Chapter 1

He had barely shoved Hannah away in time to safety as he felt a quick, searing flash of pain pass along his neck.

His gun pulled him around first and his heart plummeted down to his stomach as he saw Bones come out of nowhere, right into where the line of fire had been.

"Bones! Bones! Get down!" He yelled with a mixture of anger, frustration, and fear. She kept running towards him and before he realized what was happening, Karnick had grabbed her and put his gun to her head.

Looking down the length of his arm down to the end of the barrel of his own gun, he analyzed the situation.

"Don't do anything stupid, Karnick," he said calmly, which slightly contradicted the firm set of his jaw and the steely expression which flitted to Bones' eyes momentarily, willing her to heed the same advice as he gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

Karnick remained wordless, his eyes narrowing in rage as one arm wrapped around her neck with his hand gripping her chin. The other hand shoved his pistol very firmly jammed up against her temple. Booth recognized Karnick as being especially dangerous. He had become desperate and this move on his part only clarified that. Desperate people held little reason. Booth wasn't optimistic about Karnick backing down and could only hope that he could take him down without anyone getting hurt.

Karnick had cocked his gun by now, causing Booth's heart to speed up exponentially as he tried to use reason.

"It's only drug trafficking right now and evidence is circumstantial at best, right? You just grabbed Bones 'cause you got scared – it's a dangerous, unpredictable neighborhood out here. I mean, she could have been the look out for Alonso and his gang, right?"

Karnick's grip tightened around Bones' face, causing her to give an involuntary cry of pain. Booth's eyes narrowed and his face became taut with anger. He could see the change in Karnick's expression as well as he reacted to Booth's resolve. Booth knew that the key was timing; shoot too soon and he would cause Karnick to inadvertently fire his own weapon. In rapid succession he alternated continually between Karnick's face and hand. In the split second that he recognized what he was looking for, Booth fired.

Karnick's head went back, causing his arms to follow. Bones flung him off and ran to Booth, reaching him at the same time as Hannah.

"You all right, Bones?" Booth asked her, gripping the sides of her shoulders.

Bones shrugged him off impatiently. "Booth. I'm fine. It's you I'm worried about – "

Booth turned to Hannah, who was looking oddly fuzzy and out-of-focus.

"Hannah," he said heavily.

"I'm okay, Seeley. We did it." Her voice sounded fuzzy and shaky, too. "We got the bad guy. But, babe, you are not okay."

Booth was beginning to believe her as he started to slowly sink to the ground. Hannah helped him lie down with his head on her lap. Booth found himself staring up at Bones, who was holding her jacket against his neck with tears in her eyes, telling him to hang on, reminding him vaguely of another time and place.