The Body in the Barrel

Disclaimer: All the charcters and stuff belong to Kathy Reichs/the FOX network. I own nothing.

Note: The thoughts and opinions of the characters are not necessarily those of myself.

"So what's going on here?" Dr Temperence Brennan asked from the passenger seat of Seeley Booth's black SUV. He had called her on a Friday morning asking for her help on a case and she had gratefully agreed. Angela had made her promise earlier that week that she would go clubbing Friday night. She hadn't really wanted to go in the first place but after putting it off for weeks at a time, the guilt finally got to her and reluctantly, she had agreed to go. When Seeley Booth came by telling her about the bones out in West Virginia, she had jumped at the chance to go. Temperence genuinely felt bad about ditching her friend but not about ditching the clubs so now she sat in the car holding papers with mapquest directions to a place in the middle of nowhere.

"A few kids went behind their barn in West Virginia to get their bikes. Smelled something funny, it was coming from a barrel near the far side of the barn. They open it a find a body… or what's left of it anyway. An ID was found from an out of state high school. The ID number, bar code, picture, and name has been scraped off so because it's a possible out of state case and it is a possible minor, they called us in and I called you in." He threw her his trademark grin.

For the next twenty minutes the two sat in silence with the exception of Booth asking for the occational direction and Bones reading it to him. Tempe sat taking in the scenery around the two lanes highway that snaked through the foothills of the Apillation Mountains. Crisp colored leaves dance around the car on fresh autum air. It was relaxing to take in the postcard- perect scenes displayed before her on the highway.

As they had entered, what Booth called "nowhere land", the duo had given up on trying to find a station without static. Booth asked about five times in the period of stretch of road that lasted only ten minutes, "How do people out here survive without proper music selections?" He had resolved to humming softly to himself. The songs weren't complete but it entertained Booth as he hummed and tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.

"Can you stop that?" Brennan asked after fifteen minutes of the pivate concert she was getting. It was starting to bother her but she didn't let it get to her until now.

"Stop what?" Booth asked after being shaken out of his own little world of past rock concerts and parties listening to CDs from the seventies and eighties.

"That." She said tapping her hands mimicking his drumming on the dash.

"Well talk to the people of West Virginia. They need to get a decent radio station around here. They are the reason for my drumming and humming. I am merely trying to entertain myself on this long and I may add boring drive to the middle of nowhere.." He stated with innocence in his voice. "Next time I'll bring CDs."

"Oh no." Brennan said shaking her head. "That will only make things worse!"

"Worse?" He questioned. "How could it get any worse?" Brennan opened her mouth to talk but she was cup off by Booth saying, "-and that was rhetorical." A slight pause followed. "Now let's see." Another pause. "Well well have to have the classics."

"Okay." Brennan said. "I have several copies of Mozart and Bach at ho-"

"Not those classics. Classics like the Beatles, Eagles, the Stones…" Booth listed off. He stopped thinking of others then turning to her he said simply, "Foreigner."

This got an immediate response. "That's not funny Booth. You could have gotten seriously hurt or worse." Both knew what worse implied, so Brennan left that hanging the way it was.

Booth went to reply but a two-story house and a barn came into view. "We're here." The white house that stood at the end of the dusty drive they were on and it was surrounded by green blankets of grass with polka dots of daisies and other wild flowers spotting the grass. The house itself was the result of many years of hard labor. A white porch to match the house surrounded it and red shutters decorated the otherwise white-washed dwelling. About 300 meters away from the house, a white picket fence separated the house from the barn and fields. Yellow crime scene tape decorated the boarder of the house and barn like strings of popcorn would on a Christmas Tree.

Brennan and Booth hoped out of the car simultaneously. "Nice place." Booth said. He went to duck under and hold the tape up for his partner but Brennan would have none of that and she followed him under and then walked over to who appeared to be head the scene with Booth on her tail.

"Are you heading this crime scene?" Brennan asked looking up at the man in front of her as he was almost a full foot taller then she.

"Lt. Camancho at your service ma'am." Lt. Camancho stood about six foot 5 inches or so with broad shoulders but an almost lanky built. He had a baby face with blue eyes that severely contrasted his dark brown hair and beard and he looked in his late twenties, early thirties. "You're that bone lady right?"

"Yes I'm Dr. Temprence Brennan and this is my partner-"

"Special Agent Seeley Booth." This earned him a glare from Brennan but a hearty laugh from Lt. Camancho.

"I see all ya FBI people are the same." He sighed ending his laugh and then a pause. "So anyway the body. Lady you got one nasty one."

"They always are." She smiled slightly. The Lt. flashed a pearly smile back and Booth scowled. "So where is the body?"

"Well, it's really what's left of it…" Pause. "but it's over there. In that barrel… the one with he blue stripe. Here I'll bring you guys over."

"No thanks Lt. Camancho. We've got it under control." Booth said crisply enough to match the air. "Come on Bones."

"Bones?"

"Nickname." Brennan said back to the young Lieutenant. "And thank you for your help Lt. Camancho."

"Please, Patrick." He said smiling again.

"Thank you Patrick." She said before finally walking toward the barrel. As she neared, the unmistakeable smell of death filled the air. It was one that was undescribable, but it was there and as horrible as ever. Booth was standing off to the side waiting for her. Together they peered inside the barrel which reveled a gruesome scene.

"Now that's sick." Booth said, backing away from the wooded container. The barrel contained what looked like a stew of decomposing flesh, organs and mixture of blood and well as possible brain matter. Bones floated around like celery or pieces of chicken would in chicken noodle soup. On the surface a thin film covered the stew of flesh and tissues. Probably a chemical agent, Brennan observed, to help speed up the decomposition process. She crouched down and opened her kit, pulling out two thick rubber gloves from the top compartment. "Aw Bones are you serious?" Booth asked as a look of disgust appeared on his face. Brennan slipped the gloves on and reached into the barrel. Her arm was about shoulder length into the goop when she finally got her hand to the bottom of the barrel. "What the hell are you doing Bones?"

"Looking for the head." She said simply while moving her arm around. Her face suddenly lit up. "Got it." She pulled upwards with a slight tug and her arm and a skull, both covered in brown slime, emerged. She straightened her stance and placed the skull on the blue plastic sheet that surrounded the round coffin.

"Great! You done?" Booth asked.

"One sec. I think I felt something else in there."

"Really? Cause you know there's not really anything in there. Just a few bones, slop-" Brennan threw a glar at him and reached back into the barrel moving around again as if searching for something specific. Brennan's face went to that of a concentrated on to that of a face of full of regret. She slowly pulled up what she had found and turned up to Booth.

"We've got a second victim Booth."

"What?" He asked, the shock evident in his voice.

She showed him the second skull. "It's a baby."

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