The Call

Summary: I was re-watching "Man in the Morgue," and it occurred to me – I know it's been done in fanfiction, but that fateful phone call had to be Booth's worst nightmare. And judging by what she said, she called him herself. So I figured I'd angst it up a little more.
Rating: K+ish. Nothing drastic.
Disclaimer: If I owned them, honestly, this show would already be so inappropriately smutty it's not even funny.

His phone rang at seven-thirty Thursday morning.

Booth poked his head out of the bathroom, toothbrush in mouth, tie draped around his neck, and chuckled. A really bad electronic rendition of 'Hot Blooded' assaulted his ears, and honestly, Bones would call him at six-thirty New Orleans time, wouldn't she?

She still didn't know about the ring tone, and he really intended to change it, but at least for now, he was trying to disassociate that particular song with bad things. Last time, it had gotten him blown up. So he figured he could exorcise the old demons by using the song to simply herald the pleasant, only very occasionally abrasive sound of her voice.

Wiping the toothpaste from his mouth, he flipped open the phone. "Bones?"


The smile vanished as he paused in the bathroom door. Something was wrong. She sounded confused. Temperance Brennan was never confused.

He set down his toothbrush, trying to tell himself it was nothing. She was just sleepy.

"Bones – where are you? Aren't you heading for the airport?"

"No – I – I can't – I'm not sure – " she stopped and swallowed – "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have bothered you –"

"What's wrong?" A tightness began to seize at his chest. She sounded scared. He heard a slight creak, and a long hiss of pain escaped her lips. Why was she so far away? He needed to check on her right now. "Bones, are you hurt?"

"I – I'm not – sure what happened. Is it really Thursday?"

"Are you still at the hotel?"

There was a slight pause. "Yes."

"Is anyone there with you?"

"No – it's all right, Booth – I'm just going to the hospital, it's not as bad as it looks –"

He froze, ice prickling the back of his neck. "How bad does it look?"

"No, it's – I don't think –" she took a long breath "– the blood's not all mine –"

That did it. "Bones, you go to the hospital and stay there. I'll be on the first flight."

"Booth, no, don't, it'll be okay – I – I don't – I'm not –"

"I'm coming."

"You don't have to."

"You need help."

"I'm okay –" she paused again, taking a deep breath to steady herself – "I'll call the police. I'll be fine. Please don't –"

"Bones –"

The call ended abruptly as she must have shut off her phone, leaving Booth staring at his own phone with a blank look. What the hell was that? What could reduce the stoic, brilliant, headstrong Temperance Brennan into a mumbling, confused mess? Blood? Hospital? She never admitted defeat, pain, or inconvenience. She was in serious trouble.

It took him minutes to throw a few essentials in a bag, change into comfortable clothing, and call in his situation to the Bureau. He was at the airport in record time, and thanks to a charm smile and a shiny gold badge, on a very convenient flight, sending a quick prayer to Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of impossible causes, seeing as Bones was the most impossible woman he'd ever worked with, and he thought maybe she could use the extra help right now.

Leaning his head back against an object that more closely resembled a block of cheese than a pillow, Booth took a deep breath and tried to think. She had sounded disoriented. Blood plus disoriented could mean head wound. Head wounds were just bad in general. Bones, for God's sake, why do you do things like this? Running around the toughest places in the country alone? Can't you just stay put where I can keep an eye on you?

But she was going to the hospital and calling the police – he knew she'd been working with them, so she knew them fairly well – so it couldn't be all bad.

The flight was a relatively short one, made longer by the constant stream of images that refused to leave his mind. Bones. Bones covered in blood. Bones bleeding onto clean white bedsheets. Bones wandering the filthy streets, blood streaming down her face.

Stop it. You'll see her as soon as you can.

In an amount of time that seemed to last much longer than it actually did, he was off the plane, had his bag, had a car, and arrived at the police station. Where was the hospital? They were kind enough to point him in the right direction. He drove much more quickly than he should have, flashing his badge left and right in an effort to get information. Finally he managed to convince a nurse to accidentally mention which exam room Bones was in, and he was down the hallway in seconds, ignoring the feeble tug at his arm, and calmly pushed past her to the door, ignoring her warning: "Sir! Sir, you can't go in there!"

He did not care; it didn't even occur to him until hours later that he could have walked in on Bones undressed, or that it would have resulted in a sound ass-whipping. Nothing mattered right now except that he needed to be with her. Whether or not she wanted him there. Whether or not he could actually do anything. He needed to see her and verify that she was alive and well and stubborn, the way she always was.

The sight of Bones sitting calmly in the exam room was possibly the most beautiful thing he'd seen since the emergence of the filthy, squalling creature they had named Parker. Even with her face pale and bruised. She didn't seem overjoyed to see him.

"Booth – I told you not to come."

She looked away, which he found confusing and, for a second, chilling. She couldn't meet his eyes? When did Temperance Brennan have trouble meeting someone's eyes? For a split second, the most horrible possibility flitted through his mind. Did she – did someone – was she ashamed? Could the impossible have happened to her? To the one woman he thought would never be a victim?

But the sick fear lasted only a moment, as he realized that her sudden shyness was due to embarrassment only. The detective and doctor would not have been so flippant had the worst actually happened. She was just embarrassed to need help. He let out a silent prayer of thanks. Temperance Brennan was impossible and would remain so.

After all, someone had to make sure St. Jude worked overtime.

Author's Note: I just write what comes to my head, and since this needed out before I could keep going on Striped Socks, I just spit it onto paper (in a manner of speaking) and am now going to the next document to keep writing.

Thanks for reading! I hope you liked it. MITM was such a fantastic episode, wasn't it?