It took a while for things to be set up. Dr. Francisco ordered some hospital equipment in order to better monitor Booth. To him she hooked up an IV, as well as a heart monitor. On hand she kept oxygen, just in case he should need it. Brennan never left Booth's side.
She climbed into bed behind him and pulled him into her arms, his head on her stomach. Dr. Francisco arrived with a syringe full of liquid. "You ready?"
Brennan looked down at Booth. She ran a cool hand over his sweaty forehead. Again, she silently nodded.
Dr. Francisco placed the syringe in the IV and injected the liquid. Brennan felt the world going by in slow motion. Only she and Booth remained. In her arms his body began to shudder. His breathing grew ragged and uneven.
"You said this wouldn't hurt him!" She accused.
"Muñeca, that's his body. It's not him."
He groaned, and she began to cry. "Booth, I'm so, so sorry." Looking up at Dr. Francisco, she snapped, "can you get me a wet towel?"
Ever calm, Dr. Francisco left and reappeared with a wetted towel from Booth's bathroom. Brennan balled it up, rubbing the cool liquid over his face and chest. "You're going to be all right," she whispered to him, sniffing. "You're going to be just fine."
"It takes time," Dr. Francisco said kindly. "I know its difficult."
"You have no idea." Brennan shook her head with her eyes closed. "You have no idea."
The hours passed on painfully slow. Outside it grew dark as night settled over the world. Brennan didn't move from Booth's bed. She didn't move from his side. Besides him she laid, not quite touching him. With his still severe fever she was afraid of somehow overheating him. But she did keep a hand on his chest, over his heart. Yes, Brennan knew he had machines monitoring his vitals. For her that wasn't good enough. Beneath her fingertips she needed to feel his heart beat. She needed to see him draw in breath after breath. She needed to help him to fight, and if a simple touch could do that then she was willing.
Dr. Francisco's theory was right, as much as Brennan tried to disregard it. The fever broke as Booth circled downward. The sweat that glistened his body evaporated. With every passing hour she could feel him getting weaker. "Just hold on," she whispered into his ear.
Dr. Francisco waited until his pulse was low, his breaths were weak and few, and his skin had taken on an awful, grayish tone. Wordlessly she injected the antidote into his IV. Both women waited, holding their breaths. Nothing happened. Booth remained the same.
"You waited too long!" Brennan blamed her, fighting back a new set of tears.
"It takes time. You must trust him now."
"I do." But she also knew how exhausted he was. Trying to fight off a virus was tough enough, but a virus and poison? Realistically she knew his chances for survival were low.
She couldn't think like that. Booth would feel it. And she did believe if anyone could pull through, it would be him. Seeing him lying in the state he was in before her, however, did shake her faith. Have faith in him.
He twitched suddenly, trembling again and struggling to take in a breath. Brennan held her own breath. Was this it? Was he trying to tell her something? She pressed her forehead against his. "Booth, come on."
Booth breathed as though he couldn't catch his breath. Brennan picked up his hand, clinging to his fingers and holding them close to her heart. "I know you can do this."
After a moment the episode passed. His breathing resumed at a normal pace, even picking up strength. Just like he had done so many months for her, Brennan laid down besides him and snuck an arm around his waist, silently letting him know she was there.
Hours passed by without change. Booth didn't get worse, but he didn't get better, either. It was as if he had gotten the message but part of it had been lost in translation. Brennan never took her eyes off of him. Around the early morning hours she had a difficult time staying awake. At last, though she tried to fight it, she drifted off.
Brennan was skating around an empty ice rink by herself. The stands were empty. The boards had been completely painted white without a sign of advertisement. The lights had been turned down low. Round and round she skated aimlessly. What was she doing?
Her skate slipped out from underneath her, bending her ankle. Down onto the ice she fell. Wincing in pain, she looked around for help. No one was there. Figuring she was her own savior, she tried to push herself back onto her feet. Each attempt left her back down on the cold ice. In the end she just gave up, sitting and massaging her ankle.
Somehow she knew she wasn't alone anymore. Looking up, she noticed Booth skating over to her wearing a Flyers jersey. Just next to her he stopped. "What are you doing, Bones? Get up."
"What? Of course you can."
Her voice came out low, depressed. "I don't want to."
Booth bent down, placing one knee on the ice. "Why?"
"I'm dreaming. I have to be. And if I'm dreaming of you here, in your world, then Booth, I have to have lost you." She shook her head. "I don't want to get up if I'm going back without you."
"Bones, you'd be fine without me."
"I don't want to be fine without you. I want to be fine with you." She couldn't hold in the tears anymore.
Booth looked at her sadly. He wiped her tears and held her close. "Bones?"
"What?" She asked, her reply muffled by his jersey.
"Open your eyes."
"Open 'em. Trust me."
She looked up at him.
Brennan was conscious before she opened her eyes. She was afraid of what she would be waking up to. Booth appearing in her dreams when he was so sick was not a good sign, in her opinion. But he had said to trust her. And that she did. When she couldn't take being in limbo any longer she opened, looking around.
Sun light was streaking in through the window. It was morning. Brennan was still curled up tight against Booth's side. She knew she had to look at him. Fear needed to be eradicated. No matter what had happened, she knew in her heart she had done her best. She had loved him.
Counting to three, she raised her eyes to look at him. Booth was looking right back at her, half awake. There was a peacefulness in his eyes that she hadn't seen since before he had gotten sick.
Booth was awake.
Booth was alive.
Booth had won.