Whoa (horse) it's been a LONG time since I've been here. Spin-offs of the finale have been posted by just about everyone, so here's my go at it. This plot bunny just grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go! Oh and one more thing, the finale wasn't that bad, I know a lot of people hated it but I think there's a lot of potential for more storylines next season, so let's give Hart and Co a chance ok? And come on, how hot is Booth in Army fatigues huh?

Anyways the story, here we go…

There was blackness. She tried to feel, but there was nothing, only a blackness that gripped her and wouldn't let go. She was suffocating, choking and gasping, she waited and hoped to wake up from this nightmare, but she just couldn't….

Six months. It had been six months since he had last saw her, held her hand, spoke to her and re-affirmed their promise to meet again in a year. What's a year? A really long time to pass without her apparently.

Time passed quickly enough in Afghanistan, but not quick enough. There was sand, sand everywhere. It reminded him of why he hated being in Desert Storm the first time round. The days were hot and bright and the nights cold.

True to his promise he hadn't had to be a hero, he had only been out of base once, on a scouting mission with his team The rest of his time was spent at base, training soldiers fresh out of college with something to prove. They reminded him of himself so many years ago. In the evenings he played cards, mindful of his addiction years ago, with the officers and thinking of home. He missed home. He missed her. He reminded himself why he had signed up in the first place was to try get over her.

To his credit he did go for drinks with a rather cute journalist twice. But when the question of did he have someone waiting for him back home came up, he was stumped for an answer. Yeah she would be meeting him when he got back, but was she really waiting for him? Waiting for what? To be partners again? Or something more?

The journalist then asked if he was interested in something casual to which he replied he wasn't sure. To be honest his heart felt so scrapped and raw that he didn't have the guts to try even though his head told him he must. He decided it wouldn't be fair to sting her along and turned down a third date.

It turned out, absence did make the heart grow fonder and try as he might, he couldn't forget her. How could he? It was like trying to forget who he was, trying to forget one half of himself.

It was another hot morning putting the new recruits through their paces when he was interrupted.

"Sarge! Phone call!"

Booth froze. The only means of communications with home was through letters and phonecalls were limited to emergencies. Family emergencies. Things like births and deaths. Since he wasn't expecting anyone to be born, it had to be a death. As he jogged back to the Army barracks, he mentally prepared himself for whatever news. Since Bones had headed off to Maluku, he had listed Jared as his emergency contact. If it was Jared calling, then it had to be real bad news.

Arriving at the phone, Booth picked up the receiver, putting it to his ear. "Jared, is it Pops?"

"Hey Seeley. No Pops is fine."

"Parker?" Booth felt a bead of perspiration roll down the side of his face.

""Listen, Parker's fine." Booth breathed a sigh of relief.

"It's Temperance."

Booth felt his knees go weak. His head felt light.

"Bones?" His voice was hoarse.


"Is she…" Booth thought the unthinkable.

"She's missing. No one has seen or heard from her in two days. The local authorities are gonna give up looking for her. The American embassy isn't putting much pressure on them to find her, they agree with the locals. She's probably been taken by local militants or got lost in the jungle, bitten by a poisonous snake. Whatever the reason, they think it's pointless to keep on looking for her. Cam thought you should know."

"They can't give up. It's Bones! She's tough, she's still out there! They just can't give up!"

"They are Seeley. I'm sorry."

"There's gotta be a way…"

"Hey don't do anything stupid man, going AWOL is a serious crime."

""She's still out there."

"It's been days. Chances aren't good. I understand how you feel, but you're half a world away."

"No you could never understand how I feel." Booth balled his fists. He had to find her.

"Look just sit tight ok? Cam's trying to pressure the embassy into making the locals keep up the search. Once there's any news, I'll cal you."

"Right Jared, thanks for calling."

Booth hung up, his mind still trying to process the information. All he could think off was how she was alone and scared, in pain? He should've been there. If he didn't let her leave this wouldn't have happened. He found his legs moving of their own accord, and before he knew it his hand was knocking on his commanding officer's office door. He had to find her.

"Come in."

"Sir, do you have a minute? I need to talk to you."

"Sure Sergeant Major, come in."

"I have to go Sir."

"Excuse me?"

"I have to go."

"Booth, there are lots of soldiers here who think they have to go home, you're the last person I would have expected – "

"No Sir, It's not about going home. I just… I need some time, I need to go to Indonesia."

Booth's commanding officer regarded him as though he had grown a second head."

"I'm not sure I heard you right Sergeant,"

"The woman I love is missing, somewhere in the jungles of Maluku, some island in Indonesia."

"Ah so this is about love. If I agreed to every request about a relationship crisis, half the camp would be gone by now."

"It's not some relationship crisis, it's about her, being missing for two days and the local authorities giving up on finding her. I have to find her Sir. I have to go."

"Let the locals handle it. Get the American embassy involved."

"You don't understand," Booth wondered if he had heard him the first time, "they're giving up on her. I can't let that happen."

"Let me get this straight. You're asking for a leave of absence, to search for your girlfriend who's gone missing in Indonesia?"

Booth didn't bother correcting the misconception. "I'm not asking Sir."

"You know that's not possible. You can only leave when you've served your term. You signed the contract, your one year isn't up."

"I have to find her. She's out there somewhere, scared and alone. Maybe she's hurt, taken by militants, lost in the jungle, I can't just stay here and do nothing. I love her, she has to know, I never told her. I have to find her."

Booth knew he was rambling and his lame I love you in an atta girl kind of way didn't count. He knew his line of reasoning wouldn't convince a hardened career soldier of more than twenty years but he had to try. Five years of being programmed to proctect her kicked in. He would find her, the consequences wold be borne later.

"I leaving on the next flight to Indonesia. You can arrest me when I get back, and I will come back."

"You can't be with her if you're spending the rest of your life in military jail. What about your son?"

"I can't think about all that right now. What's important is that she's safe. That's all that matters."

Booth lowered his head, there was no turning back. He saluted his commanding officer and turned to leave.


He turned.

"You're one stubborn son of a bitch. You're lucky I like you. Truth is I wanna let you go, find this girlfriend of yours and I believe you when you say you'll come back. But you know Army policy. My hands are tied." The senior officer sighed. "Did you say militants? Well I think you've been stuck in this base for way too long. It should be time for another real mission. It'll be good practice for some of our young recruits too. Take two of your men, I want you to go on a search and rescue mission. You have six days. Six days or you and your team would be considered AWOL."

Despite the graveness of the situation, Booth couldn't help the grin on his face.

"Thank you Sir, I really appreciate – "

"Why are you still standing here, your six days start now!"

"Thank you Sir!" Booth saluted his officer once more. His mind was already deciding which two guys to pick, how to convince them to come with him, and how to get to Maluku. He had no time to waste.

I really don't know the Army, or any Army terms so pardon me if I got things wrong. I thought there were already a couple of fics about Booth going to war, getting injured and I did a fic like that before, so here's the flipside. I hope ya' all like, and don't forget to review on your way out!