***Thanks for your patience… although, I guess you didn't really have much choice, since I'm the one writing the story… I had to go find a better Superman suit, since my last one got torn and I'm told that the fact I wasn't wearing it is the cause of my pain.***

That night Booth slept in the chair beside Brennan's bed. Well, slept was a relative term. It was more like he sat there with his eyes closed, listening to her gentle breathing, ready to shake her awake at the first sign of a bad dream. He knew she didn't put much – or indeed any – stock in psychology, but he believed just enough of it to worry about her current mental state.

He reminded himself for the millionth time that no one was good enough to compartmentalize this as she moaned quietly in her sleep.

Booth shot up and placed a hand on her arm. "Bones," he whispered, but she started thrashing about and crying painfully. The sound was breaking his heart. He drew her up into his arms and held her to his chest, calling her name again.

She awoke with a small shriek, and after a moment's struggle she settled into Booth, holding him as if she was trying to occupy the same space he was.


She was lying on a table, hands and feet tied down and useless. Her father was hanging above her, and then the man walked in.

What happened next was a blur, but suddenly her father was dead, slit from throat to groin, and she was looking into his lifeless eyes.

"NO! NONONONONONO!" she cried, as hands closed around her and trapped her to a warm body…

"Bones! It's Booth, you're safe now, I've got you," a familiar voice broke through her terror and she grabbed Booth's jacket in her hand, pressing her whole body into him as much as she could. She still couldn't think, all she knew was that the closer she was to the warm chest beside her, the safer she would be. She sobbed into his shirt for several minutes, until the air became heavy again and Booth turned her just enough to replace her oxygen mask.

He held her tight as he dared and stroked her back, whispering soothing meaningless words to her.

Finally she seemed to calm, and he let himself slide down into a more comfortable position, bringing her with him. At first, he just lay there, trying to think of a way to say what he knew he had to say. He picked up her good hand and stroked her wrist just as he was stroking her neck. "Bones," he began, "tell me what happened. Tell me what he did to you."

He heard her sharp gasp and then nothing but a deafening silence. He cringed, thinking she was going to throw him out, but instead she inhaled deeply and started talking.

"I woke up in a stone room… it was so so cold, and I wasn't wearing anything. When Andrew came in and turned on the light, I could see my father hanging above me… then he raped me and beat me. A lot. I think he broke most of my bones. Then he acted like he was going to kill me, but my father told him not to… he said to kill him instead… so Andrew… he… he killed… Andrew… killed my…" she broke off, sobbing again. Booth kissed the top of her head and curled up around her, trying to cover as much of her with himself as he could. But he didn't tell her that she could stop, knowing that if he did, she would take the out and keep everything bottled up inside of her. And that would hurt her more in the end.

"He gutted my father in front of me, then made me lay there covered in his blood for hours! He promised Max he'd let me go, but he didn't, he just made me stay there in that horrible place! Booth!" she sobbed, "Don't let me go! Please don't let me go!"

"Never, Bones," he told her. "I will never let you go, not as long as I live."

Then he continued to hold her, stroking her neck and wrist until they both fell asleep.