Title: Confined Spaces (1/2)
Summary: An arrest goes wrong, ending up with Booth and Brennan trapped in a warehouse. As times goes on, they struggle to escape and survive.
Notes: I don't Bones or anything Bones related, phooey. Hopefully this will fill a little of the hiatus void that we have all been feeling, my fine Bonesfen friends. Thanks to miss1nformation at LJ for the beta.
---------------------------The first thing Booth realized when he regained consciousness was that his head hurt like hell. There was a splitting headache raging deep inside him, and the back of his head throbbed dully. Where he knocked me out. Booth thought, the memories coming back suddenly. The dead electrician, his hunch about the murderer, Bones' assessment of the evidence, finding their suspect dead while the real criminal sneaked up on them...
He attempted to sit up, but when he tried to push himself up from the floor, a searing pain raced up his right arm.
"Ouch." He muttered, eyes flickering open and looking down at the makeshift bandage at his elbow. That psycho had slashed him good. But where had the bandage come from?
"Oh, you're awake." Booth turned to the right and saw Brennan standing precariously on a crate that was dangerously close to collapse. She turned away from the ventilation shaft she had been fiddling with and scurried off the crate, leaning over him with concern in her eyes.
"How do you feel, Booth? I stopped the bleeding, but there's not much I can do about head trauma without x-rays."
Booth winced, pushing himself into a sitting position with Brennan's help. A wave of nausea and dizziness passed over him, and the sensation made him feel useless and weak. He was the one who was supposed to get them out of tough situations like this. Instead, he was reduced to slouching against the wall. Some FBI agent he was...
Booth took a deep breath, forcing his stomach to settle. The last thing he wanted to do was worry Bones, which he guessed she was, judging from the grip of her hand on his shoulder. "My peripheral vision's shot. Everything's fuzzy and blurred at the edges. And the room is sort of spinning right now..." He smiled wearily at Brennan, trying to lighten the mood. "But no amnesia yet, fortunately. Your name's Angela, right?"
She rolled her eyes at him, but he was relieved to feel her grip on him lessen. "He locked us in here, but I think I can get out and get help." She said, looking back at the duct with determination.
"This is the warehouse where we found the body." Booth realized, frowning as he tried to put the pieces together. Their prison was a very small one, he noticed. Scratched walls and a dirty ceiling where a lone light bulb hung, the weak yellow light barely clearing away the shadows. There was a window across from him, made of grimy frosted glass and blocked with ominous metal bars, but he couldn't see much else. There was barely enough room for him to stretch his legs, let alone the two of them, with the crate in the way.
Brennan nodded, slowly climbing back on to the crate. "I heard him padlock the door when he put us in here. There's no way I can exert enough force to open it up, and you're in no condition to attempt such an escape.
"Wait, you were conscious when he locked us up? Why didn't you fight him, kick his ass kung-fu style?" Booth asked, a twinge of disappointment in his voice.
She was silent for a moment staring at the grate blocking the ventilation shaft before answering. "After he knocked you out, he took your gun and pointed it to the base of your skull. He said he was going to shoot you if I didn't do exactly as he said." When she looked at him, there was a tormented expression on her face. "I didn't want to take any chances. I'm sorry."
"You've got nothing to be sorry about, Bones." He replied softly, cradling his bandaged arm. "I would have done the exact same thing."
She smiled, her first real smile since he had awoken, and returned to removing the grate from the vents.
She sounded defeated as she sat down on the crate. "It's no use; I'm too large to fit into the shaft. My estimation was off." Her arms and face were smudged with grime, and although she had tied her hair back while working on the grate, pieces were beginning to come loose and fly about.
"Don't take it so hard, Bones." Booth said, trying to keep up both of their spirits. "We aren't in any serious danger, we're just trapped. Everyone's going to notice that we didn't come back to the Jeffersonian and they'll send out a call. Police will be here in no time."
"Except... they don't know where we are." Brennan countered. "We went to Mr. Sheridan's house thinking we were going to arrest him, but he was dead and Randall caught us off guard. This warehouse is over two hundred and fifty miles from the location we were originally at."
"No wonder it's getting dark already." Booth mused, watching the light filter through the dusty windows. Looked like sunset to him. "Must have taken a while to transport the two of us."
"It was a very long trip." Brennan muttered darkly, noticing Booth's look at her. "He blindfolded, gagged me, tied my hands up, and put me in the back of his truck with you. See?" She held up her wrists, which were raw and red with scrapes and bruises.
Booth looked away from her injuries, feeling guilty. "This is all my fault. If I had just paid more attention, he wouldn't have smashed me in the head, and he could have never used me as leverage against you."
Brennan sighed, wrapping her arms around her and shivering slightly. Booth frowned at her, noticing for the first time the pale blue tank top she was wearing. "Weren't you wearing a shirt when we went to Sheridan's house?"
"Yes." She didn't elaborate, continued staring at her feet, and Booth tried not to let the worst-case reasons for why her shirt was gone run through his head. But it was too late and anger was quickly racing through his veins. If that asshole Randall had so much as touched her-
Brennan saw his anger and looked confused in return. "I had to use it for your bandage. It was either that or let the bleeding continue."
Booth looked down at his elbow, where his shirt had been rolled up his arm, and recognized the fabric now that she had pointed out the connection. "Oh. Thanks." He replied, cooling down slightly. He was still going to kick Randall's ass when the chance came though.
"You're welcome." She said, shivering once more.
Staring at her a moment longer, Booth picked his suit jacket off the floor and handed it to her. "I think you'll need it more than I do."
He expected her to argue, to tell him she was just fine and that she would survive. But she only hesitated for a second before reaching out and pulling the jacket over her shoulders, smiling thankfully at him. He smiled back, mostly because he was glad she had accepted his offer, but there was also a part of him that was simply reacting to the fact that Dr. Temperance Brennan was wearing his clothes.
"All I'm saying is that studies show that vegetarianism offers all kinds of nutritional benefits, Booth."
"You're hardly one to talk. Who's the one who ordered french fries smothered in gravy yesterday, huh?"
Brennan sputtered. "Just because I advocate what is logically a healthy lifestyle, doesn't mean I have to practice it. I like fries."
"And I'm just saying that I'm dying for a porterhouse steak right now." Booth repeated. "Can we not talk about food? It's just making it worse."
"Fine." Brennan murmured, jamming her hands into the pockets of his jacket. She was still sitting on the crate, back against the wall with his coat wrapped around her tighter than a straight-jacket. He thought he saw her teeth chattering, but he couldn't be sure.
"That crate can't be comfortable." Booth pointed out. "You should sit somewhere else."
She shivered once more and sat resolutely on the rickety box. "The floor is not significantly more comfortable than this crate. And besides, there's no room."
"What do you mean? There's room right here." Booth patted the small piece of floor right next to him. "Or I could just make more room..." He pulled his feet underneath himself so that he was sitting cross-legged on the floor, creating space opposite from him against the barred windows. "There. Lots of room now."
Brennan was about to reply when something caught her attention. "Hey, there's something in the pocket." Brennan said pulling her hand out of the jacket and holding up a crumpled piece of paper.
"Oh, that." Booth said, squinting in the dim light. His vision had mostly returned but the setting of the sun still made seeing difficult. "I bought a lottery ticket last week. You know, when Powerball was up to 180 million dollars? Lost, of course, but it was worth a try."
"You shouldn't be playing the lottery at all." Brennan said disapprovingly. "You have a gambling problem."
"Gee, thanks for reminding me, Bones." Booth grumbled. "But it wasn't my idea. Parker got it into his head that we could win and go to Disneyland, so I thought I'd indulge. Just this time."
Brennan considered his explanation. "I see. That's a sweet thing for you to do for him, knowing that the odds of winning are approximately one in fourteen million."
"It's not about the odds, Bones." Booth said softly, remembering how Parker's face had lit up at the ticket. "It's about the possibilities, that we can keep on dreaming and hoping in the face of your statistical impossibilities."
She smiled, holding out the ticket to him. "Very poetic."
He was about to reply with a witty remark, but when his fingers brushed against her hand to take the ticket, he was surprised at how cold it was.
"Jesus, Bones. You're as cold as ice." He said, grasping her hand with shock.
She struggled to pull her hand away, but it was clear that the biting cold, added with the exertion and stress of their experience, had weakened her significantly. "It's okay, Booth. I've been in regions of the world where the temperature is colder than this, and I'm perfectly fine... with..."
Booth tugged her towards him and she awkwardly stumbled into his embrace, kneeling against him with her arms tucked into her chest, still trying to conserve heat. He circled her waist with his bandaged arm, the other hand brushing on her icy cold cheek. She looked up at him questioningly, but he wasn't sure what to say to her. All I want to do is protect you, keep you safe...
For once, she seemed to get the message. She sighed shakily, leaning into him and resting her head in the crook of his neck.
It wasn't working. Only too late Brennan remembered the news report from the night before, where the blonde haired weather reporter explained that a high pressure system from the north was bringing in an extremely cold air mass to the eastern coast. Brennan hadn't dressed for such weather, and neither had Booth, who had begun to shiver beside her.
"If there was enough room in this stupid place for me to run on the spot, I would." Booth muttered, pulling her closer. Her forehead pressed against his rough cheek, and she noticed with concern that his skin was just as cold as her own.
"You would also dehydrate yourself by doing so. Considering we have no food or drink with us, you'd send your body into further homeostatic imbalance."
"Well, unless you've got some brilliant solution, Bones, we're stuck between a rock and a hard place until the police get here."
"I don't have any brilliant solutions, Booth." In actuality she did have one solution in mind. But she was unsure of how Booth would respond to her methodology. She had an idea that he would have a hard time accepting her anthropological explanation and would jump straight to his own psychological analysis. The best tactic for success, in this case, would be to take action first and give explanations later. Now if only she could calm the part of her that was afraid of the repercussions.
Remember, this is simply nothing more than a survival tactic. Yes, a survival tactic. It had absolutely nothing to do with his arms wrapped tightly around her, his warm breath against her lashes, his heart beating steadily beneath her fingertips. The way she felt about Booth, as much as she tried to deny it to herself and everyone else, was obvious. And if she were to make a rational assumption from the way he was holding her, there was a chance the feeling was mutual.
That's it. It's time to take action.
They were quiet for a while, shivering against each other, when Booth felt Brennan stir in his arms. She drew her hands behind his shoulders and clasped them around his neck.
"Bones, what are you-" All thought stopped instantaneously when her tongue darted into his ear, followed by a trail of hot kisses down his neck to his collarbone. The sensation left him gasping, the combination of her warm breath against his cool skin, and the fact that it was Bones doing these things to him.
When she stopped, she didn't look at him. "In pure physiological terms, sexual activity is a highly effective way to increase core body temperature." She explained hesitantly. "But if you're uncomfortable with-"
Booth drew her towards him so that they were staring eye to eye. They gazed at each other for a long time, without words that didn't need to be spoken. It was like electricity, like magnetism, like the magic that she didn't believe in.
He pressed his lips to hers and everything else fell away.-------------TBC-------------