Chapter 3

Booth stepped into the quiet lab the next morning. It was too early for most people to be there, but he knew that Brennan would already be hard at work. He peered into her office and frowned, not seeing her at her desk. Looking around further, he sighed in relief and exasperation as he located her sleeping on her couch, still in her clothes from yesterday, minus her shoes. He walked over to the couch intending to wake her, but stopped to watch her instead. She was peaceful in sleep, her face slightly flushed and relaxed, her cheeks rosy. He sat down in her office chair, enjoying the opportunity to study her without her snapping at him.

Brennan shifted in her sleep, apparently sensing the change in her surroundings. Slowly, her eyes fluttered open, her long dark lashes a sharp contrast to her pale skin. "Booth? What are you doing here?"

"We work together, remember?" he asked, flashing her his charm smile. "Well, maybe you don't remember because lately you've been ignoring me, yelling at me, and running away from me, but we're still partners. And we have a new case…" he said, letting his words trail off at the end, purposely tantalizing her with this information.

"What case?" she asked, sitting up on the couch and pushing her hair back in hopes of untangling it.

"Umm, they were digging the foundation for some new buildings at George Washington University and came across two skeletons. So I need you to come with me and check out the scene, the remains, whatever else you need to do, because the school wants this out of the way and the press as quickly as possible."

"Right," she nodded, standing up and walking to her desk. "Give me fifteen minutes to get ready and we can leave."

Booth was surprised by her newly civil behavior, but didn't plan to question it. "Okay, Bones," he replied, walking to the door of her office. "I'll just wait out in the lab."

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Fifteen minutes later, Brennan came out of her office looking energized and put-together, dressed in clean clothes, her hair neatly pulled back. Booth smiled quietly to himself – it was a rare quality for a woman to be ready when she said she would be.

Her bag in hand, Brennan strode towards him. "Are we going?"

Booth nodded, placing a hand on her back to guide her out of the lab. He felt a twinge of hurt as she stiffened at his touch, clearly still angry with him.

In the car, he turned on the radio, hoping to prevent an awkward silence. Brennan, involved in her notes, didn't look up the entire ride, and Booth found himself wishing she would say something. He glanced over at her, looking at her hair as the sunlight hit it and turned it a bright, shiny copper. She felt his gaze on her and looked up, and he quickly turned his attention back to the road.

At the school, Brennan swung out of his car and headed toward the lot where the bodies had been found, crouching down beside them. Booth followed, glancing for a moment at some curious students who had gathered just beyond the crime tape. "So Bones, what've we got?"

His partner was still crouched over the skeletons, intent on her thoughts. "One male, one female. Both early to mid-20s. Both Caucasian."

"Cause of death?"

Brennan ran a hand over one of the skulls. "You'll have to wait until we get back to the lab. No head injuries. It doesn't look like there are any broken bones."

"Okay, how long have they been here?"

"Hodgins can give us a better idea, but I'd say no longer than a year."

"A year?" Booth asked in disbelief. "You'd think it would be hard to bury two bodies with all the students around here."

Brennan nodded and rose, having finished her cursory examination. "You can have them brought back to the lab, we'll be able to tell you more after we…," she paused, her words trailing off, "further study and…"

"Bones?" Booth asked, looking at his partner in concern. Suddenly she swayed, her normally porcelain skin having turned a pasty white. Booth quickly grabbed her upper arms to hold her steady, lowering them both to the ground and pulling her into the crook of his arm. "Take deep breaths," he said, his tone soothing. "In and out, it's okay…"

They sat there as Brennan tried to recover, shaking her head in an effort to rid herself of the sudden dizziness. Finally, the world stopped spinning and all she wanted was to get out of there. She looked at Booth, who was watching her with an unreadable expression on his face. Embarrassed, she turned away, attempting to tug free of his arm and finding that impossible as his grip on her tightened.

"I'm okay, really," she reassured him, wiggling her shoulder in hopes that he'd get the message to let go. "I didn't get a chance to eat this morning."

Silently, Booth rose, lifting her to her feet as well, but still not letting go. "The university's hospital is right near here. Why don't we go there, you can-"

Brennan shook her head quickly. "I'm fine. Why don't we just go back to the lab, and I can get started on those remains?"

"Bones-"

"Booth," Brennan said firmly, cutting him off. "I'm fine. I'll eat something once I get back to the lab, so how about we leave?"

"Okay, Bones," Booth replied, keeping his arm around her should as he guided her back to his car. Once they were both inside, he looked over at her, but she kept her gaze firmly ahead, refusing to meet his eyes.

Brennan, on her part, was embarrassed by her sign of weakness. She still felt dizzy, seeing bright flashes every time she closed her eyes, but she was determined not to let Booth notice that. Arriving back at the lab, Booth took her arm as they got out of the car, and when they arrived back at her office, Brennan wearily took a seat on the couch as Booth placed her bag at her feet.

"I'm going to go find some food, alright? Will you be okay here?"

A small smile curved Brennan's lips at his behavior. Her anger at him had begun to slowly fade, a combination of his concern and her realizing that she couldn't stay mad forever. "I'll be fine, Booth," she reassured him. "I'll stay here until you get back."

Booth nodded, exiting her office as Brennan watched him go. As the dizziness overcame her again, she grasped at the solid couch, trying to find balance. Unable to find a center, she tried to stand, and gasped as her legs gave out and she sank down to the floor.

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Reviews, please? I love reviews!!! You know what else I love? Brennan and Booth - next week's episode looks really good, I'm so excited!!!!! Thanks for reading!!!!

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!! I just found out that my flight home is delayed by 3 hours, so I'm going to try to get some writing in. Who knows, the next chapter might be up sooner than you think ;)