A/N: Here it is, the last chapter. It's been quite a ride and there are far too many people to thank. To my PM buddies 206, tansypool and RoMaNTiCThoughts. you guys are awesome personified. To those who've been with me since "Honesty", words can't express what you mean to me. I love you all and thank you soooo much. Thanks also to those who've alerted, favorited and reviewed my wee little story.
Once again, I don't own Bones or any of its characters. I'm hoping that situation changes Christmas morning. Or that I at least find Booth in his boxers under my tree. Yep I've been drinking the egg nog...*hic* how can you tell? *hic*
Now without further ado, I bring you.....
Fate's Final Say
Ange and the gang got to Brennan's room just in time. From halfway down the corridor, they could hear the couple's raised voices. From the looks on the faces at the nearby nurses station, Ange could tell that Booth and Brennan had been at it for awhile. She flashed them an apologetic smile before rushing in to the room that Booth practically begged her to get to as quickly as she could. When she opened the door, she couldn't help but smile at the image before her.
Ange and the rest of the squad walked in to find Booth attempting to push Brennan back down on the bed as she glared at him.
"We're not interrupting anything are we?" asked Angela cheekily. "If you like, we can come back later."
"All you're interrupting is Bones attempt to drive me insane!" growled Booth, holding her by the arms to prevent her from getting up from the bed.
"Your sanity is already questionable if you think that manhandling me is going to prevent me from leaving!" she retorted, her eyes reflecting the frost in the tone of her voice.
"Whoa, guys," Ange called out, trying to smooth things out before things got out of hand and someone called security. "Let's just calm down, okay? Can't we all just get along?"
"Ange, will you tell Booth that I'm perfectly fine and to let go of me?" Brennan huffed.
"Ange, will you please tell Bones that we aren't leaving until we get those tests done and the doctor signs off before we go." Booth said, gritting his teeth.
"Booth, it's been a long day," sighed Brennan, the tension leaving her body with her shuddering breath. "All I have is a minor concussion - that's all. Why must we continue to wait around here for a doctor to confirm what I already know? I just want us to go home, please Booth?"
Booth let go of her arms and she wrapped them around him, laying her head against his broad chest. He enfolded her in his embrace and with their fight over, the both of them looked utterly exhausted. With everything that happened that day, who could blame them. In addition to the weariness that was apparent on every inch of Booth, he looked worried as well. Ange could tell that he was close to giving into Brennan's demands - the guy always had trouble saying no to her, even before they started dating - the only thing stopping him was the fear that Brennan was wrong. What if it was more than just a minor concussion? What if they went home and something happened - something that the doctors could have prevented from happening if Booth had stuck to his guns and made Brennan take the tests. The thought of that must have sickened him. He had to know for sure that she'd be okay. For whatever reason, he was having trouble voicing that fear to her.
"Bren, I'm kinda with Booth on this one," hedged Angela. "I was there when you flew into that cement column after that punch from Cherak. I saw your head smack into it, heard the sound it made when it happened. I saw you go down and I know that Booth did too. It still makes me sick to my stomach whenever I think about it sweetie, I can only imagine how Booth feels. Let me put it this way, if you were in Booth's place, you saw him get punched so hard it sent him flying, his head bouncing off a cement post, what would you do?"
"Angela, that's besides the point," argued Brennan, pulling away from Booth. "Because it is my head, and my injury-"
"Brennan, if what happened to you happened to Booth instead, you'd drag him to the hospital yourself if you had to," interrupted Angela. "And if he threatened to eave, you'd strap him to the hospital bed until all of the necessary tests were done, and you felt reasonably assured that he would be alright if you took him home. You wouldn't allow him to leave if there was any question."
Brennan looked at Booth and saw the love and concern apparent in his eyes. She reached up stroked his cheek and instantly wiped away some of the fatigue on both their faces. Booth covered her hand with his and leaned into her touch. He then took her hand, pressed his lips to her palm before wrapping her hand in both of his. He leaned in until their foreheads almost touched and pleaded with her in a low gentle voice -
"Please Temperance, just let the doctors run the tests," he begged. "I just want to be sure you're going to be alright. Please do this - for me?"
With a sigh, she relented, adding she'd stay only one hour more before they'll need the duct tape Booth told Angela to bring. They all laughed when Booth's phone began to ring. He took a look on the screen before sighing and telling everyone that he had to take the call.
"Hey guys, I'll just take a minute," Booth said as he stepped away from Brennan and headed towards the door. "It's one of the guys I sent to watch after Talia. Can you guys just watch Bones for me?"
"Booth, I'm not an infant," Brennan pouted. "I can watch after myself."
"Then can you do me a favor and watch the squints for me Bones?" he joked, flashing Brennan a charm smile before closing the door. Neither he nor Brennan saw the brief looks that Angela and the gang exchanged. Cam managed to distract Brennan by updating her on the case and what the Feds in LA found at Cherak's apartment.
Ange was in the middle of telling the rest of the gang what happened at the parking structure when Booth returned.
"Hey Bones, I just checked with the nurses' station and someone is on the way to take you to get your X-ray and CAT scan," announced Booth. "They should be here any minute. Once the doctor looks them over and says that you're fine I'll take you home, okay?"
"Okay." she smiled warmly at Booth.
"Hey Ange, could I talk to you for a minute?" asked Booth, nodding towards the door.
"What's going on Booth?" asked Hodgins, trying to sound casual.
"Nothing, just need to ask a couple of questions about the video, the resolution, stuff like that for the case." shrugged Booth. "Just want to make sure that Caroline has all of the information that she needs."
Hesitantly, Angela followed Booth outside Brennan's room and into the hall.
"What are the chances that the person who called you was actually Caroline?" asked Angela, already knowing the answer.
"None, seeing that it was actually one of my guys who called," replied Booth, crossing his arms. "Palmer was the caller. I assigned him and Taylor to watch Talia while she's in our custody, make sure that she doesn't escape."
"I think that Brennan made sure of that." Angela joked nervously.
"She has the money to hire people," Booth pointed out. "And like she said, she has money in banks all over the world. That and as soon as Bones fans get wind of what happened between them, well...you can guess what could happen there."
"Yeah, her fans can get a little nuts." Ange shrugged.
"I agree," nodded Booth. "But Bones' fans weren't the reason I got called tonight."
"I can't believe that they ratted me out." growled Ange. "I thought that we were all buddies! I've flirted with Palmer and gave advice to Taylor when he started dating his girlfriend. And to think, I pretended not to recognize them to protect them from getting into trouble."
"Yeah, well if it's any consolation they didn't want to tell me," Booth reassured her. "They tried to play it off as if they didn't hear a thing, but then Talia wouldn't leave it alone, and they told her that they would voice her concerns to their superior, who would look into the matter."
Booth sighed, shook his head before continuing in a low voice "Ange, what were you thinking? Threatening to murder her and cover it up, all in the presence of two federal agents?"
"I did say that it was theoretically possible for us to be able to do it," corrected Angela in a whisper. "I also said that we would never do such a thing, and everyone else confirmed it. We said that we were the good guys - we don't kill people we find killers."
"And what about the threats about the Brennanites?" Booth pointed out. "You threatened to hack your own phone and leak the video - evidence in the case against Talia - on the net so that Bones' fans could see it and seek revenge against Talia."
"I wish I was sorry for what I said to her Booth." Ange replied defiantly. "But I'm not. Talia had that coming, and much worse. At the very least, she covered up a man's murder, and if she didn't help Cherak the little homicidal maniac wouldn't have been free to hurt Bren. On top of that she pulled a gun and aimed it at you two and nearly shot me. The worst part of it is knowing that we don't have enough solid evidence to put her away until she's so old that an entire museum exhibit is dedicated to her wardrobe. She's going to get a deal that'll have her spending no more than a few measly months in jail. She's the one who said that she was 'down but not out', implying that she would be up to her old tricks again. I just made sure that she knew, if she did anything to hurt any member of our family again, that there would be consequences."
"Jeez Ange, you sound like The Godfather." remarked Booth, fighting back a smile.
"Yeah well, it might be a good thing that me and guns have never gotten along," she replied with a half smile. "Look Booth, I know that I shouldn't have talked to her at all, I just couldn't help myself. If there's trouble because of it, aim it at me. I'm the one who talked to her, I'm the one who made the threats. Don't drag the others into this."
"Well, I am technically their senior agent," mused Booth. "And now that we've talked about this, I can consider the matter looked into."
"God Booth, you scared me," Angela sighed with relief, giving Both a grateful hug. "I thought that I was really in trouble."
"As long as nothing happens to Talia, and she takes the deal, we'll be fine." Booth laughed, breaking the hug.
"If she doesn't?" Ange half joked.
"Then you have to explain what happened to Caroline," he retorted. "We'd better get back to Bones before she sends a search party for us."
"Yeah, and if you're still hoping to keep her up all night the way you want to we best not add to her aggravation." she teased.
That night, as they were all finally leaving the hospital, Booth handed Wendell the keys to Brennan's place, warned him not to touch anything or make a mess. When Wendell gave him a questioning look, Booth grinned and reminded him that he promised he would make himself scarce when needed. Wendell smiled, and when he was out celebrating with the rest of the leaguers he gleefully informed Angela and the rest of them that she was going to have to drop him off at Brennan's tonight. He was told to make himself scarce.
They all cheered and Angela proposed a toast.
"To us - the JustUs league," declared Angela, raising her glass of ice tea. "No one messes with family."
"No one messes with family!" they all agreed with a laugh before tapping their glasses together and taking a joyful gulp of their drinks.
It took three more months of Wendell mainly making himself scarce and staying at Brennan's place before Wendell reported that he overheard Brennan and Booth talking about moving in. It was another month of arguing before they decided that rather than moving into his place or her place they would buy a house together. Of course it was another month of the two of them arguing over the houses that their real estate agent was showing them. The houses were either too big, too small, too much yard, not enough green space, too far from work, too old, too new, too expensive - in Booth's opinion. They argued over pretty much everything, down to the finishes in the kitchen before finding the perfect house.
It was a four bedroom, two and a half bathroom traditional brick colonial with an adorable porch, and plenty of yard space. It had a gourmet kitchen, and a first floor bedroom that Brennan had earmarked for her office, a basement that Booth had planned to convert into the ultimate games and theater room, a renovated attic room for Parker and a spare room that Angela knew would make a great little nursery when the time came. There was an amazing deck that had the guys itching to have a barbeque.
On the anniversary of the night at the founding father's when they had that momentous makeout at the bar, the couple finally moved into their house with the help of their friends. Angela was taking up one of the boxes marked "bedroom", but she wasn't sure if it was for Parker's room or Bren and Booth's room. She was looking for Booth and Brennan when she noticed that the door to their new bedroom was closed. With a grin, she crept up to the door and sure enough she could hear the faintest of giggles and moans. She knew that she should leave them some time alone. That the two of them should be able to have some privacy in their own home. She knew that she should walk away.
So she left the box by the door, left a note by the stairs, and invited everyone else including Parker out for ice cream.
A/N: Well, that's it - for now at least...Stay tuned for the sequel based on the results of the poll y'all voted for. Coming soon!