surrender. "I never threatened anyone with violence, Sweets. I simply meant that he wouldn't stand a chance of getting away. Isn't that what you thought I meant, Bones?"
She quirked her lip up in a smile. "That's right. That's exactly what my first thought was."
Sweets closed his eyes for a long moment. "Anyways," he said when he finally opened them, pronouncing the word carefully and drawing out each syllable. He looked at each of them in turn, as if offering a warning, before he continued. "I was wondering if there was anything else that you two might like to share. Anything, for instance, that might have some effect on this case, albeit indirectly? Perhaps... a reason why Booth might be feeling an extra sense of protectiveness?"
She spun her head to look at Booth in confusion. He hadn't told anyone, had he? She had only told Angela, and she trusted that her friend wouldn't have gone back on her word by telling anyone else.
He looked just as confused, though, and a bit alarmed. She imagined her face was probably a pretty good mirror of his as they both turned back to the psychologist, who's eyebrows were raised as he waited for a response from either of them. Most of his focus seemed to be on her, and she knew that she was going to have to answer him. Obviously, he already knew, otherwise he wouldn't be asking such leading questions.
"I'm pregnant," she said simply, raising her head up haughtily and glaring at him as if daring him to make a comment about it.
His open mouth snapped shut, and his face flashed with surprise. Probably at the fact that she'd chosen to be so outright more than because of what she'd said.
"I... congratulations," he stammered at last.
"You didn't actually know?" Booth demanded suddenly, and Brennan turned to him in confusion before realizing that, according to Sweets' reaction, her partner was right.
"I've had a hunch for a while now... changes in behavior, different responses to stimuli, your own reactions, Booth. And, I don't mean to be offensive, Dr. Brennan, but you do appear to have gained some weight."
She glanced down at her stomach, a hand reaching up to cradle it, even though there was barely any bump visible. For someone that studied the way people thought and acted, the change in the way she walked had probably been obvious to him fairly early on.
"How long have you suspected this, exactly?" she questioned. "And who have you discussed this with?"
"I can assure you that I haven't mentioned this to anyone. You have my word. And I only noticed recently... but that's probably because the both of you have been avoiding me quite a lot."
"Yes, well, in our position avoiding you seems to only have beneficial results," she pointed out. He chuckled slightly, but she couldn't really understand why.
"Of course it does," he murmured. "I'll tell you what, if the both of you agree to come back in next week—that means making an appointment at the desk before you leave today—then you can go now."
Booth raised an approving eyebrow at her, and she mimicked the gesture before the both of them stood.
"Thanks, Sweets," she said with a nod and a small smile.
"Not a problem. I would just prefer if, y'know, it started being more beneficial for you to be here than to not be here. Do you, ah... know if it's a boy or a girl, yet?"
"Friday," she said, blushing slightly for no reason. "We're finding out on Friday."
Sweets grinned in an infectious sort of way, a way that only seemed to be associated with babies and families. "That's great. That's really... really great. You'll... let me know, right?"
She laughed. "Of course, Sweets. We'll let you know."
Out in the waiting room, they went to his cheerful receptionist to make their next appointment, but Booth left her there, saying that his cell phone had fallen out of his pocket and was probably sitting on the couch back in Sweets' office.
She waved him off and set up the appointment, thinking nothing of the fact that it took him a bit longer than necessary to return with the promise of lunch before they went to the lab. Anyways, it was already quite late, and she had to admit that missing breakfast meant that she was hungrier than usual for this time of the day.
So... who else is psyched about Thursday?