"Come on, sweetie. The night's young. Drink up!"
FBI Agent Seeley Booth looked away from the bar top where his now drained glass sat, cold and still retaining some of the suds his beer left behind. The dark eyes of his girlfriend, Natalie, were shining back at him. Or maybe it was from the lights overhead. He couldn't be sure anymore. He squinted at her to get a better look.
"What?" She laughed, pushing his chest gently.
Booth had had too much to drink. Not that he was drunk. No. After the violence he faced from his drunk father during his childhood he didn't get drunk. Refused. But Natalie had taken him beyond his limit. He was tipsy. There was no denying that.
"Nothing." He mumbled. "Just tired." It was true. All he felt like was crawling to his bed. Perhaps with her?
Booth had been assigned by the FBI to infiltrate a group of ex military men who harbored a deep resentment for their country after the way they'd been treated when they'd arrived home from the ongoing war in Iraq. To demonstrate their unhappiness they'd formed a terrorist group, and set themselves on carrying out plans to bomb many federal buildings and monuments. It was Booth's job to collect evidence and present the information back to the FBI.
He'd created a whole new persona. Usually he worked murder cases with his partner and best friend, Dr. Temperance Brennan. It was because of her he'd done his best to cover his tracks. He loved her. The last thing he wanted was for her to get hurt if his identity was uncovered. And it already had.
Natalie, also a part of the group, had ambushed him at work no more than a month ago. The woman was sneaky. She'd managed to poke through his façade and research his true past. With the information she'd confronted him. Booth didn't deny it. After all they'd been standing in his office at the bureau. Luckily, she hadn't cared about his fake identity. She didn't believe in the group's intentions either. It was only because of her brother, who headed up the group, that she'd joined. And so she kept his secret quiet.
"C'mon!" She tugged on his arm. To the bar tender she turned. "Two more!"
"Nat," he said in a soft, warning tone.
She'd silenced him with his kiss. He straightened, his breathing picking up as she slid her hands over his body. Gently he took a hold of her wrists. "I think you're drunk," he chuckled.
In response she rubbed her body up against his. "You know what? Screw this place. Lets go back to your apartment."
He knew what she wanted. And truthfully, he wouldn't mind a release either after the day he'd had. It was Brennan who'd he wanted to come out that night. The two had a tradition of going out for a drink after finishing a case. And the one they'd just finished had been a real doozy. But Brennan had declined to tend to work she'd been neglecting. Booth had acted fine with it. She had a life, at least a work life, outside of him. But really, Natalie had been his second choice. He'd only wanted to share the stress he was under with Brennan.
Natalie took his hand. He hopped off the stool he'd been sitting on and followed her. However, instead of going to the front door she headed out back.
"What're we doing?" Booth slurred slightly.
She only wiggled her eyebrows and kept walking. He was in no state to really argue. He didn't really care.
In the back alley she tugged him out, shutting the door behind him. Natalie forcefully pushed him back against the brick wall of the bar. The rough sandiness of the bricks itched at his skin. It was soon forgotten as her mouth seized his. She sucked his lower lip into his mouth, biting it with her teeth.
Booth still wasn't used to her being so sexually aggressive.
When her hand rode up underneath his shirt and over the muscles in his stomach, despite how good it felt he knew he needed to stop her. "Nat, wait." He backed up. "We can't do this here."
He looked at her pointedly.
"Fine." She sighed. "Wait right here."
"Wait!" He exclaimed as she walked away. "Neither one of us can drive!"
Natalie disappeared around the corner.
She had no more vanished before he heard the sound of someone gunning an engine. He turned to have a pair of headlights catch his eyes. A car was bearing down on him.
Booth woke with a start. His body nearly jerked out of the seat he was sitting in. Had it not been for the seatbelt, he probably would have. Head to toe his body trembled. His shoulders heaved as he breathed in quick breaths.
"You all right?"
He glanced up to find Brennan watching him worriedly. The two were sitting in her car as they sat in traffic. They were on the way to see his doctor.
"Yeah," he murmured breathlessly.
Brennan knew he wasn't. He'd been having horrible dreams and flashbacks since he'd been let out of the hospital. Though he wouldn't tell her about any of it. She'd just barely managed to convince him to let her stay and take care of him.
His symptoms in part came from the drugs he'd been given while in captivity. The group had kept him under using ecstasy laced with a sleeping pill to keep him in a calm, pleasurable state. They'd given him too much, and nearly ended his life. Reliving finding him locked up in the cold basement dead was a nightmare Brennan quite often had.
The withdrawal from the drugs were causing severe physiological effects. Hence why they were heading to the doctor. Until the symptoms lapsed his doctor wanted him checked every week.
She frowned sadly as he laid his head back against the seat and looked directly out the passenger window. She didn't think she'd ever been more worried about him. Booth had difficulty sleeping. He was hardly eating. Panic attacks seemed to catch him at random times. The rest of the time he was simply depressed. He kept to himself a lot.
At last they arrived at the doctor's office. Together they went inside and sat down in the waiting room. After what felt like hours they were called inside to a room. It took another fifteen minutes for the doctor to arrive and see him.
Booth was apathetic as his doctor poked and prodded his body. The only reaction he gave off was when the doctor applied pressure to the area where Booth had a broken rib. He breathed in through his teeth.
His doctor, Dr. Adler, frowned. "I think I might request some more x-rays of your ribs. I'll give it one more week. In the mean time I could prescribe you some medicine for the pain."
Booth was quick to shake his head.
Brennan was expecting that answer. She hadn't been able to get him to take so much as an aspirin. She could only figure that after overdosing on drugs he was concerned about taking anything.
Dr. Adler moved onto his withdrawal symptoms. Booth answered his questions honestly, but not in too much detail.
"I can give you something to lessen the effects the panic attacks are having on you. Might help you to sleep, as well."
Again, Booth declined.
On their way out Dr. Adler stopped Brennan. Booth, oblivious, kept on walking.
The doctor lowered his voice. "He isn't doing well, is he?"
"He's just not himself." Brennan agreed.
"Call me middle of the week and report to me how he's doing."
Brennan nodded. She met up with Booth in the parking lot. He was leaning back against her car. His head was down, and his shoulders were shaking once again.
"Booth?" She hurried to his side.
"Can I.. can I just have a minute, Bones?"
"Booth, you can't do this on your own."
"Bones," he repeated, his tone unexplainably angry.
Reluctantly she backed off.
After a few minutes he got into the passenger side of her car. She climbed in. The two shared a silent glance. Booth looked as awful as he seemed to feel. Even his eyes weren't bright as they usually were.
Finally he was the first one to turn away. Brennan turned the key in the ignition. All the way home she racked her brain. This couldn't go on. What could she do for him?