ALL - here is one more chapter - the last one until the still unamed Sequel.

Holding Onto The Hero

Continues . . .

{Scene Thirty}

Booth's Living Room . . .

Hours had passed as Booth and Brennan ended up falling asleep while laying side by side on the couch, the DVD they had been watching had long since ended and after automatically defaulting back to the main DVD menu, it then played the same short movie theme music score over and over like a broken record.

It was about 12:30 am when Booth to fall deep into another horrifying nightmare . . .

***Booth was running. Dashing around corner after corner of what appeared to be some kind of maze. Each hallway darker than the next, he wondered how many more turns before it became black as night in this convoluted place. He also felt groggy and disoriented, almost as if he were drugged, everything he looked at swayed back and forth – unless it was he himself who was swaying, he wasn't sure. He felt rushed and anxious as though someone were following, or most likely chasing him, turning to look back over his shoulder, he confirmed that suspicion when he spotted the silhouette of a person but he had no way of knowing who it was. Who was chasing him and why?

As he neared the end of the hallway after having fallen down a couple of times, struggling to regain solid footing. Suddenly noticing that he was getting slower with his pace, he also began feeling weaker and his peripheral vision began to fade in and out – he knew he had to prevent falling again at all costs since he would most surely be unable to get back up if he did. Looking over his shoulder yet again to see if the chaser was gaining on him, he could swear that the silhouette was now that of a clown! Why, he thought, would I be chased by a clown of all things?! He felt more nervous now but more from not knowing why anyone was chasing him. But when he turned to look behind him once more, he was unable to decipher any silhouette – clown or otherwise – only darkness that was ten times worse, darkness that eclipsed any light from getting through, a darkness that appeared to be spreading into a complete and ominous blackout!

He quickly jumps through the door closing it firmly behind him – turning around his short lived relief turns to disappointment as he realizes that instead of finding freedom, he has just entered an room – no larger tha and only slightly less dark than the hallway was. Walking closer to one of the walls he realizes that ever ywall was made of glass and through that glass his heart sank into his stomach at what he saw beyond the see through structure - it was nothing but WATER.

It was the darkest blue water he had ever seen. The room he entered, was completely immersed in water at every turn. He turned back around to go out the same door he had just come in through, knowing he would surely be in trouble in the dead end room if the person chasing him were to enter. But the door was no longer there, having been replaced by more water – now covered only by- more glass. He was definitely trapped, he reached for his gun only to find it had been replaced by a squirt gun of all things! ~ Great, he thought, more water! ~

He had hoped to shoot the glass and try to swim for freedom – even though still unsure if he would rise to a surface, or just be greeted by more of the dark and frigid liquid. What was even worse is that he could still feel the presence of the very person whom had been chasing him. He could still sense the evil shadow but could not actually make out any features or even tell if it was a male or a female form! Booth felt himself sweating with the stress of not knowing his own fate and not being able to get himself out of this like he usually managed to do. His eyes darted frantically side to side, looking up and down trying to find ANYthing that could take him to freedom. When he suddenly realized a change in the color of the water outside, it was now slowly being overtaken by a red hue making it look like water mixing slowly with - blood.

But before he could comprehend this newest discovery, he heard the unmistakable sound of glass cracking, he looked down and suddenly the floor that used to be solid, was also now made of glass – and it was slowly breaking – crack by tiny crack. Then, just when he was about to fall through, knowing he would be cut by the shards of razor sharp glass as he did so and forcing him to drop into the eerie and vacant depths below, still not knowing if there would even be any air to be found up above. ***

But then, Booth's mind must have forced itself back to reality, waking him abruptly before the worst happened and he drowned. But in the shock of waking up from such a deep, deep sleep, while still feeling like he was falling, his body jerked so dramatically that he unknowingly pushed his sleeping partner off the couch where she laid sleeping in front of him, spooned to his manly form. She fell forward and landed with a thud on the carpet below!

"Wha-?!" Brennan muttered as she herself was brutally awakened from her own REM cycle. "Ow, Booth what the h3ll?!" she added once she shook herself awake enough realize what had just happened. But then before she could yell at him for knocking her off the couch, she quickly took in Booth's appearance - and it scared her. His face was covered in a moderate amount of sweat, his eyes as wide open as she thought she had ever seen them, yet he wasn't looking at her, or at anything it seemed, in fact his eyes appeared to be moving as though he were looking sporadically in each and every direction, yet not focusing on anything. She could swear that he looked as though he had nearly been frightened to death by something. His breathing was coming in short, incomplete breaths which if he continued doing, hyperventilation would most definitely occur.

That was all it took to make her jump up from her impromptu spot on the floor - she was now fully awake, almost hyper awake. "Booth it's okay, look at me. You must have had another nightmare."

"Booth?" she called out to him again, reaching out to put one hand on his arm and the other on his cheek, calmly stroking his face in her effort to calm his breathing and his mind. "Booth talk to me, are you okay? You are awake, aren't you?" she asked, realizing that people did sometimes open their eyes still in a dream state, sleepwalkers for example.

"Yeah, I'm . . ." Booth started to respond to her relief. "Uh, I just need . . . just . . . give me a minute." he asked her. She stared at him with concern and glad that she had not left earlier to go home to her own place. She had a feeling his nightmares would be returning and unfortunately getting worse before they got better. After all, she knew from experience.

He then sat up and took in a much needed deep breath which forced Brennan to become aware of her own need to breath, not realizing she had been holding in her own breath while concentrating so hard on his. She too then inhaled deeply, filling her own lungs with calming and regenerating oxygen. Then pausing for a minute she tried to think of what else she could do to help him, and since she didn't have the natural ability that Booth had, to just know the right things to say and exactly what to do to help people she sometimes would ask herself - what would he do? Then she remembered he had helped her after her own nightmares - so taking that memory she left his side for just a couple of minutes, going into the kitchen to grab a wet dish towel and glass of cold water.

"Booth, here take some sips of water it will help you to wake up more fully and I recall my throat always feeling very dry after I had some of my worst nightmares. Then again, you stayed with me back then so you should remember that. He had known she would have nightmares after her Gravedigger experience but only because of his own Post Traumatic Stress induced nightmares from his POW days – those however, had tortured Booth for months after he was finally rescued.

Brennan sat next to Booth on the couch and took the damp towel and began to wipe his face gently. Brushing away the moisture that had formed on his face leaving him feeling much more refreshed.

"Do you want to talk about it Booth?" and just before he started to open his mouth to shoot her request down, she jumped right in with; "Listen Booth, you used to encourage, no you used to force me to tell you what mine were about." She smiled, "You said it was healthy to do that and, though I didn't believe you, I did open up about them. So now it's your turn so, let's hear it." she commanded.

He couldn't help but smile at her, for someone so against psychology, she did believe him when he told her that she needed to talk about it, and she did open up. "Okay, okay I know you're right. I can't tell you to do hat and then not practice what I preach now can I?"

"Uh, I don't know what that means." she replied, referring to his cliché'.

"Hahaha Bones, you are too cute, have I ever told you that?" he asked her, laughing heartily at her naiveté when it came to cliche's! Brennan just smiled, blushing slightly at the compliment but happy to hear him laughing.

So Booth proceeded to tell her what his dream had been about. It's funny, as he was telling her about it, it seemed the feeling of doom he had woken up with, slowly started to dissipate. It almost seemed rather silly he thought – I mean Clowns he knew he didn't like so he wasn't shocked to have one in his nightmare. But water, water he had never been afraid of – that is until now. He hoped that in time he would be able to look at large bodies of water without getting that sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.

"Booth, it's natural to dream about things that are in the forefront of our minds. As these memories are replaced by the next and then the next, and happy occasions and work related tasks start to occur again – these other thoughts and worries will go away. It's a scientific inevitability." she said, still holding tightly to his hand – rubbing his knuckles gently with her fingers.

"Heh heh – Bones what would I do without you?!" Booth started to chuckle at the innocent and caring way she had about her, that still somehow managed to be logical and scientific at the same time!

"Thanks Bones, I feel much better and I appreciate you being here for me. I have woken up alone after nightmares that would make this one look like a blissful dream in comparison."

Brennan turned her body so she was facing him even more and looking him right in his dreamy brown eyes, "You're welcome Booth. I also want you to know that I did not do this, stay here with you and be here for you, only because you have done it for me many times over. I want you to know that I do this because there is honestly, no where else I would rather be, and no one I would rather be with, than right here, right now, with you." she said as she then leaned forward planting a long, very long, heartfelt and passionate kiss on his lips.

Booth was taken aback slightly by her brazen move but quickly recovered. "Let's go to bed." Booth blurted out.

Then seeing the look of surprise on her face, he realized how bad that sounded and to what it might imply - he quickly added, "I mean to uh, to sleep! I swear - I didn't mean for that to come out that way – so um, rude." he turned a light shade of red though he didn't know why. I mean after all ~ he thought ~ we have been making out off and on all night – why am I suddenly feeling all, well – like a shy hormonal teenager?!~

"Booth, seriously, I knew what you meant so you needn't be so embarrassed, really." she giggled. "If it makes you feel any less apprehensive then I can sleep very well on this couch." she suggested.

"Ohh-hoho NO. You are not sleeping on the couch Bones! My bed is King size, plennnty of room for both of us. Really, I insist! This couch kills my back or I would stay on it myself and leave you the bed. But I have to admit, I kind of liked the way it felt spooning together on the couch like we did. I like the feeling of having you in my arms as we fall asleep together."

"Okay, you win" Brennan conceded. "I have a confession to make, I agree with you. I have to admit that it just felt kind of, right. Falling asleep with your arms surrounding me, felt amazing - and I will probably sleep better than I have in months!"

"Well I know I will Booth said as he raised one of his expressive eyebrows and moved in to circle his arms around her and pull her into his body, pressing his lips against hers in a lip lock that would make a Porn star blush!

He then slipped his hands under her knees and before she could even stop him – he hoisted her up in his arms and carried her towards his bedroom.

"Booth – I thought we talked about you over exerting yourself?! I swear you are just like a child with Attention Deficit Disorder!" she lectured him, "You are probably pulling on your stitches, you going to infect those burns again – you -" Booth stopped briefly and leaning down, he again locked his lips onto hers - basically just to shut her up for a moment, long and sensuous enough to distract her and completely blow her train of thought.

By the time he released her mouth from his own, she was utterly speechless. He proceeded on his intended path and arriving in his room, he gently placed her on his bed – climbing on top of her but not kissing her again. He had himself hoisted up and supported by his arms. One hand placed next to each side of her head – where he just found himself staring. Mesmerized by her beauty that was highlighted just right in the splay of moonlight that shimmered through the open blinds on the window.

"Booth what are you doing?" she smiled looking up at him with a mischievous grin.

"Nothing. I'm just admiring the view that's all. Ya know Bones? I never got a chance to tell you this but, after you picked me up on the Helicopter, and then again in the hospital, when I got to see you in the evening gown you had planned to wear to your awards banquet. You looked absolutely breathtaking in that dress – and -

He then laid down next to her so they were both now laying side by side – but laying across the middle of the bed – not in the usual position where their heads would have rested on pillows. Booth propped his head up with one hand, his elbow bent and resting next to Brennan's head, where she remained quiet – letting him continue.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you didn't get to . . . well, you didn't get to go accept your award, did you?"

"well, no Booth - of course I didn't!" she said looking perplexed - "You seriously think I would still go to that – knowing your life was limited to a matter of hours?!" she reached up and laid her hand on the side of his face, where he reached up and laid his on top of hers.

"Booth, I would never put something so, so frivolous and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, ahead of someone that I care about, someone that I . . . love. I was facing the very likely possibility that you could be taken away from me again – but for real this time – and forever. No fake funeral and no having you later come back and tell me it was all some covert undercover operation."

"And to be honest," she continued, "that was when I realized that I wasn't as strong as I always say that I am, and I knew that if I lost you forever, I just . . . didn't know how I would ever go on." her voice started to falter and crack as though at any second she might lose it and completely break down in tears.

Booth changed position, wrapping his arms around her and swinging both of them so that he was laying flat on his back, she in a prone position on top of him. "Bones, you are strong, you are the strongest woman I know. Even though you think you wouldn't make it through something like that, I know that you would. I will add however, that I am happy that you won't have to of course - because that would mean that the outcome would have been different and definitely not in my favor." he said trying to make her laugh since he hated seeing her cry.

"Bones, you said- someone that you love. Did you mean that? Do you really love me?"

"Yes Booth, I do! I love you! I never realized that my feelings had been growing for you so that much it until I received that call from the Gravedigger and I realized it more and more the closer it got to the 24 hour time limit. I knew it for certain when I hugged you in the helicopter – I felt it with every cell in my being!"

"I love you too Bones, I pretty much always have, well okay it was probably more like 6 mos after we met, when I slowly started to fall for you more and more. I also felt something special in that helicopter." he moved his hand up towards he face placing the first two fingers of his hand just underneath her chin. Holding her face in position, eye to eye with his own so that he could make sure she could see in his eyes - how honest his feelings for her were.

"Holding onto you at that moment, was hands down - my favorite memory in my entire life thus far and I never want to lose this feeling, I never want to lose, you!" he said and with that he pulled her down towards him, their bodies pressed firmly together as they topped every kiss they had had thus far – most likely powered by the fact that they had just admitted their love for each other which made this bear hugging, mind melting kiss even more heartfelt and wonderful, than any previous display of affection they had shared!

The End

For real this time :-) Sequel coming