Thanks to all Reviewers! It is you who give me a reason to write!

Disclaimer: Sadly, Fox has complete ownership of Bones. Not me.

"Explain to me again why we couldn't wait for the team to finish up and come with us?"

"Why? Is the ever cocky, Alpha male Booth afraid of searching an empty warehouse?"

"Its not that I'm afraid Bones. But it's always good to have backup. You know, just one of those little ideas I picked up in my military training." Booth explained, punctuating the last words with a meaningful glance.

"Well, Booth, the team had to finish up our last case and therefore could not accompany us at the time. They'll be joining us as soon as they're done though, so I can't comprehend why you are acting as though we're going to spend the day there alone. Of course, anthropologically speaking, the human individual, like any other animal with an inherent pack society mentality, seeks to be around other responsive and interactive individuals."

"Whatever you say Bones." Booth responded, taking a turn on the intersection that would lead them to the empty warehouse where a man had reported a possible body. The man had been out with his dog when the unleashed animal had run into the warehouse and started barking furiously. He had gone inside and quickly run out when he'd smelled a strong, foul odor. He'd immediately called the police.

"So do we have concrete evidence that it's a body?" Booth asked.

"Well, that's why they called us. Furthermore, now there is a greater chance that the possible body and scene have not been disturbed. We'll be the first to confirm."

"Just peachy."

"I fail to see how the Prunus persica has anything to do with this."

Booth stifled laughter and settled for a small smile.

"What is the nature of your laughter Booth? Did I say something wrong?"

"No. Its just that when people say 'Just peachy', they mean 'just great' or 'just fine', or things like that."

"I see." Bones asnwered, understanding immediatly. "Well, it looks like we've arrived."

Booth turned the engine off and stepped out of the car, jogging to catch up with the rapidaly advancing anthropologist. He wouldn't really mind alone time with Bones. Not at all.

A somewhat mild rank smell greeted them when they entered the warehouse. Booth and Bones waved their flashlights around the darkened building, but large container boxes limited their ability to see what lay ahead.

" We need to find the control room and see if the lights still work. According to the information log we were given, this placed closed not too long ago. And almost all warehouses have a backup generator. It would certainly make the collection of data and evidence easier."

"Just what I was thinking Bones. Now stay close. We still don't know what we're dealing with yet." Booth said, advancing towards a door to the left, aiming his gun before him at all possible points of attack. Bones stayed next to him, surveying the area closely with her flashlight. Booth opened the door and stepped inside, smiling when he found panels of switches and wires. Bones followed him inside, and after seeing that there was nothing of interest, began to exit.

"Where are you going Bones?"

"Don't worry about me Booth. I can handle myself perfectly. I'll be just peachy." She replied with a grin. Booth couldn't resist smiling back, couldn't resist letting her do what she wanted. His stubborn resolve at keeping her close crumbled at her beautiful smile.

"Okay Bones. Just don't go too far, all right? I don't want to go looking for you."

Bones nodded and exited the small room, shining her light on the ceiling and on the walls. After seeing nothing suspicious, she turned her attention to the floor. A strange shape on the dusty concrete caught her attention. Bones moved towards it. It's outline hazy, she determined it was a shoe print that someone had tried to erase. Curiosity snagged, Temperance followed the sparse scuffles on the floor, stepping further and further away from the room and from Booth.

"Damn it!" Booth cursed as his tampering of some switches and wires cause a loud, whining noise. It sounded like a shrill, broken whistle and it hurt his ears. He pulled apart the things that he'd been trying to connect but the sound continued. Booth growled in frustration.

He never heard someone moving close to the door. Never heard them slowly moving the door until it was slammed and locked shut. Whirling around with alarm, Booth immediately ran to the entrance, moving the handle frantically.


Bones wouldn't play this kind of joke on him. Not while working on a case. This was for real.


Booth's blood ran cold when he heard the loud pop of a gunshot. Right then and there, he forgot the piercing noise, forgot about the lights, about everything. Adrenaline electrified his nerves, filling his head with only one thought.

Save my partner

Booth ferociously threw himself at the door time and time again, and when it wouldn't budge he pulled out his gun and shot the handle, not caring about the possible ricochet. The Agent threw open the door and ran, gun arm outstretched.

"Bones! Are you okay?"

No answer. Booth ran to the place where the flashlight was on the ground, uncaring about the grisly sight of a decomposing and chained body being illuminated by the beam. He dropped to his knees beside Bones and ran his hands over her gently, unable to see clearly. The feel of something hot and thick on her left shoulder drowned him.

"Oh God, Bones…"

Booth awoke with a start, nearly falling off the chair in the process. He looked at Bones, checking that nothing had happened to her while he had been asleep.

Dammit, Seeley, you're supposed to be protecting her, not reliving things in dreamland.

Booth rubbed his eyes tiredly, trying to rid the images of what had happened earlier, from his mind. Remembering that he'd touched her blood though, he quickly dropped his hands. And even though it had long been cleaned, he felt that Bones' blood still stained his hands with blame, shame that he had failed in protecting her. He had failed at his most crucial role. Remembering the horror, the dread of thinking her dead, the devastating anguish that had crushed his heart, Booth moved closer to Bones' bed and took one of her hands.

"I won't fail you again, Temperance. I swear on my life I won't fail you again."

That said, Booth took vigil again, sitting uncomfortably in the chair so as to not fall asleep. And despite his rememberance of the events that had led up to this point, even Special Agent Seeley Booth could not remember things that he didn't know. He didn't know that the person who'd shot Bones had also given her a shot of something else. Something fatally dangerous.

I'll update as soon as I can, so for now, hit the Review button and tell me what you think. It'll get more interresting (and a little more sci-fi-ish) from here on. Everything will fall into place. Eventually...