Authors Note: Yes, I have returned to the land of Bones fanfiction. I spent all summer trying to not to think too much about the coming season, trying not to care about the time jump and this Hannah person that was coming, trying to de-obsess a little. But nope. Withdrawal set in, and by the time the premiere started, I was sucked right back in, caring too much as always. Already Brennan is breaking my heart, Emily is slaying me with her performance, Booth is bugging me more than he ever had, and Hannah is…let's not.
So I had to write this. It's not going to the epic Beauty and Tragedy was (at least I don't think it is), but I'm not sure of exact length yet. Hope you enjoy though. I'm sure we all remember my penchant for angst leading to clarity and love and whatnot…romangst, as I still call it.
About Booth and Hannah: As much as I hate Hannah (she seems like a good person and all, but she also seems like the cookie cutter of the perfect girlfriend, and that bugs me. Oh, and it bugs me that she isn't Brennan), and would like to make her a loathsome serial killer or something, I'm going to try not to go cliché with this so I must stick to canon: she's boring, but basically pleasant. Oh, and I'd like to make Booth brainwashed or something into all this "I love her, look how hot she is in this picture I'm shoving in everyone's face like a petty smug git", but, again, can't do that.
Oh, and after this brief prologue, we will flash back before going forward.
Sorry for the length. For those of you I didn't lose, here we go.
All That You Can't Leave Behind
Three hours after Brennan practically ran out of her office, away from him, something inside Seeley Booth snapped.
In a fluid motion, he flung the manila folder in his hand as hard as could, opening it up midair and sending the papers inside fluttering to the floor like debris, littering Brennan's office.
Without pausing, Booth knocked his arm against the 'done' stack of files (which in spite of the hours of work was still shorter than the ones he still had to go through), sending them all sliding off the desk, adding still more paper to the floor.
Setting his jaw and gritting his teeth, Booth gripped the edges of the desk until his knuckles were white, trying to gain control.
Hannah had been missing for at least ten hours. And Booth had just driven away the one person he needed with him right now.
Drawing a breath, Booth stood and moved out of Brennan's office toward the forensic platform, where all the other squints (plus Sweets) were spread out, going through their own stack of case files. Even in his exhaustion and frustration, Booth felt a wave of gratitude to his team.
This wasn't their area, or any part of their job, yet they'd been here all night, each one an extra pair of eyes for these files, trying to find anyone who might be a suspect.
Booth approached Angela, who was sitting on the steps, a pile of folders on either side of her. He sat down beside her and asked in a low tone, "Ange, do you know where Bones went?"
Cutting her eyes at him, Angela fixed Booth with a stare that was even colder than the usual expression she'd been using with him lately. "She took her part of the case files and went home. Can't imagine why."
Booth sighed, looking contrite. "I know. I was out of line. I'm just…I'm frustrated, and I'm pissed, and I'm scared, Angela, and…I took it out on her. But I didn't mean it."
The slightest bit of sympathy filled Angela's eyes as she glanced up at him. "I know you didn't."
"I tried calling her a few times…"
"She'll be back, Booth. She wants to help you, and if she'd found anything in her files she'd have called. Just give her a little time, okay?"
"Alright," he agreed. Sweets called him from across the platform to look a potential suspect, and Booth was able to put Bones out of his mind and focus on more dire matters.
Twenty minutes later, his cell phone rang, the same RESTRICTED message flashing across the screen as the last few calls. Stomach folding, Booth snatched it up and forced a note of authority into his tone. "Booth."
"Agent Booth," the digitally altered voice had a tone of feigned pleasantness that just fed Booth's range. "How are things coming?"
"This is getting real old, you coward," he seethed, aware that everyone on the platform had stopped working to watch him. "Where is she? What do you want?"
"I thought I've made it clear what I want…I want to make you pay." The voice chuckled, and Booth's grip on the phone tightened as though that was enough to cause his mysterious caller pain. "But my immediately desire is more simple, Agent Booth. I'd like to speak to your partner."
Booth's insides froze, his lungs constricting. "What?"
"Dr. Brennan. I'd like to speak with her this time…just for a little change of pace. Unless…she isn't available for…some reason." Another laugh.
His eyes squeezed shut on their own accord. He was so angry he couldn't see straight. But fresh terror gripped Booth, too, crushing his chest with the truth of it even as he protested silently, No, no, no, not her, too, please, not Bones, especially not now, not after what I said, please not her…
"Something wrong?" The voice asked innocently, and though he'd successfully followed the policy of keeping the phone calls as long as possible. But now, he couldn't stop himself from slamming the phone shut, before it was too late, before he heard the truth and knew for sure.
"Booth?" Cam asked uncertainly. "What happened?"
"Is it Hannah, did he say he…?" Hodgins trailed off, not wanting to voice his first thought.
Booth spun and fixed his gaze on Angela. "Call Bones. Get her on the phone, and call me as soon as you do. I'm going to her apartment."
Without waiting for questions, he ran past them, down the stairs and toward the door. Somewhere, in that deep place that was still so in tune with Brennan, even after the past few months, he knew.
But he had to be sure.
Ten minutes later, he'd driven like a maniac to Brennan's building and was pounding his way down her hall.
Her apartment door was open.
A strangled sound escaped from his throat, but Booth pushed through the door, her name sticking in his throat as it became immediately apparent that calling out to her would do no good.
Files were spilled on her floor, scarily mirroring the destruction he'd caused in her office. A lamp was broken, a coffee table overturned, a bottle of water dripping off the counter onto the carpet.
And next to the wet spot, there was blood.
Booth sank to his knees in the middle of the mess, a scream tearing at his throat even as he clamped his lips shut.
After a moment, Booth dazedly pulled out his phone and dialed Cam. The first words out of his mouth, low and hollow were, "He got her."
Brennan couldn't have been out for more than half a minute, because when she awoke, her vision blurry, Hannah was bent over her, working the knots in the ropes around her wrists.
Seeing her eyes open, Hannah asked quietly, "Are you alright?"
Taking a quick survey herself, Brennan found the answer was a vehement no. Half dry blood caked her face, spreading from her hairline down to her cheek, and her entire head was pounding. Her body ached from hitting the hard, cement ground with no way to cushion the fall (a result of having her hand and feet bound), three of her fingers were numb, and she was fairly certain she'd fractured a least two ribs.
"Fine," she murmured, just as the ropes mercifully fell away. Brennan sat up and examined her free hands. Her wrists were an angry red from the bindings, but most disturbing was the way her broken fingers dangled uselessly at odd angles from her hand.
As her surroundings became more clear, Brennan noticed Hannah had already removed the ropes from her ankles. "Thanks," she managed. "Why aren't you tied?"
The other woman met her eyes . "I didn't get the chance to fight him. He doesn't seem very interested in hurting us if we don't try anything." She sighed shakily, "He keeps saying he's only interested in hurting Seeley."
Brennan nodded. This wasn't news to her; she'd heard all the phone calls.
Hesitantly, her voice soft, Hannah asked, "How is he?"
Well, he hates me, Brennan thought, the same degree of hurt burning in her chest despite her current situation. "He's scared. And angry. But he's got everyone working hard, going through every case he's ever worked on, trying to figure out who might have a grudge against him." Brennan looked away, absently rubbing the rope burns on her wrist. "Booth'll find us. He..he w"on't let anything happen to you."
"Or you," Hannah added seriously. Off Brennan's look, she half-smiled. "Don't look so surprised. I've heard the stories.
Brennan shrugged noncommittally and fixed her gaze on the floor, turning her thoughts to any sort of plan for escape out of the tiny dim room.
After a silent ten minutes, the door creaked open and the man entered. He was tall and fit, his face hard and severe, all angles. He'd had a mask on when he'd accosted her at her apartment, but didn't seem to feel the need here.
Brennan's instinct was to pick up right where she'd left off, fighting this bastard for all he was worth. But even the slightest movement hurt, and from what Hannah said, he made frequent visits. She'd wait until she had a better strategy.
"Ah, you're awake," he commented with a leer, closing the door behind him. "Hopefully she's explained to you how things work. You'll be fine if you just do what I say. You've done nothing to me, and I don't want to hurt you."
"Right," Brennan spat fiercely. "That is until you're ready to kill us both."
Hannah groaned from behind her, but the man just smiled wider. "You might be the famous genius, doc, but you got that one wrong. I'm not killing both of you."
The two women exchanged glances. "What does that mean?"
"It means one of you gets to live." He chuckled, eyes brightening in sheer delight at his own plan. "And I'm going to let Agent Booth choose who."
Author's Note: So. There we have it. For next chapter, we'll go back and see what happened to get us to this point, and then continue on.
Hope you're intrigued. Reviews are the greatest. Tell me what you think of the premise, the hints of what happened before, what you're expecting…anything.