Disclaimer: They are not mine. No infringement intended.
Summary: This is the second part to, Digging The Grave. Please read first or you'll be lost! Be brave people, have corage as the French say! Reviews always welcomed.
Rating: M+/NC17 strong language, blasphemous in parts and mature themes.
Thanks: To Kam, for his guidance and support. I bow humbly.
Confessional box, Saturday AM, St Teresa's On The Hill…
'So the gun went off?' Father Tony said softly.
'Yes.' Booth wiped his eyes dry roughly, then continued with, 'I knew why she had done it. To save me. Get rid of the bullet so I couldn't use it on myself. To give me more time. In case the team found out where we were and could get to us. The air was stale and was burning our throats. She told me she had one regret. That we had never taken the final step and be together. That knowledge was a comfort, but made me ache, it still does. I've been such a coward.'
'I understand, we have talked about this at length, Seeley. Your fears for your partnership. Your struggles with that decision not taken. And I empathise with her decision too. Her courage and deep feeling for you. Her compassion. To sacrifice herself for you, it can be hard to understand. To believe someone could. We can all say the words, I would die for you, but very few souls have the strength to do it, when the time arrives.'
'Yes. It humbled me, shamed and humiliated me. I thought things couldn't get any worse. I was so wrong…
Thirty feet under ground, six days ago…
The gun cracked as it discharged, sending the bullet through her hair and spraying them both with gunpowder residue, the heat of the flash, burnt their skin.
Bones slumped and sighed heavily.
'Fuck Bones! What the hell were you thinking?'
She lifted her chin, as he ripped the gun from her hand and flung it across their tomb. It clattered discarded and spun against the far wall disappearing in the shadows. He could see the tracks of her tears. Her bloodshot eyes looked annoyed with him for interrupting her exit, from this mortal coil.
'Giving you time, Booth,' she explained, holding down her anger.
'I don't want time! I want you, till the end. Whenever that may come.' She shifted from him, turning away. She covered her eyes with her arm, dropping her head not wanting him to see her desolation.
'Don't, Booth, this is hard enough.'
'Don't you look away from me! Look at me!' He pulled her arm away from her face, looking manically into her eyes. She focused slowly, leaning her head back and staring, her emotions laid bare.
'How dare you make that decision for me! He decides who lives or dies and when, not you. You can't play at being God!' Booth ranted pointing to the ceiling, as if to the heavens.
'You were about to, Booth?! You would have! You will when I die, you'll not want to go on. I'm not that damn naïve! I know you better than you think. How do you think I feel about that? Eh? Knowing you will leave your son for me? I can't bear that, not even for an hour. You forget I know what it is like to lose your parents, and be abandoned for something else, someone else!'
'You're wrong. I wouldn't leave him willingly.' Booth knew she was right though, she had read him perfectly. So he relaxed his voice and stance a little.
'That's bull crap and you know it!' she said, wiping away his lie.
'Shut up,' he said distracted, turning towards the wall behind her. His brow wrinkling in concentration.
'Don't tell me to…' He interrupted her again.
'Shut up! Listen… Can you hear that?' He placed his palms on the wall behind her and began to feel the cold hard surface.
'Hear what?' she said harshly, still not done with this argument.
Then she stilled, hearing something, a hissing sound. Then amazingly their ears popped with the pressure changing suddenly. Bones brought her hands up to her ears and rubbed them looking up to him. 'What is it?'
'The bullet, it's made a hole.'
'No, it can't. These walls are too…' she said disbelievingly.
'Look, can you see? It's gone clean through.' He stuck his finger in the hole then looked astonished at her. His smile puckered his lips.
'There's air coming through, it could be a way out?' His excitement growing.
'My gluteus maximus is too big to fit through that, Booth?' She smiled hard back, her spirits lifting with his.
'Oh. Excellent joke, Bones! Your timing is just impeccable. You're getting so good…' He rushed over to the other side of the room to retrieve the gun. She watched him come back and start to shove the barrel into the hole and start to widen it. Their argument already dissolving in the ecstasy of possibly getting out of this tomb.
Bones felt her heart lift and the air seemed to clear a little. She moved over gingerly, away a little, to give him room. He manhandled the barrel in and out, getting the bullet hole wider. Sharp grating and teeth aching crunches serenaded his efforts.
'It must be a ventilation shaft, behind here, I can hear the air and echo. It's gotta lead somewhere, right?' he rambled, gritting his teeth. Booth forced the gun up with both hands and widened the hole to about two inches wide. 'At least we won't die of asphyxiation?' Bones huffed a chuckle at the irony.
'And by the way, it's bull shit, Bones, not bull crap. Ok?' Flashing her a cheeky, elated smile.
'Right. Noted, bull shit. Do you want me to help?' Her eyes sparkled with renewed hope.
'Nah, you stay there and relax. I got it,' he said, much more relaxed now that, he had something constructive to do. Their spirits soaring.
Bones watched him, her head up as he pummelled the hole with the barrel.
'Did you pray, Booth?' she asked carefully.
'Yes,' he said easily, cheerfully. Knowing at least, part of his prayer had been answered. 'I prayed for deliverance, and for the strength to face whatever came to us,' he said honestly. 'Did you?'
She was silent for a few moments, he stopped the pummelling and looked down at her, she smiled warmly. 'No, not really.'
'Ha! You're lying.' Returning to his task violently, seeing that the metal fatigue was spitting the thin sheet of steal much more easily now. 'You prayed,' he stated sweetly. Flipping the gun around, he used the grip now, and started to pound the metal with it.
'I wished for your survival,' Bones said softly, he nodded not looking at her but at his task.
'Hum. That's the same as praying, Bones. You told me that not long ago. Who did you send that wish out to?'
'No one, nothing, the ether.' She looked across the empty room, rather than him. He snuck her a glimpse and grinned, charmed.
'It's ok, I won't tell. When we get out of here, your secret is safe.' Flashing her a toothy grin. She chose not to comment but changed the subject.
She stilled and dropped her head a little. Booth stopped and looked down to her, his brow wrinkling. He dropped down to his knees beside her.
'You ok?' he asked gently, touching her forearm with concern.
'Yes. For the moment. I just wanted something.' She lifted her chin and smiled gently.
'Oh? What? Ask it.'
'That kiss… Do you think you…'
She didn't get her request out before he started to kiss her, holding her around the back of her head with his palm, and gave her a soft sensuous kiss. Innocent and delicate. She visibly sunk and sighed, bringing up her shaky palm to his head and mouthed her lips over his, drawing him closer to kiss her deeper.
Booth put the gun down and shifted closer. She opened her mouth just the tiniest amount and eased her tongue out just to touch his lips and taste him. Booth sighed softly, then met her tongue with his, sliding it slowly over hers. They fell into an easy, gentle rhythm.
The kiss went on and on, tenderly. He offered her all she wanted, not stopping till she was comforted. He felt her wince and withdraw her tongue, then she placed her hand on her stomach. She looked up to him inches away from her face.
'You better hurry, Booth.' A sense of dread washed back through him dampening down his delirium, seeing her worried expression. His expression mirroring hers.
'Sure. Just hang on, Ok? When we get out of here, we'll do a lot more than kissing, you'll see.' He got right back to work, picking up the gun and started to hammer again with renewed vigour and energy.
'That's a little presumptuous, Booth?' Bones righted herself a little trying to get comfortable.
'Yeah, but it's about time, don't you think? We don't want any regrets now. Pop's tried to make me see sense you know?'
'Hum. Yes, he said the same to me.'
'Really?' He stopped for a second then looked down at her quickly, with a charming smile. 'I knew he said something to you. He's a wily old coyote that Pops!'
'Haa. I like him very much,' Bones told him smiling, remembering his grandfather's words to her.
'I know. He thinks you're a diamond, Bones.'
'A diamond?' she queried not understanding. Watching as he managed to open quite a large space.
'Yeah you know, cut beautifully, tough and crystal clear. A precious irreplaceable gem. I have to agree.' He flashed her a charming smile, winking at her.
'Haa. You're being very forward, Booth? I'm not used to this side of you.'
'Get used to it, Bones.' He popped the gun in his pocket and began to waggle a piece of flexing metal with his hands, grunting as he did.
'Careful, Booth. Don't cut yourself?'
Just as she said the words, a piece of metal flexed and came away in his hands. He staggered backwards, the metal shard slicing into his palm, the blood seeping through his fingers instantly.
'Shit! That smarts,' he said flexing his palm, looking to the wound.
'Oh, Booth.' She sulked, as he sat down throwing the metal across the floor. 'Here, use the rest of your shirt to bandage it.'
She leant forward and picked it up, then covered his palm with it, wrapping it around. She flicked him a glance and a gentle smile, as she went about bandaging him tenderly. He grinned back and leant in and pecked her lips cheerfully. Bones grinned wide, shaking her head a little, looking back to her task.
'I think I like you like this,' she confessed, glimpsing up from her task now.
'Yes. You kiss extremely well.' She tied the knot and held his hand. She pecked his lips this time. He glowed at her, delighting at her ease with their new traumatic romantic affection.
Booth got back to work instantly, leaving her on the floor. 'I was thinking, Bones.' Bones nodded. 'If you hadn't tried to shoot yourself, then we may have never gotten out of here.'
'We're not out yet, Booth,' she said stoically.
'Yeah, I know, but we will. The bullet finds the only place in this cell which it could pierce. Would you call that karma, a sign or fate?'
'None of the above, coincidence,' Bones said sensibly.
Booth huffed a chuckle, pulling out the gun and began on another section of buckling metal. He was bashing the hell out of it. He made her flinch when he hollered out of the hole into the darkness.
'HEELLOO!' He noted her jump and turned to her, feeling an idiot again. 'God sorry, Bones.'
'S'ok, just give me some warning next time,' she said relaxing a little.
'Yeah ok. There is an echo and the air is fresh, well, seems fresh anyway. It's so much easier to breathe now don't you think?'
'Yes. Much.' Bones felt under her blouse again, fingering her spleen and the swelling there. Feeling the pressure on her lung, restricting it from filling completely. She took two measured breaths and calculated the time she had left. She took her palm away and looked up to him. 'How much longer, Booth?' she asked worried.
'Because my stomach is getting very tight. I need assistance soon.' She knew he would appreciate the honesty now. They had nothing left to hide.
'Oh God, Bones. Is there anything I can do to relieve it?' Booth asked caringly, squatting beside her, fingering her cheek, his eyes full of kindness.
'Yes. But I'm not prepared for surgery. And to be frank, I need blood and fluids. So it will be pointless.' She brought her hand up to his on her face, and entwined her fingers with his.
'How can you be so calm?' he asked amazed by her.
'I can assure you, I'm not.' She shifted a little, kissing his hand gently in hers. 'I'm just pleased you're with me. I'd be a gibbering wreck if you weren't.' He smiled tenderly, stroking her hair, doubting her. She was just covering again.
'Give me ten minutes, Bones. I can get it big enough to get my shoulders through by then,' he told her reassuringly.
'Ok. Booth. Thank you.' He nodded and pecked her lips again, let go her hand and got back to work.
This time he was frantic and used not just the gun, but used his hands ignoring the cuts and slices to his skin, as he worked the metal like a maniac. Bones grimaced, and winced, sucking in breaths, watching him go crazy on it. Yanking off pieces and throwing them, like a man possessed.
His palms bled and leaked down his arms to his elbows. Bones could see the crimson blood drip like her tears. His determination to get them free was overwhelming. She could barely stand to watch his Herculean efforts. She didn't have the energy to stop or wipe her face. Realising she had never cried so much in her life, as she had sat in this tomb, for the last five hours. Booth saw her raw emotions and decided he needed to take control. Help her now, like she had done with him earlier.
'Stop that woman, right now! You can blubber later. You need to retain the fluids,' he chastised, he was firm, but gently humorous. Booth thought he balanced his chastising well.
'Yes, sorry you're right. Sorry.' She wiped her eyes and took a breath unable to fill her lungs properly, as it hurt so much to breathe.
'Stop apologising!' Then to her amazement, she watched as he jumped up and slipped his head and shoulders through the hole he had beaten open. His knees bashing the wall as he struggled to wiggle his way through. Then he disappeared with a groan and a thump.
He popped his head back through, with a delighted cheery smile. 'Give me ten minutes, Bones, I'll go reccy the joint.' Flaring his eyes at her cheekily, trying to make her smile and keep both their spirits up. He was obviously delighted with his efforts.
'Oh well done, Booth! Ok, be careful.' She smiled back, impressed with him and a little relieved.
'Yep. Don't go for a walk or anything?' He blew her a kiss and disappeared again.
Bones sighed, feeling her abdomen again, knowing she had less time than she had initially thought. The pain was growing and so was her dread.
She stared blindly into the darkness across the dark room, thinking. The sensation of facing her own mortality was a muting experience. She felt the regret of things she would miss, and things she didn't do with her time. She felt the loss of friends and family, their faces. The smiles and their sweet touches. She ached for their pain too. Knowing that her death will cause them hurt. She never wanted anyone to feel grief on her behalf.
Bones knew that Booth had a faith; faith that there was an afterlife, a paradise that awaited, free from pain and anguish. It might be a comfort. She hadn't a faith but right now she wished she did. Because that simple comfort at the moment of death might give her hope and calm her. She just didn't want to be alone in her last hours. And right now, she felt very alone. Interred a dark cold lifeless room, surrounded on the floor strewn with pieces of metal, smeared with blood and a empty, useless gun.
She didn't know how long she had been alone with her thoughts. It was Booth's noisy return that ripped her from her sorrow and made her wipe her eyes. Not wanting him to see her forlorn expression. She painted on a smile as he returned.
'Yes, I'm here.'
'Right, well it's dark but it does get wider, a bit. There is a route I want to try, I may be a while though. Is that ok?'
'Yes. Course, go on. Just don't get lost.'
'No. I won't.' He popped his head around the jagged hole and smiled reaching for her hand, she looked up from her prone position and matched his beautiful smile. Reaching painfully for his hand, their finger tips just touched gently. She noted he was smeared with dark dust and grease spots. His face extremely sweaty too. Whatever he had done was an effort and filled her with foreboding. If he was fit and was having trouble, what hope did she have in her precarious physical state?
'Ok. If I sing, you'll hear me ok?' Booth saw a hollowness in her eyes that wasn't there before he left her. He realised she was suffering with her thoughts. He knew this because he had faced just that. When he had been captured and tortured, fearing for his loved ones back home, if he never returned to them.
'Yes, good idea.'
'What would you like me to sing?' he asked cheerfully, fiddling with her finger tips sweetly.
'Ha. Anything, Booth.' Her soft laughter at his humour, made him warm a little.
'Ok. Jeremiah was a bull frog.' He began to sing, as he ducked back away. 'He was a… Gooood friend of mine…' He made his way away. Bones listened carefully as he struggled along the shaft. His voice started to trail away too, until she could no longer hear his appalling off-key song.
Booth crawled along the passageway for around five minutes at a fair pace. It was dark, cold but not too small. He could manoeuvre quite easily up the slight incline.
He was on all fours and made good progress. When suddenly he felt a draft of air chill his naked torso. He slowed, feeling his way with his hands. There was a lip, an edge, and it went straight across in front of him. He leant over gently carefully with his hands to feel for the other side. Realising it was another shaft that went downwards. A conduit to another room, possibly.
He couldn't feel the other side at first and sat back on his haunches deciding what to do. He thought if he couldn't make it across he would have to go down. And that would be impossible for Bones in the state she was in.
He gathered a mouthful of saliva and spat it down the abyss. He waited and counted straining to hear. He heard the pat of its landing and calculated the time it took to fall. Realising it was maybe twenty feet down. He noted something else too. The gusts of cooler air were in waves, pulses, and there was a quiet whoosh of blades. This, he realised was definitely a ventilation shaft, but to what or where, he had no clue.
He tried again over the hole to see if he could reach, but he couldn't. So he spun round and reached his legs over, pointing his toes to feel for the other side. To his elation his shoes tapped the other side and his heart soared. It was possibly three and a half feet wide, exactly the same dimensions as the shaft he was in, which made perfect sense.
He took a deep breath and spun around again, his sweaty pants squeaking on the metal as he prepared to reach over. His pulse rate shot up, as he knelt and pushed off with the balls of his feet and grabbed for the other side. His heart in his mouth.
'Arrr! Yes!' he shouted in triumph, as he made it over a lot easier than he had expected to. His feet trailed after him but he quickly pulled them over and scurried again knowing time was of the essence.
Three more minutes of frantic crawling and he felt a familiar gust of air and the gentle whoosh of a blade turning. He was jubilant, when he could see a faint light ahead.
'Thank God, Thank you, thank you,' he muttered to his saviour. He went head long towards it and grabbed the blade and looked through. He could smell grass. Fresh grass.
That sensation, and aroma filled his senses and spurred him on. He grabbed the blade and with a huge wrench, it buckled and bowed inwards in an easy way. He now knew it was made of a pliable aluminium compound and would be fairly easy to dislodge. He spun quickly and laid flat, lifted his head, aimed and kicked out hard.
It crunched loudly echoing along the dark tunnel. Which drew his mind back to Bones. He wondered how she was doing, if she could hear the echo and crunch of metal.
He had been away at least twenty minutes and he had promised he would be back in fifteen minutes. But he knew her spirits would soon lift when she knew he had found a way out.
He kicked out repeatedly, over and over, getting closer, closer to freedom. It began to look unlike a blade and more like a car wreck, the more he hammered it with his feet.
Then there was another loud crunch and, his leg shot through the twisted metal. Booth felt a searing pain as the shards of pliant metal, ripped a jagged wound along his calf.
'FUUUCCKK!' he yelled, holding his leg still. He knew he had to withdraw it and it was going to hurt like hell. He gritted his teeth and did it quick, bracing his elbows on the sides of the shaft as he withdrew it.
He was so close to freedom his heart pounded. He could quite literally taste it. The metal sliced open his leg even more, at a different angle. Taking his breath way and making him grab for the injury.
'JEESUUSS!' He got so mad with the adrenalin rush, he went crazy, kicking the hell out of the metal. Then to his astonishment, moments later the unrecognizable blade and the grate beyond, popped out and dropped to the long wet grass. He stilled for a second, his eyes wide in disbelief. He had done it.
Booth threw himself forward and out and stood in the fresh damp air.
'HELLOO!! ANYBODY THERE!!' he hollered into the pitch of the dank night. He could see a tree line of pines that rocked gently in the breeze. He turned to see a huge silo behind him. His brow wrinkled then he realised what it was.
It was an abandoned missile silo. Made obsolete after Reagan signed the disarmament agreement with Gorbachev in the Eighties. He knew they were somewhere west of Washington or possibly near Philadelphia. He could see the phallic shapes towering off into the distance. Relics of a forgotten era of the arms race.
He yelled again, 'HEEELLLPPP! ANYBODY THERE!!' He waited and listened. Nothing. So he decided to head back. He reached to the grass, grabbed a wet handful and stuffed it in his pocket as evidence and reassurance.
He retreated back into the shaft and scurried back as fast as he could, dismissing his aching hands, calf and head. He could feel his blood seep and trickle a trail, as he thumped and bashed against the sides of the shaft, in a frantic rush to get back to her.
He slowed when he reached the drop off area and felt for the edge. He found it tentatively, braced himself and pushed off again, but his foot slipped at the inopportune moment of full pressure. Which left him short on distance and momentum. The blood seeping down his leg and onto his shoes created a slick grip. He reached blindly, frantically for the other side.
His legs and hips fell down below the lip of the shaft but he managed to hold on with his split palms. Booth heaved himself up, wiggling his legs pushing up with his biceps, till he felt the edge dig into his stomach. Just as he did, he felt a twinge and heard a pop, followed by an agony in his back. His old back complaint had returned with a vengeance.
'AAHH! ARRHH!' he yelled, grimaced and fell flat on his face, crawling over the void slowly. He lay still for a few seconds. Then the sickening realisation hit. He had probably ruined their chances of getting free. There was no way he could carry her over there as he had planned. He felt the tears come as he lifted his tired battered body up and crawled slowly onwards.
'Please, Lord, Almighty Father, not now. Not now we are so close. What more do you want?' he whimpered, rolling along on his elbows, dragging his legs behind him.
It seemed to him to take hours to get back to the room, where he had left her. He got within a few feet of the opening and wiped his eyes, dragging himself towards the jagged hole. He poked his head around to see her, eyes closed and slumped, her delicate hands resting on her stomach.
'Bones?' he said quietly, relieved to be back and see her chest rising and falling delicately. He heaved the last foot, pushing himself forward, onwards, determined.
He got stuck on the curled metal. It jabbed into his flank but his weight and gravity's pull on his torso took him over and into the metal room. The knurled jagged edge ripped his side open as he fell onto the floor. The new wound, six inches long, flipped a flange of flesh. It ripped up and back. His blood seeped onto his pants waistband and soaked it, before he even hit the floor.
He landed head first, his momentum throwing him over onto his back. With a sickening crunch, his back slapped flat on the sheet metal floor. He didn't have the strength to groan. Booth didn't have enough air to make an audible sound. As the pain tore his breath from his lungs in a rush. Then everything went away.
The next thing he was aware of, was a soft cool palm on his face, and a distant voice calling to him.
'Booth? Come on, Booth, Booth?'
The voice got louder and louder. He flickered his eyes open but they refused to stay open, as he tried to focus on the voice and her.
Bones had moved over to him and was checking him for injuries. Trying to staunch the flow of blood from his fresh flesh wound with her hands. She was applying pressure to it. Bones stopped the pressure, then she removed her blouse and started to rip it in two.
'Booth? Oh Booth. Not now you bastard! Don't you dare take him,' she said viciously, in a tear filled plea to the ether. Booth managed a smile hearing her pray, albeit a nasty retort and warning of her wrath.
Booth did groan when she lifted his hips a little and wrapped the ruined material around his waist. She tied it tight, sealing the slice of flesh back to his body.
'Arrrh, woman. Sta… steady on.' He opened his eyes looking into her attempting a smile. They locked eyes. Her relief obvious by the tears that leaked unchecked over her lids and down her cheeks. She shuffled on her bottom closer to his face.
Booth? You were gone longer than fifteen minutes? I counted. I thought…' She didn't finish her sentence, instead leant down and kissed his lips hard. Booth did smile then, lifting his weak arm and held her head to his. Kissing her back, mouthing her lips and sucking on them. She gave back just as firmly, slipping her tongue into him. He could feel her tears drip onto his face to mix with his sweat.
They changed angle and swirled tongues together in a frantic elated reunion for several wonderful moments. Then she sat back a little stroking his wet brow.
'You're bleeding,' she stated, worried.
'Yeah…' he said nonchalantly. 'Nice bra, Bones.' He grinned wide trying to be charming and seductive but he realised he just sounded pathetic.
'Haa.' Her soft chuckle rumbled up her torso and swept across his lips and tickled his face.
He fumbled in his pocket, and brought out the crumpled wet clump of grass, handing it to her saying, 'You wanna get out of here?' Her eyes dilated and she grinned hard, taking it from his palm and smelt it.
'You found an exit?' She felt her heart swell at his perseverance.
'Yeah. You just need to patch me up, then we're outta here.' He flared his eyes.
'Patch you up?'
'Yeah. I've done my back in. Magic fingers needed.' He waggled his brows at her. Still not moving, knowing if he did, the pain would be excruciating and he was holding it off as long as possible. Her subtle smile dropped and she wiped her wet face quickly.
'Oh, Booth.' She pouted, empathising with him.
'Come on woman, do your stuff. We are about thirty feet down, under a old missile silo, up State I think. There's is grass and fresh air and trees.'
Booth rolled onto his front, the pain rattled his heart and emptied his lungs instantly. He bit down on his molars to hide it from her.
'Do. Dooo… Your stuff, Bones.' He lay flat, exhausted. His imploring and its broken tone made her want to weep again but she didn't, she couldn't, she had nothing left.
She placed her hands on his back, feeling down his spine delicately. 'Ok. Hold on.' She shifted and twisted her torso, so she was leaning over him. He felt her still her hands and felt her ragged breath on his back chilling the sweat, causing goose bumps to emerge. Booth quivered at the sensation.
'You're so brave, Booth. I'm in awe of you,' she whispered, and it almost came out as a whimper. Said with so much compassion and truth, he closed his eyes and breathed in, letting it go slowly, relaxing. Then he felt her plant a soft reassuring kiss on his back, holding her lips to him.
'Relax, Booth… Do you know?' She massaged around the area of his torture, then continued quietly, 'You're absolutely everything I'm ever going to need…'
Her words trickled seductively into his ears, just as she applied a sharp pressure to his herniated disc. Her words distracting him for a few vital seconds, while she snapped him back into place.
'ARRRH!' haaaarrrrrr…' He cried out and then sighed. Her hand stroking down his back gently now.
'Hum. Yes, much. Just give me a second. Second…' A wave of neat exhaustion rippled seductively through him, feeling her calming caress. He gave into the peace and caress, closing his eyes. 'Just, a sec.'
'Ok.' She slipped onto him, and stilled. They lay quiet and still, Bones partly over him.
A silence almost audible shook him from his near slumber. He flicked his head and lifted up a little to look around to her, her cheek resting on his back. Her eyes were shut and still.
'Right, enough slacking, Bones. Lets go.' He tapped her nose. 'Bones? Come on partner?' She fluttered her eyes open and nodded. Lifting her head slowly, looking into him. They dragged themselves back to the reality of what was ahead.
'Is it far, Booth?'
'No. Don't worry, Bones. I'll get us out.' She could only nod and hold under her ribs. He rolled away and stood up slowly, careful of his back. It still hurt but a least he could move a little better now. She looked up to him and then the hole.
'Is it dark, narrow?'
'A little but bigger than you think,' he said with a gentle smile, she nodded looking away from him.
'What is it, Bones?' he asked tenderly, seeing she looked distressed again. He knelt back to the floor beside her, she looked into his eyes tilting her head.
'You remember I told Sweet's about being put in the trunk of my foster parents car?'
'Yeah… Oh. You're claustrophobic?' he said softly, understanding instantly.
'I get a little anxious sometimes, yes. If there is light, I'm fine,' she confessed sweetly.
'Ok. I understand.' He wanted to sound calm but he knew what was ahead was going to be another trial for her. He continued, 'We'll do it fast. If you get freaky, close your eyes and think of something good. A big wide place, ok? I'll be with you. I won't let you go, alright?'
'Yes. Your touch is reassuring,' she said grinning feebly, nodding.
'Cool. Come on then.' He stood again and helped her up. But seeing the pain and the agony on her face, he silently prayed again. Hoping this ordeal wasn't going to kill her prematurely.
'I'll put you up there first. Then if you go to the side, the left? To make room for me?' Bones nodded biting her lower lip. Booth stilled and slipped his arms around her holding her close, but extremely carefully as she hopped a little on one leg. The nervous sweat on their bodies making a seal over their abdomens and warming them. It felt comforting to both of them.
'It will be all over soon, Bones. Fifteen minutes that's all. We can do this.' She clung on to him and nodded in the crook of his neck.
'Ready?' he said almost inaudibly, trying to dislodge the lump in his throat. He swallowed hard, his Adam's apple bobbing up then sinking slowly.
'Kiss me again.' she asked, smiling tenderly. Booth grinned wide and titled his head, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. His eyes memorising her features. For a moment seeing her as she was yesterday. Unhurt, without wounds or stained by tears and blood. Her eyes danced over his face too.
Booth leant in gently, holding his eyes open, not daring to look away from hers. Forcing the words he wanted to say into her. The sound of his soul speaking to her. She didn't close her eyes either, neither wanting to miss what could be their last kiss. They both knew how close to the edge of the darkness they were.
They slipped into each other calmly gently. Caressing each others flesh, with delicate exploratory finger tips. As their tongues slid softly over one another's and entwined. A connection was forged and solidified. An understanding long known, but never stated, passed between them. The moment poignant and desperately sad. The time they had wasted was also shared and regretted.
Bones withdrew first, resting her brow on his, staring still. 'I'm ready now,' she said softly.
He bent down and lifted her, carrying her to the hole and waited for her to reach through. He gritted his teeth at his back protesting, staggering a little under her weight. She reached her arms forward, groaning, as he pushed her through the small gap as far as he could. Bones groaned and whimpered as she fell through with a thump. Booth took no time in jumping up, getting to her as soon as possible.
He was over her legs before she had a chance to move and manoeuvre away. The pain sapping the air and almost the life out of her. He rolled off to the other side, and turned quickly in the narrow space.
'Bones? Suck it up. You can do this,' he said firmly, she nodded, eyes closed and took a shallow breath. Understanding he was being harsh for her own good. He manhandled her around, then took her arm and began to pull her up the narrow shaft at a fair pace. She had no option but to go, his wrapped palm tight and painful on her bicep dragging her to freedom.
'That's it. You wait till you see the grass and the trees, Bones. There is… a line of trees and I bet there will be Ange, ready and waiting with a cup of your favorite tea. What is your favorite tea?'
'Camomile… You know that,' she said weakly, as he took her other bicep and tugged her along, using his feet to brace himself against the slippery walls, and heave her onwards.
'Nah I didn't. Camomile eh? Don't they make lawns out of that?'
'Yes. Some… times… it smells lovely when you sit on it.' She winced trying to help with her good foot. Her eyes focused on him, adjusting slightly to the near pitch of the shaft.
'Yeah, like a summer's day I'll bet.'
'You shouldn't bet, Booth. You're a recovering gambler.' She flicked a glance to the side of the shaft, seeing it coming closer. Sensing the panic rising, she closed her eyes quickly, taking a shallow painful breath.
'Haaa. She makes another funny! Well done. I liked that one,' he joshed with her, attempting to take her mind off the darkness and her claustrophobia. She felt deeply touched by his attempts, but being the rational being she was, she saw right through it, and wasn't as deflected as she should have been. But she kept up the pretence for him.
'Good. I am trying to be more personable.'
'Awww, Bones you're perfect as you are. Don't ever change.'
The shaft clamoured to the sounds of two bodies clunking along it. Booth was pouring with sweat, dragging her as quickly as he could. Four to five feet at every haul of her. Scurrying back not letting her go then bracing his feet on the sides, dragging her close, over and over again.
'That's a lovely thing to say.'
'Yeah well, I'm trying to be more charming around you. Gott tta…' He heaved her onwards. Watching her closely, then looked behind him knowing the difficult section was coming up soon. He heaved one more time and stopped. He let go one of her arms and felt for the lip.
'What?' She was surprised they had stopped.
'Oh I was just thinking, if I was charming enough, you might let me take you on a date. Proper date…' He fumbled for the lip but couldn't sense it.
'Where what?' He dragged her closer, till she rested her head on his lap as he felt again.
'Where would you take me?'
'Anywhere, where do you fancy going?' He fumbled in the darkness.
'It's your date, impress. Oh no. Arrrhh…' she whimpered and started to tremble. Booth looked to her petrified into her agonised face.
'Bones! No! Come on! Look at me, look at me!' He tapped her face with his palm, her eyes fluttered and rolled.
'Bones, for fuck sake! Stay with me!' Her face was soaked in sweat, her skin looked ghostly and glowed menacingly. 'We are nearly there, Bones. Don't leave me, don't you ever. I'll not survive, you know that…' His eyes leaking again. Booth grit his teeth, seeing his words and shouting were having no effect. He needed to be radical and cruel.
He braced his palm and smacked her face. She jolted and snapped her eyes open, focusing on his eventually.
'Muuu mmm uuuuhhhh.'
'Make words, Bones, I can't understand you? Or do you want me to smack your ass next? Talk to me!' Booth almost in full panic mode.
'I'm so tired,' Bones finally muttered.
'Don't you give up. Not now. Not far, can you see the light yet??' Booth eased her off him, she grunted painfully and rolled slightly, hitting her head on the side wall. He scurried around onto his knees and heaved her onto his back. His burden now, his cross, pulling her arms around his neck.
'Hold on to me doyahear! Tight. Hold me!' he shouted, his voice breaking like his heart, echoing around the shaft.
'Yes. Ok. Ok,' she said slightly stronger, the adrenalin flooding her system now.
'That's it, tighter. I can't feel you! Tighter, Bones,' he urged frantically. Crawling forward, hands out to feel the edge. His fingertips felt the lip and he sighed briefly, relieved.
Every sinew strained and ached, his palms rebleeding, his flank seeping through her makeshift bandage and his back cracking, numbing his legs. Her full weight weighing him down.
'Listen, Bones. You listening?' Booth positioned them over the black hole.
'Ye, yes,' she choked on the words. He felt her taking a breath.
'We're gonna jump this gap. It's small, ok. Don't you let go of me. Do you understand? You just hold on tight.'
'Yes, Booth.' He felt her rest her cheek on his shoulders, turn her lips to his face and kiss him. 'I won't let go.'
'Kay.' He took a deep breath, hunched up his knees ready to pounce. He gripped her arm around his neck. Then Booth leapt with all his might across the narrow gap, reaching for the other side with his free hand.
His chest hit first and stole his breath, he gripped the edge with his elbow over it. They both slipped down the shaft, her weight pulling him down.
'ARRRRHHH!' Booth yelled from his gut, feeling her slip from his wet sticky blood soaked palm. She was going, gravity pulling her down into the abyss.
He scrambled with his feet against the slippery wall of the shaft but finding no purchase. In a desperate attempt to get higher, he hitched his elbow up to try and pull his and her weight on one arm. Which was slipping. She slipped through his palm again.
'Don't let go, don't let go!' he rambled, as his body spun, she did too, limply. Bones hung precariously from his single grip. Both of them being held by his sweaty elbow and a screaming bicep.
Booth looked up growling, praying for divine intervention. Knowing he could not do this alone. His world about to implode. They were both going to fall to their deaths if his God didn't produce a miracle.
He felt the muscle tear in his bicep and nearly let go of her. 'God, What mooore?!' He gripped her slim hand tighter, but felt the sweat and blood between his and her fragile hand lubricate their clutch.
Then through his delirium her heard her say, 'It's ok, Booth, let me go.' Bones knew they would both fall, but if he let her go, only one would die.
Booth's tears blurred his vision, he clenched his eyes closed. 'No. Never,' he whispered.
'Seeley… Enough, you've done enough.'
'Nooooo, Oooooh, Bones, no. Please don't,' he whimpered. They both knew the moment approached.
He looked down to her. She looked up to him serene, and calm. Looking at him as Jesus would to a terrified child to pacify them. She brought a shaky hand up and started to peel his fingers off her hand.
'NO! Don't! What… Don't!' He gripped more tightly, horrified by her action and its implication.
'Seeley, you're gonna be ok… You'd do the same for me,' she said gently, trying to ease his heart and soul.
'Bones…' he barely said.
Bones did it quickly. She ripped her hand from his, then disappeared in silence, down the shaft, as if engulfed by a black shroud. Booth hung there for a few seconds, disbelieving, aghast at what she had done.
The ultimate sacrifice, for him. Giving her life willingly, gracefully.
He rolled his body around then slammed his other arm onto the flat surface, hauling his body up to safety. He spun, lay down, looking down into the black abyss.
'Bones, Bones?' he whimpered, calling feebly to her. His tears dripping down into it too. 'Bones, Bones?' His soul split. His heart and mind heading somewhere unfathomable, dark and cold. 'Bones, baby… Bones?'
His wrath raged into the dark pit, 'BOOONNNNES!!'
He kicked out with his feet in horror, defeat, and complete desolation, buckling the walls with his feet.
'You fucking bastard! Look what you did! Look! I prayed?? I prayed? Begged you, you fuuuck!!' Thumping the walls with his fist.
Gritting his teeth, he turned and scrambled out towards the exit, needing to breathe. Falling out, staggering to his feet, Booth howled at the crescent rising moon, in a primeval nonsensical scream. 'ARRRRRRRRRHHHH!!'
He collapsed to his knees, a shattered man. Drained of sweat, tears and emotion. 'You took her! You took her…' Then he sneered, growled slowly…
'I haaaate you. I hate you. I hate, you…'
Confessional box, St Teresa's On The Hill…
'Seeley? Take a breath. Breathe,' Father Tony urged tenderly, compassionately. Booth sobbed into his hands, unable to breathe. His body shaking with anger, fear and frustration. He gripped his palms, his nails digging in, shaking his head then snapping it back, banging it against the back wall.
'You said you hated our Lord. And yet you're here. In his presence, why?'
'I shouldn't be. I don't trust him anymore. I've lost my faith in him. In what he can do. What I believed he could do.'
'Yes, I understand but nonetheless, you're here. You said you wanted absolution. I can give you that, for all your sins. You are a penitent man. I can see that, Seeley. I believe you. You're truly sorry for your sins. The weaknesses, your lack of faith in the most desperate of circumstances. The Lord in His mercy forgives you…' Father Tony let those words sink into him before he continued. He heard Booth sigh raggedly and wipe his face with his handkerchief again.
Then he continued with, 'But what concerns me more is your inability to accept her sacrifice. Let me ask you this, Seeley. If the situation was reversed, could you honestly say, you would have done the same?'
'Yes, Father I would,' he answered in a heartbeat. 'But I didn't, did I?'
'No, you didn't. You didn't let her fall, Seeley. She chose to let go. To save you, rather than take two lives.'
'Is it a sin to let yourself die for another?' Booth asked tentatively.
'You know the answer to that, Seeley,' he said delicately, 'Her soul has nothing to fear. You have nothing to fear.'
Booth sighed and nodded relieved.
'I have another sin to confess, Father. It happened after I left the shaft…'
'Go on, Seeley...'
Part 3?? Hope you're still reading. If you are, let me know.
May your God keep you safe. Lebxeb X