She gasped, sucking in the air with overwhelming relief.
"Get Hodgins …." Her voice was soft but Booth heard her. Only after Hodgins was pulled to safety did he return to Brennan's side. The smile between them was slow and lingering. He didn't even notice Cam calling for a paramedic.
"Any more leads?"
"Not yet, but we will find him," Booth told her. They were in Brennan's apartment. She was stretched out on the sofa bonelessly and he was sitting very close by, taking the occasional swig out of his bottle of beer.
"I'm fine, Booth," Brennan said again. Booth said nothing and merely watched her silently. "You must be tired – Cam says that you've all been up for hours. You should rest," she told him. The exhaustion on his face matched her own. She wondered if the same nightmares prevented him from sleeping.
He gave a short disbelieving laugh. "Shut up Bones," he told her, affection in his voice as he rose and dimmed the lights. "I'm not leaving until you fall asleep and I'm going to watch over you while you sleep."
"I'm really all right, Booth."
"Yeah you are and I'm going to make sure you stay that way," he told her fiercely.
As Brennan finally drifted off into sleep, nightmares of being buried alive were banished. She could hear the sound of Booth complaining about her beer and she smiled.
"Really, I am fine. Stop acting like I'm going to break. I just want to get back to work," Brennan said firmly to Angela who took the reconstructed skull from her hands. "Booth is following some leads, we're going to keep working with the evidence…."
"Hodgins hasn't been able to sleep," Angela told Brennan. "He has nightmares. I'm not going to believe that even you can just walk away from something like that without some kind of trauma," Angela told her friend.
Brennan exhaled slowly. "If you must know, I was having nightmares, yes ... but Booth's been stopping in each night. He sits next me - reading until I fall asleep."
"He reads to you?"
"No, he's just reading. But he waits until I fall asleep before he goes. Sometimes he's there when I wake up."
At Angela's incredulous look, Brennan shook her head. "It's not what you think. He's just making sure I'm ok."
"A guy maintains a bedside vigil …" Angela's voice trailed off and she glanced briefly over at Cam who was speaking with Zach a short distance away.
"Nothing," Angela told her with a forced smile, a slightly unsure look on her expressive face. "I'm glad you're ok. We were all so worried. Booth never gave up – it's like he went crazy when you were taken …. but he never gave up on you."
"I know," Brennan said softly, staring down at her hands. "I know."
"Seriously, Bones, you gotta start checking who it is before you open the door," Booth said in exasperation, disapproval on his face when the door of Brennan's apartment swung open before he'd barely finished his first knock.
"I recognise your knock, Booth - no one else manages to sound quite so bossy. Did you come over to lecture me?" She demanded.
Booth gave her a crooked smile.
"Still wanna go to church with me?"