Dedicated FBI agent Seeley Booth was asleep at his desk. He had put in many overtime hours over the past few weeks in preparation for the trial of Carlo Romano, head of the Romano crime family. Bones had noticed how tired he had been lately, and she kept urging him to get more sleep, but he hadn't taken her advice. He was physically and mentally exhausted, but every time he was tempted to sleep he had thought of his partner and Agent Kenton. That sonofabitch was working for the Romanos and almost killed Bones so she wouldn't uncover his secret, he thought. Now he's going to testify against them to save his own ass. The DA may have given him immunity, but there's no way in hell I'm letting any of the Romanos escape punishment. Carlo hired one of the best lawyers in D.C. He'll attack Kenton's testimony and the forensic evidence, so I need to make sure our case is rock solid. If that means not sleeping enough for a few weeks, it's a price I'm willing to pay. While Booth's mind was determined, his body, however, could no longer ignore its severe fatigue. Despite his best efforts to stay awake and focused, he had fallen asleep while doing paperwork.

He should have been at peace, enjoying these extra moments of rest. Instead a familiar nightmare tormented him. He and Hodgins were in the abandoned building where Kenton had taken Bones. The building was an immense labyrinth of long, empty hallways. Which way do we go? Hodgins asked when their path forked. You go left, I'll go right, Booth answered.Hodgins nodded and sprinted down the left path, while Booth limped along the right, his gun in his hand. Suddenly a gunshot echoed in the hallway. BOOTH! Hodgins shouted. Over here! Booth walked towards Hodgins as fast as his wounded limbs would let him, but it was too late. Brennan was dead, and Kenton was about to gouge out her eyes with a key. Booth shot him in the head. He was dead after one shot, but Booth, upset that he could only kill the bastard once, fired five more. Walking over Kenton's corpse, he pulled Brennan off of the hook and held her limp body in his arms. His tears ran down his face and fell upon hers. He shouted to the heavens, cursing Kenton, himself for not figuring it out earlier and God for letting this happen. He kissed her lips softly; they were still warm. Yet she would never kiss him back. She would never know how much he loved her. You were supposed to protect her, his mind taunted. But instead you delivered her to her killer.

His ringing cell phone mercifully snatched him from his nightmare. He opened his eyes and picked up the phone. The caller ID said "Bones". Booth smiled as he felt his breathing and heartbeat return to normal. It wasn't real. She didn't die. I got there in time and saved her. She's fine. She's safe at the lab right now. I can still tell her that I'm madly in love with her...tomorrow. Next week. Soon. "I'm so glad you called, Bones."

"Bones?" A strange male voice replied. "Interesting nickname. It may be very fitting, though, because the next time you see her, her bones may be all that's left."

Please tell me I haven't woken up yet. This has to be an extension of my nightmare. He punched his desk hard. The pain in his knuckles told him he wasn't dreaming. Rage filled his heart. Don't people know by now not to threaten Bones? When I find this guy he's dead. "Who is this?"

"I'm the man who has your partner."

Adrenaline surged through Booth's veins. He was more awake now than he had been in weeks. He wanted to kill this man with his bare hands, but he knew he needed to remain calm; his partner's life depended on it. "If that's true, let me talk to her."

"Of course. Say hello to your partner, Dr. Brennan."

A few agonizing seconds passed, then Booth heard her voice. "Booth, I--"

"Okay. You heard her," Brennan's abductor interrupted. "She's alive and unharmed. If you want her to stay that way, you're going to do exactly what I tell you."

"How much do you want?" Booth asked. Whatever it is, Hodgins can pay it.

The man chuckled. "I have more money than you could make in a dozen lifetimes as a FBI agent. What I want is more valuable than money, but it won't cost you a thing. You bring me what I ask, and you can have your precious Bones back. Understood?"

Booth clenched his fists. His knuckles still ached from punching the desk, but he needed to hit something else. "Yes," he answered through gritted teeth.

"Good. Bring me all the evidence you're planning to use against Carlo Romano at his trial. I want every document, every scrap of forensic evidence, everything– and you will personally hand over Jamie Kenton."

Booth's mind reeled. This guy was asking him to steal evidence and let a killer go free. How could he live with himself? Yet the alternative was equally unacceptable- he couldn't let Brennan be killed. She was his best friend and his partner, and someday he hoped she would be even more. She wasn't just a part of his life; she was his whole life. How could he live without her at his side? He couldn't. He wouldn't. Until he had a better idea, he had to play along. Getting the physical evidence wouldn't be a problem, but Kenton was another matter. "Kenton's in protective custody. I don't know where he is."

"You're FBI. You can find out. I'm sure I don't need to warn you that if you tell anyone about this, you'll never see her again. This time tomorrow I'll call you and tell you where to bring everything. Goodbye, Agent Booth." The man hung up the phone.

Booth closed his phone and threw it to the floor. He turned to the wall behind his desk and slammed his fist into it. The man whose office was on the other side of that wall, Agent Jim Ryan, came running. "Are you okay, Booth?"

No, I'm not okay. Someone has my partner and he's going to kill her if I don't betray the FBI. "I'm fine."

"Really?" Agent Ryan knew Booth too well to believe his lie. "I asked because it sounded like you just punched the wall."

"Yeah. Sorry about that."

"You got woman troubles? Is your partner giving you a hard time?" There were rumors that Booth and the doctor were more than partners, but Ryan wasn't one to trust in gossip.

"No, it's not that." I wish I could tell you, but I can't take the chance.

"Well, I don't want to pry, but if there's anything I can do to help, just let me know."

Booth considered his offer. "There is one thing. Do you know where they're keeping Kenton?"

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you think this is worthy of continuing.