THE REST: (I'll be too busy this weekend to add new chapters every day, so because I've finished it, I though I'd just post it all, and not leave anyone hanging!)
Cam clapped wildly as the end of the first Act closed. "These seats are fantastic!" She turned to Andrew and smiled. "Thank you for inviting me."
He smiled back. "I'm glad you are enjoying them. How would you feel about a midnight meal afterwords? If I phone now I can get us some seats at La Ritz. How about it?"
Cam tilted her head, considering. She tapped her long fingernails against the arm of her seat. "Am I just a replacement for Dr. Brennan, Andrew?"
"My intention was to bring her here tonight yes, but I was going to take her to midnight luncheon being hosted at the Museum."
"So…Yes and no then?"
"I really am enjoying your company Camille." He looked at her, his gaze serious and steady.
She nodded slowly. "I am having a wonderful time myself, so yes, La Ritz would be lovely."
"Good." He smiled in relief and held up his phone, punching in a number and speaking quietly to someone on the other end.
"There, that's settled."
"That was quick."
"Perks of being Assistant Director of the FBI." He winked.
Cam laughed. Perks indeed.
The lights dimmed.
They sat back to watch the story continue.
"Whooo Hodgie! Look at what I won!" Angela held up a bucket of quarters.
Hodgins laughed and pulled the arm of the slot machine he was sitting at down. "Way to go Ange! Watch this…"
The lights flashed and quarters spilled out into the tray, making Angela jump up and down with excitement.
They scooped them all up and left the slot machine area.
"What next?" Hodgins asked, turning sideways to avoid colliding with a scantily clad show girl.
"Another drink, another game?" Angela suggested coyly.
She spun around taking it all in, the noises, the lights, the people, the excitement.
"Hodgie, I want a feathered hat too. I should have brought my Cher hat."
"Wait here." He smiled impishly and took off after the show girl.
A few seconds later he was back with a long filmy feather which he presented to Angela with a flourish. "For you."
She gasped and tucked it in her hair. "Perfect. What did you do, steal it?"
Hodgins looked innocent. "Paid her a hundred bucks."
"A hundred dollars for a feather? Hodgins it's a good thing you're rich, she took you!"
"Yeah." He grinned. "But she gave me a kiss too, totally worth it."
He pointed at his cheek. "She said I was cute."
Angela leaned over and gave him a kiss on the other cheek. "You are Hodgie, you are. Now where is the blackjack table? I'm feelin' lucky!"
They stepped out the door into the dark alley and Booth raised the umbrella he'd borrowed up over their heads. The rain pattered around them softly, quiet in the early morning ambiance.
Booth tucked her arm through his and led her down the alley towards the street.
They were silent, absorbed in the sensation of closeness which had enveloped them during the hours they had danced.
They reached the street, and a dark shadow stepped in front of them blocking their path.
Booth handed Brennan the umbrella and she held it, her eyes wide in suprise.
The shadow leaned towards them menacingly, then it crashed up against the brick wall, Booth's hand at its throat, his gun shoved in its mouth.
He cocked the gun deliberately.
Booth's face was calm, almost bored, and his hand was steady on his gun.
The shadow froze. It spoke in a muffled voice. "Seels?"
Booth looked closer and let go a sigh. "Dob. Don't do that, I coulda killed you."
He stepped back and the shadow crumpled to the ground, rubbing the back of his head, where it had connected with the bricks.
Booth wrapped his arm around Brennan and pulled her close again, keeping his gun out.
Brennan's mouth dropped open. Who was this person?
"What are you doin Dob. Shouldn't you be somewhere right now?" Booth adjusted his coat.
"Like where?" Dob answered ruefully.
"You tell me."
Brennan tugged on Booth's sleeve. "Booth!" Her eyes darted curiously between the two men.
Dob eyed her interestedly.
Booth glared at him. "Back off Dob."
"Yessir." Dob smiled knowingly.
"Go away Dob."
The shadow man got to his feet and took off down the alley.
Booth watched him leave, his face shuttered. When he was gone from sight Booth turned and pulled Brennan out into the streetlights.
"Booth, who was that?"
"An old friend." His jaw clenched.
"An old friend who was going to mug us?"
He shrugged. "Maybe."
"I didn't know that you associate with criminals Booth." Her voice held a distinct chill.
"Like your dad?" Booth bit back.
Brennan blushed. "I could have taken care of myself you know."
Booth smiled down at her, bad humour gone. "I know that, and you know that, but he didn't. Last time I let you drop someone they put a hit out on you."
Brennan stopped in her tracks. "WHAT?"
Booth tugged on her elbow. "Keep moving Bones. Rough neighbourhood."
"Someone put a hit out on me? When? Who? Why didn't you tell me?"
A yellow cab came down the street and Booth waved at it.
It pulled up beside them.
He opened the door and ushered her inside, admiring her legs as she slid over the seat..
"I'll tell you at home Bones." He shut the umbrella with a snap.
"We're going to your place?"
He climbed in and shut the door with a slam..
Cam opened the menu with a sigh of pleasure. She loved this restaurant, but it was nearly impossible to get it. Her evening had gone from tediously dull to very enjoyable, and all because of the man sitting across from her. She studied him overtly. Not her usual type. In fact, someone who would normally not even be on her very specific radar. And yet, she hadn't had this much fun in a long time.
He looked at her, catching her eye across the candle lit table. "Wine?"
"MM, yes please."
He ordered a bottle for them to share and turned back to her with a smile. "Thank you."
She raised an eyebrow. "For what?"
"For making this evening wonderful for me." He leaned on the table. "I've not had this much fun in a long time."
Cam smiled and tilted her head in a slight nod. "Thank you, for inviting me."
The wine arrived, and they toasted each other silently before tasting.
"Excellent choice." Cam praised.
He smiled charmingly. "Now, what shall we have to eat? So many choices, so little room."
Cam laughed. She often felt that way when studying a menu. "I think I'm going to have the Alfredo."
He nodded. "I think I'll go for the steak with mushroom sauce."
"Another good choice." Cam teased.
"That makes three tonight then." His eyes twinkled.
Flattery won her over every time.
Far off to right, bells dinged and someone started screaming. Angela craned her neck, but still couldn't see who won.
Hodgins smiled. "Need a ladder Ange?"
"Higher heels." She smiled back, fanning herself with her cards and fluttering her eyelashes at him.
He played his hand. "I'm out. Way to hungry to concentrate."
"I win!" She crowed gleefully, scooping her chips into her bag. "Where too next Hodgie?"
"Somewhere we can eat, and I think my drink is empty too." He stood up, a little wobbly.
She stood up and nearly fell back down. "Whoops. I guess I should eat something too. What about that little place across from the Elvis chapel?"
He held her hand. "Good fries there. Cute waitresses too." He winked.
"I know." She purred back, laughing at his reaction.
They wobbled out the door onto the main drag.
Booth unlocked the door to his apartment and walked inside, holding the door open behind him for Brennan. She came in and kicked off her heels, settling down onto his couch and crossing her arms across her chest, fixing him with a glare.
He took of his coat, his bow tie, and his shoes before glancing at her.
She tapped her foot, her lips pressed together.
He wandered into the kitchen and got something from the fridge than came back into the room holding two beers.
"Want one?" He offered a bottle.
"No." She frowned.
"Suit yourself." He put it down on the table in front of her, careful to not let her see him smirk.
He sat down in the middle of the couch, effectively crowding her into the corner of it, then he cracked open his beer and took a long drink. "Ahh. That's good stuff."
"What?" He leaned his head against the back of the couch and rolled his neck so he was looking at her.
"Tell me about the hit? Why didn't you tell me before?" She was pissed.
"I might have, but you were mad that I was late getting to the funeral." He remembered.
"Funeral? You mean the one you missed?"
"Uh huh." His lips twisted. She was still mad about that too.
"What were you doing?"
"Shoving my gun down the throat of the gang leader you dropped in the Hoover Building." He made a gun with his finger and thumb, demonstrating on himself, leaning slightly forward, starting into her eyes, his own so dark they were almost black.
She blinked. "Stop that."
He smiled and leaned back to his original position, putting his feet up on the coffee table with a thud.
"He put a hit on me?" She picked at her nails, sending a longing glance at the beer she'd refused.
"Yup." He took another chug of his beer, reaching for the remote.
She grabbed it first, hiding it behind her back in protest. "What did you tell him to make him call it off."
He sighed. "That if one hair on your head was even ruffled I'd hunt him down and kill him, and no one would ever find out." He voice sounded dreamy and sent chills through her.
"Were you lying?"
"Why would you do that Booth? You hardly knew me?"
"Because you're my partner Bones." he lunged for the remote and got it away from her. He clicked on the TV, and started scanning the channels. "And because I was half in love with you already." He added as an after thought., settling on a sports highlight network.
She was still. "And you're not now?"
"Half in love with you? No. I wouldn't have died for you if I was only half in love with you." He rubbed his chin. "Of course, I didn't know that till I'd done it. It's not the sort of thing that comes up in everyday conversation is it?"
She gaped at him. "Booth!"
He glanced her out of the corner of his eyes. "What?"
"You never said anything."
"You didn't want to hear it. And then there was the professor, Mark and Coldplay, Sully." He ticked the names off his fingers, staring at the TV screen. "And then Andrew." He added in a sickeningly sweet tone.
"You told me to date those men." She protested.
"No I didn't."
She bit her lip. "You didn't tell me Not to date them either."
"Did you want me to?" He looked interested.
She shrugged and picked up her beer, opening it. "Maybe."
He turned off the TV and drained his beer. "Do you love me Bones?"
She whispered softly, "I don't know."
He took her chin and kissed her gently before standing up. "I'm going to bed. Let me know what you decide Bones." He left the room, stripping off his shirt on the way out.
She put her head in her hands. She hadn't known. And she'd hurt him. Now the only way to make it better was to figure out once and for all what love was.
If she was capable of it.
If she loved him.
A little voice in her head was calling her names, saying "You know the answer already you coward."
A tear slipped down her face.
She did love him.
She always had.
But she was scared.
She wanted to run, but she didn't have her purse, her keys, her car. And she had a sinking feeling that if she did run, he'd either catch her, or he wouldn't be there when she came back.
Could she handle not having him there?
A decisive No.
She stood up and walked slowly down the hallway.
Booth was sitting on the side of his bed, still in his trousers, a single lamp lighting the room. Was he going to have to run after her?
He could have found some better way to tell her.
Did he even really tell her? Did she understand?
He didn't know what to do.
So he sat.
She paused outside the door, a despairing goddess, and let her fingers push it open, revealing the scene inside.
He looked up, the uncertainty and longing clear on his face.
She dropped her head. "I lied."
He was silent, waiting for her to clarify.
She swallowed and clutched the door frame for support. "I do love you Booth."
He stood up and slowely walked towards her, the lamplight showing every contour of his body, but hiding his face in shadow.
He touched her gently, pulling her into his arms. "I know."
He felt her tears against his chest and felt like a heel. "I just wanted you to know too. I love you too much to share you anymore, I can't handle it."
She nodded against his chest, and slid her arms around his neck. "I'm so sorry, I should have told you a long time ago."
He placed his finger on her mouth, silencing her, then replaced it with his lips. He kissed her thoroughly, banishing her fears from her mind. "Just me, Bones." She felt his muscles ripple. "I don't like sharing."
"I know." She intertwined her hands in his hair, pulling him down for another kiss.
He picked her up and carried her over to the bed, laying her down gently on the rumpled sheets.
His smile was full of promise. "I'm gonna make sure that you never need to looking for another man." He whispered, laying down beside her, holding her tight, covering her in kisses.
She sighed happily, her pulse racing. She had no doubt of that.
"Booth? What that you have in your hand?" She rolled over to see him better.
He held it up. A ring. An antique ring. She reached for it.
"It was my grandmothers."
"Let me see it."
He smiled, holding it out of her reach. "It comes with a price Bones."
She narrowed her eyes. "What?"
"Me. For ever and ever. Til death do us part." He waited.
She paused. "Are you asking me to marry you?"
"Would you say yes?"
She wrinkled up her forehead. He'd threatened to give her rose to someone else if she didn't kiss him. She wanted that ring. And Booth for ever and ever wouldn't be so bad either.
"Yes. With conditions."
"I want a child. I want a house. And I want to keep my last name."
"Yes. Ok. And.... Can you hyphenate it at least?"
She reached for the ring. "That's a fair compromise."
He reached for her hand and slid the ring on her finger. It was a perfect fit.
"I love you Bones."
She giggled and straddled him. "I love you too." She leaned forward till their noses were touching. "Now show me."
The lab was a subdued place that Monday morning.
Angela and Hodgins were trying to avoid each other, blushing furiously whenever their paths intercepted.
Cam was hiding out in her office, feeling guilty again, like she had when she'd slept with Angela's ex husband.
The interns were standing around, a little confused. D. Brennan wasn't in yet. Nobody had seen her since the gala on Saturday night.
Agent Booth couldn't be reached.
The doors opened, and Brennan walked in, wearing her ball gown, wet hair pulled back in a low ponytail. She looked around.
"Why is nobody working?"
The interns bustled off, and Cam glanced out through her blinds. Her jaw dropped and she hurried out to the main part of the lab, falling in line with Angela and Hodgins, following Brennan right into her office. She reached her desk and turned around, looking surprised to see them all crowded in, looking at her expectantly.
"What?" She said bewildered.
They spoke at once. "Where have you been?"
"Are you alright?"
"Why are you still wearing your gown?"
She looked beyond them and smiled at Booth, leaning in the doorway. He'd been just in time to slip in behind the procession un noticed.
He coughed into his fist.
Cam swirled around, took one look at his smug face and gasped. "Seeley! You could have given her time to change clothes!"
Booth studied his nails while Angela and Hodgins exchanged glances.
"Why would I want to do that?"
Hodgins smirked untill Angela elbowed him fiercely. The smirk disappeared. But it was too late. Booth had noticed.
"That's a nice ring you're wearing Angela." he paused, watching her turn red. "You should see the one Bones has."
Brennan and Angela stared at each other.
Cam clapped her hands to get everyone's attention. "Ok people spill. Now." She crossed her arms.
Booth walked over behind Brennan and kissed her on the cheek.
She smiled at him. "Booth and I. We're engaged to be engaged." He nudged her and raised an eyebrow. "Ok fine. We ARE going to get married."
He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and looked expectantly at Angela and Hodgins.
Angela spoke up. "Well, we went to Vegas on Saturday night…."
"And we woke up yesterday afternoon married." Hodgins finished for her.
She shrugged and wrapped an arm through his. "We had a good time though, won some money."
"Spent some money." Hodgins added.
She smiled at Brennan devilishly. "Wait till you see my new shoes!"
Cam stared at them all. "So, in the space of forty-eight hours, you two," she said pointing at Booth and Brennan, "are dating AND engaged. And YOU two," she looked at Hodgins and Angela, "skipped over everything and got married?"
Angela shrugged. "We were engaged for months. Why do that again? And Hodgie's got the sweetest tattoo.."
Hodgins went scarlet.
Brennan stared at Cam. "What did you do?"
"I went to a broadway play and a very expensive restaurant. Followed by an expensive hotel."
"With who?" Angela asked narrowing her eyes in suspicion.
"Err. Andrew Hacker." Cam started backing out the doorway.
Brennan's face lit up. "Excellent!"
Cam paused, confused. "Excellent?"
"Yes," Brennan beamed. "Now you have a date for our wedding!"
Cam's eyes widened. "O-kay then."
She was never going to figure that woman out.