Disclaimer: They are not mine. All characters owned by Fox network. No infringement intended.
Summary: The Gravedigger seeks revenge. And gets it. Thriller, trauma, angst. Something a little different from me.
Rating: M+/NC17 Strong language, blasphemous in parts, mature themes.
Thanks: Goes to my beta, Kam. Thanks again for your unending, limitless patients and time. You're a comet. Hugs X
Digging the grave.
Like the cold grey sharp morning, his countenance its mirror. He walks hunched up against the bitter damp mist, through the streets towards the edifice of his youth. Weary of foot, knuckles red and cut, forced, clenched into his deep pockets. Palms patched with bandages, with antiseptic covering the stitches. His flank strapped and aching. The medication only just keeping the agony at bay. He pulls his trench around him tighter, as he nears the place he hopes will warm his battered body, and ease his soul.
Special Agent Booth climbs the worn stone steps and heaves open the huge carved oak door. It creaks like his spine as he opens it and he crosses the threshold. Closing it slowly behind him, he sighs, then looks down the cavernous nave. The checkerboard flag stones leading him up it, towards the altar.
The church, St Teresa's On The Hill, is empty. A sign of the times. His footfalls echo off the familiar walls, and fill the space with something other than silence and peace.
He reaches the last two wooden pews, crosses himself, genuflects, taking a seat. Then he uneasily slips to the pad and kneels. He bows, closes his eyes and tries to pray. Ignoring the pain that comes when he lifts his hands to pray.
Is he praying for help, forgiveness? He's not sure, so he just says a psalm, long forgotten but remembered recently. The words he recites in his silent prayer are mixed and confused. He shakes his head, tightening his eye lids in frustration, he can't remember it all. His hands wring each other as he struggles and warms them.
He sits back up, opens his eyes and looks around. There is a bank of cascading candles to the right, below the carved oak lectern. Many of them are alight and flickering. A sign that someone was here once, before. Other parishioners offering up a prayer for their troubles, no doubt. Does it work? Lighting a candle? He muses, unsure now. He looks away to the two plain doors to his left, with a sense of foreboding.
He feels his palms throbbing and looks to see them gripping the pew in front so hard the stitches pull, and snap him back to why he came here in the first place. He turns his eyes up to the golden cross that he has been avoiding since he entered. It's above the simple altar, he looks upon the sacrifice. The sacrifice he couldn't make.
He feels water trickle down his cheeks, then gritting his jaw, he stands suddenly, unable to look upon it anymore. He walks past the altar and opens the door, steps in and sits down. The door closes as he sits; a tiny glowing light comes on, illuminating nothing but his damp clothes.
There is a long silence. Then he hears an old voice, a familiar voice, dragging him from his dark thoughts.
'Have you come to confess?'
'I don't know,' he says quietly, honestly not sure.
The priest recognises his voice, he's certain. Because he has spent many an hour in this box. Telling this man his simple sins, his weaknesses and minutia of his life for years. This time it's different. This time he is confessing for someone else. Or at least he hopes for their absolution.
'Something happened,' he begins softly, dropping his head and closing his eyes.
'Yes. I know. I've seen the press coverage, Seeley.' Booth's relieved that Father Tony understands that much at least. 'Are you Ok, Seeley?' His concern overwhelms Booth. Annoys him.
He doesn't answer.
'Your injuries? They are healing?'
'Tell me why you're here.' Father Tony tries to help him move forward. Booth knows why he is here, but he doesn't know where to start. So, he starts to weep as his opening gambit. Feeling the guilt cascade through him and out over his tormented face.
Hearing his sobs, Father Tony empathises, 'Seeley… My dear boy, please, Son. Tell me. Start at the beginning.' His tone calm, laced with the deepest of compassion, which makes Booth's heart crush. He doesn't want sympathy, he want to tell his story.
Booth pulls out a handkerchief which seems to be permanently in his pocket, after the last week. Just for occasions like this. His tears seem never ending. He wipes them away and sniffs, irritated at his constant weakness.
'I'm sorry. I can't seem to stop crying. Sorry,' he snuffles.
'It's ok. Take your time.'
Booth sniffs again and scrunches up the damp linen in his aching palms. Noting that there is his blood on the handkerchief now. His stitches have opened again. He sighs remembering, tilting his head, looking at the blood seeping through the gauze and bandages. Akin to Jesus' palms nailed through to the cross.
'I wasn't strong enough,' he says full of regret, rocking his head back to the plain oak cubicles, rear stark wall.
'From what I have read, Seeley, you were,' Father Tony says softly.
'No. You don't understand.' Booth swallows and takes a deep breath letting it out in a harsh rush.
'The article says many things, tells of your bravery and courage under the most difficult of circumstances…' Booth interrupts Father Tony, exasperated he begins to tell the truth of what happened.
'I found myself in a room…
Thirty feet under ground, Six days ago…
'Fuck! Shit.' Booth wakes grabbing the back of his head, it feels cracked open and wet. Instinctually his hand reaches to the pain and touches it delicately. Looking to his palm, feeling it sticky, knowing it's his blood.
He looks around the room he's woken in. It's a slate grey metal box, with a spin wheel door lock. An emergency light above, dead centre on the ceiling, which glows weak amber. It's barely lighting two foot square of the eight by eight room. The four corners are in shadow and he can't see any vents or points of egress, except the solid door.
Booth notes he is still dressed in his regulation suit, minus his jacket and firearm belt clip. He feels nauseous and has a skull-cracking headache and his right hand throbs. He looks at his knuckles, they are marked and bruised.
He stands up gingerly, feeling extremely wobbly, walking to the door. He tries to work out what this room is or was used for. It's clean, smooth, bleak, and bitterly cold. A store room of some kind, perhaps.
He tries to shift the wheel lock both ways but nothing moves. He tries again, growling hard as he tries to wrench it around. He loops his arm around two of the spindles, braces his legs and heaves to the right. The cold metal burns a red welt into his fore arms, as he puts his full weight behind his effort. It doesn't move. He can feel beads of sweat seep onto his brow and sweat pooling under his arms, the longer he tries in vain. A wave of nausea floods him again and causes him to see stars. His efforts sapping his strength and determination. He knows, understands the door will not unlock. His anger boils up into his throat.
'Fuck!' He kicks the door in frustration, and feels his toe's bend and protest at his lashing out. He's not sure but it may have broken one, because another stab of pain is unleashed, and shoots up his leg. He jumps a little on the uninjured foot, shaking off the pain. He tries a different tack.
'HEELLLOOO!! ANYBODY THERE!!???' He grabs the spindles and rattles it futilely. The only thing that rattles is his chilled bones. 'For fuck sake! HEELLOO!!' Then in a desperate attempt, knowing it won't help, he pummels the door with his fist. 'ANYBODY!!! Shit. ANYBODY THERE?!'
'Yes… Stop swearing, Booth.'
Booth shocked and suddenly elated at hearing he is not alone, spins to see his partner slouched in one of the dark corners of the metal box. Her legs are stretched out haphazardly, eyes closed, her arms limp by her sides. His heart pounds, as he drops to his knees and scurries over to her in a split second.
'Bones… Jesus. You ok?' His hands trace her shoulders and arms checking for injuries, he can see she is in a terrible state. Her usually smart attire is roughed up and dusty. Her blouse is white but looks grey. Her hair matted and over her face.
Kneeling in front of her, Booth watches as she opens her eyes and tries a smile, but it appears on her features as a pain-filled grimace. Booth's heart twists and a sense of dread pours through him. He's never seen her look so poorly. She is ashen, and has a sheen of perspiration over her face.
'Are you?' she asks, tries to sit up a little, but she can't, as a searing slice of pain rips through her torso and right leg. As if she has been severed in two by a sword suddenly. 'ARRHH!'
Booth, horrified at her yelp of agony, replaces his hands on her shoulders trying to see her more clearly, staring into her twisted pain-ridden features.
'Bones? What, what is it?' She slumps more and slams her eyes closed.
'I… Oh. I'm in pain. So much pain…' Booth looks her over again, not daring to touch her for causing her more discomfort.
'Where?' he asks softly, distraught that she is so injured. But in this dim light, he can't see anything of note.
Booth shares everything with this woman, his partner and greatest friend. Their lives, work and friendship. If she is in pain, then so is he. Booth can see by her face she is in agony. Therefore he feels it too.
'My legs, torso,' she mutters groggily, snatching a breath which doesn't fill her lungs. 'Where, where are we?' she asks, reaching blindly for her ribs and feeling under her blouse, wincing. Booth watches her fingers delicately inspect herself under her blouse. Terrified to touch her himself, he watches her drop her hand away, and lay it palm up on her lap. Then her body crumples a little and a breath leaves her lips slowly.
He wishes she would open her eyes again. He always finds solace in them and usually, hope.
'Oh God, Bones, the bitch must have got us. What is it? Where does it hurt?'
'Everywhere… I think she must have run me down, what about you?' she says softly. The effort to speak drains her limited strength. She has just had a revelation thrust into her mind, and that new knowledge makes her tremble.
'Shit, I don't know. The last thing I remember was going into my apartment, after I dropped you off home.'
Bones nods, understanding, remembering. Finally she looks into his face. Their eyes finally adjusting to the quarter light. His terrified eyes matching hers. One of her corneas is dark, he can see a blood vessel has blown in her right eye, colouring out her cornea. His fingers touch her cheek and he tilts his head, showing sympathy.
She reaches behind her neck tentatively, to feel for stun gun marks and damage. She feels none and says, 'No stun gun this time, she must have changed her…' She trails off, as a wave of nausea and pain washes over her. Making her slump down, her limbs turning to liquid, and almost lose consciousness. Booth feels his panic rise.
'Bones! Bones? Fuck, Bones come on, stay with me here.' He pats her cheek delicately, as her eyes roll and try to focus on him. 'Bones, don't leave me. Come on, stay wake.' He fears she may have a concussion and needs to be kept awake. 'Bones…' He settles beside her, taking her in his arms, not knowing what else to do.
Her eyes focus on him and she smiles blearily, saying softly, 'Where am I gonna go?' Booth shakes his head slightly, hugely relieved she is back with him, and that he is not alone in this waking nightmare.
Booth rocks back and looks pissed off at her, 'Now you make a joke, woman? You're not funny,' he chastises firmly. Bones swallows and forces herself to focus on his face.
'Yes I know. I am trying to… be more… humorous.' Her broken feeble sentence a signal that she is slipping again from consciousness.
'Hey, Bones! Come on! We gotta think of something. Put the big brain to good use. Come on!' Booth shouts into her face, trying to get her to focus and drag her back. But her eyes refuse to open properly, they just roll, he can see her cornea's move the lids from below, as she tries to drag herself back.
'Pain,' she mutters, rolling her head on his chest. He just wants to take it away, by holding tighter he hopes it will. He doesn't know what else to do for her. But as he does she groans and stiffens in his arms. He realises his error, lets his grip go instantly, and feels like an idiot for hurting her even more. Booth's heart constricting painfully for his mistake.
'Oh. God, Bones. Sorry, Sorry. What is it? Tell me?' he asks gently, caresses her upper arm, barely daring to touch her now. She slumps again, her head lolling on his chest.
'Booth, you need to do something for me,' she says after a few moments, letting the surge of natural analgesics take the edge off her agony.
'Anything,' Booth says instantly, prepared to do whatever she needs to ease her.
'You're not going to enjoy it but it has to be done. It will make me feel much more comfortable.' She looks up to him trying to be calm although she feels extremely anxious. If pushed, she would say she is terrified of what is to come.
'What, Bones?' She swallows and takes a deep breath. He waits, his eyes full of concern and emotion. She sees it all welling in his deep brown eyes.
'My ankle is broken,' she says flatly, 'Or badly dislocated. The nausea I'm experiencing is because of the pain. You need to reset it.'
'What?' Her words register and horrify him. 'Bones, oh God, baby.' Shocked by her revelation, he rolls his head in sympathy. 'I'm no doctor. I can't.'
'Yes. Yes you can. You have too. I can't bear it anymore. I can talk you through it,' she tells him firmly, sensing his horror at the prospect.
'Oooooh. God,' he whines distraught, smacking his head back to the cold hard surface behind and closeing his eyes. She takes his hand and squeezes it warmly.
'Now, come on, FBI. You want to make me feel better don't you?' She smiles wide, although she feels the bliss of unconsciousness a pleasant prospect, rather than the pain she will have to endure. Booth tries to lighten the moment to ease them both. Both sensing the trauma to come.
'Yes. But can't I just kiss you all better?' he asks with a sweet wonky pout. Hoping his feeble ploy will ease their obvious anxiousness.
Bones replies with a frail chuckle, 'Haaa. Maybe after, ok?' Placating him gently, both trying to ease one another.
'Ok. Promise?' Booth pushes her to promise a kiss for his reward, for his unenviable task.
'I promise,' she says with an accompanying delicate smile. 'Let's take a look at it.' Putting on her rational expression for his sake. She can feel him tremble and more nervous sweat soaks through his shirt.
Lifting herself a little from his chest, she lets him up to inspect her foot. He edges slowly on all fours towards the hem of her pants. Then he lifts the material back slowly and tenderly. His hands tremble as he sees her foot at a contorted ugly angle. He stifles the groan in his throat, knowing the pain she must be experiencing. Booth can empathise. He broke an ankle when he was a boy falling from a bike, and remembers the shock of seeing the limb twisted and looking alien.
He notes, luckily the break has not split the skin. He takes a deep breath and looks back to her over his shoulder. She is focused, stalwart, looking at the twisted limb, deliberately avoiding his gaze. 'Ok, looks fairly straightforward,' she says evenly, seemingly unconcerned. But Booth knows better than take her veiled comment at face value. He's been reading this woman for years, and understands her even tone is for his benefit. His admiration for her grows exponentially, along with his heart.
'Does it?' he asks, not convinced. It looks awfully misshapen but he laces his question with optimism.
'Yep. No problem.' She reaches forward for his back, and slides her hand around his waist towards his groin.
'What are you doing? I said a kiss, I don't think I'm up to a performance, Bones?' He cracks a joke lighting their dark ominous mood.
'Neither am I.' She flares her watery eyes at him, then continues with, 'I need your belt, Booth. Something to bite down on?'
'Oh.' He grimaces, turning his face away form hers, hiding his apprehension, and undoes his Cocky buckle. The fear rising in his gut, churning it. Booth pulls the leather out of the loops in his pants, in one long tug.
'Ok, Partner,' she says with a resolute tone. 'I can't move during this so you're gonna have to sit on my leg, facing away. Don't take my shoe off,' she instructs fairly calmly, he senses.
'Ok.' Booth can't stop his hands from trembling, but knowing he has to do this for her. He has to be the strong one for now. He girds himself, wringing his hands and flexes his fingers.
'Pull it outwards and twist it back the forty five degrees. Quick and steady. Firmly. Got it?' she instructs him knowledgably.
'Yes. But Bones, will the shock not, you know?' His mind racing the closer the moment came. Unable to say what he wants for fear of scarring her.
'I'll pass out,' she says simply, understanding his question. 'I should be out for ten minutes or so. Don't wake me, ok?' He nods looking terrified now. 'But you must do it,' she adds forcefully, her eyes focus, dilate and pierce his.
Booth notes her determination, as she does, his fear.
Then to her surprise at his sudden movement, he scurries back to her and kisses her lips without permission to do so. Holding his to hers for a few tender moments. Bones relaxes slightly, reaches her hand around to his nape and strokes his hair tenderly while they kiss. She's touched by his affection. He leans back and smiles warmly, severing the soothing contact.
There is a few moments of precious time that slips by, as they stare, acknowledging their mutual deep affection.
'We were supposed to do that after, weren't we?' she enquires, with a soft smile teasing her lips, charmed by his spontaneity and courage nonetheless. She trails her palm over his stubbly jaw, their eyes searching each other's depths.
'I needed one for courage,' he explains sweetly.
'You'll do fine…' Bones placates him gently, then says stronger, firmly, 'Go on, Booth. I'm prepared. It's best you do it quickly and without empathy.'
'Yeah, right, whatever, Bones,' he says weighed down with sarcasm.
'You're being facetious, aren't you?'
'Haaa. Yes, Bones.' He takes her hand and kisses the back of it. Both their eyes tear just a little knowing what is to come. She squeezes his hand back, grateful for his tenderness and concern. Bones gives him a slight nod, confirming she is indeed ready.
Booth lets go her hand and takes a deep breath. He settles gently over her leg and sits down on her knee, delicately at first. She shifts her other limb away and draws it up slightly, giving him a little more room.
She takes a deep breath and puts his belt in her mouth. Clamping her teeth down on it. It feels warm and smells of him, with a slight tang of his mouth too. The thick strap pulls at the sides of her mouth, and she feels it dampen with her nervous saliva. She swallows.
Booth looks around and gives her a confirming nod. She nods back three times in quick succession. Mumbling her encouragement for him to do it soon.
Bones fixes her stare on his back, noting his shirt soaked through with sweat. She reaches forward and places her trembling palms on his back and feels the tension in his body. She feels him flinch at her delicate touch. Bones grips his flesh through his shirt. Needing to be in contact with him. To touch something so supporting and strong, finding courage in the feel of him. Tears spring spontaneously to both sets of eyes.
Booth steels his body, sits down hard on her knee, instantly grasps her foot and pulls it forward, hard and quick. Simultaneously he hears her agonised yell, muffled by her teeth's vice-like grip on his belt. The yell bounces off the walls and echoes back to him several times. His bones crumble to dust hearing her cries of torture. It whittles away at his soul.
He feels her nails dig into his flesh and draw blood at ten arched points. He ignores the pain, which he knows is insignificant compared to hers. He twists the ankle straight, then to his amazement it snaps back into place.
The crack, snap and wrenching of the ligaments and muscle sinews makes his stomach churn and him gag. He is not normally squeamish, but doing this to her, makes him feel so disgusted. The pain he has made her experience, sickens him. His tears drip down onto her trousers and soak into the material.
He feels her leg relax under his crotch. Her cry fades way, as does she. Booth is terrified to turn around, fearing what he might see. He leans forward while caressing her ankle, and places a delicate kiss on it, hoping his kiss will heal it. His warm tears trickle over the swollen angry flesh. Like Magdalene's did over his saviour's.
Finding the courage finally, he turns around to see her, eyes closed with her mouth open. She has bitten down so hard on the leather, the belt has snagged and pierced on her right incisor, and it's still hanging in her open mouth. She indeed has passed out.
Booth swivels off her leg, and eases the leather belt off her tooth gently. Then he sets it down beside her, seeing the perfect crescent of her teeth's arch, imbedded in the tough leather. 'Oooooh, Bones,' he whispers woefully.
He leans back on the wall next to her and gently gathers her to him. To hold and caress, while she is free of pain, for a while at least. He's thankful for that.
While he waits for her to come to back, Booth prays.
Around ten minutes pass before she comes round. Booth doesn't move although she does, she takes a breath and sighs, snuggling her cheek gently on his chest.
'Well done, Booth.' Her voice uneven and still weak, she adds softly, 'You did a good job. Thank you.' Booth shakes his head, closing his eyes with the irony of her words and praise.
'Anytime, Bones,' he replies sounding exhausted. She lifts her head to look at him, with his eyes are closed. His face still holds evidence of his empathetic tears. She lifts her shaky palm and strokes his jaw, wiping the wet salty trails away. He flutters his eyes open at her delicate touch and looks into her.
'I'm sorry, Booth. I know how difficult that was for you,' she says quietly, understanding why he had lost his emotional control. And now why he looks as bad, as she knows she must.
'Don't, Bones. I'd do anything for you. You know that. I just hadn't planned on doing something that would cause you so much pain,' Booth says, whispering his sentence, easing her a little closer in his loving embrace.
'Yes. But I do feel a little better.' She tries to ease his hurt with her admission.
'That's good then.' Booth gives her a little smile and a nod. She looks around the room lifting up a little.
'How big… is the room?' Her voice still weak, her mouth dry. She tries to swallow, but coughs on her parched, slightly swollen tongue. Booth looks down at her, lifting up her chin to look at her properly, concerned. She looks transparent, ghostly pale, almost unrecognisable as Dr Temperance Brennan.
'Oooo, Bones,' he sighs the words, seeing her in such a bad way. His heart twisting, as he strokes her messy hair out of her eyes. She looks into his eyes and tries to smile.
'How big?' she asks again, obviously trying to focus on something other than her pain. He swallows and looks around, calculating.
'Eight by eight, by eight. Sealed by that spin lock thingy. It won't budge. We got a little light, so there is obviously power to where ever the fuck we are,' he says harshly, obviously pissed off by their predicament. Bones drops her head again.
'You'll have to go to confession on Sunday.' She manages a wry smile with her comment.
'Sorry, I'm just so pissed. The idiots let the bitch out on a technicality. We knew she would try something. Try to get to us, now look.' Bones nods and tries to sit up again, which is a struggle. But she manages it with his tender help. Covering the pain which is now looming large and ominously under her ribs. Not well enough though as he sees her wince.
'Bones, what is it? I know, you know. Why are you still in so much pain?' He asks concerned, his brow furrowing. She ignores his question and his concerned eyes. 'Booth, take off your shirt, and strap up my ankle could you?'
'Sure. I could have done that while you were out?'
'Umm. But I may have come round a little too soon. Now is good enough.'
Booth unbuttons his shirt taking it off, then bites the hem, ripping it in two. Seeing her nail prints in blood on the white damp cloth. It snags and halts at the collar, but he grits his teeth and rips it again. His biceps flexing, with an accompanying grunt, he splits the material easily. The adrenalin flow giving him a strength not normally possessed.
While he goes about strapping her ankle diligently she talks, distracting herself from the hurt she is feeling. 'The room is eight by eight.' She begins calculating, her eyes close as she leans her back on the cold grey metal wall. 'How long have we been in here?' Drawing her other knee up slowly, to give him better access to her broken ankle.
'Christ knows! She took my watch. Do you have one?' Bones looks to her wrist and shakes her head. Bones takes a deep breath, she knows she has to tell him. She can't delay any more.
'Either way we have around four hours, maximum.'
'Four?? Why four?' He sounds horrified, shocked by such little time.
'Because… This is obviously one of her planned single cells, for her next kidnap victim. There are two of us, so the time is halved. And the fact that my spleen is swollen. I've calculated the time we have.' She sighs heavily, looking to him as he ties a bow with the material, completing the field dressing effectively and expertly.
Her voice trembles as she says softly, knowing this will probably make him lose what control he has left. He sits on his haunches looking incredulously at her. Their gazes forge.
'I'm bleeding internally, Booth. When she ran me down, I believe my spleen was ruptured…' Booth's mouth hangs. 'It's unlikely I'll survive longer than four hours,' she says almost casually. Booth feels himself pale, as the blood drains from his face at her statement. He blinks, once, twice, and shakes his head slightly, trying to focus. Her words strike home, with a terrifying force.
'Bones… Bones?' he stutters breathlessly. 'Oh, shit! No, no you're wrong… Don't say that,' he whimpers, starting to cry again, unable to stop the tears from coming. Scampering back to her, clutching her into his arms.
He can't believe she is so calm and seems so unaffected by her statement. He kisses her hair quickly. 'Don't worry, I'll get us out, you'll see.' Bones looks up to him, her tears leaking now, not for herself but for him. For his sorrow. She knows the type of man he is, he will blame himself if she dies in this prison.
'It's Ok, Booth. We all die. It's just a matter of the time, how and the location,' she says tenderly, taking his hand, but she can't now mask her own sorrow, her regrets. She knows what they have squandered and feels the loss, like a limb now.
'No! Stop that. That's defeatist. And not you!' He holds her closer, tighter. She allows him to hold her until she can't stand the pain of his embrace anymore.
'You're hurting me, Booth,' she whispers softly. Again horrified by his insensitive actions, he lets her go and stands quickly. Sickened again, as bile rises and burns his throat, tainting his breath and tongue.
Unable to look at her, or let her see his desolation, her revelation has brought to him. He walks over to the immoveable door not looking back, furious with her rational stance. He can feel her eyes on him. Feels the heat of her eyes burning into his flesh. His body hardens.
She sees the marks she left on him, and the blood she ripped from him. She watches his fist clench, his knuckles protruding out of his skin. His whole body quivering, his wrath barely contained.
'We are in an air tight steel room, Booth? That door? Is probably six to twelve inches thick. The air is already stale, you can taste it thickening. Asphyxia is inevitable. I'm not being defeatist. I'm being realistic, objective and honest,' she explains rationally, logically, simply. Which just tips him over the edge.
He takes a deep lung full of stale acrid air, blocking out her words and tries again to shift the lock, venting his ire on it.
Bones watches in silence as he tries, attempts to free them. Swearing, kicking and belting the door with fists and feet with all his might. His tears raining down his clenched cheeks. Growling, grunting and blaspheming under his breath. She lets him do what he needs to do. Knowing whatever she says to stop him is futile. He won't stop trying till he is ready and realises she is right.
He kicks the door viciously again, finally giving up and slumps to his knees in front of it. His arms loose by his side, his eyes close drained, torn. She thinks he is praying.
Then he grits his jaw, determined again after a few minutes of stillness and heavy breathing. Booth starts feeling around the walls, banging and testing the walls for hollow sounds, cracks or edges. Bones knows it's a pointless exercise. She settles back to the wall, resting her groggy head back to it, closing her eyes.
As he gets around to the third corner, he kicks something. Bones snaps her head up and opens her eyes, confused, and straightens her body slightly.
It scrapes against the floor, clatters the metal wall, then bounces into the middle of the room, spinning a circle. It takes a few seconds to register what it is, in the dim amber glow of their tomb.
Booth walks slowly over and picks it up, finally looking at her. They both know instantly what the Gravedigger has done. This was her game and they were the helpless pawns.
Booth flicks open the chamber and looks inside. Bones' heart sinks instantly, knowing she has another problem or solution at hand.
Booth walks over and sits silently next to her, shoulder to shoulder, kicking one leg out long, the other knee up. He shows her the chamber, with one 38 calibre bullet in-situ, shiny and unspeakably ugly.
'Just one, Bones,' he says almost breathless. His own realisation of what the Gravedigger wants from them, rips his heart in two, too. Bones looks to him, sits a little straighter, taking the gun from him gently. He releases it to her reluctantly, letting her see grudgingly.
The air is thin, stale, rancid and it's hard to take a full inhale. They both pant a little quicker than ten minutes ago. Its feels like an omen.
She closes the chamber and puts it beside her, away from him slowly, softly.
'Why did you do that?' Booth asks bitterly, already knowing why, but has to clarify to cover for his transgression.
'You know why,' Bones says softly, looking deep into his traumatized almost defeated face.
'No I don't.' He reaches over her, but she places her palm over the gun, gripping it tighter, and looks into his eyes millimetres from hers. Their gazes fixed and reading each other.
'Booth. Don't even consider it…' she barely whispers. 'You have a son? I'm not going to survive either way. If you take youre…' She can't finish as he stares manically into her eyes.
'Shut up!' He rages into her face, his saliva spots land on her cheek. She stays calm, her heart constricting, her palms wet.
He tries again to reach it but she moves it further away under her hand, sliding it under the small of her back. His ear close to her mouth, he stills as she says softly into his ear, 'A few more minutes of air, is not worth watching you pull the trigger. Don't do that to me.' She knows him better than he thought and her knowing that, shames him.
Her words draw more tears from them both now. He slumps to her lap and sobs into her. His hand delicate now, caresses the edges of her un-tucked blouse, not heavy enough to be felt on her skin, as he is terrified of hurting her anymore. Something she understands as an ultimately tender gesture.
'It won't matter,' he mumbles breathlessly, 'If we are both going to die anyway. You'll have a little more time,' he whispers, already grief stricken. Booth feels her heavy compassionate hand on his head, as it stroked his hair affectionately, calming him.
Bones rolls her head closing her eyes, knowing exactly what he is saying. He loves her so deeply, completely, he would do anything for her, even die for her. Lose his faith, damn his soul, take his life for her, anything, so she could have a few more minutes.
Bones fingers his features delicately, cherishing the rare privilege of touching him so intimately, saying softly, 'I don't want more time, if… If you're not with me.'
Booth understands the implications of her words and looks up to her slowly. Rivulets of tears trawling down her soft cheeks, as she tries to smile tenderly.
'Bones.' Her name is all he can manage, the revelation piecing his heart, spearing his soul.
He has been so blind. So God damn blind. They say that love is blind. But he knows has made a huge error of judgment. He has been so blind alright. So in love with her, blind to her loving him. His words to Gordon-Gordon seems so absurd now.
…She doesn't love me, I'd know if she loved me…
How egotistical he was, to assume he would know when she loved him.
They stare in silence for several minutes. Until he rests his head back down on her lap like a feather. The air around them, heavy with the stench of fear, sweat and drying blood. Shot through with something even more distasteful.
She asks gently after a very long time of peaceful reflection, 'Do you have any regrets, Booth?'
She feels him nod slowly on her lap, he takes her cool palm in his, laces his fingers through hers and squeezes tightly. Bones understands instantly. He regrets them not being brave enough, their lack of courage. Bones smiles and sighs contentedly, squeezing his hand back just as tightly.
Sometimes, things are better left unsaid, they're best felt.
She whispers tenderly in reply, 'Me too, and only that…'
He hears a scraping, metal on metal sound, a terrifyingly familiar click. Suddenly he realises what she is doing, fear, panic and horror flood his whole being. He sits up suddenly mortified, to see her trembling hand wrapped around the gun and aiming at her temple. Her eyes close, tears leak, her face riddled with pain, a gentle smile on her lips.
He grabs for her hand and the weapon, 'Bones! NO!!'
The crack of the gun discharging ricochets around their metal tomb…
St Teresa's on the hill, confessional.
'While I lay helpless on her stomach, I prayed for us to be saved. To be delivered from our tomb. For her to be ok. For the squint's to get to us somehow. She knew I would die for her, do anything for her. I would have pulled the trigger, Father.'
'You know the consequences of that action, to your soul, Seeley, if you did? Even contemplating taking your life is a sin.'
'Yes. But I would have. But I was selfish and wanted more time with her. I was weak and selfish. But what scared me most was, she knew what I was prepared to do. And what it would mean in my world, in my faith. And she would not allow me to do it.'
'Yes, I understand. She wanted to save your soul, Seeley.'
'I know. She loved me that much. She never believed in the immortal soul.'
'Maybe not, but she knew you do. That was her motivation. She understood even if she died, you would take your own life, rather than survive beyond her.'
'Yes, she was prepared to die for me. To give me more time. That's why I'm here. To save her soul, if I can.'
Authors Notes: Part Two anyone? Review if you get time, folks.
Till the next time. Lebxeb. X