So my muse got to me earlier than I expected. This part of the story takes place directly after the opening of 'The Pain in the Heart.'

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Seeley Booth had nearly gone crazy in the two weeks since his 'death.' He'd been moved to a remote—as remote as the D.C. area could be—hotel, but was not allowed to leave the room for any reason. He was supposed to be dead, after all, so any public exposure was out of the question.

While the room was nice, death's disadvantages definitely outweighed the advantages. The FBI had taken his badge, gun, and phone. They'd even put his house on the market—all to prove he was actually dead.

The funeral was finally over, the bad guy busted, and he was ready to get back to work. Back into the land of the living. He chuckled as he rubbed the left side of his face where Brennan slugged him. The pain certainly proved he was alive. His reinstatement—along with his badge, gun, and phone—also made him feel more like himself.

Booth turned on his phone and made his way through the FBI building to his office. He opened the door and stared at blank walls and a computer monitor and telephone on an otherwise clean desktop. All of his personal belongings were gone. He checked to make sure he had the right office then shook his head in disbelief. The FBI had taken extreme measures to make everyone think he was dead. He walked to the desk and reached for the phone, intent on finding out where his things were, but stopped when his cell phone beeped, alerting him to a new voicemail.

He sat down in the chair to listen to the message and was surprised when the automated female voice told him the message was a week old. Then he heard a voice he'd recognize anywhere. Brennan sounded like she was on the verge of tears. Then his stomach leaped into his throat. Brennan thought he was dead? Hadn't she been informed he was still alive? Was this some sort of sick joke?

He listened to the message again. It wasn't a joke; her emotions were real. He closed his phone and rubbed the left side of his face again, wincing as he passed over a particularly sore spot. Brennan obviously had no idea he was alive until the struggle at the funeral.

No wonder she had belted him.

She had every right to hate him, but he needed to talk to her.

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TBC..

Thanks for reading!