D: Unfortunately they are not mine. If they were, Booth and Brennan would have been together a loooooong time ago.

Voices, like the quiet mumblings of some far away language, swam through the haze pressing in on her. A dull ache slowly made its way to the forefront of her head, throbbing with each pulse of her hammering heart. Movement; coming from her right or left she wasn't sure. Temperance Brennan was sure of nothing except pain. She squeezed her grey-blue eyes shut tight, forcing herself to concentrate, hard, on the voice that seemed so far away. It sounded scared. Scared? What was there to be scared of? Her surroundings were slowly starting to become more solid; the hard stone floor she was lying on unforgiving to her spine.

"Dr Bones? Please! Dr Bones?"

She knew that voice, knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt; a child's voice, scared and unsure, in need of comfort and reassurance. But the haze was so thick, so lulling, tempting her back into a sleepy unassuming oblivion. But the insisting voice needed her. She forced her eyes open and a dreamy vision swam before her. Floppy hair covered his teary eyes, his hands pressed needing against her shoulder, and his eyes showed remarkable relief upon her awakening.

"Dr Bones!"


"Dr Bones I've been waiting for you to wake up for so long!" The terror in his voice was palpable.

Slowly she pushed herself into a sitting position, trying to minimize the amount of pain she showed on her face for Parker's sake. A small windowless room appeared slowly before her, hazy around the edges like a dream, not quite real, but all too real at the exact same time. "Parker what happened? Where are we?"

He wiped his running nose on the sleeve of his sweater. "I don't know. I woke up here. And he brought you in here later. Dr Bones where's my Daddy?" The longing in his voice made her want to cry.

She had no idea what to say to comfort the terrified child. Instead she adjusted her position, her broken ribs rubbing painfully against the tender flesh of her side. The cold grey walls led her to believe she was in some kind of warehouse, or a storage container of some sort. There were absolutely no defining characteristics to help her deduce their whereabouts.

"It's okay, Parker. I'm going to get us out of here."

Metal upon metal attracted their attention to the bolt sliding across the solid door in front of them, and Brennan instantly jumped painfully to her feet and shielded Parker with her body, his shaking hands wrapped tightly around her thigh, tear soaked face buried in the small of her back. She had one arm wrapped around his little body, holding him to her, protecting him from the eyes of the stranger at the door.

His face appeared, still a little hazy to her eyes, a sneer on his features like the ungrateful winner of some twisted game. He stood in the doorway, anxious hands never leaving the door in case his captives made a move, eyes trained against her shield of a body.

"Touching," he snarled, and his voice was like that of a demented angel, something that in any other situation would be beautiful. She was intrigued. "You protect him like he's your own."

"If you lay one hand on him..."

He laughed, a sinister, hollow laugh that echoed against the hard walls, and Brennan felt Parker recoil against her back. "Don't worry Dr Brennan. We're playing a game. And the only rules you have to follow are to stay here in this room until your partner falls into the trap of trying to save you. Your role in quite minimal. And if Agent Booth's son does exactly as he's told, I won't have a reason to hurt him. Are we understood?"

Quick thoughts hurried through her brain, an escape plan, some way to get Parker out safely. But it would require more time, more planning, and Parker's full cooperation. And at the moment, he was far too scared for any kind of escape. She would have to prepare him.

"Understood," she said, the glare of contempt in her eyes.

He leered again, satisfied this time, and slammed the door shut, the lock clicking resolutely after.

Eight Hours Earlier

She turned the torn paper over and over in her hands, each side marred with words she had written, each in the farthest context from the other. Soft fingers traced the familiar sentences, one side printed in mass, her book, the other scrawled in familiar longhand, the words rushed and smudged from the tears that had fallen as she wrote it. The note she had written as a failsafe in the buried car was screaming memories at her; memories that she wished she could forget, but instead dreamt about almost nightly. She didn't need to reread the words she had written so long ago. Temperance Brennan figured that those words would never leave her, forever they had left their mark upon her soul. Heather Taffet had taken something from her that day, changed her. Though for the better or worse she could not figure out.

Forcing her glance away from the note, sad eyes found the Christmas tree perched in the corner of the quiet apartment, but for some reason it held no comfort, no warmth, as it had in previous years, surrounded by the cheerful voices of those she loved. This year, she was alone. No one had called to invite her to dinner, to drinks, to share gifts and memories with. They had their own lives, their own families, and it seemed that she didn't quite fit into those lives as she had before. Booth was with Hannah in Vermont, a tag-along vacation with a reluctant Rebecca and Drew, so Booth could spend Christmas with his son. Brennan and Booth had barely spoken in weeks, ever since she had more or less confessed her feelings for him when her world had turned upside down. Truth be told she didn't blame him. She knew that he felt awkward, guilty, for the way she was feeling. But she missed his company, his nagging, his constant insistence for her to eat and sleep and stop working. Over the past couple weeks he had become no more than a stranger to her.

A soft ringing sounded from her phone, buried somewhere beneath the sheaths of blankets wrapped over her body. The raised surface of the buttons found her fingers and she wrapped her hand around it, unearthing it from the depths and bringing it to her ear.


The familiar voice answering back was an instant comfort. "Hi, Sweetie!"

"Hi, Ange."

"Honey, why don't you come over? Hodgins and I are just finishing getting dinner ready. We would love if you could join us."

Brennan smiled. "I don't want to impose, Angela."

"Sweetie you are not imposing!" she insisted. "We want you to come spend Christmas with us; with your family. We didn't invite you sooner because we still thought you were going to Guatemala."

It was irrational, she knew. Angela and Hodgins were not family. Strictly speaking they were simply coworkers, and Angela was her best friend. But the feisty brunettes' choice of words had the desired effects nonetheless. Brennan considered them family whether it fit into rationality or not.

"Sure, Ange, I'd love to."

Angela didn't say anything, but Brennan knew she was smiling. "Fantastic. So I'll see you in half an hour?"

"Sure. I'll be there."

"Okay. Bye, Sweetie."

Brennan hung up the phone and rested her head against the back of the couch. She had thought she would always be able to count on Booth, but he had disappointed her. At least she had Angela. Extracting the blankets from around her body, she left the couch and walked down the hall to her bedroom. Something stopped her; a feeling, irrational as it was, that someone who shouldn't be there was. Turning on her heel, she spun back towards the way she came and was instantly faced with a man. Reactions kicked in and she swung, aiming wildly for whatever she could reach, but he was faster, stronger, and instantly had her spun with her back pressed against his front. She attempted to wiggle out of his strong grasp, but a soft cloth found its way over her mouth, and try as she might to hold her breath, the noxious scent filled her lungs and into a sleepy oblivion she fell.

Seeley Booth sighed. It had been a long and tiring day. He loved his son more than words could ever describe, but boy did that kid have a ton of energy. He collapsed onto the soft cotton sheets of the hotel bed and closed his eyes. The weight on the mattress shifted as a body sat down next to him. Eyes closed but lips turned up into a smile, a stranger hand creeped over the taught muscles of his abdomen, fingers playing with the ridges and dips of his abs.

"That tickles," he mumbled playfully. His eyes flipped open and he rolled quickly over, latching onto the body of the slim blonde on the bed and dragging her on top of him. Smiling eyes stared back at him. Her wet hair dangled down into his face, and he used one hand to play with a loose strand. "How was your shower?"

A coy smile fell upon her features. "I could think of things I rather would have been doing."

He raised his face up to kiss her, softly at first, then more rushed, passionate, needing with every touch of their lips. She responded with her hands, gently tugging at the hem of his wife-beater, tucked into the top of his jeans. He leaned slightly up, making it easier for her to slide the thin fabric off his toned body. His hands slipped up her shirt, caressing the soft skin beneath the wire of her bra. She moaned in pleasure and he smiled, his lips still on hers, and continued the venture of his fingers.

A shrill ring interrupted them and they both groaned in disappointment. "Don't answer that," Hannah mumbled, her lips finding the hollow of his neck and kissing it. His hands groped for the phone anyways. The caller ID read 'Bones'.

His heart jumped, and he guiltily knew that it had nothing to do with the beautiful woman whose lips were slowly making their way down his bare chest. "If it's important, she can leave a message." Booth placed the phone back on the nightstand and devoted his full attention back to Hannah.

Her warm body was pressed up against his side and he rested his head sleepily against the top of her now dry hair.

"You should probably check your voicemail. The light's been going off this whole time," Hannah muttered, exhausted.

Booth reached back up to the nightstand and pulled the phone to his ear. He typed in the password and listened intently. The distorted voice gave him the strangest sense of déjà vu and made his blood run cold. "I have taken Dr Temperance Brennan. You have forty-eight hours to figure out her whereabouts, or this place becomes her grave. Good luck Agent Booth, and check on your son."