This is only the beginning of this story, more to come today I hope, but if not, then soon.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that this story is from an idea by the wonderful BONES pal tracgyrl. She also helped me work through a few kinks for it. I should have mentioned that before, when I first posted it. I blame that it was 1 AM (or something like that).


"Dr. Brennan?"

Brennan looked up from her desk to see Wendell in the doorway. "Yes? Can I help you?"

The younger man smiled nervously and patted the door frame with his hand as he walked in. "This just came for you." He handed over a slim envelope marked with the seal of The Federal Bureau of Investigation. She'd only once ever received and envelope like that, and when she accepted it between her fingers, a slight tremor coursed through her body.

Clearing her throat, she resisted the urge to rip the envelope open. "Thank you, Mr. Bray. Please close the door on your way out."

Wendell got the message loud and clear, and just nodded politely as he left her office.

Brennan stared at the envelope in her hand, willing herself to open it. As calmly as possible, she reached into her drawer and pulled out the ivory letter opener she'd received on her last trip to Africa. Slicing open one end seemed to cause her heart to stop beating, but she still managed to reach inside and pull out the letter.

"Dr. Temperance Brennan,

Your presence is required at the below location this evening at 9:45 PM. Transportation arrangements from the Jeffersonian have been made for your convenience."

There was no signature, only the designated address, and as Brennan looked at the clock, she realized she had five hours until that time.


9:44 PM

Booth paced the room he was in, palming the back of his neck. "She's on the way?"

"Yeah" Sweets nodded, watching Booth.

9:46 PM

"What the hell, Sweets?" Booth eyed him and the younger man slid a frustrated hand through his hair.

"I don't know…" he eyed the door to the room. "They told me 9:45. 9:45, they said. And I said fine."

"This is bullshit." Booth warned. "But I told you. I told you I'm not going away until I see her. Until I see her with my own eyes, and I tell her myself. You hear me?"

"Yes," Sweets nodded. "I understood it when you said it the first time. I made it clear, and…"

"And what?" Booth challenged.

Sweets pulled in a deep breath, totally relieved when the door opened.

"Get out Sweets" Booth calmly said, his eyes only on his partner.

Sweets didn't say a word and just stepped out of the room, standing guard at the door.


Brennan's eyes were her on her partner and her face was passive. But her knuckles were white as she clenched her paper in her fingers.

Booth stared at her, knowing his time was limited. He'd prepared a speech of sorts, but now knew it was pointless. Seeing her was what was important. Letting her see him.

"Bones…" he stepped closer. "I have to go away for awhile."

Her eyes flickered with some hidden emotion, but she didn't say anything. He took a step closer. "The thing is, Bones…well, remember that stakeout I filled in on a few weeks ago?"

Brennan nodded. "Yes. I remember."

Her voice seemed more intimate and yet also almost distant.

"Right, well…you know, I told you what happened." When she nodded again, he opened his hand between them. "I thought…we all thought it was all settled. But apparently the mob ties are deeper. We thought we'd gotten the root, you know? But…actually, well…we did. But just a local root, I guess. The guy I got, well he's got a brother, so it's kind of…"

"I understand," Brennan nodded.

"Okay" Booth swallowed. "Good. Well, that's good. I um, I just wanted to tell you, to your face, so there wasn't any confusion."

Her knuckles tightened even further. "I appreciate that."

Booth was getting what he wanted, the ability to tell her what was happening in person. But something still felt off, like she wasn't quite understanding. But he wasn't sure exactly what he wanted her to say, and he knew his time was ticking away.

"I won't be able to call you, or see you, or…" his breath hitched. "But…well, you already know that." A nervous chuckle escaped his lips. "Now you can work on some ancient remains or something."

"It's not the first time you've been gone, Booth" she tilted her head to the side, but she was also smiling, and she stepped closer to him.

"First time in awhile, though" he argued with a smile. They stepped closer to each other, soft smiles on their faces.

Just as Booth was about to say something else, there was a short knock on the door.

He glanced toward it and then back to Brennan, noticing the same passive look on her face as before. "I, um…I gotta go." He pulled her into a quick hug and then stepped back, rubbing his index knuckle against his nose before he pulled in a deep breath and walked out of the room.


See you in an hour with an update: Orange, a lighthearted one shot.