This is just something that came to me when I was watching "Aliens in a Spaceship" from season two the other night. I'd love to see them re-introduce the gravedigger, they never caught him so I can hope!

Disclaimer: I own nothing in relation to the show Bones.

Premature Burial

To die is natural; but the living death

Of those who waken into consciousness,

Though for the moment only, ay, or less,

To find a coffin stifling their last breath,

Surpasses every horror underneath

The sun of Heaven, and should surely check

Haste in the living to remove the wreck

Of what was just before, the soul's fair sheath,

How many have been smothered in their shroud!

How many have sustained this awful woe!

Humanity would shudder could we know

How many have cried to God in anguish loud,

Accusing those whose haste a wrong had wrought

Beyond the worst that ever devil thought.

-Percy Russell, 1906

Booth couldn't tell if his eyes were open or closed. They felt open, but he couldn't see so much as his hand in front of his face. His head was throbbing and he wondered for a moment if he was blind. Had he been in an accident of some kind? Why did his head feel like it had been put in a vise grip? The only sound in the room was his ragged breathing, which wasn't helping him to pin down his location.

He reached out in front of him and felt nothing. Where was he? His stomach was starting to tie itself into knots of fear as he got to his feet, dizziness hitting him so hard that he almost fell back. The wall he'd been sitting against when he'd woken up had felt cool and metallic to the touch. He placed his hand on it and used it as a guide, walking until he felt it turn just a few steps in front of him. He proceeded forward slowly, running his hand along the new wall, until he felt his feet come into contact with something large on the floor.

Keeping his hand on the wall for balance, he crouched down so he could feel the object and his stomach dropped as he realized it was a person. He ran his hand over the body, feeling clothing and a small frame. It was definitely a female. A bulge in the person's pocket felt like keys and he reached inside to take them out, hoping that they would provide a clue. The key ring had a dozen keys on it and he wondered if she was a janitor or caretaker of some sort when he came across a keychain that felt like a tiny skull.

Recognition hit him full force as his heart began to slam in his chest. "Bones?" His voice sounded tight and afraid and the sound of it in the deafening silence of wherever they were only made his head hurt more.

Panic made its way through his system like cold shards of ice when she didn't answer him and he ran his hand quickly up her body until he found her neck, pressing his fingers to her jugular to get a pulse. The steady tattoo of her heartbeat under his fingers sent relief flooding through him so quickly that he dropped to a sitting position beside her. He was tempted for just a moment to lean down and place a kiss to her unseen lips, but he reined the urge in, instead trying to think about the last thing he could remember.

They'd been in Sweet's office for a session. Her father's trial had finished and he'd been found innocent. The only reason they'd been mandated to therapy by the FBI was due to his arrest of Max Keenan and Booth had been looking forward to less formal dealings with Sweets, but then the matter of his faked death had come up. Since it was Sweets who would decide whether or not they needed continued therapy sessions, the psychiatrist had decided further scrutiny of their feelings regarding his faked death were necessary.

Booth had wanted to strangle him when he'd refused to sign the paper stating that they'd completed their therapy, but Bones had simply shrugged. She'd said the same thing that she always said, that she didn't believe in psychotherapy and that it didn't make any difference to her whether or not she was required to do it.

The details of the night were fuzzy at best, but as he concentrated harder on them he could recall a moment when they'd been discussing their partnership. Booth remembered saying something about their amazing track record at catching the bad guys, he remembered feeling defensive. Had Sweets been implying that they dissolve the partnership again? He remembered feeling angry and then a memory, clear and true, emerged of Bones agreeing that a possible reassignment might be a good idea.

The hurt that he'd felt in that moment came back to punch him in the gut just as it had when she'd first said it. Booth pressed a hand to his aching head, the feeling of warm, sticky blood greeting his palm. He couldn't remember anymore and his head hurt from trying. Had they decided to sever their partnership? A feeling of frustration filled his heart at the idea that he and Bones might not continue working together. The idea that she'd be working with someone else made him sick.

A moan drifted through the deafening silence and Booth became aware that he'd left his fingers on her pulse, the feeling of her heartbeat keeping him calm.

"Bones?" He asked, hoping against hope that she would answer him, that she would let him know that she was going to be alright.

"Booth?" Her voice sounded confused, but to Booth, it was the most beautiful sound he'd ever heard. "What…where are we?"
Booth shrugged, becoming aware a second after he'd done it that they were in utter darkness. "I don't know, a metal room of some kind. Can you see anything?"

She stirred beside him and he took his hand down from her neck to rest on her arm, not wanting to lose contact with her. He could tell that she was trying to get her bearings, just as he'd done.

"I can't see anything at all. Can you?"

Booth felt relieved to know that it wasn't just him. "No."

Slowly, he felt her get to her feet and he followed suit. He'd been distracted from his earlier exploration of their surroundings by finding her and now he was eager to find out where they were so they could get the hell back out.

Suddenly the room was cast in an odd light, causing Booth's overly dilated pupils to scream in protest at the contrast. Bones stood in the center of the room, her hand clutching a large flashlight.

"Where did you get that?" He held a hand up to shield his adjusting eyes as he looked in her direction.

She spun a slow circle in the center of the room as she tried to figure out where they were. "I always carry a flashlight in my purse Booth, you never know when we'll be called out to look at a body."

She completed her rotation and then shined the light on him. "God, Booth." Her voice sounded concerned as she quickly walked over to him, taking the back of his head in her free hand none too gently and bending it down toward her so she could shine the light on his forehead.

He winced in pain. "Hey, my skull is still part of a living head, okay?"

She looked at the gash for another moment before she lowered her hand to his cheek, lifting his head a bit and staring into his eyes.

He stared back, feeling his heart rate quicken a bit before he realized that she was only checking him for a concussion. He wanted to kick his own ass for feeling slightly disappointed.

"Your pupils are equal, your wound is superficial."

Booth felt vaguely annoyed. "Yeah, well it doesn't feel superficial."

She turned away from him, her mind trying to work out what had happened as she shone the light all over the room. The beam caught words high up on the wall directly in front of her and she stopped to read them.

No freeman will ever be debarred the use of arms. – Thomas Jefferson

"I think we're in some kind of stand alone gun vault." She lowered the light a bit and saw that the words were etched over the door. She walked over, trying the heavy metal latch with no success.

Booth looked around the tiny room, wondering how in the world they had ended up in a gun vault. "Do you remember anything after we left Sweet's office?"

She turned back to face him at his question, her eyes growing wide. He watched as she reached slowly up to feel the back of her neck, her eyes filling with tears at whatever she found there.

"Bones, what is it?" She had started reaching into her pockets frantically, then ran back to the center of the room, kneeling before her purse as she set the flashlight up on its end, making a tiny lamp to illuminate the room.

"No, no, no, no…" She was repeating it over and over like a mantra and it was starting to bring Booth to the brink of his calm.

"Bones, talk to me. What do you know?"

Finding something in her purse she stood and faced him. His eyes narrowed when he saw that she held a small tape recorder.

Their eyes met for a brief second and he could tell that the tape recorder wasn't hers. He closed the distance between them in a few steps, watching with feigned calm while she pressed play.

An electronic voice filled the room with terrifying familiarity.

"Dr. Temperance Brennan and Agent Seeley Booth, you have been buried alive. I have calculated the air in this vault for both of you. A ransom of 10 million must be paid or you will run out of air in 24 hours. There will be no escape this time."