Title: My Girl
Disclaimer: Bones and its affiliated characters do not belong to me. I mean no copyright infringement.
Summary: "Dr. Brennan never arrived at the Jeffersonian." A case from Booth's past comes back to haunt him. After Brennan goes missing, will Booth be able to save her on time? Will their relationship survive? Booth/Brennan
Spoilers: Nothing specific from the series.
Note: This story doesn't take place anywhere specific in the Bones timeline. If I had to pick a time, it would probably be somewhere in the middle of season 4 (since I haven't seen season 5 yet, except for the 100th episode, which I'm not even going to begin to get into).
Blood. She tasted blood. So much blood. She swallowed and it burned the back of her throat. Her stomach protested the metallic tasting substance and she felt herself beginning to wretch. Nothing came up, but there was still more blood. It was like a constant flow coming from somewhere that she couldn't quite figure out. She couldn't understand. Why was there so much blood in her mouth? Why was she swallowing her own blood? It didn't make any sense. She felt the wave of nausea overcome her and she felt the acidic contents of her stomach in the back of her throat.
"You can't make a general statement and say that it applies to everyone," she argued.
"I'm not saying it applies to everyone. I'm saying it applies to women."
Brennan looked up from her computer screen and glared at him. He had that usual goofy grin on his face. It was the look that said he was enjoying arguing with her. Brennan shook her head and concentrated back at her computer screen. She was determined to finish the mountain of paperwork that had somehow piled up on her desk. She was usually so diligent about getting paperwork done, but with Booth insisting on things like going out to lunch and actually leaving the office at a decent hour, Brennan just didn't have the time she used to.
"Exactly what?" He repeated.
"I'm not having this argument with you," she replied.
"Because it's childish and I have work to do."
"No, you won't have this argument with me because you're afraid you'll lose."
He knew exactly what to say to push her buttons.
"Fine," she said, looking up from her screen. If she was going to argue, she was at least going to put up a good argument. "You can't say that all women fight with their husbands or boyfriends or significant others or whatever…over leaving the toilet seat up."
"Trust me. There's not one woman out there in the universe who doesn't argue with a man who leaves the toilet seat up."
"You can't say that without talking to every woman in the universe, which is impossible!" Brennan shouted.
"You know, Bones, there are just some things that you can't use science to argue about. Women hate when men leave the toilet seat up. They're basically incapable of putting the toilet seat down for themselves."
"Women are not incapable of…"
He ignored her. "They want to be considered equals, they want all the same rights as men and yet they can't put the toilet seat down! I mean, we have to put the toilet seat up so why can't they put the toilet seat down?"
"Of course they can put the toilet seat down," she insisted. "They just…don't."
"Why are you asking me?"
"Because you're a woman."
"So please explain to me why we get in trouble for leaving the toilet seat up when you could very easily just put the toilet seat down and avoid the whole argument."
"Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I speak for all women. I mean, you don't speak for all men."
"Sure I do." Booth stood up and walked closer to Brennan's desk. He was determined to distract her from her work. He was starving and he was tired of waiting for her to finish whatever paperwork she was claiming she had to do.
"No it's not. All men are basically the same. Now women on the other hand…"
"No two persons are exactly the same so there's no way you can say that you're the same as every other man in the entire world."
"Well, every straight man in the entire world."
"You can't say that!"
"We're deviating from the point here."
"Which is what?"
"It's a proven fact that women can't handle when men leave the toilet seat up."
"Show me the scientific study."
"You said it was proven, well I want the proof. Show me the research. Show me graphs, show me pie charts. I want data."
"I don't even know how to make a pie chart," Booth commented. He picked up a strange black box from Brennan's desk.
"Put that down!" She exclaimed.
Booth placed it carefully back on her desk.
"All I'm saying is…"
"Why are we still arguing about this?" She asked.
"Because you asked me how I knew our victim's wife was the murderer."
"So you're saying the reason you suspected this woman murdered her husband was because you saw the toilet seat up when we first investigated the scene?"
"Let's just say I felt it in my gut."
"I don't understand."
"You don't do gut. I do gut. You do bones. That's why I'm me and you're Bones."
"And let me ask you something. When this woman goes to court for her husband's murder, will the jury really settle for the fact that your gut told you that this woman was guilty or will the fingerprints, bone reconstruction, and analysis of the dirt at the scene convict your murderer?"
"Hodgins doesn't like the word dirt."
He walked behind her desk and leaned over her shoulder, looking at the computer screen. She pushed the screen, angling it away from him. She didn't need him hovering while she tried to write up his reports.
"You're avoiding the question."
"Alright Bones, you caught me, I couldn't do this job without you." He patted her on the shoulder, letting his hand linger a little longer than necessary.
"But I'm still right about the toilet thing."
"Are…" Brennan threw her hands up in the air. "Fine!"
"You're only pestering me because you're hungry."
"See, Bones, you do have a gut instinct."
"No, you do." She turned off her computer monitor, slid her chair back, and stood up. Booth didn't move a muscle and she realized immediately just how closely they were standing together. Holding her breath, she pushed past him. "Your stomach is growling so loudly that they can probably hear it at the Hoover building."
"Aw…is Bones trying to make a joke?" He smirked.
Brennan reached for her coat off the coat rack, but Booth got there first. He held the coat out for her. She rolled her eyes as he helped her put it on. She was going to comment about the fact that she was entirely capable of putting her own coat on, but she decided against it. She certainly didn't want to have another argument like the one about the toilet seat.
"So, what are you feeling tonight? Thai? Italian? The diner?"
Booth's cell phone began to ring, cutting her off. He dug into his pocket and pulled out his phone. After quickly glancing at the caller ID, he flipped open the phone and put it to his ear.
"Booth," he said. Brennan headed back for her desk, determined to get just a little bit more work done if Booth was going to be on the phone, but he grabbed her arm, stopping her. He wanted to eat and he knew if she got back on her computer, he would have to wait a lot longer.
"Yes," he said into the phone. "Collin Brown?"
"Who's Collin Brown?" Brennan mouthed.
Booth ignored her. He let go of her arm. "What? But that was…" Brennan noticed his eyes narrow and his nostrils flair. Something was definitely wrong. "What? No! No! No!"
His shouting took her by surprise. Sure, he was a man driven by his emotions, but Brennan couldn't even begin to guess what would make him so angry.
"Booth, what's going on?" Brennan asked.
"Damn it!" He shouted. Booth took the phone away from his ear and threw it. It crashed against the bookshelf on the opposite wall, thankfully missing the breakable glass case that encased a human hand that was nearly one thousand years old.
"Booth you just…broke your phone," Brennan said quietly.
Booth ran his hands through his hair. It was a move he rarely made. He hated messing up his hair.
"What happened?" Brennan asked. Booth turned away from her and clenched his hand into a fist. He raised his fist as if ready to punch the wall. Brennan closed her fingers around his wrist, stopping him. Punching the wall would only result in broken bones. "Booth?"
"Collin Brown," he muttered through clenched teeth.
"Who's Collin Brown?" He didn't answer. "Booth, who's Collin Brown?"
Sighing, Booth walked over the couch and sat down. Knowing food probably was no longer in their near future, Brennan shrugged off her coat and sat down on the opposite end of the couch.
"It was my first big murder case with the bureau."
Brennan waited for him to continue, but he was staring off into space as if he were trying to remember everything. "So Collin Brown was the victim?" He shook his head. "The murderer?"
"A woman's body, Carol Cooke, had been found tied up in an old abandoned warehouse. No evidence. No leads."
"One week later, we got a video tape of Carole Cooke being tortured."
"He sent you a tape of the murder?"
"Not the murder itself. Just him torturing her. The trouble was, we couldn't tell from the video who our murderer was. Four months later, another woman shows up dead. Same MO. One week later, a video tape shows up on my desk."
"Another torture video?" Booth nodded. "What happened?"
"We kept waiting. We had no other choice. We had nothing to go on. It was the worst…knowing that we couldn't do anything without someone else dying first."
"Was there another victim?"
"Three more," Booth answered. Brennan could see immediately how difficult it was for him to talk about the case. "The fifth victim was found eight months after the first one."
"And you were sent video tapes after each victim was found?"
"They always arrived seven days later."
"How did you finally catch Collin Brown?"
"With the fifth victim we found a witness."
"Someone saw him murder the woman?"
"Collin Brown doesn't just murder women. Collin Brown tortures women until they die. I can't explain to you how…ugly his crimes were. He had no connection to the victims. He picked them out of a crowd and tortured them. No motive either except that he was a total psycho."
"The word psycho is highly overused in our society. As matter of fact, the word derives from…" Booth glanced over at her and she immediately stopped talking. "So…what about the witness?"
"She was a hooker. She saw Collin Brown pick up the last victim on some street corner. We found him and arrested him, but we couldn't find anything else to connect him to the crime besides the witness."
"Did you have to let him go?"
"No. We prosecuted him. Took him to trial."
"With only a hooker as a witness?"
"It was flimsy at best, but I was green and his lawyer was green and somehow we won. We could only nail him for the last murder, but we all knew he did them all."
"What was the phone call you just got all about?"
"They're releasing him from prison."
"He got himself a fancy lawyer who got the witness testimony thrown out. That's all we had. They're letting him go."
Booth stood up.
"Where are you going?"
"To my office. I've got to dig up all I have about the case. I've got to find something else to keep this man in prison. If he gets out, he'll kill again. I'm not going to let that happen."
Booth headed for the door. With her coat slung over her arm, Brennan followed after him.
"What are you doing?" Booth asked.
"Going with you."
"There were no bones in this investigation, Bones. Trust me, I saw those women's remains. It almost would have been easier if they were just bones."
"I might be a bone expert, Booth, but I can still help. I want to help."
Booth nodded. "Thanks Bones."
"We're partners, remember? That's what we do."
She pulled on her jacket and they walked out of her office together.
"So…you never answered my question," Booth said.
"What question is that?"
"What do you want for dinner?"
Brennan couldn't help but smile. "Only you could still be thinking about food."
"A man's gotta eat."
"Why do you say it like that?"
"A man's gotta eat. Saying it like that insinuates that women don't need to eat, which, of course, they do. It's a biological need that all humans, regardless of sex have and I don't think it's…"
"Thai it is," Booth said, cutting her off. He gently put his hand on Brennan's lower back, leading her through the door to the parking garage.
Author's Note: This is my first Bones fic and, from the outline I've started planning, it's going to be a long one. I'm very much a feminist, but I love good ol' damsel and distress stories so be prepared because that's where this story is headed. Thank you so much for reading. If you liked it, please review! If you didn't like it, feel free to review anyway, but please be kind!