Welcome to the Jungle
this was originaly written in chapters, but I don't have time to seperate them and post individually.
"Bones, Let's go."
Brennan looked up from her computer eagerly. "We have a case?" Then she frowned. "Booth, why are you dressed like that?"
He was wearing khaki pants, a white shirt, his green army style jacket, and a backpack.
He smiled. "We're going to the jungle Baby." He wiggled his eyebrows.
She stared at him. "Did you just call me baby?"
He rolled his eyes. "Bones, come on let's go, our helicopter leaves in less than two hours, and you need to change into your Jane costume."
She stood up, turning off her computer. "Jane costume?"
He sighed and thunked his head on the doorway slowly. "Your dig clothes will be fine Bones."
"So we're really going into the jungle?" She asked, picking up her purse.
"Yep. Our diplomat to Peru went out on an expedition two weeks ago, never came back. Neither did his guide actually. Some remains were found, but they're too mutilated to identify. That's where we come in." He smiled broadly.
"You are excited about the prospect of visiting the jungle aren't you?"
"What makes you think that?"
"You're bouncing on your toes."
"That's impatience Bones. Hurry up."
She looked her office door and Booth rushed her to the SUV waiting outside. She barely had time to wave to Angela as she went by.
"How long will we be gone?"
"A couple days Bones. Pack light. The Amazon awaits us.."
"I don't know, the part in Peru."
"Booth, did you remember to put my field kit in the baggage compartment?"
"And my knapsack?"
"Yes Bones. I put everything in. I suppose I'm going to have to carry it all too." He rolled his eyes.
The pilot looked back and grinned. "Been married long?"
Brennan frowned. "We're not married."
Booth just closed his eyes.
The pilot looked forward again, checking his dials. "Coulda fooled me!"
Brennan whispered, "Why do people always think we're married? We're not even dating!"
Booth's lips twitched. "We spend more time together than most married couples Bones."
She considered. "Another reason why I will never get married."
"What's the other one?"
She waved her hand at him. "My husband would more than likely feel inferior compared to you, and jealous that we spend so much time together." She ran her eyes over him. "I think most men probably feel inferior when you're around. And then there is the fact that it is an antiquated ritual dev.."
"No wonder you never date."
"You date losers Bones. You should save time and just marry me. Think of all the money we'd save on gas, maybe Aunt Ruth would even send us one of those fancy coffee machines like she sent my cousin."
Her mouth dropped open.
He smiled at the sudden silence, complete except for the humming of the Cessna's engines and the muffled laughter coming from the pilot. "I'm going to have a nap Bones, you should do the same." He closed his eyes and leaned back with a smile on his face.
He loved the jungle.
Especially when he didn't have to shoot anyone.
"Booth, wake up."
He sat up blinking and looked out the window.
Brennan grimaced. He was the only person she'd ever met who could be sleeping one moment and alert the next. Not to mention still look amazing.
The pilot cleared his throat. "Welcome to Iquitos City folks, population four hundred ninety three thousand. Give or a take a few hundred." He angled the aircraft down slightly, beginning his loop of descent. "Gateway to the Amazon."
"One of them." Brennan clarified, looking out the window at the city below, surrounded by green.
Booth pointed out the window. "Look Bones, it's the Quistococha Zoo."
She spun around to look at him. "You've been here before?"
He gave her a look. "I've been everywhere Bones."
"Were you here to.."
He interrupted her, shooting a meaningful glance towards the pilot. "Bones, not now ok. Just enjoy the scenery."
She raised her eyebrows and turned away.
The engines shrieked as the little plane touched down on the runway, giving everything a good shake as it bounced and skidded towards the terminal.
Finally the plane was still, and the pilot opened the door, jumping out onto the tarmac. A man in a government suit hurried over to them as Booth climbed out, Brennan right behind him.
"Yeah." Booth shook hands with the man. "And this here is Doctor Temperance Brennan."
"Of the Jeffersonian Institute." Brennan interjected.
"Of course." The Offical shook hands with her as well. "How soon will you be ready to depart?"
"As soon as possible."
"Excellent." The Offical waved to a young man behind him who hurried over with a trolley and began putting their bags on it.
"Come with me please." The Official said, walking towards a helicopter hanger. "You understand that this is a matter of extreme secrecy." He said to Booth.
"Why?" Brennan asked.
The Offical cleared his throat. "We have not realised the information about the missing diplomat to the public." He hedged.
"I don't understand." Brennan frowned.
"The expedition was to last two or three weeks." Booth supplied. "According to the government, they are not officially missing. Yet."
The Offical nodded. "We're hoping you can identify the remains before the notices are sent out."
Brennan nodded in understanding.
The Offical led them around the corner of the building to where a helicopter sat, it's pilot leaning against it nonchalantly.
He straightened up and walked over to them.
The Offical spoke. "Allow me to introduce your guide and pilot, Jose Iguara. He will take you to the site of the remains. Now, please excuse me, I have other pressing matters to attend to. Enjoy the trip please." He smiled and walked away.
Brennan raised her eyebrows and glanced at Booth.
He was staring at the helicopter in dismay.
"Yeah." He looked at her. "Oh, right. Where we can put our stuff Mr. Iguara?"
The pilot smiled. "Call me Choppy please. The porter is already loading your luggage."
"Supplies." Brennan corrected.
Choppy nodded condescendingly. "Of course. You are ready to fly I hope?"
"Ready as I'll ever be." Booth grimaced.
The pilot walked back to the helicopter and climbed in, starting the engines.
Brennan glanced at Booth again. "You don't like helicopters?"
Booth sighed. "I have bad luck with helicopters."
"What do you mean?"
He shook his head. "Come on Bones, let's get this over with. Choppy there seems eager to get going." He walked over to the helicopter, ducking his head, making sure their stuff was loaded, and then opening the door for her.
She climbed inside, her brow furrowed.
Brennan watched Booth out of the corner of her eye. She'd never seen him so tense. His form was solid and unmoving, his head bowed. He hadn't moved for over two hours. Every once in a while the engine would make a different noise, and his eyes would flick up in concentration but that was it. She'd given up trying to make conversation, receiving only distracted murmurs in response.
The jungle was whizzing by beneath them, a green confusion. Trying to distinguish animals was making her dizzy, so she leaned back and closed her eyes.
The engine skipped, and the pilot swore.
Booth clenched his jaw. Not again.
He glanced at his partner, and she was looking around blurrily. "What happened?"
The speakers in the headphones crackled as the pilot swore again. "We're having engine trouble. I'm going to have to land."
Brennan's eyes grew wide with horror. She looked at Booth.
"Get into crash position Bones. Try to keep your head down." His voice was calm, his eyes sad.
She nodded mutely, and they both curled up as much as they could. They were within sight of a landing spot when the engine failed and the helicopter dropped like a stone.
It slammed into a tree on the way down, scraping against it, breaking off branches, tumbling it rotor over rails, till it finally came to rest, a spark shooting up from what was left of the engine.
Booth kicked what was left of the helicopter and swore. "Stupid fucking machines!"
He turned around and stomped back to where Brennan was resting against her back against a tree, stunned.
When the helicopter had come to rest on the ground Booth had cut through their seatbelts and dragged her unconscious self out of the aircraft and ran, ducking down behind some exposed roots and cradling her to him as what was left of the helicopter burst into flames.
It was now little more than a smouldering piece of metal.
She raised dazed eyes to him. "Anything?"
He sat down beside her. "It's too hot still. The pilot.. It looks like he was dead before we hit the ground. A branch impaled him, though he wouldn't have survived the impact anyways." He leaned back against the tree. "When it cools down I'll check and see if any of our luggage survived."
Brennan swallowed. "What happened?"
"Did you know it would?"
"No. But the machine wasn't new. And I have bad luck with helicopters."
"You said that before." Her head was clearer now, and she looked at him closely.
A ribbon of blood trailed down the left side of his head from a dark patch in his hair. His jaw had a purple spot deepening already. "Are you ok Booth?" She reached for him, tenderly examining his head wound.
"I'm fine Bones. How are you?" He cracked a smile at the commonplace question.
"I don't think I have a concussion, although I appear to have been knocked unconscious. A slight blow to my right.."
"Yeah you're fine." He interrupted wryly.
"What do we do now Booth?"
"We wait. Once the machine is cool, we see what we can salvage. I had a map in my backpack, we were in the air two hours and forty-five minutes. The trip should have taken four hours."
She nodded. "The average speed of a helicopter is between 138 and 161 mph. We should be able to approximate our distance from the site of the remains."
Booth smiled. "There you go Bones, now you're thinking."
"Of course if this had been a military helicopter we would have been travelling faster.."
"But it wasn't Bones. You'll find that if you focus on what we know and what we need to know then it will be easier to keep going."
"You sound like you've done this before."
"Ranger, Bones. We were always getting dropped off somewhere." He stretched out his legs. His pants were singed at the bottom and covered with soot. Lovely.
"So we'll be fine then?"
"Yep. You couldn't have picked a better person to crash with." He joked, trying to keep her spirits up.
"Except maybe someone who had crashed before, and survived." She mused.
He rubbed his nose. She was so freakin literal ."Yeah Bones. That would still be me."
"You've crashed in a helicopter before?" She gaped at him.
He shrugged, getting to his feet to go look around the crash site. "Like I said, I have bad luck with helicopters."
She got to her feet slowly, looking around her. "I'd still say you're more lucky than most Booth."
He turned, "Why's that?"
"You're alive aren't you?"
He smiled. "Yes. And so are you. I must be very lucky."
Brennan opened the charred bag and started pulling out objects, discarding those which were no longer useable. She sighed.
The fire had pretty effectively destroyed most of their stuff.
Booth had no more clothes.
She had one spare shirt, and a small sewing kit.
Booth walked over dragging what was left.
Her field kit!
She pulled it closer and sorted through it. Damn.
"Everything?" Booth asked, dropping down into a crouch beside her.
"What about the other bags?" He asked.
"We have a bottle of whisky, which must have been the pilot's. Two canteens of water. A map. A shirt, female size medium. A sewing kit, which I might have to use on you."
"Well, I'll definitely be needing the whiskey then."
"I'm very adept at sewing Booth."
"What else do we have?"
"Yes." She stared glumly at the burned things in front of her.
He stood up. "Well, not quite." He started opening pockets. "I have a knife, a gun, three extra rounds, an ipod with headphones, a cell phone, a pack of smokes, a lighter, a deck of cards, two packs of gum, my wallet, lock pics, my badge/ID, two chocolate bars, a pocket knife, hard candies, a mini first aid kit, floss, and a compass."
She started laughing. "You keep all that in your pockets Booth?"
"Only when I go to the Jungle. Or Camping. Fishing maybe."
"What are the cigarettes for?"
"Good will. The natives like them. They don't care about cancer yet."
She nodded. "Very good, Booth."
"So, lets look at the map and figure out where we are, before Choppy starts bringing in the wildlife."
"I really should stitch up your head Booth, you're still bleeding."
He crossed himself and sat down. "Fine. Hurry up." He grabbed the whiskey and took a long swallow before dumping some on his head wound.
"You're going to smell lovely." She commented, getting a needle. "I'm going to use the floss instead of the thread, it will hold better."
"Just hurry up." He took another drink.
She blew out a slow breath and began gently stitching his scalp together, remembering what she had learned in her emergency first aid course.
She swallowed and sat down, putting her head between her knees. "All done."
He dumped more whiskey on his head and turned to look at her. "Bones! Are you alright?"
She concentrated on breathing in and out.
He touched her on the knee.
She looked up, her face white. "I've never had to do that before. And not on someone I.."
He smiled gently. "I'm fine, see? I'm sure you did a good job. It's always harder when it's someone you know." He gave her a one armed hug. "No lets get the map out and your brain focused on figuring out where we are. Ok?"
She nodded slowly.
She could do that.
"Booth, I know where we are. According to my calculations, we are right….Here." She jabbed her finger into the map, leaving a tiny smudge. She frowned and wiped her hands on her pants for the fortieth time.
He ambled over and took a look. "Pretty close Bones, but MY calculations put us… Here." He pointed to a place 1cm over.
"Yep." He wiggled his eyebrows.
She raised her own eyebrows in disbelief.
He sighed. "My phone has GPS."
"There is no service here."
"My phone is from the FBI. I don't need service."
"Well then phone someone and tell them to bring a new chopper."
"I need service for THAT."
"So if you knew where we are, why did you tell me to figure it out?" She glared at him.
"To keep your brilliant brain occupied and alert, that's why."
"Well, can they find us through the phone?"
"Because it's an FBI phone. Untraceable."
She folded up the map. "Well that just….."
"Sucks?" He suggested.
"Too literal Bones." He interrupted again.
"Oh. Then yes, it sucks."
He got up, holding the makeshift parcel he'd created with her spare shirt, which held the canteens and the whiskey. "Let's go Bones." He held out a hand.
She grabbed it and stood up, taking a last look around the crash site.
"Lead the way, G-Man."
He smirked at her, and she smiled back, pleased with herself.
She'd always wanted to say that.
"Why are we stopping?"
"We need to build a shelter for the night." Booth looked around the small clearing. He put down the forked sticks he'd been carrying since he found them about an hour before. Setting the shirt with the water canteens down beside them, he walked over to some smallish saplings and started hacking at them with his knife.
"What are you doing?" Brennan opened the shirt and pulled out a canteen, taking a long drink of water.
"We have to build a platform. If we don't, we get eaten alive by termites and those other bugs crawling around."
She nodded. She'd noticed them all day long.
He put down the sapling he'd cut and started on another. "Bones, come and get my pocket knife and cut some of those vines. We're going to need them to tie this stuff together."
She got up, and walked over to him, noticing that the bleeding from his head wound had finally stopped, leaving a rusty trail down the side of his face. His shirt and coat were spattered too, as well as being covered in soot.
She looked down at herself and grimaced, she wasn't looking much better. "Which pocket is it in?"
"Left leg." He answered without pausing.
She leaned down and opened the pocket on his left thigh, carefully sliding her hand inside. She could feel the warmth radiating from his leg. Tentatively she wiggled her fingers around till they bumped into the pock knife and she pulled it out, careful to close the pocket properly. She didn't want to loose anything.
Booth cleared his throat as she stood back up. His cheekbones were a little flushed. All he could think was, thank god I didn't put it in the top pocket.
She headed for some vines, and Booth called her back.
"What?" She turned, perplexed.
"Take the canteens. Cut as high up as you can first, and then a bit off the bottom. Water will come out of the vine, if it's clear try to get as much as you can in the canteens. We won't hit that river on the map till tomorrow afternoon maybe, we could use the extra water."
Brennan nodded and went back for the canteens.
Out here, Booth was the genius.
It was slightly unsettling.
But very, very, intriguing.
It took them an hour to make their makeshift shelter, a raised sapling platform held together by vines and covered by leaves. They even had a bit of a roof, although Booth didn't think it would rain.
Brennan wrapped her arms around her knees. "I can't remember ever being this tired." She said.
Booth looked up at her from where he stood stoking the small fire. "Drink some more water. You might be getting dehydrated."
"I'm not." But she drank some anyways. "Maybe we should eat."
"I thought you had two chocolate bars."
Booth smirked and unbuttoned on of his coat pockets, pulling out a chocolate bar and tossing it up to her. "Save half for me."
She caught it and tore it open, taking a large bite.
"Whoa, easy Bones. Only half of that is yours." He laughed, climbing up onto the platform.
"But it's so good. And it's my favourite kind too." She moaned, mouth full of chocolaty goodness.
He took the bar and broke it in half, minus what she'd already eaten. "I know."
He took a bite of his half and grimaced.
"What? Don't you like it?"
"No, not really. It's too sweet."
"It's supposed to be sweet."
"I like my chocolate bitter. It's more exciting." He chewed slowly.
"Well why did you buy it then?"
"Is there an echo in here?"
"Some kind of ranger wisdom? Bring your partner a chocolate bar in case you crash?" She raised her eyebrows.
Booth snorted. "Common sense Bones. Never take a woman on an expedition anywhere without bringing some form of chocolate, you never know when it might save a life."
"Whose life?" She glared at him.
He smiled charmingly. "Mine."
Booth threw another stick on the fire, watching the glowing embers send up sparks of protest before licking the new offering and devouring it. Something moved off to his right, and he stiffened, his eyes searching the semi-darkness for danger. A small creature scampered out of the shadows, looked at him, and hurried away again.
Another false alarm.
His eyes turned to the platform shelter where Bones was sleeping. He should be up there too, but every time he tried to sleep she curled up against him and ran her hand up his chest. The feeling set every sensory nerve in his body to tingling, and then sleep became impossible.
Rubbed his hand through his hair, careful to avoid his injury. He could still smell the whiskey. It was kind of turning his stomach a bit, mixed with sweat and god knows what else. He desperately needed to wash his head.
He mentally placed himself on the map.
Another 6 miles and they'd be at the river.
He could wash then.
He glanced at the shelter again.
Maybe this time he'd be able to go to sleep.
The fire crackled on in solitude, a beacon of humanity .
"Booth, are you sure this is a good idea?" Brennan bit her lip, feeling her pulse skip a beat, as she stared at him, eyes wide.
He laughed and pulled his shirt over his head, dropping it down beside his coat and shoes. "Yes Bones, this is absolutely a good idea." He stood up, and undid his belt and the top of his pants.
Her mouth went dry and she needed to blink, but she didn't want to miss a thing. Her heart was pounding.
The pants hit the ground, and next thing she knew, Booth was in the river, swimming with sure strokes.
He turned back and saw her staring at him. "Aren't you coming in Bones?" He smiled. "The waters warm."
They had been up early, although the state of the fire, and the shadows under Booth's eyes made it hard for her to believe him when he said he'd gotten enough sleep.
She stepped closer to the murky water cautiously. "Are you sure there aren't any snakes?"
He bit his lip. Of course there were snakes. But if he told her that, she'd never get in the water, and she needed to. The water at the very least would refresh her. One f his survival instructors had recommended it as having disinfectant properties as well, which was important in the jungle damp. Especially when it came to feet. If you couldn't walk, you couldn't get out. Plain and simple.
The rule of the jungle.
He smiled his most charming smile and lied through his teeth. "There is no snakes in this water Bones, it's moving too fast."
She looked at him dubiously.
"Do I have to come and get you?"
Her face flushed. She undid her shirt and dropped it to the ground next to his.
He almost forgot to swim. She was wearing a pink lacy bra, and nearly overflowing it. Her pearly skin was streaked with dust and soot, but she was still the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. She started on her pants, and he forced himself to turn around. The little devil on his shoulder screamed insults at him, but he ignored them. She was his partner, she deserved respect and privacy.. As much as he knew he was going to spend the rest of his life regretting it.
A splash next to him made him spin around. She swam tentatively, keeping her feet near to the surface. She just knew if she felt something slither along her legs she would freak out and drown. She hated being so irrational about snakes, but her body just wouldn't listen to her head. She frowned suddenly. It did the same thing when it came with Booth.
He splashed water at her. "What's that look for?"
"I'm contemplating the inconsistencies of the mind, mine in particular."
"How about you contemplate the cleaning of your body instead? Especially between your toes." He dipped his head under the water, hearing it thrum in his ears. He was the one who needed to clean his brain.
A glance at the beach had noticed a pile of pink lace on top of her clothes, and the knowledge that she might be naked was driving him wild.
He scrubbed at his hair and started reciting survival facts to himself. He couldn't think about baseball, not since he'd taken her to a game, and spent the whole time watching her instead.
He broke through the surface to find her awkwardly scrubbing her hair, eyes scanning the water for him, panic in them.
"You ok Bones?"
"Don't do that!"
He looked at the panic in her eyes, and the nervousness of her body movements. "Ok. I'm sorry Bones. It's ok."
She swam back towards the shore. "I'm all done now, I'm going to get dressed."
"Use my shirt as a towel if you want, it'll dry fast enough." He said turning around again, putting his back to her.
She laughed shakily. "And get all dirty again?"
Brennan sat on the banks of the river, mostly dressed. Her shirt was on, but open. She'd dry faster that way, and it was cooler too. Although most of the heat she needed to escape was in fact coming from her, not the sun or the humidity. Booth minus clothing always added up to heat flashes.
She studied him swimming in the water, his bronzed body cutting through the surface with ease. She wondered when he'd had time to get such a nice tan.
She could never find the time, that's for sure.
Maybe a tanning bed?
No, Booth wouldn't do that….
Booth felt something slide up against his leg and went into overdrive for shore, his lie coming back to haunt him. If he was killed by a snake, she would never, ever forgive him.
His feet hit the bottom of the river and he sprinted up onto the beach, completely ignoring how his wet boxers were clinging to him, and how Bones's jaw had dropped at the sight.
He rested his hands on his knees and panted, "What? Not like it's nothing you've never seen before, or have you forgotten?"
Her lips tilted into an amused grin.
Forget it? It was the first thing she thought of every time she walked into his bathroom. It was imprinted on her brain.
His eyes widened.
Her smile was as predatory as he imagined the creature in the river to be, and she wasn't even looking at him anymore, she was staring off into space.
He watched her.
All of a sudden she gasped and was in his arms, trying to climb up onto his back, shrieking, staring at the river.
When she stopped moving, she was sitting on his shoulders, her hands clenching in his hair, her feet curled back under his arms.
He stood there in a state of shock.
She'd climbed him like a tree.
"What are you? Part monkey?" He asked in amazement.
She sucked in a deep panicky breath and squeaked out, "We're all descended from primate species Booth, but now is NOT the time to discuss genetics!"
He rolled his eyes up into his head as though he could see her. "Yeah. Genetics. Right. Let's get back to the issue at hand." He reached up and put his hands on her thighs, steadying her. "Why did you climb me like a tree? Not that I mind, but it's going to be a little hard to get dressed with you up there."
She shrieked again, and he looked around to see what she was shrieking at.
A giant Anaconda was slithering up from the water where he had been minutes before.
A faint feeling shifted through him before the painful grip she had on his hair brought him back under control.
He slowly stepped into his shoes, and then backed away, into the forest.
"Booth, your clothes!" She whimpered.
"Ease up on my hair," he replied in a calm, quiet voice. "I'd like to keep it for a few more years." He kept his eyes on the snake, waiting to see what it would do.
Her hands relaxed instantly. "I'm sorry." She whispered. Her breathing was still quick and panicky.
"Bones. Calm down. You're going to hyperventilate, and I don't think that will help our circumstances any." He said in a singsong voice, tightening his grip on her thighs. "I need you to be rational right now Bones."
Her eyes sparked in outrage. "How dare you tell ME to be rational! I am the QUEEN of rationality!"
"Then why are you sitting on my shoulders shaking with fear?" He hissed back.
Her mouth closed so hard he heard her jaw snap.
Now he had a giant snake, AND a pissed off Brennan to worry about..
He smoothed his hand down her leg. "It's ok Bones. Look, he's going back into the water."
"What makes you think it's a he? Did you inspect it?" She spat out.
"I'm putting you down now Bones." He dropped to his knees.
She clung to him again. "No."
"Bones. I need to get my clothes and our water canteens. I'll just be a minute." His voice was soothing.
She reluctantly slid off his shoulders, standing with her arms wrapped around herself, sending terrified looks towards the water.
He got dressed as fast as he could, then turned and pulled her along the shore, keeping to the edge of the rainforest.
"If we travel along the river for another 20 miles or so, we should run into some kind of village. I noticed one marked on the map."
"Are you lying?"
"Why would I be lying?"
"You lied about there being no snakes." Her lip trembled.
He stopped and pulled her next to him, putting a finger over her mouth. "Bones, I knew that you wouldn't get into the water if you thought there might be snakes, and it's very important to stay clean. I'm sorry, but I did what I had to do. You would have done exactly the same thing."
She stared into his dark eyes and knew he was telling the truth.
He was right.
She would have done exactly the same thing.
Her eyes softened and she gave a small shrug. "Twenty miles?"
"I hope your girlfriend doesn't follow us the whole way." She started walking again.
He stared after her. "My girlfriend?"
She smirked. "Well, the snake didn't come around when I was in the water, so it must be female."
"Logic right?" He gave a half laugh, and started after her.
"Yes." She said primly.
"Uh huh. So you think the snake came around because it was attracted to me?" He teased back, trying to make her forget she was mad at him.
"Of course." She replied.
All of a sudden he smirked. "Maybe she came up on the bank because she was jealous that you were on top of me."
Her mouth dropped open in exasperation. "Excuse me? I was not!"
He laughed. "You were so, you were ALL over me Bones, and I've got proof."
She wrinkled up her mouth. "You do not."
"Yup. I most certainly do." He hummed cheerfully.
"I have imprints of your fingernails ALL over me Bones." His smile was reminiscent of a cat with a fresh bowl of cream. "And I'm going to take digital photos with my phone next time we stop."
BACK AT THE JEFFERSONIAN
Angela stared at the Deputy Director in horror.
He had called a meeting in the Jeffersonian, and Rebecca and even Max had shown up for it. The news had been grim.
"At approximately noon yesterday, the helicopter carrying Special Agent Booth and Dr. Temperance Brennan went down in the Amazon." He'd just stated bluntly, his hands behind his back, facing them.
"No." She whispered.
Cam put her hand over her mouth and reached for Rebecca's hand. "Not again." She hissed.
Hodgins stood up. "Is there any other information? Anything we can do?" His hand was on his cell phone, ready to disperse as much of the Cantilever fortune as he needed too to find his friends.
The Deputy Director cleared his throat. "The signal disappeared completely, the only way that would happen is if the helicopter went up in flames. However, our GPS satellite did receive a request for location notice from Agent Booth's phone approximately two hours after the signal was lost. We cannot however trace his position. The Satellite only records the requests, and not the replies it sends."
"Untraceable phone." Hodgins muttered darkly.
"Could Tempe have sent the request?" Max asked hopefully.
The Deputy Director shook his head. "Only Agent Booth would know the code needed. I feel confident however, that if Dr. Brennan is alive and remains with Agent Booth, they will both be recovered alive."
Cam cleared her throat. "Booth has survived crashes in the Jungle before." She stated, her face pale. "He's rather good at it." She attempted to joke, but it fell flat in the silent room.
"So there's nothing we can do?" Angela whispered with tears in her voice. "Nothing?"
Hodgins kicked a wall in frustration.
"We have sent a recovery team out, to try and locate the crash site, but it's extremely difficult to find. The canopy cover hides any trace." The DD adjusted the papers in front of him. "I must also add that this must remain secret for the time being. We will of course keep you updated."
Everyone else nodded dumbly and the DD left the room.
"My god." Rebecca whispered to herself. "What am I going to tell Parker?"
Max pushed back his chair and stood up. "Nothing yet. As far as we know, they are both still alive."
"How can you be so sure?" Angela cried.
"My daughter is a survivor." He said, heading for the door. "Dr. Hodgins. I'd like to have a word with you in the next few days if we don't hear anything more."
Hodgins nodded with a gleam in his eye. "I'll call you."
Max nodded and left.
Sweets spoke up for the first time. "You should know that Agent Booth has an outstanding record when it comes to survival situations. His Jungle experience is unrivalled in the Bureau."
The squints all gaped at him. "How do you know?"
"I have access to his records. His level of skill is extraordinary. If Agent Booth was in charge of a war, we would definitely win." Sweets said matter of factly. "He's a veritable genius in that aspect."
Hodgins gaped. "Then why is he an FBI agent and not a dictator somewhere?"
Rebecca spoke up. "Because he hates war. He hates killing people."
Angela gave a half hearted smirk. "And he'd hate wearing a crown and robes."
All the women nodded emphatically.
"Are you hungry Bones?"
Brennan looked up from the small fire she was trying to start, a startled look on her face. "No, but I should be shouldn't I?"
He tied another sapling to the support platform, a replica of the one from the night before. "Not necessarily." He reached for another sapling. "But I think I'll see if I can catch some fish after I'm done this."
She nodded silently, focused again on trying to light the fire. Even with a lighter it was proving difficult.
Booth stepped back and admired his handiwork. Another perfect platform shelter. Maybe he should take up woodworking when he got home. He tried to picture himself in a workshop surrounded by sawdust and boards, but couldn't quite catch the image. Probably because he didn't have a workshop, he reasoned. Or even know anyone who did. The Hoover building had a bowling alley in the basement, but as far as he knew, no woodworking workshop.
Brennan cleared her throat and he turned to look at her expectantly. She'd finally got the fire started, and stabbing at it with a stick, a thoughtful look on her face.
"Do you think they've notified our families yet?" She asked casually.
He squatted down beside her, pulling the floss and a sewing needle out of one of his pockets. "Probably."
"Yeah." He bent the needle into a hook shape with his pocket-knife against a rock.
"Angela is going to be extremely upset."
He smiled slightly. "Wendell will take care of her."
"Wendell? Really? When did that happen?"
"Started with the pig I think."
"Does Hodgins know?"
He tilted his head considering. "I don't know. Frankly, I'm more worried about your Dad."
"Why would my Dad care who Angela is dating?"
Booth just looked at her silently.
"Oh." She paused, "You mean he'll be worried about me."
"Why does that worry you?"
"Cause I'd really hate it if he killed me."
Her eyes widened. "Why would he want to kill you?"
"Oh I don't know. For taking you into the Jungle. For the helicopter crashing. I'm sure he'll think of a good reason." He wound the floss through the needle and tied it firmly, holding it up for inspection.
"But that's part of my job, he can't blame you for that." She protested.
He raised an eyebrow and stood up. "Wanna bet?"
She thought about it. "No." She shook her head.
He chuckled, "That's what I thought." He dangled his makeshift fishing line in front of her nose. "You coming?"
She bit her lip. "Ok, but if your girlfriend comes back you're on your own." She got up, brushing the dirt from her knees. Not that you could tell, her pants were filthy. Cleaner than his, but still filthy.
"Now what are you smirking about Bones?" He grabbed her hand and pulled her back towards the river.
She smiled at the contact and wiggled her fingers through his. He grinned down at her, the most attractive man she'd ever met, even if he was covered in mud, slime and dried blood.
"I was just thinking."
Her smile turned smug. "I've never gotten this dirty in my life, and I'm still cleaner than you."
He looked at her and started laughing as he replied sweetly, "You have mud on your nose."
Brennan snuggled closer to Booth, sighing dreamily. He was so warm, his presence so reassuring. He mumbled in his sleep and wrapped an arm around her. She held her breath until she heard a soft snore, and then she relaxed into him, a smile on her face.
Her body felt completely numb, and heavy, like it was disconnected from her brain. It was resting. Her brain was not.
So she lay there, curled up next to him, letting her mind drift.
What would it be like to sleep next to him every night?
Wake up in his arms?
Feel him pressed up against her, inside her, loving her?
Her heart thudded and she felt the colour rise in her cheeks as her body tingled in response to the questions she was asking herself.
She took a deep breath, chiding herself. Now was not the time to be daydreaming about life with Seeley Booth. She could do that AFTER they got home. Right now, right this minute she should be sleeping, recharging her brain, so it would be at it's utmost efficiency. So SHE would be.
She told herself to go sleep, and cleared her mind focusing on matching her breathing to his…..
The sun was warm on her face, and a bird was singing nearby. She moved slightly, trying to wake up.
"Don't wiggle like that." A sleepy Booth mumbled in her ear, his breath tickling her cheek.
He pulled her closer to him again.
She opened one eye and looked around, before forcing the other open as well. "Booth. It's morning."
He slid his hand under her shirt and over her stomach gently. "Morning?"
She let the butterflies in her stomach flutter happily for a moment before turning her head to see him.
His eyes were closed, dark lashes fanned against his cheeks. He was asleep still. She studied him.
He needed to shave.
She reached out a tentative finger and traced it along his jaw feeling his stubble grate against her skin.
A brown eye opened, focused on her and closed again. A smile grew on his lips. "Morning Bones."
She pulled back her hand embarrassed.
He shifted against her, rubbing her stomach lazily. "This is nice."
"Yes." She whispered.
He pulled his hand off her and turned onto his back, looking up at what little they could see of the sky. "I suppose we should get busy." He remarked.
Her jaw dropped. "What?" She squeaked in shock.
"Well you don't want to stay here all day do you?" He turned his head to look at her, noting her flushed face. He smirked. "You want me." he stated teasingly.
She sat up and climbed down off the shelter. "You're right." She paused tantalisingly, before adding, "We should go. The days a wasting!"
BACK AT THE JEFFERSONIAN
"Ok people!" Cam waved them over. "I've got an update from the DD. Booth's phone is still sending requests for location, approximately every six hours."
Hodgins frowned. "There should be a way to get a location pinpointed somehow, despite it being an untraceable phone. I've got my feelers out, but so far no one has come up with anything."
"Yeah, well, they ARE a bunch of conspiracy nuts." Angela reminded him.
He sent her a dirty look.
"PEOPLE." Cam shouted.
They turned to look at her again still murmuring.
"They've located the crash site."
The area fell silent as everyone held their breath.
Max drummed his fingers on the coffee lounge table, where he'd been sitting for the last two hours.
"The helicopter managed to strip all the branches off one side of a tree on it's way down. They would never have found it otherwise. It's pretty torched, the engine exploded on contact, but they only found one body." She paused for breath, looking around at them all. "The pilot was killed during the crash." She swallowed. "There is no sign of Booth or Brennan." Suddenly a smile lit up her face. "They're alive. Both of them."
Someone cheered, and Angela breathed a sigh of relief.
"Now they just have to get out of the Jungle." Max whispered to himself.
"But they're both ALIVE! That's great news!" Hodgins said happily. "Now we can DO something! Angela, can you pull up a map of the area around the crash site?"
Angela nodded. "I think so."
Cam smiled at Hodgins. "I see what you're thinking. We can estimate their most likely path."
Hodgins grinned. "They'll head for a river if there is one nearby. They'll follow it up or down to the nearest settlement."
Angela snapped her fingers. "Of course! They'll be heading towards the original landing spot. Brennan will still want to identify the remains."
Max smirked. "She always was stubborn."
Cam clapped her hands together. "Ok people, lets get busy!"
"Booth, why do you keep checking your GPS? We know where we are. We just have to follow the river."
He turned off the cell phone again, trying to save the battery. "The satellite records requests for location." He explained. "Not the location itself, but the request. By sending a new request every six or seven hours, at least they'll know we're alive."
"What else can your phone do? Call mars?"
"There are no cell phone receivers on Mars, Bones. And who would I phone there anyways?"
Booth plugged his ears. "LALALALALA."
She hit him on the arm. "What are you doing?"
"Keeping Hodgins' conspiracy theories out of my brain. I can only digest those with beer." He waved an arm around, "Do you see any beer? Nope."
"But don't you ever wonder if he's right?"
He looked at her in disbelief. "Hodgins is a great guy Bones, I like him, but I only believe what he says when there is a Latin name combined with the words particulates, slime, bugs, beetles, larvae, or mould involved." He waved a finger at her. "Beside's, he shouldn't talk about that stuff. It's highly classified." He winked.
Her eyes widened. "Booth! I'm telling Hodgins you said that!"
He groaned. "No, don't. That's the last thing we need. He'll never leave me alone."
She stopped for a drink, handing the canteen to Booth when she was done. "How much longer till we reach the settlement on the map?"
He looked at the sky, judging the light. "Depending on how far we get today, maybe tomorrow. Hard to say Bones. We should just get as far as we can."
Booth was just about to suggest they stop and make camp for the night when he heard it…. Someone coming down the river, singing loudly in an American voice.
An American voice that he recognized.
He lifted his fingers to his mouth and blew an ear-splitting whistle. The singing paused, and a canoe came around the bend in the river. Booth ran down to the water's edge waving, a grin on his face. "Your singing hasn't improved in 10 years, that's for sure!" He yelled.
A laugh echoed over to them. "Seeley Booth, you son-of-a-gun. Hasn't someone killed you yet?" The man yelled back, heading towards them.
Brennan stared in amazement at the newcomer, before switching her stare to Booth. "We're in the middle of the Amazon, and you just happen to know the first person we see in DAYS?"
He shrugged. "Weirder things have happened."
Brennan shook her head. "Unbelievable."
The canoe beached beside them, and the man got out. He was nearly as tall as Booth, with a shock of red hair that stood out from his head, and sharp blue eyes. His shook Booths hand and slapped him on the back. "Only you could turn up in the middle of the Jungle with a beautiful woman." He joked.
Booth smirked. "Charlie, this is my partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan."
She added quickly, "Of the Jeffersonian Institute."
Charlie gave Booth a glance. "I know. Do you think I was taking that canoe for a joyride? You've got some smart friends Booth. There I was sitting in my little radio shack at the settlement, when I get a direct radio call from a Jack Hodgins, who insists that two of his friends crashed in a helicopter and were strolling up the river towards me. I should have guessed it would be you. You turn up in the weirdest places, disturbing my peace and quiet." He pretended to whine.
Booth raised his eyebrows and smirked. "You believed him? Charlie, that's not like you."
"It was a DIRECT call Booth. The government doesn't give my number out to just anyone you know. Besides, your lady's old man said if I didn't find you two he'd slash me in two and feed me to the jaguars." he deadpanned.
Booth started laughing. "Yep that sounds about right."
Brennan just blinked. Hodgins and her dad had teamed up. Probably all of them had. They'd need Angela's help to figure out the map, Hodgins money to get the numbers, and possibly even her dad's connections. She shuddered, and got back to the present.
"I suggest we get going then, if that canoe will hold the three of us, I have remains to identify." She declared.
Charlie looked affronted. "Of course it will hold us all. Get in."
Brennan stared around the small circle of huts with interest as she climbed out of the canoe.
Charlie and Booth dragged the canoe up out of the water, and headed towards one of the huts, which she then noticed had a radio tower sticking up through the roof. She followed.
"I'll get on the horn and notify the FBI you wandered in. I think we should leave your friends out of it if we can."
Booth nodded. "How long till we can get out of here?"
Charlie made a face. "Supply plane due in on the morning after next, you might be able to hitch a ride to the main settlement if there is enough room."
"That long?" Brennan said in surprise.
"This isn't exactly a metropolis. That's the best I can do. Booth crashed the bush helicopter." Charlie pointed out.
"Hey! I did not, I was no where near the controls." Booth protested.
Charlie sneered. "Everybody knows that you're bad luck for helicopters Booth." He turned to Brennan, "It's because all airplanes are female you know, and he makes the helicopters dizzy and then they fall right out of the sky." He made a nose diving motion with his hand. "That's what, three or four you've wrecked now?"
Booth rolled his eyes. "War doesn't count. Only two civilian crafts." he muttered, but his eyes twinkled at Brennan.
Brennan laughed. "He has similar difficulties with amorous Anaconda's as well."
"Yeah now you think it's funny." Booth said. "She climbed me like a tree to get away from it, you want to see the marks her nails left?" He pretended he was going to take off his shirt.
Brennan smacked him on the arm, and Charlie pointed to the door. "Get out. I've got calls to make. Go make out or something. The small local tribe is on a hunting trip, but you can stay in my shack tonight."
Booth ushered Brennan out before she could request her own room, not realising that she had no intention of doing so. They were still awfully close to the river, she reasoned to herself. The snake might come back.
"Hey Booth!" Charlie hollered after them. "Take a bath and shave man, you look like a cave dweller!"
Brennan giggled as Booth snorted.
"You kind of do, you know."
He slowly checked her out, his eyes lingering. "You should get a look at yourself, paper bag princess."
She swallowed back a retort as her body temperature rose a few notches, and he grinned devilishly.
"Let's get cleaned up for dinner shall we?"
Brennan held up the small mirror and stared at her reflection in horror. She made a choking noise, and Booth's arm reached around her, taking the mirror away.
"My turn." Hey whispered into her ear.
He held up the mirror and took a look. "Wow. I really do look like a caveman." He stroked his chin. "I kind of like the beard look though. What do you think?"
She blinked a couple of times and frowned. "I hardly think your superiors at the FBI would be impressed Booth, I'm sure it must be against the dress code."
He squinted at her. "I asked what YOU thought."
She shrugged. "I dislike bearded men in suits."
His eyebrows went up. "Even Santa Claus?"
"Kris Kringle is dead Booth. You were there, remember?"
He rolled his eyes and gave her back the mirror. "Go take a bath Bones."
She smiled in anticipation.
She'd never looked so forward to a bath.
Sure it was only an old fashioned tin bath, but it was full of water, there was soap, a towel, and best of all, no snakes.
She pulled off her shirt and threw it to the floor, then reached back to unclasp her bra, letting it drop down her shoulders till it too, fell to the floor.
Booth made a strangled noise and fled the hut.
Brennan shrugged and pulled off her pants, underwear, and socks, before stepping into the tub and sinking down into the water with a heartfelt sigh. Bliss.
Booth pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it next to the river, his pants and boxers followed, and then he ran into the water, diving underneath the surface. Coming up for air, he scrubbed at his face with his hands.
She had a beautiful back, her waist nipped in just right, and his hands had begged to caress her and feel her softness.
He had to get a grip.
He swam up to the beach again and pulled a small piece of soap from the pocket of his pants. Retreating back into waist deep water, he started scrubbing himself vigorously.
He'd already set out a pair of Charlie's shorts and a shirt for himself, knowing from experience that once Brennan got into the bath, it took murder or cold water to get her out before she was ready.
He made quick work of cleaning up, then got out and put on the borrowed clothes. The shirt was a bit tight, but the shorts fit alright, thanks to Charlie's penchant for oversized clothing. He rubbed his fingers on his jaw again, and headed for the hut.
He really needed to shave.
Brennan frowned. The tub was full of bubbles, and now she needed to rinse her hair. How was she going to do this?
The blanket that covered the door of the hut was shoved aside and Booth strode in, his hands over his eyes. "I need the mirror Bones. Direct me to it please."
She giggled. "Take your hands of your eyes Booth, it's ok."
He pulled his hands away and looked around, spotting both her and the mirror at the same time. "Bones!" he closed his eyes. "You're still in the tub!"
"Yes. The bubbles cover me sufficiently if that's what you are worried about."
He opened his eyes. "Ok." He headed for the mirror.
"I need to rinse my hair."
"I'm just getting the mirror, and then I'll be gone."
"No?" He paused, his eyes wide. "What do you mean no?"
"I mean I need your help. I need you to dump a bucket of water on my head so I can rinse off."
His heart missed a beat, while he envisioned her rising from the foam like Aphrodite.
His mind snapped back, alert. "Yes. I will…. Just go fill up the bucket and be right back…stay there." He picked up the bucket and hurried out the makeshift door.
Brennan raised an eyebrow. "Where else would I go?" She looked perplexed. Then she smiled slightly. That shirt he was wearing was really tight. It looked good. She wondered what would happen if he flexed his muscles. Would the shirt tear open?
She was immersed in speculation about the probabilities of his shirt tearing open when a bucket full of water started dumping on her head.
She flailed her arms and shrieked.
"Sorry. I thought you ready." Booth said innocently, an unholy gleam in his eyes.
She gasped for air. "I am now." She sat up. "Try again, but slower please."
He did as she asked and she rinsed her hair out carefully, before standing up and reaching for the towel.
Booth forgot to breath.
He stood there holding the bucket up, his eyes wide, and his mouth open.
She wrapped herself in the towel and stepped out of the tub carefully, grabbing Booth's shoulder for support.
He swallowed, but showed no other signs of life.
She flipped her hair out of her eyes and looked at him, trying not to laugh.
His eyes remained fixed on the towel, and his jaw snapped shut. He reached for her, pulling her over to stand in front of him. His eyes had turned coal black.
She smirked up at him. "You alright Booth?"
"No." He shook his head. "You did that on purpose."
"You shouldn't tease, Bones." He warned her softly. "You might not be able to handle it."
She gave him an unbelieving look. "I can take care.."
His mouth stopped hers, his lips hard against her own, brushing them open, his tongue was in her mouth… and then suddenly, he was gone.
And so was her towel.
She stood there, breathing heavily, staring at nothing.
Finally she moved, reaching for the clothes she was to put on. That was the most amazing kiss she'd ever had. She hadn't even noticed when he took the towel off.
She nodded to herself, the man had skills.
Charlie looked over at Booth and wiggled his eyebrows. "Problems in paradise?"
Booth was sitting on a chair, the mirror in one hand, a bowl of water balanced on his knees, his knife in the other hand and shaving foam on his face. He looked up, his knife an inch from his throat, ready for the first scrape. "No. Why?"
"Because you're in my workplace, with a knife to your throat." Charlie said, smiling.
Booth narrowed his eyes and dragged the knife blade along his jaw before turning back to the mirror, and continuing to shave in silence.
Charlie watched him, shaking his head with laughter. "You're an animal Booth. You can't even hide that when you shave."
"It's a knife, so what?"
"It's an eight inch blade, that could, and probably has, sliced a throat or two."
"You want me to make it three?" Booth held the knife suggestively, a dark smile on his lips.
Charlie laughed and turned back to his radio machines. "No, who would be around to rescue you next time your helicopter falls out of the sky?"
Booth rolled his eyes. "You never were any fun Charlie."
"Nope. Not me." He stabbed some buttons, turned a dial, flipped the switch and plugged the headphones into a speaker setup before speaking into the mike. "Cantaliver1?"
Hodgins voice came through the speaker. "Cantilever1 here. Believe me now?"
"Affirmative Cantiliever1, you owe me a Porsche. Subjects located about ten miles down river, healthy and whole, except for some interesting stitches on my old buddy's head, which look like dental floss, and the fact he's in here shaving with an eight inch knife blade, all is well."
"Wait, you know Booth?"
Hodgins laugh filled the room.
Booth shook his head in silence.
Brennan walked through the door with a puzzled look on her face. "Did I just hear Hodgins laugh?"
Booth pointed with his knife towards Charlie.
Brennan took in the scene. "Can I say Hi?"
Charlie flicked his eyes from her to Booth. "No comment on the animal in the corner shaving?"
"Though I agree that Booth can be quite animalistic at times, he really is quite civilized. The knife is an acceptable option as a shaving device considering the circumstances. I approve." She held her hand out for the mike. "May I?"
Booth snickered at the disbelieving look on Charlie's face.
Charlie handed her the mike and turned to Booth shaking his head in amazement. "Where did you find her? She's perfect for you!"
Brennan and Booth looked at each other in surprise and then hurriedly turned away from each other.
"Dr. Brennan, is that you?"
"Yes Hodgins. It is me. Can you please tell my father not to kill anybody? Particularly anybody who works for the government."
"I will pass on the message. Everything Ok there?"
"Yes Hodgins, Booth and I are fine. We're waiting for the next supply plane, and then hopefully we can get a ride to the next settlement so I can identify the remains."
"Anything we can do from here?"
"No. Yes. Keep my father from killing anyone. And I don't want to see him here either."
"Will do, Dr. B."
"Oh, and Hodgins?"
"Hey, no problem. Can I ask a question?"
"Is Booth really shaving with an eight inch knife blade?"
Brennan looked at Booth again. "No. He's done now. He did an excellent job, I don't see a single cut."
"Can he hear me?"
"Yes Hodgins, we can hear you perfectly." She waited expectantly.
"You're the MAN Booth! You're so going to have to demonstrate when you get back here."
Booth's shoulders drooped. "Any chance of a job opening?" he hissed to Charlie, who was doubled over in silent laughter.
Brennan glared at Booth.
He sighed and got up, carefully putting the bowl on the floor and the knife back in it's sheath before walking over and taking the mike from her. "You'll have to get me drunk first."
"I can do that."
"We'll see you soon Hodgins."
"Cantilever1 signing off."
Booth clicked off the machine and rubbed his stomach. "I'm hungry. Got any beer?"
"No. Canned stew though." Charlie caught his breath. "Getting kinda low on supplies."
"Stew is good enough for me. Bones?"
"I don't eat meat."
Charlie rolled his eyes and headed towards the door. "Well in that case, there is also some canned potatoes and peas."
Brennan smiled. "Thank you Charlie."
"Great news everyone! I just talked to them both, they're fine!" Hodgins yelled as he came leaping down the stairs.
"That's great." Cam shut her eyes in relief. "I feel so much better now. I'll phone Rebecca." She pulled out her phone.
Angela relaxed her worried stance and smiled. "They're ok? Are they bumping uglies yet? We need some champagne!" She raced off to find some.
Max walked over to Hodgins with a hopeful look on his face. "Did she say anything for me?"
"Yeah." Hodgins laughed quietly, "She said to tell you, not to kill anyone, and not to go to Peru."
"Nobody?" Max pouted playfully, pleased that his daughter had sent him any message at all.
Angela cam back with a bottle of champagne. "Glasses up everyone! Wendell, can you grab my glass please?"
He reached for it and held it up for her to fill as she walked around the room. Hodgins studied him. He liked Wendell. But he still hoped Angela would end it quickly.
He wanted his baby back.
Brennan stretched out beside Booth and pulled the mosquito netting down, tucking it in carefully. She rolled over onto her back and stared upwards at the wispy folds surrounding them.
"Booth?" She whispered, not sure if he was sleeping or not. She'd had to get up and go to the bathroom, and she hadn't really been sleeping anyways. She couldn't. Every time she closed her eyes she remembered their kiss.
His eyes opened reluctantly. "What?"
"Obviously Bones. Is that all you wanted?" His voice sounded tired.
"No." She whispered. She turned her head towards him slightly. "What did Charlie mean?"
Booth rolled over onto his side, facing her. "When?" His brow was furrowed.
"When he said that I'm perfect for you. I don't understand." She sounded confused and a little wistful.
He sighed. "Charlie says a lot of things Bones. You shouldn't put much stock into anything that comes out of his mouth."
"But he seems to know you very well Booth. Better than I do."
Booth touched her chin gently. "He knew me a long time ago Bones, and nobody knows me better than you do."
"Well, for one thing…He doesn't know about Parker.. And he doesn't know I like pie."
Brennan looked pleased. "Or that you don't like eggs in your meatloaf?"
"That's right." Booth smiled at her softly, glad he'd dodged the bullet.
"So what did he mean?" She returned back to her original question stubbornly.
Booth groaned silently and rolled onto his back again. She wasn't going to let up till he answered. He folded his arms behind his head and closed his eyes. "He meant that we would make a good couple Bones. Because you don't freak out when I shoot someone, or care how many lives I've taken, or think I'm nuts when I shave with a knife blade. You like what I do for a living, and you understand the time commitments of my job." He waited for a response.
She raised herself up on her elbow and studied his face. "Oh." She thought for a minute, just watching him, admiring the way his hair fell onto his forehead. "I have to concur." She decided finally.
His eyes flew open, and she kissed him softly on the cheek. "Goodnight Booth."
He lay there, staring up at the netting, a big stupid smile on his face.
"Hey Bones!" Booth walked over to where she was sitting on a rough hewn chair, reading a paperback Charlie had had stashed away.
She looked up. "Yes?"
He held the last half of chocolate bar out to her. "Here. It's kinda melty."
Her eyes lit up. "I love melted chocolate." She put the book down and took the chocolate bar, tearing the foil down the center and biting into the gooey chocolate. She closed her eyes in ecstasy. "mmmmm."
Booth's eyes widened. If she ever went after him like she did that chocolate bar he was doomed. He'd be shackled and married before he even knew what happened. He smiled at the thought. Not that he'd mind.
She glanced up at him, licking the chocolate off her lips. "Why are you smiling?"
"Because you're cute."
She raised an eyebrow and went back to eating the chocolate bar. He sauntered down to the river with his clothes, and started washing them, scrubbing them against each other, pausing now and then to check and see if they were any cleaner.
When she was done the chocolate bar she went down and crouched beside him, washing her hands in the river.
"Is it working?" She leaned over to inspect the t-shirt he held up.
He tilted his head. "Not really. But's it better than it was. Charlie's got some kind of natural cleaner he said I could use, I just want to get the worst off first." He put the shirt on the ground and started on his pants.
"That's a good idea. I'll go get mine and join you." She stood up, and sashayed towards the hut, feeling his eyes on her, watching her walk.
"Are you looking at my gluteus maximus?" She called back over her shoulder with a saucy grin.
"Yup." He called back. "Although Charlie's shorts don't do much for it. It looks WAY better in my FBI sweats."
She laughed, a girlish giggle he hadn't heard before.
She was flirting with him.
He smiled to himself.
It felt good to be the one on the receiving end.
Charlie looked up at him with a harassed expression. "Booth, stop pacing. You're driving me nuts."
Booth sighed and picked up a snow globe, shaking it up and then watching the fake snow drift down around the picture perfect house. "Why do you have this?"
"To remind me of home you dork."
"You live in the North Pole?" Booth teased.
"Huh. Touchy aren't you. What's this?" Booth held up a crumpled bit of fake greenery.
Charlie grinned. "Mistletoe."
Booth raised an eyebrow. "Mistletoe? Pretty ragged."
Charlie reached for it, but Booth held it away.
"If you smooth it out it regains it's original shape." Charlie sighed. Booth in this mood was hard to handle.
"Get much use of it out here?"
Charlie smirked. "You'd be surprised old man."
Booth looked at the mistletoe with new appreciation. "Can I borrow it?"
"Will you leave me alone?"
"Take it and get lost."
Booth smiled and backed out of the hut, waving the mistletoe around in the air teasingly.
Now to find Bones.
She was resting in the same place as before, reading the book. By the looks of it, she was almost done.
She turned the page and sighed. This was not her usual choice of reading material. The plot was wholly unrealistic.
A shadow fell over her, and she looked up to see Booth, holding something behind his back.
"Something. I'll show it to you if you follow me."
"Is it chocolate?"
"It's better than chocolate."
"I sincerely doubt it, but very well." She put the book down and got up.
He led her a short ways into the jungle, into a shaded emerald green oasis. Then he stopped and turned around, standing right in front of her, facing her.
She stopped abruptly, inches from his chest. She looked up, her eyes narrowed. "Can I see it now?"
"Close your eyes."
"Please Bones?" He used his puppy dog eyes expression.
She sighed. "Fine."
She closed her eyes, and he held the mistletoe over her head. "Ok." he whispered. "You can look now."
She opened her eyes and looked up.
"You're under the mistletoe Bones." He leaned in and touched his lips to hers softly.
"It's the wrong time of the year for mistletoe." She murmured, leaning in towards him.
"Does it matter?"
"No. Kiss me again."
He did, and she entwined her arms around his neck, raising up on her tiptoes. All around them the birds sang, and time slowed to a standstill as their tongues met and experienced each other.
He held her tight against him, his heart thudding in his chest so loud it sounded like a drum band. He'd waited so long for this, a first kiss, not born of anger, or puckishness, but of love.
He savoured it.
Brennan couldn't believe this was happening.
How long had she wished for this?
Dreamed of it?
Fought herself about it.
With the first gentle touch of his lips, she knew it was useless to deny it to herself anymore. She loved him. Was IN love with him.
The thought terrified her, but his hands, his mouth, his tongue… They numbed her flight instinct until she was begging for more.
He felt a tremor pass through her, and he held her closer, running his hand up her back to cup the back of her head, fingers threading through her hair, pulling her head back so he could run tiny kisses down her throat.
She moaned, and her hands clutched at his shoulders, pulling at his shirt.
He laughed softly. The mistletoe lay forgotten on the ground where he'd dropped it.
She bit softly at his earlobe, and he straightened, returning to her mouth, delving into her with a thoroughness which made her knees weak.
Lord, but the man could kiss.
This is what Angela had meant, when she said that he would be dynamite.
When she closed her eyes she could see the fireworks in her brain.
He paused, his breathing heavy.
She looked up into his dark eyes with an unfocused questioning look.
"Do you hear that?"
"Drums?" She whispered in surprise.
Someone snickered behind them.
Booth spun around, putting Brennan behind him protectively.
A tribesman smiled at them. "I won't hurt you. You visiting Charlie?"
Booth relaxed slightly, his cheeks still flushed. "Yes. Our helicopter crashed."
"Yes. Bring your pretty woman back, we are having a feast tonight. The hunting was very good."
Booth nodded, and the man disappeared into the foliage as silently as he'd appeared.
Booth turned to find Brennan beside him. He wrapped his arms around her and gave her a quick kiss. "We'll have to finish this another time I'm afraid."
He rested his forehead against hers. "What?"
She pulled him down so she could whisper in his ear. "I think…no." She paused, and he stiffened. "I know.. I love you." She buried her head in his shoulder so she didn't have to see his face.
He felt dizzy.
He pulled her head back away from him, and looked at her panic stricken face. She was telling the truth. Of course. Brennan always told the truth.
He ran his thumb over her cheek. "I love you too. Don't be scared Bones. I'll love you till I die." He whispered.
Her face cleared, and she took a deep shuddering breath.
"They're waiting for us. Every tribal community has it's own feast rituals and ceremonies, this should be very interesting."
He smiled, and let her retreat into her favourite subject. "Ok, Bones let's go watch."
He stooped to pick up the mistletoe, shoving it into his pocket, and led her back to the settlement, his arm around her waist.
As the sunlight flooded the clearing, Booth looked down and Brennan, drowsing in his arms. Her eyelashes flickered and she smiled up at him.
"That was the most wonderful feast I have been to in a long time."
"Kinda reminded me of Christmas at my uncle Pat's actually."
She frowned. "Your uncle Pat was part of a tribe? You never told me that."
He shook his head. "I meant how they lasted all night and no one was allowed to go to bed until dawn."
"Yeah." He played with a strand of her hair. "This was a lot more civilized now that I think of it though. The fighting was all fake. At Uncle Pat's it wasn't."
She looked up at him concerned. "I'm sorry Booth."
"Why?" He smiled gently. "I wasn't the one getting beat on. Us kids used to go hide under the Christmas tree and doze. Except that one time, when Jared knocked the tree down trying to smuggle his new dump truck under it too. It was as big as him."
"What happened then?"
"Aunt Sue blamed it on Uncle Phillip and us kids scampered. I liked Aunt Sue. She was a real doll."
"Dolls aren't real Booth, they are playthings.."
He put his hand over her mouth. "Too literal."
She touched her tongue to the center of his palm and his hand flew off as he jumped. "Bones!"
She laughed delightedly.
"I hate to interupt this touching moment.." Charlie drawled, "But your flight is due to land in half an hour. Better get ready, unless you want to stay for a couple weeks. We could have another feast!"
Brennan sat up and stretched.
Booth raised an eyebrow. "You drank all the whiskey didn't you Charlie?"
"Yesshir! Couldn't let that fine stuff go to waste you know." He giggled theatrically with a wink. "Actually it's the prospect of supplies that's got me giddy. It's like my birthday, every time the plane comes."
Booth stood up. "Well then, I'd better get changed. You're going to want your clothes back." He walked off towards the hut, Brennan at his side.
Together they stood at the edge of the so-called runway, watching the tiny plane bounce towards them.
"Are you ready to try this again?" Booth said, offering his arm like an English Gentleman.
"Yes." Brennan laced her arm through his. "Yes, Sir Seeley, I believe I am."
They walked towards the plane, which was now being unloaded with great speed, cheers going up over various boxes of goodies. Soon they were climbing aboard, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, tattered and torn, but at least they were clean, and the miscellaneous objects in Booth's pockets.
"Unidentified Corpse, here we come." Booth buckled up his seatbelt.
Brennan frowned. "I prefer the term unidentified remains. It's much more respectful towards the deceased."
"Corpse has a more graphic ring to it Bones." He folded his hands in his lap and tilted his head towards her, a beautiful smile on his face.
She leaned towards him in a similar pose. "I've seen lots of remains that were so decomposed they didn't even resemble a corpse."
The pilot chuckled. "Are you two going to make out?"
They stared into each other's eyes. "Yes," they said together, just before their lips touched in a passionate kiss.
"Thank God." The pilot mumbled, focusing on his dials. "Because all that talk about dead people was making me feel ill."
The plane touched down on the slightly bigger runway and shivered before coasting down to the small crowd of people waiting for it eagerly.
As soon as the door was opened, a portly man in archaeological gear stuck his head in, closely followed by his arm. "Dr. Brennan! Very nice to meet you! So glad you survived the wreck, very unfortunate, yes it was, I'm Dr. Percy Whiltshire, and I'm so glad to meet your acquaintance at last, your last article on the reconstructing of firearm projectiles by the scarring caused during penetration was truly fascinating!" He thrust his hand towards her as he spoke in a rapid, adoring voice.
Booth's eyes widened and he reached an arm out, pushing the moustachioed man back out of the airplane, and stepping out after him, and standing in front of the airplane door, his arms folded across his chest. "Give the lady some space."
The man gaped at Booth's size, a good eleven inches taller than himself, and apologized profusely. "I'm terribly sorry, I'm just so excited you see, It's not often I get to meet such a superstar of the Anthropological field!"
Booth smirked, and looked over his shoulder at Brennan, who was just stepping down from the plane. "You're a superstar Bones."
She smiled proudly. "So I heard." She walked around to stand at Booth's side, studying the little man curiously. "Dr. Wiltshire. What's your practice?"
The doctor's eyes widened in pleasure. "I'm a medical doctor ma'am, I mean Miss, Dr. Brennan. And a keen follower of the forensic field, of course. I've read all your books."
Brennan nodded politely. "This is Special Agent Booth, " She motioned at Booth, "My partner. I wonder if you might look at his scalp wound when you get a chance, I did stitch it up, and it appears to be healing satisfactorily, but I would appreciate.."
The doctor interrupted. "Yes, of course, it would be my pleasure. Are you the man the character is based on?" He tried to see the wound by bouncing a little, but couldn't. "You're going to have to sit down."
Booth looked at Brennan with a raised eyebrow and an amused grin. He liked the vivacious little doctor.
Brennan was looking at the doctor with a thoughtful look. "Yes, the character is based on Agent Booth. All the other characters and circumstances are entirely fictional though." She pointed towards the tents and huts in the clearing. "Perhaps there is somewhere over there where Booth can sit so you can examine him."
"Of course! Right this way!" The little doctor bustled off.
Booth's jaw had dropped, but he now wrapped his arm around her waist and walked with her, following the doctor. "Admitting it at last!" he mumbled to her.
She shrugged. "I see no point in denying it anymore, do you?"
He grinned proudly. "I always knew it was me anyways, just nice to hear it out loud, that's all."
She rolled her eyes and pointed to where the doctor was dragging a chair out of the center hut, one of the largest, with a chalkboard sign saying "The Doctor is In." He placed the chair just so, and disappeared back into the hut, returning in a second with a small collapsible trolley, on which he'd put a giant bottle of antiseptic, and a few tools that Booth recognized glumly.
His shoulders straightened glumly. "This is gonna hurt, isn't it."
Brennan leaned against him, purring seductively into his ear, "I'll make it feel all better later."
He moved his head so their mouths were nearly touching. "Promise?" His voice was husky.
She brushed her lips against his gently. "Yes, it's a promise."
He turned to look at the doctor, who was standing behind the chair beaming at them happily. "Fine, let's get this over with." He sat down in the chair and stretched his legs out in front of him, his arms once again folded across his chest.
The doctor clapped his hands gleefully. "Let's see what we have here." He snapped on a pair of gloves and gently prodded at the wound.
"Interesting stitches Dr. Brennan. What did you use?"
She tried to look over his shoulder and he shooed her away with his hands.
"It's floss." Booth supplied in a bored voice.
"Very interesting. And the antiseptic?" The doctors face was serious as he did the examination.
"Whiskey." Brennan said, slightly peeved she wasn't being allowed to assist.
The doctor paused. "Internal or external?"
Booth smiled. "Both."
"Excellent. A good year?"
Brennan looked confused, but Booth just chuckled. "Whiser's best."
"Excellent, excellent." The doctor picked up a tool and applied to Booth's scalp, tugging on the stitches slightly. "I'm going to remove these. Hold still."
Booth froze obediently, and Brennan leaned forward again to watch.
A few minutes and a few splashes of antiseptic later, and the Doctor pronounced Booth as good as new. "Or as good as can be anyways, you could do with some more practise Dr. Brennan, but it's healed quite well, and the scar should be covered by Agent Booth's hair, as the others are."
Brennan looked affronted. "There is usually no flesh on the people I work with." She declared huffily, before leaning in again. "Which other scars?"
Booth stood up. "Show and tell's over folks. Which way to the corpse?"
"Remains." The Doctor and Brennan said in unison.
Booth rolled his eyes, and the Doctor bustled off again in a different direction. "This way please!"
The doctor stood bouncing on his toes impatiently next to a well worn trail. "This way please."
Brennan frowned. "You left the remains in situ? Animals could have compromised them further!"
The doctor beamed. "No, no, we moved them very carefully! The locals… They don't like death on the doorstep so to speak. Bad luck, spirits, karma, what have you."
Booth looked perplexed. "I thought we don't like it when the corpse is moved?" He whispered to Brennan.
She followed the doctor down the trail. "Better to have some remains to identify than none at all." She pointed out. "The wildlife here is very thorough."
Booth nodded and fell into line behind her, using the time to admire the way her hips moved when she walked. Soon, he'd be able to have those hips under his hands…
She stopped suddenly, and he bumped into her, grabbing her arms so she didn't go sprawling to the ground. "Bones? Why'd you stop? You alright?"
She pointed at the doctor.
Booth looked past her and stared in amazement at the stone structure. It looked like a tomb crossed with an outhouse. The doctor stood in front, unlocking the door and pulling it open.
"Come in! Welcome to the Jungle morgue!" Doctor Wiltshire smiled triumphantly and waved them inside.
"This looks like something out of a horror film." Booth muttered.
Brennan went in and looked around in surprise. A skylight in the roof let natural light fill the rectangular room. A small stove in one corner had a chimney that ran up through the roof, and there were two covered medical tables, one on each side of the room.
"One moment please, I will go turn on the generator." The doctor disappeared around the outside of the building.
Booth stuck his head in and looked around. "Romantic."
Brennan pointed to the tables suggestively, wiggling her eyebrows.
Booth tried to stifle a laugh and ended up making a choking sound instead, which made Brennan giggle.
"You're such a prude Booth!" She whispered.
A low hum filled the air, and a set of lights blinked on.
The doctor appeared at the doorway. "There we go. Now, if you will just open that drawer there.." He pointed to a small cabinet. "And hand us all some gloves, we can get started."
Brennan opened the door and pulled out three pairs of gloves. "We?" She questioned.
The doctor smiled. "I appreciate that you usually work alone, but I think that Agent Booth and I can be of service assistance wise." He pulled the cover off the table gently, revealing what was left of a skeleton.
Booth chuckled to himself at the look on Brennan's face when the corpse was revealed. "Not such a prude now, am I?" He mouthed to her.
She glared at him and snapped on her gloves.
The doctor moved to the other table and pulled the cover off it, revealing another skeleton.
Brennan frowned. "I was informed there was only one set of remains."
Booth cleared his throat. "Actually, we're here to identify one person. One of these two. That's why you're here Bones. One of these…..people.. Is getting shipped home for burial. You just have to figure out which one."
She gritted her teeth. "You couldn't have told me that before?"
"You never asked. And then we crashed…" Booth shrugged.
The doctor pulled out a drawer on the table revealing medical instruments and paraphernalia. "I suggest we get to work. How are you at puzzles Agent Booth?"
Booth frowned. "I'm great, why?"
The doctor held up a bottle of Elmer's glue. "Subject A needs a bit of reconstruction done.
"But I don't usually…"
"It really would be a great help Booth, with no kit, no access to the lab.. I think you've seen me do it enough times, I trust you to do a good job." Brennan bent over the other set of remains, aligning the bones, checking if there were any missing.
Booth sighed and took the bottle of glue over to the other medical table. A stool sat nearby, and he pulled it over and got to work. He should have lied and said he was horrible at puzzles, but if Bones needed his help….
Brennan closed her eyes and rolled her shoulders. It always amazed her how stiff she got from "getting into the zone" as Booth put it. She glanced over at him.
It was quite the picture. He sat there, patiently gluing together chunks of skull, nothing moving but his eyes as he searched out the next piece, matching edges and notches in his mind. The fact that he could be so still amazed her, usually he was a bundle of tightly reined energy.
She pursed her lips. He must be in some kind "zone" as well. He'd mentioned the sniper zone he used to get into. Maybe he had accessed that.
Her gaze drifted down. His shirt still had blood stains on it, his jacket looked like it belonged to a homeless person, and his pants….His pants had been shredded almost to the knee by the time they met up with Charlie, so after washing them, Booth had taken his knife to them, cutting them into shorts that ended at his knees.
She'd seen him in a tux, and she'd seen him in a bathing suit, but for some reason unfathomable to her, he'd never looked as unbelievably attractive as he did now, sitting there in rags, calmly piecing someone's skull together.
He looked up at her and smiled. "Want to inspect?"
She blushed. "What?"
He took in her blush and knew she hadn't been thinking about work. His smile grew. "My abilities." He stated, watching her blush deepen.
Her eyes dropped involuntarily to his waist.
"My puzzle abilities Bones." His smile was positively wicked. It was a good thing the little doctor had gone off to get a verbal report of their diplomats medical history. Booth had had a copy, but like everything else, it burnt in the helicopter. The red in Brennan's cheeks would have left no one in doubt about what she was thinking.
She took a deep breath and walked over to him. "Yes. Your puzzle abilities. Of course." She looked over his shoulder, and then blinked.
He'd neatly arranged all the pieces in rows, grouping sections that fit together.
"You're really very good at this Booth. I should get you doing this at the lab." She leaned forward to look at the bits he'd already glued.
He snorted. "No thanks. I'm not a squint remember? I've got better…" He paused. "Well, I've got other stuff to do. FBI stuff."
Her eyes shifted to his. "Like sleep on my couch?"
"You should join me some time. Might be fun." He teased.
Her cheeks flushed again, and his eyes darkened. "You've thought about it haven't you?"
She turned her face to his, noting the eye colour change and the quickness of his breath, and she leaned in and kissed him. "Many, many times."
He couldn't touch her because he had to hold the pieces of skull together until they set. Which was probably good, because he wanted her, naked, on the floor, right now. And that could be embarrassing if they got caught. Not that he would care, but poor old Percy might have a heart attack.
He licked his lips, and she kissed him again, enjoying herself. He couldn't move, couldn't touch her, she was in charge.
And she liked it.
She tilted his head back and ran her lips down the side of his face, nibbling at his earlobe, the angle of his jaw, the soft spot on his neck.
"I'm going to get you for this, you know that right?"
She took his jaw in her hands and gave him the hottest kiss he'd ever experienced. "I think I can handle it." She whispered, running her hands down his chest.
His body shuddered with need. "Bones."
She raised her eyes to his. "What?"
He closed his eyes, trying to get his body under control. "Percy's coming back."
She raised her head listening. Sure enough, the little doctor was whistling his way towards them down the path, breaking into song as he neared them.
She swore, and Booth stared at her in amazement.
Her eyes met his, and he started envisioning what she had had planned for him, seated there, hands trapped holding the pieces, and all of a sudden he felt dizzy.
She stepped away, back over to her table, and once again bent over the bones, studying a femur.
Booth closed his eyes and did some deep breathing.
Dr. Whiltshire came through the door. "I'm back!"
"Yes." Brennan looked up at him. "We heard you coming."
The little doctor turned at winked at Booth. "Good."
Booth smirked. "What did you find out Percy?"
The doctor beamed at him. "Good, you're calling me Percy! The diplomat broke his right leg, and his jaw in a car crash a number of years ago."
Brennan reached for the right femur.
"Unfortunately for us," The doctor continued. "His guide also had broken his right leg previously. So I suspect the identification will rest on the results of your handiwork… Booth."
Brennan sighed and snapped her glove in agitation, moving over to take a look at the remains on Booth's table. "My remains do not have a lower mandible. It's missing."
Booth shrugged. "You'll just have to wait until I'm done with the bones." His smile was positively angelic as he recited her favourite line back to her.
Booth smiled as he stared down at the completed skull in front of him. It had taken hours, and his back was killing him, but he felt proud at what he had accomplished. His grin vanished. He hoped the squints never found out.
He looked closer, trying to spot a healed break.
Brennan looked up from studying the bones on her table. Things weren't adding up right. This male was too old to be either the guide or the diplomat, although he two had had a broken leg that had healed.
Booth was holding the completed skull in his hands, turning it an angle, an unhappy look on his face.
"You're done!" She exclaimed. Very few of her grad students could recreate a skull so quick. He must really excel at puzzles. She liked them too. Maybe one night they could do one together, one of those really hard double sided ones, that you needed a glass table to put it together on.
An image of her and Booth under the table trying to see if the puzzle was correct made her smile. They'd probably not finish it, not the way she was feeling lately. She had five years of pent up sexual attraction to satisfy.
"Yeah, but there's a problem." Booth's voice broke into her daydream.
The doctor hurried over to him, looking over his shoulder. "He's right."
Brennan frowned. "Let me see." She put on a different pair of gloves and crossed to Booth, gently taking the skull from him and holding it up into the light. "Oh."
She lowered the skull and they all exchanged glances.
Booth pointed at her table. "So could that be…?"
She shook her head. "Too old."
Percy's eyes widened. "So then…."
"Where's our diplomat?" Booth finished for him.
Brennan stared at them in silence.
The doctor stepped forward. "I think we need to recharge. Let's lock up and go have some dinner. You two look exhausted."
"There was a feast last night." Brennan explained.
"Ahh, an all nighter." The doctor nodded.
Booth stood up carefully and his back let out an alarming crack. He froze, then stretched carefully.
"Are you alright?" Brennan asked.
"Fine. Put that thing down before you drop it, I'm not putting it together again."
Brennan looked down at the skull in her hands and placed it carefully on the table. She was feeling tired… Among other things. And Booth's back could probably use a massage.
Just the thought of running her hands over his naked back was enough to bring colour back into her cheeks. She raised her eyes and caught Booth watching her.
He grinned crookedly, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking.
Percy closed the drawer on the table with a clatter then turned around, clearing his throat. "So dinner then. And then an early night."
"Agreed." Brennan took off her gloves and walked out.
Percy glanced at Booth with a twinkle in his eyes. "I made sure that your hut is well stocked."
Booth paused, looking at him.
Percy smiled. "You two remind me of myself and my wife when we first started dating. We worked together for years before… Well, you'll meet her in a few minutes, and then you'll understand." He reached up and patted Booth on the shoulder in a fatherly way. "Now." He clapped his hands and shooed a stunned Booth out of the morgue, to where Brennan was waiting impatiently. "I believe we are having pasta tonight, we should hurry, Matilda will be waiting."
He locked the door and herded them down the trail with a bouncing gait, trying to keep up..
"Who is Matilda?" Brennan whispered to Booth as they walked.
Booth raised his eyebrows. "His wife." he whispered back, thinking about the conversation he'd just had. A frown creased his face, fully stocked? With what? What could they need that would need to be stocked?
He glanced at Brennan, and a thought sprung into his head.
His eyes widened. "OH." he said involuntarily.
Brennan looked at him confused. "Excuse me?"
Booth glanced at Percy who was looking straight ahead with a small smile on his face.
"Thank you." Booth said. How strange. He hadn't had anybody looking out for him in a while. It felt… kind if nice.
Brennan looked at him funny. "You're welcome."
Percy just winked.
Percy led them to the back of his hut, where they found a small red-haired woman reading a book next to a modern wood stove.
"Matilda, meet Dr. Brennan, and Agent Booth. You were right dear, Andy is based on a real life man."
The woman looked up with a smile. "I'm always right Percy, you should never doubt me." She carefully closed the book after inserting a bookmark and stood up, coming over to them with her hand outstretched. "I'm very pleased to me you."
Booth shook her hand with a smile. She was slightly shorter than her husband, maybe five feet tall. Her eyes studied him carefully.
"Do you have children?"
He blinked. "Yes, one."
"Good. You have excellent bone structure by the way." She turned to Brennan and shook her hand warmly. "You also have excellent bone structure. Do you have children?"
Matilda shrugged. "I'm sure you will. It'd be a pity not to pass your genes along you know. Your Agent Booth's waist to hip ratio is very promising."
Brennan smiled despite herself. "I agree. In fact, the tests showed.."
Percy coughed loudly. "Matilda, what have you been reading?"
"The Science of Reproduction."
He rolled his eyes at Booth. "That explains it. What's for supper?"
"Spaghetti and meatballs." Matilda said, tilting her head towards the stove. "The meatballs are in the oven."
Brennan sniffed the air. "It smells good. So, what was your opinion of chapter four? I found it highly illogical."
Matilda looked thoughtful. "Yes, I suppose it is. But most people are, you know. What did you think of chapter seven?"
Percy pulled Booth of to the side. "We don't need to hear this."
Booth nodded in agreement.
"How about a beer? I got some delivered today. It came in with you on the plane." Percy reached for a box sitting on a small table, opening it to reveal four cases of beer.
Booth sighed happily. "Yes, please."
Percy pulled a case out and opened it, passing Booth a beer.
"It's cold." Booth said in surprise.
"Yes, Matilda figured out some way of getting dry ice into a stainless steel bottle." He held the bottle up. "Keeps the beer cold."
Booth raised his eyebrows. "She's a scientist?"
"Her father was. A brilliant one. Matilda herself prefers plants. She's experimenting with cross pollination right now."
"I see." Booth cracked open the beer and took a long drink. "How did you two meet?"
"Summer job." Percy smirked. "Best summer job I ever had."
Matilda appeared at his side, and he smiled at her. "Remember the summer we met?"
Matilda smiled sweetly. "Yes. And you better not remembering that blonde barracuda, or you'll not get any meatballs."
"There was a blonde there?" Percy asked, "I don't remember her." He winked at Booth, who was hiding a smile behind his hand.
"Wise man." Matilda said. "I'm putting the pasta on. Why don't you and Agent Booth make yourselves useful and set the table?"
"Yes Ma'am." Booth said instantly.
The men wandered off into the hut to get plates and silverware.
"Blonde barracuda?" Brennan asked curiously.
"Not literally. She was this big breasted blonde who kept showing up wherever Percy was. She wanted to marry him, have his kids. Very persistent. They dated for a while I think, but he was in love with me. Just took him four years to confess."
"Did you love him?"
"Of course. I was shy though. Didn't want to loose his friendship. I was an utter idiot."
Brennan thought of Perotta. "How did you get rid of the barracuda?"
"I married Percy."
Brennan frowned. "Marriage is an antiquated ritual."
"Yes." Matilda put a pot of water on the stove. "But most men haven't really changed much in the last five hundred years. Marriage appeals to them. I knew Percy would treat me right, let me do what I wanted, follow my dreams." She smiled at Brennan craftily. "It was a small price to pay. The look on the barracuda's face when I flashed that wedding ring around was worth it."
Brennan looked thoughtful.
"And, the day he announced I was pregnant… She put in for a transfer. It was a wonderful day."
"You have kids?"
"Yes. Twin boys. I was never really maternal you know, but he always wanted kids, and when I found out I was pregnant… Well, it was kind of out of my hands wasn't it? The boys are twenty-three now, they're attending Harvard."
"Harvard is an excellent school." Brennan stated. "I decided recently that I would like to have a progeny myself."
Matilda dumped some pasta into the now boiling pot. "I highly recommend it as a method of banishing barracudas." She paused stirring the pasta. "But only if you love him of course, respect him. Agent Booth looks like a good man. Does he believe in marriage?."
"Sometimes you have to compromise to truly get what you want."
"So you say the diplomat is… missing?" Matilda asked, a frown on her pretty freckled face, as she put a huge pot of homemade pasta sauce on the table next to a pan full of meatballs and another large pot full of spaghetti. She sat down in her chair and picked up a fork. "Dig in everyone."
Percy put some spaghetti on his plate and handed the tongs to Booth. "Spoons move in a clockwise fashion." He cheerfully announced.
Matilda made a face at him and stuck her fork into the pot, scooping up some spaghetti. "Help yourself dear." She smiled at Brennan.
Once everyone had full plates and was munching away, she asked again. "Where's the diplomat?"
Percy cleared his throat and took a drink. "I don't know. I'm going to go over to Lou's after supper. Get him to arrange a body hunt in the morning. It can't be too far from where these two were found."
Booth looked up, a forkful of spaghetti paused in front of his mouth. "You think he's dead?"
Brennan watched Percy and Matilda exchange glances.
Matilda's gaze narrowed into a meaningful glare. "Percy? You didn't give them the details yet?"
"We're eating!" He protested.
She put down her fork. "So? I'm sure they discuss cases at the dinner table all the time."
Brennan nodded and swallowed her mouthful of pasta and chimed in. "We do."
Percy sighed, looking mournfully at the meatballs. "The diplomat was one of those people who think a direct order not to wander off at night was merely a suggestion. One morning, he was gone. His guide was too. And there were two sets of remains in a large puddle of blood, not too far into the Jungle."
"The Jungle creatures are extremely effective." Matilda interrupted. "It's quite fascinating really."
Brennan's face lit up. "I agree! It's amazing how adept they are at cleaning bones without.."
Percy interrupted in a louder voice. "AND there was the markings of something being dragged off into the jungle."
Booth stared. "You didn't investigate?"
"No. Nobody else was missing. The assumption was that it was an animal. We had suspicions the diplomat was engaging in some… unsportsmanlike hunting." Percy stuck a meatball in his mouth purposefully, making it fairly obvious that his mouth was now full and the conversation was over for now.
Booth looked around the hut curiously. It had a real bed. A dresser. A tin Bathtub. He walked over to the dresser and opened a drawer curiously.
He smirked. "Good to know."
"What's good to know?"
He jumped and shut the drawer quickly. "Nothing."
"Do you like blondes Booth?" Brennan was frowning to herself, wondering how much of an issue their "barracuda" was going to be.
He froze. "Blondes? Women or cows?"
"Women. Wait, there's blonde cows?"
"Yeah, I can't remember what the actual breed is, but they are called Blondes. Why?" He evaded the question.
She touched her hair. "I'm not Blonde."
"Would you prefer it if I was?"
"Why not?" She narrowed her eyes at him. "All your girlfriends have been blonde."
His eyes widened. Was she feeling insecure? "Because you are beautiful the way you are, and I love you. I love your hair. And they weren't real blondes anyways." He wrinkled up his face, thinking. "They were cows every once and a while though, come to think of it."
Brennan looked confused.
"Not literally Bones."
Her face cleared. "Oh. You love my hair?"
He stepped towards her, pulling her into his arms, where he kissed her on the top of her head. "Yes."
She smiled up at him. "So what's in the drawer?"
He chuckled. "Something that might come in handy later, especially because I know for a fact you haven't been taking birth control pills." He whispered into her ear.
"I haven't taken them since…." She paused. "Since before your surgery."
"Bones…." His face was serious, and a little sad. "Why didn't you want me to be a real father?"
Her jaw dropped. "Would you have agreed to that? I didn't want to pressure you, I thought you'd refuse. I didn't think you'd want to be tied to me, like you are Rebecca."
He stared at her. "You thought I wouldn't want to? But I offered to help?"
"You thought I couldn't do it by myself, that I'd be needing assistance and financial aid…and then you said you couldn't." She went pale remembering that day.
"Oh Bones… That's not true! I was trying to ask to be a part of your life, my child's life. I wanted to be able to be there for birthdays, and have it calling me daddy. I was offering… I wanted…I'm sorry." He buried his face in her hair. "I'm such an idiot Bones, I should have just said directly.."
She stood in his arms trembling, her mind sorting through what he'd just said, matching it with what she remembered. How could she have thought he wouldn't want that? To be a part of the child's life? She smacked her head against his chest.
"Sorry." Her voice was muffled.
"What are you trying to do, give yourself a concussion?"
He paused. "Wait, was that sorry for hitting me with your head, or thinking I wouldn't want to have a child with you and own it as mine?"
He waited, feeling her shift.
He smiled, knowing that was as good an apology as he was ever going to get. "Ok."
"Ok." She raised her head to find him smiling at her. "I love you." She whispered.
"I know. I love you too. So….. Do you want a bath? I can go get some water?"
"Will you join me?" She asked coyly.
"Think we'll both fit in the tub?"
Booth dumped the last bucket of water into the tub. "There is no way we're both gonna fit in there."
"Sure we will. I've calculated the dimensions, and if I sit between your legs, we'll just fit." She dumped some of the scented soap that was next to the tin bath in, swirling it around.
Booth looked at the tub uncertainly.
She stood up, her hands on her hips. "We both smell vaguely of decomp Booth, so don't be shy. Get in."
He suddenly felt very puckish. "Fine." He shrugged. "If you say so."
He slowly pulled his shirt up over his head, flexing his arm muscles as he did so, throwing it carelessly onto the bed beside his jacket.
He snuck a glance at her, she was gaping at his chest with a longing look in her eyes.
He chuckled, and she raised her eyebrows without moving her gaze.
"What?" her voice was vague.
He ran his hand over his chest and down to the waistband of his pants, pausing just a second before snapping it open.
Her eyes followed, and she sighed unconsciously.
He dropped his pants and shorts and jumped into the tub as fast as he could.
She blinked and frowned at him.
He smiled. "Your turn."
She pulled off her clothes and leaned over him. "Are you still breathing?"
She climbed into the tub, settling between his legs. "How about now?"
"Good." She leaned back against his chest, lifting one leg out of the water and pouring soap on it.
Leisurely she soaped her legs and feet. The water was deep enough with them both in, that it covered everything else, but Booth had no trouble imagining the rest.
When they were both clean and fruity smelling, Booth whispered into her ear. "I think it's time for bed."
She smiled and stood up, letting the water run down her body. "Yes."
Booth opened an eye. "Is someone singing?"
Brennan raised her head from the pillow, listening. "Yes." She sat up. "I think we slept in."
Booth smirked. "I don't think we slept much at all."
"And yet, I feel completely refreshed." Brennan wondered. She stood up and reached for her clothes. "Better get up, we've got remains to find."
Booth rolled out of bed. "Yippee." He mumbled, reaching for his clothes. He sniffed. "Do you smell…"
"Bacon and eggs!" Booth pulled on his pants and leapt over the bed to the door, throwing it open.
Brennan shrieked and dove under the covers of the bed.
Percy stood in front of the door with his eyes closed. "Is it safe?"
Booth looked back at Brennan's head peeping out from under the covers. "Yup. Please tell me that's bacon and eggs."
Percy opened his eyes, pleased. "Yes it is, you have a great nose Booth. Oh, and oatmeal for Temperance, Matilda said being vegetarian she'd prefer that. I put raisins in."
Brennan emerged from the bed fully dressed. "You made it?"
"Yes, I make the breakfast and do all the laundry." He offered the tray to Booth, who was staring at it like a starving man. "We'll be heading off in about half an hour if you want to join us."
Brennan took the oatmeal off the tray. "We'll be there." She took a giant spoonful and closed her eyes. "This, is really good."
"Ok, we'll see you then!" Percy scurried off towards his own hut trying not to laugh.
Booth shut the door and sat down on the bed, setting to work on his eggs. "This is so good. I haven't had bacon and eggs in…….I don't know. Since we left Washington."
"Do you make breakfast?" Brennan asked casually.
Booth looked up. "Yeah, and I do laundry too. Wanna move in?" He teased.
She tapped the spoon against her chin. "I'll think about it."
He stuck a piece of bacon in his mouth and chewed. Was she serious? He considered the idea. Wouldn't be too bad.
She dropped her spoon into the now empty bowl, making him jump. "Are you ready to go?"
He stuffed the last piece in his mouth and put on his shirt. "Yah, ready whenever you are Bones."
He picked up the tray. "We'll drop this off on the way. Does Percy do the dishes too?"
Brennan shrugged and held the door open. "Hurry up Booth."
Booth and Brennan walked up to the circle of men waiting uneasily at the foot of a trail near the one to the morgue.
"We're here, let's go." Booth said.
Percy stepped over to them. "They've been discussing it, they might know who the third corpse is."
"Really? That would be helpful." Brennan said, looking at the men curiously.
The leader of the group stepped forward. "There is a hunter, from another village. He comes to visit once or twice. We think he was helping to poach, because we wouldn't. We respect our animals, they feed us. We do not sell them for money. We have nothing to buy."
Brennan nodded in appreciation. "That's certainly logical."
Booth raised his eyebrows, and whispered to her, "Bones, greed has nothing to do with logic."
She frowned at him, but knew he was right. "Where do we start looking?" She asked in a clear voice.
The leader headed down the trail, and everyone fell in behind, walking single file. Percy was bringing up the rear behind Booth.
"It's about five miles down this trail, then we branch off. They say the rogue hunter had a cave he sometimes used, they'd like to check there. Maybe the bodies were dragged from there, instead of something being dragged away." He told Booth's back in low voice.
Booth fingered the knife attached to his belt. "Murder."
"Maybe." Percy whispered back.
Booth caught up to Brennan and grabbed her by the waistband of her pants. "Go easy Bones, and don't go off alone, this might be a murder case after all." He whispered into her ear when she paused. "That's why the locals are nervous."
"Booth, I can take care of myself.."
"I know. But I don't want to loose you, now that I've finally got you." He murmured, his breath sending shivers down her back, reawakening the fire in her center that she thought she'd quenched.
She nodded. He let go of her, and they resumed walking.
"Percy?" Booth turned his head to see the little doctor, hopping nimbly along behind him. "You stay close too."
Percy grinned. "Sure. I let anything happen to you or Temperance, Matilda will make sure I never forget it."
Brennan looked back and snickered.
The look on Booth's face was priceless.
Booth looked down at the reddish stain dubiously. "Where's the drag marks?"
The leader pointed, and Booth stepped around the stain and knelt to examine the marks carefully. Without a word, he stepped into the bush, following the trail, Brennan and Percy close behind him.
The locals tittered among themselves, and then fell into line, studying Booth's moves with interest.
The marks ended in a small clearing, about a hundred yards away from the stain. Booth stood in the middle with his hands on his hips, looking around.
The leader stepped forward. "You are very trained in hunting, are you not? Your actions say yes."
"Yes." Booth agreed, turning around to scan another direction. He slowly revolved in a circle, searching for something only he would recognize.
"What is it you are trained to hunt?" The leader tried again.
Booth met his gaze squarely. "Men." They stared at each other for a moment, measuring each other up.
The leader nodded. "This is good for us. We are looking for one. We will follow you." The men nodded in agreement.
Booth smiled. "How about we help each other?"
The man smiled back. "Yes."
Brennan looked at Percy in confusion. "What just happened?"
"Two Alpha males made a peace treaty." Percy murmured back.
Brennan sputtered. "But that's highly unusual."
"And yet it happens my dear. When the cause is for the common good. They recognize his skills, he recognizes their knowledge of their territory and the animals within."
Brennan nodded, keeping her eyes on Booth. If she hadn't been so busy thinking about last night, she'd have caught that. She was going to have to focus, compartmentalize. She took a few deep breaths, gathering her thoughts.
Booth smiled at her. "Ready Bones?"
She opened her eyes. "Yes." She scanned the ground and bushes in the clearing. "The waxy condition of the leaves on this bush over here." She pointed. "Are they always like that? I don't recognize the plant."
Booth looked at the locals, and the leader stepped forward to join him. "No. That is unusual."
Brennan brushed at the ground beneath the plant. "It's loose over here. It's…an arm." She held it up carefully.
A hush fell. A host of curious glances looked at the arm.
"That's it?" Booth asked.
She looked at the ground some more. "Yes. And furthermore," she inspected the bone at the end. "It was chopped off. While the owner was alive."
Percy leaned forward. "I agree. Do you think it was self inflicted?"
"How tall was the diplomat Bones?" Booth scanned the locals carefully.
Percy looked around too. "Chee. Come here please."
A man stepped forward, looking at the arm in Brennan's hands with curiosity.
"Pretend to chop your arm off, right…. Here." Percy pointed.
The man shrugged and did so.
"What do you think Bones?"
Brennan studied him. "No. Highly unlikely. The angle is wrong."
Booth frowned. "How many people are running around out here unaccounted for?" he said in a frustrated tone.
The leader walked over to Brennan. "There is only three unaccounted."
"Then one of the ones we have found must have cut it off the one we have NOT found." Brennan stated. "You are… approximately 6'4", the same height as the guide. You try."
The leader pretended to cut Chee's arm off.
"No, it's still not right. Booth, you try."
Booth sighed. "What is this, dinner theatre?" but he came over and gave it ago.
"Yes." Brennan smiled. "The arm was cut by someone 6'1". The other person in the morgue."
"So then.." Percy paused. "We are looking for a one-armed man. Or corpse."
"Yes." Brennan agreed. "He couldn't have gone too far, he'd be bleeding profusely."
"Great." Booth clapped his hands. "Let's get busy then."
"This area has many caves."
Booth looked around. "Great. We'll have to split up."
Brennan sniffed the air. "Maybe not. I'd know that smell anywhere."
Booth squinted at her. "What smell?"
"You don't smell it?" She asked, walking off to the right.
The whole group followed her, sniffing the air curiously.
"My nose excels at smelling food. I can distinguish the type of pie from 50 feet with my eyes closed. I doubt you're smelling pie." Booth grimaced, scanning the area carefully.
She grabbed his arm and pointed. "Up there!"
Everyone looked. Booth was the first to see it, and he grabbed a vine and climbed it like a rope, wrapped around his leg for stability.
Brennan couldn't help but admire the view, his clothes might be nearly falling to pieces, but damn he looked good.
He reached the first branch, and moved along it at a crouch towards the slumped figure. "Definitely deceased."
"How long?" Brennan shouted.
"I don't know, bugs are everywhere. Who am I? Hodgins?" He griped. It was a gruesome sight, waxy and disfigured.
"He looks like Tarzan." Percy chuckled. "Where's a camera when you need one?"
Brennan looked thoughtful. "I read that book. Tarzan wore a loincloth. Booth, however, is fully dressed." She imagined the sight and felt goose bumps rise over her skin.
"Coming down!" Booth yelled, and she looked up to see him carefully sliding down the vine, shirtless, a large bundle hanging from one hand.
Brennan blinked in amazement. Not only had she been daydreaming again, but she'd missed him taking off his shirt! Which bothered her more, she was unsettling unsure of.
He landed in front of them and put the bundle at her feet. "Your turn."
She stared at the bundle. A blanket, pulled up at the corners, fastened by the remains of Booth's shirt, torn into strips. "Very inventive Booth. I'm impressed."
She reached for the knots and opened them, unfolding the blanket. The corpse was curled up inside, tied into position with more of Booth's shirt. "We should take this back to the lab… I mean, morgue, and unfold him there." She looked up. "You're sure you got everything?"
Booth crossed his arms. "Yes Bones."
She rewrapped the bundle and stood up. "Excellent."
The locals quickly fashioned a stretcher to carry the bundle, no one wanted to pack the stinking mass for the long hike back.
"Booth, would you like me to find a spare shirt for you? I'm sure there must be one around here somewhere.." Percy offered.
"Nah, I'm fine." Booth replied, standing off to the side, his thumbs hooked in the belt loops of his shredded pants, his chest beginning to bronze in the sunlight, watching the bundle of corpse being shifted into the morgue. Brennan had been looking at him like it was dinner time and he was thai food the whole way back, and he kinda liked it. It wasn't like he was going to be able to walk around DC like this, he better get his kicks while he could. Most of the locals were shirtless too, so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.
The locals came out of the morgue and wandered off in groups. "Where are they going?" Booth asked.
"Probably to have a bath." Percy replied. "Their job is done."
Brennan stepped out of t morgue. "Do you have a big pot Percy?"
"To boil body parts in?" he asked.
Percy sighed. "I'll go see what I can find. Matilda won't be pleased if we use her stew pot." He turned and hurried down the trail. The sooner the bones were cleaned the better, in his opinion. The smell was pervasive.
Booth strolled over to where Brennan stood. "Need some help?"
She stared at his chest for a second. "Yeah. Come and play squint with me."
He put an arm up on the wall behind her head and leaned in. "What I'm thinking you meant, is probably not what you actually meant is it?"
She looked at him confused. "I want you to come and help me examine the body before we chop it up and boil it."
He nodded, sighing. "Yeah. That's what I was afraid of."
"If you're scared, though I don't see why you should be, you've already been in close proximity to the remains…"
Booth shushed her with a quick kiss. "That's not what I meant Bones. I'll explain it to you later."
He dropped his arm and walked into the morgue.
"Booth?" She called, following him in.
"Yeah?" He snapped on a pair of gloves as he looked up at her.
She was on fire from her chest to her knees instantly…. Clad only in cut off pants, worn running shoes, and latex gloves, he was the stuff of dreams. The good ones, where she woke up feeling like she'd just had the best sex of her life….
She reigned herself in, using the smell of decomposition to settle her hormones. "Is that kind of like the library thing? Mr. Booth, do you know what…"
"Yeah." He interrupted. "But as much as I'd like you to finish that sentence, the idea of doing something about it on the floor while the corpse lies rotting above us is not really appealing."
She thought about it and nodded. "I agree. I will finish the sentence later." She pulled on a pair of gloves and reached for the bundle.
It was gross, but Booth was pretty immune to it thanks to his time spent watching Brennan do her thing. The part that made him feel very odd was when she'd handed him a long bread knife and told him to get chopping.
He had a whole new respect for Zach and the other interns.
It was not at all like carving a turkey.
Now the room smelt of meat cooking.
He looked up from cleaning the knife.
"I'm very impressed at your skills. You have absorbed much more of what we do at the lab than I realised." Brennan stirred the bits in the boiling pot carefully.
"What did you think I was doing? Hanging around for the conversation?" He cracked a smile.
"Well, Angela said you were there to check out my ass, and Hodgins said you were there as part of some kind of conspiracy cover-up, though he might have been joking. Zach always said that you were there to provide manly support. Remember those books he was always reading, trying to figure out how people acted in social situations?" Her voice trailed off in memory.
"Yeah. He's a good kid. Don't tell him I said that though. Remember that robot he gave me to give to Parker that one Christmas? I was the coolest dad ever. Parker still loves that thing, takes it to school on science fair days."
"I miss Zach. Do you ever go visit him?"
Booth hesitated. "Yes." he confessed. "I took Parker to go see him on his Angela was right by the way."
"Me being there to check out your ass."
"What?" he laughed.
She tried not to smile and failed. "I wish I'd known that sooner."
"Because I would have worn tighter pants." She replied. "Now I know, and I will take care to do so in the future."
Booth stopped laughing, imagining her bending over the lab table in a tight pair of jeans.
He was going to have to start carrying a binder around.
"So." Matilda said, setting a pot down on the table. "You found him, what happened to him?"
Brennan picked up her fork. "Nothing interesting."
There was a moment of silence.
Booth reached for his beer. "She likes mummies, poisonings, that kind of thing."
"Mummies," Brennan agreed, "are VERY interesting."
"You know what happened to him though?" Matilda asked, glancing at Percy.
Percy nodded. "The guide was killed by the diplomat, who then had his arm cut off by the rogue hunter in a fight which he lost, leaving him also dead."
"Explains the weird blood stain." Booth pointed out.
"The diplomat, who was NOT a very good representative of our country, by the way, dragged himself over to the clearing, where he buried his severed arm, before being attacked by a jaguar." Brennan stated, before taking a bite of her dinner. "This is delicious by the way."
Matilda smiled, "Thank you! So the jaguar then pulled him up into the tree and…?"
"Ate him. Well, parts of him." Booth declared. He pointed his fork at his plate, "What is this? Bones is right, it's amazing!"
"Vegetable stew, It's a secret family recipe. I've already given it to Temperance here, I'm sure she'll make it for you, though the vegetables might be different."
Booth's mouth was full, so he gave Brennan a silent thumbs up.
Brennan looked up at the roof, puzzled.
Percy cleared his throat. "Well, I radioed in that you identified your diplomat, so they are sending you a flight in the morning."
"Another helicopter?" Booth asked.
Brennan looked at him in horror, "I am not getting into another helicopter with you Booth, especially if you have no shirt on!"
Percy and Matilda shared a confused look.
Booth saw it and explained, "I have bad luck with helicopters."
Brennan nodded emphatically. "I don't believe in superstition, but Booth makes helicopters dizzy, ours crashed and he was fully dressed!" A twinkle in her eye showed she was teasing, and a ripple of laughter went around the table, making her look very pleased with herself.
"How many crashes have you survived?" Percy asked out of curiosity.
"Four helicopters." Booth replied. "One more and I tie Jenkins's record."
Brennan frowned. "Who is Jenkins?"
Booth smiled. "Buddy of mine. You haven't met him yet. He's kinda like Fischer."
"Depressed, melodramatic, and brilliant?" Brennan asked.
"I think they are actually sending a bush plane." Percy murmured.
Matilda breathed a sigh of relief.
Booth's eyes snapped up all of a sudden, staring off towards the stove. "Is that…?"
Matilda smiled. "Pie. Temperance said it was your favourite."
Brennan leaned her head against the wall of her shower, her eyes closed, water streaming over her in rivulets. The last twenty four hours had been brutal. They'd been up all the night before getting the diplomats remain ready to be shipped, then the plane came early, taking them back to Iquitos City , where Booth had bought himself a shirt.
Hours of questioning and paperwork later, they'd been put on a private flight home, along with the corpse.
Booth's boss had met them at the gates, and escorted them back to the Hoover building, where they'd filled out yet more paperwork.
When she'd showed signs of falling asleep sitting up, and Booth's boss told her she was no longer needed and to go home, and she'd acquiesced, catching a cab.
Now she stood in the shower, wishing Booth was with her, knowing he had a least an hour of paperwork to do still.
Maybe he wouldn't even come over tonight?
She straightened up and turned off the shower, pulling a towel from the rack and wrapping it around herself.
He'd been quiet on the way home.
Booth stepped out of his shower and sighed, cursing his Boss with every swear word he knew.
Brennan had left before they could talk.
He idly reached for a towel and ran it over his head before wrapping it around his face, ignoring the puddles of water that were left in his footprints as he headed to the bedroom.
He switched on the light and stared in surprise at the lump in his bed.
She rolled over and looked at him sleepily. "Hi."
"Are you ok?"
"No. I couldn't sleep without you." Her lip wobbled the tiniest bit. "So I came here. Is that ok?"
The heavy feeling that had been bugging him ever since they'd got on the plane to come home vanished instantly. "It's wonderful."
She relaxed, and pulled back the covers on the bed. "Come here."
"I'm not dressed yet."
"Good." Her eyes twinkled at him over the blankets.
He chuckled and let the towel fall to the floor, walking over and climbing into his bed, into her arms.
"You know I love you right?" He whispered, before taking her mouth with his own, in a steamy kiss.
She snuggled up to him, and he realised that she was naked as well, he could feel her breasts against his chest, and her leg sliding up over his own.
"I love you too." She murmured against his lips, running her hands over his chest and shoulders, savouring the feel of him, and the smell of his soap.
He rolled on top of her, raising up on his elbows to smile down at her face. "Feels nice to be home doesn't it?"
"I don't know…I kind of enjoyed having you shirtless all the time." She replied, biting his lower lip gently.
He raised an eyebrow. "I noticed that."
"Oh, you did?"
He licked her neck erotically. " you want to know what else I noticed?"
She arched against him, "What?"
"That you get really turned on when I do something squinty."
An image of him putting together the skull flashed through her mind, and she moaned. "Yes."
He chuckled against her. "Are you gonna be able to handle having me in the lab?"
She exhaled rapidly. "I'm going to need better blinds, that's for sure."
His eyes met hers. "You want to have sex at the lab?"
She smiled craftily. "Mr. Booth… Do you know what the fine is for an.."
His lips crushed to hers, and the only thing she said, the rest of the night was his name, in varying degrees of intensity.
Some one was banging on the door.
Booth opened his eyes, blurrily staring in the general direction of the door.
Brennan turned over and shoved his shoulder, her eyes still closed. "Go get it." She mumbled.
"Maybe they'll go away.."
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.
He sighed and threw back the covers, reaching for a pair of sweatpants on the chair by the bed.
"I'm coming, hold on!" He yelled.
He looked down at Bones with a smirk. She looked wonderful in his bed, all rumpled and well-loved. "You have a hickey on your neck."
"I do not. Go open the door." She was staring at him hungrily. "And then come back here and…."
He threw a pillow at her. "Behave yourself Bones."
"Oh, yes, what a wonderful idea.." She checked him out slowly.
He rubbed his neck as he walked through the sunlit apartment towards the door, a smile on his face, remembering last night.
He unlocked the door and opened it a crack. "Yeah?"
Angela barged in. "Where is she? She's not at her house! I need to see her with my own eyes!" She glanced at him appreciatively. "Well Agent Studley, the jungle was good to you wasn't you, love the tan, and VERY nice hickey by the way, you might want to wear a scarf for a few days.." She took a deep breath, "BRENNAN!!!!"
Booth shut the door behind her slowly, "Have too much coffee this morning Angela?"
"No thanks, I've had six cups already! Might have to use your bathroom in a minute. Bedroom is this way? Great! I had an apartment just like this once you know." She stopped in the doorway of his bedroom and squealed. "SWEETIE!! You're ALIVE!"
She threw herself on the bed, propping her head up with her hands. "Tell me EVERYTHING!"
Booth looked at himself in the hall mirror, angling his head to see if Angela was telling the truth about a hickey. "Damn it!" She was right. It was gonna be high collars for a couple days.
He shrugged and wandered down the hall, into his bedroom, climbing back into the bed, with a smug smile directed at Angela. "Nice to see you too Angela." Then he rolled over and stuck his head under the pillow, going back to sleep.
Two pairs of eyes stared at him. One with humour, the other with love.
Angela reached over and waved her hand in front of Brennan's face. "So… TELL me! Was it hot? Was he hot? I mean, obviously, but you know….in the sack?"
Brennan raised her eyebrows. "We didn't sleep in a sack."
Angela gave her a dirty look. "Sweetheart, I drank six cups of coffee in the last hour, I searched your apartment, every corner of the lab, and the diner. So dish already."
"I wouldn't mind some coffee actually. Hey BOOTH. Do you want some coffee?"
He peered out from under the pillow. "Yeah. Are you making it, or am I?"
Two pairs of eyes stared at him again. "Oh, ok, girl time. You have as long as the coffee machine takes." He got out of bed again, stretching, reaching for a shirt. "Angela? Need another one?"
"No, I'm good. Thanks though!" She turned back to Brennan, who waited until Booth was out of earshot.
"Angela, ohmy god! I had no idea! I mean, really no idea. It was AMAZING! And it turns out he's really good with his hands, you should see him put a skull together, he's even better than Zach, and Zach was excellent at reconstruction….."
Angela stared at her in bewilderment. "Huh? Not those details sweetie, the good ones? You know, you, him, jungle loving?"
"Oh. Yes it was…. Mind blowing.."
Booth walked back into the room with three cups of coffee. "Time's up ladies, you can discuss my assets, LATER. When is Jack going to be here? Or Wendell I suppose?"
Angela blushed furiously.
"WELCOME HOME!!!" A cheer went through the diner as Booth and Brennan entered, arms wrapped around each other lovingly.
Brennan looked around and smiled. All their friends were there, Hodgins, Angela, Wendell, Cam, Sweets…. Even Gordon Gordon was there, sitting at the counter talking to her Dad. They both looked over and waved.
A tiny tornado flew through the crowd and wrapped itself around Booth's knees shrieking "DADDY!"
"Hiya Park!" Booth swung the child up into the air, giving him a fierce hug.
Nobody looked surprised to see them in such close physical contact, Brennan surmised that Angela had quickly gotten the word out.
A long table had been set up in the middle of the dinner, and Booth and Brennan were directed to it, their friends chattering around them eagerly.
"Did you really shave with a knife?"
"Tell us about the diplomat!"
"No, what I want to know is if you're pregnant yet!"
Brennan glanced at her father nervously before Booth interrupted. "No, I want her to myself for a little while yet."
Laughter went around the table, and someone muttered something about "Four years isn't enough?"
Max cleared his throat and held up his glass, "Well, I'm really glad to see you home safely, and NO, I didn't kill anyone, and as far as the children thing goes, don't take too long Booth, she ain't getting any younger!"
Brennan choked on her water, and Sweets and Gordon Gordon both turned to her father making remarks about how "That's very interesting…"
Booth elbowed her, and she looked at him as he winked, nodding towards her dad, who was dealing rather well with the Psychiatric duo. She studied her father curiously, before whispering in Booth's ear, "Yet another talent I did not inherit."
Booth reached under the table and squeezed her knee. "That's fine by me, I love you just the way you are."
They smiled tenderly at each other, before the others claimed their attention once more, Brennan discussing the state of the remains and the flora and fauna of the Jungle with Hodgins, Booth listening with one ear to Parker, smiling at his sons stories about school, and reminisces about the finger he'd found, and how he wished he'd been there to find the diplomat because it would have been "so cool, and totally grossed out Jenna" whom Booth supposed was his son's latest crush.
"Life", he thought, was pretty good. Because of his FBI work, he now had a brilliant woman that he loved with all his heart, and who loved him in return, and a huge extended family, closer than most "real" families ever got, along with his Son, who was turning out pretty darn good, if you asked him.
Yes, Life was pretty darn good.