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Chapter 22...

Wednesday. Today was the big day which the negotiations between Tanner and all victims would be taking place.

Bones had a strange feeling in her stomach. Eventually they would today meet for the first time, the woman she hated more than anything! And they would use any opportunity to say their opinion and they should jackknife, they would bring out their old character and give her a slap in the face that is has washing.

She looked up as someone entered the kitchen; it was her best friend Angela. "Morning, Honey. Why are you are awake early?" Angela took a quick cup of coffee and sat down next to Temperance at the table.

"I just couldn't fall asleep last night," Bones said. "I was up all house just thinking. You know, the court. "

"But the sleep deprivation is not good for you or the baby and you know it!" Angela scolded, frowning slightly at her friend.

"Of course I know that," Bones said, sounding tired. "But how would you have reacted if you were in my current situation?"

The artist could only sigh, getting Temperence's point but she only wanted the best for her friend. Temperance had a good argument and she couldn't think of anything to say to that.

"Sweetie, I'm just worried about you. You're my best friend and to be honest, when it comes to doing things the easy way, you don't know the first thing. You're pregnant and Booth won't like you being stressed out like this, even if he understands it," Angela said, voicing her concerns.

"Ange, I've been thinking about it, and I can promise you, I'll have my fun even if I am behind probably get in trouble with Booth. But that would be me in principle, you know how I am. And, I promise I'll be careful. "

Angela took a sip of her coffee, taking a moment to enjoy it. "I would feel better if I could come along."

"Ange, then do it. Simple. The hearing's public, anyway. I already thought that you'd be there." Bones was visibly relieved when she saw Angela nod.

Booth walked into the kitchen some time later, visibly nervous. He was quiet, not in the mood to talk, because he knew exactly what would happen to him. Above all, however, was still that lingering fear that Bones could yet leave him once she heard about what happened that evening.

He'd much rather be alone in court, but Bones went on begging and jostling and he had eventually agreed that she could come along.

...

Only a few minutes and the negotiation would begin. Caroline gathered them and briefly went over all the important details. When the large doors opened, all were invited inside.

Temperance rushed in between Booth and Angela, holding both of their hands. She glanced at Booth, meeting his eyes, just before everything got started and the charges against Tanner were read out.

Tanner stood there the whole time and just rolled his eyes.

Brennan, however, hurt to have to hear it all again; it was not easy for her. Her fingers entwined with Booth's, seeking comfort as they sat and listened.

After two hours came the first break. It was clear that the case would take longer than anyone had anticipated.

Booth went with Bones down to the cafeteria. It seemed to go from bad to worse since Caroline now also wanted Booth to testify. Booth did not want Bones involved in this, didn't want her to know all the details, but he was not able to dissuade her to stay away. The only thing he could do was to award her courage.

"No matter what happens, never forget that I love you more than anything," Booth said.

Brennan knew he was telling the truth. "I know, but it's just all coming back. The fear of losing you—that I'll never be with you again. Left lonely and alone." Tears welled up in her eyes at the thought of him, or her, being alone without the other.

"You will not be alone," Booth said sincerely. "I am always with you and our baby. I can help give you the necessary power you need now. Always remember: all will be well again. By tonight, this will all be behind us. I love you, my darling." Booth took her in his arms, he remembered it just as hard.

"I love you, too." She said before she slowly made her way back to the hall.

The hearing was continued. Booth was the first witness to be called. Angela sat closer and wrapped an arm around her best friend at the moment she saw the first tears. They did not know what had happened that evening, but now she heard everything from Booth's mouth.

The shock was growing with each word. Their anger at Tanner grew immeasurably. She would've liked to have done someting to get rid of him, but in the middle of a courtroom was not the place for her feelings to be given free rein.

It looked good. After two hours, the trial was over. Tanner was given a five-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay each of their victims—including Booth—ten thousand dollars for pain and suffering.

Seeley was about to lead Temperance away. But Brennan didn't want to let the opportunity pass and she pulled away from Booth to rush over to Tanner.

Tanner saw Bones approach and clenched fist in the face of Tempe's expression.

"You almost ruined my whole life," Bones said angrily. "And I'm glad it was the testimony of my husband that did you in."

Booth could not believe it was really Bones speaking to Tanner. "Bones, what is this? What's going on? You're pregnant, please calm down."

Angela looked on, mouth gaping open. "Did you—Did you just call Booth your husband?"

Brennan smiled, anger dissipating like a memory. "I don't care what you all think but—" She walked over to Booth and laid a hand on his arm. "This is my man."

Booth couldn't help grinning.

To be continued?