AN: So, this is my first try at a Bones fic. I'm not new to the fanfiction world, just new to the Bones fanfiction world. This one-shot is based upon the events that occurred in The Wannabe in the Weeds and The Pain in the Heart. I was recently rewatching those episodes and decided that I wanted to explore a part of those episodes that was just… unsatisfying to me. And so I changed something… I made it what I would have liked to see and I wrote this.
The story is from Brennan's POV. And it is rated T just to be safe.
Also, I have to thank my good friends Lola, Apes, and Neen for encouraging me to do this. And also Apes again for introducing me to Bones in the first place.
With that said, I hope you enjoy… and please… let me know how I did on this first effort, because I am quite nervous about posting this. And thank you for taking the time to read.
Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own Bones.
It had been two hours and thirty-eight minutes since I had pressed my hands against his chest; since the blood from his wound oozed in between the cracks of my fingers.
It had been two hours and twenty minutes since the paramedics charged into the bar and tried to push me away from his body. Since I refused to let go of the hand of his uninjured arm.
It had been two hours and five minutes since I had begged the paramedics to let me come with him. Since I had refused to release my hold on his hand.
It had been an hour and fifty-five minutes since Angela had pulled me away from him; since my hand had slipped away from his as the paramedics rushed him out of the bar.
That was the last time I would see him. That was the last memory I would have of him.
Before time stood still.
The emergency room waiting area was cold, or maybe it was me. I couldn't tell and I really didn't care. The only thing that mattered was Booth, and he was still in surgery.
Angela was beside me, holding onto my right hand, which was still covered in his blood. She had tried to convince me to go to the bathroom to clean up because people were staring at me, but I refused. I had tried to save his life like he had saved mine. There was nothing on me that I should be ashamed of.
The others were talking around me, but I didn't pay attention. Instead, I focused on the doorway to the emergency room, waiting for the surgeon to present himself with news on Booth. And every time the door opened my heart began to pound and my body began to shake. Nerves radiated to my already traumatized limbs. I needed him to be okay. He had taken a bullet that had been intended for me. He had to be okay.
I closed my eyes, attempting to provide my body with the relaxation that I knew it needed, but my muscles were still tense. My jaw was still hardened in place. My heart was still pumping erratically. It was then that I heard the footsteps of someone approaching. It was then when I realized that the surgeon was near.
I opened my eyes and was unable to read the expression on the surgeon's face. I wasn't Booth. I couldn't read people. I read bones.
Angela stood as the surgeon neared, pulling me up with her. My legs wobbled as I struggled to find my balance. The others stared at me with concern, but I ignored them. I didn't want their concern. I wasn't the one that had jumped in front of a bullet intended for someone else.
The surgeon stopped in front of us. "Are you Agent Booth's friends?"
My mouth warmed. I wanted to respond, but no words came. I wanted to be logical, to act reasonably, but I couldn't. There was no reason behind this. Booth was a good man. He was a father. He had honored his country by committing his life for what it stood for. Booth did not deserve this. It should be me on that hospital bed, not him.
"That would be us." It was Hodgins who finally said something.
"We did everything we could," the surgeon frowned, "but I'm afraid we lost him. I'm sorry for your loss."
My blood stained hand disentangled from Angela's. The ringing in my ears from earlier in the evening returned as the room seemed to spin round and round like I was on a merry-go-round. My legs quivered as if they were jello and I felt like I was floating.
Booth was dead. Because of me. Booth died to protect me.
Booth was dead.
Voices intermixed with the ringing. Angela's sad and concerned face was staring at me as I continued on my merry-go-round. Nothing made sense any more. This was not logical. No amount of reason could explain this. Booth should have survived.
A hand tried to grab my hand, but I quickly ripped it away. I knew I was shaking. I knew that I was not in control, but it didn't matter. Booth was dead. And I never told him.
My stomach churned and my eyes began to water. The merry-go-round spun round and round. My knees buckled and I closed my eyes. I never told him. And suddenly nothing else mattered anymore.
Booth was dead. Because of me.
I let the darkness take me.
Angela followed me down the hallway to my apartment. She had insisted on making sure I was okay after what had happened at the hospital. I tried to reassure her that I was fine; that I was just overwhelmed and needed some time alone, but she wouldn't listen. As we neared my apartment, I reached into my bag for my keys, noticing the blood that was crusted on my hands still. I took a shaky breath. This blood was Booth. It was all I had left of him.
My hands shook as I inserted the key into the lock. Angela placed a hand on top of mine before I could twist the key.
"Sweetie," she said softly, "are you sure you don't want to come stay with me for a few days?"
I shook my head. "I'm fine, Ang."
She looked at my wearily. "Brennan, it's okay to not be. It's okay to feel upset."
"I know," I said curtly. "Look Ang, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I really just want to take a shower and call it a day."
Angela released her hold of my hand and pulled me into a tight hug. "Call me if you need me." She pulled away slowly. "We all loved him, Bren."
My chest tightened and tears pooled in my eyes. Was I that obvious? Did everyone know? Did Booth know?
I nodded my head quickly and turned the key in the lock. "I'll see you tomorrow."
I didn't give her a chance to say anything more as I hurried inside and closed the door behind me. The darkened apartment reminded me of just how alone I felt. And suddenly I was shaking as tears dripped onto my cheeks. One after another they fell like rain, and I did nothing to make them stop. This is what Booth had taught me. He had taught me how to feel. How to put aside all of the logic and the reason and just feel. So, I let them fall. I let my emotional side take over my rational side. I let my soul grieve for its loss.
The sobs echoed in my empty apartment, and it wasn't long before I couldn't catch my breath. I pushed myself off of the door and let my weight propel me towards the bathroom, knowing that I didn't have long before what little was in my stomach came up.
I stumbled inside of the bathroom and fell to my knees in front of the toilet. My trembling hands fumbled with the lid before I was able to finally push it upwards. It happened just in time.
I heaved the remnants of my lunch into the porcelain abyss in front of me. The salt of my tears mixed with the digested food and bile. My stomach twisted and my mouth warmed before I heaved again, but this time nothing but bile emerged from within.
I knew then that I needed to calm down, but I couldn't. I couldn't stop the tears. I couldn't stop shaking. I couldn't stop seeing Pam Nunan raise her gun and fire at Booth. I couldn't stop seeing Booth's face as I pressed my hands against his wound.
Booth was dead.
A fresh batch of tears drenched my already wet cheeks, and I heaved again except this time nothing came out. My stomach cramped again causing me to dry heave not once but twice. My body was beginning to show the effects of my emotional state. I was too emotional, too distraught. It was then that I knew I needed to stop. I needed the tears to stop. I needed the pounding and the images in my head to stop.
I reached forward with a shaking hand and flushed the toilet, no longer able to stand the smell of my own vomit. I gingerly pushed myself upwards, hoping that I would have enough strength to make it to my bed. As I moved I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I hesitated before I turned to face it.
Blood matted my hair and stained my shirt. The skin on my face had sporadic splotches of red from my tears, and my eyes were puffy. I ran a hand through my hair, noticing for the first time since I had entered my apartment exactly how much of his blood had covered the skin on my hands. I knew that I should shower. It was the logical thing to do. To cleanse your skin when it was dirty. It was very logical. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't wash away the last part of him that I had.
So I moved to my bedroom and let myself collapse onto my bed. My tears continued to fall as my head settled onto my pillow. My eyelids drifted shut and images of Booth and Pam Nunan once again flooded my already crowded brain. Tears continued to drip from my eyes as I thought of all that could have been.
What if we had taken Pam Nunan's actions seriously? What if I hadn't been up on that stage singing? What if Booth hadn't been there? What if Pam Nunan hadn't called his name? What if I had pushed harder against his chest?
What if I had taken that bullet instead of him?
I knew the questions were pointless. There was no logic behind them, but I couldn't stop them. They jumped through my brain like a ball bouncing off of walls. There was no stopping them. So I surrendered to them and to the quiet of the apartment until it consumed me. As the quiet lulled me to sleep, I couldn't help but hope that maybe I'd wake up and this will all have been just a dream.
Hope was irrational, but it was all I had now.
The knocking at my door woke me. At first I tried to ignore it, but it was constant. Whoever it was not going away any time soon. I rolled over in bed, noticing that the blood that I had yet to clean from my body now stained my once clean sheets. The person at the door pounded against the wood once more, confirming that this was indeed something that I could not just ignore.
My body ached as I moved from my bed and padded my way across my apartment towards the door. I looked through the peephole and was immediately confused when I saw Sweets behind the door.
"Sweets?" I frowned. "What do you want?"
"Dr. Brennan," Sweets sighed seemingly in relief, "I really need to talk to you. Can you let me in?"
I glanced down at myself, knowing that I was in no condition to see anyone. Any one that saw me now would be concerned, and I was not interested in that right now. I just wanted to grieve in peace. In my own way, in my own time.
"Sweets, can't this wait?" I snapped.
"No, Dr. Brennan," Sweets replied. "This really can't wait."
I didn't know what to do. Anyone that saw me in my current state would be confused and probably worried. Sweets would ask questions. Questions that I wasn't prepared to answer. So I kept the door closed and leaned against it.
"Can't you just tell me through the door?"
"Dr. Brennan, is there something wrong?" Sweets asked.
"Sweets," my voice cracked, betraying me. "I just… I haven't had time to…"
I could hear Sweets bang his shoulder against the door. He was trying to get in.
"Dr. Brennan, are you alright?"
"I'm fine, Sweets."
"Then, let me in," Sweets pushed.
"Sweets…" I hesitated unsure of how to proceed. "I really don't think now is the best time."
It sounded reasonable enough.
"Dr. Brennan, you need to open this door," Sweets urged. "You want to talk to me."
"Why?" It was a reasonable question. Why was it so important that I opened the door? Why did I need to talk to him so badly?
"Just… trust me, Dr. Brennan," Sweets breathed. "Trust me." There was another moment of silence before he added, "please."
I knew he didn't give me an answer. I knew that he hadn't given me a reason as to why I should open the door besides the fact that I wanted to hear what he had to say; that I should trust him. And suddenly I remembered the conversation I had with Booth from the week of my father's trial. This wasn't about my brain anymore. This was about my heart. This was about what I needed, what my heart needed not my brain.
Without another thought I opened the door and stood to the side, motioning for Sweets to come inside except he remained outside. I looked at him, confused by his lack of movement. "Is something wrong?"
"You haven't changed or showered since…" Sweets' voice trailed off as he stared at me.
"I fell asleep." My hands fell to my hips. "Are you coming in or…"
I didn't have to finish my sentence as he stepped inside of my apartment. I closed the door behind him and then turned to face him. "What is so urgent that couldn't wait until tomorrow?"
"It's about Agent Booth," Sweets said.
I didn't mean for it to happen. I didn't mean for my body to stiffen or the tears to instantly well in my eyes. It just happened. I tried to shake it off. I brushed past Sweets and stood facing one of the windows in my apartment.
"What about him?" I asked, trying to keep my voice as neutral as possible.
"There's something that you need to know."
"He's dead, Sweets." The bitter taste came from earlier returned to my mouth, but I paid no attention to it. "What more is there to say?"
"A lot actually."
"Sweets…" I didn't want to talk about this. I didn't want to acknowledge any further that Booth was dead; that he was gone.
"Dr. Brennan, before we go any further, do you want to talk about what it is you're feeling right now?"
I shook my head adamantly. "Absolutely not."
"I feel like it would be good for you to discuss this…"
"No," I interrupted. "I do not want to talk about this with you."
"Sweets, either say what you have to say or leave," I snapped. I hated being this way. I hated being mean and unreasonable. This was the part of putting my heart before my brain that I hated. It was too emotional, and I was too out of control, too irrational.
Sweets lowered his head, seemingly in frustration. When he raised his head again he met my gaze and spoke carefully. "There is a list."
I remained quiet and turned to face him, but refused myself the chance to say anything until he was finished.
"There is a list," Sweets repeated. "A couple of years ago Agent Booth chased a wanted criminal underground…" he hesitated before continuing. "When Agent Booth was brought into the hospital the FBI was notified of the incident. It was at that time that the FBI decided that it would be best to fake Agent Booth's death so that they could finally catch the wanted criminal."
Sweets stopped, his gaze remained trained on me. My brain scrambled to make sense of what he was saying, but before I had the chance, Sweets began to speak again.
"What I'm trying to tell you is that Agent Booth is in fact alive."
My eyes closed, and the first thought that came to my mind was that I was dreaming. This had to be a dream. Booth was dead. He was dead. The surgeon had come out and told all of us that Booth was dead. This was not real.
"Dr. Brennan, did you hear what I said?" Sweets asked, taking a step towards me.
"Agent Booth is alive."
I suddenly felt as if the air that I had been breathing was gone. Nothing I drew into my mouth filled my body with oxygen, and right now, I was in desperate need of oxygen. I couldn't breathe. This had to be a dream.
Sweets took another step towards me. "Dr. Brennan?"
"He's dead," I said firmly. "The surgeon told us that Booth was dead. I," my voice trailed off as I tried to rationalize what was happening. "This can't be happening."
"I assure you that this is in fact happening," Sweets smiled. "I spoke with Agent Booth less than an hour ago. He wanted me to come over to your place and tell you in person rather than over the phone."
Sweets shook his head. "I'm sorry, I can't tell you anymore than I already have. But for now, know that Agent Booth is fine. He's being held at a safe house until this guy comes out of the woodwork."
"I don't know what that means."
Sweets smiled. "It means that Agent Booth will remain in a safe house until the criminal is caught."
My heart pounded. Booth was alive? I closed my eyes and tried to control myself. To compartmentalize. To do what I did best… be rational. Booth was alive. Everything that had happened in the past few hours could just be a bad dream. One that I hoped to never live again.
It had been ten days and twenty-two hours since I had last seen Booth. Since I had last heard his voice. Since I had last felt his touch.
For the last ten days I had to act as if Booth was dead. I had to pretend as if his supposed death was affecting me. My friends grieved for his loss openly, but I could not say anything. I was paralyzed. What could I say? I knew the truth.
Booth was alive.
Tonight was the night before his funeral. Tomorrow would be the day when I would finally get to see him again. It would be the day where I could finally speak the words that I had held so close to my heart for the past three years.
I had made the decision a few minutes after Sweets had left my apartment on the night that I found out that Booth was in fact still alive. I thought rationally about everything that I had experienced when I thought Booth had died and came to the only logical conclusion. I was in love with Booth. The next logical step was to tell him, to act on those feelings.
And so I waited. I waited for this day to come so that I could finally see him again. I waited for this day so that I could finally wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I missed him. I knew that he would be surprised, perhaps even shocked, at my sudden show of emotion. But his supposed death taught me something. It taught me how to balance my brain and my heart. It taught me how to silence my brain and allow myself the emotional response that I had silenced years ago. It taught me how to feel.
But tonight was not tomorrow, and in order to get to tomorrow, I needed to fall asleep. But that seemed impossible right now, just like it had been the night before and the night before that. I pushed the sheets off of my body in annoyance and moved out of my bed. I reached for my robe before I stepped into the open air of my apartment. On the nights that I hadn't slept, I had found that the one place I was able to find peace was in the living room, where Booth and I usually spent most of our time when he was over.
So tonight, like the previous nights, I lied down on the soft cushions of my couch and waited for sleep to take me. And just as my eyes began to drift shut, there was a knock at the door. I sat up and looked at the door, wondering if I had imagined it and just as I was about to let myself fall back onto the cushions, the knock came again.
Irrational fear gripped my limbs, but I moved off of the couch and walked towards the door. I looked into the peephole and my breath caught in my throat and my heart began to pound. I ripped open the door and faced the person that I had been longing to see ever since I thought he had been taken from me.
"Bones," Booth smiled.
Tears pooled in my eyes and fell onto my cheeks and I didn't care. And this time I didn't wait for him to open his arms. This time I moved first. I wrapped him in my arms and held on to him for dear life. He was here. He was alive.
I shoved my face into his chest as I felt him wrap his arms around me and hold me tightly against him. I breathed in his smell. I listened to his heart. I felt his skin, his muscles, and his bones. He was live.
Booth placed a tender kiss on top of my head. "You okay, Bones?"
Without thinking I pulled away slightly before I gently pressed my lips against his. His grip on me tightened as I pulled him closer, and my tongue danced with his. I smiled against his mouth and pulled away, suddenly needing to see his face.
He slid his hand upwards and cupped my cheek. "What was that for?"
I smiled up at him and pulled him inside of my apartment. "You're alive."
It was then that time started to move once again.
Today's the first day of the rest of my life,
And I'm alive and well.
I'm alive and well.
"I'm Alive" by Kenny Chesney (feat. Dave Matthews)
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