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Silence Is Golden

By mphs95

Humor / Drama

Silence Is Golden

Booth sat by the bedside, slowing suffocating by the quiet of the room. He took her hand and squeezed it before putting it to his lips with a sweet kiss. Taking a few moments to pull himself together, he got up and slowly walked out of the room. His feet led him to a door, which he opened to the greeted by the people he called family.

Hodgins and Angela were sitting on the right with Cam and Arastoo next to them.

Wendell, Fisher, and Finn stopped talking and turned to him. Nearby Clark stood up and stared at the agent.

On the other side of the room, Max and Russ stood at attention before moving quickly over to where Booth was standing.

Seeing Booth's silence and pain, Max took the initiative. "Booth, what happened?"

Booth shed a few tears, hitched his breath, and exhaled. "She's gone". Booth moved slowly to a chair, sat with a look of defeat, and put his head in his hands. After a moment, he looked back up. "Damn you, Pelant"

It has been three weeks since the engagement was broken, but to Booth, it felt like three years.

She said she had understood. She said nothing had changed, but he knew better. There were no overt gestures, but it was the small things that foretold the truth.

Before, all class work and projects from her interns stayed at the Jeffersonian with the occasional work at home. Now, she brought it all home with her every night there wasn't a case.

Somehow Booth always went to bed before her and always woke up next to a cold space where before his Bones would always sleep, with the blankets she stole bunched up with her and her grumbling when the alarm went off.

His mornings consisted of cold showers and silent breakfasts with only the sounds of Christine and/or the keys of her laptop as she worked on her latest novel.

Day by day, he felt like he was losing her body and soul. He also knew that if he relieved the pain he caused by telling Bones the truth, he would lose her to death, along with his children next. What scenario was the cruelest he couldn't tell.

A tear came down Booth's face as he felt Bones get up out of bed and walk to the bathroom. He looked at the clock and noted the time….5:00. Bones hated mornings. The realization that she would rather rise at a time she hated to be awake rather than sleep near him was devastating.

The few times he tried to initiate lovemaking she always came back with an excuse; a headache, deadlines, grading projects, or other reasons to avoid intimacy. That's when he missed her the most. He didn't care about the sex…..he just missed her. Their bodies could always communicate their feelings when one or the other's voice could not.

He was a man alone. As he held his St. Christopher's medal to his heart he began to wonder if God listened to his prayers every night…..about his safety, his life, his children…..and his Bones. He said the prayer he had said every morning for the last few weeks.

God, please keep me safe as I do my duty

Keep Parker and Christine safe from the evil in this world

Please keep Bones safe until Pelant is destroyed.

Please don't let Bones stop loving me.

As he finished his prayers, the alarm went off. Sighing at the prospect of another day in torment, he swung his legs to the side of the bed. "Time to start another day" he grumbled before walking to the bathroom.

A short time later, Booth came down the stairs with Christine. When his daughter smiled at him, it lit up the room and he responded back in kind. He hugged her feeling her love flowing through him. I hope I never disappoint you my Princess.

When he heard the clatter of computer keys, a wave of sadness came through before he put a smile on his face for the woman who appeared before him at the center island with her laptop in front of her. This woman held his heart and soul in her hands, but hers was in pain right now, that he knew. The worst was he knew he was the cause but didn't know how to fix it. So he did what he knew how to do, try to act normally.

"Good morning, Bones. I was just going to make Christine's breakfast and feed her. Can I make you something?"

Bones turned, pushing down her pain with a forced smile of her own, turned to her mate. "No thank you. I am only having coffee." Suddenly she turned to her only light right now and waves her hand. "Hi Honey…..look…dancing phalanges!"

Booth felt the sting, but forced it down. "Say, I was thinking….what about if we called Max and asked him to watch Christine one night this week."

He was greeted with two blue pools of pain as Bones looked up. "Why?"

Suddenly feeling very small, Booth hesitated for a second before responding. "I thought maybe we could do dinner. We've been so busy these last few weeks and we haven't had much time to talk. I've missed talking squint talk with you."

He saw a quick spark in her eyes and got his hopes up before being crushed by the clouds that took over them.

"I'm sorry Booth. This week I have to complete the evaluations for the interns and I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't start working on them as soon as possible to ensure they are not tardy or incomplete."

He swallowed the rejection, feeling the flame all the way to his stomach. Before he could respond, her phone rang.


Followed by his phone "Booth."

"….okay text me the location."

"….we will be there as soon as we drop of Christine at daycare."

"….we are on our way."

Both hung up simultaneously. Brennan looked up from her phone. "I need to complete getting ready. Can you finish feeding Christine and get her ready to leave?"

Grateful for the communication, Booth jumped in quickly. "Of course, Bones. We will just wait for you in the truck when we are all set."

He went to touch her hand, but she had already maneuvered out of the way towards the stairs. Defeated with tears in his eyes, he turned to his daughter, who was smiling. Her smile made him smile, proud that he had proof of his love for Bones staring at him with identical blue eyes.

Unbeknownst to him, Brennan turned after walking away to watch her mate talk to their daughter. He may have rejected her, but he will always be a wonderful father. The ache in her heart grew too hot, she turned away to finish getting ready for her day.

Dr. Camille Saroyan was one to mind her own business.

Her personal view was people could do what they wanted to do within reason and all she asked in return was to have her privacy respected….at least she did before starting work at the Jeffersonian.

Over the years, she became part of a family that shared their lives, good and bad. Love flourished within these walls. Some was bittersweet, like Dr Lance Sweets and Daisy Wick. Others were an example of second chances, such as Dr. Jack Hodgins and Angela Montenegro, and some were of fate, as with her and Arastoo Vaziri, and then there was the love that combined all three, Dr. Temperance Brennan and FBI Special Agent in Charge Seeley Booth.

Never did she feel jealous of Dr. Brennan after her relationship with Seeley ended. They were meant to be friends and it was better that way. From their "relationship" she gained her best friend in the world. Now her best friend and a woman she considered a good friend as well as colleague were both in pain from their broken engagement.

Of course they didn't say anything of the sort, but the ones who loved them the most could tell there was a distance between them. Of course they had solved cases together in the last few weeks, but Booth's visits to the lab lessened as Dr. Brennan's time in Limbo had increased.

As she weighed the heart of the patient she was working on, she pondered further. Booth accepting a proposal of marriage from his Bones, then changing his mind? The Seeley Booth she knew for the last twenty years had always wanted marriage, a home with the white picket fence, and a family inside. Being with Dr. Brennan and having Christine and Parker was his dream come true. Everyone who came in contact with their partnership knew that fate brought them together and knew how much Booth wanted to marry Temperance. However, he loved her enough to accept her views on marriage and wanted to be with her no matter what.

Dr. Saroyan put aside the heart, recorded her measurements and weighed the brain. She saw the total weight, but didn't move the brain as she was consumed with one thought.

Seeley Booth would never hurt Temperance Brennan without a good reason. What she saw was a man with torment in his eyes and a woman drowning in hurt. As she continued to think more, she stopped at a thought. Before she could ponder further, she was distracted by a voice.

"Dr Saroyan?"

Cam turned to see Finn Abernathy looking at her as to ask a question. "Yes, Mr. Abernathy."

"Sorry to make a mess of your thoughts, but Dr. Brennan wanted to me to check on how long it would be until she could have the skull to examine."

"Of course. I am sorry. Here you go. Just needs to be cleaned."

Finn took the skull, but didn't leave yet. "Ma'am, if I may speak plainly?"

"Of course."

"You looked like your bee hive was full of angry bees. Is there anything I can do to help, Ma'am?

Cam was confused until she figured out what Finn was getting at, and then smiled at the polite young man. I'm glad Michelle found herself a good man like Finn Abernathy. "No Finn, but thank you for your concern."

Finn tipped his hat. "You're welcome, Ma'am". He turned and walked out.

Cam followed his path to the platform where he handed the skull to Dr. Brennan, where she gestured and he left a moment later to follow her directions. She continued to watch Dr. Brennan. To the outside eye, she looked very dedicated to her work at the moment, but Cam saw her slumped shoulders and her lack of bounce that she always had with a new set of remains. She turned to remove her gloves and wash her hands. That done, she went and sat down at her desk and stared off into thought.

"I'm going to get to the bottom of this shit if it's the last thing I do."

"Agent Booth, is there anything else you need from me"

Seeing her supervisor not paying attention, Agent Perotta inhaled for a second, but managed to contain her frustration. I've darkened my hair slightly and wore perfume that has brought men to their knees in front of me and he STILL doesn't notice. What does that geek of his have that I don't? "Agent Booth"

Booth looked up in bewilderment. "I am sorry Agent Perotta. What can I do for you?"

"I wanted to know if there was anything else you need? I want to be available for any assistance that you may require. " She bent over slightly in her chair as to itch her leg, coincidentally showing a small amount of cleavage.

Booth noticed the agent's actions. God can she more obvious? Bones doesn't feel the need to advertise what she has…..which is the best. "No, Agent Perotta. I'm all set thank you."

Perotta got up to leave. Booth in his misery did not notice the frustration on her face. As she walked out, she thought to herself I better step up my game. It's obvious he and his partner are having issues and this is my chance. He needs a woman who is not socially retarded and saddling him with a baby.

Booth turned back to his desk to complete paperwork…..or try to. After ten minutes, he threw his pen down in frustration. All he could think about was the ever growing divide between him and Bones. He remembered advice Sweets gave him after Christine was born.

"If you don't deal with communication issues right away, they can fester and seriously damage a relationship"

He felt like he was going to explode if he didn't get his feelings out, but he couldn't tell anyone. Looking at his index cards, an idea came to mind. He opened a drawer, grabbed a notebook, and began to write. If I can't talk to Bones, at least I can write down how I feel.

Brennan was in her office staring at her paperwork. After a moment, she sighed in frustration when she heard a knock. Looking up, she saw Cam.

"Cam, any update on the tox screen from the remains?"

Cam closed the door and walked up to the desk. "Can we talk?"

"Sure" Brennan pointed to her couch.

Both ladies sat down. Cam clasped her hands together and took a breath. "Dr Brennan….Temperance….I want to talk to you about Seeley" The clouds that covered Brennan's countenance did not go unnoticed by Cam.

"Dr. Saroyan, my relationship with Agent Booth is personal and not the business of the Jeffersonian or you"

Cam knew she had to voice this no matter what Brennan's mood. "Please give me five minutes to say what I need to say, and then I will never bring it up again"

Feeling a migraine coming on, Brennan massaged her temples. She didn't want to talk about Booth, but knew the quicker Cam said what she wanted, the quicker her headache would go away. "Fine, Cam. I know you. You are like a dog with a hide"

Cam smiled for a moment. "That's dog without a bone, and yes, you're right I am." She took a moment to gather her thoughts. "I've noticed a distance lately between you and Seeley for the last few weeks. Both of you say you are fine, but it seems otherwise. Do you want to talk about it?"

Brennan turned to the woman who had grown to be a friend the seven years she had worked with her. Feelings she didn't feel able to talk about to anyone, including Angela, were beginning to boil like a pressure cooker.

Cam saw the storm of emotions in her eyes. Maybe I should speak first. "Dr. Brennan….I've known Seeley for over two decades. I've known you not as long, but long enough to get to know you almost as much as Seeley"

Seeing that Brennan was not speaking, Cam continued. "Seeley Booth has always dreamed of finding the right woman to settle down with….to marry and have a family with. Me excluded, I've seen the twits he's dated, including Baghdad Barbie"

Brennan couldn't help but laugh. Encouraged, she continued. "He was so excited to marry you. He called me soon after you told me, sounding like a hyped up little kid."

Brennan's mood shifted. Cam, seeing the tension mount, hurried to make her point. "My point is this. Him telling you he didn't think marrying you was a good idea after accepting his proposal….that's just bullshit!"

Brennan's eyes opened wide hearing the expletive. Before she could respond, Cam carried on. "I know him. He's wanted to marry you for as long as I can remember. Something is not right"

"Of course he decided he didn't want to marry me. He's entitled to change his mind"

Frustrated, Cam slipped. "BULLSHIT, TEMPERANCE!" Realizing where she was, she looked out the window before looking at the woman in front of her. Seeing she had Brennan's complete attention, she carried on. "That's crap. I know he wants to marry you. I know you don't believe it, but my gut says he didn't want to break it off voluntarily. There is no way he would accept, and then just change his mind. No, not him"

Keeping her emotions in check, Brennan stared right at her supervisor and friend. "Apparently he did, Dr Saroyan. This is none of your business"

Cam knew she was getting to her and knew what she had to do. "Yes it is, Dr. Brennan. Yes it is. Because when I see two people with a bond as strong as yours at odds over something I know each of you want it's not right. It's especially true when they are two people who I depend on to help me find the truth when the victim cannot"

Fired up, Cam stood. "I'll be damned if I will let you two fools ruin the best thing that has happened to either one of you. Put your big girl panties on Dr Brennan and use that big brain that God or whoever blessed you with to get to the truth!"

"I don't see how my panties have anything….."

"It means grow up. Look past your own pain. Think about Christine. You owe it to her to find out the truth. You are all about truth Dr. Brennan. Put your money where your mouth is"

Cam walked out of the office before she could get a response. She walked down the hall to Angela's office and walked in seeing her co-conspirator in front of the Angelatron.

Angela turned to the noise she heard. "Did you get through?" She got out weakly. She was holding her stomach after being ill most of the day. "I've been supportive and putting in my two cents, but I can't seem to get through"

"God I hope so. Now….go on home, Angela. I can see you turning an interesting shade of green" Before she could interrupt, Cam stopped her at the pass. "If I have any updates, you will be the first one I call. I can't do this alone, you know. Go home…..I need you well"

Feeling dizzy, Angela sat down. "Okay, I will get Hodgins to take me home. Damn food poisoning" At Cam's questioning look, she clarified. "I made some homemade salsa last night with the tomatoes I canned last week and had them with some late night nachos. Hodgins was sleeping. I guess they are not agreeing with me"

"Are you having any abdominal cramping?"

"A little with the nausea" Suddenly holding her stomach, she ran to her private bathroom, where loud vomiting could be heard. From the bathroom, Cam heard Angela. "Okay I am soooo going home."

Satisfied, Cam left her office and headed back to hers. Stopping before taking the platform, she turned back to Dr. Brennan's office. She did not move from the couch they sat at earlier. Hoping it was a good sign, Cam went back to work. As much as she felt for Temperance Brennan, the remains in her lab took precedence, especially since she was losing two of her people in the next five minutes as she noticed Hodgins escorting a ghostly white Angela out of the Medico-Legal lab.

Booth and Brennan sat at the diner eating their lunch. He looked and saw his plate full of fries and felt sadness wave over him before he looked up and saw Bones looking at him.

"Booth, were you paying attention to what I was saying?"

Feeling ashamed but grateful for the notice, he coughed. "I'm sorry Bones, what did you say?"

She signed in frustration. "I said there were signs of remodeling on both forearms and one of her legs. I need you to pay attention"

Swallowing his retort, Booth looked at her. "I apologize Bones, I have things on my mind."

"Fine, Booth. As I was saying, she has these injuries. Did she have any past history with the criminal justice system?"

Booth hesitated, dreading what he was about to say. "No, but she was in foster care" Seeing Bones' eyes glass over, he moved to take her hand in comfort, only to feel the sting of rejection when she moved it from his grasp. "I'm here if you need me, Bones"

Protecting herself from pain, Bones looked up. "I'm fine, Booth. We just need to get the truth." Swallowing her pain, she continued. "So what's next?"

Seeing that his mate was sticking to work matters, he swallowed his misery as well. "I'm bringing in her last foster parents for questioning, along with waiting for the medical records we subpoenaed. Can you break free to assist?"

Brennan froze. She didn't know if she could maintain professionalism in the same room with Booth, even an interrogation. "Sweets would be a better person to use, Booth. His soft science could get you better results, especially if they are lying. If you have no one else, I will come. I need to finish looking at my remains."

Booth got the message, but it hurt. "Okay"

Brennan saw the misery in his eyes. While part of her wanted to love it away, the other part couldn't get past her own anger and frustration. Pushing her emotions down, she started to gather her message bag. "I have to get back to the lab, Booth. Is there anything else?"

Surprised, Booth looked up. "No, Bones. Wait a minute and I will walk you back"

"No Booth, I'm all right. When I find something I will let you know."

Before he could reply, Dr Brennan was making tracks out of the diner. Frustrated, he threw down money for the bill and walked out. He saw Bones walking back towards the Jeffersonian and wanted desperately to catch up with her, pull her into the nearest hidden spot, tell her the truth, and possess her being with all the love he had for her to ease her hurt. Knowing the consequences, he merely watched her walk away.

"Damn you, Pelant. I will find you and make you suffer with every fiber of my being. Just killing you is too good for you" Feeling her pain, he wiped a tear from his eye from where he stood. "Bones I love you more than you could know"

Up ahead, Bones could feel Booth watching her from a couple of blocks back. Why doesn't he chase me? Why is he doing this to me….to us? Wiping her own tear away, she continued to walk to the Jeffersonian in misery.

Christopher Pelant was watching the scene on his monitor. Other monitors were watching the Booth-Brennan house, the Hoover, and the Jeffersonian. He had it all under surveillance…..except for the inside of the buildings. He still hasn't found a way to get past their new security measures, but that was okay. What Agent Booth didn't know won't hurt him.

He typed on his keyboard slowly. Lately, his left hand could not always process what he needed for the keyboard. Sometimes he had problems with remembering what computer sequences to use for this surveillance, at times taking him twice as long. He also had a hard time concentrating on the surveillance of all the monitors at once or tasks at hand. All of this really pissed him off, but he could compensate. He learned to sleep only 3 to 4 hours a night and made detailed lists of everything. Hubris didn't tell him he was the greatest mind around…..he knew he was.

"I've outwitted the FBI, Senate, and the federal government. Break up the Dream Team, and then start eliminating them. The first two….or three should be tonight" he said as he observed a vehicle leaving the Jeffersonian.

Cam was working on the microscope with her back to the door when she heard something she never thought she would hear.

"I don't know how"

Cam turned around and saw Temperance's eyes begin to fill with tears. "I look at him and my heart hurts and I feel like I am suffocating. I just want to hide away from everything and not feel….anything. How the hell do I use my God damn brain to fix…..this?"

Shocked at her vernacular, Cam stood for a moment. Then she realized what she did, something no one, not even Angela could do during these last few weeks….made Temperance Brennan acknowledge her feelings of abandonment. The thought she had earlier before being interrupted by Finn came back to her. Always one to trust her gut, she acted.

Walking over to her colleague, Cam texted a quick message, dropped her phone in her desk drawer, and then took her hand. "Come with me Dr. Brennan."

"I need to get my phone—"

"Leave it here" She called a number on her lab phone and waited for an answer. "Arastoo? That thing we talked about? I am taking Dr. Brennan there now. We can't have our phones there but we will be there if you need to find us….okay…we're fine….Love you too, bye" Cam hung up. "Where we are going we can't have our phones. I've texted Booth to let him know where we will be for an emergency. Come on, I'm driving"

"Cam I am perfectly cap—"

"I am driving. Don't make me pull rank or call Angela"

"Fine" Temperance and Cam left the Medico-Legal lab.

Arastoo watched his girlfriend and his mentor leave. "I hope you can help, Camille"

Hodgins and Angela were in the car, currently in a traffic jam in Dupont Circle from a car accident. "Come on…..we've been stuck like this for over an hour! We're not even half way home yet" He looked over to his wife, who was holding her stomach and was pale as a ghost. "Babe, do you want me to call the doctor?"

Suddenly Angela opened the car door and began retching. Hodgins tried to get out of his seat belt to help her but she was already on her way back. Finding wipes in the car door, she took one and wiped her mouth off, then sipped from her water bottle. "Hodgins, I….will be…..fine. It's just a 24 hour bug"

"Had to be from the tomatoes you canned last week"

Sick and annoyed, Angela turned to her husband. "I've been canning for years. It's what I did when I was not with my dad on the road or painting. I've done it the same way I've always done it and never had a problem…..ugh"

Hodgins pulled his phone out and speed dialed a number. "Hey Max, it's Hodgins. I need a favor. Can you pick up Michael Vincent from daycare? I know you will have Christine, too, but Angela is sicker than a dog and I don't just want to dump her and go back to work."

"I don't need you to stay home with me"

Ignoring her, Hodgins nodded and finished his conversation. "I will come and get him later tonight from Dr B's. Thanks, Max. Later" He hung up and made another call. "Hey can I speak to Dr. Brennan please?...not there….what about Dr. Saroyan?...not her either? Okay, I will try Agent Booth. Thanks"

"Bren and Cam are gone?" The plan has started, but I was supposed to be there, dammit. Cam was my wingwoman. Please kick ass, Cam. Angela thought in her nauseated haze.

"Yep. Weird" He speed dialed another number. "Booth"

"Booth, it's Hodgins"

"Got anything on the case?" He liked Hodgins but wanted him to get to the point. The last thing he wanted to do was listen to the bug guy when he went off on a tangent.

"No, um I just wanted to let you know that Max is picking up Michael from daycare. Do you care if he hangs out with you and Dr. B for a while tonight?"

Momentarily forgetting his problems, he concentrated on the conversation at hand while leaning back in his chair. "Sure, is something wrong?"

"Yeah, Angela is really sick so I am going to stay with her for a while. I tried to call Dr B but she and Dr Saroyan left and didn't tell anyone where they were going"

Booth sat up in alarm. "Why? There weren't called on a case. I would have been called"

Seeing Angela get paler, Hodgins wrapped up his phone call. "Don't know, dude. Gotta go, my wife looks like shit. Thanks again…bye" He saw that the cars were moving ahead at a snail's pace. "Thank God" he muttered before looking at his wife with worry.

At the Hoover, Booth listed to the dial tone for a minute before ending the call. He then felt the buzz of a text. Checking to see it, he saw it was from Cam.

Dr. Brennan and I are out. Not sure when coming home tonight. Any questions or emergency, go find Arastoo at the Jeffersonian. He is not carrying his cell phone.

"Great…" He sat and thought about Bones. Going off with Cam wasn't a big deal to him, but the fact no one knew where except for her boyfriend did. Pelant had his senses on full alert and when he didn't know where his loved ones were it made him nervous. "She's with Cam, they'll be okay. I just have to learn to relax"

But his affirmation didn't help. He knew he was overprotective, so even though it went against everything he believed in he put it out of his mind, or tried before hearing a knock at the door. He looked up and saw Agent Perotta with two cups of coffee. He noticed that she changed her hair color recently, but for the first time noticed it was almost as dark as Bones' hair. As she walked towards him, he got a whiff of her perfume and almost gagged. Temperance's was much more understated, and it made him hot every time he smelled it before he would rip off whatever she was wearing and pound her. Thinking of the last time this happened sent him off far away.

Agent Perotta saw him smile, ignoring his glazed over eyes and decided it was for her. She brought over a cup of coffee, deciding his look of what looked to be disguised disgust was whatever he was thinking about before she came in, crediting herself for the change. "I hope you don't mind me dropping in, Agent Booth. I wanted to talk to you about Christopher Pelant"

Hearing his name brought him back from his last, very delicious encounter with Bones. Being brought back to reality darkened his countenance. Hearing Pelant's name made his blood boil and his eyes darken to black. "Do you have an update on his whereabouts?"

"Well, no—"

He got up and walked to his table, grabbing three binders. He turned and dropped them in Perotta's lap. "There's all you need to know about him" Feeling a need to get rid of his frustration, he turned to leave. "Make sure they go back on the table when you are done"

Booth walked to the elevator and pushed a button. Five minutes later, the elevator opened to the garage. He briskly walked around the construction to his temporary spot where his SUV was parked. He was thankful he had tinted windows and for the first time very grateful that his spot was far away from the entrance in an area without people. Pulling a swatch of lace material from a hidden spot under his seat, he quickly unzipped his pants and fisted his hand tightly around his member. The combination of Bones and Pelant turned his strokes angry as he remembered the last time he and Brennan were together.

Booth was in his man cave. Christine was down for her afternoon nap and Bones was upstairs working on her novel. He was watching a football game on ESPN Classic when he smelled her. Turning around, he saw Brennan in nothing but his Eagles jersey, two inch stilettos, and perfume….that perfume. The one that made him absolutely nuts.

Seeing him zone out, Brennan walked towards her mate with a Cheshire grin on her face. Stopping at the couch, she bent over with her arms folded across the arm near where Booth was. Giving him a generous view of her breasts from inside his jersey, she sweetly asked "May I get you anything?"

Booth continued to stare at his partner's ample chest as he calmly turned off the game with the remote. He got up slowly and turned to her, who also stood. "Yeah there is"

Before she could respond, he grabbed her and kissed her hard before picking her up and pushing her into the nearest wall. Putting her down, he nibbled her neck with one hand while the other went under the shirt. He quickly moved part of the jersey aside to take her breast into his mouth. He sucked her right nipple with desperation while cupping her other one. "God I love your tits!" he mumbled.

His other hand found his target as his fingers felt the intense heat from her core. His arousal increasing exponentially, he went to work on her folds through her panties. He heard a moan and looked to see Brennan with her head against the wall, flushed.

"Look at me"

Bones turned to him. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes turned to a deep blue that he recognized as unadulterated lust. Feeling her wetness already, he moved aside the panties and put two fingers inside her. He watched her reaction as her eyes went in the back of her head. "Oh my God, Booth. Harder!"

"Now you believe in God" He said but obeyed her command.

As she deepened her claws in his back and bit on his shoulder, he quickened his pace, felt her walls clench him before she came like a waterfall in his hand. Hard as a rock, he stopped his machinations long enough to find her final barrier and then ripped the blue lace off her. She knew what blue on her did to him.

Together, they quickly unzipped his pants and pushed them down. Quickly he lifted her, making her flush against the wall to steady her. Booth then used his body to spread her legs apart further before filling her. When he felt she had accommodated him, he started to move at a steady but quick pace.

"Harder, Booth. More" Bones moved her hands to cup his toned ass where she also dug in her heels.

Any pain Booth felt from her nails was overcome by the sensation of her squeezing the ever living life out of his cock. "God Bones…..soooo tight. You feel fucking awesome!"

Dueling sensations with her breasts and her walls encasing her partner's cock threatened to overtake her. "Booth, I am almost there"

Hearing those words made Booth move faster to the point where he was pounding her with much force while alternating his attentions with each breast and by her sternum. The friction only made the sensations sweeter for both as each felt their peak rise at the same time before their walls broke simultaneously. Both stayed where they were, too spent to move. Booth recovered to look at themselves.

Brennan had the jersey hiked up past her breasts. Her torn panties hung from her left ankle as she continued to hold herself against him with her legs. Booth looked and saw his pants down to his ankles. He looked back at his partner with a wide grin. "For a mother, you are so hot."

She started to move her legs and Booth helped her on her feet. She leaned against the wall as her body continued to come down from her high. "Booth, those were fifty dollar panties you ripped!"

"Shouldn't have worn them under the jersey with that perfume." Seeing Bones' petulant face with a flush and swollen lips from where he ravaged them, he laughed. "I am so going to buy you more of those things. I have to stock up because more are getting ripped if you keep this up!"

At that moment, Christine's cries came through on the baby monitor. Back to reality, Booth pulled up his pants as Bones made herself as presentable as she could before attending to their daughter

"Oh my God!" Booth felt himself explode in his hand as his fantasy came to an end. After a moment to recover, he grabbed several of the wipes he kept for Christine in the back seat and wiped his hands, groin, and then face. Ensuring there was no mess other than his dilated pupils, he got out of his SUV and calmly walked to the elevator. As he pushed the button, he hoped Bones would call him soon. Self-gratifying himself at work made him remember why he was in this predicament in the first place.

"You're going down Pelant"

About an hour later, Cam and Brennan were sitting in an empty classroom with one office desk and one chair nearby. Each had a salad and bottled water in front of them. After finishing their meals, Cam got up and threw the salad containers in the garbage. She then moved to sit in front of her colleague, waiting for her when she was ready.

"I don't know how to do this, Cam"

Cam reached out and took her hand. "Dr. Brennan, how do you start out each case you get?

Temperance looked at her like she was crazy. "By examining the bones after they are cleaned"

"Well then, that's what we do here"

Temperance gave her another strange look. "Cam, there are no remains or skeletons—"

"Dr Brennan! What I mean is look at the skeleton of the case. Pick each bone apart one by one. Take all emotion out of the equation." Cam grabbed an object from her bag and then walked to the dry erase board. "Look at only the facts Dr. Brennan. Examine that day like you would your bones. That, Temperance, is how you will solve the mystery of Seeley and find your way back to each other."

Temperance looked at her with doubt before examining her surroundings. "Cam, I have to ask, why are we here….in the basement of St. George's University Medical Center? I think this is part of their bomb shelter"

"You are correct. Dr. Banno told me about this room. It used to be used as a skills lab but now it's storage."

"Angela and Hodgins' Dr. Banno?"

"Yes, Sherry and I went to Med school together. Good friend of mine."

"Why couldn't we bring our cell phones? Why did you turn off the GPS in your car?" Temperance sat for a moment. "Pelant, isn't it? You're afraid he is still watching us."

"I am, plus I wanted somewhere where we could talk in private and not be interrupted"

"I see. Thank you.

Cam gave her the dry erase marker. "Okay, Dr Brennan. Go through your day. Use the board."

Brennan walked to the board. "Okay….I went grocery shopping…..I came home." At Cam's silent encouragement, she continued. "I told Booth they were out of jerky and he insinuated that I was full of mud"

"That's full of shit, but please continue"

"He was opening a gift from his mother and stepfather…a very sexist hula lamp. We then talked about marriage. He said….he said….'Marriage is starting to look really good on you'. She took a moment before continuing. "We talked about how I wouldn't propose to him, and then he asked how I could catch the bouquet before throwing an orange at me."

Not seeing Cam's "huh" face, Brennan continued to remember as she wrote on the board. "We got to the crime scene and we went back and forth about the fact I have issues with catching except the bouquet at his mother's wedding"

Cam's eyebrows shot up in surprise, but kept quiet as she listened.

"At the lab, we has a disagreement after he figured out Pelant was targeting FBI agents. I…I told him he was not allowed to die and he said he understood. After he left, I realized that I wanted to marry him, so I went out and got the jerky I lied about and I called him to meet with me" She inhaled. "I gave him the jerky, told him I wanted him to be happy, and how one of us could die first….then I asked him to marry me. After I promised him I didn't want to get married just because of Pelant….he smiled and said 'yes'. Then he kissed me" she croaked out as she began to cry.

Cam didn't want to, but knew she had to keep her going. "What about after that, Dr. Brennan? I know you told us and I know you met up with Seeley when we figured out Sweets was the target, but what happened after that?"

Brennan took a drink from her water bottle to collect her thoughts before writing again. "We were with Christine at the park. He stated he thought I would want an African ceremony with giraffes and I told him I understood how much an archaic Catholic ceremony meant to him. His phone rang; he said it was his mother"

"What did he do after that?"

Brennan thought for a minute. "He got up and walked away to talk on the phone"

"Has he done that before?"

Brennan was silent for a moment. "No, no he never has. Of course he only started talking to her a few months ago, but no, he never left the room for a conversation with her"

"What happened next?"

"I looked up and he finished his call…..He had a strange look on his face, but I waved to him. He was quiet after we got home and throughout dinner. He insisted on giving Christine her bath and wanted to put her to bed. I let him because it seemed really important to him. He came down the stairs…I showed him the bridal magazine Angela gave me….then he told me" Brennan inhaled sharply to maintain her emotional equilibrium. "He told me….'I don't think we should do it''

Brennan was silent for a minute, and then suddenly knocked her water bottle across the room in rage, shocking Cam. "Why, Cam….why would he talk about wanting to get married for almost a decade, then when I finally realize I favor his point of view, he says 'I don't think we should do it!' Why!?"

Cam knew she wasn't much into personal contact, but her instincts told her it was necessary. She got up and hugged Brennan who looked close to breaking down. Before either could respond, a loud bang was heard as the women turned around to see Booth running into the room.

"Seeley, what—"

"Not now, Cam. Bones, Angela is here in Emergency. We have to go"

"Booth, what is going on" Brennan asked in shock. "She had mild food poisoning when she left today"

"Bones, I don't know. All I know is I got a frantic phone call from Hodgins. He had just put Angela to bed to rest when she started having difficulty breathing. Max has Christine and Michael. It's bad Bones. Really bad. Come on." He saw that there was writing on the board, seeing his name and Bones, but didn't have time to wonder why.

Forgetting all the broken vows the last few weeks, Brennan took his hand as they, followed by a frantic Cam, ran out of the room.

Four hours later, the Jeffersonian lab and family sat in the waiting room. Hodgins was surrounded by Brennan and Booth. Cam was nearby with Arastoo with the other interns and Sweets wanting to give Dr. Hodgins his privacy.

Hodgins was shaking. "My God, how long does this testing take?"

"It takes at least three to four hours. They want to be sure before putting her through the process of gastric purging, enemas, and an antitoxin." Brennan drank from her cold coffee, not noticing the temperature change and continued. "Then they have to ascertain the nerve damage from the ptosis on her—"

"He gets it, Bones" Booth interrupted as he looked at the scientist sitting across from him pale as a ghost with red rimmed eyes staring at the floor. "Believe me, he gets it"

Brennan looked up from Booth's gentle rebuke. Seeing his eyes pointing towards Hodgins, she understood and maintained her silence.

"Hodgins, do you know when Angela's father is arriving?" Booth asked

"Billy said he is trying to get a flight out, but there is heavy fog in Copenhagen. He tried to get a car, but there were no more to rent and he doesn't speak Danish to get directions. I'm keeping him updated as we know anything. God I have to find someone to watch Michael"

Booth turned to him. "Hodgins, we can take him for as long as you need us to. He will be with Max when we are not there"

"Booth I don't want to be a burden"

"It's not Jack. It's what friends are for. Concentrate on Angela right now. She's going to be fine. Come on, man she's the daughter of rock royalty. If she has half as many balls as Billy Gibbons, she's going to be okay" Booth didn't realize the significance of how he addressed Hodgins, but Brennan did. She smiled in spite of herself.

Hodgins laughed, letting Booth know that his intention worked. "Thanks, Dude"

Before Booth could respond, the ER doors opened and Dr. McIntyre came out. "Jack Hodgins?"

Hodgins stood up and almost ran to the doctor, almost running over the interns in the process. Booth and Brennan stood up in attention. "Yes, yes, how's Angela?"

"Well, we were right. The testing I conducted after you told me about what she had eaten the night before confirmed my suspicions."

"What happened to my wife, Doctor?"

The doctor looked him in the eye. "Dr. Hodgins, your wife is suffering from botulism poisoning. Getting her here when you did and telling me about the tomatoes she ate saved her life. If you would have waited one more hour, chances are she wouldn't be here now."

Hodgins swayed for a moment, supported by a fast acting Wendell who moved right behind him. "C-Can I see her?"

"She has just been given the antitoxin and she's sleeping, but you can see her. Follow me" He turned to the others. "Family only for now"

When Hodgins left, everyone sat in the ER in shock. Unconsciously, Brennan leaned into Booth for support, forgetting about the recent upheaval in their lives. "Booth, what if Angela dies? What happens to Hodgins…what happens to Michael?"

Booth's heart swelled at the body contact, but he knew that she needed reassurance now more than he needed her. Tentatively he put his arm around her and was silently grateful when she didn't push him away. "Nothing is going to happen to Angela, Bones. She's tough and has people who love her. God is looking out for her"

"There is no spiritual being that helped Angela. It was all Hod—" Suddenly Brennan looked up as a thought came to her. "The tomatoes! Booth I have the same tomatoes in our refrigerator. You ate them two days ago!" Frantic, she ran to the Nurses station where Dr. McIntyre returned. "Dr. McIntyre, my mate ate the same tomatoes two days previously, but he isn't sick. How do you know Angela didn't get sick somewhere else?"

"All of Ms. Hodgins' other food sources were not from home and there are no botulism outbreaks reported. If others in your home report eating from the same source, we need to examine the individuals. Bring him here"

She turned around, seeing that Booth had joined her. "This isn't necessary, you guys I feel fine. Besides, I have to brief Agents Shaw and Sparling when they get here"

"That's fine Agent Booth. You have thirty seconds to text a message then we are going back." Booth did a quick text. "Now come with me, Agent Booth"

The men, followed by Brennan, disappeared through the doors. Wendell watched the scene, and then turned to the rest of the group assembled. "Pelant. When is all this going to end?"

"When the son of a bitch is dead"

All turn to see Agent Genevieve Shaw. She looked at all the interns, lingering for a moment on Wendell before joining the group. "Where is Agent Booth?" She suddenly felt a vibration from her phone and looked. "Oh, he's in the back"

She went up to the desk and announced herself. After a moment, she returned to the group. "I have to wait a few minutes" Seeing Sweets' expectant look, Shaw directed her gaze at him. "Dr. Sweets, she is still at the house helping with a canvas"

Sweets suddenly blushed. "I have no idea what you are talking about."

Shaw rolled her eyes at him. "Sure, Dr. Sweets, whatever"

Trying not to appear too excited, Wendell replied. "Dr Brennan is having him examined to rule out botulism since he ate the same stuff Angela did. Did Pelant leave any clues at their house?"

"No trace of outside entry. No way to connect Pelant"

"We all know he did it, Genny—Agent Shaw"

"I agree, but we can't do anything without proof. We all need to work together as a team. Agent Booth taught me that"

Her phone rang. "Agent Shaw….hello Dr. Brennan. I'm in the lobby, what do you need from me? Okay I will be ready" She ended the call and turned around. "We're gonna get him everyone" she said as a nurse opened the ER doors. At the nurse's motion to follow, Agent Shaw followed her to the back.

When she was out of sight, all the interns turned to Wendell. "I'm in Big Brothers Big Sisters and I hang out with her son Danny" His phone beeped. "Saved by the beep" Wendell looked at his phone. "Hodgins said Angela is resting now and everyone else should go. I have to run to their house and bring stuff for Michael to Dr. Brennan."

Cam stood up. "Okay everyone it has been a long and insane day. I want you all to go home and get some sleep. I need you all tomorrow morning" Seeing everyone's hesitance, she continued. "Now. I will stay and keep everyone posted"

Everyone turned to get their things and walked out. Arastoo saw Cam sit on a nearby couch and start staring at the door. Waving goodbye to the others, he sat next to her.

Startled, she turned to her boyfriend. "Arastoo, we all have a long day tomorrow. Go home and get some sleep."

"I'll be fine, Cam. I'm much more worried about you"

"I'm fine, Arastoo." She said with a small crack to her voice.

Arastoo took her hand. "Ms. Montenegro, Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan, Dr. Hodgins…they're not just your colleagues….they're your friends. I know you are scared. If you're staying then I'm staying. That's what you do when you love someone, Camille" He put his arm around her followed by gently moving her head to his shoulder with his other hand. "You can act all 'pissed and focused head of the lab' with the other scientists but not with me."

A tear fell down Cam's face as she sat with Arastoo in the lobby. "You're right…I'm mad as hell….but I'm also scared"

A few hours later, Brennan came into Angela's room in the ER. Seeing both Hodgins and Angela sleeping, she turned to leave, but was interrupted by an awakening Hodgins.

"Come on in, Dr. B"

"I'm sorry, Hodgins, I can come back"

"Get in here so you can see Ange, Dr Brennan" When she got closer, Hodgins asked her "How's Booth? I heard they are checking him out, too"

Resigned and emotionally spent, she sat in a nearby chair. "Currently he is having a nerve conduction test and a brain scan and won't be back for a while. Agent Shaw is waiting for Booth to return. Mr. Bray is also there because he dropped off items for Michael, however it was just too quiet, so I left to take a walk around the hospital. Any updates from the Bureau?"

"Agent Sparling was here a while ago. She did an extensive canvas but turned up nothing….big surprise" Trying to maintain control, he continued to talk. "Did you know that she and Agent Shaw graduated from the FBI Academy together? She's also staying with her because her building's plumbing went…Sweets told me last week. Did you also know-?"

Brennan was scared, but knew Hodgins had to be terrified if he was babbling about an acquaintance while his wife was in the hospital. Feeling a sense of dread, she looked to Angela. "Jack…how is she?"

Hodgins exhaled before looking to his wife. "She has ptosis with both eyes, which the doctor says will eventually clear up. She is breathing on her own, but her right side may have nerve damage. It's really weak…"

"Her right side? Oh no….."

Hodgins grabbed Angela's hand while she was sleeping. "We won't know the extent of the damage until she wakes up. Any therapy will take weeks, if not months. The doctors said she may or may not gain full function of her right side, but she's going to be okay"

Brennan saw through his forced smile as she heard his words and understood. Both knew how much Angela's art meant to her. Physically, one can survive nerve damage, but emotionally….a different matter. Both knew that this is due to a menace they are all in danger from….and a danger to. Her thoughts were interrupted by Hodgins.

"Booth's going to be okay you know. That asshole Pelant didn't win today."

Conflicting emotions threatened to drown her but she compartmentalized everything. "How do you know that?"

Hodgins smiled. "A hunch"

"A hunch can't help to know if Booth will need a spinal tap. We need the results before we can say he will be healthy" She looked at her watch. "He should be back in a while from his tests. I'm going to go. Keep me in the circle about Angela"

Hodgins laughed for the first time since he got to Angela's side. "That's keep me in the loop, and I will do that. Thanks for coming, Temperance"

"You're welcome, Jack"

Brennan maintained composure as she walked out of the room. After a walk in the hospital and its beautiful gardens, she went out to the lobby to update Cam and Arastoo who were sleeping in a chair. After sending them home with a promise to keep them updated, she returned to the ER. By now stress and fatigue were taking over her as she noted the time on a nearby clock….2:00 am. When she entered one of the hallways, she saw the doctor walking to Booth's room. "Dr. McIntyre, do we have the results back?"

"Yes, we do. Come in and we can talk"

Both entered the room. She saw Booth in bed talking to Wendell and Agent Shaw. Moreover, she saw the nervousness in his eyes. Any anger she felt at the moment was consumed by fear of what could happen to him as she found a stool. "Does he have botulism?"

The doctor turned to Booth. "The results of the nerve conduction and brain scan tests show no abnormalities. Based on your history the last 3 days and my physical examination, I don't think a spinal tap is necessary. You do not have botulism, Mr. Booth"

Relief washed over the couple. "When can I go home?" Booth asked.

"As soon as you can get dressed and sign the discharge papers I will have the nurse bring in. Leave them with the clerk down the hall when you leave"

Booth was smiling even though he lost his third wind about thirty minutes ago. "Thanks, Doc". When the doctor left the room, he turned to Brennan. "How's Angela?"

Her relief was replaced with a new awkwardness and wariness than from before. "She's sleeping. She has some ptosis with both eyes—" Seeing his blank look, Brennan clarified. "Her eyelids are drooping. She's breathing on her own…"

Booth saw her exhaustion as well as fear. "What else, Bones?"

She took a breath. "She has some nerve damage on her right side. The extent we will not know until after she wakes up" Needing to escape, she stood up suddenly. "Ready to go home, Booth? I don't have my car here so I will ride home with you"

Feeling the tension in the air and seeing they were not needed, Wendell and Agent Shaw prepared to leave. Booth saw them and called out. "Wendell…Agent Shaw"

Both turned around. "Shaw, I want updates ASAP, understand?" As she nodded her understanding, Booth turned to Wendell. "Remember what I said, Wendell. All that effort…'s worth the wait"

Wendell blushed as he avoided everyone's eyes before walking out followed by Agent Shaw. Brennan turned to Booth. "Booth, what did you mean when you told Wendell 'it's worth the wait'?"

"Nothing Bones. Wendell just asked my advice on a personal matter." Seeing Bones' questioning face, Booth continued to speak. "Sorry Bones, he may be your intern, but what he asked me was personal and nothing to do with the Jeffersonian. If he wants to you to know, he'll tell you"

She knew it was stupid and unreasonable, but she couldn't help feeling mad. He keeps lying to me! She thought

Booth didn't get why she was upset all of a sudden, but he would have to figure that out later. As far as he was concerned, he made a promise and intended to keep it. She cared for Wendell deeply he knew but she couldn't expect to know everything in his life. He got out of bed and was starting to dress, but suddenly remembered where he found Bones and Cam earlier and stopped. "Bones, why were you and Cam here earlier? Why the mystery?"

Not ready to face her feelings, Brennan's countenance turned bland. "She needed me for a case. Come on, Booth. I just want to get home to Christine, Michael and my dad"

A few minutes later, both left the ER. During the walk and subsequent drive home, the significance of the day's events finally sunk in for Brennan. 'Angela almost died today. Pelant is still out there creating havoc on our lives'.She turned to Booth, who was lost in his own thoughts. 'I could have lost Booth today.'

Through all her anger and hurt, she still loved him. Booth was like a vital organ for her survival. 'Christine and Parker need him…..I need him'

When the couple got home, Booth pulled the Sequoia in the garage as an extra deterrent against Pelant. He parked and shut off the engine. He removed his seat belt and was preparing to open his door when he noticed that Brennan remained strapped in her seat. He saw her face. He saw hopelessness and emptiness. The last time he saw that emotion on her face was when Vincent Nigel-Murray died. Afraid but mesmerized, he watched as she removed her seat belt. Before he knew it, Bones was on top of him in the driver's seat kissing him in a frenzy.

As much as he wanted it….needed it, he needed to know why. "Bo—Bones…stop for a moment!" Seeing her hurt expression, he tried to be as gentle as he could. "Why?"

"I need to feel, Booth. I can't lose you. Please let me feel something other than emptiness and anger"

Her vulnerability along with his emotional drought from Bones collided as he suddenly returned her hard kisses, stripped her of her jacket, and quickly reached under her blouse for skin. Sparing only a moment to move the seat back all the way and down, he returned to his actions as he moved to cup her lace covered breasts as Brennan suckled the spot on his throat that drove him crazy. Impatient, but remembering her father was inside with two children, he used all his willpower to not rip the buttons on her blouse, but undid all of them quickly. He broke Brennan's contact with his earlobe to her audible chagrin. Seeing his prize of her heaving breasts encased in cobalt blue, he took one breast in his mouth and suckled the nipple through the lace while using his other hand to play with her other nipple through her bra.

"Ohhhh God, Booth" Brennan pulled his head closer for better access as she quickly pulled his shirt out of his pants before feeling every inch of Booth that she could. Unable to contain herself any longer, she removed his tie in record time and unbuttoned the buttons on his shirt for more access to his muscular build trailing each button with her lips. All she knew is she needed skin and couldn't get enough of it. After hearing a few moans from her partner, she moved her lips to continue nibbling on his neck and earlobe.

Booth made quick time undoing the front clasp of her bra and feasted on the beauty of his Bones' breasts. Needing more closeness, he moved her away to her protests as he again began to enjoy her breasts while his right hand moved her skirt up to her waist. Feeling her wetness made his primal instinct flare as he moved the lace material out of his way and put one finger in, feeling nothing but heaven as he heard a loud groan from his partner.

Brennan found a way to remove his Cocky belt buckle and take hold of Booth's manhood. Hearing his sudden erratic breathing, Bones stopped, remembering his health scare earlier in the day. "Booth!"

Not wanting the moment to end, moved to quickly reassure. "Bones, don't worry it's all you" before inserting a second finger inside her core. Feeling her walls surrounding his fingers, he knew she wouldn't be much longer.

Brennan felt a wave of intense pleasure wash over her as her orgasm rushed all over Booth's hand. After a moment to recover, she sat up as much as possible in their limited space and removed her soaked panties, tossing them haphazardly into the back seat. She needed more.

Feeling Brennan's orgasm made him hard as a rock and with assistance from Brennan pulled his pants and boxers down enough for access. He needed release now and helped Brennan as she slowly made her way on top of him, encasing his manhood and spreading intense pleasure down to his toes. He had one thought and one thought alone. This is the woman I love and I need to show her how much. He matched his pace to his partner's as she rode him hard and fast, moaning as he moved himself slightly to find her ultimate pleasure point. When he found it, both felt her walls pulsating around him and knew the end was near. After riding several waves of intense pleasure, Brennan felt herself explode for the second time. When Booth felt her orgasm, he also let go, enjoying the sensations of their fluids commingling into a warm sensation he couldn't describe as other than amazing.

When they came down from their high, Brennan laid her hands on Booth's chest, conflicted as her pain and misery came back full force. Their eyes bore into the others, each seeing the sadness the other was feeling.

Booth saw her pain but also something else…love. Seeing that love gave him hope that he and his Bones would eventually find their way back to each other. As he advised Wendell earlier, 'if you really care about someone, all that effort, it's worth the wait'

By 5:00 am, Booth was asleep in bed but Brennan was wide awake staring at the ceiling. Resigned to her fate, she got out of bed, being careful not to wake up Booth or the children in the next room and slipped downstairs. Moving carefully to the man cave, she silently closed the door so not to wake her father, noting the fact the door would not completely latch. 'Will have to let Booth know about that' she thought.

Walking to her anthropologist's cave down the hall, she shut the door for privacy. She went to her computer on her desk and booted up. She noted to turn off her wireless settings to off and turned off her router. Even then, she was aware of Pelant and how he could manipulate computers. She would be damned if he would get to hers the way he got to Sweets'.

Opening a drawer, she looked until she found a flash drive with MALUKU ISLANDS written on the side. Taking it and inserting it into the USB port, she waited a moment before looking for the document she needed and opened it. She sat for a moment, and then gathered her thoughts as she began to type.

Lister was taken by the doctor for tests. Feeling the silence in the room made her thoughts wander to places she didn't want them to go. She didn't want to think about her best friend a few cubicles down, fighting for her life. Suffocating from that worry along with everything going on with her mate, she felt her fight fading her. She was determined to hold her emotions in check, but knew it was a losing battle. Needing some fresh air, Kathy walked out of the room.

As she walked down the halls, the events of the last several months flew back at her…..being charged with a murder she didn't commit, her friends at the lab being terrorized for assisting in her case, and her on and off struggles with Lister after getting back from being on the run. All came back to the same thing…..Anton.

This genius was the smartest person she ever met and it seemed that no matter what they did….Anton found a way to circumvent their efforts. To say that it was frustrating was the tip of the lake. Kathy was feeling something she hadn't felt in a long time….defeated and alone.

Before she knew it, she found herself at the hospital gardens. All of a sudden, she felt a peace in the air that she instantly craved. Seeing the bush of daffodils, she made her way over. She bent down and sniffed, loving the aroma it gave off. She then sat on the nearby bench. Looking to her right, she was confronted with a cherub staring down at her. Spooked, she scooted down until she was in the middle of the bench.

Sitting among the flowers, she enjoyed the peace and quiet, finally able to shut her eyes and mind off if only for a few minutes. After about five minutes, she suddenly opened her eyes as an epiphany came to her. When it washed over her, she broke down into sobs as she felt a wave of relief. However the initial wave of relief changed into anger and frustration when she realized what Lister did.

"I'm his partner! Booth's supposed to trust me!" she moaned as another wave of fresh tears came out as all the feelings she had been bottling up came out in a wave. She hugged herself tightly as if she did this the feelings would go back inside, but it was too late for that. When she was finally spent, Kathy took another look around, wiped her eyes, and got up to go back. What she needed to do could come later….when she knew what that was.

Booth reached over to Brennan in sleep and only found coolness. Waking up, he noticed she was gone. Needing to know where she was, he got out of bed and grabbed his notebook from the nightstand drawer. He needed to write down the events of the last twenty four hours. He looked to her night stand and saw her phone. He felt his anxiety go down a bit knowing she must be in the house somewhere.

He quietly walked down the hall to Christine's room. Seeing her sleep peacefully, he kissed her head. He looked over to Michael in the spare bed kept for him and did the same. Comforted by the fact the two children were okay, he walked out without a sound. He walked to the steps and stopped for a moment as he thought about the last several hours.

Angela getting sick from botulism could only come from Pelant. He knew Angela Montenegro-Hodgins long enough to know that she was very careful when she canned food, especially when she knew her family and friends were going to eat what she had. He used the tomatoes for dinner a few days ago and suffered no ill effects.

Angela and her family were targeted, simple as that. Yes, it could be someone with an ax to grind towards Hodgins and the now defunct Cantilever group, but his gut said no. Hodgins had been able to recover some of his money back but hundreds of millions were still missing. He knew that Jack didn't care about the money so much as keeping his family safe, so obviously it can't be for extortion.

Angela's art and computer skills rival Pelant's. Hodgins holds three doctorates in science that can trap him. Michael Vincent was their Achilles Heel, a weakness to be exploited. Taking these three out of the picture could make it very difficult, if not impossible to take him down once and for all.

Then his thoughts went to Bones. He knew their coupling in the Sequoia earlier was born more out of sadness and disconnect as opposed to missing him. He didn't care. He saw her eyes throughout, the eyes that can hook him and make him forget reason. Her eyes were in pain, but there was love there. It gave him something to hold on to….something to give him hope that when Pelant was gone from their lives, he and Bones could put the pieces back together, get married, and have their happily ever after….the one they so richly deserve.

Coming out of his thoughts, Booth walked down to find his partner. He walked by the man cave and saw it was not totally latched. 'Bones didn't want to wake Max' Booth thought as he went to close the door. 'Not closing tightly again….project for the weekend'

Brennan stopped typing as she collected her thoughts. Suddenly hearing footsteps, she saved her file, not noticing that it went to her hard drive instead of her USB. She quickly removed her flash drive, and threw it in the drawer. She turned on the wireless router before she got up and opened the door to Booth with his right hand up to knock.

"Bones, are you all right?"

"I am fine Booth. I just couldn't sleep, so I decided to work on my novel. Did you need anything?"

Booth was still fatigued to the core, but he sensed a thaw in the air. He still felt her anger, but she actually was open to doing something for him now. "No, Bones I woke up and you weren't there and I got worried"

For Brennan, looking at Booth she saw in his eyes less of the stress and pain that she saw the last few weeks, the same pain she had now. However, she had a new set of emotions she was trying to process and it was not something that could be resolved overnight. How to resolve this….thing…between them? She had no idea, but decided each had been through enough for one day. Suddenly, she saw the composition notebook in his hand.

"I'm going to check on Christine and Michael before heading back to bed, Booth. Why do you have a composition notebook?"

On the spot, Booth sputtered for a moment, hesitant to even tell Bones about the one place he could confess his feelings and strategize against Pelant. Knowing that there was no way he could tell her about Pelant yet, he made a decision. "Oh, just some notes I made on a cold case I was given today."

Brennan knew it was a lie. She recalled a few sarcastic comments he made over the years in regard to school and those types of notebooks. She also knew that he used the standard FBI legal pads and his colored index cards. On one hand, being angry with him was unreasonable and she knew it, but the other hand she felt shut out as lingering feelings of abandonment invaded her thoughts.

Booth saw the thaw in her eyes freeze over again. What did I say? He thought. Remembering their making love a few hours earlier, he suddenly he got a moment of courage. He wasn't sure where it came from, but he didn't care. "Bones, there's something I have to tell you"

Before he could continue, the house phone rang from the laundry room. Both looking puzzled, Booth and Brennan walked to the phone. Booth got to the Bakelite phone first. "This is Booth"

Suddenly, he heard a guitar followed by a chorus of singers. When he heard the words, his blood froze.

Silence is golden
But my eyes' still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see

Brennan saw the look on Booth's face and knew something was wrong when he lost almost all the color to his face. She watched as he suddenly hung up the phone and hit the wall in frustration, followed by something she didn't expect. A tear falling from his eyes.

"Booth?" When he didn't answer, she tried again. "Booth? What happened? Who was that?"

Hearing that song made him realize that he had to find a way to defeat Pelant. Unfortunately, Pelant had eyes and ears in his own home also, which meant he had to lie to Bones again. "Prank call"

She knew it was a lie and knew it. Anger gave way to devastation as she realized she was being shut out again. Is it Pelant? Why would he lie to me if it wasn't Pelant? Maybe he doesn't want to marry me? No, Booth has never intentionally hurt me. Cam's right, but he is lying to me. The anger came back with a vengeance. "Fine, Booth, I am going back to bed"

Once again, Booth watched her walk away in defeat and felt himself die a little more. It took him years to get her to tear her walls down. Now he knows they are starting to build back up again, and he was the cause. Feeling himself about to burst emotionally, he quickly walked to Brennan's desk. Opening the drawer, he noted a USB drive. Realizing that it must be her latest novel she was working on, he grabbed a pen and walked to the living room couch. Opening the book, he began to write in a frenzy.

When the coast was clear, Max tip toed out of the man cave. He heard everything and was very worried. He heard what sounded like drawers opening and closing so he skulked to his daughter's office and quietly searched her drawers noting items of interest. When he was done, he looked up and saw the computer. His antenna went up and he filed his idea away for later.

He moved quietly to the living room where he saw Booth writing frantically. Then he saw who he felt was the strongest man he knew stop writing, put his head in his hands, and unmistakably start crying. Not wanting to invade his privacy, Max snuck back into the man cave, got back into his makeshift bed, and laid there in thought.

This had to be Pelant….no one else. His enemies were mostly dead now. The few left had no metaphoric fangs left to sink into him so he knew his children were safe. He had known Seeley Booth for almost eight years. They may not have always agreed on things, but he was one of the few people he respected. What you saw was what you got and he knew how much he loved his daughter.

He was damned if he was going to let this little pissant ruin the life his daughter and Booth built. Max may not always be on the up and up, but he had a code of ethics. Pelant killed people not for justification, but for sport, and Max Keenan couldn't live by that.

Would he kill him? Max thought. Only if justified. He made a promise to his daughter to stay straight and he was determined to keep that promise. There was one person who could help him defeat Pelant once and for all and when she was able, the two of them would go after the murderous troll. No one, but no one would hurt his Tempe and get away with it.

* Song: Silence is Golden by the Tremeloes

Arastoo and Cam were taking a walk through the Mall lost in their own thoughts as they enjoyed a rare day off together.

Cam was having one of her moments of insecurity. Arastoo Vaziri was almost ten years younger than her and a Muslim, not a problem yet, but she knew of the potential ones for the future. Part of her was terrified of the fact she has been falling so far in love with this man, but was also exhilarated. As much as it shamed her, not even Michelle's father made her feel this way. She also knew that Arastoo loved children. She didn't want any more children. She knew she needed to talk about her feelings with him, but could never find the right time.

Suddenly Arastoo stopped as he turned Cam around. Then he kissed her with a kiss that showed her how much he loved her. His thoughts were as jumbled as hers. He still couldn't believe that he had in his arms the most beautiful woman in the world. He knew she got insecure about their age difference at times, but to him it didn't matter. He also knew that if they were to make the ultimate commitment, there were some obstacles. There was the matter of their religions. There was also the matter of a family. He would love a family, but he knew in his heart he wanted her more. Fear of scaring her off had made him hesitant about telling her how he truly felt about her.

Both gave everything they had into the kiss before reluctantly breaking it. Recognizing the look in each other's eyes, they smiled and ran to Cam's car. Some things could wait for another time, but others couldn't.

Brennan was in Limbo examining the mandible from one of four skeletons brought in from a recent discovery at Antietam. After several minutes, she knew she wasn't getting anywhere and put the bone down. If this skeleton was possibly a soldier, he deserved more than 100% and she couldn't give even close to that. Carefully she put the skeleton away and walked to her office.

She shut the door, removed her lab coat, and sat at her desk as she got lost in her thoughts as she picked up a picture. It was a picture of Booth, Christine, Parker, and herself when Parker came to visit last. She always loved him as her own, but seeing Parker's obvious love for Christine sealed it that he was her son as much as Booth and Rebecca's. She knew that she could never take Rebecca's place, but she always held a spot in her heart just for the younger Booth. He was coming home Father's Day weekend for the summer while Rebecca was coming to Washington for a case. She was worried about Pelant but wanted to make their time with Parker count before he headed back to England.

She knew that Pelant had something to do with Booth and the broken engagement. That part made her feel better. The part about him continuing to lie to her was where her anger was placed.

All the feelings that she thought were resolved from her younger years; abandonment into foster care…anger from being lied to by her parents in regard to her origins…fears of being hurt…..rose again in the last several weeks. A thought crossed her mind recently. 'Was he still angry about when she took Christine last year?' If what I am feeling now was anywhere near where he was feeling, I am receiving it back in clubs.'

Wallowing wasn't the way to get Pelant, she knew. She had to get over it….needed to find a way get over it, but she couldn't. It seemed like every day she felt Booth slipping away from her. 'No, that's not correct. They were slipping away from each other'

She needed the truth from Booth but also knew that Pelant has surveillance all over. However, she needed to figure out how to talk to Booth without letting their enemy know. Together they, along with their friends were more dangerous to the enemy mastermind than any of them alone. Christopher Pelant also knew that.

Then she drifted to another photograph. It was of her and Booth at her 15th year high school reunion. He had recently asked her to take a chance on them, and she turned him down out of fear. He still was her partner, and even her date when it mattered at the reunion in between solving a murder. She knew now it was selfish to ask him to remain her friend and stay with her when she knew she broke his heart. Everyone before always left her, but he never did. She knew that he would always be there beside her.

There was their short detour with each going half way around the world, with him involved with Hannah when she returned to Washington. She was there for him when that relationship crumbled and she had to help him pick up the pieces. His involvement with Hannah broke her heart, but somewhere in her she had hope that they would be together someday. When that someday came…..what a someday it was….in more ways than one.

Tears started to flow and she realized she was at work. Needing to purge her thoughts, she grabbed her USB and plugged it in on her portable laptop that she kept the wireless off on. Finding the item she needed, she hit CTRL + End. That's when she saw it.

The missing words…..the words she wrote the night Angela got sick.

'Oh God…..where were they? Did she not save them?' The night being a blur, she decided to let it go for the time being. As she began to type, her thoughts were interrupted by a phone call.

"Brennan" A moment of silence. "Hodgins, slow down, what is wrong?... Is she okay?...No, you are not interrupting me…..I'm on my way"

Brennan quickly ended the call and grabbed her messenger bag. She was on her way to tell Cam she was leaving when she remembered that her supervisor and colleague took a personal day. Remembering where she needed to be, she rushed over to Fisher and gave him instructions on what needed to be done that day before leaving.

Lance Sweets was leaving Booth's office when he saw Agent Olivia Sparling in the bullpen. Feeling a spring in his step, he walked over to her. "Hi, Olivia"

She turned to a voice she knew well. It took everything she had to keep it professional. She really liked him, but didn't want to get her hopes up with him again after last time. "Hi Dr. Sweets"

Getting his courage up, Sweets remembered the advice Booth gave him a few minutes earlier. Slow down, talk to her, take her someplace simple, like for coffee, and see where it goes. Don't get shrinky with her. "I….I was…I was wondering if….maybe if you wanted…"

She felt sorry for him and looked to her partner. Genny saw he was anxious and got up. "I need to make some copies"

After she left, Agent Sparling turned back to the psychologist. Seeing he was nervous, she decided to cut him some slack. "How can I help you, Lance?"

'She called me Lance!' He began to stutter until he looked at Agent Booth's office and saw him at his desk. If Booth could win the heart of Dr. Temperance Brennan, he could do a simple thing as asking an FBI agent out. He took a deep breath. "If you are free right now, would you like to go for coffee with me, Agent Sparling? Just coffee….no sex!" 'Oh my God…I am such a dork!'

She turned beet red and looked around, thankful the bullpen was empty at the moment. She was wary, but Genny said to give him a chance. That girl should take her own advice she thought, but she knew the words were sound and coffee couldn't hurt. "Sure, Lance, I will go for just coffee with you"

'Yes! Score!' Sweets held his excitement back as Olivia got up and joined him as they walked out of the bullpen.

When they got to the elevator, Olivia saw Agent Perotta coming out of the break room with a gleam in her eyes as her vision looked to be directed at their supervisor's office. 'Uh oh'

Genny Shaw watched as her friend and Dr. Sweets left together. He was dorky but a nice guy. She noted that Agent Perotta was walking back towards her desk, but kept looking at Agent Booth's office from time to time. 'Damn can she be any more obvious? She thinks no one knows what she's up to. Whatever. Coloring her hair darker only makes her look desperate. Does that ho really think she can steal Agent Booth away from Dr. Brennan? Dr. Brennan has more class and is sooooo beautiful without all the crap Perotta uses.

She walked back to her desk and couldn't stop herself when she saw the other agent looking at the office again. "Give it up, Perotta. He's not going to give you the time of day. He adores Dr. Brennan and he has a family. Why would he give all that up for a roll in the hay with you?"

Agent Perotta turned to her colleague. "Don't be jealous because I have what I have and you have….what you have. He is handsome, charming, and oh so sexy. He needs someone who can appreciate that, not an uptight scientist who thinks she better than everyone else"

Perotta struck a nerve, but Shaw was determined not to show that the obvious insult hurt. "Maybe Peyton that's because she is better than anyone else. People are more interested in her and the men around here seem to check her out more than you"

"Just because you don't get the attention I do…"

Suddenly feeling a buzz, she ignored Perotta's hot air and picked up her phone. When she saw the message, she lit up in spite of herself.

I scored tickets to an Orioles game this weekend. Danny and I would like to go if that's okay. Will you go with us?

Butterflies were in her stomach as she thought of Wendell Bray. She didn't understand how a handsome, smart guy like Wendell would be interested in someone like her….a single mother whose looks weren't more than….eh. He could have any girl he wanted. She saw girls flirt with him whenever the group got together after a case at the Founding Fathers. They had an unexpected kiss several weeks ago and she had to admit there were sparks. However, she also had sparks with Danny's father and she remembered how that turned out. Ever since, she tried to avoid him if Danny or work colleagues weren't around. She didn't trust herself alone with him.

She came back when she felt another buzz and looked at the message.

Pwease Mommy?

Genny started laughing. 'How could she say no?' she thought before texting back a reply.

Yes, Sweetheart. Be good 4 Wendell and I will c u later.

Realizing where she was, she opened a file to study the latest on the Pelant case. It's just a baseball game. What could it hurt?

At Rock Creek Park, Danny and Wendell were with Finn and Michelle. Michelle was playing catch with Danny while Finn and Wendell were talking after he finished texting.

"Please say yes, Genny….please"

Finn was laughing. "Man you are drowning in molasses for this gal, aren't you? Why don't you talk to her? You already kissed her. I'd say that a mighty fine way to get to know a gal."

"Dude I'm trying, but she avoids me whenever possible. I think I spooked her when I kissed her. I get the impression Danny's father was a major douche and doesn't want to risk another one" He looked at the phone in anticipation. "I hope she I can get her to go to the Orioles with Danny and I if she lets him go. Scoring those three tickets was not an easy thing on my wallet, but it would be worth it"

Finn laughed, and then had an idea. "Hey Danny" Michelle and Danny walked over. "Wanna help Wendell with asking your mom if you can see the baseball game?"


Finn took Wendell's phone before the other guy could stop him. "Okay what do you want to say?"

Danny smiled an impish grin. "Pwease Mommy"

Everyone laughed as Finn sent the message to Genny. He gave the phone back to Wendell. "Now we wait"

About a couple minutes later the phone buzzed. Wendell looked up, smiled a big grin and yelled "YES! BOOYAH!" He then started dancing a jig to the delight of his companions and people passing by.

Agent Perotta watched the events of the bullpen after she got herself coffee. When she saw Agent Sparling leave with Dr. Lance Sweets, she felt a quick tug before she pushed it down. For a geek, Dr. Sweets is smart and kind of cute. He was very impressive during the first case we worked on together. Might have considered him for a good time, but he was with that annoying as fuck Daisy from the Jeffersonian.

For a moment, she felt another tug of something as she remembered the friendship and respect she had noticed between Agents Shaw and Sparling for a while now. Realizing this, she pushed it down. 'I have it all over those two'

She got back to the desk and felt another moment of envy when she saw Genny. I have more experience in the field and seniority. Why does Agent Shaw get to work with Agent Booth more than I do? Obviously she can't be a better agent than me. Probably Dr. Brennan feels threatened by me. I can't imagine anyone threatened by Genny Shaw.

She did further research into Christopher Pelant, but looked across the room from time to time in Seeley Booth's office. She could imagine a delicious encounter on his office desk after hours. Something annoying broke her thoughts.

"Give it up, Perotta. He's not going to give you the time of day. He adores Dr. Brennan and he has a family. Why would he give all that up for a roll in the hay with you?"

She noted after a few minutes of conversation she was ignored for Agent Shaw's phone. 'Why does she have a stupid grin on her face? It's not like any hot guys would be interested in her anyway. Who wants to be saddled with a kid?'

Deciding that she won her tête-à-tête with the other agent, she went back to her work, but kept glancing back into her supervisor's office. I bet sex with him would be amazing. I can't wait to find out.

Booth watched all the happenings from his office. Taking a needed break from his duties, he smiled as he observed Sweets taking his advice successfully. A short time later, he saw Agents Shaw and Perotta back at their desks having a conversation. He saw Agent Shaw smile at her phone and suspected that Wendell was the reason behind it. His phone buzzed and he looked at the message.

Dude we r going 2 the Orioles game! Yes! She's going on a date with me! Almost, but BOOYAH!

Booth laughed as he was happy for his hockey teammate. He cautioned him that he faced obstacles with dating an FBI agent, and a single mother to boot. But he liked both of them and if anyone deserved someone decent, it was Shaw.

Agent Genevieve Shaw was frankly one of the best agents he had ever worked with. She was bright, flexible, quick on her feet, and used the fact people would underestimate her due to her size, age, and her good natured manner to get what she needed to close a case. He felt a kindred soul in her and was proud to be a mentor to her. She would go places in the Bureau. If he ever moved up to Hacker's job, he would do what he could to make her a SAIC in Major Crimes or somewhere. She was that good.

He also noted from time to time Agent Perotta would look in his office. Sweets said the agent wanted to hook up with him, but even if FBI regulations permitted it, he wasn't interested. Agent Peyton Perotta was an excellent agent who could charm witnesses and suspects into confessions, but her teamwork skills left a bit to be desired. Besides, women who were that obvious usually were insecure and needy and he didn't need that. What he had at home had no comparison….no matter where they were at the moment.

Turning around in his chair, he saw his picture of Temperance on his desk and his melancholy came back with a vengeance. He was so good at giving advice to others but when it came to his own love life, it was ruled by a mentally adolescent sociopath. He was forty-two years old and Bones was almost thirty-seven. It took them almost a decade to get to this point in their lives and were happy. Bones even proposed to him. They were going to get married, but he had to break her heart to protect her.

'God had a reason for this, right?' He never gives a person more than they can handle, at least he always believed that, but doubts made him waver. 'Am I being punished for my life as a sniper? Did I not do enough for Jared when we were younger and my penitence is to suffer?'

Booth shook those thoughts off. 'No, my God isn't like that'. Feeling himself swept up in emotion, he grabbed his notebook and began to write. Someday he would show Bones this notebook….show all the love he had for her, a love so strong at times it could be overpowering to his senses. The rush he got from her love made the rush that he got from gambling seem like nothing.

Suddenly his phone rang. Seeing the number, he groaned before answering. "Booth". His face changed to one of sympathy as he listed to the caller, his usual impatience towards the person while working together gone. "Meet me here in thirty minutes" He waited for a minute. "It's fine. There's not much going on today anyway. Max left here a short time ago with Christine to the park I think, so bring Michael here. I'll text him that you are on your way…..don't worry about it Hodgins. It's better that we talk without your son around. I'll see you soon."

Booth hung up his phone and worked to finish. After texting Max, he worked to finish his thoughts in his notebook.

Angela was at home doing exercises for her right arm. Unfortunately she could only lift up to two inches. Frustration mounted as she felt tears in her eyes. The therapists told her that she has made more progress that was expected at this time, but to her those were just words.

She had ideas for her art, but she couldn't express them as before. Her attempts at a chalk drawing resembled a preschooler's art project. She also knew she wasn't being fair to her husband, but she couldn't help it. Hodgins picked up the slack for her without complaint, even when she got frustrated with him doing everything for her.

Due to her lingering respiratory difficulties, she got winded very easily and tasks that were nothing to her in the past were difficult if not impossible due to the nerve damage in her dominant arm. The tension and anger she had on a slow boil exploded earlier when she attempted to pick up Michael from the playpen. Hodgins walked in the room and quickly took over. When he put their son down in his room, he returned telling her that he would take her of everything and that she needed to concentrate on herself. She knew he meant well, but all of the feelings that were swirling inside since her poisoning pushed through as she suddenly picked up a vase and threw it at her husband, barely missing him.

"FUCK YOU JACK HODGINS! FUCK YOU!" she yelled before throwing another vase at a book shelf with her left hand. Hodgins could only stop in surprise at the force that was his wife.

Angela felt herself getting winded and leaned against another bookshelf. When Hodgins came to assist her, she yanked her arm out of his hand and continued to spew her rage.

"I am so tired of being poor Angie! I am not a cripple, Jack Stanley Hodgins the fucking fourth! I don't need someone dogging my every move…..complimenting me on art I know is shit…patting me on the head telling me I am doing so good….that I will get the function in my arm back….that I'll be able to breathe normally again, it just takes time and patience. That is bullshit! All of this is fucking bullshit! You are just feeling sorry for me and being condescending! I can pick up my own damn son and there is nothing you, my dad, Pelant, or anyone can do about it. SO FUCK YOU! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!"

She saw the look on her husband's face as she came down from her explosion. She regretted her words but when she tried to say something, nothing would come out. Rejected, her husband left the room.

After a few moments of standing there in silence, she saw the pictures she attempted to draw with chalk. Feeling her rage build again, she walked over and started ripping them into shreds as much as possible. When she was done with that, she found various objects and threw them at the wall.

"Damn you, Pelant! I hate you! I want you to die you evil son of a bitch! I hate you!" as she tossed another vase.

Spent, she looked around the room she partially destroyed. Overcome with sudden regret, she collapsed on the ground and broke down for the first time since she was poisoned. Feelings that she hid behind rage and sarcasm flowed freely. After a few minutes, she felt a pair of arms around her. Expecting to see her husband, she was surprised to see her best friend.

"Bre-Bren, why are you here?"

She let Angela go for a minute. "Jack called me and said you needed me. He left when I got here." Brennan looked over the room. Paper was ripped and scattered and there were shards of china all over the floor.

Angela sniffled. "I'm sorry you were called away from work"

"Don't worry about me, Angela. You've been there for my irrational, emotional difficulties. Let me try to help you with the same"

Angela knew her friend meant nothing by her comments but what was stated. She also knew her best friend was holding back emotions of her own and sensed Brennan had an idea of what she was feeling. Overwhelmed by her emerging feelings, Angela broke down again in Brennan's arms.

Brennan held her friend tight and let her cry. She knew what it felt like to feel helpless. She felt it at fifteen when she was forced into foster care, when Michael Shires eviscerated her on the stand years ago, and she knew now from her experiences with Christopher Pelant. Not know what else to do, she stayed silent with her own thoughts of anger and frustration as Angela began to purge herself of hers.

Max arrived back at Booth's office about an hour later. When he got to the door, he saw that Booth was still engrossed in what he was doing. Getting closer, he saw that he was writing in the same notebook he was using a few weeks ago when Max stayed over. He left Christine by the end table, made sure an item was within easy reach in the diaper bag, and then walked over. When he got to Booth's desk, he put the diaper bag down with a loud thud, startling Booth.

"Max, what the hell?" Booth saw the clock.
"Had to get your attention somehow" Noting the location of the notebook, he watched for a moment. "Hey, guess who wanted to see her daddy"

Booth lit up as he saw his daughter. Getting up to greet her, he left from behind his desk. When Booth's back was turned, Max quickly switch Booth's book with a similar looking one, placing the needed book in the diaper bag. He barely got the book in the bag when Booth turned around holding Christine.

"Max what are you up to?" It was then he saw the clock. "What took you so long anyway?"

Damn, Booth was quick. As much as it annoyed him, he couldn't help but admire that trait in the man his daughter loved. "What are you talking about?"

"Why are you at my desk like that?"

Max was quick on his feet like always. "Geez, Booth, get a grip. I was just adjusting the diaper bag while I was making sure I don't leave anything here. I would have been here sooner but I ran back to your house before taking Christine to the park. I hit traffic. I can't help it if traffic in this town sucks." Realizing he needs to redirect Booth, he continued. "Besides, you're the one who called me here, remember? You asked me to take Michael while you meet with Angela's geek"

"His name is Hodgins, Max" Before he could finish, the man in question arrived in the office holding a toddler. Both men couldn't help but notice his paleness and the redness of his eyes.

"Wow, Bug man, what the hell's your problem?"

Booth turned to Max. "Can it, Max." He turned to Hodgins and saw the misery in the other man's eyes. "Come on Hodgins, let's get out of here"

Hodgins turned to his son before letting go. "Michael you're going to hang out with Max and Christine for a while, okay?"

The toddler ran to Max, who was also smiling. Children were his favorite type of people. You couldn't bullshit them and you saw what you got. Knowing he was on borrowed time with Booth's book, he went to make a quick getaway. "Sorry gentlemen, times a wasting on this beautiful day. The park is calling our names."

Max took Christine's stroller with one hand and Michael's hand with the other as the three walked out of the office and down to the elevator. When the doors closed, Max let go long enough to text a quick message.

I need help with Tempe and Booth. R u available? I need help without Pelant finding out.

After a short while, he got a response.

I have company at the moment. When I can bk free I will txt u. What do u have in mind?

At that moment, the elevator opened. He put his phone away and walked down the block to a nearby park. Guiding the children out to a nearby bench outside, he went back to his phone.

I have items of both Tempe & Booth. Need help to decipher so I can use them 2 help rid of Pelant.

Max let Christine out of her seat and pointed out the playground to the kids. "Okay you two, go play there but stay where I can see you" As he let the children go across the path, he felt a buzz.

When I am free I can meet u. Family is gone 4 a while.

Max texted back. Fine, we r at the playgd by Booth's office.

Max knew he had to play this close to the vest. What he was doing was violating the privacy of two people he cared about. He knew that the kids needed to work out their issues and be together for their sakes, Christine and Parker's sakes, and for the sake of defeating that little worm Pelant.

After several minutes, he got another text.

I'm on my way shortly after company leaves. Which bench?

Max texted back. The one with the sandboxes by the dinosaur see saws.

B there ASAP

Max smiled. Pelant's ass was going down.

"Angela did what?"

Hodgins was looking at his coffee. "She lost it, dude" he responded before finishing up the events of earlier.

He and Booth went to the coffee cart by the Lincoln Memorial and got a cup of coffee. Each figured talking here would prevent anyone eavesdropping or possible surveillance by Pelant.

The scientist wiped a tear away before continuing. "She threw things at the wall and told me to fuck off"

Booth felt for the man. He knew what it like to be on the receiving end of that kind of anger. "Hodgins, you know she didn't mean it"

"Yes, she did. I've never seen her like that. It was more than anger….it was…I don't know what to call it"

"Hey, she is going through a lot right now. She was almost killed by Pelant and she is suffering effects from it. She is angry, frustrated, in a lot of pain, and needs to take it out on someone. Unfortunately, you are the nearest one available"

"It's not just the fact she almost died and you know it, Booth. Art was her life, is her life. I'm trying to be a supportive husband while she is recovering, but nothing I do seems to help. But she is limited in what she can do. She can't be trying to pick up Michael because she gets winded really easily and her left arm is her non-dominant one….at least I thought it wasn't. It's got a wicked aim when she throws vases across the room"

Booth responded. "She's got a lot on her plate, man." Before he could finish, he thought for a moment. "Wait. Let me backtrack"

He pondered whether to share this confidence with Hodgins, but he realized that if anyone can keep a confidence, it was Jack Hodgins. "What I am about to tell you is something Bones I am pretty certain hasn't talked about with anyone, even Angela." When he saw he made his point, he continued. "When Bones was shot last year, it messed her up for a while."

Seeing the other man's questioning look, he continued. "Remember….she was off for three weeks and wasn't happy about it. The doctor had put several restrictions on her, ones that really pissed her off, especially the weight restriction one. One day, I saw her attempting to pick up Christine. She was struggling so I came in and got her from Bones. It was time for Christine's nap so I put her to bed. When I came downstairs, Bones was waiting. I asked her if she needed anything and that is what set her off"

"What did she say?"

"Well, Bones didn't hold back. She said she was tired of being babied by me and wasn't going to let me keep her daughter away from her." Booth paused. "That set me off. Maybe it wasn't the best thing to do, but I gave as good as I got from her. I told her I was tired of walking on egg shells around her and of her pushing herself past doctor's orders. I also told her that being shot didn't just affect her but it affected me as well"

"She didn't believe me and blew that off, so I let loose all of my feelings. I told her of the guilt I had about her shooting. That if we didn't fight that night, she wouldn't have been shot and I wouldn't have had to consider raising Christine without her. I told her that I resented the fact that instead of leaning on me she used me as her emotional punching bag and that I had had it and that she was being selfish by shutting everyone out and snipping at everyone who was trying to help her."

Booth could feel tears in his eyes, so he took in a deep breath before continuing. "After I said my peace, I left for the man cave. As soon as I sat down, I began thinking about what an asshole I was. Here I have the woman that I love that was lucky enough to survive a shooting that would have killed most people. She is a very independent person that has a hard time depending on others and instead of remembering that, I ripped her a new one six ways from Sunday because I couldn't be patient with her."

"Dude you were hurting too"

Booth smiled a wan smile. "I was, but I wasn't the one who was almost murdered. I'm not sure how long I was in there, but Bones came in later on and I could tell she had been crying. Before I could say anything, she sat next to me and apologized for 'taking her emotional difficulties out on me'. Then, we just grabbed each other and held on for dear life as we cried together"

Booth finished his story and looked at the man sitting across from you. "I'm telling you this so you know that I understand what you are feeling. I am also telling you this because you and Angela are going to be okay. We are going to get Pelant. When Angela is ready, we will need her because Pelant didn't succeed. We all need to be together to get this son of a bitch. Okay"

Hodgins grinned a smile of understanding. "Thanks Booth. I know you are not a touchy feely guy, but I don't think I could talk to anyone else about this"

Suddenly, both men realized they were in public. Making manly grunting noises, they each grabbed their coffees. "So how about them Nationals?" Hodgins asked Booth.

Brennan and Angela had just finished cleaning up the mess in the living room. Angela turned to her friend. "Thanks for letting me have my meltdown"

"You didn't melt anything down. You cried a lot for emotional reasons"

"Figure of speech, honey."

Brennan got contrite. "Sorry"

Angela noticed her friend was hesitant to leave, so she moved to reassure her. "I'll be fine, Bren. The doctor said with the progress I made that I can drive an automatic. I need to find my husband and baby. I was a royal bitch to Hodgins"

"Are you sure you don't want me to drive you?"

"Honey, seriously, I'm fine. I created this last mess with my husband, now I need to clean it up" Taking a chance, she pressed forward. "You have other things to take care of"

"Like what?"

"You know what. You need to settle things with Booth. There's no way in hell he broke off the engagement to be an ass or because he changed his mind"

Brennan knew her friend was right. She also knew she had feelings she had to sort out before she could confront Booth. He should have found a way to tell her the truth. But how could he when Pelant was everywhere. How do I get passed this?

"Bren, I need to go find my family. You need to find your man and talk….now" Pushing her friend out the door, she led Brennan to her Prius. "Now, off with you"

"Why are you trying to get rid of me, Angela?"

"Because I know what's best. Now give me a hug"

The girls hugged, and then separated as each went to their vehicles. A minute later, Brennan, followed by Angela, both left the residence in opposite directions.

Max was getting up to put Christine in her stroller when he heard someone walk up, so he looked. "It's about time. What took you so long?"

Angela sat on the bench. "I was dealing with stuff. Come on, Keenan. I want to get rid of Pelant, too and help Brennan and Booth. What do you have that can help me?"

Seeing the kids were playing, he joined his new co-conspirator. "I don't have a lot of time, so we have to be quick." He grabbed Christine's diaper bag and pulled out Booth's notebook and a Dell laptop

"So you do have Bren's laptop. I get Booth's notebook, but why do you have her computer?"

"The night after you got sick, after everyone got home, Tempe locked herself in her office at 5:00 in the morning. She thought I was asleep but the door to the man cave wouldn't fully close. The last time my daughter locked a door like that she was twelve. Her mom said she did it because she was writing in her diary" He sat looking at the machine. "I think this is her diary now. We need to find what's on it."

He held up Booth's notebook. "I only skimmed a small portion of this because I feel like enough of a shit for taking this. It confirmed that my hunch about Booth and Tempe was correct. Pelant made him break off the engagement. He threatened to kill five innocent people if he didn't break it off and keep the reason from my daughter. The little pissant knew Booth's history as a sniper and played him with it."

"Do you think Pelant will kill five random people?"

"No, Angela, I think he would kill first Tempe, then Christine and Parker, then two other people that he knew would destroy Booth so he couldn't go after him. I want that little asshole dead, but I made a promise to Tempe"

Angela looked wary. "You do realize that if she finds out you invaded her space she will be really upset?"

Max's head hung low. "I know, but I don't know what else to do."

Angela thought quickly. "I know. I will tell her that I couldn't find Hodgins at the moment and I went to your house to check on Michael and decided to check my email to see if he checked in at all on her computer. I've done that before. Trust me Max, she will probably buy this." Seeing Max's face, Angela moved to reassure. "Hodgins texted me and said he was with Booth, so I know he's fine"

"Yeah, what the hell happened anyway? He looked like someone kicked the shit out of his dog"

"Let's just say I had a bad moment and I will talk to him later. To say I owe him an apology is being mild. Come on Max" Angela said as she got up. "We need to make copies of this and get it back on Booth's desk before he notices" she said holding up the notebook. She then pointed to the laptop. "We then need to get back to their house and search the laptop. We need to try to cover your ass with Bren and find out how we can help them. Cam and I had a plan, but me getting sick threw a wrench in things. I think you may have just saved the day Max Keenan."

Max and Angela smiled before they grabbed the children and went across the street to a local Kinkos.

Christopher Pelant was watching several images on his monitors. He saw Brennan walking into the Jeffersonian, the FBI building, the Royal Diner, Hodgins' and Angela's house, and the Brennan-Booth house.

He noticed Brennan go to Angela's house, but the wireless was off in the house, ensuring he could not overhear their conversation. These people were starting to piss him off. No one was smarter than he was.

He knew to get to the one he wanted, he needed to take them all out. Take out the peripheral flank, then take the rest down until you get to the one. Always save the best for the last when possible. This time, it will be possible, and it will be his last obstacle. Then his dad will love and respect him like he loved and respected the other one.

He went to take a drink of his coffee, but his left hand wouldn't move for a minute, then very slowly. He noticed over the last few weeks that paralysis was setting in on his left arm. He couldn't risk going for medical attention. It will just have to wait until after the team was eliminated.

He looked to the FBI monitor and noticed Max Keenan go into the building with the two children. He looked closer and when he saw the woman waiting outside his emotions grew hot as he remembered his recent failure. That damn bitch! She was supposed to die along with her scientist husband and their little brat. I put enough botulism in those tomatoes to kill a horse!

He looked and saw the Royal Diner monitor. He saw Hodgins and Booth walk in and quickly moved over to zoom in. Seeing they were going to the table, he moved to push the number sequence to zoom into their conversation, but he couldn't get his arm to move fast enough and then couldn't remember what it was. He pushed in several sequences and he got nothing. He couldn't do anything as looked up and saw them leaving. Damn It! I'm gonna get them….I'm gonna get all of them.

Suddenly he heard a beep from his computer. He turned and found out his alert program worked. Looking at the monitor he saw the following information on a manifesto from Heathrow Airport.

June 15, 2013 US Airways Flight 920

Departure: 09:00 London/ Heathrow

Arrival: 11:00 Washington/Reagan National

Passenger: Rebecca Stinson

Passenger: Parker Booth

A smile crossed his face as he realized what weekend it was. 'Father's Day weekend. How appropo.' He thought with glee as he moved to his computer to create a program.

Angela was working on Brennan's laptop in her office. It was more time consuming as she had to use her opposing hand for most things. She was about to give up when on a hunch, she went straight into the C: drive instead of by folder. She flipped through and almost gave up when she saw a document named Lister was taken by the doctor.

"Lister? She usually just names the files after the book's title." Angela almost skipped past figuring it was from her latest novel, but something told her to look further. Clicking on the file, she opened and saw what seemed to be paragraphs from another novel. For several minutes she skimmed through. As she read each passage, she felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck. Then she saw one that made her pause.

As she walked down the halls, the events of the last several months flew back at her…..being charged with a murder she didn't commit, her friends at the lab being terrorized for assisting her case, and her on and off struggles with Lister after getting back from being on the run. All came back to the same thing…..Anton.

This genius was the smartest person she ever met and it seemed that no matter what they did….Anton found a way to circumvent their efforts. To say that it was frustrating was the tip of the lake. Kathy was feeling something she hadn't felt in a long time….defeated and alone.

Angela got a sick feeling in her gut as she realized the details matched recent events and of that day. Then she saw something stopped her in her tracks.

"I'm his partner! Booth's supposed to trust me!" she moaned as another wave of fresh tears came out as all the feelings she had been bottling up came out in a wave. She hugged herself tightly as if she did this the feelings would go back inside, but it was too late for that. When she was finally spent, Kathy took another look around, wiped her eyes, and got up to go back. What she needed to do could come later….when she knew what that was.

"Kathy's partner is Lister, not Booth!" Then it all dawned on Angela. "Oh shit….Anton is Pelant. That son of a bitch. Max!"

Max came into the room. "What did you find?"

"Look at this" She pointed the laptop to Brennan's father and he read and she knew he came to the same conclusion.

"Brennan knows, Max. I think Cam was able to get through to her, thank God, but all of this stuff has brought all those feelings of being abandoned back. She's also afraid to talk with anyone because of Pelant, so she is trying to deal with her feelings in the only way she knows how….tuck it away deep and put in a novel to avoid suspicion"

Max felt his insides sink, but he knew this was not the time for self pity. "So Booth wants to tell her but can't. Tempe knows something, but she has a lot of stuff to get through before she will even listen and she can't even tell anyone because of this asshole in case he finds out. What the hell do we do now?"

Angela suddenly perked up. "I have an idea, but I need copy this file and get anything else she may have added"

Max looked at Angela. "And how do you propose to do that young lady?"

At that moment, they heard the door open, followed by a "Dad? Angela?"

"Trust me, Max, I can get it, but you need to distract her for a minute, now!"

Max left the room quickly and Angela went as quickly as she could into her purse and pulled a flash drive out, inserted and saved the file.

Brennan was in the kitchen looking for her father when she saw him come out of her office. "Dad, why are you in my office?"

"Nothing. Angela was here checking her mail and she was showing me something." Before he could block her path, Brennan walked towards the back. When he got near her office, Angela came out. "Hey Sweetie"

"Did you find Hodgins yet?"

"No, he's with Booth. I just got a text from him. Booth's bringing him here and we're going to take my van home"

The room got quiet as two pairs of eyes started staring at Max, including a set identical to his. He knew when to cut and run. "I'll just get Michael ready for you, Angela" He said before leaving.

Before Brennan could say anything else, Angela took the offensive and hoped to get Brennan's original copy of her novel/diary. "You haven't given me your novel to edit or put good stuff in for you, yet…"

"I thought I would try on my own this time" As upset as she was with Booth, he did inspire some passages that may be interesting for Kathy and Andy.

"That's fine, but you know your pop culture isn't the greatest, Honey" Angela was determined to get a hold of what she knew was the complete diary.

Brennan calculated and figured she covered her tracks with the diary/novel so that her friend would not figure it out. Plus she had it on another USB drive at the Jeffersonian. She also knew if she didn't give it to her she would get suspicious. She dug into her purse, retrieved it, and gave it to Angela.

At that moment, both ladies heard the noise of the front door opening and footsteps. 'Later' Angela thought to herself when Booth and Hodgins came into the kitchen. 'I need to make things right with the man I love'

Hodgins took a tentative step forward. "Hi, Ange",

Angela walked forward and took his hand. "Let's take our son home, Honey. I need to talk to you."

As Hodgins was nodding, Max came into the room with Michael. "Hey here's your mommy and daddy.

Michael ran to his parents. Hodgins was about to pick him up when he thought of something. "Hey, buddy, how about I hold one hand and Mommy holds the other so you can show everyone what a big boy you are"

Booth and Brennan observed the scene before them, noticing Angela had tears in her eyes as she took her son's right hand and Jack had his left. "Bye, everyone" Hodgins said as they walked out of the kitchen and out the door, leaving Booth, Brennan, and Max.

Max noticed the tension between the remaining couple and thought fast. "You know what. I bet you two would like some alone time, especially after helping Hodgins and Angela with whatever they had going on."

"Dad, we're fine—"

"No, I think I will take my granddaughter for another walk" Max looked at the clock. "Wow, it's almost 6:00. I think I will take her to McDonald's for dinner and let her run around for a while. Yeah, I think I will do that"

He left the room before either could protest. They heard him getting their daughter ready and then yelled "I will have her back around 8:30 in time for her bath and bed" before hearing the door close.

Outside, Max hurried to his car. Making sure Christine was secure he got in on the driver's side. "Okay sweetie, Mommy and Daddy need to get it together, and we are going to eat fries. Yes!" 

He started the car and pulled out before either parent tried to stop him.

Booth and Brennan circled one another before planting themselves on opposite sides of the center island. Neither knew how to start.

"Parker sent me-"

"The Jeffersonian rec—"

Both turned shades of red. "Bones, you go first"

"No, Booth, you go first"

"Bones, I insist"

Knowing how Booth felt about 'ladies first', Brennan gave in. "There were four sets of skeletal remains found on the Antietam battle ground this week. I've been asked, along with Dr Edison to go over the bones and present any findings to the annual meeting of the American Board of Forensic Anthropologists in Philadelphia on June 19th."

"June 19th is next Wednesday. How long would you need to be gone?"

"It would be best for me to leave on the sixteenth so I have time to prepare with Dr. Edison"

"Parker gets in with Rebecca on that Saturday, and then Sunday is Father's Day….June 16th"

Brennan felt guilty because the day slipped her mind. "Well, you need to have your Father's Day so I can leave on the 17th in the morning."

Booth felt another little piece of him die when he realized she forgot Father's Day. "Okay, we can do that" He then realized the other topic he needed to broach with her and dreaded it. "Parker asked me about a wedding date."

Brennan felt her insides turn to jelly as she remembered their brief engagement. To keep her hands busy, she got a glass from the cupboard and filled it from the tap. "Why didn't you tell him, Booth?"

Booth felt relieved he could be honest about something. "I thought things would be settled down by now. It was stupid I know"

"He's going to be here next weekend, Booth! It's bad enough that you changed your mind about marrying me and won't give me a good reason, but then you lie to your son about it!"

"I thought that things with Pelant would be over and that we could move on, Bones! It just wasn't the right time to get married" Almost immediately he saw that was the wrong thing to say as he saw her eyes get large and her cheeks start to get flushed. Alarms were going off in his gut. 'Uh Oh…..'

Suddenly before Booth could react, Brennan threw the now empty glass she was drinking from at the wall behind him, shattering it into many pieces, almost hitting him in the process. "Bones, what the hell did you do that for? What's wrong with you?!" he yelled before he could stop himself.

"You want to know what's wrong, Booth!" Brennan sucked in a quick breath before continuing. "I will tell you what's wrong. I KNOW!"

Genuinely confused at the moment, Booth did the only thing he could do. "Know about what, Bones? I don't know what you're talking about?"


Brown met blue as suddenly Booth realized what she was referring to. His first reaction was relief with her knowing why he broke the engagement. As he continued to watch, he saw the blue eyes he loved ice over until her face was a blank mask. He could face an entire group of armed militants in Afghanistan to his one and still not be as afraid as he was at this moment. Any thought of Pelant overhearing the conversation was forgotten as he continued to stare at Bones. He began to move towards her but stopped as she spoke with tears forming in her eyes, making the blank face crumble.

"Was this because I took Christine when I left last year?"

'Oh no' "God, Bones, no"

"Why would you do something like that to me? You made me feel things I never wanted to feel again. I trusted you! I trusted you with my life…my body…my heart" She couldn't stop the tears from forming or the words from coming out. "You made me believe in love, Booth, so I let my guard down. But you shut me out….you abandoned me…and could only offer bullshit as a reason why"

She saw the man she loved more than her own life walk towards her again and held her hand out. "No, stay away" She quickly walked out of the kitchen. "If you love me like you say you do, you need to stay away from me right now"


Brennan grabbed her bag and hurried towards the door. "I can't look at you right now" She cried before running out the door and slamming it.

Booth could only stand frozen as he heard a car start and pull out of the driveway. After the shock wore off, he walked to his liquor cabinet and poured himself a Scotch. He moved to take a drink but stopped himself. Gently sitting the glass down, he walked towards the stairs and headed up.

When he got to the bedroom, he passed his side of the bed and headed for hers. After he laid down, he held one of Brennan's pillows close to him, taking her unique scent in. Then, he started to purge himself of all the self-loathing and terror he felt at maybe driving away the love of his life forever as the tears fell in sobs.

Brennan was driving aimlessly as tears came down her face. She didn't know where to go or what to do. All she knew was she couldn't stop crying as weeks of pain, hopelessness, and agony came to the surface all at once. Before she knew it, Brennan crossed the Maryland state line and just kept going.

Booth was asleep when he heard a loud "Booth? Tempe?"

He realized where he was and why he was and reluctantly opened his eyes to a room darkened by the curtains. At the second "Booth?" he bellowed back. "Heard you the first time, Max!"

His head was pounding but attempted to open his eyes. He heard Max walk into the room, but was blinded by the sudden sunlight peeking through the opened curtains and put his arm over his eyes. "Son of a bitch, Max! What the hell did you do that for?!"

Max, holding his granddaughter, looked over and saw Booth and the shape he was in. "Well, you look like shit"

Booth's only response was pulling his left hand out from under the pillow and flipping his middle digit at him. Max ignored the gesture. "Whatever, I'm bringing my granddaughter back. We had fun, but someone needs to give Christine her bath now and put her to bed." Max continued to look at Booth. "Obviously it won't be you. Where's Tempe?"

Booth took a deep breath for a moment and considered lying, but knew the old rhino had an awesome bullshit detector. "I don't know Max"

Max played dumb but had a bad feeling things came to a head. 'No wonder he looks like shit. I'll be damned…he cried' He felt too sorry for the man to make fun of him. "Come on Booth, let's go downstairs"

"I'm not in the mood for a Max Keenan pep talk right now. I need to give Christine her bath and put her to bed"

"You're not getting a pep talk. I'm going to put your daughter in her crib and we're going downstairs for a bit. You will get your ass downstairs or I will come back and drag it down there. Capische?"

Not in the mood for a fight, Booth got up, squinting his eyes from the sunlight as it aggravated his headache. "Fine, but make it quick. Christine needs to go to bed"

"Don't worry about it, Booth. Now get down there and I will be there in a few minutes"

When Max was satisfied that Booth was downstairs, he put Christine in her crib. "Looks like Grandpa has his work cut out for him. Be back soon for your bath and a story." He kissed her on the head, making her smile.

Booth was sitting on the couch when Max walked downstairs to the kitchen. A few minutes later, Max came back with a plate, a wrapped item, two glasses, and Booth's bottle of Glenlivet. He put the items on the table. "Shit, forgot something"

Max returned with a bottle of water he sat on the table. He opened the bag to a beautiful Italian sandwich that he purchased for a snack later that night. However, he decided Booth needed it more. He put the sandwich on the plate and then poured two fingers of Scotch in each glass. Seeing Booth's eyes bug out, Max jumped in. "Don't worry I have a new bottle in the kitchen"

He put one glass in front of Booth. He then reached in his pocket and dumped two pills out of a bottle and put them with the nearby water. "Take these with the water. Eat that. Then drink the Scotch. I need to give Christine a bath and put her to bed. I will then check my messages. Then we are going to have a chat. I swept your house earlier and turned off all electronic items. We have something to discuss Seeley Booth and I want it when you've eaten and settled down"

After Max walked away, Booth looked at the sandwich. Usually he would have had a hard on for it, but nothing mattered now. He also knew Max wouldn't leave him alone otherwise, so he began to eat.

Brennan continued to drive, but her thoughts wandered to different places. She knew that rationally Booth did the right thing. With Pelant and his ability with computers, plotting their strategy has been difficult if not almost impossible to stay one step ahead of him. Rationally, she knew that Seeley Joseph Booth would never intentionally hurt her like that. He had issues of his own abandonment and abuse by his father that came to the surface at times, but were always able to deal with together.

But the irrational always seemed to overtake her rational thought. The fact that she has been more tired than usual lately didn't help matters. The last few days it seemed it took all she had to stay awake, but she was also dealing with a great deal of stress.

The irrational part of her always brought up the fact that people before Booth always left her. Her parents and her brother leaving her in foster care during her adolescence all but destroyed her faith in people. The people, specifically men, who entered her life always told her the words, but when it mattered, they never got past her breasts or her skill in the bedroom to really get beneath the surface…until Booth and her friends at the Jeffersonian.

Until she came to the Jeffersonian, she could protect herself from being let down. People always left, so she always kept a piece of herself to herself so she wouldn't be lost. Angela, Hodgins, and even Cam over time helped chip away at her outside. Booth was the one who stayed with her until her walls finally came down. Their timing over the years was always off, but in the end it was a tragedy that brought them together.

She and Booth worked every day to maintain a connection. It wasn't always easy, she knew because they were almost polar opposites. When she took Christine when she was wanted for murder, it was the hardest thing she had ever done. Not only did she do what she swore she would never do, she left behind the one person she loved more than herself, the one she always trusted, and the only one besides her Christine and Parker she would die for. If it did anything to him what her family leaving did to her, she not only crushed his spirit, but almost killed him, metaphorically of course.

They stumbled when she returned. She couldn't let herself relax with him. They were walking on eggshells with each other. Finally it took a fight during a case that hit close to home to let their feelings surface. He felt abandoned and angry because she left and took three months of time away from Christine that he will never get back. Considering the way Rebecca was with Parker when he was born it was emotionally devastating for Booth.

She didn't know what her issue was. After Mr. Abernathy pointed out how their initial resolution could be the calm before the rain, she did something uncharacteristic. Needing help to know why, she went to Sweets. He helped her understand that subconsciously she was rebelling against the fact her happiness was not from her alone anymore, but dependent on Booth and their children.

She assumed things were settled, but what if they weren't? What if deep down, Booth still resented her for what she did? She knows rationally that he was honest with her and loved her completely, but the irrational took over again. He realized when he accepted her proposal that he made a mistake and didn't want to hurt her with the truth that he did resent her even though he knew how she felt about lying.

She looked at her clock on her car…10:00 PM. Then she saw the state line as she entered Virginia. She realized that driving aimlessly across the Eastern United States wasn't the answer. She couldn't face Booth or his lies yet. No, that wasn't true. She was afraid he didn't want to face her again, especially after exploding like she did and throwing a glass at him. He could have been injured….his beautiful brown eyes…the ones that gave her the ability to see inside his soul, something that only in the few years she truly learned to do and appreciate.

Brennan wanted to cry again but she was spent. She also wanted to hide away but knew it was only avoiding the inevitable. She took the exit to go to Alexandria, Virginia. She needed to go back. Not to the house, but somewhere where she could regroup and decide between her anger and her needs.

Max gave Christine her bath and got her to sleep. When he came downstairs, he saw Booth sitting with his head on the back of the couch and his eyes closed. He saw that the sandwich was eaten and the Scotch drank. Satisfied, he came down and sat across the younger man.

"I can hear you Max. Okay, let's have it"

"What, Booth?"

"Max Keenan's Words of Wisdom. Any advice you give me can't possibly piss Bones off more than anything I said and did tonight"

Max got up and grabbed a nearby bag and walked it back over. He went to open it, but changed his mind for the time being. "Look at me, Booth"


"Because I said so. Now do it!"

Booth exhaled and inhaled slowly, followed by slowly moving his head to face the older man. Max saw the pain in the young man's eyes, making him more determined. 'Pelant will get what's coming to him if I have anything to say about it'' He decided it was time. "I know what happened, Booth"

Wary, Booth thought his words out carefully. "What do you think you know?"

"Cut the bullshit. I swept the place and it's clean. All your wireless is turned off. I know what happened to the engagement. I know it was that shit bag Pelant that made you do what you did."

Booth was frozen. He had been suffering in silence for over several weeks now to the point where he wasn't sleeping or eating and it showed. When he weighed himself today he lost fifteen pounds since this all began. He looked into eyes identical to Bones's. Max Keenan was many things, but this was something he would not lie about. His wariness was enveloped by relief as tears came out and he put his head in his hands.

Max gave him time to adjust to the situation. He knew what it was like to be relieved of stress caused by secrets. He knew the next questions would be coming when Booth finally took everything in, so he sat patiently.

Booth wept for a few minutes and then sat staring at the floor. 'Thank god someone else knows now'. His relief gave way to questions, one in particular. 'How did Max find out?' He was a clever man, but no one is that clever. He raised his head slowly and looked to the other man. "How did you know, Max?"

Max knew that this wouldn't go over well, but it had to be said. "I suspected something was off right away. You can be a pain, but you would never intentionally hurt Tempe. The night Angela was in the hospital, when I stayed the night in the man cave, I overheard you two talking. I heard you say you wanted to tell her something, and then the phone rang. Who the hell calls at five in the morning, anyway?"

He waited for a moment to let this sink in with Booth, and then continued. "When the coast was clear, I walked out into the kitchen and saw you….upset"

Booth looked up suddenly, feeling violated. "You spied on me!"

Max held his hand up. "There's more"

Booth greeted that with a 'How much worse can this get?' look, but Max continued. "I saw your notebook and figured something was in it.

Booth felt sick inside. That notebook was the only thing right now he could trust implicitly that could not by touched or manipulated by Pelant. He documented not only strategy, but his very soul. Having them read was bad enough, but to have it done by Max Keenan only pissed him off more.

"Where the hell do you get off reading my private thoughts!"

"I do because something was wrong and I intended to fix it any way I know how. You don't like my methods, tough shit. If I could have done it any other way I would. You think I liked reading that? You think I want people reading my shit? I respect your privacy Seeley Booth because you respect mine in turn, but when a pissant motherfucker like Christopher Pelant comes in my daughter's life and tries to destroy it, privacy goes out the window. Something had to be done to get around his computer crap. I had to recruit help this time"

"Who did you con this time? Or do I not want to know?"

"Don't worry about it. Want my advice?"

Booth, still annoyed, looked at the older man. "No"

"Tough, you're getting it anyway….think of this conversation as practice for Christine in about 10 years" Max took a moment to gather his thoughts. "Have to admit, at first, I didn't like you Booth. You were self righteous and a major pain in the ass. But, I saw how much you loved my daughter, even then. I have seen this dance you two have been doing for several years now and at this time you are at a crossroads."

Seeing Booth about to roll his eyes, Max pointed at him. "Quit rolling your eyes, Agent Booth. I may not be your parent but I will smack you upside your head just the same…..don't think I won't do it"

Suddenly, Booth changed his countenance to Max's satisfaction. "That's better. Where was I, oh yes. The crossroads. This isn't your first time here with her, nor will it be your last."

Max got quiet for a minute. "Christine…Ruthie and I had those moments. I had days where I was sick to death of her. There were days I know she wanted to dump my ass. We fought….oh did we fight. We had obstacles that not even Tempe or Russ know about"

Booth saw tears swimming in Max's eyes and heard his voice break. "We almost gave up several times, but we never did. We fought for each other and for one another when the other couldn't."

Max sniffed up mucus and saw Booth's face of awe. "Oh quit staring will you? It's just allergies" He got up and walked back to where his bag was and took out a three ring binder full of paper. He walked over to Booth and threw it in his lap before his phone buzzed. Max picked up the phone and smiled at a text from his latest lady friend.

"Max, who is texting you this late?" Booth held up his hand. "Never mind, I don't want to know"

Suddenly Booth's phone buzzed. He picked up the phone. It was from Bones.

I am fine. I need to be alone right now and process all of my thoughts

Booth felt a few tears form in his eyes, but then remembered the notebook in his lap. He looked up to see Max getting ready to walk out the door. "Max, what is this? Where are you going?"

Max turned to him. "I am going to my car grabbing my emergency travel bag. I'm staying here tonight. You on the other hand, are going to take this book, grab a beer, and go sit in the treehouse. But you will read all that tonight. When you are done, you will go and do what needs to be done and not before"

"What are you going to be doing? Who's going to take care of Christine?"

"I am Bonehead. Now get moving!" Max saw Booth hesitate. "Now!"

Wanting to get him off his back, Booth got up. "Fine, since I have nothing to do but think anyway. This shit better be good Max Keenan"

"Oh it is…it's the best" Max got a grunt in response as he heard the fridge open and close, followed by the back door closing. He got out his phone and sent a text to Angela.

Your turn

Angela drove around Washington D.C. looking for Brennan. Max texted her a while ago and she couldn't get a response from her friend. She checked the diner, Founding Fathers, and every place she could think of. She was now going to her final option, which is where she should have gone in the first place. Looking down on her front seat, she saw the stack of papers she bound together with the handiest thing she had, a friendship bracelet.

When she arrived at the Jeffersonian around 11:00, she saw Brennan's Prius. "Yep, should have come here first. Duh!"

When Angela got in the lab a few minutes later, she looked in Brennan's office. When the sensor light came on she saw Brennan's purse on her desk and her lab coat missing. Seeing a light on in the Bone Room, she hit the office light button and headed that way. When she looked in, she was not disappointed.

Brennan was wearing her lab coat and was examining a femur bone from a skeleton laid out on the table. Angela could tell she had been crying. Knowing how focused her friend could get, she called out not to scare her.

"Sweetie? Why are you here?"

Brennan turned to Angela. "I wanted to examine one of the skeletal remains we received from Antietam. I have to present my findings on the 19th to the American Board of Forensic Anthropologists in Philadelphia"

"No Bren….why are you really here?" Hearing only silence, Angela came in. "Bren, let's talk in your office. Come on."


"No Bren. Soldier Boy will wait for a day or so. Put him away and we're going to your office now. We are going to talk"

Knowing she wouldn't be left alone otherwise, Brennan put the skeleton away, removed her gloves, and followed Angela into her office. After Brennan removed her lab coat, both women sat on the couch.

"Bren, what happened? Max got a hold of me when no one could track you down. He said Booth is a complete wreck. What the hell happened after we left tonight?"

"Well, we talked about this presentation I have to give. I was going to leave June 16th, but he reminded me it was Father's Day. Then he told me that he never told Parker about breaking the engagement. I confronted him….threw a glass at him. Then I told him that I knew the truth."

Angela knew she had to tread carefully. "The truth about what, Sweetie?"

Brennan turned to her friend with a mask of indifference. "The truth about why he broke the engagement and the fact that he lied to me."

'Oh thank God' Angela thought. "Sweetie, did he tell you why he lied to you?"

"No, but I know he lied because of Pelant. He made me feel worthless and made me feel all those….feelings again. He didn't have to say a damn word, Angela. I told him that I knew. Then I walked out the door. I just…..couldn't be around him. I needed to get away from him." Brennan took a breath. She didn't want to cry again. She needed to stay clear headed and rational after being irrational for the last few hours. Clear headed and rational thought was needed to keep her from getting irrational again and for her eventual conversation with Booth.

Angela started to get annoyed with Brennan's indifferent attitude. "Don't you think you should've let him explain his motivation? I mean I know Pelant is everywhere, but you two couldn't go outside or something, or leave? Max had Christine"

Brennan couldn't help sounding aloof as she was doing war with her emotions versus rationality. She was so sensitive lately and was tired of it. "Of course not. I knew what happened and why. I wasn't going to let him give me excuses. I needed to get away so I could think rationally about the situation"

Angela looked to her friend, astounded at how cold she seemed and got more annoyed. 'How can she be this way?' "So you think Booth has just been sitting around all this time trying to find a way to think of the best excuse he could come up with? That's your reasoning?"

Brennan didn't miss the bite in her friend's voice. "He lied to me, Angela. He broke my heart and lied to me for weeks, letting me think that it was my entire fault. I felt like I lost a piece of my life that I would never get back. I did not deserve that. Besides, you have no idea what I am feeling right now"

For Angela, that did it as she stood up, infuriated. "Temperance Joy Brennan, where the hell do you get off telling me I don't know what loss is?! I know what loss is. You want to know how I know?"

Angela grabbed a nearby pad of paper and pencil and tried to sketch a picture, but her limited mobility in her right hand and arm only made squibbles. She then tossed the pad at Brennan. "Look at that…it's crap! I used to be able to draw a picture of anything from my mind. No matter what life threw at me, whether it was when I broke up with Hodgins or facing the fact my son might be born blind, I always, ALWAYS had my art. It's not just something I do, it's what I am! What bones are to you, art is to me. Right now, it's gone!"

Brennan could only sit in silence as Angela continued her tirade. "My art is not just drawing pictures, Brennan. It's not just playing with programs on a computer. I didn't just draw things I saw. I drew my happiness….my anger….my frustrations….my dreams….my life." Angela started to cry. "I didn't just lose an ability to draw some lines…I lost a part of me, too. A part of me I may never get back. I hope to God I do, but I have to be prepared to never be able to do what I could do ever again."

"You, on the other hand, have your dreams, your frustrations, your happiness, and yes, sometimes your anger….your life with a wonderful man who worships the ground you walk on. He knows your faults and your imperfections, and he still loves you more than his own life. I also know Temperance Brennan that you feel the same way about him. He was someone you only dreamed about and didn't expect to have, but you do. Not everyone finds their soul mate. We're lucky that we both found that person."

Angela sat down on the coffee table, spent. The fact that her friend's steely resolve was starting to crumble kept her going. "I have a guy who will stand by me no matter what. He proved that tonight when he hugged me and said he loved me no matter what…that he just wanted me to share his life with him. A man that I spewed venom at earlier, calling him a fucker more than once. You can have that too, Brennan, if you would get off your high horse"

Brennan gave her a confused look. "I'm not on a horse"

"It means get over yourself! You have a daughter who needs both of you. You need to do whatever it takes to fix things. Love isn't always easy, Bren. Sometimes it's hard and it's messy, but in the end it's worth it."

She saw Brennan opening up, but not enough to her satisfaction. To get through, she needed to be a bitch. She hated it, but knew it would the final push needed. Grabbing the makeshift book, she tossed it next to her friend on the couch. "You want to give up on Booth so easily? You want to have your pity party and pout? Do it without me. But read that. It will tell you what you couldn't behoove yourself to stay and listen for."

Angela turned and walked out the door, leaving Brennan stunned. She got it with both rifles blazing. Another war with the irrational and rational began in her. Seeing the book Angela left, she realized the rational thing to do was to read it. She just hoped it gave her the peace of mind she needed…and the way to fix the divide between her and Booth.

Booth sat the tree house that he just finished building about two months ago. 'Right before the shit hit the fan' he thought to himself. The only light came from a lamp Bones put out there the night they spent in there after it was finished.

He wanted it ready for Parker this summer, so on the weekends, he had help from Wendell and Finn, since both needed the work. Fisher helped once, but he got too annoying for Booth to deal with. Arastoo he didn't ask because he knew his time with Cam was at a premium in that weekends were their only time to be together. The day it was done he and Bones couldn't help themselves as he demonstrated his "technique" he would have used on a neighborhood girl back in Philly if he ever had a tree house of his own. The demonstration turned into an all nighter as Christine was with spending the night with Grandpa Max.

Booth opened the binder and started reading the first page. As soon as he read the first few paragraphs, he recognized this was a manuscript of Bones'. Not understanding why Max was so insistent on him reading this, he pressed forward. As he started to read further on, he started getting a feeling of déjà vu

Kathy decided she wanted to make breakfast that morning. She knew it was Lister's thing but she wanted to use the skills she learned while she was on the run after being framed by Anton. She wanted to assert her independence.

As she finished the pancakes, Lister came into the kitchen. Instead of the joke she expected, he got annoyed with her. It seemed like she couldn't do anything right since she got back.

It would also manifest when Lister would get angry when she would let him know that something he wanted to do with their baby wasn't necessary because she tried the activity while on the run. Did he stop loving her? She didn't know.

Booth felt suddenly that he was violating his girlfriend's privacy. This wasn't just her latest novel….it was a diary that she put in novel form. He should put the binder down and not pick it up again. Then he remembered her reaction in the kitchen tonight. His rational Bones threw a glass in anger, an irrational move. He figures that she maybe did it this way to hide it from Pelant. However, he knew Bones enough that it wasn't the only reason. It saddened him as he realized it, but if she couldn't bring herself to discuss her feelings in her own persona, then her pain was much greater than he realized.

She asked him if he broke the engagement off and lied because of her taking Christine. Did she really think that? He forgave her months ago. As mad as it made him, it made sense that it was the only way Pelant wouldn't get to her. After her abandonment, there was no way Bones could leave her child behind. He understood how hard it was on her to make this move.

He finished another chapter with the following passage:

Kathy knew her crying over the tiger to some would be irrational, but to her it was devastating. Her travels over the years introduced her to many fascinating animals. Animals felt the same things as humans and she regarded them as such. Others she knew felt they were nothing more than money and it disgusted her.

He called her a wild tiger…..rare and beautiful. She was at a point now where she accepted the love given to her by Lister, including the compliments. She knew that was one of Lister's ways of saying how much he loved her and how in his eyes she was the most beautiful woman there was. She didn't see it, though. She knew she was attractive to men, but all she saw was how adipose tissue concentrated in different areas of her body now that she had given birth. Her buttocks seemed to be larger than before, as were her hips and thighs. She was still in the normal range for her BMI, but she had to work harder to maintain it. Her eyes were a mere blue while Lister's were a beautiful chocolate brown. But he didn't seem to care…..and it made her forget those imperfections….for a while….almost.

Booth read this annoyed. "What fucking imperfections?! Has Bones's weirdo magnifying thingies made her eyes goofy? She is the hottest woman there is, bar none. Hell, her tits alone would put anyone to shame"

As he thought of her body, Booth got a faraway look on his face. "That ass….her thighs of steel…" He felt himself stiffening up, and started naming saints to calm down. He may have nailed her in the tree house, but he refused to rub one off there. Some things were sacred. After several minutes, he began to function again.

"But her eyes are what make her Bones. I can see her emotions, when she is turned on…her soul. All that other stuff is gravy."

Fascinated and needing to know how the story ends, he kept reading. Maybe he could find a clue to make Bones love him again. He wanted to keep her safe, but he may have lost her love for good. If he lost her, he would probably survive for his children, but emotionally, he would die and he knew it.

Brennan finished her latest crying jag. The last week she had been so tired and little things had set her off, but she knew her stress levels were through the roof the last several weeks.

What Brennan kept going back to were Angela's words earlier. Was she being self centered? Was she wrong to be angry and hurt? She couldn't help her feelings….she experienced them. They were not irrational ones, but real ones. She knew Pelant was always there, but wasn't there any way Booth could have told her? She understood why, but letting her think it was all her for all that time hurt her so much. It almost killed her at times.

Realizing she couldn't put it off any longer, Brennan grabbed the book Angela left. She opened to the first page.

My life sucks right now. The one thing….the one person that made things complete for me is distant….and it's all my fault.

Temperance Brennan may just be a forensic anthropologist to some, an author to others, professor to students, but she's more than that to me. To me, she's my life.

I dreamed of her from Day One. I saw her on that lecture platform and I was done. She was most definitely not my type and totally out of my league, but it didn't matter. Her hair was a dark auburn like the sunsets when we would go to Pop's cabin up by Erie. Her manner of dress was very prim, but it wasn't hard to imagine what she would look like underneath and feel like with my hands and lips.

But when I got closer, it was her eyes that did it. They were the bluest I ever saw, like the clearest sky in God's heaven. There was mystery there and it hooked me. When we spoke and she stated she was the best, I should have been put off, but I saw it as a challenge. I knew from then on that she would be the standard for which any other woman would be compared.

Back then I was what she would call a degenerate gambler. Life was merely day to day with a son I never got to see and nightmares from my sniper days I had to relive on a nightly basis. She made me want to be better. I went to my first GA meeting, I channeled my inner maverick by wearing my crazy socks, and realized to be the best FBI agent I could I needed to expand my train of thought. I needed her. I needed Temperance Brennan in my life. She saved my life the day we met.

Brennan felt a tear fall from her eyes. Booth always told her how attracted to her he was at the beginning and how he felt it at that moment, but she simply nodded her head at him. People do not have 'love at first sight'. As she told him that day, it was ludicrous. She was able to admit she felt a pull to him from that moment also, but pushed it away with logic.

Reading further, she saw items from previous cases. When she got to one passage, she froze in terror that still angered her to this day.

I refused to believe she would be dead. I couldn't believe she was dead. I just knew I had to find her. I was a shit to the lab people, especially Zach, but no one understood. I had faith and I would not stop until I found her. The Gravedigger would not win. I couldn't lose her.

I saw the puff of smoke coming out of that field in Virginia and knew my God had come through. I pulled her and Hodgins out of that hole and could only hold her and thank God for my prayers and for bringing this weird scientist lady into my life. I think that was when I knew I loved her. I was attracted sure, but it was that moment when I almost lost her, I knew I couldn't go on without her. I knew she was in pain and had walls, but at that moment, I was determined to tear them down no matter how long it took.

With each passage she read, tears began to fall and she felt sick as she realized the depth of pain Booth must have suffered during these last several weeks. Brennan felt she was violating Booth's privacy but she couldn't tear herself away as she read further on.

We sat in the diner talking after the case. People being horses for sexual gratification was just pathetic. Bones thought I was being a prude, so I had to prove her wrong. I told her all about lovemaking and what it meant. She didn't know it then but when I stated how two people became one, I meant it for her. I wanted to give her that. I wanted to show her how much I loved her, how before she settled for mere sex instead of making love. I wanted to demonstrate all of my love for her through worship of her entire body with my lips, hands, tongue, and eventually my cock. She completed me, and I wanted nothing more than to tell her my feelings, but I knew she would go running for the hills. I couldn't lose her and I was willing to take what I could have, even if it was merely friendship.

Later another entry caught her eye.

The night we made love for the first time made my world complete. The fact that someone had to die to make this happened made me sick, but I believe that God has a plan. I believed in what I told Bones earlier when she asked why God would take someone away who didn't want to die. I was determined not to take advantage of her after losing Vincent, but when she looked into my eyes, I knew. Her imperviousness was gone and at that moment, all my anger was gone. I had my life in front of me and I need to show her how much she meant to me. I was going to war later and I wanted her to know if I didn't come back how much I loved her.

She let me remove her last barriers and I saw her naked and it just blew me away. She bared not just her body to me but also her soul and I wanted to prove to her it was not in vain. Another wall broke down when she told me I was the first to touch her without a condom. She not only loved me, but offered her trust to me and I was damned if I would violate it.

Brennan was in awe of what she was reading. She knew the depth of his feelings that night also and remembered how she felt. Giving herself to him that day was something she never regretted. She didn't believe in fate, but remembered hearing from Booth once about how when someone dies another life begins. She blew it off as illogical, but she would wonder from time to time if a new life meant to the one with Booth at the loss of Vincent Nigel-Murray. She would never admit that to anyone.

The day she asked me to marry her was a dream come true. I told her the truth that I wanted her marriage or not. However, to be joined with her not only by law but also by God was a wish I kept tucked away. I figured that since my previous proposals went south that being her life partner and lover was what was meant to be and I was truly okay with that. She had given me her heart and a beautiful daughter who is the spitting image of her. God only knows I better keep my handguns loaded when Christine starts dating.

Brennan couldn't help but laugh at that last comment but sobered up as she continued to read.

I wanted to tell Pelant to fuck off, that I wouldn't let him run my life, and that he was a coward. Then his sentence became crystal clear. Five innocent lives. He said five innocent strangers but I knew that wasn't true. He would take away Pops, maybe Jared, Padme, or Max, but would save the worst for last, my beautiful children and my soul mate. I need to go before her because I could never survive losing her to death. I couldn't go on without her and that son of a bitch knew it. He used a good kid's private files and works to do that. Sometimes I think Sweets looks up to Bones and I as the closest thing to surrogate parents he has since his adoptive parents died.

To tell her I didn't want to marry her almost killed me. The only thing that kept me going throughout was the knowledge that I would someday get Pelant. I didn't want to lose Bones, but if I lose her because she hates me at least Christine has her mother and she would be alive to live a long life. That would be worth any pain I would live with.

On paper, we are so wrong for each other. She's analytical, very blunt, and totally ignorant on pop culture. She is so much smarter than me with three doctorates and at times she makes me look like an idiot. But she can't help that she's a genius and doesn't do it intentionally. I like sports, pop culture, and only have a bachelor's degree, but it doesn't matter. I can't see myself with anyone else. She completes me and if I couldn't have her, I would rather be alone or dead.

I pray to God that someday she can forgive me for what I've done. If I lose her, I will at least have Christine and Parker and remember the two best years of my life. She will be what I will wake up to and she will be the last thought in my mind when I go to sleep to dream of her. I love Temperance Joy Brennan and I will until the day I die.

Brennan laid the journal open on the table. She stared in space for what seemed like eternity until she looked at the clock. Three in the morning. She wiped away her tears and got up with a new determination. Grabbing her messenger bag, she ran out of her office without turning the light off. She had to find Booth…..she needed to make things right. She just hoped she wasn't too late…..

Booth finished the last page of Bones' book with a slam. His body was drained of tears that he cried for the misery he put on the woman he loved. Suddenly, determination hit as he turned the lamp off in the tree house. Grabbing the journal, he tossed it on the ground before climbing down. He ran through his back yard to the door. When he got in, all the lights were off so he used all his willpower and walked carefully to avoid waking up Max and Christine.

Silently he slipped to the man cave and moved to his new custom made Philadelphia Eagles couch. Opening it, he took the item he hid there and ensured it closed completely. Holding the box and the journal he turned around and noticed the clock. Three in the morning.

He hurried as quietly as he could. He went for his keys, but at the last minute grabbed Max's, leaving his SUV in the garage. When he got outside, he ran to Max's Jeep and took off. He had to find Bones….he needed to make things right. He just hoped he wasn't too late…..

4:00 AM

Booth got to the Jeffersonian frustrated. He stopped at the store to pick up something, but then was caught behind an accident on Wisconsin Avenue. Then a torrential downpour slowed him down. When he got out of the Jeep, he took off in a run before stopping halfway to go back to get his access card to the Medico-Legal lab.

"Hi Micah…..bye Micah" He said to the night security guard as he sped by him to go inside. He slid his card in a rush and ran through the darkened lab to her lighted office. His excitement was dampened when he saw that no one was in there. He ran to the Bone Room where he was only greeted by darkness. He walked back to the office and sat holding his item for a few minutes, his right leg moving like a sewing machine. After five minutes he went to the ladies room and didn't find her, he walked back defeated.

'I could have sworn this would be the first place she would go. Doesn't matter now, gotta go find her' Booth thought to himself as he hurried back out the door. He was determined to find her. Pelant would not win.

Brennan pulled into the driveway, not even reaching the garage. There was an accident on Wisconsin so she took a detour home and then got hit with the torrential downpour that had her soaked to the bone by the time she got to the front door. She fumbled with the door lock in her anxiousness. It seemed like hours by the time she got the tumbler turned.

She ran into the dark house and hurried to the bedroom, leaving a wet trail in her wake. Seeing that it was dark, she ran downstairs and saw her father seemingly asleep on the couch. She stopped suddenly and became quiet to avoid waking him as she wondered where his automobile was, but switched gears as she moved quietly to the man cave. Seeing that room empty, she got discouraged for a moment, but remembering Booth's words in the journal she briskly walked out the front door. As she ran for her car she tripped on the front walk. When she got up, she saw that she had a tear and blood on her trousers. Ignoring the pain in her knee she simply got back up again, got in her car, and took off.

When the room was clear, Max smiled in his sleep. "About damn time, Tempe" he muttered.

Christopher Pelant watched on his monitor as he observed Dr. Brennan fall and then get back in her car. Whatever it was must have been good to leave Agent Booth alone in the house and take off. He enjoyed seeing his work of late. Divide and conquer. That was one of the oldest strategies in war.

He looked then at his next target. He had to admire her. Coming from where she came from to get to where she was at now was admirable, but impeded him. The fact that she chose to be with a Muslim…share her bed with someone like that disgusted him. To get her out of the way, he needed to get him out of the way. Removing the Muslim along with the next obstacle way would make his dad proud of him.

His dad didn't acknowledge him and he understood why. He wasn't what his dad wanted. But when he got rid of the other man, his dad had to love him. He had to acknowledge him as HIS son. He would admire him for the work he put in and would see the error of his way in denying him.

Pelant heard a beep. His program was done. He moved to put in the final sequence when his left arm would not move. He struggled and he sweat as he put more effort into it for his arm to only sit there. He turned his body only to have his left leg move very slowly also. After several minutes, he was able to move himself and used his right hand to input in another series of numbers. He got halfway through when he realized that his mind was a blank.

'Damn it!' Realizing it was futile, he decided to relax and get some sleep. He noticed his episodes of paralysis were increasing in length. It was upsetting but had to put it aside. He had a job to do. Besides, Dr. Brennan left the house alone…she had no idea Pelant was pulling the strings and never would.

Booth came back to the lab, defeated. He drove to the diner, the Reflecting Pool, the Lincoln Memorial….anywhere he could think of, to no avail. His instincts keep telling him to go to the lab, but she wasn't here. He had to find her!

It was then that nature called. "Okay, I'll piss, then sit and think. Luckily no one is in the lab on Sundays"

Booth dropped off his stuff in Brennan's office and then walked to the men's room in defeat.

Brennan returned to her office, feeling frustrated and soaked to the bone as she sat down at her desk in defeat. She wanted to turn the light off but didn't have the strength to get up and do it. She grabbed the journal, partially wet from the rain as she carried it and hugged it. Brennan saw the computer and the time. 4:47. Her frustrations over the last several weeks and her futile search spilled over as she started to cry again.

Booth left the restroom and was greeted by the sound of crying. As he got closer to the sound, he realized that the crying came from his Bones. Seeing her light on, he rushed into the office and was greeted by the woman he loved crying at her desk.

Brennan didn't hear but sensed. She looked up and saw the light of her happiness. He looked as tired and weary as she was, but it didn't matter. She loved Seeley Booth and needed him to know that. 'Pelant be damned' she thought.

Booth saw Brennan running towards him from behind her desk and he rushed to meet her. Words were not needed as they kissed away the bad feelings and hurts of the last several weeks. Wordlessly, Booth moved Brennan to her couch. As they stood in front of it, each removed their clothes in a rush. When both were revealed to the other, Brennan laid on the couch, followed by Booth. He began to worship her body with kisses from her ear all the way until the juncture between her thighs. His hands cupped her breasts lovingly as Brennan simply gave in feeling the love Booth was showing her. After several minutes of sensual kisses upon her, Brennan reached her limit.

"Booth….I need you" she croaked. "Please"

He could never refuse when she pleaded. He moved up her body. He felt her warm, wet core on his abdomen and knew it was time. Slowly, he entered her and moved in a slow, luxurious rhythm which felt like heaven to him. When he felt her nails on his back and her hips moved in an increased pace, he moved to keep up with her.

Brennan felt worshipped as he moved to her frantic pace as he amorously kissed her lips and neck. The only thought going through her mind was of how she missed this and him. When she felt him suckle on her breasts again, she was on fire. She could feel her walls constrict around his member and knew she was close. "Booth….I love you…."

That was all he needed as he grabbed her hand and clenched it by her head as he crossed the edge with her. When the wave was completed, they looked into each other eyes and knew the truth.

They would be okay. The center would hold and together, they would defeat Christopher Pelant once and for all.

Booth and Brennan laid together on the office couch covered by the afghan, each in their own thoughts. Words needed to be said, but each were afraid of breaking the moment. Finally, Booth got his courage up. "Bones"

Brennan remained snuggled into Booth with her head in her familiar spot on his chest. "Yes, Booth?"

Booth moved Brennan to sit upright. She gave Booth the afghan and she reached across the end table to grab Booth's shirt. He couldn't help stiffening up when he saw her in his shirt with the swell of her breasts teasing him. After taking a moment to think of saints, he managed to forget for a few minutes. "Bones…I'm sorry….I'm so sorry"

"I know, Booth"

Booth moved to close the blinds. No one was there usually on Sundays but he didn't want to take a chance on giving someone a free show of Brennan to someone they knew. He inhaled for a moment as he thought how to phrase his next question and decided simple was best. "Bones, how did you know?"

Brennan took Booth's hand and squeezed. "It was the night you and Angela were in the hospital. Earlier in the day, Cam found me in my office and proceeded to lecture me about how I needed to find out why you broke the engagement and how I needed to put my panties on" Missing Booth's 'huh' face, she continued. "That's what we were doing at the hospital that day you found us. She took me out to a location where Pelant couldn't find us or know what we were talking about. She told me to look at the situation rationally without any emotional issues. I treated it like one of my lectures as she made me write out everything that happened that day…..she let me cry, Booth"

She waited a moment before continuing. "While you were getting your tests done in the emergency room, I took a walk to look at things rationally. The events of the last few weeks….i-it was suffocating me. I went outside to the garden and I sat and enjoyed the quiet. I could have done without the cherub staring down at me"

Booth gave her another quizzical look but she ignored it to continue. "I cleared my head and thought of nothing. I am unsure of how long I sat there, but it was all of a sudden that things started to make sense. You're Catholic…your God considers us living together a sin. Rebecca wouldn't marry you years earlier and it upset you. Hannah turned down your proposal and it made you so angry."

Brennan got sad for a moment, then continued. "I felt this wave of relief because….I did wonder….was it me? Did you no longer love me? Did you realize that you were still angry about me taking Christine and didn't want to upset me by making up another reason to not to marry me?"

Booth moved to comfort her, but she held her hand up. "Booth, let me finish". When he sat back down, she continued. "After about a minute, the relief turned into anger. You lied to me….you made me feel…these feelings I had….feelings that I thought I had gotten passed. It made me remember how I felt when my parents left. I was feeling these emotions but it wasn't from my mom and dad, or Russ, but from you." Brennan felt tears swimming in her eyes. "You are the one person I knew would never leave….and you did….emotionally" She wiped a tear away. "I couldn't talk to anyone about it because I couldn't verbalize it to anyone without fear of Pelant finding out. I also couldn't because I didn't understand what I was feeling. All I knew was that I was so angry at Pelant, myself, and you."

Booth grabbed the woman he loved, causing the blanket to fall as he took her in a hug to comfort her. "I'm so sorry, Bones that I made you feel that way. I wanted to tell you so badly but I knew Pelant wouldn't just kill strangers….he would have come after you, Parker, and Christine. As much as I wanted to tell him off, I thought about my sniper days all over again. I had to take lives, Bones, lives I still think about every day. Pelant knew that from hijacking Sweets' files and he used it knowing my history. I couldn't forgive myself for putting my happiness above innocent people"

Booth watched Brennan as he pondered for a minute, but decided to go further. "I read the book, Bones"

Brennan was confused. "What book, Booth? Mine? I have the flash drive in my purse"

"No Bones, the diary, about Anton…."

She froze and lost all color to her face. Booth saw it and was afraid he went too far. "I'm sorry, Bones. Your father got it somehow. He must have had a copy and sent me to the tree house tonight to read it. I'm glad, though. Especially to tell you I like where your adipoopy tissue is and your eyes are not a mere blue. They are a stunning blue….blue as the sky in—"

"As the clearest sky in God's heaven. My hair was as auburn as the sunsets at Hank's cabin in Erie"

It was Booth's turn to freeze and turn white. "W-wait, how did you know that?" Then suddenly, realization hit as he remembered Max in his office earlier that day. "It was Max, wasn't it? He got ahold of my notebook. I knew he was up to something"

"Max and Angela. I imagine they are how you got possession of my writings"

Booth laughed. The old rhino came through for them. 'Now I don't have to shoot him' "Thank God, Bones for nosy family and friends"

"Yes, it was a good thing we have people who care enough to get up in our feces"

Booth sat confused for a moment, and then cracked up. "It's get all up in our shit, but Honey, close enough"

After about a minute, Brennan got serious. "Booth, what do we do now? Do we get married? Do we put our plans on hold until we find Pelant? Indefinitely?"

Booth felt sadness in her tone and in himself. He knew what he wanted to do, but wanted to feel out Bones' feelings first. "What do you want to do Bones?"

Brennan got quiet for a minute. "I think that it's logical that we do not get re-engaged while we are looking for Pelant"

Booth hated it, but she was right. "I know….you're right…..Pelant is still out there—"


Booth lost track of thought. "But what, Bones?"

"But the illogical, irrational part of me says get married and just…screw Pelant!"

"Bones….did you just say 'Screw Pelant'?"

"I did, Booth. We wasted six years….six years we could have been together, being afraid. I do not want to waste anymore"

Booth felt his heart glowing as he smiled. "I'm glad you feel that way, because I feel the same" He got off the couch and went towards the bag by the table. He pulled something out and gave it to his girlfriend.

Brennan looked at it unsure of what Booth's plan was. "Tofu jerky?"

"Yes, Bones, tofu jerky" He replied as he got up nude and walked to the desk where his pants were hanging off the desk. He pulled another object out and held it behind his back as he walked over and stood in front of Brennan.

"Bones, I love you. I would die for you. I want to spend the next 30, 40, or 50 years with you bickering about weird anthropological stuff, how to handle Christine dating without shooting anyone, having more children, spoiling grandchildren… our lives" He got down on one knee and opened the small box, showing a silver band with two small sapphires and one small diamond slightly recessed into the band. Booth saw tears in Brennan's eyes. "Temperance Joy Brennan….will you marry me?"

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes Seeley Joseph Booth, I will marry you in front of your God so we can be a legal husband and wife in the District of Columbia!" She jumped into his arms, each hugging each other so tight afraid to let the other go.

When she let go to put the ring on her finger, Booth stopped her. "Bones, this was my grandmother's engagement ring" Booth showed Brennan the inside where it was engraved HB & MB 6-13-48.

"Pops gave me this and their wedding bands to me right after he met you for the first time. He said give them to the woman I intend to marry. When I decided to propose to Hannah, I should have used these, but I didn't and for a long time I didn't understand why. Now, I understand why. Pops gave this ring to his soul mate and wanted me to give it to mine. Hannah wasn't it….you were and are. You complete me"

"Oh, Booth…"

"If you prefer me to get your another ring and wedding set, we can do that—"

"Be quiet Booth. We will do no such thing." When she had his attention, she continued. "From the stories Hank has told, he and your grandmother had a great love. They were friends, lovers, parents, companions. So are we. I would be honored to wear Marie's wedding and engagement rings."

After Booth put the ring on her finger, she voiced her thought that she was certain Booth agreed with. "Booth, we need to do this quickly and quietly so Pelant doesn't find out"

"You're right, Bones. So let's do what we do best…..come up with a plan of attack"

Brennan and Booth tapped their heads together as they sat on the couch admiring the ring on her finger. They knew she would have to wear it around her neck or leave it at home for the time being, but for now, she could display it proudly.

Pelant may be smart, but they and the rest of the squints, including Sweets were smarter. They would need everyone's help to pull off their biggest adventure yet.

JUNE 14 Boonsboro, MD, 1:30 AM

Brennan dropped on the bed sweaty but sated. Booth dropped a moment later next to her in a similar state. He moved so that his head was resting on her abdomen. Brennan began to play with his hair.

"Booth, I have to say you are a very intelligent man….in many ways"

Booth couldn't help but smile from the compliment. "What many ways are those, Bones?"

Brennan laughed. "You used subterfuge successfully to get us this room at this beautiful place, but you also got it by the Antietam battlefield so that we maintain our cover since I do have to examine findings from Antietam to present next week in Philadelphia."

"Hey you also used subterfuge for the big thing today….that was also very impressive"

"How did you get us the room so Pelant wouldn't find us?" Brennan asked

"Fisher's aunt is the owner and she's friends with the woman who owns where we had the reception." Booth winced for a moment. "Sorry I had to use some of your money. Hodgins only had so much on hand since the guys only just got their first royalty payments for the hot sauce"

Brennan looked as though something started to make more sense. "That is why you were so agreeable to Fisher helping us. How did you know about his connection to the inn?"

"He, ah, told Wendell a while back" Booth shook his head momentarily. "According to Wendell, he said it was the epitome of romance since the area had stories of men dying leaving women behind to produce a generation of fatherless soldiers. Only Fisher would find love in that"

"What about Mr. Bray and Mr. Abernathy? Where are they and Mr. Fisher staying?"

"Fisher and Wendall got rooms closer to the battlefield at a hotel paid for by the Jeffersonian since they are assisting you with the Antietam stuff and to keep it as normal as possible. Plus I sure as hell wasn't going to have Fisher or the other squints near me for our wedding night"

"What about Cam, Angela, and the others?"

"Max has all the kids back at the house tonight. Arastoo, Finn, and Michelle acted as DDs to get everyone back home so it wouldn't look suspicious. Finn will be back in the morning and he has a room reserved for him at the same place as the others. I was told to tell you it was our wedding present from Finn, Michelle, and the other interns."

"But people staying here as guests are going to recognize us here, Booth. How do we get around that fact?"

"We are the only ones staying here, Bones. We will be until Saturday. The owner was reluctant, even with Fisher but once he told her your name, she changed her mind. If we couldn't get this place by ourselves, you Dr. Temperance Brennan are here for a dig at Antietam for a presentation next week. You only wanted the best"

"She rented us the inn with just my name? The proprietor doesn't know about today, does she?"

"No Bones. She did just made one small request"

Brennan narrowed her eyes. "What's that, Booth?"

Booth steeled himself for protest. "The owner is a fan of your books and she only requests after payment for you to autograph all her copies of your novels she has in the library"

Brennan sat, slightly annoyed, but knew that she needed to be nice to her fans and it wouldn't hurt her to sign some books. "Okay, that sounds fair." She kissed Booth. "I do have to ask though, why the Nick and Nora Suite?"

Booth looked at her in surprise. "Nick and Nora Charles? The Thin Man?" He was greeted with confusion and realized he shouldn't be surprised. "Nick and Nora were a sexy married couple who were also detectives who lived with their dog Asta. Created by the one and only Dashiell Hammett"

"But then who was the Thin Man?"

Booth knew when to quit. "Never mind, Bones. Now I have a question for you" Booth asked "How you got the Jeffersonian to close on a week day?"


The next 72 hours were a whirlwind as close, trusted friends were brought together to help two people they love pull off an important mission.

Some, including Daisy Wick has to be left out of the loop. She would mean well, but her mouth had a hard time controlling herself. Dr. Oliver Wells still had some bridges to mend with Dr. Brennan and the lab folks and his diarrhea of the mouth rivaled Ms. Wick's. The ones trusted felt guilty about lying to others, but getting Pelant and protecting innocent people had to be considered over hurt feelings.

JUNE 10 7:30 PM

Brennan, Angela, and Cam arrived at a pedestrian mall in Beckley, West Virginia. After parking the rental car, the three women make a show of window shopping on the street before entering a shop. As a favor to Angela, the shop owner was staying open late tonight for a private shopping party.

After about an hour, Brennan saw what she was looking for. The one. After getting the thumbs up from the other women, she tried it on and by happenstance, it fit like a glove. Suddenly, tears started to fall from all three women…..happy tears.

The shopkeeper cried also. She couldn't help it. She saw this all the time but each time it happened it struck her as amazing. When the crying ceased, she helped the other two women find dresses of their own.


Booth was in the room with Sweets, Deputy Director Sam Cullen, and Alex Radzwell. Alex had a file in front of him as did Cullen, Sweets, and Booth.

"So we are all agree here?" Booth looked to all three men, who nodded. Alex did rather reluctantly. "Quit moping, Alex, you owe me one for getting you that warlord from Sierra Leone last year"

"Fine! Fine! I don't see why I have to hang onto a copy of this. If you all are so paranoid of this Pelant guy, I say get a better firewall, but fine. I will be on the lookout and make sure this goes in a safe place"

"You better, Alex" Cullen spoke up. "If you don't and something happens to piss off Dr. Brennan, I am coming after you"


Booth, holding Christine, was standing with Brennan at the terminal. With the looming threat of Christopher Pelant it made them hyper sensitive everywhere they went, even at an US Air Force installation. Booth called in a few favors and Brennan had to give Rebecca money to reimburse her for the cost of the previously purchased ticket but it was all worth it. To do this without him would be wrong.

It was then an Air Mobility Command plane landed. After several tense minutes that seemed to take for eternity, smiles lit up the faces of the Booth-Brennan household as Parker Booth came through into the terminal, or ran through.

"Dad! Dad! I got to see the cargo hold and where the guys wait for jumping out of the airplanes. It was so cool!"

Booth hugged his son while holding Christine with the other arm. "I missed you so much Buddy!"

"I missed you too, Dad. Hey Christine!" He then turned and saw his favorite person. "Bones!"

Both came together in a crushing hug. Booth took it all in and felt tears well up in his eyes. 'To think I might have married Hannah and missed out on all this'

After composing himself, he walked over to Brennan and Parker. "Okay, who's hungry?" Hearing Bones' and his son's simultaneous 'Me' made him laugh. 'Okay Parker, you choose…where are we going?"

"Home" Seeing the adults surprised faces, Parker laughed. "I want Bones' Mac and Cheese. No one makes it like she does"

"Well okay then" Brennan said as she took Christine from Booth's arms. "Before we go, your little sister wants to show you something"

Booth and Brennan put Christine a short distance from Parker and let go. To Parker's amazement, Christine walked to him smiling. Parker picked up his sister and hugged her. He really missed her. ' Maybe Mom will let me stay here from now on. London is cool, but I want to be a big brother'

Hearing his stomach rumble in time with his father's, Parker looked up. "Mac and Cheese time!"

"It's Mac and Cheese time, Bones" Booth said as he put his arm around her. He knew the display of affection was pushing it but he wanted to keep things as normal for Parker as possible.

"Okay, Booth men, lead the way. I'm a bit hungry myself" As the four walked out the door, Brennan felt another moment of queasiness in her stomach. Pushing it away as stress from Pelant, she readjusted her attention to her daughter and her two favorite men as they got into Max's Jeep and left for home.

Brennan and Booth lay together in bed, having a quiet conversation. They turned off all their wireless in their home, using only the burner cells Max gave them with better software to avoid another Pelant attack. Parker got frustrated, but Booth told him it was because of a computer virus in Bones' computer, an excuse Parker bought, but both adults knew it wouldn't last.

"Booth, maybe we need to tell Parker the truth"

"No Bones, he doesn't need to know that there is a menace hanging over our heads, at least not yet. I want our time with him as good as we can get it. I'm just glad he was able to come home early"

"We could not have done it without him" She turned to her fiancé. "Booth are you sure with how we are doing this? I know you have certain traditions which includes where it takes place"

Booth kissed her head. "No Bones, I don't care. What we need will be right there. The spirit of the event will be happening. Places don't matter….only the people gathered together." He contemplated for a moment. "You're right, Bones"

Puzzled, she asked her question. "About what, Booth?"

"Parker….he should know. I know we told him he can't mention the wedding due to the fact we want privacy with the press, but eventually that excuse won't hold. How about telling him after we get back from Philadelphia next week? It's only a week and I want him to be relaxed for a while. I would like to spend time with my children on Father's Day without that worry, too"

"Of course, Booth. I think that is best." Brennan replied as she snuggled closer to Booth while yawning. It seemed like the last couple of weeks she was just so tired. 'Probably because of all the slamming to get everything done before Thursday' Suddenly a thought came to her. "Booth, did Caroline get it today?"

"She took care of it today. It's in my office in a locked drawer. Apparently she is old friends with the judge and he's a big fan of Temperance Brennan books, so he waived the three day waiting requirement. Plus we don't have to file it right away but Caroline reassured me that things will be legal when we are able to file it"

"Good. So what is the plan for Thursday?"

"I am leaving around 2 pm to pick up Pops and then meeting up with Hodgins and Sweets. Hodgins said he would pick up Parker at Max's. Just pray with me that there's not a last minute body"

"Booth, I can't pray for something that does" Brennan had a full yawn that time to Booth's laughter. "Does not exist" She felt Booth's laughter. "Quit laughing, Booth"

Booth bit his lip. His Bones was so cute sometimes. "You need to get some sleep—"

"No we need to discuss final details"

"My end is covered. How about yours? Where are we doing this?"

Brennan smirked. "Don't worry Booth….my end is covered, too. I'm all over it with a wet towel"

"Wet dish rag, Bones. Wet dish rag. When do I get to find out where?"

"At the right time. We just have to, um, tread carefully, that's all"

Booth exhaled deeply. "Okay, have a feeling I don't want to know. I just hate keeping this secret, you know. I'm sorry Pelant is doing this to us"

"I know, Booth, but it's okay"

"Bones, you deserve better"

"I do, Booth. I have you. I have Christine and Parker. Didn't you just say that the spirit of the event is important, not the location or details?"

Booth chuckled. "I did, didn't I?"

Brennan thought for a moment. "I'm sorry Jared won't be able to make it." She said in a sleepy voice.

"He wanted to but Padme's due any day now. He did tell me it was about damn time." Booth's smile turned sad. "I'm sorry all of Russ's family can't make it with Hayley in the hospital again, but at least Emma can come" Not hearing a response, he asked "Bones?" Looking over to her face, he saw she was fast asleep with her head on his chest.

He continued to watch her sleep from his limited view. It seemed crazy but it was like he loved her more each day and was grateful they could be together. Together, they along with their friends can take down Christopher Pelant. He turned the wireless back on from his end table, hit the bedside light off, and held his fiancée close as he drifted towards dreamland.


Brennan and Booth were sitting down to a quiet evening when all of a sudden there was a knock at the door. Parker was playing his Wii in the man cave. Emma, picked up from the Amtrak station a few hours earlier, was in the Anthropologist cave listening to music.

"Wonder who that could be?" Booth said. At that moment, there was another knock at the back door. Suddenly Brennan's phone buzzed. She looked and saw the message.

I'm at the back door, Sweetie. Help me

"Angela's at the back door"

While Brennan went to the back, Booth went to answer the door. He was greeted by Sweets. "Sweets, what are you doing here?"

At that moment, Booth heard noise. He turned around and saw Bones followed by Angela, Cam, Caroline, and Agents Sparling and Shaw.

Angela saw Booth and Sweets. "Sweets, get him out of here. You two are expected elsewhere"

"Angela what is all this?"

Angela pointed her right finger at Booth. She had been making more progress and was able to raise her arm two more inches. "You are needed by my husband" She said cryptically being careful due to Pelant hearing. She then pointed to her guests. "We are here for a girls night"

Angela then turned towards the caves. "Parker! Emma!" When they came out, Angela kneeled to the boy. "Parks, would you prefer to hang out with us girls or do you want to hang out with Finn tonight?"

"Finn!" 'Finn was soooo cool' Parker thought. He said silly stuff but he always brought cool gross stuff from his classes and played video games and stuff.

"Did someone say my name?" Finn Abernathy came out from behind Sweets. Finn pulled out several DVDs behind his back. "Parker, I got the entire Friday the 13th movie collection!"


Brennan was horrified as she knew about the movies from watching with the boys several months back. "Booth!"

Booth knew better. "Bones, he's twelve….it's what twelve year old boys do." He turned to Finn and Parker. "Man cave and clean up your mess afterwards"

"CHA CHA CHA CHA KILL KILL KILL KILL" Finn and Parker said before heading to the man cave.

"Okay boys, get out" Angela admonished. "Emma, you get to hang with us if that's okay" Seeing the young girl smile confirmed her first instinct about inviting her unofficial niece.

"Come on Booth, we are heading to the Jeffersonian" Sweets said pulling on Booth's shirt

"The Jeffersonian? This better be good, Sweets" Booth muttered as he was dragged out the door.

JUNE 13 – 9:30 AM

"Come on, man why can't I make the call?"

"Because you will probably spout out some freaky shit and they'll all know it's you calling. If we mess this up, Dr. Brennan will have our heads"

"I will do it"

"No way, why does she get to do it?"

"Because she has the gun and we don't"

Fisher pouted for a moment, and then relented. "Fine" When he was out of earshot, he muttered "I got them the rooms, I should make the call"

"Thank you" Wendell said ignoring his colleague's last words before he gave the burner cell to Genny. She dialed a number and when she got an answer, she stated her rehearsed response, and then quickly hung up. The three of them couldn't help but laugh before running off from the alley and down the city blocks towards the Jeffersonian.

Christopher Pelant noted the three people leave the alley and run down the road. Out of boredom he was going to inquire further, but he heard a beep. When he turned around, his monitor showed a Green Card application. He smiled a one sided grin, but suddenly got frustrated when he couldn't get his left hand to type in the sequence he needed for five minutes. When he was finally able to make his hand work, it was painstakingly slow, but the results he wanted were complete.

"Get rid of this enemy, then after a few more things, I will get him out of the way and Dad will be proud of me. No one to compare me to"

Cam was in her autopsy suite giving Daisy some particulates to examine when her phone rang. Cam noted the time and quickly ripped off her gloves to answer the phone. "Dr. Saroyan?...when….where. I will right away. Goodbye"

She quickly hung up the phone and walked over to Daisy who was collecting bone particulates from the body on the table. "Ms. Wick that was security. There was a bomb threat called in"

Seeing the intern's hyper response starting, Cam said a silent prayer. 'Thank God she's in the dark or we'd be screwed'. "Ms. Wick, chill! Calmly get the interns and techs together and exit through the main doors. I will go get Dr. Hodgins, Ms. Montenegro, Dr. Brennan, and her niece and head out the back way"

"I can help you with getting them out of here. I am you—"

Cam gave her the "Do it now" look, stopping Daisy in her tracks and made her ran out and got people around. When she saw Daisy leading them out, Cam made a show of walking to Dr. Hodgins' office.

Angela came out and saw the confusion, walked across the hall to the Bone Room. "Bren, Emma, are you ready?"

Brennan was showing Emma who was shadowing her aunt for the day a clavicle. The women were removing their gloves when Drs. Saroyan and Hodgins came into the room. The group walked out a seldom used exit and walked onto a vacant lot with two rental cars in it. One had Arastoo at the wheel and other one was unoccupied.

Brennan took charge. "Dr. Hodgins, do you know what you and Mr. Vaziri need to do?"

"Arastoo and I are to head over to Max's, grab Parker, and meet up with Sweets, Booth, and Hank. Should we leave Christine and Michael with him for the time being?"

"Yes, Dad knows when to meet up with us later, but Parker needs to make sure his suit fits."

Hodgins turned around to see Arastoo and Cam making out through the driver's side door. "Oh come on, can't you do that later?" When Cam turned around with a look, Hodgins stuttered. "…ma'am?"

Cam walked back to the other car. "You're lucky we're pressed for time, Dr. Hodgins." She turned to the entire group. "When I get the call from Micah, I will call you guys to return here and we can all set up"

Hodgins got into the car with Arastoo and left to complete their tasks. The ladies got in the other car. "Okay, what's first?" Angela asked.

"Get the FBI Crime Scene Van for transporting our items to the Jeffersonian" Brennan said before putting the car in gear and leaving.


Brennan and the girls were in a room on the lower rotunda floor changing into their dresses. Brennan saw Emma in her cobalt blue chiffon dress and was glad she and Russ made the decision they did on who was to attend tonight. Hayley was ill and needed her family, but Emma deserved experiences of her own at her age. Age fifteen to her was her parents abandoning her. She wanted better for her niece. She then looked at the ladies in the room.

Cam was helping Emma put on her jewelry. The ladies were wearing the same dress except Cam had tank sleeves and Emma had cap sleeves. The color set off the skin tone of both women beautifully. Brennan appreciated all the help Cam was giving in the last few days, knowing the risk to herself and Arastoo as well as the entire team from Pelant.

The relationship between herself and Dr. Saroyan had come a long way from their first meeting. They could still butt heads at times, but over time, they grew to have a wonderful friendship. 'My cerebral friendship'

Brennan then turned and looked at Angela as she was getting her final adjustments on her sage green chiffon dress. Angela Montenegro. 'My heart friend'. She had cried with this woman, yelled with this woman, and even inadvertently was under the influence of methamphetamines with this woman. Much like her relationship with Booth, on paper it was not one that should work, but in real life, each complimented the other beautifully.

When Angela was free, she walked over and hugged her with her left arm. When done, she turned to her friend. "Thank you, Angela. Thank you for being my best friend and telling me to get off my horse"

Angela laughed. "High horse, honey. It's 'get off your high horse' and it's okay. That's what friends are for." Seeing the time, she looked over to the other ladies, then over to Brennan as she handed her the bridal bouquet. "Ready, Bren?"


Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Cam answered it to Max, who saw first Cam and his granddaughter. "Emma, you are so beautiful." He said as she walked over and hugged her.

"Thanks, Grandpa Max"

"Cam, you are lovely, as are you, Angela". When he saw Brennan, he had tears in his eyes. "Tempe, you are so beautiful"

Brennan was wearing a pale gold dress with demir stretch satin that skimmed her curves beautifully with embroidered lace and beaded embellishments in a pale ivory that set off her skin.

Max composed himself and then walked over to his daughter. "Now I know you have something new and borrowed, Angela said"

"Yes, as per the superstitious tradition, I have these new earrings and the toe ring that Angela was wearing when she married Hodgins. Also, Angela painted my toenails blue last night. But no one would let me try to find something old."

"That was my fault, Tempe. It was because I wanted to give you this" Max opened it and Brennan was speechless.

It was a sterling silver necklace with a sapphire drop dangling in the center. When she remembered where it came from, tears welled up in her eyes. "Mom's necklace"

Max sucked up the tears forming in his eyes. "She wore it when we got married. Our ceremony was much simpler than this one, but it was so beautiful on her. Now, it's your turn to wear it. Someday, Christine can wear it"

Brennan inhaled sharply to hold back tears as Max put it on her neck. After he kissed her cheek, he turned to the girls. "All set?" When he got an affirmative, he turned to leave. "I will let them know"

Max entered the rotunda and closed the door. When he looked around, he saw Booth and Hank talking to the priest. Parker was standing next to him, followed by Hodgins and Sweets. He saw Wendell talking to Agents Shaw and Sparling and Angela's father, who was holding Michael and Christine's hands on each side. Finn and Michelle were conversing with Fisher, Brennan's cousin Margaret, and Booth's friend Aldo. Charlie was talking to Deputy Director Cullen, Dr Gordon Wyatt, and Caroline.

When Booth looked up and saw him, Max gave him the thumbs up as the ladies lined up by the stairs. Booth whispered in Parker's ear, who ran to Wendell, who cued the music from his nearby IPad. Suddenly the beginning strands of Ho Hey by the Lumineers played as Emma, Cam, and Angela made their way towards the altar 'borrowed' from the Religions of the World exhibit courtesy of Hodgins.

Emma made it down the aisle still in awe of being there. She loved her sister Hayley, but sometimes felt ignored by her parents. She saw her Uncle Booth smile and felt better. He was very nice and was glad he was her uncle. She was even happier to spend time with Aunt Tempe, who she looked up to. She knew people thought she was mean, but Aunt Tempe always took the time to talk to her and answer all her questions in regards to bones. Someday she hoped to be a forensic anthropologist like her.

Cam made her way down and couldn't help but see Arastoo. He looked at her with such an open look of love it was almost overwhelming. He made her feel safe and secure without sacrificing her independence. She could relax with him. Her feelings have only grown since he told her how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and that she was his family now. When she got closer, she mouthed 'I love you'. His eyes lit up like a 100 watt bulb.

Angela walked down the aisle and watched her husband standing so proud. 'How did I get so lucky?' She thought to herself. Jack Stanley Hodgins IV always seemed to surprise her. He did the craziest stuff to get her to notice him, including a message in glowing shrimp and when she did she later almost lost him for good because of her own fears. 'Thank god we got our shit together' she thought as she saw her father holding Michael and Christine standing nearby. 'Hopefully Dad won't give Hodgins any more tattoos'

When Angela got to her spot, the music changed to In My Life by the Beatles. Everyone stood and was in awe as Max and Brennan walked down the aisle. She heard the music and knew she made the right choice for her walk. Her friends were skeptical, but she knew this song described her and Booth perfectly. 'Besides, when did they ever do things like normal people?'

Booth watched his soul mate walk down the aisle and tears started to form in his eyes. She was so beautiful in her dress. 'Of course she didn't wear white'. Her argument being that she was not a virgin and it would not be honest, which made him laugh his ass off the night she came back from West Virginia. He saw the blue stone hanging from her neck and it was stunning. It brought out the blue in her beautiful eyes. Her hair was clipped at the nape of her neck into a soft pony tail but the results were breathtaking. He never saw a bride or will see one again as beautiful as the one walking towards him.

When she arrived at the altar, she looked to the small amount of guests. They could not invite many people, but only the people closest they could trust. But that was okay as the people there were the ones that mattered.

She made it to the altar and held the hands of the man she loved as she looked into his eyes ready to give herself to him. He looked to her with open adoration. 'This was really happening' each thought.

The priest began the ceremony. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to witness the union of Seeley Joseph Booth and Temperance Joy Brennan"

The reception was a tap house/restaurant in Boonsboro, Maryland, about an hour away from Washington. After a meal that included crab dip, sliders (to Booth's delight), and items off from the dinner menu, Booth and Brennan got on the dance floor and started dancing to Edwin McCain's I Could Not Ask For More. About halfway through the song, Booth signaled Wendell, who quickly changed the tune to 'their song' as Hot Blooded started to play.

"Booth….they're playing our song!"

"Yes, Bones they are….now, let's dance!"

Agents Sparling and Shaw were a little mystified by the change in songs for their first dance, but Angela and the others were laughing and clapping. This was the bride and groom's normal and it was romantic to the ones who witnessed their love over the years.

Sweets watched the couple dance and admired where they came from before coming together. He also thought back to earlier when Booth asked him to be in the wedding the night before.



Booth's bachelor party was being held in the Jeffersonian Medico-Legal Lab. Good by Better than Ezra was playing on a nearby IPad as several air hockey tournaments were being played on the platforms on tables covered with air hockey boards to not damage the equipment. On the ground was a buffet table with nachos and other munchies made in Hodgins' incubator with a bowl of tequila and a micro beer made from more of Hodgins' lab equipment.

Hank was napping in Dr. Brennan's office. Sweets picked him up earlier and surprised Booth with him when they got in the car to head over from Booth's house, but it was late for him, plus the sampling of Hodgins' beer he had made him tired.

On the platform, Wendell was playing Fisher on one table. Arastoo was up against Aldo in another game, while Hodgins was playing Max.

In chairs below the platform sat Booth and Sweets, who were 'eliminated' earlier. Booth was drinking the beer from an Erlenmeyer flask while Sweets was sampling Hodgins' tequila in a Graduated flask.

"Oh wow, this stuff is good… I want to know where he got the agave?" Sweets asked

"Nope" Booth replied. "Just like I am not asking where he got the hops and other items for this beer. This is really, really good". He set down his beer and grabbed a bottle of "Opie & Thurston's Hot Sauce" from the floor and dumped some on his nachos, then took a bite. "Damn this really is the best hot sauce I've ever had. Hodgins gave me a year's supply for a wedding present. Gotta try this stuff" he said as he unsteadily waved a nacho dripped in cheese and hot sauce to Sweets.

Sweets took a bite and a moment later grabbed his flask of homemade tequila to wash away the burn. Booth started laughing. "You're going to regret that. That is potent shit. That is why this is my last drink of the night. I'm 42 years old and I am buzzed off three hits of tequila and three beers. Getting too old for this shit"

"It can't be that bad….whoa" Sweets started feeling the alcohol. "Okay, all done with that"

Booth sobered himself up enough to ask the question he had wanted to ask all night. "Sweets, I need a favor"

Sweets was leaning back in his chair. He was sober but wouldn't be much longer as he was starting to have problems with focusing. "Sure, Booth, how can I help you? Did you know that there's two of you?"

Seeing Sweets start to feel the effects of the alcohol he chugged, he made it quick. "Will you be in my wedding? Parker is my best man and Hodgins is standing up also and I would like you up there also if you are interested"

Sweet sat stunned, Booth's question momentarily sobered him. "S-Sure, Booth. I am more than happy to sub for Jared. But I need a tux"

"Yeah, Angela hacked into where you bought your last few suits and got your measurements. It's waiting for you tomorrow." He hesitated, but continued. "Sweets, I am not asking you to substitute for my brother. If Jared could be here, he would be a guest." He pondered his words carefully. "I love my brother very much, but we don't have the best relationship"

He inhaled and spoke fast "and you're the little brother i never had even when you are annoying as shit" followed by a swig of his beer.

Sweets sat in stunned silence. The man he looked up to said he considered him a little brother and cared about him. "Booth, do you really—"

"Sweets, if you get all touchy and feely and keep talking about it I will take it all back"

Sweets knew to quit when he was ahead. "Sure, Booth it would be an honor"



Sweets looked around as the song was beginning to end. He saw Wendell talking to Agent Shaw and Hodgins take his wife's hand as started to walk out of the room with guilty faces. He watched as his friends all gathered together to applaud as the final notes of Hot Blooded ended to be replaced by In a Big Country by Big Country. 'His family' he thought to himself before he felt a tug on his arm.

"Come on Lance, let's dance!" Olivia said before yanking him onto the makeshift dance floor.

The small group of people started moving to the dance floor. Hodgins and Angela turned around and jumped onto the dance floor. Max grabbed Caroline and they were dancing as they could. Booth was smiling as Brennan started her crazy dancing. Not one person sat out as everyone had a blast dancing to the song.

Booth and Brennan were heading out and everyone was wishing them well. Max was staying with Christine, Parker, Michael and Emma back at the house. They had changed into street clothes before leaving. Right before they walked out of the restaurant, Booth turned around suddenly and grabbed Sweets' keys out of his pocket.

"Booth…what the hell?"

"Just in case someone did something to my SUV" He tossed his keys to Sweets and Agent Sparling. "Hurt my truck, I hurt you." Suddenly he heard something that made him turn beet red.

"Booth, hurry up. I want to go have intercourse before our wedding night ends"

He rubbed his face for a second, then turned around and walked back to her. "Did you have to announce that to everyone? My grandfather? Your father? The kids?"

"Booth, you need to relax. Your grandfather said he talked to you about sexual intercourse, I'm sure my father knows we have sexual intercourse, and the children should know it's not a bad thing, but a natural, biological occurrence between two people, or someone and a metaphorical horse"


She turned her eyes towards her husband. "Let's go, Booth. I want to know about this surprise you have planned. I thought we were going back home until about an hour ago. Give me a hint"

"Nope, Mrs. Booth…Ms. Booth…..?

"I am still contemplating that. However…." She leaned up and whispered in his ear as his eyes bugged out.

Booth turned to the crowd and spoke fast. "Okay, everyone, thanks again for coming. I can't emphasize enough the importance of keeping this day to yourself. If anyone asks, we headed to Antietam early due to the bomb threat. Have a good night!"

Amid catcalls and someone yelling "You sure will, Booth!", he grabbed Brennan and rushed her to Sweets' Toyota and squealed the tires as he wanted to make quick time to hide Sweets' car before his surprise to Bones. His bride promised him the ride of his life and he wanted it now, damn it.

"Bones, I can't believe you called in a bomb threat to the Jeffersonian! You know how much trouble you would have been in?" He said as he laughed. "Clever though. Pelant will hear on the news it was closed and gave us an excuse to go into the Jeffersonian without security except for Micah since I put Charlie, Shaw, and Sparling on the case."

"Of course I am clever, Booth. So did you enjoy my gift to you?"

Booth saw the white Merry Widow hanging off the door knob it landed on. The panties it came with were thrown on the floor near his boxer shorts. He then looked down on his new wife. The thigh high stockings she wore remained on. Her wearing them while he made love to her was too hot for words. Seeing Bones with nothing on but her stockings started a familiar feeling as his cock hardened. He lifted his head and looked up at her again, this time like a predator.

For Brennan, seeing that look in his eye confirmed that the choice of wedding lingerie was the right one. It also started stirrings in her as she felt her core heat up. Without words, the couple came together and started another round of lovemaking, forgetting for a while the threat that hung over their heads.

June 18th found Rebecca at home. She had to head to Boston to give a deposition in the next couple of days. She got a smile as she thought of her planned layover with one of her former clients….her little secret from the firm.

After a moment, she thought about her son. She knew Parker didn't like it in London, but he was her son and it was a boy's place to remain with his mother. She loved the challenge of London, but was only recently able to admit to herself that part of the reason she took the job was to put some distance between Parker and Temperance. She knew logically that Dr. Brennan was no threat to her relationship to her son, but as a mother she couldn't help but see her as competition. Parker always seemed more excited to see Seeley's girlfriend than her.

She wasn't a fool. She knew that the day was coming soon when Parker would ask her to let him live with his father. He had a little sister now and whenever he returned from visiting with Seeley and his family Parker was always a bit more wistful than last time. More children were not in her future, as was a good man it seemed. Parker was the only man she had left at this moment and she just couldn't let go of him at this time.

'London is good for him. He's better off here than in danger with Seeley' she said to herself as she finished entering a number.

Rebecca finalized her lodging arrangements on the computer using the firm's credit card information. When all was set, she turned off her monitor and went to bed.


"Oh shit! Now you believe….Oh fuck Bones!"




"Oooohhh fuck!

Both came apart together in a shattering climax. Brennan's back was to the wall with her legs around Booth's waist. Booth's head was on her shoulder, body spent after Round Two of hot sex, this time in their suite, the Governor's Suite, at the Loews in Philadelphia. After a few minutes, Booth eased his wife down from the wall and pulled up his pants.

"Booth, I'm starving. I wanted a nice dinner and to spend time with you."

"Then wear panties under your dress when we go out to dinner. If it wasn't for the fact we were in the restaurant downstairs, I would have dragged you into the nearest bathroom stall or coat room since we wouldn't have made it back to the room otherwise"

Brennan sighed as she pulled down her skin tight jersey dress. "I planned intercourse for after our meal. I didn't think you would try to feel me down when we were at the table."

Booth smiled. "That's feel me up. Bones, when a wife greets her husband for dinner in a restaurant in a dress that other men are looking at and she is poured into, he's going to want to know what's underneath and want to do something about it…..and you know that, too. You did it on purpose….admit it!"

Brennan looked at him with innocence but was thinking 'I get that one! Poured into meant tight dress. I am good'. "I've never been married before, Seeley Booth, so I wouldn't know. Now order me room service, please. I didn't get to eat my dinner."

Booth laughed before he called the kitchen and ordered room service while Brennan went into the bathroom to take a quick shower. Tomorrow was her presentation to the board about the work done over the weekend at Antietam. Their time in Philadelphia was being used as a mini honeymoon until they could go on a real one. Tonight was also supposed to be a night of romance and a chance for them to wear the wedding bands they could not wear in public when they returned home June 20th.

When Brennan came out of the bathroom, room service arrived. Booth put on his dress shirt but didn't button it all the way before he opened the door. Booth gave the waiter a generous tip before he left. Brennan walked over and looked at what he ordered. "Booth….you ordered the shrimp scampi I wasn't able to eat earlier. Thank you"

"Yeah, it wasn't fair I was the only one able to eat something this evening…"

At her quizzical look, Booth flushed red and then whispered in her ear what he meant. She started her knowing laugh. "Very clever, Booth"

"I try, Mrs. Booth…..Dr. Booth…Dr. Brennan….have you decided yet?" He secretly hoped she would take his name. It was tradition and it would make him feel good. If he could admit it to himself, it would bug him if she kept her name but would deal either way. It took her two years to get her to propose to him and he figured that was enough victory for the time being.

"Not yet. I figured I would decide after all this with Pelant was resolved." She knew she would have to make a decision soon, but wanted to hold off as long as possible. "Booth?"

He saw his spouse's serious face. "Yes, Bones?"

"What are we going to do when we get home? We have to come up with a plan to find Pelant. I don't want to hide the fact we are married forever. We can't just keep hiding our wedding bands."

"I know, Bones, I know." He went to take her into his arms. "We will come up with something. I want to yell it from the rooftops"

"I know, Booth"

They went to the table provided with room service and each started eating the dinner they missed earlier in the evening. After about a few minutes, Booth noticed Brennan's robe slipped off her knee giving him a nice view of shapely leg. When he looked up, she bent over just right and gave him a glimpse of heaven as he saw her ample cleavage. Feeling his groin shift in size, he started eating his prime rib very fast.

"Booth, why are you eating so fast?"

"Just really hungry, Bones" Yeah, to rip that robe off and feel my dick encased in your walls. "You should finish your scampi. Looks very good"

"It is, Booth" Brennan saw his phone fall. When he moved to pick it up, his pants shifted to show his excitement. Seeing his abdominal muscles flexed through the unbuttoned shirt started to heat her core. Wanting suddenly to finish her dinner, she started to pack her food in as well.

Booth saw her eating her dinner fast and chuckled, suspecting why. "Bones, you may want to chew your food. What's your hurry?"

She chewed her shrimp. "No hurry, Booth." After a moment, she decided what was more important. "Booth?"

Booth was finishing a bite of his meat, which was almost gone. "Mnnh?"

Brennan stood up and dropped her robe to the floor. "I am not hungry anymore"

Booth dropped his fork, stood up, dropped his pants, and then ran to Brennan. To her squeal, he picked her up in a fireman's carry, ran off with her into the bathroom, and kicked the door shut.

"Oh my, Booth. I think I am going to like marriage!"

The next day, Booth was walking around downtown Philadelphia. Brennan was in the Muller museum giving her report with Dr. Edison. After the meeting, he was going to take Brennan for her requested tour around his old hangouts. He was glad he was able to do this for her. He got to see where she came from during her 15th year reunion a few years back and he wanted to give her the same in return. As he was walking by an electronics store, he saw something on TV that made him stop in shock.

"Holy shit!" Standing in shock, he barely felt his phone vibrate. When he finally noticed it, he saw it was Cam calling. "Cam, I am watching as we speak. Yeah, she's giving her presentation. I'll go get her and Clark now. We'll be there as soon as we can." He took off on a run, hoping the casualty count wasn't as high as he was afraid it was.

When he got to his location about ten minutes later, he saw Brennan and Clark coming out of the museum quickly. "Booth, we just got the word. When is our flight?"

"We're not flying. We're driving my SUV. Cam and the others are flying into Hartford and driving that way. The airports are a mess right now"

Seeing a taxi, the three hailed it and when it stopped, they jumped in and took off to their hotels to get their items before leaving Philadelphia.

Pelant was watching the three from a camera in front of the museum. Seeing a small object peeking out from under Dr. Brennan's blouse, he zoomed in. He magnified and saw the impression of a simple band but even Pelant knew what it was and in his anger knocked his coffee across the room with his right hand. 'They have to be apart for him to succeed with his final solution.'

What activities he just did was to cause a distraction for the Jeffersonian team. What he was going to do next was just for pleasure. It was all in place, but had to wait for the right time.

"I told you not to marry her, Agent Booth"

Three hours later, Clark, Brennan, and Booth arrived in New York City. After getting past several roadblocks, they finally arrived at the chaos that was JFK International Airport. The three walked solemnly towards the last set of road blocks on the runway. They were informed that it was going to be several hours before it would be safe for them to go in, but they couldn't leave as they were transfixed by what they were watching.

Ahead of them was twisted metal blackened with smoke. Firefighters were still in parts putting out flames. The fuselage was apart from the main parts of the plane, as were both wings. What the three recognized as body parts were burned and scattered among the wreckage. Nearby there were tables of damaged items that survived the wreckage. After about five minutes, Clark felt tears in his eyes.

"Dr. Brennan, Agent Booth, if you don't mind, I'm going to wait in the VIP lounge until Dr. Saroyan and the others arrive."

Dr. Brennan felt similar emotion and could not fault her protégé for needing an escape, however temporary. "Of course, Dr. Edison but they may not arrive for several hours. Do you want to check into your room first? We can call you when we are ready."

"No, the VIP lounge is fine"

Brennan and Booth watched as Clark started to walk over to the lounge. "One drink, Clark" Booth said. He knew how addictive personalities could begin. "We will need you when the others get here"

Clark nodded and went into the lounge. The couple watched him order and drink a shot then turned to each other.


"Yes, Bones"

"Can we check into our room? I find a need to be alone with you until the others come"

Booth takes his wife's hand. They pick up their bags and walk over to the airport hotel in silence. When they get to the room, they come together in a rush and rip each other's clothes off, each feeling a frantic need to forget the horror of what they saw, if only for a short time.

They fell to the bed naked as they touched and loved desperately with their hands and mouths. After taking each other in greedily, each are at their limit.

"Booth, please"

Booth ensures she is ready for him, then fills her with himself and pushes himself in and out. When she demanded more, he gave more. Finally, each hit their peaks and came together. When complete, they get close with Brennan putting her head in the crook of Booth's arm and her head on his chest.

"You never get over it, do you, Booth?"

"No, Bones, you don't. The day we do is the day we need to hang it up."

"What do I hang up?"

"No Bones, it means that we stop what we are doing….that we have lost our ability to see victims as people, not just as casualties in a crime. It's what makes us such a good team. What one of us lacks the other provides….a true partnership."

Booth and Brennan sit in contemplative silence as they bask in the glow of their closeness, grateful to be together.

It wasn't until dawn broke early the next morning that the team could go in and do their jobs. Due to the chaos, Hodgins, Angela, Wendell, Finn, Daisy, Fisher, and Sweets didn't arrive until midnight. Sweets was there to assist Booth with questioning and any needed counseling for the group. Booth quietly pointed Booth in Clark's direction as a priority after questioning.

Per witnesses, the plane seemed to be flying towards the runway normally but as it got closer it seemed like with the angle it was coming down it was going to crash headfirst instead of land safely. Suddenly the nose went up as the plane seemed to attempt to correct its projectory, but it was too late as the place crashed into the runway at a 30 degree angle, killing all on board. It would be several weeks before the NTSB would complete their investigation.

Around 7:00 AM, while the team was outside sifting through the wreckage for evidence and body recovery, he was with his wife talking near the table of recovered objects.

"Bones, Cam should be here. I know she told Hodgins she would be following as soon as she finished some legalities, but it isn't like her to not call if she is tied up with something in a situation like this."

"Perhaps you should call, Booth. I too am worried. Mr. Vaziri's assistance is greatly needed here and it is out of his character to not be here when I need him"

As Booth was going to dial, his phone rang. When he saw it was Cam, he picked up. "Cam, where are you? Where is Arastoo? What—Wh-Wait slow down, Cam. What's wrong? He's got his Green Card, right? So what is—no way. Did you call—of course he is on vacation. Okay, I'll get down there as soon as I can. Bye, Cam"

Brennan saw the look of worry on his face. "Booth, what's wrong?"

"Cam and Arastoo were about to leave last night and he was arrested by ICE for being undocumented. She's been trying to talk to talk to someone there but I guess his green card is mysteriously missing. Care to guess how?"


"Bones I have to get some things together quick. Can you call and arrange a flight for me out of Philadelphia? Wait, with the mess, I'm better off driving back to Washington"

"Booth, it's about four hours"

"Yeah, but the airports are all on alert because of this even though it looks to be mechanical failure. I'm going to drive" Suddenly a thought came to him. "I better call Max and let him know I'm coming home."

Booth hit the speed dial and saw Rebecca's name come up. "Shit, hit the wrong one. Can you call Max since she's going to answer in a minute and I don't want her calling back bitching because she'll think something is wrong with Parker"

As Brennan dialed her father's number, a loud ring could be heard. The duo turned to the direction of the ring, which was one of the tables of objects recovered from the wreckage. Both froze as Booth heard Rebecca's voice mail.

This is Rebecca Stinson. I cannot answer your phone right now but please leave your name and number and I will return your call as soon as I can pull myself away from my latest case. Good Bye. BEEP!

At that moment, Max answered on Brennan's phone. "Dad, I-I have to call you back" and she hung up.

With dread, both walked over to the table in question. After a pregnant silence filled with tension, Booth hit Rebecca's speed dial again. When the phone rang, they dug through the pile until they found a Droid Razr Maxx HD that miraculously had little damage. When Booth turned it over, his blood ran cold as the ringing phone showed a picture of Rebecca and Parker in the wallpaper. When the call went to voicemail again, he touched the lock button to unlock the phone. He moved to the PHONE icon and scrolled down until he found his name and then Bones's name and number.

"Oh God, please let this be a mistake" Booth said in a panic as they raced over to another table where the plane manifesto was placed. He frantically scrolled down until he found the name he dreaded.


Brennan saw her husband still himself in shock. "Booth…Booth!" When he turned her blood chilled as she saw the look in his eyes. Cold….set…..deadly. "Booth, talk to me!"

Seeing her blue eyes turn scared brought him out of his stupor. "It was Pelant, Bones"

"You don't know that, Booth"

"Yes, Bones I do. Somehow he found out Rebecca was coming to the States and sabotaged her plane"

"Did she say anything to you about this, Booth?"

"I knew she was coming to Boston, but she told me she wasn't leaving until tomorrow"

"Why was she on this flight, Booth?"

"I don't know, Bones! This was Pelant. You know it and I know it. Somehow he found out she was coming here and fucked up her plane. He got tears in his eyes as he fought against his emotions. "Maybe she missed her flight?"

Brennan saw her husband's desperation, but was unable to get a word in as he continued to talk.

"Maybe she was supposed to get on and missed her flight but didn't get her luggage? She's probably at Heathrow right now swearing like a sailor waiting for the next flight—"


"Maybe her bags were packed on this flight by accident instead of to Boston—"


Booth stopped talking. Seeing Brennan's eyes made the reality sink in….the fact that his son's mother was probably dead. "Bones, why did he have to kill her….the mother of my son?" He fought a tear for the woman he once loved. "She did nothing to him but be a part of my life"

Brennan took him in her arms as he cried. After about five minutes, she knew that she would have to take charge for the moment. Slowly, she removed herself from the embrace so she could look at her husband. "Booth, you need to get home to Parker, now. He can't find out about this from anyone else"

Booth nodded. "I know….I have to tell him. Bones, call Max and tell him to keep the kids and Emma away from the TV. It's going to take me about three hours to get there with the siren. Do you have Alex Radzwell's phone number and his supervisor's?"

"Yes, why?"

"Call him and tell him that he's needed at ICE headquarters with Arastoo's Green Card. He has a copy" Suddenly another thought came to him. "Oh, God someone has to identify her"

"I'll do it, Booth. Just go to Parker"

Booth started to run, but came back fast and kissed his wife hard and hugged her fierce. "Thank you, Bones. Thank you for being my wife"

Brennan held on tight. "Of course, Booth. I love you"

After Booth let go, Brennan watched as he ran out of the terminal towards his SUV. Alone in the room, she felt a few tears fall as she thought of the loss Parker was about to experience. For all her issues with Rebecca towards Booth over the years in regards to Parker, she did love her child. She couldn't think of any reason why Rebecca would deserve to die this way, one that Brennan suspected the other woman knew was coming in the last few seconds of her life. She could only hope that her death was quick and didn't feel any pain as her body was broken and burned.

She wanted to believe that all this was only an accident, but after all they went through with Pelant, she had to agree with Booth. He knew computers and could manipulate anything with a well placed Trojan Horse.

Pulling herself together, she went to update the team on Arastoo, Cam, and Rebecca.

Booth drove 85 MPH as he flew through New Jersey on I-95 with his siren going. Tears would intermittently fall as he thought about the mother of his son. He and Rebecca had their differences over the years but in the last few years made peace with each other for Parker's sake. Her taking their son overseas devastated him and he suspected part of her reason was jealousy over Bones. However, in the end, she was Parker's mother and he did love her once. When he thought about having to tell his son his mother was dead he was at a loss on what to say. He hoped that by the time he got to Washington Bones will call and say there was a mistake, but in his heart he knew it wouldn't happen.

"Pelant, if you did this, you better leave the country because when I find you, you are dead"

Booth came out of Parker's room looking defeated. After telling his son about his mother, he held Parker until he cried himself to sleep. It killed him that there was nothing he could do for his son's pain. His only comfort was that he would someday get the root of his problem either behind bars or six feet under.

As he got to the top of the stairs, he felt his phone buzz. When he saw the message, his blood boiled.

Faxed copy of GC. ICE being assholes. Boss unable to reach. Does Dr. Brennan have any connections?

"God damn ICE agents. Just because he's from the Middle East doesn't make him an enemy. I thought this shit was over." Booth was about to dial a number when he saw that Brennan was calling and he understood why. With dread, he answered the phone. "Bones?"

Brennan hesitated for a moment before saying it. "We found her, Booth. I was able to identify her. I am making arrangements to accompany her home. Did she have any family?"

Booth's insides sank. He had prayed Rebecca wasn't among the dead, but knew deep down she was before the call. "No just Parker. I'll make the arrangements today. You can bring her back here, Bones. I want her close for Parker's sake."

"Okay, Booth. I'm so sorry. How is Parker?"

Booth inhaled for a moment thinking about his devastated son. "He's sleeping. He cried himself to sleep after I told him"

Brennan felt a tear fall down as she thought about the boy she thought of as her own. "Can I do anything?"

"Help me with Parker. You're his only mother figure now. I know you didn't expect this—"

"Seeley Booth, if you finish that sentence I will kick your ass when I get home." She waited for a moment and then continued. "Booth, I talked to the team. They want to come home for the memorial service to support you and Parker. We can have the FBI take over recovery for a day or two. Will that be okay?"

Booth wanted to cry, thankful for the generosity and love shown him and Parker by the Jeffersonian team over the last near decade. "Yeah, Bones, that would be just fine. But not Daisy or that douche Wells. I can't deal with their shit right now."

"I will find something for them." Then she got to the question she had wanted to ask. "How are you, Booth? Really?"

Booth wiped across his fatigued face with his opposite hand. "Drained, Bones. Exhausted. Angry as hell because of this" Then he remembered the reason he wanted to call her. "Bones, the timing sucks, but I need a favor."

"Anything Booth"

Armed with a copy of Arastoo's Green Card, Booth and Alex Radzwill stomped into ICE Headquarters. When Alex told him the agent in charge of Arastoo's case, he was grateful he had Bones' connections. He also remembered he needed to keep his temper in check as he knocked on the door. When he heard "Come in", he entered and approached the desk.

"Special Agent Childress"

Special Agent Monica Childress turned around when she heard him. Monica was a former FBI Agent who was aggressive in her pursuit of Booth eighteen months earlier. She was a woman who didn't take no for an answer and was angered when Booth actually filed a sexual harassment complaint against her. Thanks to her old friend Andrew Hacker's intervention, she was able to get in at ICE and was waiting for a chance to stick it to Seeley Booth for rejecting her and marring her FBI career and was relishing it now.

Booth threw his copy of Arastoo's Green Card. "This is Arastoo Vaziri's green card, Monica. Get him out of here now. You've wasted enough of Alex's time and mine"

Monica purposely ignored Alex as she stood up and examined a copy of the green card. "You want me to release an undocumented resident just because you throw a copy of this at me? Not enough. It's not in the system."

Booth was getting pissed as his nerves were about shot. "Agent Childress, if you don't release him now I will go over your head and hand you your ass on a platter. You now have two copies of a legitimate green card. I'm too busy for a pissing contest just because I wasn't interested in screwing you"

Childress felt the nerve hit by that statement, but was determined not to show it. "Get the fuck out, Booth. I don't work for the FBI anymore. I don't have to answer to you or anyone for that matter. I run my own division"

"Last chance, Monica. I'm not in the mood"

"I'd listen if I were you, Special Agent. We know enough people to make you a pencil pusher tomorrow" Alex added.

"Listen here, little man. The documentation is not in the computer system. These are copies. Now there's the door. Don't let it hit your asses, or in your case, Mr. Radzwill, your head on the way out"

"Want to play games? Let's play games" Booth walked out towards the door.

"What are you doing to do, sic Cullen on me?"

"Not Cullen" Alex said with relish

Booth opened the door and let in a third person. When Monica saw who it was, she became pale. "Director Napolitano"

"Special Agent Childress. I hear that there is some confusion about a green card that got lost in the system?"

"Yes, ma'am, there was, but since these two gentlemen brought the copies in, we're going to release Mr. Vaziri now"

"Good. I believe in interagency cooperation, Agent Childress. I won't stand for people who, to put it, metaphorically, like to show who's is bigger or let grudges dictate how he or she do their jobs. How about you?"

"No, Director. That would be petty." Monica looked to the two men holding her anger in a mask of friendliness marred by eyes full of anger and humiliation.

"Good, glad to clear up the confusion" Director Napolitano turned to the men. "Agent Booth, thank Temperance for the advance copy of her new novel. It is excellent as always."

"Will do, Director"

"Good day, Agent Booth, Mr. Radzwill…Agent Childress"

Janet Napolitano walked out of the office. When the door shut, the men turned and saw Agent Childress shooting daggers at them as she made a call. "Release Arastoo Vaziri and bring them to my office"

Ten minutes later, agents escorted Arastoo into the office. The fact that he had a black eye, right arm in a cast, and a healing split lip didn't go unnoticed. Booth's anger increased and he turned back to the woman. "I'll be looking into this, Monica"

"Not my fault he was beaten by prisoners. Arabs are low on the pecking order in holding. He got the best medical care possible"

"I'm Iranian, ma'am, as it states on my green card" Arastoo said before he hissed in pain from his lip.

Booth had enough. "Come on, Arastoo. Cam's worried sick about you and we need to get you looked at. Plus Bones will need you in New York soon"

"Agent Booth, I can't thank you enough"

"Thank Bones and don't mention it, Arastoo" Booth replied as the three men were leaving.

The next day, Booth was at Dulles waiting in the gate with Agents Shaw and Sparling. He used his badge to get passed the security checkpoints. When he saw the passengers led by Brennan come though he greeted his wife with a hug. The rest of the Jeffersonian team greeted Booth with either hugs or condolences, even Fisher, before stepping aside to give the couple privacy.

"They're taking her to the funeral home, Booth"

"Do you think Parker can see her if he asks before the service tomorrow?" Booth asked

"I wouldn't recommend it, Booth" Brennan said, giving Booth the understanding of the condition of Rebecca's body. "Ms. Wick stayed behind at the site. I sent for Dr. Wells to go there also. I told the two I needed them to work with the FBI team until the team returns."

"Thank you, Bones. I just can't handle either of them right now, and I don't want to hoist them onto Parker"

"Hodgins and the others will be leaving tomorrow afternoon after the service. I will be going back on the 22nd to claim Rebecca's belongings for Parker and assist with any final body retrieval. Thank you for getting Mr. Vaziri released. I'm sorry you had to deal with Agent Childress again."

"You're the one who ultimately got him of there. I'm sorry you had to call the director for me to make that happen with all that the squints are doing back in New York"

"It's okay, Booth. I enjoy speaking with Janet. She's a fascinating woman"

Something that his wife said finally sunk in through his sleep deprivation. "Rebecca's stuff. The agents wouldn't release them to you yet?"

"No but I told the Special Agent in Charge that if the items were not ready for me to pick up by the time I come back I would be calling you and Sam"

Booth let loose the first genuine laugh he had in the last three days. 'Leave it to Bones to be the one to bring it on' He was brought back to reality when he heard his wife calling him. "What, Bones?"

"I want to get back to the house. I need to see Parker, Christine, and Emma." She hesitated for a second. "I need to be there for Parker"

Booth felt his emotions swell up like a balloon at that moment. His Bones has always loved Parker like a son and it made him feel good knowing she would be there for him now. In turn, he will help his wife with their niece, whose quick visit will now be a summer visit due to her sister's health issues. 'Not the best timing, but it can't be helped' he said to himself.

"Come on, Bones. Let's go home"

The couple, by this time the only two left at the gate, walked out hand in hand.

The morning service was a simple one in a cemetery near the Brennan-Booth home. Emma was home babysitting Christine and Michael during the service. The squints gave their condolences with Wendell and Finn each giving Parker a hug letting him know they were there for him. Fisher uncharacteristically remained tight-lipped, feeling the weight of the situation did not warrant any comment.

Wendell put his arm around Genny and was grateful when she did not slink away. He wanted to comfort her but a part of him was screaming for joy as he got one step closer to her.

Sweets and Sparling held hands as they walked over to Booth and Parker. After giving their sympathies, they left to be together.

Finn and Michelle were talking to Cam. Arastoo was involved in the conversation but sitting. His injuries were healing, but the nightmare of his time in ICE confinement still bothered him. He shook it off, resolving to help Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth catch Christopher Pelant. Arastoo knew he was the one responsible for his situation and wanted the worm to go down.

When the people and the environment got to be too much for Parker, Max took him away for a walk, earning Booth's gratitude. He was starting to get a bit overwhelmed himself. He turned to his wife, who looked exhausted.

"Bones, honey, are you okay? You look really tired"

"I'm okay, Booth. I didn't sleep much last night and the last week has been, a twister, to say the least" She could feel the nausea in her stomach and prayed it would calm down. She didn't want Booth to know. He had enough on his plate as it was.

It took Booth a minute to figure out what she was trying to say. "A whirlwind, Bones, and that's okay. I understand the feeling"

"Is Parker going to be okay?" Brennan watched Parker walk with Max leaving the cemetery.

"In time Bones. I think he needs someone to just let him be for a bit. Max is probably the best one to do that right now"

Booth looked around to make sure they were truly alone. "Bones, I'm going to nail that bastard. Murdering innocent people was bad enough, but the son of a bitch crossed a line. Rebecca did nothing to him, wasn't involved in any way except by association with us. I'm going to kill him Bones if I have a chance"

"But, Booth, your cosmic balance sheet—"

"Doesn't count, Bones. This man has almost murdered an entire family, stole someone's citizenship papers so that he would be killed in holding or back in Iran, and manipulated a teenager to try to kill Sweets. Now, he's killed my son's mother. He has to pay"

Brennan took both of his hands and squeezed them. "Booth, I will be there every step of the way and I will be there helping you take him down" Booth's mouth opened, but Brennan put her finger on them. "Either accept my help or I will do it behind your back"

Booth moved her finger. "You misunderstand me, Babe. First, you got that expression correct. Second, and most importantly, I don't want you in danger, but I also need you and the squints to help nail Pelant, so I accept your offer."

Brennan smiled. "Good, we understand each other" She led him as they started to leave the cemetery. "By the way, Agent Seeley Booth, Parker is our son and don't you forget it"

Booth felt tears in his eyes when he heard that. He had never been so happy to be corrected by her in his life. "I won't Bones, I won't"

They took each other's hand again and walked out of the cemetery together.

Christopher Pelant watched the monitor of the cemetery. He saw Arastoo Vaziri and exploded. "SON OF A BITCH!"

He threw his cup of coffee across the room with his good arm before looking to the monitor again. "How the hell did he get back here!? He was supposed to either be dead or shipped back where the other pieces of shit were to kill him!"

He struggled to get up and was finally able to after several minutes. He got into a drawer and pulled out a remote control console with only one button. He smiled and then turned back to the monitor facing the Brennan-Booth house.

"All in due time, Agent Booth….all in due time"

On June 24th, Brennan was packing up her items from her hotel room at JFK in her small carry-on. The items of Rebecca that were salvageable were packed in another small carry-on bag on the floor nearby. 'I am so glad to be going home'

As she finished packing, she was hit with a sudden burst of nausea. A few seconds later, she ran to the bathroom and barely made it to the toilet before she vomited her meager breakfast from an hour earlier. She had the same issue yesterday but felt better by the afternoon. A thought came to mind, but she pushed it aside as she focused on easing the room spinning so she could get up.

When she regained her sense of normal, she got up and finished her task. She planned on taking her bags with her to the New York office so she could leave right away as she had debriefings to attend before going home. If she was lucky, she could be home for a late meal tonight. She needed to be home…..Parker needed her there. She knew how devastated she was when her parents left, but she had no one. For Parker, she was determined he would not be alone in his grief and would protect him always.

Agent Perotta was in a ladies room stall finishing her business when she heard steps entering the room. Hearing the voices of Agents Shaw and Sparling, she gently pulled her feet up so they weren't showing.

Genny looked under the stalls to Olivia's humor. "Gen, what are you doing?"

"What do you think? I'm looking for ears in the stalls. You know how nosy Perotta is. She might as well just smear shit on her nose because she brown noses anyone she can to get ahead, including telling Hacker anything she hears"

"You mean when she's not thinking of ways to hook up with Agent Booth?"

"Yeah, that skank really thinks she has a chance with him"

Perotta started to get angry. 'How dare do these bitches get off calling me a skank? ' She held her temper in check as she continued to listen.

Genny and Olivia laughed. "Okay, Gen, enough about that twit. Spill….how was your date with Wendell Father's Day weekend?

"There was no date, Olivia. He took Danny and I to an Orioles game"

"Yeah, yeah, I know he loves hanging out with Danny, but I saw how you were with him at the party we were at" Olivia said carefully. "He was sooooo goo-goo over you and you were talking to him all night"

"We like to talk baseball and stuff. He's a nice guy, but I don't have time for men, Olivia. I have a son to raise"

"You always have time for a good fuck" Sparling replied saucily

"OLIVIA!" Genny laughed, but she felt deep down that Wendell Bray would not be content with a one-time fuck and that would be dangerous for her. She couldn't put herself out there again…she couldn't handle being hurt or abandoned again.

"Come on, you know you were thinking about it. He's built pretty nice…hockey player…oh yeah, baby!"

A picture of Wendell shirtless came to mind. Wanting to get the image out of her mind, she moved to change the subject. "Let's talk about other things….let's talk about you. How about Sweets?"

"Lance Sweets….a girl will never be disappointed!"

"It's about time you forgave him, Olivia. He really likes you"

"I like him, too Genny. It didn't work the first time because he still had feelings for Daisy"

"And now?"

"We'll see." Olivia looked at her watch. "Well, we should get back to work"

"Yeah, Agent Booth asked me for help putting the items together for his debriefing. Dr. Brennan is getting in on a 7 PM flight from JFK, so I get the impression he wants out of here ASAP to pick her up at the airport"

"Well, they are so professional here at work, but I've seen the way they look at each other. It's so sweet. Plus with not seeing each other for a few days, I'm sure they need some bow mow chicka bow wow"

Both women crack up laughing before Genny calmed down first. "I really like Dr. Brennan. I like how she's so smart and doesn't take anyone's crap, even Hacker's. People say she's a bitch, and I know sometimes she says things that can be heard as rude, but it's not intentional. She's always respectful to me"

"I like her too, Genny. I think you just have to respect what she has to say, plus not make desperate goo goo eyes at her man, unlike Perotta. Man, she needs to move on!"

The women start laughing as they exit the ladies room. Perotta looks and doesn't see any more feet in the restroom and so she puts herself together and exits the stall. As she is washing her hands, a plan comes to mind. Remembering the key she pilfered from his drawer a while back and copied, she walked out singing The Victors.

4:30 PM

Peyton Perotta used her key to unlock the back door. She talked to Agent Booth after lunch and determined he and Dr. Brennan wouldn't be home until around 8:00 PM. She couldn't leave the Hoover any earlier to avoid suspicion, but knew she had plenty of time to do what she needed to accomplish. Walking through the house, she made her way upstairs. She looked in all the rooms and went into what she determined was the master bedroom.

"Have to admire Dr. Brennan's taste in décor. Feminine with some masculinity….like Booth would accept otherwise."

She snooped in what she determined to be Booth's dresser and closet. She picked up a t-shirt she spotted draped on a chair, and smelled the remnants of aftershave. She looked at the digital clock and noted the time. "If Dr. Brennan has a flight coming in at seven, they should be back here, considering traffic, around eight. I just have to make sure I'm out of here before then"

She walked over to the bed and pulled the covers back. She then proceeded to take off her jacket and roll around on the sheets. Satisfied that her perfume was noticeable in the sheets, she pulled one of her earrings out and put it under a pillow. Seeing the Bose radio, she flicked it on. Not liking the first song, she flicked until she heard the beginning Love Games by Lady GaGa. Leaving it on the song, she saw Dr. Brennan's closet. Curiosity took over and she walked over singing, grabbed an outfit and went into the bathroom while continuing to sing.

"Don't think too much just bust that kick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick"

Christopher Pelant was watching the bedroom from the miniature camera he placed inside what he knew as Dr. Brennan's alarm clock and couldn't help but laugh.

"Man, even I know that Agent Booth is too devoted to Dr. Brennan to go for someone like you Agent Perotta. But I do enjoy watching you try."

He looked to the monitor of the front of the house and saw an SUV pull into their driveway. A moment later, he saw Dr. Brennan get out of the truck, then return to the vehicle only to be accompanied by two women as all three went to the front door and entered the house.

"Oh shit, this is going to be good" Even he wasn't opposed to a good cat fight.

He had his finger on the remote's button waiting for the right time. He felt bad about the others, but what he needed to do was too important. Agent Booth stopped him from eliminating the Muslim by getting the mongrel released from ICE. It made him mad enough, but he also wasn't supposed to marry Dr. Brennan. He went against orders and now he was going to suffer for it. His father was returning from overseas in a few weeks and wanted to show him that he could be the son he always wanted by getting rid of his competition.

Pelant reached for a handful of popcorn from a nearby bowl and sat back to watch the show.

3:00 PM

Booth was on the office phone looking annoyed. "Yes, sir. I understand, sir. I'm getting the reports on the case done so I am ready for the debriefing at five so I can go home to my partner and children tonight…..How's Temperance?...She's been okay, but right now I'm assuming she's all right since she'll be home tonight…, she can't stop by here" He rolled his eyes while listening to Hacker on the phone. "I have to go sir, so I can finish the report for you. Of course I will tell Bones you said hello. Good bye sir"

He hangs up the phone. "Asshole. He never lets up on Bones, even now that we have a daughter and are living together. Get a clue"

His cell starts ringing. Seeing it's Brennan, he picks it up. "Hey Bones!...really… caught an earlier flight? You're on it! You're not supposed to be calling me. Where are you?...the bathroom!...Okay, Bones, never mind. What time does it arrive?...3:52 PM?"

He looked at his paperwork. 'Shit'. "I'm stuck but I will ask Sparling to…, Bones, you are not taking a cab, you said last night you haven't been feeling well lately….please do this for me without arguing….please" he gave his puppy dog eye voice over the phone.

"I'll watch Nova with you tomorrow…..yes without one complaint….yes I'll stay awake….okay, thanks, Bones. Max said he would drop the kids off after eight so we can have a late dinner after Parker and Christine go to bed….really?" Booth giggled. "You wanna do that?...yeah, I'm there. See you later. Love you….bye"

He hung up the phone and saw Agent Sparling at her desk and walked over. 'I really owe her one' he thought. "Agent Sparling, my w-partner just called. There was a last minute cancellation on an earlier flight, so she got that seat and will be arriving at Dulles at around ten to four. Can you...?"

She stood up with a smile, pretending not to notice his near slip of the tongue. She would do anything for Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan, including delaying washing out dye the color of shit out of her hair. "Sure, sir. You may want to text her to tell her I look different. Sorry, sir I haven't had time to get this crap out of my hair or get rid of this stupid hand tat from the undercover assignment I was on"

"It's okay, Agent Sparling, since it's on your head and thanks a lot for picking Bones up. You're doing me a big favor." He felt his phone buzz and looked. "Bones just sent me the flight information. I'll forward it to you"

"You're welcome, sir."

Olivia grabbed her keys and walked to the elevators. When she got there, Genny came out of the break room drinking from her travel mug. "Hey Gen, Dr. Brennan got an early flight so I am picking her up now. Want to tag along and get out of here for a while?"

"Sure. It's not like the paperwork won't be there waiting for us. Plus Mom took Danny to see a movie tonight. Let me get my stuff and I'll meet you down in the garage."

"Okay" She got into the now open elevator and closed it. She got out her phone and texted Lance.

Going 2 airport to get Doc Bren now. Home early. Want 2 do food ltr after I get this dye out?

As she got in the SUV, she felt a buzz, looked, and laughed.

sure. Txt me when back. BTW….i like your hair :)

When Genny got in the SUV a moment later, the ladies left for the airport. Little did either woman know that their lives were going to be changed forever in less than two hours.

4:35 PM

Dr. Brennan and Agents Shaw and Sparling pull into the driveway of the Booth-Brennan house and all three notice the other black SUV in the driveway. "Oh shit" Shaw and Sparling say simultaneously as they see the license plate and know who it belongs to.

Dr. Brennan also sees the SUV and notes the plate. "Ladies, why are you verbalizing 'oh shit'? Whose SUV is in my driveway?" She sees the hesitation in the other ladies' faces. "Agent Shaw and Agent Sparling, I know you are intelligent women and know who this SUV belongs to. I would like an answer since Booth did not inform me that someone was going to be here"

The agents look at each other. Shaw exhales. "It's Agent Perotta's, ma'am"

Brennan feels a swift feeling of anger because Angela told her she noted how Agent Perotta always 'checked Booth out', including their first case together. Knowing that Booth was at the office working on paperwork because she just talked to him, she knew that the woman was there alone in her house without invitation and felt a wave of uncharacteristic pettiness crawl up in her. "What is that bitch doing in my house?"

Before either Agent could say anything, Dr. Brennan got out of the front passenger seat and marched up towards the front door, but stopped half way before returning to the vehicle.

"Agent Shaw, Agent Sparling, please accompany me inside. I am a rational person, but I think I may not be happy when I see what is going on in my house"

Both agents got out and immediately followed Brennan as she unlocked her front door and the three women entered the house. Agent Shaw closed the door and they were greeted with Lady GaGa and Agent Perotta singing Love Games.

While Dr. Brennan led the way upstairs and all three noted where the music was coming from. Hearing the uncharacteristic growl from their superior's wife, they deduced this was their bedroom. The agents looked at each other and thought the same thing. Perotta is getting her ass kicked!

The three came into the room and noted the bed all messed up and a woman's suit tossed onto the bed. The master bathroom had someone singing in it with the door mostly closed. A moment later, the singing got louder as a woman came out of the bathroom oblivious to the people in the room wearing an outfit that Dr. Brennan recognized as one of her own.

"And now I want it bad, Want it bad, a love g—"

Agent Perotta stopped dead in her tracks when she saw three people in the room. It was her turn to say it and she did.

"Oh shit"

Dr. Brennan could only laugh. In this situation, she knew it was mean spirited but she loved the moment of panic in the agent's eyes. It reminded her of how she scared the students who were phoning it in during her lectures. ''Oh shit' fits this situation so well'

After a moment, she waited long enough. She noted the two agents moving to leave the room. "Ladies, please remain where you are. I want witnesses" Olivia and Genny returned to where they were, by the digital clock and open doorway respectively.

"Agent Perotta, why are you trying on my clothes?" Suddenly she turned to her bed and noted the faint smell of perfume, the same one she smelled on the scared agent in front of her. "Agent Perotta, why does the bed I know my partner made this morning because he knew I was coming home today smell like your perfume? Surely, he was not home because I talked to him more than once today, including during a debriefing by videoconference we had with Assistant Deputy Director Andrew Hacker and my supervisor Dr. Camille Saroyan earlier this afternoon. I know he would not engage in any sort of physical contact in this bed with you, or anywhere else, or with anyone else, for that matter, so explain why my bed is unmade…."

Thinking of something, she looked under both pillows and noted an unfamiliar earring. She picked up it and showed it to Perotta. "and why an earring that looks like one hanging from your ear under my pillow?"

Pelant was getting frustrated. He lost picture on the bedroom monitor after the ladies went inside the house and was missing everything. His fingers were slow acting to get the picture back. "Damn it! I can't kill the bitch until I know for sure she's in the bedroom. I have to at least give her a chance to go after Agent Perotta before I kill her. I never liked that agent."

His slow fingers were finally able to get the picture back but the top half was cut off and there was no sound. He counted three people in the room. "Where the hell is the other woman?! There should be four!" Realizing his time could be short, he needed to act. Pushing one hand over his paralyzed hand, he pushed the detonator full force. It took about 30 seconds, but it finally was pushed fully. He sat back, pulled his bowl of popcorn near with his good hand, got a handful, and waited.

Brennan held her pillow to her as he advanced a couple of steps towards Agent Perotta. "I asked you a question, Agent Perotta and I expect an answer. Why are you wearing my clothes, why does my bed smell like your perfume, and why did I find your earring under my pillow?"

Olivia Sparling was holding back a laugh at the speechless face of Peyton Perotta under the interrogation of Dr. Temperance Brennan. 'Gotcha, bitch!' she thought to herself

She wanted to know the time when Agent Perotta's career imploded so she turned to note the time. 4:47 PM. Before she turned away she noted that the green numbers flashed multiple times. Suddenly, she realized what she was looking at. 'Pelant!"


Her last conscious thought was of pushing Dr. Brennan into Agent Perotta in an attempt to get her to safety in the master bathroom. Suddenly she was overtaken by darkness as an explosion came from the digital alarm clock. The full force of the explosion hit her upper back and right side, deflecting most of the flame and shrapnel from Dr. Brennan and Agent Perotta, who instincts kicked in as she grabbed her and pulled her away from the blast covering Dr. Brennan with her body. Their forms, along with the pillow Dr. Brennan had made contact with the dresser before going down.

Agent Genevieve Shaw heard her friend yell "Bomb" then felt a massive force knock her backwards into the wall in the hallway across from the master bedroom.

Pelant threw his right arm in the air in triumph. "Yes! Yes! Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!"

He watched the explosion break a bedroom window, sending glass into the front yard. For a moment, Christopher looked like a child at Christmas. When the blown out shards landed, Pelant started to laugh hysterically.

"All for you, Agent Booth. You've messed with all my plans for you, but this will definitely keep you distracted for a while" He tilted his head to the side.

"I do admit I regret blowing up your partner, I'm sorry, I mean your wife, but you knew the rules and you broke them. I could kill you next, but that wouldn't be much fun. You are going to be saved for last. With you gone, I will finally….finally, have my father's unconditional love" He turned to his bulletin board of pictures of people from the FBI and Jeffersonian. Suddenly he exploded and hit the board. "FUCK YOU, AGENT BOOTH!"


Booth sat by the bedside, slowing suffocating by the quiet of the room. He took her hand and squeezed it before putting it to his lips with a sweet kiss. Taking a few moments to pull himself together, he got up and slowly walked out of the room. His feet led him to a door, which he opened to the greeted by the people he called family.

Hodgins and Angela were sitting on the right with Cam and Arastoo next to them.

Wendell, Fisher, and Finn stopped talking and turned to him. Nearby Clark stood up and stared at the agent.

On the other side of the room, Max and Russ stood at attention before moving quickly over to where Booth was standing.

Seeing Booth's silence and pain, Max took the initiative. "Booth, what happened?"

Booth shed a few tears, hitched his breath, and exhaled. "She's gone". Booth moved slowly to a chair, sat with a look of defeat, and put his head in his hands. After a moment, he looked back up. "Damn you, Pelant!"

Booth woke up with a start and covered in sweat, followed by Brennan, who immediately put her right arm around her husband.

"Booth…the same one?"

He finally got his breathing and heart rate under control. "Yeah, Bones"

Brennan watched her husband with concern. The events of the last four days have been….surreal to say the least. One person with minor injuries, one person who incurred more trauma later on, and one person dead.

And then there was her. She escaped with only a fractured arm, sprained ankle, and a minor concussion. Booth said the fact she was not more seriously injured was a miracle. She said it was because of the pillow she held. Brennan didn't believe in miracles as she thought of the explosion. 'If there are such things as miracles, why did she have to die?'

"Booth, I will talk to the doctor about coming today—"

"Bones, you heard the doctor. You can go home later today only if you get some rest and are on bed rest for the next three weeks. If all turns out okay, then you can go to work, but I can't take you into the field"

Brennan got mad. "Booth!"

"Bones, I can't and you know why"

She did. She knew he was right, but it didn't make things any easier. She looked at the white gold band on her left hand which was held by her husband. Yesterday they made the announcement through her publicist that they were married. After what happened, they didn't give a damn anymore as they realized that Pelant would go after them either way.

"I'm scared, Booth. I always have your posterior. What if I'm not there to help you?"

Booth took a minute and then forgot about his nightmare as he started laughing. "Honey, that's 'have my back' and I will have several excellent federal agents"

"No one that I am familiar with" Melancholy crept in for a moment before continuing. "How do I know if you will be safe?"

Booth saw the worry in his wife's eyes and shifted in the small bed so he could look in her eyes. "Bones, as God as my witness, I am taking Pelant down, and I am coming home to my family"

"Booth, there is no God to witness this"

"Bones, there is a God, I will get the son of a bitch, and I will be coming home to you and our family when this nightmare is over. Now, I have to get around because I need time to get you a real breakfast from the diner and make a stop before leaving for Hagerstown for the service"

"Is he going to go? When he came by yesterday he looked so…lost Booth"

"He will be when I go get him. I don't care if I have to throw him in my SUV and buckle him in. If he doesn't go, he'll regret it for the rest of his life, Bones"

He came over, kissed his wife, and then grabbed the suit hanging by the door before entering the hospital bathroom. When he got in, he was grateful for the fact they were in the VIP wing and got a full shower instead of the makeshift shower in the other patient bathrooms.

A minute later, he got under the hot water and let it soothe his back, which he felt after spending the nights with his wife in her hospital bed. As for the dull pain in his soul, no relief in the world would let him escape the events of the last 72 hours.

Booth was with Cullen, Sweets, and Hacker in the conference room discussing the final results from the plane crash. Each voiced their suspicions that it was Pelant through a Trojan Horse virus, but without evidence they were stuck. The phone rang and Hacker answered it. "Nancy! I told you we were not to be disturbed. One more interruption and you're fired."

Hacker hung up the phone in a show of authority. "Now, back to what we were talking about"

Before he could open his mouth, the secretary ran to the conference room and opened the door. "Agent Booth, sorry to interrupt you—"

"Nancy, you're fired"

Nancy turned back to Booth. "There was an explosion at your home, sir"

All four men stood up. Hacker's face turned red. "Why the hell didn't you say anything?"

"Because sir you cut me off and hung up the phone"

Booth grabbed his jacket and ran out of the conference room, followed by Sweets. When the secretary left the room, Cullen turned to Hacker. "As soon as we know what happened, you and I will be having a chat, Andrew. Count on it"

Booth and Sweets arrived at the house in record time. Out of the corner of his eye, Booth saw a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance in the front of the house but it left before he could stop the vehicle. The men got out of the car and ran to the house, but were stopped by Marcus.

"Marcus, who was taken away? What the hell happened?"

"Dr. Brennan, Agents Shaw, Perotta, and Sparling were injured by a bomb from looks like to be from the master bedroom" Marcus inhaled to hold back what Sweets saw were tears. "EMTs said the first one to go was critical and probably won't make it. They sent them all to St. George's -"

Marcus didn't finish his sentence before Booth and Sweets got back into the SUV and hauled ass away with the siren going.

Both men sat in the SUV not wanting to voice their thoughts or think about who was the one Marcus was upset about. Unable to contain himself, Sweets got his phone and dialed. When he got the voice mail, he left a message.

"Olivia, it's Lance. There was an explosion at Agent Booth's house and I know you were going to pick up Dr. Brennan. I just want to make sure you're okay. I'm sure you are in one of the rooms waiting for the doctor to look at you but call me when you can okay? I'm with Booth on the way there now" He hung up the phone and ignored the angry expression he felt from Booth.

As for the senior agent, his thoughts were momentarily taken off his wife as something Marcus said sunk in. 'What the hell was Agent Perotta doing there?...Fuck it! I have more important things to worry about it. Please God keep Bones safe. I have two children who need her….I need her'

The two men remained in silence as they sped through Washington D.C.

Less than ten minutes later, the men arrived at St. George's University Hospital and raced to the ER. Booth got there first. He whipped out his badge. "Agent Seeley Booth. My wife Dr. Temperance Brennan was brought in with injuries from a bomb earlier"

The nurse looked to him and dreaded her next task. "Yes, sir, Dr. Haverbush will want to speak with you. I'll call him right now" After she finished her phone call, she gestured to the men to have a seat. Booth couldn't sit but stood nearby. Sweets got the nurse's attention.

"Excuse me, ma'am, what is the status of Special Agent Olivia Sparling?"

"Let me see. Usually I can't give that out, but Agent Shaw mentioned you may ask about her before they took her for tests." She looked at the computer. "She is currently having an ultrasound. When she returns I can ask the doctor if she can have visitors"

"Thank you, ma'am"

Booth walked up to the desk, anxious. "What is the status on Agents Shaw and Perotta?"

Before she could tell him, a fiftyish year old man came out of the ER doors. "Seeley Booth?"

He ran to the man. "I'm Seeley Booth. Where's my wife, Temperance?"

"Let's talk inside"

"….her heart stopped in the ambulance. Her chest trauma was too severe and we were unable to revive her." They got to a room that had a closed door that the doctor opened. "She's in here, Mr. Booth"

Stunned, Booth walked into the trauma room and saw a figure with dark hair on the table with her face towards the wall. Her feet were facing the door. He could see electrode pads connected to her chest and various bloody bandages on the floor. The smell was an unmistakable mix of burned flesh, antiseptic, and death. As he got closer, he was horrified by what he saw.

There were horrific burns on the right side of the body with patches of white skin. He saw wounds on her neck and shoulder. The right side chest area had a wound the size of a baseball that resembled the exit wounds he saw from homemade shrapnel. 'His Bones….oh not his Bones'

As he got closer to the left side, he saw something on her hand that didn't look right. Bells went off as he rushed over and looked on her hand. When he saw her hand, relief washed over him, followed by dread.

"Dr. Haverbush, this is not my wife!"

It took all of thirty seconds to convince the doctor, who rushed and made a phone call. Booth's ear perked up when the doctor exclaimed surprise. "I will tell him, thank you" he said before hanging up the phone.

"Mr. Booth, after your wife's ultrasound, they will be doing a closed reduction on her left arm. She is also being evaluated for a concussion and a sprained ankle"

"Why is she getting an ultrasound?"

The doctor walked to Booth. "Because tests showed that she is pregnant"

Booth stood in shock, forgetting the dead woman in the room. "P-P-Pregnant?"

"Yes, we need the ultrasound for age of the fetus, though the OB/GYN on duty estimates six weeks. It seems your wife had a large pillow break her fall during the explosion, plus she was shielded by two agents, saving Dr. Brennan from more serious injuries."

Just then, both realized there was another issue with the deceased in the room. "Agent Booth, do you know who this woman is?"

Booth picked up the hand and examined it. He forced himself to look at the face, which had burned patches along with a couple of wounds from shrapnel He felt sick when he confirmed his worst fears.

"Yes, Doctor, I do"

Sweets walked back in the ER with a bounce in his step. He was so relieved that Olivia was going to be okay. He hoped the ultrasound came out all right, but it didn't matter. She was going to be just fine.

The nurse he was following led to a room. When he went in, he saw Dr. Haverbush and Booth standing together as if waiting for him.

"I'm sorry, I was told that this was Olivia's room" Sweets said as he was closing the door.

Booth inhaled, dreading the task ahead of him. "Sweets, I'm so sorry, but Olivia is dead" He used her first name instead of her title because she was still a human being he grew to admire as she developed as an agent. He also felt Sweets deserved more than the official notice agents gave the loved ones.

Sweets felt slapped in the face. "No she's not. I was told when we got here that she was having an ultrasound and they would come get me when she was ready for visitors."

Booth led him to a couch in the room. He sat on the coffee table across from it. "Sweets, when the EMTs got to the scene, there was a lot of confusion because everyone in the bedroom had dark hair, including Sparling for a recent undercover assignment. Her ID was found next to Bones and in the chaos of the moment, they thought she was Bones and that Bones was…..Agent Sparling."

Sweets' composure started to crumble. "How the hell do we know that this isn't Dr. Brennan or Agent Shaw, or even Agent Perotta? I heard she was there, why I have no idea, but how do we know for sure?"

"Because…..Agent Shaw was found in the hallway. She is being treated for a concussion and a dislocated shoulder. I wanted to be sure, so I checked on Agent Perotta's status. I was able to identify her before she went into treatment for the severe burns on her leg. She had patches of burns that were not blocked from the bomb because….listen, she was readily identifiable."

Booth almost said 'because of Agent Sparling' but caught himself before he pressed forward. "Agent Spar-Olivia also had a temporary tattoo on her left hand from her undercover assignment. Her hand sustained little damage and I saw the tattoo. Bones is the one getting the ultrasound, Sweets"

Sweets' shock gave way to realization as he felt tears in his eyes. He knew that Booth would never lie to him. As he felt the tears fall, a pair of strong arms wrapped around him.

Booth saw a few people look into the room through the small window by the door. At that moment, he didn't give a shit who saw him hug Sweets. All he cared about at that moment was that Sweets was devastated and needed him.

A short time later, Booth was following a nurse down a short corridor to his wife. When he got to the right room and opened the door, it was like manna from Heaven.

Brennan was in bed with her eyes closed, left arm in a temporary splint, and right hand protectively over her abdomen. When her ultrasound results came in, they had to get the OB/GYN on duty for any assistance during the procedure and change the protocol. Dr. Haverbush stated he had ten minutes with her before the nurse would come in and prep her.

Booth quietly closed the door and could only stand there and stare as he thanked God for the miracles he received in the last few months. For having friends concerned enough to help Brennan see the truth when he couldn't tell her, for granting Bones the courage to take the final step with him, for having her in his life when his son would need them both more than ever, for having her survive the bombing in their bedroom, and for their baby surviving the blast. He knew they were not out of the woods yet, so he stopped at the chapel and prayed for their baby before coming to see his wife.

"I know you're there, Booth"

He came out of his thoughts. His wife was looking at him and smiling. "Come here, Booth" He noticed how she wouldn't take her right hand off her stomach.

He pulled a rolling stool over to her bed and sat down. He started to take her in. One bruise on her cheekbone and another on her right temple, along with cut above her eyebrow repaired with stitches. Her left arm was splinted and lying on the bed prone. His eyes drifted towards her abdomen and the emotions he kept in at her close call finally released as tears came down his face.

Brennan pulled him towards her as he laid his head on her stomach and cried. She felt helpless as she could do nothing but rub circles on his back and comfort him with words such as "We're okay, Booth…..the baby's safe….."

When she said 'the mighty hut is going to be fine', it lifted him out of his funk. "Bones, I don't give a fuck about our house. We can always get another house. I won't be able to get another you. I thought earlier that I lost you for good. They thought you were Agent Sparling—"

"I know, Booth" Brennan whispered. "When I was having my ultrasound, the tech answered the phone. She gave my name as Olivia Sparling. I went to correct her, but when I heard her say my name, I relaxed as much as I could since I was still feeling the effects of the concussion. My local had wore off at that time where I had my eyebrow sutured"

Brennan had tears pooling in her eyes. "When we were done the tech left me so I could go to the bathroom, which I insisted on doing myself. I was nauseated, but not crippled as I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself"

Booth laughed in spite of himself. His laugh died down when he saw the sadness in his wife's face. He squeezed her right hand to let her know it was okay to continue.

"She left the door cracked and while I was….finishing up…..I heard her talk to someone. They said that there was a fatality and they thought it was me, and you had to identify me" Her face turned annoyed. "Gossiping little harpies" When she saw Booth's surprise, she started her tangent. "I do understand some popular vernacular, Booth. Harpies come from Greek mythology, meaning—"

Booth knew he needed to head her off at the pass. "Never mind, Bones. Finish what you were saying, please"

Brennan had the tears she held back fall. "Booth, she pushed me out of the way of the bomb. She pushed me into Agent Perotta, who then covered me as we hit something hard before getting to the floor. I-I think it was the dresser." Brennan wiped tears from her face. "Agent Sparling took the majority of the bomb's impact. She died to protect me and our baby"

Booth took his wife in his arms as she cried. He shed a few more tears himself as he realized the sacrifice made by the agents in the bedroom with Bones. As each of them came down from their emotional moments, Brennan turned to her husband.

"Booth, how is Sweets?"

"Devastated, Bones"

"Our baby duck is going to need us"

"I know, Bones. He does and we definitely will be there for him" Booth thoughts collected into one. 'You fucked up by hurting Sweets, Pelant. Another reason for you to go down'

An hour later, he left his wife's room as she received a visit from Angela and Hodgins. He told Brennan he had to question the two surviving agents. She warned him to not lose his temper. He snickered at that conversation as he walked to his destination.

"Don't worry, Bones. Calm as a cucumber"

"Cucumbers are vegetables, Booth. They don't—"

"It means I won't lose my temper, Bones"

When he got to the first room, he opened the door and felt he was intruding.

Genny was in her bed admiring and smelling an eclectic bouquet while Wendell sat watching her with a smile. Her left shoulder was in a sling and there were a few bruises on her tear-stained face. Booth admired Wendell's restrained patience and the flowers he knew for a fact put a dent into the intern's meager checkbook. He recognized a couple of them and the significance of them. 'Atta Boy, Wendell' he thought to himself.

Seeing that neither one acknowledged his presence, he knocked. Startling the two people in the room, he moved into the room. "Sorry to break up the party"

"It's okay Agent Booth" Genny said. She couldn't describe how she felt at that moment, but she knew that she had to put that part aside now. She was an FBI Agent involved in a case involving the death of a fellow agent. She needed to do it for Olivia. "Wendell was visiting me and brought me these flowers"

"Nice job, Bray"

Wendell got red in the face with embarrassment, so Booth decided to let him be. "Wendell, did the lab find anything yet?"

Wendell was dreading this part. "Yeah, Booth. We identified the shrapnel….it's human bone. Hodgins has some labs running. He's here with Angela visiting Dr. Brennan since Angela was here for her OT"

Booth felt his insides turn cold. 'Human bone used as shrapnel'. He prayed it was stolen from a grave and not another victim.

He turned to his junior agent and knew what she was struggling with at this moment. After debating what to reveal, he sat down on a nearby stool and moved on the opposite side of the bed. "Agent Shaw, you're not alone. You're feeling loss, anger…..and guilt now" When she turned to him in surprise, he continued. "I had the same feeling when my spotter was shot when I was in the Army as a sniper"

"I was his superior, his partner, and his friend. For years, I blamed myself for what happened to him. I kept thinking about how I could have prevented it. Eventually I realized two things. First, playing that game only killed me a little more each time I did it. It took me almost dying in an explosion on a naval ship to understand that"

When he saw he had her attention, he continued. "Then I realized that I had to put the blame where it belonged…to the asshole who shot him" Shaw only continued to stare at him, in awe as he was able to put into words what she was feeling.

"Shaw, you nor Agent Perotta did anything to cause her to die. Sparling was there because I asked her to pick up my wife from the airport. You came along for the ride. Agent Perotta had her reasons, whatever they were. If it wasn't for the actions of you and two other agents, Bones may be dead right now"

"I didn't do—"

"Shaw, you were badly injured from being thrown almost ten feet into a wall. You were barely conscious and you were somehow able to dial 911 from your phone before blacking out. Agent Sparling pushed my wife out of the path of the blast. Agent Perotta took Bones from Sparling and covered her as they were blasted into our dresser and to the ground. All three of you did what you were trained to do as FBI agents"

Wendell could only stare as he heard Booth's last comments. He didn't realize how close Genny was to dying in the blast and as much as he hated to say it, was grateful that it was Olivia lying in the morgue right now. He became more determined to show her he was not a guy to run at the first sign of trouble like Danny's father. He also realized at that moment he did not merely have feelings for her. He was in love with her and knew in his gut he could never love another like he did Genevieve Shaw. He wanted more, but didn't want to lose her friendship. If that was all he could have, he would accept it. 'If Agent Booth can wait for Dr. Brennan, I can wait for Genny'. His thoughts were interrupted by Shaw speaking.

"Agent Booth, if I was closer to Olivia, maybe she—"

"Shut up Shaw! Her instincts, your instincts, hell even Perotta's instincts kicked in when the time came. That is what makes a true Federal Agent stand out from the wannabes"

Booth realized he was getting away from his main point. "Shaw, the point I was originally trying to make, is that you are not to blame for what happened. The only one to blame is Christopher Pelant. When you are out of the hospital, I need you to help me take that little shit down. Not just for my family, or the public, but for Olivia Sparling as well. Her death can't be in vain. Can I count on you?"

Shaw felt a weight off her shoulders after Booth's talk. "Yes, sir, I will be there"

Booth got up. "Good" Seeing the two of them, he could only think of a time years earlier. A hospital room after a bomb in Bones' refrigerator. His severe injuries exacerbated after leaving to rescue Bones from a dirty agent. She ditching her date and spending the night with him instead. 'Hopefully Wendell doesn't have to wait as long as I did, but he will wait for her….at least do a better job than I did"

Genny inhaled to hold back fresh tears she knew were forming. "How's Sweets?"

Booth knew she would ask at some point. "Crushed. He insisted on going to see Agent Sparling and I couldn't talk him out of it. I am going to get him and give him a ride, probably to Hodgins and Angela's since our house is still a crime scene, before I talk to Agent Perotta."

He inhaled before continuing. "Shaw, what happened when you got to my house? Where does Agent Perotta fit in here? I didn't want to bother Bones with it after everything today."

"Well, sir" Genny saw Wendell turn to leave and grabbed his hand. "Agent Booth, can Wendell stay?"

Wendell felt his insides explode. 'She's holding my hand and wants me to stay with her. Wow!...wait, what the fuck am I saying. She's in the hospital because a nut blew up Booth and Dr. Brennan's house and her best friend died. Still….'

"Wendell!" Two voices yelled at him.

He came out of his thoughts. "Are you sure, Genny?"

"Yeah, Wendell….I am. Please"

After Wendell sat down, he took her hand again slowly and when Genny tried to yank it out of his, he held it tighter. Genny gave up the fight as she relaxed. "When we pulled into your driveway…."

A short time later, Agent Booth knocked on the door. When he heard "Come in", he entered.

Andrew Hacker was speaking to Agent Perotta, who was in bed with her leg in traction due to burns. She had a black eye and her left arm in a sling. When she saw who was in her room, her eyes got big and he recognized the look as panic.

"Agent Booth, I was about to debrief Agent Perotta on what happened earlier. How is Temperance?"

"Bones is fine. She's getting some sleep" He turned to Perotta. "Assistant Director, do you mind if I talk to Agent Perotta?" He turned to Hacker. "I'm going to be awake for a while and I want to thank her for saving my partner's life"

"Of course, of course" Hacker said. 'If Booth is here, I can go see Temperance. She needs someone more refined…like me' "I'll check in with both of you tomorrow"

When Hacker left, he sent a text to Angela giving her a heads up. 'She and Hodgins will take care of Hacker' he thought with a smile.

When done, he looked at Perotta, who had a small sheen of sweat on her brow. Putting a smile on his face, he walked over to her bed. "Agent Perotta, thank you for what you did for Bones. Because of you and Agent Sparling, she was saved from the blast"

Perotta thought about Agent Sparling and felt sadness with anger. 'I hated the know-it-all, but she was still a fellow agent killed in the line of duty' If it can happen to her, it can happen to any of us, including me.' "Yes, I know, Agent Booth. Assistant Director Hacker told me what happened"

Booth saw genuine sorrow on her face and decided to give her an inch. "Thank you, Agent Perotta"

Perotta was beginning to relax. "Agent Booth, I will admit I didn't get along with Agent Sparling…..but, she still was a fellow agent. No matter how I felt about her, I will do what I can to help get the bastard. Also, let her family know I'm sorry"

"Of course" 'She's getting an inch, but not a foot'. "I'm going to head back to Bones' room. I'll come by in the morning"

Booth got all the way to the door, but suddenly turned around. "Agent Perotta, I almost forgot. I hear you like to dress up as my partner"

All the blood from Perotta's face drained. 'Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!'

Booth walked towards her. "I hear you also like to put earrings in my bed and break into my house"

He saw the sweat start to pour down her face. When he got closer, he grabbed a nearby chair and moved it to her bedside. "Agent Perotta, let's have a talk"


4:00 AM

The man walked up the stairs of the hospital, looking for the correct floor. When he got to the door he needed, he quickly went in and found the room he was directed to find. Using the ID card he was given by his partner, he opened the door to the small storage closet.

Five minutes later, he opened the door slightly and then came out wearing a set of scrubs and put the ID badge on that he used to open the door. When he got around the corner, he watched as the agent guarding the door drank the coffee that he had delivered by the nurse earlier. His partner watched and knew that one of the nurses always ordered a delivery order of coffee and donuts every day from the diner down the street. It wasn't hard to watch for the delivery today and fifteen minutes earlier kill the delivery person and steal the tray to take to the nurse, but not before adding eye drops to the coffee he knew was for the FBI agent.

He was not disappointed as he saw the FBI agent double over with stomach cramps and run down the hall to the restroom. He quickly walked over and entered the room.

There she was…Temperance Brennan. The bitch helping the monsters who killed his family. His partner promised he could have fun with her before he did what he needed to do.

Moving quickly, he added all the monitors to the object his partner said to do and placed it on the floor. When satisfied, he injected her where he was told to do it in her arm. When done, he unlocked the brakes and moved the bed. When he saw the coast was clear, he moved the bed to the elevator past the nurses' station, where the nurse was playing with her iPhone.

As the elevator door closed, the agent got out of the bathroom and returned to his post.

4:45 AM

Genny laid in her hospital bed wide awake in thought as she fought to control her fury.

'Why did Perotta get to live while Olivia died? How fair was it that an agent who always thought the best of others and was on the fast track to success gets killed while an agent who in the last couple of years managed to alienate everyone with her brown nosing and nastiness survives?'

Unable to relax, she sat up and felt a wave of dizziness. When it passed, she got off the bed, moving gingerly as she was still in pain. Then she headed to confront the person she blamed for her misery.

Booth was in the small hospital bed with Bones spooning her. He tried to sleep in the cot they gave him, but both were unable to sleep without the other. He put his left hand on her hand as both were on her abdomen. He woke for a moment as he thought about his latest plan to get Pelant. It had to work. No way he could resist this trap.

It took her about ten minutes to get to the room down the hall from her. She saw Agent Ted Thompson outside the door. Knowing what a prick he was, she eyed him before going on in, but he stopped her.

"No one goes in, Shaw"

"Get out of my way, Thompson"

He eyed the female agent with disdain. He was one of the few female agents he was unable to get into bed, so he treated her like the piece of trash he considered her. "I said no one goes in" he said with a smirk.

"Get out of my way Thompson, or I will tell Agent Booth about how the rumors about Dr. Brennan was, what was it, 'an easy fuck' got around the bullpen last month"

Seeing the agent knew she had him over a barrel, she pushed the taller man out of her way. Fighting nausea from the motion, she opened the door and saw a void where the bed was supposed to be.

Seeing the object on the floor hooked up to the monitors, she left the room and hurried as much as possible to the nurses' station and called Dr. Brennan's room. "Agent Booth…'s Shaw….Perotta's gone.

A white van arrived at a gate closing off a driveway. The driver hurriedly got out and opened the gate to his property as he meant to be back a while earlier. When he got to the house, he opened the back door and smiled at the crumbled form lying there. He saw ripped and shifted bandages that covered up the back of her right leg. He also dried blood and bruising on her inner thighs from their 'pit stop'. He pulled her unconscious form out of the van and took her inside through the outside basement doors. He dumped her on the ground, turned around and was greeted with his partner.

"Did you get Dr. Brennan" Christopher Pelant asked.

"Yes, sir, she's right here" He said pointed and watched her.

Pelant looked but suddenly looked furious as he looked at the form on the ground. He pulled a long metal rod out from behind him in his right hand before walking towards him. "Mr. Reynolds?"

"Yes, Christopher" His excitement changed to shock when he saw Pelant's proximity and the item in his hand. He only had time to grab Pelant's t-shirt sleeve before the bang stick hit his stomach. He fell to the ground like a lump of wet laundry, his hand clinging to a piece of Pelant's shirt.

Pelant wiped the tissue and blood from his face, not noticing the ripped fabric. He saw who was on the floor and was not happy. He was a man also under a strict timeline, which Reynolds changed with his late arrival, giving him little time to dispose of the young man or the agent. "I guess I will have to move some things to my….'headquarters'" He said with a laugh. "Better get things together now and take care of the disposal"

When the door was shut, Agent Peyton Perotta slowly opened her eyes. In a fog, she observed where she was and the amount of danger she was probably in. Unfortunately the searing pain in her leg from the burns, along with the pain in her thighs and abdominal area was stronger as it overtook her before she fell unconscious again.

"How the fuck does an agent disappear with you as a guard outside her door, Thompson?!" Booth was with the agent outside Perotta's room. "You were there to protect her while we were disguising her as Dr. Brennan to smoke out Pelant"

"I got sick, sir and had to shit—take care of things"

"When did this happen?"

"Around four a.m. I'm sorry, sir I can't help it if I had to get sick. I sure as hell can't do it out here."

"I don't give a damn why you left your post. You will be facing the disciplinary committee. Get the fuck out of my sight!"

Thompson's eyes spewed anger, but he was silent as he slunk away. Booth turned to Agent Shaw, who was sitting in a nearby wheelchair. "Shaw, why aren't you in your room? Why did you come here?"

"I wanted to speak to Agent Perotta"

"Why, Shaw"

"I just had to"

Booth sighed. "Agent Shaw, I know you need someone to blame, but Perotta is not the one to blame"

"Yes she is. That bitch should have died, not Olivia"

Booth knew she was grieving, but enough was enough. He got down until he was eye level with her and spoke with deadly calm, startling Shaw. "Agent Genevieve Shaw, I won't hear you say that again. No agent should have died yesterday. No agent should EVER die. I know you and Perotta were not fond of each other, but she is still a fellow agent. Agent Perotta showed compassion for a colleague last night. One that she plainly stated to me was not her favorite, but she knew her priorities. I know bullshit when I smell it. She was honest"

Booth knew he had to get the woman in front of him past her anger if she was going to be of any use to him. "Agent Shaw, an FBI agent has been kidnapped by Pelant or someone he influenced because she was a decoy for Bones. The only agents I want assisting me right now are ones who are not self destructive and can be a team player. At this moment, you're not it." He looked to the agent standing by the nurses' station. "Agent Harris, please take Agent Shaw back to her room"

"But sir—"

"Shaw, I don't have time for your pity party. I have to find Agent Perotta before it's too late"

Booth was watching the security footage on the laptop with Angela and a now awake Brennan. When they got to the footage from four am, three pairs of eyes were on alert. Brennan noticed it first.

"Booth! There, coming from the stairwell"

They observed a young man messing with a lock and going into what was determined to be a storage room.

"There's Agent Thompson with the runs" Angela pointed out at 4:08 with a smile.

They observed the figure enter the room. Angela made a few clicks and made the hidden camera in Perotta's room full size. "Angela, can you get it closer to his face?"

"Sure" Angela clicked her mouse. When the final picture was enhanced, Booth's blood drained from his face. "Oh shit!"

Brennan saw her husband. "Booth...who is it?"

"It's Zane Reynolds"

Angela spoke next. "Wasn't that the kid from Crystal Creek who we thought killed the FBI agents several weeks back?"

"Yeah, it is. Angela, can you pull up his address? I want to make sure it's the same one"

"Sure" Angela started to type with both hands, but had to stop as her right could not keep up with her left fingers. Momentarily frustrated, she pushed it down as she typed with one finger and her left hand. "Here it is, Booth"

Booth grabbed the phone. "This is Agent Booth. I need a tac team on standby at the Hoover to go to Virginia." Angela and Brennan waited as he gave the address and final instructions. He hung up the phone and turned to the women.

"Bones, you need to be careful"

"Booth I'm fine."

"Bones, Perotta was a decoy to see if Pelant would come after you. The plan was to catch him since I had an agent at the door. None of us anticipated he would use another surrogate to take Perotta or for her to leave the hospital" He inhaled. "Bones, he was coming for you. I won't let Pelant get you like he got her. Be careful, okay? I need to concentrate on getting this kid. Worrying about you and the baby is not something I can afford to do at this time"

Angela's eyes widened like saucers. "Baby? Bren, you're pregnant?"

'Shit' Booth thought to himself. 'I will worry about that later'. He kissed his wife good bye. "I'll be back as soon as I can, Honey"

When Booth left the room, Angela turned to her friend. "Sweetie…you're having a baby"

Brennan got tears floating in her eyes. "Yes, Angela I am. About six weeks. We weren't going to tell anybody yet." 'The night you were in the hospital in the SUV' she thought to herself.

"Oh Honey, I am so happy for you." Angela took her in a one arm hug and then slowly brought her right arm around.

Brennan felt the hug and got overjoyed as well. "Angela, you're hugging me with both arms!"

"Yeah, it's not much, but I'm getting there Sweetie. I'll show you." Angela held her arm out as she lifted to just below her breasts. "I can wiggle my fingers a little also".

"Oh Angela"

"Hey, enough about me. I'm going to be an Auntie again!" Angela pulled Brennan into another hug and both cried tears of happiness for the other.

Perotta woke up to a repulsive but familiar smell. She lifted her head to gather her surroundings. She could faintly hear a land line phone ringing as she found the source of the odor.

Zane Reynolds, arrested several weeks earlier because he was suspected to have murdered two FBI agents, was lying in front of her. His entire abdominal cavity was gone and what she recognized as human tissue and blood was all over, including on her as she noticed her arms covered with a sticky substance. His hand was clinging to a small piece of material.

The events of the last few hours were a fog with only images. The pain in her abdominal area and thighs gave her suspicions, ones that she was unable to put into words. She was pretty sure she remembered Reynolds speaking to another man, one she would bet her life on as Pelant. She knew his annoying voice anywhere, even as groggy as she was.

The images she remembered took over her thoughts. She looked back at the body and began to be filled with anger as her suspicions began to take hold. "I would—I would have killed you slowly you son of a bitch, but Pelant beat me to it"

Suddenly the room felt very warm. She tried to move but pain shot through her entire body as her abdomen throbbed horribly. Moving also shifted something on her leg. When was able to move enough to examine, she saw what looked like dirt and particulates inside of her burn, which was oozing onto on a dirty carpet. Fighting the urge to vomit from the pain on her leg, she looked around at her surroundings, noticing a small heat register. A moment, faint smoke, followed by heavier smoke started to seep in.

"Shit, I have to get out of here." She tried to get up again, but the pain was intense. Determined, she tried again, crying tears of pain and agony as she moved up to adjust herself. Thinking quickly, she pulled the material out of Reynolds' hand and made the tightest fist possible around it. When she was centered to where she could move, she started to crawl her way towards the glass door ahead. "God, if you get me out of here, I will do better. I was just sick of being shit on by people, so I became a bitch, but I don't want to die. I won't die because of Christopher Pelant."

She could only inch slowly as she made her way to the sliding glass door that seemed a mile away. She reached for a broom that was nearby and Perotta tried to poke at the glass as she attempted to hold her breath. She was able to get one hole made at the bottom of the glass but the smoke became too much as she passed out.

Pelant arrived back at his place annoyed. His plan to use Dr. Brennan as bait for Agent Booth was ruined by incompetent help but he remedied that, and was able to get rid of another FBI agent at the same time. His match on a phone trick was old-school but he thought it was very clever. It gave him a several hours head start before the cavalry would come in, but all traces of him would be destroyed by then. All that would remain of Reynolds and Agent Perotta would be ash and bones.

He put down his bag, but then looked and saw the rip in his t-shirt. Realizing where it came from, he laughed.

"That loser Zane must have ripped it before he became hamburger. Oh well, soon it will be nothing more than a crispy mess. It's too bad…I really liked this shirt"

He looked at a calendar but got frustrated as he couldn't remember why he had July 4th circled in red. After a moment, he got up and looked at a picture. "That's why I had it circled. I can't believe I forgot. Dad's coming home. It'll be great. It's a national holiday. Temperance Brennan and her little bundle of joy will be dead so that will be number…..four and five. Booth will finally understand why you don't cross me. I'll kill him of course, and then my father won't have a choice but to accept me. Once my father sees there's no one left to hold onto a pedestal but me, it will all be okay. He'll love me."

He put the photo down. "Time for Plan B" He slurred slightly.

He started to walk but his left leg totally gave out and he fell. The paralysis was getting worse and now hit the left side of his face. He noted at times his speech started to slur slightly. Taking a deep breath, he got up and made himself slowly walk while dragging his left leg to his console. He opened up the monitors until he found the Brennan-Booth house and smiled with glee.

Booth and the tac team approached Zane Reynolds' house from the woods out back. When they got closer to the house, they saw a simple farm house with a white van in the driveway.

"Move but watch for booby traps. This kid hates the government"

The squad moved closer and when they got to the front door, they announced themselves. After no answer, Booth knocked again. "Zane Reynolds, this is the FBI. Come out with your hands up or we're coming in"

After no response, the agents broke the door down and came in. Nearby a phone rang. Booth looked and saw it was an old rotary phone. As another agent walked over to check it out, Booth saw what he recognized as a match taped to the phone, smelled the gasoline, and alarms went off. "Agent, get away—"

Suddenly the phone was on fire as a trail of flame shot up surrounding the agents quickly. The agent at the phone was caught in its path as he caught fire. Agent Booth ran over grabbing an afghan from the couch before covering the injured person with it as another agent appeared with a fire extinguisher. Two more agents broke the windows in order to get air into the room before they were all caught in an inferno.

The agent with the fire extinguisher was fighting a losing battle as Booth ordered the men out. When they got outside, Booth thought he heard a faint sound of glass breaking. Looking in that direction, he noticed that there was a sliding door nearby with the bottom covered with bushes. Following his gut, he took one man with him after he ordered one agent to call for help and the others to search the grounds.

The men noted the deck above and the security camera above the deck. "Booth! Over there!" The other agent pointed. Booth looked in his indicated direction.

There was what looked like a stick poking out of the sliding glass door with spidery glass surrounding it due to breakage. When the men got over there, they looked in the smoke covered window and saw what resembled a form crumpled on the floor covered in an article of clothing with a pattern. Suddenly, Booth remembered where he saw that pattern…..a hospital gown from St. George's.

"Shit, that's Perotta. Look out" He took his jacket and quickly wrapped it around his arm. When he was done he broke the glass with his elbow. He moved carefully to open the knob on the inside before rushing in. Booth and the second agent grabbed her and they dragged her out.

Fire Department sirens were heard as the red trucks pulled into the driveway, followed by an ambulance. In quick time, firefighters were working to put out the flame. Booth moved to revive Perotta, noting the fresh bruises on her thighs as her gown was accidentally hiked up to her genital area and that she had no panties on. He pulled his jacket off and placed it on her to give the agent some dignity. He checked for a pulse and was grateful to feel a faint one.

"Perotta! Wake up!"

In the distance, he saw EMTs running across the yard. Before he could get out of the way, he heard a moan followed by a cough. Looking down, he saw her left hand slowly drop what looked like ripped material in his hand. 'For her to grab this while attempting to escape in her condition…it must be important'

He barely had time to collect it before he had to move out of the way of the paramedics, who proceeded to access her before giving her oxygen and putting her on the gurney. An EMT turned to Booth and tossed the coat he assumed to be the agent's. "Going with her?"

"Yeah". Turning to Agent Harris, he barked orders as he was running with the EMTs and Perotta to the ambulance. "Harris, you're in charge. I'll text the Jeffersonian. Get as much evidence as you can, no matter how insignificant it may seem"

As they were all loaded in the ambulance, Booth turned to the tech in the back, who was adjusting Perotta's oxygen levels. "Where are we going?"

"St. George's. It's the closest trauma center"

Booth texted Hodgins and Cam to let them know they were needed at the scene. When he put the phone away, he looked again at the scrap of material in his hand. 'There's only one reason she would have grabbed this before trying to escape'

"Do you have a plastic bag somewhere I can have? Also bandage tape?"

The tech handed him an emesis bag and the tape. Using it, Booth shoved it in and sealed it the best he could and then ripped off a piece of bandage tape and sealed the opening to the bag. 'Gotcha you son of a bitch'

Booth then grabbed his phone and called. "Bones, it's me…..yeah we found her….just in time…yeah I'm in the ambulance now with her. Okay, I will see you as soon as I can….love you too…bye"

Booth put his phone away. He was beyond angry at the attempted murder of another FBI agent, but felt hope for the first time in almost two months as he realized that Pelant did the one thing they needed him to do…..screw up.

The next afternoon, Booth sat in his office, trying to get paperwork he left the last few days done while on the phone arranging repair of his house since as of today it was no longer a crime scene.

"So what's your estimate? That long?...That much? So because of the weekend of the 4th it's going to take that long and that much? Yeah….yeah, I understand. Can we at least live in our house? Well, that's good to know at least. Thanks, pal"

He hung up the phone. 'Your homeowner's insurance policy should cover the damage" Booth muttered in a mocking high pitched voice. "Bombs usually aren't covered with those, dumbass!'

Realizing he was talking to himself, he turned his attention back to Perotta's report on her kidnapping. When questioned, her recollection of the events was piecemeal. She could recollect hearing Pelant before passing out the first time and when she woke up and discovered the fire. The doctor confirmed later there was a hypodermic needle mark in her arm.

The same doctor also stated that when he went to examine her, Perotta became so upset she had to be given a sedative to calm her.

Booth had the nagging suspicion that Perotta remembered more that she was telling. He remembered the bruises he saw on her legs and the absence of her underwear. Later that day, Forensics found a pair of women's underwear crumpled in a corner inside the white van when it was searched, which he gave to Cam to analyze. It disgusted him, but he had to push her soon. He knew she was probably traumatized, but while he couldn't force him to tell her what happened, he knew she needed to so he could get Pelant.

Seeing he wasn't going to get anything done, he made a phone call. "Sweets, it's Booth. I haven't heard from you in two days. You said you wanted to be left alone, and I understand, but you're starting to worry everyone….starting to worry me. We are going home tonight and you can stay with us if you want. Call me, Sweets or else I am tracking you down" He hung up.

"I'm right here, Booth"

Booth looked up and saw Sweets holding a folder. He was wearing one of his death metal t-shirts, jeans, and a hoodie. He also looked like he hadn't slept in two days.

"Sweets, come in here and close the door"

Sweets obeyed and sat across from Booth. "I've been reading the report on the bombing at your house—"

"Sweets what the hell are you reading that for? Why are you at work?"

"Because I am the FBI Profiler assigned to this case, Booth. I have a job to do"

'God I forget how much he has in common with Bones sometimes, especially a talent for shoving things down' Booth thought. "Sweets, I told you not to come back until the 1st"

"I know you did, but I am needed and all I would do is sit at home and either be smothered by my roommates or think and I don't have the time to do that"

"Sweets, you have the right to grieve. You need to grieve"

"I did. I saw her….I talked…I talked to her at the hospital. Now, I need to get the asshole"

"I wanted to let you know the service is at noon tomorrow in Hagerstown. Wanna ride with me and Wendell?" Booth asked

"I'm not going"

Booth almost spit out the coffee he was drinking. "What? What the hell are you talking about? Of course you're going"

"No, Booth, I'm not. I need to help with this case. I don't have time to go to the service"

"Bullshit, Sweets"

"What do you mean 'bullshit?"

"You heard me, kid. None of us have time, either, but we are going to pay our respects to Agent Sparling anyway. I want the real reason you're not coming"

"I already saw her, Booth. I'm good"

Booth knew he was lying, so he got up and walked around his desk until he was sitting on the edge in front of Sweets. "Sweets, you are not good. Olivia was someone you cared deeply for, not just a fuck buddy. Look at you. You haven't slept and you look like shit! You look worse than you did when you were sleeping in your office"

"Thanks, Booth" Sweet said snidely

"Sweets, you loved her. She was taken in a violent way and now she's dead. Trust me when I say this. Avoiding your feelings is not going to make it go away"

"Seemed to work for you when your dad died"

Booth inhaled the retort, knowing he was only speaking out of anger and unresolved grief. "Yeah, I blew it off at first, but I wasn't fine. Bones made me deal with my feelings of sadness, anger, frustration. I'm telling you, you need to say your goodbyes to her, see her one last time before she's gone forever. Do you want the last time you see her to be what you saw in the hospital...all covered in blood, damage, and medical smells?"

"I said I'm fine, Booth! Get off my back!"

Booth knew when to quit. "Okay, Sweets. Your choice" Booth went back to his chair. "By the way, we have the okay to move back into the house tonight. Luckily the damage was contained to one room and part of the hallway. Bones and I are going to be sleeping in the guest room until the repairs are done. Hopefully she'll be home tomorrow night. Emma is going to continue to sleep in Bones' office and the kids will be back in their rooms."

"I'm glad for you, Booth, but why are you telling me this?"

"I'm telling you because if you want to come stay with us for a few days, it's fine. You would have to bunk on the couch or man cave"

Sweets understood the message. "It's okay, Booth. I'll be fine" He got up and took the Pelant file before Booth could snag it. "I gotta go. I have work to do"

Shaw passed Sweets in the entryway before she knocked. "Hey Sweets" All she got was a muttered "Hey" as he headed out the door. She watched him for a moment and then turned to her supervisor. "Agent Booth, you wanted to see me?"

Booth put away his concerns for Sweets for a moment. "Yeah, Shaw, come on in. Close the door"

When she sat down, Booth sat back. "I wanted to see how you were doing. I know you have restrictions but it's good to see you"

"Yeah, I can't be out in the field for at least nine weeks per the surgeon. He said I can do things here in the office"

"You can, and you will. No field work until cleared by the surgeon, all right?"

"Sure, sir" She pulled out the folder she had. "I did the check you wanted on Zane Reynolds. There was a sealed record, but Ms. Julian was able to get it opened." She handed it to Booth. "He was arrested for sexual battery in Loudoun County when he was 16. The victim was a classmate, but the charges were dropped due to the victim dropping her complaint. May I ask why you are looking into Zane Reynolds again now that he's dead? I thought we did a check on him when he was arrested."

"We did, but apparently when it was done it was federal only by mistake"

"Was there a connection with Pelant?" Shaw was puzzled

"No, there's not physically, but there was computer equipment in Reynolds' house. I think Pelant pulled what he did a few months ago with Agent Samuels' daughter."

Suddenly the phone rang. "Booth….Hodgins…what did you find?"

"I'm glad Flynn held onto that marigold because it gave me just enough DNA to compare to this shirt piece"


"It's a match. Christopher Pelant's sweat is on this piece. You got the son of a bitch. Now get him, Booth"

"You are the king of the lab, Hodgins" He hung up the phone and looked to his subordinate. "Pelant finally screwed up. His DNA was on the fabric Perotta gave to me when he found her"

"What do you need from me, sir?"

"The phone company had no record of the call to Reynolds' place, but there's got to be something out there. Comb any financial records you can of Pelant and with Zane Reynolds. Also any medical records….driving records, you name it. We've got to find him. He took Perotta because they thought she was Bones. She's the target"

"You got it, sir"

The phone rang again and Booth saw it was Cam. "Cam, what's up...Bang stick, huh? That's no surprise. I'm glad the fire department got there when they did or else there wouldn't have been much to autopsy or draw DNA from. What about the other thing?" Shaw saw his face fall. "Damn. I was hoping it was just a suspicion, but now it's a fact. Yeah, thanks Cam"

He hung up his phone and became eerily silent. "That was Cam. Pelant stuck with his M.O. A bang stick turned Reynolds' body into sirloin, but they were able to determine it went though in a upward thrust and were able to collect DNA. As for the underwear found in the van, it contained two DNA profiles. One was Reynolds"

Genny put two and two together. "The other one was Agent Perotta"


Shaw sensed he was finished with their meeting. As she was getting up, Booth needed to push the guilt he was feeling about Perotta down, so he asked what he had been curious about the last couple of days. "Shaw" When she turned around, he asked. "How are things with you and Wendell?"

"What do you mean, sir?"

"Come on, Shaw. He's crazy about you"

Genny got excited for a moment, but then fear rose in her like bile. "No he's not. He's just a friend. Plus he's been great with Danny through Big Brothers Big Sisters."

"Shaw, I saw the flowers he gave you. They were not cheap"

"He was trying to be nice, Agent Booth"

Booth pulled a slip of paper from his pocket and opened it. "I knew a couple of them, but I asked Bones about the others. Here's what she said about them. The yellow rose means friendship. The pink carnation means love of a woman. The gardenia means that the recipient is loved and lovely to the giver. The lavender heather means admiration and solitude. The blue iris means faith and hope and the gladiola means strength of character."

He folded the paper back up and placed it in his pocket. "I know for a fact that those flowers put a dent in his budget" Before Shaw could say anything else, he put his hand up to stop her. "I'm not going to push. I'm just saying that Wendell's a good guy. He's loyal, trustworthy….a bit rash, but with good intentions. To top all that off, he's one hell of a hockey player. From what I've seen, he's a good friend to have in a pinch"

He got up and grabbed his phone and keys from the desk. "I'm heading back to the hospital to see Bones, then I'm picking up the kids and Emma and we are going home tonight. Keep me posted, okay?"

"Sure, sir" she said as he left his office. When he was out of view, she walked over to her desk and sat, contemplating.

"Bones, are you sure you're going to be okay tonight?" Booth was feeling less confident about staying at home as he got to the hospital.

"Booth, I'm fine. The kids need to be home. Hodgins and Angela have been generous, but they need to establish a pattern. Plus Russ and Amy have enough to worry about with Hayley. I don't want to send Emma home unless absolutely necessary"

"Why, Bones? I don't mind her being here, but you pushed Russ for her to stay here this summer when Hayley got sicker. Why?"

Brennan took his hand. "Booth, at her age, I was abandoned and shuffled between different foster homes. Russ and Amy don't mean to, but with Hayley sick, Emma gets lost in the shuffle. I want her to have a sense of belonging before she goes back home. Do you understand?"

Booth nodded. "You're right, Bones. I should have realized. Um, I have to tell you something"

Brennan inhaled. "I think I have something to tell you, too"

"You go first, Bones"

"No, you Booth"

"No Bones, you"

"You, Booth"

"How about together, Bones?"

"Okay, Booth"

Both inhaled and spit their news out at the same time.

"I invited Sweets to stay with us for a few days"

"My publicist saw my wedding ring and knows we're married"

When the other's news sunk in, both reacted.

"Again, Booth?"

"Great, Bones, at least she doesn't know you're pregnant, right?"

Bones acted first. "Booth do we have the room?"

"No and no. He would have to either sleep in the man cave or the couch. As for the other thing, he's in denial. He's not going to the service tomorrow"

"Booth….is he going to be okay if he doesn't go? He was here earlier and looked so…sad. I can go with you instead."

"No, Bones, he needs to grieve, not shut it away with work and no you can't go. I talked to your doctor and he said you can maybe go home tomorrow evening but only to bed rest for the next few weeks as a precaution for the baby." Waiting for her blow up he expected, he got nothing. "You're not yelling at me for talking to your doctor before you. What's wrong?"

"Nothing, Booth." Brennan sat for a few seconds before inhaling and continuing. "I am just realizing with all that is going on that you asking my doctor was something you did for me and I appreciate it"

"Okay… about our marriage. What do you want to do?"

"Well, Booth, we kept it a secret because of Pelant, but he obviously knows now and…..he's going to come after us either way, so we might as well pour the beans."

Booth sat on the bed next to his wife and laughed for a moment. "That's spill the beans and okay, call your publicist and tell her it's all right to announce it on the six o'clock news. I'm sure she's dying to"

"Okay, I will" Brennan hesitated for a moment, still unsure how to feel about the person in question. "How's Agent Perotta?"

"The same. States she doesn't know what happened, but her DNA was found on the panties we found in the van with Reynolds' DNA"

"Do you believe her?"

"No, I don't Bones. She may not remember specifics, but at the least, she suspects what happened. I can feel it"

"Did Mr. Reynolds have a history?"

"He did all right. I checked the previous case and the bruising was similar. She needs to tell us what happened, Bones. If we get Pelant we can charge him as an accessory. She needs to deal with this"

"You can't force her, Booth. Not until she's ready. She may never be." Brennan thought about times at her foster homes. Someday, Brennan would have a conversation with Booth. He knew a few things, but not all of it, things she's never told anyone. 'Someday'

Coming back from her thoughts, she thought she had an idea of why Booth was so determined for Perotta to remember. "Booth, I know how you feel about justice, but you are taking what happened to Agent Perotta hard. Why?"

"Bones, an agent was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and almost murdered by a madman. I take that personally."

Brennan knew that wasn't the whole truth. "Booth, what happened was not your fault"

Booth blanched as what his wife said struck a nerve. "Of course it's not my fault. I didn't do it."

"But you blame yourself for what happened to her."

"No, I don't, Bones"

"Booth you do. You feel like it's your fault she was attacked because she was the one you assigned to be the decoy. You assigned her that role because she looked similar to me and because of what she did at our house, didn't you?" Not hearing a reply, Brennan continued.

"Booth, you couldn't have known that Reynolds was involved with Pelant or that he would make the agent guarding the room sick so he would not be outside it. Through a clerical error, you didn't know he had a history of sexual assault. Perotta made the choice to break into our house all on her own and crossed a line. Her actions needed to be dealt with. You are her supervisor and you chose to give this assignment to her, a logical choice"

Booth knew his wife was logical and what she said made sense. "I know, Bones"

"Good. Now stop blaming yourself for what happened. She has to come to terms with it in her own way" Looking to change the subject, Brennan moved quickly. "You said that Hodgins found Pelant's DNA on the material she found"

"Yeah, Bones. What's that thing you called his ego? The thing you said would let us get him?"


"Yeah, his hubris…man's not so smart without his computers, is he?" He smiled at his wife. "Okay, Bones. If you promise you're going to be fine, I'll get the kids and take them home"

Brennan reached out and kissed her husband goodbye. "Don't forget to bring me some breakfast from the diner tomorrow before you leave for Maryland. The food here is terrible"

Booth smiled. "Yes, my dear, I promise"

Booth's lasts few hours were swept in a wave of children, a father-in-law he had to watch out for to ensure he didn't go off half cocked on Pelant, Pelant casework, and finally….dinner at home with two pizzas with the works and one with pepperonis and veggies for Emma. He knew she enjoyed rabbit food like her aunt, but was grateful she did enjoy some meat.

Sometimes he would watch Emma and see how much she was like Bones. They weren't related by blood, but she had similar nature to her. Both enjoyed healthy food. Both had memories like an elephant and razor attention to detail. Each enjoyed quiet time with a book, and both got a similar look in their eyes when they saw remains, Emma's from shadowing her Aunt Tempe at the Jeffersonian.

He had no doubt that someday there would be another forensic anthropologist in the family to keep up the tradition when the time came where he and Bones would not be there. He dared to hope there would be another FBI agent who could help Emma continue the work he and Bones started almost nine years earlier.

After dinner and cleaning up, the kids mellowed down. Emma went into Bones' office to read another one of her aunt's journals before going to bed. Parker joined Booth as he took Christine upstairs as she slept on his shoulder. As Parker went into his room to get ready for bed, Booth got his youngest prepared for bed.

After her story and she fell asleep, Booth couldn't leave just yet. He could only sit next to the bedside to watch the little girl sleeping, the best example currently of the love between him and Dr. Temperance Brennan. If he calculated right, by Valentine's Day next year he would another baby to demonstrate that love, but Christine would always be his princess.

He continued to watch her in awe. She may be two years old, but her looks and personality were already coming through. Her eyes and her complexion were all Bones. Her beauty….all Bones. Her hair was going to be dark like his, as he noted her blonde hair already getting darker. Personality wise, she was all Booth.

He mentally shuddered as he knew what his life would be like over a decade from now, with nights waiting up, sometimes with his service pistol if he didn't like her date. He would teach her the basics….how to enjoy meat without grossing out her mother too much, how to play and enjoy sports, especially hockey, how to shoot a gun when a boy she went out with tried to get funny with her. 'I remember what teenage boys were like. She's not dating one like me…..heeellll no'

All that had happened lately with Pelant only reinforced his desire to give all his children what he didn't have for the first dozen years of his life. Comfort…security….acceptance…love.

Booth gave his daughter a kiss and was coming out of Christine's room when he saw Parker looking into the damaged master suite. "Parker, come on, it's time for bed"

Parker reluctantly tore himself away from the view and went into his bedroom followed by Booth, who closed the door. Booth saw his son's emotions swirling and came around to hug him.

"Dad, I'm thirteen years old"

"Tough. You're never too old for a hug from your old man. Why don't you tell me what's on your mind?"

The Booth men sat on the bed. "Dad, what if Bones died instead of Sweets' girlfriend?"

Booth sat in silence, knowing he had to form his answer carefully, but decided the truth was in order. "I don't know, son. But I would have to make myself go on, for you and Christine. It's not the best answer but it's the most honest one I can think of"

"Why did he kill Mom, Dad?" Parker had tears in his eyes. "Why did he try to hurt Bones?"

Booth inhaled and then exhaled as he gathered his thoughts. His oldest child…..who for years he thought would be his only one. He had Rebecca's blonde hair, but he had the Booth eyes and looked just like him. Parker was very much like his father personality wise, but he had a squint streak in him that had been nurtured over the years by Bones, Max, and Hodgins. Parker's favorite place was Hodgins' Ookey Room. 'Yep, this one will be a squint….not just any squint….but a bug boy squint'. He didn't care what Parker did as long as he was happy and fulfilled. When he looked at his son, he saw Parker was waiting for a response to his question, so Booth moved to think quickly for a good answer, but then decided there was no 'good' answer, just the only one he knew.

"He's sick, son. Not like someone who's mentally ill, but sick in the head in another way. He can't see past himself. All he sees when he sees us are people who are keeping him away from his goal, whatever it is. I promise, you, though. He's not going to come near you, Christine, Emma, or Michael Vincent. He'll go through all of us first"

Parker hugged his dad again. "Thanks, Dad. I'm going to try to go to bed now"

"Okay, Max will be with you all tomorrow while I am at Agent Sparling's service in Maryland. Bones is probably coming home tomorrow night, too"


"Yeah, really"

"Cool" After giving his dad another hug, Parker got into bed. Booth turned out the light and closed the door. He went to go to the guest room but the master suite took his attention. Unable to tear himself away, he walked inside.

The structural damage was confined to the one wall and the ceiling. The dresser was gone, taken as evidence. Their clothes were in their closets for the time being.

The bed was burned on the side closest to the alarm clock…..his side. 'Better go shopping for a new bed tomorrow after the service. Bones will be on bed rest, but she can do online research to keep her from going cuckoo'

He looked on the floor and saw a picture frame broken and black that he missed while getting clothes earlier in the week.

It was a picture of their family, taken when Parker was visiting soon after Christine was born. It was a personal favorite of his as Christine was smiling. He kept the same copy of the picture on his desk. Tears began to fall as he realized that this was the spot he almost lost his wife…his soul mate….his best friend.

He let them fall for a minute, but then wiped them away as he came back to reality. 'Bones didn't die….she's in the hospital…..she's having their second child…..a miracle she didn't miscarry. She and I are going to get that bastard'

Booth put the picture remains on what remained of the bed before quietly walking out of the room and went downstairs to the living room. After sitting for a minute, he went to the kitchen and poured himself two fingers of Glenlivet. He was walking back to the couch when the doorbell rang. When he opened the door, Sweets was standing out there with a duffel bag.

"Is the offer to stay still open?"

Booth smiled. "Come on in, Sweets"

When the men came into the living room and sat down, Emma emerged from Brennan's office. "Emma, what are you doing up?" Booth asked

"I couldn't sleep Uncle Booth" She turned to the other man. "Hi Sweets"

"Hi Emma"

"Uncle Booth, can I stay out here with you for a while?"


As Emma sat on the chair, footsteps were heard. Sweets and Booth turned to see Parker coming down the stairs holding Christine. "Christine woke up and I can't sleep. Can we stay here with you?" He turned to the other man. "Hey, Sweets"

Booth laughed. "Sure the more the merrier. I have a hard time sleeping without Bones"

Two hours later the Brennan-Booth living room was in silence. Emma was passed out in Booth's recliner. Parker and Christine were sleeping on the floor and Sweets was sleeping on one side of the couch, half sitting up.

Booth was sitting wide awake. He tried to sneak away to the guest room again to sleep but it didn't work. He couldn't sleep out here either and he knew why. Realizing he needed to remedy the situation, he turned and woke up Sweets.

"Who's there? I have a gun"

"Sweets, it's me. I'm heading to the hospital to get some sleep. I can't sleep without Bones. Do you mind staying out here with the kids?"

"Nope" Sweets muttered. "Got my gun" he slurred in his speech.

Realizing that his gun may be loaded, Booth perked up. "Where is it? I have kids here, dumbass"

"Fuck you, Booth. It's on the top shelf over there and the safety is on" He slurred as he fell back asleep.

Booth got up and grabbed his keys from the bowl by the door. Right as he was going to open the door, he turned around and headed back to the living room and thumped Sweets upside the head, waking him up.

"Ow, what was that for?"

"You're on my couch, Sweets. The only one who gets to tell me to fuck off is my wife. I'm taking your car because you're blocking me. Now go to sleep"

When Sweets snuggled back on the couch with one of Christine's blankets, Booth walked out the door to his Sequoia. He checked his bag on the back seat to make sure he had the essentials to get ready for tomorrow. His suit that he kept in the car in case he wouldn't make it home to get ready for the funeral was hanging on the hook on the driver's side. After transferring everything to Sweets' car, he got in, started the motor, and left.

Brennan lay in bed, wide awake. She used to be able to sleep alone with no issues. For many years she preferred it. Now, she got used to Booth lying next to her, spooning her. She felt safe and relaxed. Without that security, she couldn't turn her brain off as she thought about the baby.

'Where are going to put the new baby? The guest room?'

'Do I want a boy or a girl?'

'How much time will I require off before I can go back to work on the Pelant case?'

'What if I miscarry this baby?'

The last thought stopped her cold. She purposely tried not to think about it as for all intents and purposes she should have lost the baby. If it wasn't for the fact that she was holding the pillow to her body when she landed with Agent Perotta into the dresser, she wouldn't be pregnant anymore. 'Pelant almost killed my progeny'

She closed her eyes in an attempt to fall asleep and was about to give up when she heard her door open. Looking in that direction, she saw the figure she knew as well as her own come over and kiss her.

"Booth? What are you doing here?"

"I couldn't sleep without you, Bones"

"Who's with the children?"

"Sweets. He came over a while ago. Right now there's a slumber party going on in our living room. Give me five minutes. I'm putting my PJs on quick"

Brennan watched her husband go into the bathroom and smiled. A few minutes later, he came out wearing a Philadelphia Flyers shirt and sweat pants. He snuggled in the hospital bed with her. Both fell asleep within minutes.

He came over, kissed his wife, and then grabbed the suit hanging by the door before entering the hospital bathroom. When he got in, he was grateful for the fact they were in the VIP wing and got a full shower instead of the makeshift shower in the other patient bathrooms.

A minute later, he got under the hot water and let it soothe his back, which he felt after spending the couple of nights with his wife in her hospital bed. As for the dull pain in his soul, no relief in the world would let him escape the events of the last 72 hours.

Booth came back from his thoughts when he felt the water getting cold. He quickly finished and got out. He dried himself off and quickly prepared himself for the long day. When his routine was completed, he took a minute and said a prayer for Agent Sparling, for Sweets, and for his family in the coming days. His heart was telling him that things were coming to a head in regards to Pelant and needed all the help he could get.

He heard his cell phone play Hot Blooded and saw there was a text from his wife. When he read it he laughed.

Booth, it's getting late and we are getting hungry

K Bones B right out

Booth walked out and saw his wife sleepy, hair sticking up on her head, and her blue eyes lit. He thought she was the most beautiful thing he ever saw.

"You are so beautiful, Temperance Brennan"

His wife rolled her eyes. "Obviously you have not had any coffee and are still asleep. Booth, the baby and I are getting hungry and you have to pick up Wendell"

"And Agent Shaw and Sweets"

"Booth you told me he was not going to Maryland. When he came here yesterday it looked like he hadn't slept or showered since everything happened. How are you going to make him go?"

Booth walked to Brennan's bed and gave her a passionate kiss, letting go reluctantly. "Don't you worry about that, Bones. Just know he's going. He's at the house now because I have his car and probably still passed out on our couch."

"It's statements like that Booth that make me worry"

"Honey, it will be fine. I need to get going to the diner. What do you want for breakfast?"

"A fruit salad and juice" Booth turned to leave. "Oatmeal also. Fresh berries on the side, not cooked"

Booth waited a moment trying to hide a smile as he remembered when she was pregnant with Christine. Bones started packing the food away almost immediately, sometimes more than him. He was not disappointed.

"Two eggs scrambled with no salt and whole wheat toast"

"Anything else?"

Brennan thought for a second. "I don't think so"

"Okay, I will be back soon with your breakfast but I have to grab mine on the run with the others" He walked over and kissed his wife again. "Be back soon. I love you, Bones" He kissed her abdomen. "I love you, too, baby"

"We love you too, Booth"

A little over an hour later, Booth was pulling to the street in front of his house. He, along with Wendell and a blood-shot eyed Genny got out in silence each holding Styrofoam containers. Booth pulled a suit from the back seat hanger.

"You two go wait by my Sequoia" He pulled the house keys off of a skull carabiner. "Here's Bones' copy of my keys. We'll be out soon. Sweets and I don't need an audience, but if we're not out in twenty minutes, I will need you two."

Booth grabbed his breakfast from Wendell and headed to his front door. Throwing the suit over his shoulder, he used his free hand to unlock the door and walked in. Emma, Parker, and Christine were in their pajamas in the living room and he came in and gave kisses to each and greeted them with good mornings. Sweets was nowhere to be seen.

Emma talked to her uncle earlier that morning and knew what Booth was planning. "He's in the downstairs bathroom throwing up" She turned to the younger ones. "Parker, grab Christine so we can watch a movie in the man cave"

"But I'm in the third quarter—"

"Go with Emma. Take Christine. Now Parker. Please"

Seeing his father was serious, he saved his game and took his little sister's hand. "Come on Christine. We're going to Dad's Man Cave"

When the children left the room, Booth sat the container down and stood in the living room watching for Sweets. About five minutes later Sweet shuffled into the living room, still wearing the clothes from the previous day. He was startled when he saw Booth.

"Jesus, Booth. You scared the shit out of me"

"Good. That means you're awake. Here's a suit I swiped from your office. Jump in the downstairs shower. You can use the electric I leave down here to shave. We need to be on the road by ten and I haven't had my breakfast yet. I'll snarf it down while you're in the shower"

"I'm not going, Booth"

"Yes, Sweets you are"

Sweets' eyes flared a rare temper, which is what Booth was hoping for. "No, Booth. I told you I talked to Olivia at the hospital. I have things to do for the case. Someone needs to stay with the kids"

At that moment, Max walked in the door and walked into the living room. "Guys, get the hell out of here. I want to spend time with my grandchildren without your ugly mugs to look at"

Booth smiled at Max a silent thank you. Max acknowledged with a nod. "The kids are in the man cave, Max"

When Max left the room, Booth turned back to Sweets. "As you can see, I have someone here for the kids today. Now, get your skinny ass in gear so we can go. Your breakfast is in my truck"

Sweets began to get angrier. "What the hell do you have between your ears, a hockey puck? I'm not going and that's final. Now get out and let me be"

Booth got mad now. "Listen shitforbrains, I may not have a doctorate but I'm not an idiot. This is my house, and I'm not going without you. You can sit in the truck during the service for all I care, but your skinny, whinny ass will be there with us, not here, your apartment, or your office pouting like a crybaby"

"FUCK YOU, BOOTH!" Sweet erupted and shoved Booth, pushing him to the floor on his ass.

'Damn he's got some game when he's pissed off ' Booth thought to himself.

"Don't use reverse psychology on me. God damn you! I can't see her again! Don't you understand! She's dead. She's never coming home. I can't….I just can't….." Sweets collapsed to the floor and wept the tears he'd been too afraid to release for days.

Booth gave him a moment. After about a minute, he came over and took Sweets in another bear hug as the younger man purged himself. When it seemed that Sweets was starting to calm down, Booth knew to make his move and let go of him.

"Sweets…'ve got twenty minutes. I'll be out in the truck with Wendell and Agent Shaw. If you're not out there, we're coming in to get you. Sit in the truck if you want, but you're riding with us there"

Booth got up, leaving Sweets on the floor in a heap. He walked back to the man cave and opened the door. Max looked up and Booth could only shrug his shoulders. Max nodded his understanding before taking his attention back to the kids.

Booth grabbed his breakfast where he set it down and walked back to the SUV.

"Is he coming?" Wendell asked

"We'll see in eighteen minutes" Booth said before he started eating.

Booth gave him almost twenty-five. He signaled to the others and all were moving to get out of the SUV when the front passenger door opened. Sweets put his Styrofoam container on the dash before getting in. He buckled in, then grabbed his food and started eating. "Sorry I'm late" he muttered.

All got back in. Booth started the vehicle and put it into gear before pulling past the gate and leaving the driveway.

The SUV arrived at the cemetery at quarter to noon. Three people moved to get out of the SUV, with one remaining in the vehicle.

Booth sent Wendell and Genny to the graveside. He moved to Sweets' door and opened it. "Sweets, the service is right over there"

"I'm not going"

"God damn it, Sweets"

"You said I could sit in the truck. I'm sitting in the truck"

Booth was beyond frustrated and lost it as he forcefully grabbed the younger man's shoulders so Sweets was facing him. "Listen to me you fucking crybaby. The woman you love lost her life by being the epitome of a Federal Agent. Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity. She deserves to be honored by her loved ones and to be remembered for the life she led. She deserves more than for the man she cared for to piss and moan because he doesn't have the guts to show how he felt about her….to cry in front of people. You sit here and pout. I'm going to honor one of the brightest agents I had the pleasure to know."

Booth slammed the door. "I thought you were better than that, Sweets"

Booth stormed off without looking back and put on his sunglasses. 'God I hope that worked. I didn't want to be that cruel but nothing else worked'

Sweets sat in the SUV stewing. "What an asshole! He said I didn't love Olivia. Of course I loved her. I loved her hair….her smile….the way she would yell at the screen when we would watch a kung fu movie….the way she loved me as I was."

Tears started to stream down his face. "She looked so…pale…..burned….she was too quiet" Sweets started to sob again. "Nobody will know how great you were…"

Booth sat quietly waiting for the service to begin. He believed in honoring the dead, but each service that he has attended for a fallen comrade took a little more out of him each time.

She shouldn't have died. She should be with Sweets right now watching another kung fu movie. Her career was on the upswing and she was going places. She didn't deserve to die from a madman's bomb….a madman that he should have killed when he had the chance. He knew that it wasn't his fault, but parts of him couldn't help but go back there. When he did, he remembered the times Christopher Pelant hurt Bones.

"Is this seat free?"

Booth looked up and saw Sweets. "Yeah, it's free"

Sweets sat down. "Thanks, Booth…..for everything"

"No problem"

The minister walked up to the coffin and began the graveside service

Booth was walking to his wife's hospital room. Bones texted him earlier and told him the doctor was discharging her in about an hour. Whistling Hot Blooded, he walked to his wife's room with a bouquet of daffodils.

When he got to the room, he called to her in a sing-song voice. "Bones, ready to come home"

When he got into the room, he stopped dead in his tracks.

Bones was in bed talking to a wheelchair bound Peyton Perotta and both had tear stained faces.

Booth got over his shock. "Sorry….I didn't mean to interrupt. Agent Perotta, how are you doing?"

Perotta couldn't look him in the eye. "I'm fine, Agent Booth. I'm just going to head back to my room, sir" She turned to Brennan. "Thank you for letting me talk to you, Dr. Brennan"

Brennan and Booth watched her wheel towards the door. Booth rushed over to open the door for her and she left. When she left, he walked back over to his wife. "Bones, what was that all about?"

Brennan patted the side of her bed and Booth came over and sat down. "We've been talking for quite a while when you got here…"


By late afternoon, Brennan was reading her latest issue of Medicinal Physics Quarterly that Booth brought her with her breakfast. She was also subconsciously rubbing her abdomen.

After a moment, she put the journal aside as her thoughts were invaded by one in particular. Peyton Perotta.

The Peyton Perotta that she worked with in the past was very capable. Not as good as Booth, but no one was as Booth was the best the FBI had.

Over the last year or so, the few times she was in the same room with her, there was a change. Her eyes studied a person much like she studied bones. Her words had a cutting edge to them at times. Her wardrobe began to push the FBI dress code to the limit. She became quite aloof with people. She just seemed….closed off. Angela would call her a bitch and she was right.

After Angela brought to her attention Perotta's interest in her husband, she studied her further. She trusted Booth implicitly and knew he would never go against regulations when it came to a subordinate. Nor would he 'step down'on her.

'So what brought the change in this agent? How does an agent go from excellent to good but also break into the house of her supervisor that she lusted for just to plant evidence of a meeting of sexual intercourse?' Agent Perotta was not a stupid individual from what she observed, so why risk her career on that?

Her feelings were mixed. She was still angry about the fact she invaded their mighty hut. The fact that she made her way into their private bedroom made her ill. Her and Booth's bedroom was their escape from the world. Yes, she had her office and he had his man cave, but at night, when they had a particularly draining case, it was in that room that they could come together and offer comfort to the other in a way no one can.

She remembered the crime scene pictures Booth showed her of the Reynolds' property. She also remembered what he told her about his observations, including her extreme reaction to being examined. Plus there were the DNA results that Booth had Cam run to help maintain a little bit of privacy.

Perotta could very well not remember due to the drugging, but scientifically there was no doubt that Agent Perotta had observed signs of sexual assault. Perotta's extreme reaction when she was examined made Bones wonder if Booth was right and that she remembered not all, but enough to put the pieces together.

The agent needed to be disciplined for her actions at their house, but she didn't deserve what happened. 'No woman should' Brennan thought.

She didn't tell Booth that she had a moment or two since the day before where she would momentarily blame herself. After all, Christopher Pelant bombed their home. Perotta was a decoy for her in a trap for Pelant which failed due to the incompetent agent who left his post. If it wasn't for Perotta, she could very well have been the one who was assaulted and probably murdered at some point. She was probably to be used as bait for her husband.

Then, her rationalism would supersede those thoughts. She didn't assault the agent. Booth didn't assault the agent. Zane Reynolds did and was given access by Pelant.

As much as Angela said she should kick Perotta's ass, Brennan chose not to. The only ones who knew of Booth's suspicions that they were aware of were the two of them and Agent Shaw. Booth asked her advice on how to discipline her since only a select few what had happened at the house. She couldn't do that, though, because while she felt empirical evidence was the most important, Booth taught her that the why was also key to the case.

It was then she heard a knock at her door. Figuring it was someone from the Jeffersonian or the FBI since there was a guard outside the door, she didn't ask. "Come in"

The door opened automatically and she was surprised to see Agent Perotta wheel herself in. She stopped in the middle of the room. "Dr. Brennan, can we talk for a minute?

Brennan felt herself getting all mixed up emotionally as she fought to remain rational. In the end, curiosity got to her as she saw an envelope on her lap. "Of course, Agent Perotta" When the agent got closer, she couldn't stop herself. "As you can see, Booth isn't here and there is no room for you to roll on the bed to place your perfume"

Perotta inhaled quickly and then exhaled. 'I've got only myself to blame, but I have to do this. I made a promise and I'm keeping it damn it'

She counted to five and then began. "Dr Brennan, I'm here to offer an apology for my behavior at your house, and for the last several months. I wanted to wait until you were out of the hospital, but I'm being released later tonight and then I am only coming back here for therapy and dressing changes and I'm not sure I will be seeing you anytime soon or again"

Peyton did one of the hardest things she ever did as she looked the other woman straight in the eye. "I wanted to sleep with your husband. I wanted to make it look like we had slept together in your bed and I was determined to do that, no matter what the cost. I didn't think to consider that he was not interested in me or that he was very happy with you and your children. I know now that it was a fantasy world and I was stupid to be led to otherwise. I not only violated any trust and respect that I had earned through Agent Booth, but the rules of the FBI in regards to fraternization with superiors. I would like your forgiveness, but I don't deserve it. For the first time in a long time I wanted…needed to do the right thing and to face you and what I did."

Brennan could only stare at the agent, shocked at how honest she was. Booth was so much better at reading people, but she picked up things over the years. Based on what Booth told her about lying behavior, she believed the agent was telling the truth.

Perotta took the lack of reaction to mean to wrap things up.

"Well, I'm going to let you go now, Dr. Brennan" She pulled the white envelope out of her lap and placed it on her bedside table. "If you could make sure Agent Booth gets that, I appreciate it. Thank you for listening to me"

She began to turn her wheelchair when she heard a "STOP!" Surprised, she turned around to see Brennan looking at her with determination. "Yes, Dr. Brennan"

"Come here Agent Perotta"

'I won't be Agent Perotta much longer' Peyton thought to herself before coming closer.

"You can't come into my room, give a speech with an apology, leave an envelope for my husband, and just leave"

Seeing the younger woman's eyes get big, Brennan couldn't help but smile. "Yes, Agent Perotta, in case you haven't watched the news, Booth is now my husband. We were married on June 13th, which is also the wedding anniversary of his paternal grandparents. We only had a select few people there, including Agents Shaw and Sparling. It was also to keep Pelant from finding out"

Seeing she had the woman's attention, she continued. "Now, Agent Perotta. We're going to have a discussion about many topics"

About an hour, Agent Perotta finished what she said. "I just felt like I was getting shit on and wanted something for myself. Yes, he encouraged me, but in the end I'm the one who chose to be a bitch"

Brennan looked at her with sadness. 'She's been though a lot and she's not completely innocent, but I'll eventually find a way to get back at him for his part'

Coming back from her thoughts, Brennan addressed the agent. "I have something else to ask you, Agent Perotta. You may not like what I am going to ask you, but I think I should"

A chill ran up Perotta's spine. 'Where's Agent Booth? I just want him to read my letter and get this over with'

"Agent Perotta, what do you remember of when you were kidnapped?"

All the color drained out of her face as she contemplated. Flashes of memory were played out the last two days in the form of nightmares when she closed her eyes. If it wasn't for the morphine given for her leg she wouldn't be sleeping. 'No, no, I'm not going to talk about this. Just forget it and it will go away'

"I vaguely remember hearing Pelant as he addressed Mr. Reynolds and a loud bang, which I figure is where Pelant killed him with the bang stick"

"Agent Perotta, they found semen in a pair of underwear in the van, along with another person's DNA"

Bile started to build in her stomach as she fought for control, but it was for naught as tears came down her face. "I don't know where that came from, Dr. Brennan. I don't know what happened. I have no idea. If I could tell you I would. Now please, excuse me"

Perotta quickly turned and headed out the door.

Brennan began to cry unsure if it was because she pushed Perotta too far, pregnancy hormones wreaking havoc, or both. "Agent Perotta, please come back. I'm sorry"

Brennan saw Agent Perotta wheel herself back with a wariness in her eyes, not unlike one she carried for years herself when someone would push her beyond her comfort zone. "I'm sorry. I just wanted to let you know that if you need anything let me know"

Brennan contemplated for a moment as she remembered Booth's request for suggestions on what to do in regards to Perotta's discipline for what happened at their house. 'She's been punished enough….that's what I'll tell Booth'

Perotta was stunned at her other woman's kindness. "Thank-thank you, Dr. Brennan"


"That's it? No way, Bones, there's a lot you didn't tell me. Why the hell did she do all this?"

"Booth, it's not important to her job. She told me in confidence and I plan on keeping it that way"

"She's my agent"

"Wendell was my intern"

Booth was momentarily confused, but then remembered the night he was in the ER for possible poisoning. "Bones….."

"Booth, if I felt you needed to know I would tell you" Brennan grabbed the envelope left by the other agent. "She left this for you"

Booth took the envelope and read its contents. "Ooooohhh no. Nooo way"

Brennan saw his face. "Booth, what's the matter?"

Booth looked up furious. "She's resigning. No way, not on my watch"

"I won't accept this resignation, Agent Perotta. You are valuable to my team and I need the best to defeat Pelant"

"Agent Booth, you don't need me"

"Yes I do. I don't understand why you did what you did at our house" He saw the panic in her eyes. "Don't worry, Bones didn't say a word but I trust her when she says it's nothing to do with your effectiveness as an FBI agent."

He contemplated his words for a moment. "Agent Perotta, I've seen in the last couple of days an agent I used to know. Now, I know you've been….traumatized because you were ra-kidnapped. I have been trying to determine your discipline from your stunt at my house, but I think we're about even. If you can be the agent you used to be before the last several months, then I need you on my team and we will pretend what happened before the bomb didn't happen"

He saw the younger agent wavering. "If you need more time—"

"No I don't" Perotta realized quitting was the easy way out. She needed to help get Pelant….she wanted him to suffer. "Okay, Agent Booth. How can I help?"

"The doctor said you can get around on crutches. If you are comfortable, report to work tomorrow. You can assist Agent Shaw sifting though Reynolds' and Pelant's records"

'Great…get to work with a pissed off Shaw…..goodie' "I will be there"

"Good. I will see you tomorrow Agent Perotta"

"Good night, sir. Congratulations on your marriage"

Booth had a feeling the words were genuine. "Thanks"

Booth walked out of the room and headed back to pick up his wife. While having an agent like Perotta assisting him with Pelant was mostly the motive for asking her to come back to work, he had another ulterior motive.

'I'm going to find out what you did to Perotta, Christopher Pelant. Maybe she will eventually be comfortable enough to discuss what happened so we can go after you for your part. You will not go after any of my agents…not on my watch'

Pelant was watching the news while building something. The television showed Brennan being escorted out of the hospital by Booth into their SUV parked out front.

Author and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan was released today from St. George's University Hospital. She was accompanied by her husband and partner, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the D.C's District Major Crimes Division Seeley Booth. Yesterday it was announced through their publicist that the couple had married in a private ceremony on June 13th.

Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth have been partners in the most successful FBI partnership in history since 2005. Their daughter Christine was born in 2011. According to the latest figures, they have a ninety-seven percent solve rate. Both have credited the assistance of other agents along with fellow scientists of Dr. Brennan at the Jeffersonian Institute's Medico-Legal Lab.

To recap, Dr. Brennan and three FBI agents were involved in an explosion in their home June 25th, leaving one agent dead and two others injured, the last agent was also released today. When asked for a statement, an FBI spokesman said they were pursuing a suspect at this time and withholding release of his name pending an investigation.

In other news—

Pelant turned off the television and laughed. "Of course they're not going to release my name. They know that they have nothing on me….nothing at all"

Pelant was putting wires together in a box and giggling. "The Fourth is going to be so great…..Dad's coming here and I get to blow up Booth"

He turned to look at a collage of Brennan wistfully. "I don't want to kill you, Temperance and I'm sorry I have to. I love you, but Booth knew what would happen if he married you. Plus he's the one thing keeping me from my father loving me." He kissed the picture first chastely then started including his tongue. "All I know is, Booth needs to be destroyed"

He returned to his project on the table. "On the Fourth, there's going to be more than just fireworks, but a day of reckoning!"

Pelant slowly moved his arm to a button. After a moment of having difficulty making it work, he was able to push it. Suddenly, the voices of Booth reading to Christine came in clear.

"Yeah, the FBI found most of my bugs….but not all of them"

'It was so good to be home' Bones thought to herself as she sat in the jet bathtub in the master bathroom. Booth was putting the children to bed so she could relax for a bit.

A short time later she was ready to get out. She carefully lifted herself out of the bathtub, making sure that her splint remained dry until she was sitting on the edge. The doctor gave instruction that she was to stay home for the next two weeks but could walk for thirty minutes a day short distances. Knowing Booth would be done soon and hover over her, she went as quickly as felt comfortable with as she gingerly lifted off the tub and dried herself off. Grabbing her favorite comfy robe, a blue one with white skulls all over, she slipped it on. After wrapping her ankle, she put on a bunny slipper on the other foot.

Earlier, she used the hallway door to get into the bathroom, but as she stood ready to open the door, she changed her mind. She bypassed her crutches, grabbed the baby monitor Booth put in with her and slowly she walked to the other door leading to the master bedroom and opened it.

She took a few steps into the room as she heard Booth in Christine's room reading her a story. Her family's voices died out as she examined the damage for herself.

The dresser that she picked out with Booth at the antique store by the Maryland shore was gone. Booth said it along with what was on it was damaged or destroyed, while the clothes in it were salvageable and were washed by Angela while she was in the hospital. She saw her jewelry box, the one Booth got her after she gave birth to Christine, was sitting in the chair on the other side of the room miraculously with little damage.

On the floor, she saw a burned lump that she recognized as what remained of her African fertility statue. Among the other odds and ends on the floor she saw Booth's beer hat melted. She recalled it was on the dresser and it seemed he forgot to put it away before she came home. Usually, she would get mad, but as Booth would put it last time, 'Bones, sometimes shit happens'

She didn't understand how fecal matter had anything to do with leaving his beer hat on the dresser, but that ceased in importance as she took in the room.

The damage was as Booth said it was, mostly confined to one wall. Where the bed used to be was mostly charred. Booth said that the bed was destroyed and they would go shopping for a new bed when she was able, but she looked online at places. The remains of Booth's nightstand were sitting on the floor.

As she took in the damage, she remembered what she could…..the dressing down of Perotta…..hearing the word "Bomb!", being propelled into Agent Perotta before both were flown into the dresser by the impact of the explosion. Her next memory was being pushed into the ultrasound room.

The impact of that day seemed to finally settle with her as she realized how close she and her unborn child came to dying from Christopher Pelant. Why she held the pillow she had no idea, but it saved her baby. She wasn't out of the woods yet with her pregnancy but the doctor was confident she could probably carry full term. She knew it was illogical and wrong, but she was grateful for Booth not being able to pick her up at the airport. It could have been Booth that was killed by the bomb instead of Agent Sparling.

Her emotions started like a roller coaster in her as she thought of all the events of the last eighteen months. Pelant killed innocent people, framed her for the murder of a dear friend who did nothing but try to help her at her request, took advantage of grieving teenagers to do his bidding, attempted to murder her friends after terrorizing them with a dead body in their bedroom, and emotionally blackmailed the man she loved into breaking her heart.

Brennan started feeling anger at Pelant, wishing him dead as tears started to fall. 'Excessive human chorionic gonadotropin…that's all this is….I'm a rational person…Booth and I will get him….we will have justice'

But as her thoughts continued, her crying intensified for several minutes until she felt the arms of her husband surround her from behind. "Sssshhh, it's okay, Bones"

"N-n-no it's not, Booth. He was in our house…..our children's rooms…our bedroom….where we dream, talk, and make love. He's corrupted our mighty hut"

Booth felt his anger at Pelant intensify as he listened to his wife's words, but knew she needed to calm down not only for the baby's sake, but for Parker and Christine's. He would let her break down later when they were alone but she needed reassurance now. He did it the only way he knew how with his partner….the truth.

"Bones, listen to me. Listen to me"

When she turned around she felt instant comfort and safety in the beautiful chocolate brown eyes of her husband. "He was in Parker and Christine's rooms. Yes, he was in our bedroom, but he did not destroy our home. It's still our home. We talk about our dreams in other rooms in this house and yes, while we mostly made love in this room, we've made love before and after Christine was born in all the other rooms of this house, but we won't let him win"

Booth wrapped one arm around Brennan and cupped her cheek with the other hand. "Soon this room will be repaired. Yes we will have a new bed and dresser. Your African statue is toast, along with my beer hat and other items, but I don't give a shit about those. He may have damaged this room, but he didn't destroy it. When we have a case that is really hard and soul draining this is the room I know I can confide to you, listen to you, and comfort you with words or by showing you. It will be slightly different but we will still have this room. Pelant tried to destroy the sanctity of this place along with trying to kill you, but I won't let him succeed. If we let him get under our skin about him being here, he's going to win, Bones"

He kissed her gently. "I'll be damned if that son of a bitch takes away the home we have built together. This is our mighty hut, not his. We need to take it back, but I can't do that without you. Can you help me with that, Bones?"

She knew what he was doing but was grateful for it. She didn't want the children to see her upset, because they needed to be protected as much as possible. "Yes, Booth. I will use my superior intellect and you will use your skills with people and emotions to defeat Pelant with the help of Agents Shaw and Perotta and our friends"

"That's right, Bones. Come on, let's go to bed" It was then he noticed the crutches weren't there. "Bones, where are your crutches?"

'Oh it's starting' Brennan thought to herself. "In the bathroom"

Booth walked into the bathroom and retrieved them. "Bones, you need to use these"

"The doctor said do what I felt was comfortable"

"The doctor said not to be up for long periods of time"

"I won't be Booth because I'm going to bed" Brennan started to limp out the door.

Booth followed holding the crutches. "You're using these, Bones"

They continued to go back and forth as they walked to the guest room down the hall. "No, I'm not Booth. Not in my home. I'm perfectly capable of walking around my house without crutches"

"Bones, you have a sprained ankle and these will help you until you are 100%, plus you're pregnant" Booth said as he walked into the bedroom after his wife and closed the door.

Parker wandered out of the room and headed towards the children's bathroom and heard the bickering of his father and stepmother. For a moment, he forgot his sadness as he laughed at what he was hearing.

'Dad's right….we're gonna get this guy and we're going to be okay'

Two days later, Genny arrived at work tired but focused. She ended up staying home yesterday and Wendell brought Danny home when he noticed he wasn't feeling well. It wasn't intentional, but he ended up staying to watch the Orioles game. They were up until after two o'clock talking before they realized the time. She felt bad as she remembered Wendell had to be at the lab at eight but he told her not to worry about it.

As she neared the elevator in the garage, Wendell kept popping up in her mind. He was a jock who she discovered last night also liked the Marx Brothers and shared her secret love of Boy Meets World and Man from UNCLE. He got into anthropology originally because he was fascinated by bone damage done by sports and enjoyed challenging puzzles, but after working with Dr. Brennan he wants to focus on the forensic side. He was someone she never knew growing up….a cute jock with a brain, a heart, and who treated people like he wanted to be treated. He could have run circles around the guys she knew….even around Danny's father.

'God what the hell am I thinking? I don't have time for love or sex. I have a five year old son to raise. Romance is a fantasy for someone like me, a single mother with so-so looks. You let people in, you get hurt'

The elevator door was almost closed when Agent Thompson raced in. "Hey there, Shaw. How's your bum arm? Probably not much use to Booth now"

They arrived at their floor. As the door opened, Genny turned back. She was not in the mood for Thompson but felt bitchy enough to respond. "Hey there, Thompson. How's the new adult diaper working out? We sure know that restrooms aren't always much use for you"

Two agents waiting for the elevator laughed their asses off as Shaw walked towards the bullpen. When she got there, she saw who was at the desk and sped up to the agent.

"What the hell are you doing here? Haven't you done enough?"

Perotta looked up. The news she received ten minutes earlier was tearing her up inside, but was determined not to show it. "I'm here to work, Agent Shaw. Agent Booth asked us to work together going through Reynolds' and Pelant's records to see if we can find his location. I've started Pelant's if you want to go over Reynolds, then we can switch so each have a pair of fresh eyes"

Shaw knew that it was petty, but couldn't help herself as anger rose up. "You have no right to be here, Perotta. You should be the one dead, not Olivia"

Perotta looked at her but didn't have the heart to fight with her. She had more important worries that occupied her mind. Hearing an alarm sound on her phone, she reached into her purse, grabbed a bottle where she grabbed a large pill that she took and chased with coffee. "Whatever Shaw. I'm here to do work. You do whatever, but Booth wanted us to work together"

She felt a moment of sympathy for Perotta as she could tell she was in pain, but she quickly pushed down as she felt the need to be a bitch. "Give me Pelant's file. You can have the asshole Reynolds"

The thought of seeing Reynolds' picture made vomit take hold in her stomach, but Perotta was determined to get passed it. "Whatever. Let's just get our jobs done. We need to get this son of a bitch off the streets"

Perotta handed her Pelant's documentation and took Reynolds' file and began to read and take notes.

Seeing that she was essentially dismissed, Shaw walked to her desk and thumped down in her seat along with slamming the coffee down. Seeing Perotta made her spoiling for a fight, anything to chase off the anger and sadness of her best friend's death. She was even more pissed when she realized that Perotta wouldn't snark back like in the past.

'Never mind….I have a job to do. If Agent Booth needs me to work with her, I will'

The two agents worked in silence as each poured over sets of records looking for Pelant.

Booth watched the two agents from his office. He didn't know what was said, but he noted the impassive look of Perotta in contract to the obviously annoyed face of Shaw. He saw they were playing nice, so he got back to his work.

Booth was only working half days for the next few days unless something came up. He wanted to be home with Bones, plus he didn't want to leave her or the kids without protection, so unless an agent or Max was with them, he was going to be at home. Hacker balked, but Cullen backed him up.

Cullen also let him choose the detail to stay at the house. He would have preferred Shaw but she wasn't 100%. Agent Thompson was still on his shit list. He was still annoyed that he got a slap on the wrist from the Disciplinary Committee for his stunt at the hospital, but it was headed by Hacker and Thompson was one of his pets. He finally chose Charlie because he trusted him with his family's lives.

Brennan wasn't happy about the FBI detail and Booth's half days and expressed it vocally at breakfast the last two days. She hated being hovered over and knew how to use a gun. It took some convincing, but he pointed out that she had an injured ankle and arm, plus was pregnant. He also pointed out it was going to be this or he would be with her 24/7. He knew what she would decide.

He began to think about the phone call he got from Cam about thirty minutes ago. She re-ran a test she did on Zane Reynolds and got different results which she shared with him right away.

Zane Reynolds was HIV positive. When he was finished with his call, he called Perotta into his office. She still wouldn't admit that she was sexually assaulted, but he needed to let her know ASAP.

Perotta took the news stoically before leaving the office. He did know that she was taking an PEP drug as a precaution, but it was only for twenty four hours since Reynolds initially tested negative. Cam wrote a prescription for her for another antiretroviral for twenty eight days and was arranging for it to be delivered shortly as a favor to him.

He watched as Cam herself walked into the bullpen and went to Perotta's desk. He said a silent prayer for her as he prayed to his God to not make her Pelant's next victim at a later time.

Brennan laid on the living room sofa typing on her laptop. Since she was stuck at home, she was able to complete three more chapters of her newest novel Bones of the Lost.

Booth was going to stop by the Jeffersonian and bring her home work to do that Cam was able to get together for her. Booth will be with her every afternoon for the next two weeks or until Pelant was caught. As much as she loved her husband, the thought set her teeth on edge.

She spent almost all of her time with Booth, including their work. Being home from work was nice when she wanted to be. Being stuck at home with Booth hovering over her was not going to be pleasant. She argued that she could defend herself, an unborn child, and three minor children just fine.

Max came into the room to check on Tempe. He saw that his daughter was about to explode. He figured that someone was going to be the brunt of her anger. 'I'll give Booth a break and take one for the team'

He grabbed her slippers from the floor nearby along with a large fleece blanket. He walked up to his daughter, who was still engrossed in her novel.

"Tempe, this floor could be slippery past the rug. Here, I'll put your other slipper on"

"Dad I don't need a slipper. I'm fine"

Max dropped the fleece blanket in a bundle next to the couch and walked over to do it anyway.

"Dad, what the—"

"You're still my daughter, so deal with it. What can I get you?"

Brennan felt her patience hanging by a thread. "I'm fine, Dad. Why don't you see if the children need anything?"

"They're fine. Parker is watching the Discovery Channel, Emma is reading something on your IPad, and Christine is down for her morning nap. So I will now take care of you"

"You sound just like Booth. I do not need a babysitter. I can use the restroom and get a snack on my own in the kitchen. I can take of my ankle and arm without anyone's help and I sure as hell don't need someone hover over me and my children! I can protect them against Christopher Pelant. I am a black belt in karate and I am an excellent shot"

"Okay, Tempe. You're right…..I'm just being an overprotective dad"

Brennan was relieved. "Thank you for understanding"

"Of course"

He walked away and she went back to her book. She was engrossed when she was suddenly grabbed from behind. She attempted an easy take down but with her left arm in a splint she could only struggle. Her wrapped ankle betrayed her as it was stuck in the cushion, a habit she had when lying on it. Suddenly she was let go. When she turned around, she saw her father standing behind the couch with his arms crossed.

"Dad! What the hell!"

He came around and faced his daughter. "That, Temperance was to make a point. What would you have done if that was Pelant instead of me? You broke free because I let you go. You couldn't get off the couch quickly enough to respond. Pelant would have killed you quick and then got the kids. Booth would come home and find you all dead. Is that what you want? To prove yourself so badly you would give your trust in pride instead of accepting help from people who care about you?"

"I could have got Pelant" but the words came out unconvincingly. Her father's words echoed truth as she realized that if she was the only one here there was no way she could get to the children quickly enough and take Pelant down by herself with her injuries and pregnancy restrictions. All of these feelings reminded of how she felt when she was on the run a year ago….weak….small….helpless.

When Max saw his daughter begin to cry, he sat down and took her in his arms. He rubbed her back like he did when she was a child. "Shhhh, it's okay, Tempe. I know you hate feeling weak, but accepting help is okay. No one will be able to put Pelant's head on a platter alone you know….not even Booth."

Brennan suddenly felt herself becoming very emotional. "I'm such a bad wife…I get angry when my husband wants to make sure I'm taken care of"

Max recognized pregnancy hormones and just let her cry. "Enough of that shit. You're not a bad wife. You're Booth's dream come true. The schmuck has loved you all these years and I don't see that changing anytime soon"

At that moment, Booth came in with a pile of files. "Bones, Cam hooked you up with—what the hell, Max?"

Booth ran over, dumped the files on the table, and took his wife in his arms. "Bones, what's wrong?"

"I'm selfish and mean…..I got mad when you just wanted to protect me….I'm a horrible wife" Brennan got out before crying again.

'God, I forgot how pregnancy hormones made Bones' Booth thought. "Bones, you're been a terrific partner, girlfriend, mother, and wife. Nothing could change that for me."

He moved out of the embrace and grabbed Brennan's laptop. "I've got some work for you from Cam, plus she arranged for a video link to assist Wendell and the other interns with the Pelant case when you are needed"

Brennan looked at her husband with tear-stained eyes. "Really?"

"Yes, really"

Max saw that his presence was no longer required. "Well, I have some things to do, so I will leave you two. Same time tomorrow, Booth?"

"Sounds good. Thanks, Max"

After Max left, Booth kicked his shoes off and relaxed. "So how are you and the baby feeling today?"

"I'm feeling fine, Booth. The fetus as far as I know is fine. He or she can't tell me how it feels, Booth. It's too early to tell that"

"Okay, Bones" He kissed the top of her head and they sat in silence.

Brennan felt the pregnant silence and it wasn't one of relaxation. It was one where Booth was troubled. "Booth?"

"What, Bones?"

She turned to her husband. "What's wrong? It can't just be worry about me and the baby"

He inhaled for a moment. He wanted to tell her anyway, but wanted to enjoy his quiet time with her. He then realized that Brennan knew him better than anyone. "Zane Reynolds had HIV"

"I thought Cam already tested him for that and it was negative"

"Cam felt the results may have been compromised so she ran them again. She got the results and called me this morning"

"Does she—"

"Yes, Bones. I told her this morning. I was there a while longer, but with all this going on, I just wanted to be home with my family. I figure I can make us lunch later"

"I would like that, too, Booth" Brennan said before she curled up next to her husband with her legs propped up on Booth.

July 2nd came and Booth was in his office. Agents Perotta and Shaw were hitting dead ends going through the voluminous records of Reynolds and Pelant. Booth's thoughts were circling each other with no change in answer.

'Where the hell was Pelant?'

'What did he, Bones, and their family have to do with his endgame?'

He grabbed his Nerf ball and threw it towards his basketball hoop….and missed.

"Of course I missed it, like I am missing something that I know is in front of me. What the hell is it!?"

Restless, he got up and walked for a cup of coffee from the break room. When he saw the pot was empty, he decided he didn't feel like brewing another pot. He walked back towards the bullpen for an update but stopped short as he got there.

'I've already talked to Perotta this morning and Shaw is at the Jeffersonian with the squints studying the evidence. Nagging them isn't going to do anyone any good.'

"Maybe I just need to get the hell out of here for a while" he muttered to himself. Heading back to his office, he grabbed his phone, keys, and suit jacket. He headed up to Perotta's desk.

"Agent Perotta, I'm heading out. I probably won't be back in unless something develops, but contact me on my phone or Bones if you can't reach me if there are any updates"

"Yes, sir. Sorry we haven't found anything yet."

Booth was frustrated, but didn't want to pass that on to his junior agent. "We'll find something. He already tripped himself up with that piece of fabric. Too bad Hodgins was only able to get traces of coal besides the sweat."

He snapped out of his funk when he saw the quick flash of pain in his agent's eyes. "Keep me posted" he said before leaving. Hopefully he could find a way to blow off steam before going home this afternoon. His favorite way was forbidden until his wife was at ten to twelve weeks.

Almost an hour later, Booth was at Paradise Lost. He poured a cup of coffee from a fresh pot before walking over to pound on the door heading upstairs. He stepped away and was taking his first sip when he heard stomping noises. A moment later, Aldo emerged in his pajamas with a serious case of bed head.

"Booth! What the hell! Do you know what time it is?"

"Yeah I do. For normal people, it's mid-morning"

Aldo walked to the coffee maker behind the bar and poured a cup of coffee. "Yeah, but for me it's the middle of the night since I didn't get to bed until almost six this morning."

"Sorry" Booth said with a wince.

Aldo watched Booth drink his coffee. "Now, why did you let yourself in and wake me up? Surely you didn't just come to mooch free coffee"

Booth smiled a fake grin. "Sure I did. This key you gave me for emergencies came in handy"

"Cut the crap, Booth. I'm not your priest anymore. Spill it!"

Booth sipped his coffee. "Pelant. The pissant is hiding out there and I can't find him. How does this little piece of crap hide as well as he does? He is a massive computer dork who always finds a way to stay off the grid while on the grid. It's bullshit!"

Aldo added cream to his coffee and drank deep. "Aaahhh, nectar of the gods….especially when someone wakes me up at almost eleven in the morning and steals my coffee!"

"Aldo! I'm sorry. I will leave money next time, all right?"

"Good, because I'm not a priest who gives free advice and absolution anymore"

"Fine" Booth grumbled. "What the hell should I do?"

Aldo drained his cup. "Nothing"

"What the hell, Aldo! Do nothing? That's—"

"Geez, are you always this wired with Temperance?" Aldo saw Booth's face redden. "I didn't think so. Give a guy a chance to speak, capisce?"

Aldo saw he had Booth's attention. "I meant do nothing for a while…a few hours….twenty-four hours, whatever. Take that time and concentrate on something unrelated to the case. Your brain is fried, Agent Booth. It needs rest"

"So no work for a day? That's not possible right now. That's nuts"

"No it's sound. It's not like you don't have anything else going on. Let your minions worry for a few hours. Take a walk, read one of those Marvel comic books I know you still have, have some morning delight with the wife" Aldo saw Booth's face. "Sorry…..forgot. Just do something that clears your mind. When you least expect it, the solution will come to you"

Booth finished his coffee. "Okay, thanks Aldo. Thanks for the coffee"

"You're welcome….but next time don't be so damn early!"

"Okay" Booth said with a laugh before walked towards the door.

"Lock it on your way out"

When Booth left, Aldo stood for a second in thought. "Shit, now I'm awake"

Later in the morning, Booth was walking through the National Mall when he walked upon the Lincoln Memorial. He walked to the steps, stripped his jacket to compensate for the July heat, and sat down on the side as tourists were all over the monument. Clearing his mind was not the easiest thing to do, but was desperate for anything.

He made himself relax and once he got started it got easier as he people watched.

On the lawn, he saw a man with a very pregnant woman on a blanket. He could see himself with Bones doing that. Of course with them, she would grouse about leaving work to her interns, but he could get her to relax and enjoy.

He heard the notes to Hot Blooded play. He read the message and laughed.

Can you bring me the vegetable soup, a veggie burger, large order of fries with the garlic mayo, chocolate shake, and a fruit salad for dessert? The baby and I are getting hungry.

Booth had another laugh and smile as he let himself enjoy the feeling of his wife pregnant again. 'My wife! I will never get used to that'

He texted back. Sure. C u soon

An hour later, Booth and Brennan were in the dining room eating their lunch. There was conversation, but Brennan saw that Booth seemed to be lost in his own thoughts as he absentmindedly grabbed her veggie burger and took a bite with no reaction. As a test, she ripped a small piece off his bacon cheeseburger. He was looking in her direction, so she went to put it in her mouth. As the bacon hit her lips and he didn't make one remark, she knew he was occupied.

"Booth….what's wrong?"

"Nothing Bones, why?"

"Because you just ate my veggie burger and I almost ate this disgusting piece of bacon and you didn't say anything" Seeing her spouse's guilty face, she continued. "Once again, Booth…..what's wrong?"

"Sorry, Bones" Booth gave the burger back to his wife. He chuckled as she tossed the bacon piece back onto his plate as it was contaminated. "It's Pelant. I feel like we're missing something and it's right in our faces."

"Can I do anything?"

"You have your web link to the lab. Is there a way for you to re-evaluate the bones from the cases? Maybe Hodgins and Cam can do the same?"

Dr. Hodgins and Saroyan feel very strongly about Pelant and going through their evidence again should not be an issue. This way, I can also check in with my interns"

"Great" He moved his hand and took hers in his. "Thanks, Bones"

Just then, the web link buzzed on the laptop sitting on the table and Brennan answered. "Hello Agent Shaw"

"Good afternoon, Dr. Brennan. How are you feeling?"

"Very well, thank you. Did you need to speak to Agent Booth?"

When Shaw answered with an affirmative, Booth piped in as Brennan was moving the computer camera his way. "Right here, Shaw"

"Okay, sir. Angela and I have been brainstorming about how to find Pelant. She suggested that we may be able to track Pelant down through his cell phone with the cell tower app you have on your phone. She's upgraded the app so it has a bigger search span"

"It's worth a shot. Good thinking, ladies. Have her send it to all of us and Agent Perotta. Call her to get her phone number"

"Sir, I'm busy here. Surely she can come tomorrow to get it" As soon as she finished, she realized how childish she sounded to her supervisor.

Knowing Booth doesn't like other people around when he was going to chastise one of his agents, Brennan quietly moved out of the way of the screen and grabbed her phone.

Shaw began to sweat under Booth's stare when she heard Angela's phone buzz. She turned and saw Angela try to reach her phone with her impaired right arm since she held the Angelatron's controls with the other. When unsuccessful, she switched hands, grabbed it with her left, answered, and read.

"Brennan needs to ask me something in private. Just hit 'end' when you are done talking" Angela then moved out of her office where she ran into her husband who was outside. "Come on, Honey"


Angela made sure she was out of earshot and whispered. "Brennan texted me. Booth is going to rip Shaw a new one and didn't want an audience"

"Right on. Let's visit our son"

The couple left for the daycare not noticing Wendell coming from the opposite direction. He didn't notice them either as he was engrossed in reading what looked to be results. When he heard Booth's voice, he stopped suddenly.

"Agent Shaw…..I will only say this once because the next time I do it will be when I put either a discipline notice in your record and/or put you on suspension"

Shaw's blood grew cold. "Yes, sir?"

"I know you are still grieving from losing Agent Sparling. I give my agents a lot of leeway as long as they do their job to the best of their abilities. I will not accept anything less than that. I don't care why two agents are having difficulties with each other. I do care, and expect, the two of them to behave professional and check their issues at the door when you arrive at the Hoover. For the record, Agent Shaw, Christopher Pelant is the reason we lost Agent Olivia Sparling. If it wasn't for Agents Sparling and Perotta, and you for that matter, my wife and unborn child would probably be dead right now"

Booth took a breath. He hated this part of his job, but knew to get their respect and run the unit, he had to be tough. "Either go talk to one of our shrinks, a friend, or find a way to make peace with this. I will NOT tolerate an agent letting her personal feelings dictate how she proceeds with a case. Agents like that will NOT be part of my team. Do I make myself clear?"

Shaw was swimming in humiliation for being chastised by Agent Booth, but knew she deserved it. "Y-Yes sir"

"Do I need to start documentation on this?"

"No sir, I apologize. I will call Agent Perotta for her cell phone number in a few minutes"

"Good" Booth's image disappeared from the monitor.

Genny stood there, holding back tears. She had never been lectured like that by a supervisor before, especially one she admired and emulated like Agent Booth. She couldn't believe she let herself do something stupid like refuse to talk to Agent Perotta today. Her embarrassment was guiding her as she felt a need to get the hell out of the Jeffersonian before she broke down in front of others.

Wendell moved back so she wouldn't know he heard the conversation. Shaw didn't see him as she walked out the opposite direction towards the exit.

"Genny…..Genny wait!"

'Oh God….he's the last person I want to see me now!' Genny thought to herself. "I'm busy Wendell"

"Genny, wait! Are you all right?"

'Oh God, he heard…..he was eavesdropping! Damn him!'

They got outside the exit and were walking down the silent hallway. "Leave me alone, Wendell. I have to get back to work on the Pelant case."

Wendell caught up with her. "Too bad. I'm not letting you leave this upset"

Having Wendell see her that way for some reason made her embarrassment tenfold. All she wanted to do was call Perotta and just hide. "Go away, Wendell….I don't need a damn babysitter!"

He knew she was too upset to drive. He would rather her hate him than her possibly cause an accident. Moving quickly, he grabbed her and gave her a wide berth as he pushed her into a nearby storage closet.

"Damn it, Wendell Bray! If you don't get out of my way in ten seconds I'm going to kick your ass"

A quick flash of that thought followed by ripping off each other's clothes in the closet started to stiffen him and it shamed him enough to block it out. "Then do it, Genny. I will follow you home, but you need to talk to someone"

Suddenly Wendell saw as Genny calmed down. Slowly, she walked until she was standing face to face with him. Her wide smile made him relax. He didn't realize that was a mistake until he felt a sharp pain in his groin area. "Umph!"

Genny moved and took off but all Wendell could do was moan as he doubled over in pain and held the wall with one hand.

Twenty minutes later, Angela entered her office and walked over to Wendell, who was lying on her couch. "Here you go Lover Boy. I got this from Cam"

Wendell took it and put it on his groin area. "AAAAAAHHHHH…..aahhh….aaahhhhhhhhhh. Oooohhh, thank you"

Hodgins entered the office at that time. "Dude….she really nailed you in the jewels" he said laughing

"Bite me, Hodgins. This sucks"

"Yeah, Cam said when you feel better to go over the bones again for Dr. Brennan and report any findings" Angela said. She began walking to her husband, but then quickly turned back to Wendell.

"If you care about Agent Shaw like I think you do, bring her something you know she can't resist and offer only friendship. I think she could use it today"

"I tried Angela"

"Yeah, Sweetie…ambushing a woman after getting her ass handed to her is does not a connection make. Friendship always gets the ball rolling. Just ask Hodgins" She replied before joining her spouse.

"She's right, dude. Hope you feel better" Hodgins said before the couple left the room.

Wendell leaned back with the ice pack and moaned. "Ah man, she took the money shot"

Brennan and Booth were snuggled on the couch watching Casablanca. Max had taken the kids to Alexandria for the day.

Brennan sneaked a look at Booth. His eyes were on the screen but he wasn't watching the movie. "I'm sorry you had to reprimand an agent. Agent Shaw is an excellent federal agent….almost as good as you"

"She is Bones….one of the best I've ever supervised. But she is having difficulty since Sparling died. She blames Perotta for it"

"Perotta didn't build the bomb, it was Pelant"

"I know Bones. She knows, but right now she needs a place to put her anger. Perotta is there and available since Pelant is not. My agents don't have to like each other but they damn well will do their jobs and keep their personal issues out of the Hoover"

Booth heard only silence. "Bones?"

He turned his head, saw that she fell asleep on his shoulder and smiled. "Aldo did say I needed a distraction. Might as well try it"

He snuggled his wife closer and proceeded to nap with her.

Ginny was driving down the street. She had mostly calmed down by this time. When she finished crying, she called Perotta to send her phone number to Angela.

When she pulled into her driveway, she groaned as she saw Wendell sitting on the steps with his back against the side wall. Inhaling and exhaling, she got out of the car and walked up.

"I don't want to talk Wendell. I just want to be left alone"

Wendell smiled up at her. 'Someday I hope she sees me as more than a lab rat who plays hockey' "Okay, but I brought Season Seven Boy Meets World and Season One Man from UNCLE…..hmmm….hmmmm" he replied as he waved them in his hands.

Seeing her skeptical face, he fought dirty. "Come on, Genny. I promise I won't ask about how your day went. I can't watch these at home. Fisher's mom is there and it's really annoying listening to them bicker"

Genny laughed for the first time today. She didn't want to encourage him, but she couldn't resist Boy Meets World. Danny was staying over at a friend's house tonight anyways. "Okay, Wendell. I can't make you suffer with Fisher and his mother"

She saw he had difficulty getting up and felt guilty. "I'm so sorry, Wendell. How about I make dinner? Dr. Brennan gave me a recipe a while back for macaroni and cheese."

Wendell's ears perked up. Booth had told their hockey team about Dr. B's Mac and Cheese and he would practically drool when discussing it. "Oh…I'm so there"

Pelant was sitting and working on a project with a gleam in his eyes.

"Soon, Agent Booth….very soon you will be nothing more than a memory to my father and he's finally love me as his son"

JULY 3 - 5:00 AM

Brennan and Booth were soundly sleeping in their guest room bed. All was quiet in their house. Suddenly, Booth woke up with a start. "That's it!"

Brennan was jolted awake at Booth's yelling. "What the—Booth! You woke us up. I just fell back asleep. This baby makes me urinate constantly"

"Sorry, Bones. We need to go through Pelant's records again. I don't think we went back far enough. Aldo was right...just forget for a while and the answer will come to you""

Brennan looked at him confused. "Didn't go back far enough?"

Booth pulled his pants up and sat back down on the bed. "Yeah, the initial search turned up his parents, grandparents, childhood, etc. I think we should look further. I need to go through as many Pelants as possible. He's got to have more relatives somewhere. More relatives…more possible hiding places…..better chance of finding that piece of shit"

Brennan moved around on the bed and hugged her husband from behind. "We're going to get him, Booth. We are going to find that piece of excrement and have his ass on a saucer"

Booth laughed. "That's have his ass on a platter, but I get what you're saying….and we will Bones" He took her hand and kissed it. "We will"

"Okay, Booth. What time will Max or Charlie get here?"

"Shit….I'll call Max to come"

"Booth, I will be okay for a couple of hours—"

"No, Bones. I wish I could link into the Bureau but we are keeping as many of Pelant's records off the computer system as possible."

Brennan rubbed her face. "Okay, call Dad. He may not be home so call his cell first"

Booth grabbed his phone and dialed. "Max, it's Boo—Max, take a chill pill….hey how was I supposed to know you weren't alone….Max, just shut up for a minute. I need you to come over now….Yes, now. I have to go to the Hoover….all right, thanks Ma—"

He turned to Bones. "Your dad hung up on me"

"He had a date last night after his bowling game"

"Well, when he's here, I'm heading to the Hoover. Go back to sleep, Bones"

"I'll try, but you were comfortable"

He kissed his wife. "See you later, Bones. I love you"

"Love you too, Booth" she muttered before falling back to sleep.

One hour later, Booth was waiting for another search on his computer when Agents Shaw and Perotta walked in together but separate.

'Well, no snarking at each other or fur flying. Hope I got through to Shaw. I don't have time for petty bullshit'

Booth got up and walked to their desks. "Okay, you two. I'm conducting another search on Pelant's background. I have expanded the search to other possible relatives and will go into other data bases than what was used before"

He turned to Agent Perotta. "Perotta, get on Interpol. Go under both of Pelant's aliases. Check their records and then call the Danish and Egyptian embassies. I don't care who you have to talk to, but get as much background as you can"

"Shaw, head over to the Jeffersonian and see Angela. She texted me a few minutes ago to tell me she was able to get some info from Reynolds' hard drive"

"Must have been up with Michael again if she's at work now" When Shaw saw Booth's and Perotta's faces, she clarified. "We were discussing our kids yesterday. Michael has been sick with an ear infection the last couple of days"

Booth reached into his pocket and pulled out bills. "Pick her up a large Mocha from the coffee cart outside the Jeffersonian" He gave her ten dollars. "Get one for yourself, too. It's the least I can do for getting you out of bed this early. Where's Danny?"

"Wendell will pick him up in a couple of hours from his friend's house and Danny will hang out with him and Fisher"

Booth stilled, thinking about Fisher with a young child. "I'm sorry, Shaw"

"It's okay. Fisher is nuts, but he knows what will happen if he gets out of line"

Booth laughed. "Okay ladies, if you see anything that pops out at you, let me know and roll with it"

"Yes sir" the junior agents said simultaneously

Booth handed five dollars to Perotta. "I didn't forget you, Perotta. Moe will bring the cart outside around seven" Before she could protest, he walked back to his office.

Shaw turned and saw Agent Perotta putting the bill down before dropping a pill in her mouth. "Good morning, Agent Perotta"

Perotta had started to drink to chase her medication down and when Shaw spoke, she started to choke on her coffee. After her coughing fit, she turned to other agent with a look of suspicion. "Good morning, Agent Shaw"

Shaw grabbed her phone and headed out. A small part of her was excited to see Wendell when she picked up Danny later, but she pushed that down. 'He was nice to you last night, but if you let people get close, you get hurt."

Pelant was working on something when his cell phone rang.

"Dad, hi! I didn't exp-" He listened for a moment. "Meeting at Fort Benning…..I understand, but what about after? It's a short flight and if you get here early enough I can make us din—" His voice got desperate as frustration grew. "How about if I come there?...Okay, Dad….sure…b—"

All Pelant heard was a dial tone. He sat for a few minutes as he processed his emotions. "The Army…..always the damn army and his men!"

After his outburst, he went back to his project with new vigor.

Booth was reading the updated searches when he stumbled onto a name….one that was oddly familiar. He went into a program and not having luck, tried another one, but wasn't able to get access. Frustrated, he made a phone call. "Ben, it's Seeley Booth. I need a favor man….a big one"

Brennan was in bed reading one of her journals but not taking the information in as her mind was racing.

'When will their lives get back to normal…Well, their normal? Can she be a good stepparent to Parker now that he will live here full time? What about Emma? She really seemed to open up this summer'

Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock. When she said 'come in', she was greeted by Emma. "Aunt Tempe, is it okay if I come sit with you for a bit"

"Of course, Emma" Brennan made room on the bed so her niece could come in. When she settled, she put her arm around her. Feeling Emma's arms around her tighten, she got worried. "Emma, is there something wrong?"

Emma didn't want to upset her aunt, but she couldn't help the tears that fell. "I love you Aunt Tempe. I was so scared when you were in the hospital….I thought you were going to die. I was trying to be grown up and not cry but I can't help it. I'm sorry"

Brennan tightened her hold on the young girl. "Emma, I am all right….the baby is doing all right. It's okay to cry and don't be sorry for saying what you mean. Honesty is a good thing."

Emma sniffled and then got her courage up to ask the question she had been wondering about. "Can I stay here with you? I don't want to go home"

Brennan was shocked and moved so she could face the teenager. "Emma why? Is something wrong?"

"No….I just don't like it at home…everyone is usually at the hospital with Hayley and you almost died Aunt Tempe and I don't want to never see you again"

Brennan didn't have the heart to correct her grammar as she simply rubbed the girl's back like her mother always did for her. "Emma, you belong with your parents, but I am always a phone call away. You call me any time when you're sad, okay?"

The teenager wasn't surprised with her aunt's answer to her question, but her reassurance made her feel better. "Okay, Aunt Tempe, I promise." Emma saw the pile of magazines. "Aunt Tempe, what are those?"

Brennan turned to her journals. "These are previous issues of Medicinal Physics Quarterly and other anthropological journals your Uncle Booth got from my office for me. The one on top I got in the mail yesterday" Seeing the look in her niece's eyes, Brennan proceeded with what she thought was correct. "Do you want to read it first?"

Emma got excited. "Is it okay, Aunt Tempe?"

"Certainly. Here you are" When Brennan saw the look on the young girl's face when she handed the journal to her, she knew she did the right thing. "I like company when I read sometimes, Emma. Do you?"

Emma smiled brightly. "Sometimes, I do too, Aunt Tempe" She got comfortable on the bed and started reading. Brennan smiled and then went back to her reading, her previous thoughts forgotten.

Booth was working on paperwork but antsy. When his phone rang, he jumped on it. "Booth"

Suddenly, he smiled. "Thanks so much for this. Can I access this on my work laptop, also? Cool. I have access to most records but I needed to dig into this program…yeah it's that Pelant son of a bitch…thanks again, Ben I owe you one"

Booth hung up and wore a smile as he went to a needed program. He typed the name he saw as familiar and waited. When there was a result, he read through the information when suddenly he spotted something that he found interesting. He went back into Christopher Pelant's file and read it though again.

"Son of a bitch"

Realizing he would need his wife's help, he printed off the information he needed and grabbed his FBI laptop. He preferred keeping their findings on Pelant off the computer. However, he needed his wife's help and the access Ben got him would only get him to his laptop and his office computer. Thankfully Angela downloaded anti-viral software created by her to keep Pelant out as much as possible when in use.

He rushed over to his junior agent's desk. "Agent Perotta, I have to run home. I will try to be back in about an hour"

"Sure, sir" Perotta said as he was running out the door. She went back to her research. A few minutes later, she headed into Booth's office to get something. As she was hunched over a desk, she felt a hand on her shoulder. Panic rose up in her throat. She turned and pushed the man's head on the table and held his arm behind his back.

"Don't touch me you asshole!" she yelled

Aldo only felt pain as he felt his upper body smash into Booth's table. "Damn, Blondie, what's your problem?"

Perotta was feeling nauseated and she hated it. "You are. I don't like people sneaking up on me"

"I'm not, Blondie. I'm just looking for Booth. I'm his friend, Aldo Clements"

'The priest. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit'  Perotta thought"Oh, God, I'm so sorry, Mr. Clements"

'Good looking lady'  He thought as he looked at the woman and admired her."It's Aldo. It's what all the ladies call me" 

His joking demeanor changed when he saw her eyes harden.

Perotta saw him look at her. She knew interest when she saw it….and it made her physically ill. Bitterness rose up to counter her nausea. "Obviously he's not here, Mr. Clements. He was heading home for a bit before coming back. Do you want to leave a message?"

"No, just tell him to get ahold me when he has a second. I was just checking in with him. We talked a couple of days ago. So long, Blondie"

"My name is Agent Peyton Perotta, not Blondie"

"My mistake then"

She watched Aldo walk back to the elevator and when he was gone the nausea threatened to come up so as calmly as she could she headed for the restrooms. When inside, she ran to the stall and vomited. She cried in anger for having such a reaction to a man's innocent gesture, especially a friend of her supervisor.

It was getting harder to forget as the images would haunt her in her sleep and every time she opened Reynolds' file, but she pushed her feelings down again. Perotta washed her face and with a new determination, walked back to her desk to finish her research. She just needed to forget about she was beginning to remember happened that night and move on.

The couple was sitting up in the guest room bed where Booth woke her after she fell asleep while Emma and she were reading.

"Check that out, Bones. That is no coincidence" Booth said while he was eating from a carton.

She was eating a banana and had a Styrofoam container on her lap. "You're right, Booth" she said in between bites. When she finished her fruit, she began eating her breakfast from the carton. "Thank you for bringing me breakfast, Booth"

"My pleasure, Bones" Booth said before kissing her sweetly. "It's the least I can do for waking you up at five in the morning"

"It's okay, Booth. I'm your partner. Partners are there for each other…they take care of each other" She said looking at Booth.

Booth was admiring his wife. She was only eight weeks pregnant but she was having that glow and she was so beautiful at that moment. He was so lost in this thoughts he didn't hear his wife right away.

"Booth…Booth" When he didn't respond, Brennan got his attention the best way she knew how. She pulled her top up to show her breasts.

"Oh, Bones…I love your tits!" Booth couldn't help himself as he began to suck on one nipple. Brennan felt her hormones betray her as her move backfired. When she felt herself drift she knew she needed to get him focused. "Booth….what did you want to show me?"

Her words got the fog of lust out of his head as he remembered his original purpose and her restrictions for the next couple of weeks. "Yeah, I was looking into Pelant's medical history and he had that thing where he had an extra toe?"

"Yes, he was born with post-axial polydactyly of the right foot. According to his records, the extra digit was removed when he was seven.

"Yeah, well read the medical file on this guy"

Brennan read the file Booth gave her on the laptop. "Booth, it is possible that this could be a coincidence, but highly unlikely. Polydactyly is usually a genetic mutation caused by a disorder. Christopher Pelant had Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome"

"Greg cephopoly what?"

"Greig cephalopolysyndactyly syndrome. This gentleman was also born with post-axial polydactyly, but no cause is listed, but this disorder was less understood before the last thirty years. With the similarities I am seeing here with both of their backgrounds, I would be very surprised if tested that this man didn't also have this disorder"

Booth got excited and kissed his wife breathless. "Bones… are the greatest" He sucked down the last few bites of his food. "Gotta go, Honey. Have to get back to work. I am probably going to have to threaten people to track this guy down"

Brennan laughed. "Okay, I love you…..we love you Booth"

Booth kissed his wife goodbye. "I love you, too Bones" He bent down to her abdomen. "I love you, too Baby"

Booth got back to his office a short time later and did a few searches, but then found what he was looking for and laughed in relief as he wiped his face with his hands. "Found it. Your ass is mine, Pelant"

He called a number and waited for an answer. "Yes, I need to speak to Colonel Dan Pelant, please?...Where is he?...This is Special Agent in Charge Seeley Booth of the FBI and I am acquainted with the colonel, so I will need his contact number…listen Buddy, I retired with the rank of Sergeant Major and I know for a fact the military frowns upon hindrance of a federal investigation. Either get me a contact number or I will call up a few friends of mine at the Pentagon to pull your whiny ass out of your military office chair and bring you to the FBI shooting range where I will shoot you…yeah, I'm that Seeley Booth….former sniper with the shooting record" he said with a smile as he pulled a legal pad within his reach. "Got it, thank you, Corporal"

Booth hung up the phone. "What a little douche" He checked something on his computer and wrote it down before he sucked a drink of his coffee down and made a face when he realized it was cold. "Yuck".

He put the cup down and dialed the number he was given. "Colonel Dan Pelant, please…..this is Special Agent in Charge Seeley Booth from the FBI…get him out of his conference call…okay I am not in the mood to threaten another guy today, but fine. Get him on the phone or I will have two of Atlanta's finest from the FBI come up there and pull your scrawny ass up here where I will have to shoot you, too…..yeah, I'm that Seeley Booth and I don't miss…..he finished his call? Great"

Booth waited for an answer and when he got it, he remembered their last meeting after he returned from Afghanistan. It was a tense meeting where Booth turned him down again to return there for the Army after his stint in 2010.

"Colonel Pelant, this is Agent Seeley Booth from the FBI, remember me? Good. I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time because I need to speak with you in regards to an investigation I'm working on…..You're busy? Too bad. There's an AMC flight coming in at Fort Benning in fifteen minutes with an arrival time here in DC at 10:30 this morning. You will be here by eleven o'clock at the Hoover building or I will send federal agents to drag your ass up here….You can't do that?….well between my wife and myself we have friends in high places….did you hear I got married? Yeah to my partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan, the author of those Kathy Reichs books? I know she counts Secretary McHugh as one of her fans….did you know President Obama called her when her last novel came out? Big fan. Nope, not shitting you…okay then, see you later at eleven."

Booth hung up the phone. "God…once an ass, always an ass"

Christopher Pelant was finishing a phone call with a project in front of him. "Yes, one dozen marigolds. Yeah please put in on my credit card when you are ready." He waited for a moment. "Okay, it's a Visa card. Numbers are 4652….6582….5710….7273. Name is Zane Reynolds….I will be there shortly to write a card to put in with the flowers. Great. Thank you."

He hung up the phone and dialed again. "Hello, may I speak to Colonel Pelant? He left? Where did he go? Washington! Wow…no message. He's coming to my area so I will talk to him then. Thanks"

He hung up the phone with a smile. "This is so awesome! Dad was able to make time for me after all!" He wheeled his chair over to a drawer. "Time is the essence, so I should get everything together for Agent Booth, Dr. Brennan, and their brats."

He shuffled over to a cupboard and pulled out various items. "Let's see…sodium thiopental, syringes, Number 11 blade, Number 18 blade, and where's my….ah, here it is"

Pelant looks at a picture of Ares. "Ares, God of War. Yes, I think in your, or should I say, your children's tree house would be appropo for you, Agent Booth. I will let you live long enough to feel the pain, but I won't give you thecoup de grâce until you see what will happen to your family. Then there will no one blocking me from finally having my father's affections."

He put the picture down and looked at a small one of his father on the desk. "My father wants as a son a patriot with courage. I have the courage to go against the people who are trying to destroy the United States. It's why I went after those FBI agents who murdered those people in West Virginia. It was the icing on the cake for when I tried to get rid of that half-Chinese bitch, her bug husband, and their brat for trying to wreck my plans for the Jeffersonian people"

Pelant continued his rant. "It's why I tried to rid this country of that disgusting Arab who worked at the Jeffersonian. The fact that their supervisor fucks him is just disgusting. Doesn't she remember 9-11!?"

Pelant turned to a picture of Booth and Brennan on the wall. "But you stopped me! That was bad enough, but then I always had to hear about you the last few years!"

He shuffled closer to the picture. "Master Sergeant Booth this and Master Sergeant that! When you became a Sergeant Major in Afghanistan, that's all I heard about…..your courage with those pieces of shit. When you refused to go back into the Army when you returned, Dad was soooo pissed. 'Wasted potential' he said"

"Whenever I tried to make him proud of me all I heard was 'Why can't you be like Booth? Why can't you be as brave as Booth?' I'm smarter than you! You're stupid compared to me you son of a bitch, BUT IT DIDN'T MATTER! It was always you….my father can't fully love and accept me because of you!"

He turned to Brennan. "Then, you got her. She's so lovely, but she can chase circles around people with her intelligence and it just makes her more beautiful. I hated that I had to frame her for murder but I needed her out of the way. Not only was she working against me, but she could keep me from getting to you. Of course, you all kept her from going where I needed her to, in the system where you, Agent Booth would never see her again."

Pelant moved his hand down to his groin area and began to knead himself. "After she had your brat she was still stunning. That brain, that body…..why the hell did she settle for a broken jock like you?"

Pelant began to self-gratify himself. "I told him not to marry Temperance and she couldn't know why, but he disobeyed me. I don't want you to die, Temperance. I will touch you and taste you first, but then you have to die for your husband breaking the rules and for him taking away my father's love."

Booth and Sweets were at the diner at ten o'clock finishing their coffee before returning to the Hoover.

"Sweets thanks for clearing your schedule for my meeting with Col. Pelant. I need your shrinky brain in there. Sorry to do that on your first day back."

"It was just a meeting with Hacker. I was glad to reschedule"

"So what did Hacker want to whine to you about this time? Was it Bones again?"

Sweets laughed. "Nice try, but you know I can't tell you that"

"It was worth a shot, wasn't it?" Booth replied with a fake smile.

Sweets saw the older man begin to have sewing machine leg and caught on to his nervousness. "Is it Pelant?"

Booth looked guilty. "Huh?"

"The fact that you could bore a hole through the diner floor with your leg makes me suspect Pelant is on your mind"

Booth finished his cup and nodded an affirmative when Hilda came along and poured him another cup and along with Sweets. "When isn't he?"

"So what makes you think this Col. Pelant is related to Christopher Pelant?"

Booth took another sip of his coffee. "Both of them had the thing where they were born with an extra toe"

"Polydactyly. Was it from the same genetic disorder?"

"Not sure with Col. Pelant, but when I demanded he come here, he didn't deny he knew that pissant, so somehow they are related"

"Let me know if there is anything else that I can do to help get that bastard Pelant. He deserves what's coming to him after what he did to Olivia"

Booth welcomed the change of subject he had planned for their trip to the diner. "How are you, doing, Sweets?"

"Fine, ready to get back into the game"

"Don't bullshit me, Sweets. You lost the woman you love almost two weeks ago. You stayed a few nights with us on and off. How are you doing, really?"

"This is why you wanted to get a cup of coffee away from the Hoover, isn't it?"

Booth nodded. "Part of it was to discuss strategy for when the Colonel gets here. He's a major asshole"

"Didn't like him much did you?"

"I knew him from Desert Storm. He also brought me the letter that asked me to go back to Afghanistan a few years ago. When I came back early from there to help Cam, he tried to get me to re-enlist to go back. I told him no and it pissed him off. He even tried to recruit me again when Bones and Christine were on the run. Pelant is a fuck stick but the Colonel is the King of the Fuck Sticks. He's arrogant and a career kiss ass"

"Sounds like he will be a real treat when he gets here"

"Yeah….nice job changing the subject, Sweets. Now, tell me how you are really doing?"

Sweets knew when he was beat. "It's hard, but last night I actually got six hours in before I woke up. I think about her a lot. The kung fu marathons. She went with me to the Trekkie convention back in April in Philadelphia, even though it wasn't her cup of tea. We were supposed to go to the Renaissance Festival in Michigan next month, but that will change. Does it every go away, Booth? Do you ever feel better? I tell patients that the pain will eventually subside, but I have to wonder if that's just crap I feed to a patient."

"I went through that the first time Cam and I broke up. It was while we were in college. We had been together for a couple of years but it became obvious we had different plans in life. I wanted a family and the white picket fence and she didn't. It hurt when we broke up, but it was the right thing to do. The same with Rebecca."

Booth inhaled. "I wish I could say I felt the same way with Hannah, but I didn't. When she followed me back to Washington, for a while it was good and I was able to think I had fallen out of love with Bones, but our breakup was not good. I feel like a shit for saying this, but when I got over the shock of her turning down my proposal, it was almost relief that she was gone"

"It's the same with Daisy. Breaking up with Daisy hurt, but it wasn't as bad as I feel now"

Booth reached across the table and put his hand on the younger man's shoulders. "It's okay to feel that way, Sweets. It means that you cared a great deal for Olivia. Someday, you will get yourself out there again, but for now, you need to feel. Just try to remember the good times, okay? It helps a lot"

"You mean like when she shot me?" Sweets said with a smile.

Booth roared with laughter. "Yeah, Sweets, like that"

Suddenly, Booth's phone buzzed across the table. He grabbed it before it went on the floor. "Booth…..already? Okay we are on our way down" He hung up the phone. "Guess who has arrived at the Hoover early?"

"Would it be our esteemed Colonel Pelant?" Sweets said as he got up from his chair.

"The one and only" Booth said as he threw a few bills down. "Well, let's see what he has to say"

Both men grabbed their suit jackets and walked over to the Hoover.

When Booth and Sweets got back, they were met by Agent Perotta. "He's in the conference room sir. I should warn you that he will be very upset when you see him."

"Why is that, Perotta?" Sweets asked

"Because he touched my butt when he went into the conference room so I grabbed his wrist and bent it back… may be sprained or broken"

Sweets laughed until he felt a sharp pain in his arm. "Ow!"

"Enough Sweets" Booth said half-heartedly. He wanted to laugh, too but as Head of Major Crimes ne needed to maintain some sort of professionalism. "Don't worry Agent Perotta. I doubt a man of his stature will press charges." Booth looked at his junior agent with a mixture of sympathy and pride as he knew the touch was more than just a come on to Perotta.

"Thank you, sir" Suddenly she started to laugh. "I'm sorry, sir, but I can't seem to help it"

'Seeing her with a genuine smile…..long time coming' Booth thought to himself. "We're going to talk to him now, but before I go, have you made any progress?"

"I had Ms. Montenegro flag Zane Reynolds' credit record and it seems there were two new credit cards opened in the last few days in his name. Ms. Montenegro is also checking for credit records under his previous aliases.

"Keeping Zane's death off the record was a good idea, Sweets"

Sweets smiled. Anytime he got a compliment from Booth made him feel especially good. "Thanks, Agent Booth. I'm glad you thought my-"

"Don't push it, Sweets" Booth replied before turning to Perotta. "Okay, keep on that. Pelant had a reason for opening those cards. He's the only who would have any possibility of access to Reynolds' social security number"

Sweets' phone beeped. "I have to take this call, Booth. I'll meet you in the conference room in a few"

When Sweets walked away, Booth turned to Perotta. "How have you been doing?"

Her insides dropped as she suddenly wanted to get back to work. "I-I'm fine, sir. Just grateful to have a job after the stunt I pulled sir. I can't thank you again"

"Is there anything else going on that you want to talk about?"

"No-no, sir. Just fine here. Oh, before I forget, Aldo Clements was here earlier looking for you" The embarrassment and shame she felt for her over-the-top reaction to him washed over her. "I have to get back to work. I will let you know if there are any updates with the case"

Booth saw her sit at her desk with her head in her hands and felt bad for pushing. Remembering what he needed to do, he made a note to watch what he said to Perotta in the immediate future and headed for the conference room.

When he got to the conference room he was greeted with the angry face of a military man who was holding his wrist. "Booth, I want charges brought against that female agent. She assaulted me!"

"Yeah, after you were less than a gentlemen to her. You may be hot shit down at Fort Benning but here you are a person in for questioning. So one more word about your injured wrist and I will slap a charge of assault of a federal agent on your ass. Not sure your career would look too good after that. And it's Agent Booth to you, Colonel Pelant"

Sweets came into the room a moment later and gave a file to Booth. He sat down and let the agent take the lead. "Sorry I'm late"

"No problem Sweets. The colonel and I were getting reacquainted. Colonel this is Dr. Lance Sweets. He an FBI profiler" Booth sat down with a smile on his face. "Now, Colonel Pelant, tell us how you know Christopher Pelant"

Angela and Agent Shaw were at the Jeffersonian. Each were drinking their coffees while watching the Angelatron.

"Remind me to thank Booth for the coffee. I really needed this" Angela said

"I will pass it along if you like"

Angela turned to the younger woman. "Oh it's all good Agent Shaw"

Both ladies continued to look at the screen which showed different credit reports. "I'm wrapping my head around the fact that Pelant opened two credit cards in Zane Reynolds' name. I thought he had all of Hodgins money" Shaw said before she saw Angela's momentary wince. "Sorry"

"It's okay, Shaw. Either is he can't get to that money, he's trying to set up a dead man for his endgame, or his ego is telling him he is invincible. My thought is all three."

Shaw turned away towards the window. "I think so, too. I want to nail him for what he did to Agent Booth and for what he did to Olivia" Suddenly she smiled.

Angela didn't miss the change in demeanor, looked out the window, and saw the reason for Shaw's change. Wendell was coming in with Danny and heading towards Dr. Brennan's office. Inspired, she grabbed Shaw before the younger woman could stop her. "Come on, Shaw. I want to meet that young man of yours"

In Dr. Brennan's office, Wendell and Danny were walking in. "Okay, Danny wait here on Dr. Brennan's couch. I just have to drop this paper off and write a note to her, okay. Then we will go to the playground."

"Okay, Wendall"

A moment later, the ladies saw him with Danny through the window. Angela thought the two were the most precious thing. She snuck a peek while they were walking and saw Shaw's eyes light up when they saw the boys in the office.

Wendell was heading to the desk when he heard Angela greet him. "Hey Wendell"

She then walked over to where the young boy was on the couch. "You must be Danny. I'm Angela. I'm a friend of Wendell's and your mom's" Angela offered her hand and Danny shook it. 'Very polite'

Wendell and Shaw faced each other, each trying to conceal their delight in seeing each other. "Hey, Genny"

"Hi Wendell. Is Danny being good for you?"

"He's fine. Fisher has his mother over again, so Danny and I are going to drop my paper off to Dr. Brennan and then we are going to go to hit the playground before heading to the diner for lunch"

"Sorry Wendell"

Wendell's mouth moved into a smile that could make her almost melt. "Don't worry about it. We're just having man time, right Danny?"


Angela got an idea. "Hey, Danny, do you like bugs?" When Danny nodded with an enthusiastic nod, she took his hand. "Since you've been so good, I'm going to take you to my husband's Ookey Room"

Before either could protest, Angela swept the five year old out of the room. "So do you have any lunch plans, Genny?"

"Probably lunch here with Angela working the case or at my desk"

Wendell jumped in. "Come have lunch with us at the diner. I know Booth won't mind if you have lunch with us"

Genny knew that Wendell lived on a budget and didn't want him to overspend, pushing down the real reason for her reluctance. "Wendell, you don't have to take Danny out to lunch. I know money is tight with you"

"It's okay, Genny. Booth called me last night to ask me if I wanted to make some money helping him finish the work on the upstairs next week. The contractor finished the structural repair, but Booth wants to do the rest himself like we did when they bought the house. It's about a two weekend project and he and Dr. B paid really well last time."

Seeing a quick flash of pain in her eyes followed by looking at her arm in a sling, Wendell remembered Olivia. "Crap, Genny…I'm so sorry. I'm such an idiot"

Shaw knew he didn't mean anything. "Wendell, it's okay"

"No, it's not" He walked over to her until he was standing close to her. "It's where… all happened and it still has to hurt. I'm sorry"

Both suddenly got nervous as they felt the tension in the room. Remembering where he was, Wendell moved to speak. "So, d-do you want to come to lunch with us?"

Shaw was nervous, but Wendell was becoming a great friend to her, plus Danny loved him. "Okay, but I'm paying. You did me a big favor picking up Danny today and watching him. That's final"

Wendell felt weird as he was always taught a man paid, but if this was the way to get her out, he'd take it. He decided to press his luck while he had the courage. "So, what are you and Danny doing for the Fourth?"

"We're going to go watch the fireworks over the Potomac, but before we are going to play with the sparklers in the back yard."

"Well, I'm going over to Dr. B and Booth's tomorrow night. We're going to do fireworks with the kids and then watch the fireworks from their back yard. They have an excellent view since they live by the river. Booth going to grill steaks, Dr. B and Angela are going to make other stuff. You and Danny should come"

Shaw got very nervous all of a sudden. "I don't know, Wendell. I mean I don't know if Booth will want to fraternize with his agents…."

"Gen, he socializes with Sweets all the time. Hell, Sweets lived with them for months. Don't worry about it. It's all good. Come on…..please….Danny can play with Christine and Michael"

"We'll see"

'BOO YAH!' Wendell screamed inside, but maintained himself. "Cool…okay, I have to go" Wendell was backing up and hit a side table, causing him to fall over and land on his butt.

"Wendell! Are you okay? Can I help you with anything?"

'I know something you can help me with' Wendell was thinking, but they were interrupted by Angela returning Danny.

"Okay, Danny, I'm going to give you back to Wendell because your mom and I have to work. It was very nice meeting you" She held her hand out again and loved it when he shook it again.

"Danny, buddy, ready for the playground?"


"Okay, let's go" He turned to the ladies. "Bye Angela, bye Genny. See you at lunch"

Angela saw the agent watch Wendell and her son leaving. "He's a good guy. If it wasn't for me being hopelessly and madly in love with my Hodgins, I would have kept him when we were dating. You should snag him while you can."

"Wh-what?" Genny was caught off guard and felt stupid. 'They dated?'

"You heard me. Just think about it. Let's get back to work" Angela walked out before Genny could respond, and the other woman merely followed her.

"So Christopher Pelant is merely your cousin's son?"

"Yes, Agent Booth. I've been out of the country…..serving my country in Afghanistan, unlike others, so I didn't know about any trouble he might have been in. I don't know where the hell he is"

Booth turned to Sweets. "Sweets, I think he's full of shit. Do you think he's full of shit?"

"Most definitely full of shit"

Booth pulled a paper out of his folder. "You see, Christopher Pelant was born with post-axial polydactyly. It means—"

"I'm aware of what it means, Agent Booth"

"Oh yeah, you do, don't you? You were born with the same thing, right?"

"So what if I was? It runs in the family obviously"

"Obviously. Well, I talked to my partner Dr. Temperance Brennan and her supervisor, Dr. Camille Saroyan who's a pathologist. They said something like this is usually genetic that is passed from parent to child. I had also consulted with a geneticist who also works at the Jeffersonian, and he said the same thing"

"What does the opinion of your wife have to do with me, Agent Booth?" Pelant replied

Both Sweets and Booth noted the minute trace of panic in the military man's voice. The agent pulled another sheet out of the folder and pushed it towards the colonel. "These are the summaries of the medical history of Christopher Pelant's parents. Neither one was born with this thing"

Booth and Sweets had to bite their inner cheeks to hold in their smiles as they saw sweat forming on the colonel's forehead. "Colonel Pelant, let's cut the bullshit. You're Christopher Pelant's biological father, aren't you?"

The man looked at the FBI personnel with harden eyes. "Not by choice"

Booth was bewildered as was Sweets. "What do you mean, not by choice?"

Pelant cleared his throat and then pressed forward. "My cousin was sterile and his wife wanted a baby, but refused to consider adoption. His wife was a real ball-breaker who liked to….spread her affections around. More than once she made a pass at me, saying sometimes she needed a real man."

He drank a glass of water before continuing. "One day, she asked me to father their child their old fashioned way since she wanted a child with the Pelant genes. Of course I refused. I wasn't going to touch her"

"I went to their house one night for dinner. My cousin got called away at the last minute. I tried to make excuses, but I was stuck with her. I walked my cousin out and then went to quickly finish my glass of wine so I could get the hell out of there. I woke up about 36 hours later feeling like shit in their guest room. I went to the doctor but there was nothing that came up in the labs he ran. Six weeks later, they made the announcement that there was a bun in the oven"

Sweets interrupted. "So what you're saying is that his mother drugged you so she could get pregnant?"

"That's right. I didn't want children. She denied it of course, but when he was born with that extra toe, I knew. The day he was born was the last time I spoke to them. Five years ago, Christopher tracked me down. Apparently he was going through his mother's stuff after her death and somehow found out. My cousin died a couple of years earlier, so he wanted me to be his dad. I'm sorry, but he's nowhere the type of son I want if I ever had one"

Booth thought he couldn't hate the man in front of him more than he did at that moment. Before he could snipe a remark, Sweets stepped in. "Tell me, Colonel. What kind of son would you have?"

"A military man of course. One who could be a leader on the battlefield, strong, decisive" He turned to Booth. "Like you, Agent Booth"

Sweets needed more information. "Did you tell Christopher this?"

"Of course. He would hide behind his computers and be so proud of that. That is not a son. That is a coward. I told him about your actions, Agent Booth. You are one that I wanted him to emulate. Of course, he couldn't do that"

Booth felt disgust at the man in front of him. 'Thank god for Pops. Who knows where I would have been if I had this piece of shit for a father figure' He shook it off, getting back to the matter at hand. "Do you have any idea where he is now?"

"Yeah, he bought a damn shut down power plant for next to nothing for his computer work. Somewhere out in the tri-state area." When he saw the men's faces, he continued. "I don't know where. That's all I know"

Booth was through listening to this man. "Okay, Colonel, we're done here"

"Good, I am needed at Fort Benning. Where people serve their country, unlike you"

Booth had enough. "You know what, Colonel. Fuck you! It takes more than shooting a rifle at insurgents to be a man. Too bad you never figured that out"

The colonel was almost out the door when Booth interjected once more. "By the way, sir, I promise I will let your superior officers know how cooperative you were with this investigation"

Colonel Pelant face turned red from anger before he stepped out. After a few steps, he looked in the conference room. Booth merely held up his middle finger at him with his back turned from him. When he was sure he was out of sight, he turned to Sweets. "So, what do you think?"

Sweets knew he had to tread carefully with what he was about to say, but it was the only thing that made sense to him. "I think Pelant is looking for acceptance from his father and is willing to do anything to get it, including eliminating anything…..or anyone he feels is impeding him from that acceptance"

Booth saw that Sweets was holding back. "Sweets! What else?"

"Pelant's mother drugged the colonel when she couldn't have him as she wanted. I think Christopher Pelant….."

"Spit it out, Sweets"

"I think Pelant wants you dead and Dr. Brennan for himself."

Christopher Pelant was working on something when he looked up at the monitors and what he saw made his blood freeze.

He saw his father walking out of the Hoover building and hail a cab. Anger began to boil up inside him and it took him a moment to calm it down again. When he felt himself together, he called a phone number. "Dad, what are you up to? How's Georgia?"

"Nothing much Christopher. I'm heading to another meeting on the base. I'm pretty busy now. I'll call you back tomorrow. Bye"

Christopher heard the dial tone and after a moment rage fueled inside him as he threw the burner cell against the wall, shattering it into pieces.

"He lied to me! Booth is taking him from me! No more!"

Pelant took several deep breaths and then turned to the objects on the table. "I was going to wait until tomorrow but I can't now. My father came here to see him. He didn't have time for me. It's time to change that"

He walked over to his collage of Booth and Brennan, picking up a scalpel on the way. When he got there, he stared at the pictures for a minute before his emotions boiled over. "YOU'RE GOING TO DIE AGENT BOOTH! HE'S MY DAD, NOT YOURS!"

Suddenly he stabbed Booth's head with the scalpel. "I'M GOING TO HAVE HER TOO! THEN YOU ALL WILL DIE!"

Tears started to fall, but he recovered quickly as a calmness washed over him. "Time to go, Christopher. Time to claim your destiny from the one who ruined it"

He shuffled over to where a small case was next to a mirror. He took one item and moved slowly to a nearby bathroom.

A while later, a now blonde Christopher Pelant came out of the bathroom and after several frustrating minutes, was able to put in one brown contact lens. He picked up the Smart Cover makeup he ordered recently and applied. He was able to even out the skin tone, but was unable to completely cover the scars on his face and threw the makeup in frustration.

"Piece of shit!"

Remembering his plan, he pulled himself together. He got up and got the gauze bandage roll he stole from the office of the doctor he killed after being shot. He put it on the areas he was unable to conceal.

Going to his computer, he put in a flash drive lying nearby and slowly input in a series of commands. His progress was impeded by the fact he couldn't remember them all and he finally had to use the notebook he started recently as a cheat sheet. When completed, he hit ENTER with a flourish. "Timer set, one hour"

He shuffled over to the desk where a set of keys and a wallet were. Next to them were items he had been working on for weeks. He put them in a box. He took the box and the keys and walked out of the room.

He walked through sets of pipes and bridges in an old power plant. Along the way, he programmed three timers for one hour. Eventually, he got to the exit and opened the main door. He shuffled over to the 2005 Ford Focus he purchased back in January under the name of Justin Trimple up in West Virginia. Thanks to his research, dealers had to take the credit card for the $3000 car purchase.

He opened the passenger side and placed his box, then went to the driver's side and got in. When settled, he smiled to himself. "Agent Seeley Booth….it's time for you and your family to die"

Pelant started the car and then put a CD from the box inside the player. When the beginning notes of 'Silence is Golden' began to play, he sang along as he drove away to complete his master plan.

"What the hell do you mean, he wants Bones?"

"Just like I said Booth. He wants you out of the way. He sees you as an impediment to his father's affections, but I also think he is attracted to Dr. Brennan. It's the only way to explain why he interfered in your engagement. He's using my work against us again."


"Through my work and files, he knows you still occasionally feel conflict over your role as a sniper in the Army. Because of that and your Catholic faith, he was able to manipulate you into breaking your engagement to Dr. Brennan. My theory is that by studying Dr. Brennan's history, he saw that several people she initially did not get along with in time she became friendly with or started a romantic relationship"

Sweets pressed forward. "You two didn't get along with each other when you first met and you two had…difficulties together for a while, but eventually grew closer and now you are married with a daughter. Her father left her when she was fifteen. After a rocky start, Max and she have begun to grow closer as a father and daughter to the point that he is her primary caregiver when you two are at work."

Sweets continued. Me….she didn't like me at first"

"That's not true, Sweets"

Sweets gave him an unbelieving face. "She didn't, Booth. All she did was tear down my profession and make fun of it. Now, we are closer. Others…Cam, Hodgins, her interns….she has a demonstrated an ability to open herself up to someone and having some sort of relationship with them. I think he wants Dr. Brennan to change her mind about him. In all of this, he has always given special attention to her. As he sees it, once he eliminates the final roadblocks, he will have Dr. Brennan. He probably has a photograph or two that he masturbates to"

"Are you telling that sick bastard has the hots for my wife and jerks off to her?!"

"Yeah, I do"

"If he tries anything, I'll kill him if Bones doesn't. What will he do when Bones tells him to fuck off?"

"She may not get to"

Booth was beginning to be confused. "What? You said he wanted her"

"He does, Booth. He also wants his father's love. His mother only wanted the Colonel for sex. He wants Dr. Brennan, but he will also use her for his ultimate goal, destroying you"

Booth realized the implication of what Sweets was saying. "Are you saying that it doesn't matter if he gets what he wants out of her…that he'll kill her as some sick revenge against me for taking his daddy away?"

Sweets felt sick saying what he was about to say. "I think he will…..he will attempt some sort of relations with her. When he has accomplished that goal, he will kill her…preferably in front of you. Then he will go after Christine and Parker….Emma too if she's available. He will save you for last to prolong your suffering."

Booth sat down, taking all of the information in. "Okay, Sweets, let's get on with the Jeffersonian. I need Hodgins, Angela, and Shaw"

The men walked out of the conference room and towards the bullpen, determined.

12:00 NOON

Charlie was in Brennan and Booth's living room reading a magazine while Dr. Brennan was typing on her laptop when she stopped.

"Charlie, I'm going to take a shower. Did you need anything before I go?"

"No, Dr. Brennan, I will be fine. Can I help you with anything?"

Brennan knew Charlie was just being nice so she didn't hop down his throat. "No, I'm just going to use the downstairs bathroom. Dad took the kids to see a matinee so they won't be back until this afternoon. He made a fresh pot of coffee right before he left if you want some. I'll be out shortly"

Charlie watched his boss's partner walk carefully to the downstairs bath and felt a pang of jealousy at what Booth had with her. 'Someday maybe I will have my Dr. Brennan'

As he heard the shower start, the doorbell rang. He got up and looked in the Judas Hole. "Who is it?"

"Norm's Flowers with a delivery for Dr. Temperance Brennan" the person replied with a Southern accent.

"What's your store number?"

"What? I'm just trying to deliver flowers"

"I'm just trying to make sure you're not a nut job. Now tell me where I can call to confirm the order or I will arrest you. I'm an FBI agent. Take your pick"

After he rattled off the number, Charlie called. When the store confirmed the delivery, the agent hung up. He got a few dollars cash before opening the door. "Sorry about that, we just have to be careful"

"Whatever, dude" He handed Charlie the box. "Can I go now?"

"Yeah" When the guy walked down to the car, Charlie closed the front door.

Pelant was parked in a car across the street of the Brennan-Booth household. He watched the delivery man go to the door and give the flowers to a man he assumed was an FBI agent. When the delivery man left, Pelant got out of the car and snuck around the block to the back yard with a box. He encountered a fence with a metal ornate décor behind shrubbery.

"Can't have the little brats wander down to the Potomac, now can we?"

Knowing he couldn't climb over it, he went to the control panel. Using some wire cutters, he cut the wires he determined to be the ones controlling it. He then went to work on the mechanism to enter the property.

Charlie opened the box and saw what looked like a dozen golden flowers. Wanting to know what they are, he took a picture and texted it to Hodgins. He found the card and began to read it. What it said made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

To the start of our destiny together…..Love, C

Charlie began searching through the flowers when he felt a prick on his finger. "Damn it that smarts!"

Hearing the house phone ring, he turned to answer, but suddenly he began to feel very woozy. Vaguely he heard his phone ring in his pocket, but as he took it out, he collapsed. Seeing it was Hodgins calling was the last thing he could remember before everything went to black.

Booth was in his office with Sweets when his computer beeped. Seeing it was Hodgins, he turned on the video conference. "Hodgins, what have you got for me?"

Hodgins was in Angela's office with his wife and Shaw. "That piece of shirt had traces of coal on it. It contained-"

"Tell me something I don't know, Hodgins"

"Sorry. Since the shirt had bituminous coal on it, Angela used that fact plus what Pelant's dad said about the plant being in the tri-state area and we had a few candidates" Seeing the impatience on Booth's face, he made it quick. "We think it's this one here by Silver Hill, Maryland. It closed about ten years ago, but with what I found, this would give Pelant what he needs, a power supply, privacy, and room to spread out."

The location sunk in with him. "Son of a bitch, that's not even thirty miles from my house"

Before anyone could respond, Perotta ran into the office. "Agent Booth! I got a ding on Zane Reynolds. There was a Visa card used to make a purchase at Norm's Flowers in—"

"I know where Norm's is. I buy from there from time to time."

Suddenly Hodgins felt his phone buzz. "Hey it's from Charlie. It's a picture of…..oh shit!"

"Oh shit, what Hodgins?!"

"Dude, he sent me a pic of a dozen marigolds. His note asked what they are"

"That was the flower Pelant gave her almost a year ago here. She said it meant grief and pain" Suddenly, Booth's phone rang. When he saw it was from the security company, he immediately answered.

"Agent Booth…no one answered on my wife's phone or the house phone?...Don't call the police. I'm FBI and I can get a team there faster. Thanks for calling"

Booth got up and checked his gun. "The alarm for our fence is going off and no one answered the phone at the house. Shaw, get a tac team organized to go to the power plant. Hodgins, call Charlie and let him know. Call his phone, the house phone, and Bones' until one of them answers you. Sweets, you're coming with me."

"Booth, what are you going to do?" Angela asked, scared as she realized what was going on.

"Pelant is at my house. I'm getting that son of a bitch" When he saw that Shaw was on the phone, he lowered his voice to Angela. "Make sure Shaw stays there. She can't go on the tac team run because of her arm." Booth turned to Sweets. "Ready?"

Sweets was scared shitless, but knew this was a moment he had been preparing for since he was cleared to carry a weapon by the FBI. "Yep"

As the guys left the office, Booth turned to Perotta. "Perotta, call a tac team to my house. You know the address" He turned to Sweets. "I've got an extra vest in my truck"

Booth judged the stairs to be faster so they ran down, jumped in the truck, and took off with the siren racing.

Booth was speeding down Pennsylvania Avenue white knuckling the steering wheel, something that did not escape Sweets' notice. He was also having a problem keeping his emotions cool, but knew history showed that Booth's temper would explode when someone threatened Dr. Brennan. That could lead to him to going in heart first instead of head and the consequences could be fatal.

"Agent Booth, we need to discuss Pelant and what you are going to do when you get there"

Booth knew what was coming when Sweets called him 'Agent Booth'. "Sweets, what's there to discuss?"

"This is not just any suspect, but one who has a personal agenda against you. You need to keep your distance professionally, something that I am not sure you are able to do right now"

"What the hell are you talking about? We approach like it is a typical suspect apprehension. I see the bastard, I take him in. If he hurts Bones or the baby, I shoot him and then take his corpse in."

Sweets realized what the senior agent just said. "Wait…baby?"

Booth realized he let the cat out of the bag too soon. "Yeah, Bones is eight weeks pregnant. We didn't want to say anything until after the first trimester ended, but I just blew that. Angela knows, too. Probably Hodgins"


"Of course congratulations, Sweets. I'm excited. Bones is excited. This baby was…very unexpected. We haven't discussed having another baby. Plus we were having issues after I had to break our engagement. This baby will be like Christine. A surprise"

He also knew he was sitting in the very spot their baby was conceived in. Usually he could laugh with remembrance, but all he could think about at that moment was his wife possibly in danger from a madman in their home.

Sweets caught the street signs and knew they would arrive shortly to the Booth-Brennan house. He knew to keep Agent Booth cool he had to keep him talking until they got there. "So have any predictions on whether it's a boy or girl? Going to find out?"

"I don't care either way, and I don't think Bones does, either. However….I think she may want a boy since we already have a girl. Keep things all symmetrical and stuff. You know Bones."

Suddenly, Booth realized what Sweets did. "Nice job, Sweets. Distraction almost worked. Don't worry, though. I know my job. I will go after Pelant if he hurts Bones, the kids, Charlie, hell even you. However, I won't kill him unless provoked. I want him to go to prison where someone like him will suffer more than anything I can do to him. Satisfied?"

"Yes, Booth. I just want you to know that I will have your back. You helped me after what happened to Olivia and I will help you with Dr. Brennan today."

Booth knew Sweets was trying to tone down his shrinkiness for his benefit and would give him the benefit of his efforts to accept his concern in turn. "Thanks. You're a good friend, Sweets. I know with you as my backup we will get that asshole"

The men sat in silence as they sped through Washington DC.

Brennan was in the shower when she heard what sounded like a loud thump. As she finished rinsing her hair she thought she heard a faint ring coming through the door. She let it go as she grabbed her body wash and started to clean her body, taking care to avoid her splinted arm covered with a trash bag. Hearing the ring of her cell phone in the nearby kitchen, she was frustrated but let it go to voice mail. When she heard the house phone ring she was surprised, but when she heard the ring cut off in the middle of the third ring, she felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck. Their house phone was set up to ring five times before the voice mail.

No one called their house phone unless it was an emergency. 'Or the alarm company trying to reach us' she realized.

When she heard the faint ring of the first phone again, she knew something was wrong. When she heard her phone ring, she quickly went to rinse herself off. She got out and ripped the trash bag off her arm. As she was putting on her bathrobe, she didn't hear the house phone ring. Her stomach began to get nauseated with fear.

Slowly she opened the door and limped quietly to the open dining room. When she saw Charlie's prone form on the floor in the living room, safety went out the window as she ran over to him as much as she could. She barely managed to register the marigolds spread out on the floor when she felt a painful prick in her back. She saw a pair of feet before her world went blurry then black.

Pelant shined a UV light onto the computer pad outside the back door. Seeing the four numbers lit, he went though his mental catalog until he determined what the code was possibly. Slowly, he pressed the number in. When he saw the green light, he broke the back door window, twisted the knob, and entered the mud room.

When he heard the shower being turned off he snuck into the open doorway of the laundry room. He pulled out a syringe and a vial labeled sodium thiopental and filled the needle. He saw Brennan shuffle down the hall and break out into a run, or as close as a run as she could pull off with her injured ankle.

Slowly, he snuck behind her as steadily as he could dragging his leg quietly as she bent over the man who took the flowers. When he saw she was distracted, he pulled out the needle and stuck her with it. When he was sure she was unconscious, he turned her over and admired her as her right breast just short of her nipple stuck out of the robe. He needed to call Booth and lure him here, but first….first he will have what he has been dreaming about for months.

His right hand began to untie her bathrobe….

Booth and Sweets parked the car almost a block away and ran over. Both noticed the Ford Focus parked across the street.

"Sweets, check out that car and call it in to Perotta"

"Booth, what about you?"

"I'm heading up there. The tac team should be on their way"

"But Booth—"

"Do what I said, Sweets. That's an order!"

Sweets became resigned. "Okay, you got it"

Sweets watched as Booth crept up to his gate and jumped it. Doing as he was asked, he went to the car and did a cursory look on the inside. Not noticing anything, he called it in to Agent Perotta and continued to check out the car while he waited. As he was looking at the tires, she came back.

"Sweets, that car is registered to a Justin Trimple. Oh shit"

"Oh shit is right. That's one of Pelant's aliases. What's the ETA on the tac team Booth called for?"

"Stay on the line, Sweets" Perotta got on her radio. "Where the hell are you guys? Pelant is at Booth's house!...For fucking real? You're FBI Thompson….use the damn siren and kick some ass…..I don't care what the Maryland troopers say, get your asses over to 1297 Janus Street now!"

Perotta got back on the phone. "Sweets they are stuck behind an accident near Silver Springs and with Thompson in charge he doesn't want to rock the boat. I'll get them there ASAP. Just remember you're not a trained agent so don't do anything stupid"

Sweets was walking to the driver's side door and was opening it. "Don't worry, Perotta" Suddenly he saw a string attached to the door when it was opened. "Shit!"

He shut the car door and ran. He got about three meters away when the car exploded, knocking him across the street into Booth's yard, unconscious.

Perotta heard what sounded like a 'BOOM" followed by static. "Sweets! Damn it!"

Throwing her cell down, Perotta grabbed her radio and called a bus out to Booth's address. She then flipped onto another channel. "Tac Team One. What's your status?"

Genny flipped on her Bluetooth radio with her injured arm. "We're at the power plant. I see a bunch of computer equipment ahead"

Agent Shaw and a couple others were advancing towards Pelant's computer studio. Suddenly, the walls were spotted with several photos of Booth and Brennan.

"Shaw, what the hell are you doing there? I thought you were on desk duty like I am because of your arm! Booth finds out you're out there he is going to kick your ass! Get out of there before something happens!"

Shaw stopped while the other two agents advanced forward. "I'm fine, Perotta. It's already been cleared. We're in what seems to be Pelant's center of operations" Shaw and the other agents ahead were in awe at the photos and paraphernalia on the wall. "Perotta, this place is nuts. You wouldn't bel—"

Suddenly a small explosion blew up in the computer room knocking the agents ahead back. Behind her, Shaw heard two more explosions. "Son of a bitch! Perotta call for a bus! Agents are down! I repeat agents are—"

Perotta could only hear static. "Shaw! Shaw! Damn it!" She changed the channel on the radio. "Yeah, it's Perotta again. We need another bus"

Perotta gave the address of the power plant. When she hung up, she saw someone standing in front of her desk. "Mr. Clements. I can't talk now"

Aldo watched the blonde take charge and began to feel a charge of his own. "It's fine Blondie. I'm just looking for Booth"

"He's at his house with Pelant right now, so get out of my way!" She got up and hobbled down the hall towards Cullen's office. "AND MY NAME'S NOT BLONDIE!"

The flirtatious thoughts he had were replaced by worry. Unnoticed by the other agents scrambling towards Perotta and Director Cullen who were heading back to the bullpen, he went into Booth's office and did something he hadn't done in almost ten years.

He prayed for Booth and his family….and for Pelant's death.

Booth ran up to the gate and jumped it. He got to the back yard and peeked into the kitchen window. What he saw made him have murder in his eyes.

He saw Charlie's prone form on the floor and next to him was Bones with wet hair and her breast almost sticking out from under her robe. He saw a man with bleached hair untying his wife's bathrobe. The man's body size told Booth it could only be Pelant. Quickly, he went to the back door and saw the broken glass. Pushing down the nausea in his stomach, he took the safety off his gun and entered quietly.

He turned down the hallway behind the living room to get Pelant from behind. As he entered the living room, Booth fell full force on his knee as the ground rumbled forward, losing his gun as it slid away.

Pelant fell forward onto Brennan. Seeing Booth's proximity to him, he grabbed the scalpel that fell out of his pocket.

Before Booth could move, he felt a sharp pain in his left leg followed by wetness. When he looked up, it was to a remote with a red button on it.

"Good morning, or should I say afternoon, Agent Booth"

"Sorry about the leg, Agent Booth. You arrived a little ahead of schedule"

Booth grabbed one of Christine's blankets on the floor nearby and held it to his leg. "Pelant! What the hell was that explosion?"

Pelant smiled as he switched hands between the bloody scalpel and the remote he held. "Oh, outside? That was my car. It had a device attached to the driver's side door"

Booth's face fell. 'Oh God, Sweets…I'm so sorry. God please make him safe. He's here because of me'

"I have a feeling that Dr. Lance Sweets accompanied you. He's probably dead right now from the blast. Too bad….he wrote some really interesting reading material about you and Dr. Brennan"

"Don't talk about my wife, Pelant! You are a sick bastard!" He saw that Brennan's robe was opened. "You son of a bitch! You were going to rape her, weren't you?"

Pelant's look became annoyed. "No you pathetic asshole! I was going to take a few minutes and appreciate Dr. Temperance Brennan for the beautiful woman she is" His mouth curved into a demented smile. "By the way, Dr. Brennan looks a bit round in the abdominal area. Is there good news I should hear about?"

Booth saw Charlie unconscious near Brennan. "What the hell did you give them?"

"Just a little sodium thiopental. By the looks of things, it's good I chose that from my stash since it seems Temperance is preggers"

Booth quickly tied a tourniquet on his thigh with the bloodied blanket. Remembering that Pelant's weakness was his ego, he decided to use it to his advantage. "So I met your dad today. A major douche, especially to one of my agents. Nice that while some things change, some things always stay the same"

"My father is not a douche! He's an important person in our country's military!"

"Yeah, but he doesn't think much of his computer dork son, does he?"

"Shut up, Booth! You shut up!"

"Tell me, what's it like to be born because your mother had to drug a man to get laid?"

"My mother didn't do anything! They were in love!"

Booth laughed loudly. "Who told you that, your mom? That's not what the colonel told me"

"He lied! He was protecting her."

"Wow, so he lied about your mother being a ball breaker? He also then lied about the fact that your mother doped his drink, probably with ketamine or some shit like that, and then fucked him when he was unconscious just so she could create you?"

Pelant moved closer with the remote. "Shut up Booth or I'm blowing us all up, bun in the oven and all!"

Booth moved to a new tactic. "Fine, what's your problem with me then? I haven't done shit to you. I didn't even know you until the first time I questioned you but you sure know me. Tell me….what's your damn problem? Why have you gone after not just me, but my family and friends?"

"Because! After my mom told me about my real father, I tracked him down. I was so excited…..I mean he's a colonel in the military. It wasn't easy but I finally got to meet him. That meeting after about five minutes, he told me how I needed to be better….that I needed to be a real man. Every time after that, he told me about this POW soldier he met during Desert Storm, tortured for four days by the Republican Guard and messed up his feet pretty bad. Later on, this guy did other fascinating stuff. He was a sniper in Bosnia… Army Ranger…..later an FBI agent. His name was Master Sergeant Seeley Joseph Booth"

When he finished speaking, Pelant stomped onto Booth's foot, sending searing pain up Booth's injured leg.


"Wow, so you're a whiny bitch, too? That's what my dad told me I was. He said I needed to be a patriot. To him, computers were a waste and nothing I did was worth his time and needed to be more like Master Sergeant Booth"

Pelant laughed. "I knew that I could beat you…..I could beat anyone. I tried to get your attention when I took down the DOD website and the Senate website, but then I read about your partnership with Temperance and your success rate. What was it again?"

"It IS ninety-seven percent you pissant"

"Yeah, you and the lab at the Jeffersonian were looked at like Messiahs. I knew then how to get your attention. First I made that puzzle of the spine at the Abraham Lincoln statue. Pretty clever location, wasn't it, Agent Booth? Oh I forgot, his assassination is a sore spot with you, isn't it? My bad"

After getting no response from Booth, Pelant continued his soliloquy. "Then you all were making things too difficult for me and I couldn't have that. I was a patriot! I had to show you all what I could do"

Pelant started laughing. "First Angela Montenegro and her money bags husband Jack Hodgins. Frying out her equipment with that malware was the shit! No one thinks to check the bones for computer viruses!

He began to gesture. "Also took all their money and put that body in their house. It's cool what a little ether can do"

Pelant took a step closer. "I'm the patriot who loves his country, not you! I'm the one who tried to get rid of the chink and her family with botulism poisoning, but guess who stopped me….you!"

"Takes a real man Pelant to take out a three year old kid" Booth looked him in the eye. "So why Arastoo? Because he's Iranian?"

"He's a damn Muslim, Agent Booth. You saved him! I was trying to get rid of the mongrel. It was his kind that hurt us on 9/11"

Booth's irritation with Pelant's ignorance exploded. "People who turned his peaceful religion into murder did 9/11, not Arastoo. He actually served the U.S Army as a translator during the War in Iraq and in Afghanistan for a time, you idiot. He helped us! He hasn't been home since 1997 because he went against his own bass ackwards government except for a temporary internship in Baghdad and that was only because he couldn't go home to his family and risk their lives. He's more of a patriot to the US than most Americans I know. You almost got him killed, you ignorant racist!"

"No, I was doing my duty as an American citizen defending the United States. You're the one who kept me from doing that….again!"

Booth could feel the blood loss as he got a little lightheaded. He thought he was imaging things when he saw his wife stir behind Pelant. He saw his wife's eyes open before she shielded her eyes. Realizing it was from his Cocky belt buckle he slightly moved to get the glare out of her way. He felt sadness as she saw pain in his wife's eyes when she saw her open robe before holding it closed.

When he saw his wife getting up he knew she was going to try for the gun safe hidden downstairs. Determined to keep Pelant's attention away from her, he moved to get his full attention on him. One misstep and Pelant will hear and possibly kill her and their unborn child. 'Keep him talking'

Booth knew what to do. He needed to know. He had to. "Why Rebecca? What the hell did she ever do to you?"

Brennan could hear voices as she started to awaken. When she first opened her eyes, she was blinded by a flash of light. As she attempted to open her eyes again, she saw Booth move fractionally and the glare blinding her went away. When her eyes opened, she felt compelled to look down and felt sick when she saw her robe opened. After she quickly closed it, she took in what going on.

She saw Charlie lying ahead of her on the floor. Nearby, Pelant standing in front of her husband holding what looked like a remote with an antenna in front of him. She noted Booth had one of Christine's blankets tied to his thigh that was blood soaked and he had a glassy look in his eyes that told her he was fighting to stay focused and conscious.

'Oh my God, he may have nicked his femoral artery. Have to help him now before he bleeds to death'

Years of partnership told her the next move. While Booth kept him talking, she slowly got up. Moving achingly slow to avoid any noise, she tiptoed to out of the room making sure she didn't make noise with her limping, grateful she didn't have her ankle wrapped.

"Why did I kill Rebecca? She was your brat's mother. Parker was supposed to be dead with her, but you pulled a last minute stunt out of your butt and got him an earlier flight. Have to give you that one. Didn't think you had that much clout to put him on a military flight"

"Bones. Why did you hurt my partner? Why did you try to keep us from getting married? I thought it was to break up the team, but Sweets thinks you may have the hots for her and that you may have a little fantasy of you two living happily ever after"

Suddenly Pelant's face became sad. "Temperance. I didn't want to set her up for murder. You know that, right? She was a means to an end, but then….I got to know her. She was so smart! Plus, she's so beautiful. Man, once she lost all the weight she gained for your rugrat…hot! Especially those knockers!"

Booth moved to jump Pelant but the pain in his leg seared. His nausea and lightheadedness was stabilized from the tourniquet but knew he wouldn't be able to sustain the blood loss for much longer.

"What's the matter, Agent Booth? Little lightheaded? Leg hurt a bit? Oh well, where was I? Oh yes, Temperance"

Pelant's mouth turned into a grin that made Booth want to retch.

When Brennan got into Booth's man cave, she was grateful the door was open as she knew it squeaked. She got to the couch and threw off one of the cushions. Stealthily, she lowered herself down to the lock and turned the combination. When she opened it, she ignored the rifles and other guns until she saw the pistol she needed.

Years earlier, Booth took it from her when they were trapped underground chasing a suspect during Halloween. He was a paramedic who used his position to murder young women. The gun was too big for her and she accidentally shot Booth. Her husband swore he would never let her shoot it again. She remembered what he said after they left the Jeffersonian Halloween party.

"You're never seeing that gun again. I don't need you shooting your damn feet off, or mine, Bones!"

She awkwardly loaded the gun with the ammo since her left arm was still splinted. Slowly, she got up and limped out of the man cave down the hall.

As she got closer to the living room, all the events of the last couple of years precipitated by Pelant rushed through her head. Each consecutive event made her anger intensify. When she saw him open his hoodie and heard his plans for the children and Max, her anger threatened to vomit out of her as she fought to control her fury.

She wanted to be rational but emotionally she wanted him to suffer. When the source of her misery was in her sight, she tuned everything else out as she aimed her weapon.

Her husband needed her. His cosmic balance sheet didn't need a new person on it.

Sweets woke up to his head pounding and his left arm in pain. He slowly turned his head and looked and it. Seeing it was in an unnatural angle, he knew enough it was broken. In the distance he heard what he thought was a siren. Realizing he was in Booth's yard, he tried to get up, but his head began spinning and everything went black.

"When I read through all of Dr. Sweets' files that Temperance eventually changes her mind about people she encounters, that's how I knew I had a chance. I-I just don't get why she would settle for a broken dumb ass jock. I mean…..your intelligence doesn't nearly match hers. She's stunning. She could have any man she wants"

"Like you, Pelant? You really think she would settle for a squirmy little worm like yourself? You're pathetic. The closest you get to women are probably the pictures of my wife you jerk off to, am I correct?"

Booth saw the anger in Pelant's eyes and knew he was getting to him. When the younger man wiped his face and then hair in frustration, Booth saw that what must have been makeup wiped off and that there was scarring on the right side of his face. Also, his brown right eye became blue when Pelant tried to fix a shifting contact lens. After a moment, he gave up and tossed it on the floor.

'I'll be. I blinded that son of a bitch when I shot him!' Booth thought. 'He won't see Bones coming. Just keep him talking'

"So what's your great plan, Pelant? Huh? Kill me for your daddy's love? Kill me so you can get the opportunity to fuck my wife? She wouldn't give you the time of day. She eats guys like you for breakfast"

"Oh, I'm going to be with her. I'm going to touch her and taste her…..taste her breasts…her lips….her cunt…..all of her. But, then I have to kill her and I'm going to keep you alive long enough to see it. I wanted to get the brats also before you went to that hockey game in the sky but it seems they are not here. I just might have to kill you before I get them. Max….he'll be a bonus. He was a thorn at my side for ruining my initial plans for Temperance."

Pelant smiled again. "You…'re going to bleed to death while I make love to Temperance right here. Her, I'll be kind and give her an overdose of sodium thiopental, just like I'll give another dose to this lump next to her. Later on is when the fun begins"

Pelant opened his hoodie to reveal a bomb. "See this. This is how I'm going to get the kids and Max. I had all of this planned tomorrow to celebrate my country's birthday, but your actions made me move up my time table. I did have time to set off bombs at the power plant I was using. Isn't it wild that I was maybe twenty miles away from you all this time?"

Pelant laughed. "You all will be dead. Max will bring the kids in, then I will give them a fireworks display they'll never forget…the neighborhood, too since your house will be destroyed. Then after we all meet our destiny, I will have another surprise for the FBI. Don't worry, you won't be around to see it, which is too bad, but, oh well."

Pelant got a bit closer. "Well, it's time for me to be with Temperance. Enjoy the show"

Booth's smile went unnoticed as he turned around and his own smile turned to astonishment as she was nowhere to be seen on the floor. "Temperance? Temperance where the hell are you, damn it? You can't escape me! None of you can!"

"We can and we will, Mr. Pelant"

Pelant turned to the voice he heard and only saw the barrel of a gun before he was shot in the left eye. His body flew across the room and when it landed slid into the wall, taking down a bookshelf holding several artifacts.

Brennan couldn't hold the pistol anymore and dropped it, causing a bullet to shoot out and barely miss Booth.

"Bones! I told you never to shoot that gun again!"

"It's heavy, Booth. I'm sorry" Brennan crawled down on the floor next to her husband as Charlie began to come to. At that moment, their front door burst open as an FBI tactical team burst into their house.

"Agent Booth! Dr. Brennan!"

Booth heard the unmistakable sound of Agent Thompson. "Over here, Thompson"

The agent ran over as other agents ran over to Charlie and Pelant's corpse. "Are you all right, sir?"

"We're fine" Booth said. "We need to get my wife to the hospital. She's pregnant and needs to be checked out" Booth got up and began to feel woozy.


"I'm fine, Bones. Come on" Booth said as he turned and saw Agent Thompson staring at Brennan. "Thompson! Get your eyes off my wife's legs and help us up!"

Booth and Brennan were almost to the door when he remembered Sweets. "Sweets! There was a bomb outside. Is he all right?"

Agent Brooks and another agent took the couple when handed off at the door before walking the couple towards an ambulance in their driveway. "Yes, sir, they're putting him on a stretcher now. Got a little flight into your yard when the bomb blew from that car across the street"

When Booth and Brennan got outside, they saw Sweets being loaded into an ambulance. Booth turned to his wife. "Come on, Bones, time for another class reunion with the staff at St. George's"

"I wouldn't call it a class reunion, Booth. That connotates we were all together for matriculation, which is incorrect. The only times we go there is when we—" She realized her error before she laughed. "You meant because when one of us gets hurt we always go there"

Booth laughed, grateful that his wife was around to not understand another joke before he got hit with a dizzy spell and more nausea as the EMTs loaded the couple onto stretchers for the ambulance. "Don't feel so good. Man I think I'm going to puke"

July 4 5:00 PM

Booth and Brennan were relaxing in chairs while observing the party in progress.

Hodgins and Angela, joined by Max were playing ball with Danny, Michael, and Christine. Emma was also playing ball while talking to Finn and Michelle. Nearby, Arastoo and Cam were sitting in a chair together snuggling, oblivious to everyone else there.

Daisy and Oliver were in a corner of the yard arguing about something unimportant. Sweets with one arm in a sling and Fisher were playing with light sabers with Parker keeping score.

Aldo was working on the grill as the approved substitute since Booth was off his feet due to his injury. Suddenly something caught his interest, so he called over to his second.

"Hey Bray, take over for me"

Wendell, who was talking to Genny, looked perturbed at being taken away from her. He smiled when he saw she was joining him over at the grill.

Caroline walked to the grill and looked at the steaks and lobster tails cooking. She then saw the cook and the person who occupied his interest. 'Not too bad looking duo' she thought to herself. "Don't you go burning my meat, young cherie. I don't like good meat killed on the grill"

Wendell, who was too busy paying attention to Genny, was startled. Both looked at her with a mix of admiration and fear before she walked away towards Max and the Hodgins'. As soon as she was gone, the couple went back to paying attention to each other.

Brennan and Booth continued to observe everyone for a moment before they looked at each other and smiled. "Should we do it again, Booth?"

"Why not, Bones?"

When they saw that everyone was occupied, they took out their cell phones, searched until they found what they needed and looked at the same time.

Each phone had an ultrasound picture of two fetuses on it. The couple was flabbergasted when they found out they were having twins. The doctor speculated that when the first ultrasound was done one was hiding behind the other. Brennan pulled a pair of ear buds out of her pocket and gave one to Booth. When situated, she plugged the set into her phone and searched. When she found the mp3 of her choice, she hit play. A second later, two heartbeats were heard to the couple's delight. They decided to announce it later after dinner.

Booth happened to look up and his mouth dropped. Brennan saw her husband's face and got concerned. "What's the matter, Booth? What is it?"

When he showed her what he saw, she almost did the same thing. Under one of their trees, Aldo was talking to Agent Perotta and she was laughing.

"I'm serious, Blondie"

"No way"

"Yes way. I need a bouncer. After the way you took me down in Booth's office, you're the woman I want for the job."

"I think you're nuts"

"No, I'm just a former priest who needs a good bouncer. Come on"

Perotta smiled patronizingly. "You can find a new bouncer anywhere. I am a busy FBI agent. Goodbye" The agent walked away and Aldo watched with a smile.

"There's a nice sight to see" Booth stated.

Brennan nodded slightly before looking back at her phone. She still had her issues with Agent Perotta, but Christopher Pelant gave her more scars to overcome. "Um, she walked away from him, Booth. I know that body language is not my best subject, but from the look on her face, she looked rather perturbed"

"We'll see, Bones"

Meanwhile, Wendell was cooking the meat per Booth's instructions. It was hard to concentrate when Genny was next to him wearing that perfume. He didn't know where she got it, but it driving him nuts, as was the stretch Capri pants that hugged her curves. 'Get your head out of the gutter, dude'

Genny happened to turn back and saw Wendell look at her in a way no man ever had. She also knew what his distraction would do if he didn't stop now. "Wendell"

He smiled a goofy grin. "Yes, Genny"

She laughed. "The meat's burning"

When her words registered, he went back to the grill and managed to turn the lobster and meat in time. He looked up and saw Booth distracted with his phone as he huddled with his wife. 'That was close'

He heard laughter and when he saw Genny giggling, he joined her. 'Yes, someday, I'm going to marry her. Fuck that douche who broke her heart'

Across the yard, Sweets managed to defeat Fisher, who was lying down in exaggerated defeat. Giving his light saber to Parker, he walked over to the cooler to get a beer. After a moment of difficulty, he was about to give up when a hand took his drink and twisted the top off. "You looked like you could use some help"

Sweets smiled at Perotta. "Thanks, Agent. A broken left arm makes things difficult"

"I don't know, Sweets. You did pretty well with the light saber. Good thing you're right handed, huh?"

"Yeah, yeah"

After a moment of awkward silence, Perotta broke the silence. "Well, I'm going to say goodbye to Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan and leave"

Sweets was genuinely surprised. "But you just got here"

"Yeah, but I've got other things to do today"

Sweets knew he needed to keep her from retreating further into the bubble she insulated herself with the last couple of weeks. "On Independence Day? Cut the crap, Perotta"

"Fine, I don't belong here, okay. Now, if you'll excuse me"

Sweets grabbed her arm. "No. Booth and Doctor Brennan invited you here because they want you here, not because they feel sorry for you. If you leave now, even she will know that you're blowing them off. Don't Peyton"

Perotta's eyes got large. "You called me Peyton"

"That's your name, isn't it?"

"Yeah, but…wait, are you shrinking me? If you are I'm never opening a bottle for you again"

"No" Sweets waited to form his words. "I know our relations these last several weeks have been…..strained to say the least"

"I've been a bitch the last several months, Sweets. The last few weeks weren't much different except you actually didn't hold your feelings back when we were alone"

"Well, I blamed you for what happened to Olivia and it wasn't fair. Christopher Pelant was the reason she died, not you. I don't know why you were here that day, but you helped save Doctor Brennan and her unborn child. She and Booth….well, they mean a lot to me and to lose them…." Sweets felt tears forming in his eyes so he quickly chugged beer. "I'll never forget what you did that day. You're a good agent, Perotta. Please consider staying. Besides, we could always use more for our light saber fight."

Perotta laughed. "Okay, Sweets. I haven't been in a light saber fight since I was a kid." The two turned and saw Aldo grabbed a saber. Peyton smiled in spite of herself. "This should be interesting"

Sweets' thoughts changed to sadness as he remembered Olivia. It wasn't fair that instead of being here she was lying in a Maryland cemetery, but he knew it was okay to have fun again. He knew that if she were here now his ass would be kicked for wallowing in pity as he was the last few weeks. For her, he would find a way to move on with his life. Olivia Sparling deserved to be remembered for what she was, a courageous agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In another part of the yard, Angela lightly tossed a ball to Christine as she continued to play with the kids and her husband. She took a second to move her arm and fingers. Her latest therapy showed her arm's range of motion to almost ninety percent. If she continued to make progress, she could start her art again. She then looked at her husband, who caught the ball and was entertaining the children with his antics. He was there for her during her worst with this and it made her love him more than she had before. She had the best husband in the world and she would never take him for granted again.

She looked over to Danny and watched with glee as Wendell snuck behind him and rough housed with the boy's mother laughing. He would always be special to her and he was glad she dumped him, not just to reunite with Hodgins, but so he could find Genny and Danny. The three fit together and she would do whatever she could to help with that.

"Son of a bitch! What hell am I supposed to do? I have to have this done for my boss by tomorrow" Thompson lowered his voice. "The asshole"

The IT tech looked at the annoyed agent before turning back to the machine. "Minimum four hours. Spending part of my holiday taking a virus out of the computer and listening to you bitch about it is not what I planned on either, Agent. It won't make this go any faster, either, so shut up about it"

Thompson made himself taller to look intimidating. "Do you know who I am?"

The tech turned around with a smile. "Yeah, you're the agent who almost shit his pants while guarding Agent Booth's wife, or her decoy before she got kidnapped. Now, sit down and shut up. I am hoping this virus didn't alter any major databases here, the federal DOC, or any other government program"

Thompson sat down with a scowl. He was damned if he would let his supervisory agent make him miss another holiday. Besides, Christopher Pelant was dead now. Any computer virus out there could never compare to ones he made.

At nine o'clock, everyone gathered around in groups in the Booth-Brennan backyard in groups on blankets. A few minutes later, the fireworks began over the Potomac.

"Look at that one, Mommy" Danny said as he pointed out a green and gold one.

"Yeah, honey it's pretty cool, isn't it?"

Danny looked at the fireworks then at his mom and Wendell, who flanked him on each side. He wanted Wendell for his daddy and hoped someday he would live with him and Mommy in their house.

Wendell watched Genny, who was paying attention to the fireworks. Silently, he moved his hand behind Danny's until his pinky touched his mother's left finger. She didn't acknowledge it but he saw the smirk on her face. When she didn't move her hand, his hopes got moved up a little bit more.

He was grateful for the chance to get closer to the two of them. As he watched the young woman laugh, the last piece of his heart fell off the plane of friendship the two had built the last few months. He couldn't deny it as he realized that he was in love with Genevieve and Danny Shaw. He could only hope that someday that their package could include him. He knew he had to be patient with Genny, but if his friend Booth could wait as long as he did for Doctor B, he could wait for her, no matter how long it took.

Nearby Cam and Arastoo were on their own blanket. His recent experience with Homeland Security made her realize that at times she took her boyfriend for granted. For years, her experience with Andrew shied her away from marriage and commitment. Arastoo changed that for her. Maybe someday he and she could take the next step.

In a group with Sweets, Caroline, and Charlie, Perotta watched the fireworks and forgot for a moment the pain in her life. She looked forward to work each day as a way to forget that her life consisted of antiretroviral medication and anger. Her nights were long as she was always taken back to that van and all she could see were his eyes before pieces of what happened came back to her. She just needed to work harder to forget what happened, but it was hard as she was exposed to HIV. Logically, she knew that if the odds were against her and she did contract it wasn't a death sentence. At the same time, it was different when it was you instead of others.

Being around men still was an excruciating experience most of the time, with a few exceptions. She was comfortable with Agent Booth and now Sweets, but some, like Aldo Clements, unnerved her. Men looking at her only made her feel more disgusted with herself as she remembered Zane Reynolds and the look in his eyes. It was one she could never forget.

She just wanted to be normal again she thought to herself as she finished her beer and opened another one to drink. She wasn't supposed to have alcohol while on medication but she didn't give a shit. It was one of the few things that made the pain go away.

Aldo, who was sitting near Booth, snuck another look at Agent Perotta. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and he loved her temper and fire. He didn't know what he did to make her angry with him, but that only gave him more incentive. Somehow, he would melt the ice that dripped from her every time they encountered each other.

In another area, Fisher was comparing the effects of fireworks on remains to the ones shown. Michelle, Finn, and late arrival Clark tuned him out to enjoy the show.

Caroline snuck another peek across the yard until she saw Max, who was with his eldest granddaughter and the rest of the Booth-Brennan clan. He was shady, but intriguing, something she shared with no one.

Booth and Brennan were watching the fireworks with Parker and Christine. The children were very excited about the fireworks while the parents were kissing each other in between each display. Booth's hand found his way to Brennan's abdomen. "Two more, Bones. That's just amazing"

"It is considering that neither one of our families has a genetic history of twins"

"Well, if they turn out to be two boys, two girls, or one of each, they are going to be tough like their mother"

"Supportive and loving like their father"

"Smart and brainy like Mom"

"Athletic like Dad"

"They're going to be awesome because they are ours"

"While I know that there is no scientific proof that our progeny will be better than others, I will go by your gastrointestinal feelings that they just are, although your stomach can't—"

"Bones, let's just enjoy this pregnancy, shall we?"

Brennan smiled. "Of course" She snuggled into her husband's arm and continued to watch the fireworks until the finale. Their relationship had their times of turmoil, like earlier this year. It was times like these when she couldn't see herself anywhere else. After seeing the grand finale, she decided on her later plans for the evening after she got the children to bed.

Booth looked at his wife and saw the look in her eyes. 'Who needs fireworks when we can create our own later?'

Both came together in a kiss with a promise of many more to come.

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