Summary: Booth can be very protective of Brennan, but sometimes the roles are reversed.

Rating: T for violence. (Looks like I'm becoming a violence junky…)

Author's note: As a few of you might remember, I was supposed to leave on beach vacation last Monday. Well, change of plans---my trip has been cancelled due to awful weather (and I suspect my friend's family has got something to do with it as well). Anyway, you know what that means---a new Dying to Catch My Breath chapter this Thursday! As for this little ditty here...My muse wasn't cooperating for DTCMB. She insisted I'd write this first. It's loosely based on Pet by A Perfect Circle.

Special thanks to Jemb and M for proofreading and pointing out all the weird mistakes (e.g. grammar/spelling mistakes and any other weird stuff).

Author's note no.2: For some unknown reason my story disappeared from the site. It wasn't even in my stories list! So yeah, had to repost it of course.

Batting Practice

She watched him crouch down behind a pile of rotten wooden boards. He was breathing heavily and clutching his injured ribs. No doubt one or two were broken due to his fight with Booth. Tilting her head, she saw him cough harshly before feeling his pockets. Brennan frowned. She wondered what he was looking for. Booth had taken his gun from him when they had fought earlier so what was he searching for? A satisfied smile crept over the man's face when he found what he was looking for. Brennan's eyes narrowed to slits as his fingers slowly curled around something the size of her palm. She had a pretty good idea about what he was holding, but she had to confirm her suspicions before she'd make her presence known. The man---Wilson she believed his name was---threw a quick look around the corner of the pile he was hiding behind. He quickly retreated when he heard Booth shout in the distance.

"Hey Wilson, no use hiding. I'm gonna find you and put your sorry ass in jail!"

Brennan furtively looked at Booth who was standing in the middle of the storage space of the warehouse Wilson worked at. His lip was split, there was a cut running across his cheek, and his clothes were crumpled---evidence of the struggle he had just been in with the murderer they were after---the same murderer that was sitting at less than ten yards away from Brennan. She shifted as quietly as possible until she was leaning on one knee, like a runner waiting in the starting blocks. In the back of her head she was replaying the events of the past fifteen minutes. They had come to interrogate Jack Wilson. The man had freaked out upon seeing Booth's badge and had pulled a gun. As Booth had tried to calm him down, Wilson had confessed to the murder they were investigating. Unfortunately, when Booth had reached for Wilson's gun, the man's last sense of sanity had forsaken him. He had lunged forward, throwing Booth to the ground. The two men had become entangled in a rough fistfight. Booth had shouted for her to call for backup. Brennan had immediately obliged, understanding the gravity of their situation. As far as Booth was concerned, she was still outside. He had no idea that she had come back after she had given their coordinates to a backup FBI-team.

Wilson's head frantically whipped around in the search of a way out. Unfortunately for him the only exit was the door Booth was currently blocking. Brennan pulled back a bit when Wilson's gaze momentarily lingered on the stack of cement bags she was hiding behind. When she dared to look in his direction again, she saw him running to the next pile of wood. He kept his body as low as possible as he moved forward. After one last glance at Booth's back, Brennan quickly jumped to the next stack of cement bags. She didn't want Booth to know she was there. He would only be distracted and worried by her presence and that would give Wilson the perfect opportunity to make a run for the exit. As long as she stayed out of sight, Booth would be concentrating on catching Wilson.

"Show yourself, Wilson. We've got a fight to finish," Booth's voice echoed through the storage space.

Wilson did the exact opposite. He lowered himself some more and dashed to the next pile when Booth had his back to him. Brennan studied his move intensely. Wilson was up to something. After returning from calling for backup, she had witnessed the end of their fight. Booth had just kicked him in the ribs. Instead of attacking the FBI-agent again, Wilson had scurried away. Brennan had hid as well, hoping Booth wouldn't see her and would remain focused on their killer. She frowned as she witnessed Wilson smile at the object he was still clutching. She didn't like that smile. It was too cocky, too sadistic for a man in his position. When she glanced up, she noted that they were only twenty yards away from Booth and the exit. Her gaze returned to Wilson. She had a feeling whatever Wilson was holding would mean trouble for Booth. After licking her dry lips and squinting one last time at their killer, she slipped out of her hiding place and hurried to the stack of wood Wilson first had been hiding behind. She was now close enough to hear him breathe. Realizing that he could hear her as well, she began to draw in shallow breaths.

"Come on, don't be a coward. I know you're here, Wilson."

Wilson's eyes flickered dangerously at Booth's taunting words. He briefly looked at the agent who was standing less than ten yards away. It was almost as if he was measuring the distance between them and how long it would take him to cross it. Brennan's eyes widened when it dawned on her that Wilson was exactly doing that. He was planning on attacking her partner from behind. She suddenly understood what the object was---a flick-knife. Turning away from Wilson for a few seconds, she searched for a possible weapon in the dim light that shone from the small windows high up the walls of the storage space. She smiled with satisfaction when her hands found a heavy wooden stick, which looked and felt like a baseball bat.

When she turned her attention back to Wilson, her grip on her bat tightened. Her breath caught in her throat upon seeing the cold metal sheen of a knife blade. Her lips were pursed into a thin line as she made up her mind. If Wilson so much as moved an inch closer to Booth, she'd knock him out cold. Every muscle in her body tensed and she automatically calculated how long it would take to close the gap between them when Wilson inched forward. The moment he shot upright, she pushed herself forward. Wilson was three seconds away from plunging his knife in Booth's neck when Brennan struck his side with her bat. Surprise was written all over his face as he tried to catch his breath. Then his eyes turned cold again. Brennan jumped forward and tackled him. They roughly fell to the ground---Brennan on top and Wilson grunting in pain because she had landed on his sore ribs. He instantly sent the anthropologist flying back by kicking her away with his heavy shoes. He jumped to his feet and was going to attempt stabbing Booth again, but was stopped short by the barrel of Booth's gun pointing straight at him.

"Don't make me shoot you, Wilson," Booth warned.

Brennan got up, too, and watched Wilson's expression go from surprised to grim, and, finally, to pure anger. She wasn't surprised to see Booth pull the trigger moments later. Wilson had raised his arm to try and stab Booth for the third time. For his own protection, Booth had to shoot him. Wilson cried out when the bullet buried itself in his shoulder, but he didn't let go of his knife. Instead of backing down, his seething anger intensified. Brennan reacted on first instinct. She swung her bat at his arm, knocking the weapon out of the man's grasp. When her bat hit him full-force on his lower back, Wilson fell to his knees. Gritting his teeth, he reached for his knife, but Brennan stopped him by striking his shoulder. He slumped forward trying to keep himself from going down completely by propping himself up with his good arm.

Booth nudged Wilson's forehead with two fingers. "Hey Wilson, look up, will you?" The man did as requested. "You're under arrest for the murder of Janice Brown." Wilson hung his head in defeat. Booth grabbed his handcuffs and kneeled down, thereby roughly pushing his knee in Wilson's lower back to keep him down. Upon hearing Wilson's whimpers, Booth yanked the man's hurt shoulder back further than necessary and quietly said, "That's for kicking my partner." Once he had securely slapped his cuffs on Wilson's wrists, he left him growling in pain on the floor and hurried to Brennan. "You okay there, Bones? I thought you went out to get backup?"

"I was, but I came back to check on you. Turns out it was a smart decision."

"Yeah, thanks." He first holstered his gun before taking the bat from Brennan. Smiling he said, "Let's get this far away from you, shall we?" Glancing down at Wilson with an amused smile, he added, "You're quite the Louisville Slugger. You obviously don't need anymore batting practice."

"Hey, I was only protecting you!"

"I know, Bones. I know." They quietly stared at each other as they shared a smile. "Thanks again, I appreciate it. It's nice knowing you have my back."

"Like you have mine."

Booth's eyes softened and his smile turned into a lop-sided one. "Always."