***UPDATE 17th March*** - this has now been beta'd and re-posted.
Hello. Finally, the second and final part of this story. I can only apologise for the delay, this has not yet been beta'd yet (Jen is poorly at the moment and I was aware time is ticking horribly) so I'm publishing it anyway with a view that I'll update any mistakes I've missed as soon as I've had a second pair of eyes over it.
I can't say this has been hugely fun to write, to be honest. Keeping Brennan and Booth apart is so unnatural to my general writing style. For me, it was like trying to fit wrong shaped jigsaw pieces together. I hope that doesn't come across too much in how it reads, and that FiB in particular, enjoys it.
I also took a liberty and moved the kids from Jefferson Daycare (logistically with the age gap between Christine and Hank, they would unlikely to be in there together in any case.) I did a little research on explosives, but I am no expert, and you'll just have to put up with any scientific inaccuracies on this one!
16.30 The Jeffersonian
Doctor Jack Hodgins. Husband, Father, Entomologist. King of the Lab. An all-round nice guy. And soon, most hated man in the Jeffersonian…
"OK, we appear to be ready." Aristoo and Hodgins had rigged up an improbable scenario involving a series of gel dummies and a haphazard firing range consisting of several combinations of non-Geneva-Convention bullets, collected by questionable means, and small actual explosives.
"Here we go. Number one."
"Fire in the hole!" The first bullet, a regular dum-dum, lodged and expanded in the shoulder of the first dummy, blowing a large chunk off, but not matching the damage done to the victim.
"Same again, then?"
A next one was loaded, this time a metal core surrounded by a tiny amount of bullet-shaped lump of C4.
"Are you sure about this?"
"It'll be fine, I've double-checked all the amounts."
"OK! Ready…? Fire in the Hole!"
There was a single moment, a split second after Hodgins had pulled the trigger when he realised he might made what for him would be a schoolboy error, miscalculating the exact amount he needed, and that the explosion might occur too early as instead of regular primer, the C4 would act as the ignition as well as the explosive and explode straight away…
There was a flash of light and a large bang.
The next thing he knew, he was somewhere out of his wheelchair and on the floor. There were gel body parts everywhere, along with accompanying stench of burning rubber and plastic. Hodgins looked across the floor to find Aristoo sitting on the floor, rubbing his head. It was only thanks to the safety checklist that they had been forced to follow that prevented any major injuries, and by sheer luck that the bullet had had enough time to fire before it did explode; but way too early.
To top it all off, the lock-down alarm was sounding. This wasn't good.
"Well, I guess Cam got an outcome," said Hodgins, through the smoke and debris. The alarm was ringing loudly and they would be in lockdown for some time as, due to protocols, Security had to check the entire main building. Sometimes that could take hours.
Just as Hodgins was starting to find his bearings, moving ever closer was the tell-tale sound of very angry heels clip-clopping across the floor.
"Doctor Hodgins!" Cam was on the warpath. It wasn't going to be pretty…
17:35 – The Hoover Building
Booth's phone rang with the familiar tone from his wife's cell. Scrambling through the mountain of paperwork on his desk, he found it buried under a tox-screen report, managing to answer it on the forth ring.
"Wass'up, Bones? Missing me?" he grinned down the phone.
"Well, yes, as I always do in anticipation of a romantic interlude with you. However, unfortunately this is not such an event. Please don't make any attempt on Hodgins' life, but his experiment has set off a lockdown in the Jeffersonian. I may be some time."
"How much time…?"
"Well, he caused an incident involving some C4 and a gel mannequin, so currently, the Museum security detail is currently sweeping the building as protocol, despite Hodgins' protestations that the event was local in nature. He is not a popular man right now."
"I will kill him." Booth was seething.
"No, you will not!"
"I'm heading right over to the Jeffersonian-" Booth flicked the blinds on his office window. Beyond him there was a wall of white. "Woah."
"No, Bones," he had to take a moment to prevent himself from laughing. "I don't think Hodgins has anything to worry about: he's been entirely outranked. It's snowed."
"Yes, I heard you. And?"
"Not just a little snow, Bones… have you looked out of the window lately?"
"Booth, you know the lab has no windows at ground level."
"Six inches, Bones."
"Six inches of snow in about three hours. There's a blizzard."
"Booth. Hang on, you're telling me six inches of snow has fallen in three hours?"
"Are the roads clear?"
"Hmmmm, not sure but I doubt it. It's a white-out right now."
"What are we going to do?"
"Well, the kids are fine, Kathleen's is a short walk from the school, so they'll be OK. Maybe just call and check in a while. As for us – well, I can always walk over the lab." He sighed, knowing what he was going to say next might come across as slightly lovesick. "I don't want to spend the night away from you. It's Valentine's Day, for God's sake. I'm not going to be away from my wife on the most romantic day of the year. It's only a little over a mile walk, how bad can it be. Are you still locked in?"
"For now, probably another half an hour or so and security will be done. Whilst it's frustrating, they do need to follow protocols." Brennan paused for a moment and took a sigh, touched by her husband's very romantic gesture. "I love you very much," she said, softly. After years together, she could tell he was now grinning from ear-to-ear from down the other end of the phone. "However, whilst I am very moved by your extremely romantic gesture, you must not put yourself in peril, Booth. It is not conducive to our successful marriage if I lose you to hyperthermia. I do not,' she chuckled, "…want a frozen popsicle husband. Besides, Valentine's Day is technically only a social constr-"
"It's OK Bones. I get it. I love you too. So, so much."
18.30 – The Hoover Building
Having waited impatiently for enough time to have expected the security to re-open the building, Booth raided his locker and, starting with head-to-toe military-grade thermals, he
wrapped himself up as much as he could with as many layers as he could find, and grabbed some waterproof hiking boots he kept for the occasional times he needed them on a case. In theory, it should have only been a twenty-minute zig-zag stroll across The Mall. However, as a former ranger he was under no illusion that with the amount of snow, this journey could take rather longer, and he sure as hell didn't want to die of hypothermia trying. He was probably a little crazy, but the thought of spending the night apart from his wife – he still felt a little novelty thinking of her that way and they'd been married for several years now - on Valentine's Day, was too much to bear.
As he walked out of the Hoover and into the snow storm, Booth was hit by a wall of cold air. This was way worse than he'd expected. The temperature had certainly dropped several degrees since the morning, and from what little he could see, the snow had fallen so fast that the authorities had not had time to grit the roads. Cars had been abandoned and the snow had fallen, and continued to fall at a rate he'd only seen a few times in the past. He buttoned up his coat, adjusted his scarf to cover as much of his face as he could, and set off into the snow.
20.30 Jeffersonian Lab
Brennan hadn't heard from Booth for over two hours. She'd called him several times to stay put, with no response. Whilst Brennan had every faith in her husband and his accumulation of talents, having made her way up to the top floor of the museum and taken a look out of the window, she was now painfully aware of both the level of snow and that her husband was attempting to traverse The Mall to reach her.
After calling Kathleen the childminder, she was reassured that the children had made it back safely, where they would be spending the night. But Booth… She paced up and down in her office. Damn it, sometimes this whole 'happiness contingent on her family' thing could cause such emotional burdens. But then, those burdens, she remembered, were the same ones that allowed her to fly. Thanks to Booth and their mutual love, they'd flown far beyond the sun.
Just as Brennan was ruminating on the joys of love and marriage, she heard her name called from the lab.
"Doctor B! It's Booth. At least, I think it's Booth."
The main lab doors opened and there, covered from head to toe in snow, and looking like somewhere between a yeti and Ernest Shackleton, was The Abominable Booth-man.
"Bones." He shivered slightly. At that moment, he was still covered in not-yet-melting snow so hugging him was not an option. She pulled down his scarf hiding his most of his face and neck and kissed him soundly on the lips. He smiled weakly.
"Oh my God, you are freezing. Let's get you out of these clothes and into the decontamination showers to warm up." She led her frozen husband across the lab as quickly as he could walk, a trail of meltwater just starting to follow behind him.
Alone in the decon shower, she carefully removed his layers of clothing. He wasn't in any state for anything sexual, but there was something incredibly intimate about her unwrapping him like this and she couldn't help but smile affectionately at him as she did so.
Stripping him down to his boxers, she then stripped down to her own modest underwear: not what she'd been planning for their Valentine's night. She hugged him tightly, rubbing her hands up and down his back.
"Getting there, I'm still quite cold."
"I'm going to put on the water, just warm, OK, You know we shouldn't warm you up too quickly. And I'm coming in with you."
"Are you sure, Bones?"
"Of course. You'd do the same." He smiled weakly at her and allowed her to remove his boxers and her modest underwear folding them up neatly. They just squeezed into the shower together and she kept the spray mostly on his body, slowly warming the water temperature up over several minutes and hugging him all the while. As he warmed up, he started to kiss her, and she couldn't help but respond. Summoning up all her willpower, she pulled away from him just little.
"Against our mutual desires, we probably shouldn't take this too far right now. There are a ton of people just outside and you're still recovering from that walk, which was crazy by the way."
"You're probably right, which is really annoying." He pouted a little. "And it wasn't that far."
"Far enough in a snow storm, Booth."
"Yeah, OK, point taken. Now can I kiss you again?"
"OK, but nothing more."
Booth kissed her again, and took the opportunity to squeeze her bottom.
"We are not going to get home tonight, Bones."
With both now in shorts and vests, thanks to the vast selection of clothes they'd established at their offices and Booth's car, the partners snuggled together on their make-shift bed, on the floor of Brennan's office. Various cushions, pillows and sleeping bags had been procured from storage for the many stranded at the Jeffersonian that night, first by the lockdown, and then by the snow. It wasn't the first-time Brennan had spent the night in her office, although most of those times had been by choice, on her sofa. She noted though, that it hadn't happened once since the incident that had finally pulled herself and Booth together.
"I'm sorry we never got to Vespucci's, Booth. I know you were looking forward to those meatballs."
"I was. And to see you in that dress... and", he whispered in her ear, "that lingerie."
"Well," chuckled Brennan, "That's all still at home, ready to wear. We can find another opportunity." She grinned at him.
"I look forward to that." He gave her a knowing smile, before settling down beside her. They kissed lazily for a while, just enjoying being together, aware that whilst they were alone in Brennan's office with the door shut and the blinds closed, like the decon shower earlier, this was not the time for a passionate encounter. There were many people milling around the lab, people knew they were in there (as opposed to the odd occasion when they'd snuck in very late to an empty lab to take advantage to fulfil a few mutually long-considered fantasies early in their relationship) and they were pretty tired after the long and eventful day.
As they lay cuddling, Booth now virtually asleep in her arms, Brennan's mind went back to the first night they'd spent together all those years ago, long before they had become romantic partners, unravelling the Christmas Eve mystery of Careful Lionel and his plane tickets. They'd spent the night in quarantine in the lab then too. She wondered if his fiancée, Ivy, who had come to the lab to hear his story and get some closure on her beloved, was still alive after all these years. Of all the hundreds of cases they'd solved, there were a few that really stood out. That had been one of those, not just because of the sadness and hope that that case had generated, but that that had been her first Christmas since her parents' disappearance where she'd been forced to confront some of her feelings on the subject. That had been the start of a very long, Booth-and-Angela-paved road to where they were now. So many things had changed, but both her best friend and her husband had been almost ever-present through the entire time. She brimmed with happiness at this thought, knowing that Angela had found happiness with Hodgins, even with the ups and downs of their lives, and she with the man dozing next to her. Everything had just turned out fine, better than she could have ever imagined.
Brennan leaned into her husband, kissing him gently, just appreciating him being there.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Booth."
"Happy Valentine's Day, Bones," he mumbled back, before his breathing evened out. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to follow him into slumber.
That's it. I hope you enjoyed it, especially FaithInBones.