Author's note: My first entry ever for the Cullen Bull-pen Challenge; damn, I'm proud. :) I've decided to enter because this month's challenge appealed to me. I've written "a little moment" for the 'The Woman in the Tunnel'. At some point in the show, Booth and Brennan talk to the 'Tick Tock Team' (one of my favourite scenes ever) before they do some "reconnoitring" in some small godforsaken tunnel. I've let my imagination fill in the gap between entering and exiting that pipe. Let's just hope I used the challenge correctly…
I'd like to thank my awesome Grammar Freak (my beta hehe), EternalConfusion, for beta-ing my story. I'd also like to thank Addictt for allowing me to run a couple of ideas past her.
Disclaimer: Bones and all its characters aren't mine. I can only hope that the story you're about to read, is in reality a deleted scene from the episode.
In, Out and Everything in Between
Dark and mysterious. Those were the two words she immediately thought of when looking around. Cobwebs everywhere, dark figures looming in the shadows, dust being kicked around on the floor by their shoes… She didn't like it down here. As interesting as it was, rummaging about in tunnels as old as the hills, she definitely didn't like it. It was a maze down here. A dark and mysterious maze. People weren't supposed to live here; they belonged 'upstairs', in the streets and parks of Washington. Not beneath the Earth's surface where there was hardly any light.
She couldn't imagine living without light. In the dark everything seemed taller and more dangerous than in broad daylight. Temperance quickened her pace to keep up with her partner. She didn't like being in the dark. Bad things happened when there was no light. But she had been forced to descend into this creepy maze. Well, not exactly forced. She just wanted to go wherever her partner went.
And wasn't this what fieldwork was exactly about? You didn't get to see these things when you were trapped at the lab. Even though this place gave her the creeps, it also gave her some sense of satisfaction. At least now she got to see more than just the remains.
So now they were racing through dark abandoned tunnels on the search of two criminals with only some sort of GPS-device to guide them and two measly flashlights to chase the darkness away.
"This is a situation where I need a gun."
Booth adjusted his pace to hers. "We're gonna have six FBI Tac Team members do the dirty work. We'll just watch."
He threw some mumbo-jumbo through his walkie-talkie. Apparently the aforementioned team had lost their way. They're allowed to carry guns but they can't read a map? What a great team they must be, Temperance wryly noted.
"Can I have a gun, at least until they get here?" If they ever get here… Maybe the darkness wouldn't seem so dangerous if she had something to defend herself - besides her own hands and her partner that was.
Booth sighed but reached down nonetheless. "Here." He handed her the gun that had been previously strapped to his ankle. "It's not for shooting rats. Or psychos with climbing axes."
She gratefully accepted the weapon before quickly scurrying after her partner. "So what do we do now? Just wait?"
His flashlight slid over the corners of the tunnel. They had hit a dead end. He turned to his right to take a look at what seemed the beginning of another, significantly smaller, tunnel. "No. We just reconnoitre." Booth bent down a bit to examine the tunnel. It seemed large enough for them to crawl through. "In," he said while pushing the cobwebs out of the way.
Temperance threw a suspicious look at the opening. Then she sighed and crawled in behind Booth. The things I do to bring some justice to this world... Her eyes landed on Booth's behind moving steadily forward. Hmm, maybe it's not so bad after all. Amused by her own thoughts, she took a few steps forward.
"Reconnoitre, Booth? That's an expensive word. Have you been expanding your vocabulary?"
"What?" Booth slowed down a bit. "No, it's a word I picked up in the army."
"Oh, I just assumed that you had revised your opinion on words that sound French."
"Bones…" he grumbled before falling back into his old pace.
They walked on, bent over, for a few moments. Temperance placed one hand on the wall. Is it just me or are the walls closing in on us? Her suspicions were confirmed when Booth got onto all fours two minutes later.
"Watch your head, Bones. The pipe's narrowing. We'll have to crawl on our knees from here on."
She followed his example. They crawled on in silence until the beam of her flashlight fell upon Booth's ankles. Thanks to their kneeled position his trousers had ridden up, revealing quite an interesting pair of socks.
"Nice socks," she commented, a smile tugging at her lips.
Booth mumbled a thank you but kept moving forward. Intrigued by the design on the socks, Temperance reached out to pull up the right leg of his trousers. The FBI agent immediately came to a stop. Turning around as much as he could, he gave her a questioning stare.
"Bones, what the hell are you doing?"
It was too dark to see but he felt her fingers push back his trousers. Her fingertips sliding over his sock and bare calf caused such a strong sensation that he got goose bumps all over his arms. He quietly snorted. I should've seen this one coming. Only Bones would crawl around in dark tunnels, touching the legs of a guy that happened to be crawling around with her.
He faintly distinguished her smile when she laid her eyes on his footwear. "Nice socks," she commented again, patting the miniature skull printed on them.
Booth didn't reply as he was too busy with getting rid of the goose bumps her simple touch gave him. Her hand stilled. She didn't take it off his ankle, though. Instead, she massaged her way from the base of his foot to his mid-calf.
"Bones, what the hell are you doing?" he queried, his voice sounding just a tad too rough to his own taste.
"I'm checking what else you've got hidden in there."
Whoa Bones, easy on the ambiguous statements there! He cleared his throat and decided the best way out of this strange situation was to make a joke about it.
"Yeah right, I'm sure I've got a bazooka somewhere down there, strapped to my ankle."
He found the energy to brush aside her hands and to push down his trousers. After having given her an intense stare, he shifted around again to continue his way. Sighing softly, Temperance followed him. What did I do that for? This is neither the time nor the place to be touching…
"Bones!" Booth interrupted her train of thought. "Stop smashing my gun against the ground. You'll get scratches all over it."
Her eyebrows shot up. Smash his gun? She looked at the weapon in her right hand. Apparently she had been putting it down quite hard while shuffling forward in the narrow tunnel.
"Booth, your gun is fine. Some rough treatment won't hurt it."
He involuntarily tensed at her words. Booth knew she hadn't meant it like that but after their little touch-my-socks situation of two minutes ago; he couldn't help but think about something entirely different than the weapon she was holding.
"Choice of words, Bones," he muttered. "Mind your choice of words."
With that he gathered what little rational sense he had left and began moving forward again, all the while softly shaking his head. Would his partner ever learn to think before she spoke? One of these days she was going to blurt something out that would completely embarrass her. He snorted. Like his partner could actually be embarrassed about something. Over the past months he had noticed that it would take quite a lot to make her blush. Hell, even he blushed faster than she did. His Bones was too rational for her own good; rational people hardly ever got embarrassed. Maybe it was time that he went on the search of something to bring a cute blush on her cheeks?
Moving through these dark tunnels awakened a sense of adventure in him. They were going where no living soul had gone for the past couple of decades. That was if the treasure hunters they were after hadn't used this pipe. Judging by the number of cobwebs and the thick layer of dust, it was safe to say that they hadn't. Probably because it was so narrow. Even on all fours he had trouble squeezing his broad frame through the shaft.
The narrowness of the tunnel wasn't the only thing that bothered him. The whole place was bathing in deafening silence and pitch-black darkness - two things he really didn't need with Temperance around. His senses became hypersensitive in the dark. His eyes distinguished every roughness on the walls. Every possible scent that hung in the air found its way to his nose. If he wasn't mistaken, he smelled dust, something ancient and something more subtle - probably his partner's scent. His ears picked up every sound, no matter how faint it was. The silence that hung thick around them didn't help either. In between hearing the sounds of his own shuffling, he could clearly hear her rummaging around. The soft clicking of metal on stone - probably his gun - the scraping of her trousers over the concrete and her soft, slightly irregular, breathing resonated loudly in his ears and head.
He was about to mentally smack himself for picking up those noises when another sound caught his attention. He narrowed his eyes to squint at something small moving around in the distance. Crap! Booth softly cursed.
Because she had been focused on crawling forward without 'smashing his gun' too harshly, Temperance didn't notice that Booth had come to a stop until she bumped into him, her head coming in full contact with his behind. She immediately drew back a little, preparing to exclaim something along the line of "Watch out where you point that ass, you could poke someone's eye out!" but she refrained from doing so when she heard Booth curse under his breath.
"Booth! What the hell do you think you're doing?" she hissed, repeating the words he had uttered not more than five minutes ago.
"There's a rat," he replied through clenched teeth.
"A rat?" Temperance echoed.
"Yeah, as in long-tailed rodent, distinguished from the mouse by being larger, known for scurrying around in sewers."
Temperance silently stared at him before breaking into an amused smile. "Told you everyone's a squint at heart."
"Whatever Bones, I've been hanging around you for too long," Booth muttered, mentally slapping himself for uttering something squinty.
They both stared at the rodent shuffling around about two yards down the tunnel. Because Booth's broad frame blocked the entire shaft, Brennan had to shift around to get a decent view. She had two choices: either peek through the small opening between his arm and his side or take a risk and look through the fairly large gap between his legs. Temperance thought of herself as an adventurous, risk-taking person but this risk was just too... risky. So she lowered her body onto the ground until she had a nice view through the 'safe' opening.
"That's a rat," she announced.
"Yes Bones, thank you for confirming something that I already knew," Booth sarcastically answered. "The question here is, what are we going to do to get that thing out of our way?"
"It's a rat. Just shoot the damn rodent."
He sighed deeply. "I can't do that."
"Why the hell not? Afraid you'll get scratches all over your gun?" Temperance sneered.
"Bones!" Booth grumbled. "Have you forgotten our little 'a round fired from my gun means a nice chat with the review board' talk?"
"No, of course I haven't."
He nodded. Of course she hasn't… Ha! "I'd be happy to shoot the damn thing if there wasn't a chance that the bullet could ricochet. That wouldn't do us any good, now would it?"
Temperance reluctantly agreed with him… in her head. No way was she going to admit out loud that she hadn't thought of that possibility!
Upon hearing his partner's silence, Booth continued "Plus, there is a chance that the bad guys could hear the shot. Since we're stuck here, they'd have plenty of time to take off. Now that wouldn't be too good either, now would it?"
She was about to ask what they were going to do then when the rat quietly made its way over to where the couple was sitting.
"Bones…" Booth slowly began. "Make no sudden movements. Stay still. Stay very, very still. Maybe it'll go away if it doesn't pick up any movement."
Brennan got back onto all fours because her back was starting to hurt from the huddling down. A smile tugged at her lips when she realised her head was on the same level as her partner's behind. With avid interest she noted the way his jeans clung tightly to his bottom. Just look at the shape of his Gluteus Maxiums. He must do a lot of work-outs to get it that tight.
Booth let out a relieved sigh. "He's not coming towards us anymore." He paused. "But he's not moving away either." For half a minute he stared at the rat who was snuffling around the tunnel before him. "Come on, pal. Go away. Go join your plague infested buddies."
"Not all rats have the plague, Booth."
He ignored her words. After one more minute of staring, he lowered his body a bit so that he could glance over his shoulder. "Got any ideas, Einstein?"
She quickly lifted her gaze from his behind onto his face. Rolling her eyes to mask what she had been doing, she said "Why don't you throw something at it. The sudden movement might scare it away."
"Great suggestion, Bones. There's just one flaw in your plan." He leaned a bit back to bring his face closer to hers. "What are we going to throw?"
Temperance flicked her gaze around the tunnel to search for an object they could use but she came up empty-handed. Her eyes landed on the gun in her hand. Booth had followed her gaze and began protesting when he saw her stare at his spare weapon.
"You are not flinging my gun at that rodent, Bones!" he warned her.
She rolled her eyes again. "Fine, then we'll use one of your shoes."
"One of my shoes?!" Booth exclaimed. "If you think that I'm going to tiptoe around this dusty tunnel in my favourite pair of socks, then you're sorely mistaken!"
"Are you kidding me? We could be stuck in here for hours because of that rat and you're worried about your socks?"
At receiving a glare from her partner, she let out an irritated sigh and sat down on the ground. Mumbling something about cocky FBI agents who were afraid to get a little dirt on their clothes, she untied the shoelaces of one shoe before removing it from her foot.
"Move," she snapped at him while poking his side.
"Easy there, Bones!"
Because the tunnel was so narrow, Booth had to lie down on his stomach to let Temperance pass. The anthropologist vaguely noted that upon closer inspection his Gluteus Maximus was as well-trained as she had expected. She wiggled herself through the narrow space between the walls and his body until she had a good view on the rat and until she was able to stretch her hand with the shoe out. Temperance aimed carefully before flinging the shoe at the rodent. The object hit the rat full-on, making it shriek loudly as it ran off.
Booth was relieved to see the rodent take off. Not because he was scared of it. No, he was relieved because it meant his partner would wiggle back to her original place and would stop leaning on him. During the whole incident he had kept perfectly still, afraid to cause more friction between their bodies. Only the Lord knew how extremely difficult it had been to remain calm when her hips and stomach had been pressed against his backside.
When Temperance finally reached her position behind him, he quickly got back on all fours and stared straight ahead. He was afraid that his partner might catch a glimpse of all the different emotions that he was certain were playing over his face. Two minutes of rummaging around later, Temperance announced that she was ready to go.
Booth shook his head before commanding himself to move forward. It was going to take a lot of time to forget how her breasts had slid up his spine, leaving behind a burning trail.
A couple of yards further the tunnel widened again. They both rose to their feet and continued walking on bent over. The tunnel got wider but unfortunately also dirtier. The layer of dust became even thicker and there were dozens of cobwebs blocking their path. At some point Temperance wasn't paying attention to where she was going - I wonder how many times a week he works out to stay in such good shape... - so she was surprised to suddenly find a sticky substance on her face.
"God damn it," she muttered while trying to wipe it from her face.
Her curse made Booth turn around. "Don't drag the man upstairs into this, Bones." He smiled upon seeing her fight with the cobweb stuck on her cheeks and nose. "Here, let me help you." To his surprise, she let him take hold of her elbow with one hand while he brushed away the cobweb with the palm of his other hand. "There, all clean."
As he brought down his hand, his eyes locked with hers. The sexual tension that often hung in the air whenever they were together, swirled through his veins. The slight hitch in her breathing and the barely noticeable tremble of her lips informed him that he wasn't the only one who was having trouble keeping his mind out of the gutter.
"Come on, Bones. I think we've nearly reached the end of this godforsaken pipe," he said after having loudly cleared his throat.
Booth moved forward again, his hand still on her elbow. The tunnel was wide enough now to let them walk beside each other. About three minutes later, they reached the end just like Booth had predicted. He kicked the small rusted gate that blocked the exit open and jumped out of the tunnel first. Then he turned around to reach for her hands so that he could help her down.
Again she surprised him; this time by allowing him to help her down like a gentleman.
"Easy, watch yourself," he warned her as she jumped out of the tunnel.
Temperance flicked her flashlight over the new tunnel they had entered. More cobwebs, more looming shadows, more dust… Wonderful. She held back a sigh. This tunnel gave her even more goose bumps than the last one. The anthropologist silently hoped that they would find the blonde woman and their criminals quickly.
A sudden smile tugged at her lips. Even though these tunnels gave her the creeps, it was quite fun rummaging around them with Booth. All sorts of unexpected things could happen. She suppressed another smile as she wiped away a cobweb that was hanging down the wall. I should definitely do some more reconnoitring with Booth.
Booth grabbed his walkie-talkie to ask where the Tac Team was.
"They're not lost."
She was about to snap something back when her eye caught sight of something small lying on the ground. Hello, what do we have here? All thoughts of reconnoitring some more with her partner vanished when Temperance took a closer look at the thing she was holding between her fingers.
"What's that? A lucky quarter?"
Honestly Booth, is that the best smart-ass comment you can come up with? "This could be the missing piece of Marni's skull."
"You think this is where she was killed?"
"Don't go all gushy on me." Booth quickly glanced at her. "Tick Tock Three," he said through his walkie-talkie.
An incredulous team leader immediately replied "Did you just call us Tick Tock?"
It's never good when an FBI agent starts using squint humour. As this thought flashed through his head, Booth realised that he was in too deep for his own good. Dr. Temperance Brennan had managed to put a spell on him. She, her soft curves and her smart sense of humour had managed to trick him in a cobweb of desire. Oh boy, if she ever finds out, I'm screwed…