TITLE: I Should Tell You
KEYWORDS: Booth/Brennan, angst
SUMMARY: Temperance Brennan is handed a startling dose of reality where her relationship with Booth is concerned.
"Booth, I wanna come with!"
"No way, Bones." Seeley Booth spun in the doorway of his partner's office at the Jeffersonian, his hands landing on his hips. "This guy is extremely dangerous. Armed and extremely dangerous, actually."
Temperance Brennan raised her eyebrows pointedly. "Well, this is where having a gun would really help me out."
He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I am not having this discussion with you again."
"Discussion?" she balked, her hands widespread and palm-up while she followed Booth out of her office, neither noticing the triplet stares they were receiving. She began to gesticulate wildly... half aiming for his head out of pure spite. "More like an argument! You tell me I can't have a gun because it's not safe, and then you won't let me come to catch the bad guys with you because it's not safe, even though if you gave me a gun, I would be safe! You can be so stubborn sometimes!"
"Bones, just because you raise your voice at me and call me stubborn doesn't make your side of the argument a good one." Though they were glowering at each other on the way out, Booth still held the door open for her. "Besides, if anyone's stubborn, it's you."
Their voices carried all the way down the hall, even through the thick glass doors as they continued to argue, and Zack, Hodgins, and Angela all exchanged wide-eyed glances. "What... exactly was that?" Zack asked, eyes trained on the exit path of the bickering partners.
Hodgins clapped the young man on the back of the neck. "Zacko, I believe we have just been witness to a marital spat."
"Jeez..." Angela sighed, shaking her head. "Something needs to happen to push those two together... and quick. Otherwise, I'll get a gun and I'll shoot 'em both."
"Bones, you are NOT coming with me! End of discussion!"
"Again, not a discussion. Booth, you know that I'll look out for myself! Why won't you let me come with? This guy can't be THAT dangerous, I mean I've handled myself quite well in plenty of dangerous situations--"
"That's not it, Bones!" he exclaimed, agitatedly shoving his hands through his hair, causing it to stand up in angry tufts here and there. He glared at her when she climbed into the passenger seat of his SUV, though he said nothing.
"Then what exactly IS it, Booth? I'm tired of you playing alpha male with me!"
"Goddammit Bones! I don't want you to go because--" He stopped midsentence and just stared.
She defiantly stuck up her nose in challenge, folding her arms across her chest. "Because why?"
He huffed, then lowered his voice, leaning slightly across the console to stare her down... getting his point across over the rims of his shades. "Because if anything happened to you on my watch, it would kill me. Okay?" He leaned back and thrust the key into the ignition, revving the engine before shifting gears and pulling out into D.C. traffic. "That's why."
Brennan gulped as she studied him... the tension in his features, the white knuckles gripping the steering wheel. He was wound so tight that when she reached out to touch his arm, he visibly jumped. She jerked her hand back as if burnt. "I'm sorry, Booth."
He grunted in response, keeping his eyes on the road... and she sighed. "Look, if you don't want me to go... then I won't. And I'll respect your wishes next time you tell me I can't go with you."
Booth glimpsed quick at her before changing lanes, and he shook his head. "Bones, I'm sorry. I do get a little... territorial sometimes--"
"And dominating, possessive..." she supplied.
He shot her a look. "Thank you." He sighed. "You can come with this time, but PROMISE me that you'll stay alert."
He pinned her with his stare. "Promise me, Temperance."
His rare use of her first name caused her eyes to widen, and she nodded slowly, almost whispering her vow. "I promise."
"Alright Agent Booth, we've got men positioned all around the warehouse, and in the adjacent buildings. If he makes one wrong move--"
"Tell them not to shoot," Booth instructed sternly, not at all concerned with the fact that he was telling his boss, Deputy Director Cullen, what to do. "We want him alive."
"We want him alive," he repeated slowly, emphasizing each word. "He's no use to us dead. So tell them to stand down unless I give the orders to shoot."
"Fine." Cullen marched off, barking orders into the walkie-talkie in his hand.
Brennan appeared at Booth's side, peeking over his shoulder at the warehouse. "What do you want me to do, Booth?"
"I want you..." He spun around to face her and grasped her shoulders, steering her behind one of the FBI van's open back doors, "to stay right here. Don't step out from the van." When she raised her eyebrows, he squeezed her shoulders, "Please."
She caught the look in his eyes and nodded. "Alright." As she watched him spin on his heel and walk away, fastening his kevlar vest in place, she couldn't help but call out, "Booth, be careful!"
His nod was almost imperceptible as he made his way around the van to speak to one of the other officers. Brennan sighed and glanced at her surroundings, her entire body practically twitching with the effort of holding herself back for Booth's sake. When he disappeared from her sight, she decided that one little look at the scene wouldn't hurt anybody, so she stepped around the van's back doors.
A few steps forward and she could see the figure inside the warehouse, pacing fanatically. So this was the man that had bludgeoned their latest victim. She shook her head -- bastard. The young girl he murdered had been no older than fourteen. "Bones!"
She jumped at the sound of his voice, eyes going wide as she realized she'd been caught. He stepped in front of her, blocking her view of the warehouse with his body. "You promised me," he whispered, a glimmer of hurt in his eyes.
Was it really that big a deal? She studied him as he stepped slightly to the side. "I just wanted to look--"
"Booth, he's got Dr. Brennan in his sightlines and he's going to shoot!" Cullen shouted over the walkie-talkie.
"Shit! Bones..." He reached for her and banded his arms around her waist as gunfire went off, the two of them falling to the ground.
He had rolled them mid-descent so she wouldn't hit the pavement, and grunted as his back hit the coarse tar of the street. Brennan pulled away from him and her mouth gaped -- dark, crimson blood began to stain his crisp white dress shirt on the right-hand side of his abdomen. "Booth!"
On autopilot, she reached for his shirt buttons and undid them, spreading the shirt open to assess the damage. Copious amounts of blood were leaking from the small round bullet-hole, and his body began to jerk with the force of his pained breathing. "Oh, God..." he groaned, a mix of pain, panic, and shock showing in his eyes.
Brennan was certain the look in her own mirrored his. "Booth..." Her hand covered the wound of its own volition, panic seizing her and temporarily depriving her of her sense. She just wanted to stop the blood. "We need a medic, here!" She yelled over her shoulder.
"Bones..." His voice was hoarse, strained as he reached out to her, and she grabbed his hand without hesitation, tears springing to her eyes at seeing the look in his. "Temperance, I should--I should tell you..."
She shook her head frantically, fighting not to break down in tears. "Don't. Don't talk, it's okay. I should tell you..."
He mirrored her head shake, still clinging to her hand. "I should tell you."
"You need your strength."
"I should tell you that I..." His voice trailed off as his eyes began to slip closed, and her own widened in panic.
She gripped his hand even tighter. "Booth, look at me! Seeley! Open your eyes and look at me."
With much effort, his eyes opened and locked on the tears in hers. He released her hand to reach, trembling, up to her face, cupping her cheek in his hand. Her own clamped onto his wrist as she continued to fight for composure. "Stay with me, Booth," she heard herself beg, as sirens cut through the air.
Paramedics rushed in, one of them gently prying her away from her partner while the others began to tend to Booth, getting him onto a gurney and hoisting him into the ambulance. The medic that had pulled her off Booth still held her arm, and stared down at her seriously. "Ma'am, we're going to need to treat you, too."
"What? Why?" Her eyes never left Booth, her hands instinctively reaching for him though she knew he was several feet away.
"You appear to have some head trauma."
It was then that Brennan reached up to her forehead and felt the blood. She must have hit something on the way down. However, her head wound seemed miniscule in comparison to what had happened to Booth. "I'm going with him." She nodded at the ambulance.
"Ma'am, if you'd just let us treat you here--"
Her eyes glinted a blue fire, her need to be at her partner's side overriding any kind of common sense. "I said I'm going with him!"
The medic withered just a little under her stare, "Yes, ma'am," but didn't relinquish her arm. Instead, he helped her up into the ambulance and shut the doors, the vehicle immediately taking off for Bethesda hospital.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: A big, huge, THANKS to everyone who sent such heart-warming reviews on 'Flicking the Switch'! I wanted to reply to all of them, but surprisingly, there were just so many! So, instead of individual replies, I am dedicating this story to all of you. Thanks so much for welcoming me into the Bones fandom!
And yes, this fic was pseudo, half-assed inspired by the song, "I Should Tell You" from RENT. I just saw the movie and the some of the lyrics seemed to stick in my head as being so perfectly Booth & Brennan-esque. Chapter two will hopefully be finished soon!