Once Upon a Time in Cuba

by

Starsearcher

Rating: PG-13 to R (depending on chapter) for violence, sex, and language
Summary: When Bones is sent back to Cuba to investigate a series of mass killings, Booth goes with her, and together they must fight to survive this insane mission while grappling with their own emotions and secrets from the past.
Disclaimer: This is only my little dance into the world of Bones fanfiction. All characters/themes/places belong to the creators of the show. Thanks for reading.


Prologue:

It had started simply enough. They had just wrapped up the latest case, a sick guy who had liked to collect fingers from little girls and decorate his apartment with them. He had killed four already, but they had saved the would-be fifth. Saved her, and brought her home to her parents, who had sobbed and hugged both of them to bits before finally letting go.

Booth could still feel Mrs. Grayson's trembling hands on his arm, the sincerity of her gratitude and relief somehow passed through her fingers and into him. It was moments like that, those little things, that made everything about the job worth it.

He sighed, glancing over at his partner's sleeping form in the corner.

Was it really worth it?

She had gotten the call just a few hours after the Grayson case was closed. She was needed, they had told her. There had been a new wave of killings; same place, same MO. They had needed her back in Cuba. It was a matter of national security.

So she went, but this time, she did not go alone. He had insisted upon it, especially after she had broken down and told him what had happened the last time she had come to this cursed place. He remembered every one of the tears that had tumbled down her fair cheeks, then red from the exertion of crying so hard. She had never asked for him aloud, but her iron grip on his arms had let him know that she needed him.

So he went too. And now they were stuck in this together, hiding in this tiny abandoned shack in the middle of the jungle, with God knows how many murderers out there, hunting them.

He checked his ammunition supply for the tenth time, counting every bullet he had left.

Forty-seven.

Forty-seven damn ways he could make Guzman pay for the hell that he had put them through. Forty-seven damn chances for them to make it out of this alive.

Forty-seven beautiful bringers of death that would stop them from getting to her.

Booth sighed, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. He was practically drenched in his own sweat from the heat, but his entire body was shivering. His collared white shirt, which had seemed like the perfect choice for Cuba's humid environment, was in tatters, a shade of dirty yellow splattered with black mud and streaked crimson from the still healing wounds all over his torso. The white tank underneath he had torn off and ripped in order to bind his then bleeding knuckles, and to create the makeshift bandages for her back. His left ankle was swollen to twice the size of his right, and he had a feeling from the itching of the other lump on his left foot that the insect that had bitten him had been poisonous. To top it all off, the fever was getting worse, too.

She coughed in her sleep, and he was by her side in an instant, his rough fingers trying to be soothing against her forehead. She was shaking violently, but she was still alive, and after another fit of coughing, she calmed and rolled to her side, her back to him.

The sight of the barely healed, red and purple slashes against her skin, visible through the thin white material of her own sweat-soaked shirt, made him want to retch. Guzman had done that himself, with his favorite metal tipped whip. Booth's jaw muscles clenched into tight knots. Son-of-a-bitch.

She turned over again, restlessly, and he noticed the tiny whimper that slipped out unconsciously as her injured back rolled against the uneven dirt ground. She faced him now, her eyes closed but moving, as though even in her dreams something was chasing her, hurting her. With practiced ease he pressed his palm to her cheek, rubbing his thumb back and forth, careful to avoid the cut below her eye.

She was so beautiful. He didn't think he'd ever get tired of just looking at her. As her long eyelashes fluttered ever so slightly, he could not help the small smile that played on his bruised and broken lips.

Footsteps. Outside.

Booth froze, his hand instantly leaving her cheek and reaching for the gun.

Four, maybe five of them. Two to his left and three behind him.

He rose to a crouch, making sure to shield her body with his own as he mentally readied himself for what was to come. He had promised her he'd take care of her, and if this was the moment where that promise would be put to the test, he'd be damned if he let her down. As always, his finger did not tremble against the trigger, and he consciously leveled his breathing to match the steady beating of his heart. This was war, and it all felt so painfully easy, so painfully familiar.

It had started out so simply. He could not help but think back, think and wonder how in the world it had all come down to this…


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