Gangster With a Heartbeat

Chapter 10. Recovery

It felt like steel bars had been placed over her. They tore at her flesh, burned her muscles and made her limbs ache for movement. It was hard to focus at first; though her extremely intelligent brain was trying to decipher as to what had happened; but whatever medicine they had given her made her memory foggy and completely untrustworthy. Somehow, through the haze in her brain, Temperance managed to calculate that there were voices in the vicinity of where she lay.

Using all of her strength to open her eyes she tried to look around. Her eyes burned at the effort and her memories were corrupted from all the time she assumed she had been asleep. As her blurry eyes looked around she could just barely make out the figures of three people in white standing just off to the side of the bed on the other side of the small room. They moved quickly and with panicked efficiency. Suddenly one of the nurses turned and saw Temperance watching them.

"Don't worry darlin'." She cooed. "We'll take care of everythin'." She gave a large forced smile to her patient as she reached for a syringe of clear liquid and then injected it into the IV drip Temperance now noticed was hanging precariously from the stand next to her and ran all the way to her elbow.

Within moments a rush came over her; her skin prickled and dropped at least ten degrees but while that was happening she let out a sigh and her eyes drooped shut. Sleep descended upon her once more.

Something hot was wrapped around her fingers. However tired she was didn't deter Temperance Brennan from once again prying her eyes open to examine the more subdued scene before her.

Glancing down to look at what was overheating her hand she spied a disheveled version of Angela grabbing the end of her arm securely in her sleep. The free spirit's hair was a mess, possibly having not been washed for some time, which then opened the door for fear to enter Brennan's mind. That was until she looked over and saw Booth in the bed next to her with Jack Hodgins slumped over in the chair next to him.

The newcomer to their surrogate family was leaned back in a very generic chair. His arms defiantly crossed in front of him as if to stop himself from doing exactly what Angela was currently doing. It was when as she was looking closer that she saw both of her friends were still wearing their evening outfits, like they had just come from the party.

After thoroughly surveying the room and finding no possible threats Temperance finally allowed herself to look over at her most important friend of all.

He was sleeping, but not comfortably. His face proved that by the crinkle of his brow and the scowl on his lips. However, none of it bothered her because seeing him at least breathing was all that Temperance felt she was allowed to be thankful for. On the other hand when she squinted her eyes to look closer at him she saw he was hooked up to twice as many IV tubes as she was and there seemed to be several more sets of medical equipment next to him, some she had never even seen before.

Feeling restless she gently uncurled Angela's fingers from her hand and slowly pulled the covers from over her legs. Starting to rise brought problems she had completely forgotten about. A searing pain radiated from her side and she had to lay back down for a few moments trying to concentrate on how she was going to get up without killing herself.

Without any other option she put a death grip on the handle of the gurney and grit her teeth together against the pain. The fiery intensity was bad enough that her determination almost waned, but she made it through with just a gasp and a very strong hand putting pressure on her still fresh wound.

It took minutes to get over to Booth's bed, but that didn't matter. Taking small and calculated steps, dragging her IV stand behind her, she held onto things at the side of her path and painstakingly made her way to the other side of the room.

At one point while taking a few deep breaths she caught sight of a clock previously out of her field of vision, it told her that it was nearly three in the morning. Not that the blackness from the windows told her anything else.

At last she stood next to the man she felt oddly fond of. Standing still for a few moments Temperance herself stopped breathing for a few moments just to listen to the soft wisp of air that filled his lungs and the gentle whisper as he let it back out.

At least he's breathing on his own... She thought to herself. It was then that she went to work. Pulling back the thin blanket that shielded his injuries from her gaze she gave a gasp. Bruises lined his entire torso; most completely black. Internal bleeding. Her intelligent doctor brain concluded. Or the after affects. She genuinely hoped it was the later otherwise her friend would likely not be saved.

Continuing her examination she peeled back one of the bandages that covered the areas she knew had suffered from the bullets. As her eyes lay upon them Brennan had to take a step away. His skin was frayed and pulled in places that would never look natural again, mostly from where the doctors had tried to close the wound before infection descended. The only thing she found welcoming about Booth's entire situation was when she was able to look once more at where the entrance wounds were and found that they had already started to heal. Good news indeed.

She finished her own exam of him and stood back for a moment, trying to reason within herself. It wasn't that she doubted what the doctors could do, it was just that she needed to be reassured that he would recover. That being said since she knew more than her fair share of medical knowledge she convinced herself that her friend only needed another opinion on his condition.

A soft groan echoed from behind her and as Temperance turned she was met with a storm. "Brennan!" An angry yet concerned voice called to her, which she recognized immediately as Angela. "You aren't allowed to be out of bed yet! Listen to your doctors!" The brunette swiftly crossed the same amount of space that had taken Temperance nearly half an hour.

Annoyance covered the patient's features. "I haven't even seen my doctors yet Angela." She said sourly to her friend, who then responded with confusion.

"Oh." Was all she let out. But even though she knew that Brennan was in a bad mood the artist still grabbed her arm as support and forced the injured physician back over to her own bed.

After letting herself be aided with the task of getting back into bed Temperance decided it was time to face the facts. "How long was I unconscious for?" She asked in a slightly detached tone.

Angela watched her for a few moments then gave a sigh. "Three days." Was all she offered.

Nodding to herself she lowered her aching head back onto the pillow and closed her eyes, but before she welcomed sleep once again she asked one more question. "Where is Parker?"

"Oh, Jack asked Booth's maid to take care of him while we stayed here with you two." There was no hiding the surprise in her voice.

Angela's answer jolted any thoughts of sleep away from Brennan's mind. Though she didn't show it on the outside her inner self was in turmoil. For some reason Camille the maid hadn't rubbed her the right way, leaving a faint distrust which now manifested into scenarios that almost induced several panic attacks. To remain calm she started to form a 'plan of attack' of sorts, rolling on her side to block Angela's view of her wild eyes. She had to save the innocent little lad that had stolen part of her heart. Something just wasn't right.

Taking her friend's silence for the wish to sleep, Angela put her head back down once again on the side of the bed. "Sweet dreams, Sweetie." She murmured as she drifted off. Completely unaware of what was going through Brennan's over-reactive mind.


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